Monday, January 31, 2005

Bring back Chloe! Bring back Chloe! Posted by Hello

Welcome back, Tony!!!

Just in the nick of time, too, I might add.

Now, how did Tony know to be there, and how can Jack help the man who is wanted by his own country?

How does young Master Araz get his mom medical care and stay out of his dad's lair?

Erin is really starting to have a focus problem, and understandably so. How long can she really be in control of the situation? When does Heller just take over?

And, most importantly, if Tony's back, Michelle CANNOT be far behind, but when??

Now, today's guess: Which Araz family member dies first?

A) The father
B) The mother
C) The son
D) A combination of any two above
E) All of them
F) None of them

It's 2:00. Do you know where your nuclear reactor is?

Sunday, January 30, 2005

A word of thanks and credit......

.....BigBrainBoy gets credit for having connections to get the below still shot of classic journalism from CNN. The ticker is about as fair and balanced as it can get.

As it approaches its 25th anniversary this summer, CNN goes to great lengths to remind people it is the network of record when it comes to news coverage. Just in case you were confused as to the condition of the world's most wanted man, CNN is here to make sure you're well informed.  Posted by Hello

Saturday, January 29, 2005

Here's one Orioles fan.......

.....who is NOT happy with the supposed "blockbuster" deal. I have always liked and respected Ray Miller, who has faithfully served as pitching coach for the O's during, what, 22 different managerial reigns?

He's quoted as basically saying, "You get me eight runs a game, and I'll figure out the rest." I'm sorry, Ray, I've seen the pitching roster. Our ace is Sidney Ponson....for the 2nd straight year! Thank goodness we picked up a couple of decent middle relievers (they should hope they'll get paid by the hour on the mound....)

Sammy Sosa won't hit 50 home runs total in his entire time in Baltimore, no matter how long it may be. He's 36, he's 26 away from 600 HR's, then what's next? He knows he's coming to a team with absolutely no chance of winning the World Series, now and for the forseeable future (i.e.--until Angelos sells!!), and he loafed on the Cubs last year, just a year after being so close to the Fall Classic.

Unless Rafael, Javy and Miguel can keep him in line, I'm expecting this to be the colossal failure of the Orioles this decade, as Albert Belle was in the 1990's. There were none in the 70's; in the 80s the failure came when we brought back Earl Weaver. Unfortunately, we couldn't shave five years off the age of our 1986 lineup. And let's not even talk about 1988....

For my money, my three all-time favorite Oriole teams (that I can remember, so 1966 and 1970 don't count) are 1) 1983 (of course), 2) 1979, and 3) 1989. And let it be said the 1989 team had more grit and guts than few teams I've ever seen. They should have never been close to winning a division in the final week of the season, yet, there they were.

I've been an Oriole fan since I started listening to Chuck Thompson and Bill O'Donnell in the early 1970's when WFLS in Fredericksburg, Virginia was a radio affiliate. I named my cat Al Bumbry. I suffered through the A's and Yankees years, reveled in 1979, was stunned to lose a 3-1 lead at home, and, would you believe it, actually missed the final out of the '83 Series (I was working at my first job at the time every Sunday afternoon, and game 5 was on a Sunday, back when the games weren't all played at night).

I could go on and on and on about my favorite players, so let me just come up with a dream lineup and bench...and pitching staff. (When I compare this pitching staff to 2005's, it will be dreaming!)

Manager: Earl Weaver (of course)
Pitching Coach: Ray Miller
1st Base Coach: Billy Miller
3rd Base Coach: Cal Ripken, Sr.
Bench Coach: Johnny Oates

1st Base: Eddie Murray, Boog Powell
2nd Base: Rich Dauer, Bobby Grich
Shortstop: Cal Ripken, Jr, Mark Belanger (sorry, Miguel, not yet)
3rd Base: Brooks Robinson, Doug DeCinces

Catcher: Rick Dempsey, Elrod Hendricks

Outfield: Frank Robinson, Ken Singleton, Al Bumbry, Brady Anderson, Paul Blair, John Lowenstein, Gary Roenicke

Starting Rotation: Jim Palmer, Dave McNally, Mike Cuellar, Mike Flanagan, Mike Mussina

In the Pen: Scott McGregor, Eddie Watt, Tippy Martinez, Milt Pappas, Hoyt Wilhelm, Tim Stoddard, Gregg Olson

Designated Hitters: Rafael Palmeiro and Lee May

There are other "great" Orioles (I define that by saying they played well in the Orioles team concept, though they may not be in the Top 100 all-time in any MLB stats), like Merv Rettenmund, Terry Crowley, Sammy Stewart, Mickey Tettleton, Mike Boddicker, Ross Grimsley, and today's Melvin Mora.

Yeah, I know our outfield isn't "Mantle, Ruth, and DiMaggio", but I'm certainly proud to be an Oriole fan!! :)

Sammy Sosa, though?

I don't see him making this lineup anytime soon.

OH----and another thing.....

Just thinking......

When we were battling the last time for the pennant, 1997, if we had NOT traded Curt Schilling and Steve Finley away in the late 80s, (remember Glenn Davis??), how many of you think Florida would have faced us, rather than the Indians? Mussina needed one more arm to help; Schilling would have been perfect.....oh well.

Hey, look everybody, it's the second coming of Albert Belle!!! Posted by Hello

Friday, January 28, 2005

Just time enough to say............

1) I went to the doctor; the wrist is fine, the knee has a scrape. Though I'm honestly appreciative of everyone's concern, I'm also glad the answers are given and this issue can be put to rest.

2) I come home at midnight; my wife's recording Bond on the computer. I learned tonight, don't surf the 'Net while that's happening. I broke up the signal. I hope to blog again sometime in May once my broken hands heal.

3) I'm invited to a "tea party" with my daughter tomorrow...ah....later today at school. That's why I worked 'til midnight; so I could take a two hour lunch on a Friday.

Now, to go take a nap before it's time for another day of uncertainty. This week cannot end soon enough.

Tuesday, January 25, 2005

I Came, I Slipped, I Fell.....and "24" in review, too

First, the good stuff: last night's "24":

The first ten minutes of the show were breathtaking. Suspend your realism and, yes, you can see Jack taking on 16 terrorists, slipping a knife to his lady, and rescuing the Secretary of Defense, who doesn't believe his son either, by the way.

Oh, dear, welcome Paul, the still husband of Audrey Raines, who wants to start afresh and anew, while Audrey, well, can't stop thinking about the man who saved her life.

AND I TOLD YOU MARIANNE WAS A MOLE!!!! But to whom was she speaking to at 12:59pm?

So, next week, let's see....104 Nuclear Plants on the wall, 104 Nuclear Plants....
save one now, take it down now, 103 Nuclear Plants on the wall......

Does Behrooz come back to take revenge on mom and dad with A) the big gun, or B) the more primitive swinging shovel?

When does Jack demand Erin bring back Chloe?

When is Michelle showing up?

Oh, and (SPOILER HERE!!!)---12 more hours 'til President Palmer re-emerges from his book tour!


Now, on to our other top story:

I've been ultra careful during our first bout with snow/ice this winter while I walk, mindful of this being my first winter with a permanently damaged shoulder. The idea of hitting it on, say, concrete or a hard sheet of ice, causing the bone to expose itself is not my way of spending a sunny winter morning.

So, I'm walking carefully into the office through the parking lot this morning, and, you guessed it! Chuck Taylor, meet small sliver of ice.....just enough to send Mr. Witham tumbling and into a frightened state of deja vu all over again.

Nope, couldn't regain the footing, and, eventually, I go down, on my right side, exclaiming, I think, either "Oh God", or "Oh No". Take your pick, either is sufficient for the moment.

All thoughts are on the shoulder. Two seconds evaluation determines it did not take a direct hit, though the right side sure did. The hands did help break the fall this time (as opposed to last June), and they showed it. Burning bad from asphalt rub. The right knee took a shot, although I didn't realize its bleeding capacity 'til about 30 minutes later....

Those pains began to subside, and....the real pain started to commence. Something's wrong with my right wrist. Not sure if it's a bone chip, just a sprain, or maybe a hairline fracture.

No less than 437 people ordered me to go to the Patient First/Doctor/Orthopedic of my choice. I'm simply not ready to do that yet. After ten weeks in a sling, I want to make sure it's something worth going to an orthopedic about. Call me bullheaded (everybody else did today, too.....)

My wife was ready to bust up my other knee for good measure.

So, I visit HR for Workmens Comp forms in the AM, and, well, trust God to overlook my stubborness and heal the wrist in spite of me (hey, at least I'm being honest before God, okay??) :)

I love winter. I HATE ice.

So, other than falling down AGAIN, hurting two hands, a wrist, an elbow and a knee, having barbeque sauce spill inside my carrier (and on some CD's!!!---I had meatballs in a container to take in for brunch), hack off a bunch of concerned people, and, oh, I was supposed to partake in a luncheon for staff today, with only one problem: no one told me. So, I spent lunch hour listening to 70s hits on Live 365!

Oh, and then there's the PTO/PTA mess at school. It's not worth wasting good keystrokes on.

So, needless to say, when the clock strikes midnight, I will be VERY glad this "24" is over (the day, not the show.....)

Sunday, January 23, 2005

I bid you a very heartfelt good night......

May 22, 1992. I'll never forget it. I was about to turn 25, and our son hadn't even turned one month old. And one of my childhood icons was taking his final bow. In the age of running a newspaper route, I rarely saw Johnny Carson in his final years on TV, but I made darn sure I saw him on this night.

Johnny played a part in the first time I ever realized that I was "aging". I know, some of you will laugh, but, within 60 days of each other, my son was born, one of my childhood idols retired, the newspaper I grew up with folded, and I turned 25. I remember the day after Johnny's last show being in a funk all day long, for the first time in life honestly contemplating mortality.

The past several months, several events in my life have led me to wonder if I was in the midst of my version of the "mid-life crisis". I have no idea, but I will say this: January 23, 2005 will go down as one of the sadder days of my life.

As I got along in my teenage years, I, like all other American kids, followed stars, but I had few "idols". I had lots of favorite music groups and singers, but I didn't aspire to be that. I wanted to be in radio, so listening to an Alden Aaroe on WRVA was much more inspiring to me than watching, say, Robert Redford act. Thus, watching witty performers on television caught my eye, too, because, I can remember at the age of 5 hosting my own game show at home using a simple deck of cards.....thinking one day I could do it for real.

So, in a sense, I can taste just a bit of appreciation for Johnny Carson's upbringing, in a simple town nowhere near the limelight, emulating those who did what you truly, and only, wanted to do.

I also profoundly respect his uncanny ability to keep his private personna private. I have somewhat of a similar knack for that. When "on stage" preaching or hosting a concert, or emceeing a show, things which I've done countless times, I'm in my "element", and I get lost in the amount of people that may be there. Yet, put me at a dinner party or church social with 30 people in a small banquet room, and I guarantee you I'm the most uncomfortable person there, and the one who wants to find the door earliest, and the most.

Over the years I was on Christian radio here in Richmond, when, say, the cashier at Ukrops recognized my voice, I would feel a sense of gratitude, and many times a feeling of "wow, that's cool, they knew my voice!". Mostly, though, when they invariably said "you sound just like you do on the radio", I would answer, "Well, I only have one voice, that's all I've got." The "you sound just like you do on the radio" part, though, would qualify for me to be the ultimate compliment; because for me it was important to be constant, on-mic, and off-mic. Honestly, the recognition of being "the guy on the radio", many times, made me uncomfortable.

Does it mean you share or expose everything about you? Heavens, no. I, at my heart, am an introvert, and enjoy my time alone or in private with family. But I can also sit behind a mic in a radio studio and talk live with thousands of people and really not blink an eye thinking about it.

But, in the end, I have learned that you can and should be real in public and in private, consistently real. But, at the same time, you don't to have to bare all to do that. For example, being consistent in wearing deodorant daily doesn't mean I go up to co-workers, stick my armpit in their face and exclaim, "Check out the fresh scent!" to prove I, in private, used deodorant.

Johnny Carson, in the public eye of the 20th century, embodied that balancing act like no one else ever could even try.

Just last night, Bonnie and I were talking along the lines of being who you are everywhere you go, because, for one thing, you don't have to spend lots of time remembering which story you told what person, and what lies you'll need to cover up with others, etc, etc. When you're real, and honest, you never have to worry about those things. On The History Channel the other night during their "Presidents" mini-series, they quoted Presidential adviser David Gergen discussing President Ford's thoughts about President Nixon's "enemies list". He said, Ford said, "A man who has to keep a list of his enemies has too many."

When you're consistent in the presentation of your life, you don't have to remember what version of what story you told what person.....and you tend not to have much of an enemies list, either....except, ironically, in the case of some people who pass through your life whom insist on being on your enemies list, whether you have such a list or not. In other words, it doesn't matter what you say or do, they don't like you (or even out and out hate you), and there's nothing you can do about it. When it comes to that, though, I'm thankful I'm free not to worry about bitterness eating at my heart, the other party has that burden to bear.

One thing I am sorry about for Johnny's sake was that he apparently carried multiple grudges, and went many years not speaking to people. That's not judgment nor criticism, because I've gone years not speaking to members of my own FAMILY, for heaven's sake. I just hope he let any bitterness go before he left us.

I remember many "stars" I pretended to be and/or wanted to be like, in my young days, but very few I wanted to be like in my teenage years as I headed closer to adulthood. One of the very few, though, was Johnny Carson.

I've missed him since he left in 1992, I am enthralled by the fact that he never tried the obligatory "comeback"; he left on top, then went on to enjoy his private life....privately. I can dig that.

I pray he has made peace with God, because I'd love to meet him in Heaven one day, and I can only imagine the crowds at his mansion when it's time for a monologue.

I probably mentioned this on an earlier post, but it bears repeating: out of the countless thousands of people who were ever in the audience for The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson, I'm honored to say I was one of them. June 16, 1983, on my first and only (so far) trip to Southern California. We had tickets, thanks to my brother-in-law, to see Carson, so it was David, me, and my Dad, in line about 90 minutes to make sure we'd get in. Robin Williams was the main guest that night. It was unbelievable.

Even cooler, being they taped the show at 5:30 Pacific Time, it still aired on the West Coast at 11:30, after late local news. So, I proceeded to go back to my sister's house where we were staying, stay up, and watch the show I attended on TV. How surreal was that.....

Thanks, Johnny, for being a part, and mirror of sorts, of who I am today.

And I bid you a very heartfelt good night.

Friday, January 21, 2005

FYI: AOL IM (were there any words used there?)

By the way, I've just installed AOL Instant Messenger 5.9 to my new, now kinda working, computer.

So, the blue67wrva moniker is back up and running. Now, I only have it on when I'm at the computer, so if you don't get me there, come leave me a message on my latest post.

Just trying to stay in touch as best I can, especially since I'm horrible at returning phone calls! :)

These are a few of my favorite things......

....I can't stand that song.

Anyway, very random thoughts as I decompress from a very, very hectic week (but not nearly as hectic and stressful as it was for my three cubicle-mates at work.)

At some point I need to do the usual: as is found on other blogs, I answer my own questions and give you the obligatory lists of favorite this and that, what annoys me, why my lips are always chapped, etc. I don't see myself doing one huge post like that (although I've proven myself wrong on many an occasion), but I'll throw them out here and there, kinda like the Minute Rice thrown at the end of the first Britney Spears wedding....(joke courtesy of David Letterman, maybe originated by Johnny Carson...who knows!)

Speaking of which, boy do I miss Johnny! He was and is THE king of late night. I'm very glad to see Letterman pay tribute to him in using "Stump the Band" featuring a Paul Shaffer "Carnac" impression at the start. We cannot forget the comedic magic that was Johnny, Ed, Doc, and, don't forget Tommy Newsom! Letterman is really on a roll right now, the best I've seen him since the first few years of "Late Night".

Oh, and by the way, do YOU remember "The David Letterman Show", daytime on NBC in 1980? Didn't last long.....but I watched it!!


Favorite Late Night Show: The Late Show with David Letterman
Favorite Late Night Host: Johnny Carson
Little Know Fact: I was in the Tonight Show audience in June 1983 for a taping. Johnny was there that night, and his guest was Robin Williams. Needless to say, it was hilarious (and funnier during the commercial breaks!)
Favorite Late Night Show Few Remember and Ended All Too Soon: NBC News Overnight--Lloyd Dobbins and Linda Ellerbee were a wonderful team, sitting by their typewriters, presenting the news in a way Keith Olbermann only wishes he could do.
What a show.

Well, third storm comin'? Ice? Snow? I'm thinkin' rain....really, I think the "storm" being talked about all week will turn out being a clunker.

We'll see......:)

And, as Linda would say, "...and so it goes."

Thursday, January 20, 2005

God Presents: Snow in Three Movements....maybe in a B Minor?

Well, we had the one inch snow yesterday. Hundreds of accidents, as noted here.

Could have been worse---look at what happened in Raleigh, where some of my family lives.....

I see two reasons for the problems....

1) No one saw the snow coming, so road crews weren't ready. Not their fault, certainly....

2) The snow, albeit not much of an amount, was that nasty slippery wet crap. Very fine, very wet, and perfect for sliding off the road if you're not really careful (see last night's snow posting).

So, tonight, here comes round two, another clipper, another inch, maybe more. Coming home from work tonight, after a side trip to Office Max and Ukrops (no, I did NOT buy bread!), the back roads were getting tougher, while the main roads were just wet.

Then, once this clipper leaves in the AM, we get some whammy of a storm over the weekend with, well, snow....or snow and sleet and freezing rain.....or just ice....or maybe a changeover to rain for awhile.....and there's also a slight chance of varmits!

So, we'll see what happens while we sleep, and not lose sleep over whatever shows up over the weekend.

But we are STILL VERY THANKFUL there's no more newspaper route to contend with!!!

Wednesday, January 19, 2005

PLEASE SEE SNOW POST BELOW...and now "24", two days late...

Please, check out the post below this on the snow "storm" (huh?) today....

Now, back to Monday night, and "24". My co-worker, Dave, put it right at the office Tuesday morning, Hour 5 (11am to 12noon) was a "bridge episode", taking you out of one realm and into the fixings (southern term) of another.

Jack gets out of the policemen's snare and moves on.

Heller and daughter get ingenious in trying to spoil the Internet party.

Chloe, oh my, I'm beginning to root for Chloe!!! Anyway, she gets canned, but I doubt you've seen the last of her.

The young actress playing Driscoll's daughter, is VERY good, very convincing in that role.

The extremist (I'll refrain from which kind here, not wanting to be seen as bigoted against anyone) decides to "martyr" himself rather than bring the good guys to the place of shame where the proud, "hooded" men will put Heller on "trial". Notice he didn't go over the side or a cliff (which I thought was coming); he took an innocent man with him. Was there subtle meaning to that decision???

Then there's the Araz family; the mother is really, really get creepy. Her head should spin 360 degrees in an upcoming episode. The father is too calm, while the son is going to somehow "out" them before all is said and done, but, sadly, he may not survive the day either.

Then, in closing, is Jack. There he is, trying to save the world again, and rescue his damsel (bless his heart his luck with women sucks); then, after finally kinda getting on the same page with Driscoll, she has to inform him of the President's decision to fire a missile at the site, taking out everyone (including Heller and his daughter) to save the US the humiliation of the Internet beheading of a Cabinet member, by, of course, "brave" hooded men.

You know he ain't "getting outta there". And if you caught the scenes from next week, he tells her, "I'll come back to get you, I promise". So, Heller may escape next week, but his daughter won't.

So, next Monday should be awesome, with Jack the loner going on for the kill, while the whole world watches the trial become a shootout, I'm sure.

What about Debbie's mom? Will she return? And, I think (Bonnie disagrees) that Aisha Tyler's character is actually a plant inside CTU, but we'll see.

So, that's my "24" in a nutshell, two days late, and I'm stickin' to it.


--Bless the hearts of my three ladies: Kim, Dionne and Gina, once again single-handedly saving Clear Channel with late nights creating all new logs, which I'm sure will be changed again soon. They should qualify for sainthood or something....I left them all there last night and tonight working (and felt bad, too).

--Happy birthday shout out to one of my longest-time friends (is that a correct English term?), Barbara, who turned, well, she turned another number today (if I printed it and she ever saw that I did, I might be in big trouble!)

--20 years ago today, 1/19/85, do you remember where you were? I do; it was a Super Bowl Sunday (Super Bowl XIX), where Dan Marino got his first (and only) shot at the Vince Lombardi Trophy, only to be trounced by Joe Montana and the Niners, in the first Super Bowl telecast by ABC. At the same time, we got LOTS more than 1 inch of snow; more like 10 inches, and temperatures that night fell below zero. We're two hours south of Richmond, so these were the same conditions that caused Ronald Reagan to be sworn in as President for his second term inside the next day.

Speaking of which; in a day where we have troops everywhere and over 200,000 Tsunami victims, I hope I don't come across as a Howard Dean liberal, but, if I were George W. Bush, I would have severely curtailed the Inauguration bashes. 40 million dollars? They could do something very nice for about 5 mil....

Heck, Rodney at work said it best; fire up the barbeque on the White House lawn, have family and friends from Texas up, and also let a bus-full of tourists stop by on their "lucky day" and they can all eat burgers, dogs, and the fixins'.

Makes sense to me, and he could wear comfortable jeans, too. I would go for the sweatsuit personally; what better way to show the world our country is in great shape and in control than to have your President sworn in wearing a grey sweatsuit!

Nurse! Nurse! It's time for my medication!!

JUST IN: Snowflakes make some people stupid!

Those of you surfing the web in, say, Manitoba, Michigan, or Maine, please get ready to roll on the floor in extreme laughter....

So, we have a "chance for a few snow flakes" today. I come home around 10:45 needing to rest a bit (bad night of sleeping), and I saw five or ten flakes (not people, snowflakes!) driving home.

An hour later, Bonnie informs me the ground is covered. Let the madness begin.

Yes, in the end, Richmond received the big ONE INCH of snow....and people proceeded to begin banging into each other at record pace.

Yes, I will tell you, it was just enough snow, and the slick kind, too, that you had to be careful driving (i.e.--SLOW DOWN!!!!). Along my trip back to work, a Honda CRX in the ditch, nearly on its side, on Old Staples Mill Road, and a stalled vehicle at the light at Old Staples Mill and Staples Mill (which should now be called "kinda aged Staples Mill Road".....). Of course, this doesn't stop, say, the big truck driver to zoom pass me on Staples Mill....but anyway....

So I dial up the traffic cams from VDOT, and see a truck accident on I-95 at Atlee, and I-95 at 295 was a parking lot.

Then, I'm reading the traffic accident log at , and some of the entries are hilarious...and some scary.

---3 Cars; people are arguing at scene.....
---Female Stuck in grey BMW (whew! I thought another blonde joke was coming)
---Hydrant brakes, water flowing everywhere, street caving in....(not funny!)

and my favorite in the hilarious category:

Simply put, the entry said: "Vehicle versus Fire Hydrant".

Guess who won?

So, the bottom line is this:

1) In an inch of surprise snow, SLOW DOWN!

2) If you're in a big truck or 18 wheeler, REALLY SLOW DOWN!!

3) If you drive a four-wheeler and think you're accident-proof, GET A CLUE!!

I also realize that many people today were honestly in accidents because of treacherous conditions and because of other people adding them to their accident. I'm not referring to them.

I think we all know who I'm referring to....

Now, those of you in Manitoba, Minnesota, Michigan, and Maine (but not Miami), can pick yourself up off the floor now, but get the belly laughs ready....we might get a "snow shower" here tomorrow.


Yeah, right.

Oh, BE CAREFUL OUT THERE (and I truly mean that!) :)

Computer Issues Part Deux

I haven't been blogging the past couple of days, because it's hard to blog when you have no internet access and your new computer is basically, well, better used as a boat anchor.

Two hours, 20 minutes after calling HP last night, Bonnie had it back up, except, of course, our HP printer, still! I must go online to HP chat to get free help for that, and I was at work too late tonight to do it on this day.

So, the rest of my story (and I'm sticking to it) is in the next entry.

Sunday, January 16, 2005

Repeat after me, you will make a 3rd blog....I will make a 3rd blog.....

....but this one will be profitable, not financially, but it'll keep a certain former classmate of mine from pulling her hair out (which would really stink because I love her hairstyle!)

Yep, another way to find old high school classmates in the online/digital age is a, yep, blog. So, shortly, I'll be making my 3rd blog, this time to inform the 270-some of us who graduated from Patrick Henry High School in Ashland, Virginia in 1985 that it's time to compare gray hairs, wrinkles, and bellies.

Our committee meeting today went 2 1/2 hours, because we were smart enough to go ahead and dive into the complicated question: "Where are they now?", which, of course, spawns off more sub-questions, like, "Do you really want to find them?"...."Do they really want us to find them"....and the personal favorite, "Are they still in jail?"

So, we've split the class up into several parts, as I have a list of people to "find". Thank goodness for the 'Net, Google, Yahoo, et al. Things we didn't have access to in 1995.

But let me give credit where credit is certainly due: Kim Hyman Gilman is an organizational machine. She has a totebag with stuff not only from 1985, but about everything we had to take care of the 10 year reunion in 1995. She's a walking museum of all things Class of '85. Thank God she's in charge! :)

And so, this wild day comes to an end with the following thoughts:

1) The first 9 verses of Revelation really are awesome, and, if we really, really study them, there's no reason to ever be afraid of either reading or understanding the final book in the Bible.

2) The hard work of the Reunion Committee began as of this afternoon.

3) Peyton Manning cannot win in a stadium named after a razor. He always leaves with many nicks, cuts, and razor burn.

4) The only team left in the playoffs that I could even begin to care about is Atlanta (they're underdogs, and they've got Tech's main main, Mr. Vick!)


We need to get our playlist together for our DJ for the October event, so, think of a great 80's tune, preferably before 1986, and send me a comment. We just might use your suggestion on the dance floor! :)

Saturday, January 15, 2005

Why isn't there a Jiffy Lube for computers?

You know, for (insert insane amount here), we'll come out and hook up your computer! Which is, of course, why many of us keep the money and take on the frustration of trying to do it ourselves.

Now, mind you, I've made radio, an industry filled with wires, electronics, computers, gadgets, and widgets, a career field now for nearly 20 years, but when it comes to the nuts and bolts of anything technological this side of an abacus, I become Mr. Stupid.

That's why the wife handles all those matters in our house, and that's why she's about to go postal (well, that and the fact she's fighting shingles right now and is on very heavy medication.)

(Speaking of which, there's a term I don't understand. Heavy medication. All the pills I ever took were ounces in weight, and easy to hold, though sometimes the bigger pills (we call 'em horse pills) are hard to swallow..)

Sorry---back on task here.....we buy the computer I referenced a week ago; now our printer won't interface with it (apparently any printer bought prior to January 4th is now considered "out-of-date"...) and we still cannot figure out this Media Center deal which should allow me to sit here and watch the Falcons and Rams on my monitor, so I don't have to perform the brutal act of turning my head 110 degrees to the right to see the game on a 19 inch TV in the corner.

At least we've got it limping enough to get back on line.....

Well, Rome wasn't built in a day, and it's fairly obvious our Media Center won't be, either.

In other news...

---I pretty much slept the day away, unfortunately. I didn't get out of bed until 6pm. Yep, that's the evening. I went to bed at 10:40 last night and proceeded to stay there a long, long time.

---This was the antithesis of Friday, where I not only survived the heavy rain of the morning getting the kids to school and getting to work, but we got our commercials in, I found the dreaded missing "Yellow Book" traffic report copy to ensure we didn't miss those commercials Monday morning, and, I think, just about wrote up an order for everything I needed to catch up on, so, except for two matters that can be cleared up quickly Monday morning, I am CAUGHT UP on my work for the first time since, well, probably since I walked into that building and took over the position in November 2000. I'm serious when I say that. I usually leave a stack of papers anywhere from 2 to 3.5 inches high on the right side filing cabinet, filled with future orders, spec requests, duplicate copies of agency traffic instructions that I'm scared to throw out thinking I may need to prove something down the line, etc, etc, etc.

To walk out of there last night about 8:45 knowing it was, for the most part, "caught up", was a numbing experience. That certainly doesn't explain why I slept 19.5 hours, though.

---My only trip tonight was to calm the kids by going to Wendy's AND McDonalds (no, my two kids can't accept just any fast food, they're even picky when it comes to THAT!)

Rachel: Loves Burger King Chicken Tenders, tolerates Chicken Nuggets from Wendy's, otherwise Wendy's could explode and she wouldn't care, and at McDonalds she'll take their fries first, followed by Chicken McNuggets or a Cheeseburger with only ketchup and mustard.

Robbie: LOVES Wendys Jr. Bacon Cheeseburgers with ketchup and mustard only. Will eat their fries, but if you're making two stops, he'll take the McDonalds fries. And he wants McDonalds cheeseburgers (make that he'll settle for it if you refuse to go to Wendy's, too) just like she does, ketchup and mustard only. Oh, and Robbie won't step foot into a Burger King....

That is, except for breakfast, where the only place they want to go got it, BURGER KING. They take after Dad there, by ordering a ham and cheese croissanwich, no egg. That way, we do our part to save a future we can order it in the form of a nugget at McDonalds some time down the road.....

Man, when I was young, fast food was ONLY on Thursday when we came to town to buy groceries at the old Food Fair in the old Azalea Mall, and it wasn't done every Thursday, it was a treat. Mama would stop by Hardees (notice I didn't even mention them above...) around the time the church bells on Dumbarton Road would ring at noon, and, for a buck, she'd get me a hamburger, fries, and a Coke, and you would have thought I had a million dollars.

Today, I reckon Hardees is out because my kids are 15 years below their new target audience, which is, apparently, male subscribers to Playboy. That is, except during breakfast hours, when the place is twice as packed as any other time of the day, and the average customer age is, well, insert AARP age of your choice here.

Oh, (back on task, Rob, back on task!!), my earlier point was to lead to this: it was stupid drivers night in Glen Allen, and I only ran up to the mall to stop through two drive-thrus.

I watched not one, but two cars turn left off Brook Road into the mall parking lot and drive down the WRONG way, in the two lanes you are to use to LEAVE the mall, not enter it, only to have one turn in front of me into Wendy's, act as if it was backing into a parking place, then suddenly decide to leave Wendy's (at least they were out of my way now), when I noticed their "license plate" said "Farm Use", which of course, led me to thinking, this land once was wooded, but I don't remember a farm being here, which, in other words, is, "you are both driving dangerously and illegally! Get me my food so I can go home!"

Then there's tomorrow. Mommy stays home (too much risk of her shingles being co-opted in a predominantly older congregation--you don't know what chronic ailment can lead them to be at risk---by the way, that proceeding comment was completely serious, as opposed to most of this post), so the kids and I go to church, then I race back here to drop the kids off to make it to Ashland by 2pm for a High School Reunion Committee meeting, then probably stop off at CVS for a thing or two, come home for an hour to see who's winning the football game, then speed back down to church for the dreaded "Annual Council Meeting", which is the precursor to the dreaded "Annual Business Meeting" two weeks down the line, where the usual suspects will have their say about the money, and the pastor will think to himself (there's way too much of it in the bank for a "giving" organization.)

Gosh, all that and I've only been awake five hours. Good thing I didn't get up at 9am, I'd be on information overload.....

Thursday, January 13, 2005

Hmmmm.....blogging for the sake of.....blogging??

I heard it from a co-worker today.......

"You haven't blogged since Monday."

I know, I know.....(by the way, the name's right above, but not the face....)

I prefer to have a reason to do so, although sometimes I just want to "blog", but don't have a "set in stone" topic, as it were.

So, news 'n notes n' thoughts.....

1) When will Monday night at 9 be here so I can watch more "24"?

2) It's a darn shame people like Randy Moss even get air time and discussion. The next time he or T.O. or Joe Horn act like idiots....IGNORE THEM. Just like the bully in middle school, when he realizes he's getting nowhere, he'll go away.

3) We're almost halfway through January already......and I STILL don't have my traditional "holiday" letter out to family and friends.

4) Rodney and Gina had, shall I say, what he would call a "very broad" conversation this afternoon that I'd prefer not to go into.....

5) NC State is in huge trouble....I thought this was the year they could break through, even with the tough ACC, what with Hodge back and all. They hung with Duke awhile tonight, but alas, loss #4 in a row. I still can't believe Miami beat us.

6) That "The Will" show was cancelled after one show. (Sounds like what my will might look like, but anyway.....)....why couldn't American Idol have had the same fate??

7) My son absolutely cracked me up the other morning going to school. He showed me his "Teddy Roosevelt" impersonation. (See it in still photo here...) It was Teddy with head cocked to the side, throwing his arm up and down voraciously at a speech circa 19-oh-sometime. I explained to him that video in that time, when shot, played back at much higher speed for some reason; thus that is why Roosevelt looked like he was desperately trying to get a rat out of his coat sleeve.

Ah, the things he learns in Social Studies....

Well, this weekend, I hope (AOL keyword: hope) to work on this blog to include links to my favorite bloggers and other stuff like that there. I want to share with you some of the cool people I've found in the blogosphere, too. :)

Until the next time....Rodney and Gina, stay in your respective positions on the field....and you, Rodney....keep you eyes on the ball!

Monday, January 10, 2005

Nothing like having to rob a convenience store (or at least pretend to) ruin your whole day....

Way to go Jack! Keep the terrorist from his destination with a heist at the Super, Quick, Handy, Gotta Run, Whatever-mart.

Meanwhile, this Erin Driscoll (though the actress playing her is great) has already gotten on my last nerve. What arrogance. It will be interesting, though, to see her "other side" as it pertains to her daughter (I can appreciate this, having a son who is bi-polar).

Then there's Chloe. God bless her, she won't let go of Jack. I bet at the end of this day, she'll reunite with her friend, they'll get married, and buy a convenience store on Route 11.

By the way, Chloe's character, though filled with the same facial expressions as always, seems to have matured this year, much as Jack's daughter did from Season 2 to Season 3.

But, man....I still miss Michelle.

So, will Heller actually make it to "trial". If the terrorists are using dial-up, will they find continual cut-offs annoying to the progression of their international agenda?

Will the mother of the Araz family chop Debbie up and make a nice stew just in time to serve a hearty lunch to Debbie's mom, who's looking for her. When does their son finally turn on them? (He went American! Egads!!)

Oh, and the absolute BEST moment of "24" tonight; Jack speaking with the lady at the convenience store door, quietly, politely informing her that she can get her pack of smokes across the street at the gas station. James Bond has nothing on Jack Bauer! (But don't tell my wife I said that....)

It's a shame there's not two more hours on tomorrow....oh, me a good reason to get home from work at a decent hour next Monday....and for the 19 Mondays after that.

You'd think after reading this I'm some sort of TV nut; trust me, I'm NOT. The only show that makes me "schedule stuff around it" is "24". No other. Why? TV ain't all it's cracked up to be......

Heck, blogging's much better! :)

Sunday, January 09, 2005

REVIEW: 24: 7am to 9am

Well, no wonder the Muslim community is upset.....

But I'll get to that later.....

First, GREAT start to season "4" of 24. I, being VERY suspicious of losing most of the characters from past seasons, including President Palmer, and my personal favorite, Michelle Dessler at CTU....

It was clear from the start to understand the foundations of the plot; we saw some stuff coming (we didn't give Jack's "replacement" long, and sure enough......), and other stuff came out of the blue (the kidnapping of the Sec. of Defense), but, so far, it's at least 3 out of 4 stars.

I look very much forward to two more hours tomorrow night, and the fact that Fox won't be doing "reruns" or "preempts"; it'll be one hour, every week, 'til the payoff in May.

Ms Driscoll, new head of CTU: Her ego will cost someone something before it's all over.

Chloe, the other "holdover", is, still, Chloe, except she does seem to have matured in her job, and the decision to trust Jack over her boss spoke about her character, too.

My new favorite character, the new guy w/glasses who didn't need his laptop at the meeting in hour one because he had "memorized everything". Reminds me of the guy on Alias who talks alot....sometimes when everyone just wishes he'd shut up.

Now, the portrayal of the "bad guys"; there are 22 episodes to go, so who we've seen thus far could simply be third-rate hired help for the ultimate "evil-doer", but, in light of our post 9-11 circumstances, it doesn't scare me a family is portrayed this way, because, it could happen. BUT, a family of any descent is capable of doing it, too (i.e.--imagine Timothy McVeigh with a wife and teenage son to help him on his "cause"....)

My point is this; rather than focus on Fox's television show, I believe the Council on American-Islamic Relations would be better served understanding the fact that there is a fringe element (and it seems to be growing) of Muslims who fit this profile, and, as recent history has shown in the Middle East, have no problems sending their children into crowded markets hooked up with explosives. They should focus all their energies on eliminating the fringe element; that would do far much more to benefit the perception of loving, kind, genuinely great Muslims that live in America and worldwide.

We have a similar problem here in Richmond. We've changed city government to allow an elected mayor. Former Governor Doug Wilder won the election in a landslide. He is WELL known for getting things done.......BUT........ the final letter to the editor of the Richmond Times-Dispatch on this page and see the real issues that are facing Richmond.

1) Crime will never be subdued in the city of Richmond until black-on-black crime is fully attacked and stopped. But how do you do this in a "politically expedient" manner??

2) Get the city's thumbs out of everything! Privatize, offer tax incentives to revitalize, and figure out a way to provide low-low-priced or free, safe, well-lit parking. You could see HDTV's for $200 downtown, but if I can't find a place to park and/or feel safe, you can keep the HDTV.

I'm confident that if there is anyone who will "touch" the "untouchable" subject, it's Doug Wilder. Good luck to him!! :)

So, to review:

EXCELLENT start to "24", even with having to learn new characters; I feel like I've already known them.....

The Council on American-Islamic Relations should focus on ending the fringe radicals within Islam who have created this "stereotype" which they are so upset about it being portrayed on "24". Destroy the fringe, and there's no reason to use a "stereotype".

Doug, get the job done in Richmond. The city needs it, and as the city goes, so goes the entire Richmond Metro Area.

I gotta go beddy-bye now; busy week ahead (what's new!!!)

Monday: Work, day to pick up Rachel from school, MUST be home by 8pm for "24".

Tuesday: Work, then "Share and Prayer Group" at church.

Wednesday: The first of the usual two "longer work days".

Thursday: The second of the aforementioned, and a lunch appointment with a couple seeking my services to perform their wedding in May.

...and the beat goes on.

And so, until we make it to 11am on Day Four....take care! :)

Upgrade at Blog Headquarters......

We're renovating here at BlogCentral on Tavern Way to serve you better, even though we didn't want to and it's costing a pretty penny. Consider this new computer the combo anniversary/my birthday/her birthday present for 2005.

Honestly, we work alot with the computer. Bonnie has all the financial stuff (what's a checkbook??) to do, she handles all her mother's affairs, while I handle church stuff, surf the 'Net for information for our church blog and website and for study, and can also "network" with my computer at work so when they call me at 2am to tell me the Hardees commercial isn't coming up to play at 3am, I can go in, update the file, and save the money for the company.

Oh, yeah, and there's email and blogging for fun.

So, what do we do? Bonnie really wanted a DVD recorder, so we took the plunge, and bought the HP m1170n. We should be set now for the next five years....and by then you'll be able to toast bread while surfing and getting your teeth virtually brushed at the same time.

So, we'll be awhile learning all the ropes; mainly Bonnie since I'm at work so much. I just wanted to know how to get my email and get on the 'Net. I'll figure out the ins and outs of how to make a DVD of an hour of QVC hawking down the road.

So, we move along in the technological age....and I scratch my head thinking how I could do just a little more work to pay for it.....

Wednesday, January 05, 2005

Orange Bowl was very, very good to USC!

I've rooted for USC since the Anthony Davis/Pat Haden era of the mid 1970's. I remember John McKay as coach, before he was sentenced to the then-expansion Tampa Bay Buccaneers of the NFL.

Thus, it was with great satisfaction that I went to bed last night after seeing USC end the first half with a field goal to put the lead over Oklahoma to 38-10. The 55-19 final was the icing on the cake. Way to go Pete, Matt, and company!!

Oh, and I didn't realize they made sure the 72,000 fans in attendance were good music critics.

Ashlee Simpson. Yikes. Watch the video here, in case you missed it and need to punish yourself for something.....

Just Shut Up and Give Already!!!

Nothing like taking the worst natural disaster in eons and turn it into the "we gave more than you did" pageant.

Thank the UN and the French for blowing this open. The UN official says we're "stingy", then the French beat their chests saying their giving, like $56 million the day after the initial U.S. figure of $15 million (which, of course, became $350 million in the snap of a finger).

From Reuters, via Yahoo News Singapore comes the following quote:

The European Union warned against nations trying to outbid each other in a "beauty contest," without being sure the money would be well spent.

The EU would link aid to needs and "it's not really important to make competition to know who will promise the highest level," said European Commissioner for Development and Humanitarian Assistance Louis Michel.

Too late, EU.
Thanks, France.

Like Jesus said about the proud who pray in public so everyone will see them; they've gotten their blessing.

The countries who give while keeping their mouth shut, and the people who give $10 and can't afford it, but do it anyway, now THEY are the ones I applaud, and the ones who will be blessed, the good way.

Tuesday, January 04, 2005

Well, if they stayed away from the ants...

Apparently Krispy Kreme is having some woes.....

1) This article is right; they oversaturated themselves. Go to their store, get 'em at the market, get 'em at the gas station, get 'em at 7-Eleven. Heck, I think they give you a free one down the street at the Oil Change and Lube Shop.....

2) They say "low-carb" diet. Well, the reason I won't be buying any for awhile is what happened to me last week. I buy a dozen glazed from a local supermarket to take to work to share w/co-workers, and what do you know? They were covered in ants.
I can't say they looked like that exactly, but hey, on your donut, an ant is an ant is an ant......

Dunkin' Donuts anyone?

Coming soon....ARAFAT II

Well, well---we're starting to show our true colors, as well as show who we're in bed with, aren't we, Mr. Abbas?

See this......

Monday, January 03, 2005

This is Rachel's artist rendition of Aunt Tammy, 1/1/05. Remember, we post, you decide. How real do they look? (Don't forget to look at the two images below this one!!!!) Posted by Hello

This is Rachel's artistic rendition of Uncle Frank, 1/1/05. Posted by Hello

Here's my Carolina Crew---well, half of them (not counting the dogs!) My brother, Uncle Frank, and his wife, Aunt Tammy, New Bern, NC, 10/26/04. Posted by Hello

No wonder Keith doesn't draw many viewers...

I thought news programs were to present facts. Oh, you mean that was NEVER the real agenda at CBS, The New York Times, NBC, ABC, etc, etc...?

Tonight I'm flipping channels and run into, of all people, the comedy team of Keith Olbermann and Mo Rocca. They're bemoaning the list of "celebrities" who will perform at the Bush Inauguration.

They include: Kid Rock, Gloria Estefan, John Michael Montgomery, and JoJo. Kelsey Grammer is scheduled to be a host. (Macy Gray and 3 Doors Down will be at other soirees, by the way., plus Lyle Lovett, Asleep at the Wheel, and others.)

Now, they proceed to do the following: Keith says, this lineup is good for 1999....why so retro? Mo responds to the effect of, well, Shirley Temple Black is 70 years past her prime, and besides the Democrats have all the big stars, like Bruce Springsteen, Barbra Streisand, and Sheryl Crow.

Didn't Kid Rock and Sheryl Crow have a hit together not too long ago? After 1999, I believe? Oh, Kid is over, but Sheryl is "over", and it's got nuthin' to do with guitar licks and hittin' the right notes....

Let's not forget that Springsteen, Crow and Streisand's "power and draw" wasn't enough to put that Kerry guy in the White House.

No wonder Headline News, of all people, is giving MSNBC a run for their money.

UPDATED: Here's the question/answer from Keith and Mo:

OLBERMANN: In about 30 seconds, these performers, JoJo, Gloria Estefan, Kid Rock, Kelsey Grammer, this is A-list as long as we‘re still in 1999. What happened to getting stars to perform at the inaugural galas?

ROCCA: Well, I think they wanted to go with 1999, but the stars of “Nash Bridges” were unavailable for this.

Look, who were the Republicans going to get? Bo Derek doesn‘t sing and Shirley Temple Black is about 70 years past her prime. This is probably the best they can do. And all the big stars, of course, are Democrats, Bruce Springsteen, Barbra Streisand, Sheryl Crow. They were set to perform. They thought Kerry would win. Now they‘re going to perform at the inauguration of Viktor Yushchenko.


Yep, laughter was on the show, not my comment. Wonder if Keith sent "holiday" cards to all 104 of his faithful viewers....

Sunday, January 02, 2005

January 2....lessons in NFL calculations....and other stuff....

Okay, so Minnesota loses, and gets in.....
...and Jacksonville wins and is left out.....
...while Green Bay and San Diego win games they didn't need to win.....
...the Patriots played most of their guys...
...and Peyton Manning made a cameo appearance.

Though I understand the "injury risk" theory, I contend it's much better to let your regulars play at least into the third quarter, then hand it over to the 2nd string, even if the game's outcome is in doubt. Reason? Continuity.

Therefore, kudos to the Patriots for looking at their 49er game as a time to prepare for the weeks ahead and not just "rest up", and to Pittsburgh, who did some of the same thing, though Ben and the Bus definitely needed time away due to nicks, etc.

Also, Brett Favre rocks. Enough said.

Playoffs? I'll think about it and get back to you; but I must say that St. Louis/Seattle Saturday afternoon showdown has "nap" written all over it.

AND OTHER STUFF...................

Church went pretty well today, and we've started traveling through Revelation. More info on the church blog here.

Had a visitation after church, then came home about 4pm to enjoy some football, a quick nap, and a victorious game of air hockey.

Gearing up now to return to work tomorrow....the kids are back at school.....and I'm gettin' ready to cheer on the Hokies in the Sugar Bowl!!!

My era/relationship in my hometown of Beaverdam officially came to a close 18 years ago today, beginning the "2nd phase" of life. I think that ended when Mama passed 12/28/02, so I'm in the 3rd phase now, which includes:

--shorter hair (much easier to manage)
--a belly that now needs to be, uh, tightened!!
--and issues....but nothing too big for God. :)

Why do things happen? Can't answer it sometimes, but it'll all come out in the wash....even if you have to wait for the rinse cycle. My first day in heaven will be an incredible learning experience. :)

Looking for good things this year, and, as I'm a pretty transparent fellow (I don't hide true feelings well at all), you're invited to share it all here, the good, the bad, the ugly, and the stuff bought on clearance.


Saturday, January 01, 2005

First Big Events of 2005....

....come in the sports world!

1) Iowa, on the last play of the Capitol One Bowl, finds a wide open receiver for a 56 yard TD to win over LSU 30-25 (how was he so wide open???)

2) #2 Kansas nips #9 Georgia Tech 70-68 in OT in a rematch of last year's Elite Eight overtime thriller.

Happy New Year everybody......:)