Thursday, January 29, 2009

Loser of the Week

Loser of the Week: Houston guard Aubrey Coleman

Aubrey issued an apology earlier this week claiming that he didn't intentionally use Arizona's Chase Budinger's face as a doormat.

"I want to apologize to Chase Budinger for what happened Saturday night. I never meant to step on him," Coleman said in a statement issued by the school. "I have never been in an incident like this before, and I have nothing but respect for him as a great player."

You can see in the video that Coleman is smiling off the court after he got ejected from the game.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Winners and Losers for the week

Winner of the Week: Kay Yow
North Carolina State women's basketball coach Kay Yow passed away today after a long battle with breast cancer. The 66 year old won more than 700 games as a head coach. Yow battled breast cancer for what is reported as "decades." Her body took an incredible pounding from chemotherapy and other treatments. Still, she went on coaching and making an impact on others. Yow rarely took time away from her time but this year was different. The cancer spread to her liver and bones. Her team visited her this past Wednesday.
This hits home for me because my mom was diagnosed with breast cancer 9 years ago. She is in remission. It was a tough battle but thanks to the doctors at University Hospitals in Cleveland and at Mercy Medical Center in Canton, Ohio, she is fine.
Loser of the Week: Rush Limbaugh
I am convinced that this guy sole goal in life is to bash Democrats, no matter what. Among his highlights this week...saying he wants Obama to fail, criticizing his inauguration speech by saying it wasn't electrifying and focused too much on our nation's problems. Clearly, Limbaugh missed the part of the speech that said something about picking ourselves up and dusting ourselves off and getting at it. I believe Obama referred to it as a "call to service."

Monday, January 19, 2009

Martin Luther King Day

Are you experiencing the same incredible and uplifting feeling from today that I am? This is the most historic Martin Luther King Day celebration there will ever be. On the day before the nation swears in its first African-American President, Barack Obama was helping to paint a homeless shelter. I feel so proud that he is our President.

Winners and Losers for last week

Please accept my apologies for this tardy post. But anyway, here it goes.

Winner of the Week: Chesley B "Sully" Sullenberger III
By now, we should all know who "Sully" is. Sully did an incredible job of landing a jet into the Hudson River shortly after takeoff from LaGuardia airport last week. All 155 people onboard survived. The preliminary cause of the downed plane has been stated as birds or geese colliding with an engine.

Sully, as the story goes, waited until every last passenger was off the plane before he left himself.

I don't know what was worse for the passengers...the thought of the plane going down or the thought of getting out into freezing water. Either way, Sully and everyone who helped rescue the 155 onboard are all winners.

Loser of the Week (from a couple weeks ago is finally getting his due): Rey Maualuga of USC

Prior to the start of the Rose Bowl, Maualuga went up to sideline reporter Erin Andrews and did a little dance. It was a classless move for which he later texted and called Andrews to apologize.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Poor ad on a news story

A huge problem with internet news websites is that they often have ads that accompany them. For instance, if there's a story about eating right, you would see clickable ads for things like diet pills on the side of the webpage. The ads are on the website based on the content in the story. HOWEVER, sometimes just because the content is related, there are times where it doesn't quite "agree" with what's in the story.

The clickable ad above from WTOL channel 11's website above is for a nursing home. Now read the story below.

Ohio pastor charged with gross sexual imposition
Jan 14, 2009 05:14 AM EST

STARK COUNTY (WTOL) - An Ohio pastor is accused of sexually assaulting a retirement home resident. Fifty-nine-year-old Eugene Dietz works at the New Life Christian Church in Stark County. Cops say he attacked an 87-year-old woman who was bedridden and couldn't defend herself. He's charged with gross sexual imposition. Dietz has confessed to the crime. He's being held on a $25,000 bond.

Thoughts of Dad

I have so many good memories of my Dad. As a Dad, he did so many things for me and my older brother because he loved us so much. He often shot baskets in the backyard with us on the old rim that hung over the house. He played catch countless times with us. At Christmastime, Dad knew how much we loved sports and would fill our stockings with fruit and packs of baseball cards. It was a great surprise that I looked forward to every Christmas.

The last movie Dad took me to was Star Wars in 1977. I was so excited to see it. For me, it lived up to the hype. Dad didn't get it. When we left, he said, "I didn't understand what the hell was going on." That still cracks me up. Show my Dad a good cowboy movie and he's a happy man!

Dad was always so proud of his Slovenian background. Dad's parents came over on a boat into Ellis Island. His parents then met in Cleveland and eventually moved to Warren, Ohio, where they married and had Frank. Frank was an only child. Growing up in the Strukel house meant many hours of polkas, nutbread, and blood sausage. Don't ask me about the blood sausage. I never had it and never will! Anyway, throughout his life, Dad always loved his polkas. On Thursdays, Massillon Cable broadcasts a polka show at 7 p.m. Dad always watched it. He loved it. Dad was so proud to say he's Slovenian and loved polkas.

When Dad married and had me and my brother, he was living in Massillon. He loved the outdoors. Watching birds flock to the bird feeder was fun for him. He could sit for hours and be amazed at the different kinds of birds that would visit. He also loved to garden. Growing tomatoes, onions, and sometimes concord grapes in the backyard was something he did every spring. When the tomatoes started to ripen, Dad would often say, "Check my crop"...which meant we needed to go see what we could harvest from the garden. It was a small garden but many times, it produced some pretty good stuff.

More later...

It's NOT up to us.

Here's an idea: Why not let the future first family decide on what dog they want?

Ok, I'll go out on a limb with this...this is the start of a trend in the media. We will now see stories on polls regarding Americans' preference for whatever the first family does. I saw recently where Barack will have his mother-in-law stay at the White House. I'm waiting for the "approval" poll on whether Americans like that or not. We will probably see polls on if Americans approved of the inauguration.

AP Poll: Americans prefer a mutt for Obamas

  • By LISA TOLIN, Associated Press Writer Lisa Tolin, Associated Press Writer Wed Jan 14, 3:18 am ET

WASHINGTON – Mr. President-elect, the votes are in: American pet owners prefer a mutt in the White House.

By more than a 2-1 margin, pet owners say the Obamas should choose a mutt for their first dog over a purebred, according to an Associated poll released Wednesday. People who don't have pets mostly don't care either way.

"Let's get philosophical about it: We're kind of a country of mutts," said Steve Minor, 54, of Knightdale, N.C. "I think he'd set an example if he got a dog from a shelter that needed a home."

Obama said over the weekend that the family is choosing between two breeds: a Labradoodle (a cross between a poodle and a Labrador) and a Portuguese water dog, the kind owned by Sen. Edward Kennedy, D-Mass.

Monday, January 12, 2009

When will she just go away?

Sarah Palin has become that family relative you wish would leave the house but is overstaying his/her visit.

Did you see this news story? How can Palin say that Tina Fey was "exploiting" and "capitalizing on" her? Palin herself guest "starred" on the Saturday Night Live prior to the election.

Palin: Media goes easy on Kennedy
Andy Barr Andy Barr – Thu Jan 8, 11:32 am ET
Gov. Sarah Palin (R-Alaska) believes Caroline Kennedy is getting softer press treatment in her pursuit of the New York Senate seat than Palin did as the GOP vice presidential nominee because of Kennedy’s social class.

“I’ve been interested to see how Caroline Kennedy will be handled and if she will be handled with kid gloves or if she will be under such a microscope,” Palin told conservative filmmaker John Ziegler during an interview Monday for his upcoming documentary film, “How Obama Got Elected.” Excerpts from the interview were posted on YouTube Wednesday evening.

“It’s going to be interesting to see how that plays out and I think that as we watch that we will perhaps be able to prove that there is a class issue here also that was such a factor in the scrutiny of my candidacy versus, say, the scrutiny of what her candidacy may be.”

Palin said she remains subject to unfair press coverage of her and her family.

“Is it political? Is it sexism?” she asked. “What is it that drives someone to believe the worst and perpetuate the worst in terms of gossip and lies?”

She observed that Katie Couric and Tina Fey have been “capitalizing on” and “exploiting” her.
“I did see that Tina Fey was named entertainer of the year and Katie Couric’s ratings have risen,” she said. “And I know that a lot of people are capitalizing on, oh I don’t know, perhaps some exploiting that was done via me, my family, my administration. That’s a little bit perplexing, but it also says a great deal about our society.”

A study was needed for this?

I can't believe someone actually got paid to do this study. Isn't this pretty much common knowledge by now?

Many teens display risky behavior on MySpace: study
By Julie Steenhuysen Julie Steenhuysen – Tue Jan 6, 1:23 am ET
CHICAGO (Reuters) – More than half of teenagers mention risky behaviors such as sex and drugs on their MySpace accounts, U.S. researchers said on Monday. They said many young people who use social networking sites such as News Corp's MySpace do not realize how public they are and may be opening themselves to risks, but the sites may also offer a new way to identify and help troubled teens.

"We found the majority of teenagers who have a MySpace account are displaying risky behaviors in a public way that is accessible to a general audience," said Dr. Dimitri Christakis of Seattle Children's Research Institute, whose studies appear in the journal Archives of Pediatric & Adolescent Medicine.

In one of two studies, Christakis and Dr. Megan Moreno of the University of Wisconsin analyzed 500 randomly chosen MySpace profiles of 18-year-olds in 2007. Overall, 54 percent of the publicly available accounts they checked contained information about high-risk behaviors: 41 percent mentioned substance abuse, 24 percent sexual behavior and 14 percent violence.
Christakis said many teens are unaware of how public and permanent Internet information can be, while parents often do not know what their kids are up to.

"No one says, "Whoa! Why are you putting that up there?'" Christakis said.

In a second study, the researchers identified 190 individuals aged 18 to 20 whose MySpace accounts displayed multiple risky behaviors. Half were sent a message from "Dr. Meg" from Dr. Moreno's MySpace profile.

The message warned about the risks of disclosing personal details online and offered a link to a site with information about testing for sexually transmitted diseases.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Winners of the Week

Winner of the Week: Frank Strukel, D.D.S.
This past Monday, my Dad, Frank Strukel, passed away at the age of 77 of a heart attack. Dad is pictured here with his little girl, Bonnie, who is also my dog. Dad loved Bonnie. Dad grew up poor in Warren, Ohio. His parents were rough on him and Dad didn't have many of the things that other kids had. That surely wasn't the case for the way Dad treated me. He was a loving father who did everything he could to make me and my brother happy and comforted.

Dad graduated from Hiram College and then from the Ohio State University College of Dentistry. After he graduated, Dad practiced dentistry in Dallas, Texas and then came home to start his own practice in Massillon, Ohio. He practiced dentristry for 50 years. Not too long after he started, one of his patients introduced a young lady named Mary Nemeth to my Dad. The two dated and fell in love. They celebrated their 40th anniversary in 2008 on April 20th.

I will post more about my Dad in the next few days.

My other Winner of the Week is Donna Mumford.
Donna was Dad's home health care aide the last two years. Dad had diabetes and lost his ability to walk almost five years ago. Donna was an angel to Dad. She treated Dad with so much care. She helped keep him mentally active and often made him laugh. She made the last two years of his life pleasant. Dad was dealing with much more pain than he would ever let us know.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Winner of the Week

With the Loser of the Week already decided, the Winner of the Week is now crowned.

Fellow former pro wrestling fans like Cliff and myself are applauding this.

California Representative Henry Waxman, according to the Associated Press on Friday, requested that John Walters, director of the president's Office of National Drug Control Policy, "examine the systemic deficiencies in the testing policies and practices of professional wrestling."

Waxman, chairman of the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, has led a congressional investigation into steroid use in professional wrestling for more than a year, spurred in part by the murder-suicide deaths of wrestler Chris Benoit and his family in Georgia in June 2007.

Waxman is leaving the oversight committee to become chairman of the Energy and Commerce Committee, and his letter offered a final look at the findings that focused on top pro wresting bodies World Wrestling Entertainment and Total Nonstop Action.

"Since the committee began its investigation last year, both the WWE and the TNA have made efforts to improve their steroid testing programs," Waxman wrote. "But these efforts suffer from a lack of independence and transparency. As a result of these weaknesses, the organizations appear unable to effectively prevent the use of steroids and other illegal drugs by professional wrestlers."

Waxman wrote that one former wrestler who agreed to talk to the committee on condition of anonymity said that, in the wrestling business, "steroids are like white socks and tape, they're just part of your gear."

"Over three million children and teenagers watch professional wrestling each week," Waxman's letter said. "The apparently widespread use of steroids in professional wrestling sends the wrong message to youth."

****Anyone who has seen the likes of current stars like Batista knows that 'roids are out of control.

Friday, January 2, 2009

Why is this constantly in the news?

Ok, I'm trying to figure this out. I've seen this story come up, naturally, every time, the world's oldest person (at that moment) dies. But why? Obviously, someone is keeping track. I don't know why but sometimes I think there's some kind of odd national pride thing going here because of the fact that this country has the oldest person again. It just feels odd to know that the only way that these people will make the news is when someone dies.

World's oldest person dies at the age of 115
LISBON (AFP) – The world's oldest living person, Portuguese national Maria de Jesus, died Friday at the age of 115, the Lusa news agency reported.

Born September 10, 1893, Maria de Jesus became the world's oldest living person after the death of American Edna Parker on November 26, also aged 115.

A family member told the Lusa news agency that de Jesus died "just after 10:00 am (GMT) while en route to hospital.

De Jesus was born in a poor area in Urquiera, close to Ourem in central Portugal. She started working in agriculture at the age of 12 and never went to school, remaining unable to write and read for her entire life.

After marrying, she moved to the town of Corujo with her husband where she brought up her six children.

De Jesus never "fell ill, nor took any medication," her daughter Maria Madalena told Lusa.

After the death of Maria de Jesus, American Gertrude Baines, born April 6, 1894, becomes the world's oldest person, according to the Gerontology Research Group.

The Los Angeles-based organisation keeps a database of people worldwide who are more than 110 years old.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

A look back at 2008

There were so many great performances in the media. Several other places have done their Best and Worst lists of 2008. A couple performances really stood out for me.

In no particular order, Beyonce's moves in her song "Single Ladies" are incredible. I read somewhere that the video that was done for this song is done in like three takes. Here is a live version. What a talent! I can't think of any other music video that has sparked this much attention or imitation on YouTube recently.

I'm a big fan of documentaries. Man on Wire is an intriguing story about a man who did a high wire walk between the World Trade Center towers. Great movie.

The Dark Knight, of course, was another great 2008 movie. Iron Man was another very good superhero movie. I also liked The Hulk despite the not so good reviews because it was a much better movie than Ang Lee's.