Monday, March 26, 2007

Recent Things

Ugh! I had finally convinced myself on Saturday that the Tar Heels plan was to wear down their opponent and win the game in the last 10 minutes. Then the exact opposite happens yesterday. That is one of those games that I will think about every so often and go "what the hell happened?"

I was reading GE's annual report and it was talking about how they were working to deliver their entertainment product (NBC) through all sorts of new platforms. I saw Heroes, Deal or No Deal, and 30 Rock each on a different mobile device. Of those shows I only watch 30 Rock and they skewer GE pretty good on that show (3 kinds of heat w/ your trivection oven) so maybe GE has a sense of humor (or a focus group told them they need to look like they have a sense of humor). Most importantly, that means there is no way 30 Rock gets cancelled next season.

I have sampled 2 recent additions to the fast food world's $3.99 chicken sandwiches. Wendy's 4 Alarm Spicy Chicken Sandwich really only provides heat from the jalapenos. The spicy chicken breast and pepper jack cheese are something my kids could eat. The bread it's on is really good though. Hardee's Buffalo Chicken Sandwich wasn't super hot, but the sauce gave it a persistent burn. It was a little messy w/ all that sauce, but what do you expect. I think the bread makes the Wendy's sandwich a little better, but I wouldn't turn down either one.

Friday, March 23, 2007

Bracket Busted

I kept telling myself that my bracket would be alright. I had all my sweet 16 teams in after the 1st round and all my final 8 in after the 2nd round. Last night broke me. I had Texas A&M beating Tennessee for a spot in the final 4. If either of those teams had won, I could talk myself into another day of optimism but it's not happening now.

Friday, March 16, 2007

Know your audience

I just gave Izabella her 3rd fruit rollup of the day. I told her she was going to turn into a fruit rollup and she laughed. Then I realized oh yeah that is supposed to be funny.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Classic Smith Story

I have nothing to talk about, so I'll dig into my archives of printable stories for you. At one point the bottom heating element in our oven didn't work. The broiler part still worked, but you couldn't put the oven on bake and do anything. Unfortunately, you could still put me on bake and I tried to use the kitchen. Maria and I were making tacos one night and I told her to heat up the shells just set the oven on broil and pop them in there for a few minutes. I neglected to tell her that you can set the cooking method on broil and still leave the temperature at 300. Needless to say she called me over to the oven and I looked inside to see a green flame bouncing b/w the shells and the top heating element. We were both a little freaked out when the green flame was still there after we turned the oven off. Then I did something I hope I never have to do again. I called 911. A few minutes later 2 fire trucks pulled up to our house w/ their sirens blaring. Fully equipped firefighters came into the house and went directly to the oven. One of them squirted a fire extinguisher around the edges of the oven. He proceeded to open the oven, take the tray of taco shells out, and put it in the sink where he sprayed water on it from the faucet. I had to fill out some paperwork for them, and they were nice enough to not laugh in my face. They even brought this fan thing that sucked the smoky air out of the house. I think my dad fixed the oven about 2 days later w/ a $30 part. It's b/c of people like me that mortgage lenders make you get homeowners insurance. Your welcome.

Tourney predictions

Well, I picked the Tar Heels to win it all and Duke to lose in the first round. What can I say, it was only $5 to get in the pool and those predictions bring me great joy. I have the final 4 w/ Carolina, Florida, UCLA, and Texas A&M. I have the Heels going over UCLA in the final. My biggest gripe is the last 2 times I've bought tickets for the games in the area (last year and 2001 in Greensboro) they've put Duke as the "marquee" team. I'll grudgingly admit that Duke is an excellent basketball team, but they do not bring 23,000 fans to games in Greensboro. I decided to not get tickets to the games in Winston-Salem this year, and look who's playing there. Next year, I'm going to try to get tickets for the regional final in Charlotte, so Duke can go ahead and make their reservation for the 2008 final 4.

Saturday, March 10, 2007

New ways to watch basketball

I was at work yesterday watching the ACC tournament thanks to ESPN360. I remember laughing a few years ago that you would spend $1000 on a computer to watch tv on a 4 inch viewer, but I'm not laughing anymore. Next week CBS has March Madness on demand. This means I no longer have to take time off from work to keep up w/ the games. For all the claims that worker productivity drops during events like this, I can say that my productivity will definitely increase. It has to increase if it's moving from zero and can't go into negative numbers.

Washington Times sportswriters subject to Sun Myung Moon brainwashing

Disputing the unanimous nature of this year's all ACC voting, this joker lets the world know that Tyler Hansbrough didn't receive his vote for 1st team honors. According to the explanation the ACC sent him, they sometimes list players as a unanimous selection to avoid the process of disclosing all ballots to expose the one guy who didn't think Tyler Hansbrough should be first team all league. Now he's got Sports Illustrated letting the world know about this "injustice." I think the next logical career move for him is the New York Post.

Friday, March 09, 2007

Defying Science

For the 3rd time, I poured water into my cup from the water cooler at work and it turned into ice after sitting in my cup for a minute. It wasn't a solid block of ice, but it was enough that you could drink all the liquid and be left w/ nothing but ice. I don't really understand how it happens, but the situation is almost always the same. It's usually shortly after 1 o'clock and the 5 gallon bottle is about 1/4 full. The water cooler is plugged in, so it does something to keep it cold but it definitely comes out in liquid form and turns to ice in my cup. I would appreciate any explanations you could provide.

Even more amazing, the entire ACC tournament is carried by the Tar Heel radio network. This means that Woody Durham can't be a total homer during some of these games. I listened to a little of FSU/Clemson game yesterday and it was like he was a professional announcer instead of the professional cheerleader he usually sounds like. I listened to the end of the BC/Miami game today and while Woody was there somebody else (Jones Angell?) was doing the play by play. Luckily for Tar Heel fans Woody and Eric Montross brought up how the teams were playing compared to when they played the Tar Heels. I guess they figured out a way to still be a Tar Heel propagandist while broadcasting a game not featuring Carolina.

Finally, I've developed a rash that at first I thought was an allergic reaction to amoxicillin. Then I thought it was poison ivy (in February). And now the doctor thinks it is a complication from strep throat. The good part is I get to take prednisone, so I now have enough energy to keep up w/ Desmond.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Blue Devil Island

This doesn't have anything to do w/ where Gerald Henderson will be exiled to. It's the name of my friend Mark Rainey's new book. It goes along the lines of all the other horror books he's written (the horror element is understated leaving that much more to your active imagination), but he's blended in his interest in World War 2 aviation to create a book that appeals to a pretty broad audience (I think). I know he's spent a lot of time playing Air Warrior, so I'll take his word that the details on the flying terminology are correct. The thing that got me about it is the effects of the war seem to be driving part of the "madness", but I've read enough of Mark's stuff to know that there really is something out there (in the books at least, and possibly in his house, and maybe his car). But the psychological changes in some of the characters present an interesting study in combat fatigue. If you are interested in horror (at least the Lovecraftian version) all of his books are worth reading. If you like World War 2 history, this is definitely worth a read. And probably most importantly for our current worldview, if you want to get an idea of how the stress of war can affect your mindset, it's worth your time.