I've also been preparing my next round of articles for publication. Speaking of which, if there's anyone who would like to see an article on a particular topic, let me know. I'm always looking for ideas.
Lastly, I'm relaxing! For the first time in three years, I'm not working on a book, and I'm enjoying the extra time I have to do whatever I'd like.
Happy New Year!
Every once in a while, someone says something so nice to me that it literally stops me in my tracks and makes me thankful for having known them. I'm not talking about things like, "you're the hottest guy I've ever met," but more the sort of things that are really heartfelt and thoughtful that make you realize the other person gets you. So I thought I'd share, if not for any other reason than to show that simple acts of kindness can make someone's day. Here are some of the nicest things people have said to me:
- "The thing that always amazes me about you is that you tell me you're going to do something, and then you actually go out and do it."
- "You don't have a shady bone in your body."
- "I sometimes save our conversations because you give good advice."
- "This is what I like about you, you're always growing."
For the second week in a row, the Patriots really impressed me. They absolutely destroyed the Bucs today, who couldn't even get within field goal range all day long. The offense looked great, with Brady having another great game and David Givens really being the offensive MVP. The defense was insane! Six sacks?!?!? The pass rush was in Chris Simms' face all day long and giving him fits. I love the way this defense is playing. If the Patriots can keep this up, they could be looking at a trip to Indy to play the Colts in the second round of the playoffs.
I like Christmas as much as the next guy, but is it really necessary that every television program from now until December 25 be a "special Christmas episode"? I don't watch these shows to make me believe in Santa Claus or the indominable human spirit during the Christmas season. I watch them to escape reality for just a couple of hours each day. But what do I get? Special Christmas episodes! Here's a list of things I'm really tired of seeing on television shows this week:
- Something "magical" happens that couldn't have possibly occurred. This is the "could Santa be real?" moment in the show.
- Someone hates Christmas because once upon a time something horrible happened on Christmas, so they've never celebrated it. This is, of course, leading up to the moment that their cold heart warms and Christmas is celebrated for the first time.
- Someone loses faith in humans but finds it again during Christmas.
- Some people are decorating the tree when it coincidentally starts snowing outside. The main characters run out to embrace in the falling snow.
- Some Christmas carol is played very slowly to indicate that someone is lonely on Christmas.
- Someone who's used to spending Christmas alone realizes how wonderful it is to spend Christmas with someone.
Does that about sum it up? Kudos to those shows who have avoided these traps. To the others, please spare me any more of this. It's bad enough that Christmas music starts being played before Thanksgiving, do I need to experience the same plotline on every show I watch?
Yesterday was the first time this season I saw the World Champion New England Patriots play. For the first time, they had it together on offense and defense for all four quarters, and they dominated, much like the Patriots last year. Yes, it was against Buffalo, a truly horrible team destined for one of the top 10 draft picks, but let's put this in perspective. When they played Buffalo earlier this season, they barely squeaked by in Foxboro; yesterday they decimated Buffalo in Buffalo.
On offense, the return of Corey Dillon and Kevin Faulk to their pre-injury forms helped the Patriots control the ball for just over 40 minutes of the game. The offense seemingly scored at will (aside from the two interceptions) and Brady had all the time in the world to make plays.
On defense, things looked like the days of old. That old-style, swarming defense was really working. Rosey Colvin was getting so much pressure on the quarterback, including one sack and helping clear the way for at least one other. The cornerbacks played outstanding, with Hobbs and Samuel each having an interception, with safety James Sanders pulling in a third.
If this team shows up in the playoffs, a lot of other teams should be running scared. Things are really starting to come together for the Patriots on both sides of the ball, and next week will be their most serious test before the playoffs. If they can handle Tampa Bay at all, we could be looking at a team that could go deep into the playoffs.
Remember the olden days when you had to call and ask someone for directions to someplace? MapQuest changed all that a few years ago, and now the Big Three (Microsoft, Google, and Yahoo) are really taking aim at the industry leader. Of course, Google Maps is the one most people are talking about, but their directions seems to be less accurate (and sometimes just wrong) than old faithful, MapQuest. So here's what I do when I need to find a place now:
- Ask the person for directions. I don't accept "look it up on MapQuest" as an answer. I need to know, in real life, how you would get there.
- Print directions from MapQuest.
- Print out a map of the destintation from Google Maps.
Armed with two sets of directions (from the person and MapQuest), I can compare and see what matches up. Using the printed map from Google Maps, I feel confident that if I get close to the destination, I'll be able to find my way by looking at all of the surrounding streets. How do you get around?