Thursday, December 29, 2005

Kong rules.

Well, I finally saw the movie to end all movies last night, King Kong. I thought that it was a very good movie, although it could have been shorter. It could have lost some scenes and still been a great movie. The effects in it were excellent and except for the bronto run which got a little squirrely, everything looked fine. The battle between Kong and the Rexes was awesome. It was a huge spectacle of a movie and it delivered on everything I expected.

The one thing I did not expect was the emotional wallop it would pack. This movie truly was a love story and I will liken it to Ol Yeller. They try their best to make turn you into a blubbering idiot by the end. I was so surprised at how much emotion and understanding you could read on the face of Kong. Naomi Watts was truly excellent considering she was most likely reacting to a green screen.

I am so surprised this movie is not making a huge amount of money. I would think that the opposite would occur for this movie that occurred for Titanic. I would expect that guys would be taking their better halves to see this and the chicks would get something out of the love story and the guys have the action. I would recommend this movie to anyone who is a fan of action or tearjerkers, you won't be disappointed.

Playstation Portable graffiti ads? Ingenius

Check out the link to the article from Yahoo! in the title, this is the most original ad campaign ever. The people at Sony are thinking outside of the box.

While mildly illegal this will become something they'll get a ton of press over and if they choose to be law abiding citizens, they'll pay the tiny fines.

Basically what they did was come up with somewhat large stencils of cartoon character kids interacting with Sony's Playstation Portable (PSP) handheld video game system. Some are skateboarding on them or riding them or something like that. The stencils are very basic line art type creations so that you could probably get one on concrete in about 45 seconds with a good can of paint.

The idea that they are doing this type of thing really cool, but for my money I would have gotten on some graffiti websites where the pros hang out and hired some of them in different cities to do it up right. Probably even give them creative control as long as they worked in the product well.

Good graffiti is truly and artform. If you don't believe me do a Google search on it and check out the paintings that are out there. Unreal. How they can put that many hours into a huge painting in a public place without getting arrested is crazy. Some of the trains that come through here have some nice work on them too, but of course there are even more issues with getting into a train yard and starting on a train that won't be there the next day.

I did a little research on it for a headline for a story we did last January after seeing a train with some cool lettering on the cars. I got an idea to create the headline on a local alley's brickwall in a graffiti script and it turned out really well in my opinion. More than one person questioned whether we actually spray painted that wall, but while that would have been awesome, it was only Photoshop.

I hope Sony takes this illegal ad campaign to another level because it's too cool to let die. Even if they have to start finding a way to get permission or whatever. I say do what you have to do.

If I were them I would sell the stencils. Mention on the package that they are meant for kids to decorate their rooms or something like that, and specifically not for public graffiti painting.

You know kids would be out trying to put them up in public. So not only would they be getting the advertising, but the kids and their parents would be paying them to do it through the buying of the stencils.

Now that they have the publicity, this is the logical way to go depending on the public backlash after a few kids get caught.

Actually, the selling of the stencils should be done after commissioning real graffiti artists to do some wild paintings. They are going to paint anyway, so why not pay some of these gifted artists a little coin for their trouble?

Holiday Spirit III: Out With the Old

Hello All!

Well, this is it! The final piece of the cliff-hanging trilogy of Holiday Spirit, then its OUT WITH THE OLD AND IN WITH THE NEW!
(Forgive me if this blog is not up to par but I've been up all night, and this is the last thing I will do before taking a quick nap and starting a new day.)
At the risk of giving up my alias to the two remaining people who know me (but don't), I am going to write about the 2005 holidays as experienced in my world (and some of yours).

At the onset of the holiday season this year, it would be putting it kindly to say I was feeling kind of bleak about the prospect of, at least a "Merry Christmas". One of my siblings trekked off across the country with his significant other to celebrate Christmas, thus forcing our family to either celebrate Christmas early or (worse) away from each other. (What's the best choice between a rattlesnake and cobra, again?) Anyway, we chose the former, celebrating "Christmas" a week early. Because it is our unbroken (until this year) tradition in our family to celebrate on Christmas Eve, this really was quite a disheartening idea.
Well, if it was a disheartening IDEA, the reality of it was down CRAPPY!! First, instead of the regularly scheduled evening activities, it was held in the afternoon (yes-it makes a difference!). Moving past the beautifully prepared Cornish hen dinner and the "children's program", which was excitedly uneventful, we continued on to the adult "exchanging of gifts"'. Now, a little background here: the rule USED TO BE: 'no exchanging between "kids" (meaning my generation), only gifts for Mom and Dad and the little children. Yeah! FAT CHANCE! But, if you'll refer back to Holiday Spirit I, you will recall how I chose to handle THAT problem. No--the truth is, we did something I swore I would never do, this year. We actually gave out pictures of ourselves. Now, normally, this would be number one on my: "what not to give list" (Okay--people with kids, don't freak out, I know it is acceptable after that point), but all the families wanted one, but they were EXPENSIVE, so instead of taking them up on their offer to buy their own, we gave them as gifts. I, it ended up that Dad's gift (that was from ALL of us), didn't come in, and he sat looking like the puppy who couldn't get a teat, during this whole event. Oh, well, things were bound to get better. Right? Wrong!
On to ROUND 4: Dirty Santa. Poor Mom, always trying to make things more enjoyable for everyone, tried to jazz up this, sometimes vicious game. Well, right away, one of my sister-n-laws figured out that she may not end up with exactly what she brought (as she aims to every year), so she demanded that we revert back to the old way. The truth is, I really wasn't crazy about the prospect of this new version either (you had to perform silly little jigs or what have you, before selecting a gift from under the tree), but Mom had put heart into it, and I wasn't about to so blatantly disregard this fact. But, this particular sister-in-law got a few followers behind her little riot and managed to overthrow Mom and get the game changed back to regular "Dirty Santa". Without going into the rules of the game, or a long detailed account of how it went down in this specific "CRAPMAS", I will just say that Dad ended up opening over half the gifts(each time someone feeling sorry for him and stealing his so he could try again),and complaining about every single one , and wound up giving away the gift he DID end up with. Oh, yeah---and that one sister-in-law---DID manage to go home with the gift that she had brought! Mercifully, it finally ended!

For most of the next week however, it seemed as if Christmas was over, literally. This breaking of tradition really threw off my Internal Seasonal Clock. But low and behold, Christmas was brought back to life, when we chose to reunite with an old Christmas tradition on Christmas Eve night. Before my grandmother passed away, our family always gathered there on Christmas Eve to celebrate Christmas (got me yet?). After she passed away, our immediate family, having grown a great deal, went our separate way. This year, however, with our regular plans foiled, many of us rejoined our Aunts, Uncles and cousins.

Earlier that day, I had to make a last minute Christmas shopping run to pick up 'Big Bird's' present. I rode with a friend, and along the way she told me of a game that cost little money, everyone got a present (some crappier, some good), and was an overall good time. Since their was not "present exchanging" plans on the agenda that night (and let's face it, that IS one of the funnest parts of family Christmas), I decided to get the gifts together and play this game with my family. This friend and I sat in her car at Sonic and laughed on this rainy Christmas Eve and enjoyed Christmas for what it is: spending time with loved ones-great friends and family (See Holiday Spirit II), and giving for the pure joy of it, not out of obligation or with expectations of a gift in return (See Holiday Spirit I). After lunch, we raced home for a quick wrapping party (which couldn't have been more fun with spiked eggnog!) I had THE MOST FUN buying these cheap gifts and elegantly wrapping them, laughing about "what if so and so get this or that-tee hee", than I've had at Christmas in a loooong time----since I was a kid!

That night, I walked into my Grandmother's house with two huge Rubbermaid containers full of presents, and I was as giddy as a child on this (historically) fateful night. My family--my faithful and familiar undeniably wonderful family-- was there, the house was decorated and happy. A feast complete with Turkey and sweet potatoes was spread out on the table, just waiting to be devoured. It was almost as if it had nothing was changed or was out of the daily ordinary--like this was what one would expect to find ANY day of the year when walking into that house--Christmas trimmings and all......Its' always Christmas at Grandmother's house--because that is how I choose to remember it.

The game turned out to be a short-lived, unexpected holiday treat for my family. But for me, on Christmas Eve 2005, I made memories that will last forever. For around $50 and a lot of ribbons and bows, I was able to regain the Holiday Spirit that I was so desperately missing this year.

I hope you found your Holiday Spirit this year!
(P.S.) If you didn't, it's not too late....New Year's Eve party at my place!


Lady Bird

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

I wish I played in the NFL.

More video for you and I have no idea how I missed this. Apparently some moron ran onto the field during a Browns and Steelers game. He was acting all "wanksta" and then he gets jack knifed by a Steelers player. It is unbelievable. I love it because the idiot reminds me of another idiot who plays Turtle on Entourage. If you hate wanna be gangsta looking white boys check this out. I must warn you that a soundtrack of Ludacris' Move B@#*h is used so if you do not like cuss words, be warned. Enjoy!!!

The Chronic (WHAT!) cles of Narnia!

I saw this on SNL a few weeks ago and now I have found it on the web to share with you. White boy rap about going to see a fantasy movie. It's gold, Jerry, GOLD!

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Speaking of collecting... Old school tunes

So I've starting downloading songs from iTunes again. I've been meaning to start downloading old tunes from the 60's and 70's for a while, but now I've actually started getting them. Some of the facts I found were at a website linked in the title called Pretty cool site.

For the most part I tend to call them somewhat obscure, but that's just because either 1) the artist is obscure or 2) the artist had other songs that overshadowed these tunes. And I'm quickly realizing that most of these songs are on the list because they are obscure to your average 28 year-old like myself.

The first song I downloaded was "I Was Made To Love Her" by Stevie Wonder. He recorded it in the mid-'60s and it's just a great song and probably my most favorite. Really awesome bass work. In fact, the bass is practically featured and whoever was playing it probably made it all up as he went.

Now is where we get really obscure. "Lay Down (Candles in the rain)" by Melanie recorded in 1970 following Woodstock. She played Woodstock when the rains came and the fans lit candles and if you listen to the lyrics (which I found on the net) you'll see it in the song. It's great because she got the Edwin Hawkins Singers to back her up. Like I told Piccu, she belts it out and that means a lot. They also recorded the lead vocals at near break neck levels. Loud and ragged which adds feeling. At least in this song Melanie strikes me as a female version of Joe Cocker (who is next on the list) except with a little more control, like Stevie Nicks on acid. Cocker just goes nuts.

Speaking of Joe, "The Letter (LIVE)" is the next song. It was originally written by The Box Tops and was the last song under 2 minutes to reach number one, allegedly. This version is well over twice that long. The reason I put the live version on there is because it's the absolute best. I doubt that Cocker did anything in the studio that he didn't top every night on the road. The version I got was from Joe Cocker's "Definite 1964-1986--His Greatest Songs" CD. All I gotta say is that, while Joe Cocker doesn't have a lot of great songs in my opinion, his best songs are great because he gives it all he's got. At any moment it always seems like Cocker could explode and that would be the end of it. In this live version the horns and background singers ice the proverbial cake.

My last song for my currently small collection is "Ain't No Sunshine" by Bill Withers. It won a Grammy for best R&B song in 1972 and this is the studio version from Withers' album Just As I Am. Honestly what makes this song really great is that it's 2 minutes and 10 seconds long and when it's over you wish it was 10 times as long. Just a slow ballad with all acoustical instruments and strings which I dig. You can even hear him tapping his foot in the beginning before the strings build into the guitar and bass.

That's my collection so far. My next download could be "Use Me" by Bill Withers as heard in Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy. I intend to use my XM radio to help me find out more songs because we all have a song or two that we love, but have no idea who sings it or maybe what the title is. XM solves that by telling you all of that. I'm also flirting with "Across 110th Street" by Bobby Womack. Although Piccu has the Jackie Brown soundtrack somewhere I think.

Got any old tunes I need to check out? List them in the comments.

David Gilmour on the road again, unfortunatly he is alone.

Pack up the pickup, we are going to Chicago. David Gilmour is going on tour and Chicago is the closest place to the OC he will be appearing. Actually I will not be attending any of these shows mainly because I am sure the Mr. Gilmour will be too stubborn or pretentious to play any Pink Floyd songs. While I am sure that he will make a killing and I’m sure it will be a great show, the whole world is waiting for the real deal, a full blown Pink Floyd world tour extravaganza. I would be so there. And even though it will probably cost a thousand dollars to attend I would gladly pay that because the likelihood of a second tour would be slim.

Gilmour is releasing a new album this spring and that is why he is touring. I have no idea why he would tour because as he has said many times as a reason for not reforming Pink Floyd and touring, he is a fabulously wealthy man. I imagine that hasn’t changed. He must have gotten roped into this and had no way to get out of it. Would it be wrong for me to wish financial hardship for the members of Pink Floyd? I wouldn’t want them to go bankrupt, but just enough of a financial hit that they have to embark on the dream tour. That isn’t too much to ask. At least I don’t think so.

Films disappearing at alarming rate, but we saved 25 this year.

The National Film Registry has picked 25 films this year to be preserved for the rest of human life on earth by the Library of Congress. The 25 picked this year brings the total preserved films to 425. As I read the attached article, I found out something that I did not know. Apparently half the movies made before 1950 and 80 to 90 percent of the films made before 1920 have disappeared. Not only that, but more are being lost each year in part because of a newly discovered “vinegar syndrome” that attacks the safety film used to preserve the films.

I was shocked when I read that. I guess I thought that all films were shoved in a closet somewhere. If the Library of Congress only takes 25 films a year then they don’t seemed too concerned about the disintegration of all these films.

Here are some of the films they are preserving for eternity: Hoop Dreams, Fast Times at Ridgemont High, The French Connection, The Rocky Horror Picture Show, and Toy Story. All fine movies, I personally recommend checking them all out. But shouldn’t we be worried about these films from the 20s, 30s and the like? Most of this year's selections are movies pre 1950, but why are we trying to save movies that I have on DVD? Haven’t I already saved them? I hope that something is being done to save more of these films.

Speaking of films, I have to tell you about my favorite Christmas present I received this year. I received it from Bratch and it was a movie poster of the film Walk the Line. It is not like most movie posters, this is more like a painting it is all red, yellow and black. Johnny Cash has his back to you with a guitar across his back and his head is turned to a profile and flames appear to be engulfing the space around him. Excellent, excellent poster. Authentic poster, it has been used but it is in great condition.

I do not think I have ever been so excited about a present I will probably only take out and look at once every few years. I am afriad that this will start me on some new nerd collecting jones and I will be buying a movie poster a week for three months. I have already been trolling the internet and that's not good news for my wallet.

Fortune Cookies Sell Out

Where was I when it was decided that Chinese fortune cookies would become Chinese proverb cookies? I missed that vote, obviously.

I guess I jumped on the Chinese food bandwagon pretty late. Growing up in Real OC, we didn't even have a Chinese restaurant in town until I was a junior or senior in high school. I eased my way in the way most cautious first time foreign food eaters do. With chicken. Sweet and Sour chicken. I since have progressed. Today I just finished off something called Subgum Lo Mein. It was a dish with lo mein noodles, shrimp, chicken, beef, chinese cabbage, onions, carrots and some other unidentifiable stuff. It was great and for less than $5 I filled myself to the gills.

Then I opened my fortune cookie. What should be the paramount moment of any Chinese food experience.
"Affection is the broadest base of a good life." Blech! Suddenly my food tasted bad.
What is that? That's a proverb. I want something like, "You will find a large sum of money." "You will break a bone." Good news, bad news, whatever, just make it interesting.

I actually got one fortune cookie that quoted the bible. I kept it in my wallet for the longest time to show people who doubted me. It quoted Hebrews, "Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen." A direct quote of Hebrews 11:1.

Now some people prefer to insert fun into the now worthless fortunes with the " bed" technique. Of course this is where you add the phrase "in bed" to the end of any fortune. Sometimes it's funny, usually it's not.

I want real fortunes though, darn it. Real fortunes. Prophesy (falsely) about deaths, births, inheritances, accidents, promotions, demotions, emotions, what have you. Just nut up and make a prediction. This kind of wishy washiness is wearing thin.

Saturday, December 24, 2005

Merry Christmas, but not a Happy Festivus for me.

Merry Christmas to all. Just wanted to get on here for a minute to let you in on how my Festivus went. Well, I'll tell ya. Every year Bratch and I get our mom a nice flower arrangement or two because she is nuts about flowers. I always try to get the flowers in a vase or flower holder that she can continue to use when the flowers are long gone. We have done this for years now and things seem to always work out fine.

This year I went to the local flower shops looking for the perfect gift and I found it. It was a purple vase type thing and in the center of it was the nativity scene. The nativity scene was embossed if that is even a word and was white. I thought that since this year Christmas was on Sunday I would give this to mom on Christmas Eve or early Christmas morning and she could use it to decorate the church if she wanted. Good plan if I do say so myself.

I picked up the flowers yesterday and brought them home satisfied that this was one of the best arrangements we had gotten for her. There were lavender roses in the arrangement to match the color of the vase. It was pretty good and I know nothing about flowers. Bratch and I are sitting in the living room enjoying our nightly Seinfeld, while in the dark enjoying the Christmas tree, when mom comes home. I see her walk into the dining room carrying something. I noticed two candles sticking up. I thought, "that's funny, my arrangement had two candles in it." I then thought to myself, "surely that is not the same arrangement." It couldn't be.

I voice my concerns to Bratch and he poo poos them. Mom must have overheard us and asked if that was the same arrangement we had gotten her. I played dumb but sprang from my chair and walked into the dining room. Bad news, bad news. It was the exact same thing. Well, not exactly the same thing, this arrangement was with carnations and not roses so it was a cheaper version, but the vase was the same and that was what I liked the most. Apparently mom's department heads got her this little token of their appreciation. And their affection has ruined Christmas.

Well, not really, I began to come up with schemes to somehow return my arrangement and get another one, but mom likes both so I guess we will keep it. One on the piano and one on the organ in church will look nice. It has now come to my attention that dad has put Bratch in charge of getting a Christmas present for mom from him, so we are going for another arrangement. I just hope that mom doesn't receive the same arrangement before she can get his on Christmas day.

Friday, December 23, 2005

Internet sales tax...

Being the Christmas season I thought I would bring up a subject that is near and dear to all of us who would rather not leave our home when shopping for Christmas gifts...

Sales tax on internet purchases.

I bring this up because technically sales tax, up until recently, was only added if you were buying from a web site that was based in your state. is/was based out of Kentucky and Pennsylvania therefore sales tax was included on purchases from those states.

Last night I downloaded a song off of Apple's iTunes music store for 99 cents and when I get the confirmation email it will undoubtedly be $1.05. I don't have a problem with that too much because it's only 6 cents we are talking about.

(I'm only using Apple as this example because buying Apple products is what caused me to notice this issue.)

Last February/March I decided to purchase a Mac mini desktop computer. It's relatively inexpensive, but we are still talking about a total of about $676 or so after extras were added to the $499 computer and I bought a cool keyboard too. I looked around at a web site I had used before, but for some reason I couldn't get the exact setup (i.e. DVD burner) I wanted from them so I had to go straight through the website.

After I had configured everything I went to check out and noticed that, while Apple was so proud to be offering free shipping at that time, they added 6 percent sales tax onto my nearly $700 purchase. Which added up to about $42 give or take.

Now that I have a problem with.

If I had been able to get it through my usual web site they would not have charged me sales tax and would have only charged me shipping. And keep in mind that the box that the keyboard came in was twice as large as the box the 3 pound, yes that's 3 pound, computer came in. Shipping wouldn't have sniffed $42 for ground shipping.

I bought a laptop from my usual web site and shipping was $24 for the $999 computer which weighs 6 pounds. The box was large and bulky for it but sales tax would have been 60 bucks.

After purchasing my beloved Mac mini, I started looking around on the internet for an Apple Store in case I ever needed any repairs. They open one about once a month, but the closest full blown Apple Store to me is in Nashville, Tennessee. And at the time I don't even think there was but maybe one certified Apple repair shop in this state. But it still wasn't an official Apple business.

So my question is, will the state of Kentucky see my $40+ in sales tax money or is this just a way to squeeze a little more out of the consumer?

Do the individual states call up companies that are mainly based on the internet and get their sales tax money from each of them?

Or do the companies themselves operate within the confines of the honor system and cut each state a check for the sales tax cash?

With all of the different web sites I dealt with, some large and some small, it's insane to expect any state to be able to keep up with what they are owed for sale tax collected from all of these companies.

I would love to purchase a G5 Quad Power Mac, but I have to tell you that, even at probably 30 pounds or more, shipping will be a lot less than the nearly $200 in sales tax Apple will be charging me that Kentucky will most likely never see.

Troop Levels Going Down in Iraq

How long until the Democrats complain about this one? Let's quickly review a little. First Democrats voted for the war, then they were against it. Then they wanted more troops, then they wanted fewer.

Now Rumsfeld and Bush have announced a planned troop reduction. Two brigades scheduled to go to Iraq will not. And the initial reduction will potentially include some 7,000 troops. That will bring the troop level down under 138,000 for the first time in a long time.

What hasn't changed throughout all of this? Bush. Say what you will about him, but from day one he said it would take a long time. He said we were there to establish a democracy and allow Iraqis to vote for their own leaders.

That has happened and now troop reduction begins in earnest. Everyone should be happy about that, but there's no such thing as good news in Washington, D.C. This will be spun, like everything else, in a negative direction somehow.

Someone said recently that we won't know how we did in Iraq for about another 10 years. That may be true, but we unseated an evil dictator (who may or may not have been a threat to the United States,) the Sunnis who boycotted the last election voted in the last one, realizing it was their best means to get what they want. They've drafted a constitution. They're trying Hussein in an established court of law.

It's tremendous progress. And now we're bringing our troops home (starting to anyhow) and a good work has been done.

Thursday, December 22, 2005

New Daddy Diary, Entry #5 (Colic)

Why colic stinks, by Sivart Worfner

Colic stinks because it is a generic term for a collection of symptoms, rather than a name for a condition. The symptoms aren't even necessarily present in every "case" of colic.

Here are some signs that your newborn has colic and Aiden's status on each symptom.
Excessive gas....check
Sudden screaming....check
Crying for more near three hour increments...check
Clinching of the arms and legs...check
Three or more of these "fits" per week...check

That all adds up to Sivart being one very tired individual. And Mrs. Worfner is likely worse because she gets all that fun plus has to stay up feeding the baby. Bless her heart.

How do you cure colic? Well, gee whiz, since we don't really even know what it is we can't cure it. I think it's basically another name for gassiness that has no obvious source. Mylicon drops can help the child get comfortable faster, but not that much faster.

Basically, you wait. It tends to last around three weeks and is less prevalent in breast fed babies. Luckily we bucked that trend! It's a taxing time for the child without doubt, but the parents (especially first time parents) really struggle. Aiden's colic tends to hit him hard around 11 at night (when it lasts for about three hours, you do the math.)

It's the toughest test of patience I've ever endured and I can CERTAINLY understand how a weak person could snap and shake the child. Never, ever would I condone it, but when you have a colicky child, you see the chinks in your own armor and you can understand.

I love my son and thank God daily for him, but it's no cliche to say it's the toughest job you'll ever have.

Eavesdropping revisited...

I was posting a comment about this and it got a little long, so I thought I would just post it here.

I've been listening to the Phillips Phile on XM radio and they've been bashing Bush over this every day since the eavesdropping story broke.

I'm kind of on the fence about the whole situation.

On one hand, it is a violation of the fourth amendment of the Constitution and the reasoning behind it was because of time issues with getting proper warrants to put in wire taps and other things. We've all seen how hard it can be to get warrants on TV cop shows, but that's not so different from real life. However, the federal law enforcement agencies have a judge on call 24 hours a day and his job is to do nothing but decide whether or not to give them warrants for these procedures.

That kind of makes things look a little worse than they actually are, but even I can understand how they may feel they don't have time to consult with this judge anyway. I've also heard something about a 72-hour window where they can start the spying while they are working on getting the warrant. I'm not positive on the truth of that, but I've heard it mentioned.

On the other side of the coin in this situation, I'm not a terrorist so I'm not worried about being spied on. But I sincerely hope that my tax dollars aren't being spent on spying on an idiot such as myself when there are better things they could be doing.

I haven't been watching much of the news so I don't really know exactly how the public feels about the whole situation, but I know that everything will probably be fine until they haul off an innocent man and he or his family sues the government for violating his right to privacy and pistol whipping him for information. And the media will run with it because they already hate Bush anyway.

We are also talking about amendment four and not amendment 25. When drafting our Constitution, this was the fourth most important thing they came up with, so Bush and the government had better be sure of everything before they start hauling people off to jail after illegally snooping on them.

In this day and age I think we all have to expect to lose a little bit of our privacy. I watched the World Trade Center towers collapse on live TV after being awakened by a guy on my radio saying that the Pentagon had been attacked. I don't care to see that happen again and I don't care how much you hate the president or how much you value your right to privacy, you should at least be able to acknowledge the reasoning behind this move.

I kind of have an idea that this wouldn't be such an issue if the media wasn't so against the current administration anyway. They act like Bush is making these moves like a slow-witted dictator without consulting with dozens of experts who advise him on these things.

People should realize that this president isn't smart enough to hatch a scheme like this on his own. LOL

Hilltoppers Hosed?

Western Kentucky University, my alma mater and favorite sports team, had a chance for a big regular-season win playing the University of Arizona in the championship of the Fiesta Bowl Classic. Coming in only the ultra-optimistic Hilltopper fans expected WKU to stay on the court with the high flying Wildcats.

Optimism was justified this time. The Toppers took the fight to the dog all night long and in the face of a hostile crowd and athletic team, the Tops never lost composure. For the game, the Red and White outshot 'Zona from the floor (46.3% to 42.5%) from behind the 3pt line (36.4% to 29.4%) and from the line (84.6% to 79.2%.) The good guys outrebouned the Wildcats 48-35 (including 20-17 on the offensive glass.)

So how did WKU lose? Easy, they got jobbed. Of course, at Arizona's tournament, on their floor, with them being a Pac-10 team and WKU coming from the lowly Sun Belt Conference, you knew Arizona would get the majority of the calls in the game. However, three big calls stand out as game altering.

1. During regulation with WKU clinging to a 6 point lead, Wildcat guard Hassan Adams leaked out for a dunk attempt. WKU guard Butch Jointer caught up and made a play for the ball but Adams lost his balance and tumbled over. Intentional Foul was the call. 'Zona made both free throws and scored a deuce on the ensuing possession. 6 pt lead to 2 pts just like that.
2. In OT with WKU trailing 83-81, Jointer wrestled a rebound away from Arizona center Chris Rodgers. Rodgers gave Jointer a push in frustration, causing Jointer to fall to the floor. Travelling was the call and the ball went to Arizona.
3. Two possessions later in OT, Adams drove the lane against two WKU defenders, air balled a finger roll attempt and grabbed the rebound. What is a text-book walk, Adams was not whistled and scored puttting 'Zona up 86-81, the final margin.

Think it's just sour grapes? According to Brian J. Pederson, columnist for the Arizona Daily Star WKU was robbed of their opportunity. Pederson writes in today's column entitled "WKU Seems Legitimate Contender," "It hurt even more to see all of WKU's work in regulation go for naught in overtime, thanks to a slew of home team-friendly calls. One in particular was a travelling call on junior Butch Jointer with 23.7 seconds left and the UA up 83-81."

I don't think officials honestly look for ways to screw teams like WKU out of wins. Surely they don't lack that much integrity and accountability. I think, however, that when a call seems 50/50 somewhere in their subconcious that see Arizona as the better team, therefore they are more likely to deserve the call. A theory that John Feinstein supports in his book, "The Last Amateurs."

I'm still very proud of my Hilltoppers. I think we're turning the corner and will maximize our potential before too long. If so, look out SBC and the NCAA's should be iminent.
HOWEVER, last night's loss effectively ends WKU's chance for a marquee win it would need for an at-large bid. So now the SBC becomes a one-bid league with all the marbles on the line in the SBC tournament in Murfreesboro, Tn this March. It stinks that it came down that way, but that's life as a mid-major.

A Piece of Holiday Cheer from the Old Days

My wife and I were in the living room last night doing something or other and there was a knock at the door. Well, actually there were two separate knocks a few minutes apart. The first was the UPS man who now visits our house nine times a week since french_toast's job requires things constantly being shipped. This guy will knock and run as fast as possible back to the truck to avoid human contact; I digress. Anyway, the second knock came soon after. I thought maybe it was the UPS guy again; however, I was pleasantly surprised. Instead of finding some guy in matching brown pants and jacket, there was a group of about twenty or so people ranging 6 months old to seventy-five years old. THEY WERE CAROLLING!! I have never had the privledge of hearing people carolling and only once in my life have I had the chance to do it. We caught there rendition of Silent Night, which as anyone knows the African American Church music is a little cranked up. We proceeded to watch from the window as the group made their way around the could-de-sac. Despite not being able to carry a tune, I remember the one youth group carolling trip very well. I wish we could have done that more, but just listening to those carols last night got me in the mood for Christmas.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Holiday Spirit Part II

Hello All!

This is Part II of the trilogy that started yesterday (because those of you that know me, know how much I love trilogies).

So after we talked about how to alleviate the stress of Christmas shopping, I told him the real reason this season is so special to me. As I noticed on the comment board, I am not the only one who "gets" this.

With the onset of Thanksgiving, lasting until just after the New Year, something cool happens. Families get together more, friends get together more, and although it may not seem like it at times, we all tend to slow down and make the time to "fellowship" more. The air actually smells different: sort of a cookie/pine/crisp aroma that is a constant reminder of what is upon us. (It is much like the smell of Spring and baseball or Summer and swimming, or Fall and Halloween) It's the excitement of a potential "snow day"-which we never really grow out of. I still secretly hope for a day or two of being completely snow bound (don't lie, you do too), a day when we can pull out the sleds, hot chocolate, old movies, Scrabble and maybe even snow man making supplies. I love it, and I won't deny it! Sometimes I even want the power to fail,just for a short while, but long enough to break out the kerosene heaters that only warm a single room in the house, and force all who inhabit it to gather in the same room without the company/distraction of a television.
I love that four wheel drives are the majority of the vehicles that are able to travel the roads, and that they creep at unnatural speeds, keeping it between the ditches, not the lines. When the snow is so thick that the world is white, and tree branches are heavy, and nights aren't dark because the moon reflects off of the glittering ground, I know why I love this time of year. It is the only time of year that I ever regret walking through my yard, because I don't want to flaw the perfection created.
When I was a child, my sibling and I always thought that you couldn't ever sit and watch for the snow to begin falling or it never would begin, but if you were able to start watching it as it was already falling, it would never end. The snow is a definite part of my love for this part of the year, but that is partly because it indirectly brings families and friends (with four wheel drives) together, and offers them a time to laugh and love without distractions.
I love looking at the Christmas lights and watching "Christmas vacation" with friends/family. The beauty my church exalts this time of year. All the advent candles have been lit, and all the 'special' services are over, and for a little while, I am sad. After this season, decorations come down and the whole world looks like a wet, undecorated wedding cake.
But during the holidays, I am peaceful and absorbent. I take it all in and smile at the Scrooges, in hopes that maybe it will help their day.
In short, I love the holidays because of snow and lights, Christmas hymns and poinsettias, power outages and four-wheel drives, giving for the sake of giving to see the joy on someone else's face (and the fact that you don't have to send thank you notes for Christmas gifts), hot chocolate and reliving of memories, games, love and laughter, and children who still believe and still read "Twas the Night Before Christmas". I love the holidays because they give us time to slow down and appreciate each other, and watch "Christmas Vacation", "Charlie Brown's Christmas", "Mickey's: A Christmas Carol", and "A Christmas Story". I love the holidays because of peppermint Bark, fudge, cookies, smoked weinees, ham biscuits and hot apple cider. I love the holidays because of family and friends, but most of all: friends who ARE family.

HAPPY Holidays to all and to all a good night,

Lady Bird

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Holiday Spirit

Hello again!
Since I found success with my last blogging attempt, I have decided to carry on. Skip it if you get bored, but I feel compelled to write about the season that is upon us!

I turned to my best friend the other day (yes, I believe in best friends even if it sounds corney or childish), and I say: "I really do love the holiday season, in spite of all the stress they cause."

I won't go into what he said, but let's just say, although he saw hopes for sharing my feelings in the future, he couldn't agree with me at the time. He asked me why I liked them so much and I told him what I will be telling you now.

Although many people choose (and yes, choose it the correct word, because I am one of those people who believe we have a choice in all things) to allow the holidays become of a season of stressful, frantic shoping sprees, I choose to look at the other side of it. I pick up gifts all year. I have, only in recent years, decided that I would only buy for those whom I really WANTED to buy for, and not get into this game of: I'll get them a gift because they got me a gift last year....oh no, what do I get them....I don't really even know them well enough to buy for them. Then guess what people: DON'T WASTE YOUR MONEY!!! They are probably doing the same thing right now while they are looking for your gift. Do them a favor, don't give them a gift, and next year they will be grateful that you freed them from the stress of shopping for your gift. (Save your money and buy your self a $20 gift you want, they can buy themselves a $20 gift they want, and you're both happy. Seriously people, it's not rocket science. Call each other and tell what "you got one another" if it makes you feel better) If this seems to "cold" to you, relax, there is another option. Start weening them off. If you spent $20 last year on them, spend $15 this year. Oh, don't worry, they'll notice (and retaliate next year with a $10 gift), Eventually you'll be giving each other an oversized candy cane (oh don't pretend you've never gotten one)---and truthfully you'll both be happier that you saved the money and time out of your lives.

Anyway-I chose option A, and only bought for those I enjoy buying for, and that is easy because I see things these people would like all the time. As I said, I've bought gifts all year round and put them in "the present closet", and presently, on December 20, 2005, I haven't stepped into a store with a list of people and no idea what to get for them. Truth be told, I haven't even really Christmas shopped at all during this "holiday season", thus giving me time to actually enjoy them for what they are, which I will get into at another time (as this is getting long).

One more side note: Don't try any of these with your parents or immediate family, you've got to live with those people.

HAPPY Holidays,

Lady Bird


Hello Fellow Bloggers!!!
I'm the newest member of your esteemed group, and I've done my research. After reviewing several of the blogs in the archives of this fine bloggary (yes, I tend to make up words when there aren't any that are suitable-tee heh), and I've discovered that I should have been involved in this from the beginning. There were many that I would have cared to comment on, had I been a part of this all along. Oh well, life's to short to look back, so let's focus on the 'now'.
I have many ideas that I'd like to share with the lot of you in the near future, but let's get a couple of things out of the way first:

Because of warnings I indirectly received from some very close friends of mine, I have chosen to include this disclaimer, and reserve all rights to refer back to it at any time in order to defend myself, my submissions, and my general lack of regard for ignorance or intolerance for the opinions of others (such as myself).

All the opinions expressed in blogs submitted by one, Lady Bird, are the expressed opinions of herself, and not the opinion of any other blogger associated with this Blog Spot, including, but not exclusively, those of the "administration". These opinions, may at times, be offensive to other readers (though I doubt often).


What needs to be known about me will all be revealed in good time. I will tell you this: many of you know me, I am opinionated, enjoy games (case in point), consider myself a thinker, fairly outgoing, and love life---now, after you've voted me Homecoming Queen, we'll move on with the program. In truth, I will tell you only a couple of things about me, (besides what you read on the blogs) until my true identity is revealed. What's important to know about me: I am one of those people who truly loves her friends and family. I wouldn't trade lives with anyone in the world, and I mean that (including the "blessed" rich and famous). My life is good! You may think that will make for a great deal of gushy blogs. WRONG! I said MY life was good, there are a million other f#!* ups in the world that I will be happy to express my thoughts and ideas on. (Oh, and you probably won't see much of the ^!%&*## from me, as I really don't curse that much-it just seemed to fit in that instance, as it may in a few others). Here are a few other notes/hints:
* My blogs may be long--I'm a little wordy
* I don't spell well, and although I enjoy writing, I don't care much for the rules of grammar
* I enjoy a good debate, so feel free to disagree with me, and bring it on--we'll have a good time discussing it (however, most of the time my writings probably won't be THAT controversial)
* I don't write about only one topic: sports, TV, books, people, animals, relationships--I'll probably cover them all, I'm diverse and have an opinion on everything---you know what they say about opinions.

Anyway-enough for now--I'm going to post this and see if it works. My next post will be about the Holidays and the one following that will be about a talk show host I have a love/hate relationship with.

Thanks for inviting me to the Blog!

Lady Bird

Intelligent Design? Not in Pennsylvania

Judge John E. Jones III, a federal judge, ruled Intelligent Design would not be taught in Pennsylvania schools. Judge ruled that it was not science. Essentially, he ruled it to be Christianity in cognito.

Well, as a christian and a scientist, I agree with him 100%. Intelligent design is not science at all. I'm not saying it doesn't play a role in my life, but I think my church or I should be teaching it to my children (figuratively speaking since I have none). The fact that we are a Christianity dominated country seems to confuse many Christians in the thinking that all religions are equal, but some religions are more equal (phrase adapted from Orwell's Animal Farm).

I don't understand why Christians get so hung up on evolution. I don't see it as shaking my beliefs. Is it that atheisists hang there hat on it? Believing it does not make you an atheisist. In my Christian way of thinking, it doesn't matter whether God created the earth in 7-24hr days or slowly over billions of years. God still created it, in my beliefs. Though I believe the latter, it is just as beautiful either way.

Is Eavesdropping OK?

This is more of a question than a regular post. President Bush recently authorized the NSA to eavesdrop of international phone calls and emails that originate from or are directed to those suspected to be linked to Al Qaeda.
On the surface it seems to be a huge infingement on civil liberties, mainly the right to privacy. However, the question is whether or not the current environment of paranoia caused by the rippling effects of 9/11 justify such action.
Everyone wants to be safe and secure, but at what costs do people want it? I'm attempting here to hide my true feelings on this because I want this to be an objective question and am seriously interested in what others think.
So in times of war or in anticipation of possible terrorists activities, should the government have the authority to eavesdrop on private conversation? If so, at what point does it become wrong?

KHSAA comes down on LexCath...

Sivart and I have had extensive discussions about the whole public vs. private school debate in high school athletics, but the KHSAA just came down on one of the main schools in question recently.

Lexington Catholic High School is having to pay thousands of dollars in fines and the football and baseball teams are being sanctioned among other things and they are going to have to forfiet some wins.

Anyway, all of that aside, when it comes down to it, if the KHSAA comes down on these schools so that they don't have to split up everything, will these schools really have anything to worry about?

Early on when LexCath decided to bolster its athletic programs in order to draw in more students, then maybe they could have improperly helped out some student athletes to get the ball rolling. But right now their reputation should be all they need. I'm sure they make a ton of money from athletics. Our local high school girls team is there as we speak fixing to take on another private school in the biggest girls' basketball tournament in the state. You WKU Lady Topper fans know of Sacred Heart.

It's kind of mind boggling how LexCath had to, for lack of a better word, cheat a little bit in order to get some kids into the school. LexCath is an athletic mecca in this state. And I can't see how the KHSAA is going to fix the public vs. private school problem. I can see how the private schools dominate the state championship title counts, but I'm afraid of how things might shake up.

And there are other problems out there too. If they split up the public and private schools, how can they leave the Louisville area wide open? If you live in Louisville, you can go to any school you want as long as you can get a ride. I don't know how it is in other cities, but Louisville and cities like it have a built in advantage there.

At least in Owensboro you have to pay a little bit extra to go to a school out of the district where you live. It's not much but at least that gives people some incentive to stay close to home and not move kids around.

It's a crazy situation because there is not a good way to fix it. Sure you want the public schools to have a shot at winning more often, but can you sanction the private schools and hinder their money making abilities?

Santa Claus is coming to town.

Disclaimer: At this time of year, most sports columnists will write their typical Christmas column that involves the columnist playing Santa and giving sports individuals gifts for the coming year or writing about their wishlists for the sporting world. I have always thought these columns were a little, what’s the word, lame. That being said, because I am a sports columnist I am obligated to do this type of column, plus I am pretty excited about it.

Tis the season for giving gifts, but more importantly for receiving gifts. For most of us, this means receiving gifts from Santa Claus. I began to think about the current sporting landscape and thought to myself, “If I were Santa, what would I give…?” If I were Santa this year, these are the gifts I would give.

To Ron Artest: I would give Ron Artest a nice spa retreat to a lovely mental hospital of his choosing. In addition to that I would give him a sense of gratitude. Gratitude for the way the Indiana Pacers stuck by this guy even as he became a villain and the epitome of everything that is wrong with the NBA. If he is traded, I hope that he enjoys playing for a team that is more likely to lose 55 games than compete in the NBA Finals.

To all the players in the NBA: I would give every player in the NBA uniform shorts so long that the waist would be at their chins and the shorts would still drag the court. I would also allow the players one day a week to wear whatever they wanted to on the court. This would of course be casual Friday.

To Donovan McNabb: I give Mr. McNabb two straight weeks of peace. There will be no attacks on his leadership, no attacks on his health, no attacks on his skill, and no attacks on his blackness. I still have not figured out how McNabb has become the bad guy in this whole Terrell Owens mess. I may not think much of TO’s agent Drew Rosenhaus, but his publicist is awesome. It would seem that all of Philadelphia is now on TO’s side, including teammates. I am sure Donovan is just as confused about this turn of events as I am.

To the Indianapolis Colts: I give to you the gift of an undefeated season in 2005. What’s that? Oh, sorry about that. This was one I really wanted to give. I am getting a little tired of the 1972 Miami Dolphins popping the champagne and celebrating every time the last undefeated team of the NFL season gets beat. They are like a traveling band of buzzkillers that takes pleasure in the dashed dreams of others. So to the Colts I will give you a consolation gift, a Super Bowl victory.

To Rafael Palmeiro and Sammy Sosa: A nice quick, quiet retirement. Have a nice life.

To the Cleveland Indians: To the Cleveland Indians I give a World Series championship in 2006. That’s right, 2006 is your year. The last two champions have been teams that have gone the second (Chicago White Sox) and third (Boston Red Sox) longest period without a World Series championship. The Cleveland Indians are the next in line. Sorry Cubs fans, recent history shows us that your team will never win another World Series.

To UK football coach Rich Brooks: Well, you already got your present from UK athletic director Mitch Barnhart when he decided to bring you back for one more season. Enjoy your year because it will probably be your last.

To UK coach Tubby Smith: I give you patience from at least one person in the state. I also give you realistic goals for this season. I will only expect a 28 win season and a Final Four finish instead of a 30 win season and a championship. I will give you a break this year.

To U o L coach Rick Pitino: I give you forgiveness from your constituents for losing the big one. I, on the other hand, applaud you for it.

To Randolph Morris: I give you, Randolph, appreciation. Appreciation for all that Coach Smith and the University have done to keep you from ending up in Russia playing basketball in a renovated gulag. I also give Randolph the ability to filter out shysters and agents who try to get him to leave UK for the greener pastures of the NBA. Stay for the rest of this season and the next and I believe you will be fine.

To ESPN fans: I give you less Chris Berman and poker. Both of these things give me headaches and severe abdominal cramps, I just want some relief. I believe that next year ESPN original movies will be added to this list because those are already giving me double vision and dry mouth.

The Texas Longhorns basketball team: I would give the gift of a Texas Rose Bowl win over USC to take some pressure off of your crazy season, but we all know I can’t do that. So I just wish you good luck and I will make the Big 12 just as mediocre as it is every year.

To the USC Trojans: I give you a Rose Bowl victory, but I really wish you could let Texas stay in the game for a half. I expect USC will score 21 points on the Longhorns in the first quarter and I know that Big 12 football is a joke, but I am hoping that Texas can stay within 10 points for one half. Throw us a bone for crying out loud.

To all the NFL players on my fantasy team: I give you as horrible a showing in the playoffs as you gave me. You lead me to a first place finish but then you didn’t show up for work during the first week of the fantasy playoffs. I now must root against you for the rest of the season. Well, except for Carson Palmer, it’s not your fault Carson.

To the Cincinnati Bengals: I give you a fine showing in the playoffs and a full year of being referred to as the Cincinnati Bengals and not the Cincinnati Bungles.

Those are just a few things I would give to the sporting world if I were Santa Claus. My own personal sports wish list includes an NCAA title for the UK Wildcats, a World Series and a Super Bowl victory for Cincinnati, the return of softball and the introduction of kickball to Ohio County, and a stick.

I will be taking some time to enjoy the Christmas season and will return in the New Year. Thank you for putting up with my ranting and raving and I hope my faithful readers (all three of you) as well as the rest of you have a Merry Christmas, a happy holiday season, a Happy Festivus and a happy New Year.

Monday, December 19, 2005

New Daddy Diary, Entry #4

How do you handle the unruly people who touch your child? It's not like my son is the Ark of the Covenant, but if you're going to touch a newborn, then you touch him gently.

This weekend was Christmas for our family because my sister-in-law decreed it to be so. My nephew, 3 yrs old, was in typical hyperactive form. He screams, he runs, he chases my cat, etc. And best of all, he listens to no one and no time. I was holding my son, Aiden, when my nephew came grabbing his hands and hitting him in the head with them. Clearly, this is not how you touch a newborn.

As a father (new daddy or not) I wanted to bust the kid's behind because he wouldn't stop. But because his mother is walking the line between normal and witchcraft I didn't want to stir that pot. This post is actually about me being disappointed in myself. Because I should have stirred that pot and worn that child out.

I guess all new parents are protective of their children, but it seems that the other parents in the room should have the good sense to reign their kids in a bit. But these particular parents have no control over this boy. So I now feel challenged. When my brother and sister-in-law throw their hands up and say you can't control them, I want to show them that you can. For goodness sakes, if you can't at least temper the antics of a three year old, you're screwed when he gets older.

Before someone notes this, I expect to fail as a father in some areas. I know that my son will do things to embarass and anger me without question. I'll try to raise him the way I see fit and in a large sense he'll turn out just how he wants. But I know for a fact that consistent discipline and parenting works more times than not. I pray to God daily that I raise my son in the right way. I trust that will help. If need be someday, I'll not be too proud to ask for a young priest, an old priest and healthy jug of holy water. Anything to keep my son from acting like a complete wild animal.

The Power of Christ compels you!!!

Saturday, December 17, 2005

King Kong

Best movie this year! The special effects are mind boggling. I don't think I am giving anything away by saying that there are dinsaurs involved in the movie. It was like Jurassic Park on steroids. The visuals blew J.Park away. I also don't think I am giving anything away by saying that there is a ship involved. If Titanic could have done this well with its effects it would have doubled it's income. Maybe not, but this was much better.

I think what I liked most about the whole thing was that it did the original justice. It was three hours that at the end I still could have handled more. The time on Skull Island is so no stop so edge of your seat. There were at least two times when I thought they weren't going to make it, even though I knew the actors where at the end of the movie.

Two words: Must See!!!

Front of the Parade

For those of you who know the Muckrakers, then let me make the review simple: this is exceptional work even for them. For you who don't know them, then it's time you get to know them. The Muckrakers are one of the best up and coming bands in the country. I went to college with the two lead guitarists. I've heard them play between 25 and 50 times. They are incredibly entertaining live and there musice holds true in the CD version.

french_toast and I just exchanged xmas presents since we will be out and about. Front of the Parade was one of my gifts. It is AMAZING!! There are a few familar tunes and lots of new ones. They are smooth and fun and can find their way into the background of any situation or can be the main focus of your relaxation. So I won't dwell on what it's going to take your listening to them. Click the link and enjoy; at $13 it's a steal.

Friday, December 16, 2005

Ashlee Simpson exhausted. Aren't we all?

Earlier in the week, Miami Heat head coach Stan Van Gundy resigned from his post citing the old stand by excuse of wanting to spend more time with his family. Many didn't believe it then and many do not believe it now. Most believe Pat Riley, legendary coach Pat Riley, wanted to coach this team for himself and the whole spending time with his family was the only excuse Van Gundy could come up with to explain his leaving a championship caliber team.

Now we have our second good old standby excuse of the week. Apparently Sivart's second favorite Simpson (and my first), Ashlee, has collapsed in Japan after a show. She had just performed her song "Boyfriend" and then told the audience she felt sick. She told them she loved them and as she got into an elevator she collapsed. She was rushed to the hospital.

No real details have been released on her condition and "stupposedly" she is still in the hospital. What has been released from one of those good old "unnamed sources" is that the collapse and fainting spell was caused by, you guessed it, "exhaustion." How many times have I heard that excuse used? Who else used it? Whitney? Mariah? Lindsay? I wonder how they got so exhausted? Who among us isn't exhausted? I am exhausted right now. My exhaustion is due to poor sleeping habits. I wonder what causes celebrity exhaustion?

Usually when I hear that excuse used for a fainting spell, I automatically believe that it is exhaustion brought on by staying up too late doing coke, but that's me. Hopefully it is nothing like that because you would hate to see another young star ruined by stupid drug use.

A slice of fried gold....

Well, actually I guess it's a cup of fried gold.

Pumpkin Spice cappuccino, baby. It rocks.

Yesterday Piccu and I headed over to Big Kev's last night and stopped by the local bodega.

I know what you are thinking, Po'dunk, Kentucky has a bodega? Not exactly, but it is a convenient store that has recognized that our growing hispanic community has no place to get authentic mexican convenient store items.

I know it sounds crazy but it's true. Among other things, it carries blackbeans, corn husks, dried peppers, mexican chocolate, jars of pretty solid tamales and fruit flavored drinks from Mexico with actual sugar in them. If we all stopped drinking soft drinks with high-fructose corn syrup and switched to those little beauties with sugar straight from the cane, it would probably kill us. This is also the only convenient store I know of that sells a pretty good portion of produce.

Anyway, yesterday Piccu and I stopped in for a frosty beverage and as I walked by the coffee/cappuccino area I noticed that the cappuccino machine offered pumpkin spice coffee.

I quickly made a mental note and got myself a cup this morning and it is awesome. I got a 12-14 ounce cup and threw in three little half-n-halfs and as Shaun would say from Shaun of the Dead...

It's a slice of fried gold. Or more like a drinking a slice of golden fried pumpkin pie. It's gold Jerry, gold.

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Minnesota Vikings players indicted after incident on the "Love Boat."

Just when you think the public will slowly forget Al and Alma’s “love boats” you see that four Minnesota Vikings’ players have been indicted on charges of indecent conduct, disorderly conduct, and lewd or lascivious conduct. Those charged were Fred Smoot, Bryant McKinnie, Moe Williams, and the big dog Dante Culpepper. It’s always good to see that a University of Kentucky football alum makes the news in the NFL, but not like this. Moe Williams just rocketed to the top of the most recognized UK football players to play in the NFL.

If you haven’t heard about the infamous sex cruise, where have you been? Apparently a number of Vikings players decided to take a boat trip one week and they imported hookers from out of state and decided to have a fun time of “releggedly” taking off their clothes and engaging in public sex acts during the cruise and more lewd and drunken behavior. The unfortunate thing about all this is that they forgot to tell the crew of the rented “pleasure” boats that they were going to go all Caligula on the trip. Fred Smoot and Lance Johnstone rented the two boats and it would appear from those indicted that Fred’s was the one with all the action.

The Vikings are just now coming back from a 1-4 start. They are now 8-5 with a shot at the playoffs; everyone has stopped talking about this embarrassing episode and is now talking about an improbable finish to the season. Now they will once again be talking about the Lust on Lake Minnetonka. I have to assume that some of those indicted are married. I believe that the quarterback and leader of the team Dante Culpepper is married. I would have loved to have been a fly on the wall in the Culpepper household when the indictments came down.

It will be interesting to see how the players handle the new media attention they will receive and which married players will stay married after this is all said and done. Will this latest round of athletic stupidity and indictments for said stupidity help some of these athletes that feel they can do anything they want? I think not. In fact I can’t wait until the next sports star makes and arse of himself.

To wrap or not to wrap, that is the question.

I was listening to Bob and Tom today, like everyday, and they were discussing Christmas presents. The main question was does Santa wrap presents? Bob and Tom said that Santa wraps everything, while Kristi and Chick said that Santa did not wrap and the toys that needed to be put together would be set up and ready to go. Tom then said that at his home, if the toy was a something that had to be put together then it would be set up, but that it would have a bow on it or a note from Santa. I guess there is no right or wrong way, as a kid I just thought that all presents from Santa were unwrapped. All that unwrapping as a kid would just delay that fix that we all needed so bad. The visiting comedian, Chad Daniels, then said that he had his gifts put together and set up too, but they lived next to Jewish kids so Santa had the time.

I guess I have never thought about this, because really who thinks about this, but I remember my presents from Santa were never wrapped. And I never received presents from my parents, unless my memory is fuzzy in my old age. Later on in life, around the age I “found out,” the presents were wrapped and were from my parents. I do not remember when or how I “found out.” I think I caught the perpetrators in the act and realized what was going on. I don’t remember it being a traumatic experience, what did I care, I was still getting my loot. I also saved on postage to the North Pole.

I also remember waking up at the crack of dawn and running into the living room to survey the gifts that had arrived in the night. As I got older we don’t open presents sometime until 10 or 11 AM. This Christmas the schedule will be thrown off a bit with church being on Christmas day. My mom has to sing in a couple of Christmas Con-ta-tas and I don’t expect to open presents until after church, perhaps not until after lunch. That will be weird. It all seemed so much easier when you were little and the presents appeared out of nowhere.


Apparently we've finally gotten our newest member on board. I sent her the invite so long ago I forgot about it. Piccu and I haven't seen her in forever so maybe she can open up with a little post about what's going on and introduce herself to the readers and writers.

Charlie Brown, making Christmas merry for 40 years.

More TV news has it that A Charlie Brown Christmas was the 8th most watched show of the week in which it was aired. Not only that, but it was top rated in both the young viewers (2-11) and the more mature (25-54).That is pretty good for a show that is 40 years old and on DVD. Did you watch it? I have it DVRed waiting for the right time to watch it. I also DVRed the Grinch last night. I have a few shows and movies I have to watch this season, just like there are certain horror movies I like to watch during Halloween.

I have to watch Christmas Vacation during this time of year. I would assume that most everyone does. It is a movie that our group of friends could mute the volume and repeat the dialogue from memory. My other must see movie for the Christmas season is Friday After Next. Craig and Day Day are at it again, this time during the Christmas season. It is another one that I could watch without sound and repeat the dialogue from memory. The Toast I believe does not hold this movie quite as close to her heart as I do, when in Rome. So goes my Christmas entertainment tradition: cool Christmas music, cool Christmas cartoons, cool Christmas DVDs and a very cool Christmas night movie in the theaters. A tradition for the ages.

Beware of the Dog.

Good news, good news. The Dog is back. That’s right, Bratch’s favorite bounty hunter, Dog Chapman, is coming back to A&E for a third season. You have never seen the Dog? He is a bounty hunter that lives and works in Hawaii. He has the whole repressed hair band lead singer look going on. He has the long hair with some feathers weaved into it. He wears leather most times and his clothes are almost always black. He is a muscular dude, he probably became that way after his stay in prison. Oh yeah, I almost forgot, he is a Christian. Caught you off guard, didn’t I? Yes the Dog is keeping the streets clean for the law and the Lord.

I have watched every episode of Dog and every episode is the same thing. This family of bounty hunters gathers and discusses that day’s criminal they need to capture. They seem to find some reason to think that this con is going to fight or this one is going to run or this one has a weapon and 9 times out of 10 they walk up to them and arrest them with no trouble. The best shows are the shows where the con runs or fights. And every capture begins with Dog cussing the convicts like a sailor and after the capture he is leading them to the Lord. By the end of the episode, the convict is born again and is offered help getting a job. It is really a crazy show. Check it out this Tuesday with a mini marathon starting at 8 PM Central. Enjoy!!!

In more good news, good news, it appears that the rumors of Arrested Development’s demise were exaggerated. According to Yahoo news, both ABC and Showtime are interested in bringing Arrested Development to their networks if, if Fox cancels the show. That sounds weird, I though Fox had already cancelled the show. It only ordered 13 episodes of the greatest comedy on television for this season. They might as well cancel the show.

Perhaps this desire by other networks to have the show will help Fox realize how good this show is. Maybe they could stop moving the show to a different night every season and try to help build on the show’s audience. I think they have to move it back to Sunday nights after The Simpsons and give it a couple of years. That seems to me to be the only place a show like this can grow. If it doesn’t make it there, it can’t make it anywhere.

ABC has no comedy and Showtime has nothing at all. I’m not sure either network would be a help for this series. If only NBC would get involved, Arrested Development would make a great addition to Must See TV Thursday.

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Let's swing by grandma's for some cookies and some dope

A fellow resident here at SC brought an article printed from news max. Though it is dated yesterday, I can't find it to link it. The title is "Seniors Selling Prescription Pills for Cash." It is in Prestonsburg, Ky, and basically tells the story of the quickly growing group of old people or to be p.c., geysers, who are taking there prescription pills selling them at $10 a pop. There is some debate whether the people are using the money to pay bills and but food, versus just coming from a family of drug dealers. Depending on who you ask there is probably some of both going on. They discuss the difficulty of have elderly in jail due to medical concerns.

I don't know who out there has seen the episode of Andy Griffeth, where they are looking for who is running shine. Turns out it is the two old ladies running it out of there house. This whole thing just wreaks of that.

Ignorance Encounter

Racism, in whatever form, is hardly surprising to encounter. It happens all over the place all of the time. But it's when it hits you personally that it takes you aback and knocks your bearings all off.
Today I encountered a bit of it from a person I respect and like quite a bit. It was not the kind of hateful racism that Maury pimps out to raise the ratings or anything. The topic of interracial marriage was brought up. She said she was raised to believe it wasn't right. I asked if she had since gotten over this, and she confessed she had not.
At this point I fight off being offended and simply ask, "You do know that my wife is Mexican-American right?" Of course she does. Now, how she reconciles this, I have no idea. I ask her why she thinks that's wrong and she says it's in the bible. I frankly reply that it is not. At least not in the way she thinks.
To clear things up a bit, the Old Testament mentions several times that God had commanded the nation of Israel to not intermarry with the Pagan nations. God surely had his reasons, but being rather uneducated in this portion of biblical study, I won't dare attempt to figure out what they were. But it was only mentioned in regard to the Jews.
I am not a Jew. This is where many people fall into error when studying the bible is not understanding that the laws that applied to God's people in the Old Testament do not apply to Christians today, necessarily. Certainly some do carry over, but we are not slaughtering spotless lambs to atone for our sins annually. Nor are we observing the seventh day of the week to worship. We use the first day of the week, as the apostles did. We repent and seek the redemption from sins through Christ's sacrafice, as the apostles and other early followers of the ressurrected Christ did.
This ignorance of the differences between the Old Testament (Old Covenant, Old Law, if you will) and the law of Christ is what led to my racial encounter. I didn't take offense and I attempted to explain why I'm not transgressing God's law. I hope she studies on it.
Racism and ignorance are alive and kicking and frankly until Christians do a better job of teaching others and spreading knowledge of Christ's law, it will persist.
Today, I've used the blog to get things off my chest. If you're reading, thanks for letting me have that opportunity. If you disagree with me in anything I said, reply and let's study it. The truth is more important than pride.

Nutty World Leaders

Take a moment and reflect on all the times you've been told, or it's been implied that our president is an imbecile. Ok, it takes much longer than a moment. Take the day off, come back, read the rest of this post tomorrow.

Seriously, George W. Bush is an easy target. He's a terrible public speaker. He looks uncomfortable answering the simplest of questions. He couldn't even open that door at the press conference in China. So it's understandable that SNL subjected us to wretched impressions of Bush by Will Forte (Will Ferrell set the bar really high, but Forte just stinks. Worst cast member since Melany Hutsell.) It's within reason that we see John Stewart nightly making fun of him. And it's fine.

But, brothers and sisters, I think we should thank God for President Bush when you glance around the world. Consider the following...

Vicente Fox, Mexico. Basically drives his people out of the country with one of the worst economies known to man.

Jacques Chirac, France. A man so French, he wouldn't send the army into to quell a teenager riot and instead let them run rampant for about two weeks. He didn't support the Iraq War because the proof now shows he was on the take in the U.N. Oil for Food scandal that still receives entirely too little press.

Kim Jong Ill, North Korea. He runs North Korea, threatens the world almost daily, and is basically as insane as Hitler, just not as savvy.

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad , Iran. Yet another man who has risen to power who is so insane, he honestly believes the holocaust is a joke. He expects the world to believe IRAN when they say they only want nuclear capability to generate power. Yeah, he wants to generate power all right. He also wants to destroy Israel because the "prophet" Muhammed wrote in a book that the land belonged to Muslims. Of course scholars believe Muhammed started the Quran around 620 AD which means the Jews had been in possession of it for several centuries. But I digress.

That's four examples by a guy (me) who really doesn't know that much about world politics, but those are some nutty leaders. Our president my be half moron and half idiot. Personally, I think he's a stubborn guy who goes with his gut, and is a terrible communicator. But ultimately, he's been a decent president in some very trying situations. But thank God (literally. Do it.) that we don't have one of those nuts. A little power in the hands of a psycho, is a mighty dangerous thing.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Too Hot? Insert here.

Check out this new device. It is essentially and cool place to stick your hands. Why would you do this? Well, it looks like working in the heat can be improved with this new device which effectively decreases overall body temperature. Theoretically, this decreases reisk f heat stroke and would improve performance in athletes and workers. So the next time a highway department worker is standing holding the stop sign on a stick, don't just offer him advice. Offer him a dip in the CoreControl device.

But seriously, it is pretty "cool" so click the link and check it out.

Row, Row, Row your boat (and bring cash)

Lexington Kevin also known to I-A readers as Trent will be home for the holidays the same time we will. He is pumped up about a boat trip and I think it needs to happen. We will take this opportunity to tap into big Kev's compulsive gambling and maybe finally introduce Big Kev to Lexington Kevin. Oh, what a sight! Times and dates are subject to discussion, but regardless get your blackjack, index finger primed to do some tapping and hit one more time.

King of Kings

Tonight is the AMC and TCM salute to King Kong. One channel will show the more recent remake and the other will the original. So set the DVR to tape bones and house, grab a beverage and set your faces to stunned.

I can't wait. I am seriously contemplating attempting to see this in the IMAX if it is indeed there.

Ohio County Should Honor Oldham

The linked story above is to a piece by Owensboro Messenger-Inquirer columnists/sports editor Jim Pickens. The piece talks about Western Kentucky University's need to honor former player and coach John Oldham. I wholeheartedly agree. Currently Oldham's jersey is retired, but for a guy with the accomplishments that Pickens list, that honor is underwhelming.

But shift focus to Ohio County. Oldham graduated from the former Hartford High School where he was a force. He then went to WKU where he was an All American in 1949. He played for two years for the Ft. Wayne Pistons. He guided WKU as a coach to the Final Four in 1971, beating UK in the tournament.

What has Ohio County done to honor Oldham? A park. No, a rundown shell of a park that doesn't even have a basketball goal named for the best basketball player to ever come out of the County. That's ridiculous.

Much like Ohio County basically ignoring former MLB SS Ray Chapman, OC has chosen to ignore a sports icon from the area. Why? Oldham and Chapman should be remembered and honored by Ohio County government as well as the high school. Anything less is embarassing.

Dun, dun, da dun dun! CHiPs is back!

Well, I knew it wasn’t far off and now it’s here, a big screen retelling of the CHiPs story. Apparently Wilmer Valderrama is going to star as Officer Francis “Ponch” Poncherello in the remake. Wilmer who? Fez on That 70’s Show. I am not sure that Fez has the unbridled charisma that Erik Estrada does, so I am not sold on this. I believe that Erik Estrada could still play the part. He is just as cool as ever, but I digress.

I must say that I have been a huge fan of CHiPs all my life. It was the same show every time, kind of like House, but it worked. The only time that I kind of soured on it was when they jumped the shark and Larry Wilcox left. He played Ponch’s partner Officer Jon Baker. And who didn't love the techno disco theme song? I love it so much I have a ringtone of it.

Every episode started out with a horrendous car crash, many times leading to an explosion. Midway through the episode there was a car chase, well a motorcycle-car chase, which ended with the crooks getting away. The end of the show included another small chase, a huge explosion, and the apprehension of the crooks without any weapons being drawn or fired by Ponch or Jon. Then just before the closing credits roll they all met up after hours at a disco or a roller rink and boogied the night away. Then the credits rolled and there were freeze frame moments of people laughing at a joke made at Ponch’s expense. Good times.

Hopefully they will make the show less like the Starsky and Hutch remake and more like a funny movie. Heck, I would go to the theater to see the original episodes. I have to believe that in the long run the reruns will be much better than the movie. Look at Starsky and Hutch and the Dukes and you can plainly see that. Even so, I am sure they will trick me into going, they all do.

Tom Cruise, weird in life, but cool on film.

If you are a faithful I-A reader, and I am sure you are, then you saw my little piece on Tom Cruise taking the title of biggest weirdo in America from Michael Jackson. When Michael Jackson really got into his weirdness, it seemed that everything he touched turned to crap.

Tom Cruise it seems had truly embraced his weirdness during the publicity for War of the Worlds and it didn’t seem to hurt the box office. Of course, Steven Spielberg may have had something to do with the box office, but never the less. You may agree with me in thinking Cruise has gone over the edge into crazy town but, dang it all, I still want to see Mission Impossible III this summer. Click the link for the trailer and I bet you will feel the same. Enjoy!!!

It looks like a blue Christmas ahead for the UK Wildcats.

It looks like a blue, blue, blue, blue Christmas for UK fans this year after their performance against Indiana. Maybe I should have said lack of performance. I have not seen a UK team look so out of it. Some of the players looked as if they had never played organized basketball in their life. The team had four assists for the whole game. Is that even possible? Four assists? That must be a mistake. I could pick up four people from the Times-News staff and get six assists against Indiana.

Once again, Tubby has to go back to the drawing board. This season has been a season of ups and downs and trips to the drawing board. When UK plays a Georgia State they look great. When they play a North Carolina they look like mush. The only thing UK fans have to hold on to is the fact that UK seems to beat the teams they are supposed to beat (except for North Carolina and Indiana). All the small schools that have been scheduled to give the young players some experience have been beaten and beaten soundly. Bully for them.

Now we find out that Randolph Morris will not be eligible for this season and from what I hear there is about a 0% chance that this decision will be overturned. Perhaps when this ordeal is totally finished and the players know Morris will not be back to bail them out, things will get better.

In some ways I feel bad for Morris, but I also feel like he got what he deserved. He wanted out so bad he gambled with his career and he lost. I find it hard to believe that a player that was so anxious to leave college after his freshman year will want to hang around for a year NOT playing basketball.

I feel that once this semester is over, Randolph Morris will be in Turkey playing ball. I do hope that the “advisors” that convinced this kid that he would be a first round pick have had their mouths super glued shut. They have no business being around basketball because they obviously did not see what the rest of the country saw in Randolph Morris.

What can Tubby do to help this team rise above their obvious lack of talent? Or is it lack of athleticism? Or is it lack of shooting ability? Or is it all of the above? I am not exactly sure what the main problem is. It appears that UK is one great player, Rajon Rondo, and a group of role players. So, how can I, a Julliard trained columnist help Tubby out? I can give him some suggestions, some creative and some more realistic.

First things first, this team is not that tough. When a team has three seven footers but they can be blown out of the post by a mild gust of wind, you have problems. I have a great idea that will toughen these big men up. You put them in the post, one at a time, and throw them a ball. When they catch the ball in the post, they have to take a shot. When a player gets the ball, the rest of the team will swing bags of oranges at the player. Until all three big men score ten points the exercise will continue. This helps toughen up the seven footers and helps the team take out their frustration on them.

Another thing I would suggest is a lay-up drill especially made for the Wildcats. In this drill the player must lay in or dunk the basketball. Every time a player misses he gets a small but painful electric shock. Because the UK players cannot seem to hit the easy lay ups, they will miss many of these shots and will be shocked many, many times.

After a few weeks of this intense drill, they will not miss another lay-up again. This of course would also be used with free throws, only the small shock would be even more painful. Because, well, hitting a shot while standing alone with nobody defending you should be easy.

Another suggestion would be to not start Patrick Sparks. I believe he would be better utilized in a Cameron Mills role. He could come off the bench to spell Rondo or Ramal Bradley and hit a couple of threes. Sparks seems to be struggling on the defensive end and his shooting is too streaky. Perhaps this role will take some pressure of Sparks and enable him to get into a better groove. At this point I would try anything.

Who to start ahead of Sparks? That is a good question and right now I would have to say Joe Crawford. Crawford has been playing with reckless abandon since he came back from his injury. Not only is he scoring some points, but he is rebounding as well, and if the team needs one thing, it needs rebounding. I also think Ramal Bradley should be looked at as a starter. He needs to take better care of the ball, but he is just so quick that he and Rondo could average 8 steals a night.

The only thing I know for sure is that UK’s athletic director must be sweating bullets. He surely has had the boosters and fans all over him for the Rich Brooks situation, the last thing he needs is an under 20 win season and a first round NCAA tourney exit from the basketball team. I truly think that Tubby can right the ship, but it will be a task and a half. If he doesn’t right the ship, it may be hard for him to hang onto his job.

While I think that Tubby is a great coach and he should be given a little lee way considering he won a title at UK, I do believe his recruiting does leave something to be desired. In this day and age you need players who are ready to contribute and in some cases dominate as a freshman and sophomore. UK right now has a solid group of players who are just not quite ready for prime time. The juniors have about as much experience as the sophomores. The only way to remedy this situation is playing time.

There is some good news for UK fans. I believe that the Louisville Cardinals are in the same boat. I think they will struggle this year in their new conference. The Big East is big boy basketball and U of L has a brutal conference schedule. The Cards, like the Cats, have not shown me much so far this season. They are number 5 in the country but have struggled to beat mediocre teams by seven and eight points. As an example of things to come this year, they only managed to score 53 points against Arkansas State. In more good news for UK fans, I believe UK will beat U of L this weekend if only because it will be at Rupp, but it will not change the fact that it will be a long season for the Wildcats.

Perhaps with one season under their belts as major contributors, UK’s juniors and sophomores can make a difference next year. I have a feeling that scenario will not work for about 90% of Wildcat Nation. It is a fan base that craves instant gratification. Unfortunately whether you like it or not it may be a long and sometimes ugly waiting game before these Cats provide that gratification.

Catholic vs Private Schools

In the state of Kentucky, the separation of private and public schools in state athletic tournaments has gotten a lot of attention in the past year. The four classes of state football championships this season did nothing but stoke a roaring fire.

Consider this, of the eight teams competing for state championships in their respective classes, five were private catholic schools. By my quick, very unofficial count, only eleven of the 221 high schools that play football in Kentucky are private. I'm almost certain that count is off, so take it with a large grain of salt, but the point is a very small percentage of schools are private, yet they made up 63% of the participants in the state football title games.

An even better argument in my opinion is the argument of Bowling Green High. BGHS dominated the regular and post seasons, with only a loss to 4A champ St. Xavier (a Catholic school.) BGHS gave up only 54 points in their first fourteen games. If you're scoring at home, that's about 3.86 points per game. In the title game against Lexington Catholic, they gave up 49 points. BGHS didn't suddenly forget how to play defense, they got beat by a team that recruits better players than BGHS sees enroll.

Two losses on the year, both to Catholic schools. 103 points given up on the year, 62 to Catholic schools in two games (just 41 to 13 other opponents.)

I don't want to see the schools divided because for schools like Owensboro Catholic and other small private schools, it would be a death sentence. But for football at least, something needs to be done to once again level the playing field. If not for OCatholic's loss to Russell in the 2A title game, Catholic schools would have swept the state titles. It's time for a change.

Monday, December 12, 2005

Christmas songs to check out this season.

Christmas, Christmas time is here, time for something, time for cheer. It is also time for good ol’ Christmas music. I used to be one of those people who couldn’t stand to hear Christmas music unless you were in church or it was Christmas Eve. Apparently in my old age I have now become a Christmas music fan. Maybe it helps me to slow down and enjoy the season a little more. I even have my own rotation of songs that I must listen to every season.

In fact, I just downloaded an embarrassing amount of songs from Itunes today. I lost my cd of illegally downloaded Christmas songs and I had to start anew. Unfortunately I could not get two of my faves, but I replaced most of them and even added a few. Here are a few songs you should check out this season.

To begin with, you can never go wrong with any Christmas song by Andy Williams, Dean Martin, Frank Sinatra, Perry Como, Burl Ives, and especially “Der Bingle” Bing Crosby and Elvis Presley (this all goes without saying).

Any song from A Charlie Brown Christmas.

I normally do not like Bruce Springsteen, but his version of “Santa Claus is Coming to Town” is excellent.

The Kinks Father Christmas
John Mellencamp I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus
Bing Crosby Mele Kalikimaka
The McKenzie Brothers The 12 Days of Christmas (“On the first day of Christmas my true love gave to me, a beer in a tree”)
Nat King Cole The Christmas Song
The Temptations Silent Night
Donnie Hathaway This Christmas
The Ramones Merry Christmas (I Don’t Want to Fight Tonight)
The Carpenters Merry Christmas Darling (Actually any Christmas song by the Carpenters is good.)
Fats Domino Please Come Home for Christmas
Eric Cartman O Holy Night (The version with the cattle prod)

There were two songs I could not get from Itunes and these are two great songs. One is John Lennon’s Happy Christmas (War is Over) and the other is Paul McCartney’s Wonderful Christmastime. I guess Itunes has not been authorized to sell their music which does not suit me, but I have XM and their 4 or 5 Christmas music channels to help me find them.

Those are a few songs that I highly recommend for your listening pleasure. I am sure you have favorites of your own, but maybe there is something here that will become a new favorite. I also must highly recommend any and all traditional hymns whether they be sung by choirs or “stars” or anyone. Those are truly the best songs for this season. Enjoy!!!!!

Stan Van Gundy "resigns." Could retun to adult films be far behind?

Okay, does anyone really believe that Stan Van Gundy is “resigning” because he wants to spend more time with his family? Isn’t this the generic excuse that is used when someone is forced out of their position and there is no answer other than the most obvious? The obvious answer in this case is that Pat Riley sees the team that has been constructed in Miami and he wants it. He has already talked openly about how he would love to coach Shaq and Shaq loves Riley.

Shaq + Riley = resigned Van Gundy

I would not be surprised to find out that both Shaq and Riley were behind this. I will also not be surprised to read in the off season about Van Gundy’s desire to return to coaching. He will say this after speaking with his family of course. I would imagine that until he is ready to return to coaching, Van Gundy will spend time with his family and resume his adult film career under his alias, Ron Jeremy (click the link and see for yourself).

New Daddy Diary, Entry #3

Sleep? What Sleep?!?!

Among the hundreds of cliches parents endure during a pregnancy, the most common is the, "Enjoy your sleep while you can" cliche. I, like every father before me, appreciated the obvious advice but got very tired of hearing the same things over and over.

Nothing could have been more true than that cliche however. Sleep has become a rare commodity, far more precious than gold. Me complaining about my sleep is downright shameful when you consider the serious lack of sleep my wife has to endure as a breastfeeding mother. Several times a night she is up with him, changing, feeding, burping and rocking. The whole ordeal last for nearly an hour. When that happens three or four times a night, then you can see the problem.

Mrs. Worfner and I had decided that Sunday morning would be young Aiden's first trip to church services. On Saturday night and into Sunday morning, Aiden changed our plans. He was very fussy all night, but at 3AM he woke up and stayed up until 7:30. Needless to say, my wife and son didn't accompany me to services that morning. Since I was only up for less than half of that, I did manage to make it although I missed out on bible study before services.

I have the ability to sleep through my child's screams. I'm not bragging, in fact, it's embarassing to me. My wife has accused me of ignoring him, and deep down I think she believes I am. I tell you I am not. I told her early on, just wake me up and I'll be glad to change him and do what I can. For 3 1/2 weeks she never would take me up on it. I'm glad to say she got over that this weekend. And I truly am thankful. It helps alleviate some of my guilt for not being able to do more.

So all you soon to be fathers and potential parents, enjoy your sleep now. It's a rarity when you become the parent of a newborn. At least I'm at work now where I can catch up on my rest.

Catan: expanding the universe

For those of you who haven't played The Settlers of Catan, I warn you that your time is coming. This is a game that has been around for some time, but is slowly growing in popularity in the US. To give a brief description, it is a strategy game for 3-4 people and it takes a fraction of the time that risk takes. It involves building settlements and roads to new places to build new settlements. And upgrading settlements to cities. The bottom line is that the first one to ten wins and there are multiple ways to get points so each game you determine what will be the fastest way for you to get there.

We have introduced the game to a few new people and have met some others who have played a long time. Piccu and Bratch have played it a little, but it really gets better after you play 3 times or so.

In addition there are expansions to the game which add new rules and make the game continue to be interesting. Oh, and another thing is that the board changes every game.

If you haven't heard of this and like board games, then check it out. It is a lot of fun.

A New Idea of What to do with the Family Farm

Diggin' up potatoes? Not in Asia. More like digging up Orcs. Game fars are a new craze taking over Asia. Here are these places where people live and eat and "work." If you call work building up PC game players much in the tradition of Ever Quest. Now the game is Warcraft World. So essentially these people spend all day doing the leg work building up money and weapons for a character on the game. Then they sell the character and repeat. i have heard that if the good people of World Warcraft find out then they delete the character.

Video games are fun, but paying someone to play it for you? C'mon, if you are going to get addicted to a PC game atleast have the decency to do it yourself.

I had a classmate in Med school who nearly flunked out because he was playing Everquest. He ended up selling his junk on ebay and quitting. The price tag: $10,000.

Check out the link for more details on the article and pictures of the compound.