Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Off For A Few Days

I am headed to Charleston, SC for the annual district Rotary conference. I chaired the event last year, so I look forward to a less stressful conference this time around.

Play nice with each other while I am gone.


Oh No, Not Again!

Dubya is normally worried about the right and the left, but I think he should concentrate a little more on the front and back.

(picture courtesy of Jon Lowder)


Uh Oh!

Dubya spends a lot of time catering to the religious right. On Monday he messed up, as this picture shows. Maybe Sen. Bill Frist can give us a clarification that holding hands with oil dealers is actually a holy act.

(thanks to Darkmoon for this picture).

Tuesday, April 26, 2005


My daughter is approaching two years of age, and I know there will be many moments in her life I will not want to miss. Unfortunately, one of those moments slipped by on Sunday while I was playing golf.

Sarah had her first Krispy Kreme doughnut. She is a visually expressive child, and I can imagine her wide-eyed look when she tasted that sweet glaze. I wish I could have witnessed that scene.

Monday, April 25, 2005

Kick Ass

Had a bad day? Feel like kicking some ass?

Click here to let out all that negative energy.


What's Poppin?

I got a nice note this afternoon from Kim, the author of a new blog called Poppin's Ponderings. Kim relocated here from upstate New York, and she is still not too sure about the south. I encourage you to visit Kim, give her a big blog hug, and welcome her to North Carolina.


The Long Emergency

James Howard Kunstler: "Now we are faced with the global oil-production peak. The best estimates of when this will actually happen have been somewhere between now and 2010 ... the most knowledgeable experts revised their predictions and now concur that 2005 is apt to be the year of all-time global peak production."

In other words, Kunstler asserts that more oil will be produced this year than in any year before or after. Combined with declining natural gas production and significant obstacles to coal production, Kunstler argues that the world will deplete its nonrenewable energy resources much sooner than previously anticipated.

From this central thesis, Kunstler describes almost unimaginable effects on global food production, economics, and politics, each currently based on a model of free flowing and inexpensive oil. Take a few minutes to read more at this adaptation of Kunstler's new book, The Long Emergency.

Sunday, April 24, 2005


I played golf at Bryan Park today. I scheduled this outing several days ago and had no way of expecting the weather would turn chilly. Instead of the pleasant day on the links I was hoping for, I got a temperature in the 40's with very high winds. Is it late April or late February around here?

Maybe it will be warmer in Charleston, where I am headed later this week.


Seen Along The Road

I usually take a pass on posting the many email attachments I receive, but this series of pictures deserves it. And you will be pleased to know they came from my mother.

Saturday, April 23, 2005

Vijay Singh

Vijay Singh was elected to the World Golf Hall of Fame earlier this week. At age 42, Singh is the youngest golfer to be inducted into the hall.

Normally, a golfer must collect 65% of votes to be inducted. Since no golfer received 65% of the votes this year, Singh got the nod as the golfer with the highest percentage (56%) of votes.

Lanny Wadkins, CBS' golf analyst and a blowhard, said something was wrong with the election system if Singh only received 56% of the vote. Obviously, he only considered Singh's 25 tour victories and three major championships. But that is not the full story on Singh.

Singh was deemed to have altered his scorecard, AFTER it was signed by his playing partners, in the 1985 Indonesian Open. The Asian Tour suspended Singh for his actions. At that time, Singh was already under suspension by the Australian Tour for off-the-course actions.

Singh also opposed female golfer Annika Sorenstam's appearance in the 2003 Colonial golf tournament, even withdrawing from the tournament. He was ineloquent in making his case against Sorenstam, which fits with his generally surly demeanor directed at fans and the press.

Singh's candidacy is a bit like Pete Rose's situation. Both have competitive records are worthy of enshrinement, but their other actions put them in a gray area.

I support baseball's position to deny Rose entry to its hall. I wish the game that holds up integrity as its defining characteristic had denied Singh, too.


It Was This Big

I hope you make Crooks and Liars part of your daily reading. Those cats are very funny.

Here is a sample of a joke that writes itself.


The Big Link 6

This week's big link directs you to Greensboro native Jerry McClough. Visit Jerry by clicking on The Big Link.

Friday, April 22, 2005


Business Week introduced its first blog, Blogspotting, this week. In only its citizen journalism page.

Well, how about Lex and John...are you ready to fight for revenue Business Week is generating from your content?


Good News

David Hoggard reports that Jinni is doing well after surgery. That is the best news I have heard all day.


You Talk Funny And Yure Not From Aroun' Here

Sue and TheShu (sounds like a bad sitcom, doesn't it?) posted about an interesting dialect test. Their results reflected their home states of New York and Wisconsin, respectively.

I have never lived outside of North Carolina, so my results seem in line, too. My wife grew up in New Jersey. Is that where I got the Yankee dialect?

Your Linguistic Profile:

55% General American English
35% Dixie
10% Yankee
0% Midwestern
0% Upper Midwestern

What Kind of American English Do You Speak?


Election Fallout?

A lot of local citizens are angry with the city council for its bungling of the request to endorse the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. I do not understand why the council would not endorse a group that wants to learn from one of the worst days in our city's history, particularly when the group is funded with private money.

The Gate Keeper reminds us why we should not be surprised: "As for our city council, why do people ask [SIC] surprised that they flubbed the handling of this issue? Have we forgotten St. James II, the Greensboro Generals, and the War on Crack already?" His point is well taken.

Time will tell if the T&R Commission made a tactical mistake by pushing the issue with the city council when there was clear dissension among council members. Just as interesting to me, though, is whether there will be any fallout for council members at the polls this November.


Jinni Finishes The Deal

Jinni Hoggard has bravely documented her battle against breast cancer over the past few months. She has endured 18 weeks of chemotherapy, and her tumor has shrunk substantially.

By documenting her conquest of cancer, Jinni has provided a valuable public service. I have another friend with breast cancer, and she is about six weeks behind Jinni in her treatments. Jinni has been her beacon of hope and strength.

Today, Jinni has surgery to finish the deal. Cancer never had a chance against Team Hoggard.

Thursday, April 21, 2005


In the current Yes! Weekly, Charles Davenport Jr. writes a letter calling out Editor Brian Clarey for Clarey's recent political opinion piece (unposted). Davenport repeatedly claims that Clarey's column is full of factual errors. This might be funny if it were not so sad.

Davenport writes a weekly conservative opinion column for the News & Record, and his credibility for sorting fact from fiction is more than suspect. He recently reminded readers of his own blindness to the truth by leading a column with a bogus quote from Thomas Jefferson. The quote had been discredited a week earlier on the same pages where Davenport's column appeared.

Congratulations, Charles. You have proven yourself as a hack in two local publications.


Blogger Meetup

Last night's blogger meetup was fun.

There were lots of political discussions, particularly about the previous night's city council meeting. I also got to talk to Michael for a good bit. I enjoy his blog and enjoyed meeting him for the first time.

Kudos to Billy for organizing our local blogging meetups. It's not too early to rsvp for next month's meetup.

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

Split Personality

The precipitous fall of the local radio station found at 98.7 is sad. Over the past few years, the station has tried the identities of The Point, then The Zone, and now 98.7 Simon. Unfortunately, Simon's taste in music is atrocious. For those of us who can recall when 98.7 was WRQK, the local album rock pioneer, Simon is even more disappointing.

I am sure there are some people who want to listen to Wham!, and there are some people who want to listen to Led Zeppelin. These are almost never the same people, so the station's few remaining listeners hear songs they find crappy a good bit of the time.

Any station that plays Aerosmith and K.C. and the Sunshine Band back to back should be called 98.7 Sybil.


Blogger Meetup

This month's meetup is tonight at 7pm. Come on out and meet other area bloggers.

Saturday, April 16, 2005

Memories Of Jerry

When I learned last week that a dear friend had died, my pain and sadness were immediate.

Jerry Chandler and I attended Northwest Guilford High School. We had several classes together, but we bonded as part of the school's marching band. The band was nationally competitive and required travel almost every fall weekend, plus another 20 hours a week of rehearsal, from late July to mid November. That we would spend a lot of time together was a given, but becoming close friends was a true gift.

Jerry was one of the nicest and funniest people I have ever known. He was always a big guy, and at first I thought he was simply fulfilling the jolly stereotype that comes with his size, but kindness was his very essence.

After graduation from NW, we both went to NC State and settled into Owen Dorm as freshmen. We had many all-night spades games, and Jerry tried to teach me how to break dance. I was lucky in the dorm lottery and got to stay on campus as a sophomore, and Jerry paired me up with another Owen resident who became one of my closest friends.

After graduation from State, I returned to campus for my girlfriend's graduation. As I zoomed in on her with my camera, I discovered Jerry sitting directly behind her. After some academic struggles at State, I was so proud that he completed his degree.

My favorite memory of Jerry occurred a few years later at our tenth high school reunion, Jerry took center stage with my high school prom date. The room seemed to clear for them, and they put on a dance exhibition a la Pulp Fiction.

Jerry touched more people in his 39 years than most will in a lifetime. I am glad we were friends, but I wish I had more than just memories of him now. The world is a little less bright without Jerry.


Good Advice

JW has good advice for dealing with morons in traffic.


Big Link 5

I am happy to announce the fifth edition of the Big Link.

Friday, April 15, 2005

Happy Birthday, Kristen

Mrs. Eakes' birthday is today. It makes me think she was born to be a CPA.

She shares her birthday with this guy, but she is a little younger than him. It would be wrong on 32 levels to tell you how old she is today.


Intellectual Nonsense

I would love to be in Orlando in July to attend this conference.

Wednesday, April 13, 2005

Lifting Soldiers' Spirits

In some of his recent posts, the Soldier wrote that the newness of Iraq has worn off, and time is moving a little slower. He has been counting the days until his leave.

Charlie Daniels came to his post a few days ago. It sounds like everyone's spirits were lifted by the Daniels' concert.

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

Better Late Than Never

I am a serious movie buff, but I am also the father of a 21-month old daughter. Added together, that makes me a DVD buff, so I see films long after their release. Thank goodness for Netflix.

I saw Ray a couple of weeks ago. Jamie Foxx's portrayal of the music legend was incredible. It was as if he was channeling The Genius himself. This is the only performance of the leading actor nominees I have seen so far, but it was easy to see why Foxx won the OSCAR.

I also saw Sideways this past weekend. I had read the rave reviews, plus I am a fan of lead actor Paul Giamatti and director/writer Alexander Payne, so I was predisposed to like this film. It did not disappoint a bit. How refreshing to see a small film about relationships among people, without the need to blow a bunch of stuff up.

This was the second straight year that Giamatti failed to garner an acting nomination for a worthy performance. I have to wonder what he will have to do to be recognized by the Academy - probably get taller, less hairy, and more handsome, unfortunately.


Goodbye, Polio

Today marks the 50th anniversary of the announcement that Dr. Jonas Salk had developed a safe and effective polio vaccine. This is a special date for our world and for Rotarians across the world.

In 1985, Rotary decided to take a lead position in eradicating polio from the earth. Rotary's efforts, dubbed PolioPlus, are the first and largest internationally coordinated private-sector support of a public health initiative.

During the past 20 years, Rotarians have contributed over $600 million and hundreds of thousands of manhours to immunize over one billion children. The number of polio cases has been reduced from 350,000 to fewer than 1,000 cases isolated in only six countries.

There is still a lot of work to be done, but there is also reason to have great confidence polio will be eradicated forever in the near future.

Monday, April 11, 2005

Roch On!

The News & Record gives some front-page love to Roch Smith, Jr. today. Writing the article for the N&R is Dick Barron, himself a blogger.

While Roch does not maintain a blog in the classic sense, he definitely is one of us. I am glad to count him as a friend and to have him promoting blogs near and far.


Update From The Soldier

"Command is preparing its soldiers for the real heat, which should be here soon. I remember being here back in August of 1990 and again when I visited last summer. The heat is so intense that unless you've been here before, you have nothing to really compare it to."

The US Soldier is back with his latest update. He will return to the Triad for two weeks of leave in June.

Sunday, April 10, 2005

The Soldier's Golf Tourney

The Soldier lost his brother two years ago, so he started a memorial golf tournament last year. That tournament was organized in just a few weeks, but it was a great event and raised $7,000.

I played in the second annual tournament yesterday. Since the Soldier is in Iraq, his wife organized the event with a little help from friends of the Soldier and his brother.

We had a spectacular day as the clouds parted and warm sunshine negated two days of rain. My team won the event last year, but we finished fourth this year. That mattered very little, given the context provided by two fine men who could not attend.

I am not sure how much money was raised this year, but I do know that it was a pleasure to be around so many people close to the Soldier and his brother.


Final Round

It appears the weather will cooperate to allow The Masters to wrap up today. Play opens with 27 holes remaining for three golfers who have separated from the field, Chris DiMarco, Thomas Bjorn, and Tiger Woods. I am a fan of all three and would be pleased with any of them winning the tournament, but here is the reality: all three of them already know who will win.

Chris DiMarco is a tough competitor, and he spent last night convincing himself he is ready to break through and win a major. Thomas Bjorn is a fine player and is hoping for the best, trying to trust his game. Tiger Woods is the best player in the history of the game playing on the course where he has experienced some of his greatest victories.

Bjorn will become a spectator today. DiMarco will make a mistake at some point in today's play, allowing doubt to creep in. Someone from the pack will try to sneak into the mix with a good final round, but Tiger will do whatever he has to do to take the title.

Tiger will enjoy the green jacket ceremony, when defending champion and Woods rival Phil Mickelson will have to present the winner's green jacket to Woods.

Saturday, April 09, 2005

Unleashing A Tiger

The Masters golf tournament has endured two days of rain and lightning. They have only completed the first round and a small portion of the second round.

This tournament has always been Tiger Woods' favorite stage, and he will play as many as 35 holes today. He is better shape than any other pro golfer, and Augusta National is an extremely difficult course to walk. In addition to that physical advantage, Tiger knows that he can catch the leaders in a two-round day.

Tiger loves to roar from behind to catch leaders. If he plays all 35 holes, I will not be surprised to seem him go 10 under par today.

***UPDATE*** I attempted to post this earlier today as I left to play a tournament of my own. Blogger continues to be on the blink, so the post did not make it on line until after play at the Masters today.


Getting To The Truth

Allen Johnson: "The last time I looked, it was against the law in this country to go around shooting people whose views you don't like, even Communists."

Ed Cone (from a 1999 column): "It matters because people died here at the hands of their fellow citizens, and no criminal charges could be made to stick to the perpetrators, and that is a stain on our honor."

The Greensboro Truth & Reconciliation Commission continues to be the subject of debate among our city's leaders, pundits, and bloggers. Cone and Johnson both support the work of the commisssion, as do I.

Very few people who live in Greensboro were responsible for what happened in 1979. Even fewer were directly affected. So, most of us have nothing to lose by exploring this topic, but we have a better understanding of our history to gain.

I will settle for just the truth part: getting a comprehensive understanding of the events of that fateful day in 1979. Any possible community reconciliation is tied to a better common understanding of Greensboro's long and mixed history of race relations, not just the shootout. But the shootout is certainly responsible for a few squares on Greensboro's patchwork quilt, and it is time to talk about it.

Friday, April 08, 2005

The Big Link

This week's Big Link takes you to the Grunkle Guru. From everything I have read, the Guru and I are the most avid golfers among local bloggers, so give him a visit. After all, it's Masters week.


A Lively Discussion

NYU Journalism Professor Jay Rosen highlights (scan down to #6) a lively discussion going on at Greensboro Is Talking. TheShu says the News & Record is adopting a strategy of getting bloggers to do the work formerly handled by professional journalists, but not paying the bloggers.

I think TheShu's theory is off base, but he has raised interesting points. Though we disagree, I give him credit for provided a forum for dialog and keeping a civil tone.

Thursday, April 07, 2005

Alex, I'll Take Bad Ideas for $400

But this bad idea will cause Anheuser-Busch a lot more than $400.

Tuesday, April 05, 2005


Sean, I don't think that is legal in Missouri either.


ACC - Big Ten Challenge Champs

Ten days ago, CBS said that the ACC won the earlier ACC-Big Ten Challenge, but the Big 10 won the second challenge in the NCAA tournament. It seemed a premature pronouncement then. Now it seems stupid.

Since Carolina knocked off Wisconsin, Michigan State, and Illinois, the three best teams from the Big Ten, in succession, perhaps CBS will revise its analysis.


Double Victory

As I commented several times at ACC Hoops, I liked this Carolina team all year. They were balanced inside and out, played good defense, played as a team, and hustled. Maybe the years of mediocrity in Raleigh have worn this State alum down, but I am happy for the Tarheels.

And, I won both NCAA pools I entered...that helps, too.

Monday, April 04, 2005

Final Pick

In tonight's NCAA championship game, I like Carolina to take its first title in 12 years and to remove a certain hairy primate from Coach Roy Williams' back.

Illinois and Carolina are extremely talented and have been the best two teams in the country all season. It is just that they play to decide the title.

Each team has its star players. Carolina has an edge inside, and Illinois has an edge outside. Both coaches are more than capable and have had seasons deserving of a championship finish.

I like Carolina to win because I think they are more likely to get a great performance out of a less-heralded starter or player off the bench. It could be Jawad Williams - he was that performer in the win of Michigan State. But more likely, Marvin Williams will be that player tonight.

One deserving team will go home empty handed tonight. I am picking Carolina over Illinois, 81-75.


Dancing Drunk

Okay, now that we know what not to do in case of a sobriety test, here is another approach.


Sobriety Test

Just in case you get caught behind the wheel after too many drinks, remember this video guide on what not to do.

Sunday, April 03, 2005

Tarheel Tavern

This week's Tarheel Tavern is compiled by our very own Chewie. She not only writes well, but she is a good editor, too. Head on over to her place and check out this week's Tavern.


The Soldier's Family

We went to a cookout tonight with a few friends, including the Soldier's family. His wife is impressive - smart, strong, and taking everything in stride. She is juggling the normal demands of running a home and taking care of their three boys, aged nine, five, and six months.

The older two boys are quite the young men. They have their fun like all kids, but they do not take advantage of their dad being gone and keep things under control. The littlest man is as cute as can be, and I am glad his dad will be home for a 15-day leave soon to spend time with all of them.

Saturday, April 02, 2005

Welcome Home, Nick

My friend Corporal Nick Sowers arrived in Greensboro this morning. As he emerged from the security area, his return was announced over the PA system. A crowd of about 75 friends greeted him with applause, then sang the Marine's Hymn.

Nick survived two seven-month tours and over 200 missions in Iraq. I look forward to buying him a beer and hearing about his time over there.


Allison Perkins writes a piece on Nick's homecoming in today's News & Record.


Final Four Picks

I am going with Illinois over Louisville and Carolina over Michigan State, setting up a final game between the two teams that were clearly the best all year long.


The Big Link

This week's Big Link takes you to Chewie World Order, a blog I highly recommend. Chewie is one smart cookie, and she can write, too.

Friday, April 01, 2005

Dihydrogen Monoxide

Following up on last year's Armed and Homeless gag, Chris and Chris went with dihydrogen monoxide in the water this year for April Fool's Day. Dihydrogen monoxide is H2O, of course, but they seemed to full a lot of people.


Armed and Homeless

Last year on April 1, Rock 92's Chris and Chris broke an important story called Armed and Homeless. This initiative was designed to get a firearm in the hands of every homeless person in the country. The theory was that the homeless would be a our country's first line of defense. Homeless people only had to get to a Wal-Mart to claim their guns.

Of course, it was an April Fool's joke, and I thought it was obviously presented with tongue firmly planted in cheek. But, a lot of people got upset. Let's hope people will lighten up and laugh a little this year on April 1.


April Fool's Baby

Today is my college roommate's 40th birthday. If ever anyone should have been born on April Fool's Day, Jeff is the man.

We worked like hell in engineering school, but we both were master practical jokers. Each of us taught the other valuable tricks of the trade. I would have to set up another blog to cover our escapades properly, but let's just say that the combination of Jeff, me, and a college setting was sort of a perfect storm for fun.

Happy Birthday, Jeff.


That Was A First

Tonight I drove one of my company trucks home, because I had to pick up some metal parts on the way to the house. Since the truck was low on gas, I decided to fill it up. The tank full cost me $51.51.

Later in the evening, I took the truck back to my plant, then drove my car home. I had to fill its gas tank, also. That set me back another $30.00.

Who do I see about a raise?

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