Tuesday, September 27, 2016

2008 Holiday Gift Guide for Tea Drinkers

The 2008 holiday gift guide for tea drinkers offers a lovely selection of gifts to present to tea drinkers. Many of the gifts are elegant, tasteful and will be received well by the recipient. The selection of gifts included in the 2008 holiday gift guide for tea drinkers includes basic gifts, classic gifts and a few gifts one just may choose to keep.

A top choice of gifts from the 2008 holiday gift guide for tea drinkers and one that is quite intimate is Numi’s Dancing Leaves Teapot Set. The lovely set includes a lovely glass teapot and a collection of blooming tea petals in flavors such as; flower jewel, dragon lily, starlight rose, golden jasmine and emerald son. Not only is the teapot lovely but this unique set is an excellent choice of gifts. An excellent choice from the 2008 holiday gift guide for tea drinkers, Numi’s Dancing Leaves Teapot Set retails for $32.00 (www.earthy.com).

Another excellent choice of gifts from the 2008 holiday gift guide for tea drinkers is Numi’s Bouquet Bamboo Tea Box. This is a great personal gift to present to a friend who enjoys tea. Numi’s Bouquet Bamboo Tea Box includes a variety of hand-sewn flowering teas neatly stored in an attractive reusable bamboo tea box. A great gift to give during the holidays from the 2008 holiday gift guide for tea drinkers the retail price for the tea collection is $25.00 (www.earthy.com).

The true tea drinker is as picky as a coffee drinker and the 2008 holiday gift guide for tea drinkers found one of the perfect gifts. What better way to enjoy the life of a tea connoisseur than to receive the gift of twelve months of different teas. Options however do include receiving shipments on a three, six or twelve month program. Imagine receiving a different tea every month from Dean and Deluca such as; Darjeeling, Ear Grey Extra, Dong Yang Dong Bei, Dragon Well, Yunnan Whole Leaf, Ti Kwan Yin, English breakfast, Ceylon Orange Pekoe, Silver Sprout, Gunpowder Imperial, Earl Grey and Jasmine Pearl. Definitely the top gift from the 2008 holiday gift guide for tea drinkers a year of tea shipments cost approximately $285.00 (http://ift.tt/2cICiWM).

The above mentioned selection of gifts in the 2008 holiday gift guide for tea drinkers is but a few of many excellent choices of gifts from many retailers. For more information on the specific gifts mentioned in the 2008 holiday gift guide for tea drinkers visit the official web sites for the retailers mentioned.

Tags:2008 Holiday Gift Guide for Tea Drinkers

2008 to Do List

As the new year begins, I think of all the things that need to be done.
No, not all the little things, but the bigger things for security and
peace of mind in our lives.

If I should die before I wake…..
Texas law mandates that should you die without a properly executed will,
the state could direct whatever you have to whomever or wherever the
state decides, including the state’s own coffer.

Hearsay advice leads you to believe that you can leave behind a
handwritten will or that everything will automatically go to your
spouse. Nay, nay, good friend, not quite as easy as that.

The over-the-counter and internet forms may not be recognized by Texas
law either.

Your bank will have to lock all your business with them, including bank
accounts, upon your death. It may not matter who else is on the account
or authorized to use it. Certain provisions must be established before
you die. As a quickie test, call your bank. Ask them what happens with
your business if you are to die. Then make arrangements to fix any
problems.

Your house may not be able to change hands at any point without proper
paperwork in place. A certified death certificate or record is just a part
of the tangle.

There are other important documents to consider.

Do you want to be placed on life support when nothing of you is working
or alive as you know anymore and there is no logical chance that you will
again be the ‘you’ that you are? There are directives that you can sign now
that tell your care givers, including doctor and hospital, whatever you wish
to happen either yeah or nay.

Other simple directives say who would make decisions for you and any
business you have to take care of in the event you cannot make those
decisions for yourself. Example: you are in the hospital in surgery; your
minor child has been injured across town or country. Permission is
necessary for something. Who will make that decision if the second
legal parent is not able or there to make that decision?

Consider all the names that you have placed as beneficiaries on various
accounts. They may be on things other than life insurance plans. These
funds will not be part of any will you leave because you have dedicated
those funds to a particular person or group. You can change that by
arranging with the account group itself and your properly executed will.

Companies tend to make changes to insurance plans and such at the first
of the year. You may have been asked to consider changes and have made
your choice already this early in the new year. Maybe you were not completely
certain that the changes you decided on were exactly what you needed.

These changes may affect how you pick your doctor, your insurance plan,
your 401k investment opinions.

You are in the majority if you do these by the seat of your pants.
Personally, I feel that the company biggies have already made their
choice with their best interest at heart and are only giving you a token
vote, knowing that you cannot make a most informed choice in two weeks
notice. Therefore, they will usually recommend a path of action.

Maybe you cannot do anything this year, but vow to begin research on
these types of decisions for the next ‘vote’.

Will you ever be able to retire and live at least as comfortable as you
do now? Will you still have insurance or will each prescription cost
all your grocery money? Will you have enough to put gas in your
vehicle? Can you now?

Do research. Pick and start a plan if only a small one. Don’t just
worry about it. I don’t care what you hear or read – again, you are in
the majority. I can truthfully say that I am not ready at all. I have
either struggled to be middle class comfortable or have happily
spent the extra on things that made me happy rather than save or
invest.

Speaking of investing…. I know nothing of it other than I am totally
confused when I try to read the options.

I cannot put my life on hold to take care of all this. Or dare I not?
I promise myself to research more diligently on all these subjects
and right all my interests.

In addition, I will put much time into discovery of facts and rates of
IRA plans, elder insurance plans and streamlining existing plans
of all kinds that I currently hold. It may take the greater part of 2008
to complete.

Don’t base your life and death on beauty / barber shop advice. Don’t
believe everything you read. Check credentials. Double check stated
‘facts’. Websites don’t make it necessarily so. You can have a
website and claim just about anything too. That doesn’t make it true
or legal.

This is a daunting task, but you’ll feel better afterwards and will only
need to refresh your memory or update information thereafter.

Have a wonderful, healthy 2008. Ease your mind and the path for
those that will be left behind when you pass one of these years by
making informed decisions on all your personal business.

Now, I need to make a plan for spring cleaning.

Tags:2008 to Do List

2008 Lamborghini Estoque Concept

Lamborghini Estoque Concept 2008It is a Lamborghini like no other before it: a four-door sports car that sticks resolutely to its creed. The Lamborghini Estoque concept has everything that defines a Lamborghini: extreme, uncompromising and unmistakably Italian, iIt brings a whole new versatility to the brand’s DNA – with its four seats and ample luggage space, this “everyday sports car” is a perfect fit for an equally versatile lifestyle.

Estoque is a study, a concept created specifically for the 2008 Salon d’Automobiles in Paris. From the very first glance there can be no doubt that this is a Lamborghini – a car with compelling presence, both unique and unmistakable. The long wheelbase, the low profile, the broad track, the mighty, accentuated wheels, the clean surfaces and razor-sharp definition – every single line breathes the spirit of the Lamborghini brand.

Lamborghini Estoque Concept 2008A new and unique elegance
The Estoque is an entirely new interpretation of the Sant’Agata design ethic: it is a concept that provides a clear indication of the future. This applies to the new, elegant self-confidence of the lines themselves, but even more to the concept of the vehicle. The Estoque is the first sedan in the history of Automobili Lamborghini, although “sedan” is more a reference to the number of doors than any other characteristics. Even sports sedan is an inadequate classification: the Estoque establishes a new category of super sports sedans. With a powerful front mid-engine, permanent all-wheel drive and a sophisticated, precision-tuned chassis; the Estoque boasts a unique technology package.

A sign of success
In Paris, the Lamborghini Estoque demonstrates the innovation, the creativity and the design flair of the Lamborghini brand, currently represented by the enormous success enjoyed by Lamborghini’s Gallardo and Murcielago super sports cars.

Lamborghini Estoque Concept 2008As a concept, the Lamborghini Estoque represents one of several possibilities for a third model series within the Lamborghini product line-up. At this point in time, no decisions have been taken in respect of either a third model series of any kind or of the Estoque concept in particular.

Of course, as a true Lamborghini, it goes without saying that the Estoque also bears a suitably powerful name with a rich heritage from the Spanish Corrida – bull fighting. The Estoque is a rapier (sword), approximately 90 centimetres (35.43 inches) long, used in a bull fight by the Matador.

The Concept
Estoque embodies the concept of a Lamborghini that is both a dedicated sports car and a relaxed Gran Turismo. As a sedan with four doors and four individual sports seats, it is a multi-faceted vehicle for multi-faceted lifestyles.

Relaxed Gran Turismo
The Lamborghini Estoque is the perfect travelling companion, be it en route to business meetings, the theatre, the golf course or even a weekend away with the kids. At the end of the day, it is the only car that allows you to share the singular driving pleasure of a Lamborghini with more than one person – possibly even with the whole family. And there is still enough room left over for weekend luggage or several golf bags.

Despite its extremely low profile – at a mere 1.35 meters (4.43 feet) high – the Lamborghini Estoque is surprisingly spacious. The secret lies in its very long wheelbase which, in spite of the rearwards positioning of the front mid-engine, enables a relaxed, sporty seating position. Entering and exiting is also pleasingly straightforward through the large, wide-opening doors.

A challenging sports car
At the same, the Lamborghini Estoque is a thoroughbred sports car with exceptionally refined power delivery, razor-sharp precision handling and a meaty engine tone. Challenging driving pleasure on a winding mountain road, followed by a relaxed, enjoyable journey along miles and miles of motorway;- the Lamborghini Estoque is commanding across the entire driving spectrum., at the highest level. The Estoque’s versatility makes it the perfect addition to the range of Lamborghini super sports cars.

Design
Such a Lamborghini must be immediately recognisable in its design as a unique and unmistakable work of art. For the Estoque, this is clearly a case of “mission accomplished.”

The proportions of the Lamborghini Estoque are simply fascinating: no other automobile combines so convincingly the elegance of length with the sporting attributes of a low profile and impressive breadth. Or to put it into figures – the concept painted in an all-new colour, is 5.15 meters (16.89 feet) long and 1.99 meters (6.53 feet) wide, with a height of only 1.35 metres (4.43 feet). The wheelbase is a stately 3.01 meters (9.88 feet) – an equally important element of elegant vehicle architecture.

And it is unequivocally Italian – the flat bonnet, the long wheelbase, the narrow window openings, the flat rear that ends decisively with a negative return – it is all pure “Italianita” on wheels; everything bears the design language of the large classic Italian four-door cars, albeit with a unique, modern interpretation. Pure Lamborghini.

Clearly a sports car
The front end of the Estoque is a clear and unambiguous statement of its sports car credentials. Its place amongst the family of Lamborghini super sports cars is also distinct and unmistakable – with its swooping V-shape, its two large air intakes pulled forward and the small front spoiler in between. This front end design gives the Estoque a firm, low stance, while providing excellent aerodynamic efficiency. The large air intakes facilitate the cooling air that is important for such a high-performance vehicle and the spoiler was specifically designed to improve aerodynamic balance at high speeds.

Such distinctive sports car architecture is only possible by positioning the front mid-engine well towards the rear. Despite the very low bonnet, it goes without saying that the Estoque fulfils all safety regulations and pedestrian protection standards.

Taut muscles
The bonnet of the Estoque makes the origins of the sheer power of this vehicle immediately apparent. The location of the engine is clearly evident through the distinct division created by two large air outlets and the additional emphasis of a central power area. Further air outlets are positioned both left and right in the wings, behind each of the front wheel arches.

Together, with the division of the bonnet, these elements add emphasis to the area above the wheels, framing the front end of the Estoque like a taut muscle. The permanent all-wheel drive that is typical for all Lamborghinis means that the 22 inch wheels, with their new five double-spoke design, also do their part in delivering power to the road. Here too, the Centro Stile has stuck firmly to the Lamborghini principle that form always follows function; after all, the ample cooling air flowing into the high-performance driveline also has to move quickly out of the vehicle.

Tremendous tension along the flanks
Its proportions guarantee the Lamborghini Estoque an impressive appearance. The skilled sectioning along the flanks of the vehicle gives the body shell an incredibly muscular form. Beneath the flat surfaces of the bonnet, the incredibly powerful shoulder line, a further side line rising slightly towards the rear and, finally, the equally distinct sill line all add emphasis to the flow of power from the engine to the magnificent 23 inch rear wheels. The masculine profile is completed by the negative return of the rear end. This adds further tension to the form of the Estoque – the whole car looks coiled and ready to pounce at the drop of a hat. These sharp lines frame a fascinating interplay of surfaces across convex and concave curvatures. The Estoque clearly displays the design language of the Centro Stile Lamborghini with a distinctive elegance.

Powerful elegance at the rear
The flow of form is brought to its conclusion by the broad, even expanse of the rear end. The horizontal split created by the flat LED light clusters and the large, mesh-covered lower air outlets bring additional emphasis to this breadth. A narrow, slightly slanted “frame” panel surrounds the whole rear aspect and further highlights its powerful elegance.

Precise details, such as the hexagonal fuel caps on both sides of the vehicle, characterise the depth of the design language. The front headlamps, featuring bi-xenon and LED technology, carry forward a theme evident in both the Reventón and the Gallardo LP 560-4 – the Y-shape of the daytime running lights. The tiny green/white/red flag adorning the front wings discreetly highlights that an automotive statement as uncompromising as this one can come from only one country on Earth – from Italy.

The interior
Despite its extremely low profile, the Lamborghini Estoque offers a surprisingly generous feeling of spaciousness. The length of the interior facilitates a relaxed seating position for all four individual seats and plays a significant role in the supreme comfort of this super sports sedan over long distances. The interior reflects elements of the exterior design language, also evident in the cabin of the Estoque – in the distinctive lines of the door panels or in the swooping V-shape applied to the cockpit, reflecting the form used on the front end and on the bonnet.

Luxurious interior
The dominant material of the interior is highest-quality Nappa leather. The four individual seats boast sporting contours, supreme long-distance comfort and extensive electrical positioning options.

Cockpit with large-screen display
The cockpit presents the driver with a large-area LCD screen displaying vehicle and route information. A range of presentation formats are available for selection depending on personal preference – a distinctive classical layout with circular instrument dials, or an innovative digital display. A top-class audio installation and a sophisticated rear seat entertainment system round off the equipment.

Like the interior, the luggage compartment of the Estoque is also surprisingly spacious. Despite the low-profile rear end, it has plenty room for several golf bags or pieces of luggage.

Production feasibility
As a pure concept car, the Estoque is a design exercise and a further indication of the innovative power of the Lamborghini brand. Yet, it is based on a feasible technical concept that offers a whole range of fascinating alternatives for the body shell and driveline.

Just like the brand’s super sports cars, the Estoque uses a mid-engine layout. However, the high-performance driveline used here is not located in front of the rear axle, as in the Gallardo and Murcielago or in the Reventon, but behind the front axle. This front mid-engine concept, with the driveline set way back, facilitates balanced weight distribution and a centre of gravity close to the vehicle’s vertical axis. Both ensure the unparalleled agility and handling precision of a mid-engine vehicle.

Reserves in every situation
Like all contemporary Lamborghini models, the Estoque is also equipped with permanent all-wheel drive. It distributes the engine power to all four wheels, thus making for superior traction in all driving situations, as well as providing extra reserves for extremely sporty driving and for challenging weather conditions.

A range of drivelines is conceivable for the Estoque. This is headed up by the highly-acclaimed Lamborghini ten-cylinder from the Gallardo LP 560-4 – with more torque and higher revving than virtually any other engine. A complementary alternative could be a turbocharged eight-cylinder derived from this V10. A particularly economical, but nevertheless dynamic, variation would be a V8 with a hybrid module or an extremely high-performance TDI.

The Centro Stile Lamborghini
With the Estoque, the Centro Stile Lamborghini has created further proof of its creativity and attention to detail. The design centre that opened in 2004 is a studio of creatives, designers and model makers that combines the culture and the spirit of the brand with the power of innovation and of creating a new aesthetic. The Centro Stile Lamborghini is part of the best tradition of Italian vehicle design, and is leading the way forward with the latest in working techniques.

The Centro Stile is located in a 2,900 sq. metre (31,215 sq. feet) facility, where it occupies two interconnected floors. The generously proportioned design studio is equipped with two full-size surface tables and their associated tooling and measuring equipment, while further areas house the latest in computer workstations for the creative experts and a workshop for the model makers. The Centro Stile is also connected directly to the neighbouring Ufficio Tecnico – the direct link to Lamborghini’s development department ensures the rapid realisation of ideas. Speed is a key aspect for Lamborghini, for both its cars and its working processes; the Reventon was created in the record time of less than one year.

In-house creativity and implementation
From the first sketches made either on paper or using the three-dimensional computer program, through 1:10 or 1:4 scale models to full-size models, the complete design process is organised within small, fast-moving teams.

Since it was founded, the Lamborghini brand has been bringing innovative design trends to the rarefied atmosphere of the world’s most desirable automobiles, and producing vehicles with absolutely unmistakable character. Models such as the Miura and the Countach were way ahead of their time, but quickly attained the status of timeless classics. From their first appearance, every new Lamborghini is destined to become a legend and sought-after collectors’ item.

With the current Murcielago and Gallardo, Lamborghini has once again perfected an innovative design language. The exterior proportions provide an indication of the power and dynamic character of the driveline. Crisply-defined edges, precision lines and clean surfaces result in a design that is reduced to its very essence.

Every element is designed precisely in accordance with its function. Examples of this on the Murcielago LP 640 include the movable cooling air intakes and the asymmetric sills; on the left side of the vehicle, the air intake is significantly larger to accommodate the flow of fresh air to the oil cooler.

Clear lines, perfect details
The unmistakable form of a Lamborghini is something that always speaks for itself: ornamentation or decoration of any kind has absolutely no place here. This firmly places the current models that bear the sign of the bull within the best traditions of their brand and of 60s and 70s Italian vehicle design. The sports cars of that time were acclaimed for their perfect proportions and for their objective, functional elegance that required no embellishment of any kind.

The purist execution of the lines is complemented perfectly by the passion for detail possessed by the designers in Sant’Agata Bolognese. The rear view of the Murcielago LP 640 is distinctive not only for its impressive power, but also for the fine interplay of the elements in the sophisticated rear light cluster.

The sensuality of precision and performance
A Lamborghini is a high performance athlete. Its high degree of sensuality is based on precision, performance and spontaneous action. This type of elegance is the elegance of pure, unadulterated power. This Lamborghini DNA is carried forward into future products at the Centro Stile, which is destined to continue to set clear design trends – the Estoque is the perfect example.

The design centre on the site of the historical birthplace of all Lamborghinis guarantees the super sports cars with the bull brand will remain exclusive, sensual and challenging – and always unmistakably Italian.

Source: Lamborghini Press Releases

Tags:2008 Lamborghini Estoque Concept

2008 MAC Conference Football Predictions

The MAC Conference has taken a dramatic turn for the worse in recent years. The conference used to be underrated but now it is simply not very good at all. Bowl wins over other mid-major conferences in the past have been forgotten and stars like Randy Moss and Ben Roethlisberger aren’t coming out of the league the way they used to.

Here is the projected order of finish for the MAC in 2008:

2008 MAC Conference NCAA Predictions:

MAC East Predictions

1. Bowling Green Falcons-

Conference play should be a cakewalk for BGSU who has reloaded after a few subpar years.

2. Miami (Ohio) Redhawks-

This squad has a tough schedule going to Michigan and Cincinnati but a home date with Vanderbilt gives them a shot to knock off an SEC team.

3. Buffalo Bulls-

A bottom-feeding program that has become somewhat respectable and could make a jump.

4. Ohio Bobcats-

Frank Solich, former Nebraska coach, has done well overall but the Bobcats are short on talent in 2008 among other NCAA and even MAC teams.

5. Kent State Golden Flashes-

The Golden Flashes boast 5’5 superstar runner Eugene Jarvis but little else.

6. Temple Owls-

Going 4-8 was actually a decent step for this program which might be getting a bit better.

7. Akron Zips-

After making some noise with Charlie Frye at QB, the Zips have fallen back.

2008 MAC West Predictions-

1. Central Michigan Chippewas-

The Chippewas have kept a good program rolling since Brian Kelly left, and Dan LeFevour is a dual-threat QB who is probably the best player in the MAC. Now, they need to do better in out-of-conference NCAA play to make the MAC look better because they’re going to win the league again.

2. Ball State Cardinals-

With QB Nate Davis and WR Dante Love back, the Cardinals have one of the best passing offenses in the whole NCAA and the best in the MAC. That’s good enough for second in a no-defense MAC West.

3. Western Michigan Broncos-

This team always has some underrated talent but they always seem to drop a game or two they shouldn’t.

4. Toledo Rockets-

SS Barry Church and FS Tyrell Herbert are this team’s best players on a defense that isn’t very good, but the offense can score in bunches. Then again, everyone in the MAC can because of the poor defenses.

5. Eastern Michigan Eagles-

QB Andy Schmitt is a quality player and MLB Daniel Holtzclaw is a tackling machine but this team has a lot of holes.

6. Northern Illinois Huskies-

The days of teams fearing the NIU offensive line and running attack are over for the time being.

Tags:2008 MAC Conference Football Predictions

2008 Lotus Elise SC - An Engineering Marvel

In 1996, Lotus Cars released the long-awaited Elise. With a uniquely styled fiberglass body and lightweight aluminum shell, the company set the standard for low curb weights, and even lower production costs.

Twelve years later we await the arrival of the Elise SC, and all the high speed thrills we’ve come to expect from the Lotus name. While Lotus Cars will offer the standard naturally aspirated Elise, with the SC they also offer a 220 horsepower supercharged beast. With 0-60 times clocking in at 4.4 seconds, the new Elise continues to set a standard for contemporary sports cars.

As visceral as the driving an Elise is, perfect handling and intense acceleration aren’t for everyone. If you’re looking at Lotus cars and expecting a luxurious interior, you’re in the wrong isle. While the leather seats and dashboard layout are comfortably snug for all but the tallest of us, the interior is nothing short of Spartan in nature. It’s about as basic as it gets, no special trims, no neat carpets or anything that you would find in a BMW or Benz; it’s a sports car by definition, and anything that could possibly slow it down has either been removed, or there is an option to remove it as well.

Though the interior is about as Plain Jane as it gets, the exterior is an entirely different story. Lots of air dams, a rear mounted engine, removable roof, and the flashiest standard paint jobs you’ll ever find on a car. It looks stunning, nothing short of its Italian supercar rivals. Every car that is designed with performance in mind should look fast, and the Elise looks like ball lightning on wheels. Personally, it’s the paint jobs that attract me to Lotus cars. With names likes Solar Yellow, Isotope Green, and Ice White you know that you’re about to be treated to delicious eye candy, and the luster is nothing short of magnificent. Whether you choose a metallic coat, a ‘Lifestyle’ color, or one of the monotone exclusive colors, you’ll be in love with it.

In summary, if you’re looking for a luxurious car to cruise around town with the roof off in the summer months, this car may not be what you’re looking for. If you’re looking for an all around sports car with no expectations of creature features, to speed around town in the summer months, look no further than the Lotus Elise. No matter what engine, color, or style you opt for, you will absolutely love it. It’s a car for the enthusiast in all of us, and it costs less than a Corvette.

Tags:2008 Lotus Elise SC - An Engineering Marvel

2008 New Mexico Bowl

Colorado State vs. Fresno State in the New Mexico Bowl on Dec. 20 at 2:30 p.m. in Albuquerque, NM on ESPN

For the first time since its inception (2006), the New Mexico Bowl will be played without New Mexico on the scoreboard. It has traditionally been a low scoring game being played at University Stadium on the University of New Mexico’s campus according to Wikipedia. The crowd will be small as the capacity is only 38,634, but this is similar to both schools’ home stadium capacity, so they will be used to it. Fort Collins is about half the distance from Albuquerque according to Google Maps, so the crowd may lean slightly toward the Colorado State Rams if their fans travel well. Below you will find analysis of each school’s offense, defense, and special teams based on statistics compiled from FoxSports.com.

ColoradoState (6-6)

Offense: CSU has averaged just under 130 yards per game rushing (81st) and 247.5 yards per game passing (32nd). They are averaging 23.7 points per game to rank 76th in the country in scoring.

Defense: CSU’s defense has not stopped many offenses this season allowing above the national average in both rushing yards allowed per game and passing yards allowed per game. They have given up almost 30 points per game, ranking 89th. Their rush defense ranks 100th, allowing 185.3 yards per game. The defense allowed 222.8 passing yards per game to rank 99th in the country.

Special Teams: The Rams have averaged 6.06 yards per punt return and 21.71 yards per kick return. They allow 13 yards per punt return (107th) and 25.7 yards per kick return (114th).

FresnoState (7-5)

Offense: The Bulldogs have a good offense, scoring 29.2 points per game to rank 40th in the country. They rush for 176.8 yards per game (36th) and have three backs that have over 100 carries and average 5.4 yards per carry or better, although running back Ryan Mathews’ status for the game is uncertain. Their passing game goes puts up 206.5 yards per game (66th).

Defense: For as many yards as Fresno State puts up, they seem to give up just as many. They allow 197.3 rushing yards (105th) and 196.2 passing yards (73rd) per game. The 30.3 points they allow is 91st in the nation.

Special Teams: Fresno’s return game is very good averaging 14.54 yards per punt return (3 for touchdowns) and 24.31 yards per kickoff. They have allowed 14.9 yards per punt return (119th) and 24 yards per kickoff return (105th) when covering.

Match Up: Fresno State’s powerful run game will have a great day against the Rams. They will probably hit 200+ yards. The two quarterbacks have nearly identical stats, but the Bulldogs get an extra 30 yards per game rushing. The Rams could have a decent day on offense, but the key to the game will be the Rams’ weak red-zone offense against the Bulldogs’ strong red-zone defense and they will not be able to keep up with the Bulldogs. Also, look for Fresno to take a punt back against porous coverage by the Rams.

Prediction: Fresno State 31 – Colorado State 24

Tags:2008 New Mexico Bowl

2008 Fourth of July Events at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida

For generations, the word Disney has been synonymous with magical family fun. So, if you’re looking to plan a magical Fourth of July holiday, what better destination than Walt Disney World in Orlando? Disney World is full of magic and fireworks every night of the year, but on the Fourth of July, they take it one step further!

Most Fourth of July events, parties and fireworks displays are included in the price of admission. Certain hotels offer better views of the fireworks displays than others, so be sure to inquire about your particular hotel before booking, especially if you don’t want to fight the crowds at the park during the fireworks displays. Below is a breakdown of all the Independence Day fun to be had at the parks – and why you won’t want to miss it!

The Magic Kingdom

Date: July 4, 2008

Hours: 8:00 a.m. to 1:00 a.m.

Website: http://ift.tt/2cICuoR

On the Fourth of July, the Magic Kingdom offers extended admission times for guests, totaling seventeen hours of the best rides, shows, eateries and attractions around! After carousing through the world’s most famous amusement park all day, enjoy the sparkling spectacles of the Magic Kingdom’s Fourth of July celebration. First off is the “Fantasy In The Sky” fireworks display at 9:00 p.m. followed by the traditional “SpectroMagic” parade. The whole family will leave happy and dazzled by the Magic Kingdom’s impressive displays.

Epcot Center

Date: July 4, 2008

Hours: 9:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m.

Website: http://ift.tt/2cICuoR

Epcot Center features tons of educational and awe-inspiring fun, and a rocking good time for the Fourth of July! After checking out popular rides such as “Soarin'”, enjoy a performance by Bjorn Again, an ABBA tribute band. Then find your spot for the amazing “Illuminations: Reflections of Earth” show – one part education and two parts fun! This fireworks and skylight display features more than 1100 pyrotechnic bursts, laser light effects and the Earth Globe which floats across the lagoon and shows Wonder of the World on its LED screens.

Disney’s MGM Studios

Date: July 4, 2008

Hours: 9:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m.

Website: http://ift.tt/2dhpZ0Y

MGM Studios celebrates the art of cinema and, on July 4th, our nation’s birth. Find out how movies come to life while exploring this beloved Disney theme park on the Fourth of July. Be sure to bring your kid’s to the all-new Block Party Bash, a parade featuring trampolines, special stunts, acrobatics and more than 20 of your kid’s favorite Disney Pixar characters. When the sun sets, don’t miss the Fourth of July fireworks at 9:00 p.m. The special Independence Day fireworks will be followed by the popular Fantasmic show at 10:30 p.m.

Disney’s Animal Kingdom Park

Date: July 4, 2008

Hours: 9:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.

The Animal Kingdom is an awe-inspiring place to explore, from the wild safari rides to the interactive live shows. If you’re headed there on the Fourth of July, you’ll probably want to make your way to another park towards evening. Although there is much to see and do at the Animal Kingdom, there are no special Fourth of July events planned there in 2008.

Downtown Disney

Date: July 4, 2008

For special Independence Day fun, don’t miss the party going on in Downtown Disney. Downtown Disney is known for its hip fun and great shopping, but it is also a great place to celebrate the holiday. This street party features live entertainment and an impressive fireworks display over Village Lake at the end of the evening. There will even be a dance party at the Dock Stage in the Marketplace.

Tags:2008 Fourth of July Events at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida

2008 Holiday Comfort Gift Guide for Women

The 2008 holiday comfort gift guide for women offers a lot of unique and welcoming gifts for today’s woman. The key to comfort for most women involves feeling pretty, comfortable, and being in an environment that is serene, orderly and peaceful. The gifts reviewed in the 2008 holiday comfort gift guide for women will hopefully cover all of these areas and a bit more.

One of the top choices from the 2008 holiday comfort gift guide for women is the Juicy Couture Terry Gift Robe in white. The comfortable robe is made from 80% cotton and 20% polyester plush terry and is designed stylishly with a generous shawl collar, three quarter length puffed sleeves adorned with cotton ruffle trim and a wide ruffled him. Other features included the traditional Juicy Couture jeweled crown on the chest with the logo underneath. The wrap front robe has an elasticized empire waist, self-tie belt and internal ribbon ties. The stylish robe by Juicy Couture from the 2008 holiday comfort gift guide for women is presented in a gift box and retails of approximately $110.00.

Another great choice of simple comfortable indulgences from the 2008 holiday comfort gift guide for women are the Sleepy Sheepy Socks. The unique fluffy socks are super soft, cuddly and warm and simply add to the comfort of one’s down time. The washable soft socks are made from polyester and offer a unique whimsical pattern for every day of the week. Available in either pink, blue, mint, lilac or butter the Sleepy Sheepy Socks from Soft Surroundings retail for $18.00 a pair. Definitely a great choice of gifts from the 2008 holiday comfort gift guide for women, the Sleepy Sheepy Socks are certain to be one of the most worn gifts of the season.

One of the top choices from the 2008 holiday comfort gift guide for women is the Sonoma Lavender Spa Collection from Soft Surroundings. The collection includes lavender spa booties, a lavender spa wrap, and a lavender spa neck roll. Lavender is a scent that is known for its mind and body balancing properties and its ability to calm and relax an individual. What is really unique about this choice of gift from the 2008 holiday comfort gift guide is that the lavender spa booties, lavender spa wrap and lavender spa neck roll all have lavender and flaxseed inserts which are microwaveable and definitely. Therapeutic. The pieces are priced separately ranging from $39.95 up to $59.95 and are ideal gifts for the woman in your life.

For more information on the gifts reviewed in the 2008 holiday comfort gift guide for women visit the official web site for Eluxury and Soft Surroundings.

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2008 Holiday Comfort Gift Guide for Him

The 2008 holiday comfort gift guide for him offers a wide array of gift suggestions designed to assist in his down time, personal care, relaxation and home life. The selection of gifts reviewed in the 2008 holiday comfort gift guide for him was chosen with a couple of things in mind. First consider the fact that men enjoy indulging in personal care luxury items and creating a serene and comfortable environment as much as women do. Secondly men enjoy being comfortable. Finally and hopefully the man in your life deserves and will enjoy the choice of gifts selected that make up the 2008 holiday comfort gift guide for him.

One of the top comfort gifts from the 2008 holiday comfort gift guide for him is the James Perse Terry Bath Robe. Made from 100% cotton terry, this is the perfect comfort item for him to slip into as he comes out of the shower. Other features of the James Perse Terry Bath Robe from the 2008 holiday comfort gift guide for him include a smooth cotton lining and trim, an ample hood, long sleeves, two front pockets and a self tie belt. The retail price for the high end terry bath robe is $184.00.

Another excellent choice of comfort gifts from the 2008 holiday comfort gift guide for him is the Paul Smith Pajama Pants. Made from 100% cotton the comfortable pajama pants features an elastic waistband and drawstring tie in addition to a hidden three-button fly. The Paul Smith Pajama Pants from the 2008 holiday comfort gift guide for him are available in a signature multicolored striped pattern. The retail price is $115.00 for the comfortable pajama pants from Paul Smith.

Men enjoy indulging in personal care as much as women do and the collection of Santa Maria Novella Patchouli Soap for Men from the 2008 holiday comfort gift guide for him provides the ideal product for the man in your life to enjoy. The collection of four soap bars is made with whole milk, is triple-milled and is formulated to soften dry razor burned skin. Each bar of soap is 4.2-ounces and is hand molded and hand wrapped. Additionally the Patchouli Soap for Men is formulated for all skin types and is made to last three times longer than most soap. Definitely a great gift item for men from the 2008 holiday comfort gift guide for him, the retail price is $64.00 for the Santa Maria Novella Patchouli Soap for Men.

Another very classic choice of gifts from the 2008 holiday comfort gift guide for him is the Diptyque Baies Black Candle. The masculine scented candle of black-currant leaves and Bulgarian roses makes u the classic Baies scent for men. The candle by Diptyque burns for approximately 50 hours and comes in a black glass holder and looks as nice as it smells. The French made product from Diptyque comes packaged in a gorgeous gift box. Definitely a top shelf gift from the 2008 holiday comfort gift guide for him, the Diptyque Baies Black Candle retails for $68.00.

For more information on the selected gifts that make up the 2008 holiday comfort gift guide for him, visit the official web site for Eluxury.

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2008 Jeep Patriot Sport 4X4 Review

I bought my Jeep Patriot in August 2008 and have been loving it ever since.

There were a few practical reasons I wanted to buy such a vehicle. One, I needed a vehicle which I could use for winter driving (snow and ice) and, two, would be economical for my long commute.

As far as winter driving is concerned, Forbes Magazine rated it one of 15 Best for 2008, and while I don’t consider Forbes too much of an expert on cars, what led me to consider the veracity of the article were the other cars grouped into the same category: all were proven, rugged sport utility vehicles or German and Swedish sedans or wagons. Of course, Jeep as a brand has probably the best reputation in the category of sport utilities, but this particular Jeep was one of only two Jeeps on the list (out of seven in their line-up), and the price was right. I never had any trouble with this vehicle in snowy or icy conditions, but I may be an overly cautious winter driver: I was raised and lived the first 40 years of my life in Southern California, and I currently live in the Midwest. I will admit to sliding half way through an intersection one day, but that was due to inattention, not anything to do with the vehicle.

For the long commute it is pretty economical, getting an average of 26 MPG on the highway. This is due to the 2.3L 172HP 4 cylinder engine, which is connected to a continuously variable transmission with a gate shift that has six shift points, for when you really want to play with the engine power. I have to do this more often than I thought I might, since it’s been a very long time since I’ve owned a 4 cylinder vehicle, and I’m used to an engine with more power. I enjoy it rather more than not, since it allows me to shift when I want to – to slow down or to crank it up to speed more quickly than it might otherwise want to do – or be lazy and let it shift by itself. Frankly, getting used to the CVT takes a little time, since you’re not aware of any shifts being made, so it’s a little like being in a sensory vacuum. Also, the little engine is rather noisy when pushed, and has a slightly annoying, buzzy tone.

Handling is very good until about 70 MPH with a strong wind fighting against you; at that point it takes continual effort to remain in a straight track. Otherwise, it handles curves well, accelerates without bias and feels confident in almost all situations.

Outside the vehicle looks a little like the Cherokee, which was discontinued in 2001, but it seems a bit smaller. It has a squared-off retro look, yet the design approach is still completely contemporary. It has certain Jeep trademarks, like round headlights, a seven-slot grille, a rather straight-up windshield and fender flares. The door handles are big and comfortable, the rear gate has a pleasing bow shape and there are just enough creases in the sheet metal to keep it visually interesting. There is very little overhang both front and rear, and the side marker lights and taillights are large and clear.

The interior is nice-looking and functional, but I do have some problems with it. The dials are very plain and utilitarian. There are compass point details on the dial bezels, but perhaps they could have used a little chrome to gussy it up. The center console is poorly planned, with two non-adjustable cup holders, two small, virtually useless storage cubby holes, a separate cubby with a lever in it to activate the four wheel drive (since this is such a simple activator, it should have been consigned to pushbutton status someplace on the dashboard) and a lot of surface area; they entire space needs to be rethought for better storage options. There is a good-sized storage area under the sliding armrest, a decent glove box and all doors have storage pockets. Radio and air conditioning controls are well-placed and easy to use and understand, and the AC vents are large and in optimal positions. Lights and wiper controls are on stalks off the steering column, and cruise control is a paddle on the inside right of the steering wheel just within reach of your fingertips. Incidental button controls are in a line under the AC control station.

The high belt line of the vehicle makes for small windows, which have the effect of making you feel like you’re a kid at the grown-up’s table, and the pillars are all very thick; these together make for slightly impaired vision. The windshield seems far away, giving the impression somewhat of being in a tunnel. But the seats are very comfortable, especially during long trips, and have very good front to rear travel; depending on the option package you get, there also a manual control to raise or lower the driver’s seat.

At the time I bought my Patriot, there were incentives totaling $3,000.00, and my out-the-door cost was $21,500.00. I bought a Sport 4X4 model with the following options: Inferno Red Crystal paint; Preferred Package 26E; Tire and Wheel Group; CVT; Power Sunroof. Total sticker price was $23,755.00. The 26E Package includes a lot of features most vehicles come with these days, such as power windows and door locks, remote, cruise control and floor mats. The Tire and Wheel Group includes handsome 17″ aluminum rims. The 2009 Patriot has had an interior make-over, and while the basic layout is the same, the design has become more fluid and curved.

Overall, I am very pleased with my Patriot. It has not given me any trouble, is very reliable, and in spite of its size feels very safe. I give it an 8 out of 10.

Tags:2008 Jeep Patriot Sport 4X4 Review

2008 NFL Draft Preview: Chicago Bears' Wishlist

The Chicago Bears fell from the Super Bowl to a 7-9 record in 2007. Devin Hester and Brian Urlacher were studs as usual, but many other positions fell short of expectations. The No. 14 pick in April’s draft will be the start of rebuilding for the Bears.

In 2007, the Bears were yet another Super Bowl loser that didn’t make the playoffs the losing season. The Rex Grossman project took another few turns and the quarterback situation heading into 2008 couldn’t be cloudier. Rumors have Chicago going after hometown QB Donovan McNabb. At the very least, the Bears will go after a young signal caller in the 2008 NFL draft. Cedric Benson hasn’t impressed at running back and the team definitely missed Thomas Jones in 2007. Greg Olson is a great, young tight end, but Chicago lacks a 2nd receiver to Bernard Berrian on the outside. The offensive line gave up 42 sacks, which will never lead to offensive success especially for a team that has trouble in obvious passing situations. Other than Olin Kreutz in the middle, upgrades are needed. The defense underachieved in 2007, but has plenty of talent. Other than a safety and possibly a defensive tackle, the defense needs little tinkering for 2008.

With the #14 pick in April’s NFL draft, Chicago can look at Andre Woodson (Kentucky quarterback) who will likely be drafted in the middle of the 1st round. Other options include Andre Caldwell (Florida wide receiver) and Jeff Otah (OT, Pittsburgh). In the 2nd and 3rd rounds, Chicago can take advantage of the deep offensive line class of 2008 with Anthony Collins (Kansas), John Greco (Toledo) or Robert Felton (Arkansas).

The teams need for a strong safety can also come from the 2008 draft. Jamar Adams (Michigan) can be drafted in the 3rd or 4th round and Josh Barrett (Arizona State), 5th round or so, are viable options for Chicago. The Bears can address their defensive tackle spot with Carlton Powell (Virginia Tech) in the 5th round or Marcus Harrison (Arkansas) in the 6th.

The Bears are faced with a much tougher division all of a sudden. Green Bay won 13 games this year, Detroit is on the road to .500 and Minnesota has a number of young weapons, mainly Adrian Peterson. Chicago will need their defense to step up and rectify the quarterback position in 2008 to return to the playoffs. Andre Woodson or Donovan McNabb would be a good start.

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2008 New Mexico Bowl Preview

The 2008 New Mexico Bowl will feature two teams who have had drastically different seasons. The Fresno State Bulldogs began the year with high expectations, with a BCS bowl berth thought to be a reasonable goal. They finished the season at a disappointing 7-5 and finished 5th in the Western Athletic Conference. Colorado State is happy to just be in a bowl game after rebounding from last year’s 3-9 campaign and breaking in a new head coach.

2008 New Mexico Bowl: Fresno State Bulldogs

While the BCS bubble burst early with a home loss to Wisconsin, Fresno State still sat at a respectable 5-2 partway through the season. Then the wheels fell off and they lost 3 of their final 5 games, finishing with an embarrassing 61-10 loss at Boise State. The Fresno State offense is led by senior quarterback Tom Brandstater, who passed for 2,478 yards, 17 touchdowns, and 11 interceptions during the regular season. Coach Pat Hill always emphasizes the running game and this year is no exception, with three strong tailbacks to choose from. Defensively, Fresno State has struggled this year, giving up more than 30 points in 7 of 12 games this year.

2008 New Mexico Bowl: Colorado State Rams

On the other side, the Colorado State Rams head into this bowl game with momentum after winning their last 2 games in order to become eligible. The Rams posted a 4-2 record at home, with 2 close losses to TCU and BYU. Colorado State had a far tougher regular season schedule than Fresno State. Their opening-day loss to Colorado was their only defeat by a team with fewer than 8 wins on the season. The Rams’ offense is led by senior running back Gatrell Johnson, who posted over 1,100 and 10 touchdowns on the year.

2008 New Mexico Bowl: Matchups and prediction

The game should be a lot of fun to watch, with both teams capable of putting up a lot of points, along with giving up a lot of points. Expect Colorado State to be stronger defensively and more experienced due to their tough schedule. The Rams are also far more excited to be in the New Mexico Bowl than the Bulldogs. Colorado State should be able to draw on the experience and toughness gained during their difficult schedule and beat Fresno State in the 2008 New Mexico Bowl.

Predicted Score: Colorado State 37 – Fresno State 20

Tags:2008 New Mexico Bowl Preview

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