Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Don't Even Think About It, Buster

"By the way, don't try to fool a 10-year old into thinking that Tasteeos are in fact Cheerios by transferring a bag of Tasteeos to an old Cheerios box. They catch it every time." - honorary Greensboro blogger Jon Lowder weighs in with helpful advice for thrifty parents.

My two-year old daughter LOVES Cheerios. I will keep your advice in mind, Jon.


Cover Your Eyes, Kids

The NC Senate passed the lottery bill yesterday in a particularly distasteful fashion. The bill had been two votes shy of a tie for some time, and the Senate was called back into session when two dissenters could not attend (one was sick, one was on his honeymoon), according to the News & Record's Doug Clark. Then Lt. Governor Bev Perdue broke the tie as the presiding officer of the NC Senate.

I am not a huge fan of the lottery and do not plan to spend my money on it, but I understand the arguments both for and against. I can live with the bill's passage, which I assumed would occur in the next couple of years anyway.

What really bothers me is elected proponents of the lottery claiming the lottery is for our children. If these so-called leaders really cared about our children, they would set a better example and not pass the bill in such an underhanded way, because they have sent exactly the wrong message to our children.

And they should be ashamed.

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Helpful Tips For Reporters

"It’s rained sideways up your ear canal for the better part of the morning, but bear in mind, that heavily-logo’d microphone you’re eating is a highly sensitive directional instrument quite capable of recording your mastery of the obvious at most any decibel."

Lenslinger offers this helpful tip and others to reporters stuck doing broadcasts from inside hurricanes.

Monday, August 29, 2005

Which Way Did He Go?

Does it seem strange to anyone else that the Ohio Senior Amateur golf championship was played in West Virginia?

Well, maybe not to this guy, who is perpetually lost.


The Kindness Of A Stranger

Hogg shares the story of another medical scare and a stranger helping Jinni shortly afterward.

"When checkout was completed the cashier said it would be $96.00. The manager immediately approached the cash register and informed Jinni that she was to keep her money in her purse because arrangements had been made for the purchase by an anonymous customer."

We may not be able to do anything directly about Jinni's cancer, but a lot of people have helped the Hoggards in ways large and small. Pat yourself on the back, Greensboro.

Sunday, August 28, 2005

One Year Down

One year ago today I attended the Piedmont Bloggers Conference. I went home and started this blog. Later I started another blog for a friend in Iraq.

That conference drew about 50 people, which seemed to surpass most people's expectations. Now the local blogging scene has exploded, and we will draw many more than that number at ConvergeSouth.

It has been an interesting trip, and I look forward to blogging the next year.

Saturday, August 27, 2005


Only six weeks until ConvergeSouth, a Greensboro conference dedicated to new media (October 7) and blogs (October 8). This is your chance to participate in and listen to discussions among some of the most distinguished journalists and bloggers from our local community and nation.


Rosenberg Interview

Check out Herb Everett's interview with News & Record funny man Jim Rosenberg at The Beat.


Big Link

This week's Big Link is Jim Caserta. I have not had the pleasure of meeting Jim, but he covers baseball and other topics. Give him a try at this week's Big Link.

Thursday, August 25, 2005

Katrina And The Waves

I really didn't think Katrina and the Waves were that great the first time. Why do they insist on coming back?


A Nip And A Tuck

I am not sure why Gary Thomas Johnson and Jennifer Arlene Robbins attacked Tony Wagoner, but I am pretty sure Wagoner didn't deserve to get the Van Gogh treatment or to get dewanged by the pair. What the hell were they thinking?


Bye, Bye Huggins

The Gate Keeper says the University of Cincinnati should have fired Bob Huggins earlier. I agree - perhaps 15 years ago would have been better.

Huggins never impressed me as a basketball coach or a person. His better teams resembled rugby players more than hoopsters.

I won't miss him.

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Thoughts on 9/11

Tonight Kristen and I started watching the 9/11 special that was on the National Geographic channel earlier this week. So far, it has been impressive for its comprehensive research and providing background on 20 years of history that led to 9/11.

Allen Johnson reports that Discovery will run a special about the heroic actions of the crew and passengers on Flight 93 on the fourth anniversary of that doomed flight. I hope it will be as tastefully produced as the first part of the NG special we are watching.

Reading Allen's post made me think of a couple of items related to Flight 93. One of was a piece by Rick Reilly in the first Sports Illustrated published after 9/11. Reilly's article was personal and poignant.

The other is that Flight 93 almost crashed into a factory I have done business with for over a decade. Two employees at that company saw the plane just before it crashed 1/4 mile from the factory. They noted that the plane was inverted, a fact I have never heard reported.

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

The Big Link

This week's Big Link is You're Not Serious. The blog is authored by Don Moore (the other one), a simultaneously thoughtful and feisty guy. Go by and visit this week's Big Link.


Hot Nuns

Here is a picture of something you don't see too often. Nod to my mother (superior) for the picture.

Monday, August 22, 2005

Sedgefield Championship Recap

Yesterday was a hot afternoon to wrap up the club championship at Sedgefield. Play was fairly slow, too, which left us standing around roasting in the sun a good bit.

I started the day four shots off the lead, but a front nine 37 left me six back midway through the final round. By the 15th tee, another player and I had closed the gap to two shots. Standing on the last tee, I was still two back of the leader and one back of two other golfers.

The final hole is a par five with a narrow driving area. I hit a good drive, but it ended up in heavy rough on the left. My only hope of winning was to hit a miracle shot on the green and make eagle (I later learned that the report to the gallery behind the final green was that there was no way I could reach the green from that heavy rough).

With nothing to lose, I ripped a 4-iron from 205 yards that landed short of the pin and ran to the back fringe. That left me a 20-25' putt that was severely downhill. My putt raced down the hill, hit the back of the hole, jumped in the air, and fell in the jar. That brought a roar from the 50 or so in the gallery.

That put me in a playoff with the defending champion. Unfortunately, I hit a poor tee shot that led to a bogey and a playoff loss. But I was pretty happy to finish runner up and to make the eagle under pressure and in front of the gallery.

Sunday, August 21, 2005

Sedgefield Club Championship

I'm off to Sedgefield for the final round of the club championship. The good news is I am in third place and will be playing in the leader group. The bad news is that we tee off at 12:12pm, it will be around 95 degrees most of the afternoon, and I woke up feeling terrible today.

I trail the leader (2001 champion) by four strokes and the second place golfer (defending champion) by two strokes, so I am a longshot to overtake both of them, but you never know. More later....

Friday, August 19, 2005

Costas Now And Dock Ellis

HBO's Costas Now continues to be one of the top sports and social commentary shows on tv. The current episodee has a revealing interview with Lance Armstrong and an unbelievably candid interview with Dr. James Shortt, the doc who shot up a few Carolina Panthers with steroids and human growth hormone. Shortt's candor in the face of a grand jury investigation is remarkable.

Perhaps the most interesting portion of the current Costas Now episode is an interview with former Pittsburgh Pirate Dock Ellis. Ellis once through a no-hitter on an acid trip and said of his prior drug use "I did what I could, when I could, while I could." He said he used to "out milligram" his opponents. Ellis has been clean for a quarter century and now guides youths away from drug use.

Costas Now is one of many reasons that HBO is well worth $10 a month.


Dave Grohl Interview

Rolling Stone had an interesting interview with Dave Grohl, front man for the Foo Fighters. Among the nuggets he shared:

On his days as Nirvana's drummer: "I don't think I've ever told anyone this, but there were times when Kurt was really unhappy with the way I played drums. I could hear him talking about how much he thought I sucked. But he'd never say it to me."

On Kurt Cobain's suicide: "I honestly did not think he was going to kill himself. I just thought he was on someone's floor in Olympia, listening to albums. Or something."

On the source of Grohl's sense of humor, his father: "He became one of the principal speech writers for the Republican National Convention."

Nice interview by RS' Austin Scagggs. You can read the whole interview here.

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Carolinas Mid-Amateur Qualifier

I played in a qualifier for the Carolinas Mid-Amateur golf championship this morning. The Mid-Amateur is the biggest tournament for amateur golfers in NC or SC aged 30 or older and is very competitive.

I was pleased to play the qualifier at Mill Creek Golf Club, a course I have always enjoyed. I was assigned an 8:00am starting time, which I thought would allow me to beat most of the heat.

It never got very hot, but last night's storm and this morning's humid and cloudy weather kept the course pretty wet throughout the round. The course was set up almost to the tips ("the tips" refer to the maximum length of the course) at 6,950 yards, longer than a few PGA tournament courses.

I hit the ball solidly most of the day and putted well. After consecutive bogeys on the back nine, I steadied the ship and played the last five holes one under par to post 74 (+2).

The low 26 golfers of a field of 90 will advance to the championship. I hope I will be one of them.


Golfers who shot 76 or better advanced, so my 74 was good enough. I finished tied for 8th in a field of 90, which is very good for me. On to Mimosa Hills in Morganton for the championship next month.


I got an email questioning my claim of Mill Creek playing 6,950 yards. I based that info on the official scorecard of 6,887 yards, which matched my yardage book, plus an additional 63 yards to account for almost every hole having the flag placed in the back of the green. The 6,887 yards are measured to the center of each green, and the 63 yards is the exact net addition of yardage based on flag locations provided to each player.

The News & Record printed the scores from the qualifier (unposted) in Thursday's newspaper and showed the course at 6,750 yards. I am sure the N&R simply printed the yardage as it was given to them. I did not think twice about the difference, but I think it prompted the email I received.

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Replacements To The Rescue

Replacements, LTD, the Triad company known worldwide for its incredible inventory of dinnerware, is reaching out to soldiers stationed oversees. Their employees launched a drive to raise funds for prepaid phone cards for military relatives of their employees and for The Soldier's unit.

I appreciate Replacement's support of our military personnel, who are sacrificing so much in service to their country.


Happy Birthday To Me

Today is my 39th birthday. This one sneaked up on me, so I think I have reached the point where my birthday is simply another date on the calendar.

Since that is out of the way...I wonder how old I will have to be before I think of myself as an adult?

Monday, August 15, 2005

15 Years

Kristen and I celebrated 15 years together over the weekend. I knew very early that she was the one, and that is still the best decision of my life.

I am fortunate she became Mrs. Eakes along the way, although I gave her every opportunity not to take my last name (who wants to spell her last name ten times a day for the rest of her life?). She is a natural as a mom and has the good instincts to know when to to give Sarah a hug and when to draw the line.

I am a very lucky man.


Get Lucky Fast

I ordered from Lucky 32's new online ordering service a few days ago. It was fast, easy, and they take your credit card payment in advance. All you have to do then is drive up and take the food away.

I will be using Lucky's service again.


School Districts Play Twister

Following up on an article from last week, today's N&R shows proposed maps (unposted) for the new Northern Elementary, Middle and High Schools. I found it strange that the districts for the middle and high schools are not identical, especially since they are being built side by side.

A student living on Oak Arbor Road would attend Northern Elementary, then Northeast Middle School, then Northern High School. Some students on Carlson Dairy Road would attend Northwest Middle School, then Northern High School. Students in the vicinity of Stanley Hall and Bunch Roads would do the reverse - Northern Middle, then Northwest High.

There must be a better system than one that asks eighth graders at different middle schools to cross each other and go to the opposite high school a year later.


Goodbye Guilford Mills

The Business Journal is reporting that Guilford Mills will move its headquarters and 36 executives and senior staff to Wilmington, NC, if proposed incentives are approved there.

Funny, it feels like Guilford Mills left a long time ago.

Sunday, August 14, 2005

Local Internet Advertising

See the ad in the left column? That is part of the Local Internet Advertising network that started just a couple of weeks ago. Roch Smith, Jr. has developed a program that gives a fair (and much larger than other ad networks I have seen) of ad revenues to bloggers. Check out the program here.


Golf With The Soldier's Family

I played golf with The Soldier's son and father-in-law this afternoon. It was the second time I have the pleasure of playing with them, and two facts have emerged from those experiences.

First, the soldier's father-in-law is one of a handful of elite senior golfers in the state and one of the best golfers of any age in the Triad. Second, the soldier's oldest son is quickly becoming a very good junior golfer. The best part is that he is an even finer young man.

We had fun when we were not dodging lightning, and it made me miss The Soldier even more.

Saturday, August 13, 2005

DCI Finals

Drum Corps International (DCI) will host the 2005 World Championships tonight in Foxboro, Massachussets. 12 drum and bugle corps who have survived two elimination rounds will compete for the title.

Drum and bugle corps emerged after WWI when veterans formed corps with rudimentary instruments for parades and other events. After several decades, the level of musical performance and marching had become competitive, and DCI was born in 1972. Now, DCI coordinates regional competitions nationwide and across the world through the summer months.

Participants are age 14 to 22 and give up their entire summer to participate. They practice 8-12 hours a day under the blazing sun, and they sleep on gym floors or on buses traveling to the next competition. Their dedication to the pursuit of perfection and to each other teaches lessons they will carry for a lifetime, and these corps become better at playing and marching than most of us will ever be at anything else in our lives.

DCI appeals to a relatively small part of the population, but it is a loyal and enthusiastic group that supports these young people. The creativity, precision, and talent of the corps is remarkable, and there is nothing like an audience in the tens of thousands springing to its feet in appreciation of a corps' performance.

I attended the World Championships in 1984 and 2002, but I will have to settle for the tv broadcast this year. ESPN2 will show a two hour highlight show next month.


Remembering The Mick

Today marks ten years since the death of one of baseball's greats, Mickey Mantle. I am not old enough to remember him as a player, but he was a hero to many friends and relatives.

The Mick had remarkable speed and power from both sides of the plate, and his Midwestern charm was a perfect match for 1950's America. I wish I had seem him play in his prime.


The Passive Irish

Shortly before the ACC's plans to expand membership became public, Notre Dame scheduled several home and home football games with ACC schools. These future games fueled speculation that the Fighting Irish might join the ACC, despite the fact the school would be a geographic misfit.

In the last year Notre Dame adopted what it calls "smarter" schedules. As part of that strategy, the Fighting Irish canceled its scheduled games with NC State and Virginia, then added games with Duke, the ACC's perennial weakling. That is pretty damn week for the country's most hallowed football program.

I am sure this guy would be very proud.

Thursday, August 11, 2005

PGA Championship Picks

I am late getting around to my picks for the PGA Championship, which starts tomorrow at Baltusrol Golf Club. Baltusrol has been a host to several USGA championships, particularly US Opens. But this is the first time it has hosted the PGA, where the set up is typically less severe than US Opens.

Tiger Woods is Vegas' favorite in every event he enters, but I do not think this will be his week. Assuming Baltusrol has its normal thick rough, I look for a golfer who is straighter off the tee than Woods. Of the big five, that is Vijay Singh or Retief Goosen, winners the past two weeks on the PGA Tour.

From the group of golfers just behind the big five in the world rankings, Kenny Perry and Sergio Garcia stand out. Both have at least one win on a major-level course this year, so they are driving and putting well. Jim Furyk hits the ball straight and putts like a demon at times, but my gut says this is not his week either.

No golfer jumps out at me this week, and I think it is because I do not know how the PGA will set up Baltusrol. The set up is key in determining which golfers can contend. Since no one emerges in my mind as a favorite, I will say that I think Tim Clark will continue his impressive play in the majors.

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Tim Clark Stands Tall

PGA Tour member Tim Clark is profiled at Golfweek's web site this week. Clark, a native of South Africa and a former NC State All America, has steadily improved while playing several professional golf tours around the world. Now he seems poised to move into the top echelon of worldwide golfers.

Clark has played somewhat in the shadows of his countrymen, Ernie Els and Retief Goosen, both of whom have long been elite players. Moving up to a #16 world ranking with fine play in the biggest events, Clark is emerging as a threat everytime he tees it up and soon will join the Els and Goosen as a powerful South African trio.

This is no small accomplishment for Clark. In an era when length is a prerequisite for success in golf, Clark stands just 5'-7". And according to one of my friends who played with Clark on the team at State, a birth defect limits the rotational mobility of Clark's wrists.


The Key To Physical Fitness

Today's Dilbert strip demonstrates the key to a more fit America.


Tracy Ducar

I meant to post previously that I met Tracy Ducar two weeks ago. Tracy is the head coach of the women's soccer team at Greensboro College and was a goal keeper on the USA's victorious World Cup team.

She is an impressive lady with an inspiring message. She went to Carolina as a walk-on and left as a first team All-America with three national titles. Tracy is just the type of woman you would want coaching your daughter.

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

The Soldier's Update

" day started in Iraq wearing body armor and ended with me on stage in the hotel bar singing a horrible Karaoke rendition of 'YMCA'"

"My commander had left me a list of things to do and much to my surprise, she announced that the local doctors requested she return home for medical reasons."

The soldier has posted a wide-ranging update. The good news is that it looks like he will be home by Thanksgiving, a month ahead of schedule.


Home Safely

I heard a collective sigh of relief across the nation when Discovery touched down. It is phenomenal that it can slow down and remain intact when you consider how much energy is dissipated from a 1,000 ton vehicle traveling at Mach 25 about 40 miles above the earth.

Sunday, August 07, 2005

Remember Jinni's Battle

David Hoggard reminds us that his Jinni's battle with cancer is one that is largely fought alone. Sure, our community has rallied around the Hoggards in an admirable and supportive way, but Jinni is the one who returns to the hospital so an IV can pump poison in her body.

I wish I could do more for Jinni to lessen her burden as a patient. For now, keep her in your prayers and send her warm vibes. And prepare to celebrate her victory over cancer.


Funny Guy

Oh, goodie! Jim Rosenberg's is back in print in Greensboro (although unposted online).

I know Jim from some civic work we did together a few years ago, and he cannot help but be funny. It's in his DNA. And now it's in your Sunday News & Record, too.

Friday, August 05, 2005

Big Link

This week's Big Link is Michael's Corner. Michael is a gifted writer and thinker, and he has been a nice addition to the local blogging scene. He is a daily read for me - he will be for you too after you visit Michael, this week's Big Link.


Beware The Triad Cult

One of my recent posts pointed to a blog that is exposing a cult based in the Triad. The cult has used various names, including the University for Human Goodness, the Human Service Alliance, and currently the Center for Purposeful Living.

There are many people who have escaped CPL's web and are talking about it. Of particular interest is this post by Coleman Anderson. Coleman was a board member at CPL for 17 years but was finally able to break away recently.

This cult uses a restaurant with a supposedly benevolent mission as its public front. Do not be fooled - this cult is all about mind control.

Thursday, August 04, 2005

Citizen Journalism

NPR's Talk of the Nation had an interesting segment on citizen journalism on Tuesday. They discussed independent bloggers, podcasting, and blogging newspaper reporters and editors.

I enjoyed hearing panelist John Templeton, the managing editor of the Rocky Mountain News. His statements sounded a lot like things I have heard and read from John Robinson, editor of the News & Record. Like Robinson, Temple blogs, and the paper has additional staff-written blogs.

The Rocky Mountain News also operates a site called YourHub breaks down into a individual web sites for forty communities in the Denver area. The stories and photos at the individual sites come from a combination of community contributors, newspaper staff writers, links to other media sources, and press releases.

Check out As the citizen journalism and blogging evolve in the Triad, it will be worth keeping an eye on Denver.

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Golf Trip Recap

I went on my golf trip to Myrtle Beach over the weekend. We had a great time on and off the course, but the weather was pretty uncooperative.

We got in 18 holes on Friday without event, which was remarkable since the streets were flooded 15 miles south of us. On Saturday we had three weather delays that totaled 2-1/2 hours. There was never any rain, but lightning was close enough to clear the course. Despite the delay, we got in 36 holes before dark.

Sunday was a different story. Everything was peachy on the front nine, although we could see dark clouds in the distance. By the time I reached the 11th tee, it was getting very dark and the weather horn blew again. We were near a shelter, so we took cover there rather than returning to the clubhouse. Bad decision.

We spent the next 2-1/2 hours there. Every time we ventured out, lightning ran us back under the shelter. Then the serious rain started. It poured and poured until a duck actually took up residence on a newly formed pond in the fairway in front of the shelter. We tried to wait out the storm, but eventually we gave up.

We drove our carts through the rain back to our cars, leaving our golf business unfinished. That was disappointing, since we play a Ryder Cup format and the matches were still tight. My team's comeback fell short, but I did win the low individual score for the weekend.

These trips are attended by a really fun group of guys, and I am already looking forward to our November trip. We will deal with wind and potentially cold temperatures then, instead of thunderstorms.


Silver Lining

I did discover one silver lining in driving across town twice a week for allergy shots -- I drive right by Ghassan's and Stamey's. I cannot think of a better one-two lunch option in Greensboro.


Shooting Up

I started the long road of taking allergy shots today. Two shots, twice a week, for three months...then two shots, once a week, for a long time. The worst part is the drive to the doctor's office is 20-25 minutes each way, plus I have to wait 15-20 minutes after the shots to be sure I do not have a bad reaction.

I am going to order a Dell notebook just to avoid losing all productivity for three hours every week. And maybe eventually I will not have to take three allergy pills every day.

Monday, August 01, 2005

Big Link

This week's Big Link is Sue's Place. Sue is generous with her friendship, her technical and web expertise, and her time. Be generous with your time when you check out her blog.

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