Wednesday, February 28, 2007

stomp on the chomp.....

After watching the guys sing on American Idol last night (much better than last week, by the way), I switched over to ESPN and was surprised to see the Vols up by 13 over Florida in the first half. I watched, and was very animated at times, as they stretched the lead to 19 at the half. After a 3-pointer by Lofton, I raised both hands over my head and the bride said, "Honey, you're confused. That's not a football game!" The bride isn't much of a basketball fan and didn't realize that the signal for a 3-pointer looks just like the one for a touchdown.

Last night's game had it all - Pat Summit in a cheerleader uniform, Peyton Manning and a couple of his Colts teammates in the stands, a packed house.....and the hated #4 Gators. At one point the Vols held a 27-point lead and the place was rockin'. I got a little nervous when the lead was cut to 7, but the Vols ended up holding on for an 86-76 win.

I don't watch as much basketball as I used to. But this year's UT team had me watching more than I have in years. And if Lofton comes back for his senior season, next year should be even more fun to watch.
Ah, Rocky Top.....

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

top 2 reasons i'm boycotting next year's oscars.....

#2 - Too many awards nobody cares about except for the people who were nominated.

#1 - The academy refuses to recognize the absolute brilliance of actors like Will Ferrell and Sacha Cohen.

Who needs the Academy Awards? I've got onDemand and Talladega Nights is on this month.....

Monday, February 26, 2007

out of commission.....

I took Friday off to do pretty much nothing. After a late night at the concert Wednesday, followed by an all-day planning meeting on Thursday, I was ready for a little down time. Ended up doing something I've never done before - I mowed my yard in the month of February. That night my throat felt scratchy, and I attributed it to allergies. Saturday was rainy and my energy level was down. Sunday morning I woke up with a fever. Ended up taking a sick day on Monday.

Sunday I watched a couple of classic movies - Sling Blade and Gone With the Wind. I'd never seen GWTW, and I enjoyed it. And Sling Blade is one of my all-time favorites. Watched a couple of other movies on Monday. I'm officially ready to get off the couch.....

Friday, February 23, 2007

he had us feelin' alright.....

Billy Joel came on stage at about 8:15 Wednesday night. Actually, he ascended from beneath the stage, sitting in front of his baby grand. For the next 2 hours and 20 minutes, he played one song after another. No breaks, just songs. He's still the consumate performer.

(The only bad part of the night was that I didn't bring my camera. Why didn't I? Well, the tickets said no cameras allowed. I even called the GEC before the concert, and they said absolutely no cameras. When we got there, every third person had a camera. Yeah. They obviously don't enforce that rule.)

He led off with my second favorite song, Angry Young Man. He hasn't lost a thing when it comes to working the ivories. He played all the hits. And he threw in a few obscure songs. Stop in Nevada was great. He said they hadn't played that song in concert anywhere since the early 70's. Everybody Loves You Now had the same energy it had back in the 70's. He played The Entertainer and the audience responded like it was a #1. Before playing Zanzibar, he said, "We can't play hits all night. We gotta' play <bleep> we wanna' hear every now and then!" Root Beer Rag, while never released on radio, brought down the house. And the cool thing about most
of these seldom-heard songs was that he put them in at the last minute. They'd start to do one song, then he'd say something like "nah, let's do this one."

One of the funnier parts of the night came when Billy announced that they were going to do their own version of Nashville Star. He brought out a 25-year roadie vet named "Chainsaw" who treated the crowd to a little AC/DC. This guy actually sounded alot like Bon Scott.

The band was incredible. I was disappointed that Liberty Divito, original drummer for the band, is no longer touring, but his replacement didn't disappoint. The horn section is unbelieveable. The lady who plays brass, percussion and provides backup vocals is incredible. Not only does she have a beautiful voice, she's a great entertainer. She, and all the other band members, look like they're having the time of their lives.

The 3 encores were songs that HAVE TO BE PLAYED at every Billy Joel concert. When he left the stage, cell phones lit up the GEC. He came back and did Only the Good Die Young. Encore #2 was my favorite performance of the night and all-time favorite song, Scenes From an Italian Restaurant. Ah, the story of Brenda and Eddie. He exited stage left, the cell phones came back out. When he came back onstage he was wearing a harmonica holder around his neck, which could only mean one thing - Piano Man was going to be the final song of the night.

At one point during the night, I wondered if he might get tired of singing the same songs every concert. I don't know if he does or not, but I do know that I don't ever get tired of hearing him perform them.....

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

rought night for the guys.....

OK. Um. Yeah. So. Right.

The guys kicked off the Top 24 last night. I was surprised at how many of them did songs that were 20 and 30 years old. That can be a bad move if you can't pull it off. And those who tried it last night did come off sounding like karoke singers.

There were two good performances, two or three decents ones, about 6 not so good, and one terrible one. Mr. Sundance Head. How thou hast fallen. The only other memorable moment from last night's show was Chris Sligh's jab at Simon. I've liked Chris since the beginning, but the look Simon gave him last night after the Il Divo remark may have signaled the beginning of the end for Chris. He's been funny, but last night he came off as nothing less than a smart aleck. Here's a suggestion - don't tick off Simon. None of the past 5 winners ever did.

Maybe the ladies will do better tonight, but the bride and I won't be watching. We're off to see a true legend perform - Mr. Billy Joel.....

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

caught between the moon and new york city.....

While the bride was playing bunco last night, gambling away our childrens' college fund, I stayed home and did housework. And by housework, I mean that I read a book and watched television.

I decided to pull up "Arthur" and I watched the first 30 or so minutes of the movie. This is one of my favorite movies of all time. Classic lines, sharp wit, unbelievable comic timing. Dudley Moore was perfect in this role.

Here are some of my favorite quotes from the movie. Hopefully these will jog your memory (if you've seen it) and give you a laugh.....

Susan: A real woman could stop you from drinking.
Arthur: It'd have to be a real BIG woman.

Hobson: Normally, one would have to go to a bowling alley to meet someone of your stature.

Arthur: Isn't this fun? Isn't fun the best thing to have? Don't you wish you were me? I know I do.

Hobson: Thrilling to meet you, Gloria.
Gloria,: Hi.
Hobson: Yes. You obviously have a wonderful economy with words, Gloria. I look forward to your next syllable with great eagerness!

Arthur: It's a very tiny country... Rhode Island could beat the crap out of it in a war.

Burt Johnson: I don't drink because drinking affects your decision-making.
Arthur: You may be right. I can't decide.

Monday, February 19, 2007

turtle power.....

Daily Record (Glasgow) - 12/27/06

The fire alarm at the Sea Life Centre in Weymouth, England, sounded one night in December, attributed to a diet of brussels sprouts fed to a turtle. Marine biologist Sarah Leaney of the Centre explained that the turtle's resulting flatulence probably created bubbles that raised the water level enough to trigger the alarm.

Friday, February 16, 2007

so, 20 years ago tomorrow.....

Yep. February 17, 1987. The bride and I met for the first time. We went to a junior high basketball game with one of her friends. After she realized (or at least assumed) that I wasn't a serial killer, we cut the friend loose and went out for some dessert. Then we made out. OK, we didn't. But the bride said that's what she wanted to do. Why would I make up a thing like that?

20 years later and we've been married for almost 19 of those years. We've lived in two different apartments and three different houses. We've had two beautiful daughters born into this world and we're seeing them grow up faster than we'd like.

Comedian Rita Rudner once said, "It's so great to find that one special person you want to annoy for the rest of your life." The bride and I couldn't agree more.....

Thursday, February 15, 2007

roses, shmoses.....

I can't tell you how many times I was asked yesterday if I had sent the bride roses. Several ladies in my building got them all day long. One lady received a dozen from a delivery guy and wondered aloud if she and her husband would have enough money to buy gas for their cars the rest of the month. I laughed and she said, "Uh, I'm not kidding. I really wished he hadn't done this." The roses didn't produce a smile on her face as intended. Those same roses probably cost 2 to 3 times yesterday what they'll cost today. It's called supply and demand. Or stupid consumers. I can't remember which.

Some of you may be reading this and thinking, "Oh, he's just cheap! There's probably not an ounce of romance in his body!" First, on the cheap thing, yeah. When it comes to overpriced flowers that will die in 3 days, I'm cheap. So? Second, romance can't be defined by flowers alone. I actually used to send flowers to the bride quite often. She liked them, but she also knew how much they cost. She finally told me that I didn't need to send her
flowers. I resisted, but then we had babies and any potential flower money went towards buying disposable diapers and formula. These things just seem to work themselves out, don't they?

So I didn't get the bride flowers for Valentines Day. We actually bought each other Valentines Day presents well over a
month ago. And we'll celebrate the holiday next Wednesday night when we're sitting 12 rows from the stage at the GEC watching Billy Joel in concert.

And by the way, in reference to the non-romantic thing - the bride and I saw Billy Joel on our second date. "The Bridge Tour", February 1987, Murphy Center at MTSU. (Looks a little different back then, huh?) Next week's concert actually does hold special meaning to it. So there.....

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

for that special valentine in your life.....

The bride and I met 20 years ago this week. While I may not be as creative with dates and what not as I was 20 years ago, I hope I never get this desperate. If I ever do, I've instructed a few close friends who "know a guy" to call "that guy" and have me shot.

Make your Valentine’s day STEAMY!

Take your Valentine to White Castle on Wednesday, February 14 between 5 and 8 p.m. and enjoy hostess seating, candlelit dining and your own server. Reservations are required, so check the list below for participating Castles near you!

Special this year, you can also treat your honey to a romantic White Castle dinner in your home! Cupid’s Crave Kits include eight cheeseburgers, one sack of fries, two regular soft drinks, coupons and keepsake items to heat up your homespun romance. Now, ain’t that sweet?

For more information or to make a Cupid’s Crave Kit reservation, call the phone number listed for the your city of choice below.*

* Cupid’s Crave Kits are not available at all locations. Reservations are required.

Chicago 708-458-4450 Ext. 516
Minneapolis 651-646-1811 Ext. 12
Cincinnati 513-559-0575 Ext. 13
Nashville 615-333-2028
Columbus 614-294-3753 Ext. 12
Northeast Ohio 216-741-9780 Ext. 25
Detroit 248-477-1450 Ext. 10
New Jersey 732-381-4343
Indianapolis 317-269-4590 Ext. 142
New York 718-899-8404
Louisville 502-361-2317 Ext. 10
St. Louis 314-535-7430

Hopefully the "keepsake items" included in the Crave Kits are toothpaste, mouthwash and Gaviscon. It's been awhile since I've had a White Castle, but the feeling I have after eating one of their burgers doesn't allow for favorable romantic conditions....

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

reason #453,612 to not own a dog.....


Tina Burlett thought someone broke into her house and stole her custom-made, $5,000 wedding ring, so she called the police. But Burlett's grandmother had a different suspect in mind: the family pooch.

X-rays proved the grandmother right. The valuable bauble was inside the belly of Burlett's pit bull, Missy, who has a taste for diamonds.

"I couldn't believe it," Burlett told The Monroe Evening News for a story Thursday. "I didn't think so at the time, but it's funny now."

Missy had previously been caught gnawing on VCRs, electric blankets and even Burlett's diamond earring.

Dr. Linda Fung of the Country Creek Animal Hospital said she was not surprised to learn that Missy swallowed jewelry.

"I did have a dog eat a watch once," Fung said. "Animals swallow a lot of stuff. It's not an unusual thing. We just made her throw it up."

Fung gave Missy some peroxide and the ring came out intact.

Monday, February 12, 2007

employee of the month.....

Des Moines Register - 1/18/07

After Emmalee Bauer, 25, was fired by the Sheraton Hotel Company in late 2006, she sought unemployment compensation from the Iowa agency that offers benefits to employees terminated through no fault of their own.

However, the judge noted that Bauer had written a 300-page journal, during office hours, chronicling her efforts to avoid work. Among her entries: "This typing thing seems to be doing the trick. It just looks like I am hard at work on something very important," and, "Once lunch is over, I will come right back to writing to piddle away the rest of the afternoon," and, "Accomplishment is overrated, anyway." (Her claim was denied.)

Friday, February 09, 2007

an unwelcomed commuter.....

Sitting at a light yesterday morning, waiting to get on the on-ramp for I-65, I saw him. I could sense that others noticed him, too. An almost-inaudible, collective sigh escaped the mouths of us all. Remember when you were little and went to play with your friends and you had to bring your younger brother or sister with you? Remember how that altered what you said, what you did, how you did it? Same thing here. Except instead of a little brother who could only squeal to your parents, it's a state trooper who could stop you and give you a ticket for speeding.

As we merged onto I-65, everyone peered in their rearview mirrors, careful to obey the speed limit in the construction zone. We quickly become one large clump of cars. Suddenly from the back of the pack, a Hummer took the far-left lane and sped past us all. I waited for the cop to turn on the blue lights and pull him over. But it never happened. He simply stayed in his lane for a couple of miles and exited. (Funny thing is there's a new Duncan Donuts at that exit. I'm not judging, I'm just pointing it out.)

As soon as the state trooper was 100 yards off the interstate, you would have thought someone had dropped the green flag after a caution with only 3 laps to go.....

Thursday, February 08, 2007

brain cramp.....

My writing creativity is currently on leave. I'm not sure why that is, but it's a fact. That's why there have been so many things on here lately that aren't mine.

Why does it seem to come in waves? And why does it feel like I'm out in the ocean waiting for the next one that never seems to come?

It's not that I'm in a different environment or anything. I'm still living with 3 beautiful women who normally provide me with all kinds of great material whether they mean to or not. Even the people I see around during a normal work-week aren't giving me anything to use.

That's it! It's not me, it's everyone around me! I'm still the same person, it's just that everyone with whom I come into contact has changed.

{Whew} I was starting to get worried there for a minute. Glad I cleared that up.....

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

that's not mine, i've never seen it before.....

Chapel Hill News - 1/10/07

James Lane III, 27, was arrested in Carrboro, N.C., in January after police chased him, in his car and later on foot. Officers tackled Lane about 20 feet into a wooded area and recovered a white plastic bag containing a pound of marijuana. When police pulled Lane to his feet, he said that someone must have left the bag on the ground at precisely the spot in the woods where Lane fell, because he had never seen it before.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

life outside of football.....

The following post was written by Rubel Shelly, a Nashville pastor.....

That there is “life outside of football” may be a necessary reminder for some sports fans and couch potatoes now that Super Bowl XLI is over. Now that the Indianapolis Colts have the Lombardi Trophy in hand, some of them may be wondering what they will do until next season begins.

But the line is actually from Tony Dungy, the Colts’ head coach. It wasn’t spoken after last Sunday’s water-logged victory over the Chicago Bears but just after his son James committed suicide 13 months ago.

In a speech he made shortly after that tragedy, Dungy talked about all three of his sons. He spoke first of his middle son, Eric, and said his competitive nature is so focused on athletics that “it’s almost a problem.” Then he turned to his youngest son, Jordan, whose rare congenital condition makes him insensitive to pain.

“That sounds like it’s good at the beginning, but I promise you it’s not,” said Coach Dungy. “We’ve learned some hurts are really necessary for kids. Pain is necessary for kids to find out the difference between what’s good and what’s harmful.”

“Cookies are good,” the coach explained, “but – in Jordan ’s mind – if they’re good out on the plate, they’re even better in the oven. He will go right in the oven when my wife’s not looking, reach in, take the rack out, take the pan out, burn his hands – then eat the cookies and burn his tongue and never feel it.”

“Pain sometimes lets us know we have a condition that needs to be healed,” Dungy said. “Pain inside sometimes lets us know that spiritually we’re not quite right, and we need to be healed. And that God will send that healing agent right to the spot. Sometimes pain is the only way that will turn us as kids back to the Father.”

Only then did Coach Dungy speak of his oldest son, James, who took his life three days before Christmas 2005. He spoke of his family’s pain. He talked about lessons they were learning from it. He and his wife have since joined an organization dedicated to preventing teen suicide.

I’m glad Dungy’s team won the big game. I am impressed by his humility, strength, and deep Christian faith. And I am grateful he could remind all of us there is life outside of football, work, and tragedy. There is the authentic love of God that carries us through, puts everything else in perspective, and reminds us of what really matters.

Life isn’t about football. It is about accepting and sharing God’s love.

Monday, February 05, 2007

peyton's place.....

A friend of mine who's a big Kentucky fan came into work a couple of Mondays ago and said this: "This was a terrible weekend. Not only did Kentucky lose to Vanderbilt, but now EVERY UT fan thinks that Tennessee's in the Super Bowl!" (Should I mention that a former Tennessee quarterback beat a former Florida quarterback?)

Did Peyton have great stats last night? Did he set any Super Bowl records? No, but he managed the game well, checked off at the line when he needed to, and guided the offense to a win. The MVP could have gone to either Rhodes or Addai. It could have gone to the whole defensive unit. But last night was Peyton's time in the spotlight.

I saw an interview with Archie Manning before yesterday's game. They showed some old film of Peyton from when he was about 3 or 4, playing football with his brothers. They asked Archie if he gave his son any advice, and he said that he didn't give him much. But he said something about the fact that even though this was the Super Bowl, he couldn't help but think that was still his little boy out there playing.

Archie's little boy now has a Super Bowl ring.....

Friday, February 02, 2007


Pronunciation: -k&nt
Function: adjective
Etymology: Latin significant-, significans, present participle of significare to signify
1 : having meaning; especially : SUGGESTIVE significant glance>
2 a : having or likely to have influence or effect : IMPORTANT ; also : of a noticeably or measurably large amount significant number of layoffs> significant profits> b : probably caused by something other than mere chance significant correlation between vitamin deficiency and disease>

When I turned the television on this morning, the weather guy from Channel 2 said, "It's been a long time since we've had a significant snowfall like this." I'm thinking three to five inches, so I got up and looked out the window. Maybe 2 inches, at the most. Slushy roads. Significant?

Congratulations to all the kids and teachers today as they get to stay home.....

Thursday, February 01, 2007

it was like training for the iditarod this morning.....

So I'm getting ready this morning when my lovely bride walks into the bathroom and proclaims, "I hate Nashville weather!" The "winter blast" that was at first predicted to "dump" an inch of snow, then up to 4 inches of snow, was a dud. To even call what we got a dusting is an affront to dust itself.

Since she's a native Nashvillian, the bride has every right to be frustrated. I've been in the Nashville area for over 20 years and we've had 3, maybe 4, decent snowfalls. And I've watched as so many predictions fell well short of their forecasts. But she's been disappointed by Nashville weather forecasters all of her life.

My car was covered by about 1/8" of snow this morning. (Not sure who owns the car in the picture; just found it on Channel 5's site.) As I drove from Franklin to Nashville, the snow on the side of the road diminished. When I got about 3 miles from downtown, the streets were completely dry.

All that brine they sprayed on the roads yesterday must have dried things up.....