In Honor of “Sports” Season

It is that time again.

“Sports” Season.

I don’t look at this as merely football season. Oh no. Football is certainly the straw that stirs the drink, but it also kicks off the entire sporting year.

First college football gets going. Then the pros a week later. Once they get up to speed, hockey gets fired up, followed closely by basketball (college not the… *yawn* … NBA). And so it goes, until baseball starts and limps us through each summer.

In honor of Sports Season getting kicked off, I have created a whole new bunch of header images to rotate through the top of my blog. A new one will be displayed every minute, so check back often and refresh your browser if you wanna see them all. These are from my various sporting experiences in my life. Not all of them are represented, as I didn’t always have a camera, but many are.

Seasons Greetings!

If you need me, I’ll be watching sports.

Out of the Blue

Out of the BlueSunday night Jess and I attended the World Premier of Michael Hoffman’s new documentary about Boise State football and their magical season last year. I only have one major critique.

It wasn’t long enough.

The movie had a run time of almost 90 minutes, but frankly, to get everything I wanted to see in there, that thing would have had to have been a 4 week mini-series. (How cool would that be!?)

Actually, this was really well done. If I had one more critique, it would be the fact that a lot of the footage I had already seen before in other outlets (local news, national ESPN pieces, the Perfection season DVD, Fiesta Bowl, etc. I guess that is the problem with doing a documentary after the fact, is that you can’t shoot your own footage at the events as they happen. The stuff they did shoot new for this film was terrific. Lots of interviews with players past and present. Some very very funny lines and moments, especially from last year’s starting center Jadon Dailey. He is awesome. I would say to watch the movie if only to see him.

But like I said, some of the things were just a little too short. I would have loved to have had a few more season moments set to a swelling musical score to really drive things home. Specifically, I’m thinking about the orange and blue rushing of the field in Nevada after the game was over and we had sealed the perfect season and BCS trip. That is a mental image I have that sort of gets drowned out by the enormity that was the Fiesta Bowl. Next to the bowl game, that is by FAR my favorite moment of the season. I stood there, in the upper deck, grinning to myself as 8,000 Bronco fans stormed the field. Outstanding.

I do understand the limitations of a movie, though. I mean, they can’t get everything in there. Plus, the Fiesta Bowl itself was so dramatic and the climax of the movie, they had to devote enough time to that. I guess it just boils down to the fact that I am a fan. And as a fan, I want as much content about my team as is humanly possible.

I will absolutely own this on DVD. There is no question. It will go into my rotation of DVD’s I have to watch when I need a Bronco fix. I have to be one of the few people who still semi-regularly watches the season review DVDs from 3 or 4 or 5 years ago.

Apparently, there is a version cut down to an hour that ESPN will be showing on September 3rd. It cuts out all of the player’s lives stuff and just focuses on the football. Yes, I will watch that too, but I highly recommend getting your hands on this full film and enjoying it.

9 Days

The season is almost here. 9 days.

Can you feel the excitement?!

I have spent the summer reading about the Broncos and the WAC and what could happen. First off, it has been great hearing Boise State mentioned in nearly every single national season preview article I’ve seen all year (not to mention all the “who is the next Boise State?” articles). Absolutely amazing. If you would have told me 5 years ago that we would be this well covered, I would have called you crazy. I read that the fallout from the Fiesta Bowl has been estimated to be over $100 million in free publicity for Boise State University and the State of Idaho. I can absolutely believe that.

Second… most, if not all of the articles that mention Boise State, or the WAC are pointing to the showdown November 23rd on the Island as Boise State visits Hawaii. People are calling that the battle for the BCS. Hyping it beyond belief. I want to get on the record, here before the season even starts with this:

University of Hawaii WILL have at least one loss before we meet them for that game.

I know they have a cupcake schedule (including two 1-AA teams) and have the offense from hell. But what no one is talking about is their defense. Last year, they were middle of the WAC or lower in just about every defensive statistical category. Plus, they lost their defensive coordinator, Jerry Glanville, who headed off to be the head coach of Portland State. Yeah, they bring back 8 defensive starters, but none of those guys were all that good to begin with. Historically, their defense has never been good under June Jones. Nor have they EVER played well when on the mainland.

You watch. Someone will catch them napping. Brennan will have an off day (or perhaps an injury), and the typical Hawaii defense will give up enough points to lose.
Best bets for their losses? I’m going with at San Jose State (10/12) – an improving team with good speed… New Mexico State ON the island (10/28)they have a great QB too… or at Nevada (11/16) provided Nevada can get some fans in the stands and show up to play. Both of those are iffy. The wild card is Fresno. Who knows what they will do this year.

Honestly, absolutely nothing in the world would make me happier than to see Idaho step up in that temple of gloom they play in up there and spank Hawaii back to Oahu. If they can get an offense, the Vandie’s D just might be good enough to pull something like that off.

My favorite Hawaii story was the game in 2004 here. We had a game with them that was on ESPN. Their QB, Timmy Chang, was all set to break the 1-A passing yards record in the game. He needed 241 yard and had been averaging well over 300 for the season. Seemed like a no brainer.

Only, he played like shit and managed to NOT break that record, but threw 4 picks to set the all time interceptions record instead. Essentially, they crapped the bed on the big national TV stage and got spanked 69-3. It was treeee-mendous.

Anyway, the amount of Bronco coverage in this thing is probably going to spike here over the next few months… So, if you don’t like that stuff, you don’t have to read it.

But its football season and cool outside.

Absolute heaven.

Refreshing Movie Experience

Jess and I caught the latest Bourne flick (Ultimatum) on Monday for my single day off between jobs.  I met her downtown and we caught the flick then got a little dinner after.

The movie was pretty good, but that is not what I want to talk about.

Instead, I want to talk about the theater itself.  See, we went to catch the matinée at Boise’s legendary Egyptian Theatre.  It has been in business since 1927 here, and despite some lean years in the 80’s, it is back and is the destination for premiers and events.  Right downtown with plenty of parking nearby and lots of post event entertainment (restaurants and bars).

This is the type of place that is just so refreshing I had to write about it.

Continue reading Refreshing Movie Experience

… And begins again

Today was the first day of my next career.  I have to admit, it was a strange feeling that I haven’t had in a long time.  Everyone knows those first day jitters, be it in a new school or job.  Just those butterflies about what’s new and different.

New faces, new places.

But everyone I met was exceptionally friendly.  I think I will fit in just fine.  I did bring 4 dozen Krispy Kremes to bribe my way to a leg up in people’s minds.  You gotta do what ya gotta do.

Of course, my first day didn’t exactly come off without a hitch due to a combination of issues.

Apparently a developer left the company yesterday, and he had a desk by the windows.  Thus, there was a seniority rule in effect for anyone who wanted to sit there.   All this shifting could cause a cascade of desk moves, so exactly where I would sit was up in the air.

But the bigger issue was that the PC they ordered for me was on backorder.  It was supposed to arrive today, but somehow got delayed until tomorrow.   So, I had nothing to work on, nor anywhere to do it… but everything should come together tomorrow.

Basically, my day went like this.  I got there about 8:45 after making the Krispy Kreme run and after a quick loop around the office, it was time to get down to all the paperwork.  Who doesn’t love paperwork anyway?  After getting that all finished, I met with some of the tech people for a bit.  Then, Mike, the tech manager, pretty much said that I could bug out if I wanted to, since there wasn’t much for me to do.  I figured I might as well, since I didn’t want to keep anyone else from their work by entertaining me.  So, I left about 10:30 with plans to return at 3pm for the tech team meeting.

That meeting took all of 30 minutes, so all in all I “worked” just over 2 hours today… and that was STILL more than I had to do at HP.

Tomorrow, I’m heading in at noon (as they need to have time to receive and setup my PC).   Whew… all this work is really taxing!

A few more post HP thoughts.

I have to say, it is now quite strange to drive past HP and realize that I no longer work there.  Just a very odd feeling.  Also, another odd feeling was to be technically unemployed for an entire weekend.  I mean, the last time that happened was in 1994 when I was laid off from the law firm runner position before I started delivering pizzas for Pizza Hut.  Thats a long time.  I suppose, technically it is only the second time since I started working at the age of 16 to not currently be employed, and that was when I quit Nu Look Car Wash in the last few months of my senior year to be able to enjoy those festivities.  Of course, I started working immediately after graduation.

I have to admit, I feel a bit odd about not working today or tomorrow morning, despite the fact that this is no fault of my own.  Damn this pesky work ethic!

Anyway, I’m off and running in Wirestone’s corral.  Granted, I didn’t exactly shoot from the gates at top speed, but I will get there soon enough.

And so it ends…

Door ClosingThis is the way the world ends
Not with a bang but a whimper.

-T.S. Eliot

Indeed, this is how my HP world ended. Certainly not a bang, but with a whimper. I got home from what was my last “day” with HP and started this post. Actually, this day was exactly 38 minutes long. My exit interview was scheduled for 9:30am Friday morning. I arrived a little before 9 to finish cleaning up some things on my PC and to get my last load of crap out to the car.

I find it amusing that they still call it an “exit interview”. Quite frankly, it was more of an “escort out of the building” than an interview. According to the HP Portal, the exit interview consists of sitting down with one’s manager who asks about why you’re leaving, your overall HP experience, how they could improve things, etc. In actuality, here’s how it went.

The guy performing the “interview” was someone I’d never met since my latest manager (as of 3 weeks ago, I think the 10th I’ve had in 8 years) was remote. In fact, I spoke to my actual manager exactly once. So, this process was sub-contracted out to a local manager. Now, he was a nice enough guy. I think he was more happy that my leaving was on good terms. I really got the impression that he’s done more than one of these where the person leaving is none too pleased about it. Welcome to the wonderful world of corporate layoff culture. Anyway, I soon realized that there was going to be no “interview”. I gathered up my remaining shit and headed to the door.

Opened the card controlled double doors, handed him my badge, and poof… Gone. That’s it. The ultimate whimper.

The accompanying picture you see above is, in fact, the final door closing on my HP career. I was able to whip out my camera and snatch one shot before the door finished closing. Not often that you get an image of both and actual and metaphorical event in one shot.

Continue reading And so it ends…

My Words Reaching Out

The other night, I got one of the best emails I’ve ever gotten in regards to my blog. Well, quite frankly, most of the emails I get from my blog come from people I get email from all the time. Not that that is a bad thing or anything, but when you get an email from someone out of the blue who has read something you wrote and it has moved them enough to sit down and compose an email… to me that is huge.

What follows is the email I got from my new pal Keith from Washington… (links added by me)

Continue reading My Words Reaching Out

Thank God It’s August

Summer HeatWe made it.  It is finally August and I couldn’t be happier.

I barely survived the smoking, sun-scarred moonscape that was existence here in July.   In case you’re not from here or didn’t leave your house for a full month (in either case, I envy you) but July was officially the hottest month on record here in Boise.  The Statesman said that there were 14 days of 100+ temps.  Well, if you look at this pdf you will see that in addition to those “official” triple digit temps, there were 8 additional days that were 97-99.  As I see it, if you’re driving around and its 97 or above ‘officially’ you will find somewhere in some parking lot or whatever is over 100.  I think that should count.  Just because where they took the measurement didn’t hit 100 doesn’t mean that somewhere you were didn’t.

That makes 22 out of 31 days that were WAY to friggin hot.  Not to mention, its not like those other 9 days were cool and breezy.  They were still hotter then hell.

Continue reading Thank God It’s August