Sunday, November 28, 2010

A little bit of everything

Saturday, November 27th

I guess I am cheating a bit here, using a larger type (16) than the default (12), and while that trick works when doing papers for school, I don't know if I need to be so worried about space when it comes to a blog, after all, it's not like this is being graded for length or something. Besides, when was the last time anyone complained here that my blogs were too short? Exactly.

Instead I am just using a larger typeface because I am using Open Office, and while it is a decent enough program for shareware, I have found sometimes that when doing ye olde copy and paste thingy, sometimes part of the letters get cut off, so I just want to make sure this is legible enough. Not King George legible, that would require 48 or 72 point font, but just enough that it is readable after the copy and pasting is done. Hopefully this will do the trick.

The other reason for Open Office is that it has a spell checker built in and if I am going to blog, given how long I have been away, far better to do it with a spell checker than for me to go back and reread this tripe. Typing it is bad enough, I shouldn't be expected to read it as well. That's your job, and last I heard you get paid handsomely for it.

Because it has been a while since I blogged, chances are that a couple of comments are going to be mashed together in this entry, not Mash-ed like that sorry social networking concept of Yahoo that lasted all of a millisecond before being rendered useless, as most Yahoo ideas are, but mashed as in I may throw in a few “Things I Think I Think” as I go. After all, plenty has occurred since my last foray into this medium, far be it from me to fail to type about those things as they come to mind. For instance.....

Titit #1 – Don't say I didn't warn you Democrats. Way back around primary season I said that the big winner in the Arlen Specter/Joe Sestak race would be Pat Toomey, because unlike Specter, Sestak had zero crossover appeal, he may get loyal Democrats to vote for him, but he had no chance of getting of getting anyone to cross party lines and pull his lever. Sure enough, during the landslide elections that took place with the Republicans taking over the majority in the House and gaining seats in the Senate, one of the losers was indeed Joe Sestak. Now Specter may or may not have won in a head to head battle with Toomey this time around, but it was just 6 years ago he beat him in a Republican primary, and he would have offered a better chance at winning than Sestak did. Don't get me wrong, Specter has shown in the past that he isn't always the most loyal of party line voters, but if having a choice between a guy who might vote with you 60-70 percent of the time or giving the seat to someone who will almost never vote on your side of the issue, Democrats would have been wise to take the 60-70 option and been happy about it, instead they get guaranteed nay votes for the next 6 years. Good job guys, real good job.

That might have been the first time this blog went political in all kind of months, not sure if that is a good or bad thing, but I suppose it is as good a place to start as any. After all, most of the other stuff I talk about is just mundane, boring as all hell, day to day stuff that happens at work, so maybe a change up was good, even if it was only for one paragraph.

I have started my Christmas shopping, probably the earliest I have gotten about it, but with so much free stuff on the web, it is just even easier for me to start now while I am at home and just doing the point and clicky thing. I managed to pick up a couple of presents from MyCokeRewards, where they have a bunch of stuff at half off on the Coke points. I finally have reached the place where I am no longer maxing out the points I can redeem on a weekly basis (120). All of the excess caps from work have been redeemed, including a bunch of Powerade caps that I save for double points day and ended up getting 240 in one week with the bonus. The last two weeks have been far slimmer pickings, 40 some points last week, and so far this week just 26. Since I am off tomorrow, I may make at least part of a day of going out and seeing if I can find a cap or two. I know I want to do breakfast again, last week was such an awesome breakfast that I need to do that again, and I need to pick up a Christmas present that I located and it is near the breakfast place, so hi ho, hi ho, it's off to breakfast I go.

Breakfast last week was part of something I mentioned in the past on the blog, where my aunt and I are going to take in a diner breakfast once a month, because we both like such breakfasts and this gives us a chance to hang out and b.s. While doing some exploring of the nooks and crannies of the region's diners. So far we have went three times, I believe when I last mentioned it we had gone to Pamela's in the Strip District for the ever so awesome banana and chocolate chip pancakes, since that time we have taken in two more diners, Jo Jo's and most recently DeLuca's. DeLuca's was just awesome, at least food wise, the service could have been better, but the food was so good. I got the hotcake special, which is your choice of pancakes (2), two eggs and meat for $6.99. I went with the blueberry pancakes and chorizo, and it was all so yummy. The pancakes may very well have rivaled those at Pamela's, and the other pieces to the meal were better. And there were so many things on the menu to choose from, that I have to make a second and maybe third and fourth trip just to take it all in. They have a breakfast pig in a blanket meal where everything is wrapped in either a crepe or a pancake, they do versions of ice cream sundaes with pancakes, mixed grill breakfasts, bionic breakfasts which include 6 eggs (my arteries are clogging just at the thought) and much more. If I get a chance I will add a photo to this blog of one of the hotcake sundaes, but for some more of the menu you can follow the link

Hopefully that will copy and paste when the time comes, if not then I will add it late, though early experiments are not promising.

The breakfasts with my aunt haven't been the only thing on my social calendar of late. Not that I have started dating, let's not get all crazy here, it is me after all. Rather one of my friends on Facebook, Richard Goldinger, is someone that I went to high school with. Probably our most lasting memory was the night where he rolled his Camaro with a few of us in it. When the last we had hung out he was working for Alltel in Kittanning, PA many, many moons ago. Even the last time I saw him, he was seeing someone seriously, Robin, nut it was still in that dating phase. Now they are married and their oldest son is 15, so logic would dictate that it was at least 15 years ago, if not longer since we had spent any significant time together. His job took him to Ohio, compliments of the many phone mergers and changes in phone technology since then, but he messaged me on Facebook about a month ago, saying he was coming to town for the Sunday night football game between the Steelers and the Patriots and wanted to know if I would like to hook up for lunch to hang out a bit. Since they were visiting Pittsburgh, of course we had to go to Primanti's, another place that has been featured on this blog before, where I got the capacola with egg sandwich, my favorite on the Primanti's menu. And while I live here, I tend to take such places for granted and don't visit them nearly as much as I should, so it was good choice by Rich for a place to have lunch. Sadly we didn't get to catch up as much as I would have liked, they still had to go check into their hotel and get situated for the game, and getting around Pittsburgh was proving a little troublesome for them because their GPS cut out once they got into the city, so they wanted to have enough time to get find their hotel in case the GPS still wasn't working.

Sorry I took a break there, after talking about food for so long I decided that I was hungry, so off to the kitchen I went to fire up some tuna helper. Not exactly fine dining by any stretch, but I am just cooking for me, so it will suffice.

Titit #2 – Every day that Dave Wannstedt remains the Pitt football coach is a day that he is stealing money from the school. Let's not kids ourselves, this was the year that Pitt was supposed to be something. Maybe not a national title contender, but at least in a BCS game after winning the Big East. The problems started in the off season, when 4 different incidents involving Pitt players and the local constabulary showed just how little control of the team he had. This being year 6 of the Wannstedt regime, it could no longer be blamed on the fact he was using players that he didn't recruit, these were all people he deemed worthy of playing for the Pitt program. Then the season began, and a 2-3 start where the two Pitt wins came against suspect competition (New Hampshire, Florida International), while matchups on the schedule were meant to show how good Pitt may be this year (at Utah, Miami, at Notre Dame) resulted in losses, the Miami one being particularly painful, as many alumnae were in attendance and Pitt wasn't even competitive (3-31). Still, none of those games were conference games, so while Pitt was 2-3, a strong run through their Big East schedule would still get them the automatic BCS bid that comes with winning the league. And a 3-0 start in conference play, plus the rather weak competition in the conference left Pitt with a 3-0 conference mark and a two game lead in the standings, the the proverbial wheels came off the wagon, with losses in two of the next three conference games and while Pitt is not mathematically eliminated from still winning the league at 4-2 they now would need to win their last game and have Connecticut and West Virginia lose their last games in order for that to happen. This is not what was signed up for 6 years ago, when Wannstedt was coming in, saying he was going to rebuild the program to national prominence. His alleged ability to recruit better athletes has not panned out. One would be hard pressed to find a single, solitary player in the last years that chose Pitt over another big name school. And no, it doesn't count if someone picks Pitt over, say, Akron. Sure there have been a couple of players that have had nice seasons at Pitt that were unexpected, like Dion Lewis last year, but a prtogram can't be built based on getting lucky and signing guys nobody else wanted, eventually someone has to pick your school over a Florida, or Ohio State, or Penn State, and that hasn't happened under Wannstedt. Instead we see disappointment after disappointment, last year losing the last two games to miss out on a BCS bid, including the last game of the year to Cincinnati at home after having a 21 point lead, and this year blowing a two game conference lead with 4 games to play including a 35-10 loss to West Virginia at home. In 6 years Pitt has earned 0 Big East titles and at some point trips to the Humanitarian Bowl, or the Meineke Car Care Bowl can't be considered accomplishments. For all of the criticism of previous head coach Walt Harris, his last 5 teams made bowl games, including a Big East title and an appearance in the Fiesta Bowl. How good would those days look now? But as long as Wannstedt is allowed to coach the Panthers, those days are not going to be seen any time soon.

Sunday, November 28th

Sorry, I ended up going to bed instead of finishing this blog entry, something that happens from time to time as readers of this blog well know. And worse I overslept for breakfast, at least if I wanted to go to DeLuca's. Usually if I am headed over that way I catch the 7am bus and arrive in the Strip around 7:30am. By that time many of the places in the Strip are already starting to fill up, so if I miss the first bus I run the risk of getting over there and standing in line for food, something I am not likely to do for breakfast. So instead I climbed back under the covers for another hour, the went to my corner store for a cup of coffee and headed off to Rite Aid to see what was on sale. I had a couple of things I needed as well, bread for starters, and deodorant is always a good buy, so it wasn't a wasted morning. Plus they had Christmas cards on sale, buy two boxes, get one free, so I snagged some of those as well.

That being said, I still could have snuck in breakfast in Oakland, Pamela's still hadn't had its line going out the door, due in large part to the students being on Thanksgiving break. But I opted against it, maybe because DeLuca's was too goo, maybe because I just decided to save money, I am not sure which. I know I will probably do a little more shopping for Christmas online today, I have bankrolled almost $80 in Amazon gift cards so I should be able to get a couple more free items. Plus I do have lots of other projects that I need to work on, like cleaning my apartment, getting my Christmas list together for my mom and for the blog page, finishing getting stuff squared away for my upcoming vacation and at some point finding something for lunch. So there is still lots on the docket today, besides finishing this particular blog entry.

I had mentioned that I needed $9 + for the change meter in order to pass $200 by the end of the year. While I haven't quite gotten there yet, $200 is still somewhat in play, as another $1.46 has bee accumulated since my last posting, so the new total is $192.39. I would say it is still unlikely, but then again all it would take is for one person to be careless with their money and I could be over the top, and given the public's need to be all sheeple-ish when it comes to shopping this time of year, finding money laying on the ground is more of a possibility this time of year. That brings me to …....

Titit #3 Let's stop kidding ourselves that Thanksgiving is a holiday for anything more than people to go shopping for two days. I know what the original premise was behind the holiday, but we have far since evolved beyond that, and what was once well intentioned day of giving thanks for that which we have has become a four day festival of excessiveness and greed. At what point was the meaning of the holiday switched to, hurry up and eat so we can get a good spot in line while we camp outside WalMart, Best Buy, Target, etc, so we can be the first one in the store once they open. I used to be upset that for most Thanksgivings I would end up working, whether it be my current job, or my previous one in radio but seeing what has become of the day, where it is less about giving thanks and spending time with family and more about a moronic attempt to see who can spend their money the first and fastest and now I can honestly say that there is no place I would rather be than as far away from such ass clowns as in humanly possible.

I will probably end up being distracted again for a while, I am watching the Steelers game, though I am not glogging it. Instead I am just posting score updates on my Facebook page, so you have been spared more of my sports blathering that sometimes accompanies my entries on this page. Instead all you have to look forward to is that I am still two Penguins videos behind, but when I checked yesterday the NHL channel on Youtube hadn't posted the highlight packages yet. I realize that the videos are probably annoying to some, but as I have stated previously, hockey has some weird superstitions, like playoff beards for example, and my own superstition is that since I have started posting the videos 3+ years ago the Penguins have made the Stanley Cup Finals, won a Stanley Cup and made the second round of the playoffs, so if it is working you just keep doing it. I will quit posting videos when the Penguins quit making the playoffs.

I should make note of the fact that Ed has officially left work to fly south (Florida) for the winter. Not that it means I have been left to my own devices, he has been gone one week and already I have taken two phone calls from him on work related issues. Plus I have an added problem, one I didn't anticipate but now have to deal with, that being I have been training Sammy to place orders for when I go on vacation. I made a slight mistake, I told him that since we are only getting two orders the week of Thanksgiving, make sure he ordered a little heavier to make up for it, get a couple extra things on those items that sell. Well he went a little bit order happy, leaving us with a basement full of products that I have to now sell. It should cut down on what we order for the next month or so, but I did catch a slight bit of grief for it. Oh well, if that is the worst Sammy does, I can live with it.

Before I let this blog come to a conclusion, I need to mention something, that being the most recent book I read, “Every Man Dies Alone” by Hans Fallada. The fact that I have waited this long into the blog entry to mention it means by now most of you have tuned out, but for those that haven't let me say this is by far the best book I have read this year, and maybe one of the best books I have ever read. Yes it was that good. I would label the bookma work of fiction, though it is based on a true story. There were a few too many liberties taken with the actual account to label it anything but fiction, but the story was fascinating regardless. The story mainly revolves around a couple, the Quangels, who are living in Berlin during the time of World War II and Nazi Germany. While originally not politically active, if anything they would be politically indifferent, they come to disapprove of Hitler and the Nazi party after their son is killed during the war, fighting for Germany just before the capitulation of France. Whether it is just anger at their son's loss, or a greater awareness of all of the wrongs that are being committed in the name of Germany, the Quangels decide to offer up their own little resistance campaign, consisting of dropping postcards in stairwells and buildings in and around Berlin, with messages of dissent written on them. The belief being that if others read the cards, the same sort of coming to Jesus moment that the Quangels had will be shared by others, and the postcards will be handed around to still others and slowly the movement and the resistance to the policies of Nazi Germany will fester and grow. The problem with their logic is that everyone in Germany is so paranoid about the Nazi party and the SS in particular that no one wants to be caught with one of these postcards, let alone share them with others for fear that the result will be placement in a concentration camp. So while the postcard campaign goes on for a few years, it becomes wildly ineffective, with almost all cards turned over to the authorities as soon as they are found, and eventually the Quangels make a mistake and end up being put to death for their efforts. It is a fascinating read of the paranoia that gripped Nazi Germany, where no one could trust anyone for fear of being turned over to authorities. Rarely to a do reading recommendations on this page, but this is a book where an exception is called for.

Of course the problem with me finishing a book is that I now don't have any reading material. I have a couple of books laying around the apartment, but nothing that I am all gung ho about reading. I tried picking up one the other day, but I haven't even gotten a full chapter of it read yet.

Not too shabby, I managed to get better than a page written while still watching most of the first half of the football game. Of course now I am getting to the point where foraging for food is starting to take up a large part of my brain, I can't decide if I want to cook, order in, or go pick something up. All of which would require me to once again get dressed, and I am hesitant to do that just because it requires more effort than I am willing to put forth at the moment. Maybe after the game ends I will get more motivational.

I have been tinkering with another Marlboro contest recently, “Outwit the West”, where every week Marlboro asks five trivia questions and you get points for each one you get right. Technically you can form teams of players, as many as 4 players per team, and each correct answer adds to the each member's point total. Of course I didn't form a team, I screwed up when it first started so I am flying solo in this endeavor, and I am sorry that I did, because some of the bigger prizes include such items as a notebook computer, which would be nice, not because I need one, but because it is free. Instead, given how I have done so far, and the fact there are a few weeks left, I am probably going to get somewhere around half of the points needed for that prize, but I am eyeing up what looks to be a nice set of darts that I should be able to get. They are only 115 points away and we are getting a bonus 10 points for every answer submitted the rest of the way, regardless of whether or not it is correct. That is good, because the trivia questions are not easy by any stretch of the imagination, usually I am spending the better part of an hour just looking up the answers, or at least the best guesses that are available to the questions.

There was the distraction I warned you about. The football game went into overtime before Pittsburgh won, 19-16. I even got some good fantasy news out of the game. I have Steve Johnson, a wide receiver for Buffalo, on my roster and have been using him occasionally as my flex player in our league, but left him on the bench today. All he did was drop 6 passes, including what would have been a game winning touchdown pass in overtime. Far better to leave that type of display off of my game day roster.

I also took some time to spend some of my Amazon gift card money on a couple of Christmas presents, nothing major, just another gift for my mom and one for her husband. I was browsing some of the specials that are on Amazon and found a couple of things that were on sale for 50% off, and since I bought two, my bill was over $25 so they throw in the shipping and handling for free if I am willing to wait a couple of extra days. Not a problem, I have a few weeks to play with yet. With all of that out of the way I walked over to the Cuban place and got a sandwich and fries so I didn't starve. Then again if anyone has seen my stomach recently I am sure they would say starvation is not a problem with which I suffer.

Well I should probably wrap this up. My first attempt at getting this to copy and paste was a hit and miss proposition, the photo didn't copy and paste with the text, so I will have some work to do before this is officially finalized. Plus I have gotten myself into another money saving mess here that I am still tinkering with. I have been using an application on Facebook called Hotspot, where as you complete offers you are awarded cash, but you can only cash out when you reach $5 or more and then it is credited to a Paypal account. Mostly the offers I do are just watching videos where you earn anywhere between .03 and .10 per video. But as I was checking out some of the other offers on there just recently I saw that they were awarding $1.10 for any album purchase on Amazon of $5 or more. Funny thing is Amazon just a couple of days ago issued a code for $3 off of MP3 purchases. So now I am getting $1.10 for spending $2. Add to that I still have $40 in free money from Swagbucks in my Amazon account so no real cash has left my hand. So all told, I just purchased “The Very Best of Prince” for .90. Now I have the job of burning it to cd, which isn't all that bad, I know I have a disk or two around here some place, but that is going to take up some more of my time this evening and I really don't want to turn this into a three day blog, so I will just stop now.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Asshat - Again urine for a treat

This might be the best Asshat thing I have seen in ages.  It literally has everything, a pregnant woman smoking, a man making threats with a bucket of pee,  and a shirt ripped open just for starters.  I just don't know who wins in this particular instance, but I now have a better understanding of why Fark has a Florida tag.

Husband threatens to throw urine at pregnant wife (ARREST REPORT)

Daily News

DeFUNIAK SPRINGS — A man faces felony charges after a night of escalating battles with his pregnant wife, according to an arrest report from the Walton County Sheriff’s Office.

Gary O’Don Newell, 42, was charged with aggravated battery to a victim known to be pregnant. His wife of three years is 15 weeks pregnant. A deputy was sent to their Trout Drive home Wednesday at 1:43 a.m.

Earlier that night, Newell locked himself in his shed and threatened his wife when she tried to get him to come out. The woman pried the door open with a hammer and smoked her husband out by blowing cigarette smoke into the structure.

The fight escalated after the wife hid all of the vehicle keys in her pocket. When Newell exited the shed, he pushed his wife into the woods, held her down and threatened “to throw a bucket of urine on her” if she did not return the keys, the report said.

She got him to let go of her by saying she would go get the keys. Newell chased his wife around the home when he realized she had the keys on her. He wrestled her to the ground and ripped off her shirt to retrieve them.

Newell’s wife ran for help and flagged down a van. The unidentified man said he did not have a phone but would make the call at home.

The wife returned home and found Newell sitting in his car with her purse. When she tried to retrieve it, Newell pushed her to the pavement.

Newell said he had thrown her belongings into the creek behind their home. He starting walking to the creek with the purse but stopped when he heard his wife on the phone with dispatch.

Newell promised his wife he would not throw her purse in the creek and asked her to tell dispatch not to send anyone.

While being placed under arrest, Newell requested an ambulance because he said he could not breathe.

Once in the hospital, he told the staff that the deputy “manhandled” him; dragged him out of his bathroom; kicked him into his living room; threw him on the grass; and refused to call for an ambulance.

“He was complaining to the hospital staff that he could not breathe but during the whole time at the hospital he would have enough breath to curse the doctor and myself for ‘inadequate’ treatment,” wrote the deputy in Newell’s arrest report.

Newell requested a cardiologist but was cleared with good health. Newell said he would sue the WCSO and the doctor for abusing him.

Once at the jail, the deputy let Newell out of the patrol car.

“So how did you like my act?” Newell asked him. “Your ass is mine.”

Monday, November 8, 2010

The first glog on the NFL season, Steelers - Bengals

Well, I haven't glogged yet this NFL season, so I guess it is time to see if I still have those skills in my mental tool set. Not that I couldn't be blogging about a dozen or so other things, but for now I think we will concentrate on the upcoming football game tonight, featuring the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Cincinnati Bengals. A little background on tonight's contest, Pittsburgh enters the contest with a 5-2 record, a half game behind division leader Baltimore, who has a 6-2 record. Meanwhile the season has gotten off to a poor start for Cincinnati, as they have a 2-5 record, good for last place in the AFC North. Cincinnati won the division last year, as well as sweeping the two meetings with the Steelers. On offense the teams have posted similar numbers this year, Pittsburgh is averaging 21.0 points per game, while Cincinnati is averaging 20.9, the difference is on the other side of the ball where Pittsburgh ranks first in the NFL in points allowed per game at just 14.6 per contest, Cincinnati has been allowing 23.3 per game, which goes a long way to showing just why the are separated by three games in the division.

Since I still have 30 minutes or so before kickoff, I guess I will go ahead and open the required windows on the computer and do a little poking around the web before the game gets underway.

The think about Monday Night Football is that the games by and large are broadcast on cable channel ESPN, but when the Steelers are involved the local ABC affiliate, Channel 4, also carries the ESPN feed for those like myself who do not have cable television. This is both good and bad, it is good because I don't have to spring for cable TV or go scouring the web in order to watch the game, but it is also bad in that as an added bonus, Channel 4 treats the game like a news event, sending their anchors and reporters out to do a local pregame show that really shows just how much many of them don't know about sports in general and football in particular. Just last night, as a lead up to their coverage of tonight's game, because when it comes to the Steelers, one day's worth of coverage isn't enough, they went to a Steelers bar in Cincinnati. Yes, that is what they considered news. Who cares that there are Steeler bars all over the world, the fact they uncovered one in a city that is just a few hours away was apparently newsworthy enough to waste time on the local newscast. For a list of Steeler bars, one need only go here and scroll either up or down to get a general idea of the where's and when's people can go to catch the game. Now they are wasting news resources to cover a football game, one would think those resources might better be served covering actual news, but then Steeler coverage, regardless of just how poorly it is done will garner more ratings than actually covering stories like , say , the mayor coming out today saying the city on it's current course faces a “financial nightmare” by 2016. Not that that matters kids, the Steelers are playing.

So we are now 5 minutes away from kickoff. I will tone down the ranting a bit here and say that another $1.16 have been added to the change meter, bringing the total up to $190.93. $200 by the end of the year is still reachable, but coming up with $9 in less than two months means I am going to have to find some serious coinage (or billage) in order to make that plateau.

And before the game gets underway I am also going to head over to my Madden Facebook app and try to send out some more gifts. I have 111 friends that play now, and I try to send everyone on my list a gift at least once a day. I don't get as many as I send out, but I am not one to hold grudges over a simple game, nor do I have the desire to keep track of who does and doesn't send me gifts, it is easier to just send to everyone and not worry about such things. I am at a point in the game where I am just collecting gold anyway to buy more players, I have defeated all of the NFL teams twice and they haven't come out with the third season yet. I can still play scrimmages or in season mode, I just can't square off against real NFL teams, so I am busy collecting gold to buy even better players and to fill out card collections.

Okay, we are just about underway here, just an opening theme from Hank Williams Jr from getting to actual game coverage. Pittsburgh will kickoff to start the game, meaning of course that Cincinnati will get the first turn on offense. Then again, maybe not, as Cincinnati fumbles the kickoff return and it is recovered by the Steelers, so Pittsburgh will have the ball first deep in Cincinnati territory, 1st and 10 and the Cincy 25 yard line.

The first play is a good one, a Ben Roethlisberger pass to Heath Miller, good for 9 yards. After a two yard loss on second down run by Rashard Mendenhall, a third down screen pass to Mendenhall takes the ball all the way down to the 1 yard line.

One play later and we have a 1 yard touchdown run by Mendenhall, so Pittsburgh takes advantage of the game's first miscue and turns it into points and a 7-0 lead.

Not much in way of commercials to insult during the break, buta spot from Corona beer has me thinking nonetheless. Many times you will see people with a lime wedge stuck in the top of their bottle, and I would argue that the minute you need to add fruit to a beer in order to make it taste good, then the product has failed in its fundamental task of tasting good to begin with.

Second kickoff of the game and it is handled more successfully by the Bengals, and they will have their first possession of the game, starting from their own 25 yard line.

Two carries by Cedric Benson net 11 yards and the Bengals first first down of the game. Two more plays and two more runs by Benson, get about 9 yards, so we will have a 3rd and 1. Carson Palmer attempts his first pas sof the game on third dwon and it is incomplete to Chad Ochocinco. Fourth down and the Bengals set up to punt and it is miscue #2 for the Bengals as the punt is blocked, and Pittsburgh will have the ball on the Bengals 30 yard line to start their second possession.

An incomplete pass on first down means little as on second down Mendenhall runs for 20 yards and a first down. Two plays net -2 yards and the Steelers have 3rd and goal from the 12 and a dump off to Mewelde Moore only gets 5 yards, so the field goal unit will come on the field, looking to extend the lead. And from 25 yards the Jeff Reed field goal attempt is good and Pittsburgh leads 10-0.

Third kickoff return for the Bengals in the first quarter and for the second time they will start their drive from their own 25 yard line.

A very short drive, a three and out and here comes the punting crew for Cincinnati, and for a change their special teams manage to not screw up, the punt travels 45 yards, so Pittsburh will take over 1st and 10 from their own 28.

Possession #3 for Pittsburgh and on first down a dump off pass to Moore gets 3 yards. Two plays later and a pass to Antwaan Randel El gets a first down for Pittsburgh at the 42 yard line.

Two running plays plays net 4 yards so Pittsburgh is faced with another third down and Pittsburgh takes their first timeout to consider the upcoming play call.

After scrambling around avoiding two potential sacks, Roethlisberger manages to find Heath Miller on a dump off but the play only gets 5 yards, so on 4th down Pittsburgh will punt for the first time tonight, and the punt pins the Bengals deep, they will take over possession on their own 12 yard line.

1st and 10 for Cincinnati and Palmer back to pass and he finds Terrell Owens for a first down at the 28. Two carries by Benson garner another first down and Cincinnati is starting to click a little bit on offense here.

And one Benson carry later and we are at the end of the first quarter with Pittsburgh leading 10-0.

I used the break between quarters to send some more Madden gifts and collect a few as well. Benson gets another carry leaving a 3rd and 4 and Palmer throws a two yard pass to Jermane Gresham so Cincinnati is forced to punt again. And the punt is a good one, getting down all the way back at the Steelers 1 yard line, where they will take over for their first possession of the second quarter.

Isaac Redman gets his first carry of the game, but it only gets 1 yard. Second down and Roethlisberger finds Miller again and gets a first down and moves Pittsburgh out from the shadow of their own goal line.

1st down and Mendenhall with the carry and he picks up 22 yards and another first down. And for the second time on this drive we have an injury time out, this time it is the Steelers starting center, Maurice Pouncey. The previous injury was to the Steelers left guard, so the offensive line has taken some punishment on this drive.

Two wide receiver screen passes to Hines Ward get only two yards, but worse on the second, Ward fumbles the ball and the first miscue by the Steelers this game has taken place, leaving the Bengals in good field position.

First down and Palmer finds Owens for 14 yards and a first down at the Steelers 24 yard line. Two runs by Benson get 5 yards, bringing up 3rd and 5and Palmer finds Owens again, this time wide open in the end zone for a touchdown. With the extra point the score is now Pittsburgh 10 Cincinnati 7.

Cincinnati kicks off and Pittsburgh returns the ball to the 32 yard line, where they will take over with a first down.

Pittsburgh goes three and out and Cincinnati has definitely taken over from a momentum perspective, even if they are still trailing by 3 on the scoreboard.

Pittsburgh punts the ball away and Cincinnati will take over with the ball on their own 30 yard line. So far all of the scoring in this game has been a direct result of miscues (two fumbles, blocked punt).

First down and Palmer again passes to Owens for another first down. Owens already has 61 yards receiving and a touchdown tonight in about a quarter and half of work.

3rd down and 13 and Palmer back to pass and he throws an interception so we have the game's third turnover, let's see if form holds up and it results in points.

3rd down and 8 Roethlisberger looks deep and finds Mike Wallace for 36 yards and a first down. Wallace loses the ball going out of bounds, but it appears he had possession for a complete pass, nonetheless Bengals coach Marvin Lewis threw the challenge flag, under the belief that Wallace never had control of the ball but it looks like Lewis will lose this challenge.

And the verdict is that it was a catch, Cincinnati will lose a timeout for the failed challenge. Pittsburgh has the ball first and goal from the 9 yard line.

A false start penalty and a Mendenhall run for -2 and it is second and goal from the 16. An 8 yard pass gets half of that, leaving third and 8. Roethlisberger finds Ward on a slant route for the touchdown and Pittsburgh increases their lead to 17-7.

Pittsburgh kicks off and Bernard Scott gets loose on the kickoff return, bringing it back all the way to the Steelers 43 yard line. The return also brings us to the two minute warning of the first half.

1st down and Palmer passes to Brian Leonard underneath for 4 yards. An incomplete pass brings up 3rd down and just when Pittsburgh looks to have stopped Cincinnati, a defensive holding penalty gives Cincinnati new life with an automatic first down. Three more plays get only 1 yard, so Cincinnati is going to try a 51 yard field goal attempt and the kick is up and no good and Pittsburgh maintains their 10 point lead, 17-7.

Pittsburgh gets the ball back and on first down Roethlisberger finds Wallace for another big gain, 24 yards and now Pittsburgh is looking to score before halftime.

Two incomplete passes and Pittsburgh lines up for a field goal attempt and from 53 yards Jeff Reed hits it to extend the Steelers lead to 20-7 before the half.

And with the kickoff and return we have reached the half with Pittsburgh leading by 13.

I can't speak as to how you spent the halftime break, I sent the last of my Madden requests out, played the last game in season #40, bought some more player cards to add to my collection and smoked a cigarette, proving that I can make use of my free time if I need to.

It could have been worse, I could have spent halftime blogging about the midterm elections. Now that would have been fun, wouldn't it? Far better I just find something else to with my time. I can do the midterms as part of my next blog.

Cincinnati kicks off to start the third quarter, which means Pittsburgh will have the ball first here in the second half. And with the kick return Piitsburgh starts from their own 27 yard line.

Two runs, a reverse by Randel El and a Mendenhall carry combine for a total of -1 yards, so Pittsburgh is faced with a 3rd and 11 here. And Roethlisberger is sacked by the Bengals, their first sack of the night, which brings about a Pittsburgh punt.

Cincinnati starts their first drive of the second half with pretty good field position, starting at their own 43 yard line.

Second down and Pittsburgh returns the favor, sacking Palmer before he even has a chance to set his feet and attempt to throw the football, but on 3rd and 12 Palmer finds Jordan Shipley open down the middle for a big gain, picking up 26 yards and keeping the Cincinnati drive alive.

Third down and 2 yards and they hand the ball off to Benson who is stopped for a loss on the play, bringing up 4th down and Cincinnati will try a 45 yard field goal and again the field goal attempt is no good, so Pittsburgh remains up by a 20-7 count.

Two runs by Mendenhall account for 8 yards, so Pittsburgh will have a 3rd down and 2 to try and convert and it is Redman getting his second carry but it looks like he will be short of the first down marker, meaning Pittsburgh will once again have to punt. The punt is a good one, and because Cincinnati picked up nothing on the return, they will take over with the ball on their own 14 yard line.

First down and Cincinnati's drive gets off to a dubious start, Palmer taking his second sack of the game.

And the next two plays aren't much better, which leave s Cincinnati punting the ball right back to Pittsburgh, and the kick is a short one, not even making midfield, so Pittsburgh will have the ball in excellent field position at the Cincinnati 45.

First down and Roethlisberger looks deep to Wallace but the pass is broken up in the end zone. Third down is a short pass to Wallace, not enough for the first down and Pittsburgh will punt the ball right back to Cincinnati. The punt goes into the end zone, so Cincinnati will get the ball at their own 20 yard line and Pittsburgh fails to capitalize on a pretty good scoring opportunity, which could still come back to haunt them in this contest.

Palmer finds Ochocinco for a first down on 2nd and 5, but the play is nullified by a penalty and two plays later Pittsburgh gets their third sack of the third quarter to bring to a quick end the Cincinnati possession. Pittsburgh gets the ball back after a Cincinnati punt.

Two mendenhall runs set up a 3rd down and 1 and Roethlisberger runs the quarterback sneak for a first down to keep the Pittsburgh drive alive. One play later, a pass to Miller and that is the end of the 3rd quarter with Pittsburgh still leading 20-7.

First play of the 4th quarter and a reverse pass by Randel El finds Wallace in the end zone and Pittsburgh is on the board again, pushing the lead to 27-7. That might be the final nail in the Cincinnati coffin.

Pittsburgh kicks off and with the return Cincinnati will start their next drive from their own 34 yard line.

2nd and 10 and Palmer finds Shipley for 8, but a penalty on the Steelers gives Cincinnati a first down. Two completions to Owens and Cincinnati gets their second first down on this drive. One play later it is a deep pass to Owens again in the corner of the end zone for a Cincinnati touchdown to cut the lead to 27-14. After playing a scoreless third quarter, less than two minutes into the fourth we have seen two touchdowns.

Cincinnati kicks off and the coverage on the return is very good, as Emanuel Sanders gets no further than the Steelers 14 before being tackled. On one hand, Pittsburgh has to be happy having a two score lead in the 4th quarter, but we learned last year that they guarantees nothing, after seeing them blow 4th quarter leads in 5 of their 7 losses and so far tonight they haven't had any extended drives, despite scoring 27 points.

Two plays get 5 yards for Pittsburgh and on third and 5 Roethlisberger scrambles for 12 yards and a first down to keep the drive going and the clock running. Two plays later however, Roethlisberger floats a pass to Miller that is intercepted and Cincinnati has the ball back. To make matters worse, Pittsburgh is called for a personal foul after the play is over, adding 15 yards onto the interception return and a lead that was 20 starting the 4th quarter is in danger of becoming single digits in a matter of minutes.

Cincinnati has the ball with a 1st and 10 at the Pittsburgh 36 yard line. Another personal foul on Pittsburgh gets Cincinnati another free 15 yards.

How about another penalty, pass interference in the endzone and Cincinnati has first and goal at the 1. Two plays later and Benson goes over from 1 yard out and the score is now Pittsburgh 27 Cincinnati 21.

Still plenty of time left as well, with 9:05 left in the fourth quarter what was once a 20 point lead is now down to 6.

Pittsburgh has the ball back after the kickoff, starting at their own 29.

Two Mendenhall carries get 10 yards and a first down to get this drive off to a decent start. Mendenhall has been the only player to touch the ball on this drive, two more carries get another 27 yards and another first down.

Mendenhall gets two more carries, getting three yards total and Pittsburgh faces a 3rd and 7. Again they try Mendenhall and it is stuffed for no gain, so Pittsburgh will attempt a 46 yard field goal. And the kick is no good, so while Pittsburgh took better than 5 minutes off of the clock, at the end of it they couldn't increase the lead and Cincinnati is one TD away from taking the elad.

Foirst down and Palmer is hit and fumbles the ball, but Cincinnati recovers the fumble to maintain possession. After a pass to Shipley, Cicinnati faces 3rd and 14 and a pass to Benson gets 15 and a first down. The pass was actually deflected but Benson managed to pull it anyway and scurry forth to get the needed yardage.

Two minute warning.

Second and 10 and again the defense gets flagged for pass interference which gives Cincy an automatic first down.

1st and 10 and Palmer finds leonard for 9, down to the Pittsburgh 40. A short pass to Owens gets 3 yards and a first down. More important he gets out of bounds to stop the clock.

A deep pass to Ochocinco is incomplete. 2nd and 10 with 1:09 remaining. A deep pass down the middle hits Owens in stride and he continues to victimize the Steelers, this time for 20 yards and first down. Owens now has 10 catches for 141 yards and two touchdowns. A holding call on Cincinnati on first down pushes them back 10 yards, back to the 28, where it will remain 1st down.

2nd and 20 and Ochocino catches a 15 yard pass while sliding out of bounds to stop the clock and bring up 3rd and 5.

Incomplete pass over the middle and Cincinnati needs 5 yards to keep the drive alive. The pass from Plamer goes to Shipley who is hit and can't hold on, meaning the ball will turn over on down and Pittsburgh should hold on from this point, with just 34 seconds left.

And its a final from Cincinnati, Pittsburgh holds on to win 27-21. Time to review all of my spelling errors and copy and paste. Nite everyone.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Halfway point

Since I did one of these fantasy recaps after 4 games, I might as well do another one since we have now completed 8 games in the fantasy football season.  After 8 weeks I find myself alone in first place with a 6-2 record.  The interesting thing is that despite my record, really no teams are out of it yet and I could just as easily fall on my face as make the playoffs.  Of the twelve teams involved, everyone has at least 3 wins, so while I am 6-2, there are also two teams at 5-3, 5 more at 4-4, and 4 at 3-5.  This is either a testament to everyone drafting fairly well and a certain amount of parity, or everyone drafting poorly and just a bunch of crappy teams squaring off on a weekly basis.

Anyway, I guess it is time to recap the last 4 games, starting with week #5.

Week 5

The U 85  Argonauts 54 - I think it is safe to say that this was just an awful week for my team.  Of my nine players, 4 scored 4 points or less.  The only plus is that hopefully all of the suckage happened at once and I can get it out of my system.

Week 6

Argonauts 95  Champs 69 - Just the complete opposite of the previous week, 6 different players managed 10 points or more for me, with Arian Foster leading the way with 17.

Week 7

Argonauts 109  Americas Team 59 - I worried about this game before kickoff, Arian Foster had been one of my better players to this point, but was off on a bye as was Calvin Johnson who has been by far my most productive wide receiver, so I had to find substitutes.  While I have CJ Spiller on my roster, he has been pretty useless to this point, so instead I went on the free agent wire and picked up a couple of players, Steve Johnson and BenJarvus Green-Ellis (the man with a law firm for a name).  Both players chipped in, each scoring a touchdown, but it was Matt Ryan who carried me this week, with 299 yards passing and 3 TDs.

Week 8

Argonauts 80  Howling Manslayers 62 - Remember how I said in Week 7 that Arian Foster and Calvin Johnson had been two of my better players, well this week they combined for 40 of my team's 80 total points, and helped break open a game that going into the Monday night matchup had me leading by just 2 points before Foster added 16 to that total.

With that we have 8 games down and the possibility of 9 more to go, provided I make the final this year.  So that means we have two more updates left, one after week twelve and then the last one at the end of the season, whichever week that may be.

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