Monday, May 31, 2010

Back from Vacation to Egypt

Diane and I have been away for a while on a fascinating and fun vacation to Egypt, so that's why no posts on the old blog here for a few weeks.

I'll be writing and posting pictures about our trip over the next few weeks, but until then here is a "teaser" picture from our excursion...

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Pac-10 Football - Spring Brings Hope

It's been a long, dry walk in the Gobi in terms of action in my favorite sport - college football.

Well, most schools have now completed their spring practices...typically capped with a intra-squad spring game. My Alma Matter - the University of Oregon - just played their game this past weekend. The great thing is that no matter what school you follow, spring gives you hope.

For anyone who follows the Pac-10, you certainly have heard about 3-4 players from the Ducks football squad who had run-ins with the law this past winter - the most significant being QB Jeremiah Masoli who is now suspended for the full 2010 season.

However, what you may not know is that the Duck are loaded on offense, including two very capable QBs in senior Nate Costa and near Dennis Dixon clone Daron Thomas. Plus, Masoli never played defense or special teams. And, if that wasn't enough...the Duck D is looking very good.

So, I'm going to go ahead and bait controversy and say that the Ducks are going to win the Pac-10 again in 2010. This is mostly based on the significant number of returning players the team has from its championship season last year, but also based on the fact that no other Pac-10 team is - at least to me - clearly better.

Washington? Probably better than last year. Hell, they might even finish in the top three of the league. But, I don't think they are the best team. I definitely don't agree with the UW radio announcers who declared this spring that the Huskies are league champion contenders and their QB as a top level Heisman Trophy candidate. USC? OK, well, new coach, major losses to the draft and graduation. I'm sure they'll win more than they lose (might even beat my Ducks down in LA), but I am not sure their the class of the league. Could win it if they get a few breaks. Top three for sure. UCLA, Arizona, Cal, ASU? All four are hyped every year and every year all four find ways to tank it. I will only believe these schools will win the Pac-10 when they actually do it. So, this is your middle of the pack. WSU? Forget it. Sorry, I like the Cougs, but they're not winning the Pac-10 this year. Stanford? Not that's an interesting team. I'm going to say they finish in the top half of the league - maybe outside chance they win it all. That leaves the hated Oregon State Beavers. Despite losing their senior QB, they return a lot of talent and I think we could be looking at another "Civil War for the Roses" come late fall.

Below is my predicted order of finish:
  1. Oregon
  2. USC
  3. Oregon State
  4. Standford
  5. Washington
  6. Arizona
  7. Cal
  8. Arizona State
  9. UCLA
  10. Washington State
1-3 could be these teams but in different order, 4-9 are pretty even too. Sorry WSU.

Hey, I know a lot can happen between now and the first weekend of games - not to mention as the season progresses. But right now, coming off of spring practices, keeping focus on my favorite team and their league...I'm feeling pretty good about the Ducks' chances in 2010.

OK, now that I've jinxed the Ducks with my confidence - thus ensuring a disappointing season - I'll wait to see how it all unfolds starting in September.

Monday, May 3, 2010

2010 Eugene Half Marathon!

Diane and I spent last weekend in Eugene, OR. Primarily, we were there to run the 2010 Eugene Half Marathon (13.1 miles) on Sunday...which we did. But, we also enjoyed meeting up with our friends Matt and Kristine for some wine tasting and dinner.

Below are a few pictures from our trip. You can see some additional pictures from the run by clicking HERE.