- Things have been somewhat crazy since the clusterf*ck that was last Tuesday, but things are back to normal, or as close to normal as they ever come, so that means I'll be back to regular updates here. Get ready for a special November here at gregorydowell.com.

- There is a RRJ project in Prospect/Crestwood, so I'm flying home after work on Friday to spend a weekend at home, before meeting the rest of the team on Monday.

- So Illinois just lost to supposed Big Ten rival, Michigan, so that got me thinking. How would I rank Illinois' Big Ten opponents in terms of rivalry? This is just a quick list to be expanded in a future blog. *subject to change
1. Indiana- Eric Gordon. Enough said.
2. Wisconsin- Stopping their streaks.
3. Ohio St.- Not so perfect season. Remember.
4. Michigan St.- Big time basketball.
5. Iowa- Just hate them.
6. Northwestern- In state. That's all.
7. Penn St.- Something brewing.
8. Michigan- No competition.
9. Purdue- Nothing.
10. Minnesota- Even less.

- With the weather cooling off and the sun setting before 6PM there's not much to do on weekday nights. However, if you're one who needs to "waste" three hours, then tune in to TBS 8-10ET when you can catch back-to-back-to-back-to-back episodes of Family Guy, followed by back-to-back episodes of The Office. Now thats a hilarious 3 hours. Not that I have three hours to "waste"

- Scratch the photos of my carved pumpkin. My pumpkin essentially rotted in less than 36 hours. I don't know if it was the weird weather (temperature variant of about 30 degrees) or just a bad pumpkin. As I was scooping the pumpkin I did notice it was weird. Once all the gunk was gone, the interior of the pumpkin continued to pull away and it was even worse as I carved it. Oh well.

- Well I carved my pumpkin yesterday. Originally I was going to carve two, but I just bought one pumpkin. Check back later in the week for photos.

- My head tells me to take the Red Sox in the World Series, but I love what the Rockies have going, so I'll take Colorado in 7. Without a rooting interest I just want it to be exciting.

- Ever since Mark called me to tell me that Illinois and Indiana were a combined 10-2, things have been downhill. Both teams have lost back to back games, so the combined record is now 10-6. Damn you Mark!

- Another one bites the dust. The year of the upset continues in college football as the Rutger Scarlet Knights became the latest unranked team to knock off a highly ranked foe. The previously undefeated and BCS #2 University of South Florida lost and their fall with will be far and hard. Who's it going to be this weekend?

- Fall is here and all I have to say is I'm going to see Lewis Black. Mr. Black is in the Chicagoland area for two shows in early November. There is a show November 8th and November 10th, and I'll probably be going to the November 10th show in Joliet, because my boss told me today there is a job in Louisville the first week of November. And that first week encompasses the 5th-9th. I'll get it figured out.

- I'm picking up a few pumpkins after work on Friday and carving them over the weekend. Sure I'm creative enough to make my own design, but why work for it when Zombie Pumpkins has all these cool patterns. I purchased the $5 unlimited membership, so if you see a stencil you like, just drop me an email and I'll be glad to hook you up. You just can't use "Wario" or "Heads Up" because those are my two patterns.

- My Office, "The Office"- In true Michael Scott fashion the partners called an impromptu "State of the Union/Oktoberfest" meeting today. And by impromptu, I mean email at 2:30PM announcing the meeting at 4:30PM in the conference room with beverages. And beverages meant I enjoyed four Warsteiner Premium Oktoberfest before heading home.

- For what it's worth, I ordered four Wii Remote Jackets today. Sure I only have two Wii Remotes, but they were free. And I love free stuff. I'm not even sure what the point of the jacket is.

- The Illini fell to 5-2. This loss goes 50/50 on players and coaches. The Ron Zook of yesteryear returned with some questionable calls and decisions.

- True Blue. UK upset the #1 LSU Tigers in 3 overtimes and now as promised will be playing Ryan Parkers True Blue every half hour for the rest of the night.

- I got my coupon for a free Chick-fil-a sandwich and soft drink my sister had me sign up for. Its too bad the closest Chick-fil-a is 60 miles away.

Welcome to gregorydowell.com the new home of Beavers and Ducks. Check out the welcome podcast below to find out more about gregorydowell.com and whats in store.

"'Today Was a Clusterf*ck- So I had to commute downtown this morning (you've heard about that if you listened to the traffic podcast) and I thought the hour drive in would be the worst part of my day. Boy was I wrong.(...more)"

"'Tis Better to Give- With that in mind I present my 2007 Christmas/Birthday List. Its nice having a birthday less than a month after Christmas, since all the Christmas gifts I don't get become the Birthday list. So here we go:(...more)"

"October Love- October, there's no other month like it and no other month better than it. October marks the transition from summer to autumn, so the weather is a hodgepodge of warm afternoons and cool evenings, with a fine crispness in the air. And besides the weather its a sports lovers paradise.(...more)"

"Let's Go Bowling- With a 28-17 Homecoming victory over Ball State, the Fighting Illini became bowl eligible for the first time since the conclusion of the 2001 regular season. That year the Illini lost to LSU in the Sugar Bowl to cap a 10-2 season. At 6-3 and 3 games to go, along with what is almost an assured bowl berth, 10 wins is still a faint possibility.

"Check out the new team rankings and Gridiron Challenge standings.
1. Patriots (7-0)
1. Colts (6-0)
3. Cowboys (6-1)
4. Giants (4-2)
5. Packers (5-1)

Hail Mary: Week 7- "Well what a day of football it was. As I said in "Inside Out", one marquee game with a lot of games with potential Well the potential turned into many exciting finishes. So lets check out all the action.(...more)"

So Close- "It's all so clear now following back to back losses. The reason the Illini reeled off 5 straight victories, following the opening weekend loss to Mizzou, was due to the near perfect football the Illini played. The Illini are far from perfect these days, costing themselves dearly in games they should have won, with costly penalties and turnovers. So where does the team go from here?(...more)"

Inside Out: Week 7- "Well here it is another week in the NFL with one marquee game and a bunch of other match ups with potential but little else. But thats doesn't mean it won't be exciting. So lets check out Week 7. Plus Game of the Week.(...more)"

"Check out the new team rankings and Gridiron Challenge standings.
1. Patriots (6-0)
2. Colts (5-0)
3. Jaguars (4-1)
4. Steelers (4-1)
5. Cowboys (5-1)

Hail Mary: Week 6- "There are only a measly 13 games this week, but 12 of the 13 could totally blow and the fifth matchup of 5-0 teams in NFL history, Patriots @ Cowboys, would definitely make up for it...or so we hope. But there is much more in Week 6, then the epic matchup so lets break down the week to come.(...more)"

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