Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Great news story!

I saw this online tonight and had to post it. What other words or phrases do you think should be added?

Lake Superior State's 2009 list of banished words
Associated Press - December 30, 2008 2:04 PM ET
Lake Superior State University's 2009 list of banished words:
carbon footprint or carbon offsetting
first dude
Wall Street/Main Street
3 (Emoticon for 'heart' used in text messages and e-mail.)
icon or iconic
game changer
desperate search
not so much
winner of 5 nominations
it's that time of year again

***Here are my personal ones that I would like to add:
engage in diaglogue
And this has to be done away with..............the word "random." I am tired of hearing someone say "he's (or she's) so random." What exactly does that mean?

Early Loser of the Week

Loser of the Week: Chip Saltsman
What's worse? The fact this guy did this or the lack of outrage by some of his colleagues? Have these guys turned the clock back to the volatile 60s? Yes, this is almost 2009...for most of us, that is.

'Magic Negro' flap might help Saltsman
Andy Barr Andy Barr – Tue Dec 30, 4:31 am ET
The controversy surrounding a comedy CD distributed by Republican National Committee chair candidate Chip Saltsman has not torpedoed his bid and might have inadvertently helped it.
Four days after news broke that the former Tennessee GOP chairman had sent a CD that included a song titled “Barack the Magic Negro” to the RNC members he is courting, some of those officials are rallying around the embattled Saltsman, with a few questioning whether the national media and his opponents are piling on.

“When I heard about the story I had to figure out what was going on for myself,” said Mark Ellis, the chairman of the Maine Republican Party. “When I found out what this was about I had to ask, ‘boy, what’s the big deal here?’ because there wasn’t any.”

Alabama Republican committeeman Paul Reynolds said the fact the Saltsman sent him a CD with the song on it “didn’t bother me one bit.”

“Chip probably could have thought it through a bit more, but he was doing everyone a favor by giving us a gift,” he said. “This is just people looking for something to make an issue of.”

Brad v. Jennifer

I saw this on Yahoo! News this morning and have to wonder if the press will stop linking Jennifer Aniston and Brad Pitt. Their romance went by the wayside a long time ago. Why does the press think we still want to see these two together at some point because there seems to be an endless amount of stories linking the two when there's not really a connection.

Thankfully, we still don't see Justin Timberlake versus Britney Spears stories.

Jennifer Aniston Beats Brad Pitt at Box Office
By Us Magazine
December 29, 2008,
7:32 am PST
Us Magazine
Jennifer Aniston wins this round! Her puppy flick, Marley & Me, not only beat ex Brad Pitt's Curious Case of Benjamin Button on its Christmas opening day (earning $14.6 million vs. $11.8 million), but it also took in more cash over the weekend. Look back at Jennifer Aniston and Brad Pitt's happier times. Marley & Me topped the box office by raking in an additional $37 million this weekend, while Button came in third place behind Bedtime Stories with $27 million. See adorable photos of Aniston and Owen Wilson filming Marley & Me.Tom Cruse's Nazi drama, Valkyrie, made $21.5 million, putting it in fourth spot, while Jim Carrey's Yes Man came in fifth with $16.5 million.

Monday, December 29, 2008

The Browns mess

The Cleveland Browns are starting over.................again.

It's hard to believe that a team hasn't scored an offensive touchdown in six games! That's a long time!

This kind of turmoil in football-mad town makes for great talk radio as I have been flipping back and forth between 1100 AM out of Cleveland and 850 AM, also out of Cleveland.

This weekend has produced two memorable quotes in football:
(As of today) Former Detroit Lions football coach Rod Marinelli said after his team made history by going winless, "We deserve it." He was man enough to admit his team sucked. That takes guts when you are that bad.

Browns GM Phil Savage prior to the Pittsburgh Steelers game, when asked about his future with the Browns, said something along the lines of "I'll be smiling at the start of the game and I'll be smiling when I leave the game." Phil was fired shortly after the Browns lost 31-0 to Pittsburgh.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Winner for the Week

Winner of the Week: Jesus Christ
It's amazing what Jesus Christ can do and what He did for us. His pain makes a lot of what we go through on a daily basis very trivial. We look to Him for answers to a lot of our toughest questions. It's also important to be thankful to Him for blessings that we have now.
On a side note...
A few years ago, at a school I was working at, we had a Turkish instructor visiting for a couple months. He talked about how respectful and beautiful the churches are in Turkey. This man spoke very good English but had trouble a with a few words. "Jesus Christ" was one of them. The instructor would often reference these religious frescos in Turkey which are basically wall paintings. However, when he would talk about them, he would say something like, "The frescos are so beautiful...especially the ones with Cheez Christ." Some of us staff members would look at each other with look like, "Did he just say "Cheese"?

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Winners and Losers of the Week

Winners of the Week: The surgical team at the Cleveland Clinic.
Cleveland Clinic and University Hospitals in Cleveland are always ranked among the best in the world. This week, CC proved it by doing the most extensive facial transplant. The surgery went for around 20 hours. To prep, I read where doctors were practicing taking facial tissue from cadavers and practicing. Practice is one thing but to do that over the length of almost a day is amazing. Props to those in the medical field.

Loser of the Week: Illinois Governor Rod R. Blagojevich
With hair as bad as his reputation, Blago is having a hard time dodging charges that he tried to sell Barack Obama's vacant Senate seat. He has been criticized for being very casual with the media in response to the charges. Wishing reporters a "Merry Christmas" as they try to get to the bottom of serious allegations doesn't help the cause.

More EXTREMELY useless news

I am not making this stuff up. This is actually in the news.

Wildlife experts ponder gender of Santa's reindeer
By BETSY BLANEY, Associated Press Writer Betsy Blaney, Associated Press Writer – Fri Dec 19, 5:38 am ET

LUBBOCK, Texas – There may be a perfectly good reason why Santa doesn't get lost on his annual Christmas globetrot: His flying reindeer just might be female and don't mind stopping for directions.
The gender of Rudolph and his or her sleigh-hauling friends — the subject of goofy Internet chatter every year around this time — is now being pondered by renowned wildlife experts at Texas A&M University.
"Santa's reindeers were really females, most likely," said Alice Blue-McLendon, a veterinary medicine professor specializing in deer who cites the depictions of Santa's helpers with antlers as the primary evidence. It turns out reindeer grow antlers regardless of gender, and most bulls typically shed their fuzzy protrusions before Christmas.
But Santa's sleigh helpers might also be castrated males, known as steers, said Greg Finstad, who manages the Reindeer Research Program at the University of Alaska Fairbanks.
Young steers finish shedding their antlers in February and March, just as non-expecting females do. Bulls generally lose theirs before Christmas, while expectant mothers retain their antlers until calves are birthed in the spring. This allows them to protect food resources through harsh weather and to have enough for developing fetuses, he said.

Anniversary of a passing

It was on this day back in 2001 that comedic legend Foster Brooks passed away. Foster was known for playing a drunk but was quite sober at the time. It seemed like it was his partner in many of his clips, Dean Martin, who was throwing back the bottle. Watch Dean's as well as Don Rickles' reactions in this clip. Hilarious.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Who is the real loser?

So, Drew Peterson is engaged..............AGAIN! A 23 year old woman has accepted the man's proposal. Peterson is a retired Illinois police seargent who is a suspect in the death of his third wife and is suspected to have had a role in the disappearance of his fourth wife.

Peterson is 54.

Peterson's first wife divorced him because he was cheating on her. His second marriage was over after ten years. His second wife said that Peterson was abusing her.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

A Heckler's Weekend

What happens when you hire a coach with a losing record to take over at Auburn? A heckler spoils the airport welcome!

Bush is already a lame duck but literally?
The protester shouted in Arabic, "This is your farewell kiss, you dog!"

Can you use this info?

Really? #1, #6, and #7 I can see happening...but meteors, comets, and space debris?

7 freaky home threats: Are you covered?
Bobbi Dempsey
Wednesday December 10, 2008, 6:00 am EST

If you're like most homeowners, you probably don't think about your property insurance very often. It's common to enjoy the security of knowing your insurance company has you covered?Or does it?
Sure, your basic homeowners' policy will cover you for the run-of-the-mill stuff like fires (the accidental variety, at least). But what if you have the misfortune of suffering a more unusual type of calamity?
In that case, it's important to know whether you have an "open perils" or "named perils" policy. Most homeowners' policies cover your dwelling on an "open perils" basis, sometimes conversely referred to as "named exclusions." With this type of policy, anything not specifically excluded by your policy is covered. A named perils policy is just the opposite: Everything's excluded except what is specifically listed as covered.
Even within those categories, policies can vary widely depending on your location and the type of coverage you have. So you need to study your policy carefully. Here's a look at some of the more unusual things that could happen to your home, and how your insurance company might react. We'll get some help from Bill Wilson, associate vice president of Education & Research for the Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers of America.
7 'freaky' home perils 1. Flood 2. Mine subsidence 3. Volcanoes 4. Meteors, comets, and space debris 5. Stampeding animals 6. Landslides 7. Sinkhole collapse

Saturday, December 13, 2008

The Grinch that stole Ballys

It's been public knowledge that the Ballys fitness chain is struggling. I have been a member for the past 15 years or so. I first joined in Canton when I was still living at home.

Anyway, I was going to this one on Monroe Street in Toledo for the past month. I was doing a spinning class (bike riding) to break up the boredom of being on a treadmil. I was going Tuesday nights and Saturday mornings for this class. This morning, the instructor told me that today was the last Saturday spinning class. I was shocked. I asked what happened. She said this past Wednesday, the employees were told that this Ballys location would be closing on December 17th.

Luckily for the instructor, she will be teaching classes at the Ballys on Airport Highway in Toledo.

I am surprised at the timing of the closing. Mid-December? Before people make their New Year's Resolutions to lose weight and get fitness club memberships? Times must be tough indeed.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Winners and Losers of the Week

Winner of the Week: Tom Jones
I tab Tom Jones as my winner of the week for his latest music release called "24 Hours." There are several great songs on the disc. I saw Tom Jones in concert a few years ago at the House of Blues in Cleveland and he was awesome. It's good to hear the legend can still sing his butt off. "The Road" is a great song.

Loser of the Week: Bulls Coach Vinny Del Negro
How did this guy not get a technical foul for his move of screaming at a player and being on the court as Quentin Richardson nailed a big shot? The scream wasn't very professional.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

News ideas

With time ticking down until Christmas, what will the top news stories be on December 24th?

I can already see a story on shopping procrastinators being on the news as well as video of the nearby airport for a story on people travelling.

Look for the usual AAA story about how many people will be traveling by car when we have never been told how the AAA get their stats.

Any other suggestions?

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

The media giving away free advertising.

This is on WTOL channel 11's website tonight. Thankfully, they are gauging just much this economic downturn is affecting us.

Topless clubs feel the economic squeeze

Associated Press - December 9, 2008 6:24 PM ET
DETROIT (AP) - How bad are things around the Motor City? Not all that bad if you frequent places like Jon Jon's Cabaret.

The topless club in the suburb of Warren - where General Motors and Chrysler employ upwards of 20,000 people - cut the cost of a table dance from $20 to $10 in mid-November. General manager Kelly Sander says the dancer gets all the money plus any tips, while food and drinks generate the club's income.

Sander says Jon Jon's has lowered drink prices, but business is still down 50% from a year ago. The club now opens at 6 p.m. instead of 11 a.m. and several employees have been let go. Sander says people can't afford to go out and have fun the way they used to.

Copyright 2008 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Are you kidding me?

Part of me is happy for this kid and another part of me says, "Come on, you can't be serious."

Fox to adapt 9-year-old's self-help book (Reuters)

LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter) - Fox is ready to take advice from a 9-year-old.

The studio has acquired the film rights to "How to Talk to Girls," a cute 46-page self-help tome written by Alex Greven, a Colorado fourth-grader.

Greven wrote "Girls" as a handwritten, $3 pamphlet sold at his school book fair; he wrote it after he noticed his peers were having some trouble talking to the ladies, though the book is geared for all ages. Among this advice: Comb your hair and don't wear sweats; control your hyperness and cut down on sugar if necessary; a crush is like a love disease that can drive you mad; it is easy to spot pretty girls because they have big earrings, fancy dresses and all the jewelry but are like cars that need a lot of oil.

Soon enough Harper Collins picked up the book, which came out in November and quickly became a hit. But initially, Fox, which is like Harper Collins is owned by News Corp ., and its book scouts passed on the title. But when the book hit the town last week, garnering heavy interest from multiple parties, Fox stepped back in and took the book off the table. The deal was in the low-to-mid six figures .

No writers or producers are attached yet.

Reuters/Hollywood Reporter

Friday, December 5, 2008

Winners and Losers of the Week

Winners of the Week:
The Aurora Greenmen Football Team

The Greenmen won the Division III football state title by beating Eastmoor Academy 21-10 last Saturday in Fawcett Stadium. It's the first title in football for Aurora. Coach Bob Mihalik is one of the classiest and nicest guys ever and does great work with kids.

Losers of the Week:
By Nomination of Cliff (WIXY):
Cleveland Browns General Manager Phil Savage who "threw his coach under bus." After another loss in a disappointing season, Savage told the press that his job is to basically assemble the team and it's up to the coach how to best utilize that talent. Translation: it's not his fault the team sucks. It's too bad Coach Crennel can't catch the passes that Braylon Edwards and Kellen Winslow drops.

New York Giants wide receiver Plaxico Burress. This knucklehead took his gun into a nightclub last week and accidentally shot himself in the leg. Currently, Plax is suspended without pay from the Giants. I just don't get it how these guys with unreal talent get caught up in this crap.

The band Coldplay: Joe Satriani has filed a lawsuit against the band which basically amounts to a charge of plagiarism. Judge for yourself.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Useless news

Are you kidding me? I'm sure this will be a hot topic at every newsroom morning meeting.

Yellow expected as a bright spot for 2009
NEW YORK – Enough gloom and doom: There's a prediction from a leading color source that cheerful and sunny yellow will be the influential color of 2009.
Pantone, which provides color standards to design industries, specifically cites "mimosa," a vibrant shade of yellow illustrated by the flowers of some mimosa trees as well as the brunch-favorite cocktail, as its top shade of the new year. In general, Pantone expects the public to embrace many tones of optimistic yellow.
"I think it's just the most wonderful symbolic color of the future," says Leatrice Eiseman, executive director of the Pantone Color Institute. "It's invariably connected to warmth, sunshine and cheer — all the good things we're in dire need of right now."
In the spring fashion collections previewed earlier in the fall for retailers and editors, pops of yellow brightened the runways of Carolina Herrera — who called her favorite shade marigold — Badgley Mischka, Zac Posen and Michael Kors, among others. Kors even included a retro yellow polka-dot bikini that clearly harkened back to a more upbeat time.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

More useless news

Best Female Figure Not an Hourglass (from Yahoo!)
An imperfect body might be just what the doctor ordered for women and key to their economic success, an anthropologist now says.

While pop culture seems to worship the hourglass figure for females, with a tiny waist, big boobs and curvy hips à la Marilyn Monroe, this may not be optimal, says Elizabeth Cashdan of the University of Utah.

That's because the hormones that make women physically stronger, more competitive and better able to deal with stress also tend to redistribute fat from the hips to the waist.

So in societies and situations where women are under pressure to procure resources and otherwise bring home the bacon, they may be less likely to have the classic hourglass figure, Cashdan hypothesizes in the December issue of the journal Current Anthropology.

***For the rest of this story, visit http://news.yahoo.com/s/livescience/20081203/sc_livescience/bestfemalefigurenotanhourglass

How can a statement of what the "best" female figure be made? Isn't this up to preference or individual interpretation? As we see in sports, all kinds of body types can be athletic or can compete.

Christmas poll

On the website, Timesreporter.com, a newspaper based in New Philadelphia, they currently have the poll question below up for public opinion. I'm not fluent in Spanish but I'm quite sure it's "FELIZ" Navidad. Other suggestions for their poll from me would be "All I want for Christmas is my two front teeth", Barbara Steisand's version of "Jingle Bells", and anything done by the Chipmunks.

Which of the following is the worst Christmas song?
"Santa Baby"
"Wonderful Christmastime"
"Do They Know It's Christmas"
"Felice Navidad"
"Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer"
"Jingle Bells" (Barking dog version)

Monday, December 1, 2008

Useless news

Now that the election is over, it's on to find other stories that have me scratching my head as to how and why they make the news. This one appears in the news every stinkin' year!

'12 Days of Christmas' items would cost $86,609

PITTSBURGH -- At a price like this, it would have to be true love.

PNC Wealth Management says it'll cost you $86,609 to buy everything in "The Twelve Days of Christmas" song this year.

That's up more than $8,500, or nearly 11 percent, from last year, and includes everything from the single partridge in a pear tree to the 12 drummers drumming, purchased repeatedly as in the song.

While the price of the whole package is up, some things are actually cheaper than last year. Jim Dunigan, a PNC Wealth Management spokesman, notes how the price of five golden rings is down about 11 percent. Three French hens and six geese-a-laying also cost less this year.

But increases in the big items like eight maids-a-milking, 10 lords-a-leaping, 11 pipers piping and 12 drummers drumming is where you'll pay, thanks to a general wage increase.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Winner of the Week

Winner of the Week: Brenden Foster

This is an incredible story from ABC News.

Just imagine what you might do if a doctor said you have only two weeks left to live.

For 11-year-old Brenden Foster of Bothell, Wash., who was given that prognosis earlier this year after learning he was suffering from leukemia last December, the answer was probably not what you'd expect.

"I was coming back from one of my clinic appointments and I saw this big thing of homeless people and then I thought I should just get them something," Foster said.

Instead of asking for an expensive toy or a fancy vacation, he decided to focus all his remaining energy on feeding the homeless.

"They're probably starving, so give them a chance," he said.

He was too weak to do it himself, but his determination caught on near his home in Seattle, where neighbors and residents launched a food drive.

"We're going to get together tonight with about 15 people and make 200 sandwiches and then bring them downtown tomorrow," said Jennifer Morrison, one of the volunteers.

It was just the beginning. His story touched people so deeply that it spread, inspiring food drives from Los Angeles to Pensacola, Fla., to a school in Ohio -- all in this past week alone.

"I've never seen the courage that this little boy just displayed," one homeless man said as he waited for a meal at the Union Rescue Mission in Los Angeles. "I've never seen anything like it in my life. It left me speechless."

"As soon as I saw it, I'm a crybaby and I just got tears in my eyes," one woman said. "I'm trying to get my life straight and everything and that's something that's going to let me look at the better in life."

Foster, who devoted his final days to lifting others up, became bedridden; the kid who could once outrun any of his friends could no longer walk. Last week, Foster could hardly keep his eyes open, but he didn't waiver from his wish.

"'Tis the season to give," he said.

How do they know?

Every Memorial Day, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year's weekends, the AAA puts out a story about the number of people driving or travelling over the holiday weekend. This weekend, the AAA says the number of people going somewhere for Thanksgiving is down 1.5 percent. How do they know? How do they gather this information?

I have yet to read a newspaper article about how they actually get this number.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Boredom at the airport

During my seven hour layover in San Francisco, I had plenty of time to do a lot of things. I read, studied, worked on a syllabus, ate dinner, and I drew a picture. I love to draw when I have lots of spare time, like sitting in an airport. I bought a book at a used book store in Cleveland that had very old landscape prints. I drew this in about three hours.

Early runaway for Loser of the Week

Loser of the Week: Michael Vick
New details have come out about Michael Vick's torturing of dogs. In yesterday's USA Today, it was reported that Vick "put family pets in rings with pit bulls and thought it was funny watching the trained killers injure or kill the helpless dogs, a witness told federal investigators during the dogfighting investigation that sent Vick to prison."

Vick is scheduled for release on July 20th.

Pictured above is my dog, Bonnie. How anybody could do something so cruel to sweet animals like Bonnie is so wrong.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

The Latest

I'm sorry for not posting Winners and Losers this past week. I got home from a quick trip to San Diego for the National Communication Association yearly conference. It's a fun time because I get to see people present their research on various topics. It's a great conference to go to.

Last year, the conference was in Chicago. Next year, it goes back to Chicago. Check out the next few years for NCA.
2010 San Francisco
2011 New Orleans
2012 Orlando
2013 Washington, D.C.
2014 Chicago

I can't wait to Chicago again. I went last year and loved it. I want to go to San Francisco and see Alcatraz. I have seen it on tv and in the movies so many times.

Right now, I am feeling very tired from the five hour cross country flight and then a very long layover in Detroit...just to fly 20 minutes to get to Toledo.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Colin Hay groupie

Since I grew up in the 80s, I love the music from that era. Men at Work is my favorite band from that period. The original group put out two albums. "Business as Usual" which gave us the hits Who Can It Be Now? and Down Under. "Cargo" came next and had the songs Overkill and It's a Mistake. Since Men at Work broke-up many years ago, the lead singer with that great voice, Colin Hay, has continued to make great music. While he's not commerically successful, he has a good fanbase. He has appeared on Scrubs several times and had a hit song on the soundtrack to the film Garden State.

Now, there's news that Colin is back in the studio recording another solo cd; due for release in 2009. I am excited.

If you ever get the chance to see Colin perform, check him out. You won't regret it. He puts on a great show and as Randy Jackson on American Idol would say, he can blow. Colin's amazing voice is so powerful.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Winners and Losers of LAST Week

It's not like me to be tardy but I needed to hold off on posting for a couple of days.
My Winners of the Week: Darius Weems and the Darius Goes West crew.

In the photo up top, I am pictured with Darius Weems. Darius has Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy. It's fatal. Darius' older brother died from the same illness when he was 19. Darius graduated from high school this past school year.

Darius is the star of a documentary called "Darius Goes West" in which 11 friends try to get Darius' wheelchair on MTV's "Pimp My Ride." Hollywood can't script something this good. It's an amazing story. The guys are even better. The dedication they have for making Darius' life as good as it can be is honorable.

In the photo below, I am pictured with Darius Weems, the crew and some ladies from Chi Delta Pi, one of the sponsors of the screening we did at the University of Toledo.

Visit the website dariusgoeswest.org for more information about this documentary. It was shown in Cleveland in 2007 and has won more than 25 film festival awards. It was the most honored film of 2007.

Losers of the Week: Normally, this spot would be reserved for governors/v-p candidates but I want the spot light to be on Darius.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

A Legend Has Died

Herb Score passed away today at the age of 75. For many of us born after he played, we knew Herb as the longtime broadcaster for the Cleveland Indians. Herb was a dominant pitcher until he was struck in the eye by a line drive, which cut his career short.

As a broadcaster, he saw and called some of the worst baseball ever. Fortunately, he was behind the mic when Frank Robinson became the first black manager in baseball (for the Indians). He also called Len Barker's perfect game at the old Municipal Stadium. There also were the two World Series appearances (1995 and 1997). During those World Series appearances, many fans wanted the Tribe to win one for Herb. It didn't happen.

Hearing Herb's voice often was a sign of spring and summer. There were many lazy days spent in the backyard or elsewhere, just relaxing with Herb calling the game in the background.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Winners and Losers

Winner of the Week: President-elect Barack Obama
Barack ran a classy campaign. He took the high road constantly as compared to his opponent who tried to connect him to terrorists and other bad people. The claims didn't stick. As Obama himself said, "when you don't have anything to say, you attack the other guy." Obama's well-run campaign helped him win Tuesday night's election in a landslide.

Winner of the Week: John McCain
Yeah, I know you can't believe I'm putting this here. However, despite the crappy campaign that McCain ran which included one of the most disasterous v-p picks of all-time, McCain delivered an outstanding concession speech. He expressed his sympathy for Obama's grandma during the speech.

And no, Governor Palin, you are not supposed to talk at all during this time. That concession speech is McCain's moment.

Loser of the Week: Rush Limbaugh
During Rush's show today, Rush pointed out how people like Iran's President, Louis Farrakhan, and Reverend Wright have all expressed their support for Obama since Tuesday. Rush said, "Barack has collected a nice group of supporters." And then he listed them. Rush then played several clips of Reverend Wright's infamous sermons. Rush is further proof of who/what party has been so divisive to this country.

Loser of the Week: Reverend Wright
Shut up and go away. Barack won. No need to appear on any shows. Just go away.

Thrown under the bus

The fallout from the McCain-Palin loss is building up. In the last few days, McCain insiders have been leaking to the media problems that were festering inside the campaign.

Among the problems cited by McCain aides:
Governor Palin didn't know that Africa is a continent and not a country.
Governor Palin didn't know the countries that are involved in NAFTA, you know, the NORTH AMERICA Free Trade Agreement. Her state borders one of the three countries.

"If there are allegations based on questions or comments that I made in debate prep about NAFTA, and about the continent vs. the country when we talk about Africa there, then those were taken out of context," Palin said. "That's cruel, It's mean-spirited. It's immature. It's unprofessional and those guys are jerks if they came away with it, taking things out of context and then tried to spread something on national news. It's not fair, and it's not right."

These confidential sources were cited in a FOX NEWS Report, of all places.

How not knowing about Africa or NAFTA can be taken out of context is beyond me. I think we, the general public, know that when something is "taken out of context", that's usually b.s. Considering that Palin couldn't answer questions about the responsibilities of the vice president or what newspaper and magazines she reads, these "out of context" comments don't seem like much of a stretch.

And then there was the practical joke phone call from the Canadian radio personalities. Palin's camp claims they knew about this for at least three days and that McCain's camp should have known about it being on Palin's calendar. Nice communication there.

McCain insiders claim that McCain and Palin didn't talk over the last several days of the campaign. Hey, GOP supporters, that was what you wanted to have in the White House????? If this is how well they ran a campaign, it scares me to think how well they would have run the country.

This afternoon, Rush Limbaugh was still heaping praise on Sarah Palin, saying she's the future of the party. PLEASE...PLEASE...PLEASE, Republican party, if you think she's great, keep putting her out there. Us Democrats will be fine with that.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

A semi-recap.

Now that the election is over, I want to recap some random thoughts from the election.

Here are some things I am glad we (shouldn't) will not be hearing any more:
"You betcha."
"Say it ain't so, Joe."
"Hockey Mom."
"Joe Six Pack"
"First Dude"
"Palling around with terrorists."
"Bill Ayers"
"Reverend Wright"
"Skilled politician"
"Joe the Plumber"

The funniest thing said by John McCain, at least in my opinion, was during his interview with NBC's Brian Williams when Williams asked him about his thoughts on being down ten-percent in the polls. McCain said, "We've got them right where we want them."

Feel free to suggest or add any phrases I left out.

Getting back to the "socialist" label...Rush Limbaugh was all over Rush today, claiming Barack is socialist and playing the race card again, saying that Barack made a deal to the voters by saying that if you vote for him (because he's black), he will do you a favor (tax cut). That kind of talk isn't needed today but has come to represent the views of so many who voted for McCain.

Change is coming!

It was a little scary at the beginning but Barack Obama pulled through and is the President-elect of the United States of America.

In the early going, John McCain caputed quite a few electoral votes which blew me away. I don't think his campaign did anything to separate himself from George Bush. I still can't remember any occasion where he addressed the middle class.

McCain was too busy hammering Obama on "spreading the wealth" and labeling Obama as a "socialist." Wait a minute. How did Congress attempt to solve the financial crisis? Oh, that's right...it was done by spreading the wealth and bailing out failed financial institutions.

Anyway, back to the main point; the election. Did you notice a pattern in the states where McCain won? There were mostly southern and western. Bible belt. While Barack Obama's victory is historic for our country, there are still some bad feelings in some parts of our country.

One thing's for sure and that is that Barack Obama has a lot of work to do in cleaning up the mess left from the last eight years.

Hopefully, this is the last of Joe the Plumber.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Getting fat on Election Day

Today is the day to get out and vote. I see many business are offering special promotions to draw customers.

Dunkin Donuts, Ben and Jerrys, and Starbucks are offering freebies on Election Day. This is according to WKYC Channel 3 in Cleveland, Ohio.

What other special Election Day things are going on?

Monday, November 3, 2008

Toot is in Heaven

As you probably know by now, Barack Obama's grandma died from cancer today. Obama credits Madelyn Payne Dunham for shaping him into the man he is.

"She's the one who taught me about hard work," he said. "She's the one who put off buying a new car or a new dress for herself so that I could have a better life. She poured everything she had into me."

Dunham was 86 years old.

I'm happy that Obama got to see his grandma before she passed away. It's just too bad that she didn't get to see the election results. God bless her and the Obama family.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

I voted today!

I went to go vote today. The polling place wasn't supposed to open until 1 p.m. I got there at 11 a.m. Two hours early. At 11 a.m., here's (photo below) where my place in line was. I estimated I was about 50th. I could only count the people I could see that went near the front door.

Thankfully, once inside, it went very fast. I filled out an absentee form. Waited in another line. Asked for and got the paper ballot, voted, stuffed it in an envelope, sealed it, turned it in and left.
Once I got outside, I took a couple pictures of the line that was now down the block. The polling place is the brown roofed building.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Gasping sound

Do you hear that? That wheezing. The gasping. That's the sound of John McCain's Presidential campaign struggling for life.

This Saturday night, John McCain will be on Saturday Night Live.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Winners and Losers

The Winner of the Week goes to country music superstar Tim McGraw. Tim threw out the first pitch for Game 3 of the World Series a few days back. Tim's late father, Tug McGraw was a star pitcher on the last Phillies squad to win it all. Tim took some of his Dad's ashed and spread them on the mound mound. What an interesting and touching way to honor Dad.

I remember I used to have several baseball cards from that 1980 Phillies team, including Tug McGraw.

Loser(s) of the Week
Joe the Plumber. I am so tired of this clown. As we all know by now, he owes back taxes and isn't a licensed plumber. He now has a "publicity team" from Nashville on payroll. Supposedly, a book deal is in the works.

Sarah Palin.
Read this short little portion of a recent A.P. article about the Governor.

Palin says Obama infomercial short on specifics
ERIE, Pa. – Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin said Thursday that Democrat Barack Obama offered few national security specifics in the infomercial he broadcast the night before, accusing him of trying to "soften the focus" in the campaign's final days.

*******Back to my commentary.
PALIN is accusing Obama of being short on specifics?????!!!!!!!!! Wait, the same Sarah Palin who couldn't name a magazine or newspaper she's read? The same Sarah Palin who couldn't name a Supreme Court case to Katie Couric? The same Sarah Palin who still doesn't know the role of the Vice President?

I can't wait for this election to be over so the governor can go back to moosehunting.

Father John Corapi.

Father Corapi is a guy who has fallen on shaky ground with me. I used to like this guy tremendously because he is charismatic and is a breath of fresh air among the traditional and stiff fraternity of Catholic priests. Father Corapi is on the Catholic cable channel EWTN every Saturday night at 10 p.m. He sounds like Jesse "The Body" Ventura.

Anyway, the reason why Father Corapi is a Loser of the Week is for an e-mail sent to my Mom by him. It wasn't personally from him although it very well could have been. My Mom got on his e-mail address list when she ordered a cd from his website awhile ago. Today, my Mom said she got an e-mail from Father Corapi asking her to make the right choice and vote for the pro-life candidate in this election, John McCain. ARE YOU KIDDING ME? The abortion issue to my Mom, who is in retirement age but still works, has no relevance. Also, it incenses me that a priest is coming out and endorsing a candidate and pushing that on people. Keep in mind that with a conservative in the White House the last eight years, the number of abortions hasn't gone down. Also, the conservative currently in the White House, put to death quite a few folks when he was governor of Texas. So much for being pro-life.

There are a lot more issues to this election than just Roe v. Wade.


The reports from the McCain camp get more mysterious by the day. There have been reports from McCain aides calling Sarah Palin a "whack job" and a "diva." Do you get the feeling that the unnamed McCain aides are starting to work on the post-election spin already.

And then comes the article below about Sarah Palin saying she wants to run in the 2012 election. That's an interesting statement considering this election is not over yet and also, it sounds like she's assuming that McCain is done and she is already focusing on making her own name known down the road. Wait...isn't this the same person who criticized Barack Obama for "measuring the drapes" for the White House? Nice early concession speech, Sarah.

Here's the article off Yahoo News.

WASHINGTON (AFP) – Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin hinted in an interview with ABC News to be broadcast Thursday that she will remain a key player in US politics regardless of who gets elected president next week, and may even run in the 2012 election.

A transcript of the interview was made public late Wednesday.

"I'm not doing this for naught," Palin said, when asked if all the mudslinging in the current campaign made her long for a return to the politics of Alaska, where she is governor.

"I think that, if I were to give up and wave a white flag of surrender against some of the political shots that we've taken, that would bring this whole" endeavor to nothing, she said.

Funny sports moment

It's not often that we see a funny side in the serious world of sports competition. In the season opener for the San Antonio Spurs and the Phoenix Suns, the Spurs intentionally fouled Suns center Shaquille O'Neal 5 seconds into the game. Intentionally fouling Shaq has become known as the "Hack-a-Shaq" strategy as teams foul the big man late in the game, knowing that he is a poor foul shooter. Watch Shaq's reaction in the clip. Very funny stuff.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

The "L" word

According to Yahoo News and their "electoral map," Barack Obama would win with 355 electoral votes to 156 for John McCain. This would be a landslide.

While the idea of an Obama win is a good thing, the premature idea that an Obama landslide is possible is not good. To me, I don't want people to think that this is a done deal. It is not. We all need to get out and vote and finish this.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Hometown Pride

I haven't lived in Massillon for an extended length of time for several years. However, I still feel a lot of pride when the Massillon Tigers beat their rivals, the Canton McKinley Bulldogs. Massillon needed a win to get into the playoffs. The Tigers won, 17-0. Pictured above are the Tigers with the victory bell. Thanks to the Massillon Independent for this photo.

Massillon hasn't won a state championship since 1970. They haven't been to a state title game in over 25 years. Massillon is itching for a state title. I hope to see the Tigers win a state title in my lifetime. This year's playoff hunt starts this weekend with a road playoff game at North Canton Hoover. GO TIGERS!

Fellow readers, relating your hometown, what are some things that you are especially proud of?

Friday, October 24, 2008


Hearing about Barack Obama seeing his seriously ill grandma and her influence on him got me to thinking about the grandma on my Dad's side, Agnes Strukel.

Growing up in Massillon, once a month, my family would drive either early Saturday or Sunday to Warren, Ohio to see Grandma. On the way there, we would always listen to polka shows on staticky AM radio.

Some background on Grandma Strukel. She spoke broken English but well enough to understand. For example, for my birthday, she would say, "Happy Bird-day!" instead of Happy Birthday. I looked forward to hearing that every year. I still use that "happy bird-day" everytime I wish my Mom or Dad a happy birthday on their day. When I was younger, I remember Grandma always saying, "You're breakin' my bones...you're breakin' my bones" when I would hug her.

Grandma Strukel worked I believe 40 years (at least) for Packard Electric in Warren. After retiring from Packard Electric, she then worked for the local Catholic church, cleaning pews and other parts of the building.

She was what we would say is "old country." Very ethnic. Very religious. Very good work ethic.

Regarding her ethnicity, when we would visit her, she would give us these long rolls of aluminum foil wrapped nut bread called potica or patitsa. I never cared for it but Grandma was so happy and proud to give us those homemade treats. She always gave me and my brother money too. When she got to be in her older years, the local priest would visit and give her Communion.

Going into my senior year at BG, Grandma passed away. When our family went to the funeral, the priest who went to her apartment so many times to give her Communion, presided over the funeral. Father Spiszak talked about how when he would go visit Agnes, she would talk so much about her grandsons (me and my older brother Dan). The priest said she was always so proud of her grandsons. That has always stayed with me.

What fond memories do you have of your grandma?

Winners and Losers of the Week

Winner of the Week: My Mom
Sure, this is an inside job. My birthday was this past Wednesday and my Mom's birthday is the day after mine on the 23rd. My Mom is an incredible woman who has battled through some tough times. She has been there every step of the way for me.

My Mom recently retired from her job as the assistant to the Dean at the University of Akron. She spent the last 22 years at the U of Akron. Now, my Mom is working at a dentist's office in Massillon. Also, on my birthday, she called me to tell me that the day before the election, she has volunteered to spend four hours making phone calls for the Obama campaign. It is this kind of willingness from people that is giving Obama the huge surge now.

Loser of the Week: Sarah Palin.

Can it get any worse for the Republicans and McCain's pick for v-p? The bipartisan probe into her decicions as governor and the state patrol found that she acted unethically. Next, news came out that she spent $150,000 on clothing from some of the finest stores in the country.

Today, in an attempt to do "damage control", here is what the Associated Press is reporting, "That whole thing is just, bad!" she said. "Oh, if people only knew how frugal we are."

News of the purchases of designer clothes, largely from upscale Saks Fifth Avenue and Neiman Marcus, contrasts with the image Palin has crafted as a typical "hockey mom."


Again, hypocrisy at its best with the Republicans. This is the same party that blasted John Edwards for getting an expensive haircut.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Keep it up.

If you watch Larry King or Hardball with Chris Matthews, the smiling woman pictured above should be familiar. She looks like this all the time.

Here's what Representative Bachman did.

ST. PAUL, Minn. – Republican Rep. Michele Bachmann says she regrets using the term "anti-American" while discussing Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama's views, a remark that could threaten her re-election bid.
Bachmann told the St. Cloud Times on Tuesday that she "made a big mistake" by going on MSNBC's "Hardball," a show she said she'd never seen before her appearance last week. Her statement to host Chris Matthews that Obama "may have anti-American views" drew condemnation and helped her opponent, Democrat Elwyn Tinklenberg, raise more than $1 million in just a few days.
During an interview with the Times' editorial board, Bachmann said she walked into a trap and did not bring up the term "anti-American." Still, she said, "I should not have used that phrase."
Earlier in the day, Bachmann told St. Cloud Rotary Club members she would like to "take back" the statement.
"I did not say that Barack Obama was anti-American, nor do I believe Barack Obama is anti-American. He loves his country, just as everyone in this room does," she told the crowd. "Nor did I call for an investigation of members of Congress for their pro-American or anti-American views. That is not what I said."
*****Just watch the first minute of this clip. How do you interpret her remarks?

So, Mrs. Bachman, what EXACTLY did you mean or say if you didn't say that Barack Obama is "anti-American"? What a classless move by someone who needs to be voted out.

Oh, wait a minute, the Republicans are all about campaigning on the issues. That's right. Sure.

Monday, October 20, 2008

The Republicans keep grasping.

As the days wind down before the election, GOP supporters are grasping at straws to try to slow down the Obama Express.

At first, they claimed that Obama "palls around with terrorists." They have no proof. That didn't stick.

Then it became, "he's a socialist. He wants to 'spread the wealth." No proof there either.

Furthermore, John McCain needs to look at several aspects of our own society that operate on socialist principles. Our public education system in Ohio is messed up because it was ruled a long time ago that the funding system is not fair. The goal is to make all districts funded more equally. Gee, that sounds very, dare I say, SOCIALIST?!

Major League Baseball has this thing called "revenue sharing" where the teams that don't do as well as say the Yankees, still get some money. Oh, please stop. That sounds socialist as well. It can't be BUT it is. Blog reader Chris Hyser is one of the biggest baseball fans I know. I am curious about his thoughts on this socialist perspective and baseball. Chris, please throw in your two cents.

Back to my main point...over the weekend Colin Powell announced his endorsement of Senator Barack Obama. Powell mentioned listed several things wrong with the GOP ticket that helped him make up his mind. Among the issues he cited are: the Palin selection, the response of the economic crisis, and the negative campaign.

How are McCain's supporters responding? Today, Rush Limbaugh said that the endorsement was all about race. Maybe Rush watched part of Powell's appearance on Meet the Press because host Tom Brokaw brought the race issue up to Powell and he said that if his endorsement was indeed and only about race, he would have endorsed Obama a long time ago.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Winners and Losers of the week

I'm sorry for the delay in posting this but here it goes.

Winners of the week.
Barack Obama. Obama gets this for his debate performance on Wednesday. As he was constantly attacked by Senator McCain, Obama didn't stoop to McCain's level and retaliate. Obama could have hammered McCain and especially his running mate, Sarah Palin.

Losers of the Week
John McCain. How crazy is it that McCain gets on the Democrats for giving a Joe the Plumber a hard time. Who brought him up in the debate? Yep, John McCain. John, stop asking Americans to give Joe a break and respect his privacy when you call the guy and ask people to e-mail him.

Joe the Plumber. Stop saying you have nothing to do with America when you owe back taxes and get on Mike Huckabee's show on Fox News Channel. That's extremely hypocritical.

What sticks?

In the McCain campaign's desparate attempt to slow down Barack Obama's momentum, the last couple of weeks have been brutal in terms of the negative campaigning. The namecalling and attacks keep flying in hopes that something will stick.

Three weekends ago, Sarah Palin accused Obama of "palling around with terrorists." Keep in mind that McCain camp hasn't produced one shred of evidence to support this claim. Obama refuted that in the debate. This week, McCain supporters sent out "Robo" calls in several battleground states saying that Obama "worked closely with terrorists." The automated calls are so bad that Democrat and REPUBLICAN lawmakers are demanding that McCain stop the calls.

Now, today, George Voinovich and McCain are calling Obama a "socialist."

So much for running a clean campaign, free of negativity, huh, John?

Saturday, October 18, 2008

More media lunacy

Racing hissing cockroaches, NCAA brackets, and barebecue surveys have been done to try to "determine" who is more popular, McCain or Obama. Here's one from Cleveland.

CLEVELAND -- Exclusive new poll results are in from Cleveland on the upcoming Presidential race are in.

But the margin of error is plus or minus a few dozen bobbleheads.

Saturday night, children up to 17 years old lined up to vote for their favorite candidate at the Lake Erie Monsters hockey game.

There were 2,500 bobbleheads each of Senator Barack Obama and Senator John McCain clad in Monsters jerseys. Children picked their favorite bobblehead, but some parents admitted they influenced the voting.

Barb Mausar of Willowick stood next to her daughter, niece and nephew who all collected Obama bobbleheads and smiled. "They had better listen," Mausar said with a laugh, "or else they are not getting a ride home or dollar hot dog night."

When the bobbleheads were tallied, even McCain's hockey mom running mate couldn't help him.

The final numbers of the bobbleheads given away: Obama 59 percent, McCain 41 percent.

Friday, October 17, 2008

McCain's tongue

So, one of my closes friends told me about this photo of John McCain that was taken at the end of the third debate. I hadn't seen it. Then I heard people talking about it on the radio. So, I began to search for it. I did an image search using the words "McCain tongue" and I got plenty of strange photos of the GOP candidate. But at least, I found success in the final picture!

Also, rumor has it that Sarah Palin will appear on Saturday Night Live this weekend. In a campaign where the Republicans have been the butt of plenty of jokes, I don't think this will be a positive thing for Palin.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Final debate critique

Tonight's debate was by far, the most entertaining and direct debate between Barack Obama and John McCain. The format encouraged more direct contact between the two candidates.

First off, Bob Schiefer did a much better job at managing this one than Tom Brokaw did on debate #2.

My observations:
McCain was clearly the aggressor as he launched several attacks on Obama. However, I thought Obama defended himself quite well.

Was it just me or did John McCain just drift away from the point a couple of times?
Exhibit A
The point about negative campaigns...McCain flat out lied after Obama brought up the nuts at the Palin rallies that yell out "terrorist," "kill him", and "treason." Palin did not "repubiate" those who yelled out those extremely wrong statements like "kill him." And then McCain got really bitter and started talking about veterans being at his rallies and wearing ballcaps with their naval carriers on them. Obama said nothing about the veterans at rallies.

Exhibit B
On the negative words being said about each other...Obama said that he wanted to get away from the negative attacks and smears and that the American people want to talk about the issues. Then, McCain went on for at least a minute more about the whole ACORN issue and William Ayers, EVEN THOUGH Obama just explained his position on it. Anyway, after McCain got done ranting again about ACORN and Ayers, he then said that his campaign is all about dealing with the issues like the economy.

Exhibit C
I don't remember the question/answer but in the middle of his statement, McCain, out of nowhere brought up children with autism. And at the time he brought it up, it had absolutely nothing to do with the original question.

I thought a really strong point made by Obama was when he said that negative attacks are more of a reflection on John McCain's campaign than they are on him (Obama).

Oh, and could John McCain please stop bringing up the fact that Barack Obama is "eloquent"????? Come on, John. John acts like we should be amazed that Obama can speak well.

Final note:
Joe the Plumber is here in Toledo. My close friends up here had their bathtub looked at by Joe.

Monday, October 13, 2008

More pics of fall

The trees around my apartment complex are really beautiful. We are so lucky to see Mother Nature's paintbrush at work.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

More Winners of the Week

A huge collective winners of the week also goes to the University of Toledo Rocket football team for going to the Big House and knocking off Michigan 13-10. Michigan had a perfect record against the Mid-American Conference going into this game, 24-0. Not anymore! Go U-T!

Friday, October 10, 2008

Winners and Losers for the week

John McCain gets the nomination for Winner of the Week for straightening out his own followers who are so gullible that they have been accepting all of the negative campaign rhetoric from his camp as gospel truth. Either the McCain camp or the powerful right wing media continue to put out there that Barack Obama has terrorist ties. They say his middle name of "Hussein" to drive home the negativity.

Can you believe the woman in red who said Obama is an Arab?

The reason I give McCain props is because he actually said Obama is a decent man. He could have taken those ignorant cracks of "being scared" of an Obama presidency and being "an Arab" but McCain did an honorable thing and praised his opponent.

Now, John McCain's running mate, Sarah Palin, deserves the Loser of the Week for floating out there that Barack Obama has been "palling around with terrorists." Be careful, Sarah, this crack might come back to haunt you, especially if you cannot prove an accusation like this.

In the meantime, John McCain has already gone on record as saying he will bring up Reverend Wright and Bill Ayers at the next debate. Folks, be ready, because there are plenty of skeletons in the other closet as well. Wednesday's third and final Presidential debate could get crazy.

Images of Fall

The beauty of autumn can be easily seen around Ohio. Pictured above is a tree on the front lawn of University Hall of the University of Toledo. Below is a photo of University Hall on the campus of Bowling Green State University.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Debate #2 critique

Watching this debate, my friends, I had the feeling, my friends, as probably many others had, that the debate had no direction or flow. It was disjointed, my friends. The candidates even weren't sure who was going to answer, what turn was coming up, etc. And I think Tom Brokaw was a little too involved. If this is a true Town Forum, my friends, let the people ask the questions.

I was surprised that Barack Obama referenced 9-11 but in a critical remark of George Bush who, as Obama told us, my friends, to go shopping after one of our nation's worst days.

While John McCain, my friends, seemed more personable than in the first debate where he would not look at Obama, this time, he hit a low in calling Obama "that one." My friends, if people played any kind of drinking game anytime McCain said "my friends," no one would have survived the first hour.

Overall, I don't think either candidate scored a knockout. It's interesting that for all of the terrorist-connection accusations being made against Obama, that it wasn't brought up last night.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Obama v. McCain round two

Ok, so A LOT of people had fun doing drinking games or some other activity relating to Governor Palin's answers.

How about Tuesday night's debate between Obama and McCain?

Any predictions?

Considering how UGLY things have gotten recently, I expect McCain to come out swinging with a "terrorist" reference and he might possibly play the September 11th card by the ten minute mark into the debate.

Pics of Toledo

Pictured above is the inside of the new and improved Memorial Field House on the campus of the University of Toledo. The former home of baseketball games and concerts is now home to state of the art classrooms and open gathering spaces. As you can tell by the photo below, the building features plenty of natural light.
Pictured below is a look at the bell tower of University Hall.
Saturday's Homecoming Parade was my first. It was fun to watch. I was impressed how long it was. Below is the best float from the parade. It featured an Elvis statue and was playing Elvis' music. Very cool. It's pretty cool that students are getting to use this kind of equipment. The studio is in the process of being converted over to high definition.
Also, this weekend, we showed off our facilities in Rocket Hall as the Communication Department dedicated its new wing. Pictured below are two of the television broadcast sets.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Funny wording.

Ok, I know this was unintentional. At least I hope so. But the funny wording in this column from the Cleveland Plain Dealer about the vice presidential debate got me to laugh for obvious reasons.

"Disciplined, he (Joe Biden) defended Obama from attacks, but refused to engage Palin in a tit-for-tat exchange."

TIT for tat?

Winners and Losers for the week

Winner: Joe Biden
Lost in the shuffle of the Sarah Palin hysteria was Joe Biden's performance Thursday night. While people were expecting Palin to fumble like she did in her Katie Couric interviews and were disappointed that she didn't, Joe Biden talked specifically about the issues. Senator Biden did not dance around the issues. When asked about rights/benefits for gays, Biden addressed the issue and didn't spend his entire time talking about gay marriage. When asked issues like "which is worse...Pakistan or Iran?", Biden talked about those two countries. He didn't drift and talk about other countries like Palin did.

Biden has gotten little notice for the moment where he choked up when talking about losing his wife and child...giving notice to single parent families. Single parent families are very common in today's society. Following that, Governor Palin said she has an "average American family." Really? I don't know of many large families where the husband works on an oil rig. The wife is a former beauty queen, sportscaster, and governor. A son is off to Iraq. A 17 year old daughter is pregnant. It doesn't sound like an "average" family to me. When has Palin ever said she has identified with those who have lost jobs, lost a house or had someone denied health care coverage?

Oh, by the way, Conservatives who claim Palin won the debate are basing their reasoning on Palin not fumbling and her "folksy" style of talking. While she said, "you betcha," "There ya go again," and used the phrases "maverick" and "reformer" several times, her answers lacked content. Period. Many of the major cable network news channels are replaying the v-p debate tonight and Biden hit it on the head when discussing the "maverick" label, when has Palin and/or McCain said how different they are from President George Bush?

More Winners of the Week
Check this story out about the Hiram College football team. This is from the Cleveland Plain Dealer.

Tipoff: Hiram team shows signs of kindness; Homer tussles with voting process
by Michael K. McIntyre/Plain Dealer
Friday October 03, 2008, 7:53 PM
The Hiram College Terriers football team had lost its last 26 games heading into its season opener against Gallaudet University last month. That's almost three full years of losses.

So during practice, Coach Bob Wolfe took time out from blocking and tackling drills to teach his players some new moves. Specifically, how to say "Nice game" and "Good job" using American Sign Language.

Gallaudet is a school for the deaf and hearing-impaired.

Gallaudet coach Ed Hottle, who is not hearing-impaired and learned sign language after he was hired in 2005, was blown away by the sight of Hiram's players using sign language during the post-game handshake, writing a letter of praise that Hiram President Tom Chema distributed campuswide.

"For the last four seasons I have been the head coach at Gallaudet, we have played some 40-plus games and Hiram College was the first school that has made any effort to communicate with our players following the game," wrote Hottle. "Coach Wolfe and his staff are to be applauded for taking time out of the precious few hours we have to coach the game and teaching these young men some true life skills. . . . For me, personally, it was wonderful to see."

Fittingly, Hiram won that day, 20-14, in overtime. And they took their next game against Kenyon.

The winning streak ended last week with a loss to Carnegie Mellon, but after the Gallaudet game, the Terriers will always be winners.

Loser of the week: O-J Simpson

It's about time. Talk about unlucky. This news is from Las Vegas, Nevada.

From the Associated Press: "O-J Simpson was convicted of an armed robbery that happened on Sept. 13 and was found guilty on the 13th anniversary of his Los Angeles murder acquittal. The Las Vegas jury deliberated for 13 hours after a 13-day trial."

Hopefully, this is "good-bye" for the Juice.

Friday, October 3, 2008

The Right (field) response

I know you won't believe this but I like to listen to Rush Limbaugh on days like today because I wonder how he can spin things and hear what the other side is saying. Sure enough, he was his typical self.

He labeled Katie Couric's easy questions as "gotcha journalism." I know, being asked what newspapers and magazines she has read is such a tough one. Rush, how should the debate prep team have had her answer that one?

As is typical for Rush, when there's nothing (good) to say about the home team of McCain/Palin, he attacks the opposition. He hammered away about Barack's health care plan and other proposals. Also, Rush spent time promoting this new movie coming out called An American Carol with a guy who plays Michael Moore. Limbaugh was saying that this movie is "hilarious" and that Hollywood won't embrace it because the movie is made by conservatives. Hey, Rush, no one will see it because no one really wants to see a movie or a spoof of a movie about Michael Moore. Is Michael Moore up Conservatives' skin that much that they have to make a movie about him? If so, props to Michael Moore.

Anyway, back to last night's debate. Many critics and experts are noting how Biden wasn't condescending towards Palin and that was good. So, was it ok for Palin to be condescending? Do you remember the time where Palin said she wasn't going to answer the questions the way Joe Biden or Gwen Ifill liked? It would have been nice if she would have just answered the questions period. And again, people are praising Palin for being "folksy" and speaking to common people (hockey moms). Nevermind what Joe Biden said about being a single parent.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

V-P debate reaction

Tomorrow, if you tune into any conservative talk show, the right will be overly ecstatic with Sarah (looking down at my 3x5 notecards) Palin for not committing any major flubs.

But...(looking down at my 3x5 notecards) Palin didn't answer many questions. By 9:08, Palin got in her patented "reformer" and "maverick" references.

Near the end of the debate, thankfully, Joe Biden hammered Palin on the "maverick" perception of John McCain.

(looking down at my 3x5 notecards) When you think about it, did she give a straight answer about climate change, rights for same sex couples, Pakistan/Iran, and differences between her and McCain????

And (looking down at my 3x5 notecards) how can Palin blast Obama/Biden for wanting to use diplomacy with foreign countries when she herself said that diplomacy is important???????

One very strong point by Biden that should be talked about is his crediting single parents in his background. I take issue with Governor Palin saying that she has the "average American family." Really? Five kids. One is pregnant at the of 17. Dad works on an oil rig and is a world champion snow mobiler. Mom is a politician. Son off to Iraq. Did you hear Palin mention any of the personal heartbreak in her family background that Biden alluded to? Biden referenced job struggles in his family. Can Palin relate to that?

Oh, and finally, (looking down at my 3x5 notecards), Sarah, stop looking at your notecards.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008


I cannot make this stuff up! Read what Karl Rove's spin is on Palin's poor interview with Katie Couric. Are you kidding me? Not being able to list any newspapers or magazines you've read or list any Supreme Court cases is a result of being "over-prepared"?! HOW!

Me, being a teacher, I haven't encountered a student that turned in a test that failed miserably and the student said they were "over-prepared." Come on.

Hannity And Rove Spin Palin's Interviews: She Was Over-prepared
At the end of a special weekend Hannity & Colmes last night (9/27/08) devoted to spinning discussing the presidential candidates' debate the night before, the panel took a look forward to the vice presidential debate with Joe Biden and Sarah Palin next week. Sean Hannity insisted that having spent a lot of time with Sarah Palin, he knew for sure that she's got policy mojo and opined, as per a suggestion from panelist Karl Rove, that Palin's recent interview disasters had been caused by – get this: over-preparation. With video.

Rove said, “The real question on this debate is gonna be, from Palin's perspective, is Palin gonna go out there and are we gonna see the woman that we saw in Dayton, Ohio and at the Convention and, you know, comfortable in herself, or are they gonna have over-prepped her, stuffed too much information in her mind and made her a little uncomfortable? Because she's really good when... just talking with people.”

Provide a caption

The McCain campaign has released this photo of Sarah Palin practicing outside for her debate.

I am asking you, readers of this blog, to provide a funny caption. Go for it!

Oh, and for good measure, hopefully this "ambush journalism" question doesn't come up tomorrow night...

Monday, September 29, 2008

Forgotten loser from last week.

Those of you who go to football games probably have been near someone like who I am about to describe. I went home last weekend to see my high school alma mater, Massillon play host to Saint Ignatius. Playing Ignatius is like playing a college team. They are that good and that stacked.

Massillon has a new football coach that is trying to change the culture of the program and instill some discipline that has been missing in the past.

Anyway, Ignatius jumped out to a 14-0 lead about a minute into the game! The Wildcats were leading 35-0 at the end of the first quarter. Massillon just isn't talented or big enough to deal with a team like Iggy.

The point of my post is this butthead who was sitting on the aisle seat in Section Three. He was wearing a big white Massillon jersey with the number 34 on it. As Massillon was making mistakes and turnovers that were leading to quick scores, this jerk was screaming and yelling at the kids on the bench. I noticed some of the players turned around to see who was yelling. It was getting so bad at one point that people in the section were yelling at this guy to shut up. Thankfully, he didn't stick around.

This is high school football for crying outloud, not the Browns. I think the kids knew they were not playing well. They didn't need some jerk (insert better words here) to yell at them that they were playing badly.

Not a good answer.

It was nice of Wolf Blitzer to attempt to offer up an excuse for Palin. "She's trying to cram a lot in there." Yes, it was a lot...of unrelated thoughts and a very weak attempt at a legitimate answer. I just have this weird, anxious feeling whenever Palin talks; like I expect her to mess but I don't know how badly. It reminded me of the following infamous question and answer.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Winners and Losers

It's not often that I can put the Winner and Loser in the same video but hey, it happens. Last night's debate was interesting. I have to give John McCain his props. He did better than I expected for a guy who prefers town forum style meetings.

Anyway, my winner of the week, is Barack Obama. For a guy who has been hammered for not knowing foreign policy or not being experienced in it, I think he handled himself quite well.

Loser of the week goes to the "Bitter Beer Face" at 1:04 in this video. And then, who is McCain craning his neck to look at at 1:11? A lot is being said about the nonverbal communication in this debate. Besides the odd facial expressions by McCain, he never looked at Barack during the entire debate. That came off as awkward.

One last issue, we all know that a lot of what makes candidates successful is how they are marketed and promoted...you know, the image. However, I wish the following words and/or phrases could be banned from any future debates or appearances that get replayed on the news or elsewhere:
(In no particular order)
"I have a pen..."
"I will make them famous..."
"I am the candidate for change" (for both...obviously, either candidate technically is a change from Bush)
"First dude"
"Drill, Baby, Drill"
"Community Organizer"
"Hockey mom"
"September 11th"

It just seems like whenever either candidate gets stuck, these catchphrases creep their way in to the speech or response.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Does she know her own running mate?

Just watch the last minute where Katie Couric asks essentially the same question three times. How can she NOT KNOW the accomplishments and reforms by her "maverick" running mate???? Even the Republican supporters have to be asking "what the hell?" Yes, she is apparently a very nice woman but jeez, she is so unprepared for this high of an office.

All of her answers seem very rehearsed and revolve around catch-phrases..."track record," "maverick," "reform", etc.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

New studio at WBGU

On a recent walk through West Hall after my class at Bowling Green State University, I stopped by the radio stations. Pictured above is the brand new renovated studio of WBGU 88.1 FM. I spent several shifts in this studio from 1989-1993. I loved every minute in that room during my undergrad years. It's good to see the university is still committed to giving students the best training possible to get a jump start on their careers.

Nice job, BGSU!

See you at Homecoming next weekend!

Monday, September 22, 2008

Who is riding the gravy train here?

From Yahoo!'s Entertainment section:
She's Just Being Miley
posted by celestia - Mon, Sep 22, 2008, 12:25 pm PDT

"Rumor has it that Miley Cyrus is being a total brat on the set of her hit Disney show, "Hannah Montana." Us Weekly notes that there have been reports the tween queen shows up incredibly late to the set. In addition to being tardy, she allegedly told Disney execs that she'll only shoot 12 of the 24 planned episodes of her new season. If that's true, who does this girl think she is? Yes, she's sold millions of albums. Yes, her program nabs big ratings for the channel. Yes, her merchandising makes millions. But, let's be real ... without Disney's financial and creative support, Miley would only be known as Billy Ray's 16-year-old daughter!"

****Ok, are you kidding me? The original story goes on longer. I couldn't believe the last line of the opening paragraph. I think right now, and probably until Miley becomes irrelevant, if she ever does, the consensus public feeling is something like, "Oh, that Billy Ray guy is Miley's father" and NOT the other way around.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Winners and Losers

Winners of the Week

I love old buildings. I graduated from Massillon Washington High School...the old one that was built in 1910 and torn down several years ago. I had history class in the same room where football legend Paul Brown taught. When I got my Bachelors Degree at BGSU, I played pickup games of hoops in the old Eppler gym that still has a walking track above the court like in the old school gyms.

At Toledo, the Memorial Field House was built in 1931 and this past Thursday, a dedication or Grand Re-Opening was held in front of the building. It used to be home to the university basketball teams and many big names came through the doors. Being old and needing modernization, the university put money into it to make it a very open and inviting place for learning. Plenty of natural light from skylights and up-to-date looking conference and classrooms make this a great place to go.

So, long story short, for my love of old buildings, I have to give my "Winners of the Week" to the planners and designers who saved this old building from the wrecking ball and kept Memorial Field House as something useful.

OH, and as part of this Grand Re-Opening, the university served free hamburgers, hot dogs, chips and drinks to everybody who came. I waited in line about 15 minutes for my freebies.

Loser of the Week
NBA player Josh Howard runs away with the title this week after cellphone video surfaced of him criticizing the national anthem and saying that he's "black" and he doesn't support that *&%$. I will not embed the video on this blog to be replayed. You can do a YouTube search for Josh Howard anthem and see it for yourself. There are a couple of other things wrong with the video besides Howard's anti-American rant. First, whoever the idiot is walking around as the anthem is being sung, there's no reason to be getting cellphone video and bothering othes as the anthem is going on. Second, the repeated use of the "n-word" is deplorable. There is no justifying it. I don't care who says it. And everytime it is said, I think even less of the person who said it.