Friday, August 22, 2008

Kevin Riley is our Starter!

Oh my goodness! No freakin' way! Kevin Riley is the starting quarterback for the 2008 opening game against Michigan State. I was already excited for Cal football, but now I am just outright giddy - or is it nervous?

Did anyone honestly expect this? Nate Longshore is a two-year starter, who has basically earned his starting spot for the past three years. Nate was rated the top ranked junior quarterback by Mel Kiper Jr. only one short year ago. He was also the second quarterback in Cal history to throw for more than 3,000 yards. The dude can play!

Nate was the perfect quarterback for a group of skill players that included Marshawn, Justin Forsett, Desean Jackson, Lavelle Hawkins, and Robert Jordan. He got them the ball and let them make the plays. Moreover, he managed their egos with his carefree, fun-loving personality.

Why do I mention all this - because Kevin Riley must have really impressed Tedford to earn the starting nod over Nate and his impressive resume of accomplishments. From what I can glean from practice reports and Kevin's limited playing time thus far, Kevin has playmaking ability that Nate does not. With the departure of the aforementioned skill players, and uncertainty with the new group (in spite of their obvious talent), this may have factored into Tedford's decision.

Tedford's well-earned honeymoon period probably came to an end last year, due to his stubborness to bench Longshore after Kevin's great comeback performance against Oregon State. So it really surprises me is how Tedford seems to have set aside his loyalty to an upperclassmen, which is what most critics faulted him with in last season's epic collapse. See the announcement of true freshman walk-on David Seawright starting at PK over Jordan Kay, also. I think Tedford just re-earned a lot of credibility by naming Riley the starter. To the fan, it shows that he listens to the criticism, considers it seriously, and then makes an effort to better himself as a coach. That's not admitting weakness, that's trying to get better.

Back to Kevin: I have no idea how well he will do if he becomes a full-time starter. But I guarantee this much: games will be more fun to watch with him at the helm instead of Longshore, for better or for worse.

Enjoy the excellent highlight video done by Danzig.

Go Bears, Beat the Spartans!

Kevin Riley - Cal's 2008 Starter from bob gregory on Vimeo.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Every Game Counts

Today I had two pleasant Cal football related surprises. The media department e-mailed out an awesome promotional video for the upcoming season. Enjoy it below. Also, I was watching the Detroit Tigers play and Michigan State's head coach Mark Dantonio came into the broadcast booth to talk about the upcoming season. He said they are kicking it off right away with a "quality" opponent in Cal. He also seems slightly concerned about how the travel will affect his team. Hopefully adversely! I cannot wait for August 30th!

Get pumped!

Friday, May 16, 2008

Invited Talk

Today a professor from Ohio State invited me to submit an abstract of my work at a conference he's helping to organize. Now, I'm new to this whole ordeal, so I'm not 100% sure how to react. On the one hand, getting a personal invitation from a superstar researcher in my own area is awesome. On the other hand, this is Ohio State and I'd have to head down to Columbus during the heart of football season. Ugh. Either way, my advisors seem to be stoked. If I recall correctly, I think researchers typically put invited talks on their CV. Additionally, I am told that representatives from national research labs, electric utilities, and automotive companies will be in attendance. This could be a HUGE networking opportunity! Sweet!

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Qualifying Exams

Today I learned that I passed the written portion of my qualifying exams! My ambition level just got a temporary lift!

Monday, January 21, 2008

August Rush

Today I walked into the dollar movie theater at the Briarwood Mall. Two hours later, I walked out in complete tears. No, I wasn't crying because I sat in spilled slushy syrup. No, it wasn't because the theater smelt like flatulence and Cheeto's. No, it wasn't because the top third was cutoff by the crappy projection angle. It was because August Rush is THE MOST POWERFUL movie I have ever seen, PERIOD. Without exaggeration, I was crying almost the entire movie. In fact, the ending was so powerful that I started getting concerned about bothering the other patrons.

Freddie Highmore, Kerri Russell, and Jonathan Rhys Meyers are absolutely amazing. Robin Williams plays a role I have never seen him play before, and is utterly brilliant. Not to mention, the soundtrack is incredible. If you love music, watch this movie. It'll take your heart and shred it into pieces like a dog with a cheap chew toy.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Cal Alumni Association of Michigan

Last Fall Jo and I often got together with other Cal alums at UM to watch football games. It was so much fun that we decided to make ourselves official: Introducing the Cal Alumni Association of Michigan! We are now an official regional chapter of the Cal Alumni Association (CAA). Check out our website here. We plan to host picnics, seminars, and many more viewing parties.

Besides organizing glorified viewing parties, this group has introduced the opportunity to meet other Berkeley alumni in Michigan. Some of you back on the left coast are probably saying "big whoop," but consider this influential list of alumni: Jennifer Granholm (Michigan's governor), Bob Lutz (General Motors Vice Chairman), Larry Burns (General Motors Vice President of R&D), and Ron English (former Michigan football defensive coordinator) to name a few. It also begins what I hope to be a very involved membership with CAA.

P.S. Larry Burns is NOT Mr. Burns' deadbeat son. Sorry, bud.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Fun with Needles

Here's the scenario: I come home after an EXHAUSTING day, in which I took the final portion of my controls PhD qualifying exam. I was so relieved it was over, and looked forward to a quiet relaxing night at home. After I walk through the door and hang my jacket up, Jo says: "Scott, I need to practice taking blood. Give me your arm."

WHAT THE F!? Practice taking blood!? Why me!? For those that don't know, Jo works as a medical assistant, so it might not seem that bad. But what most people don't know is that Jo is the CLUMSIEST person I have ever known. Clumsy + needles = get me out of here!

Being the good boyfriend that I am, I capitulate. Without exaggeration, I'm literally giving up my blood, sweat, and tears. So she straps my arm down, pulls out a 3 inch needle, and jabs it into my arm. Then she pulls the syringe and nothing comes out.

J: "Aw, that's interesting."

S: [Look of panic, while sweating profusely and holding back tears]
"What the hell does that mean!?"

Then she pulls back a little bit and pulls the syringe again. Blood rushes into the vile.

J: "I just learned what it feels like when I go too far! Yay! Now give me your other arm."

S: [Shreaking in panic] "No way!"

[Side Note: I writing this as I hide underneath my bed. Someone call Jo to distract her, because she's searching for me, needle in hand...and NO, I didn't get a sugar cookie!]