Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Important Things

It was pointed out to me that I never blog about anything important. Some random guy has a set of blog rules and apparently blogging about religion, sex, or politics is one of the rules. Of course that guy posted his rules early on in the history of blogging so that must give him the authority to create the blog rules. So here is my important thing for the day.

Emily and I counted M&Ms tonight. Tomorrow is the 100th day of school for her and they're supposed to bring 100 M&Ms into class to help celebrate. One of the requirements for each of the students is to count to 100 and this will also help them. What kid doesn't like counting candy. So that is what we did for about five minutes, count M&Ms. When she would get stuck we would start over. She gets stuck on 30 and 60 but other than that it was smooth sailing.

Telemarketing Gone Wild

I'm not really sure what is worse.

1 - Have a telemarketer call your house during the day. Have your wife answer the phone and ask "Is Trevor there". My wife says no, then wants to know what the person wants. The young woman on the phone then explains that she is with "Girls Gone Wild" and wants to know if I would like a free copy of their latest video.


2 - My wife tells the person on the phone that no I would not like a copy of of their latest video.

We've never bought anything from the GGW people, not that I haven't seen a video or two. We also, at least I thought, were on the no-call list for telemarketers. We've only given our home phone number out to my job, her job, the little one's school, and DirectTV. We only have a home phone because of DirectTV. I've worked as a project manager for a telemarket company before, I even started for a day or two on the phones so I know that the 'no-call' list isn't paid much attention to. If a client has your number you're going to get called, at least until the specific telemarket firm gets a "please do not call here again" response. Our phone is also listed in the phone book, so I'm sure it isn't that hard to get our number. It just is very odd, makes for a good story though.

One thing, I work in marketing and have for over four years now. One of the most important things is to know your potential consumer. Calling someone during the day is probably not the best directed marketing. It is 2006, I know women work, keep your feminist opinions to yourself. However the odds of getting a 29 year old male at home at 2pm is much lower than getting that same 29 year old male at home at 7pm. The odds are also much higher to get a wife and I would think that for the Girls Gone Wild people that would not be very good.

Of course now I've said Girls Gone Wild at least three or four times, I wonder how the Ad Sense will take that.

Monday, January 30, 2006

Look to the Stars and Dream

Growing up in Florida the space program was huge. Almost every shuttle launch was a nice break from class, families would routinely make treks to Cocoa Beach and Cape Canaveral, and every kid wanted to go to Space Camp. We lived less than five hours south of the Kennedy Space Center, weather permitting we could see the shuttle launch just about every time. The night launches were the best with the nice orange tint to the smoke behind the shuttle. I even got to see two launches in Cocoa Beach, one of them on the base itself, talk about loud. I still remember actually seeing the shock waves coming towards us over the water, incredible. Just like most of my friends I just loved the Space Shuttle and the space program, hell everyone in Florida did not just the children. The Space Shuttle program was symbol of pride for people in Florida.

January 28, 1986 was bitter cold in south Florida, I mean really cold. All of the fourth graders at Jerry Thomas Elementary in 1986 were in portable classrooms, basically a mobile home for schools. Jerry Thomas was full of 'portables', in fact most of the schools in Palm Beach County were full of 'portables'. The county was just growing too fast and the State was dumb but that is another blog entry for a different day. None of the 'portables' had heat, why would they, they were being installed in south Florida for crying out loud. When heat was needed space heaters usually worked but the temperature was in the mid to low 30's. So not really bitter cold now that I don't live there but really cold when most children don't own winter coats. Space heaters couldn't keep the rooms warm enough so all of the 'portable' classes were in the library. Monday was pretty laid back, the teachers were having trouble keeping everyone behaving with multiple classes in the same room. Tuesday was different, Tuesday was a shuttle launch.

For the better part of the morning the teachers were explaining that because of the cold we were not going to go outside for the launch. It was standard operating procedure that we go outside, we just had to go outside, what fun is watching it on TV if we can actually see it live. This was even a more important launch, a teacher was going into space. Because Chirsta McAuliffe was going into space it was even a bigger deal. Teachers had planned multiple lessons and activities based around space and the Space Shuttle. The teachers were making it a big deal and us kids always made it a big deal, how could they not let us go outside.

About 12 seconds before liftoff one of the classes teachers allowed them to go outside and watch it. Once one group of 30 screaming 9 and 10 year olds runs out the door it isn't long before the other 100 or so follow. Mrs. Golden allowed us to go outside with about 6 or 7 seconds left before liftoff. It took about 20 seconds after liftoff before we could see it. Just about the entire school was standing outside looking for it. Probably every school on the east coast of Florida was outside looking for it. This wasn't the first time we'd been outside to watch a launch, we knew where to look, about how long it took before we could see it, and how long to stay outside before the teachers got upset. We usually waited until the solid rocket boosters separated from the Shuttle. I guess that was about two minutes or so from when we could see it on the horizon. How long something takes isn't a skill that 9 year olds possess. The boosters separated much sooner than we were expecting, much sooner. There was something else different, there was only two trails not three like there normally was.

Everyone knows the rest of the story, 73 seconds after liftoff the Shuttle Challenger exploded and all seven members of her crew died. We knew something was different but we didn't think anything was wrong. When we returned to library the TV's were off, which was very odd. There were about four TVs on the live coverage when we left between the six or so classes in the library. A few of the teachers remained inside and only student remained inside. They had watched the whole thing happen with commentary in the 3 or so minutes we were outside. They decided it was best to explain what happened first and then let us the countless replays on TV. Lamont was the student who remained inside, he was telling us that it blew up. None of believed him, that wasn't possible. Plus Lamont didn't believe people should fly or better his parents didn't believe people should fly. He never went to watch the shuttle launch and even bad mouthed everyone's favorite 1986 movie, Top Gun. "If God had meant for us to fly He would have given us wings." That phrase was repeated over and over again that week.

Once the teachers got us all sat down they explained what happened. We then spent the entire week watching the replay over and over again, watching the live coverage, listening to Peter Jennings and the experts explain the tragedy. We got to listen to President Reagan's speech at the memorial service. We had to write reports on the space program and the tragedy. Lamont's paper was about how it was good this happened and it will show people not to try and fly again.

I remember just about every part of that week just like it was yesterday. The space program still means a lot to me, I still follow stories about it whenever I can. I still look at the stars from time to time and dream. For me however it really isn't about the stars, it is more about the fact that we can send someone to space, as a kid I thought that was amazing. As an adult I probably now think it is even more amazing.

Friday, January 27, 2006

Steeler, PA

To make sure that everyone understands that Washington, PA is rooting for the Steelers and not the Seahawks they're changing their name. The town will be known as Steeler, PA until the Super Bowl. The two Seahawks in the office just don't really understand what die hard fans are like, this probably won't help.

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Neil O'Donnell's Childrens College Fun

Larry Brown was named to ESPN's Ultimate 40 Man Super Bowl roster. I guess that means he must make another 'donation' to Neil O'Donnell's kids college fund.

Your Mom is a Shameless Plug

Courtesy of Single H we have a collection of Mom jokes, complete with the official Mom joke rules. Thanks to the Bojo's for creating this sensation at my last job and thanks to Single H for keeping them alive in cyberspace.

My favorite is still the bumper sticker seen in Virigina Beach "My other ride is your Mom". Sharing that with the sales/marketing team hijacked a meeting for at least 10 minutes and brought more than one person to tears. Good times.

Long Live the Mom Joke!

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Toy Story 3

My wife and daughter will be thrilled, heck I'm pleased. With this development my life will be more Incredibles and less Chicken Little. Good stuff.

Monday, January 23, 2006

2006 > 2005

I'm never one to look back, when I do take the time to look back I try to remember the good instead of the bad. We had a family loss in 2005 plus the destruction of The Company. Even with all of that I look back on 2005 as a good year. The three of us ended up at the end of the year healthy and happy, you can't ask for that much more out of a year.

Even with all of that 2006 is really starting off with a bang. A year ago today (or yesterday if you just count day of the week, not day of the month) the Steelers lost the AFC Championship Game. Yesterday the Steelers won the AFC Championship and are going to the Super Bowl. A year ago today (or tomorrow, who knows) I was laid off. Tomorrow still hasn't happened yet, who knows what will happen but I'm going out on a limb that short of me taking a shit on the bosses desk I still should have a job tomorrow.

I enjoyed the Steelers season last year but it ended pretty tough, a brutal defeat by Tom Brady and the Pats. The Steelers however are much better in the playoffs this year because of their miscues last year. I really enjoyed my time at Decipher, I really did. I loved the people, for the most part, that I worked with. It was an incredible experience and wouldn't trade most of it for anything. I look back however and it was for the better. I like where I am in my life, what I'm able to provide my family, and where I can go from here.

So like Evan said, it could be a skittish 48 hours but I'm pretty sure I should be fine tomorrow also. One thing is certain however this article will come up every year and make it so I won't forget when I was laid off.

Sunday, January 22, 2006

Extra Large

I think this picture about says it all. Super Bowl XL here we come!!

Living on the Road

I could go on and on about why I think today’s games are going to go. There is enough data for all four teams for me to pick any of the four to win. The biggest thing and I will continue to go back to it, being home in the NFL is huge. That is an even bigger advantage in the playoffs. Right now home teams are 3-5, sweeping today will bring them back to .500. I think that is how they will breakdown.

Carolina at Seattle. We haven’t had a blow out this entire postseason, today the Seahawks will give on to the Panthers.

Seahawks 38, Carolina 13

Pittsburgh at Denver. If there wasn’t the huge emotional ride at the end of last week’s game I think the Steelers have a chance today. Because of the emotional letdown and then them believing that they’re a team of ‘destiny’ I think the Steelers come out flat. Like they always do in the AFC Championship game they will stay in it enough for me to pay attention. They always play just hard enough for me to agonize for a full 3 hours and think it could happen, it might happen, just a few more breaks. I expect today to be no different including the results, the Steelers watching the Super Bowl instead of playing in it.

Broncos 27, Steelers 17

Saturday, January 21, 2006

Blue Balls

Well 24 hours from now we will know if I’m happy or if Brad is happy. Well to be honest I will be happy either way. I’ve seen too many AFC Championships games over the last 12 years involving the Steelers to be upset with them losing. The Football Gods love the Steelers up to this point, what they love more however is to pick on us fans. This will be the sixth time in 12 years that the Steelers have made it to this point and they’ve only been to one Super Bowl in that same period of time. Is it better to have a good year and fall short or is it better to be the Arizona Cardinals? I’m not really sure, I haven’t had it the other way. My three teams are the Pittsburgh Steelers, the Florida State Seminoles, and the Atlanta Braves. Pittsburgh has had only seven losing seasons in my lifetime, I turn 30 next month. Only four of those losing seasons have come since Bill Cowher took over in 1992. Cowher’s run includes one Super Bowl, six AFC championship games, a 15-1 record and countless AFC Central/North titles. FSU has won two National Championships but finished in the top 5 probably nine or ten other times in the last 15 years. The Braves have won 14 straight division titles, one World Series.

My teams get to go to the prom with the hot cheerleader very often, she just doesn’t ever put out. I expect tomorrow to be no different. But I’m not bitter, at least with hot cheerleader I have some great imagery to help me in those lonely nights. The poor Arizona Cardinal or Kansas City Royal fans, they need to fantasize about other people’s dates.

Thursday, January 19, 2006

I'm not an idiot

Well okay, maybe I am, just not about this. In this case I'm just lazy. I know my blog keeps having different fonts for different entries, I've tried to fix this in the WYSIWYG but to no avail. It seems that my blog is trying to be a pain in the ass with me and don't like that I cut and paste my entires from Word. So after trying to fix it, I just left it alone. I know I could fix it once and for all by editing the HTML code, I'm just not going to take that kind of time.

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

My wife says I'm bad

At least Steelers games don't effect me as much as this poor guy.


This is from Len Pasquarelli’s article today on ESPN.com. It is a quote from some NFL ‘expert’, not Len himself.

"There ought to be a lot of teams kicking themselves for passing on [tight end] Heath Miller in the draft. He has really added a new dimension to the Pittsburgh passing game and is one of their best first-round picks in years."

Now while I love Heath Miller, I think he is going to prove to be a really good addition to the Steelers for hopefully years to come, it is just a bad attempt to get a sound bit. Teams might want a solid TE now with the rules enforcement and the new focus on TE’s but to say that Heath Miller is one of the Steelers best first-round picks in years, come on now. Here are the seven previous number one picks before Miller.

1998 – Alan Faneca
1999 – Troy Edwards
2000 – Plaxico Burress
2001 – Casey Hampton
2002 – Kendall Simmons
2003 – Troy Polamalu
2004 – Ben Roethlisberger

Sure OL guys don’t make ‘sexy’ picks but Simmons is a solid starter and Faneca has made five straight Pro Bowls. Troy Edwards didn’t quite work out but Plaxico is a pretty darn good Wide Receiver, Casey Hampton is one of the best Nose Tackles in the NFL, it is a position that gets overlooked in the 3-4 defense so Casey has only made one Pro Bowl. The last two guys, they obviously haven’t worked out either, Polamalu is the SI coverboy, victim of bad calls, All World Safety. Ben, well he is currently 25-4 with 98+ QB rating. So yeah, Heath is probably going to be pretty good but I don’t know if ‘best first round pick’ is something you heap on him quite yet.

Monday, January 16, 2006

Damn right.

"It went from an all-time high to an all-time low back to an all-time high."
- Hines Ward

Sunday, January 15, 2006

Incredible D by the QBs and Punters

What do the Broncos and Steelers have incommon? Well I'm sure a lot of things but one thing that I love is two big hits by unlikely players. Big Ben made a game saving tackle after the freak Bettis fumble. Last night the Bronco's punter Todd Sauerbrun made a huge tackle and even force a fumble vs. the Patriots.

This should be a great game, DJ, Brad, Scott, it will be a great week of trash talking.

What a day!

I really must put my thoughts down about this weekend, an incredible BSG, Jack is back, three solid football games, and of course the Steelers win! More will come tomorrow.

It is good to be Mile High

Maybe the Football Gods feel bad for shitting on Cowher and the Steelers in the playoffs over the last 14 years. One thing is for sure, the Football Gods don’t care about my stress level, a fumble by the Bus on the one, wtf. I will write more on this later. Bring on the Broncos!

Btw, that was so an interception.

Stupid Colts

I didn’t fully take one piece of information into account when thinking about today’s games, inexperienced quarterbacks. The Football Gods don’t like inexperienced QBs in the playoffs. Because of that I’m going to have to pick Carolina to win at Chicago.

Panthers 17, Bears 6

This gives even another reason that the Steelers will lose. Away teams just don’t win and if Carolina should win then it means Pittsburgh should lose.

Colts 37, Steelers 19

Saturday, January 14, 2006

Football Gods

Whatever you believe, God pays attention to football. My wife and I make fun of athletes when they pray and say it was God’s will and what not. Like God or Jesus really cares who wins a football game. Well I’m here to say that God does pay attention to football or at least what I like to call the Football Gods.

A few years ago when Miami was ready to play Ohio State OSU was destined to win because The U and Ken Dorsey had their 34 game streak going. This year of course USC was going to lose to Texas, teams don’t win three straight National Championships. The Football Gods I tell you. I know you say it was Vince Young and Maurice Clarett but I say it was the Football Gods.

The Football Gods stepped in and said the Patriots, you’ve had enough. Denver did play a good game but New England and their five turnovers and costly penalties was the difference. Sure you can blame some of the penalties on the crowd and intense play of the Broncos and the turnovers can be blamed on the hard hitting. Me, well I say it was the Football Gods, it had to be a little something more than the good play of Denver, NE just doesn’t make that many mistakes in one given game.

Stat of the Day – Tom Brady’s 10 wins in the playoffs NE had 6 turnovers, Brady’s one loss NE had 5 turnovers. It has to be a higher power.

What does that tell us about tomorrow’s much more important games? It tells us that both Pittsburgh and Carolina should and probably will lose. Three of the Wild Card games were won by the away teams, in the NFL Playoffs home teams win about 75% of the time. In the Division Round home teams win over 85% of the time. Not too mention Indy is the best team in the NFL and Chicago plays incredible D at home.

Well it was a pretty good year for the Steelers. I picked them to go 12-4 to 10-6 and they went 11-5. They’re a young team, so hopefully we have a few more years of Pittsburgh ten or more seasons. Ben is 22-3 in the regular season, if they lose tomorrow then he will be 2-2 in the playoffs. Not bad for a 23 year old.

Blog Wonders

I need to blog more often, that is all there is to it. I started out great with at least one entry a day for about a month. Now I have like five entries since Christmas. So here is my latest wonder.

Friday, January 6, 2006

Monopoly Money

I’m doing a little work on the laptop at home. It is just my beautiful daughter and I are the only ones home and she decides that she wants to help. I’m also chatting with Single H and she thinks that is neat. She asks a few questions, Single H answers them, it goes on for a few minutes. Then she wants to see where Single H lives on the “computer map” so I fire up google maps. The first screen is a map of North America and apparently that is something my six year old has seen in Kindergarten. She points out where Canada is and has the quote of the week.

Canada is a different place daddy, they don’t even have real money.”

I was rolling, so was Single H, it was hilarious.

Wednesday, January 4, 2006

Bowling for football

I must say since I moved away from Athens, Georgia I haven’t really followed college football as much as I did while I lived in Georgia. Norfolk and now Charlotte aren’t real big college football hubs, college basketball yes, college football not so much. Some of it has to do with FSU not playing very well for about five seasons now, come back Richt, come back. But the last three Bowl games I’ve watched have just been incredible. The Fiesta, Sugar, and Orange Bowls have all been great. None of the teams I wanted to win won but they were still great games. Hopefully tonight’s title fight can live up to the hype and deliver like the previous BCS Bowl games.

Tuesday, January 3, 2006

Back in Business

I realize it is hard for me to remember to blog when I’m not working. I’m not saying I blog at work, I have a few times, I just read other blogs while I’m at work. I usually eat at the office and I sit at the desk almost all day, so blogs provide a nice mental health break. Now that I’m back in the office it will be much easier for me to remember. I like to blog, it is fun to get ideas down and share with friends and what not.