Friday, February 29, 2008

Some Pictures for a February 29th

Time's a-wasting...

Breakfast at The Cabin with Jim and Wilma and the Catholics (a regular after Friday Mass ritual for some of the local religious folk). That was followed by Diane going to the tee shirt place (Rosie's) to get appropriate clothing to support not only the locals but also her favorite grandsons who go to school in the county to the north. Orange and white, black and gold. Adds a bit of color to a gray day in February. Btw, it's the 29th, that extra day of the year that comes around every four years. Doing anything special?

On politics and from Kevin Drum:

February 29, 2008

OBAMA vs. CLINTON....It's late and I don't have time to think of something really insightful to say about this, so I'll just throw it out. It's from the latest Pew poll, and it shows that both Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama are likely to beat John McCain in a general election. What's odd, though, is something we've seen before: Hillary's strength among self-identified Democrats. Obama, as expected, draws a few more Republicans and independents than Hillary does, but Hillary has far fewer defections among Democrats. In all, 89% of Democrats would vote for her while only 81% would vote for Obama. Daniel Larison points out some additional detail:

Most remarkable of all is that Obama is weaker among Democrats in all age groups than Clinton. He is four points weaker, and McCain five points stronger, among Democratic voters aged 18-49 than in a Clinton v. McCain race. The losses are even greater among Democratic voters 50-64 and 65+.

In fact, in a matchup against McCain, the only subgroup of Democrats that supports Obama more than Hillary is African-Americans — and even in their case only by a tiny margin. I don't quite know what this means, but it's worth thinking about.

Kevin Drum 3:19 AM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (93)

Interesting stuff. Think I'll head on over to the golf course what with the temperatures above the 50 mark. Time really is a-wasting...

Thursday, February 28, 2008

The Bucket List in Washington

Went down to Washington with Diane where we met up with about 173 other folk to take in The Bucket List. Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman star in this tale of doing the things you want to do once you've been given the day of your demise. Funny in some places, touching in others, serious in still others. Each of the stars did well but they have also done better. Maybe too much star power in a single place. Enjoyable and teary and it ends with a laugh. Thanks to Rita and Ken and Joe for the treat.

Notes on Halberstam's The Next Century

Some of the notes I made while reading Halberstam's The Next Century:

-In Japan, the government's primary reason for being was an economic and commercial one; in America, that primacy belongs to defense (guns vs butter?).
-For Kazuo Inamori of Kyocera, work was meaningful; he encouraged his people to try to have a perfect day at work.
-Art Buchwald asked a room full of CEO's if they voted for Ron Reagan and they all raised their hands; asked them if they would hire him to be the CEO of their corporation, no hands were raised.
-With the advent of television, we've lost the thoughtful civility of discourse; we're more like the USA Today and less like the New York Times (I agree and blogging seems to perpetuate that brevity (?) of thinking).
-the author finds himself being 'churlish' about America again. Cool word, don't you think?
-one difference between Japan and America: Japan wants to make things, America wants to make money.
-America becoming a land of the more rich and the more poor (sounds like something we heard from John Edwards...).
-America needs to become more like Japan's 'establishment' but fear is it is becoming more like a Latin American oligarchy:
Does America have an establishment or an oligarchy? Every day I pick up the newspapers, and journalists describe--and I think they're right--Japan as having an establishment--that is, Japan has a group of people at the very top who may, in fact, be quite as selfish as any other ruling elite of powerful capitalists. But the members of the Japanese establishment know that they and their children cannot succeed, particularly in so small and vulnerable a nation, unless most of the society succeeds as well. So the members of this establishment are willing to sacrifice some of their own personal privilege and power and riches in order to make sure that the larger society works and is regenerative. At the same time, when virtually the same journalists describe Latin American countries, the word they invariably use to describe the leadership is 'oligarchy.' They are describing a very small handful of immensely privileged people who have it very good and who plan to continue to have it very good and don't care at all about the fact that the rest of the country is doing poorly. In effect, an oligarchy believes it can be successful even if the rest of the country is unsuccessful. And that's the system we're moving toward."

(quote is from page 9 of a Washington Monthly article of Jan-Feb, 1991. Me thinks this may very well be one of the chapters in the book - worth a read...)
-repeat of the concern that America is a national security state and that Mexico is a threat - and if I remember correctly, it is a threat because of the vast discrepancy between what's possible in the two countries. Guess that's been said for a long time - the third world nations, and this is especially true with the rapid improvement in communications, know they are the have nots and eventually will find some way to change that condition. Think it was earlier in the book that Halberstam told of the fall of the Berlin Wall and the rush of East Berliners to the streets and stores of the West Berliners - and that caused anger and rage on the part of the East Berliners because they saw how little they had in common every day goods and how much was available to their neighbors - they correctly blamed the system (Communist) and its leaders.

Guess it was and remains a thought provoking book. I recommend it even if it is 18 years old.

Pete Seeger on PBS

PBS's American Masters featured Pete Seeger last night. Great story, great man, great music. He wanted most of all to hear people sing with him and Diane and I both joined in somewhere during the program - couldn't resist - hmmm, don't remember the song at the moment, but it was fun. Watch it and make a copy of it for watching it again and again. Not only great fun but super history. And lots of music!

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

The Ghost, Sam Walton

Afternoon movie: The Ghost. A 'terrifying spine-chiller from South Korea' kept us engrossed for a few hours this afternoon. We both got confused with who was who but in the end, with some careful attention and by comparing notes, we figured out what was going on. Our own confusion probably reduced the suspense and terror some but it retained sufficient horror and 'what's-going-to-happen-nextness' to keep us on the edge of our seats, scrunched up, biting our nails and holding our breath all at the same time. Well, not really, but it was entertaining.

Earlier in the day, finished Sam Walton's Made in America, the book written by the guy who made Wal-Mart (he did have a write helping him - John Huey). Down home guy makes good. As with Dave Halberstam's book, when I finished this one, I wanted to sit down and continue the conversation with Sam. The book was completed shortly before he died back in the early '90's so a lot has happened since then and most notably with Wal-Mart. Would love to have his comments on what his little store has become. From
Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE: WMT) is an American public corporation that runs a chain of large, discount department stores. It is the world's largest public corporation by revenue, according to the 2007 Fortune Global 500.[3] Founded by Sam Walton in 1962, it was incorporated on October 31, 1969, and listed on the New York Stock Exchange in 1972. It is the largest private employer in the world and the fourth largest utility or commercial employer, trailing the Chinese army, the British National Health Service, and the Indian Railways. Wal-Mart is the largest grocery retailer in the United States, with an estimated 20% of the retail grocery and consumables business, as well as the largest toy seller in the U.S., with an estimated 22% share of the toy market.

I think he would take it all in stride and be mildly impressed as he was with his success from the opening of his first store in 1962 to it's 2000 plus store in 1991 (6500 by 2005). I'm impressed.

Diane and the Debate and a Red Headed Guy

Got home from the boys' basketball sectional last night to find Diane in a bit of a tither what with the expected Hillary-Barack debate on NBC not being covered. She went to the computer and didn't find the MSNBC streaming of it either (did catch some of it a little later and she had some very unkind words for the red headed host, Tim Russert - see below for more). To top it all off, I had plunked myself down and started eating the rest of the popcorn on the kitchen counter only to find out ten minutes later that that was the rest of her dinner, something she had delayed to enjoy with the televised debate. Oh boy...

And this from Hullaboo and digby about the red haired guy:
How Do We Defeat Tim Russert?

by digby

The country wants change. They want Washington to stop all the partisan bickering and they want a different tone. They want their government to be serious and deal with real problems.

Can someone please explain to me how that can possibly happen until something is done about the reprehensible political press? From tax returns to Farrakhan to footage shown by "mistake" to the endless, trivial, gotcha bullshit, this debate spectacle tonight was a classic demonstration of what people really hate about politics. It isn't actually the candidates who can at least on occasion be substantive and serious. The problem is Tim Russert and all his petty, shallow acolytes who spend all their time reading Drudge and breathlessly reporting every tabloid tidbit and sexy rumor and seeking out minor inconsistencies from years past in lieu of doing any real work.

Judging by their silly questions tonight, Russert and Williams obviously know nothing about health care policy, Iraq, Islamic terrorism, economics, global trade or any other subject that requires more than five minutes study to come up with some gotcha question or a stupid Jack Bauer fantasy. It's embarrassing.

These people guide the way citizens perceive politics even if the citizens don't know it. It's hard for me to see how anything can truly change until this is dealt with.

I refuse to watch him and don't do the evening news on NBC anymore either...

update: comment from atrios:
Because He's Profoundly Stupid

Obviously one can sense where Timmeh's tribal sympathies lie and which voices are yapping in his ear, but more than that he's a fundamentally stupid man. Because he seems to be at the top of the political press pyramid, everyone below him kisses his ass.

Our discourse is so stupid, and its king nitwit is Tim Russert.

btw, North Daviess beat a pesky Shoals team that came out for the 2nd half on fire and actually won the 3rd quarter; Barr-Reeve beat Vincennes Rivet by a bunch but it was pretty close with the winner undecided deep into the 4th quarter. Scores: North Daviess 78, Shoals 44; Barr-Reeve 51, Vincennes Rivet 39.

Obama, Muslims, Great Religions

Found at Kevin Drum's blog, Barack Obama's comments on the war on terror, on our relations with the very big Muslim world:

OBAMA'S TAKE ON TERROR....On Sunday Barack Obama spoke to a small Jewish group in Cleveland, and most of the Q&A revolved around issues related to Israel and a Palestinian state. But at the very end he switched gears a bit and did a nice job summing up his attitude toward the war on terror:

I am not na├»ve. There is a hard core of jihadist fundamentalists who we can't negotiate with. We have to hunt them down and knock them out. Incapacitate them....And that is where military action and intelligence has to be directed. So all the things I've talked about in the past — improving our intelligence capacity, improving our alliances, rolling up financial support, improving our homeland security, making sure that we have strike forces that are effective — that's all the military, intelligence, police work that's required.

The question then is what do we do with the 1.3 billion Muslims, who are along a spectrum of belief. Some extraordinarily moderate, some very pious but not violent. How do we reach out to them? And it is my strong belief that that is the battlefield that we have to worry about, and that is where we have been losing badly over the last 7 years. That is where Iraq has been a disaster. That is where the lack of effective public diplomacy has been a disaster. That is where our failure to challenge seriously human rights violations by countries like Saudi Arabia that are our allies has been a disaster.

And so what we have to do is to speak to that broader Muslim world in a way that says we will consistently support human rights, women's rights. We will consistently invest in the kinds of educational opportunities for children in these communities, so that madrasas are not their only source of learning. We will consistently operate in ways that lead by example, so that we have no tolerance for a Guantanamo or renditions or torture. Those all contribute to people at least being open to our values and our ideas and a recognition that we are not the enemy and that the Clash of Civilizations is not inevitable.

Nicely put.

The article referenced is much longer and more detailed and is actually a speech with a question and answer period in Cleveland covered by the New York Sun. Obama was meeting with members of the Cleveland Jewish Community.

And speaking of the Muslims reminded me of a book my Mother gave to me back in the 60's and which opened my eyes to the great religions of the world. Houston Smith's The World's Religions. The big five(Diane counts: that's six - Confucianism is the extra): Hinduism, Buddhism, Islam, Confucianism, Christianity, and Judaism. Wouldn't be a bad idea if we all knew something about each of them.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Loogootee Boys' Section Pictures

More on Siegelman

From tpm, Simpson tells Rove to speak under oath that he knows not what all this Siegelman stuff is. And this from the comment section, the link to the June, 2007, Harper's article that has the nuts and bolts of the story all laid out real nice just before Siegelman got his 7 year sentence. It's a long piece but well worth the read. The plot thickens. Will the bad guys manage to get out of town before the marshal arrives? Stay tuned.

Afternoon movie: The Bourne Ultimatum

From Netflix: The Bourne Ultimatum. Good adventure flick with the good guys winning in the end (again). The bad guys are part of our very own CIA. How can a movie like this even be made in a time of national crisis as we are in now what with the war on terror and all the bad guys out there trying to do very bad things to us if we let our guard down even a little bit? Those Hollywood people obviously have a different idea of the national interest. Matt Damon stars as Jason Bourne (not his real name) who goes through all sorts of fantastic situations to find some sort of resolution in the dark wetness of the East River. That super agent was ably assisted by two very capable women (played by Julia Stiles and Joan Allen) who were at the right place in the nick of time. Gave it a five.

The Siegelman Case, Natural Law Violation, Chelsea

Picture: Guys looking goofy at the girls' regional basketball game a while back.

More about the Siegelman case from dday at Hullabaloo. Along with a recap of the stuff we learned on 60 Minutes Sunday night, this update:
UPDATE: Here's the state of justice in America.

It has been 20 months since Siegelman’s trial ended and no trial transcript has been produced by Fuller's court. This is in violation of the rules of criminal procedure which require a transcript within 30 days of sentencing. Siegelman can't appeal his conviction with out an official trial transcript.

The Attorney General, by the way, has said he would rather let the case go through the normal appeals process rather than open an investigation.

Kafka would be proud.

Holy Cow! Is this stuff really happening here in the US of A? I remember way back in 1988 or 1989 when I was taking classes at IU for a Masters, an assignment had us interview someone - I forget just why. The fellow student that I interviewed happened to be from Mexico. One of the remarkable things he found here in the United States was that things worked, meaning our systems, our telephones, our roads and traffic systems. For the most part they still do, much more than in some other countries. However, think we have something here in Alabama that isn't working the way it's supposed to. Or is it? (Works if you're a good old boy, I guess.)

Atrios summary of latest news on falling home prices: Violating the Laws of Nature

Chelsea says Texas a must win for Hillary. I agree.

Time for a walk on the _______ side. (Suggestions on how I'm going to find St. Mary's Road here at the noon hour on a Tuesday?)

Monday, February 25, 2008

Golfer word play question

how come we haven't seen any play on words with yesterday's play down in Tucson? For instance:
In synch Tiger sinks Cink

unsynched Cink sunk by Tiger

synched Tiger sinks Cink

Any suggestions from fellow wordsmiths out there?

Photo Posting and Sharing

Got a comment on the webshots blog of Feb. 15th with some suggestions on possibly better photo posting and sharing sites. Have got them all up and am about to take a peek but thought I might as well share. The sites: zoomin, pixamo, keepandshare. A while back, Number One Son Marty suggested I look at fokti, which he uses; and Number Two Daughter, Danielle, uses snapfish. Gives us all several things to look at when we have a minute or two... (Thanks to Tom and Marty for the alternatives.)

Halberstam, Siegelman, Tiger

Finished David Halberstam's The Next Century this morning. A book he published in 1991 about Japan, America, education, establishments and oligarchies, business, national security and nationaly security states, Russia, Mexico as a threat and a lot more. As I was finishing it, I very much wanted to sit down with the author and carry on the conversation especially in light of the 17 years that have passed and the very different geopolitical climate that exists now - think the American economic success in the '90's, the rise of China, the 'war on terrorism'. More later on this book which does talk about the next century, the one we're in now, by never talking about it. Very much worth a read - it's a quick read since it is a small book, very much unlike most of his books.

60 Minutes last night had a segment on the Don Siegelman story. has a summary, a comment (surprised?), and a clip of the full segment. That story, according to tpm, is:
the prime example of selective prosecution in the Bush Justice Department

and, might I add, a pretty darn good example of justice run amok. Certainly these guys, Rove, Bush, Gonzales, and all their minions, will someday pay the price for their misuse of power.

And on a lighter note: Tiger and Stewart had a nice walk in the park yesterday, didn't they? No pressure on TW, maybe a bit of embarrassment for SC.

Time to get something to eat...

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Sunday Funnies: Snow Walk, Birds and Wind Energy

What better to do on a Sunday morning than take a walk in the snow, take some pictures of a bunch of birds, and watch a PBS program on wind power? Of course, kind of waiting for the match play to come on in a little - Tiger's up by three through 16 holes. Have also been reading some of the Halberstam book on the next century; he's spent all of his time so far on the last century and has just finished a fascinating piece on a Japanese inventor and manufacturer who, like Sam Walton, believes managers should be down on the floor getting their hands dirty - Kazuo Inamori, a super success story, not unlike Sam Walton's which was also readily apparent at the time of this book writing way back in 1991.

Other notes:

-I see IU men got it together just enough to beat the cellar dwellers in Big Ten basketball last night.
-was keeping an eye on the #1-#2 battle at the same time. Expect Jack Butcher was a little disappointed to see his alma mater stumble.
-Michelle Wie stumbled on a couple of holes (a double bogey and a triple bogey on holes #16 and #18) and finished the day with a 6 over 78 which got her a share of last place some 20 strokes behind the winner of the Fields Open, Paula Creamer. Ouch.
-NE Dubois girls lost yesterday to University - had to google that school - up in Carmel. Dang...

World turns... And maybe we'll get some warm weather tomorrow. Of course, this dang snow today will have to melt before we can get out there and whack some.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Movie: Cautiva

Pictures: more rail birds.

While waiting for the afternoon golf in Tuscon, took in a pretty darn good movie: Cautiva. Set in Argentina in 1994, the movie deals with a 15 year old girl who must leave the parents and go live with a grandmother whom she did not know and eventually find out the story of her birth and her birth parents. From, more information on the disappearances and an organization ("Grandmothers of Plaza de Mayo") established to look for children who are still missing. Gets a rating of five.

Greatest Match for TW and Weekend Play for MW

TW and AB went at it for 20 holes yesterday afternoon down in Tucson. I kept up with it on the internet and then when the suspense got too much for me, I called Jim, who I was sure was watching the match on the Golf Channel, to see what was happening. So, for holes 18, 19 and 20, Jim did a play by play for me once Tiger and Aaron got to the green. Being firmly on the side of Tiger, I sweated out those two relatively short putts that Baddeley managed to miss on 18 and 19, and then finally relaxed when Jim reported Tiger hitting the ball, it's on it's way, it goes in! Tiger wins!

The linked article from
In perhaps the greatest match in the 10-year history of the Accenture Match Play Championship, if not Woods' 13-year career, the two were credited with 22 birdies in a brilliant battle that didn't end until the world No. 1 rolled in a 13-footer to win on the second extra hole.

Pretty impressive and great fun to boot.

And over in Hawaii at the Fields Open (?), Michelle Wie played her round in one over yesterday and stands at two under and tied for 41st. Hey, she made the cut and plays on the weekend! From
Wie among 15 tied at 3-under. Michelle Wie carded a 1-over-par 73 on Friday as she continues play into Saturday's final round tied for 41 st at 2-under-par 142 (69-73). With three birdies and four bogeys, perhaps her most impressive hole was on the par-5, 489-yard fifth, where she sank a 40-foot putt to save par. Wie, who is taking her freshman spring quarter at Stanford University off to focus on her golf game, gained entry to the 2008 Fields Open in Hawaii as a sponsor invite.

Go Michelle... Here's a clip showing the young lady hit the golf ball (from the Golf Channel from Thursday's play.)

Meanwhile in Loogootee, the greensward just north of town where locals of all ages go to play an occasional round of golf, the greens are buried under ice and snow. Dang it all.

Hoops and Havoc, Hope and Harmony

Sampson gone at IU. That was a quick resolution to a nasty situation. Marty forwarded this article from the Chicago Sun-times in which the author concludes his story with:
Imagine, a university president pleading kids to play a basketball game. That's what life has come to at Indiana, once a cradle of hoops, now an epicenter of havoc.

But just before that poses the possibility of history repeating itself. Remember?
In 1989, Michigan coach Bill Frieder announced in mid-March that he was leaving for Arizona State, prompting an incensed Bo Schembechler to replace him with assistant Steve Fisher. You know how that turned out: a national championship.

I hope the young men who have shown their loyalty to their coach can now find it in themselves to do the right thing and get on with their own lives; Kelvin Sampson apparently has. Think it's time to move the hoops from havoc to harmony.

Friday, February 22, 2008

News of the Washtenaw County (LST1166) and a recent photo. Sure ain't what she used to be; but then neither am I. The ravages of time...

LST 1166 Severely Damaged by Metal Salvage Vandals

September, 2007

For those of you wondering what happened to the LST 1166 and why it has been deleted from the website: The U.S.S. Washtenaw County (LST 1166) has been severely damage by metal salvage vandals. Speculation has it that these are meth addicts trying to pay for their habit. The damage is so bad that the expectation is that the 1166 is no longer feasible to restore and may be towed out and sunk.

Friday afternoon fun: fun on ice; movie: Body Heat

Picture: a variety of birds hanging out by the feeder.

Movie: Body Heat with William Hurt and Kathleen Turner. Good one made in 1981 and had us guessing right up to the end how it was going to turn out - who did what to whom. Kind of a love story but more a whodunit with lust and deviousness on the side. Good lines, good acting, good suspense.

Friday Follies: Obama, Clinton, Woods, Wie, Sampson, LST1166, Halberstam

This and that from around the world of news and sports:

-1st time ever in the US a global primary - voting by mail, fax and the internet. Hey, what a grand idea! Obama won this one, too!

-visited with Jim and Wilma and Erin and Colin yesterday afternoon at Jim's place while Tiger and Michelle were doing their golf thingee in sunnier climes. Hurray for the sterling showing by Mz. Wie! Would love to see her get a win and quiet the critics not to mention boost her own confidence about a gazillion percent.

-Hillary and Barack had a debate in Texas last night. What little I've read indicates that they were very civil to each other. Good for them. Hillary's closing statement - a good one and one in which she refers to her life as a public servant. Bless her.

-Sampson story at IU gets complicated. Players reported to have given ultimatum: Coach goes, we go, too! Oh boy... In the poll at (see linked article), 48% say fire him now.

and other stuff:

-a picture of the USS Washtenaw County (LST1166) off loading troops at Chu Lai in May or June, 1965. I'm probably on that ship somewhere. That landing was the first of many after the folks in Washington decided to go big in Vietnam - turned out to be a very bad decision. Discovered the picture while looking for more information on Di An, Vietnam. Good neighbor Jack Lents was there in 1966 and 1967.

-did finish The Coldest Winter. It's a goodie. Some of the notes I took while reading it:
-MacArthur's G-2's job is to prove his boss is right.
-the decision to go north of the 38th parallel by MacArthur in July of 1950 kind of the opposite of what the elder Bush did in Iraq War I when he chose not to go to Baghdad some 40 years later.
-MacArthur's life up to Inchon: luck on his side; post Inchon: luck ran out.
-the Cold War era closed out the Colonial era.
-General Ridgeway wanted a grinding war, a war of attrition, one in which the Chinese would pay dearly. Sounds like something tried in Vietnam, too.
-Maxwell Taylor, who later played a major role in Vietnam, told his troops to abandon Pork Chop Hill, a little piece of Korea that had seen both sides win and lose and suffer high casualties. The truce was signed a few weeks later. Good neighbor Jack Lents arrived in Korea the day the truce was signed.
-One of the many consequences of the Korean War: NSC-68 came to pass and the United States became a National Security State; when Eisenhower left office several years later, he warned the American people of the dangers of the Military-industrial complex.
-Another consequence: Democrats were labeled as weak on Defense and soft on Communism which led both Kennedy and Johnson to make decisions about Vietnam that had more to do with standing up to that charge than the reality of the situation.
The book is another good one from Halberstam and I highly recommend it.

Time for breakfast and more of Halberstam - The Next Century. Do you remember something called the peace dividend?

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Sex, Korea,

Picture: Windy and cold at the golf course yesterday afternoon. Note Jonathan Livingston Seagull making the rounds with me...

Sex is back in the news again. This time with John McCain. Did you know that the French elderly gentleman have a habit of buying drinks for their elderly gentlemen peers who show up in public places (bars and cafes, I guess) with younger women? Would someone send a bottle of red to the presumptive Republican presidential candidate? Jeesh. Come on, America. We're better than this. Btw, Bloomington has no similar tradition to the French one I mentioned above; my daughter, Miki, will attest to that.

Coming to the end of The Coldest Winter. MacArthur has been relieved and returned to the United States where he was received with love and respect, at least for a little while:
On his return from Korea, after his relief by Truman, MacArthur encountered massive public adulation, which aroused expectations that he would run for the presidency as a Republican in the 1952 election. However, a U.S. Senate Committee investigation of his removal (which largely vindicated the actions taken by President Truman), chaired by Richard Russell, contributed to a marked cooling of the public mood, and hopes for a MacArthur presidential run died away. (from the MacArthur link)
Best go have some breakfast and then maybe a walk...

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Tiger Roars!

How like Tiger today. A gargantuan rally that lifted him from down three with five to go to a win at 18 when J.B. Holmes missed an itsey bitsey 8 foot putt. Poor J.B. - he said it himself when he found himself three up on the best player in the world:

"You're playing the best player in the world," Holmes said. "I got to 3 up and I was like, 'Let's not do anything stupid here. Make him make birdies and make him beat you if he's going to do it.'

"And he did."

The guy is pretty special. Aaron Oberholser tomorrow. And a whole bunch of other guys.

Another cold day: Hillary, Essen House, etc.

Another cold day here in Loogootee and probably not so hot where Hillary is either after she lost a couple of more states to Obama. Looks like she's losing ground in her stopgap states, Texas and Ohio, as well. Tough hill to climb for the lady, getting tougher each day. Of course, not as tough as the hill McCain is trying to climb.

Up to Eric's to check on his progress on the renovation of his first floor bathroom - not done yet but pretty close and a major improvement. He and Colleen then joined Diane and me for an early lunch down at the Essen House.

The big boys of the golf world are going at it in Tucson today in the first of five days of match play.'s story starts out by mentioning the 32 who will be going home at the end of play today. Interesting way to start off coverage. The match-ups here. And, of course, everybody wants to know if Tiger can continue to win. With match play, he has to do it each of the next five days. He has the skill and the desire; question now is whether or not he will run into someone on a hot streak - and they are all capable of doing that, including J.B. Holmes, his first opponent. Should be fun.

Time to go for my initial walk of the day. Note to all my fellow passionate golfers who are patiently waiting for winter to run its course: hang in there cause there's a whole bunch of warm weather out there somewhere just as anxious as us to make its appearance.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Visit with Jim, Kit Carson

Picture: Another one from the photo walk last Saturday.

To town earlier today to go to the post office and the grocery store. Took the time to do some walking: from the post office to town center then west and south to Jim's house. Stopped in for coffee and a twinkie (haven't had one of those for many a year), conversation and a few more of Jim's stories. He has a lot and I always find them interesting and entertaining since they inform me of times in these here parts that I wasn't part of - raised in South Bend and then travels to Japan and California and Washington before coming back to the Midwest in 1975. Jim spent fifteen years listening to other people's stories as he bar tended. Told me about a guy you could always tell when his stories were getting to be tall tales rather than the scout's honor's truth; think he said his name was Speedy. Well, Speedy, once he got to the point where he was embellishing, or about to embellish, he would always start his fingers drumming on the bar and just keep a drumming till he finished up with his story, or the tall part of his story. Jim had to chuckle in remembering Speedy. Long time ago, it seems. I had to agree as he was referring to the early to mid 70's when our own kids were just babes in the woods and the world, of course, was a much simpler place. (I can hear my grandparents laughing at the thought of life int he '70's being simpler.)

Speaking about far gone times: Did you catch the Kit Carson story on PBS last night? It was a goodie. I really didn't know the man, have never read that much about him. Married to three women during his life but never did spend much time with them - he was out riding around the country doing one thing and another - trapping, surveying, guiding, hunting Indians. The Navajo don't think much of him as he was more than instrumental in rounding them up and getting them on a march that reportedly killed one third of the 9000 that started.

Diane's getting dinner on the table; best I head that way.

Afternoon Movie: Michael Clayton

Guess what. A story that does not include love. No love; none; nada; zip. Michael Clayton is an adventure, a thriller dealing with corporate mischief, legal shenanigans, murder. Good entertainment without the teary end. What a difference. Diane loaded up on Kleenex beforehand just in case. Gave it a four.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Monday, Monday...

Pictures from Saturday's photo walk.

Been reading and walking and finishing up the corporate taxes so far today. Now it's flurring outside and the wind is still howling.

of note:

-both those golfing people with familiar names, Sorenstam and Mickelson, won this weekend. Did you agree with the commentators during yesterday's PGA event who picked Quinny after the first nine? I didn't. Lefty won going away. And because he won, he had to give out a whole bunch of hugs and kisses on his way to the clubhouse...

-In Korea back in November of 1950, the UN Forces, Americans, South Koreans, Turks, Brits, are caught in a bind and getting smacked pretty good by the Chinese. MacArthur finally sees that things are not going as planned, as he 'decreed', and notifies Washington that maybe the troops will not be home by Christmas. The author is not painting a very nice picture of the 'American Caesar'. The fine wine of the Inchon victory is turning into bitter vinegar. It's cold there, down to -20 degrees some nights. I remember, while in the early months of our Far East adventure with the US Navy back in the '60's, steaming to Korea and standing on the open bridge of the Washtenaw County and freezing my butt off. Think that within the year, the bridge was enclosed.

-Via, a look at the problem of being the 'one and only' female candidate for the presidential nomination. One of the results of being that is the emphasis on 'hair, hemlines and husband'. Solution: have more women running thus moving the conversation to agenda rather than gender. Worth a read.

Lots of things going on in our world today but there is no mail and the banks aren't open. Guess I'll get up and move around a bit, mayber even go for that second walk...

World is in a spin. Enjoy it while you can.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Sunday Funnies: IU's quandry, Annika, Jeeps

The MSU coach says hold on a minute to all those calling for Kelvin Sampson's head. Go read this article by Steve Grinczel to get a different read on that 'cheating' situation. Go here for an AP story which asks the question: will the decision be based on saving/protecting Indiana's reputation or its pocketbook?

Annika Sorenstam gets a win. Kinda like stepping back in time a year or two. Wonder what Lorena was thinking as she watched the former #1 come out with guns a-blazing? Don't imagine she was trembling in her boots but rather calmly waiting for her turn at the plate. (I know, this is golf not baseball; it's just that 'turn at the plate' is a lot more common than 'turn on the tee box' which actually sounds like something you might do in a sports bar or something...)

Jeeps blew away the Wood Memorial team last night, 67-51. Go Jeeps!

Time for breakfast and more of The Coldest Winter.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Movie time: Cinema Paradiso

Picture: Jim B. leaving the girls' regional with Rivet up by seven. The Jeeps from NE Dubois had a terrific 4th quarter to win by a bunch.

From Netflix, a real honey of a love story. Cinema Paradiso has a slow beginning but hang with it, it turns out to be a fantastic movie. Italian. Subtitles.

Before the adult movie, Ian had us watching The Witches. It's cool - the Witches turn young, nasty, foul smelling boys into mice. Takes a young boy to save the young males of the world.

Getting ready for the photo shoot; MacArthur's G2

Picture: Korean War: Chinese crossing the Yalu River (link)

The boys have put in their requisite time on the computer - that would be with all sorts of games usually having to do with armor and weapons, thrusts and slashes and chops and gunslinging. Lucas getting something to eat; Ian brushing his teeth (I think).

I've had time to do some more reading on the Korean War, my more advanced (?) fascination with armor and weapons, thrusts and slashes and gunslinging. Halberstam has just been talking about MacArthur's intelligence crew (G2) skewing the data to give him what he wanted: the Chinese will not enter the Korean War, and if they did, MacArthur believed, the air arm of the UN forces would destroy them as they crossed the Yalu River. Nobody told him that the Chinese already had 250000 to 300000 troops already in North Korea. The author likened it to later manipulations of intelligence that ended up in comparable military disasters: LBJ and the Tonkin Gulf and Vietnam; GWB and WMD and Iraq.

Sun is shining and climbing; temperatures, too. Good time for a walk on the wild side.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Friday Wrap: The Boys, Sampson poll, etc.

The boys, Eric's Lucas and Ian, are over for the next 36 hours. Eric is off to Louisville with several ND coaches (football) for some kind of workshop. Diane is off to Indy tomorrow delivering some blankets she has made, a bunch of them, for hospital kids (I believe). The boys and I are going on at least one walk, each of us with our own camera, going on a photo shoot. Might even have to go on over to the golf course if the sun is really warm and the temperatures get midway into the 40's.

From, a poll on what to do with Kelvin Sampson in which 64%, including me, said to fire him right now. Wow.

A couple of familiar names are on top of the leaderboards on the PGA and LPGA tours: Phil Mickelson and Annika Sorenstam. No Michelle Wie anywhere - guess I got bad dope or something.

No movie today. Did more reading about The Coldest Winter. Stalin and Mao Zedong were front and center today - a couple of really bad guys in the last century. Joe Stalin for his bloodied consolidation of power; Mao for his eventual madness. In the long term, looks like China is going to come out looking much better than Russia. We are in the China Century, right? Or at least that is heard every now and then. Think I'll reserve judgment for a bit. They sure have something special going on right now though.

So it goes.

Starting the weekend walk photo shoot early...

Part of the Photo Walk #12 being hosted by Webshots this weekend. Working on my album.

Online Photo Sharing: Webshots

Found another online photo sharing site: webshots. My public albums can be found here though, as you will see, I have just begun and have a grand total of four pictures posted. The site has many contests and challenges which can be found at the site's blog. I expect these might be good for a beginner such as myself - help me to focus on a particular event or theme, actually go do some shooting, and then share all the good stuff with others. Sounds cool.

Keith Olbermann, Countdown, Bush, Liars, FISA, Fear

Keith Olbermann pulling no punches. Keith Olbermann laying it on the line. Keith Olbermqann doing the nasty. Oh my. (via Echaton and Crooks and Liars, the latter has the transcript...)

Countdown Special Comment on FISA: President Bush Is A Liar And A Fascist

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Keith Olbermann’s Special Comment on today’s Countdown was a scathing rebuke of President Bush for continuing to play the fear card, trying to scare the hell out of the American people and vowing to veto any FISA legislation that does not contain telecom amnesty.

My oh my again...

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Afternoon movie and Hillary wins one!

Late afternoon movie: After the Wedding. Super excellent film with scenes from Bombay (Mumbai) and Copenhagen. Lots of relationship stuff in this one and lots of different story lines. Excellent story well told with great acting. Gave it a five. (First time we've watched a Danish film - language was very different.

Hillary declared winner in Super Tuesday New Mexico caucus. Delegate split: 14 for the lady, 12 for the gent. Hey, a win is a win... Lots of chatter in the blogosphere about the superdelegates, most of it whining. What a bore.

Bood, Deer, a Cardinal and Sports

-If you missed the notice in the Loogootee Tribune: Blood Drive today, 2-7pm, Shoals and Loogootee - The Shoals Baptist Church (lower level), and the Loogootee United Methodist Church Family Life Center.

-I was up early enough to catch some deer in the back yard. Two just about blend in with their environment.
-Mr. head-tilted-just-right Cardinal ponders just the right sunflower seed to take back to his love. Note the red coloring in honor of Valentine's Day...

Other News of Note:

-LPGA starting its season today out in Hawaii. Lorena Ochoa not there but Michelle Wie is. Along with a bunch of other excellent golfers including Annika Sorenstam. Go Michelle.
-Kelvin Sampson in trouble again; this past catching up with him? Kravitz wants him gone yesterday. Wowzer... Somebody wore a tee shirt at the WI game: bring back bobby. Oh boy...
-Roger Clemens makes his case at the Capitol. Why has this turned into a Democrats on one side and the Republicans on the other side thingee? Or is it? If he was doing stuff he says he wasn't, would it show up in pictures of the time? So many athletes puffed up when they pumped up with the illegal stuff. Yes I know not all athletes puffed up and for sure not all of them pumped up though somebody suggested that it might have been as high as 50% in baseball. Wowzer again... Or as some little kid said way back in 1921: Say it ain't so, Joe.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Afternoon movie: Vitus

Vitus: Best film Swiss prize for 2007. Excellent. Lots of good stuff in the movie: a child prodigy, a caring grampa, a father who is an inventor, a lovely young lady by the name of Isabel, a good story, airplanes and music, a mom and a dad who were in love with each other and showed it. We both enjoyed it a lot. Even watched the extra special items that came with the disc - scenes that were deleted, interview with the actor who played the grampa, film test for the eleven year old who played the prodigy.

Our Feathered Friends, Obama Triumphs, Korean War

To start off an icy day.

As a Clinton supporter, the birds in the pines may be the best news of the day. Been a rough four or five days for the lady politician. Good news for the youngster from Illinois though.

Over in Korea, (for a quick overview of the Korean War, with pictures even, go here) the Americans have held at the Naktong River; the Inchon landing is imminent. (It's September 14th, 1950; I was a mere lad of ten and very recently moved from Glen Cove, Long Island to South Bend, Indiana).

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Marilyn Monroe

Was looking for stuff on the 1960 primaries and found stuff that distracted me, just a little though. Here some guy is singing his heart out for the lady in red. Comes with pictures of MM. Now back to the political thingee. The video gets a five from me; Marilyn a 10+.

Ice, Votes, Pusan Perimeter

Icy beginnings here in Loogootee. Meanwhile, voting around our nation's capitol. Note this item from the WSJ (!) as referenced by DemFromCt over at dkos:

For Republican strategists and leaders, facing divisions over presumptive nominee John McCain, the Arizona senator, and demoralized over President Bush's and the party's unpopularity, the potency of both Democrats' candidacies is both fearsome and impressive.

"The Obama wave is unlike anything I have seen during my career. It would have totally swamped any traditional candidate," said Republican pollster Bill McInturff, who conducts The Wall Street Journal/NBC News polls with Democratic pollster Peter Hart. "The fact that Clinton is still standing and breaking even is actually a remarkable statement about how unique a candidate she is and what an exceptionally strong candidate."

Senator Clinton needs something good to come out of today's primaries and not too many people are predicting that she'll get it. Go Hillary...

Meanwhile, back on the farm...

Back in time, say to Korea in August, 1950, the United Nations forces are making a last stand down on what is known as the Pusan Perimeter, an area in the southeast corner of South Korea. They are hoping to survive till MacArthur can make his surprise landing at Inchon behind the North Korean forces scheduled for September 15th. Halberstam is going to tell me how they did...