Tuesday, September 30, 2008

with friends like this.....

Daily Telegraph (London) - 8/6/08

Kay Underwood, 20, of Barrow upon Soar, England, risks momentarily collapsing every time she laughs, according to an August report in London's Daily Telegraph. Her cataplexy causes a sudden, dramatic weakening of muscles when she experiences strong emotions, including joy, excitement and anger. She said she has collapsed as many as 40 times in a day, and sometimes her friends will good-naturedly try to make her giggle, but she said she has learned tricks to protect herself, "such as locking my knees together or grabbing on to something."

Monday, September 29, 2008

ok, so at least the defense showed up.....

Thank goodness Auburn's offense is struggling. It could have been worse. Their offense played just enough to win. Tennessee's offense must have been left in 2007.
Jonathan Crompton may be the greatest guy in the world, but he's not an SEC quarterback. Even I know that as a quarterback you shove the ball into the running back's gut. (And I only played in middle school, coach.) Watching that offense Saturday was painful. Almost makes me long for the days of Casey Clausen. Almost.

I told several people that the only way UT would win is if the defense created turnovers AND they scored with the ball. We just can't move the ball on offense.

Looks like a 5-7, maybe 6-6, season for us Vol fans.....

Friday, September 26, 2008

this was kind of a big deal.....

We went to Blockbuster last Friday night to get a free movie from the middle section. Since we couldn't decide on anything free, the bride and Meg rented "Baby Mama". I had no intention of watching this movie with my 18-year-old daughter, but I encouraged them to watch it together. Since we were there, and since it was free, I rented "Anchorman." I think the bride thought I was going to watch it that night. Nope. My plan all along was to make her watch it with me. I wanted to share this with her. Then she'd understand what I was talking about when I went around quoting it all the time.

We watched it Wednesday night. After the movie we watched the bloopers and the special "Afternoon Delight" video. The bride said that the bloopers were funnier than the movie. However, I want everyone to know that she laughed. Out loud. Several times. Especially at Steve Carell.

Just doing my part to help the bride stay classy, Planet Earth.....

Thursday, September 25, 2008

that's a no-brainer.....

A friend of mine who's a car salesman with Darrell Waltrip Honda Volvo sent this to me. Great article!

Darrell Waltrip Helps Iraq War Veteran

NASCAR champion and Honda Volvo dealer Darrell Waltrip helps Iraq war veteran who was victimized by an Internet scam.

Darrell Waltrip stepped in and gave him a 2004 Honda Accord on Tuesday 07/02/08.Jay Strobino, 24 of Franklin, who lost $5,500 trying to buy a used Honda Accord on Craigslist earlier this year, wired the money to a scam artist who claimed to be heading out soon for military deployment, setting up a fake WorldPay Web site to handle the purchase.

Once Darrel Waltrip heard of this scam from the general manager, John Gallagher, they decided to give him an Accord. Jay took delivery of the 2004 Accord Tuesday "It's beyond awesome,"

"There are so many fake sites you really have to be sure. We're in the car business, and he got ripped off by someone pretending to be real." Darrell said he was also motivated by Strobino's military service. Jay was shot thirteen times in a firefight south of Bagdad in 2004, is a Silver Star medal recipient, the 3rd highest ranking military honor.

"I thought that's a no-brainer - let's help the kid out," Waltrip said after handing the keys at Darrell Waltrip Honda Volvo Tuesday.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

new driving lane.....

You know how most cities have sections of the interstate with HOV, high occupancy vehicle, lanes? I think they should create a new lane: the CPU, cell phone user, lane.

It never fails. Every afternoon on the way home, I get stuck behind somebody going about 10-15 miles per hour slower than the posted speed limit. When I am finally able to get around the person, they're almost always on the phone.

The CPU lane would be on the right-hand shoulder of the road. Drivers who talk on their phone and choose not to keep up with traffic would be fined severely if they aren't in the CPU lane. And other drivers would be able to throw rocks at them, too. Yeah.

I think it could work.....

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

the game of the little amber light.....

My lovely bride is not a very competitive person by nature. But she does like to play games. There's this one where she likes to see how far she can make her van go once the little amber light comes on. And you know how daughters eventually become their mothers? Turns out Meg does the same thing with her car. (Yes, Kramer did it on Seinfeld, but that was with a car he test-drove. Completely different.)

On Friday the 12th, I was one of around 50 people who lined up at Sam's Club to get gas for the bride's van. Last Friday afternoon, panic spread throughout the Nashville/Brentwood/Franklin area as gas stations saw lines not seen since the gas rationing years of the late-70's. Saturday morning's Tennessean said that 85% of gas stations in the Nashville are were out of gas.

The low gas light on Meg's car came on about 7 miles before she got home from MTSU Friday afternoon. She, the bride and Sara set out in search for gas not long after she got home. Our local Publix gas station had over 100 cars in line. A guy came back and said they'd probably run out before Meg's car got to the pump. They left for the Cool Springs area. I met them at Home Depot where Meg and I waited for around 30 minutes. A guy came by the car carrying two buckets with signs that read "cash only" and "we'll run out of gas by 5:00 PM". We made it with about 8 minutes to spare, coasting as much as we could. And luckily I had $28 in cash.

Meg has promised me that she'll never let her gas tank get below 1/4 tank again. I've hinted at the same agreement with the bride, but I shan't hold my breath.

I've mentioned the "amber light game" to other women, and apparently this is a game most women like to play. I'd like to note that just because everyone else seems to be doing it does not make it OK. I mean, if everyone else decided to drive off a bridge, would she do that, too? If so, my only hope would be that she'd run out of gas before reaching the edge of the bridge.....

Monday, September 22, 2008

yay, we held them to 30 points.....

Now is the time of year when most UT fans call for the resignation of coach Phillip Fulmer. Saturday's disaster to Florida won't help him one bit. Neither will the upcoming games against Auburn and Georgia. Or Alabama. Maybe even Vanderbilt.

I still hope Fulmer can leave on his own terms one day. Maybe be named assistant AD or something. He loves the university and he's given alot of his life to it, and I think he deserves to stay associated with it in the future.

I didn't expect us to win. I honestly thought Florida would score at least 40. But I also thought we might do something on offense besides fumble the ball.

Here's my take on the game:

  • If special teams are so special, why doesn't Tennessee have a special teams coach? We don't know how to cover kicks.

  • Jonathan Crompton can't read defenses.

  • Tennessee looked like like a middle school team playing against Florida. Florida was faster, more disciplined, better coached and acted like they knew they would win.

  • Eric Berry is the real deal.
I wish I could be more positive about the season, but looks like we've got a good chance of starting out 1-4.....

Friday, September 19, 2008

no, that wasn't me.....

The Times (London) - 6/19/08

Gill Switalski, 51, filed a lawsuit in London, seeking the equivalent of almost $40 million for her dismissal from the Foreign and Colonial investment firm, claiming she was fired illegally during an illness. However, F and C asserted in June that it found an instance during a particularly sickly spell for Switalski when she interviewed for a job at a competitor while demonstrating enough energy and drive to have received an offer of employment. Switalski said she was merely using an "alternative personality" during that interview.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

it's all about the kids.....

As a father, you love your children. That's first and foremost. But at the same time, I think it's incumbent upon those of us who are fathers to "innocently" find things that annoy them and play it up really big. Just for fun. I did that a few days ago.

I learned this at a conference earlier this week:
  • there are currently 100 million active Facebook users; it's estimated that there will be 200 million by December of this year

  • there are approximately 250,000 new Facebook users every day

  • the average Facebook user is on their page about 25 minutes a day

My industry isn't reaching the Gen Y/Net Generation. In order to do that, we're going to have to do things a little different in order to gain their business. So that I can begin to understand social networking better, I now have a Facebook account.

And if it happens to mortify my daughters that I have a Facebook account, that's just an added bonus for me.....

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

need some truth in advertising.....

There are signs all over the airport area in Phoenix claiming that Sky Harbor Airport is "America's Friendliest Airport." Bull. The security personnel in particular were anything but friendly. In fact, I don't think I've ever been treated more rudely by anyone in an airport.

While standing in line before proceeding to have my luggage scanned, I offered to have an elderly man in a wheelchair go in front of me. We were both standing there and I politely motioned for him to go first. A female security person, who reminded me of Nell Carter, cocked her head and scowled at me saying, "He's not READY!" I think I saw small whiffs of smoke coming from her ears. As I stood there with an obvious look of shock, she hurriedly waved me in her direction. I said, "Thank you! I hope you have a better day now."

The next problem occured when I didn't pack my x-ray bin properly. Another female security guard, I think it was Nell Carter's sister, said, "From now on, you put your laptop in a SEPARATE container!"

Last week Phillip Fulmer was asked about the soft defense UT played against UCLA in the second half. He said that the defense didn't play a soft coverage. All the other UT fans thought it was soft. I guess it comes down to the definition of the word "soft." It's probably the same thing with the word "friendly" in the Phoenix airport.

We must have a different definition for "friendly" in the South.....

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

early morning time on my hands.....

I don't adjust to time zones too well. By the time I get used to this one, I'll be heading back home and have to adjust back to that one.

So when I woke up at 5:00 this morning, I went on a walk with my camera. Here's Phoenix from 5:30 until 6:30.....

Monday, September 15, 2008

hot is hot.....

They say dry heat isn't all that hot. It was 109 when the plane landed in Phoenix yesterday. True, it's not bad in the shade. But out in the sun, trust me, it's hot.

I didn't get in until around 5:00 PM yesterday, thanks to a flight delay with American. Last time I flew American, I swore I'd never fly with them again. But the fare was the cheapest and I'm trying to save the company money, so I booked it. Never again.

I don't think I could live here, but from what I've seen so far the Phoenix landscape is pretty unique.....

Saturday, September 13, 2008

thanks so much.....

Welcome to a special Saturday edition of the OFIT.

I just wanted to take a minute and thank the media, both national and local, for creating such panic in the general public. Thank you for telling us that we're probably going to run out of gas very soon. Because of you, I sat in a line of 45-50 cars at Sam's Club last night to get gas. (I'd like to note that the only reason I waited is because the low gas light was on in the van.)

I'd also like to thank the Knoxville area gas stations and their suppliers for price gouging. Gas was $4.49 a gallon when I can through there yesterday afternoon. And the Winchester gas station I saw on the news last night that raised their prices to $5.29 a gallon.

Again, I can't thank you all enough.....

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

heading back home.....

Home is where you make it. That's what the old Cajun guy told Joe Dirt when he went looking for his parents.

I've made Franklin my home. But Kingsport will always be a home for me, too. I'm heading back up there this week for a conference. Cooler temperatures, mountains all around, plus dinner at Mom and Dad's.

I'm looking forward to this week.....

Monday, September 08, 2008

it's a win.....

I didn't expect alot of points to be score in yesterday's Titans/Jaguars game. Maybe 35 to 40 total at most. Luckily 17 points were enough for the Titans to win.

The defense played stellar with seven sacks. The front line was spectacular. Cortland Finnegan played well and got two picks. Albert Haynesworth played through a concussion.

On the offensive side of the ball, thank goodness for rookie Chris Johnson. He's a difference maker. Bo Scaife came through on third and 16 in a big way. The receivers dropped a few balls. And Vince.....well, Mr. Young made some bad decisions in the pocket. The first interception set up Jacksonville's only touchdown. The second one, thankfully, didn't hurt the Titans. But in both instances, he threw the ball right to the defense. You can't be an effective quarterback in the NFL and do things like that. Looks like Collins will be the quarterback for the next 2-4 weeks anyway.

A win's a win. But they're going to have to put more points on the board against most of the other teams in the league.....

Friday, September 05, 2008

never did that before.....

I'm 44 years old. I've watched bits and pieces of political conventions over the years. And I've usually tried to watch the speeches of the presidential candidates. But I've never intentionally tuned in to watch a vice presidential candidate speak - until Wednesday night.

By now there have been accolades given to and pot shots taken at Sarah Palin for her speech. And I know what I say doesn't amount to a hill of beans when it comes to who will end up at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue next January. But I have to say that Sarah Palin not only knocked it out of the park, she hit the thing so far that it's still rolling. She was poised, intelligent, and sincere.

There, that's as political as I'll ever get on here.....

Thursday, September 04, 2008

family affair.....

Dallas Morning News-Denton Record Chronicle - 7/15/08

As Denton, Texas, Pizza Patron employee Stephanie Martinez complied with a disguised robber's demand for money at closing in July, a co-worker jumped the man, knocked him down, and began beating on him. As the robber's sunglasses and wig fell off, Martinez recognized him: "Don't hit him again! That's my dad!" Police later charged Stephanie's father, mother and husband with the attempted robbery, concluding that Stephanie had been kept completely in the dark about the heist.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

things that need to go away at the mall.....

I had to go to Cool Springs Galleria Saturday afternoon. I think everyone from a 100-mile radius was there.

While I was there, I noticed a few things that need to go away at the mall. Not just at Cool Springs, but at every mall. I'm sure this isn't a complete list, but these are the ones I noticed:

Teenagers who insist on walking 4-and 5-wide. We get it, you're there to be seen and to try to act cool. Just do it without clogging up the walkways.

Cart/kiosk people who chase you down and try to buff your fingernails. I'm putting you on notice. You come at me once more and I'll turn you into a human popcicle with that buffing stick. You've been warned.

People who walk so slow that other people in wheelchairs pass them by. I saw a lady in a wheelchair accidentally run over a lady's foot because the lady in front of her was walking so slow. The lady in the wheelchair kept huffing and puffing, waiting for the lady in front of her to either get out of the way or speed up. She didn't. So wheelchair lady just hit the gas and made a path for herself over the other lady's foot. She never looked back.

People unsure of escalators. Just get on the moving, magical steps. It won't hurt. Take that first step for the ride of your life. You may even want to repeat the experience one day. Be sure to pace yourself.

Foreigners who refuse to bathe. Yes, I'd like for you to speak English, too, but let's deal with the body odor thing first. If nothing else, go spray each other down in Bath & Body Works with room deodorizer.

Kiosks that sell hair. Face it, if you need hair you're not going to buy it from a little Korean lady at a kiosk in the mall.

Monday, September 01, 2008

wanted:an offense.....and a 2nd half defense.....

If this is the product Tennessee is going to put on the field this season, I don't know that I want to watch them play any more. It was downright ugly.

I have to give UCLA credit. Our defense allowed them to stay in the game. We let their quarterback get up off the mat from the first half and gave them every opportunity to win the game. And they took those opportinities and turned them into a win.
Crompton looked like he'd never played football before, let alone quarterback. Foster continues to lose the handle on the ball inside the 10 yard line. The new offensive coordinator, Clawson, called a very questionable game. Why should we throw the ball 41 times? Our veteran offensive line couldn't block anyone. Our kicker missed three field goals. We left at least 16 points on the field.
As for the defense, great first half. But they forgot to play the fourth quarter. Yeah, our defensive backs had four interceptions, but we couldn't cover a 94-year-old woman in a wheelchair in the second half. Pitiful. Florida will put up 80 points on UT if they play this way against them.
And to think I waited eight months for this.....