Thursday, December 31, 2009

Success And Failure

First the successes-

I easily finished my readings for the year. I found reading the Bible "from cover to cover" made more sense than having readings from the Old Testament and New Testament each day.

I also found I liked the KJV, although at first I had a little trouble. Once I got used to the sentence structure and what the unfamiliar words meant, it was like reading anything else.

Regarding getting exercise, yesterday I was glad to finally reach my goal of 25,000 squats and push-ups. I have to admit I coasted just slightly the past few weeks, which isn't right because I probably could have gotten 26,000 if I'd kept up my pace earlier in the year. Oh well, I set a goal, and I reached it in spite of myself.

I feel rather blessed that I was allowed to achieve these goals.

Now the failures-

For whatever reasons, I failed in my final two goals for 2009.

My posting was never on pace to reach 450. If this is my final post of the year, it looks like I'll end up with only 353. I started out too slow. I needed to average 37 posts a month.

I think my goal was set too high, but I also think I didn't try hard enough on this one. There are a lot of posts I've started drafts on and never finished. There are a lot of pictures I wanted to post but never did.

I have to admit it, I've had good ideas, funny ideas and a good portion of stinky ideas for posts that I could have briefly let fly with, but something held me back. I think that something is that blogging isn't as exciting as it once was. I still like doing it, but like most things, it isn't the shiny new toy I used to play with for hours anymore.

I've also been far busier as this year has went on, and my blogging priorities weren't set high enough to reach 450 posts.

The other reason I failed is a lack of planning. The two goals I was successful with required me to set a small goal each day in order to not feel overwhelmed. If I just met that daily goal, I was going to make it by the end of the year.

I didn't do that with the blogging. I posted most days, and felt satisfied just getting the one post a day out. I needed to put out around 9 posts a week and ended up around 7. I think next year I'll be happy with 7 posts a week.

Finally, what can I say about the landscaping except it was utter failure. I not only didn't complete one major landscaping project this year, I never even got one started. I was wanting to build a new waterfall and fountain. I told myself as the year went on that keeping up with maintaining what was there was about all I could do, but I know I could have done better had I just planned better.

I think the bigger problem was I never decided what I wanted. I still don't know. It is impossible to complete something if one cannot even decide how it's supposed to look like in the end. All my other goals had specific endpoints I could see. I still can't "see" what it is I want here.

The other problem is as the year went on, I decided I wanted to finish off my beds at the same time as tackling the big undertaking of a waterfall. I still have beds I want to dig out and beds I want to finish.

But it'll happen next year, I'm telling ya...look out.

Or maybe not.

Happy New Year.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

NFL Week 16 Picks

Last week I cooled off further to 9-7, so that made my overall record 150-74. I'm falling off a little again, so I need a big week. If not, I may have to go "all in" next week and pick a lot of upsets. ESPN Experts' picks and records here and here.

This is the last Monday Night game, and who should appear but the Bears. Who would want to spend a Monday night outdoors in Chicago is beyond me, but I'm sure there will be plenty who do.

Once again there appear to be mostly easy games to pick, but that usually means a bad week looms. I just wish I knew which teams were going to lay an egg.

Atlanta.
Cincinnati.
Cleveland.
Green Bay.
Pittsburgh.
Miami.
New England.
New Orleans.
Giants.
San Francisco.
Arizona.
Indianapolis.
Philadelphia.
Dallas.
Minnesota- Monday Night.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Christmas NFL Pick

Tennessee.


Honestly I don't remember a Christmas Day game since the infamous Dolphins-Chiefs game that went 2 OT and delayed a lot of Christmas Dinners. I still remember it being on and playing with the new GI Joe with fuzzy hair and beard I had gotten for Christmas.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Mr. Laid Back

There are, of course, two Christmases in the US, one secular and one religious. How and why this happened is irrelevant to this post.

We should all know what the religious Christmas is and that it starts December 25th. The secular Christmas starts after Thanksgiving and revolves around the holiday experience itself, that is, the shopping, the winter season, family meetings, Santa Claus, mistletoe and all that jazz. It can definitely get all confused.

But where the two mix themselves up the most is in the music. Radio stations and "albums" have long been an alternating assortment of songs referencing Jesus' birth followed by the violent death of a family member at the hands of semi-domesticated hoofed thugs.

Kind of drives me nuts. At least stick with a theme. Play a series of Jesus-referencing songs in a row between commercial breaks, then maybe go secular, but don't go back and forth. Too "schizophreniac" for me.

At any rate, Andy Williams and Perry Como have long been associated with Christmas music. I kind of posted about Mr. Andy previously. So, listening to some old Christmas albums last night on the turntable, and hearing some of his songs, I got to thinking about Perry Como. I realized I didn't know a lot about him, other than he was very popular and thought of as casual and relaxed.

Which made me think of what follows. This was from the early 1980s. One of the funniest sketches ever on SCTV, which just so happens to be one of my favorite shows ever. That's Eugene Levy as Perry. And check out John Candy.


Sunday, December 20, 2009

Week 15 NFL Picks

Last week I cooled off to 10-6, so that made my overall record 141-67. Thankfully, I'm still only a game behind Tom Jackson, Keshawn Johnson and Hoge for 1st place. That is, among humans. The computer picks by Accuscore now lead the way at 144-64. I think this is the first year this has happened. ESPN Experts' picks and records here and here.

Surprisingly Dallas won last night. I thought they were going to fold it up like they usually do in December. New Orleans better watch out or they may not end up with home field after all.

Most of the games are straightforward this week. The hard part about picking this time of year is accouting for the teams that are not playing their starters, either because of injury, resting for the playoffs, or those that have given up and are taking a look at players for next year. I think this will make for mediocre picking this week, despite the straightforward appearance.

Should be another embarrassing week for the Bears. Can't wait to see how many picks Cutler throws against Baltimore.

I was going to go for Carolina over Minnesota, but with New Orleans' loss, the Vikings are still alive for home field.

New England.
Arizona.
Tennessee.
Kansas City.
Houston.
Jets.
Denver.
San Diego.
Seattle.
Baltimore.
Philadelphia.
Green Bay.
Minnesota.
Giants- Monday Night.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

One Of The Few

This has had over 2,000,000 views and been around for 3 years. So why hadn't I seen it?

The song and the show are classics. I've watched Thomas for many years, since the Ringo days. Some of these episodes were hilarious. This was very well done.



Saturday NFL Pick

New Orleans.


I finally won a Thursday pick in the last few minutes. Would have been embarrassing to lose them all. Must have been from being drunk on eggnog.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Thursday Night NFL Pick

Indianapolis.


This may turn out to be a great game, what with a playoff berth and a perfect season at stake. Kind of like the Ravens-Pats game from two years ago.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

NFL Week 14 Picks

Kept rolling last week, finishing 12-4, so that made my overall record 131-61. Amazingly, I'm now only a game behind Tom Jackson for 1st place. ESPN Experts' picks and records here and here.

Last year at this time, my record was 121-70-1, the year before 117-75, the year before that 112-80, and the year before that 125-67. So this is my best season in years.

And yet, I can't win on Thursday night. I have yet to pick a Thursday night winner this year. I did win twice on Thanksgiving, but those were the day games.

Fortunately for me, everyone else also misfired this past Thursday. Who saw that one coming? This week is my last chance for Thursday night victory, as there are no more Thursday games after next week.

Next weekend also gives us our only Saturday game this year.

I used to love the Saturday games. But since we only get one this year, what will we do with Saturday now that college football is over?

This week's games look very interesting. The biggest game looks to be Dallas-San Diego. Honestly, I think the Cowboys whole season hangs in the balance today. If they lose, they won't make the playoffs. Even if they win, they still have games left at New Orleans, at Washington and then at home against Philly. Tough row to hoe. Two wins, tops, in these last four, and I think there is a real chance of them not winning any of these final four.

Which brings us to tonight's Philly-Giants game. If they lose, the Giants will be out of the hunt in the East. Philly has two home games left against San Fran and Denver before going to Dallas. Meanwhile the Giants have to go to Washington and Minnesota, with a home game against Carolina in the middle. Should be a hard fought game tonight.

Right now, it looks to me like Philadelphia will win the East, even if they lose tonight.

And the Bears have Green Bay. The Packers are looking good for the playoffs right now, but if the Bears come through today, Green Bay has to play two rough road games at Pittsburgh and Arizona. Quite possibly, even probably, two more losses. Green Bay only has one more "lock" win, against Seattle in two weeks, making today's matchup that much more important. If they lose today, they may only get to 9 wins. So it should be another hard fought game.

Here we go...

New Orleans.
Green Bay.
Jets.
Jacksonville.
Baltimore.
Houston.
Indianapolis.
Kansas City.
Minnesota.
New England.
Oakland.
Tennessee.
Dallas.
Philadelphia.
Arizona- Monday night.

Sunday, December 06, 2009

NFL Week 13 Picks

Last week turned out better than expected at 13-3, making my overall record 119-57. This week catapulted me back ahead of many and only 4 games out of first with 5 weeks to go. Thursday's loss put a damper on things for the moment.

There are fewer toss up games this week. I almost went with KC over Denver, but I finally sided with Denver. Jacksonville is at home, so I'm picking them over Houston. I've got a couple upsets- Giants over Dallas and Arizona over Minnesota.

And the Bears should get a win again. Maybe.

Philadelphia.
Chicago.
Cincinnati.
Pittsburgh.
Indianapolis.
Denver.
New England.
New Orleans.
Carolina.
Jacksonville.
San Diego.
Giants.
San Francisco.
Arizona.
Green Bay- Monday night.