Thursday, March 31, 2005

Ted Koppel Stepping Aside

Ted Koppel is leaving ABC News when his contract expires at the end of this year. Koppel, who is synonymous with the program Nightline, has won every award in his profession.

All of us of a certain age remember Nightline's birth as a daily update on our hostages held in Iran. I have other distinct memories from Koppel's tenure at Nightline.

I only saw Koppel lose control of his broadcast one time, and that was when the freak show known as Jim and Tammy Faye Bakker were on Nightline during the demise of the PTL Club. They took over the show, and Ted sat silent, looking stunned.

I also remember watching Nightline as Hurricane Hugo made landfall at Charleston, SC. When the broadcast ended that night, the projected path of the storm was directly at Greensboro. We missed the worst of that storm, as it pushed further inland and to our west.

I am rarely awake late enough to see Nightline, but I will miss seeing Ted Koppel on the show during those evenings when I do watch the show.


Last Rites For Pope John Paul II

Pope John Paul II received last rites today, as his health continues to deteriorate. Receiving this sacrament does not necessarily mean his death is near, but I fear that is the case.


Nashville 101

Nashville 101 is available now. I assume this is another Roch Smith, Jr. creation.

The 101 movement seems to be spreading through larger cities in the south for now. Just think how much fun it will be when the movement reaches smaller cities, like Erect and Climax.

Wednesday, March 30, 2005

Welcome Aboard, Charlotte 101

Charlotte 101 has made its debut. This blog aggregator is a joint project of Greensboro 101 daddy Roch Smith, Jr., the indispensable blogger Dave Beckwith, and web site developer Darryl Parker.

Stop by and check out the Charlotte blogosphere.


A Golf Purist

I consider myself a golf purist. I play by the rules, and I appreciate the history of the game. However, this guy is a true golf purist.


Happy Birthday, Slowhand

Eric Clapton is 60 today. Happy Birthday, Slowhand.


Imbeciles Of The Month

CNN reports that an unknown person walked out of the graduate division offices of UC-Berkeley two weeks ago with a university laptop. No big deal, right? Wrong.

The laptop contained personal information on most people who applied to or attended graduate school there since 1976. That's almost 100,000 people whose personal information, often including social security numbers and dates of birth, are now in the public domain.

Congratulations Berkeley. You are our Imbeciles of the Month.

Now that I think about it, Lex has been out in Berkeley for the last week supposedly for a seminar. I wonder if he was pursuing the thief?


Special Delivery

When you want to send someone an unforgettable gift ..... send a Fecalgram.


A New Hybrid Car?

I understand that hybrid cars draw fuel from multiple places, but I am not sure this model is what designers had in mind.


Thoughts About Johnnie Cochran

Johnnie Cochran died yesterday from an inoperable brain tumor. Cochran rose to fame during the double murder trial of O.J. Simpson, for which he helped win an acquittal for Simpson.

I watched a good bit of that trial, and Cochran was an effective advocate for his client. However, the verdict of not guilty had more to do with the complete ineptness of prosecutor Marcia Clark than Cochran's defense.

I always wondered how famous Cochran would have been if Clark had not botched the trial and achieved a guilty verdict.


Bomb Threat Arrest

Tony Wayne Moore has been arrested for making over a dozen bomb threats over the last week in Greensboro. What the hell was this kid thinking?

Seeing his name reminds me of Brad Krantz's Wayne-Lee-Ray theory that most crimes in the south are committed by someone with at least one of those three names.

Tuesday, March 29, 2005

Jerry Falwell Update

Jerry Falwell is in critical condition with pneumonia.


Get Me A Hanky

Poor Liz Smith worries that bloggers are squeezing her out of her dominant position in the gossip market. Wow, I am distraught. Maybe she could move to tv and take this dork's job spouting rumors and lies.

Monday, March 28, 2005

Please, No Encore

Another major earthquake (8.7) has struck near Indonesia. Let's not have a repeat performance of the tsunami that struck three months ago.

Saturday, March 26, 2005

What A Knucklehead

The Terri Schiavo case has been hard to watch. It's a brutal situation with no good solutions.

Why in the world would this knucklehead think this is the answer?

Friday, March 25, 2005

End Of The Line

NC State was beaten by Wisconsin in the NCAA tournament tonight. Since the Wolfpack had a nine point lead at halftime, the loss was particularly disappointing.

State opened the game by making its first six three-point attempts, then missed 15 of its next 18 three-pointers. As I outlined in a post early in the season, State's weaknesses were a lack of rebounding prowess and the tendency of Julius Hodge to hog the ball even when his shot is cold.

In the past few weeks, State had worked harder on rebounding, and Hodge had done a better job of distributing the ball to his teammates. Tonight, the old problems returned, as Wisconsin had a rebounding edge of 12 and Hodge shot 4-16 from the field.

And, what the hell was with Bill Raftery referring to State's coach as Herbie all night?


The Big Link

Why don't you visit The Big Link?


Charlotte BloggerCon

Charlotte has a BloggerCon planned for this fall. Check out the details here.


Sweet Sarah

Sarah's daycare class had an Easter party today. There was plenty of pizza, cheetohs, cupcakes, and juice boxes - the stuff she never gets at home.

While the kids ate, I distributed plastic Easter eggs in their playground with another dad. I say distributed, rather than hid, because these kids are 18-22 months old. Their sleuthing skills are not fully developed.

Our little Sarah collected about ten eggs. She saw another child crying because he did not find too many eggs. Sarah gave about half of her eggs to him, then proceeded to give the rest of her eggs to other children. She is a sweetie - it's a good thing she got her mom's benevolence genes.


Misleading Statistics

An editorial (unposted) in today's News & Record cites six year graduation rates for several of the final 16 teams in this year's NCAA men's basketball tournament. UNC-Chapel Hill and Michigan State rank at the top with rates around 65%. Kentucky and Syracuse are at the bottom with rates below 20%.

What most readers will not understand is how those percentages are calculated. Once a student enrolls at a school, that person must graduate from that university within six years for the school to get credit. A student-athlete who transfers to another school and graduates still counts as a non-graduate against his/her original school. Including this clarification in the editorial would have been helpful.

Perhaps it would be more useful to compare the six year graduation rate for a sports team against the six year graduation rate for the entire student body.


The Secret's In The Meat

On Tuesday, a Wendy's in San Jose added something special to a bowl of chili, a human finger. When you think about it, it makes perfect sense. Grandpa always told us "The secret's in the meat."

Thursday, March 24, 2005

More NCAA Picks

I am a little late posting these, since wifey has had the computer tonight. However, I did send these picks to the Gate Keeper earlier today (we are in a pool together), so he can back me up.

Oklahoma State
Texas Tech
UNC-Chapel Hill
NC State

I was most worried about my picks on the West Virgina/Texas Tech and Arizona/Oklahoma State games. Luckily, on my #2 pool sheet, I took WVU and AZ. The remaining four games are the same on both sheets.

Wednesday, March 23, 2005

Help The Soldier

The Soldier lost his brother in April 2004. I never met his brother, but The Soldier told me so many hilarious stories about him, I feel like I knew him.

Last year, The Soldier, his wife, and some of his brother's friends, organized a golf tournament that raised around $7,000. That money provided two fun stations for the pediatric oncology unit at Duke Hospital, plus supported some other children's needs. In a sad twist of fate, The Soldier learned he would be deployed to Iraq the day of the tournament.

This year, The Soldier's family and friends, plus his brother's friends, are ensuring the tournament goes on. It is April 9 at Mill Creek in Mebane, NC. If you are interested in playing in or being a sponsor for the tournament, send me an email. I will reply with all the particulars.


Fallen Solder

"When the deceased soldier's name was called there was a deep eerie silence in the room. His name was called again and again you could feel the silence. After there was no response to the third request, Taps was played by the bugler."

Read the latest post from The Soldier.


Bush Flip-Flop

Over a dozen judges have interpreted the law to allow Michael Schiavo the right to have his wife's feeding tube removed. But, President Bush and the GOP-led Congress passed a law whose singular purpose is to put the Schiavo case in federal court.

Does it seem strange that President Bush is now seeking an activist judge after years of criticizing that type of judge?


Home At Last

My buddy Nick Sowers got home from Iraq on Sunday. He has completed two tours of seven months each over there, and he survived multiple serious injuries as a result of direct attacks.

Nick is currently in debriefing.....okay, he's actually in Las Vegas with his buddies for a week. He will be back in Greensboro in ten days, and I can't wait to see him come off that airplane.


New King Of All Media?

I got home at 5:00pm, very early for me, this evening. There I found a tired wife, a crabby toddler.....and Ed Cone on my tv (go to the 1:00 mark). I was able to cure the first two ills by making pancakes and scrambled eggs, but I am not sure what to do about the third thing.

Hmmm. Ed is in local and national print publications, is the blogfather, and now on tv. With Howard Stern moving to satellite radio, I wonder if Ed Cone will be the new King Of All Media?

Tuesday, March 22, 2005

If All Your Friends Jumped Off A Bridge...

I will skip my answer to that hypothetical question.

But, since all my blogging buddies are actually doing it, be sure to visit THE BIG LINK.

Monday, March 21, 2005

Howling Good Win

NC State's win over Connecticut yesterday was the biggest for the Wolfpack in a decade or more. Connecticut is known for its tenacity, shot blocking, and hard style of play. Here are the telling stats from the game:

I have been critical of Coach Herb Sendek on a few occasions at this blog. His results have been consistently mediocre, and I have noted that his players' skills do not improve much during a four year stint in his program. But, I was impressed with the energy level and defensive effort by the Wolfpack yesterday.

Cameron Bennerman said "It isn't always about what you do, it's about how hard you do it." Considering Bennerman spent a few games with reduced playing time due to a perceived lack of effort and his studly play during the post-season, I think we can count him as a convert to the Sendek school of basketball.

Sunday, March 20, 2005

First, The Good News

NC State knocked off defending NCAA champion Connecticut today in the second round of the NCAA tournament. It was am impressive game for the Wolfpack, and they are the second lowest seed who advanced to the final 16.

Now, the bad news...Dick Vitale is jumping on the Herb Sendek bandwagon. Herb is extremely understated by choice. All he needs is the biggest mouth in basketball hyping him.

Saturday, March 19, 2005

Great Start

I was 28-4 in the first round of the NCAA, which puts me in the lead of at least one NCAA pool. (If you are fed, should know that I would never participate in a pool that gave out cash awards or prizes.)

Kansas and Syracuse were the biggest seeds to get dropped in the first round, but there will be more. The tourney gets particularly fun the rest of the way, as every surviving team has experienced a win and is thirsty to advance.


Training Leaders

All of the incoming presidents, and many incoming presidents-elect, of Rotary clubs in North Carolina and upstate South Carolina are in Greensboro for two days of training. They will lead clubs as large as 380 members and as small as ten members, but all are successful professionals who volunteer great amounts of time.

The training is exceptional, and eye-opening for most. The ideas and skills these leaders take away from this weekend will make them more effective and help them improve their communities and our world.

Friday, March 18, 2005

The Best Sports Event

I think the NCAA men's basketball tournament is the best event in sports. Each year it provides plenty of battles between closely matched teams, plus a sprinkling of David over Goliath victories.

Vermont has already knocked off red-hot Syracuse tonight, and several other games have gone to the buzzer before determining a winner.

48 games over four days - too much to fully enjoy - but I would not change a thing.

Thursday, March 17, 2005

Maybe You Need To Get Out More

David Brooks' recent column describes a night out in New Orleans. Near the conclusion of a feast of oysters, lobster, steak, and wine, he was offered coffee with spirits within. Brooks dared to ask "Is it decaf?"

From this innocuous question, Brooks (presumably with a straight face) manages to compare his question to a pondering Nero, then extrapolates his boring life into a society of dullness. Are you feeling a little self-important, David?

Brooks writes for the New York Times. If he thinks going out for a big meal and a visit to a piano bar is wild and crazy, maybe he just isn't trying very hard to have a good time.


Thanks A Lot, Dean

Buzz Peterson, the former Carolina basketball player, was dismissed as Tennessee's basketball coach this week. Dean Smith, commenting on his former player's firing, said "Who am I to be telling Tennessee how to run their program - but I think it could have been done much better."

Hmmm. Let me see. Who IS Dean Smith to comment on a poorly handled personnel change?

Oh, yeah. That's right. Dean was part of the decision to unceremoniously dump former player Matt Doherty as coach at Carolina. So, I guess he knows a poorly executed personnel move when he sees one.


The Thinker

Secretary of State Condi Rice has emphatically ruled out a run for President in 2008. Clarifying her position on "Face the Nation," she said "I'm going to want to return and be an academic again and get back to the California life and to the world of ideas."

Now, I am sure she was not implying that the White House is not a place for ideas, was she?


My Day

I have been tied up for a few days with lots of work, volunteer commitments, and occasionally being a dad, but it seems fitting to return to blogging on the day that honors my namesake, St. Patrick.

I tried to explain to my wife that I could be confused with the real guy because of my saintly demeanor. She thinks I have more in common with the snakes.

Monday, March 14, 2005

Supporting Soldiers

For the most part, our soldiers have gotten all the personnel armor, blankets, and candy bars they need. The US Soldier tells me that what most of them need is to hear their loved one's voices. So, I am collecting prepaid AT&T calling cards and will forward them to my friend, the US Soldier. He will distribute them to the soldiers with whom he is serving.

If you are interested in helping a soldier contact his/her family, you can send a prepaid AT&T calling card to:

Patrick Eakes
P.O. Box 16263
Greensboro, NC 27416-0263


Remembering Phil

Ed Cone's column in yesterday's News & Record describes the happiest moment of Ed's life, when Carolina upset defending NCAA champion NC State in the ACC tournament. That Carolina team was led by Phil Ford, the freshman phenom point guard.

During my 30+ years of watching ACC basketball, I rate Ford as the best Carolina player I have seen. Other Carolina alums went on to greater glory than Ford in the NBA, but no other player meant as much or played at such a high level as Ford while at Carolina.

He was the ultimate point guard: in complete control of the game's tempo, a good passer, an exceptional dribbler, a good shooter, and a good free throw shooter. He was the first player I saw who seemed to be a coach on the floor. That he did that as a freshman is even more amazing.

It hurts a bit as a Wolfpacker, but I have to give props to Phil Ford.



If you are, go here for some mindless entertainment.

Sunday, March 13, 2005

ACC Champion Pick

Georgia Tech and Duke square off for the ACC championship today. Georgia Tech has lots of momentum after its win over #1 seed Carolina. Duke won a tough game over a pesky NC State team.

Duke has already beaten Georgia Tech twice this year. I think Georgia Tech gets its revenge today. Team leader BJ Elder is back, Will Bynum is playing like a madman, and Tech has enough inside game to neutralize Shelden Williams.

It would be an upset, but I think the Yellow Jackets get the job done today - Georgia Tech by four.

Saturday, March 12, 2005

A Different NCAA Pool

I have participated in a different sort of NCAA pool for over a decade. In this pool, you do not pick the entire tournament in advance. Instead, you pick rounds one and two. After those rounds, you are issued a fresh bracket of 16 teams and pick rounds three and four. Then, the same routine for the final four. Each succeeding round is worth more points than the previous one.

This format means no pool player is eliminated when his/her tourney winner pick loses in the second round. Every pool player has a chance to make up ground with good picks after the tourney starts. If you are interested in playing this pool, send me a note, and I will get you all the information.


Wake Will Return

Chris Paul was suspended one game for punching NC State's Julius Hodge in the groin. That game happened to be Wake Forest's ACC tournament opener against NC State.

Paul's suspension had big consequences for Wake Forest, as they dropped that game and with it a good chance to be ACC champions. He should feel guilty for letting his teammates down.

Luckily for Paul and Wake Forest, he gets a chance to redeem himself in the NCAA tournament. I expect him to return action ready to make a statement and put the ugly incident behind him.

Wake Forest's poor defense still makes it unlikely they will contend for the national championship, but they will make some noise in the tournament.


Fire and Fire?

Among the many commercials that run every five minutes during ACC basketball games is a flashback to Rodney Monroe, the former shooting guard at NC State. Monroe and his point guard, Chris Corchiani, were known as Fire and Ice. I always thought the nickname was sort of pointless, but it is now revisited in the commercial.

The only problem is that the voice over refers to Rodney Monroe as the Fire in Fire and Ice. Monroe was one of the coolest, quietest great players the ACC has ever seen. He was definitely the Ice in that combo.

Wouldn't you think an ad by a primary ACC sponsor would get that right?


ACC Semifinal Picks

Yesterday I was 4-4 on winners. However, as my financial advisor frequent reminds me, past results are no guarantee of future performance. Here are today's picks.

Carolina over Georgia Tech: Georgia Tech played okay yesterday, but the large margin of victory over Virginia Tech also reflected the Hokies' poor performance. After barely surviving an inspired by effort Clemson yesterday, Carolina will be motivated to put today's game away by early in the second half. They need to conserve energy for the championship game. Heels by 15.

Duke over NC State: This is an interesting match up. NC State opened a big lead against Duke in their game earlier this year. But, Duke methodically came back and beat the Wolfpack. I expect State to stay in this game, but ultimately the Wolfpack's injuries seal their fate. Duke by 7.

Friday, March 11, 2005

ACC Picks

Like most of our area, I will turn my full attention to the ACC tournament at noon today. So, here are my picks for today's games.

Carolina over Clemson: Sometimes we get exciting upsets in the tournament. This won't be one. Clemson's simply does not have the personnel to stay on the court with Carolina. Carolina puts this one away by early in the second half and wins by 20.

Georgia Tech over Virginia Tech: Battle between the schools I almost attended for graduate school. Georgia Tech is starting to play better, and they have gotten some good road wins in the last month. VPI has been largely ineffective away from home this year. GT by 10.

State over Wake Forest: This is the upset special. State needs the win to give itself a good shot at an NCAA bid, and they should still be pissed at Wake from the Chris Paul incident five days ago. Wake still has plenty of fire power to win, but State has better motivation, and Sendek has a good track record in these types of games. State by 5.

Duke over Virginia: A sad end for Pete Gillen in his last game as head coach at UVA. Duke is better than Virginia in every aspect of the match up. Duke by 25.

Thursday, March 10, 2005

Memo To Bud Selig

Congressional committee hearings into steroid use in baseball have taken an interesting turn. The committee has subpoenaed several famous current and former players, including Mark McGwire, Sammy Sosa, and Jason Giambi.

Major League Baseball is fighting the subpoenas, partly on the grounds that the committee is operating outside its jurisdiction. And yet MLB expects us to believe it is serious about cleaning up the game?

If the commissioner and the owners wanted to clean up baseball and its reputation, they would lay down the law with the players. They would have broad public support for that action, too. But MLB and its commissioner, Bud Selig, are so scared of this scandal coming into the mainstream public's focus, they will do anything to hide the problem.

Memo to Commissioner Bud -- After player strikes, threatened lockouts, strike zone manipulations, and inflated salaries, the fans you still have are lifers. The players could shoot up steroids at third base and those people would still be fans. Do your damn job and restore a little credibility to baseball.

Wednesday, March 09, 2005

Oh My

How would we ever have managed if this terrorist plot had succeeded?


Too Easy

Fred Durst of the band Limp Bizkit is suing ten web site operators for posting a three minute sex tape stolen from Durst's computer.

A sex tape that lasts three a guy in a band called Limp Bizkit.

I'm sorry - that is jus too easy to take advantage of.

Tuesday, March 08, 2005

Woof Woof

I am a true beagle lover, but this venture's business plan would have been a tough sell.

Monday, March 07, 2005

Restoring Dignity

Wake Forest announced today that guard Chris Paul will not play in the team's first game of the ACC tournament. His punishment is the direct result of a punch to Julius Hodge's groin last night in a game against NC State.

I applaud Wake Forest athletic director Ron Welmann and men's basketball coach Skip Prosser for sitting Paul in an important game. I also give credit to Chris Paul for his statement of apology and acceptance of his punishment.

I hope that all involved will move past last night's ugly incident and get on to what promises to be an outstanding ACC tournament.


Bad Decisions

I'm pretty sure we have all heard the warning not to get paid and get laid at the same place. Now, we have Harry Stonecipher to offer his cautionary tale.


Update From The Soldier

The Soldier describes conducting a re-enlistment ceremony on a helicopter bound for Baghdad.

"There were two Iraqi Nationals in the aircraft to witness and assist in the ceremony. They helped hold the American Flag that I brought just for the event...The Iraqi Nationals on the aircraft took their own pictures and wanted a photo of themselves holding the American Flag. I feel as though the ceremony had as big an impact on them as it did the soldier involved."

Read the rest of his update here.


Deacon Thug

Earlier today a friend told me that he was disappointed that Wake Forest's men's basketball team had grown increasingly thuggish. He also said he attributed that change to Chris Paul. I did not completely understand his view of the Deacons and Paul, but Paul clarified my friend's opinions tonight.

Midway through the first half, Paul threw a jab into Julius Hodge's groin. Hodge spent the next three minutes on the floor holding his rocks. I am not sure if Hodge did anything to Paul before his punch, but it really doesn't matter. Paul's punch crossed the line, and he should have been ejected.

Julius Hodge pulled a similarly boneheaded move three years ago, jamming his elbow into the back of Steve Blake's head. Hodge was suspended for the next league game. Paul's punch merits similar action from the ACC, but I doubt the league will discipline Paul.

NC State lost the game because it shot 9-21 from the free throw line. The Wolfpack cannot claim it should have won. But, it was disappointing to see Paul not only stay in the game after his bush league move, but to see him hit a runner to win the game.

Sunday, March 06, 2005

Never In Doubt

Phil Mickelson has had a fast start this year on the PGA tour. He won his first two events in pretty dominating fashion, and he led after the first three rounds of his third stroke play tournament, the Ford Championship. Only one obstacle stood between Mickelson and his third win of the season: Tiger Woods.

Phil and Tiger have quite a history. They do not like each other, and each has given only sparing respect to the other publicly. They forced smiles when Hal Sutton made the moronic move of pairing them together twice in the last Ryder Cup, then lost both matches.

And another thing. Tiger owns Phil.

I have played competitive golf for 25 years, and some match ups go the same way every time. Both players know it on the first tee, and it is confirmed each time on the 18th green. As well as Phil has played during the last year, he probably knew deep down he would not hold his lead today.

Paired with Phil and two shots back at the start of today's final round, Tiger started fast with birdies on three of his first eight holes. Through 12 holes, Tiger had a two shot lead, and the tournament was over. Even as Phil tried valiantly to stay in the match, briefly attaining a tie, I knew he was only narrowing the final margin.

Tiger birdied 17 to take the lead for good, then made a tough par on 18 to seal the victory. Tiger became the #1 player in the world again with the victory, even though he has played well below his standard for most of the last two years, the measuring period for world rankings.

If Tiger could play Phil Mickelson every week, he would be #1 the rest of his life.


Maybe I Need Help

I grew up in a true ABC (anybody but Carolina) family. My grandfather went to Duke. My mother and aunt attended Wake Forest. My youngest sister and I spanned ten years and three degrees at State. That means I cannot like Tarheel basketball.

But I do.

I really dig Carolina's basketball team this year. I love the way they play defense. I like the inside-outside balance of their offense. I like the way they rebound. I like and respect their coach, Roy Williams. I respect the fact that for the most part, they play hard and avoid taunting their opponents.

I know my Wolfpack friends will plan an intervention for me shortly.

Perhaps it is because the Wolfpack has not been nationally competitive for 15 years. Perhaps my wife, a UNC-Chapel Hill alum, has worn me down. Maybe I have lost my mind.

But I really do like this Carolina team. Maybe I need help.


Hopeful Days

I got out this afternoon for a round of golf at Sedgefield. My game was good, although my score was off a bit.

Today was a great reminder of central North Carolina's climate. One week ago we braced for four inches of snow that never arrived. Today, thoughts of spring were inevitable with 60 degrees and the bluest skies in months.


Tonight Is The Night

For Herb Sendek, it has all come down to one game.

His NC State men's basketball team completes its regular season schedule tonight at home against #4 Wake Forest. A win leaves the Wolfpack at 8-8 in the conference and makes them the fourth seed in next weekend's ACC tournament. Going 0.500 in the country's best league, with significant injury and illness problems throughout the season, is probably good enough to get the Wolfpack into the NCAA tournament.

A loss tonight leaves the Wolfpack 7-9 in the conference and makes them the #7 seed in the ACC tournament. There only hope of making the NCAA tournament would be to make it to the finals of the ACC tournament, likely having to upset #6 Duke and #4 Wake Forest to get there.

Preseason expectations for this Wolfpack squad were the highest in over a decade. The season has already been a disappointment, but Herb can salvage some small victory with a victory tonight. A loss will probably seal Herb Sendek's fate, whether he loses his job in a few weeks or a year from now.

Herb, it has come down to one game.


Fix A Flat

I got home yesterday afternoon and noticed my car was slumping to one side. The front passenger side tire went flat while sitting in the garage.

It was nice to have the car on a flat, concrete pad. Like many garages, the perimeter of mine is lined with yard equipment and utensils, so the space was a little tight for changing out a flat tire.

I got the tire changed in about twenty minutes. That process reminded me how well the VW Passatt is designed. The jack fits precisely onto a certain place on the frame, and it is very easy to crank the car upward. In a tight space, that was a welcome relief.

Saturday, March 05, 2005

Personal Space

David Brooks' recent column about married couples maintaining separate checking accounts hits home for me. My wife and I have maintained three accounts - one for each individual and one joint account - since well before we were married.

All of our income goes into our joint account, from which we pay all our normal family expenses. But, we each take a monthly draw for our personal wants and needs. Neither accounts to the other for how that draw is spent. I can spend it on golf, clothes, or getting a haircut. No explanation is required or desired. I cannot recall either of us even asking the other about his/her draw in the eight years we have used this system.

Brooks writes "We should pause before this becomes the social norm." Later he clarifies his reasoning by writing "It's so easy for the powerful force of individualism to wash over and transform institutions - like family, religion and the military - that are supposed to be based on self-sacrifice, loyalty, and love."

I would argue just the opposite. In a faithful and successful marriage, particularly with children, it is easy to lose one's individual identity by practicing the virtues Brooks describes. By maintaining a small niche for which we are the sole boss, we are able to concentrate solely on our family duties the other 96% of the time.


Hunting Wabbits

Kristen, Sarah, and I went to the Natural Science Center this morning. It is Bunny Day there, and Sarah really dug getting to pet the various hares. Every other child within 100 miles was there, but it was still fun.

Last month we went to SeaFest there, and they actually served free seafood to visitors. You can understand my disappointment that they did not have rabbit stew today.

Friday, March 04, 2005

Completed Play Park

Here is the completed centerpiece of the playground. You can see the outfield scoreboard in the background.


Children's Play Park

Last weekend, Rotarians from across Greensboro assembled and erected a new children's playpark inside New Horizon Park.


Blogger Story On NPR

Greg Mitchell of Editor and Publisher appeared on NPR's Here and Now today to comment on bloggers' role in the Jeff Gannon story. You can listen to the interview here.


So Many Choices

Gee...what should I wear today?


Oh, Martha

Mr. Sun has the first picture of newly paroled Martha Stewart, and that's a good thing.

Thursday, March 03, 2005

Feeling Blue

NYPD Blue arrived twelve years ago with a lot of buzz. Many ABC affiliates refused to show the first few episodes, and conservative groups protested it even before they had seen an episode.

The buzz was created because the show used foul language and had some shots of bare butts. The show had these devices to create some sensation, to be sure, but also to demonstrate that these cops were real people.

Lead detective Andy Sipowicz, constantly plagued by tragedy and his own demons, anchored the show. Andy was played by actor Dennis Franz, who won an unprecedented four Emmys for a lead role in a dramatic series. Sipowicz ranks as one of the great characters in tv history.

12 years and 20 Emmy awards later, the show ended its run on Tuesday. The producers wisely avoided the fantastic or sappy ending. I knew it was the final episode, but I was left with the feeling that the detectives would be back at the 15th precinct Wednesday morning catching bad guys.

I stayed with the show for all 12 years, and I know I will miss it.

Wednesday, March 02, 2005

'Scuse Me

While I kick your ass!

(via Lewis Byers at the Barber Shop Blog)


Welcome, America

Welcome, America, to the civilized world, whose governments do not execute their children. You have to be 18 in the U.S. to be allowed to own property, vote, get married (in most states), and join the military. So, I think it is safe to say our government and society have decided that 18 is the required age to take full responsibility for your actions. It makes perfect sense to me that we would not punish a child with the death penalty, no matter how terrible his crime might be.


Baby Lost

Jack Nicklaus has been the gold standard of balancing sports greatness and commitment to his family for four decades. Yesterday, one of his grandsons drowned in a hot tub. I cannot imagine the sadness for the greater Nicklaus family.


What A Bummer

Greensboro City Manager Ed Kitchen announces his retirement.

Many, many things have gone right under Kitchen's watch. I hope he enjoys retirement, but stays involved in civic affairs.

© Copyright Patrick Eakes 2004-2010