Friday, November 30, 2007

Pictures from the Desert, Swayze and Norris and Golf

Pictures: Lucas with his Oma Diane and his cousin, Naomi, somewhere out in Palm Springs.

Had a chance to play some golf with Richard Swayze and Bob Norris this afternoon. They were thinking this may be the last day of golf for this year - I assured them that that was not going to be the case. You know that December is going to bring us a day or two or ten that is suitable for the golfers among us...

Friday Wrap: Democratic Sweep in 2008, Johnny Cash

-Here's a kinda tongue in cheek review from cedubose at dkos of a National Review article (GOP in Deep Do Do) that suggests that 2008 is going to be a Democratic sweep and with an idea on how to minimize such a terrible thing from happening. Lots of good things to make you smile and occasionally laugh out loud.

-PBS is having a fund raiser, showing Johnny Cash and his guests from back in the '60's. Foot stomping good times...

Friday Follies Already Again: Football,

-Went over to Eric's last night and enjoyed the Green Bay-Dallas game. He was rooting for Favre and GB, I was rooting for Dallas (though no big fan of 'America's Team'). Fun game to watch, lots of offense, lots of sterling moments. First time I had heard Bryant Gumbel in years - he's a shadow of that super sports broadcaster Eric and I both remember from the '80's.

-Trip to Bloomington was a-okay. Root canal was a little more uncomfortable that I thought it would be but the procedure was done within an hour and my mouth was pretty much back to normal within three hours. I look forward to some long term relief from mouth pain. What a bother...

-Woodward's State of Denial update: Rumsfeld is still the bad guy; Tenet too much a part of the political process; Bush aloof and a cheerleader, non curious. War's aftermath reflects little planning, little coordination, constant bureaucratic bickering. Kay a good guy - tells it like it is - no WMD. Abu Ghraib stuff about to hit the fan.

Heading to the golf course in a bit. Sun is shining; still cool though at 40 degrees.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Bloomington Here I Come!

Picture: Diane and me from that same batch of pictures of a few years back that I've been posting.

Heading up to the big city in just a little bit. That reminds me of life on Lost River and the years I drove up to IU: From deep in the country where wild things were everywhere - we were eventually accepted by them, the wild things, after years of living back there; would leave in the darkness along a single lane road not much more than a cow path and eventually turn up in a city of a hundred thousand lights and real people of every age and description wandering around. For me, Bloomington was the big city, high energy. Of course, everything is relative: people in NYC look at people in Indianapolis as 'nappers'; people in Indy look upon people in Bloomington as I don''t know what but certainly not big city folk; people in Bloomington look upon people in Shoals as small town folk; and people in Shoals look upon people who live out in the country as, well, how about bumpkins - that has a nice sound to it. Country bumpkin - that's me. Diane would get so put out at me whenever we found ourselves in some big hurley-burley place and I would be hanging back and taking in just about everything I could but in the process moving about as fast as a snail in neutral. You remember she's a big city girl, Boise-Idaho-big-city big. But I digress and...

I gotta go; time's not a-wasting but I still gotta go.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Wednesday Wrap: Blood Diamond, Golf, etc.

-Netflix movie tonight: Blood Diamond. A blood and guts and gore thriller about diamond smuggling and life in Sierra Leone back in 1999. Pretty good action with a humanitarian message. The few instances where romance was inserted were totally unnecessary, distracting and mercifully very short. It's not a love story. And if you can't stand violence and blood letting and the killing of the innocents, don't get this one. I give it a three even with two of the stars receiving Oscar nominations for their work.

-Golf with the boys today though Rex showed up instead of Ken. Lovely out there with the green and the sun and a smidgen of wind. Might be all the golf we get for a while with the cool blowing in on us. Darn.

-Up to Bloomington tomorrow for a root canal. You know I'm looking forward to that.

World turns. And that's okay with me though no one asked...

Wednesday: Golf, IU, State of Denial, Michelle Obama

Picture: Lucas at Lost River a few years back... (I think these are pictures Danielle took when she was back in the area for a visit; think she had already moved to Seattle and Microsoft.)

So yes we did play golf yesterday (Jack B., Ken H., Jack L., and myself) and it should be something that happens again today. No, we don't have the weather they are having out in Palm Springs, but the sun is shining, the greens are lovely, and the golfing company is just great, thank you. Even tried the Bingo, Bango, Bongo golf game which I talked about a few days back (I like it...).

Other notes:

-IU beat Georgia Tech in one of those Big Ten-ACC matchups. Caught a little of the game down at the VFW where I was hobnobbing with George Foster.
-Continuing Woodward's State of Denial. The war has started, Iraq has fallen into chaos, leaders back in the States can't believe it, want the Press to report the good things, spending way too much time dwelling on the chaos. Oh my. And we know that the story doesn't get much better, don't we? Garner a good guy so far; Rumsfeld a fool; lots of turf fighting between State and Defense (Powell and Rumsfeld).
-When it comes to good looks on the spouse's of Barack and Hillary, Michelle Obama wins over Bill Clinton, at least in this quarter.

Got to get to the golf course.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Tuesday Get Started Stuff: Miki, Sundhine, NFL, Iowa Firepower, Woodward

Picture: Number One Daughter Miki a few years back.

-Sun trying to burn through the morning haze and get at last night's frost. Expected to be a little warmer today and a lot warmer tomorrow. Golf weather. Expect I'll be heading to the golf course directly...

-Last night in the NFL, final score is 3-0. When was the last time you saw something like that? In football?
-Also in the NFL, Redskin Sean Taylor dead after being shot. A sadness.

-From WAPO, Oprah and Bill in Iowa drumming up support for what's his name and Hillary. That's firepower.

-In Woodward's State of Denial, I'm finding it all very fascinating because the author goes to the 2nd, 3rd and 4th tier players, along with the ones at the top, to see what was going on when and where. Good stuff. Did you know that George Tenet and Cofer Black met with Condi Rice on July 10th of 2001 and told her that all the red lights were blinking about an attack on American soil from al qaeda in the very near future? She blew him off and Big George let her blow him off. (They bad.) This meeting was not reported in the 911 Commission investigation. Our government at work and doing a good job at reporting only that stuff which is deemed acceptable by the powers that be - at that time, it was all in the control of the Republicans. Not good to not have a strong and effective countervailing force, whether that be the party not in power, the Democrats, or even a Press that is independent and responsible and intent on getting the news to the Public. You know, kinda like how our democracy is supposed to work.

So it goes. Expect Diane and Lucas and Danielle, Naomi, Leah and Phil are maybe thinking about stirring out there in the dessert. Go here to learn more about Palm Springs.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Monday Wrap: Lucas with aunt and grannie, Woodward's Book, etc.

Pictures: Aunt Danielle and Lucas, Oma Diane and Lucas, a few years back...

-Diane called mid afternoon, as I was sitting here feeling the rain and the cool, with the news that they had arrived in Palm Springs and were already enjoying the sunshine and the mid 60's temperatures. Grrrrr.

-On PBS right now: America at a Crossroads: Homegrown: Islam in Prisons.

-Down to the Loogootee Public Library early this afternoon. Picked up Bob Woodward's State of Denial, Bush at War, Part III. Getting to know some of the characters up close and personal. One, Dick Armitage, who played a part in the outing of Valerie Plame while a high mucky muck in the State Department a few years back, way back in 1999 wondered whether Bush had the bulk (heft) to fill the suit required of a president (paraphrase from page 8 of the book). I wonder if he still wonders that or if maybe his doubts were confirmed.

So it goes.

Monday Monday: Notes

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Ondaatje's Divisadero

-finished Ondaatje's Divisadero last night and was frustrated by the author's filling up the first half of the book with Coop, Clair and Anne and then going off and telling the story of an obscure author who lived a hundred years ago. The only overt link was that Anne, the academic, was over in France not only doing research on this long dead author but also living in his house and on his land as she did the research. I kept waiting for the link, the pause and the return to the captivating story left hanging midway through the book. Never happens. What a bummer. However, still a good book though you might want to treat it as two stories rather than one. Now I want to read more of Ondaatje's works. First up: The English Patient.

-Was over at the golf course earlier: it is cloudy, cool, windy, and every now and then, a little wet. Closed it up after two hours. Maybe tomorrow...

Ondaatje's Divisadero

-finished Ondaatje's Divisadero last night and was frustrated by the author's filling up the first half of the book with Coop, Clair and Anne and then going off and telling the story of an obscure author who lived a hundred years ago. The only overt link was that Anne, the academic, was over in France not only doing research on this long dead author but also living in his house and on his land as she did the research. I kept waiting for the link, the pause and the return to the captivating story left hanging midway through the book. Never happens. What a bummer. However, still a good book though you might want to treat it as two stories rather than one. Now I want to read more of Ondaatje's works. First up: The English Patient.

-Was over at the golf course earlier: it is cloudy, cool, windy, and every now and then, a little wet. Closed it up after two hours. Maybe tomorrow...

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Saturday Wrap: Sex, Lies, Videotap and the Irish

-Movie time tonight, another goodie from Netflix: Sex, Lies, and Videotape. From 1989 and one we had never seen before and we both enjoyed it. In the end it comes down to being a love story again, this time with the story's impotent male looking like he's going to score big with the frigid wife who is leaving her despicable, lying and cheating husband. I really liked Cynthia, the younger sister who had her own global warming problem all wrapped up in her senseous body, conditions which she was aware of and was taking steps to correct, or at least cool down. It was fun...

-Talk about a positive spin put on a summary of a dismal football season at Notre Dame, how about this recap at

Notre Dame hangs on to beat Stanford, end with consecutive wins
Robert Hughes ran for 136 yards and the go-ahead 6-yard touchdown with 6:06 remaining to help the Fighting Irish end the season with consecutive wins for the first time in 15 years by beating Stanford 21-14 Saturday.

Got that? Consecutive season ending wins for the first time in fifteen years. Wowzer and kabowzer. Good going, guys. You did terrific, so good in fact that why don't you just take off for the rest of the season and let the other guys do all the post season-bowl type stuff.

World turns, spins and continues on its way to the Lord knows where.

Saturday Morning: Divisadero, College Football, etc.

Notes to get a day started:

-Well into Michael Ondaatje's Divisadero and enjoying the story telling very much. About a group of three who grew up together, were separated, and now going about their separate lives. Coming back together? At least two of them at the moment. They are leading very different lives, one an academic doing research in France; a second a gambler; the third an assistant to a public defender in the LA area. Each of them alone and violently separated by circumstances. A goodie...

-Number One team, LSU, loses. College football is definitely topsy-turvy this year. Over at, a West Virginia-Missouri championship game is predicted. Notre Dame is mentioned, in passing, as it was the team WV lost to in its last foray into a championship game. Remember when? Hint: Eric and Danielle were both students at Notre Dame at the time. That would be a little bit beyond a day and a half ago.

-IU and Purdue expected to have a bowl date. That's cool, especially for the Hoosiers.

-Diane and Lucas getting ready to fly west for a week in the desert with Danielle, Naomi, Leah and Phil. They head up to Indy very early Monday morning.

-Making up my winter's reading list. Greg Waggoner recommended Vengeance by George Jonas, a true story telling of the Israelis selected to hunt down and blow away the PLO terrorists responsible for the killings at Munich during the 1972 Olympics. BTW, do you have any non fiction books that you loved? Any exceptional fiction that you know I should read? I'm open to suggestion.

Guess I'll get ready to head over to the golf course. Expect the temperatures to be around 40 by noon. Might be good walking weather.

Friday, November 23, 2007

New for 2008: Lakeview Golf Course News

Have started a new blog that will cover the news for Lakeview Golf Course. Click here to head on over and take a peek. This new site will cover the goings on at the golf course, scrambles, leagues, rate changes, special moments, pictures, and that kind of stuff and leave the extemporizing and opining about this and that having to do with non golfing stuff, like politics, sex and religion, to this blog. The hope is that the golfing news will be more accurate and up to date, something which did not happen with the home website; and that those interested in reading about my mind's wanderings can do so without having to wade through a bunch of boring golf stuff.

So it goes on a Thanksgiving Friday and yes I did see that the Colts won last night. Would have watched it but it wasn't riding any of those air waves that we capture with our new antenna. And yes we did breakfast at the Cabin this morning with the Batemans. Dave Strange was over at the Liars Table and Joe and Vicki Doyle came in after Friday Mass. Jolene McAtee also made an appearance. Food and service was good, as always. Company was exceptional.

Golf Games

From, some of the not so familiar games that golfers play. Here's one I've never played and looks like a good one for players of different abilities: Bingo Bango Bongo where points are given for firsts, first ball on the green, one closest to the hole once all golfers are on the green, first one in the cup. Could be fun.

Heading to the Cabin for 'breakfast with the birds', I mean Batemans...

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Lakeview Swings for a Thanksgiving Evening

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Breakfast with the Birds

Inspired by Jim and Wilma's granddaughter, Emily, who was going to The Cabin to 'eat with the birds', something Jim and Wilma have done on more than one occasion, and will do again tomorrow morning.

Thanksgiving Day 2007

Thanks, all ye gods, for bringing up the sun in the morning and setting it back down in an evening. Thanks for a little rain to slack our thirst, a little green to rest our eyes, a bit of light to see the beauty of all that surrounds us, and a bit of dark to rest ourselves for the coming day. Thanks for a child's smile and a woman's love, a friend's compassion. And thanks to all that have helped make this journey one of wonder and delight.

Hope your Thanksgiving day is a pleasant one.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Kevin Johnson Swings at Lakeview

Pictures taken today. And yes I have pictures of the swings of Jack Butcher, Jack Lents, Rex Hudson, Ken Hudson, and Kevin Johnson all teeing off on #6. Verrry interesting. Will get them all together and have them at the golf course...

Stories Full of Thanks

Here's a heat warming story about the reunion of a mother with her daughter whom she gave up for adoption back in the '60's. Enough to make a grown man tear up.

I'll post more later. Got one?

More Golfing Tips from a Calendar: Putting Recap, Chipping

Anybody who has played golf with me this year, or read my groans and moans on this blog, know that I have had all sorts of fun with my chipping and putting this year, like any semblance of consistency and skill has disappeared. Oh, an occasional blast from the past and a round that is sterling. But for the most part, misery. So, I continue to moan but also look for a fix to the breakdown. (I refuse to say it's age cause it aint...)

So, the arrival of the big sister calendar the other day has given me yet one more item to look for answers that golfers have been looking for ever since the game was invented (by King Henry the 8th? go here for one answer - the Dutch!).

Monday night here at home I tried the four foot make as many as you can in a row drill to improve one's ability to make a putt under pressure (got up to eighteen or nineteen). At Diane's suggestion that a real golf green is the only real test, I tried that Tuesday morning (between doctor visits) out on #2 green and got myself up to thirteen putts in a row in a short period of time. And then later in the day, in the Denson-Bird, Wininger-Jones scramble, I even made a few putts that would qualify as the proof of the pudding (?), the transfer of knowledge. So, that might be a worthwhile drill to engage in every now and then. I would suggest a five minute time limit, maybe even three, and a variety of greens (but do pay attention to putting mechanics!).

There was a second tip I tried out which was just as successful and actually more impressive. That would be what the calendar's author called the 'pop, hop and stop' chip, something effective from 20-40 yards from the pin. The particulars:

Ball off of your back foot, stance slightly open; start with hands in front of ball, hold wrists firm in a half swing back, no more than waist high. On the downswing, keep wrists locked and sweep through the ball with a full (?) follow through. Executed properly, the ball should pop on a low trajectory, hop once and stop quickly.

Tried it out and had much success striking the ball cleanly (!) and getting it onto the green and heading towards the pin. Did not see the 'stop quickly' part all that much but still was pleased with the results, especially considering the dismal chipping that had visited me during the round with the boys on Monday. And yes, did have a very nice chip during the late afternoon scramble that led to an easy birdie on #2. Again, proof of the pudding time...

Time to head to the golf course - sun is breaking through the clouds at the moment. Hurray!

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Sometimes Tuesdays Can Be Long...

...especially when you have to do doctoring along the way. Yes, that is part of what has been the story of my day. First Dr. Poirier and a blood draw along with a general check up; and then a little later in the morning over to Dr. Weir for a new cap on the right side of my mouth, a look see at a problem on the other side of my mouth, and finally a little visit with Meira over in the hygiene department. The problem on that other side of my mouth will result in my going up to Bloomington and Dr. Spires next week for my second root canal of the year and fourth in the last four years and the sixth tooth that has had root problems. What a bore it all is though it's always fun checking in with all these people that have been way too much of my life these past few years. But they have been the sugar that has helped the medicine go down. Dr. Weir has his bevy of women, all professional, all welcoming, including Pam, Meira, Tammy, Kelly, and Joy, all of whom have a smile and a wink to put you at your ease.

In between the two doctors I did get out to the golf course to do two things: try out the four foot putt drill on a real green (more on this in another blog along with a second golf tip from the sister sent golf calendar); and take pictures of the tee box swings of the boys, that being Jack Butcher, Jack Lents, Kenny Hudson and Rex Hudson. Did the putting drill on #2 green and caught the swinging action of the guys just across the way at #6 tee box. Hope to have some sort of composite picture album of those swings in days to come.

The latter part of the day saw me at the golf course again. Just after four I got caught way out on #6 by a call from Doug Denson who wanted a fourth for a Tuesday afternoon scramble. I was happy to accommodate and then joined with him in taking on Dave Wininger and Mark Jones who battled valiantly but in the end to no avail as we topped them by a single stroke.

And so it goes. World turns and we hang on.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Golfing Tip for a Monday Evening

Diane received a Golf Tips calendar from her older sister out in California in the mail today and a couple of things caught my eye. For one, this putting under pressure drill:

Place ten balls at a distance of four feet from the cup and gradually work yourself up to sinking fifty in a row.

Hmmmm, I thought. Fifty in a row. Five or maybe even ten would be more my speed. My main problem with these kind of repetitive drills, especially with chipping and putting, is the wear on my back - after five minutes I need to be doing something else. But, what the heck, lets try it out right here in my own living room (Diane refused the offer to participate saying the living room is different than the putting green; yes, that's true, but not near as convenient, especially during commercials or tv programs that just aren't all that gripping, or inclement weather or even the dark of night...). So I went ahead and tried it out and by golly if I didn't get up to eighteen or nineteen in a row rather quickly. And for sure the pressure did mount each time I neared my own Monday-night-between-eight-and-nine record.

So, will this help me on the golf course next time I've got a four foot (or three foot) putt that's going to make a difference? Don't know but would hope so and I do believe that examining one's game and working at it does help. Do think I'll give Diane the benefit of the doubt and try the same drill out at the golf course maybe tomorrow afternoon. How about you? How many four foot putts can you make in a row? Think I'll challenge the boys next time I'm with them, just for fun of course.

The Crossing, Golf with the Boys, Good News from Basra

Finished Cormac McCarthy's The Crossing today. It's deep and it's dark with not a whole lot of things to cheer about in the entirety of the book. Worth reading? Of course. McCarthy's vision for the most part is pretty dismal but the way he puts together the words is absolutely stunning. One reads not only for the message but also for the sound of it all. This author tells truths that might not be to our liking but he does it with a spoon full of sugar with each chapter, maybe with each page.

Golf with the boys today. Eighteen holes and that was just about enough for each of us. Good neighbor Jack Lents took home the most quarters. Lots of not so pretty shots as one can expect this time of year but then also enough good ones to make us want to try it again tomorrow and the next day as well. Wouldn't want to waste this unseasonable weather we're having...

Good news from Basra, Iraq's second largest city, via Firedoglake and the International Herald Tribune:

Attacks against British and Iraqi forces have plunged by 90 percent in southern Iraq since London withdrew its troops from the main city of Basra, the commander of British forces there said Thursday.

The presence of British forces in downtown Basra, Iraq’s second-largest city, was the single largest instigator of violence, Maj. Gen. Graham Binns told reporters Thursday on a visit to Baghdad’s Green Zone.

“We thought, ‘If 90 percent of the violence is directed at us, what would happen if we stepped back?’” Binns said.

Britain’s 5,000 troops moved out of a former Saddam Hussein palace at Basra’s heart in early September, setting up a garrison at an airport on the city’s edge. Since that pullback, there’s been a “remarkable and dramatic drop in attacks,” Binns said.

“The motivation for attacking us was gone, because we’re no longer patrolling the streets,” he said.

Hmmm. Might be something to consider: remove occupying force, reduce violence. Whoever heard of such an idea.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Sunday Funnies: Ladies Golfing, Pakistan

Ron Sirak at does a good piece of writing in describing the goings on at the ADT Championship. This is the event where the players who make it to Sunday, just eight of them, start from scratch and play for a winner's purse of $1 million.

Michael Abramowitz at WAPO writes of Bush's dilemma in dealing with Musharraf over in Pakistan. On the one hand, Musharraf has been a strong partner in fighting al qaeda and terrorism and in agreement with Bush for the most part in that area; and on the other hand there is that prickly thing called democracy and the rights of the Pakistani people and the rule of law, all of which have been somewhat pushed to the side in Musharraf's current battle to retain control of power.

Colts play Chiefs today. Go Blue, Beat Red (!).

Did you notice that the weather is going to be very mild right up until Thursday morning and then we get a cold snap for the four day Thanksgiving weekend? Bummer on the back part of that, huzzahs on the front part.

Heading to the golf course where it is probably a lot like it is right here: cool and windy... but heading up to 52 for a high.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Saturday Morning Swinging...

Curt Johnson giving it a go...

Saturday Wrap: White Slavery, Irish Eggheads Prevail, etc

-Netflix movie tonight: Lilya 4-ever. Set in Estonia and Sweden, this one is about a young girl abandoned by her mother who finds life is not very pretty both in her own neighborhood and in the new one she moves to in hopes of a better life. In the middle and in the end, men are pigs (there is one young male, not yet sexually active, who is angelic). Very good.

-Irish prevail over Blue Devils , 28-7. This moves ND to a record of 2 and 9. Could be 3 and 9 after next week's game with Stanford. Of course, could be 2 and 10 as well. The more probable? Of note: First quarter, with both teams demonstrating a balanced ineffectiveness, ended zero to zero with each team missing field goals.

-Hoosiers top Boilermakers, 27-24. Late field goal stops Purdue's comeback efforts. Guess Lewis was hot!

Saturday Sun and Fun: Sports Today and Yesterday

Picture: Sunrise this morning; picture taken using the 'sunrise' scene setting on the e410. Gold wash.

Notes to get a day started:

-Pacers lose 6th straight. Tinsley quoted as saying the team is laying eggs in the second half. Should these guys maybe change professions and get into the egg business? Or at least consider it as a lucrative thing to do on the side?

-John Feinstein in WAPO suggesting tough love with all the steroid athletes. With Bonds being indicted, Feinstein is saying that this is all good for baseball. His conclusion:

Which is all good. If you love baseball, Thursday was a day to celebrate. The sport's steroids nightmare isn't over, but the end is getting close. And no one in this saga should be pardoned -- not now, not ever.

My oh my. So does Bonds do a Pete Rose and deny for ten or fifteen years? Or a Marian Jones and make a public confession like tomorrow or even later today? My guess is he goes with the Rose pattern, tells baseball and the public to go stick themselves, then heads off to a hideaway for the rest of his days.

-Irish play Duke today. This is amazing:

GAME 11: NOTRE DAME (1-9) vs. DUKE (1-9)

Still hard to believe that the Irish are so bad this year. The two teams meet for the first time in forty years. Any bets the Duke youngsters (these guys really are very young) come out on top?

-Hoosiers and Boilermakers for the Oaken Bucket today in Bloomington. Winner expected to get a bowl bid. Hope Lewis in hot.

Heading to the golf course for a ten o'clock scramble.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Deer Picture: Deer Posing

Friday Follies: Movies and Books and Headlines

Notes to get a day started:

-Last night's Netflix movie was a goodie, a 1981 Richard Dreyfuss one called Whose Life is it Anyway. Dreyfuss does a great job of portraying a sculptor whose life is suddenly and drastically changed with a car accident that paralyzes him. He desperately wants control of his own life so that he can end it if he so chooses. Grim situation made palatable and even funny by the multitude of great lines that Dreyfuss delivers so well. Believe it or not, this is a laugh out loud movie many time over.

-Back to reading McCarthy's The Crossing - traveling with a couple of teenage boys as they wander around Mexico at a pace that is half walk and half stop. They have just regained possession of several horses that were stolen by indians and sold to Mexicans. Trouble lies ahead for sure since they are a long way from home and still down in Mexico where people are supposedly less law abiding, at least in this telling. The teenage girl has road off to visit her mom and is expected to rejoin them somewhere down the road.

-Top story in WAPO is the Barry Bonds indictment - do I remember that Babe Ruth had legal problems at some point? maybe it was marriage problems I'm thinking of.... Then last night's Democratic debate where contenders are supposedly stepping up the attack with only 50 more days till some sort of voting/caucusing takes place. Third story: SUV fuel standards - me bad since I have an SUV, an older one at that. And fourth from the top is the Pakistan tussle for control between Musharraf and Bhutto.

-Bush throwing money at a problem, says E.J. Dionne Jr.:

Bush's approach to Iraq is the classic case of a politician arguing that a problem will be solved if only we keep throwing large sums of money at it.

Hmmmm, isn't that what a 'liberal' does? Of course, Bush is not the first Republican president to spend, spend, and then spend some more. Remember the '80's?

-Weather: sunny with temperatures in the 50's today and tomorrow. Sounds like a good day to get outside and watch the leaves turn and tumble.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Interesting Combinations

Last night we watched A World Without Thieves, a Chinese modern movie about getting on in a world with a lot of thieves. The story centers on two of them, a man and a woman connected not only by their profession but also by their love for each other (and the babe to be born sometime after the end of the movie...). They are trying to protect an acquaintance from being robbed silly by fellow thieves as he returns to his home town with all the money he has saved over the last several years to get married, buy a house and maybe a tv as well. He is named Dumbo because of his innocence and his trust in the goodness of his fellow humans. In the end, the thieves are foiled, the innocence is intact, and the mother-to-be ponders the future as she tries to satisfy the unceasing hunger brought on by her pregnancy. Diane was pleasantly surprised by the modernity of the movie and even requested more by the same director and actors. A good one.

And within the last hour, with the cool temps and the high winds of the day stopping any idea of a senior game of golf or two, I finished Licensed to Kill, Hired Guns in the War on Terror, by Robert Young Pelton. Took me awhile to get into this book as the first part seems to be filled with soldier of fortune types who love the idea of bulking up with muscles and armor and end up being security guards, not for your local Walmart but rather for kings and paschas and large corporations involved in the raiding of backward countries' wealth around the world. But the book finally came alive for me when the author connected the recent history of the contractors/mercenaries with the long history of the hired gun, the hired army. Think Crusaders; think Sir Francis Drake; think our own Revolutionary War. The private armies have been with us for a long time. And then he went on to tell some of the things that have gone wrong in the past ten years, like the failed coup of a small (tiny) country along the west coast of Africa that is rich in oil and gas, a coup put together by a group of investors intent on getting rich off the oil and gas royalties that they would capture once a puppet ruler was installed. (One such investor was none other than the son of Margaret Thatcher, once and former PM of Great Britain.) He ends up with a words of caution as to where our recent mass hiring of hired guns will lead and what will all these 'desperados' do once the gold mine of Iraq is over (he mentions the Afghani war against the Soviets during the '80's that spawned the likes of Osama bin Laden and Al-Qaeda). A good read and now I'm much more up to date on the likes of soldiers of fortune, retired Seals and Delta Force members, Blackwater (big, brash, maximum force kind of company) and other outfits in the business of putting together an army to do whatever but for money rather than love of country.

So it goes...

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

So it goes on a Wednesday...

...and so it is. World turns.

Reminder: Senior game at noon tomorrow. Nine holes and open to all who care to make the trek to the golf course.

Miscellaneous stuff:

-Eric still transplanting trees.
-Old guys still playing golf.
-Politicians still wondering how best to get us to tomorrow, and having trouble it seems.
-Pakistan still in a roil. Along with Iraq, Turkey, Sudan, France (labor problems), etc.
-Pacers lose last night. When I checked the scores the only home team to lose. Of course, as Eric pointed out, the visitors were that reconstructed team from Boston, city of champions.
-Netflix movie tonight - another foreign flick, Chinese.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Tuesday Pictures: Ray and Carol

Carol looks as if she is pleased with the ball striking efforts of her man, Ray.

PBS's Judgmant Day

Another goodie: PBS and NOVA had a two hour program on tonight called Judgment Day which dealt with the Intelligent Design/Evolution controversy in Dover, PA, that was decided during a much publicized trial a few years back. That was the town that voted out the entire school board that had voted to have read to Biology students a little thing that said Evolution was only a theory and that Intelligent Design was an equally valid theory and why don't you look at it - books are in the school library. Of course, ID is not a scientific theory and it was proved during the trial that it was a direct descendant/substitution of Creationism, a decidedly religion based idea put forward by fundies to discredit science.

Reminds me of my doing practice teaching and having the distinct honor of teaching the Bible as Literature (was only given this assignment because I had graduated from a university with a religious affiliation - Notre Dame). This was back in the late 80's after the Supreme Court had once again said that state stuff and church stuff must be separated. It didn't take me long to figure out that this course was this public school's attempt to skirt that decision. And yes I did have some disagreements with my supervising teacher as I went about the task of helping students see the Bible as literature.

My mama done told me...

...that when you don't have anything good to say, then be quiet. Been quiet and letting the world take care of itself.

Here's a good thing:

-Bhutto in Pakistan calling for Musharraff to resign. And this from behind locked doors - Musharraf put her under house arrest - didn't want her and her friends going off and doing a Ghandi like trek (actually a caravan) through the hills and valleys of Pakistan. Funny that Musharraf leaves her with a cell phone and other means to have contact with the outside world. I know Bush has talked with Musharraf; has he talked with Bhutto?

Here's another:

-a story via dKos that talks about the LST that Lloyd Mosby was on. Lloyd hung on to life just long enough to see this ship brought back to Evansville. Lloyd, of course, served in WWII.

At the golf course, still overcast but mild...

Tuesday Fog

At the golf course where it is overcast and dampish. Very playable though...

Monday, November 12, 2007

So it goes...

...and so it is... World turns.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Veterans Day

Pictures: Three of our own: Bob Elliott, Joe Doyle, Richard Swayze.

Diane remembers back in 1964 and 1965 during the rapidly intensifying build up in Vietnam that the powers that be tried to minimize what was going on down there. She also remembers it was one of those engagements that never was declared a war and yet it sure looked like a war with all the fallen on both sides, all the destruction. (Diane was up in Yokosuka while we were down south moving Marines and their equipment here, there and everywhere.) I remember the long wait for decisions to do something, anything. Eventually that decision was made, to go big in Vietnam, and we landed the Marines at Chulai, just south of DaNang. And then the D&D, death and destruction, really started.

But this day we remember not the wars that made us all veterans but rather the men and women who served, who answered their country's call and did what they were asked. To each of them, a thank you and a hug and a bless you.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Frank Sinatra and That Old Black Magic, etc.

Diane came up with the name of the tune that was playing in my head all day. That Old Black Magic and it was sung by Frank Sinatra, not Peggy Lee as I was thinking later on today (but maybe she sang it as well - just checked and yes she did along with many others - partial list here). The lyrics:

That old black magic has me in its spell, that old black magic that you weave so well.
Those icy fingers up and down my spine
That same old witchcraft when your eyes meet mine.
The same old tingle that I feel inside, and then that elevator starts its ride
And down and down I go, round and round I go, like a leaf that's caught in the tide.
I should stay away, but what can I do?
I hear your name and I'm aflame
Aflame with such a burning desire that only your kiss can put out the fire.
For you're the lover I have waited for, the mate that fate had me created for.
And every time your lips meet mine, darling, down and down I go, round and round I go
In a spin, loving the spin I'm in, under that old black magic called love.

Other neat stuff of the day:

College Football:
-Irish stomped by Air Force. Duke and ND square off next week to see who gets its 2nd win of the year. Any bets?
-Hoosiers lose to Northwestern.
-Purdue loses to Michigan State.
-Illinois upsets #1 Ohio State! Hey Hey!

-Veterans Day tomorrow - hug a veteran or get him out to the golf course.
-And the Vietnam Memorial just turned 25 - the memorial you won't want to miss if you go to Washington. (I wonder if it packs as much wallop for those of later generations as it does for us that lived through and experienced that war? Expect not...)

Tony Wease Shot Decisive in Match Play Event

Six fairway diehards braved the cool weather and went to an overtime hole before a decisive shot by Tony Wease sent everybody heading for home. Playing best ball in this late season nine hole match play event, Tony Wease was joined by Mike Bird and Lee Wininger in downing the Dave Wininger, Curt Johnson and Mike Arvin team that found themselves all square through nine holes. Playing the extra hole from the one hundred yard line at #1, Tony, the second to hit in the bunch, lofted a ball that came down a few feet in front of the hole and then came to a stop fifteen inches behind it leaving a putt that was conceded by the opposition. After his teammates hit balls wide right and wide left, Dave Wininger made it interesting by sticking one a mere ten feet from the hole. Alas, each of the three putts slipped on by, though Dave's did look in, said 'No way, Jose', and continued on its way. The Wininger team jumped ahead on hole #2 with Dave chipping in one from 45 feet just off the green for an eagle. Lee Wininger had just enough on a twelve foot putt to stay just one back at hole #4. Mike Bird (me) got a ten footer to fall for birdie on #5 to tie the match only to see Dave stick one close on #6 and Curt roll in the three foot putt for a birdie and the lead once again. But that disappeared on the very next hole when Mike (me) stuck it within six inches, a putt that was conceded. Both teams parred #8 and #9 to set up Tony's heroics at the first and only overtime hole.

Saturday in the Park

Well, kinda. At the golf course will have to do, at least for a little bit. Scramble starts at ten this morning. World turns and...

-Netflix movie last night: Tokyo Story, a 1953 Yasujiro Ozo directed movie examining relationships, this time with the focus on older parents and children who have drifted off to their own lives. I see from a review that this movie is considered one of the best movies ever. Wow, that surprises me what with there being little plot and a pace that is just above stop (a reviewer: "languorous placidity "). Still, there was something that kept my attention, or maybe it was the whole of it, the way the film was put together, the small cramped settings from the tiny houses to the narrow streets to the overhead shots of a community packed with homes smack up against each other, the straight forward, no frill way the people dealt with each other and with life. I enjoyed it; Diane watched just a bit of it.

Got to get to the golf course... World turns - love the spin I'm in (ok, what's the song name and artist - Frank Sinatra? It's playing in my head, probably for the next several hours.)

Friday, November 9, 2007

K of C Scramble Moved to 10 o'clock start Sunday

A change in the time of the start of the K of C scramble this Sunday - now starting at 10 o'clock. Mark your calendars and call in to sign up (K of C, Kim Jones, or clubhouse).

Friday Follies: K of C Sunday Scramble, Mukasey

Important things first: Terry Butcher is setting up a K of C Scramble for Sunday morning at nine. All are welcome; just bring your loose change and some kind of golf game. I expect he would appreciate some kind of notice that you intend to play. Drop in at the K of C or call here.

And tomorrow's scramble starts at 10 am.

That takes care of the important stuff.

-I see that Mukasey has already been confirmed after a day, actually 4 hours, of 'impassioned floor debate' in the Senate. From Glenn Greenewald via dKos:

[The most amazing quote was from chief Mukasey supporter Chuck Schumer, who, before voting for him, said that Mukasey is "wrong on torture -- dead wrong." Marvel at that phrase: "wrong on torture." Six years ago, there wasn't even any such thing as being "wrong on torture," because "torture" wasn't something we debated. It would have been incoherent to have heard: "Well, he's dead wrong on torture, but . . . "

Now, "torture" is not only something we openly debate, but it's something we do. And the fact that someone is on the wrong side of the "torture debate" doesn't prevent them from becoming the Attorney General of the United States. It's just one issue, like any other issue -- the capital gains tax, employer mandates for health care, the water bill -- and just because someone is "dead wrong" on one little issue (torture) hardly disqualifies them from High Beltway Office.]

Jeesh... The depths that we have arrived at her in the land of the free...

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Here I am...

Ever have a day get away from you and all of a sudden find yourself at day's end with all sorts of things undone and unsaid? I have but this wasn't one of them. Blogger, the thingee that runs these blogs, wouldn't let me on this morning so those things that needing saying were held in check. The things that needing doing, like going to the golf course, like reading important books on teenagers growing up (The Crossing) and macho white men finding an outlet (Licensed to Kill - Hired Guns in the War on Terror), like taking a wee nap and doing a walk, like checking in with three seniors who showed up for a senior game this morning at ten o'clock and found only themselves and a cool wind blowing in and around them, like, well, a few and sundry other things as well. The day got along on itself and now Diane has already headed for the south end of the house and PBS is on as background (Supreme Court). So it goes.

Other notes to settle your day:

-Bernie Kerik, outstanding citizen and buddy to Rudy Giuliani, indicted. Almost became our first boss of Homeland Security. Rudy, what were you thinking?
-I see the Pacers are now 3-1; must have lost last night. Darn; was hoping for a perfect season, which would have really surprised a lot of people. Right?
-heard on the radio around noon that Kentucky lost a basketball game last night to, let me think now, it wasn't one of those schools you think of too often, Gardner-Webb. Never heard of them. Never. What is this world coming to?

Reminder: Saturday Scramble will start at 10 am. Should be a nice morning once the cold of Friday night leaves the area.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Wednesday Wrap: Tracy Swing, Movie

Pictures: Tracy Rayhill driving down #1 late this afternoon. (I like this option on this new camera, the sequential shooting.)

Netflix: Balseros. Documentary about the Cuban rafters (balseros) who tried to get to America in the mid '90's. A good one with much footage of the people both in Cuba and in America, before, during and after the attempts, at least some of which were successful. An eye opener.

Currently watching The War on PBS, a repeat. Tonight: the Buldge, Iwo Jima and Tokyo burning. I'll pay a little more attention to the Iwo Jima and Tokyo burning segments having just finished Manchester's Goodbye, Darkness.

Wednesday and the sun is shining

The sun is shining though we are getting a bit of the cool weather we have been missing. Oh well. Might be warm enough to chase a golf ball around the greensward this afternoon. Definitely warm enough tomorrow and this weekend.

Notes from around the globe that caught my eye:

-from WAPO and David Ignatius, a look at the troubles in Pakistan with a little recent history to help us see what possibly could be. The history is that of Iran, the fall of the Shah and the ascension of rulers who are anything but democratic. Ignatius:

"...So ask yourself: What Iran policy would have made sense, in hindsight, given the ruinous consequences of the Iranian revolution? Should the United States have encouraged the shah to crack down harder against protesters and ride out the storm, as some hard-liners urged at the time? Or should it have moved more quickly to encourage a change of regime, after it became obvious the shah couldn't or wouldn't reform?..."

He admits that even now with all that done and gone we have little idea what would have been the best road to take. And with that he makes the point that that is the point: we don't know. And from that the suggestion that maybe we should do less meddling... Hmmm. Is it in our nature and makeup not to meddle? Aren't we the solution to all the world's problems? the guys with the white hats and all the answers, not to mention the 'most powerful nation in the world'? Don't we have the moral obligation to go out and help the downtrodden and the ignorant, the pagan and the infidel?

-and speaking of us being the good guys, this from a reader at tpm:

I watched a 50's movie yesterday entitled The Circle of Deception. It was about the British sending a soldier to German-occupied France duirng WWII with the intention that he be captured, tortured and broken to give the Germans misleading information.

What torture did those hideous Nazis use? First beating with a cord, then electric shock and finally waterboarding. So shameful that we now find ourselves in this position! Unbelievable.

Turning the page:

-Eric passed on the news that the Hatchets' Ty Zeller has decided to go out of state to North Carolina. It's good for the young to travel.

-back to reading McCarthy's The Crossing and just this morning, about half way through the book, it's sounding familiar. Two teen age boys, Billy and Boyd, have just rescued a teen age girl from the seemingly devilish designs of two rascally older men getting juiced. Setting is somewhere in Mexico near the Rio Grande back in the 1930's (I think). It's worth reading again...

Time to head on over to the gc. Pacers still undefeated? Irish still moaning?

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Tuesday Pre-Wrap: Mukasey, Movie, Letters from the Past

-Mukasey voted out of committee, 11-8. Goes to full Senate now. Suggest the People demand that he be put on a very short leash with plenty of oversight. I also want him to be successful in making the DoJ a respected and legal arm of our government again.

-Netflix movie: Hero, a Flying Daggers type movie, Chinese though in English which Diane and I both appreciated.. Fun, interesting, colorful, nifty dancing and leaping and flying. Like a dream.

More later. Watching pbs and Frontline - a program on rendition...

Ok, back after a short break to hear about those illegal renditions that the CIA performed.

-Letters from the past, that would be my letters to Diane as I sailed around the Far East with Diane back in Yokosuka tending the home fires and, by the time we left in mid 1965, two youngsters as well. After posting about Goodbye, Darkness this morning, I continued to think about my own Navy days. Got to the point where I asked Diane if those letters that we saved all these years and carted around with us from pillar to post had much detail about where the Washtenaw County was during those days we were away from Yokosuka. She remember that there was not a whole lot as we were careful about revealing information that the enemy (whoever that was) might be able to use, you know, loose-lips-sinks-ships kind of stuff. This was more dire in 1964 and 1965 as the problems down south (Vietnam) became more acute.

In any case, Diane did retrieve the letters for me. They had been sorted and bundled by year so it was easy for me to go immediately to times that interested me, like the spring of 1965 when we did a lot of steaming between the Philippines and Vietnam waiting for Washington to make a decision. Found some references to just that and other stuff as well. Like a scheduled R and R in Hong Kong; like taking a load of 357 Marines from Fugi to Naha in February; like going from Subic Bay (Philippines) back to Buckner Bay (Okinawa) in March; like asking Diane if she made it to Kobe for what we thought was going to be a mini vacation for all of us but was then cancelled, that being in February as well; like being at our objective (probably Chulai, Vietnam) in May. Cool beans. There was also comments made on what was going on on the ship, people relationships, shore leaves, even hitting golf balls while docked or anchored down in Subic Bay with a fellow officer before heading to the pool for swimming, sunning and drinking. More cool beans.

But, as many of you know, a little bit of me goes a long way. And I quickly tired of the perusing and went on to other things, like watching the Nova program on sputnik and eating popcorn with Diane. Will go back though and do a little more peeking in on the past.

Goodbye, Darkness: Manchester Wraps Up His Story

Finished Goodbye, Darkness last night. Manchester saves his best for last - his own blood letting at the Battle for Okinawa. That battle for a piece of real estate that was to be used for the staging of the final onslaught of Japan's homeland, was long and intense and bloody with deaths in the hundreds of thousands, at least 150000 of whom were civilians. As mentioned before, the Japanese had no doubts about what the outcome was going to be and they accepted their destiny with relish and a cup of sake or two. Remember, for them, surrender was the highest form of treachery and cowardice. Good read.

While in the Navy, we, that would be the Washtenaw County and its sailors, would travel down to Okinawa from Yokusuka quite often. There we would load (and unload) a group of Marines and their rolling stock and other material and head out to roam the Far East, to train and keep ourselves ready for any eventuality. And it was there that I received word of the birth of Number One Son, Martin. As a matter of fact, I was sitting in the Officers' Club while Diane was taking care of all the birthing details. You do your duty wherever you are, right? I was also away with the birth of Number One Daughter, Michele, though was able to leave the ship at Numazu and jeep southeast of Mt. Fuji and o'er the Japanese countryside to get home the next day. And, yes, you are right: both children returned to the States with a little tag around their necks, made in Japan.

Breakfast time, then the golf course. World turns; 25th anniversary of the opening of the Vietnam Memorial.

Monday, November 5, 2007

Monday Wrap: Pictures

Pictures: Judy and Susan reacting to paparazzi (paparazzus?), Eylers and Walkers putting on #1, windy lake view late this afternoon.

More on Mukasey and Torture

Here's a short article from Harper's which further dampens any enthusiasm you might have had for this man called Mukasey and that goes double if he did what this article says he did: give assurances to several high mucky-muck Federalist Society Republicans that he will not appoint a special prosecutor and that he will toe

"...the Administration’s line on “the Program,” that he would continue to protect those who authored the program with the cloak of an Attorney General opinion keeping them safe from prosecution....."

What a rascal. But aren't these guys just fooling themselves if they think they are going to avoid prosecution forever? Won't the next administration, as demanded by the People, appoint a special prosecutor to investigate the shenanigans of these (to use a Bush Senior phrase) yahoos? I sure hope so. Remember, truth will out, to quote John Dean and Bill Shakespeare.

Another Monday: Waterboarding, Pakistan, Manchester

Notes to get a week started:

-WAPO has an article by a former JAG who used to lecture soldiers on the niceties of the law and their responsibilities when guarding prisoners. The drift: waterboarding has been illegal, and recognized as so, for a long time. He offers several examples from the past, including one of a Texas sheriff as recently as 1983 getting ten years in prison for forcing confessions and using simulated drowning in the process. The Japanese also used a waterboarding during WWII and were tried for such in the trials after the conclusion of the war.

Diane recalls (in a comment on a previous blog) a Hollywood rendition of waterboarding: the ways the Salem witches were encouraged to confess to their devilish ways was to tie them up, suspend them from a long pole and dip them head first into a body of water over and over till they admitted their wrong doings.

(I just remembered my own experience with near drowning: at my great aunt Clara's cottage on Klinger Lake near Niles, Michigan: another young boy and I (might have been 11 or 12) had apparently had some disagreement while playing in the lake; he got me in a head lock and just kept pushing me underwater and holding me there, letting me up for air, then pushing me under again, over and over. I survived (!) but clearly remember it as a dastardly thing to do; scary as well.)

-also from WAPO, the mess in Pakistan gets messier with civil rights abandoned, opposition leaders being jailed, reporters being sent away, and Condi Rice reviewing the $150 million a month in aid that goes to Musharraf and his thugs. (I can think of better ways to spend that money, can't you?)

-Manchester and Goodbye, Darkness: Just in the early stages of the battle for Iwo Jima, a small bit of rock and lava that was critical in the plans to defeat Japan. (It was strategically placed in the Allies' air lane to the Japanese homeland and afforded the Japanese a two hour warning of impending bombardment when spotters on Iwo Jima radioed when hearing/seeing planes overhead.) Japanese have dug in and have no illusions of coming out alive and want the invaders to pay dearly. We do.

This is the first time that I have read to any extent about the war in the Pacific. Did a lot of reading of the European theater of operations as a college student and then down through the years. Kind of funny that being the case especially with my service years being spent not only in the navy but also in the Far East. Guess I was involved in other pursuits at the time...

Enough of all that bad stuff happening to others. Heading to the golf course. Guess what - another good golf day.

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Live Blogging: Colts playing the Patriots

Picture: Grandsons at golf course earlier today.

Darn. Completed pass, first down, no more timeouts. Game all but over. Darn it all. Defense did their part, at least for three quarters. Offense not up to the task. Did anybody say anything at all about the NE defense all week? I don't remember a peep unless it was that they were getting old and slow (but I confess I wasn't listening all that much...).

Two running plays by the Pats, two timeouts by the Colts. No more timeouts; two minute warning coming up. Big third down.

Oh no. Payton stripped. Patriots ball. Not good, folks. Darn...

Incomplete pass; 3rd and 9. Oh oh...

Heart still racing. Sitting on the edge of my seat...

Wayne catches one for 24 yards. Hurray! Inside the 50!

Need to drive 76 yards. Incomplete pass - Moorehead should have caught it.

Damn. Touchdown Patriots. Still plenty of time. Manning has to respond now...

Ouch. Catch inside the 15 yard line.

Defense has to come up big.

Colts moving. Oops, Wilcher caught for a hold. Oops, illegal procedure. Oops, pocket collapse, 4th down, punt.

Welker catch for a td. Darn... 20-17. No problem - Payton marches them down field for a td leaving just under two minutes left in game, right? Right.

Mass confusion in Colt defensive posture. Time out. In the nick of time...

Pass interference on Moss. Hurray!

Moss catches another; down at the 3 yard line of the Colts; Sanders slow to get up. Darn. Ok, just push them back to the 30 yard line, then a missed field goal... Please...

4th Qtr: Colts have just scored again on a turnover with QB bulling it into the endzone. Colts up 20-10. Colt offense not sharp except after turnovers. Still up by 10 with ten minutes to go. My heart is racing; am in high state of excitement. (btw, was having dinner during the 3rd qtr...)

Halftime - Colts up 13-7. Fantastic!!!!!!!!!!!!

:13 #29 Joe A. short pass and long run touchdown! Wow oh wow!

:27 seconds left in the first half; Colts short pass and run for a first down; time out. Long way to go before in any kind of scoring territory.

1:13 to go in the half. Colts just intercepted a Brady pass on Colts 1 yard line. Low scoring game, not unexpected...

Well, we're into the 2nd quarter and so far pretty even thought the Colts have not been able to score a touchdown. Bummer - three times down the field, two 3 pointers. First possession by the Patriots was a beauty by the Colts' defense: 3 and out with a sack. More of that, please.

Dean on Mukasey

via tpm: John Dean suggests a precondition for Mukasey's approval as new AG: appoint a special prosecutor to investigate war crimes (what a great idea):

Dean on Mukasey

11.02.07 -- 7:01PM
By Josh Marshall

Friend of TPM and former Nixon White House Counsel John Dean knows a few things about lawless presidents. He just sent us his thoughts on the now certain confirmation of Judge Mukasey ...

A Last Thought Before the Senate Judiciary Committee Confirms Judge Mukasey

By John W. Dean

As the Senate Democrats complete another sad concession to President Bush, and confirms a nominee who refuses to declare “water-boarding” torture, allow me to offer a brief historical reminder: the Senate Judiciary Committee has conspicuously forgotten that there are direct situational and historical parallels with Judge Mukasey’s nomination to be Attorney General and that of President Richard Nixon nominating Elliot Richardson to be Attorney General during Watergate.

Nixon’s Attorney General had been removed (and was later prosecuted for lying to Congress) – a situation not unlike Alberto Gonzales’s leaving the job under such a cloud. Nixon was under deep suspicion of covering up the true facts relating to the bungled break-in at the Democratic National Committee headquarters at the Watergate, not to mention widespread rumors that he had engaged in abuses of power and corrupt campaign practices. Today, Bush is under even deeper suspicion for activities far more serious than anything Nixon engaged in for there is evidence Bush has abused the laws of war, violated treaties, and ordered (or approved) the use of torture and political renditions, which are war crimes.

Since Judge Mukasey’s situation is not unlike that facing Elliot Richardson when he was appointed Attorney General during Watergate, why should not the Senate Judiciary Committee similarly make it a quid pro quo for his confirmation that he appoint a special prosecutor to investigate war crimes? Richardson was only confirmed when he agreed to appoint a special prosecutor, which, of course, he did. And when Nixon fired that prosecutor, Archibald Cox, it lead to his impeachment.

Before the Democrats on the Senate Judiciary Committee completely cave-in to Bush, at minimum they should demand that Judge Mukasey appoint a special prosecutor to investigate if war crimes have been committed. If Mukasey refuses he should be rejected. This, indeed, should be a pre-condition to anyone filling the post of Attorney General under Bush.

If the Democrats in the Senate refuse to demand any such requirement, it will be act that should send chills down the spine of every thinking American.

Sunday Funnies

At the golf course where it is sunny and cool. Eric out working on the greens and Curt Johnson just getting a round started. Expect more good golf weather.

The world turns. Have you noticed that the Middle East mess is expanding? Pakistan now with mini martial law being declared. Turkey and the Kurds sticking their tongues out at each other. Iran saber rattling continues; that would be the Bushites screaming and yelling. Iraq? Still there, still murderous, still unfriendly. Israel kinda quiet...

In Goodbye, Darkness, Manchester just completed a brief stay on Tinian, that little isle where the Enola Gay took off with the first atomic bomb. Now on Guam where the Japanese atrocities apparently were particularly gruesome.

Movie last night, a goodie: Pan's Labyrinth, a fairy tale for adults. WWII in Spain; killing and torture. Disturbing.

Colts and Patriots later today. Hope it's as good as the Irish-Navy game yesterday. Go Blue.

Time to go outside and walk about...

Saturday, November 3, 2007

Say Bye Bye to Longest Winning Streak

Picture: Woods Scene with new camera. (click to enlarge.)

-Irish topped by Navy in 3 OT thriller. Great 4th quarter and overtime periods. The refs tried to help the Irish but to no avail. Would you believe that I was rooting or the Midshipman? I was.

-Netflix movie time, again...

Manchester and Valiant Efforts: Lady Lions, Fighting Irish

-Lady Lions win in five in the morning, lose in three in the afternoon.
-Notre Dame Fighting Irish trying to extend its 43 game winning streak against the Navy Midshipman. Late in the 4th, Irish have scored and tied the score at 28 apiece. And now overtime...
-watched a little of the ball game earlier with Marty; we both agreed that maybe ND has found its proper level of play where they can be competitive; that would be the military academies, Ivy League, the Delawares of the universe. I say go for it, Irish.
-Manchester (Goodbye, Darkness) and the US Marines (and US Army) are on Saipan having taken the measure of the Japanese at Guadalcanal and Tarawa (pronounced TAR-uh-wuh). Manchester has already made it clear that the Japanese will fight to the death, not only the soldiers that they run into but also the civilians who have been convinced that the Americans will not only kill them but eat them. (Yuk.)
-in case you missed it, another beautiful fall day.

Last Night: Pacers Win and a Movie: Shooter

-Number One Son drove down last night: dinner and a movie along with all sorts of conversation including camera talk (my new Olympus E-410 which has made it out of the house the past two days - its first excursions).

-Pacers win again. Still perfect. My oh my...

-Netflix movie: The good guys win in this shoot em up thriller about, get this, nefarious guys in government, in our very own US government. What a thought. Diane loved it. Shooter with Mark Wahlberg. Diane and I both had trouble understanding this non foreign language, multiple dialect American movie. Didn't use subtitles though...

-Saturday morning scramble starts at 9...

Friday, November 2, 2007

Golf Basics Revisited

Had the chance to practice a little golf today. After several drives and several approaches and several chips and several putts, I decided to concentrate on finding out why I was repeatedly pulling the ball to the left on my approach shot, that 60 to a 120 yard finesse shot that is not all that hard and one that was made easier with my adoption of the David Pelz method several years ago. Since I was consistently pulling the shot to the left, I thought maybe my alignment was off. So I dropped a club on the other side of the ball and carefully pointed it at the pin some 115 yards away. Backing up and taking my stance, I was careful to ensure that my feet were parallel to that alignment aid, and then swung away. Same result - pull to the left of the pin. Darn. Tried it several more times, ensuring that my grip and my club face were in the right position and again and again pulled the shot to the left. Darn again and again. What now... From somewhere back in my memory of alignment, the image of two clubs on the ground popped up. One club near the ball, and another closer to the feet. Put a second club down and made sure that it was parallel to the first one. Stepped into position with my toes up against that second club and gave it a go. Wallah! Three shots, threes right at the stick, two close enough for birdies. So, my eye ball alignment was throwing me off; and my putting one club down, thus minimizing that eyeball, was also off. Moral of the story: keep going back to the basics. In this case, the basic was being parallel to your target line, something I thought I was but really wasn't. And that is pretty basic.

Friday Wrap: Saturday Scramble

Reminder: tomorrow's scramble will start at 9am.

Got a golfing story but it will have to wait. Got a Netflix movie to watch: Shooter. Later...

Friday Follies: Torture, Lions

-from Dana Milbank and WAPO: Reports on a Human Rights briefing on torture which includes comments by people who have actually gone through waterboarding in past wars. Bush described as having successfully bridged the 21st century with the 15th century with regards to weapons used to fight wars. The 15th century, of course, is when the Spanish Inquisition refined the different ways people could be treated to ensure some kind of confession, including waterboarding.

(BTW, from the SI link, "...The methods of torture most used by the Inquisition were garrucha, toca and the potro. The application of the garrucha, also known as the strappado, consisted of suspending the criminal from the ceiling by a pulley with weights tied to the ankles, with a series of lifts and drops, during which arms and legs suffered violent pulls and were sometimes dislocated.[28]. The toca, also called tortura del agua, consisted of introducing a cloth into the mouth of the victim, and forcing them to ingest water spilled from a jar so that they had impression of drowning.[29] The potro, the rack, was the instrument of torture used most frequently...." and "...Some of the torture methods attributed to the Spanish Inquisition were never used. For example, the "Iron Maiden" never existed in Spain, and was a post-Reformation invention of Germany. Thumbscrews on display in an English museum as Spanish were recently argued to be of English origin...." Good to know.)

Let me see now, projecting us into the future some 500 years, what shall we call this episode in American history? The Bush Inquisition? The Lost Decade? The Stupid-I-Forgot-Who-We-Were Years?

Enough of that. It's lovely out there once again. Sun is shining, temperatures in the mild range. Another beautiful day. Breakfast at the Cabin this morning with Jim and Wilma and a lot of Catholics in after their morning Mass. Jim and Wilma and a host of other Loogooteeites heading to Muncie and Anderson later today. Girls volleyball team going for the gold. Go Lions! (Lionesses? Lionettes?)

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Thursday Wrap: Mukasey, Torre, Manchester

Notes to close another beautiful fall day:

-Mukasey nomination on the ropes? tpmmuckraker has lots more including a lot of discussion that delves into the legalities, illegalities and moralities of it all. One of the commentators writes:

The real travesty here, folks is not that the administration has tortured, not that they have decided to attack a country without cause, not that they have decided to exempt themselves and their hirees from prosecution in Iraq, not that they have decided "We the People" need to be spied upon with or without Constitutional permission.

The actions to fear is more basic and more dangerous is that Congress and the Senate is fully aware of the deeds and transgressions and has decided to allow it to continue. We have about 6 hundred folks up their in Washington voted in by "WE the People" who have decided not to submit or support actions to stop these events from happening now or in the future. Instead, they are condoning it (yes, I know they are speaking out against these clowns... but at the same time they are also voting to continue the actions).

That certainly would be a real travesty and certainly one of those not to be mentioned fears that I harbor. Please do not let it be so.

-Joe Torre to manage Dodgers. That would be the team that came from my birth city. Cool.

-Manchester (Goodbye, Darkness) done with Guadalcanal. Survives. On to Tarawa. Question for those of you who watched Ken Burns' The War: Did he spend any time at all on Guadalcanal? I don't remember it being mentioned. Manchester believes it was a decisive battle, one that showed that the Japanese could be stopped even when the Allies failed to support the Marines at Guadalcanal.

Bird Team Trumps Lents Team in Senior Game

In the Senior Game this morning, the Mike Bird, Leroy Streepy, Dave Strange and Vic Wallace team defeated the Jack Lents, Joe Gray, Ray Shaw and Diane Bird team by a score of two to one in singles match play. The particulars with the Mike Bird team players being listed first:

1. Mike Bird and Jack Lents - all square.
2. Leroy Streepy defeats Joe Gray.
3. Vic Wallace defeats Diane Bird.
4. Dave Strange beaten by Ray Shaw.