Was your Toyota Recalled? Win a Camaro!

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

This morning Toyota announced a major recall affecting a large number of their usually high quality vehicles. Unfortunately my wife's Corolla was not in the mix. I say "unfortunately" because I really had my sights on winning a brand new 2010 Camaro 2SS.

Of course, I can still win, and so can you!


A couple weeks ago I shared with you a promotional contest giving away a free laptop each day by Charter. Now they are running a Camaro Sweepstakes, although there is only one grand prize as opposed to the recent laptop sweepstakes. Imagine winning a brand new Camaro though and pulling up to work in that sweet car. You may even want to think about avoiding the McDonald's drive through for a while so you do not spill some Coca-Cola on the seat and get french fries stuck beneath your feet. I know I would keep from eating in that car for a bit. I wouldn't even want that stench of fast food or pizza to pollute my new Camaro.

As usual, there are a number of consolation prizes in the form of gift cards to various retailers, although it appears a purchase may be necessary to qualify for those this time around.

So what do you need to do for your chance to win the Camaro?

You can start by visiting http://charter.com/camaro to register today and to view the complete rules, specifications on the Camaro and more. You can also check out Charter on Facebook. Also be sure to follow Charter on Twitter to keep up to date on the latest promotions and details.

I'll be honest and tell you that I am not exactly a "car guy", so I will let this car dealer do the selling on this car for you and give you the tour of the Camaro...

Sure sounds pretty sweet to me. I'm signed up to win. Are you?

The contest runs from now until November 26. If you win, instead of me, all I ask is tat you take for a ride sometime. Please?



Fantasy Recap: Throwbacks lose first game to Heard in the Cheap Seats

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

After pulling off what many considered a pair of upset victories, the Macho Row Throwbacks finally ran out of magic, losing to Heard in the Cheap Seats. The Throwbacks lost the Phillies Blogger division battle by a score of 115-75.5.

The MVP of the game was certainly Heard in the Cheap Seats quarterback Kevin Kolb, who accumulated 30 points for the winners, three times as many points as Throwbacks back-up quarterback Kerry Collins totaled. The irony here is amazing. Collins is the back-up quarterback for my Throwbacks as Donovan McNabb recovers from a rib injury. Kolb of course has taken over the starting job in Philadelphia in McNabb's absence.

The usually reliable Steelers defense blew a shot at a rally too, coming up with one fantasy point on Sunday. Are you kidding me Steelers defense? One point? that is as many points is Throwbacks kicker John Kasey received.

Congratulations to Chris from Heard in the Cheap Seats on your week three victory. Next week the Macho Row Throwbacks take on Vick's Dad Eagles, representing Max from Fire Eric Bruntlett.


Football Pool Recapping Week Three

Week three of the NFL season is in the books and so to is another week of the football pool. Points for players in the pool mostly went up this week, aided by a Dallas Cowboys victory last night in the Monday night game.

As you can see from the chart above, my points went up from last week, but so did my dad's at the winner for this week. For the first time that I can remember everybody picked the Houston Texans to win against the Jacksonville Jaguars. I tend to put too much stock in Matt Schaub since he went to my high school and graduated a year before me, but I only put five points on them this week, and I do not wish to tell you how close I was to picking the Jaguars in that game.


My biggest downfall, like many of my competitors, was laying 15 points on the Pittsburgh Steelers against the Cincinnati Bengals. Evan my dad, who has become somewhat of a Steelers loyalist in recent years, only put six points on the defending Super Bowl champions, who blew a fourth quarter lead.

And perhaps I am going to have to start taking the New York Jets more seriously, even though they are lead by a freshman quarterback who torched Penn State in the Rose Bowl. I put eight points on the Tennessee Titans, lead by Kerry Collins and the team who also had the best record in the NFL a year ago, but that game did not turn out well for me at all.

A frustrating week once again for me, as I lose even more ground in the overall points race to my dad. I now trail by 22 points, which at this point in the season is not impossible to rebound from. Clearly I am doing something wrong with my points selection because if this were just a matter of picking the winners with no confidence points, I would actually be winning.

Through three weeks I have a game record of 32-16 while my dad is 31-17. The best record is 34-14, shared by six people.

In the overall rankings I am currently sitting at #14, 47 points out of first place and 21 points behind my dad.

On a related note, these blog entries have inspired a fellow football pool player to create his own site. Al, who is a three time champion of the pool and one of the more outspoken ones on the message board, has decided to join me in tracking his progress and compare it against...my dad. For a humorous look at the pool, check out Al vs. Kevin's Dad.


Mario Monday - Mario Clash

Monday, September 28, 2009

Mario Monday takes a step into another dimension as today we take a look at the first Mario game to enter the virtual reality realm with Mario Clash for the much maligned Virtual Boy.

In 1995 Nintendo unveiled the Virtual Boy, the first portable home gaming console to utilize virtual reality. True to the Nintendo pattern, a Mario themes game would be included in the release of the system, and that game was Mario Clash.

Mario Clash took the theme of the original arcade game, Mario Brothers, and added some new twists, including enemies who had since been introduced since the arcade had been created. Rather than bump the enemies from below Mario now was to eliminate the baddies by hurling Koopa shells across the platforms and through the three dimensions.

Here is a comparison of a basic screen shot from Mario Clash and its ancestor, Mario Brothers;

Mario Brothers

Mario Clash

The Virtual Boy saw a limited shelf life and while the red screen had enough to bring down the system itself, the lack of a quality Mario game clearly hurt. The Nintendo entertainment System had Super Mario Brothers and Super Mario Brothers 3. The Super Nintendo had Super Mario World. the Game Boy had Super Mario Land and the Nintendo 64 had the ground breaking Super Mario 64. Today the Nintendo Wii has Super Mario Galaxy (and a sequel in the works for next year).

The Virtual Boy's life was counting on Mario Clash, but poor game play, unusual for a Mario game, and limited replay value doomed the system. The lack of ability to save a player's progress also detracted form the game. At the time, battery back-up was all but a minimum for most home console video games. The sound, as with most Virtual Boy titles, was tough to listen too. It was not much of an upgrade over the Game Boy. In fact, the sounds of Mario Clash are worse than anything you would have heard in Super Mario Land, which was a launch title for the Game Boy in 1989.

So what is the legacy of Mario Clash? Sure, it was acknowledged in Wario are: Micro Games as one of 9-Volt's micro games, but ultimately Mario Clash is a game Nintendo probably would like to put behind them, much like the system it was played on. Screw Attack labeled it as the second worst Mario game of all time. The game was available in stores for just three months, but still pays an important role in the Mario franchise's history. Mario Clash was the first 3-D game in the franchise, paving the way for Super Mario 64 on the Nintendo 64 one year later.

If you are brave enough, here is a video of the game being played.

Feel free to share your thoughts on Mario Clash. If you actually owned it, or have played it, I would love to get your feedback. what did you like or dislike?


Iowa beats Penn State...again

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Soooooo......that happened.

Read my recap on Examiner, if you feel brave enough.


Six Pack of Picks for the Weekend

Friday, September 25, 2009

Let's get right to it, shall we?

#5 Penn State (3-0) vs. Iowa (3-0)
Revenge is a dish that Penn State would like Iowa to taste. After being knocked out of the championship picture by Iowa last year all eyes have focused on this game for some time now. Iowa will not be easily shaken by the stadium-wide White Out in the prime time nationally televised game, so Daryll Clark will have to make some good passes. This is the Big Ten opener for both teams.

For more on this game check out my preview on Examiner. I am going with Penn State.

Millersville (1-3) vs. Shippensburg (2-1)
The Red Raiders are coming off a dominating win against East Stroudsburg and have made a bit of a statement to the rest of the PSAC East. After taking down Edinboro a couple weeks ago, Shippensburg has set themselves up for a nice little run leading up to the Homecoming game against West Chester. The Marauders have been weak this season and do not figure to put up much of a fight. This game will be played at 7pm though and Shippensburg has traditionally had problems in night games.

Still, I find it hard to go against Shippensburg this week.

#11 Virginia Tech (2-1) vs. #9 Miami (2-0)
Is Miami for real? After the first couple games of their season it would seem so. But this week will be a tough task for the Hurricanes. Can they go in to Blacksburg, Virginia and take down the team that was proclaimed to be the top team in the ACC, Virginia Tech? They seem to have the offense to do so, but it is tough for teams to win on the road against the Hokies.

I initially felt I should pick Virginia Tech, but I am going to go with Miami, which would set up a terrific game next week against Oklahoma.

Philadelphia Eagles (1-1) vs. Kansas City Chiefs (0-2)
Mike Vick will be back in action in an NFL game, but the Eagles will still go with Kevin Kolb as the starter. Truth is, it should not matter who is taking snaps for the Eagles this weekend when the Kansas City Chiefs come to town.

How much of an impact can Larry Johnson have? If he can get going can he cause as much of a problem for the Eagles defense as he once could?

Minnesota Vikings (2-0) vs. San Francisco 49ers (2-0)
Both teams enter this game 2-0 with some interesting story lines following them. We all know about the Brett Favre soap opera, and it has gone well for the Vikings thus far. The Niners are still without their top draft pick, Michael Crabtree (who clearly has an agent without a clue). I am not ready to say the Niners are for real though. After all, they play in the NFC West.

Favre throws for a couple touchdowns and Adrian Peterson runs wild once again.

New England Patriots (1-1) vs. Atlanta Falcons (2-0)
I like Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan, being a local guy and all, but I find this weekend's game to be a tough one for the second year QB. The Patriots are coming off a bit of an embarrassing loss to the Jets last week and when was the last time Tom Brady and company lost two straight games? I do not know for sure but it has been at least three years (Brady missed the 2008 season and was undefeated in 2007).

Expect the Patriots to defend their home turf.

New York Giants
In week one of the NFL season I picked the Dallas Cowboys for my suicide pool. It went against my main philosophy of never picking a suicide team on the road, especially in the season opener. But they were playing the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, a team that is flat out awful this year.

Last week I picked the Buffalo Bills at home against...Tampa Bay.

Is it a coincidence that I feel most confident in saying that the New York Giants are going to win this week? They are playing on the road at...Tampa Bay.

A popular pick is to go with the Baltimore Ravens at home against the Cleveland Browns or the Green Bay Packers on the road at the St. Louis Rams.

I'll take my chances this week.


A letter to Brad Lidge

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Dear Brad Lidge,

I want you to know something. You will always hold a very special piece of my heart. If not for your valiant efforts in the 2008 season my favorite baseball team, one of which I have been watching for a long time and was raised on, may not have won the World Series. Because of you I was fortunate enough to witness my first championship parade, invest in a new collection of t-shirts, and have the chance to brag about my team being the best team in the sport.

I won't forget that, and I promise you that there is not a Phillies fan alive that would. You see, because of that championship season in 2008 the truth is when we look back at the players on this team years from now, we will all look upon each player fondly. Guys like Eric Bruntlett and So Taguchi, believe it or not, will always have a special place in Philadelphia for being a part of the team that ended the drought.

You were a guy that many argued had a fighter's chance at the National League MVP award. You were the guy who was the one we had faith in. You were the guy that gave us all a memory to cherish.

You were the guy.

Today, I am not sure who the guy is, but I have finally come to the point where I realize it is not you. With all due respect Brad, I do not feel I can trust you in a tight game. I know you have more saves than not this season, but for the good of this team this season I honestly feel it is best for you to take a back seat.

Mind you, I am not suggesting you be thrown to the curb. I am prepared to see you close games in 2010 from start to finish. But this team has something special going for them and the major weakness unfortunately comes in your position. If the Phillies are to have a legitimate chance at advancing to the World Series and making a run at a repeat, something has to be done.

For that reason Brad, if the decision were left to me, you would be done for this season. I'm sorry. I hope you understand. I do not hate you. I will not send you angry postal mail. See, I respect you. I just hope you respect this team enough to understand why you should not be closing.


P.S. Please tell your friend Ryan Madson that I have not forgotten about him and he should expect a letter from me shortly.


Happy Birthday Nintendo! My Top 25

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Believe it or not, today marks the 120th birthday for Nintendo.

You may not realize that Nintendo started out as a Japanese playing card company. The company still holds on to those roots in the form of Pokemon, but the face of the company has transformed to an Italian plumber, along with a Spock-like eared adventure hero, and a woman who wears a suit of armor that packs an arm cannon.

Way back on September 23, 1889, a businessman in Kyoto named Fusajiro Yamauchi started a company called “Nintendo Koppai” to manufacture a type of Japanese playing card, called hanafuda. In the six-score years since, while Nintendo still makes playing cards in Japan, the company has become slightly better-known for its line of electronics.
- Wired.com

Why not celebrate the day by listing my top twenty-five Nintendo games of all time. This is my personal list including games I have played, so excuse me for leaving out anything from the Metroid series.

  1. Super Mario Brothers 3 - NES
  2. Tetris - Game Boy
  3. Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time - Nintendo 64
  4. Earthbound - Super NES
  5. Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past - Super NES
  6. Legend of Zelda - NES
  7. Mega Man III - NES
  8. Super Mario 64 - Nintendo 64
  9. Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess - Gamecube/Wii
  10. Dragon Warrior - NES
  11. Super Mario Galaxy - Wii
  12. RBI Baseball - NES
  13. Contra - NES
  14. Super Mario Brothers - NES
  15. Mega Man II - NES
  16. Duck Hunt - NES
  17. Super Mario World - Super NES
  18. Goldeneye - Nintendo 64
  19. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: The Arcade Game - NES
  20. Super Mario Kart - Super NES
  21. A Boy and his Blob - NES
  22. Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask - Nintendo 64
  23. Mike Tyson's Punch-Out - NES
  24. Ken Griffey Jr. Presents Major League Baseball - Super NES
  25. Alleyway - Game Boy
What are your favorite Nintendo games, for any system?


CNN calls out FOX News

What is the reaction of FOX News? Probably something like this...

Let news develop on it's own. Report the news. Never be the news. Where is the journalistic integrity?


How would your life imrpove with better eye sight? $5,000 could do it too

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Want to know why I hate my eyes?

Because they are perfect. My eyesight is perfect and little old ladies at McDonald's like to ogle me. My eyes are a great feature, form what I am told. But when it comes to some things my eyes are a detractor.

Case in point, the "You Gotta See This" video contest by held by Abbot, a world renown name in the laser vision correctness surgery industry. Right now those of you with less fortunate eyes as myself can record a video telling the judges how your life would be better with improved eye sight. When I first came across this contest I would have thought that the grand prize would be for free laser vision surgery.

Instead the winning video will be awarded $5,000, which I guess could go towards the surgery, but how many people will follow through with that? There are also three runner up prizes in the form of an HDTV package worth $2,5000. There are also three second prize winners which will receive a Flip UltraHD camcorder.

From all of the videos submitted a fan vote will contribute to a part of the final decision making on the winners. So submit your video and get your fans voting for you! If you submit a video leave a comment here. I'll vote for you! Who knows, if I like your video enough maybe I'll get my readers to vote for you too!

The good news for is that I will not be submitting a video in the iLASIK Video Contest, so that is one less person you will have to compete against!

Again, it stinks having such terrific eyes. I also do not have any cavities, but that's another story for another day...



It was Ammonia

Early this morning, just after Stef left for work, ambulances, police cars and fire trucks raced down my street on their way to a hazardous materials incident at JBS Packerland, a meat packing plant in Franconia.

According to early reports from 6 ABC and The Intellegencer it seems there was an ammonia leak in the plant. An evacuation was put into effect as a precaution, and four were sent to the hospital.


Fantasy Recap: Throwbacks pull upset on Marauders

Missing starting quarterback Donovan McNabb did not hurt the Macho Row Throwbacks this weekend. The Macho Row Throwbacks move to 2-0, but once again it does not come easily. The Throwbacks knocked out the heavily favored Maclin's Marauders, beating the Eagles bloggers division favorites 99.5-71.5.

Overcoming a terrific performance from personal favorite Matt Schaub (33 fantasy points), the Throwbacks took a 72-71.5 lead into the Monday night football game, thanks in large part to the woeful kicking from Marauders and place kicker Jeff Reed. Reed missed two field goals, giving him -2 fantasy points, and handing the Throwbacks the slightest lead possible going to the Monday night game. On Monday night the Throwbacks pulled away with career performance from tight end Dallas Clark, who recorded a team high 27.5 fantasy points. Clark scored an 80-yard touchdown on the first play of the game to all but clinch a week two victory.

Next up for the Macho Row Throwbacks are back on the road next week against Heard in the Cheap Seats, another Phillies Blogger Division rival.


Football Pool Recapping Week Two

The second week of the football was not as kind to me as the season's opening week. But only one participant broke triple digits in point total this week so congratulations to "Raider Mike".

My personal downfall came in putting too much stock on John Kuhn and the Green Bay Packers (11 points vs. Cincinnati Bengals at home), the arrogant New England Patriots (12 points at New York Jets), and the defending Super Bowl Champion Pittsburgh Steelers (14 points at Chicago Bears). Yesterday I was celebrating the atrocious place kicking performance of the Steelers' Jeff Reed as his act put my fantasy team up by half a point going into Monday night. Little did I know that Dallas Clark, my fantasy tight end, would have a career night and I would go on for an easy victory regardless (more on that later). So I pit this week on you Reed!

Here is a look at my updated chart for my progress in the football pool this year.

As you can see, everybody took a dip this week but the difference between my picks and the winner's picks increased. You will also notice that my dad came away with a narrow victory over me this week, by one stinking point.

Here is an update on the year log competition between my dad and I.

Tune in next week for a look at week three!


Mario Monday - Super Mario World 2

Monday, September 21, 2009

It's baaaaack!

This week Mario Monday returns with a look at the only sequel, although it could be considered a prequel, to the critically acclaimed Super Mario World on the Super Nintendo. Today we take a look at Super Mario World 2: Yoshi's Island.

Super Mario World 2: Yoshi's Island takes place well before any of the games in the Mario timeline. It is also the first game in which the character of Yoshi is the playable character. Yoshi was introduced in the previous Super NES installment of the Mario series and clearly had become a fan favorite. If not for the technical limitations of the Nintendo Entertainment System, Yoshi would have been introduced years before the Super Nintendo came along. Now that it had Yoshi was taking the world by storm.

The premise of Super Mario World 2 is that the stork that had been flying Baby Mario and Baby Luigi was attacked by Kamek the Magikoopa. The wizardly Koopa snatched Baby Luigi but Baby Mario fell to the ground. Baby Mario had fallen on a Yoshi, along with a map, and the Yoshi consulted with the other Yoshis to determine what the best course of action was. Meanwhile Kamek sent out an army of his own to search and recover Baby Mario.

After learning that Baby Mario wanted to save his missing brother, the Yoshis set out on a quest to save the missing toddler.

Game play in Super Mario World 2 is truly unique to the rest of the franchise. Baby Mario rides on the back of Yoshi, who must jump on and swallow baddies that get in the way. Yoshi also has the ability to throw eggs at his enemies. To do so Yoshi must line up a shot using the aimer that rotates on an axis. When the shot is lined up on the target Yoshi hurls an egg at whatever may be in the way.

Yoshi can also speed watermelon seeds at his foes. His number of seeds is determined by the size of the watermelon he digests.

Should Yoshi be attacked by an enemy Mario is vulnerable to be taken away. If Mario is being flown away by flying enemies Yoshi must re-capture the crying baby and fend off the baddies. But Yoshi must hurry because if the countdown reaches zero the game is over.

Speaking of enemies, Yoshi will encounter many familiar and many new bad guys. Goombas, Lakitu, and Koopa Troopas are there to cause trouble as always. The most notable return though is that of the Shy Guy, who was once a part of Mario's dream adventure in Super Mario Brothers 2. So the question must be asked; was Mario really having a bad flashback dream of sorts in Super Mario Brothers 2? Was he having bad memories of the Shy Guys in his adulthood that have been hiding in the back of his memory?

In addition to the traditional game play there are a number of extra hidden in the game. For example, Super Mario World 2 is the first game to make use of the red coin system. Finding all of the hidden red coins in a level will help to unlock secret areas and higher scores.

What leaves an impression on me from this game is the graphics style, which came about as a bit of a controversy at the time. After the wild success of Donkey Kong Country, in which the Super NES had shown off some of the best graphics possible on the hardware, Nintendo pressured Shigeru Miyamoto to use a similar look in the Super Mario World sequel. Miyamoto though was not impressed with Donkey Kong Country and challenged Nintendo to say no to his unique idea. Miyamoto, being the reason Nintendo has been so successful, is a man that the company just could not say no to, so the crayon look stayed.

The game has more of an hand-drawn animated feel to it than Super Mario World. The game also makes beautiful use of the Super FX 2 chip to create some fantastic visuals of sprite scaling in boss scenes. And much like any Mario game, the music hard in the game is catchy and sometimes hard to get out of your head.

Feel free to share your thoughts about this game in the comments section below.


Penn State beats Temple, Ship and West Chester roll, IUP is upset

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Click here for my game recap on Examiner.

Elsewhere in the Keystone State the upset of the day took place up in the Erie region with Mercyhurst knocking off #13 IUP by a score of 20-16. Shippensburg rolled in their victory over East Stroudsburg.

As for you West Chester fans, they demolished Millersville 63-10. Ouch!


The Nightman Cometh to Philadelphia

Stef and I went to the Tower Theater in Upper Darby the other night to catch the cast of It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia perform The Nightman Cometh live. Essentially they went on stage and performed their previous season finale live, and it was terrific!

The show also included at least one song not included in the season finale and if you look you can find it on YouTube.

Before the main event the sold out crowd was given an opening band to entertain us. While I do not remember their name (anyone there, can you fill in the blank?) I was entertained by their first song, which used the popular Action News theme as the base of the song. They also mentioned a number of local Philadelphia news personalities. To get the crowd warmed up the lead singer shouted out a number of random Philadelphia area icons...

"When I say Wa, you saw Wa! WA! WA!"
"When I say Von, you say Hayes!"

Really? Von Hayes is the best you can do? No offense to Mr. Hayes but Mike Schmidt, and Cliff Lee have the same number of syllables.

After the opening band the audience was treated to a clip from the upcoming release of It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia: Its A Very Sunny Christmas. Following that we got to see an episode that will air later in the current season. If you are, or understand, Flip-Cup, you will enjoy it. I have had "Flip, Flip, Flipadelphia" stuck in my head for the past 48 hours. You will understand once the episode airs.

Finally the entire cast of Always Sunny took stage and brought many laughs and cheers to the crowd. Everybody was included. Charlie Day (Charlie), the hilarious Kaitlin Olson (Deandra, aka Sweet Dee), Glenn Howerton (Dennis), Rob McElhenney (Mac) and of course Danny DeVito (Frank) played their familiar roles, but Mary Elizabeth Ellis (the waitress Charlie is in love with), and Artemis Pebdani (Artemis, the theater and drama "expert) also made cameo appearances similar to their roles in the original episode.

Below is a very raw video (using my digital camera) of the tail-end of the encore performance of the most recognizable song. I apologize for the poor picture quality. It all happened in a spur of the moment.

By the way, the season premiere for Always Sunny aired that same night. It is sitting on my DVR waiting to be watched. So please do not spoil it for me!


Six Pack of Picks - Abridged Version

Friday, September 18, 2009

Time for a quick look at my six pack of picks for this weekend. Sorry for crudeness of this week's picks, but I just want to get them posted. I'll go more in depth with next week's edition!

Penn State over Temple
Shipensburg over East Stroudsburg
Virginia Tech over Nebraska
New Orleans Saints over Philadelphia Eagles
Dallas Cowboys over New York Giants
Baltimore Ravens over San Diego Chargers

For the records, Stef picks Penn State, Shippensburg, Nebraska, Eagles, Giants and Ravens, even though she likes the Chargers.

EDIT: Forgot to mention my suicide pool team today. Now is the best time to take the Buffalo Bills.


Tweetdeck Wish List, Browser Selection

Thursday, September 17, 2009

I use Tweetdeck as my main Twitter client as I am sure many Twitter users do (and should). I have used it for a long time now and only just discovered how I can view the trending topics on Twitter. It was my desire to easily see the trending topics that got me thinking of a wish list of features I would like to see for Tweetdeck's next release, whenever that may be.

As it turns out I could only think of one feature that I would like to see implemented; the ability to select a browser for links.

As you know I am an avid fan of the Flock browser. I open it up in the morning and have it open all day. I am an enthusiastic supporter of tabbed web browsing, especially for my needs, and I especially prefer to take advantage of the social networking features that are built right into the browser's design.

As I use Flock for just about anything on the web I would prefer if Tweetdeck would open links from different users in my preferred browser instead of a default browser. I have nothing against Safari, or Firefox on our PC, but it would be easier for me f I could just open up a link in a new tab in the browser I already have open. I have no need or desire to have two separate browsers open, as evidenced by tabbed web browsing style.

So to the developers of Tweetdeck, I hope you take this to heart and work on an option allowing the user to select a browser to open links in. I would be grateful beyond your imagination.

By the way, are you following me on Twitter?


In Memory of Henry Gibson, Patrick Swayze, Mary Travers, and Myles Brand

Henry Gibson, likely most noted for his appearances in the original ensemble cast for Laugh In, has died at the age of 73, ending a short battle with cancer. While Gibson, who is not the namesake of my last dog, appeared in a number of movies and television programs in his career, I will always remember him for his role as the head of the Illinois Nazi party in the original Blues Brothers movie.

Tough week for celebrities this week as Patrick Swayze passed away a couple days ago, falling victim to pancreatic cancer. This morning we learned of the passing of Mary Travers, most known for her work with Peter, Paul and Mary (Puff the Magic Dragon) passed away yesterday after losing her long battle with leukemia.

Also yesterday the president of the NCAA, Myles Brand, passed away at the age of 67. Brand had also lost a battle against pancreatic cancer.


Here are a couple videos to honor those that we have just lost.

Patrick Swayze
August 18, 1952 - September 14, 2009

Mary Travers
November 9, 1936 - September 16, 2009

Henry Gibson
September 21, 1935 - September 14, 2009

Myles Brand
May 17, 1942 - September 16, 2009

Henry Gibson dies at 73; original cast member of 'Laugh In' -Los Angeles Times
Mary Travers of Peter, Paul and Mary dead at 72 - Houston Chronicle
NCAA President Myles Brand dead - Sports Illustrated
Patrick Swayze, Hollywood's Dirty-Dancer, Dead at 57 - E! Online


[Video] What if Kanye West was in Super Mario Brothers?

Remember yesterday when I posted the image of Super Mario Brothers with a Kanye West influence?

Well somebody has gone the extra mile and 1-UPed me with a video.

Brilliant minds must think alike.

HT: Retrogaming Roundtable member Flack


What if Kanye West was in Super Mario Brothers?

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

It was bound to happen sooner or later.

Mario Monday is slated to return with a new edition this coming Monday...


Michael Jackson's This is It

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Here we go again with the Michael Jackson hoopla, and I can not help but get chills in anticipation for this. I very likely will not see this in the theater in the two weeks that it will be out, but you can bet I will be watching it on video as soon as it comes out.

Michael Jackson's music is some of the best I have ever heard. Love him or hate him as you will, but you can not deny the impact he has had on the music and entertainment business. This Is It will surely show just how terrific a performer Jackson was.

Previous Michael Jackson posts:


Football Pool Recapping

It started off as a bad week for me, as I entered the Monday night slate of games in next to last place, and that was only because one participant had failed to cast their week one picks! But with a pair of late victories by the New England Patriots and San Diego Chargers, I jumped over 100 points for the week and leaped four players to finish the first week in 14th overall, but trailing the overall leader by just 20 points.

The way this pool works is you make your picks and assign confidence points, from 1-16. For example, if I feel strongly confident that the New England Patriots will beat the Detroit Lions, which if the situation came up I would, I would assign the game 16 points. If I was unsure who would win a match-up between the Denver Broncos and Kansas City Chiefs, I would pick a team and assign just one point, so I would not be hurt too much by a loss.

There is a winner every week based on points received each week of the NFL season and the points accumulate all season to determine an overall winner.

Looking at the graph below, as primitive as it is for week one data, shows how I did compared to the weekly winner (congrats to StreetRebel). The red line will track the difference between my points and the weekly winner's points. In addition, the orange line represents my dad's progress.
Of course I will also be paying close attention to the overall points total between my dad and I. Last season my dad destroyed me overall, although I will always hold the fact that I have had the company pool's only recorded perfect week.

This week I fell behind early but used a strong back end of picks to close the gap and pull within 12 points as we prepare for week two. Remember, orange represents my dad while the blue bar designates my overall point total.

Tune in next week for another update on the football pool!


Fantasy Recap: Throwbacks beat Phanatics

Kerry Collins and the Steelers defense helped the Throwbacks
jump out to an early lead on Thursday night

The Macho Row Throwbacks picked up a win in the 2009 Season Opener in the Philly Phantasy Phootball League, beating the Philly Phanatics 88.5-80.5 in a showdown of Phillies Bloggers Division rivals.

The Throwbacks were able to overcome a dominating performance by Phanatics quarterback Dre Breese, who accounted for half of the Phanatics point total. The throwbacks were lead by the quarterback tandem of Donovan McNabb and Kerry Collins (combined for 33 points) and a stingy Steelers defense that racked up 11 points. The Phanatics were hurt by a Chiefs defense that managed only four points in the game.

Next week the Throwbacks take on Maclin's Marauders, representing Inside the Iggles from the Eagles Bloggers division in a cross division match-up.

I will have an update on my football pool results later today.


Official Eagles prediction

Sunday, September 13, 2009


Ten wins, but one will not come today. Lose in NFC Championship game.

Check back in January.

By the way, how is my Phillies prediction looking?


Book Review: Penn State Football - The Complete Illustrated History

The following is an excerpt from my recent book review of Penn State Football: The Complete Illustrated History I wrote for Examiner. To read the full review, click here.

Penn State football is a cultural staple in central Pennsylvania. Plain blue and white uniforms aside the scenery alone is enough to make a visit to Happy Valley on a Saturday in the fall.

Fans have been making the pilgrimage to State College since 1881, six years before the university was founded. There have been countless images that will last a lifetime in the history of the Penn State football program, and now there is a book that collects them all in one place, fit enough to set on your coffee table.

Penn State Football: The Complete Illustrated History, is just that. In 192 pages Penn State fans will read about the rich traditions and historic games and iconic figures that make up Penn State football. From Rip Engle to Joe Paterno, from John Cappelletti to Ki-Jana carter, from Leroy Scholl to Daryll Clark, every piece of Penn State football is covered in beautiful fashion.

Authored by Barry Wilner and Ken Rappoport will assure the most hard core fans will be satisfied with this publication. Wilner has authored 27 previous books on a number of sports events, including Football Feuds: The Greatest College Football Rivalries, a collaboration with Rappoport. Rappoport has written a few Penn State football books before, including Tales from Penn State Football and Penn State Nittany Lions: Where Have You Gone? With such a rich history in writing Penn State books it would be hard to top the work that has already been done, but Penn State Football: The Complete Illustrated History does just that.

For the rest of this review, click here.


Penn State vs. Syracuse Links

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Joe Paterno should be all smiles after
today's game against Syracuse.

Week two of the college football season is here and Penn State will play host to Syracuse this afternoon in an old rivalry game. In case you missed me this week I have provided a number of links for you to catch up on all of my PSU-Syracuse coverage from this week.

Preview: #5 Penn State (1-0) vs. Syracuse (0-1)
Syracuse Q&A with Three Idiots on Sports
Big Ten Examiner Round Table | Recap
Week Two Big Ten Predictions

Nittany White Out
Blue White Round Table - Kevin's Take on Syracuse
Big Weekend on Tap for Big Ten

Penn State Q&A with Kevin McGuire - Via Three Idiots on Sports
Six Pack of Picks
Big Ten put under microscope this weekend - Phinally Philly
Penn State looks to squeeze the Orange - The 700 Level


Amateur 9/11 Footage Collection

Friday, September 11, 2009

I feel I should warn you about this one first.

My goal is not to turn you away but I am of a strong belief that Americans should watch the image of planes crashing into the World Trade Center as a reminder of the hideous actions that were taken against this country. However, I realize that many people do not wish to re-watch the videos of that heinous act, and I will respect that. Therefore, if you choose not to watch the attacks, do not watch this video.

The video below is a collection of mostly amateur video footage of the attack on the World Trade Center mixed with some media coverage as well.


Former NFL player Remembering Shanksville

Here is a story about a former Pittsburgh Steeler player doing what he can to help preserve the memory of those lost in the fourth hijacked plane on September 11, which crashed in Shanksville, Pennsylvania.

This story comes from Paula Wolfson of Pittsburgh via Voice of America [link];

"For now, there is only a temporary memorial -- an area near the crash site where rough benches bear the names of the dead. Nearby is a fence, where visitors leave mementos -- a collage of badges, flags, baseball caps, children's toys and small angels made of china and wood.

There are plans for a permanent memorial with a price tag of $30 million -- most of it to buy land and put in infrastructure. The National Park Service, which will build and maintain the Flight 93 National Memorial, hopes to break ground in November. But it is short of meeting its fundraising goal. And that is where Rocky Bleier comes in."


September 11 Digital Archive

"The September 11 Digital Archive uses electronic media to collect, preserve, and present the history of September 11, 2001 and its aftermath. The Archive contains more than 150,000 digital items, a tally that includes more than 40,000 emails and other electronic communications, more than 40,000 first-hand stories, and more than 15,000 digital images. In September 2003, the Library of Congress accepted the Archive into its collections, an event that both ensured the Archive's long-term preservation and marked the library's first major digital acquisition."

I highly encourage you to take a few minutes to browse around the incredible image collection on hand as well as read through some of the documents they have.


The Falling Man

I can not fathom what the conditions must have been like for anyone in the World Trade Center when it was attacked on September 11, 2001. Clearly though some unsuspecting New York citizens believed that jumping from the windows from high above the street of New York was the better alternative to being trapped in the building.

The above photo captures one man who jumped to his much too early demise. The point of this is not to capitalize from the misfortune of another human being, but rather emphasis just how tragic September 11 was to this country.

The above photo was printed in Esquire magazine and there is a fantastic article to go along with it. Click here to read it.


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