Thursday, August 31, 2006


Thank God for tropical depressions. I don't know how much rain we'd be short this year without them. Ernesto is turning into one long drenching rain, and we need it. Along with it comes the warm air, so humid you pretty much swim in it (which is why it's miserable when the power and the resulting air conditioning go out), but hey....I'll put up with that if it means some rain.

So far though, no power outages, no wind to speak of....just a few inches of drenching.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

PETA strikes again

I got an e-mail today, from someone claiming to work for PETA. Or at least their e-mail address allegedly ended with ''.

Apparently they're up in arms because Beyonce (she with supposed fur issues as well) posed somewhere with a baby gator....with it's mouth taped shut. I don't know the details. What Beyonce does has very little bearing on my life. I dunno, though. If I was going to pose with a baby gator, you'd better believe its mouth would be taped shut. Those teeth are pretty damn sharp! As a matter of fact, the youngster has been up close and personal with a baby gator, and yeah, its mouth was taped shut at the time. They did remove the tape afterwards and really, neither before or after the event did the baby gator seem to have anything to say. During the event, the baby gator didn't seem to be struggling to get a word out edgewise, or struggling in any other way. I don't think it was a very traumatic thing (not that I'm a baby gator expert)...honestly.

Please people...visit the life store...ask me to come with...I'll help you pick one out.

ps. I do realize the e-mail could be a hoax. Anybody can send e-mail from just about any address they please. I sent my brother, the deadhead, an e-mail from a few months after he passed away. Little did I know, he looked, and there really was a When I finally confessed that I did it, he thought I went through the trouble of creating the website just for him.

getting better every day

I tried work yesterday...and ended up giong home after lunch. Today I feel a little better, so I'm giving it another shot. Hopefully I'll get through the whole day this time.

Ernesto cometh. The parents called last night with the usual pre-hurricane call. "Are you going to be OK? Are you evacuating? Are you sure you should stay home?" I eased the fears. No we're not going anywhere. By the time it gets here it'll be a minimal tropical storm. I'm hoping it comes close enough to drench us but not so close that FPL loses our power. Of course, if I breathe wrong, that could happen, so that might be too much to ask for. I can see myself wandering the halls of the nearby (non-FPL power supplied) grocery store again, just to hang out in their air conditioning.

I'm growing Beatles fans in car pool...inadvertently, but it's happening. One Beatles compilation is in the CD changer in the rolling video game. It includes, among other hits, Yellow Submarine, which has become a car pool sing-along daily routine. It could be a whole lot worse....sugar on my tongue. I told the youngster it was a movie, and now he wants to see it. Trouble is, I doubt Yellow Submarine is on the rack at the local Blockbuster. I really don't want to buy it. I can't see us watching the entire thing once, let alone more than once. Maybe he'll just have to do without Blue Meanies.

Monday, August 28, 2006

in a NyQuillian haze

The youngster and I hit the skybox Saturday night. He was very impresed. Three TVs and the crowd out in front of him. There was food and drinks...even for kids. He made friends with Mike, the guy who took care of us. The game...well, it wasn't as bad as the one before, but still, the Jaguars have nothing to brag about.

Ever since that game though, I've been feeling worse and worse. The throat started bothering me during the game and the rest of the cold symptoms followed suit over the next 12 hours. By Sunday afternoon, I was nuthin' but a couch potato and much the same today. The NyQuil/DayQuil cycle has begun and I'm hoping it doesn't last too long. I'm thinking, if I'm being smart about it and getting my rest and fluids and all that...maybe tomorrow I'll be back.

In the meantime...take care.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Rewrite the science books!

Pluto is no longer a planet. I wonder if it still gets to be a dog at Disneyland, or if they've swiped that from it too. Dang, I feel like I should be mourning or something. There are now, officially, 8 planets in the solar system. Black arm bands, for all my friends.

bits and pieces

Wow, it's amazing how the hit count goes up on this place when I mention Hillary, and sinks back down when I talk about food. I guess my priorities really are messed up.

Golf last night - my game must be bipolar or something. One week after wondering if I needed to find a new hobby (OK, not really, but it didn't go anything close to well), I rocked. I guess the one consistent thing about me and golf is that I'm inconsistent.

JonBenet Ramsey - is there anything else going on in the world? Please let's get our media off this subject.

Terrell Owens has yet to do anything in Dallas, except wear a Miami Heat Jeresey to the Dallas Mavericks playoff game. Way to go, Me O! How'd that whole reality show idea pan out anyway?

Boston Red Sox - who?

Mount Vesuvius - now #2 in the Guiness Book under meltdowns...after the Red Sox

Listening to sports talk this local high school football team (and probably others may too, this coach just happened to be interviewed) has a developmental squad...of over 100 aspiring 7th and 8th graders, hoping to catch his eye for next year (or the year after). One of his 14 year olds can squat 600 pounds. I'm not even sure I know what that means, but it just seems wrong. The youngster is 13, and he's nowhere near moving 600 pounds...even if he could just roll it down a hill.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Bubba Burgers

I heard this commercial on the way to work this morning. I've heard it countless times before, but this morning it just sorta hit me.

The commercial is for Bubba Burgers, and the pitch is that they sell them in most of the major stadiums in America, and you can get them in your grocer's freezer. Whoooo Hooooo.

"You mean, I can get a stadium burger at home?"

Yeah, I guess you can. Now, I'm not knocking Bubba Burgers. I've eaten them at Alltel, and the Baseball Grounds of Jacksonville, and for stadium food, they're pretty good. What you get at a stadium should not be your standard for fine cusine, however. Stadium food is not just food. It's part of a whole a hot dog (or Bubba Burger) at a baseball game. The same hot dog in your kitchen doesn't taste quite the same without that game in front of it (and no, having one on TV doesn't compare).

As for burgers, an admitted burger snob. In my mind, there's only one way to make a burger. You get fresh ground beef (no tofurkey or any of that crap) and make the patties by hand. You put whatever you like on them before hand. In our house, that's McCormick's Montreal Steak seasoning and worcestershire sauce, but you do your own thing. You cook them on a grill...a real grill...a charcoal grill. Neither gas or George Foreman count here. While both of those have their merits, both are also a compromise to taste. If you're going there, you might as well go the rest of the way down convenience street. Pack it up and visit Ronald's House of Fine McMeats. Yes, I'm also an admitted charcoal grill snob. In all honesty, a gas grill is an OK compromise between a real burger and McDonalds, but it is a compromise. Back to the burger at hand, though. If you want cheese, it goes on seconds before the burgers come off that grill. For pure taste, no stadium burger, Bubba or otherwise, holds a candle.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

America Loves Hillary

The liberal media machine is up and running, preparing for the next Presidential election.

I saw this little video thru Yahoo. It's an ABC News story parroting a New York Times poll that says 53% of those polled have a favorable impression of Hillary Clinton. It comes with a huge caption that says 'America Loves Hillary.' I have a sneaking suspicion the other 47% were the people they polled outside the New York Times offices. Who are they trying to convince? You can bet your sweet ass they didn't ask me. You can also bet your sweet ass even when Dubya's approval rating was well over 50%, you'd never see a graphic on ABC News that said, "America Loves George," but that's another story...sort of. Well no...that's not even sort of true. It's really part of the same story.

You people don't learn, do you? They say the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. You do this inbred New York Times poll (again), air it on your liberal news (again), and convince yourselves that someone like Hillary can be elected President (again), and then act shocked when it doesn't happen (again). Then we get to hear some guy in the background yell 'SHIT!' when the talking head covering the election announces the Republicans carried another state in a live broadcast (again). I know people are counting on the fact that Dubya has put off a lot of people, but here's a newsflash for ya....Dubya ain't running. If you act like this thing is a slam dunk, and you can shove anything that isn't George Bush down our throats, you may be making your biggest mistake of the next four years. She could look a whole lot like George McGovern and for you guys (and actually, for me, too), that's not a good thing. For Hillary, personally, it'd be an improvement. I'm not necessarily against you. I really want to take the Democratic Party seriously and look to you for a viable option, but if she's your poster child...yeah, you lost me. Here's an easy way for you folks in the New York Times offices to understand how much I, and people like me, can't stand Hillary Clinton. Think of how you now feel about George W. Bush. Is there any way in hell you'd ever vote for him, no matter what he says or does? Didn't think so.

Here's my conspiracy theory take on that whole story. Someone figured out that if Hillary runs, she will get the Democratic nomination because she has that much influence in the party, regardless of her ability to win the election. They also realize she's going to run. They can't stop her. Therefore, it now becomes imperitive to make her palatable to the American public, so crank up the propaganda machine and...

America Loves Hillary!

Believe it or not, I want a choice. I want to listen to what people have to say, and think about who I'll vote for, and weigh their stands on various issues and make a decision that is based there. She opens her mouth and it's like nails on a chalkboard to me. The New York Times wants me to think I'm in the minority, and maybe they're right, but I doubt it. If I actually listen to her, I try to find fault with everything she says....and I don't have much trouble doing it. I hate the idea of voting for what I consider, the least offensive alternative. Stick that smug bitch up there as the Democratic nominee though, and you've turned my vote into a no-brainer...and I hate that possibility.


I am fortunate enough to get to hang in a skybox this weekend for the Jaguars/Bucs preseason game. I've had this opportunity once before and to be honest, prefer sitting out in the crowd. It has its advantages. Free beer, some food spread thing, air conditioning, a roof over your head if it rains and free beer. The tickets usually come with an up close and personal parking pass, too, but I haven't seen them yet and would hate to presume, but that thing is gold if I get one. Beyond that though, you feel detached in the you aren't really at the game. You can't yell, because you're in a room and the sound reverberates, and pisses off the other people there, watching other games on the dish or talking in the back of the room. It's an awful lot like watching the game in your living room, except the screen's smaller and the beer isn't free at home. The couch is more comfy at home though, and the parking pass...really is up close and personal.

Still, it's the skybox..and though I have been once before, the youngster never has, so he's looking forward to saying he's been there. I gave the wife first crack, but she's not all that interested. That's about all there really is to it, though. You get to say you've been there. Beyond that, if you already have one of those humongous screen TV's or know someone who does, the same experience can cost you about $30 in your or a friend's living room...for beer and munchies...slightly more if you want steak for munchies.

Then there's the other factor. The skybox during this particular Jaguars preseason is a bit like having a front row big screen TV view of a train wreck....but I'm hoping this time, Superman gets there in the nick of time, everybody lives and the story has a happy ending.

ps. We're starting well. Got the tickets and they do include a parking pass, right next to the stadium.

Monday, August 21, 2006

well, we got something going for us

I came away from Saturday night's Jaguar game with only two real thoughts.

At least nobody's getting a huge head thinking we're good and all. There's no way you could come away from that performance thinking all's well.

There are some people in Carolina who really need a life, yet have money. From the looks of things two rows behind me, 5 guys (and one girlfriend, wife, significant other, sister, cousin, all of the above...I'm not sure what it was) road tripped all the way to Jacksonville for their first beer. How do you get that loud, obnoxious and downright ugly over a preseason game? As for the female, I don't know where you find spandex Panther uniform pants that big, but I don't think they're supposed to let the fat roll like that. Aren't they supposed to kinda hold it in? That was just wrong. I know I know...this sample of 'humanity' isn't indigenous to Carolina alone. They, or people like them can be found just about anywhere. They just happened to be the lovely sample behind me, representing the Panther nation, taking the term 'asshole' and making it their own.

Friday, August 18, 2006

my dad, my...friend?

My dad is a sucker for forwarding e-mails. I know, there are plenty of people like him, who forward on every joke, or inspirational message, or whatever that comes along. Oh to be retired, and have nothing more pressing to do. I think I could come up with better options, though.

So today I get this thing with a subject line that asks if I'm your friend. Immediately I'm reaching for the delete button, because...that's a spam subject line if ever there was one, but's from dad. So, being the glutton for punishment that I am, I open it.

It's a "friendship ball", and I'm supposed to forward it on to 10 of my friends, further clogging the e-mail system, and send it back to him to say I'm his friend.

This is my dad, fer cryin' out loud. No, I didn't forward it to 10 of my friends. I'd rather they stay my friends and that wouldn't help matters. Nor, however, did I respond to him. So I'm my not responding, is he really taking it personally? Does he think I've disowned him or something? I'm thinking not, but if that's the case, why the inane e-mail in the first place, and how much would he ever really read into it, whether I respond or not?

Things to think about when your brain is fried on a Friday afternoon, and you really need a weekend.

all tied up...revisited

Earlier this week I blogged about the church/dress code/tie requirements at the youngster's school. It turned out they didn't have church on the first day of school. He was one of about 4 boys in his class who came dressed for it anyway.

It was with this knowledge that we were off this morning in the daily car pool ritual. Among my charges is a 7th grade boy, who came running out more-or-less dressed. He had on his shirt and pants, but was carrying his belt and tie.

So the youngster asked him, why the button down shirt and tie.

"We have Mass today. Where's your tie?"

The youngster looked at me, in his polo shirt (the usual daily uniform), he eyes pleading for me to believe him, but at the same time, trying to convince himself. You could see the wheels turning in his head, trying to think of anything he may have missed.

"Dad, nobody said anything about church today. I've been paying attention and I don't remember Ms. Teacher saying anything about it."

If you've been reading here for long, you know we struggle with ADD, and the youngster is notorious for this sort of thing. We had discussions before this school year started, and all resolved to do better and help him do better this year.

He was looking forlorn, and rationalizing..."Well, it'll only happen this once. I haven't done this in a long time. You only get in trouble if you always forget, and some kids do. I shouldn't get in trouble."

From the back...the sing-song-y taunt. "Ooooohhhh, you're in troooouuuuuuublllllllle."

The back and forth went on for most of the 20 minute trip.

So we drive up to school and the youngster gets this huge smile on his face. There's only one kid in the immediate area sporting a tie, and he's in my back seat.

right in the...well...lumberyard

Golf is such an up and down game, or at least for me it is.

I was starting to play...better. I won't say good, or well, because I've never played well. I've seen people who play well, and I'm not in their league. But the last few week at the range and playing Thursday nights after work, I've been encouraged. Things have been looking up.

Then came last night, and I couldn't do anything right. Nobody in our group could, so we didn't score all that well, but's amazing how it can all just fall apart. I guess that's why you keep trying, because you see the potential, and when it all goes to shit, you think...need to practice. I can do this. I've seen me do this. Just a bit of a blow to the confidence, but I'll get it back.

In the end, between bad golf and going home and being inundated with JonBenet Ramsey on, however bad, will win every time.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

JonBenet Ramsey

Shame on you, American media, for condemning this poor girl's parents, with no evidence and nobody's word but an inept police department. Shame on you for being their judge, jury and executioner. It was actually funny last night, watching the national backpedal as the news came out that an arrest was made. You couldn't channel surf for three seconds last night without being bombarded with excuses about why "we all" thought they were guilty. Now, we find out that John and Patsy Ramsey, who had to deal with the loss of their little daughter and a national media hellbent on blaming them for her death, just might be innocent. Ooops! Oh, by the way, so might the guy they arrested (even though I understand he confessed, he also said it was an accident, and I can't fathom 'accidentally' beating and strangling a child, so who knows). He deserves a fair trial, too.

Now if we can just help O.J. find Nicole's "real killer"...

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

all tied up, with some place to go

Another milestone in the youngster's life came to pass this morning. I just don't know if, in the long run, it's a good thing.

The youngster started 8th grade this morning at his little Catholic school. On Wednesdays they attend Mass, and the boys, from 5th grade up, wear a shirt and tie to Mass. For the vast majority of them, these ties are clip ons, or some variation thereof, but they aren't ties you actually have to tie. Well, this year the youngster decided to wear a real tie. This year, school starts on a Wednesday. He spent some time over the last week practicing with it and today, for the first time in his life, he's wearing a real tie, that he tied, in public. Yeah, he's feelin' all growed up.

Little does he know, that noose will be around his neck for a long time to come. I guess it's a lot like the first time you mow your yard. You get 10 minutes of pride in what you accomplished, followed by 50 years of....oh shit, now what have I done?

Monday, August 14, 2006


I haven't seen the movie Barnyard, but I have seen the previews. It looks cute and all, but I have an issue.

I'm pretty much a city boy, OK? I lived on a farm once in my life. My dad was in the Air Force and we spent a few years in Germany in the early 60's. While waiting for base housing to open up, we lived in the attic of a farmhouse with a German family. One of the few memories I have is of being on the wrong end of a cow with diarrhea when I was about three years old. I didn't say it was a pleasant memory. It points up my farming prowess though, which is non-existent.

Most of my 'cow' expertise comes from one of two grill, or my plate...but, even I know a cow is female. There are no 'boy' cows, with udders and the like. Boy cows are bulls...with bullhorns and bullshit. I know seahorses are kinda weird in that the male has babies, but males of a bovine persuasion are not equipped to give milk. The movie is chock full of cows...'boy' cows (not to be confused with cowboys, which do exist)..with deep 'boy' cow voices and mommy and daddy cows and...udders, like for milking...what's up with all that? Let's just confuse the hell outa some kiddies.

the preseason begins

I hate being a pessimist..I really do. I don't know what else to be after watching the Jaguars play Miami Saturday night though. I saw a lot of things to get excited about, and like, but I saw one glaring offensive flaw.

When our first string played their first string, we were on the losing end of the stick. Our offense was ineffective and our defense wasn't all that stifling. People want to say, "Well, it's the first preseason game, and you'll have this and that and excuse after excuse." It was Miami's first preseason game too. Their offense seemed to start off well. It didn't seem to need too many excuses. I can't say much about their defense, because I think our offense pretty much beat itself. Fred Taylor danced waiting for a hole to open. When it didn't, he lost yards. Matt Jones and Earnest Wilford dropped passes. Byron looked decent, but he got no help. Marcedes Lewis, the first round draft pick who's supposed to help the passing game left on a cart with a high ankle sprain.

Yeah, our backups and scrubs who won't make the team came in and won the game, but that doesn't matter much. Our starters have a long way to go...and they'd better move in that direction or it'll be a long season.

Friday, August 11, 2006

World Series of Poker

Some guy just won big bucks in the World Series of Poker. Woooo hooooo. He did it because he was a There's a necessary quality in all athletes. I can see Mel Kiper evaluating talent for the 2007 draft with lines like, "He's got 4.8 speed and needs to work on his route running. He drops a lot of passes, but he's a first round lock! Did you see him in Cats?!?"

That story is listed under Yahoo sports. I have a problem with that. Maybe it's my disdain for gambling in general shining through, but this is crazy. a sport, now. I guess if you stick the label "World Series" in front of it and ESPN covers it, that makes it a sport. (ESPN said it, it's gotta be true, man!) If anything did major damage to my definition of a sport, this would be it. All of a sudden, golf and bowling are looking downright strenuous. I still believe if you can compete in anything while smoking a cigrarette and drinking a beer, what you're doing is not a sport. On a competitve level, I will grant you that not many golf or bowl while drinking beer or smoking, but a few do, and recreational golfers and bowlers do all the time. Poker though, is made for alcohol on some level and cigars. They are almost a requirement. It's a couch potato's dream. Poker, a sport? No freakin' way! I mean, what's next..the World Series of Parcheesi? Jacks?

Thursday, August 10, 2006

can anyone explain this to me?

How does anyone consider themselves to be religious, and acting in concert with their beliefs, and condone the mass murder of people on an airplane....or running airplanes into skyscrapers....or murder in general, in the name of their beliefs? There are many reasons people kill people, and not many, if any, are very good. To do it because of your religious beliefs though, and to make a point of killing as many as does anyone justify that?

walkin' the walk

WARNING: golf post to follow

I started playing golf (or something resembling it) about 10 years ago when I started my current job. It involves golf, and the people I work for, and with, thought it'd be a good idea to learn, so they made it a cheap and easy thing to do, and I had no objections.

Since then, I've played, occasionally, but never enough to be very good. I'm comfortable with where I am, ability-wise. I have fun, but I'm not going to 'wow' anybody. I've also said before in this blog that I enjoy golf, but have a hard time calling it a sport. It's a great activity, but calls for about as much physical exersion as bowling, which I also have trouble considering a sport. Any activity where you can compete and have a beer and cigarette while doing so...I'm sorry, I don't get past that easily. Since then, every golfing experience I had also included a cart...until yesterday.

Last night, after work, I walked 9 holes in 90° heat with my bag on my back. It was a blast! I enjoyed myself and got some exercise, and even played half decent. I did sweat my butt off, too. Am I ready to call golf a sport? No, not yet. I'm ready to call hiking a sport, made more difficult if you're humping a bag of clubs. Playing golf while doing that is still an activity. I will call it fun though. It's a great way to get some exercise. I'll definitely do it again.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

babe a day

This post won't make much sense after today, because babe a day changes, but....

Look over there. To the right and down a bit. See babe a day? She's cute and all, and it's a very flirty, suggestive pose. Now click on her so you see the bigger version. What's up with those toes? Does she have any? Her feet look more like horse hooves.

ps. Props to the Painter Lady, for showing me the error of not looking close. Apparently there are black shoes in that picture. Yes, I do realize there's something not quite right when I'm looking at a picture of a very attractive woman suggestively kicking off her panties, and I notice that it looks like her toes are missing, and miss the black shoes.

Thanks Maurice!

It doesn't say it in this article, but may in updates. Apparently Maurice Clarett once again got in trouble with the law last night. The one time star running back for the Ohio State Buckeyes, one time Denver Broncos washout and recent signee of the Youngstown Hitmen, was stopped for making an illegal U-turn, and made a break for it. When the cops finally caught up with him, he had a small arsenal, an open bottle of Vodka, a hatchet and a few other things. Still not willing to give in, police tasered him. The taser didn't do any good though, because Maurice was wearing a bullet proof vest.

I didn't know. My trusty bullet proof vest is also good against a taser. Thanks, Maurice, for saving me the money of going out and buying a taser proof one.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

just a reminder from Ferris

Life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around once in awhile, you could miss it.

dopes on bikes

Sounds like a movie, doesn't it? Can't be any worse than Snakes on a Plane.

I have no idea if Floyd Landis is innocent or guilty, but I don't think the media circus that is the judge, jury and executioner, since nobody else seems to be in charge, is proving anything. You gotta hard is it to run a bike race? I don't know how many agendas, governing bodies, rumors and innuendos are swirling around this thing. I don't doubt that one of those agendas is Floyd's. It just seems like there's a lot more going on here than just a bike race through France.

All you people just keep dragging this thing through the muck, till the few people who cared, stop...and nobody gives a shit. This thing needs to end. Floyd, if you're guilty, sack up and admit it and be done with it. If you're not, whoever is behind the framing thing, just stop, before the hand that feeds all of you is nuthin' but a stub.

our cable/internet company

Five years ago, we were building our current (and if I have my way, last) house. One of the selling points (granted, not a huge one, but one nonetheless) was the community was going to have its own cable/internet company. We were going to have fiber optic cable running through the whole neighborhood and blazing fast internet, and state of the art cable service from a small company on the cutting edge. If you can imagine it, we were going to have it.

Well, it turns out the theory of fiber is apparently better than the practice, especially in an area that sees a lot of lightning. Replacing all that fiber with something that actually works ran the small company into bankrupcy and the holding company is great at saying, "No, we're way too small to provide (insert whatever cool service other cable companies have provided for years now here)." So, no high definition, no on-demand service, no spam or spyware filters, and yeah they say they can make the internet faster (which it was supposed to be to start with), but for a price...above and beyond what you're already paying, and no competition, because they get their fees paid our of our homeowners fees. Sure, you can get something else (like satellite service), but you're still paying these guys. Across the street to the north, in Jacksonville, Comcast (which we can't get) is providing all that stuff. Isn't that special.

Imagine my surprise when we got an e-mail last week saying they were upgrading their e-mail system and actually putting in some spam/spyware control. Yeah, the service would be out in the wee hours of Monday morning, but hey...we were leaping into the new decade! That excitement lasted till last night, when I actually tried to get into my e-mail account...and couldn't. It seems it wanted the passwords for all our accounts, and I entered them...but the server wouldn't accept them. I called the company and got a machine. No, much to my chagrin, not much has changed.

Monday, August 07, 2006

hope springs eternal....or maybe somewhat less than eternal

The youngster, his buddy and I went to the Jaguars scrimmage Friday night, and my unbridled optimism got...well, bridled. I've been listening to the reporters talk about training camp, and listening to the coaches in interviews, and we're finally supposed to have an offense to go with that defense. I went. I looked. I looked some more. I looked on the field. I looked under my seat. I couldn't find it.

True, it was a scrimmage at the end of the first week of training camp. True, Matt Jones sat out. True, we have a great defense, and it's hard to make big plays against them. True, the offense takes longer to get in sync in training camp than the defense. All that said, though, I gotta wonder....what have these people been seeing that I totally missed Friday night? What promising signs to they see that I missed in a blown screen Byron or David Garrard not completing a single pass and going three and out in their first series of plays (while Quinn Gray, third stringer threw a touchdown pass in his first - scrubs against scrubs)? Coming out of that thing, the TV guys are saying "Don't read too much into what you saw Friday night." I can understand the reasons (or excuses, depending on your point of view) why it didn't look so good. The question is, why the spin effort? I find myself wondering, what did you see in the preceeding practices that made you tell me life was getting so much better, offensively? Where did you see something that did look like things were improving? Can you show me where to look? What made you tell me Byron's looking so much better, because I gotta tell ya, I missed that completely on Friday night. What made you tell me Fred Taylor is running like a man possessed? Friday night, he looked like the same old man, dancing, hoping for a hole to open instead of making one open. I want to believe, but my eyes keep telling me something isn't quite right here. There were bright spots. Maurice Jones-Drew and Greg Jones were running like men possessed, but overall, why am I not seeing what you guys are seeing?

Jack Del Rio said he looked at the tape and was encouraged, because that screen pass was just a half a step from being something big, and lots of other things were "this close" to being big plays. Well Jack, people at the bottom of their division look at tape and see most of their plays being a half a step from being something big. In the NFL, that half a step separates a Lombardi trophy from the first pick in next year's draft. That doesn't bode well for me.

No, I'm not ready to trash a season based on a scrimmage at the end of the first week of training camp, and I'm still optimistic, but I'm getting the idea someone's blowing sunshine up my ass. I just don't know why. We'll see. We still have all the preseason games to look better before this stuff starts counting....for whatever it counts for.

Friday, August 04, 2006

stemming the cell stupidity

Yeah, George vetoed the legislation calling for federal funding of stem cell research, essentially bringing it to a screeching halt, and sucking the hope for a cure from countless suffering, disease riddled Americans. What an idiot.

That's the take you'll hear on our liberal network news, and parroted by all the folks out there who take everything they say as Gospel. I don't blame those people. They were brought up believing the network news folks gave us the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth, and they're steadfastly sticking with it. "Katie Couric said it on TV. It's gotta be true, man." (And Katie, the American Studies major in college, knows her stem cells.)

The problem is, it's bullshit. Stem cell research is alive and well, and has nothing to do with George Bush, or the federal government, or its money, as it should be. Keep the political scientists' noses out of the real science arena...on both sides of the floor.

Dubya vetoed legislation funding embryonic stem cell research. That isn't the only kind there is, and adult stem cell research is making strides for which embryonic stem cell research is only promising potential. The benefit embryonic stem cells potentially have over adult stem cells is that they haven't specialized into a certain tissue type yet, so potentially they could be made to specialize the way researchers want them to. Potentially. Nobody's actually done it yet.

Adult stem cell research is alive and well. The reason adult stem cell research funding hasn't been vetoed by Dubya is because nobody's asking for it. Real investors see what's being done with it and are standing in line to be part of it. It's getting results without federal dollars. There are reports of successful treatment of Crohn's disease with adult stem cells, and the future looks bright for far more. Embryonic stem cells are still brimming with potential, yet haven't done squat. If they had, nobody would be at the federal trough with their tongue hanging out. Investors, seeing what the possibilities are, would be jumping over each other to get in on the action.

This science stuff is really cool, until it doesn't support the liberal agenda. When it stops doing that, it needs to be ignored or swept under the rug. Adult stem cell research doesn't make a case for reusing the tissue of dead aborted babies to save lives, thus somehow morbidly justifying the reality of dead aborted babies, so Katie Couric isn't trumpeting its cause. Nobody's trotting out those expert scientist celebrities like Nancy Regan or Christopher Reeve (may he rest in peace) to plead for it. We just hear about how ignorant, uncaring Dubya stopped stem cell research, and how there is no liberal bias in the news. Riiiight. You go Katie!

the fun of watching in person

Last summer, the youngster and I went to a night scrimmage at Alltel during training camp. I'll remember it as the night I became a Chad Owens fan. We watched, and the youngster asked me, "Who's the real little guy?" There was one guy, lined up at wide receiver, who was noticably shorter than everyone else, especially if he lined up in the vicinity of Matt Jones.

"That's Chad Owens. They drafted him to catch punts, but he was a receiver at Hawaii, and they think he could be one here."

The guy was phenomenal. He was quick. He caught everything thrown his way. He was the little engine that could. Then came the regular season and his debut in Indianapolis as the punt return guy, where he muffed...I wanna say...five of them. It was pretty ugly. Out came the hook. He was buried in the practice squad the rest of the season, never to be mentioned again...until now.

Tonight is this year's version of that scrimmage. Chad is once again in the mix, and I'm hoping the little guy pulls it together. Matt Jones won't play, nursing a sprained ankle. Byron is supposed to be looking leaner, meaner and better (and maybe a little less like Gary Coleman), and we might have someone who can play corner (one of the many Williams's) opposite Mathis. The youngster and I will be in the stands, with a buddy of his spending the night...or that's the plan. We'll see what happens, but I'm getting excited.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

No, I'm not holding my breath, but I am getting my teeth scraped....

Yesterday morning I went to the dentist for my semi-annual cleaning visit. I'm not real keen on the teeth scraping exercise, but I see it as a necessary evil if I want to keep them working for a long time.

I'm not real smart about my dentist. He (like me) is from Pennsylvania. He (unlike me) went to Pitt dental school. He (unlike me) is a rabid Steeler fan. I make a habit of reminding him of how the Jaguars seem to manhandle his Steelers more often than not when the two meet. He sticks some sharp thing in my mouth and reminds me who won the Super Bowl this year. Chalk one up for him. Still, I have a Jaguar tie I'll wear next time we meet, which will be after this year's Monday night game, where I really like our far. Then I'll again brace for the sharp thing in my mouth.

In any case, the conversation (as much as there is one when he's shoving sharp things in my mouth) again turned to the upcoming football season. He expressed his optimism about Pittsburgh's chances to repeat as league champions. I expressed my pain and told him to watch what he does with the sharp thing. No, seriously, I expressed my optimism about the local boys, to which he replied, "Yeah, don't hold your breath."

No, I'm not holding my breath, but I am very optimistic. I think we have a chance at a pretty special season if people can stay healthy. Apparently I'm not alone. Things are looking up and while a lot of it is based on the dreaded "potential" word, and the schedule this year is brutal, I'm telling you with a straight face...J'ville just might be playing next February. You heard it here last.

stupid people strike again

There are stupid people all over the Mel Gibson thing, starting with Mel but not ending with whoever it is on T.V. saying he needs to pay for his anti-Semitism, and accusing "somebody" of "covering it up". For those of you who have been off-planet the last week or so, Mel got pulled over for doing 85+ mph through Malibu, drunk and had a few choice anit-Semitic remarks for the arresting officer. I don't know if Mel has a thing against Jewish people. My opinion is he does, because stuff you say when you're drunk doesn't come from a black hole. It's not like some spin-off of touretts syndrome where stuff just pops out of your mouth. Something spawned it. That's just my opinion and for the record, I've been wrong once or twice before. My point is that the bottom line is Mel did other stupid things that night, starting with flying his Lexus through Malibu, drunk. That's the stupid thing he did that is against the law and that he will pay for. Calling one of the arresting officers "Sugar Tits" probably didn't get him any brownie points either. He may pay for his other views in the court of public opinion (a la the Dixie Chicks), but you can't charge him for not liking somebody, or for thinking their tits are sweet, whether he does or not. Having something against Jewish people is stupid, but last time I checked, stupidity, in and of itself, isn't a crime. If it was, we probably all be serving a little time. I don't know how someone gets up and says, "Oh, and he's an anti-Semite. Tack on a few years of prision time." Shades of the thought police in 1984. (doing my best Ty Webb...) Ahh, Danny, this isn't 1984. Is this 1984? This isn't 1984, is it? Anyway, maybe less people idolize the guy, but in the end, that's not such a bad thing. Too much of that goes on in Hollywood anyway. Maybe less people go see his movies, and that's neither good or bad in my opinion. It just is, or may be, or whatever. I think his apologies are sincere. I think he's sorry for what he said. I don't know what he actually believes, but does it really matter? Should we really care? What is there to cover up? The jury's already back on the stupidity thing. Drunk driving took care of that.

I don't know if Mel Gibson is a bigot or not, but I know this. Being a bigot is stupid, shows ignorance, and is a just plain ugly trait in a human being, but it isn't punishable by law. Debating whether he is or not, or if there is a "coverup" is a waste of time. If you're doing it, your mind is already made up. If people want to boycott him, or whatever, because of what they think he thinks, that's their prerogative.

Then on a smaller stage, there's Rhett Bomar, now ex-quarterback for the Oklahoma Sooners. I have one tip for you, Rhett. When taking money in violation of NCAA rules as a college athlete, don't tell anybody, and get it in cash. Don't take checks and definitely don't send invoices for it. Don't report the income to the IRS. Keep the paper trail to a minimum. Your career will go a lot smoother. The rest of the Big 12 has to be snickering.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

all I want is..well, all I want

The wife has been asking when she gets to drive the rolling video game. I haven't made any conscious decisions that would preclude that possibility, but haven't made getting her behind the wheel a priority either, until last night....and that was just because it fit into my plans. I wanted to go to the mall, to a store I knew specialized in Jaguar stuff, in search of the license plate frame I was unsuccesful in finding at lunch yesterday.

All I want is a metal frame, with Jacksonville across the top and Jaguars across the bottom, that fits around my car tag. I've seen them before for lots of teams. I want one with mine.

So, I talked her into chauffering me to the mall, thus getting past that "When do I get to drive it?" thing and hit the store. Yes, this one actually exists and hasn't been supplanted by an adult toy store. They have Jaguars on just about anything you can imagine, and stuff from other teams as well. I found the car tag frames and...Philadelphia Eagles, Dallas Cowboys, Pittsburgh Steelers, and a few others, all metal, all exactly what I want until I get to the Jaguars one. Plastic, ands it says, Jacksonville....Big Cat City.

Plastic...cheesey plastic and "Big Cat City." What's up with that? Why can't it say "Jaguars?" I kept looking and found a metal one but again..."Big Cat City," so I left...without what I want.

I got home and scoured the net, thinking someone has to have what I want. I checked e-bay, and every sports store known to Google. I came close with some package of a bunch of stuff that included a frame, but it looked plastic and I didn't want all the baggage that went with it. At one store I saw where they had what I want for every team except the Jaguars, with a little asterisked thing saying there are licensing issues with the Jaguars. Gotta wonder why that is. What marketing genius found a way to not make money on the team name?

So I'm guessing I'm not going to get what I want. Not that big a deal. It certainly isn't the first time. I guess I'll just take the frame off that advertises a car dealership, and let my plate go naked.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006


When I bought the rolling video game, it came with a little frame around the license plate proudly advertising the place where I bought it. That frame is still surrounding my license plate. I'm not that happy with the fact that I'm advertising that place, and thought I might advertise something else, like my favorite football team.

I know from past experience that there's a store at the beach, Jagmania, that specializes in all things Jaguar. I heard a rumor that they'd moved, but were still at the beach, so I did the thing and found an address. Sure enough, at the beach but not where they used to be, so I figured I'm set. At lunch, I got in the rolling video game and headed for said establishment. When I got there, the number on the address was right but it was no longer Jagmania. The name on the store was Adam and Eve and while it specializes in things of a feline nature, Jaguars aren't the felines in question. Further investigation (looking at the Jagmania website) has shown that they have moved again since was last updated, and pretty far from the I'll get what I want eventually, but it won't be a lunch break mission.

comedies, and who put that list together anyway?

A few weeks ago, channel surfing, we came across Bravo, airing a self-promoting show on part of what it called the 100 funnies, ever. While I won't debate the list itself, it's clear whoever compiled it hasn't seen a movie made before about 1960. The Marx Brothers, for one (or is it four), are conspicuously and completely absent.

What it did was remind me of a few very funny movies, and make me wonder about a few I haven't seen. Because of that list, we went out and bought Ferris Bueller's Day Off, and watched it a few times. I always liked Ferris, but the youngster hadn't seen him, and I could justify the purchase because we will watch it more than once. One I hadn't seen was the last movie on the list, Anchorman. I had only seen one other Will Farrell movie. A few years ago I took the youngster and some of his buddies to see one for his birthday, Kicking and Screaming. By coincidence, that was also the name of the flick. Honestly, I've taken the youngster to other movies I didn't like all that much. The Pokemon movie comes immediately to mind. That one, I knew going in I was suffering through. I was doing it for my kid. Kicking and Screaming, though, was OK, but it wasn't something I'd go see again, or even rent to see again. So here was Anchorman, which the youngster had seen before and gave a glowing review, so I figured why not? It is after all, supposedly the 100th funniest movie ever. We were on our way to Blockbuster when we ran into a neighbor who owned it, so he let us borrow it. I have come to the conclusion that I'm not that much of a Will Farrell fan. I came away thinking, I gotta be missing....something, because I'm just not getting it. Again, the movie was...OK, but certainly not one of the 100 funniest ever made. It's not something I'd ever rent to see again. It had its moments, but that's about all they were...moments. I was seriously underwhelmed. The best character was not Will Farrell's Ron Burgundy, but Steve Carell's Brick, and that's not saying a helluva lot. I guess I just expected more from the 100th funniest movie ever made. At least the youngster liked it. Maybe it's just that I'm not 13 anymore.

On the flip side, I have seen the previews for Talladega Nights. That looks like a hilarious movie, so the jury's still out...sorta.