Saturday, April 29, 2006


I've done it - I've activated the two-month trial of Netflix by brother and his girlfriend gave us for Christmas.

First up on the queue: The new "Battlestar Galactica" Miniseries.

Then start the 1st season of "Lost", then the new "King Kong." And it goes on from there with "Casablanca", "Raiders of the Lost Ark", "Good Night and Good Luck", "Bugst Malone", "Cold Mountain" and several others.

Any suggestions? (and no suggestions allowed that contain both the words "Doctor" and "Who" in the titles...)

Friday, April 28, 2006


"Oh, I went down in the river to pray,
studying about that good old way..."

Thursday I traveled to Dahlonega, Georgia with my parents to attend the memorial service for my uncle, Jim. My cousins Joanie (my age) and Jaye (a few years older) were there, as well as Jim's ex-wife Judy, Jaye's daughter with new fiancee, and their assorted family members. Jim was my mom's brother. He lived alone in the later years, but still kept in close contact with my mom and his daughters, visiting often. Lately he'd been keeping more and more to himself until this past Monday Joanie went to his apartment to check on him. She saw him through the window, laying on the couch and having passed away in his sleep. With a book beside him. He'd not been ill, but I suppose it was his time.

"...And who shall wear the starry crown,
Good Lord, show me the way."

Noticably absent was the youngest sister, Jodie, who was killed in an accident about 19 years ago. Her presence was still felt, even though she was just a teenager at the time and was the same age as my younger brother. Noticably present, however, was Jodie - Joanie's 2-yr-old son, who is carrying on his aunt's name and, thus far, personality. He's a beautiful child with ice-blue eyes and a perpetual smile. His presence was a necessary reminder of life's renewal, and that sometimes things are best seen through the eyes of a child. And the memory of a child.

Oh, Brothers, let's go down.
Let's go down - don't you wanna go down?"

Some of the best memories of my childhood revolve around that one family unit. Every summer my parents, my brother and me would drive to Atlanta to spend a week or so with my grandmother and Jim's family. Their house was in the suburbs in Conyers, to my young eyes a fairly idyllic family environment. Vacations at their house meant trips to Six Flags over Georgia, riding bikes in the neighborhood, visiting other nearby family members, staying up late chatting, playing cards... I remember one time their cat, Princess was pregnant and we couldn't find her. Finally Joanie and I searched and found the cat and her new kittens under the porch. It was a very exciting discover for a couple of kids.

Eventually, for many reasons their family split up. Daughters grew and went their own ways. As I went through and out of high school the summer trips ceased and we all created our own lives. Jaye got married and had a daughter. Joanie eventually settled with her husband and three sons she took in as her own, and then had her own son.

Jim eventually remarried and divorced again, but spent a great amount of time helping handicapped children ride horses. He always loved horses... He took trips out west and was an active and loving grandfather. He visited my mom many weekends in Knoxville and was kind enough to welcome my kids as well.

His smile could light up the room and his deep, resonant voice could warm your heart. He was kind, and I always looked up to him. I wish I'd had a chance to tell him about the influences he had in my life, but I suppose you don't even realize or think about them until they're gone.

So long, Uncle Jim. Ride on.

"Oh, Brothers, let's go down.
Down in the river to pray..."

Pack it Up! It's Over! Time To Call The Whole Thing Off...

Thanks, Rev. Donald - now I know my blog is obsolete.
"I have also contemplated the future of blogging and have concluded that single-author sites are the wave of the past. Group blogging, with only a few exceptions such as Instapundit (of course), is becoming the norm."
So, ok, time to close the Inn and give up blogging since we're now as washed up as yesterday's laundry.

Sorry Big Orange Michael, sorry Becky, sorry Will, sorry Logtar, sorry Cathy, sorry Doug, sorry SayUncle, sorry Teresa, sorry Lass, sorry Michael Totten, sorry Lileks, sorry Michael Silence (hope that ticker can take the news), sorry Chuck, sorry Tish, sorry Big Stupid Tommy, sorry Rich, sorry Dave Barry, sorry Wil Wheaton, sorry Phillip, sorry Scorpy, sorry Jen, sorry Sarcomical, sorry Danielle...

We're the past, we're history, we're old news. We're about as today as tailfins and zoot suits (oh yeah - sorry, Zoot, you're history too).

Forget important stories about your everdays lives. Forget advice on how you deal with particular problems others might find useful to know. Forget opinions on how you view the world and its events. Forget that personal touch, we all know the din of many voices clamoring for attention based on loosely related subject matters is much more important than unique personal interactions.

Resistance is futile. Assimilate or die.

UPDATE: Here's a part of a comment I made on One Hand Clapping:
I would contend, again, that individually one blog may not reach that many people but taken as a vast, overreaching group all the solo blogs together will reach many, many more people in more meaningful ways than any and all of the group blogs.

What would you say if I posted, on my solo single blog with 100 visitors a day, my Christian witness. And one of those 100 visitors saw it, read it, and made a decision to turn their life over to Christ. And that person would not have been reading one of the group blogs, because they have little interest in that format. What would have happened if I'd just gone away?

Put another way, isn't it better to reach that one truly lost visitor than the 300 who sit in the pews and nod and smile and agree with everything the preacher says because they're already comfortable in their faith?

To me the still, small voice is still as valuable as the combined, competing noises of the group.

Just Some Figures...

Chevron 1st-Qtr Profit Climbs 49% as Oil Prices Rise
"Chevron Corp. said first-quarter profit jumped 49 percent on surging prices and production gained from last year's purchase of Unocal Corp., capping a week of record earnings by the five largest U.S. oil companies.

Net income rose to $4 billion, or $1.80 a share, from $2.68 billion, or $1.28, a year earlier, San Ramon, California-based Chevron said today in a statement. Revenue at the second-largest U.S. oil producer climbed 31 percent to $54.6 billion."

Ok, just to sum up:

1Q 2005 net income: $2.68 billion
1Q 2006 net income: $4.00 billion
Increase: $1.32 billion (+49%)

1Q 2005 revenue: $41.7 billion
1Q 2006 revenue: $54.6 billion
Increase: $12.9 billion (+31%)

Typically, when your income increases due to outside causes (new business successes, new production) drop a large share of your expenses and they outstrip your other expenses (higher oil prices) you can afford to drop or at least maintain your end product prices.

But they didn't, just as everyone else did. As oil prices increased so did gasoline prices. At a fairly even and matching rate.

What this means is the gasoline prices could have been maintained at manageable prices without hurting the oil companies. While everyone wants to make money, it's irresponsible to gouge the public and hope they don't notice.

Friday's Feast

Friday's Feast

Friday, April 28, 2006 - Feast Ninety-One

Appetizer - On a scale of 1 to 10 with 10 being highest, how polite are you?

I try to be polite at all times, even to a point of shying away from situations where I probably could be a little more direct and forceful. Mainly because I feel there's so much impoliteness in the world, there needs to be some counterbalance. I also feel that a lot of being impolite has to do with our own insecurities and biases, so I tend to give most people the benefit of the doubt.

Nobody's perfect, however, and I don't always succeed - but I try. I'll say I'm about an 8 or 8-1/2.

Soup - What was the last thing that made you laugh out loud?

I laugh out loud all the time, so it's hard to pinpoint. Probably last night watching "Who's Line Is It, Anyway?" on ABC Family - that show more than any other has the ability to get me rolling in the floor...

Salad - Who is your favorite cartoon character?

Wow, that's tough. But I have to say Foghorn Leghorn because, well, he always has the best metaphors.

Main Course - Tell about the funniest teacher you ever had.

Probably Mr. Secrist in 11th grade American History/12th grade American Government. He taught history with a real twist and eye on what makes people thought, not just what the names and dates were. But he had a great sense of humor. I don't remember specifically things he did that were funny but you were always relaxed and ready to learn something in his class.

Dessert - Complete this sentence: I strongly believe that ______________________.

I strongly believe that democracy will eventually be brought to the majority of the middle east, but it will require many brave people who live there to step up and take responsibility for themselves, their lives, their religion and their ethnicities. We can give them the model, the encouragement, the protection and all the support but they have to want it and be willing to sacrifice to get it. But everyone's human, and if we can do it so can they.

Monday, April 24, 2006

Term Limit Madness

A lot of Knoxville and Knox County bloggers have been covering the ongoing debacle of elected officials here in town. I've refrained from really posting anything, because most everything of substance has been said or hashed out.


If you don't live in Knoxville and Knox County, consider yourself lucky you don't live in an area as politically and procedurally primitive as ours.


1) We can't get people to even read and understand the actual county charter that was voted on an implemented several years ago. Apparently the charter doesn't make provisions for some of the elected offices the previous government allowed for, but no one noticed this so they kept the offices anyway. Oops!

2) We have a variety of elected county commissioners who, knowing full well the Knox County voters decided to amend the charter a few years ago and implemented term limits, have decided the will of the people is invalid and have attacked the charter itself. Until this point, no one considered the charter in any way invalid - until their lawsuits that is. Now apparently only because a lawsuit was filed, the charter may be invalid.

In related news: George W. Bush, Bill Clinton and the ghost of Ronald Reagan recently filed suit in the Supreme Court alledging the US Constitution and the Bill of Rights are invalid - the dissolution of which would remove the pesky 2-term-limit for presidents.

Yes folks, that's the equivalent comparison. Scorched earth - if you're getting kicked out of the sandbox, then blow it up behind you.

And what's even more interesting... of the dozen or so incumbent County Commissioners who - by vote of the residents - are not allowed to run for another term, a number of the others not even involved in the lawsuit have refused to actually remove themselves from the ballot. Therefore, if the charter validity is upheld and term limits are allowed to continue, several of the commissioners who should not be running will still be on the ballot!

And in which case, if they are actually elected by a populace dumb enough to vote for them, they will not be able to serve and their local party office will decide who takes their place! Which means if Commissioner John Griess - a Republican incument term-limited commissioner from my district who has not removed his name from the ballot - is actually reelected to his seat, the local Republican party would nominate his successor. And that person would assume the Commission seat.

At least that's how I understand it. Corrections are welcome.

I would like to point out that Commissioner Wandy Moody (3rd district) is a friend of mine and attends my church. She is term-limited and decided early on to remove her name from the ballot. Good for her - she's one of the few.

All that means I will not under any circumstance vote for any term-limited incumbent still on the ballot. And even if for some strange reason the charter is declared invalid, term limits are stricken from the law, and the whole situation goes to higgly-piggly, I will still not vote for a commissioner who would have been term-limited.

Because those who decided to continue to run are thumbing their noses at the people who a) elected them in the first place, and 2) decided correctly to enact term-limits.

And if you live in Knox County, I would suggest you do the same.

UPDATE: I posted this on my duplicate Wordpress site ( and there are some good comments there with clarification of facts in which I was in error - please read.

Friday, April 21, 2006

Friday's Feast

Friday's Feast

Friday, April 21, 2006 - Feast Ninety

Appetizer - List 3 things you keep putting off.

1) I keep putting off going to the gym, losing weight, eating better and getting fitter.
2) I keep putting off doing some work around the house, like fixing the front door, the back door, the deck, the kids' rooms. Some of it's financial, but some of it's not.
3) I keep putting off having conversations.

Soup - What do you feel is your greatest responsibility?

Easy - to be the best dad I can be to my kids - to teach them right from wrong, to think for themselves, to love others and all that dad stuff.

Salad - If you could have starred in any movie, which one would you have wanted to be in and why?

I can think of several - what kid's dream wouldn't have been to play Luke Skywalker? I also would've loved to play Marty McFly in the Back to the Future movies. Maybe Ferris Bueller, although I'm more of a Cameron Frye type.

Main Course - What is an expectation you had as a child about being an adult and, now that you are grown up, you realize you were wrong?

That a career path would be a given - every couple of years, I'd move up a little on the ladder with more responsibility and more respect until finally I reached the level at which I wanted to stay. Things haven't happened quite that way, and I've been spinning my wheels for 8 years.

Dessert - When was the last time you had your car serviced?

Back in December or so, when it was being repaired from the deer damage.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

The Secret Project

I start a new project tonight, but I'm going to keep it under wraps for now until I'm sure it's going to work out.

It has to do with a hobby of mine, it involves about eight people and that's all I'm going to say....

The Long Dark Tostito of My Soul

I got through it. Another Lent gone by, another chip addiction thwarted.


I pledged to give up all potato chips, tortilla chips and cheeto-type snacks for Lent - items I eat with great repetitiveness. I allowed myself only 6 instances of popcorn during that same time period, as well. The only slip-up, and not really a slip-up, was having some with a couple of meals while in New York, since a) we're owed a couple Sundays off in there, apparently. I've never quite figured out the mechanics, but I figured it'd be ok, and 2) it's tough sometimes when you're on the road to find enough to fill up for a long time, so I needed the strength.

That's it, though. Otherwise, mission accomplished.

But it was tough. I avoided Mexican places, because of the free tortilla chips they always bring to the table. I even brought home some of the little bags of chips that go with meals to be eaten later (as in today).

Yes, I can tell you are impressed with my self-sacrifice.

I'm going to try and extend the practice indefinitely, somewhat, by lifting the self-imposed restriction when eating out, but keep it in place at home.

You see, I also wanted the added benefit of losing 15 or so pounds like had happened before. It didn't happen this time, and I would imagine it's because I didn't make it to the gym very much.

But I'm going to try. I'd like to lose 20 pounds before we go to the beach in July. Maybe I'll take Logtar up on his challenge... Am I up to it?

The King of All Bad Ideas

There are bad ideas, and there are Bad Ideas. For some reason I think this is like, the King of All Bad Ideas:

NASA Achieves Breakthrough in Black Hole Simulation
"NASA scientists have reached a breakthrough in computer modeling that allows them to simulate what gravitational waves from merging black holes look like. The three-dimensional simulations, the largest astrophysical calculations ever performed on a NASA supercomputer, provide the foundation to explore the universe in an entirely new way."
Ok, it's just a computer simulation. But how long before some enterprising grad student decides to do his thesis on a practical simulation?

This seems to be the scientific equivalent of what happens after a Southerner says, "Hey, y'all, watch this!"

Our Weekend

I read blogs all the time where people give blow-by-blow accounts of their daily activities, and readers seem to eat it up. At least there's always comments regarding how people live their lives and I always wonder what's the big attraction to finding out what time someone got up Saturday morning and what they had for breakfast.

But, in the spirit of full disclosere, as well as giving the people what they apparently want, here's how I spent my Easter weekend.

Thursday: Maundy Thursday service at church, rehearsed for our drama afterward.

Friday: Drama at church that I directed and acted in, plus Laura sang as well. These little church plays can be pretty nerve-wracking, as you want to present just the right mood and style while ensuring you get across the proper message. I think it worked - we had some good compliments afterward. It was a monologue-driven drama called, "The Last Words" where 8 characters from the New Testament commented on their lives and how Jesus had an impact on them. It worked.

Saturday: Easter Egg hunt at church, my partner and I did our puppet routine - Sasha and Timmy, the Abbott and Costello of the felt puppet scene. I play Timmy, the somewhat dense kid who doesn't ever quite get it - his voice is somewhere between Timon from "The Lion King" and Sheen from "Jimmy Neutron" - and my friend Ann does the straight-girl Sasha who always helps Timmy learn some kind of lesson. It's cute, and it's fun, and the kids enjoy it. That night we went to my parents for dinner and evening of relaxing on the back deck.

Sunday: Sang at both services, dinner with Laura's parents and mowed the yard. Happy Easter!

Monday: The four of us went to Dollywood for the day - the weather was beatiful, not too hot yet. Plus the crowds were not that massive and it was easy to see what we wanted to see. If you live nearby and have a chance to go in the next couple weeks, you have to see these guys.

Say what you like about Dollywood - yes, it's corny and a bit cheesy. Yes there's an overromanticism about the whole "hillbilly" lifestyle, yes the rides are just so-so, and yes it does hit you over the head with the Christian message to a degree it might make non-Christians uncomfortable, but if Busch Gardens Williamsburg is the prettiest theme park in America, Dollywood has to be the best smelling park. You can't go 10 feet without smelling something grilling, steaming, roasting, boiling or basting nearby. Plus since it's the International Festival, there's plenty of cuisine from other countries. This is a great time of year to go, so take a day and visit.

Tuesday: Work. Ick.

Friday, April 14, 2006

Top 5 Ways to Fill Your Sci-Fi TV Time While Star Trek is on Indefinite Hiatus

5) Construct a working Stargate in your backyard that leads to...the next door neighbor's backyard. But with fog.

4) Finish writing that Lexx/Buck Rogers crossover fanfic you've been neglecting for years now.

3) Carefully discover and catalogue the number of differences between the old and new Galactica series. Sort alphabetically. Then convert to Egpytian heiroglyphics.

2) Conclusively prove to the online fan community that Claudia Christian and Claudia Black are, indeed, the same person.

And the Number 1 Way to Fill Your Sci-Fi TV Time While Star Trek is on Indefinite Hiatus:

1) Step out of the basement into the daylight for the first time in nineteen years.

Friday's Feast

Friday's Feast

Friday, April 14, 2006 - Feast Eighty-Nine

Appetizer - What movie soundtracks do you own?

Off the top of my head:

1) Star Wars (Extended version CD and original LP)
2) The Empire Strike Back (Extended version CD)
3) Return of the Jedi (Extended version CD and original LP)
4) The Phantom Menace
5) Attack of the Clones (copy)
6) Revenge of the Sith
7) All 10 Star Trek movies (some on cassette, some on CD)
17) Willie Wonka and the Chocolate Factory (Johnny Depp version)
18) Pirates of the Caribbean
19) The Firm
20) Field of Dreams
21) The Untouchables
22) Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring

are you bored yet?

23) The Wild Thornberries Movie
24) The Lion King
25) Tarzan
26) Aladdin
27) Beauty and the Beast
28) The Little Mermaid
29) Lilo and Stitch

can you tell I have kids?

30) Give My Regards to Broad Street (an old Paul McCartney movie)
31) Jurassic Park
32) E.T.
33) The Muppet Movie
34) O Brother, Where Art Thou?
35) A Mighty Wind
36) Grease
37) Chicago

I'll add more as I think of them.

Soup - How much cash do you usually carry with you?

Typically I'll draw $30 out of the ATM and carry that around for a while.

Salad - Are you more comfortable around men or women? Why?

Probably women because they tend to be friendlier and find it easier to maintain a conversation.

Main Course - What is the most mischievous thing you remember doing as a child?

I was never mischevious as a child. "Serious? I was positively grim." (Big Orange Michael - ID the quote!)

Dessert - Who is the funniest member of your family?

Yes, that would be me - except when Tink is either running around in her Dumbo costume at Halloween when she was 2, or today when she's singing "It's a Hard Knock Life" as a rap. Nekkid.

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Carnival of Bauer - Week 7

Thank you to, erm, Jack Bauer for graciously allowing me to host the Carnival of Bauer this week.

In honor of most wondrous Commander-in-Chief (no, not Jed Bartlett or Matt Santos), this week's laborious list of lithesome links and luscious labels the Carnival of Logan.







  • Michael at Big Orange Michael summarizes the hour nicely. The same as he does every week. All hail to the power of the Big Orange.

  • Karen settles in hard at Her Chair, has a peanut butter and 'nanner sandwich and reviews the episode. Next time Karen, save some sandwich for Jack, 'cause he's hungry.

  • The aptly named Anti-Idiotarian Rottweiler sinks his teeth into a lengthy review. And establishes a whole new set of character nick-names. Will the madness ever cease??

  • Jeff of Peace Like A River has a detailed review of Week (what, aren't we up to like 35 by now?) I guess it's about 18 or so.

  • Trench presents 11:00 P.M.-12:00 A.M. posted at TheTrenchcoat Chronicles.

  • Denis at Provoking the Muse has a brief recap of this week's episode - including commentary on what may be the greatest Chloe line in the history of the show (see above title of my site for reference)


  • New World Man opens with a comparison between bookish and nerdy Chloe and Battlestar Galactica's he-woman Starbuck. Um, they're both blond. Next?

  • Timmay of Timmay's Rants speculates, ruminates and possibly cogitates on what possible grisly fates await PINO (President-in-name-only) Logan.

  • BAUER IN 2008!! He Will Be Working For YOU!! At least that's my campaign slogan. What's Demonrat's? Find out his version of Jack Bauer's Top 10 Campaign Slogans.

  • The house has been cleaned at CTU this year, so looks like the Human Resources department's going to be holding a Job Fair! King Tom has a look at next season's possible victims replacements.

  • Don Surber has some disturbing tie-ins between Major League Baseball and the day's events on 24. Not for the weak-conspiracy-minded.

  • Hey gang, you knew it was coming. Pantrygirl at Now What? brings us Product placement in the 24-verse. Hack into the mainframe with your Apple, download the results into your Palm Pilot, shoot the bad guys with your Smith & Wesson and escape in your Ford Explorer. Just don't stop at McDonalds, cause that'd be hazardous to your health...

  • Random Thoughts joins the legions of fans who are becoming very suspicious of Miss Pure White Coat Audrey Raines. Personally, I don't see it. Has anyone Jack ever tortured besides Said Ali ever actually been guilty?

  • Radioactive Liberty brings us a comparison between Howard Dean, and President Limpwrist. Can you tell which is which? Hmph. Obviously a pinko commie blog... *URK*

  • BOOM-chicka-BOOM-chicka-BOOM-BOOM-BOOM!!! ***twang twang TWANG TWANG*** (sorry, just can't get the "Spy Hunter" music from the last 10 minutes of the episode out of my head. Cake or Death thinks the producers were channeling Charlie's Angels or Starsky and Hutch there at the end. I think he has a point, but to me it sounded more like some future alien traveler found an old episode of "Get Smart" under a rock someplace...

    Maxwell Smart and 99. *sigh* Now there were some agents.

  • Francis at Eternity Road....why there's a great helper! Thank you Mr. Helper! You've given the producers ideas for seasons 6-8! What a sweet and special thing to do... Awwwwwww. Now get back on the table and put the IV back in - Burke isn't through with you yet, and Jack's on his way with a hacksaw...

  • Continuing with that happy-sappy family theme (huh? where?) Roger at Flank Two Position (great name!) enjoys a little quality TV time with his 3-year-old at Midnight in the Bauer of Good and Evil. And we all know what great father-child role models there are on "24"...

  • Ok, just in time for Passover Dr. Blogstein brings us the ulimate comparison: Jack Bauer vs. MOSES. Does Jack have that staff in his Jack-pack? Well, at least we all know who Moses was working for.

    Hey, wait, are we talking about the legendary Biblical figure or Gwynneth Paltrow's baby?

  • I don't quite get the obsession with the daily "24" body count. Hasn't there been enough killing?? Hasn't there been enough death?? What about the children? Hasn't there been enough? Hasn't there?!? Hasn't there!?!?

    Apparently not, because it seems rather obvious Henderson offed pretty little 8-year-old Amy this week. That's disturbing to me, and I don't know why because I would imagine other kids have died in the course of 24's turbulant 4-3/4 years on the air. Jack saved a little kid from the mall, but 11 people or so died there - probably a kid. Who knows how many kids died in the Infected Hotel of Season 3. Last year's Behrooz is likely pushing up daisies with his Little Debbie... (you see the pattern).

    But even though they didn't show Henderson offing the little tyke, I think it's safe to say he didn't let her go. C'mon, producers - let's show some mercy to the under-13 bunch, hm?

    Think of the children!


    Upcoming Hosts
    Justin's Random Thoughts (4/20)
    Below the Beltway (4/27)
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    The Templar Times

    Previous Carnivals
    Announcing the Carnival of Bauer!!!
    The Carnival of Bauer!!! - Week 1
    The Carnival of Edgar- Week 2
    The Carnival of Tony - Week 3
    The Carnival of Life - Week 4
    The Carnival of the Cougar - Week 5

    The Carnival Bauer - Week 6

    Make sure to get your entries into next week's Carnival of Bauer!!! by midnight on Wednesday!
    Blog Carnival submission form - carnival of bauer!!!
  • Wednesday, April 12, 2006

    Fly Like an Eagle

    Today is the 25th Anniversary of the first space shuttle launch.

    On April 12, 1981, the Space Shuttle Columbia lifted off from Cape Canaveral, Florida. I remember distinctly the TV coverage of that day, and as the shuttle cleared the tower someone on television softly encouraging under their breath, " like an eagle." That has stuck with me ever since.

    I had a big poster of the Columbia launch on my wall growing up for a long time. I wonder what ever happened to it..

    22 years later we came home from an overnight trip to see footage of the remains of Columbia streaking across the Texas sky.

    It's time to start again, NASA. Re-engineer, re-imagine. Call John Lasseter if you have to. We've waited too long - to the moon, to Mars, let's get it on.

    Let's fly.

    Monday, April 10, 2006

    Call for Entries

    I'm hosting the Carnival of Bauer this Thursday, so all you RTB types and other readers do me a favor and write something up about tonight's episode of "24" - a review, an observation, comedy piece, some sort of pithy, yet reaching character study that vaguely relates to the world at hand - submit it to the Submission Form before Thursday, and see your name, site and link in lights!

    And remember, if you can't do this then the terrorists win...

    Friday, April 07, 2006

    Mommy, Mommy, Can I Have One, Pleeeeeeeeease??

    Buy your own working replica of the "Lost in Space" Robot.

    It know it has to be able to wave its arms and say, "Danger! Danger!!" It even gathers soil samples! Yours for the low, low price of only $18,000!!

    I know what I'm asking for for Christmas!

    Doin' the Curly Shuffle

    (For some reason I keep reporting on the Today show this week)

    This morning Matt Lauer asked Chris Matthews (of "Hardball") how important this presidential leak story was on a scale of 1 to 10, with 1 being Barely a Blip on the Radar, and 10 being--

    "10, Matt.. 10. Above 10," Matthews broke in excitedly. Gleefully. "Super 10, Matt. Mega Major Colossal 10 - An Ultra Massive 10 on the Global Universal Scale of 10's, Matt."

    Then he started drooling, dropped to the floor and spun around while lying down like Curly going "Whoop whoop whoop whoop!!!"

    Ok, maybe he didn't do all that, but you could tell that's what he would have liked to say. He was so happy Bush was involved in some kind of scandal he would've given it an 11 if he could count that high.

    Which means, of course, it's about a 5.

    (See Republicans, 1998, Monica Lewinsky hearings)

    A word of advice for all Democrats happy about this non-development (Rich explains it well) - when the Republican party put Bill Clinton through the impeachment ringer for no good reason, it distracted the country for two years and kept the administration from concentrating on the important business of the country. Business such as...I don't know...hunting down terrorists? And a year after the 2000 election we had 9/11. Keep that in mind.

    Friday's Feast

    Friday's Feast

    Friday, April 07, 2006 - Feast Eighty-Eight

    Appetizer - Name a trait you share with your parents or your children.

    I could start with the hairline that my dad and I share...

    Soup - List 3 qualities of a good leader, in your opinion.

    1. A leader must be honorable. This means they have to mean what they say. It also means they treat everyone fairly and with dignity
    2. They must be committed to the people they lead and/or the organizations or cause they represent. No hidden agendas, no under-the-table maneuvering.
    3. They must be unafraid to be wrong. They must be able to stand up for their beliefs and admit when they've failed.

    Salad - Who is your favorite television chef?

    Um...Emeril? I'm not sure I really care...

    Main Course - Share a story about a gift you received from someone you love.

    A couple years ago for my birthday Laura surprised me out of the blue with two tickets to the Peach Bowl in Atlanta to watch Tennessee play Maryland. The tickets were packed in a box covered with other UT paraphanalia. Unfortunately, Tennessee lost badly but we got to celebrate the New Year in Underground Atlanta, which was a hoot.

    Dessert - How do you react under pressure?

    If it's good pressure, I'm fine. That means a reasonable deadline that is fast approaching. If it's an unfair deadline because someone has suddenly decided they want this thing that was due next week done TODAY!, or because other people in the process keep screwing up or dropping the ball, then I get upset.

    My John Hancock

    This is for Tish and Logtar

    Don't try and forge any checks, now. Cause, like, there's only my first name and they'll just kind of laugh at you if you sign the check "Barry". Trust me.

    Thursday, April 06, 2006

    The Jack Bauer Power Hour

    Next Thursday I'll be hosting the Carnival of Bauer - check out today's edition:

    NOW!! Do you hear me? NOW!!!

    (This is for the TV show "24", for the unitiated. Although we know you are a mole...)

    Attack of the Clone

    I've started a duplicate of this blog over at Wordpress - take a look:

    The New And Improved (?) Inn of the Last Home

    I'm truly debating on whether to move my site over there for several reasons.

    1) It's easier to post, and easier to add photos and links.

    2) Categories are kind cool

    3) Built-in comments, searching, recent posts and a lot of those goodies I've had to add with custom controls or 3rd-party code on this site

    4) Extra pages for extra information that are separate from the blog posts

    But I like this place. It's been my online home for 3 years, and I've never really had any serious trouble with Blogger. One big downside to Wordpress is the inability to customize beyond the options the templates give you, so that would mean all the stuff I've put on the sidebar (photo of the kids, feed buttons, Rocky Top Brigade banner, "What I'm Reading", etc etc would have to go away.

    What do you think? Do I move?

    Sign of the Apocalypse #427

    `South Park' Wins Peabody Award
    Comedy Central's "South Park" won its first Peabody Award on Wednesday, winning praise from judges as TV's boldest, most politically incorrect satirical series.

    "South Park" was praised as a show that "pushes all the buttons, turns up the heat and shatters every taboo," Peabody Awards Director Horace Newcomb said. "Through that process of offending it reminds us of the need for being tolerant."
    But in one of those signs that maybe things aren't quite as bad as you think...
    The Sci Fi Channel won its first Peabody for "Battlestar Galactica," a drama about a war-ravaged civilization trying to start anew.
    Ok, maybe things aren't so bad.

    (Reads top line again)

    No, they are...

    Wednesday, April 05, 2006

    Best Line Ever on the Today Show

    After Katie Couric's extended, emotion-filled announcement that she was leaving the show, Matt Lauer, without a moment's pause, said, "Also coming up in this half hour..."

    (Thanks, MUG)

    Oh Yeah, We're Back

    In case all those readers ( hadn't noticed by my post blitz yesterday.

    The trip to NYC was a blast, and we were all pretty wiped out when we got back late Sunday night.

    L-a-a-a-a-a-t-e Sunday night, as in early Monday morning about 1am.

    One of the buses got a flat before we were even out of New Jersey, which added a couple hours to our trip.

    We did get to see Tarzan, which I will try to write a full review soon before some of the details slip from my memory.

    I'll also post a full spread of pictures, but I'm having trouble accessing our photo gallery from work so for now I'll hold you over with a picture of Tink posing with a pack of stuffed pigs at FAO Schwartz:

    Tuesday, April 04, 2006

    The Office

    James Lileks:
    But that’s probably colored by my general feeling about offices, which make me feel as though my spinal column is being pulled out, one long nerve at a time, through the base of my skull. It’s not the people, it’s not the job, it’s just the putty clutter, the eternal feeling of 1:57 PM that characterizes most offices, and all the souls staring at computer monitors. It’s like a factory where everyone has their back to everyone else.
    Yep, that pretty much sums my days up right there...

    Shot Through the Heart

    Jack Bauer and Wayne Palmer have now teamed up as action hero partners on "24", moving in to take out the bad guys who have kidnapped the daughter of their only lead!!!.

    Before she'll tell them who's behind all of this, she demands Jack and Wayne rescue her little girl, who's behind held by Jack's former mentor Christopher Henderson.

    As we all know, Jack's a seasoned military, intelligence and tactical operative. He knows exactly what to do in these situations. However, ex-presidential brother and ex-Chief of Staff Wayne - while being a former Marine - has no real combat experience. Training, yes, but he's apparently never actually killed anyone in a firefight.

    But he's all Jack has, so they go in. Infiltrating the nameless factory where Henderson is holding the little girl, Jack takes out the first minion with a sneak-up-strangle-from-behind-two-shots-in-the-back and he's down. They move on and Jack sees movement, taking out a second minion. Wayne's assignment is to remove another baddie from their flank while Jack secures the roof and a sniper that's waiting up there. While Jack climbs, Wayne comes around a corner face-to-face -- or rather, face-to-back -- with his target.

    What's interesting is Wayne appears to freeze - although as the bad guy turns around, Palmer finally fires, killing him. I watched the sequence in confusion, wondering why even a Marine who'd never seen combat might hesitate in this crucial a situation, but then it occured to me...

    He didn't want to shoot the guy in the back.

    There are lots of people who find shooting someone in the back dishonorable. I would tend to agree, but I'm not sure it's always wise.

    Still, I found it interesting that there was a character on a show like 24 who showed that kind of honor.

    Those of you who watched, what do you think? Was it honorable? Necessary? Does that kind of fair-play just increase the risk of his getting killed and failing the mission (after all, an 8-yr-old girl's life was at stake, not to mention National Security and discovering who was the traitor in the White House)?

    I think it's an important question to ask, especially in light of the Abu Ghraib and Guantanoma scandals (or should I say "scandals" since a lot of the torture allegations were overblown). In fact, the use of torture to extract information from people is a big think in the "24" universe - it's used fairly liberally, with varying success.

    At what point do we find he have to sacrifice our honor for the greater good? Wayne could've easily shot the bad guy in the back with no risk to himself, but he stood his ground until the guy turned around and then shot him - at much greater risk of failing. All for the knowledge he was being honorable to the guy. Is it better to be smart than good?

    Figuring out who we are as Americans and humans isn't easy, but it's necessary.

    Monday, April 03, 2006

    Happy Birthday (Late)

    It's Becky's birthday!

    Well, actually, it was Saturday. But I'm still catching up.

    Go wish one of my favorite blogger friends a happy um...birth-week!!!

    Score One for the Good Politicians (and the cable companies)

    The West Wing runs again tonight on BRAVO
    "Last night's "Election Day" episode of The West Wing was interrupted locally by WBIR's Tornado Warning coverage. The same episode will air tonight, Monday, April 3rd, at 8:00 PM EDT on the BRAVO network."
    And if you haven't watched in a while, stay tuned until the very end as things begin to get very sad...

    Query of the Day

    Bob Corker's GOP rivals say he's not a "loyal Republican"
    "Senate candidate Bob Corker's Republican rivals say his vote in two Democratic primaries make his GOP credentials questionable."
    I'm sorry, but isn't the phrase "GOP credentials" a contradiction in terms?


    This is how Tink and I are at our house. Except with us it's bellybuttons.

    The Top 10 Signs the Umpires Are Biased

    In honor of Opening Day:

    The Top 10 Signs the Umpires Are Biased

    10> After a huddled discussion, they overturn the home run and
    rule you out because of the "outfield fly rule."

    9> "Ball. Oops... I mean STRIKE! Sorry, Mr. Maddux!"

    8> As you round second, the ump fires a warning shot into your

    7> Despite the fielder slipping to the ground, you were ruled
    tagged out by his aura.

    6> Bonds never walks. Ump says the strike zone's "on steroids

    5> The ball's practically dripping with Vicks VapoRub, but
    it's ruled OK because the pitcher has the sniffles.

    4> After your fourth two-strike foul, he calls you out to "give
    somebody else a turn."

    3> He seems to have an endless supply of broken bats to hand to
    Roger Clemens.

    2> "Yeah, you're out. And tubby there in the on deck circle -- he's
    out too."

    and the Number 1 Sign the Umpires Are Biased...

    1> Between innings, they go into the opposing team's dugout for a
    relaxing foot massage and peach spritzer.

    Copyright 2006 by Chris White]

    (Here are some Runners-up)

    Called a balk on the catcher for faking a snap-throw to first.

    Fan throws your home run ball back on the field; it's ruled in play.

    How come only *your* players have to give random urine samples? While at bat.

    "I think you spit on my chest protector, Skipper. Wipe it off. WIPE. IT. OFF."

    "Strike one! Strike two! Strike two-and-a-half!"

    The batter on deck just got called out for swinging and missing three times.

    Tie goes to the other team.

    You beat the throw home by 15 feet, but you're called out because your slide sprayed dirt all over his nice clean plate.

    Your pitcher *never* gets the called strike unless the pitch actually passes directly over some portion of home plate.

    Friday's Feast

    (Just got back from NYC - full report and theatre reviews later - here's a meme to mark that we're still alive)

    Friday's Feast

    Friday, March 31, 2006 - Feast Eighty-Seven

    Appetizer - Name 3 things that you think are strange.

    1) This guy: the Leafy Sea Dragon. These poor fish are way too strange-looking to exist in nature - I suspect they are alien transplants or genetic experiments gone horribly wrong. Possibly both...

    2) The designated hitter rule in baseball. Possibly the single worst major rule in modern professional sports. Why, why, why?? It's very weird that it was ever invented, and ever stuck around.

    3) The fact that Dr. Who is on the air and Star Trek is not. (Sorry, Michael but even you have to admit that...)

    4) Ok, #3 was a friendly jab at Michael. What's really weird is that the UT football team dramatically underachieved this year and the UT men's basketball team dramatically overachieved.

    Soup - What was the last ceremony you attended?

    Technically speaking, it was the awards ceremony this past Saturday for the choral competition we went to New York for. Other than that it was the wedding of a long-time friend of my family. I grew up with her son in Fountain City, and she just got remarried after all these years.

    Salad - What is one lesson you have learned in the past year?

    That I have to make the changes for myself in my life. Actually, I haven't quite learned that lesson yet, but I've learned that I need to learn it. Does that make sense? All the professional (both job and theatre) changes that I'd like to make are not going to just fall into my lap like they always have, but I need to go out and work for them. I realize this is true, I just have a hard time putting it into practice...

    Main Course - Tell us about one of your childhood memories.

    So's one I haven't related in a while - my first (and only other) trip to NYC. I went in between my junior and senior years in high school with my drama department. We flew up, which was also my first time in an airplane. I dimly recall visiting Chinatown, the Statue of Liberty, Sarty's and Macy's. We saw Evita, Amadeus (only 6 months removed from Mark Hamill playing the title role, dangit), and a comedy mystery called Whodunit with Fred Gwynne of The Munsters. I recall being struck by how clean the city was, but don't recall much else.

    Dessert - If you could extend any of the four seasons to be twice as long as normal, which season would you want to lengthen?

    This answer changes a lot over time - I can definitely rule out winter. I think the easiest answer would be summer because I love hot days, warm nights, late daylight and summer sports. But there are moments in spring and fall that I wish would last forever - the cool damp spring mornings when all the flowers really start blooming, and those crisp warm autumn days during football season. If you can bottle those, I'll take them.