Archive for September, 2002

Troy reigns triumphant

Saturday, September 28th, 2002

It was a good weekend to be a Trojan. USC’s #18-ranked football team crushed #23 Oregon State, 22-0, in our Pac-10 conference opener. Let the race to the Rose Bowl begin!! Meanwhile, our men’s water polo team upset archrival UCLA, 10-8 in overtime! And our undefeated, top-ranked women’s volleyball team stayed that way, beating #18-ranked and previously undefeated Washington State, 3-0 (30-18, 30-21, 30-24) and defeating Washington, 3-0 (30-28, 30-19, 30-26).

The only bad news game from the homefront: Newington High School’s football team lost 36-18 to E.O. Smith. Next week they begin the CCC South conference season against Bulkeley.

Wildfires and windstorms

Tuesday, September 24th, 2002

I got some incredible video footage Monday evening of the huge “Williams” wildfire about 30 miles northeast of downtown Los Angeles. From the top of any parking structure or other tall building on USC’s campus, you can see not only the smoke, but the actual flames. I’ll post my videos on this website ASAP. In the mean time, you can read about the fires here. As of Monday evening, the fire had burned 5,000 acres and was only 5 to 10 percent contained.

Meanwhile, back in my hometown of Newington, Connecticut, it seems there was a bit of wild weather recently…

A thunderstorm on Sept. 11 knocked a large branch off a tree in our back yard, blew it over the roof, and dumped it the front yard — in the process, partially blocking my bedroom window and the light-up American flag that my parents had turned on, at my request, in commemoration of the anniversary of the terrorist attacks. Above is a photo of the scene that my mom just sent me. Here’s another photo of the fallen branch in all its glory.

Finally, speaking of wild weather, Hurricane Isidore may have given the U.S. Gulf Coast a major break by unexpectedly spending the last 30 hours inland over the Yucatan Peninsula. The once-mighty storm, almost a Category 4 monster when it made landfall, is now barely a tropical storm, and may be downgraded to a tropical depression within a few hours. Forecasters say it will probably re-intensify once it re-emerges over the Gulf (although, I frankly, I wonder about that), but at any rate it seems unlikely to regain its former potency before making its second landfall (probably in Louisiana later this week).

Isidore makes landfall

Sunday, September 22nd, 2002

Category 3 Hurricane Isidore came ashore along Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula Sunday afternoon with sustained winds of 125 miles per hour. Isidore is moving west-southwest at the moment, but it is expected to take a northerly turn in about 48 hours, and it could well head for Texas or Louisiana later in the week.

In other news, the Emmy Awards are tonight at the Shrine Auditorium, which is literally across the street from the apartment building where I live. The whole area is crawling with cops and security folks, streets are blocked off, concrete barracades are up, etc. Today, I think, would not be the day to walk down Hoover Boulevard screaming, “Dude, I am da BOMB!”

Good news and bad news

Saturday, September 21st, 2002

Bad news: USC’s football team lost to Kansas State today, 27-20, our first loss of the season. Our defense was quite good in the first half, then fell apart in the second half; our quarterback was pretty good, but had no help; our offensive line was pretty damn bad throughout the game; our wide receivers had very slippery hands; and our special teams were pathetic. But hey, at least it wasn’t a conference game.

Good news: UCLA lost, too — and not just to any team, but to Colorado, the same team we beat 40-3 last week! The Bruins lost to the Buffaloes 31-17, which, if my math is right, produces an extrapolated USC margin of victory of 51 points over UCLA. And our win was at Colorado, whereas the Bruins’ loss was at home! So nyah!!!

Bad news: Newington High’s football team lost to Hall High today, 44-33.

Good news: Miss Connecticut made it into the Top 10 finalists round in the Miss America pageant.

Bad news: She didn’t win. Miss Illinois did.

Good news: USC’s women’s volleyball team is ranked #1 in the country!

Bad news: Hurricane Isidore is going to wallop someone pretty soon. As of 11:00 PM Pacific time tonight (Saturday), it had 125 mph winds. It’s going to at least brush the Yucatan Peninsula, and then… well, all I gotta say is, watch out, Texas. Here’s a satellite map as of Saturday night:

Hitler made false promises, too

Tuesday, September 17th, 2002

From today’s Los Angeles Times: “French Foreign Minister Dominique de Villepin warned that Washington should think twice before acting alone (against Iraq). ‘This could be the most important foreign policy decision they will take since World War II,’ he said Monday.”

What an interesting and oddly appopriate comment. A few questions for the minister: What if the U.S. had chosen not to act in World War II? What if we had appeased dictators and ignored world threats then, as France apparently wants us to do now? Where would France be today, if we had “thought twice” and made the other decision then?

Sprechen Sie Deutsches?

Note to CNN: The country is called Iraq

Monday, September 16th, 2002

Check out the captions…

Note to CNN: This man is not Colin Powell.

Sunday, September 15th, 2002

This was the top story on Netscape Mail’s “news” page for at least several hours…

Connecticut 24, Buffalo 3

Saturday, September 14th, 2002

The score says it all, really. But in case you needed more, here’s the box score. (Hey, it isn’t every day that I get athletic bragging rights over Becky, so I gotta cherish it. By which I mean gloat.)

While we’re on the topic of football, how about those USC Trojans and their 40-3 win at Colorado today? For that matter, how about those Newington High School Indians and their 21-6 win over South Windsor in their season opener Friday at home? Hooray for USC and NHS!

“My world” breaks two-day hits record

Saturday, September 14th, 2002

The September 11 anniversary spurred an unprecedented flurry of traffic to this website, as 68 individual web surfers visited on Tuesday, Sept. 10, and 65 more stopped by on Wednesday, Sept. 11.

The two-day total of 133 unique hits is a new My world record, surpassing the mark of 120 set on May 28-29, 2002. May 28 was Brendan’s parents’ 25th anniversary. In terms of single-day hits, Sept. 10 and Sept. 11 rank third and fourth all-time, respectively, behind the 80 hits recorded on May 28 and the 74 hits registered on November 30, 2001, My world‘s launch date.

Additionally, at 8:26 AM Pacific time on Sept. 11, My world received its 4,000th hit since its present counter was installed on Feb. 23, 2002.

The increase in traffic surrounding the anniversary of the terrorist attacks was caused partly by an mass e-mail that Brendan sent to his friends and family in the wee hours of the morning Sept. 10, encouraging them to visit his site and observe his commemorations of the Sept. 11 attacks. But the traffic surge was also partly attributable to an increase in hits from strangers who found the site on Google or another search engine by searching for terms related to Sept. 11. My world regularly gets a few such hits each day, but the anniversary produced a noticeable spike in searches for such terms as “september 11 songs,” “images and photos of sept 11,” and “old newspapers sept. 11, 2001.”

CNN Breaking News

Tuesday, September 10th, 2002

U.S. government raises terror threat level for first time since March,
signifying a “high risk of terrorist attacks,” sources tell CNN.

Website update in progress

Thursday, September 5th, 2002

I’m sorry for the lack of news updates in recent weeks. I am in the process of updating the whole website in preparation for the September 11 anniversary, and I plan to bring this news section up to date soon.