Monday, March 31, 2008

no Toto, we're not in Kansas anymore

I really didn't expect anything except what happened to my Wildcats. I mean, we were a twelve seed, very lucky to even be in the NCAA tournament. The fact that we got to the Sweet 16 was more than I hoped for (when I seriously expected our showing to be one and done), and I knew we were way overmatched playing Kansas. Of course I had hope...but not much else.

We were out Friday night and I sorta watched the game. I would have been more attentive if it had been the least bit close, but I can say I wasn't all that upset by the loss....not even the fact that we pretty much got our doors blown off. Of course, I hated to see the run end, but it was going to regardless of what I wanted. With pretty much everybody back, we'll be better next year.

As for Stephen Curry from Davidson...the tournament was his coming out party. They may have lost to Kansas, but that kid's special, and I loved watching him play. The basketball world hasn't heard the last of him.


Friday, March 28, 2008

Hello Kansas

Not much else to say except...go Wildcats!


Thursday, March 27, 2008

I have to be missing something

I went to some website and this ad showed up along the border and it read...

"Someone in your friends list likes you."

Uuuummmmm....isn't that why you call it a 'friends' list? Isnt that what friends do?


but, you're one of those people who like Bush

Oh, the places I could go with that statement, but we're talking Dubya here.

I talked to my mom last night. My parents live in Pennsylvania, and my mom, many years ago, registered Republican because it would supposedly help my dad get a better job with the state. I don't know how party affiliation and state jobs are connected, or were 40 years ago, but that was the story I got. Anyway, philosophically, my mom is anything but Republican, and it took until now, for her to change that party affiliation so she could vote in the upcoming Pennsylvania primary, where she told me she'll be supporting Obama. OK, good for her that she'll get out and make her voice heard. I don't agree with her choice, but that's another matter.....or maybe the matter with this post.

You see, somewhere in that conversation, she said, "But, you're one of those people who like Bush." And she said it that way too...with very heavy, almost scornful accent on the word "like". She has a great dislike for the man, the myth, the President. But no matter how many times I tell her, I don't know if it'll ever sink in.

No, I don't like George Dubya Bush, and I tire of defending a man I don't think is all that great. I don't see myself ever inviting the man over for a beer. I don't like politicians in general, and he fits the category. I don't trust them any farther than I could stab them...repeatedly...with a very sharp butcher knife. I don't think he's particularly bright, and I think he's smug to the point of being annoying, even to the point where you just wanna slap that smirk off his face. I do think he's a man of integrity, and that might be his singular redeeming feature. I think he's a better man than the kept man, John Kerry-Heinz, or the founder of the internet, Al Gore, and that's why I voted for him. Just because a man is less scummy than two other men though, doesn't make him my buddy. I think some of his decisions were the correct ones. I think we needed to go to Iraq and end the Saddam shell game with weapons inspectors, even as much as that move has cost, and will cost before it's all said and done. I think if Al Gore had been President when 9/11 happened, we would have apologized profusely to the Muslim people for making their lives so miserable that they felt compelled to carry out such an attack, and asked what we could do to make it up to them...and I'm not joking...well, not much anyway. That's about what I would have expected from him. It's about what I would expect from Barak Obama, too. I hate war. I hate it to the point where I don't know that "hate" is a strong enough word. I hate what it does to the families of those who don't survive it (not to mention the men and women who don't survive it), and what it does to the people who do, and their families. I've lived it...not to the point John McCain has, but I have lived it, and it's ugly...and I don't wish it on anybody. I have memories of it, and not very many are happy. It is, however, sometimes necessary.

So no, I don't like George Bush, but I have some respect for him. I have more respect for him than I do the two men he ran against (even if that's setting the bar so low it's scraping the ground). I think he tries to do what's best for the country (even if he doesn't always know how), regardless of what that does to popular opinion polls about him, and I find honor in that. I think history will be kinder to him than current day CNN, but he won't be one of the great American Presidents, by any stretch. I won't be sorry to see him go, but today, given the same choices I had in either of the last two elections, I'd still vote for him.


Wednesday, March 26, 2008

tempests in teapots

It was another gym night last night, so i watched a little of Florida beating Arizona Sate for a trip to New York and the N.I.T. final four...and political crap.

Way too much is being made of Obama and his pastor...or ex-pastor...or whatever, Rev. Wright. If the guy was being considered as a running mate, or maybe a future cabinet position, I could see scrutinizing or criticizing his political views, but damn...he's a pastor. I care about what he says about his relationship with God. I don't give a damn about his politics. I belong to a church. That church has had two pastors and 2 assistant pastors in the 7 years I've attended...and there may be more. I don't agree with everything those men have said, but none of them will make me leave my church. Those guys are stewards. They don't own the place. I do. My pastor(s) give me plenty to think about, but they don't affect my politics. Leave the pastor thing out of it all.

Next we went to the polls, where 56% of those questioned thought the pastor issue would affect their ability to vote for Obama in November, which could be a serious blow to his elect-ability. Again with the polls...the same polls that gave this same senator a snowball's chance in hell eight months ago. By November, they'll change again. Who cares?

Now, after that rant, you may be inclined to think I support Senator Obama. Nothing could be farther from the truth. After listening to him speak on many issues, he and I don't see eye to eye on very much, and I doubt I could endorse him for President. I just think the opinions of his pastor are inconsequential.

Next lets move on to the new governor of New York...who apparently admitted to illegal drug use in his youth. No, I don't condone that, but really,'s a non-issue. I did a lot of stupid shit when I was in college...and the years immediately after. I wish I could give you specifics, but I don't recall most of those. In some cases, I consider myself lucky that my actions weren't witnessed by law enforcement officials. That was about 30 years ago, and I'd like to think I've done a lot of growing up in those 30 years. I'm not at all the same person I was back then. OK, some things don't change, but a lot has. I'm not saying I'd make a great governor, but I think my abilities in the area of judgement, and reasoning, and evaluation have grown with experience. If a guy did something stupid in the 70's, how relevant is 2008? Does it have any effect on his ability to govern a state. I don't think so.

I suppose it could have been worse. Dancing With the Stars might have been on the tube.


Tuesday, March 25, 2008

One quick note on basketball

Since I pretty much shot all my great blog topics off yesterday...

Ralph Wiley at was the radio topic of conversation on my drive home. Apparently this guy gave several reasons why the NCAA tournament has lost some of its luster this year and for the average fan, the NBA playoff race was far more entertaining, and has pretty much grabbed the spotlight. His argument goes, if your alma mater isn't still in the tournament, you lost interest already, and the NBA has much more interesting stories.

I don't know. Could someone have gotten into the cheap drugs? Could he be more wrong? I not only disagree. The NBA isn't even a close 10th behind NASCAR in my sports priorities, where golf, hockey, baseball, football, the women's NCAA Tournament, tennis, and soccer, along with the men's NCAA tournament (in no particular order) outdistance them both. Not only that, I'd be willing to et most average fans would tend to agree with me. I came to work yesterday and people who have no normal interest in college hoops were congratulating me on Villanova hanging in the tournament. People are discussing how mangled their bracket is after the weekend. There's no such talk here of...oh, the Celtics, or the Suns, or the Rockets recently ended winning streak. Nobody cares much. You can say it's because we're not an NBA town, and while that's true, we're not a big college basketball town either. If you live in Dallas or Denver, Phoenix or Boston, L.Aaaa...never mind...not even L.A., the NBA might matter more to you, but the rest of the country is yawning over your playoff run, and March Madness is still March Madness, with everything that goes with it...despite Billy Packer and his pompous bahookie. You want interesting stories? The Curry kid from Davidson...or Shack in Phoenix? Kobe or Hansbrough? I mean...c'mon.


Monday, March 24, 2008

what a weekend

First there were happenings inside the Lumberyard household. Like most, if not all, states, Florida doesn't give you a new license plate for your car every year. You get the little annual sticker things that go up in the corner, until they figure you've done that long enough, and tell you it's time for a new plate. Well, it was time for the wife's car to get a new plate. Since I recently got my Share the Road plate, not because the state said it was time for a new one, but because I wanted it, she thought maybe she should have a specialty plate. She didn't want to do the Share the Road thing, because that's my deal. She wanted something that was more "her", or so the story went. She looked at all the choices (and Florida has quite a few) and finally pretty much decided on one that benefits the Florida Heart Research Foundation. I thought, "OK, that's pretty cool." She and the youngster went to the tag office Thursday, and she was getting ready to get the Heart tag, and the youngster intervened....with several "please, please, please" and I don't know what elses...and they came home with....the Gators??? Something more...her? Right. I mean, if you're going to blow off the whole "good cause" thing and go sports, how about at least a team that we support...that we spend money to go to games and the Jaguars? If you insist on going education, how about a school one of us actually attended? I got home from work, and they showed it to me. All I said was..."Your car...whatever. But if it ever becomes my car, that's the first thing to go."

From there we could only go one direction, and we did. I'm sure someone else noticed...after four days of madness, there's only 16 teams still dancin' in the NCAA tournament, and one of them is that little school from main line Philly. Yes, I'm surprised, and I'm smilin'. OK, that means Kansas is next on the schedule and the Wildcats will be monumental underdogs, but hey, I'm drinkin' the kool-aid and anything can happen.

Lastly...I have another song stuck in my head thanks to the folks at Apple. First there was Feist and her 1-2-3-4 i-pod commercial song. Now we have the pretty Feist-y New Soul by Yael Naim which is in the MacBook Air commercial. The video is pretty clever, too. Do I just not listen to enough new music, or do I watch too many commercials...or both?

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Thursday, March 20, 2008

if you need a place to be over Mother's Day weekend

Here's an option. The Players, in beautiful Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida. OK, it helps if you like golf, even if it's just a little. That's not a mandatory thing though. It's about ⅔ party and ⅓ golf tournament, and I might be giving golf more credit than I should. It's an amazing way to spend a few days, and it's about a month and a half away...and you could have a Lumberyard sighting. You'll know it if you're someplace where the paparazzi are swarming around Tiger Woods, or Ernie Els or someone like that, and then..inexplicably (to the uneducated), they desert the famous for the even more famous...because let's be honest. Tiger, Ernie and the paparazzi are huge Lumberyard fans.


Happy Easter!

I'm out for a few days, so the world will be spared it's daily yawn over my musings. See y'all next week.


Wednesday, March 19, 2008

the Wii thing...worth every freakin' penny

So we've had the Wii thing for over a week now, and for the first time I went into a part of Wii Sports called Wii fitness, thinking I might get a little workout out of the thing. I was feeling a bit adventurous.

So it had me play a little tennis, returning shots from some computer person. From there we went to bowling, picking up spares that got progressively more difficult. From there, baseball, trying to hit home runs.

After it was all over, it computed my Wii age...27!

Flattery...even computer generated flattery, will get you everywhere.

(Of course, ignorance is bliss. There's probably some logic in that damn box that says...take the value you compute and, if it's over 30, divide by 2)


I'm shocked...and disappointed

Well, I guess not really...BUT...

The youngster had a project for some class where he was supposed to put together a coat of arms that encompasses several different topics/images....his greatest accomplishment, his favorite food, his favorite sports mascot, his role model...

His role model....shoo in. Right? Moi...right? Could it be anyone else?

I look at the thing, fully expecting to see...Tim Tebow???

I guess it could be worse. At least it wasn't Charlie Manson.

He did tell me this morning that he couldn't put me on there because it wouldn't be "cool", and if he searched the web for pictures of me, and Tim Tebow...he had more choices with Tebow...which I guess is a point. I thought about offering to print a few off of me, but that was just another opportunity to have my ego slammed into the dirt.


it's dancin' time. where are you Arthur Murray?

The huge dance officially started last night with Mount Saint Mary's winning the play in game, but tomorrow is when the real fun starts, and my Villanova Wildcats are a heavy underdog playing Clemson. They ought to be. They made it into the NCAA Tournament by the skin on the skin of their teeth. I thought they had no hope and were a certain NIT player, but here they the big dance and looking for mom to teach 'em that box step thing, because this team of freshmen and sophomores doesn't know how yet. I'm pulling for them. I'm hoping to be surprised, but I'm ready for the disappointment. Then again, I was hoping to be surprised but ready for the disappointment in 1985 too. Once you're in this thing, anything can happen. That's why they call it March Madness.


Tuesday, March 18, 2008

it makes me wonder....

Site Meter tells you how many hits you get on your web page, but it also tells you, by hit, what search criteria was used to get to your page if the person gets there from a search engine...which can be pretty funny.

I'm curious though, because when I went go to Google and typed in "hot naked babes", I got through 4 pages of sometimes hot, never naked, not always babes and still don't see a Lumberyard reference. I wonder how many pages of images you have to get through before you get to a genuine Lumberyard "babe of the day" reference? The quick answer is...more than I have time for.


to vote or not to vote...

Oh, what to do...what to do...

Florida, the state that can't seem to get out of its own way when it comes to voting, is in yet another mess, and this time it's pretty much my party's fault.

Last time we went through this, with the hanging chad incident, the blame fell squarely on the Democrats of West Palm. They run elections down there, and they set up the voting system. The supervisor of elections there is a Democrat, as are most of the officials in the local government. Then when things went awry, they whined about it and said it wasn't fair., and held up the hanging chad. Well, whose fault is that?

This mess now though, belongs to the Republicans. This is an equal opportunity Lumberyard. We like to blame just about everybody. The Republican governor decided to move up Florida's primaries because he thought we were coming along too late in the process to affect who gets the nomination. Both parties balked, but the Democrats balked more. They said, don't do it, or we won't count your votes. He did it anyway, and they held their ground. Nobody made a big stink about it because everyone thought it was Hillary's nomination to lose, and doubted her ability to do that. Oh, ye of little faith. Now the Democrats are in a tight race and those votes could help swing things one way or the other if they counted, but nobody knows what to count or why. There were plans for a re-vote, but the word now is that's been scuttled. Some guy in Tampa is suing the Democratic party because he says he's being deprived of his right to vote. Well, no he's not. He's being deprived of his ability to vote for a candidate from a party who says they don't want his vote. No such conflicting constitutional right exists. Still, none of this mess would be here if we could have just left the primary where it is...or was...or whatever.

In the end, the Republicans will probably gain from all this, a bit unfairly. They moved the primary...which pissed off the Democrats...who are now pissing off their constituency. Only in Florida......


Monday, March 17, 2008

...and just a sliver of Irish

My background by nationality...

half Italian
one quarter Slovenian
one quarter mostly English, but little bits of French and a sliver of Irish

So for my one little o' the mornin' to ya on St. Patty's day.

The funny thing to me is...down here in the deep south...nationality is never discussed. It's not like it's taboo or anything. People are just apathetic about it. If I ask the wife about her nationality, I get a shoulder shrug and...I dunno. It's not something that I can stereotype and say all Southerners think that way, but I do know it's just never talked about much..or it is in the northeast...or north in general. I remember when we lived in upper Michigan, the predominant nationality where we were was Finnish, and other places had small enclaves by nationality. Heck, Steelton, a small town next to Harrisburg, Pa. where I lived for 7th and half of 8th grade, it was like little Bosnia, with the Serbs, the Croats and the Slovenians...and they used to fight amongst themselves there, too (albeit sans the automatic weapons). I think they still do. You don't get that (the nationality emphasis...not the automatic weapons part) here...unless you go to Miami. I'm not saying it's good or just is....and it's noticeable.


Friday, March 14, 2008

just random venting....

Note to management people.....

Just because the only time left in my day that isn't scheduled for a meeting is from 12:00 to 1:00, doesn't mean you get to schedule one then. The excuse.."but you weren't available any other time" isn't good enough, dammit. My one hour of sanity...that I'm still working through because the rest of the day is meetings, and something productive has to happen not yours.

I'm already working through lunch to prepare for the afternoon meetings based on what happened in the morning meetings. As Mr. Hand would say..."That's MY time."

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the Dr. visit

I had a Doctor's appointment this week. It was nothing to be concerned about...just a checkup. He likes to see me about every four months because he needs someone to insult, and if he can get them to pay him to do it, so much the better.

So yeah, the last time he saw me, I was fresh off my 180 mile bike ride and getting close to the weight he wants me at. Not close enough, he was quick to remind me, but I was trending in that direction. So far so good.

This time...I gained 8 pounds. Now, I still weigh a good 10 less than this time last year...maybe closer to 20, but I gained 8 pounds...and out came the fat talk again. No, I'm in no danger yet, but diabetes and obesity are out there, and I need to do something to get back on track, and...what happened?? You were doing so good...and...oh please stop.

I'm still hitting the gym twice a week and cycling on most weekends...pretty much every weekend except last weekend, because we did massive yard work instead. Granted, the distances have shrunk from 50 mile rides to 30 mile rides, because I have the youngster and a neighbor (sometimes two) riding with me, and they can't do 50 miles without stopping...yet, but I'm sure we'll get there. I did last year. It's all good.

So I find myself asking....why do I continue to pay this guy to insult me? This gets me into these arguments with myself....

You pay him because he's right, and you need to keep working at it.
No he's not. You're exercising more than anyone you know that's your age.
So what, you still like food too much. You're rationalizing because you sweat a little...big deal.
Heck, you can still go 30 miles on a bike without really hurting...much.
Yeah, but what about 50..or 60. How long's it been?
But you still weigh less than this time last year.
Yeah, and this time last year you were pretty disgusted with yourself. You gained 8 pounds since October.
But, Christmas was in there, and Christmas cookies and cakes and...
Yeah, you need to do something about those cookies.

..and they say people who talk to themselves are crazy. What about people who argue with themselves? It's not always calm and reasonable in the Lumberyard. Sometimes we're just a tad neurotic.


Thursday, March 13, 2008

can you spell NIT?

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

there's still hope

I was about ready to put the dancin' shoes away for another year, but the little school from main line Philly beat Syracuse today in the Big East tournament, to keep those dancin' hopes alive. I think they still have to beat Georgetown to get any serious consideration, least there's hope.

The truth of the matter though, is that if the Wildcats go to the NCAA tournament, they won't make a lot of noise there. They're a young, inconsistent team and would be very lucky to see the sweet 16. In the NIT, they'd get a bit more tournament experience playing against slightly lesser talent. I'm not sure where I'd rather see them.


Late to the Wii party

Back in the early 80's there was the Atari 2600...and I wasn't all that impressed. Yeah it had pong, and asteroids and a few other cool games that you could now play at home, instead of feeding quarters into some machine in some game room at the mall, but I didn't really want one. It was followed by the 5200, and I still wasn't all that interested. I had friends who had these game machines, and I played them occasionally, but I really didn't covet them. Then came ColecoVision. In late 1982/early 1983, I had to have one of those. The big difference, and what made it justifiable in my eyes, was the ColecoVision machine was supposed to be expandable. "Yeah, it's just a game system now, but we're coming out with pieces/parts to turn this thing into a full blown home computer"....which in 1982 was pretty huge. I bought one, and reveled in Donkey Kong and a few other games, and watched as the promise of that home computer died. They made a serious effort to make that promise a reality, and that effort eventually bankrupt the company that also brought us Cabbage Patch Kids. The ColecoVision hit the dumpster when it became evident it would never be more than an obsolete game machine and I bought my first computer, the Commodore Amiga. It was so cool, because it was kinda like a Mac in that it had windows and stuff, but Macs back then were strictly balck and white, where the Amiga had colors. To give you an idea just how computer savvy I was back then, I bought a $100 word processing program with the computer....because I wanted to be productive with it. I wanted to do more than play games. I wanted it to be useful, and boy howdy, "word processor" sounded useful, and made the thing at least a very cool typewriter when I watched the salesman put together a document in the store. It was only after I got it home and typed up my first document that I sat back and what? It was then I realized the word processor was pretty useless without a printer....and printers, especially color ones, back then were far from 4 figures, and the first figure wasn't a 1. Commodore, like Coleco, also went nipples up. Yeah, I knew how to pick 'em.

Yes, friends and neighbors, there is a reason for this little walk through early 80's video gaming/computer trivia. Since then we, as a family, have owned one video game system. The parents (as in my parents) bought the youngster an X-Box about...oh...6 or 7 years ago...when the X-Box was the best game machine there was...long before the X-Box 360. He still has that thing. It has never been replaced, nor did we have plans to do that. It sits in his room, where he plays it occasionally. I may have picked up the controllers a few times, but I could probably count the number of times on one hand.

Then some friends of ours went north to visit family and friends over Christmas. In their family, dad and two sons are into video games. Mom, the accountant, is the exact opposite. She has nothing to do with them. So, we were taken aback a little when they came home from Christmas break and she said, "Have you played this Wii thing? I'm hooked. I want one."

No, we had never played the Wii thing, but in a few weeks, they had one, and we spent several evenings at their house, playing Wii sports. With the Wii, you actually use a bowling motion to bowl. You use a sort-of swing motion to play golf and tennis. It's not all button pushing...and yeah, we had fun with it.

The wife, who had, to that point, NO interest in any video game stuff, was talking about buying one for my which I countered...I know of a bike jersey I want for my about we get this Wii thing for your birthday.

So now it's March and no birthdays have come this year yet, but John of the Lumberyard got a bonus at work and...we discussed it. We have home maintenance things that bonus has to do, but on top of that, it could buy us a family bonus present....a Wii. So Sunday, I went and bought one...and yeah, we're overdoing it a bit, but it's new. We'll back off in a few days, I'm sure, and make it manageable. I'll admit though, I enjoy that far more than watching regular programming on my TV screen.

The thing is, I'm finding pretty much everyone I know...already has one and just never mentioned it. I don't know when/where they all got them, because I'll tell ya...finding one was a bitch. The demand is still far exceeding supply...yet all these people seem to have been successful in acquiring one, and they've had them for a while now. I kinda feel like the last person who got the real juicy gossip, and tries to tell all their friends...only to find they already know. Every time I tell someone about this really cool Wii thing, I hear..."Yeah, it's pretty neat. We've had ours for a year, or six months, or whatever". I'm OK with being the last to know. I'm just surprised that I am.

It is fun though. It has the Lumberyard seal of approval...if there is such a thing. Not only that, it eliminates talk of buying it for my birthday, which brings that bike jersey that much closer to being on my back.

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Tuesday, March 11, 2008

yet another sexy scandal

Next to be caught with his political hand in the sexual cookie jar, Gov. Spitzer of New York.

This post started as a comment in Jessie's blog, but it got me to thinking about an important least in my mind.

It is true. Every time one of these politicians gets wrapped up in a sexual scandal, the players from the other party start calling for his head. The funny thing is, both parties are guilty of this self righteous activity. It just depends on the party of the offender. Whichever party he opposes will call for his ouster. It's that stupid party politics thing that both sides play, and a big reason why I want government officials intruding as little as possible in all our lives. God help us if these are the people we ask to make health care policy.

I mentioned in a comment, that at least this guy stood up and said, "I did it." which, in my mind, makes him less of a slimeball than Bill Clinton, who stood there, looked at me straight in the camera eye and trashed his personal integrity by lying about it all.

Liberals at the time wanted to say that conservatives wanted Slick Willie's head because he was carrying on with an intern. At least for me, nothing was farther from the truth. What went on between Bill, Hillary and Monica was their business, and I didn't care. Bill and Monica did whatever the hell they did. OK, whatever. If Hillary forgives him, move on. That wasn't my problem. My problem came when he held a press conference and lied in all our faces about it to save his skin. That's when I couldn't trust him any more, and didn't see where he should have the balls to ask any world leader to either. If he'd have owned up, or even said, "It's none of your business.", I'd have been OK.

But no...he lied to all of us. I just couldn't imagine something like...a treaty with...oh maybe the French, and some French leader, for whom a trivial matter like a mistress would be no big deal, is watching Bill give his word that the United States will give up this that and the other thing if the French will do that, this and whatever. In the back of Mr. French Leader's mind would have to be...this shithead lied to his whole country over a little affair with an intern. Why should I believe him on this matter, where the stakes are so much higher? Or how about an arms agreement with the Russians, for God's sake. Why would anyone believe anything the guy says? What the guy did with an intern wasn't an issue. That he trashed his word over what he did with an intern was a huge issue. That's something real presidents can't do.

I don't think Gov. Spitzer gets off. Well, yes he does, and at a thousand dollars an hour...bada bing. I mean, he doesn't get off the hook, especially since what he did was illegal. I certainly don't condone what he did. I just give him some credit for sacking up and admitting he screwed up, and not trying to deceive the people he serves any more than he already has.


the pride of the Jaguars

This past weekend, while I was combating the wind trying to do yard work, 12,000 runners were participating in the Gate River Run in downtown J'ville. It's a 15k race that brings in people from all over the world...yeah, even those Kenyans. The last part of the race is over the Hart Bridge, which sports a pretty good incline on both sides and this year was right into the teeth of a 25, gusting to 40 mph wind.
Through it all though, we have Jaxon de Ville...mascot for my Jacksonville Jaguars, finishing the run. This guy dons a suit weighing over 20 pounds, and is tough to breathe through, let alone drink..and runs 9.2 miles. How many of your team mascots do stuff like this?
For the record, no, I've never done the River Run, and won't. As much as my newfound fitness obsession has me exercising more than I have in a lot of years, my knees have told me that if I want them to continue to function for a long time in their present role, I won't be a runner. I listen to them.
I suppose I need to give credit where credit is due. The picture was swiped from the Florida Times Union, alias the J'ville newspaper.


Monday, March 10, 2008

getting used to thinning hair

OK...newsflash. I'm 50..almost 51 years old and the hair on top of my head is thin. Real thin. I'm not vain enough to spend money on Rogaine or the hair club for men. Especially after a semi-career in the Navy and keeping it very short for years, hair's just not that important to me. That's no knock on those of you who may use whatever method to stave off the hair thinning process. It's priorities are different than yours.

What is important to me though, is comfort, and sooner or later I'm going to figure out that the top of my head can get a nasty sunburn, even if it isn't summer.

Saturday, the youngster and I did massive yard work. It was cool and extremely windy outside, and I went out to do stuff...without a hat. Behind our house is a pond, but between us and the pond is "wetlands", which is a nifty real estate word for "swamp". The "wetlands" have been encroaching on out backyard for years, and I finally said, "Enough!" and cut back the overgrowth making it into the area I used to mow...and will again...or at least the youngster will. After that we spread mulch. The grand plan was to then edge and mow the yard, but by the time we beat back the overgrowth, I had a stack of dead vegetation in the back yard that I can't kick to the curb until Thursday (yard trash day) so it's still littering the back yard, and in the way of further yard maintenance.

Through all that though, I was very unaware, until I got in the shower afterward, that I toasted my scalp. YOWWW! It's still a bit crispy. In the cool and wind, it just doesn't hit me that the top of my head is baking in the sun. Summertime...suuurrre. Grab a hat. In fact, I usually pick one as summer looms, and anoint it my "grungy" hat. It is with the understanding that that hat probably won't make it through the summer, but if it does, it's headed for the trash when fall comes, because by then, it's one nasty ball cap. It's a sacrifice to the habbidasherial gods....but it keeps my head protected when I do yard work. I have yet to pick this year's yard work sacrificial hat, but I guess I'd better get on that stick.


Friday, March 07, 2008

sweating around the dial

It was a gym night last night, and of course, the remote was not under Lumberyard control. I did some work on both sides of the room, so I got to shake my head in wonder at two separate situations.

First there was Dr. Phil. Dr. Phil has this woman on his show who was asked, on an airline flight, to hide herself under a blanket, because her outfit was too revealing. After seeing the photos, I can assure you it wasn't. She had on a skirt that wasn't too short and a top with a little sweater over it. Granted, she filled the outfit nicely, but there wasn't anything too revealing about it. Anyway, she has, apparently, been doing the talk show circuit over the incident, eliciting outrage from audiences everywhere. Last night it was Dr. Phil's turn. Her mom, sister and lawyer are in the audience. The lawyer is there because she has some kind of lawsuit pending with the airline about this mess. In the interview, she says all she really wants from the airline is an apology. They handled the whole thing badly and if they'd just apologize, she'd be done with it. Dr. Phil produces a letter, from the CEO of said airline. He shows it on some big projector and it is indeed, a pretty sincere looking apology, and an offer to fly anywhere she would like on that airline. It's signed by the CEO of the offending airline. She smiles and pretty much says...that's real nice, but it's not over. We still might continue the lawsuit. WHAT?!? Little miss wronged just became little miss money grubbing bitch. I'm sorry. I just don't know how you do something like that...much less with a national audience. You bring that trash to trial, and someone from the airline's going to be showing the Dr. Phil tape.

If that wasn't enough, from there we move to the other side of the room and..Fox News. We got some panel discussion going about the Florida and Michigan primaries and the mess the Democratic party finds itself in, wanting to stand their ground and still not make voters in Florida and Michigan feel like they don't count. The point was made that back in September, Hillary was backing the DNC decision because all the polls said this race was going to be more like the Hillary victory tour, and it really wouldn't matter Nobody was going to touch her and those Michigan and Florida votes would be forgotten in a tidal wave if Clinton-mania. Now, of course, we have a race that's not only close, but she's losing, and she wants those votes bad. OK, whatever. The fun part comes next. Next they show two graphics showing what would happen if the election were held today. First we see who the polls say would win each state and the total results if Hillary were the Democratic nominee running against McCain. Then we see the same thing if the candidates were Obama and McCain. In both cases McCain loses a pretty close race, and the discussion starts with the question. How much trouble is John McCain in? Is there panic yet? What does he have to do to change the situation? I just had to ask...would these be the same polls that predicted the Hillary landslide? What the hell are you people putting your faith in...that crap? Didn't we just discuss how wrong they were 6 months ago? Who gives a rat's patoot what the polls say now? It's freakin' March! Not only were they wrong before. They were grossly wrong before. They'll be wrong again. The polls aren't worth doody! I realize they're all you got. Just because they're all you got though, doesn't make them worth more doody...or is that...ummm, less doody? Polls in March have as much to do with the actual election in November as Bill Clinton's definition of "is".

Oh, and don't forget to lose an hour of sleep this weekend.

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Thursday, March 06, 2008

Brett Favre walks away

I've been listening to the sports talk guys debate the importance of the career of Brett Favre, now that he's retiring.

I can understand both sides. One calls him one of the best quarterbacks to ever play the game, and the other side chips away at his faults, but one thing is certain. Win or lose, there haven't been many players in the history of football that made the game more exciting and fun to watch. He may or may not have been one of the best, but the game is going to miss him immensely.


Wednesday, March 05, 2008

that huge right wing conspiracy strikes again

I was in the gym last night in my continual effort to be a healthier Lumberyard guy, watching the TV because it was there, and watching what everyone else was watching, because I was being polite, and not barging in and changing channels.

What everyone else was watching was CNN. Basically, CNN is to the radical left what Fox News is to the radical right. Neither is that far out on the fringe, but they court those audiences and confound those who don't see things their way. The love fest for Hillary and Obama was in full swing as the Texas and Ohio primaries were dissected every which way but conservative, and this piece of drivel got thrown into the mix.

Those hated right wing talk show hosts are flexing their muscle again. They all implored Texas Republicans to vote for Hillary, so the Democratic race remains tight and she and Obama will keep sniping at each other and keep their attention off McCain. Apparently, that was their explanation for why Hillary was doing well in Texas.

I have to be missing something somewhere. If right wing talk show hosts had any muscle to flex, would John McCain be more than an afterthought in the Republican race for a nominee? If anything, this spring has shown what little influence those people really have. In their eyes, he is the anti-Christ. Are we saying the same people who claim they'd vote Democrat before voting for McCain are now looking for ways to help his campaign? They may actually have. I wouldn't know. I don't listen to them. Do we really think their audience, who supposedly hates John McCain (because of course, they are right wing lemmings with no brain of their own) will now spend an hour or two of their day in line at the polls to vote for Hillary Clinton, in an effort to bolster his chances?

Sometimes...well...lots of times, the talking heads just mystify me.

On top of it, while they were spewing this nonsense, I could hear a tiny bit of American Idol on the other side of the gym..just enough to recognize the song, but not enough to appreciate it. Someone was singing Hallelujah and from what little I could hear, doing a pretty good job of it. One of the few decent moments in a show I'm not particularly fond of, and I missed it because the CNN boobs are proving themselves to be ultra maroons.


Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Maybe I'm a maze...

I suppose I'm a maze because it asked me what kind of game I like to play with friends, and the only choice that actually involved getting up and doing something away from a table (like card or board games) was hide and seek. I guess wanting to be active makes me deceptive.

You Are a Maze

You can be confusing, tiring, and deceptive. But at the end of it all, you're sweet.

You believe there are many ways to get to an answer...

And you are willing to explore every single one of them!



I like coffee...a lot. And, yeah..I probably drink too much of it.

I have been drinking it for most of my adult life. there were periods where, for whatever reason, I gave it up, but I always come back to it. For a while at sea in the Navy, I got used to drinking it black, because supplies at sea were never a given, and we'd continually run out of cream, sugar, or both, but never the actual coffee. God forbid you'd have a Navy boat with no coffee. That was in the 70's and 80's. It might be better now. Instead of suffering through shortages, I got used to roughing it so I didn't really suffer based on the supply lines....until I got home, of course. Then I was back in civilization, and coffee could taste however I wanted it. I could cream and sugar all day long, if that's what I wanted.

We have a coffee maker at work. Over Christmas, someone got some flavored coffee as a gift, and brought some in, and we made it....much to the chagrin of one office member, who likes his coffee black. He grumbled a little, and took to making his own pot...which was OK. To each his own. But anyway, it's been twenty-something years since I've been on a Navy boat drinking black coffee, but I have been doctoring my coffee ever since, because...well, because I can. Maybe part of it is a subconscious celebration...that I'm not living at work on a floating hotel in the middle of nothing. Believe me, living in your office 24/7 with nowhere to go is a bitch, and I don't miss it. Maybe it's just because it tastes better. I never gave it that much thought, until this morning, when Mr Black Coffee walked in the kitchen while I was preparing my morning nectar of the Colombian Gods, pouring in the french vanilla creamer.

"What, you don't like coffee?"

I had to explain...and this is where this whole post was going....

I love coffee. I love hamburgers too, but I don't eat a hamburger, naked on a plate. I like mine on a bun with its salad. Ya know, with lettuce, tomato and onions. Maybe a bit of Heinz ketchup and some spicy mustard. Maybe get real crazy and put some melted Swiss cheese on there. Pickle if we got em. I want my burger with all the fixin's. Now that's a burger...far better than just a patty by it's lonesome. It's the same with coffee. I love the stuff, but it's far better when the flavor is combined with all the spices that make it better, if Coffee Mate Crème Brulée could be considered a spice...and since this is the Lumberyard where I make the rules, that's one spicy Coffee Mate. It's not about liking coffee. It's about a mixture of flavors, the predominant one being coffee, in a morning hot celebration of life, and toothpicks on the eyelids. It's about one piece of the puzzle that head butts the world and starts the day knowing it's full of potential and promise. Yeah...all that and coffee too.

So get off your high black coffee horse, and put that burger on a bun, why don'cha.

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Monday, March 03, 2008

find a happy place, find a happy place, find a happy place

First Ernest Wilford. Then Marcus Stroud. Now Bobby McCray??

Just pick my team apart, why don'cha? I know we picked up some talent too, but somehow I don't think we're getting any better in all this. We dumped the hardest working receiver we had. He may not have been the most talented, but he caught more balls than anyone else, and he did it on desire...something it'd be nice if we could instill in the guys we still have. We need to get better on the defensive line, and we let two of our better guys there get away in free agency/trades.

If you're gonna be on drugs down there at 1 Stadium Place, at least stay away from the cheap ones.


some folks will do anything

I've mentioned before that I conned (or convinced) one of my neighbors to buy a bike and start training with the youngster and me. Then I set us up with a toward which we are actually progressing nicely and I think is do-able,, and even supports a good cause.

April 19th we will ride 100 km in an event benefiting organ donor programs. Or at least the youngster and I will. The neighbor...has bowed out. This weekend his wife and mine were talking and afterwards, the wife told me, "They're going on a family cruise in April."

"Oh?" said the guy immediately thinking of the bike ride, "When in April?"

"They leave the 19th for a week."

Damn! I'm learning not to count on anything until it actually comes to fruition. If I would have known he didn't want to ride, I would have let him off the hook. He didn't have to go and book a freakin' cruise just to get out of it. On top of that, it's not like we're biking to BFE or anything. It's only 62 miles and change, and it's along a very scenic route. You'd think he'd be begging to do this ride. Come to think of it, aren't YOU begging to do this ride?

I am kidding of course. Yes, I'm being ditched, but they didn't book a cruise that week because of the bike ride. I'm sure that's when the public schools have spring break and that's why that week is the cruise thing. It's just...I had this vision of getting several people to go do this ride...maybe as many as 10. Maybe we'd raise $1000 for organ donor programs and get in a fun ride. I still have two other people who said they want to do it, and a few maybes, but when it comes to people actually registered and raising's just the youngster and me. Some day I'll learn. Just because it's my thing doesn't mean I can make it anyone else's.