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Thread: Close Up and Personal: Faces in the Crowd

  1. #331
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    Re: Close Up and Personal: Faces in the Crowd

    Quote Originally Posted by Juan C Ayllon
    Thanks, Frank!

    Here's a few more:



    Linebacker Brian Urlacher raises the trophy over his head



    Mike McCaskey (far left), whom I'd met back in 1994 while waiting tables at the now defunct Winnetka Grill



    QB Rex Grossman on the left sharing congratulations
    Looks to me like Grossman is doing his damnest to avoid a big, wet one on the lips in this photo. PeteLeo.

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    Re: Close Up and Personal: Faces in the Crowd

    You noticed that, too, Pete?

    Great minds think alike...

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    Re: Close Up and Personal: Faces in the Crowd



    I just received this email and pic from Indiana-based ring announcer Joe York:

    Juan,

    Here's a pic I got from USA Today that sums up my football feelings.

    On a personal note, my older brother Mark lives in Remington, IN - the geographical half-way point between Indianapolis and Chicago. I think he's a Colts fan although before the team moved here, he would cheer either for the Bears or the Bengals. My first NFL football game was marching with my high school band at a Bengals - Oilers game at Riverfront Stadium my freshman year...not bad to see Earl Campbell and Kenny Anderson play, and it was free too! lol The town of Remington is sorta divided between the two teams now! Although the Colts organization concedes Lake and Porter Counties to the Bears, this game is dividing loyalties throughout the state it seems! lol

    See you soon!

    Joe

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    One BAD Bunny...

    Hey,

    I was killing a few minutes and stumbled upon these photos from the "Killer Bunny" scene in Monty Python and the Holy Grail. I just had to share them with you:



















    Resorting to the "Holy Hand Grenade."
    Last edited by Juan C Ayllon; 01-25-2007 at 05:00 PM.

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    Al 'Speedy' Gonzalez falls short in return bout!



    My brother, Luis, shot this photo and others for a fight report of mine on Wednesday night. Light welterweight prospect Al "Speedy" Gonzalez was returning to the ring after two years off and lost!

    His stablemate, Aaron Williams, an undefeated cruiserweight prospect, won by a shutout unanimous decision win.

    Here's a link to the report:

    Al Gonzalez Fight Report

    Regards,



    Juan

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    'The Whiz' Press Conference Piece

    I just emailed the following piece to my professor in my journalism class. It's on a fictitious cell phone for kids he presented in a mock press conference.

    Enjoy!

    A Whiz of a Kid Phone

    By Juan C. Ayllon



    It’s bigger. It’s brighter. It’s more kid friendly. And it surfs the web, plays games and music. No, we’re not talking about a new “super-parent,” but, if six focus groups are right, children will think their parents are super just for buying them one of these.

    On Monday, January 22nd, KW Enterprises CEO Kevin Williams unveiled this potential blockbuster: a new cell phone designed just for kids eight to 16 years old that won’t break the bank. It’s called The Whiz. It comes in nine different colors, boasts a two-gigabyte memory, and features a full color display.

    The graphics, says Williams, have “an Ipod quality, rudimentary full color display,” supporting “fairly simple” games like Centipede. He added, “(There’s) no shoot ‘em up, violent games.”

    This is important, because in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, psychologist Craig Anderson, PhD., said, “Students who reported playing more violent video games in junior and high school engaged in more aggressive behavior." Continuing, he said, "We also found that amount of time spent playing video games in the past was associated with lower academic grades in college." With The Whiz, both kids and parents can breath a sigh of relief.

    The Whiz is parent-friendly in other ways, too. With a suggested price of $39.95, it’s easy on the wallet. It also comes with a password feature that enables parents to protect their children from online predators and inappropriate websites. And, the phone is compatible with preexisting phone plans.

    In testing, minor glitches with multi-tasking came up. However, according to Williams, who subjected his Whiz to six focus groups from New York to L.A., they’ve acquired a new chip that should solve the problem. Also, games don’t come with the phone, but must be downloaded off the web.

    Still, deciding whether or not to buy one shouldn’t be hard. In fact, it should be a Whiz. They’re scheduled to arrive at Target stores March 1st. Call on a super hero if you have to, but make sure you get one.

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    Pastana KOs Escalante!

    Check out my latest fight report, where De La Hoya's prospect Escalante got kayoed:



    Mike Gonzalez (right) and Carlos Madrid slug it out on the undercard.


    Link: Pastrano KOs Escalante
    Last edited by Juan C Ayllon; 01-27-2007 at 08:00 PM.

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    Re: Close Up and Personal: Faces in the Crowd




    2 monty python figures I got signed. palin and idle.



    "bring out your dead"

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    Re: Close Up and Personal: Faces in the Crowd

    Hey Phillyfan,

    That is too cool! I never knew they made figurines from the movie, Monty Python and the Holy Grail.

    Remember that line, "I'm not quite dead yet?" and Eric Idle's response? That was awesome!

    Have a great day,



    Juan

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    Juan at Ringside of Escalante KO



    Crash and shoot

    Hey, I just saw this photo of John Booz's at www.fightnews.com. That's me in the circle shooting a photo just over the fallen Escalante's right shoulder. That's me again in the red elipse below by Escalante's foot:



    You can see Jacob Chavez's report at:

    Jacob Chavez's Report

    Jacob, by the way, is a terrific guy.

    Cheers,



    Juan
    Last edited by Juan C Ayllon; 01-29-2007 at 12:15 AM.

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    Re: Close Up and Personal: Faces in the Crowd

    Hey Juan: What happened to Jazz on npr? I think it was on every week night, but no sign of it lately. Bummer.

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    Re: Close Up and Personal: Faces in the Crowd

    Hi Enswell,

    Are you serious? Wow. That stinks!

    I've been listening more to CDs while driving around in my car lately, so I haven't been tuning in to NPR at night. Usually, jazz was on from 8 PM on during the week.

    You know, I seem to recall that it wasn't on one night when I stayed late at work and tuned in to NPR while leaving. I'll have to look into that...

    Man, what's happening with Western Civilization?

    Regards,


    Juan

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    Link to Chicago Programming at NPR

    Hey Enswell,

    Looks like you're right. Here's a link to NPR programming in Chicago Monday through Thursday. It's at the Chicago Public Radio site:

    Chicago Public Radio Scheduling

    I also emailed them to find out what happened to jazz on their station.
    Last edited by Juan C Ayllon; 01-28-2007 at 11:03 PM.

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    Re: Close Up and Personal: Faces in the Crowd

    I just read this piece at the Yahoo page. Interesting stuff!

    Diet, exercise take off equal pounds, study finds

    By Maggie Fox, Health and Science Editor
    Fri Jan 26, 10:13 AM ET



    WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Eating less and exercising more are equally good at helping take off the pounds, U.S. researchers said on Friday in a study that challenges many of the popular tenets of the multibillion dollar diet and fitness industry.

    Tests on overweight people show that a calorie is just a calorie, whether lost by dieting or by running, they said.

    They found there is no way to selectively lose belly fat, for instance, or trim thighs. And their carefully controlled study added to evidence that adding muscle mass does not somehow boost metabolism and help dieters take off even more weight.

    "It's all about the calories," said Dr. Eric Ravussin of the Pennington Biomedical Research Center, part of Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge.

    "So long as the energy deficit is the same, body weight, fat weight, and abdominal fat will all decrease in the same way."

    Ravussin said the study, published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, is one of the few done under controlled conditions that can actually demonstrate what happens to a human body while dieting and exercising.

    Ravussin's team has been testing volunteers for another reason -- to see if taking in fewer calories helps people live longer. Strict diets have been shown to help animals from worms to dogs live longer, but it takes longer to study monkeys and humans.

    They tested 24 people, 12 who ate a calorie-restricted diet, and 12 who dieted and also exercised five times a week for six months.

    The dieters ate 25 percent less than normal, while the exercisers reduced their calorie intake by 12.5 percent and increased their physical activity to lose an extra 12.5 percent in calories.

    Another 10 volunteers acted as controls. All food was provided by the university in carefully measured portions for most of the study.

    The volunteers in both groups lost about 10 percent of their body weight, 24 percent of their fat mass, and 27 percent of their abdominal visceral fat. Visceral fat is packed in between the internal organs and is considered the most dangerous type of fat, linked with heart disease and diabetes.

    The distribution of the fat on the body was not altered by either approach -- helping prove that there is no such thing as "spot reducing," Ravussin said in a telephone interview.

    This suggests that "individuals are genetically programmed for fat storage in a particular pattern and that this programming cannot easily be overcome," he added.

    Ravussin has published other studies that also dispute the idea that exercise builds muscle that helps people lose weight.

    "If anything, highly trained people are highly efficient, so they burn fewer calories at rest," Ravussin said.

    Dieting alone also did not appear to cause the volunteers to lose muscle mass along with fat, Ravussin's team found.

    "There is a concept that if you exercise, you are going to lose less of your muscle," he said. But his team found no evidence this is true.

    Ravussin believes exercise is crucial to health, however.

    "For overall health, an appropriate program of diet and exercise is still the best," he said.

    His team found some small suggestion that cutting 25 percent of calories by either diet or diet and exercise might extend life.

    "We found that 2 of the biomarkers of aging were improved -- core temperature was 0.4 to 0.5 degrees C less," he said. "Insulin, which has been shown to be a biomarker of aging, was reduced," Ravussin said. That finding was published in the Journal of the American Medical Association last April.

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    Rita Figueroa article on De La Hoya's New Trainer

    Check out Rita Figueroa's piece on Oscar De La Hoya's announcement of his trainer for his upcoming bout versus Floyd Mayweather, Jr.:



    Rita Figueroa's piece on DLH's New Trainer

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    Lucky Dog with Super Bowl Tickets!

    Hey,

    I just had to post this photo of a fellow worker of mine, Rey, who just got tickets to the Super Bowl.

    Sheesh.



    Lucky dog!

    Anyways, go Bears!


    --Juan C. Ayllon

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    Huge Storm Headed for Florida

    Hey,

    I just received this cute message in my email this afternoon:

    "Huge Storm Headed for Florida"


    Link to Visual of Imminent Storm

    Wow. Go Bears!

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    Blonde Joke from My Mom!

    Hey,

    My mom sent me this blonde joke today:



    A blonde woman was speeding down the road in her little red sport
    car and was pulled over by a woman police officer who was also a blonde. The blonde cop asked to see the blonde driver's license. She dug through her purse and was getting progressively more agitated.

    "What does it look like?" she finally asked.

    The policewoman replied, "It's square and it has your picture on it."

    The driver finally found a square mirror, looked at it and handed it to the policewoman.

    "Here it is," she said.

    The blonde officer looked at the mirror, then handed it back saying, "Okay, you can go. I didn't realize you were a cop."
    Last edited by Juan C Ayllon; 02-01-2007 at 12:10 AM.

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    Chuck Colson gives 'Rocky Balboa' Thumbs Up!

    Whew! I just got back from a two-mile jog. It's too cold out there! Yuck.

    I know, I know. I live in the Midwest and I should be used to this by now. But, you know what? I'm not!

    Anyways, as I try to get a better grip on my fitness, I'm reminded of an unexpected review of Sylvester Stalone's movie, Rocky Balboa, that I heard the other day on the radio. Chuck Colson spoke briefly on it during one of his radio pieces.



    I posted up a small piece--with a link to his show's transcript--during a break at work earlier today, which you can access by clicking on the link below:


    Chuck Colson Gives 'Rocky Balboa' Thumbs Up!
    Last edited by Juan C Ayllon; 02-01-2007 at 01:08 AM.

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    Squirrely Email...

    One of my friends emailed me this photo, along with the following message:



    This little guy was on our back deck this morning :-)
    The fever is everywhere!!!
    So, of course, I emailed her another photo and the following message:



    Hey Raquel,

    I thought I'd send you a photo of a "Chicago" bear eating THAT squirrel...
    Hey, what can I say? It's been a BEAR of a week...

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    Her Response...

    Heh, heh, heh...

    That pic was just wrong.
    >
    > Hope you have a good weekend.
    >
    >

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    Re: Close Up and Personal: Faces in the Crowd

    Go Bears. If the football gods have anything to say about it, I can't imagine that they would hand the ultimate prize to a team that snuck out of town in the dead of night. That taint is always going to hang over the franchise.

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    Re: Close Up and Personal: Faces in the Crowd

    By Jason Cole, Yahoo! Sports
    February 2, 2007

    MIAMI – Brian Urlacher's eyes dart side-to-side quickly. He speaks almost faster than his eyes move, which is nearly impossible.

    He is focused, intense and ready.

    At that point, the Chicago Bears had only been in town for three days, but Urlacher might have already set an unofficial record for answering the most questions in a Super Bowl week.

    The most important question Urlacher wants to answer is whether he and the Bears can handle the Indianapolis Colts on Sunday in Super Bowl XLI at Dolphin Stadium. Without question, Urlacher is going to be the key to whatever the Bears hope to accomplish.

    Urlacher is more than simply the latest in Chicago's middle linebacker legacy, the heir to the position made famous by Dick Butkus and played at a similarly outstanding level by Mike Singletary. He also could become the latest in a series of linebackers who have turned the Super Bowl into their personal showcase. From Derrick Brooks to Ray Lewis to Jack Lambert, the Super Bowl has had a stunning number of great performances from linebackers.

    "I'm not thinking about making it a showcase, I just want to win the game," Urlacher said. "If that happens, great. But the reason it would happen is because of the people I have around me."

    One such performer is outside linebacker Lance Briggs, who like Urlacher has earned a trip to the Pro Bowl this season. However, the onus – at least perception-wise – mostly falls on Urlacher to monitor and rattle Colts superstar quarterback Peyton Manning.

    "My thing is just about being prepared," Urlacher said. "I can't worry about all the little things that Manning is going to do at the line. I just read the keys, react and play fast."

    That's a generous view by Urlacher, who followed his 2005 Defensive Player of the Year performance with a similarly outstanding year. In fact, it may have been subtly better.

    "What I saw with Urlacher was him playing better and better after they lost a couple of key guys around him," Minnesota coach Brad Childress said. "They lost [defensive tackle] Tommie Harris and they lost [strong safety] Mike Brown. When you do that, most players are going to struggle, even great ones. Urlacher kept going and he kept their defense going."

    As a team, the Bears struggled defensively in the first five games (including in the playoffs against the Seattle Seahawks) following Harris' season-ending left hamstring injury. They surrendered a combined 129 points in those five contests after giving up just 140 in the first 12 games – the main culprit being a failing pass rush that allowed opponents to be more effective in the air. But despite giving up 375 total yards in the NFC title game against the New Orleans Saints, the Bears limited their scoring by forcing turnovers.

    Many of the forced turnovers (translation: big plays) can be traced back to Urlacher, who was tied for third on the team in both interceptions (three) and pass deflections (nine).

    "I'll just say I've been around some good linebackers, some great linebackers, Derrick Brooks being one of them as an outside linebacker," Chicago coach Lovie Smith said. "But Brian Urlacher as an inside linebacker has it all. He's one of the best guys you'll ever meet, one of the best superstars you'll ever get a chance to be around and you can't find anyone with more talent than him … you just go through it all. He's a coach on the field. He knows our defense in and out. He is a perfect teammate. When do you want me to stop?"

    Urlacher is the main artery of the Bears defense, the guy who roams up and down the middle of the field, running down plays everywhere with his unique combination of height (6-foot-4), weight (258 pounds) and speed.

    "You look at a guy that tall who runs down the field with that speed and has those kinds of instincts, it's a pretty amazing combination," said Indianapolis tight end Dallas Clark, who figures to see Urlacher a time or two in coverage.

    "You just don't get guys like that. You see linebackers who are fast, but they don't have the instincts, they don't react in coverage like he does. You have guys who are big and strong and play the run great, but they can't run at all and they don't have the height to get into the passing lanes and break anything up. He's a challenge. You're going to have to run your best route if you're going to beat him."

    Urlacher is one of the few middle linebackers in the NFL who regularly stays in games in passing downs.

    "He's not one of those squatty-body guys out there, you have to find him in coverage because there's no easy way to beat him," Manning said. "He makes that window between the linebackers and the safeties a lot smaller … If you're going to handle their defense, you have to find an answer for him."

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    Close Up and Personal: Faces in the Crowd

    SUPER BOWL XS AND O'S
    Grossman gets the chance of a lifetime
    Bears quarterback could become the latest to break out at Super Bowl if he makes the right moves
    By Lonnie White, Times Staff Writer
    February 2, 2007

    The stage could not be set any better for Chicago's Rex Grossman to join a list of quarterbacks who had breakout games in the Super Bowl.

    The New York Giants' Phil Simms did it in Super Bowl XXI, Washington's Mark Rypien did it in Super Bowl XXVI and New England's Tom Brady did it in Super Bowl XXXVI.

    On Sunday, Grossman will get his chance against the Indianapolis Colts, who will crowd the line of scrimmage in an effort to entice him to throw more.

    And why not? After all, Grossman has been a model of inconsistency this season. He had seven games with a quarterback rating over 100.0, but he also led the NFL with five sub-40.0 rated games.

    In the playoffs, however, Grossman has been solid, completing timely passes and avoiding mistakes in leading the Bears to victories over Seattle and New Orleans and thereby securing their first Super Bowl appearance since 1986.

    Grossman's quarterback numbers have actually been better than his Indianapolis counterpart Peyton Manning in the postseason. Grossman has a 75.4 passer rating compared to Manning's 66.8, and although Manning has played one more game, Grossman has the same number of touchdown passes — two — and five fewer interceptions.

    Against the Colts, Grossman will face a defense that has turned things around in the playoffs by stopping the run.

    During the regular season, Indianapolis did not hold any team under 100 yards rushing and gave up averages of 173 yards a game and 5.3 yards a carry. Yet, in the postseason the Colts have given up only 252 rushing yards in three games and opponents are gaining only 3.8 yards per carry.

    With Indianapolis expected to feature the same stop-the-run-first strategy it successfully used in playoff victories over Kansas City and Baltimore in which it gave up fewer than 100 yards, Grossman will probably have his best opportunities to complete passes against single coverage on first downs.

    But in order for that to happen, the Bears will have to open things up. During the regular season, they ran the ball 59.5% of the time on first downs. In the playoffs, they have been even more conservative at 63.3%.

    Expect Chicago to keep the Colts off balance by being more aggressive with passing plays on first downs. To do that, however, they are likely to use maximum protection — keeping running backs, and perhaps even the tight end, in to block. That will put Grossman on the spot even more because he'll have more blockers in front of him but fewer receivers available.

    Quick slants will be the easiest passes for Grossman to complete against the Colts' quick but small defensive backs. He has to make accurate throws to take advantage of the Bears' edge in size with wide receivers Muhsin Muhammad (6 feet 2) and Bernard Berrian (6-1) along with tight end Desmond Clark (6-3).

    Indianapolis cornerbacks Nick Harper (5-10) and Jason David (5-8) do a good job of position coverage, but they can get beat with double moves. The key will be whether Grossman will get enough time to throw.

    Summary: The Colts' determination to slow down running backs Thomas Jones and Cedric Benson should be considered a special invitation for Grossman to earn Super Bowl most-valuable-player honors.

    If Grossman can manage the game like he did against the Seahawks and Saints, Indianapolis will be in trouble. The key will be producing positive gains on first downs to keep the pressure on the Colts, who thrive on predictable passing situations.

    lonnie.white@latimes.com

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    Hey, hey!

    Thanks, DScribeDC and Frank! Go Bears!

    At work today, a LOT of people were wearing Chicago Bears colors, if not Bears gear outright. Geez, you'd think we're going to the Super Bowl or something...

    One thing I noticed different about living in Southern California and Chicagoland is that Chicago fans tend to be more fanatical, as a rule. For instance, when there was a big Bears game here, you could tell a difference in the number of people at the grocery store. L.A.? You couldn't tell the difference!

    By the way, on a different note, Fightnews.com's Robert Hoffman forwarded me the following funny message:

    Subject: You gotta love this new store ...


    The new supermarket near our house has an automatic water mister
    to keep the produce fresh.

    Just before it goes on, you hear the sound of distant thunder and
    the smell of fresh rain.

    When you approach the milk cases, you hear cows mooing and witness
    the scent of fresh hay.

    When you approach the egg case, you hear hens cluck and cackle and
    the air is filled with the pleasing aroma of bacon and eggs frying.

    The veggie department features the smell of fresh buttered corn.

    I don't buy toilet paper there any more.
    I appreciate seeing Jacob Chavez and Robert at the fights.
    Last edited by Juan C Ayllon; 02-03-2007 at 10:42 AM.

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    An alternative, albeit funny, point of view...

    Hey,

    Just got these jokes in an email from ring announcer, Joe York, who'll be announcing the fights in Merrillville, Indiana next Friday:


    Juan,

    Here's a couple I thought were appropriate for this time of year, so repost wherever you like!


    A guy from Indiana dies and is sent to Hell. He had been a horrible man his entire life.

    The devil puts him to work breaking up rocks with a sledge hammer. To make it worse, he cranks up the temperature and the humidity. After a couple of days, the devil checks in on his victim to see if he is suffering adequately. The devil is aghast as the Hoosier is happily swinging his hammer and whistling a happy tune.

    The devil walks up to him and says, "I don't understand this. I've turned the heat way up, it's humid, you're crushing rocks; why are you so happy?"

    The man, with a big smile, looks at the devil and replies, "This is great! It reminds me of August in Indiana. Hot, humid, a good place to work. It reminds me of home. This is fantastic!"

    The devil, extremely perplexed, walks away to ponder the man's remarks. Then he decides to drop the temperature, send down a driving rain and torrential wind. Soon, Hell is a wet, muddy mess.

    Walking in mud up to his knees with dust blowing into his eyes, the man is happily slogging through the mud pushing a wheelbarrow full of crushed rocks.
    Again, the devil asks how he can be happy in such conditions.

    The man replies, "This is great! Just like April in Indiana. It reminds me of working out in the yard with spring planting!"

    The devil is now completely baffled but more determined to make him suffer. He makes the temperature plummet.

    Suddenly Hell is blanketed in snow and ice.

    Confident that this will surely him unhappy, the devil checks in on him. He is again aghast at what he sees. The man is dancing, singing, and twirling his sledgehammer as he cavorts in glee.

    "How can you be so happy? Don't you know its 40 below zero!?" screams the devil.

    Jumping up and down, he throws a snowball at the devil and yells,

    "Hell's frozen over! This means the Colts won the Super Bowl!"

    (editors note: Check the forecast again, but we are expecting snow and cold temperatures! Coincidence? Could be! )


    Here's another:


    John Madden was in San Diego to announce a football game one weekend when he noticed a special telephone near the Charger bench. He asked Rivers what it was used for and was told it was a hotline to God. John asked if he could use it. Rivers replied, "Sure, but it will cost you $200." John scratched his head, then thought, what the heck, I could use some help picking games. He pulled out his wallet and paid $200.

    John's picks were perfect that week.

    The next week John was in New England when he noticed that same kind of phone on the Patriots bench. He asked what the telephone was for and Tom Brady told him, "It's a hotline to God. If you want to use it, it will cost you $500." Recalling last week, John pulled out his wallet and made the call.

    John's picks were perfect again that week.

    The next weekend John was in Indianapolis when he noticed the same kind of telephone by the Colts bench. He asked Peyton Manning , "Is that the hotline to God?" Peyton said,
    "Yes, and if you want to use it, it will cost you 35 cents." John looked incredulously at Manning and said, "Wait a second, I just paid $200 in San Diego and $500 in New England to use the same phone to God! Why do the Colts only charge 35 cents?"

    Peyton looked at John and replied,

    "Because in Indianapolis, it's a local call."

    GO COLTS !

    See you February 9th!

    Joe

  27. #357
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    'The Whiz' Rewrite...

    Hey,

    I just emailed my journalism class professor my rewrite for the Whiz telephone piece. Here it is...

    A Whiz of a Kid Phone

    By Juan C. Ayllon



    It’s bigger. It’s brighter. It’s more kid friendly. And it surfs the Web, plays games and music. No, this isn’t a new “super-parent,” but children will think their parents are super just for buying them one of these.

    In January, KW Enterprises’ Chief Executive Officer Kevin Williams introduced it to the world. It’s a new cell phone designed just for kids eight to 16 years old that won’t break the bank. Called the Whiz, it comes in nine different colors, boasts a two-gigabyte memory, and features a full color display.

    The graphics, says Williams, have “an Ipod quality…full color display,” supporting “fairly simple” games like Centipede. He added, “(There’s) no shoot ‘em up, violent games.”

    That’s important, because psychologist Craig Anderson, PhD., said in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, “Students…playing more violent video games in junior and high school engaged in more aggressive behavior." With The Whiz, both kids and parents can breath a sigh of relief.

    The Whiz is kid and parent-friendly in other ways, too. With a suggested price of $39.95, it’s easy on the wallet. Parents can also use a password to protect their children from online predators and inappropriate websites. And, the Whiz works with your current phone service provider.

    In testing, some minor technical problems popped up. Now, they have a new chip that, according to Williams, should solve the problem. There’s also the inconvenience that games don’t come with the phone, but must be downloaded off the Web.

    However, in designing the Whiz, Williams turned to six focus groups from New York to L.A. for help. A focus group is “a small group selected from a wider population and (asked)…for its members' opinions…or emotional response to a particular subject…used especially in market research,” says the American Heritage Dictionary. Confident their opinions and tastes match yours, Williams feels that deciding whether or not to buy his phone shouldn’t be hard. In fact, it should be a Whiz.

    The Whiz should be at Target stores on March 1st. Call on a super hero if you have to, but make sure you get one.

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    Beer Tasting at 'Wine Knows' in Grayslake, Ill.



    Rich Lopez (left) met up with me at a terrific wine store called "Wine Knows" in Grayslake, Illinois today. The store was hosting a special beer tasting of a wide variety of domestic and imported beers.

    Rich, who dropped off copies of David "The Weezel" Estrada's fight with Louis Turner, will be reporting the next Dominic Pesoli/8 Count fights in Cicero, Illinois for me on Friday, February 17th. Our beloved Jorge Bravo will serve as photographer.




    One of the owners pours at one of the sampling tables. As you can see, the Chicago Bears weren't too far from the collective consciousness.



    A delightful couple to the right of Rich sample some darker beers. Interestingly enough, the lady--who admired my Canon D20 digital camera--had taken a photography class at the Art Center in Evanston. If you haven't been there, it's a lovely mansion off Lake Michigan on Sheridan Avenue located next to a picturesque lighthouse.



    A sweet wine and beer rep who was generous in her pours and served, amongst other things, a "Monty Python and the Holy Grail" beer. Of course, I bought four bottles for several friends and myself.



    Rich shot this photo of me getting served. Did I mention that today's high temperature was about six degrees F, not counting chill factor?



    Here's a friendly local lady sampling some nice red wine. She was a hoot, giving me a hard time about checking to see if the proprietor was okay with me shooting pics there (he was).

    Coincidentally, I picked up a bottle of their tasty Stephen Vincent 2003 Cabernet Sauvignon, which runs just $10.99 a bottle.

    Anyways, in a few hours, I'll be off to Kenosha to meet a friend and see Michael Soinski sing and play piano at a nice place on Lake Michigan.

    Rich will be enjoying some beers he picked up here and watching the fights.

    Cheers,



    Juan C. Ayllon
    Last edited by Juan C Ayllon; 02-03-2007 at 08:45 PM.

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    Go Bears


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    Re: Close Up and Personal: Faces in the Crowd

    JUAN...LIVIN' LARGE !

    greg

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