Thursday, June 30, 2005

Just Wonderful

I described my four year battle with chronic hives in an earlier post. With the right mix of two antihistamines, I can mange the hives and keep them mostly under control.

My wife recently switched jobs, so I switched back to my company's insurance plan. I learned today that clarinex, one of my antihistamines, is not covered by the new insurance company - just wonderful.

It seems odd that the dominant insurance carrier in this area would not cover one of the most popular allergy meds around.


The Best Beer Ever

"The best beer I’ve ever had! One of my sweet, sweet, neighbors had a bucket of my favorite beer iced down and waiting for me on the front door step of my house when I arrived home. The scene looks like this - four days of traveling halfway around the world, no shower, haven’t had a beer in six months…… I don’t believe I’ll ever forget how good that beer really was. It was truly a Hallmark moment. Thanks neighbor! "

The US Soldier describes the best beer he has ever tasted, consumed shortly after arriving home for R&R. He is back in Iraq now. Read about circling the globe, time with his family, and returning to his reality for the next six months.

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Ah Choo!

I never had problems with allergies until four years ago. That all changed in 2001 when my hands started feeling like poison ivy during a round of golf and then again the next time I played. I discarded all of my golf gloves, thinking they had been exposed to poison ivy.

The next time I played golf, my hands swelled to the point I could barely grip a club. On the final hole I shanked a ball and hit a good friend at extremely high speed, leaving him with a hip bruise the size of a volleyball.

I went directly to the doctor's office, where the doc ran a blunt object over the back of one of my hands in an X motion. In about ten seconds, a red welted X rose on that hand, confirming his suspicion that I had contact dermatitis, often called chronic hives.

I manage the hives by taking two antihistimines daily. I still get red marks on my chest and arms at the point of any minor contact, but generally it does not cause discomfort.

Shortly after the onset of the hives, I started having traditional respiratory allergies. For the last five days, I have had almost no voice and have been coughing and sneezing like I am in a pepper mist. You would think since I am already on the antihistimines for hives, that I would not experience these other allergies, but not so.

So today's motto is "Thank you rain!!"

Monday, June 27, 2005

Big Link 15

This week's Big Link has gone on vacation. Before she left, she collected this week's Tarheel Tavern, so you will have plenty to read over at her place.

Sunday, June 26, 2005

Missed It By That Much

I putted for birdie or eagle on 15 of 18 holes today at Sedgefield CC. The frustrating part is that more than half of those putts either lipped out or trickled just over the lip, but not a single one went in.

Despite putting very well, the longest putt I made during the entire round was four feet. Had a normal amount of putts hit that well gone in, I would have shot 67 to 69. Instead, I had 71 (even par).

I guess that is why I keep a day job instead of playing golf for a living.

Friday, June 24, 2005

Alex Wayne Is A Star

Alex Wayne, former N&R reporter and current Congressional Quarterly reporter, was on NPR's Talk of the Nation yesterday. Alex knows as much about the social security debate as anyone I have heard speak on the subject, and he manages to explain all of his points clearly. Listen to his NPR gig here.


Romney For President

Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney is considering a Presidential campaign in 2008. He is conservative on all the hot button topics, and he is Mormon. You have to think if a Republican Mormon can be elected governor of Massachusetts, he could have broad enough appeal to go national.


Women In Business

I just returned from the Women in Business Awards sponsored by The Business Journal. It was nice affair attended by about 400 locals, and the award winners were an impressive group of women.

I was particularly pleased that friend Abby Donnelly was among those honored. She works tersely in volunteer activities and in her career as an executive trainer. She is a true leader.

***Fun Note*** Each honoree's favorite song played as she stepped forward to receive her award - that meant lots of Whitney Houston, etc. When Abby stepped forward, Love Shack cranked up - a perfect song for a really cool chick.


District 4 Candidate?

Matt Williams reports on who is in and who is out for city council races this fall.

I know a citizen giving strong consideration to a run in district 4. Although youngish, he has a long track record of community service, is well known in town, and is well connected across the state, particularly in Raleigh.

I do not have permission to release his name, but I hope he runs. He would certainly shake up a council that needs some shaking.


Better Than The Dell Incentives

Perhaps both economic development and professional sports have gone too far. The city of Dortmund, Germany is building drive-in "sex huts" in preparation for hosting the 2006 World Cup.


Cafe Nouveau

Kristen and I went to Cafe Nouveau with dear friends Judy and Jack last night. Cafe Nouveau is on Spring Garden Street in the building that formerly housed Bert's Seafood.

The food is among the best I have had in Greensboro, on par with Mark's On Westover, The Undercurrent, 223 South Elm, and Marisol. However, their prices are lower than their peer restaurants.

The service was spot on. Our server quickly figured out we were in no hurry. He gladly geared down the speed and allowed us to share the smoked salmon appetizer, crab cakes, duck, pork, and wonderful desserts with our friends. The restaurant also allows diners to bring their own wine for only a $5 corkage fee, a real plus for vino lovers.

Thanks, Jack and Judy, for introducing us to Cafe Nouveau. We will be back soon.


Deep Fried Truffles

French aerospace giant Airbus has announced it will build a $600 million production plant in Mobile, AL. The plant will manufacture jets for the US military.

It seems odd to me that Defense Secretary Rumsfeld, the outspoken proponent of a smaller and more nimble military that relies on technology, would order military jets from a company based in Old Europe.

And the thought of a French-based company in L.A. (that's Lower Alabama) is sort of funny. What's next? Deep Fried Truffles?

Thursday, June 23, 2005

Good News And Bad News

Good news: I talked to The Soldier this morning, and his noontime flight was canceled.

Bad news: Delta rescheduled him for a flight at 4:00pm, and he is on the way back to Iraq.


A Great Gift

I had lunch with The Soldier on Monday, and then we played golf at Forest Oaks with his son and two mutual friends. It was my only chance to see him during his two weeks of R&R, and he returns to Iraq today for at least six more months.

As soon as I saw the soldier before lunch, he gave me a big hug. It was great to see my friend home, looking incredibly fit, and with a big smile on his face. After our hug, though, he managed to knock me off my feet with a gift.

He brought me a US flag from Iraq. This flag flew in an F-16 during combat, and the soldier flew with it in a C-23. The flag made a few other trips that are detailed on a certificate that is on the way to me.

He brought the flag to me as thanks for helping with his blog and a few other items while he was in Iraq. I was stunned that he would have given three seconds of thought about me when he was desperate to get home to his family. It is a wonderful gift from a friend I admire.

I have never been one to wrap myself in the flag, but I will admit this flag covered me in a wave patriotic feelings.

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Hoggard's Scoop

David Hoggard has breaking news about a serious shake up in the city council. Read all about it here.

I wish circumstances allowed David to run in district 2 this fall. That would mean Jinni's full health was restored and Greensboro would get a dedicated and capable public servant.

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Whad'Ya Know?

Saturday, my mom and I went to Roanoke to attend Whad'Ya Know?, a popular public radio show. It is the show's 20th anniversary, so they are road tripping to three cities. Roanoke was the first stop.

Michael Feldman has a knack for embracing a community and its quirks, then making light of that community in a way that even the locals like. It is a real gift.

We also saw Whad'Ya Know? three summers ago at their home base in Madison, WI. That was fun, too, but I liked watching Michael interview the locals in Virginia when they discussed the War of Northern Aggression and the history of the banjo.

It's too bad that WUNC removed Whad'Ya Know? from their schedule a couple of years ago. It is a loss for the station and its listeners.

***UPDATE*** Jerry Bledsoe correctly points out that Whad'Ya Know? can be heard in Greensboro on WVTF (FM 89.1), who sponsored the show's visit on Saturday.


US Open Review

The recently completed US Open will be remembered as much for the meltdown by the leaders as it will be for the tremendous win by Michael Campbell. Except for Campbell, no golfer in the last two groups could break 80, and they were a combined -2 entering the final round.

Pinehurst Country Club held its own without being made to play unfairly. Combined with the amazing way the staff and volunteers conduct the tournament, this course will be a standard stop for future US Opens, along with Pebble Beach and Shinnecock Hills.

Let's see how my predictions turned out Actual finishes are in parenthesis.

Vijay Singh: predicted top 25 (T6)
Sergio Garcia: predicted top 20 (T3)
Ryan Moore: predicted top 20 (T57)
Tim Clark: predicted top 20 (T3)
Ernie Els: predicted top 10 (T15)
Stewart Cink: predicted top 10 (T15)
Tiger Woods: predicted top 10 (2)
Retief Goosen: predicted top five (T11)
Phil Mickelson: predicted top five (T33)
David Toms: predicted win (T15)

Overall, I did pretty well with my predictions with only two bad misses.


A Great Day

I am a little late with details about my visit to Pinehurst last Thursday.

In the morning, we played at Pine Needles, perhaps the second best golf course in North Carolina. Their greens and fairways were recently renovated and the weather was mild, so playing conditions were perfect. Pine Needles has hosted two recent US Women's Opens and will again host that event in 2008, so it was the perfect warm up for an afternoon at the men's US Open. Interesting note - US Open champion Michael Campbell stayed and practiced at Pine Needles during the tournament.

After we played, we drove over to Pinehurst CC and were able to park on the club's grounds. My host had a corporate tent complete with everything we could want - exquisite food, a full bar, four televisions, internet access, carpeting, and air conditioning. In fact, the entire corporate tent area was pretty amazing.

The driving range at Pinehurst was transformed into a village of corporate tents. They laid asphalt down on the range, then had special roller impress a brick pattern into the asphalt. The asphalt was painted and sanded, so it appeared you were walking on brick pavers. The other areas were beautifully landscaped with trees and sod that were brought in. Now they are taking down the tents, digging up the asphalt, and resodding the driving range.

I have been to several major championships at amazing locations, including The Masters, the US Amateur at The Homestead, the British Open at St. Andrews. None can compare to the ease and efficiency with which Pinehurst conducted this championship. You can count on the US Open returning to Pinehurst every ten years or so for at least a few decades.

Last Thursday will remain one of my favorites for a long time, and I owe a big thanks to my host, Southern Community Bank.


I'm Raising A Monkey

My daughter climbed up on the toilet and used it for the first time on Saturday. When I called home from Roanoke around midday, she got on the phone and said "Pee-pee!" It was a proud, if strange, father-daughter kind of thing. But she one upped herself Sunday night.

Kristen put her to bed in her crib around 7:30pm. When we checked in on her a few minutes later to see if she had gone to sleep, she was standing on the floor, beside the crib, looking at us. I'm still not sure how she climbed out of a crib that is 5' off the floor and let herself down without a complete wipeout.

Oh well...this won't be the last time she does something I am better off not knowing about.



My last post on Father's Day was #500 at this blog. Woohoo!

Unlike these clowns, I made it to 500 without the use of performance enhancing drugs.

Sunday, June 19, 2005

Father's Day

Check out Brian Clarey's weekly column at YES! Weekly. He writes a nice Father's Day piece about the excitement surrounding the arrival of his first child and the ways that child has enriched his life.


I Would Have Chosen Different Words

While I was on the road yesterday, I listened to part of The People's Pharmacy, the NPR program produced at UNC-Chapel Hill. This week's show centered on the gastrointestinal tract, and near the end of the show the topic of colonoscopies came up.

The hosts spent some time describing colonoscopies and why they are necessary for people of certain ages and risk factors, then threw the topic to one of their guest experts. The expert responded by saying of colonoscopies,

"I am glad you brought that up, because I would like to put a plug in for that."

Wow! I wish he had chosen different words to talk about that topic.

Friday, June 17, 2005

Big Link 14

This week's Big Link writes out of Raleigh, but he was a Greensboro blogger before a job transfer. He is still one of us, and maybe he will make it back to Greensboro one of these days. Until then, you can visit his blog.

Thursday, June 16, 2005

Back From The Open

I am just in from the US Open. It was a long but wonderful day. I will post more details tomorrow, but now I must sleep.

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

US Open Preview

The US Open golf championship begins tomorrow at the famed Pinehurst Country Club #2 course. This course is the most distinctive one in championship golf, primarily because most of its greens are shaped like upside down bowls and the areas around the greens are shaved closely, rather than having deep rough.

Like all US Opens, the champion will have survived the most demanding test in competitive golf. The course is longish, the fairways are narrow, and the greens are rock hard. All players will get bad bounces, but the successful ones will accept those bounces and stay on an even keel.

Here is my analysis of the top five players in the world, four contenders, and my pick to win:

Vijay Singh: #1 player in the world, but his short game is not good enough to handle the pitching/chipping that will be required. Great ball striker, but ok short games limits him to a top 25 finish.

Sergio Garcia: One of the best drivers in the world and has a solid wedge game. He won last week on a US Open caliber course, but I do not think his putting can hold for four days - top 25 finish.

Ryan Moore: Reigning US Amateur champion playing his last tournament before turning pro. He won't win, but he will finish in the top 20 and get people buzzing.

Tim Clark: Underrated player who plays well under pressure on tough courses. He drives the ball very straight and has a good short game - top 20 finish.

Ernie Els: Past champion twice but was embarrassed in final round of last year's tournament. Best 20-30 yard pitch shot in the game. He gets some revenge this year with a top ten.

Stewart Cink: Led the tour in putting in 2004 and has a controlled game that matches US Open requirements. Will finish in top 10 and could easily win if he drives the ball well.

Tiger Woods: Most talented golfer in history, but not currently in his best form. He is a threat to win any tournament, but erratic driving will limit him to a top ten.

Retief Goosen: Unflappable demeanor and defending champion. He plays his best on the toughest courses. Should be in the top five. If it his putter is hot, he could easily win.

Phil Mickelson: Pitching/chipping choices have improved dramatically in the last two years. Finished second at this course in 1999. Should be in the top five - definite threat to win.

David Toms: Straight driver, good iron player, and great putter. He is a bulldog, especially in pressure situations and big tournaments. He has been on fire for a month. This weekend he gets his second major championship.


The Grunkle Guru shows his expertise in golf by correctly pointing out that Tiger Woods is now the #1 player in the world. Thanks, Guru.


I Am Getting Old

I guess at the ripe old age of 38, I am bound to start noticing things that make me feel older. So far, that has been limited to gray hair, an emerging belly, creaky joints, and yelling at those damn kids to get off my lawn.

This little diddy might just do me in: Pac-Man is turning 25. I was a pretty good Pac-Man player once a time, if I can still trust my aging memory.


Blogger Meetup

I was planning on attending the blogger meetup tonight, but I got swamped at work by many customer demands. Since I will be gone all day tomorrow playing golf here and watching golf, I had to take care of biz instead of having fun.

I never was one of the cool kids.

Monday, June 13, 2005

If Only It Were True

Paris Hilton says she will drop out of public life in two years. Oh, if only that were true. There is no way that world-class media whore will go away on her own.


Big Link 13

This week's Big Link is Satori in Stereo. Give Rick a click.


Tournament Wrap Up

I played really well through most of yesterday's final round. I turned the front nine in even par, and moved to -1 with a tap in birdie on #12. Unfortunately, bad swings on each of the next two holes led to a score of 7 on each hole. A pair of sevens is average in poker but terrible in tournament golf.

I ended up posting a 78 to finish sixth in the second flight and around 12th overall. My scoring was a little disappointing, but I could not expect too much more with the lack of preparation.

Now I am looking forward to watching the big boys this weekend at the US Open in Pinehurst.

Sunday, June 12, 2005

Tarheel Tavern

This week's Tarheel Tavern is up and running. Go on over and see this week's tavern, then spend some more time with the tavern's host at A Sort of Notebook.


Stopped The Bleeding

I did better yesterday at the Bryan Amateur. We played the Champions Course, the harder of the two courses in this tournament. I still had a few bad swings that really cost me, but I partially offset those mistakes with four birdies to card a 76.

My swing is still not where it needs to be, and parts of my short game are rusty. There is not much I can do about that now, but I hope the experience of playing well in last year's leader group will be helpful today, should I get in contention in my flight.

I do not know where I stand in the tournament, but I will need another good round to place in my flight. The fun starts at 10:00am.

Saturday, June 11, 2005


Yesterday's first round of the Bryan Amateur did not go well for me.

I played well early in the round and stood at +1 through eight holes. A bad swing on #9 cost me two shots, but I was hanging tough at +4 through 13 holes. That was not where I wanted to be, but I figured if I could get to the clubhouse at +4, I would still be in the tournament. Then I lost my swing.

It happens to all golfers at all levels. Everything is going along fine, then it's like you are holding a pick axe instead of a five iron.

Most days, a good golfer can fight through it and get some ugly pars, but the rust on my game showed. On the last five holes, my ball visited a cart path, a couple of bunkers, and at least one tree. I finished with 82, and I am effectively out of the tournament.

But this is a flighted tournament. The 144 or so golfers will be divided into seven or eight flights after today's round, based on their scores through 36 holes. While I can no longer contend for the overall title, I still hope to redeem myself today and hopefully be able to contend for my flight tomorrow.

It is not what I was hoping for, but I won't give up. A serious golfer never does.

Friday, June 10, 2005

If Women Ruled The World

If women ruled the world, we might have more functional inventions...

Our leisure activities would have a different look...

Other issues of potential conflict would be solved...

And we would have equal access to health care for all...


Don't Drink And Mow

A man on a riding lawn mower has been charged with DUI near Cincinnati (thanks to MF for the tip). That reminds me of a fellow student when I was at NC State who was charged with DWI while on a bicycle.

I also recall a case of a DWI charge against a man on a horse. He argued that he in fact was so drunk that the horse was driving him, and he was acquitted.


Who Cares?

Last night was game 1 of the NBA championship series, and tomorrow night is a Mike Tyson fight. Who cares?

There was a time when boxing was America's top sport, but it ceased to that long ago. So few people care about boxing that the only way to sell this fight is to pit Tyson against a 6'-6" opponent and have women fight in the undercard.

And the NBA is terrible, too - it has not been basketball for a long time. Officials do not call traveling, palming, or fouls near the basket. They check the names on players' jerseys before deciding whether to blow the whistle. It's a joke.

And I love the way the NBA calls its champion the World Champion. Uh, no. The NBA champion is...the NBA champion, and that's all. The same goes for the NFL and MLB.

Thursday, June 09, 2005

It's Not TV, It's Is Crappy HBO

HBO has cranked up its original programming for the summer with the second season of Entourage and the debut of The Comeback. Let's just say I am a bit underwhelmed.

Entourage is okay - sort of a thirty minute version of Swingers. It is created by Marky Wahlburg, so I can allow some credit for being an authentic look at Hollywood and its hangers-on. And any show with Jeremy Piven is guaranteed some good laughs.

The Comeback stars Lisa Kudrow, who I thought would be the only Friend with much post-series success. Maybe she will find that, but not in The Comeback. The pilot was almost unwatchable, even for this Kudrow fan.

It has to be a tough job at HBO to develop replacements for The Sopranos and Sex and the City. Let's face it, HBO caught lightening in a bottle twice with those shows. But they have to do better than The Comeback - not funny and not fresh.


Bryan Amateur

The Bryan Amateur (Greensboro City Am) is this weekend, and it appears we will have three warm and potentially stormy days. I tee off at 2:10 in the first round tomorrow, so I will play during prime storm time, and storms around Lake Townsend tend to be strong and develop quickly.

Enjoying fatherhood, owning a business, and volunteering a lot of my time have reduced my playing schedule over the past three years, so I have dropped back to the flighted tournament the past three years. Prior to that, I played in the championship flight with college players and the best area amateurs.

The flighted tournament is a field of 144 and still very competitive. I was fourth two years ago and won* last year. With only 12 rounds under my belt this year, I have no reason to think I can finish that high again, but I am ever hopeful. This could be my year to be the Cinderella Boy.

* Another golfer birdied the last two holes last year to cut me by a shot. He had entered in the senior division, so he ended up as the senior champ and I was the regular champ. Quite bittersweet.


Sad Day

Blumenthal's, the landmark retailer in downtown Greensboro, is selling out the store today. Soon they will move to a plain-jane location on West Market Street, only a few miles but light years from the Elm Street location they have called home for 79 years.

Like most Greensboro natives, I have shopped at Blumenthal's since childhood. I will probably visit their new location, but it will not have the same draw as their downtown store.

Such is the price for "progress." I am a big supporter of the rebirth of downtown Greensboro, but this part of the deal is sad.

***Bonus Fact***

My family continues to rib me 35 years later at my earliest attempts to pronounce Blumenthal's. Think "Blue-Menthols"


Lenslinger has additional thoughts about the closing of Blumenthal's longtime location.

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Home Safely

The Soldier has made it home for two weeks of leave.


Morons In The Sky

I have two close friends who are pilots for Southwest Airlines. I knew them when they were flying considerably less sophisticated aircrafts. Even then, these guys would not get near alcohol if they were flying the next day.

Too bad these morons didn't use that policy.


Nerd Up

Announcing Greensboro's newest blog, Nerd Up. If there is such a thing as a can't-miss blog, this is it.


Gold Stars For Kristen

Most of us are losing direct access to our favorite New York Times columnists soon. The News & Record decided not to renew is contract with the Times, and the Times is removing free access to some of its online op-ed columns.

Kristen showed up at home last Friday with that day's Times. Her office has a subscription, and the paper is generally available at the end of the day. This lucky turn will allow me to continue reading Friedman, Dowd, Brooks, and the others for free.

Lots of gold stars for Kristen!


Happy Birthday, Ed.

Michael has the scoop and the picture of the year. Congratulations, Blogfather, for another year of wisdom.

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Working For Peace

The competition for a Rotary World Peace Fellow is among the keenest for any educational scholarship in the world. Each year, 70 people are chosen worldwide to study conflict management and international relations at one of seven universities across the world. One of the centers is a joint project between Duke and UNC-Chapel Hill (talk about conflict management!)

Over the weekend, I attended a Rotary training seminar for district leaders across the Virginias and the Carolinas. By chance, I sat at dinner with one of the featured speakers, Susan Stigant. Susan just completed two years as a World Peace Fellow at UNC-Chapel Hill.

At 26, Susan has already been involved with multiple humanitarian projects around the world, and she just completed her masters at UNC-CH. For the next few months, she will work in Nairobi, Kenya and on the upcoming elections in The Sudan. Afterward, she will return to UNC-CH to obtain her doctorate, mixing in some work in Ghana along the way. Her goal is to focus on constitution building for emerging democracies.

Susan is extremely impressive and embodies the goal of the Peace Fellow program: to seed the world with 70 diverse, highly dedicated, and capable citizens of the world every year. These people are not peaceniks; they are realists. And they will make a significant difference in our world for years to come.

By the way, the fourth class of scholars was selected recently, and Greensboro native Sallie Lacy was selected to study in Brisbane, Australia.


It Figures

We have had unusually mild weather through most of the spring. That has made for many pleasant golfing days.

Somehow I knew it would end just before this weekend's Greensboro City Amateur (Bryan Amateur). That tournament is always played in early June, and the heat always cranks up just in time.

At least this heat will help get Pinehurst #2 ready for the US Open next week.


Business Blogging

The Business Journal has a story about business blogging in its current edition.

Sue Polinsky, Michael Dougherty, and I are quoted in the article. Sue gives some useful tips for interested business bloggers, and Michael adds some caution for those who think blogging is just a simple sales tool. The article notes that I blog personally (well, I guess you knew that), but not for my business.

Read the whole article here.

Monday, June 06, 2005

Sorry, Gate

The Gate Keeper speculates that I am a fan of Nikki Cox and Angelina Jolie because I reminded him of their birthdays recently. Sorry, Gate, but I do not think I have ever seen Nikki Cox act in anything, and I am not a fan of Jolie either. I think Pushing Tin is the only time I have seen her in anything.

I just happened across their birthdays among a list of other celebs.


Ed Cone Gets Busy

There has been plenty of debate about John Robinson's decision not to renew the News & Record's contract with the NY Times. Since the Times bundles its opinion columnists with its news service (which holds minimal value to the N&R), I understand his decision. Like so many others, though, I will miss Tom Friedman, particularly since his column will no longer be free at the Times' site.

What is even more curious to me is why the N&R continues to run a weekly opinion column by Charles Davenport Jr. I am glad that the N&R is committed to running columns from an assortment of viewpoints, and I enjoy reading most of their columnists irrespective of their political slant. But surely the N&R can find a more capable and intelligent local conservative writer, perhaps on a junior high school newspaper staff.

Ed Cone is known for his pithy posts. Yesterday, Ed tapped a few more keys and demonstrated that Davenport helped make the case against his own thesis.

Davenport's web site describes him as "unapologetically conservative." He needs to apologize not for being conservative, but rather for being consistently intellectually dishonest.

Sunday, June 05, 2005

Blogs And Community

Ed Cone's column in this morning's News & Record provides context for the use of the web and blogs in planning an event like last weekend's HoggFest.

HoggFest was a community event that would have occurred under any circumstances. But the use of a wiki allowed the planning to be free flowing, devoid of meetings and committees, and blogs provided a substantial part of the publicity. I suspect the planning of HoggFest will become the model, no doubt with improvements as we go, for future community-based events.


Tarheel Tavern

Local blogging hero Billy Jones is this week's bartender at the Tarheel Tavern. He is serving a strange alien brew, so pull up a stool and enjoy.

Saturday, June 04, 2005

Big Link 12

This week's Big Link is Jonathan Davis' blog. Give him a click. You just might learn something.

Friday, June 03, 2005

Chewie Does It Again

Chewie has done it again.

Her Going To Spain essay was already one of the best pieces of writing around these parts. Now she has penned a very special birthday message for her dad. I wish I had just a fraction of her talent for translating her thoughts into such beautiful language.

I share Chewie's feelings about the importance of developing self-esteem in young women. Growing up, some of the sharpest women I knew allowed themselves to be door mats to men. I never understood it, but I decided then that I would not allow that to happen to my wife or any daughters we might have.

When our little Sarah was born, some male friends lamented that they "knew" I wanted a boy, but I would grow to love my daughter. I was shocked at those comments, because I was thrilled to have the opportunity to rear a girl into a strong woman.

I think Chewie's dad and I might just get along.


Come Home, Soldier

My dear friend, The Soldier, will get on a plane in Iraq in a few hours. He is coming home to North Carolina for a much deserved two-week leave.

His family deserves the time with him, too. His steel-spined wife has managed their home and three boys (one an infant) with unbelievable ease. I suspect the soldier might change a few diapers while he is home.

The soldier is a good man and a good citizen. Hold him in your thoughts as he travels the many thousands of miles home.

Thursday, June 02, 2005

Bad Night

April 2 was a bad night for Frederick Parke. After his lover assaulted him in a tender area, he kicked her out of his house and had her arrested (link includes adult language).

I assume Fred then scraped up his remaining dignity and put it in a thimble.


Pure Britney

"I think it brings out a pure side of you," Britney Spears says of being pregnant. I can think of a lot of adjectives to describe Britney, but pure is not in the top 95% of the list.


File Under Stupid

San Francisco 49er's public relations director Kirk Reynolds bought himself a ticket to the unemployment line by producing an inappropriate training video. The video, which includes a lesbian wedding, profanity, and racial stereotypes, was presumably meant to show NFL players what not to do when dealing with media representatives.

Nice work, Kirk. I suggest you contact these guys for your next job.


Til Death Us Do Part

After 80 years of marriage, do you think she still nags him to take out the trash?

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

CNN's Silver Anniversary

I sat down this evening planning to comment on CNN at its 25th anniversary. The network has drifted far from its origins, and shows like Crossfire (R.I.P.) helped drive reasonable political debate to near extinction.

I would say more about CNN, but Chewie has already done so in her dependable and insightful way.


10,000 Visitors

I knew it was likely that visitor #10,000 would arrive at my blog today (some of you do that volume in a week). I was planning on recognizing that person for landing on the magic number.

Since haloscan is doing its typically poor job of notifying me of new comments, I stopped by the blog to see if anyone had dropped me a new line. Then, I checked to see if #10,000 had arrived. Of course, I turned out to be #10,000 when I checked the comments.

So that means I get to fetch something out of the Patrick Eakes prize closet this time. But don't despair - I will be watching as we approach #20,000 in a couple of months. Next time you could be the lucky winner.


It's Thai Time

I may be the last person in Greensboro to get this memo, but Taste of Thai has pretty damn good food. I had never eaten there before, but I caught up with an old friend today for lunch. The beef brisket with a lime sauce was a surprising combination that tasted great. Thanks, old friend, for picking our lunch location today.


More On Deep Throat

I wonder why Mark Felt remained silent about his role in the Watergate investigation for more than three decades, then decided to go public. Some of his family members indicate that it made more sense for Felt to cash in on any monetary windfall from revealing his identity while he is alive, rather than others cashing in after his death.

I wonder if the current debate among journalists and government officials about the appropriateness of anonymous sources might have impacted Felt's decision to identify himself. He has been the most important and famous anonymous source for over 30 years, so he might have strong feelings on the subject.

Even if I am off base and Felt's reasons for going public do not include the anonymous source debate, his timing is bound to have some impact on that debate. While many consider Felt a traitor, I think most consider his actions appropriate, if not heroic. That should add some context to the current discussions about anonymous sources.

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