Today marks the two year anniversary of this blog! It was on January 20, 2007 that I made my very first post to this blog. I started this blog just after attending the 2007 Consumer Electronics Show where I met some really beneficial people, like Bob Buskirk, a fellow tech site owner.
Since that time, this blog has seen 745 posts and 1940 comments over the past two years, which is pretty decent for a non-niche blog. I have really enjoyed updating the blog, sharing aspects of my tech site and personal life with my readers.
I have toyed with the idea of monetizing this blog or perhaps starting a niche blog (probably personal finance), but thus far, I haven’t acted on either of those ideas. We shall see what happens in 2009.
Updates as of late have been few and far between, which haven’t been on purpose. It just seems that I have less and less time to devote to the blog, but I will look to change that from this point forward. So, what’s been going on since my last update?
A CES 2009 No-Show
This was the first year since I started going to CES that I didn’t make it to Vegas for the annual technology trade show. I tossed around the idea of attending late last year but ultimately decided against it, mostly for financial reasons. CES is such a blast and equally as beneficial for my tech site, as I get to network and make new contacts with potential sponsors and other site owners which is invaluable. But, I didn’t let that get me down and did what I could from home and managed to secure a relationship with Intel, which is absolutely huge!
CES 2010 is definitely in my future, granted the show doesn’t go the way of COMDEX and cease to exist next year. Attendance was down this year but let’s hope they give it a few more years to rebound.
Ole Miss Wins 2009 Cotton Bowl
Ole Miss shocked the country and took Texas Tech to the woodshed in the 2009 Cotton Bowl on January 2, coming away with a 47-34 victory and proving once again that the Big 12 is overrated. The Rebs finished the season very strong, with a 31-13 win over LSU in the 1st annual Magnolia Bowl and absolutely dismantled Mississippi State 45-0 in the Egg Bowl. Ole Miss finished 15th nationally and is already being ranked as high as 5th in preseason polls for next year.
These accolades are well earned. After all, Ole Miss was the only team to beat Florida, the eventual National Champion. 2009 will be a great year for sure. Can you say SEC Champions?
I told myself I would probably never buy another gaming console, especially a current-generation unit. They are just too expensive and I don’t play games enough to warrant the expense. But here I am, with a 360!
I ended up buying a Pro model from Josh after our last LAN party. He purchased two additional units for use at the party but turns out, we didn’t need them. I got a heck of a deal which is really the reason I bought it. And thanks to Left 4 Dead, I have actually been playing it quite a bit, as a group of about 5-6 of us play multiplayer almost nightly. If you are on Live and want to add me, just leave a comment with your Gamertag or e-mail me at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Paying Off Debt
Since I started following Dave Ramsey about a year ago, I have cut out a ton of useless spending in my budget and have been working very hard to pay off debt that I have accumulated over the years. About 85% of my debt is student loans and I have been paying those off as fast as I can. I have only a single payment left on the one loan I have been attacking which is pretty exciting. My focus after that is the one remaining credit card balance I am carrying, then it is full steam ahead on my large student loan.
At first, it was really tough to cut back on unnecessary spending and trying to save money, but now that I have been doing it for almost a year, it is actually fun. I enjoy seeing how frugal I can be each month and how little I can get by on. Odd, yes, but it is very motivating.
Keeping Busy With Work
Many people wish they could work for themselves at home, create their own schedules and be their own boss. The reality is, it is tough. The reason I say this is because you are never “off work”. With a traditional job, once you leave the office, you are free. You don’t have to worry with work until the next day or after the weekend. When you work for yourself, you are always thinking about work and what needs to be done and when you are going to do it. I love what I do but it is pretty stressful and there is a lot of responsibility. I don’t think most people could do it.
Anyway, things with OCIA.net are still going strong. I have been focusing on attaining more sponsorships for the site, which means sharing the latest and greatest hardware with our readers. Things look bright for 2009 and I can’t wait to see what the year brings!
I have been looking to hire an additional reviewer and have taken a chance on two people in the past several months, both of which have screwed me over and basically stole the review items without doing any work. Its frustrating when someone with no morals comes along and throws a monkey wrench into what you have worked hard to do just for a free product. Its even more frustrating when you see these people move on to the next site they plan to scam.
On that note, if you are into the tech scene and think you might be interested in writing for my site, shoot me an email and we can talk.
I have also been doing some freelance writing for another tech site based in Mexico, Techspot. Things with this site have been going really well and I have had a good time reviewing for them and look forward to continue our relationship in 2009.
I had never heard of a Texas Pickle until just recently. Adam had been telling me about then for a while and finally decided to make a batch.
Basically, you take jalapenos, remove the insides, fill with cheese then wrap the entire thing in bacon. Bake in the oven or cook on the grill and you end up with what you see above!
I love trying new foods and the Texas Pickle was no exception and in fact, it was very good. I am not a huge fan of spicy foods but once gutted and cooked, the jalapeno was not spicy at all. I would recommend you give them a try sometime for sure.
and to say they just won is an understatement. It was absolute domination from the get-go. The most stunning display of offense, defense and special teams I think I have ever seen.
So, how bad was the 45-0 defeat of Mississippi State?
Here are a few stats to chew on. The Ole Miss defense set a new school record with 11 sacks. The Ole Miss defense was also responsible for hitting State’s quarterback nine out of the first 10 pass attempts. The Ole Miss defense intercepted two of their first five passes. And perhaps most impressive of all, the Ole Miss offense put more points on the board than State had total offense - 45 points vs only 37 all purpose yards. Seriously, who does that?!
With a win in the Egg Bowl, Ole Miss is all but locked into a bid for the Cotton Bowl. Reps from the bowl, along with other bowls, were on hand and Ole Miss staff even dropped cotton balls from above the media booth onto the fans below!
The “land shark”, Jerrell Powe, posing for photos after the game.
John Jerry waving an Ole Miss flag for photographers.
Below is a video I recorded of the final minutes of the game and post-game celebration!
In all, an excellent way to close out the regular season. This team (8-4) has come a long way from the dismal 3-9 effort just a year ago and deserve every bit of what is to come in the post season. Congrats guys and let’s bring home another bowl game trophy!
As you can probably tell by my absence of posts lately, things have been pretty busy on my end. This is the “busy season” for hardware sites, as manufacturers are looking to get as much exposure as possible for the holiday buying season. I have been busy getting all of my staff “stocked up” with review items and have even taken a few on myself.
We saw this TJ07 at SilverStone’s booth at the 2007 CES and have been anxious to check out their uni-body design ever since. Look for my review of the FT01 to hit OCIA.net sometime next week. We are also working on putting together a holiday contest / giveaway of sorts. Look for that to hit sometime right after Thanksgiving!
In other hardware news, I have started doing some freelance writing for another tech site, which has given me the opportunity to check out some really cool hardware and has been a blast so far. I have a big article in the works as well as two other reviews for that site, which I will link to when they are published.
Aside from computer work, there has been quite a bit going on lately that I want to take a minute and touch on.
Thanksgiving is just around the corner and we all know what that means: lots of great food!
Josh and I are going to make deep fried turkey(s) this year. I first had deep fried turkey a few years ago at Keith’s sister’s house and OMG, it’s the best food I’ve ever had! A deep fried turkey is so juicy and tender - the exact opposite of what a traditionally cooked turkey is. I will be recording the cooking process and posting the video on here and YouTube, so be sure to check that out.
Other than that, Keith’s family has invited me over once again for their Thanksgiving dinner. They have invited me the past several years and I am really appreciative of that. I don’t really have a lot of family so it’s cool to be around them around the holidays.
On a sad note, Thanksgiving time has been a bit less happy, as it always reminds me of my mom. She passed away 7 years ago today, so this time of year always brings back those memories
The CHL hockey season kicked off about a month ago. Josh and I purchased half-season tickets for the Mississippi RiverKings and have attended a handful of games so far. As of writing, we are off to a 7 - 6 season… not the best, but it could always be worse!
If you have never attended a hockey game, I would encourage you to give it a try. I never liked hockey but was invited to go to a game with a friend nearly 13 years ago (wow, has it been that long?!) and have been hooked ever since. Being there in person is so much fun and is nothing like watching it on TV, which I agree is pretty boring!
In other sports news, my college football team, the Ole Miss Rebels, have been having a pretty good season, especially compared to last year. We are 6 - 4 on the season and gained bowl eligibility last Saturday. This is the first time the Rebs have been bowl eligible since the 2003 season. The only question that remains now is, which bowl will we be headed for?
The final two games of the regular season will determine that. We play LSU this Saturday (2:30 pm CST on CBS) and Mississippi State on Black Friday. If we win out, which is very possible, we are almost 100% headed to the Cotton Bowl in Dallas, Texas. A loss or two losses and we are more than likely headed to the Liberty Bowl in Memphis, Tennessee.
I am hoping for a bid to the Cotton Bowl, as that is a much better bowl, but a trip to the Liberty Bowl would mean I could possibly attend, which would be sweet in itself. It will be interesting to see how the rest of the season plays out, especially the LSU game this weekend. I’m betting Ole Miss pulls out the victory - you heard it here first!
The Ultimate Fighting Championship has been putting on some pretty good events lately. Since moving to my new place, we have ordered each UFC pay-per-view and have been having parties here on fight night. The most recent was UFC 91, which pitted champ Randy Couture against the 3 - 1 newcomer Brock Lesnar.
Lesnar, formerly in the WWE, is an absolute monster and I fully expected him to be the new UFC Heavyweight champion after the night was over. He came in weighing 40 pounds more than Couture, is 18 years younger and is super quick and agile for his size.
And sure enough, Lesnar ended things in the 2nd round after catching Couture with a shot that dropped him to the mat. Lesnar capitalized and reigned down a series of hammer fists that forced the ref to call the fight. Congrats to Lesnar on this victory and I will be looking forward to seeing him defend the title against the winner of Nogueira / Mir.
Speaking of that fight, which will take place at UFC 92 on December 27, there are also two other headlining fights on that card. The first pits Light Heavyweight champion Forrest Griffin against undefeated Rashad Evans in what should be a great fight. The other main event caliber fight that night is Quinton “Rampage” Jackson against Wanderlei Silva. Jackson has fought Silva twice and both times, he has pretty much been destroyed. Rampage is one of my favorite fighters so I am certainly hoping he pulls out the victory. As they say, third time is a charm, right?
Big 3 Bailout
Oh geez, don’t get me started! Are you friggin’ serious? It totally baffles me how companies that make SOO much money, as these three do… they have one “bad” year and they are on the verge of bankruptcy! Where the hell did all of that money you made over the past several years go? Seriously. Do they simply not keep money in the company?
I certainly hope Congress doesn’t bail out these idiots. What kind of message will that send to other companies if they do?
Just because people don’t want to buy your products in flocks, for whatever reason, you are instantly entitled to have your company saved by the government? What’s next, Nikon asking for help because they aren’t selling enough cameras, Microsoft asking for money because they aren’t selling enough copies of Windows? Seriously, where does it stop?
So let’s say the Big 3 go bankrupt and all those people lose their jobs. Guess what? THERE ARE OTHER JOBS IN THIS COUNTRY YOU CAN DO! So many people tend to think that losing their job would be the end of the world. No it won’t. Go get a different job.
Sure, it would be a change of pace and you may not even like it, but it isn’t disaster. You can still survive.
Economy In General
Stocks continue to drop, unemployment is up, etc. The world is coming to an end!
Gah, whatever. Have you been to Wal Mart recently? I went last Saturday and it was a mad house. Wonder where all of these people are getting their money! And when Black Friday rolls around, I have money that says you will still see people lined up in front of all the major retail stores hours before they open!!
Sales may be down this year compared to past years, but is that a bad thing? Maybe that just means people aren’t consuming like a fat kid sitting up to his neck in skittles. It’s amazing how much junk people buy and they think that junk is going to make them happy.
All jokes aside, 90% of the economy is between your ears. If things are right in your house and you know how to control your finances and not spend like a drunken Congressman, everything will be fine and you have nothing to worry about.
There are so many people that aren’t affected in the least by the current state of the economy. Those people call in every day to the Dave Ramsey show and tell their stories. How are they able to survive this horrible economy without losing any sleep about it?
They are debt free. They have no credit cards or other stupid payments holding them back.
So yeah, that’s about all I have for today. I will try to post updates a bit more frequently over the next few weeks. Please feel free to chime in with your thoughts in the comment section below!
Houston Nutt, that is. The new Ole Miss football coach kicked things off in style Saturday night against the local rival Memphis Tigers. I have been looking forward to the start of college football season… oh, about 8-9 months now! 2008 looks to be the year that Ole Miss turns things around with a new head coach, a new quarterback in Texas transfer Jevan Sneed as well as a fine supporting cast on both the offense and defense.
Josh and I took the hour-long trip to Oxford to check out the season opener. As anticipated, Nutt’s Ole Miss team put a hurting on the lowly Tigers, resulting in a 41-24 win for the Rebs. Below are a few photos and videos from the game.
Memphis trying to execute a trick play.
The new 6 million dollar video screen, the largest true HD screen in the SEC.
Looks even better at night!
For reference, the old screen. Talk about a major improvement!
I went to check out Eli Manning / Patrick Willis Day on campus this morning. I had to wake up around 9:30 a.m. (not a morning person) in order to get there by 10:30, just before the Walk of Champions.
I got right up front… well as close as I could to the roped off section. Then, they removed the ropes… odd… and then, it was like a stampede, so I ended up not having the best view. Oh well.
As the team left he Student Union and headed down the Walk of Champions, Eli jumped in front of coach Nutt and led the way. During his interview, he mentioned this, saying he might not ever have a chance to do it again, and coach Nutt didn’t seem to mind.
Both Eli and Patrick were given keys to the city of Oxford.
The pair was also presented with framed copies of the Manning / Willis poster (yes, I bought one heh).
This is the cast that Patrick wore on his right hand during his junior season. That year, he suffered from a broken finger, sprained knee, right mid-foot sprain and a partial AC joint separation of his right shoulder… and still led the NCAA in solo tackles!
After the awards ceremony / interview (which will be up on YouTube soon), I headed over to check out the Red vs. Blue spring scrimmage game. The Blue team came away with the victory, 40-14
The annual Ole Miss Grove Bowl is set for tomorrow at 1 p.m. The Grove Bowl is an intra squad scrimmage game that takes place each year at the end of spring practice. This event gives fans a look at next season’s team, which, for football fans, is always fun.
This year will be a special one for Ole Miss and football fans in general. Tailgating starts at 10:00 a.m. in the Grove. At 10:45 a.m., Super Bowl winning New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning and NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year Patrick Willis (both former Ole Miss players) will lead the football team down the Walk of Champions on their way to Vaught-Hemingway Stadium. Gates open at noon and kickoff is set for 1:00 p.m.
Tomorrow will be a good opportunity for me to test out my new camcorder. The two photos above were taken with it, and I shot some video last weekend back in my hometown, but nothing really too great.