Saturday, August 29, 2009

I Might Be Narcissistic

I don't know if I am or not, but I think a lot of my posts on Facebook might be evidence of that. Shoot, having this blog might be evidence of that. Work is about as busy as I've ever been since I got the job. We are in the process of developing a new product for adult language courses and while development for that is going on, I'm basically on my own to maintain our existing system. Under normal circumstances, I would be assigned around 10 bugs to work on but at the moment I have 25 - far more than I have ever had. This last week was a really busy one as we were working extra long hours trying to get our existing system integrated with one of our schools. The documentation they gave us could be described as poor quality at best as they sent us a few different documents that seemed to be telling us different things. As a result, I worked past 7 both Thursday and Friday last week and on Sunday. Kinda interfered with a few things that I wanted to do, but I guess if I've been at a job for over a year and really only had it interfere with my personal life 3 times, that's probably nothing to really complain about.

Can't say a whole lot has happened in my personal life since Suzanne's visit for 4th of July weekend. A lot of ultimate frisbee and bike rides up Provo Canyon. I did find out some exciting news recently that we are going to get an In-N-Out Burger here in Orem. I knew they had plans in place to build one in Draper and had sites picked out in American Fork and West Valley City, but somehow all I ever heard about Orem was that they were looking at different locations. But as it turns out, they've had the location for the Orem store picked out since March and actually started construction earlier this month. Progress of the construction seems to be going rather quickly as they've already got the frame of the store up. Yay for In-N-Out coming into Utah. If every McDonald's was replaced with In-N-Out Burger, the world would be a better place.

Then there's my world of video games. Lately, I've been playing NCAA Football a lot and I still seem to play NBA 2k9 a lot too, even though basketball season has been over for 2 months now. Not sure why but I really like playing with the Orlando Magic. Maybe because I like to shoot 3-pointers and dunk a lot, both of which they are good for. I bought the new Madden, but I'm not exactly overwhelmed by it. I guess I'm just more interested in college football than pro. I've played some Rock Band and Guitar Hero recently with the new downloads they've had, but I spend nowhere near the same amount of time with those as I did, say a year ago.

SPORTS SECTION, Stop Reading Here If You Don't Care:

Football season is finally close to starting. It seems like a lot of so-called "experts" are picking BYU to finish 3rd in the Mountain West this year like they did last year. I'm a little more optimistic than that though. They have the TCU and Utah games at home this year so that could go a long way in determining how well they do this year. I believe they will win at least one of those two games. I don't have a lot of faith in them beating Oklahoma unfortunately. The game is going to be in Dallas so it's basically going to be like a home game for Oklahoma. Pretty much the only way BYU wins that game is if there is something really wrong with Oklahoma's passing game that day because BYU unfortunately doesn't have the athletes on defense to compete with Oklahoma's offense - not many teams do. Florida is easily the favorite to win the national championship as they won it last year and returned a significant number of players. The only team I really see having a shot to beat them though is Texas, who probably should have had a shot last since they did beat Oklahoma by 10 on a neutral field. USC will be good as they always are, like probably top 10 good, but since they are starting a freshman at QB, I think there is a good chance this year for Oregon or Cal to take the Pac-10 title away. Penn State might have a shot to go undefeated and play in the national championship game as their schedule is pretty easy. One thing I don't understand is that there seems to be a growing number of people that see this as a huge breakout year for Notre Dame. Let's not forget that they lost a home game to Syracuse last year. No doubt they should be better, but I see them being more like an 8-4 type of team than the 11-1 or 12-0 that people like Lou Holtz are saying. But Notre Dame usually is overrated so we probably shouldn't be too surprised.

NFL is starting soon too thankfully, although with my new calling I'll have to be staying at church later than I'm used to so a lot of games for me will be on DVR. One crazy thing I see happening is it seems like entire divisions have either gotten better or worse. Most notably, the NFC North is almost certainly better as Brett Favre and Jay Cutler have entered the picture. Also, I could see the Packers being a lot better than last year as Aaron Rodgers will probably be more capable as a leader after having a year under his belt. You also have to believe the Lions will be better than the 0-16 they were last year as up is the only way they have to go. The NFC South is the division I see having the biggest drop off. Carolina and Atlanta were both surprise teams last year, and I see both of them taking a step back. Carolina more than Atlanta though as they haven't made significant improvements. Tampa Bay is likely to take a huge step back as their quarterback situation looks like a mess and they had what I thought was an unnecessary coaching change. I think New Orleans will probably be about as good as they were last year, but this year it might be good enough to win the division. I see the NFC East being the strongest division like they usually are but I'm not necessarily buying the hype. I think the Giants will struggle replacing Plaxico Burress as their leading receiver, as we saw their offense struggle late in the year after the gunshot incident. Maybe not as much as right after the incident happened, but you just can't replace a guy with his skills. The same goes for the Cowboys and T.O. The Eagles seem to be the media darlings in that division, but I could definitely see the unfortunate loss of defensive coordinator Jim Johnson hurting their defense and forcing them to win more shootouts this year. Then there's the Redskins. I still don't buy Jason Campbell as a pro qb, he probably won't ever be much more than a game manager his entire career. Albert Haynesworth is a great addition to the defense if he stays healthy, but as we saw last year, that's a big IF. In the AFC East, I pretty much expect the Patriots to retake control of that division. I think the Dolphins overachieved a little last year going 11-5 and they'll come back to the pack some. The Jets are replacing Brett Favre with rookie Mark Sanchez so I don't really expect much of anything from them. The Bills offense will probably be better with T.O., but they are still nowhere near being in the same class as the Patriots. With Jay Cutler out of Denver, the Chargers look like a virtual lock to win the AFC West. The only way they don't win it is if they beat themselves. AFC South could be interesting as the Titans proved to be better than we thought last year, but between the loss of Albert Haynesworth and their poor playoff performance against the Baltimore Ravens, I kind of see them coming back to the pack a little and the Colts probably come out on top with Peyton Manning not coming back from knee surgery at the beginning of the season this time around. The Texans are a team that several people in the media think could be a surprise this year, although I kind of think they might still be a year away from breaking out. Last of all, there's the NFC North. Pittsburgh looks like a favorite to win that division again, unfortunately. Baltimore will probably be good again, but more like borderline playoff team than division contender. Cincinnati and Cleveland will probably both be bad again like we expect. To sum it all up, I think the Packers will make the biggest jump this year. I also see Seattle, Buffalo, and San Francisco being better too. I see the biggest drop off coming from Tampa Bay or the Jets, with the Dolphins being in that group too. I see the AFC likely coming down to the Colts, Patriots, Steelers, or possibly the Chargers although I think Norv Turner may be the reason they fall just short of contender status. The NFC is basically wide open. There are about 8 teams that could be considered contenders for the conference but also be borderline playoff teams (Giants, Eagles, Cowboys, Vikings, Bears, Panthers, Falcons, Cardinals). Take your pick, I can't decide from that group.