Monday, April 28, 2008

The NFL Draft

The NFL Draft was held over the weekend. Which ment I ended up being pretty busy last night writing draft analysis and recaps for associated content.

I ended up getting four done last night. The first one I completed was one on the Jacksonville Jaguars who traded up to get the number 8 pick in the draft. Read about it here.

Next I wrote about the Pittsburgh Steelers who added an excellent running back and a solid wide receiver. Read about it here.

Then I covered the local Washington Redskins. The Redskins added two of the best wide receivers in the draft and the best tight end. Later in the draft they also picked up a good quaterback in Colt Brennan. Read all about it here!

Then I covered the Miami Dolphins who had the first pick in the draft. Find out who else they picked up besides Jake Long. Read about it here!

Well that's how I spent my Sunday evening.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

The Cycle of A Good Deed

A while back I signed up for Kiva. It's a neat idea of micro financing. You loan $25 to a entrepreneur in a third world country. Your money is pooled with others, and the entrepreneur gets their loans. The loans are to help the entrepreneur's business, they can be for supplies, repairs, to pay wages, improvements, and the like.

Your paid back as the entrepreneur pays their loan back. Once it is paid back you are credited back the $25 you loaned. There is risk, as a few, a very few loans aren't repaid. However, my loan was paid back. She actually paid her loan off early. I had the option to cash out my $25, but I chose to keep the circle going and I loaned the money to another entrepreneur. I'm just happy to see it work.

For more on Kiva check out the article I wrote about them:

There are lots of things you could do with $25. You could easily spend it on diner, a movie, a concert, and you could donate it a charity. Did you know you could loan it to an organization to make philanthropic micro financing loans to help fight world poverty? (Link)

Friday, April 18, 2008

RE: The Gas Stations Prices Keep Going Up

How high will the price of gas go? Diesel in many areas is well over $4 a gallon, which is not helping the trucking industry. I'm sure shipping prices are bound to go up.

On Monday the price of a gallon of regular unleaded at a local gas station was $3.439. Today, Friday when I passed the gas station the price of gas was $3.599. The gas at this station is overpriced. More than likely they are trying to catch the tourists who are heading to historic Harpers Ferry, or on their way to the slots or the races in Charles Town.

My issue isn't with them being overpriced. My issue is the price has rose 16 cents in a work week. I'm sure this is a trend that other gas stations have also experienced this week, regardless if they are priced lower or higher.

How high are gas prices going to go? We still have roughly 6 months to go until Memorial Day and the summer demand for gas. Will the price of gas go over $4 a gallon, $4.50, $5? The rate it is increasing is quite alarming.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Recession My Depression

It isn't the greatest feeling in the world when you've cut spending and you still come out just as broke! Solution: Get a higher paying job. Well, that's easier said then done. Yes, I know I'm under employed. One good thing, is I do have a job. There is a growing list of people who don't. Unfortunately that list keeps growing.

I'm sure the price of gas isn't helping my financial situation. $50 a fill up is pretty expensive. This year I have scaled back on my travelling. Don't worry sooner or later we all will be paying more for everyday items. You think the prices for unleaded are high, Diesel is over 44.25 a gallon.

I'm glad the mortgage business is booming! (Sarcasm) My wife had a good job in that field. Okay, maybe not good, but better than mine. Unfortunately, her company is no more. Luckily we have a little time on the severance. Then if she finds a job, we'll be back to paying half a paycheck for child care. People can't win.

Times are tough. They can call it a recession but I'll call it a reason for depression! And it's not just me. There are people a lot worse off then us. The high gas prices aren't helping the state I live in West Virginia. Tourism is one of the biggest industries in the state. If people can't afford the gas, they aren't going to be tourists. Fewer tourists means the tourism industry has a tough time.

I could go on and on. But what I'd really like to know is when it's gonna get better?

Friday, April 11, 2008

Evelyn's First Birthday

Lately I've blogged about baseball players I know, hockey playoffs, the NCAA Tournament, Spring, St. Patty's Day, a band a friend wrote about, and some shameless self promotion of some articles I've written. However, what I write about today is more important..well at least to me.

Today is my daughters first birthday! Evelyn, my cute little girl turns one. One is a great age. She doesn't know how mean this world can be. She greets everyday with a smile showing off her six teeth and counting. To her the world is great if Mama or Dada pick her up. Of course she has her whole life in front of her. I know its not important to a lot of you(O.K. the few of you who stumble across this blog). But it could be one day. After all she could become anything, her future is wide open!

She's been to baseball games in Pittsburgh, Washington and Orlando. She has been in the arms of models and baseball players. She has travelled to Florida and California. She was born in Maryland and so far has been raised in West Virginia. She has a big brother to help watch over her. She has two parents who love her. She has several grandparents who all adore her. She has great Godparents who love her. She is definitely blessed!

Not only is she blessed but she is also a blessing. Her mother wasn't supposed to be able to have another child. A C-section a year ago and here she is! When your having a bad day or feeling down all you have to do is hold her, and see her smile and your whole attitude will change. She is a lucky child and I am a lucky Dad. Happy Birthday to Daddy's little girl.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Beau playing ball again!

This is a follow up on a blog I wrote a few days ago about one of my favorite minor league baseball players Beau Torbert. Beau was an All-Star in 2006 at Salem in the Carolina League and in 2007 in the Texas League at Corpus Christi. Torbert also played last year in AAA Round Rock. My earlier blog stated Beau had been released by the Astros organization.

Beau will continue to play ball, signing April 1st with Sioux Falls Canaries of the independent American Association league. Here is a link to the news from the Canaries website. No, it is not the major leagues which Beau inched closer too last year moving thru AA and into AAA. AAA being the last stop before the Majors. The move is not into organizational ball and is probably a step or two down from where he was playing last year. However, it is a job playing the game he loves to play. The chance still exist someone in organized ball will pick him up. His dream is still alive. He gets to play and stay in baseball shape. Beau also gets a chance to prove to people he can play!

The issue isn't Beau can't play the Astros admitted he can. They just didn't have a place for him. The signing of Reggie Abercrombie, who has some major league experience I believe and Yordany Ramirez who is on the 40 man roster didn't leave much room in Round Rock. Victor Diaz and Nick Gorneault filling in as the other two outfielders in Round Rock. In AA Corpus Christi the Astros needed to move up prospects Mitch Einertson, last years Carolina League MVP and highly regard Eli Iorg. Hopefully, a spot will open up for Beau with an organization which gives Beau a chance to play.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

RE: Jayhawks Champions, Hockey Playoffs

Congrats to the Kansas Jayhawks for winning the Men's NCAA Basketball Championship game in Overtime against the Memphis Tigers. A great game between two great teams.

So what's up next in sports? Well there is the Woman's NCAA Basketball Championship game tonight featuring the powerful Tennessee Volunteers against the Stanford Cardinal.

The NHL Playoff seeding is set! The Montreal Canadians are the top seed in the East and they will face the Boston Bruins in the first round. The Pittsburgh Penguins are the second seed and they will face the Ottawa Senators in the first round. The Washington Capitals are back in the playoffs, as the Southeastern Division Champs they will face the Philadelphia Flyers. The New Jersey Devils and New York Rangers will face off as well. A lot of great rivals meeting in the East in the playoffs. Only 10 points separate the 8 teams in the East so the playoffs should be wide open.

In the west, the Detroit Red Wings will face the Nashville Predators, the San Jose Sharks will meet the Calgary Flames, the Minnesota Wild will meet the Colorado Avalanche, Anaheim Ducks will face the Dallas Stars.

The NBA will soon conclude it's season. 12 of the 16 playoff spots are taken and four remain open as the NBA season goes down the stretch.

Monday, April 7, 2008

RE: The Dance Ends Tonight

The "Big Dance" Ends tonight, with the 2008 NCAA Men's Championship game between the Memphis Tigers and the Kansas Jayhawks. This should be a great match up and a game I hope to get to watch. The tip off is a little late starting at 9:21PM.

You can read my preview and prediction here.

Hopefully my prediction is better than the predictions I had for the Final Four. Needless to say my brackets were finally busted. However, at least I predicted the Final Four correctly. This year's Dance was pretty exciting with Davidson reaching the Final Four and knocking off Gonzaga, Georgetown, Michigan State and Wisconsin along the way. That is what makes March Madness the best, when little teams no one expects pulls off the big upsets. Who would think Memphis would go 38-1 and the Conference USA Champions would be playing for the National Title? I'm sure the Memphis Tigers fans did. You can't argue the Tigers belong, they had a lot of quality wins and they backed it up in the tourney.

Tonight is college basketball's big night, if your a fan enjoy it.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

RE:Favorite Minor Leaguer Released

The Houston Astros released Beau Torbert(Wallace Torbert). Beau was an outfielder who saw action at Corpus Christi (AA) and Round Rock (AAA) last year. I met Beau when he was playing for the Lexington Legends. I was having breakfast with my family and Hunter Pence. Hunter asked if Beau could come with us and we said yes. The rest was history, we would have a meal with Hunter and Beau anytime Lexington was in town. Of course Beau and Hunter made me feel real short, Hunter is 6'5 and Beau is is tall too. My stepson would always give Beau a hug after the games. Beau was a great guy( still is we just haven't seen him for around since he was playing in Texas).

I'm sure it was bad news to his ears when he was cut. We saw Hunter at Spring training and he said Beau had added a lot of muscle. I'm sure he had put in a lot of work getting ready for the season. Hopefully someone will pick Beau up. Hopefully a team which will let him play everyday. He is so much better when he plays regularly, there is a huge difference.

I know baseball is business and they had no room for him. Someone else is getting a shot. It is just a bad break for a friend. Adding a little John Fogerty to the youtube section in honor of baseball season starting, put me in coach I'm ready to play.