Friday, March 30, 2007

Pick Time

Well, the season is upon us, so I guess picks are in order before the season actually starts.

AL West: Well, the Yankees got rid of Johnson and Sheffield, and brought back an older Pettitte. They didn't get Dice-K, but they're not on the hook for $50 million to him either, gyroball or not. And Carl Pavano is starting on Opening Day. But they still have Mussina and Wang, could get four months of Clemens, still have Mariano Rivera, a couple decent setup guys, and an absolute bitch of a lineup. They don't have to trot out Coco Crisp, JD Drew, and Mike Lowell every day. Boston does. I'll say the Yankees win it again, and make enough moves to get to the Series and make everyone vomit.

AL Central: The Indians are the trendy pick again, after an 84-loss season thanks to some atrocious numbers from their staff. It hasn't improved much, so I won't pick them again. The Tigers came out of nowhere last year, only to lose the division to Chicago on the last day. None of them have the bullpen or the staff ace of Minnesota, though. I'd feel more comfortable about this pick if Carlos Silva wasn't playing such a big role at the moment, but I'm picking the Twins to win the Central.

AL West: Buck Showalter got fired in 1995 from NY and 2000 from Arizona. The next year, those teams won the World Series. Last year Texas fired Buck Showalter. However, they will win the West because they could have enough of a bullpen and a powerful lineup to overcome woes from the pitching staff - but if Padilla reverts to old Phillie form and McCarthy continues to emerge, Texas could take it.

AL Wild Card: Chicago. Detroit won't do it again because Gary Sheffield will poison that team.

NL West: With their pickups of Jason Schmidt and Randy Wolf, to go along with Brad Penny and Saito in the bullpen, I'll pick the Dodgers.

NL Central: Because I don't think they'll get hit with nearly as many injuries this year, and because every other team in the division seems absolutely appalling, I'm going waaaaaaay out on a limb and picking Milwaukee. Really, in looking at the lineup off Bill Hall, Prince Fielder, Geoff Jenkins, and Johnny Estrada (pretty darn good if he stays healthy), combined with Sheets, Bush, and Capuano putting up decent numbers while hurt, and it could come together for this team. Besides, it's not fun picking St. Louis or Houston every year.

NL East: It's always about pitching. The Braves had one of the worst last year, but come into this year with one of the best, on paper, with Wickman, Mike Gonzalez, and Rafael Soriano. The Mets still have a pretty good pen too. So, would you rather have a rotation of Glavine, Duque, Maine, Oliver Perez, and Mike Pelfrey, or a rotation of Smoltz, Hudson, Mark Redman, Chuck James, and Kyle Davies? I think I will pick the rotation that doesn't have 2 40-year olds and Oliver Perez, and has three all-star pitchers instead of two. I think the Braves re-take the division - no Pedro for NY, no repeat. Not that it matters, because neither gets to the Series - just like last year (ouch).

NL WC: Mets.

World Series: Dodgers over Yankees.

All predictions right, or your money back.

Thursday, March 29, 2007

UGA VI to retire after 2007 Season

Well, dogs do get old, and he'll just have to retire to a life of sleep, kibble that looks like steak, and lady bulldogs.

Oh, wait, that's his life now.

A damn happy Dawg.

So, only one more season to try to take out an Auburn or Florida player. So hurry up.

Ankle-biting karma

So, how's this for a cycle:

  • Work really hard.
  • Work so hard that there is more stress.
  • Get sick because you're stressed.
  • Stay home because you're sick from the flu and can't get out of bed for 4 days.
  • Return to work and get written up for.....taking sick time while sick.....because you were working too hard.

Let's say busting my behind so much in the office is going to be taking much more of a backseat to getting the hell out of the office.

Monday, March 26, 2007

M. I. A.

So, it's been a little while. How ya feelin? Keeping busy?

Last week, I started feeling a little unwell. I had been thinking it was just allergies, as it normally happens now.

Well, when I had trouble just walking into the house, or getting out of bed, or just keeping my balance walking down the hall, I had to concede it was probably more serious than that.

I've been housebound for almost a week. I got to know a whole bunch of nice side effects which I'm not going to describe here. I did find out, though, that the normal run of this nice little flu bug last about 10 days.

I've never had flu like this before, so it's thrown me for a massive loop. Doing anything, no matter how little, has been a big stress for me. I haven't even been able to check my e-mail (so if you got a NDN message back from me, that's why).

Here's hoping I feel better soon. So, that's why no one's heard from me, seen me, etc. Getting winded so easily means I haven't been doing anything at all. Not even watching basketball and seeing 3 of my 4 picks make the Final Four (dang longhorns).

So, you should hopefully hear more from me as I feel better.

One broght side is that I'm finally able to hold Sammie again. She's been talking up a storm to me and smiling continuously since I've been able to hold her again, so that is a VERY nice and soothing prescription.

Monday, March 19, 2007

Latin in Nebraksa?

Yes, I know it's a week old, but things reach me slower now that I'm older.

Una Voce America is pleased to announce a collaborative program with the Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter (FSSP) designed to provide training for any priest interested in learning how to celebrate the traditional Latin Mass.

It'll be interesting to see how much interest there is across various spectra within the priesthood.

It'll also be interesting to see interest locally in this throughout the Atlanta diocese.

Somehow, though, I don't think St. Joseph's will be too interested, given its Mass-in-the-round and hand-holding. But one can hope.

Not your normal St. Patrick's Day

Normally, it is a day for massive celebrating, drunkenness, and frivolity.

So, of course, I absolutely blew it out on Saturday - by going to the DMV and IKEA.

I am such a party animal. At least I got in and out of the DMV in 20 minutes - which was a nice belated birthday present.

Of course, the rest of my time was spent watching basketball. I'm a but stunned by the results - there really isn't one team left you could term a Cinderella, such as a George Mason, Valpo, Xavier, and so on.

I mean, I don't ever recall seeing this many high seeds left:

Midwest: 1, 3, 4, 7
East: 1, 2, 5, 6
South: 1, 2, 3, 5
West: 1, 2, 3, 4

Only one #2 seed is gone - and of course, I had picked them for the Elite Eight. Seriously, can anyone remember a time when no one above a 7 remained?

Taking the chalk all the way might have been the best idea after all!

Friday, March 16, 2007

Bracket Busting

Well, March Madness is underway.

So I might as well throw out who I picked.

For once, it was not Kentucky. I actually picked them to lose in the 1st round to Villanova.

Today, I went 13 of 16. Not too bad. The only ones I missed were Butler (Old Dominion), Vanderbilt (George Washington), and Texas Tech (Boston College).

At least I was right about VCU over Duke.

As for games tomorrow, I picked a few upsets. Miami (OH), Winthrop, Arkansas, Villanova (9), and some little state school in upstate NY. 5 lower seeds out of 16.

Sweet 16 picks: I lost George Washington, so here are the other 15:

Virginia Tech
Texas A & M
Ohio State
That school in NY

Final Four: UCLA over Florida, Ohio State over Texas
Final: UCLA over Ohio State

I can't believe I'm picking UCLA to win it all.

So far, I'm running second in my pool, so hopefully I can stay there and continue my run of good luck.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Go, go, go, go, go, go, go,

Go Shorty
It's ya birthday
We gonna party like it's ya birthday
We gonna drink Bacardi like it's ya birthday
Cuz you know we don't give a **** cuz it's ya birthday

Well, I made it. 30 years old and I'm still here.

And what's the best way to begin celebrating?

Cashing in the Mookie, that's how.

After being the chip leader for a while, I dropped down a bit, but still had enough to be in the top 5 spots and cash. Finished 5th, which was good enough.

A nice way to start.

Now, time for this old codger to go to bed.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

One door closes, another door opens

Late last week, we received a letter from the auto auction company to let us know the old ble Escort was sold at auction, to notify us of the total amount of donation.

Today, I flew to Pensacola to pick up an OLDER Escort (but with onyl 22K miles) and drive it back to Atlanta.

I had to drive pretty slowly, and had to pull off for a nap, so a normal 6-hour drive took 9 hours. The car is now in the driveway, resting, so it can head to the mechanic later this week.

At least it's over with.

Time to go to sleep, after the 700-mile round trip, because there's still work tomorrow.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

The end of the search

We looked through a bunch of stores, but couldn't find anything decent.

Finally, earlier this week we started looking at sites likes craigslist to see if there were any good deals.

Yesterday, we got our deal. A 32 inch Panasonic flat-screen TV, with HD. We were also able to get a DVD player and a small entertainment stand included as well. We bought from a very nice family who is moving to Qatar, and it's probably pretty hard to bring a big TV and stand several thousand miles to the Middle East.

We got it hooked up to the dish and DVD last night, and it's working quite well. We still need to figure out how to get the VCR hooked up as well as possibly order a new tuner to take advantage of the HDTV.

And just in time for March Madness, thank goodness.

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Calendar Girl

Sometimes, it is the stupid calls that are the funniest.

I got a request today from a panicked customer who was having trouble pulling their transactions. I gathered all the information, and asked the date or range of dates she needed.

She replied, "February 29 through 31".

Yes, that's right. Not January. February. And yes, she was completely serious. Thankfully, I restrained myself on the call, though it was good for a hearty laugh after hanging up.

I know I was on leave for a while, but I didn't think things changed that drastically.

It's the dumbest interaction I've had since returning to work, but sadly, not by much.

Monday, March 05, 2007

Hot Streak

I started a streak with a MTT on Wednesday by cashing in a $5 event, and then winning the Mookie 2nd chance Thursday.

Over the weekend, I kept it going as well.

On Friday, I played in another tourney and cashed again, with a small profit, finishing 61st out of 1052. On Sunday, I played in a $1 re-buy and finished 49th out of 951 players.

Late Saturday and Sunday morning (while SNL was on and afterwards, with everyone else fast asleep after a fun birthday), I had the big moment of the streak. Playing in a $5 MTT with 321 players, I managed to outlast the other 320 players and take home a tourney win and my biggest purse to date.

Of course, I'm a bit psyched.

The streak did end yesterday with a loss in a HORSE satellite tournament (placing 20 out of 24), but the run allowed a increase of approximately 900% and I'll definitely take cashing every 5 out of 6 tournaments!

It seems to be a much safer option than stocks at the moment, given Asian volatility and the resulting corrections in American stock markets (now reaching a 5% drop since Tuesday).

I'd rather worry about +EV than P/E. At least at a poker table, I don't have to worry about the carry trade and currency manipulations.

Thursday, the inspector came out to look at the house, so if nothing else, this streak means being able to finally fix some things that need fixing, and none too soon before April comes and it starts raining every other day.

Sunday, March 04, 2007


Little man isn't so little anymore. His third birthday has just ended, and he is fast asleep with dreams of animals, presents, and Disney characters.

And he's getting to the point where I can't really call him little because hes not just growing up in size, but in the ways he acts and speaks too.

So, even though it is about 90 minutes after it ends, happy birthday, Alex.