Wednesday, November 30, 2005

The Countdown Begins!!!

I will get to Twila soon; little time to blog tonight, I'm afraid (what's new!??!?)

At midnight eastern, Thursday December 1, 2005.....

....45 days and 20 hours until.....

....well? Have you seen Jack in your neighborhood??


Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Tomorrow, Twila..... to crying coming home tonight over people I watch over (my two kids) and people who won't be born for another, say, 50 to 75 years.

The word "legacy" comes to mind. So does the music of Twila Paris.

More on the greatest concert I ever have seen/ever will see, and the music that makes Twila so special coming up.


But, first, I don't want to detract from tonight's other post below, since I feel so strongly about it. :)


I'm having a problem with gadgets.... you cannot watch television, read a paper, listen to a radio, etc.....

....without hearing about all the gadgets that people "have to have" this Christmas, you know, the "must-have" best sellers.

Cell phones.
Cell phones with cameras.
Cell phones with mp3 capabilities.
Cell phones with video capabilities.
XBox, version 2009, which swallows your children inside the actual machine. (J/K)
Regular deodorant. (Sorry, brief lapse...)
Digital Cameras of all sorts.
IPod Nano's.

You get the idea.

Millions and millions and millions of dollars being spent on all these "toys" (which is really what they are) this Christmas.

I mean, how do you increase work productivity 25 percent with a cell phone with video? No, you'll decrease it while you're caught up watching soaps, the NFL, Desperate Househusbands, whatever.

Then, I think of the following.... the following from the Tottenham, Wood Green, and Edmonton Journal in Great Britain, and see what some eight and nine year olds are thinking about as the holiday season approaches...

Pupils bake charity treat
16 November 2005
KIND-hearted pupils from Coleridge Primary School cooked up a fundraising treat for children in Niger, in Western Africa.

Year four youngsters from in the school in Crescent Road baked and sold biscuits to sell at school - and made a fantastic £115.72 in just 15 minutes.

Here, in their own words, two pupils tell the story of their charity challenge.

"Brilliant Cakes, brilliant money - cash, cash, cash!" is the story from James Barth, who writes:

A class of eight and nine-year-olds raised more than £100 in less than 20 minutes in Coleridge Primary School for Niger famine relief and they have worked a whole week for this special occasion.

In Niger, 35 per cent of children die before the age of five, so you could call them lifesavers.

James, of 4N, said: "It was fun - and delicious after all the work."

Classmate Eve Aspinall made the following report:

Coleridge Primary School held a biscuit sale last Friday. They raised a whopping £116 to send to the Niger Famine Appeal/Unicef.

Cookies, biscuits, cake and more have been sold on this special day. In Niger, 35 out of 100 die before the age of five.

Eight and nine-year-olds were making biscuits all week, trying to stop malaria from spreading in Niger. "Someone's gotta be there for them," Eve reports, sitting at her desk.

So, while kids in America (and MANY other countries) get whiny about not having the latest Tigger or Bratz doll, video game, whatever....think about these kids. More importantly, think about the kids they helped.

Many of them have no idea what a Christmas is like we do. And, sadly, many of them won't see many of them either.

Here's a place for more hope:

Socialist? NO I AM NOT! Does it make logical sense to take some of our energies and resources and find a better way to solve disease and famine rather than pour and pour it out on getting a slimmer IPod that can handle a thousand more songs? Heck, do you KNOW ANYONE who actually listens to a 1,000-song rotation??

It's just not sitting well with me this year. I want shorts, golf shirts, a decent pair of tennis shoes, and a few 80s CD's.

If I shop carefully, $75, maybe $90. Tops.

I'm not gloating. I gotta save money!! I'm leaving a job, remember???

Dana's story....

The link below will only be good for 14 days, so here, thanks to the Berkshire Eagle, is the story of Dana's passing.

'Voice of Berkshires' dies of heart attack
By Benning W. De La Mater, Berkshire Eagle Staff

Monday, November 28
PITTSFIELD — Dana Jones, the man who greeted Berkshire radio listeners each morning with a baritone voice and a good joke, died Friday at Berkshire Medical Center of a heart attack.
He was 83.

"He seemed indestructible," said WBRK owner and Jones' former boss, Willard "Huck" Hodgkins. "It's a sad day, but I think we can celebrate his life."

Jones was hired at the newly formed WBEC in 1947 and first hit the air on the premier broadcast on March 25. He worked there until 1980, later joining WBRK. He moved to WUHN and finished his career there in 1988.

Jones was known locally as the morning guy for WBEC. He did sportscasts, interviews with visiting dignitaries and politicians and on-the-spot reporting. He also served as the station's program director.

But he was best known for his children's show, "Storytime," and for the humorous characters he invented and interviewed, including Grampa Crabgrass and Uncle Ephraim.

'Quite a phenomenon'

"He had these voices and characters he'd create," Hodgkins said. "He'd come in at 3 in the morning and put the voices on tape. He could carry a conversation with himself like nobody.

"He was quite a phenomenon in Pittsfield for some years."

Jones said his favorite part of broadcasting was speaking to children. Interviewed in The Berkshire Eagle in 1957, Jones said: "I can't see (the children), but from the letters I receive from the parents, I guess the children are my best listeners. I try to make every birthday greeting a personal message. It's not too difficult to smile when you form a mental picture of kids getting your message."

Jones, an only child, was born in Brooklyn, N.Y., on June 14, 1922. The day after Pearl Harbor, he enlisted in the Army.

He was promoted to sergeant and served in New Guinea, the Philippines and Morotai.

After the death of his father, he moved with his mother to 316 North St. Pittsfield. He married the former Marcia Vern Angelo in 1959 and had a son, Kent.

For 12 years, Jones handed off the broadcast to Bill Hickey.

"He was the morning guy, and I was the afternoon guy," said Hickey, 79. "He was our No. 1 guy, and his voice sounded great. And those imitations, wow."

His voice, which was coined as "The Voice of the Berkshires," was deep and distinctive. Hickey said Jones had the opportunity to move up to bigger markets — he was once offered a job in Washington, D.C., but declined.

"He was a hometown boy, and he liked the people here, and the people liked him."

Jones was a huge New York Jets fan, and was once witness to a UFO.

"He told me a story about coming to work one morning and seeing this UFO in the sky," Hodgkins said. "He said he really saw something quite strange, and I believed him."

'He was a character'

Hodgkins said that, of the relatively small fraternity of broadcasters who have graced the local airwaves, Jones should be regarded as one of the best.

"He was a character," Hodgkins said. "A great guy. He made it a three-man show when it was only a one-man show."

Benning W. De La Mater can be reached at bdelamater@berkshire or at (413) 496-6243.

Monday, November 28, 2005

A personal loss; a loss for the Berkshires....

For those of you who live in Richmond or know anything about Richmond, you'll know the name Alden Aaroe. To several generations of Richmonders, he just wasn't "on the radio", he WAS Richmond radio.

I had the honor of working with someone of his stature. His name was Dana Jones. He spent his entire radio career in Pittsfield, Massachusetts, where I began mine 20 years ago.

Deep, rich baritone voice, very likable, and a whiz at creating characters in the production room. He woke up the Berkshires from 1947 to his retirement in 1988.

My first commercial radio airshift was a Saturday, noon to sign-off, on WUHN. I followed Dana Jones---in the grammatical sense ONLY.

No one followed Dana, just as no one will ever follow Alden here in Richmond.

I learned tonight of Dana's passing last Friday at 83. Take a moment and read the article from the Berkshire Eagle.

He could have easily gone big-market; but liked where he was. I'm so glad to be able to count myself as one of those who were able to watch him at work.

Thursday, November 24, 2005

Things I'm thankful for as Thanksgiving winds down.....

Mind you, this list could hardly be called "exhausting", it's just a few thoughts on my mind this evening.

1) I'm thankful that I got out of bed this morning. For those of you who don't know me or have stumbled across this blog, this is meaningful, honest! Yes, I'm thankful God gave me another day, but on many days off the past few years, I simply wouldn't get out of bed (like last Saturday for example.) I'd spend the day sleeping. Bonnie was leaving for Food Lion around 10, I thought for a minute, asked her if she'd mind some company, and got up and went with her!

Then we picked up the kids from Aunt Sherry's, and I don't know what the kids thought when I was actually with their mom. You knew they figured mom would pick us up and "dad would still be in bed". Well, whaddya know.

I did lie down this evening, but not 'til after 6pm, after Thanksgiving w/the in-law crew, and, well, I was having a hard time keeping the eyes open on the recliner at halftime.

2) Which brings us to this: I'm thankful that Denver beat Dallas. Now if the Giants can beat Seattle (can't their annual December swoon start early this year???), we're back in first place all alone! Woo hoo!!

3) I'm thankful that I hate alcohol. Well, I like rubbing alcohol for purposes of deleting ticks from one's body, but.....

...Robbie and I talked about this going to school the other morning. I know the two biggest reasons, for example, I've never tried beer.

---My upbringing (alcohol was sinful, it would only lead to drunkenness or addiction)


As I age, I'm a bit more mellow in my alcohol view (one drinking a beer a day is still not damned to hell if they serve the Lord; but they do suffer from no sense of smell....hee hee....)----I also see no problem with a glass of wine at dinner.

I.E.---God's Word says to not drink to what....."excess". Correct. I'm thankful this has never been a temptation for me. I need to pray more for those I know (and those I don't) who struggle with it every day.

Drinking? Never cared. Smoking? Couldn't if I wanted to due to my allergies. Lust? Now you hit the nerve. That's always been my Achilles Heel sin. I'm thankful that it has had less and less of an effect on me in 2005. So, obviously, I must be letting God do more of the fighting, otherwise I'd keep messing up. :)

Okay----how did Denver/Dallas lead to a confession of sin??? Hee hee....

3) I'm thankful for Mountain Dew. That's my not-so-secret addiction, and source of caffeine (the smell of coffee also drives me nuts!)

4) I'm thankful we discovered my sleep apnea and I have the equipment to help me sleep better. I can't believe it's already been two years since my deviated septum surgery. Now there's a Thanksgiving I won't forget, even though I spent most of it sleeping!! And, it was NOT due to exhaustion or depression!!

Them were some powerful pills they gave me! I had the surgery the day before Thanksgiving, stayed overnight (patients getting this surgery are usually same day, but they held me overnight for observation to make sure my respiration returned to normal after being put under. This is an issue to watch for sleep apnea people like me...), and came home Thanksgiving morning.

Then I remember the following:

--Bonnie brought me food mid-afternoon. I ate, and went back to bed.
--There was football on TV. Obviously I knew Detroit and Dallas were part of it. That's about all I knew.
--One night (either Thursday or Friday) I was awake long enough to watch a Sam Walton biography. Friday night there was basketball on.
--Then, finally, I felt like coming into the living room to lie on the couch on Saturday evening.

Like I said, them were some powerful pills!

But it's one of the best things I've ever done; my allergies have become such a minor part of my life after suffering and suffering from them all of my life. Attacks like the one I had last week is now rare, rather than expected on a usual basis (several times a year, especially spring and fall).

And finally....

5) I'm grateful that my wife gives me a back scratch every night. What a great way to finish a day, no matter how it went. :)

Hope your Thanksgiving was enjoyable, relaxing, tasted good, and was spent with people you love.

If you worked today, thank you for your sacrifice. Police, fire, nurses, doctors, EMT's, radio announcers (I know that feeling well!), pharmacists, just to name a few.

If you worked today in regular retail, your company should have its head examined. We can all live ONE day without a KMart or WalMart being open.

Of course, having said that, I'm reminded that, quite frankly, we could probably live for many years without a KMart open....but that's another discussion.

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Happy Thanksgiving Weekend!!

To begin.....

Between 8am Tuesday and 8pm Wednesday (a 36 hour period), I worked 30 hours.

The things people will do for a day off to eat turkey!! :)

Happy weekend to all, we have MUCH to catch up on, and I'll actually have some time to do so (I'm even off from church Sunday---woo hoo!! Football!!)

Coming up this weekend....

--Patrick Henry's sudden demise in playoff competition
--X's and Oh's for the White House this week
--Gee, 52 inches isn't big enough to watch the Weather Channel (yeah, right!)
--Thanks to Ted Koppel
--How David Letterman is more like Johnny Carson every day
--The 8th grade, AKA, standing on the corner of the gym floor watching them have fun
--My wife's TV schedule.....(is that the first mental step to AARP membership??)
--(just seeing if you were REALLY reading this list...)
--and hopefully, a day with the kids. They haven't been stuck with just Dad for a day in a long, long time.

The kids are at Aunt Sherry's spending the night; we'll see them next at Thanksgiving dinner, as the family gathers to eat, and I find a good seat to watch Michael Vick.

Long live Tryptophan!!


Sunday, November 20, 2005

Lots to catch up on...... soon as my first allergy attack in quite some time goes away.....

Spent yesterday in bed....all day....

Missed the playoff football game on the radio Friday night.....PH lost......

I hate having a dry nose.......

.....and now I've gotta go for three days of work, and still get five days' worth of work done.

So, after resting up and eating some on Thursday, I hope to be here to blog and blog and blog......

.....'cuz I'm not going to Target Friday at 6am. I've made that mistake before!!


Wednesday, November 16, 2005

See? All those hours listening to XL-102 in high school pays off!!!

Rock Star
You scored 98%!
You damn rock star. You know all the basics, and if you got any wrong, I bet it was that stupid Traveling Wilburys question. Your friends are probably intimidated by your knowledge of classic rock and envy your impressive collection. When a classic rock song comes on the radio, you can probably identify it before the vocals kick in most of the time. You probably get good scores on the "maiden name of Clapton's mom" tests, too.

My test tracked 1 variable How you compared to other people your age and gender:

free online datingfree online dating
You scored higher than 67% on notes
Link: The BASIC classic rock Test written by allmydays on Ok Cupid, home of the 32-Type Dating Test

Monday, November 14, 2005

Hey Stubby! Let's call another one!!!

We were, like 90 percent sure of a playoff game for Patrick Henry going into Friday night's showdown with Hermitage, the game we've been looking forward to all season.

Never thought PH would be the favorite, not Hermitage, who was picked to be head and shoulders above the rest of the Colonial District.

Good game, HUGE crowd and a couple of pivotal plays.

It's 6-0 at the half. PH scores on a juggling catch by Robby Daniels to go 13-0. Then Hermitage gets on the board with their own juggling TD catch, and it's 13-7 with four minutes and change to go.

They line up in onside kick formation, deciding to kick to the opposite side of the field, where only one player is lined up to try to recover the ball for Hermitage.

The ball goes squarely to a huge lineman who, obviously, has little experience handling kickoffs. It bounced off him, and the pinball game began. Three or four different players had a hand on it....

....then finally, Johnny on the spot was wide receiver Anthony Muscolino, who came out of nowhere to pounce on the ball at the 50 yard line.

This was the game breaker.

PH proceeds to drive 50 yards in about two minutes and, on fourth down and goal at the one; QB Jordan Harris punched it in.

I've never been so happy to say, "Touchdown, Patrick Henry Patriots!!" on the radio as I was at that moment.

Hermitage gets the ball at midfield down six, and who knows what happens.

Instead, PH puts it away, and finishes an astonishing 10-0 and wins the Colonial District.

And their prize for going unbeaten??


THE VHSL point system set to determine playoff teams is the high school version of the BCS.

Note these facts about our Division 6 Playoffs:

1) Varina was #1 in area polls all season, going 9-0. They finished the season against Highland Springs, who was also undefeated in the District (Capital), but was 7-2 overall. But, winner gets the playoffs since the winner gets the District title. Highland Springs pulls off an incredible upset, 15-14 in double overtime, wins the district, and....

...Varina is now home. 9-1 record. No playoffs. Here's why it's so ridiculous...

...Meadowbrook High School does NOT win their district, finishes 8-2, and is not only in the playoffs....THEY HAVE HOME FIELD ADVANTAGE!!!!!!!


2) Patrick Henry is the only unbeaten team left, and they still get ranked behind two 8-2 teams, one of which is NOT is District title winner.

Need I say more??

Bitter. NO! Shaking my head? You bet, and if you don't agree with me, I invite you to have a conversation with PH Coach Ray Long, the winningest coach in Central Region history. He'd be glad to offer some thoughts on the lunacy that is the VHSL point system.

Nonetheless, they're in----and headed to Chester to play LC Bird (the defending regional champions) on Friday night. Coverage starts at 705pm on WHAN, for those of you in the Greater Ashland Area. :)

OH....and we got to do the post-game show on the field again (I love cell phones!), interviewing quarterback Jordan Harris, blitzman extraordinare linebacker Sam Smith (the most passionate PH player I've ever seen), and, of course, Coach Long. I let Stubby interview Coach...I get the shivers thinking about doing it. It's respect, pure and simple...for a man I knew as a teacher, who I was blessed to see as a student at the beginning of his PH career, and now get to broadcast more victories as his historic career continues.

And, besides....not only did I hold the equipment during Coach's interview, I also held his game ball! God knows I'll never have a game ball in a trophy case.....


Stunning news for us wrestling fans yesterday, as I learned last night that Eddie Guerrero had passed away at 38. I noted that especially. I'm 38.

What we forget when we watch the scripted craziness that is wrestling (I don't condone all of it, BTW), these are also people....with families....with battles.

My condolences are to his wife and three children, and his entire blood family, and wrestling family...especially Chris Benoit.


Thursday, November 10, 2005

Thank you, Linda!!

Thank you, Linda Hamilton, for your courage to speak on the issue myself, and many, many others deal with every day....Bipolar Disorder.

See first post from Tuesday 11/8 to read the transcript of her interview with Larry King.

"See you sometime?" or "Morse Code to Saints"...

So, I get home moments ago to read the headline that the NFL and various Los Angeles officials have "reached a preliminary agreement on terms to bring a team back to the Los Angeles Coliseum", according to Commissioner Tagliabue.

Read here.....

There could only be two outcomes here, I would think:

1) This was about as monumental as when you see an old friend for the first time in years and tell them, "You know, we really should do lunch sometime....", and they agree. Then, of course, it never happens, but, technically, this could be labeled a "preliminary agreement".

2) Smoke signals, morse code, encryptions, whatever----are being sent to New Orleans via San Antonio via Baton Rouge.

In other words, San Antonio shouldn't even think of getting "comfortable" with having an NFL team even temporarily playing in the Alamodome.

This has to be the first domino in the fall of the New Orleans Saints to be replaced by the Los Angeles Whoevers.

Of course, and rightfully so, New Orleans will scream and holler. It's not like they requested Katrina to come in and destroy the city, and their own dome.

There's been talk of a "Cleveland deal" for New Orleans. But how would that ever work?

The NFL is perfect at 32 teams. Perfectly symmetrical. Go to 34? Then who gets the other team? Does one conference have 18 teams and the other 16, or do both have 17? Playoff expansion, since only 12 of 34 teams would make it under current rules??

Then there's always the "dilution" of quality players across the league theory, which I'm not so sure is merited.

So, I'm going to sit back, watch, pray for football fans in Louisiana (after praying much more and much harder for the people and their recovery!!!!), and think to myself...

....why does the NFL think they still need L.A.? Their best 10 years have been the last ten in terms of popularity, $$$, etc.....and L.A. was nowhere to be found.

THOUGHT: If they DO go to 34 teams, for heaven's sake, put the 34th team where God intended football to be played.....IN COLD WEATHER!

I'm trying to think of a nickname for their expansion franchise in Bangor, Maine... any ideas??

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Six years ago tonight.....

....I tried to go to sleep early, and was scared to death.

For after another round of newspaper delivery, I was to go to my first day at work on Church Hill on THE radio station in Virginia--WRVA.

My mind couldn't comprehend that the following people would be in the same building:

Lou Dean, Tim Timberlake, John Harding, Deanna Malone, Pam Overstreet, Tim Farley, Jerry Lund, Millard the Mallard.....and ME????

I remember arriving the next morning, entering through the electronic door leading downstairs, stopped in the restroom, went into a stall, and thought to myself, "Dear God, what am I doing here?"

Though my time on The Hill wasn't long (before the big changes at 'RVA and subsequent move to the West End), I will have nine months of my life that I wouldn't trade for love nor money.

For all the aforementioned people, plus many, many others who weren't on the air, made me feel like family from day one.

And I'll never forget 'em.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Linda Hamilton: Finally! As promised......

Those of us with bipolar as part of our lives totally understand the life of actress Linda Hamilton and appreciate it when someone speaks publicly about the issue.

Here's the transcript from her Larry King Live appearance recently....

Now 9-0....and the big game is finally here...

Patrick Henry easily took care of business last Friday night, scoring early and often (kinda like how Chicago Democrats vote) to defeat J.R. Tucker 44-0 last Friday to go 9-0.

Simple game; get on the road, take the lead early, finish the game without injuries, and head for home to finally talk Hermitage.

Stubby and I have talked about the Hermitage game since opening night. Now the coaches and players can.

Simple: PH wins, they win the District and go to the Division 6 Playoffs. Lose, and they tie for the title and they go to points to determine playoff team, which, right now, points in Patrick Henry's favor (no pun intended).

So, unless some really freaky things happen Friday night, it looks like we'll be on the air at least one more Friday night, and probably on the road.

That's okay. They'd be in. After thinking another 7-3 season would happen, 10-0 and the playoffs would be beyond many people's dreams.


PS--I try everything to be partial in my play-by-play coverage, really I do....

Presidential Referendum?? No.....and yes.....

So, the Governor's race is, THANKFULLY, over in Virginia.

Stink, one of the Attorney General candidates ran an ad at 659pm on television, a full ONE MINUTE before the polls closed (who's placing those ad buys???)

This has been the most boring Governor's race I've seen in Virginia, and I go back to Godwin, Reynolds, Holton, and Howell circa 1969 and 1973. I only missed the '85 election when I was in college.

Jerry Kilgore, the Republican candidate, does not light a fire and doesn't show passion when he speaks, even if he has it. His campaign has never had a definitive message which would convince the Independent voter they needed to change the occupant of the Governor's Mansion from a Democrat to a Republican.

Tim Kaine, the Democratic candidate, has had the advantage of at least looking like he has a definitive message (though his flip-flopping on the death penalty sure made him look un-leaderlike...), and has the advantage that the outgoing Governor, Mark Warner, has high approval ratings.

Also, many Republicans are, quite frankly, p.o.'ed at party members, especially in the General Assembly, for putting down their principals and voting for the largest tax increase in Virginia history last year. Now, you'll never hear Kaine and Warner call it that....

From comes this spin:

Only after cutting state spending commitments dramatically and reducing the size of government did the administration tackle budget reform. This historic reform package helped create a 2004 budget that was fair to working Virginians. The comprehensive, bipartisan budget reform eliminated the state’s portion of the food tax, and reformed the income tax to eliminate the marriage penalty, increase the personal exemption, and removed 141,000 working Virginians from the tax rolls. To accomplish these objectives required a modest ½ cent increase in the sales tax and increasing the cigarette tax to 35% of the national average.

As Governing Magazine has also pointed out, the administration had also won the public trust by cutting three dollars of state spending for every single dollar raised in the budget reform process.

"Budget reform", and it's the "bi-partisan" part that has hurt Republicans. They haven't been this incohesive since, in my view, the last years of the Byrd Machine.

So, all that to say........

When you hear CNN, MSNBC, et al proudly proclaim how Kaine's victory tonight means another huge defeat for President Bush, they are only partially correct.

All politics is local. I can think of four reasons why Tim Kaine wins before the word "Bush" comes to mind:

1) Current Governor has been popular and has been prominently featured in Kaine's campaign. It's amazing how the "Warner Administration" suddenly became the "Warner/Kaine Administration" sometime this past summer.

2) Republican disarray, disagreement, and discontent over the "budget reform".

3) The least charismatic, least focused candidate in years, and years....

4) The public has apparently seen fit to embrace the aforementioned reform, and are believing in the improvements that are coming to, specifically, education and transportation, that have been touted by the Warner team. I believe some will come to pass (transportation, slowly) and some never will (when's the last time you heard a public school official say, "We have just too much money; let's share!!")

Here's the "yes" regarding President Bush:

Isn't it ironic that, after saying no for awhile, Kilgore finally embraced a Presidential visit, which took place in an airport hangar at RIC Airport as Bush returned from his fan tour of Latin America. So, Bush never left the property of the airport to "show his support".

That's not "firing up the troops". Kilgore sure didn't seem to want this rally in what you would call a public square, either!

So, some Bush effect? Yep. More state and local reasons? Sure.

Either way--Virginia Democrats are back on track, and Republicans better regroup, or their legislative majority will evaporate, too.


President Bush does have something to smile about.....

...he "called" the house over the weekend asking us to vote for Jerry Kilgore, which impressed my daughter to no end. "Daddy, George Bush called us!!", she exclaimed.


At the doctor today for a boring checkup, I read the cover story on Senator George Allen in the latest National Review. They got him absolutely right.

He comes off as very affable. In fact, I remember him being introduced at a Republican rally here in Richmond the night of the 1992 Richmond Presidential Debate, and he wasn't exactly "publicly chizzled" for politics (kinda goofy looking, I thought), even though he'd been in the General Assembly.

A year later, he comes back from 27 points down to destroy Attorney General Mary Sue Terry, becoming the first Republican to win the Governor's race in Virginia since 1977.

His four years were considered very successful. His family is "picture-perfect" for politics, he has "famous" blood (his father was former NFL coaching great George Allen), he is actually a nice guy, and he also has a side of him that takes no prisoners when it comes to winning.

He took over the US Senate seat by dethroning one-time Presidential hopeful, Chuck Robb (son-in-law of former President Johnson) in 2000. Popular Governor Mark Warner, also considered a rising star on the Democratic side for '08, especially among the "Anti-Hillary" crowd, decided not to seek Allen's seat.

Smart move. Both men benefit. Now Warner can begin working on 2008 after leaving the Governorship, and Allen can focus more time on 2008 now, rather than have to spend the next year trying to hold onto his current job.

No prominent Democrat will be able to give him much of a race, so both Allen and Warner are on the fast track.

It's about time. Virginia is the home of Presidents, they say. Well, lately to be eligible you have to be chiseled in granite somewhere.

Time for another Virginia President! President Allen sounds good, and NO I DO NOT MEAN GEENA DAVIS. YEECH!!!!

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

News and Notes on November 1st.....

First---the game.

This is my fourth season calling Patrick Henry football games (my alma mater!). I've had the pleasure of calling many victories for the Patriots, and, now, a fourth fantastic game with a fantastic finish.

Deep Run came to Ashland a very surprising 6-1, losing last week to Mills Godwin 10-0. They could stay in the District title race with a win and knock Patrick Henry out of the ranks of the unbeaten.

This was a defensive slugfest. PH's normal running game was pretty much stalled. To be fair, DJ Thomas was hurting most of the second half and played more on heart than legs.

It was 13-6 at the half. Deep Run scored the only points of the 2nd half. We go to overtime, 13-13.

PH gets the ball first, and scores in two plays from the ten. Extra point is good; 20-13.

Now, Deep Run's turn. Two plays, and they're in.

Deep Run then decides to do what PH decided to do last year in the Hermitage game; you're on the road, go for two and go for the win.

As I call the play, the ball goes to RB Wes McDaniel, who scored the TD on the last play, and my first reaction is he's got a clear seam to the end zone.

Then Stubby said, "No!"

Within a nanosecond, I see McDaniel being halted on the 1 yard line, with a PH defender coming from around the other side of the Deep Run offensive line to grab him by the back of the collar to halt progression, while a second PH defender comes in from the end zone to make sure he doesn't get in.

I see the referee signifying "no good". I go, "No Good! No Good! And Patrick Henry holds on to defeat Deep Run 20 to 19 in Overtime!" (or words to that effect).

It makes all the blowout games worthwhile to be able to call a nail-biter. What a game, and give credit to Deep Run, only in their 3rd year of varsity football. They have a tremendous defense and a great coach.

So, PH is 8-0, with JR Tucker on the road Friday, then the showdown we've all been waiting for: PH/Hermitage on 11/11. Patrick Henry could win this week, lose to Hermitage next week, finish 9-1 and still miss the playoffs while Hermitage, at 8-2, would get in. Long story; explanation later....


And so, the reason why it was good I didn't go to Mama's grave last Friday morning on her birthday?

The van would have died in Louisa County. Later in the day Friday, the van died on Bonnie. Wouldn't start, period. This would most likely have happened to me early on a Friday morning, so, it was disappointing, but good, that I didn't make it.

I will soon, though. It's my favorite place to go for emotional catharsis.


Funeral for Ms. Elsie will be Thursday morning, with visitation Wednesday night. This event has drawn out my "separation emotions" concerning leaving the church pastorate about 50 days before they would hit.

Commence crying.


Very little time to follow news events, only current events comment is the Virginia Gubernatorial election is a week from now, and I CANNOT WAIT until it's over.

I'm ready to hear "I'm Ronald McDonald, and I approve this ad to make you fatter!"