I have created another blog to give updates on my writing efforts. You can find it here.

October 26, 2005

Squawk! Squawk! Squawk!

I'm updating my blog at work. Hi from Alpharetta! It's been a few days since I last updated, if anyone's noticed. I went to N.C. last weekend and hung out with Darlene and the kids (what up, dawgs!) for a couple of days, but that has nothing to do with my lack of updates.

My home computer pooped out on me the other night. No idea what happened. It was on and I was chatting with Darlene on IM, then my system just spontaneously rebooted itself, but it didn't actually reboot, if you get my drift, and I've never been able to get it back up. Ordinarily in a situation like this I call Walter and/or Ben pretty quick to find out possible remedies. I've been slow to do so this time, because it's actually been kind of nice not having a computer the last few days. I've had the chance to mellow out and spend time doing things I haven't done in a while. We don't realize how much of our lives revolve around the computer until we don't have one for a while, you know? It's been nice. I'd say I can almost appreciate what my parents must have gone through growing up without computers--living on the farm; walking uphill both ways through snow, rain, mud, and broiling sun to school; picking cotton; no phone, no lights, no motorcars, not a single luxury--but it would be a lie.

See, since my computer died I've made up the time by playing NCAA Football 2005 on the XBox almost nonstop (I lose the computer, so I pick the XBox right up. I'm a 21st Century digital boy!). I'm on the verge of winning the SEC Championship with the Emory Eagles in my first season of Dynasty Mode. I created the team myself, and created three customized players to populate the backfield in honor of our intramural Emory flag football days--talented running QB Benjamin Yang Temko (attributes based on Texas QB Vince Young), shifty RB/KR Antarrah Moody (based on Oklahoma's Adrian Peterson) and studly RB/PR Sam Brady (based on USC's Reggie Bush (of course it makes sense...)). The other players are a gaggle of random computer-generated guys who were created to populate the roster of my custom team.

It's been fun. In 11 games my QBs have yet to complete a pass. In a couple of games, in fact, I didn't even bother to attempt one. My entire offense is based on running the option. We lost a game to Florida when Moody fumbled inside the 10 yard line (which brought back a rather amusing memory of the real Moody crossing the five yard line in a flag game at Emory, thinking it was the goal line, and spiking the ball in celebration of his alleged "touchdown" as we all fell down laughing at the look on his face when he realized what had happened), and lost to Notre Dame when a holding penalty called back a long TD run, but otherwise we've won all our games. And before you scoff, no, I'm not playing with it set to the easiest difficulty level, either. So we're 9-2 and set to play LSU in the SEC Championship Game, then it's hopefully on to the Sugar Bowl.

I realize you don't care, but what is a blog for, if not to expound upon the pointless? This entry was going to be just to tell you that I hadn't updated because my computer was down, then it turned into a story about my XBoxing habits. I'm sure I'll get my computer back up at some point. We'll see. For now, though, I can't wait to see what the off-season brings to Dynasty Mode--recruiting trail, here I come!

October 15, 2005

Go Big Orange!

I went to the Parkview High School football game tonight (representing the Class of 1988). The game was played at Meadowcreek High School in Norcross and I drove over to see them play, primarily to take advantage of a beautiful autumn evening. The weather was clear and crisp and beautiful. I actually got a little chilly during the second half. I had on an orange long sleeve shirt (for school spirit) and my Falcons safari hat. Parkview came into the game with a record of 5-2. Meadowcreek came in at 0-7, having been beaten by Brookwood (Parkview's big, big rival) 60-0 a few weeks ago (the week before Brookwood beat the hell out of Parkview, actually). We found out that yes, Meadowcreek really is that bad.

Of course, the whole adventure started with the drive over. Meadowcreek High School is actually closer to my house than Parkview is, by about 15 minutes. In normal conditions the drive from my house to Steve Reynolds Blvd. (where MHS is located) would take about 25 minutes. Tonight, it took me 80 minutes to get there. 80! Damn the top end on Friday afternoon, anyway. If I hadn't left the house 30 minutes early (intending to eat on the way over), I might have missed the first quarter. As it stands, I didn't eat on the way, and got there about 10 minutes before kickoff. $7 for a ticket to get in. Not a bad deal.

Right away I could tell it was going to be an interesting evening. I had never been to a game at Meadowcreek before, and in going there, I saw something I had never seen before in Gwinnett County--a stadium with only one bank of bleachers. Every other stadium I have ever been to in Gwinnett has bleachers on both sides of the field. Meadowcreek does not. They don't even have a track around the field. The cheerleaders stood in the bleachers. I had forgotten what it's like to be at a game with both sets of fans on the same side of the field and both bands blasting away from the same set of bleachers. Wild. I wound up sitting next to the parents of one of Parkview's wide receivers and his mom and I chatted all through the game as his dad kept yelling encouragement and admonition: "Come on, Chris!" "Stay with him, buddy!" "Catch it!" and so on. I regaled his mom with stories of Parkview gridiron ineptitude from my era. Turns out her son is a senior, and was born 12 days after I graduated from Parkview. Oy. Old much?

Parkview immediately showed dominance in the game, taking a 14-0 lead by the end of the first quarter. It could have been 21-0, but for a fumble deep in Meadowcreek territory. The game would continue in that vein until the end, Parkview pretty much doing whatever they wanted on offense, and winning the game 43-7. It could have been 60, had they really gotten a little luckier on a couple of plays. We looked good, and the backups got a lot of playing time in the fourth quarter.

Meadowcreek just isn't very good, I'm sorry to say. They try hard, but just aren't very good at all. They actually reminded me a lot of the Parkview teams when I was there in the late '80's--not a lot of size, not a lot of speed, not a lot of wins. Their only TD came on a freak play where the quarterback was in the shotgun, the center blew the snap, the guy was running for his life 20 yards behind the line of scrimmage, flipped a desperation pass to a man in the flats who went all the way across the field, came all the way back, and in the process gained 35 yards and scored. One of the damndest plays I've ever seen. Oh, and I have to tell you about one of the most boneheaded plays I've ever seen a punter make. Meadowcreek was punting. The snap was bad (a theme for them tonight, actually) and was rolling along the ground, inside their own 20 yard line. Their punter picks it up, starts to run with it, actually breaks a tackle, stumbles, starts to go down, then suddenly--just before he falls flat on his face--decides to kick the football! Unfortunately for him, when he tried to kick it, there were two Panthers six inches in front of him. The ball hit one, the other picked it up, and ran it in for the score. WR Mom (I never did get their name) and I just looked at each other like, are you kidding me? No wonder they're 0-8.

I can't leave it without describing halftime. For me, a big part of the fun of going to a high school game are the marching bands at halftime. This week? Ugh. Parkview's band was technically proficient, but the show was boring--the worst show I've ever seen from a Parkview band. I was very disappointed. The Meadowcreek band was, if you can believe it, worse than their football team. First off, you have to understand that their band was something else I had never seen in Gwinnett County--a show band. What I mean by that is, a band like you would see in the movie Drumline--drum majors in tall fuzzy hats, dancing, blatting tubas, and so forth. Usually, I dig show bands. I love the moves and the music. It's like a festival. Unfortunately, this was the worst show band I have ever seen. It was also the smallest. I counted maybe--maybe--45 horns. The drumline, the foundation of any good show band, consisted of three basses, two field toms, one quad (one!), and one snare! One! How do you have a drumline with one snare in a show band? And God, they were awful. I don't ever expect proficient playing from a high school show band, but this was truly awful. Easily one of the worst high school bands I've ever seen, and following on the heels of a lackluster Parkview performance to boot. Halftime was a disappointment. Of course, both bands kicked ass in the stands, but on the field, not so much. They tried hard, and the crowd seemed to be into it, but I was hoping for more.

So all in all it was a decent night. The bands weren't all that, but Parkview won a game that was fun to watch, if a bit boring after halftime. I went by Waffle House on the way home and got some grilled cheese sandwiches and Bert's Chili to warm myself up, then called Darlene to talk me home. Definitely a good way to end the evening. I got my high school football jones in for the fall, and welcomed in autumn in the best way I know how--by going to a football game and cheering for Big Orange. Nothing like high school football on a Friday night.

I'm going to bed.

October 14, 2005


I just walked out to my car to get my CD’s (almost time for some Rammstein here in the office) and experienced something that made me smile. It’s a beautiful, crisp autumn morning. I have been waiting for this. Wanda commented on it a few days ago on their journal, but I’m going to say it here. It’s about time that fall arrived. The sun is shining, there’s a little nip in the air (currently 64 degrees according to weather.com), and the air has that moist-leaf smell that autumn seems to bring out. I love it! Of course, it’s supposed to get up to around 80 today and that is just wrong for mid-October. Bring on the 56 degree afternoons! At least we’re on the way.

The first thought that hit my head (after, "Oh my God, what a gorgeous morning!") was that this is Football Weather. I have the urge now to check the paper and see if any of the local high schools have a home game tonight. Maybe I’ll go. Hot dogs! Football! Marching bands! It’s a rite of autumn, and now that autumn is finally in the air I should participate. It definitely takes me back to my childhood. There’s nothing like a high school football game. That’s a story, though, for when I am not supposed to be working instead of blogging.

Invasion 1.04, "Alpha Male"

My analysis of Episode Four of Invasion/indictment of the series as a whole is up at TTNMC. It might be the best review I've ever written of a show I didn't even watch. It will also be the last article I write about this particular series. I'm bailing on Invasion. Read this and find out why. Here's a hint: the show just isn't good.

October 11, 2005

Invasion 1.03, "Watershed"

My recap/review of Episode Three of Invasion has been posted at TTNMC. Check it out!

October 10, 2005

haiku no. 1

monday afternoon
waiting as a query runs
i update my blog

October 4, 2005

Invasion 1.02, "Lights Out"

My recap/review of Episode Two of Invasion has been posted at TTNMC. Check it out!

October 2, 2005

A career move in the making?

I'm inordinately proud of myself this morning. Sage (my four-year old daughter, for anyone not in the know) is here for the weekend, and for the first time in my life, I have successfully used a waffle iron.

I'm not usually much of a chef. Kraft Macaroni and Cheese, Sloppy Joes, Hamburger Helper, and the occasional tajita night (a combination of tacos and fajitas that I like to think I made up by myself, but that I'm pretty sure someone, somewhere, is making money off of) are about the limit of my culinary expertise. If it can be cooked by boiling water, I can cook it. When Sage is here, our breakfasts are usually confined to frozen waffles, Pop-Tarts, or cereal. When she's not here I generally don't eat breakfast at all. However, today I decided to be bold and experiment.

I inherited my mom's waffle iron (which is an ancestor of this one) when she and dad broke up housekeeping to start their gypsy life. It's been in my cabinet for two years. Sage and I were at the grocery store yesterday and on a whim I bought a box of Bisquick. If I'm going to make waffles for the first time, I'm certainly not going to make them from scratch. I don't need to be inviting that much potential for disaster.

I made up the mix this morning with little incident. I plugged in the waffle iron to get it preheated. My mom (and the instructions for the waffle iron itself, actually) had advised me to spray Pam® on the plates before I put in batter in. Of course, that's what I forgot to do. When I opened the iron, the waffle ripped in half, with half stuck to the top plate, the rest stuck to the bottom. Of course, Sage was all excited about getting to eat homemade waffles, so she was standing right there. It was pretty embarrassing. I unplugged the iron and cleaned off the plates, sprayed the Pam®, and tried again.

A waffle! In one piece, even! Success! Whoo hoo!

Three successfully cooked waffles later, Sage and I each ate a waffle and a half for breakfast. Sage declared them good, and me a pretty good waffle maker. I'm not too embarrassed to say that this was one of the proudest moments of my life. Fatherhood will lead you to proclamations like that one. Maybe next time I'll try French toast or pancakes. May as well strike while the (waffle) iron's hot, wot? Waffle House, here I come!