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What is it about nice people that attract total idiots?Nice people are martyrs. Idiots are evangelists.


Sunday, October 31, 2010

Comments on the Declan Sullivan death

I was just doing a little digging into the "accident" that cost the young man at Notre Dame his life. I thought to myself, surely there is some kind of safety guideline on such a machine, and certainly some guidelines for use by the university.

What I learned was this. At Illinois, IU, Nebraska, and Kentucky, such lifts are grounded in winds over 25 mph. At Penn State and Michigan, 28 mph. Texas Tech will allow you up 20 feet up to 40 mph, but no higher over 25 mph. North Carolina State grounds them when the wind is 50% of the machine's rating. South Florida is getting rid of them altogether, installing practice field permanent towers that can handle any reasonable wind.

The facts? In winds gusting anywhere from 31 to 51 mph, Declan Sullivan was 40 feet up. The machines rating was 28 mph.

(Notre Dame coach Brian ) Kelly said Saturday it was his decision to hold practice outdoors on a windy day when a student videographer died after the lift he was in fell over. "You have to be able to look at the weather conditions and find out whether you believe it's going to be a productive day, first. We believed it to be productive, it was productive, obviously up until the tragedy,"Kelly said, speaking to reporters after Notre Dame's 28-27 upset loss to Tulsa. "Practice must be safe," he added.

Notre Dame had systems in place for dealing with safety issues at practice but those systems failed and are being evaluated, Kelly said.

Really? What system was in place that allows a boy 40 feet up in wind gusts up to twice the machine's ratings?

Kelly said he didn't have answers as to why someone didn't tell Sullivan to get off the tower, or who was responsible for monitoring the changing conditions. "Those are all the things that we're examining right now. We could probably come up with a number of different things that we're all wondering. Those are the questions that are being asked exactly as you've asked them," he said. He also was asked if there is a maximum wind speed prescribed for using the scissor lifts. "Again, if I had the knowledge specifically of wind speed and heights of lifts, all of those, I certainly would provide those to you. I just don't have that information," he said.

Let's see, Brian. The machine's ratings I'm guessing are prominently posted on the machine, easy to read if the damn thing isn't tipped over. Why didn't you order him off the tower, Brian, you ordered the practice and were presumably in charge.

Declan's parents, Alison and Barry Sullivan, released a statement through Notre Dame saying they were grateful "for the consideration shown to us by the Notre Dame administration and everyone associated with the university" in the wake of their son's death.

I should say that administration should be kissing their asses at this point. They have the lawsuit of all time right in their laps.

Frankly, if sports wasn't the high dollar abortion that it is, the only question would be the possible recruiting violations Kelley would be getting if he was working while spending 1 to 3 for aggravated involuntary manslaughter in prison.

more fun with Nigerian e-mailers

Here's the latest one I got. Clever and entertaining. Italics are mine.

FBI Headquarters in Washington, D.C.
Federal Bureau of Investigation

This is an official advice from the FBI foreign Remittance / telegraphic dept,it has come to our notice that the C.B.N Bank Nigeria district has released $10,500,000.00 US dollars into bank of America in your name as the beneficiary,by inheritance means.
The C.B.N Bank Nigeria knowing fully well that they do not have Enough facilities to effect this payment from the united kingdom(don't you just love the randomness of their capitalization?) to your account, usedwhat we know as a secret diplomatic transit payment (S.T.D.P)(Keep track of these acronyms, there are quite a few) to pay this fund through wire transfer, they used this means to complete the payment.
They are still, waiting for confirmation from you on the already Transferred funds which were made in direct transfer so that they can do final crediting to
your account. Secret diplomatic payments are not made unless the funds are related to terrorist activities why must your payment be made in secret
transfer, if your transaction is legitimate, if you are not a terrorist, then why did you not receive the money directly into your account; this is a purecoded, means of payment?(See, here's the clever part. I MUST be a terrorist if I'm getting 10 mil from Nigeria. Or perhaps, an idiot.) Records which we have had with this method of payment in the past has always been related to terrorist acts, we do not want you to get into trouble as soon as these funds reflect in your account in the U.S.A, so it is our duty as a world wide commission(Gee, now the FBI is a WORLD WIDE COMMISSION. I wonder if the world knows that?) to correct this little problem before this fund will be credited into your personal account.
Due to the increased difficulty and unnecessary security by the American authorities( Of course, you have to wonder when the FBI accuses "American authorities" of "unnecessary security") when funds come from outside of Europe, and the Middle East, the FBIbank commission for Europe (The WHAT?) has stopped the transfer on its way to deliver payment of $10,500,000.00 to debit your reserve account and pay you through asecured diplomatic transit account (S.D.T.A).(Acronym #2) We govern and oversee funds transfer for the World Bank and the rest of the world.(Really?)
We advice you contact us immediately, as the funds have been Stopped and are being held in our custody, until you can be able to provide us with a diplomatic
immunity seal of transfer (dist) (Acronym #3) within 5 days from the world local bank that authorize the transfer from where the funds was transferred from to certify that the funds that you are about to receive from Nigeria are antiterrorist/drug free (I didn't know money could be these) or we shall have cause to cross and impound the Payment, we shall release the funds immediately we receive this legal documents. We have decided to contact you directly to acquire the proper Verifications and proof from you to show that you are the rightful person to receive this fund,because of the amount involve, we want to make sure is a clean and legal money you are about to receive. Be informed that the fund is now in United State (Just like in the last scam e-mail I made fun of, there is apparently only one "United State". Whether this one is also Texas like the last one I couldn't determine.) in your name, but right now we have ask the bank not to release the fund to anybody that comes to them, unless we ask them to do so, because we have to carry out our investigations first before releasing the fund to you. Note that the fund is in the BANK OF AMERICA right now, but we have ask them not to credi t the fund to you yet, because we (Here they apparently lost their train of thought, such as it was.)
So to this regards you are to re-assure and proof to us that what you are about to receive is a clean money by sending to us FBI Identification Record and also Diplomatic Immunity Seal of Transfer (DIST) to satisfy to us that the money your about to receive is legitimate and real money. You are to forward the documents to us immediately if you have it in your possession, if you don't have it let us know so that we will direct and inform you where to obtain the document and send to us so that we will ask the bank holding the funds, the Bank Of America to go ahead Crediting your account immediately.
These Documents are to be issued to you from the World Local Bank that Authorized the transfer, so get back to us immediately if you don't have thedocument so that we will inform you the particular place to obtain the document in United Kingdom (U.K), because we have come to realize (how did it come to you? In a dream?) that the fund wasAuthorized by (H.S.B.C) Bank in London.
An FBI Identification Record and Diplomatic Immunity Seal Of Transfer (DIST) often referred to as a Criminal History Record or Rap Sheet,(So if I get arrested, my fingerprints and charges go on my DIST. Hmm.) is a listing of certain information taken from fingerprint submissions retained by the FBI in connection with arrests and, in some instances, federal employment,naturalization, or military service. These Conditions Is Valid ("These conditions is valid"? So the one "united State" in this e-mail must be Kentucky.)until 30th of Nov. 2010 after we shall take actions on canceling the payment and then charge you for illegally moving funds out of Nigeria.
(Clever part #2: If I don't go along, I'll be charged with trying to smuggle 10.5 million out of Nigeria. OOOOH...)Guarantee: funds will be released on confirmation of the document.
Final Instruction:
1. Credit payment instruction: irrevocable credit guarantee.
2. Beneficiary has full power when validation is cleared.
3. Beneficiaries bank in U.S.A., can only release funds.
4. Upon confirmation from the world bank / united nations.
5. Bearers must clear bank protocol and validation request.
NOTE: We have asked for the above documents to make available the most complete and up-to date records possible for the enhancement of public safety, welfare
and security of Society while recognizing the importance of individual privacy rights. If you fail to provide the Documents to us, we will charge you with the FBI("We will charge you with the FBI?" The FBI is a crime now?) and take our proper action against you for not proofing to us the legitimate of the fund you are about to receive.
The United States Department of Justice Order 556-73 establishes rules and regulations for the subject of an FBI Identification Record to obtain a copy of
his or her own Record for review. The FBI Criminal Justice Information Services (CJIS)(Acronym #4) Division processes these requests to check illegal activities in U.S.A.An individual may request a copy of his or her own FBI Identification Record for personal review or to challenge information on the Record. Other reasons an individual may request a copy of his or her own Identification Record may include international adoption or to satisfy a requirement to live or work in a foreign country or receive funds from another country, i.e. Diplomatic Immunity Seal of Transfer, letter of good conduct, criminal history Background, etc.)


So there you have it. I, of course, sent it on to the FBI, in the hopes that they will be as amused as I was.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Chris' FCS page #7

The big boys were kind to me this week and all of the games that were going to affect my chart are already over. I'm going to work in last week's AP rankings as I go along, along with updated records, which I've been too lazy to do previously.

Appalachian St. (8-0, 1st) remains number one with a 37-26 win over Furman. However, Liberty does not remain number two; I flipped them and last week's #4 Wofford. Wofford (7-1, 10th) cruised past the Citadel 35-0, while Liberty (6-2, 12th) struggled against a 1-7 Presbyterian squad 34-24. In between them remains idle Delaware (7-1, 6th). Also idle and holding their spots were #5 Jacksonville St. (8-0, 2nd) and #6 Bethune-Cookman (7-0, 16th). Jacksonville (8-1, 27th) moves up 1 spot to 7th with a 61-17 rout of Morehead St. that runs their point total to 203-38 in their last 3 games. William and Mary (6-2, 4th) lost their QB on their first drive and had 3 other crucial players leave the game and still almost took down big boy North Carolina, losing 21-17 on a fourth quarter 67-yard run; thus, I only drop them one spot to 8th.

Western Illinois (6-3, 24th) recovers from a close loss last week to top Illinois St. 65-38 and move up 2 to #9. Villanova (6-2, 5th) returns to the top 10 with a 28-7 whipping of Richmond. I drop Montana St. (7-2, 13th) two spots to 11th after a 23-20 OT win over a 1-7 Idaho St. club. Dayton (8-1, 31st) moves up a pair to 12th with a 37-13 win over Davidson; Robert Morris does likewise to 13th, winning 34-11 over Duquesne.

I slide SE Missouri St.(8-1, 11th) down to 14th after a lackluster 24-17 win over Tennessee-Martin. Stephen F. Austin (6-2, 3rd) falls 5 to 15th after one of the great collapses of the year. Leading former top 20 Texas St. 24-0 coming into the 4th quarter, they were stopped on a 4th-and-16 (why do you go for that?) and State drove down for a TD. They miss the xp, 24-6. Three plays into the next drive SFA fumbles, giving State the ball on the SFA 9, from which they soon scored. 2-pt attempt is good, 24-14. After a short drive, SFA has to punt, and State returns it 72 yds for a score(maybe that explains the 4th-and-16?). 24-21. SFA drives downfield, only to have a receiver fumble after a good gain, and State has the ball again. A half-dozen plays later, State puts it in again and takes the lead, 27-24, with 1:10 left in the game. Needing a cherry for the top of the meltdown, SFA drives into long field goal range, but of course misses the 47-yarder with no time left and State wins 27-24.

Idle North Dakota St. (5-3, 22nd) and New Hampshire (5-3, 9th) each hold their spots at 16th and 17th, respectively. South Carolina St. (6-2, 17th) stay alive with a 38-21 win over a lousy Delaware St. team; I move them up one to 18th. Umass (5-3, 18th) re-enters at 19 after winning the Meltdown Bowl, 21-14 over James Madison (a game JMU led 14-3 in the first half), sending the crumbling JMU squad out of the countdown just 4 weeks after being 4-0 and #1. The loss makes four in a row for JMU; Umass rebounded from 2 inexcusably bad defeats that dropped them from the top ten. Finally, I get to give some love to the Indiana St. Sycamores(5-3, 43rd). They played that South Dakota St. team that has gotten votes since they were 1-4 (they started the season 0-4, and won three straight to become a minor media darling) and whupped them 41-30 to come into my list at #20.

In addition to luckless JMU, Montana (6-3,7th) gives up a spot at the round table after losing 30-21 to Weber St., who almost got that last spot, but after all I am a Hoosier. The lightweights that I don't rank and they do include #8 Eastern Washington, #14 Richmond,#19 Northern Iowa, and #20 Cal Poly. Eastern Washington is a close thing, as are the Iowans, but Richmond has been unable to beat the big teams in their conference, and Cal Poly has only a close game against struggling Montana to recommend it.

Friday, October 29, 2010

pictures from the creek

These are pictures from the north trail we found to the creek.

Scrappy goes swimming.

My new desktop.

The big tree that marks our side trail into the woods.

Step into my time machine week twenty-seven

Well, here we go on another trip to 1975, and the question is: will Neil Sedaka hang onto the top spot? Will the Eagles succeed in their last gasp attempt? Or does someone new step into the picture? Let's find out.

9 debuts hit the hot 100 this week, and three of them are of note: Al Martino scores with his disco version of Volare at 92; Diana Ross comes in at 88 with the Theme To Mahogany (Do You Know Where You're Going To?) ; and Wings come in at 84 with the rowdy Venus And Mars Rock Show. Ironic, I guess, because they also have the big dropper this week, Letting Go dropping from its peak of 41 down to 68. The big mover, as it has several of the last few weeks, lies ahead in the top 40.

The almost-but-not-quite this week goes to another one of those star-crossed bands, the Outlaws, with There Goes Another Love Song. It peaked last week at 26 and is on its way down now. On Billboard it went only to 34, and their biggest Billboard hit was Ghost Riders In The Sky which went to 31. Three of the original five members have passed away: Billy Jones, one of their 3 lead guitars, o.d.ed in February of 1995, and bassist Frank O'Keefe committed suicide just 19 days later. Guitarist and vocalist on Love Song and on Green Grass And High Tides, Hughie Thomasson died of a heart attack in his sleep just 3 years ago, after leaving a ten-year stint with Lynyrd Skynyrd to reform the old band.

I mentioned irony a bit ago, and it hit while I was looking up the other years at #1 as well. This week we're back on the 0's, and while Laurie was watching the Vanilla Ice Project on DIY (yes, he's doing remodels now), I found that Ice Ice Baby was the #1 song this week in 1990. In 1980 the top dog was Barbara Streisand (with a big boost from Barry Gibb) with Woman In Love; the Jackson 5 held the top in 1970 this week with I'll Be There; in 1960, the Drifters were in the 3rd of six weeks at #1 with Save The Last Dance For Me; and in 1950, the folk band the Weavers, with Gordon Jenkins and his Orchestra, were at #1 with their cover of the r&b hit by Leadbelly, Goodnight Irene, which lyrically was not your typical 1950's tune (Some times I live in the country/Some times I live in town/Some times I take a great notion/To jump in the river and drown). Leadbelly was not a happy man when he wrote it, and the Weavers actually cut out some of the worse lyrics.

5 new songs enter airplay alley. The Bay City Rollers are up 14 to 39 with Saturday Night. The Manhattan Transfer, famous for their remake of Boy From NYC, are up 6 to 38 with the gospel -flavored Operator (Give Me Jesus On The Line). Longtime r&b artist Leon Haywood got his first top 40 hit with I Want To Do Something Freaky To You, up 6 to 36(and though I know it had nothing to do with it, our next irony is a song with such a name hitting the charts on Halloween weekend). Frankie Valli, once again in full can't-get-away-from -him mode, comes in at 34, up 7, with Our Day Will Come (and we'll see him again in the top 10). And finally, our big mover of the week climbs 30, from 49 to 19 this week- That's The way I Like It by KC and the Sunshine band.

Four more weeks of my top songs of the 70's countdown. We start at #20 this week; I'll Be Good To You by the Brothers Johnson. Number 19 is a recent time machine guest and a member of the "mythical top ten", Chicago's Old Days. Manfred Mann' Earth Band is at 18 with, of course, Blinded By The Light. Paul McCartney sails in at 17 with Uncle Albert/Admiral Halsey; and at 16 is Todd Rundgren with Hello It's Me.

Three songs enter the top 10, three drop out, with a vengeance. Ain't No Way To Treat A Lady falls from 5 to 26; Mr. Jaws sinks from 6 to 27; and Dance With Me waltzes down from 7 to 30. In a note from the other direction (aka the dead continue to rise) Feelings moves UP 3 to #12 in its 21st week on the charts... and, for the third time- it has the bullet!

Our look at the number one albums of the 70's brings us to the unusual circumstance of 2 straight one-week toppers. We are at, ironically (our theme today, apparently) Halloween week, 1971, and pulling into the top spot is John Lennon's Imagine. Most people who know me know that the #1 title track is one of my least favorite songs of all time. I always have to wonder how John's coming out with that whole "imagine no heaven and no hell " thing these days. Among the other notables on this album is a tune called How Do You Sleep? Which was a response to Paul McCartney's sideways jabs at John on his album Ram. John, though, took things to the next step; and though George Harrison (presumably) gritted his teeth and played slide guitar on the track, the visiting Ringo Starr on listening to the rehearsals, said, "John, that's Enough," and left. Despite being Lennon's most critically acclaimed album, it was knocked down after one week by Isaac Hayes' Shaft soundtrack. This double album was, but for three songs (including the #1 title track and the top 40 Do Your Thing), an all instrumental album, featuring Hayes' score for the movie. Come to think of it, the main theme and what I heard of Do Your Thing this afternoon were pretty much instrumental as well. That brings us to November 1971 when Santana III took over for the next 5 weeks. This album featured the #12 Everybody's Everything and the #36 Nobody To Depend On, which we get to hear several times a week on the cd player at work. Both featured the guitar work of Neal Schon, who would leave Santana the next year to help found Journey.

Top ten time! Coming in at leadoff is the brother-band Tavares with It Only Takes A Minute, moving up from 12. Linda Ronstadt climbs 8 big notches from 17 to 9 with Heat Wave. Coming in at 8, up 3, is Leon Russell with Lady Blue. Russell was a songwriter of great variety, from the early version of what would become the Carpenters' Superstar (with Bonnie Bramlett of Delaney and Bonnie) to George Benson's This Masquerade, and was the piano player on Badfinger's Day After Day. At number 7, the promised appearance of Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons, with Who Loves You, up 2. War rises hydraulically from 10 to 6 with Low Rider. Now, everybody take on step backwards: Jefferson Starship, down one to 5 with Miracles; Eagles, down one to #4 with Lyin' Eyes; and Spinners, down one to #3 with Games People Play.

And now, time for one final irony, the top two songs feature one man as a backup on the one and the lead on the other. At number two, up from 8th this week, is Elton John with Island Girl. and at number one for a second week- with Elton John singing along on the chorus- is Neil Sedaka with Bad Blood.

Thanks to Getty Images for the pic. Same time next week, eh?

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Meanwhile, in the land of Arden...

Thought I would say a few words about work, before it once again becomes busy to the point of unpleasantness. This is usually the dead season for us but the company is trying hard to do a few things different in order to avoid the train wreck of last year. First, they've picked up a lot of the early retail shells we've been getting made in China. This way, the layoffs are fewer (and thus not only are you sharper for the season, but not as many people who learned the business last season wander off to greener pastures). Some are being finished here, and some sent to the Ft. Wayne plant. Second, they hired 4 new cutters to train on the retail stuff so that they are good to go when all h breaks loose. (Of course, 2 of them quit this week, but the other 2 are hanging in there.) Third, we got rid of Country Casual, which was a tremendous drain on time, patience, and supplies, along with being 90% of our brought-in foam consumption. By dropping them, we eliminate half of our customer complaints, 40% of our recuts, and gain several hundred square feet of warehouse space once dedicated to foam that can be used more productively. They also dropped some other little customers that took up time to no good effect such as Viva,, Sams Club, and others that most of us never heard of (like Stacks and Stacks). Fourth, they moved Lisa Coburg into the sewing and cutting supervisor spot, leaving Rhonda to pay attention to just shipping and finishing. I can't help but believe that a lot of the resentment over Rhonda's being stretched too thin (and working like it wouldn't have made a difference) and letting the "front end" slide will dissipate.

But it is still the dead season, and so in order to keep the new guys working, the remainder of the crew (Jose, Jorge, Ullisses, Laurie, and I) have been getting farmed out to do various other season prep work. Over the last two weeks, Laurie and I have: shipped unwanted items such as old poly, used cushions, and other garbage to Ft. Wayne; moved poly hither and thither; stacked bags of finished cushions in the warehouse; boxed up pallets worth of discontinued (but we may yet get orders for) cushions; counted and/or stacked finished shells; took down signs; painted red squares around the fire extinguishers; moved and re-moved allegedly discontinued fabrics to pallets or racks where they will be buried until we inevitably need them; and put snow fence up on the racks in the hopes that they will help hold the ever-collapsing stacks of bags upright. Ullisses spent a day and a half taking the fabric scraps that we were saving for a recycling deal and throwing them into a dumpster when the deal fell through. He's also swept the sewing tables with the shop-vac, peeled several yards of floor tape off of defunct aisles, and actually had to clean the top of the pop machine one morning. Jorge basically cuts the umbrella shells, takes them to the sewers, takes them back from the sewers and frames, cleans, and packs them.

Dark clouds begin to gather already, though. Lisa is going through the beginner nerve-fraying as she learns her new jobs (which are in addition to her old job in inventory). She and Mike have already been at odds over using Jamie (our warehouse guy), to the point that he's actually getting some of his duties farmed out at long last. There has been a mini-rebellion over rates (which no one had to deal with much last year as we weren't doing retail) by both sewers and stuffers; the two guys working the Blow-fill machine both apparently quit on Monday morning, but were back Tuesday, I guess. We are in the process of cutting 1,560 cushions for Menards retail one roll at a time (works out to about 160 at a lay) because our cheap Chinese fabric suppliers have no idea how to make the stripes reasonably line up from roll to roll, which of course is just a fascinating slice of the fabric defect issues that dogged us all last year and so far this season.

Still in all, at least its not 65 hour weeks -yet. And it's better than filling out unemployment vouchers.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

NHFFL week 7

Another big scoring week, thanks in part, but far from exclusively, to all those defensive points. 44 was the average score, and that average score would have won only one of the games. That game was the anticipated battle between the State Ducks and Buzz Lightyears, which buzz took 41-37. A game that was close throughout was basically decided when Brett Favre threw HIS pick-6 Sunday night. A good thing that Buzz won, too, because the Hot-on-his-heels Rhinos blasted the woebegone Angels 48-17. The Angels have now given up 378 points, 79 more than any other team. This leaves the Rhinos and Buzz tied at 5-2, along with the T-cubs the best record in the league. They fall to this mark, losing to the Sunset Rangers 54-50. Darren McFadden does most of the winners' damage with 27 points, whilst the T-Cubs featured Dwayne Bowe's 15. The KCAs blow their chance to be among the elite with a 46-40 loss to the B2s. The B2s Minnesota connection chipped in 12 points to tip the scales for the 2-5 Tubers. Likewise, the Elks struggled, losing 55-46 to the SVA, putting both teams at 4-3 with the KCAs. SVA had an 18-point day from their RB corps, and 14 from Roddy White. The KCAs and SVA are tied for first in the Purple Division, and KCAs hold the tie breaker for now. Finally, the Beagles got a big 56-46 win over the Clock BBQs. They also had an 18 point RB day and 11 from the Bengals defenseFive weeks left in the regular season, and the feature matchup this week is the 5-2 Rhinos and 5-2 T-Cubs. It will be the first week to have to "inter-owner" games, in Buzz and the Clock BBQs, and the T-Cub/Rhino game . Shenan now leads the owner race with a 13-6 record; KC is 11-10, Laurie 8-10, and I hold up the rear (ironically enough) at 7-12And the individual scoring race looks thus: Rob Bironas, KCAs, and reservist Sebastian Janikowski of the CBBQs, 65 points; Aaron Rodgers of the Ducks, 57; reservist Nick Folk of the Elks, 56; reservist Josh Scobie of the Rangers, 54; David Akers of the Angels and Tennessee Defense, B2s, 52; Steve Gostkowski of the Elks and reservist Washington defense of the Rhinos, 51; and Matt Prater of the B2s, 50. Despite how much KC says he's overrated, Aaron Rodgers is leading the leagues non-kickers in scoring for the second straight year





Clock BBQs34258261330



Sunday, October 24, 2010

More odds and ends.

-Just looking at this Juan Williams/NPR thing. I always thought, from when I've listened, that anything beyond the 5-minute scope of the top of the hour news update on NPR was opinion (excuse me, "analysis"). Oh, wait, this was an "analysis" that was not in line with NPR's, on an outlet that was not NPR. I have no problem with NPR firing someone for saying things they don't agree with, but how about just saying, "we don't feel his comments reflect our current opinions,er, analysis." Oh, because he's "consorting with the enemy" on Fox. No one ever accused NPR of being "fair and balanced," eh? It's all a tempest in a teapot to me; however, I will have to mention, the next time liberals accuse the GOP of taking big money in return for influence, how George Souros can get NPR (isn't this supposed to be "public" radio?) to fire objectionable reporters just by waving a bankroll.

-Yesterday the Journal Gazette ran a LTE that claimed that republicans wanted to undo "all the great strides President Obama and a reluctant Congress have made". WTF? If Obama's strides are so great, how's come that "reluctant Congress" is thought to be about to lose so many of his party mates? I guess I just have to look at this as coming from an individual who said (paraphrasing), why is it that any liberal is pushing a "socialist agenda", but no one says that any conservative is a fascist? How about because, while not a good or successful form of government, socialism does not necessarily mean a dictatorship, which a fascist state generally does- important difference, there. This all brings up 2 points I often ponder: First, people like this make me see why several of the founding fathers did not want the "unwashed masses" voting. Second, that Congress is the single biggest argument for dictatorship ever made by man. Thankfully, arguments against dictatorship such as Hitler and Napoleon still outweigh that argument.

-We have watched with amusement all the turnovers in the NFL games this afternoon. with 18 lost fumbles (35 altogether) and 22 interceptions in just the early games, I got to figuring. Our fantasy league have 2 defenses per team, one playing and one reserve. In the first six weeks these teams (which score points based on interceptions, forced fumbles, sacks, and scores) have averaged 4.33, 4.79, 3.79, 4.67, 4.69, and 3.5 points per game. The early games produced an average of 8.0 ppg, and that's counting three teams that are on the bye and scored 0. The total for just 15 of the 24 defenses is 120 points- 5 more than any full week this year.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

FCS, eurohockey, and etc.

Before I start my beloved sports page, I thought I'd note that Scrappy and I saw the fox again Friday. He was running down the main trail all the way around a bend and out of sight. We went on to explore that previously unexplored north side of the creek. Scrappy actually climbed down a rock and jumped into the water! He waded around, drinking and splashing, until I asked him what he was doing and he discovered he wasn't quite sure how he was getting out. Today we found an easy way out of the back trail from Scrappy's landing, and discovered a large roll of fence. If we ever need it, we'll just have to figure a way to get it out that doesn't involve a crane, chopper, or bulldozer.

I find I have to submit this week, at least, to the AP choice for number one. Delaware loses the top spot after losing a desperate winner-take-all battle with William and Mary, 17-16, and drops to 3rd. Appalachian St. assumes the top spot with a 37-14 rout of Western Carolina. Liberty was idle and holds onto the second spot, as does #4 Wofford (28-21 over Elon), #5 Jacksonville St. (56-3 over Austin Peay), and #6 Bethune-Cookman (23-10 over NC Central). The Tribe of William and Mary move from 10 to 7 with their win over #1; and Jacksonville gets a little more love after a 56-14 win over Marist(which gives them a 2-week total of 142-21) and jumps 6 notches to #8. Montana St. (37-35 over Northern Colorado) and SF Austin (31-28 over Sam Houston St.) each drop a notch, to 9 and 10 respectively, after lackluster wins. Idle Western Illinois holds at 11th; Villanova moves up a spot to 12 after a tough 14-7 win over rapidly dropping James Madison, who fall 11 spots to 18th just 2 weeks after being #1. SE Missouri St. rises 4 to 13th with a 41-20 rout of Eastern Kentucky; Dayton up 2 to 14th after topping Campbell 41-23; Robert Morris takes a week off and holds at 15th. North Dakota St. wins a 27-15 game against surprisingly tough Indiana St. to climb 2 spots to 16th. New Hampshire enters the count this week at 17 after knocking swiftly imploding UMass out of the list, 39-13. South Carolina St. leapfrogs Montana with a 17-7 win over previously 5-1 Hampton, while Montana pulls out a last second 24-21 win over stubborn Northern Arizona to hang on to 20th. Next week, William and Mary finally face their big-boy game against North Carolina; Appalachian (Furman), 'Nova (Richmond), and Western Illinois (Illinois St.) all face tough opponents, and the two poster children for self destruction, James Madison and UMass, play each other in a game somebody has to win.

Euro hockey updates:
UK: Defending playoff champ Belfast Giants lead the EIHL with a 12-1-1 record, 7 pts up on 2nd place Nottingham.
France(Ligue Magnus): The season is just 3 games in; defending champ Rouen is one of 4 teams with 6 pts.
Italy: Serie A has Valpusteria 6 out in front of 2009-10 regular season champ Renon; playoff champ Asiago is 13 back.
Switzerland: The Kloten Flyers lead National League A by 8 over EV Zug; SC Bern is in 4th.
Austria: KAC Klagenfurt leads the Erste-bank Liga by 2 over VSV Villach; defending champ Red Bull Salzburg is third 6 pts back.
Germany: Defending champ Hanover Scorpions lead the DEL by 2 pts over Adler Mannheim; the Wolfsburg Grizzly Adams are 3rd, 3 points out.
Czech Rep.: HC Mountfield (out of Ceske Budejovice; sponsor Mountfield is Europe's largest lawn mower manufacturer) leads the Extraliga by 1 point over defending playoff champ Vitkovice Steel and Ocelasi Trinec; last year's best regular season teams, Slavia Praha and Eaton Pardubice, are mired in mid-pack, as is almost-KHL member Karlovy Vary.
Slovakia: Slovak Extraliga 2009-10 champ HC Kosice leads HC 05 Banska Bystrica by 6 pts; regular season winner last year Slovan Bratislava also is stuck in mid-pack, along with the other almost-KHL team, HC Poprad.
Norway: The 2 teams that played for the 2009-10 GET-Ligaen crown are 2nd and 3rd right now; Sparta Sarpsborg leads runner up Stavenger Oilers by 3 and champ Valerenga HC by 4.
Denmark: As expected, defending champ SonderjsykE are running away with the AL Bank-Ligaen by 10 points over Blue Fox Herning.
Sweden: Lulea leads the Eliteserien by 6 points over Linkoping; again, the more prominent members of the league (many of which had threatened to bolt the league for the KHL last spring) are mired in mid-pack.
Finland(S-M Liga): JYP Jyvaskyla leads HIFK Helsinki by 4 pts; the incredible news is that 2009-10 playoff champ TPS Turku are 0-13-3!
Russia: KHL East is led by the merged UHC Dynamo Moscow team by 3 over surprising Severstal Cherpovets; 5 teams are within 6 points, including my 5th-place Lokomotiv Yaroslavl. The West is headed by an equally surprising pair: Metallurg Magnitogorsk holds the league's best record and a 4 point lead over Avangard Omsk. Also shockingly, the 3rd place team is the one new team that actually made the trip to the KHL- Yugra- 6 points back. KC's Neftekhimik team is 5 points ahead of the next team in the battle for the last playoff spot and 8 behind 7th place Sibir.
Asia League: Korea's Anyang Halla, the defending champs, lead two Japanese teams, Oji Eagles and Tohoku Free Blades, by 2 points; the single Chinese entry, China Dragons, have one OT loss and 8 losses in 9 games. At least the website is working now.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Step into my time machine week twenty-six

As the fall of 1975 rolls in here on time machine, we get lots of debuts, three new top tens, a new top dog, some poetry, the King makes a stop, and the thyird-biggest song in rock'n'roll history gets a nod. Hop in!

8 debuts hit the top 40, and the ones I know, with one exception, are more known from there AOR airplay than their mainstream pop audience. Coming in at 100 is Ambrosia's follow up to Holding On To Yesterday, called Nice Nice Very Nice. At 93 are the rockers Head East with Never Been Any Reason; and at 87 is Alice Cooper's Welcome To My Nightmare. Also debuting on a more upbeat note are the O'Jays with I Love Music at 86. The big droppers (there are 2) this week are former top dogs At Seventeen and Run Joey Run, each of which descend 33 spots, Janis Ian to 64 and David Geddes to 72. Once again, though, we'll see our big jumper in the top 40 debuts.

With 2 good but not quite stopped candidates but none that meet the requirements, there'll be no almost-but-not-quite this week. So let's open with the countdown of the seventies top albums in our specials this week. We're up to May of 1971, where the Rolling Stones claim #1 with Sticky Fingers. Almost everything story wise on this album ended up on the other side of the rude and crude divide, so I'll just note that this album contained the #1 Brown Sugar (see earlier comment) and the #28 Wild Horses, which Mick says was not about Marianne Faithfull like everyone says. Then came an album that regular readers know is one of my favorites- Carole King's Tapestry. It took the top in mid-June and stayed there until the end of September, a 15 week run that crowned its record 305 weeks on the Billboard top 200 ( the most recent week being that of July 17th this year), making it the most weeks for a woman, second-most for a solo artist, and fifth-most overall. In addition to the double-sided #1 It's Too Late/I Feel The Earth Move and the #14 So Far Away, it also contained two of her compositions that other artists had previously took to #1 (You Make Me Feel Like A Natural Woman by Aretha Franklin and Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow by the Shirelles) and one that would be taken to #1 by someone else (You Got A Friend by James Taylor). It won 4 grammies and has sold 25 million copies. It was finally knocked from #1 by Rod Stewart's Every Picture Tells A Story. This album, considered Stewart's best, contained the #1 Maggie May, the #19 Reason To Believe (which, until 20 minutes ago, I thought was called Someone Like You), along with airplay hits I Know I'm Losing You and the title track. It held the top spot for the four weeks of October 1971.

New into the top 40 this week are 6 songs. Jigsaw enters at 38, a seven notch climb for Sky High. At 37, up four, is Melissa Manchester's follow up to Midnight Blue, a song I didn't know called Just Too Many People. The week's big jumper leaps 33, from 69 all the way to 36, Simon and Garfunkel's My Little Town. A 24-spot jump from 59 to 35 for John Denver and Calypso; from 43 to 34 with a fave of mine, the doo-woppy Eighteen With A Bullet by Paul Wingfield; and the high debut, all the way up at 28, a 24 notch flight for Fly Robin Fly by Silver Convention.

In my countdown of my all time seventies favorites, we crack the top 25 this week. At 25 is recent top dog Fallin' In Love by Hamilton and his amazing friends. At 24 is Nights In White Satin By the Moody Blues, a song that wouldn't have made the list if it had hit when it was first released in 1967, or the second time in 1969. But third time was the charm, and it reached #2 US in 1972. In the UK, it made #19 the first time around, and #9 in '72; it would get released again in the early '80s and hit #14. The poem that is read at the end is a verse composed by band member Graehme Edge called Late Lament; it was only after this was cut off the single for programmers who were deathly afraid of 7-minute songs that it was allowed to make it big. 23 and 22 are a double dip by the Carpenters, an early nod to how much I loved them as a little kid: Yesterday Once More at 23, and (ironically enough) Only Yesterday at 22. 21 is the one big mainstream hit by Chris Rea, Fool If You Think It's Over. This was from the album What Ever Happened To Benny Santini? which was a joke on his record label, as Benny Santini was the stage name they wanted him to change to.

Three songs join the top ten, three fall out. The ones that drop are Ballroom Blitz, from 9 to 19; former top dog I'm Sorry, from 7 to 30; and last week's peeker-in, Brazil, from 10 to 31. A couple of side notes- Nights In White Satin holds the record for longest fall off the hot 100 chart, from #17; and speaking of #17, that's where Morris Albert and Feelings paused last week, presumably on the way out. But guess what? It climbs back 2 spots to 15 in its 20th week on the charts.

Our tour of what was on top in other years has hit the nines again. This week in 1999 ( and it doesn't seem that long ago) the top dog was Smooth by Santana featuring Rob Thomas from the incredible album Supernatural. 1989 saw Miss You Much by Janet Jackson at the top. 1979 this week the #1 was the Commodores' Sail On, one of those songs that I liked so much better in the months and years after its chart run was done. In 1969 Elvis was on top for the last time with Suspicious Minds. And in 1959, the top dog- and #3 on Billboards all-time singles chart, as well as Simon Cowell's "best song ever written"- was in the fifth of its seven weeks on top. Oh, did I forget to mention the name? Why it's Bobby Darin with Mack The Knife.

Here we go! Coming in at #10, up from 13, is War with Low Rider. #9, up from 12, is the Four Seasons with Who Loves You. #8, leaping up from 19, is Sir Elton John with Island Girl. Orleans slips into the cleanup spot, down 2 with Dance With Me. Dickie Goodman's had his laugh, and his Mr. Jaws drops from the top spot to 6th. Helen Reddy moves up one to #5 with Ain't No Way To Treat A Lady, but has lost "the Bullet". Jefferson Starship[ warps into the #4 slot, up 4, with Miracles. The Eagles seem to be hitting their heads on the clouds- Lyin' Eyes moves up just one more, to #3. The Spinners assume the runner up position with Games People Play moving up 1; all of which makes the new top dog... envelope, please...

Neil Sedaka, with Bad Blood.

That's it, and it's time for lunch. See ya next week!

post #200: why God allows atheists

If you read my comments sections, you know that a lot of this year has been spent combating the atheist mindset, although admittedly this post could just as well apply to any agnostic, follower of another faith, or "who gives a poop". At a certain point in the battle, one gets to the point of saying, "Why does God allow such people in His world?" Christians will say look at the parable of the wheat and the tares in Matt. 13:24-30; the other side no doubt says, "Because there is no God!" Here, then, is what I say:

1. TO BE MERCY, IT MUST BE AT GOD'S DISCRETION. Mercy is not mercy if everyone gets it, by definition. In Romans 9:15, Paul quotes the book of Isaiah:
15 For He says to Moses, “I will have mercy on whomever I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whomever I will have compassion.”[a] 16 So then it is not of him who wills, nor of him who runs, but of God who shows mercy. 17 For the Scripture says to the Pharaoh, “For this very purpose I have raised you up, that I may show My power in you, and that My name may be declared in all the earth.”[b] 18 Therefore He has mercy on whom He wills, and whom He wills He hardens.
So then, you say, how is it I'm sent to hell if it's God's choice, and not mine? Because you miss the basic point of being God- He is NOT human. He exists, as an omnipotent being logically would, outside the bounds of time and space. He knows at the moment of creation how you will choose, He does not force you to choose it. In 2 Peter 3:9, the Apostle tells us:
9 The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us,[a] not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.
This tells us it is our choice, not God's, which damns us; we simply have to choose to eat from that other tree from Eden, the Tree of Life. Therefore, God proves His mercy by giving us a choice to have faith or not.

2. TO DEFEAT COMPLACENCY. Without an adversary to challenge us, human nature drifts us into being complacent about our faith. Debating an atheist is an excellent way for a thinking Christian to fend this off.

3. TO CONFRONT OUR DOUBTS. Critical thinking is the one big advantage atheists have over most Christians. To win an argument with a critical thinker, you must be free of doubt in your cause.

4. TO CHALLENGE OUR BIBLICAL KNOWLEDGE. Atheists know the Bible inside out sometimes. Note that I did not say "inside and out", because their knowledge of it is in searching ways to overthrow its wisdom. We need to sharpen our own knowledge based on faith in order to stand up against their arguments. This is why we need to know the scriptures:
6 That the generation to come might know them, The children who would be born, That they may arise and declare them to their children, 7 That they may set their hope in God, And not forget the works of God, But keep His commandments; 8 And may not be like their fathers, A stubborn and rebellious generation, A generation that did not set its heart aright, And whose spirit was not faithful to God. (Psalms 78:6-8).

5. TO SHOW GOD DOES WHAT HE SAYS. You can explain and explain to a committed atheist and get nowhere. There is a reason for that, explained in Isaiah 6:9-10:
9 And He said, “Go, and tell this people: ‘ Keep on hearing, but do not understand; Keep on seeing, but do not perceive.’ 10 “ Make the heart of this people dull, And their ears heavy, And shut their eyes; Lest they see with their eyes, And hear with their ears, And understand with their heart, And return and be healed.”
and fleshed out in Romans 9;22-24:
22 What if God, wanting to show His wrath and to make His power known, endured with much longsuffering the vessels of wrath prepared for destruction, 23 and that He might make known the riches of His glory on the vessels of mercy, which He had prepared beforehand for glory, 24 even us whom He called, not of the Jews only, but also of the Gentiles?

6. TO DEVELOP OUR OWN KNOWLEDGE OF SCIENCE AND NATURE. I don't believe there is anything in the Bible that disagrees with anything of science, with one exception. I think this is borne out in Romans 1:20:
20 For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse.
The one thing that modern science tends to believe (as opposed to geniuses such as Isaac Newton) is that science invalidates the existence of God. Or, at least, it can. Human science will always be limited as long as the goal disallows possibilities it does not care to conceive.

7. TO CHALLENGE OUR FAITH. Atheists can use logic like a sword. Of course, the other shoe of that is in 1 Cor. 3:19:
For the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God. For it is written, He taketh the wise in their own craftiness.
The question becomes whether we can "hold fast until the end". Revelations 2 & 3 have seven examples of the attacks that face the faithful- seductions, tribulations, worldliness, sexual immorality, complacency, outright lies, and love of possessions- and tells us, "those who hold fast until the end" will receive a glorious reward. The more our faith is challenged, the greater our reward. So actually, we owe atheists and their ilk a debt of gratitude- if we act on it properly.

8. TO CHALLENGE OUR PRAYERS. Jesus tells us in Matt. 5:44-48:

44But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, 45that you may be sons of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. 46If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? 47And if you greet only your brothers, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that? 48Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.
So, this is a perfect opportunity to obey our Lord. I remember when i went to Promise Keepers in Indy several years back. The "Ban The Bible " group was outside protesting, and I thought to myself,"Why would God allow these (people) to come here and do this?" Then I walked in to the sounds of 10,000 men singing How Great Thou Art, and I had my answer: where else could He lead them where they could have an arena full of faithful men pray for them? God gives the chances; those of us on both sides of the divide need to take advantage of them.

9. TO CHALLENGE OUR ACTIONS. This is my sticking point. I was raised to argue. I was NOT raised to argue civilly. It is a challenge I've failed over and over, but as long as I can still act, there is hope. Solomon tells us in Prov. 25:21-22:
21If your enemy is hungry, give him food to eat;if he is thirsty, give him water to drink.
22In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head,and the Lord will reward you.
And Paul reminds us in 1 Thessalonians 5:12-15:
12Now we ask you, brothers, to respect those who work hard among you, who are over you in the Lord and who admonish you. 13Hold them in the highest regard in love because of their work. Live in peace with each other. 14And we urge you, brothers, warn those who are idle, encourage the timid, help the weak, be patient with everyone. 15Make sure that nobody pays back wrong for wrong, but always try to be kind to each other and to everyone else.

So the point of the post is, in sum: the reason for atheist in our world is not about how "horrible", "mean", or "misguided" they are, but how we are in relationship to them.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Odds and ends.

Topic #1: In the last week we lost one of tv's greatest moms and dads. Barbara Billingsley (June Cleaver) and Tom Bosley ("Mr. C") have left us for the great sitcom beyond. They were never "perfect parents", and were never meant to be. But the love they brought to the role and the job came through. Name a tv dad since Bill Cosby we can say that about. Rosanne will never hear that in retrospectives of her role.

Topic #2: James Harrison of the Steelers "might retire" because of the new rules against helmet to helmet hits and his $75,000 dollar fine for one of the two dirty hits he made against the Browns. His agent says he doesn't understand how he can play the game if he gets fined over "good clean hits". Several other players on both sides of the ball have likewise complained. You know what, guys? If you can't play without putting yourselves and others in unnecessary and easily avoidable danger, then feel free to quit! I don't miss Jack Tatum and I won't miss you. If I was Dan Rooney, I'd go right down to the locker room, give Harrison a gold pin and a handshake and say, "Anyone else thinks they cannot function without intentionally trying to injure fellow players, follow him out." I just hope the league remembers to go after the handful of RBs I've seen that think a helmet is an excuse to act like a rutting mountain goat. Frankly, I think if you're an NFL player, you saw the hit on Mohammed Massaquoi, and you still dislike the new rules, you are an idiot and should be made to play without the helmet you obviously don't need.

Topic #3: Can someone explain to me how it is, when Marlin Stutzman basically walked Hayhurst through this whole farm-subsidy thing during the debates and in his press conference, Dr. Tom still thinks this is a worthwhile thing to assault Stutzman on? I guess he must be trying to win the "too stupid/lazy to think for ourselves " vote, because all you have to do is a little research into the subject to learn that this hound don't hunt. I don't tend to believe that all the stupidity in campaign attack ads come straight from the heart of the candidate. But if I did, I'd be insulted by the level of Hayhurst's ads.

Topic #4: I used to like Dan Coats back in the day, but there's something about being a lobbyist-particularly for things that are allegedly against your convictions- that lines "lobbyist" up with "lawyer" in a list of somewhat reprehensible occupations. I've thought about Rebecca Sink-Burris, the Libertarian, as a viable alternative (Brad Ellsworth, you say? Don't make me laugh while I'm typing), but her semi-isolationist foreign policy take concerns me. I'm listing heavily towards write in candidate Jim Miller in this race, if only to show the RNC that I don't care for out-of-staters picking my candidates.

Topic #5: My next post will be #200 in my just under 10-month career. Let's all light a candle tonight in hopes that I come up with something worthwhile!

PS: Does anyone else besides me think that the guy who came up with the "we can't afford Dick Dodge" ad for Cody Ross is the same guy who did the "Cody Ross can't make up his mind what he wants to be when he grows up" ad for Dick Dodge? Just sayin'.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

NHFFL week 6

Week six saw Buzz rediscover his offense- but not his defense. In the Scarlet showdown, the Rhinos win 53-41. Buzz still owns the tiebreaker because they beat the Rhinos by 28 earlier in the year. But now they are tied for 1st in the division, and now Buzz slips to 2nd in the points race (which means virtually nothing other than it helps me "break ties" without looking up tiebreakers) to the KCAs, even though they lost 50-39 to the Clock BBQs. Buzz could have used some more even scoring: Peyton (the Cape) Manning (9), L.T. (12), and Jeremy Macklin (15) accounted for all but 5 of his points, while the Rhino kicking and defense outscored Buzz 17-5.
In the KCAs loss, Matt Forte, Mike Tolbert, and Dez Bryant all got TDs Sunday day and Joseph Addai and Austin Collie tacked on 2 more in the night game for the BBQs, who move into contention now that the once undefeated Elks are struggling. They lost their second straight, 37-31 to the Rangers, who win just their 2nd game. Tony Gonzales finally livened up and caught 2 for the Rangers, and newcomer (to the Rangers and to the Seattle Seahawks) Marshwn Lynch tacked on one as well.

The B2s are finally on board with a win, 32-15 over the Fiery Beagles. After scoring exactly 0 in the early games, the 'Tubers' got 9 from kicker Matt Prater and 15 from A.P. and Percy Harvin in the 4:00 games. In this week's "inter-owner" game, the T-Cubs rout the SVA 49-31 to take over the league lead all alone at 5-1. The T-Cubs had 33 points just from their wide receivers in this one. Finally, the Angels lowered their points-against-per-game average to an even 55 with a 54-32 loss to the reviving Ducks. Aaron Rodgers had a long TD pass and ran one in himself, and Brandon Jacobs (2), Ben-Jarvis Green-Ellis, Calvin Johnson (a long one), and Braylon Edwards all chipped in for the Ducks.

Shenan (what a surprise) is running away with the owner's race with an 11-5 record. KC is 9-9, Laurie 7-9, and I'm at 7-11 after a 2-1 week. I get an inter-owner game next week when the KCAs play the B2s; all the winning teams are split up this week, with perhaps the biggest game being the Buzz Lightyears vs the State Ducks. The Ducks have averaged 50 ppg after their 0-3 start, while the Buzz has scored 57 points the last two losses after nearly averaging that per game in a 4-0 start.





Clock BBQs33212205316



Saturday, October 16, 2010

Chris' FCS page #5

I found it hard to believe how un-seriously the AP voters take the FCS. Someone gave South Dakota State a vote after their upset of then#5 Western Illinois last week- despite the glaring fact that it was their first win against 4 losses. In fact, 6 teams with losing records totalled 297 votes- more than the 14th ranked team. By contrast, serious voters in the CBSSports 120 for FBS teams didn't hit a losing team until its 48th spot. I'm calling you out FCS football voters- get serious or resign your vote! A little professionalism would go a long way, and all you seem to have is a little.

Anyway, here's the better top twenty. Delaware goes to 7-0 with a 24-17 win over URI and holds onto the top spot. Liberty moves into the second slot after a 41-7 rout of VMI, up 2 spots. I moved media darling Appalachian St. into 3rd, up 3, after a 39-10 trouncing of the Citadel. Wofford follows them into fourth, turning a struggle early into a 45-14 romp over Western Carolina. Jacksonville St. also followed them up 3 notches to 5 with a 24-0 blanking of Tennessee St.

Bethune-Cookman vs South Carolina St. was kinda the game that would show if I was any good at this or not, as we discussed last week. I was vindicated when the 16th ranked B-Cs beat the 13th ranked Staters 14-0, which moves B-C into 6th and State down to 20th. The air continues to leak out of James Madison, as they fall 28-14 to New Hampshire for their second straight loss and they drop from 2nd to 7th. Montana State falls from 3 to 8 after an embarrassing 34-7 loss to Northern Arizona. When you dance with the devil as much as they have, I guess it's not surprising.

Stephen F. Austin recovered from their near thing against McNeese last week with a 30-7 pasting of a decent Central Arkansas team, and move into the top ten at #9. William and Mary take their week off, so I leave them at 10th. Western Illinois shakes off the aforementioned loss to South Dakota St. - kinda- edging Youngstown St. in a nailbiter 40-38. UMass tumbles 3 to #12 after an 11-10 loss to the Richmond Spiders; and Villanova moves up to 13th with a 48-18 ripping of Maine.

Jacksonville has hung low because they have a tendency to play close, high scoring games. Not so this week as they rip Valparaiso (who nobody plays a close game against), rolling to a 63-7 lead AT THE HALF and a 86-7 final. This was good enough to move them up 5 to 14th. Robert Morris was also impressive, moving up to 15 after a 38-0 blanking of Albany. Dayton started out sluggish but recovered to top Butler 33-13 and climb 2 into 16th. Southeast Missouri St. joins the club this week with a 41-24 win over Austin Peay; they replace Georgia Southern, who lose their second straight, 35-27 to Chattanooga. North Dakota State loses to Illinois St. 34-24 and drop from 5th to 18th; and Montana avoided dropping out yet again on a FG with 23 seconds left to top Portland St. 23-21. The win kept them hanging on at 19th.

Next week's big games include #1 Delaware vs #10 William and Mary, and #9 Stephen F. Austin facing conference and state rival Sam Houston St. (4-2). Also, Montana takes their turn with the slayers of their state rival, Northern Arizona.

A typical walk part VII

We were invited on a Brown County excursion this weekend, but how can you really top what we have right here? Last night we took a sunset walk, and among the other events of the trip, you got a spectacular view of yellow and orange leaves backlit by a yellow and orange sun from the inside. (Really wish at that point I'd have took the camera.) The "other events" being a glimpse of 2 deer a ways off and another round of Scrappy's "new trick"-running over a hole that doesn't have a particularly interesting scent (and thus ignored) and falling chin first into it.

This morning, my goal was to reach the woods with dry feet, a challenge with a moderately heavy dew. The soccer fields were white with frost burning off as we watched. The meadow, though, was already out of the shadows and drier, so we went in the first side entrance. We followed the main trail, orange with fallen leaves, down to the ravine trail. The east side was full of squirrels. About halfway down I decided to go down into the ravine and explore. Scrappy is a good one for this- attempting to go down where it's too steep, refusing to go down when I start, wrapping me in his line just as I start down. Eventually we get down in one piece, and backtrack along the edge. Soon we found a trail that took us to the creek. It ran along the south bank and led us to a score of pretty overlooks and landings, which Scrappy took full advantage of to go splashing along. He would love me to go wading with him; he gets mad when I won't follow him along where the shore disappears.

We dove and weaved amongst the trail and pseudo-trails most of the way to the bridge at the Plex entrance. About halfway between the entrance and the fireplug on California to the west, there is a 30-ft wide space that the trees were ripped out almost to the creek bank for some reason, and allowed to grow into tall grass. ( There's another unexplainable spot like this, though much smaller, just on the southeast side of the woods bridge.) As we crossed that, the trail (at least the section big enough for ME) died off, and we went up the tall grass and out a side trail to the roadside.

As we entered the Plex, three big deer ran across the road to the woods. Scrappy saw them, gave them his by-now-famous dumbfounded look, and decided to chase them by going the wrong way. Once I convinced him to go the right way, he aggressively followed their scent until, as usual, he lost it when I decided I wasn't going down the trails I assume are on the north side of the creek to follow them. Satisfied with the morning walk, I headed us up the Plex road towards home. Before we left, I saw one more neat sight- perched on one of the flag-stakes that IPFW uses to delineate the cross-country path, was a momma bluebird. Scrappy didn't notice; he was too busy designing a way to catch his line on the stake.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Step into my time machine week twenty-five

Welcome to the twenty-fifth anniversary of Time Machine! This week, Yet another new number one, a lot of strange coincidences, a cameo by a Vice President of the United States, and not everyone makes it out alive. Sure you wanna go?

In a week where 16 songs hit the hot 100 and we only know 4, only 2 songs break into the top forty and we know 'em both! The four newbies are: You Sexy Thing by Hot Chocolate at 98; Our Day Will Come by Frankie Valli (who is still climbing with the Four Seasons higher on up) at 72; That's The Way I Like It by KC and the Sunshine Band (here's our first coincidence- Get Down Tonight just missed being the big dropper this week!) at 71 ; and my all time Simon and Garfunkel favorite, My Little Town, at 69. The big mover- just barely- is Silver Convention's Fly Robin Fly, jumping 28 spots to 52; the big dropper awaits in the top forty.

Our first special this week will be the countdown of my favorite 70's tunes. At 30 we find Crosby Stills Nash and Young with Carry On (which we'll hit again coming up); 29 is Dance With Me, which we'll see in the top ten coming up; 28 is Someone Saved My Life Tonight, which we recently had as a top dog. 27 is Baby Blue, the last hot 100 single for the star-crossed band Badfinger. It was written by their equally star-crossed and late leader Pete Ham.

By 1975, with no income and the band's business manager non-communicative, Ham became despondent and he hanged himself in the garage of his Surrey home. His blood alcohol was .27%. He was 27 years old. He left behind a pregnant girlfriend (his daughter was born one month after his death). Ham was a sensitive man. His suicide note had the statement "I will not be allowed to love and trust everybody. This is better." And an accusatory blast toward Badfinger's business manager, Stan Polley, with Ham writing: "P.S. Stan Polley is a soulless bastard. I will take him with me." Others of Polley's artist and business clients accused him of corruption over the years. News of Ham's death was not widely disseminated at the time, as no public comment was made by The Beatles, Apple Corps Ltd or Warner Bros. Records. (Wiki)

And at 26, you see we're getting close because here is what I believe is the greatest song of the rock era- Don McLean's American Pie.

As I said, we have a real short list of top 40 debuts this week, but they both fly into the chart. At 35, up 21 spots, are the Bee Gees with Nights On Broadway. And at 19- yes 19- up 27 notches, is Elton John with Island Girl.

The next Feature is our almost but not quite, and that would be Austin Roberts with his tear jerker Rocky. Austin got one of his first gigs when he was tabbed to be the lead singer of a cartoon band in development (a la the Archies) called the Mysterious Five. But plans changed, a dog got added, and soon he was singing the theme song for- you guessed it- Scooby Doo, Where Are You? The song Rocky actually peaked at 9 on Billboard, but here on the Cashbox charts, it peaks just one step short at 11.

Two songs make the top 10 this week in 1975, two drop out. The week's big dropper is former top dog Run Joey Run, and he runs down 22 notches to 31. Also, follow former top dog Fame drops from 8 to 15.

The Number one albums countdown takes us to late February 1971 and Andrew Lloyd Webber's Jesus Christ Superstar takes over the top spot. The double-album Rock opera featured three singles. Superstar by Murray Head and the Trinidad Singers was first released off the stage track and peaked at 78; Head then re-released it on his own and it hit 14 in 1971. More complicated yet was the song I Don't Know How To Love Him.

"I Don't Know How to Love Him" had originally been published with different lyrics in the autumn of 1967, the original title being "Kansas Morning." In December 1969 and January 1970, when Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice completed Jesus Christ Superstar, Rice wrote new lyrics to the tune of "Kansas Morning" to provide the solo number for the character of Mary Magdalene (Rice and Webber's agent David Land would purchase the rights to "Kansas Morning" back from Southern Music for £50). [1] Now entitled "I Don't Know How to Love Him", the song was recorded by Yvonne Elliman which was completed between March and July 1970. (When first presented with "I Don't Know How to Love Him", Elliman had been puzzled by the romantic nature of the lyrics, as she was under the misapprehension that the Mary she'd been recruited to portray was Jesus' mother!)

Helen Reddy actually released her version before Yvonne's was rereleased from the album. result: Helen hit 13, Yvonne hit 28 with the version I prefer. In the UK, the scene repeated itself- the release was delayed just long enough for Petula Clark, of all people, to put out a version. Result: Yvonne hit 47, Petula 42. The third single off the album was Yvonne's Everything's Alright, which peaked at 92; but my fave off this album (which English teacher Mrs. Hursh played for us, I believe in Bible Lit class* ) was What's The Buzz. JCS was only up there for one week, took a 9-week hiatus, and returned at the end of April for two more weeks.

Why the hiatus? Because, Janis Joplin had died of a heroin overdose, and her last Album, Pearl, took over at #1. One song, Buried In The Blues, was actually recorded as an instrumental because Janis died before she could do the vocal track. In addition to the #1 Me And Bobby McGee, one of my favorite Joplin songs, Cry Baby, hit 42, and Get It While You Can (ironic, eh?) hit 78. After Pearl finished and JCS spent its last 2 weeks on top, Crosby Stills Nash And Young spent the week of May 15th, 1971, on top with the triple-live Four Way Street. In addition to versions of the groups hits (Suite: Judy Blue Eyes, Teach Your Children, Ohio, and Carry On*, it also had solo hits of the members, including Graham Nash's just-released Chicago, Stephen Stills' Love The One You're With, and Neil Young's Cowgirl In The Sand and Southern Man.

Now about this damned *: Carry On, which has been mentioned twice now, was also introduced to me by Mrs. Hursh, who lent me her Deja Vu album. Ain't coincidence grand?

This week's top ten leads off with the Ritchie Family's reggae/disco hit Brazil moving up 1 to #10. Sweet moves up one as well with Ballroom Blitz at 9. Up 5 from 13 to 8 is Jefferson Starship with Miracles; John Denver takes a big leap off the top dog seat, landing at 7 with I'm Sorry. Holding at six is Helen Reddy (her again, too?) with Ain't No Way To Treat A Lady.

Our look at the top dogs of other years this week is in the 8's. In 1998, we find the Barenaked Ladies who spent one week at #1 with, well, One Week. Also spending one week on top in 1988 we have UB40 with Red Red Wine, a Neil Diamond song that peaked at 34 in its first released in 1984, but hit the top when some dj discovered it might make a good dance tune for the clubs. In 1978 we have Exile with Kiss You All Over, which also received a new life in a slightly different form when Exile went country (but never re-released). 1968 saw the 5th of 7 weeks at #1 For what most people know as one of my LEAST favorite songs, Hey Jude by the Beatles. And 1958's #1 this week was Tommy Edwards with It's All In The Game. This classic was actually based on a melody written by Charles Dawes in 1912, years before he became Calvin Coolidge's VP. Lyrics were written some 39 years later, in 1951, but the first version that Edwards recorded peaked at 18. It was amped up for an early rock audience ( though hardly rock itself) in 1958 and it was this version that hit #1. It was the only top ten for Tommy, who died of a brain aneurysm in 1969 at the age of 47.

Home stretch now! As promised hours ago, Dance With Me by Orleans climbs 2 to #5; Lyin' Eyes is at 4 for the Eagles, up one; also climbing one is Games People Play by the Spinners, to #3. Neil Sedaka reaches #2, up one, with Bad Blood; and that means our new #1 (although Billboard, the spoilsports, peaked it at #4) issssss....

Mr. Jaws by Dickie Goodman!

Did you survive? Good! See you next week!