Sunday, March 31, 2013

Third Time's a Charm

The Syracuse Orange made it to the Final Four again (YAY!). That means two Big East teams are half of the best college basketball teams in the country. Boy, do I hate that football is destroying the best basketball league in the country (even with imposter teams such as Louisville and Notre Dame).

And this isn't the first time Jim Boheim and Rick Pitino have been in the Final Four together. It is actually the third. In 1987, Pitino coached Providence College to the Final Four (where Syracuse took them out). In 1996, Syracuse and a Pitino-led Kentucky team met in the Championship game. (Kentucky won).

I predict a Syracuse-Louisville Championship game: the perfect ending for the Big East conference.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Madness in March -- and Man am I Mad

I was not happy to learn that my college basketball team was being sent to the west coast to play in an East Regional game. No wonder students don't do well in school: the NCAA (a college group) doesn't know east from west. For anyone who might be confused, they are opposites. Antonyms, not synonyms.

Then I learned the game wouldn't start until nearly 10PM  (it was actually later than that). How is that "area of natural interest" friendly? Or does the NCAA no longer take that under consideration?

Then I learned the game would be on Tru TV. Which used to be part of our cable package, but when my "TV provider" last raised the rates, they turned Tru TV into something for which one needs an adapter. Which we do not have. TV Stevie tells me the adapter would be free for the time being, but next year, we would be charged a monthly fee for it.

Then I remembered all the ads about watching the games on the NCAA website. So on Thursday night, I logged on and lo and behold, there was basketball! I started watching the Louisville game.

At no point was I informed (and no where on the website where one watches is is stated) that streaming live games from the NCAA website is good for only 4 hours. For the entire tournament.

After about 3 hours, I started seeing something on my screen stating that my pass was going to expire in an hour, and I would need to connect to my "TV provider." I had no clue what this meant. Because no where on the website where one goes to view the games does it state one receives only a 4-hour pass. No where.

About 10 minutes into the Syracuse - Montana game, I was booted. I was directed to a FAQ's page, where I was then informed (after the fact) that I was able to stream only 4 hours before needing to log in through my "TV provider." And, if I didn't receive the service through my TV provider (such as Tru TV), then I would not be able to watch the game on-line, either.

So the NCAA is not only guilty of not understanding geography and area of natural interest, but also the concept of  truth in advertising. One doesn't watch the games through the NCAA website. One links to one's cable system's website from the NCAA website to stream the games.

Makes one wonder what else the NCAA is hiding.

Sunday, March 17, 2013


This week has been . . . difficult.

On Wednesday, a shooting spree in the nearby Mohawk Valley locked down schools and terrorized residents. I have friends whose children were in those schools, who teach in those schools. Another friend had planned to have her car washed at one of the locations where people were murdered, but a troublesome scene kept her writing at her desk instead driving to the car wash.

The shooter's final victim was an FBI dog.

Then on Thursday night, there was a carjacking/abduction at a local mall, during which a mom was stabbed to death and a 10-year-old girl was raped. Many of my friends knew and/or worked with the deceased woman and her daughter. Their children are students in the school where the woman worked.

Me, I know who the alleged perpetrator is. He worked at my local supermarket. When I think of the weekly shopping trips with my daughter in tow . . ..

You see, the alleged murderer/rapist was already charged with having child porn -- a lot of child porn -- on his computer, and was out of jail until his federal trial and wearing an electronic monitoring bracelet. Which he disabled and removed.

My former colleagues in the TV new business were busy. Upstate New York police/sheriff/troopers were busy. And the rest of us are raw.

Lots of primal reaction on social media.

  • The shooter was himself shot and killed. "Saves the taxpayers the cost of a trial."
  • The alleged murderer/rapist was beaten up in jail. "I hope he gets worse," and "Attica is stocking up on KY." 

Someone suggested implanting a chip in the private parts of sex offenders, like the chip implanted in a pet's ear. That would be a little more difficult to remove than a bracelet. I rather like that idea. Recidivism rates for sex offenders is supposed to be pretty high -- but even those numbers are hotly contested.

I buried myself in basketball. The final Big East Tournament. My team made it to the final game, beating our "arch rival" to get there. We lost the final game to a team that really doesn't even belong, and there's a lot of woo-ha about bad refs (consistent part of the Big East conference), bad guards, and the team falling apart in the second half. The tournament was a much needed distraction this week.

Now, I'm not comparing losing the Big East Tournament final game to the Herkimer shooting or the Great Northern murder/rape. Basketball merely offered a brief escape from a hideous week in Central New York.

I ache for the victims, pray for the survivors, and hope that the justice system has the wisdom and strength to do the right thing with the alleged murderer/rapist. The federal judge thought he'd done the right thing before; turns out he was wrong. I hope the system isn't wrong again.

The coming week can only get better.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Not That I'm Bitter

The final Big East Tournament (as we know it, so the claims go) starts tonight. Except I have never been able to figure out the current Big East. I'm just a cranky old fuddy-duddy. Who are these teams that helped kill my beloved basketball conference?

Here's what the real (classic?) Big East Conference looks like -- in no particular order:

  • Syracuse
  • St. John's
  • Georgetown
  • Seton Hall 
  • Pitt
  • UConn
  • Providence
  • Boston College
  • Villanova
The conference was started as a basketball conference. All the teams were in states along the East Coast. But then football had to rear its ugly head and the conference expanded, inviting teams that had no business calling themselves "East". Once the focus switched from basketball to football, the league was doomed. 

The worst, though, was the inclusion of Notre Dame basketball . . .  without Notre Dame football. Somebody explain that to me, please. "We're expanding the league to include football, except Notre Dame football remains independent."

Football destroyed a beautiful thing. 


Sunday, March 10, 2013

The Back-to-Daylight-Savings-Time Blues

My body has barely--almost--adjusted from Eastern Daylight Time to Eastern Standard Time. How else do I  explain the almost daily 4:00 AM awakenings? Now the government is asking me to revert.

I'm getting too old for this stuff. Seriously.

Okay, the theoretical "extra" hour of daylight at the end of the work day is nice, but I lose an hour of daylight at the start of my work day. And it's tough to enjoy that "extra" hour at night when the old eyelids won't stay open.

We could just leave time alone and use light bulbs at night. Noon would then be noon, when the sun is directly overhead, not at 11:00 AM.

Did you know Daylight Savings Times may increase the risks of a heart attack, a car accident, and suicide?

Springing ahead would work better if nap time was allotted during the work day the first week or so.

To think I used to resend forced naps in kindergarten. What a silly girl I was.

Sunday, March 03, 2013

Movie Talk: The Master

TV Stevie and I watched The Master last night. He tries to see all the major nominees before the Academy Awards ceremony, but something happened so he couldn't get his hands on this particular motion picture before the awards. Joaquin Phoenix, Amy Adams, and Philip Seymour Hoffman were all nominated. And Joaquin Phoenix was pretty awesome. He reminded me of a younger Sean Penn, while TV Stevie claimed to catch glimpses of Montgomery Clift. And maybe Joaquin should have won.

Now, I haven't seen most of the Best Picture nominees. I think Argo and Lincoln were about it. I saw Flight. I wish I'd seen Silver Linings Playbook. I have absolutely no desire to see most of the others. I'm not a fan of special effects for the sake of special effects, nor am I a fan of unremitting human misery. TV Stevie thought Life of Pi was very spiritual, but mostly I remember the book as being annoying.

But I digress. We watched The Master last night. And Joaquin was believable in his role. But I hate movies about unremitting human misery, and I really loathe movies I don't understand. Movies that make no sense. TV asked me if I needed a playbook to watch a movie. My response was that if I'm going to invest two and a half hours of my life in something, I want to know what the heck it is. He admitted he didn't get most of it, either. The story seemed full of contradictions to me.

At five this morning, I decided the movie was about seduction. Which still didn't make it a good movie, as far as I am concerned.

Maybe TV Stevie and all of his cinema-major friends can justify this sort of production, but I wish they'd keep it among themselves.