Take a look at some of the sets that I've completed. This is a (slow) work in progress - more sets will be added as time permits!
After Penn State’s win over Illinois, I’ve decided that I ought to push aside my skepticism (easy early schedule, no pressure situations, etc) of my team and begin believing in my Nittany Lions! Last night's white out in Happy Valley was awe-inspiring on TV, I only wish I could have been there in person... I've got to make an effort to get to a Penn State game this season!
As I watched the day's highlights before the PSU game, I was amazed at the teams that choked and the teams that asserted themselves as legitimate teams. The last weekend resulted in a wild, crazy week of college football – which is why they play the games as they say. Since there was such turmoil, I’ve decided to throw my own top-25 into the blog-o-sphere for your entertainment.
Without further ado, here’s FanOfReds’ NCAA Top 25:
There’s mine, what do you think? Note, I try to reward actual wins versus the “celebrity status” of a team. Hence, USC’s drop to #10 and Northwestern (barely) making my top 25.
I don't consider myself an Emeril (bam!) yet, but I'm beginning to try and master the art of herbs and spices while making up my own culinary dishes. Today, I present a simple skillet meal that's surprisingly tasty (even if it doesn't photograph all that well).
Shrimp & Sausage Skillet
Penne pasta (cooked)
12 large shrimp (cooked)
2 hot Italian Sausages
1 cup spaghetti sauce
1/4 onion, diced
1 tsp. Italian seasonings (mix of marjoram, thyme, rosemary, savory, oregano, and basil)
Shredded Mozzarella cheese
Grated Parmesan cheese
Slice the sausages into 1/4 inch wedges. Cook sausage pieces in a nonstick skillet until fully cooked through (add a bit of cooking oil if desired). Meanwhile, cook penne pasta as directed on package. After sausage is cooked through, add onion and cook for 1 minute, uncovered on medium heat. Add shrimp and spaghetti sauce, cook on low heat for about 3-7 minutes (depending on how "mushy" you want the onions). Thirty seconds before removing from heat, add Italian seasonings. Top penne with sausage and shrimp, sprinkle Mozzarella cheese and grated Parmesan cheese. Enjoy a simple skillet meal!
Note: Cook times vary depending on your equipment. I use an electric stovetop, so your times may be quite a bit quicker if you are using a gas stovetop instead.
Hardly more than two percent of the total population, Fieldmarshals are bound to
lead others, and from an early age they can be observed taking command of
groups. In some cases, they simply find themselves in charge of groups, and are
mystified as to how this happened. But the reason is that they have a strong
natural urge to give structure and direction wherever they are - to harness
people in the field and to direct them to achieve distant goals. They resemble
Supervisors in their tendency to establish plans for a task, enterprise, or
organization, but Fieldmarshals search more for policy and goals than for
regulations and procedures.
Fieldmarshals will usually rise to positions of responsibility and enjoy being
executives. They are tireless in their devotion to their jobs and can easily
block out other areas of life for the sake of their work. Superb administrators
in any field - medicine, law, business, education, government, the military -
Fieldmarshals organize their units into smooth-functioning systems, planning in
advance, keeping both short-term and long-range objectives well in mind. For the
Fieldmarshal, there must always be a goal-directed reason for doing anything,
and people's feelings usually are not sufficient reason. They prefer decisions
to be based on impersonal data, want to work from well thought-out plans, like
to use engineered operations - and they expect others to follow suit. They are
ever intent on reducing bureaucratic red tape, task redundancy, and aimless
confusion in the workplace, and they are willing to dismiss employees who cannot
get with the program and increase their efficiency. Although Fieldmarshals are
tolerant of established procedures, they can and will abandon any procedure when
it can be shown to be ineffective in accomplishing its goal. Fieldmarshals root
out and reject ineffectiveness and inefficiency, and are impatient with
repetition of error.
My first pack also featured an insert card. It was a red back, serially-numbered (out of 249) multi-star card featuring Nolan Ryan, Greg Maddux, and Randy Johnson, three of the best pitchers of all-time.
Of course, the economy isn't great these days (you didn't need me to tell you that), but did you know that splurging is actually good for your health? If you believe a pair of professors at Harvard and Columbia, then yes, splurging is good for you. In fact, if you don't splurge, according to the Wall Street Journal article, you are more likely to feel regret later in life.
Now that you've decided you owe it to yourself to splurge and spring for that vacation to somewhere that is bound to eventually be affected drastically by global warming, you've got to find a way to pay for it. Perhaps an option to NOT consider would be to write a 360 billion (that's BILLION) dollar check and attempt to cash it. Granted, 360 billion bucks will allow you to travel first class anywhere you want...but don't attempt to cash that check in Texas. Charles Ray Fuller tried that earlier this year, but the vigilant bank employees became "immediately suspicious - perhaps the 10 zeros on a personal check tipped them off" according to the CBS News article. If you do decide to attempt a similar heist, at least be wise enough to not have marijuana and an unlawful weapon on you when try.
Since I shattered one get rich quick scheme, I figure it's only fair I give you a different option. You could come up with something that makes life better for everyone. Something so amazingly simple that it is shocking no one ever came up with it before... Take pancakes for example. Sure, everyone loves a good pancake, but who wants to sit around, mix the batter, and then carefully spoon it onto a hot griddle and then wait a minute or two for the pancake to be done? Luckily, you now have another option. Organic Batter Blaster spray on pancakes. That's right, pancakes in an aerosol can. Surely you can devise something similar, perhaps chicken and biscuits in a can?
Before you doubt the aforementioned wisdom, remember: you are smart. There are plenty of people in the world that would be lucky to have a quarter of the IQ that you possess. Some of those same people have managed to get rich regardless, so you certainly should have no trouble. Case in point: Ms. Jessica Simpson. Sure, she's been in the news lately as Mrs. Romo-to-be, but she ran into controversy earlier this year thanks to her chest. Actually, it was the shirt she wore covering her chest. It seems Ms. Simpson decided that "Real Girls Eat Meat" and that she ought to wear a shirt to prove it.
The Reds hit so many home runs off Milwaukee's shellshocked pitching staff in
the series opener - seven in all - that they exhausted their supply of
celebratory fireworks. Their supplier couldn't make more because of damage from
the remnant of Hurricane Ike, which blew threw last weekend.
It's baaaaaaack! My version of Quick Hits is simply what I think about certain issues. Quick Hits gives me a chance to talk about my team, my life, or anything else on my mind. If you aren't prepared for that, leave now! Without further ado, here we go!
Sarah Palin: Apparently, using Yahoo! email for official business is frowned upon. Of course, one would hope (assume) that our governmental officials are smart enough to use safe passwords (not passwords like Wasilla, her old high school, or pet names like Palin did). The real question, which is worse: Palin’s use of nongovernmental email for business or the fact that hacker hacked into her account and no one seems to care (except perhaps Fox News)?
Bill Gates: Poor Bill, for a few months this year he was only the second richest person in the world. The good news for ‘ol Bill is that he is, once again, at the top of the list. Perhaps more impressive (albeit for completely different reasons), Sheldon Adelson (a casino tycoon) lost 13 billion dollars over the last year. That’s a loss of over 1.5 million dollars per hour…or a bit more than $25,000 an hour. That’s right, Adelson lost more money in 2-3 hours than most teachers make in an entire year.
Windows: Speaking of Gates, Microsoft has already dropped Jerry Seinfeld in its Windows advertising spots. (Apparently Seinfeld wasn’t quite washed up enough, rumor has it Harry Chaplin isn’t booked currently.) In other news, “I’m a tasty pizza.” (If you don’t watch TV, sorry ‘bout that reference.)
Cincinnati Reds: Finally, it’s official. My Reds will finish the 2008 MLB Season with a sub-.500 record. It’s not surprising; in fact, given the lineup choices Dusty has been making all season it’s slightly shocking that they broke the .400 mark. Even more pathetic, the Reds aren’t even the worst team in baseball…despite playing Corey Patterson constantly.
They say that each generation is shaped by one or two events that impact the entire population. In the past, events such as the two World Wars and Vietnam have been implicated as radically changed entire generations.
For example, a colleague of mine mentioned the other day how her generation was affected by certain events in history. Interestingly, although I might have expected that any of the major events of the 50s or 60s would be her generation's catalyst for changing ideals; she claimed that it was the Great Depression (during which she wasn't yet born) that shaped her.
As it turns out, her parents went through the Great Depression, a time of horrific economic hardship. After the country recovered from the Great Depression, her parents eventually gave birth to her and raised her according to their recent experiences. To this day, she continually walks around the building turning off any lights that are left on in rooms no longer in use because that sense of "saving" was instilled in her by her parents. During her childhood, her parents would scold her until they were blue in the face if she dared to leave a room without flipping the light switch.
Flash forward to today and I wonder what my generation's children will be affected by. I was a freshman in college during the attacks of 9/11. In fact, I still remember attending my morning class (before the attack) and then crawling back into bed for some more sleep (like a true college student) before I had to get up for my afternoon lab. No more than 15 minutes after crawling back in bed and falling asleep, one of my neighbors knocked on my door yelling to turn on the TV. After seeing the devastation caused by the first plane's impact, most of my neighbors on my floor gathered in a room together and solemnly watched the tragedy unfold.
Despite being a group of people with different majors, interests, friends, etc, we developed a powerful bond that day by simply watching the news and live video footage. By the time we witnessed the second plane crash and the subsequent collapsing of the towers, we were no longer "that guy down the hall" or the "girl who never talks." We were connected on a much deeper level, something that most of us had probably never experienced until that point. Through our tears, shock, and anger, we ended up eventually reflecting on all that we had and that we could take advantage of as a group of college students.
Three and half years later, my class graduated from college. As per campus tradition, the graduating seniors had a campus-sponsored party at a local restaurant the weekend before graduation. The first group picture I took part in? My freshman year floor. We never lost that bond.
Thinking ahead, the events of 9/11 are going to affect more than my generation. Almost assuredly, the next generation will witness an increase in public building security. Travel will be a slow process due to increased baggage searches and background checks. Of course, those are all relatively superficial changes in the grand scheme of things. However, I believe that the events of 9/11 will also impact my generation's children internally as well as externally.
Much like the children of Depression Era parents, I suspect that many of my generation's children will grow up with a profound sense of family. Already, more of my friends are moving back "home" in a concerted effort to be closer to their parents, often saying something like "you never know" as their reasoning for returning to the town they swore they'd never return to as they walked out of high school graduation. My generation's children might be the first generation to fully embrace staying home as opposed to moving far away immediately upon graduation. The ideas of an "empty nest" to my generation may become almost as foreign as the idea of "turning off electronics" is to today's generations.
Of course, to be fair, I decided to scour the web for Republican buttons that would be a fair comparison (shouldn't they have the Oil Tycoon button?). After a short search, I determined that Republicans don't seem to take the button frenzy to the same overblown heights that Democrats do...as you can see:
So who gets my vote? Well, I won't commit to either candidate quite yet, but the Democrats earned themselves a small lead by issuing one particular button that is quite near to my own heart...and certainly shows that the Democrats are going after every single possible voter than can:
Somehow I doubt that the "Mathematicians for Obama" campaign will affect the electoral map, but it certainly made me laugh on an otherwise slow evening (especially since my Reds lost earlier in the afternoon to the Brewers).
Listening to ESPN's coverage of the Green Bay vs. Minnesota Monday Night Football game...
Brett Favre, Brett Favre, Brett Favre, Brett Favre, Green Bay Packers, Brett Favre, Brett Favre, Brett Favre, Brett Favre, Aaron Rogers isn't Brett Favre, Brett Favre, Brett Favre, Brett Favre, Penalty, Brett Favre, Brett Favre, Brett Favre, Penalty, Penalty, Penalty, Brett Favre, Brett Favre, Brett Favre, Penalty, Penalty, Penalty, Brett Favre would have converted that 1st and 33 because he's magical, Brett Favre, Brett Favre, Brett Favre, Brett Favre, Brett Favre, Brett Favre, Brett Favre, Brett Favre, Adrian Peterson is fast, Brett Favre, Brett Favre, Brett Favre, Brett Favre, Brett Favre, Brett Favre is watching from New York, Brett Favre, Brett Favre, Brett Favre, Brett Favre, Green Bay, Brett Favre, Brett Favre, Brett Favre.
Oh yeah, did you know the Green Bay Packers apparently had some quarterback who used to be decent (his name escapes me currently)? (And yeah, that's the same quarterback who retired, left the team in a lurch, then in mid-summer decided he wanted to play again and got mad at the team for not naming him starter. Yeah, Brett Favre that.)
“We got outplayed,” he said. “It was just an ugly game offensively. When
you score three points, it’s never good. And our three points were on a
two-minute drive. It’s a sick feeling, and it’s going to feel even sicker when
we watch the film.”