Sunday, March 26, 2006

The long-awaited answer.

I forgot I'd asked a question in a previous post, and I forgot to print the answer. So...the answer is on the way. Hang on! :)

Tony, Dan and the guys (and gals) rule!

A big hello to the Aggatucci bunch. Another fabulous Aggy's pizza has been consumed by yours truly again this evening. There is great pizza in Peoria, Aggatucci's would have to rank right up there. Plus, the place is just flat cool.

Diane and her folks introduced me to Aggatucci's several years ago. Di's got good taste in pizza, without a doubt. When I moved here, I just settled into the big chain routine, familiar is good, ya know? But Diane has introduced me to Aggatucci's, Childer's, Polanza's, and the Hofbrau, just to name a few. My apologies if I spelled any of them wrong, but I'm now officially part owner of each of them, based on what I now spend there.

Prepare yourselves...

...for another barrage of "pro-mid major" basketball column from Kirk and the rest of the PJS gang. George Mason has had an incredible run, and is going to the Final Four. I think it's great! But it's not so much a product of the mid-majors getting better talent than they have in the past, it's more likely because the so-called "power conferences" are getting LESS talent than they're used to. Why? Because many of the best basketball players of the last three or four years went straight to the NBA. Some (LeBron James, Shaun Livingston) are very high profile and very much success stories, others are not.

Countless other big names played one or two years of college ball and then moved on (such as Andre Iguodala - one and done at Arizona out of Lamphier). Where did these players come from? The power schools. How many guys have left Duke early? North Carolina? All the big-name schools lose players year after year to early entry into the NBA. Meanwhile, the mid-majors have a better chance at keeping a guy four years. Experience and continuity are so key in basketball.

George Mason started three seniors and two sophomores today. They played a vast majority of the minutes. The only sub to play more than ten minutes was a junior. No freshmen in the main rotation. But the "power" schools' rosters are dotted with freshmen who start, sophomores who are the most experienced players on the roster, and then they leave for the NBA.

So congrats to George Mason, but the real power schools are still the same as always, and will get back to being more dominant now that the NBA has raised the age requirement for eligibility to play in The League.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Some Interesting Numbers

Compiled by John Gaw of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune. He supplies no additional commentary, just raw numbers. I love this stuff:

Percent of Americans who trust the Internal Revenue Service to safeguard personal information, according to a survey by the Michigan-based Ponemon Institute.


Percent who trust the Department of Homeland Security to do so.



Number of months ago that President Bush signed a law creating the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board, which operates at the behest of the administration and whose purpose is to ensure that privacy and civil liberties are protected in the fight against terrorism.


Number of times since its creation that the board has met.



Number of workers laid off this month from the Energy Department's National Renewable Energy Laboratory to help cope with a $28 million budget shortfall at the lab.


Number of days before President Bush's visit to that lab last week that $5 million was restored so that those workers could be rehired.


Number of the formerly laid-off workers who were invited to see Bush's speech at the lab.



Shortly after Sept. 11, 2001, percent of Americans who thought that leaders of other countries around the world respect President Bush, according to a Gallup Poll.


Percent of Americans who feel that way now.

This report dates back to February 26th. More coming soon.

I Mean, C'mon

I'm kicking back on a day off before I start a new gig, and I'm watching an old SNL on E!, and here comes a promo for Ryan Seacrest joining E!News.

Someone please tell me: what discernable talent does Ryan Seacrest bring to the table? Really, what talent does he have? It's like Bob and Tom. What talent do they have other than the ability to laugh moronically at Chick and their other guests?

Just wondering.

What a different world

I just caught the tail end of a commercial on cable that said:

You may be infected!

Now, growing up, this meant you'd better get checked for an STD, but today the ad was for a computer virus protection program.

It got me thinking. I'm only in my 40's, and look at the differences in our life. To wit, here are just a few thoughts that crossed my mind:

I learned how to type on an IBM Selectric.
I remember how we ooh'd and aah'd when we cooked our first hot dog in a microwave.
I remember an entire staff of a radio station standing around a fax machine waiting to see a message from our corporate office come through.
I remember how "realistic" Nintendo seemed.
I remember reading something called a "newspaper".

I'm just kidding about that last one, I just read them online now. But really, I haven't seen a paper copy of the USA Today in about four months.