Thanks for Visiting my Blog!

I am curious to learn where the people who are reading my blog are from in the World. I don't know any way to find out except to ask, so I am. I have a Visitor's Poll on the right side. Please take a second to select the best answer. If I don't have your Country listed it is not intended as a Slight (China was suppose to be there; I can't add it now). I quickly realized I could not list every country, so I have continents listed. Feel free to drop me a comment or email as to which Country you reside in if it isn't in the list IN ADDITION to selecting the best answer in the poll. Thanks

Friday, August 24, 2007

Fantasy Football! My team

This is my first experience with any Fantasy team. and considering that I have not really watched Professional football in the past few years, it has been a challenge already!

Our Team draft has happened. The team is hosted on ESPN and is under standard ESPN rules. You have a 16 player team and start 9 - 1 QB, 2 RB, 2WR, 1RB/WR, 1 TE, 1 K and 1 Defense/Special Team. We have a 10 team league and use Head to Head matchups each week. I drafted 4th. My 16 picks were (not in order drafted but by position):

My Draft Roster:

QB Kitna - Det - Plays @ Oakland week 1
QB Losman - Buf - Plays Denver week 1

RB Stephen Jackson (Stl) - Plays Carolina week 1
RB Willie Parker (Pit) - Plays @ Cleveland week 1
RB Rudi Johnson (Cin) - Plays Baltimore week 1
RB Brandon Jacobs (NYG) - Plays @ Dallas week 1

WR Terrell Owens (Dal) - Plays NYG week 1
WR Donald Driver (GB) - Plays Philedelphia week 1 (assuming he plays)
WR Deion Branch (Sea) - Plays Tampa Bay week 1
WR Calvin Johnson (Det) - Plays @ Oakland week 1
WR Dante Stallworth (NE) - Plays @ NYJ week 1

TE Ben Watson (NE) - Plays @ NYJ week 1
TE Owen Daniel (Hou) - Plays @Kansas City week 1

K J. Wilkins (Stl) - Plays Carolina Week 1

D/ST Chicago Bears - Plays @ San Diego week 1
D/ST Denver - Plays @ Buffalo week 1

Since the draft I waived Hou TE Owen Daniel since both he and Watson had the exact same Bye Week (I had written down Daniel's Bye Week wrong on my draft sheet). I can add a player Sunday to fill that vacant position.

So what do you think? On paper it looked good, and then I started looking at the first week games. Ouch. Rudi Johnson at home but against Baltimore! I have a great #1 Defense in Chicago but week 1 they play at San Diego!

and my first week opponent has players who look good in their first round match-ups

Opposing Team Roster and week 1 opponent:

StL QB Marc Bulger car
SF QB Alex Smith ari

SF RB Frank Gore ari
NE RB Laurence Maroney @NYJ
Phi RB Brian Westbrook @gb
ATL RB Jerious Norwood @min
CAR RB DeShaun Foster stl

Was WR Santana Moss mia
Ari WR Anquan Boldin @sf
NO WR Devery Henderson @ind
NYG WR Plaxico Burress @Dal

Pit TE Heath Miller @cle'
SF TE Vernon Davis ari

Dal D/ST Cowboys D/ST nyg
Jac D/ST Jaguars D/ST ten

any suggestions? Who should I sit? Start?

Leave your comments or email me

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

"Words in Color" Puzzle challenge

This is not original from me. My first disclaimer.

The Rules are simple. Look at the image below and say the color of the word - not the word. Understand? For example, when you see red you would say Blue since the color is blue even though the letters spell the word RED.

See how many colors you can say correctly before making a mistake. See how fast you can sat all the colors in sequence without saying the word written. Let the fun begin.

So how did you do?

And by the way, did you vote in the visitor poll? Please do.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Coffee! Benefits and risks

I love coffee! The image above says it all.

These are just a few of the news articles on coffeee - 2 of the 3 in just the last couple of days.

Girl overdoes on espresso coffee

Is Coffee bad for you?

Coffee 'protects female memory'

It seems like I have been drinking coffee all of my life. My mother claims I started drinking it when I was just a few months old when she gave it to me mixed with milk in my bottle because I wanted what she was drinking. Today I prefer it strong and pure or black as some say. No sugar, no cream or milk or substitutes. While in Brasil, I shocked some people by preferring their strong rich brew without the traditional sugar and cream added. "puro, por favor!" Obrigado! I love it espresso strength. Now that doesn't mean I don't drink it otherways. I drink lattes, mochas, fraps, cafe au lait, etc. What I do not particularly like is "american coffee". Folgers or Maxwell House or some similar brand brewed so that one can see partially through the liquid. That is just colored warm water. I prefer it dark and rich. When I brew coffee, one can not see through it even a little. And one doesn't need an espresso machine to brew dark, rich, strong coffee. I start with high quality coffee (it doesn't have to be expensive - I found one at Wal-Mart at about $3 a lb that is excellent), I fill my filter full and then add 12 cups of cold water and let it brew. That is using a Krups drip coffee machine. As long as you have good coffee, it is great! Try that with folgers or maxwell house and you will have 1 bitter brew!

The first article linked above however highlights one of the risks of coffee. Maybe the only risk. Some people can not handle the caffeine. If 7 double espressos were too much for her system, she doesn't want to have mine. I drink my coffee by the "mug", at least 12 oz at a time and I can drink coffee anytime, 24/7. Caffeine has never adversely affected me. In fact I tried to use coffee from Puerto Rico (excellent coffee!) while in college to stay awake and study. It never worked. I could fall right to sleep studying Organic Chemistry with or without the coffee.

The other 2 articles highlights some of the benefits of coffee. I actually use to have a collection of articles similar to these (and probably still have the bookmarks) that show the benefits of drinking coffee. Warding off dementia is just one of them. I have a father with Alzheimer's and will probably post this same post on my Living with alzheimer's blog.

Just so you don't think I am prejudice against other hot drinks, I also love hot tea and Hot Chocolate. Unlike some other Coffee lovers, I do not despise tea. In fact, I love hot and cold tea especially hot green tea, herbal teas and oolong tea. I don't like English breakfast tea as well. And tea has been shown to be very good for you also with hot green tea probably drawing the most accolates as to health benefits. I am also a chocoholic and love hot cocoa as well. Chocolate (not the supper sugared versions but real dark chocolate) has also been shown to benefit ones' health.

But coffee is coffee. It has a special place. In November of 2000 I was fortunate to visit a friend in Slovakia. Before returning to the US, I stayed a couple of nights in Vienna, Austria. Coffee and chocolate on every corner! I highly recommend it to the coffee and chocolate lovers. If you don't like chocolate (how can you not?), you may want to consider a trip to Costa Rica. It isn't known for its chocolate but it has some of the best coffee grown anywhere. I can also recommend coffess from Brasil (there are a couple I really like) and elsewhere. Just avoid the coffees that are designed to be brewed weak if you want the real experience of rich, flavorful coffee.

PS: I just added the link to oolong tea, and I haven't even read it all myself. Discovered it as I searched "oolong" to make sure I spelled it correctly.

Friday, August 3, 2007

A Thousand Splendid Suns

I just finished reading A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini. This is his second novel. His debut novel was The Kite Runner which I have not yet read. However it spent something like 2 years on the NY Times best seller list.

I don't want to spoil the book for anyone, but the setting of the book is Afghanistan and spans about 50 years. You primarily view the history of Afghanistan during this time through the eyes of 2 women. It is a poignant and moving story and is not recommended for those who are looking for a light amusing book.

For fans of UK author, Joanne Harris ( Chocolat, Blackberry Wine: A Novel, Coastliners: A Novel, Five Quarters of the Orange), you should really like this book. And vice versa. If you like A Thousand Splendid Suns, you should also enjoy Joanne Harris' books. She is one of my favorite modern authors. You should also consider Purple Hibiscus by Adichie. Another book you may want to read if you like books on life in Afghanistan during the Taliban era is Breadwinner by Deborah Ellis. And yes I have read every one of these recommended books and would not recommend a book I did not think was very good. If you have school children anywhere from 4th grade and up, this last book is one they can read and enjoy.

IF you enjoy books and reading, I am adding pages to a section on my website devoted to books - one of my passions. I just finished adding Modern Library's 100 Best Novels of the 20th Century to the site. This is actually 2 lists (100 by the Board and 100 by the readers). How many of the best books of the 20th century have you read? Take a visit and see. It is interesting to see how divergent the 2 lists are.

I have also listed some of my favorite UK authors and favorite US authors in addition to a list of authors and books fans of JK Rowling and the Harry Potter series may enjoy reading since the end of that series. My plans are to continue adding material so visit often to see what is new. If you have book suggestions, comments or questions about books I have recommended on this blog or my site, please leave a comment or email me. I love feedback and prefer dialogue over monologue any day.

Thursday, August 2, 2007

Cleaning up, rearranging

I've been cleaning up and rearranging the blog. It is still a work in progress as I experiment with layouts and elements. 2 Polls closed - Which of the New Wonders of the World would you like to Visit? and How Harry Potter affected your Reading Habits. Taj Mahal won the New Wonder of the World most of you readers would like to visit followed by Michu Pichu and the Great Wall of China, then the Roman Colaseum and Brasil's Statute of Christ, and the Jordon's Petra and finally Mexico's Ruins. On Harry Potter, most of you already loved to read before Harry Potter was discovered by you.

I have removed the games. I'm not sure if anyone was playing any of them or not. If you were, you can still play them by visiting my website and selecting games from the left hand frame. The Harry PotterGames, Tic-Tac-Toe, and Sudoku (my favorite) are all there.

I think everything else is still here just rearranged. 3 Polls on Harry Potter are still open. If you haven't voted yet, there is still time. The polls are located on the left side - just scroll down.

As I am posting this, I am also cleaning up, rearranging and adding elements to my website. One new section deals with books. IF you like to read, you will want to check out that section. It is still having pages added but I already have suggestions for fans of Harry Potter on books they may enjoy reading and suggestions on US and UK authors. I plan to add genre sections, Best 100 Novels sections, Non-US, Non-UK authors sections, and others as time allows. I am including links to authors' websites so it takes time.

I have also added a section on Alzheimer's and a section on Global News sites in English (listed in left hand frame).

I am also in the process of scanning photographs and adding them to my photo section of my website. I have literally hundreds of photos to process that are already scanned and plan to scan more. I am also adding photos to my Picasa albums and Flickr albums. I have more on picasa than flickr. IF you do not already have a picasa album, I would recommend it. It is FREE and part of the Google Pack. You can get it by clicking the Google Pack banner on the side menu. There are several items included in the Free Google Pack in addition to picasa. Flickr is by Google's competitor Yahoo. I have not yet done as much with it but it is also free. Why not get both and see which you prefer? Just do a quick search for Flickr above in the search box and you'll find it. I will be adding more photos to both of my accounts as time permits.

I think that about covers it. Let me know what you think.

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