Friday, December 28, 2007

Obama '08

As we approach the South Carolina Democratic primary, I have decided to throw my support behind Sen. Barrack Obama. Despite the fact that I am uncomfortable (at best) with his public displays of his own Christianity, his positions on most issues mirror my own enough to the point that I will get over it. He gave a speech this past week in Iowa that pretty much sums up why I believe he is not only our best chance to win next November, but also a desperately needed agent of change....

Ten months ago, I stood on the steps of the Old State Capitol in Springfield, Ill., and began an unlikely journey to change America. I did not run for the presidency to fulfill some long-held ambition or because I believed it was somehow owed to me. I chose to run in this election — at this moment — because of what Dr. King called “the fierce urgency of now.” Because we are at a defining moment in our history. Our nation is at war. Our planet is in peril. Our health care system is broken, our economy is out of balance, our education system fails too many of our children, and our retirement system is in tatters. At this defining moment, we cannot wait any longer for universal health care. We cannot wait to fix our schools. We cannot wait for good jobs, and living wages, and pensions we can count on. We cannot wait to halt global warming, and we cannot wait to end this war in Iraq.

I chose to run because I believed that the size of these challenges had outgrown the capacity of our broken and divided politics to solve them; because I believed that Americans of every political stripe were hungry for a new kind of politics, a politics that focused not just on how to win but why we should, a politics that focused on those values and ideals that we held in common as Americans; a politics that favored common sense over ideology, straight talk over spin. Most of all, I believed in the power of the American people to be the real agents of change in this country — because we are not as divided as our politics suggests; because we are a decent, generous people willing to work hard and sacrifice for future generations; and I was certain that if we could just mobilize our voices to challenge the special interests that dominate Washington and challenge ourselves to reach for something better, there was no problem we couldn’t solve — no destiny we couldn’t fulfill.

Ten months later, Iowa, you have vindicated that faith. You’ve come out in the blistering heat and the bitter cold not just to cheer, but to challenge — to ask the tough questions; to lift the hood and kick the tires; to serve as one place in America where someone who hasn’t spent their life in the Washington spotlight can get a fair hearing. You’ve earned the role you play in our democracy because no one takes it more seriously. And I believe that’s true this year more than ever because, like me, you feel that same sense of urgency. All across this state, you’ve shared with me your stories. And all too often they’ve been stories of struggle and hardship. I’ve heard from seniors who were betrayed by CEOs who dumped their pensions while pocketing bonuses, and from those who still can’t afford their prescriptions because Congress refused to negotiate with the drug companies for the cheapest available price.

I’ve met Maytag workers who labored all their lives only to see their jobs shipped overseas; who now compete with their teenagers for $7-an-hour jobs at Wal-Mart. I’ve spoken with teachers who are working at doughnut shops after school just to make ends meet, who are still digging into their own pockets to pay for school supplies. Just two weeks ago, I heard a young woman in Cedar Rapids who told me she only gets three hours of sleep because she works the night shift after a full day of college and still can’t afford health care for a sister with cerebral palsy. She spoke not with self-pity but with determination, and wonders why the government isn’t doing more to help her afford the education that will allow her to live out her dreams. I’ve spoken to veterans who talk with pride about what they’ve accomplished in Afghanistan and Iraq, but who nevertheless think of those they’ve left behind and question the wisdom of our mission in Iraq; the mothers weeping in my arms over the memories of their sons; the disabled or homeless vets who wonder why their service has been forgotten.

And I’ve spoken to Americans in every corner of the state, patriots all, who wonder why we have allowed our standing in the world to decline so badly, so quickly. They know this has not made us safer. They know that we must never negotiate out of fear, but that we must never fear to negotiate with our enemies as well as our friends. They are ashamed of Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo and warrantless wiretaps and ambiguity on torture. They love their country and want its cherished values and ideals restored. It is precisely because you’ve experienced these frustrations, and seen the cost of inaction in your own lives, that you understand why we can’t afford to settle for the same old politics. You know that we can’t afford to allow the insurance lobbyists to kill health care reform one more time, and the oil lobbyists to keep us addicted to fossil fuels because no one stood up and took their power away when they had the chance. You know that we can’t afford four more years of the same divisive food fight in Washington that’s about scoring political points instead of solving problems; that’s about tearing your opponents down instead of lifting this country up.

We can’t afford the same politics of fear that tells Democrats that the only way to look tough on national security is to talk, act and vote like George Bush Republicans; that invokes 9/11 as a way to scare up votes instead of a challenge that should unite all Americans to defeat our real enemies. We can’t afford to be so worried about losing the next election that we lose the battles we owe to the next generation. The real gamble in this election is playing the same Washington game with the same Washington players and expecting a different result. And that’s a risk we can’t take. Not this year. Not when the stakes are this high. In this election, it is time to turn the page. In seven days, it is time to stand for change. This has been our message since the beginning of this campaign. It was our message when we were down, and our message when we were up. And it must be catching on, because in these last few weeks, everyone is talking about change. But you can’t at once argue that you’re the master of a broken system in Washington and offer yourself as the person to change it. You can’t fall in line behind the conventional thinking on issues as profound as war and offer yourself as the leader who is best prepared to chart a new and better course for America.

The truth is, you can have the right kind of experience and the wrong kind of experience. Mine is rooted in the real lives of real people and it will bring real results if we have the courage to change. I believe deeply in those words. But they are not mine. They were Bill Clinton’s in 1992, when Washington insiders questioned his readiness to lead. My experience is rooted in the lives of the men and women on the South Side of Chicago who I fought for as an organizer when the local steel plant closed. It’s rooted in the lives of the people I stood up for as a civil rights lawyer when they were denied opportunity on the job or justice at the voting booth because of what they looked like or where they came from. It’s rooted in an understanding of how the world sees America that I gained from living, traveling and having family beyond our shores — an understanding that led me to oppose this war in Iraq from the start. It’s experience rooted in the real lives of real people, and it’s the kind of experience Washington needs right now. There are others in this race who say that this kind of change sounds good, but that I’m not angry or confrontational enough to get it done.

Well, let me tell you something, Iowa. I don’t need any lectures on how to bring about change, because I haven’t just talked about it on the campaign trail. I’ve fought for change all my life. I walked away from a job on Wall Street to bring job training to the jobless and after-school programs to kids on the streets of Chicago. I turned down the big-money law firms to win justice for the powerless as a civil rights lawyer. I took on the lobbyists in Illinois and brought Democrats and Republicans together to expand health care to 150,000 people and pass the first major campaign finance reform in 25 years; and I did the same thing in Washington when we passed the toughest lobbying reform since Watergate. I’m the only candidate in this race who hasn’t just talked about taking power away from lobbyists, I’ve actually done it. So if you want to know what kind of choices we’ll make as president, you should take a look at the choices we made when we had the chance to bring about change that wasn’t easy or convenient. That’s the kind of change that’s more than just rhetoric — that’s change you can believe in.

It’s change that won’t just come from more anger at Washington or turning up the heat on Republicans. There’s no shortage of anger and bluster and bitter partisanship out there. We don’t need more heat. We need more light. I’ve learned in my life that you can stand firm in your principles while still reaching out to those who might not always agree with you. And although the Republican operatives in Washington might not be interested in hearing what we have to say, I think Republican and independent voters outside of Washington are. That’s the once-in-a-generation opportunity we have in this election. For the first time in a long time, we have the chance to build a new majority of not just Democrats, but independents and Republicans who’ve lost faith in their Washington leaders but want to believe again — who desperately want something new. We can change the electoral math that’s been all about division and make it about addition — about building a coalition for change and progress that stretches through blue states and red states. That’s how I won some of the reddest, most Republican counties in Illinois. That’s why the polls show that I do best against the Republicans running for president — because we’re attracting more support from independents and Republicans than any other candidate. That’s how we’ll win in November and that’s how we’ll change this country over the next four years. In the end, the argument we are having between the candidates in the last seven days is not just about the meaning of change. It’s about the meaning of hope. Some of my opponents appear scornful of the word; they think it speaks of naiveté, passivity and wishful thinking.

But that’s not what hope is. Hope is not blind optimism. It’s not ignoring the enormity of the task before us or the roadblocks that stand in our path. Yes, the lobbyists will fight us. Yes, the Republican attack dogs will go after us in the general election. Yes, the problems of poverty and climate change and failing schools will resist easy repair. I know — I’ve been on the streets; I’ve been in the courts. I’ve watched legislation die because the powerful held sway and good intentions weren’t fortified by political will, and I’ve watched a nation get misled into war because no one had the judgment or the courage to ask the hard questions before we sent our troops to fight. But I also know this. I know that hope has been the guiding force behind the most improbable changes this country has ever made. In the face of tyranny, it’s what led a band of colonists to rise up against an Empire. In the face of slavery, it’s what fueled the resistance of the slave and the abolitionist, and what allowed a president to chart a treacherous course to ensure that the nation would not continue half slave and half free. In the face of war and Depression, it’s what led the greatest of generations to free a continent and heal a nation. In the face of oppression, it’s what led young men and women to sit at lunch counters and brave fire hoses and march through the streets of Selma and Montgomery for freedom’s cause. That’s the power of hope — to imagine, and then work for, what had seemed impossible before. That’s the change we seek. And that’s the change you can stand for in seven days. We’ve already beaten odds that the cynics said couldn’t be beaten. When we started 10 months ago, they said we couldn’t run a different kind of campaign.

They said we couldn’t compete without taking money from Washington lobbyists. But you proved them wrong when we raised more small donations from more Americans than any other campaign in history. They said we couldn’t be successful if we didn’t have the full support of the establishment in Washington. But you proved them wrong when we built a grass-roots movement that could forever change the face of American politics. They said we wouldn’t have a chance in this campaign unless we resorted to the same old negative attacks. But we resisted, even when we were written off, and ran a positive campaign that pointed out real differences and rejected the politics of slash and burn. And now, in seven days, you have a chance once again to prove the cynics wrong. In seven days, what was improbable has the chance to beat what Washington said was inevitable. And that’s why in these last weeks, Washington is fighting back with everything it has — with attack ads and insults; with distractions and dishonesty; with millions of dollars from outside groups and undisclosed donors to try and block our path.

We’ve seen this script many times before. But I know that this time can be different. Because I know that when the American people believe in something, it happens. If you believe, then we can tell the lobbyists that their days of setting the agenda in Washington are over. If you believe, then we can stop making promises to America’s workers and start delivering — jobs that pay, health care that’s affordable, pensions you can count on, and a tax cut for working Americans instead of the companies who send their jobs overseas. If you believe, we can offer a world-class education to every child, and pay our teachers more, and make college dreams a reality for every American. If you believe, we can save this planet and end our dependence on foreign oil. If you believe, we can end this war, close Guantanamo, restore our standing, renew our diplomacy and once again respect the Constitution of the United States of America.

That’s the future within our reach. That’s what hope is — that thing inside us that insists, despite all evidence to the contrary, that something better is waiting for us around the corner. But only if we’re willing to work for it and fight for it. To shed our fears and our doubts and our cynicism. To glory in the task before us of remaking this country block by block, precinct by precinct, county by county, state by state. There is a moment in the life of every generation when, if we are to make our mark on history, this spirit must break through.

This is the moment.

This is our time.

And if you will stand with me in seven days — if you will stand for change so that our children have the same chance that somebody gave us; if you’ll stand to keep the American dream alive for those who still hunger for opportunity and thirst for justice; if you’re ready to stop settling for what the cynics tell you you must accept, and finally reach for what you know is possible, then we will win this caucus, we will win this election, we will change the course of history, and the real journey — to heal a nation and repair the world — will have truly begun.

Thank you.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Another "things to do before you die" list...

50 nerdy things to do before you die

I have personally accomplished numbers 50, 42, 38, 35, 31, 30 (if you count driving through), 27 (if you count singing in my head), 17, 12 (if you count registering on their site), 11, and 7. Not great, but I suppose I have some time left to finish up...

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Why so serious?

AWESOME!!!

Guide Column 12/14/07

While you wouldn't know it from the lack of blog updates lately, I actually had been getting the itch to have a byline again. This column was born out of me very nearly pulling the trigger on a new TV the other day at Best Buy - I couldn't bring myself to do it, but it was close. Anyway, here's what I wrote - pay no attention to what actually printed in the paper, as the Guide editor inexplicably gutted my column to make room for a big-ass picture of a TV, as if no one had ever seen one before. There's only 400 or so of them in the Best Buy insert that goes out every week....

All I want for Christmas is a (bigger) flat screen TV

Last December, my wife and I bought our first house, an occasion that also seemed like the perfect time to finally enter the world of high-definition TV (if you’re dropping an obscene amount of cash on a house, what’s another lousy grand, right?) Being the kind of educated, slightly obsessive but not terrifically wealthy geek that I am, I did my research, and eventually settled on a 32-inch LCD TV from some generic company I’d never heard of. I took my new baby home, signed up for Hargray’s HD service and spent the subsequent months loving life with a pure joy I’d never really dreamed possible. (The first time I watched my beloved Denver Broncos in hi-def, I nearly cried. Really. I’m tearing up now, just thinking about it).

This year, here’s what I think about my purchase: I need a new one. Fast. Probably now. Why? The TV is too small. It only has one HDMI input (if you’re not as attuned to complicated acronyms as me, take my word for it that this is a bad thing). There aren’t nearly enough HD channels on my cable service, and the standard-definition channels look worse than they do on the old tube TV. And to top it off, the greedy movie studios are engaged in an ongoing and extremely stupid battle between high-definition DVD formats, meaning that if I want to watch “Transformers,” I have to buy a HD-DVD player, and if I want to watch “Spider-Man 3,” I have to buy a Blu-Ray player. For a geek such as myself, having to choose between watching giant robots whale away on each other or watching Spider-Man do his thing in high definition is like picking a favorite between “The Empire Strikes Back” and “Star Trek II.” In other words, it can't be done.

So if I might offer a bit of advice to the many of you purchasing mammoth TVs this Christmas season, I’d say this: Spend the money up front and get the biggest one you can. Not just because it looks better, and not just because you’ll wish you did in a year, but also because otherwise, all of your friends will buy bigger TVs than you. It's the law of the HD jungle: Bigger is better. More than likely, these friends will also pick up a satellite dish and spend great energy telling you how they're going to watch, say, the much-anticipated Dartmouth/Brown men's lacrosse game in HD that night and how awesome it will be. Do they care about men's lacrosse? No. Do they want you to know they have the option to watch it in HD and you don’t? Yes.

If I sound bitter, it’s because I gauge my self-worth based on the size of my television, but also because I’m stuck with my small(ish) LCD TV. I try to cope: I wander dazed through the TV section at the new Best Buy in Bluffton during my lunch break. I daydream about hosting a HALO 3 LAN party on my new 60-inch plasma. I come up with new and exciting ways to convince my wife that while it may not appear that we desperately need a new TV, in fact our (and by “our” I mean “my”) very social life depends on it. (I also remind her that she was the one who bought the oversized TV stand which now further diminishes the size of the television; so really, it's her fault. Oddly, she doesn't share my point of view.)

Anyway, I still haven't decided if I'm going to buy a bigger TV or not. Perhaps a pro/con list would help.

Pro: I can actually watch a hockey game and see the puck.
Con: I have nowhere to put the “old” TV.
Pro: I won't have to unhook the PlayStation every time I want to watch my AppleTV.
Con: There’s very little chance that the wife will not be irritated with new purchase.

Alright, this isn’t helping. I suppose at the end of the day, I don’t need a larger TV, and I suppose I could pretty easily find a better way to spend a grand than replacing something I already own. Which reminds me, I haven’t upgraded my computer in at least three months. Mmmm....geeky....

Saturday, December 08, 2007

Yes he's alive...and in perfect hibernation..

Not a whole lot going on lately, just been working my tail off, printin' newspapers and phone books. I did buy myself an early Christmas present in the form of a new digital camera. I went with the Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ3A, as it combined a nice 10x zoom with a widescreen lens (I have almost completely eliminated the 4:3 aspect ratio from my life...thank goodness). Shown here is a quick video I took with it of Allison opening some mail....

video

....and a picture of my main man Bill Brady playin' with his BRAND SPANKING NEW INCREDIBLY AWESOME MAC PRO that I spent quite a bit of time and energy convincing the Powers that Be at work to buy for him....not pictured: me using my same ol' boring 3 year old G5. But that's ok - he'll take good care of her....because he knows that if he doesn't that baby will be on my desk 30 seconds later.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

The Nerd Handbook

I sent this to Allison in the hopes that it would give her just a little more understanding of why I do some of the things I do. It's a great read - ladies (all two of you who read this blog) if you have a nerd in your life, take a few minutes to read

THE NERD HANDBOOK

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Gutair Heroine

After seeing all the cool kids playing it, reading the reviews, and hearing about its overall power to make dreams come true, I decided to purchase Guitar Hero III today and attempt to rock out. I got it at the new Best Buy (amazing that I've lived long enough to see a Best Buy in Bluffton - and they even sell Macs!) took it home and set it up....and then proceeded to watch Allison become a rock star before my very eyes. After spending nearly 9 years trying to find a video game that she likes, I think I finally found it. She was really good at it, seemingly right out of the box - who knew?! This is a woman who has gotten frustrated at every video game she's ever played, but somehow was able to crank out "Talk Dirty To Me" within the first 10 minutes. At this rate she'll be out on tour by this time next year....I can be her Roadie!

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Trying times for Denver sports fans

First the Rockies, then the Broncos . . . what next for Denver fans?

By Terry Frei
Special to ESPN.com
Linky

DENVER -- Although dawn broke with summer-like weather in a time of year when it can snow one day and be 80 degrees the next in Denver, much of Colorado was in a foul mood on Tuesday.

And a stupid free taco wasn't going to make anyone feel better.

Thanks in large part to Mike Lowell and Jacoby Ellsbury and the Red Sox, and Brett Favre and Greg Jennings and the Packers, the bubbles burst all around the Mile High City. In Denver, we have a Floyd's Barbershop chain -- I hope the family of the late actor Howard McNear, who played Floyd, gets a cut -- but we're not Mayberry. That said, there is still enough small town in virtually every place on the map (including the most provincial market in the country, New York) that being in the national spotlight is energizing and exciting. It's an important side element to playing host to major sporting events. And Denver's teams flopped under that glare. The Red Sox finished off the four-game sweep over the Rockies on Sunday night and won their second World Series since the end of World War I; and on Monday night, the Packers pulled off a sudden and stunning overtime victory over the Broncos with Favre's overtime touchdown pass to Jennings.

The entrepreneur who set up shop at the corner gas station in our neighborhood, near both Coors Field and Invesco Stadium, had Rockies (officially licensed, of course) World Series garb marked down 30 to 60 percent on Monday. And he showcased his selection of Broncos merchandise, in anticipation of the football team taking away some of the sting with a nationally televised victory over the Packers. Today, he's probably got "make me an offer" signs out for both. In many cases, Coloradans are trying to put up with the gloating of the multitudes of Red Sox and Packers fans in our midst. There won't be fights about this just in LoDo bars over the next few days. There will be battle royals in offices, at the water cooler. As it turned out, on two consecutive nights, fans in road-team colors lingered to celebrate long after the games ended in the Denver stadiums, which are less than two miles apart.

On Sunday night, Boston fans gathered behind home plate and down the lines, feting the Red Sox as they intermittently returned to the field for media interviews or just to escape the champagne spray in the clubhouse. Among their chants: "Joke's on A-Rod! … Joke's on A-Rod!" Many more fans in Sox garb wandered up and down adjacent Blake Street, celebrating. On Monday night, many green-and-gold-clad Cheeseheads stayed in the stands at Invesco Field as long as the ushers allowed, toasting and loudly extolling the virtues of the Packers' victory over the Broncos on "Monday Night Football."

In my long residence in Colorado, I've never seen a Denver stadium so dotted with fans of the visiting team as I saw on Monday night. It wasn't quite Lambeau Field South, but I only know this because I couldn't go to Brett Favre's Steakhouse or down to the Green Bay waterfront after the game for a nightcap.

And it was the Rockies' fault.

Thousands of Rocky Mountain region residents who at one point held tickets for the Broncos-Packers game undoubtedly unloaded them over the past two weeks, assuming they would stay home to watch TV or go to Coors Field to watch the Rockies face the Red Sox in Game 5 of the World Series. They gave or sold those tickets, directly or indirectly, to Cheeseheads who are either transplanted to Colorado or were willing to make the trip from Wisconsin or elsewhere. Favre, potentially making his final playing appearance in Denver, and on "Monday Night Football" to boot? That's a hot ticket for most folks who at any point in their lives have done any of the following: Swayed and shed a tear while singing the University of Wisconsin-Madison's "Varsity," gone bowling in Milwaukee, or tailgated outside Lambeau. There are going to be plenty more Broncos games, but how many times do the Rockies go to the World Series? So far, once.

So for nearly two weeks, Denver had been bracing for the night when about 120,000 fans would be in the two stadiums for overlapping games, for 24 hours of sporting excitement in the national spotlight. I heard friends and family members talk about split-screen or multiple-television strategies, or about merely monitoring the other game while they paid more attention to the one that was more interesting. Generally, Denver's first choice was going to be a baseball game that never was played. Make no mistake: Even when the Rockies were leading the major leagues in attendance in the 1990s, Denver remained, at least in the sporting realm, a Broncos town, first and foremost.

When hockey's Colorado Avalanche were putting together a 487-game home sellout streak, and winning the Stanley Cup twice, the Rockies arguably slid down the hierarchy to third place, and even at times to fourth, in the hearts of Coloradans -- below, even, the Nuggets. When the Rockies made the Series this fall, the Avalanche at least had the good sense to change their Sunday evening game against the Minnesota Wild to the afternoon, and the official attendance was a near-sellout 17,041. (The karma of staying in the same hotel as the Red Sox didn't rub off, and the Wild lost 3-1.) Yet this Rockies run to the World Series -- improbable, unforeseen, sudden, and against all odds -- enabled at least the baseball part of the Colorado organization to recapture the interest of the Denver market and perhaps put the Rockies in position to rebuild a seriously deteriorated season-ticket base -- professional sports' safety net. A bandwagon? Of course. But this also was the market that filled stadiums to watch mediocre -- or worse -- baseball in the 1990s, before reality and disaffection set in.

First, at some point during an eight-day layoff, the Rockies lost their mojo. This wasn't the same swaggering, can't-be-beat team in the Series that roared down the stretch and through the National League playoffs. Sure, there are at least four American League teams better than anyone in the National, but the Rockies of late September and through the NL side of the October bracket at least would have taken the Series to a fifth game. Instead, they looked meek, scared and indecisive.

But embarrassing for their fans? Not really. Most everyone understood what a collision of planets the run had been, that the organization's fiscally conservative, small-market plan (in a market that had shown it would reward more ambition and aggressiveness than that) had produced an exciting, praiseworthy team that overachieved down the stretch. There is a foundation now for future seasons, if the ownership treats this October as a reminder of the sort of excitement and passion that winning baseball could bring to Colorado, and not as a complete vindication of its spendthrift thinking.

If there is any anger lingering from the Series, it is over the ridiculous manner in which the Rockies -- in consultation with MLB -- sold the available tickets for the (scheduled) three games in Denver. For two separate stretches of consecutive days last week, the tickets that didn't go to season-ticket holders or to MLB were allegedly available online. There were a couple of problems with that, starting with the fact that the system couldn't handle the traffic on the first day and so the sale had to be suspended while the Geek Squad tried to get the bugs out. Even when the system worked the next day, brokers in Atlanta or fans within a subway ride of the Big Dig had just as much chance, and perhaps even a greater shot (thanks to wondrous sniping software), as Colorado fans at obtaining tickets. So in that sense, when Coors Field ended up so full of Red Sox fans who either got through on the computers themselves or paid big dollars to the, ahem, "ticket brokers," the Rockies' management reaped what they so deserved.

Rather than full and rocking, Coors Field was dark on Monday night. The Red Sox were back in Boston, preparing for Tuesday's parade, and the region's sporting attention quickly refocused on Invesco Field. Ah, there always are the Broncos. And "Monday Night Football"! A lot has changed since we could be so excited about Denver's first "Monday Night Football" appearance in 1973, when Ol' Hightops himself, Jim Turner, kicked a last-second field goal to pull out a 23-23 tie with the hated Oakland Raiders. It was the first time the circus had come to town, and the attitude was that Denver had arrived. Many of us even remember the furor over the perception that MNF -- and that cad, Howard Cosell -- ignored the Broncos during the 1977 season, which turned out to be Denver's first appearance in the Super Bowl. Not only weren't the Broncos on the MNF schedule that season, but paranoid folks around here put a stopwatch on the halftime highlights -- which Cosell narrated off the cuff, but didn't select -- and decided it was part of the plot. So a pub in South Denver -- long gone -- got national attention with a promotion to select a fan to throw a brick through a television showing the "Monday Night Football" broadcast each week.

Much has changed since then, from the proliferation of television options and competition to the availability of highlights around the clock. John Elway played something like a couple of seasons worth of Monday night games, including an infamous Snow Bowl on Oct. 15, 1984. (See "weather" in the first paragraph.) By the time Game 4 of the Series -- and the Series itself -- ended late Sunday night, it was too late for many Broncos fans to reclaim their tickets from their Packers fan neighbors. But Coloradoans at least were going to have a chance to soothe some emotional wounds, whether in person at Invesco Field or at home watching it unfold on ESPN. Again, the Broncos pulled out a tie at the end of regulation - but this time, they got to keep playing. And then they snatched a loss from the Jaworskis of victory, giving up that electrifying TD pass in overtime. So first, the Chowdaheads among us, and now the Cheeseheads among us, are celebrating.

There is no way to be sure, of course, how many of those Sox fans and Packers fans in attendance over the past few days had made the trip in, or have moved here from the East or Midwest. Colorado isn't the only state with a high percentage of transplants (I'm one; I moved to the Denver area at age 17), but it's right up there in the percentage of non-native residents who in many cases have retained the athletic allegiances of their younger years. There isn't necessarily anything wrong with that, of course, since rooting for franchises made up of mercenary athletes shouldn't be a litmus test for loyalty to a new area. There's nothing wrong with that, that is, if your rooting for the "other" team is done with some subtlety and comes with a recognition of how galling it can be to the natives in your midst.

But based on what I've seen since last weekend, there are roughly 2,383,285 Red Sox fans in Colorado; and a few of them, as you might suspect, are obnoxious. They're lording the Sox's victory over co-workers this week. At last check, I believe, the tally of Colorado natives who have moved to New England is four.

Funny how that works.

Maybe it's because I have Wisconsin in my family tree and have spent considerable time in that state, especially in the past five years. But the Cheeseheads -- who have a sense of humor and no persecution complex -- seem a lot easier to take. And Denver sports fans might be inclined to feel a little more convivial with Cheeseheads, given that the Rockies were within one pitch of elimination from postseason consideration when the Brewers' Tony Gwynn Jr. delivered a game-tying, two-out triple in the ninth inning against the Padres on the final Saturday of the regular season. The Brewers won that game, in extra innings, and then the Sunday matchup with the Padres, enabling the Rockies to ultimately pull into a tie and into the play-in game against San Diego.

The Broncos' inability to get the game-winning touchdown in the final seconds of regulation against the Packers on Monday night meant they had to settle for the field goal to send the game to overtime. Denver had blown its chance. It was a stunning loss. But even Broncos fans who remember Elway's heroics walked out of the stadium feeling some appreciation for Favre's peerless and lingering competitiveness.

Regardless, Denver will get over this.

Just give us time.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Wait 'til next year....

Well the Rockies season came to an end last night, as they were finished off by the Red Sox in the World Series. I am disappointed, but the day after it's easier to remember what the state of the team was just a month ago, and now anything seems possible. I think the best part about this run that they went on to get to the World Series was that it rekindled my love of the game. The Broncos will always be my first love, but Baseball was the sport I played growing up, and remains my favorite game to both play and watch in person. I had let my frustrations with the Rockies ownership and the way in which they ran the franchise take me to a point where I followed the team, checked the box score every day, but ultimately didn't really care about what happened to them. Not anymore - the Rox are back and I'm already looking forward to spring training! Here's my bold prediction for 2008 - Rockies over the Indians in 6 games. W00t!

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Confession

I have to get this off my chest once and for all....I find the sight of mascots fighting to be just about the funniest freakin' thing in the world....to that end....

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Vacation!

Allison and I just returned from a week long cruise to the Caribbean, where in addition to spending 3 full days at sea we visited Puerto Rico, St. Thomas and St. Marteen. I've never been much for boats (or water) but this cruise was about as painless an experience as I could have hoped for. Very rarely did I feel the boat moving, it was usually only when the ship was at top speed (22 knots, or 25 mph) that I could detect a slight rocking back and forth. So no seasickness for me, although I did nearly blow it during a bus ride on St. Marteen that was more than a little bumpy, but other than that I had no problems....

Sunday, October 14th

We had an uneventful trip to Port Canaveral, FL where the ships are launched from. It took about 5 hours to get there, and the highlight for me was a trip to 7 Eleven where I was able to procure my idea of heaven on Earth - a Mt. Dew Slurpee. The drive was easy - we really didn't even need the GPS. Straight shot down I-95, then one exit to Port Canaveral then another exit to the cruise terminal. We unloaded our bags (where we issued the first of many, many tips to Royal Caribbean personal), parked and got in our first line of the day - the line to enter the cruise terminal. 20 minutes of that lead into a fairly long line at the security checkpoint, then that lead into a 45 minute line to check in. During all this waiting in line, I experienced what would be a recurring theme during this trip - people pointing at me and yelling "GO ROCKIES!!!!". Whether it was wearing a Rockies jersey or just the Rockies cap, people seemed fascinated by the sight of an actual living, breathing Rockies fan. Anyway, we finally boarded the Mariner of the Seas and made our way to the cabin. The room was small to be sure, but it wasn't as small as people had made it out to be. Either that or I just didn't mind the cramped quarters. Now, the bathroom on the other hand....yikes. TINY doesn't really describe it....the only upside is that if you forget the soap or shampoo you can always just reach out of the shower and the counter is right there!

We explored the ship for a little while, finding the pools, basketball court, miniature golf course, rock climbing wall, casino, ice skating rink and about a million other things to do and see. We found our assigned dining room and met our table-mates for the rest of the cruise, Sheryl and Mark. Now, if you know me you know I'm not much of a people person (no, really!) and don't generally gravitate towards strangers, but thankfully they were really cool and we all got along great for the whole trip. Also at dinner we met our waiter Francis, who could very well been the highlight of the trip. He was from India (the crew came from 47 different countries) and while his English wasn't the greatest, he had a quirky sense of humor (one night he folded a napkin into the shape of a rodent and made me pet his "naughty mouse"....so take that for what you will) and made every dinner enjoyable. After dinner I found the sports bar to see if I could watch the Rockies game, and thankfully they had it on. There were a few people from Colorado there rooting for the Rockies, but there was also some loud jackass Diamondbacks fan that was just in a pissy mood cuz his team was getting beat. When Yorvit hit the 3 run homer he was pretty pissed, but my new friends and I were going crazy. After the game was over we returned to the cabin to get some much needed sleep.

Monday, October 15th

The day began with news from the Captain that the weather in Coco Cay wasn't very good, so we were skipping that and going instead to San Juan, Puerto Rico. This meant a full day at sea, and we'd arrive in San Juan at 2PM Tuesday. We found plenty to do on board Monday, including turning $5 at the casino into $25 at the slots...and then promptly losing said $25. Oops. We also saw a show with some comedian that I'd never heard of but apparently had been on the Tonight Show or something. He got a laugh when he was describing the amazing amount of suction that comes from the onboard toilets...."the first time I sat down to use the toilet I was fully dressed and chewing gum - after I flushed I was naked and the gum was gone....". The day ended watching the Rockies win Game 4 and become National League champs. I was glad they wrapped it up when they did so that I didn't have to worry about finding time to watch them more during the cruise.

Tuesday, October 16th


In the morning I decided to tackle the rock wall. Now, I don't have a lot of what the cool kids call "upper body strength", so I was a little hesitant to do it, but ultimately decided to go for it. I did pause however when I had to fill out a waiver (the 'if you fall and kill yourself it's not our fault' waiver) and the guy told me to put down the date.....October 16th - which just happens to be the day my Father died. I looked at the date I'd just written down, looked up at the wall, looked at Allison who also knew the significance of the day.....and decided to take my chances. What's the worst that could happen right?! I got all strapped in and started my climb....I had made it about halfway when I became aware that my heart was pounding and arms/legs were burning. It was a fairly unpleasant feeling, but I soldiered on....after a few tense moments, I made my way to the top and rang the bell. If I hadn't been so completely out of breath I would have taken a moment to appreciate my accomplishment, but I was more interested in getting down right about then, so I let go of the wall and the dude on the ground reeled me back down. After I caught my breath, I decided that I was pretty darn proud of myself, and that perhaps not all the athleticism has left my body after all.

In the afternoon we got off the boat and headed into San Juan...we walked to the old fort San Cristobal which was pretty cool, then walked in the old downtown area. There were shops all over the place (mostly jewelry....which must be pretty big in this part of the world because that's all there was to buy in St. Thomas and St. Marteen too), and Allison found a great deal on some manner of expensive purse. She has decided to believe that it is not a knock-off. Overall I liked San Juan....it wasn't America, and yet it kind of was. At least I found a Mt. Dew in a convenience store, which I saved for dinner on the last night.

Wednesday, October 17th

When we woke up we were already docked in St. Thomas. We had purchased a shore excursion, the "Ultimate Island Experience" ahead of time, so we got off the boat and got on a taxi where we were taken to a couple of locations where you could see some spectacular views, as well as stimulate the local economy (this picture of Allison and Monica Lewinski cost me $5....). Finally we made our way to the beach....now, as you may know, I don't like the beach. I can't stand salt water, I hate sand (it gets everywhere) and my people (computer nerds) generally don't react well to direct sunlight. But, I sucked it up, lathered myself with sunscreen and dove in. The water was nice but I got bored pretty fast, so I went back to the beach, found a tree and tried to take a nap. After our time was up at the beach we went to Blackbeards Castle and ate a hot dog. We caught a taxi back to the ship, and got back on board. I didn't really like St. Thomas all that much....too much panhandling and people pressuring me to buy something. Plus I had sand in my shoes, which was also irritating. Bah. That night we caught a show on board, as they were playing the Newlywed Game. They had three couples on stage that they were asking questions of - a couple that had been married for a week, a couple that had been married for 16 years, and a couple that had been married for 58 years. Naturally, the couple that had been together 58 years won, though it was more than a little uncomfortable watching this nice elderly couple try to answer the question of where the strangest place they ever had sex was (for the record, the back-seat of a '48 Pontiac - nice!).

Thursday, October 18th

We arrived in St. Marteen overnight, and we had another shore excursion lined up. I stepped off the boat and onto foreign soil for the first time....the Island is actually split into two countries, one belonging to France and the other to the Netherlands. We got on a bus and headed for the beach (starting in the Netherlands side and ending on the French side....after never having been out of the United States, I hit two different countries in the same morning!), and along the way our tour guide (who was from London, oddly enough) gave us some interesting facts about how the Island came to be split in two. This time when we arrived at the beach I decided not to make myself all gross with sun screen and sand, so I just kept my t-shirt, shorts and shoes on the whole time. After Allison got out of the water, we decided to walk down the shore a little...and came upon a nude beach. Now, I don't mind standing out in a crowd, but I have never felt like I was sticking out like a sore thumb just by being clothed! Anyway, walking down that beach was quite an experience.....it wasn't the fact that people were naked so much, but more that they were a) seriously overweight (I mean, holy crap people...no one wants to see that.....I saw a grand total of ONE really attractive woman on that beach - I had to fight the urge to go up to her and shake her hand for taking care of her body) and b) a color that I'd never seen any human being be before. All of them were this dark bronze color, all wrinkled and just overall very, very strange looking. I suppose it's a lifestyle or something, but I don't understand why people want to do that to themselves - is the risk of skin cancer really worth looking like some kind of alien race? I guess so....ick.

Friday, October 19th

The first of two full days at sea. Not a whole lot left to do on board, other than to visit a few places on the ship we hadn't been to before and eat. We saw an Ice Show, went to the pool, and I bought Allison her Xmas present (some neckless....I don't know what she needs another neckless for, but then again I guess she doesn't understand why I need more than one computer so.....).

Saturday, October 20th

Our last day of the cruise....the highlight of the day for me was taking home a share of first place in the Sci-Fi trivia tournament. There were 15 Star Trek questions and 15 Star Wars questions - I got 28 out of 30 correct. I failed to remember the name of the song Picard and Data were singing in Insurrection (Gilbert & Sullivan's H.M.S. Pinafore) and the race the guards at Jabba's Palace belonged to (Guramarian - I knew it started with a G, but couldn't come up with it in time). I was called up to the front along with the other guy who got 28 questions correct, and I assumed we were going to have a tie-breaking question asked of us, but instead the host played the music and we (along with the 2nd and 3rd place people) each received our medals - a nice touch :) the rest of the day was spent packing and getting ready to leave - we had our final dinner with our new friends and Francis, then called it a night.

Sunday, October 21st

We left the boat around 8AM, and had a fairly painless trip through Customs (baggage claim was a different story, as they put our bags on a different conveyer than the one they told us to check) then made our way to the Kennedy Space Center for the final leg of our vacation. It turned out we actually were just a little early, as the Space Shuttle is on the pad and ready to be launched on Tuesday. To bad we have to go back to work otherwise we might have stayed to watch it. We couldn't get very close to it, but we could see it from the observation gantry, and did drive right past the crawler that moves the Shuttle from the Vehicle Assembly Building to the launch pad - the 1 mile trip that takes 8 hours. Then we were bused to the Apollo/Saturn V Center where you get to see an actual Saturn 5 rocket. From there we went to the International Space Station Center, and saw the actual components of the station that are still in production to be delivered on future Shuttle missions - very cool. We had to cut the trip a little short, as we needed to get on the road to make it home to see the Broncos beat the Steelers :)

We are both pretty tired, and Allison reports that she still thinks she's rocking back and forth slightly while standing up, but other than that we are ship-shape. Ha. While I didn't like being out of touch from work and the outside world in general, I came to realize that I did desperately need a vacation, as other than holiday's I hadn't had a day off in over 13 months. Next vacation will most likely be next spring and fall, as Allison wants to go home to Boise and I want to go to Denver next fall to see the Nugs and Avs play in person.

Monday, October 08, 2007

Ouch

"They cannot stop the run, they cannot stop the pass, they cannot play special teams, they cannot get off their blocks, and they cannot score in the red zone. Other than that, things are great!"

- Mark Schlereth, former Bronco and current ESPN Analyst guy on the 2007 Broncos one day after their worst loss at home in 41 years. All I can say is that it's a good thing the Rox are taking the city of Denver's collective attention away from the fact that our football team, apparently, sucks.

Sunday, October 07, 2007

ROX WIN! ON TO NLCS!

Colorado sweeps Philadelphia, will face Arizona

By Troy E. Renck
The Denver Post

Destiny is not halfway. Either you believe or you don't.

The Rockies' faith began three weeks ago and hasn't wavered. A September push has turned the Rockies' into Legends of the Fall, Colorado trumping the Philadelphia Phillies 2-1 Saturday night to advance to the National League Championship Series. They will face the Arizona Diamondbacks in Phoenix beginning next Thursday. As the Rockies sprayed Domaine St. Michelle champagne and gulped Coors Light in the clubhouse, it felt more like a beginning than an end. It was a scene - Todd Helton drenched in celebration - that was 15 years in the making, made possible by 17 wins in their last 18 games.

"To be within one strike of being eliminated (with a San Diego win eight days ago), you start to think maybe it's our time," third baseman Garrett Atkins said. "It's things you just don't see. After a few more of those things keep happening you start thinking maybe we are destined for this." For a team that has toiled in obscurity - they have been on National TV more the past week than over the past two years - the final act naturally blended anonymity. After consecutive eighth-inning singles by Garrett Atkins and Brad Hawpe, seldom-used Jeff Baker wandered into the spotlight. He had only three pinch-hit RBIs in 46 bats. He survived a frightening beanball to the face, to scratch his way back onto the playoff roster. And With the Phillies sticking with left-hander J.C. Romero rather than going to closer Brett Myers, Baker delivered. On a 1-0 count, he lashed a 90-mph fastball into right field for the decisive run. "What do you think of that?" said Baker, known as the Bake Show to teammates.

Three outs, fireworks and a relatively tame on-field celebration later - hey it was their second in six days -- the Rockies had won their first playoff series ever. Phillies' shortstop Jimmy Rollins insisted all season that Philadelphia was the team to beat. Now the Rockies are the dream to beat. "Baseball is all about confidence and our confidence continues to grow with each win," outfielder Brad Hawpe said. Saturday was not just another night on the calendar. It was circled in purple. The last time the Rockies hosted a playoff game Bill Clinton was president and John Elway was pining for a Super Bowl ring. Elway, as he has done for the Avalanche and Nuggets, provided the pregame boost on the Jumbotron, urging a win in what has become known has ROctober. "It was crazy. All those fans. I love them," pitcher Ubaldo Jimenez said. Pleasantly bizarre was perhaps a more apt description. Game-time temperature was allegedly 73 degrees. It dropped to 55 within 20 minutes, a wicked wind swirling in Coors Field that turned flyballs into floating obits for four innings.

Not long after the sellout crowd zipped its coats, the lights went out at 7:56 p.m. A 14-minute delay followed because of a computer malfunction, not a late electrical bill. Jimenez made the Phillies, the National Leagues highest scoring team, look as if they were swinging in the dark. He permitted just one hit through five innings, relying largely on his sinking fastball and big curve. Jimenez finally gave way in the seventh, a hanging 82-mph slider to Shane Victorino the outfielder deposited into the right-field seats the only blemish on this record. Problem was, he had no margin for error. Jamie Moyer played the ice to Jimenez's fire. He never topped 83 mph, stepping on and off the gas with his parachute changeup. Manager Clint Hurdle watched an hour of film on Moyer before the game, stressing the importance of patience with his hitters. The Rockies' first run came from their two best offensive players in this series - Yorvit Torrealba and Matsui. Torrealba singled in the fifth and scored on Matsui's triple that left fielder Pat Burrell took a poor angle on as it reached the fence. "It's always somebody new," catcher Yorvit Torrealba said. It was proven as the Rockies bathed in champagne, smiling, laughing, and more than anything, wondering who's next. "I really thought we'd win," owner Dick Monfort said. "What about these guys? They are unbelievable. I am so happy for them."

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

AMAZING!!!!

Rockies tag Hoffman for 3 in 13th to win one game playoff and lock up wild card

DENVER (AP) -- Matt Holliday raced home on Jamey Carroll's shallow fly ball, capping a stunning, three-run rally in the 13th inning against Trevor Hoffman and leading the Colorado Rockies over the San Diego Padres 9-8 Monday night for the NL wild card.

After Scott Hairston's two-run homer put the Padres ahead in the top of the 13th, Colorado came back against baseball's career saves leader. The Rockies, who won for the 14th time in 15 games, took the longest one-game tiebreaker in major league history. They advanced to play Philadelphia in the first round starting Wednesday.

Kaz Matsui and Troy Tulowitzki, who had four hits, lined back-to-back doubles off Hoffman, making it 8-7, and Holliday tripled off the wall in right to tie it. After Todd Helton was intentionally walked, Carroll lined out to right fielder Brian Giles. Giles' throw home bounced in front of catcher Michael Barrett, who couldn't hold on as Holliday swiped the plate, then lay face-down after cutting his chin with his headfirst slide. Umpire Tim McClelland made a delayed safe call, and replays were inconclusive on whether Holliday touched the plate with his left hand or was blocked by Barrett's left foot. "I don't know. He hit me pretty good," Holliday said. "I got stepped on and banged my chin. I'm all right."

Carroll entered the game as a pinch-runner in the seventh inning and stayed in to play third base. He got one hit before finding himself in position to hit the sacrifice fly that won it. "I was just trying to get a ball up in the zone," Carroll said. "Had a guy at third. Matty did a great job. Matty ran his butt off. I am so happy that we get this opportunity to go on." Hoffman (4-5), who has 524 career saves, blew his seventh chance in 49 tries. On Saturday, he was one strike away from clinching a playoff spot when Tony Gwynn Jr. hit a tying triple for Milwaukee, which went on to win 4-3 in 11 innings. The Rockies won the longest game at Coors Field this season behind Holliday, the MVP candidate who won the NL batting title at .340. He also drove in two runs to take the league RBI crown with 137, one more than Philadelphia's Ryan Howard.

Ramon Ortiz (1-0) got the win. He was the Rockies' 10th pitcher, taking over after Jorge Julio gave up Hairston's homer. The Rockies are headed to the playoffs for the first time since 1995, when they lost to Atlanta in the first round. After stranding runners at second in the 10th, 11th and 12th off Matt Herges, the Padres broke through against Julio. Brian Giles drew a leadoff walk and Hairston homered into the bleachers in left-center.

The Rockies didn't flinch.

It was sweet atonement for Holliday, who misplayed Giles' flyball into an RBI double off Brian Fuentes with the Rockies ahead by 6-5 in the eighth that scored Geoff Blum from second base with the tying run. The Rockies and Padres were tied at 6 in the 163rd game of the season for each team, the first play-in game since the New York Mets beat Cincinnati 5-0 for the 1999 NL wild card. In the bottom of the eighth, Holliday stranded the go-ahead run at second when he whiffed against Health Bell, who relieved ineffective Padres ace Jake Peavy. Manny Corpas went 1-2-3 in the top of the ninth, and Bell sent the game into extra innings by retiring the side in the bottom half, stranding the potential winning run at first base.

The big hit for Colorado earlier came from September callup Seth Smith, who tripled in the sixth and scored on Matsui's shallow sacrifice fly to give Colorado a 6-5 lead. Colorado took an early 3-0 lead only to watch Adrian Gonzalez erase it with his first career grand slam in the third inning, which Peavy ignited a five-run rally with a single. The Rockies came back to tie on Helton's 17th homer in the bottom half and Holliday's RBI single in the fifth off Peavy, who looked little like the Cy Young Award candidate he's been this season. Peavy allowed six runs and 10 hits in 6 1-3 innings. He failed in his bid for his 20th win -- Boston's Josh Beckett was the only pitcher this year to achieve the feat. Rockies starter Josh Fogg allowed five runs and eight hits in four-plus innings.

It was a fitting end to a season full of late comebacks and collapses.

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Go Rox!

The last time the Rockies went to the playoffs was 1995 - the team was only in it's 3rd year of existence, and us Rockies fans were spoiled into thinking there would be many such trips in the future. Sadly, since then it has been one frustrating year after another, as they've dealt with everything from untimely injuries, free agent pitchers who completely bombed, and finally cheap-skate ownership who refused to spend money and instead chose to become a major league farm system for the other teams. This year has been different - with an MVP candidate in Matt Holiday and a solid mix of veterans and youngsters, they've played above their heads for most of the year. They started this month six games out of the wild card, and it looked like another "wait 'till next year" for us. Then came the streak - an 11 game winning streak that brought them within a game of the Padres. They lost last night and San Diego won, so I thought that would be it. Two games back with two to play....but then today the Padres lost and the Rockies beat Arizona 11-1 which means that on the last day of the baseball season the Rockies still have a chance - and THAT means that I'm going to be more interested (at least for one day) in my baseball team than my football team, which as never actually happened before. Don't worry people - the Broncos are still my first love. It's just nice to be able to root for another one of my teams in September. Wish them (and the Brewers, who are playing the Padres tomorrow) luck!

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Mmmm....Bacon....

Make everything taste like bacon

Have you ever found yourself thinking that veggies would go down easier, if only they tasted more like bacon? You may want to top them with Bacon Salt. The brainchild of two bacon-loving former tech workers, the zero-calorie seasoning lets you add a bit of bacony goodness to any food product. It comes in three flavors--original, hickory, and peppered--and, according to this post from Seattle alt-weekly The Stranger, has been enjoyed on "potatoes (fried, mashed, whathaveyou), corn on the cob, popcorn, watermelon, pineapple, steak, eggs (fried, scrambled), green beans, assorted vegetables, chocolate, Bloody Marys, pasta, guacamole, and peaches." The salt is kosher and vegetarian, and the hickory flavor is vegan, but don't go confusing it with health food: the lengthy list of ingredients includes corn syrup, vegetable shortening, and MSG.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Reality Distortion Field set to maximum...

Inmate's suit claims O.J. Simpson is "hitman" for Steve Jobs

By Kasper Jade
Published: 04:15 PM EST

A South Carolina inmate notorious for filing frivolous and fanciful lawsuits against public figures has used his latest complaint to accuse Apple chief executive Steve Jobs of employing O.J. Simpson as a "hitman" for the past two decades, in addition a litany of other outlandish offenses.

Filed September 21 in the United States District Court Middle District of Florida, the 3-page handwritten complaint alleges that Simpson has been Jobs’s "hitman" since the "1985 MOVE house bombing in Philadelphia, which Jobs started with borrowed pyrotechnics from Great White." The plaintiff is none other than 30 year old Jonathan Lee Riches, who in 2004 earned himself an 8-year sentence in a South Carolina corrections facility for his involvement in an identity theft ring. Over the past 18 months he has filed dozens of similar lawsuits accusing celebrities and organizations of wildly improbable offenses, presumably to help pass his time behind bars. Riches' latest rambling, which has since been dismissed, goes on to allege that "O.J. has been providing Jobs with food blenders since the midwest flood of 1993" and that O.J. also "paid Jobs to clone Dolly the sheep on April 20, 1998."

As for his other roles in the legal escapade, Jobs is charged with aiming nuclear missiles at Riches' brain and Lance Armstrong's bicycle, as well as price gouging iPhone customers. "On May 10th, 2007, I bought an Apple iPhone for $922.01 at the FCI Williamsburg commissary," Riches wrote. "Now Jobs sells that same iPod for $199." The remainder of the complaint continues in the same outlandish vein, with Princess Diana, the United Auto Workers, and Cinderella's Castle each making appearances, among others.

"A cursory review of the complaint is sufficient to establish that it is nothing more than fanciful nonsense," US District Judge Gregory Presnell wrote in his order for dismissal. "The whole thing reads like a cross between Billy Joel’s 'We Didn’t Start the Fire' and a Dr. Bronner’s soap label, if Dr. Bronner had been a first-year law student with untreated paranoid schizophrenia." Judge Presnell went on to say that this was not Riches's first appearance before him, and pointed out that Riches even has his own Wikipedia entry chronicling some of the dozens of similar suits he has filed in federal courts across the country.

"Several weeks ago, he filed suit against Elvis Presley and Neverland Ranch for, inter alia, 'WAR CRIMES Rock N Rollin My Brain'," the Judge wrote. While it's unclear whether Riches' cockamamy pleadings are products of actual mental illness or simply a hobby akin to short story writing, all complaints filed with the US court system have to be processed, filed and dismissed. "Whatever their origin, and though they are amusing to the average reader, they do nothing more than clog the machinery of justice, interfering with the court’s ability to address the needs of the genuinely aggrieved," the Judge wrote. "It is time for them to stop."

Rather than impose sanctions on Riches, the Court will simply require that he pay the filing fee with any future complaints, which he has failed to do in the past. Should those requirement fail to dissuade him from further meritless filings, the Court plans to impose stiffer requirements or sanctions until he "finds another way to occupy his time."

Sunday, September 16, 2007

In case you're wondering, it never gets old...

I've often said that if the Broncos were ever to go 2-14, as long as those two wins were over the Raiders I'd consider the season a success. It hasn't been that exciting beating them over and over again these last 4 years, since they have royally sucked since they went to Super Bowl 37, and recently I've become more obsessed with the Chargers as they've gotten better. Still, as I was reminded today there is nothing quite like beating Oakland....that smug superiority....that fake intimidation crap....oh, not to mention they fired our coach after 18 games and still owe him $250,000 - yeah, today was a fun day as the Mastermind beat them again :)

Broncos convert in OT after Raiders' second-chance kick fails

DENVER (AP) -- The Denver Broncos may never have called a smarter timeout.

Jason Elam's 23-yard field goal with 5:48 left in overtime gave the Broncos a 23-20 win just minutes after the Raiders had been celebrating what they thought was their own wild win.

Sebastian Janikowski nailed a 52-yard field goal at 11:13 of overtime. But as the Raiders rushed the field in celebration and the Broncos hung their heads in defeat, the officials ruled Denver called a timeout just before the snap.

On the retry, Janikowski's kick hit the left upright, giving the Broncos new life and the ball at their 42. They drove to the Oakland 6 and Elam nailed it on first down -- and the Raiders didn't bother calling their own timeout.

Elam's winner was his second in a row. He hit a 42-yarder as time expired to give Denver a 15-14 win at Buffalo in the opener.

This one wasn't nearly as frenetic a finish as that one, when the Broncos had no timeouts and only 10 seconds to get off the miracle kick.

But it was just as satisfying to the Broncos (2-0), who won their eighth straight home opener and handed the Raiders (0-2) their 11th straight loss overall.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Young at Heart

Today I had the honor of hosting (along with Beth Patton, the Packet's Marketing Director) the Sun City Mac Users Group. They came for a tour of the Packet, and to see how we integrated Macs into the day-to-day operations of the newspaper. There were about 25 people, and they were very informed and asked a lot of very good questions. I can only hope that I'm still as big of a Mac zealot fan 40 years from now like these folks. One of them took this picture (where I appear to be talking Macs and hawking Mt. Dew) and sent this nice note along with it....

From: Catherine Tracy
Date: Wed, 5 Sep 2007 14:08:53 -0400
To: Morgan Bonner
Subject: Mac Field Trip

Dear Beth and Morgan,

Thank you so much for the field trip you presented to our Mac Group. While we are in a minority in Sun City, today we saw how our Macs serve a large scale operation and how much they are appreciated. Although most of us have only home use, we were delighted to see how the computers could function in a business sense. You made us feel welcome, your tour was educational and fun too.

Sincerely,
Catherine Tracy

Sunday, September 02, 2007

One please...

Keep Your Things Safe It Will!

Ever since its release in 1980, The Empire Strikes Back has fueled the dreams of geeks across the world. Considered by many to be the best of the Star Wars saga, it was the first film where we really learned what it took to be a Jedi. Sure Obi Wan taught us a little in A New Hope, but it wasn't until we met Yoda that we truly realized how powerful the Force was and how hard it was to master. Yoda was the pinnacle of what a Jedi should be: mighty and humble, wise and peaceful. Even though he was tiny, we got glimpses of his immense power (really, I mean a whole X-Wing?!?)

Once we saw Yoda, we all knew we wanted a Jedi master of our own - a Jedi master who would take us running in the woods, ride on our back, and teach us the ways of the Force. We tried strapping a cat to our back, but it wasn't the same. A few months ago, our geeky hearts almost leapt out of our bodies when we saw this officially licensed backpack. Yoda…on our back…teaching us…and carrying our stuff inside him. Perfect! And, to make it even better, the straps are adjustable and sized for adults. All you need now is a dirty, sleeveless t-shirt and some khaki's and you will be ready for your Jedi training to begin. You will be. You will be.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Writers Bloc

I had originally written this for the blog, but since it had (somewhat) to do with a movie I offered it up to Mr. Vrabel as a column for the Guide. It runs on Friday...

Watching “Superbad” this past weekend brought me back in time: I ceased to be the “I can’t believe I’m almost 30” guy I was when I walked in, and reverted back to being 17. While I laughed quite a bit at the movie, I also came away missing my best friend from high school. The relationship between Evan and Seth hit close to home, as I saw myself completely in Evan: responsible and loyal, always doing the right thing no matter how much fun it kept me from having. And I saw my friend Bill completely in Seth: impulsive but sensitive, always one step away from doing something that was going to blow up in both our faces. We even had our own McLovin - a kid named Jimmy that neither one of us really liked but we allowed to hang out with us anyway.

Bill and I both grew up in Maryland, and started hanging out in the fourth grade. What followed for the next decade was, as I look back on it now, the most puerile fun I’ve ever had in my life. There were the countless trips to the mall (with a stop at a gas station on the way that had a Taco Bell in it — we considered this to be the greatest innovation of the 20th century), playing video games and constantly arguing about whether or not the Enterprise could defeat a Star Destroyer.

While we never tried to get a fake ID to buy booze with, we did play football on a frozen lake (which was a bad idea), drive around in his piece-of-crap Ford Escort during the blizzard of ’96 (which was an even worse idea) and invite a couple of girls over to my place a few weeks after graduation only to find out they were both 15 (which was an extremely terrible idea) and just doing one ridiculous thing after another. Have you ever tried riding a bike through a cornfield? Don’t.

In the summer of 1994, we worked together in what was the first job for both of us — assisting at a tennis pro shop. He and another co-worker had a fight every day about the answering machine message. Bill would record the message in the afternoon, then the other guy would change it the next morning. The war went on for several weeks, finally coming to an end when Bill “accidentally” sprayed him in the face with Raid while “attempting” to kill a wasp.

One time we drove to the movies and stopped to get something to eat. We got into an argument about something stupid, and he got up from the table and left. I assumed that he had walked to a theater that was close by, so I went there and sat through “Batman & Robin” waiting for him to show up. He never did, so I thought maybe he had called someone to come get him and went home. About 20 miles down the road, I came upon him walking home (in retrospect, I wish I’d walked home too rather than watch Joel Schumacher finish slaughtering the “Batman” franchise). That was Bill in a nutshell. Even so, I knew that no matter what, he always had my back.

High school, in particular, was a horror show for us both. We leaned on each other to make it through the tough times: the parties we weren’t cool enough to be invited to, the beautiful girls we couldn’t work up the nerve to talk to, the teachers we swore had it in for us. It was four years of hell, and we were both happy to see it end. Of course when it did, just like Evan and Seth, we ended up going our separate ways.

Although we’ve kept in touch over the years, living in different states and both having a career and a marriage make it impossible to act like we could when we were kids. I was reminded while watching “Superbad,” that in the process of having an adult life, I’ve lost something. It occurs to me that as I get ready to start the long, slow descent into old age, I should go visit Bill and hang out — maybe even do something stupid — just because we still can.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Indeed....

Your Famous Last Words Will Be:

"I can pass this guy."

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Monday, August 06, 2007

Oh no....

NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO.....Karl Rove CANNOT have an iPhone.....NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Amen brotha

Well the Broncos reported to training camp today, and it won't belong before the pre-season starts. Given that it's almost time for the Hall of Fame inductions, I thought I'd comment on how not only T.D. belongs in the Hall, but so do many other Broncos besides number 7. Low and behold, my arch nemesis from The Denver Post, Mark Kiszla, was thinking the same thing....now normally I can't stand anything that this guy writes, since his primary job at the Post seems to be to bitch about the four professional sports teams in Denver, but in this case he's dead on.....

2,008 reasons T.D. must be in Hall


By Mark Kiszla
Denver Post Staff Columnist

Article Last Updated: 07/29/2007 12:29:55 AM MDT

Let's start banging down the doors to the Pro Football Hall of Fame for Terrell Davis. Anybody who votes to keep him out does not know the game. Ask yourself this: Needing 3 yards to move the chains on third down in the tense, final minutes of a tied game, who ya gonna call to carry the rock? The No. 5 worn by Paul Hornung, given a Hall pass only because he appeared golden when reflected in the glory of the Green Bay Packers dynasty? Or the No. 30 on the sturdy back of T.D., who twice carried the Broncos to the NFL championship? There's not even a doubt which of the two running backs Vince Lombardi would have picked to run to daylight.

But let's be honest here.

Taking all the hits while rushing for 2,008 yards in a single season will not be as difficult for T.D. as wedging one lousy foot in the door at the Hall of Fame. "When I look back at the other running backs that have made the Hall of Fame and where (Davis) ranks with his accomplishments - MVP of a Super Bowl, MVP of the league, rushing for over 2,000 yards, I would be very surprised if he was not inducted into the Hall of Fame," Broncos owner Pat Bowlen said Saturday. The truth, however, is nastier.

The Pro Football Hall of Fame hates Denver.

That not only aggravates Bowlen, but it should worry coach Mike Shanahan and cornerback Champ Bailey if they have any aspirations of seeing a brilliant career end in Canton, Ohio. You can't get there from here. Unless your name is John Elway. Win for win, no NFL team of the past 30 years has been more ignored by the Hall of Fame than the Broncos. Way too much football history has been made in Denver to have Elway as the franchise's lone member of the pro game's most exclusive club. And the case is already being made against Davis, who will be honored by a welcome to his own team's Ring of Fame later this year. Here's the rap: T.D., a product of Denver's offensive system, was as an old man by age 30, and injuries robbed the longevity from his pro career. We hear the argument.

But maybe we should give those bashers of T.D. a slightly altered version of the Mile High Salute.

If greatness is defined by coming up big when it matters most, then check the numbers compiled by T.D. in the NFL playoffs: 1,140 yards rushing on a 5.6 average with a dozen touchdowns, to say nothing of bravely running blindly on the field with a migraine in Super Bowl XXXII. It's hard to deny what Davis achieved against rugged competition in those eight postseason games is as spectacular as anything Hall of Fame running back Gale Sayers did in the best of his seven short seasons with the Chicago Bears. Hall of Fame voters have ripped off Broncos linebacker Randy Gradishar, and it's too late to expect them to start giving proper credit to the Orange Crush defense now. So the NFL owes Denver. A good way to make amends would be to recognize that T.D. was the most essential player in making a great football city's fondest dreams come true. "We don't win those Super Bowls without Davis," Shanahan said.

Sure, tight end Shannon Sharpe might be too loud for the voters to keep out. But the contributions of tackle Gary Zimmerman, receiver Rod Smith and any other hero from the Super Bowl years could well be ignored for decades to come. "It has always been a thorn in my side that the team has played in six Super Bowls, won two and is a team that has had a lot of great players. We have one player in the Hall of Fame, in John Elway," Bowlen said. "I've made it clear as a member on the board of the Hall of Fame, that I think our process on electing players into the Hall of Fame is flawed." Only one thing can prevent the gatekeepers to the Hall from admitting Davis. And it's not his history of injuries. It's a history of voter stupidity.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Hello from Iowa!

What am I doing in Iowa you ask? Well, we are bidding on a very large commercial printing job at work, and it required a site visit to a production facility in Des Moines. Yes, my first ever business trip - booked a flight, rented a car, stayed in a swank hotel (well, it's a Hampton Inn, which is far more swank than I'm used to - they actually called me 10 minutes after I'd checked in to see how I liked my room. Nice!) and everything. Tonight we're going to dinner with the folks we're here to see, then we have our big meeting tomorrow.

So far, my impression of Iowa is that it's a nice place....with corn. Sweet jeez, there is corn everywhere you look. Even in the middle of the commercial areas, there is corn. Mmm....corn on the cob sounds really good right now. With lots of butter and salt.....anyway, I'll be home tomorrow night. If you like corn, visit Des Moines sometime.