Sports ticker

Best of Luck in the Music City Bowl, Boston College...kill Vandy....Go Golden Gophers, mangle the Jayhawks in the Insight Bowl...Hoyas...humiliate the Huskies of UConn...Pats welcomed Matt, but no playoff berth this year...bummer...I like Vikes...Hope for McNabb's sake, the playoff game doesn't end in a tie...


A poem for winter

To those of you in the Upper Midwest:

(From http://www.infoplease.com/t/poetry/modern-verse/winter-ride.html comes the following poem by Amy Lowell):

A Winter Ride
Who shall declare the joy of the running!
Who shall tell of the pleasures of flight!
Springing and spurning the tufts of wild heather,
Sweeping, wide-winged, through the blue dome of light.
Everything mortal has moments immortal,
Swift and God-gifted, immeasurably bright.
So with the stretch of the white road before me,
Shining snow crystals rainbowed by the sun,
Fields that are white, stained with long, cool, blue shadows,
Strong with the strength of my horse as we run.
Joy in the touch of the wind and the sunlight!
Joy! With the vigorous earth I am one.

May this poem's richly textured vignettes inspire and comfort you as you slog through slush and snow this cold December.


Countdown to the Met Opera Broadcasts

T-minus 16 days and counting!!

From the Met Opera website:

"The November 29 performance of La Damnation de Faust marks the beginning of the 78th season of Saturday matinee radio broadcasts, heard in more than 40 countries over the Toll Brothers–Metropolitan Opera International Radio Network."

Turn up the radio, tune out the world and enjoy.


Red & Yellow Duds a Dud; Sergio Wins, Looks Like a Stud

Sergio Garcia's wardrobe and PGA malfunctions seem to be a thing of the past. In May, the Spaniard captured The Players Championship crown. On Sunday, he won the HSBC Championship on a playoff hole. He is now the No. 2 player in the world. Dude, whoever's in charge of your wardrobe and putting instruction deserves a raise.


Shock and Awful

Well, folks, Election Day is over. Thank goodness all those political ads are too.

Currently, conservatism has been sucker-punched. I for one will be happy to help it up off the floor, brush it off, and restore it to its former glory. Obama is now our (gulp) President-elect, and all I can say is...let the carnage begin, so we can get it over with.

When we as Americans look back on our country in the year 2012, it will be a shadow of its former self, this much I know. The dazzling persona, the celebrity that is Barack Obama is will lose its luster less than one year from now as the radical agenda he proposes is carried out in all its liberal glory.

Many people look at Obama through rose-colored glasses. He is their messiah and will save them from a life of poverty and mediocrity. What will they think when they find out he is a mere mortal like the rest of us? The dawn of this realization will be far more painful than any circumstances they currently find themselves in.


Fantasy Football sans Tom Brady

How can these words possible exist as a cohesive thought, a rational statement? His season is done. Matt Cassel, you have huge cleats to fill. About the only thing I have to celebrate is the fact that I am pummeling my opponent in fantasy football, who, upon seeing that Brady was gone for the year, snuck out and picked up Cassel. Nice guy. Having a Tom Brady-sized hole in your roster is not for the faint of heart. Filling up that hole is not fun either.


Mr. David Cameron, I salute you.

July 7 2008 was a defining moment for the world, although many of us--including me--missed it. In a speech delivered in Glasgow, Scotland, Britain's Conservative Party Leader David Cameron noted the following:



"I think the time has come for me to speak out about something that has been troubling me for a long time. I have not found the words to say it sensitively. And then I realised, that is the whole point.

"We as a society have been far too sensitive. In order to avoid injury to people's feelings, in order to avoid appearing judgemental, we have failed to say what needs to be said. We have seen a decades-long erosion of responsibility, of social virtue, of self-discipline, respect for others, deferring gratification instead of instant gratification.

"Instead we prefer moral neutrality, a refusal to make judgments about what is good and bad behaviour, right and wrong behaviour. Bad. Good. Right. Wrong. These are words that our political system and our public sector scarcely dare use any more.

"Of course as soon as a politician says this there is a clamour - "but what about all of you?" And let me say now, yes, we are human, flawed and frequently screw up.

"Our relationships crack up, our marriages break down, we fail as parents and as citizens just like everyone else. But if the result of this is a stultifying silence about things that really matter, we re-double the failure. Refusing to use these words - right and wrong - means a denial of personal responsibility and the concept of a moral choice.

"We talk about people being "at risk of obesity" instead of talking about people who eat too much and take too little exercise. We talk about people being at risk of poverty, or social exclusion: it's as if these things - obesity, alcohol abuse, drug addiction - are purely external events like a plague or bad weather.

"Of course, circumstances - where you are born, your neighbourhood, your school, and the choices your parents make - have a huge impact. But social problems are often the consequence of the choices that people make.

"There is a danger of becoming quite literally a de-moralised society, where nobody will tell the truth anymore about what is good and bad, right and wrong. That is why children are growing up without boundaries, thinking they can do as they please, and why no adult will intervene to stop them - including, often, their parents. If we are going to get any where near solving some of these problems, that has to stop.

"And why would a different government be any different? Not least because we understand that the causes of our broken society lie not just in government policies but in our national culture.

"Changing our culture is not easy or quick. You cannot pull a lever. You cannot do it top-down. But you can give a lead. You can give a nudge. You can make a difference if you are clear where you stand.

"Imagine if there was a Government that understood, really understood, that encouraging personal and social responsibility must be the cornerstone of everything that it did and that every move it took re-inforced that view.

"Saying to parents, your responsibility and your commitment matters, so we will give a tax break for marriage and end the couple penalty. Saying to head teachers you are responsible and if you want enforceable home school contracts and the freedom to exclude you can have it and we will judge you on your results. Saying to police officers you are responsible and the targets and bureaucracy are going but you must account to an elected individual who will want answers if you fail. Saying to business, if you take responsibility you can help change culture and we will help you with deregulation and tax cuts … but in the long run they depend on the steps you take to help tackle the costs of social failure that have driven your costs up and up.

"It is the responsibility agenda and it will be the defining thread of any government I lead.


"Above all, I believe that this cultural change needs to start at home. The values we need to repair our broken society and to build a strong society are values that should be taught in the home, in the family.

Well said. What really hit home with me was the comment he made about "becoming a de-moralised society." There is still "right" and "wrong" behaviors, but people are afraid to point this out for fear of being ridiculed and villified. It's a cop-out of the highest degree to say, "Well, that behavior may be okay for them, but I would never..."

When exactly did this "do what feels right" attitude first infect our world? Why can't we point out immoral and evil behavior, call a spade a spade, so to speak? The problem is, the list of this behavior changes so frequently that confusion and ignorance abound. Strip away its moral compass and a lost world will never find its way home again.


Profundity loves company...

In the 4/16/08 devotional for Our Daily Bread, David McCasland notes the following:

"The defining moments of our lives are not determined by the evil done to us, but by our response through the grace and power of God."

How true these words are!! Maybe when we recall such events, we can grow spiritually richer instead of bitter. This is easier said than done, but it costs nothing to try.


Best of Luck BC Eagles--NCAA Hockey Tourney!


I'm wearing the sweatshirt, guys. I hope you play awesome!


Jayhawks Win!! Bracket histoire is made

Thanks to Memphis and their dismal free throws, I have done well in the ESPN bracket challenge. I am excited. After faithfully filling them out for over 14 years, I have finally picked the national champs correctly. It's a science unto itself. I was always a C student or worse in science, but not anymore!!!


Bracket History is about to be made...I hope

I can't believe it.

It has finally happened. I picked Kansas and Memphis to meet in the championship game, and they will!!! Too bad I had no money riding on this. Go Jayhawks!! I may have to resurrect the old Kansas sweatshirt I acquired many moons ago (special thanks to sister's friend's boyfriend, whoever you are).

I'm still plugging away at P & P. Some of the annotations can be filed under "duh"; most are pretty helpful. I may have to tackle another Austen after this. She is an awesome writer!


Mr. Darcy and the Ruined Brackets

Optimism displaced by realism.

This neatly sums up my 2008 Adventures in Bracketeering. My slim hope for redemption rests squarely on the shoulders of my ESPN bracket which boasts the most green-circled entries, and has Kansas as the National Champs. Picking the Hoyas on the other two was a bit too optimistic, and the Hoosiers in the Final Four? Perhaps the baby was protesting too loudly in his Exersaucer for me to think straight. Yeah, that's it.

As for a Pride & Prejudice reading update, I'm at the part where Jane is ill and Elizabeth has rushed to her side, much to the chagrin of the snotty Bingley sisters. I keep picturing scenes from the 2006 movie as I'm reading. I missed the Masterpiece production of Emma this past Sunday, but hope to see it soon.



The NCAA tourney starts tomorrow. My three completed brackets and I are waiting anxiously for it to begin. Will Tyler Hansbrough and the Tar Heels make it to the championship game? How 'bout Roy Hibbert and the Hoyas? Only time and talent will tell.

Perhaps a No. 2 seed will beat a 15 this year thus messing up 99% of the brackets in the free world. Someone should track how often the "Boss Button" is used at the CBS Sportsline website during work hours.

Best of luck Hoyas & Hoosiers. Maybe next year, Gophers and Eagles.


Embarking on a new literary journey....

Okay, I confess. I have my Bachelor's degree in English and I have never finished a Jane Austen novel. In my hot little hands, however, is an annotated Pride & Prejudice. Periodic progress updates will follow, as will lots of alliteration with the letter "P".

Speaking of which, the venerable, vulnerable Patriots lost the SB; the trite "maybe next year" sums up my feelings perfectly.

Campaign 2008 is fully underway, much to my dad's chagrin. If he could hibernate and emerge on Election Day, I believe he would. Obama's too smooth and polished, and promising the moon, Clinton...well, don't get me started. No matter what she's doing, every picture makes her look as though she's been lunching on lemons. Her pinched, smug face is too much for me to bear. Hearing her speak is worse. As for John McCain, I am taking a "wait and see" approach.



Tom Brady's ankle will be fine for the Super Bowl. It better be--he cost over $10M in my fantasy playoff league. What a season for the Patriots. Undefeated, and in my humble unbiased opinion, unbeatable. Best of luck, guys. Channel all the ill will felt towards you and your greatness into a Super Bowl victory.