Thursday, November 27, 2008

A day of Thanksgiving

The meal is over and so now I'm going to make my Thanksgiving day complete by thanking the people who have been most influential in my life.

The first person on my list is my wife. I don't quite know how to express the feeling I have for her, love doesn't quite do it. Admiration is a part of it. Awestruck is another of the emotions. She has helped me to grow into the husband and father I am today. She has supported me in every situation and has been there when I needed her. I come home from business trips and she is there; my comfort and my strength. To quote a Josh Groban song:

I am not a hero. I am not an angel. I am just a man. A man who's trying to love her, unlike any other. In here arms I am.
Josh Groban - In Her Eyes

The second person on my list is my mother. When I was very little she had the courage to seek after the truth and when she found it she hung on strong regardless of what others said. That strength has lasted throughout the years and has always been an example to me. When I think of where I would be today without that strength I shudder. I can only hope to be a similar strength to my children.

The third person on my list is my father. I don't ever remember him sitting me down to teach me about life. He did it through his example. He is a hard worker, who loves his wife and family fiercely. I learned how to be a man through that example. I learned what it meant to love a woman with all your soul. I learned how to treat others with respect but not to be pushed over. It's funny how you don't see that you're learning these things until you have a chance to look back.

The fourth person on my list is my maternal grandfather. Here is an example of a successful man who stuck to his principles. I had the chance in my teen years to be a golfing buddy to him. There were a lot of things that he taught me on the golf course about life while he was helping me with golf. He has a favorite saying on the course. It's an ancient Chinese proverb that I will share with my children:

He who play peeky peeky, play lousy golf!

There are other people I could list. For instance all those who told me I couldn't do something and it was I that proved them wrong. The girlfriend I had that showed me what a life with another could be like. The leaders in school and church who spent hours helping me and trying to teach a stubborn kid like me.

I love the people above on my list. On this Thanksgiving day I give them the thanks of a man who would not be nearly what he is had it not been for their influences in my life. I challenge everyone who reads this entry to do the same and make a list of the personal influences in your life and give them thanks.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Updated Blinston Method

Here is the updated Blinston Method standings after Week 13 results from College Football:

Blinston Method Standings
Ranking Team Name Ranking Percent / Points
1 Texas 2.749 / 45
2 Utah 2.515 / 55
3 Boise State 2.12 / 50
4 Penn State 2.045 / 45
5 Alabama 2.000 / 53
6 Oklahoma 1.971 / 35
7 Florida 1.943 / 35
8 Texas Tech 1.888 / 33
9 USC 1.86 / 40
10 Texas Christian University 1.756 / 35
11 Ball State 1.635 / 50
12 Ohio State 1.634 / 30
13 Oklahoma State 1.542 / 30
14 Brigham Young 1.451 / 35
15 Oregon State 1.277 / 25
16 Missouri 1.268 / 25
17 Georgia 1.228 / 20
18 Rice 1.111 / 25
19 Western Michigan 1.047 / 28
20 Cincinnati 1.013 / 18
21 Michigan State 0.9764 / 20
22 Tulsa 0.945 / 30
23 California 0.8154 / 15
24 Oregon 0.7625 / 18
25 Iowa 0.7395 / 15

The bottom five:

116 Western Kentucky -3.466 / -65
117 Indiana -3.6 / -60
118 Tulane -3.615 / -70
119 Washington State -3.842 / -72
120 Washington -5.200 / -88

Friday, November 21, 2008

My Dilemma

So I have a dilemma. You see I got some money for my birthday and now I'm trying to figure out what to spend it on. I'm a sports fan and a geek so I have lots of choices.

Sports Fan

As a sports fan I've really wanted to get a jersey of one of my favorite teams. I'm a soccer fan first and foremost, but I have five jerseys of teams from when I went to Europe in 2000 so I don't need another one. Next I'm a hockey fan. I grew up outside of Buffalo NY and therefore the Sabres are my favorite team. So naturally I would want:

Third, I'm a baseball fan. Since moving to Arizona the Diamondbacks have become my favorite baseball team. In that spirit I want:


I'm a geek. There is just no other way to say it. This means that part of me wants to get some Wii games with the money. Now I am a geek, but I'm also a Sports Fan and love to play golf so maybe I should get:

With the leftover money I could also get:

That would satisfy my sports and geekness to some degree. However, there is one more thing that I'm debating about getting. See I hate having to move things from one computer to the next so maybe I should get a portable hard drive:

I have a limited amount of money to spend so you can see why I have a dilemma. I don't know which thing I really want the most and I can't get them all. Maybe I'll leave the decision to tomorrow. Oh yeah, I almost forgot, I really need to figure out what to buy with the Barnes and Noble gift card I got from the parents of my soccer team.

Monday, November 17, 2008

College Football Rankings - The Blinston Method

Once again it is time to publish the Blinston Method. As I did last year this is my take on who are the best teams in College Football. This year the Blinston Method has changed a little bit. Teams earn and lose points for winning and losing based on the following:

Home Wins = 5 pts
Home OT Wins = 3 pts
Road Wins = 10 pts
Road OT Wins = 8 pts
Home Loss = -10 pts
Home OT Loss = -8 pts
Road Loss = -5 pts
Road OT Loss = -3 pts

Once the points are added up they are multiplied by the average winning percentage of the teams played thus far. Note this means for instance that Utah's ranking does NOT take into account the winning percentage of BYU. So again the formula is:

Ranking = Total Points X Avg Winning Pct of Teams Played

So here are the top 25 teams in the Blinston Method:

RankingTeam NameRanking PercentagePoints
3Texas Tech2.02438
7Boise State1.84045
8Penn State1.6840
10Oklahoma State1.54230
11Texas Christian University1.44630
12Ohio State1.4325
13Brigham Young1.42440
16Ball State1.22045
17Michigan State1.11825
18Western Michigan1.03028
19Oregon State1.01420
20Central Michigan0.932923

This means if the season ended today that Texas would play Utah for the national championship.

The bottom five teams are:

RankingTeam NameRanking PercentagePoints
116Western Kentucky-3.466-65
119Washington State-4.403-75

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

To my children (Part II)

Dear Levi, Ellie, Sam, Grace and Lia,

A week or so ago I wrote you a letter explaining why I was voting for president. Today is November 5th 2008 and America has chosen Barack Obama as president. This was not an unexpected event, but it is definitely an historic one. For the first time in our nation's history an African-American will be president. I listened to his speech last night when it was clear that he had won the election. There was a part in it where he referenced Abraham Lincoln and the values that the Republican party are founded on (self-reliance, individual liberty and nationaly unity). This part of his speech gave me some hope that he can work with all in Washington to help our country.

As part of our faith we have thirteen statements that help to define what we believe. The 12th of these Articles of Faith states:

We believe in being subject to kings, presidents, rulers, and magistrates, in obeying, honoring, and sustaining the law.
I want you to know that this is what I intend to do. I intend to support this president. However, that doesn't mean that I won't voice any objections I may have to policies he may introduce. The system we have is setup so that our voices can be heard. Barack Obama stated last night that he would listen to the voices of the people. This means that we need to stay engaged in our country's progression and voice our opinion.

On another note, the proposition in Arizona to define marriage as the union between one man and one woman passed. As you know I voted for this proposition as I believe it will stop other rights of religion from being taken away.

In four years our country should have changed, I hope and pray that it will change for the betterment of all Americans everywhere. Know that I am praying for our leaders that they will make wise policies and enact just laws. Know that I am also praying that this country will remain strong and safe that you may enjoy its numerous blessings.

All my love,

Your Father

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Bailout Bucket

So I was thinking about what to be for Halloween when it hit me that the scariest costume I could come up with is the Economy! I also had to get out the Bailout Bucket so that I could give everyone a scare and hit them up for their share. Now with the state of the economy I had to dress in black as if in mourning, it was only fitting. Just like the bailout my bucket was hastily put together which may explain my results. When I started I looked like this:

Happy as a clam I went out to collect the $10,000 share from each house I visited with the kids. Unfortunately for me all I got were a bunch of Snickers in my bucket. I figured that the people didn't read the fine print on the bucket:

Payable this one time only, sorry no bill over $20 accepted. If you do not pay this one time you will be haunted by the ghosts of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

I mean it clearly states that if they don't pay they will be haunted by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. I can't believe that not one person took this seriously and paid their share. I guess the costume wasn't scary enough.

At the end of the night I ended up like this:

I apologize to the government for not being successful in getting money for the bailout. I guess it will just have to be done the old fashioned way, through taxes.