Friday, April 28, 2006

Your pictures are great!

Did you eat at McDonald's? I checked the weather for Lisbon before you left and was surprised at how cool it was (60's all week). Was it really that cool? If so, I wonder why, cause it is farther south than most of Italy. Maybe the Atlantic Ocean current there is cool? Did you send those pics from Portugal or are you home for a day or two? Good news, I received a ad for a promotion for DSL from A T & T Yahoo - I guess cause of this blog - . $12.99 a month for the first year and a full rebate for the high speed modem. The best part is, according to two checks I ran from the ad, our phone line now supports DSL. I've tried to order DSL several times in the past three or four years and each time was told our line would not support it. I hope the internet check is correct. I signed up! It probably will take a couple of weeks to happen. MSN has been getting slower and slower lately so I was really getting disgusted with it. Hurray in advance!

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

The Castelo de Sao Jorge up on the hill. I was too tired to walk up there. It was "rebuilt" in 1930. Posted by Picasa

Hmmm, something doesn't quite fit in here... what could it be? Posted by Picasa

A statue of Christ. A really BIG statue of Christ. If Jesus had really been this big, he could've kicked Pontius Pilate's butt. Though, needless to say, he would've chose not to. Posted by Picasa

I think this is King Jorge I but I'll need to check my guidebook to make sure. From what I understand, he wasn't green in real life. Posted by Picasa

This is the view of the arc below from the other side. Very impressive. I'm thinking of building one of these in the backyard. Posted by Picasa

Heading from the square below towards the arc (and ocean). Posted by Picasa

One of the two squares in the Baixa historic district. Posted by Picasa

Part 2 - Another view of the elevator. I didn't go to the top. Posted by Picasa

Part 1 - This is a weird elevator thing built circa 1900 - it's made of iron with wooden elevators, and it doesn't really go anywhere.  Posted by Picasa

The monument in the central circle in Lisbon - there's a huge park behind it and the main historic area is the opposite direction. My hotel is about 4 blocks away. Posted by Picasa

Those Smart Cars are so dang cute. It's a shame they haven't made it to America yet. Posted by Picasa

I thought this was a cool building - the bottom half is traditional design and the top half is modern, Posted by Picasa

A World War I memorial. Posted by Picasa

Tree-lined streets on the Avenida da Liberdad. Posted by Picasa

The entrance to Hotel Altis (the lobby looks much nicer than the outside would suggest). Posted by Picasa

The "view" from my (five star) hotel room in Lisbon. Posted by Picasa

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Proof that some people have too much time on their hands

For which I'm eternally grateful.

Click HERE to listen to the song -
"I'm the Decider - Koo-Koo-Kachoo"

Heading to Lisbon tomorrow

Got back from Toronto yesterday.

Could they make plane seats any smaller? Kate Moss would find those seats cramped. I never get seated next to Kate Moss, though. I get seated next to John Goodman.


Oh, well, at least I won't miss Carson's birthday.

Sunday, April 16, 2006

Happy Easter!

He is not here: for he is risen, as he said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay. And go quickly, and tell his disciples that he is risen from the dead; and, behold, he goeth before you into Galilee; there shall ye see him: lo, I have told you. And they departed quickly from the sepulchre with fear and great joy; and did run to bring his disciples word. And as they went to tell his disciples, behold, Jesus met them, saying, All hail. And they came and held him by the feet, and worshipped him. Then said Jesus unto them, Be not afraid: go tell my brethren that they go into Galilee, and there shall they see me.

Bible: Matthew, 28. 6

Speaking of Easter, we made Easter Cookies yesterday (a recipe from our wonderful "Cookies" cookbook). The cookies weren't very good, so I'm not going to copy the recipe here, but one ingredient for the cookie was "candied citrus peel". What the heck? I've never seen a recipe with that ingredient before, and Kroger wasn't even close to having such a thing. We substitituted some minced dried fruit for it. Have you ever seen candied citrus peel before? And why would someone decide that citrus peel is something that should be candied?

Saturday, April 15, 2006


We're fine. We had many people in our basement yesterday evening - the radar was as scary as we've ever seen it. Tornadoes all over the place, especially northwest of us . Dave, Chris, Nick & Josie rushed over and our neighbors to the south were down with us. Libbie and Duke declined our invitation. The major storm missed us thank goodness - We got large hail and lots of rain. The lights stayed on until it was over and people were leaving - then the lights went out for 2 or three hours. I missed the House rerun on USA - darn! More storms are predicted for today and Easter. Have a Happy Easter! Love, Grandma and Grandpa

Monday, April 10, 2006

Disney World in pictures

Click on the images for the full-size version of the picture.

Business trips from hell

Starting next week, I'm going to be gone for the better part of 3 weeks. First I go to Toronto for a few days next week to meet with some customers, then I'm off to Lisbon, Portugal for 7 days for a conference, then I come back home for a day before jetting off to Las Vegas for another conference.
I'm gonna miss Karen and the kids something terrible.

On the bright side, there are worse places to be sent than Toronto, Lisbon, and Vegas. I could be going to Barstow, West Lafayette, and Iraq. Fortunately, I don't think IBM is planning any major conferences for those places.

Saturday, April 08, 2006

Rebuilding Indiana - Part 1

During the last year and the endless conversations about Mike Davis's eventual departure, the topic of rebuilding has often come up. How much time would it take for the next coach to rebuild at Indiana? Some pessimistic folks felt that there would be a major exodus of players and it would take as long as 4 or 5 seasons for the program to return completely (and that was assuming the next coach was even capable of returning Indiana to those heights). Other folks looked at Matta at OSU and felt that it would only take a year or so --- and often those folks felt that there would not be any key transfers.

Now that Coach Davis is officially gone and Coach Sampson is officially here, I've noticed a curious phenomenon on Peegs'. There seems to be an expectation that Sampson ought to have the program going strong, um, yesterday. People complaining that we're looking at junior college players -- as if Sampson should have a long list of incoming freshmen ready to pick Indiana at the last second. Other people, who are perhaps a little giddy about having an accomplished coach prowling the sidelines again, seem to think it doesn't matter much who is on the squad next season, now that we're got a "real coach" we'll be sitting pretty.

Obviously patience has never been a virtue of sports fans, and certainly not of IU fans in particular.

But it makes me think - what should our expectations be in terms of rebuilding? What does "rebuilding" actually mean? How do we know when it's over? What is in store for next season?

So I'm going to tackle the question "What does rebuilding actually mean?" in this post. Then I'm going to wax poetic (as usual) on the other subjects as time allows.

So first with the obvious. Kelvin Samson is rebuilding the Indiana program, not building it. So that means he's trying to return it to a previous state. But what state? Not the state under Davis, certainly. Or the state under Knight post-1994. I think it's illustrative to look at the rest of the B10.

Over the last decade, the Big Three teams in the B10 have been Michigan State, Illinois, and Wisconsin.

Wisconsin has won 2 B10 titles, been to 8 NCAA tournaments, 3 Sweet Sixteens, and 1 Final Four.

Illinois has won 5 B10 titles, been to 9 NCAA tournaments, 4 Sweet Sixteens, and 1 Final Four.

Michigan State has won 4 B10 titles, been to 9 NCAA tournaments, 6 Sweet Sixteens, 4 Final Fours, and won 1 NCAA championship.

Indiana has won 1 B10 title, been to 8 NCAA tournaments, 1 Sweet Sixteen, and 1 Final Four.

While some IU fans look at Duke and UNC and UConn and think Indiana should be more like them (Top 10 every single season type programs), I don't think that's realistic. Even in the Bob Knight salad days, Indiana wasn't a perennial Top 10 team. I think we want Indiana to be the best team in the B10 -- and that'll mean plenty of national recognition.

Being the best team in the B10 is setting the bar pretty high, I think.

Based on the above, being the best team in the B10 means:
- Winning B10 titles about every other year
- Making the NCAA tournament every season (with perhaps a once-a-decade miss)
- Making the Sweet Sixteen about every other year
- Making the Final Four every 4 seasons or so
- Winning a title every decade or so

Sampson is trying to rebuild the Indiana program to reach those goals.


Do you like the new format? Was the change automatic or did you (Terry) change it? Is Karen feeling better? Did she have your flu? Elizabeth did not have her baby yet. She and Matt had a horrible experience yesterday. She was scheduled to check into the hospital at 8 am to have her labor induced. Everybody was so excited, especially Liz, cause she is so uncomfortable and past due. Anyway, they were sent home three times because the OB ward was too busy! Also they can't do it this weekend because the doctor on call refuses to come in for elective inducements. Isn't that crazy? Elizabeth is in a very bad state, crying a lot etc.

Friday, April 07, 2006

Cinnamon and Molasses Cookies

The kids and I have made three batches of these cookies over the last couple weeks. I highly recommend them - they're just a bit crunchy on the outside and soft on the inside.


2 tablespoons black molasses
4 tablespoons butter
1 cup flour
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp cinnamon
1 1/2 cups packed brown sugar
1 egg yolk


Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Lightly grease a baking sheet.
Heat the molasses and butter until just beginning to melt.

Sift together the flour, baking soda, spices.
Add sugar to the flour mixture and mix.

Beat the molasses mixture together with the egg yolk.
Gradually add the molasses mixture to the flour mixture to form a dough. I usually have to add a few tablespoons of water to it.

Then form little balls with the dough.

Then there's a few options. The recipe says to top the cookies after baking with a powdered sugar-based icing. Yummy, but sticky and messy... and you need to let the cookies cool down afterwards before putting the icing on them, and I like to eat them faster than that.

The kids like to flatten the cookies and top them with chocolate chips (or peanut butter chips) before baking (mostly I think they like to put the chips on).

We've also tried rolling the balls in course, raw sugar before baking.

My preference, though, is to do nothing. I think the cookies are plenty sweet by themselves (note the one and a half cups of brown sugar). Your mileage may vary.

Regardless, cook them about 11 minutes. The recipe says 12-15 minutes, but I think that's crazy -- it makes them too crunchy.


Saturday, April 01, 2006

next year

Did you know that, for the longest time, I seldom watched any BB games once IU lost in the tournament? I might catch a few minutes of a game now and then, but that’s about it. In fact, when I think about it, a similar scenario unfolds during the regular season. I start by watching the Cream and Crimson game until I am bored stiff and will take in some preseason contests. When the Big Ten starts, I resort to the video…meaning I never see IU lose a Big Ten game!!

My point being that I really am in the dark regarding the abilities of most other teams in the country. I only view IU’s wins on tape against other B10 teams. Almost all of my info regarding other teams comes from the morning newspaper or ESPN highlights. But, for no reason I can explain, I found myself watching a lot of tournament contests this year. Here are a few of my observations:

1. I am very relieved that Mike Davis resigned. It appears that most other teams are coached to attack the basket. Isn’t that a novel idea? One player sets a screen, another drives toward the center of the foul lane where he has many options:
a. Continue driving in for an easy layup
b. Putting up a mid range jumper if not covered
c. Passing the ball inside to one of your two big men
d. Passing the ball to the left or right to two players stationed at the 3 point arc.
The most amazing find is what happens when the answer is (d), passing out to a player at the point arc…that player didn’t automatically shoot a three! On many occasions that player also drove into the lane, and so on. How many times did that happen during the Davis reign?

2. It is also interesting to note that most other teams (Nova being the exception) don’t have four guards on the floor at once. I think Davis was enamored with the idea of having Moye and Vaden as power forwards. Maybe it was a personnel thing, but I don’t think so. It would have been very interesting to see what IU’s rotation would have been if DJ White had remained healthy.

3. Oh yeah. One other good thing that can occur when you drive to the may get fouled. Do you recall when we used to go to the line a lot more often than our opponent?

4. If there is one thing I miss most from the Bob Knight years is the anticipation that one of the more obscure players would develop into an All American by senior year. Possibly a slight exaggeration. Guys like Greg Graham, Mike Woodson, Calbert Cheaney, Jim Thomas etc. would progress by leaps and bounds from their freshman year. Name me one current player that has shown significant improvement in the past 6 years.

5. So I guess I am optimistic about IU’s success in future years with Kelvin Sampson as coach. I will admit, however, that I still think it is an odd choice. I was hoping for someone with some Midwestern exposure; someone who has been recruiting the Indiana, Ohio, Illinois region. Sampson’s initial recruiting in the Midwest will be tough for him as he will be “introducing” himself first and then trying to outwit the likes of Thad Matta, Bruce Weber, Rick Pitino and Tom Izzo…good luck. I expect we will see some boys from Oklahoma and Texas in our program initially…guys that Kelvin has been wooing for the past few years. Hopefully, we will then land the Indiana kids and other Midwestern stars as he gets entrenched.

6. I was in a real funk the day that Samspon was announced as IU’s next coach because the same day there was a small blurb about Rick Majerus interviewing for the Arizona State job. I thought, “is it possible that Rick was available for the IU position and never considered”? I am almost glad that he didn’t pass his physical as I would have been crushed if he was named as the new head coach at A.S.

7. Looking forward to next year, I am certain we will be seeing a lot of new faces, but I am hoping that most of the returnees stay…even Vaden (a lightweight version). If only those players that give 100% effort on defense will play, Wilmont and Ratliffe will see plenty of playing time. Calloway has some potential to disrupt on defense…so, how good we will be comes down to DJ White, a guy who can block shots and get rebounds. Ben Allen should be worried.

c cakes

Gee, I'm sorry that Karen is sicky. Hope she's up and running quickly. I assume the kids are still on break. Who is monitoring them? How can they do fun "break" things when mom is sick? What a bummer! Is the wild rice crab cakes recipe the one from the red check file?