Thursday, November 30, 2006

it's a soul thang.....

Here's the first single that will be released from Taylor Hicks' new album. This was a performance from Wednesday night's Rockefeller Center tree lighting ceremony - but it wasn't aired. Too many stars for an hour for the artists to have more than one song broadcast. Enjoy!

alabama rehires the bear.....

I wish I had been fast/creative enough to have written the following post. If you know even just a little bit about Alabama football you'll understand why it's so funny. Oh, I also had to clean it up a bit for family viewing. Enjoy.....

(from MZone wire reports) Tuscaloosa, AL

The University of Alabama announced yesterday it was rehiring legendary football coach Paul "Bear" Bryant to replace Mike Shula who was fired Sunday. The move sent shockwaves through the college football world since Bryant has been dead for over 23 years.

"Even from the grave, we believe Bear couldn't do any worse than the 6-6 record Shula delivered this season," said Alabama athletic director Mal Moore. "Plus, everybody we hire here is going to be compared to him anyway so we figured, why not just get the real deal?"

As word spread across Tuscaloosa that Bryant was coming back, spontaneous celebrations broke out on the campus where Bryant coached for 25 years.

"Wooooo hoooooo!" shouted Ned Bunderson from his pick up truck as he drove past Bryant-Denny Stadium. "It's like he never left anyway, we talk so much about him around here. So this kicks butt!"

When asked if he thought recruiting and actually coaching on game days might be a problem due to the fact Bryant was still technically deceased, Bunderson and the three O'Shaunessy brothers in the back of his truck became enraged and threatened to cause bodily harm to our MZone correspondent, thus ending the interview.

School officials plan to place a houndstooth hat on the sidelines during the games and have one of the 6,000 Bear look-alikes who show up each football Saturday do all halftime interviews and post-game press conferences.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

study shows christmas trees cause undue stress.....

OK, this wasn't any kind of official study or anything. Just one I did on my own. And actually it didn't start out as a study. It just sort of happened.

I love Christmas. Everything about it. The music, the shopping (but not the traffic in Cool Springs or at Opry Mills), the decorations. I love decorating the house and making it look like Christmas. That is, I love it until the tree starts acting ugly.

I remember grwoing up and going with Dad every year to get a live tree. We'd go from lot to lot looking at trees. We'd see one we liked, it would cost something like $18, and Dad would offer the guy a ridiculous amount like 75 cents. (He was very good at this kind of thing.) They'd go back and forth, Dad would act like he was leaving, then they'd settle on a price. We'd get it home, saw off some of the lower branches and level it up, back and forth, until 2 hours later we'd be covered in tree sap but we'd have a tree up in the living room.

When I moved to Nashville I bought a live tree that first year. After the bride and I met, we went the artificial route with a tree that was given to us by a family member. A couple of years later we found a deal on a new tree at Target. When we moved about 6 years ago, the Target tree went to the bonus room and we bought a beautiful pre-lit tree for downstairs. The Target tree is docorated with everything the girls have ever made along with decorations that are 20+ years old. A veritable potpourri of memories. The downstairs tree is themed, and only those decorations approved by the bride may adorn this tree.

Last year, the downstairs tree had a small section of lights that didn't work so I strung a short set of lights and it worked just fine. This year the same tree had about 1/3 of its lights out. I spent a total of about 90 minutes working with them, but I couldn't make them work. I went to change the fuses, but couldn't find them. I went to 3 different stores before I found them. I spent an hour on this. Then when I did find them and changed them out, it did no good. I looked at bulbs to see if one was out or loose. Again, no good. My blood pressure was steadily rising. For a brief moment I contemplated pitching the artificial tree, going out and buying a real tree, and decorating it with candles instead of lights. But that thought was short-lived.

So the bride suggested that since the upstairs tree looked worse than Charlie Brown's we should replace it with the downstairs tree and go buy another one. I could cover up the dead-bulb areas with a few light sets and it would be fine for the bonus room. Yes, she is my voice of reason. So in less than 30 minutes we had gone to Hobby Lobby, bought a new tree and come back home. And both trees look wonderful.

There are people who actually decorate houses for Christmas for a living. Saturday afternoon, in the midst of all the tree problems, I sort of felt sorry for those people.....

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

paging mr. foxworthy, new material for you.....

Omaha World-Herald, 10/4/06

Even though protests grow against Wal-Mart for supposedly treating its employees badly, Kellie Guderian is not fazed. In October, she and her husband won Iowa's $200 million Powerball lottery, but she cheerfully said she was keeping her job at the Fort Dodge Wal-Mart. Guderian, said her husband, "loves her job, and the people she works with are like family."

Monday, November 27, 2006

time off, football and untold stories.....

In a way it feels like I've been out of the office for months, and in another way it seems that I just left. The time off was very nice, very much needed. Aside from cleaning carpet and doing other odd jobs around the house, I pretty much loafed. There were days that I spent a couple of hours playing football on the PS2. I did a little reading. And I did alot of eating. Alot. Too much. So much that my cell phone poked my gut on the way into work this morning. Yeah, that much. But most of the time was spent just hanging out with family.

I also watched plenty of football. The Miami/Boston College game used to be interesting. I've seen Pop Warner teams with better offenses. UT pulled a win out (barely) and didn't look that good in the process. But their 9-3 season was fun to watch. Now it's on to win #10 in whatever bowl game we end up with. USC showed how much better it was than Notre Dame. And they're already calling yesterday's Titan's game their most exciting win in franchise history since the Music City Miracle. Vince Young may never set the world on fire, but he knows how to bring a team back. We stopped decorating the den Christmas tree yesterday long enough to watch the last 5-6 minutes of the game and we couldn't believe what we were watching.
I won't tell the story about the skinny little white girl with no figure.

I won't tell the story about the car sporting pseudo bullet hole decals.

Nor will I tell the story about the 12-year-old Kentucky fan who seemed to want to get into a discussion about a "controversial" call from the UT game while I picked up a pizza Saturday night.

Those are all possible stories for another day. Oh, in case you've forgotten, there are just 28 shopping days left before Christmas. Anyone with gift suggestions for my lovely bride, let me know.....

Monday, November 20, 2006

oh, yeah, you know it.....

Yep, vacation time for me can be pretty exotic, let me tell you. Slept in until 6:45 this morning. That's right, 6:45. Livin' the life of luxury. By 7:45 I was vacuuming the carpet so that I could steam clean them. You heard me. Jealous? I had that finished by around 10:00 so I decided to changed out the air filters in the house.

What? Your day was nowhere near as carefree and opulent? I'm so sorry, but that's just how I roll while I'm on vacation.....

Friday, November 17, 2006

no hospital stay necessary.....

So today's doctor visit gave us good news. Sara's medicine finally kicked in and she's on the road to recovery. No fever this morning for the first time in almost 10 days. We celebrated by having dinner at Outback tonight. I'm so full I could burst. This is good training for overeating at Thanksgiving.....

Thursday, November 16, 2006

good news/bad news.....

So the good news is that after today, I'm off until November 27. I had to reschedule a few of my vacation days this year due to some conflicts, but it worked out for the best. I've never taken the entire week of Thanksgiving off, so I'm looking forward to it.

Now for the bad news. Sara started running a fever about 10 days ago. After a couple of visits to the doctor's office we found out that she has pneumonia. During a follow-up visit yesterday, we learned that her condition had worsened slightly. She's on some adult-sized doses of a couple of strong antibiotics. If these don't make a dent in the pneumonia by Friday, the doctor said he would need to admit her to Vanderbilt Children's Hospital.

Keep Sara and the rest of us in your prayers.....

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

i'm not thinking arby's after this.....

Calvert Independent - 10/18/06

In October, Robert Russel Moore, 33, was sentenced to 10 years in prison for the burglary of an Arby's in Prince Frederick, Md. Actually, Moore was assistant manager of the restaurant and was identified by clues from the surveillance tape. Four employees said they recognized the burglar's body shape, clothing and (when he bent over) the distinctive top portion of his buttocks, as being those of Moore. (The owner of the restaurant said he had had to counsel Moore "more than once" about the inadvertent exposure of his butt crack.)

Monday, November 13, 2006

didn't work.....

I tried to mix things up a bit on Saturday. I waiting until about 30 minutes before the game to put on my jersey rather than wearing it all day. I wore a different shirt under the jersey. Neither worked. UT's loss against Arkansas was what's technically referred to in the South as a good old-fashioned butt kickin'. No other way to describe it. It was the only game of the year that we didn't have a chance. They're that good, in my humble opinion. If McFadden isn't a Heisman candidate (and why would he be, he's not from Ohio State, Michigan or Notre Dame) he will be next year. Best back I've seen all year long. I think Arkansas will beat Florida in the SEC championship game.

I'm writing from home today, playing Nurse Daddy. The pediatrician told us this morning that Sara has pneumonia, so I'll be home for at least another day. The highlight of the doctor's office visit was when I read Sara the book "No Hitting". She laughed until she almost cried. It's all about transferrence - if you want to hit your baby brother, hit some pots and pans instead; so mad you could squeeze the cat (Sara's favorite line of the book)? Squeeze some clay instead. I'm sure it's serious reading for a 2-year-old, but it's just plain funny to an 11-year-old. Maybe you had to be there.

Time to fix lunch for the patient.....

Friday, November 10, 2006

this is nothing new.....

So much has been made over the past couple of days concerning Faith Hill's on-screen reaction to Carrie Underwood winning the CMA for female vocalist. Was it a poorly designed joke, a "Zoolander", if you will? Or did she actually think she would win and got ticked because she didn't? Who knows? And for that matter, who even cares? What many people don't know is that this isn't the first time she's reacted in this manner.

Here are some of the other times Ms. Hill has given that now-famous "WHAT?!?!?!" face:

- when told by a TJ Maxx employee that she needed a receipt to return an article of clothing

- the first time husband Tim McGraw removed his hat in front of her and she realized he was bald(ing)

- when a waitress at Chili's told her they were out of fries

- while pregnant when she realized she'd have to wear a size 2 instead of a size 0 for 8 weeks

- when Carrie Underwood won the CMA for.....wait, never mind.....

Thursday, November 09, 2006

this one's for my girls.....

I'm a very neat eater. I don't do alot of spilling or dropping of food or drink on me or my clothes. It's rare that it happens. If the bride and I go out for ribs, I'll eat mine with a knife and fork and barely use my napkin. The bride, however, will use several napkins, and they all look like she's used them to clean up after a knife fight. And I'm not saying this to pick on her, because that's how most people's napkins look after eating ribs. I'm just different.

A person I admire a great deal once said something like this - If you get mud on you, don't try to wipe it off immediately. If you do, it'll just smear and make the stain worse. Let it dry first and it will come off easier. He was speaking figuratively, of course, referring to times when things get hectic and messy in life. I should have heeded his advice yesterday.

After having a sandwich at Quizno's, I noticed a spot of mustard on my shirt. I should have let it dry but I didn't. I went right after it and attacked it while it was still wet. Guess what? Made the stain bigger.

The bride and our daughters are now laughing at me and loving it after reading this. You're welcome, ladies.....

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

the mud-slinging has ceased.....

Here are 9 words I'm glad I don't have to hear on the radio or television any more:

"I'm Harold Ford, Jr., and I approved this message."

Or insert any other political candidate's name. I'll take commercials on hemmorhoid medicine any day of the week over these.

The voting process took about 70 minutes for me yesterday afternoon. They had us snaked all around the youth (Fusion) area at our church. When I finally made it to the room where everyone voted, I saw that there were just 6 voting machines. So that's the problem, I thought. Why aren't there at least 10 machines? That would make more sense. Then I heard on the news last night that some people in Davidson County had to wait in line for up to 5 hours. Why? Because their precinct had only 2 voting machines. I didn't feel so bad about my 70 minute wait.

I will have to admit, though, that voting for an American Idol is much simpler.....

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

cma observations.....

Alot of people assume that if you live in or around Nashville that you're a country music fan. I don't have anything against it, it's just not my favorite genre of music. It's come a long way over the past 30 years, and some of it's actually very good. But when I'm in the car I usually listen to sports talk radio or a CD. That's just me.

Just because I'm not a fan didn't keep me from watching the CMAs last night. Well, I didn't watch it wire to wire. I think I switched over to Andy Griffith around 8:10 and watched the rest of that episode. You know, the one where this professor comes to town an lectures on South America, Andy invites him to dinner even though Clara Edwards has the hots for him, and he ends up falling for Aunt Bee because she looks and acts just like his deceased wife? Yeah, that one. So you can see how it was an easy choice for me to make.

Here's some of the stuff I noticed last night on the CMAs:

The women of country music sounded better than the men. Not that all the guys sounded bad, just that overall the ladies were better live.

What is Eva Longoria's connection to country music and why was she there presenting? Not that I'm complaining, I just couldn't understand her presence. Again, for the record, and just so we're clear on this, I was NOT against Eva Longoria being on camera so much last night. Not upset about it. Nope. Not in the least.

We saw the pre-show on CMT when they interviewed Kellie Pickler on the red carpet. The host there said her album went #1 this week. Good for her. She is so natural at all of this and she cracks me up.

Congratulations to Carrie Underwood on winning best female vocalist. She's only 18 months away from having won American Idol and she snags this huge award. Too bad she's so homely. That probably hinders her record sales.

I'm obviously not familiar with the band Little Big Town. Are they the only country goth band out there? Or did they just get their dates mixed up and thought Halloween was last night?
Martina McBride's song was the first one of the night that was on key. She's always on.

Just in case anyone else is confused about this, Kris Kristofferson actually turned 70 this past June. For some reason I thought he was 112.

Good to see Sara Evans perform last night after all that's been going on in her life lately. Probably was good medicine for her.

Brooks & Dunn are now this generation's version of the band Alabama. They win everything every year.

And finally, the class-act of the night goes to George Stait for letting his father accept his plaque as he was inducted into the Hall of Fame last night. Hm? That wasn't his father? Oh, my mistake.....

Monday, November 06, 2006

how was i wrong, let me count the ways.....

If I didn't know for a fact that Chris had sold his LSU/UT tickets, I would have sworn that Kathy was at Saturday's game. (Kathy just let out a huff after reading this.)

I made some predictions on Friday that weren't anywhere near close. I thought Fulmer was making a bigger deal of Ainge's injury than necessary; obviously it was more serious than anyone knew. I said that UT had a distinct advantage over LSU when it came to coaching; I'm not sure if it was coaching or execution that cost us, but I'm leaning towards a combination of both. I said that LSU looked good on paper but the game would still have to be played; fact is LSU is good both on paper and on the field.

Despite 4 turnovers, LSU still left Neyland Stadium with a win Saturday night. Our defense made Jamarcus Russell look like Michael Vick. And even when he threw interceptions, commentator Gary Danielson praised Russell. If I didn't know better, I'd swear they were related because of all the gushing Danielson did towards Russell during the game.

Jonathan Crompton showed Vol fans why the coaching staff is so high on this young man. He came into a difficult situation and proved that he can play with the big boys. I especially enjoyed watching him put the LSU defensive back on his defensive backside on one particular run. And Robert Meachem showed again why he should be an all-American at the end of the season. The running game was almost non-existent and it may get worse. Starting running back Arian Foster, David Holbert and Antonio Wardlow were arrested shortly after 3 a.m. Sunday when Knoxville police responded to a disturbance call at Goodfellas nightclub. If Fulmer's zero-tolerance policy is still in effect, all three will miss at least the Arkansas game. Stupid, just plain stupid.

The fact of the matter is that UT lost to a better team. True, there was a controversial call with about 3 minutes to go, but one play can't be blamed for an entire game. They were in the game up until the very end and they had a chance to at least force LSU to just tie the game. But the defense chose to go with blanket coverage rather than put pressure on Russell. It was a gamble that didn't pay off.

Some Vol fans might think the season is over. But we tend to have short memories. Last year's 5-6 season was a mess. We're 7-2 with three games remaining. My guess is we finish 9-3, with an outside chance of going 10-2. I'll take either one.....

Friday, November 03, 2006

loose lips sink ships.....

This may very well be the best protected secret in University of Tennessee football history – Will Erik Ainge be ready to play against LSU after suffering a high ankle sprain in last week’s South Carolina game? Or is Jonathan Crompton going to take the controls on Saturday? If you ask me, it’s all a head game.

Phillip Fulmer didn’t just fall off the turnip truck. He knows how to play the game, both on and off the field. When asked about his positive outlook from earlier in the week, he quickly defended his stance. “I said he'd be ready to go,” Fulmer explained. “Now, how much he can actually go, we'll see, but he'll be ready to go.”

This will be Tennessee’s toughest game of the season – so far. (They’ve still got to go to Arkansas next week.) All indications are that LSU’s chink in their armor isn’t on the field, it’s on the sidelines. Seems strange to hear people say we’ve got an advantage when it comes to coaching after hearing the exact opposite for years and years.

This UT team has yet to shrink from a challenge. They’re one of the more resilient teams I’ve seen in several years. Regardless of how good LSU looks on paper, the game’s still going to be played on the field. And I like our chances.

Go get ‘em, Vols…..

Thursday, November 02, 2006

please leave your rocks at home, vol fans.....

The article below was posted on the Big Orange Zone yesterday. I had forgotten all about the rocks. All I remember is one of the greatest comebacks in UT history from a very underachieving football team. (Dad and I were both at the same conference in San Francisco. We both got so frustrated that we quit watching in the first half and ended up going out for dinner. we did, however, see the end of the game.) Winning has a tendancy to make you forget boneheaded things done by a few of the other team's redneck fans.....

The one the thing LSU Athletic Director Skip Bertman hopes Vol fans have forgotten from last season is the rock throwing that targeted the UT Cheerleaders and UT school officials.

Before the game last year in Baton Rouge LSU fans greeted the Vols Cheerleaders and UT school officials with rocks. In all, four buses were accosted by LSU fans as it neared Tiger Stadium carrying the prideful UT contingency. The windows on the buses were broken out and the sides were seriously damaged. The girls and school officials barely escaped serious injury from the incident.

Bertman began the week with a media release that the Vols wanted to forfeit the match up when the game had to be moved. The Vols AD Mike Hamilton said the kids' (players') safety comes before the game -- period. Indeed it was deemed unsafe, national reports told the nation it was unsafe to be there. Rescue workers were attacked as they tried to give aide.

Mike Hamilton voiced the caution from national media reports that the area was deemed unsafe for travel. Puzzling fans are that while having the knowledge of unsafe conditions in the area, Bertman nor school officials offered no alternate protection into the stadium.

LSU athletic director Skip Bertman sent a letter of apology on Wednesday to Mike Hamilton after the story made headlines. The apology was vague at best, and seemed more in tune with pumping the university rather than being apologetic.

The rock throwing incident was the most serious, but was not the only major issue faced by the Big Orange fan base. Since the game had to be moved from the printed date on the tickets, LSU officials refused refunds to Vol fans who had to work on Monday before the game.

Yet it actually got worse for UT, The Pride Of The Southland Band was escorted to the top of Tiger Stadium upon arrival. Fans can hope Mike Hamilton remembers this and places the Tiger band at the top of mammoth Neyland Stadium. The view should be nice this time of year from up there for them.

Philip Fulmer was unable to find accommodations for the team and had to make the trip down by bus and return after the game. There were rooms available it was later stated, but when the coach called, the answer was "no room for you."

No one proposes the UT fan base to take up rocks, and all do hope that fans show more class than our most southern SEC opponent this week. They may possibly deserve never ending crowd noise by the Big Orange at most, and all UT fans need to act respectable. Actually LSU got what they deserved in all truth with the Vols big win. Remember we are a prideful state and football program, we don't need to sink to levels that were predicated upon us.

If a dump truck accidentally drops say 20 tons of loose 3-inch gravel on Neyland Drive in the wee hours of the night before the game - just walk on by. Please.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

let the countdown begin.....

OK, Halloween is over so I can start my Christmas countdown. 54 days to go.

Some things never change regardless of one's age. I remember making out Christmas lists when I was little. My anal retentiveness started at an early age in that not only would I list what I wanted, the catalog it came from (remember, no Internet shopping in the 60's and 70's), and the page number in the catalog, I also included the price and even figured the tax. I wasn't sure if Santa had tax exempt status, so I wanted to be play it safe and help him out all I could. I remember asking for a Sonny Jurgensen poster one year. I never got that poster. I guess Santa was afraid it would get wrinkled during delivery. Either that or Mom told him she didn't want any thumbtack holes in the wall.

Now kids' Christmas lists include iPods, PS2's, PS3's, XBoxes and all other kinds of stuff. These things ain't exactly the same price as a poster. I don't know how Santa can afford to operate these days. Maybe he cuts cost with illegal immigrants. Not that I've heard anything, I'm just speculating. One thing's for sure, he'd have a hard time running for public office these days if he did employ illegal immigrants. Unless he subcontracted the work out and the subcontractor was the one doing the hiring. Then he'd be alright. But I digress.

Wonder if the bride will let me put the Christmas trees up before Thanksgiving.....