Tuesday, October 31, 2006

but he made me wreck when he woke me up.....

Daily News Tribune (Newton, Mass)

Christopher Bordne, 17, was arrested in September in Newton, Mass., after a police officer, waiting behind Bordne at a traffic light at 1:40 a.m. through several light changes, checked to find Bordne with his foot on the brake but otherwise sound asleep. After yelling at Bordne and rapping repeatedly on the window with his flashlight, the officer watched as Bordne woke up, drove off and crashed into a tree.

Monday, October 30, 2006

we've hit a new low, and a close one in sc.....

With Sara at a sleepover and Meg on a date, the bride and I were able to go out for dinner Friday night. Our joke has always been that a romantic night on the town for us was dinner and a trip to Target. Well, we've sunk to a new romantic low.

After dinner at Otter's in Cool Springs, we went to..........Wal Mart. Yeah. Wal Mart. My least favorite place in the world. I'd really rather take a tour of a water treatment plant, but unfortunately we did have to go there. But Wal Mart on a Friday night? Yep, that's a new low for us.

Saturday night UT beat South Carolina. I had a couple of fits. For some reason it seemed that SC got all the calls for the first 3 quarters, then UT got the calls for the 4th. I'll take it. I think Randy Sanders came back and called the QB draw towards the end of the game. Reminded me of when Ainge got his shoulder separated in the Notre Dame game 2 years ago. Thankfully he'll be alright for LSU this weekend. I'm just glad Spurrier didn't win. I mean South Carolina. Oops.

We got to see Ellen last night. She and Jeff were in for a wedding this weekend, but they go back to Acapulco later this week. You can keep up with them and their mission work here.

Hard to believe Thanksgiving is just 3 weeks away. I'm taking the whole week of Thanksgiving off this year. Looking forward to the downtime and being with family.....

Friday, October 27, 2006

and we're back.....

Be it ever so humble (and slow), there's no place like home.....

By the way, here's the post from this morning that I could never get to turn out right on WordPress:

I had the opportunity to see about a 5 minute preview for the movie The Nativity Story this morning. The scrrenwriter, Mike Rich, told some stories about the writing process and how everything came about. (Mike was also the screenwriter for the movies “Radio” and “The Rookie.”) Before he spoke, singer Jill Phillips sang the song “A Labor of Love” from the soundtrack. Beautiful song, and she has a crystal clear voice.

The movie debuts Friday, December 1. Go see it. It’ll get you in the Christmas spirit. I think I’m already there…..

Thursday, October 26, 2006


Beginning Friday, October 27, my new 'blog home will be as follows:


Please, all 4 of you OFIT readers, remember to put the new address into your 'Favorites' list. Or not. I can't force you. It's your call.....

bite taken out of bama', but smokey is innocent.....

Smokey IX, Tennessee's beloved bluetick coonhound mascot, was accused of biting Alabama wide receiver Mike McCoy before last Saturday's game. Alabama coach Mike Shula even talked about it in his press conference earlier this week. Only thing is, Smokey never broke the skin.

McCoy was warming up with a quarterback before the game and had to jump out of bounds for a pass. When McCoy landed, he landed on top of ol' Smokey. Smokey's owner, Earl Hudson, said, "Now what dog worth his salt wouldn't defend himself? Smokey did not bite him. The article in the paper said he bit the player. He got a little of his uniform, didn't break the skin I was told, but Alabama made a big deal of it."

UT officials did say there was a hole in McCoy's pants. Thankfully, Smokey was not injured in the scuffle. He remains on the travel roster for this Saturday's game at South Carolina.

It's true that the Tide did have a big bite taken out of them on Saturday, but Smokey had nothing to do with it. That was done by the Vol defense.

The truth comes out! Read more here.....

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

some whyizzits.....

Whyizzit that sports fans can never just say "good game" after their team has lost? We're all guilty. I said that Chris Leak should wear a dress if he's going to be that protected by the refs when UT lost to Florida. (This response did however make quite a bit of sense.) After messing with an Alabama fan about UT's win, this was his response: "You know, Fulmer has never beaten a good Alabama team." Um, he's 11-3 against Alabama. I guess that means Alabama's only had 3 good teams in 14 years. Hey, he said it, not me. Besides, what's that got to do with Saturday's game?

Whyizzit that the person who delivers our newspaper has trouble hitting out 18-foot-wide driveway? Just how fast are you going by my house at 5:00 AM that makes it so difficult to drop the thing somewhere that doesn't have any grass growing?

Whyizzit that some people can never own up to their age? I know someone who thinks she's my age, and she's got almost 10 years on me. I'll ask, "So, how old would you guess this person is?" and she'll say "Oh, he's about our age" every time.

Finally, whyizzit that I can't get rid of this stupid sinus infection? Gonna' have to get some serious antibiotics from my doctor.....

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

detailed directions required.....

Bonn, Germany - 8/27/06

Dutch transportation planner Hans Monderman has been pushing his innovative plans for improving traffic, and several towns in the Netherlands and Germany have already signed on, according to an August report by the German news organization Deutsche Welle. His proposals include eliminating traffic signs and street markings, which he believes will force drivers to be careful as they hunt for their destinations, and building children's playgrounds in median strips of roads, figuring that drivers would surely slow down.

Building children's playgrounds in median strips of roads? We have something similar in our neighborhood. They're called cul-de-sacs. And Hitler himself couldn't police the street any better than some of the moms.....

Monday, October 23, 2006

rocky top, baby.....

We couldn't have asked for a more perfect setting for Saturday's game. Although the day started off cold, the sky was crystal clear and the temperature was in the low 60's at kickoff. Of course winning the game didn't hurt, either.

Fans of both teams started pouring into Knoxville earlier than normal on Saturday for the big rivalry. Sara and I left Franklin at 6:30. We met Chris and Landon in a Methodist church parking lot about a mile from Neyland at 10:30. We walked through the campus to Thompson-Boling to watch the UT mens' team practice. Looks like we've got alot of really good athletes on the team this year. After lunch, we headed for the Vol Walk.

We got Sara and Landon on the inside of the line so they could high-five the players as they went by. Sara had a HUGE smile on her face as she slapped both Erik Ainge's and Brett Smith's hands. She even got to chest-bump Trooper Taylor. Even though it was just an accidental one. See, Trooper chest-bumps any and all willing participants. He bumped one guy, and his momentum carried over to where Sara was standing. Didn't matter to her - she considered it an official chest bump.

The first half wasn't pretty on the offensive side of the ball, to say the least. And even though we didn't take the lead until about 2+ minutes left in the game with a 1-yard dive by Foster, a win's a win. The defense stepped up and preserved the victory with a couple of big sacks by Antonio Reynolds and Jerod Mayo. And most of Neyland was standing and yelling for the entire fourth quarter.

The line of the day had to go to the guy I heard talking on his cell phone in the men's room. He was standing there and here's what I heard: "Huh? Yeah. No, actually I'm peein'. Huh? Yeah, I said I'm peein'! Heh-heh-heh!"
Sara called the bride when we got to the car and the first thing she said was, "Mom! Guess what? We saw, like, three fights after the game!" It never fails during a rivalry game. Combine the hatred some fans have for the other's team with a bit of liquid refreshment and the trouble could start at any time.

My first UT/Bama game at Neyland was one to remember, that's for sure.....

Friday, October 20, 2006

no bigger game.....

When I think of THE rivalry game for Tennessee, I think of Alabama. Yes, Florida's big, but it doesn't quite have the history that Alabama does. The Florida rivalry didn't really come along until everybody's favorite coach, Steve Spurrier, arrived in Gainesville back in the early 90's. But Alabama goes way back.

Legendary Coach Bear Bryant was quoted in the book "The Third Saturday in October", "You found out what kind of person you were when you played against Tennessee."

And you'd better believe the players know how much this game means to Phillip Fulmer. QB Erik Ainge recently said, "My freshman year, coach Fulmer said that we get cigars if we win," Ainge said. "I was kind of like, 'We don't get cigars after any other game.' (The NCAA and SEC rules against extra benefits and tobacco products in a team setting, so that won't be happening this year. At least, we won't hear about it if it does happen.) You can tell there's certain things that make this game a little more special than some of the other ones. Does it mean more? It doesn't mean any more than any of the other wins. There's just that little something extra that goes along with it."

"Alabama is the game for him," senior offensive tackle Arron Sears said. "Alabama and Florida are the two biggest games. But with Alabama, there's some hate blood around that."

I've been to several Tennessee games in my life, but Saturday will be my first Alabama game (thanks to Chris and Landon!). Last year was my first Georgia game with Meg. Sara and I will be leaving very early Saturday morning for this one. We have to be there in time for lunch and the Vol Walk. Last year Meg actually TOUCHED Erik Ainge (yeah, that had didn't get washed for a week or so), so that's Sara's goal this year. Either that or she's going to chest-bump Trooper Taylor.

Look for us on television tomorrow. We'll be the ones wearing orange and waving at the camera. Wait, Sara's got something pink to wear that has the UT logo on it. Very girly. I'll be the one in the Ainge jersey. We look just alike, except I've got 21 years on him and he's about 10 inches taller. Other than that, we're brothers from another mother.

Go get 'em, Vols.....

Thursday, October 19, 2006

no fun for you.....

Call me stupid, but sometimes I think adults are the worst thing that ever happened to kids. I can't stand hovering parents who feel that they have to fight their kids' battles for them. Kids need figure things out for themselves while they're still kids. And to those adults who want to take away a simple pleasure of life like dodgeball from kids, you need to get a life.....

ATTLEBORO, Mass. - Tag, you're out! Officials at an elementary school south of Boston have banned kids from playing tag, touch football and any other unsupervised chase game during recess for fear they'll get hurt and hold the school liable.

Recess is "a time when accidents can happen," said Willett Elementary School Principal Gaylene Heppe, who approved the ban. (So is bath time. Should we ban baths and showers?????)

While there is no districtwide ban on contact sports during recess, local rules have been cropping up. Several school administrators around Attleboro, a city of about 45,000 residents, took aim at dodgeball a few years ago, saying it was exclusionary and dangerous.
Elementary schools in Cheyenne, Wyo., and Spokane, Wash., also recently banned tag during recess. A suburban Charleston, S.C., school outlawed all unsupervised contact sports.

"I think that it's unfortunate that kids' lives are micromanaged and there are social skills they'll never develop on their own," said Debbie Laferriere, who has two children at Willett, about 40 miles south of Boston. "Playing tag is just part of being a kid." (She's obviously the only sane person they interviewed for this article.)

Another Willett parent, Celeste D'Elia, said her son feels safer because of the rule. "I've witnessed enough near collisions," she said. (My feeling is that ol' Celeste's son will get beat up on the playground alot regardless of what the school prohibits.....)

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

possible band names.....

I've always been intrigued by band names. The name itself, how they came up with it, stuff like that. I heard Lionel Richie say once that he and his bandmates came up with the name "The Commodores" by flipping through a dictionary and pointing blindly to a word. He said that they were almost named "The Commodes".

I really like the off-beat names of bands like the Screaming Cheetah Wheelies, Strawberry Alarm Clock, String Cheese Incident and Pipe Down Otis. With these band names in mind, I've come up with a few of my own. Feel free to use them if you're in a garage band and can't come up with a name of your own.

Mechanical 120 - I saw this on a door here in my office building the other day

Stand Don't Sit

Peanut Butter Dreams - this was on a box of candy I bought from a lady who was selling stuff for her daughter's Girl Scout troop

Scooter Pickle - actual name of a friend; he's already been approached by a guy in the music business about this one, but I had to include it anyway

Narcoleptic Insomniacs

About Marybelle - that one's for Landon

Cinnamon Mousepad

Effeminate Tomboys

Ugly Stepchildren

Meat 'n 3 - perfect name for a country music band

Perpetual Stillness

And, of course, the list wouldn't be complete without OFIT. That one may cost you, though.....

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

i'm so buying a convertible.....

I like the new Saturn SKY.

I've always been a fan of the Honda S2000.

And the Mazda Miata is as fun to drive as a go cart.

Of course, my all-time favorite convertible is the '56 Corvette.

But which one should I buy? Oh, I've got some time. Probably about 10 years or so.

You see, about a month ago the bride and I were out driving one evening. We stopped to get gas and a couple in their 50's pulled up in a new convertible Thunderbird. She said, and I quote, "We need to get a convertible when we get older." That one went in the vault. It's locked up, not going anywhere.

So I'm taking the ball and running with it. I don't care what anyone says, I'm buying a convertible. My wife said it was OK.....

Monday, October 16, 2006

back after a brief respite.....

I took a few days off from work and from blogdom. I had to fit some time in between now and the end of the year and it worked out well. Thursday I did some stuff around the house then picked the bride up from school and we dined at Henpeck Market. Good stuff. Friday we took the girls and their friends to Grand Ole Golf, played some mini golf and watched them ride go carts. Then we spent some time at Opry Mills before coming home. Nice time away from the office.

As for the weekend, it was "upset Saturday" in college football. Auburn beat Florida. Maybe Heisman voters will now stop touting Chris Leak. Put pressure on him, he throws interceptions. He's not the best quarterback in the nation. Georgia lost their homecoming game to.....Vanderbilt? I thought people scheduled Vandy for homecoming because they knew they could beat them. (Yeah, I know, UT lost to them at Neyland last year. But that was last year. So there.)

And the Titans won their first game! They didn't dominate, but a win's a win. I saw that Vince Young asked the ref for the game ball at the end. Hopefully that's the first of many for him and the Titans. Travis Henry, UT graduate, ran like he did while in college. Possibly a season-changing week for them. They won't make the playoffs, but it's a start.

5 days to UT-Bama.....

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

threshold not required.....

Skier Wins Wife Carrying Contest

October 10, 2006 (NEWRY, Maine) - John Farra, a former Winter Olympian from Caribou who trained by running up a ski slope with 80 pounds of mortar mix, won the seventh annual North American Wife Carrying Championship on Saturday at Sunday River.

Farra's first-place finish earned him and his 110-pound wife Tess her weight in beer and five times her weight in cash, or $550. They also are eligible for a $1,000 reimbursement toward a trip to the world championships in Finland next July.

The Farras completed the 278-yard course, which includes a water trough and log hurdles, in 1 minute, 6 seconds in the critical heat and 1 minute, 4 seconds in the final. Daniel Brown and Janel Worcester of Brewer were second, about 10 seconds behind, in the field of 27 couples.

Several hundred spectators turned out for the competition during the height of western Maine's fall foliage season.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

seems that no one's safe any more.....

Anyone out there aware that urinating continues to be a dangerous activity? I had no idea that relieving oneself was so dangerous until I read the following:

In July, an Australian man, looking for a place to relieve himself near the Commercial Drive SkyTrain station in East Vancouver, British Columbia, fell about 100 feet into a ravine, but tree branches broke his fall, and he survived. (Canadia Broadcasting Corporation News, 7/19/06)

And Jerry Mersereau, 23, after camping in the Mount Hood National Forest in Oregon, filed a lawsuit against the federal government in August for injuries he suffered after wandering off a cliff at night while searching for a place to relieve himself. (The Oregonian, 8-4-06)

Next time I stump my toe in the middle of the night on the way to the turlet, I'll have to remember there are worse fates that others have suffered.....

Monday, October 09, 2006

to whomever let the dogs out - they're back in their cages now.....

Going into the UT-Georgia game, I was a little nervous. I was concerned that their highly ranked defense would clamp down on Tennessee and keep us from scoring. They did for about 28 minutes.

During the first half I was a wreck. I threw blankets. I threw a big pillow. I actually had to wipe a bit of spittle off the television screen after a heated explosion due to the officiating. I accused Georgia of being in the refs' pockets. Seemed that any time UT did something, it had to be reviewed. (Even after it was over I told the bride that it wouldn't surprise me if the officials overturned 2 or 3 of our touchdowns overnight.) I was upset with John Chavis and his defense. I couldn't believe that our punt coverage team gave up a touchdown to Georgia again this year. I almost resigned myself to believing it was over when it was 24-7. Almost. Then it happened.

We scored at the end of the first half. Then we forced a turnover and scored another touchdown. Game on. From that point on (with the exception of the kickoff returned for a touchdown), the rout was in progress. Finally! A Tennessee offense that lived up to its potential. They scored 6 out of the last 7 times they touched the ball. And the only reason they didn't score on the 7th posession was because we ran the clock out.

This was a huge win for the program, propelling them to 8th in the polls. They get a week off before playing Alabama at Neyland Stadium. Sara and I will be there for that one.

The line of the night goes to my lovely bride. It was in the second half, and the refs were reviewing another one of our touchdowns. Before I said anything, she calmly said, "Just put the remote down. I don't want you throwing it; it's brand new." Does she know me or what? Ain't love grand.....

Friday, October 06, 2006

thanks, coach.....

I grew up with a dream - to be 6' 2", 190 pounds, and play point guard for the Boston Celtics. (I stopped short of my height goal by about 5 inches, but I'm closing in on the weight part!) I spent almost every afternoon from the time I was 5 until I was about 15 in my driveway or someone else's driveway playing basketball.

I started playing organzied basketball in the Kingsport City League when I was 6. I remember Dad taking me to the Ross and Robinson Junior High gym on many cold Saturday mornings. I didn't play all that much the first year, mainly because I was dwarfed ball all those "monsterous" 7-year-old boys.

With just a few games left in the season, I was the only one left on the team who hadn't scored in any of the games. My coach called a time out and drew up a play in the huddle. It was basically a 4-man screen they set so that they could wall-off the defenders and give me a clear shot at the basket. I think it took 3 tries, but I finally made it. I thought I was the league MVP after that game. I went on to play for several more years in city league, for part of a season in junior high, several years in church leagues, a couple of years in intramurals, and then back to the church leagues after moving to Nashville. Alas, the Celtics never called me.

Paul Riley was the coach who made sure I scored my first season. While reading the Kingsport Times News on-line yesterday, I saw that Paul passed away Wednesday morning. I'll bet I hadn't thought about that 4-man screen in over 30 years, but I remembered it instantly when I read his obituary. Thanks, Coach.....

Thursday, October 05, 2006

don't touch my monkey.....

In September, following complaints of diners, the health department in Springfield, Mo., notified restaurants that Debby Rose's "assistance monkey" could not be permitted to dine with her (in a high chair), even though Rose said she suffers from a disabling social phobia that she can accommodate only if "Richard" (a bonnet macaque monkey) is with her. Monkeys are generally permitted under the Americans with Disabilities Act if they perform certain tasks, as capuchin monkeys have been trained to fetch groceries from shelves for wheelchair-using patrons. However, animals that provide only emotional support fall into a gray area, according to a U.S. Justice Department spokesperson quoted by the Springfield News-Leader.

ABC News-AP, 9-16-06

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

men's room ettiquette.....

I try to write posts that aren't gender biased. While my writing is from the male perspective, I try not to alienate any of my 4 readers. But let me state that this one is aimed at the guys. Ladies, I do encourage you to read this and discuss it with any men you might know so that you can provide me with some feedback. It's about men's room ettiquitte.

Now I'm not talking about wiping up around the sink after washing your hands; I'm not speaking of taking your newspapers/magazines with you when you're finished; I'm not even going to elaborate on "forgetting" to flush. No, this one is baffling to me. And it's getting worse.

Last week I stepped into a men's room on my way to the other side of the building. The guy I carpool with, "Bob", happened to be in there and we started talking. I went to wash my hands and someone else came into the bathroom and stood beside Bob. The guy proceeded to break wind. Loud and long wind. Thunderous, rip-roaring, ducked-stepped-on, jaw-dropping gas. I looked in the mirror and Bob happened to look over his shoulder as if to say, "What the.....". We talked about it on the way home that day. And while neither of us consider ourselves to be of the upper-crust of society, we both felt that this was beyond rude. Of course we laughed about it, be we still considered it gauche.

I thought this was an isolated instance. Surely this kind of thing was rare. Happened to me again yesterday. No warning, no apology, just a huge sigh of relief when he finished. So apparently there are fewer and fewer "safe zones" here in the building.

What's going on with the world today? What happened to being embarrassed about flatulence around the workplace? What happened to holding it until you were alone? What happened to a simple "pull my finger" to at least give those around you some warning?

Ray McRae (junior high/high school/college friend) used to describe himself as "crude, rude and downright indecent" when we were in college. (I need to remember to write about some of the things we did during our freshman year; almost cost me my degree, but I was young.) You knew that about him going in, so it was sort of overlooked. But to be "shot at" by someone you barely know, I just don't know.....

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

the cheetah girls.....

Have you heard about this group? The Cheetah Girls (according to research I just did; prior to this I just thought they were a group that Disney put together from a TV show) is a girl singing group who seek to be discovered and become famous and land that ever-important recording contract. In their first movie, four teenage girls in New York seeking a record deal. They are discovered by a record producer while rehearsing for a school talent competition. All of this came from a series of 16 novels written by Deborah Gregory.

Ever tried to get reasonably priced tickets for one of their tour stops? Good luck. I know someone who "desperately" needed 8 tickets for a show in North Carolina, and she was having trouble finding tickets under $75 each. The bride and I saw Billy Joel AND Elton John and paid $150 for both tickets. E-bay sellers have tickets as high as $200 each for floor level seats. Unless The Beatles are getting back for a reunion, ain't nobody worth $200 a ticket.

I can just picture parents of girls who are fans of the Cheetah Girls agonizing over whether or not to get front row tickets. It's 11:00 PM and they're in bed, having just turned off the lights.

Wife - "Honey, are you asleep?"

Husband - "Huh? What? Who?"

Wife - "I said, are you asleep?"

Husband - "You turned off the lights 30 seconds ago. OF COURSE I was asleep! What is it?"

Wife - "Um, what do you think about getting Kiki and her friends front row tickets for the Cheetah Girls concert next month? That could be her birthday party."

Husband - "If I say yes can I go back to sleep?"

Wife - "Sure!"

Husband - "OK, how much are they?"

Wife - "Well, I'm tracking some on e-bay for $250."

Husband - "Hmmm, that's a little high for a group like that, but for all 4 tickets I guess that's alright."

Wife - "Um.....that's per ticket. It would be $1,000 for all 4."

Husband - "You almost had me there. Good one!"

Wife - "I'm not kidding, dear. They're $250 each."

Husband - "Let me get this straight. We've got a refrigerator on its last leg and you want to spend $1,000 for tickets to a concert of some teenaged girs who will probably lip sync their way through 90 minutes of cover material?????"

Wife - "Oh, but dear, Kiki would be so happy."

And so it goes. The husband is in a no-win situation. If he gives in and makes the girls in the house happy, he's miserable. If he says no, the girls in the house are miserable and that will make his life miserable.

And people wonder why they don't have enough money saved up for their kids' college education.....

Monday, October 02, 2006

hey, hey, hey.....it's cheap-shot albert.....

I understand wanting to win. I know what it feels like to want it so bad that you'd do almost anything to do so. But there's a line that should never be crossed, and Albert Haynesworth leaped over it yesterday.

The Titans weren't supposed to win yesterday, but they kept it close in the first half. The Cowboys came out and man-handled the Titans' defense in the second half. And even though it was the same old song for the Titans in the second half as it has been in every second half of all their games this year (and last), I'm sure it gets frustrating.

After being beaten badly on a play by Cowboys offensive lineman Andre Gurode, Albert Haynesworth went back to the offensive lineman. As Gurode lay on the ground, Albert stomped on his helmet-less head. With cleats. Not rubber cleats but steel cleats. Cheap shot. And then he acted surprised when the ref threw the flag and ejected him.

I'd like to see the Titans turn things around. I'd like to see them win a few games. But if they're going to play dirty, I'd just as soon see them lose the rest of their games this year. At least they'd get a good draft pick out of it. (Not that they know what to do with great draft picks.....)

Haynesworth sounded contrite after the game. Embarrassed by the whole situation. At least he said all the right things. But would he have felt the same way if he hadn't gotten caught? Fisher has vowed to take matters into his own hands if the NFL's punishment is too light.

Note to Coach Fisher - Pac Man's supposed to be your problem child. You're starting to lose control of the team and you've still got 12 games to go.....