Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Virginia Tech Football.

No one could ever accuse me of being a sports fan. I only went to one Tech home game when I was there. I could possibly have enjoyed the spirit of the game and the crowd.... if only I hadn't had beer poured on my head from the drunks behind me or had to worry about being hit in the head with pizza boxes thrown by the drunks in front of me.

That being said, this came across Twitter today, and I have to say, I was proud to read the country's opinion of the game. Even with the sports words I didn't understand, I enjoyed it and wanted to pass it along to all of my readers.

From Gobbler Country

Virginia Tech 31, Miami 7: What They're Saying 
The Hokies were dominant in their win over Miami on Saturday. They quieted both their critics and Hurricane supporters, at least for now. It will be up to the Hokies to find consistency, but they still have time to live up to their preseason expectations.
National Bloggers
The lesson, as always: The ACC still belongs to Virginia Tech (Dr. Saturday)
"And if a Hokie fan actually was writing a script for this game, he probably wouldn't have dared to narrate anything so blatantly Beamer-esque as the reality: In three straight hours of pouring rain, the Hokies forced two turnovers while committing none, blocked a punt for a touchdown and pounded out a living on offense by physically beating the 'Canes up front to the tune of 271 yards rushing; freshman Ryan Williams relegated the loss of Darren Evans to prehistory with 35 bruising, effective carries. Most importantly, the defense, an obvious disappointment to this point, made icy, collected, swagger-y quarterback Jacory Harris look like just another sophomore in his second road start in bad conditions against a Bud Foster defense -- or worse than that, actually, if that's possible, intercepting the rising star of the early season once and offering nary a shot at the long ball the Hurricane offense thrived on in its first two wins. Classic Hokies all the way around: Nasty, brutish and short."
Virginia Tech gets complete effort vs. Miami (Annette)
"For the first time in four games, Virginia Tech looked worthy of all of the preseason hype leading into its season opener against Alabama. Offensive coordinator Bryan Stinespring caught Miami’s defense off guard with misdirection, and a good mix of running and passing plays. Defensive coordinator Bud Foster demanded more from his defense all week and they answered his challenge."
At No. 6, Hokies Back in the Hunt (Bill Roth)
"It proves the theory that in the current BCS system, if you’re going to lose, do so early. And if you have a chance to beat ranked teams, get it done. That’s exactly what the Hokies did by beating Nebraska, ranked No. 19 at game time, and Miami, which was ranked No. 9. Virginia Tech enters October ranked No. 6 in the major polls, including the Harris Interactive poll, which is one-third of the BCS standings formula. The first Harris Poll of this season was released Sunday night."
Hokie Beat Writers
Hokies Hammer Hurricanes edition (Kyle Tucker)
"I’m sure you Bryan Stinespring haters are really struggling with this, but he called an excellent first half. I think with a huge lead, he called off the dogs a little and just tried to grind it out in the final two quarters. But in the first 30 minutes, Tech out-gained Miami 242 yards to 54. Stiney mixed the run and pass, ran inside and out, and sprinkled in a significant amount of misdirection that had the ‘Canes on their heels from the start. Tyrod Taylor ran, he passed (for the brief part of the game where he needed to) and Ryan Williams ran wild again."
Making a Statement, Hokies Beat Miami (Mark Viera)
"With an unequivocal and complete 31-7 victory, No. 11 Virginia Tech upset No. 9 Miami and re-established itself as the class of the Atlantic Coast Conference as rain pelted a soggy crowd of 66,233 at Lane Stadium. As No. 18 Florida State continued its Jekyll and Hyde act by losing, 17-7, to South Florida, Virginia Tech emerged from Saturday looking even more comfortable in the driver’s seat in the conference. The Seminoles are the Atlantic Division. Virginia Tech is in the Coastal Division."
Polls, injuries and recruiting news (Nathan Warters)
"As expected Virginia Tech took a pretty substantial jump in both major polls after beating No. 9 Miami Saturday. It moved up five spots to No. 6 in the Associated Press poll and six spots up to No. 6 in the coaches’ poll. It may be way too early to talk about the national championship picture, but the Hokies are back in it after their latest big victory."
"So much for Miami being the next big thing..." (Norm Wood)
"I guess I understand the fascination from a national media standpoint with all things Miami football-related (after all, the Hurricanes do have quite a history over the last quarter-century), but all of the hype this year seemed really premature. It's almost seemed as if the national folks were trying to will Miami back in to the spotlight. Obviously, the Hurricanes weren't quite ready to make that kind of step, but I certainly wouldn't write them off just yet."
Win may not create national splash (Aaron McFarling)
"If you're a Tech fan, enjoy it, but don't turn on the TV today. Don't run to the radio. The validation you seek won't be found there. The national pundits -- the same ones who put Miami quarterback Jacory Harris in the Heisman discussion and the Hurricanes in the national-title mix after two weeks -- will run from this result."
Upsets vault Hokies back into title chase (Randy King)
"As a result of its impressive 31-7 thrashing of then-No. 9 Miami on Saturday in Blacksburg, parlayed with losses by four teams in last week's top 10, Tech vaulted from 11th to sixth in each of the writers' and coaches' polls released Sunday. The Hokies (3-1, 1-0 ACC) jumped the quartet that lost, plus moved past Oklahoma, which was idle last week. Tech is the highest-ranked of any team with a loss, a list that includes such perennial contenders as Southern California, Oklahoma and Ohio State."
Today was Virginia Tech’s day (Darryl Slater)
"Did all the chatter contribute to Miami losing? It’s difficult to say. I don’t really think players consider those things when they’re on the field. Too much other stuff to worry about. The bottom line: College football is unpredictable, its players flawed compared to pros. That’s what makes it fun to follow and challenging to forecast. Players like to talk about being motivated when analysts pick against them. But they should remember that predictions are flimsy. All it takes to make one is a mouth or a keyboard."
Hokie Bloggers
Back and Backless (The A-Line)
"The 31-7 smackdown was the worst beating Tech has laid on the Backstreet boys since the last time the Canes arrived in Lane Backed by a fawning media and were beaten 31-7. That would be the 2003 game. One of these years you would think the Disney gang would learn that if they are going to engage in a Canes’ Backfest, they really should wait until after the Tech game. Compared to the ESPN clowns, Disney stablemate Goofy comes across as the level-headed voice of reason."
"We Never Left" (Beer Control Offense)
"Bammer and Nebraska have the game plan to play VT, DE's play up the field do not crash Tyrod or he can scramble. Blitz the middle to stop the run or sack Tyrod. Man up the wideouts, Safety over the top. That slows down VT ... arrogant Canes crashed Tyrod and he, Stiney and Ryan Williams torched them. Props to RW his first 20+ carry game of his H.S. or College career and he put up great numbers, 34 carries, 151 2 tds + 2 catches for 40! STUD! Typical Stiney, get the fans really, really pissed at you then have a kick ass game."
31-7 (The North End Zone)
"Can we just all agree that anyone that says anything about college football has no idea what they are talking about?* I mean, Todd McShay has a job talking about this stuff. That right there should be enough to discredit the entire analyst industry."
Game Review - VT vs. Miami (Tech SuperFans)
"This wasn't some watershed moment where the whole offense then got in a circle and had a good group cry and sang Kum-Ba-yah. But what it did do was force Stinespring to learn what he expects his players to learn during film review every week - namely look critically at himself and understand how he was being an obstacle to the success of the offense. Once that step was accomplished, that knowledge could be applied to making improvements, which in this case, meant designing and calling plays suited to the strengths of his players that they could practice religiously the rest of the week."
Hokies’ Opponents Continue to Roll (VT Hokie Fans)
"The Hokies’ only loss this season was to Alabama. Tech scored 24 points in that loss; the most points the Tide have given up this season. Alabama has given up only 28 combined points in their last three games. Only four weeks into the season and that loss doesn’t look so bad now."
"You Got to Beat The Man" (VT Fan)
"I think Frank Beamer would win every football game like this if he could. That game was his formula. A lot of running plays, a few long passes, a bunch of scrambles by an athletic quarterback, several defensive turnovers, and a blocked punt. When it works, it works well. The only question is, does it always work at the best teams?"
Hurricane Bloggers
When The Levee Breaks (Canespace)
"The final score is insignificant as anyone who watched the game knows that the beat down the Canes sustained was full and complete. To be honest the Canes were never in the game and appeared to be out coached and out muscled by a more physical VT squad who were seriously motivated to make a statement on this cold and damp day in Virginia."
Game 3 Recap: L 31-7 @ Virginia Tech (Anton Azucar)
"We will never know how much the rain affected this team, but hello people, both teams were poured on like Noah. For all the Miami passes one could say were incomplete due to the rain, I will counter that every single Va Tech running back cut was like he was on ice. They would come to a near complete stop, then turn directions. Yet Miami still couldn’t tackle them! If it was a clear Virginia night, Miami would have had Ga Tech Running Horror II on their hands for all we know."
Game Three : Virginia Tech 31, Miami 7 (AllCanes)
"A humbling loss should force everyone - most notably fans, media and rivals - to take inventory regarding the Canes. There are bright spots regarding this current Miami bunch, but there simply isn't the depth and across-the-board talent that championship caliber teams possess."

Go Hokies!

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Goodbye Stalker. Hello Fan Club.

Hopefully all of you have read my blog about my stalker. How I had one and that they seem to have lost interest in me. Or changed their ip address. I wasn't bothered.

Well, now I've got one better. I have a fan club! Nid runs a website and some people that use to be on there formed a clique and went their own way. That was all good. They haven't been missed. Then they started their own website. Very high tech. Their main home page has has a spelling error since day one. Considering it's a country music website, you'd think they'd be able to spell "country" but apparently since "county" is also a word, spell checker didn't tell them that that was not the word that they wanted to use.

Any hoo, it has been brought to my attention that these ladies (yes, my fan club is made up of women... ) have started a thread about little ole me on their website! They have a link to my blog on their website and people from all over the world are visiting it. Several of them have even been to my other websites and our new store, even though we haven't made our grand opening announcement yet.

It just amazes me that there are people out there with nothing better to do than talk about my life! Friends and family, that's one thing, but people I've never met? It makes me laugh. It's like we're celebrities, with paparazzi following us around, keeping an eye on us. Too bad they won't get any dirt on us, though. Too bad for them, that is. I'm living a charmed life with my husband and children. They've got nothing (truthful) to slander us with.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Visits and Bike Rides

Today started off with a nice visit with Martin. He and his girlfriend Karen came over to Virginia for our wedding, and we've only seen them once since I moved in March. Unfortunately, he was here because his computer is messed up and Nid's going to work on it this week for him. But it was still nice to catch up a bit.

When he left, we started off on our bike ride. Our goal today was to get bread at Sainsbury's, but we were taking the long way around. That took us across the canal to the National Space Centre, which we still need to go to. They've got a pair of rockets in there, one US and one UK, side by side. We could see through the building into it. There is an elevator in there, and we saw people being taken to the top of it. Can't wait. Nid says it's like us, US and UK right here together in the UK. It's also cool, because apparently one of the Universities here in Leicester works closely with NASA, which is why the Space Centre is here I think. Across the parking lot from the Space Centre is the Abbey Pumping Station. It's, well, a pumping station. Or it was, it's now a museum.

Leaving there, we cycled through Abbey Park, stopping to take some photos of teenage swans. They were nearly full size, and there was a little bit of white feather showing, but mostly they were gray. I am lucky to have a husband that when I asked what kind of geese the gray ones were, he didn't laugh at me, he just said "they're swans" and let it go. I didn't know! But about the geese... there are Canadian Geese here. What a bain of society those birds are! I'd seen them when we went to Watermead Country Park, but every time I see them I just dislike them more. In my experience (starting from my time at Virginia Tech), they bully the ducks, they poo every where, and can be quite aggressive.

As we rode around the park, there was a gate open that is normal closed, so we went through it and across the street to Halfords. It's a big auto parts store, with a large biking section. We looked at some accessories. We aren't ready to buy anything now, but I figured if we'd seen what the biking superstore offered, when the time came, we'd know whether or not we were getting a good deal somewhere else. Because we had been able to leave the park at the place that we did, we were just a short ride from Cyclemagic, where we got our bikes. We went in and spoke to a Simon, who had me sit on my bike and discussed my issues with me. They didn't have many bikes available at the moment, but he took measurements of my bike and our information, and is going to keep an eye out for another bike with a slightly lower to the ground frame. Turns out, though, I may not need a new bike. I had him raise my handlebars, and that has made a difference for me. I think it's because I'm not leaning so far over (amazing what an inch can do) my weight balances different, making me confident on starts and stops. That was really my only problem. Riding was fine, but traffic made me very uncomfortable, with my toes barely touching the ground. If this solved my problem, I'll be really happy. We'll see how the next few days/weeks go.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

New Bike Lights.

Yesterday we rode our bikes to town. Nid had an appointment, so we parked the bikes and he went his way while I wandered the town on my own. I went to the Market and got Cale a new backpack for school. I went to about 8 stores looking for a bathrobe. I found one I LOVE at Marks and Spencers that I hope I can get at some point before it gets too cold here. I did some window shopping and just worked on familiarizing myself with downtown. Nid texted when when he was done and we met back at the clock tower. We then had to go and find new football boots and shin pads for Briony. We got those and sat awhile enjoying the nice weather. Oh, silly me, the actual reason that I am writing this blog... We got bike lights for Nid's bike since he'll need to ride it to get to football on Thursday nights from now on. When I told him a little bit ago that I would like some soda, he jumped up (literally) because he wanted to ride his bike with the new lights on. As soon as he left, I knew that I had to document the event, so I ran and got my camera and waited in the front door for him to come back around the corner. I got several funny looks from passersby, but it's my door, I can stand there (in my pjs) with a camera if I want to! Anyway, here is the video I took.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

I Miss.

I miss music. I miss having the radio or my iPod on 24 hours a day. I miss watching TV all day on the weekends, and falling asleep in front of it at night. They seem like such little things, but they build up over time. I didn't even realize it at first, that I missed these things. I am not sure what brought it to my attention, either. I did not have TV the last year I spent in Virginia. So now I am going on my second year without it. We download certain shows to watch, so I am not without 100%, but there is no vegging in front of it to kill spare hours. Most people would think that's a good thing. But I miss having the option to do it.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009


I have been avoiding talking about pets on my blog. For several reasons, some good, some probably just imaginary. My head can be a crazy place sometimes. I had to leave my two babies back home in Virginia with my parents. That was not easy for me. They are being taken care of. They are being loved. But it's not my love, and I have to deal with sometimes extreme bouts of guilt over that. You can say what you want about the intelligence of animals, the resilence of them. But I know what their lives were like before. I've had them for 10 years. They are my babies. And I left them. They have good lives, but not the lives they were use to. Not the lives they lived for the last 10 years. There is nothing wrong with the lives they are living now, I am not saying that there is, but they aren't with me. I think about them most days, and cry over them often. Do they remember me? Do they miss me? Do I wish they did, or do I hope that they've moved on? Either way of thinking hurts me deep inside. When I am lonely or tired I wish I had one of them to curl up with. I could always count on them to be there for me. As obnoxious as it was for Smudge to ALWAYS want to be sitting in my lap, or as frustrating as it was for Bearette to steal, destroy, and/or eat anything and everything that was within her reach. They were, and are, my family.

Last year Nid had a kitten walk into his back door and become a part of his family. He named her Kiki and she stayed. Outside during the day, inside at night and when the weather was bad. She was a good cat. A calico, though you'd never know it by her temperament. I had some minor issues with Kiki when I moved. Issues revolving around me not wanting to get close to another animal when I had just left mine behind. But as animals do, she wormed her way into my heart. The children adored her, and Nid doted on her. When I came last October, I gave her Suzy Jane's old collar to wear. We just lost Kiki this past week. She got sick rather suddenly, and though we took her to the vet several times, there did not seem to be much they could do. We were coming to terms with the fact that we were going to lose her, and that night she passed away. Llast Wednesday morning, September 9th. She was less than two years old.

Being here and going through this has brought up a lot of memories for me. I lost my Rascal last summer to a stroke, and later in the summer Suzy Jane deteriorated and I lost her as well. Rascal was 10, and I'd had him his whole life. Suzy Jane was 14+ and I'd only had her for about a year. But I loved them both so much and it hurt so bad to lose them. And then there was my dear Teddy a few years ago. My handicapped little ball of love, who only lived to be three or so. It doesn't matter how long you have had a pet, losing them always hurts so bad. During this difficult time, and remembering past difficult times, I can't help but think what it will feel like when Bearette and Smudge leave this world. How will I deal with that from this distance? Not being able to say goodbye to them, to have closure?

I have had people ask me if we'll get another pet this week. It has gotten me thinking. I have said for years that when all my kids were gone, I needed a break. A break from the responsibility, from the cost. It is hard to never be able to go away for a night or even all day without arranging care. Between having a seizuring cat, a diabetic cat, an allergic and OCD dog, and a geriatric dog all needing medications once or twice daily, it wasn't easy. But when you start losing those pets, I at least, fall into the I don't want to get hurt like this again catergory. I am sure that we will have pets again one day. When we are settled. We won't have any between now and the time we move to the US. There is a lot of time and expense required moving pets from one country to another, although it is a lot easier moving from here to the US than vice versa.

I would like to thank everyone who has shown us support and love through this difficult time. It has not been easy. The children are doing well. It's hard, of course. I catch myself looking around for her still. 

Sunday, September 13, 2009

I Am Stalkerless...

So, I had a stalker. Their ip was from Leicester, though sometimes the name of the place of origin changed, the ip address stayed the same. They started following me from the time I posted my blog address on Monkeyville, Keith Urban's fan site. I shared it there in one location for a group of girls that I chat with, many of whom I have also met. The only other people that had my site address at that time were personal friends and family, none of whom was on this side of the pond, much less in my own town.

It was intriguing at first. They came quite often, looked at photos I took, clicked links to my other website. I did not want to post anything about it at the time, as I was having a bit of fun keeping track of their visits and did not want to discourage them from coming. However, it appears that either their ip address has changed or I have become boring. Which do I hope for? Continuing to be stalked, or being dumped? They never hurt anything, except for a minor rude comment on one of my posts. Which was posted annoymously, but because I have tracking on the site, I was able to prove without a doubt that it was my stalker. I have my suspicions on who it is/was, but no proof of course. It was fun while it lasted. Now I have so many visitors coming from all over the world, dozens from England, half as many from friends right here in Leicester, that I am no longer able to tag who is who, unless I did it back when I only had a few.

To go along with my stalker theme, I have found these fun photos:

Farewell to my stalker, whoever you may be. I bid you well.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Bike Ride To Town.

Thursday, September 10th, we rode our bikes into town for the first time. Nid had a doctor's appointment, so we rode them to town, parked them at BHS (ours are the ones in front of the half naked woman) and then walked to the hospital, which wasn't far. After the appointment, we walked past the prison (the building that looks like a fort) to check out the new stand at the Leicester Tigers (Rugby) home ground on Welford Road. We are hoping to be able to go to a game as a family some time. What cracked me up, is that immediately adjacent to the prison is Nelson Mandela Park. Literally, 50 feet from the walls of the prison, there are slides and swings.

While we were in town, we tried to get a late breakfast at BHS but they stopped serving at 11:30 and it was 11:20 and the last bits of breakfast didn't look so appealing. We'll try again some other time. We ended up eating at Burger King, which has always been our regular anyway when we go to town. I looked at both WHSmith and The Works for a 5 Year Diary to help me keep organized all the family and visa stuff I need to keep track of. Neither place had them, but I have seen one somewhere and I didn't buy it and now I am kicking myself over that.

But regardless, we had a really nice time sitting out on the benches in front of the stores and watching crazily dressed people walk by in their stupid shoes and outfits. I have NEVER seen so many un-stylish people as I have since moving to England. And I fully blame the stores. The clothes to some degree, but the shoes that fill the shoe stores are HORRENDOUS! I am sure that there are some nice shoes, but I really just hope that mine last me a really long time :)

On the way home, Nid surprised me with a stop at Staples. It doesn't look like much on the outside, but inside, it looks JUST LIKE back home! It was a welcome surprise. They didn't have the diary I wanted either, but it was still really nice looking up and down all the isles. I really enjoyed that.

After we left there we stopped at St. George's Retail Park and went into Toys 'R' Us to look at board games and then a few computer stores just to look around. It was a really really good day. And we didn't spend any money on transportation! That makes a great day even better.

I almost forgot. I used the loo at the hospital where Nid had his appointment. When I saw this sink, I just knew that I had to share. I've never had so many options at a bathroom sink before. They also had this AMAZING hand drier, where you put your hands down into a slot. Completely dry in about 5 seconds. Incredible! But the photo didn't turn out.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Tickets In Hand!

They just arrived a few minutes ago, we have our tickets for the Leicester City Foxes home game against Sheffield United on Boxing Day, December 26, 2009 at Walker Stadium. It'll be my first Leicester City game, and we are all going. It's our big Christmas present for the family. We got great seats, and I am really looking forward to it!

Sunday, September 6, 2009

My Birthday.

Was on September 1st, and it was a really great day. When I woke up early, the children were downstairs and both wished me a happy birthday. Went back to bed for a while, then we got up for the day. When I was in the bathroom getting ready, Nid was preparing a surprise for me. I came into the dining room, and there were presents! I really was not expecting anything. Nid had already pre-ordered me a book that I really wanted, so I was shocked when I walked in the room and they were all standing there. I got three of the sweetest cards ever (they made me cry!) and presents from each.Nid got me a bottle of wine, because I had mentioned a few weeks ago that I missed having wine. Briony got me a faux leather pencil cup and Cale got me a stapler. These were the perfect gifts, because I was using a silverwear drainer I found when I moved here for a pencil cup and I'd been wanting a stapler for ages, to help keep all the bills and papers organized. They were just perfect! And they look so great sitting on my new desk.

I spent a good part of the day reading. I've been bad about not finishing this book I have and I wanted to get it done. I didn't, but it was a good relaxing day anyway. After lunch, a friend from York called and said she was in Nottingham and would like to stop by with her boyfriend. We spent the afternoon chatting away, and it was quite nice. We're going to visit them in October, so this was a great catch up day.

After dinner, I went online and checked all my emails and facebook comments wishing me a happy birthday. I'd been getting text messages all day, every time someone commented on my wall, but it was really good to see them all right there as well. I had been a little worried that it wouldn't be a great day, simply because I was here, and wouldn't be talking to all my friends and family like I normally would on my birthday. But they really showed me a lot of love and support across the distance, and it meant a lot to me.