Thursday, September 29, 2005

Getting excited.........

A quick note between 10, 12, 14 hour workdays........

My high school reunion is now less than 48 hours away.

There are some people coming who weren't at the ten-year reunion; so I will see 'em for the first time in two decades.

For those of you younger than 35, you'll understand why that amazes me when you get to 38.

So, somehow, I want to help get the place prepared tomorrow so Saturday is stress-free, but, of course, there's extra work at work, so no full day off.

It's okay. Beats the soup line!

Honest, one day I'll blog alot. Really, I will!!

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

One place where an empty parking lot is cool!

I pass a rather large funeral home to and from work daily. Coming home tonight about 815, I noticed the parking lot was empty.

That was a good thing. Gave me a good feeling. :)

Monday, September 26, 2005

Oh, Philly Girl....stand up for him!!

To my buddy ALa in Pa......

This one was amazing, and I applaud it (even if the heroics beat my pathetic Raiders!)

Now, I want this guy on my team!

It's alive!! :)

Well, that's me, the "it" that is alive.


Stinks when you can't blog.....reasons?

--Lots of time at work
--Revival at church last week (that's a good thing!)
--upper respiratory infection (down all this weekend)
--one night in the sleep disorders clinic

...need any more?

So, I've looked ahead and don't see any weeknight event on the calendar (other than Friday night football on the radio), for the foreseeable future.

So, maybe, just maybe, I can rebuild my blog, and its broad audience of some, oh, ah, 17 citizens of the world.


Couple of thoughts:

---For chuckles, I checked out a few minutes of "BashBush"..I..I mean "Countdown" tonight to hear Keith and Howard Fineman get tickled over what they think are the current guffaws of the Bush Administration. I'm not one to answer for them for anything carte blanche (their handling of Katrina was NOT good)....but Fineman pushed really hard that Bush should propose the government build some new oil refineries. He said it as if Bush is stupid for not doing it already.

Hey---Howard: come back to earth. Carter? Reagan? Bush 41? Clinton?

Did you ask any of them to build one? Or was 99 cents a gallon more comfortable for ya?

So, the scorecard reads:

President Bush controls the weather and ensured Katrina hurt the poor the most...

President Bush is to blame for America's failure to invest in a new refinery anytime in the past 25 years....

And, the REAL scorecard reads:

Fineman and his left-wing idealists ARE to blame that we could have been drilling for oil in Alaska these past 25 years to along with that refinery that they are now shouting for! Can't refine what you don't have!!

But, God forbid we safely, with very reasonable safeguards, drill next to the habitat of the Willied Frombat Wossul of the Great North.

Nobody on "that" side ever considered the fact that conservation AND exploration could live together, side by side.

Which just once again goes to show you how the right is much more open-minded than the left, regardless of what they chant in their talking points.

A lefty? Compromise?

For Example:

Ruth Bader Ginsburg refuses to answer specific questions on issues which may come before the court after she would be appointed and is considered wise for doing so.

John Roberts basically does the same; and five Democratic Senators decide from their high thrones of "know-what's-good-for-everyone"-ism, that, "they don't really know John Roberts".

How did we elect Senators who can't hear and comprehend the English language?

Oh, that's right. I'm sorry. They do comprehend it...but they also choose to use what many of us husbands are accused of using.....

"selective hearing".


Anybody ask Bill Clinton about building an oil refinery when this gas situation came about?


In closing........

We miss him by "that much".

RIP--Agent 86.

Monday, September 19, 2005

Hi ya!!!

Just two seconds here, but wanted to sneak in:

Having revival services at church; yesterday, last night, tonight and tomorrow.

Wednesday night I've booked accomodations at the Sleep Apnea Hotel for another fun night of 21 electrodes all over my body, wires everywhere, and trying to sleep knowing people are WATCHING ME.

Hope I don't do anything embarrassing.

Football game Friday, extra stuff Sunday coming up at know the drill.

I will duck in from time to time. Promise.

I have alot to talk about. And it'll all come in its proper time.

Just to prepare you for the next spin.......

Only got a minute. I'll blog about last Friday night's game soon.

Here's the scenario:

Rita becomes hurricane. Rita strengthens going across the Gulf.

Rita makes landfall in Texas.

FEMA makes unprecedented move in to help as a result of the criticism over Katrina.

Bush-bashers everywhere decry the immediate help as "only because the hurricane hit his home state."

Mark my words.

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Quick Update with eyes on the Carolina Coast...

My brother, sister-in-law, niece, and Dad live in New Bern, NC.

Currently winds there are North at 36, gusting to 46, and it's been raining like mad for, well, long enough.

So, obviously I'm concerned and watching lots of the Weather Channel and the National Weather Service radar.

Other thoughts:

--I'm swamped at work, explaining my lack of blogging.....

--My shoulder is hurting!! I hope not, but I'll probably have to go get another x-ray to see how much I re-injured it when I picked up Rachel at Busch Gardens.

--My teeth are falling apart! First, I'm chewing gum last night and a piece of filling comes out. Moments ago, some chicken brought out significantly more filling material. I'm going to call the dentist tonight before I head to bed.

--Gee, is there anything else gonna break down on my body? Good Lord, I hope one thing stays going (my wife hopes so, too....) hee...hee....----HEY! Nobody said a pastor couldn't have a sexual drive! :)

Much more to blog---I'm hoping to get to it within a couple of days. Tomorrow is a trip to the sleep doctor, an emergency visit to the dentist (or so it seems), and my son's back to school night.

Friday night? A football game to broadcast, of course!!!!!


Monday, September 12, 2005

9/12: It's a tough day for me....

America (and I of course) has 9/11 now forever. We commemorated the fourth anniversary yesterday. Let us never forget. Never.

It's a good thing the media didn't think to start blaming the Bush Administration on 9/12/01 just after midnight for not having missiles in Manhattan ready at a moment's notice, etc.---after this fiasco of finger-pointing regarding Katrina.

I remind you----the fault goes ALL AROUND.

But that's another story once covered here.....

9/12 is a "personal 9/11"---and I mean absolutely no disrespect in this at all. September 12th, 2002 changed me personally as 9/11 changed us all.

Three years ago today, Mama's nine year battle with cancer entered its final stage. About four weeks before, the kids spent the weekend with her, and when she brought them home, I remember her distinctly saying that they didn't especially do "special things" as in a planned agenda of sorts.

She said, "We just had a good time."

When she said that, something pierced my heart to its core. I didn't realize it, but I knew then.

Mama suffered a seizure 9/12 in the afternoon. I had been in bed all day (sleep issues again), and, upon getting the call about 6pm about Mama going to the hospital, I got up and went.

My sister came, too---and, when the doctor came in with the word, I was not expecting what I heard. He was very calm, yet very direct, in a compassionate way.

He briefly explained the seizure, then said..."The cancer has gone to the brain."

Mama's best friend and my sister lose it immediately and I try to hug my sister first, but she's headed out of the room. Then, ignorant me realizes, "Get to Mama, everyone else had to leave the room because they're so upset!!"

So, I walk two steps to her bedside, took her hand and held it, listened intently to the doctor's diagnosis, report, etc., and stayed as steady as I could. Right by Mama.

Later I saw the x-ray and got a better understanding of it all.

Then, once getting a chance, I left to go outside, get emotional, and make some calls. My biggest to tell my son. He worshipped his Nana, and she was his biggest fan, through all the things he's gone through.

So, I stayed at the hospital until, like, 11pm or so, then came home, and broke the news to my wife.

Nothing's been the same since.

Absolutely nothing.

It never will be, either.

Game I: Patrick Henry 41, Hanover 0

As was the case last season, I will blog about each game I cover as play-by-play man for my alma mater, Patrick Henry High School in Ashland, Virginia.

Opening night was on the road at the county's newest high school (there were two when I was in school, now there are four), Hanover High.

It was my first trip to the school and it is beautiful. Incredible athletic facilities.

Didn't matter.

PH beat the tar out of 'em.

First four PH possessions----four touchdowns. New QB Jordan Harris shocks the pundits and shows he will throw the ball this year, hitting sophomore Robby Daniels for his first varsity catch, and first varsity touchdown, from 46 yards.

The second drive---QB Jordan Harris runs it in from 30 yards out. Then Troy Leftwich, returning fullback, breaks open from 24 yards. 21-0.

At this point, Hanover's best offensive play is the quarterback taking the snap and running up the middle. Not good.

They do put together a decent drive, then, just before getting into the red zone, the quarterback terribly overthrows his receiver, and the only person close to the ball, is, that sophomore Robby Daniels, who also plays in the defensive secondary. First varsity interception....still first quarter!

Before the quarter was over, the new feature back, DJ Thomas, couldn't help but get in on the act, and romped 51 yards for the 4th TD of the quarter.

Another TD in Quarter 2 made it 35-0 at the half; the second half went quickly as little happened, some PH benchwarmers got much needed experience for down the road, and the Patriots scored one more TD for good measure.

I felt bad for the Hanover kids near the end of the game. It's opening night, at home, in front of classmates, parents, etc., after a month of practice....and they didn't even score. I try, on the broadcasts, to keep in focus the fact that we're talking about 15, 16 and 17 year old boys, not 30 year old men with four-year contracts and agents. So criticism is tricky; if it's warranted, it's done, but never to the point of belittling anyone.

NEXT GAME: This Friday, PH has its home opener against Atlee in the annual "Chick-Fil-A" Bowl. I forgot to mention the Hanover/PH game is now called the "Plantation Peanut" Bowl as of this year.

Last year, PH destroyed Atlee. I suspect more of the same coming.

Wednesday, September 07, 2005


Do me a favor....

If September 7, 2005 ever comes back on a calendar in the future, remind me before it arrives, and I'll sleep through it.

This was a horrible day. The kind of day you wish you'd thrown a brick at the TV when it came on at 6:30, rolled over, went back to bed, and stayed there.

Many, many things kinda converging together. When that happens, we have what's called "overload".

Of course, in the grand scheme of life, these issues are ridiculously miniscule.

Nonetheless, I sure tomorrow's going to be better.

It has to be.

There's an NFL football game on.


Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Bloggermann strikes again.....

Keith Olbermann, never one to miss a chance to, in his own way, rail on George W. Bush, has facts in this post! Indeed, I agree with him on much of what he said.

It was what he didn't say that spoke volumes. Instead of a hard-hitting, provocate post looking at the complete breakdown on all governmental levels in the Katrina catastrophe, Olbermann, for some reason, can't stop being fixated on 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.

The Bush Administration carries much blame. So does the Department of Homeland Security, FEMA, every Congressman or Senator who didn't appropriate the money needed for New Orleans to have real levees since Betsy in 1965.....

....and lest we forget the Louisiana state government, the Mayor of New Orleans (though give him big props on his warning the Saturday before the storm--he pulled no punches), and governmental members of wards and area parishes.

While you're at it, let's hear it for the N.O.P.D. members who suddenly ran off the job, and, my personal favorite, the two police officers caught (by MSNBC, ironically) looting shoes in the Wal-Mart they were supposed to be "protecting from looters".

In other words----fault goes on ALL. Liberal, conservative, moderate, old, young, white, black, Hispanic, men, women, etc......

Anyone who can't see that is, well, honestly, blind by choice.

Which brings me back to the Countdown host. I emailed him and told him it's a shame he cannot be taken seriously as a reporter of news; his latest blog post blatantly showing why.

Look at all sides and objectively report. Not on Countdown. And it's a shame, too, because Keith is immensely talented and the show's format is excellent. He is especially good at knowing when to let the pictures (or the video) tell the story.

But he can't see everything while having his head stuck in the liberal playbook. As Linda Elerbee says, "...and so it goes."


(Blog Editor's note): This post was written by someone who's been in broadcasting himself for almost 20 years and has composed and given many a newscast. I'm not an armchair anchor, and, let it be known worldwide, I don't know all, either.

Great first day of school.....except for one thing....

The first day of school has come and gone. No "new school" jitters this year. Rachel started 3rd grade with old and new friends, and a teacher who was also at our previous elementary school (familiarity is cool!), and Robbie began his third and final year at middle school.

Dropping off Rachel went without a hitch (except for a problem with the defroster), and Robbie's trip was great, until we were 1/2 mile from the school.

There, in front of us, in the middle of the road, was a beautiful cat. He/she had been hit, and was dead.

"Oh, dead kitty!", exclaimed Robbie, and the tears began. I consoled him, helped him as he left the van, but his walk told the story. How I hated to see him so sad as he walked into his first day of 8th grade.

I was able to wait and do my crying after I dropped him off.

Tomorrow will be better. :)

Sunday, September 04, 2005

Let's start with the interest-only payment plan....

Thanks to my favorite blogger, a chuckle and a reminder of oil and politics:

The summer blowin' out......

The summer of 2005 will be remembered for many things. It was a summer where the first few weeks seemed slow, and the final seven or eight weeks took about 20 minutes.

In no certain order, just how it comes up in the mind, here are thoughts back:

--Katie Pickles. Easily one of the most difficult moments I've ever experienced. Actually, two of them. First, it was Bonnie and I who discovered her dead, and I had to go and verify the ID. Then, three days later, it was breaking the news to the kids that was the second moment. If you ask Robbie or Rachel about their summer, they'll tell you it was fun, except for one catastrophe.

I know in light of Katrina, that seems over the top, but that's their term. To them, it was the loss of their first pet. The way it happened was horrible.

--Cody and Zoe. Please welcome this brother/sister tear 'em up; leave no piece of the house unturned duo. Cody's growing faster (Zoe's my favorite, but don't tell anyone..) and I'm kinda getting used to them. Katie was much, much more refined in her behavior. These guys are in no way in the class of demeanor. But as long as they don't come into my room while I'm sleeping, we'll have an understanding.

--Work. Lots of it. The loss of a key employee July 1 causes vacation cancellation and lots of extra hours in the cubicle. We just keep on rolling. I'm thankful for a job I enjoy that's only four miles from home.

Speaking of which....
--GAS PRICES! Yikes. Saw an interesting site in the neighborhood Friday. There's an old-fashioned, throwback-era small country store a few miles from our home that we pass going to Ashland. Their gas prices for both regular unleaded and premium were $2.99. My wife asked why? I told her; they had to spray paint the "two" on their sign, so they probably weren't ready to have to deal with a new paint job. :)

Prediction: They'll start to go down now that Labor Day is behind us, the summer "cleaner" gas will go away for the winter, and the pipeline's continue to get back to 100% flow. I'm afraid, though, that even dreaming of a price of $1.99 or lower is, barring some unforeseen international event, is a waste of time.

--The family goes to Washington: my work issues didn't prevent the other three members of the Witham Nation to head to DC with other family in mid-July. Two days, hot, filled with many photo shots, a less-than-pleasant hotel experience, and the hope one day all four of us can go there. I still want to get to the Library of Congress.

--Quiet or Tough Birthdays: Mine (6/23) was a quiet workday with little fanfare. Just the way I like it. Bonnie's (7/3) was the day Katie Pickles died. Enough said.

--The Football Draft that almost wasn't: Last-minute quick-thinking leads to the survival of our family/friends fantasy football league, expanding it to 16 teams and two separate state-based divisions, for the first time.

And, Summer 2005 will be remembered for:

--Heat Advisory
--The day my body's anti-freeze didn't work at Kings Dominion and I had to be taken home.
--Live 365 (my music companion after hours at work)
--The loss of Peter Jennings
--The arrival of our church's sound system
--Heat Advisory
--Calorie-crammed fast food burger of choice for 2005: Big Mac. Eclipsing the 2004 winner, a Wendy's double with cheese only.
--The death of childhood friend Clinton Terrell in a hit-and-run
--Our trip to Busch Gardens
--Heat Advisory
--The Employee Discount for Everyone. Two words for this fad: GO AWAY!!
--The London Bombings, July 7 and 21.
--Advertising Cliches from Hell
--Heat Advisory
--The Late Show Bear!
--After almost two decades, getting to see some David Letterman at night.
--Concern over the effects of Prosperity Theology on the real witness of Christianity.
--Someone googled "erotic" and actually got this blog.
--The I-Book Trampling of 2005
--Richmond wants the NASCAR Hall of Fame
--Lingering effects of Star Wars, Episode III
--High School Reunion Planning
--Heat Advisory
--Blogging (including 1st anniversary)
--My wife's vertigo, stomach virus, back problems and neck problems, in no real order.
--Robbie's trips to Travis' house
--and, unfortunately, Hurricane Katrina.

And now we look to the fall. Probably my favorite (and busiest) time of year.

--Fantasy Football starts Thursday night
--I begin my 4th season calling play-by-play of my alma mater, Patrick Henry High School, this Friday night, on the local radio station (that is so much fun!)
--Making sure all commercials run correctly for UVA and University of Richmond radio broadcasts...

--Revival services September 18--20.

--I haven't taken a vacation Sunday yet. So, I know at least one's coming.


--Saturday October 1st. Be there, so you don't dis 1985!


--Robbie is his last year in middle school. Rachel starting the second half of her elementary years. Trying to keep Bonnie out of aches and pains.


--Work. Blog. Sleep as I can (I have an appointment w/my sleep doctor on September 15th), and making sure I hug my kids at least once a day before they are taller than I am.


Bonnie was home from church today w/the stomach virus I referenced earlier. She was cleaning the soap dish at the bathroom sink in our bedroom bath, and, apparently, got distracted, left the room and didn't return.

So, when I went into our bedroom after coming home from church and eating lunch, I discovered a very slow-paced Niagra Falls. Plug was in, holes at the top covered unknowingly by a draped hand towel, and water water everywhere.

Well, I guess we'll finally have to pull the trigger and buy carpet. Or maybe hardwood floor this time. This will sound extremely vein, and some of you may hate me for saying it, but the reason I postponed my kids' baptism ceremony here at the pool this summer was because our carpet is in such disrepair, I'd be embarrassed to let the church folk in!

And the negative cashflow continues........


August's winning numbers: 3,12,14,15 and 23.

You have my permission to play 'em sometime. But never the way I do.

Saturday, September 03, 2005

Curbside Service

Here's my injured little warrior being rescued by a fine gentleman at Busch Gardens.

We end the summer with a

So, we FINALLY get a good day off together, just the four of us. I had cancelled my vacation from work due to staff issues, so it was nice to have this day together.

We went to Rachel's school open house to see her room (we know her teacher, Ms. Metzger, as she used to be at Longdale, too) and say hey. We ran up to Ashland to enjoy lunch at a favorite family hangout, the Brick Oven Bistro (discovered by my wife ONLY because it's beside the stinkin' Wal-Mart....hee hee....)

Then, it was off to Busch Gardens.

Highlights of the day:

Robbie's maiden voyage on Apollo's Chariot: Mom's back only lasted one ride on the Loch Ness Monster, so for Robbie, it was go alone, or don't go. He went!!! There are four seats in each row; he rode with a nice lady and her young son. And, looking at him in line and as they returned from the ride, I suspect he talked to her from the moment he walked up in line to the moment they left the coaster. :) He rode it again prior to departure. Me, being an absolute scaredy-cat (I announced my retirement from big roller coasters at age two), was very proud and very impressed by my son. :)

Water water everywhere:

It was hot, but not nearly oppressive. So, the only line we stood in was for Roman Rapids. Great ride; comparable to White Water Canyon at Kings Dominion closer to home. Roman Rapids is faster, and wetter, but a shorter ride than WWC.

Oh, click the link to Roman Rapids if you haven't already and look at the picture. See the huge waterfalls to the left? Thanks to MY WIFE, I went right underneath them. By the last two of 'em, I just closed my eyes and put the ol' head back, thinking, might as well do it right. :) Next time, though, I'll jerk the boat and we'll see who gets wet!! :)

The Log Flume over in Germany? Hardly a line, two trips in a row. The second one, though, shook me up....literally. Obviously there are no struts on the ol' log as we bumped all the way up the hill. Kinda shakes up the ol' stomach and head, ya know??

Robbie and Mom to LochNess Monster, Rachel to the Merry Go Round, both of them to the Tradewinds.....

....and then the Swings.

Robbie and I were returning from Apollos Chariot, near closing time, and meet up with the ladies at the swings. Rachel's a'swingin' away, and the ride stops. Robbie wants to ride with her. He's in line, she runs around to get back in line; we remind her to slow down. She gets in line, then, about a minute later, Robbie is frantic at the door to the entrance. Mom gets up and figures out there's a problem. Dad finally kicks in a few seconds later, sees Rachel on the ground, and I begin running as fast I have since shoulder surgery.

Someone's flip-flop was right in front of the entrance, and Rachel stepped on it, fell, and twisted her ankle. The ride operator called for an EMT. The two gentlemen who arrived were wonderful. She wasn't seriously hurt (no break, etc---thank God!!), but needed a wrap, and in no way could she walk all the way back to the parking lot, some, oh, eight miles away.

Mom wants to see if they have some wheels. They can't promise, but within a minute, they are available. We just have to walk some. So....

Dad tries to pick her up. You know, instinct of Dad carrying daughter to safety. I shouldn't have. My shoulder hurts again, and I probably came close to undoing what the surgeon did 15 months ago.

So, she gets a ride on Mom's back to the Ambulance, and we get a full ride right to the van in the parking lot. First time any of the four of us had been in an ambulance (again, Thank God!).

Then, it's off to home.

So----we enjoy our day together, in spite of Mom's back, Dad's tummy, and, most importantly, Rachel's ankle.

As usual, you know....when the Withams do something, something MUST happen to make it memorable. :)

Coming soon: summer in review.

TOMORROW: Church, a nap, and I'm drafting live online at tomorrow night.

MONDAY: Rest, some time at work, hang with the family, blog some more, and hopefully get in one or two more grilled burgers. :)


We get in the drive-thru to Chick-Fil-A when back in town last night, and, while surveying the menu board, my wife asks, "Now, what kind of burger do they have with lettuce and tomato?"

What word doesn't fit in that sentence?

I informed the employee as she gave us our food, and she said the staff would forgive my wife this time. :)

Eat mor chikin!!