Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Happy Halloween!

Monday, October 30, 2006

ESPN College Gameday at Kyle Field

Through all of the near losses this season, A&M has built a very respectable 8-1 (4-1 in conference) record. Currently the Aggies sit at second place in the Big XII South behind Texas and in front of Oklahoma. The powers that be has deemed this weekend's matchup with Oklahoma as worthy of a visit from the ESPN College Gameday crew. I only hope that this visit works out better for the Aggies than the last visit did in 2000. We played a heck of a game that day, but it was OU's year. No telling if it is either of our year this time around, but I would welcome a win over OU this year and any other year for that matter.

Saturday, October 28, 2006

College Football Week 9

After the overtime win against Oklahoma State last week, I'm ready for a game that is an easy win, and there was a time when a game against Baylor was just that. However, for the past few years, Coach Guy Morris has lead the Bears to challenge many of the middle tier teams in the Big XII. This culminated with Baylor's upset of the Aggies in Waco two years ago. It was the first time the Bears beat the Aggies in about twenty years and let me tell you it sucked. It came a week after the Aggies had just edged out Colorado in overtime at Kyle Field. So this year's game is very reminiscent of our last trip to Waco. Again, the game is not televised so Aggies will have to settle for listening to it or reading online stats. This is the easiest game we have left on our schedule but it's definitely no "gimmie." They all get progressively harder down the stretch. Gig 'Em Ags and BTHO Baylor!

UPDATE: Ags win! By the time I tuned in to check the online stats, the game was almost half over and the Aggies were only up by a touchdown. Shortly after halftime, the Bears tied the score. The Aggies then made two trips inside the Baylor 5 yard line but only came out with a three point lead. However, the Aggies finally made the game clinching touchdown with a little over two minutes left. After that, all the Bears could do was try to score twice, but their hopes ended on an interception by the Aggies with under a minute left to play. When time expired, the Aggies were victorious by a score of 31-21. Unfortunately Baylor is no longer an easy win, but at least this outing resulted in another win for the Aggies.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

"Every Man For Himself"

I am so very conflicted about LOST this season. I have liked some parts of it, while I've grown very tired of other parts of it. Tonight's episode conflicted me as well.


My big conflict comes in the form of my fondness for this show, but am having trouble seeing where this season is going so far. The producers have said this would be the season of the Others and that our opinion of them would change. Well my opinion is changing alright...I hate them more and more every episode. I am getting really tired of how they keep talking about how they're good yet they are beating the crap out of Sawyer all the time. Don't get me wrong...con men are bad but this is just getting ridiculous.

I was glad that this episode picked up where we left off last week with Desmond. Now that he is fully dressed, he went on to continue demonstrating his ability to see the future. When he took the golf club and put it high up on the bamboo pole, I thought for a second that he was making an antenna, but then realized that it was probably a lightning rod. Score one for me!

The Others are not winning my affection by "implanting" a killer pacemaker in Sawyer. Forget that it all turned out to be a con on Sawyer, Ben Linus is really starting to piss me off. I guess that makes Michael Emerson a good actor, but I really want to see something bad happen to Ben at the hands of Sawyer. Did anyone else notice what Ben and Tom were talking about when Sawyer first woke up? Tom said something about the communication link being down since the Sawn Station implosion that caused the sky to change colors. Interesting...

So Colleen ended up dying from being shot by Sun. Juliet couldn't do anything to save her so she got Jack to help but of course it was too late. I know we still have no idea about the Others' motives, but until they are revealed I have absolutely no sympathy for them. And did Ben say something about a "sub?" Is that how the Others got onto the sailboat undetected? Jack also saw some spinal X-ray films and I thought for sure they were going to be Locke's but it looks like they are probably Ben's. Will Jack have to save Ben to get off the island?

I guess there were two big reveals in this episode: Sawyer has a daughter and there are two islands! Sawyer conned another con to get money to take care of his daughter so he has a good heart after all. And the big finish was that Ben showed Sawyer that he, Kate and Jack are being kept on a different island from the one they crashed on. This Other island is apparently twice the size of Alcatraz. Now it makes sense that Rousseau has never stumbled across the Other's village.

This episode was just okay in my opinion. There have been far better, but there have also been much worse. And now we are down to only two more episodes before the ten week break. Some people have been saying that fans are expecting too much from the show, but I think that is BS. This show was really, really good during the first season and it has slumped since then. The fans are not to blame for the disappointment thus far. The blame rests on the shoulders of the producers for hyping the show all summer and then dropping the ball on delivery. I really want something purposeful to happen in the next two weeks. I don't want a gimmick though, I want something important to happen that actually progresses the story, otherwise we might be watching the beginning of the end of LOST.


Sunday, October 22, 2006

Rice Festival

Last night Roxi and I made the rainy drive out to Crowley, LA for the annual Rice Festival. I used to go to Rice Fest every year during high school with my good friend and Hek-Atomic Cherry, Charles. He is from Crowley and his parents live a few short blocks from the festival site. This year was no different. Roxi and I joined Charles, Claire and Jeffrey in enjoying the food of the festival. It rained all day Saturday which sort of put a damper on the activities during the day, but it let up enough Saturday night for us to make the walk down Parkerson Street and be very gluttonous among the famous fried and fatty foods of south Louisiana. We started with boudin balls and fresh craklin' and then made our way to several barbeque burger stands. We then moved on to proper boudin links and Roxi and I finished stuffing ourselves with some fried alligator on a stick while Charles and Jeffrey searched out the best deal on funnel cake. It was indeed a gluttonous evening, but we can all allow ourselves such a night every once in a while. Unfortunately there are no pictures as I didn't want to risk my camera getting wet in the sporadic rain, but I'd still classify this Rice Festival as a smashing success!

Saturday, October 21, 2006

College Football Week 8

Today the Texas A&M Aggies start a two week road trip that takes them to Stillwater, OK to play Oklahoma State. The game is not televised. I'm not really sure what to expect this week. Two weeks ago we were almost beaten by Kansas while last week we started clicking and upset Missouri. I expect to win this game and it would be nice to again defeat Ok State on their homecoming like we did two years ago. The one thing that I fear is a letdown after a big win last week. I hope the Aggies capitalize on what they have learned over the past two weeks and continue to win conference games building up to the difficult stretch at the end of the season. Gig 'Em and BTHO Oklahoma State!

UPDATE: Ags win!! The game was knotted up all night with the lead changing several times. At the end of regulation, the game was tied at 27 with A&M forcing the overtime with only three seconds remaining. In overtime, the Aggies had the ball first and put up seven points before Oklahoma State took over. Oklahoma State scored a touchdown and appeared to be about to send the game into a second overtime, however their extra point attempt was blocked and the game ended with the Aggies winning by a score of 34-33. Not exactly the win that I had envisioned, but a win none the less. Next week we are on the road again at Baylor and it will not be the easy game either. The last time we played there, we were defeated for the first time in more than twenty years and last year's game at home was no cake walk. Next week is a must win, for both remaining in the conference race as well as for personal pride because honestly, no one likes to lose to Baylor.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

"Further Instructions"

Finally, three weeks into the third season of LOST, we got four things that have been sorely missing: Locke, Desmond, Mr. Eko and an episode that was actually worth watching! Say what you will about the few nuggets of information revealed in the first two episodes of the season, but they were both really boring. This week, we finally got the action that the producers have been promising!


I liked how the beginning of the episode mirrored the beginning of the pilot episode, this time with Locke waking up disoriented in the woods. I was expecting Vincent to come running out of the grass. This scene is obvious paralleling Jack waking up in the pilot and then springing into action as the leader of the group. As we saw by the end of the episode, Locke has now asserted his leadership over the Losties and everyone seemed responsive of it.

I enjoyed the vision quest that Locke embarked on in the sweat lodge, and it was great seeing Boone again, but what is with his hair? I guess the urban legends are true about your hair continuing to grow after you die! Speaking of hair, what's with Charlie's? Did his exposure to the implosion of the hatch make him grow a mullet??

In Locke's flashback we see that Locke was in a cult!?! But of course we also learn that he is a sucker and got conned again by that undercover police officer. I was really expecting him to kill the cop. After we found out how Jack was a stalker and Sun was a big liar, I expected to find out that Locke was a cop killer. But alas, he couldn't do it.

I wish we could have gotten a little more of Desmond's story this week, but we did get a juicy little hint in his conversation with Hurley. It would appear that Desmond might have done a little time traveling since the hatch imploded. Some one on the Fark message boards pointed out that he looked a lot like Jesus after Hurley gave him is huge T-shirt. I can't argue with that. So what does this all mean? Is Desmond time traveling, is he a prophet or is he the true savior of the Losties? I don't know but I sure can't wait to find out!

I was expecting for Mr. Eko to be a little more involved in the episode, but at this point I'm just happy that he didn't die. I thought for a second there that he had expired after talking to Locke. There are not too many characters that I would miss [especially if one of them was Jack (ed.)], but Mr. Eko would be a big loss.

This was without a doubt the best episode so far this season. I hope that we don't have to wait through two more boring episodes before we get another good one. I know that they are going to drag out as much of this show as possible, I just hope they don't do so at the expense of progressing the story and losing too much more of the audience.

NEXT WEEK on LOST (American Promo):

NEXT WEEK on LOST (Canadian Promo):

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Let Love Rule!

We did it! For over a year I have been writing about what we could do to get the ridiculous and anti-free market Wright Amendment repealed. A bill setting up a time frame for repeal was passed through Congress on September 29 and officially signed into law by President Bush this week. Although the Wright Amendment won't completely be history until 2014, on Thursday October 19, Southwest Airlines will begin flights from Dallas to twenty-five "new" destinations that were previously restricted by the Wright Amendment. I expect further expansion of Southwest low-cost operations in the future now that Love is Free!!!

Monday, October 16, 2006

Festivals Acadiens 2006

Festival season is in full swing in south Louisiana and Roxi and I are taking full advantage. This weekend's event was Festivals Acadiens. It is a festival celebrating Cajun culture in the Acadiana area. Like most festivals, it's all about food, drink, music and crafts.

Roxi and I took advantage of the liberal drive-thru daiquiri laws in Louisiana and purchased our very large pre-drinks on the way to Girard Park. Once we arrived, we partook in some fantastic jambalaya and fried alligator-on-a-stick.

After our Cajun food we took in some music from Nathan & the Zydeco Cha Chas and The Pine Leaf Boys.

Nathan & the Zydeco Cha Chas:

The Pine Leaf Boys:

Finally we rounded out the afternoon with a walk through the crafts tents.

I found it very interesting celebrating Cajun culture so soon after celebrating German heritage twenty miles away last weekend. I never really thought about the juxtaposition before, but I think that is mostly because the two cultures merged with each other while maintaining separate identities. What a history lesson I have had over the past two weekends!

Saturday, October 14, 2006

College Football Week 7

Today's the day that pretty much defines the rest of the Texas A&M football season. The Aggies are playing the University of Missouri, the team that appears to be in the "drivers seat" to win the Big XII North division title.

The Aggies have played very poorly the few times that I have seen so far this season, and typically worse during those games that I have been unable or unwilling to watch. The team is committing far too many penalties to sustain drives and often moved the ball backwards in it's win over Kansas last week. Furthermore, the coaching decisions at key moments in the game have been very suspect on both offense (vs. Army) and defense (vs. Army and vs. Texas Tech).

Still the Ags are 5-1 (1-1 in conference) with several challenging games left this season and the 6-0 (2-0 in conference) Mizzou is primed to be upset on the road. A well played game and a win against Mizzou would make me more optimistic about our chances with Nebraska and Oklahoma, but a loss would make me worry about all of our remaining games including Baylor.

Today is the first day of the rest of the season! BTHO Mizzou!

UPDATE: Ags win! Despite the odds and this season so far, the Aggies upset a ranked, and thus far undefeated, Missouri. We're not out of the woods yet with two upcoming road games in a row, but as Tim Smith put it in an email this afternoon, the Aggies are now bowl eligible for only the second time in Coach Fran's tenure. What bowl we play in depends on the next several weeks. The trick now is to avoid the letdown on the road against Oklahoma State next week. The biggest regret I have now is losing to a very bad Texas Tech team. If only A&M could have held on for another couple of minutes two weeks ago...

Friday, October 13, 2006

Friday the 13th!

Here's a little history on the subject of Friday the 13th. Enjoy!

UPDATE: More on the history of the day from our friends at the Wall Street Journal.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

At Least "The Office" Is Worth Watching

I only watch a couple of shows on TV but so far this season, I have been a little disappointed with the quality of the new episodes of "Nip/Tuck" and "LOST." Thankfully there is the shining light of "The Office" to make me happy every Thursday. Tonight's episode was no different. Brilliant! By far it has the best acting of any show I have seen on TV in a long time. This series has proven itself more than I ever could have imagined.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

"The Glass Ballerina"

Tonight's episode of LOST was better than last week, but I still won't be totally happy until I see what happened to Locke, Mr. Eko and Desmond (which appears to be next week...finally!).

Again, I'll let someone else recap the episode, but I'll offer my thoughts.


I was a little surprised to see that Sun really did have an affair with her English tutor, Jae Lee. I know that's where the show seemed to be leading last season, but I thought it was a red herring. So I guess the baby might be Jae's after all, although that would have to mean that Oceanic 815 would have to have crashed fairly soon after Jin was sent to kill Jae. I guess we'll have to wait until much, much later in the season to get any answers on that.

As far as the Others go, I'm ready for at least a few answers as to who they are and just what in the hell is motivating them. Is it just me or is anybody else getting tired of the Others telling the Losties that they're "the good guys?" If they want the Losties to trust them, they need to prove themselves a little bit. So far, the only thing that the Others have done is kidnapped, killed or ambushed the Losties, so I think that the onus is on them to give a little. I mean it's great that we got to learn fake Henry Gale's real name (Benjamin Linus) and that he has spent his whole life on the island, but what the hell are these people doing on the island? Why are they having Kate break rocks while Sawyer hauls them away? And if Alex is trying to tell Kate and Sawyer something, she should just tell it already! What the hell is going on?

Meanwhile, I think that one of the mystical powers of the island is to make military strategists stupid. Sayid has now been duped twice by the Others in a matter of days. First he got sent to the fake camp in last season's finale and now the sailboat got taken.

One thing I can say is that Sawyer is fast becoming one of my favorite characters. He seems to be the only Lostie willing to treat the Others exactly how they deserve to be treated at this point. He is such a smart ass to them and until they quit treating the Losties like crap, Sawyer should keep being a smart ass!

Like I said, I'm ready for Locke, Mr. Eko and Desmond. I might be setting myself up for further disappointment, but if next week's episode isn't good, this might be a pretty mediocre season. We shall see!


And here is the Canadian preview which seems to shed a little more light on the effect that the failsafe device had on Locke:

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

The Hazards of Popular Television

Josh Holloway (James Ford aka Sawyer) and the other castmember of LOST are afraid of their characters being killed off without much notice. It's really pretty funny that lead actors of dramatic television shows are now fair game. In recent years, shows like the Sopranos have gotten a lot of publicity for a lead character dying unexpectedly over the course of a season. This isn't entirely new, but it is now more acceptable from the audience perspective. There was a time that killing off a popular character would result in outrage from the audience and in some cases that is still true, but fans of popular TV shows are now coming to expect and anticipate "surprise" deaths. I have a feeling that Holloway's fears will come to fruition for at least one lead character on LOST this season.

Monday, October 09, 2006

Happy Birthday John


100,000 Miles

Here's to the next 100,000 miles on my wonderful Accord!

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Germanfest 2006

Yesterday, Roxi and I took a drive out to Roberts Cove, LA to attend the 2006 Germanfest. The Germanfest has been happening since 1995 but this was my first time I've been in town during the first weekend of October so we joined my parents, grandparents and aunt, uncle and cousin in partaking in the festivities.

My mom's grandparents came to the United States during the late 1880's to escape religious persecution and military conscription in Langbroich, Germany. The settled in Roberts Cove, LA along with several other families from the same region of Germany and became rice farmers in the small traditionally Catholic town. The Germanfest celebrates their cultural heritage in the area and serves as a reunion of the descendants of the original families. The whole experience was a very interesting lesson in my ancestors history. Plus Roxi and I had a great time eating traditional German food and beer as well as enjoying some wonderful Polka music.

Saturday, October 07, 2006

College Football Week 6

Another Saturday, another Texas Aggie football game.

A week after the last minute loss to Texas Tech, A&M makes it's second road trip of the season, it's first outside the state of Texas, to Lawrence, KS to take on the Jayhawks of the University of Kansas. Due to last week's loss, the Aggies' record stands at a deceiving 4-1 (0-1 in conference) and the natives are getting restless. During the week, Athletic Director Bill Byrne defended the program from the criticisms from frustrated alumni. His defense was largely further criticized by alumni as well as local sports media. The bottom line is that A&M has been a "cellar dweller" for the past few seasons of Big XII play and most of us loyal Ags are very frustrated. As the San Antonio sportswriter wrote, all we want is a return on our investment.

Get it together Fran! You are losing the support the Aggie faithful! BTHO Kansas!

UPDATE: Texas A&M won the game in the final minutes by a score of 21-18. I didn't watch the game since I was at the Germanfest, but from reading the highlights, it wasn't a pretty win. As mentioned, the Aggies were playing from behind and did secure the victory on a gutsy drive, but this win will not please those who are already off the Fran bandwagon. Kansas is not exactly a powerhouse in the Big XII. Most prognosticators will still be picking Missouri next week when the Aggies return home to Kyle Field. Anything can happen though. I still remember how close the Aggies came to losing at Kansas in 1998 and then returned home the following week to dominate number 2 ranked Nebraska. But that seems like an eternity ago and a lot has changed in that time beside coaching staffs. I will of course be rooting for the Aggies throughout the season but I will need a reason to be optimistic from week to week and right now, I don't have that feeling. Gig 'Em Ags! Give me the reason to believe!

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

"A Tale Of Two Cities"

The third season premiere episode of LOST has come and gone and I couldn't help but write my thoughts. So consider this is your SPOILER WARNING if you are not ready to hear about details from the third season of the show.

I'll leave the episode recapping to people who do it far better than I so I'll just go straight to what I liked and disliked about the premiere.

I loved the way the episode started. At first I thought we were seeing Penelope Widmore waking up the day after Desmond activated the failsafe, apparently broadcasting the island's location to the world. Of course, this is LOST so nothing is as it seems. After a few seconds, I realized that this woman was not Penelope and this was confirmed when she spoke without a British accent. So then I figured we were seeing someone in Los Angeles in a flashback and that any minute, we would see one of our familiar castaways. But minutes passed and we didn't. So then when the "earthquake" happened, I was sure that it was somehow precipitated by Desmond's activation of the failsafe, but how could this idealic house be affected by something presumably taking place on a deserted island in the South Pacific? That question was answered when this woman ran outside and was joined by her neighbors one of which was "Henry Gale." So then I was thinking, "So this is Henry's story before he was on the island." Then we see Oceanic Flight 815 breaking apart in the sky and realize that this is the island!! This is the moment that I got goosebumps.

This episode was "Jack-centric" so we started with a flashback of Jack being mopey and obsessive about his soon-to-be ex-wife. I spent the summer rewatching the first and second seasons of the show and one of the things that was reinforced was how much I dislike the Jack character. I know that every character on this show is supposed to be flawed in some way and therefore the viewers should be sympathetic, but I'm really tired of Jack. I mean how sympathetic can I really be for someone who is such an obsessive whiner? It was a nice touch to try to make us believe that Sarah was cheating on Jack with his dad. I've been thinking that for most of the summer, but I think that this pretty much puts that to rest, but as Roxi noted, since it was never definitively denied, we could learn more in a future mopey Jack flashback.

It was interesting to see so much more of the DHARMA Initiative presence on the island, but what the hell do the Others have to do with it, and why were they having a book club meeting at the beginning of the episode? Are these people a bunch of DHARMA employees who only run tests on people who crash land on the island? And where did they get a file about Jack's life? I've been thinking for a while that all of the castaways are on the island for a reason but it really doesn't make sense yet.

Finally, the episode ended with the anticlimactic reveal that "Henry Gale's" real name is Ben. I have to say that I saw that coming from the beginning of the episode. Does this mean that I watch LOST too much? Will I be disappointed this season because all the episodes will be this predictable? I hope not but only time will tell. One thing is for sure. It doesn't look like we'll be checking in on Locke, Mr. Eko or Desmond for at least two more weeks and that just isn't soon enough. I want to see my favorite characters and I want to see them sooner than later!


Tuesday, October 03, 2006