Sunday, August 31, 2008

Goo Goo Dolls - Better Days

Politics at the pulpit

I had an interesting email exchange with my pastor I thought I would share with my readers. Anonymity will be maintained.
Dear Pastor

After sitting in church this past Sunday and listening to your sermon on Romans- do not conform to this world but be transformed by the renewing of your minds - I was pleased at the topic and overarching theme. I have been a regular visitor at this curch since 2005 - first a student finishing up college, and now a young professional.

One concern that has plagued my attendance at service, is the frequency of political statements and messages in your sermons. While I appreciate the distinction b/t "church and state" v. "faith and politics", I do not appreciate sermons that launch into political messaging. While political issues are often relevant to the topic at hand (and I don't dispute that), I feel there are other examples that can be discussed - staying away from the War in Iraq, corrupt members of congress, which candidate may be "best for change" this cycle, and so forth. We're a bright congregation and I believe we can make those connections individually. Walking out of service thinking my Pastor just endorsed a certain candidate over the next leaves a bad taste in my mouth.

Perhaps I am overly sensitive to this issue as I work in the political field. I come to church and sit to listen to a sermon for the Word though, not a seventh day of political discussion. There are believers and people of strong faiths on both sides of the political aisle- and I ask that you talk about the Cross, not the sword.

At this point, I plan to continue worshipping at our church and I do respect everything the church is known for there. However, I simply ask that you would keep in mind my request for leaving politics out of the pulpit.

Thank you

And for those of you who think I was out of line, here is his much appreciated response.
Thank you for taking the time to write me about a concern with my preaching. You did it very well.

I am surprised that you think I endorsed a candidate. I have never done that. I was very careful to talk about the process, and not even mention the names of the candidates. I asked a question: which candidate is best able to effect change? With the exception of a ballot issue on Casinos (for which I held open forums so that people had an opportunity to object from my position) I have stayed clear of suggesting how people should vote.

I had a number of people ask me what I thought about the Rick Warren interviews. Since it was a pastor doing the interview I thought it was a fair topic to address in a semon. You letter suggests that others may feel the same way you do. This week I'll test this out.

My summary: I will not endorse candidates. I will not offer my advice on the Iraq war. Where the issue is purely political (and quite partisan) I will remain quiet. Where the issue has faith implications I will consider including it in the sermon. The churches in Nazi Germany remained silent far too long when Hitler was trambling on human rights. Silence on issues of oppression suggests consent.

Thanks again for caring enough to write.
Only two questions remain...Is he suggesting that silence on the issue of the Iraq war is analogous to silence in Nazi Germany? Wouldn't that be a veiled attempt to equate Bush and Hilter?


Do kittens have inner-monologues....and if so, what do they say?

Cookie Dough Egg roll

Are there words?

Thank you Bluephies, Taste of Madison.


I thought pedestrians had the right of way?
A 19-year-old woman was struck by a car while crossing North Lake Street at University Avenue Thursday night, but she ended up getting two citations, one for failure to yield, the other for an alcohol violation.

Madison police and fire units were called to the scene on the UW-Madison campus at about 11:15 p.m.

She was treated at the scene and transported to a hospital with non-life threatening injuries.

Officers interviewing witnesses determined the woman was in the crosswalk illegally when a 1999 Audi, northbound on Lake Street, struck the victim.

Police officer Howard Payne said additional charges may be pending based on a review of video surveillance cameras at the intersection.

The unidentified driver was not cited.

Good drivers

Madison would prefer it's drivers not be so responsible, leave their cars parked in metered locations for too long, and pay up!
For the second year in a row, the Madison Police Department's inability to hit revenue projections for parking ticket enforcement has punched a hole in the city budget.

By the end of this year, city officials predict, the department will come up $500,000 short of the $5.5 million that was budgeted for revenue from parking violations in 2008.

The half-million dollars in expected parking ticket losses is a "significant" red flag in the budget, said Dan Bohrod, an analyst in the city comptroller's office. He grouped it with other sizeable shortfalls such as a $1.4 million expected decline in building permit revenues and a $750,000 loss in investment income.

The missing revenue accounts for up to 17 percent of the total $2.98 million projected shortfall in this year's budget, he noted.
So the city budgets based on the expected carelessness of it's citizens. Good plan. Sorry people are wising up.

Part 2...

Did Obama just go compassionate conservative on me?
"Yes, we must provide more ladders to success for young men who fall into lives of crime and despair. But we must also admit that programs alone can't replace parents, that government can't turn off the television and make a child do her homework, that fathers must take more responsibility to provide love and guidance to their children.

Individual responsibility and mutual responsibility, that's the essence of America's promise. And just as we keep our promise to the next generation here at home, so must we keep America's promise abroad."
That's fine and all, but I keep trying to figure out how this comes next?
"If John McCain wants to have a debate about who has the temperament and judgment to serve as the next commander-in-chief, that's a debate I'm ready to have."
It is a line that should have come somewhere else...not here. You don't launch into the Iraq war section of the speech with a preface of comparing your temperament to John McCain.

I actually want a president who's going to yell about catching Osama bin Laden, and punch his hand on the table. What is the temperament and judgment of the commander in chief, anyway, Senator Obama? Please, do tell me.

My thoughts on Obama's acceptance speech, Part 1.

I've read it through a few times now. I've listened to it, numb to the same thing over and over... change.

You know how you repeat a word so many times you forget what it means?

Here's what I know to be true, from Obama's speech.

1. He loves America. He truly believes there needs to be change from the past 8 years.

2. He disagrees with the "Ownership society" mentality that people should pull themselves up if they get knocked down, that they should work hard, that they should take care of themselves before the government lends a hand. Obama would prefer to write some more checks. He must think the government can hand out "Pass GO, Collect $200s" cards for free!

3. Obama is happy to tug on the heartstrings, and does it well -in rhetoric and the show of emotion across his face, his voice dipping ever so lightly. The poor single-mother waitress, his own mother, the auto workers...etc....but we're still waiting for A PLAN.

Here are his definitions of change and what he will do as President:
a. A tax code that rewards businesses and workers, not lobbyists. (But how? What does that mean?)
b. Tax breaks for employers in America
c. Eliminate capital gains for small business
d. Cut Taxes - for working families only, though he is including a large 95% of them.
e. Oil-Independence in 10 years.
"I will tap our natural gas reserves, invest in clean coal technology, and find ways to safely harness nuclear power. I'll help our auto companies re-tool, so that the fuel-efficient cars of the future are built right here in America."
(Again, how? Not offshore drilling? Although didn't you already waffle on that...)
g. Here comes the HOW: $150 billion in investments in renewable energy.
h. Invest in early education.
i. Pay teachers more.
"I'll invest in early childhood education. I'll recruit an army of new teachers, and pay them higher salaries, and give them more support. And in exchange, I'll ask for higher standards and more accountability.

And we will keep our promise to every young American: If you commit to serving your community or our country, we will make sure you can afford a college education."
These are pretty vague...

and now...
k. Healthcare. FOR EVERYONE. (Again, HOW?!)
l. Eliminate bad programs. Make others cost less.

So he's going to lower taxes. And pay for everyone's healthcare and pacify the teachers' union. Perhaps his math is better than mine, but it doesn't add up.

Obama steals from Hollywood

"It's not because John McCain doesn't care. It's beacuse John McCain doesn't get it."

Reminds me of The American President... "Bob's problem isn't that he doesn't get it. Bob's problem is that he can't sell it!"

Similarities are astounding.

So much to talk about

Sarah Palin

The Dem Convention

GOP Convention

Church & politics!

Updating soon...

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Christian the Lion's Reunion

The music is totally cheesy, but talk about a head-butt from a big kitten!

Monday, August 25, 2008

Bumper sticker

Tonight on my way to the gym, I passed a parked car with a bumper sticker:

Someone actually took the time to print this bumper sticker. And someone else stuck it to their bumper.

What's next - Nudists for Ron Paul? Nose-pickers for Biden? I'm going to pick some of my favorite activities and make them into non-existant coalitions! Because that's going to sway voters like me...

Speed walkers for McCain! Gatorade drinkers for Walker!




Riding the "Presidential candidate's" coattails

McCain is into potatoes. Well, not necessarily Senator McCain, but McCain Foods, a Canadian package-food company.

Some tie-ins just write themselves. McCain Foods, a Canadian package-food company that has languished in American freezer aisles for years, has decided it's time for a change -- at least in frozen potatoes.

McCain is spending the equivalent of its annual online budget between now and early November. The swell is fortuitously in sync with the ascendance of the presidential candidate of the same name. Just like a politician, the company is capitalizing on name recognition with an election-themed campaign, breaking this week in USA Today.

McCain and Chicago-based agency Schafer Condon Carter decided on "Why McCain should be in the White House." The campaign is for the company's namesake frozen french fries, sweet-potato fries and kid-friendly "smiles." Since McCain doesn't use trans-fatty oils, a sample slogan is "McCain goes to war over oil." Another one: "McCain brings 'smiles' to millions," referencing the company's disc-shaped potato product with smiley faces cut out.
Same font, same logo, using message lines that mirror political statements. Borderline tacky, or brilliant?

I'm not sure. I suppose the marketplace will decide, literally.

Almanac Predictions

Ah global warming....
People worried about the high cost of keeping warm this winter will draw little comfort from the Farmers' Almanac, which predicts below-average temperatures for most of the U.S.

The almanac predicts above-normal snowfall for the Great Lakes and Midwest, especially during January and February, and above-normal precipitation for the Southwest in December and for the Southeast in January and February. The Northeast and Mid-Atlantic regions will likely have an unusually wet or snowy February, the almanac said.
Can't imagine much more snow than we had this past winter. But bring it on!


Sunday, August 24, 2008

still hungry

Any idea how Madison can get a Pita Pit?

They are often found in college campus towns...have a late-night hour demand...and taste freakin' good!

I'll open a franchise here for Pita's sake!

Deli quest

I'm on the hunt for a quality deli I can call my new fave. It seems I have come across only a few sandwich shops that stand out among the clones...

1. Take It Away, Charlottesville, VA - creme de la creme, my friends.
2. Little Johns New York style Deli, again in Charlottesville, VA (though some don't like the pickle in the box that gets folded onto their sandwich...)
3. Whole Foods' Deli - still leaves a little to be desired

and that's about it... of course, I'm always a Subway fan. But if it's not a sit-down long dining experience, where is the best sandwich?

Taking suggestions, please.

Wishing Sugarland

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

"Thank you Mr. President."

I hope George W. Bush heard what Kerri Walsh had to say tonight after winning her gold medal with Misty May. He may not until he wakes up tomorrow, since I'm sure it's past his bedtime, but she had this to say:

"Thank you Mr. President for all you do, for all your inspiration and thank you everyone at home, we love you!"


China? MN? No, ND!

Sanboni baby!

Brought to China from the great Midwest.
Because of the high impact of bare feet, no sand area is more important to keep soft and free of dangerous and sharp objects than volleyball courts. Cherrington sand screening equipment is ideal for sifting the sand surface and maintaining a safe and attractive court. No other method works as well! The compac 3000 Sand Cleaner and the walk-behind Model 950 Sand Cleaner are both ideally suited for cleaning and maintaining these smaller, heavily used sand areas.
Who knew North Dakota was at the Olympics?

That Cherrington does some quality stuff.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Olga Korbut, 1972 Uneven Bars

Try THIS, China!

"Hidey Ho!"

Not so neighborly.
A Waukesha man is accused of throwing an ax at a neighbor while she was taking out the garbage this morning, Waukesha police Capt. Mark Stigler said.

Police were called to the 1000 block of S. Grand Ave. just after 3 a.m. Police had received calls earlier about the man, 44, who lives in the 300 block of Coolidge Ave. He had been acting strangely and was confrontational with others in the area, Stigler said.

The man appeared to be intoxicated and was suffering from mental health issues, Stigler said.
She wasn't hurt, but scary nonetheless.

I suppose I should think twice before yelling at my own neighbors about taking out our communal cans... You never know what you're gonna get.

Smart Bikes in D.C.

D.C. riders can now rent bikes throughout the city for a minimal fee and assumed personal responsibility.
Unlike the Parisian "VĂ©lib" bikes, the D.C. three-speed bikes are small and lightweight. Designed for an urban commute, they come equipped with mudguards, covered chains and a luggage carrier. They even have motion-activated lights that automatically turn on at night. Their ergonomic design allows skirted riders to go for a spin. The bikes don't come with helmet or locks, but both are strongly encouraged even though Washington does not have a helmet law. If a bike is lost or damaged, the renter is responsible for a hefty $550 fine.

Anyone age 18 and older can sign up online for a $40 annual fee. Bikes are rented every day from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. and can be returned at any location. Members swipe their cards over a chip in the handlebars to unlock a bike. Bikes may not be available at every station, but the website has a real-time inventory of bike availability and the number of open slots for returns at each site.

Bikes must be returned within three hours to any SmartBike location, but a member can immediately rent another. Subscribers are free to pedal anywhere, as long as they remain within city limits.
But whatever happened to the care-free college honor system where the campus had special painted bikes you could borrow as long as you left it near a tree or didn't hog it? At least those used to be the rules.

Yeah I get that it's D.C., one of the crime-capitals of the world, not to mention full of filthy rotten liars and stealers (ha!), but what does this say about our belief in the honor system?

Would it work in a small town? Or is there always someone you can't trust... just thinking outloud today.

Going negative

The Obama campaign has responded with a series of its own attack ads in battleground states such as Michigan, Indiana, Nevada and Ohio. However, by running these attack ads Mr. Obama could be treading on thin ice. His brand has been built on the idea of being a different kind of politician. Yet, time and time again we are reminded of the lessons learned in the 2004 "swift boat" debacle. The Obama campaign is in a tough spot. It must evaluate the potential cost to its brand of participating in a negative ad war vs. the damage of unanswered attacks.

At this point, Mr. McCain has nothing to lose by going negative. However, he will likely need to come up with a second act. The "celebrity" spots stopped the bleeding and gave his campaign its best couple of weeks thus far in the general election. With an unpopular party, president, war and a suffering economy, it is likely going to take more than attacks to win in November. Bold moves by Mr. McCain may be the best complement to his efforts to define Mr. Obama.

If the current rate of attack ads continues, this election will have more than 100 uninterrupted days of negative ads with a potential cost of more than $350 million (and that is just from the candidates). I have always believed that when executed correctly, negative ads do work. They empower supporters and place uncertainty in the minds of many undecided voters. This election will be one of the best petri dishes yet to evaluate just how valuable or detrimental these ads can be and how much is enough for the American viewer and voter.
I haven't seen them all yet, and I can't help but wonder if they are going soft on Wisconsin.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Teachers packing more than lesson plans

Texas teachers are now allowed to carry weapons.
A Texas school district has decided to allow some employees to have guns on school campuses.

The Harrold Independent School District near Wichita Falls has decided to allow specific employees to carry firearms on school property and at school events...

Harrold Superintendent David Thweatt said his school board unanimously passed the policy last October to protect employees and students in the case of an armed intruder or hostage situation.

He wouldn't say how many teachers went through the authorization process, which includes receiving a Texas concealed handgun license and undergoing crisis management training.

Thweatt said that despite the outrage from his public school peers, Harrold stands by its decision. The first few months of the new policy have gone smoothly, he said.

"We think we have acted cautiously and wisely," said Thweatt. "Others should be free to govern their school districts as they see fit."

Space Boy

So Kennedy-esque.
Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama spoke over the weekend a great deal about his space plans, and his big support of NASA.

The Democratic presidential candidate has called for the U.S. to lead the way in terms of space exploration, and wants to put astronauts on the moon yet again.

On top of that, he also wants to pursue the eventual goal of putting astronauts on Mars.

Barack Obama has come out and stated that by 2020, he wants another U.S. trip to the moon, and has also promised full support, with a great deal of funding for NASA.
And now I will patiently wait to see Obama now in one of these:

Difference b/t Obama and McCain

Could it BE any clearer?!
McCain spokesman Brian Rogers responded, "John McCain has never questioned Sen. Obama's patriotism, but he clearly does question Sen. Obama's experience and judgment, and they do have profound differences of opinion on the best way to reduce our dependence on Mideast oil, bring jobs back to America and keep our nation safe."

Amy Winehouse - You Know That Youre No Good w Linda Ronstadt

Cool mix.

Sugarland-Fall Into Me

when the weight of the world
breaks down so strong it
leaves footprints on the street
and theres too many miles to face
without a few more hours sleep
the storm clouds overhead wont shed
any rain to quench your thirst
i wanna be the one you reach for first

when your faith is stretched so thin
you can see right through your soul
and you cant find a nickel to buy a smile cuz all ur pockets all got holes
you wanna shut the door and
hide before the day can get much worse
i wanna be the one you reach for first

fall into me
my arms are opened wide
and you dont have to say a word
cuz i already see
that its hard
and your scared
and your tired
and it hurts
and i wanna be the one you reach for first

i wanna be the bottle youve been drinkin with your eyes
or the road you run away on
youve been runnin all your life
the third row pew that you last knew
as a child in church
i wanna be the one your reach for first

fall into me
my arms are opened wide
and you dont have to say a word
cuz i already see
that its hard
and your scared
and your tired
and it hurts
and i wanna be the one you reach for first

before your turn the key
before you fall asleep
before your drift away
to find some demons waiting for you
in your dreams
before your arms stretched wide open
before your'e reaching for the sky
before your searching for direction
and all the answers to your ______

fall into me
my arms are opened wide
and you dont have to say a word
cuz i already see
that its hard
and your scared
and your tired
and it hurts
and i wanna be the one you reach for first

Upstanding actors

These three are heroic for one little girl.
When Heath Ledger died he left his final role in Terry Gilliam’s film The Imaginarium of Dr. Parnassus incomplete. Actors Johnny Depp, Colin Farrel, and Jude Law were hired to take over Heath’s role. It’s a fantasy film set in a carnival and the actors will play different versions of Heath’s character as he is transported through other dimensions.

Despite their high profiles, Depp, Law, and Farrell took no compensation for their work; instead, they donated their salaries to Heath Ledger’s two-year-old daughter, Matilda:

TERRY GILLIAM: The three actors were totally heroic coming in. This doesn’t happen very often . . . where there’s a tragedy like this, and very famous, very successful actors suddenly say, “Okay, we’ll do whatever it takes to help.” They came; they did the work; they allowed the movie to be finished; they didn’t take money–the money goes to Heath’s daughter. That’s extraordinary! And wonderful . . . and when you’re part of that, you think, “Ah, this is maybe why I went into the movies, in the beginning. I thought it would be full of wonderful people. And in our case, we’ve got a movie full of wonderful people, who did extraordinary things to help.

what's left to the Olympics?

I'm disappointed now with swimming over and the individual gymnastics competition done, track and field better come through with some excitement and drama. No offense, but some of these sports just aren't that exciting to watch...

Not to mention, in equestrian, the horse is the one doing all the jumping!

That's gotta hurt.

Mamma's boy

She raised him right.
Spitz's iconic performance was surpassed by a swimmer fitting of this generation: a 23-year-old from Baltimore who loves hip-hop music, texting with his buddies and wearing his cap backward.

"I don't even know what to feel right now," Phelps said. "There's so much emotion going through my head and so much excitement. I kind of just want to see my mom."

Debbie Phelps was sitting in the stands at the Water Cube, tears streaming down her cheeks, her two daughters by her side. After getting his gold, Phelps quickly found his family, climbing through a horde of photographers to give all three a kiss.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

There are no words

Phelps closes it by one one-hundredth of a second.

Tears. In the words of Mark Spitz, we in America are so proud of you.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Mr. Unstable bathes at Burger King

Talk about foul.

This brings new meaning to "Have it your way."

I can't believe the idiot who did this, filmed this, and posted this.

You Ain't Woman Enough - Martina McBride

An oldie by a newbie. Goodie.

Because that's sportsmanship!

What a jerk.
BEIJING (Reuters) - Swedish wrestler Ara Abrahamian threw down his Olympic bronze medal in protest on Thursday after his bid for greco-roman gold was ended by a decision denounced by the Swedish coach as "politics".

Abrahamian took the bronze from around his neck during the medal ceremony, stepped from the podium and dropped it in the middle of the wrestling mat then walked off.

"I don't care about this medal. I wanted gold," he said.

A bitter Abrahamian, silver medallist at Athens 2004 who had high hopes of top honours in the 84kg competition in Beijing, announced he was quitting the sport.

"This will be my last match. I wanted to take gold, so I consider this Olympics a failure," the 33-year-old said.
I'm sure someone else would have been very happy with that bronze medal.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Referendums evidently don't matter to Dems

Thanks Kris Wisnefske, candidate for 80th Assembly, for saying referendums really are a bad idea.
Davis calls for a reduced reliance on property taxes for school funding. He wants voters to decide on specific reforms, shifting to other revenue sources, by approving them in referendums.

"Referendums are not going to help," Wisnefske said. "We've already seen that across the state. Some districts are having to close because referendums failed."

Wisnefske also disagrees with Davis' proposal to eliminate the WKCE and replace it with what he says are more modern tests that deliver faster results.

She said the WKCE is a "well-recognized, professional test."

"What the problem with it is how we do it," Wisnefske said.
So I guess the voters should have no say?

The man, the machine

11 gold medals, with likely more to come. 6 world records, again more to be broken.
His fourth and fifth medals of these games were won less than an hour apart; he basically went from the medal ceremony for the 200 fly to the starting blocks for the 4 x 200 freestyle relay, in which the Americans lowered the world record by 4.68 seconds. In the leadoff leg, Phelps accounted for 2.64 seconds of that.

Phelps has three races between himself and another dimension of immortality: The first is the 200-metre individual medley, where fellow American Ryan Lochte is dangerous; the second is he 100-metre butterfly, where world record holder Ian Crocker has been waiting all week, rested and ready, for Phelps to swim all the way to him.

Phelps's final race, the 4x100-metre medley relay, should be as one-sided as the 4x200 freestyle relay was. Still, as Phelps put it, "It's not over yet. I'm not unbeatable. No one's unbeatable."
Congratulations, Humble Pie.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Unflattering on two accounts

I can just hear the line from Princess Bride: "Dear God, what is that thing!?"

Not only is this picture horrendous, so is the idea I agree Clinton missed an opportunity against Obama.
WASHINGTON (Aug. 12) -- Hillary Rodham Clinton's top campaign strategist advised her to cast presidential rival Barack Obama as having questionable "roots to basic American values and culture" and use the theme to counter the image that his background is diverse and multicultural.

"I cannot imagine America electing a president during a time of war who is not at his center fundamentally American in his thinking and in his values," Mark Penn wrote in a March 2007 memo to Clinton.
The flag pin, removal from his airplane, etc. would have been a start.

I suppose her temper matches her picture:
Clinton grew angry during a conference call with her senior aides about how to recover from her loss in the Iowa caucuses. She found herself doing most of the post-mortem, to near-silence on the other end of the line.
"This has been a very instructive call, talking to myself," Clinton snapped, and hung up, the magazine reported.

By the way, where do they get shots like these?

Survey says? "I'm a jerk!"

Today on my now-weekly door outing for the McCain/Victory campaign, I ventured into Fitchburg.

1. Little did I know there is so much turnover in Fitchburg.

2. Could people please allow me to finish my sentence when I begin speaking? After "Hi, I'm a volunteer walking on behalf of the Republican Party today, asking a quick ---" I was cut off several times with either
a. FRANTIC WAVE. "No, I'm a Democrat, DEMOCRAT!" and a door slam.
or b. "Not a chance. Not interested." and a rude shake of the head.

Could you at least let me say I would like to ask you a few questions for a survey before so rudely dismissing me? Perhaps you'd still partake - even being a democrat?

Oh that's right, these folks don't have the time of day for an opinion that differs from their own. I forgot.

10 OWIs? TEN?

Should we thank our legal system for this?
Cash bail was set and Timothy Burkhalter was ordered Monday not to drink and not to drive by Dane County Court Commissioner Todd Meurer, although it remains to be seen if those provisions will be followed.

Burkhalter, 47, of Black Earth, was in court facing his 10th charge of driving under the influence of alcohol. He has compiled that record since his first arrest in 1989 and has been picked up nine other times since in Dane and Sauk counties.

The last two times he was arrested, he wound up serving prison time for the offenses. He was sent to prison for 18 months on charge No. 9 and did a year in prison on charge No. 8. Both sentences were handed down by Dane County Circuit Court Judge Stuart Schwartz.

If convicted this time around, Burkhalter, who was arrested in Mount Horeb on July 31, faces a maximum sentence of 12 years and six months in prison, and up to three years of having his driver's license revoked. Once a defendant has five or more convictions, the law also calls for a minimum fine of $600 and not less than six months in jail. But along with maximum of 12 years and six months, Burkhalter could be fined up to $25,000.
Let's sentence him to some freakin' rehab, how 'bout?

Men's gymnasics

Six words: Justin Spring. Jonathan Horton. Joey Hagerty.

If you can watch the coverage of their high bar routines, you will understand why the U.S. rallied for the Bronze last night. Much credit is due to the entire team.

Monday, August 11, 2008

China dolls

There is no way the Chinese female gymnasts are all 16 years of age.

BEIJING -- Chinese officials on Monday denied reports that a female gymnast had been entered for the Beijing Olympics despite being under the minimum age of 16.

Media reports in the U.S., citing online registration records, said China team member Yang Yilin was still 14. The report came a week after accusations that her team mates He Kexin and Jiang Yuyuan were also under 16.
Um, 14? One of them looks 10!

He is expected to challenge Nastia Luken of the U.S.
for the individual gold on uneven bars.
In Chinese newspaper profiles this year, He was listed as 14, too young for the Beijing Games.

The Times found two online records of official registration lists of Chinese gymnasts that list He’s birthday as Jan. 1, 1994, which would make her 14. A 2007 national registry of Chinese gymnasts — now blocked in China but viewable through Google cache — shows He’s age as “1994.1.1.”

Another registration list that is unblocked, dated Jan. 27, 2006, and regarding an “intercity” competition in Chengdu, China, also lists He’s birthday as Jan. 1, 1994. That date differs by two years from the birth date of Jan. 1, 1992, listed on He’s passport, which was issued Feb. 14, 2008.
Nastia better get nasty and bust out the big guns. Ain't no way she's losing to a 14 year old.

You gotta watch

This if you missed it.
Unbelievable! But man, do those suits look uncomfortable.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Real time

The United States men's relay team just WON the Gold medal in the Men's 4 x 100m Freestyle Relay Final, coming from behind in the last lap to eek out the French!!!

I think my neighbors all just woke up thanks to me.

They smash the world record on top of it.

More on this inspirational moment tomorrow.

Madison healthy for men

According to Men's Health, Madison is evidently the #3 healthiest city for men to live in.
There's more to being a cheesehead than the foam hat. Eating dairy products may help guard your heart, according to researchers in Wales. Compared to men whose diets were dairy-light, those who regularly downed a pint of milk a day had a 62 percent lower risk of metabolic syndrome, a set of symptoms that's often a harbinger of heart disease.

"Two cups of milk a day can enhance weight loss, which is directly linked to reducing metabolic syndrome risk," says Timothy A. Hacker, Ph.D., a scientist at the University of Wisconsin Cardiovascular Research Center.
If only all the Madison men I knew would stop smoking, I might believe it.

Parade etiquette

Today at a parade for a local assembly candidate, the group was gathered at the back of the truck, waiting for the start.

Our opponent's group was right behind us in the lineup. One of the volunteers thought it was appropriate to sit in the truck and honk the horn - sitting only a few feet behind us.

Naturally, we all turned with disgusted, surprised looks on our face, while she chirped "You awake yet?" and giggled, annoyingly.

Yeah lady, we're awake. And you're RUDE. This also came from someone who stole a bag of zip ties directly from us without saying a thing while we were clearly looking for them. Unbelievable.

But we didn't let that ruin our day. Despite "that rat-a tat-tat, the blare of a horn, " I love a parade!

Olympic age records

Dara Torres already blew the roof off the water cube last night in Beijing (or this morning), but there's more to come in the age category.

Today, Washington state native Melanie Roach, a former gymnast and mother of three, makes her Olympic debut at age 33 in the women's 53kg weightlifting event. 33 isn't old by any measure, but after three kids and intense back surgery and a previous attempt at the games, it is something to admire.
At just 5-foot-1 and 117 pounds, it's hard to picture that this petite woman from Tacoma is an Olympic weightlifter. She is also the mother of three youngsters, a politician's wife and a business owner.

Melanie Roach plans to break a record in Beijing, which also marks her first trip to the Olympic Games. "You know you imagine it to be a certain way and it's so much better than I imagined," she said. "Seeing all the other countries, all the other different sports. The venue is amazing."

Melanie plans to lift 250 pounds to win her event. She says that no one ever accurately guesses her sport.

"The first thing they say is: Are you a gymnast or a soccer player? They never guess weightlifter," she said.
You do realize her weight is purely muscle and organs? My God.

If I saw her, I'd guess her sport was kicking ass and taking names.

US is coked out

And I'm not talking Coca Cola.
U.S. paper money contains higher trace levels of cocaine than any other world currency.

Chemists found that the average U.S. bill has between 2.9 and 28.8 micrograms of cocaine on its surface. Meanwhile, the study showed that Spanish money has the highest trace amounts among European nations.

This doesn't mean the average bill was handled by a cocaine user. Traces of the drug can spread easily from bill to bill in devices like ATMs and bank counting machines. However, the numbers do suggest that Americans love cocaine.

So, if you're scoring at home, fill in the U.S. for both the fattest and the most coked up nation on Earth. Given coke's appetite-suppressing qualities, it sounds as though we're just not getting enough cocaine to the right people.
Does it pass the Snopes test?!

Not sure, but it explains some of my friends' billfolds. (Shout-out to LDL!)

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Element of suprise...gone

It's 2:00 AM in China right now. Which means we'll know tomorrow about all that already happened- the records that have been set, the medals won, the anthems sung.

Obviously that's what we get for the time difference, but it's going to be a hell of a time to keep from spoiling the Olympics for myself.

High heel mafia

This gives new meaning to Wayne's World's "I had to beat them to death with their own shoes."
Two teenage girls told police they were attacked by a group of 30 girls outside a nightclub early today and that three suspects - whom they identified as "The Rock Star Girls" - beat them with high-heel shoes, including a pair of 8-inch stilettos.

The two teens said they were at Club Crunk, 1702 Delaware Ave., at about 1:30 a.m., but they couldn't get into the club because one of the girls was only 17. They were standing in the parking lot when three girls they recognized and identified to police later as "The Rock Star Girls" and "The Cheerleaders" approached them and began kicking and punching them, they reported.

They said the three initial attackers took off their high-heeled shoes to hit them in the face, the report states.

One victim said she was struck three times in the head with a brown, 8-inch stiletto. The other victim said she was struck two times in the head with a silver, 6-inch heel. She reported that her attacker said: "I fight to kill," while hitting her with the shoe.
Without the actual injury report of cuts and bleeding, it would be hard to take this story seriously.

But that's a different story altogether...

Sportsman in Chief

The President's visit to Beijing just highlights his fun-loving nature. Oh, and not everyone hates him.
After an early wake-up call, the president headed straight to the Laoshan Olympic mountain-biking course, passing Tiananmen Square along the way. His wife, Laura, went on a tour of the Forbidden City.

Bush, a regular biker, had been itching to get back to the course that he tried out with Chinese Olympic hopefuls in 2005 during his last visit to Beijing.

In a green T-shirt and black shorts, the president biked more than an hour on the course on a warm, muggy, hazy day, accompanied by secret service agents and aides. He dabbed at his face with a towel as he left, then called the course "really, really difficult."

"That's why I'm an amateur and they're Olympians," Bush added

....and later at Softball:
Leaning against the chain-link fence surrounding the field, Bush watched the players warm up with calisthenics, then take batting practice.

Softball is being dropped as a medal event after Beijing, and the earliest it could be reinstated is 2016. Bush, one-time co-owner of the Texas Rangers major league baseball team, said he hopes that happens.

"It's good for the world to have girls playing softball," he said. "And these women are going to show young girls how to win."
Good stuff.

Friday, August 8, 2008

Why I love the Olympics


This book is just great. It will grip you and pull you through it.

I can't wait to get to the second...and for the major motion picture!

Highly suggested. by Stephenie Meyer.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Point Break

If you've ever seen Point Break - despite the poor acting of Keanu Reeves (it's a fave)- you might remember the quote, "Fear causes hesitation, and hesitation will cause your worst fears to come true."

Tonight a series of events got me thinking about people and their fears -which often lead to their breaking points. Whether it's a bar fight, a frustrating decision about life's future path, love trouble, losing a grandparent- you name it- we all hit breaking points where we no longer feel the connection with our logical selves and we break emotionally be it through anger, grief, or maybe impulse decisions.

Brett Favre hit his breaking point in March...or so we thought. Was he afraid? Or did he hesitate? Or is it merely indecisiveness and what's the cause?

We can blame alcohol, say, for a crazy rant in a bar or a mean exchange with someone we love. But once we hit that point, is there any turning around? Can anyone bring us back from the ledge?

For me, it is fear. Fear causes hesitation - and I refuse to acknowledge the fear. Therefore, jump- attack- don't let the fear manifest itself. Take control of the situation so that you won't realize your worst fears. You question your value - so you drink heavily, or pick a fight with someone to make yourself feel good. You're lonely- so you seize the opportunity to be with someone you don't care all that much about. You don't know if you're any good at what you do - so you quit, or blame the people in charge. Or you lose someone you love - so you try to make sure the people you still have around know you love them. Really know, no matter how hard it is to say or to hear.

Tomorrow I hope I'm not afraid. But I hope I don't hesitate either. I hope I can believe I'm good at what I do, now. I hope I let the people I love know they are loved, now. And I hope I close my eyes and cherish their company just a little longer while I am still in it -now.

~Ericksons, you are in our thoughts and prayers.~

Pack Schedule

Has anyone else noticed that this year in regular season, the Packers never play the Jets?

Not once.

Mile high "fight" club and a preacher's wife!

Now here's a lawsuit.
A jury was seated Wednesday in a lawsuit alleging the wife of nationally known pastor Joel Osteen assaulted a flight attendant.

Sharon Brown alleges Victoria Osteen threw her against a bathroom door and elbowed her in the left breast during an angry outburst over a stain on her first-class seat. Brown said she suffers from anxiety and hemorrhoids because of the incident and said her faith was affected. She wants an apology and punitive damages amounting to 10 percent of Victoria Osteen's net worth.
10% of her networth to pay for hemorrhoid cream?

Dream big, lady.

Female football players

I'm all for females playing male sports- that's why we have bad-ass women's lacrosse and soccer and basketball, etc. (Men, if you're rolling your eyes, this next part is for you.)

But if women aren't SMART enough to be on the football field, what the hell does athletic ability have to do with anything?
An Evansville High School teenager and her mother are asking a federal jury to decide whether school coaches and staff discriminated against her as a female freshman member of the football team.

The lawsuit, filed Tuesday in federal court in Madison, also asked for compensation for pain, suffering, mental and emotional distress and expenses after the girl, Ivyanne Elborough, broke her clavicle during a high school football practice.

By telling her to practice without safety equipment, football coach Ron Grovesteen caused the girl to be injured, "which made her unable to participate in football, crushed her dreams of becoming the first professional female football player, caused her to miss school, go through surgery and other medical procedures," the complaint said.
Whoever was stupid enough to play without the proper equipment should not have been playing. She should have taken that issue up with the appropriate authorities before putting herself in a situation capable of harming her.
No specific amount of money is sought. "We want a jury to decide what would be a fair amount," said Madison lawyer Andrea Farrell.

The teenager, who is now entering her sophomore year, is still receiving medical treatment for the injury she received after school staff made it difficult for her to access her safety gear before practice, according to the complaint filed by the girl and her mother, Deborah St. Aubin-Elborough.
Unbelievable. I rule the plaintiff an idiot and incompetent to partake in athletic activities. Go join the cheerleading team or something. If you break your clavicle that way, you got no one to blame but yourself.

Or if all else fails, sue McDonalds for hot coffee if you want someone to blame for your own idiocy.


Am I even supposed to say to this?
The Brett Favre era in Green Bay officially came to an end late Wednesday night as the longtime Packers star quarterback was traded to the New York Jets, the Packers announced.

The exact compensation wasn't immediately available, but it is believed to be a fourth-round draft pick that increases in value depending upon how the Jets perform during the 2008 season.

According to the NFL Network, if Favre takes 50 percent of total snaps with the Jets in 2008, the fourth rounder becomes a third-round pick. If he gets 70 percent of the snaps and the Jets make the playoffs, it becomes a second-round pick; and if he gets 80 percent of snaps and the Jets make the Super Bowl, it becomes a first-round pick.
Look at all those "ifs".

More once I balance these raging emotions.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

The Cupcakery

This is an amazing find, friends. If you're ever in Vegas
find your way to the red velvet.