Monday, March 30, 2009

Least Favorite Commercial

I don't watch too much TV, but probably more than enough.

Lots of blogs seem to feature rants about inane commercials, so I need to get with the program.

My nomination for the most irritating TV ad is the "Vehix" spot.

Way stupid.

Opinions and Integrity

I received this email over the weekend and thought I'd share it, with my comments.


You're an 19 year old kid. You're critically wounded, and dying in the jungle in the Ia Drang Valley , 11-14-1965, LZ X-ray, Vietnam . Your infantry unit is outnumbered 8 - 1, and the enemy fire is so intense, from 100 or 200 yards away, that your own Infantry Commander has ordered the MediVac helicopters to stop coming in.
You're lying there, listening to the enemy machine guns, and you know you're not getting out. Your family is 1/2 way around the world, 12,000 miles away, and you'll never see them again. As the world starts to fade in and out, you know this is the day.
Then, over the machine gun noise, you faintly hear that sound of a helicopter, and you look up to see an un-armed Huey, but it doesn't seem real, because no Medi-Vac markings are on it.
Ed Freeman is coming for you. He's not Medi-Vac, so it's not his job, but he's flying his Huey down into the machine gun fire, after the Medi-Vacs were ordered not to come.
He's coming anyway.
And he drops it in, and sits there in the machine gun fire, as they load 2 or 3 of you on board.
Then he flies you up and out through the gunfire, to the Doctors and Nurses.
And, he kept coming back..... 13 more times.... And took about 30 of you and your buddies out, who would never have gotten out.
Medal of Honor Recipient, Ed Freeman,died last Wednesday at the age of 80, in Boise , ID .......May God rest his soul.....
I bet you didn't hear about this hero's
passing, but we sure were told a whole
bunch about some Hip-Hop Coward
beating the crap out of his "girlfriend"

Medal of Honor Winner
Ed Freeman!
Shame on the American Media

I liked this story, and agree that our celebrity-obsessed media have a warped sense of priorities.

Now for the commentary.

The story about Major Freeman's actions in the Ia Drang valley is true. That he died last Wednesday, or last month while the media fawned over a couple of hip-hoppers and their domestic blisslessness is not. Mr. Freeman died August 20, 2008.

An insignificant detail? Perhaps. I have no doubt that little note was made in August 2008 of Ed Freeman's passing. Maybe, somewhere out there in email purgatory, someone thought it would be bright to update the juxtaposed 'news' story to make it seem current. But a story as inspirational as Major Freeman's deserves to be told with integrity. He's no less heroic when the tale's told honestly.

I hold several beliefs, and not a few opinions. My hope and prayer is that I will earn enough credibility with my readers that my thoughts are considered to be truthful and worth reading...

In other, more recent, news, veteran NBC newsman Irving R. Levine died last week.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

And Here's To You Mr. Jefferson...

Found this on another's blog - it was just too good not to re-post.

h/t: LandShark

Friday, March 27, 2009

Old School Conservatism

I was fortunate to have lunch today with an old friend I hadn't seen in about 8 years.

He came to lunch in jeans and a t-shirt.

Unlike some of the fashionable t-shirts bearing the likeness of Ché or Chairman Mao, my friend's had the visage of Ronald Wilson Reagan, and the caption: Old School Conservative.

See, we can fight back.

(we'd better...)

Edit: I added the image of the t-shirt. I hope my intention was not misunderstood - I was tickled to see my friend wearing this shirt, as I am a huge fan of the 40th president. I am critical of the Ché, Mao, and Obama shirts.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Left Be-

The cool breeze was blowing, the weekend was coming to an end, and my dog had that plaintive look indicating she wanted to go for a run.

I am not a runner.

But, I do enjoy bike riding, so it's our practice for the quadruped to run alongside me, the velocipedist. I hold her leash loosely - in the event she balks, I can ditch it without wiping out. So far it's not been a problem.

This evening was interesting because, despite the perfect weather, the bike trail was, eerily, nearly deserted. We had covered the better part of 3/4 mile before passing any other trail users.

The quiet was almost unnerving. It reminded me of the Left Behind series.

If it was the Apocalypse, I would've hoped to be one of the missing...

Maybe everyone else was watching college basketball?

Pearls of Wisdom

A few weeks ago, fellow blogger D² reprinted one of Paul Harvey's essays in memory of the famous broadcaster. I had thought of re-posting it here, but will give you the link instead.

One of the other famous broadcasts that I remember was not actually penned by Mr. Harvey, though it's often attributed to him since he read it in his commentary. Written by Lee Pitts, an inspirational author and lecturer, it's entitled "My Wishes For Children":

"We tried so hard to make things better for our kids that we made them worse. For my grandchildren, I'd like better.
  • I'd really like for them to know about hand-me-down clothes and homemade ice cream and leftover meatloaf sandwiches. I really would.
  • I hope you learn humility by being humiliated, and that you learn honesty by being cheated.
  • I hope you learn to make your own bed and mow the lawn and wash the car. And I really hope nobody gives you a brand new car when you are sixteen.
  • It will be good if at least one time you can see puppies born and your old dog put to sleep.
  • I hope you get a black eye fighting for something you believe in.
  • I hope you have to share a bedroom with your younger brother/sister. And it's all right if you have to draw a line down the middle of the room, but when he wants to crawl under the covers with you because he's scared, I hope you let him.
  • When you want to see a movie and your little brother/sister wants to tag along, I hope you'll let him/her.
  • I hope you have to walk uphill to school with your friends and that you live in a town where you can do it safely.
  • On rainy days when you have to catch a ride, I hope you don't ask your driver to drop you two blocks away so you won't be seen riding with someone as uncool as your mom.
  • If you want a slingshot, I hope your dad teaches you how to make one instead of buying one.
  • I hope you learn to dig in the dirt and read books.
  • When you learn to use computers, I hope you also learn to add and subtract in your head.
  • I hope you get teased by your friends when you have your first crush on a boy/girl, and when you talk back to your mother that you learn what Ivory soap tastes like.
  • May you skin your knee climbing a mountain, burn your hand on a stove, and stick your tongue on a frozen flagpole.
  • I don't care if you try a beer once, but I hope you don't like it. And if a friend offers you dope or a joint, I hope you realize he is not your friend.
  • I sure hope you make time to sit on a porch with your grandma/grandpa and go fishing with your uncle.
  • May you feel sorrow at a funeral and joy during the holidays.
  • I hope your mother punishes you when you throw a baseball through your neighbor's window and that she hugs you and kisses you at Hanukah/Christmas time when you give her a plaster mold of your hand.

These things I wish for you — tough times and disappointment, hard work, and happiness. To me, it's the only way to appreciate life."

To these I would only add that I hope you learn heartache by having someone you considered a friend abandon you, and that you also know the comfort of a true friend who stands with you and believes in you. And I hope that as someone else's friend, you'll be the latter.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Here's a Strange...

A statue of KFC founder Col. Harland Sanders has been found in a river in Osaka, Japan, 24 years after being deposited there by rowdy baseball fans.

Supposedly, one of the baseball players (I don't know if he was on the winning or losing team), an American, resembled the iconic chicken pitchman.

Edit: Interestingly, the statue looks like it's been partially rolled in flour and six of the eleven herbs and spices...

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Goodbye Print?

The internets are abuzz with reports that ten major U.S. daily newspapers may fold.

Since when was that news? My newspaper's always folded.


Monday, March 9, 2009

Barry-O, Spot Me $565,000

Mr. President, I know we're in a serious pickle here, we've got a crisis of confidence going on, a 'malaise' in the words of one of your party's elders. A lot of folks are concerned and hurting out here, and I know you have a plan to deal with all of our issues, and treat our pain, to invoke another of your comrades.

Anyway, I think it's just great that you're going to pay off everyones' mortgages. And, I hate to assume too much, but, you know, we've also got to have transportation, and I've heard you're considering something along those lines also. Hey, we've gotta have some way to get to those Beyoncé concerts, right?

You're obviously a successful guy. Worked hard on the gritty streets of Oahu. Managed to claw your way up in Illinois politics without waking up dead in Lake Michigan. You know the importance of projecting confidence.

So, in order to kind of jump start our economic recovery, I thought maybe you could approve this small request. Again, I think you understand it's important for us to hold our heads high and sneer at stuff like the stock market crashing, in order for us to move boldly toward Utopia.

For my automobile, please favorably consider the Maybach Zeppelin. At
$565K, I know it's a tad pricey, but still less than the $700K cap on mortgages, so you can see, I'm trying to do my part. Also, don't bother with providing a driver - I want to be a 'salt of the earth' kind of guy and do my own driving.

You can have Mr. Emmanuel call me when my car is ready to be picked up.

Oh, and be sure to say 'hi' to Hugo and Fidel, and the ghosts of Karl, Vlad, Leon, Joe and Mao. You guys are a hoot!

Saturday, March 7, 2009

I Don't Know What Happened

Inexplicably, commentator Todd the Blogger did not appear for his scheduled news conference vis-á-vis the dismissal of Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Terrell Owens.

More as this develops.

Camel's Nose Under the Tent

The other day I was having a conversation with my dad about the current political/economic climate. He listed several current progams and some that have been proposed, and said: "That's socialism!"

He said it again, and paused for effect.

In his generation, and partly in mine, those words were a serious charge. He graduated high school and college during the days of the "Red Scare" (the second one). When I was in high school, I read Robert J. Ringer's book on libertarianism Restoring the American Dream, and remember thinking that if you took away the labels of communism and socialism, a lot of people would otherwise accept the policies. Fast forward to today, and it's probably even more so. Critical thought has become a scare commodity.

It's very clever how the cultural wars are fought. Maybe a dozen or so years ago, [Argentine Marxist] Che Guevara's image on t-shirts became an accoutrement de rigueur on college campuses and in high schools. More recently I've seen an Adidas branded cap bearing the hammer and sickle (I've seen photos, but couldn't corroborate this from their web catalog, but did find a "Cuban" camo cap like Castro's). By infusing the imagery of Marxist revolutionaries as fashion statements for American youth, the camel has got its nose pretty far under our tent.

In my conversation with my dad, I told him that my perception is that few today seem to care if we're headed toward socialism (actually, we're there), or totalitarianism. The label of "Socialist" or "Communist" is no longer the rallying cry, as no one seems to have the foggiest idea of why those are failed ideas.

Heaven help us...

Friday, March 6, 2009

So Long, Farewell, Auf Wiedersehen, Goodbye T. O.!

It's Day 2 since the announcement that Dallas Cowboys' wide receiver Terrell Owens has been cut from the team's roster.

Please check out this blogsite tomorrow for a live commentary on this news from veteran Dallas Cowboys chronicler and serial storyteller Todd the Blogger.


Thursday, March 5, 2009

Economic Development?

NBC news reported this evening that, post-Olympics, Beijing now has 100 million feet² of vacant commercial/office/retail space. Apparently, the Chinese are just as dumb as Dallas (Victory Park) and Arlington (well, you know) in believing that building massive sports venues will be their economic salvation.

New hotels, shopping places, and sports facilities now sit idle.

To be fair, the global recession has a lot to do with this. But, even in prosperous times, it's yet to be demonstrated that building massive sports facilities, or handing over taxpayer money to sports mavens, results in any real benefits to those footing the bill.

Ebert & R______

Well, with the extra time on my hands, I've rented more than the usual array of DVDs. Over the weekend, my selections included: Left Behind, Junior Bonner, and Message in a Bottle.

I was vaguely aware of the Left Behind series, but had never read the books. The first DVD was good, but didn't finalize very well. So, last night I got the second installment, which I enjoyed more. It's more than a little eerie or poignant to watch, considering the political environment, on a day when the DJIA lost 4% of its value. Also, it was pretty cool to see [Walker] Texas Ranger Trivette again as pastor Bruce Barnes. I hope the video store has the third DVD.

Junior Bonner, one of Sam Peckinpah's less-appreciated works, was interesting, as it captured a moment in time, culturally and cinematically. The same themes are echoed in song from Michael Murphey's 1978 "Lone Wolf", specifically "Nothing Is Your Own" and "Loners", in which rugged invidualism confronts the soullessness of modernism. Worth the rental just for the cast of Steve McQueen, Ben Johnson, Billy Don Baker, and Dub Taylor. It's also said that its box office disappointment precipitated the director and star's collaboration the following year in the blockbuster "The Getaway".

Finally, "Message In a Bottle". Yeah, I suppose it's a chick flick, but I felt I could relate to Costner's character. Watched the whole thing before I realized Robin Wright Penn was the girl from "Princess Bride". Also, it rounded out my recent Newman collection, having watched "Butch Cassidy..." and "Cool Hand Luke" within the past month. Speaking of "Princess Bride", its screenwriter William Goldman also wrote the screenplay for "Butch Cassidy...". Who'd a thunk?

So, if you've got any movies you'd like for me to review for you, wait until they've been out at least seven years, and I'll rent them at the neighborhood Family Video.

That'll Leave a Lisp

A British woman who, while drunk, bit her boyfriend's tongue off in a kiss, has been arrested. Apparently she was upset because she wasn't pregnant.

At least...umm, nevermind.

Cat Norris

I'm not a cat person, but I thought this, stolen from Denney Crane's blog, was funny:

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Complete the Series

Yesterday was TAKS day for schoolkids.

As we all remember, either from Iowa tests, SATs, ACTs, APs, GMATs or TAKS, analogies, series, and multiple choice are the stuff of standardized testing.

So, complete the following series: Lexington, Ft. Sumter, __________.

Monday, March 2, 2009

"Cuss Free" Week

I read in the news that it's "cuss free" week. The idea is the brainchild of 15 year old McKay Hatch of South Pasadena, CA. It appears he's serious about his project.

I doubt that most of the blogosphere will be.

And no doubt that bastion of sophomoric inanity, Saturday Night Live, will have a send-up ridiculing Hatch's efforts. Maybe their resident stoner Andy Samberg can do a 'digital short' with 47 bleeped words. Funny stuff, I'm sure.

Spending probably more time than I ought to reading other people's blogs, it's frequently surprising how low some of their standards are. In some cases, we're talking Marianas Trench low. One such has posts that typically feature at least one 'f-bomb', sometimes more, per sentence. Or fragment.

Lest anyone think I'm a choirboy, I'm not. I've confessed as much in prior posts. But I've learned that our manner of speech, and writing, is the window through which we are judged by others. "Garbage In - Garbage Out", the old programmers' maxim, certainly applies, if in reverse order. I've cut numerous 'garbage' words from my vocabulary, in hopes that fewer will think there's garbage where it came from.

I wish Mr. Hatch well in his efforts - it's a tall task.


After decades of rationalizing our increasing ADD under the rubric of "multi-tasking", we have nearly saturated every waking hour with connectivity, often at the expense of our own sanity.

Recently, a Texas lawmaker proposed increasing penalties statewide for use of communication devices in cars, with a view toward restoring drivers' concentration on the task of driving. Now comes an interesting story about a woman taking multitasking to the extreme in Ohio.

But at least she wasn't faxing.

h/t: DHamre