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  • November 30, 2007

    College Football Picks - Week 14

    [Posted by ]

    So here we are at last - the final weekend of a wacky college football season. When the dust settles, who will be playing in the National Championship Game and who will be whining on the sidelines? Let's find out!

    #6 Virginia Tech vs. #12 Boston College: Some radio blowhard tried to claim that Virginia Tech was really the best team in college football "right now". I beg to differ. I think they just look better when they get to beat up on subpar ACC teams. Who doesn't? Boston College beat them once this year and I think they do it again. The pick: Boston College.

    #14 Tennessee vs. #5 LSU: The Volunteers are just lucky enough that you can see them winning this game. However, LSU is just good enough that you could also see them winning this game in a rout. I'd actually rather be good than be lucky. The pick: LSU

    Pittsburgh at #2 West Virginia: As the coach of the Bears, Dave Wannstedt gave me many happy Sundays. However, I don't think his team is up for giving us all a happy & chaotic Saturday. I think West Virginia knows what they have to do and they'll be focused and ready to go. The pick: West Virginia

    #9 Oklahoma vs. #1 Missouri: Missouri surprised me last week with how well they played. However, I think it's one thing to be the challenger and quite another to excel in the role of champion. Missouri has no experience with that. They do, however, have experience getting beat by Oklahoma. I think they're going to relive that experience. The pick: Oklahoma.

    So, that'd give us a National Championship Game between West Virginia and Ohio State. That's a little ho hum. I feel sorry for West Virginia. Everyone wants them to lose. It's not that we have anything against them, I think everyone just wants the chaos and controversy that would ensue.

    Posted by at 07:17 AM | Comments (11)     
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    November 28, 2007

    The Dumb Dozen - The House's Silliest Resolutions

    [Posted by ]

    Stuart Rothenberg's recent article on Ron Paul criticized him, for, among other things, voting against resolutions calling on the government of Vietnam to release political prisoners and on the Arab League to help stop the killing in Darfur. This criticism ticked me off. Those were empty resolutions, full of sound and fury, but signifying nothing. Too often, politicians pass resolutions so they can feel like they're doing something about a problem without actually doing anything about it. They're the governmental equivalent of a New Year's Resolution to exercise more or eat less - unless you step away from the dinner table and on the elliptical machine, it's not going to make any difference. I can't condemn Ron Paul for voting against these resolutions. In fact, I applaud him for recognizing their futility.

    But while Paul can be liberal (or is that libertarian? :-) with the "nays", he's right there with the rest of Congress when it comes to voting "yay" on silly resolutions. I guess everyone likes to associate themselves with the likes of the Boise State University Broncos and National Inflammatory Skin Disease Awareness Month. Yes indeed, even the venerable Ron Paul can't get enough of silly little House Resolutions. What's wrong with that, you'd like to know? Well, I was going to say that it takes up valuable time that our Congressmen and women could instead use to help solve real problems. But thinking about it more, maybe that's a good thing. Maybe folks like Ron Paul don't raise a fuss about these votes because they know damn well that, given more time, our government will just screw things up. Hmmm...that's very Reaganesque, don't you think?

    In any case, I did a little research and I'm proud to present the Dumb Dozen - The House's Silliest Resolutions (2007 version)

    1. House Resolution 16 - Recognizing Virginia's James River as "America's Founding River"

    What's does this even mean? Europeans found the James River before they found other rivers? Early settlements were along the James? Isn't this whole resolution a little Eurocentric and un-P.C.?

    2. House Resolution 49 - Expressing the sense of the House of Representatives that there should be established a National Letter Carriers Appreciation Day

    I suppose this means they'd get the day off, right? I think the fact that postal workers don't work on Columbus Day, Veterans Day or Martin Luther King Day is thanks enough.

    3. House Resolution 79 - Recognizing the establishment of Hunters for the Hungry programs across the United States and the contributions of those programs efforts to decrease hunger and help feed those in need

    As far as I can tell, this Resolution doesn't establish the program, it just recognizes that other people have and that it's working. Okay then...

    4. House Resolution 114 - Expressing support for a National Week of Reflection and Tolerance

    I'd support this if we can also have a National Week of Going Off Half Cocked and Giving Him the Business.

    5. House Resolution 117 - Honoring the contributions of Barbaro to the Commonwealths of Kentucky and Pennsylvania and to America's horseracing industry

    He was a horse!

    6. House Resolution 120 - Recognizing the African American spiritual as a national treasure

    Does this mean that sexy villain Sean Bean is going to try to steal them?

    7. House Resolution 189 - Expressing the sense of the House of Representatives that a "Welcome Home Vietnam Veterans Day" should be established

    Baby Boomers are never going to stop talking about Vietnam, are they?

    8. House Resolution 197 - Commending Vice President Al Gore on his well-deserved recognition for the Academy Award-winning documentary, "An Inconvenient Truth"

    But what about his discovery of Manbearpig?

    9. House Resolution 255 - Congratulating the Florida A&M University "Marching 100" Band for all of its accomplishments, including its performance in the Super Bowl XLI halftime show

    They probably deserve it just for keeping their breasts under cover.

    10. House Resolution 419 - Recognizing May 20-26, 2007, as National Dog Bite Prevention Week and calling upon all municipalities to work with the American Veterinary Medical Association, the United States Postal Service, and the American Academy of Pediatrics to adopt and implement effective dog bite injury prevention programs to protect Postal Service employees, including laws encouraging responsible dog ownership

    Well here's Public Enemy #1. But seriously, why all the postal worker-related resolutions? Are they some powerful lobby I was previously unaware of?

    11. House Resolution 486 - Supporting the goals and ideals of the National Anthem Project, which has worked to restore America's voice by re-teaching Americans to sing the national anthem

    Hopefully they're starting with Roseanne Barr.

    12. House Resolution 578 - Expressing the sense of the House of Representatives that there should be established a National Watermelon Month

    Screw the watermelon! Bring on National Cantaloupe Week!

    And finally, a bonus Resolution that's particularly close to my heart:

    13. House Resolution 697 - Commending Green Bay Packers quarterback Brett Favre for establishing a National Football League record for most career touchdown passes, and for other purposes

    First, what are these mysterious "other purposes"? Second, you know who doesn't give a damn about Congressional commendations? Gunslingers!

    Posted by at 07:52 PM | Comments (0)     
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    November 25, 2007

    2007 Holiday Consumer Survey

    [Posted by ]

    Well folks, we made it through another Black Friday. Of course, now Cyber Monday is looming ahead. This year's holiday shopping season is already fascinating (to me anyway). Kohls' opening at 4 am Friday morning was a little shocking. I suspect that even if only a few people showed up in the middle of the night that the company got more than its money's worth through word of mouth advertising. I'm sure we weren't the only people who talked about it around the Thanksgiving table.

    Kohls' move made me think that other retailers are missing opportunities. If Kohls can open at 4, maybe a Best Buy or Circuit City could open at bar time. Thanksgiving is actually a very busy bar night - get these potential customers right when they walk out the door, not when they finally wake up the next morning or afternoon. And besides, drunks not only have loose lips, they have loose wallets. Retailers should give the drinkers something to do other than head for the nearest Taco Bell.

    Speaking of Taco Bell, why can't a franchise like that run a contest to "sponsor" a Black Friday shopper? They could outfit some poor soul standing in line for a $300 laptop (with printer!) with a camping chair, cooler and all the Gorditas they can eat (although, wouldn't right-thinking people rather have Potato Oles instead?).

    Anyway, I'd like to get an idea of what kind of consumers our readers are (don't worry - we're not trying to sell you anything, I'm just nosey ;-).

    Did you shop on Black Friday?
    Yes
    No
      
    pollcode.com free polls
    Are you planning to shop online Cyber Monday?
    Yes
    No
      
    pollcode.com free polls
    How early would you start shopping on Black Friday?
    Midnight
    Bar Time
    3 am to 4 am
    4 am to 5 am
    6 am to 8 am
    8 am to 10 am
    10 am to noon
    Noon or later
    Never!
      
    pollcode.com free polls
    When do you put up your Christmas tree?
    Thanksgiving weekend
    The first weekend in December
    Mid December
    Christmas Eve
    I don't
      
    pollcode.com free polls
    Posted by at 10:02 AM | Comments (0)     
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    November 21, 2007

    Another Thanksgiving Tradition - Pumpkin Torte

    [Posted by ]

    My coworker Tami's mother-in-law, Dee, passed away a couple of years ago. While Tami and her family have wonderful memories of her, they also have something else - her amazing Pumpkin Torte recipe. It's cool that, in a way, "Grandma Dee" has been immortalized through this recipe. Tami has passed this dish on to many people who've made it and loved it, and now I'm passing it on to all of you. A word of warning though, the person who made the pumpkin pie will hate you because most people are all about the torte and will neglect the pie.

    Grandma Dee's Pumpkin Torte

    2 cups graham crackers (crushed)
    1/3 cup sugar
    1/2 cup butter

    2 eggs (beaten)
    3/4 cup sugar
    8 oz. cream cheese

    2 cups pumpkin (15 oz. can)
    3 egg yolks
    1/2 cup sugar
    1/2 cup milk
    1/2 teaspoon salt
    1 tablespoon cinnamon
    1 envelope plain gelatin
    1/4 cup cold water

    3 egg whites
    1/4 cup sugar
    8 oz. Cool Whip

    Mix graham crackers, 1/3 cup sugar and butter and press into 9" x 13" pan.

    Mix eggs, 3/4 cup sguar and cream cheese and pour over crust. Bake 20 minutes at 350 degrees.

    Cook pumpkin, egg yolks, 1/2 cup sugar, milk, salt and cinnamon until mixture thickens. Remove from heat and add gelatin dissolved in cold water. Cool.

    Beat egg whites, 1/4 cup sugar and fold into pumpkin mixture. Pour over cooled baked crust. Top with Cool Whip.

    Posted by at 09:20 AM | Comments (0)     
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    College Football Picks - Week 13

    [Posted by ]

    With the Big Ten season over (have a Happy Thanksgiving, guys), attention turns to big games around the rest of the country.

    #11 USC at #7 Arizona State: with a win here and a win against Arizona, ASU guarantees at least a trip to the Rose Bowl. USC could also still make it to Pasadena. In other words, there's a lot on the line. I think Arizona State is going to be fired up and excited for that chance, while USC will still be a little disappointed that that's all they're playing for. Passion rules the day. The pick: Arizona State.

    #17 Boise State at #14 Hawaii: Boise State, other than in an early season loss to Washington, has crushed their crappy opponents. Hawaii has barely beaten their crappy opponents. Hawaii is the Jarod of college football. Boise State, on the other hand, is headed to another BCS game. The pick: Boise State.

    #8 Virginia Tech at #16 Virginia: I think there's a big drop off in quality right around #8 or 9. Beyond that, we have teams like Virginia that I think even my Badgers could beat. Above that, we have conference champs and maybe even National Championship contenders. Unless those teams have a horrible day or crippling injury, they're going to win. The pick: Virginia Tech.

    #20 Connecticut at #4 West Virginia: Connecticut? Really? I can accept that Kansas is good this year, but UConn? Come on. They have a nice win against a reeling South Florida, but that's about it. The pick: West Virginia.

    #3 Missouri at #2 Kansas: I really want Kansas to win because of the state's anti-slavery background and because I like the music of The Jayhawks (not to mention, you know, the music of Kansas). Kansas has pulled out some nice road wins, but Missouri has the better wins (against Illinois & Texas Tech). This should be an evenly-matched game against two pretty good teams having great seasons due to friendly schedules. When in doubt, flip a coin or go with the home team. The pick: Kansas.

    Quick picks in other games of interest:

    Auburn over Alabama
    South Carolina over Clemson
    Florida State over Florida
    Oklahoma over Oklahoma State
    Texas over Texas A&M
    Kentucky over Tennessee
    LSU over Arkansas

    Bonus NFL Thanksgiving picks:

    Green Bay and Dallas both win to set up the Thursday night matchup that no one in Madison will see (thanks a lot Charter and the NFL network).

    Posted by at 05:35 AM | Comments (5)     
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    November 20, 2007

    Behold - I'm offended

    [Posted by ]

    This post is going to be pretty ironic, given the last one I wrote, but I have to get it out: I'm offended!

    Check out College Humor's 2007-2008 Power Rankings. At first I was just offended that Wisconsin wasn't on the list of fun schools.

    Then I looked at the methodology of the rankings. Again, I was offended that a site targeting college students would have to spell this out:

    Percent Female - This is the number that determines how much action you're likely to get at school. Say it's 60%. That means if there are 10 people, 4 of them will be dudes and 6 of them will be chicks.

    If you don't know what 60% means, I'm quite sure that college rankings are going to be of no use to you.

    Then, I got really offended. Here's the site's explanation of why schools with lower average SAT scores are more fun:

    Statistics show that the hotness (i.e. sluttiness) of girls is inversely proportional to the score received on the SATs. The higher the SAT score, the uglier the girls get. If she got a 1600 you better believe she's a dog. So don't get too down if your scores weren't as high as you hoped, you get to spend the next 4 years in paradise.

    I realize that women aren't this site's target, but c'mon. This is offensive to ugly girls, pretty girls, smart girls, dumb girls, slutty girls and pure girls.

    Oh, and here's a piece of advice for any college boys reading this. There is no direct relationship between hotness and sluttiness. Two factors, and only two factors determine sluttiness: the amount of alcohol consumed and the girl's level of self esteem. So if you're looking for an easy lover, find a drunk girl with something to prove.

    Of course this isn't news to college guys, since they even have a ranking based on the concept:

    Bar Closing Time - The later your bar closes, the better your chances are of (legally) sedating that cute blonde who's way out of your league. And by sedating we mean wooing her with your eloquent words.

    I found these rankings from a link on Sports Illustrated's site. I find it appalling that a major publication would associate itself with this garbage. It's one thing to promote a little t&a in the annual swimsuit issue, it's another to pretty much denigrate all women and suggest that guys should find colleges with later bar times, the better to "sedate" them.

    Finally, I'm offended that College Humor isn't even funny, it's just kind of lame, stupid and mean. Of course, I'm sure that lame, stupid and mean guys are really hot. Right? Right?

    Posted by at 07:16 PM | Comments (1)     
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    Behold - the power to get offended

    [Posted by ]

    I don't just watch Heroes, I kind of devour it. After each episode, I hop over to Television Without Pity to read the forum, listen to the commentary and read the online comic on the official site, visit Beaming Beeman to get the director's point of view and go to Entertainment Weekly to read the recap. This week's recap (and, as an aside, at about 8:53 last night I was seriously upset at the thought that HRG might really be dead) ended with the following:

    All in all, a pretty solid episode, because it stuck to the core characters and pretended that the Oilies and New Orleans' Magical Negro don't exist. And even if we didn't get any real storytelling resolution, we got some emotional closure.

    Can you guess what happened next? Comment after comment blasted EW and the writer for his "offensive" comments. People see the word "negro" and they're all up in righteous arms. They're so busy being offended that they have no idea that the author is actually criticizing the show for its portrayal of blacks. A simple trip to Wikipedia would enlighten them to the fact that the "Magical Negro" was a term popularized by Spike Lee to describe a character who:

    is typically "in some way outwardly or inwardly disabled, either by discrimination, disability or social constraint," often a janitor or prisoner. He has no past; he simply appears one day to help the white protagonist. He is the black stereotype, "prone to criminality and laziness." To counterbalance this, he has some sort of magical power, "rather vaguely defined but not the sort of thing one typically encounters." He is patient and wise, often dispensing various words of wisdom, and is "closer to the earth."

    The magical negro serves as a plot device to help the protagonist get out of trouble, typically through helping the white character recognize his own faults and overcome them. In this way, the magical negro is similar to the Deus ex machina; a simple way for the protagonist to overcome an obstacle almost entirely through outside help. Although he has magical powers, his "magic is ostensibly directed toward helping and enlightening a white male character." It is this feature of the magical negro that some people find most troubling. Although the character seems to be showing African-Americans in a positive light, he is still ultimately subordinate to whites. He is also regarded as an exception, allowing white America to "like individual black people but not black culture."

    Although Monica, the character described in the original quote, hardly fits that description, the Haitian Sensation certainly does. But instead of asking when we're going to see the delectable Jimmy Jean Louis, who plays the Haitian, get his own storyline, or even a first name, the rabid pack descended on the author of the piece in a frenzy to see who could be the first to call him out for his "racism". It's rather ironic. The "Magical Negro" character is offensive because it views the black character only through the eyes of the white characters. As David Ehrenstein said in his LA Times piece about Barack Obama:

    He's there to assuage white "guilt" (i.e., the minimal discomfort they feel) over the role of slavery and racial segregation in American history, while replacing stereotypes of a dangerous, highly sexualized black man with a benign figure for whom interracial sexual congress holds no interest.

    I think the people who are so offended by the term feel that way exactly because of their "white guilt". They want to prove how accepting they are and they're frankly excited for the opportunity to call other people racists. After all, no one will think you're the culprit if you're quick enough to point your finger at someone else, right?

    It's frustrating and depressing when what could be a real (and interesting) conversation about race and fictional archetypes turns into yet another exercise in stupidity.

    Posted by at 01:17 PM | Comments (3)     
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    November 19, 2007

    A Thanksgiving tradition (and I don't mean turducken)

    [Posted by ]

    My family likes to torment me by threatening to make everyone declare what they're thankful for at Thanksgiving dinner (Thanksgiving dinner? Who am I kidding? We have Thanksgiving lunch, expertly timed to coincide with halftime of the football game). I don't mind telling people what I'm thankful for, I just don't like having to do it in the spotlight. So, when it's my turn at the table, I'll just point to this post ;-)

    • I'm thankful that I can bitch about the government without risking my life to do so
    • I'm thankful that I have the freedom to be myself
    • I'm thankful for all of the people that gave up their lives, their health and years of their life to safeguard that freedom
    • I'm thankful that it's my own intelligence and actions that will determine my successes and failures
    • I'm thankful for all of my family and friends that care about me even when I act like I don't want them to
    • I'm thankful for Brett Favre
    • I'm thankful that life is so relatively good that I have the luxury of caring about things like football and reality television

    I think that's a pretty good list - or at least a start. Now that I'm done, what about you all?

    Posted by at 10:14 PM | Comments (3)     
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    November 15, 2007

    College Football Picks - Week 12

    [Posted by ]

    As I write this, Arizona is leading mighty Oregon 31-14. WTF? What a crazy season of college football. What else will happen this weekend?

    #7 Ohio State at #23 Michigan: Last weekend against Wisconsin, Michigan looked gutless and chippy. I'm sorry themandownthehall, but I wasn't impressed by their play or their demeanor. Even in the Big House, I don't hold out much hope for them. The pick: Ohio State.

    #22 Kentucky at #8 Georgia: When a middling Big Ten team beats a top ranked Big Ten team, it means the whole conference sucks. When a middling SEC team beats a top ranked SEC team, it means the whole conference is deep and awesome. Get ready for more SEC hype. The pick: Kentucky.

    #24 Wisconsin at Minnesota: I'll be cheering my Badgers on from the Metrodome. I suspect I'll be doing lots of cheering as Bucky comes away with Paul Bunyon's axe yet again. The pick: Wisconsin.

    #5 West Virginia at #21 Cincinnati: West Virginia has kind of slinked through the season. They beat up on Rutgers, but other than that, they haven't done much. This is Cincinnati's chance to get themselves into a really good bowl game. They'll take advantage of it. The pick: Cincinnati.

    #18 Boston College at #15 Clemson: The key to understanding Clemson is to know that whenever you think they're going to either make (or break) their season is when they'll stumble (or triumph). Knowing that, the pick has to be Boston College.

    Posted by at 10:03 PM | Comments (4)     
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    November 14, 2007

    A Blogger's Struggle for Credibility

    [Posted by ]

    The New York Times has a football blog (who knew?) called "The Quad". How quaintly East Coast liberal arts school of them, no? Anyway, since "The Quad's" writers look like college guys, I think we're supposed to buy that they're somehow providing expert coverage. Uh, like this preview of last week's Michigan/Wisconsin game:

    Pete: Michigan. A fully healthy Mike Hart is the difference. Thayer: Michigan. Game’s only highlight would be if “The Great Daynes” are part of the halftime ceremony to retire Ron Dayne’s jersey. Connor: Michigan. A tuneup for next week’s showdown with Ohio State.

    I write more insightful previews that than. And I'm a woman! Compare what the "legitimate" New York Times college football crew wrote to MGoBlog's preview. Like our friend Drew from the Longhorn Mafia, Brian at MGoBlog clearly knows his stuff and how to write about it entertainingly.

    I'm bringing all of this up because yesterday Brian broke the news that Lloyd Carr would retire at the end of the season. Even though Brian is clearly really an expert on Michigan football, the boys over at "The Quad" dismissed his news with this:

    Well, how about the potential of Lloyd Carr’s final game as Michigan coach? A Michigan blog cites three unnamed sources saying, “Carr has made his decision to retire official and people around the athletic department are being told. The formal announcement will come after the Ohio State game, possibly at the Monday press conference, possibly a day or two later.”

    Let’s just say that MGoBlog is not exactly a rock of journalistic credibility, as their site features a picture of a guy holding a “Jesus hates Wisconsin” sign and a cartoon snake bludgeoning a Badger. But there is certainly a buzz. The far-more-reliable Teddy Greenstein of the Chicago Tribune writes that two industry sources believe this is Carr’s final year at Michigan.

    Oh, the hypocrisy! While clearly Jesus does love Wisconsin (after all, it is God's country), it's also quite clear that MGoBlog has at least as much journalistic credibility as CBS News, Newsweek, or even Sports Illustrated. In fact, after reading this quote, I think Brian might have far more journalistic credibility than those bastions of the traditional media:

    At MGoBlog, things are different. It is a blog. I am a guy. I float on the internet. So for it to be credible at all it has to be right all the time. And I have to do this largely without ever meeting or talking to the people who provide information. So there are some requirements. Everything I post has to be multiply sourced if the tipster hasn't established a track record. I try to lay out the situation in as much detail as I can, giving a timeline of events and stating what I think and why. (Unfortunately, in this situation all sources have requested no details be relayed.) I am very serious about getting things right. I have to be. It is my sole source of credibility.

    The traditional media want it both ways here. They want to play with new media so they seem hip and cool, but they are also so very protective of their "journalist" status that they'll grab every opportunity to mock a blogger. They still think bloggers are on the fringe, that they're the Ron Pauls of the Internet. They haven't yet figured out that a guy in Michigan with sources in the university's athletic department or that a guy on the ground in Iraq might actually know more than they do or that some of the best information on 9/11 came from eyewitnesses talking to each other on gasp! message boards. Bloggers and the like aren't always right. Sometimes, like "real" journalists, they're irresponsible and careless. But, more than a few of them know how to write.

    Oh, and they also like kittens.

    Posted by at 07:56 AM | Comments (7)     
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    November 11, 2007

    Project Runway's Top Six Designs

    [Posted by ]

    While the Hollywood writers' strike puts my favorite show, Heroes, in jeopardy, it also means more reality TV. Turn up your nose at reality TV if you must, but you'll be missing out on shows like the Amazing Race and Project Runway.

    While I love the Amazing Race because of its adventure and globetrotting (it really is a "valentine to the planet" as the Married Lesbian Ministers say), I love Project Runway because of the glimpse it gives us into the creative mind. It's one thing to admire a beautiful piece of art, it's another even cooler thing to witness the spark behind the work.

    In its first three seasons, Project Runway, which starts up again on Wednesday, has shown us lots of sparks and some incredible designs. Let me indulge my feminine nature and present my six favorite designs.

    6. Santino Rice - Season Two



    This turquoise baby doll dress was Santino's first, and best, design on the show. To me, this is all about the bold color, simple silhouette and feminine detail. Santino at his most beautiful and least crazy.

    5. Austin Scarlett - Season One



    The judges hated this dress, but women everywhere loved it because it was so frilly, feminine and pretty. Sometimes I think that fashion designers and editors forget that sometimes a girl just wants to be pretty. Austin would never forget that.

    4. Uli Herzner - Season Three



    Throughout her season, Uli created all of these incredible flowing print dresses. They were amazing. In her Fashion Week runway show (she should have won, by the way), however, she revealed a subtler, sexier side with a series of camel & metallic outfits. I love that color combination and Uli's use of it was simply perfect.

    3. Kara Janx - Season Two



    Kara finished fourth in season two, so she had to put on a "decoy" show during Fashion Week. To the producers' dismay, the decoy got far better reviews than any of the finalists. I picked this particular outfit because it has a ton going on but it somehow all ties together. Oh sure, you wouldn't really wear this, but it's a great example of how elements of runway fashion eventually trickle down to the real world.

    2. Jay McCarroll - Season One



    Jay's Fashion Week show was simply perfect. I love this outfit because it's casual, wearable and incorporates interesting graphics and traditional elements in a thoroughly modern way. I still think Jay is a genius.

    1. Laura Bennett - Season Three



    Laura's particular brand of upper crust elegance isn't my cup of tea. However, this dress from her Fashion Week show is simply spectacular. The way the beading blends from gray to yellow is like nothing I've ever seen. If I was six feet tall, weighed 100 lbs. and had gobs of money, this is so the dress I'd wear to any gala.

    Hopefully the Season Four designers are ready to "make it work".

    Posted by at 02:21 PM | Comments (1)     
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    November 08, 2007

    College Football Picks - Week 11

    [Posted by ]

    After my perfect week, a scant three teams remain unbeaten. As the weather cools down, the college football action heats up. Bring it on!

    #13 Michigan at Wisconsin: Wisconsin had Ohio State on the ropes last week and we let 'em off the hook! The series of mental and coaching errors in the final quarter and a half were, in my opinion, the end of the season. We're going to get killed. The pick: Michigan.

    Illinois at #1 Ohio State: The Buckeyes had every opportunity to throw in the towel last weekend and they didn't. They took everything Wisconsin could offer and then just ran the ball down our throats. I'm impressed. The pick: Ohio State.

    #18 Auburn at #10 Georgia: Georgia struggled against Troy (who apparently isn't just some guy) last week while Auburn beat up on Tennessee Tech (ooooh, check out that tough SEC schedule!). After a rough start to the season, Auburn's played well and it took some magic for LSU to beat them. Lightning isn't going to strike them twice. The pick: Auburn.

    #5 Kansas at Oklahoma State: I'm a believer. Kansas is pretty good. They sure put a spanking Nebraska last week. Confidence is their 12th man. That'll help, especially on the road. The pick: Kansas.

    #12 USC at #24 California: Most people predicted that this game would decide the Pac 10 and possibly a berth in the National Championship Game. Yeah, not so much. Both teams have been shocking disappointments. USC, however, had a nice game last week and I think they're going to build on that and salvage their season. The pick: USC.

    Fresno State at #14 Hawaii: Do you hear that? I think it's Queen. The pick: Fresno State.

    Bonus NFL Pick: Packers over Vikings, although I won't be quite so gleeful if Brooks Bollinger is their QB. I don't want to hurt Brooks!

    Posted by at 08:59 PM | Comments (10)     
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    A Message from Steve Nehls

    [Posted by ]

    Last week, I wrote a post about a letter to editor from high schooler Karly Nehls. While I was hard on Karly because of the totalitarian aspects of her proposal, I mocked her in the nicest way possible. However, Karly's brother, Steve Nehls, took exception to my post. He really took exception. I received the following email from him yesterday (please pardon the vulgarity):

    Hey Mother Fucker. Yeah Kris with a K, thats kinda girly now, isn't it. Anyways, You and your fairy little "dummocrats" web-blog thing is really cool. Wow, you and your 40 year old ass managed to pick on my 10th grade sister through the internet, ya dick. You took an article of hers,that she had to write for school, for an American Literature class, and wrote some fucking gay shit about it. It made her feel pretty bad to read what you had to say about her article that was just an assignment for school. She didn't even know that it was going to be published. It was the one about online poker or something. Wow, I didn't know there were people as gay as you out in this world; picking on young girls to get your jollies-off. Your a fucking whore who should and WILL burn in hell. Have a great day now! Dont fuck too many guys up the butt today!

    Sincerely,
    Her Brother

    P.S: There are help groups for this kind of thing. And for your problem with fisting other guys...!!! ;)

    But oh, there's more. Steve also registered on this site with the lovely name "krislikesdick" and posted the following comments (James was nice enough to delete them):

    Wow, i wonder if anyone knows that this Kris is gay and tries to force guys to have gay sex with him...????? Hmmm...
    Oh, you just wait. You and your sad, sad life are both going to be exposed throughout the next year or so! Keep in touch! Well, i know you will, with other guys i mean.
    Do you have anything better to do than write on these stupid blog things. Your life must suck big time. Well, i know YOU suck big time, but your life must suck even worse. Have fun making fun of young girls and later with your "Special Partner"... aka: Men

    So yeah, this really isn't doing anything to bolster my opinion of the intellectual prowess of the Nehls family. However, what it does do is make me a little afraid for my safety. I'm seriously considering contacting the Police Department about this.

    And really, Steve, if you're going to send a letter to the editor, or post comments on a website or send hateful emails to strangers, you have to understand that sometimes people will disagree with you. Sometimes they'll mock you. And sometimes, they'll even link to your picture. It's hard to be anonymous on the Internet. I hope Steve is ready to stand by his comments, because with the power of Google, you can't "un say" anything anymore.

    Posted by at 11:28 AM | Comments (13)     
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    November 04, 2007

    Why it's okay to care about the BCS

    [Posted by ]

    Any day now, expect to read an article about how shallow Americans are for caring more about who gets to go the BCS National Championship Game than about the War in Iraq, out of control spending, protecting the 1st and/or 2nd Amendments, the 2008 election, etc., etc. etc. I'm here to tell you that it's a good thing that we care. Here's why:

    People don't like the BCS because it doesn't seem fair. Why, they think, should so-called "experts" decide who gets a chance to play for the championship game? They instinctively recoil from the idea that big decisions are made behind closed doors by select people rather than out on the field by those in the heat of the battle. We should be relieved that people feel like this. This is the attitude that made America great. As Thomas Jefferson said, "Were we to be directed from Washington when to sow and when to reap, we should soon want bread."

    I don't want a passive citizenry where people are content to let others decide their fate. I want to live in a country where the people are sure they know more than the authorities, whether it's about football or schools or tax dollars. A "government knows best" attitude can only lead to disaster. Or Hillary Clinton. ;-)

    Posted by at 12:37 PM | Comments (1)     
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    November 01, 2007

    College Football Picks - Week 10

    [Posted by ]

    I wonder what the odds are the five unbeaten teams at this point in the season would be Ohio State, Boston College, Kansas, Arizona State and Hawaii? It's both amazing and refreshing, don't you think?

    Wisconsin at #1 Ohio State: Wisconsin has a great recent record in Columbus. The Horseshoe won't be the problem. The players playing in it, on the other hand, will be. I'd love to pick the Badgers, but I think their running game will be ineffective without Lance Smith and with a banged up P.J. Hill. Luckily for Badger fans, most won't see the game since it's only on the foul Big Ten Network. The pick: Ohio State.

    Nebraska at #8 Kansas: I thought Nebraska would be good this year. Boy, was I wrong. Now with QB Sam Keller out for the season, they'll be even worse. I don't think Kansas will finish the year undefeated, but they're not ready to go down yet. The pick: Kansas.

    #3 LSU at #17 Alabama: LSU will be extra fired up to take down former coach Nick Saban's Crimson Tide (as an aside, in the NCAA bball bracket we made based on what mascot would win the Crimson Tide was dominant). Of course, one of the things you learn as you get older is that sometimes you don't get what you want, no matter how much you want it. The pick: LSU.

    #6 Arizona State at #4 Oregon: I'd like the Sun Devils to stick it to the Ducks, but I think Oregon has got themselves a winner this year. Autzen Stadium is going to rock and Oregon is going to roll on to what I think will be a spot in the National Championship game. The pick: Oregon.

    Florida State at #2 Boston College: A lot of people are picking Alabama to upset LSU. Florida State beat Alabama. They're inconsistent, but I think they're capable of playing a great game every once in awhile. One of unbeaten teams has to lose, right? The pick: Florida State.

    Bonus NFL Pick: In the most important football game of our time, I'm going with New England. Why will New England win? It's not Tom Brady's dash or Bill Belichick's brain or Randy Moss' fine backside. Nope, New England will win because I dislike them slightly more than the Colts. It's all about me. The pick: New England.

    Posted by at 09:46 PM | Comments (5)     
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