Archive for June, 2007

USA 1 – Argentina 4

Last night Argentina overwhelmed a young US squad in the first round of the Copa America in route to a 4-1 victory. The US took the early lead when Eddie Johnson converted a penalty kick, but the Yanks couldn’t control Juan Riquelme, Hernan Crespo, and Lionel Messi.


Futbol Meets Football

USA > Mexico

Thank You Benny Feilhaber for this wonderful goal. It’s great to see USA continue its success against Mexico in this 2-1 win in the Finals of the Gold Cup.

A lovely reader left this wonderful comment this morning.

“Is this the only think you’ve got to do–posting an NBA Mock Draft? That and the stupid picture, whatever you’re trying to imply, is simply a waste of time and a fraud. If you’ve got all the education you CLAIM, you should be spending your free time helping at a homeless shelter or a soup line or some relgion-based social service organization!! Instead of pissing people off grow up and do some good for the world–quit thinking of yourself/you narcissist!”

Wow. I’m glad that I elicited a response from a reader, but I wasn’t expecting such a response on an NBA Mock Draft — I didn’t know they were so controversial.

To clarify his comments about the “stupid picture,” I had posted a popular picture of Greg Oden dancing with a coed at an Ohio State party. This picture may have been offensive, so I will admit that I changed it to a “politically correct” picture of Kevin Durant covering his head with a basketball net.

“If you’ve got all the education you CLAIM, you should be spending your free time helping at a homeless shelter or a soup line or some relgion-based social service organization!!”

I suppose the reader didn’t browse through the contents of my blog. In the past I’ve used my blog to raise awareness on local events and issues that local residents might find pertinent (e.g. energy saving tips, historic preservation ideas, local recreational activities). I do like to write posts concerning professional athletics, but I do so because it’s fun and harmless. Also, during the day I work for a non-profit environmental organization on pollutant modeling and K-12 education. So I like to think that I do some good for the world, but I don’t want to pat myself on the back and be narcissistic.

For those unfamiliar with what a narcissist is, a narcissist is a person with an inordinate fascination with oneself. I guess the reader thought that I was using my NBA Mock Draft to glorify myself and my amazing NBA mock draft skills — I guess I shouldn’t have predicted that I would be the #1 pick.

Greener Grounds

At the University of Virginia’s annual Community Briefing, University officials talked to community members about the school’s interests for the upcoming year. This year the main focus of the meeting was sustainability. The University is committed to becoming a more sustainable part of the Charlottesville community, lowering its impact on the environment, and increasing cost savings. In the past UVA has worked on water conversation programs, storm water management, recycling, and public transportation initiatives.

So what will UVA focus on in the future? For starters, all new University buildings will seek LEED certification, including the new Emily Couric Cancer Center, the Claude Moore Medical Educational Building, and the various structures of the massive South Lawn Project. New projects will also use a “mixed -use” approach, and combine residential areas, public space, and learning facilities.

Additionally, UVA officials will focus heavily on transportation and giving people more choices to get from one place to the other. The University will work with the City of Charlottesville to build better bike paths and sidewalks and reduce the car traffic coming to Central Grounds.

The University wants to promote an environmentally friendly culture and serve as a leader for community groups and other universities.

NBA Draft – #3

1. Portland Trailblazers – Greg Oden, C, Ohio State
2. Seattle Supersonics – Kevin Durant, F, Texas
3. Atlanta Hawks – Al Horford, F, Florida
4. Memphis Grizzlies – Brandan Wright, F, UNC
5. Boston Celtics – Joakim Noah, F, Florida
6. Milwaukee Bucks – Mike Conley, PG, Ohio State
7. Minnesota Timberwolves – Corey Brewer, F, Florida
8. Charlotte Bobcats – Jeff Green, F, Georgetown
9. Chicago Bulls – Yi Jianlian, C, China
10. Sacramento Kings – Julian Wright, F, Kansas
11. Atlanta Hawks – Acie Law, G, Texas AM
12. Philadelphia 76ers – Spencer Hawes, C, Washington
13. New Orleans Hornets – Thaddeus Young, F, Georgia Tech
14. LA Clippers – Al Thornton, F, Florida State
15. Detroit Pistons – Rodney Stuckey, G, Eastern Washington
16. Washington Wizards – Jason Smith, C, Colorado State
17. New Jersey Nets – Javaris Crittenton, G, Georgia Tech
18. Golden State Warriors – Nick Young, G, USC
19. LA Lakers – Derrick Byars, G, Vanderbilt
20. Miami Heat – Alando Tucker, G, Wisconsin
21. Philadelphia 76ers – Tiago Splitter, F Brazil
22. Charlotte Bobcats – Arron Afflalo, G, UCLA
23. New York Knicks – Wilson Chandler, F, DePaul
24. Phoenix Suns – Marco Belinello, G, Italy
25. Utah Jazz – Josh McRoberts, F, Duke
26. Houston Rockets – Marcus Williams, G, Arizona
27. Detroit Pistons – Sean Williams, F, Boston College
28. San Antonio – Morris Almond, G, Rice
29. Phoenix Suns – Marc Gasol, C, Spain
30. Philadelphia 76ers – Daequan Cook, G, Ohio State

Bob Bradley recently released the US Men’s National Team’s Copa America roster, and here is is:

No. Name Pos. Ht. Wt. Birthdate Caps/G Hometown Club
17 Beckerman, Kyle M 5’10” 165 04/23/82 1/0 Crofton, Md. Colorado Rapids (MLS)
13 Bornstein, Jonathan D 5’9″ 145 11/07/84 7/1 Los Alamitos, Calif. Chivas USA (MLS)
4 Boswell, Bobby D 6’2″ 185 03/15/83 2/0 Tampa, Fl. D.C. United (MLS)
7 Califf, Danny D 6’1″ 175 03/17/80 14/1 Orange, Calif. Aalborg BK (Denmark)
19 Clark, Ricardo M 5’10” 150 05/10/83 6/0 Jonesboro, Ga. Houston Dynamo (MLS)
12 Conrad, Jimmy D 6’2″ 185 02/12/77 21/0 Temple City, Calif. Kansas City Wizards (MLS)
10 Davies, Charlie F 5’10” 160 06/25/86 1/0 Manchester, N.H. Hammarby IF (Sweden)
3 DeMerit, Jay D 6’0″ 185 12/04/79 3/0 Green Bay, Wis. Watford FC (England)
5 Feilhaber, Benny M 5’9″ 150 01/19/85 7/1 Irvine, Calif. Hamburger SV (Germany)
11 Gaven, Eddie M 6’0″ 165 10/25/86 3/0 Hamilton, N.J. Colombus Crew (MLS)
8 Gomez, Herculez F 5’10” 165 04/06/82 0/0 Las Vegas, Nev. Colorado Rapids (MLS)
23 Guzan, Brad GK 6’4″ 210 09/09/84 1/0 Homer Glen, Ill. Chivas USA (MLS)
9 Johnson, Eddie F 6’0″ 180 03/31/84 26/10 Palm Coast, Fla. Kansas City Wizards (MLS)
18 Keller, Kasey GK 6’2″ 190 11/29/69 100/0 Lacey, Wash. Bor. M’gladbach (Germany)
16 Kljestan, Sacha M 6’1″ 150 09/09/85 1/0 Huntington Beach, Calif. Chivas USA (MLS)
21 Mapp, Justin M 5’10” 140 10/18/84 5/0 Brandon, Miss. Chicago Fire (MLS)
15 Moor, Drew D 6’0″ 170 01/15/84 0/0 Dallas, Texas FC Dallas (MLS)
25 Nguyen, Lee M 5’8″ 149 10/07/86 1/0 Richardson, Texas PSV Eindhoven (Holland)
14 Olsen, Ben M 5’8″ 140 05/03/77 34/6 Middletown, Pa. D.C. United (MLS)
6 Pearce, Heath D 5’10” 175 08/13/84 6/0 Modesto, Calif. FC Nordsjælland (Denmark)
20 Twellman, Taylor F 5’11” 170 02/29/80 24/6 St. Louis, Mo. New England Revolution (MLS)
2 Wynne, Marvell D 5’9″ 171 05/08/86 0/0 Poway, Calif. Toronto FC (MLS)

My thoughts: Wow! What a young team! Where’s Landon Donovan, DaMarcus Beasley, Clint Dempsey, Tim Howard, Pablo Mastroeni, or Oguchi Onyewu?

It looks like Bradley is relying on Ben Olsen, Jimmy Conrad, Eddie Johnson, Taylor Twellman, and Kasey Keller to lead the team. If the US teams wins a few games I think that Bob Bradley will cement his place as the MNT coach. In fact, he’ll look like a genius. However, if they bomb then Bradley gets all of the blame and he’ll look like an idiot.

I think that the team will struggle the most in the midfield. Bradley didn’t pick any experienced midfielders for this squad except Ben Olsen, and I don’t know if they have anyone that can be “the playmaker” and carry the squad. Even Michael Bradley could’ve filled this position, but he’s playing in the U-20 World Cup. I would have liked to see Bradley pick Donovan or Mastroeni to help settle the midfield, but I guess Bradley wants to see some fresh faces emerge.

In a tournament that features Brazil, Argentina, and Colombia, Bradley is truly throwing his players directly into the fire. The US’s first match is June 28th against an Argentina squad that features Lionel Messi (FC Barcelona), Carlos Tevez (West Ham United), Gabriel Heinze (Manchester United), Javier Mascherano (Liverpool), Hernan Crespo (Inter Milan) and Juan Roman Riquelme (Boca Juniors).

Honestly, I am looking forward to watching the US in the Copa America. US fans will get the chance to see “the future of US Soccer,” and we will get a better idea of how American soccer stacks up against South American talent.

Will Eddie Johnson and Taylor Twellman maintain their scoring touch? Who will provide the playmaking skills in the midfield? Who’s going to wear the captain’s armband and lead the team to victory? I can’t wait for Copa America.

Best Possible Lineup:

Forwards: Eddie Johnson, Taylor Twellman

Midfield (from left to right): Justin Mapp, Benny Feilhaber, Ricardo “Rico” Clark or Ben Olsen, Sacha Kljestan

Defense (from left to right): Jonathan Bornstein, Jimmy Conrad, Jay DeMerit, Heath Pearce

Goal: Kasey Keller

The top 10 most expensive cities include:

1. Moscow
2. London
3. Seoul
4. Tokyo
5. Hong Kong
6. Copenhagen
7. Geneva
8. Osaka
9. Zurich
10. Oslo

According to the latest Cost of Living Survey from Mercer Human Resource Consulting, Moscow, Russia is the most expensive city in the world. Mercer’s annual Cost of Living Survey covers cities across six continents and measures the comparative cost of over 200 items in each location. For example, the survey looks at housing, transportation, food, clothing, household goods and entertainment. So you might want to cancel that summer vacation in Russia.

UVA’s junior point guard Sean Singletary has announced that he will return to the team for his senior season. Sean withdrew his name from the 2007 NBA draft this afternoon just in time for the 5:00 p.m. deadline for underclassmen. NBA draft experts have said that Singletary would be a mid-to-late second round draft pick, and some experts didn’t think he would be drafted at all. Singletary’s decision to stay at UVA will certainly have an impact on the team’s position in the ACC. With Sean, UVA is one of the top 4 teams in the league and an NCAA tournament contender. Without Sean, UVA is at the bottom of the barrel in the ACC.

Even though I am a burgeoning UVA basketball fan, I can honestly say that Singletary made the right decision by staying.

  1. He gets a degree from one of the best universities in the country
  2. He can cement his status as one of the all-time greats at UVA
  3. He can improve his game and solidify himself as a 1st round draft pick in the 2008 Draft

Some notable underclassmen that decided to stay in the draft: Jeff Green (Georgetown), Spencer Hawes (Washington), JamesOn Curry (Oklahoma State), Javaris Crittenton (Georgia Tech), and Thaddeus Young (Georgia Tech).

Some notable underclassmen that decided to withdraw from the draft: Devon Hardin (California), Dominic James (Marquette), Marcelus Kemp (Nevada)

Yesterday I saw a Lowe’s commercial advertising ways to saving energy and money. So I went to Lowe’s website to find some quick and easy tips.

  1. Adjust thresholds and door sweeps
    That little 1/8-inch gap along the bottom of your front door is equivalent to having a 4-inch hole in your wall; you’d plug that up fast! If your threshold and lower door sweep are adjustable, take five minutes to adjust them so they’re snug. Usually it requires only a screwdriver. If they’re not adjustable, replacement parts are available.
  2. Add electrical outlet sealers
    The area behind electrical outlet boxes is frequently neglected when a house is insulated. Adding more insulation usually isn’t an option, but reducing drafts from air leaks is. Foam electrical outlet sealers (left), designed to fit snugly behind outlets and switch cover plates, are inexpensive and install easily.
  3. Seal leaky ductwork
    A recent study estimates that the average forced-air system loses over 20% of its heated (or cooled) air through leaks in the duct system. In open basements and attics where ductwork is accessible, it’s usually easy to seal these leaks. Two materials excel at the task. Both are inexpensive and the typical payback period on your investment is less than two years. Use a silicone sealant designed for ducts to seal gaps around curved seams, and aluminum tape to seal straight seams. Note: Contrary to its name, duct tape is actually one of the worst materials for sealing ducts; it degrades very quickly.
  4. Install an ENERGY STAR programmable thermostat
    One study shows that ENERGY STAR programmable thermostats, when set to lower the temperature 5 degrees at night and 10 degrees during the workday, can save up to $150 per year. That’s a pretty hefty savings from installing a device that can cost as little as $40.
  5. Make sure your chimney damper is shut tight
    Don’t overlook the obvious. Did you remember to shut your fireplace damper after that cozy little fire you had a few months ago? Open dampers allow chimneys to pull warm air out in winter and cool air out in summer.
  6. Lower the temperature on your water heater
    Heating water beyond 120 degrees F can be both unsafe and wasteful. You can easily save money by lowering the temperature setting on your water heater. It’s usually as simple as turning a dial. If your water heater doesn’t have temperature markings on the dial, check water temperature with a cooking thermometer and gradually adjust the temperature by trial and error.
  7. Install dimmer switches and motion detector lights
    An inexpensive dimmer switch can lower your utility bill and substantially prolong bulb life. Installing motion detector lights outdoors keeps lights from burning all night long. For non-motion detector fixtures, screw-in adapters and independent motion sensors are available.
  8. Clean your refrigerator coils
    At least twice a year (more often if you have pets that shed) take time to clean the coils behind or beneath your refrigerator. Clean coils help the compressor work faster and run less often, saving electricity and resulting in fewer service calls and longer life for your appliance.
  9. Change furnace and cooling equipment air filters
    Check you filter every month, especially during heavy-use months, both summer and winter. A dirty filter will slow down airflow and make the system work harder. A clean filter will also prevent dust and dirt from building up in the system.
  10. Invest in ENERGY STAR products
    When shopping for new appliances, heating and cooling equipment, light fixtures and building materials, look for the ENERGY STAR logo. It’s your assurance that the product uses less energy, saves more money and helps protect the environment better than standard models. For a complete list of products and tons of useful information, visit