24 November 2006

Texas or Oklahoma?

Today two very important games are being played--at least as far as the Huskers are concerned.

At 2:30 today, the Huskers will face their final Big XII north opponent: Colorado. If the Huskers beat CU today they will be undefeated against the Big XII north. This would mark the first time we sweep the Big XII north since the 20th century (1999 to be exact). I'm not sure what that tells you; either the Huskers have improved that much or the rest of the BTN teams have deteriorated. I think there's a little bit of both going on. One thing is for certain, the 1999 season wasn't as painful to watch as the 2006 season which definitely tells you something is amiss. But I digress...

At 11:00 today, Texas faces Texas A&M. A rivalry game worthy of it's spot the day after Thanksgiving (unlike the fake rivalry game the Huskers will play in today). Frankly, I'm looking forward to this in state game more than I am the NU/CU game. I despise both these Texas teams, but since the outcome will help or hurt Texas' chances of playing the Huskers again in the Championship game, I have a distinct interest in who wins.

One thing I've never been fond of is rematches within the same season (don't even get me started on the defeasance of the Ohio St/Michigan game). The thought of facing Texas again in the Championship game bores me (and causes my eyes to roll). Of course, this is what you get when you have a conference championship game and for that I am forever annoyed with the Big XII Conference. Yet again, I digress....

It comes down to this. If Texas loses to A&M today and Oklahoma beats Oklahoma State on Saturday, then the Huskers get to play Oklahoma for the championship. If Texas wins, well, then the world gets to see Texas and Nebraska play again (ugh). Moreover, I think Nebraska has a better chance of beating Oklahoma and thereby winning the conference championship. Something that hasn't happened since, you guessed it, 1999.

An interesting note, in 1999 the Huskers had a rematch game with Texas. We lost to them during the regular season and then played them again in the Championship game--which we won.

So, today, I'll be rooting for Nebraska during the Texas/TX A&M game hoping A&M wins. And then I'll watch the CU game indolently but with interest in an effort not to be too disappointed and frustrated. It should be a good day.

16 November 2006

A Walk in the Woods

by Bill Bryson
274 pages

A co-worker loaned me this book after we had a brief conversation about walking the Appalachian Trail. I've been considering various 40th birthday trips and thought it would be a good goal for me to have... to walk the trail during my 40th year.

This book starts off in a typical Bryson amusing fashion, but ends rather soberly and profoundly with the author in deep thought regarding what I see as his challenge with Nature and how nature won.

But it ends with a positive tone and left me not wanting to hike the trail. And so my quest for a great 40th birthday trip continues.

05 November 2006

Suburban Safari

by Hannah Holmes; 246 pgs.

Hannah Holmes is a freelance science writer who recently moved to the suburbs in South Portland, Maine. She decides to spend a year observing the flora and fauna in her suburban yard and write about it. The book is divided into the seasons and begins with Spring. The book is a personal account of the goings-on in and around her house, interspersed with interesting tidbits on the effect of the suburban lawn on the environment. She frequently quotes an author of a book I've been trying to get my hands on for a long time, "Redesigning the American Lawn."

I enjoyed every minute of this book, it was an easy read including quirky stories of Cheeky the Chipmunk (who became a regular visitor inside her house to get sesame seeds from her hand), the crows she feeds every morning, to how earthworms are destroying the woods in New England. Her hatred for neighborhood cats and English Sparrows gets more than a few pages, as well.

I frequently patted myself on the back for my own "Freedom Lawn" and how it's helping reduce global warming... now if I could just convince everyone else. Hey, read this book!