Friday, December 28, 2007

Auld Lang Syne

I've gotten a little carried away with this Auld Lang Syne. Since I made a typo on "rendition" on the previous post, I felt I needed to give you another rendition. Enjoy!

Auld Lang Syne

This is a little different redition of Auld Lang Syne. Enjoy!

A Happy And Healthy New Year To All

I suppose this will be my last post until 2008 rolls around. Can you believe that in just three days we will start a brand new year? As usual it will take two or three weeks before I stop using 2007 on my checks.

Some of the family will be present in the Clark mansion for New Years Day. I expect to have Wallie, Manny, Travis and Mary Peyton as Rob will go back to Winston-Salem on Sunday. We will miss him and wish that he could be here to help us celebrate.

The usual fare will be on the dining table -- pork roast, blackeyed peas, sweet potatoes, cabbage and probably some other goodies I may decide to have. Traditionally, one should have hog jowl, but I'm not much into that part of the pig and will substitute the pork roast. Blackeyed peas are a must as they are said to bring good luck in the new year. Something green, some say, improves the finances, so I hope that the cabbage is green enough for that.

I usually fall asleep on New Years Eve before the old clock tolls midnight. But maybe this year I can at least watch the ball drop in Times Square in New York which, of course, is 11:00 our time. Does that count?

Who knows what 2008 will bring for any of us -- my guess is that it is a good thing that we don't know -- takes all of the fun out of living.

There is so much turmoil here and abroad that one can only hope and pray that somehow we can have peace on the planet. But that is probably asking too much -- it has never happened and unlikely to happen in this new year. We can continue to pray and maybe each one of us can make some kind of difference in the hearts of our brothers and sisters who walk this old Earth.

My wish for each of you is that the new year will bring to you the spiritual joy that you may be seeking and God will bless you and your loved ones.

I'm not much of a singer, and you are fortunate there is no sound to this post (I don't know how to do that), but I would like to leave you with this to sing in your own melodious tones:

Auld Lang Syne
Should auld acquaintance be forgot
and never brought to mind?
Should auld acquaintance be forgot
and days of auld lang syne?
For auld lang syne, my dear,
for auld lang syne,
we'll take a cup of kindness yet,
for auld lang syne.
Should auld acquaintance be forgot
and never brought to mind?
Sould auld acquaintance be forgot
and days of auld lang syne?
And here's a hand, my trusty friend
And gie's a hand o' thine
We'll tak' a cup o' kindness yet
For auld lang syne.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays To All

I have been remiss in my postings, but I have been rather busy. As I have said before, I hate it when a job stands in the way of things you had rather do.

Christmas is almost upon us now, and I really can't wait. It is a great time of the year, and one where we sometimes forget the spiritual significance among all of the packages, decorated trees and all of the other stuff that makes the season so much fun.

My tree looks great, if I do say so myself. Melinda does not do decorating, so if it were left up to her one would think that Scrooge lives at our house. But everything is all set for my little Mary Peyton Marble to come in like a storm on the 18th. I can see her toys and playthings all scattered throughout the house, but one overlooks these things for a precious granddaughter.

Laurette and Travis will join Amanda, Mary Peyton, Rob, Melinda and me at the Walters' house in Aberdeen on the 21st, and we will have our Christmas with all of the rest of the Walters clan on the 23rd. They will go their separate ways to celebrate Christmas day with others of their family members -- the Marbles to Jackson, Mississippi, and the Wolfes to Jackson, Tennessee. But the great thing is that they will all be back in Olive Branch for the big Liberty Bowl celebration in Memphis. I do hope that the Dawgs take a little bite out of the University of Central Florida.

I do wish for all of you a very, very Merry Christmas and happiness for the rest of the holiday season. I'm going to make a resolution for the new year that I will try to keep up with my blogging -- I know that there are absolutely thousands out there who have missed me -- one for sure. Merry Christmas Marty -- should I have put a comma there?

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving To All

Have not blogged much lately -- work is getting to where it interfers with the fun stuff.

I did want to wish everyone a Happy Thanksgiving and hope that you are all safe as you may be going to visit family and friends.

We will spend Thursday with Laurette's inlaws in Jackson, TN, and return to Olive Branch before leaving early Friday morning to motor to Starkvegas and the Egg Bowl.

I am a little nervous about this game. One never knows what will happen when these two teams get together, and the Dawgs have so much riding on it. Of course, this is Ole Miss' bowl game as the Rebels' record will keep them from making another football trip this year.

Then there is the distraction of the "Pillowgate" affair. Have you been reading about this? What a strange thing to happen and apparently happen twice over the season -- once in Montgomery, Alabama, and once in Tupelo. There is a picture of the marquee at the Holiday Inn Express (see Kyle Veasey's blog in Clarion-Ledger) in Starkville that reads, "Secured Clocks and Pillows." Hope that doesn't make the Rebels mad as they drive into town -- they seem to play better when they are mad.

Well, anyway it should be a good game and we can all wish for a solid MSU victory and secure a bowl bid for the Dawgs. I would like the Liberty Bowl since I live in the Memphis area. We will see.

Hope to see some of you there -- if not have a joyous holiday.

Go DAWGS!!!!!!!!!!

Monday, November 12, 2007

I'm Back

It's been a while since I have posted anything, but after my trip to Starkville this past weekend, I thought it was time to say something -- GO DAWGS!!

A glorious weekend unless you were wearing some Crimson Tide color (whatever color that is since it ranges from red to maroon).

The greatest and most expensive coach in college football brings a herd of elephants to Starkvegas to play the lowly Dawgs. Have you ever seen an elephant with its tail between its legs? That is the visual you need to think of as a whole bunch of elephants go back to Tuscaloosa and other points in Alabama. It was a sight to see.

If you have not thought about it, we are the best team in Alabama because of wins over Alabama, Auburn and UAB. We are also the defacto Iron Bowl champ because we beat both of the participants.

I just can't help but think that our beloved Dawgs are on the verge of being a really good team -- at least they play hard. We've got a good chance against Arkansas and Ole Miss. Let's hope the Bulldogs can keep up their intensity.

The Razorbacks and Rebels stand a good chance of getting Croomed (a new verb in all of our vocabularies).

GO DAWGS!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Monday, October 29, 2007

Trinity Vs Millsap

For those of you college football fans who have not seen this, this is worth taking a look. Can you believe all of these laterals took place without a penalty -- holding or something?

Maybe Coach O should take add this to the Ole Miss playbook.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Senator Clinton Takes Swipe At Mississippi

Hillary Clinton, the current front-runner in the Democrat Party race for the presidency, apparently inserted her foot in her mouth in a recent newspaper interview while campaigning in Iowa.

She chastised both Iowa and Mississippi for never having elected a woman governor, senator or member of congress. Nothing especially wrong with that statement, but she went on to say, "I think Iowa poses a special burden or special obstacle to me because when you look at the numbers, how can Iowa be ranked with Mississippi?" Just what do you mean by that, Mrs. Clinton?

The Democrat candidate added, "That's not what I see. That's not the quality. That's not communitarianism. That's not the openness I see in Iowa." Say what?

Deemed "the smartest woman in the world" by some of her devout followers, I'm not even sure that she knows what she said. Read the quotes again and see if you can figure it out. I would challenge her to give a definition of communitarianism. It is defined: advocate of collective way of living: member or supporter of a collectivist or cooperative community or system. I'll let you decide what she is advocating if she truly understands. Sounds like a little of that "it takes a village" crap is creaping back into her thought processes.

Mississippi Republican Congressman Chip Pickering labeled the remarks, "inappropriate, inaccurate and unnecessary." "She was responding to a weakness of hers by trying to use a stereotype of Mississippi in contrast of what she thinks of Iowa," he added.

Republican Party Chairman Jim Herring said the comments were "calculated on her part to try and use Mississippi as some sort of ploy to get votes in Iowa."

It is certainly smart politics to go to one state and criticize another. I suppose she thinks that we are unable to read, as well.

Even though she apologized by phone on Tuesday to Senator Trent Lott, her remarks still stand as an indication of her political philosophies and feelings toward Mississippi and Mississippians. My question is, "Who really gives a rat's butt?" One might also remind American voters how the state of Arkansas progressed by leaps and bounds under hers and Bill's leadership. They really jumped to the front of the line in almost all categories when compared with other states.

Political experts and others who have one ounce of political savvy know that Senator Clinton knows she stands a snowball's chance in hell of carrying the Magnolia State in 2008. Mississippians haven't voted for a Democrat presidential candidate since Jimmy Carter carried the state in 1976 -- and history shows that was a gigantic mistake.

So Ms Clinton, take your best shots at Mississippi and while you are at it, see if you can insult the citizens of other states as well -- that is smart politics.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Hoops On The Horizon

Roundball fans need to get set for another exciting season to begin soon, and there is plenty of basketball action scheduled for the Hump.

Clemson, Miami and Missouri are some rare, if ever, visitors to the Dawg House along with Georgia, Kentucky and Tennessee from the SEC East Division. The usual round robin of home and away with the SEC West rounds out the 2008 campaign.

It all starts with tipoff on Saturday, November 3rd, against the Patriots from the University of the Cumberlands from Williamsburg, KY (the basketball equivalent of Gardner-Webb). But let us not get cocky and overlook any team this year. The old cliche of playing them one at a time should be drilled into this squad from the get go. As an aside, the Patriots' colors are also maroon and white.

Basketball media days begin today (Wednesday) in Birmingham with the Dawg's time before the writers from 9 to 11 tomorrow. In attendance for the Bulldogs will be coaches Rick Stansbury and Sharon Fanning. They will bring with them Jamont Gordon, Charles Rhodes, Marneshia Richard and Imesia Jackson.

A tacky aside -- if some of you ladies are expecting twins, you might want to consider Marneshia and Imesia as possible names to honor the Lady Dawg players -- or maybe not.

The Boy Dawgs are coming off a season as SEC West Division Champions and a run to the NIT semifinals. Actually only Arkansas should stand in the way of an SEC West repeat in 2008.

Returning from the 2007 campaign are Charles Rhodes, Jamont Gordon, Jarvis Varnado, Ben Hansbrough and Barry Stewart. Redshirt Phil Turner and transfer Brian Johnson have been through one year of practice with the Bulldogs and should contribute off the bench.

Freshmen Kodi Augustus, Ravern Johnson and Riley Benock can all shoot from downtown Starkville. Elgin Bailey (name remind you of a great BB player?) is big and impressive. preseason ranking picks the Dawgs at #20 and says, "This is a strong team that should return everybody. They look to be the best of the SEC West." Don't know when this was written, but we know that everybody didn't return -- some opted to leave and some were opted to leave. named Jamont Gordon as the top point guard in the country and lists Charles Rhodes as the 13th best power foward. Good kudos guys but don't read your press clippings.

Joel Welser of calls Stansbury's squad, "A deep and very talented team." He goes on to say "anything but another trip (to NCAA Tourney) in 2008 will be disappointing." You got that right. Welser adds that Gordon, Steward and Hansbrough are the "who to watch" guys.

But we all know that all of this stuff in print is not worth a tinker's dam -- performance is what counts -- you got to have a heap more W's than L's.

Continuing on with the cliches, the Dawgs have a long road to hoe, but barring any kind of misfortune, they should make all of us Dawg fans proud and make the ole Hump rock.

Go Dawgs!!!!!!!!!!

A Few Notes On The World Series

My prediction, for what it is worth, is the Sox in six. I have mixed emotions about the Series because of one particular player for Boston, even though, being a Yankee fan, I have an intense dislike for the Red Sox.

A sports columnist for the Fort Worth Star-Telegram put it this way, "I have no doubt Boston will win the Series, but I have my doubts."

Home field is definitely an advantage for Boston, and who knows how the long layoff will effect the Rockies -- remains to be seen.

A great story written by Rick Cleveland in this morning's Clarion Ledger is recommended reading to baseball fans in general and particularly those of State and Ole Miss.

Cleveland sets up a senario of a matchup between former Mississippi State Bulldog great Jonathan Papelbon coming to the mound in relief to face pinch hitter Seth Adams, former Rebel. The game is on the line.

Rick goes on to dub Papelbon as the best relief pitcher in baseball and describes the actual senario happening in the 2003 Southeastern Conference Tournament in Hoover. Jonathan came in in relief to face pinch hitter Smith. Papelbon went right after Smith, not wasting any pitches and got two straight strikes. Smith fouled off the 3rd pitch and hit a looping single on the 4th to tie the game. State did go on to with the game in extra innings on Thomas Berkley's homer in the 12th. Papelbon retired Smith the other two times he faced him in their college careers, both on ground-ball outs.

The matchup would be worth watching and would bring a lot of Mississippi interest to the Series.

I have no doubt Boston will win, but I have my doubts.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Wear Your Broccoli?

As one of the purposes of this blog is to inform the hundreds or even thousands who read it, this post is for those who worship the sun and must have that perfect tan. Up to now because of the scare of skin cancer caused by those ultraviolet rays of the big hot yellow ball, tanees have been prone to pile on sunscreen or sunblock with an SPF rating sometimes approaching their IQ's. Take that statement however you choose. Some don't use any sunblock and have no IQ's.

Yo momma probably told you over and over to eat your broccoli, but here comes along a study by a team of Johns Hopkins' scientists who say it is better to rub on the dark green veggie than to eat it. Specifically, the researchers say that the damaging effects of UV rays can best be reduced by the wearing of a topical solution containing an extract from broccoli sprouts.

Apparently what happens chemically is that the SPF creams only attempt to block the UV radiation whereas the broccoli solution works within the skin cells boosting the protective enzymes that defend the skin against many aspects of the sun's rays. The protectiveness of the green stuff also outlasts sunblockers, and in some cases was effective days after application.

Six human (what else would they use?) subjects participated in the broccoli research, and the results proved to be more successful than sunscreens but varied on different individuals. The researchers deemed those variances were due to genetic differences, dietary habits, etc. It all boils down to more study is required.

But in the meantime in planning for the next tanning season keep this in mind (why wait for the scientists to get it all figured out?) -- you will need some broccoli, a blender and some liquid of your choice. Swirl it around until it is spreadable and not likely to cake on the skin. Apply liberally to the exposed parts of the body, and you are set to go. Remember that this goo can last for days.

After your thorough application, you may be mistaken for Kermit, the Hulk or the Jolly Green Giant, but just laugh at your detractors, because you know you are protected. It may not be a bad idea to ingest some of the broccoli as well -- you will be protected from the inside out and outside in. Keep some in your cooler for snacks as you lie under those burning rays.

For those of you who have no inclination of going the broccoli route, I feel you need some directions as to dosage of the SPF numbered lotion you have selected. This is calculated by using a formula for body surface area and then subtracting the area that is uncovered. Make sense?

Provided one assumes an average female adult build of 5'4" in height, and weight of 125 pounds with a waist of 24", the rule of thumb is the application of 25 grams evenly to the uncovered body parts. This assumption is based on the idea that the swimsuit is of a rather modest cut, but, of course, the skimpier suits call for an increase in the amount of lotion. If your swimwear has bloomers, you will need a lot less of the sunblocker. Then too, you must adjust if your measurements differ from any or all of the averages above. This has gotten way to complicated.

Just stay covered up and buy yourself some of that stuff that turns your skin sort of an orange color, and you won't have to wait 'til summer.

Monday, October 22, 2007


Sorry! On the preceeding post I should have written "Wintley" Phipps -- it's tough getting old.

Amazing Grace History/

For those of you who have never seen this video, I would like to post it here for your enjoyment.

Winton Phipps is a fantastic singer, and you who are pianists know what he is talking about with the black notes.


Friday, October 19, 2007

John Stossel To Grill Big Al Gore

If you are looking for something to watch on TV tonight (Friday) tune to ABC's 20/20 at 7:00 Central.

I have seen some promos on the show, and co-host John Stossel says that he is going to ask some tough questions of Al Gore on the inconsistencies and downright falsehoods found in An Inconvenient Truth and other of his global warming theories.

This thing is getting out of hand in that Gore is now stating that the debate is over, and all scientists agree with him. This is an outright lie. Many scientists disagree, but they are afraid to come forward because this thing has become so political they are afraid of losing grants and maybe even their university jobs.

Stossel, who is the science correspondent for ABC News, says that statements made by Gore and his cronies about the polar bears dieing off because of melting ice caps is absolutely untrue, and, in fact, the population is actually increasing. He points out other claims that are either untrue or Gore fails to tell the whole story, only using the facts that support his contentions.

No one denies that the earth is getting warmer, but is cyclical or is man the sole contributor? As I pointed out in a blog back in June, Neptune is also getting warmer -- has man caused that -- I doubt it.

As you have probably gathered, I do not appreciate Al Gore or the horse he rode in on -- he is a fake who is garnering a fortune at the expense of others.

There, I have gotten on my soapbox again, but I detest hypocracy and lying and those who are guilty of the same.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Eaux Must Geaux!

Just saw this on an Ole Miss person's post on a blog. I couldn't pass up passing it on to all my Dawg friends.

Eaux must Geaux -- apparently a reference to his coonass heritage. We need to see some bumper stickers. Come on Rebel fans.

Remember those "O" stickers that were like President Bush's "W" stickers -- where have those gone -- don't see them anymore.

Don't you just love it when there is turmoil in Hoddy Toddy heaven?

Geaux Dawgs!!!

Rock And Roll Giant To Get His Day

Ellas Otha Bates (78) aka Ellas O. B. McDaniel and better known in the music world as Bo Diddley will return to his hometown of McComb, Mississippi, on November 2-3 to be honored with a marker on the Mississippi Blues Trail.

The Dawgs have an open date that weekend, so there is no excuse for the likes of Travis Wolfe, who is prone to attend any music festival, not to attend the event. What could be more fun than a weekend in McComb? You could even have a bite to eat at the famed Dinner Bell Restaurant featuring a roundtable help yourself variety of country cooking favorites.

Back to Diddley -- he took the name from the "diddley bow", a one-stringed African instrument. In his performances he primarily used a rectangular-bodied Gretsch. Along with the Gretsch, nicknamed "The Twang Machine", Diddley used similar-shaped guitars made for him by other manufactures.

Bo Diddley played a rhumba-like beat which has been described as similar to the "hambone." For those of you who have never seen one do the hambone, you have missed out on a real treat. It brings back memories of my younger years.

"I've Got Spurs That Jingle, Jangle, Jingle", a song by Gene Autry, was the source of what is known as the "Bo Diddley beat." Diddley developed the beat while trying to play the Autry hit.

For you music buffs, the Bo Diddley beat can be counted out as a two-bar phrase:

One and two and three and four and one and two and three and four and -- the bolded counts are the clave rhythm. His sound cannot be properly created without tuning the guitar: 1st string E 329.6; 2nd string B 246.9; 3rd string G sharp 207.6; 4th string E 164.8; 5th string A 110.0; and 6th string E 82.4. Wow!

Those of you who might think that I understand what I have written in the above paragraph are utterly and completely wrong -- I do not have the foggiest idea what all of that means. It is all courtesy of Wikipedia, and if you need more information, you can read the 8 pages for yourself.

Like his music or not, his beat shows up in the songs of Elvis Presley, U2, The Smiths, Johnnie Otis, George Michael, The Strangeloves and BowWowWow, Guns N' Roses, David Bowie and the Stooges to name a few (courtesy of Wikipedia). Don't ask me who all of these people are -- I have heard some of the music by these artists, and I do vaguely remember the likes of "Willie and the Hand Jive" (Otis), "His Latest Flame" (Presley), "How Soon Is Now" (The Smiths) and "Faith" (George Michael), but probably Elvis is the only one I could pick out of a crowd.

So let's all meet in McComb and tailgate to the music of Bo Diddley.

As an aside -- a young man from Meridian, Mississippi, attended, along with his father, a Bo Diddley concert and later begged his dad to help him build a two-sided amp just like the one he had seen that Diddley built for himself. And as they say, the rest is history and Peavey Electronics was born. Hartley Peavey, a 1965 graduate of Mississippi State University, is known in the music business as a real genius and a man ahead of his time in developing and producing musical instruments. Go State! We Dawg folks even honored him in 2004 by granting him an honorary doctorate in creating and performing arts. Go Dawgs!

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Has Nobel Peace Prize Become A Joke?

I prefer a blog with humor rather than one on politics (albeit politics is mostly laughable), but sometimes I must get things off my chest and point out obvious wrongs in today's world, as I see them. I am really bothered by this latest award to Albert Arnold Gore, Jr.

As many of you know the Nobel awards, of which there are five, were set up by Swedish industralist and inventor, Alfred Nobel. Nobel never revealed his reasoning for establishing the Peace Prize to accompany those awards for chemistry, physics and others, but the speculation is that it was remorse for his inventions of dynamite and ballistite -- instruments of war.

According to Nobel's will, the Peace Prize would be awarded "to the person who shall have done the most or best work for fraternity between the nations, for the abolition or reduction of armies and for the holding and promotion of peace congresses."

You be judge on the following examples of Nobel Peace Prize winners:

James Earl (Jimmy) Carter, 39th President of the United States, received the honor in 2002. Carter, suffering from by all accounts a miserably failed Presidency, has desparately tried to secure his place in history as a great diplomat. His efforts have many times run counter to and interfered with the policies of administrations since his time in office. It it my thinking that he should be nominated for the "Senility" award.

Kofi Anan, former Secretary-General of the United Nations (a joke in itself), was a co-conspirator with his son, Kojo, in the UN Oil-for-Food program from which they are accused of benefiting to the tune of millions of dollars of graft in their pockets. Anan was awarded the coveted prize in 2001.

Yasser Arafat received the Peace Prize in 1994. A leader of the Palestinians against Israel, Arafat was accused of associations with Hamas and other terrorist organizations. He was also accused, after a World Bank audit, of diverting almost a billion dollars in public funds to a personal bank account.

Then we come to Big Al Gore -- recipient of the famed honor in 2007. Gore's accomplishments in the field of global warming are the backbone of his claim to fame -- dubious as they are. He is an Academy-Award winner for his documentary, "An Inconvenient Truth" and an Emmy-winner for a TV network, "Current TV", which he was instrumental in forming. He is also on the board of Google -- supposedly a non-political entity -- which has recently become involved in some rather far left leanings. According to a ruling by an English judge, "An Inconvenient Truth" must be preceeded by a disclaimer when shown to school children because of a number of "untruths" in the film.

With his strong advocacy of the dangers of global warming, Gore has found a way to turn this pulpit into pocket change in that he receives $100,000.00 for each engagement on the speaking circuit. This is obscene.

Others could be mentioned as questionable Peace Prize winners, but I think that the point is made that the awards have turned completely away from what Nobel envisioned -- a political agenda and/or securing monetary wealth are the basis for and potential results of the prize and Nobel truly wanted to award someone for efforts toward world peace -- what a shame.

My whole problem with all of this is HYPOCRACY! Why cannot most Americans see though this sham? Do we not know what is happening here? I am dismayed at how people latch on to a public individual and completely ignore what these people are doing.

Well, enough of that from my soapbox. I have said some of what I wanted to say and let it fall wherever it may. Thanks for indulging me.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

North Carolina Bound

I probably will be absent from the blog world for the next few days as Melinda and I head to Winston-Salem to visit with Amanda, Rob and especially Mary Peyton -- the prettiest and smartest granddaughter anyone ever had.

Amanda has promised to keep me busy while I am there. As usual during our visits I will be painting, building, tearing down, etc. If I can find time maybe she will let me check all of my favorite blogs and maybe, just maybe post one.

For you football fans Rob has invited me to go to a Wake Forest game Thursday night. I will be wearing my Demon Deacon cap and cheering loudly for the black and gold.

We unfortunately will miss the Dawg/Volunteer game Saturday, but one must have his priorities. Who would you pick to see -- Philip (one or two l's, I never know) Fulmer or Mary Peyton Marble?

Yall wish us luck and pray for our safe journey. See you on Tuesday, if not before.

Yankees Bow Out Early

Travis and Caleb probably thought that I would not write this post today. I had high hopes for the Yanks, but all of those were dashed last night with a 6-4 win by the Indians. Cleveland deserved to win because, quite frankly, New York did not perform like a Yankee team.

Now it remains to be seen what the Yanks will look like next year as a team. Will Torre be back as manager? What about A-Rod, Rivera, Posada, Pettitte and Clemens? Will they and others opt to don colors other that the famed pinstripes in 2008? It all remains to be seen and really falls in the lap of one man -- George Steinbrenner. I think it is a safe bet to say that New York will be a different team next year.

Steinbrenner has already said that an early out for the Yankees this year would result in Torre's departure. Steinbrenner is a first-class idiot, but he does control the purse and the team.

If, in fact, Torre does involuntarily leave, who will manage -- Don Mattingly and Joe Girardi appear to be the leading candidates, but others are waiting in the wings. Only time will tell.

"This has been a great 12 years. Whatever the hell happens from here on out, I'll look back on these 12 years with great, great pleasure," the 67-year-old Torre said, his voice quavering as he tried to keep from choking up. "The 12 years just felt like they were 10 minutes long, to be honest with you," he added.

Love or hate the Yankees, Joe Torre is a class act. George Steinbrenner is an ass act.

Get some rest those of you who will remain on the New York roster, and whoever is at the helm, because more than likely baseball will play another season in 2008 and the Yanks will be in the thick of things.

Monday, October 8, 2007

Observations At The Wolfchase Galleria

Saturday and Sunday I had the pleasure (?) of manning a booth showcasing Collierville Winnelson's plumbing fixtures. I can't say that it was a huge success, but I was able to talk with a few people who were either building or remodeling.

The main thing is that people who come to the mall are either teeny boppers, food court buffs or shopping for panties at Victoria's Secret or other items at Macy's or the like, and the last thing on their minds is a faucet.

As those of you who read this blog know, I am an avid people watcher and chronicler of their dress and actions. Most of my people gazing is done at WalMart, but I welcomed the opportunity of perhaps watching a little different crowd, but I found out there were some people who left WalMart and came to the Galleria.

On to my observations of mall patrons and list of don'ts for those who frequent public places:

1. Just because it comes in your size doesn't mean you have to wear it.

2. High heels are not compatible with mall shopping. If one has a problem walking anyway, heels are not going to improve the malady. For some women and girls it looks as if they are desperately trying to wall downhill against a stiff headwind. I also might caution about color -- a black dress with a bright, bright yellow 4" belt and matching heels one or two sizes too large is not very attractive, but it will make you stand out in a crowd.

3. For those men who feel they must cover a bald head with a toupee -- save your money and buy a good one. One rug I noticed looked as if it needed a chin strap. Along that same line, a radical comb over is a very obvious attempt to cover baldness -- bite the bullet and accept how God intended you to look.

4. If you are naturally ugly, do not try and enhance it. You should try to improve your looks and not go in the other direction.

5. Large bodies should not be covered in tight-fitting clothes. This, of course, points out the problem even more. Also, if you are a "big-boned" person, there is nothing for you at Victoria's Secret. Simply pass on by with a smile and shop at the place for "mature figures."

6. Men with large bellies should invest in longer t-shirts. And by all means do not squeeze into size 28 pants that are girted below the protrusion.

7. Is there a denim paint? One girl had obviously found some because there was no way on God's green earth she could have pulled on those denim shorts.

8. Large rings and other metal objects in noses and other exposed parts of a body should relegate those who sport them to the jungles of South America -- they should be more comfortable with people who do the same.

9. The Elvis look is out -- particularly on a man who is obviously Oriental.

It is not my intention to embarass or in any way cast fun at the people mentioned above, but common sense should prevail. When I last checked mirrors were still available in this country.

Enjoy your next mall visit -- I enjoyed mine.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Beware! Cogon Is Coming

Few of us who live in the South have never encountered Kudzu -- that lush, green plant that can choke a tree. Some even warn not to camp near a patch of the dreaded vine for fear of awakening completely covered by the stuff. Kudzu's only redeeming factor is that it covers and hides eyesores like tumbling down shacks and abandoned cars on Mississippi's highways and byways.

But you ain't seen nothing yet. Onto the plant scene marches Cogon grass, a highly invasive Asian native that even trumps our beloved Kudzu.

What is really frightful is that city workers in Tupelo recently discovered a patch of the tall weed in a drainage ditch on the west side of the city. This is the first sighting in the area of what is considered the world's worst weed. And here I thought that title was shared by crabgrass and nutgrass which grow in my lawn. I had better contact Beauty Lawn, my yard service and collector of $45 a month, and have them cast a watchful eye to the south. Incidentally, Beauty Lawn is something of a misnomer -- maybe to be renamed "We Tried But We Didn't Quite Make It Beautiful, But It Does Look Better Than Your Neighbor's (Larry's) Lawn Service" -- catchy but maybe too wordy.

According to John D. Byrd, Jr., research professor of weed science at State, "Cogon grass has no value as a hay crop, no value for wildlife habitat, minimal value as an ornamental, because it is so highly invasive." Byrd has been tracking the dreaded flora for several years, and says that in 1979 it was limited to 13 of Mississippi's 82 counties. Now it grows in about 60 and is headed north.

A word of warning to the Coopers and their fellow Lee County citizens -- you better pack up your stuff and get out of Dodge 'cause Cogon is there and is a spreading. Build you a house in a Kudzu patch and hope that Cogon won't see you.

Anyone spotting Cogon is asked to call the State Department of Agriculture and Commerce's Bureau of Plant Industry -- and ask for the Cogon Division, I guess. And be sure and not tarry after you report the sighting.

For those of you who are interested and would like to become Cogon hunters, it and Zoysia grass are the only two grasses in Mississippi that bloom immediately after turning green in the spring.

Seems to me that Cogon may be fodder (no pun intended) for a Japanese horror flick -- the name sure sounds right.

Some of you have never thought that my blog was very educational or informative. I would venture to say that nairy a one of you have ever heard of Cogon, and I feel just like Paul Revere must have felt when he warned the colonists that the British were coming.

I'm not riding a horse, but "Cogon is coming."

Monday, October 1, 2007

Chester A. Arthur To Get Face On Coin

In 2012, the U.S. Mint will put into circulation a $1.00 gold coin bearing the face of President Chester A. Arthur. This follows the successful (?) minting several years ago of gold dollars with the likenesses of Susan B. Anthony and Sacajawea. Could the mint be wasting its time and resources on coins that are used only for change out of stamp machines at the post office?

As a side note, for those of you who do not listen to Coast to Coast A.M. on late night radio, December 31, 2012, is the date that the Mayan calendar abruptly ended pointing the way, as some believe, to a real calamity for the earth. This will be the subject for a later post.

Back to the gold dollars. I carry two of them for good luck -- one with George Washington on the obverse and the Statue of Liberty on the reverse. The other is Sacajawea bearing hers and her child's likenesses on the front and a soaring eagle on the back. Neither of these I can determine has brought me luck -- at least not good luck. But if I am ever broke and hungry, I will have two dollars for one Krystal and a small coke -- hope they will take them and not refer me to the post office for stamps.

The point is what did President Arthur do to merit this honor? He came into office as a result of the untimely death of James Garfield amid a prethoria of scandal. If this is the criteria for ones face on a gold dollar, how about one of William Jefferson Clinton with Monica Lewinsky on the reverse? That could really make the gold bucks a big hit.

Are there no other American icons whom we could celebrate? How about Bill Gates since he owns most of the dollars in this country anyway? Perhaps Sam Walton who took a small Ben Franklin five and dime in Newport, Arkansas, and turned it into the multibillion dollar mega giant WalMart -- the place where one can visit China and never leave home.

There are other American presidents who should be considered for some recognition -- Ulysses S. Grant's face on one side and a key of whiskey on the other -- Calvin Coolidge pictured on one side, and the same picture on the other with a gag in his mouth (Silent Cal for those of you who are not students of history) -- William H. Taft's picture on the obverse, and a blank on the reverse (after he was appointed Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, he wrote, "I don't remember that I was ever President.") -- Andrew Jackson's picture on one side and a parrot on the other (it was reported that Jackson's pet parrot had to be removed for swearing at the ex-president's funeral) -- and a number of other presidents deserve the face on the coin honor, but you may be getting bored with this whole dribble.

Possibilities abound from the private sector for this high honor, with their likenesses on this piece of gold -- other citizens who have contributed so, so much to this country -- the likes of Sean Penn, Danny Glover, Jesse Jackson, Madonna, Britney Spears, Paris Hilton -- you get the idea.

So I will be very excited, if we are all still here in 2012, and will rush to the post office, get some stamps out of the machine, reach for my change and hope that I get a Chester A. Arthur and not a Britney Spears.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Yankees Win 13th Straight Playoff Berth

This post is mainly for Caleb, Travis and any other baseball fans who happen across this blog.

An AP story this morning says that "champaign flowed, Joe Torre cried and the Yankees whooped it up" as they clinched at least a wild-card spot and are going to the postseason playoffs for the 13th consecutive season. What other team can make that claim? Well, actually before Caleb corrects me, the Yankees' streak is one shy of tying the record-setting Atlanta Braves who made the playoffs every year from 1991-2005.

The Yanks accomplished the feat with a 12-4 victory over the Tampa Bay Devil Rays eliminating the defending AL champion Detroit Tigers. The only downer is that the Yankees are 3 games behind the Red Sox with only 4 games to play and are unlikely to win their 9th straight AL East title.

This wild-card berth sets up a possible first-round matchup with the Cleveland Indians who are the Central Division champs.

Even the wild man, George Steinbrenner, got into the celebration when he moved to the front row of his private suite so he could interact with the fans (common people) while his team was building a big lead in the game. I know that must have been a "thrill" for those fans.

Joe Torre was quoted, "This is what it is about. It was a lot of unselfishness. There were a lot of guys who played through some injuries, played though some fatigue. And, of course, Alex -- we sort of rallied around him."

There a lots and lots of things, good things, that can be said about the Yankees, both past and present, but I don't want to bring up all of that and rub this baseball dynasty in the faces of those who are fans of other teams -- maybe I just did.

I have been a Yankee fan for almost 60 years. I deserve some sort of award. How did a Southern country boy become a fan of the hated Yankees? I really don't remember -- I guess I just got caught up in the play of those Yankee greats of the 1940s.

I actually had the pleasure of going to a couple of games at the "House That Ruth Built" -- an experience that can hardly be forgotten.

World Series -- he we come!!!!!!!!!!!

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

An Absolute Great Weekend

Well, it was a wonderful weekend -- the Dawgs won even though they didn't look very good in the second half. Ole Miss lost, and they looked really good. Auburn won, so one part of the perfect weekend was missing -- maybe next time.

Hope that the Bulldogs can get ready for the Gamecocks Saturday. It is the early game on TV, and I think about 10:30 because it is Eastern Time. Anyway I will watch and/or listen and pray for the best.

Another good thing about being at the game Saturday was that I got to visit for a few minutes with Heather and Trey, Tricia and Caleb, and of course, Laurette and Travis -- all authors of great blogs. If you haven't visited their blogs, you have missed some really funny stuff.

Melinda and I spent some time walking around campus, and even an impartial observer would have to say that State has a fantastic campus. I will put it up against any other. We also wandered over to the bookstore -- that is a great asset to the university.

When we entered the concession area where we go out into the stands we were given caps with the MSU insignia and "Skydawgs" below it. I am now officially a Skydawg -- our seats are above the sky boxes on the east side, but they are great seats right on the 50 yard line and really not too high up -- we done good when we picked those, and they didn't cost an arm and a leg.

We will not get to go back until the Alabama game because of other things we have to do. So we will miss UAB and Tennessee -- that is a bummer.

Just wanted to give a short report praising our great Mississippi State University and say hello again to Tricia, Caleb, Heather and Trey -- keep up the good work.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Shiver Me Timbers!

According to a news story out of London, today is the day to "put a parrot on your shoulder, strap on a peg leg, hit the rum and start bellowing "Shiver Me Timbers" for today is International Talk Like A Pirate Day.

It is that day, once a year, that you can put on an eye patch, don a tricorner hat and keep on saying, "Arrrr."

Two American friends started the day as a cult joke in the 1990s, but then it really got a send off when syndicated columnist Dave Berry got into the act.

The popularity of "Pirates of the Caribbean" and performances of Johnny Depp have certainly brought a lot more people into the celebration as millions worldwide will observe the day.

One of probably the best celebrations is in Sydney, Australia, where a harbor cruise is being staged with "flagons of grog and treasure for the dandiest outfit."

I didn't dress as a buccaneer this morning -- I really don't have much pirate stuff in my closet. And I don't think there are many people in Collierville, Tennessee, (where I work) who are aware of what a big day it is. One might get some very funny looks shopping in WalMart in a pirate costume, but on the other hand I have seen stranger costumes there.

Speaking of Depp's movies, I really enjoyed the first, but the other two left a little to be desired. Apparently there is not another in the immediate future unless it is done without Orlando Bloom, or they will figure how to get him out of his 10-year exile -- oops, did I give away something to those of you who haven't seen it?

If I am ever kidnapped and cast upon a deserted island by a shipload of pirates, I would not be disappointed if they threw Keira Knightly on there as well -- she is a very lovely looking pirate.

So "Avast, me hearties!" and have a great celebration, but just sip the rum.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Who Cares? News You Might Have Missed

God Is Sued

It has been reported that State Senator Ernie Chambers (D - Nebraska) has decided to go straight to the top and sue God.

Chambers says that this is an effort to stop natural disasters from befalling the world.

The suit asks for a "permanent injunction ordering the Defendant (God) to cease certain harmful activities and the making of terroristic threats."

Chambers also cites that the, "Defendant directly and proximately has caused inter alia (what is this?), fearsome floods, egregious earthquakes, horrendous hurricanes, terrifying tornados, pestilential plagues..."

You have to admire his use of alliteration, but this guy is a goofball.

Judgement Day could be a real thrill for him, but on the other hand God may not be able to stop laughing.

Bonds' Ball Up For Vote

Turning to the world of professional baseball, this is for Caleb, Travis and other baseball followers.

Marc Ecko, the designer of the Ecko clothing line you can leisurely shop at T. J. Maxx, has purchased the record-breaking home run ball for a figure that is just south of $1 million.

Ecko is offering to let fans choose on one of the following three options:
  • Donate it as is to the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, N. Y.
  • Brand it with an asterick and donate it to the Hall of Fame.
  • Put it on a rocket, and blast it into space.

I kind of lean to the latter. Choose wisely because you are making baseball history.

Who cares?

Tennessee Coaches File For Divorce

Staying on the sports theme, Bruce Pearl, Tennessee Men's Basketball Coach, has filed for divorce from his wife, Kim, citing irreconcilable differences.

This follows the announcement in early August by Pat Summitt, Tennessee Women's Basketball Coach, that she was filing for divorce from her long-time husband.

Is this a coincidence or does it have something to do with Pearl's topless apperance at a women's basketball game and Summitt going to a men's basketball game dressed in a cheerleader's outfit -- short skirt and all?

Looks to me like hormones are running high among Tennessee coaches. If football coach Phil Fulmer is not careful he is going to get a divorce from the Volunteers.

This is not a pretty sight in my mind, but again, who cares?

Monday, September 17, 2007

A Sweet Football Weekend

Let me be the first to post that is was a wonderful weekend of college football.

My favorite wins and loses happened. State wins and Tommy Tuberville loses, and it was in the same game -- could it get any sweeter?

And then later on Saturday Ole Miss makes an appearance in Nashville against the Commodores, and it is a long, long ride back to Oxford.

Coach "O", if you haven't looked at the schedule, you entertain the Florida Gators Saturday in the early game. You will need lots and lots of luck in this one -- ask Tennessee.

I was just listening to George Lapides, sports show host on WHBQ (Memphis), and he made the statement that the Rebels are the worst team in the SEC. Could it get any sweeter?

Now Dawgs, don't read your press clippings before this game on Saturday. Let us not forget the Maine game a couple of years back.

I'll be there to see the Bulldogs when they meet Gardner-Webb. Hope to see some of you there.

Go Dawgs!

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Why Men Should Not Take Messages

I received an e-mail this morning from my daughter, Amanda, titled "Why men should not take messages." I would post the attachment, but I am computer illiterate and do not know how to do that kind of thing. But I did want to share it with you.

The note taken by the husband and stuck to the frig said -

Now, do you females really think that we are that stupid? Oh! I hear all of those "you better believe it" echoing out there in blogland.
I must take a stand for "maledom" and challenge you on this point. We may not understand all of that "female terminology" but we as a group, for the most part, can hold our own in other ways. To wit -
Males know how to get lost and never ask for directions.
Males know how to take a grocery list and bring back only two correct items.
Males know how to take out the trash, get it to the street on time while forgetting those little trashbaskets in the bathrooms.
Males know how to get at least three week's use out of sheets while the wives change them every couple of days.
Males know how to wash whites and colors at the same time thus saving water and electricity.
Males know how to burn meat on a grill.
This list could certainly go on and on, and you will probably add to the list the attributes of your significant other, but you see that males are definitely not incompetent and stupid.
Oh, by the way -

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Re: Previous Post

For those proofreading my post, I do know how to spell "gesture" -- I got in a hurry. Please ignore any other incorrectly spelled words and grammatical errors.

Starkville To Forgive Johnny Cash?

A note of thanks to Amanda Marble for alerting me to this news piece that I apparently overlooked. I always need fodder for my blog.

As a sort of prologue to this post I must express my opinion about Johnny Cash's singing -- I don't think he could carry a note in a bucket. However, it must be said that his fans are legion, and his songs are legend. Give the man his due.

That fateful night (for those of you who are too young to remember or those who just didn't give a whit) was May 11, 1965, in our beloved Starkville -- the home of the greatest university in the land.

Two stories emerge about the events of that historic night -- one told by Cash in his autobiography. He recounts that he was arrested by the Starkville police as he walked from his motel to a grocery store. Another version has him arrested as he picked flowers in some Starkville resident's yard.

Whichever story is true, and Starkville officials are leaning toward the latter, the arrest came after Johnny has attended a party at the Pi Kappa Alpha house as alluded to in the news story. Apparently the famed singer had consumed too many beverages or smoked something other than tobacco. It is alledged that he had been known to enjoy both of these sins.

Cash was a guest with room and board at the Starkville jail for that night where he admits he raised hell all night and in kicking the bars broke one of his toes. I'm sure most of my few readers have never seen the inside of said jail unless on a field trip for a sociology or criminal justice class.

"Strarkville City Jail", a song written by Cash, was a result of the incarceration. He later performed it for inmates at San Quentin -- appropriately enough.

So Starkville becomes known far and wide for the actions of its law enforcement finest -- those chosen to protect and serve.

Scheduled for November 2-4, "The Johnny Cash Flower Pickin' Festival" will include some events on the State campus. Some sort of celebration will be held at the Pike House and a couple of programs including a showing of "Walk the Line" at the amphitheater are also in the plans.

The Board of Aldermen has approved closing of downtown city streets to only pedestrian traffic, and Starkville Municipal Court Judge William Eshee will review a recommendation for a posthumous pardon for the famed singer. Judge Eshee promises a "fair and impartial" review, but chances are really good that Johnny will finally get his forgiveness.

Robbie Ward, executive director of the festival and research writer at MSU, says that plans call for a ceremony on the site of Cash's arrest. Would you suppose a brass plaque is in the offing? The Reverend Allison S. Parvin, associate pastor of the First United Methodist Church, will deliver a sermon on redemption -- appropriate jesture. Ward also says a downtown concert honoring Cash's music and a sing-along of "Starkville City Jail" will be on the program.

Gosh! I am really getting excited about this. I'll bet Travis Wolfe will be there because he attends every obscure music festival, so he will not pass up a big one like this.

To finance the event, the organizers are selling. T-shirts (Black -- what did you think?) bearing the wording "Pardon Me, I'm Pickin' Flowers".

So boys and girls load up the wagons -- come November we are agoing to Starkville.

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Classical Music World Loses Giant

Luciano Pavarotti, famed Italian opera star and one of the greatest classical tenors, succumbed to pancreatic cancer Wednesday at his home in Modena, Italy. He was 71.

The music world is saddened by his passing for one of the truly greats has left us. Since the mid 1960's Pavarotti's operatic tenor voice has thrilled and awed millions the world over. A huge talent and a big man in statue, he reached down into that massive frame, and some of the most majestic sounds came forth like none other could produce.

Pavarotti was the son of a Modena baker, himself an amateur opera singer. He like other kids in his town grew up dreaming of being a soccer player. Pavarotti never fulfilled that wish, but decades later he would appear at the 1990 World Cup in Italy not as a player but singing his signature tune Nessun Dorma.

Teamed with Placido Domingo and Jose Carreras, great tenors in their own right, they were billed as The Three Tenors. Not only known for their classical talents, they crossed over into the popular music genre as well.

In fact some opera purists criticized Luciano for his Pavarotti and Friends performances -- duets with the likes of Bono to Stevie Wonder to Celine Dion. But as a born showman this endeared him to the masses and contributed to his tremendous popularity.

Who could not appreciate Luciano Pavarotti's redition of Memory from the Broadway musical Cats? So stirring was his version that one wonders why anyone else would bother. A truly beautiful piece of music sang as no one else could.

Today Pavarotti has joined a chorus of angels making all of Heaven ring with glorious music.

Tonight when I go home I will celebrate the great master's life and death, sitting in my chair with a glass of wine (Chianti, if I had it) and listening again to the wonderful voice of a great, great tenor.

Luciano, we will miss you, but we are thankful for your musical legacy. The world is a better place for your having passed this way.


Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Jessica Puts "Wiggle" In Strut

Those one or two people who read this blog know that I am prone to report on studies made by scientists, mathematicians and the like. I find the findings of these people, who apparently have little else to do, facinating.

The latest study comes from Cambidge University in England. A group of mathematicians associated with the university have determined that Jessica Alba has the "perfect wiggle." These guys found there is a ratio between the hips and the waist that accounts for the sway in a woman's walk.

In other words, "This ratio provides the body with the right torso strength to produce a more angular swing and bounce to the hips during the walking motion" as reported in the London newspaper, the Telegraph.

If perhaps you are wondering, the nearer the ratio is to 0.7 the better and sexier the strut. They studied some other women and the closest was Marilyn Monroe who came in at a 0.69.

For those of you who want to take measurements, if you have a 25" waist and 36" hips you would be just about the right proportions. As I like to do some work with math problems, I'm finding that if you expand the sizes and try to keep the ratio at or near 0.7, a young lady who stretches the tape measure to a waist of 36" and hips of 51" would still come in very near to the perfect ratio. But I ask if the strut of Jessica would be near the same as one of the bigger girls?It will take some observation at my people watching lab (WalMart) to make some determinations.

There are some things about Jessica that maybe you don't know -- other than her wiggle.

She spent the better part of her first three years of life in Biloxi, Mississippi. Her dad was in the Air Force, and they moved about some.

She graduated from high school at the age of 16. Must have some brains behind that wiggle.

She has at least two tatoos -- one of a daisy with a ladybug on it on the back of her neck and the Sanskrit word for "lotus" inside one of her wrists. I can't say if she has others and/or their locations.

She likes to cook -- nothing like a woman who likes to cook and wiggle. Her specialties are chicken enchiladas and homemade tortillas.

Her nickname is "Sky Angel" -- I have no idea what that is all about.

I suppose that is all you need to know about Jessica Alba. The next time you see her look for the "perfect wiggle."

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Geography: A Must For U.S. Schools

I'm sure that you have seen the video clip over and over on the news unless you have been in a cave for the last couple of days.

Miss Teen South Carolina's response to the question about locating the United States on a world map was actually a tell-tale sign that many American students, and adults as well, are unable to locate almost anything on a map. I am not sure about her geography skills -- I'm inclined to believe that she was flustered and under a lot of pressure to answer a question she did not expect.

Melinda, my wife, teaches geography to ninth graders, and she tells some real horror stories about some of their abilities with maps. Geography should be a must in all high schools and a requirement for graduation.

I'm sure most of us will never be in Miss Teen South Carolina's situation, but I'll bet we have encountered similiar problems in answering questions, both oral and written. Remember that on some tests when you had absolutely no idea of an answer, you wrote a lot of BS trying to snow the teacher. This, of course, was not her situation because she had to think on her feet -- that is difficult for some people. I feel very sorry for her and her embarrassment over such a disjointed and senseless reply.

I do not do this to further embarrass the girl, but in case you missed it or was not sure what her answer was, the quote follows:

"I personally believe the U.S. Americans are unable to do so because, uh, some, uh...people out there in our nation don't have maps, and, uh, I believe that our education like such as South Africa and, uh, Iraq everywhere like that, such as and...I believe that they should help the U.S., err, uh, should help South Africa and should help Iraq and the Asian countries, so we will be able to build up our future for our..."
I truly feel for her or anyone else who has to suffer through the humiliation resulting from her remarks.

We joke about the safe answer to questions in a beauty contest is to somehow work into the answer that you want to help hungry children and are an advocate of world peace.

I have never been a big fan of all of these beauty contests where the sponsors are really not looking for the most intelligent contestant -- I think that they throw in the questions to make the competition look a little more legitimate.

So let's not punish Miss Teen South Carolina anymore -- she made the statement -- it was under pressure -- it probably doesn't reflect her intelligence.

Monday, August 27, 2007

A Trip Back In Time

Saturday, August 25, 2007, at about 7:00 p.m. I boarded a time machine and was whisked back over 4 decades.

Travis and Laurette provided Melinda and me with this nostalgic trip. Our adventure back to years past began as Travis piloted the machine through a time warp at the gates of the Wilson County Fair in Lebanon, Tennessee.

I had not been to a county fair since I was in my late teens and had been a regular at the now defunct Clay County Fair in West Point, Mississippi.

I can only say that it was a most enjoyable trip as I yearned for those simplier days of youth and slathered a freshly-fried corndog with mustard and relived the sights, sounds and smells of days gone by.

With the big ferris wheel turning over and over in the background of the midway, Melinda and I stopped for a while at the cattle barn, grabbed seats in the grandstand and watched the judging of some beautiful white Charloias heifers and bulls. Then on to the poultry and rabbit area to view some chickens, ducks, turkeys and some strange-looking fowl and rabbits. Purple, blue, red and white ribbons hung from some of the cages as these animals had been judged to be the best of the lot.

I took a little walk of my own wandering through replicas of old businesses and shops of times past on to a vegetable garden maintained by the Wilson County Master Gardeners.

On the grounds were old farm tractors -- ones that I had not seen in years -- the John Deere A, the Farmall C and the International Harvester Cub. I was disappointed -- I did not see an old Ford or Ferguson -- the type of tractor that we had owed at our farm. These would have completed my trip to old farm equipment.

We visited the pavillion where baked goods, canned fruits and vegetables, quilts and other handiworks had been judged and were left on display for fairgoers to marvel, or in my case to sometimes say, "I can do better than that." No, Travis' apple pie was not there because officials had thrown it away earlier in the week when it did not garner one of the coveted ribbons.

About 10:30 Travis drove the time machine back into the present completing a journey of three and a half hours or so into a time long held dear to me.

Thank you Travis and Laurette -- I had a most wonderful time, and I hope this is a part of Americana that will not soon disappear as have so many of our other institutions of the past.

Friday, August 24, 2007


Where Did That Big Hole Come From?

A team of University of Minnesota scientists have stumbled on a great big hole in the universe. They say this thing is at least 1 billion light years wide -- or to convert that distance to something that we might better understand, we're talking about nearly 6 billion trillion miles of stark emptiness. Wow! What a hole!

The scientific study released Thursday says that the cosmic blank spot is devoid of stars, no galaxies, no giant sucking black holes nor even mysterious dark matter.

Supposedly astronomers have known for a long time that there are areas in the universe where no one had left the light on, but they are really astonished at the size of this.

Not being well versed in the science of astronomy (or any other science for that matter) I sort of felt that the universe was just full of holes. When the distance to your nearest neighboring planets, outside of our solar system, is measured in light years that would appear to me to be a pretty good sized hole. But what do I know -- I've just got common sense.

When your main job in life is to look out into an unbelievable expanse of stars, planets and all that stuff you become excited when something pops up that defies explanation. These nerdy guys and gals get pretty well worked up and start devising all kinds of theories like "holes in the universe probably occur when gravity from areas of bigger mass pull matter from areas of smaller mass." This would seem to be a logical conclusion, but what if it were something devised by those aliens who ride in UFO's so they can sneak in undetected to do their mischief while everyone is watching a big hole?

There was one quote that I thought was priceless -- Steve Maran, retired NASA astronomer, apparently said with a straight face, "This is incredibly important for something where there is nothing to it." Now, just what does that mean?

Maybe the true explanation is that God does have a sense of humor and delights in messing with the heads of mere mortals who try to unlock his mysteries. Don't get me wrong -- I'm all for scientific exploration, but we have to realize that we cannot possibly fully comprehend our Creator and His Creation.

It is a subject for another day, but comes to mind after writing this tongue in cheek stuff. I get really, really ticked when I hear some televangelists and ministers who completely understand God, all of His Creation and plans. They could even draw the plans of Heaven and put in the street names. I promise you will hear more about this.

Have a great, great weekend.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Blog Is Messing Up

I am still having some trouble with the blog. My latest will show up some time and some time it won't on my computer. If you see the one that is about Ole Miss hit "search blog" in the upper left and the one that starts CH4, CO2 etc. will pop up. I just went to the blog again and yesterday's did show up -- don't know what is wrong.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

CH4, CO2, Al Gore & Norwegian Moose

With all due respect to Big Al Gore and his carbon dioxide and global warming theories, researchers in Norway now claim that a grown moose (or were they looking at Big Al?) produces 2,100 kilos of methane a year. I have no idea how much a kilo is, but I suspect it is a bunch. This would be equivalent to the amount of CO2 caused by an automobile on an 8,077-mile trip so says der Spiegel.

The moose, Norway's national animal, as you would expect releases methane out of both ends -- through burping and flatulence. Cows have the same problem, but I haven't been able to determine a moose to cow ratio, but I would think that the sizes of the moose and cow would figure into the equation.

This huge amount of burping and flatulating of methane is thought by the Norwegians to be more harmful to the environment than carbon dioxide.

There are estimated to be over 100,000 moose in Norway -- by my math that's 210 million kilos of methane floating around the heads of 4.6 million Norse people. Going on with this math problem we find that is over 4 1/2 kilos per man, woman and child. I might say that is a lot of burps and flatulence to deal with as one goes about his/her daily activities. But all of this is Norway's problem, and we have problems of our own -- don't we Big Al?

I have no idea nor do I care about the population of moose in the United States and Canada, but I do know that according to a joint report of the National Statistics Service (U.S. Dept. of Agriculture) and the Canadian equivalent agency there are 111.3 million cows and calves combined (give or take a few) in the two countries as of January 1, 2007. This is good stuff -- I waded through some pretty dry research to get these numbers.

Now let us suppose a cow/calf on average burps and flatulates about half as much as a moose. Using that same Norwegian math I calculate that the Americans and Canadians are wallowing around in about 116 trillion 865 million kilos of methane just from our bovine population. Surely all animals (including homo sapiens) produce methane with those same bodily functions.

Big Al, let me throw something else at you. Methane is a relatively potent greenhouse gas with a high global warming potential. Big Al, if you'll take that chicken leg out of your mouth, you'll see where this is going. When averaged over 100 years each kilogram of CH4 (methane) warms the Earth 25 times as much as the same mass of CO2. But let's be fair to Big Al -- there is 220 times more CO2 in the atmosphere as CH4. But here is where it gets hairy -- CH4 contributes to the presence of CO2 because it has a half life of 7 years, so every 7 years half of the methane in the atmosphere is converted to CO2 and H2O. Don't you like it when a plan comes together?

I could go on and on with this stuff and probably will at a later date, but I'm getting tired and want to wrap this thing up. I am suggesting to Big Al as a start toward turning around this global warming thing we kill all the moose in Norway. Mind you it is just a start, but it has to be started somewhere, and it will probably be more effective than those environmental credits that you are buying and selling.

As I see it, and I ain't real smart, if a company or individual wants to throw more junk in the atmosphere or waste more energy, it or he/she just pays for the priviledge. Those enviromental credits are sold and traded just like stocks on Wall Street, and people like Big Al get richer and fatter.

Ain't this country great!

Ole Miss Rebels In Spotlight Again

Well, it is out, and it is the survey we have all been waiting for since the one published last year.

The Princeton Review's annual list of the top 20 party schools has West Virginia University rated number 1 for the first time since 1997. The Mountaineers ranked 3rd last year behind the University of Texas and Penn State. WVU has made the list seven times in the last 15 years. Way to go Mountaineers.

The dubious honor for West (by God) Virginia's largest university has come about much to the chagrin of administrators who have attempted to curb underage drinking and rowdy behavior.

I have never been to Morgantown, the home of WVU, but according to the city's official website 30 to 45 inches of snow can be expected each year, and the mean temps in January range from a high of 37 to a low of 21. It is cold and snowy up there and personal antifreeze must be much desired to confront the elements. Enough about the Mountaineers.

Now, maybe this will startle you or maybe you expected our own University of Mississippi to make the runner up spot on the list. Yes, you read that right -- #2 in the country. The Rebels can boast of being in the collegiate top 20 albeit not on the football field, baseball diamond or basketball court -- but that will be determined as 2007 and 2008 roll along. You know partying teams don't require coaches who are overpaid, so this number 2 ranking should please the powers at be in Oxford.

Also on the list the Rebels garnered the number 3 spot for "lots of hard liquor", number 4 for "students almost never studying" and number 10 for "lots of beer." Moms and Dads of those Oxford students have real reasons to be proud.

The Princeton Review is not affiliated with Princeton University , but is the New York- based company known for its test prep courses, educational services and books.

The Review ranks schools in 62 different categories which include Best Campus Food -- Virginia Tech; Most Beautiful Campus -- Sweet Briar; Dorms Like Palaces -- Smith College; Birkenstock-Wearing, Clove-Smoking Vegetarians and Tree Huggers -- Hampshire College.

As far as I could determine from the Princeton Review website, our beloved State did not make any of the top 20 list in any of the 62 rankings. I suppose MSU is a rather dull school, but we Dawgs know that it is a well-kept secret -- at least from the folks at the Princeton Review.

Our sincere thanks to the Ole Miss Rebels for once again putting the Magnolia State on the map.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Those "Baby Blues" Are A Plus

I have been absent from the blogging business for about a week now -- sorry to all my faithful readers but have been a little too busy, and I don't really like that. At my age I prefer a little more leisurely pace.

The following report had to be made public for those of you who might have missed it.

Recent studies, conducted by Louisville University professor Joanna Rowe, indicate that there is a link between eye color and academic achievement.

According to the report those of us who have "baby blues" appear to be better strategic thinkers, and we have a better reaction time. We are more likely to excel in activities which require skill in time structuring and planning. The study says that blue-eyed people should be better in golf, cross-country running and taking exams. I go against the norms in that I'm not very good at the sports part of this, but I am pretty good at taking exams.

Our brown-eyed cousins are more likely to be better at sports like football and hockey. I really don't know any brown-eyed girls who are very good at either -- wonder what they are good at?
I think that the study is leaning toward saying that blue eyes have the brains and brown eyes the brawn.

Rowe says that the distinction in eye color has been observed but, as yet, not explained. More study is going to be necessary. Do you suppose that Professor Rowe has anything else to do at Louisville, or is this her only calling in life?

Bedforshire University (England) psychology lecturer, Dr. Tony Fallone, says, "There is no scientific answer yet." But he has also studied eye color and believes it is a serious indicator of personality and ability.

Now I implore those of us who have blue eyes not to take a superior attitude, even though we clearly are -- look around you and do some studies for yourself. We do need to treat brown-eyed people with dignity and respect.

I am going to my favorite "people lab" place this afternoon and sit on one of those benches and do some serious research myself. I hope I don't appear to be weird in the Olive Branch WalMart as I stare into people's eyes and make notes in my journal. I may have to follow some of them around just to determine if they would seem to be better at football or exams. I don't want to go into this with any prejudice, but I'm thinking football may lead the WalMart pack, and some of them might even have blue eyes.