I’ve Been Experienced: Chapter 49

I Have Been Experienced, by Jose Kortez
Table of Contents
I love mountain biking. It was fantastic when I lived in the Bitterroot mountains with National Forest land all over the place. Things were still good when I lived in California because I lived beside a mountain biking park. And when I moved to West Virginia, again, I lived near some great trails. So, I try to bike as often as I can, weather permitting now in the mountains of WV.

Women always seemed surprised by my actions even when they had heard from friends what would happen.

Women always seemed surprised by my actions even when they had heard from friends what would happen.

My house is about a mile from the Appalachian Trail and there are 4 wheeler trails all over around the trail. I’ve ridden most of it and I can easily ride all the way into Virginia if I want because there is so much open space out there. I’ve got a couple of loops I ride often because they offer good rides and when I get bored with them, I’ll ride until I either get tired or I’m worried I’ll be too tired to get home, then I turn around and head back. Sometimes I’ll just go exploring.

I also love pizza and specifically cheese. The more cheese, bacon, or pepperoni on a pizza, the more I will love it. And the beauty of living next to great mountain bike trails is I can eat, then hop on my bike and go ride it off. So on this particular day, I woke up a little hung over and decided the cure would be a gatorade, a pizza, and a bike ride. I ate a Red Baron pizza that I topped with extra cheese and extra pepperoni. It was delicious and I was feeling good. I debated whether I had to use the bathroom and decided I should, so I took a leak and then grabbed the bike and locked the door.

I took off out from my driveway and within a mile and a half, I was deep into the woods surrounding the Appalachian Trail. I was feeling adventurous, so I decided to explore until I got tired and then backtrack home. I headed up a four wheeler trail, crossing the AT and then after reaching the top of a mountain, decided I was tired enough so I turned and headed back down. The nice thing about living on the river is that I can just about coast home from any place I ride to. As I got back into my neighborhood, I had the sensation of needing to poop. No big deal, I was still in the woods and could easily hide myself.

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1,001 Things Not to Do: West Virginia Sucks

My name is not important. I’m a regular guy, like you and the people that you know. Only with two big exceptions. 1) I possess more ruggedly handsome features than you and 2) Although I’m a generally intelligent person, I tend not to put a lot of thought into my actions, which inevitably leads to getting myself into some pretty weird and sometimes frightening situations. Join me on my journey, where I take you through my misadventures as a guide of 1,001 things not to do.

westvirginia1

West Virginia Sucks

My friend Jared was my roommate during sophomore year in college and I had no plans for that Thanksgiving break as the date approached. He invited me to his house in northern Virginia and I took up his offer. Now this drive was a brutal, five hour trip from from the Piedmont of North Carolina to the north pole of Virginia in his broken down, heater-less, piece of shit car. To make it go by quicker, we did what most college kids would do. Drank 40′s on our way to keep warm.

The tone was officially set for my trip. We finally arrived, half-drunk, and it soon became clear that I was only the third biggest alcoholic in the house. Jared was already an accomplished drinker, but his mother was the surprise darkhorse. She was a single mom who had an always half filled wine glass seemingly duct-taped to her hand. I was fascinated with her interactions with Jared, as they constantly traded dead baby jokes and the like over casual dinner. Jared always struck me as sort of an odd-ball, but this offered a glimpse into his upbringing that I had always suspected.

The next evening, he tells me that we’re going to a party. Fantastic. I enjoyed hanging around their house, studying the world’s most unique mother-son relationship, but I was ready to start binge drinking and making bad decisions.

We drove twenty miles out to the middle of nowhere and turns out it’s a bonfire party, filled with the kind of north Virginian people you’d expect. I already knew how this night was gonna turn out. Four guys to every girl there, about fifty people total, with thick southern accents reigning supreme. Time to start drinking and pretending I’m somewhere worthy of my presence.

After about a couple of hours of helping myself to everybody else’s drinks, they started to not taking very kindly to the asshole drinking all of their beer and making sibling sexual relations jokes at their expense. Continue reading

McGee’s Bracket Musings After a Decent Night’s Sleep

Greetings, Basketball Lovers!

I wanted to step back from the situation before posting my thoughts on the seedings and pairings for the 2010 NCAA Tournament.  You see, I was simply incredulous (and at times demonstrably angry) while watching Greg Gumbel and Clark Kellogg unveil the brackets.  My reaction was not due to Clark Kellogg’s disturbing orange tint, but really, what’s that about?

Anyway, here are a few items that jumped out at me last night:

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College Basketball Top 25 2/7/10

The EJSIC Top 25: NCAA Basketball
February 7, 2010
Pre-season poll, Week 1, Week 2, Week 3, Week 4, Week 5, Week 6, Week 7, Week 8, Week 9, Week 10, Week 11, Week 12

So, without further ado, here are our rankings (votes – first place votes), with next week’s schedule. Week 12 will be games played between February 7 and February 13. As the season progresses, we’ll keep a log of top 25 and top 50 wins so you can follow the important information to the NCAA tournament. The records and stats come from realtimerpi.

1. Kansas 22-1 (8-0) (147 – 4)
…..vs. Top 25: 2-1, vs. Top 50: 5-0
…..Next week: @ #13 Texas 2/08, vs. Iowa State 2/13
2. Syracuse 22-1 (9-1) (146- 2)
…..vs. Top 25: 2-1, vs. Top 50: 4-0
…..Next week: @ Cincinnati 2/07, vs. Louisville 2/10
3. Kentucky 22-1 (7-1) (138)
…..vs. Top 25: 1-0, vs. Top 50: 3-0
…..Next week: vs. Alabama 2/09, vs. #12 Tennessee 2/13
4. West Virginia 19-3 (8-2) (130)
…..vs. Top 25: 2-2, vs. Top 50: 4-0
…..Next week: vs. #5 Villanova 2/08, @ Pittsburgh 2/12
5. Villanova 20-2 (9-1) (122)
…..vs. Top 25: 1-2, vs. Top 50: 4-0
…..Next week: @ #4 West Virginia 2/08, vs. Providence 2/13

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With no time to waste, Al makes her predictions for today

The first two Top 25 men’s college basketball games get underway in 42 minutes, so I need to get cracking if I’m going to get these out in time.

Texas A&M at No. 1 Texas. Cracks are starting to show in the game of the once seemingly invincible Longhorns. Shocking I know given Texas’s stellar late season play throughout history.  So, this will probably be a dogfight like the Iowa State game but I think Texas will prevail. Their first loss will probably be next week.

Yep, Texas, your cracks are starting to show

No. 2 Kentucky at Auburn: With play in one of now in full swing, one has to wonder when Kentucky will lose. I think the day is coming, but I’m pretty sure it’s not today.

Texas Tech at No. 3 Kansas. Call me crazy, but I think this is going to be a great game and it might even go down to the wire. I’m giving Kansas this win solely based on home court advantage.

No. 5 Syracuse at No. 9 West Virginia. My opinion of how good Syracuse is might be a little off because it was based on their stomping of UNC earlier in the season, but now that Clemson and College of Charleston have proven that just about any one can do that to the Heels, I’m not sure it’s a reliable measure of how good a team is. However, I do think that WVU is not as good as Syracuse, so I’ve got Syracuse in this one and I’m sticking to it.

No. 6 Purdue at Northwestern. I’m starting to hate Purdue because they, like many Big 10 teams, never do what I predict. So, I’m picking them in this game but fully expect to be laughed at by everyone when Northwestern pulls the upset.

Illinois at No. 8 Michigan State. I’m giving this one to MSU because, unlike most basketball teams this season (especially the Tar Heels), they seem to be getting better with each game.

No. 23 Mississippi at No. 10 Tennessee. LOL at everyone who thinks that Tennessee is a Top 10 team just because they caught Kansas napping. I’m going with Mississippi for the “upset.”

No. 12 Kansas State at Colorado. I’m picking Kansas State mainly because I think that they might lose if I pick them and also because I think Colorado might have worn themselves out upsetting BYU.

No. 18 Georgia Tech at No. 13 North Carolina. This pick is a huge risk because even though it appears that Tyler Zeller is a big doofus when he’s on the court, now that he’s off it due to injury, the entire team has become a big collection of doofuses. I don’t get that. I’m hoping we can win this one at home though and then I can taunt this Duke fan I know.

No. 14 Gonzaga at San Diego. Just once I’d like Gonzaga to do what I predict them to. It’s possible that it could happen today, but I’m already expecting a huge San Diego upset because I picked Gonzaga. I really wish they’d lose 20 games each season for the next 27 seasons so that I’d never have to deal with them again.

No. 16 Wisconsin at Ohio State. I can’t believe these two are playing again

More exciting than the Wisconsin Ohio State game Al watched recently

so soon. This game could go either way because Ohio State’s playing at home and also because they seem to be getting their act together. Just for laughs, I’m going to pick tOSU for the upset. I will not watch this game though because the last time I sat down to watch a Wisconsin vs. Ohio State game, I decided that putting a 20-quart stock pot on a hot plate and watching it until it boiled was much more exciting. Not to mention that all the clanging of bricks that banged off the rims activated my long dormant tinnitus.

Colorado State at No. 17 BYU. This is the game where we find out if BYU is for real or just another mid-major that’s overhyped (like most of them). Colorado State’s not that bad of a team, but I think BYU is likely to win this.

No. 19 Clemson at North Carolina State. Ordinarily, after a team pulls an upset, they come out flat the next game because they gave it all to win. However, Clemson hardly put any effort into their sound defeat of the Heels, so I think they can take on the Wolfpack. Like Texas, it’s not quite time for the Tigers to implode. That’ll come a little later in this month.

Louisville at No. 20 Pittsburgh. This is a tough one to call because I don’t think Pittsburgh is all that great. But they’re playing at home, so I’m giving this one to them.

Massachusetts at No. 21 Temple. One can only hope that Temple can pull this off, seeing as Massachusetts has lost 8 games.

Youngstown State vs. No. 22 Butler. I know it seems like I hate mid-majors but it’s actually only a select few. Butler’s one of them, but I think they can take Youngstown State. It’s iffy, though.

Oklahoma State at No. 24 Baylor. I like the Bears, but I think they’ll stumble in this one.

Virginia Tech at No. 25 Florida State. Yay, another great ACC matchup that’s impossible to predict. Please note the sarcasm. I’m going with FSU only because they’re playing in Tallahassee, not that it seems to matter.

The fridge is empty. Time to work for food.

The Many Names Bowl is being played in Orlando tonight.

I hope everyone had as enjoyable a Christmas holiday as I did. The only damper for me was UNC’s predictable loss in the “I Can’t Beat N.C. State Bowl.” The loss depressed me so much that I couldn’t even turn on my laptop until this morning.

Okay, not really. My mother and sister were in town for the holidays and I took a few days off. Also, I’m finally getting used to UNC being a huge disappointment in every bowl they play (you have to remember that I was at UNC when  Lawrence Taylor was there and we beat teams like Michigan back when they were good). I still hold out hope that if we lose to N.C. State again next year, then we, like State, will have nothing to look forward to but Spring Practice at the end of the season. What’s the point of going to a bowl if you can’t ever win them?

Tonight we have a bowl game featuring two ranked teams and quite a few basketball teams in the Top 25 are playing tonight. As usual, Georgia Tech, whose players apparently have to be in bed by 8 p.m., caught me napping and have already played and beaten the Winston-Salem State Rams. So, I’ll stop rambling before another game comes on and roll out some predictions.

Tonight’s Bowl Game: Champs Sports Bowl

No. 15 Miami vs. No. 25 Wisconsin. Okay, I decided to look up this bowl because I don’t remember much about it and here’s what I found:

The Champs Sports Bowl features a Big Ten Conference representative against a representative from the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC). Held at Citrus Bowl in Orlando, Florida, the Champs Sports Bowl has had many different names and title sponsors over the years. Former names include the Blockbuster Bowl, Carquest Bowl, MicronPC.com Bowl and more.

I couldn’t think of a more fitting bowl for two teams that have had all kinds of ups and downs this season. At one point, each looked like they could easily be ranked in the top 10, but they both had disappointing losses toward the end of the season–Miami to UNC and Wisconsin to Northwestern.  I thought about picking Wisconsin because of my respect for Mr. Sensei, but I realized that every time I’ve picked them to win, they haven’t. So, Mr. Sensei, the Badgers will probably win to spite me and dash my feelings that Miami is just a tiny bit better than Wisconsin.

Tonight’s basketball games

Belmont at No. 1 Kansas. Now that they’re not unanimous no. 1s any more, this would be a good time for Kansas to blow a team off the court. Belmont’s only lost four games, but they haven’t played anybody, so this should be a no brainer.

The Running Bulldogs won't be much of a match for the Longhorns.

Gardner Webb at No. 2 Texas. Everybody’s favorite cupcake is about to wrap up their December nightmare of a schedule. Having been tasted by UNC and devoured by Duke, they now find themselves at the mercy of Texas. Expect no crumbs, folks.

Hartford at No. 3 Kentucky. Of all the cupcakes that Kentucky’s played, Hartford is the cupcakiest. They’ve only won two games and they’ve lost to teams like the Quinnipiac Bobcats. They did beat Marist, though. If Kentucky doesn’t win by 30 points or more, I’ll be shocked.

No. 4 Purdue at Iowa. I’m slightly suspicious of any highly-ranked Big 10 team that’s not MSU in late February with good reason (tOSU anyone?), but Purdue seems to be the real deal. They should have no trouble with the hapless hawkeyes.

No. 5 Syracuse at Seton Hall. It’s time for me to come clean. I’m an ACC fan who enjoys watching Big East basketball. The Big East is my second favorite basketball conference. For me, watching them play is like watching gangster movies–even though the life is foreign to me, it’s fascinating. Thus, I’m looking forward to watching this game. Syracuse continues to play some of the best basketball in the land, but Seton Hall is spunky and have their eyes on a big win. I don’t think they can do it, though.

Marquette at No. 6 West Virginia. I almost smell an upset here. Marquette isn’t quite as bad as their performance OOC indicates. However, because they lost to N.C. State, I think they’ll run out of steam before they can put a 1 in West Virginia’s loss column.

T. J. Robinson & Co. are among a long line of Duke's December and January victims.

Long Beach State at No. 7 Duke. How great would it be if Long Beach State, the team that gave Kentucky a game, upset Duke? Unfortunately, Duke is now on its inexorable annual march to a five-or six-week period without a loss, which is long enough for ESPN to start talking about how “Duke is back,” before they lose to Boston College in Boston on February 6. So, sorry, LBSU, no upset for you.

Cleveland State at No. 12 Kansas State. Cleveland State has been dying to upset somebody and played it close with West Virginia. I think they might actually pull it off against Kansas State. Of course I picked Alabama to upset Kansas State and look how well that worked out for me.

No. 24 Texas Tech at No. 17 New Mexico. This is my game of the day. First, I’d like to thank New Mexico for proving to me that their appearance in the Top 25 was a joke and losing to Oral Roberts. Texas Tech was also upset by Wichita State, but Wichita State is a more respectable loss, seeing as they only have one loss. For that reason, I’m giving the game to Texas Tech.

South Carolina State at No. 18 Clemson. Talk about teams that don’t deserve their rankings and Clemson is another one that comes to mind. They’re going to hover around No. 16 – No. 20 until they start embarrassing themselves sometime in early February, like so many ACC teams (UNC included) tend to do. But tonight, they get the win.

Well, that’s it for today’s games. I’ll be back tomorrow. I know, I know, try to keep down the loud cheers–you’re in your mom’s basement and she’s going to wonder what you’re doing.

At last, a satisfying slate of games: Al’s predictions for today’s Top 25 men’s basketball action

Snowed in today? Darn. Now you have no choice but to watch some great games.

After a week of absolutely no earth-shattering match-ups and almost no men’s basketball drama (on the court at least), we have some great games today and tomorrow. And wasn’t it great of Mother Nature to send the mid-Atlantic and northeast a nor ‘easter that will bring blizzard-like conditions to America’s hotbed of basketball? Now you can’t be dragged out of the house for Christmas shopping and can kick back, remote in hand and get in on all the action. Here’s how I think things will play out today and tomorrow.

Saturday’s games

Michigan at No. 1 Kansas. There’s a lot of talk about how good the Big 10 is

Bill Self might be puzzled, but the rest of us know why his team is No. 1.

this year. They won the Big 10 – ACC challenge this year. Wisconsin scored a big upset over Duke. OSU and Michigan State each gave UNC a game and didn’t give up. However, Michigan has been struggling. And no matter how much people yell, “Play somebody!” Kansas is currently demonstrating why they’re number 1 by winning with huge margins against their cupcakes. Therefore, I’m giving Kansas an easy win here.

No. 10 North Carolina vs. No. 2 Texas. For many fans, this is the game of the day, but not for me. I’m only happy when I can watch Tar Heels beat the crap out of teams. If the game is close, I suffer. Anyway, I hate picking against my own team almost as much as I hate Rick Barnes, but I don’t see an option here. I love my Tar Heels, but I don’t think they can play a complete game against the Longhorns. While we’re  improving, we’re still inconsistent and error-prone. To beat a team with the talent of Texas, we need to play flawless basketball for 40 minutes. Also, no team that I really love has won at the Taj Mahal the new Dallas Cowboy Stadium yet.

Austin Peay at No. 3 Kentucky. This is a no-brainer. By the way, here’s a message for my friend Flopped: This is why I like John Calipari: “Kentucky forward Josh Harrellson said he was surprised by Knight’s comments but that Knight’s words seem to be part of the national perception of his coach. ‘People hear stuff about him and they kind of guess what he’s like, but playing for him and actually being around him, he’s a great guy,’ Harrellson said. ‘He’s fair to everybody.’” You can read more about this here. A good measure of a coach is how his or her players feel about him or her.

Ball State vs. No. 4 Purdue. Okay, I’ve been caught napping here. I didn’t realize the Boilermakers were ranked so high. But as I look at their schedule, I can see that this is a deserved ranking, although I personally would put them in the No. 5 spot and bump Syracuse up to No. 4. This will be an easy victory for Purdue and will put Ball State at 3-5.

St. Bonaventure at No. 5 Syracuse. Poor St. Bonaventure. That’s all that needs to be said here.

The defeat of St. Bonaventure the University will be a lot less mysterious than the saint's death.

No. 6 West Virginia at Cleveland State. Kudos to West Virginia for traveling to the home court of a cupcake. And before an angry Cleveland State Viking fan objects to their school being called  a cupcake, citing last season’s success, I have this retort: “You lost to Virginia. Case closed.”

No. 15 Gonzaga vs. No. 7 Duke. I’ve decided that this is my game of the day and even the week. I’m also going to enjoy this match the most of any played today because I loathe both teams. I loathe Gonzaga for always busting my NCAA brackets in the office pool by winning when I pick them to lose and losing when I pick them to win. I don’t think I need to explain why I loathe Duke. And for that reason, I have to pick Gonzaga, even though I know that, at the end of this game, I’ll be furious with them. Because now that I’ve picked them to win, they’ll lose by 20 points. Oh, well, at least the Duke fans I like will be happy with the outcome of my reverse mojo.

No. 8 Tennessee at USC. On paper, Tennessee looks to be the much better team. But, for some reason, I’m sensing an upset here.

No. 9 Villanova at Fordham. I would really like to give a hand to the Big East teams like WVU and Villanova for not mandating that their cupcakes all travel to play them.

Old Dominion at No. 11 Georgetown. Will Georgetown score 20 points before the half? Tune into this yawner to find out.

What does IPFW stand for and why is their mascot this extinct guy?

IPFW at No. 12 Michigan State. This game is full of question marks (with the exception of who will win). What the heck does IPFW stand for? And why are they the mastodons? Are they some special kind of archaeology institute?

Richmond vs. No 13 Florida. I think Florida’s ranking is too low. In my mythical poll, I would put them at No. 11 and move Georgetown and Michigan State down a rank. If any team in the SEC is going to beat Kentucky this year, I think it’ll be Florida. Sorry Vols fans, but that’s how I feel. Of course, I’m not completely ruling out that spoiler team called Mississippi either as one that might upset Kentucky.

Xavier at No. 17 Butler. If Texas Tech and Wichita State weren’t playing today, I’d dub this the mid-major game of the week. Butler has a better record and will probably pull it out in the end, but I think Xavier will play them close. This looks to be a fun game and one that most can watch dispassionately.

Delaware State at No. 18 Ohio State. The Buckeyes should sleepwalk to a win against 4-4 Delaware State.

Creighton at No. 19 New Mexico. Creighton’s one of those teams that espn.com loves to pump up (along with Butler and Dayton) in the most annoying way to try to generate excitement over the mid-majors. Sadly, these teams rarely have the success that espn.com claims they will have. Anyway, New Mexico has this one in the bag.

No. 20 Texas Tech at Wichita State. This is my mid-major game of the day and if Gonzaga and Duke weren’t playing today, it would be my game of the day period. Texas Tech is undefeated and won one of the most exciting games of the season when they beat Washington. Wichita State has only lost to Pitt. I like Wichita State for the upset, but it’ll be close.

Portland at No. 21 Washington. This is a tough call. Portland started the season out with a bang but has kind of fizzled of late, dropping three straight before beating Denver. Washington hasn’t beaten anybody of note. I think Washington will pull it out in the end, though.

No. 22 Kansas State at Alabama. Kansas State is having a great season. Alabama, not so much. However, I sense another upset here, maybe because Kansas State’s one loss has come at the hands of another SEC team, Mississippi.

USC Upstate at No. 23 UNLV. I’ve lived adjacent to South Carolina all my life and this is the first I’ve ever heard of USC Upstate. However, I just looked them up and found out that they used to be the University of South Carolina at Spartanburg. Mystery solved. Anyway, they’ve only won one game this season, this should be an easy win for UNLV.

Charleston at No. 24 Clemson. Charleston’s having a decent season, but they’ll be no match for the Tigers.

Centenary at No. 25 Mississippi. I’m still basking in the fact that I predicted that the UTEP-Mississippi game would be close and I was right. Today, however, the Rebels have what should be a breather against Centenary.

Sunday’s games

UCF at No. 14. Connecticut. This should be a fun C-USA – Big East match up. UCF has some good wins and an inexplicable loss to Niagara. Connecticut has had some great games and have only lost to two heavy-hitters: Duke and Kentucky. I think UCF will keep it close for awhile, but Connecticut will start to dominate midway through the second half as UCF starts to get tired.

Florida State at No. 15 Georgia Tech. This early ACC match up should also be a fun one. Georgia Tech has only lost one game and Florida State has only lost two. Florida State’s losses (Florida and OSU) have been respectable while Georgia Tech’s loss (Dayton) was inexplicable. I’m giving Georgia Tech the edge only because they’re playing at home and not because I think they’re the better team.

I don’t know about you all, but I’m ready for some basketball now. I’m going to go finish decorating the tree and prepare for six hours of bliss mixed with angst (the UNC – Texas game).

College Basketball Top 25 12/13/09

The EJSIC Top 25: NCAA Basketball
November 29, 2009
Pre-season poll, Week 1, Week 2, Week 3, Week 4

So, without further ado, here are our rankings (votes – first place votes), with next week’s schedule. Week 5 will be games played between December 13 and December 19. As the season progresses, we’ll keep a log of top wins and bad losses so you can follow the important information to the NCAA tournament.

1. Kentucky 10-0 (98 – 2)
…..Last week: Win vs. #17 Connecticut 64-61, Win @ Indiana 90-73
…..Next week: vs. Austin Peay 12/19
2. Syracuse 8-0 (95 – 1)
…..Last week: Win vs #12 Florida 85-73
…..Next week: vs. St. Francis (NY) 12/13, vs. St. Bonaventure 12/19
3. Kansas 9-0 (86 – 1)
…..Last week: Win @ UCLA 73-61, Win vs. Radford 99-64, Win vs. LaSalle 90-65
…..Next week: vs. Michigan 12/19
4. Villanova 9-0 (83)
…..Last week: Win vs. Maryland 95-86, Win @ St. Joe’s 97-89
…..Next week: @ Temple 12/13, @ Fordham 12/19
5. Purdue 9-0 (82)
…..Last week: Win vs. Valparaiso 86-62, Win @ Alabama 73-65
…..Next week: vs. Ball State 12/19
5. West Virginia 7-0 (82)
…..Last week: Win vs. Duquesne 68-39, vs. Coppin State 69-43
…..Next week: @ Cleveland State 12/19

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