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Below are the 20 most recent journal entries recorded in masterofjesters' LiveJournal:

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Friday, June 13th, 2008
10:54 pm
Apparently LJ doesn't delete your account...ever
So I'm a terrible person and haven't been on here in a billion years (yes, livejournal was created some time after the big bang but before animals walked the earth).

You know how sometimes people on your friends list post about stuff going on in their life, and all of a sudden you think "Wait a minute! Since when are they working THERE? Since when are they dating HIM/HER?since when???" And then you wonder how you could have missed all that seemingly pretty standard information, but somehow you feel too ashamed to ask for clarification because it seems like info you should already know? It happens to all of us sometimes.

Please copy mine below, erase my answers putting yours in their place then post it in your journal! Please elaborate on the questions that would benefit from elaboration! One-Word-Answers seldom help anyone out :)

1. First name: Ian. It's Scottish for John. My mom wanted to name me Johnathan but my dad didn't like it because it was too common of a name. So they were going through names and ended up settling on Ian, the Scottish version. Due to my last name, I'm often mistaken for being Irish. However, my family is in fact Scottish. Yes, the kilt-wearing, golf-playing, not-Mel-Gibson-Braveheart-because-that-movie-was-shot-in-Ireland, British-hating, Scottish. But since my mom comes from a huge Italian family (more on that later), I really identify more with the Italian side of my family.

2. Age: 22. I was born on January 3, the same day as the great Professor J.R.R. Tolkien. My birthday is 9 days after Christmas which is kinda cool because I get a lot of presents at one time in the  year, but it's always kinda tough being so close to the holidays. My birthday was the only Y2K day ever. Almost all schools, banks, etc declared that they would be closed on Monday January 3, 2000 as a precautionary measure in case there were complications from the year 2000 occurring. My 21st birthday, in spite of not having any of my college friends around since it was over winter break, was awesome. My dad took me out to a bar so I could get carded, but they didn't card me. Then after dinner I played beer pong with my parents, which was pretty fun. I beat them twice, then my mom didn't want to play any more. I will say this, 22 is kinda a disappointing birthday. At 16 you can drive, 17 you can get into R-rated movies, 18 you can vote, 21 you can legally drink, and 22 is like "Well, you had all the birthdays where you legally get things, welcome to the rest of your life where you have to be a responsible adult."

3. Location: Pittsburgh, PA, City of Champions. I've more or less lived in or around Pittsburgh my whole life. I went to Allegheny College for undergrad and am now living with my fiancee in an apartment while we go to Grad School before we get married (more on all that later). Pittsburgh has always been and always will be my home. For all its faults, I love the city. I'm going to be working for the Center for Economic Development for the next two years, so hopefully I'll be able to get some good experience in coming up with solutions for some of the problems the city has which could prepare me for a life in public service later on. And yes, "public service" is a nice way of saying "politics" but everyone cringes when you say politics, so I've found you get a lot better reaction when you say "public service."

4. Occupation: Graduate Student at the Heinz School of Public Policy at Carnegie Mellon University, Senior Vice President of Alphabetizing at the Heinz School Admissions Office. As I mentioned before, I'll also be working for the CED starting...soon. My job in the Admissions Office is pretty sweet. I answer people's phones for them when they're out to lunch and tell people to call back later. I also answer e-mails from prospective students, which is fun...I've learned a lot more about the school than I knew when I applied and I'm still happy with my decision! I also, as my job title suggests, alphabetize. A lot. It's pretty much what I do. Papers need filed alphabetically and I file them. I get paid to know the alphabet, which I can't really complain about.

5. Partner: I am engaged to an awesome girl named Silica, who I actually met through LiveJournal and Facebook. Basically, before we started undergrad, I was browsing around the Allegheny College community and noticed that someone with the name lotrfan posted. Being a gigantic Lord of the Rings nerd myself, I added her as an LJ friend. Later, once we got facebook at the end of freshman year, I added her as a friend on Facebook after noticing she had joined a Tolkien-related facebook group. We chatted a few times over the summer then kinda ran into each other randomly over campus the next year and eventually started hanging out on a more regular basis. I took her to my winter fraternity formal and two years later to the day I proposed to her. We're getting married on July 10, 2010 after we're both done with Grad School. Until then, as I said above, we're living together in Pittsburgh.

6. Kids: I do not have any kids as of yet, but hopefully within 5 years or so, I will. I mean, Silica and I are getting married in two years, so it's completely reasonable (and kinda scary) to think that I could be a father in 5 years. Wow...total craziness. Silica and I are definitely both in favor of having kids...we'd like to have two, a boy and a girl. Because we're ridiculous and dorky, we've already picked out names that we like. So we won't have to buy a baby naming book or invite anyone over who has a cast on. (Yes, that was a Mitch Hedberg reference if anyone got it, props to them).

7. Brothers/Sisters: Yes and no. We'll start with the negative. I'm an only child so I do not have any siblings. However, being in a fraternity means that I have all the brothers I could ever possibly hope for. Granted, I'm fraternally bound to everyone who has ever been a Delt, but as for those closest to me (the ones that were undergrads at the same time as me, I'd venture to say I have roughly 100 brothers. And I do mean brothers when I say that. I can't say I know how close I would be with my biological brothers, since I don't actually have any, but some of my fraternity brothers are definitely like family to me. In addition to that, Silica is a member of a sorority, which gave me the honor of being crowned BDB Beau (aka Boyfriend of the Year, aka "If-you-weren't-a-dude-we'd-probably-want-you-in-our-sorority" Award). Since I'm marrying Silica, I suppose I'm marrying into a sorority as well. Not that I'm complaining, they're pretty awesome girls, but I'm going to have more siblings than I know what to do with. Silica also has 3 siblings (a brother and 2 sisters) so I'll be picking up some in-laws as well.

8. Pets:
Silica and I don't have any pets in our apartment because we're not allowed to by building regulations. We both like cats, but Silica is allergic to cats so we'll probably end up with fish and a dog. I like dogs for the most part (I'm not a huge fan of the cleaning up after them part. We did have a fish that we were charged with the care of for the summer two years ago. His name was Franklin, like the turtle, but he was a fish. Since he lived in a tank, he earned the name "Frank the Tank" from me. For some reason, I talk to animals in a Pittsburgh accent and they seem to respond well to it. Well...Frank didn't die, he was in a not-eating spell when we got him but I got him to start eating. And my dog at home listens to me when I talk Pittsburghese to her, so she gets it. My dog at home is getting old and is probably dying. She's probably about 14 years old, which is old for a beagle. She's been a great dog and it's going to be sad to lose her, but she has a heart murmur so her health isn't the greatest.

9. List the 3-5 biggest things going on in your life:

1. Graduate School/Work. Basically, this is what's going to run my life for the next two years. I got a sweet fellowship so I'm going to make sure that I don't blow it. I'm really excited about the opportunities that I have and I'm looking forward to starting class in August. Until then, I'm working at the Admissions Office for the Heinz School.

2. Silica. Okay, she should probably be #1 and would be if this was in any kind of numerical order. But it's not. The list didn't even specify how many I had to give, so they definitely don't have to be in order. At any rate, we're living together so we cook together, eat together, clean together, shower-wait, no we don't...that we do separately. Anyways, unlike in college, there is no "my room" for either of us to go to, we're both here, in our apartment. It's really cool and kinda scary sometimes (like when we clean because we're kinda like real adults now). But it's going great and I love it and couldn't be happier.

3. Fantasy Football. To try to stay connected with some of my fraternity brothers, we started a Fantasy Football Keeper League, and we're having an online draft that's running, well...until it's over. It started June 1 and it's going strong in the 10th round right now. I'm pretty happy with my team so far and hopefully people will stick with the league so that I can keep in contact with these people over the next few years. That would be awesome.

4. Reading! Because I actually have time to do it again. I've been really on a Vonnegut kick lately. I read Armageddon in Retrospect a post-humus (sp?) collection of short stories published by his son, which was amazing. I'm reading Cat's Cradle right now and I love it. "New knowledge is the most valuable commodity on earth. The more truth we have to work with, the richer we become." - KV, Cat's Cradle.

10. Parents:
My parents are awesome. I really don't know what else to say about them, besides the fact that they're awesome. They take me to concerts and I go to all the home Steelers games with my dad and we play golf and they've been totally awesome about Silica and I living together. They were a great help when we moved in and they've been giving us all kinds of great stuff (including living room furniture!)

11. Who are some of your closest friends? My gosh, do I really have to name them all? Silica obviously is a close friend. Bill, who will be my Best Man at my wedding is also a very close friend. Bill is my sports buddy. We can talk for hours about sports, politics, the works. Ray, my Groomsman at my wedding I've known my entire life and, well...we're more or less the same person.  We don't even need to make jokes any more, we just kinda look at each other and know what the other person is thinking. It's pretty sweet. Beyond that, Zack and Mark, my roommates from Freshman and Sophomore years are awesome as well. Pat, Chuck, Grizzle, Betush, Evan, Dylan, Dustin...the list goes on, it's too long to really write down everyone.

Whew! Okay, that one took a while. I think that's about wrapping it up. That's pretty much everything, in a nut shell.
Sunday, July 15th, 2007
7:53 pm
Long time, no post
So here's the deal. In the time since I've last posted I have been to New Zealand, North Carolina, and many places in between. Do I make an entry about these? Nope. Here's chapters 1-4 of a great story that has been evolving over the summer on one of the best sports blogs around. ThePensBlog. Read it.

Chapter 1

Chapter 2

Chapter 3

Chapter 4

If you know Pittsburgh sports, you will laugh your arse off.
Sunday, April 15th, 2007
10:29 pm
Tuesday, March 13th, 2007
10:32 pm
It's been a great run for the Pittsburgh Penguins this year. Today they sealed up a deal for a new arena and beat the first-place Sabers. However, here's a fact you may not know. The Pittsburgh Penguins have not won a game in regulation in almost a month. The last time the Penguins won a game in regulation was February 18 against Washington. Since then they have lost 4 games in regulation, 1 in overtime and won 5 games in overtime/shootouts. In fact, their last 4 games have all gone to overtime (in which they are 3-0-1). Last year, the Dallas Stars got over half of their wins in shootouts and then got to the playoffs and tanked because there was no shootout to bail them out. Hopefully the Pens keep up the strong play and remember how to win a game in regulation.

Saturday, March 10th, 2007
1:12 am
Here's some great ways to waste some time.

I got an 88% here.

Flexicon...it's a crossword game

Have fun!
Thursday, December 14th, 2006
4:02 pm
Fascism for breakfaast
Maybe Franco should run in '08...

Wednesday, December 13th, 2006
8:00 am
Ladies and Gentlemen of my LiveJournal Friends Page, I have an announcement to make.

With 1 day of classes remaining in my 5th semester of college, I have pulled my first all-nighter.

Here's the drill:
Tuesday- English Presentation (4pm) - Done!
Wednesday- Modern Political Thought Paper (5 pages) due - Done!
Thursday- Fiction Writing Portfolio due (will probably be circa 25 pages) - Done!
Saturday- Econ Final Exam (9am) - Done!
Monday- Take-home final for my Jr Seminar Due (10 pages by 4pm) - Done!
Wednesday- Final Paper due for FS (10 pages by 7pm)
Wednesday- Final Paper due for Modern Political Thought (5 pages by
Thursday, December 7th, 2006
7:48 pm
Tuesday, December 5th, 2006
6:51 pm
Just as bad
You know, I had almost successfully completed my semester-long boycott of espn.com when I stumbled across this article. Now obviously since I'm me I couldn't just give up on reading sports news for a whole semester. So naturally I found another outlet; CBSSportsline. Now, Dennis Dodd had been on my radar for a bit before this article, because he flip-flopped from "There Shouldn't Be an OSU/Michigan Rematch" before the OSU-Mich game, to "A Rematch Would Be The Greatest Thing Ever" after the game, to "USC Beat Notre Dame, move aside Michigan", to "Michigan had it's chance, now it's Florida's turn." Dude, make up your mind and stick with it. If you're going to have an opinion, have an opinion. But don't give me this b-s that is virtually reflective of the popular opinion regarding College Football. I don't need a Columnist to tell me that. I look to Columnists to give me insightful information that I did not have before and look at the issues/happenings in new and unique ways. Notice this does not include simply regurgitating what I already know back to me. You know what people who have these types of opinions are called? Bandwagon jumpers. And there's far too many of them in the media.

For instance, after the Jaguars beat the Steelers in week 2, a lot of media-types were saying how the Jags might win the Super Bowl this year because they were such a great team. Well, as the season has shown, they are now a 7-5 team who is fighting for their playoff lives. Meanwhile the Steelers are 5-7, showing that the Jags win over them might not have been all that impressive.

But back to Dennis Dodd, who is currently around the level of Woody Paige dislike in my book and slowly rising to the Skip Bayless level. As many of you probably know, Ohio State is ranked #1 in the nation. Ohio State coach Jim Tressel, one of the 63 D-1 coaches who votes weekly in the ESPN/USA Today Highly Biased Coaches Poll (which is a part of the BCS calculation) opted not to submit his ballot this week, citing a conflict of interest. Dodd, screaming politics in sports like bloody murder, wants to know what the "real" reason is for Tressel not submitting his ballot. Here's a novel idea: JUST WHAT HE SAID.

Now, as Dodd points out, Florida beat Michigan in the Coaches Poll by 26 votes, so even if Tressel had placed Michigan at #1 and not ranked Florida, Florida would still have been #2 by virtue of 1 vote. However, what Dodd fails to realize is that Tressel had no way of knowing how the other coaches were going to vote and if his ballot would actually make a difference or not. In the AP Poll (which is not taken into account in the BCS because the BCS is fucking stupid trusting coaches who only watch 2 teams per week and might not even see highlights of the other teams in the nation because they're working on scouting/coaching/recruiting for their own team over the Associated Press who has nothing better to do than watch football like it's their job) Florida topped Michigan by 3 votes. Yes, 3. Now...if the Coaches Poll had turned out that way, and Tressel had cast his ballot, you bet it would have made a difference. And what then? Writers like Dodd would be accusing him of manipulating the BCS system for the betterment of his program so that they could get a softer opponent. And Dodd scrutinizes Tressel for bringing politics into sports. Seriously, is it so rare in sports that someone acts selflessly and honorably that he has to be ridiculed for it?

Give it up, Tressel did the right thing and you all (the sports media) wish you had 1/10 the honor he displayed in abstaining from submitting a ballot.
Wednesday, November 8th, 2006
1:53 am
Next time I'm in Virginia, I'll have to make sure to remember to stop by the Santorum homestead to see how the EX-junior senator from Pennsylvania is handling unemployment. I wonder if he will apply for unemployment? Boy wouldn't that be something. You know what else is something? Losing 60-40 to Bob Casey, Jr. Way to go Bob!!

And Jason Altmire won!! Which means something productive might actually get done for my district at home! Wooo!!

I would also like to thank anyone out there who is from Virginia, Montana and Missouri for giving me a reason to stay up all night!

On a non-political note, I have some really exciting news that I will divulge to everyone shortly...I just have to make a decision about it.
Saturday, October 14th, 2006
12:29 am
Top 10 Countdown
Everyone loves a top 10 countdown. Whether it be on Letterman or Mosaic Law. ESPN Classic even did a whole series of "Who's Number 1" shows to try and settle some classic debates. Well, it's my turn to take a shot at a top 10 list. I've been bouncing some ideas around in my head for this one for a while, so here goes. Feel free to disagree, that's the beauty of a top 10 list.

The Top 10 Most Annoying Things in Sports

10. People who think the Pittsburgh Steelers should have cheerleaders.
The Steelers have never had cheerleaders and do not need them. For one, they're unnecessary. I can see in a High School setting, where the cheerleaders actually lead the fans in cheers for their school. But in professional sports, they don't serve anywhere near this purpose. The Steelers don't need them, so shut up about it.

9. Sideline reporters.
Do we really need someone to be there and ask "What was going through your mind when you made the winning shot/goal/touchdown/field goal/hit?" Just to hear the athlete respond "I wanted it to go in." or "I wanted to score."

8. Power Rankings.
See this partial article from last year's NFL playoffs naming the Colts as the "clear favorites". What happened to them? Ooh yeah, they lost. In their first game. At home. To a #6 seed. And everyone is jumping on this bandwagon. ESPN currently has Power Rankings for NFL, MLB, NBA which isn't even in season now, NASCAR, NCAA Football, and probably more that I don't really care to find right now. CBSSportsline has them and I wouldn't be suprised if FoxSports has them too. They're really unnecessary because they don't tell you anything. They need to be stopped.

7. Yankees-Red Sox games.
They play each other between 10 and 15 times out of 162 games. These games don't matter that much. Stop with the "these games matter!" storylines at the beginning of the season. The season is 162 games long. Yes there's a history between these 2 teams, but so what? The Yankees have the highest payroll in Baseball at around $200 million. The Red Sox are second on the list at over $120 million. Yes, they don't spend nearly as much as the Yankees, but they're still spending more than all the other teams. This would be the equivalent of Bill Gates and Warren Buffett arguing over money.

6. Players who make too much money telling other people what to do.
See this post.

5. Players thanking Jesus for helping them win.
Here's a novel idea: God doesn't care about sports. In my opinion, He blesses people with talents and abilities that enable them to do certain things, but he does not care who wins. If there are 10 players on one side of a court praying their player makes a foul shot, and 10 on the other side praying that person misses, it's not going to make a difference.

4. The first 47 minutes of an NBA game.
Why do we really need to see these guys play for any but 1 minute? Essentially the same thing happens. Team gets ball. Someone dunks. Other team gets ball. Tries three. Misses. Process repeats itself for whichever team gets the rebound. We really only need to see one minute of this. That would be enough to determine the winner. Most games are determined in the last minute or so anyways. Nothing is more telling than the lack of actual good play than the performance of U.S. Basketball Teams in International play in recent years. The Bronze Medal at the Olympics was lucky. We lost to Greece (who has no NBA players on their roster) in the World Championships this year. I would actually prefer to see unpaid people play, which is part of what makes College Basketball so awesome. Players play for love of the game, not the big money or big endorsement deal.

3. Fantasy Sports
These ruin sports. You end up watching games cheering for players instead of teams. You can't call yourself a legitimate fan of a team (say the Steelers) if you watch a game with the Bengals and say "I need Carson Palmer to have a huge day, but I want the Steelers to win." No. Sorry, but no. Just not happening. If you're going to root for Carson Palmer, then you're not rooting for the Steelers buddy. Who cares about some imaginary made-up stats that get meshed together to make imaginary totals. Far too much weight is placed on Fantasy stats and Fantasy drafts and how well individual players do. There's a reason these games are TEAM games, not individual games. If you want to do Fantasy, have Fantasy Golf, or Fantasy Tennis. If you want to know why the NBA sucks (see #4) it's because the game has become too individualized and less team oriented. Fantasy football makes for a more individual-oriented fans, which leads to superstar players, which leads to teams playing less like a team and more individuals a-holes like TO, Randy Moss, A-fraud, Derek Jeter, and pretty much everyone in the NBA.

2. ESPN/24-hour Sports Networks.
There's not that much to talk about. Seriously. There isn't. There is enough to put into 1 hour of Sportscenter, which could be shown on another channel. That's enough. When they have to resort to showing Poker (which is NOT a sport), we know it's gone downhill. Actually, what's worse is when said network airs a drama series about poker. Come on, show a game, there's got to be something. Show Austrailian Rugby for crying out loud. ESPN has a show on about Fantasy Football (See #3). Ridiculous. If you want to know what's ruining sports, look no further than the networks that cover them.

1. The Bowl Championship Series.
I don't think this one really needs to be explained much, but if you need some evidence, here's some further reading:
Changing the Format is not Fixing the Problem (by me)
This Year's Auburn/LSU (by me)
Another BCS Blunder (by Bill)

Well, there you have them! Feel free to disagree.
Monday, October 2nd, 2006
2:37 pm
I swear iTunes has a mind of its own

So, here's how it works:
1. Open your library (iTunes, Winamp, Media Player, iPod, etc)
2. Put it on shuffle
3. Press play
4. For every question, type the song that's playing
5. When you go to a new question, press the next button

Opening Credits:
The Boys Are Back In Town - Thin Lizzy

Waking Up:
Only The Young - Journey

First Day At School:
School Boy Heart - Jimmy Buffet

Falling In Love:
Are You Experienced? - Jimi Hendrix

Fight Song:
Every Little Thing - Wilco

Breaking Up:
Tears in Heaven - Eric Clapton

Do Wah Diddy - Manfred Mann

Life's OK:
Jeremiah Was A Bullfrog - CCR

Mental Breakdown:
Balinese Dancer - Chuck Prophet

Tusk - Fleetwood Mac

Freebird - Lynyrd Skynyrd

Getting Back Together:
Rock and Roll Band - Boston

Wedding Set - Highland Reign ---I was so freaked out that this song came up at this time I had to put it in. I swear iTunes has a mind of it's own.

Birth of Child:
In My Wildest Dreams - The Jayhawks

Final Battle:
Get Me Outta Here - JET

Death Scene:
A Murder of One - Counting Crows

Funeral Song:
Cover Me - Bruce Springsteen

End Credits:
American Idiot - Green Day
Saturday, September 30th, 2006
9:50 pm
Last nite was Greek Sing, and the chance to defend our title. Last year we (the brothers of Delta Tau Delta) took home the gold after a performance of a Sweethearts themed piece. The sisters of Alpha Chi Omega took second last year and the girls of Alpha Delta Pi came in third.

This year's competition did not feature an overall winner like last year, but instead a winner from the fraternities and a winner from the sororities. We put it all down on the line again.....Here's a short recap of the night's performances: Theta Chi gave (in my opinion) on of their best performances I have seen. The Phi Delt performance got a huge crowd reaction after they sang "Don't Stop Believin'." The Sigs performed "Afternoon Delight" to the delight of the sorority girls. The Phi Psi's (reigning Greek Week champions) gave a humorous performance. We sang "Sing to the Royal Purple" as our Traditional Song. Then we moved from that into a section of "Stomp." From there we transitioned into a Riverdance number and concluded with a Greek-ed out version of "Come on Feel the Noise."

And in the end....we brought it home again, defending our title and giving us an opportunity for the Trifecta (or Three Peat) next year.

It's good to be the champs again. I forgot how much fun winning these things was.
Tuesday, September 19th, 2006
11:38 pm
Per request, a post about real life:

Life = busy. 20 credits = 5 classes = a lot of reading.

My Junior Seminar sucks. It's not that I don't like the clas, but having to read over 3 hours worth of reading for each class is getting to me. I feel like it's consuming all my time and I don't have time for anything else (or any of my other classes). We're reading The Prince for my Modern Political Thought class. It's interesting to see how Machiavelli thinks, even though it kinda pisses me off. My writing class scares the hell out of me. It's going good so far, but I have the foreboding feeling it's going to crash soon. But maybe that's just my lack of self-confidence from taking Writing Poetry last semester. Finally, my econ class is going well. Thank goodness we're only doing dervatives from calculus. Good thing there's no Calc 2 stuff involved, I would have been screwed. And then my last 5 credits is the class I'm TA-ing for, which is going well. Howie ambushes me every time I enter Quigley to ask me to do something for the class.

Recruitment is going. It's annoying when certain people follow me around the house while I'm on the phone with the parents telling me "Ian, you need to go rush people." When it's not my job to rush, rather my job is to motivate people to rush. Or provide them situations in which they can meet people.

I'm also going to be working 2 jobs this semester (at least I'm getting paid for both of them, unlike last semester). IM Floor Hockey starts in October, and I'm going to start my job following the Santorum-Casey race next week.

Everything with Silica is great. I'm waiting for her to call me now. I should go do homework. Talk to you later LJ friends list readers.
Monday, September 18th, 2006
2:55 pm
Prediction #2
Well, I was a little off on the score last week, but the end result was the same. The Steelers knocked off the Dolphins in impressive fashion. Though considering the Dolphins lost to the Bills this week, it remains to be seen how "impressive" the win actually was. But regardless, this week it's off to Jacksonville under the lights on Monday Night. Jacksonville handed the Super Bowl Champs one of their five losses last year. Though if it hadn't been for the "windy conditions" (endquote, Tommy Never-playing-in-the-NFL-again Maddox). The Jags have a good defense, but can Matt Jones and Ernest Wilford lead the recieving core against the vaunted Steelers Defense? I think not. Leftwich will have a good game, he always does. His offensive line is suspect, but he is probably one of the most, if not the most, durable quarterback in the league (remember the MAC Championship game anyone?). That being said, Tommy Maddox single-handedly lost a very winnable game agaisnt Jacksonville last year. And two years ago the Jags almost snatched a victory from the Steelers on a Josh Scobe 60-yard field goal that was about 2 yards short. In conclusion, this will be a close game, but the Steelers will prevail.

Prediction: Steelers 24, Jaguars 17
Thursday, September 7th, 2006
1:46 pm
Starting things off
Ben is out, Batch is in. Ike signs a new contract and Hines is back. On the flip side, Caulpepper is back from injury and this is supposedly the Dolphins' year to reclaim the AFC East from the New England Patriots. And what better way for them to start it off than proving all the experts dead wrong. The Steelers Defense will control this game. The Steelers offense will put up points. The Steelers will not lose their 5th straight game (0-4 in preseason).

Prediction: Steelers 17, Dolphins 13
Monday, September 4th, 2006
10:30 pm
Stingrays...you're on notice!!

And I think you know why!
Sunday, August 27th, 2006
11:28 am
Put another one up on the Big Board
Yesterday I helped move freshmen into their dorms. For providing this service to the college, they gave us meal tickets to use for either 1 meal at Brooks (no reparations for the consequent diahreea that no doubt would ensue) or $6.50 in "munch money" at McKinley's. So deciding for the betterment of my internal organs (as well as the fact that McKinley's is air conditioned, I went to McKinley's. When I get there, only the salad station, pizza station and deli are open (in spite of the fact that the sign outside the door says that the Grill and Vegan are also supposed to be open). So I go over to the deli and lo and behold, there are no prices listed. Well, in an attempt to be a smart consumer (since I was on a strict $6.50 budget) I asked what the prices of the subs were. The people working there didn't know, but fortunately one of the administrators of the dining hall was standing there. She chimed in to tell me that "They start at $3.79 and go up from there." First off, $3.79 for a 6-inch hoagie? Okay, whatever, it's free for me. So I ask for one with all 4 kinds of meat, a few kinds of cheese and some lettuce on it. I also grab an ice cream sandwich, and since I had been expending energy in the hot sun all day moving people in, a Gatorade. Now, there is a sign for prices on the drinks. Gatorade is $2.19 for a 20oz bottle. What!?!??! Over the summer I got a 40oz bottle on sale at Giant Eagle for 99 cents. 40 oz bottles are usually around $1.79 or so at Giant Eagle, Wal Mart or any other establishment. To charge more than that for something half the size is utterly rediculous. In the end, my bill came out to $6.40, just 10 cents shy of my allotted amount. So, in summation: On the first day freshmen are on campus, McKinley's does not have prices on any of the food and they charge an exorborent amount for Gatorade. For that McKinley's....YOU'RE ON NOTICE!
Wednesday, August 23rd, 2006
6:02 pm
Writing in
Today I sent the following letter to the sports editor of the Post-Gazette in response to THIS article. It was kinda cool to write in to a newspaper. Who knows, maybe they'll even publish it somewhere. I'm not counting on it, but I'll keep everyone posted.

In Mr. Smizik's article "Porter has legitimate gripe, but it's with Gene Upshaw" he missed a very important point. I was very impressed with the manner in which he described Porter's conflict and how his salary compares to that of players in other sports. However, Mr. Smizik fails to note the fact that Major League Baseball, unlike the NFL, has no salary cap. Without this hindrance in place, teams can afford to pay their players more. Additionally, the Philadelphia Phillies 2006 payroll was approximately $88 million (according to onestopbaseball.com). Now, Mr. Smizik notes that Major League Baseball teams only consist of 25 players. But he does not press the math. $88 million dispersed over 25 players averages to $3.52 million per player. According to the USA Today, the Pittsburgh Steelers payroll in 2005 was about $84 million. Therefore, dispersing that amount over 53 players (instead of just 25) comes out to $1.58 million per player. While this may not seem like much in today's current sports market, that's how the numbers fall.

The truth of the matter is, Joey Porter was the 9th highest paid player on the team last season. Above him were Ben Roethlisberger, Hines Ward, Casey Hampton, Jeff Hartings, Marvel Smith, Alan Faneca, Aaron Smith and Larry Foote. Now, one could debate the relative value of some of these players against Porter. However, also look at who is making less than Porter. Troy Polamalu, the anchor of our secondary only earned $718,200 last season. Tommy Maddox was paid more. Willie Parker, who rushed for 1,200+ yards last season only earned $309,840. Rian Wallace earned more than Parker last year. Is this fair and equitable? I think not.

Maybe we should also look at the broader perspective. Maybe Joey Porter deserves his $3.5 million salary. Possibly the problem is not with Gene Upshaw and the labor relations with the NFL, but with society as a whole. Maybe we value our athletes too much. Maybe Major League Baseball players get paid too much. Maybe there should be a salary cap for Major League Baseball. Let me throw this question out there for pondering. Who is of greater benefit to society: an outside linebacker who records 10.5 sacks over a 16-game season or a kindergarten teacher who, over the course of a 180-day school year, teaches young children to be able to read and write? Maybe we get so caught up in loving our sports heroes that we forget about those that are truly making a difference in the world. How much do you think this teacher deserves to get paid for the job he or she does? According to Cnn.com, the average kindergarten teacher salary in the United States is $47,087. Now, what is there to make of these numbers? One possible conclusion is that professional athletes are overpaid. Let's look at another perspective. 2006, as we all know, is an election year. A common complaint about politics is that "politicians get paid too much." I think we all know about the uproar amongst Pennsylvanian voters about the pay raises voted for by the state government. However, the 2006 salary for a United States Senator is $165,200 (according to senate.gov) and the salary for the President of the United States is only $400,000. These are the top of the line jobs, the salaries decrease drastically as the level of government becomes more localized. Now, I am aware that politicians also recieve outside money, or have previous fortunes or have other means of attaining wealth. But don't athletes also recieve multi-million dollar endorsements from companies such as Nike? What does it tell us about the state of the nation? Where people get paid more for playing a game, whether it be baseball, football, or basketball, than those people who are running the country? Who is more valuable to the country? Could the nation continue without one outside linebacker on one of 32 teams playing one particular game?

So where does all this money go that gets paid to professional athletes? People complain that the government doesn't do anything or that taxes are too high. Well, let me pose this question: When was the last time a professional athlete paid for a new school to be built? When was the last time the government built a new school with tax money? When was the last time a professional athlete built a hospital with their own money? Maybe these are things we need to think about before we just dole money out onto these people. Yes, they are very talented. Yes, they are great players. Yes, they bring fame to our city. But next time you read about someone demanding a pay raise, think about the person who taught you to read, and ask yourself who served a greater good in your life? The athelete or that person?

So, next time you hear an athlete complaining about how "little" they get paid, consider their relative salaries to those doing other important jobs across the nation.

Wednesday, August 16th, 2006
4:39 pm
I suppose...
You scored as John Kennedy. 35th President, in office from 1961-1963
Born: 1917 Died: 1963 (assassainated)


John Kennedy


Dwight Eisenhower


Franklin Roosevelt


Abraham Lincoln


Ronald Reagan


Lyndon Johnson


Theodore Roosevelt


Thomas Jefferson


Woodrow Wilson


George Washington


Harry Truman


Which Great US President Are You Most Like?
created with QuizFarm.com

Actually...I would highly encourage everyone to take This poll. It gages who you are likely to support in the '08 election.
...accoring to it, I'm 100% behind Russ Feingold. And somehow 98% for Dennis Kucinich...I can understand the Feingold, but the Kucinich is a bit suprising. For the record, Hillary came in 12th out of 25 on my list at 76%.
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