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Friday, November 30, 2007


Evel Knievel passed away today.

Much Ado About Not a Whole Lot

So... if you live in a Time Warner or Comcast area, you've obviously heard the endless stream of radio ads by both the cable companies and the NFL Network about their little tiff. The big cable companies want to either put the NFL Network on a pay tier or, at least, get the good deal offered to some of the small cable companies. The NFL Network wants to be in the basic digital package (like they are on Dish and Direct). In the mean time, people with cable instead of satellite missed the Dallas/Green Bay game last night.

As for the whole debate, I'm of the opinion that they're both right, and they're both wrong. But, because I firmly believe that Jerry Jones is evil, it's all his fault. (Seriously, though-My first choice would be that NFL games would stay on "broadcast" channels - I was mad when they showed up on ESPN. If that's not possible, then they should be on readily available media - the way it is now. I'd also love to see Sunday Ticket available on cable as well as Dish.) I don't actually want the NFL Network- except for the live games I can't think of a single thing I'd want to see. I mean, I'm not all that interested in replays of random games or watching the Combines. Then again, in my perfect world, cable would be a la carte. (Fox News, Food TV, the ESPNs, the Fox Sports, and I'm all good.)

On to the reason for my little rant today. Last night, since I don't have satellite, I joined a bazillion of my closest friends at a local sports bar (well, not all that local- the ones near here was busting at the seams, so we wandered out to a small town near here and squished in like sardines with the locals there) to watch the game. We couldn't actually hear the broadcast because of the number of people in the room, which, come to find out, was a good thing. As we were watching it, nitpicky me was noticing the broadcast glitches (odd camera shots and returning from commercial breaks during the middle of a play). I came away from it unimpressed by the visual presentation.

Today, I was listening to the Jim Rome Show, and I found out that the audio didn't help the experience. Evidently, Bryant Gumble called Dallas' QB "Rick Romo" (and... I quote... "That's why McCarthy[GB's head coach-B] said that Barber [Dallas running back-B] is the heart and soul of the Green Bay offense") and sounded more than a little like Kermit the Frog.

So, I guess I'm glad I don't have the NFL Network. I just wish a whole lot more people around here did, just so the sports bars wouldn't be so crowded on game days.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Crazy People

Watch this video. No, that's not a flying squirrel. It's a flying guy. These people are insane.

No, the boys don't want flying suits for Christmas. Even if they did, they don't.

The Headlines

I'd love to say that these were the headlines that didn't make me roll my eyes, but I'd be lying. There was plenty of eye-rolling during this morning's romp through the news sites.


Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Chemical Perfection

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OK, gang... what is it?

UPDATE: It's caffeine.

Wednesday's Hero

Sgt. Antwan L. Walker
Sgt. Antwan L. Walker
22 years old from Tampa, Florida
2nd Forward Support Battalion, 2nd Infantry Division
May 18, 2005

Sgt. Antwan Walker was excited about coming home from Iraq to celebrate his 23rd birthday with his family and friends. His mother, Andrea Pringle, was busy planning the party when an Army official unexpectedly came to her house.

She said he told her Thursday that her son was killed the previous day by a bomb blast in Ramadi. The Department of Defense hasn't publicly confirmed his death.

Sgt. Antwan Walker, known as Twan to his friends and family, joined the Army in 2000. Pringle said her son joined to earn money for college.

"Twan had a lot of goals in life," She said. "He was very ambitious and very smart."

Sgt. Walker had been in Iraq for about a year. He called his family often but didn't want to talk about war. Instead, he talked about starting a real estate career and his three children.

"He was such a good dad," his mother said. "All he wanted to do was make a good life for his kids."

In April 2005, Walker wanted to talk about the fighting. He told his mother five soldiers he was traveling with were killed. His phone calls became more frequent after that.

Pringle said she had days when she couldn't eat or sleep because of her worries. But she never forgot to give her son her support.

"I always told him I'm proud and be safe".

These brave men and women sacrifice so much in their lives so that others may enjoy the freedoms we get to enjoy everyday. For that, I am proud to call them Hero.
We Should Not Only Mourn These Men And Women Who Died, We Should Also Thank God That Such People Lived

This post is part of the Wednesday Hero Blogroll. For more information about Wednesday Hero, or if you would like to post it on your blog, you can go here.

Christmas Gifts

Well, it's that time of year again, and I'm hunting down gifts for everyone on my list. Some are easy (Dad gets licorice... duh... ). Some, not so much (what exactly do you get for teenage boys who aren't all that interested in music or sports?). In my pursuit of the original gift (do guys really need another Norelco shaver or Old Spice gift set?), I'm always looking for something out of the ordinary (thus explaining the ""original gift" concept). Here are a few of the more... unique gifts I've found this season (so far).
ok... ok... enough for now. But I'm sure I'll add to this list as the Shopping Season goes on.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Be Thankful

(from Strange Cosmos)
Be thankful that you don't already have everything you desire.
If you did, what would there be to look forward to?
Be thankful when you don't know something,
for it gives you the opportunity to learn.

Be thankful for the difficult times. During those times you grow.
Be thankful for your limitations, because they give you opportunities for improvement.
Be thankful for each new challenge, because it will build your strength and character.

Be thankful for your mistakes. They will teach you valuable lessons.
Be thankful when you're tired and weary, because it means you've made a difference.

It's easy to be thankful for the good things.
A life of rich fulfillment comes to those who
are also thankful for the setbacks.
Gratitude can turn a negative into a positive.
Find a way to be thankful for your troubles,
and they can become your blessings.

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

Happy Thanksgiving

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Here are a couple of Thanksgiving Day-related reads for you:

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Headlines... Get Your Headlines

Not a whole lot going on, but here are a few headlines:


Wednesday's Hero

Spc. Roger G. Ling
Spc. Roger G. Ling
20 years old from Douglaston, New York
Company C, 1st Battalion, 34th Armor Regiment, 1st Brigade Combat Team
February 19, 2004

When Spc. Roger G. Ling's Humvee was struck by a homemade bomb in October of 2003, he survived the attack and he worked to keep his superior officer, Lt. Matt Homa, alive. Spc. Ling was riding in the backseat of the Humvee when it was hit. It destroyed Lt. Homa's door.

"It almost killed me. From what I've been told, Roger helped keep me awake until my medic arrived." said Lt. Homa. "Ling was a good kid. You could count on him to do anything."

Spc. Ling was killed, along with Second Lieutenant Jeffrey C. Graham of Elizabethtown, Kentucky, when their unit came under fire from insurgents in Khalidiyah, Iraq. Only two miles from where he'd survived the attack just four months earlier.

Leona Ling said she was grateful her brother came home in August of 2003 just before leaving for Iraq.

"He had to have his tonsils taken out," she said. "It was a blessing in disguise because we got to see him again."

In phone calls home, the soldier spoke wistfully of returning to New York and going to college. "He wanted to hear about what was going on at home and all the latest family gossip," Leona Ling recalled.

Survivors include his father, Wai Ling, a U.S. Army veteran.

These brave men and women sacrifice so much in their lives so that others may enjoy the freedoms we get to enjoy everyday. For that, I am proud to call them Hero.
We Should Not Only Mourn These Men And Women Who Died, We Should Also Thank God That Such People Lived

This post is part of the Wednesday Hero Blogroll. For more information about Wednesday Hero, or if you would like to post it on your blog, you can go here.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Going To The Dogs

My dad sent me this. hmmm... he didn't tell me what breed he is. (Sorry, it's a flash animation with no html code.) I'm a golden retriever. What breed are you?

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

The Scam

In my last news roundup, I mentioned that John Coleman, one of the founders of the Weather Channel, says that Global Warming is the biggest scam out there. I thought I'd toss you a couple more links and a graph (which I found at Denny's). The SPPI link points out "35 inconvenient truths"- 35 errors in Al Gore's movie, and ICECAP is just a cool place to learn about the climate. Here's the graph:

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(click on the graph for a larger version)

If you look carefully (or even not so carefully), you'll see that global warming and cooling are just a part of living on good old Planet Earth. And we're not even close to Earth's warmest period. And... guess what... we survived that peak. And we survived the Little Ice Age. I'm not worried about the temp doing us in as a species or a planet.

You'll have to forgive me- I'm just logical that way.

Rocket Man

OK... so this happened a year ago. I just saw it for the first time. It's one of the stories that make you say "wow... wonder what God's got planned for him now" because, according to a lot of people who should know what they're talking about, Spc. Channing Moss should have be dead three times in one day.
March 16, 2006. Southeastern Afghanistan. A fierce ambush and bloody firefight. It was over in a flash and Moss was left on the verge of death.

He was impaled through the abdomen with a rocket-propelled grenade, and an aluminum rod with one tail fin protruded from the left side of his torso.
Yes, you read that correctly. He took an RPG to the gut (well, technically, the hip- it went through his left pelvic wing). And, spoiler alert, he lived to tell the tale.
The RPG might have exploded and killed them all, he said, had it not lodged in Moss’s body.

The projectile bored into Moss’s left hip at a downward angle, tearing through his lower abdomen and pulling with it some of the fabric from his uniform and his black web belt. The tip of the device stopped just short of breaking through the skin on Moss’s upper right thigh.

...Platoon medic Sgt. Jared Angell, Moss’s best friend, pulled his buddy behind the passenger seat and used every piece of gauze and bandage he had.

“Luckily, his belt was there because it kept the RPG from going all the way through,” said Angell, 24, who was a specialist at the time.

...When he (Major Oh) saw the tail fin of the RPG round, he yelled, “everybody get out!”

“I had never even seen an RPG before, but I figured anything with a rod and fins on it had to be a rocket of some kind.”

Oh asked for volunteers to stay in the operating room and help him save Moss’s life. Several soldiers raised their hands.

Oh and his volunteers strapped on body armor and helmets. They called in a two-man team from the 759th Ordnance Company (Explosive Ordnance Disposal).

... But Oh believed something could be done for the wounded soldier before him.

He “was still talking to me,” Oh recalled. He choked back tears as he explained: “When he comes in like that, there’s no way you can give up at that point.”

After the EOD team arrived, Oh warned the volunteers one last time that the surgery could cost everyone their lives.
When all was said and done, Moss was alive and well, the surgical team didn't get blown up, and the doctors received commendations for their work that day. Here's a video of the story (only watch it if you're like my dad. By "like my dad", I mean the kind of person who enjoys watching actual footage of surgeries and would have no problems asking his surgeon if he could watch his own operation).

Wednesday's Hero

Cpl. Jordan M. Moehnle
Cpl. Jordan M. Moehnle
21 years old from Los Angeles, California
Company L, 3rd Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment, Regimental Combat Team 6 ("Darkhorse" Battalion)

Cpl. Jordan M. Moehnle takes time out of leading his squad in a patrol through Fallujah's Nazaal district to spend some time interacting with local children. Moehnle, who is on his second tour in Iraq, said the changes he has witnessed since he was last here in 2006 have been dramatic. "The city was like the Wild West, we'd put our heads and and drive down (the middle of Fallujah) and hope not to get shot," he said. "Since we've been here (this year), we can stop and shoot the breeze."

You can read more here.

These brave men and women sacrifice so much in their lives so that others may enjoy the freedoms we get to enjoy everyday. For that, I am proud to call them Hero.
We Should Not Only Mourn These Men And Women Who Died, We Should Also Thank God That Such People Lived

This post is part of the Wednesday Hero Blogroll. For more information about Wednesday Hero, or if you would like to post it on your blog, you can go here.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Evil in the World

I've always been leery of MySpace. I've never quite known why, but I've always just had this feeling that I wanted to avoid it (and not let my kids near it). After reading this, my kids are never having a MySpace account. Ever.

The "other parents" are just plain evil. It's not that I believe in karma, but the Bible says that when you reach judgment you will be held accountable for everything you do in your life- good and bad. That's not karma... that's hellfire.

Friday, November 09, 2007

Headlines... Get Your Headlines Here

It's been a little while since I ran through the headlines for you. Some of these are going to need a little commentary.

Everything Else:

I Guess I Should Know This By Now

I've been told that I need to "learn it, live it, and... well... live with it." uh-huh... sure...

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copyright by King Features Syndicate

Mythbusters Saves a Life

Well... sort of...

A man was waiting for a train when he fainted and fell about 7 feet onto the tracks. A high school student jumped down, rolled him under the platform and to safety. Where does Mythbusters come into the story?
With the train "just a couple of metres away", Julian moved the North Gosford resident to the edge of the track and rolled him under the platform.

But danger was not totally averted.

"[As the train roared past] the noise pierced your ears and there was a suction that pulled us in," Julian said.

"I'd seen that on MythBusters, so I stayed right back and pulled Mark back towards me."

The train eventually passed safely, and the pair chatted until ambulance officers arrived.
So... the myth that he was referring to is the one that says that if you're too close to railroad tracks when a fast-moving train goes by, aerodynamics would dictate that lower pressure under the train would suck you under the train and squish you like a bug. Mythbusters "busted" that myth in Episode 66, so I guess Julian wasn't paying attention to the conclusion, which in this case was a good thing. (There have been reports of people being sucked under trains, but, of course, I can't find any links right now.)

Mythbusters is a cool show. It's fun to watch, but I can't take it too seriously. A lot of it is staged, and rarely do they get results they weren't expecting. Their "scientific" procedures seem thorough, but there are gaping holes in many of the experiments (which is part of the reason why they have to go back and revisit so many myths). But, like I said, it's fun, and it gives the boys and I a chance to talk about the myths, the experiments, and what could have been done differently.

All that said... great job, Julian. You're a hero.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

The Gift

I originally wrote this on November 7, 2004.
If you were to ask me what the greatest gift I'd ever been given, the answer would be easy. If you take away the BIG ONES (life itself and salvation), the greatest gift I've ever been given is my family- my parents, if you want to get specific. Most people are just stuck with the family they were born into. Not so in my case.

My biological parents were young and in love (or as in love as you can be at 18). When she found out she was pregnant, he was all set to "do the right thing" (this was a couple of years before Roe v. Wade, and it wasn't an ethical option for them, anyway). They told his parents, then she told her parents. Her parents decided that "doing the right thing" was not an option, and they shipped her off to live with her aunt in Illinois until "it was over." (If I sound bitter toward her parents, I guess I am, a little. Not because they didn't want me to be a part of their family - I like mine just fine, thank you very much. I just hate what they put their daughter through... she has psychological scars that I'm not sure she'll ever recover from.) So, against the young man's wishes, she moved to Illinois and stayed with her aunt and uncle until it was time to give birth.

At the same time, a young couple in Illinois was trying to adopt a baby. They had been married the year before, and because of medical problems, she couldn't have "her own" children. Pregnancy would have probably killed her and the baby. And, because of her medical problems, they started the adoption process right away, knowing how long it might take, and knowing that there was no way of knowing how long she would have before she would become too ill to adopt. They were "next in line" for a baby... but when he was born, he had a few problems and was "temporarily unavailable for adoption." Still in the front of the line, they waited.

Late in the afternoon on November 3, 1969, they got the call. "How would you feel about a baby girl?" "Great!" They called their families to spread the news- there was a new member of the family. The grocery store where his mom worked announced over the PA "June... Dick just called... it's a girl! You have a granddaughter!" Four days later, they took me home. I might have been born on Nov. 3rd, but I became "me" on the 7th. Until that day, I was "Infant Dependent Lamb." On that day I became Elizabeth Ann Jordan, daughter of Dick and Lin.

All said, I had the best of both worlds. I had biological parents who were willing to raise me, but who were also willing to let me go to be raised by others more able. From them I got my dark hair, my fair skin, my freckles, my hyper-extending elbows and my high blood pressure (uh... thanks, Jim... I think). And I had another family, who loved me before they even knew me. From them, I got my love for tradition, my need for close family ties (growing up, the farthest any cousin lived from me was 30 minutes), the roots of my faith in God, the basis of my political leanings, and my taste for licorice. Not a bad combo.

So, 35 years have passed since they brought me home. A lot has happened- Mom had a kidney transplant and had a baby- Steph is no more and no less a daughter to them than me. I grew up in what seems today to be an atypical family- my parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins all lived within 30 minutes of each other, and we didn't have a divorce in the family until I was in college. I moved to Oklahoma to go to college, then got married and moved all over the place (but I still miss my family every day, even though it's been 17 years since I moved away- I get back as often as I can and talk to my parents almost every day.) I had twins. I found both of my biological parents ( stories for another day). But still, every once in a while, I'm struck by just how blessed I truly am.

One of my grandfathers once told me that I was their Gift from God. That might be true, but I will always believe that they were my Gift from God.

Wednesday's Hero

Army Spc. Eric S. McKinley
Army Spc. Eric S. McKinley
24 years old from Corvallis, Oregon
Company B, 2nd Battalion, 162nd Infantry Regiment, Army National Guard
June 13, 2004

An avid outdoorsman, Spc. McKinley worked as a baker at Alpine Bakery in Corvallis, Ore. Upon his return from Iraq, he hoped to open a juice bar in the college town to provide a drug and alcohol-free environment for young people. Friends and co-workers remember Spc. McKinley as a quiet, caring young man who dyed his hair, sported several tattoos and loved ska and rock music. His senior yearbook picture showed a grinning young man with spiked hair dyed red and green. In other 1998 yearbook pictures, he has purple and blue hair in a mohawk.

Spc. Eric McKinley was killed when a roadside bomb north of Baghdad detonated destroying two vehicles and wounded four other Oregon soldiers. They were identified as Staff Sgt. Phillip Davis, 23, of Albany; Sgt. Matthew Zedwick, 23, of Bend; Cpl. Shane Ward, 23, of Corvallis and Pvt. Richard Olsen, 23, of Independence.

Almost 500 people attended the memorial service for Spc. McKinley at Starker Arts Park in Corvallis. There was a mix of people dressed in either military or punk attire — including McKinley’s six-year-old cousin, who, in tribute, wore his hair in a bright green mohawk.

Coventry Pacheco, McKinley’s fiancee, sat in the first row at his celebration-of-life service. They hadn’t set a wedding date, but were planning to get married.

He was posthumously awarded the Bronze Star for meritorious service, a Purple Heart and the Oregon Distinguished Service Award. U.S. and Oregon flags were presented to his parents, Tom McKinley of Salem and Karen Hilsendager of Philomath.

These brave men and women sacrifice so much in their lives so that others may enjoy the freedoms we get to enjoy everyday. For that, I am proud to call them Hero.
We Should Not Only Mourn These Men And Women Who Died, We Should Also Thank God That Such People Lived

This post is part of the Wednesday Hero Blogroll. For more information about Wednesday Hero, or if you would like to post it on your blog, you can go here.

Monday, November 05, 2007

Football and... Global Warming???

Before I start on my mini-rant, let's get some congrats and thank yous out of the way. Thank you to the teams who made me 5-0 in the football challenge for the 2nd straight week (we'll see where I place, based on the "wild-guess" questions from the Longhorns' game). And congrats to fellow Sooner Adrian Peterson for running for a new record (I think he's still running, actually).

OK... now for the rant.

This week, NBC is having "Green Week." They're spreading the Global Warming propaganda as fast as their pointy little heads can come up with the lies. That includes such need things as sending reporters to "the end of the Earth"- Matt Lauer to Alaska, Al Roker to a Central American jungle, and Ann Curry to Antarctica. (I'm sure they'll address the fact that they had to use a whole lot of natural resources to get those three... and their crews... to those isolated locales- I just don't really care about them enough to find out. And do I really need to get into the fact that, as a sphere, there is no "end of the earth"??? ) This carries on in one way or another throughout NBC's programming this week. Aren't you excited? I knew you would be. (Oh... I'm sure they'll be careful to provide accurate information on global warming, expressing both the contentions of the faithful as well as the scientific evidence of the skeptics... not.)

What does this have to do with football? In NBC's minds (and I use the term loosely), a whole bunch. When they went to the half-time report, the lights were off at the studio... on purpose. There were candles and flashlights on the desk to dimly illuminate the set. (The good news being that you couldn't see Olby's ugly mug.) They explained that by not having the lights on for the halftime report, they were saving enough energy to light a house for a month. Then, after a brief football report, they cut to Matt Lauer in front of something vaguely resembling an igloo somewhere in Alaska. (No, I don't know how much energy they were wasting lighting that shot... in the middle of nowhere at night in Alaska. hmmm... I wonder how much of that precious Artic ice they melted with those high-powered lights...) The entire segment was a pretentious PR stunt with no real environmental value. If NBC were serious about saving energy, they would have demanded that the NFL play the game during the day to avoid using the stadium lighting... or just get rid of MSNBC.

Now, before I'm branded a "nut" for not buying The Goracle's sermon hook, line, and sinker, I do believe that we may be in a time of (SLIGHT) global warming- as in, humanity might be keeping the earth out of an Ice Age... maybe... And I do believe in common sense conservation based on science, not hysteria. I'm not all about goofy stunts and fallacy-filled proselytism. One is responsible... the other, not so much.

So... instead of pointing out alternative power sources for lighting (solar powered batteries, for instance... just to name one), they joked around in candle light and probably really influenced a lot of people's opinions... away from taking global warming nuts seriously. Good job, NBC. Keep up the good work.

Friday, November 02, 2007

He's Says It Like It's a Bad Thing

Barry Bonds will boycott the Hall of Fame if they display his record-breaking home run ball with an asterisk on it.
That includes skipping his potential induction ceremony.

“I won’t go. I won’t be part of it,” Bonds said in an interview with MSNBC that aired Thursday night. “You can call me, but I won’t be there.”

...So, if the Hall goes through with the asterisk display?

“I will never be in the Hall of Fame. Never,” Bonds said. “Barry Bonds will not be there.

“That’s my emotions now. That’s how I feel now. When I decide to retire five years from now, we’ll see where they are at that moment,” he added. “We’ll see where they are at that time, and maybe I’ll reconsider. But it’s their position and where their position will be will be the determination of what my decision will be at that time.”
So... what I'm taking from that is that Barry's throwing a temper tantrum, but he'll be at the induction because either Cooperstown will cave just prior to his induction ceremony (if he is inducted, that is) or because he really really wants people to notice him.

All things being equal, he won't be inducted. Mark McGuire won't get in. Neither will Sammy Sosa. It's just the way it is. So this is really all academic, but it's still fun to see Barry get all worked up.

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