Friday, April 29, 2005

Show Rescheduled!!

The Big Debut of Paul and the Violent Farmers has been cancelled and rescheduled! Paulie will be performing Friday night, May 13th, at the Deja Vu Comedy Club in Columbia, MO.

Tell your friends and neighbors! Tell your enemies! Tell everyone!

And make sure you come out. I'll be there again. I'm going to call my buddy Jerry and try set up some poker or golf or both for Saturday. If you're interested in either or both, let me know!

Fight for your soul

Bush talks out of the side of his head. And while I am mentally recounting his ineptitude, I shall share this exerpt I heard on "Democracy Now" (radio program) this morning: a reporter asked el presidente what the legal grounds are for him to move prisoners to a third country for "interrogation" (read: torture). It was a good and direct question. Did Cowboy mouth answer it? Did anyone really expect him to? He hemmed and hawed around the subject (barely intelligable) and then slyly turned it into some patriotic bullshit, "we're doing the right thing by removing people who want to do harm to Americans. The American people want us to do this. After all these people hate freedom." Well, by god, I don't know about all you patriots, but I sure hope the "freedom-haters" are broken to dust by this bastion of freedom and democracy we all live in.

p.s. This is illegal.

I'll never understand how freedom and democracy is spread through despotism and neglect of basic law and human rights.
It's awfully convenient how the administration talks down about the human rights violations in other countries until they find them useful in some way.

So, I am embarassed by my government once again. Even if the detainees are plotting against us, what we are doing is not right. Even if "they" are setting up a bomb in a basement in the house next door, what we are doing is not right. It's not right and just because "they" do something even worse, it will never be right. It won't be right if they kill me and you and everyone else I know. It will still be wrong. Now, will I defend myself. Maybe. Probably. But I'm not jumping on any witch-hunting bandwagon that is driven by fear, greed, and bigotry.

Lania just bought me the new Bruce Springstein CD (my first Springstein album ever, if you can believe that). It's great, very acoustic. In the first track, "Devils and Dust", there is a line that seems to ring so true. It says:

Fears a powerful thing
It'll turn your heart black you can trust
It'll take your God-filled soul
Fill it with devils and dust


I don't really believe there is a lot of room for fear/hate and love in the same person, especially if that person claims to follow the ways of any of this world's greatest teachers. Well, I guess we all harvor many emotions, but it's what we feed that makes us who we are.

I wish I had the conviction to be on the streets everyday telling our leaders how wrong all of this is.

No Child Left Behind

I didn't listen to Bush's speach last night. I turned it on and heard one line, "I hear teachers talk to me about how thrilled they are with No Child Left Behind." I then turned the channel.

Now admittedly I'm taking him out of context so go to CNN.com if you want the transcript. I could try to explain how horrible No Child Left Behind is and how he cut the funding to it right after he got it past in the wake of 9/11. But instead, I'd like to leave this anology someone sent me. I believe it explains it very well. Sorry for the length, but it's good.

NO CHILD LEFT BEHIND...............................

Take the time to read this. If you don't understand why educators resent the NO CHILD LEFT BEHIND ACT (NCLB), this may help. If you do understand, you'll enjoy this analogy. It was written by John S. Taylor, Superintendent of Schools for the Lancaster County School District. Be a friend to a teacher and pass this on.

The Best Dentist---"Absolutely" the Best Dentist. My dentist is great! He sends me reminders so I don't forget checkups. He uses the latest techniques based on research. He never hurts me, and I've got all my teeth, so when I ran into him the other day, I was eager to see if he'd heard about the new state program. I knew he'd think it was great. "Did you hear about the new state program to measure effectiveness of dentists with their young patients?" I said. "No," he said. He didn't seem too thrilled. "How will they do that?" "It's quite simple," I said. "They will just count the number of cavities each patient has at age 10, 14, and 18 and average that to determine a dentist's rating. Dentists will be rated as Excellent, Good, Average, Below average, and Unsatisfactory. That way parents will know which are the best dentists. It will also encourage the less effective dentists to get better," I said. "Poor dentists who don't improve could lose their licenses to practice." "That's terrible," he said. "What? That's not a good attitude," I said. "Don't you think we should try to improve children's dental health in this state?" "Sure I do," he said, "but that's not a fair way to determine who is practicing good dentistry." "Why not?" I said. "It makes perfect sense to me." "Well, it's so obvious," he said. "Don't you see that dentists don't all work with the same clientele; so much depends on things we can't control? For example," he said, "I work in a rural area with a high percentage of patients from deprived homes, while some of my colleagues work in upper middle class neighborhoods. Many of the parents I work with don't bring their children to see me until there is some kind of problem and I don't get to do much preventive work. Also," he said, "many of the parents I serve let their kids eat way too much candy from an early age, unlike more educated parents who understand the relationship between sugar and decay. To top it all off," he added, "so many of my clients have well water which is untreated and has no fluoride in it. Do you have any idea how much difference early use of fluoride can make?" "It sounds like you're making excuses," I said. I couldn't believe my dentist would be so defensive. He does a great job. "I am not!" he said. "My best patients are as good as anyone's, my work is as good as anyone's, but my average cavity count is going to be higher than a lot of other dentists because I chose to work where I am needed most." "Don't' get touchy," I said. "Touchy?" he said. His face had turned red and from the way he was clenching and unclenching his jaws, I was afraid he was going to damage his teeth. "Try furious. In a system like this, I will end up being rated average, below average, or worse. My more educated patients who see these ratings may believe this so-called rating actually is a measure of my ability and proficiency as a dentist. They may leave me, and I'll be left with only the neediest patients. And my cavity average score will get even worse. On top of that, how will I attract good dental hygienists and other excellent dentists to my practice if it is labeled below average?" "I think you are overreacting," I said. "'Complaining, excuse making and stonewalling won't improve dental health'...I am quoting from a leading member of the DOC," I noted. "What's the DOC?" he asked. "It's the Dental Oversight Committee," I said, "a group made up of mostly laypersons to make sure dentistry in this state gets improved." "Spare me," he said, "I can't believe this. Reasonable people won't buy it," he said hopefully. The program sounded reasonable to me, so I asked, "How else would you measure good dentistry?" "Come watch me work," he said. "Observe my processes." "That's too complicated and time consuming," I said. "Cavities are the bottom line, and you can't argue with the bottom line. It's an absolute measure." "That's what I'm afraid my parents and prospective patients will think. This can't be happening," he said despairingly. "Now, now," I said, "don't despair. The state will help you some." "How?" he said. "If you're rated poorly, they'll send a dentist who is rated excellent to help straighten you out," I said brightly. "You mean," he said, "they'll send a dentist with a wealthy clientele to show me how to work on severe juvenile dental problems with which I have probably had much more experience? Big help." "There you go again," I said. "You aren't acting professionally at all." "You don't get it," he said. "Doing this would be like grading schools and teachers on an average score on a test of children's progress without regard to influences outside the school, the home, the community served and stuff like that. Why would they do something so unfair to dentists? No one would ever think of doing that to schools." I just shook my head sadly, but he had brightened "I'm going to write my representatives and senator," he said. "I'll use the school analogy- surely they will see the point." He walked off with that look of hope mixed with fear and suppressed anger that I see in the mirror so often lately.

Thursday, April 28, 2005

Boz Shout #2

Well, this is probably not as big a deal as helping Grandpa Phillips get 75% more disability from uncle sam, but I do want to mention that w/in a week, more or less, Boz's post "Napoleon Dyanamite Line" of 4/23/05 has resulted in more comments than any other post in the history of Musings.

Good job, Boz. Way to start a near riot and then move to the side and watch mayhem ensue!!! (That's an old Roger move - did you learn that from him or vice-versa??)

Here are the runners up:

"In the spirit of Christ & other teachers" posted by JA on 3/5/05, coming in at 32 comments

"Addicted & Happy about it" posted by (the one and only) JA on 2/25/05, coming in at 21 comments (although I'd have to say that JA stacked the deck on this one, commenting to noone but himself for the first 4-6 comments - then having a running dialog with roger, which would have been more appropriate as a set of private e-mails). So, actually, this doesn't even count!!!

Then there are a lot of others that have stirred excellent dialog. Notably:
"The Contender" posted by Howdy on 3/5/05 with 15 comments.

Some people keep track of baseball stats. I love to see long lists of comments.

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

A Shout Out to Boz

Yesterday my Grandmother called. She was so happy. My Grandpa had been reclassified by the Veteran's Administration from a 25% disability to 100%. This is going to make their lives much less complicated.

The idea to get my Grandpa reclassified came from Boz when he interviewed him for the POW project. He told me that most POWs from WWII are classified 100% by now. Once my Grandma, my Uncle, and my Dad were apprised of this information, they made sure my Grandpa did everything the VA asked to get reclassified.

So thanks again Boz. I already use this space to tell everyone how great it is to have the transcripts from my Grandpa's interview about his POW experiences. Now, they will have a lot more comfort in their golden years.

Monday, April 25, 2005

Baseball The Old Fashioned Way

Well, no one can complain about the way Saturday's Cardinals-Astro's 1-0 game was played. Weather, yes, game no. So, it was a bit chilly in the shade at Busch on Sat, but worth every moment. And when isn't baseball cold in April anyway? My wife, in-laws and I took Wade to the old ballpark Sat. It was his 3rd Cardinals game ever. And it was some of his first ever experiences in his life too. First time he ever saw what good old fashioned pitchers duels are like. First time he saw new comer Mark Mulder pitch an amazing 10 inning shutout. First time he saw future Hall of Famer Roger Clemen's pitch a masterful 7 shutout innings. His first ever extra innings game and win for the Cards. His first ever taste of cotton candy. First ever time he ate a 1/3 lb cheeseburger (from Hardees in the ballpark, worth the entire $5 for burger only).
First time he realized the cap dance is much like the "magic" he and Daddy play with cups and a golf ball at home. First time he was able to scan the field and stands continously looking for Fredbird after Fredbird drove the "little white car" around the field between innings. First time he got to touch the Arch before the game. First time he realized he doesn't really like the "talking Indian" inside the Arch museum. First time he realized there is a water fountain inside the Arch. It was the first time in a long time that we've been able to get out as a family and enjoy a complete break away from reality. And now, we hope to do it all again soon and turn the first times into traditions.

By the way, there is an interesting PDF about the new stadium on the stlcardinals.com website.

Sunday, April 24, 2005

El Dulcedumbre

A musical parody to honor the return of Sweetness, sung to the tune of "Big Iron" by Marty Robbins.

9- IRON (THE BALLAD OF SWEET LOU)

To the town of cabeza grande rode a stranger one fine day
Hardly spoke to folks around him, didn't have too much to say
No one dared to ask his business, no one dared to make a slip
For the stranger there among them had a 9-iron on his hip
9-iron on his hip

It was early in the morning when he drove into the town
He came in slowly from the east side looking all around
"He's a high handicapper" came the whisper from each lip
And he's here to do some business with the 9-iron on his hip
9-iron on his hip

In this town (cabeza grande) there lived a golfer by the name of old Seamhead
Many men had tried to take him and that many men had failed
He was short, bald and cocky though a young man he was no more
And the notches on his putter numbered one and nineteen more
One and nineteen more

Now the stranger started talkin, made it plain to folks around
That his name was Sweetness (el dulcedumbre) and he wouldn't be too long in town
He'd come with his 9-iron to shoot a score in the red
H'd come to teach a lesson to his rival old Seamhead
His rival old Seamhead

Wasn't long before the story was relayed to old Seamhead
But Seamhead didn't worry, men that tried before had failed
Twenty men had tried to take him, twenty men had made a slip
Twenty-one would be the high handicapper with the 9-iron on his hip
9-iron on his hip

The morning passed so quickly, soon it was time for them to play
It was twenty past eleven when the two teed off that day
Folks were watching from their windows, everybody was tight-lipped
They knew the high handicapper was about to get his butt whipped
About to get his butt whipped

There were four hundred yards between them and the 18th green that day
And the fortunes of the high handicapper are still talked about today
For Seamhead had not cleared the water, and Sweet Lou let one rip
And Sweet Lou's aim was deadly with the 9-iron on his hip
9-iron on his hip

It was over in a moment and the folks had gathered round
There before them lay the putter of old Seamhead on the ground
Oh he might have went on winning but he made one fatal slip
When he tried to match el dulcedumbre with the 9-iron on his hip
9-iron on his hip


Well done Sweetness and many happy returns.

Saturday, April 23, 2005

Napoleon Dynamite line

My apologies for the obscureness, but even if you haven't seen the flick yet, this phrase is still worth knowing. Just finished watching it, and this is the best of several memorable lines:

"How much you wanna bet I can throw a football over them mountains?"

And amazingly enough, it's perfect haiku syllable count!

Frightened by a great shot?


I just had to post my favorite picture of Jeff:) This was taken at Seamhead's wedding reception. Posted by Hello

Friday, April 22, 2005

Big Show Rescheduled!!!!

The Big Debut of Paul and the Violent Farmers has been rescheduled! Paulie will be performing next Friday night, April 29th, at the Deja Vu Comedy Club in Columbia, MO.

Tell your friends and neighbors! Tell your enemies! Tell everyone!

And make sure you come out. I'll be there again. I'm going to call my buddy Jerry and try set up some poker or golf or both for Saturday. If you're interested in either or both, let me know!

Big Show Tonight!

Tonight, at the Deja Vu comedy club in Columbia, MO, Paulie makes his professional comedy club debut. I hope a bunch of you are coming. My sis' and I are meeting at 7:15 or so at the Flat Branch Brew Pub. Everyone is welcome to show up there and pregame with us.

If you have nothing to do tonight come on out! The shows are at 10:30 and 11:30 on the patio.

**UPDATE**
The big show has been cancelled because of the weather. Paul says it will be rescheduled for next Friday or the one after that. I will post it here as soon as I know. I will be at the show when it is rescheduled. We can get new plans going as soon as we know which day it will be. Paulie wants to thank everyone who was coming. He appreciates the effort and hopes you can come to the rescheduled show.

Thursday, April 21, 2005

Tree Hugger


Here's Willa climbing the Magnolia tree in the front yard. I thought we needed to break up the monotony a little with a picture.

We went to the kindergarten school this evening and watched the kids sing. They were fantastic. Willa enjoyed performing, and Isa enjoyed the show.

I can't wait to see some other pictures up here!!! Let me know if you need some help.

You know what else we're waiting on? (Besides Dave and Lou)

Part 2 of Howdy's riveting tale.
Posted by Hello

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

Bankruptcy Laws and Teaching Your Children

It looks like President Bush is going to sign the new bankruptcy laws into effect today. What does that mean? In a nutshell, it means that it is going to place limitations on who can file for bankruptcy. While I'm no expert, there are 2 bankruptcy possibiities that are possible for people in difficult situations. One is Chapter 7 where all debts are forgiven by the courts and the other is Chapter 13 under which only certain debts are forgiven and the remainder must be paid back to creditors via long term, such as 5 years, repayment plans. While previously, it was up to a bankruptcy judge to determine which filing type a person could qualify for, new laws will implement a means test guideline that if you make over the state's median income level and can repay $6000 over 5 yrs ($100 month) , you must file Chapter 13 and repay creditors. So, it is going to be more difficult and will actually cost more to file bankruptcy, especially Chapter 7. In addition to the provisions of the means test, there will also be requirements for credit counseling which the filer must pay. And, there's an expectation that attorney fees will go up for more time and certifications that the lawyers will have to provide to accomodate the new laws.

To me, this makes commonsense that you must pay back what you borrow. However, growing up without wealth, I also know this is sometimes easier said than done. One piece of info I read is that the bankruptcy laws do not provide any relief for those who are victims of identity theft. That is one element I will try to get to understand better. Why should a victim of theft be penalized? That makes no sense.

Another thing to keep in mind is that credit card companies seem to be even more predatory than ever and are targeting children in their very early teenage years. We're talking entering high school ages. Now that could be a good thing if kids can be responsible with the credit. But, at that age, my notion is that kids can not truly understand the impact of the credit, positive or negative, to their lives going forward. A credit card at that age could be a great learning tool albeit a risky tool since it impacts their real credit. What would be better? Education. And from where? Home? Of course parents SHOULD be the best teachers for their children, but that is part of the viscious cycle for many in poverty or difficult situations, right? Anyone disagree? So, before making credit counseling a forced item as seemingly another "penalty" of filing for bankruptcy, why don't we make it a requirement of educational institutions? I recall taking Geometry, General Math, oh yeah and all of that Algebra I've never used in my day to day life. But, where was the Credit Counseling then? Perhaps it was Home Economics....then again I never took that class because the social stigma that it was about cooking and baking cookies. What do you know....turns out I like to cook. I probably could have been better off learning a little "real world" financial savvy at an earlier age too.

For now I say. It's up to you the parents to be aware, be informed, and educate your kids. Guide them to live "below" their means. They're probably not too far away from getting plastic in the mail. Oh yeah, and when they grow up, tell them not to put all their 401K money in the company stock either no matter how much the company implies it's a great thing to do. Asset Allocation, learn it & live it.

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

Early Universe Made of Beer

Well, after building a $600M contraption, scientists have finally discovered that the early universe was made from beer and not some mix of gas from a Big Bang. Through this $600M Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider, they have created a liquid they call quark gluon plasma which has the lowest possible viscosity (that's means how thick or thin it is and how easily it flows). They have coined this as a "perfect liquid". Thus, my friends, I can only conclude that science has discovered that the universe originated as beer. For some reason, we should not be surprised. Watch for quark gluon plasma to be advertised during next year's superbowl.

(Seamhead, please edit shorten this link into one word (like beer) like you usually do for my posts. Someday I'll learn how to do that on my own)

**update** - done. -- seamhead

Monday, April 18, 2005

Nascar Simulator

Today, Blog Daddy had the chance to sit in a Nascar Simulator. It was an old Nextel Cup car converted into a simulator. It was the #41 car of one of Paul's favorite Drivers, Casey Mears.

Blog Daddy hit many things. None of them were cars though, because they were all too far ahead. Rest assured, if he could have caught them, he would have hit them too.

It is probably best for Blog Daddy and his family that he is not a Nascar Driver.

Saturday Golf

On Saturday Blog Daddy, the league's leading money winner, went head-to-head with Jason and Dale again. This time, with no league money to affect his strategery, he pounded them. Jason made a valiant comeback on the back nine, but of course, he came up short. Blog Daddy hopes this victory inspires as much songwriting as his prize money victory did last week.

Blog Daddy would like to congratulate the Boz man. He and his brother traversed to Milwaukee this weekend and attended the Cardinals' three-game sweep of the Brew Crew. It also turns out the Miller boys are a bit masochistic. They attended an NBA game while they were there.

Nonetheless, they have turned the Cards around. If anyone would like to buy them tickets to future Cardinal games to maintain the momentum, I'm sure they would not turn those tickets down.

Friday, April 15, 2005

Approaching 2500

As we approach this wonderful number (a feat that shall be accomplished before the new week, I should guess), I would like to pause a moment to reflect on this wonderful weblog and what it has meant to us all.....

~~~~~~~~~(more dream waves)~~~~~~~~~~~

-Pictures of frolicking children
-News of each others families
-reminiscing about our golden youth
-recounting our days as pranksters, rufians, and even do-gooders
-recalling old names and faces
-sharing exciting news of future plans
-announcing life-altering changes (all good so far, which is a blessing)
-Nascar, Cardinal, and golf news
-good natured ribbing and general tomfoolery
-songwriting and the rebirth of poetry in our lives
-general trash talking
-outright lying
-smut and soft porn
-robbery, scandal, and shameful predatory aggressivness
-pilaging, maiming, and weaponry practice

ummmm.....oops. Right after the one about trash talking, I actually started recounting what has been happening in the pages of my personal diary. So sorry. Let me get back to what I was trying to say....

As we continue to share our friendship, thoughts, and aspirations on this blog, may we all be blessed by flaming arrows and leather-clad dominatrixes...with needle-spiked shoes.

OK! OK! I'm sorry!! I'm just really bored on a Friday afternoon. (Should I be posting this on Paulie's blog?).

Friday Song for Jason and Dale

I want to thank Seamhead for helping to set up the cue for this week's Friday song. While it is not yet a finished song, it is far enough along to share. And these comments from Seamhead himself lead the way.

At 10:39 AM, Anonymous said...
How did Blog Daddy fare at golf last eve? Did Jason get the better of him?
At 11:23 AM, Seamhead said...
Well, that depends on how you look at it. If you look at the scores, we both shot like crap. Jason got a 50, and I got a 51.

Blog Daddy, Be My Caddy

(fast tempo, heavy metal..kind of adam sandler or KISS like)

We arrive on the course, start at tee box number one.
Beer in the coolers and ready for some fun.
Whallop the first drive, unleash my wrath.
Flying like a maniac down the cart path.

250 yards, ball in the middle of the fairway,
My worst golfing outings better than Blog Daddy’s best hair day.
Approach with my 7 iron, man I’m on fi-ah (fire). I launch it in the air and it
Keeps on climbing high-ah (higher).

Blog Daddy, be my caddy cause I’m kickin your behind,
Blog Daddy , be my caddy, you’re just watchin me unwind.
Blog Daddy, don’t even start, Blog Daddy, go get the cart.
Blog Daddy, get my sticks, Blog Daddy, pay the tips.

The balls lands on the green with a perfect back spin,
I see you stare in awe and I’m watching you grin.
3 feet from the cup and it rolls to the pin,
Blog Daddy, write the score, cause my eagle dropped in.

We made the turn at the clubhouse and we’re playing the back nine,
It’s a beautiful day, see the sun shine….
Ohhhh, waaititt, BLOG DADDDDYYY, that’s Yo-wah (you’re) HEAD!!!!
I can’t see, BLOG DAADDYY, let me beeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!!!!

You blind me with your noggin, that reflects the golden ray,
My eyes hurt so bad I have to look the other way,
But the game must go on, I must continue to play.
I just crushed another one and it’s perfectly straight…..unlike you BLOG DADDY!!!

Blog Daddy, be my caddy cause I’m kickin your behind,
Blog Daddy , be my caddy, you’re just watchin me unwind.
Blog Daddy, don’t even start, Blog Daddy, go get the cart.
Blog Daddy, get my sticks, Blog Daddy, pay the tips.

There lies my ball in the middle of the green,
250 yards, my Big Bertha sure is mean.
A 44 and 50 in spite of glare from head and sun,
Blog Daddy finished last but in the money with a 51.

Blog Daddy, be my caddy, cause I'm kickin your behind,
Blog Daddy, be my caddy, you're just watchin me unwind.
Blog Daddy, don't even start, Blog Daddy, go get the cart.
Blog Daddy, get my sticks, Blog Daddy, pay the tips.

Thursday, April 14, 2005

Beautiful Thursday

Today as Blog Daddy prepares to venture out on the first night of Golf League and punish Jason for his insolence, he wants to welcome Boz into the fold. He's in rhythm right away hitting us with some haiku.

Now, I want a couple of you other guys, who I will call Dave and Lou for this post so as not to reveal your identities, to see how Boz did it. First he joined the blog. Then he posted. Got that? Joined . . . then posted. Joined . . . then posted.

Now what the mysterious Dave and Lou have done is joined. And that's it! No posts. No Haiku. No kid intros. Sure we get a couple of stories in the comments, but we're looking for some real action here.

So get out there and post! Now!!

Wednesday, April 13, 2005

Counting syllables with fingers

What is this strange place?
Absence from blog regretful.
Many grins found here.

Cardinals 5 Reds 1 77 Home Games Left at Busch

Mrs. Howdy and I were able to get out on our first date sans-child in 4 months last night. I hadn't realized it had been that long until she pointed that out to me. Work was tugging at one leg keeping me from getting out the door. After a late departure forcing us to miss stopping for dinner before the game and then our realization that the ominous dark clouds would soon turn to a Spring storm, some disappointment was settling in on her part. For me, I was still unwinding from the day and just happy to be getting out.

After a slightly soggy 35 minute delay, the game got underway at 7:45pm. It was a chilly but not unbearable 62 degrees dropping to 59 by game's end. We wore our jackets and cuddled up. After getting our tickets $27.5o ea, parking in garage $13 (it was raining), our food-a jumbo hot dog $4.50, 20 oz (small) beer $7, nachos $5.50, small pepsi $2.50, pretzel $3.75, we laughed that we were $91.25 into it for this Tuesday night game. What else could you do but laugh at that price? Granted we had decent seats in Section 274 Row 19 Seats 14&15 if you want to check the seating chart view. These were great for last night because they were covered and are located beneath the decking of the next level Upper Terrace seats. Thus, no need for the umbrella. But, so much for "affordable" family outings. Kids can sit on your lap until 4, fyi. New stadium ticket prices should be interesting to see.

On to the good stuff, Marquis pitched a great game allowing just 1 run on 5 hits. After falling behind in the game 1-0, Marquis took over with his bat. He worked the pitch count to 3-2 and then smacked a triple past the Reds first baseman Sean Casey with bases loaded scoring 3 RBI's to help his own cause. That was awesome. Then in the bottom of the 6th, Edmonds stepped up and crushed a fastball over the center field wall for his 1500th career hit drawing a standing ovation and curtain call from the crowd. This was topped off with a back to back dinger by Reggie Sanders. This really pumped the crowd up and kept us on our feet. Here came Mark Grudzielanek and with two strikes he got a hold of one and jacked it to left field. It looked like it would go but fell short at the warning track. Almost 3 in a row! Another fun play of the game was Eckstein reaching first on a K WP. That is, he missed the 3rd strike, catcher dropped the ball and Eckstein beat out both the tag and throw to first base. Later he swiped second base and made me think of days of the 80's and Cardinals speedsters Vince Coleman and Willie McGee. Pujols had a double, his only hit and Larry "Piano Carrying" Walker hit into 2 double plays in as many at bats winding up 0-4. That's what's fun about the Cards, you never know who will come through and the newest guys in the line up are proving out early on both offense and defense.

Pregnant mama was tired, but stuck it out to finishing the bottom of the 8th when we headed back for the garage. We had a long drive back to pick up "Little Howdy" from Grandma & Grandpa's. As we approached, a very somber note capped off the night. It was now near midnight, still raining, and the highway was shut down with police and emergency vehicles. We had to get special permission from the fire dept crew to approach Grandma's drive as another major accident had occurred and this was right near the entrance to her driveway. A very impactful reminder of our own recent near tragedy on the same road. Time to lobby for highway improvements on that road.

We scooped up the little one, made our way back through the detours and home. It was a late night, but overall a great night away. Today is tiresome and I feel the nag of alcohol leftover from the one single $7 brew last night. I think I'll turn on the tube in my office and catch the boys of summer again as game time starts again now. Great sale on tickets today--$5 upper terrace seating and 28k tickets sold. Sounds like lots of room to move down to lower seating. Cubs tomorrow and 42K tickets sold so far.

This post is a lot like a diary entry so I apologize for that. I really meant to share an experience of the Cards, one of Seamhead's Blog Topic Categories. Some of the great game things you can't get at home on TV are those like The Cap Dance, the girls blowing whistles and slingshotting T-Shirts to the crowd, the vendor barkers "Beer Here! Bud Liiiggghttt! Pretzels!", and now watching them tear each page off the Busch Stadium Home Game Countdown in right field. So, even on a regular Tuesday night game, we got to experience the great atmosphere that baseball provides. I think these are the things that keep people going back in spite of the rising costs and controversies. I know it made me more excited to start watching more this year already. I think the last home game at Busch is probably sold out. If not, I'm going to try to get tickets and take my son. It would be a great memory for all of us.

P.S. Misti--appreciated your comments and story on meeting Red's daughter.

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

Haiku addiction

Ok...so I checked out Paul's blog and I wrote my first couple Haikus. They weren't real good as I didn't put a lot of thought into them...I was just so excited that I actually came up with one, but I posted them over there.

I wrote my third one of the morning just now (my students are busy taking the big Missouri test in my room). Since I didn't think it had a chance of winning any prizes, I thought I'd post it here. I'm getting better but have a long way to go before I come up with an entertaining one.

All of a sudden
I'm addicted to Haikus
It is all Paul's fault

Monday, April 11, 2005

Big Announcement!

Hey guys, I'd like to announce a big star is coming to the Deja Vu Comedy Club in Columbia, Missouri. On Friday night April 22, Paul and The Violent Farmers will be appearing on the patio at the 'Vu for two shows, 10:30 and 11:30.

I plan on being there for both shows. I'd like to get some golf together for Saturday as well. I hope some of you guys show up! It will be a good time.

Let me know if you're going and want to play some golf! I can post directions if enough people are going.

Don't miss it!!

**UPDATE**
It now appears that I will have to work overtime on April 23rd. I won't be able to play or arrange any golf. I will still make the shows though. Come on out!!

Who Say's Golf Is Boring to Watch?

What a finish to the 2005 Masters! Tiger Woods and Chris DiMarco were tied at 12 under par after 72 holes of golf and forced into playoffs. Incredible shots by both players in the final holes. Tiger had 16 birdies in a 30 hole stretch at one point. He claimed his 4th Master's Championship. But, it wasn't without a great fight from DiMarco who had some great shots and played incredible golf. You didn't have to be a golf fan to appreciate the display these guys put on.

oh yeah, and also this weekend Jeff Gordon won another car race. other than he passed Kurt Busch at the last minute not sure how exciting that was.

I wish I could say the Cardinals were exciting to watch this weekend other than there home opener and walking to win the game in a come back.

Saturday, April 09, 2005

Birthday Song for Seamhead

Happy 37th birthday to my big (some would say big-headed) brother! You are approaching middle age at a rate similar to the rate at which our natural resources here on earth are diminishing (damn fast!) and physically are not what you used to be (surely you've perceived this). But fear not, there are ways to overcome the limitations of your age and the inevitable mental and physical deterioration. My song for you:

YOU KEEP ME ROCKIN ALL NIGHT

I'm in love with a girl that I just met
She makes my heart pound and my palms sweat
She gets my motor to racing fast
I think this love is gonna last

When we're together nothing goes wrong
Her love keeps me going strong
She gets me hot when the lights go out
She taught me what real love is about

Cialis you keep me rockin all night
When I'm with you love sure feels right
Since I found you I've been feelin so good
Doin things I never knew I could

This love of mine makes everything new
And if you had her you'd feel it too
I don't care if she takes all my money
Cause her lovin makes me feel like I'm twenty

Now she and I, we make a strange pair
And sometimes when we're out, people stare
But I don't care what those people say
Her lovin takes my breath away

Cialis you keep me rockin all night
When I'm with you love sure feels right
Since I found you, I've been feelin so good
Doin things I never thought I would

Well, getting older ain't no fun
But with you, baby, I get things done
And I know your love will stick around
Until I'm six feet under the ground

Cialis you keep me rockin all night
And lovin you, it sure feels right
Since I met you, I've been feelin so good
Doin things I never knew I could

Repeat as many times as you like, but if the song lasts more than 4 hours, seek medical attention!

Friday, April 08, 2005

Friday Song For Paul

Paul had requested that I write a drunken love song for him. I think this would be more appropriate for his blog (vs. being inappropriate for this one), but I will post it here anyway. I don't think (and kind of hope it wont be) this is anything I will ever be famous for because I'm not proud of it. Paul, you will probabaly need to add more of your own verses. Here it is.

She's Your Cousin

I hear you found a beauty queen right across town, she’s the kind girl that’s hard to turn down. You know you want to have her cause it’s love at first sight, but she’s really not the girl for you to be with tonight.

Chorus:
If you really need a reason I could give you a dozen, but you only need one…….she’s your cousin.

Please don’t kiss that girl, it’s not because of STD’s or halitosis, the situation’s one that’s a little precocious. She’s not my ex, but I’ll still be offended if your lips and hers are ever blended.

Chorus:
If you really need a reason I could give you a dozen, but you only need one…….she’s your cousin.

Kissing that girl, wouldn’t be what it seems, there’s something genetic that would get in-
between. She’s a real beauty cause she looks just like you, but please don’t go out and get her tattoo.

Chorus:
If you really need a reason I could give you a dozen, but you only need one…….she’s your cousin.

Take some advice and listen to me, try to branch out beyond your family tree. It’s just a suggestion but I think you should try to find another forest to get your wood.

Chorus:
If you really need a reason I could give you a dozen, but you only need one…….she’s your cousin.

Fine: Yeah, If you really need a reason I could give you a dozen, but you only need one…….she’s your cousin.

Partial (very partial) Solar Eclipse at 5:15 cst

Check out the Link to the "Night Sky" that Seamhead added to the lower right hand corner of this page for details (Scroll down).

Thursday, April 07, 2005

Without Delay

I don't usually like to post so quickly after others have posted, but this is an important one. I want to make something clear about what we've learned about Tom Delay over the past week. He was getting money from foreign agents. He was taking trips paid for by foreign agents.

Now, the trip he took in 1997 was financed by Russian foreign agents. Hmm, 1997. That's a little weird. Oh yeah!. That's when he told President Clinton that he would support a resolution to bomb Serbia, and then he marshaled his forces to defeat the resolution.

So, he was taking money from foreign agents who supported Slobodan Milosevic when he undermined the resolution in Congress. I thought that he just hated Clinton so much he'd rather support a mass murderer. I may have been wrong, but the truth may be much worse.

Lesson for MD, or Ode to Mrs. Arnold!

Since Babs Arnold is no longer teaching 8th grade English (many congrats to her on her reelection to the Troy School Board last night, along with Ben Billhardt [aka Bill Benhardt] and Kevin Flynn), I will take it upon myself to learn you what is a Haiku. I myself was teached what it was by Babs herself:

Haiku - ancient form of Japanese poetry. (I think Paul believes it originated in china. Shhhhhh. Don't tell him!)

A Haiku has 3 lines. The first has 5 syllables, the second has 7 syllables and the third has, again, 5 syllables.

Unbeknownst to a certain Mr. Howdy, I do not think that this refined genre of poetry usually comes with a title. A Haiku just IS. It does not need fanfare.

If you would like to see a good example of clever Haiku, might I suggest you look elsewhere. However, if you like to laugh and also be occasionally grossed out, or lose some amount of respect for your buddies, please visit - and add to - Paul's Haiku contest!

Iraq

I just heard the President of Iraq say that we came to Iraq to liberate Iraq. Was that why we were there? Funny...I thought it was to get weapons of mass destruction.

I am glad that Saddam is out of power. I am glad that a democracy will (hopefully) come out of this. But has everyone forgotten what reasons our President gave to invade Iraq? What state of the Union was that where he gave multiple reasons, all of which turning out to be a big lie.

Oh ya...I support the troops and I know that from here we need to succeed and stay the course.

Living Will

On the advice of my sister I've decided to make provisions for when I'm hit in the head by one of Lloyd's shanked golf balls. I looked everywhere for some help, and Myron came through. Here's the living will I like the best.

Living Will



I, _________________________ (fill in the blank), being of
sound mind and body, do not wish to be kept alive
indefinitely by artificial means.

Under no circumstances should my fate be put in the hands of
peckerwood ethically challenged politicians who couldn't pass
ninth-grade biology if their lives depended on it.

If a reasonable amount of time passes and I fail to sit up
and ask for a cold beer, it should be presumed that I won't
ever get better. When such a determination is reached, I
hereby instruct my spouse, children and attending physicians
to pull the plug, reel in the tubes and call it a day.

Under no circumstances shall the hypocritical members of the
Legislature (State or Federal) enact a special law to keep
me on life-support machinery. It is my wish that these
boneheads mind their own damn business, and pay attention
instead to the health, education and future of the millions
of Americans who aren't in a permanent coma.

Under no circumstances shall any politicians butt into this
case. I don't care how many fundamentalist votes they're
trying to scrounge for their run for the presidency, it is
my wish that they play politics with someone else's life
and leave me alone to die in peace.

I couldn't care less if a hundred religious zealots send
e-mails to legislators in which they pretend to care about
me. I don't know these people, and I certainly haven't
authorized them to preach and crusade on my behalf. They
should mind their own business, too.

If any of my family goes against my wishes and turns my
case into a political cause, I hereby promise to come back
from the grave and make his or her existence a living hell.


Signature _____________________ DATE__________
Witness _____________________ DATE__________

Wednesday, April 06, 2005

Cardinal's Haiku

Here is one of the Haiku's with which I will capture this week's Haiku contest title on Paul's blog. Seamhead, you should just concede the title. I don't think you can argue that this is not a winning Haiku.


They're Back!

The boys of summer,
Have arrived from spring training.
Cardinal baseball.

My favorite Chicago picture


I took this picture at Shed Aquarium in Chicago. I'm not sure why, but I like this one better than any of the 100 or so others I took during this trip. Maybe I like it because it's just so different. Maybe because I'm seeing my family from a different perspective. Or maybe because it shows how the world looks from the eyes of a child (or in this case children and mother:).

We were sitting on a lower level floor waiting on Lunch while they were having a dolphin show a level or two above us. After lunch we tried to catch the 1:00 show from the regular seating in the stadium above but by the time we got there it was too crowded.

I also got some great pictures of Sue, the most complete, most preserved, and largest T-Rex fossil ever found. Let me know if you have any desire at all to see them. While walking out of her museum I had a great view of Soldier Field.Posted by Hello

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

Shaking like a leaf

Due to recent threats by a pair of brothers who shall remain nameless, I am going to share some news about upcoming events of a musical nature:

Friday, April 29 - Little Feat w/the Hilary Scott Band. I don't have to say anything about Little Feat...30+ years of solid rock-n-roll with a bluesy/cajun thang happening. Hilary is a good friend of mine and definately a star on the rise. Has been jet-setting between home and Nashville and takleing her recording projects with some industry bigwigs. I opened for her CD release party last fall. Thanks to Paul and ALL MY OTHER FRIENDS for showing up... tickets for this wonderful show will be $20.

Monday, May 2 Glen Tilbrook, a wonderful "hooky" songwriter with a fantastic set of pipes (you will remember him from his group, Squeeze, is coming on this day. Would be a good show for any songwriter who want a 1-night lesson in melody and hookiness, hookality, or whatever you call it. And The Fluffers are opening. I sure wish they hadn't taken that name - that's be best band name ever (does everyone know what a "fluffer" is? - I just learned). $15.

I can't find the info on that uppity, Minnesotan, 12-string guitar player, Leo Kotke. You'll have to check his website. Surprised he's coming back to the note since someone stole a few of his guitars back in the 90's and he shook the proverbial dust of Columbia off of his proverbial sandals as he cut out of town. He was pissed, but I've really enjoyed those finely crafted guitars ever since...

Retirement & Savings Article

http://money.cnn.com/2005/04/05/retirement/ebri_fidelity/index.htm

I thought this was a good article on savings and retirement. I think most people are fooling themselves into believing they will need less than they really will need once they retire.

The Cardinals Take the Field

It's Chris Carpenter throwing today against Astros' ace Roy Oswalt. These aren't the same Astros the Cards played in the NLCS back in October. Their outfield will be totally different since the lone returnee, Lance Berkman, is sidelined with an injury. But anytime you beat Bagwell, Biggio, and Clemens it's a good win.

Forget about the off season. Forget about last season. Spring is here. Optimism abounds. Barring a slew of injuries, the Cardinals should be able maintain our optimism through October.

Right now the Cubs are tied for the division lead. I'm sure that's not going to last too long. Will the Cubs or Astros be able to give the Cards a run for their money? They both have pretty good pitching staffs. Both staffs need to avoid injury to have a shot.

The team that could surprise in the division is Cincinnati. The everyday lineup and the bullpen are solid. The starting staff has young pitchers and underrated pitchers. They don't have a reliable ace, however.

So it should be the Cards. The offense is the best in the National League. Four 15 game winners return to the starting staff. The bullpen should be dependable. Let the games begin.

Monday, April 04, 2005

Big Monday

It's Opening Day! It's 70 degrees and beautiful here in the 'Burg. If I were independently wealthy I'd be stalking the fairways at a local golf club. But I'm not, so I'm sitting here wishing the Cardinals were playing today.

I want to make an announcement today. The news is about a week old. We wanted to make sure we told everyone who doesn't need to find out by reading our blog.

My wife was offered a job at an elementary in school in Chatham, IL. Chatham is the school district where my nephew Parke attends school. It will also be the district were we plan to send Willa next year.

My wife is thrilled with her new position even though it won't be at the school where Parke and Willa will be going. It's a position similar to the one she had here in Warrensburg.

We are so excited to move. We have a lot to do before then, and it'll be here before we know it.

Hopefully by the time we get to move, the Cardinals will be in first place with big lead.

Friday, April 01, 2005

Friday song, too

Here's a real oldie goldie. I wrote this one fast about 6 years ago. Thinking about my friend Todd at first, then about my parents. References to being away from home, in the Peace Corps - Cold-ass nights with no heat except a little "brassero", basically burning a type of charcoal. A bit ineffective since you have to leave a window open to use one because of the fumes! A friend came by one night and we scoured my Grateful Dead songbook for a quote that we could translate into Guarani and then print onto shirts to sell to other volunteers as a fundraiser - we came up with a line from "Box of Rain": Such a long time to be gone, and a short time to be there". Years later, I remembered the line and shamelessly plagerized it in this song; it perfectly describes the feeling of being out of the country for an extended period of time. It looks and sounds cool in Guarani, also. I sent my friend Todd one of those shirts we made with that quote on it and he still has it - wish I had one!

Song for a Friend

You're like a good book;
I hope you never end
You are the sun coming through my window
blowing in on an April wind
Just like the weed turns to a flower
in my mind's eye
every time your near me I feel fine

Chapter one, the sunshine comes
so many years gone by
fair weather friends all run for shelter
whenever those dark storm clouds fill the sky
But I don't mind, no, I don't care
they're just blowing by on the wind
leave me standing on the corner
with my sunshine, and a grin...and you

You're like a good book
I hope you never end
You are the sun coming through my window
blowing in on the April wind
Just like the weed turns to a flower
in my mind's eye
every time your near me I feel fine

Chapter two, I'm thinking of you
in this place so far from my home
it might be warm there, in your sunshine
but it's cold here at night
and I'm wrapped up in everything I own
it's such a long time to be gone
and such a short, short time to be here
looks like the winters almost over,
see those dark clouds dissapear, I guess it's
time for me to be moving on...to you

You're like a good book
I hope you never end
You are the sun coming through my window
blowing in on the April wind
Just like the weed turns to a flower
in my mind's eye
every time your near me I feel fine

(white boy scat solo)

You should should know by now
that there ain't no epilogue
you should know by now this story it won't end
Through all the chapters of our lives
take everything wrong and make it right
every day and every night you will be here

Oh, You're like a good book
I hope you never end
You are the sun coming through my window
blowing in on the April wind
Just like the weed turns to a flower
in my mind's eye
every time your near me I feel fine
I feel fine
I feel so fine...
==
I've played this a lot of times and have had many guitar players solo, and a mandolin player solo, but my favorite was when "B-flat" (only name I ever knew him by), an incredible flute player, played along one time when I was at an open mic down in Soulard. Nice.