Friday, January 14, 2005

The way I see it?

Received an email from Yoni Cohen of http://www.collegeball.blogspot.com/

He had stumbled across my blogg somehow and turned me on to his sight. Very impressed. This is a guy who knows his basketball and is serious about it.

So if you are looking for the latest and greatest in college basketball, give him a looksee, very good and timely.

I am certainly not an expert in college basketball, but I have been following the sport for well over 30 years.

The first college game I can remember was the NCAA finals when Bill Walton and UCLA downed Memphis State (now called simply Memphis) for one of the Bruins' many titles.

Over the years, there are too many memories to list here, but since I'm killing some time on a Friday afternoon waiting for the day to end, thought I would share a few here.

My most memorable game was the finals between Magic Johnson and Larry Bird in 1979. This game, I believe, is the one propelled college basketball to the big time. If a game of this magnitude was played today, the media and fan attention would be incredible.

I watched most of the NCAA tournament that year, saw Magic and the Spartans roll through the tournament while Bird propelled ISU in several close games over Oklahoma and Arkansas before getting into the finals at Utah.

One of the most memorable personal performances I have seen was Jack "Goose" Givens lighting up Kentucky in the NCAA tournament in 1978 with 41 points, most on silky, left-handed jumpers that never seemed to touch anything but the net.

One of the most emotional moments I can recall was watching John Wooden win his last game and a national championship for UCLA.

Other top memories include Marquette beating UNC for the title in Al McGuire's last game; NC State's upset of Houston along with Villanova downing a Georgetown team nobody thought could lose.

One team I loved to watch over the years was UNLV when the Shark presided. The Rebels were so much fun to watch when they would run teams into submission and take and make shots that would make 99 percent of coaches have pin strokes.

I also enjoyed watching Louisville and "The Doctors of Dunk", along with Loyola Marymount and its run.

It wasn't in the NCAA tournament, but I watched Notre Dame end UCLA's 88-game winning streak in a store at a mall in Fort Smith, Ark., never believing the Bruins would actually lose a game.

Enough reminiscing. Here's my latest top 10:

#1--North Carolina
#2--Illinois
#3--Duke
#4--Wake Forest
#5--Kansas
#6--Georgia Tech
#7--Oklahoma State
#8--Syracuse
#9--Gonzaga
#10--Kentucky

Monday, January 10, 2005

Monday, Monday

Tis a dreary Monday morning in the southeastern Oklahoma metropolitan town of Heavener.

Seems like it has been this way for weeks, although we did get a little sun over the weekend. Not all that cold, just enough to make a person need a jacket.

The family unit (minus the eldest son) went and saw "Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events" yesterday. I know, it was probably misspelled, but it is a dreary Monday and I didn't have the energy to check the spelling and..hang on, actually, I spelled it right.

Anyway, they should have called it "Lemony Snicket's A Really Unfortunate Movie". It was decent, but nothing like the reviews. Maybe they saw another movie, don't know. Or they could have been drunk. Don't really care, either, since it is a dreary Monday morning.

It was probably the kind of movie that will win an Oscar. It had some cool special events and Jim Carrey did a few cool things, but all in all, it was one of those movies you keep expecting to get better, but never does.

It was like a Tim Burton movie without Tim Burton, if that makes any sense. Not that Tim Burton could have made this any better. Just what was up with the little chick biting things, anyway?

Plus, if the boy was so dang smart, how come he couldn't figure out how to get them out of all those messes?

We rented the movie "Troy" Saturday night. Pretty cool flick, didn't really see any need for them to show Brad Pitt's butt every five seconds, however. Not a shy dude in that movie, of course, probably wanted to show the new gluts or something.

At least he didn't show the Pitt.

The movie had some good action, excellent gore and a pretty decent story.

We saw the new "Meet The Parents" movie last weekend. Excellent flick, if I do say so myself, and I just did. Actually, just wrote it, didn't say it. Might not be as good as the original, but still was one of the funniest flicks I've seen it a while.

Hearing the Mexican housekeeper say, "All those Fockers" was one of the highlights, as was the baby's lone line in the movie.

Went up to the Runestone Saturday and spent about an hour taking pictures of this little creek. Very photogenic, I might say, and not a dreary Monday, either. Most of the shots weren't what I wanted, but some of them can be seen at:

www.craigman.smugmug.com

Just check on ALL THE NEWS.

Also got some excellent pictures of my brother's ducks. They can also be seen at the link mentioned above.

Did I mention that it was a dreary Monday morning? Oh yeah, I did.

Enough for this morning. Until we meet again, adios.

Friday, January 07, 2005

The Duemeister

Another cold one today. It's almost like it's January or something.

Supposed to warm up tomorrow. Plan to take the family to the zoo at Tulsa if the weather is good.

One day until the weekend. Next week, get a three-day weekend.

Told my good buddy Ralph ManDue that I would put him in this blog. So he is in, like Flynn.

He's really a good guy, has been a friend since I was five-years old. We shared at least one class all the way through school. Most of those years, he lived a block away from me.

He is the one who got me golfing and taught me most of what I know about golf, at least the good stuff. I learned the bad stuff from somebody else.

We went to junior college together, then on to OSU. Ralph was always there when I needed something and was always an excellent designated driver, among his other fine talents. He was smarter than your's truly, and didn't blow thousands of dollars on beer and other spirits, like somebody else I know all too well.

He carried me the times we played golf together and solved many of the computer trials and tribulations I have suffered.

Ralph rubs some people the wrong way because they aren't used to somebody telling it the way it is, but I know his heart is in the right place

He was my best man in my too-brief marriage and the one person I could always count on in times of need, something that is all too rare in this world.

Now we are getting old and don't get to hang out together as much because of family, work and other crap, and yes, that does suck. But we do share some serious IM'ing and gives me good reviews over my pictures and writing.

Plus, he's always a good person to sound out and...wait, a second. Forgot we were straight guys there for a second. Need to get back on track, can't show emotions!

How 'bout those Bears? Actually, they kind of stunk, even got beat by the Cowboys this year.

Thursday, January 06, 2005

My bad

Okay, who was it that said there would be a blowout in the Orange Bowl?

Yes, I did predict a rout.

Of course, I said it was Oklahoma doing the routing but that was a keyboard error. I meant to say USC would win big. Must be a computer virus or something.

Seems to me though that wasn't the same OU team that I have watched all year. But at the same time the Sooners have been making mistakes all year. Little different case when you do it against Oklahoma State and Kansas instead of the Trojans.

The game started off as I predicted. OU stopped USC and promptly scored a touchdown. But the jubiliation was short lived. The Trojans promptly came right back and scored to tie the game.

Then the mistakes started and never ended, although credit does have to go to USC and Matt Lienart, who was much better than I expected.

No, I never expected this to happen, especially when Reggie Bush was held in check for the most part. He was the player I feared more than any others.

Lienart showed off his talents, making some throws that 99 percent of the college quarterbacks just don't make.

Jason White had a great career for the Sooners. Unfortunately, he will be remembered for being the starting quarterback on two teams that lost the big one, not all the wins White produced or coming back from two serious knee injuries.

Adrian Peterson was kept in check by an excellent defense which the Sooners had trouble blocking all night.

At least I wasn't the only one wrong. A lot of the talking heads predicted the same thing and they said so in front of millions of people.

In the final polls, USC was first, followed by second and then Oklahoma. The Sooners were lucky to stay third. Utah could have easily jumped the Sooners, along with Texas, two teams that looked a lot more impressive in bowls.

Of course, those two schools weren't playing Southern Cal either.

Now, it is time to gaze half-heartedly at the NFL playoffs and grow more interested in NCAA basketball.

In the NFL, I believe the Patriots will beat the Steelers in the AFC championship game. Somebody will scare the beejeezies out of Philly, but the Eagles will finally make it to the Super Bowl and get blasted.

It appears to be a year of great parity in college basketball. Every year, people say there are a number of teams that could win it all. That is certainly true this year.

Illinois, Duke, Oklahoma State, Syracuse, Georgia Tech, Kansas and Wake Forest have good teams, but if North Carolina doesn't fall apart, the Tar Heels should cut down the nets in the end.

But as I proved in my Orange Bowl prediction, strange things can happen to my predictions, such as keyboard error, hard drive problems and any thing else that I can blame my errors on.

Adios.





Tuesday, January 04, 2005

Images by me

thecraigman :: Manage Posts
I have taken pictures off and on for most of my life.

My first camera was an old Polaroid with an instant picture. Always thought it was cool that you could snap a picture and get the image instantly.

From there, I graduated to the usual take a picture and get it developed camera. That was fine, but it just wasn't the same. I always wondered how the pictures turned out and would sometimes let the pictures stay in the camera for months on end.

In college at OSU (that's Oklahoma State University), I majored in journalism and took a photography class. I really enjoyed it. My father got me an old 35 mm Pentax camera.

I learned how to roll film, develop film and actually make the print, along with some ideas on what made a good picture.

In my first real job, I worked at a newspaper in Denison, Texas. It was a small paper and I was technically a sport's writer, but since we only had one photographer, I had to take a lot of my own pics, develop them, etc.

I looked forward to seeing my picture in the paper even more than I did the story I wrote on a game or some 90-year old geezer that just rolled a 200 game in bowling.

My father is an awesome photographer. He used to take pictures of the surrounding area and all the home basketball and football games. He could have been as good as any professional photographer, if he had wanted to do so.

Last year, I got my first digital camera. It was a Kodak 2 something megapixel and it was okay. But the zoom stunk and you couldn't make the changes that I liked.

A couple of months ago, I got a Canon D-20 camera. I have spent hours taking pictures and messing with the software trying to learn Adobe Photoshop Elements.

Some of my efforts so far can be seen at the following:

www.craigman.smugmug.com

I have also posted some shots at webaperture to get responses. Most of the best responses are on pictures that I thought stunk, or were simply black and white. There is a big fascination with black and white images.

Uh, sorry, but that was cool with Ansel Adams. This is a colorized world. It might not work on Gone With the Wind, but it works much better on pictures.

I am still trying to figure out all the bells and whistles with the camera. But it is 8.3 megapixel and takes really good pics, when I don't screw it up.

My wife thinks I spend too much time with my camera and messing with the images.

But it has been a true blessing to have the camera. She says I notice things I never did before and is probably getting tired of hearing me say things like, "Look at that sunset!'

Adios.

Life & such

Okay, I've been trying to do this for a couple of days but keep getting distracted.

This is my first post. Will it be memorable? No. Will it change somebody's life? No.

Why do I keep asking myself questions and answering them? Beats me. Not like with a whip or any bondage instruments, more like it confuses me.

It's raining again. Seems like it has rained all of 2005, not the best start. So far, the new year has been okay. Not great, nor bad, or stinks.

Like some years that are now fading into the past.

I've always found it ironic that everybody has these resolutions and great plans every time a new year comes around. Of course, they usually fade away before the grass turns green. But what is it about a new year that inspires people?

My only resolution was to have a better year, not that it would be hard. Could stand to lose some pounds and I plan to, but not in the great resolution way of life.

So far, my biggest involvement has been playing Tiger Woods golf on X-box. Not the best use of time for a 41-year old but that's life. My guy is a stud, of course, even without cheating. Just haven't beat any of the champions yet, but they shall fall. Mark my words!

OU plays USC this evening for the national championship in NCAA football. I have been a big fan of Oklahoma and Oklahoma State most of my life. Everybody keeps asking who will win. I tell them Oklahoma in a blowout, since that's what they want to hear.

Plus I think it's the truth. I might wind up eating my words, not that it is physically impossible, but I don't think the Condoms can hang with the Sooners.

That's enough for now.

Adios.