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Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Divided is the Old Normal

We're a divided nation.

Everyone says so.  If you don't believe me, go back and review video from the presidential campaign and election night.  The online world is all Twitterpated about it.  The pundits get all in an uproar about how we need to unite (behind their side, of course).

Meh. What's new.

The often quoted, beloved , and sainted Founding Fathers (don't forget to capitalize) started with the Articles of Confederation.  Then they hammered out the Constitution, including the much maligned Electoral College to keep the more populous states from bullying the smaller ones.  And they had Senators elected by state legislators for fear of the passions of the electorate leading to bad decisions in the voting booth (often called "mob rule").

And after all that they split into the the Federalists and Republican-Democrats and started fighting tooth and nail over the role of government.

During the War of 1812 the New England states gave serious consideration to seceding.

The northern states pondered it again during the Mexican-American War.

And then the Confederate States actually did it.

After the Civil War we were divided by race, even in the anti-slavery northern states.  Women couldn't vote until two decades into the 20th Century.

We have always been divided.  The perfect analogy can be found watching the History Channel's series "The Hatfields and McCoys".  Each of the clans fought amongst themselves.  There was conflict and out right hatred within each family.  Right up until one their own was wronged by someone else.  Then they came together to smite their enemies.

This is us; it's who we are.  Immigrants into this country cleave together in their own communities, from the Polish and Germans of the late 19th Century, the Chinese and Japanese communities on the West Coast, or the Hispanic communities of today.  We are black, white, gay , straight, Christian, Muslim, Buddhist, atheist, liberal, conservative, you name it.

We have always identified with being more than, in W's language, 'Merican.

It's the way of a free nation that emphasizes individual rights.  We're free to explore who we are, and then human nature leads us to bond with those who share our interests, passions, sensibilities, and beliefs.  There's us and them, until a new them makes us all us.  (That made more sense in my head.)

And yet, one on one, we can be kind to one another.  We bridge gaps, lend a hand when needed, show compassion, because we all share a common identity of being human.

It's not a "new" normal; it's simply who we are.  And we've made it work.  At our best, we've made it work for the betterment of all.

That's what makes the United States of America the greatest nation on Earth.  It's why we've been the envy of other countries and the dream of people around the world.  It's why they are disappointed when we don't live up to our own potential, and why we're disappointed too.

And that's why, for all the evils, challenges, and fear, I still believe.

Breathe everyone. The trick is to keep breathing.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Avengers! Disassemble!

 I'm an Avengers fan.  And not just because of the movie, I've been an Avengers fan since I read my first Avengers comics back in the 1980's.  I'm an X-men fan too; but I'm far more an Avengers fan.  I even watched the sucky Iron Man and Avengers cartoons of the 90's, just because.

Recently Disney XD has announced it will replace the current Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes animated series with Avengers: Assemble.  Which means, of course, the current series will end.  And I'm bummed about it, because I'm really liking Avengers: EMH.

Look, I understand the Hollywood "need" to capitalize on a hit.  And I really liked The Avengers movie.  It's not very often I watch a 2+ hour movie, even one I like,  and it doesn't 'feel' like a 2+ hour movie.  But to think for one minute that those who were wowed by the Avengers movie, but didn't previously follow anything Avengers that wasn't on the big screen, are going to flock to this new series because it's "a show that more closely echoes the tone and the feel of the movie" (Marvel’s Jeph Loeb) is ridiculous.  It won't have the same actors voicing the characters and with it being animated and not (mostly) live action, like the movie is, a lot of casual viewers of the movie will be saying "no".

In the meantime, you have this great series going now.  The characters have bonded together through storylines involving classic villains like Ultron, Kang the Conqueror, the Skrulls, the Kree, A.I.M, Hydra, Dr. Doom, and yes, Loki.  It's introduced quintessential Avengers like Black Panther, Ms. Marvel, The Vision, and from day one has had The Wasp and Henry Pym (both Ant-man and his current Yellowjacket versions).  There was a recent episode with Power Man, Iron Fist, Wolverine, Spiderman, and War Machine.  There's back story enough from season one to bring in Black Widow and Mockingbird as well.  Heck, if they just bring in Henry "Beast" McCoy and this fanboy will positively (even more) giddy!

And in then end I don't think this:

Earth's Mightiest Heroes Cancelled Avengers Assemble 

Would draw any less off the movie than this:

Avengers Assemble Cartoon

I'm not saying I won't give the new series a chance.  I most definitely will.  It just seems a shame to end something that's good, just to start something that might be good.

I Dream of Jen Friel

 Please forgive for the shameless promotion linkages below.

Normally, I don't remember dreams.  Or I vaguely remember dreams and by the time I reach for pen and paper, or grope at the thought to fix it better in my mind, the dreams disappears like dew before the summer sun.

Perhaps it was because I had to get up earlier for a meeting at work.  My body often anticipates waking up when I have to rise earlier than usual.  But this morning I actually remembered most of my dream.

I'm not sure why I was in China.  But I was there, at a news conference.  And a Rasputin-like spokesperson introduced someone to proclaim that China was great to the world -- blogger and social media guru, Jen Friel.  She had on a fake smile and the far away look of your B-movie/TV show brain washing victim.  I turned to (blogger, former Apprentice contestant, and FoxNews contributer) Jenn Hoffman and said that Jen did not act or sound like herself.

 (How would I know?  I read her blog www.talknerdytomelover.com. That's not part of the dream. I follow both Jen and Jenn on Twitter).

Jenn agreed.  At which point I uttered: "We've got to save her."  And suddenly I was in the middle of an 80's sci-fi action movie montage of futuristic vehicles preparing for battle.  I can't specifically identify any of them other than Vipers from the original Battlestar Galactica.



I do know the land forces gave me a similar feeling to the old Megaforce movie from 1982.


 Also, there was a spaceship rising from the water

Then I woke up.



Saturday, October 20, 2012

Fabulous Furman Football Funk

Such a glorious, wonderful day.  That needs an edit:

Such glorious, wonderful weather.

Another home Furman home game, Homecoming in fact.  This time the Georgia Southern Eagles come to play.  (As an aside, for some reason Furman always picks a nationally ranked opponent to be its Homecoming game.  Nuts.)

The Eagles apparently watched the game last week, kicking the ball to Furman to start.  True to form, it was three and out for the Paladins.  Then an odd sequence occurred.

Georgia Southern runs a wingbone offense.  It's a heavy run offense, featuring the option, and run primarily by the service academies and Georgia Tech (who's coach came from Georgia Southern via Navy).  Last week, against Wofford, they did not throw a pass.  Against Furman, their first play was a pass, AND FURMAN SACKED THEM!!!!  They too went three and out.  Furman mounted a long drive and set up for a field goal, which promptly CLANGED OFF THE UPRIGHT!!!

(I may at that point have clanged my head off the seat back in front of me.  That remains...hazy.)

Insult to injury, the Eagles then drove down the field and successfully kicked a field goal.  For the remainder of the first quarter and most of the second, the two teams traded punts and field position.  and then the Paladins rose...

A Furman drive, pushing the ball down the field, then punching it in with 1:50 to go in the half.  Then the Eagles quickly moved down the field inside the Furman 20 yard line.  but with less than 40 seconds left: a Georgia Southern run...the ball punched free -- FUMBLE!...Furman recovers! and runs out the half!

I now interrupt this recount to present the reason my recollection may be a bit hazy.  In attendance at Paladin Stadium Saturday was my niece, Rose:

Ain't she cute.  Also, very wiggly.  So at halftime she and her Mimi left to see the Homecoming floats and the geese at the lake.  Just as well; I'm pretty sure Papa (also pictured) muttered some bad words under his breath in the second half.

The Eagles sucked the air out of the crowd by taking the opening kickoff and jamming it down Furman's throat for a touchdown.  Followed by a blocked extra point...A long kickoff return...a field goal to RETAKE THE LEAD!!!

A..a..and then reality set in.  Georgia Southern's next touchdown would be a one play 70+ yard pass.  They'd make the two point conversion.  And score another touchdown.  And then another (though missing the extra point this time).  Furman would mount one final drive for a TD, to cut the deficit to 13.  The onside kick would fail; a methodical Eagle drive would drain the clock.  Then would come the reason I hate Georgia Southern; I call it the jerk factor.

With the ball inside the Furman 5 and less than a minute left the Eagles could have kneeled on the ball and run out the clock.  Instead the punched it in for another score and WENT FOR TWO AGAIN!!!  Really?  Do your players get a bonus for winning by 21.

In the immortal words of the Cosby Kids: N.C. -- no class.

Also, I didn't hear exactly what it was, but at the beginning of the fourth quarter the stadium announcer said that there was a giveaway for the first 1000 fans to leave the stadium. 

The Furman crowd doesn't get fully into their seats until the second quarter.  And many leave at halftime, never to return.  There's a steady stream out from the mid-third quarter on, even in a good game or one Furman is winning!  Do we really need to encourage people to leave?

But I didn't get sunburned again, and Rose did give me this:

So all in all, Unca Greg is happy!
Also, that fingernail needs trimming.  Bye, ya'll.

Monday, October 15, 2012

All States Should be Battlegrounds

Is anyone else as tired of the talk of battleground states as I am?  Or tired of the existence of battleground states for that matter?

It's a sad fact that roughly three quarters of the states in this country are spoken for when it comes to the presidential election.  So a handful of states get the vast majority of the love come election years.  Ironically, this is exactly what the Electoral College was supposed to help prevent.  Our founding fathers chose this way to elect presidents to keep very large population states from dominating the elections; under this system the 3 electoral votes low population states get gives them a greater influence on the election of a president than they would normally have.

There are many people (usually disappointed over the winner) who want the Electoral College to be abolished in favor of a straight popular vote.  I think there's a better solution; one that wouldn't require a change to the Constitution.  Elimination of the winner take all mindset for electoral votes that has dominated our elections.

All but two states award all their electoral votes to the winner of the popular vote.  If a candidate gets 60%, 55%, or even 51% of the vote, he gets 100% of the electoral votes.  Those who voted for the other candidate be it 10%, 30%, or 49% are, in effect, disenfranchised.  Even Nebraska and Massachusetts, adapt the winner take all mindset to different extent.  They award electoral votes to the winner of each Congressional district and two votes to the overall state winner.

My idea is each candidate is awarded electoral votes proportional to the percentage of votes they win.  For example, in 2008, McCain won 54% of the popular vote and Obama 45% in my home state, South Carolina.  Under the current winner take all system, he received all 8 electoral votes SC then had (due to the census SC will have 9 this year).

Under the proportional system, each of those 8 votes would have been given for every 12.5% (1/8) of the votes.  Being over 50% would have gained 4 votes for McCain; being over 37.5% would have gained 3 for Obama.  The last vote would have gone to whoever had the largest share of the remaining votes.  In this case of the unaccounted 12.5%, Obama had 7.5%, McCain 4%, with other candidates splitting the last 1%; so Obama would have ended up splitting the votes 4 to 4 with McCain.  by the same token, California's 55 votes which all went to Obama would have been split, with 20 going to McCain.

(To use a historic example, in the 1984 presidential election, what was a 525 to 13 devastation in favor of Ronald Reagan over Walter Mondale would have been a still decisive 320 to 218 victory more in tune with the 57%-43% split of the popular vote, and not have given the impression that everybody was behind Reagan.  Perhaps some of the "we can do no wrong" excesses of the second term like the Iran-Contra affair could have been avoided.)

Under the proportional system, every state in 2008 would have contributed at least 1 electoral vote to each candidate (only the District of Columbia would have gone wholly for Obama).  Every state would have been a battleground!  Obama still would have won, but the resulting victory would have been 290 to 248, not 365 to 173.  Mandates would be much harder to come by.  Sweeping changes less easy to justify.  The notion of "red" state and "blue" state would fall before the opportunities to 'steal' votes from formerly 'enemy' territory.  And third party candidates would have a chance for legitimate candidacy.

The proportional elector system would not require amending the Constitution.  The states are responsible for the awarding of electoral votes.  If a few states, either 'solid red' or 'solid blue' were to do so, the attention the candidates for president (and others) would pay them could very well drive widespread adoption of this system.

Maybe all it needs is a catchy name.

Proportional
Elector
Allocation
System

For fair presidential elections, we all need to have our PEAS.

(Don't make that face.  It'll stick that way.)

Sunday, October 14, 2012

#FFF Furman Football, Failure

That...was discouraging.

It started out as a cool, cloudy but lovely day.  Mom expressed concern about my wearing shorts and not jeans and a jacket.  It would be a concern, but not for the reason (too chilly) she thought.

The Paladins won the toss and chose to take the ball. A..a..nd three plays later they punted.  The University of Tennessee-Chattanooga Moccasins (two of the better team mascots playing each other here) ate up most of the quarter driving the ball deep into Furman territory, but had to settle for a field goal.

Furman had what would be it's best drive of the game.  They were inside the UTC one yard line when the quarter ended. (It looked briefly like they had punched the ball in on the last play.  The officials hesitated before marking the ball.  I wondered if they were considering calling the touchdown rather than having to walk the ball all the way to the other end of the field.)  The Paladins scored on the next play to take their only lead.

The momentum shifted back and forth for most of the rest of the half.  At one point, Furman's defense made a tremendous stop, only to have any possibility of great field position nullified by a punt..that..rolled..for..ever to inside the ten yard line.  Chattanooga (Dear UTC, please get easier to spell name and nickname, thanks) scored a touchdown at the end of the half.

That lead would hold up.  Furman would only muster three points in the second half.  The Moccasins would put up three touchdowns.  Final score: 31-10.

Also, the shorts were not a bad idea due to temperature (I was nice and comfy) but because of lack of sunblock.  I got burned.



The dispiriting part is that other than the one drive, Furman really didn't put up much of a fight.  Every other game they were in the thick of it; they even put in a good show against Clemson. 

Sigh.  Between them, the Braves, and the Panthers I'm just glad Clemson and Laurens High are doing well.  So far.  Sports, you is a harsh mistress.

P.S.:  It was a bad week for state football teams overall.  Only the Charleston area teams (Charleston Southern and The Citadel) scored wins.  North Greenville and PC were pummeled.  Newberry, S.C. State, and Coastal Carolina took it on the chin. Wofford and South Carolina lost tough ones.  It's just as well the Tigers didn't play.  (Note to Dabo and Spurrier: I know you're rivals. But defend your state. One USC, one Carolina, one Death Valley -- ours.)

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Smelling the ROSES (Random Observations from a Saturday Embroiled in Sports

Another Saturday spent perusing the plays performed at Paladin Stadium.  Furman's game with the Western Carolina Catamounts (aka When Purples Clash) was supposed to be yet another soggy Saturday. so laden with rain gear we entered the stadium.

It was the usual late arriving crowd. Though when the BoBBs* came through I did mind the constant occupation of the aisle quite as much.  The crowd was thrilled as the Paladins took the opening kick off and drove the length of the field. and horrified when running back Jerrodius Williams had the ball punched away at the threshold of the end zone. The ball skittered through and out the back, giving the ball to the Catamounts on their own 20 yard line.  (momentary pause while I bang my head on the metal seat back in front of me.) Western Carolina drove inside the Furman red zone, but was held to just a field goal.

Williams redeemed himself but returning the subsequent kickoff 100 yards for a touchdown.  This was the first of 28 consecutive Paladin points.  The crowds mood was deflated somewhat by a Catamount touchdown with 45 seconds left.  Never give a team hope going into halftime (see also Clemson vs Auburn 2010).  But the crowd was overjoyed by a quick Furman drive that resulted in field goal as time expired.

The late arriving crowd began filtering out. Welcome to the Furman fandom. Sigh. (For the record, my family has been a 'stay to the end' crew. Notable exception: Freak snow storm in a 1990 playoff game.)

The second half was most notable by the greatest of all home field advantages.  The Mighty Furman Turf Monster grabbed a Western Carolina receiver just as the ball was thrown.  The pass settled into the hands of the Paladin defensive back behind him and returned for a touchdown.  Furman would go on to a 45-24 victory.

Thoughts for the day:
  • Blaring canned music (stadium rock) really doesn't fit the collegiate football experience. It seems more like a pro thing.  College football music should be played solely by the band.
  • For some reason Furman has taken to playing the Alma Mater after the game.  The crowd that has stayed is filing out and the players and coaches are leaving the field.  It needs to go back to the pregame.
  • Ye olde thin plastic stadium cushions + metal bench seat + 40 year old rear end = sore tailbone by the end of the third quarter.
  • The Catamounts ran a no huddle offense. They appeared to want to use the Oregon system of play calling utilizing large boards with four disparate pictures on it.  What they actually did can at best be considered a homage. Rather than multiple combinations of images, they had one big poster board with a fixed set of images on each side. I only ever saw them show one side.
  • Great football names from the Catamounts: Ace and Rock.
  • Not so great football name from BC in the Boston college-Clemson game: Spiffy
(As a 'name' aside, during the week I met a man named Friday Jackson. He wore sunglasses and had a thick mustache that went down each side of his mouth to his chin.  Why this man is not in action movies I'll never know.)

Rant one of the day:  To all radio broadcasters -- tell us the damn score! Once upon a time holding back made sense, maybe lure people to listen longer. But in the Internet Age, the people who just want the score either go on the Web to begin with, or tune you out and go on the Web if you don't give the score after a minute or two of listening.  The folks who want/have to listen on the radio are, you ain't gettin the rest.

Rant two of the day: Analysts -- quit saying offenses that run lots of plays put defenses at a disadvantage.  If the defenses get stops and make opponents punt they will not get worn out.  And high scoring offenses help defenses that get stops by making the opponent have to run lower percentage plays trying to catch up with the scoring. A bad defense cannot be saved by any offense. A methodical offensive team with bad D will lose a low scoring game; a fast paced offensive team with bad D will lose a high scoring game.  But the defense controls its own destiny.

*BoBB: Bevy of Bodacious Beauties

The acronyms in this post were brought to you by the letters W, T, and F.


Friday, September 28, 2012

Reality is Debatable

Ugh, debate season is back.  People need to be informed, but one minute sound clips by people who are only trying to generate one 10 second sound bite?  The excuse for brevity is to keep it from being drawn out and boring -- policy wonks on parade.  At least that would be informational, but as it stands now presidential debates have no substance or drawing power.  So here's my solution:

Reality TV

A "season" of one debate a week for the last eight weeks before the election.  The first and last debates will be two hour "extravaganzas".  A panel of four questioners, each will serve as a moderator/host for two debates each.

Each debate will be on one broad topic: the economy, foreign policy, budget priorities, crime and the justice system, etc. The candidates will get three minutes to answer a question; if they start wandering from the question the panelist/judge who asked it can interrupt to 'drag' them back. Then the other candidate can ask a brief follow up with one minute for an answer.  Mics will be cut off if an answer goes too long, wanders to far, or a follow up becomes a mini speech.  And then the judges issue short reactions (30 seconds or so) to the answers.

There will be a Twitter board live and on the TV feed.  There will be another Twitter/e-mail feed with questions that the moderators can choose from in addition to their own.  Each judge will have to choose at least one to ask.  Crowd reaction will be encouraged.

There will be brief (2 to 3 minutes) introductory statements by the candidates, but no closing statements.  Rather, there will be 5 to 6 minutes of a back and forth between the candidates followed by each judge summarizing and declaring their winner.

And our all-star panel will be:

Swinging away from the left:  Keith Olbermann
Sitting far right:  Rush Limbaugh
Representing the outsiders:  Alex Jones
And just to really stir things up, that fabulous Brit: Simon Cowell

Would you watch?

Monday, September 10, 2012

9/11

On 9/11 true patriotism would be for networks & politicians to not exploit 9/11 for ratings & votes. Let us honor the fallen our own way.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

The Eurythmics in Mudville

If you despise college football, or just are 'meh' about it, this post is probably not for you. It's mainly about me (ego trip!), but fair warning.

I don't know what it says about me that I know omens (or 'almon(d)s as Dad calls them) are all in my head, but I still go there when circumstances suitable to their perception arise. but I do.

As Dad and I approached the gate for the first home game of the ferocious Furman Paladins (wait...are Paladins ferocious?), promised and much dreaded rain began to fall. At first we took shelter beneath the concrete and steel of the stadium seats and our meager rain gear. But as the rain intensified it became obvious that the stadium was not built to be waterproof, and we crowded with others under an awning where someone was usually selling something (still not sure if anyone was at that moment).

It wasn't until the combination of even heavier rain and wind plus the splashing from the rain and water leaking through the stadium began soaking into the left (outward facing) side of my shorts, as well as both socks and my left shoe, that I began to wonder that the turnover plagued first loss the previous week at Sanford [but not Son] was about to be repeated.

(Yes, that's a tortured sentence(?). welcome to my blog [and brain].)

The kickoff was delayed until rain, wind, and lightning had cleared the area.  Then occured the joyous first kickoff of the home portion of the season. Followed five minutes later by the culmination of the first frustrating long touchdown-drive-given-up. (facepalm)

Over the next twenty-five minutes the Paladins and the Coastal Carolina Chanticleers (yes the state of South Carolina has two teams whose mascots are male chickens) would combine for a blistering nine points, leading to Furman facing a 10-6 deficit, and injured starting quarterback, at the half. That score would hold up until Furman had a brilliant and crowd rousing defensive stand late in the third quarter. At which point they would muff the punt (double facepalm) on their own 12 yard line and give up a touchdown, leading to a crowd silencing 17-6 score with under eighteen minutes left in the ball game. Sigh!

It's the fourth quarter. Here comes the rain again. Falling on my head like a tragedy. My shorts and socks had just gotten dry too! And as the rain intensified, and Furman's offense struggled thorough the mud; it became clear that my hat-and-hood-on-the-head, rain-coat-on-torso, and poncho-on-legs not only did not protect my socks and short's seat from dripping, but had a hole somewhere as my shirt became soaked on the left side as well. [Maybe that's why the left side is the sinister side] {Quiet, you! No vocabulary observations!} [::pout::]

Midway through the fourth quarter the rain began to slacken. To my right appeared a double rainbow (sadly no picture, even if my phone wouldn't have gotten wet it takes only 320x240 pics) [And you call yourself a nerd, sir!], and to my left...a Furman touchdown! And setting up for a two point conversion to cut the lead to three with half a quarter still to go! And the pass IS THROWN AND...promptly intercepted and returned for two points for Coastal, followed by a sixty yard kickoff return and field goal that puts the Chanticleers up 22-12 with 4:12 on the clock and Furman having used all its time outs. (triple facepalm) [You can't do that; you only have two {SHUT UP, DUDE!}...sorry, sorry]

And then it all became a blur...the rain stopping...the desperate drive down the field to the endzone...the heartbreaking reversal of a blocked extra point leaving the Paladins still down four...the shockingly well executed onside kick!...the determined Furman offense, behind a true freshman quarterback striking for SEVEN FREAKING POINTS...a squib kickoff stranding Coastal at their own 35 yard line, down three points, with :35 on the clock...the soaked, stalwart, crowd roaring!!! As a stupid, @#$%!*&^%, PREVENT defense gives up 40+ yards on 2 plays setting up the tying field goal as time expires! (double facepalm, double footpalm...any comments?) [errr...no]

Breathe.

Overtime #1:
Furman sacks Coastal's QB on first down, pushing them out of field goal range! On second down, they give up a touchdown pass.

Furman strikes for a touchdown on it's first play, a 25 yard pass to Will King! (Side note: to the blond in the Will King jersey in Section 3 Row L: I don't know if you're family or his girlfriend...but DAMN!)

Overtime #2:
Furman rumbles for 25 yards and a TD on first down.

Coastal throws for 25 yards and a TD on its first down.

Overtime #3:
Coastal scores a TD. At least it takes two plays. By rule, after the second overtime, you must go for two after a touchdown. Coastal calls time out. Analyzes the Furman defensive tendencies. Calls a reverse; Furman overpursues -- a valiant defender charges across the field and dives at the five yard line, but just misses the runner.

Furman runs the ball three times, blasting into the endzone. Calls time out. Calls a  fade to the left side of the endzone.

Somewhere people are laughing,
Somewhere the sun is out,
But there is no joy in Greenville (SC),
The mighty Paladins just crapped out.

The pass is too long.

Coastal 47, Furman 45. :(

Damn, I think we've found a quarterback. :)

Up next: #12 Clemson University, 84,00 seat stadium, 20 more scholarships, offensive juggernaut, the return of All American WR Sammie Watkins. :``(

(For the record, I'm also a Tiger fan, but I do not look forward to what's probably going to occur next week. Furman has problems getting its defensive calls in against normal offenses. And Clemson runs plays as fast as humanly possible. With three mistakes by Ball State this weekend, the Tigers put up 28 points in less than four and a half minutes. ::Shiver::)



Monday, August 20, 2012

Blogging about what????

Had you told me my first blog ever would be about this, after I got off the ground from LMAO, I'd have called you nuts. In my job which has two positives (some cool folks and it pays),

I carry around a clipboard. 5 or six years ago I bought a clamshell plastic one to keep papers and stuff inside. Other than being slightly cracked (because objects take on the qualities of their owners, or is that pets?), it was in it's prime. Until about two weeks ago it took a belly flop onto a concrete floor.



Yeah. That happened.

So being an indecisive sort, I dithered before replacing it. Actually the main hold up was finding the right balance between price and something that wouldn't just fall apart. Because while the casing was plastic, the hinge of this one was a metal rod.  While I found several either thicker than this one or roughly the same but opening from the side, they either had plastic rods or small plastic hinges as connectors. Yeah, that'll last.

Finally, after toting the broken one around for over a week, I bit the bullet yesterday (Monday). As a quickly rewed grass widower might say: check out the new model!





I'm excited at the new, but I can't help but feel sad at the end of an era. I also get this way at the start of and end of the new TV show season. Considering that shows are beginning and ending new seasons all the dang time now, between the relative euphoria and depression, I'm pretty much an emotional wreck all the time. ("Eureka" you finished before your time!)

So that's my earthshattering first blog entry. How will ever I live up to the bar I've set?

Also, finding the lack of a standard sarcasm indicator very restraining.

The end.

No, really.