Thursday, March 31, 2005
Ted Koppel Stepping Aside
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
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
Stop by and check out the Charlotte blogosphere.
A Golf Purist
Happy Birthday, Slowhand
Imbeciles Of The Month
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?
A New Hybrid Car?
Thoughts About Johnnie Cochran
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
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
Get Me A Hanky
Monday, March 28, 2005
Please, No Encore
Saturday, March 26, 2005
What A Knucklehead
Why in the world would this knucklehead think this is the answer?
Friday, March 25, 2005
End Of The Line
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
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.
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
Thursday, March 24, 2005
More NCAA Picks
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
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.
Read the latest post from The Soldier.
Does it seem strange that President Bush is now seeking an activist judge after years of criticizing that type of judge?
Home At Last
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?
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...
But, since all my blogging buddies are actually doing it, be sure to visit THE BIG LINK.
Monday, March 21, 2005
Howling Good Win
- Connecticut shot only 14% from three point range
- Connecticut shot only 42% overall from the field
- State shot 50% from three point range
- State equaled Connecticut's four blocked shots
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
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
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.
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
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
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
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.
Now, I am sure she was not implying that the White House is not a place for ideas, was she?
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
If you are interested in helping a soldier contact his/her family, you can send a prepaid AT&T calling card to:
P.O. Box 16263
Greensboro, NC 27416-0263
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.
Sunday, March 13, 2005
ACC Champion Pick
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
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
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?
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
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
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
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
A sex tape that lasts three minutes.......by a guy in a band called Limp Bizkit.
I'm sorry - that is jus too easy to take advantage of.
Tuesday, March 08, 2005
Monday, March 07, 2005
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.
Update From The Soldier
"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.
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 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
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.
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
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
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
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.
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
Children's Play Park
Blogger Story On NPR
So Many Choices
Thursday, March 03, 2005
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
What A Bummer
Many, many things have gone right under Kitchen's watch. I hope he enjoys retirement, but stays involved in civic affairs.