Laurie's flagship team, the Elks, won their second Super Bowl yesterday, trouncing the Greenwoods 40-28. The QB-K tandem of Peyton Manning-Matt Prater led the team throughout the season, and Manning will lead the Gold All-Stars in next week's All-Star Game. Also playing:
The Angels send QB Drew Brees and WR Calvin Johnson.
The Aguas send RB Frank Gore and reserve K Mason Crosby.
The Beagles send reserve QB Matt Ryan, RB Jamaal Charles, WR AJ Green, K Steve Gostowski, and reserve WR Duane Bowe,
The KCAs send TE Jimmy Graham and D Cincinnati.
The Rangers sent reserve RB Demarco Murray and injured WR Wes Welker.
And the Greenwoods send RB LeShon McCoy, WR Demariyus Thomas, and reserve D Seattle.
The Elks send QB Peyton Manning, RB Matt Forte, and reserve K Matt Prater.
The Ducks send reserve QB Matt Stafford, injured RB Adrian Peterson, TE Verne Davis, reserve WR Dez Bryant, and D Dallas.
The Porkchops send RBs Marshawn Lynch and Steven Ridley.
The Clock BBQs send reserve RB Eddie Lacy, WR Deshawn Jackson, and TE Julius Thomas.
Buzz sends WR Brandon Marshall and K Steven Haushka.
And the B2s send reserve D Arizona.
ITEM: Remember way back when at the start of the hockey season when I mentioned that the Polish League might be in limbo because of the disputes between the clubs and the new head of the hockey federation? Well, I learned it came to a head last week when the teams staged a lockout. Apparently the BIG thing is that the federation president was supposed to be lining up a big name, permanent sponsor for the league- and has failed to do so. A meeting yesterday ended with both sides where they were before, and no hockey yet.
ITEM: A few months back a study by the Organization for Co-operation and Development (of what, I'm not sure) announced that the five fattest nations were the US of A, Mexico, New Zealand, Chile, and Australia. But when you ask the people of these nations, it seems that Australians are more inclined to see themselves as fat (48%) than Americans (44%). This survey, of 4,000 people in "eight developed countries" (Couldn't find out which ones) also show that Aussies were the second least likely to get off there butts and exercise (25%), second only to (prepare your WWII jokes here) France at 39%. You'd think all that running would do them good, but I guess that was another generation...
ITEM: This week's snow hit us up with (at a guess) around 8 inches, and more slideoffs than I've heard during some ice storms. I have to say the highlight of an afternoon of listening to the police/fire/EMS scanner came at 1:15 PM Saturday, when a cop came on the are and announced, "These roads are AWESOME!"
Also, this note for one of my favorite fellow bloggers, who will get after me if I don't: Laurie had to work Sunday Morning, so I dug the car out. THREE TIMES. And warmed it up in the morning. Okay?
ITEM: The Chinese lunar rover named Jade Rabbit made its debut on the Moon this weekend.
And what was its first mission? According to Xinhua, the first maneuver was for it and its lunar lander to take pictures of each others. Selfies on the Moon... maybe they should have named it the Jade Obama...
ITEM: And the latest from the world of government waste, courtesy FoxNews:
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers paid $5.4 million for shoddy trash incinerators that were delivered years behind schedule and never used, leaving soldiers at an Afghanistan base with no other option than to keep burning waste in open-air pits, according to an internal probe. The report from Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction John F. Sopko was released Monday. It found the failure to complete the trash incinerators left soldiers exposed to potential health hazards from the burn pits, and taxpayers, once again, with nothing to show for a multimillion-dollar investment.
“This project appears to have been a complete waste,” Sopko said in a statement to FoxNews.com. “Even worse, the open-air burn pit used instead of the incinerators put the health of our troops at risk.”
According to the report, officials now expect the unused incinerators to be salvaged for “scrap.”
Sopko’s scathing report, the latest in a series of critical findings on Afghanistan spending, accused the Army Corps of paying the contractor in full for incinerators that were not only finished more than two years behind schedule but riddled with operational problems that rendered them “unusable.”
“I don’t know what the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers considers success, but spending more than $5 million on something that was never used is not what I call successful to the American taxpayer,” Sopko said.
The contract was awarded in late 2009 to a Denver company called International Home Finance & Development LLC. The project was part of a broader effort by the U.S. military to install incinerators on large bases so personnel do not have to use open-air burn pits.
But while the project was supposed to be finished in August 2010, the work dragged on until December 2012. Part of the delay was attributed to security and weather conditions, but the inspector general’s office said the Army Corps could not provide documentation to account for most of the hold-up.
In a written statement to the IG’s office, the Army Corps largely blamed the contractor, citing the company’s suspension at one point over safety violations as well as “slow design effort” and “slow work performance.”
The delays were only part of the problem. The report found that when the project finally was handed over, the incinerators had electrical deficiencies that would require another $1 million investment to correct.
Wiring was not up to code, outlet boxes had “unsealed openings” and the power was not properly “bonded” -- which can create a safety issue.
Because of these additional costs, base officials decided not to operate the units. And even if they had put in the additional $1 million, the review found the units could have operated only at 80 percent capacity.
Further, the loading area was so narrow that trash haulers and forklifts could not fit -- meaning the waste would have to be loaded manually and the ash would have to be carted off in wheelbarrows.
The Army Corps also offered a curious explanation -- that, because base officials indicated they would “deconstruct the incinerator” shortly after they got it, there was no pressing need to fix the outstanding problems. So, the incinerators were turned over as is, and the contractor was paid, with the apparent understanding that the project would be disassembled and never used.
The inspector general’s office, though, disputed the Army Corps’ claims, and requested documentation within 15 days explaining its findings that the contract was properly overseen.
According to their website, IHFD LLCs mission is "To enhance the quality of life and promote economic growth in the developing world by deploying socially and environmentally sound housing programs, green energy techniques, and alternative energy, coupled with innovative financing, while maintaining focus on long term profitability in". In what, I don't know, because it doesn't finish and I could find no way to make it do so- much like the ACofE. I would say, though, that sending inoperable, late, half-finished equipment to Afghanistan so that US troops can take the time to disassemble and scrap it while being paid for operational equipment that might actually be used DOES qualify as "innovative financing".
ITEM: Running a little long here, so we'll finish with this one. Researchers at Stony Brook University came up with a mathematical program to troll the internet and determine the 2,000 most influential people ever. Though I was only ever able to find the top 100, here is the top 20:
20- Christopher Columbus. Sorry all you "he was a racist and committed genocide on Native Americans" types.
19- Albert Einstein. He probably knew he'd be on this list someday. Maybe even what University would do the study.
18- Josef Stalin. Nobody said they'd influence the world positively.
17- Martin Luther. See what happens when you post a to-do list?
16- Queen Victoria. Probably down from #1 or #2 in 1900.
15- Julius Caesar. The man that launched a thousand salads.
14- Karl Marx. The one with the horn, right?
13- Queen Elizabeth I. But no love for Elizabeth II, I see.
12- Charles Darwin. Not bad for someone just monkeying around.
11- King Henry VIII. Invented the modern divorce system.
10- Thomas Jefferson. Invented the $5 bill.
9- Alexander the Great. He mixed Greek culture with Persian, Egyptian, and Indian, and got something that would be wiped out by Muslims in 1,000 years.
8- Aristotle. Beat out Plato by 17 spots.
7- Adolph Hitler. Yep, he influenced the hell out of Europe.
6- George Washington. Invented the $1 bill.
5- Abraham Lincoln. Top of 14 US Presidents in the hot 100, including Richard Nixon (82), George W. Bush (36), and Ulysses S. Grant (28, but he had that whole Civil War thing going.)
4- William Shakespeare. "Death makes no conquest of this conqueror; For now he lives in fame, though not in life."- Richard III
3- Mohammed. The religious guy, not the boxer.
2- Napoleon Bonaparte. Really? I wasn't surprised at first, because I first found the story on a French site. But when I learned it wasn't a French study, I had to say, "ce que l'enfer?"
ANNNNNNNND at 1....
Jesus Christ. Eat it, atheists!