Friday, August 29, 2008

Winners and Losers

This week's first place winner is Barack Obama for his historic acceptance as the first Afican-American to gain the Democratic nomination for the Presidency of the United States. His acceptance speech was stirring, emotional, and addressed every issue and criticism of him and his party.

Second place winner goes to John McCain who ran a congratulatory commercial recognizing Obama's historic night. It was a classy move.

Another recipient or recipients for my "Winners of the Week" would have to go to my colleagues at the university. I had my first department meeting today, which concluded my first week on campus. The Mass Communication Department is full of people who truly care about students and are extremely competitive about wanting to put the department on the map in terms of being a place to go to for communications.

Loser of the Week

Rush Limbaugh is a deserving recipient of the Loser of the Week. I listen to Rush on occasion to get "the other side." The afternoon leading up to Obama's speech, Rush said on the air that Obama is a "thug" and he hasn't done anything to deserve where he is today and he is unqualified.

It's one thing to disagree with their credentials, BUT to label someone a thug is out of line.

****DISCLAIMER****The following are my own views and not those of any other party, institution or organization.

Secondly, I listened to a few minutes of Rush today after McCain's historic appointment of a woman as his running mate. Alaska Governor Sarah Palin has to be by least qualified Vice Presidential candidate in years, possibly ever. She only has a Bachelors Degree. She has no Congressional experience. She didn't finish one term as governor. Rush, naturally, praised Palin saying she's experienced and in his words, "her appointment will make the feminist babes happy."

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Which one is mine?

Twice within the past couple of weeks, I have left a class and gone back to a parking lot and found a car just like mine. At the University of Toledo, I acutally went up to a Prius and pulled the handle, expecting it to unlock, not realizing it wasn't mine. Duh!

Wednesday night, I parked in the commuter lot at Bowling Green. After my class, I went back to my car and saw just what you see in the picture. Someone driving the same car parked that close to me.

Barack's speech

I went to the student union tonight for a watch party put on by the Student College Democrats at the University of Toledo. Funny story. As I'm walking across the beautiful courtyard in the middle of campus, there's music playing, two big screens set up and a tent. I'm thinking, "Oh,'s outdoors." The music stops as I get closer. There's about 60-70 students sitting onthe concrete walkways and grass areas...some were standing. This kid gets on the mic and says to the crowd, "There's some room up front if you are looking for a seat." Then he says, "Before we go any further, if you haven't introduced yourself to anyone or haven't met anybody, take some time to meet someone new next to you." People started hugging and shaking hands.

I was a little uncomfortable as I got closer to this gathering. As people were hugging and greeting, I went up to the speaker and said, "Is this the Barack Obama party?" He said, "No, this is Campus Crusade for Christ." I said, "Oh, can you tell me where the Obama party is?" And he kindly told me there to find it.

The photo above is from the "Obamarama." There were about 60 people there. It was a nice turnout. Obama's speech drew several rounds of applause from the crowd.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

DNC Day Two

I watched a lot of the Democratic National Convention coverage last night and came away with one major complaint. CNN, MSNBC, FOX NEWS, PBS...all cut away from Ohio Governor Ted Strickland as he spoke on stage. The networks went to their panel of experts and/or talking heads. I had to go to C-SPAN to watch the governor of one of the most critical states speak.

Oh, and for those of you who didn't see it, Governor Strickland is tough to watch. He's not as polished as others on stage.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Day One

What an exhausting Day One of class...both at UT and BG. I started out today with a class of 106 students. I was a little anxious but it turned out to be a blast. The class, Mass Communication and Society, takes a critical look at the media and how media and society have developed socially and culturally. I covered part of the first chapter in the book and the thoughts that the students posed were varied and well articulated. I had a blast with this group. This class has a variety of majors so there's a lot of different viewpoints.

My second class, Radio Production and Programming, went well. There are 16 kids in this class. I am giving them the basics of radio production, to kind of get their interest started in radio. I'll get a shot of the parking situation outside of the hall where I teach. Amazingly busy. Just think of the mall at Christmastime but a touch worse. That's what it's like.

And then I left for my Doctorate class at BG, Communications Pedagogy. This class went by so fast because all of us in the class have taught or are teaching. We shared 'tales from the dark side of education' and how we can turn them around for the future.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Me with the Big Man on Campus

Today was Convocation, which is a formal welcome to new students. I'm guessing about 4-5 thousand students packed the student rec center. President Lloyd Jacobs spoke as well as a couple of other notables including the man in the picture, football coach Tom Amstutz. His UT Rockets open the season at Arizona and then at Eastern Michigan beofre coming home for Fresno State. On October 11, the Rockets go north to play Michigan. Go Rockets!

Friday, August 22, 2008

Please stop the insanity!

Ok, let's recap. We've had the comparison between Obama and McCain with their NCAA men's basketball brackets. There was the survey which revealed that more people would rather have Barack Obama over for a barbecue than John McCain.

Now, I think we have the "presumptive" extreme in terms of stupidity for news stories comparing the two "presumptive" candidates.

McCain beats Obama in race of hissing cockroaches
NEW BRUNSWICK, N.J. (AP) - This presidential race was no contest: John McCain sped to the finish while Barack Obama was reluctant to leave the starting point.

But there's no guarantee giant Madagascar hissing cockroaches will predict the real result in November.

The roach race Thursday was part of the New Jersey Pest Management Association's annual clinic and trade show.

Organizers liken the race's prediction success to that of Punxsutawney Phil on Groundhog Day.
Association Executive Director Leonard Douglen says the 2000 roach race came close. The Gore roach won by an antenna, hanging chads not included.

*****Ok, that settles it. The race is over. The cockroaches have decided the next leader of the free world.

Winners and Losers of the week.

My first winner of the week is German wrestler Matthias Steiner, who won a gold medal in weightlifting's heaviest division. To win, he lifted a total 1,016.3 pounds.

When Mattias was on the gold medal stand, he held up a picture of his wife, who passed away in a car accident last year.

“I thought of her before the competition,” he said. “I won this for her, for friends and family. But mostly for her.”

A second winner of the week goes to US sprinter David Neville. Neville took the bronze in the 400 meter dash, diving across the finish line with a split of 44.80 seconds. The leap at the end allowed him to beat Christopher Brown of the Bahamas by just 0.04 seconds. I can't find a photo of the finish to post on here but his dive at the end gave him the bronze by his fingertips, literally.

The loser of the week is Cleveland talk show eater, I mean, host Mike Trivisonno. A couple days ago, longtime public servant Stephanie Tubbs-Jones of Cleveland suffered a brain aneurysm while driving and was taken to a hospital where she had little brain activity. Many media outlets reported she had already died Wednesday early afternoon. BUT that was not the case. She was still alive. Many people were/are upset at the media for rushing to pronounce her death. On WTAM 1100 AM, they broke into Rush Limbaugh in the afternoon to announce her "death." Sadly, Mrs. Tubbs-Jones did die later that day. My deepest sympathies go to her family.

A day later, WTAM talk show host Mike Trivisonno defended his station for jumping the gun by saying things like, "Hey, look, we are right 99 percent of the time." Being correct 99 percent of the time doesn't justify bad reporting. The media outlets that erroneously reported her passing claimed it was due to a source close to the family or other anonymous sources that claimed they were close to the family. Didn't anyone think to call the hospital and check?

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Choice of words

Here are two headlines from recent news articles:

Obama raps McCain for ignorance of his own houses (AP)

Obama campaign raps Bush on endangered-species plan (Arizona Daily Star)

When did "raps" become a word used to meaning "to criticize" or attack? Also, looking at the racial aspect of it...when will we see a headline that says "McCain raps Obama campaign?"

"Raps" just seems like a very peculiar word choice.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Table Tennis

One Olympic sport I haven't seen a whole lot of is table tennis. I caught a little bit of doubles table tennis, which puzzes me how four people can play on a surface that small. A friend of mine e-mailed me to tell me that he was laughing at the amount of stretching and sweat-wiping that was going on at a table tennis match.

Well, if the table tennis players were like the players in the video, they need to be well conditioned!


I just finished two days of orientation at the university. Both days were jammed with breakout sessions of different topics ranging from diversity to technology. Day Two culminated with sessions on benefits and retirement packages.

The thing that stuck out the most to me from today was during lunch, five tenured faculty members talked to us about the tenure process. They said that the university wants to see us succeed as faculty members. They want us to do well because they look at us as their investment. The first day of class is Monday...already!!!!

UPDATE: Here is a shot of me with my UT goodie bag, which has pens, important info and jump drive!

Saturday, August 16, 2008

August 16th Elvis post

On this, the 31st anniversary of Elvis' death, I decided to post a great song performed by Elvis named, Don't Cry Daddy. This song, as well as In the Ghetto, were written by country star Mac Davis.

Elvis, thank you for the heartfelt music. You are missed.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Weekly Feature.

The Winner and Loser of the week.
I have seen Bill O'Reilly and Keith Olberman do their 'worst person' or 'pinhead' of the day awards. Why not celebrate the positive as well?

Anyway, my nomination for winner of the week is Michael Phelps. After Phelps won his fifth gold medal, I believe, the other night, he went up into the stands and hugged his mom. There's a great bond there.

The LOSER of the week goes to, shocker, John Edwards. Pretty boy John kept maintaining his own lie that he was faithful to his wife during her battle with cancer. It turns out that he was lying all along. His mistress has refused to have a paternity test done...maybe because Edwards has paid her substantial sums of money. Hush. Keep it quiet. This video pretty much sums up Edwards. All style, no substance.

More of the King.

This is an Elvis classic. A live version of "In the Ghetto." It's a classic, complete with karate chop at the end.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Elvis remembered.

This song, "Just Pretend," is one of my favorite and one of the most underrated songs done by the King of Rock 'n Roll. He puts a lot of soul into it.

Over the next two days, I will add more Elvis videos.

Also, tomorrow, I want to add a new feature to my blog that will require your opinion. You'll see what it is. How is that for a cliffhanger? I don't mean to reference super-blogger Cliff of WIXY 1260 fame.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Inspirational song

This video was sent to me by a friend of mine and fellow BGSU alumnus named Gina. We somehow reconnected over the web after a long time in between communication.

This is fitting since this is Elvis Week in Memphis. Saturday marks the 31st anniversary of his death.

Gina, thank you for that Long Distance Dedication.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Monday Pet Peeves

I experienced two frustrations today. First, I can be impatient at times and I don't know what it is about the post office but today, it was extra slow. I don't know why but when I have to send a package, it seems like I am at least sixth in line and when I get to the front of the line, one window or worker closes their counter. My stop at the post office was at least a 20 minute trip.

And then, on my way to Bowling Green, home of the Fighting Falcons, I went through the drive through at a fast food restaurant to get a combo. Why are some fast food places so stingy on napkins? When people order food through a drive through, more likely than not, it will be eaten in the car. One or two napkins will not do the job.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Target = Naughty by Nature?

The Sunday newspaper brings a lot of excitement with expanded sports, news, and of course, the ads. I love looking through the ads. Target is one of my favorite places to shop and its ad is loaded with Back to School specials. Take a look at the picture of their ad below.

Pardon the poor image quality. I tried to find this online at but it's not there. I took a photo and cropped it. It's a great special for 500 sheets of recylced paper for $3. The packaging on the binder standing up says, "O.P.P. Other People's Paper."

Does anyone remember the rap group Naughty by Nature which had a monster hit in the 1990s called O.P.P.? Naughty by Nature's O.P.P. certainly didn't stand for "Other People's Paper." Naughty by Nature wasn't a group that made the environment their main concern. I was surprised this got on there. Those three letters didn't get put together by accident. Someone had to get a little snicker out of this.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Is that really their voice?

Sometimes, when people sing, you get blown away because what you hear doesn't quite match up to what you thought or think you should be seeing. Thsoe of you who know 80s music, no doubt, know who Journey is. Steve Perry and the band split a long time ago. About a year or so ago, they found a new singer from the Phillipines named Arnel Pineda, who sounds amazing. Who's Steve Perry? Wow!

The next one is a clip from the old Jackie Gleason show that I used to watch with my Mom and Dad on PBS on weekends, I think. Frank Fontaine played this character named Crazy Guggenheim who would come out and tell a couple of jokes and then do a song. Listen to this guy sing. Unreal.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

How did this guy get in?

Photographer insists on Pledge of Allegiance before Obama rally

As you may have seen, Barack Obama was recently in Ohio in the Youngstown area. A heckler somehow get in as a member of the press. He shouted at Obama to do the Pledge of Allegiance. I thought Obama handled it well.

I'm a little nervous that somebody got into a poltical campaign appearance this easily and posed as a member of the press with a large piece of equipment like a camera with a telephoto lens. I've been searched and waived with a wand prior to going into a Neil Diamond concert.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

When will it happen?

I cannot believe the amount of coverage given to Brett Favre and whether or not he will play football again.

Ok, if you had a spare nickel to wager, what's the amount of time between now, today, and the first time we see a reaction comment from either Barack Obama or John McCain on the issue.

I have to throw that in there considering how crazy the media coverage has been over Favre as well as the pointless stories regarding the presumptive candidates.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Female Sports Reporters

Female sports reporters in the men's lockerroom has been an issue for quite some time. I tip my hat to the pros like Robin Roberts, Linda Cohn, and others who do it without bringing attention to themselves.

In today's USA TODAY, columnist Michael Hiestrand brings up a controversy about ESPN's Erin Andrews.

Controversy is surrounding a lockerroom interview with Chicago Cub Alfonso Soriano. Another columnist brought up by Hiestrand took Andrews to task for "placing her hand suggestively on Soriano's left biceps." Manager Lou Piniella asked if Andrews was on a modelling assignment. Andrews responded Sunday by saying that she "wasn't trying to seductively caress Soriano, just feel a bone he'd broken in his hand."

WHAT?! #1, If it wasn't seductively caressing, what kind of caressing was it? And #2, how would it go over if a male reporter "caressed" or asked to "caress" Soriano's hand? I can't picture Bob Costas doing that. That would be a little awkward.

Back to the USA TODAY column, it says that Andrews will be working the Yankees at Rangers game Wednesday and she says, "I'll get tons of comments on what I'm wearing--and it's supposed to be 99 degrees....Do I have to wear pants and a turtleneck?"

There's a YouTube music video of still photos of her and it shows almost everything she has worn on the air. Some of her outfits are rather interesting.

What do you think about this issue?

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Educational Films That Motivate

Around this time of year, I am usually preparing for a new school year. This time, it's different because I'll be at the University of Toledo. However, I still turn to the same sources for motivation. There have been many movies done that have focused on schools or education. Few have the motivational impact of the ones I am about to mention.

The first is Stand and Deliver. Here's the movie promo.

The second clip or sample of clips is from The Emperor's Club, starring Kevin Kline. In this movie, Mr. Hundert tries to reach a rebellious kid named Sedgewick Bell.

If you have seen either of these movies, please leave a comment or two with your thoughts.