Friday, September 30, 2005

Chip Gets French Benefits

Chip Atkinson wrote an unfortunate post this week about the PGA TOUR. Let me restate that...Chip attempted to write about the PGA TOUR. Instead, he listed a series of misstatements and mistakenly directed them toward the PGA, an organization undeserving of Chip's scorn.

The PGA is made up primarily of club and teaching professionals. PGA pros work hard to promote the game to the public and are rarely compensated enough for their long hours. The PGA TOUR is made up of the best golfers in the world, who travel from city to city playing for large purses.

Let's put aside for the moment that Chip's barbs were misdirected and look closer at his criticisms.

Chip claims that the PGA TOUR stop in Greensboro was an exception to the rule that the TOUR "played almost exclusively at private clubs used only by the wealthy." But the PGA TOUR stop in Greensboro has been hosted by only three private clubs, Sedgefield, Starmount Forest, and Forest Oaks. It is also worth noting that the PGA TOUR has had stops at public access courses for decades.

Chip also claims that the GGO (the former tournament name) "was unique because it was run solely by volunteers." But that is another inaccurate statement. The Hartford Jaycees have run what is now known as the Buick Championship for over half a century, and other TOUR stops operate with a small professional staff that oversees a large volunteer effort, too.

Chip mistakenly says "For a long time the tournament was held 2 weeks before the Masters." In fact, the tournament held the spot immediately before the Masters for years.

It is a shame that Chip's post is full of errors, and he misidentified his target. It is also disappointing that a wider audience read his misinformation when the News & Record reprinted his post in their Mixing It Up section yesterday.


Judith Miller Released From Jail

NY Times reporter Judy Miller was released from jail this evening after three months in the can. The Times is reporting that her source for a story she never reported was Scooter Libby, VP Dick Cheney's chief of staff. Libby reportedly identified Valerie Plame as a covert CIA operative, information that was later made public by Robert Novak.

It will be interesting to see if President follows through on his public promise to fire anyone who leaked that information (he later changed his firing promise to apply to anyone convicted of a crime in the case).

Thursday, September 29, 2005


I visited Amanda Congdon's RocketBoom for the first time today. It's a cool video blog with a three minute daily update. Amanda seems to be quite the funny and hip lady, evidenced by her plans to attend ConvergeSouth next weekend.

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Not Your Father's Rotary Meeting

Yesterday's meeting at Crescent Rotary was unique. Instead of the usual report from a government official, business leader, or civic group, the Ruby Scarab belly dancers paid a visit.

One of the dancers talked a bit about the art of belly dancing and its history, and then they gave a performance. I have to say that the dancing was considerably more athletic than I expected.

The amazing thing is that while they were shaking their hips, their upper bodies remained so still. That made me think that belly dancing might be a suitable training aid for golf.

Nah...that conjures up an image no wants in his/her head.


Geography Lesson

Today's (Raleigh) News & Observer includes an article about restless Wolfpack fans in the wake of the team's loss to Carolina over the weekend. The article's sidebar includes a quote from one of my recent posts about head coach Chuck Amato.

The weird thing is that the sidebar identifies me as a Triangle blogger. Perhaps we should add a geography session to journalism and media portion of ConvergeSouth.

Monday, September 26, 2005

Another Home Run For Triad Stage

Triad Stage's production of A Streetcar Named Desire closed yesterday, and the show was fabulous. It had to be a daunting task to put on a production of one of the great American plays, but director Preston Lane and his cast made it look easy. Quincy Dunn-Baker was riveting, capturing several laughs as the simple Stanley Kowalski. I look forward to seeing him perform again.

Triad Stage's next production is The Turn of the Screw, an appropriate choice as we approach Halloween. Ticket information is here.


Interview With The Gate Keeper - Part 2

The Gate City blog recently celebrated its first birthday. In honor of this event, the Gate Keeper granted an email interview recently. Part 2 of the interview appears below (his answers are in italics). You can also see the part 1 here.

9) Your RSS feed does not seem to be working anymore. Why did you turn it off?

Our feeds are off. Its part of my effort to keep things real. Some called us hypocritical when we said we blog for us (and MF.) The easiest way to refute that was to turn the feeds off so people had to actually search out the blog rather than have it right there in front of them. That is true Alternative Media, buddy. Our hits have not gone down, either. They have actually increased.

10) What happened to stories about your god son?

You are right, I have not blogged my Godson or any of my other kids lately. Rest assured, they are great. I just saw him recently. Gate taught him to say, "What's happening hot stuff?" and "Hey, Chickie." I need to do an update soon.

11) Are you really Richard Florida?

This Gate is Republican, so I can't be Richard Florida. I also don't make my living promoting a fad I came up with while relieving myself.

12) Can you name the Super Seven for us?

The Super Seven is a state secret. We will say that its membership is not fixed. It changes from time to time. Currently it is composed of 4 blondes, 2 brunettes, and 1 redhead.

13) Where has Gate's Mailbag gone? Were those letters real?

The Mail Bag is overflowing and needs to be emptied. Currently the chick who checks the mail is on vacation. Expect it to return when she does. And yes, the letter are real. You should know that, you forward them to me.

Sunday, September 25, 2005

Six Years Today

Six years ago at this very moment Kristen and I were saying our wedding vows. Marrying Kristen that day was the best thing I have ever done.

Soon after we met I knew I wanted to grow old with Kristen. She is smart, pretty, and she makes being a great mom to our Sarah look easy. I am lucky that I was able to trick her into letting me into her life.

This may be only our sixth anniversary, but she has owned my heart for 15 years.


Blogger Forum For City Council Candidates

Local bloggers have organized a forum for at-large candidates in the upcoming Greensboro City Council primary election. The forum is at the Weatherspoon Art Gallery Auditorium this Tuesday (9/27/05) at 6:45pm, and the candidates will be available for a meet and greet a half hour before.

This event is the brainchild of local blogger Hardy Floyd, and the forum will be moderated by local blogger Michael Christopher. Many other local bloggers worked on the logistics and questions for this forum, and it promises to be a fun and informative event.


Converge South

Converge South is now full for Friday, October 7, but you can still sign up for the next day's sessions. You better hurry if you want to hang out with the cool kids in two weeks.


Big Link

This week's Big Link is How Do You Like Me Know? This blog is authored by my neighbor jw, a great lady if ever I knew one. Please give this cool chick a click.

Saturday, September 24, 2005

Wolfpack Falls Again

Carolina upset NC State today and exposed the Wolfpack faithful's annual tradition of believing the team is better than it really is. For many Wolfpack fans, losing to their arch rival is a stinging defeat. For me, the sting comes from losing to another very average team at home.

In head coach Chuck Amato's first four years as a head coach, he had at his disposal arguably the best offensive player in the history of the ACC. He managed only a 17-15 conference record during that time. Last year, he had the top rated defense in the country but suffered through a losing season.

Amato came to the Wolfpack from Florida State, whose great teams' hallmark was beating opponents while being undisciplined. The simple fact is that even with improved talent, NC State is not good enough to overcome boneheaded mistakes.

The Wolfpack regularly commits way too many major penalties, wastes its timeouts, and mismanages the clock when it matters most. Amato has not adjusted the coaching style he learned as an assistant coach at FSU to the talent he has at State, so his teams continue to lose games they should win.

Amato is an alum and a good salesman. That has allowed him a longer grace period than others might have, but soon he will have to show that he can instill some discipline in his team ... or he will be shown the door.


Season Over For Palmeiro

Kudos to the Baltimore Orioles for benching Rafael Palmeiro for the rest of the season. Palmeiro, who famously wagged his finger at Congress in a hearing about steroid use in the sport, later tested positive and was suspended without pay.

I suspect the Orioles suspended Palmeiro to avoid the bad publicity he was drawing to the team rather than making an ethical statement. Let's hope that baseball teams will voice their collective disapproval by not signing Palmeiro in the off-season.


Interview With The Gate Keeper

The Gate City blog recently celebrated its first birthday. In honor of this event, the Gate Keeper granted an email interview recently. Part 1 of the interview appears below (his answers are in italics).

1) Why do you blog anonymously? Are you someone famous or important?

I am neither important nor famous. Gate is rather self-conscious about his looks and prefers to be hidden in the shadows.

2) Are you really Patrick Eakes (not that he is famous or important)?

I am not Patrick Eakes but he is sometimes me. Patrick is part of the editorial board of Gate City Blog and has been known to contribute from time to time. We wish we were Patrick, but then, who wouldn't? He has the American Dream - a great wife, a cute daughter, his own business, and a dog. Gate wants a dog.

3) Sometimes you say "I" and sometimes you say "We". How many Gate Keepers are there?

I, We, it is all the same thing. Gate Keeper's real name is Legion, and they number, well, not in the thousands, but about half a dozen, give or take.

4) You have mentioned that you see MF occasionally. Does MF know about your blog and if so, what does she think about it?

Of course MF knows we blog, she comments from time to time. MF also has full editorial control. At any time she can have a post pulled just by batting her eyes, smiling, or sending an e-mail saying, "Take down that post." MF has to be one of the coolest, if not the coolest, women in Greensboro. This Gate is lucky she even talks to him, even more so that she is a friend. I think she likes the blog. I hope it makes her smile from time to time. She has a nice smile.

5) Is Jim Melvin the Gate Keeper?

Jim Melvin is not the Gate Keeper. But we want our own bobblehead, though. His is cool.

6) How many meetups have you been to?

We have been to two meetups.

7) John Robinson comments some at your blog. Are you a News & Record employee and that requires anonymity?

We are flattered JR reads our blog. He is the man. But we are not an employee, though some of us await an offer. Gate thinks we can be better than Davenport but cheaper than Friedman.

8) Is Ed Cone the Gate Keeper?

Gate does not belong on the same internet as Ed Cone. He is the blogfather. I am only Fredo.

Thursday, September 22, 2005

We Reap What We Sow

Speaking of annoying radio announcers in the morning, 93.1 Oldies noted that a gas station was charging $ 0.07 per gallon more than another station ten miles away selling the same brand and owned by the same company. That factoid seemed meaningless enough, then the announcer added that the difference was a rip off and he was raised "better than that."

Let's put aside the fact that the cost of selling gasoline includes the cost of real estate or rent, which can vary widely in much less than ten miles even with common ownership. Who says gas stations have to sell their gas at a minimum profit?

I am sure the sales reps for Oldies 93.1 sell their ad time for as much as they can get, not the bare minimum over cost. The same is true of almost all businesses. That station charging the higher rate only does so because it is still selling gas at that price.

By continuing to buy SUV's and not demanding our elected representatives deal with our country's lack of energy independence, we have made it clear to petroleum companies that we will buy gas at whatever prices they charge. I don't like the prices at the pump anymore than the next person, but it is what we have collectively chosen.


Thanks, Shu

I read my current YES! Weekly last night and knew I would have to post about the annoying AJ's departure from 98.7 Sybil. It turns out that TheShu has already summarized my thoughts quite well. Thanks Shu!

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Wing Nut Analysis

Three weeks ago some fruit loops claimed that Hurricane Katrina was really God going Old Testament on New Orleans because of the city's reputation as a haven for what they consider unacceptable lifestyles.

With the even more fierce Hurricane Rita bearing down on Dubya's home state of Texas and his parent's home city of Houston (they claim it as home when it's convenient), I wonder what their rationalization will be this time.


And The Winner Is...

The Business Journal reports that Advanced Home Care won an award for its efforts to improve the quality of wound care. Two years ago I watched one of their nurses visit my home twice a day for several weeks to provide wound care. She was dedicated, careful, and caring in her work, so I concur with the judges on their award.


That's Way Too Fast

The United Way had its fund raising campaign kick off at noon today. The UW loaned executive working my account was at my office at 2:00pm sharp with our package. That is way too fast.

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Michelle Wie Turns Pro

ESPN is reporting the worst kept secret in sports this year: Michelle Wie is turning pro. Many of the details of her decision have been reported for over a month in Golfweek, including the timing of her first tourney as a pro and that the William Morris Agency will represent her.

The Wie family requested a no commission deal with a guaranteed $15 million per year from the agency, but it appears they settled on a number closer to $10 million (no word on the commission yet). Wie has also hired future hall of famer Juli Inkster's caddie, a critical part of any future success.

What we know is that Wie has immense golf talent. What we do not know is if she can elevate her game high enough to play well when it is a business, the cameras follow her even more than they do now, and demands on her time increase.

She would do well to make friends with people like Tiger Woods and Annika Sorenstam, who might be willing to take her under their wings.


Bunch Of Sheetz

I went by the Sheetz on Guilford College tonight in hopes they were ready to do business, but I left disappointed.

Half of their nozzles were bagged, indicating they were out of petrol or inoperable. Some others had signs requiring that gas purchases be prepaid inside, so I went to another station that was prepared to do business.

Some might call me lazy for not walking inside and prepaying, but I expect more from Sheetz. They hold themselves out as the pinnacle of convenience, but they failed miserably tonight.


Lunch Chat

I had a delightful lunch with Michael and his colleague, Terri. We were there to talk about Rotary, but our conversation covered topics as varied as the Vietnam War and High IQ Bowl.

Terri keeps up with several local blogs. She also reads the Soldier's blog and likes that it is anonymous, because he represents all soldiers that way. I appreciated her viewpoint and had not considered that before.

As we left lunch, we got to see Luna.................oh, and Ed was there too.


No, Anything But That

Talk about drawing the short straw. Memphis gets flooded with evacuees, and we get their American Idol wannabes. Now what did Greensboro ever do that was so bad as to get this punishment?

Monday, September 19, 2005

Biz Journal And The N&R

I was surprised to open the current edition of The Business Journal and find John Robinson's face inside (story on line, picture is not). The Biz Journal recounted a post at Ed Cone's blog about business coverage in the News & Record that included a response from John.

I read the original post and comments, and it never occurred to me they could be useful to the Biz Journal. Of course, I have never been that good at marketing.

Sunday, September 18, 2005

Rosenberg On Golf

"I would initiate 'Operation: Inga.' The Triad is lucky enough to be home to the headquarters of Volvo Trucks North America. The Chrysler Classic has struggled to get Tiger Woods to play, but perhaps we can turn this to our advantage by seeking Volvo's help in promising the rest of the field access to unbelievably hot Swedish nannies, just like the one that Tiger Woods married."

Jim Rosenberg writes another funny Sunday column. This week he offers some tips, some perhaps even helpful, for improving the Chrysler Classic.


Sometimes You Are The Dog...

...And sometimes you are the fire hydrant.

I knew I needed to go low yesterday to make the cut at the Carolinas Mid-Amateur. I got off to a decent start, then my swing and round collapsed on the fourth hole.

In preparation for a planned swing overhaul this winter, I made a minor change two weeks ago. I was struggling a bit with the change, and tournaments of this caliber are played on courses designed to expose any weakness in a player's game. Boy, was my unstable swing exposed.

It got so bad that I considered withdrawing from the tournament in the middle of the round. I was concerned that my terrible play would rub off on the guys with whom I was paired. I am a firm believer that my first responsibility is not to do anything that negatively affects my playing partners.

I managed to finish the round, though. And for the record, I was the only member of the group who did not throw a club or yell any profanity. So, I got that part right.

Over a dozen golfers withdrew rather than post a high score. I hated to see a score of 88 beside my name on the scoreboard, but I think I did the right thing by finishing the round.

Saturday, September 17, 2005

Candidates Forum

Local bloggers are sponsoring a candidates forum for the at-large city council race on September 27. Hardy Floyd initiated the idea for this forum, and you can get all the details here.

Friday, September 16, 2005

First Round Recap

Today was a struggle in the first round of the Carolinas Mid-Amateur. I hit the ball all over the lot but managed to get in with a 78.

For you golfers, here are the critical stats. I hit just four fairways and four greens, not good by any standard. Three of the four greens hit were par fives where I was no more than 20 yards from the stick in two.

After opening with three pars, my round derailed a bit on my fourth hole, #13. It is a long and difficult par three, and I pulled my tee shot into very deep grass. It took five of us almost the entire five minute limit to find the ball.

The grass was over a foot deep, and I was brushing the top of the thicket lightly hoping to find my ball below. Just when I brushed the right patch, I saw my ball below just as it dislodged and rolled about 2".

By the rules of golf, it is a one shot penalty if a player or his caddie causes his ball to move (outside a hazard), even if searching for it. I had to replace the ball where it originally lay, assess myself a penalty, then hit it as hard as I could to move it about five yards. I ended up chipping in for a double bogey 5.

There are still a few players on the course, so I do not know how well everyone else played. My guess is I will need 72 or better tomorrow to make the cut, so I better have my A game then.

Thursday, September 15, 2005

Carolinas Mid-Amateur

I am coming to you live from the Hampton Inn in Morganton, NC. They have free wireless internet access, a nice plus. They are also located near Mimosa Hills, host of the Carolinas Mid-Amateur for the next three days.

I played a practice round this afternoon and really enjoyed the course. It is a classic Donald Ross design recently restored by Kris Spence of Greensboro. The conditioning of the course is a bit suspect, though. The greens have not recovered from aerification two weeks ago and the fairways are not cut very short.

As the saying goes, the conditions will be the same for everyone. But we all hope the conditions are as good as possible for everyone.

This tournament is the championship for North and South Carolina for amateur golfers aged 30 and over. Needless to say, the competition is keen and I am pleased to have qualified for the tournament. Now I have to go out and prove I belong here.

Sunday, September 11, 2005

9/11 Ghosts

"Doug was a year ahead of me in school, but now I'm older than he will ever be. I still have the invitation to his 40th birthday party that arrived the week he died. He and Calvin are 39 and 38 for good..."

Ed Cone writes about the importance of remembering his friends in his weekly News & Record column. Doug and Calvin were two of Ed's college roommates, and they were killed in New York on 9/11/01.

Ed reaffirms that he is a gifted writer by writing so eloquently about friends lost much too young. More importantly, by sharing his feelings about his friends, he reveals his love and friendship with those guys is stronger than his sadness at losing them.

It makes me glad to be Ed's friend.

Related: three years ago Ed wrote this column about his friends. It is still the most poignant single piece I have read about 9/11.

Saturday, September 10, 2005

Oh, Ophelia

Kristen, Sarah, and I returned from vacation this morning. We were in North Myrtle Beach, SC, very close to the current projected path of Hurricane Ophelia.

The wind and clouds picked up each of the last few days. Yesterday, the ocean current was noticeably stronger, pulling southward with great force. I am a strong swimmer, and I could not negate the water's pull.

We were lucky to have an overall good week of weather, but this week's visitors may not be so lucky.


Big Link

This week's Big Link is Mel's Kitchen, the new cooking blog at the News & Record. This was a blog I hoped the N&R would develop, so let's give Mel some support by clicking here.

By the way, I have been on vacation for a week, and I neglected to post last week's Big Link. After you visit Mel, go visit Seymour's Purple Mind.

Thursday, September 08, 2005

A Match For The Ages

Andre Agassi's five set comeback victory over James Blake last night was one of the greatest tennis matches ever played. Blake took the first two sets 6-3, 6-3. Agassi bounced back to win the next two sets by the same score, setting up a one final set.

Blake was up a break late in the fifth set, but Agassi broke back to even the score. Even after they reached 6-6 in games and went to a tie breaker, the match remained even, reaching 6-6 in the tie break.

Agassi hit two big shots at the end to win the tie breaker and the match, then he and Blake embraced at the net, fully aware of the great match they had just played.

It was tennis at its best.


Three Cheers For Triad Stage

Three cheers for Triad Stage, which has retired the debt accumulated during its start up.

Greensboro and the Triad are lucky to have Preston Lane and Rich Whittington, the visionaries behind Triad Stage. They came to Greensboro from Dallas, TX with a dream of bringing outstanding live theatre to our area.

They have had their struggles along the way as they found their financial and artistic footing, but their dream is now a reality and one of our community's great assets.


Katrina Response Timeline

Via Ed Cone, Josh Marshall has a timeline of events leading up to Hurricane Katrina's landfalls until now.

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

It All Adds Up

The Biz Journal reports that Wake Forest has admitted 14 freshman from Tulane University and expects to receive seven law school students this week, too. I am out of the Triad while on vacation, but I am impressed to see all the ways big and small that the Triad is providing assistance to former Gulf coast residents.

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Beach Blogging

My family and I are at North Myrtle Beach this week enjoying good friend Jane Martin's wonderful condo. Blogging on the road is a new experience for me, since I just got a Dell Inspiron 6000 (big virtual hug to Blogmama Sue for her help selecting and purchasing this notebook).

We arrived Saturday, and it was immediately evident that the Labor Day weekend crowd was much smaller than in past years. I guess the price at the pump killed the traffic, but the smaller number of people here is a good thing in my book.

Sarah is digging the pool, "big waves" in the ocean, and lots of room to run around. I am digging the slower pace and not answering the phone every 90 seconds.

Maybe I will figure out how to use this digital camera I have had for a year and post some pictures...


Local Web Portal to Consolidate Relief Efforts for Gulf Evacuees

Greensboro, NC - - September 5, 2005 - - Triad organizations, individuals, and businesses have created a centralized Web portal to address aid for incoming evacuees from the Gulf Coast. is the point site for distributing up-to-date information about how citizens can help in the relief effort.

Volunteer information collected from will be distributed to the appropriate organizations, including the United Way of Greensboro and the Red Cross. A number of local congregations are participating and the site has a form where clergy can sign up to volunteer.’s community bulletin board allows Triad residents to exchange information. Organizations are encouraged to use this forum to share fund-raiser events and other activities specifically to benefit displaced Gulf Coast residents who have come to North Carolina.

Although it is not known yet how many evacuees Greensboro might be asked to shelter, site organizers felt it was important to have a plan in place in order to accommodate them as quickly and comfortably as possible.

“Regardless of how many people come to Greensboro initially,” says John Bletch, Associate Pastor at Christ United Methodist Church, “there are going to be both short-term and long-term housing issues for hurricane victims evacuated to North Carolina. With the enormity of this disaster, we need to co-ordinate with community groups to ensure we treat everyone who comes here with dignity and care.”

Bletch is one of several Greensboro citizens spearheading Under the guidance of TechTriad’s Sue Polinsky and Carolinanet’s Nicky Smith, a dedicated group of technology professionals began putting the site together as soon as word got to Greensboro that evacuees could be on the way. The outpouring of volunteer technical expertise has been significant.

Bletch says, “The various community agencies will start posting links to our site directing those wishing to use an online tool to register as a volunteer. Thanks to the Web design and programming skills this group has at its disposal, our community has a centralized place for finding the best ways to help.”

Triad residents interested in volunteering, joining the online discussions, and/or keeping up with relief efforts are encouraged to visit frequently.

For more information, contact:
John Bletch
Project Manager,
Tel: (336) 299-1571 ext. 307
Mobile: (336) 362-3307

Web Site:



The DCI finals will be shown on ESPN2 tonight at 10pm. These finals have been on PBS for 30 years, so this will be their commercial network debut.

The show will feature highlights from the top six drum and bugle corps, plus inside looks at life in the corps. Give it a try - you might be impressed with the dedication and talent of these young people.

Monday, September 05, 2005

Chief Justice John Roberts

That was fast! Only 36 hours after Chief Justice Rehnquist died, President Bush named John Roberts as his nominee to replace Rehnquist.

As I wrote yesterday, I think this is a shrewd move by Bush. He will leave his fingerprints on the Supreme Court for decades and avoid a prolonged fight in the Senate.

Roberts might not be my ideal nominee, but I think he is one that is smart, thoughtful, and palatable to people of most political persuasions.


Report From Iraq

"At one time, we were so close I could see the glow off the instrument panel from helicopter we were flying next to. Out of the city, just like back home, the lights became fewer and far between. I could occasionally see what to me seemed like a family gathered in the back yard eating dinner with neighbors. All the while, my senses and training told me to be cautious and expect the worst.

The Soldier has a lengthy report that includes info and pictures from another soldier. Check out his entire post here.


How The Dead Came To Life

Photo by Jim Marshall

I am the first to admit that Rolling Stone does not pack the consistent punch it once did, but the longtime rock 'n roll magazine has had several great articles and interviews in its recent editions. The current edition has an insightful piece on the early days of The Grateful Dead. It's an interesting read with information that will be new to all but the most dedicated Dead aficionados.

Related: Ed Cone's interview series with Jerry Garcia from 1987.


The Song Remains The Same For The Wolfpack

Last night's game against the Virginia Tech Hokies produced mixed results for the NC State Wolfpack. The offense is improved and more innovative and the defense remains talented, but the team's lack of discipline continues to more than offset those positive areas.

The Wolfpack took its first possession down the field in an impressive drive for a touchdown. The mix of short passes and running kept the Hokie defense on its heels. For the rest of the game, the Wolfpack played as at least the equal of the #8 Hokies, but needless penalties allowed Virginia Tech to outscore NC State.

It seemed that every time the Wolfpack made a key defensive stop to force a punt, it committed a personal foul to extend the Hokie's drive that would result in a score. The Wolfpack also committed offensive infractions that hindered their own drives.

This tendency to commit too many penalties, particularly of the 15 yard personal foul variety, led to the Wolfpack's dismal 5-6 record last year. NC State simply does not have the kind of superior talent that will allow it to commit so many penalties and still win, a la Miami or Florida State teams in the 1990's.

Coach Chuck Amato has stated that reducing penalties is job one this year. If so, he has a long way to go to achieve a passing grade.

Sunday, September 04, 2005

Eyes Turn To Judge Roberts

With the death of Chief Justice William Rehnquist, President Bush now has two vacancies to fill on the high court. I believe it has been over 30 years since there were two simultaneous vacancies.

Judge John Roberts has already been nominated to replace retiring Justice Sandra Day O’Connor. I have read a good bit about his rulings and opinions as analyzed by writers of diverse political leanings. Roberts impresses me as a thoughtful and considerate attorney and jurist. I do not agree with all of his views, but I respect his forthrightness, intellect, and good humor.

Now I wonder if Roberts might be considered for Chief Justice. He is young enough to hold that position for a generation, cementing Bush’s influence on the court for just as long. And even as a young attorney in the Reagan White House, Roberts showed great candor and persuasion over older and more experienced attorneys.

With growing public opposition to America’s presence in Iraq, criticism to the slow federal response to the Katrina disaster, and flagging poll numbers, Bush might want to avoid a confirmation fight on the US Senate floor and take the easy confirmation Roberts would likely produce. And I think that centrists and lefties could hardly be more pleased than to have Roberts confirmed. Any alternative would likely be more conservative.


Wolfpack Football Kicks Off

NC State opens its football season tonight at home against Virginia Tech. It is an important game for the Wolfpack and head coach Chuck Amato, only one year removed from a dismal and unexpected 5-6 season.

The Wolfpack’s recruiting class of 2003 was one of the best in the country. This is the year when those players are supposed to mature into a great team, one that could contend for the ACC championship. Those dreams start with a good game against VT.

The high point of last season came when the Wolfpack beat VT on the road. It was an impressive win when it happened, but it looked even better at the end of year. VT’s only losses last year came against NC State and the only undefeated teams, Auburn and Southern Cal.
Coach Amato and his players need a similarly impressive performance tonight to get the season started on the right track.


YES! To The Gate Keeper

The current YES! Weekly’s top ten list features the easiest jobs in the Triad. Listed among the jobs is campaign manager for unopposed incumbent mayor Keith Holliday.

The job description compares Holliday to Barry Bostwick, the actor who played the mayor in Spin City and the young protagonist in The Rocky Horror Picture Show. That comparison is a not so subtle nod to the Gate Keeper, who routinely refers to Holliday as Mayor Bostwick.

I am sure Gate is pleased.

Saturday, September 03, 2005


We are headed to the coast for a week. After working until midnight or later most of the week, I am ready to kick up my heels for a few days.

Friday, September 02, 2005

Update From New Orleans

New Orleans' sad descent into complete anarchy and lawlessness continues, as reported here and here.

I talked again this evening with my good friend Mark Grant, who is in direct contact with his fiancee's New Orleans-based family. Her family evacuated to points between New Orleans suburbs and Texas.

Mark tells me that most businesses above water have been looted, so the criminals are now systematically ransacking homes looking for anything of value to take. The frustration and anger among evacuated citizens has reached the boiling point, and he continues to fear that the violence will continue to escalate, even among the most civil residents.

His fiancee's aunt and uncle have decided to take matters into their own hands. Using back roads, they penetrated the security wall around New Orleans and returned to their home. There they sit with no electricity or fresh water, but with loaded rifles ready to defend their home.

Let's hope that something...anything...happens to turn the tide toward a more optimistic outcome.


Bryan Park Golf Course Facelift

Bryan Park has announced that it will renovate and restore the greens and bunkers on its Players Course starting next week. The work is needed, because the greens and bunkers have been no better than mediocre for the past few years.

The greens will be restored to their original shapes and sizes and seeded with a mixture of two newly developed types of bent grass that do very well in our climate. The bunker work will involve replacing the sand and increasing the bunkers' ability to drain water.

The history of renovations at Bryan Park is cause for concern. The Champions Course renovated its greens in 2000-2001, and it did not turn out well initially. The seeding effort failed on some greens, and they had to be sodded. Then the course reopened before the sodded areas were ready. It took a couple more years for those greens to come around.

Let's hope this upcoming work will restore a golf course that has the potential to be pretty good.

Thursday, September 01, 2005

An Idea Whose Time Has Come

Nod to friend Jack for the cartoon.


Wedding Canceled

One of my best friends, Mark Grant, was scheduled to get married next week in New Orleans, his fiancee's home town. Their wedding has been postponed indefinitely. Mark put it in perspective by saying "My inlaws don't even have clothes."

In conversations with his his inlaws, Mark has learned that the situation on the ground is considerably worse than can be captured in the print and visual media. The amount of decomposing flesh and waste that is everywhere, combined with stifling heat and humidity, has created scenes out of Lord of the Flies.

He also told me that authorities on the perimeter of New Orleans are turning away angry residents who are insisting they be allowed to return to their property, and he believes these confrontations might grow violent. I had two immediate responses to his fears of increased violence.

The gulf coast has a reputation for its residents being gun owners, which could make the confrontations a big problem. It also occurs to me that this is one of those situations where it would be nice to have more of our National Guard forces in our own country to help keep calm.

© Copyright Patrick Eakes 2004-2010