Tuesday, November 30, 2010

A Good Fantasy Week...

This week in fantasy was good to me...in all but one of my leagues.

In my public league that I was in first place in, I was down by 10 going into the Monday Night game with Frank Gore. Gore got 52 yards in the first quarter, and then must've gotten hurt or something...as he didn't get another touch the entire game. So I ended up losing by 5 points...and it was to the guy that was in second, so he and I now have the same record...with him getting the nod for first place because he has more points scored. I am now 10-2 in that league.

In my other public league, I got a win and climbed to 5-7. I'm still in the playoff race in that league, because EVERYONE has a horrible record. The guy in first is only at 8-4, and everyone ahead of me is 7-5.

In my ESPN league, I also got a win and climbed to 7-5 and I'm now in second in my division, which means I am currently in a playoff spot.

In my SBN league, I picked up another win to climb to 8-4, and I'm pretty sure I locked up a playoff spot with the win. The guy in fifth has fallen to 5-7, and with the playoffs starting after two more games I can't possibly end up worse than 8-6, which means the playoffs are a lock for me right now.

In my TSA league, I got another win and pulled into a three way tie for first place at 9-3. Playoffs are locked up in that league as well.

So right now it's looking like I'll probably make the playoffs in at least three leagues, with the ESPN league still being up in the air.

That brings my yearly record to 39-21, which is good for a .650 winning percentage. Pretty solid showing considering I had a couple of weak teams to start this season. Mid-season pickups in a couple of leagues of Peyton Hillis and Dwayne Bowe have really paid off in the last few weeks.

To top all of this off, I broke 100 points for the second straight week in the Pick'em league and got my second "Best Score of the Week" award for the season. I actually passed the guy that was in first and now lead by 3 points in that league...which is great because I was down by over 20 just two weeks ago. I've got quite a bit of distance between myself and the third and fourth place players, too...

Sunday, November 28, 2010


...are in order, to the 2010 Michigan State Spartan football team.

I have to say, you guys did a LOT better than I thought you would. I was hoping for an 8-4 season with a trip to a decent bowl game. But you guys gave us fans so much more. You gave us an 11-1 season with a win over a team that will probably end up in the Top 5 this coming week in Wisconsin.

You gave us thrilling comebacks that would have had you rolling over to die in years past. You gave us an overtime win over Notre Dame (with an amazing fake field goal). You gave us more than we ever expected, and we're all happy and proud that you did.

Now comes the part where you end up getting screwed though, because the BCS is about as useless of a system as you can possibly get. You're going to finish 11-1 with a Co-Big 10 Championship...but because of the fact that you lost later than Ohio State and Wisconsin, both of them will be ranked higher than you in the BCS, which means that Wisconsin will likely win the Big 10's trip to the Rose Bowl and Ohio State will get an at large bid to another BCS game, which means that you'll be blocked out of a BCS Bowl Game because of the stupid rule that only two teams from one conference get to go to a BCS game in one season.

Never mind the fact that you beat Wisconsin. Never mind the fact that the winner of the ACC is going to go to a BCS game with 2 or 3 losses (Va Tech is 10-2 and plays for the ACC Championship against 9-3 Florida State next week which means that the winner of the ACC will have either two or three losses). Never mind the fact that the winner of the Big East is going to go to a BCS game with three losses (West Virginia), four losses (UConn), or five losses (Pitt). Never mind the fact that it's looking like UConn will probably win the Big East and go to a BCS game with four losses, one of which was a 30-10 pounding by Michigan...yup, that same Michigan team that you yourselves pounded 34-17.

Never mind any of that, Michigan State Spartans. Because you can paint 2010 Big Ten Champions on your stadium next year. You can party like you deserve to go to a BCS game, because you do. But most of all...take the fact that you're probably going to get screwed and use it against whatever unfortunate team you end up getting to play in what will most likely be the Capital One Bowl. Use it, and come home with one more win...it's all that's left for you to do.

Go State.

NFL Training Camp...

My "EA Active NFL Training Camp" arrived today, and I tossed it into the Wii and gave a few of the drills a shot.

I have to say...after about 10 minutes, I was literally dripping sweat and could really feel the burn. The best part, though?? I didn't even notice it while it was happening. I was WAY too into trying to get good scores on the drills.

Every other time I've tried to workout, almost with the first routine I've felt that it wasn't for me...but this had me going, and I was pumped up after doing it!!

I'm really looking forward to getting started on the 60 day challenge...I think it's going to be a great workout that I'm actually going to enjoy!!!

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Some Black Friday Deals...

I ended up purchasing a few things from Amazon for their "Black Friday" deals.

I got "Two Fast Two Furious" and "The Fast and the Furious Tokyo Drift" for $2 each on DVD. I like the Fast and Furious movies, and I didn't have either of those ones on DVD, so for $2 it's hard to pass it up...especially with free shipping for being an Amazon Prime member.

I also got a couple of video games for the PS3. They are both games that have been out for a while and they are Playstation Classics or whatever it's called when a game has sold a bajillion copies.

Either way, they were both still listed for $29.99 and I got each one of them for $10 with free shipping. So basically, I got two games and two DVDs for less than the list price of one of the games.

Here is the first game I got. It's called "Infamous."

And the second game is called "Killzone 2."

They should both be here on Tuesday, but I'm not sure when I'll get around to playing them. I still have to finish "Uncharted 2" for the PS3 and "Goldeneye" for the Wii. Couple that with the fact that I started playing "Bad Company 2" again and I'm not sure when I'll get around to playing these...but they were too good of a deal to pass up.

Friday, November 26, 2010

New Gift for Cathy and I...

...an early Christmas present if you will.

We have a pretty nice digital camera...but it's kind of limited because it's one of the point and shoot style ones. It's only got a 3x zoom on it and it's kind of limited for taking pictures of anything that's at any distance at all, really.

I had thought about taking it to the UFC Event and the Red Wings game, but I simply figured it wouldn't get very good photos because of how far away we were going to be.

So I started looking around for something that had a nicer optical zoom on it...which put me into the SLR style cameras.

I found this one, a GE X5, on HSN for a great price.

It's a 14.1 MP camera with a 15x optical zoom. It got great reviews on the HSN site and I found it on Amazon with some really great reviews, as well. The only difference between this photo and the camera I actually got is that the one I purchased has a dark red body.

It's not a true SLR camera, but the zoom will be nice. I think we'll still use the point and shoot for those quick photos we need to take, like of the pets and in the house, but I think this new one will be great for special occassions and trips. We'll test it out when we go to Vegas this winter, and we will definitely need to get batteries to spare for the trip to Hawai'i in 2012.

Going to Training Camp...

Tonight I ordered my copy of "EA Active NFL Training Camp" for the Nintendo Wii. It should be here on Saturday.

I'm really looking forward to getting it. I had such great success losing weight this past summer, but I hit a major hurdle. I just wasn't having fun working out. So much of the weight that I have lost I have put back on. I'm still lower than I was when I started, but I didn't keep the weight off like I wanted to.

Hopefully the new workout program will be enough to keep me interested and having fun. I think it should, most of the reviews I've read of it have been pretty positive.

Thursday, November 25, 2010


The last post that I made, the one wishing everyone a Happy Turkey Day, was my 900th post to my blog.
I can't believe that I've made 900 posts to this thing since I started it just a couple of years ago. I've slowed down my posting over the past few months, partly out of laziness and partly because there really wasn't much to post about, but I look forward to continuing to share my random thoughts and such with anyone that's reading.
I'm guessing I'll be up to 1,000 posts by my birthday in April.

Happy Thanksgiving!!!

Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!!!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010


I love it.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

What Do You Get When You Take Two Awesome Things and Put Them Together???

One VERY awesome looking movie trailer.

It's based on a graphic novel, and it looks pretty cool to me.

Comes out July 29, 2011.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

A Good Fantasy Week, So Far...

Well, it looks like I'm going to win all five games in my five fantasy leagues this week.

Barring any Mike Vick-like 56 point performances in the game tomorrow, I've gotten every game taken care of. My smallest lead is 27 points, but in that game my opponent doesn't have anyone left to play.

In the league that I'm in first place, I lead by 27 points. He has Antonio Gates left to play tomorrow, but Gates is listed as being questionable, and most sources are saying he's not going to play. If I hang on, I'll be at 10-1 in that league and I'll wrap up a playoff spot tomorrow.

In the league that I'm in last place in I lead by 61 points and he also has Antonio Gates. That will take me to 4-7 in that league. I'll stay in 8th place, and the playoffs aren't looking very good.

In my league at work, I lead by 60 points and he has Phil Rivers to play. I really don't see Rivers putting up 60 points tomorrow, so I'll probably move to 8-3 and be sitting in third place.

In my SBN league I lead by 50 and he has Brandon Lloyd left to play. Again, I'm pretty confident that Lloyd isn't going to put up 51, so that will move me to 7-4 and I'll be in third place.

In my ESPN league, I lead by 28 points and he has nobody left to play. I still have a running back to play, Mike Tolbert from San Diego. So I'll move to 6-5 in that league, third in my division, and fifth overall.

So that puts me at 35-20 on the season, which is pretty good considering that I have the one team that's really doing not so well. If you take out my worst team, I'd be 31-13. The playoffs are looking pretty good in a couple of the leagues, and I should clinch a spot this week in one of them.

Couple all of this with the fact that I posted the second best score in the Pick'em league this week and everything went well for me this week. The only guy that had a better score than me is the guy that's in last place, so I'm not too worried about the fact that he beat me this week. The bigger deal is that I believe that I have really closed the gap on the guy leading that group. I outscored him by 14 so far this week, and I can gain even more on him tomorrow. So his lead that was looking pretty solid just a week ago has now been cut to less than 10.

A good week...

Wow, It Was Awesome...


That's really all there is to be said about the UFC event at The Palace.

We got to the airport and met up with everyone right around 4:30 or so. We were on the road by about 4:45, and we arrived at the Palace right around 6:00. Yah, we were going pretty fast to get there.

We found our way to our reserved parking lot...yup, there is a private parking lot for suite holders, so we didn't have to worry about finding a good parking spot...then went inside to the area that checked you in for your suite. After getting our tickets scanned (which had face values of $400 each) we were led to an elevator. The elevator attendant then took us up to the fifth floor where we got off and wend right into our suite. There was a couch, a fridge, a TV, and a private restroom. Awesome. Then we opened the curtains and saw that we were right at the middle of the octagon, about 70 yards away. The view was INSANE. We were easily able to see into the octagon and also easily able to view ALL of the monitors in the building.

The fights started at 7:20 and lasted until about 12:15 or so. Some were amazing, some were a bit less than spectacular, but all of us had an amazing time the whole time.

The suite was packed with food and drinks, and we all ate and drank to our hearts content. One of the two main events was absolutely spectacular.

Overall the entire time was an absolute blast. We left The Palace at about 12:50 or so and headed home. Cathy and I made it all the way back to our house at about 3:15 in the morning.

It was an awesome time had by everyone...and I think that we should really try to get the same group together to go back the next time that they show up...even if we all have to pitch in a couple of hundred bucks.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

The Day is Here...

In about 12 hours, my friends and I will be heading to the Palace of Auburn Hills to watch UFC 123 from a luxury suite that Alex has purchased for everyone for a Christmas gift.

It's going to be an absolute blast!!!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

A Blowout!!!

Well, we went to the Wings game last night after going to the Hockeytown Cafe for dinner.

Alex guessed where we were going about halfway there, but I lied and told him we were going somewhere that had something to do with the Wings, but not the game. We finally gave him the shirt and the ticket when we were getting ready to pay.

We got to the game plenty early and wandered around for a little while. It has been a while since I've been at The Joe, so it was cool to see what was in there these days. After making it all the way around the arena, we found our way to our seats. We were WAY up there, but not surprising, every seat in the arena has a good view.

We ended up being pretty lucky because a bunch of seats near us weren't sold, so we were able to spread out a bit and find the best spots to sit where we didn't have to worry about people in the row in front of us blocking our view.

The Wings scored first but St. Louis scored really quickly after that. That's been a problem of the Wings for a while now...they let teams score goals to even the game up very quickly after they score. The Blues scored the next goal and were up 2-1 before the Wings came back and took a 3-2 lead. Again, of course, the Blues scored to tie it at 3-3 going into the third period.

Twelve minutes or so fo the third period went by with no goals, and it was looking more and more like we were going to see an overtime game. Then the Wings scored to go up 4-3...and in the next 3:14 they scored three more goals to go up 7-3 and make it not even close.

We stayed to watch the Three Stars and then hit the road. Overall it was a really fun night, and it was cool to see the Wings win. I think Alex had a great time. I know I did.

The tickets were only $25. I think I may have to go see some more games every now and then!!!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Red Wings Later Tonight...

When we bought the tickets to the Wings-Blues game, we had no idea that it would end up being the two top teams in the Central Division.

It should end up being a pretty good game, and I'm really excited to go.

Best of all, Alex still has absolutely no idea that we're taking him to the game...so it should be a great surprise!!!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Home Theater is Finished...For Now...

My Sony SS-B1000s showed up bright and early today, and after some other errands I ended up hooking them up.

I have to say, for $50 for the pair, I am absolutely blown away by the sound they produce. Everything that is supposed to be deeper sounding sounds better than it did before, and the highs now sound crystal clear.

I'm really impressed by the overall setup now. It sounds amazing and has the looks to match.

Coupled with the Klipsch center channel, the sound from the front is simply astounding. I really think it actually sounds like a movie theater now.

To test everything out, I once again popped in the scene "Lobby Shooting Spree" from "The Matrix." The overall scene is really intensified by the new speakers.

To top that off, I watched the scene from "District 9" where Wickus takes control of the Prawn mech machine thing. The part where the machine stops all of the bullets in mid air is just insane. The highs from that are, quite literally, ear piercing.

I'm really happy with how everything turned out. The only thing left to replace are the rear surrounds, but right now those seem to do a fairly good job, so I'm not really worried about replacing them yet.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Some Great New Games...

So, with the PS3 comes a whole new world of exclusive games that I could never play before.

The console that I got from HSN came with a free copy of "Uncharted: Drake's Fortune" which was a third person action game that I had wanted to play for quite a while.

It was the first game I started playing when I got the PS3, and I have to say that despite the fact that it's three years old already, I was more than impressed with every aspect of it. The thing that stuck out the most to me, however, was the story itself. Well told with great acting and some awesome twists.

I would easily place it into my Top 3 Single Player games of all time.

So, what's awesome about getting a three year old game that instantly becomes one of your favorites?? Easy, the fact that a sequel came out in 2009 that is supposed to be even better.

So as I type this, "Uncharted 2: Among Thieves" is on it's way to my house. I look forward to playing through the story, as my friend Alex has told me that if I liked the story of the first one I will love the story of the second one. The second game also adds what is supposed to be an excellent multiplayer suite...so that will just be icing on the cake.

It's pretty awesome to finally have the PS3 in the house. There have always been about five games for it that I REALLY wanted to play, and I knew that eventually I would have to get one to play them. I'm really looking forward to getting "Uncharted 2," I'm sure it's going to be an absolute blast!!

Friday, November 12, 2010

Rounding Out the Surround Sound...

So, I had been planning on paying Cathy back for the Klipsch center channel this week (she put it on her credit card) but she told me tonight that she figured she would just go ahead and pay for the speaker seeing as I was planning on paying for the other speakers.

So that gave me a good reason to start shopping for the new front left and front right speakers.

I had been planning on getting some Klipsch satellite speakers to go along with the Klipsch center channel, but after doing some more research I found that I should try to go with a bit larger speakers because the center channel is more of a standard center than a satellite center.

So, I found these...

They are Sony SSB-1000 model speakers. They have 5.25" drivers with 1" tweeters, so they are a good bit larger than the satellite speakers that I was looking at.

They are only $49 for the pair with free shipping from Amazon, but they are a very highly rated set of speakers for the price. They have TONS of great reviews all around the web, so I have no hesitation buying them even though they come in at about 25% of the cost of the Klipsch speakers that I was looking at.

The reason that I was originally looking at satellite style speakers was because I like having the speakers next to the TV on the TV stand. We don't really have a setup in the room that allows us to have optimum surround sound speaker setup, so I do the best that I can...and the best that I can dictated that the speakers be placed on the TV stand.

So, despite the fact that I would have originally liked to have some larger speakers, the room on the stand is about four inches, so in order to have them fit on the stand without hanging off of the edge the speakers had to be less than 4" wide.

What I determined tonight, however, is that I can take the two speaker stands that I have and set them next to the stand with the legs underneath the edge of the stand...and this would allow me to put some larger speakers on the speaker stands and have them actually be a bit farther away from the TV while still maintaining good angles and good looks.

These speakers should be the perfect set of front left and right speakers for the setup, and should match the Klipsch as far as audio output goes.

Now all I need to do is wait for them to show up and get myself a decibel meter so that I can get the entire setup fine tuned perfectly.

Going to be Getting Back to Working Out...

So, this spring I did a really great job of cutting calories and working out...but then, to be honest, I got bored with it and just kind of gave up. I'm still at a lower weight than I was when I started, but I'm not anywhere near where I want to be...so it's time to get back into working out.

This week a new game comes out for the Nintendo Wii that is a workout game. Cathy has another version of this game and actually said it's pretty good for a basic workout, and this one is getting good early impressions.

It's "EA Active NFL Training Camp."
It comes with a game disc that has workouts that have been designed by NFL trainers, and it also has some wireless gadgets that track movements and heart rates.

It will hopefully be just the thing I need to get back into working out. I don't think it will be nearly as boring as the workout that I was trying to do before, and I am really optimistic that it will be a great way to kick start my way back to losing weight.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Fantasy Update...

So, last week turned out to be a really good fantasy week for me.

I went 4-1 in my five leagues, and that one loss came in the final game as I watched T.O. and Cedric Benson score point after point.

I lost a few points to the leader in the Pick'Em league, but he and I both put even more distance between ourselves and the rest of the team.

The biggest difference, however, was that in our league at work we voted to lock and force losses on the two teams that have made ZERO roster changes in the last several weeks. One guy hasn't made any roster changes since week two, and the other guy hasn't made any in three weeks, and has missed making changes in five of the nine weeks of the season thus far.

Locking those teams out and erasing all of their points changed everyone's standings a little bit, and actually put me in better position than I had been in.

So my standings are now as follows:
5-4 in fourth place in my SBN league
5-4 and in sixth place in my work league, but there are four guys ahead of me at 6-3
8-1 and in first place in my first public league
3-6 and tied for last in my second public league
5-4 and in fifth place (third in my division) in my ESPN league

That puts me at 26-19 for the season through week 9. Not too bad, and things are looking up in most of those leagues. I've made some roster changes and acquired some pretty good players. Hopefully I can make a push for the playoffs in at least a few of them!!

Monday, November 8, 2010

New Center Channel...

So, with all of the new stuff for the home theater, I decided to start looking to replace the speakers.

I hadn't planned on replacing the speakers, but the new receiver seems to just beg for some new ones...so I started looking.

I decided I would try to replace them bit by bit...and the one that would start would be the center channel. Why? It's the most important part of a surround sound system, and I think that the center channel in my current setup was the most lacking...

I started looking around on Amazon for center channels. I found a Sony that got good reviews, but then when looking at the "Other People Who Looked At This Bought" section, I noticed a speaker by a company that I know makes EXCELLENT speakers.

There was a closeout on the Klipsch C-1 Center Channel speaker. The C-1 is the 2004-2010 model speaker, and it is being replaced by the Klipsch C-10. This is a $200 speaker, and Amazon had the C-1 on clearance for $65. We have Amazon Prime, so shipping is free. So basically, I found a $200 speaker for about 66% off.

I went ahead and ordered it, and it should be here by Wednesday at the latest.

Here's the speaker right here...I will end up following this speaker up with a set of Klipsch left and right speakers. I'll be going with the Quintet III for the front left and right, and then I will end up leaving the current speakers for the rears. I don't think the rears are in need of being replaced, but the front left and rights will probably need to be replaced sooner or later. I won't be getting them right away, but sometime in the near future. This is what the Quintet IIIs look like...

Slowly but surely, I am creating a really nice home theater system. The TV is top of the line, and the receiver is a really good one. The subwoofer is great, and now I'm working on getting the speakers up to par with the rest of the system.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Fantasy Football Updates...

So, I continue to trudge along in this fantasy football season. It hasn't been going so well, but surprisingly I'm in good position to make a few playoff runs at the midseason spot. I probably would be doing even better, but this past week I forgot to adjust my rosters. I normally do it on Saturday night right before going to bed, but we had this past Sunday off for our anniversary and I didn't even think of doing it. Oh well, it didn't hurt me too bad.

The thing it hurt me the worst in was the Pick'Em league. I went from first by a good margin to second. I'm only down by 5 points, but I'm sure that I would have not lost out on those five points if I had made my picks. I ended up not being able to pick seven of the games...so I guess I should consider myself lucky that I stayed in second and didn't fall even farther back.

In my SBN league, I'm currently 4-4 and in fifth place. That is a league that I would have been 5-3 in had I changed my rosters last week, which would actually put me in third place.

In my TSA league, I'm 2-6 and in dead last. I simply can't seem to buy a win. I've got solid players, but it seems like every week at least two of them end up putting up a goose egg. My main problem in that league is I keep putting faith into Brett Favre, and he keeps letting me down.

In my first Yahoo public league, I'm 7-1 and in first place. Oddly enough, I have quite a few less points scored than the other Top 5 teams...but hey, wins are wins.

In my second Yahoo public league, I'm 3-5 and in 8th place. That is another league that I would probably be 4-4 in had I not forgotten to adjust my rosters. Strangely, though, almost every team in that league is 4-4...so I'm not really out of position to make a run for the playoffs. In fact, if I win this weekend and get some help, I could move all the way into fourth place at 4-5 because I have quite a few points scored.

In my final league, my ESPN league, I'm 4-4 and in fifth place overall. I'm one game out of first in my division and in a good spot to make a playoff run. I have to say, however, that I'm not a big fan of the ESPN league. The guy that's running it set it up so you could have 3 running backs, and with 10 teams each having three starting backs, it makes it REALLY hard to find a suitable replacement if you have a guy on a bye...and you might as well just give up if you've got two guys on byes. I would rather have that league have been a CBS league, but maybe next year.

So, after all of this...with one team in first, one team in last, and three teams somewhere in the middle, I am actually 20-20 overall after 8 weeks of football. Pretty crazy, really.

Friday, November 5, 2010

The New Entertainment Stuff...

So the new home theater stuff is all here and installed, and although we might not have exactly what's pictured in this image, it sure seems like it.

I got the receiver hooked up the other day in about 45 minutes. Running all of the components to it via HDMI and then hooking it up to the TV is awesome. It's seamless and runs perfectly. I really like how the receiver upconverts all of the images to 1080p as well. Good stuff. It sounds amazing, as well. I really can't believe how inferior my old receiver must have been. Even with the same speakers, it sounds completely differently. I'm sure the powered sub is a HUGE reason for that, but overall the sound quality is just great.

The PS3 was hooked up at the same time, and it's pretty awesome. I'm really impressed with the system overall, and the couple of games that I have for it are fun. I'm really enjoying "Uncharted Drake's Fortune" and look forward to finishing it and getting the sequel.

And finally, the TV. There really isn't much to say, other than it's the most amazing image I've ever seen in my life. I'm not really sure what it is, because the old Vizio was a 1080p TV, but I think the difference in contrast ratio is HUGE. The old set has, I believe, a 100,000:1 contrast ratio. This new one ups that to 4,000,000:1. That's four million. The image is simply stunning. When viewing the TV in the store you can never really tell what it's going to look like in your house...but the easiest way to describe the picture is that it doesn't even look like it's on TV...it looks like the actors are right there in front of you live. Simply astounding.

I'm really happy with the setup now. I would like to get some new front and center speakers, but that's not really a priority unless I find an amazing deal on them. The main problem with thinking about running some new speakers is I'm not really sure where I would put them...but oh well, that's not a big deal right now.