Tuesday, December 28, 2004
Emptying the Holiday Notebook
A few things that have thus far escaped the attention of my blog over the past few days...
My blogging schedule, and indeed my internet usage in general, has been knocked for a loop over the past week or so by the fact that Brandi's laptop is currently down for the count. In order to get online, I now have to sequester myself in the computer room, whereas I had grown accustomed to doing it in the living room, on the couch, in front of the television. I'm fairly proficient with computers, but her laptop is broken beyond my ability to fix. Of course, it doesn't help that Dell doesn't include a copy of the operating system CD when it sends out a computer, so any repair work would technically require the unit to be sent back to them. I'm hoping one of my friends can do something with it, though. My blogging habits have been bad, but my e-mail habits have been worse. I have to sit down sometime exceptionally soon and pound out some messages to people who have been waiting on them for longer than they should have to. I don't know why I've gotten so bad about this, but I feel terrible about it. I hope it's a temporary thing. I had a brush with fame yesterday. Actress Katie Holmes is originally from Toledo, and she works out at the same gym that I do (and where Brandi works) when she's in town. She was in there yesterday when I was. I must say, she's rather average-looking when seen in person--I almost didn't even recognize her. Still, it's not every day that you see a famous person, so I thought it merited a mention. I meant to write about this at the time, but I didn't get a chance to. Last Wednesday I watched the Bowling Green Falcons football team beat the Memphis Tigers in the GMAC Bowl. This is the second straight year that the Falcons have earned a bowl bid and a bowl victory, after beating Northwestern in last year's Motor City Bowl. Considering the sad state the program was in when I first started coming to games here, that's pretty significant. I never thought then that I would see the level of success this team has come to enjoy. It certainly has been fun to watch. Now we turn our attention to next year. There will be holes to fill, as the team will suffer the loss of such leaders and players as Cole Magner, Keon Newson, and Jovon Burkes. However, there's also a lot coming back, most notably MAC Offensive Player of the Year Omar Jacobs at quarterback, and his primary targets in Chuck Sharon and Steve Sanders. The defense needs some work, but the offense is in good hands. I was incredibly glad to hear the news that the Reds have signed pitcher Eric Milton to a 3-year contract. He's a very good left-handed starter, and starting pitching has been a weakness for the Reds for some time. It's been a while since the Reds made a move in the offseason that made me feel like they were serious about winning. They actually spent some money on this guy, which I think is a great sign. They've also plugged the hole at third base, signing Joe Randa to play there. He may not be a superstar, but he'll be solid there. I'm starting to get excited about this team. They've definitely got some offense, and the pitching looks to be coming together. They just may be able to make a run in the dysfunctional National League Central. On the topic of professional sports, the Cincinnati Bengals have a decent chance of finishing 8-8 for the second season in a row. They play Philadelphia this weekend, but the Eagles likely won't play their starters for any length of time so as to keep them healthy for the playoffs. Given the Bengals' recent history, two consecutive non-losing seasons signifies good progress. Now it's time to step it up to the next level. There are a lot of pieces in place. Carson Palmer has a full year at quarterback under his belt, and he needs to continue to progress. Rudi Johnson, Chad Johnson, and T.J. Houshmandzadeh are all offensive playmakers, and Peter Warrick should be healthy next season as well. The defense still needs some help, but the secondary has shown some promise. I hope the Bengals follow the Reds' lead of making some good moves in the coming offseason, and I'm hopeful that they can make a run at the playoffs next year. At some point this week I really need to get the oil changed in my car. I was hoping to do it on a relatively warm day so I could get my car washed at the same time and without the water freezing my doors shut. Today was supposed to be a day like that, but the forecast has changed. Tomorrow may be a better option, as it's supposed to be in the 40s all day. Speaking of my car, I'll soon be breaking the 110,000-mile barrier in terms of mileage. That'll probably happen tomorrow, in fact. I really, really need to start making some sort of preparation for getting a new car sometime in the not-too-distant future. My beloved Neon has been performing like a champion lately, but with that many miles, you just never know when something is going to go catastrophically wrong.