Thursday, August 31, 2006

Extended Weekend

* I have decided to take an extended weekend for what many consider as the last weekend of the summer. I'm taking today and tomorrow off to extend it to a five day weekend.

* We are having our biggest ever fantasy football league draft this afternoon at prime Thyme, so I think I am going to use part of today preparing to compete against eleven fantasy owner fanatics. This is my softball team and this will be a very tough league to win.

* Jean and Rich went to Brownsville yesterday to buy a couple bushels of tomatoes to can today. They were vine picked the day before and I will have to say these were some very good looking and fresh tomatoes.

* I actually stopped down at Nick and Terri's for a few minutes last night. The place just seemed to be hopping and I don't think either one of them had a chance to breath while I was there.

* WVU will be playing Marshall this Saturday, the game will be on television locally so anyone in West Virginia should be able to catch the game if you can not make it.

* We finally got John shipped up and moved out yesterday, it was a day later than he intended and I don't think he anticipated how big this move was going to have to be. He should be back to teaching this morning in North Carolina.

* I have seen where Kim added some neat podcast tools to her BLOG, so I also decided to add them to my sidebar to see how it works out.

Monday, August 28, 2006

Monday's tidbits

* Not a whole lot to say on any one specific subject, so I guess it's time for a tidbits.

* Mondays are the worst day of the week, the weekend is over and you are at the start of working towards another one. Although next Monday won't be bad because it will be a three day weekend.

* I'm losing a friend, former office mate and neighbor this week. John Robard's has accepted a job to teach forestry at South Eastern College in North Carolina. I'll actually be helping pack the rest of his U-Haul today. He was generous enough to give a washer-dryer combo, a sleeper sofa, recliner, fax machine and filing cabinet away to the family that I would like to thank him for. I'm sure it will be put to very good use.

* My sister Kim has introduced me to a new google feature that works very well with the Firefox browser called Google Notebook and Google Calendar. Google is redefining the internet and what it is capable of.

* We will be drafting our fantasy football league this Thursday. It will be a live draft and we have twelve owners this season. This is going to really challenge us because the talent pool will quickly be used and it's going to take some research.

* This will be the start of college football this weekend, WVU will be playing Moo Tech, or Marshall University as they like to be called this coming weekend. It will be the first game of the season for both schools and the first game in a seven game contract between WVU and the WVU wannnabes that will run through 2012.

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Spoke too soon

Morgantown loses 21-10. Arrrrgggghhhhhh

Start of Morgantown High's Football season

Tonight at 8:00, Morgantown High School will attempt to win their twenty-ninth consecutive game and start a march for a third consecutive State High School football Championship.

Morgantown High is led by two WVU recruits in QB Charlie Russell and DE Junius Lewis. They also have another player in Dustin Laudermilk who has received a D1 Scholarship offer for next season and possibly one to two more that will come before the end of the season in Derick Long and Seth Neptune.

Morgantown is a very deeply talented team this year and I don't think anyone in the State of West Virginia will be able to stop them this season.

Tonight, Morgantown entertains HD Wilson High School out of Washington DC. Morgantown should win the game quite handedly.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Thinking about doing a team Blog

I have been thinking in the past few weeks of starting one or two new BLOGS. Not one like this, but one or two that has multiple authors and a theme that can be addressed. I one idea for one and one that I may want to do with at least my sister Kim to start off with.

The softball one was a thought I had a few weeks ago and have all the members of the softball team register as bloggers so they can author the blog. I thought it would be nice way for everyone to keep in touch on the team and to be able to make announcements to the team in general for about anything. Birth announcements, or anything that the author chooses to write about. I was thinking about opening it up to anyone associated with the softball team, either past or present and their wives, girlfriends etc.

Last night I approached Kim about potentially doing a theme based BLOG together. We haven't decided on a theme yet, but I think we are both interested in joining into joint project together. Then based on the potential theme invite additional authors based on the theme.

With Kim I have a few potential ideas for themes, but nothing specific.
  1. A Texas Hold Em league Blog where all the members of our league we are planning to do this fall will also be team members
  2. A Pod-Casting Blog. She is really into this and I think I would like to give her a hand with it. Either for technical support or having my own segment to give the podcast a little variety or something. I think she will become a fulltime podcaster sometime soon one way or another.
  3. A Links type BLOG. This would allow multiple authors to just basically submit time wasting links the readers could or would enjoy.
  4. A Family based one, where family members post information about anything.
  5. One for recipes. I'm not a cook, but this family is loaded with a bunch of great cooks, I thought it could be a nice way to share recipes.
I would like to do at least one of these theme based blogs, but it all depends on who the other author or authors we can find that would be an active poster to increase reader interest.

I would still maintain this BLOG, this is about me and what I am doing. It's personalized specific to my feelings and what is going on in my life. The team blog idea is a concept idea that I would like to create an active, theme oriented blog to increase readership.


Stay tuned, I'm hoping I can get at least one of these additional ideas up and running.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Happy Birthday George Ellis McClain

Today is another special day, it is my nephew Moke's 18th birthday, so I would like to extend the heartiest of Birthday Wishes to him.

I know he has been busy working and trying to get down to weight for the National Guard, but I haven't spoke to him in a few days and I'm not sure what the latest is on this, but I know he was only a few pounds from where he needed to be.

He's always been a very bright person with the ability to learn and pick up on things very easily. He is one of those people that if you give him an inch of knowledge, he'll take it a mile and beyond, especially when it comes to computer programs and optimizing it.

Happy Birthday Moke

Monday, August 21, 2006

WVU Starts today



We have entered that time of year again, the time when Morgantown's population doubles, students have money in their pockets and the class of 2010 start to attend their first days of classes.

This is usually the day when you just go to your classes and professors hand out their syllabus for what is going to take place over the next few months until the semesters completion this December.

It's the day when some classes have ass many as 400 kids show up, that is until mid semester when about 50 of them make it to class on a daily basis.

Notebooks will be fresh, students will be walking around with maps trying to figure out where this building or that building is located. Asking sometimes if they are even on he right campus.

The first day of classes at WVU is an event, one that later leads into the evenings festivities. Tonight on the Mountainlair will close it's nights events with a free concert with the band Staind.

Stay clear of downtown today, I'm sure it will be a madhouse.

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Happy Birthday Jean

I would like to extend a very hearty birthday wish to Jean, on her birthday today. I called her this morning and got a nice little chance to chat with her. She was mentioning that this is the time of the year that her church sells all that wonderful Slavic food, just to give a heads up to everyone.

AnMal, as many would want to call her has been a very inspirational person to many people in this family. She always has been someone who would bend over backwards to help someone in need. She is also one of the best cooks on the face of the earth.

Happy Birthday Jean.


In truth, politeness is artificial good humor, it covers the natural want of it, and ends by rendering habitual a substitute nearly equivalent to the real virtue.--Thomas Jefferson

Friday, August 18, 2006

RIP Randy Nels

As some of you know, Randy and Donna Nels have been long time friends of Nick and Terri and have quite often visited them at their home and business for some years. Randy was a postman who had a route around the WVU Football Stadium and Donna is always referred to as the "Pie Lady" for the great pies she makes.

A few weeks ago I was at Terri's, and she had informed me that Randy had been diagnosed with cancer and his health was fading fast. She even said they are wondering if he will make it to Christmas.

It saddened me this morning when I read the morning paper and saw his name listed in the obituaries. He had passed away Wed.

I really enjoyed my discussions with him, he was a die hard Mountaineer fan and new sports. We had numerous discussions on politics, history, sports and computers. He was a very well educated and knowledgeable man. He didn't just form an opinion he knew the history and the basis of his opinion.

I'm really going to miss him as I am sure both Nick and Terri will also.

My thoughts are with Randy's wife Donna and their children on the loss of good guy.

I've been scanning through my pictures to see if I could find one of Randy, the only two I found of him his back was turned or was walking out of a picture. I guess you can never take enough pictures.




A brief candle; both ends burning
An endless mile; a bus wheel turning
A friend to share the lonesome times
A handshake and a sip of wine
So say it loud and let it ring
We are all a part of everything
The future, present and the past
Fly on proud bird
You're free at last.--Charlie Daniels

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Violations by Military Recruiters Up Sharply

An article I found on the web that may shed some light on a few things.


Violations by Military Recruiters Up Sharply
Numbers Rose From 2004 to 2005 With Pressure to Meet Goals, GAO Finds

By Josh White
Washington Post Staff Writer
Tuesday, August 15, 2006; Page A05

The number of alleged and substantiated violations by U.S. military recruiters increased by more than 50 percent in one year, a rise that may reflect growing pressure to meet wartime recruiting goals, according to a Government Accountability Office report released yesterday.

Allegations of wrongdoing by military recruitment personnel rose from 4,400 cases in fiscal 2004 to 6,600 cases in fiscal 2005, with substantiated cases increasing from 400 to almost 630, according to the report. The number of cases found to be criminal violations more than doubled, from 33 to 68.

The increase in violations was noted despite a significant decline in the number of people who joined the military. The number of new recruits fell from 250,000 in fiscal 2004 to 215,000 in fiscal 2005, even as recruiting efforts were significantly boosted, according to the GAO report.

The report noted that part of the increase in violations could be due to the Air Force's improved ability to track wrongdoing. But GAO officials concluded that because the Defense Department does not have an appropriate method of tracking violations across all the services, the total is likely to be higher.

"The department . . . is not in a sound position to assure Congress and the general public that it knows the full extent to which recruiter irregularities are occurring," the report says.

Citing internal Defense Department data, the GAO found that about 20 percent of active-duty recruiters believe that irregularities -- such as coercion, concealing information that would disqualify a candidate and falsifying documents, among others -- occur frequently. A majority of recruiters also reported dissatisfaction with their jobs.

The data indicate that irregularities increase around the time of monthly quota deadlines, according to the report.

The recruiting effort has become more difficult, especially for the Army, because new recruits know that they are likely to be deployed in support of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Army officials have said that parents, coaches and advisers -- the "influencers" of recruits -- are less likely to recommend that young men and women join the military because of the wars. The low unemployment rate also means that young people have other options.

To avoid missing its annual goal, as it did last year, the Army deployed more recruiters and increased signing incentives this year, meeting its elevated monthly goals through last month.

Responding to the report, Defense officials wrote that they believe there needs to be a more centralized way of tracking recruitment violations to better assess how to prevent them.

"We certainly agree with the GAO statement that even one incident of recruiter wrongdoing can erode public confidence in DoD's recruiting process," Michael L. Dominguez, principal deputy undersecretary of defense for personnel and readiness, wrote in a letter dated July 24.

Reps. Victor F. Snyder (D-Ark.) and Fortney "Pete" Stark (D-Calif.), who released the report, said yesterday in a joint statement that the Defense Department needs to develop a better way of monitoring violations.



LINK to article

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Season Complete

This has to be one of the saddest parts of the year for me, another softball season has come and gone. We played the 2nd and 3rd games tonight in the best of three series with Franks Place. We managed to pull out a close victory in the second game, forcing a game three. We chose to play game three tonight, and we were handily beaten by a very good hitting team.

This rounds out our year at 16-7 on the year including playoff and when you consider Last Year when we went 20-5, that puts our two year total at 36-12, a second and third place regular season finish and playoffs for both seasons. Not too bad considering we jumped up a level in competition.

In a couple weeks, twelve of us from the softball team will get together and start our fantasy football league. I always lose money in these leagues, but I enjoy competing against these guys as well as being their team mates in softball.

I'm thinking about running around the idea of creating a Prime Thyme Softball Blog and have it so all members can post. It's nice to hear birth announcements and other things. It could be a way for everyone to keep in touch. We'll have to see.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Ouch

Well, the softball playoffs started off last night with us going against Frank's Place, a team we beat 21-4 in the regular season. I don't know where they were hiding all season, but when we showed up to play them last night I was surprised to see the team that I did. This was a stacked team that I would say had a questionable roster, in other words I think these guys loaded up.

It was a hard fought game, but we were on the losing end of a 22-24 game. We made a few mental mistakes and consistantly did so through out the game and even a good offensive game wasn't enough to give us a victory and put us 0-1 in the best of three series.

We play again Thursday night, and we are in a win or go home situation. To advance to the semi-finals, we will need to come out and take the next two games, which we are more than capable of doing.

I was talking to Michael Toth and Tim Bowser last night and their team, Cool Ride, lost a three team tie-breaker to keep them out of the playoffs in their league.

We'll lace em up and try again wed night.

Monday, August 14, 2006

Let it begin

This is the week that Morgantown's population starts to grow and traffic starts to become a real headache. Classes will be starting next Monday at WVU, so the final rounds of orientation and people actually starting to move into the dorms this week will increase our population. Students will be returning this week and I'm sure it will be in full force by this weekend.

I'm sure merchants around town love this time of the year, population increases and kids are just about to receive their student loan allotments. In other words, they have cash in their pockets. Some will be smart and budget their money wisely, others will have it gone by the end of the month if it takes that long.

So it is that time of the year when the students return, the rowdiness will initially be here until after the first week and exams, papers, projects and quizzes start to take priority of the majority of their lives.



Let's Go Mountaineers--The people of West Virginia

Sunday, August 13, 2006

A cute little toy

I found this website a little while ago called Goggles that puts you in a flight simulator and lets you fly around in different cites and locations according to the start up menu on the page.

Being a Geographer I just had to take it a step further and set it up for Morgantown. Just click on start rather than naming a starting location and those of you in Morgantown will have a chance to intergrate Goggles and Google Maps and do a fly around in Morgantown. Unfortunately Morgantown while being in the forfront of the GIS world, don't really have the DOQQ's published much beyond the extent of the city (Techinical Jargon basically only GIS nuts will understand so don't worry).

I thought it was a nice little toy and I customized it to Morgantown. You control the plabe with the arrow keys on your keyboard. The Up Button moves the plane up in elevation, and the down key moves it down in elevation, but be carefull gettting too low. LOL The Left and Right keys steer it left and right obviously.


Enjoy

Saturday, August 12, 2006

Morgantown High Scrimmage

Went to the Parkersburg v Morgantown High Football scrimmage this afternoon. Here is a little Video of Morgantown High QB and WVU recruit Charlie Russell throwing a touchdown pass to Derek Long.


Friday, August 11, 2006

How about a tidbits entering the weekend.

* Well, let me first start of with saying tonight is BOPARC's last Family Night Under the Stars for the season. They will be playing the movie Dreamer tonight and this rounds out their summer movie schedule.

* Speaking of BOPARC, we had our last regular season game last night before entering Monday Night's playoffs. It was a throw away game, we could neither improve or worsen our post season standings or our third place finish. Throw away is exactly what we did. Wow, did we get hammered. We screwed around and put different people in different positions and played around. I guess the other team decided that it wasn't a throw away game for them and actually beat us pretty badly. We finished 15-5 on the regular season after moving up a level in competition so I can't complain. That puts our regular season record at 31-8 over the past two seasons.

* I have decided to add another sidebar menu on the side of my BLOG. I think with the recent MySpace phenomenon that has been hitting the net, and a couple Nephew's starting their own MySpace page, I added a sidebar menu to ppost links to their sites. I added Moke and Randy's pages to the sidebar menu. If others start doing them, I will add them to the menu.

* Did lunch yesterday with Kim. I dropped her off a copy of some software and we went to lunch at Wings Ole. We had been talking about doing it for the past month, but we just never really got around to it until yesterday.

* Brittany is off to the Beach with Ed to enjoy a little vacation before having to return to school in a few weeks.

* For anyone who may be looking for a job or a new job, Wal Mart and Sam's Club are accepting applications for the two new stores in Morgantown.

Sam's Club is 1-304-296-4792 and they are accepting applications at 40 Commerce Drive in Westover Monday through Friday

Super Wal-Mart is at the University Town Center in the Seneca Center MWF 7:00 AM - 5:00 PM, T & TH 7:00 AM - 7:00 PM and Saturday from 7:00 to 11:00 AM.

They offer health insurance, a 401k, stock purchase plan, profit sharing, discounts and career placement opportunities.

The former CEO of K-Mart, Joseph E. Antonini, started as a stock boy. He's a Morgantown resident.

* Jean went down to Nick and Terri's bar last night to hear this one girl singer.

* Rich's youngest son Mark has just opened up his own reality company on Van Voorhis Rd called Alliance Reality. Mark has been very successful as a Realator and decided to become his own broker. I'll keep everyone updated if and when he gets a website up and running.

* Oh, according to todays paper, a kid that I was friends with and grew up with was named WVU's new Women's Tennis coach. Marc and I were friends and neighbors from first grade through High School. I was always at his place playing with the GI Joes or playing mini ball. I know he had been doing some coaching around the country, it's nice to see a neighborhood kid get the job and for him to get a chance to return home. Marc and I have lost contact since High School, but I have kept tabs on his career through the local sports page. Welcome home Marc. Ironically I found an article written about him....that was written by my right fielder on my softball team.

* For you Football fans, the Steelers play their first Pre-season game this weekend.


A useless life is an early death.--Goethe

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

A head start on podcasting

As many of you have read, my sister Kim has decided to start doing something called a podcast.

I played around with it a little to see if I could at least get the audio file itself completed and make sure it works.

My First Podcast. Now I need to learn how to do an .RSS feed.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

A time waster




I found this today on one of the forums I frequent. Nice little time waster, see if you can beat my score.

Dangerous Dave and Brutal Bob

Monday, August 07, 2006

Happy 18th Birthday Randy Lee Hamrick Jr

Today, my Nephew Randy turns 18 years of age. Finally becoming a legal adult. I have to ask myself where the years have gone, because he has grown up to be a fine young man in a very small time period. It seems like only yesterday that Terri was pregnant for Bub.

He has been through a lot in his life so far, but he will be fine and seems to have a pretty good work and family ethic about him. He is no longer that little kid who was always in his room grounded for doing something, he's graduated from the ChallenGe academy last year and is currently working for BOPARC making sure that the ball fields are all conditioned and ready to go for the county's baseball and softball players.

He was up at Terri's yesterday afternoon spending some time with family and doing a few flips off of the deck and into the pool. He has asked me a few times about building a website recently, so I would venture to say that he may be doing this eventually. I know that he has a My Space page, but I have also found an additional 1,
2, 3 other My space pages he has done. You can't say he's not getting any practice doing webpages.

I know he is at work today, so I would like to take this chance to wish Randy a very Happy 18th Birthday. I'm really starting to feel old now.

Sunday, August 06, 2006

65 Optical Illusions

Every so often I run across a site that I think is interesting. Today, I found 65 Optical Illusions & Visual Phenomena and thought a few people may enjoy spending a little bit of time there.

Enjoy

Saturday, August 05, 2006

America's got talent

Last month I posted about Bianca Ryan, the 11 year old girl from America's got talent. I guess I missed the semi-finals, but here she is again kicking out some serious Janis Joplin

Friday, August 04, 2006

Woo Hoo

Another work week has come, and another work week has gone. It's Friday and it's time to relax for the weekend. The Temp's here in Morgantown should be a little lower than they have been the past couple weeks when it seemed like every day was 90+ degrees. It will be nice to just have warm weather instead of it being blistering hot.

I was talking to the queen of the podcasts (that's Kim) last night and I'm getting the impression that she is wanting to start putting out her own Podcast. I know she subscribes to quite a few of them, but I think she is wanting to try her hand at actually doing one. Pod casts are basically media files that can be downloaded to a portable device such as an iPod, but there are numerous ways to just download them straight to your computer and watch it from there. I have a little iPod Shuffle that I have music loaded on for when I actually make it to rails to trails. I'll keep everyone posted as to if and or when she decides to start pod casting. I'll also help anyone who wants to set their computers up to hear her show to do so.

Looking around, it looks like it is going to be a pretty slow weekend here in Morgantown. After last weekend, we have caught up all of our softball games and only have two regular scheduled games next week.

Boparc does not have any movies playing this weekend, but will be playing Dreamer next Friday night, but there isn't anything scheduled for tonight.

Anyone smell football yet?


Thursday, August 03, 2006

Back to Frostburg for the day

I just found out again yesterday afternoon that there is a big meeting today's in Frostburg and I have to go in for technical support. I was just there last Wed, so I'm not really that excited about the trip today. I was given a ton of data to do a summary on yesterday and about no time to have it completed before an 8:00 AM meeting with the client this morning.

Yesterday turned into a long day, and today looks like it may be more of the same. So if anyone wants to get in touch with me today, I'll be in Frostburg with a series of meetings with our COO, President and a Vice President from India. We're meeting with a client that we have a fairly large contract with.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Clean Sweep in Softball

We entered this weekend knowing that we would a total of four games in three days. Monday night was our chance to make it a clean sweep and with the fourth game in the time period, running our record for the three day stand to 4-0.

It was a heck of a game that we almost let slip by. Listening to Kevin and Chris this morning on the Upper Lower Level softball report
they did a great job of recapping the game. We jumped out early 10-0 in the first three innings and just figured we were going to walk away with this one as we had so many others. However we found our selves on the losing end of a 15-12 score going into the bottom of the seventh inning. We needed three runs to tie and four to win. We managed to load the bases up and Scott Barr delivered a bases loaded triple with one out to tie the game up. I held him at third with only one out, thinking we could hit a sacrifice fly and score him for the win.

Phil kaskey had other ideas and delivered a clutch game ending base hit to score Scott and seal a 16-15 victory for us and running our record to 14-4 on the season. I had a decent game doubling in two runs and getting another base hit before being given a rest in the 90+ degree heat.

We have two regular season games left next week before we enter the post season competition.