Sunday, March 30, 2008

Major League Baseball doesn't get it

As much as I like baseball ... and I do like baseball ... I am constantly frustrated by the idiots running Major League Baseball.

Sure, baseball is a business. Despite the ruling that it's not -- the ruling that keeps MLB from having to follow anti-trust laws -- it is a business.

And I certainly realize that a business has to do what it needs to in order to stay in business.

But there's a limit.

For example, if a pharmaceutical company were to skip the safeguards and distribute drugs without proper testing and evaluation just to make money, there'd be problems. Major problems. Enough so that there'd be a movie starring Julia Roberts and Tommy Lee Jones made about it.

Okay, I'm perfectly aware that pharmaceuticals are one thing and baseball is something else. But, within the confines of what they are, business actions should be appropriate.

In real business, playing fast and loose with people's lives and safety doesn't justify making money. There are limits.

In sports, there are limits, too. Different, to be sure. But limits. And relative to the sport.

Barry Bonds, for instance.

They should have kicked that lying, cheating drug user out a long time ago. But they didn't.

If he wasn't chasing Hank Aaron's home run record -- still the real home run record -- he'd have been suspended or banned by now. But the clowns in suits didn't do anything. And now, the "official" home run record is tarnished.

Yeah, Barry Bonds is the past. No team will get near him. Something they should have done a long time ago.

But this week, Baseball again did the wrong thing.

They opened the season in Japan.

In Japan.

America's past-time opening the season in Japan!

That's just wrong. Oh, I'm fine with Major League games being played in Japan. Pre-season, sure. Regular season? Okay. I'm okay with that. But not Opening Day.

Opening Day belongs in the USA.

Here's the way it should happen.

The first day of the season ... Opening Day ... should feature two day games: one in Cincinnati and one in Chicago.

The first game would be the Braves against the Reds. The later game, say an hour later, would be the Cubs hosting either St. Louis, New York, or Philadelphia.

Here's why.

The senior circuit, the National League, first played in 1876. They had eight teams:
Chicago White Stockings (now the Cubs)
St. Louis Brown Stockings (defunct)
Hartford Dark Blues (defunct)
Boston Red Caps (Atlanta Braves)
Louisville Grays (defunct)
New York Mutuals (defunct)
Philadelphia Athletics (defunct)
Cincinnati Red Stockings (defunct)

By the way, the Cardinals are descended from the American Association's St. Louis Brown Stockings (founded 1882), not the National League's Brown Stockings (folded after 1877 season).

And the 1876 Cincinnati Red Stockings aren't the same team that became today's Reds. The Reds trace to the American Association's Cincinnati Red Stockings.

Oh, Philadelphia and New York only lasted the 1876 season. The 1901 Philadelphia Athletics are unrelated, and in the American League.

Okay, back to Opening Day.

The Braves play the Reds in Cincinnati.


Well, the first professional baseball team was the 1869 Cincinnati Red Stockings. They played two years, going 57-0 in 1869, and generally kicking butt in 1870.

In 1871, businessmen in New York put together the first professional league, the National Association. It lasted through the 1875 season. They managed to convince Harry Wright, the owner of the Red Stockings, to move to Boston and put a team together.

Wright brought many of his Cincinnati players with him, and fielded the Boston Red Stockings.

And, when that league folded, his Red Stockings, now the Red Caps, joined the new National League in 1876. Only one other team from that first year of the National League is still around: the Chicago White Stockings became the Colts, the Orphans, and, 1902, the Cubs.

Boston (descended from that 1869 Cincinnati team) became the Beaneaters, the Doves, the Rustlers, the Braves, the Bees, and finally, again, the Braves. The moved to Milwaukee in 1953 and to Atlanta in 1966.

So, the Braves, descendant of the Cincinnati Red Stockings, the first professional baseball team, playing in Cincinnati on Opening Day would be true to the tradition of baseball.

And the Cubs, the 2nd-oldest team, playing in Chicago later that day would also be true to the tradition of baseball.

Hey, I'm as open minded as the next guy. If you want to play a night game or two in an American League city, do that as well.

But Opening Day should be in Cincinnati, Ohio -- hallowed ground for baseball.

If only the suits who ran Major League Baseball cared about the sport.

If only.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

The world intrudes

Hosptial shooting
Photo: Joe Paull, Columbus Ledger-Enquirer
You hear about somebody going crazy and shooting up a place. Like a McDonald's in Texas. Or a high school in Colorado.

But it's always somewhere else.

Well, it's not always somewhere else.

Sometimes, it's less than a mile away.

I was at work today when word got around that a man walked into Doctor's Hospital in Columbus and shot and killed three people.

What shocked me the most was how much I wasn't really shocked by it.

My reaction was more along the line of "Huh. So it's happened here." Almost like I expected it.

Not that I expected this. But the world is full of crazy asses who do things like this.

Why did Charles Johnston do this? Reports say he was upset at the care his mother received at the hospital before she died. He killed one of the nurses who had treated his mom. And an administrative assistant. And a man in the parking lot.

Police showed up while Johnston was still in the parking lot, and reports indicate that three officers fired at him, but only one hit him.

Johnston is being treated at the Medical Center. That's the hospital next door to Doctor's Hospital.

I expect they'll fix him up and that he'll be able to stand trial for murder.

So he'll get better.

Probably better than he deserves.

Where did Thursday come from?

I turned on the computer today and found out it was Thursday.

How the heck did that happen?

I went to this little blog and saw my last post was on Sunday. And it's Thursday!

We've got a big project going on at work, and I've been tied up with that. Had to work Saturday and Sunday. Yes, worked on Easter. And worked late Tuesday night. Actually, until 1:30 Wednesday morning.

Oh, I've been online a little bit. There have been some problems with a Website -- another Website -- that I've been donating time to, that have been caused by a couple of things.

For one, it's a high traffic site. And any Website that gets lots of traffic can experience performance issues. Think about it. Look at the room you're in right now. How many people are in the room? Okay, now double that amount. Now double that amount. And double it again and again and again and again. By now, you've got a serious problem with traffic. People can't get around as easily.

Websites are the same way.

So, this other Website gets a lot of traffic, and it experiences some performance issues.

Also, the Website has a very inefficient layout. It's written in PHP, but not good PHP. Yes, it's a WordPress blog, but the theme it uses in an older ... and now unsupported ... theme. For small traffic, it's okay. For large traffic, it's no good. And that causes performance issues.

And the Web host has been complaining about the amount of server resources the Website is taking up. They want more money. They have a point: the Website is terribly inefficient, and the server has to work harder to make up for it.

It has a lot of JavaScript that pulls in content from other sources. That's a very slow way to do stuff. Easy, but not very efficient. One or two, fine. Several, a problem. You see, JavaScript is a client-side technology. The upshot of that is that the code is delivered, then processed, then content displayed. And that's a lot slower than server-side technology, where the server executes it's stuff, then delivers it in final form to the browser. All that means that JavaScript causes performance issues.

The Web host has had some issues with a bank of servers over the last couple of days. So that causes performance issues.

All these things have contributed to that Website having issues. And these little things have seemed to reach critical mass.

The solution?

Get a new theme. Drop most of the the JavaScript. And move to a new host.

What's all that got to do with me?

Well, I've been trying to help out. I'm catching lots of flack. And it's all about stuff I've already explained to the actual Website owner.

Now, this isn't usually a problem. But I've been very busy at work. And getting phone calls about a blog while I'm at work isn't vey good. And I have a bad habit of forgetting to turn my phone off during meetings. I got a call about the blog the other day ... and if it had come 20 minutes earlier, I'd have been in the room with Senator Saxby Chambliss and my cell phone would have started playing "Take Me Out To The Ball Game" (yes, that's my ringtone).

Anyway, I've been busy at work. And most of my (currently limited) time away from work has been involved in another blog.

And this little blog has suffered.

Not that anyone's noticed.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Easter 2008

Chapter 24

  1. Now upon the first day of the week, very early in the morning, they came unto the sepulchre, bringing the spices which they had prepared, and certain others with them.

  2. And they found the stone rolled away from the sepulchre.

  3. And they entered in, and found not the body of the Lord Jesus.

  4. And it came to pass, as they were much perplexed thereabout, behold, two men stood by them in shining garments:

  5. And as they were afraid, and bowed down their faces to the earth, they said unto them, Why seek ye the living among the dead?

  6. He is not here, but is risen: remember how he spake unto you when he was yet in Galilee,

  7. Saying, The Son of man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, and be crucified, and the third day rise again.

  8. And they remembered his words,

  9. And returned from the sepulchre, and told all these things unto the eleven, and to all the rest.

  10. It was Mary Magdalene and Joanna, and Mary the mother of James, and other women that were with them, which told these things unto the apostles.

  11. And their words seemed to them as idle tales, and they believed them not.

  12. Then arose Peter, and ran unto the sepulchre; and stooping down, he beheld the linen clothes laid by themselves, and departed, wondering in himself at that which was come to pass.

  13. And, behold, two of them went that same day to a village called Emmaus, which was from Jerusalem about threescore furlongs.

  14. And they talked together of all these things which had happened.

  15. And it came to pass, that, while they communed together and reasoned, Jesus himself drew near, and went with them.

  16. But their eyes were holden that they should not know him.

  17. And he said unto them, What manner of communications are these that ye have one to another, as ye walk, and are sad?

  18. And the one of them, whose name was Cleopas, answering said unto him, Art thou only a stranger in Jerusalem, and hast not known the things which are come to pass there in these days?

  19. And he said unto them, What things? And they said unto him, Concerning Jesus of Nazareth, which was a prophet mighty in deed and word before God and all the people:

  20. And how the chief priests and our rulers delivered him to be condemned to death, and have crucified him.

  21. But we trusted that it had been he which should have redeemed Israel: and beside all this, to day is the third day since these things were done.

  22. Yea, and certain women also of our company made us astonished, which were early at the sepulchre;

  23. And when they found not his body, they came, saying, that they had also seen a vision of angels, which said that he was alive.

  24. And certain of them which were with us went to the sepulchre, and found it even so as the women had said: but him they saw not.

  25. Then he said unto them, O fools, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken:

  26. Ought not Christ to have suffered these things, and to enter into his glory?

  27. And beginning at Moses and all the prophets, he expounded unto them in all the scriptures the things concerning himself.

  28. And they drew nigh unto the village, whither they went: and he made as though he would have gone further.

  29. But they constrained him, saying, Abide with us: for it is toward evening, and the day is far spent. And he went in to tarry with them.

  30. And it came to pass, as he sat at meat with them, he took bread, and blessed it, and brake, and gave to them.

  31. And their eyes were opened, and they knew him; and he vanished out of their sight.

  32. And they said one to another, Did not our heart burn within us, while he talked with us by the way, and while he opened to us the scriptures?

  33. And they rose up the same hour, and returned to Jerusalem, and found the eleven gathered together, and them that were with them,

  34. Saying, The Lord is risen indeed, and hath appeared to Simon.

  35. And they told what things were done in the way, and how he was known of them in breaking of bread.

  36. And as they thus spake, Jesus himself stood in the midst of them, and saith unto them, Peace be unto you.

  37. But they were terrified and affrighted, and supposed that they had seen a spirit.

  38. And he said unto them, Why are ye troubled? and why do thoughts arise in your hearts?

  39. Behold my hands and my feet, that it is I myself: handle me, and see; for a spirit hath not flesh and bones, as ye see me have.

  40. And when he had thus spoken, he shewed them his hands and his feet.

  41. And while they yet believed not for joy, and wondered, he said unto them, Have ye here any meat?

  42. And they gave him a piece of a broiled fish, and of an honeycomb.

  43. And he took it, and did eat before them.

  44. And he said unto them, These are the words which I spake unto you, while I was yet with you, that all things must be fulfilled, which were written in the law of Moses, and in the prophets, and in the psalms, concerning me.

  45. Then opened he their understanding, that they might understand the scriptures,

  46. And said unto them, Thus it is written, and thus it behooved Christ to suffer, and to rise from the dead the third day:

  47. And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem.

  48. And ye are witnesses of these things.

  49. And, behold, I send the promise of my Father upon you: but tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be endued with power from on high.

  50. And he led them out as far as to Bethany, and he lifted up his hands, and blessed them.

  51. And it came to pass, while he blessed them, he was parted from them, and carried up into heaven.

  52. And they worshipped him, and returned to Jerusalem with great joy:

  53. And were continually in the temple, praising and blessing God. Amen.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

The Lions sleep tonight

Lions fanThe local indoor football team, the Columbus Lions, had their home opener tonight. And it turned out sour for the home team. The Erie (PA) River Rats beat the Lions, 54-48.

A small crowd ... this is Columbus, Georgia, after all ... turned out. But at times they made some noise for the home team.

The guy with the blue and silver face paint, beating on his drum, helped the crowd sound, at times, louder than it had a right to.

Wasn't first game jitters -- the Lions won their season opener on the road against Augusta last week -- but mistakes made a difference in the game.

Defensive penalties on the Lions gave Erie five first downs in their first two possessions. Erie also scored two defensive touchdowns on turnovers. And the Lions quarterback fumbled three times in the final five minutes.

Lions gameTake away any one of those 10 plays, and the Lions could have won their second game of the season.

Only, you can't take away any of those plays.

And the Lions didn't win.

Still, despite the mistakes, the Lions didn't quit. And that means a lot.

You see, several years ago, Columbus had an area team ... in af2 ... called the Wardogs. They were awful. In 2001, they went 0-16. They lost their games by an average of 33 points. While some of the players on that team had some talent, they weren't a good team.

The Lions, on the other hand, made some mistakes, but fought back. They played like a team.

They have to cut down on the mental mistakes -- they had several illegal defense penalties -- to stay competitive. They have to stay awake and alert ... and hold on to the ball. You know. Basic football.

And I think they'll be able to. I'll be back at the Civic Center watching them play again in a couple of weeks.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Diet killer

Four WindsIf you're on a diet, stay away ... far away ... from Four Winds restaurant in Cusseta, Georgia.

But if you're looking for a serious hamburger, head there without delay.

I've eaten there before. Just not in a while. But yesterday, I had lunch there.

If you're not familiar with Four Winds, it's the home of the Ranger Burger. Named for the soldiers -- actually for the Rangers, who, along with other soldiers -- can often be seen frequenting the restaurant.

The Ranger Burger is a pound of meat ... that's two half-pound patties ... with cheese, bacon, lettuce, bacon, mustard, and ketchup ... on a bun. Comes with fries and tea.

Combat DiverI didn't have the Ranger Burger. I had the Combat Diver: two half-pound patties, cheese, onion rings (on the burger), bacon, ham, and barbeque sauce. Almost a meal in itself! The fries and sweet tea complete the order.

Of course, it was good. And filling.

Now, being overweight, it would be a good idea if I dropped a few pounds. Okay, more than a few pounds.

But I didn't help my cause at all yesterday. I ate the burger and hardly paused to take a breath.

They do have smaller burgers. They're only half-pound versions of the Ranger Burger. You know. For the smaller appetite.

And they have quarter-pound burgers, too. If you want to eat normal-sized food.

But, if you're in the Columbus or Ft. Benning area, and want to test your stomach, take the road south to Cusseta (most folks around here pronounce it "cuh-SEE-tuh") and stop at Four Winds. Order a Ranger Burger.

Your stomach will thank you. Your bathroom scales will not.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Obama heard the comments before he didn't hear them...

A lot of politicians get blasted for flip-flopping on issues.

Former President George Bush (R) can testify to that. Remember the flak he caught for saying "no new taxes," before he gave in to the Democrats in Congress and let a tax increase through?

Senator John F. Kerry (D-MA) can testify to that, too. Remember how much trouble he had overcoming the charges of flip-flopping on the issues? He does, that's for sure.

But there's a difference between these two men and Senator Barack H. Obama (D-IL).

Obama made a speech today about race relations, spurred by controversial comments his pastor, Rev. Jeremiah Wright, made from the pulpit over the years. The pulpit in the church where Obama is a member.

In his speech today, Obama said he had heard the comments that Rev. Wright made:

Did I ever hear him make remarks that could be considered controversial while I sat in church? Yes. Did I strongly disagree with many of his political views? Absolutely ... just as I'm sure many of you have heard remarks from your pastors, priests, or rabbis with which you strongly disagreed.

But, just the other day, Obama wrote on Huffington Post that he hadn't heard the comments:

The statements that Rev. Wright made that are the cause of this controversy were not statements I personally heard him preach while I sat in the pews of Trinity or heard him utter in private conversation. When these statements first came to my attention, it was at the beginning of my presidential campaign.

Do you see the difference?

Bush and Kerry changed their positions. They flip-flopped.

Obama didn't flip-flop. He has been caught in an outright lie.

Also following Obama's speech: Michelle Malkin, Don Surber, Protein Wisdom, Blogs for John McCain, Outside the Beltway, MY Vast Right Wing Conspiracy

Media coverage: Washington Post, MSNBC

Rock and Roll Madonna

A while back, I mentioned that I, once again, had a complete collection of the Beatles' music.

I used to have all the Beatles' albums, back when music came on 12'' vinyl. But, a divorce can wreak havoc on a music collection.

But, it was exciting when I got a complete collection again. And then added it to my iPod.

To be honest, though, the Beatles' collection was not my first complete collection of an artist's music.

You see, although I did have some old Beatles recordings ... including an original mono pressing of Meet the Beatles, I didn't get all their recordings when they were released. I did get later pressings, though. And had a complete library. Or what was complete at the time. (Remember, this came before Live at the BBC, the Anthology series, and all the other stuff that came after.

So, because I was having to play catch-up on Beatles music -- my Big Sister (who's 5'4'') had a complete collection before I did, because she's my big sister -- I actually had a collection of another artist's music prior to the Beatles.

I used to have Elton John's collection. Or what was his collection, at the time.

And it was special. For a reason you might not expect.

Back in 1975, I had Elton John's Greatest Hits. Heck, everyone had Elton John's Greatest Hits. It's one of Rolling Stone magazine's greatest albums of all time (number 135).

Then, later in '75, I received my second Elton John album. As a gift.

In high school, one of my projects was assisting a teacher at the junior high (do they even have "junior high" any more?). It was my first foray into instruction. And it was fun.

When my time at the junior high was done, the class gave me Caribou, at the time, Elton's most recent studio release. (This was shortly before Captain Fantastic and the Brown Dirt Cowboy came out.)

That record meant a lot to me, because those students meant a lot to me.

I listened to it over and over. Not so much for the music, but for the memories of working with that class of students.

And, I found that I liked the music. Sure, I was already familiar with Elton's hits. Those on his Greatest Hits album, along with others that weren't on the LP, such as Levon, Tiny Dancer, Friends, and his cover of Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds.

But I also liked much of Caribou. Okay, Solar Prestige A Gammon isn't exactly an all-time rock-n-roll classic. But still, not a bad album. Not his best. But not bad. Of course, I may be prejudiced by the fact that the junior high class gave it to me.

Anyhow, I had two Elton John albums I liked, and in May, I got Captain Fantastic the day it came out. A guy named Earl drove the record truck, and delivered copies to the little old lady that ran the record shop in town, and a friend picked up my copy of the album. My buddy got the eight-track, so I was the first in town to have the album, though the second in town to get the release ... if you follow me.

I listened to Captain Fantastic, and loved the album. Still do.

So, I began buying up other Elton John albums. And, in short order, I had them all. They were easy to get. Elton was the hottest musical act in the U.S. at the time, and everyone carried all his albums.

Empty Sky had been released in the U.S. in early '75, so I picked it up. Thought it sounded a little out of place. Found out that it was a 1969 recording that hadn't been previously released in this country until Elton became a hot property.

Still, I got all his albums as I was able. Even 11-17-70, which, until I bought it, didn't realize was a live album.

Of course, I got Goodbye Yellow Brick Road, Honky Château, Tumbleweed Collection, Don't Shoot Me I'm Only the Piano Player, Madman Across The Water, the Friends soundtrack, and Elton John.

To be honest, after Rock of the Westies, I was a little disappointed. Blue Moves, even more so. And, after A Single Man and Victim of Love, I quite buying his albums.

But, for a time there, I had all his music. Even some bootlegs that included his early stuff, like I've Been Loving You, Lady Samantha, Just Like Strange Rain, Young Man's Blues, and Rock and Roll Madonna.

I've obtained most of his early stuff again. Everything from Empty Sky up to Rock of the Westies, with Rare Masters thrown in, in fact. And that means the music by Elton John that set the world on fire back in the 1970s.

I got the songs from iTunes, and they are on my iPod. And I've enjoyed listening to classic Elton John again.

They don't make music like that, any more. Not even Elton does. And that's a shame.

Catfish one step closer to leaving

The Bowling Green Daily News reported last week that Art Solomon, who owns the New Hampshire Fisher Cats, filed the paperwork to buy the Columbus Catfish, in order to move the team to Bowling Green in 2009. (Tip: Columbus Ledger Enquirer)

The application was being reviewed Friday by the league's team owners for approval.

"It will be reviewed for any clarifications or additional information (sought by league owners)," said Eric Krupa, president of the South Atlantic League, the current home of the Catfish.

It's unknown how long the process to get league approval could take ... "We don't know what questions will be asked," Krupa said.

On Feb. 8, Solomon exercised an option to purchase the Class A Catfish, with the intent to relocate the team to Bowling Green for the 2009 season. The team would play in the 4,000-seat ballpark that's the centerpiece of a $250 million downtown redevelopment project.

As a baseball fan, I've enjoyed the fact that we have a minor league team here in the area. The Coumbus Catfish moved here (under the name "South Georgia Waves") in 2003, after the Columbus RedStixx moved to Eastlake, Ohio, and became the Lake County Captains.

The RedStixx came into being in 1991 (as the Columbus Indians) when the South Atlantic League put a team here during their expansion.

And the RedStixx took over from the Columbus Mudcats (nee Astros) who left for Zebulon, North Carolina after the 1990 season and become the Carolina Mudcats.

The Columbus White Sox/Astros/Mudcats had been in town since 1969, filling a stadium that had been empty since 1966, when the Columbus Confederate Yankees left town.

Will there be no baseball here next year?

Maybe. Maybe not. The Ledger-Enquirer reported last month that the South Coast League would like to place a team here if there's an opening.

There will, in all likelihood, be an opening.

Bowling Green Daily News story follows:

Monday, March 17, 2008

Clinton says "we cannot win" Iraq war

Surrender monkey Hillary
Surrender Monkey Hillary Clinton shows her surrender pose.
Desperate in her struggle to win the Democratic nomination from that upstart Senator Barack Obama (D-IL), Senator Hillary Clinton (D-IL-AR-DC-NY) appealed to the defeatists that control her party's base by saying the U.S. "cannot win" the war in Iraq.

Ignoring the reduction in violence, ignoring the universal appraisals of improving conditions, ignoring plain common sense, the one-time front-runner joined the anti-American wing of the Democratic Party's call for pulling out with the job undone.

Now, do I think she means it?

I used to think not. But now, I'm not so sure.

Who is she encouraging with talk like that?

American troops?


Iraqi troops?


Terrorists? Democrats? Enemies of America?

But I repeat myself.

Yes, she's playing the scorched earth policy.

And right now, she's helping scorch the earth in Iraq.

And a year from now, if she's successful, the earth in a major U.S. city gets scorched.

Which is why she cannot win. And why Obama cannot win. And why Senator John McCain (R-AZ) must win.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Baseball logo contest

I'm not running a baseball logo contest. But CNBC is.

Darren Rovell of CNBC announced a contest where folks like you and me can vote on which logos we like best.

It's laid out pretty much like the NCAA basketball tournament. There are four brackets of 16, and the teams in each bracket are seeded 1 to 16. Rovell picked the teams and seeded them in the brackets.

Teams I've been following ... like the Columbus Catfish and the Montgomery Biscuits ... are in the field of 64.

Voting actually began earlier this week, and one bracket is done. And it's the bracket that included the Catfish and Biscuits.

The Catfish easily won their face-off with the Tri-City Valley Cats, but the Biscuits fell in a close one to the Casper Ghosts.

If you're a baseball fan, you might want to check out the logos of some of the teams. Rovell picked from 160 affiliated teams (Minor League Baseball) and 63 independent teams. So, not every team is in the running. But in fairness, he did pick some good ones.

I'm going to keep voting, and hope that in their final year, the Columbus Catfish can go out a winner.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Ferraro was right

Former Congresswoman and Vice Presidential candidate Geraldine Ferraro (D-NY) said that Senator Barack Obama (D-IL) wouldn't be where he is ... leading the Democratic race ... if he was White.

And now she's quit her post on the Clinton campaign because of the flack she's caught over her comments.

All for being correct.

Yes, Ferraro was telling the truth when she said:
If Obama was a white man, he would not be in this position.

Here's why it's true.

The mainstream media, by and large, has not asked the hard questions of Obama.

Why not?

They're scared of being called racist.

If they asked the hard questions of Obama that they asked of the other candidates, they'd be branded racist.

So they don't ask him hard questions. They are swayed by his genial demeanor, sure. But fear of being called racist is why they haven't asked him the hard questions. Like what's he done? What are the details of his record?

I mean, if terrorists attack the U.S., what will Obama do? Vote "Present?"

He has no qualifications for the office of President. But no mainstream media outlet is testing him.

Because they're scared of being called racists.

And that's because Obama is a Black man.

if Obama was White, there'd be no racism scare. And the media would ask him the tough questions. And Obama couldn't stand the scrutiny.

So, it's true: Obama wouldn't be where he is if he was White.

As much as I don't care much for Geraldine Ferraro, she's right on this one.

Political whore?

Turns out that, at least according to a New York Times report, Silda Alice Wall Spitzer (Can I use her full name? Or is that racist?), wanted her husband Eliot to stay on as Governor.

Wait a second.

The wife wants him to stay in office?

I've been married twice and can testify that not all women are the same.

But I'm trying to understand what's going on here.

This seems to me to be another example of the Hillary Syndrome.

You know. Woman married to a major political figure, who has marital troubles, but they stay together for political expediency.

Hillary stuck by Bill throughout all his affairs before and during his presidency. She blamed everybody but Bill.


Because she's forgiving? Or because it was the political expedient thing to do.

Could she have become Senator from New York or a leading candidate for President of the United States without Bill?

I think not.

She needed him for political reasons.

Is that the same thing with Silda?

Was she urging him to stay on for either her own political ambitions or because she liked being wife of the Governor? I think it's possible that it's one of those two.

Sure, she might be a loving, forgiving wife. Or, she might be a doormat. But I don't think she's a doormat. A doormat wouldn't have told him anything. She'd have done as she was told.

A political whore would want him to stay in the Governor's mansion so she could stay in the Governor's mansion.

If I'm wrong, Silda's one heckuva woman and more than Eliot deserves.

But I'm of the suspicion she's exactly what he deserves.

O Christmas Tree

Christmas treeEvery year, after Christmas, there's always the issue of dealing with the tree.

You know what I mean. If you have a live tree, you have to dispose of it in some way.

Some places do pickups of trees. Some don't.

We have to dispose of ours.

Only, this year, we haven't disposed of it yet.

Oh, we took it down right after Christmas. Took it outside. And waited for it to turn brown. Then we planned to burn it. Might have worked in a a weenie roast or roasted marshmallows or something.

But, like I said, we haven't disposed of the tree.

It's still mostly green, as you can tell by this picture I took this afternoon.

Yeah, there's a little bit of brown showing. But it's still fairly green. At least as green as some trees I've seen in some folks' house.

Maybe we'll end up being able to burn it in conjunction with a Fourth of July barbeque.

Anyway, looking at it got me in the mood for some Christmas music. Enjoy!

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Bill the Veep? Nope.

I was listening to John Gibson on the radio tonight. And they were talking about choices for Vice President. And they had a discussion about whether or not Bill Clinton could be Hillary's Vice President.

They looked all though the Constitution trying to find out if he could.

They must have overlooked the 12th Amendment. That's the one that ends with:

But no person constitutionally ineligible to the office of President shall be eligible to that of Vice-President of the United States.

Now, if Bill Clinton is "ineligible to the office of President" ... and he is ... then he can't be Vice President.

If you're not clear on this, I can't help you. No one can.

My apology

Turns out that the nice young lady that answers the phone for the John Gibson show really couldn't understand me.

I was out of line.

And to her, I apologize.

Itemized receipt

So it looks like New York Governor Eliot Spitzer (D) is in all kinds of hot water over paying prostitutes for sex.

Okay, what else would you pay a prostitute for. But you understand what I'm saying.

I understand he paid a hooker between $1,000 and $5,000 for sex.

What the heck?

He paid how much?

For sex?

Heck, I paid less than that for a new car, way back in the day.

What kind of sex costs $5,000?

I'm trying to think about what she could do that's worth $5,000. And I'm drawing a blank.

Am I missing out on some big secret?

I don't think so.

$5,000 for sex.

I hope he got an itemized receipt.

Or maybe, I don't.

Good gracious! He's the governor of New York. There aren't but 50 governors. There are twice as many Senators as there are governors, and there ain't no U.S. Senator got to pay $5,000 for sex.

Except, maybe Ted Kennedy.

Heck, not even Uncle Ted has to pay that for sex.

I don't believe he couldn't get it for free.

There's something else going on. I have no idea what, but there's no way he had to pay that much money for sex.

If he did, then no darn wonder they can't balance the budget; they got no idea what things really cost.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Wizard of Id unaltered

There's a cartoon making the rounds on the Internet about now. It purports to be a strip from The Wizard of Id. And it is. Mostly. The punch line has been edited. Here's what's making the rounds: Wizard of Id altered And here's the original comic: Wizard of Id original Actually, I agree with both versions. But, for the sake of accuracy, I thought it best to call attention to the actual cartoon as Parker and Hart intended.

Obama's missing the boat

Seems that Senator Barack Obama (D-IL) has spurned Senator Clinton's (D-IL,AR,DC,NY) suggestion that he take the Vice Presidential slot on the Democratic ticket.

This seems to make sense, on the face of it. His rejection, that is.

Obama leads Clinton in the delegate count.

Obama leads Clinton in the popular vote.

Obama has won more states than Clinton.

But Obama is missing the big picture.

He ain't won yet.

And he won't.

All the news heads and newsy bloggers have been talking and writing about how Clinton can't catch Obama.

She don't have to.

All she's got to do is keep Obama from getting enough delegates to win on the first ballot.

I say again: Clinton doesn't have to win; she only has to keep from losing.

And she will. Keep from losing, that is.

And, come the convention, she'll win the nomination.


Well, gosh. Think about it.

Do you really expect the Democratic Party establishment to let Obama take the nomination, if he doesn't have a majority of the delegates?

No way in Hell.

If Obama doesn't wrap it up before the Democratic National Convention in August, he's toast. And not buttered toast. Dry toast. That fell on the floor. And got kicked under the refrigerator.

Come convention time, Hillary's machine will work its magic and take the nomination. Maybe even on the first ballot.

And Obama won't get the number two slot. Because he publicly ridiculed Clinton for suggesting it as he brushed it away.

And, come August 28, he'll be wondering what the heck happened.

Wonder if he never watched the news from 1993-2001. If he had, he'd have seen that truck coming.

Southern Baptists and global warming

If you're not a Baptist, you might not understand all the subtleties of this. But, hey, you might.

I'm a Baptist. Southern Baptist.

And I read today that the Southern Baptist Convention had taken up the global warming cause.

That surprised me.

Let me first clarify things for non-Baptists.

The Southern Baptist Convention is a conglomeration of Southern Baptist churches. And they have a yearly meeting, which is also called the Southern Baptist Convention.

The SBC is both the churches that get together ... and it's the actual get-together of the churches.

Yeah, that's Baptists for you.

Anyway, I was a little surprised to read that the SBC ... the group, not the meeting, which is not until June 10 & 11 in Indianapolis this year ... had taken up the cause of global warming.

Turns out they haven't.

The Associated Press, who seems to be very good at getting it wrong, had a story headlined "Southern Baptists Fight Climate Change."

CNN was closer to the mark: "Southern Baptist leaders shift position on climate change."

So, that's what the AP and CNN say.

What do the Baptists say? That is, the Southern Baptist Convention?

"Not us," says the SBC.

The so-called "Southern Baptist" statement is not an initiative of the Southern Baptist Convention

So, what is it?

It's a paper by a seminary student at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary in Wake Forest, N.C. The student is Jonathan Merritt, and his dad is James Merritt, who is a past president of the SBC. It was also signed by Frank Page, current SBC president, as well as Jack Graham, another past president of the SBC.

So, yes, it's true that some big wheels in the SBC signed this thing.

But the Convention hasn't adopted it. And, since they don't meet in convention until June, the SBC couldn't have adopted anything.

If you are interested in what the SBC's current policy is, you can read it here.

And, whether or not the SBC adopts any change in policy on global warming, there's one other thing about Baptists you need to understand.

We really don't care what the SBC says or does. We're Baptists. And we pretty much do what we want.

If the leadership of the SBC gets out of line, we quit sending them money. Works great, by the way.

Trying to call John Gibson

John Gibson
Do you think Representative King is correct? Call us at 1-888-788-9910. We'll be back right after this.

dialing cell phone
beep beep beep beep beep beep beep beep beep beep

Phone wench
Hi, what's your name?

This is Basil.

Phone wench
I'm sorry, I can't understand you.

My name is Basil.

Phone wench

dialing cell phone
beep beep beep beep beep beep beep beep beep beep

Phone wench
Hi, what's your name?

My name is Basil.

Phone wench
Call back in ten.



SNL's Obama 3:00 AM phone call


Now, I don't care for Senator Clinton (D-IL-AR-DC-NY) one bit. But she's more qualified than Senator Obama (D-IL).

But still not as qualified at Senator McCain (R-AZ).

But, yeah. This was funny.

Name that party

The New York Times ... among other news outlets ... is reporting that New York Governor Eliot Spitzer has been caught in a prostitution ring.

Spitzer is a Democrat, which really doesn't mean anything, since sexual misconduct isn't the domain of one party or another. Prostitution has been around a lot longer than Democrats and Republicans.

But here's why I mention his party.

The New York Times mentions it in paragraph nine.

In a late February story on a New York city councilman's rape charges, the Times mentioned the party of Dennis P. Gallagher, a Queens Republican, in paragraph two ... at the first mention of Gallagher's name.

Why the difference?

It certainly couldn't be because one's a Democrat (paragraph nine) and one's a Republican (paragraph two), could it?

That would mean the New York Times is biased.

Oh, wait. It is.

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Yes, al-Qaeda would dance in the streets if Obama is elected

Fox News reports that the Obama camp is upset by comments made by Representative Steve King (R, IA-5).

King told the Spencer (Iowa) Daily Reporter:

"I will tell you that, if he is elected president, then the radical Islamists, the al-Qaida, the radical Islamists and their supporters, will be dancing in the streets in greater numbers than they did on September 11 because they will declare victory in this War on Terror."

An Obama mouthpiece took offense:

"These comments have no place in our politics, and we hope Senator McCain will repudiate them like he has previous offensive comments from his supporters," Obama spokesman Tommy Vietor said in a statement.

Here's the thing.

King was right.

If Senator Barack Hussein Obama (D-IL) wins the election, al-Qaeda will be dancing in the streets.

Just like they'd be if Senator Hillary Diane Rodham Clinton (D-IL-AR-DC-NY) is elected.

Both Clinton and Obama say they'd pull U.S. troops out of Iraq. I will say that I think Obama means it, while I think Clinton is just saying she would in order to get elected.

My candidate, Senator John Sidney McCain, III (R-AZ), won't cut and run. He'll make sure the job is done before our service members all come home.

The election of Senator McCain would cause fear and trembling in our enemies.

The election of Obama or Clinton would just make things worse.

Clinton, because, though I personally think she'll leave the troops there, al-Qaeda thinks she'll cut and run, and they'll be emboldened.

Obama, because he would cut and run. He has no backbone. He has no foreign policy experience. And he has no place in the Oval Office.

Oh, the weather outside is frightful

let it snowIf I didn't have to go in to work today -- major project hitting a critical point -- I'd have slept in.

And I'd have missed the snow.

Okay, you folks from up north are saying, "That's not snow."

And, for your world, you'd be right.

Only, I don't live in your world. I live in the South.

It don't snow much where I come from.

I've been in the snow before. Real snow. Knee-deep snow in the mountains of Korea.

I've driven in snow, with chains on the tires.

I don't care for snow.

But the grandchildren are out in it, having a great time.

Grandchildren playing in the snow

Friday, March 7, 2008

Lucas May

A couple of years back, The Wife and I sponsored a couple of minor league players who were on the local team, the Columbus Catfish.

One of the players, Dan Batz, was one of the best players in Atlantic-10 history when he played college ball for the University of Rhode Island. Dan, however, had a rough time trying to duplicate that success in pro ball. I still check to see if he's made it with another team. He hasn't, so far.

The other player, Lucas May, has had some success.

Luke played two years in Columbus, first as a shortstop, then as an outfielder. Then, last year, he moved to catcher and played at High A Inland Empire of the California League.

This year, he's in Spring Training with the Dodgers. And the Dodgers have a story up on their Website about Luke, and mention a recent homer for the Dodgers:

He's quickly become one of the best catching prospects in the organization, in part because of the power he showed while slugging 25 homers for Class A Inland Empire.

May showed off some of that power for Dodgers manager Joe Torre with a game-tying, three-run pinch-hit homer in the ninth inning against the Red Sox on Thursday.

"It felt great," said May. "I was down in the bullpen and had about a minute and a half to get ready for the at-bat."

Luke's first home game with the Catfish included a home run. We gave him a tape of it.

He's still showing his power at the bat on occasion, as he has shown.

It's quite unlikely Luke will make the cut and be on the Dodgers' opening day roster. This year.

Luke will play for Jacksonville (Double A, Southern League) or Las Vegas (Triple A, Pacific Coast League) this season.

He'll play for the Dodgers one day. And we look forward to seeing him in a major league uniform.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

What about option 6?

Roger Simon wrote over at Politico that the Democratic National Committee has five options for dealing with their mess in Michigan and Florida.

He said they were:

  1. No delegates from either state

  2. Seat the delegates that the voters picked

  3. Split the delegates evenly between Clinton and Obama

  4. Let them hold another primary

  5. Wait for somebody to ride in and save the day

Unless I'm the answer to number five ... and I'm not ... I got another suggestion.

Seat all their delegates ... as uncommitted delegates.

Here's my reasoning.

Michigan and Florida are states. More so than Puerto Rico, at least. And the Democrats there (bless their hearts) deserve to have a say in how their poor excuse of a political party picks a candidate.

Now, the state party leaders broke national party rules. A silly rule, sure. But they broke a rule.

So, what do you do?

The DNC is saying "no delegates."

That's just plain silly.

But the DNC has a point: the state party leaders broke the rules.

I say, rather than allow no delegates, seat delegates anyway, but invalidate the results of the primary. Make all those delegates uncommitted.

Will this make things better?

Probably not. And likely nothing will solve it. And as a McCain supporter, I'm pleased as punch over that.

Remember that Will Rogers said that he was not a member of any organized political party; he was a Democrat.

Inauguration Day trouble

Inauguration Day 1974
Inauguration 1974
Warren Burger: "Are you ready to take the oath of office, sir?"

Gerald Ford: "I am."

Warren Burger: "Then repeat after me. 'I, Gerald Rudolph Ford, do solemnly swear...'"

Inauguration Day 1977
Inauguration 1974
Warren Burger: "Repeat after me: 'I, James Earl Carter, do solemnly swear...'"

Inauguration Day 1981
Inauguration 1974
Warren Burger: "Repeat after me: 'I, Ronald Wilson Reagan, do solemnly swear...'"

Inauguration Day 1989
Inauguration 1974
William Rehnquist: "Repeat after me: 'I, George Herbert Walker Bush, do solemnly swear...'"

Inauguration Day 1993
Inauguration 1974
William Rehnquist: "Repeat after me: 'I, William Jefferson Clinton, do solemnly swear...'"

Inauguration Day 2001
Inauguration 1974
William Rehnquist: "Repeat after me: 'I, George Walker Bush, do solemnly swear...'"

Inauguration Day 2009
Inauguration 1974
John Roberts: "Repeat after me: 'I, Barack Hussein Obama, do solemnly swear...'"

Inauguration 1974
"Oh, no, you didn't!"

Monday, March 3, 2008

Food for the Soul

This past weekend, we went to southeast and northeast Georgia, visiting relatives. The children, actually. Plus my grandmother.

Sunday was the day we went to Athens to visit The Little Princess.

We got there just before she was about to head out to a movie. A movie she really didn't want to see.

You see, Larry Munson, the Voice of the Georgia Bulldogs, has a group of UGA students that he goes with to the movies on Sundays. And The Little Princess is in that group.

But she didn't want to see the movie that day.

The Wife and I had a little something to drop off with her, and she said she wasn't all that interested in going to that day's film.

I offered lunch. At Weaver D's.

During a visit to Athens, a visit to Weaver D's is ... well ... automatic.

Only, it was Sunday. And Weaver D's was closed.

So, The Little Princess suggested we go to Food For The Soul.

Food For The SoulSo, we did.

Now, Weaver D's ... as well as Food For The Soul ... are soul food restaurants.

I never understood about soul food. It's supposed to be southern Black food.

It became a popular phrase in the 1960s, and was used to refer to food that Blacks ... southern Blacks, in particular ... ate.

I never understood that.

You see, at Food For The Soul, I had pork chops, fried shrimp, creamed corn, macaroni & cheese, corn bread, green beans. The Little Princess had some of that, plus broccoli & rice casserole, while The Wife's meal included collards, cabbage, candied sweet potatoes, strawberry short cake.

And, it was all good. Very good.

Anyway, that's supposed to be soul food.

And, I guess it is.

You see, my whole family's been eating like that our whole life.

Soul food, if you want to call it that, isn't exactly southern Black food.

It's food.

Willie's Wee-Nee Wagon

Last weekend, we took a trip to southeast and northeast Georgia, visiting family members. On Saturday, we stopped in Brunswick to see my son.

He was just getting off work when we got there, so, of course, The Wife wanted to run to Wal-Mart.

After leaving Hell-Mart, we ran over to my son's apartment. After a quick visit, we went out to eat.

You see, I don't like to miss a meal. I'm grumpy -- very grumpy -- when I miss a meal. I needed to eat. And, in southeast Georgia, eating is a social occasion.

So, we all piled in the Chevrolet -- me, The Wife, and Number One Son -- and went looking for a place to eat in Brunswick.

Now, despite all the things about Brunswick I don't like -- the way they drive, the way the city smells (one word: Hercules; you either know what I'm talking about, or you don't) -- I got to hand it to them. You can always find a place to eat.

Sure, some are better than others. But if you don't find a place you can eat at in Brunswick, either you ain't lookin', or you don't know how to eat.

His apartment is on Altama Avenue, so I mentioned the first place on Altama that came to mind: Willie's Wee-Nee Wagon.

Willie's Wee-Nee Wagon: We relish your bun.I remember the first time I saw Willie's Wee-Nee Wagon. It was 1978. And I was a student at Brunswick Junior College.

BJC is now Coastal Georgia Community College.

But Willie's Wee-Nee Wagon is still Willie's Wee-Nee Wagon.

And they still have the same slogan: "We Relish Your Bun."

The Wife had heard me mention Willie's Wee-Nee Wagon in the past. And, my son had, too.

But, unlike The Wife, my son had actually seen the place ... and had actually eaten there.

So, when I mentioned that place ... in jest ... he said, "Yeah, that'd be good." And he meant it.

Because my memory's as short as my little finger, I couldn't say with certainty that I had ever eaten there. I thought I had, but, heck, it was 30 years. I wasn't 100 per cent sure.

Anyway, we headed down Altama, towards the college ... and towards Willie's Wee-Nee Wagon.

Pulled into the place. It was starting to get dark, but there was still enough light to see the sign, which hadn't been turned on. Actually, I don't know if it's lighted or not. Never been there at night. All the classes I took at BJC were day classes. And I never went there at night.

Anyway, we ordered our food. And I had to tell The Wife, who's from Phenix City, Alabama -- Alabama's answer to Ludowici, Georgia -- that if you wanted chili on the hot dog, you had to order a chili dog. She thinks all hot dogs come with chili. So, every time she visits the rest of Earth, I have to tell her the local customs.

Anyhow, she ordered her meal. I ordered mine. And my son ordered his.

Willie's Wee-Nee Wagon: We relish your bun.We went inside, because it was getting dark and the gnats were out.

Sat down at one of the red picnic tables, and waited for our food.

Didn't take long, and we laid out the spread of food on the table and began digging in.

As soon as I took my first bite of the chili dog, I knew. Yes, I had eaten there before.

Took the first bite of the chili dog to jog my memory, but I knew.

We ate our supper, sat and visited for a bit, before we headed back to his apartment.

Good visit overall.

And good food.

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Nada Ramada

The Wife and I just got back from visiting my son, my daughter, and my grandmother.

We'll talk more about the family visit at another time.

Right now, I want to complain about our stay at a Ramada.

We visited my grandmother Saturday, then went to visit my son. After we finished there, we headed back to see Grandma, before heading to Athens to visit my daughter.

After leaving Grandma's house late Saturday to make the trip to Athens, we decided we were too tired to drive very far. There ain't a lot of anything between southeast Georgia and Athens, so we found a hotel in Jesup and got a room.

Now, if you've never been in Jesup, Georgia, there ain't a lot there, neither. But, they do have a Days Inn, a Jameson Inn, some local places ... and a Ramada.

Not knowing any better, I figured the Ramada might be the best place to stay.

Silly me.

First, the lobby smelled like cigarettes.

I don't smoke. I know several people do. But, in Georgia -- even in Jesup, Georgia -- the lobby shouldn't smell like an ash tray.

But it did.

I should have taken the hint and found another place.

But I didn't.

I asked for a room. They had rooms. King, no smoking, on the first floor and on the second floor.

I asked about Internet access. Yes, they had it, said the lady behind the counter.

So, to the room we went.

The Wife took a shower, and found dried soap bubbles on the wall.

No, she didn't tell me about that until the next morning.

While she was in the shower, I decided to check email.

The Internet connection wasn't working.

Well, actually, I'd get a signal, then it'd drop. Then a signal. Then no signal. Mostly no signal.

I called WebER Wireless, the company that handles issues for the wireless at that hotel. The guy asked me what room I was in.


Turns out that it mattered. Since the hotel was already aware that the wireless in the wing I was in wasn't working.

Yep. The lady behind the counter knew ahead of time that the Internet didn't work in the room she gave me.

By the time I had all this information, the Wife had finished the shower and was ready for bed. So, I went to the lobby and checked email.

Rest of the room was okay. Slept fine.

No OJNext morning, though, breakfast was a bust.

First, there was no juice.

Yes, the orange juice, grapefruit juice, and whatever other kind of juice they were supposed to have wasn't working.

So, I wasn't sure if I wanted to eat breakfast there or not.

The Wife decided to look at the other items they had for breakfast.

Cereal. Muffins. And not a lot else.

Plus bacon!

Yes, there was bacon!

Bacon. Barely.Barely.

Two pieces of bacon.

Just two pieces of bacon.

I'm not sure what I expected.

Strike that.

I know exactly what I expected.

When I stay at a Ramada, I expect the lobby to not smell like an ash tray.

I expect the Internet access to work.

I expect the shower to be clean.

I expect the juice machine to work at breakfast.

And I expect more than two pieces of bacon.

Maybe my expectations are too high.

But I think not.

However, if they expect me to stay there again, it's their expectations that are too high.