Stop me if you've heard this before, Sixers lose

Monday, November 30, 2009

Take a deep breath Sixers fans. It could be a long 2009-2010. Getty Images

Spurs too strong for slumping Sixers - Bob Cooney,
Sent packing: Sixers fall to Spurs to start road trip - Paul J. Weber (AP), via

That would be six straight losses for the basketball team, dropping the Sixers to 5-12. Only three teams in the NBa have a worst record. The Knicks are 3-14, the Timberwolves are 2-15 and the Nets are an astonishing, yet somehow believable, 0-17.

Are we already at the point in the season where you almost hope the Sixers fail to make the playoffs and hope they lose more to increase their chances in the NBA lottery? They are only 2.5 games out of the eighth and final seed in the Eatsern Conference.

Right now, talk of Iverson's return to Sixers is just that - Bob Cooney,
Allen Iverson to Philadelphia 76ers is still a strong possibility - Mark J. Miller, Yahoo Sports

The Allen Iverson Watch continues as well. again, I see any possible Iverson reunion from both sides of the fence, so I have yet to really determine my official stance on the issue. On one hand I would be fine seeing Iverson return, if just for the sake of seeing the franchise receive some positive coverage on a national scale. But on the other hand I see no reason to believe that Iverson rescues this team and makes this team better. I am a fan of player development and Iverson more than likely impedes the growing process rather than supplements it.

What do you think?


Eagles rally again, Grandpop wins $2.00

The Redskins could not escape the impending
doom of the big, bad Eagles. AP Photo

Against Redskins, Eagles rally but suffer key injuries - Les Bowen,
Close call: Eagles eke out win over Redskins - Andy Scwartz,
Eagles rally for another ate win - Rob Maadi (AP), via Yahoo Sports

It was not pretty, but a win is a win. Right?

Starting the game with an on sides kick? When was the last time that worked for Andy Reid? Honestly I do not remember it working since opening day in Dallas back in the Duce Staley era. against the woeful Redskins I really do not understand the logic in starting the game that way.

For the second straight week the Eagles entered the fourth quarter trailing and once again Donovan McNabb guided the offense down field when they really needed it to score the winning points. That's good.

When the offense was driving with some of their best momentum all game Reid sent in Michael Vick for a play. The result? As is typical for Vick, a poor pass on the run that falls incomplete. Luckily for Reid and the Eagles, McNabb came back in and was able to keep the drive moving.

Let me be clear. I was never a fan of Vick but I was in support of him getting a second chance in the NFL, even if it were with the Eagles. I even went so far to say that it was a bold and positive move by the Eagles organization. But entering December my expectations for how Vick would be involved in the game plan has fallen well short of what my imagination lead me to believe. So my question is this; Is Vick simply not good enough to be involved in the offense or are the Eagles not using him properly?

As noted in one of the above headlines, the Eagles took some crucial hits Sunday.

Brent Celek, who has quickly become one of my favorite Eagles, has torn tendons in his thumb. Broderick Bunkley has an ankle injury. But most alarming to me is the injury to wide receiver DeSean Jackson.

Eagles Notes: concussion for DeSean Jackson - Jeff McClane, Philadelphia Inquirer

Reid said in his post game press conference that while Jackson did suffer a concussion in the game, it is not as serious as the concussion issues running back Brian Westbrook (who did not play) has been battling. I hope not. In this day and age concussions are scarier than ever before. Given the history of concussions for Philadelphia athletes, here's hoping Jackson is ok.

Grandpop wins $2.00

Each NFL season my grand pop, a loyal Eagles fan, and his brother (my "Great" Uncle Tom), a devout Redskins fan, bet $1 on each Eagles-Redskins game. At the end of the season one brother must pay the other the debts from the bets. This year, with the Eagles having swept their NFC East rivals, Grandpop wins $2.00!


Phillies in the holiday, disco mood

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Send your own ElfYourself eCards


Flyers, like Sixers, lose to Atlanta

Blanked: Flyers shut out by Thrashers -
Flyers fall to Thrashers, 1-0 -

Good thing there was college football to keep watching yesterday!

The Flyers had won 14 straight against the Atlanta Thrashers. Sounds like it was a frustrating game for the offense, but Brian Boucher played well. Looking at the numbers the Flyers defense seemed to do a good job of limiting chances for Atlanta in the first and third period. Tough loss. For the second straight day a Philadelphia team lost to a team from Atlanta.

How much does this win help sports fans in Atlanta get over Georgia Tech losing to Georgia though?

Inside the Flyers: Inconsistency could threaten Stevens' job - Sam Carchidi, Philadelphia Inquirer

I'm not ready to jump all over John Stevens yet, but the team may not be living up to the expectations right now. Injuries and suspensions have hampered them a bit though. Had the Flyers won yesterday's game in Atlanta, would this article have been published?

Just seems like a bit of a stale article for me that may have been waiting for the right time. The first coach to be fired in Philadelphia should clearly be Andy Reid anyway. Am I right people?


Sixers complete Wachovia Center sweep...for visitors

Saturday, November 28, 2009

The Sixers lost at home, just like the Flyers yesterday. Getty Images

Grounded: Hawks hand Sixers fifth straight loss -
Sixers fall to Hawks for fifth straight loss -

But hey, at least Allen Iverson rumors have started up. At least that should give Sixers fans something to get excited about. Right?

76ers considering Iverson - Kate Fagan,

Interesting to note the current poll results show that 77.5% of fans believe the Sixers should bring back the former star of the franchise. I have mixed feelings on it right now. I see the advantages and minuses from the basketball and economic business side of things.


Flyers lose on Black Friday to Sabres

The Sabres celebrated a 4-2 win at the Wachovia Center. AP Photo

Flyers lose to Sabres in Black Friday game -
Black and Blue Friday: Flyers fall to Sabres 4-2 -

Yesterday's Flyers game looked like a game from the old days. Lots of bumping and bruising, mixed in with some fighting. But the Flyers lost on Black Friday.

I was actually there for the first Black Friday game in which the Flyers introduced their black jerseys. They were cool for a while, but now I am glad to see them out of the mix.


What to eat? Cereal Edition

For me this is not too complicated. I have eaten cereal for breakfast for about 99% of my mornings on this planet (actual statistics may not be accurate - but sure seems pretty accurate). I can probably guess what my top five cereals of all time are when comparing how often I have eaten them.

  1. Honey Nut Cheerios
  2. Frosted Flakes
  3. Golden Grahams
  4. Rice Krispies
  5. Cinnamon Toast Crunch
While cereal may be a staple in my diet and the choices are never hard for me, I understand that for many it is a tough decision. Well worry no longer because there is a flow chart for that!

Source: Eating the Road (via Bag of Nothing)

I could sure go for a bowl of that Nintendo Cereal System right about now...


Happy Thanksgiving!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Naturally, I have turkey on my mind!

Go Detroit Lions, Oakland Raiders and Denver Broncos!

Turkey hat courtesy of the fine folks of IZEA, who hooked me up with the free Tofurky & Gravy Soda last week.

Happy Thanksgiving to all of you. Take a moment and let me know something you are thankful for. I am thankful for Chase Utley, although I have yet to right him a love letter...


Allen Iverson calls it a career

Thanks for the memories!

Iverson's calling it a career -
Report: Iverson set to retire - AP

The greatest show in Philadelphia in my lifetime officially called it quits on Wednesday. Allen Iverson, "The Answer", reportedly announced his retirement form the game of basketball.

I am not ready to say he is officially done as I would think that there is a decent possibility that a few teams will inquire about him before the season is over. However, it speaks volumes when not even the New York Knicks show an interest in you.

But I am not here to rip on the most exciting Philadelphia athlete I have ever watched. you know I am a huge fan of Donovan McNabb, Jimmy Rollins, Chase Utley, Ryan Howard and DeSean Jackson, but none of them can come close to the buzz that I got when watching Iverson play.

Say what you will about his defense and his philosophy on practicing, but nobody can deny that he gave his all when he stepped on the basketball court. I will always remember his performance in the 2001 NBA playoffs. Iverson took the team on his back and carried them to the NBA Finals where the little engine that could just could not power his team past one of the best NBA dynasties in recent memory.

Iverson ends his career having averaged 27.0 points per game(tied for fifth all time), 24,020 points (17th all time), and 1,965 steals (12th all time). Is he a Hall of Famer? Probably. But one thing is for sure. The number three will be raised to the rafters in the Wachovia Center some day.

Eric Lindross may have been the man who built the Wachovia Center, but Iverson gave it electricity.


Sixers make it interesting but lose to C's

I didn't realize that 1) Rasheed Wallace was still playing, and
2) that he plays for the Celtics.

Getty Images

Sixers give Celtics a fight before falling -
Hanging tough: Sixers fall to Celtics -

After watching the Flyers game in its entirety, I flipped over to the end of the Sixers game. They were down by two with about eight minutes remaining in the game on the road in Boston but the deficit quickly grew to eight. But they did not quit and they hit some late three pointers (REALLY!) to make a run at the Celtics.

But some missed free throws down the stretch doomed the good guys. It's good to see them play a talented team like the Celtics close, but this team needs a win.



Flyers beat former goalie 2-1

Flyers fight past Islanders, 2-1 -
Treasure Island: Flyers top Islanders to snap skid -

For the first time this season I was able to sit down on the couch and watch an entire Flyers game from start to finish. I typically do not pay close attention to the hockey team until after the end of the football season, but things fell into place for me Wednesday so I decided to leave the TV on the Flyers game.

They had struggled on their recent west coast trip and their return to the east coast was not easy. But the team rallied from a first period deficit to pick up two points in the standings by beating the New York Islanders 2-1. It was a fun game to watch as the Flyers went up against former teammate, goalie Martin Biron. Biron had a good game, but Brian Boucher had a better one.

It was also fun watching a couple of good hockey fights.


Some CAPTCHAs make me thankful for good eyes!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

I understand the purpose of CAPTCHAs but sometimes it goes too far!

What are CAPTCHAs?
I'll allow The Official CAPTCHA Site to answer this one...

A CAPTCHA is a program that protects websites against bots by generating and grading tests that humans can pass but current computer programs cannot. For example, humans can read distorted text as the one shown below, but current computer programs can't:

CAPTCHA example

The term CAPTCHA (for Completely Automated Public Turing Test To Tell Computers and Humans Apart) was coined in 2000 by Luis von Ahn, Manuel Blum, Nicholas Hopper and John Langford of Carnegie Mellon University.

No big deal when the CAPTCHA device is similar in fashion, and readability, as the one above. But what happens when a CAPTCHA like the one below is thrown at you?

"1GDWQG"? Or is it "lGQWQ6"?

Is that really necessary? Needless to say, I got this one wrong the other day. So I got this one instead...


At least the second one was a little easier to read. I was able to move on with my second try. even with my 20/20 eye sight I find it tough to read some of these sometimes. Is it really necessary to make these CAPTCHAs so hard to read? Sometimes I feel like I'm staring at one of those old 3D images that you have to focus past the page to figure these out!


Another rough week of football picking

It was another disappointing weekend of football picking for me this past weekend. Once again the Pittsburgh Steelers continue to laugh in my face as they quickly drop from Super Bowl champs to Wild Card pursuing chumps. However, given that everybody put big points on the Steelers against the Kansas City Chiefs, the loss didn't hurt me too badly (in fantasy football it is a different story though).

Even putting 14 points on the Cincinnati Bengals was not my ultimate down fall. Instead it was the late decision to put eight points on the Carolina Panthers. I had debated strongly picking the Miami Dolphins in the game but in the end I went with the Panthers on Thursday night at home. Had I gone with the Dolphins I would have been in position to finish ahead of my dad. The football poo would still have been out of reach though as "Robbie" had an unbelievably good week, recording a week high of 110 points. His success meant playing it risky on my Houston Texans with 16 points made no difference in the weekly prize.

As my weekly performance made a slight upturn, my dad saw his spike over the last few weeks continue to climb. Of course this is terrible news for me as the margin between us grows even more. At this point it is just about impossible to catch him before the season ends.

Thankfully I will be visiting the other side of the family this Thanksgiving, sparing me from the inevitable comments to rub it in about my ineptitude in picking games.

My fantasy football team also fell short of a victory this week to "Koy Detmer's Neck Beard", thanks in large part to Bears quarterback Jay Cutler and, ironically for me, Steve Slaton and Andre Johnson of the Texans. Donovan McNabb did all he could for me, but once again the Steelers defense chokes away another chance at a win for me.

The playoffs start this week though so we will see how far I can go. The opening round opponent is The Phrontiersmen. In the last meeting I came away with a dominating victory, which was the lone bright spot from my virtual football weekend.


Wizards beat Sixers with heavy hearts

Another loss for the Sixers makes them 5-9. Getty Images

Defensive lapse proves costly to Sixers -
Short Story: Sixers' rally falls short in loss -

I am not sure exactly how many Washington Wizards fans there are out there, but my heart goes out to you today. Much like the Phillies picked up a win on the same day Harry Kalas passed away, the Wizards of the NBA last night picked up a win against the Philadelphia 76ers on the same day their owner died.

D.C. sports icon, Wizards owner Pollin dead at 85
- Washington Times
When it comes to Pollin, think big picture - ESPN (J.A. Adande)

I can not sit here and tell you that I knew anything about the owner of the Wizards. Honestly the first time I heard his name came after he had died. So I can not attest to you the tremendous impact he had on the nation's capital, but it seems like he was an important figure in the community. If there is anyone out there who wants to chime in on Pollin, feel free to do so.

RIP Abe Pollin - WFY

On a personal note, I can not help but find a somewhat strange coincidence in all of this. Pollin seems like he was a man who loved his franchise and he passed away before his Washington team hosted the Sixers, from Philadelphia. Harry Kalas, long time voice of the Phillies, passed away in D.C. prior to the start of a Nationals-Phillies game. Two long time fixtures in their respective organizations passing away before a Phladelphia-Washington game.


I know a Black Friday retail secret

In Black Friday advertisements in the Thanksgiving Day newspapers all across the country you are bound to read something that claims a store will have a minimum number of a certain item on hand for Black Friday. Maybe Kmart claims they will have a minimum of 50 Nintendo Wii's per store. Or Best Buy states they will have a minimum of 25 of a certain Sony laptop on hand.

So you camp out and you wait in line all night after stuffing your face full of Thanksgiving turkey and stuffing. You count how many people have the same odd desire as you to wait overnight in a cold line and by your count you are guaranteed to be walking out of the store with the big ticket item at a dirt cheap price that is so low you feel like you are getting away with something.

When the doors open you are clearly one of the first people to grab your item of choice but the store tells you they are all out. How can this be? The store said they will have "X" available for customers when they open. You hurry off to another store wondering why they would claim to have so many and then quickly run out when you get in the store.

I will tell you what happened, because I have witnessed it in my time working in a certain, unnamed office supply store.

One of the associates working that morning made a purchase before the store opened. Worse yet, multiple associates made a purchase before the doors opened for business. A store that is sent ten GPS devices from their warehouse specifically for Black Friday all of a sudden has just four when they open.

While you were waiting in the bitter cold waiting to get your hands on a deal, the sales associate (who likely didn't want to come in so early - yet still after you probably waited in line) reserved his or her item, made the purchase in the warm store and stowed it away in the employee break room or behind the cash register where nobody would see.

It happens. Is it fair? Depends on who you ask. I see both sides of the argument having worked through it.

On one hand it is blatantly unfair for a loyal and dedicated customer to wait outside for a certain item, only to find out it is sold out before the store opens. On the other hand the store associates likely do not get enough of a break most of the time and maybe they are deserving of taking advantage of the opportunity.

What do you think? Is it fair for store employees to be buying the limited time deals before the doors open on Black Friday?


DVD Tuesday: Funny People

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

The movie Funny People is now available on DVD and BluRay. To revisit some of my thoughts from the movie I picked a couple quotes from my previous review [link];

  • Sure, the story focuses on a couple of comedians and their struggles, but this is more than a comedy. It is very much a drama.
  • I found myself to enjoy the movie's lengthy plot with the help of numerous guest appearances.
  • You are not getting a Sandler from a movie like The Waterboy or Happy Gilmore.
  • The truth is Sandler has matured over the years and this may be one of his better movies as far as acting goes.
Did you see the movie? What did you think?

Movie Info
Funny People from Universal Pictures
Director: Judd Apatow
Writer: Judd Apatow
Genre: Dramatic comedy
Rated: R
Running time: 146 minutes

Score of 1 to 10: 7.4


Flyers lose to Avs 5-4

Jeff Carter and the Flyers couldn't get out of the early hole.
Getty Images

Flyers nearly rally from drubbing in Colorado -
Whiteout: Flyers fall to Avs, lose third straight -

I for one am glad the Flyers are heading back east. After starting their west coast swing with a win against the Los Angeles Kings the Fly-Guys have dropped three straight games, including a pair against Western Conference division leaders. Last night's loss to the Colorado Avalanche saw the Flyers get behind early. Despite a late flurry by the orange and black, the Avalanche came away with the win.

Game Threads
FlyerFlies | FlyersPhans | Liberty Bell Sports


76ers in the holiday spirit, singing

Monday, November 23, 2009

Don't quit your day jobs guys.

They can carry a tune as well as they can make a big shot when it counts I guess.


Taste Testing Tofurky & Gravy Soda

This is a Sponsored Post written by me on behalf of Jones Soda. All opinions are 100% mine.

The other day I was sent a free sample of Tofurky and Gravy Jones Soda from Jones Soda Co. Who am I to pass up a free soda? Besides, I consider myself somewhat adventurous and willing to try new things from time to time.

But I fail to see the appeal of relieving your thirst by drinking something that is supposed to be flavored as something that traditionally makes you sleepy, but maybe Tofurky does not have the same effect? Regardless, I took the liberty of sharing my first sips with you. Watch the following video...

As you be able to tell by my facial reactions, this soda does not quite rank up high with Cherry 7-Up or Vanilla Coke. I am not saying I would go out and buy a six pack of this particular beverage, but if Uncle Sal is the kind of guy who will be excited about trying off the wall flavors or considers himself a collector of soda bottles, then this may be a must-have.

For me, I'll stick with the classics. Coca-Cola Classic that is. Let me know what you think of it if you happen to try it. Am I alone in my thoughts on this one? I sense that I am not, but I remain curious as to what people have to say about it this Thanksgiving season.

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Photos - Towamencin Turkey Trot

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Previously: Dad in the Turkey Trot


Towamencin Township Turkey Trot

Saturday, November 21, 2009

My dad ran in the nearby Towamencin Township Turkey Trot. Originating at Fischer's Park the run covers five kilometers. Below are some select photos that I took.

My dad before the race starts

If this isn't Snoopy's dog house, I don't know what is

My dad runs by. More on this photo later

My dad points out where he finished

For the entire album of photos, click here. Maybe it's outdated right now but for more information on the Towamencin Township Turkey Trot, click here.


Penn State Game Day - "This is Sparta" edition

Penn State takes on Michigan State today in East Lansing and a spot in the BCS is within grasp for the Nittany Lions. Can they pull it out? Here are some links to get you caught up to speed for today's game.

Preview: #14 Penn State (9-2, 5-2) @ Michigan State (6-5, 4-3)
Big Ten Examiner Round Table
Penn State 101: Land Grant Trophy
Poll shows Penn State fans have no desire to name Joe Paterno's successor
Penn State's long and winding road to the BCS championship game
Does Penn State deserve a BCS bid?

Nittany White Out
Video Preview: Michigan State
Video Slide Show: Indiana

Phinally Philly
Rivalry weekend for local college football teams

The 700 Level
Penn State battles for the ugliest trophy in sports

Spaceballs the Football Friday!


Spaceballs the Football Friday!

Friday, November 20, 2009

Let's start by recapping what has happened lately as far as football related topics go with me...

New Examiner Role
As you probably know I have been covering Penn State football for Examiner this season, in addition to Nittany White Out. It has been a fun experience and I am grateful to have met so many people through the new connections. I hope to continue with those working relationships in the future and without that I do not think I could have landed a new role on the Examiner site.

I am not working on a national level for Examiner, covering the entire world of college football. If you wish to help me out or check out what I have to say I encourage you to stop by my new page and subscribe via e-mail or RSS reader of your choice!

Even though the regular season is winding down there are a number of great ideas in the works for the bowl season and off-season! I will continue to share some links to my articles from time to time here.

Football Pool Struggles
I had a particularly bad week in the football pool two weekends ago, scoring the lowest score of the year for people who actually play on a weekly basis. In addition I was knocked out of the suicide pool I was participating in when the Green Bay Packers dropped a game on the road against Tampa Bay. Ugh.

This past weekend I got out to a nice head start on the competition but the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Arizona Cardinals foiled me. I put big points on the Steelers, who lost, and not enough points on the Cardinals. I would have been in much better shape if the Cardinals had lost, so I was rooting for a wrong pick in that game.

In the process the margin between my running total and my dad continued to grow, which frustrates me immensely.
To make matters worse, I am off to a bad start this week, laying eight points on the Carolina Panthers in the Thursday night game, which the Dolphins won. Ouch!

This week I think it is about time to get Stef to make the picks.

Ok, let's fast forward and get back up to date...

Shippensburg vs. California
The D2 playoffs enter their second round this weekend and Shippensburg will host their second playoff game this decade. the game will be a rematch of the PSAC's State Game from a couple weeks ago as California returns to the scene of the crime, Seth Grove Stadium. I don't know how to read this game. Rematches are dangerous, and I still remember Ship beating West Chester in the final regular season game of 2004, only to lose two weeks later in the second round of the playoffs in Shippensburg.

Penn State @ Michigan State
So much riding on this game, and I'm not talking about the clunky Land Grant Trophy. If you have been keeping up with me you know that I think the BCS is a real possibility for Penn State, but I also think Michigan State stuns the Nittany Lions today. Call it a bad gut feeling.

Eagles at Bears
Who knows which Eagles team will show up this weekend? Is there another team with the ability to look like Super Bowl contenders one week and look like chumps another like the Eagles do? I still say that Donovan McNabb is a better quarterback than Jay Cutler though and have to think the Bears are done. Who knows.

Time to pick up the pace with my six pack of picks, which has been on a long hiatus!

Michigan State over Penn State
California over Shippensburg
Temple over Kent State
Giants over Falcons
Texans over Titans
Eagles over Bears


This should get your day rolling

Wait for it. Wait for it...

A Football Friday post will be coming your way this afternoon. Stay tuned.


6ABC's Dave Roberts to retire

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Another familiar face from my youth growing up is officially retiring. Dave Roberts, long time weather man on 6 ABC in Philadelphia is retiring.

Roberts was one of the faces you could trust in Philadelphia and together with Jim Gardner was part of my favorite news team in the region. His final broadcast will be on December 11.He will broadcast his 31st and final Thanksgiving Parade next Thursday as well.

I know that everyone will have different memories of Roberts, but I will always remember him and the old weather map, with the magnetic clouds and and graphics. Before watching the segment above I was unaware of some of the history of Roberts' career. AM Philadelphia was before my time so I found this to be particularly interesting.

There will be more Roberts tributes coming from 6 ABC leading up to the final broadcast for Roberts, and I'll be sure to watch them and share them when I can.

Thank you Dave for coming into our homes for as long as I can remember. The AccuWeather five day forecast will not be the same without you!

6ABC - Dave Roberts to Retire
6ABC InterAction - Send your comments to Dave Roberts
Philadelphia Inquirer (Michael Klein) - Roberts sets a last forecast
KYW 1060 - Phila. Weatherman Calls it Quits After 56 Years


DVD Ranger 2.8.1 could fulfill my DVD ripping needs

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

I do not normally have a need to rip my DVD's but if I did I might give a good look at

You can download the free three day trial from their website if you are a Windows user (sorry, no Mac versions). It is compatible with Windows xp, Windows Vista and of course Windows 7.

The basic features of DVD-Ranger allow a user to backup their DVD collection with backups of 1:1 to DVD9 or shrinking an entire DVD to a DVD5 if needed. Users can also transfer their DVD to a number of devices, such as an iPod, PSP, Zune or laptop. ISO creation is another method covered by DVD Ranger and the ability to backup just the movie form a DVD is available as well.

Want to transfer your DVD to a BluRay disc? No problem. You can fit up to ten DVD movies on one BluRay disc. The most notable feature though may be the HotFix Manager. Here is what the DVD Ranger website says about the HotFix Manager...

The HotFix Manager is a small utility that allows users to quickly and simply fix most DVD copy errors. The resulting HotFix database is also ideal for any processes developed with our DVD-Ranger. For example, you can use it for fixing the newest DVD releases that are not part of the current DVD-Ranger version!
The HotFix Manager is a brand new function that comes included with the DVD-Ranger software application. Take a minute to read the short manual; you’ll see the advantages of using the HotFix Manager for optimized DVD copies.

This technology would be nice to use. I can not tell you how many times I have attempted to burn a CD or DVD only to have something fail somewhere before completion, there by ruining the disc and rendering it useless. That disc always finds a new home in the trash can.

So without any further delay, head over to DVD-Ranger's website and click the download button for the three day trial and let me know what you think of it!



These are a few of my favorite things...

Monday, November 16, 2009

Green Man meets the Nittany Lion (shrine).
Photo courtesy of @OnwardState via Twitpic.


Mario Monday takes a sneak peak at upcoming New Super Mario Brothers Wii

Today Mario Monday takes a brief hiatus from walking down memory lane and instead looks forward. Don't worry, we'll go back in time next week.

New Super Mario Brothers Wii was released yesterday and it found a nice home at the top of my Christmas list for this year. The highly anticipated Wii release is more than a straight port of the hit DS title of a similar name. The Wii version has multiple playing modes to allow for four player co-op (or competitive) play, something never before seen in a Mario game.

Judging by what I have seen from some select videos and reviews the game play looks to be transported perfectly from the DS version and alot of the familiar game play features of the entire Mario franchise seem to have been included.

I tweeted earlier today that it is nice to see the Koopa Kids make a long awaited return. I had fears that Bowser had killed them off in order to give his entire attention to the younger version of Bowser in recent Mario games.

You can check out a number of reviews online already but I hope to be able to give my own assessment sometime after the holiday season, by which time it may be obsolete anyway.

If you have picked up the game already please let me know what you think of it!

Game Trailers


USA Today - 'New Super Mario Brothers Wii' a pleasant adventure - New Super Mario Brothers Wii Review


Penn State #14 in the BCS

The latest BCS rankings are out and low and behold, Penn State is at #14, which is the cut-off point for BCS at-large teams for the BCS bowls (championship, Fiesta, Sugar, Rose, and Orange). Ohio State clinched the Big Ten's automatic BCS bid with their win over Iowa this weekend so if Penn State is to play in a BCS game they will need to be selected as an at-large.

I went into more detail and my own personal breakdown of how Penn State can realistically be picked this morning on Examiner, so please feel free to read through that and let me know what you think. In addition I explored the out-of-this-world scenario of how Penn State can play for the BCS Championship in January over on Nittany White Out. That post will also be reprinted tomorrow on Examiner.

With Penn State having lost in ugly fashion to both Ohio State AND Iowa, I personally do not feel the Nittany Lions have earned the opportunity to represent the Big Ten in one of the biggest bowl games.

But I would love to see them take on Boise State or TCU.


Today in Sixers history

Sunday, November 15, 2009

From my Page-a-Day Calendar e-mail...

November 15, 1975
Newly acquired forward George McGinnis scores 39 points before fouling out, leading the Philadelphia 76ers to a 110-109 triple-overtime victory over the Washington Bullets at the Spectrum. Mad Dog Carter has 21 points, Doug Collins 19 and Billy Cunningham 18 for the resurgent Sixers, who will post a 12-game improvement in the standings this season (34-48 to 46-36) and make the playoffs for the first time in five years.


Sunday Sports Page

Evan Royster's touchdown tied the game for Penn State.
AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster

Penn State 31, Indiana 20
The Penn State seniors left Beaver Stadium with one final win to their career record. It was not pretty by any means, but the defense got the job done and allowed the offense a chance to get back into the game. Linebacker Navorro Bowman had the play of the game with a long interception return for a touchdown to give Penn State a 17-10 lead in the third quarter.

Sabres 3, Flyers 2
The Flyers saw their five game winning streak come to an end in a game in which penalties haunted the orange and black. Danny Briere's double minor late in the third really took away any chance for the Flyers to pick up a W in this one.

Bulls 94, Sixers 88
The 76ers took to the road but came up short in Chicago as the Bulls handed the visiting Sixers their second loss in as many games. The Sixers fall to 4-6.

Penn 17, Harvard 7
The Quakers clinched at least a share of the Ivy League crown with a dominating victory at Harvard. In a battle of unbeaten teams in Ivy League play the Quakers jumped out to a 17-0 lead on the home team by halftime, and the Quakers held off a late Harvard threat to take home the Ivy League crown for 2009.


Live Blog - Penn State vs. Indiana

Saturday, November 14, 2009

I am conducting a live blog for today's Penn State game on Examiner and Nittany White Out, but viewers of Ramblings can also feel free to join in! Below is the same chat that can be seen on either of the "host" sites.


Penn State Game Day - "We named the dog Indiana" edition

Penn State has some wounds to lick and this week and there is no better opponent than Indiana to help expedite the healing process from last week's loss to Ohio State.

I have a lot of links for you to check out today so get clicking to get caught up! Be sure to check back later this morning to join in a live chat during the Penn State game today!

Preview: #18 Penn State (8-2, 4-2 Big Ten) vs. Indiana (4-6, 1-5)
Big Ten Examiner Round Table
Previewing Indiana with Hoosiers Examiner Brandon Moore
Indiana may be just the medicine for Penn State
For Penn State, it's time to let go of 2005

Nittany White Out
Happy Birthday Vinny Testaverde!
Video Preview: Indiana

Phinally Philly
Temple football going for eight straight, Penn State looks to rebound

The 700 Level
Penn State seniors look to go out with a win


Dr. Mario with Lyrics

Friday, November 13, 2009

Previously on Mario Monday - Dr. Mario

I am a big fan of YouTube sensation Brentalfloss. I have posted some of his masterpieces here before, but his latest creation is hands down my favorite.

With the animation skills of Parker Simmons this video is an instant classic if you ask me. I could not wait for Mario Monday to share this one, so kick start your Friday with it instead!

Friday blogging schedule, November 13, 2009
Saturday blogging schedule, November 14, 2009


Am I a genius?

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Of course the answer is no. But I am starting to receive a number of compliments for some of my recent prognostication skills. I have been given some praise for many of my predictions on the final scores of the Penn State games this season, although I have picked he Nittany Lions to win every game so far and look how that has turned out.

But within the last 24 hours I was asked this question on Facebook by Shaimus guitarist Evan Brown...

So I thought why not take a look back at my official prediction post for the 2009 Phillies, originally posted on April 5, 2009.

I feel that this year's team has potential to be better than the 2008 squad. Replacing 16 starts from Adam Eaton with a full year of Joe Blanton, possibly having a refocused Myers for an entire year and getting a full season out of Chan Ho Park as opposed to Kyle Kendrick only seems to give the Phillies a much better starting rotation with a steady Jamie Moyer and the ace in Cole Hamels.

Well, that did not quite go as I thought it would. Cole Hamels entered the season unprepared after not focusing on work outs in the off-season, which is understandable and typical for a World Series MVP. Hamels finished the regular season with a losing record and had a frustrating post season.

I still stand by my notion that not having Adam Eaton for a full season was a benefit as Joe Blanon was one of the most dependable pitchers on the team for the entire season, despite a tough start. Chan Ho Park? Well, again I was off on that as well. Park never grasped the fifth starter's job like I thought he would and moved to the bullpen in exchange for JA Happ, which turned out to be a solid decision. Happ went on to have a great season and won the Sporting News NL Rookie of the Year for his performance.

Refocused [Brett] Myers? Steady Jamie Moyer? Thank goodness for Cliff Lee and to a lesser extent, Pedro Martinez.

I expect Jimmy Rollins to have a season that falls between his 2007 MVP season and last year (which seemed worse than it was because of his spectacular 2007 season). Ryan Howard will push for 50 home runs and Chase Utley will play at an MVP level.

Truth be told this was a cop-out type of prediction as all three players universally had the same kind of expectations. Aside from a down turn in walks and a slight rise in strike outs, Rollins' numbers did go up from 2008 in most offensive categories. His batting average took a drop but considering how poor his first half of the season was, it would be hard to be too upset with what Rollins did offer at the plate for the entire season.

Ryan Howard finished the season with 45 home runs. Chase Utley played well all year but his numbers went down across the board except for walks and stolen bases. Best second baseman in the National League, but not an MVP type player.

I'll go on record and predict a 94 win season from the Phillies, culminating with a third straight NL East division title. But repeating is tough so I'll play the odds and say they lose to the Yankees in the World Series. Call me a sucker, but I buy into the hype that the Yankees may have just bought their way back to the Fall Classic.

The Phillies finished the regular season with 93 wins, one shy of my bench mark prediction. Still 93 wins was more than good enough to capture a third consecutive NL East division crown, and even though they stumbled a bit late, the Phillies clinched the division this year before the final weekend series.

As for the World Series prediction, I was pretty dead on with that one...unfortunately.


Day-late Veteran's Day post

Yesterday was Veteran's Day and I never posted anything in honor of those who served. I apologize for that.

But a number of people did post some good stuff yesterday. Naturally I found the most interesting content from Geeding over at (boasting a new design by the way). In one post he shared a number of heart warming videos of soldiers returning home. We always see the videos of men and women returning to their spouses, girlfriends, boyfriends, children, parents and siblings and it is bound to give you a good feeling in your heart.

But what about the family dog? How do they react? I honestly found some of these videos to be so much more touching and wanted to share one with you here.

To those who have served or are currently serving, I thank you for your dedication and service to this country that I love. Happy (belated) Veterans Day to you all.


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