November 2008 Archives

CrabAppleLane Sunday - November 30, 2008

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Just so I understand, who should toy manufacturers advertise to? The advertisers, the toy manufacturers, and the store employees need to make a living, too. Besides, I don't think it's such a bad thing for people to learn about disappointment at an early age.

Saints lead at halftime, 10-6, over Tampa but the Bucs get the ball to start the 2nd half. I don't like the new rule about allowing a team to "defer" their option after winning the coin toss. I think it's the ultimate lunacy to put strategy or advantage in something that couldn't be more arbitrary. Another arbitrary strategy/advantage is also on display in this one. A stadium without a roof has both teams playing in the rain on a wet field. Neither team can play their best game.

Notre Dame football: Deified when they're winning. 1001 excuses when they're losing. Some say they will have become just another football factory if they fire their head coach, Charlie Weis, before his contract is up. Says here they were never anything but.

I offer two busy pictures from the yard on this gorgeous CrabAppleLane Sunday. One works OK. The other not so much.

Should have done this differently - November 30, 2008
Should have done this differently - November 30, 2008

Got rake? - November 30, 2008
Got rake? - November 30, 2008

Quote of the Day
Seriously, it's what poor people do to look fancy.
NiCole Robinson

Blog of the day here.

Quote from said blog: "At this point in his career, it seems like Kiffin leaving the Bucs would be nothing but talk, but the idea of coaching with his son may be enough to convince him."

Mystery solved - November 29, 2008

CrabAppleLane female rufous hummingbird - October 27, 2008
CrabAppleLane buff-bellied hummingbird - October 27, 2008

I was convinced this was a female rufous hummingbird until I heard the sounds from the Cornell Lab of Ornithology. Well, first I found some nearly identical pictures of it on the web. On each bird's page on Cornell's Birding site, you can listen to its song. Very cool resource. What CrabAppleLane has here for over a month now is most certainly a buff-bellied hummingbird. It's quite the chatterbox and I hope it makes a permanent home here although the cantankerous ruby-throats probably wouldn't like it. You were right, Katie.

Quote of the Day
We'll just be satisfied with any bowl game we get, playing the way we played this season.
Brandon LaFell, LSU Tiger

Blog of the day here.

Quote from said blog: "I am very excited that the Buff-bellied Hummingbird that first appeared in my yard, Oct. 27, was banded, shortly after daylight, on Halloween."

Pretty cool that my picture was taken on October 27, too. -Rob

Black Friday Tids and Bits

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Saw about 20 gift cards for various merchants from The Home Depot to Starbucks to iTunes on sale at the Shell station yesterday. The merchants must be paying Shell a commission but I wonder if that's any kind of good business sense. Not that I would know any kind of good business sense if I saw it. ConsumerMan says to pass. This little bit got me:

Scott Sistek of Mukilteo, Wash., saw the value of his Visa gift card melt away when he put it in a dresser drawer and forgot about it for about a year. He was "shocked" to learn the $50 card was only worth $26.50. After a grace period, the bank charged him a monthly maintenance fee of $3.50. Plus, Sistek was dinged $2.50 when he called to check on the balance.

Nice scam. If I had a different conscience, I'd say I wish I'd thought of it.

I don't golf but even I know the biggest name in the game is Tiger Woods. In fact, I'd say he's the biggest name in all of sports. The second biggest name in golf, though, seems to be John Daly and I can't, for the life of me, figure out why.

Just some silliness on a slow day.

Quote of the Day
With most terrorist attacks, it's relatively clear-cut who is involved. In this case, it could be all sorts of constellations that are at work.
Magnus Ranstorp, Swedish National Defense College

Blog of the day via The Coalition is here.

Quote from said blog: "Mr. Dave took six White Castle "Sliders" (mini-hamburgers for you folks not fortunate enough to have experienced them), stuck them in a baking dish, removed the top buns, lined them with bacon & cheese, added some homemade batter, and cooked the whole shebang to a level of perfection we can only imagine."

Happy Thanksgiving

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Happy Thanksgiving
Happy Thanksgiving from CrabAppleLane

Quote of the Day
And if the cloud bursts
Thunder in your ear
You shout and no one seems to hear
And if the band you're in starts playing different tunes
I'll see you on the dark side of the moon
Pink Floyd, Brain Damage

Blog of the day here.

Quote from said blog: "How to Write a Thanksgiving Blog"

King Zor

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A memory popped into my head yesterday and I went about it on Google. I love the internet. I found King Zor in a number of places. I had one. King Zor is the coolest toy ... EVER. Batteries not included. I know Santa didn't pay $175-$1000 for it and if I still had it, that wouldn't be nearly enough to pry it away from me.

Quote of the Day
Be ready for King Zor. He's ready for you.
King Zor commercial

Blog of the day here.

Quote from said blog: "You do realize that if he wins, he will never shut up about it."

Tuesday Morning Quarterback - November 25, 2008

Well, that Packers game was fun but the sobering thought is that the Saints still need to win all five of their remaining games or at least four of five for any hopes at the playoffs. Games squandered earlier in the year are now brought into sharp focus. Tough one in Tampa this week.

One of my fantasy football teams has made the playoffs. Another win will earn them a bye. My other fantasy football team, the one I thought was better at the beginning of the year, needs to win, score a lot of points, and hope the right combination of tiebreakers happens. Uphill to say the least.

Ole Miss pretty much finished off any hopes LSU had of going to a New Year's Day bowl game. Been a tough season for a program that has gotten used to double digit wins every year. Most, but surely not all, of their problems stem from inexperience at quarterback.

Quote of the Day
We expected more from our defense
Mike McCarthy, Green Bay Packers

Blog of the day here.

Quote from said blog: "I looked back as far as the 2001 season and I still don't know the last time the Packers allowed over 50 points. It was too depressing to go back any further. But if you think this game was awful, a true sign the team doesn't have it this season, well here's some recent history."

What the money people are saying

Like most Americans, I am worried about the economy. The price of gasoline has fallen (I paid $1.85 per gallon Saturday night) but I haven't seen much ripple in the rest of the market. Popcorn and two soft drinks at the theater Saturday night was $16. What to think about the statement below from John W. Schoen at MSNBC:

As prices fall, the spending power of your money goes up. But so does the real value of your debt -- because you have to pay it back with money that has increased in real value.

The paying back power of your money doesn't go up along with the spending power? Economists give me a headache.

In New Zealand, where there appears to be some sanity, they are liking the lower gas prices for their upcoming summer. Good to be them. The global gasoline market is driven by US demand. When the price is up here in the summer, it's up there in the winter when they don't want/need it as much.

Looking like a bleak Christmas season.

Quote of the Day
A benign decline in prices amidst a sluggish but recovering economy would be unwelcome but tolerable but the price slashing now under way as the consumer beats a hasty retreat could allow that corrosive deflationary spiral to take hold -- something the Fed wants to avoid at all costs.
Merrill Lynch economist David Rosenberg

Blog of the day here.

Quote from said blog: "Is the intent to shame the naughty into paying their fair share? To a point. However, I believe government posts those lists to incite a very different emotion: envy."

Quantum of Solace

We went to see Quantum of Solace last night. We usually don't go to the prime time 7:30PM shows because they tend to be noisy and overcrowded. That was surely the case last night. There were long lines to get tickets at the single ticket window but someone finally got a clue and opened their other ticket window. There were long lines to get concessions, too. We ended up sitting in the front section of seats (3rd row center). All of that was OK. We were on time and looking forward to the movie. More about the film after the mini-rant.

During the previews for movies these days, a PSA comes on where you hear a cell phone ring and a baby cry. The point of the PSA is Don't Add Your Own Soundtrack, be courteous to others, etc. Someone didn't get the message. We had a toddler and an infant behind us who made noise throughout the movie and their clueless parents/guardians/whatever couldn't or wouldn't do anything about it. It was so loud and so frequent that it was impossible to ignore. I'm mad at the parents/guardians/whatever this morning but I'm also mad at the theater for even allowing them in. There was nothing in that film for those two kids but once they're inside, the only way to deal with it is to get up, go find a manager, and confront them. Not only will you miss a large chunk of the movie, they may decide to do nothing about it or you might end up in an even larger brouhaha. Who wants to do that? Back in the days of ushers, they would have been asked to leave. That theater is getting a letter from me but I doubt anything will change.

About the movie: It's a continuation of Casino Royale. The action is relentless, really fast, and the camera is right in the middle of it most of the time. It's so close that it's a little hard to follow. It wasn't as good as Casino Royale but I still liked it.

One from the CrabAppleLane front yard on this rather bleak Sunday afternoon.

Quote of the Day
I really think you people should find a better place to meet.
James Bond, Quantum of Solace

Blog of the day here.

Quote from said blog: "I've raised this before as "bums on seats" was once suggested by tv film critic Barry Norman. If you paid say £4 to see Casino Royale 2 years ago and now pay £6.50 to see QOS, now times both by 1 or 10 million and you see where we're coming from."

Some Saturday Stuff - November 22, 2008

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45 year anniversary of a sad day. R.I.P., JFK.

Bill Simmons touches on a topic I've been on for a few years now. By building new, expensive state-of-the-art-stadiums (SOTAS) and courting the affluent but casual fans to buy suites and expensive seats, the NFL is relegating to the upper decks or even simply pricing out the real fans of their game.

Bug woke up on Sundays at 7:45 a.m. no matter how hung over he was, paid the prostitute and asked her to leave (OK, that's not true), took a quick shower (not true either), squeezed himself into his Willie McGinest jersey, packed his car with beer and food, picked up his pals, packed more beer and more food, and then they zoomed down Route 1 to Foxboro and snatched a choice parking spot right next to the stadium.

THOSE are fans. The ones sitting at the 50yd line in the club section, reading a magazine between plays with their sweaters tied around their necks and their designer sunglasses pushed on top of their heads, are probably there because someone told them that was the place to be or maybe just the place to be seen. Not sure which. The end result is the SOTAS are visually dazzling, comfortable, perfect environments for the target demographic but totally sterile to the real fans. Owners are draining the emotion out of the game and turning it into a cold, hard business. Well, here's a cold, hard business reality, Mr Billionaire Owner. Emotion is what fills 90,000-100,000 seat stadiums in Knoxville, Baton Rouge, Ann Arbor, Lincoln, and Tuscaloosa while cold, hard business is struggling to fill smaller stadiums in bigger cities like Jacksonville, Atlanta, Phoenix, and Cincinnati. Making her lay too many golden eggs is killing your golden goose.

Quote of the Day
The old stadium was a dump, but we felt like we were at a football game, you know? Now we're at ... I don't know. The fans don't affect the game anymore. It's really sad. Grover calls it the wine-and-cheese crowd. We've become the fans we always made fun of.
Bug

Blog of the day here.

Quote from said blog: "Just back from football. I've rather stupidly played for two consecutive nights, with different groups of people. I find it hard to say no. I'm 40 and my body is slowly winding down, but I love playing, and the more you use it the less you lose it."

About the dogs

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According to the ESPN article:

Imprisoned NFL quarterback Michael Vick expects to return to pro football

I guess you might as well dream big, Mike. Assuming his legal troubles are over when his sentence is over and assuming he can get the NFL to reinstate him soon, he will have to convince an owner to give him a chance in spite of his ineffectiveness in his last full season in the NFL that a two year layoff couldn't have helped and, more importantly, in spite of the absolute certainty of a public relations nightmare media circus in these difficult economic times for whatever team that gives him a chance. Not impossible, I suppose, but not likely.

Quote of the Day
All it was was dogs
Joey Porter, Miami Dolphins

Blog of the day here.

Quote from said blog: "The Bears' third-year kick/punt returner, who had 11 kick/punt-return touchdowns in his first two seasons, leaving him two shy of the NFL record, has yet to score on a return this season, and it's contributed to the lack of punch shown by the Bears' formerly stout special teams."

A guy showed me a picture of something on his Blackberry recently. "See, this is what I'm talking about." After putting on my reading glasses, I still couldn't see what he was talking about. If I had seen the subject firsthand, if I had taken the picture, if I'd known exactly what I was looking for, I might have been able to pick it out in that tiny image. A camera phone is not a particularly useful tool unless the subject takes up a substantial portion of the screen. Blackberry is rolling out the Storm tomorrow. The screen on that one looks even smaller than the one I couldn't use. I won't be in that line. Besides, the world going mobile kind of annoys me more than it impresses me. I think I'm going to call it the I Like Toast Factor. When cell phones and laptops came out, they were expensive to have and use so people basically only used them for emergencies. I preferred that to what we have today. OK with the technology, just not wild about its practical applications.

Quote of the Day
I like toast
John Dorian, Scrubs

Blog of the day here.

Quote from said blog: "Pardon the "get off my lawn" tone, but I am seriously getting pissed off at how much txt mssg speak and the use of acronyms have begun to slip into mainstream writing."

Wednesday Whacks

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Congratulations to Dustin Pedroia on his MVP award. I wholeheartedly agree with the selection. I only saw a handful of Red Sox games this season but that guy was in the middle of just about everything they did. Has to be the toughest out in baseball. Two strikes on him meant the pitcher was in trouble. He was going to foul off the next seven or eight pitches until the pitcher gave in. I just love the way he plays.

The other side of the bailouts from The New Yorker.

Jumping from one link to another yesterday landed me on Neil Diamond, today's QOTD. The music and the rest of the lyrics are great but there's that one line. "I'll be what I am". That's the one I love. The original studio version is the only one that matters. None of his live versions compare and most of the ones I've heard are awful.

Quote of the Day
Don't know that I will
But until I can find me
The girl who'll stay
And won't play games behind me
I'll be what I am
A solitary man
Neil Diamond, Solitary Man

Blog of the day here.

Quote from said blog: "I usually ask them what sort of embarrassing huge no no do they let their kids get away with. If they're bitches, they'll never admit it, but it shuts them the hell up."

Tuesday Morning QB

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I'm a big fan of domed stadiums. I got cold watching just two minutes of the Bills/Browns game last night. What is wrong with playing a game in perfect conditions where the only thing a team has to contend with is their opponent? Basketball brought their game indoors. Football and baseball should, too.

The Saints supposedly will learn the fate this week of the three players named in the latest round of drug-testing. There really won't be much impact one way or the other on the team. Charles Grant is on IR and his suspension will be served next year and quite possibly on another team. He's a decent defensive end but he has an elite defensive end contract. Deuce McAllister's role on the team has been diminished so much that his suspension won't matter. Will Smith was a great player for a couple of years and is also pulling down an elite defensive end contract but he has been just another defensive lineman in the rotation this year. The guy who relieves him, Jeff Charleston, had two sacks this past week. The Saints are terrible on defense and they won't be any worse without him.

The NFL doesn't like anyone talking about gambling or officiating. The Steelers/Chargers game Sunday has them talking about both. The NFL fines their people for complaining but all they do is complain. I'd be much more worried about miffed gamblers. A cynical person would tend to believe that the officials had an interest in keeping that game closer than it might have been. They called way more penalties on the favored Steelers and reversed a touchdown that would have had the Steelers covering the spread. The NFL is so concerned about that appearance that they are considering changing instant replay rules ... this season. For what it's worth, I think it's impossible to fix an NFL game.

Quote of the Day
About 300,000 people took "Polar Express" rides last year. The movie soundtrack is played over the train's public address system, the story is read aloud, and hot chocolate is served en route to a lit-up "North Pole" where Santa awaits.
Associated Press

Blog of the day here.

Quote from said blog: "Michael Wilson thanks you for watching News From the Quantum Of Solace Set."

Monday Morning Muck - November 17, 2008

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I will never understand why police aren't summoned to direct traffic at busy intersections when a signal light is malfunctioning during rush hour. Traffic was backed up for miles in all directions this morning because a light had stayed in overnight blinking mode. Aside from the traffic nightmare, it is a hazard.

Congratulations to the LSU Tigers on their homecoming victory. They beat Troy, 40-31, Saturday night in Tiger Stadium. Doesn't sound like that big a deal beating a team that everyone thought they would beat except that they were down, 3-31, midway through the 3rd quarter. By the time the Tigers went ahead late in the 4th quarter, almost no one was still at the game, watching on pay-per-view, listening on the radio, or watching the gamecast on the web. Serves them right. Unfortunately, I was one of them.

All I can say about this computer is I want one.

Try explaining this to the cop who smells beer on you.

Quote of the Day
All users must share their results with the broader scientific community.
Associated Press

Blog of the day here.

Quote from said blog: "Beer and Blog is about bloggers helping bloggers over beers."

The Dish is one of those films that gives joy in every one of its little moments. My kind of movie. They usually come from overseas because Hollywood doesn't know how to do little moments any more. It's about a radio telescope in Parkes, New South Wales, Australia and its team of scientists and technicians but it's also about the proud little town. They've been asked to support the Apollo 11 NASA moon mission. Parkes is one of those small towns that only exists in the movies. Everyone knows everyone. Lots of big wigs are descending on the quiet town to celebrate the participation. It creates a culture clash. NASA has armed the dish security guard, a bumbler who knows nothing about security, and I'm still laughing this morning at the national anthem of the United States that the local band had 48 hours to learn. I will not spoil that one. Sam Neill is perfect as the director of the satellite team. He's one of my favorite actors. His performances always seem so effortless. Patrick Warburton also gives a good performance as NASA representative Al Burnett.

Al Burnett: Not everyone at NASA is a hotshot college genius. The guy I most admire is from a one-horse town in Ohio.
Ross 'Mitch' Mitchell: And what's he do?
Al Burnett: Tomorrow he's gonna walk on the moon.

I admire him, too. The Dish is a delightful film. See it with a big bowl of popcorn.

Before I present the Sunday picture, I thought I'd give thanks to my friend, Kim, for this item on her blog. Say what you will about Texas but they are working to pass a law with the word "zombie" in it. Is your state? Go Texas.

I offer one from just outside my window this chilly CrabAppleLane Sunday morning. My little chatterbox friend is still here. Not at all sure what kind it is now. I first leaned toward buff-bellied then toward rufous but now I'm back on buff-bellied. Whatever it is, I think it may have decided to winter here. I'm OK with that.

CrabAppleLane Hummingbird - November 16, 2008
CrabAppleLane Hummingbird - November 16, 2008

Quote of the Day
Does mum know you have a gun?
Janine Kellerman, The Dish

Blog of the day here.

Quote from said blog: "Look at the bill on this hummingbird! "

Cracker Jack

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About Cracker Jack:

Candy-coated popcorn, peanuts, and a prize
That's what you get in Cracker Jack

Don't see their commercials any more if they even still make them but I'd be heartbroken if they changed that classic little ditty. Wouldn't you? I think the three-pack was 25¢ when I was a kid. Click on the image to see how much Amazon is asking for it. They were a fave in our house.

When I was commuting from Bush to New Orleans and back, I was spending some time at gas stations. I'd get gas two or three times a week depending on how much I drove on the weekends. One day after I'd filled up at the pump, I went inside for a drink and a bag of chips and I saw the Cracker Jack display. I had to have one. I've reconnected with Cracker Jack (For whatever reason, I've said "Cracker Jacks" all my life) the last few years. I usually get the bags now and they're still delicious although a tad disappointing. Eating your way to the bottom where the peanuts were was always the best part of getting those Cracker Jack boxes. Maybe it's just a fond recollection but I think there were more peanuts in those little boxes back then than there are in today's larger bags. Still don't know why people make such a big deal about the rinky dink nature of the prizes. What do they expect? A car, a grandfather clock, a dishwasher? I never cared about the prize.

Quote of the Day
What do you want
When you gotta eat somethin'
And it's gotta be sweet
And it's gotta be a lot
And you gotta have it now
Whaddaya want
Cracker Jack song

Blog of the day here.

Quote from said blog: "Right, So I opened up a bag of Cracker Jack yesterday with the understanding that there would be a "prize" inside."

Life

I watched a few episodes of Life last year at the tail end of the season and then it disappeared. I don't read the gossip stuff or the fan forums so I had no idea what NBC's plans for it were. It has been my experience that TV moguls don't have the patience to allow smart, quirky shows to find an audience and I always assume that to be the case when I don't see something for a long time. My DVR is set to record it whenever it comes on and that saves me the grief of looking for it. The basic premise is that a cop named Crews (Damien Lewis from Band of Brothers) was wrongly convicted of a murder, spent 12 years of his "Life" sentence in prison, was exonerated by DNA, sued the city or the police department and received a large settlement, and was reinstated to the police force. Got all that? The crime he was convicted of turns out to be part of a much wider, more mysterious conspiracy, involving his partner Reese's estranged father, and each show reveals another part of it. In the meantime, Crews and Reese (Sarah Shahi) solve crimes. Their working relationship is a joy to watch. Reese is all business and would probably prefer to be on the job all the time. Her personal life is a bit of a mess. Crews is unorthodox, a bit eccentric, and obsessed with the conspiracy that sent him to jail for 12 years. I don't think she ever knows what he's going to say or do next but she catches on quickly and they make a great team. This kind of pairing has been done a million times but rarely this well and, even more rarely, this well on TV. Highly recommended. Watch a few episodes online and you'll see what I mean. See it before a TV mogul kills it.

Quote of the Day
Revenge is a poison meant for others that we swallow ourselves.
Charlie Crews, Life

Blog of the day here.

Quote from said blog: "Brilliant and quirky storytelling in a compelling setting with great actors. What more could one wish for?"

Happy Happy

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Happy Birthday, Mom
Happy Birthday, Mom

Have a day

Love,
Rob

Quote of the Day
Some of the Republicans' afflictions are self-inflicted. Some conservatives who are gluttons for punishment are getting a head start on ensuring a 2012 drubbing by prescribing peculiar medication for a misdiagnosed illness.
George Will, Washington Post

Blog of the day here.

Quote from said blog: "Of course, in the real world, their solutions don't always work. And education funding and health care funding are the two "discretionary" items we can least afford to cut right now. But I bet you won't be hearing that from the statewide media over the next few months, nor will you hear how the tax cuts enacted for the last six years are contributing to the problem."

Fantasy Football Update

My team, Spawn, is doing OK at 7-3 in the CFFL but probably needs to win at least one of the next three to guarantee a playoff berth. My other team, Death on Two Legs, is in trouble at 4-6 in Ya Boys and probably needs to win out, score a lot of points in the process, and get some help to have a chance in a tiebreaker to get into the playoffs. I've had two teams in fantasy football for 11 years now. When the season starts, I always think one team is much better than the other and I am almost never right about it. I thought I had three killer running backs in Ya Boys with Joseph Addai and Willie Parker starting and Brandon Jacobs as the backup. Wrong. Jacobs has been steady all year but I couldn't keep Parker or Addai healthy. I traded Parker away for Marques Colston right at the trade deadline. That guy probably isn't talking to me any more.

Quote of the Day
He's Brady. He's cool. He's real cool.
BenJarvus Green-Ellis, New England Patriots

Blog of the day here.

Quote from said blog: "General Motors Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Rick Wagoner today announced that the company will invest more than $500 million in the U.S. to build the Chevrolet Cruze, an all-new global compact car."

Just nothing, really --- Veterans Day Issue

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Happy Veterans Day
Happy Veterans Day


One thing I'd really like to know: If there's really a credit crisis, why do I still get several offers per day from Mastercard/Visa/Discover/Amex in my mail?

Quote of the Day
Where can you run to
What more can you do
No more tomorrow
Life is killing you
Dreams turn to nightmares
Heaven turns to hell
Burns out confusion
Nothing more to tell
Black Sabbath, Sabbath Bloody Sabbath

Blog of the day here.

Quote from said blog: "I love Autumn's palette. Perhaps more than any other season. It has only been recently that I've become Summer's deepest acolyte. Up until this expanse of grey, I would have told you that I loved the fall most. For its color. For its textures. Even for its light. Best. With complete loyalty."

A new work routine

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A new work routine gets underway today. Have to leave a little bit earlier but not much.

Two things about personal computers I'd like to see someone fix: 1) Rebooting should never be necessary nor should it ever make a difference. 2) Uninstalling and reinstalling software should also never be necessary or make a difference. If something works now and I make no deliberate changes, it should work the next time. Not always the case. The last time I used my scanner, it worked. The next time, there were "No Scan Options".

About today's QOTD: It refers to journalist Jack Anderson. I used to read Anderson's column in our local newspaper many years ago and hadn't thought of him in a while. My guess is that Anderson would have loved it.

Quote of the Day
This fellow Anderson and his ilk have minds that are lower than the regurgitated filth of vultures.
J Edgar Hoover, Former FBI Director

Blog of the day here.

Quote from said blog: "This special boy was found on the side of the road with his other brothers and sister in a flipped-over carboard box."

CrabAppleLane Sunday - November 9, 2008

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Gorgeous day to start the week or end the weekend.

I was sent this sad obituary, verified by snopes.com, some weeks ago. It includes these two statements:

Dolores had no hobbies, made no contribution to society and rarely shared a kind word or deed in her life. I speak for the majority of her family when I say her presence will not be missed by many, very few tears will be shed and there will be no lamenting over her passing.

Words fail.

About today's QOTD: It's from a poem called "Crabapple Lane" from a blog I stumbled across that features "Poetry from and sometimes about New Orleans". How could I resist?

I offer one that was taken from the CrabAppleLane front yard.

Within a picture - November 9, 2008
Within a picture - November 9, 2008
Thought the hawk-shaped cloud flying over a CrabAppleLane Bradford Pear tree looked kinda neat. When a hawk flew into the hawk-shaped cloud, that was just pure luck. Click here for a larger view.
Closer - November 9, 2009
Same picture but zoomed in on the surprise subject - November 9, 2008

Quote of the Day
Happiness is for saps.
You see them paired in matching
polos and shorts,
their fat pink squealing children
on glossy green lawns.
Crabapple Lane, Poems Before Breakfast

Blog of the day here.

Quote from said blog: "Through the lens of imminent disaster Fuji--the looming backdrop of ten thousand sepia prints--is an insignificant bystander."

Saban Returns

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Nick Saban is returning to Tiger Stadium today. He won two SEC Championships and a National Championship for the Tigers in his short stay in Baton Rouge. After returning the LSU football program to prominence and becoming the hottest coaching commodity anywhere in the process, Wayne Huizenga flew to Baton Rouge on his private jet, swept him off his feet, and signed him to run the Miami Dolphins. Most Tiger fans were saddened to see him go but were OK with the move up to the NFL. That was then ... just four years ago.

Saban and his family are suited for college life. They like being around the campus, they like the rah rah, and I think he likes being master and commander. When it comes to alumni, administrators, his players, his recruits and their parents, he's like the old E.F. Hutton commercials, "When he speaks, everyone listens". They didn't have that at Miami. Yeah, the money was good but they weren't happy. It was too much business and no rah rah. In addition, professional football players are not as malleable as college football players and his methods were less effective. They were losing. When Alabama came calling with an opportunity to return to a university that had a commitment to big time NCAA football and a truckload of money, it was an easier decision than he'll ever admit to while he's still coaching the Tide.

That brings us to today's game. While most Tiger fans were quick to forgive Saban's move up to the NFL, they haven't been at all forgiving of his move back down to Alabama, an SEC rival LSU plays every year. Don't bother looking for a rational explanation for that. The Tigers brought their Number One team, with many Saban recruits on their roster, to Tuscaloosa last year and came from behind to beat an inspired but inexperienced and a bit overmatched Tide. Today, the Tide has turned. Too much? Alabama is Number One and LSU desperately wants to knock them off. They surely don't want Saban to win a national championship at Alabama. The Tide gets booed whenever they visit Tiger Stadium but the boos will be especially loud today. And one more thing:

GEAUX Tigers
Quote of the Day
I don't know why anybody is upset that I left.
Nick Saban, Alabama Head Coach

Blog of the day here.

Quote from said blog: "...or, Todd Attempts to Curry Favor With the Football Gods by Admitting his Moral, Cultural, and Intellectual Flaws in a Very Public Manner."

The Rising

Sheila's mention of Mary's Place inspired this entry for a Friday. Though I owned a couple of his albums (Born in the USA, The Live Box Set), I was never much of a Bruce Springsteen fan. I always found his songs catchy but that's about it. I thought he was a bit too cheeky and too preachy as a performer as well. His excellent cover of Edwin Starr's War on his first live album starts with a fairly lengthy diatribe about war. That said, I don't remember what made me take a chance on The Rising. I thought I was done with him. The Rising was still in production on September 11, 2001. He went back to the studio, added a few more songs, and released it. It has very definite September 11 overtones. Some objected to that. Said it was too soon, said he was arrogant to think he should be the one to do it, etc. I'll leave that to others to debate. It is a fantastic album. One of my favorites. It is excellent across the board. It is sad, angry, hopeful, confrontational, melancholy ... basically, everything I was after September 11. The performance below is one I hadn't heard live. It's called Worlds Apart and it's one of my faves on that CD. Sopranos fans might recognize Steven Van Zandt, who played Silvio Dante on that series. Here, he plays a guitar player for The E Street Band.


Quote of the Day
Where the distant oceans sing
And rise to the plain
In this dry and troubled country
Your beauty here remains
Bruce Springsteen, Worlds Apart

Blog of the day here.

Quote from said blog: "Bruce Springsteen's motorcyle, a 1994 Harley Davidson Dyna Wide Glide, was auctioned off for $70,000 on Wednesday night at the second annual Stand Up for Heroes benefit, raising money for the Bob Woodruff Family Fund to help wounded soldiers."

Tidbits, links, whatever - November 6, 2008

Post-election reactions I'm reading online and encountering in my daily life are amazing. We'll leave it at that.

Should probably have saved this one from The New Zealand Herald for a Quote of the Day:

Not doing something is very appealing to the male psyche. We're very good with inertia.

Shaved my mustache 10 years ago. Grooming it occasionally was more trouble than shaving it daily. Got tired of the look, too.

One of the coolest excuses ever:

Charles J. Schultz explained that he was driving his Chevy Cavalier and everything was fine. That's when the trooper informed Schultz that he was actually behind the wheel of a Ford Escort.

Says he "accidentally" stole the car.

Quote of the Day
They are not worried about feeding their families. They are worried about fixing up their cars.
Jim Fisher, Sales manager for wheel maker Konig

Blog of the day here.

Quote from said blog: "Hmm... maybe there is a connection between the quality of final work and number of people involved with different opinions... but perhaps I should get a second opinion on that..."

Post election stuff

| 7 Comments

There are a bazillion places to find analysis and perspective on the web that will enrich your understanding of yesterday's events. I offer a few bits that won't enrich anything but you won't find them elsewhere.

He's younger than me. The President-Elect is younger than me. That's never happened before.

Patsy and I were Numbers 709 & 710 to vote in our precinct. Out of how many I don't know but it would have to be at least 714 because there were 4 voters behind us.

And the sun came out again this morning ... well, that one you might find somewhere else.

Quote of the Day
Americans voted in numbers unprecedented in at least a generation and perhaps since 1908, according to election experts. Secretaries of state predicted turnouts approaching 90 percent in Virginia and Colorado and 80 percent or more in big states like Ohio, California, Texas, Virginia, Missouri and Maryland.
Alex Johnson, MSNBC.com

Blog of the day here.

Quote from said blog: "His are younger shoulders. All hope he can bare what the millions who took a leap of great faith and went for the untested have asked of this man who promises a new era in an America quietly disgusted with the recent past; its sapping foreign wars that seem to have no end in sight, icons that have crossed generations such as Ford and General Motors on their knees, the obscenity of the richest messing recklessly with the livelihoods of the ordinary and still being bailed out with unimaginable amounts of public money, a middle class going backwards and still poorer one beneath, impoverished, growing and forgotten."

Election Day

| 2 Comments
VOTE

CrabAppleLane is in a community of early risers so there will undoubtedly be long lines at the polls in the morning. I'll be going this evening after work. Win or lose, the sun will come up tomorrow. Bet your bottom dollar.

Quote of the Day
I'm top prime cut of meat, I'm your choice
I wanna be elected
I'm Yankee Doodle Dandy in a gold Rolls Royce
I wanna be elected
Alice Cooper, Elected

Blog of the day here.

Quote from said blog: "The only letter candidates used less often than G was W."

The day before the election

| 1 Comment

OK, candidates, you have one day to sway anyone who hasn't made up their mind or to change a mind that's been made up against you. You will be ignored here so spend your time, money, and energy elsewhere. I'm not listening.

Surprisingly, my hummingbird friend is still here. I thought the cold snap we just got through would send her along on her migration route but maybe she's decided to winter here due to the fine cuisine and the fairly mild winters we have. She'll be fed as long as I hear the welcome sound of her chatter in the trees every morning.

Quote of the Day
I want this thing to come to a head. At this point, I want the election to happen.
Stephen Colbert, Comedy Central

Blog of the day here.

Quote from said blog: "But the advantages of high-resolution digital were just too great. Instant gratification combined with resolutions that rival or even beat film, killed the old technology. At the moment, I don't see anything replacing CCDs in the near term. And even then, the future will still be digital."

Five weeks

| 4 Comments
CrabAppleLane Blue Ginger - September 28, 2008
CrabAppleLane Blue Ginger - September 28, 2008

CrabAppleLane Blue Ginger - November 2, 2008
CrabAppleLane Blue Ginger - November 2, 2008

We watched 27 dresses last night. This movie is another in a long line of Hollywood formula chick flicks romance comedies that just doesn't know how to end. If a movie ends with sappy admissions from both of the leads, it's just disappointing. Isn't that what they all do? Katherine Heigl is worth watching in this, though, but only if you can buy her as a sad sack second banana. Her beauty is a handicap in that regard but she still somehow pulls it off. The movie should have ended 10 minutes earlier than it did. The ending was unsatisfying and epilogues never add anything to a story.

About the QOTD: Leave it to a professional sports franchise owner to be a stick in the mud. The New Orleans Hornets are a very good, very exciting team led by superstar Chris Paul. They're 3-0 on the young season, got a huge bump in season ticket sales, and sold out ALL of their luxury suites. Of course, he doesn't want to dwell on any of that for too long. Here's some free, unsolicited, unwanted advice from CrabAppleLane: Put some of your good time profits aside NOW for those days "when it slips".

I offer one today from Bogue Falaya Wayside Park from Thursday's lunch hour.

No swimming at Bogue Falaya Wayside Park - No lifeguard on duty - October 31, 2008
No swimming at Bogue Falaya Wayside Park - No lifeguard on duty - October 30, 2008

Quote of the Day
Right now, we are on a high, but we have to accept the fact that we are not always going to be on a high. And when it slips, we are going to have some help.
George Shinn, New Orleans Hornets Owner

Blog of the day here.

Quote from said blog: "It's your classic recipe for a romantic comedy with love triangles, repressed feelings, and the most cliche of all, having the one you love standing right in front of you without you even knowing it."

All Saints Day - 2008 Issue

| 6 Comments

It was 42 years ago today that the NFL awarded a franchise to the City of New Orleans, John Mecom Jr, and me. Until that day 42 years ago, I was a Los Angeles Rams fan, a Baltimore Colts fan, a St Louis Cardinals fan, and an Oakland Raiders fan. Didn't like the Packers, Bears, or Cowboys. Was pretty indifferent to everyone else.

Before the NFL started branding and licensing everything, the Saints home game experience was unique in the NFL. They had the best and longest halftime and pregame shows sometimes featuring Al Hirt, Pete Fountain, the Southern and Grambling Marching Bands, the LSU Marching Band, and the University of Alabama Crimson Tide Million Dollar Band. We had doubloons in the programs (Wish I'd saved a few) and Falstaff, Jax, and Dixie draft beer from space age backpacks served in the stands. I never once tasted that beer. Those backpacks were gone by the time I was old enough to buy alcoholic beverages in 1975 and the Saints had moved from Old Tulane Stadium to the sparkling new SuperDome.

Dad had a thing about free parking. He didn't like to pay for that privilege even if it meant parking a mile away so we'd actually park about a mile away in a neighborhood he used to live in (Around Apple and Dublin for those who know the area) and we'd make our way to Tulane Stadium from there. The free parking gene is something he got from his dad but that was the end of the line for that particular family trait. He did not pass it on to his son. Before the game, with people arriving at various times, you could usually catch the Claiborne bus to the Tulane campus. After the game, when everyone was leaving at once, the lines were too long to get on that bus so we'd walk back to the car.

I only have a few select memories from all of those games we went to at Tulane Stadium. I remember John Gilliam running through a gaping hole for the franchise's first touchdown on the opening kickoff of their first game. I remember Al Dodd making a spectacular sideline catch to set up Tom Dempsey's record 63yd field goal to beat the Lions. I remember Danny Abramowicz catching everything in sight. If he'd played somewhere else, he might be in the Hall of Fame. I remember Archie Manning, in his first NFL game, leading the Saints to an upset victory over the Rams, scoring the winning TD, himself, on the last play of the game. He fumbled at the goal line but the referees called it a touchdown. I remember a big bench-clearing brawl at the end of a Saints-Steelers game. A Saints player and a Steelers player were tussling after the last play of the game and the other players on the field were just standing around watching. While that was going on, a Steelers player looked up Abramowicz, found him watching the tussle, and kicked him in the butt. That happened right in front of us as we were leaving. All hell broke loose after that.

Fun times.

Quote of the Day
A local journalist and radio/TV personality, Buddy Diliberto, wore a paper grocery bag over his head to protest the Saints' poor performance during the season. Many fans took to wearing bags over their heads when attending games. The moniker "Aints" was also born due to the ineptitude of the 1980 Saints.
Wikipedia's History of the New Orleans Saints

Blog of the day here.

Quote from said blog: "To make the playoffs, the Saints will need to win no less than 10 games--and even that might not be enough. They play in what is now shaping up to be the most competitive division in the NFL, so a 10-6 record might not cut it."

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This page is an archive of entries from November 2008 listed from newest to oldest.

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