The Great Blizzard of ’06

As you can see from the picture of my street taken just a few minutes ago, things are pretty rough in Huntsville this morning. The Great Blizzard of ’06 which we all feared is upon us. Things are shut down pretty tight–good thing I was able to beat off that little 80-year-old lady for that last loaf of bread at Target yesterday. As for the 5-year-old boy whom I tackled for that gallon of milk, well, life is tough and hardly fair and he might as well learn it sooner rather than later.

Since I am considered “necessary personnel,” I will attempt the treacherous drive to work through this blinding blizzard–just hope I don’t suffer from “white-out.”… Read the rest

Now That’s a Bad Hair Day!

Number One Son recently made the varsity soccer team at Grissom High School. With 10 state championships since 1988 and an overall record of 317-35-15, playing for the Tigers is the Alabama high school soccer equivalent of playing college hoops for the Duke Blue Devils. Number One has put in countless hours over the years improving his game, waiting and hoping for the chance to don Grissom Orange–well done, son.

Of course, such opportunities have their price. We’ve spent a fair number of dollars over the years playing for club teams and shuttling to various matches and tournaments around the Southeast.… Read the rest

A New Nom De Plume

“To this day, the eye gives me a cold shudder.”

–Charles Darwin

The eye, the very thing that gave ol’ Chuck a case of the chills, never fails to give me a case of the warm fuzzies. I’m up to my eyeballs in eyeballs, and frankly, most days, I’m happier than a pig in slop. I believe I have an office with the best view in town and sometimes I get so enraptured by the beauty and complexity of this organ of sight that I get a little behind in my daily schedule because I just can’t stop staring.

I guess you could say that I’m an “eyeguy,” and in fact, many folks in these parts say just that.… Read the rest

The Power of Pictures

My recent post on the new Nike Air Max 360 was fresh on the mind of my friend Sonya when she took a recent trip to Rome. If you look closely at the background, or better yet, click on the picture, you’ll see a large billboard hawking Nike’s latest and greatest with the invitation, “Run on Air.” One might expect to see such a scene in Times Square, but et tu, Roma?

The intersection of the ancient with the modern can be found in the most unexpected places. When I saw this, I immediately pictured Pope Benedict XVI wearing a pair of the Air Max 360s beneath his vestments as he was issuing his first encyclical, Deus Caritas Est (“God is Love”).… Read the rest

You Don’t Mess Around with Oprah

You don’t tug on Superman’s cape,
you don’t spit into the wind.
You don’t pull the mask off the old Lone Ranger,
and you don’t mess around with…Oprah, da do da do…

Ok, I admit that’s not how the song really goes. But if you happened to catch the Oprah Winfrey show on Thursday (I did not, mind you) and saw “A Million Little Pieces”author James Frey face an angry Oprah and a studio audience consisting of mostly p.o.’ed post-menopausal women, you may have caught yourself singing it this way.… Read the rest

“The Book of Daniel” 1/6/06-1/24/06–R.I.P.

“…take a deep breath, relax and vote with your remote rather than play the protest game. Do that, and “The Book of Daniel” and its desperate priest will be dead on the vine within the month.”

I wrote those words on January 7th. Not that I’m a prophet or anything (who, after all, didn’t see this coming?), but just remember, I told ya so!

If you haven’t heard, NBC has pulled the plug on the desperately lacking and controversial show “The Book of Daniel” after only four episodes. The folks at Focus on the Family and the American Family Association are already taking credit for forcing the network’s hand on this, and others are whining and complaining about all those drunk-on-religion Red State right-wing nut cases who have struck once again and spoiled everyone’s fun.… Read the rest

Watching J.J.

As someone who bleeds Blue Devil Blue, it should come as no surpise that I’m a J.J. Redick watcher. I enjoy watching J.J. pull up just past the center court circle and rain down outrageously long distance rainbows while a bewildered bevy of slack-jawed defenders looks on in wide-eyed awe and disbelief. I like to watch exhausted opponents chase him from sideline to sideline only to have him slip away and knock down yet another twisting, fall-away jumper.

I like watching the newest addition to his repertoire–slashing, cutting drives in the paint resulting in unexpected, acrobatic buckets amid flailing giants who are no match for his feline reflexes and instincts.… Read the rest

“Glory Road”–A Little Too Glorified?

While we’re on the subject of “teetering on the edge of falsehood,” I thought I would point out George Will’s latest column in which he critiques the recently released film “Glory Road.” The film relates the story of Coach Don Haskins and his five black starters on the Texas Western basketball team and their victory over the all-white, Adolph Rupp-coached Kentucky Wildcats in the 1966 NCAA Final. Will takes issue with the impression left by the movie that the Texas Western team was the first to feature black players and that the game with Kentucky was a classic “David and Goliath” confrontation (Texas Western was 27-1 and ranked third in the nation going into the final game).… Read the rest

Teetering on the Edge of Falsehood

Probably by now most of you have heard about the controversy surrounding James Frey’s number one bestseller, “A Million Little Pieces.” It turns out that Mr. Frey’s book, purported to be a memoir detailing his colorful drug and alcohol-addicted past, has been exposed by The Smoking Gun as being more fiction than fact.

Oprah Winfrey, who featured the book in her Book Club and conducted an emotional interview with Frey on her show, has come to his defense. Calling in while Frey was being interviewed by Larry King, Oprah said fabrications notwithstanding that the story still “resonates” with her and her legions of fans.… Read the rest

My Guru Rocks!

My guru, Professor Ed, is holding forth again over at Albedo 0.39 with Part 2 of “Practicing Safe Surfing.” In Part 1, Ed focused on routers and hardware. This time around he’s dishing up some practical information on how your choice of web browsers affects your chances of contracting one of those nasty malware and spyware infections that are going around these days.

Like Ed, I’m using Firefox as my browser of choice since Microsoft IE has more holes than a third-world airport security gate. Now if I can just convince other family members who shall remain nameless (although he is often referred to in this blog as NUMBER TWO SON) to make the switch as well, maybe I could totally avoid the kind of nasty infection that I had a couple of weeks ago.… Read the rest

Hey Nike, I’m Your Man!

You may not walk on water with the latest and greatest Nike running shoe, but you will be running on a cushion of pure, 100% air. But if you want a pair of the new Nike Air Max 360s set to debut this week, be prepared for some sticker shock–at $160 per pair, pure air doesn’t come cheap.

According to a Nike researcher who developed the shoe, “This is about trying to get people to run faster, better and longer and about minimizing the risk of injuries.” That sounds good to me, because as I have pointed out before, fast is good.… Read the rest

A Word Fitly Spoken

“A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in settings of silver.” Proverbs 25:11

Huntsville resident and author Homer Hickam, Jr. (Rocket Boys, The Coalwood Way) spoke yesterday at the public memorial for the West Virginia coal miners killed in the recent explosion at the Sago Mine. His words “fitly spoken” will no doubt be cherished in the years to come by the family and friends of the fallen miners. The following is an excerpt:

“There are no better men than coal miners. The American economy rests on the back of our coal miners. We could not prosper without them.”

Read the rest

Desperate Priests–An Update

The fallout over The Book of Daniel continues over at NBC. After a week of tepid reviews and further protests, the show appears destined for that place where bad TV shows go to die–the trashbin. As I pointed out last week, I can handle a little “edge” if it’s for a good cause. But in my opinion (and that of some secular critics as well), the show is a flop both artistically and morally and I felt that even without the firestorm of protest ignited by the American Family Association that it would probably die on the vine anyway.

Despite the fact even more affiliates are choosing not to air the controversial show, NBC recently issued the following statement:

“The Book of Daniel is a quality fictional drama about an Episcopalian priest’s family and the contemporary issues with which they must grapple.

Read the rest

The Problem With Pat–An Update

For those who need to update their scorecards, Pat Robertson officially apologized to Ariel Sharon’s son Omri recently after Robertson’s strong suggestion that the Israeli Prime Minister’s recent stroke was divine retribution for giving up the Gaza Strip. Both video of the apology and copies of the letter are available at the CBN website. Also, Israel has officially accepted Robertson’s apology. However, Robertson’s involvment in the development of the Christian Heritage Center, a multi-million-dollar Sea of Galilee tourism project, remains endangered.

Robertson deserves some credit for searching his soul and coming clean on this one. Whether or not this latest incident will have any effect on the quantity and quality of future “prophecies” remains to be seen.… Read the rest