NFL WEEK 7 Perhaps it’s my lot to go 4-4, as that seems to be the weekly result these days.  Another 4-4 week raises the total to 17-22 on the year.  Things should tighten up a bit from this week on as far as on field play goes.  Bye weeks and in season practice will hopefully  make the worst tackling in reason memory get better.  Let’s take a look at this week’s slate.  As always any losses incurred by relying on said information is not the responsibility of me, The Mountain, Entercom communications, Entercom Northeast, its properties or its subsidiaries. JETS (-1) over Chargers.  Two teams that are evenly matched an in a position to turn the corner into legit contenders.  The line I think is a fair line.  Earlier in the season it was brought up to the players that they only had one 1pm east coast start this season.  The players all said it was such a huge disadvantage to be a west coast team and play that early.  Apparently in camp players only need 3-4 hours sleep so they can play video games all night, but during the season they need beddy-bye time.  Such is life I suppose.  Still any disadvantage on a close line is a huge hoop to jump through.  Factor in that the Jets have won 6 of the last 7 tilts against the “bolts” by at least a field goal, well that adds up to a trend.  As Fireman Ed goes, so do I: J-E-T-S! JETS! JETS! JETS! LIONS (-4 ½) over Falcons.  The this week is in Detroit.  Those Lions need red meat.  Just when you think there’s a turnaround in the motor city, the Lions become a cover machine.  LIONS STEELERS (-4) over Cardinals.  Andy Reid is the greatest coach ever!  He gets hack QBs to play and trades them for big picks, only to have them exposed as frauds on their new teams (Kevin Kolb, A.J. Feeley).  STEELERS RAIDERS (-3 ½) over Chiefs.   Those Raiders have covered 8 in a row against divisional foes.  No reason  to stop now.  Just cover baby!  Raiders. PACKERS (-10) over Vikings.  Donnie Mac’s numbers this year weren’t that bad.  At least not so bad he should take a benching playing with these hacks.  After Adrian Peterson who else on offense can play?  Chris Ponder is not the magic bullet.  Meanwhile Aaron Rdgers is quietly putting together one of the all time great seasons any QB has ever had.  Packers RAMS (-10) over Cowboys.  The Rams have won 6 of the last 10 against the pokes.  Spread wise the Pokes have only beaten 2 of their last 10 by more than a touchdown.  I had the Rams going 6-10 on the season, which makes them a perfect pain-in-the-Cowboys-neck team to be.  RAMS SAINTS (-14) over Colts.  I have never seen one team so dependent on one player as the Colts are with Payton Manning.  The Colts may go 0-16 this year.  The Saints on the other hand are really pretty good.  Saints here RAVENS (-9) over Jaguars.  If not for the Colts, the Jags would be the worst team in the NFL.  And it’s almost Halloween.  Cover the Ravens ever more.  RAVENS That's how i see it.  Enjoy the games! The Prognosticator
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NFL WEEK 6 Another push last week going 4-4 brings us to 13-18.  Not close and still so far, but a good week puts us back in the hunt.  Thos Lions look for real.  So do the Packers.  Philadelphia forgot how to tackle.  The Giants went to the locker room 2 minutes early and the Chiefs somehow look llike they might not be that bad.  Let’s look at this week.  .  As always any losses incurred by relying on said information is not the responsibility of me, The Mountain, Entercom communications, Entercom Northeast, its properties or its subsidiaries. LIONS (-4) Over 49ers.  Those Lions are the best story of the year so far.  Let’s not let it end so soon.  Don’t worry because the big cats are 10-1 ATS against teams with winning records.  Look for that motor city mojo to keep on working.  Lions COLTS (+8) over Bengals.  Why are the Bengals favorites?  The may be 8-1 ATS but this spread is way too big.  Curtis Painter won’t make anyone forget Payton manning, But Andy Daulton doesn’t even make me forget Brian Sipe.  Buy the ‘shoes. EAGLES (pick) over Redskins.  The Eagles really can’t be that bad can they?  The season isn’t really over is it?  Just a hunch….Birds BILLS (+3 ½) over Giants.  Lucky for the Bills the birds left their tackling dummy behind when camp started.  Now they take the momentum to the Giants.  Those Bills are doing ti the old fashioned way; the y always hustle and never take a play off.  It’s refreshing.  Bills STEELERS (-14) over Jaguars.  Good thing those Jags got rid of David Garrard.  He could sleep in the huddle and be better that what they’ve got now.  It’s a lost season in Northern Florida.  Steelers. PATRIOTS (-7) over Cowboys.  C’mon.  Big Game.  Tony Romo.  Look at it this way Cowboy fans, Chan Gailey’s got ‘em flying around the ball in Buffalo.  Pats BEARS (-2.5) over Vikings.  Donny Mac is looking old and cold, and he plays in a dome.  Bears. JETS (-8) over Dolphins.  Remember those great games from the 80’s?  Thise light up the scoreboard air attack games that seemed like they played without cornerbacks and safeties?  This won’t be one of those games.  J-E-T-S-JETS-JETS-JETS That’s how I see it.  Enjoy the games The prognosticator
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NFL Week 5 Another vanilla 3-3 week brings our total to 9-14.  Time to start racking up some “W’s.”  The tricky part for the next  4 weeks is a reduced schedule from teams having byes.  Crazy that 6 of the 8 weeks have teams off, but not in a row.  What a wacky league.  Lets take a look at what’s up for this week.  As always any losses incurred by relying on said information is not the responsibility of me, The Mountain, Entercom communications, Entercom Northeast, its properties or its subsidiaries EAGLES (-1.5) over Bills.  Why are the Eagles favored and not the Bills?  Vegas thinks the Eagles are still the Eagles and the Bills are still the Bills.  I agree.  Look for Philadelphia to gigure things out this week in a big way.  Eagles BUCCANEERS (+1) over 49ers.  San Francisco wins one of the ugliest games seen in public by fans not wearing bags and they’re a favorite?  Alex Smith almost got benched in the second half before stumbling  on to 3 touchdowns.  I like the Bucs big, over the past three years they’ve been cover monsters on the road.  As they announcer used to crow in the old big sombrero,  “TAAAAAAM-PAAAAH!” CHARGERS(-3 ½) over Broncos.  The favorite has covered in 6 of the last 9 in the series and that favorite is usually Sand Diego.  The thing about Denver is no one is afraid of them anymore.  San Diego Super chargers… GIANTS (-11) over Seahawks.  Normally I would stay away from this game.  I try to pick Eagles, Giants, Steelers and Jets, plus Sunday and Monday nights, as those are the teams and games people tend to follow.  This spread is really fat.  On the other hand, the Seahawks have real problems.  Tavris Jackson is, well, he’s not that good,   That 1pm new York start time is not to favoring for those bay birds either.  Giants in a romp. STEELERSs (-3) over Titans.  You know, I would roll with the powder blue here, but Kenny Britt on injured-reserve sways me to Pittsburgh.  Be careful, these Steelers are suffering the post superbowl runner up hangover.  Steelers. FALCONS (+6) over Packers.  All you need know about the Falcons is Matt Ryan is 22-2 at home.  Those dirty birds are relentless.  Falcons JETS (+10) over Patriots.  Psst, there’s a blood fued between these teams, and the Patriots aren’t as good as people like to believe..  jets cover LIONS (-5) over Bears.  Once they dumped Matt Millon the Lions stock piled great players with those last place drafts.  Pick first a few years in a row and you’ll have a stud team, too.  Lions That’s how I see it, enjoy your games The Prognosticator.
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NFL Week 4

NFL WEEK 4 3-3 last week brining the season total to an underwhelming 6-11.  It’s still going to take until week 7 or 8 to figure this year out.  No mini camps, passing camps, OTAs, the talent is evaluated on the fly.  Look at Philadelphia.  When was the last time you heard of 4 starters being benched between the last preseason game and week 4?  I was impressed with Tony Romo.  I never saw anyone play in an NFL game with a pneumothorax before.  Most people with punctured lungs lay around and complain.  Not Romo. True to form he almost gave the game up late, but Rex Grossman stole that opportunity.  Michael Vick should be careful what he asks for.  If the refs call him tight it’s going to be football in the 80’s again.  Remember the “grasp and control” era that saw how many plays blown dead to protect the QB?  It lead to some pretty lousy football. Okay, let’s look at this week’s slate of games.  .   Remember any losses encured by relying on said information is not the responsibility of me, The Mountain, Entercom communications, Entercom Northeast, its properties or its subsidiaries LIONS (+1.5) Over Cowboys.  Right now the lions may be the best team in football.  I’m not drunk.  Really.  Those Lions are tough.  They’ve won their last 6 in a row going back to last season, and 10 straight if you include the preseason.  Best of all they are cover monsters beating the spread 9 of their last 10 against teams with winnign records and 12 of the last 15 overall.  This is a gift.  Take it.  LIONS BILLS (-3) over Bengals.  My guess is the book makers thin there will be an emotional let down after the Bills came back and snuffed out the Patriots for the first time in 8 years.  Every year has a “cardiac kids” team.  The Bills may be that team.  Don’t bet against them. Those Bengals (Bungals?) are an anemic 1-14 ATS in week four.  The Bills on the other hand are 9 -4 -1 ATS over all.  Enough for you?  BILLS VIKINGS (pick) over Chiefs.  The Chiefs have a bye week 6.  That may be the date of Head Coach Todd Hailey’s firing.  Donovan McNabb may not have much magic left, but he won’t lose the game with bad decisions.  VIKINGS Eagles (-10) over 49ers.  If Mr. Candybones (Michael Vick) can’t make it to the end of the game, Mr. Taffyjoints (Vince Young) is finally ready to step in.  The 49ers are at a point in their rebuilding where they have to play mistake free offense to score 20 points and hope the defense holds.  Eagles win Big TEXANS (-3) over Steelers.  The Steelers had problems with a really, really bad Colts team. You can best believe those Texans were jumped all week by coaches after letting the Saints get away.  Those Texans are 8-1 ATS in week 4.  TEXANS here. RAVENS (-3 ½) over Jets.  The hook has gotten us a few time in this young season, but with Nick Mangold out against a superior Ravens defense how can I refuse?  The Black birds are 11-4 ATS in week 4.  Ravens. That’s how I see it.  Enjoy the games. The Prognosticator
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NFL Week 3

NFL Week 3 2-4 last week which brings the season total to 3-8.  Very pedestrian.  Of course who would have thought that after catching 13 balls Jeremy Machlin would let one hit between the 1 and the 8 and fall helplessly to the ground.  Who would have thought a busted rib would produce Tony Romo’s best comeback?  Actually when I think about it Donovan McNabb’s best game happened on a broken leg in Arizona. Kansas City’s getting 16 ½ already over San Diego.  That’s a sucker bet.  But there are a few games we can pick that seem worthy of our attention.  So let’s go.   Remember any losses encured by relying on said information is not the responsibility of me, The Mountain, Entercom communications, Entercom Northeast, its properties or its subsidiaries. Let’s go take a peek at the week’s action: RAVENS (-3 ½) over Rams.   The hook burns us all in die time, but not this week.   The Ravens are solid, the rams are not.  The Giants made short work of those Rams who looked like they still hadn’t healed from an Eagle beat down.  Besides the ravens are cover monsters against teams with losing records.  Ravens are the play EAGLES (-9) over Giants,  Looks like Michael vick will play whether he knows his name or not.  In the Giants infirmary Mario Manningham, Osi Uminyiora,  Dominick Hixon, Terrell Thomas and Prince Amukamara are all out.  Remember if Desean Jackson doesn’t run that punt back last year the Giants make the playoffs and the Packers are out.  Eli Manning’s not playing well and Brandon Jacobs hasn’t been the same since Tiki Barber retired.  Add to it the Birds are cover monsters when favorites at home in odd number years..  Fly Eagles Fly. BILLS (+9) over Pats.  How about a big cup of Fitz-magic?  I’m ready to drink!.  The line dropped two points since the open, what more do you need?   Bills CARDINALS (-3) over Seahwaks,  Tavaris Jackson is awful.  But the Seahawk defense makes up for it by not tackling or covering.  Watching them against the Steelers last week it’s obvious the Seattle boys couldn’t stop a sink.  Kold to Fitzgerald to victory.  Cardinals here LIONS (-4) over Vikings.  Those Lions found a way to restore the roar.  It’s enough to get psyched for Thanksgiving!.  The Vikings on the other hand are simply a team in decline.  Lions 49ERS (-2 ½) over Bengals.  It used to be a team feared playing those Bengals in “the Jungle.”  It seems when they blew up Riverfront Stadium they blew up the talent, too.  The line has move 2 and a half points since the open.  The open was a pick no doubt because the niners are on the road to what seems to them a 10am start.  They’s be awake enough.  Niners That’s how I see it.  Good luck and enjoy the games. The Prognosticator
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The Prognosticator's back! Let the Games Begin!

What a change a no football off season makes.  Rule changes and a free agent frenzy.  There’s a generation of fans who have never known a season without Brett Favre.  Kickoffs will now happen at the 35 yard line.  Last year the league got rid of the 4 man wedge.  That saved the wedgebuster but brutalized the returners.  Remember the Ellis Hobbs neck injury?  All scoring plays will be automatically reviewed.  I don’t really like replay, but I hate the red flag coaches challenge.   Getting it right means getting it right.  At least a team may not get burned on a bad call at the end of the game because they already challenged 3 other bad calls.  Also get ready for tight calls because now quarterbacks can’t get hit while they’re in the act of throwing the ball. Get ready for some bad tackling.  There was no offseason camp and training camp two-a-days were collectively bargained the way of the leather helmet.  Here’s one bold prediction: Now that the league can test players for human growth hormones, you’ll see over the next 5 years players will get smaller. Let’s take a look at some games.  After my record last year I really shouldn’t have to write this: Remember any losses incurred by relying on said information is not the responsibility of me, WDMT, Entercom Northeast, Entercom Communications, its properties or subsidiaries. Here we go with Week 1 SAINTS (-4 ½)  over the Packers.  Sure the Saints were shellacked by an inferior Seahawk team in the playoffs last year.  The Pack on the other hand had to scrape to become a wild card.  They certainly didn’t dominate the league.  The good news in Titletown is the reigning Superbowl champs weren’t anymore distracted this offseason than any other team.  The bad news is the Saints still have more talent, and they’ve covered 9 out of their last 13 on grass.  Sing it with me…Oh when the Saints come marching in…. JETS (-4) over Cowboys.  The pokes will miss Marion Barber.  Yeah he lost a step.  The truth is Felix Jones was as effective because teams hated dealing with Barber.  It’s like boxing; Barber gave out the body blows that softened teams up for the rapid combo shots.  Dez White showed promise.  He also showed choke.  Mark Sanchez is out to prove its okay to be in GQ when you can really play.  Don’t worry Cowboy fans, they won’t be as bad as last year.  It’s just not going to get better for them week 1. J-E-T-S! JETS! JETS! JETS! STEELERS (+2 ½) over Ravens.  The Steelers played well together last year.  And they’re all back.  22 of 24 starters.  If there was a team built to survive no offseason and get off to a fast start it’s the Steelers.   Topping that Ben Roethlisberger made positive headlines for a change this offseason.  The Ravens made some big moves, but they shuffled the offensive line a bit.  The underdog has covered 6 of the last 9 in this series and the Ravens have only covered 2 of their last 9 in September. Take the Steelers. EAGLES (-4 ½) over Rams.  There are two ways teams will have an advantage the first six weeks: All your starters return (see Pittsburgh) or you field the best athletes.   The Eagles have the best athlete at quarterback.  Besides the Rams are 1-9-1 ATS on opening day, while the Birds have covered 7 of their last 9 meetings.   Fly Eagles Fly, on the road to victory…. GIANTS (+3) over Redskins.  Joe Gibbs (2 Lombardi Trophies and inventer of the “counter tray”) and Marty Schottenheimer  (over 200 regular season wins) couldn’t save this team from Dan Snyder.  Washington: first in war, first in peace and last in the NFC east.  The Giants have won 9 of the last 10 straight up in the series.  Look for Rex Grossman to complete three to guys wearing blue shirts. Giants here. That’s how I see it!  Enjoy the games.
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This is really helpful and funny

This is a great article about a common problem, in fact I found it when I went on the net looking for, well, ways to use up the zucchini.
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And now ladies and gentlemen, the grand Finale.  Four pictures into one!! An additional two or three that I just took little bits from, and the earlier Tongue Affliction picture.  Of course MY camera decides not to work at all, so one of the residents took these pictures, and most of them were blurry.  There was a lot of blend-testing,  and it was minimally effective, but it was mainly cutting, pasting, and blurring. First we start with the happiest resident ever.  It was a “Trip to New York” [props to Brenda at Bonham Nursing in Stillwater, she’s a pistol, and smart as a whip], and so this resident has BOTH a “feather in her cap” and an American Flag. Then there was the rest of the audience, which had to be attached to the happy resident. Then there was Sal, bless him, he even got up and danced but of course we didn’t get a picture of that!  But we did get him clappin’ along.  You’ll notice I flipped him. The worst and most time consuming part of this was making the colors match.  It’s surprising how some pictures come out all in yellows and some pictures are all in blues.  Cold and warm colors, don’tcha know. Layer levels can be adjusted, it makes a new layer and adjusts the hue, saturation, luminosity, and any other attribute you can think of.  This required a lot of playing around and now that I’m getting more advanced there isn’t a lot on the web to help me.  You’ll be surprised to hear, there are many minimally gifted people who randomly post YouTube videos telling you nothing you really want to know.  Besides, as one of my fellow students who is a graphic design MAJOR told me, tutorials are fine but you really don’t learn until you fool around with it.  What she didn’t say is I would waste HOURS and DAYS on it!  One of the files I saved was called “feets” because that one lady with the red-striped socks, her feet took literally HOURS to position properly.  And if you look close, they really aren’t.  I also spent a lot of time on that 60’s era floor, since the colors didn’t always match.  I found out the danger of cutting and pasting ad infinitum, because every time you paste something it creates a layer.  I think 35 layers is too many, but I was afraid to “flatten” them all because then they’d be lost.  Guess it depends on how left-brain of a thinker you are! The only thing I took from this picture, to the left,  was the copier or whatever it is on the right. The main thing that is different from the old way of doing things [mainly with an exacto-knife] is that you CAN adjust the colors, hue, saturation, luminosity, darkness, brightness, contrast to make pictures look like they were taken at the same time. And what, exactly, did I learn?  That there are many, many hours in the day that the  youth of our nation can fritter away on the Internet.  That if you think our politicians have more ways than ever to “spin” themselves and their actions, you are right.  That we are all children of advertising and therefore don’t believe everything we see, even if it looks really, really good.
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More Hours Wasted with Photoshop

I still need 2 more pictures to complete my final project.  However the one that I already posted was the only, well, acceptable one.  But the solution is part and parcel of “Photoshop”…just get an image off the Internet, and stick yourself in!  I already knew how to do this from that aforementioned nice young man. Easier said than done.  There’s a finite amount of pictures of me, and it took a long long time to find one I would fit in to.  Even then I had to flip it horizontally (under the “Image” menu).  There were other pictures but they were the wrong color…and yes, you can change that…or taken at facilities in Japan.  I have been doing this performing at facilities thing for about 20 years and in all that time I have seen MAYBE two or three people of Asian descent.  So those pics were out, too.  This was the only one that even remotely fit, it's  from Florida but it couldn’t be helped. (How do I know it’s Florida?  Well I don’t, but I know damn well the elderly never EVER wear shoes like that, around here even if it’s 120 degrees).  I had to cut myself out of the picture, trim my horrible neck area, then insert myself into the now-horizontally flipped picture.  I actually succeeded in covering up dancer #2....dancer #1 just got cropped right out entirely. I am really not satisfed with this picture…try & guess why…but even the Internet could not help me here.  My friend Tyler says I should put someone, preferably creepy, at that window to provide the audience with a reason why they’re looking there, and not at me!  I did take a couple of audience members from behind me, since they were kinda looking in my direction, and placed them up front next to the guy with the powder blue shirt.  That's why that table looks so crowded. By the way if you’re going to flip a picture make sure there’s nothing written visible because it will appear backwards.  This will make your viewers think you live in Bizzaro world.  Which I assuredly do.
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Putting Myself into the Picture

Here is photoshop project number three. On Monday I played a gig at a facility in Wilkes Barre. I had my friend come and take pictures of me, and the audience. Unfortunately she was in a hurry, that has to be the only reason why there was no good picture of me with the audience. In fact there were only 3 pictures of me, each one was worse than the one before it. So I chose this one, with the tongue affliction. And I chose this audience picture, believing I could stick myself into the audience picture and make ‘em look like they were actually enjoying the performance. I needed to cut and paste myself out of this one, it’s actually pretty easy, like I did with the garlic heads. Resizing is the biggest pain about this, because at first I looked like the Giant 50 foot woman playing my keyboard. And speaking of my keyboard, that was really hard, because the right side of it got cut off in the Tongue Afflication picture, so I kind of had to create more keyboard with the lasso tool. I must have cut out 100 images, at first I couldn’t get it to copy right, then it did but it never fit in once I moved my little copy over to the side of the keyboard. You’ll note it doesn’t really look right even now, but it’ll do. And then I had to literally turn frowns upside down. That was another Youtube trip, and some nice young man in Australia or New Zealand revealed to me “transform” under the “edit” menu. Voila! Some of the frowns I literally turned upside down, but most of them I just took a sample of the corner and “rotated” ‘em a bit. Then the ubiquitous Blur tool, to make them fit in. I finally learned how to “Liquify”, it’s under “Filter” and gently pushes things in. I wish there was some kind of tool like this in Life (yeah, it’s called dieting) but it took me several days to learn how to use it. There’s some kind of mesh underneath the picture and it compresses just those tiny squares of pixels. Another nice young man (how come they’re always guys) on YouTube called it How To Make Fat People Skinny. Ha!
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