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Updated (again)

It seems like I just did this…

Last February, I grew tired of our design and blogging component, so I did a bunch of behind-the-scenes work on the site to upgrade the content management system and design. I thought we were set for a while.

Then, in December, we had a bit of an issue where the site got hacked and was spitting out links in search engines to pharmacy sites. Nice. After playing around a bit, I determined that the best course of action would be to wipe the slate clean and start over. This way I can upgrade Joomla again to 3.0, have a nice clean installation that hasn’t been messed with too much, and we can move forward. I also took the opportunity to clean up our server.

As a result of this cleanup and upgrade, we’ve decided to remove the travelblog (because we haven’t added anything to it in years) and photo gallery. I know the grandparents will be disappointed, but we’ve decided it was too much to keep up with, and that it would be easier to just select a few images and add them to blog posts, or people can just catch them on Facebook. Also as a result of this cleanup, all of the images in previous blog posts are broken, and we have no intention of updating them. Again, sorry.

I hope you enjoy the new streamlined

Happy St. Patrick’s Day

In honor of my people (and in particular, my family) I’m going to celebrate by playing this:

Here’s what I’ve found:

During the uprising of 1798, John Kelly of Killane Co. Wexford, Ireland, was detailed by the Commander-in-Chief, Bagenal Harvey, to bring in all the available men from the Barony of Bantry for the planned attack on New Ross. He was seriously wounded in Michael Street, New Ross, following the successful attack on Three Bullet Gate. He was recovering in Wexford Town when it was recaptured by the British. A yeoman sergeant who was a neighbour and whose life he had saved some days before, gave evidence against him. He was hanged on Wexford Bridge, his trunk conveyed to the water and his head trailed and kicked along the streets before being spiked. Friends recovered the head and brought it to Killane for burial and a monument was later erected on the spot.

While there’s no evidence that we’re related, Killane is in County Wexford, where our line is rumored to have emigrated from. We also have multiple John’s in our line, including the first in our line to come to America (born around 1799).

For fun, I think I may just tell our son that this is for whom he’s named.

Bridget Rocks Out

Thanks to a couple of gifts, Bridget has been rocking out on the drums when she visits Grandma, and the guitar she got for her birthday from Keith and Shade’.

[video: 425×344] [video: 425×344]

Looks like we may have some talent there. Or at least a future rock star. I’ll have to teach her how to throw TV’s out of windows.

Here we went!

Ben Roethlisberger with Vince Lombardi trophy

I eventually did get out of bed at about 8:30 and tried going back to sleep, but found it difficult, so I came downstairs and re-watched the game. This was necessary due to my condition yesterday. I wanted to make sure I saw what I thought I saw. I also realized that the DVR had been recording from 6:00 last night, so I now have 15 hours of NBC 4 recorded.

So here are my thoughts on the game.

First half:

The Steelers were dominant. They did exactly what they should. Controlled the clock, kept the Arizona offense off the field, and kept Fitzgerald to only one catch. Our defense was awesome, and the Harrison interception runback was incredible.

I didn’t see any egregious errors by the officials (although there could have been a hold called on Townsend on the runback).

The touchdown that was reversed, I felt was too close to call, so I’m not too disappointed that it wasn’t allowed.

Second half:

I guess that could have been an incomplete pass by Warner instead of a fumble. I wasn’t pleased with the call, but what are you going to do? 

The roughing the passer penalty against Arizona was suspect. They could have let it go. The hit was a hell of a lot closer than the spear Ben took in the back against the Ravens two weeks ago, and they didn’t call that.

There will probably be a lot of whining about the personal foul for running over the holder. It was a legit call, though. You just can’t do that. The outcome remained the same, though, with only a field goal, so I don’t want to hear it.

Ike Taylor probably did deserve that personal foul, but Boldin was definitely not innocent.

I’m a huge fan of James Harrison’s, and I love his intensity, but he probably could have been thrown out of the game for that. 

Parker got out of the end zone, no doubt in my mind.

I can now see how a hold could be called on the safety, but that’s the type of hold that could be called on any play during the game.  I think the difference was that they fell down.

The defense laid back in the 4th quarter. They were way too deep and allowed plays to develop over the middle. That’s how the Cardinals got everything in the 4th. The prevent defense prevents you from winning.

Holmes definitely had a touchdown. There really is no question about it. Take a good look at any replay and  you can see it. Even if it wasn’t called on the field, it would have been a touchdown on review.

Kurt Warner 100% fumbled on the one at the end of the game. If the replay official didn’t even call for a replay, then it’s pretty clear. His arm was not going forward when the ball was hit.


The run game kept the Cardinals honest, but still couldn’t get going very well. It’s something they’ll need to work on next year. It just wasn’t where it should have been all year.

Ward did very well coming off an MCL sprain two weeks ago. He came up big when needed, as he always does.

Santonio Holmes made a name for himself last night. He came up huge in every situation. He only had one mistake, and that was the miss the play before he made his TD catch. As for the MVP, I don’t know, but the way he came up big in that last drive certainly makes the case for it.

Ben simply made plays all game long. He extended plays with his legs and didn’t make dumb decisions. The good Ben showed up, and it made all the difference.

I was a bit disappointed we couldn’t score a touchdown on 1st and goal twice during the game.

Ike Taylor did a great job on Fitzgerald. A couple of big plays, and all his work went down the drain.

There was seriously no doubt in my mind that Ben would win this game for us. I told everyone in the room that I was confident Ben could take them down the field and score. He’s done it his entire career, and did it again in the Super Bowl.

I’m also wondering if Brenda Warner is a pirate. Maybe there were some left0ver puffy shirts from that episode of Seinfeld.

What was up with the Seahawks colors on all of the Super Bowl clothing?

In summary, I’m extremely happy with this win. I’m sure some people are going to try to make it like the Steelers had help from the officials and that we should have won, but that’s garbage. The Steelers deserved to win, they dominated the entire game, and they came out with their 6th trophy. They navigated through the toughest schedule the NFL had seen in decades and came out on top. I couldn’t be more proud of my boys. 

Ravens Fans Now Cardinals Fans

Long lost brothers?

So, we went to witness the Steelers take care of business against the Ravens in-person yesterday (pictures and video coming soon can be found in the gallery and on the YouTube page). In a word: Fantastic! We froze our butts off, but it was totally worth it. I debated going to last week’s game, but decided to take a chance and sold my tickets just in case the AFC Championship game would be played in Pittsburgh. I have no voice right now.

 It was a great game for us. The offense did its job, and there should be no debate about who has the best defense in the NFL. 

Jess put it best: The Ravens offense was wearing black and white.

And that really does describe it. Aside from a long punt return, then a b.s. pass interference call, and a shanked punt, then another b.s. pass interference call, the game wasn’t nearly as close as the score made it out to be. I’m sure I’ll have more comments after watching again on the DVR, but the key things I remember thinking was that we held on to the ball (except for the one fumble, but that didn’t amount to anything for the Ravens, as they turned it over on downs), got in Flacco’s face and forced mistakes, and didn’t allow any big plays. I was, however, horribly disappointed in the final drive of the first half. Terrible clock management, and terrible hands by Limas Sweed. He sort of made up for it with the block on Corey Ivy, though (maybe there will be a "bounty" on his head next year, ooooooh scaaaaary).

I will say that I hope McGahee makes a full recovery. From what I hear, he’s going to be fine. It did kind of put a downer on the end of the game, though. I hope Clark doesn’t get a "bounty," either.

So go ahead, jump on the Cardinals bandwagon, haters. You’ll have all year to be bitter about your third loss in a row to a superior team.

I won’t even talk about how dumb the Ravens name is, but I will link to this article.

I think Jess will post later about the trip itself, but I wanted to get some initial thoughts in. Bill, feel free to leave the obligatory comment about the refs or whatever other excuse you can think of to try to use.

Reyers – The ONLY place I got shoes as a child…

I got a frantic call from my mother tonight to tell me to turn on CBS Evening News. This was playing:

Watch CBS Videos Online


When I was growing up, Reyers was billed (still is) as the "World’s Largest Shoe Store." I remember when it moved from the little store on State Street that you see in the flash-back footage into it’s current location, which used to be a supermarket.

One time, when I was little, my mother tried to take me to get shoes somewhere else to get new shoes, and the entire time were were in the other store I kept saying, "I don’t know why we’re here, I ONLY get my shoes at Reyers."

EDIT: I failed to mention that Jessica’s grandmother is from Brockway, and she and her sisters used to drive to Sharon for the express purpose of getting shoes at Reyers. We call her to see if she wants anything every time we head up there.

Room rental?

With all the hubub regarding the inauguration in January, there have been a lot of news reports about the lack of hotels in the D.C. area.

The question is, should we rent out our guest room? Maybe we could do a package deal where we include transportation to the Metro.

Or we could take in a friend or relative, I guess.

We do have inflatable mattresses, too. I wonder how much we can get for them…

Finished (probably, possibly, maybe,…)

I probably can’t leave well enough alone, but I think we’re probably done with the new site. We’ve completed the import of all of the old blog posts (back to 2005), and I’ve recreated the travelblog with pictures and tags.

Yes, I know it looks different from this regular blog, but I couldn’t use the same application for two areas of the site (dumb, I know, but I just couldn’t implement it the way I wanted to, besides, they’re different blogs, so why can’t they look different?) I also can’t put an archive on the travelblog, but I don’t think that’s very important because they’re broken out by trip on the left side anyway. The tags use a different application, too (and don’t display exactly as I’d like when you click on something), but they have to because the regular blog’s are integrated. Not much I can do about it at this point. It’s the best app I could find for the purpose

So for the time-being, I think I’m happy with the site. I’m sure there will be things I’ll always want to tinker with, especially because I’ve said we’re done a couple of times before.

Maybe we’ll actually start writing on the travelblog again (we also should start travelling again, but hey). Jess has plans to add some pictures to the California trip, too.

So enjoy.

Until I find something else I want to improve.


How can a quarterback that’s in his fifth season, who just signed a $102 million contract, make such dumb mistakes? Couple that with a few lucky tips into the hands of Colts receivers, and you have a game that was given away.

Take away the dumb stuff of this game and the Giants game, and they’d only have one loss.

But they made those mistakes and now have to live with them, and with a Ravens team that is now a stone’s throw away from them, and the only thing holding them back is the tiebreaker.

And we’re right in the middle of the toughest part of the schedule.  Awesome.

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Brendan joined the party on January 2, 2004. He's cool now.

Jessica has never been cool. She is OK with that.

And just so everyone is clear, what we say here is not endorsed by either of our employers.