Thursday, January 31, 2008

is it over yet.....

I'm 43 years old. I realize I should be more mature than this, but I'm sick of the presidential election already. And we've got over 9 months of this "stuff" left to go.

Do the Republicans have anyone strong and charasmatic enough to become the front-runner? Or are there so many people out there wanting a change that it won't actually matter? Will the Democrats take so many shots at each other that there's no one left standing to compete?

We'll just have to wait another nine months. Wonder if it will be a boy or a girl.....

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

the bride wants me to be more like maurice.....

BBC News - 12/4/07

Maurice Fox, 77, said in December he would comply with the wishes of the Kirkham Street Sports and Social Club of Paignton, England, to sit only by the front door so he could excuse himself when he needed to pass gas, which management said had become a problem.

Monday, January 28, 2008

ok, that was a first.....

I think I forgot to tell the bride about this. Not intentionally. It's just that she was gone by the time I got home Thursday evening.

I went to get my hair cut Thursday after work. I go to one of those places where you almost never end up with the same person cutting your hair from month to month. Since they use clippers to cut my hair, and I always ask for the same setting, I figure there's not that much risk in having different people do it.

So I get called back and sit in the chair. New lady, she's never cut my hair. I tell her how I want it cut and she goes to work.

About half way through the haircut, I notice in the mirror there's a ball/wad/bunch (whatever one calls several hairs grouped together) of hair hanging off the top of my left ear. I assume the lady's going to take the barber-type whisk brush and brush it right off. She decides to do something different. Something completely different.

Let me stop to say that I'm not one to get surprised much. Nothing anyone does around or near me really shocks me. But every now and then I do get taken aback. You're soon going to learn about one such time.

Again, I'm waiting for her to reach for the barber brush. She obviously was thinking, "There's no reason to waste any energy and pick up the barber brush. I'll just use my God-given talents to take care of this." So she blows the hair off my ear. Yep. Not in a gentle, come-on kind of way, like "Oh, I just love men with small ears", mind you. Nope. It was like she was blowing out the candles on a birthday cake. With the force behind the blow, she could have been 117 and she would have gotten every candle.

I'm thinking about getting my hair cut somewhere else next month.....

Friday, January 25, 2008

looking back, he probably wishes he wasn't such a ravens fan.....

Baltimore Sun - 12/28/07

Ronald Stach, 41, climbed to the roof of the Canton Station bar in Baltimore on Dec. 11 and remained until Christmas Day, protesting the poor showing of the Baltimore Ravens football team. As such, Stach called attention not just to the Ravens, but also to himself, and thus inadvertently alerted his former wife as to his whereabouts so that she could renew her years-long quest for at least $40,000 in back child support. Kelly Stach said she was especially incensed at a TV interview in which Ronald lamented how much money he had spent on Ravens memorabilia. Shortly after that, a second woman came forward, claiming Ronald also owed her $12,000 in back child support.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

finally figured it out.....

While watching the Giants/Packers game Sunday night, I kept trying to figure out who Giants coach Tom Coughlin looks like. Then it hit me. He looks like Jeff Dunham's dummy, Walter.....

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

what recession.....

This was the first part of an article on Yahoo yesterday morning:

Federal Reserve Cuts Interest Rate Three-Quarters of a Point to Try to Head Off Recession

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Federal Reserve unexpectedly slashed a key interest rate by a bold three-fourths of a percentage point on Tuesday, responding to a global plunge in stock markets that heightened concerns about a recession. The Fed signaled that further rate cuts were likely.

I was a little surprised that Bernanke took such drastic measures, especially since this was an unplanned meeting that took place Monday night by video conference. Rate cuts have been expected, but not by this much all at once.

While at lunch, I heard that almost $100 million will be bet on this year's Super Bowl. And that's just the piece from the Las Vegas Hilton. The guy from the Hilton said that this represents only 1 1/2 - 2% of the total money that will be wagered on the Super Bowl this year. So if my math is correct, that means the total amount bet for the Patriots/Giants game will reach somewhere around $5 BILLION dollars.

Only in America could you be on the brink of recession and still have people with money like that "left over" to gamble.....

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

a needed day off.....

It's pretty pitiful when you take almost two weeks off and then need a vacation day less than three weeks later. But that's what I did yesterday. Work has been pretty hectic these past few weeks.

I played the role of "old man" again for the bride by going to Cool Springs Galleria and sitting on a bench waiting for her as she shopped. In all fairness, I shopped too. In fact I ended up with more stuff than she did. But mine was bought pretty quickly, while she lingered more around her purchases.

In my only celebrity siting for the day, I saw Mike Keith, voice of the Titans, coming out of Kroger's with his kids. Nice guy. Met him at a father/daughter dance a few years back.

Now, back to work. I think I've got about 7 more weeks until I get another day off. I'll try to pace myself this time.....

Friday, January 18, 2008

ut over vandy.....

Over the years I've become less of a basketball fan. The only thing I know about the NBA any more is what I see on Sportscenter. College basketball used to be my favorite sport to watch, but as I've gotten older it just hasn't held as much appeal. Until about three years ago.

When Bruce Pearl came to UT, everyone could tell there was something different about this guy. Tennessee men's basketball was an afterthought in Knoxville - behind football and the Lady Vols basketball team. But things are changing. Sure, football will always be king and the women's team will always be held in high esteem. But the men's team it on the rise.

I watched the entire UT/Vandy game last night. It's the first regular season basketball game I've sat down and watched in years. I was a little nervous the first ten minutes of the game. Tennessee's shot selection was terrible and they couldn't rebound to save their lives. The the pace of the game picked up and the Vols took control. Their agressive defense kept Vanderbilt on their heels the entire game.

I came down to the kitchen at halftime and bride mentioned that it had been a long time since I'd been this vocal during a basketball game. (I "encouraged" the referees vocally quite a bit in the first half.) Seems that I've come back to my first love in sports after all these years.....

Thursday, January 17, 2008

testing windows live

Just to see if this thing works, here's picture from Christmas of Lizzy and me.....


simon cowell loves the writers' strike.....

American Idol is the New England Patriots of television. There's no competition for either of them.
I couldn't care less about the program this year. Maybe as the season progresses and they show people with talent I'll change my mind. Watching 2 hours of mostly horrible "singers" just isn't as entertaining to me as it used to be. And last year's show left alot to be desired. But this year there's nothing else for the American public to watch because of the writers' strike. Simon is snickering.

I thought that Season 5 was the best. And even though Daughtry wound up as the eventual winner in record sales, I still think Taylor Hicks brought a dimension to the show that was fresh and new. Now that he's no longer with the AI label, I'm looking forward to his next album. (Yeah, I'm alone on that in my household.)

In a related AI note, the bride and Meg saw Season 6 contestant Phil Stacey at church on Sunday.....

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

we may have something here, chief.....

Marin Independent Journal - 12/12/07

Arthur Cheney, 64, was arrested near Marysville, Calif., in December driving a car that had been spotted at a bank robbery. On the center console of the car, officers found a yellow "sticky" note with a handwritten "Robbery 100s and 50s only."

Said an officer, "We call that a clue."

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

great gifts equal great responsibilities.....

The Tennessean - 1/14/08

Two UT football players issued citations

KNOXVILLE – Tennessee wide receivers Gerald Jones and Ahmad Paige were cited for simple possession of marijuana, which is a misdemeanor, on Friday night, according to a report from the Knoxville Police Department.

I'm about to sound like a bona fide old fart, but here goes anyway.

What actually goes through a kid's mind when they make poor choices like Paige and Jones? Do they not understand the unbelievable opportunity they're potentially letting slip away?

I'm 43 years old. I can't imagine the absolute thrill of being able to play football at a major university, let alone in the SEC, let alone THE University of Tennessee. As the father of a daughter who's heading to school this fall, the cost alone is a big enough benefit. But to be a part of a major college team just makes it that much more special.

I understand that we're all human and all prone to screw up. I've had my share of screw ups. But do kids today not realize the responsibility that comes with this opportunity? Do they not know that for every action there's an equal and opposite reaction?

Coach Fulmer, now's the time to set the standard for the upcoming football season.....

Monday, January 14, 2008

new menu item for the mouse.....

Sara and her friends have had a new place to go for dinner the last few months. Chuck E. Cheese. Yep, 12-and 13-year-olds like to hang out where 3-year-olds have birthday parties. So the bride and I dropped them off Saturday night and decided to have dinner out with just the two of us.

Because we like to really do it up and live large when we have a dinner date, we chose to dine at Captain D's. Yeah, that's right, I know how to treat my lady. As we're about to order, Sara calls. Turns out they can't be seated without an adult since they're under 16. Makes no sense to us because they've done this without us at least three times in the past couple of months. So the bride and I signaled to the the maitre d' that we would be unable to dine with them and left. We spent the next hour sitting at a table in Chuck E. Cheese while the girls spent their tokens and earned tickets.

As we sat there, the bride and I kept wondering aloud as to why the kids had to have adults in attendance in order to stay there. Then we looked to the table to our left and saw something we found hard to believe. Chuck E. Cheese, the place for little kid parties, now serves beer. Maybe I shouldn't have been shocked, but I was. Then we figured that management was probably afraid that teens might wander by tables waiting to be bussed with half-full glasses of beer and consume it.

Seems that the Mouse would be afraid of parents consuming beer during a child's party and getting in the car to drive home inebriated. But maybe that's just me being silly.....

Friday, January 11, 2008

thoughts for today.....

Birds of a feather flock together--and poop on your car.

When I'm feeling down, I like to whistle. It makes the neighbor's dog run to the end of his chain and gag himself.

The older you get, the tougher it is to lose weight, because by then your body and your fat have gotten to be really good friends.

Did you ever notice: The Roman Numerals for forty (40) are " XL."

If you think there is good in everybody, you haven't met everybody.

If you can smile when things go wrong, you have someone in mind to blame.

The older we get, the fewer things seem worth waiting in line for.

Some people try to turn back their odometers. Not me, I want people to know why I look this way. I've traveled a long way and some of the roads weren't paved.

You know you are getting old when everything either dries up or leaks.

Ah, being young is beautiful, but being old is comfortable.

First you forget names, then you forget faces. Then you forget to pull up your zipper. It's worse when you forget to pull it down.

Change is what happens when the pain of holding on becomes greater than the fear of letting go.

Thanks to Chris for the list.....

Thursday, January 10, 2008

better place my order for 2028.....

LAS VEGAS - 2008 Consumer Electronics Show

How do you bring a 150-inch plasma TV from Japan to the U.S.? One plane at a time.

The 150-inch plasma TVs that Panasonic is showing off this week at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas can only be carried in the storage container in the nose of a 747, said Toshihiro Sakamoto, president of Panasonic AVC Networks company.

And only one TV fits at a time. The TV has to go in the middle of the storage unit. There isn't enough clearance on the edges. Panasonic has three of the sets at the show, so three planes were used.

Panasonic expects to sell these commercially in the future. Most of the time, these big TVs get bought by hotels or stadiums. Some people, however, buy big TVs for their home. Mark Cuban owns a 100-inch plus Panasonic plasma.

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

football year in review.....

No, football season isn't officially over yet. But it is for me. Part of it ended January 1st at around 2:00 after Tennessee won over Wisconsin. That was the biggest part. Then another (very small) part ended when the Titans lost on Saturday. The rest of it ended Monday night when LSU whipped up on Ohio State.

Sure, I'll still watch the NFL playoffs, but I really don't have a team in it any more. But I'll pull for the Colts in the AFC and the Packers in the NFC. Besides, they need to just give the Patriots the trophy and be done with it. Maybe the Colts can beat them, but that's about it.

So here's my review on my two teams along with college football in general for the past season:

University of Tennessee - Once again, the Vols had the ability to leave me both elated and frustrated this season. As good as they looked against Georgia, they looked that much worse when they played Cal, Florida and Alabama. I was ready to see the whole coaching staff fired midway through the season. I guess I got my wish as most of the offensive staff is now gone. (Here's an update on that situation. More to come.) But I'll have to hand it to Fulmer. He piloted the team to a 10-win season when I thought there was no way it could happen. Big win in a New Years day bowl game. We ended up #12 for the season. I'm anxious to see how the coaching staff will end up and who will win the starting QB spot next season. As always, it's great to be a Tennessee Vol.

Tennessee Titans - I love to watch the Titans on defense. (Well, except against San Diego.) They dominate the line of scrimmage. The only problem is they have to stay out on the field too much. The offense is horrible. Not just bad, horrible. It's painful to watch that offense. As good as Vince Young was last year, he's that much worse this year. Maybe he was injured and couldn't run. Maybe Fisher and Chow told him to stay in the pocket. All I know is that the production wasn't there this year. Yeah, I know, he didn't have the receivers. But he had a hard time getting the ball to the receivers he had. Rumors around camp is that VY doesn't like Chow's offense and isn't putting forth the effort. Don't know how true that is. Hopefully they can address some positions via free agency and have the offense help the defense some next year. I won't call VY a bust yet, but another season like this might have ol' Bud scratching his head and wondering why he didn't take Cutler in the draft.

College football in general - Definitely the most exciting season I've ever seen. The highlight, beside the Vols, was Appalachian State beating Michigan. I don't care if Michigan did beat Florida in their bowl game, they still got beat by Appy State. Brilliant.

Only 234 days until UT kicks off their next game.....

this guy has all kinds of work-related experience.....

San Jose Mercury News - 12/8/07

Police in Oakland, California, charged Jason Brooks, 24, who had just recently applied to be an Oakland police officer, with a string of 18 armed robberies dating back to May. Brooks told the arresting officers that, still, he'd like to join the force.

Monday, January 07, 2008

precious and few are the moments we two can share.....

I went out to dinner and then shopping with the bride and Meg Friday night. While in TJ Maxx, I held a black G-Unit hooded sweatshirt up to me and said rather loudly to Meg about 20 feet away, "Meg, whatta' you think?" She turned her head in embarrassment and walked away.

College starts this fall. I have to get in as many of these special moments as possible while I can. I know she'll miss stuff like that.....

Friday, January 04, 2008

pumpkins may cause teenage obesity.....

UPI - 10/21/07

Alex Noel, 16, a finalist in Rhode Island's Great Pumpkin Weigh-Off in October, said his success raising his (1,224-pound) pumpkin was because "You spend all your time with it. No sports. You just come home and be with the pumpkin."

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

two words i never thought i'd hear my grandmother say.....

I love my grandmother. Since I was the only grandchild on my dad's side of the family for 6 years, she spoiled me. I pretty much got anything I ever wanted. And when you're a kid, you tend to like people who spoil you.

I usually try to call her every couple of weeks on my way home from work. I ask her how she's feeling, what the weather's like, stuff like that. The week before Christmas, we were talking about us coming up to see her during the week of Christmas. She told me she had gotten a Hawaiian cheeseball for us to eat. And we started talking about Hawaii and the things we both liked about it when we went there. That's when the conversation got interesting. Here's what was said:

Mamaw - "Have you ever heard of a drink call tequila?"

OFIT - "Uh, yeah."

Mamaw - "Well, when I was there, the lady who was our tour group leader told me that I just had to try this drink they had there called tequila. Except she said it was a virgin tequilla. So I had one and it was so good I had another one. I bet I had about 5 or 6 of them. Lord, if they'd had liquor in them I'd have been high as a kite after all that!"

Mamaw is almost 87. And she's never had a drop of alcohol to drink in her life. Ever. And she's not that well versed in the different kinds of alcoholic beverages, either. I may be wrong, but to my knowledge there's no such thing as a virgin tequilla. She must have meant margarita or some other kind of drink instead of tequila.

At this point I quickly changed the topic of discussion because my grandmother had used the words "tequila" and "virgin" in the same sentence.....

first day back.....

The great thing about being off for 12 days straight is that it allows one to rest and get recharged. The bad thing about being off for 12 days straight is day 13.

Plenty of "material" was provided over the past couple of weeks. However, day 13 will not allow for any time to write. In the meantime, here are my three favorite ladies all dressed up for Will's and Caity's wedding on Saturday night.....