April 2005 Archives

Eagles Post-Draft Thoughts

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138 days to go.

I had my pre-draft thoughts here, which I found were on the money (for the most part).

Here are some of my thoughts about the draft.

First, I grade it a "B". I think only time will tell if its an "A" or a "C". I think we made solid, good choices which cover those positions that were very much needed.

Here were the picks:

Rd. (Overall) Player Pos. School
1 (31) Mike Patterson DT Southern Cal
2 (35) Reggie Brown WR Georgia
2 (63) Matt McCoy OLB San Diego State
3 (77) Ryan Moats RB Louisiana Tech
4 (102) Sean Considine FS Iowa
4 (126) Todd Herremans OT Saginaw Valley St.
5 (146) Trent Cole OLB Cincinnati
5 (172) Scott Young G Brigham Young
6 (211) Calvin Armstrong OT Washington State
7 (247) Keyonta Marshall DT Grand Valley State
7 (252) David Bergeron ILB Stanford

LB: Also, where are the naysayers who kept telling me "Eagles NEVER draft linebackers!!!" - I called this one. We drafted three. How many "Real McCoy" signs to you expect to see in the Linc next year. McCoy should be the new Ike Reese on special teams.

OL: Long in the teeth and we drafted depth there - another 3 for the Eagles. 1 guard and 2 tackles.

RB: Welcome to the NFL, Mr. Moats. Some great signs are gonna be made here for this guy.

FB: At the time of writing my predraft, we didn't sign Ritchie.

DB: Sean Considine is here to help.

WR: At the time of my pre-draft the whole Owens thing didn't crop up. I think that Reggie Brown was simply a good player on the board that the Eagles grabbed, rather than someone they targetted to pick up.

QB: No biggie here, since we signed free agent Mike McMahon on March 11. I should have taken that into consideration on my draft thoughts, but forgot.

TE: Pittsburgh picked up Heath Miller before us at #30 and i'm fairly sure that the Eagles would have grabbed him. I'm very concerned about our TE situation and i'm very much expecting a free agent pickup here.

DT: Like I said - Simon is leaving and we grabbed a new, young first round prospect called "Baby Sapp" in Mike Patterson. Will he be as good as Simon? That is a stretch to compare a #6 pick to a #31 pick - but I do think that Patterson should be capable and good. I don't think Simon ever lived up to his hype.

Overall i'm excited about our team. I think what people should also be excited about is that we grabbed two #4 picks for the 2006 draft by trading on draft day. We keep doing very smart picks and grabbing young, fresh talent - we will be a team in contention for years to come.

I think of the Eagles like the Atlanta Braves. A good organization that understands the nature of the game. We cannot afford Simon, his price simply is too high. What do we do? We draft a new, young, fresh talent to replace that.

Welcome to football. Welcome to the business of football.

The Eagles can really only afford so many 'A' players. They pay for that talent, and then draft or sign free agents to fill in the gaps.

People can cry all they want to - but i'm in the minority of fans that think Andy Reid is doing an outstanding job and that everything the Front Office does is the right thing to do.

Owens crying? You signed the contract! You wanted to come here! Shut up!

I like Owens and respect his talents. I even went out and grabbed a new Owens jersey and it won't take away from how talented I view him. But this new (and yet, old) twist of his makes me shake my head and wonder if people ever do change.

Does he deserve to be paid more? I suppose. But as a business if the Eagles did pay him more - what if every player does this and becomes a prima donna?! Good buy salary cap. Good bye Eagles.

They have to stay firm with the Owens situation. If he wants to sit out a year - fine. Trade him or dump him. Its business, people.

I expect out of the 11 drafted we should get about half of them as decent players. I expect about 5 or 6 of these guys to step up and be the future generation of the Eagles. In a worst case scenario, maybe its only 3 that have any talent. In a best case scenario, maybe we get 8 or 9 talented players.

Only time will tell. I'm already looking forward to next season.

The Producers

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A great thing about living in Hoboken is that New York City is right next door - with so much to do and offer us.

Last month was Lisa's birthday, and my present to her were tickets to The Producers. I hoped she could find a nice guy to take her.

Fortunately, I was that guy.

Before the show we made plans to meet up at 6:30 and grab dinner before the show. She was nice enough to send me a few links on city search - and had me choose one.

What to choose. What to choose.

I chose Cascina Ristorante on 45th and 9th. It was a simple restaurant, and I chose a table outside, it was brisk enough to make me wear my jacket, but I love to people watch.

Lisa arrived a little while later, and we had some wine and shared each other's dinners. The restaurant was good enough and certainly i'd recommend eating there before a show.

As we arrived at St. James Theater, the buzz that exists at a Broadway show hit me. Its something, to me, that is surreal. The palpable excitement that was in the air was very cool, and you kind of feel like "you are part of something". A show like this, and the feeling of sitting in the theater is like watching a rocket launch. You get the giddy interest of the anticipation of the start of the show - and once it begins you have a sense of relief and awe.

Maybe that is just me.

The show itself was simply goofy, campy and fun. Richard Kind played Max Bialystock, and he was fabulous. Richard nailed his role, and charmed the hell out of the audience. Alan Ruck played Leo Bloom and he was very average. I don't think he did a poor job, I just didn't find his acting very believable - I kept watching Alan Ruck acting rather than watching Leo Bloom performing.

One other interesting actor to note was Brooks Ashmanskas. He played the fruity "common law assistant" Carmen Ghia and was simply hilarious. He drew the hardest laughs from the audience, and I from the angle of my seats I was able to watch Richard Kind trying to maintain his composure during Brooks scenes. You know when you are doing a good job when your fellow actors are having a hard time not laughing at your routine.

Was this Broadway at its best? Well, The Producers isn't Hamlet. Its simply a live-action musical based on a movie and I think its good for New York nightlife. Glengary Glen Ross is now a show and Spamalot is also on Broadway. I say bring more entertainment to the masses this way. Much like Harry Potter will turn on a new generation of book fanatics, shows like The Producers will get a new generation of Broadway fans - some who may delve into more intellectual plays.

I asked Lisa to check out TKTS during her lunch breaks - maybe she can snag some mid-week tickets and a fraction of the cost of what people pay for advance tickets and we can see some more shows.

Cheap People Are Annoying

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Ever go out to dinner with a group of friends?

Everyone has a few drinks, some appetizers and the entree. Some drink more than others. Some order more expensive dishes than others.

In my world, and the friends that I keep, we normally just divide the bill into guesstimates and call it a night. Those people that ate/drank less we knock it a few dollars down and those that ate/drank more we knock it a few dollars more. Its my belief that over time - eating out with friends will even itself out.

Every once in a while I get someone who joins my friends out that annoys the piss out of me - the cheapies and the moochers.

The cheapies are the people who analyze the bill down to the last penny, muttering things like "Oh - I only drank WATER and ordered a SALAD! I owe $9.32!" This is fine. I have no problem if I am ordering filet mignon and boozing on 10 captain and cokes to adjust how the bill is split. What annoys me are people who analyze the bill to the last penny. Heck, if the bill is $70, where I out drank/ate - i'd throw in $50 and have them throw in $20 and call it a night. I wouldn't expect someone to split it $35 each. But what I hate seeing is someone turning into Earnst & Young and calculating everything.

Or you get the other extreme, the "moochers" - the people who order the cracked crab and lobster, washing it down with five mai tais and a cheesecake and coffee dessert - then ponys up $30 for their share of the bill. When I eat out I do keep a mental tab of what i'm eating and drinking - i'm always making sure that I pay my fair share. The moochers are always forgetting taxes and tip - and cry "But the menu said the cracked crab and lobster was $27!"

It kills me.

I see the same thing in the bars of Hoboken. You go out for drinks to your local pub and see the regulars that are around the bar. You know them - and you know there are some cheap ass motherfuckers who are more than happy to pipe up when you are buying a round and some other jerkoffs who rarely buy you a drink.

I know some cheap people who tell me their tales of woe, describing how they don't have a good job and can't afford large bar tabs. My advice is - stay home and drink at your place. Get drunk and then hit a bar. Its what I did in college and I would have 2 or 3 beers at the bar then go home.

Some of the cheapness can be seen in the tippers at bars, too.

I usually don't remain friends with people who are cheap. I find that i'm very generous with my money and don't like to be around other people who are not. That's just me.

My advice? Go out one night and as soon as you walk in a bar say "Drinks on me!" to your friends. Do it once a month. Heck, do it more than once.

Next time you go to your regular pub - overtip one night. Tip more than you usually do. Just do it like once a month. Trust me, the bartenders notice.

Ever go out to dinner with friends? Pick up the tab one time. It doesn't have to be every time. Do it for special occasions - like birthdays or anniversaries or just for the hell of it. I do it all the time. You don't have to be taking your friends to Balthazar, just do it at Cafe Michelina one night - its a BYOB restaurant and they have reasonable prices.

Or how about making dinner for your friends? I have been learning how to cook and I usually make more food than I can eat. What do I do? I give it to my roommates. They love it. Jon eats my leftover likes a human vaccuum and Kristen is always asking "You cookin' tonight??".

I'm happy to share my food with them because I know they got my back. Kristen likes to iron - so she is cool and irons my shirts for me when I ask. Jon helped me with that PC problem I had a month ago - my car battery died when I was trying to transport my PC to the Wizard to fix it. He hopped in a cab, with my pc, went to the wizard's office and dropped it off. I was busy waiting to get my car jumpstarted from AAA.

Generousity comes in all forms and sizes. Being cheap doesn't just mean about money. Its also about actions. I may have friends who don't have very good jobs and can't take me out to dinners - but I know they are generous in other ways. I recognize this, and I do know those people who are the cheapies and the moochers in my life.

...and I avoid them at all costs.

Top 5 Rules To Communial Laundry

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Its laundry day for me. I hate doing laundry, its one of those things that cut into my "pc gaming time".

But I realized a few things about doing laundry that I wonder if we all share.

Ever notice that you pick favorite amongst clothes? Come on - we all do it. That "special T-shirt" that you really like? Or those socks which "are much better than the rest of the socks because they cling so well"? Or the great pair of jeans that feels wonderful and makes your ass look great?

Then we have the dark side to laundry - the rejects.

You know what i'm sayin. You are nearing the end of the clean laundry cycle - getting to that steel wool underwear and the mismatched pair of linen socks that never stay up. Or you have the "Hennessy's Bar: Yagermeister Party 1996" T-shirt you got from a bar crawl which is the last clean shirt you have in the drawer.

Then, for some unknown reason - rather than throwing out the clothes we hate - they are there at the end of every month looking back at you like, "Hi Furey! Remember me, the J. Crew Flannel Underwear? Hey buddy - come on - wear me! It's 75 degrees outside - everyone loves a sweaty crotch!"

Ew.

Also, what's the deal with the "clean vs dirty" clothes? How long do you wear clothes until they become "unclean"? Like a pair of socks that I may wear all day - ok, at the end of the day I consider them "dirty" and put them in the hamper. But if I put ON the socks that night, and was just lounging at home - I can see using them the next day - its not like I was sweating them up or anything.

The worst is when you are completely out of clothing. Especially underwear. Then its like a game of "Hamper Hijinks" where you have to sort thru the hamper (Oh, we all do it, shut up) and find that "not-so-used" pair of underwear.

I really have to get my laundry done.

I'm fortunate that the coin operated machines are in a communial laundry room where I live - shared by all the renters in my building. I came up with a few rules and observations about these areas:

1. Clothes on top of the machine means "i'm next" (with a 15 minute grace rule). The 15 minute grace rule is the key to this. You can't put your clothes on top of a washing machine and expect to be next an hour later. You snooze, you lose.

2. Put clothes in the dryer? You better be around when its done or they go on top of the drying machine (I think the 15 minute rule applys here also). Sorry - this does mean a stranger will be touching your clean clothing and putting them on top of the not so clean drying machine. You were the fool who didn't time the dryers right when you went back to your apartment to watch the rest of The Greatest American Hero marathon.

3. Remember that trick we learned in college to get free washloads done (if you don't know it - don't ask) with dental floss, tape and quarters? Yea. Um. Stop it. Really. You cheap assholes are gumming up the coin operated dispenser and now I have to bring a hammer with me to slam the quarters into the slot.

4. If the machines break - please tell management. I remember that for 2 weeks the hot cycle and cold cycle were reversed on the washing machine. My roommates kept complaining to me about it (since i'm the Alpha Roommate - the oldest roommate in the house, somehow I become the guy who has to tell the landlord or management about our problems) - I took matters into my own hands and did the really tricky MacGuyver manuver of REVERSING THE HOT AND COLD WATER HOSES. Maybe if someone could have called management this could have been solved sooner - but noooooooo - everyone sits around expecting the magic laundry mechanic to appear and fix it.

5. Respect your communial space. Some people are the worst slobs on the planet - which is fine in your own apartment - but I walk into my communial area and it looked like the Tide Monster, the Wisk Fairy and Snuggles the Fabric Softner Bear just finished a threesome. Various mystery stains of detergent and tufts of dryer linen are strewn all over the room, with the one missing black sock.

Top 5 Things I Learned From NROTC

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While in Villanova, I was in NROTC (Naval Reserve Officer Training Corps). 'Nova, at that time, had the largest NROTC unit in the country with about 225+ midshipmen and midshipwomen. Both my brother in laws were Naval Academy graduates in 1990, one was an officer on a "boomer" (nuclear missile submarine) and the other was an officer on a "Oliver Hazard Perry" class frigate. Both told me about the best qualities of being a naval midshipmen: leadership, responsibility and getting laid like a champ. Come on. With movies like "Officer and a Gentleman" and "Top Gun" on heavy rotation on local cable channels, it was getting naval recruits laid across the country faster than you could say "I got no where else to go!" or "I feel the need. The need for speed." My parents were very supportive also. At first I thought it was because they liked the idea of military training to instill a sense of discipline into their half-feral child. It quickly dawned upon me that the money they would save was probably the real motivating factor. I joined NROTC on a whim, actually. It was my first day of school, and we were walking around the campus and they were handing out flyers. I spoke to some of the midshipmen, and the officers and they were extremely friendly - even the Marine enlisted Gunnery Sergeant was smiling and chatting amiably. I was a fairly easy sell - the only downside is that since I joined late I didn't have a scholarship I would pay my own way for the first 2 years of school and if I made "Advanced Standing" in my junior year I would get a partial scholarship for my final two years. Once I graduated I would be a commissioned officer. In some respects, i'm happy I joined - I instantly had 225+ friends on campus in the unit. On the other hand, what a dreadful way to begin college.

Travel Around Europe

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While I was studying in Florence, Italy, during my first semester junior year in 1992, I had the chance to travel around Europe. My parents purchased for me a Eurorail pass, which basically gave me free reign to travel anytime in Europe for free. Here are a few cities that I had the chance to visit...

Prague - In 1992 Prague was just emerging as a democratic nation and the people loved Westerners. I arrived in Prague extremely early in the morning, and it was really dead on the streets. Old women were hanging around the train stations, offering rooms in their homes for people like us to stay. I was using my "Let's Go Europe" book and decided to stay at a hotel in Prague.

Prague was a city frozen in time. Like many communist nations, the original archeticture of the city remained constant, untouched by modern development that was rampant in Western cities. Prague was gorgeous, absolutely stunning. I would walk around marvelling at the cobblestone streets and rejoicing in the strength of the dollar. It was a students paradise, with cheap beer, inexpensive food and an European mystique that only Prague captured.

I tried goulash for the first time in Prague, which was a stew of beef and vegatables, seasoned mainly with paprika. I washed it down with "Budvar" - the original Budwesier beer from Prague. The people were very friendly to westerners, and the city was alive with a new sense of freedom. One local man told me how they have a "Saint of Democracy" now.

I walked across the Charles Bridge in Prague, it was strewn with buskers, entertainers and vendors. Its a very beautiful place to walk after a good meal with a beautiful girl. Lots of students would congregate on the bridge, mingling with the locals.

I'd like to go back to Prague someday - but from what I have heard things have very much changed there in the last 13 years.

Paris - Paris was in a word, stunning. Nothing can really prepare you for Paris, its very much overwhelming with its culture and history. The beauty of the city, coupled with the history of the buildings - makes you feel very, very small. I felt very insignificant while walking the streets of Paris. I also felt very alone. Its a very romantic city. You walk down the street and a couple are sitting on a moped kissing. You go into a park, and people are kissing on a park bench. Lots of love in this city.

Of course I went to the Eiffel Tower, once at the top, viewing the skyline I really wished I could have shared the moment with someone. I was with a companion, a girl friend, but we weren't "together" - so to speak.

Being the Americans that we are, we decided that night to head to The Hard Rock Cafe. That figures about right. We are in Paris, we have the chance to sample some of the local fare - we go to the Hard Rock. Of course fate decides to laugh back at us.

Que Sera Sera

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When I was young, it was easy to think what your life would be like after college.

It seems that life was a successive series of goals. When I was in grade school the goal was to study hard so that I could go to a good high school. I accomplished this by applying myself and earning my acceptance into LaSalle College High School. After LaSalle, my "reach" school was Villanova University. I accomplished that goal, and was estatic to go to Villanova. The next goal was to get a great job, one that challenged me and, of course, paid well. I worked the streets of New York, and landed a wonderful position at a great company.

Then, something happened.

I'm not sure what. I don't know how to describe it. I was doing what everyone else was doing, the series of goals in life. The next series were things like: "Wife", "Home", "Kids". These aren't things that i'm writing about in my "Dear Diary" at 13. In the back of my mind I was always thinking that i'd meet someone, get a home in the suburbs and have children. This is what we do, right? These are the goals that most of us have which have been established from generation to generation.

I think we will agree that many in our generation, "Generation X", have pushed their marriage goals out. The number one reason is that we, as a generation, are much more educated, wealthy, empowered more than ever before. We have more choices, more opportunity, more freedom.

That means that we can work, date, pick and choose what we want to do with our lives. We don't have to get married at a young age. We don't have to settle for a partner - we can be selective, time is on our side.

Our generation doesn't need to get married right away. We get our own job, dating who we want, we can be methodical to finding what is right for our us. Unmarried at thirty doesn't have the same implications like it once did.

This is uncharted territory. We are all living longer. People who are thirty today, aren't like the thirty year olds of 1975.

Think about it. The people who were thirty in 1975, many were married - heck my parents were 33 - the same as that I am now. They had 4 children. I was 3. My brother was 6. My twin sisters were 9! I'm 33, I can barely clean my own room - let alone have 4 kids, a mortgage and a wife!

There weren't many bachelors then, living with roommates, unless they were living in Haight-Ashbury section of San Francisco trying to hold on to a 6 year old dream.

Today there are more single young adults than ever before. Some fall into different categories. This is the way I see it:

I'm Leaving Hoboken

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Hi everyone, you may have noticed that I haven't been updating the site for the past few days.

I have been very busy with a few things, and one of those things is a new job offer I got with my company (which I keep off these forums). They want me to move to the London office effective immediately, to head up a department there. It was an offer that I simply could not refuse, the effect it will have on my career is staggering.

It took me a long time to think about this, and I had to consider the pro's and con's to the situation. Going to London is a big step, but I figure that since I am young and single, with nothing tying me down in the states - I should take that risk and go for it.

What saddens me most is that i'm leaving Hoboken, my residence of the last 10 years. I can't believe I have been living here for so long and I have made a lot of friendships all this time. The hardest part of my decision was leaving the "small-town" feeling that Hoboken has, the friends I have made and how much I love New York City.

If someone asked me to move to any other city, I don't think I would be interested. If you know me, you know that I simply love everything about London - the culture, the music, the TV shows & movies. Plus London is the epicenter of Europe - a gateway to travelling around the other countries, and only a hop away from my favorite country, Italy. Plus I will be finally able to see Ireland, and visit another country that is part of my heritage.

I will be opening up a new blog called "philly2london.com" and I will be documenting my journey for all of you to read.

I really would like to take a moment to thank some Hobokenites that made me incredibly happy over the last 10 years, along with my family members....

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