Saturday, September 30, 2006

Come Gather 'Roud People

So we here at MOL have a new look. I got a tip a couple days ago that the blog was looking a little...well off. So I decided to take some time and fix it. First thing you'll notice is the new colors. Really no reason for this. I was fooling around with the layouts when I was trying to fix the thing and ended with this one. I like it...of course if you like the old blue/grey template, lemme know. In the chaos that was my blog this past week, the links I had got lost. So I took the time to update them and revise the list a little. You'll notice that instead of arranging the links by group, they are all together. I also took a couple out that haven't been updated in awhile and added a couple more.

I'm sure some of you are awaiting my reaction to last week's Notre Dame/MSU game. If you want any single game to define the John L. Smith era in East Lansing, it's that one. A classic MSU meltdown. Having only followed the Spartans for the past couple of years, I'm not that in-tuned with the program...but in these 2-3 short years, there are a handful of games that follow the same path. MSU gets out to a lead and is dominating. Then we get to the 4th quarter and the team just implodes. Michigan 2 years ago, Michigan last year, OSU last year, and then this debacle. No no no, Notre Dame did not win the game -- MSU lost it. How do you give up 19 points in the 4th quarter, at home, at night, in a monsoon? It's rediculous! Some teams get to the 4th quarter and no matter if they are winning or losing, they are able to do what needs to be done. Sparty gets to the 4th quarter and one feeling sets in -- fear. Fear. They are afraid the no matter what kind of lead, they'll end up losing. And it comes down to the coaching. time to sign the petition, as John L. Smith will NOT be back next year (especially after the loss to Illinois...ILLINOIS!!!). Of course, this means we get to look at what other coaches will be out of a job and maybe, just maybe, we can get someone (yeah right) who will be able to lead the Green and White to the promised land. If you've got 15 minutes to spare, listen to this guy (via Deadspin). That gives you a good idea of how all us Spartan fans are doing. Sidenote: I'm still looking for a YouTube clip of John L. Smith's halftime interview from the OSU game last year. For those that didn't see it, MSU totally mismanaged the clock & their timeouts. What should have been an easy (well, our kickers sucked last year) 3-points resulted in a blocked-field goal returned for a TD. The sideline reporter got him right after that and what resulted is one of the all-time classic interviews. It is not often where you get a coach right after such a momentum-swinging play.

What else do I have to say? Well the OFOMOL (Official Female of Metamorphosis of Life aka my girlfriend) have been dating for one year now. Being in a long-distance (and inter-continental) relationship is not the easiest thing in the world. Luckily she's one of the most understanding and wonderful women in the world. We've got a great thing and we're both committed to making it work out. Even though we are thousands of miles apart, I wouldn't want to be with anyone else.

That's it for now. Time for some football.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Speaking in Tongues, Its Worth a Broken Lip

OSU outplays and scores a convincing win over Texas.
I was thinking that Texas was going to pull it out, but I am happy with the result. I was surprised at how flat UT was. They are the defending national champs and for OSU to come into Austin and do what they did...I think it comes down to prep from the coaches. One thing you know from Tressel is that the team is always ready to go. Even in loses, the games are close and the kids are prepared. UT lacked that fire & intensity that we saw from them last year.

Elsewhere, Matt Trannon (if you didn't know, he plays basketball too!) caught 14 passes for 141 yards, scored 2 TDs, and threw a TD pass in MSU's rout of EMU. They head to Pitt next week and then take on the Fighting Irish in 2 weeks. There are two certainties when it comes to MSU football: 1) they are going to get your hopes up early only to be dashed in the 2nd half of the year and 2) they ALWAYS show up for the ND game. The Irish are currently #2 and (provided they beat UM next week) will be coming into the EL 3-0. For whatever reason (it boggles me), the Spartans always play well against ND and have actually beaten them consistenly over the past 5-10 years. I'm looking for an upset that will put the Irish (and their ardent followers) in their place. I even found a new shirt to buy for the occasion.

So I go to buy said shirt. Its 2006 and internet commerce has been going strong for the past 10 years. I've bought a fair share of items over the net and I've never had a problem. Put in your credit card and boom, you're on your way. Most portals allow you to ship items to addresses that do not match those on the credit card. This is great when you are send gifts. This also is convenient when you have recently moved. Such is the case with me. Not all the addresses on my various mailings have been changed, nor has my new ATM card come yet. Well I go to checkout at Spreadshirt, but I need matching addresses. Mensch! OK so then I go online to change my address for my VISA. Well my new address is a funny thing, as I live at a half-address, XX 1/2. Well, for whatever reason the code doesn't like the forward-slash and I can't put in the full address. I tried with a decimal point and I still get the message about how I can only use alpha-numerics. Maybe one of my computer saavy readers can fill me in on why this is the case. I was able to change Discover Card and Sports Illustrated addresses with no problem.

Frustrated, I decide to call customer service. This is always one of the things I look forward to least -- punching countless numbers and saying "yes" or "no" when prompted. Then being put on hold while listening to countless repeats of "Company X kisses your ass for being on hold for so long and cares about you." Usually if I'm on hold for longer then 5 minutes, I hang up. For whatever reason, I get taken care of quickly. OK, this is good. Until I hear the operator and realize my call has been outsourced to some unnamed foreign country (hint: it sounds a bit like the state west of where I'm from). And of course he speaks with a fairly-heavy accent. Heavy enough that I have to concentrate on what he is saying -- not a good thing when you are in "customer service." So I tell him I need to change my addy -- fairly simple, right? Well he asks me if I've filled out the proper paperwork.....paperwork? What are you talking about? I moved from point A to point B and I tried to change my address with your company but I couldn't. I told him no I hadn't and I had no idea what he was talking about. I then tell him my address with the infamous "half" in there. This sounded as it confused him and he asked "how do you write that?" Uhh...just like it sounds. Yes I know that a half address is not the most common thing, but its not the first time in my life I've encountered it. So then I tell him the rest of the address and we get to the state and I say "West Virginia" and he asks me how to spell "Virginia." Dude, you're in customer service for a US company, you should know how to spell things say like the 50 STATES! Even if he doesn't know how to spell it, shouldn't there be a drop-down menu to select "WV"? Ugh. There were a few times when I really had no idea what he was saying and asked him to repeat it. Then after we were done he tries to get me to enroll in some program sponsored by the credit card company. I say no and he issues the reply "Let me speak on experience..." and I say no again and like a horny male teenager he still doesn't get it and presses further when my third and final stern "No" takes care of him. Did I ever tell you I hate calling customer service peeps...