It feels odd walking down the steps now. I wouldn’t have thought it would feel so different every time I go down them just from having removed the carpeting, but it makes a huge difference. It feels somehow less, I don’t know, sturdy? Not like there’s any danger in falling through the steps, but I guess there’s more sound- footsteps are louder and the whole stairwell is a little echo-y. I like it though. It looks nice, and it’ll look nicer once we maybe sand and lacquer the wood a little.

Work was nice today. It was a little support-heavy, but everyone I talked to seemed to be in a good mood. I’m pretty sure that’s because, with Thanksgiving, it’s a very short week for everyone.

The weather got crappy towards the end of the day and is supposed to be like this for the rest of the week. Despite having to drive home in some nasty cold rain, Amanda was kind enough to stop by a client’s place and pick up a CD for me.

I talked to my Aunt Robbie Horner tonight. I haven’t talked to her in a while, so it was nice to catch up. We talked about family and basketball mostly. She hadn’t realized until a couple days ago that the college basketball season had started, and she is a pretty big fan.

After talking to Aunt Robbie I got a message from Elliot Clark. We’d talked last night about meeting up for tonight’s Duke game. He’d called while I was on the phone and said he was going up to an Irish pub; the one next to Sweet & Savory, which name I can’t recall at the moment. Amanda didn’t feel like going back out, but I threw on my Duke hat and met him there.

I’d wondered before what the place was like (Amanda and I used to go up to Sweet & Savory a lot) and it was not a bad little bar. Pool tables, a juke box and some games on a slightly lower level than the rest, plasma screens all over the place. Elliot and I started out at the bar then moved to a table and split a pitcher. He knew a few people there, including Derrick (or Derek?) whom I’d met when we went to Buffalo Wild Wings and Adam Cheshire (another person I’d met at Buffalo Wild Wings) came up after a little bit too.

Duke was playing a respectable Air Force team. It was a good game, and a good test for Duke since the guys on Air Force had been playing together for a while and Duke is so young. The Blue Devils never trailed and had a fourteen point lead at the half. Air Force came within six points in the second half I think, but Duke ended up winning by fifteen or so. DeMarcus Nelson had a game and career high 23 points and Greg Paulus was looking better than he has of late.

The game also marked the 1800th all-time win for the Duke Blue Devils. That puts them fourth overall of all Division I teams. Their record is 1800-791, over a thousand games better than .500!

I stuck around for a few minutes after the game to watch some Monday Night Football and, more importantly, a bit of the Kentucky game that came on after the Duke game. UK started off with a lead and up to the point I watched maintained a generally comfortable one.

Tomorrow night Duke plays the final round of the CBE (College Basketball Excitement- what a name!) Classic Tournament against either Marquette or Texas Tech. There would be more of a story if Duke were to face Texas Tech, as Coach Mike Krzyzewski was once upon a time an assistant coach to Texas Tech’s Bobby Knight.

Bob Knight, by the way, recently caused a bit of a to-do when he “slapped” one of his kids. I think the whole event is overrated. The player came off the court with his face down and Coach Knight kind of forcefully raised the kid’s chin to make him look him in the eyes.

Anyway, Elliot’s wife, Melissa, and a couple friends she’d been eating with over at Sweet & Savory, came by and were surprised the Duke game was already over.

When I went into the bar I didn’t see the huge deep puddle in front of the door, and when I stepped in it I did a sidestep in an attempt to avoid a deeper puddle, but ended up going into a deeper part anyway. My right foot was just getting pretty dry as I was about to leave. On the way out I knew what I was facing, so I scouted it out. After scanning the puddle for a few seconds I realized there was no decent way to go, so I powered on through. This time my left foot was wetter.

When I got home Amanda made me take a shower because I smelled like smoke and she was afraid I’d make the bed smell like smoke too. So I took a shower and washed Bruce while I was at it, and so here we are.

Michael left to go home to Richlands for the rest of the week today. He was afraid he’d lose his fantasy football game this week because he might not make it to the playoffs at this point.   He beat his former girlfriend, Sarah Denning, who got a bad spell of luck when Donovan McNabb, her quarterback, got injured on his first play.  Of course, Michael lost Marques Colston, a good wide receiver, very early on too.  At least McNabb got one point.

I won my game. This morning I found that I was beating my opponent by eight points, but my defense still had to play. Since it was so close and defenses can sometimes lose points, I benched them and didn’t play any defense at all, knowing I wouldn’t lose any more points and my opponent wouldn’t gain any more. It turns out that my defense, the Jaguars, did a pretty good job. I’d have had eleven more points if I’d kept them in. Oh well, a win is a win, which is a good thing; I’ve had a lot of low-scoring victories. Unfortunately for Michael Mercer, I think the win-loss record counts more than the total number of points in a season. I’ve won a lot of low scoring games and he’s lost a lot of high scoring games. In fact, I think he’s second or third in the league in terms of highest score. Really my only goal in it all is to beat him and maybe beat Sarah.

Zach Dotsey