Saturday, December 30, 2006

Two unrelated football notes..

I would put these on the Staggering Prophets, but they've switched to Blogger 'Beta' and I refuse to follow suit.

1) Coach Jeff Fisher should be the NFL coach of the year. Show me any other coach that has done what he has with similar talent including a lot of young players (and of course the ever-dynamic YOUNG player). I don't think it's even close this year.

2) I'm heading to Alabama for the New Years with some long-time friends. While I'm down there I'm thinking about suggesting that the 'Tide' hire Rex L. Camino to fill their way-too-long head coaching vacancy. His creativity, slyness and humor would go a long way in the washing-themselves-of-the-Shula-full-boring-routine-offense. Also, for line coach I'm suggesting Glen Dean. You don't need the zany folks to keep the line in check. Dean would be a solid steady choice.

Let's go Titans, and Happy NEW YEAR!

Festivus for the rest of us, or, my name may be Earl...

Ok, this is a purgitive hoping to release the bad mojo I seem to have accumulated. This second stupid winter cold (sorry, Sarcastro) is bringing me down, so I will not be able to perform the traditional feats of strength. That leaves us with the airing of the grievances:

1) damn cars. You finish paying for them, and guess what. They *)*^^ die on you.
2) Damn car payments for the 'new' car you had to buy because (see item 1)
3) Damn my Gateway work computer. I've griped about this before, but I remain underwhelmed
4) screw the people that stole our wind chimes. They were folk art from Mentone. They weren't worth much but I loved those stupid chimes.
5) I'm no longer upset about the fact that my doctor almost killed me during a routine biopsy (i've written too much about this before), but I do get disturbed when I see the bills
6) I'm an idiot for not backing up the files on Item #3 above because the crack Help Desk squad had to re-image my stupid computer and manage to 'lose' about 30 key folders and all of my AS/400 macros (don't ask)
7) For all the people who don't understand what YIELD means when they see that sign on the southern Metrocenter off-ramp, I'm running out of patience. You'll some day get your ass yielded right back to ya
8) For all the people who don't know how to count or don't care to count at the 15 items or less line at my neighborhood Kroger, I hope you need something fast from the DMV.

That's enough...i feel better now. Happy New Years to each and every one of you (except for a few of the folks involved in items 1-8 above).

Friday, December 29, 2006

Life as high school - freaks, geeks, and Friday Night Lights

If adult life is REALLY a replay of high school, this guy would not be the least bit happy. Even though there are some high-school-like-moments in every day adult life, I'd like to think we have progressed somewhat.

One of my honest-to-God theories of TV script writing and creation is that really good writers are still trying to figure out high school and/or they were the geeks or outliers who never were accepted in the upper clique/caste system.

In fact, I think some of the greatest TV shows in my lifetime ARE shows based on high school, many of which totally jumped the shark when the kids went to college.

Witness: Freaks and Geeks - an INCREDIBLE show which practically proves my TV theory all by itself, In fact it was so damn good, that it, like Arrested Development, drew few viewers, proving that the great American public (unlike readers of this and other fine blogs) is somewhat moronic.

My current frame of reference is 'Friday Night Lights'. I hadn't paid much attention to this show until the other night when NBC ran a 'FNL' marathon. Holy acne-cream, that show is GOOD. The writers clearly understand high school boys: somewhat neanderthal wanna-be hunters and collector warriors who respond chiefly to two primal forces: sex and meat. The dialogue is pitch-perfect and the writers don't skimp on the female high-school world either.

Other Hall of Fame High School Shows: Happy Days, Beverly Hills 90210, Buffy, Dawson's Creek, DeGrassi Junior High (ok, i'm stretching the years a bit) and Veronica Mars. So far, Veronica Mars hasn't been destroyed by her collegiate days, but I do think the show is a little weaker.

I don't think the TV writing world can even grasp college...I mean, how many GOOD college shows have there been? Does Felicity even count?

Elementary, my dear Bush, and Nixon, and Ford

I came across this insightful comment while reading Wonkette.

Ever notice that when Bush does one of his "condolence" speeches, he always looks and sounds like he's giving a fourth grade book report?

"Gerald Ford was a decent man. He was president in 1974. He lived for 93 years. He had a dog once. His friends called him Jerry. He had children, at least one of which was a daughter."

The comment is from the fertile mind of The Trucker Pundit.

Actually, Ford was a decent and good man. He also gave a great assist to the Democrats (and the campaign of Jimmy Carter) when he pardoned Nixon. He did sponsor one really goofy thing though...During his term, inflation was raging, thanks in no little part to the man he pardoned. Nixon rather hubristically decided that wage and price controls would be his administration's counterbalance to inflation. Even for a liberal-type such as me, that WAS a goofy idea.

So, Ford, usually not being nearly as dumb as you'd think from the SNL skits, eschewed the Wage and Price controls for a 'bully pulpit' campaign called 'Whip Inflation Now'. They whipped out thousands upon thousands of buttons for citizens to wear, bearing the 'WIN' slogan. Sadly, at least for Republican-types, this may have also contributed to the rise of Jimmy Carter.

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Gateway to hell....

Into my christmas-ey spirit there is now an intruder,
my hatred and loathing for my Gateway computer,
oh how badly I long for an artful fisk,
aimed at the corrupted FAT and the ailing hard disk.

Damn you and your cow-hided advertising ploy,
your clunker-de-clankers have stolen my joy.

But of these problems, there will be no rid,
as long as the state says, merry christmas, LOW BID.

Two chairs, or, a different take on that old John Waite song...

On my wife's side of the family there are 9 'kids' including our three. Every even number year we trundle out to Kansas (this year we flew*) to be with the 'Ownby' side. We play board games, we go to movies, we watch football and mostly tell stories (many of which I can repeat verbatim despite the fact I wasn't a known quantity at the time the stories took place and didn't even know anyone named Ownby).

This year there were two empty seats. My nephew is in the Army and is about to be deployed to Iraq and was unable to make it to Kansas for Christmas. I have had lots of family in the military. I am firmly against the war in Iraq. I firmly support our troops. Anyone who says otherwise about me can kiss my asterisk, firmly and completely.

The other empty seat was my daughter's. She is in Peru (sorry to be repetitive, but this is kind of an emotional thing for me) and enjoyed Christmas in the Peruvian manner (this involves eating a great deal of food, drinking a great deal of the local 'shine', and attending mass, hopefully in some coherent fashion).

When we said the grace for the big Christmas meal, my brother-in-law mentioned the two who weren't there for Christmas. After the prayer, the father of the Iraqi-bound nephew, and the father of the young woman in Peru went off in two separate directions (away from the food). We both returned with rather reddish eyes.

You don't have to be as old as me to appreciate the joys, the anguish, the warmth and the grace of family. You don't have to have kids to enjoy the season. But, you really do have to have an empty seat to understand this deal. Many people outside of my family had empty seats this Christmas. I pray that in two years when we return to Kansas that those seats will be filled and that the empty condition for many others is temporary, as well.

*I am not scared of flying. I hate the hassle. I hate the idiots that used footware and thought about using liquids as incendiary devices. I hate feeling guilty for no reason when I go through the security lines. I hate that friends and family can no longer be at the gate to greet you eagerly. I hate the damn narrow seats and the lack of legroom for those of us who fly 'cattle'. I hate the prices of the concessions once you've passed through the security. Flying used to be something I really looked forward to, because I am not a frequent flyer. In my mind, flying is hardly worth it unless you are traveling many many many miles. I'm shutting up now, but I'm still bitter.

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Peep THIS!

I made it to 25 Peeps. I probably won't last long considering that I'm missing two key assets....

Take a look - and you better move fast!

My picture is courtesy of Wonderdawg and his thumb!

Update: Thursday, December 28th..I'm about to be un-peeeeped! It was fun while it lasted!

Update: Friday, the 29th (AM): Reprieve from the governor, I'm off the chopping block for now. Well, actually the governor probably has better things to do like picking a new commissioner for my department, but thanks to someone(s) out there, I'm alive...despite some obvious shortcomings in comparison to those around me.

Update: Friday, the 29th (PM): Lunchtime check...I'm peeped no longer. It was a good four day run. Neither ripped nor breasted, I did my best.

Monday, December 25, 2006

Merry Christmas from Wichita...

That tall white edifice is a grain silo, and I'm NOT kidding.

Christmas is actually great out here, but I'm missing my daughter like crazy.* Merry Christmas and/or Happy Holiday to each and every one.

*the daughter is in Peru serving in the Peace Corps

Take me to the bridge, Maceo..

If you've never listened to James Brown - Live at the Apollo, please find a copy and pay heed. Never anything like it before or after. Pretty much every rapper/hip-hop artist stole something from that album/CD.

Hope you're feeling good wherever you are now, JB.

Thanks, and Rest in Peace.

Saturday, December 23, 2006

What's flatter than flat, or, it's the reverse Wizard of Oz Christmas trip

Dorothy (and many other sensible people) dreamed of LEAVING Kansas. Just to be contrarians, we're heading Kansas-ward. I'm always glad when we get to Wichita (our Christmas destination), but if you've ever seen Wichita, you'll know the irony of Shawn Colvin's wonderful song: Wichita Skyline. A skyline, Wichita has NOT. I think there's a pretty tall grain silo close to downtown, but this ain't no cosmo(politan) and it certainly ain't no party in the big scheme of cities. However my wife has a great family that somewhat counterbalances the wonder that is Wichita.

A big deficit of going to Wichita is actually getting there. See below for a slight hint what the terrain is like.

Merry Christmas to one and all, or Democrat, progressive or regressive conservative, Bredesen-Christmas-card-is-no-big-deal or mountain-out-of-a-molehill-types folks that didn't care much for the card, vegans and six-meat-buffeters, and to anyone who has ever been nice enough, confused enough, lost enough or weird enough to read this blog. Thank you all.

Friday, December 22, 2006

I wouldn't be Sean John, I'd be doggone, or, what's next Diddy, kitty?

Whoops..looks like Diddy's Sean John's clothing line has more bark than faux bite. Coats advertised as 'faux fur' actually were made with fur of the doggy (not the Snoop kind).

I guess it's kinda like taking songs from Sting and Led Zeppelin and putting a little rap over em' and calling them originals. Looks like Diddy's line may be going to the fashion pound. I'm afraid that Macys is gonna hold Diddy down.

Tower-ing bankruptcy inferno, or, We still have Grimeys!

In the early 1980s when Cats/Turtles was the only semi-cool record in town and Nashville was yearning for Hard Rock/Tower/major league status, the news that Tower was searching for a location in Nashville was happy-making news. I actually knew the person who was the 'location scout' and she told me that the old Graces Plaza on West End was probably going to be the place.

I visited often, even when I had no money to spend, just to listen to what was playing over the store's speakers and to gaze at titles the likes of which I had never seen..there were rows and rows and rows and rows of CDs. There was a closed-in room JUST for classical music and a pretty damn good folkie section in the front.

Yeah, the clerks were hipper than you and you and you and me, and their tattooed-tude wore thin, and the disdainful looks I received for having the nerve NOT to know what obscure oddity was playing over the speakers were not soon forgotten. But, I forgave them, because they HAD the entire Sam Cooke catalogue, and they had all this great African music I had heard about...

But, the overpricing, the downloading of America, the Wal-Mart effect, Best Buy along with the IPOD pretty much doomed the Tower. They gave us an imprimatur of hipness, but we caught up pretty quickly.

It's gone now*..I did take advantage of the deep-gash discounts found in the final days, but I really don't miss the place much.

We have a better CD/record store anyway. The music is just as hip, but the clerks shed their 'tude at the door. If Grimeys doesn't have it, they are happy to order it for you. I love the location, the selection and 'the help'. Sometimes, smaller is just better.

*oddly, the Tower website doesn't mention the passing of the store.

Our governor's a card, and 'surging' in Iraq...

To the 43 people who are upset about 'the' card and the 167 people who still equate the debacle in Iraq with the real war on terrorism, I don't understand you, but I wish you the merriest of Christmases and the happiest of holidays.

Here is kind of an explanation...Wishing peace on people all over the world (even those who don't look like us) is pretty much a Christian thing. I'm not sure I want the earth, but the peacemakers apparently get a pretty large inheritance.

Many of us who have always thought the war in Iraq was a horrid mistake are not against all wars. We are just against STUPID wars. We want the Taliban cleansed from Afghanistan. We want pressure put on those mid-eastern countries that hold telethons to raise money for the families of suicide bombers and who stone little girls when they dare leave their school without the proper clothing. We believe that the terrorists in Darfur and the Sudan need to be defeated. Bush can surge all he wishes in Iraq, but it's not working and most of us know it. We are not against the war because we hate Bush. We're against this war because it was the wrong war and too many people are dying so that Iraq can disintegrate into a thousand pieces.

I don't understand you, but I'm supposed to, and I guess that's what Christmas is really all about.

Why would you trust your kids with this man?

Apparently this kid didn't have to wait until Christmas dinner to get the Christmas goose. Sister is apparently reeling from the after-effects of the goose.

This is a bank Santa. I'm guessing that Santa is going to be 'asking' for a 'loan' as soon as he ditches the kids.

Santa's got a in a brand new bag....

Thanks to this Chicago Tribune special feature:

Thursday, December 21, 2006

To the kids who fabricate the Scene's Fabricator

BITE ME. We had fun. Damn shame that Nemesis Boy has outed himself herself and didn't appear, or else we could have once again been exposed as solipsistic witless dupes...oh, wait a minute....we didn't name Nemesis Boy as the blogger of the year...

Seeing the forest...or, Ok, even though I like to schedule my own thankful days, I'll do the thankful Thursday thing...

I've written a lot lately about the many wonderful people I've met (especially in my West Tennessee Blogger Tour disguised somewhat as a work trip*). I've been really lucky to get to know (and I'm not going to attempt to list them all) folks like Kerry and CLC and Sista and so many more. Without blogging, and without Brittney and her wondrous work, it wouldn't have happened.

But, I want to devote this post to the person to whom I am most grateful. She's not a blogger. She's met a few and knows that they aren't crazed ax-murderer types (at least not the ax part). She tolerates my blogging and blog-reading most of the time (i get a LITTLE obsessive reading your blogs). She has put up with my idiosyncratic behavior, and irascibility much longer than my parents did. She's a person of abundant energy and talent (witness the painting on top of this post). She's a talented cook and a great date. I'm not going to go all 'B-Dub' on ya and describe the outcome of some of those dates, but I can tell you we have three children and none of them were conceived immaculately.

I told Lynnster sometime during my western swing that I've already received my gifts for this year - getting to know so many of YOU. I'm being soppy I know, but the greatest gift of them all is my wife. I think she is beautiful and I know than she is more patient than Job could even dream.

Sadly, neither one of us married an organized person, but we did manage to organize our thoughts well enough to marry the right person (well, I did at least..)

So, thanks to Lynn for the last 29 and 1/2 years.....

Hope I die before I grow up, or, tell me about the tacky sweaters George, tell me...

My usual up-to-date radar on what is trendy was jarred when I read MY Tennessean and discovered the smart set were scouring Goodwill and their weird aunt's closets and chiffarobes for ugly, tasteless, LOUD, sweaters to wear for their trendy outings to trendy clubs. Actually, I now realize that if I read MY Tennessean to find out what is cool, I've already pretty much lost the war.

Anyway, besides some possible questionable activity spurred by trying to purchase sweaters from homeless people, I wanted to point out a rather odd quote from one of the women interviewed by MY Tennessean for the sweater story.

.....So when she moved to Nashville this year, she brought her newly found Christmas tradition with her and persuaded 40 friends to participate in their first-ever "tacky Christmas sweater pub crawl."

They wove in and out of the bars on Demonbreun Street, drawing attention from other bar hoppers with their flashing sweaters and jingling hems.

But Ainge and her friends didn't care about the stares.

"There's something to be said about not caring what people think and having a good time," Ainge said. "I can't wait until I'm older and I can wear holiday sweaters all the time and it'll be completely appropriate."

I had always thought that the beauty and grace of growing old was based on the wisdom garnered from a life well lived, or enjoying the grandchildren we hope we'll have someday (no rush kiddos!) or being able to shoo young hooligans off the yard while brandishing a cane. I better start stocking up on holiday know I always wanna be appropriate!

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Dear Jameson Suites in Jackson

Thank you, thank you, thanks. This is not snark. This is no sarcasm or disco. That amazing full-force-astro-blast-kick-ass shower head and power-blast water flow was magnificent. It beat the hell out of that weak-shit-flow in the Memphis Sleep Inn.

I used to have a birthmark on my left arm. Your shower took care of that..whoooowheeee. I'm a new, much cleaner, man. I know we're suPPosed to be conserving water, but sweet minerva-of-the-woods, I love that shower.

thanks for having me, Jameson Suites in Jackson.*

*this was not a paid endorsement. In fact, I'm just about to pay THEM.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

The blogger gods must be crazy, or the West Tennessee blogger tour continues..

I'm actually occasionally glancing skyward, expecting to see a laptop fall in a nearby parking lot. This evening as I was driving eastward into Jackson, I decided on a whim to call Newscoma to see if there was ANY chance she was near Jackson and if there was ANY chance she'd want to have some dinner.

Earlier today, I had my long-anticipated lunch with Lindsey of Theo/Geo fame (well, long anticipated by ME, wonderfully tolerated by Lindsey). I finished up my bizness in Memphis around 12:30, scooted over to Huey's on Madison in time to see Lindsey strolling down Madison. I love the Huey's. I get the same exact Huey burger and onion rings EVERYTIME I go there. More importantly, I loved chatting with Lindsey who didn't give me that mean look I once saw on her blog, even once.

I'm literally old enough to be her dad (in fact, I am OLDER than her dad)..sigh. She was nice about it all, and I continue to be impressed with her smarts, her wit, and her Target earrings. So, thanks, Lindsey. You rock...damn, i forgot to ask about the deflated balloons in her hair from earlier days.

On another note, Lindsey, in person, reminded me of Ivy. In fact, she could be her little sister, imo. Does this make her my blog-sister-in-law???

Soooo, tonight,as i stated earlier, I call the Newscoma. I understand that West Tennessee covers a great deal of territory and that just because NC lives in W. Tennessee doesn't mean she would be near the Jackson area just because I called.

Of course, not only was NC around the area, she was already THERE shopping with the Rodent Queen. The blogger gods smile upon me.

We ate sushi in Jackson. I was surprised to find such a thing, considering that most of the West Tennesseans I know call this stuff bait. Dinner and convo exquisitely delightful.

So, in summary, after I got through the pesky work stuff, my day turned out very well. Thanks, Lindsey, Newscoma, and Rodent Queen.

PS. Good luck with the car issues, Lindsey.

Getting schooled, or, Sometimes there are some pretty large cracks...

I came across this devastating article about public schools thanks to CLICKED. Before I write about the article I should say that my wife is a public school teacher, all three of my kids went to public schools from 1st through 12th grade, we have many friends who are teachers and another good friend who was on the school board until recently (sadly, she was foxed out..).

I am a strong proponent of public education even though I spent 16 years in a private school (Lipscomb - which may explain a lot). Public schools don't get to weed out the miscreants, slow learners, non-english-speaking kids and the kids who are different. I also believe that charter schools should be given more of a chance round these parts to better deal with some of the so-called fringe kids. I believe that a voucher system would destroy the good public schools along with the bad, but I digress.

My belief in public education is why I was so frustrated last summer when Kay Brooks* was maneuvered onto the School Board. Kay is a home schooler and has a lot to say about education, but should not have been party to another fine Crafton/Craddock plot (in my humble opinion). She had every right to run for office and I'm glad she did.

I'm slowly winding my way to the major point - public schools often do a piss poor job of dealing with outsiders. Let me pull a quote from the article:

When you read about the problems with American education, you usually read a bunch statistics about literacy and dropout rates. But those statistics don'’t do the subject justice because the problem with American education is a human story. Every dropout is a human being, every illiterate teenager is an individual, every teen that commits suicide was somebody'’s baby, and every kid that'’s doing 20 to life is a real breathing person full of potential.

People are too quick to criticize parents, teachers, administrators, and students. The failure of government education isn't theirs alone. It's every American'’s fault because we continue to allow the unrestrained growth of government schooling. Haven'’t we learned anything from our own experiences in government schools?

The author of this piece, Steve Olson, seems close to wishing the entire system destroyed, even though he backs away at times. Where he hit home with me is when he mentions 'zero tolerance'..

The top students learn the system. If they are free thinkers, they hide it, because they'’re after top grades and independent thinking is too risky and unpredictable.

What'’s different today is the nature of the mediocre and poor students. They don'’t confront and challenge us like they used to. They seem brain dead and indifferent.

Our zero tolerance policies have created a larger gulf between the students and us. From the late sixties until the mid-nineties, the students and their culture were somewhat accessible. Today they completely shut us out.

Our younger son was 'zero-toleranced' right out of Hillsboro for one year - he got caught with a joint. He did a stupid thing and deserved to be punished. What happened to him made his stupidity sound like accidenal littering.

He was placed in an alternative school with elementary school furniture and elementary school-like textbooks. I use the word textbook lightly. They were actually workbooks, many with fill-in-the-blanks. There were no after school activities and no required counseling sessions. The kids were basically in a place where they were told they were defective and could not learn. Our son began to buy into this nonsense and we pulled him out of school. He got to go back to Hillsboro for his senior year, thankfully, and despite what a moronic vice-principal told him, he got to graduate with his class.

I saw first-hand how the school system deals with the so-called alternative kid. He was treated the same way as if he had bought a gun to school. Once again, he deserved punishment and he had to deal with severe penalties from the legal system, for which my wife and I remain very grateful.

Particularly galling was the fact that several students at Hillsboro the same time my son was expelled got caught passing counterfeit money in Green Hills. They were suspended and not expelled which is curious considering it was a federal offense. Oddly, that crime was not listed as a 'zero tolerance' offense. My point is that zero tolerance policy is ridiculous, not that those young men should have been treated as stupidly my son.

If you want to read another story about school malfeasance, please read Ginger's post about what happened to her daughter and how the school handled the situation.

Like I said above, we still need public education. I'm not ready to throw the whole thing out, even though home-schooling is a viable option for some and our schools have failed so many. The author of the article is quite bitter, but considering his story, I probably would be as well.

*I wrote some mean things about Kay Brooks in regards to her school board tenure. I don't regret my belief that she should have not been named to the school board. I do regret my mean-spiritedness. I've been told by many people that Kay is quite nice and quite friendly. She certainly has important things to say about education. If I were looking for advice regarding home schooling, I would start with Kay. Our politics are quite different, but that is actually quite irrelevant in the great scheme of things.

Monday, December 18, 2006

Dinner in the Zone - Lynnzone...

I'm lucky to be conscious right now, because if Lynn (Lynnster, not my wife Lynn) had done to my friend Phil and me what we deserved, we would have been bludgeoned with whatever blunt object that Lynn could get her hands on. We didn't say rude things (at least about Lynn) and we weren't cads...we just talked and talked and talked, and I'm sure that Lynn would have LIKED to get in a word edgewise, but no time for that kind of thing.

My friend Phil and I worked together on a data installation project in Memphis many years ago, and there are certain indelible stories that emerged from those years...stories that improve with the re-telling, and re-telling we did.

I did enjoy myself...Lynnster and Phil are great company, but next time I promise to bring a roll of duct tape and let Lynn tape my logorrheic orifice after I ask her a few pertinent questions. I promise her a period of no less than 10 minutes for her to spout, rant, rave, converse, discuss or cuss any which way she wants it....she deserves no less.

btw..Lynn is at least 2.5 times better looking in person than in her blog picture, and she is every bit as friendly as you would imagine reading her blog. Phil, on the other hand, needs to leave his picture completely off the internet (o;

Sunday, December 17, 2006

4.5 degrees of separation, or less separation for me with Memphis

One of the abiding cliches of the last twenty years or so is that we are all connected (at least here in North America) by no more than six people. The world of trivia boggled when it seemed like Kevin Bacon was in every movie in the 1980s and 1990s, thus spawning various versions of the '6 Degrees of Kevin Bacon' game.

Aside: Kevin Bacon isn't even in the top 100 of actors that are the most 'connected'. The late great Rod Steiger wins that 'honor' hands down.

Anyway, back to the rambled-to point. I'm thinking the internet has lessened our separateness - maybe not soul-wise and spiritually - but certainly in some sort of communal way. Blogs bring people together who have never met and then they discover they worked at the same place virtually days apart. I discovered that one of my older son's best friends is the son of Kerry Woo aka Wonderdawg.

I'm leaving for Memphis in a few minutes for a few days. I'm hoping to have dinner with Lynnster tomorrow night and maybe some lunch with Lindsey on Tuesday. These are people that I probably wouldn't meet in the proverbial 100 years if it wasn't for the blog-a-teria.

Back in the late 90's I spent a LOT of time in Memphis. We were installing a then-new software system in the Memphis-Shelby county Health Department. I made several friends during that time. Most of them no longer live in Memphis or work for the Health Department any longer. Basically, I'm down to two people I really know in the entire city of Memphis. Memphis is home to LOTS of people.

What are the odds that Lynnster knows one of these two people..I dunno, but she does and we are all having dinner tomorrow night. Go figure.

Just on principle, Merril Hoge is still an idiot, or Finnegan left pursuit in wake..

This game today will certainly not be a part of any defense for the value of Vince Jones to the Titans. He made several bonehead plays, including one made-for-head-scratching pass towards the end that literally could have given the game away...

But, it was a day of defense. For every bad thing you can say about the Titan's offense today, there is an equally wonderful observation one can say about the defense. My long-held dream for a Number 31 jersey (Cortland Finnegan - defensive back) to be sold to the general public may be coming closer to fruition. Ahhhhhhh..Finnegan. Whatta play he made, picking up a fumble and running it back for what seemed like 90 yards for a touchdown.

And Pac, oh Pac...if you were as much a wonder off the field as on, you might be the B'nai B'rith man of the year...oy vey, whatta game Pac played.

Kudos to the defense...sadly, Merril Hoge's continued campaign against Vince gained ground today...but it doesn't really matter...TITANS WIN, TITANS WIN, TITANS WIN!!

Whoooohooooo, I'm TIME magazine's MAN of the YEAR!! and you, and yes YOU, are as well. Time has totally jumped the shark or whatever it is that magazines do when they flail into dumbness. Anyone who uses a computer, pretty much, is Time Magazine's 'man' of the year. I agree with Roger A. - if you're going to do something this lame, why bother.

Usually by the time Time uses a slang word, like bling for instance, it is SO PLAYED and lame..kinda like when your parents tried to use slang in one of their 'you're an idiot but I love you speeches'* and they wanted to 'connect'. Waiting until 2006 to figure out that bloggers and YouTubers and Web 2.0 are 'happening' is, in a word, sad. My message to you, old TIMERS behind this choice - in the words of Blogger so often when I try to post a picture: "You've timed out"...

But, after being inspired by Roger's post to write this, I'm thinking, who better for 'MAN of the YEAR' but this guy...

I mean, he has saved us, and the world, at least 5 or 6 times.

*I surely can't be alone in the receipt of the 'you're an idiot but we love you speeches'. My mom once used 'HEY NOW'(this usage WAY pre-dates the Larry Sanders show, but is said in a sing-song way that my mother JUST BUTCHERED) in a 'speech' and I nearly collapsed in laughter. She pretty much left off the 'we love you' portion of the lecture at this point.

Hey, do you know where this is?

I'm borrowing a page from my Metroblogging friends. Occasionally one of the M.B.s posts a picture and challenges the readers to guess where the pic was taken. I can say that this is in Davidson County. I can also say that I'm sorry for the poor quality of the was taken from my Verizon phone.

I was driving around aimlessly due to the loss of Black Santa and I came across this really interesting abandoned house. Truth be told, I had read about this house and had been looking for it for some time...I had miscalculated by a bit until yesterday. I love the monogrammed chimney!

There's a completely paid-for, full-course lunch/dinner at Mothership for the first person who identifies the location of this picture.

Saturday, December 16, 2006

I know it's cruel and not nice, but these things always make me laugh..

The name of the blog where I found this pic made me laugh as well: Don't Feed or Spank the Monkey. It's an New Zealand Australian blog. The author claims to have saved the world 27 times...funny, I didn't think Jack Bauer lived in New Zealand Australia..

Update: Sunday PM - I must be blind. The author of the blog I wrote about above lives in Perth, Australia, which is not in New Zealand (nor does it probably wish to be in NZ) unless there is some sort of unpleasant continental shift looming. Sorry, Kitta!

Life has little meaning - Black Santa has moved on, or quite possibly the worst melange of poetic styles anyone will ever read.....

Tis' the morning after our Salemtown bash,
and hutchmo is bereft,
I've stooped to 3rd person,
cuz, Black Santa has LEFT.

he mumbled some excuses,
as he stroked his gray beard,
and then frankly speaking,
he said, "hutchmo YOU'RE weird..

your rhymes aren't as good as the great CLC,
and i've grown somewhat tired of your irascibility,
it's time to move onward from Chez de Hutchmo,
but i'm staying in Salemtown, not far will I go"

"My new home is swaddled in such gay apparel,
not clothed in jeans blue, and outdated Merrell,
there'll be fine dining, dancing, and deep-tissue rubs,
not sitting around in sweats, watching re-runs of Scrubs..

I'm looking for excitement, some Beam in my nogs,
not sitting around scratching and reading the blogs,
Quit yer whinin' hutchmo, it's not as if I've been Nicked,
some of the time, you can be such a dick, it's been such a kick

I've got to formulate a plot fore I end up in jail or shot
Success is my only motha-santa option, failure's not
Mom, I love you, but this old man's got to go
I cannot grow old in Salem's lot*

With those oddly familiar words,
Black Santa was gone,
trailing P-funk along with M & Ms on the lawn...

'tis not dew that glistens upon that lawn,
it's the tears from knowing that Black Santa has gone,
and knowing that he will sup with another,
it feels as if I've lost my last brother...

oh, somewhere in this favored land the sun is shining bright;
The band is playing somewhere, and somewhere hearts are light,
And somewhere men are laughing, and little children shout;
But there is no joy in hutchmo-Black Santa has moved out.

*At this point, Black Santa apparently decided to channel Eminem copyrighted material.

Friday, December 15, 2006

Ice Ice baby - fun with the Predators, or, hey look, it's a cell phone trick

The Predators rocked the house last night, winning 6-0 over the defenseless Senators from Ottawa. It was kind of like watching the Harlem Globetrotters against the Washington Generals, if that makes sense to you..

Kariya set up office in his 'corner' handing out assists like a Vegas dealer, and Sullivan, oh Sullivan, comes off a week-long injury to give us a 'natural hat trick' (scoring 3 goals in a row without any interceding goals from either team). Fans close enough to the ice threw their hats on the ice (I sit in nosebleed), which is one of those fun hockey traditions that don't seem to have counterparts in other sports. The Predators were just plain ON.

It was all fun, except for TWO things: a totally gratuitous and ugly playing of 'Rocky Top' during the second period (I don't see any Vols on the ice), and the guy in front of me with the cell phone who needed to stand up to talk on the phone. I'm going to push for a new institution at sporting events: The cell phone trick..

Someone in front of you stands up to talk on the phone or talks unreasonably loudly 3 times during the game, and you get to throw his/her cell phone on the field.....sounds reasonable to me.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Peep Show..

Have you seen THIS one? It's kind of survival of the 'fittest'....Not surprisingly, the sexier ones do well. My entry might last up to ten minutes...

Putting a governor on democracy, or Who cares who the people voted for...

The sad story of South Dakota's Senator Tim Johnson's stroke is newsworthy for many reasons. Mostly we all (well, probably almost all of us) wish him well and many of us will pray for his recovery.

The secondary story here is what happens if Senator Johnson doesn't recover or has to resign from the senate because of incapacitation. I certainly don't want to conflate the importance of the two stories, but the political aspect of the secondary story leads into a large pet peeve of mine.

When a senator leaves office in the middle of his/her term for any reason, the Governor of the state from which the senator was elected gets to name the interim replacement for the senator.

Most of the time, the Governor will name an interim from the Governor's political party. The problem I have (and I don't think I'm alone) is that the people may have voted for someone from the OPPOSITE party. I realize that the Senate is the lesser democratic (small 'd' democratic) of the two bodies, but I do not understand why the will of the people can be thwarted in such a manner.

In this case, the control of the Senate hangs in the balance. My beef isn't that a Republican will be named in South Dakota to replace Senator Johnson (in the worst case scenario)...I don't care if the senator in question is Republican, Democratic, Green, Socialist, or Pleistocene. If the governor doesn't replace the vacancy with a member of the party that left office prematurely, the governor is not only turning his back on the majority of the people in the state that bothered to vote, he is saying that his 'vote' is more important than the people.

Most of all, I want Senator Johnson to recover. That is clearly the best 'solution' here.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

"That's a lie, I didn't sleep with your woman...

we stayed awake all night"....

From the wonderful brain of Paul Thorn, one of my favorite singer-songwriters in this universe. When I went to the 'crumbling' Tower on West End to snag a few values before the Tower is no more, I found this CD/DVD combination.

Paul Thorn, live in Birmingham...mmmmm, TaStY.

I've been through the desert on a meme with no name, and there ain't no tagging to give you pain

For no particular reason, with no particular rules and without explanation of any kind.

1. That guy's voice on the Men's Warehouse commericals.

2. warm moist towelettes at the Rendevous

3. 8 Days a Week

4. mixing honey with butter

5. watching Paul Kariya over in the corner

6. realizing you can

7. Do you ever just get down on your knees and thank God that you know me and have access to my dementia?"
- George, in "The Switch"

8. chivitas

9. orange juice and club soda

10. Prestidigitation

9. Re-making the In-Laws

8. Being told what I think by someone who doesn't know me

7. needing to scratch when they're all looking at you

6. Something about Jim

5. Sandy Johnson

4. It's Christmas, no it's the Holidays, no it's CHRISTMAS, HAPPY HOLIDAY you moronic excuse for a carbon-based life form, NO, it's CHRISTMAS you godless pinhead with christmas spirit flatter than Britney Spear's brainwaves, HAPPY FUCKIN' Holidays and the horse you rode in on...

3. Santa Baby as sung by Madonna

2. lighting candles on airplanes

1. assuming

0. should

Young Frankenstein tap dances into heaven - Peter Boyle passes on..

Back when Mel Brooks was actually making movies for people over the age of 15, he created the best satirical monster movie ever: 'Young Frankenstein'. One of the reasons the whole thing worked so well (besides the great script) was the casting. Gene Wilder (when he was still funny and not maudlin), a luscious Teri Garr, Madeline Kahn, Cloris Leachman, Gene Hackman. Marty Feldman, and the wonderful Peter Boyle as Frankenstein.

Before this movie, Boyle was almost always typecast as the tough blue collar, humorless, sometimes bigoted Archie Bunker without a meathead. Brooks saw something in Boyle - the twinkle, the pathos, and the fact that he could tap dance to Putting on the Ritz while playing Frankenstein.

Boyle was pitch-perfect. The role broke him out into the world of romantic comedy (While You Were Sleeping - father-in-law), science fiction (X-Files) and his wonderful coda: the dad on 'Everyone Love's Raymond' - the combination of the early blue collar bigot with a good heart and a great sense of comic timing.

Boyle died last night. I hope he's horsing around with Madeline Kahn by now...

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

New hope for the brain dead...

And no, this is not a cheap Terry Frank joke. I kid the Terry.

According to the morning paper, Senator Frist is eying a run for governor. Now that he helped turn the majority party into the minority party nationally, local Democrats have to be licking their chops.

On the other hand, cat owners might wanna keep a tighter watch on their felines, now that Bill-the-Knife is baaaaaaaaaack in town.

oh my God..they ARE out to get me

I guess I'm going to have to apologize to the OCE Variopoint 2110. It's still not working, but apparently my extreme-machine-dissing has been passed along cyber-like to my work computer. Ok, the fact that my work computer is a low-state-bid-that-costs-more-than-what-you-could-get-off-the-shelf-at-Office-Max Gateway computer may have something to do with the satanic forces that have inhabited my computer since my rather harsh talk about the OCE Variopoint 2110.

Yesterday, out of nowhere, I got this message that my machine was shutting down in 45 seconds and I better, really really fast, save what I was doing because it was going to BE GONE. So, I saved the blog post really important state document I was working on and waited for the metal-machine-music to reboot. Every three minutes or so after that, I got the message of death. I called the help desk and to their credit, they responded quickly.

I guess the urgency of my message resonated in the halls of the help center. They sent not one geek incredibly helpful state employee, but two. They proceeded to run the state-low-bid-adware-detector which is sadly not quite as good as the stuff you can load for, say, FREE, from the internet, and then they ran it again, and for good times, one more time.

They left, with the message to call if I had any more problems. Within five minutes I was beseiged with more pop-ups than moles at the Midway. I managed to work for several minutes on what was actually an incredibly important state document and then I got the message of death again...

So, to the OCE Variopoint 2110, I apologize. I'm sure your feelings and inner workings are far more complex, than I, a simple carbon-based life form, can realize. Please tell your friend, Mr. Gateway, that I'm sorry.

While I'm at it, just to be safe, I'll apologize to Merril Hoge (misguided ESPN analyst who still thinks Vince Young stinks) as well. Maybe cable TV really is ruining our lives.

To any other machine I've maligned, I'm sorry...really really sorry.

Monday, December 11, 2006

The OCE Variopoint 2110 copier will probably do windows, but only if it's fed, or, If I had a hammer...

I wanted to show you the fine state of affairs we have come to in our office with our favorite new HAL machine. We actually have a sign made to commemorate when the damn machine is actually working..

So, the sign was on this morning and the machine was humming along and probably sending secret cables to the auditors and networking with the 700 Club or something, and then I go to our Christmas lunch where we played 'Dirty Santa'. I scored some premium quality chocolate orange candy, which is a far sight better than the rock singer tongue air freshener I brought to the table.

I get back to the office and what do I see...

This guy was there and nobody saw him leave. I think that the OCE Variopoint 2110 was hungry. Nothing like a little shop of copiers....

Sunday, December 10, 2006

This may explain the low birth-rate in eastern European countries, or, I think Camino had more to drink than I realized..

I was actually trying to find a picture of one of the Doors to validate the fact that the guitar player looks a whole lot like Paulie Shore* (ok, I was watching this NPT show on 60's music and they played a clip of the Doors on Ed Sullivan performing 'Light My Fire' and I'm looking at the guitar player and thinking, damn, that dude looks like Paulie Shore and I'm also thinking that I might want to finally do something about getting a life), when I clicked on some eastern European site that purportedly HAD a picture of the Doors, and I find the above picture.

Needless to say, I was transfixed. I thought that the Doors back catalogue had been selling quite well...little did I know. This really is, the end....

*Let me hasten to add that I don't think Paulie Shore is, was, or probably will be, funny. It may be my advanced age. I prefer to think it's my IQ.

Please tell Vince Young there's something he can't do, or, Merrill Hoge is even more an idiot..

I've already opined that ESPN's concussed football analyst Merrill Hoge is an idiot. He actually claimed that the Titan's offense HIDES Young. I don't know whatthehell Titan team he has been watching.

I'm fairly certain that someday, somewhere, a Vince-lead Titans team will lose. I'm also certain that Vince doesn't believe what I said in the previous sentence. Watching him run and run into the end zone for the winning touchdown today reminded me of watching one of my sons run the bases back in the day in one of our many backyard whiffle ball games. His head was held high, arms were pumping, and if you looked deep in his eyes you would know that anything, yes anything, was possible.

I'm not sure that the pundits (at least the pundits not named Hoge) can come up with anything new to say about Young. The man is leading the Titans into the future and it's looking pretty good from this angle.

Unidentified blogger has run-in with Berry Hill police after a few shots at the Mothership

It really was loads of fun last night, even for those of us who weren't able to join in the 'shots' gunned..

And you thought that Hi-Fidelity Musical idea was bad, but, what crazy monkey thought of this one...

Among the top five stupid ideas of the year was turning the wonderful book 'High Fidelity' into a musical. I was really glad to hear that it is pretty much a failure (if the words - top five ideas for a musical that never should have been made - are any indication).

But..that idea is an absolute piker in the world of bad ideas when it comes to this..

JESUS! And I'm not saying that in a blasphemous way..He is the proposed star of a new romantic comedy TV series....seems JC has come back and is working in an IKEA store in Los Angeles and sorta hooks up with a single working woman. There are SOOOO many things wrong with this..First of all..LA..NO WAY.

Seriously, in the world of ideas pretty much certain to offend millions of people, this one is pretty much in Michael Richards/Mel Gibson/Chistmas Shoes territory....

This kinda sounds like a bad skit on Studio 60, but I'm not even sure it rises to that level.

Maybe the pundit was put a roomful of crazy monkeys together...give em' typewriters/computers and they DID come up with to speak. Sheeeesh

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Mother of a blogger meat-up...

This was the best blogger meet-up ever, imo. Great food (of course), cozy confines, wine and other beverages flowing, tongues loosening, and lots of new connections and renewal of old connections. We even had a mayoral candidate show up!

Maestro organizer Dr. Woo and a fuzzy Britney..fuzziness at this point is NOT due to the wine, but the photographer.

Progressive Mr. Mack squares off with the wonderfully conservative Glen Dean.

Snapping Ginger...

Chris Wage, B-Dub (altho he mastered the domain at the Mothership, things were a little different back home), and Jag in her patent pending trademark pose.

Silver shoes, silver shoes
, it's Christmas time in the city.

Rico Suave aka Blake Wylie made a late grand entrance.

The fabulous Aunt B, Ceeelcee (thank God he didn't wear what he threatened to wear), and the wondrous RuaBelle

My blogger 'wife' and me. The only reason this is in here is because Ivy looks so nice.

I had more pics, but they really didn't come out at all. Sorry to all the other many cool people who didn't get in my pics..I'm sure they'll show up on other blogs authored by better photographers.

It was cool meeting some bloggers for the first time - Slartibartfast and his wife, Holiday Grinch, Sara Clark, Glen Dean, Josh Tinley, John Lamb (editor of Hispanic Nashvile blog), and the master wit Rex. L. Camino.

Thanks to Kerry, Jim and all the others who put this together...Fabulous.

I'll get you for this, Slartibartfast...

We've all had those stupid tunes we couldn't get out of our heads. I wanted to torture that Bega guy who sang that stupid Mambo #5 song. For months after hearing that song incessantly played everywhere I went, all of my thoughts would be to the tune of Mambo # 5..

A little bit of laundry in my life
A little bit of coffee by my side
A little bit of bacon is what I need
Some apricot jam would be whoooweeee
A little bit of sitting in the sun
Listening to my mp3s would be fun
A little screwed up is what I am
I hate this song, DAMN DAMN DAMN

I went for freakin' MONTHS with that tune. More recently Pete Bob Seeger Seger's 'Thhhhisss iss ourrr Countreeee' ditty was lodged into my medulla obligata, bouncing around like neutrons at an open bar (for you, there's no charge..).

Now...NOW comes this blog 'Shoot the Moose' which I enjoy reading. But..does the author of the blog have some name that sits there calmly not insinuating itself into your brain like a festation of mice in the cheese closet...NO. He has to call himself SLARTIBARTFAST. Say it three'll be hearing it in your sleep.

I'm begging somebody somewhere to play me a catchy tune that is tolerable and will purge the Magrathean water torture of the impossible-to-forget-name. I'm sure I'd like the guy behind the 'Slartibartfast', but that name is driving ME coo-coo'er than a busload of kids deprived of their Cocoa Puffs.

Yeah, I read the 'Hitchhiker's Guide to the Universe' and the subsequent trilogy, but somehow that name didn't stick to my cranium like superglue.

What's a blogger to do?

why i'll never be confused with an artist, or, Toss THIS cookie.

Every year since 1999 my friend Susan has hosted this Christmas-related party where you are provided with an endless supply of sugar cookies, lotsa different color icing, sprinkles, M & Ms and gum drops for the purpose of creating award-winning cookie designs.

Awards are presented for the best holiday cookie, best non-holiday themed cookie, and best in show. There were about 60 people of both genders and all ages feverishly working on their elaborately designed cookies. There were 3-D Christmas trees, palm trees with ocean waves in the background, claymation action figure cookies, entire nativity scenes made from various sized cookies, dogs leashed to their master, Elvis cookies, funny reindeer cookies and many more including a really well-designed hockey stick. Then there was mine.

Not surprisingly, I went home without a prize. Can you make out the theme of my stupid cookie?

Btw..the party was lots of fun. Next year I'm lobbying for a new 'worst in show' award. I'm feeling prettttttttty good about my chances.

Friday, December 08, 2006

merrill hoge is an idiot, or, you best not be dissing Vince 'forever' Young around here...

Merrill Hoge is an ESPN football analyst and former running back with the Steelers. He was actually a pretty decent running back until a series of concussions finished his career. Apparently, the effect of the concussions has not completely abated.

Some dude put together Merrill's disses about Vince, and Vince's actual play on the field. I think you will agree with my assessment about Merrill when you see the video.

Radulov, Radulov, Alexander Radulov....

If you don't care anything about hockey, ignore this post. But if you do care and you are 'into' the Preds, then you need to pay attention to rookie Radulov. The man is a SCORING MACHINE.

We really could have two rookies of the year candidates in one city here: Vince for the Titans and Alexander for the Preds. Maybe Alexander needs to lose the scraggly beard, but we haven't seen anything quite like this on the ice.


Thursday, December 07, 2006

Apparently I wasn't fast enough...I got tagged

Ivy tapped me for the '3 Things' meme..

Scare me: birds flying free indoors, parties where I know 1 or less people, being unprepared in a meeting

Make me laugh: Sedaris family, Sarcastro, P.G. Wodehouse

I love: Samurai Sushi, baseball trips, walking the dogs in the 'hood

I hate: printers, OCE Viviopoint 2110 copiers, Styx

I don't understand: chemistry, musical theory, the appeal of Danny Kaye

Things on my desk: a coffee cup that needs to be washed out, another coffee cup that needs more washing than the first cup, stupid quotes from George Bush

I'm doing right now: waking my wife (i thought i was typing softer), this stupid meme, wishing i didn't have to go to work tomorrow

I want to do before I die: hang glide, visit Paris (the one in France), live somewhere with a GREAT view

I can do: fairly difficult crossword puzzles, a pretty good Bullwinkle imitation, laundry

I can't do: a decent drawing (sad considering i'm the son and husband of art teachers), sing in tune, avoid tearing up when watching emotional movies or hallmark greeting card ads on tv

I think you should listen to: Aunt B, Purple Rain by Prince, The entire Rain Dog CD by Tom Waits

You should never listen to: me sing, Styx, Tim McCarver

I'd like to learn: musical theory, how to juggle, Spanish

Favorite foods: pulled pork at the Mothership, my wife's cornbread, sushi from Mr. Choo at Samurai

Beverages I drink regularly: oj and club soda, dasani lemon flavored, iced tea half sweetened and half unsweetened

Shows I watched as a kid: Superman, 3 Stooges, Bonanza

The Tagging stops HERE!

December 7th - A study in contrasts

On December 7th, 1941, the Japanese made a great and grave mistake by waking up a sleeping giant when they attacked Pearl Harbor. Our country had no choice but to awaken, declare war and begin the path to a victory that thwarted the spread of fascism and the murder of millions of people who didn't quite make it up to the Aryan standard.

On December 7th, 2006, as the pundits peruse the 'Baker report', and the White House spins the contents, we need to wake up to the fact that 11 Americans died yesterday in Iraq, and that this war is quite possibly the biggest foreign policy mistake in our lifetimes, if not a myriad of lifetimes. Flawed in it's ramp-up, disasterous in post-war execution, we have done nothing but destablize a region that was teetering at best.

Mr. President, can you look the families of those 11 soldiers in the eye and tell them just exactly why they had to die? Yeah, you can spin and churn, but the truth is, thousands of lives, both Iraqis and American, have been lost with little to show.

Violence is worse in Iraq than when we arrived. You can call it sectarian, you can call it civil war, but the truth is, what we are doing is not working, and we need to get out.

The election was a clear vote of no-confidence in your failed war policy, President Bush. My prayer is that this anniversary of a horrible awakening will completely wake this administration up to the horror they have wrought.

Mr.'s time to go.

It took em' 8 months to come up with this?

Panel says U.S. policy in Iraq ‘is not working’

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

A devil of a post, or, Clarity through turmoil

I realize that Lindsay over at 'Suburban Turmoil' doesn't need me to feed her readership, but I have to say that her latest post (latest at this writing) about the devil as seen from the eyes of a child through the eyes of a mature adult is just outstanding. Regardless of your theological underpinning (or lack of theological underpinning) the post is a great and provocative read.

I think C.S. Lewis would be proud, and that is high praise from me. Please don't think that Lindsay's column is now suddenly a religious or spiritual outposting. Her blog title speaks for itself. She closes the post:

At our own massive sanctuary, any evidence of The Devil has been carefully whitewashed and sanitized. We pretend we’re all next-door neighbors, even though most us have never met. Lucifer may be lurking somewhere outside, but if we sing loudly and smile brightly and keep our eyes shut during the prayer, we can probably keep him out until he gives up and heads for a smaller congregation.

What a comfort it is to know that the smartest and most sophisticated of us have managed to banish Satan from our lives, warding off his return with charitable donations to the Red Cross and Life is Good bumper stickers. And yet, sometimes I could swear I still catch a glimpse of the old Devil I used to know in the cocky stride of a local politician, in the tone of my gossipy girlfriends’ voices, and, fleetingly, in my own eyes when I look in the mirror.

Enough from me...go read THIS.

ZICAM - the complete story

I will continue to sing the praises of ZICAM because just a few puffs made me feel like a new man, or should I say, a more-able-to-breathe 54 year old man. The day after my head was pounding like Charlie Watts (homage to John Hiatt), I was able to pick up my sick bed and go to work and be nearly productive.

But, in fairness, as a commenter on my original ZICAM post pointed out, ZICAM is known to have side effects, chiefly loss or decreased sense of smell. I haven't noticed this side effect - in fact, thanks to a recent shower and this soapy gel stuff I'm using, I am, in the words of OutKast, so fresh and so clean.

Anyway, I thought I would do more research into other possible side affects of Zicam in order to be as fair and balanced as our friends at Fox News. A few other possible side effects I've uncovered:

Vapours, dropsey, Lamont-Thompson syndrome, heebie-jeebies, cat panting, moist ear, astral swelling, minerva basting, plantars pee-nuts, slartibartfasting, rascalitis, pulaski elbow, ben-dover syndrome, fulmination, rumination and inability to juggle.

I hope this helps.

Update: 12/7/06 - A Canadian website that lists side effects of drugs linked to this post. The website listed, without commentary, the ridiculous list of side effects in the above paragraph. My hope and prayer is that some Canadian asks his/her pharmacist about the perils of Lamont-Thompson syndrome, or for that matter, cat panting.

Lights out in Salemtown, or, what has Ludye done NOW?

This morning when I was begin to wake UP, the lights started flickering and wavering more than John Kerry on Iraq policy. After about an hour of shimmy shimmy, the electricity went off. As far as I could tell, most of Salemtown was affected, including the intersection of Metrocenter Blvd. and the interstate.

Fortunately, the outage did not extend to the new Starbucks. I was able to fulfill my need for morning caffeine, even though our coffeemaker couldn't go about its business.

As of 7:30, no info from NES, other than there had been LOTSA complaints.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

A gift to Nashville, or, Who doesn't want to learn to speak English?

The third reading of the 'English first' bill is scheduled for tonight's Metro Council Meeting. I have a few questions I'd like to ask the city council members before they vote, but first I want them to consider the season and to consider what a great country we live in.

When we go over our list of things to be thankful for, I need to always remember to be grateful to live in a country where people want to get IN, rather than a country where people are dying to LEAVE. I'm thankful I live in a city that is much more diverse than the city I grew up in (I grew up here in Nashville). I'm thankful that people like Avon Williams and James Lawson decided that enough was enough - if we claimed to be Christians, how could we live in a city that was basically an apartheid system. Things aren't perfect, even yet, but that just gives us all something to attain.

I'm thankful for the many ethnic groups who are gracing our city - Kurds, Hispanic, Laotian - the list could go on and on. The English language is organic and thanks to infusions of other cultures, our language is enriched and vibrant. One of the greatest components of prejudice and fear is ignorance. When we live and work side by side with people who don't look exactly like we do, we learn that they pretty much eat, breathe and want to prosper pretty much like everyone else.

Finally, I'd like to ask the city council a few questions:
1) What Hispanic and other ethnic leaders did Councilman Crofton work with in order to create this bill? He claims it is for the good of 'those people', but with whom did he work to get to this point?

2) Do you know any immigrants to Nashville who DON'T want to learn English? From what I've read there is a demand not being met for English classes serving both adults and student aged immigrant?

3) Why don't you focus on helping these people learn English by offering more opportunity and more accessibility to classes where they can actually learn English?

4) What real purpose is this bill going to serve? What does English first really mean? English is already the official language of Tennessee. Based on my knowledge of geography and capital cities, Nashville is in Tennessee.

In all the noise about the what this season should be called - Holiday or Christmas - we tend to obscure what we really ought to be about - giving, tearing down barriers and being thankful for what we have, and more importantly what we are, and can be.

Join the Chamber of Commerce and the major mayoral candidates in saying NO to this mean-spirited bill. Please urge your councilman to vote NO tonight and show the world that we are truly a great city.

Holy cats, is ZICAM really legal?

Thanks to all the well-wishers responding to yesterday's 'poor poor pitiful me' I'm feeling like crap entry. I want to especially thank the amazing Ceeelcee for his ZICAM recommendation. I've got some serious suspicions that there has to be some magic, possibly illegal ingredient in this stuff, because man alive, it was a dose of the Dr. Feelgood.

To all the folks at DEA who may be scanning this blog thanks to earlier activity by some people possibly related to this author who really aren't doing that kind of thing anymore, REALLY, I seriously don't think there are illegal ingredients in ZICAM. Based on the rapid response to ZICAM's apparently magical qualities, you gotta wonder though.

I've always been a big proponent of the 'breathing thing'. Dear friends, thanks to CLC and ZICAM, there is visible respiration.*..

* This is not a paid celebrity endorsement. I'm not a celebrity, nor did I receive any renumeration for this testimonial, dear friends. CLC is actually a celebrity of sorts, but he swears he didn't get any moolah either.

Monday, December 04, 2006

Ok, who put my head in a vise, and set my throat on fire..

This is not actually a rhetorical question. The bug-a-boo that has been floating around the blogging community finally landed full-boot stomping on my noggin. If I passed any of this along to Sarcastro, Jim, Sam , Lynnette or any of my other 'storied' friends last night or all the nice barista types up at the new Starbucks, I humbly and weakly apologize.

I had a bunch of 'Arrested Developments' recorded on the DVR and I was thinking, maybe the story of Gob would ease my pain, but I couldn't even watch what may be one of the three funniest TV shows ever. word of the day.

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Holy 60 yard field goal, Batman, or, One little, two little Mannings

I can't believe what I just saw. The greatest understatement of this season might be 'Vince Young is learning on the job'. I've seen telescopic growth over his brief starting career. It's like Vince has totally absorbed the lessons of his mentor, Steve McNair, and put them into action in less than half the time it took McNair to really figure it all out.

I didn't believe the Titans could win this game, because I didn't believe they could stop the elder Manning. I am going to quit saying the phrase 'I don't believe' in conjunction with the Titans. Years from now, barring injury to Young, we're going to look back at these last two games and bear witness to the fact that a franchise was rebuilt, largely on the shoulders on one man.

Welcome to the Vince Young years...The McNair 2.0 model HAS ARRIVED!

Friday, December 01, 2006

For the love of DANIEL WEBSTER, the word is INDICT..

not inedit or endict. INDICT.

Update: In fairness to the 'Rep', he got it right on the third try.

2nd attempt:
Three more to be endicted?
Three more Democrats have had a complaint filed against them by the US district attorney for bribery...
12/01/2006 (13:01:54)

Does anyone have one of those 'participation' ribbons? I'm guessing that in the Rep's elementary school years, he didn't get too far in the old spelling bee contest.

Copy Machine Update, or, Why the OCI Variopoint 2110 hates America...

I am not making any of this up. The VERY first copy that one of our secretaries attempted to make was instead routed as a saved image in the copier memory. We haven't seen the original since, AND nobody can use the damn amazingly complex piece of merde' technological wonder now because the beast within wants us to do something with the imaged copy.

We are summoning lucifer the service guys who must have some kind of post-graduate degree from MIT. David Bowie once sang, 'isn't there one damn song that can make me break down and cry'. If anyone wants to write a song about the OCE' Variopoint 2110, I can promise plenty of breakdown and crying ...


The STAR-buck-SHIP has landed, or free coffee for me...

After months of watching the sign and the progress of the bricklayers, we finally have our neighborhood Starbucks . Yeah, most of us want a locally owned coffee-house, and yes, the 'Coffee Shop Pending' sign still hangs in the window down 5th (across from Germantown Cafe), but I'm beginning to think it's a tease like that girl I went out with in my junior year at Lipscomb College (it was a college then) a caffeine-scented siren unreachable unless your name is Ulysses or Fido, or something like that..

Anyway, the official opening of 'our' new Starbucks is today. Yesterday they had a 'quiet' opening for folks in the neighborhood and they were GIVING AWAY their normally overpriced coffee products. I managed to only have TWO lattes which may be why my counselor wanted to tether me to some rock last night before throwing the rock out the window. I can be chatty...but I certainly wasn't IraScible!!

For what it's worth, the new S'bucks is on the south end of MetroCenter on the corner of 8th and Dominican, a sliver of land that is technically in Salemtown, which is to say, SALEMTOWN BEAT GERMANTOWN in the coffee house sweepstakes, or to put it another way Naana Naana Boo Boo....

About me

  • I'm John H
  • From Salemtown, Tennessee, United States
  • Cruising past 50, my wife and I have reared three kids and several dogs. I work for state government and daily conspire to deflate bureacracy.
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