Boiler Up!

How sweet it is. Back in the summer we made plans to visit the Purdue - Notre Dame game in West Lafayette. This weekend we enjoyed a beautiful fall day with lots of old friends and a big win over the hated domers. We even brought Spencer and Garrett, and they had a blast. Although Amy and I did have some trouble dealing with the tiresome whining, the constant bickering, the boorish complaining, and the aura of entitlement from the spoiled brats...but enough about the Irish fans!

Was lucky enough to grab Potbelly's not once but twice, and the weather was great - a sharp contrast from the rainy fall season here in the Pacific Northwest.

I think the pics speak for themselves. We even have Garrett saying "Boiler Up!" now :)

The Lions setting a record for SCORING?

Wow, what is the world coming to!

It figures, given that it's the first game I missed this year. Forgot to set it up to record (which is really a problem with Directv... why can't I tell it to "record all Lions games" and be done with it???), and we were on a plane so we missed the game. Still, a big win over the bears and a solid end to the first quarter of the season. 3-1 is a good start and something to build on.


Good win for the Honolulu Blue and Silver

Was able to catch the Lions yesterday. We got back from Lake Chelan at 3pm-ish, I fired up the tele and the recorded game, and fast-tracked through the game, able to catch every play but bypassing the hub-bub between plays. All games should be viewed this way, you can get through 3.5 hour game in 45 mins.

Jon Kitna became the man yesterday. I bet my ol' man was comparing him to Bobby Layne or some tough guy QB that the NFL hasn't seen in 20 years (Brett Farve and Steve Young excepted). Talk about carrying a team on your back and making things happen.

While Kitna displayed admirable toughness, the same can't be said for the rest of the offense. What a bunch of wussbags. I think the defense should take that pathetic waste of space called an offensive line behind the woodshed and make them man up. Enough of this. The Lions haven't seen a decent offensive lineman since Jeff Hartings, and even he was very average. How I miss Lomas Brown and Jeff Glover.

I like the four WR set. And the offensive playcalling is well done. Have a sorry RB? Fine, don't call his number. Good for you, Mike Martz. Go with your strengths and make the defense stop you. Or just let Roy Williams fumble the ball. Sheesh, another wussbag.

I will say this about the defense - man are they flying to the ball and man are they laying some lumber. I guarantee that Minnesota's offense is glad Hanson hit that FG in OT. I don't think they wanted any more smacked around from the Lions D. Now Marinelli has to instill that toughness into the offensive line.

And thank you Directv for actually showing a game I paid for. I learned last week that just because you pay for something at Directv you shouldn't expect to actually receive the service - if they give you part of the service that is good enough for them.


A Lions Victory

For the third time in five years the Detroit Lions won their opening game, this time on the road against a pretty pathetic Oakland Raiders squad. Despite the Raiders lack of competence, I came away pretty impressed with the Lions (of course I was impressed last year too and see where that got the Lions). At least if the Lions are going to lose I'd like them to lose looking good. Which is more than I can say about the Lions under Ross, Mohrniweg, and Mariucci.

With the exception of the running game, I thought this team looked pretty solid all the way around. I think this team is going to surprise some people, and I think a .500 record this year is possible. Nice to see Calvin Johnson grab a TD pass, although Charles Rogers had two TDs in his debut and he looked like a world beater back then.

Also nice to see Shaun Rogers back in the lineup making plays, and nice to see Kalimba Edwards get to the QB. This defensive line looks pretty solid, which it needs to be given the lack of run support at LB and lack of cover corners.

Enjoyed watching the game today with friends, even if we did lose the HD signal for the first half. Damn you Directv!

Product Review: Celestron Sky Scout

The most amazing piece of technology I have owned is not my T-Mobile Wing, not my Directv HD, not my Garmin 60Csx, nor my iPod Nano. No, the most amazon thing I've ever owned is a gift from my folks last Christmas: the Celestron Sky Scout.

This thing is un-friggin-believeable! It is touted as a personal planetarium, and its just that. Want to know what that bright (or not-so-bright) object is in the sky? Look through the viewfinder, find the object, and press "target." The Sky Scout tells you what it is. Want to find a star or planet or galaxy? Use the intuitive user interface to select the name of the object you want to find. The Sky Scout then gives you directions through the viewfinder to find your object, using arrows to move you in the right direction.

Looking for a constellation? Look it up, and it will show you all the stars in the constellation, allowing you to trace it. It also provides deep descriptions of each star, constellations it is a part of, and layman's terms on how to find it (e.g. "the third star in the big dipper's handle").

What's amazing to me is that it simply works! It uses GPS, and will take a couple minutes to fix on the GPS satellites. From there, given the time of year and the angle you are holding the device, it knows what you are looking at. Amazing.

NFL Sunday Ticket Player Tracker

I am not sure if this is new or I just haven't paid attention in past years, but I tried the Player Tracker feature this morning. I think it's a feature that comes with the new DVR, as it requires you to press some special buttons on the new remote to interact with it. You get a menu of options allowing you to display scores or the player tracker on the screen, or go straight to the red zone channel or the game mix channel.

Anyway, back to the player tracker. Apparently it allows you to mark players that you want to receive alerts on throughout the day. Hopefully not every yard gained but just scores. I was impressed with how easy it was to set up - about three minutes to do both my team and my opponents team. It shows a menu of teams that you can cycle through, and clicking on a team brings up their starters and a defense entry - just mark the player you want to track. Excellent usability and excellent efficiency.

Directv and Yahoo should team up to combine content and delivery. That would be a killer combination.

Of course, if this is annoying, it is easily turned off.

The coming of the Messiah

I've been studying Hebrew lately, and tranlating the New Testament of the Good Book for good practice. I've found my translations differ greatly from the King James version. Let's take Revelations 11:19 for example...

And you will know to prepare for my return when the BCS shall take Notre Dame into its bowl games despite Notre Dame's suckiness, and thus Notre Dame will be embarassed in front of the world with its performance in said bowl games. As my return draws near I will mark the time one week in advance when the arrogance that is Notre Dame and the pompousness that is Michigan will both begin the football season 0-2. And when the clock striketh 0:00 one week from that time and you see that two teams hath both lost on a single field of battle, you will know my name is the Lord. And a great gate to the heavens will open from the field through the north end zone and into my open arms. And the evil that is Notre Dame will be banished from bowl games forever.

Or something like that.


Good for the Brits

guess I am little more sensitive to this since moving to Seattle, where people don't seem too interested in focusing on driving safely (don't confuse slow with safe), so I kinda like the idea of people serving time for talking on their cell phone while driving.

Actually, I do think jail time is harsh. But at least they are taking notice of it.

If it were up to me, I would ban mobile phones altogether. If we're going to do away with freedom and capitalism in this county (like banning smoking in private businesses and trans fat from food), why not just ban mobile phones and be done with it? While I certainly wouldn't support such a ban since I feel it is against the freedoms this country is based upon, I wouldn't shed a tear, either, if I didn't have to watch a driver swerve into my lane while trying to make a call or listen to a myriad of conversations while watching Spencer's Tae Kwon Do in what is supposed-to-be-the-quiet-gallery.

I am for any law allowing me to punch a public cell phone talker in the nose.

By the way, I'm starting to learn that the slow-ass drivers in Seattle tend to be ones text messaging on their damn phones!

The Big Ten Network

So this is pretty cool for Directv subscribers. Directv carries all the Big Ten network games live. I thought it would be just the regional game, but all the games are available for basic package subscribers. Very cool. Between the Directv Sports package and the Big Ten Network I am going to be able to catch every Purdue game this year. Boo ya!

A suggestion to the Big Ten Network - do like NFL Sunday Ticket and put four (or more) games on the screen at once and provide red zone alerts for each game. Much easier than toggling through the channels.

It was implied on the Big Ten Network's site that the Big Ten Network broadcasts games in HD and that Directv, when they expand their HD offering (whenver that is, I'm not holding my breath), will have the Big Ten games in HD. Way cool.


And thus ends summer

While it looks like we will have nice weather the next couple of weeks, summer came to a close this past weekend and today with Spencer starting school. We celebrated the Labor Day weekend and honoring those that work by, uh, not working on Monday. I'll bet good money that Labor Day was "invented" by a union :) Only in America.

We had our annual Labor Day cookout on Sunday, and yet again I forgot to take pictures. I got to try out my new Jenn-Air Stainless Steel, Infrared, 45,000 BTU grill, and it rocks. Looking forward to putting it to use a-plenty this fall.

Purdue opened the season with a big road win over a solid MAC team in Toledo which I was able to record off ESPNU. I've dumped $12 a month on the Directv "sports" package which means I get a bunch of regional sports stations, ESPNU, and CSTV, but I don't get to see the MLB, NHL, or NBA games on those regional sports packages. So Amy and I are mulling over spending $149 to get the NHL package to catch the Wings this year.

We also dumped $99 on upgrading our NFL Sunday Ticket to HD. I justify NFL Sunday Ticket figured I get to spend $10 a game to catch the Lions. Given the value of a Lions game I figure Millen owes me three million dollars over the last five years. So for an extra $6 a game I get to watch them in crystal clear HD. I guess that means I can read the names of the corners that get their asses burnt for TDs.

Back to summer, wow, where did it go? One trip to the midwest, one trip to Lake Chelan, one hike up Little Si, one hike to Denny Creek... AND THAT'S IT? Sheesh feels like I wasted the summer away.

Anyway, some pics of Spencer on his first day of first grade at Cascade View Elementary School.