Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving

I know things are pretty tight, not only in this country but all over the world. People are having a tough time getting by, and they're fearful about the future.

In the midst of all that, please look around you, and see the many things we all have to be thankful for in the faces we hold dear.

See ya in December.


some lessons I learn every year

Well, no matter how hard I try to learn from my mistakes, there are some lessons I seem to be doomed to learn every year. At least it's only once a year.

Saturday, I thought...I'm going to the Jaguars game Sunday, so if I'm getting any exercise this weekend, it's now. I got my errand stuff done early, so I could possibly get in a bike ride when the day got a little warmer. It was still chilly, and supposed to be windy, so I put on a long sleeve shirt under a cycling jersey (which I really only wore because it has pockets, so I can bring money and a cell phone. It's not worth much in the warmth department) and shorts, and stood in the driveway. I was debating putting on knee warmers, which would have covered my legs down to about halfway down my calf. I stood out there though, in the sunshine, and it felt warm enough, so I decided against those, got the bike and went.

A few miles down the road, I was regretting that decision. Once I got away from the wind break that comes with being in our driveway surrounded by houses, I felt the wind that was really out there. Still, I thought, I can deal with wind. Then I hit the shady parts of the trip, where the overhanging trees come into the picture. It got a bit colder without the sun beating down on me. Then the sun went behind some clouds. It got even worse. No, I didn't freeze my butt off. It wasn't that bad. I was wishing I'd wore those knee warmers though. I mean, that's what I have them for, and it really was cold enough for them once I got out and riding. Oh well, next time.

It's just one of those things, like the first sunburn in spring knocking on my brain and yelling, "Sunscreen, idiot!" Maybe one year, before I die, I'll remember those lessons without having to experience the pain once more.


Monday, November 24, 2008

Travis Barker...what an ultra-maroon

OK the guy got burned...badly in a plane crash, and third degree burns are nothing to sneeze at, but this is one of the things I hate about lawyers, and people thinking they're entitled to something for being in an accident. He's suing, and was asked about his chances of winning his lawsuit....

"I don't know. I just think positive. I mean, I think so, if something goes wrong that's not supposed to go wrong or you fall victim of it I think you should be compensated."

So...you're saying, if it was something that goes wrong that's supposed to go wrong, then that would be OK? Does that make it something that goes right? Isn't just about everything that goes wrong not supposed to go wrong? Isn't that pretty much the definition of "going wrong"?

In short...NO, that doesn't mean you should get compensated. Maybe you should get compensated. Maybe there were other circumstances that would justify that, but not just because something went wrong.

Labels: ,

I'd love to put a positive spin on it all, but...

I don't know how.

The Jaguars season is a total mess. I talked to my brother in Philadelphia last night, who is an Eagles fan. I guess the one nice thing I can say is I'm not alone in my misery. His team isn't doing any better.

I went and witnessed the debacle yesterday. I sat down and watched us take the opening kickoff to the 30. Then I watched the defining moment of our season, as our center snapped the ball into his own ass, with the quarterback standing back in the shotgun. Apparently someone expected him to be under center. Fumble....touchdown Vikings. Then I watched them kickoff a second time. Fumble on the return. Touchdown Vikings. Third time's a charm though, as we actually ran our first offensive play, down 14 points with over 13 minutes left in the first quarter.

I'll give the boys credit. they fought their way back and by halftime, it wasn't looking all that bleak. We were down a touchdown, but we were moving the ball and the defense looked OK. I had hope. That dissolved quickly in the second half, as we just melted down....to Gus Frerotte and the Vikings, for God's sake. Does it get any worse?

I have tickets to one more game this year, in December on a Thursday night against the Colts. I have yet to sit in the stands and see us actually win a game this year, and that's in four attempts so far...five with that Colts game. I've seen at least four games every year this team has been in existence, splitting season tickets with someone else each year. Every year, I've been there for at least one victory. Even in year one, the expansion year, I saw us win at home, with my butt in a seat. I've never gone a whole year without seeing us win a single game in person. This is shaping up to be my year.

Labels: ,

Friday, November 21, 2008

it's either a copy cat world, or a trend, or both

I could have started long before this, but this is where I my first memory of the trend began. There was Apple, and Feist and her 1-2-3-4 i-pod commercial song. Then there was New Soul by Yael Naim in the MacBook Air commercial.

The Dell computer company shot back with Kira Willey and Colors in their commercial that is still airing now.

Now there's Emy Reynolds and the 'Make me a Wish" song (which is supposedly really titled Nothing Sweet as You as Honey Come from Bee but doesn't yet exist in recorded form) in the Chevy Traverse commercials that rain shoes. The girl doesn't even have a CD out yet, and she's singing on commercials. Personally, I think that's pretty cool, but it's also the continuation of a pattern.

What is it with the young female artists in simple but very catchy tunes doing commericals? I'm not really complaining, because I like most of the songs. At some point each gets stuck in my head for a few days, much more than the product they get attached to, which can't be all that great for the commercial, but oh well.

Labels: ,

Thursday, November 20, 2008

shuttle launches

One of the neat things about living in North Florida is shuttle launches. We're not anywhere near close enough to see detail, or hear the rockets roar. For that you have to drive down the coast. Here, if the conditions are right, though, you can see it....especially if it's at night. On a clear day though, you can see the bright flame from the rocket rising into the air and the smoke trail behind it. At night, if it's not too cloudy and you're looking in the right direction, you can't miss it.

What's interesting though, is what you see in the neighborhoods...ours included. About two minutes before the scheduled launch, people empty out of their houses and into the street. If there's an area nearby with a big clearing, or a hill with a better view over the tree line, they'll gather there. Everyone looking in the same direction...southeast. Someone will be the first to spot it rising over the trees and point, and there will be ooooohhhhs and aaaahhhhhhhs. Everyone will stay there, watching the shuttle rise into the sky, and nobody leaves until you just can't see it anymore. That usually lasts (depending on visibility/clouds) until sometime after the booster separates and you can't see flame anymore. Then it's just a smoke trail. Eventually you lose that and can't tell where it is.

What's interesting about it to me is, it never gets old. Every time the shuttle launches, the same play is acted out in neighborhoods all around us. It doesn't get old for me either, as I'm part of that crowd every time I'm home and the shuttle goes up. It's just an awesome thing to watch.


Wednesday, November 19, 2008

PLEASE Watch Pushing Daisies Tonight

I realize this isn't the biggest forum in the world, but it's the only one I got, so I'm doing the little bit I can.

Pushing Daisies, the emmy winning little show that could, airs tonight at 8:00 Eastern time. It's well written, humorous, imaginative, intelligent and just plain fun. It's the only thing on television I make a point of watching. It's also about to get the ax from ABC if the viewership doesn't grow dramatically and now.

So I'm begging, people. It's freakin' cold out, so you'll want to be inside, bundled up on the couch anyway. Give the show a chance. Watch it tonight. I doubt you'll be disappointed. I have yet to be.


Tuesday, November 18, 2008

gotta give the new President some credit

Barak Obama's actually talking to John McCain, and talking about working with him. I don't know to what extent that work will actually happen, but that's more than I've seen from any president-elect so far. I'm equally impressed with his request that Joe Lieberman keep his committee chairmanship in the Senate, despite his support for McCain. I'm seeing a deliberate attempt at bridge building, above and beyond any previous incoming administration, and I hope it yields results. I'm actually interested in seeing where it all goes.

On the other side of the coin, I have a hard time stomaching Hillary being Secretary of anything in the new cabinet, let alone State. That includes being anyone's personal secretary. I wouldn't want to see her unemployed or anything, but I do think anything she does for compensation should include the phrases, "Would you like fries with that?" and "Drive up to the second window, please." Before anyone thinks that's a sexist thing, it goes for her husband, as well. With both of them, I never felt like they gave a damn about what might be best for the country. Their motivation was and is what's best for the Clintons. In the last 20 years she's championed two major efforts....government subsidized health care in the 90's and a run at the Democratic Presidential nomination recently. I'm missing the 'rousing success' part of either of those initiatives (and not-so-secretly pretty pleased about her inability to get things done). I know the good people of New York differ with me on that opinion, but that just gives me another reason not to live there.


time to find the box with the heavy clothes

OK, someone cranked the A/C again. The temperatures are plunging and the t-shirts and jean shorts aren't cutting it anymore.

I'm actually happy this is happening. We need a few days where the temperature gets down below freezing, at least over night, to kill off some of the mosquitoes and other vermin. Some winters we get through the whole thing and barely get 2 hours over one night below freezing,and that doesn't cut it. We need a few nights where it drops to ice making level for 6 or 7 hours to make some kind of difference, and I think this may be one of those.

Makes the bike riding tough though. If it's below 50°F during the day, I'll find an alternative.


Monday, November 17, 2008

déjà vu all over again

I feel like I've been living this nightmare over and over, and I'm not doing a real good job of getting myself, or any of us, out of the rut.

After two semesters of really great school work, the youngster has slid right back to where he was. He started his Freshman year of high school last year and lit it up. He made the honor roll for the first half of the year, and then slacked the second half, resting on the first half laurels and getting by because of it. We discussed it at length over the summer, and have been doing the same this year, and we're in scholastic hell. The kid is failing three classes and not doing all that good in the others. We've been taking away privileges and talking until we're blue in the face, and it's just not getting through. So now, we've taken away his phone in the evenings, which hits right in the girlfriend, and probably hurts more than anything else we've taken, but I know it has his attention. We'll see how much good it does.

Every time he's goofing off, I ask if he's got all his work done, and he assures me he does, and then we find out otherwise. I don't want to take everything away from him, but we may just get to the point where he has nothing else to do but study.

Sorry to vent. I know it's not all that interesting, but I'm just a ball of frustration in need of an outlet, and you're reading the one I have.


Friday, November 14, 2008

It appears to be Lumberyard Health week

Besides visiting Mr. My Doctor this week, it was also the Health Fair at work. I always hit the health fair, mostly because we get free flu shots there. If there's one thing worse than getting stuck with a needle, it's paying someone to stick you with the needle, so I'm all about the free pain.

Also part of the annual health fair is biometrics..cholesterol screening, and a bunch of other stuff...like height/weight and Body Mass Index measurements. Again, if I go to Mr. My Doctor, I'm paying to be insulted. Here, it's free. The thing is, these folks were much nicer. My BMI is 15.5% on their little measurement gizmo, which means while I weigh more than I ought to, my percentage of body fat is well within the optimal range (the high value in the 'optimal' range was like 17 or 18%...I can't remember which), and really pretty freakin' good for a 51 year old guy. I guess I'm not that fat after all. I won't argue that I could still stand to lose a few pounds, but I'll have an answer next time Mr. My Doctor decides to use that "obese" word in a context that says I'm headed down that road if I don't lose 15 pounds.


sometimes you really gotta wonder about all the stuff you're supposed to eat or not eat

Sometimes I think I ought to just stop listening to the so-called experts, and just stuff my face with lard.

I have cholesterol/blood pressure issues. Some of those are hereditary, and I guess I have to go with that, since both of my parents, and my brothers have the same issues. My sister may as well, but I've never discussed it with her. Since the wife and I pretty much eat the same stuff, and she doesn't have the same problem, I guess heredity is at least part of the problem.

Another part has been a lack of exercise, but I've been putting some serious effort into correcting that piece of the problem.

Lastly, we have diet. Mr. My Doctor has, for years been telling me to eat fresh fruits and veggies, less meat, very little bread and potatoes and take vitamin E every day. It was supposed to help clean out the blood vessels, keeping the cholesterol numbers down. Well, I read something in the paper the other day that said a new study (doncha just love when you get a new study?) suggests vitamin E doesn't do squat to help keep the cholesterol numbers down, and may even hurt. So when I went to see Mr. My Doctor, I asked him about that, and he said, "Yeeeeaaaah, maybe you should stop the vitamin E. If I was going to suggest anything that will help you fight high cholesterol as a supplement, I'd probably go with fish oil."

I've been buying/swallowing vitamin E for about the last 10 years, and noe I find out it probbaly didn't do a damn thing, except possibly hurt the cause. Then, who's to say in two years, and even newer study won't tell me fish oil clogs arteries, and sweet creamy butter is the best thing for you?

Labels: ,

Thursday, November 13, 2008

being grown up about it all

Did the gym thing last night. I usually do Tuesdays and Thursdays, and bike weekends, but Tuesday night we had something going on at home, and tonight I'm going to a function for the MS Bike ride, so I just figured, Wednesday was a better gym night.

Daymn, the place is crowded on Wednesdays. I'm usually one of the only people in there Tuesday/Thursday night, but there was quite a crowd, and they were watching Fox News...on all the TVs. I'm more of an ESPN kinda guy, but I figured...whatever.

I've said before, I'm not a big Fox News fan. Bill O'Reilly was on and I find him more than a little obnoxious, but I wasn't there to watch TV. I was there to sweat. He was interviewing Dennis Miller, who makes a point of making sure everyone knows he's really smart and really funny. It all gets old. He did say something though, that surprised and inspired me. O'Reilly asked him if he'd be tough on the new President, and this isn't a direct quote, simply because I can't remember, but the context is right. He said:

I'm actually hopeful. After watching his acceptance speech, I'm pulling for him. We only get one President, and he's going to be it. I hope he's successful. For the sake of the country, I hope he's so successful that in four years, I can't wait to get to the polls and vote for him.

I'm with ya Dennis.


Wednesday, November 12, 2008

doctors and shit

I had another checkup with Mr. "My Doctor" this morning. I had lab stuff done recently, and he wanted to go over all that, and take one more opportunity to tell me I'm fat. Gotta love that part. Here's my co-pay. Please insult me now.

So last night, we were out and about, and we stopped at a drug store. I decided to hit the blood pressure checking machine, to get a feel for how things would go this morning....146/86. WHAT??? Holy Carp, Batman..that number was higher than I've ever seen before. They had a little minute clinic in the drug store with a real live nurse, so I asked her to check it...140/86. OK, so maybe it's not the machine, but it made me think. I go to the gym, and these machines I use to work out have heart rate monitors on them. I struggle to get that number up above 140 when I'm on those suckers, and that's exercising. Is that the same number that I'm looking at as the big blood pressure number? If it is, what gives?

So I hit the doctors office this morning and the first thing they did was blood pressure...128/80. Go figure. Anyway, we went over the lab stuff and all that was good. In fact, all the numbers..LDL, HDL, Blood Sugar, everything was an improvement over last time. Weight stayed about the same, so in his eyes, I'm still fat. OK, I'll keep trying to lose a bit. If I only didn't love food as much as I do....

Then came the shit...literally. Once again we verbally sparred over the whole colonoscopy thing. I reiterated my distaste for becoming a human bowel bazooka the evening before such an exam, and fended off the ordeal once more, but he shot himself in the foot in that debate, when he asked, "Exactly how old are you"

At first I had to wonder...you're my doctor. You're looking at my file. You're making decisions based on my age and...you don't know what that is?? But I bit my tongue and said, "51"

"Well, OK, I'm 51 and I haven't had one yet."

Oh, hold the phone. You're the same age as me and you haven't had your ass scoped, yet you're all over mine because I haven't? What's up with that? Argument over.


Tuesday, November 11, 2008

be very afraid

I was going to say the roadways of North Florida are no longer safe, but truth be told, they weren't safe before this weekend. I can take you back to last weekend, when some idiot in a pick up truck went speeding through a red light and almost took out a guy on a bicycle, who actually was following the law and waited for his green light to go through an intersection, but also saw the pick up truck not even slowing down as it approached the same intersection and grabbed the brakes. The result of all that....I'm still here today.

Back to the point though. the youngster is out there folks. Last week he still had the cast on one arm, which made turning a steering wheel a little difficult if it needed both hands. He got there, but it as awkward. Because of that, we limited ourselves to rarely traveled roads in new neighborhoods that have very few houses yet. He had the road to himself and he could slow down...or stop...or whatever, and nobody would care. I took him there a few times, and so did the wife.

I will also pat myself on the back about this. Maybe it comes from years teaching people how to fly helicopters and having them try to kill me...I'm far more calm about the whole ordeal than the wife. He said she's a very nervous and vocal teacher, which only makes him more nervous, and it starts to snowball.

That part became evident Sunday morning, when I handed him the keys leaving church. She sat in the back seat, and I had him pull out. From the minute the car inched forward, there was a non-stop commentary from the back. "Slow down...watch out for that..don't DO...oh my God...what are you doing???" I almost asked her if she wanted a blindfold. No, he wasn't the smoothest driver in the world, but he never will be unless he gets to practice, and a calm environment will go a long way to getting us there. He got us home in one piece, and didn't do anything remotely illegal, or dangerous.

I took him out later, on the 30 mile loop we use for bike riding when 30 miles is the goal....so he knew the roads. He's getting better with every mile, and in the end...he'll be fine.

Someone gave me a tip yesterday, and I mentioned it at the dinner table, but I thought it'd be good for the two of them. A friend at work, who helped teach his nephew and was a bit nervous about it, read about this and used it, and said it helped. Have the youngster talk while driving....a running commentary of everything he's doing and thinking about doing. That way you know, as he's coming to the intersection, that he's thinking about the brakes, and his turn signal, and he's using them. Then you know he's thinking about the turn...etc. That way you aren't nagging him two minutes before you get to the hard right turn in the road, because you know he's already thinking about it. The wife shrugged. The youngster called it the dumbest thing he ever heard...so I'm thinking it may not get very far, but I think it'd help them stay sane.

As for the rest of you on the road, and your sanity....you're on your own.


Happy Veteran's Day

It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.

- Theodore Roosevelt

Yeah, I'm tooting my own horn, too...so be it.

I just want to say thank you, to all the people who do or have put on a uniform and served this country. Not everyone agrees on where and how our military forces get used, but in whatever capacity, these people lay down their lives so the rest of us can live our lives safe and free. I don't have the words to say how grateful I am, for all of you, and the sacrifices you've made for all of us. All I can say is....

Thank You.

...and hope that you know how much I mean it.


Monday, November 10, 2008

ram painting

Once again I have to call on the vast resources of the Lumberyard community.

I was doing the normal routine Saturday morning, pedaling through the countryside (and yes, some of it is still countryside), when I came across a sign on the side of the road. In big block letters, it said, "Ram Painting" and there was a phone number. In cursive in the left corner it said, "Interior and Exterior" and in the upper right corner it said "Quality Work".

So, my mind stared wandering, as it often does when pedaling down the road....what the hell is Ram Painting?

My thoughts drifted back to my Navy days, visiting countries in northern Africa, where shepards would run their flocks through the center of town, and their method of "branding", for lack of a better term, was spray paint. You'd see brightly colored blue, green and pink sheep being herded through the center of town. The area I was pedaling though was visibly home to sheep, but they all seemed to be the standard white, and that "interior and exterior" part didn't seem like animal painting was really an option. (unless you're going with the old Graucho Marx quote, "Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend. Inside of a dog, it's too dark to read." But if you put a lamp in there, splash a little color on the walls....)

I thought of the Dodge Truck, but why would anyone limit themselves to auto body work on one make and model, and again, the interior painting thing threw me just a bit.

So I'm left without any decent answer. I suppose I could write down the number, call and ask, but I don't want to sound that interested. Whatever Ram Painting is, I'm pretty sure I'm not in the market. Ram Painting. Anybody?


Friday, November 07, 2008

number crunching - the MS Bike ride

Some people are pretty amazed at the numbers, so I'll give you an idea of how much money we actually raise with the MS Bike ride to Daytona and back. The final results aren't in yet, but I don't expect the youngster or I will see any more sponsors. Our team total may increase slightly, but those donations have slowed to a trickle. Here's where it stands.

Just me and the youngster - $3740
Our team (60 riders) - slightly over $97,000
The ride - the totals aren't in yet, but it's over a million dollars

All working for a world in which there is no Multiple Sclerosis. Not bad, for a bunch of people riding bicycles.


hopefully, it ends today

The inexact science of medicine takes another crack at the youngster's arm this morning. Even as I type, the wife is stuck in traffic, trying to get to downtown J'ville by 8:25 to check in for an 8:45 appointment, all in an effort to get the correct status on Tony Hawk Jr.'s left arm.

Almost three weeks ago, the youngster took a spill on his skateboard and did "something" to his left arm. A trip to the emergency room bought him a very expensive splint, but no conclusive diagnosis on whether or not he actually broke said arm. The x-rays were read by some of the best radiologists J'ville has to offer and still, no conclusive evidence. All said it didn't look like he broke it, but they couldn't be sure. A trip to the pediatric orthopedist rendered the same conclusion, but a full arm cast, just to be safe. That was Thursday, two weeks ago. The orthopedist said he wanted to look at it after two weeks, and then he could probably be more sure, one way or the other....so that's this morning.

I'm so hoping it's not broken, and we can be done with the whole cast ordeal. If he has to have it, he has to, but it's a major pain in the butt, especially for him. Yes it itches. Yes, it smells. Yes it limits just about everything he tries to do. When he first hurt it, he was hoping it was broken. He wanted the cast because it would be really cool. That coolness wore off in the first two days, and now....we just want it gone.

follow up: the cast is gone! I still don't know what the final diagnosis is. I'll get that part later. He has a splint in a sling, which can be removed, and that's the important thing. At least he can take the thing off before taking a shower.


Thursday, November 06, 2008

sour grapes

I know I'm going to get even more tired of it all than I am now, so the real eye rolls have yet to come, but...

I get so frustrated with what passes for an objective media in this country and the things they say. Last night I listened to several talking heads, in the midst of the love fest, say that Barak Obama won in spite of his color. I couldn't disagree more. I think, for probably 80% of America, his color wasn't an issue at all. The issues were the issues. George Bush was a huge issue. Of the other 20%, there's a small minority of hate filled nutbags out there who didn't vote for him because he's black, but he wasn't getting those votes anyway. Those people wouldn't have voted for him if he was white, either. The rest were people who voted for him because he's black. To emphasize that point, they interviewed person after person who celebrated the fact that black people in this country now believe they can do anything..that they can become president. Are you telling me it was coincidence that all those people interviewed just happened to be black, or that skin color was no consideration in their vote? On top of that, I think a lot of white America felt good about voting for him because of his skin color. They were enhancing their self-view and affirming that they're not racist, by voting for a non-white person. Voting for Obama made them feel better about themselves. All I'm saying is, if anything, his color helped him. It certainly didn't hurt him and he didn't win in spite of it. I am happy to hear that black people finally get it. I'm ecstatic that they have now figured out that if you work your ass off, anybody can be successful in this country regardless of color. Does this mean we can finally burn that race card, and stop playing it when we don't get what we want?

To be honest, I think Barak Obama won because most people in this country are way fed up with George Bush, and didn't walk, but ran, in the opposite direction. The baby went with the bath water. Dubya 's approval rating in this country is somewhere below sea level. Obama's best strategy was to saddle John McCain with everything George Bush did (or didn't do), and he was successful. He, very politely and eloquently, harnessed all that negativity and rage and turned it into victory. The economic disaster of the past few months certainly didn't hurt either.

I don't think John McCain did enough to help his cause. If I'm honest about it, I don't think McCain ran a strong enough or smart enough campaign. I think he spent too much time trying to bash Obama and not enough time making himself the better choice. McCain isn't a "run of the mill" conservative Republican, and that's one of the things I like most about him. Do you remember when he got the nomination? All those conservative talk show hosts were wailing and gnashing their teeth. There was a good reason for that...and I liked it. He wasn't very effective in making that distinction known, and Obama was far more effective in putting George Bush's face on McCain's body. Also, if I'm honest about it, even if he had been successful in distancing himself from Dubya, it may not have been enough.

In a perfect Lumberyard world (assuming we keep the outcome of the election), Obama wins the election, because that's what America asked for. He'd then appoint John McCain Secretary of State, or maybe a lesser post, but one that makes the most of his strengths. Sarah Palin could go back to Alaska and occasionally host Saturday Night Live. People want to say she hurt McCain's chances. I don't think so. I do think she didn't help as much as someone like Romney would have, though. She was a small fish in way too big a pond, but back to the point...there'd be a bipartisan cabinet that takes in everybody's strengths to make the best government possible. That won't happen. It wouldn't have happened if McCain won either and has never happened in the past, but I think we'd be better off if it did. I think most politicians put party first and the country second, and that's one of our government's faults. Just as the democrats started looking for ways to make Dubya look bad so they could retake the White House when he was elected, I'll bet there are Republicans doing just that right now, where their energy would be better spent trying to make the curreent government better. I'll give him this though. I think Obama will come closer to that Lumberyard ideal than any President has in the past, and I'm hoping he doesn't prove me wrong.

One other thing. At least I think I can count on the current administration to leave office gracefully, without some juvenile stupidity, like taking all the "O"s off the keyboards in all the offices.

Labels: ,

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Look out America

Well, we've gone and done it now. We've handed the keys over to the inexperienced youngster and ushered him into driver's seat. Fear is gripping our neighborhood as we see the immanent collapse of insurance companies, and other disasterous property damage on the horizon. We've handed the wheel to ignorance and learning on the job.

We have entered a new stage of growing up...the Learner's Permit. I don't know if the rules are the same everywhere, but they probably are. They've changed quite a bit since I got my Learner's Permit. I walked into the DMV in Harrisburg, PA and asked for it. They handed me the piece of paper that was a Learner's Permit, and I was off and driving. Now, the youngster had to take a 4 hour drug and alcohol course, detailing the effects of both on driving, and life in general. Then he had to pass a test on that course. He finished that a few weeks ago. After that, he had to pass a test on road rules, and road signs, which he did online Saturday. Monday was a teacher planning day for the youngster's school, so we took the proof he passed his stuff, along with his social security card and birth certificate, to the DMV and got his picture ID Learner's Permit with holographic crap all over it...far more sophisticated than the paper thing I got in 1972.

I took him out roads in a new neighborhood which has next to no traffic to get his feet wet, and it went fairly well. All it really did was whet his appetite though. I can see it now. Every time we get in the car to go anywhere, it'll be..."Can I drive?"

So let this be fair warning to you, America. The youngster is on the loose.


Tuesday, November 04, 2008

get out there and vote

From someone who's far more a fan of the process than the outcome, please, if you haven't already, stop reading this, get off your butt and go vote.

Be a part of the decision of who runs this country. Even if, like me, you feel like you're doing it on principle, because you don't think your candidate will win, go be part of the process. I don't like being part of the minority, but I recognize it, and know it's part of what makes this place I live what it is, and I love and respect that. I'd much rather lose an election than lose what this country stands for. The upside for me, whether he wins or loses, Obama's face won't be in mine near as much as it has been for the last month.

So whether you agree or disagree with me, please go make your voice heard.

I'm John of the Lumberyard, and I improved this message. It'll probably be the last message I improve for about 4 years.

Labels: ,

Monday, November 03, 2008

Fear not Detroit

After a 3 and 3 start, the hapless Jaguars are headed your way. First, it’s bad enough that I look back at that 3 and 3 start and refer to it as “the good ‘ol days.” Losing as much as you win ain’t good. Still, it’s far better than where we stand now.

Last week was a serious blow to my hopes of seeing my boys in the playoffs. A home loss to the Browns was ugly. What was uglier was, it wasn’t exactly a fluke. The Browns deserved to win that game. They were the better team. Still, there was a glimmer of hope. The next two games were against teams that hadn’t won all year. At least we could get back to a winning record and some level of respectability.


Hold on Skippy. Yesterday I sat in disbelief. Who were those guys? This was the Bengals, without their starting quarterback. We made the backup look like a pro bowler. Our defense, which is supposed to be the definition of this tough, hard nosed team, wasn’t even a speed bump in the face of the Bengals offensive juggernaut. The offense? I’ve whined all season about our woes up front. We lost our starting guards in the first game of the season, and the replacements simply aren’t. There was hope in getting one guy back from injury that started at guard for us last year, and he broke his hand in pregame warm-ups last week, which would have been his first start. Without those guys, our rushing attack is severely hampered, and our passing game still leaves much to be desired. There was an attempt to make that better in the off season, bringing in Jerry Porter. To say he’s been a disappointment would be an understatement, in a season filled with understatement.

In post game interviews, I keep hearing, "This is a good team. We just have to..." stop it. Stop it right there. Who are you trying to convince? You just lost in consecutive weeks to the Browns and the Bengals...coming out of the bye week. You're not a good team. You think you're a good team, because you keep believing your press, but you're not a good team. Come to grips with that. Good teams don't do what you just did. Today, Del Rio said the effort is there, but the execution is lacking. That's more than just a glass half full view. The effort's not there. It takes effort to execute correctly, and that effort is lacking....a lot.

So, there ya go Detroit. You’re a winless team, NOW, but not to worry. The answer to your prayers is coming to Ford Field next Sunday. We dug the Bengals out of their misery, saving them from being the first team in NFL history to have a winless season. We can do the same for you. Everybody’s feel good team (as long as you’re not rooting for them) is coming your way. If all goes according to this year’s script, you’ll be walking out of next weekend with a smile of relief on your face…because the selfless Jaguars will lay down for you, too.

Labels: ,