Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Breakfast with the Champions

The day we've been waiting for all this long winter finally arrived! And I'm having a hard time figuring out which aspect of today's events was the most bizarre. Waking up at 5 am to watch the pre-game show? How about the "opening ceremonies" featuring young Japanese girls dancing across the field in traditional costumes? How about the gigantic flower bouquets presented to each manager at home plate? All of those were fairly odd, certainly, and I assume won't be duplicated any time soon.

In spite of the unusual beginning to baseball season, it was good to see that there also were a lot of similarities to last year's championship season:
  • Matsuzaka threw entrirely too many pitches causing me to yell at the car radio by the second inning
  • the bullpen pitched very well, except for a minor blip from Paps
  • the rookies all played their hearts out, especially Brandon Moss, the happiest man on earth
  • Manny was...well, Manny
  • Best of all...the Sox won the game in an exciting, come-from-behind, extra-innings game!

So. We're undefeated. It's spring. All is right with the world.

*Picture by Barry Chin, courtesy of Boston.com.

Monday, March 24, 2008

The 4000

Here's the original image by Nico Pitney and post. Be sure to click it open all the way so you can see some of the faces close-up. It's quite powerful, and so very sad.

Bring them the hell home.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Chicken Shit Sunday

Five weeks from this very moment, I will have experienced "Chicken Shit Sunday" in Austin. It looks like a hoot-and-a-half, and far different from many of the other ways we've entertained ourselves while on vacation.

For those of you who might not be traveling to Austin, youtube has (of course) provided an alternative. Enjoy.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Texas Music Series: Dixie Chicks

Here's a two-fer: one of my favorite guilty pleasures, the Dixie Chicks (from Texas) reacting to their famous anti-Bush statement. Perfect as a palette cleanser for the fifth anniversary of the war in Iraq. And, no, I ain't ready to make nice either.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

History in the Making

OK, I admit it. I'm fully, madly, deeply supportive of Senator Obama. Today proved it most forcefully for me.

I'm sure he realized that at some point he was going to have to give a speech like this, and it came at a time when he apparently most needed it. All of us should ask ourselves, when was the last time a politician actually talked to us? Actually talked in a way that was normal, about a topic that each of us faces every day?

::scratching my head::

Well, the answer is simple: never. If you haven't had a chance to hear the speech today, here it is. Do yourself a favor and let yourself listen. We'll all be better for having done so.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Where to Begin?

Couple of questions for you tonight.

What exactly does Geraldine Ferraro mean by this?

"If Obama was a white man, he would not be in this position," she continued. "And if he was a woman (of any color) he would not be in this position. He happens to be very lucky to be who he is. And the country is caught up in the concept."

Let me get this straight. Ms. Ferraro, who was nominated to be VP in 1984 solely on the basis of being a woman, thinks that Senator Obama is leading in the nomination process because he's NOT white? While I have no reason to believe that Geraldine Ferraro is a racist, she is allowing those who might believe that blacks get an advantage in our society due to their color to think that Senator Obama has "jumped the line," that somehow he hasn't earned his place. Unfortunately, there are too many white people (and I'm related to some) who think that affirmative action is "reverse discrimination." Unfortunately, there is no history of discrimination against white people in our society, and so that theory doesn't have a leg to stand on.

Question Number Two for today: Was last week a bad one for Senator Obama? If you listen to the average nightly news broadcast, you might think so. But check this out.

"So officially, Obama has a 13-delegate advantage for the week even before Mississippi votes tomorrow. Throw in the unpledged delegate in Wyoming who will certainly be an Obama delegate, and unofficially, Obama notched a 14-delegate gain in this "week from hell" for him."

And every time you hear anyone saying that HRC won Texas, be sure to tell them otherwise. Yes, she won the popular vote, but Senator Obama won in the more important delegate count. Paging Al Gore...

Keep the faith, peeps.

PS: I really must have been a hurry last night. Sorry for the incoherence.

Saturday, March 08, 2008

Texas Music Series: Janis

I came of age just before Janis died, without knowing how much of a trailblazer she was. I didn't question the fact that there were so few women in rock and roll who were able to stand on a stage and rip your heart out - along with her own.

Janis is an American treasure.

Foreign Policy Credentials?

Senator Clinton has tried to make her so-called "experience" as First Lady stand up as making her the better candidate for the presidency. Well, journalists are starting to investigate this jut a bit and the answer is not good:

"In Clinton's case, she may well have exercised influence on foreign policy that is hard to document because she had a unique opportunity to offer private counsel to her husband, President Bill Clinton.

But while Hillary Clinton represented the U.S. on the world stage at important moments while she was first lady, there is scant evidence that she played a pivotal role in major foreign policy decisions or in managing global crises."

I'm not suggesting she has NO experience. Certainly simply observing all the important events of the Clinton administration close up has to be an advantage. But anyone with a decent brain could have soaked up the same experiences.

Also, what is the deal with Senator Clinton saying that only she and Grandpa McW have crossed the "threshold" to be commander-in-chief? Since when do Democrats do that to each other? This infuriated me so much the other night that I picked up the phone and called her Arlington, Virginia, headquarters to give them a piece of my mind. I suppose it was a good thing that I ended up in voice mail hell and eventually was hung up on.

Looks like Joe Lieberman has a competitor for Democrat Most Likely to Implode.

::fingers crossed::

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

No, They Wouldn't Do That, Would They??

Would the HRC campaign REALLY do this? I'd like to think they wouldn't stoop so low, but it appears to be a distinct possibility. Man, this campaign is getting way too intense, and it only gives Grandpa McW the edge. Check it out for yourself. The top picture is from the recent debate, the bottom picture is how HRC's team featured Senator Obama in a campaign ad (click on the pix below to see it in full size). You be the judge.

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Texas Music Series: Big Mama Thornton

If you thought Elvis was the original hound dog, you would be wrong. Be sure to listen to the very end - it's great.

Monday, March 03, 2008

Health Care: USA-Style

The TV show, "60 Minutes" hasn't been relevant to us in years, especially since the dimmest of bulbs, Katie Couric, joined the team. But last night's show featured a report about the "Remote Area Medical Corps" or RAM. The charity was initially started in the 90’s by it’s founder, Stan Brock (former co-star of Wild Kingdom...now there's a blast from the past!), to give health care relief to remote areas of Latin America. Last night's segment made America’s health care system look not all that much different than that of a third world country.

RAM set up for a weekend in Knoxville, Tennessee, and their eye doctors, gynecologists, dentists and other medical personnel offered free medical care for as many people as they could handle in two days. People were camping out in 20-degree weather for the opportunity to see the doctors. It literally looked like a scene from "The Grapes of Wrath" with people staring into the wire fence with broken, sad faces. Old people, children, young people - all needing medical care.

It brought me to near tears, especially when a woman who was nearly blind and missed the cut-off for getting help was reduced to saying she would have to beg...her friends, her church for assistance to get new glasses. Instead of being angry, she half-smiled, shrugged and said "God will provide."

The people in line for free health care were not entirely poverty striken - many simply had ridiculously high deductibles, or were forced to choose to feed their children rather than see doctors themselves. Needless to say, although the team was able to serve nearly 1,000 people, hundreds were turned away. As I watched I wondered how many of these people had voted for the Chimp, against their own economic self-interest. Imagine if the Democrats set up a voter registration table right alongside these people - something tells me they would have had a rapt audience for the universal health care policy.

Perhaps some smart person will ask Grandpa McCain what his plan is for taking care of Americans who aren't serving in the military. Go here to see a short version of the story, or to the CBS site for the entire segment.

I end on a positive note: the woman who needed the glasses was able to slip in at the last minute and get her glasses. Apparently, God does provide.

UPDATE: Donate to RAM here.