Sunday, September 28, 2008

YouTube Educational Moment

I am a big proponent of education. I am always looking to learn something new. Whenever I can find something that I think will benefit others, I want to share it with them. Below is the demonstration of a lifeskill for anyone who does their own laundry: How to Fold a Shirt.

Blues Song of the Week-Eric Clapton "Worried Life Blues"

I have always been a huge Eric Clapton fan. Most of what I would hear on the radio would be songs like "Layla", "Wonderful Tonight", and other rock songs. However, through his albums I came to develop a deep appreciation for the Blues. Through Clapton, I came to appreciate Muddy Water, Robert Johnson, and B.B. King. Here is EC performing Maceo Merriweather's "Worried Life Blues."

Saturday, September 27, 2008

RIP Paul Newman 1925-2008

Legendary actor Paul Newman passed away at the age of 83 after a battle with cancer. Newman became a star in the 1950's and never lost his popularity. He appeared in several classic movies like "Cool Hand Luke", "The Hustler", "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid," and "The Sting." He won his first Oscar in "The Color of Money," a sequel to "The Hustler." He is survived by his long time wife, Joanne Woodward, and five children.

Newman became active in auto racing after playing a driver in the movie "Winning." He participated in the 24 Hours of Dayton at the age of 70 and continued racing into his 80's.

Newman was also well known for his philanthropic activities. In 1982, he and a friend founded Newman's Own, which has grown into a hugely successful natural and organic food manufacturer. All of the profits from that company go to his charitable foundation to support his charitable causes.

A few years back, my father in law was introduced to Paul Newman in Florida. Newman was looking for a fishing charter, and the marina recommended my father in law. They were able to go out fishing on a couple of occasions. As a thank you, Newman sent a ham to my in laws which we had for a holiday dinner. The world lost a great entertainer and a true gentleman.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

McCain Suspends Campaign

John McCain announced today that he was temporarily suspending his campaign and would be heading back to Washington to work with the Congress and President Bush to try to help resolve the current economic crisis that the country is facing. McCain has asked Obama to do the same. He has asked his campaign workers to work with the Obama campaign and the Commission of Presidential Debates to delay Friday's first scheduled debate between the two candidates. McCain has also asked the president to call a bipartisan leadership summit, including McCain and Obama, to work on a bill that all sides can agree on. I have yet to hear an "official" response from Obama, but I did hear a report that an Obama "source" said there was no need to delay the debates.

I am not sure how I feel about McCain's suspending his campaign. On the one hand, I do agree with him that there is considerable debate on the current bailout proposals. Members from both sides of the aisle have issues with the current proposals. I also agree with him that it is important that whatever bill passes is one that the next president, regardless of who it turns out to be, can agree to support. There is a financial crisis and something needs to be done, and it is important to get it right.

It is somewhat curious that he made the decision right after the latest polls show that he is down by 9% in some polls. The one thing that keeps coming up about McCain is that he always puts his country ahead of his own needs. People could view this latest move by McCain as another example of that. It can also be seen as another example of John McCain reaching across the aisle to try to build bipartisanship, which has been a hallmark of his career. It could help him in the polls, but it also has the potential to backfire. McCain's decision could turn out to be political genius or it could be political suicide. Only time will tell.

Barack Obama has come out with his response to McCain's announcement. Obama says that he approached McCain earlier in the day and they agreed to issue a joint statement regarding the proposed package. McCain brought up the subject of suspending the campaigns to which Obama wanted to have the joint statement issued before addressing that subject. McCain then came out with his announcement prior to the joint statement being issued.

Obama has expressed his willingness to be a part of the process of working on a financial proposal, including coming to Washington if it would help. He also wants the debates to also go forward because the next president will have to do more than one thing at a time. I am not sure that I disagree with him on the debates. Also, if the time line as laid out by Obama is accurate, then it casts a shadow on McCain's motives.

Barack Obama Test

I found a link to the Barack Obama Test in my email this morning. The test consists of 51 questions from an Associated Television News/Zogby America Poll conducted in July of this year. The question are broken down by a variety of subjects; Energy, Taxes, Felon Voting, 2nd Amendment, Spending, Defense, Trade, Health Care, Social Values, Justice, Crime, and Labor.

I already new that I disagree with most of Obama's positions, but out of curiosity I decided to take the test. On the 51 questions asked, I agreed with Obama on only 3 questions. So I disagreed with him 94% of the time. It was not a real big surprise to me that I would disagree with him so much. What did surprise me was that of the respondents in the poll, I agreed with the majority of the respondents 96% of the time. Also, on most of the questions, the respondents were significantly opposed to Obama's positions on the issues.

The poll of 1005 likely voters was conducted from 7/8/08-7/14/08. If I find a similar test for John McCain I will post it here as well. I should add one disclaimer regarding the Obama Test website. The site does promote the sale a book, "The Audacity of Deceit" which is an anti-Obama book that looks at Obama's policies.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

There's a Tear in my Beer

There has been just too much bad news lately, so I have been sitting here crying in my beer trying to figure out where things are headed. Do either of the presidential candidates have what it takes to lead the country? I just don't know. I know that Obama scares the hell out of me. I have always admired and liked John McCain, and I liked the pick of Sarah Palin when it was made.

The current administration and Congress with their bailouts of big business are going to cost us taxpayers big time in the end (I feel a little like Ned Beatty in Deliverance.) I was listening to some radio station and Newt Gingrich was on the program. He made a lot of sense on energy and the current financial problems the country is facing. As polarizing as he has been in the past, I wish he were running.

So I just need something to make me feel a little better. So here we go;

I remember in the 90's when Natalie Cole released an album of songs performed by her father, the late, great Nat King Cole. Through technology, she was able to record a duet and music video with her father of his most famous hit "Unforgetable." It rightfully went on to win a Grammy and several other awards.

However, two years prior to that, the son of a legendary country singer (who also died before his time) recorded a duet and music video with his father. Hank Williams, Jr was only four years old when Hank, Sr. passed away at the young age of 29. That songs also went on to win a Grammy and several country music awards. So here is Bocephus with his daddy Hank singing "There's a Tear in my Beer."

Oh, what the hell. Since I am now feeling a little sentimental, here are Nat and Natalie with "Unforgetable."

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Happy Birthday BB King

83 years ago today, B.B. King was born into a sharecroppers family in Bene, Mississippi. In 1949, he made his first recording, and he is still recording today. BB is best known for his biggest hit "The Thrill Is Gone" and his black Gibson guitar, Lucille. BB has won a total of 14 Grammy Awards, received the Presidential Medal of Freedom, and was elected into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Below are two videos of the King in action. The first is from the Tonight Show and features BB with Jeff Beck performing "Paying the Cost to be the Boss." The second video is from a duet with two of my all time favs, Eric Clapton and BB King, with the title track of their joint effort "Riding With the King."

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Obama vs McCain

A mother from Naperville, IL wanted to teach her second grade girl scout troup about the presidential election. So she contacted each of the campaigns to ask for a donation of small items like buttons or stickers that she could give to the girls to learn. If the girls did well, they could earn their "Ms. President" merit badge.

John McCain's campaign responded immediately by sending a box of stickers and signs to the girls. Barack Obama's campaign directed the scout leader to the Barack Obama website where she could purchase any of the items she needed for their project.

After visiting the website, she decided that given their budget, she would try the Obama campaign once more. She explained their situation and expressed how the McCain campaign gave them some items. She was placed on hold, and was told that they could sympathize but that the campaign was up against the machine and could not afford to give things away for free.

With this, the mother emailed What's Your Problem? a consumer advocate column for the Chicago Tribune. The reported contacted the Obama campaign, and was told the original campaign worker "misspoke." They then hand delivered a box of items to the troop.

Just remember this as the Democrats tell you how they care about you and your family and the Republicans only care about Big Business.

Dangerous Legal Decision

Regardless of where you stand on global warming or climate change, the news this week out of Great Britain is disturbing. Six Greenpeace activists were charged with causing property damage to a coal fired power plant in Kent, England. They were cleared of the charges by the jury.

The activists used the "Lawful excuse" defense under the Criminal Defense Act of 1971. That law states that a "lawful excuse" exists if damaged caused by an action can be shown to prevent greater damage, as in breaking down a door to try to keep a fire from burning the whole house down. Their "lawful excuse" was that by causing damage to the coal fired power plant, they were trying to prevent the greater damage of global warming.

There is still considerable debate (unless you are Al Gore) in the scientific community on how much of climate change is man made, and how much is natural weather cycles. In fact, you can find a lot of arguments against man made global warming at

There is a huge difference between vandalizing a legitimate business involved in a legal activity, and breaking down a door to fight a fire. It is too bad that a jury in Great Britain isn't intelligent enough to know the difference. My bigger fear is that we here in the states might eventually make the same boneheaded decisions.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

The Freedom Flag

I saw this tonight on the Glenn Beck show, so in honor of those who perished seven years ago during the terrorist attacks in NY, DC, and PA please visit the Freedom Flag Foundation for more details.

Obama is Jesus, Palin is Pontius Pilate

The more the Democrats open their mouths the more I can't stand them. I knew they were pretty high on Barack Obama, but I never knew they thought that he was the Saviour of the World. Yet, on the floor of the House of Representatives, Representative Steve Cohen (D-Tennessee) compares Barack Obama to Jesus Christ, and Sarah Palin to Pontius Pilate, the man who killed Jesus.

A couple thoughts. First and foremost is the obvious attack against Sarah Palin. I can't recall a Vice-Presidential Candidate being attacked this much during a campaign. They must really be worried about her. She has re-energized the Republicans, and McCain/Palin are gaining ground or leading Obama/Biden in several polls. Second, the evangelical community, a key base to the Republicans, had not fully embraced McCain, though the selection of Palin helped him some. How much do you think the evangelicals will rally around McCain/Palin when the opposition is being compared to their Messiah?

I don't listen to Rush Limbaugh, nor do I agree with a lot of what he says. He is a little too far right for my taste, but I think he summed up the feelings of a lot of folks on this subject:

"I know Jesus Christ. I pray to Jesus Christ all the time," said Limbaugh." I study what Jesus Christ did and said all the time, and let me tell you something, Barack Obama, you are no Jesus Christ."

"I can't find any such references to Jesus promoting infanticide nor do I find any references to Jesus Christ suggesting sex education be taught to 4- and 5-year-olds, but I'm still looking in the New Testament and I'll let you all know if I come up with anything."

I guess when I don't vote for Barack Obama in November, not only will I be a racist (after all, any white man that doesn't vote for Barack must be racist) but I guess I will also be a blasphemer.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Another HOA From Hell

Last month, I commented on this lovely HOA. This one, may beat it.

In July of 2007, Joe Woodard of Sanford, Florida lost his wife and son when a plane crashed into their house. He has been building a new home on the lot for the past year. He has almost completed construction on his new home.

Now, the HOA (House of Management Enterprises) steps in. Woodard has received a letter from the HOA because he is "breaking their rules." They want him to tear down his nearly completed home. Here is what they say is the problem. His shingles and the elevation of his new house do not match the rest of the neighborhood. His new house is also a few feet longer in the back than their standards allow.

Woodard does not want to build the exact same house he had before, which is what he say the HOA wants. I fully understand why he would not want to relive the memories by moving into the exact same house he had before his world was torn apart. House of Management Enterprise, have a heart.

Joe Biden Can Kiss My Ass!

As the parent of a 14 year old boy with autism, I know all too well the joys and definitely the challenges of having a special needs child. I worry everyday about what will happen to him when he gets older and my wife and I are not around or can't take care of him. There is nobody who can question how much I love my son.

By now, we all know that the GOP Vice-Presidential nominee is the mother of a baby boy with Down's Syndrome. She is also the aunt of a child with autism. During her acceptance speech, Palin pledged to the parents of special needs children that they would have an advocate for their kids in the White House. We also know that Palin is an Evangelical Christian and for that reason does not support stem cell research.

So now we have Joe Biden with the following quote. “I hear all this talk about how the Republicans are going to work in dealing with parents who have both the joy, because there’s joy to it as well, the joy and the difficulty of raising a child who has a developmental disability, who were born with a birth defect. Well guess what folks? If you care about it, why don’t you support stem cell research?”

How is this anything but a direct attack against Sarah Palin and her moral and religious beliefs? John McCain has come out as being in support of stem cell research. Palin is the one who is opposed, and Palin is the one who has spoken of helping parents of children of special needs.

There are two things that piss me off here. First is the attack of somebody's beliefs that are not political in nature, but based on morals and religious code. Second, and maybe even more important to me personally, is the implication that parents of children with special needs don't care as much for their kids if they do not agree with Joe Biden's political policies.

Personally, I would support limited stem cell research under very controlled and specific conditions. However, I fully understand and respect anybody that is against stem cell research for moral and religious reasons.

So, if I ever have the opportunity to meet Senator Biden, I will gladly turn around, drop my drawers, bend over, and tell Biden to "KISS MY ASS!"

Fan Reaction and Tom Brady

I was driving to work this morning and listening to Mike & Mike in the Morning on my local ESPNRadio station, and they were talking about fan reaction to Tom Brady's injury. Now I understand that if you are loyal to a particular NFL team, and that team isn't the Patriots, then there is a pretty good chance that you hate the Pats. Especially if your favorite team is in the same division, or if your team was one of teams humiliated by them last year (as my Redskins were.)

It makes me wonder even more about the state of our society when I hear about the various fan reactions. When Brady's injury was shown on the jumbotron at the Dolphins/Jets games, fans cheered. At Fanhouse, there were several messages posted from Jets fans about how they cheered at the news of Brady's injury. A Pittsburgh Steeler fan site has started the "Bernard Pollard Fan Club" and is selling t-shirts commemorating the date of Pollard's hit on Brady.

I can understand if your reaction was, "Well this helps my team's chances this season." I don't understand the logic in cheering somebody's injury, and a season ending one at that. I mean it is football for crying out loud. It is supposed to be entertainment. It isn't supposed to so important that is skews our sense of right and wrong.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Jessica Simpson on Opry Live

Jessica Simpson made her debut on Opry Live on GAC (Great American Country) singing her first country song "Come On Over." According to People Magazine, her outfit raised as much discussion as her singing. Jess wore a short black dress with a plunging neckline that accentuated her cleavage. I can understand why she would choose such an outfit. It would distract from her singing (she really isn't very good.) However, I will let you be the judge.

Tom Brady Out for the Year

In the first quarter of the first game of the season, the hopes of the New England Patriots, not to mention several fantasy football teams including one of mine, took a severe blow when reigning NFL MVP Tom Brady injured his knee. Brady will have to undergo season ending surgery. The Patriots were the prohibitive favorites to win the AFC East, and most predicted another trip to the Super Bowl for the Pats. Those odds have been greatly reduced with the news. In fact, oddsmakers have reduced the odds of the Pats winning the Super Bowl from 3-1 to 12-1.

Olbermann, Matthews Out

Great news today. MSNBC has announced that Keith Olbermann and Chris Matthews will be removed as co-anchors of MSNBC's political night coverage and will be replaced by David Gregory. Matthews and Olbermann each got a little snippy with each other on the air when Olbermann criticized Matthews for talking too much.

Olbermann did not even try to present an unbiased view, especially during the Republican Convention. When Joe Scarborough was presenting some positive developments in the McCain campaign, Olbermann was heard saying, "Jesus, Joe. Why don't you get a shovel." He injected his personal viewpoint when the Republicans played a video referencing 9/11 stating that MSNBC should not have aired it and apologized to viewers who shared his sentiments. Any positive comments by Republican supporters was usually met with sarcasm and disdain by Olbermann. I have said it before, and I will say it again, he was horrible doing sports for ESPN, and he has no business commenting on things of a weightier nature. What a dolt!!

At least with David Gregory, MSNBC will have a solid professional at the helm for the debates and election coverage. Unfortunately, they will still have Olbermann on hand as a commentator. For your entertainment, here is a montage of the recent meltdowns at MSNBC, including Joe Scarborough.

The Beatles-40 Years Ago Today

Forty years ago today, the Beatles made their final live television appearance on the David Frost Show. A couple years later the band would suffer an acrimonious break up and never get back together. Really, when you stop and think about it, the Beatles were on the scene for a very short period of time. Yet, forty years later, their music is still relevant. More importantly, their music is timeless. Without a doubt, they were the most influential rock band of all time. Here, from 40 years ago today, The Beatles, performing "Hey Jude."

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Song of the Week- Darius Rucker "Don't Think I Don't Think About It"

I think Darius Rucker could sing just about any style of music. Rucker is best known for being the front man for Hootie and the Blowfish. Hootie came out strong with their debut album "Cracked Rearview," but saw their sales decline with each successive album. In 2002, Rucker released his first solo effort "Back to Then" which was more of an R&B effort, but it had a lukewarm reception. Now Rucker is back and sounding as smooth as ever, this time on the country charts. I am looking forward to hearing the rest of this effort.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

NFL Season Opens

Today was the first day of the NFL season. For as long as I can remember, I have always looked forward to this day. Normally, with my Washington Redskins playing in the first game of the season, you could not keep me away from the tube and watching the game. The Redskins lost tonight to the NY Giants. I did not see the game tonight, and I just did not care. For the first time ever, I was not excited about the start of the NFL season.

It isn't because I think the Skins will have a poor season this year. Even during the lean years, I always looked forward to the start of the football season. In years past, I would never miss the start of the season. Hell, I rarely missed even a meaningless preseason game if the Redskins were playing. My wife pretty much knew that if their was a Redskins game, she could figure that I would not leave the house unless I was guaranteed to get home in time to park my ass on the couch to watch the game.

So where was I tonight that was so much more important to me than football? I was at a minor league baseball game here in Bowie, MD. For the first time in 11 years, my hometown team, the Bowie Baysox were in the playoffs. It was a great game to be at too. The Baysox won the game 11-3 behind strong pitching and five home runs, including three by Nolan Reimold (one a grand slam).

Granted, 11 years between playoff appearances is a little more special than a normal, regular season Baysox game. However, that was not the only thought in my mind tonight. I also had this thought. Once I get home from the Baysox game, I hope the football game is over so that it doesn't overlap with the Republican Convention and John McCain's acceptance speech. It isn't that I am that jazzed up about McCain as much as I can't stand the thought of the Democrats and Barack Obama winning the presidency. They scare the hell out of me and I honestly believe in the world we live in today, that their policies are wrong for America. This election season is more important to me than football. I never thought that would happen.

Don't get me wrong. If I am home, I fully expect that I will be watching the Redskins play. However, I can see myself being more willing to do something else if it comes up. There are some things that are just more important today.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

The Democrats and Hurricane Gustav

I find the following video to be fascinating. Donald Fowler, the former chair of the DNC, is carrying on a conversation with Representative John Spratt (D-SC) on an airplane after the Democratic Convention. They were just yucking it up about how God must be on their side because Gustav was set to hit New Orleans as the Republican Convention was set to start. Unfortunately for them, and fortunately for the rest of the country, Caleb Howe from was seated behind them and was able to capture the video below. It is a little hard to hear everything because of the background noise of the airplane, but you can get the main idea.

If that wasn't enough, we also have that fat pantload Michael Moore appearing on MSNBC with Keith Olbermann. Mikey thinks it is just hilarious that three years after Katrina, that God has planned another hurricane to hit New Orleans as the GOP begin their convention. Olbermann wasn't that good when he was doing sports for ESPN. He is even less qualified to discuss matters of a far more serious nature.

There is no question that mistakes were made in regards to supporting the people of New Orleans during the Katrina disaster. The Democrats and the liberal media were quick to jump on FEMA and President Bush. Things were handled poorly. So three years later, the Republicans scale back their convention in preparation for the potential of another disaster hitting the same area, while the Democrats are laughing it up that another disaster could hit the same region and disrupt the Republican convention. Remind me again, which party cares about the people of this country?

Monday, September 1, 2008

Blues Song of the Week-John Lennon "Yer Blues"

In December 1968, the Rolling Stones put together an event called the Rolling Stones Rock and Roll Circus. At that event, John Lennon performed "Yer Blues" from the Beatles White Album, with a superstar band dubbed The Dirty Mac, which featured Eric Clapton on lead guitar, Keith Richards on bass, and Mitch Mitchell on drums. Here they are, introduced by Lennon and Mick Jagger.

Sarah Palin Announces Daughter's Pregnancy

On the day that the GOP convention was set to open, albeit on a scaled back program due to Hurricane Gustav, Sarah Palin announced that her oldest daughter is five months pregnant. The 17 year old girl had decided to keep the baby, and plans to marry the father of the child. Palin asks that the media respect the privacy of the children.

A spokesman for the McCain campain said that McCain was aware of the pregnancy. Part of the reason for the announcement was an effort to refute rumors on the liberal blogosphere that Palin had faked her pregnancy that resulted in her fifth child, Trig, who has Down's Syndrome. The rumors claim that Trig is actually her daughter's baby and that Palin is the grandmother.

It will be interesting to see how the mainstream media and the Obama campaign handle this news. This should have no bearing whatsoever on Palin's qualifications. This is and should be a private family matter.


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