Showing posts from January, 2008

Word of the Day: missive

missive (n): a written communication: LETTER

Most communication these days involve electronic missives.

Word of the Day: banal

banel (adj): lacking originality, freshness or novelty : TRITE

synonyms see INSIPID

John Edwards' withdrawl speech was banal, but seemed heartfelt.Eric's blog is banal.

Viva La Chuck Norris!!

An old classic. I haven't checked this site for a long time, and it has some new "facts" that had me rolling. Among my favorites:
If you have five dollars, and Chuck Norris has five dollars, Chuck Norris has more money than you.Remember the Soviet Union? They decided to quit after watching a DeltaForce marathon on Satellite TV.Contrary to popular belief, America is not a democracy, it is a Chucktatoriship.Chuck Norris is suing MySpace for taking the name of what he calls everything around you.Also, for fun, try this: Go to Google, type in 'find chuck norris', and then click the "I'm Feeling Lucky" button. Hilarious!


Barack put the wood to Hillary in S.C. He will be stumping in Kansas City tomorrow afternoon ahead of Super Tuesday. I would like to attend to be a part of the phenomenon, but I won't be able to make it. If he does end up receiving the nomination, I'm sure I will have additional chances to catch one of his speeches in person. The part of his acceptance speech that I saw this past Saturday night was inspirational.

One of the story lines from Saturday's S.C. vote seems to be that Obama is having trouble attracting the votes of white people. I'm don't know the statistics off the top of my head, but it was something akin to him only receiving 1 out of 4 white votes, while he received 4 out of 5 black votes. Many analysts seem to think that this spells trouble for his campaign when he moves on to other states without such a high percentage of black population. However, I don't think too much should be assumed by this data gathered from exit polls. How represe…

Weekend Horror

Things that are completely outside of my control did not go to my liking this past weekend.

First, just as the Pens were getting hot and looking like they were going to take control of the Atlantic Division prior to next week's All Star Game, Sid the Kid slides into the boards on Friday and suffers a high ankle sprain. He is now on I.R., will miss the All Star Game for sure, and is likely out for at least a month. I guess we are getting some carryover factor from 2007--the year of the injured Pittsburgh athlete.

Saturday brought some interesting political contests, with the Nevada caucuses for both parties and the South Carolina primary for Republicans. I was marginally happy that McCain won South Carolina, just so I could see a large percentage of the Republican establishment uncomfortably squirming. Tom Delay actually gave an interview in which he said that McCain has done more damage to the Republican party than any other elected official. I'll presume he was not looking into…

Let Freedom Ring

"I have a dream today...", MLK

Here's to all that keep the dream alive!

God's Flowers

Fr. Matthew's 1/20/08 Homily:

Humility is the theme. As Fr. Matt said during his sermon, a tough lesson.

A memorable story from the homily: The writer Corrie ten Boom was once asked how she managed all of the many compliments that she received without becoming proud. She responded that she came to think of each compliment as a flower. She would pause momentarily to smell the "flower", and then put it away into a vase. Each night, before bed, she would present the vase full of flowers to God, saying "Thanks for letting me smell the flowers, but they belong to you."

A good reminder that we are important, indeed vital, vehicles in God's mission. I will try not to horde any flowers that I may be lucky enough to receive, but yield them humbly over to their proper owner, with graciousness for Him having shared them with me.

Championship Sunday 2008

Well, neither team that I was half-heartedly rooting for today came away with a victory, but I think the Super Bowl match up is decent: New England Patriots vs. New York Giants. These teams met in Week 17, and the Giants gave them a run for their money. Even though the game was in New York, and pre-playoffs, I think the weather was good and the Patriots were definitely playing to win and make history. So, I think it was a pretty good predictor of a potentially good game in the Super Bowl. I don't care for Eli Manning all that much, but I'm willing to root for him for a day. I'm beginning to come to terms with the Patriots being undefeated anyway. I'll still be rooting for them to lose, but I don't think I will be all that upset if they win. It's about time for a team to go undefeated anyway, so we can stop hearing about it. Teams have been flirting with it the past few years anyway--Indy was supposed to do it in 2005, until they ran into their nemesis S…

Kids and their religious questions...

I was reading to Dominic this evening about the origins of Buddhism, and how the Aryans invaded India from the northwest to meld their beliefs with those of settlers along the Ganges River. Interesting story that I did not know much about. Evidently, Buddhists, while believing in more than one god, believe in a main God, Brahman. Brahman's spirit is believed to be in everything that exists: mountains, rivers, leaves, animals, etc. Naturally, Dominic has a few questions:
Is Brahman in the ceiling? Yes.
Is Brahman in my butt? Uh, I guess so.

Book Quiz

Swiped from Jaq:

1. Do you remember learning to read? How old were you?
Just vague memories. Nothing concrete. I'm quite sure it happened over a long period of time. My mother read to me a lot prior to my school years. I do remember distinctly, in 3rd grade, actually having the freedom and capability to choose and read books at my leisure. I'm sure I could read some before that, and that I read much better after that. I guess in the grand scheme of things, I'm still learning to read at age 35.

2. What do you find most challenging to read?
There are times when I find almost anything challenging to read. Even the most engaging books lose my attention. The fault is mine. I like such a wide variety of writing, that I'm not sure I could pick one that was most challenging. I even like reading footnotes, endnotes and mathematical proofs. Coming from a different angle, I guess I do find reading things on the Internet more challenging that a good old fashioned book with which I can…

A Happy Pirate Memory

When I was a young child, surely under 5, my Dad toted me along to what was probably my first Pirate's game at big Three Rivers Stadium. I don't remember anything about the game--who won, who the Pirates played, any of the players, etc. However, I distinctly remember having a great time being with my dad in such a majestic environment. The view of downtown Pittsburgh at night was as transfixing to me then as it is now. I remember an amiable atmosphere, where my Dad's friends were probably joking with me and having fun, or perhaps even making fun of me. It didn't matter. It was heaven, and it was baseball, and it was not Iowa. It was Pittsburgh.

Pens on the Loose

The Penguins actually won a big Atlantic divisional game this evening against the Rangers. Malkin scored another hat trick, with an empty-netter at the end. Too bad their 8 game winning streat was stopped yesterday in a shootout, but this was an important game, and vaults them for a moment into a point tie with New Jersey in the Eastern Conference Atlantic Division. Given that they were in last place not long ago, this is a major development--especially considering they have been hammered by injuries. However, Conklin seems to be playing like an All-Star. I look for this team to play solid hockey in the second half of the season to earn a top playoff seed. This actually could be the year of Crosby's first Stanley Cup. First of many!

Time Interactive Primary Guide

New York Times Primary Guide


All of this makes me wonder--where does Missouri fall in the primary season? I've never before voted in a primary election, or a caucus--even though I lived through several cycles in Iowa at voting age. I was just not as potically engaged in those years. However, I need to do some research to see where I can cast a vote that may actually matter in the nominations. And, more importantly, I must decide who to vote for.

Update: Looks like Missouri is part of the well-known "Super Tuesday". This takes place on February 5. I've got a month to decide. Most of the other states on Super Tuesday are in the midwest and mountain west, with a few big exceptions like California and New York. I think that these states can break either way for the Democrats. It may well be just as muddied after Super Tuesday as it was going into it.


Unbelievable results from the New Hampshire primary. Just astounding. This takes me back to the 2000 election. Not necessarily a lot of parallels, but the drama and entertainment. Wow! Nearly everyone had this wrong, up to and including the exit polling. I'm talking, of course, about Hillary's victory over Obama. The other side is just as fascinating. Both of these races could go in any direction. These kind of races make politics fun. I don't think this quite falls into Dewey defeats Truman upset territory. I think that the playing field is almost completely level at this point, almost as if Iowa and New Hampshire cancel each other out. And, with Edwards and his loyal followers vowing to stay in the race until the convention, he is a definite wild card. Who would you bet on?

2007 Steelers Obituary

The 2007 Steelers season came to an end this past Saturday night at the hands of the Jacksonville Jaguars. The Jags are a team that I am really starting to dislike due to their continual thrashing of the Steelers. I believe that this is now 4 in a row, with three of them in Pittsburgh. Other than that, I kind of like the Jags. It's my guilty pleasure. They are probably my second favorite team in the AFC. Although a young franchise, they are relatively similar to the Steelers in many respects. I liked Jack Del Rio the first time I saw him coach, and I knew there would be several times I would be crying into my beer due to his teams.

On the final game: The Steelers were out-coached Saturday. Plain and simple. Of course, as always, there were other factors contributing to the demise. However, critical in-game decisions looked like the results of somebody rolling the magic 8-ball. The most egregious of these bone-headed errors was the decision to run some type of quarterback sweep to B…

Those Crafty Iowans

Impressive caucus results, making a winner out of Obama and saying, "We Heart Huckabee." I guess Hillary and Romney are not invincible after all. Now, if only somebody could beat the Patriots!

Happy New Year 2008

O.K., so I'm a few days late. In any case, one of my New Year's Resolutions is to regularly post blog entries. I've made this resolution before--and failed. But, it's a new year. That's what resolutions are for. Renewal. Are you ready? Here we go....