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April 30, 2003
Tourist season is about over
What a crazy week it has been! We've done enough tourist stuff to last a longtime, although I still haven't ridden the double decker bus or seen FSU London. Not that FSU is one of the main tourist attractions in London, but it should be for any FSU graduate. Anyways, we did go out and see StoneHenge...which was impressive since it was completed over 5000 years ago. So, at first I thought it was one of the Seven Wonders of the world, but apparantely it isn't. I've been looking for links to try and figure out the 7 modern wonders, but all I can really find is the the Ancient Wonders, of which only one is still in existence (Pyramids). So if any of you know what are the 7 wonders, than please let me know. There are also the 7 Natural Wonders of the world...of which I've only seen Niagara Falls.
Posted by Don at 05:58 AM
April 23, 2003
Time to play the tourist

Today Barbie's friend Lisa comes into town...which means I get to play tourist again. It's really no fun to go see all the sites of London by yourself, so I save it all up for when people come to visit. Last time I got to play tour guide was when Barbie's parents came into town a couple of weeks ago. Well here is a list of the things I/we are planning on seeing:

  • Windsor Castle
  • Tower of London
  • Buckingham Palace (Changing of the guard)
  • The London eye (world's largest fairus[spelling?] wheel)
  • Big Ben
  • Maybe Parliament
  • Florida State University (London Branch :) )
  • 2 plays (Lion King and Blood Brothers)
  • Ride on a double decker bus
  • Maybe Kensington Palace
  • Hopefully a London walk at night around the area of Jack the Ripper's trail

Any and all recommendations are appreciated, so let me know if there is something we should or should not see. For those that want a postcard let me know and I'll be sure to find you one, also send me your address via email.

Posted by Don at 02:11 AM
April 21, 2003
Famous people obituaries who are not dead
Barbie told me about newspapers and websites having pre-written obituaries for famous people so they could publish it immediately in case of someones death. This was a while ago, but I wasn't sure I believed her then...but of course she was right, and here is some proof. Apparentely somebody got into CNN.com's website and found obituaries for people like Dick Cheney, Fidel Castro, Bob Hope and others who are still alive. The website The Smoking Gun always publishes news like this. Her is the link to the Famous People Obituaries found on CNN.com's servers...enjoy.
Posted by Don at 11:53 AM
Carmelo Anthony vs. Lebron James

In case you are wondering who to take with the first pick in the NBA draft, let me shed some light on the situation and give you my opinion.

Lebron seems to be the better athlete. Carmelo seems to be slightly slow off the dribble to me, but then again he did average 22+ points per game, 10 rebounds and a 45% FG percentage against the best the NCAA had to offer. Either player is going to be good, but the real question is whether either of them will be the next Kobe, Mcgrady or Garnett. I doubt if either of them will be as good as them for the following reasons:

  1. Kobe grew up playing against professionals since he was like 12 years old. Grant it they were from Europe, but either way the physical toughness and talent were there to challenge him from day one.
  2. Mcgrady is basically a freak of nature. Just watch one of Mcgrady's playoff games and you will see what it is like to be able to do what you want when you want it. Both Carmelo and Mcgrady are 6'9", but there is no comparison in their athletic talent, dribbling skills or jump shot.
  3. Garnett is a freak of a different sort. He is around 6'10" but plays as if he is a 7+ footer with the the physical toughness of a Charles Barkley and touch of an Earl Monroe (Check your history book you youngin's who don't know who I am talking about).

If you are looking for a player to come and in and be able to contribute considerably the first year or two, then go with Carmelo because Lebron is going to schedule against the NBA talent in the beginning. Let's be honest, it isn't a seemless jump from high school kids who are just learning how to run the flex offense, to running Phil Jackson's practically patented triangle offense. Lebron is always complimented on his passing ability, but in high school all you have to do is look away and half the kids have no idea where the ball is going.

So here you are with the #1 pick in the draft and your stuck with what to do...Carmelo or Lebron. First let me comment that both are going to the NBA despite rumors that Lebron may go to college if Carmelo stays at Syracuse. Carmelo already has his national championship, and Lebron has too many would be endorsements waiting to be signed. Now, back to the situation at hand...Carmelo or Lebron. I for one am a sucker for athletic talent and future ability. Lebron seems to be the all around better athlete, and we all know what happens if you over look that factor (just remember that Michael Jordan was taken 3rd in the 1984 draft behind Hakeem Olajuwon and Sam Bowie). Lebron can learn how to shoot a jump shot and also learn how to make passes in the NBA. Carmelo will be able to do this, but I don't think quite as well in the end. My choice is Lebron with the number 1 pick in the 2003 NBA draft.

However, one must consider what is going on in their head...which I have no idea. If either player is the type of person who is not willing to work on his game, and he thinks he is 'good enough' then forget him. Always take the person who is willing to improve their game.

Posted by Don at 06:03 AM
April 19, 2003
What's up with the bread?

Apparantely the British do not like to have bread around the house for longer than a few days. No matter what I've done (except putting it in the fridge b/c I hate cold bread) the bread goes bad within 3-4 days. At first I thought it was the bread type, then I thought I was putting in some mysteriously mold producing corner of the kitchen, than today I found out it is just something that happens to all breads here. Barbie actually just bought a loaf that says on the package "Long Lasting Bread -- lasts up to 7 days". Ugh...the British nuances are enough to drive an American bloody crazy!

Posted by Don at 02:39 PM
April 18, 2003
It's Triathlon season again...
Well, the triathlon season has started for me this week as I have finally gotten back into some sort of groove. Unfortunately I can't swim yet, but I should be able to figure something out in Munich. I've basically been just biking and running the last few days, and this morning I about killed myself by running for an hour. Unfortunately I have no idea how long it was since I ran along the River Thames the whole time, but I would say I went around 6 or 7 miles. Anyways, this season I'm planning on doing a couple of half ironman races (1.2 mile swim, 56 mile bike, 13.1 mile run)...although I'm having a hard time finding some races in Germany since all the websites are in German and I have no idea where things are located. Hopefully I'll find some Triathlon junkies in Munich that speak English and can help me out.

However, I have found the race that I plan to do for my first Ironman. It's Ironman Germany!! The race is located in Frankfurt, and is supposed to be one of the best ones because of all the fans/spectators. Last year, its inaugaural year, they estimated there was 180,000 fans cheering people on through the streets and villages. The only problem I see with it so far is that the bike consists of two loops, each with just under 3000 feet of climbing!! That is absolutely insane, but should be fun. The run however, is supposed to be fairly flat and fast...so that is a big bonus since running is a big weakness for me. I'll try to get in a marathon sometime this year to help alleviate my running woes. Well, that is all for now about triathlons, I'll update more as I come to find out which races I'm going to do.

Posted by Don at 04:33 AM
April 17, 2003
Going puppy crazy!
So, apparantely German Shepherds aren't born smart...because Kymba has yet to figure out what the word 'NO' means. We can yell at her 10 times in a row for the same thing, and she'll then go back to it for an 11th time. She has learned sit and stay so far, but is choosing to ignore the basic elements of training. People always said Huskies are hard to train, that they are independent, and will only do what you say if they really want to. Well, Kymba seems to have picked up on that same mentality, b/c when she wants to do something she is going to do it. I only wish we had a yard, or garden as they call it in Europe, to put her in so we didn't have to deal with it on a constant basis. I'm pretty sure I haven't slept more than 3 or 4 hours straight in the past two weeks...and Barbie isn't doing much better.
On a good note though, she is a complete people person. She will even leave us to hang out with whomever happens to be walking by. This is completely contrary to Timber who was extremely shy around new people when she was a puppy. Hopefully Kymba will learn some sense of protection when she gets older.
Posted by Don at 01:48 AM
April 14, 2003
X-Men's Mystique is the perfect woman
Finally there is a woman with whom every man can be satisfied. At first we all thought it was Mary from "There's something about Mary", but last night I realized there is even a greater prize out there. Her name is 'Mystique', and if you can get past the fact she is a mutant, then the rewards are a plenty. First of all, to get a good idea of what Mystique is all about, you need to watch the X-Men movie. If you haven't seen the movie, then here are the top 3 reasons why she could be the perfect woman for any man.
  1. She doesn't talk...
    That's right folks, she doesn't speak in the entire movie. How ideal would this be to have a woman that doesn't talk back to you, even when you mess up. Grant it some people want some intelligent conversation in a relationship, but maybe point two will change your minds.
  2. She has a hot body...
    OK...I understand she has a blue scale like skin, orange slicked back hair, and pair of yellow eyes, but check out her body. Here are two pictures (Mystique 1, Mystique 2 ) that should help you visualize what I am talking about.
  3. Finally, she can change into anyone you want!!
    That's right, her mutant powers allow her to transform herself into anyone she wants...or better yet, anyone you want. I'm not going to explain the possibilities on this one, but just use your imagination.

I'd like to point out that Barbie originally came up with the idea of Mystique being the perfect woman...I just came up with points 2 and 3.

Posted by Don at 04:14 PM
April 11, 2003
The differences in sports announers...
So I forgot to mention the difference b/t watching sports on the NASN channel and watching it in the USA. I'm specifically referring to the NCAA tournament, where if you wanted to watch any of the games beyond the Sweet 16, then you had to be up til about 4am. However, they are good about replaying the games the next day for those of us who actually require sleep. The problem is that you don’t get the normal announcers, you get announcers catering to the non American audience. There is one American announcer, and another main announcer who normally does international games...so his lingo is slightly off. Normally this isn’t a problem, but they try to explain the simplest basketball stuff in detail, just in case you don’t know anything about the sport. Plus, the international announcer tries to explain ‘sayings’ the American announcer uses…basically phrases we all know. For instance, when the team goes for an ‘alley-oop’...the international announcer has to come in and tell us that is a ‘lob-dunk’. There are others, I just can’t remember them all. By the way, I didn't get to watch Syracuse cut down the nets after the game, which obviously means I didn't get to watch "One Shining Moment"....what a travesty!! Anyways, that is what I get for moving to Europe :)
Posted by Don at 02:19 PM
Some Words from Dennis Miller

Here are some funny quotes from Dennis Miller:
“Of course we have to profile people. We live in some weird time now where we’re all trying to convince each other that we shouldn’t profile people. When 19 out of 20 people are from a certain country, and they blow up the two biggest buildings in your country, if you don’t start looking at people who are visiting here from that country, you’re not being open-minded. You’re being dead. Okay?”

“We have got to get it together and understand that this country, people say it’s not the American way to infringe on civil liberties. Well it’s not the American way to rollover for punks either. We’re got to start kicking ass on these people because they don’t care about us. They live for one reason and one reason alone and that is to kill you and I. There’s no half way in the al Qaeda. There’s no al-Kindas, okay. These people just care about our demise.”

“And you know something, the American Civil Liberties Union, when they come out and say you never profile anybody who gets on an airplane. I say we create a new airline, called the ACLA, the American Civil Liberties Airline where you don’t check anybody, you don’t ask any questions, and let those morons fly on that one, okay? The rest of us want to be protected.”

“Guantanamo Bay, are these people being treated fairly? Let’s be serious folks. Guantanamo Bay is about as far as our Western sensibilities will allow us to descend as far as putting a prison together. No, you know, it’s no joy ride, but, you know, that being said, if you put the Guantanamo Bay terrorist prison outside of Kabul it would be their Epcot.”

"I don't think he's a great man but how many great men come along in life? Great men are defined by the circumstances they're presented and I think he's doing a nice job. So you know the difference between Clinton and Bush to me is that Bush somehow has managed to turn off the 'wocka-wocka' ‘70s porno guitar of the Clinton administration. You know? Clinton looked presidential but he acted like a kid. Bush looks like a kid but so far he acts presidential and I like that about him. And I like the fact that he's hired- [interrupted again by applause] "-says he's gonna spend $13 billion on education, God knows we need it. If you think about it only one of the three 'r's actually starts with 'r.'

“If you’re at a peace march, and the guy next to you has a sign saying ‘Bush is Hitler,’ stop the peace stuff for a second and beat his ass.”

“Clinton’s the sort of guy who’ll always volunteer to help you move, then when you’ve got four of ya picking up the sofa, he’s the one who’ll be fake lifting.”

Posted by Don at 07:46 AM
April 10, 2003
One win away from the money...
How many times can a person who gamble say they would have won 'only if' this, that and this happened. Of course this happened to me this past weekend in the NCAA March Madness Tournament. If Kansas would have been able to beat Syracuse in the finals, then I would have finished third, instead I finish in 8th place and out of the money. One of these years I am going to win my own tournament, or at least finish in the running. I think I have conceded to the fact that I really don't like Syracuse basketball, especially since they screwed me out of winning another NCAA tournament the last time they were in the Final Four. Down with the Orangemen!
Posted by Don at 07:34 AM
What a week...
Wow...it's been a while since I've been able to update the site...but what a week this has been. As I mentioned in my last post, we went to Harrods, Wimbledon and Kew Gardens...but that was only the start of it. This past weekend we went down to St. Ives, which is in the southwest corner of England. St. Ives is a quaint little harbor town that has been around for centuries. The tide there is absolutely amazing though, it literally changes about 40 feet from high tide to low tide...which makes for a very large beach during low tide, and absolutely no beach during high tide. For those that have been to South Beach, imagine the entire beach being there in the morning, and then having the whole thing underwater in the afternoon! Anyways, one of the coolest parts of St. Ives was a bar that has been around since the 1300s, and it still the most popular pub in town.

We also ended up visiting New Quay, Penzance, and Land's End (which refers to the edge of Englad on the Atlantic Ocean side). You may have heard of Penzance from the Opera "Pirates of Penzance"...or perhaps from the Pretty Woman scene when Julia Roberts tells the lady in front of her at the opera that it was so good she almost pissed her pants, then Richard Gere had to translate it to "It was as good as priates of Penzance"...or something like that.

Anyways, the weekend ended with Barbie and I picking up Kymba...our new white German Shepherd. She is very cute and so far a great puppy. We're going to try and teach her some tricks this weekend, right now we are dealing with the whining and house breaking :) We also have a Kymba Photo Gallery if you haven't already seen her. We also have a ton of pictures from Jeanne and Alans visit, although we need to add some and delete some...so keep checking back.

Posted by Don at 07:25 AM
April 01, 2003
The world has gone mad..
You know the world is crazy when the following are true...
  • The best rapper is white (Eminem)
  • The best golfer in the world is black (Tiger Woods)
  • The tallest basketball player is Chinese (Yao Ming)
  • And, the Germans won’t go to war!!!
Posted by Don at 09:17 AM
Playing tourist...
Well the last few days have been spent playing the tourist in London. Barbie’s parents are in town, so we have been going all around seeing the different sites. The first day they arrived was spent taking a two hour walk along the River Thames down to Richmond…then having dinner and one of the best chocolate cakes I have ever tasted. Yesterday we went to St. Paul’s cathedral in downtown London, which is where Princess Di and Prince Charles were married. The place is magnificent, especially since it was built back in the 1600s. Then we went across the London bridge, which isn’t too impressive since someone bought the original and shipped it to Arizona.
As for today, it was the first time that I have seen rain since coming to Europe…and of course it was the one day that we were going to do all the outdoor activities (Kew Gardens and Wimbledon). Instead we went down to Harrods to do a little shopping and perusing. I must say I saw one of the nicest necklaces ever…a large white pearl necklace with a dangling diamond setting in the back. Of course I would have bought it, but it was 165,000 pounds…in other words over $250,000.
So tomorrow were going to try and do the Kew Gardens and Wimbledon thing, so lets hope the sun comes out. We’re also heading off to St. Ives for the weekend on Thursday…although I really don’t know anything about it or where it is, but I hear it’s nice. We all know Barbie is in charge of those things :)

Anyways...here are some Thoughts for Anti-War protestors!

Posted by Don at 09:16 AM
Sports update...
So the past few days have been pretty interesting in the world of sports. First off, the NCAA has gone almost as I need it to win some money in my pool…although since Oklahoma couldn’t beat Syracuse in the regional finals I can now only finish in 2nd place behind Mr. Raggio…geez I hate that guy. Kansas needs to win the whole thing and I’m in the money…so everyone become a Jayhawk fan this coming weekend! Also, the Major League Baseball season started the other day, and A-Rod decided to start the season off right with a Homerun. I’m now thinking about putting some money on the Rangers to win the World Series…wouldn’t that be a nice chunk of change at the end of the year…although I would have to hedge my bet if they end up meeting the Yankees at any point during the playoffs. Money talks, but it’s tough to pull against your own team.
Posted by Don at 09:15 AM