Thursday, September 30, 2004

Who was the master debater?

No, I did not watch the presidential debate tonight. Yes, I am currently at work at a major cable news network. Thankfully we cover the news with just a few soundbites per show. I'm not going to swing either direction, so why bother? I just end up yelling at Kerry and getting upset when Bush doesn't make the points I want him to make. If you're looking for more analysis - from the Right - check out National Review's Kerry Spot, which includes tidbits like the news that Kerry got a manicure today.

Does anyone else think that if they ever got along, Bush and Kerry could be a great broadcasting tandem in the sports booth? Kerry as play-by-play would deliver the dry bits, with Bush bringing the action home as the color announcer.

Virtual relationships far too real

At the risk of being called racist, or worse, a moron, I ask, What is wrong with Asian men?

A couple of months ago came news of the cyber girlfriend, an animated image projected into your mobile phone. Worse, if you don't "treat her right," she develops an attitude. Okay, isn't it enough that real women get upset at you, that a pretend girlfriend has to demand attention?

Maybe Japanese women are far too aware of why their men want such a product, because another company came out with the boyfriend pillow, featuring an arm that wraps around the females (or males, if you're into such a thing). No word on should the pillow refuses to cuddle if the ladies throw it on the couch for the night, but I think it does leave crumbs on the bed. Notice there aren't any girlfriend pillows, although it would probably sell well since guys would need replacements every couple of months.

What a crazy, fun country

In our Quirky Stories of the Day file, a bear ate four pounds of chocolate in a Colorado home. He was later seen watching The Bridges of Madison County and sobbing uncontrollably.

In Alexandria, Virginia, margaritas left over from a faculty event were accidentally served to elementary-aged students. Nap time lasted six hours after kids were seen "dancing like pimps and hos," according to the janitor.

In sports news, Los Angeles Dodger right-fielder Milton Bradley is in trouble after throwing a bottle into the stands. To be fair, a fan threw it towards Bradley on the field first, but let's just say that Bradley doesn't obey many Taboos. He does seem to have a Monopoly on anger management issues after a fitful Life. No word on if he'll be treated by the Parker Brothers with a brain Operation. Such surgery requires a steady hand!

Wednesday, September 29, 2004

Giving Lucas some dap for once

Okay, I have to give George Lucas some credit. I know, I know, I'm used to ripping him, so this isn't easy. He actually allowed some secretive footage and behind-the-scenes in his Episode III preview in the fourth disc of the Star Wars DVD release. Almost the entire ten minutes shows the crew making the new Darth Vader mask and uniform, and Hayden and Ewan McGregor practicing their climactic fight. That's certainly where I give Lucas credit between the first trilogy and the new one, the fight scenes are far and away faster and more thrilling. There's no way he could have made the Ewoks this nimble, no matter how cuddly they are. Hey, I was seven when ROTJ came out, of course I had a stuffed Ewok. Loved it.

Tuesday, September 28, 2004

Lucas, WTF????

I am such a geek. The last week I've been sitting around with fellow geek coworkers, initiating discussions and arguments about the Star Wars DVDs. Good times.

So I'm watching the commentary of my Return of the Jedi DVD last night, knowing what was coming. Didn't matter. During the scene where Luke looks back from the celebration and sees Yoda, Obi-Wan and his father, George Lucas has put Hayden Christensen in the place of the old guy (update: Sebastian Shaw) who was there for the first 27 years. Why? Lucas doesn't even address the issue. Hey George, explain yourself! Hayden looks completely out of place, and isn't even smiling.

Earlier in the commentary, during the special edition's addition of the musical number in Jabba's palace, Lucas tells us to get over the obvious digital technology, asking us if it makes it more fake than the puppets used in the original version. Yes, George, it does matter. The CGI looks more out of place and distracting. I don't care if you think it's cool to have a lipsticked-up long-neck alien singing and dancing. That's wicked retahded.

Monday, September 27, 2004

Old habits, yadda yadda

You never really know how much of a routine you're in until it's changed. Today began a restructured schedule for those of us who TD and direct at Headline News, so we've spent all day holding sheets of paper wondering where the heck we're supposed to be any given half-hour.

It used to be, I'd TD the 6 p.m. show then head for the break room and eat lunch (usually a Healthy Choice meal). The microwave clock is always wrong, so the first thing I do is reset the clock to 6:30 so I know when I have to be back in the control room before 7. My new schedule has me in the control room at 6:30, so my new lunch break is at 6.

Where's this leading? Let me hurry ... I was eating my Lean Cuisine for lunch, talking to a producer. She asked about our new schedules, and when my next show was. I told her 6:30, then looked up at the microwave and saw it said 6:50. After ten seconds of being frozen with fear, I realized I had set the clock to 6:30 instead of 6 when I walked in the break room. I hate change. Well, certain kinds, like work, I mean.

Trailer Park

I (heart) Huckabees - If it's early Fall, it's time to see the quirky comedies make their pre-holiday appearance. (The only other films in October are horror films and movies starring background actors from crappy TV shows.) This one is about the existential search for existential happiness existentially. Look for plenty of new agey psychobabble to be the foundation for comedy from Jude Law, Naomi Watts, Jason Schwartzman (Rushmore), Dustin Hoffman, Lilly Tomlin and Mark Wahlberg.

Sideways - Another small, indie-type black comedy, this one from Alexander Payne, who put out the extraordinary Election. It stars Paul Giamatti, who graduated from That Guy status with the acclaimed American Splendor, and the dude from "Ned and Stacy" and "Wings", on a trip a week before the latter guy gets married. They don't tell two interested women, so you can expect misunderstanding hijinks to ensue. The trailer didn't do anything for me.

Closer - The third indie-flicky trailer in a row, to be expected before seeing a film like Garden State. Jude Law makes another appearance, and Natalie Portman is in this one as well, with Julia Roberts and King Arthur from King Arthur. Absolutely NOTHING about this movie preview makes me want to see it. What, I'm looking forward to watching two couples cheat on each other, argue and cry for two hours? Apparently the filmmaker made Portman a stripper, inserting shots of her writhing in lingerie, no doubt to get creepy men in the theater to sit alone and make strange noises. Ugh.

The only time Bulldog and Yellow Jacket fans agree

There are so many reasons I am glad I was raised in the South. Among them, the news that the state of Georgia saw a spike in weddings this past weekend, largely because both Georgia and Georgia Tech's football teams were on bye weeks. Well, duh! It's tough to enjoy the reception when the entire crowd is standing by the one guy smart enough to bring a radio!

Does this mean he's British and gay, too?

John Kerry revealed! Everything he learned about foreign policy, he learned from C-3P0!

Wait? Women can vote?

How shameless is the Kerry campaign? So much that now they're threatening that Bush is going to bring back the draft right after his evil re-election. Blogger Lexington Green sums up the frustration of those who can't believe liberals are buying all of this:

The DRAFT? Why stop there? Why stop with making it be VIETNAM AGAIN, John? Bush is also going to reinstate the prohibition of spirituous liquors. And require Colored Only drinking fountains. And bring back breadlines and Hoovervilles and 20% unemployment. And strip from all women the sacred right to vote. And restore slavery, of course. And then ... and then ... Bush will cause the Moon to plunge into the Pacific, dooming us all to a fiery death as the planet itself is shattered into pieces.

I'm surprised her fans read more than Playboy

I can't believe my eyes. I just saw that Jenna Jameson's "How to Make Love Like a Porn Star" made the bestsellers list in hardback nonfiction (stop giggling). Where has this press junket been? I can't believe Jameson hasn't been interviewed on our air yet! The papers only spend six pages every Sunday on books about gay Africans with AIDS who move to suburban Jersey and hate Western Civilization, yet a book like this makes the best seller lists and no one wonders how and why it sold so well. Seriously, who bought it? Fess up!

Other than that, your health is fine

As if our Levitra-loving male friends didn't have enough to worry about, now researchers are warning that impotence may be first sign of heart disease. Or, I say it's because of what these guys are doing because of impotence drugs that's revving up their tickers! I don't mean s-e-x, of course. I'm too pure to think of such things.

Sunday, September 26, 2004

My buns are burning

I love the microwave. God knows, I use it for two-thirds of all meals. But even I have limits. Some foods require the time and effort before you eat. Biscuits are one such example. This is why I'm not just perplexed, but angry even, that In what could serve as the plot to a Southern horror film, Pillsbury has come out with microwave biscuits and rolls. Must be a Yankee's idea. Maybe we should start thinking about secession again. For one thing, nay, the only thing, the taste cannot - there is no arguing with me on this - be any good. Sheesh, Pillsbury, what a bunch of flakes (pun intended).

Sunday! Sunday! Sunday! Jeff goes lazy!

How's this for symmetry - both Atlanta teams won, 6-3, on Sunday, the Falcons over Arizona and the Braves over Florida. Apparently Atlanta is good enough to take on entire states and dispatch them easily.

Did I mention that the Red Sox smacked down the Bleeping Yanks again? Today the Olde Towne Team pulled within 3 1/2 of New York in the AL East race, with seven games remaining. That means, let's see ... carry the two ... yeah, there's virtually no chance Boston will take the division crown. Hello, wild card!

I wouldn't say I was lazy today, just comfortable. Some football, some baseball on TV, a couple of hours at the driving range, and now I'm watching my DVD of "The Empire Strikes Back."

I actually could use an easy-going weekend, because the next five look to be full throttle - next weekend I'm going to Memphis, the weekend after that is Chapel Hill for Stacy and Karla's baby showers, then Dad and I will be on vacation to either follow the Red Sox in the World Series or visit Scott and Jenn in Waco (stops in Memphis surely guaranteed). So pardon me if I'm on my tush playing on the computer and watching TV. I knew you'd understand, and I adore you too.

Put that in your pipe and smoke it

A group of Indians is protesting a re-enactment of the Lewis and Clark journey up the Missouri River. So, what we're saying is, the natives have reservations about the commemoration? Ha! I kill me!

As usual, though, there's likely a deeper story. It turns out that the protest leader, Alex White Plume, has had confrontations with the government over his hemp farm.

"Hey Luke, shut the *%&$ up."

I'm watching the just-released Star Wars DVD, and in Episode IV it becomes more and more apparent that Luke Skywalker is, well, a dick. If he's not whining about going to Toshi Station to pick up power converters (yeah, as if he's really not just wanting to ogle Orion slave girls), he's bragging that flying an X-wing fighter against the most powerful space station in the universe is no different than targeting rats with a T-16. If you were one of the experienced pilots, wouldn't you just look over and say, "Shut up farm boy, you don't know jacksh*t."

I forgot how much George Lucas, in the Special Edition re-releases of the late 90s (aka the Tampered Editions), added all kinds of unnecessary cgi, especially to the Mos Eisley outdoor scenes. One of the guys on the commentary even admits they were just playing around to see how much digital technology they could use. Couldn't they tell from the unreal-looking Jabba the Hut cgi in his inserted scene with Han Solo that the audiences scoffed? I know I wasn't the only one who thought it looked pretty bad. Yet the filmmakers saw it and thought, "Hey, why not create an entire digital character that's pivotal to the movie and drives every fan insane? Hello, Jar Jar!" Seriously guys, stop smoking the plants around your San Francisco Neverland.

One more thing. Someone else who has the new DVDs open up the case for Episode IV and look at the "artwork" inserted on the left. Doesn't it look like Luke is dragging around a young Marlon Brando instead of Leia?

Friday, September 24, 2004

Rags to Better Rags

The Forbes list of the richest 400 people in America is out, and once again, I was thisclose to missing it. Another 749,000,000, and I'm totally on there!

Thursday, September 23, 2004

I demand that you show me that you're listening!"

Nonbelievers often scoff that God never delivers a clear enough sign of how He stands on things. Humbug. Too many times God is anything but subtle, as this lady found out when killed by a 7-foot crucifix.

Wednesday, September 22, 2004

What a moron.

John Kerry is the lamest. Sports fan. Ever. Courtesy the Boston Dirt Dogs, Kerry was kissing New Yawker butt at a fundraiser when he “praised the triple victories of the Jets, Giants and Yankees and said: ‘I came here to bask in your glory, came here to grab onto that winning streak.’”

Problem. The Yankees streak came from beating the Red Sox twice in a row over the weekend! As one of the Dirt Dogs’ readers noted: "What self-respecting "Red Sox fan" would ever be thrilled with the Yankees winning, particularly when the Yankees beat THE RED SOX in the victory he's referring to? Talk about a flip-flopper!"

The Force is with me!

My weekend is set. I mean, besides watching the Red Sox-Bleeping Yankees series. Dad bought me an early birthday present, the new Star Wars DVDs! Now I can’t complain about any changes Lucas made, since I didn’t have to pay for it. But that doesn’t mean I won’t be giddy for hours upon hours watching the movies, commentaries and documentaries.

And how great is modern life? Forget the “good old days.” It would take forever to ship something like this back then. I got the knock on my door from UPS with the DVDs Tuesday afternoon, the same day of the release, and before Dad had even received a notice the package had shipped! FedEx is still better, of course, especially since it was them who paid Dad to pay for the set!

"Amazing" Finale

I assume everyone else is as happy as I am with the Amazing Race finish? Chip and Kim should have won it and did, thank goodness, leaving those whiny brats Colin and Brandon in his dust. Wish the Bowling Moms had made the final three, but they played well, better than any middle-aged team I've seen in the previous four seasons. I wonder if CBS really tried hard this time to make sure the tasks and pit stops made it so the teams were always within minutes of one another? The first season was a blowout, the second-place team half a day behind, but the last few seasons have been a lot more competitive. I think all three of the final teams were ahead at some time in the last leg, making the plane schedule all the more important. Chip and Kim caught that flight to land just 15 minutes ahead, and it made all the difference. Daggum I want to be on this show!

Tuesday, September 21, 2004

Get yer photos right here!

My pictures from Wally and Julie's wedding are now up!

UPDATE: For a lot more photos, check out what Steve has posted.

Monday, September 20, 2004

Writing a check your account can't cash

Uh-oh. The days of writing a check on Thursday for an amount more than in your checking account with the knowledge of the paycheck on Friday making up for it, is nearly over. Looks like I'll have to buy my big bags of Twizzlers the old fashioned way: roll up change.

Sunny days ...

Here are the pictures from my old neighborhood in Scenic Hills. You can read my initial thoughts about the re-visit here, proving that you can go home again but it's not home anymore. But it was fun to think about the old days. "That's the house whose front porch we used when the bus was late and it was raining." "Here's the hill Scott spun 360 degrees when he hit a patch of ice. Stacy got out and walked the last few blocks."

Entering Ancroft Cove, where I grew up from May of '81 to May of '91, from five to fifteen years of age.

3229 Ancroft Cove, our home, although without nearly as much well-manicured shrubbery. As if that could survive with four kids! I spent most of my youth living in the upstairs bedroom with the window on the left, except there was a tree right outside so I could climb down. I never did, but I could have!

The neighborhood lake is not exactly looking spiffy. In our day the water lapped right up the bank where I was standing.

Looking the same as always on the outside, Scenic Hills grocery was where we rode our bikes to pick up soft drinks and bouncy balls, and Mom picked up her meats from Mr. Latham. He's not there anymore, and the inside looks nothing like it used to. The rows of high-stacked shelves are gone, and you can see from one end to another, making it look even smaller and dingier. The counter is actually above customers and you have to reach over and through an opening to pay the cashier who sits behind protective glass. Sad.

The walkway next to the road where we used to walk to school, the grocery and everywhere else. As you can see, we were well protected from cars by that rocky barrier.

Scenic Hills Elementary, where I was The Man. Legendary. Then came seventh grade.

Raleigh-Egypt Middle School. No longer The Man. I became The Awkward Adolescent. Not good times.

A picture from work overlooking Centennial Olympic Park and the rain from Ivan. As you can tell, we did not get the worst of it, just the wet stuff.

Sunday, September 19, 2004

Time to go

Bummer. Weekend over, it's time to head back to Atlanta. I spent all afternoon vegging in the recliner - but incredibly full after Nana's big breakfast - watching the Red Sox get waxed, the Falcons win, the Titans lose, the Braves lose and the Americans get beat by the Europeans in the Ryder Cup. I needed a picture-in-picture-in-picture-in-picture-in-picture TV! You know, to get a better look at watching all of my teams fold like a cheap lawn chair. Egad. When the Falcons are the only team I was rooting for to win on Sunday, life has taken a turn for the weird.

Did I mention how sore I am after last night? In a good way, of course. You know me, a dancing machine. I'll probably feel it even more tomorrow afternoon at the gym, and while I'm driving the next six hours. Someone flash the Jeff sign (a picture of Eeyore in the sky will do), because this calls for a super dose of Tylenol, Diet Cherry Coke and Twizzlers. To the Jeffmobile!

Soaked with fun

Party time. Excellence. The true story of Wally and Julie’s wedding Saturday.

Picked up Amy at 1:30 and headed straight for Sycamore View Church of Christ for the 2:30 ceremony. We ended up there far earlier than expected, so we had time to catch up with the groom and his men and say hey to assorted gathered dignitaries, including Steve’s mom, Linda, Austin and Matthew, who spent the entire day carrying a Kenny Chesney CD with his pinkie. Hey, he’s three. That’s what they do, right? As long as he and Austin are excited when they see me then my life’s worth something.

Amy and I sat in the front row off to the left (facing the front), next to Kimberly and Wally/Brent amigo John, a fellow Union grad. Kimberly had her own wireless microphone for a reading, although the green cover was a little gauche. The ceremony was zippy quick, not even 20 minutes, tops. Do you? Do you? Great, you’re married, let’s raise the roof!

The post-nuptial reception was down the hall in the fellowship hall (as Southern Baptists call it; I don’t know how Church of Christers refer to the big room where the dinners are held). Wally and Julie cut the cake in front of the bridesmaids (in tasteful red dresses, because all of my women readers are wondering, and you know it - and yes, Julie's dress was immaculate) and groomsmen, before the rest of us were excused. So we headed straight for the punch and cake. I never got a piece of the main cake, for reasons unbeknownst to me (big crowd, I guess), but did manage a slice of Wally’s NASCAR cake. I was hoping to get one of the turns, but I think I got some of the straightaway.

As the bouquet and garder were tossed, Amy, me and Kimberly plotted the best place to see a movie between this reception and the party-hearty one at 7 o’clock in Midtown. We drove over to the Paradiso to see Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow on the really really super-sized screen. At the concessions, a concern. Amy doesn’t eat Goobers. She prefers Raisinettes. Problem? Nah. Did I mention she's a Democrat? Yeah, candy is the least of it!

As for the movie, it was … interesting. I really can’t explain my reaction, but I'll still ramble for several sentences trying. Even though the entire film is an homage to every sci-fi flick of the 40s and 50s and 60s, it’s nothing you’ve ever seen before. I think every scene was shot using CGI, including Gwyneth Paltrow’s hair. And her personality. Talk about stilted. Jude Law was very good, as was Giovanni Ribisi, although he and Angelina Jolie weren’t there for too long. The visuals are the entire story, with everything having the blurred look of a Barbara Walters pre-Oscars special. The dialogue isn’t ear-catching, nor is there any emotional investment in the characters. When Ribisi is in trouble, everyone drops what they’re doing to find him, yet we were never convinced of why he’s such a prize. I’d say to see it if only for the visually unique experience. I’m sure that’s not exactly a glowing review, is it?

After the movie we made it to the Nineteenth Century Club, an antebellum mansion on Union Avenue turned into a place where parties and receptions are held. A little formal, a little casual, and attractive. Julie’s dad was planted in the entryway pointing to the spread (mmm, meatballs), after we signed the guestbook and picked up a commemorative Wally & Julie wedding magnet, featuring a picture of downtown Memphis, including AutoZone Park in the lower left. Be the first to get one on eBay! I kid, of course. They were a very neato gift to put on my fridge and hold up the latest funny Get Fuzzy cartoon.

A quick bite, some booze (or Diet Coke and water for me – lots) and it’s social time. The bridesmaids, groomsmen and bride and groom were introduced from upstairs, walking down a staircase reminiscent of Clark Gable carrying Vivien Leigh in Gone with the Wind. No similar situations occurred here to my knowledge, though there were plenty of tipsy attendees who may need tucking into bed tonight.

The next four hours was full of dancing, occasionally breaking to rest my dogs and Amy's dainty feet. We, Kimberly, and sometimes Steve, Jenny and Wally rested on the porch a couple of times during the night. Otherwise Amy and me boogied when the music called for it, dipped and dived at other songs, and swayed to the slow songs. Very good times. I was soaked in sweat and water (drinking from the flower centerpiece's vase - seriously), but any time I felt tired I was found a new head of steam to get my legs grooving. It was, how do you say? Ah yes, sexy.

After 11 Wally and Julie tired of the throng and walked out to bubbles and rose petals used as projectiles, driving away in a Towne Car now covered with wedding magnets by Brent, which surely was a hit at The Peabody downtown. The rest of us mingled and danced for another half-hour, then headed out. Amy and I had the last song/dance to ourselves. What can I say? I'm a romantic at heart. Just one who would still rather spend a Friday night at a baseball game than a fine dinner.

The song, appropriately enough, was "Closing Time." We didn’t have to go home but we couldn’t stay there!

Actually, we did go home, Amy and Kimberly’s. Kimberly got into casual attire and headed to Neil’s (which I mentioned last night), while Amy popped in “The Simpsons” season 3 DVD.

Anyway, I was back at Nana’s after 3 a.m. (again), ready for some sleep, then I’ll watch the Red Sox play the Bleeping Yanks Sunday afternoon with Nana, then drive on back to Atlanta. Hopefully I’ll get a head start on loading my pictures so I can post some by Monday, first here then on the main site on Geocities.

Saturday, September 18, 2004

No Memphis blues here

Friday morning, er, afternoon, I got up a few minutes past Noon, having completed a full five hours of sleep after the drive through Ivan’s wake in the wee hours of Thursday night.

My first mission: take pictures of the old stomping grounds. I drove over to Raleigh and the Scenic Hills subdivision where I grew up from May 1981 to May ‘91, or 5 ½ years old to 15 ½. The address, 3229 Ancroft Cove, is where almost all of me developed, at Scenic Hills Elementary, Raleigh-Egypt junior and senior high schools, and Scenic Hills Baptist Church. I explored the world of the woods around us, made friends and girlfriends around the neighborhood, fished at the lake, swam at the recreation club, followed the train tracks to the Wolf River a few miles away, and got in trouble for any and all infractions (deservedly so for the most part).

I know this is a cliché, but the old neighborhood seems smaller than I remember it. Roads are tighter and shorter, the Cove is made up of fewer houses than it seemed back then, the woods not nearly as dense as I recall. The lake is largely overgrown with plants and algae, so much so that you can’t fish from the bank anymore. Many of the lawns of Scenic Hills aren’t as neatly manicured as they once were. It’s as if Scenic Hills went from upper-middle class to lower-middle class after we left. Then again, were we part of “white flight?” We ended up in upper-middle class Bartlett, so maybe we were. But the old house actually looks pretty darn good, and a lot better than we managed with four kids playing golf in the lawn, smashing windows with footballs and playing basketball for hours in the gravely driveway. And all that was just me!

I’ll have pictures to show my points when I get back to Atlanta.

Also Friday afternoon, I went out to the Wolfchase Galleria to get Wally and Julie’s wedding present. I parked at Goldsmith’s, printed out the registry, lied and told the lady at the desk that I didn’t need help, turned to my left and said, “That’s good. Wrap it, please.” This is how a guy shops.

For dinner (actually breakfast, since I ate neither it nor lunch while on my excursion), Nana cooked a thirty-course meal to my likings, spoiling me as always even as I hang out for a few hours with her then drive off to the hinterlands of Memphis at night. The Red Sox game against the bleeping Yankees was rain delayed, so after 9 I watched the last four innings with Sydney at the Fox and Hound pub/sports bar. The Red Sox came back to win with two runs in the ninth, and I caught up with Sydney. Strangely, she’s flying to Atlanta Sunday night through Tuesday afternoon for work, yet I won’t be able to see her since I work Monday evening and she’ll be miles away taking part in the thingamajiggy conference in the afternoon.

A couple of hours later, I’m off to Midtown near Overton Square and Neil’s where I meet up with Amy, my date for the wedding, who is also Kimberly’s roommate. Kimberly, of course, was also there to see me. Neil’s is the opposite of the yuppie Fox and Hound. If you know Memphis, then you know there’s a big difference between a Midtown crowd and an East Memphis one. Neil’s is diverse, part rapper’s delight, part redneck bar, with a DJ (Ricky, Kimberly’s sort-of guy pal) and assorted dancers alternating between stomping and gyrating. Sometimes both. The only similarity between the bars is that I visited both tonight, and they both have pool tables. Should I mention that one time a woman with three missing teeth sat down at our table? And when we got up to leave, a really round woman tried to pick a fight with both me and Amy? At least, I think it was a woman. I was reminded of the “Family Guy” episode when Peter hits the man in the stomach, then the other spectators ask why he hit a woman. As he continues to insist it’s a man, the woman gives birth. “Uh-oh.”

By 1 a.m., Amy and I had enough of shout-talking over loud tunes, so we took off, ending up at C.K.’s diner for some breakfast. It took an hour, but eventually my runny scrambled eggs and Amy’s cheese omelet with a piece of cheddar from the wrapper draped on top. Did I mention two cups of cold coffee for Amy, until the staff noticed the burner was off? Thankfully, we were not there for the food, but the company. Or at least I was; I can’t vouch for Amy.

Now that this has gone on for fifty graphs, it’s almost 4 and I’m picking up Amy at 1:30 p.m. to get to the wedding. The reception for friends isn’t until 7, so between the two we may watch Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow, a visually interesting film that has gotten some rave reviews. Get this, too: Amy brought it up first! Holy cow. Did I mention she’s a Lord of the Rings geek, too? Seriously, I saw her first.

Friday, September 17, 2004

Ivan Schmivan

What? Me worry? It's 5:30 a.m. central time and I'm at Nana's ready for bed.

Once again proving that my life exists absent from the space/time continuum most people enjoy, I made the drive from Atlanta to Memphis while the rest of America slept. Unless you work late, or live on the West Coast, then I drove while you watched Letterman and Cinemax, which you won’t admit.

My worries about driving through the wake of Hurricane Ivan proved to be unwarranted, as the drive was snappy and carefree. The worst part was West Georgia, where the last bands were sweeping the area. Even as I drove through the rain, the wind was head-on, making it feel like my 70-mph was 100-mph without the speed. I was fighting with my steering wheel to drive a straight line, and the wind was kicking my a**. No confirmation, though, that frogs actually fell from the sky during the storms. I guess CBS was the only one reporting that.

Central Alabama may have been hit hard Thursday, but you couldn’t tell after midnight. The roads were dry, few if any trees were down on the side of the roads, and few lights were out. I drove through just one neighborhood in Birmingham where the lights were all dark, and a church sign had been shredded so that it was just a brick facing with a hole. Pity. I’m sure it said something pithy to get people to church, too. Otherwise there was just scattered debris along the roadway, and many billboards were torn by the winds earlier in the day, which by now might as well have been in the Land of Make-Believe based on the few remnants of the storm. All the flooding had subsided and the trees removed from the roadways, which once told me via the Alabama DOT that one of my routes was “impassable.” Humbug.

You be the judge: Was it poor taste or an act of genius for Birmingham 80s station 106.9 FM to play “Rock You Like A Hurricane” as I drove through town? Personally, I like to make light of serious situations, so I say go for it.

Only one question remains: If I had hit one of the gators that escaped from the Gulf Coast Zoo during Ivan, could I have kept it? You know, like the “Jewel of the Nile” when Michael Douglas had those cool boots to woo Kathleen Turner to go with his big boat in the middle of Manhattan. Or was it “Romancing the Stone”? Does it matter?

Sorry, I’m rambling.

Pictures of my weekend will be posted when I get back to Atlanta!

Thursday, September 16, 2004

Water, water, everywhere

I thought that when I woke up this afternoon that I'd have a better idea of how to make it to Memphis tonight. Nope. Ivan's moving fast, so I'm not going north through Nashville because that would put me right in the middle, right as I'm driving up the mountain surrounding Monteagle where landslides are common. Looks like I'm going underneath on the normal Birmingham route, hoping that roads are clear from trees and standing water. I could still change my mind after work, but my car is packed, the cooler's stocked and I'm anticipating a slogful drive. (Is that a word?)

We got our first heavy rain and windy bands from Ivan around Noon, and right now the radar is nothing but orange and yellow, with tornado warnings and watches all over Atlanta. I was just grateful that through the wet streets to work, there weren't any major traffic stoppages or wrecks, just the normal heavy volume. Here's hoping it stays that way at midnight! Watch out, Krystal, I want a big sack with a large fries on my way out of town because I need comfort food!

UPDATE: After I got to work at 3 p.m., apparently the weather in Atlanta turned even worse than I thought. Co-workers report seeing cars stranded in rising water and any attempt to carry an umbrella was fool-hardy at best as it was better used as a projectile than protection. I called my answering machine at 8 o'clock and the answering machine picked up, so at least my power's working and my tape of "Survivor" is rolling. One of my co-workers lives a few miles away and his power's been out for several hours. Yay, me!

I called Patrick an hour ago, and he and Julie's home in Jasper, Ala., held up well. They don't have power, but there's little damage, and they're hanging out across the street with her parents. They tell me the roads should be okay to travel, and from the Alabama DOT site they don't list any impassable roads on my trip. That's what I need to hear! Good luck to me!

So do they snack on caribou instead of cheese doodles?

The state Supreme Court has affirmed the rights of Alaskan adults to possess four ounces of marijuana for personal use in the home. Gives new meaning to "Baked Alaskan," don't you think?

Move it! Move it! Move it!

Now I know who Dan Rather reminds me of nowadays: Lt. Harris from the Police Academy movies. All the while Lt. Harris complains that the cadets are inept and worthless; they fight crime and save the day. While the cadets get all the glory, Lt. Harris is on the sidelines raging that they’re still the useless morons he said they were long ago.

Wednesday, September 15, 2004

Beyond parody

Ivan is just now about to come onshore around Mobile, Alabama, and schools in north Georgia closed Thursday. Ooh, God forbid there will be some rain and wind for the kiddies! Maybe they think "hurricane" is Spanish for "possibility of snow."

Amazing Race update, 9/14

Did anyone else wonder why the Bowling Moms were in a tiff from the time the show started? They settled down, but really seemed to be on each other's nerves for a while. On my nerves, too. Just read the friggin' map before you start driving a long distance.

I thought it was hilarious that all three teams wanted to use the Yield on Colin and Christie, who were just unfortunate that they missed the early flight connection that would have put them 15 hours ahead, then fortunate this wasn't an elimination round.

Also this week, I started to figure out how Colin and Christie belong together. They both run their mouths and both get really temperamental far too quickly. She's letting out the inner-bitch as much as his inner-bastard has been shown all season.

Still rooting for Chip and Kim. They didn't do anything wrong by using the Yield, and are the only ones to keep their spirits high throughout. Secondly I root for the Bowling Moms, who more often then not are just as happy to be there.

It's a conspiracy, I tell ya!

It is not easy to be a Red Sox fan here in the CNN Center. The people upstairs who direct the 125 satellite feeds obviously are bleeping New Yorkers, because the YES network is up every single night. Trying to find the Red Sox on one of the house routers is like getting CBS to admit they were scammed by forged documents. Even tonight, the Red Sox-D'Rays game is on ESPN2, a network always up on our routers, is not there tonight. The router it's usually on, 56, is blank. Instead, we have 40 satellites directed at the same 10 reporters along the Gulf Coast, all reporting that "it is windy," and "the rain is blowing sideways." Maybe I should just go downstairs to the gym where they run Atlanta basic cable. "Working out tonight, Jeff?" "Nope, just watching the game. Mind if I sit on the treadmill and tune to ESPN2?"

Travel update - not looking good

I guess I won't know until tomorrow afternoon whether I can get out of Atlanta. I'd rather not stay here as Ivan hovers over our area this weekend, knocking out power and flooding roads, but no one can fill in for me to be off work tomorrow. If I can't get out of Atlanta after work at midnight Thursday and head north through Nashville, I won't be able to go to Wally and Julie's wedding at all. Bummer.

UPDATE: My coworkers tell me just to take a satellite phone with me and drive through Alabama Thursday night and report for the network. I could be famous! I'll be the guy who got crushed by a tree by stupidly driving through a tropical storm on two-lane roads. When the firefighters are using the jaws of life to free me, you'll hear me yelling into the phone, live on Headline News, "Hurry! I'll be late for the wedding! And I've got a friggin' date! This is not an everyday occurrence, do you hear me!"

Tuesday, September 14, 2004

Ivan the Terrible

With Hurricane Ivan threatening to invade the Gulf Coast around Thursday, I looked to the only place I know to provide whether my drive to Memphis overnight Thursday would be okay: a fortune cookie. Unfortunately, the cookie was self-affirming crap ("You are kind-hearted and hospitable, cheerful and well-liked"). Yeah, yeah, but will my car get washed away in between No and Where, Alabama, at 3 a.m. Friday morning before I can get to Memphis for Wally and Julie's wedding?

UPDATE: If the storm really does sweep into Alabama on Thursday, there's really no way I can drive through the state in the middle of the night safely. I may drive up then over, taking the longer Nashville route, presuming there aren't heavy winds and rain in Tennessee. But if I can't get out on Friday, I guess I'll have to call this weekend a wash and make my apologies. Stupid hurricane.

Monday, September 13, 2004

Holy Security Debacle!

Someone call Commissioner Gordon, because there's a bat on the ledge of Buckingham Palace! Who knew that his utility belt included procedures on protesting the royal family? At least he's not just at home, washing his tights while the Joker roams free.

Laura Diaz Watch

My favorite LPGA golfer, Laura, finished tied for 8th in Tulsa in the *deep breath* John Q. Hammons Hotel Classice Presented by Ford. Annika Sorenstam won by four strokes at nine-under-par, nine strokes ahead of Laura, who never really threatened while shooting around even-par all weekend. She moved up two spots in the money list to 37th amid her late-season surge, finishing in the top 13 in five of the past six weeks.

Maybe I will, GOSH!

If you're up for quirky indie flicks, check out Napoleon Dynamite.

Sunday, September 12, 2004

Gooder times

Saturday turned out to be a real winner, at least for the teams I was rooting for tonight. First off, Georgia came back from a 16-0 deficit to beat South Carolina, 20-16. Next up, the Braves whipped Montreal. By the end, I headed to the sports bar to see the Red Sox play Seattle at 10 p.m. While Boston put up a lot more runs than the Mariners, simultaneously Georgia Tech pulled off one of the most amazing comebacks I've ever seen to win at Clemson. The bar crowd was going ballistic. I may smell like smoke, but my teams are the ones smokin'!

Sunday is the first full slate of NFL games, and the Falcons play San Francisco at 4 p.m., just as the Red Sox start. I'll be back at the sports bar, eating fattening foods and playing trivia. Good times. Maybe I'll take in a movie at night or get in some time at the driving range before noon, because otherwise I'll be in front of the TV.

UPDATE: I should note why this is extra sweet. Since my senior year of high school, I've had to work weekends, from Camelot Music in '92-'93 to Outback Steakhouse and the Jackson Sun while at Union, then at WMC, WLJT and CNN Headline News since 1997. With my schedule changing earlier this year, I finally work just Monday through Friday, meaning this is my first autumn with Saturdays and Sundays off to watch football since forever.

Fellow Star Wars buffs will be interested to know that A&E is running a Biography on the original trilogy, coinciding with the new DVD release next week.

Speaking of the new DVD, I read a very disturbing report that George Lucas is still tinkering with our films. It's bad enough he's only releasing on DVD the "touched-up" special editions from the late 90s, but apparently he also changed a few things in the DVD version, too. I hate George Lucas. He needs to be stopped and called back from the Dark Side. If only there were a rebel squadron within his production company who could save us.

Making the case for Russia

In a letter to the editor (registration required) in Saturday's Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Todd Williamson of College Park, Georgia, wrote in to express worry that Russian president Vladimir Putin, in response to the Islamic terrorism against his country lately, would launch a pre-emptive war similar to President Bush. Unfortunately for Mr. Williamson, he inadvertently made the opposite argument!

Will Russian President Vladimir Putin adopt the Bush Doctrine and invade Iran?

Hope so. Sounds to me like the grand Mullah dudes need their butts kicked, and the Muslims in the region need to eat some humble pie after massacring hundreds (including children) in Beslan and bombing two planes over Russia. Putin is justified in following Bush's lead in taking down the terrorists where they live.

Some Chechens must have met some Muslims in Iran somehow. Iran definitely has WMD and is a lot closer geographically, as an imminent threat to the Russian homeland, than Iraq is to the United States. Iranian leaders have been known to kill their own citizens, and Iran has gone to war with its neighbors. Iran is an oil-producing country and the war could be paid for from oil sales without having to tax the Russian people. And since Russia has seen the light by becoming a democracy, Iran could follow suit and be a model for change in the Middle East.

And this is an argument against invading Iran? Instead of using our troops, wouldn't liberals be more favorable towards the Russians using their own troops to fight for Russia's interests? Or is the left really just saying that they'd prefer to bow down the Islamic terrorist regimes in the hopes of not "catching their eye," like the Spanish following the Madrid bombings? Already Todd's making his "No Russia blood for oil" placards to wave at anti-war rallies. None of which will take place in Beslan, I'm betting.

As our hearts and prayers go out to the Russians who lost loved ones in the Chechen terrorist attacks, let us hope Russian leaders stay focused on the real threat --- the terrorists.

Um, yeah, those terrorists are Chechens, Al Qaeda and those who finance them. That would include Iran, and used to include Saddam Hussein's Iraq.

Thanks, Todd Williamson of College Park, Georgia, I think you've made a solid case for an invasion of Iran! Pooty can get right on it!

Does New York use Taxi Driver?

This evening after the Braves game, Turner South cable network showed Deliverance.

Really, is this putting the region's best foot forward? Wouldn't that be like Germany's promotional video including Schindler's List?

Sunday church funnies

Courtesy, you know you attend a redneck church if ...:

1. The finance committee refuses to provide funds for the purchase of a chandelier because none of the members knows how to play one.

2. People ask, when they learn that Jesus fed the 5000, whether the two fish were bass or catfish, and what bait was used to catch 'em.

3. When the pastor says, "I'd like to ask Bubba to help take up the offering," five guys and two women stand up.

4. A member of the church requests to be buried in his 4-wheel-drive truck because "It ain't never been in a hole it couldn't get out of."

5. The choir is known as the "OK Chorale".

6. They refer to baptism as "branding".

7. The baptismal pool is a #2 galvanized washtub.

8. Your collection plates are really hubcaps from a '56 Chevy.

9. The minister and his wife drive matching pickup trucks.

10. "Thou shalt not covet" applies to hunting dogs, too.

Bonus: You Know Your Church Is A Redneck Church if ... the final words of the benediction are, "Y'all come back now, ya hear!"

Saturday, September 11, 2004

A good start three years later

I've been quick to criticize the Muslim community for its lack of remorse over the continuing terrorist attacks in their names. I think it's only fair to praise those who do say something, apologizing and calling for Islamic people and nations to speak out. The Free Muslim Coalition Against Terrorism has done just that in a letter published around the world, including Arab news outlets, the most important to making a statement. Maybe this could be just one stop forward towards a Muslim Reformation to clean out the deadly factions within.

Driver does not carry cash

Thus far, Saturday has been a day for errands. Georgia doesn't play South Carolina until 5:30 EST, Georgia Tech takes on Clemson at 8, the Braves play at 7 and the Red Sox are in Seattle at 10 p.m. Thus, all of the sporting events I have to watch are later. First off I got a haircut in preparation for next week's trip to Memphis for Wally and Julie's wedding.

Next, a visit to Blockbuster to rent the new Goodfellas special edition DVD. Problem is, Blockbuster isn't there anymore. Where the heck did it go? In its place, one of those stores that buy your movies, CDs and video games, and sell them back cheaper. What did I do? Look for Blockbuster? No. I just bought a previously viewed Goodfellas DVD. I'm so lazy.

I stopped by the suburban jungle known as the mall for the first time in six months to go to Radio Shack and look for a Jump Drive. It plugs into the USB port on the computer, storing 128 mb of information, a lot more convenient and sturdy than a floppy disk. Of course, the Jump Drive at Radio Shack was $50, so I decided to look elsewhere. Is that a rule with all malls, that products must be 20 to 50 percent more expensive? Also, since it's been a while since I've been to the mall, I'm reminded of why. Men must be accompanied by someone else. Every guy there either came with a couple of friends (this is only for teenagers - adult men don't go to the mall together), a spouse/girlfriend or a child. I was the only guy there without a companion. I'm so lonely.

Anyway, as I was saying, Radio Shack overpriced their products, so off to my weekly Target run. I do this to a) buy things, and b) check out the cute girls who shop there. I was successful on both fronts, getting a Jump Drive for $35 and ogling quite a few young single women. I'm creeping myself out.

Lunch at Subway, taking the paper with me to eat and read and relax (because I've just been on the go-go-go!). Then comes Kroger. Most. Inept. Checker. Ever. She gives up scanning my pimento cheese after one try, typing in the numbers by hand after three minutes of trying to read the numbers. Because she's old, and apparently needs glasses. I knew this already because the lady before questioned the price on her receipt, and the checker held it up three inches from her eyes to see the mistake. The lady in front of me also left a bag next to the belt while talking with the customer service guy. So my checker, while I just hit Yes on the computer thingy to confirm my purchase, walks over to hand the lady her bag. In the meantime, the register is wide open and all I need is my receipt to walk away, which I do a minute later when the checker waddles back over.

When I get home, I plug in the Jump Drive and find out that since I'm still using the ancient Windows 98 software, I have to go to the Lexar website and download a driver. It only takes a few minutes, and the co-workers who influenced my purchase (gotta keep up with the Joneses, or at least the Reeves and Rinaldy) assured me there's no problem with the work computers. I feel sufficiently Cool Geek Chic.

Well, not completely. My mouse has been jerky lately, so I figured on having to buy a new one this weekend. One of my co-workers (Rinaldy of above) told me to check for ling on the roller that the ball rubs against inside. Um, yeah, I knew that. Or not. Mouse is scrolling fine again. But how does lint get inside a mouse?


The latest quotable Vents posted in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution (registration required):

- You know you’re in the South when a mall escalator sign reads “No riding barefoot.”
- You know it's gonna be a bad day when you wake up to find your rain gauge has been washed away.
- John F. Kerry-Heinz – Reporting for duty and offering 57 varieties of leadership.
- Bill Clinton admitted to hospital? Wow, he finally admitted to something!
- I told my 10-year-old grandson that the dot over an "i" is called a "tittle." When he told his teacher that, he was given timeout for the rest of class.
- My friend's luck is so bad that he just won a free vacation to Florida.
- The Democratic Party is like the Weather Channel - bad news for everyone else is good news for them.
- Wimpification, noun: The process of not allowing our children to experience life, make mistakes, win or lose a game and walk in the rain to school.
- Does Florida have a “Kick Me” sign on it or what?
- Democrats James Carville and Paul Begala are employed by CNN as news analysts and also by the Kerry campaign as strategists. Does anyone at that network know what a conflict of interest is?

Vents I Sent:

- I will personally pay for the development and patent of an invention that will cure the fact that I sweat more after I leave the gym than I ever do while working out.
- It's really by design that hurricanes hit Florida so much. Check out the map, and you'll see how South Georgia dangles the Sunshine State like bait to make sure our peaches, peanuts and onions are safe.
- Every time I start to get upset by the frothing of anti-Bush vents lately, I just remind myself that Bush will easily win Georgia in November so it’s best to just let the liberals seethe.
- Bush didn’t say we’d lose the war on terror. He said that, like the wars on poverty and drugs, we can’t completely win but will keep fighting and dominate as best we can. Or is that too nuanced for you?
- I’m sorry for the Nepalese who were killed in Iraq. I hope those protesting it in Atlanta realize it’s not American politics that led to their deaths, but terrorists who will do anything to prevent democracy in Iraq.
- Actually, compared to the themes routinely hauled up by the anti-Bushites - Hail to the Thief, Halliburton, Bush Lied, Bush Knew, etc. - Zell Miller's speech was an exercise in elegant restraint.
- Republicans chose New York as their convention site to show solidarity with those affected on 9/11. It would have been nice if New Yorkers showed more appreciation for this gesture.
- Instead of all these ultra-wealthy Democrats giving money to liberal groups to elect John Kerry, why don't they just go ahead and give it all to the government since that's where Kerry will take it if he wins in November.
- Don't like someone's argument but don't have any good answers to it? Easy: Say they have no right to make it.
- We have one candidate running on a platform to hunt down America’s enemies abroad, and another candidate running on the platform that no one has the right to say anything mean about him.
- Democrats are frothing at the mouth, name-calling and throwing out the same desperate Vents every day. Hooray, Bush is winning!
- If women really do offer equal work for 23 cents less on the dollar, why does anyone bother hiring men?
- Why are veterans upset at the Kerry camp? Democrats are trying to say that Kerry's four months in Vietnam makes him more qualified to be commander-in-chief than President Bush's four years as a war president.
- Trying to convince Democrats he can win this election, John Kerry decides to add Michael Dukakis’s former campaign advisor? Is that really the message he wants to send?
- More staff changes at the Democrat camp? Seems there are some barnacles encrusting the hull of Kerry's campaign boat.
- Ha ha ha. Bush is brainless. That was a gutbuster the first six million times I heard it. When Reagan was president.
- If Bush is the brainless one, what does that say about John Kerry’s campaign having to reinvent itself every week to catch up?
- If John Kerry feels that Iraq is the wrong war in the wrong place at the wrong time, perhaps he'd like to go there and tell our troops personally what they're fighting for.

Friday, September 10, 2004

Lookin' for a dream on a mean machine (but not too hot)

An Israeli inventor has designed what he claims is the world's first air-conditioning unit for motorcycles.

In other words, you too can be a cool rider. A C-O-O-L R-I-D-E-R. This is very important to Michelle Pfeiffer, but beware, she wants a whole lot more than the boy next door. She wants hell on wheels.

Heads up!

A Florida inventor believes he can weaken Hurricane Ivan by dropping absorbent material on the edge of the storm from a 747.

Here's your warning. If you're outside in Ivan's path, and you're suddenly struck by millions of diapers, tampons and Bounty paper towels (the quicker picker-upper), you know why.

Today's Fortune Cookie

"You are going to have a very comfortable old age."

It's actually more of a relief that this assures I'll make it to old age!

Come on down!

This was e-mailed to me by Dad. Can't say Frances blew away his sense of humor!

Media honchos can't forge the truth

The "Bush's National Guard documents were forged" controversy is actually a lot bigger than I thought, so much that The Washington Post covered it in today's paper, reprinted in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. This prompted a follow-up letter to the editor from yesterday's:

Let’s hop in the Way Back Machine, all the way to Thursday, when journalism professor Edward Wasserman criticized journalists for not standing up to right-wing bloggers, ignoring the fact that the populace has been writing letters to the editor and newspaper ombudsmen for over two centuries.

Now, let’s fast forward to Friday, when we see that there’s a growing story about the possibility supposedly newly released National Guard records about President Bush’s service are forgeries. Let’s scan the story, and yes! Right here: “doubts about the documents began circulating Thursday morning on the Internet,” prompting the Washington Post and other news organizations to investigate.

Seems to me that if not for the unwashed masses, Mr. Wasserman would never have had us look into this controversy. The “digital brownshirts,” as Al Gore dubbed them, have once again tread where the mainstream media dared not.

I hope Mr. Wasserman doesn’t mind, but I’m probably going to write about his spineless column on my blog. He’s under no obligation to change his mind when reading.

As for the controversy, CBS may soon have a Jayson Blair moment, taking Dan Rather down with it. Not a bad thing. Also, are we placing bets that the documents were given to CBS by the Kerry camp, or Democrat staffers?

By the way, did you know that Ben Barnes, the guy CBS interviewed during their "60 Minutes II" promotion for Kerry in order to slam Bush's National Guard service, raised more than $500,000 for Kerry's campaign?

UPDATE: More damning evidence about Bush! (Link courtesy IMAO)

UPDATE II: The forger's computer has been identified!

Thursday, September 09, 2004

No faith in the media

I know this is old hat, but the way the media lets Kerry and Democrats get a pass on objectionable things while pounding Bush and the GOP for the tiniest of slips is astounding. There's one set of rules for the right, another for the left, and the left doesn't have to follow those rules, either.

Today in New Orleans, John Kerry spoke to the mostly black National Baptist Convention, slamming Bush by using scripture from the Bible. If the president went to a Christian Coalition meeting and used any part of the Bible to attack Kerry, even just "Jesus wept," the media would accuse him of forming a theological government.

In fact, we can go there right now. In an interview for The New Yorker magazine, 2000 loser Algore said of the president's faith: "It’s the American version of the same fundamentalist impulse that we see in Saudi Arabia, in Kashmir, in religions around the world: Hindu, Jewish, Christian, Muslim."

UPDATE: Terrorists blew up a bomb at the Australian embassy in Jakarta, killing nine and wounding nearly 200. Algore immediately blamed Methodists.

Put Max in space!

The main oxygen generator for the international space station has failed, and the two astronauts on board will tap into an attached cargo ship's air supply this weekend, NASA said Thursday.

No worries. If there's anything Space Camp taught me, there are extra oxygen canisters floating around in orbit. I can't believe NASA hasn't pointed this out.

Nothing new

Clearly the Democrats think this election is taking place in 1976 and not 2004. While even Bill Clinton is telling John Kerry to knock off the Vietnam talk, the left comes out with this "Bush was AWOL" attack again, one we heard in 2000 and earlier this year, over and over and over. Note to the anti-Bush forces: This won't take away any votes from Bush, because he's not running on Vietnam, he's running on the War on Terror currently taking place.

There's also a frenzy going on right now about whether the documents CBS obtained forgeries.

Seems like yesterday

As Red Sox Nation gears up for the 2004 playoffs I have a new book review up, of Boston Globe columnist Bob Ryan's When Boston Won the World Series. Ryan follows the 1903 champion Red Sox squad that featured Cy Young, defeating the Pittsburg Pirates and their star, Honus Wagner.

Jeff's NFL picks for 2004

Yeah, sure, I'm no NFL expert, just a normal guy who watches every game and critiques the players even though I have no idea what a 4-3 defense means. With that foreknowledge, here are my picks for the season, in the public eye and easily fact-checked in January. Feel free to make fun, because you would anyway.

AFC division winners: E - New England; S - Indianapolis; N - Baltimore; W: Denver; Wild Cards - Tennessee and Kansas City.

NFC Division Winners: E - Philadelphia; S - Carolina; N - Green Bay; W - Seattle; Wild Cards - Minnesota and Washington.

Playoffs: AFC Championship - New England over Indianapolis; NFC Championship - Green Bay over Carolina

Super Bowl: New England over Green Bay

Teens get all the fun

Teens who watch sex on TV are more likely to become sexually active sooner, according to a study in the journal Pediatrics.

On the other hand, for folks like me, those who watch more reality shows on TV are far less likely to actually live in reality.

Daddy, what is the man doing to the woman?

A father in England popped in a DVD for his seven-year-old daughter, only to find out that it wasn't My Little Pony but porn. No word on if the title was "My Naughty Pony."

Oh yeah, did I mention that the DVD was produced by Prism Leisure Corporation, headquartered in Middlesex.

Monsters of the Midwest

As the NFL regular season starts tonight, everyone keeps saying that Kansas City's defense wouldn't be any good. Forget that. KC whipped Detroit, 26-5, today.

Oh, wait. That wasn't the Chiefs, it was the Royals. The Tigers, not the Lions, took the loss, but came back to win game two of the doubleheader, 8-0.

I should point out that the Red Sox are tied with the White Sox for most runs ever in a single game with 29, set June 8, 1950 against the old St. Louis Browns.

The devil made him do it

A man in South Carolina robbed a bank, armed only with a pitchfork.

I'm no friggin' genius, but my first suspect has to be this guy.

Smallest Violin Alert

The following is a letter to the editor of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution I wrote today in response to a column by Edward Wasserman. A professor of journalism, he seems intolerant to the freedom of speech employed by conservative bloggers:

Poor set upon Edward Wasserman, feeling that while right-wing bloggers, or “digital brownshirts,” as Al Gore dubbed them, keep harassing the “messy and elusive” reporting of journalists. I hope it helps him that I’m going to criticize him the old-fashioned way, with a letter to the editor. I would also call into a radio talk-show, but I’m not sure if Mr. Wasserman has discovered that medium or been able to explain its reach with conservative audiences, either.

Using my amazing tools of research I found Mr. Wasserman’s column archive on his own university website, and will quote from August 9th his own words, in which he says the anger of the public to journalists “is not so much a response to the many faults of the media, as it is an expression of the frustrations of a powerless populace.” In other words, he takes no responsibility for the fact that the media actually does make mistakes sometimes, and can be seen to be biased on both ends of the political spectrum. I guess he’s never read a column by an ombudsman or scanned the corrections of a newspaper.

Actually, it seems that Mr. Wasserman’s chief criticism isn’t of right-wing bloggers – and I have news for him, liberals and moderates have the same access as conservatives to the new Internet media – he’s angry at journalists who cave in to the great unwashed masses. Yes, being accountable and explaining your articles sure is a pain.

I hope Mr. Wasserman doesn’t mind, but I’m probably going to write about his whiny column on my blog. He’s under no obligation to change his mind when reading.

Wednesday, September 08, 2004

Georgy Porgy kissed the rain and made it cry

Those whiny bitch bleeping Yankees just don't know when to stop proving they're public relations disasters. They sought a forfeit when Tampa Bay needed to postpone the first game of a doubleheader Monday because of travel problems associated with hurricane Frances. Today, New York got rain from the leftovers of Frances, and the bleeping Yankees postponed both games of a scheduled doubleheader, while a few miles away this evening the U.S. Open tennis tournament resumed play.

If the Devil Rays were ready to play, I say the bleeping Yankees should have to forfeit this evening's game.


NASA's plan to study solar farts came to a crashing end as the Genesis space capsule went boom in the desert earlier today. I expect the Art Bell conspiracy geeks will declare this a questionable incident in which we intentionally squished E.T.s inside the pod to prevent them from being discovered upon re-entry. Just to be sure, scientists are scattering Reese's Pieces around the area. Alas, E.T. will not be phoning home

Another theory could bring in the Star Trek crew. Did Khan and his stranded gang get ahold of Genesis to use against our planet?

SI staffers are clearly New Yorkers

It was nice while it lasted. The Red Sox blitzed opponents both good and bad, putting themselves within reach of the bleeping Yankees. Then this week Sports Illustrated put Boston on the cover.

Thanks for playing everybody! See you next year!

More staff changes at the Democrat camp?

Seems there are some barnacles encrusting the hull of John Kerry's campaign boat.

Wrap your mind around this one. Trying to convince Democrats he can win this election, Kerry decides to add John Sasso, Michael Dukakis’s former campaign advisor. Is that really the message he wants to send?

Last Comic Standing update 9/7/04

Is there any doubt whatsoever anymore that Season 2's comics are far and away better than Season 1's? It's not even close. Let's take a look:

After last week's rant against the amount of sex jokes, I was immensely please that there were virtually no such bits Tuesday.

Of the comics who performed last night, I would take Season 2's Tammy, Gary, Jay and Alonzo over all four of Season 1's Rich, Rob, Ralphie and Tess. If I had to choose one from each, I'd kick off Jay and Rob. Jay's schtick only goes so far, even though last night was one of his best sets I've heard. Rob was an idiot, telling dumb, druggie, broke jokes.

I still don't get the draw of Ralphie. His white/urban image is annoying, and I can't even figure out what he's talking about half the time. Sure, he's better than Season 1 winner Dat Phan, but that's like saying, "Yeah, I'd rather vote for the Mets than the Yankees." If you don't have to choose, you pick neither.

As for those eliminated, I'm glad Kathleen stays instead of Corey, although I like his sense of humor. As for the Season 1 comics, either one would be gone soon anyway.

Not that I think about this much.

Amazing Race update 9/7/04

Random observations as the best reality show on television nears the end of its fifth season:

Way to go, BrandonNicole. When you're broke in India, the way to get free money is to hit up foreigners in expensive hotels.

I can't say I'll miss the twins. They were just too bland and added little to the entertainment value of the show.

Can I say that the ball the teams rolled downhill inside at the last roadblock was friggin' awesome? If I travel to New Zealand, when I'm not following geeky Lord of the Rings sites, I'll have to try that.

Otherwise, at the detour, who would choose to dig around in the mud looking for a clue when you can ride the whitewater? BrandonNicole and the Twins deserved to fall behind for making such a decision.

Still rooting for the Bowling Moms, more so now than ever before. ChipKim are also favorites.

Actually, I think Nicole and Christie should dump Brandon and Colin, respectively, and team up for the last few legs. Their men are dolts, and they are smart, patient babes to put up with the guys.

That's just my opinion. I could be wrong.

UPDATE: The ball is called a zorb. So far, no locations in North America. Eventually I guarantee it will catch on and you'll see a zorb at every tourist spot in the country. It will be a weekend thing, like, "Hey, want to drive up to Chattanooga to see the aquarium and ride the zorb by Lookout Mountain." And we'll say, "Hella cool!"

(Bleeping) Yanks losing it

The Yankees are coming unhinged, and proving themselves to be worth the Evil Empire tag. The Red Sox have gained eight games in three weeks, Kevin Brown lost a fight with a wall, and their final sign of desperation is a call for Tampa Bay to have to forfeit a game when the Devil Rays were trapped by hurricane Frances. The bleeping Yanks were afraid of losing to the friggin' Devil Rays. Meanwhile, Boston is playing top-notch competition and whipping them one by one, Anaheim, Texas and Oakland.

New York's freaking out, and it's fun. Don't forget, while the Red Sox surged, the bleeping Yanks lost 22-0 to Cleveland, their worst loss ever.

Tuesday, September 07, 2004

Laura Diaz watch, 9/7/04

I’m starting a new feature to go along with the new blog format, spotlighting the doings of my favorite folks. First up, my favorite LPGA golfer in the Laura Diaz Watch.

Laura hasn’t been doing as well this year as in the past, winless in 2004 and earning $240,262 to currently rank 39th. Last weekend in the State Farm Classic in Springfield, Ill., she tied for 11th at -12, though she opened with a 65 to start third. Cristie Kerr won with a tournament record 24-under par.

Wicked Awesome

Even in a war zone, the Red Sox rule. Soldiers from the 3rd Battalion 11th Marine Regiment constructed a miniature version of Fenway Park at Camp Ramadi, Iraq. I wonder if insurgents were recruited to play the part of the bleeping Yankees?

(Link courtesy The Sports Retort)

The long and short of it

A new study says that being tall doesn't make you more popular in school. Phew. That's a load off my mind. It looks like I was able to get by with my vivid personality, athletic prowess and striking good looks.

You call this a storm?

Last night Atlanta was windy and rainy, but compared to Florida, hurricane Frances' effects on north Georgia seem minimal. Of course, I didn't leave my house until 2:30 this afternoon to go to the gym, so all I saw was plenty of little debris along the roadways, with the occasional toppled tree. Any substantial damage would have been removed long before I got there.

Still, local officials are planning on more damage, especially flooding from several inches of rain as Frances still spins the "eye" south of town. There were about 100 FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) officials in the CNN Center. No one seemed to be doing anything, but they had packed bags next to their chairs, ready to spring into action at any moment! "There's a huge puddle on I-75 south! Get FEMA in there!" *cue heroic music*

Contrary to what the "X-Files" movie would tell us, FEMA didn't look to be arranging any government takeover. It will take more than a hurricane to plunge the country into totalitarianism.

Jeff's Appointment TV Watch

The new Fall TV season is fast approaching, so it's time to celebrate great shows like "Law and Order: Criminal Intent" and forget stinkers like "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit."

Just kidding. But not really.

Most anticipated in ABC's "Lost." It looks like a split of "X-Files," "Survivor" and "Gilligan's Island," which merges three of the best shows ever, IMHO. Who will take the dry Duchovny role to explore the unexplained? Who will fight amongst themselves while the rest of the stranded tribe just tries to find food? Which babes will be Mary Ann? Ginger? I feel sorry for the folks in the background of the promotional pictures. Like the ensigns wearing red shirts in the original "Star Trek," they exist only to be bumped off at the producers' whim. With a cast of 48 on the uncharted deserted isle, three or four can be offed in mysterious, entertaining ways every season, and surely a few will die early in the show to set the tone.

I'm looking forward to, yet simultaneously dreading, CBS' baseball family drama, "Clubhouse." I'm always interested in anything baseball related, yet I don't want the show to mess up the world I've created in my head that follows and celebrates the tradition and aura of the game. Not only that, but it seems like the show will focus on one of the bat boys, meaning the format threatens to head into Rookie of the Year and Little Big League territory where the kids save the day while the doltish adults serve little purpose other than provide filler and "grow" as people. Please, CBS, spend time developing the adults, too!

I'm interested in NBC's "Medical Investigation," but the network has screwed me before by dumping the solid "Boomtown" without giving it a fighting chance. As for NBC's biggest debut, I stopped watching "Friends" five years ago, meaning I will tune in to "Joey" but I won't expect much and won't stick around long if it doesn't deliver the funny. One of NBC's shows that's already come out, "Father of the Pride" had some hilarious moments. My concern is the amount of sex talk. There are plenty of other things to find humor in, and I promise I'm not saying that only because I'm "not getting any."
A fire that ripped through one of Germany's most precious historical libraries destroyed or damaged tens of thousands of irreplaceable books, although some 6,000 works, including a 1543 Martin Luther Bible, were spirited to safety by a chain of people, officials said Friday.

Elderly Germans were befuddled. "Dangit! How did we miss those books during 30s?"

Trailer Park 9/7/04

Finding Neverland - Yet another Peter Pan adaptation. The difference is that Johnny Depp and Kate Winslet star in a British period piece. Depp is Pan's creator, a strange adult who acts like a child, with a wife yet he spends all his time with Winslet, a widowed single mother with a bundle of young children. I like the star power, and the story could be interesting. I foresee a few "chill" scenes, so I'll be there.

The Aviator - The story of millionaire playboy Howard Hughes, it isn't one that's familiar to most of the audience the movie's trying to draw in. Leonardo DiCaprio stars, and the entire time of the preview I'm thinking, "That's Leo trying to be Hughes." Not a good sign. But, the movie is directed by Martin Scorsese, a plus, and it co-stars Cate Blanchett, which makes me very happy, and Kate Beckinsale, which will make my brother happy. A visionary lead character lends himself to a lot of interpretation and range for an actor, so hopefully Leo will surprise me.

Talk to the hand

Time for more of Jeff's DVD-orama, featuring some new DVD releases from new movies, old movies and TV shows:

Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines - As you can tell from my initial review of T3 last summer, I verily enjoyed the last of the Judgment Day trilogy, a movie that is different enough to stand alone from the previous two. It's less of a blowout than T2 and more expensive and action-packed than T1. The DVD, though, comes out in the golden age of DVDs so viewers can enjoy plenty of extras, in my opinion the most important part of the format.

The documentary is neither lengthy nor does it provide any depth or new details, so skip those unless you just want to reminisce about the film. Arnold Schwarzenegger has a great bit as Sgt. Candy, supposedly the body double in the creation of the machine warriors for the military, using this strong Southern accent. When the military guys say the way he talks will never work, one of them says in a monotone, thick Austrian brogue, "We can fix it."

The most important part of the DVD is reserved for the special effects, of which there are many, many, that took up to a year to complete. There are half-a-dozen eight-minute clips on different complicated aspects, plus one place where the viewer can create effects of their own, albeit in two controlled, specific settings. The gag is five minutes of fun, then it gets dull when you've mixed and matched all the scenarios.

The commentary isn't that strong, but for the Unintentional Comedy Rating alone it's worth it to listen to Arnold's narcissism. He drones on and on about getting his body into shape for naked arrival scene, talking longer about his pecs than the scene itself takes place. The absolute scale-breaking comments, though, are when he talks about how great it was to have a hot Terminatrix like Kristanna Loken in the movie. It's not that he just says he liked the idea, he mentions over and over about the Terminatrix's breats. You go, Governor!

We're told this was Claire Danes first commentary, so she was joined by the director, Jonathan Mostow, during her session (the rest went solo). Mostow prodded her several times, but she came across truly genuine and adorable, giggling just to be a part of the franchise.

The rest of the extras include a gag reel, timeline of the films and a Skynet database about the characters. Interestingly, the filmmakers must not have had permission by Linda Hamilton and Robert Patrick to use their images. While the rest of the cast showed actual scenes from T3, Hamilton's were clearly a body-double re-enacting T1 and T2 incidents, and Patrick's T2 Terminator was just the specks of the machine and nothing showing his scenes.

Monday, September 06, 2004

No wonder the world hates us

Fresh reports from the Kerry Spot (a great daily read on the election), on how Kerry keeps talking about getting the world to like the U.S. again, while insulting our allies. But they love him in France and Germany!

While you're there, check out the latest Gallup Poll. Most interesting, the number of people voting for Kerry just to vote against Bush, versus the number of people voting for Bush, to vote for Bush.

Booing the liberal media

Sunday’s Atlanta Journal-Constitution bias watch has us looking at story formatting and placement. In the paper’s Election 2004 coverage, there was a story titled “New polls give Bush advantage.” You could peruse the story, however, and never see those polls. Only several paragraphs down in the second column is this brief bit, “Two polls, released after the convention, which ended Thursday, gave Bush a double-digit lead nationwide.” That’s it, nothing about who did the polls or what the actual numbers were.

Second, we look at story placement. Underneath this favorable story for Bush was a long piece by AP writer Tom Raum with the headline, “Tax increase tough to duck.” In it, this supposedly objective bit of journalism pushes the idea that Republicans controlling Congress and the White House will have to raise taxes in the next couple of years. Nowhere did the “reporter” say why conservatives don’t think it’s necessary with a growing economy, and he even dusts off the Kerry talking point of equating Bush’s term with Herbert Hoover’s in terms of job creation. In this “story,” every single Republican point is countered by the reporter, while he never touches any of Kerry’s claims.

I should also point out the AP’s problems with objective and honest reporting. Late last week conservative sites were buzzing over a “reporter” claiming that Bush supporters booed when the president wished Bill Clinton best wishes upon the former leader’s heart problems. All audio proves elsewhere, and the reporter removed the comment without sending out a retraction to papers. From Instapundit:

Correcting errors is good. And "stealth corrections" can be OK. But the AP has published a damaging falsehood, which was spread widely -- reaching the BBC and numerous other sources -- and has now destroyed the evidence. That seems wrong to me.

Another example from Sunday's paper. Pope John Paul II talked to the ambassador from Canada, reiterating the Roman Catholic Church's official stance that gay marriage is wrong. How did the AJC title this? "Pope continues gay unions assault." Did I miss something? Where in there did the Pope order an inquisition for gay couples? Should be start fetching the comfy chairs? Although, last time nobody expected the Spanish Inquisition, am I right? Amongst his weaponry are such diverse elements as: fear, surprise, ruthless efficiency, an almost fanatical devotion to the Pope, and nice red uniforms!

What's in your ballot box?

The left wing is like that annoying David Spade Capital One commercial. Their entire agenda is “no tax cuts,” “no war” and “no Bush.” Really they have “no message” and have “no chance” of winning because of it.

There's a buzz at the Leaky Cauldron

Fellow Harry Potter fans will appreciate yet another nugget of the next book, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, was revealed by author J.K. Rowling on her site.

I couldn't do this personally, since apparently you need to stir some potions or have a cable connection to access the site properly.

According to the BBC, visitors to her website had to play a darts game and crack a code to read two lines of the book. The first revealed line read: "He looked rather like an old lion." The second line read: "There were streaks of grey in his mane of tawny hair and his bushy eyebrows; he had keen yellowish eyes behind a pair of wire-rimmed spectacles and a certain rangy, loping grace even though he walked with a slight limp."

No word on who she's describing, but my guess is the half-blood prince. Speculation abounds, I'm sure, on the fan sites and message boards. A reader of those, Stacy would probably wonder if that much-rumored Mark Evans kid will turn out to be the title character.

I'd much rather, though, Rowling reveal when the sixth installment is going to be released!

Joxer is a ball boy

The U.S. Open started last week and "Serena: Warrior Princess" broke out.

Sunday, September 05, 2004

Sunday church humor

Courtesy, the top ten ways the Bible would be different if it were written by college students:

10. Loaves and fishes replaced by pizza and chips.

9. Ten Commandments are actually only five, double-spaced, and written in a large font.

8. Forbidden fruit would have been eaten because it wasn't dorm food.

7. Paul's Epistle to the Romans becomes Paul's E-Mail to the Romans.

6. Reason Cain killed Abel: They were roommates.

5. The place where the end of the world occurs: Finals, not Armageddon.

4. Book of Armaments would be in there somewhere.

3. Reason why Moses and followers walked in desert for 40 years: They didn't want to ask directions and look like a freshman.

2. Tower of Babel blamed for Foreign Language requirement.

1. Instead of God creating the world in six days and resting on the seventh, He would have put it off until the night before it was due and then pulled an all-nighter.
A lazy weekend for the Jeffster. Saturday meant the start of college football around here, so I watched game after game all afternoon, then switched to the Braves in the evening. I did absolutely nothing else. I went outside only to walk to the apartment complex's mailboxes, and to get my gas tank refilled.

Today, not much more. I spent all afternoon at the sports bar watching the Red Sox game and playing the trivia games. I left with the bar's high scores of the month for two of the games, although on the 5th of September that's not saying a whole lot. I wonder if these folks who play the rest of the week wonder who this "Yaz" is? Okay, so one of the high scores was almost like cheating since I'd seen most of the questions a few weekends ago.

I called Dad mid-afternoon, and he reports things going well in his area of Miami now that Frances passed to the north. He never put up his shutters, no doubt leaving many of his neighbors to question his mental capacity. No damage to the house, but we must mourn the passing of the tree closest to the house.

While talking with Dad, I nearly jinxed the Red Sox, who were up 6-1 at the time with Curt Schilling pitching lights out against Texas. "No worries," I reassured, "Curt will finish this game up without a problem." Oh my. A Boston fan should never say such things. Schilling gave up a two-run jack in the ninth, left the game and promptly saw closer Keith Foulke give up two more runs before finally ending the madness. The Red Sox stay 2 1/2 back of the bleepin' Yanks, who got a gift walk-off base on balls from the Orioles.

Tomorrow I'm back to work. Yes, on Labor Day. Tragic. But the news never stops, especially when Frances is sure to regain hurricane strength and head for us in Atlanta. Looks like those Floridians driving through here the other night need to keep going north. I predict rain, and I'm not even licensed by the NOAA! Go ahead, arrest me!
Jay Nordlinger wants to keep reminding people of John Kerry's most outrageous quote post-Vietnam, and I'll gladly help:
The invasion [of Grenada] represented a bully's show of force against a weak Third World nation.

Spread the word.

Four more years?

In case you weren't convinced that the Time poll showing Bush up 11 points on Thursday was credible, Newsweek has a post-convention poll that also shows the president up 11 on Kerry. I'm giddy.

Who? Me?

UPN has moved "Star Trek Enterprise" to Fridays this year, which USA Today says is because that night is more sci-fi friendly. Gee, I wonder why? Not because of the sex appeal of the audience, I'm sure. But hey, it's not me! I'm busy Friday nights! Yeah, okay, it's because I'm working, but that's enough for me.

A long drive for Bush

The best golfer ever, Jack Nicklaus, spoke at a rally in Ohio earlier this week to promote President Bush.

Matter settled. Period.

Saturday, September 04, 2004

No wrath like a confronted sports writer

In case you didn't know, many sports writers, especially when given a column to express opinions, are incredibly arrogant. They feel like they're hired to tell us how to think, not to take part in any kind of dialogue. Also, unlike their readers, they are overwhelmingly liberal. It's certainly the case at the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, where apparently even the janitors are screened to make sure of their liberal ideology. Every Friday in the fall and winter, sports writer Jeff Schultz runs a Weekend Predictions piece that is a funny heads up for the action. Friday's, though, started off with a jab at Georgia Senator Zell Miller, widely criticized around here by the left-wing for supporting President Bush.

I wrote Schultz a short e-mail yesterday, saying simply, stick to sports and leave politics to the rest of the paper. His snippy response came this afternoon:
Tell you what. Why don't you submit a list of everything I'm allowed to write about. And if it makes you feel any better, I'll make a John Kerry joke next week.

My reply:

"How very civil of you. For one thing, you don't even know what my politics are, I just asked you to stay out of it altogether. I work at CNN, so you figure out where my opinions lie. Here's an idea, I enjoy your columns about sports, and you work in the sports department, so you figure out what to write about."

Yeah, I threw in my employer to keep Schultz thinking. Hmm, if most people who work at the AJC are liberal, then everyone there would be considered left-wingers. And CNN is considered liberal, so isn't everyone there a liberal? My uncomplicated point, I don't care how many jokes he makes at the expense of sports figures, that's his field. I'm not out to shape political opinions on the sports page or the comics, another prickly topic lately now that at least half a dozen cartoonists have put it upon themselves to try to shape the election when I just want more funny.

This is nowhere close to the first time I've had to deal with Schultz's political bias. Last October I wrote a letter to the editor following his attacks on Rush Limbaugh's audience. First let me make clear that I wasn't upset that Schultz attacked the talk show host, since he made public comments on a sports program that got him in trouble. What I did object to was that Schultz slandered Rush's audience as "close-minded, ultra right-wing blithering idiots."

Contents may settle during shipment

Man of the People, John Kerry, showed off his impressive sports knowledge again Thursday night in his vicious Midnight rebuttal speech (link requires registration):

"I want you to know that tonight in America something very important in the fabric of our life took place — very, very important — the Red Sox pulled to two and a half games out of the Yankees. Now, I think that that's important."

Yeah, so important that it was wrong. Thursday night the Red Sox and bleepin' Yanks both won, meaning the margin was still 3 ½ games in the AL East race. It wasn't until Friday night that the Red Sox won and New York lost, slipping to within 2 ½ of the lead.

No doubt Manny Ortez hit five home runs that would have reached Lambert Field.

By the way, tradition is that opposition candidates don't do much while the other's convention is happening. Bush stayed at his Crawford ranch while the DNC Convention took place a month ago. Not only did Kerry and Edwards stump during the RNC Convention this week, Kerry couldn't wait 30 minutes to respond to Bush's acceptance speech, holding a midnight rally in Ohio to question Dick Cheney's patriotism.

Yeah, sure, "peaceful"

In all of the reports on the school hostage crisis in Russia that left more than 300 children and adults dead, none of the news articles mentioned the religion of the terrorists. In case you weren't aware, all of the "insurgents" from the Republic of Chechnya are from that peaceful religion of Islam, but it might as well have been those pesky Presbyterians shooting kids in the back as they ran away as far as the mainstream media is concerned. You can see, why, then, I wasn't surprised to hear that about ten of the dead hostage-takers were from Arab countries (hint: MUSLIMS), but the media treated it as an amazing new detail in what I'm sure they believed was a war for freedom by peace-loving Chechen militants. Sorry, but this is just one more listing in the War on Terror, which Russia had already seen in the past week from two downed airliners and a suicide bombing outside a Moscow subway station. How do we deal with such threats? We can start by not patting down elderly white Seventh-Day Adventists at airports, and look for the real culprits.

UPDATE: New York Post columnist Ralph Peters: "Did any of those protesters who came to Manhattan to denounce our liberation of 50 million Muslims stay an extra day to protest the massacre in Russia? Of course not."

(Link courtesy Instapundit)

Grand Old Party Wrap

Columnist Mark Alexander has an extensive roundup of the Republican National Convention's best moments. Me, I liked California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger's speech best. I'd rather listen to his broken English and immensely likable conservative ideals than Ted Kennedy's drunken liberal blubbering any day.

My senator, Democrat Zell Miller, was fiery and passionate. He actually scared me a little bit with his zest in support of President Bush and distrust of John Kerry. His best line was that Kerry should be, but isn't, the "same man on Saturday night as he is on Sunday morning."

Best of all speakers, though, was the nominee himself, Bush's statement that this could and should be "Liberty's century."

As for other Convention moments, you can't beat the roll call. ... "Madam Chairman, the delegates of Minnesota, home of the world's biggest ball of twine, give all of our votes to President George W. Bush!"