The WAC Hates Fresno State?

Really?  I don’t buy it…

ESPN.com is detailing out the “hate” in college football and broke it down conference by conference.  Apparently, the WAC hates Fresno State.

Come again?

I don’t buy that for a second.  Specifically for this reason.  Don’t you have to actually win at least one conference title to be hated?  Seriously.  I mean, nobody hates Utah State (except maybe Utah State fans).  Yeah, Fresno goes out and plays and sometimes beats the big boys.  That’s all well and good, but then they get back into conference play and fold like a lawn chair.   They have not won a WAC title since 1999 (2 years prior to Boise State coming into the WAC).  How can anyone hate Fresno, other than their being generally obnoxious and unlikeable people (which has nothing to do with football)?

I don’t even hate Fresno’s coach Pat Hill.  He seems like a nice enough guy.  Good coach.  If I had to pick a coach I hate, that mantle is easily locked up by Hal Mumme.  I really hate that guy.  But again, New Mexico State isn’t near good enough to generate enough hate overall to even rank on the scale.

Not that I want to be hated, but I think the only choice for the “most hated in the WAC” title can only be Boise State.  You’re telling me that a team with a 46-2 conference record since 2002 and 5 straight titles in that span isn’t the most hated?  Really?  Do you other teams enjoy the ass kickings or what?  We could spend 20 minutes listing out the records and accomplishments of the Broncos without pause here.  Not to mention the whole Fiesta Bowl thing, which most schools in the WAC could only DREAM about.

Tell me that nearly every team in the WAC hates Fresno more than Boise State and I’ll call you a liar.

Blog Updated

So, I have finally updated my blog.  No, I don’t mean writing a new post.  I mean I actually upgraded the WordPress software running this thing.

I always hesitate to do this, because it can cause all sorts of strange errors or problems with incompatible pieces.  But, since my brand new iPhone has a native application that will allow me to mobile blog even more efficiently, and there are numerous security updates, I finally went from version 2.3.3 to the full fledge version 2.6.  No, it doesn’t sound like much.

What does this mean to you, dear reader?  Well… nothing.  Although, I have removed the anti-spam captcha words that were on the comment form.  Ok, well, I didn’t choose to remove it, that plugin was incompatible with the latest version.  Hopefully, I won’t be innundated with spam, but time will tell.

The only problem I have now is that the permalink structure (aka: the path that shows up in your browser address window) now sucks.  Due to 2.6 and IIS not playing nice together, I’m unable to go back to the cooler way of linking (/2008/7/30/Blog-updated) and have to stick with the default (?=414).  This is quite aggravating since I have numerous links from elsewhere on the web that point to the old structure.  I’m going to have to do some more investigating.

Anyway, there ya go.  Not all that exciting, but news none the less.

Update:

I figured out and implemented a fix for the ugly url deal.  Much thanks to this guy.

Wedding Home Stretch

We’ve rounded the final turn and are heading down the home stretch.  A mere 2 and a half weeks until it’s go time.

All of the major pieces are done, and many have been for awhile.  Now is the time for little detail stuff.  That stuff which could be successfully postponed 3 months ago, can’t be procrastinated any longer.  For example, Jess and I decorated 75 candle holders for tables (there will be more than one per table, fyi).  Other things such as fitting for tuxes and Jess getting her makeup and hair choices squared away.  No, I didn’t know women do that, and I’ve been here before… go figure.

Luckily, I put my foot down about one single thing for this wedding.  We are not doing any sort of “wedding favors”.  You know, that stupid shit that people give you when you attend their wedding, that you don’t want to carry around anyway… We’re not doing it.  You know why?  It’s because NOBODY ACTUALLY WANTS THAT CRAP.  You know what happens is you spend 3 weeks and untold hundreds of dollars assembling these little plants, or some stupid little token, or whatever, and 80% of the people either throw it away immediately or just leave it at the reception.  Another 15% put it somewhere in their house, only to lose it and end up throwing it away a year later.  5% may actually find a use for whatever lame ass thing you gave them, but even then, it’s a marginal use.  As I told Jess, I guarantee you, if we have no favors not a single person will leave the wedding saying, “I can’t believe they didn’t give us anything!”  Hell, you’re getting a night out, excellent grub (all you can eat), including a very good cake for dessert, free beer and wine (all you can drink), and chances are this thing will be filled with at least a few of your friends and/or family.   It will be the party of the year.  What, that’s not enough for you!?

Let’s see… what else… We’ve gotten our rings squared away.  Mom has made us some runners for tables.  We’ve tasted cakes and food.   Today we meet with the DJ.  Still gotta get the license, however.

The thing is, as crazy as it has been for me, it’s gotta be 50x crazier for Jess.  She is a whirlwind.  My brain would have long since turned to tapioca had I been the lead on this whole production.  Do me a favor, next time you see her, tell her she’s doing a terrific job and it will all be worth it, and more importantly, it will be over soon.

We are also approaching the stage in which I am going to be careful bordering on paranoid to avoid getting sick.  We’re talking vigorous hand scrubbings,  portable hand sanitizers, avoiding handshakes (in favor of fist bumps if necessary) and stocking up on the Vitamin C.  If the previous last thing I wanted to do was to be sick in Las Vegas, the REAL last thing I want to do is to be sick for the wedding day and/or a week in Hawaii.  I will do everything in my power to keep that from happening.

Let me tell you… Maui is going to be a legitimate vacation.  Not a quick getaway.  No sporting events to attend.  No friends or family to visit.  Nothing but beach lounging (under shade, of course) and tropical drinks.   I see now why people go on honeymoons.  You need that time to relax and recharge.

Ok… I’ve got Maui on my brain and don’t feel like writing any more about what we still have left to do.  Suffice it to say, we’re going to be a little haried until we step onto that plane bound for the garden isle August 18th.

The Dark Knight – July 24th

The Dark Knight“Some men just want to watch the world burn.”

If you’ve been living under a rock, you might have missed that the latest Batman movie has been released.  For the rest of us, it has ben Batmanmania since last weekend when the movie took in a record $155.3 million over the opening weekend.  That is absolutley crazy.  However, not unjustified.  “The Dark Knight” might well be the best movie I’ve seen all year.

Standard disclaimer, there will probably be spoilers here.  Read at your own peril.

We pick up the story where Batman Begins leaves off.  Bruce Wayne is still batman, but there are copycats donning their own masks and capes in order to foil crime… I think.  I was never too clear exactly what was going on with these things.  Twas a bit confusing.  But, no matter.  The mob is still seriously pissed at Batman for crimping their enterprises.  Along with the new fair-haired district attorney Harvey Dent, they have shut down all of the money launderers but one .  So, the mob, being enterprising types, bring in a chinese businessman to handle all their cash and… ya know what?  It doesn’t matter.  Other than a pretty sweet snatch and grab by Batman in Hong Kong, all this really does is launch us into “Joker” territory.

Continue reading The Dark Knight – July 24th

And Still Counting…

So, upon reaching both of the AT&T stores here in town and finding rather long lines out the door, I’m going to have to wait a little longer for my desired iPhone.

I really want one, but I don’t want one bad enough to stand in line with some of those guys.  Can’t do it.

The new plan is to head over to the store at like 11 and hopefully find the line diminished.  If the line was like 10 people, I would wait in that one.  I ain’t waiting in a line of 150-200 people.  No dice.

Stay tuned.

Update – 11:51 am.

I went by the nearest AT&T store at lunch and was surprised to find there was no line.  Hmmmm.  So, I walked in and was able to talk to someone.  Of course, I found out why there was no line… they were sold out.  Doh.  So, instead of waiting for the next shipment and trying to scramble down there and get my grubby little fingers on one, the sales guy told me I could do a “Direct Fulfillment Order.”  What this basically means is that I have paid for one and one iPhone will be specifically shipped to the store with my name on it.  All reserved for me.  It’s like a pre-order, but after the item has been released.

The guy mentioned that it could be there as soon as tomorrow, but that may have been bullshit just to make me happy.  Let’s say, I’m betting it will be Monday.  But who knows?

Bummer.  Oh well.

19 Hours and Counting

Apple iPhoneUntil the iPhone 3G.

Yes, I am going to attempt to get one first thing come 8am tomorrow morning when they all go on sale.

Now, this is a new thing for me.  I mean, as much of a tech geek as I am, I have never been the first to jump on something.  For example, the xbox 360 was out for over a year before I jumped into that pool.  I have never been one to always have the latest and greatest, nor am I one who buys into hype.  It probably doesn’t help that I don’t really like battling crowds unless I absolutely have to, and that’s what these “hot” launches attract.  Crowds.

That is the strange thing about me.  I love gadgets and technology, but I really haven’t gone out of my way to acquire them.  For example, I have never owned a laptop personally.  Granted, Jess has one that I get to use, but it isn’t “mine”.  I’ve just never bought one.  I almost did this spring with the US Government’s “Tax Stimulus” deal, but that money ended up going to the new house.  Also, I have never owned an iPod.  Not one.  Since they first launched with the first generation in 2001, over 170 MILLION iPods have been sold.  7 year old girls own them. Grandmothers own them.  I never have.  I just find that odd.  Sure, I’ve had a couple different “MP3 players” but never that little Apple beauty.

Of course, that should hopefully change tomorrow.  As you may or may not know, the iPhone 3G is the second generation iPhone, which came out a year ago.  I almost bought one then but that strange barrier in my head prevented me.  I have been tempted tempted many times, most horribly about 4 months ago.  We were out having drinks with some friends, and I was given an up close demo of Alex’s iPhone.  I very very nearly bought one the next day.  But, there was scuttlebutt on the net that supposedly sometime in 2008 Apple was going to release the 2.0 version.  So, I swallowed that desire and settled in to wait.  2 months later, they officially announced it.

Now, the waiting is finished, and I’m leaping into the 21st century.   Honestly, it is the mobile internet feature that I am most excited about. (Full Feature List) That is the “killer app” that is really pushing me to get it.  I mean, I really don’t like phones.  I don’t dig on talking on phones.  As it stands, I probably use about 40 minutes a month of actual talk airtime.  But, to be able to email people and surf the web?  That’s what I’m talkin about!  Not to mention mobile blogging… imagine.  I’m waiting in line at the DMV one day, and you might get a hillarious real time post on this here forum about how the goober in front of me in the overalls with no shirt wonders if he can take his drivers test in his tractor.  How great would that be?

So really, this isn’t just a gift for me.  It’s a gift for us all.  May we all bask in the all powerful glow of iPhone.

18 hours 38 minutes…

Fireworks

FireworksWhen I was a kid, I LOVED fireworks. I would save my allowance for weeks leading up to the 4th of July. Some years, I’d have 20 or 30 bucks saved up, and in 1983 that was quite a chunk of change for a 9 year old.

Dad always said it was like burning money, which I suppose it is, but if you could light a dollar bill and have it explode into a shower of colorful sparks and loud noise, I would have.

Of course, the authorities realized just how dangerous all the really fun fireworks were, so they banned anything good and we were stuck with the boring old “Safe and Sane” fireworks. Basically, anything that exploded or left the ground was verboten. All we were left were fountains and ground bloom flowers. Whistling petes and snakes and smoke bombs. While these were fun, they weren’t near as good as they could be.

I also remember the old fireworks show the city would do out at the fairgrounds. Let’s just say, they were nothing like what we see today. Essentially, what they would do is shoot off one shell about ever 5 minutes. I remember loving to see them, but waiting between them was horrible and half the time you weren’t looking in the right direction when they actually went off. To this day I still can’t believe they actually thought shooting them off like that was a good idea.

Now that I’m older, I haven’t bought fireworks in years. I don’t remember the last time I forked over cash of my own for the damn things. Funny how as I get older, the more and more like my dad I become.

Fast forward to last night. It was our first 4th in the new neighborhood. Now, I know we’re in a nicer area but I would have NEVER guessed so many people would spend so much on fireworks. And, we ain’t talkin safe and saners here. There were some of the most impressive private mortars I have ever seen. And from our backyard, you could see them in all directions. It was UNREAL. There were constant large fireworks exploding in the air. I mean we must have been able to see $500,000 worth of fireworks from our backyard. I’m not exaggerating. I have never been in a war, but if I had, I would imagine it would be like my house last night (except for the little fact that no one was trying to kill me). If I was a vet with post-traumatic stress disorder, I would have been in hell last night.

To top that off, you could see the city of Boise fireworks (well, the higher ones at least) that were over 12 miles away. Then once those were nearly finished, we saw some more big professional one starting right close to us. Turns out that the city of Eagle was doing fireworks launched from Eagle Island State Park which is just north of us. We just stood in our backyard and watched another professional show. It was great!

We were a bit bummed that we were too tired to go out and watch fireworks, but little did we know that we would have amazing fireworks shows visible from our own backyard.

Indiana Jones and Hancock Double Feature – July 3rd

Indiana JonesGeorge and I were desperate to catch Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull (is that an unwieldy name) on the big screen before it left. We were finally able to jive our schedules and headed to the theater.

Again, spoilers are sure to follow, proceed at your own risk.

The basic premise of this installment of one of the great series of all time is that another friend of Indy is in trouble and he is enlisted as the only one who can help. Basically, this is the impetus of every Indy movie (except 2, which might as well have never happened). This time around, we’re set in 1957 and instead of battling the Nazis, we’ve upgraded to a new villain, the Soviets. When I first heard that there wouldn’t be any Nazis this time around I was a little disappointed, but it makes perfect sense that the communists would take over in the bad guy department.

The flick starts off with Indy being in the custody of a rather large group of Soviet soldiers somehow operating free and clear in the US. Not quite sure how that would work, but I digress. They brought him to a hidden US Army warehouse where “all of your secrets are hidden.” We have seen this place before, and fans of the movies will instantly recognize it. Why the army would have an important facility so lightly guarded is another question. The Soviets are looking for something that Indy had found and handed over to the government some 10 years earlier. Long story short, they find it and kick off a big action sequence. I liked the touch of showing us a shot of the Ark. Enough to make me smile.

I don’t want to get too deep into the actual plot, because frankly, it didn’t make a lot of sense. In the previous movies, Indy and by extension, we the audience knew what his mission was. He was looking for the ark of the covenant or he was trying to find the holy grail. Here, it is something to do with ancient Mayans, crystal skulls, and aliens. It didn’t make a whole lot of sense, but I guess that’s not the point. You go to a flick like this for the action. There was plenty of action. Although, this movie makes the mistake of turning everyone into indestructible supermen. I mean, there is a scene where 4 people go over not 1, not 2 but 3 waterfalls in an open top “duck”. Nobody gets as much as a scratch. Nobody drowns. Nobody even loses any personal effects. Not quite sure how that works. Prior to that there was a nice chase scene along a cliff rim that was a little hair raising and fun. Oh yeah, the gigantic South American ants were a creepy touch.

The end of the flick shifts into full on alien crap that really just kinda lame. Oh well. This movie followed the formula and did it well.

I will say, there was a throw away line that should have been the plot for this movie… or 10 movies and I would have watched every one. When Indy is being interviewed by the FBI about his dealings with the Soviets, they question his loyalty (it was set in the 50’s afterall). But it was mentioned that Indy did 40 missions with the OSS (precursor to the CIA) during World War II all over the globe. WHAT!? Are you kidding me? We could have had movie(s) about Indy operating during WWII and you don’t show us that? I feel cheated! THAT is the movie I want to see, not this crap about aliens. Dang. It never occurred to me what Indy might have done during the war. I figured that he would remain a professor while the world was in flames, but it obviously makes more sense that he would be recruited to perform missions suited to his skill set. The more I think about it, the more I want to see more of that time period.

All in all, I enjoyed Indy this time around. I would have to say that this movie stayed true to the formula and was fun to see. The hat, the whip, the music. It was all there and great to see again. If I had to rank them, Raiders is still first, and Last Crusade is still second. I would place this one 3rd and Temple of Doom is 4th. I will undoubtedly watch it again on video.

As we were heading out of the theater, we saw the sign for Hancock starting in 5 minutes. We kinda looked at each other and thought, why not? I used to love doing double features, but usually Jess can barely stay awake for one movie, two in a row is no chance. Since Geo and I both wanted to see it we figured what the hell and headed in.

HancockHancock is not your typical super hero movie. Will Smith plays a depressed, drunken indestructible “hero” who has stopped caring long ago. Whenever he helps the police, he ends up creating a vast wake of property destruction. Now, this is nothing new in super hero movies. I’ve long time wondered when you watch these flicks about what happens in the aftermath. They are blowing up bridges and knocking down buildings, generally causing billions of dollars in damage to public infrastructure. But, we never see the aftermath. That’s why this movie’s angle was so enjoyable. Hancock gets some very negative reactions for his destructive ways. Basically, the public no longer appreciates his helping the police out.

After Hancock saves a PR guy’s (Jason Bateman) life, he takes it upon himself to rehabilitate Hancock’s image. I loved this first 2/3 of the movie. It was something totally different. Unfortunately, the last 1/3 of the movie, it downshifts into a more standard super hero movie. I think if they would have kept along the path they were following it would have been an outstanding movie. Instead, it had the feel that they didn’t ultimately trust the film they had and maybe they had to appease the “geeks” who turn out in droves for super hero movies. I don’t know. I really think they should have kept along the personal growth plot line, but maybe that’s just me.

Will Smith is again great in this movie. I really liked that they portrayed him as seriously rough. He’s drinking whiskey from the bottle and actually swears. They didn’t try to sugar coat it and come off fake. You really feel for the guy in that he doesn’t know who he is, and is acting out to push people away. It’s just really well written and acted. And until it goes sideways with 45 minutes left, it was really really good.

I did enjoy Hancock and do think it is worth seeing. I’m glad we caught it.

Jess asked me which movie was better. That is a tough question, and despite my thinking about it, I don’t think I have an answer. They are both very close. Neither was perfect but neither was horrible either. I would call them “solid”. If I had to lean, I might give a slight slight edge to Hancock, if only for the reason that Charlize Theron is in it.

Happy 4th of July everyone!

Weddings and Other Stuff

Woo hoo… a regular blog post.  Hey, I’ve been busy, cut me some slack.

First off, a wedding update.  We were able to clear the final major hurdle in this whole process this week.  We finally have someone to actually marry us.  Which is a big load off the shoulders.  Who knew that judges would be so hard to get a hold of, especially if you don’t have an “in” with one of them.  Luckily, we were able to find retired Judge Richard Grant who had nothing better to do that afternoon and graciously agreed to officiate.  Whew!

From here on in, everything else is minor detail stuff.  The big stuff is all locked in.  We got registered, but I don’t think we beeped enough stuff.  Got a lot of people coming to this thing…  (Macy’s and Bed Bath and Beyond, in case you’re interested).  T-minus 44 days and counting.  (46 days until Maui).

News this past week here in the Valley is that all 7 Round Table Pizza‘s just up and closed one day.  No notice given to even the employees. Normally, this wouldn’t register on my radar, but since three of my top 5 favorite pizzas came from Round Table, I was and still am quite upset about this.  When I was single, I ate Round Table once a week.  Seriously.  Now, I know we have Idaho Pizza Company, which split off from Round Table years ago, and is similar pizza, but its not the same.  I still can’t quite believe I won’t ever have their pepperoni, or King Author Supreme or Montague’s All-Meat Marvel whenever I want.  I am legitimately pissed about this.  I can’t even describe.  Well, next time I’m vacationing anywhere near one, you can bet what I’m going to pick up. *sigh* I do know this… if they keep playing TV commercials for it, I’m gonna be PISSED.

In other personal news, I have somehow slipped in to a vortex of horrible minor personal choices.  Lemme explain.

In recent months, I have had the absolute worst luck in picking minor shit.  For example, at any store where you have more than 1 checkout lane, EVERY SINGLE TIME I end up behind the person who is trying to use 19 coupons, can’t find their checkbook, need 27 different price checks, or some other reason to waste as much of my time as possible.  It is uncanny.  And it seriously is every time.  It’s gotten so bad that I make Jess pick when we are together.  It’s the only way we can get out of the store within this century.

As a corollary to this, is my channel surfing has gone down the toilet.  I’ll be on one channel, and flipping through the DirecTV guide seeing what else is on.  When I pick something and navigate to it, without fail that channel will be on a commercial.  I don’t know how I do it.   It is exceptionally frustrating.  Jess can back me up on this, it has gotten ridiculous.

Boise State and Peak Broadcasting finally announced who would be taking over for the longtime voice of the Broncos Paul J. Schneider.  Bob Behler comes to BSU from UMass, and seems like a well seasoned play by play guy.  I’m sure he’ll do a great job, but I’m still a little off kilter.  I mean, Paul J has been an absolute fixture here for 35 years.  It will take me a long time to get used to hearing someone else calling BSU games.

I’m sorry.  I love Paul J.  I know he wasn’t always the most accurate announcer in the world (to be kind) but dammit he had the voice.  My entire life has been spent listening to him.  I really hope Behler does a great job.  He has some huge shoes to fill.

House has been coming along.  We’re getting fairly settled.  We’ve got fewer work men coming by the house fixing things.  Fewer boxes full of stuff we might need soon.  I’ve been wrestling with our sprinkler system since one of the stations is a pain in my ass.  Half of the station is a marsh complete with standing water, while the other half is drying out and the grass is dying.  So, I’ve been fighting with it trying to get the right amount of water and everything.  I think I’m getting close, but I’ll probably need to get that big station broken into 2 different ones.  Ugh.

One downside to living in a new, fancy subdivision?  Door to door salesmen.  Gaaa…  I haven’t lived in a place where they are so thick like they are at our new place.  Damn.  If it ain’t the security system guy it’s the pest control guy.  The problem is that we’re so used to having various workmen come by the house, I have to answer the door just to be sure.  BANG, I’m caught in their web and I gotta spend the next 10 minutes trying to extricate myself from their elaborate sales-pitch web.  Plus, since we have a regular old window in our front door, I can’t even peep out and neglect to answer the door when I notice its a sales guy.  Well, I guess I could, but even I can’t be that big of a schmuck… of course, it would be pretty funny to walk up to the window, wave at the guy, then walk away from the door.  Maybe next time.

One week.  I can’t wait.

Well, that’s all I got for now.  Happy 4th of July everyone.