Friday, January 31, 2014

Super Bowl 48 (2014)

Good morning everyone.  Very, very early in the morning...  It's Super Bowl Weekend, as the end of another very crazy week comes to an end here in Austin.  My workplace (the University of Texas at Austin) was closed last Friday and on Tuesday due to the weather (2 out of 3 workdays). Tomorrow the forecast here calls for a high of 75 degrees, while the weather gurus are expecting a high of 45 on Sunday...  I didn't solicit Super Bowl predictions as planned due to my hectic schedule, and if I do move to Las Vegas 26 weeks from now (yes, it's exactly 6 months - end of July, do the math), you can expect my blog to be a little different.  I enjoyed putting everyone's score predictions in here, but I discovered that it was very time-consuming.  That time will surely be spent watching and studying sports and/or studying and playing poker if I do indeed make it back to the Mojave Desert.  Okay, I have twenty-six more weeks to whine and talk about Las Vegas (before even being there), so let's get on with the show.  Live from the Palace Station sportsbook, here's Joey...

Joey's College Hoops Parlay Card (Last weekend 4-1/Overall record 27-23-1 on the 13-14 season)

Hello - here with the last edition of the parlay card where football is still going on.  The Super Bowl is the main feature this weekend, and I'll have my pick coming up shortly, but hoops is in full swing and now is the time to take advantage of Super Bowl distractions.

The Ohio State Buckeyes travel to Madison, Wisconsin to take on the Wisconsin Badgers.  Both teams suffered losses on Wednesday night, but Wisconsin is in a big funk, losing 4 of their last 5 contests.  Ohio State is out for revenge after a last-second buzzer-beater.  I see Ohio State coming out focused and ready to play.  Final score:  Ohio State 68  Wisconsin 62

Oklahoma State has been shooting nearly 47% from the floor in Big 12 conference play.  Baylor has lots of speed and likes an up-tempo.  If Baylor is able to push the ball up the floor, maybe they can make Oklahoma State take some bad shots.  I have Baylor being victorious by a final score of 87-72.

The UNLV Running Rebels are finally starting to play as a team.  Bryce Dejean-Jones is leading the team in rebounds with nearly 12 per game.  The Rebels are playing great on the road.  For the last home game, head coach Dave Rice has his team stay in a hotel, trying to keep the feeling of being on the road.  I heard Rice wants to do that again, and it's a great strategy for a young team. UNLV 72  Boise State 67

Daniel Mullins had a career-high 32 points for my New Mexico State Aggies last Saturday night. The Aggies get to return to the friendly confines of the Pan American Center to take on the Utah Valley Wolverines.  Utah Valley leads the WAC in most statistical categories, but once again, NMSU will have a height advantage.  Both teams like to slow the ball down and play a half-court game.  I think the Aggies win on a last-second shot.  New Mexico State 59  Utah Valley 57

Finally, #1 Arizona travels to the University of California.  Arizona is number one for a reason. Right now they are doing everything right, and I can't see this being very close.  Arizona wins 86-68.

That's it for this week's parlay card.  Good luck and come see me at Palace Station as you cash your winning tickets.

Ohio State (+5 1/2) @ Wisconsin - (Under 130 1/2)
Baylor (+11) @ Oklahoma State - (Over 145)
UNLV (-2) vs. Boise State - (Over 138)
Utah Valley/New Mexico State -
Arizona (-5) @ California - (Over 133 1/2)

And now it's time for the SUPER BOWL!!!

Joey (17-13-3 during 2014 NFL Playoffs)
Straight Up - (7-4)
Against The Spread - (5-4-2)
Over/Under - (5-5-1)

Final NFL pick of the year.  Super Bowl 48.  Best offense versus best defense.  Everybody wants to say defense wins championships.  Sometimes, experience beats defense.  Peyton is too tough for the Seattle D.  Peyton won Super Bowl 41 in the rain beating the best defense of the Chicago Bears.  I think he does it again.  Denver 31  Seattle 10

And now it's my turn...

If you happen to know this cocktail waitress, let her know that she's semi-sorta-not-really-that-famous now...  ;)

Coach (12-18-3 during the 2014 NFL playoffs)
Straight Up - (5-6)
Against The Spread - (2-7-2)
Over/Under - (5-5-1)

Sunday, February 2nd
Denver (13-3) vs. Seattle (13-3)   5:30 p.m. CST   FOX
Broncos (-2 1/2)   Over/Under (48)
Final Score:   Seahawks 43-8

I've been just a little bit under .500 here on my picks this football season, but I've picked the winner of the last couple of Super Bowls outright.  Both of those teams (Giants and Ravens) happened to be the underdogs.  Let's see what's going on East Rutherford, New Jersey this weekend...  The forecast now calls for a high of 50 degrees and a low of 28 Sunday for the Super Bowl.  Since the game will kick off at 6:30 p.m. EST, I would expect the temperature to be closer to the 28 mark. You can see just above that the Broncos are now 2 1/2-point favorites, and that the over/under on the game currently stands at 48.  Seattle opened as 2-point favorites in this match up, and the over/under was set at 47.  Given Peyton Manning's history playing in cold weather games, I think that the Broncos have been extremely fortunate in this season's playoffs.  Denver's two home games had "mild" weather compared to other winters in the Rocky Mountains.  The wind is forecast to top out at about 7 m.p.h. during Sunday's action, so the weather may not be as much of a factor as most people (definitely including myself) might have anticipated.  These teams did not meet in the regular season (although they both did lose to Indianapolis).  Look at me doing my research after midnight...  ;)  Seattle's roster has ZERO Super Bowl experience (for those of you who want me to keep throwing out facts while I'm literally deciding my score for the game on the spot)...  :D  Manning is the known entity and has tons of experience (as Joey mentioned), but I think that the wild card in this game will be Russell Wilson.  Wilson showed Houdini-like escapability in the NFL Championship Game, and I think that he'll HAVE TO make big plays for the Seahawks in order for them to win this game.  Wilson has shown in the past that he is capable of ripping off big runs, and I believe that will be a must for Seattle in this match up.  If my hedging to this point hasn't given you a clue, I think that this game will be close, and I wouldn't be betting a lot on it if I was in Las Vegas.  Although an upset wouldn't shock me, I also have to go with the experienced quarterback in this one...  I'm going with Broncos 31  Seahawks 21

I'm going with the public, both on betting the Broncos, and on betting the over/under total higher, so that can only mean good things...  :P  Have a very safe and outstanding Super Bowl Weekend, and I'll see you again next week!            

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

I Fell

"I just want to go home and watch John Wayne films in my pajamas with my cap gun pistol belt on..." -Francesca Welsh-

"I take people at their word.  It's both my best and worst quality..." -Abby Bland-

"If you don't like our wings, we'll give you the bird." -Sign at Pluckers-

"Mommy, what kind of bird, and how big is it?..." -Allison Juarez-

Good evening everyone.  Just a short post for you tonight with random things ("WOW, that's news Coach")...  Let's start with another obligatory Las Vegas photo...

This is a shot of myself and some lucky cocktail waitress that was taken about 100 years ago...  I believe this was at the Four Queens (based on her dress), but I could be wrong...  Oh, look..., another Vegas photo...


No freakin' way...  This is a ride at the top of the Stratosphere (yeah, the big tower that overlooks Las Vegas).  I recently 'liked' or 'followed' A BUNCH of Las Vegas casinos and related pages on facebook and Twitter, and this photo was posted by the good people at the Stratosphere.  Do you have any idea how high up these people are?  #reallyreallyhigh

So yeah, I fell on my way into work today.  We had the strangest day (in relation to closures) here in Austin.  I checked the University of Texas at Austin website RIGHT UNTIL I left for work at 7:15 a.m. (which would get me there a few minutes late, but I knew that wasn't going to be a problem, BECAUSE...  Yeah, we were under another Winter Weather Advisory (if you'll remember, I didn't work last Friday, due to the weather)...  Well, the thing today was that the precipitation wasn't due to begin until about 5 a.m. (which it did, but just a little north of Austin).  Long story short, schools and businesses seemed reluctant to close up shop today after so many did so on Friday, so off to work we went.  The temperatures were already below freezing when the light precipitation began, so accidents started happening, EVERYWHERE..., especially since there was so much traffic on the roads compared to Friday, when the city was shut down to a much greater extent.  Looking at the KXAN website tonight, Austin police reported over 270 accidents since midnight - YEAH...  Okay, so I'm still walking to work, and I'm walking carefully, but not carefully enough...  On a bit of sidewalk with a little downslope, my left foot slid out, causing my knee to bend inward as I fell down (like a baseball slide), while the outside of my right let (shin) also hit the ground, at which point my right hand caught my body from completely pancaking onto the sidewalk.  INSTANTLY, I laughed out loud, as if to say, "of course that was going to happen..."  So at 8:12 a.m., the University of Texas decides to close the campus until noon.  Well, our boss let us continue to work if we had already shown up, although we had the option to go home.  My attitude was, "I fell down already, so I'm getting paid today..."  Then at 11:18, just as we were about to go to lunch, UT closed the campus for the rest of the day.  Countless people were furious, having already had to fight LONG TRAFFIC LINES (remember the over 270 reported accidents?) to get to campus, only to hear that the opening had been delayed, and then that the campus had been closed (whichever respective boat they were in, depending on when they left their homes).  In response to the UT facebook page (which was reporting the university updates), several students had also reported that they had either fallen or had seen other students fall...  So yeah, it's been that kind of day around here...  Oh, and I'm fine (from my fall) - don't worry about me...  ;)

Oh, just one more photo for you tonight...  I saw this one a day or two ago, and it made me smile...


Now that's my kind of calamari, AND it's with my FAVORITE - Kraft Mac & Cheese...  :D  Have a good one, and I'll see you on Thursday or Friday...  ;)

Sunday, January 26, 2014


"Date night....first time here (Red Lobster).  We came for the biscuits... :)" -Bianca Flores-

"Find something worth dying for, then live for it..." -Unknown- (via Francesca Welsh)

"A little hatred can cause big problems..." -Doug Fox- (via Brandie Kirby Raney)

"About to watch the Pro Bowl...  #addict" -Chris Wyatt-

Good evening everyone.  There's your obligatory Las Vegas photo for tonight, two "showgirls" (I think that they just got paid to dress up like this on Fremont Street, and probably weren't a part of any actual show) and myself downtown at the Fremont Street Experience, and yes, I'm actually watching the Pro Bowl as I type this...  #addict  As I continue with my plans to move back to Las Vegas, I've been posting new pictures like the one above and the one below as my profile and cover photos on facebook and Twitter.

Somehow the photo of myself with the showgirls was 'liked' 19 times, while that photo of the downtown area (Fitzgerald's, Four Queens, Fremont Street Experience, etc...) tallied a whopping ZERO likes...  And YES, I realize that I gave you TWO obligatory Las Vegas photos - deal with it...  ;)  I know that the Las Vegas Strip is popular, but ZERO???

Anyway, the Pro Bowl (Neon Bowl) is on right now, and I'm feeling remorseful for sleeping most of the day away.  As I say down to type this, I clicked on the Weather Channel website to see what's in store for tomorrow.  I learned that it is 70 degrees right now here in Austin, and that we've been put under a WINTER STORM WATCH as another cold front is expected to move in tomorrow, one that will very possibly give us more precipitation (with temperatures below freezing) than we had on Friday, when work at UT (among SEVERAL other places) was cancelled...  HMMMMM...  So yeah, I just woke up from my nap, and will have the joy of being on a campus tomorrow where the winds are supposed to be blowing more than 20 m.p.h. all day long, with the very distinct possibility of having a shortened workday on Tuesday, at the very least...  Oh, and in spite of all the closings on Friday, there were traffic accidents GALORE here in the ATX on Thursday night and Friday morning...  Okay, I was about to move on, but evidently my friends Keri and Liz want to get into the blog...  Being the team player that I am, I often post what I believe is helpful information on facebook and Twitter as statuses and tweets.  No sooner had I reported on our weather predicament, Keri "barges in" and says that it's supposed to be -20 in Minnesota tomorrow (just to one-up me).  THEN, my friend Liz chimes in that she "sees no Watch, just a special weather statement..."  #punks  And if I were a betting man, I'd bet that we'll have a Winter Storm Watch by Tuesday morning...  #PUNKS  ;)

So, memo pads you ask...  As I continue going through all of my personal belongings (and make no mistake, earlier when I missed out on today's gorgeous weather, I was fast asleep, accomplishing nothing) in preparation for my anticipated move, I have found about TEN MORE memo pads...  For those of you who might be new to the blog, I have A LOT of memo pads, having bought them on several occasions in the past when one wasn't in sight before I went shopping.  Hey, they're like (or were) 4 for $1.00, which explains THE STACK on the bookshelf beneath my t.v...  Anyway, I'm ONCE AGAIN trying to whittle down the amount of STUFF that I own, more than sick of carrying unnecessary possessions back and forth across the country...  It's so ironic, because with the recent (with the exception of this weekend) cold weather here, I've spent a lot of the past few months inside/at home, but in Las Vegas I go "out" (to the sportsbooks and poker rooms) on an almost daily basis, interacting with and seeing hundreds of strangers on a daily basis...

Okay, we're not done with the weather yet.  The statuses that you don't expect anyone to say anything about...  :)  Fellow blogger (sometimes) Linda Lou made the comment "wacky weather."  Linda Lou probably has more of a right than anyone I know to make comments about this winter's weather, having been delayed in returning from New York state to Las Vegas for like, ETERNITY...   Okay, it was probably closer to a week, but still...  :)  Then my friend Kelley just remarked that she's gonna end up having to make up all of these days when the weather is actually nice.  Oh, and Kelley said "nice!"  Spoken like a true teacher...  ;)

Some pretty good hits in this game so far - maybe I shouldn't have been so quick to knock it...  :)  My brother Pete was quick to comment that some coaches and G.M's are going to want to do away with this new format...  Speaking of football, the numbers on this year's Super Bowl opened with the Seahawks being a 2-point favorite, and the over/under sitting at 47.  The Stations Casinos (you're welcome Joey) still have the over/under at 47, but now have the BRONCOS as a 2 1/2 point favorite.  I've openly told my friends that I'll wait to see the weather forecast before making my pick.  The last time that I checked, there was an 80% chance of wintry mix during the day next Sunday in East Rutherford, with highs in the 30's...  Logistically, the NFL could really end up regretting this decision, holding the Super Bowl in New Jersey in February.  Then I've heard that there's the possibility of moving the date of the game due to inclement weather, which wouldn't inconvenience anyone...  HMMMMM...

Well, I guess that's all for now.  I'm such a RABID Pro Bowl fan, I better start paying closer attention to some of this...  ;)  Have a great day, and I'll see you Tuesday (maybe REALLY EARLY Tuesday)...

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Joey's College Hoops Parlay Card

Good afternoon everyone.  I'm getting these picks of Joey's to you later than I had anticipated, but I guarantee their authenticity.  I ended up sleeping from 11:30 last night until about 8:30 this morning, which isn't all that unusual, except for the fact that I had already taken an early evening nap.  I had intended to post Joey's picks after that nap, but I got tired pretty quickly once again, and BAM...  #zzzzzzzz  Here's Joey and his picks for today...

Joey's College Hoops Parlay Card (Last weekend 3-4/Overall record of 23-22-1 on the 13-14 season)

Welcome to the basketball only version of the parlay card.  As most of you know, I'm a big Denver (Broncos) fan, so I'm betting Denver moneyline while I still get good value.  I'll give my score next week.

For now it's hoops action.  We'll start with a great ACC match-up, Duke and Florida State.  The Seminoles are a faster team, but Duke is shooting 42% from outside the arc.  It's bombs away for the Blue Devils, and they win tonight.  It's Duke 82  Florida State 70.

In the Big 12, Texas plays at Baylor.  Baylor lost last week to Kansas, has lost three in a row, and must not hang their heads or it's lights out on a good season.  Baylor uses the home court and escapes with a narrow 77-75 victory against Texas.

Kentucky has lots of underclassmen on the court.  The game against Georgia won't be much of a problem as long as Kentucky does not look ahead to their next game.  I have Kentucky 83  Georgia 62.

New Mexico travels to Colorado State.  The defense of UNM is really starting to get exposed.  Colorado State pulls away late, 62-55.  Good luck this week and may all your tickets cash.

Duke (-8 1/2) vs. Florida State - (Over 144 1/2)
Texas (+5 1/2) @ Baylor -
Kentucky (-14) vs. Georgia -
Colorado State (+2 1/2) vs. New Mexico -

That's it for right now, but I probably be back sometime tomorrow night to bother you some more...  Have a good one!

Friday, January 24, 2014

I'm Not Going Anywhere...

"I'm not even tryyyyying to wake my son up to see this snow... he's gonna drag me out there with him, I know..." -@b_jai2012- (via Twitter)

"Rain, sleet, snow, hail, tornado, tsunami...doesn't matter!  The damn mall never takes a day off!  Ugh!" -Marissa Garcia-

Good afternoon everyone, and yes, I'm not going ANYWHERE...  Winter has found the Lone Star State once again, and work (the University of Texas at Austin) is closed today.  The title of today's post came from a conversation that I had earlier with my friend Rachael via facebook.

Rachael (pictured far left) earned her Master's Degree back in December, and I believe that all of the different colors on the graduation cords that she's wearing mean that Rachael is REALLY SMART...  ;)  I'm posting this photo as a reminder that I have neglected to recognize all of the December graduates that I know here.  I'm not even sure if doing a "facebook all-call" will be enough to round all of them up at this point.  Also, I meant to mention in an earlier post that Rachael was a weekly winner in the Bobcat Nation Sports Bar & Grill football pick 'em contest that I mentioned often here during the fall.  I found out that Rachael purposely tried to pick an upset or two every week, which explains why she selected the Vikings (to beat the Eagles I believe) during the week that she won the contest...  :)  Congratulations again Rachael (on both accomplishments)!  ;)

Speaking of this weather (okay, that was a pretty roundabout segue for me), my friend Kristen posted this on facebook with the caption, "The obligatory Texas snow pictures."  I only downloaded one people, so sue me...  ;)

Speaking of snow (kind of), my friend Brandie posted this shot with the caption, "Our version of the U.S. Bobsled Team..."

Speaking of the Olympics (partial credit), the winter version will be starting in the next couple of weeks.  It seems strange that you haven't read more about that here in a blog that claims to touch on the happenings in the sports world, so there ya go..., a photograph of this year's U.S. Bobsled Team...  #gousa  ;)

Since we're talking about sports, I have no idea what I'm going to do for this year's Super Bowl (and since the Super Bowl is a week away and I'm not going to give any credence to the Pro Bowl, this will be our football talk for today)...  Last year I made my way to my (then) workplace Harper's for the Super Bowl, and ended up having a great time watching the game.  Unplanned, I ended up sitting with my friends Alyssa, Chelsea, Castelluccio, Lindsey, and Sam.  You already know Alyssa (our favorite Texans fan).  Looking back at my Super Bowl blog post from last year, I'm just remembering that this was the day that I officially met Castelluccio for the first time, and of course I'll never forget Chelsea exclaiming, "I'm so happy right now!" when Destiny's Child took over the show...  :)  This excitement was only rivaled by Lindsey's pure bliss with Beyonce's Victoria's Secret commercial.  I have no idea how Sam and I would have made it through the Super Bowl's power outage (do you remember that?) without these young ladies, and then, there was a football game...  :)  And so now I'm back to this year, with one week to figure out what I'm going to do next Sunday (having to get up for work at 6:30 the following morning, which WAS NOT the case last year)...

Speaking of the Veranda (kind of - you can find it at the very top of Harper's), this is a photo that my friend Floyd posted earlier in the week...

That's a great shot of the rooftop bar that overlooks much of the beautiful city of San Marcos, America (which reminds me, you're not getting an obligatory photo of Las Vegas today).  For any of you keeping score at home, the countdown is now at 188 days...

Speaking of the Amish (okay, I definitely wasn't), this is a conversation that a friend of mine had recently with someone that he routinely sees at the bus stop...

Guy at bus stop:  "My friend is from Pennsylvania."
My friend:  "Is he Amish?"
Guy at bus stop:  "Do you have cows?..."

I cannot tell you how many times I've laughed about this conversation during the past week at work, and how many times in conversations that we've randomly brought back up, "Do you have cows?" and "Are you Amish?" (yeah, we've altered that part just a bit)...  My friend had some questions that he was going to ask the bus stop guy about the Amish, had his friend been Amish. The bus stop guy obviously took offense to the Amish question, and asked my friend if he had cows, because he lives in Texas (trying to make some point, because evidently, you cannot ask about the Amish).  Note to self:  Do not talk about Fight Club, and do not ask about the Amish...  ;)

Speaking of cats (cows, whatever...), this is the "cat condo" that my friend Jasmine erected, six hours after construction was completed...

I desperately hope that Jasmine's cats are eventually able to make the adjustment...  ;)

I did this entry really early for me on a Friday (remember, no work), so I'll be back tomorrow with an entry that will include Joey's basketball picks.  In reality, because those college games will take place tomorrow, I'll probably be back to see you very late tonight...  Have a great day, and drive safely if your weather resembles what we experienced in the Lone Star State this morning...


Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Contractually Obligated

"People will question all the good things they hear about you, but believe all the bad without a second thought..." -via Jessica Johnson-

Could you take us back to the days of your rambles Coach?...  Good morning everyone (yeah, REALLY EARLY in the morning)...  I'm basically doing this entry for ya because I'm contractually obligated (though not really).  You'll find this post to be incoherent and nonsensical for the most part (which would put it in a league with all of my other posts)...  ;)  Oh..., right - your obligatory photo of Las Vegas, where I plan on living 190 days from now...

I'm not saying that I like this particular shot, but it's currently my cover photo on facebook and my whatever they call the same thing photo on Twitter.  I normally post my 'Football Friday' entry on Thursday night, but because there is no real football game this weekend, I'm going to make my weekend post on Friday night.  You'll still have Joey's college hoops picks in time for Saturday (although Joey is usually really mediocre in his predictions - he had Denver beating the Patriots 27-17, and the final score actually had the Broncos winning 26-16).  WAY OFF...  ;)  Speaking of football (never happens here), I saw a total stranger in the parking lot at my apartment complex tonight.  She was wearing a Peyton Manning jersey, so I said, "it's two more weeks, C'MON..." She laughed and we went on our way.  I like when people get it...  ;)

Speaking of Peyton Manning jerseys, I came across this photo on facebook Sunday...

The young lady wearing the big smile would be my friend and former student Valerie, and the girl wearing the genuine disappointment would be her sister (and my new friend) Veronica.  WOW - neither here nor there, but I just realized that two songs that I really liked along the way were 'Valerie' by Steve Winwood, and 'Veronica' by Elvis Costello (make sure that you look those up on YouTube ladies)...  :D  Anyway, this photo caught my eye because of the complete contrast in the expressions of these ladies.  The funny thing that happened when I asked their permission to post this photo was that Veronica said that I couldn't say anything bad about Tom Brady - Veronica said nothing about making fun of her (which I wouldn't), but she was looking out for her quarterback...  :)

Speaking of something that I would bet on that isn't football, my blogging friends (punks) Pete P. Peters, Lightning36, and Grrouchie all met up in Vegas last weekend to play some cards.  The links to their blogs are listed on the right, and you can read their accounts of the hoopla (punks), but Pete Peters reminded me of a little story in his blog.  Pete and a friend had dinner at the Circus Circus Steakhouse during this visit.  If you've never been there, Circus Circus is ABSOLUTE CHAOS, with young screaming children running around EVERYWHERE...  However, in the midst of all this crazy, there is an AWESOME steakhouse.  Speaking of all this crazy (I need to use the phrase 'speaking of' less often, speaking of speaking of...), when I initially moved to Vegas in 2005, I REALLY NEEDED a job.  After completing dealer school and working at the World Series of Poker, I saw that Circus Circus was in need of a poker dealer.  I walked in the front door, found the poker room, noted all of the CHAOS, and walked RIGHT BACK OUT the front door, although I REALLY NEEDED a job...  :P  #chaos  #crazy

Talking about the weather (was I?), I saw earlier that after having a forecast high of 79 yesterday, we are expecting freezing temperatures and "wintry mix" later in the week here in the ATX and in San Marcos, America.  This reminded me that I neglected to post this beautiful photo from my friend Jo-Ann a while back...

I asked Jo-Ann if this is a photo of her children, and she said that indeed it is (taken "9-ish years ago").  I'll be the first to tell you that this weather is exponentially more beautiful when you don't have to live in it, but being completely serious, this really is an AMAZING photo...  #scenic

And speaking of photos that aren't so amazing, my brother suggested that I might want to put this masterpiece in the blog...  I was trying to watch the NFL's Conference Championship Games on Sunday, but in the meantime, Pete was tagging me in photos on facebook...

That would be a San Antonio Spurs Silver Dancer and myself (yes, 100 years ago, of course)... You've got your "Throwback Thursday" a day early - what more could you want?  ;)  Have a great day and I'll see you on Friday!

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Clever People

"When I was five years old, my mother always told me that happiness was the key to life.  When I went to school, they asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up.  I wrote down 'happy'.  They told me I didn't understand the assignment, and I told them they didn't understand life..."
-John Lennon- (via Sandra Dever)

"If a man wants to bet he's got a dog, he's usually got a dog..." -Doyle Brunson-

"There comes a time when you have to stop crossing oceans for people who wouldn't jump puddles for you..." -Dr. Laura- (via Lex Sauceda)

Good afternoon people.  Tom Petty says that the waiting is the hardest part, and he knows what he's talking about.  I've been working on the notes for a substantial blog entry for a while now, trying to pass the time until these football games kick off today...  If you missed my post a few days ago, Joey has Denver 27-17 and San Francisco 20-17, while I have the Broncos 38-35 and the 49ers 24-20.  If I hit my scores, the nationwide response will probably be...

My friend Connie's daughter (Brooke) was kind enough to represent a thousand words...  :)  My brother Pete was kind enough to weigh-in with his expectation of a Patriots/Seahawks Super Bowl, so there's that.  It's beyond me why the NFL didn't make the Brady/Manning match up the primetime game, but we're about a half hour from kickoff now...

I have no Las Vegas photo for you today, but you'll be hearing plenty about that city in the near future (as you may have already guessed)...  A friend of mine at work told me that he hates it when I talk about my plans, because he's married, and has children, etc..., and he doesn't have the flexibility that I do.  While I dream, my blogging buddies Pete P. Peters and Lightning36 are currently visiting the desert, so yeah, they basically suck...  ;)  Good luck out there guys!  The good news (for Miletus at least) is that once football ends, the content here will focus significantly less on sports.  Fridays will still be mostly dedicated to sports, but as we all know (Miletus surely knows), football tends to kinda/sorta seep into the other days of the week here during football season (just a little bit)...  ;)  Predictably, the poker content here will increase leading up to and including my return to the Mojave Desert.  The quote above from Doyle Brunson came from Season 7 of High Stakes Poker (which I have been watching on YouTube, 11 episodes worth since yesterday)...  :P  And yes, I know that I still have that MASSIVE Bovada score to blog about - I promise that it's coming...

We're going to forget the football and Las Vegas and poker right now as we take a few minutes to focus on several of my clever friends (and their friends).  I came across this little gem on facebook a few days ago...

"Finished up this badboy today!  Don't pollute in the storm drains, guys!  This awesome project is intended to promote awareness of the effects of storm drain litter/pollution on Galveston Bay wildlife." -Charli Judith Reno-

Isn't that incredible?!  Art is in the same category as music for me:  I can't sing or draw (even stick figures) to save my life, but I know talent when I hear and see it...  AWESOME JOB Charli!  :D

And then I heard a nickname for this girl the other day, and it's FREAKIN PERFECT...

This is my friend Jennifer, and I've posted a small sample of her photos so that you'd totally get the nickname that her friend Jason gave her (which is still her "all time favorite nickname of all time")...  :D  Jennifer Pompa..., and Jason tagged her with... (can you guess it?  combine her last name with an adjective...  time's up...) POMPADORABLE...  Is that not perfect?!  :)  Jennifer has been involved in several different ventures (you know how I like to plug the things that my friends are doing) and she is currently in the process of forming her own media company (company videos, photography, copy/content, etc...), but she doesn't have anything for me to link to yet, so we'll be hearing back from her in the future...

And THEN I came across a photo this morning (speaking of hearing back from people).  This snapshot includes my friend Carrie, her sister (and my new friend Brittany), and two of their friends ("sisters"), Hailey and Briana.  I moustache you if you remember Carrie from football season...

Again, I usually HATE the fake moustache photos, but not this one...  :)  Anyway, this is the photo that I happened upon this morning...

Now the best part of this photo is the caption that accompanied it in the facebook status...

"They may not be blood, but I still consider these girls my sisters!  God just knew we'd be too much for one set of parents to handle!..." -Hailey-

Is that not awesome?!  Who even thinks like that?!  "We'd be too much for one set of parents to handle..."  Very nice Hailey...  :)  And we're not asking Brittany ANYTHING ABOUT FOOTBALL because she showed me up on facebook during Florida State's comeback win over Auburn in the BCS Championship Game...  ;)

AND THEN there was this...

This is our friend Jennifer (Texas Tech, "Big Hair" Jennifer - you remember her)...  Jennifer (the Jennifers are just taking over the blog today, aren't they?) has some of the best hashtags that I've come across on facebook (or Twitter), and when she posted this photo, she called this creation #falloffthebonecake...  Pretty clever Jenn...  :)

You're probably wondering why I didn't title today's post 'Clever Ladies' as opposed to 'Clever People', but when the Broncos and 49ers both end up winning today, you'll see..., you'll see I tell ya!  ;)  Have a great football Sunday my friends!


Thursday, January 16, 2014

AFC/NFC Championship Games - 2014

Well, I'm starting very late tonight, but I'll have the 3rd period of the Bruins/Stars hockey game to help me get through part of this entry (I'm pretty positive that it will take me more than twenty hockey minutes to finish this).  Evidently the Bruins scored with 4 seconds left in the 2nd period for the game's only goal to this point.  Oh, and good evening everyone.  Oh, and here's your obligatory photo of Las Vegas...

Above you see the fireworks display that Las Vegas set off in my honor when I won my first sports bet (that's probably not true, since I've never won a sports bet)...  If you happen to use the website listed in the upper left hand corner of the picture, just tell them that Coach sent you (and they'll have absolutely no idea who I am)...

Oh, you came here for football you say...  Well, I did much better last weekend, picking the correct winner of every game straight up, and now I'm only a couple of games below .500 as we enter this weekend's conference championship games.  Joey is still four games ahead of me overall in the NFL playoffs, but evidently he's psychic or something, so I'm trying not to worry about it... Speaking of the man who always seems to be attacking a big plate of food while wearing Broncos gear, coming live to you from the Palace Station Sportsbook in Las Vegas, here's Joey...

Joey's College Hoops Parlay Card (Last weekend 2-6/Overall record of 20-18-1 on the 13-14 season)

Welcome to my next-to-favorite edition of the parlay card.  My favorite will be in two weeks when my Denver Broncos will be in the Super Bowl.  That might have given away one of my picks for football to come later.  We will start with this weekend's basketball card...

We start in the SEC where Kentucky lost in overtime to Arkansas on a last-second dunk. Kentucky is a young team, but coming home I see them taking out the frustrations of the last game on Tennessee.  It's Kentucky 80  Tennessee 67.

In the Big 12, Kansas State upset #25 Oklahoma.  Now K-State takes on a West Virginia squad that loves the up-tempo.  It's gonna be a downer for Kansas State as West Virginia wins this game 80-67.

Both Baylor and Oklahoma lost in the last week, and now both AD's are talking smack to each other in the papers.  Baylor has the better team, coach, and home court.  Baylor wins on a last-second shot, 69-68.

There are only three unbeaten teams left in college basketball.  The Syracuse Orange are one, and after Saturday, the Orange will remain unbeaten.  The outside shooting and ball control for Syracuse keeps this team rolling.  It's Syracuse 67  Pittsburgh 62.

Finally, my New Mexico State Aggies take on the University of Missouri-Kansas City Kangaroos on ESPN on Saturday night.  The Aggies are leading the WAC in three-point shooting, rebounds, and assists.  Plus, 3-0 in the WAC keeps them motivated for the NCAA Tourney.  Saturday the Aggies win 87-70.

Kentucky (-8 1/2) vs. Tennessee - (Over 140 1/2)
West Virginia (+5) @ Kansas State -
Oklahoma (+6 1/2) @ Baylor - (Under 155)
Syracuse (-4 1/2) vs. Pittsburgh - (Over 126)
New Mexico State/UMKC -

And now it's time for the AFC and NFC Championship Games - where has the time gone???

Joey (17-10-3 during 2014 NFL playoffs)
Straight Up - (7-3)
Against The Spread - (5-3-2)
Over/Under - (5-4-1)

Picks for the NFL Conference Championships...  AFC:  This will be the best game of the entire playoffs.  First, because Denver will move on and to the Super Bowl, and second, because Tom Brady won't.  lol  I think both teams try to run the ball - they have had success over the last couple of weeks.  Denver's Knowshon Moreno has been a stud all year and Tom Brady has found a way to score without throwing a TD - just give it to Legarrette Blount.  I love the under in the game, plus the Broncos win.  Final Score - Denver 27  New England 17.

Denver's (Super Bowl) opponent looks to me like they will have to win on another last-second play. Seattle and San Francisco both have great defenses, but I'm taking the underdog in this game. San Francisco wins 20-17 on a last-second field goal.

Looks like I'm picking Denver and San Francisco in the Super Bowl.  Football is almost over, but the NCAA Tourney is right around the corner, so keep betting the parlays and may all your tickets cash.  Good luck and come cash your tickets at my window at Palace Station.

Alright, I did better on my picks last weekend, so I'm not using my 'Walter White' photo again this week...

Since we're supposed to have a high of 79 degrees here in the ATX on Monday, I thought that I'd bring back the photo of my favorite lifeguard, Mo (hey, we need one pretty face in the blog, right???)...

Coach (11-16-3 during the 2014 NFL playoffs)
Straight Up - (5-5)
Against The Spread - (2-6-2)
Over/Under - (4-5-1)

Sunday, January 19th
New England (12-4) at Denver (13-3)   2:00 p.m. CST   CBS
Broncos (-5)   Over/Under (56 1/2)
Final Score:   Denver  26-16

This is where I tell you that in spite of all of the scores and predictions that you see me make in the blog, I really try to limit my betting to games that I'm really confident in, and that wouldn't be either of this week's contests.  If either team wins either game, it will not shock me.  As for the Broncos and Patriots, they met in New England back in Week 12, with the Pats taking a 34-31 win. In regards to scoring, I have to disagree with my friend Joey on this one - I think that we have another high-scoring game in store for us, in what may very well be the last playoff matchup between Peyton Manning and Tom Brady.  Think about it - factor in their ages, and the odds of the playoff seedings aligning just right for them again...  All I'm saying is that you better enjoy it Sunday, if you're the sentimental type...  ;)  The forecast for Sunday in Denver is a high of about 60 degrees, so the weather shouldn't be a factor in this one.  I'm going to hedge my bets here, taking the Patriots with the points, but picking the Broncos to win outright...   Broncos 38  Patriots 35

Sunday, January 19th
San Francisco (12-4) at Seattle (13-3)   5:30 p.m. CST   FOX
Seahawks (-3 1/2)   Over/Under (40)
Final Score:   Seattle 23-17

The weather in Seattle is supposed to be in the low 50's on Sunday with a 20% chance of rain.  If this forecast holds true, weather shouldn't be a factor here either.  Back in Week 2, the Seahawks beat the 49ers 29-3 up in Seattle, and in Week 14, San Francisco returned the favor, knocking off the Seahawks 19-17 in Cali.  Although these teams have solid defenses and both games have been 'under' this year, I have to think that the young quarterbacks will make some plays in this one (and heck, maybe the defenses will score also).  Forty is just too low of a number (can you say "tempting" Coach?)...  As for the winner, I've got to take the team that added players (most notably wide receivers) back to its roster as the season progressed.  I expect another close game here... 49ers 24  Seahawks 20

Okay, so we're both giving you a Broncos/49ers Super Bowl, and the Vegas odds are giving you a Broncos/Seahawks title game - we shall see...  Have a great football weekend!


Tuesday, January 14, 2014

What Should I Do?

"Breathe in, breathe out, breathe in, breathe out, breathe in..." -Bush- (Machinehead)

"I used to be a heavy gambler, but now I just make mental bets.  That's how I lost my mind..."
-Steve Allen-

Good evening everyone.  Here's the obligatory photo of the Strip that you've come to expect from me recently...

There's no telling what will happen (as I found out in August of 2012), but it's nice to have goals...  ;)  I've recently added the Las Vegas Review Journal website back to my list of 'favorites' - I have to tell you, it's almost like living there...  :P

I really don't have a ton for you tonight, but I put a few things on facebook and Twitter last night that were well-received, so I thought that I'd share them here too.  First, I stole this to do list from my friend Katie yesterday...

I honestly think that #1 blows the rest of the list away, and I can totally envision eating the vanilla pudding out of a mayonnaise jar at a poker table in Las Vegas, where EVERYONE notices EVERYTHING that you do...  :D

In other news, a friend told me recently that Peyton Manning purchased some Papa John's stores (21) in the Denver area.  Buying pizza stores in a state that legalized marijuana - no one ever accused Peyton of being stupid...  Speaking of Manning and Tom Brady (was I?), it occurred to me last night that it would be almost shocking if either quarterback had a run for over ten yards when they meet on Sunday.  Meanwhile, it wouldn't raise any eyebrows if Russell Wilson or Colin Kaepernick took off on a scramble of twenty-five yards or more...  I think that we'll be treated to a couple of very interesting games on Sunday, although I really couldn't care less (outside of betting purposes) about any of the four teams remaining in the playoffs.

I'll be back here on Thursday to let you know what Joey and I think of this weekend's games.  Have a good one!

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Still Counting

"Yeah we walk through the doors, so accusing their eyes, like they have any right at all to criticize..."  -Anna Nalick- (Breathe)

"People are literally waiting parked just to park in the H-E-B.  #CollegeTownProblems"
-@angela_s1917- (via Twitter)

"Say, say, say, what you want, but don't play games with my affection..."
-Michael Jackson/Paul McCartney- (Say Say Say)

Good evening everyone.  The countdown to Vegas is now at 200 days (for about 3 more hours).  I desperately need to come up with a plan to save some more money, or a way to make some more money, or to sell something, or, or...  :)  Here's what it looks like, in case you forgot...

There is NO WAY that this topic gets old, right???  :P  While I watched the playoff games today, I actually began sorting through some of my stuff, trying to decide how much more I want to downsize before I move.  If you recall, EVEN AFTER I stopped working about a FULL MONTH before I moved to the desert the last time, it still took me that whole month to sort through my possessions, and I never took the time to look for a place to live, or look for a job, etc...  Well, this time I'm going to get a head start on those things.  The thought occurred to me recently, that when you watch the James Bond movies, he travels light...  007 isn't dragging tons of stuff all over the world, and he manages...  :P

Anyway (since you asked), let's talk about that second quote up above.  Angela is referencing San Marcos, America with those words, and incidentally, classes for the spring semester begin at both Texas State University and at the University of Texas at Austin tomorrow.  I retweeted Angela's tweet, and I also shared it as a facebook status.  One of the comments to the status came from my friend Jennifer, who remarked that her five year-old niece Leah (upon having seen that same parking lot) said, "Why are all these people playing in the H-E-B parking lot?  They just need to get their groceries and GO!"  From the mouths of babes...  :)

And speaking of stealing..., umm..., SHARING from facebook, one of my friends (I cannot recall which one) shared this photo yesterday...

This turtle is actually being tickled with a toothbrush.  My brilliant take was that it's obviously not a ninja turtle...  Yeah yeah, I'll be here all week...  ;)  And speaking of stealing (again), this a photo of my friends Miletus and Gray...

Miletus is one of the original followers of this blog, and NO, this is not her reaction to reading my wonderful words of wisdom...  Miletus and Gray were married today.  Isn't this how every bride (and groom) should feel on their wedding day?  :D  Congratulations to both of you!

I hope that all of you enjoyed your weekend as much as Miletus and Gray did, and I'll be seeing you again later in the week.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Divisional Round 2014

For starters, I want a refund.  I'm doing my 'Football Friday' entry, and there's no Thursday night football game on t.v.?  #givememymoneyback  Oh, and good evening.  We probably ought to call it 'Joey's Friday' here since he CRUSHED IT on so many levels recently (heck, maybe even 'Joey's Blog' - you wanna do a little writing Joey?)...  ;)  Let's start with Joey's 5-0-1 record on his basketball 'bets' last weekend.  Also, even though Vegas didn't put a line on the game, he picked his alma mater (New Mexico State) to win by 22 points last Saturday, and ho hum..., the Aggies won by 22 points.  Then Joey proceeded to go 8-3-1 during last weekend's NFL Wild Card Round (that's straight up, against the spread, and considering the over/under).  Oh, and just to pile on a little, here are the results of our comprehensive bowl predictions:

Joey (55-50) during the 2013-2014 bowl season.

Coach (42-63) during the 2013-2014 bowl season.

There is a detailed breakdown of these results (along with the final scores for all of the bowl games and more) in my 'Comprehensive Bowl Predictions (2013-2014)' entry if you want to further investigate Joey's complete thrashing of me...  ;)  In the meantime, let's get on to the next round of thrashing...  Coming to you live from the Palace Station Sportsbook in Las Vegas (complete with a new plate full of food), here's Joey...

Joey's College Hoops Parlay Card (Last weekend 5-0-1/Overall record of 18-12-1 on the 13-14 season)

I hope everyone is having a great new year so far betting.  The college football season is now over, but that just gives us more basketball to bet.  This week North Carolina travels to #2 ranked Syracuse.  The Tar Heels have been spotty at best away from home and Syracuse needs to prove they are the best team - here is their chance.  Syracuse 81  North Carolina  75

I love rivalry games - it's always a great time to take the dog, and I see no difference as Kansas State takes on Kansas.  It's a close game to the end.  Kansas with a buzzer-beater, 71-70.

Michigan State gets a home game against against a fast, good-shooting Minnesota squad. Michigan State is shooting over 40% from outside the arc and that's how they win this game. Michigan State 82  Minnesota 72.

Texas State has had a couple of tough losses in the last week (losing to Arkansas State and Arkansas-Little Rock), and the Bobcats hit the road.  I don't see much changing against the Warhawks.  Louisiana-Monroe wins this game 70-63.

Finally, my unranked Aggies have won their last 2 games by an average of 20 points.  The Aggies are getting to the free throw line and are making nearly 80% as a team.  New Mexico State 85  Idaho 75 in this Saturday's game.

That's it from Palace Station.  Stop by and say hi, and may all your parlay cards be winners.

North Carolina (+7 1/2) @ Syracuse - (Over 136 1/2)
Kansas State (+9 1/2) @ Kansas - (Over 132)
Minnesota (+11) @ Michigan State - (Over 138)
Louisiana-Monroe (-6) vs. Texas State -
Idaho (+17 1/2 @ New Mexico State) -

And now it's time for this weekend's Divisional Round of NFL games.  Again, out of respect to Joey, I'll be using the Stations Casinos odds for each game (when available).

Joey (14-8-2 during 2014 NFL playoffs)
Straight Up - (6-2)
Against The Spread - (4-2-2)
Over/Under - (4-4)

Seahawks 28  Saints 27
Patriots 31  Colts 28
Panthers 14  49ers 10
Broncos 35  Chargers 27

Okay, since Joey thrashed me last weekend and during the bowl season, I thought that I'd go with my beaten down and broken, 100 years old Coach photo this time around...

Coach (10-12-2 during the 2014 NFL playoffs)
Straight Up - (4-4)
Against The Spread - (2-4-2)
Over/Under (4-4)

Saturday, January 11th
New Orleans (11-5) at Seattle (13-3)   3:35 p.m. CST   FOX
Seahawks (-8)   Over/Under (46)
Final Score:   Seattle  23-15

The Seahawks beat the Saints 34-7 back in Week 13 in Seattle.  When I checked a little while ago, the Weather Channel only had 100% chance of rain for this game...  I think that it's closer this time, but I still like the home team...  Seahawks 31  Saints 17

Saturday, January 11th
Indianapolis (11-5) at New England (12-4)   7:15 p.m. CST   CBS
Patriots (-7 1/2)   Over/Under (52)
Final Score:   New England  43-22

These two squads didn't meet during the regular season, but I expect that they'll make up for it with a very interesting game on Saturday, in spite of the fact that the match up doesn't have the same marquee value as it did when it was Manning vs. Brady...  Would you have deja vous if I told you that there's a 100% chance of rain in the forecast for this one also?...  Patriots 30  Colts 27

Sunday, January 12th
San Francisco (12-4) at Carolina (12-4)   12:00 p.m. CST   FOX
49ers (-1)   Over/Under (42)
Final Score:   San Francisco  23-10

The Panthers beat the 49ers 10-9 in San Francisco when these teams met at Candlestick back in Week 10.  I think that this meeting will feature more scoring, but I think that the visiting team will win again...  If you're wondering, there's not a 100% chance of rain forecast for this one...
49ers  24  Panthers 20

Sunday, January 12th
San Diego (9-7) at Denver (13-3)   3:40 p.m. CST   CBS
Broncos (-9 1/2)   Over/Under (55)
Final Score:   Denver  24-17

These teams met twice during the regular season as members of the AFC West.  In Week 10, the Broncos beat the Chargers 28-20 in San Diego.  During Week 15, the Chargers dealt the Broncos 1 of their 3 losses this year, as the Bolts came out on top, 27-20 in Denver.  I predict that neither team ends the game with exactly twenty points this week...  ;)  Okay, I have to go with Denver in this one...  Broncos 34  Chargers 17

And that's all for tonight.  Have a great football weekend my friends, and also a great wedding weekend if your name is Miletus or Gray!


Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Statue Calliope

"We're just ordinary people, you and me, time will turn us into statues, eventually..."
-Foo Fighters- (Statues)

Good evening everyone.  I know that you're probably dying to read more about more strong desire to move back to Las Vegas in 205 days (who's counting?), but I've worked back-to-back 12-hour shifts, so I'm going to keep this short and sweet...  In case you missed the announcement, you can read my most recent entry, 'The Countdown Begins...'

Speaking of recent entries (I just CRUSH segues, don't I?), I woke up to a very nice comment when I turned on my computer this morning.  In my New Year's Day entry 'Crazy People,' I wrote a little bit about my New Year's Eve on 6th Street, and I talked a little bit about this photo...

I mentioned that I had seen this statue on 6th Street before, and that I was curious as to how long it takes for her to do her makeup.  I wasn't going to pester her while so many people were taking pictures of her (and with her), but I dropped a card in her vase with the name of my blog, and I told her that I was going to include the above photo in a post.  I found this comment (in the comment section of 'Crazy People') today:

"Hey!  Statue lady here.  Yes, there is a code, but I'm an upstart whipper-snapper with no respect for tradition (not true), so sometimes I'll talk to people, depending on what they have to say.  I don't like to do it too much, it ruins the magic, and folks get smartass about it.  It takes me 1 to 3 hours to do my makeup, depending on which statue I am and whether my roommates are home to distract me.  Yes, a cameo on the blog isn't the highlight of my life, but definitely something I was pleased about, and I really appreciate you leaving the paper so I could find this.  I take tons of pictures with people every night, but I still have a really hard time finding photos of me online, so whenever I -do- find a picture (especially when accompanied by remarks about my performances) I'm positively thrilled.

If you have any other questions, feel free to hit me up on facebook: (Notice the paltry number of pictures on there, since I can't hardly find any!)"

Pretty cool, huh?  Since you know me so well, you know that my favorite part of that was, "Yes, a cameo on the blog isn't the highlight of my life..."  I get that a lot Statue Calliope...  ;)  I have already 'liked' her facebook page, and these are a few more photos of Calliope that I found there...

It's nice when you give someone a little recognition and they turn out being cool...  ;)  Now the next time that you see Calliope on 6th Street, you don't have to be shy.  Thank you for the kind comment Calliope - I appreciate it...  :)

Now I also found something this week that covers those times when people aren't so kind to you...

Thank you for sharing those wise words Brittany...  :)  

I don't know why my computer is now centering my text after uploading this photo, but I'm too tired to worry about it right now.  Have a good one and I'll see you again on Thursday!  ;)

Sunday, January 5, 2014

The Countdown Begins

"Luck be a lady tonight..., luck be a lady tonight..., luck if you've ever been a lady to begin with, luck be a lady tonight..." -Frank Sinatra- (Luck Be A Lady)

Good evening everyone.  Well, I've made a decision, and I'm sure that it's going to shock you...  I've decided that I'm going to do everything possible to move back to the Mojave Desert when my current lease ends in Austin.  That gives me 7 months to prepare, and hopefully things will work out better than they did the last time, when I moved back to Vegas for about 4 seconds...  Okay, it was more like a month, but same difference, right?...  I reached this decision late Thursday night, and since then, I've felt more peace of mind than I have for quite some time.  This serenity is surely due to the fact that I have a plan (well, I need to develop a plan), a goal..., something to shoot for. These are some of the things that I miss about Las Vegas...

Again, this shouldn't come as a surprise to any of you, and the desert has never been far from my thoughts (if at all) since the infamous August break-in of 2012.  It seems like it's always been a question of when was I going to take another crack at it.  Even though I had wanted to return to Las Vegas for a substantial amount of time before the end of July in 2012, I had not done a lot of PREPARING for it.  Although I left my job about a full month before I moved back out to the desert almost a year and a half ago, I ended up spending most of that month (which was much longer than I had anticipated) sorting through all of my possessions.  This miscalculation of the time that it would take to sort my belongings down to what would fit into my vehicle for a single trip to Nevada didn't leave me with any time for frivolous things like job hunting or finding a place to live (which I convinced myself would be easier once I was in Las Vegas anyway..., after the fact of course)...  ;)  Given the fact that I didn't pick a SINGLE, SOLITARY Wild Card Game correctly straight up this weekend, this is obviously the time for me to make my move...  :P  Of course the thought that comforts me is that I've experienced so much in my lifetime that I'll just regroup and bounce back if things don't go as planned.

And there you have it, my new plan, which was my old plan...  :)  I hope that you had a great weekend and I'll see you again soon!

Saturday, January 4, 2014

I Took The Chiefs!!!

Good afternoon everyone.  I'll edit this into a real post or delete it soon, but for those of you who are in Lucki Duck's pick 'em contest, I just wanted to let you know that I took the Chiefs against the Colts.  At the moment, the pressure's on you if you didn't...  ;)  Have a great football weekend!

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Wild Card Weekend 2014

Good evening everyone.  I have to admit that this Alabama/Oklahoma matchup is more interesting than I thought it would be.  As I begin typing this post, the score is 17-17 with 9:31 left in the first half.  I predicted that the Tide would win the game 41-17.  Hmmm...  And then again, the way that my bowl picks have been going, we shouldn't be shocked if the Sooners score the next eighty points.  My 'Comprehensive Bowl Predictions (2013-2014)' entry is still there if you want to see predictions for the remaining bowl games, or final scores from the games that have already been played, etc...  Tonight we have our predictions for the first round of this season's NFL playoffs (along with Joey's weekly basketball picks).  I have been extremely lazy in soliciting more scores from celebrity experts (meaning that I have none), but we'll post their record again as a reminder of my negligence...  Along with their record, I have the final tally of the resident experts for everything that preceded the bowl season and the NFL playoffs.

Celebrity Experts (Overall record of 103-86 on Bobcats and Longhorns games)

Alyssa (Last weekend 0-1/Overall record of 16-23 on Texans, Bobcats, & Longhorns games)

Joey (Overall record of 17-10 on Aggies, Bobcats, & Longhorns games)

Coach (Overall record of 13-11 on Bobcats & Longhorns games)

Coach's Ten Best Bets of the Week (Last weekend 6-3-1/Overall record of 85-89-6)

Again, I want to thank Alyssa for brightening up the blog, especially in light of the highly-unanticipated disappointment that the Texans were.  Entering the season, it wouldn't have shocked me in the least if Houston had gone 13-3.  Alyssa has her plate full up in Abilene and won't be joining us for the playoffs, but she has an open invitation to stop by anytime she wishes...  :)  Joey will continue to give us five favorite college basketball games of every weekend, and I'll join him in predicting college hoops with the start of the NCAA men's tourney, at which point we'll give you score predictions on every tourney game.

Speaking of basketball (and silky-smooth segues), live from the Palace Station Sportsbook in Las Vegas, here's Joey...

Joey's College Hoops Parlay Card (Last weekend 5-4/Overall record of 13-12 on the 13-14 season)

The parlay card gets a lot of action this weekend as the NFL starts its tournament, but we will start with our college basketball predictions.  Conference play starts for most teams this week, and Oklahoma at Texas is one that should be a good one to watch.  I think Oklahoma is a tad bit faster and should win this one on free throws at the end.  Oklahoma 85  Texas 75

My alma mater New Mexico State travels to Arizona to play Grand Canyon - not much of a match-up problem for the Aggies.  NMSU wins going away, 77-55.

Arkansas State hits the road in a key conference match-up (at Texas State).  I think Arkansas State has a better back court and pulls away late.  ASU 72  Texas St. 63

Air Force and UNLV both played on New Year's Day.  Air Force took a heartbreaking one-point loss.  I think the heartbreaks continue as UNLV is starting to play like the team in the preseason Top 25 projections.  UNLV takes a big early lead and hangs on for the 63-56 victory.

Finally, Colorado State travels south to Albuquerque to take on the New Mexico Lobos.  The Lobos play very well in front of the sixth man at Bob King Court.  UNM wins in a high-scoring game, 87-80.  That's it for the basketball parlay card this week.  May all your tickets get cashed!

Oklahoma (+5 1/2) @ Texas -
New Mexico State/Grand Canyon
Arkansas State (-2) @ Texas State -
Air Force (+15) @ UNLV - (Under 143)
Colorado State (+12) @ New Mexico - (Over 142 1/2)

I will be back sometime before tipoff on Saturday to update the odds on Joey's basketball picks. Okay, now it's time for our football picks.  We're going to handle the NFL playoffs just like we're handling the college bowl games here.  We're going to give you score predictions for each game, and we'll track each pick straight-up, against the spread, and against the over/under (as of right now, like the 'bet' was being taken right now).  Again, out of respect to Joey, I'll be posting the Stations Casinos odds for each game (if the odds differ) as of today.

Joey (8-3-1 during the 2014 NFL playoffs)
Straight Up - (3-1)
Against The Spread - (3-0-1)
Over/Under - (2-2)

Colts 31   Chiefs  24
Saints 38   Eagles 21
Chargers 24   Bengals 14
Packers 31   49ers 28

And now for my good luck photo.  I went 6-3-1 with Andrea last week...  :D

Coach (3-8-1 during the 2014 NFL playoffs)
Straight Up - (0-4)
Against The Spread - (1-2-1)
Over/Under - (2-2)

Saturday, January 4th
Kansas City (11-5) at Indianapolis (11-5)   3:35 p.m. CST   NBC
Colts (-2 1/2)   Over/Under (46 1/2)
Final Score:   Indianapolis  45-44

The Colts beat the Chiefs 23-7 in Week 16 at Arrowhead on a very cold day.  The Chiefs now have Dwayne Bowe returning to their lineup (and yes Megan, I still think of, "Somewhere..., over Dwayne Bowe..." EVERY TIME that I hear his name...)  ;)  Many of Kansas City's starters also had their own personal bye-week last week in San Diego, so my prediction is...  Chiefs 31  Colts 13

Saturday, January 4th
New Orleans (11-5) at Philadelphia (10-6)   7:10 p.m. CST   NBC
Eagles (-2 1/2)   Over/Under (53 1/2)
Final Score:   New Orleans  26-24

This game features a match-up of two Austin Westlake High School Quarterbacks - Drew Brees vs. Nick Foles.  The Saints do not play well on the road, and they do not play well in cold weather, so my prediction is...  Eagles 34  Saints 24

Sunday, January 5th
San Diego (9-7) at Cincinnati (11-5)   12:05 p.m. CST   CBS
Bengals (-7)   Over/Under (47)
Final Score:   San Diego  27-10

The Bengals beat the Chargers 17-10 in Week 13 when these 2 teams met in San Diego.  This is another case of a warm-weather team traveling to a colder climate, and an instance of a team who shouldn't even be in the playoffs (#steelers) going to play one who should, so my prediction is... Bengals 31  Chargers 10

Sunday, January 5th
San Francisco (12-4) at Green Bay (8-7-1)   3:40 p.m. CST   FOX
49ers (-3)   Over/Under (47)
Final Score:   San Francisco  23-20

The 49ers defeated the Packers 34-28 back in Week 1 at Candlestick.  Rodgers is back for Green Bay and it is supposed to be FRIGID at Lambeau on Sunday.  I have to go with the weather and a low-scoring game in this one, so my prediction is...  Packers 20  49ers 13

Have a great football weekend!


Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Crazy People

"All is quiet, on New Year's Day..., a world in white, gets underway..., I want to be with you, be with you, night and day..., nothing changes, on New Year's Day..." -U2- (New Year's Day)

Good afternoon everyone, and Happy New Year!!!  (imagine the sound of highly irritating noisemakers here...).  I went down to 6th Street last night to ring in 2014, and I wasn't the only person that had this plan...


Ironically, the area shown in this photograph includes the spot where I was standing when I took this picture at Halloween...

Unfortunately, the photos are painting an accurate picture (see what I did there?), as there were significantly more people roaming around on Halloween than there were last night.  Have no fear though..., although I am a people person, there were ENOUGH people downtown last night...  :) Just as I finished taking that first photo posted above, two girls came up to me with a "guessing game," and they both ended up being my first hug of the new year.  However, I was initially so thrown off by the way that these ladies approached me (they came up from behind me as I snapped the picture) that I put my phone back in my pocket and didn't think to ask them for a photo, and I'm positive that they would have posed for a snapshot for the blog if I had thought to ask.  Oh, the game?  Two girls in party dresses, one black and one white (that's your clue), come up to me and ask, "what's our nickname?"  Of course I'm like, "huh?"  So they're like, "it's a jingle..."  At this point (and I mean, I could reach out and touch these girls - we're standing at "normal conversation distance," whatever that is...) some genius decides to walk THROUGH OUR CONVERSATION to hit on one of the girls.  I didn't hear what he said, but it was so brilliant that he continued to keep walking as he said it...  The girl looks at me and says, "can you believe that?" Of course I say no, while thinking that I've NEVER seen ANYONE act like a complete idiot on 6th Street, OR on New Year's Eve...  :D  OH..., AND I had positioned myself in front of the police cars parked at the edge of 6th Street as I took that top photo, so that no one would walk over me as I did so.  My point is, this is the same spot where I was playing this guessing game with the girls, so there was no reason for the guy to walk through us - you can see how clear the area was that we were standing in.  Back to the game, before I had the opportunity to embarrass myself by meekly stuttering a weak guess, one of the girls starts singing, "ebony..., and _____, live together in perfect, harmony..."  I'm old enough to remember this being a song, and MAYBE??? it's a jingle, but anyway, I didn't win any cash or prizes...  :)

This is another photo that I took last night...


I have seen this "statue" several times on 6th Street, and I'm very curious as to how long it takes for her to do her makup.  I wanted to ask, but I think that there's a code, like their is with team mascots, in that they're really not supposed to talk...  :)  Anyway, she had SEVERAL PEOPLE stopping to take pictures of her and with her, and so after she posed for this shot, I dropped a card in her vase with my blog's name on it, and told her that her photo would be here today (yeah, the highlight of her life, I'm sure)...  :P  Anyway, if you did stop by Miss Statue, you do a great job with the makeup, and of being a statue...  :)

The crazy people...  Okay, I saw SEVERAL (popular word here today) partygoers who were being assisted by their friends, sitting on sidewalks, sitting with the police, BEFORE and after midnight (you should AT LEAST make it to midnight, right)?  I had one guy (who was looking back over his shoulder) walk INTO ME, and then as we proceeded, I hear him yell "HEY!" (from behind me).  I turned back to face him, while raising and spreading my arms, and yelled back, "I'M JUST TRYING TO WALK!..."  :)

Speaking of crazy people, although I didn't make it down to San Antonio last night, my brother was kind enough to post facebook photos of what I missed out on...


Alcohol and fireworks, hmmmm...  To the best of my knowledge, the city of San Antonio is still standing today...  :)

And now for a couple of my friends...  My friend and former softball superstar Amy (and yes, all of my former students and athletes are superstars) was in New Orleans recently, and she posted this photo on facebook...

This is probably the best photo of one of these masks that I've ever seen - it just seems to fit Amy PERFECTLY...  When I told Amy as much on facebook, she said "Ha," but I was being completely serious...  :)  I know that you want me to post another picture of Amy for comparison purposes, but that would just ruin the mystery of the mask, wouldn't it?...  :D

And in more "New Year's friend-related news," I woke up to find this on facebook this morning. This is the card that my friend KayCee received from her sister...

I can't think of a better way to start off the new year...  :)  I hope that all of you have an INCREDIBLE 2014, and I'll see you again tomorrow with some NFL playoff predictions for this weekend...  And don't forget, everything that you want to know about the bowl games (dates, times, t.v. coverage, predictions, final scores from already completed games, etc...) is in my 'Comprehensive Bowl Predictions (2013-2014)' post from earlier in the month.  Have a good one!