Saturday, February 28, 2009

Friday, February 27, 2009

What Would You Do With 500 Canadian Dollars?

NERD ALERT #1: This post contains a fair amount of video game nerdery. If you don't like reading about video games... tough, read it anyway. Ha! Or just skip to the end catch a cool video at the bottom of the post.

About a month ago a good friend from grad school (Justin) spent several days trying to convince me to get The Orange Box (five complete video games in one title - three installations of the very popular PC series Half Life 2, and two other games using the Half Life engine) for the Xbox360. Eventually I caved and picked it up (I tend to trust Justin's judgment... for some reason), but it sat on my coffee table for maybe two weeks before the disc actually made it's way into the 360. And the inspiration that caused the disc to make into the 360 came from a somewhat odd source.

*We now interrupt this irregularly scheduled blog post for the shameless hyping of the upcoming debut of highly anticipated series Seven Beards in Seven Days coming March 1st, 2009.*
*We are now returning you to your irregularly scheduled post. The remainder of this post appears in its entirety below.*

NERD ALERT #2: I have been known to watch "machinima" online from time to time in my quest to be entertained at nearly all times. Machinima, if you are unaware, is basically a television show filmed entirely within a video game engine.

As a regular reader/viewer over at SmoothFewFilms, (I got hooked on their site after laughing my ass off after seeing this video... thank you Jim!) I caught this post about a live action version of Half Life 2 that two people (The Purchase Brothers) put together for apparently only $500 (Canadian). Wow! Freaking wow! If this is what a couple guys can do with a few hundred bucks, a little ingenuity and, presumably, lot of time , why did it cost $175 million to make Waterworld almost 15 years ago? Maybe it can all be chalked up to the availability of technology to the general public and absurd salaries of people in and associated with the movie industry. But damn, check out the video below.

Anyway... the point of the story is that seeing the live action Half Life 2 video actually made me really want to play The Orange Box. After a couple sessions, I'm through one of the five games (Portal - very cool game... thanks for the tip Justin) and about a quarter of the way through the first installment of Half Life 2. I must say - the live version looks pretty impressive and comparable to the game's story. I'm looking forward to checking out the rest of the Purchase Brother series as they develop it.

Check out the Purchase Brothers website to see a couple other projects they've done... very impressive stuff.

Coming up... Health Kick: Part V - Progress Report #2 and more Seven Beards in Seven Days hype!

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Monday, February 23, 2009

It's Coming... In 6 Days

Quotes for the Week #11

"Dwight Howard has the word "dominate" on Post It notes around his house... Do you?" "I have Post It notes around my house, but they read... 'nachos'." - Tony Kornheiser and Dan LeBatard

"Don't worry, Mr. Halpern, a lot of people are afraid of needles. I was only surprised that you were the first one I've come across that doesn't have a vagina." - Denise "Jo"

"Shut up. Do you know what this means? That when I ask our nanny how she manages to raise her own kid without a nanny, I can hire a second nanny to listen to her boring answer." - Jordan Sullivan

"Carla, why won't you pick up? I need to talk. I cannot believe you leave the country the week I get back together with JD. I feel like that's not a coincidence. Wait, I didn't mean that. I know that your aunt didn't fall out of that balloon on purpose. Anyway, I promised JD this crazy sex night and now I'm totally losing it. I've been trying on lingerie, but nothing fits because I ate an entire batch of cookie dough last night with a spatula. Plus, at my last appointment, I got in a fight with my waxer and now there's a rash on my vagingo that looks like a thousand tiny spider bites. Dammit Carla, I need tonight to be special and you're not there for me. And I know what you're going to say. You're gonna say that you always come through and sometimes I'm selfish, but even if that's true, I don't need to hear your attitude right now because I am sick of it. Do you hear me? Sick of it. I love you. Call me." - Dr. Elliot Reed

"You know what Phyllis? I think you need to step it up. I think you need to get the lead out. Because, if I'm not mistaken, we gave you your wedding shower in here. We all came in here and gave you a golden shower. Well you know what? Where's my golden shower, Phyllis?" - Michael Scott

"You know what they say... keep your friends close, enemies closer. and if that doesn't work... kill 'em." - Det. Mac Taylor

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Milestone! - 10,000 Calls

Saturday night, my approximately six year old LG VX3200 Verizon phone completed its 10,000th call. That's right... 10,000 calls. Don't believe me? Here's some proof.

Here are some stats that are pretty ridiculous (and pathetic) assuming a six year time frame (which I think is pretty close to correct, but I'm not exactly sure):
  • The timer associated with the calls of 674 hours, 3 minutes and 28 seconds means that in the last six years I have spent a total of over 28 DAYS talking on the phone
  • Average call length 4 minutes
  • Per day that is 4.5 calls for about 18 minutes
  • The most shocking stat of all - the total number of times the battery had to be replaced - 0 times. Yup, it still has the original battery. A-freaking-mazing. The last phone I had needed two new batteries and I only had that for two years.
What kind of reward will my trusty phone receive for reaching such a prestigious feat of 10,000 calls? It will probably be replaced in two months when the contract expires. But there is a very good chance that the next phone will be an LG as well, especially as trusty this one has been.

Coming up... Quotes for the Week #11 and the continuation of the Seven Beards in Seven Days hype machine... now with a fancy schmancy logo! Boo yeah!

Friday, February 20, 2009

Fun With Facial Hair 2: A Follow-Up

NOTE: This was the followup to a post that appeared on Christmas Eve. I started writing this particular post before New Year's, but never finished it. For the hell of it, I decided to go back at finish it up because it will introduce a series that will appear a couple weeks from now. Make sure the check out the announcement below!

A Social Experiment

Concept:I have seen some unique facial hair in my day, the most interesting of which was this guy at Iowa State that had half of a goatee, and not like just the chin or just the moustache. Oh no... yeah, vertically... the left half of his face was clean-shaven and the other was hirsute. Man that guy was weird. I didn't want to aim for something that dramatic, but something unusual but still be able to feel comfortabe showing my face in a work setting. So, I cut the trademarked Skaff beard down to something... unique, then went about business as usual and gauge public opinion/response from known and unknown individuals.

Results: The first test was the family...who didn't even notice... somehow. But also (unexpectedly) claimed to like it. Most co-workers noticed, but had little reaction other than a smile or motion drawing attention to the new look. I had planned on removing the look before my boss actually saw it, but he returned from his vacation a day earlier than expected. He didn't even bat an eyelash. There were some comments from friends, like "is he going to leave his beard like that?" and one person called the beard "extreme mutton chops". In general most comments were neutral to positive and basically nothing remotely negative. The funniest reaction was some kid (maybe 12) at a gas station with his dad. He did a quick double take, then kind of couldn't quit looking at the beard. I had on sunglasses so he didn't know that I could tell he was staring, but I was just trying not to laugh. That kid was about the only person I really noticed openly staring during the course of the week I wore that beard - and I did spend quite a bit of time out in public (more than usual actually).

Conclusion: While the beard was totally badass, there wasn't much of any reaction. This leaves me with several possible reasons as to why it had little effect:

1) Appearances are of little consequence and people recognize me for who I am, not necessarily what I happen to look like at any given point in time.

2) Appearances do matter, however, it would have been inappropriate to make mention of someone's appearance to either protect themselves from a socially awkward conversation, or to protect me from being embarrassed (negative comment) or inflated (positive comment - might lead to more ridiculous facial hair in the future... which is completely inevitable).

Or the third choice which should be considered -
3) It is not the facial hair that is irrelevant, but actually it is myself that is irrelevant.

While all three are viable possibilities, but it's probably a combination of the three. Talk about a cop out conclusion, right? Anyway, I consider myself to be a pretty decent judge of what people are thinking (in most cases) versus what they are saying by physical reactions and gestures and I honestly think that the look was received positively. My current job is possibly the last one I may have that I can wear something like that, so it may, nay, WILL return in the future... and soon (at least briefly - see below for the announcement).

ANNOUNCEMENT: After doing this "social experiment", I mulled over a concept and let it fester which ultimately developed a BRILLIANT idea, one which will dwarf this experiment in sheer magnitude. Beginning March 1st check back for the first in an nine post arc for the absolute pinnacle in beard related series - Seven Beards in Seven Days. The epicness of this series can be seen by the countdown timer now placed on the right side of the blog. It must be epic if there is a countdown timer, right? Typical irregular blogging will occur before Seven Beards in Seven Days and then pause for regularity (with the exception of Quotes for the Week) for the duration of the nine part arc, then resume normal irregularity after the conclusion. This series has spent months in the creation stage and now the time is soon approaching for the plan to be set in motion. The date of March 1, 2009 will not soon be forgotten, permanently emblazoned into the minds of all who shall read this series. Do you have the fever?

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Milestone! - The Eight Minute Mile

I am going to officially call it - I am currently in the best shape of my life. After Saturday's 2.25 mile run, which was probably the longest run of my life, I hit another milestone. Last night I ran my first ever eight minute mile. The promising thing about those runs is the fact that I did them after completing thirty minute elliptical machine workouts. The even more promising thing is that, in both cases, I stopped because I wanted to stop, not because I had to stop. Now I just need to translate individual athletic success to wins in racquetball against my nemesis. I am becoming very tired of losing.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Valentine's Day 2009

Friday morning I made the realization that this Valentine's Day is the first since my junior year of HIGH SCHOOL that I wasn't in a relationship. Holy shit! That's been almost half of my life spent almost continuously in relationships. In reality, I have no idea how I'm supposed to spend this day as a single person. While this year's Valentine's Day ended up being very different from the previous twelve, I'm not really going to complain. I didn't have to come up with something special to do, no gifts to buy, no crowds to fight for a special night out. It was a completely pressure free day.

So, what did I do with this pressureless day? I cleared out my DVR by watching about 10 hours of TV, took a nap, cleaned the floors in the kitchen and bathroom, cleaned the tub and other fixtures (probably the least favorite task I can think of), vacuumed the rest of the apartment, advanced four different blog posts, watched the NBA skills competition (the only NBA related event, or game, worth watching during any given season) and hit the gym for one of the best workouts I have ever had.

I do have a sense of strangeness being alone, but it many ways, it's probably for the best right now. Six months from now I might be picking up and moving to another city. Right now I should be focusing on my work and getting into shape. There is some big news coming out of the lab in the near future though... things are working smoothly for a rare and exciting phase... but more on that later.

NOTE #1: The NBA dunk contest was pretty damned awesome this year. Watching 5'2" Nate Robinson wearing a green (Kryptonite) jersey dunk over a Superman cape-wearing 6'11" Dwight Howard was one of the coolest things I have ever seen. Check out the video below!

NOTE #2: By one of the best workouts I have ever had I mean that I did thirty minutes on the elliptical machine, then ran 2.25 miles (with no walking breaks) on the treadmill, which is amazing for two reasons - 1) the longest distance I have managed during this health kick was just over one mile (doubled that) and 2) I have apparently dropped enough weight that I can run on a treadmill without the track slipping... sweet! Then after a total of 50 minutes of cardio exercise, I got in a forty minute lift that totally kicked ass. Man that felt good.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Quotes for the Week #10

"Honey, how about I lock you up on charges of aggravated dumb slut with no future." - Det. Ray Carling

"Good morning, OK, I think we should just get this out in the open. I saw you pluck your... special hair the other day. I was there. I saw. The question is... what are we going to do about it? I have an idea. Let me speak first. May I? Good. I believe that you should give me the hair because I've been scrapbooking the most disgusting things that I can think of and I want to put it on the page in between my decayed molars and my snug, which is a snail slug hybrid that I was able to splice together in my garage... unsuccessfully." - Janitor

"I have faith... in things I can see, and buy and deregulate. Capitalism is my religion. If you want to have an intellectual argument... fine, but I must warn you I went to Princeton." - Jack Donaghey

"How dare you say something like that so close to the statue of Santa Lucia, the patron saint of judgmental statues." - Elisa

"That you are the sweetest, prettiest, blindest girl I have ever met, and when I'm with you my heart jumps like a frog on July asphalt right before it dies." - Kenneth Parcell

"Bonnie, I'm here to induce birth. Follow me. Now, I'm gonna put the TV remote down by your feet and I'm gonna turn on Two and a Half Men. If your baby isn't totally brain dead, it'll come rushin' out to change the channel and when he does, I'll grab his hand and yank him outta there." - Peter Griffin

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Quotes for the Week #9

"There's a reason armies wear uniforms, even though they make them easier to spot. Sometimes that's what you want. Uniforms suggest organization, power and numbers. These, in turn, inspire fear, and as any good operative knows, there's no more effective weapon than fear." - Michael Westin

"I see no large upcoming expenditures, unless they develop an affordable technology to fuse my skeleton with adamantium... like Wolverine." - Dr. Sheldon Cooper

"If you're looking for a good time in Iceland, get on the first plane to Norway." - Stephen Colbert

"In my vast an varied experience, all that men can ever know of women is what they want us to know." - Samuel Tuffley

"The only wrong thing is to do nothing." - Dana Miller

"Are you trying to hurt my feelings? Because, if so, you are succeeding. Fortunately, my feelings regenerate at twice the speed of a normal man's." - Dwight Schrute

Monday, February 9, 2009

Health Kick: Part IV - Progress Report #1

Today marks the closing of four weeks on the current health kick and merits the first progress report. I purposefully waited three weeks before starting to talk about this plan to make sure that I was going to stick to it. But with the results after the first couple weeks, it seemed pretty evident that things were working and I was going to continue with a high degree of seriousness.

I decided to take a few different measurements to monitor my progress during the attempt at getting into shape. The area that I carry almost all of my excess weight is in the dreaded "love-handle" region. So, I physically measured the area just below my ribcage (at the narrowest point), the "love-handle" section (at the widest point) and the waist line (at its narrowest point). I guessed that the waist-line and the just below the ribcage measurements would stay relatively static (it didn't feel like there was much, if any, room to give in those areas) during the process and figured that I'd need to lose about three inches in circumference from the love-handle area to give the appearance of being "fit" - i.e. it doesn't appear that I'm wearing an inner tube just above my waist at all times.

It is possible that the weightlifting will cause me to gain some weight (if I somehow manage to put muscle on faster than the fat comes off), so I wanted to make the goal of size loss as the truest determinant of fitness. In case my weight loss stalls, I would at least be able to quantify some kind of change - if anything is happening.

So, here we are - the end of four weeks and progress can be on the scale and by the measuring tape! The official tally - down 11 pounds and over one inch in the love-handle region. Boo yeah! So, through less than one of the six month duration I expected to take, I have already reached one third of the goal! However, there was one unexpected result - I ended up losing almost an inch in the other two measurements as well - so I may have more size to lose than I originally expected. I may have to amend my goals as I get closer to them.

Even more important than weight loss, though, is that I feel better. I feel stronger, faster and more energetic. I'm moving better in racquetball, getting to shots I wouldn't normally have a month ago and I am (generally) not winded after a long rally. Furthermore, I am not hungry all the time and I haven't been tempted to completely toss the lifestyle change to go back to doing whatever I want. Things are going well. More updates to follow.

Initial weight - 232 pounds
Current weight - 221 pounds

Coming up... A house cleaning of old posts that never got completed. Expect a random combination of outdated material to appear throughout the week.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Health Kick: Part III - Fitness

Before the the start of 2009, I had started some kind of irregular workout routine... It consisted of playing racquetball with my nemesis once a week and I would occasionally work up the nerve to hit the gym (which is all the way downstairs of the building I live in) maybe once every other week. Now that the health bug has taken over, the time came for me to up the ante. Additionally it seems like everyone I know, including my nemesis, is training for a half-marathon (a concept that still seems completely ludicrous to me - why would anyone want to run 13 miles in a week, let alone in one session?).

I should start by saying that I absolutely love playing sports - baseball, basketball, racquetball, whatever. It's exercise, but more importantly it is enjoyable. I can run all day long playing sports... but just going to run is possibly my least favorite thing in the world. I take no enjoyment from running for distance. It doesn't make it any more helpful that treadmills are designed for people considerable lighter than I am - so when I run on a treadmill, the tread slips for a split second with every step down, which is... not helpful. Since everyone I know is running, I eventually caved in (somewhat) and have tried to mix in a little running as well.

The old routine of racquetball once a week (1 1/2 hour session) and cardio in the gym for 20 minutes every other week was pretty light on exercise. The new routine now is two racquetball sessions a week (1 1/2 - 2 hours per session) and two 30 minute cardio sessions followed by another 30 minutes in the weight room every week. That's right, workouts four days a week.

On racquetball days, I have done some running and I can now run a little over a mile without stopping. I am pretty sure that the last time I tried to run for distance was in high school, so distance running is slow coming for the time being. For some reason, at my heavier weight, I have always been afraid to just start a running routine. I am completely paranoid about blowing out my knees. So for now, the plan is to run only occasionally (about once a week at most), and do the elipical routine in the gym until I have pared down my weight. As the weight goes down, I'll try to mix in more running... and maybe, just maybe I'll be in half-marathon shape by the end of eternity... or maybe more like by the end of the summer.

For now the weight room routine consists of mostly toning type exercises - more repetitions, lighter weights - again until I pare down the weight. The areas I am trying to focus on are shoulders, arms, pecs and the all important core muscle groups. Like I said in an earlier post, this is basically my last chance to get into shape, so I am going to make this work. So far, so good.

SIDE NOTE: I realize that a mile is basically only nine to ten minutes of running at a slow pace and, yeah, I can do a thirty minute routine on an eliptical machine without ANY difficulty at a relatively quick pace. So, why on earth is it so freaking difficult to run? Why? It has to be at least somewhat psycological because listening to music definitely helps plug out an extra couple minutes... but damn do I hate running. Maybe it'll get better... I'll let you know.

Coming up (Monday - the end of Week 4!)... Health Kick: Part IV - Progress Report #1

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Health Kick: Part II - Healthy Eating

For me, healthy eating is all about discipline. If I get bored... I eat. Why not? Right? The problem is that having lots of free time leads to being bored more often, which in turn leads to more eating and more mass - which leads to less activity and... more eating. I don't know if everyone works this way, but this is how it is for me. During my previous health kicks the method I tried to incorporate has been the same and worked quite well: discipline leads to positive results. So, I'm tackling the eating problem in stages. I try to start Stage 1 before I "officially" start the program. So my clock started counting from the beginning of Stage 2 (that would have been January 13th).

Stage 1 - Pare down the crappy food in the cupboard - i.e. candy and desserts. I don't throw the stuff away, but I try to eat it more slowly and savor it, because I'm not replacing it when it's empty. Along with this rule - no bags of chips or even healthy snacks allowed outside the kitchen. This guarantees that I don't over-do the portion size while sitting on the couch watching TV (which I do A LOT).
Stage 2 - No soda. This one usually kills me because I don't like drinking diet sodas, so I have to kick soda entirely. It's empty sugar and increased water retention for the only benefit of being more tasty than water. The biggest problem for me is that I don't just have one soda. At a restaurant I'll usually end up drinking 3-5 in the course of one meal. Almost all places have free refills and it just tastes so damned good... Getting off of soda entirely has always been the key event for my previous attempts at weight loss - and it's just as much the psychology of discipline than anything else. If I can get rid of soda from my diet, than the rest of the changes seem less painful.
Stage 3 - more activity = less time to be bored. So, following the logic around the cycle - less time to be bored means less snacking.
Stage 4 - Eat less. One of my main staples when I'm cooking for myself is pasta. A one pound container of pasta typically was three meals... now it's five. The added benefits - I actually end up saving time by cooking less often and a pretty significant amount of money on food. Plus, If I have leftovers at home, I'm much less likely to go out for meals as well.
Stage 5 - Start mixing in healthier foods (this is where I am now). In effect, I move from eating my pre-health fad diet (only smaller quantities) into eating more fresh vegetables and fruits and leaner meats, while making sure to eat three actual meals in a day... no skipping breakfast because I'm too lazy to get moving in the morning.

Instead of just doing all of this at once, building in to it seems to help maintain the healthy eating style. I had, more or less, started Stage 1 at the beginning of the year. Stage 2 began about a little over three weeks ago and I started in to Stage 5 yesterday. Check out the scene in my kitchen last night - after prepping the veggies for the week. I was doing that while starting to cook my chicken fajitas... Looks pretty damned healthy doesn't it? The nice thing is that the positive results from the first three weeks are making this almost enjoyable. Weird.

Coming up... Health Kick: Part III - Fitness

Health Kick: Part I - The Plan

I didn't make any official New Year's resolutions, but I have decided to finally get in shape and lose the extra weight I've been carrying around since... FOREVER. Grad school took a particularly harsh toll on my general size and health. At one point I had ballooned up to 280 from my already overweight time in high school around 225. Towards the end of grad school, I went through a health kick and dropped my weight down to about 240 and maintained that for about a year. After I secured my post doc job, I went through another phase and dropped that down to about 225. I have managed to maintain (within 6-7 pounds to either side) that weight for the last year.

According to the (bullshit) BMI, my weight, as of three weeks ago (232), was considered "overweight" - and nearly" obese". I know that I am overweight, but the BMI only takes in to account height, but not a general build (for example - this guy, pro-wrestler Dave Batista. is considered to be obese by the BMI - and not just a little obese, but more like massively obese. I don't have Batista's muscle mass, but I do have a frame that is capable of holding that kind of mass). I'm 6'3" and have a broad build. Most people that have bumped in to me on the basketball court or in other sports... don't let it happen again. Anyway, the point is that my build will make it nearly impossible to get my BMI to a value less than 25 ("normal")... without looking sickly. So... I'm aiming for 25, which just happens to be the nice round number of 200 pounds.

My logic is this - I'm thirty and I'm running out of time to get in shape. My peak athletic days are here, so this is it. At this point in time, my project at work is running smoothly (so I'm not having to work ridiculous hours to make up for lack of results) and my social calendar is pretty open... So, I happen to have a multitude of free time on my hands. Honestly, I have absolutely no excuses.

The plan is to get down to 200 in six months. As with any healthy method of weight loss, I am coupling a healthier diet with increased activity. I had been getting semi-regular exercise (starting in late November), but my eating habits were still pretty poor, but better than in the past. So, the current health kick is just a scaling up of what I had already started, hopefully making the full transition to getting into peak physical shape much smoother.

As of right now, I'm three weeks in to my "program" and I can already report significant progress... but more on that later.

Coming up... Health Kick: Part II - Healthy Eating

Monday, February 2, 2009

Quotes for the Week #8

"There's been a change of plans. Geiss is staying on as CEO. A beam of energy told him to. That's fun, right? And instead of running everything, I'm going back to my old job, so the standards department is telling me that you can only say cat anus twice during the show, but I'm going to fight for you. You can say it three times. Cat anus, cat anus, cat anus." - Jack Donaghy

"Why does anybody go to Miami... ass." - Jack Donaghy

"Nearly getting killed shakes you up... no matter how much experience you have. Brushes with death are like snowflakes, each one is unique and icy cold." - Michael Westin

"So she was a prostitute, posing as an FBI agent, posing as a prostitute." "... to bust a prostitution ring." - Dr. Raymond Langston and Catherine Willows

"Nobody should have to go to work thinking 'this is the place I might die today'. That's what a hospital is for. An office is for not dying. An office is a place to live life to the fullest, to the max, to... An office is a place where dreams come true." - Michael Scott

Schrute-ism #5

Nothing stresses me out... except having to seek the approval of my inferiors.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Super Bowl XLIII: Live

5:17 pm: What the hell is this? Isn't this a football game? Faith Hill and some *expletive* choir is on the field. FOOTBALL GAME. Now they're parading the crew of the plane crash around, for what? FOOTBALL GAME. This isn't some variety show... it's a FOOTBALL GAME.

5:22 pm: The GI Joe commercial has been better than anything shown during the so called pre-game show... for a FOOTBALL GAME.

5:26 pm: Why is General Patreaus on the field... doesn't he have more important things to do? The all important coin toss goes to... Arizona. For the most ridiculous stat I have ever heard - the NFC has won the coin toss for 12 straight Super Bowls.

5:29 pm: I never expected to hear an F. Scott Fitzgerald quote from anyone during this broadcast. I would have been even more surprised if it came from John Madden.

5:38 pm: The Steelers' offense looks explosive on their first drive. How did Arizona's defense let Ward get THAT open? Pittsburgh's head coach, Mike Tomlin, looks like a genius... so far. Pittsburgh 7, Arizona 0.

5:42 pm: Perhaps I was a tad hasty with my previous post... The TD was challenged and overturned resulting in Pittsburgh settling for a field goal. Tomlin is possibly only of above average intelligence. Pittsburgh 3, Arizona 0.

5:51 pm: Arizona's first offensive possession is unimpressive. Steelers' defense looks formidable.

5:57 pm: Roethlisberger has single-handedly made this game interesting.

6:01 pm: Even though it's only 3-0 at the end of the first quarter, Pittsburgh looks dominant.

6:09 pm: Good old-fashioned Pittsburgh offense secures the game's first TD. Steelers 10, Cardinals 0.

6:13 pm: The Star Trek trailer was SWEET!

6:21 pm: Arizona is back in it. Anquan Boldin, broken face and all, made a key reception, and old man Kurt Warner puts his team on the board with a two yard TD pass. This is shaping up to be quite a game. Wow! Steelers 10, Cardinals 7.

6:55 pm: What a finish to the half! Arizona is two yards from taking the lead and James Harrison picks off Warner at the goal line and runs it 100 yards to the opposite endzone. Arizona had good field position on their last two drives but has come up completely empty. Halftime score - Steelers 17, Cardinals 7.

7:02 pm: NBC needs about seventeen more analysts behind the desk for the halftime show... five just isn't enough.

7:17 pm: The half time show doesn't suck as much as I thought it would - it's actually not that bad. By the way, so far every one of my predictions from earlier tonight... look completely wrong. Figures.

8:15 pm: The game has become a defensive battle with only a field goal in the second half to this point. Arizona has finally gotten to Roethlisberger for a sack after letting him escape on numerous occasions. Pittsburgh 20, Arizona 7.

8:26 pm: A quick TD drive for Arizona brings the game within one score. Now it's up to the Cardinals' defense to give Warner/Fitzgerald a chance. It should be a good finish. Pittsburgh 20, Arizona 14.

8:31 pm: Arizona got the defensive stand they absolutely needed. The offense has 5:28 to go 75 yards. It's definitely do-able... They just have to avoid the turnover.

8:39 pm: Huge third down play for Arizona, but Pittsbugh's defense comes up with the stop.

8:44 pm: Woah... a third and 10 from their own one yard line play that turns from a 20-yard pass to Holmes into a safety because of holding in the end zone. Wow! That's a game changer. Arizona gets another shot at the lead with 2:53 to go and 64 yards from victory.

8:48 pm: Holy shit! I guess Arizona only needed two plays to get the job done. Larry Fitzgerald gets open and races into the end zone with only 16 seconds coming off the clock. What a game! Arizona 23, Pittsburgh 20.

9:01 pm: Holy shit again! Holmes makes a ridiculous catch in the back corner of the end zone in TRIPLE COVERAGE!!! Assuming the review stands... Pittsburgh 27, Arizona 23.

9:07 pm: 15 seconds, 45 yards, two shots at the end zone for Arizona...

9:10 pm: What no review on that fumble? That's it. Pittsburgh holds on in one of the most impressive Super Bowl games I've seen in a long, long time. Final score - Pittsburgh 27, Arizona 23.

Super Bowl 43 Predictions

Just for the hell of it - here's my Super Bowl prediction before the game starts...

Final Score: Cardinals 24 Steelers 21

MVP: Kurt Warner.

Other predictions:
Larry Fitzgerald will go over 100 yards receiving.
The half time show will SUCK.
Even though I am a football fan... the commercials will be better than the action on the field.

In other news... Coming up this week - more posting (and not just Quotes for the Week)!