Friday, April 30, 2004

Prom Night

Tonight is Gigglegirl's prom.

She's 4.

Her daycare holds a "prom" for the kids who will soon be moving on to kindergarten. They're requested either to dress up, or wear some sort of cute costume. Gigglegirl's going to wear the Tinkerbell costume from this past Halloween.

She's 4.

No word yet on whether there will be any actual dancing involved. I've had my eye on the little boys in her class lately, making sure they weren't giving her any suspicious looks. Warning to all little boys: Daddy's watching.

She's 4.

What will it be like when she's 16? Don't ask - I don't want to know yet.

Thursday, April 29, 2004

Volunteer Tailgate Party - Vol. XXV

Busy Mom is hosting the latest Volunteer Tailgate Party, a bi-weekly compilation of the best and brightest blatherings of the Rocky Top Brigade.

Wednesday, April 28, 2004

Set Your VCR's

TV briefs: CBS readies nostalgic specials for sweeps

"CBS' plans for the May sweeps period include several blasts from the past. The network will offer specials paying tribute to both "The Dick Van Dyke Show" and "The Carol Burnett Show."

Up first will be "The Carol Burnett Show: Let's Bump Up the Lights" on May 5. The special will reunite variety legend Burnett with Harvey Korman, Tim Conway, Vicki Lawrence and Lyle Waggoner for an evening of memories and never-before-seen and frequently-before-seen clips.

Less than a week later, on May 11, Dick Van Dyke, Mary Tyler Moore, Carl Reiner and Rose Marie will get back together for "The Dick Van Dyke Show Revisited," a new episode of the classic series set in 2004. In addition to catching up with Rob and Laura Petrie 40 years later, the episode will feature the usual array of memories and clips."
This is fantastic. Any new retrospective special with Carol Burnett is worth watching, but the Dick Van Dyke show update (something alluded to by Carl Reiner at last year's TVLand Awards) is something I've been looking forward to for years.

The Dick Van Dyke Show is my favorite sit-com, and it's the funniest, classiest, smartest and probably the most sophisticated sit-com that I've ever seen. Can't wait.

Mark Evanier has more.

Tuesday, April 27, 2004

Conversations: Saved by the Bell

More questions from Gigglegirl.

Gigglegirl (4): Daddy, can I ask you a question?

Me: Sure, honey.

GG: Can you tell me about babies?

Uh oh. Didn't we cover this?

Me: What do you want to know about babies?


GG: do babies get out of their mommy's tummy?

Me: Um... Er... Why don't you ask your mom when she gets home?

(Buck passed so fast I wore it out)

GG: No, I want you to tell me....How do they get out??

Me: Well, I know mommy can tell you a whole lot better than I can...

(searching frantically for a portable hole to jump into...)

GG: I want you to tell me....please, daddy?


(turn around, dash away to answer phone)

THANK YOU!!!!!!!!!!

Bloggercon III in Nashville?

I saw go for it. Only a couple hours west of here, and there are a number of East Tennessee bloggers that would probably participate.

Bill Hobbs and Rex are on the case, and so is new RTB member Blake.

Steve Kirks and Robert Cox also endorse the idea. And they don't even live here.

I'll bring a bag of Doritos, or something...

TV Tuesday

Stop me if you've heard this one...

Comedy Central unveiled it's list of the 100 Greatest Stand-Up Comedians of All Time last week. (The list was quite subjective, I don't know who voted, no one asked me.) But it was a fun series of shows to watch. They are replaying it endlessly if you'd like to catch it. You can view their list here, if you'd like some help coming up with names for this week's questions!

1. Who is your favorite stand-up comedian of all time?

I'd have the say the one stand-up whose material made me laugh the most was Bill Cosby, especially his "Fatherhood" routines. Second place would probably be George Carlin.

2. Which one could you do without? (Not your type of humor, or just plain stupid!)

Although he was at times mildly amusing, I could never understand the point of Sam Kinison. I was never really amused by Don Rickles' "insult" humor, either.

3. Which comedian do you think has gone on to have a great career aside from doing stand-up?

I think Robin Williams has had the most distinguished career outside of standup.

~Bonus~ If you went to a comedy club on amateur night, and they gave you some jokes and a microphone, would you go onstage?

In a heartbeat. I love to perform, and if I have material and something to improvise with, I think I'd do pretty well.

Thanks for playing - you are one wild and crazy guy!!!

Monday, April 26, 2004

Welcome to the Rocky Top Brigade

New Recruits:

Blake of Nashville Files Blog, Candi The Baseball Widow, and Cas Walker's Coonhunter's Journal.

Blogroll has been updated.

Welcome everyone!!!

My Brief Vacation

Spent the weekend at a church retreat in Townsend at the Valley View Lodge. My wife had to stay home to take care of some work and other personal responsibilities, so it was dear old dad who "loaded up the truck and moved to Beverly" on Friday...

BrainyBoy and Gigglegirl are, generally, pretty well-behaved when they're together. But as they say, don't push your luck. A weekend together in fairly close quarters can get both of them in a mood and this weekened was no exception. After a particularly trying moment at dinner one evening, I turned to someone and offered this heady, deep observation: "Single parenting sucks". Thank you, good night everyone. Drive safely!

In fact, the person I turned to was Single Parenting (tm) this weekend, as well. Her husband was on a separate spiritual retreat (the same one I was on last fall) and brought up her 7 and 8-year-old boys. Another friend, whose husband was also at that separate retreat, had her 8-year-old son and 13-year-old daughter. All four of our sons are good friends, and we tended to stick together through the weekend.

This being said, I have all the respect in the world for Single Parents. Having gone through the trauma of a divorce or death of a spouse, those who are forced by necessity not only to be father and mother - and empart all the separate life-lessons for both of them - but just the ability to consistently divide their attention between two or more kids is nothing short of amazing. There were moments when BB was out on the porch with the boys, and GG was riding a bike around the dinner area. Two seconds later, while I'm watching the guys throwing the football off the balcony I glance around and GG's gone. Three minutes of frantic searching reveal she's playing hide-and-seek from her little friend. In the girl's bathroom.

Well, I would've never looked in there...

Of course, having corralled her, I realize BB and the Boys (sounds like the name of a 60's music group) are chasing each other through the dining area. Lucky I brought my lasso...


GiggleGirl woke up Saturday morning with a sore throat, a powerful thirst, a generous dad and even more generous amounts of the water tossed up right back at me a few minutes later. Shall we say....ick? Apparently the combination of copious amounts of water on an empty stomach did not make for gastronomical peace and harmony, so out it went all over her, the hotel bed, dad, and everything. Well, not to worry - got her cleaned up, some toast in her and some of her old perkiness returned. Dropped her off at the playground and next thing I know she's snarfing Cheetos at lunch. I kept a wary eye on her just in case.

The theme of the lessons for the weekend was on "Conflict" - resolving personal conflict, family conflict, and church conflict. The speaker was the pastor at a local church who was also a brain cancer survivor. He seems to know something of conflict... Interestingly, his wife was the sister of a former college friend of me and my wife - in fact, she was in Camelot that I directed back at the Wesley Foundation at the University of Tennessee in 1991. Plus I went to high school briefly with another of her sisters. So, small world....

When we got back this afternoon, both kids were beat. Both hit the sack easily and gratefully. So will I, soon.

Friday, April 23, 2004

Happy Birthday!

Brian Arner of Resonance is having his first blogiversary - go congratulate him!

A Touchy Subject

Black official accuses Wilder of making racial remarks (Registration Required)

'Lt. Gov. John Wilder made "openly prejudiced and racially biased" remarks to Capitol visitors, according to a Carter County commissioner who wants a written apology besides the phone call he got Thursday.

"During your introductory remarks you stated that 'because of affirmative action favoring blacks, women and other minorities, people like me (gesturing to your skin pigmentation) could no longer get decent jobs,' " commissioner Robert Davis wrote in a letter to Wilder, who is white.


The commissioner said he believes Wilder should resign, but the speaker said he has no intention of stepping down from the post he has held since 1971.'
Geez, why does it seem to be taking forever for this kind of racial bigotry to finally go extinct? And how long until our elected officials (or government appointed ones) finally realize when they're on camera and in the public eye before they go spouting off at the mouth? How long, also, before their younger and presumably more enlightened colleagues being indicating that there's no place for this in government society any longer?

We're relying on the Iraqi people to stand up for themselves and resist their uprising countrymen, and our representatives can't even stand up to their bigoted colleagues? We're counting on mainstream, moderate Muslims to denounce their fanatical cousins and we still have this kind of public behaviour?

Well, maybe someday.

But the other thing - Trent Lott made similar statements at Strom Thurmond's birthday (which a lot of bloggers get swelled heads at "breaking" the story). Lott's comments, though they didn't seem to be even as insensitive as Wilder's, caused pressure to mount for him to resign as Speaker of the House.

I think that these things should be dealt with privately, and to call for someone to resign their position based on one comment - no matter how ugly - is short-sighted, and vengeful. It serves no useful purpose, unless there's a demonstrable pattern of discrimination that affects how they (Lott, Wilder, whoever) do their job. But, of course, there's no record of this behaviour since the other senators and reps don't seem to have made a big deal out of this beforehand.

Guess we'll just have to wait.

Overstayed His Welcome

Judge tosses [Thomas "Zoo Man"] Huskey photo out of court (Registration Required)

"Prosecutors contend it is proof the woman who says accused serial killer Thomas Dee "Zoo Man" Huskey raped and kidnapped her in August 1991 is telling the truth."
If you live in East Tennessee, you'll understand what I mean when I say:

Is this guy ever going to go away???

It seems like he's been on trial and in the news since I was like, 11.

UPDATE (04/26/04): 'Zoo Man' verdict: guilty

Ok, maybe this will take care of it.

Yeah, right.

Wednesday, April 21, 2004

Please, Just Make It Stop!!!

When you're in a technical field, you're occasionally offered "free" subscriptions to certain trade magazines. Since I'm in the internet/website business, as well as the Healthcare industry, I get offers from both sides.

Some of the magazines are interesting, some are way technical and some are just strange. But a couple of years ago I subscribed to the magazine, "InfoWorld." I'm not sure if it's sold on the newsstand - I've never seen it there, and it's a little thin, so I assume subscriptions are how they make their per-issue money.

Now, free subscriptions are free in that they cost no money - which is good - but they require you to fill out either a physical paper form and mail it in (how 80's), or fill one out online. They want all kinds of demographic information about you, your company, how many people work there, how much $ it makes, what kind of decision-making power you have, etc. I generally don't mind filling this out because, hey, I want professional stuff headed my way. I do, however, make sure I carefully Not check the "Do you mind if we sell your email address to slimy 3rd-party spammers pretending to be legit e-commerce vendors" box.

So anyhoo (or anywho - you make the call), I'd been getting this InfoWorld for about a year. It was a decent little publication, but it was more for the IT industry than my job gets into, so when it came time for renewal I declined. That, I thought, was that.

Not so fast, tomato!

Well, I continue getting them. And getting them. And Getting Them. Did I mention it's a weekly? Every week (and it seems like occasionally it's more often than that) they keep coming in. And I keep tossing them in the trash. I also still get email renewal reminders, which I do not fill out.

Then about 2 weeks ago, I got an issue which on the cover said:


Unless we receive your renewal application immediately, this is your Last Issue.

Your free subscription to InfoWorld will expire unless we receive your renewal application by midnight on May 11, 2004, central standard time."
And so I think, "Ok! That's it! No more annoying magazines!"

Foolish mortal.

A week later, the next issue arrived. And today, another. Next week, another will also. And it will continue, like a bad Stephen King short story, to arrive week after week after week after week until I die.

And one of these days, your children will be travelling down an old country road and see a lovely cemetary. In the middle of the cemetary will be a lone gravesite, with about a thousand magazines stacked on top. And every 52nd one will say:


My Legacy

I mowed my backyard last night, and having recently purchased a used copy of the Special Edition Return of the Jedi Soundtrack, I loaded it up into my portable CD player and listened as I mow.

Now, I love sci-fi and I love soundtracks. I have a tendency to get lost in just about anything John Williams scores.

When I finished, I came in all hot and sweaty, with the earphones still on and the CD still going. GiggleGirl bounces over and, after commenting about my general yuckiness, asks to listen.

The track "Jabba's Sail Barge Assault", a rather bombastic piece, was playing. I slipped the earphones over her ears.

Her eyes grew wide, and a big grin came over her face. And she started dancing and directing to the music, and generally enjoying the heck out of herself.

YES!!! I've found my blood-sister for soundtracks!!! Now she wants to watch the movie.

And so a little Jedi is born....

Tuesday, April 20, 2004

Random Spam Subject Heading in my Email Today

Subject: propellant immovable dinah extent lucas endgame recriminatory exploitation ar convivial perceptible mackintosh picnicked brindisi crocodilian ah mailmen confident cretaceous infarct lawsuit glacis impassable earth barbarism gneiss erasmus

Ok... no need to go any further. You had me at "crocodilian".

I'm just wondering what kind of search engine searches I'm going to garner after this post ;)

Monday, April 19, 2004

TV Tuesday

Just the facts, m'am…

Whether it was Barney Fife with one bullet in his pocket, or Lt. Columbo's "Just one more thing…", we could be sure in the old days that TV cops would wrap everything up neatly in 30 to 60 minutes. These days it may take a few episodes, but TV's top cops still manage to right most of the world's wrongs.

1. Who is your favorite (past or present) TV cop?

Andy Taylor, of course. 1st runner up: Joe Friday.

2. Which TV cop do you think was the most crooked, or the most inept?

Probably Roscoe P. Coltraine from "The Dukes of Hazzard"

3. Which TV show had the best ensemble cast of police officers?

"Hill Street Blues" (big shock)

~Bonus~ You need to hire a bodyguard for yourself. Which TV cop do you choose?

Well, if it was going to be a really really long deep undercover bodyguard duty with no other human, probably Kim Delany's character from "NYPD Blue" ;) But if I really needed someone to protect me I'd pick Bobby Simone from "NYPD Blue".

Thanks for playing… Let's be careful out there!

TV Note: Thursday and Friday this week at 10/9 p.m. central, Court TV is running a 2-part documentary called "Just the Facts", dissecting the accuracy of Hollywood's depiction of police work. "Police work is years of boredom punctuated by seconds of sheer terror," says Bill Davis of the California State Police. Doesn't quite seem that way on TV, does it?

Friday, April 16, 2004

2004 Knoxville Area Theatre Coalition Awards

The nomination list for the 2004 Knoxville Area Theatre Coalition Awards is online at

The Oak Ridge Playhouse musical I was in, Company, has been nominated for Best Musical! Brian Hinman - a phenomenal talent, and a heck of a nice guy (say hi to him at Cat's Records on Kingson Pike the next time your're there) - has been nominated for Best Actor for that show, and our director, Terry Silver-Alford, has been nominated for Best Director. I blogged about my experiences somewhere around this area.

If you saw any plays in the Knoxville/Oak Ridge/Sevierville area last year, go to and vote for your favorite!

Smack Dab in the Middle

Take the IOP Political Personality Test

I scored as a religious centrist. Yep, that about sums it up nicely.

Volunteer Tailgate Party - Vol. XXIV

Thomas of Newsrack Blog is hosting the latest Volunteer Tailgate Party, a bi-weekly compilation of the best and brightest blatherings of the Rocky Top Brigade.

Thursday, April 15, 2004

Let's Get Going....

Ok, so the Northern Alliance has this.

And the Bear Flag League has this.

C'mon, Rocky Top Brigade - we're falling behind! We're in danger of becoming the Big Sky Conference in the blogging Alliance world.... Any ideas? There are several local Knoxville RTB bloggers - Myself, South Knox Bubba, SayUncle, Hatamaran, Rich, Bjorn, and of course The InstyDeity. That would certainly be an interesting discussion with all of us at once ;) I'm not sure all of us could be in the same room together these days....

Let's think!

Wednesday, April 14, 2004

Off Day? Or Just Intoxicated?

I saw the Mercedes G500 on the way to work today.

What designer had a bad day when he designed this car? Ugh.

The Most Useless Blog Post Ever

What is the correct spelling of "anyhoo"?

Is it "anyhoo" or "anywho"?

The fate of the world lies in the balance.

Tuesday, April 13, 2004

My Blogspace

A recently circulating meme was to take a picture of where you do your blogging. Well, don't tell anyone but I've been known to post something from time to time at my office. Well, here it is:

That's my desk. Notice the random geeky items scattered about: the DS9 Hallmark Ornament, the Archer Enterprise model (with working lights and sound!), my Palm Pilot in its cradle, plus a picture of GiggleGirl. Discerning eyes will notice that the calendar says "March" but that's only because I took the picture last month. There's also a wooden skeleton of a Triceratops that BrainyBoy made one day he was visiting. Take a look into the hall and you can see the small strip of carpet that separates my office from Hatamaran. Finally, notice what swell website's up on the PC...

This is the flip side, looking toward the back wall and my 2nd PC. It's primarily for email, but it's also the home for The Schoolhouse Rock Bill and Conjunction Junction Engineer, a Lego X-Wing Pilot, a lionfish from the Gatlinburg Aquarium, a green painted T Rex BrainyBoy painted one day, and oh yes, a tribble that really squawks when you squeeze it. On the wall, on the bulletin board, is the word "ECOLOGY" - that's from when that bulletin board starred in the production of "Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day" I directed a couple of years ago. Take a look at the book sometime and you'll see the sign. Also to the left on the shelf is a Borg. On the desk is my cell phone recharging, and on the wall is a poster of "Malificent's Fury" from Sleeping Beauty I picked up at Disneyworld a few years ago.

Well, I hope you enjoyed the tour of my blogspace - if I can get the digital camera home, I'll post what the desk I'm currently typing this on looks like.

UPDATE (04/14/04): I apologize for the uber-crappiness of the pictures. For some reason, my photo host site, Photoisland, refuses to provide graphics in the dimensions they were intended. Anyone have a better free site to host photos that allows you to link them into other sites like this?


There's a new thing going around, from Phototime Tuesday - here's the scoop:

"Self Portrait. It doesn't have to be revealing. It could be taken from behind, in a mask, or any old how. Give reason to be creative"
So here's my self-portrait...

Well, actually, I didn't take it - I think my dad did....

I Want My HGTV!

Knox County seeks answer to cable delays (Registration Required)
"Four years after entering the Knoxville market, cable provider Knology has completed just 15 percent of its promised network in Knox County. The West Point, Ga., company also wants five more years to complete the project, which was to be wrapped up in June."
Knology has a great cable/HS Internet/phone service that I'd love to sign up for. Trouble is, even though I live about a mile or two from their main Knoxville office, they haven't seen fit to install in my neighborhood. What's funny is my in-laws have it - both their old and new residences - and my parents have it. They all live various places around Knoxville but for some reason I figured a black cloud hovered over my neighborhood, preventing Digital Cable and High Speed internet access. Combined with my PC problems below, using a 56k modem from home is's.

Well, now I see Knology actually wants to expand to Farragut before fulfilling its Knoxville commitment. Yes, yes, we all know the market is lucrative in SoccerMomLand (wait, my wife is a soccer mom. That doesn't count.) but meanwhile we sit for 5 more years with Comcasts High Cost Internet service as my only option.
'"(Farragut) is one area we're looking at," Gilmore said. "We're talking to the Board of Aldermen. We do not discriminate whatsoever. We have to go west to east. We don't skip any areas. We just haven't been able to get as far or build as much (as the original schedule called for.)"'
Well, you've certainly done a good job skipping around all over town as it is. Why stop now?
"[Knox County] Commissioner [Mike] McMillan said his initial concern upon Knology's arrival was that the company would "cherry pick" promising areas of the county in which to offer service. He said that's exactly what it appears to be doing by trying to enter the Farragut market."
Bing bing bing - give the man a prize. That's exactly what they've been doing.
'Clark admitted Knox County should have caught the problem sooner. "There's a lot of people who've been asleep at the switch for a long time," he said."'
Well, that's SOP for Knox politics in general - why change now?

I don't know if we'll see Knology in our area any time soon. We have regular Comcast cable, but Knology's rates are so much better I'd change and upgrade in a heartbeat.

Does anybody else get fed up with Comcast's "$19.95 for the first three months" advertising pitch? Why would anyone base a financial decision on how much something's going to cost for only the first three months? We all know the price kicks into overdrive at the start of the fourth month, but they don't seem to advertise that so easily.

Near Disaster

Some of you may remember my recent bouts with forgetfulness: Tooth 1 and Tooth 2. Well, Easter Eve night was almost a major disaster....

I came to bed about midnight, was lying there for a few minutes and my wife turns to me and says, "We didn't set out the Easter Baskets!!!!"

Panic, mayhem, much hilarity ensued.

TV Tuesday

Is That Your Final Answer?

Game Shows have kept us playing along for years… From What's My Line? to Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?, we watch, yell at stupid contestants and generally feel superior, because we could be doing so much better! So let's see, do you have what it takes to play the game, or are you the Weakest Link?

1. Is there a game show (past or present) you think you would do really well on, as a contestant?

I think I could do really well on Jeopardy, $20,000 Pyramid, or Name That Tune. Or Miillionaire.

2. Is there a game show you think is the stupidest thing you've ever seen?

Win Ben Stein's Money seemed pretty stupid to me - the questions were ok, but the goofiness of it just did nothing for me.

3. Is there a game show you watch, but don't like to admit to watching? (A guilty pleasure!)

I always used to like watching "The Price is Right" when I was a kid.

~Bonus~ Who is your favorite game show host? Who is your least favorite?

My favorite host is Alex Trebek - does anyone remember him when he was hosting "High Rollers"?

(This theme suggestion comes to TV Tuesday from the lovely Busy Mom, our self-proclaimed "Child of the 70's". Thanks Busy Mom! If you have any ideas or suggestions, please e-mail me or leave it in the comment box!)

Thanks for playing! Now let's see what's behind curtain #3!

How Cool is That?

Yesterday sometime around 8:30, someone from Shamrock, Inc. found my site through a Google search for ["david stainton"+animation+interview].

Shamrock, Inc is the company created by Roy Disney, and has been in the center of the revolt against Disney CEO Michael Eisner. Also, David Stainton is the current head of the Animation Department at Disney.

See what you can find out by perusing your tracking stats every once in a while?

What's My Personality Disorder?


-- Personality Disorder Test - Take It! --

Monday, April 12, 2004

To Upgrade or not to Upgrade

Ok, here it is. Windows ME has begun collapsing into its own black hole, dragging most of my applications and internet connections into its Stygian depths. I bought the PC from Dell with WinME installed, but I can't find the backup installation disks (if they were even delivered) so I can't reinstall.

Real basic question: Should I upgrade to WinXP (Home Edition)? My PC should handle it - it's only about 3 years old. Or should I find Win2000 somewhere and only go that far? Or should I ditch the whole thing and attach a cup and a string to an abacus?

Let's just say Windows crashes at the most innoportune times lately...

Sunday, April 11, 2004

Give Me Just a Little More Time

NASA Extends Mars Rovers' Mission

"NASA has approved an extended mission for the Mars Exploration Rovers, handing them up to five months of overtime assignments as they finish their three-month prime mission."
The report goes on to say that the mission got $15 million more to keep them going for 5 more months. What's cool is it's only an additional 2% investment that more than doubles the planned mission time. Hope they find something really interesting in the extra time.

Saturday, April 10, 2004

Blimey, Freddy! It's the Witch!

Oh, happy day!

H.R. Pufnstuf is on!

Ah, for those sitting-in-the-floor, footy-pajama, bowl-of-Crunch-Berries Saturday mornings of the 70's....;)

Friday, April 09, 2004

Let's Just Have a Great Big W-a-a-a-a-a-h!!!

My car radio is broken. I don't know what's wrong with it - I turned it off, then tried to turn it back on and now it won't come on. I checked the fuse, and it's fine. I think maybe the on/off switch is broken.

But for now, nothing.

I was in the middle of listening to Sky of Stone, by Homer Hickham (see booklist to right) and I was on tape #8 of 9. Now the tape's stuck in the player, and if I can't get the dang thing working I'll have to rip it out.

Like I said, "W-a-a-a-a-a-a-a-a-ah!!!"

Wednesday, April 07, 2004

Opening Day

Ok, I missed it by a couple of days. Actually, I missed it by almost a week because technically the Yankees and Devil Rays played in Japan (?). But anyway, baseball season is back. Here's a repost of what I posted last year about this time, in the words of the legendary (and fictional) Terrence Mann:

"Ray, people will come, Ray. They'll come to Iowa for reasons they can't even fathom. They'll turn up your driveway not knowing for sure why they're doing it. They'll arrive at your door as innocent as children, longing for the past. Of course, we won't mind if you look around, you'll say. It's only $20 per person. They'll pass over the money without even thinking about it: for it's money they have and peace they lack. And they'll walk out to the bleachers; sit in shirtsleeves on a perfect afternoon. They'll find they have reserved seats somewhere along one of the baselines, where they sat when they were children and cheered their heroes. And they'll watch the game and it'll be as if they dipped themselves in magic waters. And the memories will be so thick they'll have to brush them away from their faces. People will come Ray. The one constant through all the years, Ray, has been baseball. America has rolled by like an army of steamrollers. It has been erased like a blackboard, rebuilt and erased again. But baseball has marked the time. This field, this game: it's a part of our past, Ray. It reminds of us of all that once was good and it could be again. Oh... people will come Ray. People will most definitely come."

-- Terence Mann (James Earl Jones): Field of Dreams
People will come.


Last night, my son and I had a heart-to-heart, father-to-son talk.

He's had some trouble controlling his emotions at school, and has been arguing and disrespectful to his teachers and friends. We had a good talk, actually walk and talk as we took a stroll around the neighborhood. He's a smart kid who just has some trouble handling his emotions. He'll be fine.

Anyway, one part of the trouble he got into was rebuking a schoolmate. The little girl is Pakistani, with an unusual name - she asked my son if he needed help with something, to which he apparently replied, "Not from you". This hurt the girl's feelings terribly, and got him in hot water with his teachers and us.

As we were walking and I was discussing this with him, I asked him if he knew what the word "cruel" meant. He had a vague idea, and I explained that cruel meant deliberately hurting someone or something just because you like it or it makes you feel good. Then I used the example of kicking a dog - if you, say, kick a dog and laugh about it or don't feel anything about it -- that's cruel. And that was, I said, similar to what he did to your classmate - she's from another country, might sometimes feel out of place here, and by saying he did not want help from her, specifically, it was cruel. He understood that what he said was wrong, and promised to apologize to her and his teacher today.

Then I read this today, from SayUncle's site:

2-pound dog used for deadly place kick

"A Priest Lake man killed his neighbor's 2-pound miniature Yorkshire terrier by kicking it into the air like a football, police said, and authorities have charged him with animal cruelty."
Amazing how the abstract can suddenly become the concrete.

Keying cars, kicking dogs....this kind of stuff goes on and on and on. Maybe if the parents had had talks with these twerps when they were kids about what "cruelty" was, and what "respect" meant, these kind of things wouldn't happen as much.

Oh well, guess all I can do is my small part to teach my kids about it. And hope and pray they don't become a headline like this someday.

True, But He Still Wouldn't Wear A Rolex

Instpundit points out this Foxnews.Com story:

Evangelism Catches Up With the Times

“If you want to reach them, you’ve got to speak their language,” said Paul Boutin, contributing editor at Wired magazine. “It makes perfect sense to take the ministry in that direction. I really think that if Jesus were around today, he would have a blog.”
Maybe Jesus would've had a blog, but he would never have been the one who created it or wrote in it. Matthew, Mark, Luke, John and Paul would've been the bloggers. And maybe Steven and probably Peter. The disciples were the ones charged with spreading the Word to the world. True, Jesus recruited them individually and spoke to multitudes - but of course, the heart of his ministry was personal. There's no record (that I remember) of him corresponding with anyone, or writing anything except in the dust. All his interactions were one-on-one, since of course that's the relationship all Christians must have with him. It was up to his followers and chroniclers to take the message to the masses who didn't or couldn't see Jesus in the flesh.

And probably Bartholomew - I always felt sorry for Bartholemew...he was rarely ever mentioned as one of the 12 disciples, and when he was he was always the last on the list. I can imagine him posting some of the most humble, insightful commentary out there on Jesus and his ministry, but no one would read it...

What would the gospels and epistles been like as blogs? What would they have been called? How would their styles be different? Leave your thoughts in Comments.

Regions of Mind

I've added Regions of Mind to my "Best of the Rest" blogroll. This site was recommended by Rev. Sensing of One Hand Clapping

Tuesday, April 06, 2004

Break out the Lawn Chairs

The Official Release Date for Star Wars: Episode III is May 19, 2005.

Lines are already forming at Regal Cinemas West Town Mall and Carmike Cinemas. Come early and grab a place! Free Anakin Skywalker Happy Meal Toys to the first 500 people! Special appearance by the guy who played the 3rd Rebel Soldier from the left in the Throne Room scene in Star Wars.

Up in Flames

The house in the subdivision behind my across-the-street neighbors burned this afternoon. I was sitting at home when I noticed cars slowing down in front of my house. I got up to look outside, and noticed flames shooting out of the house across the way. Having finished a day's worth of video shooting for work, I still had my camera handy so I got a few minutes of footage before the tape ran out.

The house, I believe, was actually a condo - I don't believe anyone was hurt, but it was certainly a spectacle. Firefighters were already there when I went outside, but I can't believe I didn't hear them. I was concerned for neighboring houses, but there was very little wind and the fire, while intense, showed no sign of being fanned or jumping.

TV Tuesday

Executive Decisions

The Networks are getting ready to announce their new fall schedules. Imagine what would happen if you could play programmer for one day!

1. What shows would make up a perfect night of TV viewing for you?

Friends at 8:00, The Simpsons at 8:30, Enterprise at 9:00 and 24 at 10:00

2. What show(s) would you cancel without a moment's hesitation?
Everybody Loves Raymond

3. Is there a show (previously cancelled or just no longer airing) that you'd bring back, original cast and all?
Picket Fences, with David Kelley's full attention

~Bonus~ You get to create one show to put on the schedule, with any stars you choose. Who and what would it be?
After M*A*S*H went off the air, there was a short-lived spin-off called AfterM*A*S*H, set in a stateside VA hospital. I'd love to see a short series of episodes getting Hawkeye, BJ, Margaret and Charles back together to look back at the war 20 years later.

Thanks for playing "Programmer for a Day", now don't let the power go to your head - you know what Donald Trump says... "You're Fired!"

Friday, April 02, 2004

All Keyed Up

I witnessed something yesterday evening I'd never seen before, and I hope to never see again. And I'm unsure at my response.

My son, Brainyboy (v8.1) had soccer practice yesterday afternoon. As my wife and I were both coming from work to the ballfield, we were in separate cars. After practice, we decided to go to a local restaurant to eat. I took off in my car with Gigglegirl, she with Bboy.

I arrived first, and in searching for a parking place saw another car, an SUV, straddling a line between two parking places - effectively blocking both. One of my pet peeves is people doing this exact thing, on the off chance their car door might get dinged or some other such reason. As I passed it by, I mused backing my car in so the passenger door was almost flush to their driver's side - I could get myself and my daughter from the back just fine, but the SUV driver would have to climb in through his or her own passenger side. Har har har. I drove on.

Parking, G-girl and I began to make our way across the parking lot. I noticed another car drive through looking for a space. I noticed the driver glance at the SUV taking up two places and frowned. He went on and parked a few spaces away.

Now I thought nothing of this really. I noticed my wife pulling into the lot from the street, so I decided to wait on them. As we waited, I noticed the guy who had been driving around looking for a spot walking from his car toward the restaurant. He altered his course slightly and, walking by the drivers side of the SUV, nonchalantly keyed a big scar across the door, from under the rear view mirror to the seam of the door.

I gaped, not really believing what I was seeing.

The sound drew my attention initially - a high pitched squealing sound. It was over in only a second, and as he continued on I wasn't really sure if he'd actually done it. He glanced around easily and we made eye contact for an instant. He ignored me and continued on across the parking lot - keys in hand - and headed not for the restaurant but for the home and garden store next door.

I truly had no idea what I could, or should do. My 4-year-old was with me, so that immediately ruled out any direct confrontation. I thought of leaving the SUV owner a note that I had witnessed what had happened with the fellow's license plate number written down, but I couldn't recall which car he was driving exactly. I didn't know who the SUV belonged to, nor did I know for sure if they were even in the restaurant.

So I did nothing except relate my incredulity to my wife when they walked over. I had to explain to my son what a despicable thing it was, that it was vandalism and illegal. I didn't think you could actually go to jail for it, and told him so, but that you'd probably have to pay a fine.

I still find it hard to believe I actually witnessed it, that he saw me and continued on as if he'd done nothing wrong.

What's wrong with you people out there??? Is your comfort and convenience so important to you that a perceived violation of what you think of as your precious "rights" warrants such an extreme response?

I'm glad my daughter wasn't even watching.

I know this pales next to what happened in Iraq the other day. Keying a car is nothing compared to burning, hanging and mutilation of bodies. But even in situations like those - while inexcusable - sometimes mob behavior is difficult to handle and control. But on a cool night in March in East Tennessee, where the closest discomfort is a gathering evening meal hunger pang, such a willful disregarding of other people's rights and false elevation of your own is a signal that we still have a long way to go - all over.

Recommended Blog and My Assignment

I'd like you to take a look at Leslie's site, L's Stream of Consciousness.... . Leslie's another Knoxville blogger that I've been reading for a good while, and she's a frequent commenter on my site.

To say she surrounds herself with colorful characters would be an understatement - she has written about Wierd Cousin, the Überbreeders who live next door, and the haunted house down the street.

But she's not just an anonymous blogger, she's also a charming lady I met for the first time today. Take a look and bookmark her site - you'll want to go back.

I have an assignment, however. She was challenged by a regular reader to do a "drawering" - you can see her handiwork here - now she's challenged me to do something on the theme of Angry Starfish.

O-o-o-o-o-o-okay..... We'll see. My artistic skills lie somewhere between Michelango the great painter and Michelango the Ninja Turtle, so don't hold your breaths..

"Cell Phone Call for Jack Bauer...Cell Phone Call for Jack Bauer..."

by Diane Werts

"Fans can relax now - which means get more tensed up - knowing that "24" has gone into the last third of the season overdrive. No more time fillers like the first two-thirds, no more presidential mistress and who's-the-baby's-daddy. Daughter Kim (Elisha Cuthbert) is not (repeat: NOT) in distress. Next week's stunningly revelatory episode ties the current threat back into Jack's first-season nemesis, involves a foreign government, hints about a high- priced call girl ring and presents Jack with a truly unspeakable choice. No, really unspeakable. Really, really.

They jack up the stakes higher and higher, until by 7 a.m., things are truly nasty (truly, truly), and there's no end in sight. Guns blaze. Bombs explode. Bodies drop. Jack's jaw is more firmly set than ever. And Michelle's (Reiko Aylesworth) little curled hair strands still frame her face perfectly. Never mind that she's been up for 24 hours, she's running an ugly field operation, she's seen her husband shot and colleagues croak, and she's staring down death herself. For that matter, how's Jack holding up considering his own lack of sleep and, oh yeah, his smack addiction, remember that? When he countermands a superior "under the authority given me by the president of the United States," once again on that handy-dandy cell phone, how do his underlings even know Jack has that authority? And what about . . .

Never mind. There's a mass suicide in the offing. A president ordering evil to be done. And a crucial computer download. Hey, don't these guys' amazingly informative forensic computers ever hit the fritz like miiiine dosss xxzghgcb?#!!

24. Fox's nail-biting thriller returns for its final nine episodes of the season in killer form."
If you're not watching 24, it's not too late.

Well, yeah, it is if you want to make any sense out of it, but watch it anyway. Oh, and somebody's selling the Season 1 DVD collection on Amazon for $15.99 if anyone's feeling charitable ;)

Quick Thoughts

Being tied up in a shed all day gives you plenty of time for contemplation. Thankfully, Glurp left the TV turned on (he has trouble thinking in terms of "on" and "off") so I was able to keep up with all the days news and events....

  • No, spammers, I really don't want to get John Grisham's "new blockbuster novel" today by your service, or any other service. If I want to read it that bad, I'll go to the bookstore and buy it myself! Sheesh! Now quit sending me emails about it!

  • Pope declares feeding tubes a 'moral obligation' Directive applies to vegetative patients

    "His comments could require revision in directives on end-of-life care at one in 10 U.S. hospitals. And they may prompt confusion over the validity of advance directives people have drawn up that say they do not want ''extraordinary'' treatments to prolong their life under specified circumstances."
    The health system for which I work isn't affiliated with the Catholic church so this announcement won't affect us, but another hospital in town is. I wonder how they're going to be dealing with this?

  • Bomb Found on Rail Line in Spain

    This is probably going to get a lot of blogplay today, but boy, it's a good thing the Spanish elected a new government that could negotiate a truce with the terrorists! Since the appeasement was what the people wanted, and apparently Al Qaeda agreed to leave Spain alone.......wait a minute....

    Although, you know, expect the conspiracies to pop up on hard-left blogs any day that the bombs were planted by the US Government to get the Spanish people back on our for it.

  • Physicians say Rhode Island no longer attractive to many doctors (Registration Required)

    Sorry, all full up. Try the next state.

We Should Have Known

Disney's Financial Woes

Well, now it all makes sense why Disney is having so much financial trouble....

And Now Back to Our Regularly Scheduled Programming...

One-man crime wave hits island

"Prior to last week, Boca Grande was a place where doors were left unlocked without a second thought, and golf carts were never stolen, just borrowed for a few hours. That all changed over the course of a few days this past weekend as the island witnessed an almost unprecedented string of burglaries, thefts and a threatened sexual assault that they largely attributed to a male in his mid- to late-teens who apparently confused Spring Break with Spring Break-in.


In a break-in at a residence on Third Street, on the same date as the Boca Bay burglary, police said the suspect entered the occupied home while the owners were sleeping by cutting a screen and opening an unlocked window. Finding the liquor cabinet, the suspect casually obtained a glass in the kitchen and made himself a drink of "Tia Maria" with whipped cream. Nothing else in the house was taken or disturbed, and theft wasn't discovered by the occupants until the following morning. The suspect, however, overlooked a bottle of expensive cognac and a case of whiskey, police said.

"The kid obviously didn't need money," one police officer said. "He was after the one thing his money wouldn't buy him - booze."


Police said the suspect broke into the Boca Bay Pass Club twice over the weekend. Twelve bottles of liquor, totaling $438, were stolen from the club. Broken shards of the bottles were later found along Harbor Drive within Boca Bay. The take included a bottle of Chambord valued at $215 and a bottle of Moet et Chandon valued at $198.

At Hudson's Grocery on Saturday morning, the question was the same. "Were you hit?" Many of the customers said they were trying to track down their golf carts or knew someone who had awakened to find a golf cart missing. In some cases, residents found their golf cart gone, but replaced with another golf cart. One woman found her customized golf cart missing, with a modest rental cart in its place. "I think they were trading up," she said."
This is the island community I just got back from spending two weeks in February music directing a play. It's true, people all over the island leave their doors unlocked, golf carts are a favorite way of spinning around town, and the whole town generally shows an air of nonchalance and peacefulness. It's a shame some frat guy on Spring Break had to go and ruin it, and I hope the community doesn't change itself over this, but the antics of this young fellow are hilarious.

Regaining Control

The management apologizes for the actions of his employee yesterday. More details of tor--thumbscre--recriminations will be forthcoming.

Thank you.

Thursday, April 01, 2004

Pollenteer Talegait Harty - Volyooom 3

Nice meester Barry, he get whomped over hea-----he deecided to take nice long rest. Yeah, that it - nice long rest. So what happen? Me take over!

Me Glurp. Me Gully Dwarf. Not just any gully dwrf nope nope nope! Spesial guly dwarf! Me know how to count to three! See - one and one and one and one and one and one and one....three! At least me think it three. Oh well. Who care.

Anywaze... this vry vry spacial day in live of gulllly dwarf - me take over what riteful mine! Meester Barry make me run round, do what he call re-search, make me stay up all nite when good rat-hunting time to do reee-search for Mester Barry, but what I get in return? Nice big rat? nope. big whompin stick to catch nice big rat? nope. so time to make Messter Barry do reee-search, me take over big shiny komputer thingy. I try to use mouse thingy, but break tooth - no good in stew! Life like stew...stew like life. That big gullly dwarf saying, mean everthing. Where was me? Oh yeh.

Aynywaze, meester Barry all tied up in shed---um, takin long vacation so I do job on computter this wek. He want do Talegait Harty thingy - me dont see no tale or no gait but whatever. I rememememrmhber he say this sometin like bes and britest of Socky Hop Koolaid big peeple or sometin like that somehow. Anywaze here is. You like, me find rat to eat.

  • Here first thingy - some guy name Knox/ that Knock/Snooze...he sure he get name right? Look wierd to Glurp. whatevr. He talk bout smoking in readin place - me dont like smoke - make Glurp sneeze. (Smoke if you got 'em).

  • Next one scary. Me saw gate of hell oncet - was old woman guly dwarf Blurp ever time she eat rat been sittin out in sun too long. Open mouth...urp - gate of hell. Me no think that what meester Doug talkin bout though...(Gates of Hell Now Open).

  • Gunner guy my kind of guy- want to trade wife for sometim neat that make big bang and brite lite. Like thunner n litenin..wait how you trade thunner and litenin? big folk wierd.... (Might as well try).

  • Next thingy from Jo Fish who sound like somethin you pull out of big lake. Or game big people play with card thingys - they always runnin round saying "You got threes?" an somewon else say "Jo Fish!" At least me think that what they sayin. Me no know sometime what me think. (He really Cares. No Really. Twice.).

  • Me find new bes gully dwarf friend! He talk jus like Glurp! New gulluy dwarf frien name Buddy Don an he wannering around somewere. Me not know where he wannering. Who knows? Mebbe Buddy find rat! (pinions of buddy don: faith-based gummint)

    Isn me pretty?

  • Some big movie come out in pitcher show other day. Me no unnerstan how pitchers move. Mus me magik. You know how pitchers mov? Somewon tell Glurp cause Glurp head hurt tryin to know how pitchers move. This movin pitcher real spascial to Sugarfused tho (My reaction to The Passion of The Christ).

  • This guy Brian in far off land - farthe than Solamnia, farther than Blood Sea of Istar - farther than Newport! This guy Brian in someplase call Chi-na. Me think it call Chi-na. He wanna come home too but poor guy cant. He just cant find car keys me think (Immigration blues).

  • Hey me wanna get to know this big person. His name Rich so he mus have lotsa lotsa lotsa shiny gold stuff - use shiny gold stuff, buy lotsa rats. Make stew. Life like stew....stew like life. Me say that already? He Back from the Races! Why race? only get you somewheres you not...

  • meester Les has those shiny bang bang thingys - he mus likem lots cause he talk bout them all the time. me think he need female, that what Glurp think.... (Thursday Gun Links).

    (Big note bout last thingy - Meester Les....Glurp jus makin' funny joke, kay? Kay????? Glurp sometime think he more funny than famous gully dwarf comedy guy, Buddy Hackett. He really funny. Where was me? Oh yeh..)

  • When me little baby gully dwarf, me have 2 brother and 2 sisters. One and one and one and one and one and one and one and one...two. Anyways they all bigger than Glurp and allays gettin beat up. They make me say, "You say uncle, Glurp, or we eat fingers!!" Me allays say uncle - me like fingers, make easier to dig snacks out of tree stump. That why Say Uncle make Glurp no eat Glurp fingers messter big person guy? (Blogging about Blogging and It's not a bug, it's a feature (or 20 synonyms for fart) )

  • This guy have name with bad word. Glurp no use bad words, dammit (Steyn column).

  • Meester Chris real quiet guy. Me no like quiet me like it LOUD!!! he neat little marks after word LOUD!!! me like neat little exclymation marks. Me make more. SCORE!!! heh. FIRE!!!! heh heh. OKLAHOMA!!!! me no have no idea what that means.... anywayz quiet chris guy have two thingys - first one fulla nummers, make Glurp head hurt (everywon know there no nummers after three - silly big person) and other bout buncha big people get gone and nowon know where they went. Mebbe they go to Chi-na, Brian come home? Me think they go to Newport, that what Glurp think. (Consumption an There Are None So Blind).

  • What with all the fish? First Jo, then Mick the Fish Kite? He like gully dwarf, wanna do stuff differen, so he want you to see somethin not on his place (More Clarke/Krugman Fact-Checking)

  • Me no think poor big stoopid tommy not feel good. He think he big and stupid.....why tommy not that big at all! He talk bout some day when everwon wear green clothes and drink green stuff. Me drink green stuff alla time, spacialy after it rain lots and big puddle out back fill up (St. Patrick's Day).

  • Teresa friend of meesster Barry. She make funny hats, like big smelly aplac---altpaca---aplacta---critters, have funny husband who gets attacked by squirrel. She funny. (Florida is ready for 2004).

  • Medb nice lady who have pretty pitchers. They real nice cause they dont move. That sure pretty place we live in, aint it? (Barn and Tree an Just Another Dusk Photo). Me like make pretty pitchers, too. Me have good ones, call Rat in Stew an Stew in Rat an Finger in Nose. me regalar Picaso.

  • Bjorn have funny name, but that not wierdes thing bout bjorn. He broke radio, cant fix. Poor Bjorn - maybe call fixer man? (Why the new liberal radio won't work).

  • Mike think he only half baked. Why not he keep self in oven for rest of time? Even gully dwarf know that. Silly big people (An Excellent Example Of How The Blogosphere Works)

  • Pore Jay dead. Pore Jay Johnson dead. He lookin oh so purty an so nice - he look like hes asleep, its shame he wont keep, but it summer and we runnin out of ice.

    Hey, that make pretty song. What Jay care? he dead (Reflections on The Weekly Game.

  • Janet live up in New Yewk City. Where New Yewk City? Me no know. have somethin to do with apples, thouh. Glurp like apples, but only with lotsa worms. New Yewk got worms? Who care - what time dinner? (Ban these words, please! Part 2: Words that TV news could do without).

  • Butchmule mind warped. Poor butch - maybe he an big stoopid tommy can go have beer? Not green beer, though. that one already bin done. Sound better than post name, though.... (Sight for sore eyes leaves dirty urine!!!).

  • know all bout goobage. Meester barry make Glurp take out goobage alla time - sometime goobage even make it alla way to trash! mosta time goobage end up in Glurp. Hm...wonder if messter barry got more goobage? (Hardball Capitalism)

  • Thomas' nephew sent sumthin in - that nice of Tommy to let little boy post for him! ("Who won the elections?")

  • Hey, me think me find sumthin here tacked up on bullyteen board. Yep, meester barry wanted you folks to see this...he say it "hot stuff" and "pleez no more name-callin". What name it callin? Fred? Not Glurp, Glurp only Glurp in world. (Quick Thoughts and My Reply)

    Wow, that alla stuff!! Me real tired, go whomp some rats and make some stew. Me tell you bout stew? Oh, kay.

    Me sure meester barry untie hisself---er, come back from vacashun reel soon but he be pretty mad, so Glurp make self scarce. Bye!

    OOPDATE: WHOOP!!! Turn over rock, look what me find!

  • Granny don look nothin like Glurp granny. Glurp granny look like potato. (Just Another "Bush Knew" Revelation and Welcome Back To Ashcroft ~~ He Knew Too)