19 December 2010

Usurpers and Trespassers in the Scottish woods

It was a cold, windy day in the Scottish highlands as our party set out on a hunting expedition. With the other two knights and myself, Almaric was in charge of 4 archers, one mercenary javelinman working off a debt to me, and and unlucky peasant who met my gaze as we rode past on the road. For his impudence, he would be charged to dress our kill.

As we approached the woods, Roberge and I rode to the left to drive game along the woods to our waiting attackers deployed just west of a small rise in a clearing which was to become our killing zone. As Roberge left my line of sight around the north edge of the woods, I heard him cry out and fill the air with curses! Thinking him to have blundered into some sort of ignominious injury, I turned my mount to follow at a walk, but I soon heard him cry "Archers!" then, "B@astards!" as swords clashed!

Rounding the northwest edge of the trees, I found Roberge engaged with two horsemen, whose colors I did not recognize. I also spotted two archers atop what we had assumed was a badly damaged and abandoned small keep. Worse, 4 more of these interlopers were crossing the plain opposite the woods, racing to the keep with the other squatters.

Almaric had spotted the 4 newcomers and deployed his archers on the small rise to the south, where he had a clear view of the plain and 4 runners. His longbowmen unleashed a murderous volley, taking down one and forcing his fellows to carry him up the stairs into the keep, where they could be dispatched at our leisure soon enough.

With the archers' success, all that remained was to dispatch the two usurpers harassing Roberge, which were soon hopelessly outnumbered and would surely have fallen had we not pitied their poor equipment and obvious lack of martial skills. We magnanimously offered to allow them to yield and spare their wives the status of "widow," provided they would order their associates in the tower to do likewise. One of them appeared to be of low birth, but one claimed to be of great worth and a valuable ransom. We shall see.

09 December 2010

How will you be remembered?

Former University of Florida football coach Urban Meyer shows reporters the Gators' "Rub & Pat" drill.

I don’t often share articles cut-&-paste style from other sources, but this one is as eloquently stated as can be expected in the sports realm, and contains a message for every husband and father who works to make a living for his family. Yes, you have a responsibility to put food on tables, clothes on backs, and roofs over heads, and men who, for reasons within their control, abdicate that responsibility should be publicly humiliated and criminally liable. But when enough is enough, and your family doesn’t need one more toy, or one more trip, or one more luxury, recognize that what your family also needs, and for which they have no substitute, is YOU. While you’re busy making a living, don’t forget to make a life.

© Andy Staples, Sports Illustrated

GAINESVILLE, Fla. -- "Hopefully, he means it this time.

When Urban Meyer resigned as Florida's coach on Dec. 26, 2009, a health scare had convinced him he should spend time with his family because he didn't know exactly how much he had left. He would later call that resignation a "knee-jerk reaction."
But maybe the knee-jerk reaction was Meyer's decision on Dec. 27, 2009 to return to the Gators. Maybe he made the correct decision the first time.

When Meyer resigned as Florida's coach on Dec. 8, 2010, he said he needed to spend time with his family. He has a wife, Shelley, two daughters, Nicki and Gigi, and a son, Nate. Nicki is a sophomore volleyball player at Georgia Tech. Gigi is a high school senior about to leave for Florida Gulf Coast University, where she also will play volleyball. Meyer said he never saw them play in high school. "I can't get that time back," he said Wednesday.

"Sometimes, we make it too complex," Meyer said. "At the end of the day, I'm very convinced that you're going to be judged by how you are as a husband and as a father and not by how many bowl games you've won."

The cynical will assume Meyer quit because his team went 7-5 this season and he can't handle losing. Listening to the man Wednesday, he didn't seem nearly as worried about the games he'd lost as much as the moments he had lost. Meyer has spent the past 10 years building programs, first at Bowling Green and then at Utah and then at Florida. All the while, Shelley raised their children.

A year ago, I didn't quite understand Meyer's original decision to resign. My own son was only a few months old, and my job hadn't required me to be away very much.

I understand this time. According to the Marriott Web site, by the end of this calendar year, I will have spent an average of three nights a week in a hotel room. When my son's first tooth broke through, I learned of it from a picture sent to my cell phone while interviewing players at the Senior Bowl. The first time he made a noise that sounded an awful lot like the word "Daddy," I was in a hotel room in Los Angeles.

The difference between Meyer's job and mine is that I get the other four days. I saw my son stand for the first time. I saw him take his first steps -- and I got to be the one to send the cell-phone video. Meyer never got those other days. Coaching Florida -- or any top-shelf college football program -- is a 24/7/365 grind. Not one moment passes when that person isn't the Head Coach of the Florida Gators.

He missed a lot. Time flew as he won two national titles, two SEC titles and coached a Heisman Trophy winner. Wednesday, Meyer recalled that six years and one day had passed since he had stood in the same spot and promised to return Florida's football program to national prominence. As Meyer noted the time, daughter Gigi mouthed the word, "Wow."

It is amazing so much time has passed so quickly. Six years ago this month, I sat in the food court of a Salt Lake City mall with Shelley, Nicki and Gigi Meyer while working on a story on the family of Florida's new coach for The Tampa Tribune. Meyer's daughters were just kids. Today, they're women. And he missed most of the transition. That has to break a father's heart.

Maybe that's part of the reason why Florida lost five games this season. Meyer the fire-breather never really came back after the first resignation. Doctors had discovered the esophageal spasms that caused his constant chest pain and prescribed him medication to control it, but maybe he also got dosed with perspective. At some point, he must have realized that football wasn't as important to him as it was before. Otherwise, he wouldn't have decided this week to leave the Gators for good.
Meyer attributed the program's slide to a churn of assistant coaches that left the Gators with a raw staff this season, and he's probably correct that the new mix of personalities and responsibilities played a role. So, too, did the departure of quarterback Tim Tebow and a group that seemed born to win.

"It has to be fixed," Meyer said of Florida's program. "It's a little bit broke right now."

The man who fixes it must be willing to accept that 24/7/365 responsibility. At times this season, Meyer didn't seem willing to accept that responsibility. One example is when Meyer elected to allow junior Chris Rainey back on the team after Rainey had text-messaged a death threat to a woman. When Meyer made that controversial choice, who was the first representative of the Florida football program to answer reporters' questions? Not the guy who makes more than $4 million a year. It was offensive coordinator Steve Addazio, who had enough questions to answer about an offense that couldn't move the ball to worry about responding to queries that should have been directed at the head coach.

"Florida deserves the best," Meyer said Wednesday. "I'm not sure we gave them our best."

Hopefully, Meyer means what he said Wednesday. Hopefully, he will spend time with his family. Hopefully, he will take in college volleyball games next fall in Atlanta and in Fort Myers. Hopefully, the only coaching he does for a while will be for Nate Meyer's youth-league teams. Hopefully, he'll keep his pledge to help Florida locate a suitable replacement.

If Meyer winds up on a sideline again in a year or two, shame on us for believing he had his priorities in order. If he does some light television or consulting work and then spends the rest of his time with his wife and children for a few years before he throws himself back into the meat grinder, good for him. He has worked hard to provide financial security for his family. Now he needs to enjoy being a husband and a dad.

Meyer made the correct choice when he resigned last year. It only took him 347 days to realize it."

13 November 2010

Effin around

This post started on one subject, and then segued into another and another. Fasten your seatbelts, we’re gonna go toe-stepping.

On the way to work one recent morning, I heard a little bit of the new Blake Shelton/Miranda Lambert song, “Draggin the River.” It begins with the idea that Blake has asked Miranda’s Dad for her hand in marriage, a quaint little idea that my daughter still thinks I’m joking about requiring of her future fiancé. Long story short, Miranda’s Dad, to put it mildly, disapproved, so they hatch a plot to fake their deaths while they run off to get married. Blake comments on their brilliant scheme by saying, “that’ll show that son-of-a-b!tch!”

Then I get to work, and the front page of that previous Sunday’s Oregonian had the gripping story of a Portland police officer who faced down a homicidal man with a knife and had to kill him. In quoting the officer, they printed: “'Oh, sh!t' is the only way to say it," [expletive NOT deleted in the paper]. Don’t misunderstand me; I am not in any way faulting the officer for his language in that situation. I’ve never been seriously threatened physically (not since high school anyway), nor faced (thank God) the decision to use deadly force against another human being (though I do have my Oregon CHL). Considering the magnitude of the situation, the officer’s language was mild.

I’m not a prude. I’ll slip a mild curse word in every now and then, myself (as my daughter delights in pointing out). But I can remember when you used to at least NOTICE curse words! I draw that line at two words myself: F-bombs and G**d***, both of which I find offensive, and I don't think I'm alone... yet. Part of my reaction to the Shelton/Lambert song (which I am not critiquing here, as I’ve heard literally nothing more of the song than I’ve shared) could be the fact that as a Dad of a priceless daughter that I would die/kill for without a second thought, I’m the SOB in that story. But that’s not all. I’ve commented in this space and others before about how casually people out here in the Pacific North Wet (sic) fling F-bombs around. I’m waiting to hear someone walking down the street refer to sexual activity as “effin effin that effer!” Words that once raised eyebrows and caused debate have devolved to the status of potholes in our audible road. We might hear them; but unless they’re aimed at us, we don’t pay them much attention.

Anyone else old enough to remember the first time SOB was used on television without being bleeped? It was during the eighth season of the stridently anti-war M*A*S*H* (I still love the show, even though I now disagree with some of their “morality plays"). In an episode entitled “Guerilla My Dreams,” Hawkeye leveled it at a South Korean interrogator. I was young, but I remember the uproar it caused. Commentary ranged from “it’s not that big of a deal” to “It’s The End Of The World As We Know It” (apologies to R.E.M. and Leonard Bernstein). Even George Carlin’s “Seven Words,” which once got him arrested following a live performance, are becoming fair game. As much as I love the series “Band of Brothers” (another case of perfectly understandable coarse language), I was a little disappointed that “G**d***” was not bleeped, nor anything else except “f*ck,” as near as I could tell.

But it’s not just cursing, and here’s our first sharp curve. Our public discourse is becoming increasingly base, vulgar, and bitterly divisive. The (insert Left-Wing/Right Wing, depending on your views) extremists are hell-bent…OOPS!, I mean, uh, HECK-bent on demonizing the other side, all the while extolling the virtues of their own views as “compassionate,” “common sense,” and/or “morally superior” (or A-moral, if the argument revolves around the existence/non-existence of morals). For every Ann Coulter there’s a Huffington Post, for every “Obama is bankrupting our country with the help of a buncha socialists,” there’s a “why don’t you nutjob Tea Baggers quit crying about the election!” (Although, that last one’s not being bandied about the way it was a few months ago, hehehehe).
Civil discourse has largely fallen by the wayside, and has become neither civil, nor discourse. We have become a nation of monologists. We simply cannot agree to disagree anymore. It’s partly our own fault. To some extent, Conservatives' dread of deficit spending is inversely proportionate to our support for what’s being funded with it. We, as a society, usually ascribe purer motives to our “friends,” while ascribing nefarious intent to every word out of the mouths of our opponents.

Do you know who became one of President Abraham Lincoln’s most ardent supporters? Stephen A. Douglas; the political rival who had faced off against candidate Lincoln in some of the most well-known campaign debates in American history. What united these foes? The preservation of the American Union (the merits of which I, as a proud Southerner, will refrain from debating here). Want to see a picture of an advocate of reconciliation and peace in the wake of the Civil War? Google “Robert E. Lee.” We are devolving as a nation and society into factional interests, squabbling about issues ranging from the momentous to the ridiculous, while our Ship of State proceeds toward the Falls of Rauros. To further plagiarize the analogy, Lincoln and Lee stand like Isildur and Anarion warning us back from the danger ahead. Aragorn and Boromir argued, bitterly, the night before the battle at Amon Hen, Boromir even going so far as to circumvent the agreed plan, but when the swords began to fly, they were all on the same page. Sadly, we do not even seem to be linked together by this kind of patriotism anymore. Each side seems to think its “America” is being destroyed/held back/undermined/prevented from being what in their minds it CLEARLY must be: a global citizen no better (perhaps in fact, WORSE) than any other global citizen; or a distinct and exemplary world superpower and force for good on Earth. And yes, I do have an opinion, quite a strong one, about which of those alternate realities is superior to the other, as you'll see in a moment. But I also recognize that I’m better off working to SUPPORT my vision for our country than ranting and raving AGAINST someone else’s view of it.

We have taken the Ring. Or more accurately, it has taken us. I don’t recall whether the books contain the line or not, but there’s a telling quote in The Two Towers, where Frodo tells Faramir, “The Ring cannot save Gondor; it has only the power to destroy.” Bitterness, enmity, and rancor cannot save our republic (we are NOT a democracy). Will we destroy The Ring like Frodo, or try to “use” it like Isildur?

Which leads us to our next sharp curve, a hard Right. If you want a hard Left, write your own blog. This one is worth what you paid for it.

I am NOT a “citizen” of a planet: I am a citizen of a NATION. I am an AMERICAN! And I am an unabashed proponent of the idea of American Exceptionalism.

The United States is, and by Providence may it always be, the greatest, most generous, most freedom loving nation in the history of civilization. Oh we’re FAR from perfect, and have failed many times, sometimes miserably, to live up to our own lofty goals, but we are lightyears ahead of not only where we were, but ahead of every other nation, past or present. We may not be the philosophers of Ancient Greece, or have a world empire like Persia, Rome, Spain, or Great Britain, but we have been, and still have the potential to be, THE greatest nation on Earth. The nation with the worst immigration problem on the planet. People WANT to come here! People take GREAT RISKS to come here! And we have provided a perfectly reasonable PROCESS for them to LEGALLY do so! Some 1.13 million did so, LEGALLY, in 2009.

Immigration has been a difficult issue in the United States almost since its founding. The particular ethnic group has changed over the years, be it Irish, German, Chinese, Vietnamese, or Latino. But it is only in recent years that the concept of someone having a “right” to immigrate illegally has gained such remarkable, and inexplicable, support. Ironically, many of these same supporters absolutely DEMAND that Bush 43 be prosecuted for “war crimes,” “torture,” illegal detainment, illegal surveillance, etc., LOUDLY proclaiming the virtue of the motto “no one is above the law.”

It would seem that SOME people are above SOME laws, depending upon whether the supporter likes the “violator” and/or dislikes the law in question.

And for my celebrating Republican friends...

07 July 2010

Drew Brees: The power of believing in someone

Buy this book @ Barnes & Noble

I don't normally post so close to my last one. When you have as little material as I do, it pays to stretch it out a bit. Keeps all 8 of you faithful readers coming back. But something happened yesterday. A book was released. "Big deal!" you say? Well, this was a book by a fella I think pretty highly of.

Brees gave an interview about the book to Peter King of Sports Illustrated. An excerpt of that interview is found below. It's message is clear: never underestimate the power you have to change someone's life by believing in them.

The most enlightening thing about the Brees book, I thought, was the one final conversation he had with Nick Saban before he decided to pick the Saints over Saban's Dolphins in the spring of 2006. We've all heard that the Saints believed unconditionally in Brees' ability to come back from his shoulder surgery, while the Dolphins were skeptical about it. But we hadn't heard about Brees commandeering the situation from his agent, Tom Condon, which, at the end of the negotiations, apparently Brees did.

Brees had significant interest on the table from the Saints. But he wanted to find out if Saban had the same faith in him that Payton and Mickey Loomis had in New Orleans. So Brees picked up the phone and called Saban, who told him the Miami team doctors believed Brees had a 25 percent chance to come back and be the same quarterback, or better, that he'd been before the shoulder surgery.
According to the book, Brees said to Saban: "Coach, I know what your doctors believe about me. My question is, what do you believe?''

Wrote Brees: "Nick Saban paused. That was really all I needed to hear. His pause told me everything. 'Well, Drew,' he said, 'I would still love to have you, but I have to trust what our medical people are saying ...' He went on from there, like he was reading from a script. But I was starting to tune out. By then I had all the information I needed. I had made my decision.''

Brees told Saban thanks, and he'd be going to New Orleans, even though telling Saban that might kill his negotiating position with the Saints.

As Brees told me, "The impression I get from the Dolphins was I should feel lucky they were even looking at me. It just wasn't a welcoming feeling.''

And the rest, as they say, is history. Super Bowl History. I haven't read Brees' book yet, but I will. And I recommend that you do, too. In it, you'll get a glimpse into the character of a young man who believed in himself, found an organization that did, too, and poured his heart into a city that would now, in all likelihood, elect him Pope if he wanted it! Brees is the Anti-JaMarcus, who ironically was also in the news today, for a very different reason. Brees is a future Hall-of-Famer who works as hard as any practice-squad hopeful to be the best quarterback on the field. And right now, he deserves to be in any conversation about the league's best; right alongside Brady, Manning, Favre, and anyone else you care to promote.

06 July 2010

Stunned By Grace

The following content is the property and copyright of Max Lucado. I claim no ownership rights whatsoever. I do claim, and with good reason, to be a living, breathing example of the "sheep" in the following devotional.

Behind the Shower Curtain

by Max Lucado

I’m going to have to install a computer in my shower. That’s where I have my best thoughts.

I had a great one today.

I was mulling over a recent conversation I had with a disenchanted Christian brother. He was upset with me. So upset that he was considering rescinding his invitation for me to speak to his group. Seems he’d heard I was pretty open about who I have fellowship with. He’d read the words I wrote: “If God calls a person his child, shouldn’t I call him my brother?” And, “If God accepts others with their errors and misinterpretations, shouldn’t we?”

He didn’t like that. “Carrying it a bit too far,” he told me. “Fences are necessary,” he explained. “Scriptures are clear on such matters.” He read me a few and then urged me to be careful to whom I give grace.

“I don’t give it,” I assured. “I only spotlight where God already has.”

Didn’t seem to satisfy him. I offered to bow out of the engagement (the break would be nice), but he softened and told me to come after all.

That’s where I’m going today. That’s why I was thinking about him in the shower. And that’s why I need a waterproof computer. I had a great thought. A why-didn’t-I-think-to-say-that? insight.

I hope to see him today. If the subject resurfaces, I’ll say it. But in case it doesn’t, I’ll say it to you. (It’s too good to waste.) Just one sentence:

I’ve never been surprised by God’s judgment, but I’m still stunned by his grace.

God’s judgment has never been a problem for me. In fact, it always seemed right. Lightning bolts on Sodom. Fire on Gomorrah. Good job, God. Egyptians swallowed in the Red Sea. They had it coming. Forty years of wandering to loosen the stiff necks of the Israelites? Would’ve done it myself. Ananias and Sapphira? You bet.

Discipline is easy for me to swallow. Logical to assimilate. Manageable and appropriate.

But God’s grace? Anything but.

Examples? How much time do you have?

David the psalmist becomes David the voyeur, but by God’s grace becomes David the psalmist again.

Peter denied Christ before he preached Christ.

Zacchaeus, the crook. The cleanest part of his life was the money he’d laundered. But Jesus still had time for him.

The thief on the cross: hellbent and hung-out-to-die one minute, heaven-bound and smiling the next.

Story after story. Prayer after prayer. Surprise after surprise.

Seems that God is looking more for ways to get us home than for ways to keep us out. I challenge you to find one soul who came to God seeking grace and did not find it. Search the pages. Read the stories. Envision the encounters. Find one person who came seeking a second chance and left with a stern lecture. I dare you. Search.

You won’t find it.

You will find a strayed sheep on the other side of the creek. He’s lost. He knows it. He’s stuck and embarrassed. What will the other sheep say? What will the shepherd say?

You will find a shepherd who finds him. (Luke 15:3-7)

Oh boy. Duck down. Put hooves over the eyes. The belt is about to fly. But the belt is never felt. Just hands. Large, open hands reaching under his body and lifting the sheep up, up, up until he’s placed upon the shepherd’s shoulders. He’s carried back to the flock and given a party! “Cut the grass and comb the wool,” he announces. “We are going to have a celebration!”

The other sheep shake their heads in disbelief. Just like we will. At our party. When we get home. When we watch the Shepherd shoulder into our midst one unlikely soul after another.

Seems to me God gives a lot more grace than we’d ever imagine.

We could do the same.

I’m not for watering down the truth or compromising the gospel. But if a fellow with a pure heart calls God Father, can’t I call that same man Brother? If God doesn’t make doctrinal perfection a requirement for family membership, should I?

And if we never agree, can’t we agree to disagree? If God can tolerate my mistakes, can’t I tolerate the mistakes of others? If God can overlook my errors, can’t I overlook the errors of others? If God allows me with my foibles and failures to call him Father, shouldn’t I extend the same grace to others?

One thing’s for sure. When we get to heaven, we’ll be surprised at some of the folks we see. And some of them will be surprised to see us.

From When God Whispers Your Name
Copyright (Thomas Nelson, 1999) Max Lucado

23 June 2010


The vitriolic political rhetoric of the past decade or more in the United States has reached a level unseen in the history of a generation that has seen the end (for now) of the Cold War, the fall of the Berlin Wall and Checkpoint Charlie, and the loss of two Space Shuttles (Challenger & Columbia) and their crews. The cries of “worst president ever” echo in the halls and on TV, talk radio, and internet blogs on a minute by minute basis. It should be noted that, while the war of words has gone tactically nuclear, we still don’t even approach the chaos of some contemporary foreign legislatures or the violence of the antebellum Congress when Representative Preston Brooks savagely beat Senator Charles Sumner into unconsciousness on the floor of the Senate Chamber. But for flaming rhetoric, the Internet has given voice to millions of people whose freedom to speak has not yielded verbal and written contributions of value to the historical narrative. George W. Bush was (and still is) vilified as stupid, bumbling, inept, and the greatest liar in history. Barack Obama is an elitist, arrogant, anti-US, Big Government Socialist, who is spending money by the trillions, rivaling any band of drunken sailors ever to disembark.

Labeling either Bush OR Obama as the “worst president ever” is at best simplistic, and more likely belies a serious lack of knowledge of United States history. Since its inception, America has had 44 presidencies by 43 different men (Grover Cleveland served two non-consecutive terms). The halls of the White House have seen a staggering level of corruption, incompetence, and mismanagement. Let’s look at a few former “leaders of the Free World;” men who would be in the running, were we officially assigning an award for “worst president.”

1. William Henry Harrison. President for about 2 hours in 1841. Harrison is on our list, if for no other reason, because he literally didn’t have sense enough to come in out of the rain. Despite being the oldest president elect in history until the election of Ronald Reagan in 1980, Harrison wore neither hat nor overcoat while delivering a nearly two-hour inaugural address. His attempt to dispel his critics by a most public display of vigor resulted in pneumonia. His greatest accomplishment during his 32-day presidency? Calling Congress into special session.

2. Ulysses S. Grant. President from 1869-1877. Grant had the ignominy to preside over perhaps the most corrupt presidency in U.S. history. Grant’s two-term presidency was plagued by no fewer than twelve separate scandals. Grant staffed his administration with a litany of former military associates, many of whom were simply not up to the task, and a few of whom were actively involved in the aforementioned scandals. Grant has the distinction of being one of the few presidents to give a deposition during a criminal investigation regarding the alleged actions of a subordinate (at least so far, notwithstanding the current trial of Rob Blagojevich). Grant’s few “accomplishments” include the establishment of The National Weather Service,” Yellowstone National Park, Department of Justice, and the Office of the Surgeon General.

3. Warren G. Harding. President from 1921-1923. Before his death by heart attack in 1921, Harding’s presidency looked promising for a country emerging from the shadow of WWI and a financial depression in 1920-21. He would go on to give Grant a run for his money, scandal wise, suffering at least seven separate scandals, watching the first U.S. Cabinet member (Secretary of the Interior Albert Fall) ever to be convicted and sent to prison for accepting a bribe; endure his Assistant Secretary of the Navy (and future 4-term president) Franklin D. Roosevelt launching an investigation into allegations of homosexuality in the Navy. Harding himself was accused of at least three extra-marital affairs. A quick Google search gave no indication of the existence of any stained dresses.

4. Millard Fillmore. President from 1850-1853. The first unelected President (to this day sharing that title with only Andrew Johnson, who completed the term of the assassinated Abraham Lincoln, Chester A. Arthur, who completed the term of the assassinated James Garfield, and Gerald R. Ford, who became president when Richard Nixon resigned to avoid impeachment over the Watergate break-in), Fillmore failed to even receive the nomination of his own party after serving out the term of Zachary Taylor. Fillmore’s presidency was marked by the violent defense of and opposition to slavery and the so-called “Compromise of 1850", which ultimately failed to avert the U.S. Civil War. He may best be seen as attempting to, if not make anyone happy, at least make virtually everyone equally UNhappy.

5. Richard M. Nixon . President from 1969-1974. Where to start? Nixon was described as “an idiosyncratic president, so brilliant and so morally lacking”(Skidmore 2001, James MacGregor Burns), Nixon remains the only man ever to be elected twice as both president and vice president. The stark contrast of his presidency may be seen by his successes: a negotiated cease-fire with North Vietnam, effectively (although not successfully by most standards) ending the Vietnam War, opening arms treaty talks with The Soviet Union, and being the first U.S. President to visit China while in office. Unfortunately, he also very likely committed several major felonies and left office in disgrace over his role in the so-called “Watergate" scandal. His iconic “I am not a crook” speech remains a common punchline, ranking right up there with “you misspelled ‘potatoe’”, “I did not have sexual relations with that woman,” “Mission Accomplished,” and “I’m going to find out whose @$$ to kick.

The list goes on, but you get the point. Obama might go down in history as the most EXPENSIVE president in US history, and Bush might go down as the progenitor of the longest war(s) in US history 24, but neither could crack the top five, perhaps even the top TEN worst presidents.

18 June 2010

How to get rid of a roommate.

At some point in your college/early professional life, you may well find yourself living with someone solely out of financial necessity. All humans are, at least to some degree, annoying to all other humans. It is the nature of the beast to believe that all of your own mannerisms, quirks, habits and hang-ups are perfectly normal, while everyone else can only hope to achieve such perfection. Learning to live with others without killing them or yourself is a natural part of growing up.

Sometimes, however, you encounter a person that simply cannot be tolerated short of a sudden “snap” into a homicidal rage. But moving is such a hassle that it is usually preferable to try to get the offending party to leave voluntarily. To this end, there are a number methods for the annoyed to one-up the annoyer.

It is important to remember the words of Sun Tzu; “know your enemy and know yourself, and you can fight a hundred battles without disaster.” Even scant observation will give insight into the soon-to-be-ex-roommate’s “hot buttons.” But some annoying things are almost universal, and as long as these do not represent acquiescence to matching the offender’s habits, they can be used to great effect. Begin with common but low-level annoyances like leaving the toothpaste tube open on the sink; replace the toilet paper roll “backwards” (“over” if your roommate likes it “under,” and vice versa). With a little advance planning (unless you are going prematurely bald), you can leave thick, disgusting mats of lost hair in the shower drain. Bonus points are awarded for attaching little black and white “googly eyes” (available at any crafts store) to your creation. At a minimum, you may get that goofy “somebody’s watching me” 80’s song stuck in your victim’s head (some of you probably thought it was just from those insurance commercials, didn’t you?).

If these steps do not yield satisfactory results, stronger methods are called for, such as leaving a few “Soldier of Fortune” magazines, spent shells casings, and a half-completed Federal Firearms Dealers’ License applications lying around. Highlight one of the questions about “mental illness” with a sticky-note caption like “CRAP! Ask Doc if this is gonna be a problem,” or under “have you been convicted of domestic violence,” write “NOT convicted, no.” Pretend to practice a religion that calls for periodic bloody sacrifices. Thanks to the recent “vampire” craze, recipes for fake blood are almost as plentiful on the Internet as porn. Animal organs that are usually cast off in the making of everything except vienna sausages may be obtained at many grocery stores in predominantly low-income areas, and unless your roommate is a pre-med student, they’ll never know the difference. Some items, such as eyes, lips, and testicles, can be had for little or no cost.”

If nothing else is working, and you’re beginning to rationalize murder, desperate measures are in order. This method will only work, however, if your roommate is of the same gender as yourself, and neither of you are GLBT, OR with a person of opposite gender if one of you is GLT and the other isn’t. Wait until your roommate is asleep, preferably after a night of serious consumption of alcohol (roommates over 21 only, please). Crawl up next to them and very gently wake them up. When you are sure they are awake enough to process complete sentences, say something like “good morning, sexy,” or “My GOD, that was amazing!” They should be packed and out the door in 15 minutes. If they are not, LEAVE THE PREMISES IMMEDIATELY!”

One final caveat: your roommate may be reading this, too.

07 June 2010

Venting more than just oil

Watch live streaming video from wkrg_oil_spill at livestream.com

A friend posted on Facebook a link to a story about Obama telling the press he was going to "find out whose ass to kick." I posted a couple of comments, and it really took over her post, which I certainly did NOT intend to do. So I decided to take it to my own space. You are the lucky recipients.

First, I do NOT expect Obama to do much more than he's doing. Obama could imprison every employee of BP (and Transocean, the real culprit) and declare Martial Law, and it wouldn't stop a drop. There's a reason why he hasn't taken charge. It's because no one, not BP, not Transocean, not FEMA, or the US Military, or Obama and his "experts" (remember how well the eggheads ran the Vietnam War?), NO ONE has the technology to fix something that's never been broken this badly before. No one really knows how to completely fix this thing until the pressure is taken off that oil deposit. And that won't be done until the well runs dry or the relief wells are drilled, and they'll take another 2-3 months. It takes months to drill relief wells, and relief wells were not already drilled because it costs months of labor and MILLIONS of dollars to drill each hole, and no one expected ALL of the "fail safes" to all fail at once. They never had before.

When George Washington was sick with pneumonia, his doctor drained a pint of blood, because bloodletting was the "conventional wisdom" of the day. An hour later, he drained another pint, and wrote in his journal: "he seems to be getting worse."

I'm not being sarcastic (for once), but the analogy is the same. Again, no deep water well has ever failed this badly before. At least one of several redundant safety mechanisms has always worked before. This time, everything failed. Wells of twice this depth are being explored right now, or were, until this happened. No one, at least from everything I've read, believed a catastrophic failure like this was even possible. It would be literally like blaming BMW for not building their cars to survive a meteor strike. It's not COMPLETELY out of the realm of possibility, but it ain't very likely. The analogy here would be me pulling up to the pump to fill my gas tank, then while the gas is pumping, the rubber hose breaks, starts a fire, kills me and several customers, and destroys the station. Then the owner of the equipment blames ME, the buyer of the gas, for the failure of their own equipment. Do you inspect the gas pump when you pull up in your car? No, you assume that the people who do this for a living know what they are doing and are not taking shortcuts. BP apparently did the same with Transocean. I say "apparently," because it is possible that BP was pressuring Transocean to take shortcuts.

BP should get SOME credit for taking ownership of this nightmare from the beginning. I think BP stepped to the forefront early on because they had a better chance at stopping this thing than anyone else and they knew that doing nothing except getting on TV pointing fingers at Transocean would not win them any sympathy whatsoever. I'm sure BP's lawyers are already preparing their case against Transocean, who know they have nothing to gain from any visibility at all. Tragically, the only ones who will make money off this is the lawyers; hundreds, if not thousands of them in twenty years or more of courtroom combat.

Ironically, I've seen some stories that say that the water/foam used to extinguish the fire may have sunk the rig, ripping open the pipe deep underwater. It's at least possible that it may not have been nearly as bad if they'd let the rig burn itself out above the pontoons.

Obama isn't an idiot. He's trying to walk a fine line between looking like he's doing something without having to actually do something, because there isn't anything else he CAN do. BP is still in charge because no one has come up with a better idea. I'm among the first to castigate Obama for spending TRILLIONS of dollars, and meddling where he (and Congress) doesn't belong, but for once, this one isn't his fault.

16 May 2010

Top Ten of the 80s: The Final Countdown!

Ironically, that song didn't make the list anywhere!

Disclaimer: The videos posted below are the best available on YouTube. In a few cases, the original video was unavailable for imbed and I had to go with a "knock-off," like one showing just the album cover, or lyrics. At least one has a minor error in the lyrics, sharp eyes & ears will spot it easily. In some cases, & this is true of the "cut" list, also, a song was chosen as representative of several songs by that artist: e.g. Journey, Def Leppard, and darn near half of everything Foreigner ever released as singles!

This is my Top Ten Songs of the 1980s list, otherwise known as The Reason I Have High Frequency Hearing Loss!

Number 10
One Night in Bangkok - Murray Head

Number 9
Shadows of the Night - Pat Benatar

Number 8
Urgent - Foreigner

Number 7
Photograph - Def Leppard

Number 6
Mr. Roboto - Styx

Number 5

Number 4
Who's Crying Now - Journey

Number 3
Subdivisions - Rush

Number 2
Against All Odds - Phil Collins

And the Number One Song of the 1980S.....
Twilight Zone - Golden Earring

This has been a fun project! Thanks for all who followed along & offered suggestions as the list took shape!

15 May 2010

Best of the 80s: Missed the Cut

These are the songs that didn't quite make it into the top ten, for a variety of reasons. Several were in my top ten before being bumped as the final list (which I will post tomorrow) took shape. Again, in no particular order after the first one.

Eye of the Tiger - Survivor
End of the Innocence – Don Henley
Cold As Ice – Foreigner
Living Years – Mike & the Mechanics
Shot in the Dark -Ozzy Osbourne
Holding out for a Hero - Bonnie Tyler
Livin on a Prayer - Bon Jovi
You Belong to The City - Glenn Frey
18 & Life - Skid Row
Here I Go Again - Whitesnake
Don’t Stop Believing - Journey
Faithfully - Journey
In The Air Tonight - Phil Collins
Smokin in the Boys Room - Motley Crue
Devil Went Down to Georgia - Charlie Daniels Band
When You Say Nothing at All - Keith Whitley
Should Have Known Better -Richard Marx
Sister Christian – Night Ranger
Wild Flower – The Cult
He Stopped Loving Her Today - George Jones

14 May 2010

Best of the 80s - Songs Born Too Early/Late

These are the top songs (in no particular order after the first one) that were awesome, but fell in the 70s/90s, and thus were ineligible for my Best of the 80s List.

Sweet Home Alabama - Lynyrd Skynyrd
When I Call Your Name - Vince Gill
Hotel California - The Eagles
Wheel in the Sky - Journey
High Enough - Damn Yankees
Fading Like A Flower - Roxette
Sweet Home Alabama - Lynyrd Skynyrd
Turn the Page - Bob Seger
Enter Sandman - Metallica
Feel Like Making Love – Bad Company
Let Me Touch You For a While – Alison Krauss & Union Station

Tomorrow, I reveal the 20 songs that didn't make the cut for the top ten!

08 May 2010

Sugarland - Settlin'

Minor liberties taken with the lyrics.

Fifteen minutes left to throw me together
For Miss Right Now, not Miss Forever
Don't know why I even try when I know how it ends
Looking like another "maybe we could be friends"
I've been leaving it up to fate
It's my life so [I'll wait for God's grace]

I ain't settling for just getting by
I've had enough so-so for the rest of my life
Tired of shooting too low, so raise the bar high
Just enough ain't enough this time
I ain't settling for anything less than everything, yeah

With some good red wine and my brand new [boots]
Gonna dance a blue streak around my living room
Take a chance on love and try how it feels
With my heart wide open yeah you know I will
Find what it means to be the [guy]
Change [his world] and change [his mind]

I ain't settling for just getting by
I've had enough so-so for the rest of my life
Tired of shooting too low, so raise the bar high
Just enough ain't enough this time
I ain't settling for anything less than everything

I ain't settling for just getting by
I've had enough so so for the rest of my life
Tired of shooting too low, so raise the bar high
Just enough ain't enough this time

I ain't settling for just getting by
I've had enough so so for the rest of my life
Tired of shooting too low, so raise the bar high
I ain't settling no, no, no, no, no, no, ohhh

So raise the bar high

16 April 2010

Oh, yes, that and so much more

It's more than hope. Hope is nice, but it's ultimately not much more than a dream, with no power behind it to accomplish anything. Faith is more, so much more. Faith is believing in more than you are capable of. Believing what we can do together, with a limitless God behind us. Dare to dream. Dare to hope. But more than that, dare to have faith!

A friend shared this with me, for which I am grateful. I'm familiar with Kutless, but this track was new to me. I think I like them. A lot. The band, I mean. But maybe that's not all I mean.

Sorry about the imbed, Youtube is getting so anal about that. Click play, then click the link.

12 April 2010

I asked God...

Received this from a friend, I can't take credit for it, but I can pass it along.

I asked God to take away my habit.
God said, No.
It is not for Me to take away,
but for you to give it up.

I asked God to make my handicapped child whole.
God said, No..
His spirit is whole, his body is only temporary.

I asked God to grant me patience.
God said, No.
Patience is a byproduct of tribulations;
it isn't granted, it is learned.

I asked God to give me happiness.
God said, No.
I give you blessings;
Happiness is up to you.

I asked God to spare me pain.
God said, No.
Suffering draws you apart from worldly cares and brings you closer to me.

I asked God to make my spirit grow.
God said, No.
You must grow on your own,
but I will prune you to make you fruitful.

I asked God for all things that I might enjoy life.
God said, No.
I will give you life, that you may enjoy all things.

I asked God to help me LOVE others, as much as He loves me.
God said...
I thought you'd never ask!

05 April 2010


Pink Glitter Graphics for Social Networking

Anyone who knows me at all knows I love a quick wit! These insults are from an era before our language got boiled down to 4-letter words.

"He has delusions of adequacy."
- Walter Kerr

"He has all the virtues I dislike and none of the vices I admire."
- Winston Churchill

"I have never killed a man, but I have read many obituaries with great pleasure."
- Clarence Darrow

"He has never been known to use a word that might send a reader to the dictionary."
- William Faulkner (about Ernest Hemingway).

'Poor Faulkner. Does he really think big emotions come from big words?'
- Ernest Hemingway (about William Faulkner)

"Thank you for sending me a copy of your book; I'll waste no time reading it."
- Moses Hadas

"I didn't attend the funeral, but I sent a nice letter saying I approved of it."
- Mark Twain

"He has no enemies, but is intensely disliked by his friends."
- Oscar Wilde

"I am enclosing two tickets to the first night of my new play; bring a friend.... if you have one."
- George Bernard Shaw to Winston Churchill

"Cannot possibly attend first night, will attend second... if there is one." - - Winston Churchill, in response.

"I feel so miserable without you; it's almost like having you here."
- Stephen Bishop

"He is a self-made man and worships his creator."
- John Bright

"I've just learned about his illness. Let's hope it's nothing trivial."
- Irvin S. Cobb

"He is not only dull himself; he is the cause of dullness in others."
- Samuel Johnson

"He is simply a shiver looking for a spine to run up."
- Paul Keating

"In order to avoid being called a flirt, she always yielded easily."
- Charles, Count Talleyrand

"He loves nature in spite of what it did to him.."
- Forrest Tucker

"Why do you sit there looking like an envelope without any address on it?"
- Mark Twain

"His mother should have thrown him away and kept the stork."
- Mae West

"Some cause happiness wherever they go; others, whenever they go."
- Oscar Wilde

"He uses statistics as a drunken man uses lamp-posts... for support rather than illumination."
- Andrew Lang (1844-1912)

"I've had a perfectly wonderful evening. But this wasn't it."
- Groucho Marx

'There's nothing wrong with you that reincarnation won't cure.'
- Jack E. Leonard

'They never open their mouths without subtracting from the sum of human knowledge.'
- Thomas Brackett Reed

'He has Van Gogh's ear for music.'
- Billy Wilder

'He can compress the most words into the smallest idea of any man I know.'
- Abraham Lincoln

'A modest little person, with much to be modest about. '
- Winston Churchill

And my personal favorite: "Mr. Churchill, if you were my husband, I would put arsenic in your tea!” Lady Nancy Astor

"Madam, if you were my wife, I would drink it." Winston Churchill

03 April 2010

I am willing...

A lot more verses to this little ditty than most folks know.

O beautiful for spacious skies,
For amber waves of grain,
For purple mountain majesties
Above the fruited plain!
America! America!
God shed his grace on thee
And crown thy good with brotherhood
From sea to shining sea!

O beautiful for pilgrim feet
Whose stern impassioned stress
A thoroughfare of freedom beat
Across the wilderness!
America! America!
God mend thine every flaw,
Confirm thy soul in self-control,
Thy liberty in law!

O beautiful for heroes proved
In liberating strife.
Who more than self their country loved
And mercy more than life!
America! America!
May God thy gold refine
Till all success be nobleness
And every gain divine!

O beautiful for patriot dream
That sees beyond the years
Thine alabaster cities gleam
Undimmed by human tears!
America! America!
God shed his grace on thee
And crown thy good with brotherhood
From sea to shining sea!

O beautiful for halcyon skies,
For amber waves of grain,
For purple mountain majesties
Above the enameled plain!
America! America!
God shed his grace on thee
Till souls wax fair as earth and air
And music-hearted sea!

O beautiful for pilgrims feet,
Whose stem impassioned stress
A thoroughfare for freedom beat
Across the wilderness!
America! America!
God shed his grace on thee
Till paths be wrought through
wilds of thought
By pilgrim foot and knee!

O beautiful for glory-tale
Of liberating strife
When once and twice,
for man's avail
Men lavished precious life!
America! America!
God shed his grace on thee
Till selfish gain no longer stain
The banner of the free!

O beautiful for patriot dream
That sees beyond the years
Thine alabaster cities gleam
Undimmed by human tears!
America! America!
God shed his grace on thee
Till nobler men keep once again
Thy whiter jubilee!

23 March 2010

Fifteen Thousand Hits

Sometime in the past 24 hours, my hit counter rolled over 15K.

Danged if I know why.

Looking at some recent IP addresses, I've gotten views from places including (but not limited to): Oakland CA, Lafayette LA, Louisville KY, Bloomfield Hills MI, Mountain View CA ("googlebot" is there, it crawls me everyday... which sounds creepy!), Anaheim and Brentwood CA, Parramatta New South Wales Australia, Budd Lake NJ, Curitaba Brazil, Hsinchu Taiwan, Fort Richardson AK, Sneek Freisland in The Netherlands (no foolin, that's the name it gave me), Bjuv Sweden, Fountain Valley CA, Trgu Mehedinti Romania, Figueira Da Foz Coimbra Portugal, Dubai Dubayy UAE, Santiago Region Metropolitana Chile, and other exotic places like Memphis and Jackson Tennessee (the Memphis IP is almost always from Memphis.edu). Other than that Memphis one, and googlebot, I have no idea who most of these people are, or why they'd be reading anything I'd write.

If you're here from one of those, or any other, exotic locations, welcome! Whether you got here from a Google image search, a Facebook posting, a geocaching forum, or because of a poorly-typed URL, thanks for spending a few seconds with me.

In the 3 or so years I've been blogging, I've discussed religion, my kids, my marriage (and the eventual implosion thereof), geocaching, travel, and not a small bit of politics. I've reviewed movies, made thinly-veiled references to people and situations, ridiculed stupidity mercilessly whenever possible, and chronicled a softball-career-ending knee injury (if you can call what I had a "career"). I've made some people laugh, occasionally made myself cry, and made some people mad enough to choke my eyeballs out. I honestly cannot recall ever regretting anything I've posted, but when you've put your foot in your mouth as many times as I have, your taste-buds get dull enough not to always notice.

If you take a notion (although I'm sure there's a million reasons NOT to), post a comment sometime and let me know who's behind that IP address, like you there, on Pacbell.net, or you on Charter.com, or you, o' faithful reader from Memphis.edu. I've not the time or inclination to keep track of such stuff, I'm just curious.

18 February 2010

Highway I-5 ride

I know I promised a more complete set of thoughts on being a Saints fan for 36 years before they won a Super Bowl, but something else caught my attention while dropping my middle child at youth group tonight. Actually, something ripped my heart out, stomped and spit on it, then kicked it down the storm drain.

The highway is I-5, and there's two sons, plus a daughter, but other than that, God have mercy, I could have written every line.

I hope someday they understand why things are the way they are. But they're smart kids, and I know they'll someday see.

But right now, 532 days, 5 hours, and 25 minutes is killin me. But the hug I just got from William helps a little. Pickin up my Chicklet in about an hour will, too. And the prayers I'll say with Tim will be just a little longer, and more thankful, tonight.

07 February 2010

Super Bowl XLIV: Saints XXXI, Colts XVII

Monday morning, 12 December 1977, a 12 year old kid sits in some class or other (probably math, I hated that teacher), doodling on his notebook instead of paying attention. Drawing a little fleur-de-lis on the back of his spiral notebook, he writes "Beaten by Tampa Bay??"

One day earlier, the team he'd been rooting for for about 4 years became the first NFL team ever to lose to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Tampa did not win a game until the next to last game of their second season. In fairness to the Saints, Tampa also beat the (then) St. Louis Cardinals the following week, but dem Saints was da foist!

Today, Sunday, 7 February 2010, 2100 PST, here I sit, still watching replays. More to come later, but for now, I just want to relax and wrap my head around the words "2010 World Champion New... Orleans... SAINTS!!!!!!!!!

02 February 2010

Jack Brisco (1941-2010)

Jack Brisco. A gentleman in and out of the ring. One of my favorite wrestlers as a kid, back when they had to make it look real and had to know how to wrestle and not just fly around the ring and run their mouths. I remember seeing him live in the old Mid-South Coliseum. Rest easy, Jack, until God rings the bell for us all.

26 January 2010

A long time comin....

New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton told his second-year kicker, Garrett Hartley, to aim for the fleur-de-lis emblem on the wall above the tunnel to the locker rooms and below thousands of screaming, pleading, praying, long-suffering fans, some 50 yards away and 10 yards beyond the crossbar. Forty-three years of frustration and failure, hopes and haplessness, dreams and despair all bore down on an undrafted free-agent kicker from a little Texas town within spittin distance of the home of the Dallas Cowboys. How many kickers had missed seemingly gimme field goals this year? Have you ever seen a year in the NFL when placekicking was as bad as 2009-10? Had Hartley himself not missed a 37 yarder a few weeks earlier, a potential game winner with 9 seconds left against the (this year) hapless Tampa Bay Buccaneers, a game the Saints LOST in overtime? A kick that he missed wide LEFT when he was lined up on the RIGHT hashmark, crossing the entire width of the goalposts?! Now here he stood, in overtime, trying to finally put away the Minnesota Vikings in the NFC Championship game, the same Vikings with which his team was still tied despite FIVE MN turnovers. After a timeout by the Vikings to "ice" him (a stupid rule they ought to change), Hartley lined up for the kick. From the moment it cleared the raised hands of the Vikings' D-line, 70,000+ fans in the dome and millions watching nervously on TV (including your truly) knew, it wasn't even going to be close.

He damn near nailed his coach's target.

For the first time in team history, the New Orleans Saints would be going to the Super Bowl. A franchise that is less than three months older than the Super Bowl itself. The perennial Sad Sack of the NFL, once humiliated by their own fans who wore paper bags over their heads and dubbed their boys the "Aints," will be honored guests in Miami without having to buy tickets to the game.

I'll admit it. I cried. Not sobbing or blubbering, but I cried. I have been a Saints fan for more than 35 years. When I was growing up, my dad was a truck driver, and not very athletic, so it was the father of my cross-street friend who threw footballs to me and the other neighborhood kids. His family was from northeastern Mississippi and what few family members went to college went to Ole Miss. This explains how a boy born in Arkansas and raised in Memphis became an Ole Miss fan. And right about that time, an Ole Miss legend was on his way to becoming the Saints' greatest quarterback, Archie Manning. Archie spent eleven long years runnin for his life behind a porous offensive line, throwin to receivers who would sometimes literally stop and stare in amazement as he ran back and forth across the field, doing everything he could to keep plays alive. So, although I was also a Dallas Cowboys fan (in the Staubach days), I developed a love for the Saints that lasts til this day.

You must understand, the Saints have no fair weather fans. Until recently, they only RARELY had fair weather! Oh sure, they had a fierce defense in the early 1990s, when Jim Finks was at the helm. But they had no offense, and it is entirely possible (though I don't think they ever actually did) to lose a football game 2-0. And for the last few years, mainly since the arrival of Drew Brees, they've had a positively explosive offense. But scoring 50 points doesn't help much if you give up 51.

But this year, with the notable additions of defensive coordinator Gregg Williams, and defensive superstars Darren Sharper and Jonathan Vilma, the Saints finally had all the pieces of the puzzle at the same time.

A little over 4 years ago, the Mississippi and Louisiana Gulf Coast was hit by one of the most devastating hurricanes in recorded history, Hurricane Katrina. As clearly unprepared city, state, and federal agencies struggled to aid its citizens, the city turned its largest asset, The Superdome, into a refuge for upwards of 30,000 mainly poor citizens whose already meager housing was utterly destroyed. Before you start back in on the FEMA and George W. jokes and criticisms, keep in mind that this was arguably the worst hurricane in American history, and that it hit in just about the worst possible place it could have hit. But whoever was to blame didn't matter much to the refugees, who endured a bad situation that became unimaginable as electrical power was lost and the cavernous dome, with gaping holes ripped in its roof, was reduced to a lawless, lightless HELL on Earth. I've taken the "tour" of the dome, even got to stand on the actual field surface (something was being painted, so we had to cross the endzone, they don't usually let tours out onto the astroturf, nicknamed "Mardi Grass" which was recently replaced with Field Turf.). I can tell you, the concourses and ingress/egress ramps would have been as dark as anything you can imagine. Even now, over four years later, much of the city is still devastated squalor. But the resilient citizens of New Orleans clung to their team as a symbol of the rebirth of the city. A rebirth that in no small way is creditable to two men: Saints Head Coach, Sean Payton, and franchise quarterback, Drew Brees. Brees in particular is cementing himself in the hearts of Nawlins folk through his tireless humanitarian efforts, in a city that still desperately needs tireless humanitarians.

For the first time ever, I'm cheering for my team in late January!! For the first time in YEARS, I actually CARE who wins the Super Bowl. Some have wondered... "are you satisfied?" "Is it enough just to be in the SB?" "Will a Saints (fully conceivable) drubbing at the hands of the Colts (ironically QB'd by the son of aforementioned legend and STILL New Orleans resident, Archie Manning) make this season, with its record number of wins and memories (especially a systematic dismantling of the Patriots on Monday Night Football) a disappointment?"

No. Do I want them to win? Of course I do. But after so many years, so many sad seasons, so many highs that never quite got high enough, I have to say, I'm pretty happy with what my boys have done.

And only death will keep me from watching the son of the Saints' greatest quarterback try to prevent the Saints' NEW greatest quarterback from bringing a Super Bowl title to each and every long-suffering Saints fan. Including yours truly.

Saints leading rusher, honorary Team Captain, and recent retiree, Deuce McAllister
Saints Pro Bowl quarterback and future Hall of Famer, Drew Brees.

22 January 2010

He didn't know it at the time, but...

"So do we pass the ghosts that haunt us later in our lives; they sit undramatically by the roadside like poor beggars, and we see them only from the corners of our eyes, if we see them at all. The idea that they have been waiting there for us rarely if ever crosses our minds. Yet they do wait, and when we have passed, they gather up their bundles of memory and fall in behind, treading in our footsteps and catching up, little by little."

01 January 2010

New Year's Resolutions

SO 1981! LOL Hadn't heard it in years until yesterday on XM. Moving back to move on, you might say.

Notice the old Simpson "Bandit" helmets the guys are wearing? I used to have one of those, painted to match my crotch-rocket.