Monday, September 26, 2005

NFL, week three

This week, there were actually games to watch. With very few exceptions, the games were close and competitive.

The Colts and the Browns struggled against each other. Makes you wonder if the Colts were tired, or the Browns were fired up. Either way, it was a good game, not the yawner the score seemed to indicate. Peyton Manning and Marvin Harrison set records yesterday, with more to be broken on the horizon.

David Akers, kicker for the Eagles, has courage. The guy pulled a hamstring last week during practice and, on the opening kickoff, clearly aggravated it. The kickoff had a penalty and it had to be re-kicked, making Akers fall in writhing agony. They had tight-end Mike Bertrum kick off subsequent to that, but it was an anemic squib kick at best. Mark Simoneau attempted a couple of PATs in Akers' stead, but it was clear that without Akers, it was going to get dicey. In the closing 9 seconds, Akers was called upon to kick a game-winning field goal, and he went out there, kept himself poised, and put it through the middle of the uprights. The poor guy was in tears. The question is, did he say "Coach, I can do it," or did they just tell him "Get in there and do it?" Either way, Akers should not have been in there, proving just how expendable players in the NFL really are. It's all about the win. Look for Akers to be on the injury list for the next week or two, at least. And look for the Eagles to activate the kicker they signed last week.

All that said, I must, however, give props to the Oakland Raiders. They were in that game the whole way. While we had both picked the Eagles in the pool, Lisa and I both found ourselves sort of hoping Oakland would win. Of course, she's a Raiders fan anyway (yes, Raiders and Broncos fans can peacefully co-exist. :-)

In the battle of the bays, Green Bay fell to Tampa Bay after a nearly scoreless second half. Favre and the Packers pulled close but came up shore, scoring only a field goal instead of a much needed touchdown. Green Bay starts the season at 0-3 now. Maybe Favre should have retired when he was contemplating it. Brian Griese, on the other hand, looks and plays like he's very happy in Tampa Bay. John Elway left some very big shoes that a rookie or sophomore just can't be exptected to fill. Also, he didn't seem to have any leadership ability in Denver but has since seemed to develop some under John Gruden. He seems much more sure of himself and he stays in there and gets the job done.

Cincinnati looks like they may be for real this year, clobbering Chicago 24-7. Carsen Palmer looks like he's developing into a notable quarterback, unlike...uh...whatshisname who plays for Chicago.

J.P. Losman and the Bills gave Michael Vick and the Falcons a run for their money, but in the end the Bills' defense gave up too much. Losman had only 75 passing yards but Willis McGahee put up 140 yards against Atlanta's defense. What I do have to say about Buffalo's defense is that they made Michael Vick work for every completion or rushing yard he got. His stats were unimpressive overall, which means the defense did a relatively good job of keeping at least Vick contained.

The Giants lost to San Diego, but I have to say that I am more and more and more impressed with Eli Manning's abilities. He is very poised in the pocket and is not prone to wild throwaways when he sees a blitzing defender coming toward him. The kid threw for 352 yards last night, completing just shy of 60% of his throws. He falls ahead of brother Peyton in total passing yards by almost 100 yards, as well as almost 9 points ahead of big brother in quarterback rating. Not bad for a kid as young as he is.

Statistically, Pittsburgh was due to lose. Roethlisberger couldn't conceivably continue his unbeaten streak as a starter through the remainder of this season. The question was, who was going to ruin his streak? I figured that, coming off a loss last week, if anyone was going to do it, it would be New England. For a while there, it looked like New England was not up to the task but, after half-time, New England came back with a game plan and disposed of Pittsburgh in the final seconds with an Adam Vinatieri field goal. A fiercely competitive game that kept us all on the edges of our seats.

Overall, five games were decided by 3 points or less yesterday, and one game went into overtime -- the Jets and the Jaguars. While the score was close, the game was a yawner as far as I was concerned. It was "just" football.

Had four televisions going yesterday, different games on each one. Of course I got the eye rolls from Lisa, but when pressed, she agreed that it is nice to have these options.

Saturday we sealed both driveways again, for the final time this season. We knew it was going to rain Saturday night but we hoped that we got them sealed early enough that they'd be somewhat dry before the rain started. Anywhere the sun hit them, they dried quite quickly. They look great, but we're all stiff and sore from doing it. The first time they got sealed, it was just me and Mary. This time we had three of us doing it, and it took just about 3½ hours to do both.

We got cleaned up and went to watch my foster sister's boy play pee-wee football under the lights. His team did not win a game last year, but this year have not allowed any opposing team to even score, much less win. By the end of the first quarter, the score was 24-0. By rule, "significant substitution" has to begin and so there was only one more touchdown posted in the fourth quarter, bringing the final score to 32-0. The little guy took a real snotknocker hit, but got right back up and not only successfully blocked the kid who blasted him, but managed to hold up two of them while his running back scampered by for a score. It was a lot of fun -- I said I was reliving Joe's childhood. It was fun watching the little guys play again, but I sure haven't missed the butt-itis from the bleachers.

I finished the rug for Michelle yesterday. Now I have to snip some strands and get them tied off to make it more "finished" looking, and it'll be done. I have one more strip to do on the blanket and then I need to sew it together and that will be done, too.

I've really held back from participation on the CourtTV message board because there is just so much hatred and ignorance that it can really get to a person. So, when it gets really bad, rather than jump into the fray, I just back out of the thread and leave the site or go to another thread. I can't believe how many people just nurture their ignorance, and parrot all the crap they hear from people like Falwell, Robertson and even the Pope. CourtTV allows trolls to hang around. Yeah, they revoke memberships when things get too snarky, but they allow those folks to re-register under different names. Most of these trolls don't bother to hide it, they just add numbers to their user names -- sort of a "red badge of courage" advertisement so everyone can see how many times they've been revoked, I guess.

By contrast, the new home I found on iVillage is much nicer. Since there's no debate, there's no open hostility to be seen. It's nice to be able to share knowledge with other people and to learn from them, too. While we may not agree on which technique or product is best, there's never any argument because it's still a matter of what works for each individual. Sometimes we get way off topic and have a ball, but then we always get back on task. I love it. Don't know why I ever thought that I liked debate boards. People get so entrenched in their own views that they lose sight of the fact that other people don't see the world in the exact same way they do. I'd get sarcastic and snippy and I'd find myself riled up...over a message board on the internet! Rather than get myself banned, I decided it best to move on to something that interested me, that I could participate in, without starting or being involved in an argument. Couldn't go to the lesbian boards so I went to the domestic boards. My blood pressure is much better on them! LOL!

We've got flood warnings again. Lots of rain overnight, but there doesn't seem to be any issues with the roadways or streams to this point. The river is up a bit but that's not unusual after a heavy rain. The river is a bit more manageable because of the canal locks that can be manipulated to compensate for the rising levels. Hopefully, with all this rain, the leaves will soak the moisture in and provide us with our fall colors, rather than just drop off without changing. That seems to be happening a lot -- lots of dead leaves on the ground, but not much color.

While I love the summer time, I love the fall, too, with the beautiful colors and that cool air that puts a little bit of zip in your stride. I wore a long-sleeved t-shirt to the football game Saturday night, and took a light jacket, too. We've been closing some of the windows at night, as it becomes too cool inside after the sun goes down. Makes for good sleeping weather, although we're still running the air conditioner and a fan in our room due to the fact that I'm still having my own private tropical vacation (menopause). Poor Lisa needs an extra blanket these nights because I'm too hot to snuggle up close, and she's too cold without the snuggling.

We've decided that we're going to augment our natural gas heat this winter with wood heat. We have two fireplaces, one up and one down, and we'll use the downstairs one to burn wood, and the upstairs one will have a kerosene heater in it to keep the upstairs relatively warm. With the fireplace going downstairs, the furnace doesn't kick in because the thermostat is down there, and so the upstairs gets very cold. We figure if we use the kerosene heater upstairs, it'll keep us warmer and, if we keep it in the fireplace, we won't have all the black crap all over the walls and ceilings. That's the plan, anyway.

I'm still flying solo at work -- have been since April. The VP hasn't yet decided whether they're going to hire for the position, or allocate the position to another department that might need it more. That leaves me to staff two offices with three people. With four people, we were always limited as to time off, and this limits us even more. It's been very stressful trying to keep up by myself with the work that comes in, and still try to get my administrative tasks accomplished. Since I'm an hourly employee, I've vowed (and informed the powers-that-be) that any extra minute it takes me to get the work done, will be charged as overtime. I'm not going to do it without carefully tracking my time and getting paid appropriately for it. If I don't do that, they'll think one person can handle it here. And trust me...they can't afford to pay me overtime for too long. It would cost them half as much to just hire someone.

Tonight Denver plays Kansas City. I picked KC in the pool. I just don't see Denver pulling it off. Sure, they'll shut down Priest Holmes somewhat, but they can't defend their goal when the other team has a running game and a passing game. On the other hand, Denver's defense is rated ahead of KC's in every category BUT Kansas City's offense is rated 4th against Denver's anemic 17th rank. Look for Denver to go home with another game in the "L" column.

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