21 December 2006


What an awesome game. BYU was absolutely dominant on both sides of the ball, a performance like I don't think we've seen in a long time from the Cougs.

This season, despite the earlier troubles, is one for the record books, seeing how John Beck, Curtis Brown, and other seniors finished their time at the Y.

19 December 2006


This video is hilarious. You. Must. Watch.

15 December 2006


Michael Barone has an interesting post about the death of Pinochet. Although he was a not a good man, having stolen millions from his people and been quite repressive in his policies, the outcome of his tenure may have been more positive than the Allende alternative.

10 December 2006

Pinochet se va, nadie llora.

My title is "Pinochet leaves, no one cries." Augusto Pinochet is dead. One of the most notorious Latin American dictators, Pinochet deserves the criticism he has received. He will be villified in death, and the repression of his regime is a travesty.

As the dictators of old die off, I hope that Latin America forges ahead in another direction.

07 December 2006

Son of SPOTD

Normally I post pictures of Joseph on my website, but since my sister-in-law Lillie is so good at putting up pictures of her daughter on her blog, I decided to include these here.

The marvelous photo at right demonstrates Joseph's fine table manners, as he devoured his fudgsicle with aplomb. It was a mess for the ages, but he had fun making it.

Joseph loves getting involved in the kitchen. He is preparing his famous rosemary & onion potatoes, and doing his best to keep his mommy from messing up the recipe.

Lacy's belly also makes an appearance, as she is more than halfway down the road to welcoming SPOTD-kid #2, this time of the female variety.

Finally, this picture is of Joseph and his little friend Sahara Eichelberger. They had a lot of fun watching the Gators win the SEC Championship, or rather, having a screaming contest while their parents watched the SEC Championship. I'm glad that he's not afraid to go after an older woman (she's 2).

Tony vs. Paul

This is a fantastic video made using stop motion. It must have taken these guys forever to make it, but it is awesome.

01 December 2006


Just watch the clip.

You can't miss with a little Bel Biv Devoe. This song was huge when I was 10 years old. It seemed edgy then. Its quaint now.

28 November 2006

Demetri Martin

Someone recommended this clip and I thought it was hilarious. It is 4 minutes long, but it will make you laugh.

16 November 2006


Every year hundreds of people produce interesting projects. I love that YouTube provides an opportunity to share things like this.

This short little video is worth watching and has a sweet little ending, if a bit macabre.

13 November 2006

A More Proper Draw Out and Up

A county commissioner in Knox County, TN made news when he drew his weapon to defend himself last weekend. A man entered Greg "Lumpy" Lambert's auto dealership purportedly to buy a car, but later drew a pistol and threatened Lambert. Lambert awesomely defended himself (hoorary 2nd Amendment, and I urge you to click on the link for Lumpy's AWESOME picture.

06 November 2006

Tis the Season

It is the day before the midterm Congressional elections, so I will urge you to visit Right Wing Pundit, where my political viewpoints can be seen quite clearly.

If you just want to laugh about the state of political discourse, check out this column by Eric Snider:

MODERATOR: OK, then. Our first topic is the economy. It has gone up and down since George W. Bush was elected in 2000, and has suffered setbacks and enjoyed rebounds. What road is it on now? Improving? Worsening? What should be done next? Liberal, we start with you.
LIBERAL: Thank you. First, I want to make it clear that anything negative that has happened to the economy is Bush's fault, while anything positive is the result of things Clinton set in motion when he was in office.
MODERATOR: Interesting. Conservative, rebuttal?
CONSERVATIVE: I believe my esteemed opponent has it exactly backwards. The economy's successes have been because of Bush and in spite of Clinton, while the downturns have been entirely due to the liberal media's influence on the American people.

It made me laugh.

04 November 2006

Movie Trailer Update

I was scouting around and noticed a few trailers that I thought would be of interest:

Bee Movie: I'm a big fan of Jerry Seinfeld, and I was very glad to see that he is doing a movie. An animated film seems like a good choice. The trailer is unconventional, but humorous.

Evan Almighty: I was wondering how they could do a sequel to Bruce Almighty and make it seem fresh. This was an angle I hadn't expected, but it's a good one.

03 November 2006

Biff's Question Song

This is a funny song by the actor who played Biff on Back to the Future. He seems like a pretty cool guy, and I love that he names Gary Busey as a jerk.

28 October 2006


I just watched Nacho Libre for the first time. I really liked it, and this is one of my favorite parts. This song is so moving.

27 October 2006

Cubanos say no

I'm linking to a story in today's WSJ (subscribers only) by Mary Anastasia O'Grady. She writes about how Cuban dissidents are making the most of this uncertain period of Castro's rule. After Brasilian president Luis Da Silva mentioned Castro as if he were deceased (later claiming to have misspoken), rumors have persisted about the life or death of the dictator.

O'Grady discusses how the uncertain political climate in Cuba may be affecting Raul's plans to assume full and permanent control of the island, as well as the opportunity to stir the pot that this provides to dissidents like Jorge Luis Antunez (shown in the above photo). Even in the midst of what has been a 16 year stay in Cuba's prisons, he urged other patriots to fight the government's oppressive ways.

We should revere these heroes of freedom.

24 October 2006

Crazy Russian Climbers

My friend Joe Miller sent me this link and it shows some really impressive physical tricks. Some of it is hard to see, but it is pretty amazing stuff.

No wonder the Russians been great gymnasts for so long. Look in the backgrounds. It doesn't look like there is anything else to do there.

23 October 2006


I like Tiger Woods. I'm not one of those people that resents his dominance. I find him likeable and the intensity with which he tackles the game is remarkable. I also like to see the lighter side of Tiger Woods, which doesn't come through very often. It does in this article by Bill Simmons, about a video game battle between "the world's greatest golfer and the world's greatest video game golfer." It's an amusing read.

20 October 2006

Go Canes

Last Saturday I was watching the Miami-Auburn game on ESPN, and was as surprised as anyone to see the massive brawl between the University of Miami and Florida International University. The fight was shocking and unfortunate, and the actions of players on both sides cannot be condoned. Having been a longtime fan of the Canes, its possible that I was readier to forgive them than most, but what I have seen over the past week has been astounding.

Stewart Mandel is a writer for Sports Illustrated. He was quite critical in an article this week on SI's website, but it is his follow-up that I wanted to mention. He questions that zeal with which many commentators have criticized Miami's program:

You might not believe this -- you might not want to believe this -- but over the past decade, Miami has had fewer player arrests or NCAA-related incidents than almost any other major program in the country. Miami has not had 20-plus incidents involving shoplifting, assault, gun charges and failed drug tests over the past two years, as Tennessee has. Miami has not had to dismiss a star player for earning money through a phony job, as Oklahoma has. Miami has not had a star linebacker accused of sexual assault on the eve of its bowl game as Florida State did last year. And Miami's most recent Academic Progress Rate (956) placed it in the top 20 to 30 percent of all Division I football programs.

What the Miami players did was wrong, but the self-righteousness of the Sports media disgusts me.

18 October 2006

Atlas Shrugged

I'm excited that one of my favorite novels, Atlas Shrugged, is due to be made into a movie. I am hopeful that it will be adapted faithfully. Keep your ears listening for more news.

16 October 2006

The Devil's Miner

Lacy and I just finished this film, about the children that work in the silver mines of Potosi, Bolivia. It was particularly poignant to Lacy, as she lived in Potosi while a missionary for the LDS Church. The mines in Potosi are in the Cerro Rico, one of the world's richest silver mines, and one exploited heavily by the Spanish during their dominion over the region.

It is an excellent film, well-made and straightforward. It moved us both.

A Truly Great Idea

I was very pleased by the selection of Muhammad Yunus as the recipient of this year's Nobel Peace Prize. Recent history has not shown the selection committee to be very wise in their choices.

I was fortunate to hear Mr. Yunus speak while I was a student at Brigham Young University. His program is the very essence of good sense. Micro-lending is about providing opportunity and accountability, all without abandoning good business practices. Mr. Yunus explained how micro credit might be applied in the U.S. in an excellent Op Ed in the WSJ (also found at Opinion Journal):

Many people ask, Why not just give free cash, especially under such dire circumstances? In Bangladesh, we've learned that when aid is free, not only do the poor get the least of it, but everyone inflates their needs. While some handouts are clearly necessary in such times, we focus on lending small amounts of money. This lets us keep costs down and rebuild funds for the next disaster. Most importantly, our Grameen banks are ready to act at a moment's notice. They can respond to a disaster without waiting for anyone's permission, immediately becoming like humanitarian agencies by suspending loan payments, and providing cash, food and medicines. Once rebuilding starts, the bankers keep detailed records of the money lent, and people are allowed to repay bit by bit.

That is the strategy we followed after the 1998 flooding, which covered 50% of Bangladesh's land and affected customers at about 70% of our branches. More than 700 Grameen borrowers or their family members were killed and just over half (a million borrowers) were affected by the flooding. That represents a small percentage of the overall population affected, but the Bank and its staff where there right away to help with immediate needs. Later, microlenders helped people restructure their loans or gave out new loans on more favorable terms.

Microlending has already helped millions reach a better life through their own initiative. It has also given them valuable skills as well as crucial financial back-up in case they ever face a natural disaster like Katrina. So it might be time to think about another type of support for Katrina's victims: the microloan. As our small, flood-battered country has learned, giving someone a hand up doesn't always require a handout. The most important thing is to help people get back to work while letting them hold on to their self-respect. Microloans can do just that.

I couldn't agree more. Micro-lending works. For more info on Yunus, check out the following:

14 October 2006

What if?

I love the Lord of the Rings, both written and film versions. This is still very fnnny. Caution: Cartoon mooning.

09 October 2006

A Must for Lost Fans

I didn't know that YouTube has a treasure trove of videos that provide information about the back story of Lost, the Dharma Initiative, and the Hanso Foundation. This video actually provides a fair amount of information into the 6 numbers and the purpose of the island. Check it.

08 October 2006

Duke LAX Case

This case is probably old news to a lot of you. Most probably didn't care that much to begin with. What interests me most about it are the procedural issues that seem to have been royally messed up by the police and District Attorney.

If these things are of interest, you won't be disappointed by this post.

05 October 2006

Funny Stuff

This is from The Tonight Show. I think this video is hilarious.

29 September 2006

New Bond

The secret agent identity has long been a fertile playground for boy's imaginations. The Bon archetype that dominated and shaped it for so long did become stale. The Bourne Identity and its sequel were far superior to the last Bond movies, which beyond the requisite gee-whiz technology were pretty poor stories. I just saw the new trailer for Casino Royale, and if it lives up to the excellent preview it should impress.

Just the Bond we're looking for? I think it might be.

28 September 2006

Hang Six

I have never been surfing, or at least never gotten up on a surfboard. I sat on one for a little while, but it was summertime in Florida so who was I kidding? Knowing this, and despite the fact that it might make me a poseur, I love surf movies.

Today I saw this trailer for a very unusual kind of surfing flick. I liked the look. Surf's Up.

25 September 2006

Crazy Torts

I love Eric Snider. The guy cracks me up on a frequent basis. Check out a bit of his latest column on a women suing Starbucks because they cancelled her coupon:

...Evidently Ms. Coakley was so racked with sorrow and disenchantment over her failed Starbucks freebie that she ran sobbing back to her apartment, shattered her framed "I Heart Starbucks" poster on the floor, and lay weeping inconsolably on her bed for several days, soothed only when a lawyer came to her bedside, gently stroked her hair, and said he could sue Starbucks for $114 million. At least I imagine that's how it happened. What the lawyer neglected to tell her, of course, is that if she wins she'll get $1,000 while the law firm gets $113,999,000.

Read the whole thing. By the way, tort is another word for lawsuit.

22 September 2006

Chavez el Gamberro

Hugo Chavez came to New York and showed American what we are up against. His speech to the United Nations can be found here. It is not impressive oratory.

The response of various Democratic officials was gratifying, but doesn't go far enough. I am inclined to agree with Peggy Noonan's piece in today's Opinion Journal. She advocates a strident rebuttal of Chavez, focusing on the facts behind our case.

Chavez fancies himself the next Castro. I don't think he'll have the longevity, but contemplating even a few more years of his nonsense is not pleasant. His country is not powerful militarily, but their natural resources make it an important player. We should be wary of what he is up to and undermine him at every chance.

That's My Boy

I edited together a little clip of Joseph that I shot a few weeks ago. Joseph is drawing with his mom and decides it would be really funny to laugh and laugh. We loved it, and it was fun to see him get so excited. He loves to talk.

21 September 2006

Who has the Conflict?

As you may know, I take a particular interest in stories that involve Cuba. I am of Cuban ancestry, and have grown up with a dislike of communism from my infancy. I wholeheartedly support any effort that might help bring freedom to Cuba. One important initiative is Radio Marti, a service of the Federal Government that broadcasts to Cuba.

Carlos Alberto Montaner is a syndicated columnist and has an op-ed in today's WSJ (Opinion Journal link here) in which he examines a move by the publisher of the Miami Herald and El Nuevo Herald (the Spanish-language sister paper) that undermines that program.

It is evidence of another dumb move by a media company that will further undermine their credibility to the public. Who has the conflict of interest?

19 September 2006


Ahoy mateys, it's Talk like a Pirate Day so I have rounded up a few Spanish Pirate Phrases that I found on this discussion board:

  • ¡Al abordaje!
  • ¡Barco a la vista!
  • ¡Me tiemblan las maderas!

Okay, so that last one I made up. It means, "Shiver me timbers," but probably doesn't translate.

18 September 2006

Time to Laugh

This clip cracked me up. I think Steve Carrell is hilarious and I'm looking forward to the season premiere of The Office this Thursday.

They have some hilarious fake Public Service Announcements by cast members on NBC site.

14 September 2006

Good Journalism

I posted a bit on Right Wing Pundit about some interesting journalism by David Plotz of Slate. Check it out.

13 September 2006

Low Budget - High Quality

I like the sound of this song, but really like the video. It's impressive in that it is filmed in a single take, and although the choreography is simple, they do it right. I bet there were a lot of outtakes.

10 September 2006

From the Good Idea Department

Chuck Klosterman is a talented writer, and he has a great idea about how we can fix USA Basketball. It involves forming a squad dedicated to international play.

Take a look.

08 September 2006

Snider in the News

I am a big fan of Eric Snider, and have been reading him since 1997, when he was a writer for the Daily Universe (mentioned in derision below). He has a great website and has been named a top undiscovered website by PC Magazine.

It is worth checking out. There are other good sites on the list too.

07 September 2006

Profiles in Mediocrity

On occasion I visit the website of the Daily Universe, the newspaper of Brigham Young University. BYU is a great school, but the Daily Universe is not great. I enjoyed mocking the paper as a student, and almost without fail I find plenty to mock these days too.

Today was no exception, as the death of the Crocodile Hunter gave them a chance to expose their ignorance. For the full effect you need to read the editorial, but among the problems in the piece is the characterization of Timothy Treadwell as "one of the world's foremost authorities on wildlife." Treadwell was an enthusiastic advocate for wildlife, but an idiotic one. This demonstrates poor research on their part.

There's more to complain about, but its too late for that right now. Read it and see.

01 September 2006

Awesome and Inexplicable

There is no way this video could ever be made today, and that's a shame, because it is AWESOME. Guaranteed to make you smile.

YouTube also has the more common variation of the song, during a funny scene on The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air.

30 August 2006


I just heard a truly inspiring story, about a man name Jim McLaren. He was the recipient of the Arthur Ashe Courage award at the 2005 ESPY's, and with good reason.

His website has a short but excellent video of what he has dealt with in his life, and he is a tremendous example of endurance.

Check it out.

17 August 2006

Some news is bad news

More trouble for London-based news agency Reuters. They have employed a reporter known to have a relationship with communist news outlets to report on a communist state.

Another blow to the illusion (mostly destroyed) of objectivism in the media. See NewsBusters for the scoop and complete rundown.

16 August 2006


The Spanish-speaking world has long been plagued by ineffective government. It is no surprise that much of that impotence has been a result of undemocratic and/or socialist policies. It has been gratifying to see the success of conservative candidates in Latin America, many on the basis of pro-democracy (Colombia) or pro-capitalism (Peru and Mexico) platforms.

Michael Barone has a nice piece on his blog about the status of affairs in Mexico since the contested victory of Calderon over the leftist Obrador Lopez. Since the election Calderon's support has actually increased, and he is now left with a great opportunity to put Mexico on better footing by supporting better policies on issues like immigration, as well as building on Fox's good decisions.

14 August 2006

Cuba's role in the Drug War

When you take a moment to think about it, nothing in this article is surprising. Cuba holds a strategic geographical advantage for drug smugglers. Castro hates America. Drugs hurt America, therefore Castro (Fidel or Raul, doesn't really matter) helped facilitate the passage of drugs into America. Pretty cut and dry.

Nor is it surprising that the Clinton Justice Department prevented Federal attorneys in Miami from making a case against Raul Castro. It is another example of Clintonite excellence.

12 August 2006


According the Cuban state officials, Castro is up and about. I'm not sure what to make of it, but I'd much rather have him dead and gone.

05 August 2006

Otra vez con Fidel

The left in this country, as well abroad, has a truly terrible record of support for Fidel Castro. This OpinionJournal piece explains how this has manifested over the last 40 years.

04 August 2006


I can't believe I haven't addressed this yet, but my trip to California and subsequent work has left me little time for blogging. Better late than never I guess.

I wanted to comment on two pieces, but first an introduction. Just so everyone knows, my mother is Cuban, having fled the country with her family shortly after the Bay of Pigs. I often spent time as a boy doodling battles between the U.S. and the Soviet Union. I think my anti-Communist credentials are pretty sound. As you can imagine, I have no love for Fidel. I would not consider his assasination immoral- it would be justice.

First a hopeful look at Raul, Fidel's brother and temporary(?) successor, from the WSJ.

I don't know that I agree with their assessment of Raul as reformer. I don't think he is that interested in helping the Cuban people in any material way. He has been known as Fidel's enforcer and their is blood on his hands. Perhaps he has moderated.

Peggy Noonan weighs in (with solid anti-commie credentials as well). Her position is to use this moment of transition to engage Cuba economically by removing the 40+ year trade embargo. I am no fan of the embargo. I feel it has long outlived its usefulness and welcome its removal. However, it is not a quick and easy solution.

As some pundits have mentioned (snippet found here) free exchange between Cuba and the U.S. will depend on Cuba's participation. Raul need not allow it. He might use it to shove the gesture right back in our faces. Nonetheless, sustaining the useless embargo would be worse.

As for my part, I do suspect Castro is dead or very close to it. Good riddance.

02 August 2006


This is a thoroughly hilarious video by Eddie Murphy and Michael Jackson. It is hard to tell if they are singing to each other or someone else.

If I was Eddie Murphy I would curse the day YouTube was created.

21 July 2006

Tiger copies my swing!

Just kidding, but check out this new Tiger Woods video. It shows Tiger's swing in extreme slow motion, filmed by a Phantom v5 digital camera which is usually used to film military defense systems. I found it on http://www.nikegolf.com/swingportrait. If you go there you can see Tiger's swing from several different angles and interact with the video.

Pretty sweet.

20 July 2006

This one's for Matty Matt

I love watching PTI on ESPN, and their most consistent sponsor is Red Stripe Beer. I am not a drinker, and don't like what it does to a lot of people, but I love this commercial, and dedicate it to Matt Nielsen, my favorite foot doctor.

14 July 2006

A Hot Cup of Hoffee

I thought it worthwhile to continue the Hasslehoff tribute with this number, and it is a winner!

I guess them foreigners love it.

12 July 2006

Chest Hair Extraordinaire

Since the Spanish Phrase of the Day is a big fan of many things foreign, I thought it would be appropriate to share this excellent bit of singing from Domestic Dud/Foreign Sensation David Hasselhoff.

His singing career never took off here, but I am glad that the internet brings us opportunities to appreciate the wealth enjoyed by our brothers overseas.

Question: Does he know how silly he looks? Does he do it on purpose? I really don't know.

09 July 2006

I love this commercial

I saw this ad a few months ago while watching an episode of 24 and it really cracked me up. I think a part of it is the really cool song that I also love.

Anyway, this is the extended version of the song, and I still like it today.

06 July 2006

Buenas Elecciones

This has been a good season for elections in Latin America, as conservative candidates have prevailed in Mexico, Colombia, and Peru. Their opposition was more than liberal, often standing as unabashed socialists or at the very least opposed to free-market principles. In Mexico the battle continues.

Mary Anastasia O'Grady edits the weekly 'Americas' column for the WSJ. She wrote an excellent column in Wednesday's paper about the outcome of the Mexican presidential election and the attempt by the leftist Obrador Lopez to contest the result. It seems that he will be unsuccessful, and based on his apparent lack of self-discipline that is a good thing.

04 July 2006

Feliz Dia de la Independencia

Independence Day is a great time to express gratitude for our freedom. There are many people who have sacrificed to provide it. As our servicemen and women work in Iraq and Afghanistan to provide freedom to others, we should remember that there are others who have yet to gain freedom. I think that freedom is a human right, and those that have it have a responsibility to bring it to others.

Remember Cuba, Venezuela, Iran, North Korea, and anywhere else where individual rights are kept from the people. Happy Independence Day.

02 July 2006

Superman Returns

I wanted to take a minute and comment on Superman Returns. Lacy and I saw it on Friday. For a review that I agreed with and that follows my sentiments for the film, read Eric Snider's review and pre-weekend roundup.

We liked the movie (I did more than Lacy). I found Brandon Routh's performance very good for the role. Superman should relay a decency and earnestness. I thought he accomplished that. He comes off as a likeable person, and I think Routh is why. The comparisons to Christopher Reeve are appropriate, as the movie is a spiritual sequel. In some ways it is far superior to the original two films. Now I want to write a few other things, and if you haven't seen the movie and plan to, I'd advise you to stop reading.


I am not in the habit of revealing movie secrets. That's why my reviews are usually so short. It is usually enough to say that I enjoyed it or didn't. I enjoyed Superman Returns and will tell you why.

This movie was about Superman and his desire to connect with others. It wasn't about the action as much as his return to Earth and search for someone to attach himself to that is more like him. We love Batman because he is a regular guy that becomes a superhero. We love Superman because he is an outcast. He IS Clark Kent, who we can identify with, but he is also Superman. Because Superman is everyone's friend, we feel like he could be our friend too.

I thought the presence of the child was critical to the film. It provided its most touching scene, where Superman enters his son's room and talks to him as a father. I don't know if becoming a father makes a scene like that more special, but it had a big impact for me. I was disappointed that so many critics alluded to the possibility of Superman having a child in their reviews. I thought it was a plot point best left the audience viewing.

In my opinion, that scene is THE key scene of the film.

21 June 2006

El Calor ha vencido (The Heat have won)

It is not my intencion to turn this into a sports blog, but I wanted to comment on the Heat win and post some interesting articles on the NBA Finals. I'm pleased with the result. I think the Maverick reaction to game 5 cost them. As I commented yesterday:

[Cuban] does a disservice to his team and sets a bad example- one where denying responsibility for your own failures is an acceptable reaction. I don't think it is acceptable, and I predict that Dallas will pay for it, tonight even.

Cuban did react appropriately to Miami's win last night. It could be that he learned his lesson. It could also be that he was busy thinking about how to prevent this from happening again. The Mavericks are a very strong, young team, and should contend next year as well. I should also remind you that I predicted a Heat win in 6 games before the series started.

  • SI.com's Kelly Dwyer has a nice recap on the season and a fitting tribute to Pat Riley, an old dog whose tricks finally came together completely after more than 10 years with the Heat. There's even a nice pic of Riley giving Wade a little peck on the cheek. Now that's love.
  • Alonzo Mourning's career will end on a high note, should he choose to retire. ESPN.com's John Hollinger looks a 'Zo's impact during the Finals. Considering his struggles with a serious kidney ailment, his contributions were outstanding.
  • Miami's win really was a team effort, and Dwyane Wade is the best player in the NBA. This article from ESPN.com highlights the team strategy that Riley concocted to motivate them. Here is a telling anecdote:

Riley once put a large bucket of ice water in front of him and told his team: "If you want to win a championship, you have to want it…"
Stopping in mid-sentence, Riley plunged his head into the water and kept it there for several seconds, which turned into a minute, which turned into even more than a minute. His players sat dumbfounded, watching, until Riley finally pulled his head out of the water and finished his sentence:
"…like it's your last breath."

Sounds like a good way to make a champion.

As always, you can check out ESPN.com and SI.com for more.

20 June 2006


On my latest SPOTD e-mail I talked a lot about game 5 of the NBA Finals. As a Miami partisan I was pleased with the result, and felt that the blame for Dallas' loss rested with Dallas, whose failures prior to the final 2 plays were the real contributors to their loss. Greg Cote of the Miami Herald echoes my feelings with today's column. He goes into some detail regarding the reaction of the Mavericks, and I particularly like his conclusion:

Yes, let the Mavericks not accept blame for their third straight Finals loss or entertain the absurd idea Miami might be a worthy opponent.
Let's instead put a telescope on the grassy knoll and imagine Stern there -- is he grinning? -- exacting some sort of vendetta against Cuban over the fact he is the most outspoken critic of NBA officiating. A conspiracy! Yes. That's it. Stern's Revenge!
''It's just ridiculous,'' Cuban summarized before climbing onto his team's bus.
He meant the officiating late in Sunday's game.
He might better have meant his team's response to the loss in the absence of any sort of grace.

It is that final sentiment that I wanted to talk about, the lack of grace. In our society we tend to celebrate mavericks (no pun intended) like Mark Cuban. He made his money, he is doing it his way, he doesn't take any garbage from anyone. With those celebrated qualities has also come a disgusting classlessness. Cuban has no class and he lacks the most basic kind of discretion that might allow him to actually work with the league instead of against it.

He does a disservice to his team and sets a bad example- one where denying responsibility for your own failures is an acceptable reaction. I don't think it is acceptable, and I predict that Dallas will pay for it, tonight even.

12 June 2006

100th SPOTD E-mail!

The 100th edition of the SPOTD went out today. It was a nice little milestone. A highlight:

SPOTD #26, suggested by Matt Nielsen:
Me gusta acariciar panzas sudadas calientes.
Phonetic with emphasis on bold syllable:
May goose-tah ah-car-ee-see-arr pahn-sahs soo-dah-does cahl-ee-en-tays.
I like to rub hot, sweaty bellies.

SPOTD #32, inspired by a trip to Miami:
La comida cubana es sobresaliente.
Phonetic with emphasis on bold syllable:
Lah comb-ee-dah coo-bah-nah ace sow-bray-sahl-yen-tay.
Cuban food is outstanding.

SPOTD #72, my favorites are the pop culture translations:
¡Déjelo caer como si estuviera caliente!
Phonetic with emphasis on bold syllable:
¡Day-hay-low ki-air coe-mow see ess-too-vyair-ah cal-yen-tay!
Drop it like its hot

11 June 2006

Shaq Attack II

In preparation for today's game 2 for the Heat and Mavericks, Marc Stein of ESPN.com has prepared a listing of his 10 favorite lines from the "quotatious" Shaquille O'Neal. Stein's list is limited to quotes made during or preceding one of Shaq's 6 visits to the Finals, do there are many that don't appear here. It is still worth a look.

09 June 2006

Gator Country

Alligators are a way of life for us here in Florida. They're just a part of the scenery. That doesn't mean I ignore one when I see it- just that I will always assume that there IS one there. And by there I mean el agua, the water.

One of the most interesting things for me was to visit a place like Lake Mead in Nevada and realize that there were no gators in the water. Just the same, I didn't go looking for any (just in case I had been followed, I didn't want to ruin the experience).

In today's OpinionJournal, Ned Crabb, the WSJ's letters editor, recollects his experience growing up in Tallahassee. It mirrors some of my memories, particularly those of Camp Shands, a Boy Scout camp where we shared the lake with the cocodrilos.

08 June 2006

Shaq Attack

I was never a Shaquille O'Neal fan before he joined the Miami Heat. I have always enjoyed hearing what he has to say, and he has rarely failed to impress. Here is one of the latest Shaq-isms:

Three [titles] is cool. Three is a nice-sized book. But I want a novel. With four or five, it's a New York Times bestseller.

I love this guy. This is a great match-up, with two possibly impossible-to-guard players in Shaq and Dirk Nowitski. I say Heat in 6.

05 June 2006

More Good News from Latin America

The electoral victory of Alan Garcia in Peru signals another defeat for the Latin American left (and Hugo Chavez).

For more check out Publius Pundit.

01 June 2006

Lost stuff

I love Lost. Entertainment Weekly has some interesting articles about the show, including some pretty good theories of what is going on.

I don't have a clue what is going on, but it sure is fun to watch.

30 May 2006

My day on the Jury

I was summoned to jury duty here in Alachua County, and reported as directed last Monday, May 22nd. After a relatively speedy orientation, we were separated into groups and assigned to trials. A portion of us were then selected for an 18 person panel and questioned by the attorneys. All of the questions were pretty inocuous, mostly referring to potential juror's relationships with law enforcement and employment. I happened to see an acquaintance from High School who is now an elementary school teacher. She was later excused (you'll see why later).

The final questions had to do with the subject of the case, Child Pornography, which I was surprised to learn must depict some kind of sexual conduct. Images of naked children do not qualify as child porn and are therefore legal to possess. This makes sense in the case of a parent that takes a cute picture of a baby in a bathtub, but there are other areas that are, to use a non-legal term, creepy. We were asked if we would be uncomfortable dealing with the issue. The sentiment was almost unanimous in the affirmative, but everyone on the panel felt that they could carry out their duty to decide matters of fact in the case. Of the 18 panel members, 7 were selected for the jury, and I was among them.

The case began the next Friday and we arrived at the Courthouse ready to go: a professor, a full-time volunteer/business owner, 2 students, a waitress, an art dealer, and me. I was impressed with the diversity of the group and also with the determination of each juror to abide by the rules. This meant that we were not permitted to discuss any aspect of the trial until deliberations began later that day. As you can imagine, the content of the trial made it difficult to avoid conversation, but we did so. It was interesting to return to the jury room during recesses and shoot the breeze, which was exactly what we were expected to do. There were times where the mood was a bit more somber, owing to what we saw.

We were required to look at 7 images entered as evidence. It would be up to us to decide if the images depicted both children and sexual conduct. I was excited to be on a jury, but not excited by the charges and to have to see any photos. Initially the defendant was arrested for possessing 29 images. I don't know why the charge was reduced to 7, but 7 was quite enough for me. I found out later that each count carries a possible term of 5 years.

In the end the case was pretty straightforward. After the sides rested their case I was actually excused having been randomly selected as the alternate. It was disappointing as deliberation would have been the reward for sitting through an entire day. The case itself was somewhat mundane, as different things have to be substantiated that don't ever make it into a one hour episode of Law & Order. A fellow juror called me afterward to let me know that there was not much to decide. He was found guilty on 6 of 7 counts (there was one ambiguous photo).

All in all, I was glad to participate in the experience. I would do it again. I was impressed by the responsibility of providing a just verdict. I think we did that.

We also had an excellent lunch at Big Lou's New York Style Pizzeria.

29 May 2006

Memorial Day

It's a good day to remember- See Right Wing Pundit for more.

Job for Jeb

Michael Barone continues to be my favorite commentator for the depth of his insight and his objective opinions. It helps that he is a conservative too.

He forwards a suggestion that Jeb Bush be named the U.S. special envoy to the Americas. Latin American politics have always been very important to the U.S. and will continue to be an increasingly critical element in our foreign relations.

23 May 2006

Buenas noticias de Colombia

I was very pleased to read what Michael Barone learned about the upcoming Colombian presidential election. From pollster John Zogby:

"Colombian President Alvaro Uribe is leading his closest competitor by more than a 4-to-1 margin heading into the May 28 vote there, and appears headed for a victory large enough to avoid a June 18 runoff election, a new University of Miami School of Communication/Zogby International survey shows.
"Uribe would win 67 percent of the vote, the poll shows, compared with 15 percent for Carlos Gaviria, the second-place candidate, who represents the leftist Polo Democrá´©co Independiente, or PDI, party. Gaviria has gained attention by calling for an end to heavy Colombian dependence on the United States, which has directed more than $750 million to Colombia, making it the fourth-largest recipient of U.S. aid. Most of that aid has gone for drug interdiction. Uribe has fostered that closer relationship with the United States, which has also included an expanded trade pact.

Uribe's apparent electoral success may be the harbinger that Latin leftism is on the wane. Upcoming elections in Peru and Mexico will indicate whether Uribe's success is an isolated trend or part of a larger movement.

While at BYU I took an excellent course in Latin American comparitive politics, and studied Colombia in particular. I am far from an expert on Colombia, but its rich history and long experience with democracy made it a perfect example of missed opportunity. I am glad to see that the situation appears to be changing.

21 May 2006


One of my favorite albums of the past 2 years is Hopes and Fears by Keane. When Lacy and I were in Vancouver for a family trip in May 2005 we went to a concert and it was at least as good as the album, with no letdown at all. It capped an awesome day in a city that we loved and made me a fan for life.

I was glad to be on iTunes the other day and see that they had released a new single, Is It Any Wonder, in preparation for their new album Under the Iron Sea which comes out June 20th. I don't have any doubt that it will be a worthy follow-up.

Au Revoir Elliot

I've written before about how Lacy and I enjoy watching American Idol. We were particularly disappointed that Elliot Yamin was eliminated on last Wednesday's program. In addition to being a great singer, he seems to be a great guy and I hope he does very well. He hopes to do an R&B album, and I'd buy it.

For more on Elliot, see this day-after interview on Entertainment Weekly's website.

Much ado about Da Vinci

I went to see The Da Vinci Code the other night, and I was very pleased with it. I usually read the movie reviews for the films that I want to see. They will often influence my decision to see a movie. This time the opposite occurred. I got a sense from the reviews that their problems with the film were more snobbery than good criticism, with a few exceptions. Eric Snider's review was very fair, and although I enjoyed the movie more than he did, and didn't think it felt that long, I can see where he is coming from. I also agreed with Ebert's review. Ebert gives it 3 stars, and I think that it probably is the best 'grade' for a movie like this. This review by commentator Michael Novak is an example of a poor review based on prejudgements. I thought it downright dishonest and took a very different impression of the message the movie wanted to provide.

The religious uproar over the film is a total overreaction. The latest Box Office indicators also indicated that it has been counter-productive to that cause. Parts of the story definitely don't jive with my beliefs, but the adaptation definitely is sensitive to that, in my humble opinion.

17 May 2006

Why Not to be a Hippie, Reason #237

Wearing a bra could save you from a gunshot wound, as explained by this story out of Tampa:

Hillsborough County sheriff's deputies said a .38-caliber bullet smashed through the windshield then bounced off Key's shoulder — thanks to a seat belt and a thick bra strap. The copper-jacketed slug landed in her lap.
"It's a big bullet, but you had all those forces acting against it," Hillsborough sheriff's spokesman J.D. Callaway told the St. Petersburg Times. "It's very rare that something like that occurs. She's very lucky. You know, we're just glad she came out OK."

Don't burn it, hippies- it might just save your life!

12 May 2006


It is very difficult for people in the United States to understand what it is like in a communist state, particularly one as oppressive as North Korea. I read this story from today's Wall Street Journal and felt two things: gratitude for my country and disgust for those that would compare it to Stalinist Russia or present-day North Korea. As the refugees interviewed in the piece can attest, America is nothing like that. They were separated from their families and have the following to say:

Our interview over, the women relax and begin to talk about their first few days in America. "It's completely different from what we learned. It is difficult to accept that there is a world like this," Hannah says. "They [the North Korean government] teach us that America is a country that shouldn't be allowed to exist." "When we were in China," Naomi says, "we always had to hide. Now we don't feel that way anymore."
"We still do feel lonely," says Hannah, "but my heart feels free."

Cuba's situation may not be as severe as North Korea's, but the people there are still not free. Liberty is a fundamental right, and man hungers for it. Read this, and see the price people are willing to pay for freedom.

09 May 2006

The More You Know

The Office is one of the best shows on TV. One day Lacy and I were watching it and they had a public service announcement, one of those "The More You Know" segments, and Lacy and I thought it seemed like a joke. Sure enough, they have a series of fake PSA's, and I think they're pretty funny.

Check them out.

08 May 2006

5 Best Business Books...of a sort

Stanley Bing writes a column for Fortune magazine, usually a humorous one about various business issues. On Saturday's Opinion Journal he provided this week's entry of 5 Best, this time about business books. The list:

  1. The Art of War
  2. The Prince
  3. The Godfather
  4. Emily Post's the Etiquette Advantage in Business
  5. The Cat in the Hat

I thought it was a good little read.

03 May 2006

The Return

There is a new Superman Returns trailer. I found it to be... excellent. Check it out.

30 April 2006

Summer Movies

This weekend marks the start of the Summer Movie Season. I am looking forward to it, and I am hopeful we'll be able to get out and see some. I don't think Joseph will mind too much if we get him a babysitter- he is developing a taste for movies too.

At least a taste for pulling them off the shelf.

With Joseph around I won't be able to watch every movie that I want to, but here are a few that I think might justify the effort:

  • MI: III- I've heard a lot of good things about it.
  • X-Men: The Last Stand- I liked the first, liked the second more, and despite the director leaving to direct Superman, I'm tied into to
  • The DaVinci Code: Over 3 years in the New York Times top 10, most of the time as #1. Pretty incredible, and an entertaining story.
  • Cars: Pixar has an 11 year perfect record.
  • Nacho Libre: check out the website.
  • Superman Returns: This year's Batman Begins.
  • Pirates of the Carribbean: Can't beat the Disney World nostalgia. I hope they do a major reworking of the ride to take in some of the movie fun and general technological advances.
  • Lady in the Water: I've loved everything that M. Night Shyamalaanmanan has done.

Some, like Poseidon, look like my kind of movie, but I have to pick and choose. Video will do for the rest. And I am sure Lacy will have some choices that differ from mine.

29 April 2006

United 93

Pearl Harbor was on TV tonight, and it made me think about a few things:

  • It is a mediocre love story, but the scenes of the actual attack are extremely well-executed and very moving. I think it's important to understand how that happened and see it unfold. Its also important to see how we responded to it.
  • My initial response to the trailer for United 93 was this: I felt a chill as I watched and listened to the trailer. I felt like I wasn't ready for it. Like it was too soon and the wounds of 9/11 are still too fresh. I lost no family or friends that day. I was in Utah, far away from this incidents, but I think we were all wounded by it.Movies have been made of tragedies before. Titanic immediately springs to mind. But often those movies are about accidents. Perhaps the follies of man influenced those events, but 9/11 was an act of cold and calculated malice, and that day there was no happy ending. There were heroes, but part of me doesn't want to see that on screen. If I had to make a decision about whether to see it today, I don't think I would. I just don't think I'm ready.
  • I no longer feel that way. Nearly every review I've seen of the film has been positive, mentioning the realistic way that fictionalized elements are portrayed, as well as how documented issues are shown. I am sure that watching the movie would be disturbing and difficult, but that's not sufficient reason to avoid it. However it is Rated R, so I may avoid it for that reason. I just thought it was worth commenting on my change of heart.

10 April 2006

American Outlaw?

I enjoy watching American Idol, and find it an interesting cross-section of humanity. Some of the kooky contestants have equally kooky histories, like Bucky Covington.

This is a story about identical twins and a court case straight out of Hollywood. Check it out.

30 March 2006

We don't listen because we can't

This is from a fascinating article about why men often have trouble listening to women:

Men have to work harder deciphering what women are saying because they use the auditory part of the brain that processes music, not human voices. Men's brains are not designed to listen to women's voices.

It isn't our fault! My musical auditory part made me forget!

27 March 2006

Snakes on a Plane

It is a little hard for me to believe that this trailer is for an actual movie, but sure enough, there is Samuel L. kicking some serpent...scale?

This trailer, for the new Pirates of the Caribbean sequel, is a bit more promising.

24 March 2006

The "Slam Lay-in"

Women's basketball gets a great deal of promotion each march. ESPN advertises the women's tournament constantly. I don't have a problem with Women's b-ball. I rarely tune in, but remember BYU's run in the tourney several years ago, and how exciting those games were. I do have a problem with the way the women's game is being marketed, a problem perfectly explained by Jason Whitlock on ESPN's Page 2.

17 March 2006

Crime and Punishment

This is a tragic story of a good man that seems to have made the wrong decision under incredible pressure. I don't think that I could not judge him on the decision he made, because the brutality of the circumstances leading to it is too intense to be imagined. We can make all kinds of judgements based on cognitive reasoning, but until understood experientially, I think we are unqualified to do so accurately.

Billy Anders, a longtime member of the Otero County Sheriffs office, killed a killer. I think the outcome of the case seems to satisfy the law, but it is tragic.

15 March 2006

Star Wars will never die

At least not for a while if George Lucas can help it. The BBC has info on a Star War's TV show that would cover the period between episodes 3 and 4 and could run for as many as 100 episodes (about 5 seasons).

07 March 2006

Es bueno ayudar a los bebitos (It is good to help the little babies).

This year I am participating in the March of Dimes WalkAmerica event. I have set up a page on the WalkAmerica site where you can make donations to the cause.

As most of you know, my son Joseph was born with a congenital heart defect. Although the March of Dimes focuses most of their efforts on preventing premature birth, any effort that works to ensure the safety and welfare of infants is worth my time and money.

If your circumstances allow, I invite you to make a small contribution to WalkAmerica. You can use my web page and support an important cause.

05 March 2006

Young Chuck Norris

Ever since Saturday Night Live produced the Chronicles of Narnia short they have followed up its success with several other digital videos. I am not a regular SNL watcher, but picked this one up, a rock anthem about Young Chuck Norris, from Instapundit of all places. I love it.

Top 10 Dunks

TNT ran a bit about the top 10 "In Game" dunks. This is a pretty good compilation, even if a little uneven. Dunk videos never get old.

Blast from the Past

I saw a link for this the one the other day. This is easily one of the coolest sites that I have visited, and I could spend a few hours there walking down memory lane. Retrojunk includes clips and intros to some of my favorite 1980's shows, like Transformers and GI Joe. You can also learn things, such as the fact that Fergie from the Black-Eyed Peas was Stacy Ferguson on Kids Incorporated. It is a must-see.

24 February 2006

Dreams do come true

I thought this was a great bit from one of the top prospects in the NFL draft, Michael Huff:

Since the draft is quickly approaching, I've been thinking about what I'll buy with my first professional paycheck. A lot of people are probably expecting me to say that I'd buy a big house, and that's partly true. But it's not what you think. The first house I buy will be the one with the blue roof on it that says "IHOP." It has been a dream of mine to own my own International House of Pancakes, and someday I will. Just last week I ate there five or six times, and about every time I got the same thing, pancakes and shrimp. It's a cool feeling to know that someday I'll get to eat at my IHOP whenever I want.

Nothing wrong with that.

15 February 2006

Batman vs. Al Qaida

Why not? I've always been a big Batman fan. Check out Right Wing Pundit for more.

No one like Mike

I have never purchased Air Jordan's. For one thing, I am not that good at basketball. Secondly, the cost was a bit much. I do love His Airness, and this slick ad from Nike still does it.

To view it you need to wait for the page to load. Then click the Jumpman icon in between the shoes. From there click on the top left box and then click 'Watch.'

Enjoy. It is very nicely done.

13 February 2006

Adios Fidel!

BYU has a great men's volleyball team. They have won three national championships, and usually have a few Latins on their team. This year is no exception, as BYU's squad includes a Dominican, Puerto Rican, Brazilian, and Cuban! Si hermanos- un Cubano!

Yosleyder Cala's story is typical of many of the athletes who flee communist Cuba. I wish him well. Go Cougs!

12 February 2006

Kwan out, we all lose

The United States is a perennial contender in Women's figure skating. The athleticism of these women (sometimes very young women) is incredible. Michelle Kwan, the most decorated U.S. skater in history was trying one more time for an elusive Olympic Gold. Unfortunately she had to withdraw from competition because of a recurring injury.

On espn.com, Jim Caple writes about why it was good that she tried one more time, and what may be missed by her leaving.

29 January 2006


My love for the Spanish language has been shaped not just by my Cuban heritage, but also by my experience as a missionary for the LDS Church in Southern California. My interaction was with Mexicans primarily, and a significant number of those I taught had arrived in the U.S. illegally.

Prior to my missionary service, I took a very hard line on illegal immigration. My relatives all came from Cuba legally. Granted, it is easier for a Cuban to emigrate than it is for a Mexican, owing to Cuba's unique political situation. I found my hard line soften when I interacted with many of the good people that sacrificed a great deal to be here.

Just the same, the law is the law, and people that have come to the U.S. illegally should not be afforded a fast track to citizenship. I do believe that some kind of guest worker program is appropriate, so that those people can be regulated, numbered and taxed. It is a complicated issue. Check out Right Wing Pundit for more.

27 January 2006

!Que juegen los Cubanos!

Opinion Journal has a piece by the WSJ editorial in support of allowing the Cuban Baseball team to play in the World Baseball Classic. I agree with their logic:

We happen to believe that the embargo hasn't worked and that trade and other contacts with the Cuban people are more productive ways to pry open their society and promote freedom there.

I also agree that removing the embargo is not a panacea for the oppressed Cubans, but it is a start. We have nothing to lose.

25 January 2006

Sticking it to Fidel

Over at Right Wing Pundit, J-Red has posted a story about the work of members of the U.S. Diplomatic Mission in Havana. Any attempt to get the truth out to the Cuban people is a good one.

Some would say I am full of bull...

I thought this was a pretty cool, very fast test. I also liked the result it gave me:

I'm a Lamborghini Murcielago!

You're not subtle, but you don't want to be. Fast, loud, and dramatic, you want people to notice you, and then get out of the way. In a world full of sheep, you're a raging bull.

Take the Which Sports Car Are You? quiz.

I don't know that it is totally descriptive of me, but it is fun.

23 January 2006

The Real Gender Gap?

From the Washington Times:

First lady Laura Bush and a growing number of physicians, educators and psychologists say Americans need to wake up and see that boys lag far behind girls in school, and then demand that something be done.

I think we have a culture that has gone overboard in stressing female achievement. This has led to a real gap between male and female achievement. Read the article for more.

22 January 2006


I love 24. It is one of the most interesting and engaging shows on television. This season started with an awesome 4 hour premiere which succeeded in hooking me for yet another season (I started watching way back in the beginning- even before I'd met Lacy. Seems like a lifetime ago).

The show doesn't get old. I read an interesting interview with one of the writers and he talked about the difficulties and benefits of 24's premises and structure.

A few funny pages

There is a website called McSweeney's that I have visited on a few occasions. I don't know much about the content of the site outside of these few pages, but these are fun and safe.

This one looks at a few situations, some historical and some fictional, and revisits them as if they had been reengineered by famed baseball executive Billy Beane. He is known for using a statistical technique called Moneyball, and respected for his ability to get a lot for a little.

This one is my favorite, and is a veiled jab at Bob Costas. If you have ever watched him and gotten the sense, as I have, that he is little too pleased with himself, YOU WILL LOVE IT.

Sister Story to Black Klansman- Sham Neo-Nazi

I thought this was an interesting little story about a professor that pretended to be a neo-Nazi in order to better understand his subject. I don't think that is necessarily a great idea, particularly if some of those ideas begin to rub off. He seemed to avoid that outcome, but not before losing his job and becoming the subject of threats.

Like I said, just an interesting little story.

20 January 2006

Free Cuba!

I'm pleased with this bit of news about the upcoming World Baseball Classic. In an earlier post, I lamented the exclusion of Cuba from the WBC, on the grounds that it missed an opportunity to engage an unfriendly regime. More than 45 years of embargo have failed to move Castro from his place. Disallowing Cuban competition would not have either.

This revives an old debate about containment and engagement. Looking at our experience with the Soviet Union during the Cold War, engagement seemed to bring about the final end to that communist regime. It is not definitive that engagement was the death blow, following many years of containment as it did, but it did have an impact. I think Cuba could be similarly affected. Allowing Cuba to participate demonstrates that we have nothing to fear.

Some Cuban-Americans will be upset about this. They think it will benefit Castro. If Cuba is successful it might, but I don't think it is worth closing off the Cuban people. That has been the actual result of the embargo. I understand their anger. I just don't think containment is the answer.

12 January 2006

Friendship over Ideology

My strong political sensitivities are sometimes at odds with those of some of my best friends. For the most part we avoid conflict, sticking to the topics that are of mutual interest and agreement. In my career I also encounter people with very different viewpoints. Being a good capitalist, I nod my head and try to find a consensus point so that we can get back to business.

What do you do if conflict is unavoidable? Or if hidden issues flare to the boiling point? This article looks at a few of this issues, and the importance of human relationships over "being right."

This is of particular interest to me. Not only do I like to be right- most of the time I think I am! Just the same, real friendships are worth more than winning debates.

The First Black Klansman?

This is a great story about a man. A man whose devotion to a cause allowed him to reach positions of leadership that none of his race had ever achieved- the first Black chapter head of the Klu Klux Klan.

As you'll learn by reading the story, Ron Stallworth came to that point during an undercover operation while a law enforcement officer in Colorado Springs. It is one interesting part of a very interesting career.

08 January 2006

College Football Postlude

This article provides perspective on Vince Young's performance in the Rose Bowl- perhaps the best ever. With numbers like that, this decision seems quite understandable.

Is Virginia Tech the new FSU? Now-former QB Marcus Vick showed extremely poor judgement when he stomped on the back of Elvis Dumervil's knee in the Gator Bowl. Its a mark on a program that I particularly dislike, so this is the news story, and this will provide the VT-haters with something to read. Vick's decision to head to the NFL may have a Clarett-like ending (3rd round pick, 1st round cut).

The head of NOW (National Organization of Whocares) is asking for Joe Paterno's resignation based on comments he made about alleged sexual assault by FSU linebacker A.J. Nicholson. Puh-lease. Read the comments and decide for yourself.

Stewart Mandel of SI.com has a next-season top 10 list that doesn't include Miami. Pat Forde of ESPN.com does have Miami in his top 10. I think it's early to tell, but I still read them.

06 January 2006

Some wounds heal slowly

I like to visit Apple's movie trailer website. I usually check it every week or so to see what new movies are on the horizon. A few moments ago I watched one for a movie called Flight 93. I had no idea what it was about, but immediately noticed that one of the first lines, said by an unseen speaker as we watch a radar screen, mentioned "United Airlines." Immediately I thought, "Movies never mention real airlines- they always make up fake ones. Then I remember Flight 93, one of the four planes crashed on 9/11.

I felt a chill as I watched and listened to the trailer. I felt like I wasn't ready for it. Like it was too soon and the wounds of 9/11 are still too fresh. I lost no family or friends that day. I was in Utah, far away from this incidents, but I think we were all wounded by it.Movies have been made of tragedies before. Titanic immediately springs to mind. But often those movies are about accidents. Perhaps the follies of man influenced those events, but 9/11 was an act of cold and calculated malice, and that day there was no happy ending. There were heroes, but part of me doesn't want to see that on screen. If I had to make a decision about whether to see it today, I don't think I would. I just don't think I'm ready.

I would be fascinated to know what others think about this.

04 January 2006

Greater love hath no man

I was saddened to learn that a missionary of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was shot and killed earlier this week. His companion was also shot, but is recovering in a hospital. It appears to have been unrelated to their work as missionaries or the Church itself. It is a tragedy to be sure.

These incidents are pretty rare. I remember being in some rougher parts of San Diego, and sometimes being unnerved by my surroundings, but never encountering anyone that wished me real harm. It is a reminder that we are rarely able to pinpoint when and how we leave this world.

03 January 2006


The SPOTD has always been about education. In this era of oil turmoil, it is important to remember (or learn) how the economy works. Politicians are poor teachers and the media their willing enablers, so we'll rely on Holman Jenkins, Jr., an editor at the Wall Street Journal, to set us straight.

The same people badmouthing "Big Oil" are the ones that won't allow them to put their profits to work on real development in places like the Alaskan National Wildlife Refuge. If you feel inclined to complain about the cost of oil, read it.