29 September 2008

Envy the country that has heroes, huh? I say pity the country that needs them.

As I wrote these past two posts I was watching 2002's Reign of Fire.

I love this movie.

Thoughts on the Bailout

I don't love it. It makes me uncomfortable. It is a great deal of money- our money.

But I'm not sure that there is a viable alternative. To let it all unfold without any intervention might do more damage to the system than it can withstand.

I don't want to get into it too much. Still, here is a helpful look at how the legislation looks now (as of this morning).

28 September 2008

Turf Turmoil

Miami lost on a last-second touchdown. The Gators lost on a blocked extra point. USC lost to middle-of-the-pack Oregon State. Georgia lost to a resurgent Alabama. Wisconsin lost to Michigan. Quite the weekend.

The best part? Idle BYU climbed to #7 in the Coaches poll and #8 in the AP! To be in this position so early in the season is unprecedented in the BCS era. Stewart Mandel in SI.com posits that this could possibly lead to BYU appearing in the championship game:

It's time to face a once-unimaginable reality: An undefeated non-BCS team could, for the first time, play for the BCS championship.
No previous party-crasher has received even cursory consideration for the title game, the assumption being that even an undefeated Mountain West or WAC team does not have the same credentials as a one-loss team from one of the major conferences. But no previous such team has ever risen this high, this fast, either. Five weeks into the 2004 season, undefeated Utah was 11th in the polls. On Oct. 1, 2006, Boise State hadn't yet made it out of the 20s. Hawaii was 18th when the first BCS standings were released on Oct. 14 last season.
Mandel also points out how BYU could miss out on this scenario. I have to think that will be the more likely outcome. Right now they need to run the table and put the hurt on the Utes. I'll be happy with that.

27 September 2008

Awesome Video Saturday LX

This is awesome.

26 September 2008

Crisis Averted

No, not the financial kind- the travel kind.

We were scheduled to leave on a flight from Gainesville at 7 am. Rules say you have to be there 30 minutes in advance to check bags. We were checking 5. The airport is 30 minutes from our home.

We woke up at 5:45.

As we do the math we realize that we have to get up, get dressed, get the kids up and get in the car (not yet packed) in 15 minutes if we want even a chance to make our flight.

15 minutes.

2 kids. 5 bags. 2 frazzled parents. 15 minutes.

I'm in Atlanta, so the short answer is that we made it. It ws a bag-hauling, kid-dragging, prayer-giving, speed-limit exceeding melee that got us to the Gainesville Regional Airport at 6:29 (!!!) and to the counter just moments before the cutoff.

15 minutes later we were in our seats. Now we are waiting in Atlanta for our 10:50 flight to Phoenix.

Now it is 4 hours on a plane with a 3 year old and an 18 month old. After this morning? Piece of cake.

23 September 2008

More on Castro's machinations

Mary Anastasia O'Grady breaks it down.

Aid has already arrived from allies like Russia and Spain, but none has the vast relief resources the nearby U.S. can muster. However, Fidel wants lines of credit from the U.S. that will help him hold onto power, and without that he says, Yankees go home.
This is largely bravado posturing for Cubans. The U.S. government is giving $1.65 million to nongovernmental organizations working in the disaster areas, and has authorized more than $5 million in private NGO donations; that total could go to $10 million. None of this is out of the ordinary. Americans are the single largest humanitarian providers to Cuba; in 2007, private donations totaled $240 million.
Fidel doesn't want the U.S. getting credit for stepping up to help. But that's not his only problem with the status quo. More urgent for him is that relief efforts come from the regime, which, when not engaged in such kind-hearted work, is busy torturing political prisoners. To wield that kind of power he needs to borrow money, which he is not likely to pay back. Americans have shown that they are ready to help hurricane victims, but loans that will prolong the power of a despotic and incompetent regime is no way to relieve Cuban misery.

20 September 2008

Awesome Video Saturday LIX

This is a pretty funny video, and had to have taken them quite a while to make. Makes me want to have a Nerf war.

19 September 2008

Pump it out Chief!

Frank Mundus was a true man of the sea, the rumored inspiration for Jaws' Captain Quint. In Mundus' own words:

Everything he wrote was true, except I didn’t get eaten by the big shark. I dragged him in.

Read this New York Times obituary for more information about this very colorful figure.

Cuba's Katrina?

This is a round-up of info regarding the situation in Cuba after the multiple storms that have hit the island:

  • Castro is playing games with foreign aid, as this Investor's Business Daily editorial illustrates.
  • Babalu highlights the experience of a British couple that was vacationing on the island during Ike:
    COUPLE from Knutsford were barricaded in a Cuban hotel restaurant for nine hours after a hurricane hit their holiday resort.
    Nic Casey and Paul Dootson also had to manage on food rations and without running water as the island of Cayo Coco was cut off from the mainland in the aftermath of Hurricane Ike last week.
    For four days she was unable to contact her family to let them know she was safe.
    She described how she had caught snippets about an imminent hurricane on Spanish-speaking news channels before official word came from the hotel. “We’d been out on the beach and we came back to the room to get ready for dinner and a computer print-out had been put under the door saying a hurricane was coming,” she said.
    “It said we should go to dinner as normal and not have anything to drink and then to go back to our rooms.”
    . . .
    “We were not happy with the way they treated us,” said Nic, who landed at Manchester Airport on Sunday.
Nothing like the communist paradise.

16 September 2008

La Ciudadanía (Citizenship)

Today one of my best friends, Walmir Da Costa, becomes a U.S. citizen. He was born in Brasil, lived in Venezuela, and has been in the states for the last 15 years. Although he may never root for US soccer more fervently than he does for Brasil's team, I know he is excited about this event, and we're excited for him.

I was able to attend the swearing in. It was a small group, nine people,  but also a very diverse one. It was exciting for these folks to reach this point. The folks at the Immigration office gave everyone a packet which includes voter registration forms. 
It is a credit to our country that the right to vote is only for citizens. This was a group which will likely embrace this right. That's good for America.

I thought this video from Craig Ferguson was appropriate. Ferguson also recently became a citizen and is pretty excited about the right to vote. It's a long monologue.

13 September 2008

Awesome Video Saturday LVIII

Love it? Or hate it?

12 September 2008

Finish Him!

Eric Snider has started a weekly column where he reviews bad movies. This week's subject is certainly one of the worst films to ever have a major release, Mortal Kombat: Annihilation. An excerpt:

Meanwhile, Liu Kang has to rescue Kitana, who got kidnapped by the Outworlders back when they were fighting Scorpion. Did I forget to tell you that? My bad. He's told to search for a man called Night Wolf, and Night Wolf will help him. So Liu Kang is in the desert, searching, and it's nighttime, and a guy who seems to be half-man and half-wolf jumps him, and Liu Kang says, "Who are you?," even though it's obviously Night Wolf. I mean, who else would it be? Night Wolf replies, "Wouldn't you like to know?" Then Liu Kang says, "If you ARE Night Wolf, then--" and I couldn't hear the rest because my brain was exploding.
Good stuff.


I'm sorry that I didn't post about 9/11. I couldn't think of anything that converyed accurately my feelings about that day, so I let it slip by.

But I'll never forget.

10 September 2008

Return of the Lance!

The Sports World has received great news with the announcement that Lance Armstrong intends to compete in the next Tour de France and attempt to win it for the 8th time.

Armstrong's purpose is to raise awareness of worldwide cancer issues, but you also have to beleive that this is also a guy that loves to win. It's tough to give that up.

I think this is great news. Check out this article from SI for more.

07 September 2008


I've written a completely, 100% serious post on the tyranny of the minority at In Rare Form.

Worth your time. I promise.

Miami v. UF thoughts: 1 Day Later

I'm still okay with yesterday's game. Miami played hard, clean, and came so close. That's the part that gets me a little bit disappointed with the outcome. We were so close to giving the Gators an absolutely soul-crushing upset loss.

This year it was not meant to be. After 6 straight wins previous to yesterday's game I've decided that you can't be greedy.

Some quick hits:
Now I'll have to listen to the fans here until 2013. Hopefully we can add another ring before then.

When Losing is Winning

I've never felt so good about my team losing than I did as I walked from the Swamp tonight. Miami came into Gainesville as 21 point underdogs and held their own with a solid Florida team for 3 quarters. The defense should me just what I would want to see from some young talented players and the offense gives me reason to be optimistic. They are clearly a program moving in the right direction.

It also helps that BYU won a close one, because I really don't like it when they both lose on the same day. Disaster averted.

06 September 2008

Awesome Video Saturday LVII

Lacy and I saw this fantastic group, HAPA, last week. They blend old Hawaiian culture with more contemporary music. It is fantastic. This is one sample. I actually like a lot of their original stuff better than this, but this was the best video I could find.

05 September 2008

Pixar's Perfection

My friend Jake works for Pixar. He sent me this link for an article written by Ed Catmull, Pixar's president. Catmull talks about how their peer-driven process helps them be so successful. His contention is that good people are the most important part of their process, even more than finding the right story. I like what he has to say.

It's a longer article, but a great read.

04 September 2008

Football, Football, Football

Tonight is the start of the pro football season and also begins the 2nd week of the college football season.

My most anticipated weekend activity will be when Miami comes to Gainesville to play the Gators. I will be attending the game (where Miami is a 21 point underdog) but I am excited to see the Canes in my now-hometown. I think they will put in a solid performance, though I can't in sound mind predict a win. You never know. I am happy to see them in fighting spirit, although these words will surely be used against them if they fail.

My alma mater faces Washington this Saturday. It will be our chance to beat a non-conference team at their stadium during the regular season for the first time since 2002. This very important if BYU is to succeed in its "Quest for Perfection." Last week they had some trouble with a far inferior team. Hopefull the week 1 problems have been addressed.

Tonight's NFL game is the Giants versus the Redskins. I don't particularly care about either team, but I was proven wrong in my earlier predictions of Eli's failure as a quarterback. Even if he has a mediocre season, he has a ring and did what he had to when it counted.

My cousin-in-law J.R. Reed plays safety for the Eagles. He is a nice guy and has not had an easy road in his football career:

During the 2005 off-season, Reed was chasing his dog, tried to hurdle a fence, and ended up tearing the peroneal nerve in his left foot. A person with drop foot cannot lift the foot, and Reed has little or no feeling on the side of his left leg as well. Neither condition bodes well for an athlete.
"The doctors told me I would never play again," he said. "I kind of invented a brace. It took me two years to get used to it, but now I just play football. I was determined to play. It came down to hard work and believing in yourself when no one else did."

He is playing and I hope he has a chance to shine this year.

Good luck to the Canes, Cougs, and J.R.!

03 September 2008

Taking a Pbutt on Politics

Because we're getting to the point in the political season when I find it hard to blog about anything other than the election, and I want to do something different, here is a great article about the trouble with some anti-obscenity filters on computer programs:

The phenomena, known as “The Clbuttic Mistake” after a mangling of the word “classic” that is believed to be the first identified instance of the problem, can be found on tens of thousands of websites.

The error is caused by poorly programmed anti-obscenity filters – similar to spell checkers – that automatically replace words considered rude or offensive with more acceptable variants.
Follow the link for more.

01 September 2008

Whither the bias?

CNN, that's whither!

You may have heard about this little video clip, where a former Chair of the Democratic National Committee is heard making the following comments about Hurricane Gustav's imminent "attack" on New Orleans:
The hurricane is going to hit New Orleans about the time they start. The timing is, at least it appears now, it will be there Monday. That just demonstrates God is on our side,” Fowler said, while laughing. Fowler also told Spratt that “everything’s cool.”
This post is about the way that this is being portrayed by the two major cable news networks, CNN and FoxNews. CNN's Headline:

Dem apologizes for joking about hurricane


Do you see the distinction? CNN makes the assumption in the headline that the individual in question was just joking. That is not clear on the video. The FoxNews headline makes no such assumption. There is an important difference here.

Can you imagine a Republican making such a comment, suggesting political gain from a natural disaster? Surely such conversations have taken place, but the treatment by the media would surely be different.