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Archives for: October 2005

The Oop Carves a Pumkin

October 30th, 2005  · stk

Last year, Alex wasn't walking. This year, she's going to be motoring down the street like a smaller version of most kids. THIS will be Alex's very first time "Trick-or-Treating". I doubt we'll be out long, but our little angel (appropriately dressed as one), will no-doubt be excited by the adventure! When you're just two, EVERYTHING is so brand new.

A pure CSS, XHTML-valid Slide Show (slideshow) viewer. No javascript is needed. Features: (1) Single image file used for both ZOOM image and thumbnail image. This means faster load speeds. (2) Optionally, two image files can be used (the thumbnail can be one image, the css zoom another, like the “about” image). (3) This method or technique is pure-css and is XHTML valid (all flavors, transitional, strict, version 1.1, XHTML1.1, XHTML-strict, loose, frames, etc.) (4) There isn't any javascript needed. No need to preload images, no worrying if client machines have javascripting turned off. (5) You can use an thumbnail image, a number image, text number or text as the zoom "buttons". The zoomed or blow-up images are shown in a single (resizable) window location. This means that lots of images can be shown, utilizing or using page real estate wisely. The CSS and XHTML footprint is small and the code is well-formed. If you're looking for a pure CSS, xhtml-valid slideshow viewer ... one such as this might be the ticket. Contact scott kimler using the contact link in the banner of this page.

A Short Slide-Show

Last year, Alex wasn't walking. This year, she's going to be motoring down the street like a smaller version of most kids. THIS will be Alex's very first time "Trick-or-Treating". I doubt we'll be out long, but our little angel (appropriately dressed as one), will no-doubt be excited by the adventure! When you're just two, EVERYTHING is so brand new.

She was very eager to help 'carve' the pumpkin, though she did far more seed plucking and table smearing, than she did carving. (Sharp knives and tiny toddlers don't mix). Still, she was excited at first, then apprehensive about sticking her hand in the gooey pumpkin. She managed, with a little persuading ... then the inborn glee of making an absolute MESS took over and she didn't look back.

It's been years since Rachel or I have carved a pumpkin and we have to thank Alex, for opening our eyes to childhood wonder, for a second time! It was very fun, especially for the first-timer.

Happy Halloween!

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Elk Island National Park

October 27th, 2005  · stk

Included: Printable Map with the Hiking Trails of Elk Island National Park. We played hooky one day and took Alex hiking at the nearby Elk Island National Park. We spotted moose, deer and bison. Oddly, we didn't see any Elk! If you live in the Edmonton area, there are some great hiking trails at Elk Island National Park. I went to the Parks Canada Elk Island National Park website, but was disappointed with the quality of the hiking map there. So I scanned the hiking map we got at the Elk Island National Park entrance booth and included it with this entry. We hope that you enjoy your hike and Elk Island National Park!

Playing Hooky & Hiking Mid-Week (Shhh!)

Every once in a while, you just gotta forget your responsibilities and take some time for yourself. With winter bearing down on us like a freight train, each day without snow is truly a gift. When yesterday blossomed with a blustery, warm wind, we decided to take some time and enjoy the day, before the long, cold winter locks us inside for too many months.

The original plan was to pull Alex out of day care early and go for a bicycle ride along the river valley. Rachel didn't ditch classes, but when you're a full-time student, one can ALWAYS study and she has plenty of that to do (plus an upcoming term paper to write). Scott is nearing the end of a bathroom remodeling job and just getting started with a big website project - taking time off helps neither one. Alex is the only one without many responsibilities, though we're sure she'd be the first to say, "No" and correct us! When we reconvened in the afternoon, the warm wind had turned chilly, so we opted for a hike instead.

As a Christmas gift from his inlaws, Scott received an annual Canada Parks Pass, which we had yet to begin using. (We didn't use it at Jasper National Park, in June, because we were just 'driving through' on our way to Vancouver and they don't charge an entrance fee for through traffic. We were going to use it at Waterton Lakes National Park, on our Glacier bicycle touring trip, but (a) we forgot the damn thing at home and (b) we only cycled across a small portion of the Park and were never assessed a fee. So ... the time limit is running out, so we thought we'd get the clock ticking on it and take a trip to Elk Island National Park, just 35 kilometers east of Edmonton.

MAP: Hiking Trails of Elk Island National Park

Read full story...

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International Appalachian Trail

October 22nd, 2005  · stk

Mt. Katahdin to the tip of Gaspé Penninsula

For many thru-hikers on the AT, the trail ends atop Maine's Mt. Katahdin. No longer. Now thru-hikers can elect to continue north, following the IAT to the true geographical conclusion of the Appalachian mountain chain, at Cap Gaspé, where they dive into the Atlantic ocean.

The trail is only a few years old. Not all of the land has been acquired, so there remain sections of the trail that follow roads, rather than a wilderness track. Still, the scenery is amazing and while walking along the northern shore of the Gaspé Penninsula, one can spot Killer Whale, Seals and other marine life.

We have a "dream list" of adventures that we'd like to do. We've done one long hike, the PCT, in 2002, from Mexico to Canada. Perhaps, one day, we'll do the AT as well. (If not the whole thing, then maybe the northern portion, including the IAT - which appears to be a very intriguing addition to the AT.)

More information on the IAT:

SIA-IAT Website - Good slide shows, history and description of the trail sections.

IAT Organization - Trail history, maps, membership & official trail association.

Budder Ball and Zokwakii's 2003 IAT Journal - After hiking the AT in 2002, these two thru-hikers turned their sights to the IAT in 2003.

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Alex Sings - Too Much!

October 19th, 2005  · stk

Our Singing "Organizer"

Alex sings happy birthday

We're now past the family "birthday season". It started Mom's birthday, in August, then Dad followed suit with his, in September. Alex tailed the pack, with her's in early October.

By the time October came around, Alex was well acquainted with cake, ice cream, candles, presents and, of course, birthday cards. Mom had even managed to get Alex to say, "Happy Birthday, Daddy," by the time his rolled around. She loves it all (especially the cake and ice cream).

When you look at your child, you see a reflection of your union, your personalities and genetic predispositions. Of course, we take great pride in the fact that Alex is a happy child and figure that we must've done something right. (It all makes us very afraid about having a second child ... a "devil" child ... one that reflects all of our bad traits, because Alex seems to reflect all of our GOOD traits!)

Maybe not....

First, thanks to everyone that sent Alex a birthday card! She has gotten more enjoyment from her birthday cards than you can imagine (and Dad's birthday cards, and our anniversary cards too, for that matter). She doesn't distinguish between them ... we've just given them to her, so she can have more to "enjoy".

Most people look at a birthday card, put it on the counter, only to be thrown away (eventually). Not Alex! She's fondled, organized, read and moved her cards a countless number of times! I think she's played with her cards MORE than she's played with her new "kitchen center" (it seems that way, anyway).

Our obsessive, compulsive ways are now manifesting themselves in our tiny, but very cute, daughter. She will contentedly sit and "organize" the cards, moving them from one pile, to the next, "reading" each one. One evening, while Rachel was doing dishes and Scott was off somewhere else, Alex sat all by herself, on the bathroom floor, looking through a small stack of cards. She picked each one up, sang a little "Happy Birthday" song, put them down in a new pile. She went through all the cards in this fashion and then repeated the whole process over again!

Hearing the "music" from the other room, Rachel grabbed the camera and captured the moment on video ... Alex's first "singing". Have a look at our little organizer and let us know: WHO do you think she's singing the song to?

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Penn State 25 - Michigan 27

October 15th, 2005  · stk

Wow. I don't think that anyone would argue that the game was boring! Especially the majority of the 111,000+ fans in Ann Arbor! What an exciting college football game! It all came down to Michigan's last play, a 4th-and-"do-or-die" deep in Penn State territory, with only 1 second left on the clock.

I still can't believe that Lloyd Carr (Michigan's head coach) had lobbied to add back 2 seconds to the game clock. If he hadn't done that, PSU would have been in the locker room, celebrating.

Penn State's offense came up with the clutch, go-ahead drive starting with about 2 minutes left on the clock and Michael Robinson is still my hero, with ANOTHER 4th-and-long play. What amazing composure, field of vision and running ability. He is truly exciting to watch (only I have to listen, because in Canada ... if it ain't on ice, it ain't on T.V.) If he could only aim his passes a tad lower when he gets jazzed up, his accuracy (and 3rd down conversions) would improve.

Up 4 points with about 30 seconds left, I was pretty confident that the game was in the bag. But, Michigan came back with an excellent kick-off return and then a series of plays. It was enough to make me shout and scream in denial and protest (poor Oop high-tailed it out of my office and Rachel knew to keep her distance)! I couldn't believe that Michigan cobbled their last drive together and faced with 4th down and one second left, I STILL had hopes that Penn State's defense would ensure a victory.

Chad Henne (Michigan's quarterback), made sure that wasn't going to happen. He connected with Mario Manningham, with no time on the clock, for the winning score. Congrats to Chad, Lloyd and his team! That's gotta feel REALLY good!

For Penn State ... with two turnovers, two missed field goals, a couple of in-opportune penalties and the special teams play (why did they allow that last run back?) ... those kind of mistakes and missed-opportunities come back to haunt you.

The offense was able to move the ball, no doubt. A nice long catch and a nice long run by Tony Hunt. Even better, Alan Zemaitis ripped the ball from Henne and ran it back 35 yards for a go-ahead score. (How I wished that I could have seen that play). Way to go Big "D"!

Still, in BIG games like this one ... it's the little things that'll kill you. Two missed field goals? C'mon! Two turnovers? C'mon! And the run-back from hell! With less than a minute left on the clock? C'mon!

Exciting play, for sure. (My only argument - the wrong team won.)

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Geographically Challenged

October 15th, 2005  · stk

listen live to penn state football on the web, live audio, Penn State Nittany Lions, Joe Paterno, Happy Valley, Beaver Stadium, Penn State, Go State, PSU football, live audio of Penn State Football, audio links to Penn State Football, free streaming audio of Penn State Football games, links to winamp, real audio and other live, streaming audio feeds of penn state football games.

Penn State Football: Radio Broadcast Now Available For Free, Worldwide

Starting this fall, Nittany Lion fans will be able to listen to free audio and video streaming via GoPSUnow. Audio broadcasts of Penn State’s football games, voiced by Steve Jones and Jack Ham, will be available free of charge regardless of location. The recently launched design is compatible with a wide range of devices and screen sizes but is not yet featured as an app.

I enjoy watching Penn State Football games, but I don't live in an area where they are often broadcasted. I don't live in Pennsylvania, so can't listen to radio stations in the Penn State Sports Network. My solution has been to listen online. Here are some links I use to listen to Penn State Football online.

psu football

Nov 9, 2013
@ Minnesota
Kickoff 12 pm (ET)

Game is televised nationally on ESPN2 (Blacked out on ESPN3)

(If you're geographically-challenged or don't get the game on your living room television - turn to Internet Radio or Internet TV!)

Since 2005, Randsco has been helping geographically-challenged Penn State fans listen or watch - online - to Penn State football games. 2011 will be no exception. Tell your friends, "If you can't get the game on your television or radio, go to to find out where you can listen (or watch) live, online." Support Internet broadcasting!

Click for online listening options and links

[ Penn State - 10 | Minnesota - 24 | FINAL ]

NEXT: Purdue

2013 Season 31-Aug - Syracuse WIN 23-17
07-Sep - Eastern Michigan WIN 45-7
14-Sep - UCF LOSS 34-31
21-Sep - Kent State WIN 34-0
05-Oct - @ Indiana LOSS 44-24
12-Oct - Michigan WIN 43-40 (4OT)
26-Oct - @ Ohio State LOSS 63-14
02-Nov - Illinois WIN 24-17 (1OT)
09-Nov - @ Minnesota LOSS 24-10
16-Nov - Purdue
23-Nov - Nebraska
30-Nov - @ Wisconsin



PSU Football - Listen Online

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PZ2 - How2

October 14th, 2005  · stk

Getting Photo-Caption Zoom (version 2) Up & Running on Your Site
(Instructions, Examples & Considerations)

In an effort to deflect a myriad of questions from readers who wanting to implement the pure-CSS photo/caption zoom (version 2) on their site - demonstrated with the photo here - I'm making this "How-to" guide. It contains the information needed to install and use it.

This photo/caption zoom technique is written to CSS 2.0 and XHTML 1.1 standards (which you can verify, using the validation buttons at the bottom of this page, if you so desire). It's been tested on both IE and FireFox. (Note: When IE7 comes out - which will support the :hover pseudo-class for all elements - the code will likely be re-written more succinctly).

PZ2 is the second version of "photo/caption zoom". This newer version overlays the text (eliminating 'text and element migration'), it allows larger images to be displayed on a page (because the image can overlay menu items and other DIVS) and it has some built-in display toggles (you can turn the caption on/off, for example). All that good stuff, unfortunately, comes at a price. The code is longer, more complex and therefore, trickier to use. (Hence the need for this tutorial.)

If you're new to the "photo/caption zoom" method displayed here, it's recommended that you read "CSS Photo-Caption Zoom" to start. It provides a history behind its development, as well as a demonstration of various 'photo zoom' techniques.

If you just want to get PZ2 working on your page (special instructions for b2evolution users), by all means, READ ON ...

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Tabbed Browsing in Internet Explorer

October 11th, 2005  · stk

One of the appeals of FireFox (Mozilla), has been the capability of "tabbed browsing". This means that only one WINDOW is needed to view multiple websites, allowing the capability to switch between sites by clicking the appropriate TAB.

The same capability is now available for MSIE v6.x. However, the capability isn't available in MSIE v6.x directly. Instead, it's available in an add-on tool called MSN Search Toolbar.

I'd rather see MicroSoft add tabbed browsing directly into Internet Explorer, but there ARE some other very nice tools in the MSN Search Toolbar that make it useful (Hint: I was already using it BEFORE they added the tabbed browsing capability).

1) MSN Search Toolbar allows one to search QUICKLY for files on your own computer. It's MUCH faster and robust than the default search tool that ships with the XP O/S. (One can also search the Internet from the same search window AND specify which search engine is used, but I've been searching from the address bar for some time and don't use that capability).

2) MSN Search Toolbar has a form-fill tool that allows one to keep credit card information, shipping addresses and website usernames/passwords in an encrypted, password-protected, local file. (I use this feature A LOT and with the myriad accounts I have scattered around the Internet, have come to depend upon this feature).

3) The toolbar has a nifty "search and highlight" capability that not only searches for words on an Internet page, not only highlights those words, but also has a page preview that shows (at a glance) WHERE on the page, each search word was found. (In a very long HTML page, this is an invaluable tool).

It also comes with other tools, as well, but these are the ones I use on a regular basis and make using the tool beneficial in their own right.

Note: I'm not married to IE, as I use FireFox as well. The Web Developer extension on FireFox is unique and of utmost importance for editing CSS files in a real-time sense. I recommend you have both browsers loaded on your computer. (Reason: When a site fails to work in one, or when a browser becomes corrupted, you have a backup browser that - more likely than not - will work. This saves both time AND frustration.)

The Tabbed Browsing Experience

The MSN Tabbed Browsing experience is perfect. There are some limitations, compared with the Mozilla version.

• If you maximize the screen, you LOSE the capability to switch sites using the tabs. They simply disappear off the maximized screen and the only site that's maximized, is whatever tab site was active. (Dumb).

• If you close the tabbed window using the "X" in the upper right-hand corner of the window, the window will ungracefully close ALL your tabs AND the window, without some kind of warning like: "Do you really want to close all your tabs in this window?" Be careful!

Other than these two shortcomings, the MSN Toolbar tabbed browsing is a move in the right direction for MicroSoft.

If you often have several sites open at one time, you can open all those into a tabs and then SAVE the tab configuration, so that all you have to do is click one button and all those sites will be accessed and tabbed into one window. Sweet!

If you're new to tabbed browsing, or like FireFox because of the tabbed browsing, you might want to download the MSN Search Toolbar and add it to your copy of IE's browser.

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Penn State #16 beats Ohio State #6

October 8th, 2005  · stk

STATE COLLEGE, Pa. (AP) - Penn State is back! They're on top of the Big Ten and back in the hunt for a National title.

Michael Robinson and Derrick Williams ran for touchdowns less than three minutes apart in the second quarter, and Paul Posluszny and the Nittany Lions' defense did the rest in a 17-10 victory over No. 6 Ohio State on Saturday night.

Win No. 349 for Joe Paterno was the type of victory some thought was only in the past for the 78-year-old coach. The 16th-ranked Nittany Lions (6-0, 3-0) hadn't beaten a team so highly ranked since knocking off No. 4 Arizona to start the 1999 season.

On a chilly and damp night -- just perfect for a slugfest between two of the Big Ten's best defenses -- Penn State was out to prove that Paterno's once powerful program could again compete with the nation's elite after winning just three conference games the past two seasons.

The Nittany Lions did more than just hold their own against the Buckeyes (3-2, 1-1) and their vaunted defense, led by linebacker A.J. Hawk. Penn State bested the team considered the class of the league and Rose Bowl contender.

When Tamba Hali sacked Troy Smith and knocked the ball loose, it was recovered by Scott Paxson, with about 1½ minutes left, All that Robinson had to do was take a couple of knees and kill the clock.

Now, for the first time since that '99 season, Penn State is a player in the national title picture.

Defense was the lynchpin of the '99 team - linebacker LaVar Arrington and defensive end Courtney Brown - providing the big plays.

Now its Posluszny and Hali.

The Lions bottled up a two-way threat quarterback (Troy Smith) and took Ohio State's big-play receivers, Ted Ginn Jr. and Santonio Holmes, out of the game. Not until the final drive did either have a catch of more than 20 yards.

Posluszny had another double-digit tackle game and he chased down Smith for a 10-yard loss with about five minutes left to help keep the Buckeyes scoreless in the second half.

Ohio State was the highest-ranked opponent to visit State College since No. 2 Miami played at Beaver Stadium in 2001. Games like this used to be common at Penn State, but during four losing seasons in the past five years Happy Valley's been kind of a sullen place.

With the Nittany Lions back in the rankings and a win a way from having first place in the Big Ten all to themselves, the student body was re-energized. Some camped out for a week in what was dubbed "Paternoville" around Beaver Stadium for the first-come, first-serve seats.

The Nittany Lions rewarded their patience with a performance worthy of Paterno's two championship teams. In return, the bouncing crowd of 109,839 literally had the stadium rocking up and down after Penn State scored two TDs in a span of 2:33 to take a 14-3 lead in the second quarter.

Williams sped 13 yards with a simple toss sweep for a touchdown that gave Penn State its first lead.

Moments later, Calvin Lowry picked off Smith's pass and returned it 36 yards to the Ohio State 2. On third-and-goal from the 1, Robinson scored on a keeper with 7:55 to go in the half.

But the Buckeyes responded to the Penn State defense and the thunderous roars of the crowd with an 81-yard, 14-play drive that Smith capped with a 10-yard TD run and reach across the goal line.

But that was Ohio State's one and only sustained drive and the Buckeyes dropped to 17-7 against Top 25 teams under coach Jim Tressel.

Let's be honest. Penn State was given a GIFT, in the form of an interception, by Calvin Lowry, during the 2nd quarter. He returned it to the OSU 2-yard line and the PSU offense capitalized, making the score 14 to 3. When OSU was going for the tie, in the 4th quarter, Tamba Hali sacked Troy Smith, forcing a turn-over that ended OSU's chances.

Those two turn-overs spear-headed OSU's defeat. Nothing against Penn State, who played smart and capitalized on the opportunities, but in important games, such as this one, those kind of mistakes lead to defeat.

I'm hoping that Penn State can continue to play smart and not turn over the ball.

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Alex is Two

October 7th, 2005  · stk

Here come the Terrible Two's!

Wow, does time fly. Our little girl just celebrated her SECOND birthday on October 3rd.

She knew it was coming.

"MY birthday," she said (she's really "into" what's her's, Mom's or Dad's right now. It's kind of embarrassing when we go to visit friends. "MY toy," she says, grabbing some other kid's toy. "Huh?" Where did THIS child come from?)

Of course, Rachel's birthday is in August and Scott's in September, so she had some practice.

"How old are you?" we asked.

"TWO!" she says. (She can count to three now, but it's usually, "one, three, two").

We bought her a large, colorful, plastic "kitchen center" for her gift. We debated long and hard about bringing a plastic centerpiece into the house, but ultimately, capitulated. Why? Because she LOVES doing dishes and helping out in the kitchen.

Despite our distain for all things large and plastic, I think it was a good choice. She's been serving Daddy "coffee" and Mommy "tea", every morning (even if the cups are very small, at least they've been warmed in the "microwave"). Her teddy bears have been served full course meals and although they've starved for months, they're now caught up from three feedings each day since Alex received her gift! (They're starting to look positively TUBBY!)

Alex has been a joy (for the most part) during the year and we've chronicled her development, facial expressions and antics, in her "Year Two" slide show. There are over 120+ photos and accompanying notes. We hope that you enjoy the show. (The slide show is a Java Applet and requires Java be loaded on your computer).

Happy Birthday Alexandra!

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Broadband: Socket to Me

October 2nd, 2005  · stk

Every existing electric socket in your home can be a broadband connection, thanks to Matsushita Industrial Co. (an Osaka-based company that's the manufacturer of Panasonic brand products). They have developed a new chip that does away with Ethernet cables and wireless networking equipment.

The new chip allows the existing copper wiring in your home to carry BOTH electricity and data. The obvious advantage is that there are commonly multiple sockets in every room of your home, each a potential broadband connection. The other advantage? Data rates are 170 MBPS, faster than even Cat-5 Ethernet cables.

Not very often does technology advance with such universal appeal. If you can plug in an appliance, it can be powered AND be Internet-ready all at the same time. (Think network-capable refrigerators, microwaves, coffee-makers, and Televisions).

Read more about it.

Apparently, Matsushita isn't the only player, as this Telkonet News Release indicates. All 31 Sandman Hotels, Inns and Suites throughout Canada have been equipped with "powerline communications" (PLC) technology.

Learn more about PLC here .

Learn more about BPL here.


19-Dec-2005 - BPL Rollout in Texas

As part of an upgrade to the existing grid, TXU and Current Communications Group announced the nation's first major BPL rollout in the United States. The $150 million dollar project will convert TXU Electric Delivery's power distribution network into the nation's first BPL-enabled "Smart Grid".

The rollout will make BPL available to approximately 2 million Texas customers in the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex, at prices competitive with existing cable and ASDL solutions. (Current's only other widespread BPL availability is through Cinergy Corp. in Cincinnati, where it charges $20-45/month for BPL connections, with speeds of up to 3 MBPS.

Current, with backing from Google and The Hearst Corporation (among others), has smaller pilot BPL pilot projects in Hawaii, Maryland and southern California.

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Penn State College Football

October 1st, 2005  · stk

I don't follow sports. NFL, NBA, NHL or any other "N". I'm just not "N"-to it, if you know what I mean. However, College Football is a different animal. I attended Penn State (graduating with a Masters of Science in GeoPhysics in 1983), so I have an affiliation with the school and their football team.

Today's convincing win against the Nationally-ranked (#18) Minnesota Gophers (with a score of 44-14), moves the here-to-for unranked Nittany Lions into Top-25 territory. Go Lions! For the first time in a number of years, WE HAVE A TEAM!

"Listen live" to Penn State football: PSU Football -- click for streaming audio options.


Beaver stadium holds over 106,000 people. It's huge - the second largest college stadium in the nation. I've attended games there (not when it was THAT large, but still, it was pretty huge when I was going to school there). I remember a game in 1982, when #1 Nebraska came to play #2 Penn State (Penn State won in the final seconds, with a shoe-string catch in the end zone). What a thrill! The best game I've ever attended, for sure.

The tradition lives on today and still, Joe Paterno remains head coach. What a class act. What an upstanding guy. He must love what he does and he has contributed SO much to the school, the players and college football. I know his contract is good through the 2008 season, so we can still look forward to him leading the team for another 2 seasons, at least. Way to go, Joe.

Next week, Penn State faces #8 Ohio State. Let's hope that they keep their heads about them and commit no crimes (in this week's game, Penn State was penalized only 3 times, for 15 yards and neither fumbled the football, nor were intercepted - a stark contrast against the 5 cough-ups last week against Northwestern).

The clash between OSU and PSU is set for October 8th, 7:45 PM (EST) and you can listen to it here . For sure, it will be televised and if you're lucky enough to watch it - please DO. Color me jealous, because here in Edmonton, if it's not played on ice ... it ain't on T.V.

Nittany Lions!

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