Archive for September, 2008

Enough to Make a Grown Man Cry

We got home late last night–almost 11:00, and my day started at 5:30 this morning.  That’s the price of having a daughter who is a competitive swimmer.  I get up to get her up and to the pool at 6:20 in the morning–long before the sun gets its lazy butt in the sky.  Needless to say, all the caffeine I dare to ingest has not alleviated the fog in my brain enough to concentrate on job searching.   Therefore, I went to surf the Web, and that’s where my heart broke.

It’s said that there are only three occasions when it is OK for a grown man to cry in front of other men.  One is when watching Gary Cooper in the role of Lou Gehrig making his “Luckiest Man on the Face of the Earth” speech in the movie Pride of the Yankees.

Another is when Billy Dee Williams as Gale Sayers dedicates his George S. Halas Courage Award to dying teammate Brian Piccolo in the original 1971 TV movie Brian’s Song.

I never remember the third, but room should be made for viewing the damage caused to the Lone Star Flight Museum on Galveston Island by Hurricane Ike.  Click on the name of the museum above to read on the home page about the damage.  Scroll down to click on the links to the photos.  Pay special attention to the last offering:  the “36 Hours after Ike Photo Gallery.”  If this doesn’t break your heart, go to your nearest cardiologist.  He’ll be very interested to meet someone who functions without one.  You’ll redefine “life” itself.

On a purely selfish note, thank God the B-25 was spared and is safely ensconced, along with the B-17, at the Commemorative Air Force’s museum in Midland, TX.  All other airworthy artifacts were removed to safety as well, and are being generously housed until such time as the LSFM can reopen.

I blogged about our too-short visit there back in June.  See, my daddy was a radar operator in PBJ’s (the Marine name for the B-25) back in WWII, when radar “didn’t exist.”  I got a couple of detail shots of the PBJ, but spent most of my digital storage on a MiG-21 not too far away.  I guess my own service memories distracted me.  I at least thank God I got to see it before Ike came a-callin’.  Something is better than nothing.

Folks, I know full well how the economy sucks right now.  I’m jobless and broke.  Still, not everyone is.  The LSFM wants and intends to reopen, but they admit that it is possible that the chasm between income and damages may become too great to sustain it long enough to repair, replace, and retool (it’s not just a place to display vintage warcraft, they actively restore them as well) themselves.  Then the rest of the island has to be ready not only to sustain itself, but tourists as well.  That’s a tall bill, Sports Fans.  Can anyone help with the tab?  I know everyone and his brother is begging for relief of some form or another now.  Still, it is a poor testament to the sacrifice of the Greatest Generation if we let the Lone Star Flight Museum die.  We just can’t let it happen.

Alabama 41, Georgia 30

Once again, quoting the late, great Lewis Grizzard:

I don’t want to talk about it.

The Vote Reaper

There is a conspiratorial cabal of us conservatives who congregate at The Daily Kitten (the link is to your right)–Instinct (the Wingleader), MeezerMama, her hubby MeezerRoboto, and me.  We had a little “round table” this morning that kept me in stitches.  One thing that I can’t resisting putting out for all to see is this bit of amateur filmmaking brilliance posted by a contributor who calls himself “machosauceproduction.”  It’s one of those things that makes me say “Dang, I wish I’d thought of that!”  Then again, if I had, the impact wouldn’t even come close to this.  Friend, why aren’t you on the talk show circuit–you’d kick * and take names!

The whole time I watched it, I couldn’t help but recall this classic political bit by the Wayans brothers from back in the days of In Living Color.  I thought it appropriate to put them head to head.  Enjoy!

I Know God Has a Sense of Humor, ‘Cause He Sure is Laughing at Me!

Is there anyone in this world who is NOT familiar with Murphy’s Law?  It had reasoned so much of my life that by the time I was a junior in high school, I already had it memorized and recited it frequently in attempts (some would say futile) to keep me sane.  In case you are one of the 66/100ths % of the populace who has been heretofore ignorant of that most basic of probability laws, here it is.

Murphy’s Law (Murphy was an optimist!)

  1. Nothing is as easy as it looks.
  2. Everything takes longer than you expect, and
  3. If anything can go wrong, it will–at the worst possible moment.

So I finally do it–I write my “breakthrough” entry:  the one that finally opens up the cyber-world outside my circle of close friends, and which blog is it?  The one that exhibits my rapier wit?  The one that showcases my astute analytical skills?  The piéce de resistance that highlights my passion for the subtleties, complexities and beauty of masterfully crafted English?  No, it’s the one that exposes just what a dunce in math I am!

“A Better Way to Spend $85 Billion!” has garnered over 1,700 hits just since yesterday–before this, I had never had a blog entry have over 160 hits total.  And the whole entry is based on flawed math.  The one time I don’t check Snopes before I blog, and THAT entry gets chosen as a “Featured Blog” on (see link to your right) and gets a bazillion hits from everywhere.  The late, great Lewis Grizzard (the man who made me want to become a writer) called it “‘buzzard luck’:  can’t kill nothin’, can’t find nothin’ dead.”

What to do?  The only thing I can–own up to my mistakes (which I’ve done, and for which I have graciously been acknowledged by samjones2–thanks for the sage advice).   Having done that, I choose my victories where I can and take advantage of my 15 minutes of fame by showing off a better side of me.  Stick around, Sports Fans–there’s more to come!

NEWS FLASH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


That’s TWO, player haters!   I made a genuine offer of Dawgs and 14 over the Sun Devils last week on two separate occasions to Arizonans (one here), and neither had enough confidence to back their team!  Then again, maybe they were just smart–the Dawgs won by 17.  It would have been nice for the McCains to only have 12 houses and me have one, but such is life.  The other is SWEET VINDICATION for putting that overrated Pac-10 group of brats (I was told that in LA, “USC” stands for the “University of Spoiled Children”) in their place–BELOW THE BULLDOGS!!!!!!!!!!!!


*we now return to our regularly-scheduled madness*

Time Marches on Down the Gridiron

The news broke Monday night and rumbled in waves of anticipated yet unexpected anguish throughout the Bulldawg Nation, reaching me late yesterday afternoon.  After 43 years, our beloved Voice of the Georgia Bulldogs, the legendary Larry Munson, announced his retirement, effective immediately.

We all knew this day would come…someday.  Larry had tried to break it to us gently, broadcasting only home games last year and leaving the trips longer than from Munson’s home in Atlanta to Sanford Stadium (nearly 70 miles one-way) in the capable hands of longtime assistant Scott Howard and former Georgia quarterback Eric Zeier.  We knew age was catching up–equally legendary color man Loran Smith had a nasty battle with cancer a few years back, and Munson himself had surgery for a blood clot back in April that required a long stay in a rehab hospital.  Still, that’s the thing about Somedays–you expect them, you plan for them, but when they do arrive, it’s still a shock.  They sucker-punch you and leave you on your backside, wondering from where in the world that blow came.

Still, to my friends among the Bulldawg faithful, at this time I beg you to remember the man who preceded Munson.  Anyone my age or younger won’t remember the golden throat of Ed Thilenius, who called UGa football games for 10 years before he moved on to call games for the new Atlanta Falcons and the gravelly voiced Minnesotan by way of Nashville entered the broadcast booth.  When Thelenius left after the 1965 season, Bulldog (they wouldn’t be “Dawgs” until nearly the end of the next decade) fans thought he was irreplaceable.  Then came Munson, and the legend of the nascent Athletic Director, Joel Eaves, and his anointed coach, Vince Dooley (who both had arrived on the campus just two years earlier) grew before our ears.

Modern-day Georgia Football traces its roots to Eaves/Dooley/Munson.  Don’t get me wrong; the Bulldogs were great almost from the start.  The dry spell of the late 50’s and early 60’s, before the arrival of the aforementioned trio is a Tale for Another Day.  The coaching torch was passed long ago:  Coach Eaves (always “Coach Eaves,” even though he arrived as AD) retired after the 1976 conference championship season, handing the reins to his protegé, Dooley.  Coach Dooley, in turn, gave up stalking the sidelines after the 1988 season, handing off to his protegé, former quarterback Ray Goff.  In 1996, Dooley selected Marshall’s Jim Donnan to replace Goff, then in 2001, Dooley then selected Donnan’s replacement, former FSU offensive coordinator Mark Richt, who is now poised to grab Georgia’s first national championship since 1980.  Dooley himself retired from his AD position after the 2004 season.

Now Munson, too, has said it is time to give up his headphones and mike.  We have heard “Loran, whaddyagot?” live for the last time.  Thank God an astute co-worker gave me the Bulldog Boogie CD about 10 years ago back in Florida.  It contains tailgating songs, selections by the Redcoat Marching Band, and, most prized, several tracks of the “Best of Munson.”  I could describe my favorites, but perhaps it’s better to let you hear for yourself.  Thanks to matthewkham, who put a very moving tribute on YouTube.  We love ya, Larry, and wish you a long, happy and well-deserved retirement.  How ’bout THIS Dawg?

A Better Way to Spend $85 Billion!

I received the following e-mail this morning from several friends regarding the current debacle commonly known as the proposed bail-out of Wall Street firms that choose to back the pyramid scheme commonly know as the mortgage loan industry.  A very astute man named T. J. Birkenmeier has a better idea–one that is so democratic (notice the lower-case “d”–I’m not talking partisan issues, dearies) and common sense that it has absolutely no chance of being taken seriously in Washington.  Instead of something like this, our tax money will go to bailing out the fat cats (and only a well-connected few of those, mind you) who “know how to manage people’s money better than we do,” while the rest of us are told to go commit an act that is not only immoral, but physically impossible.

At this point, I turn over the floor to someone who can actually do the math.  More power to you, Birk.


The Birk Economic Recovery Plan

Hi, Pals,

I’m against the $85,000,000,000.00 bailout of AIG.

Instead, I’m in favor of giving $85,000,000,000 to America in a We Deserve It Dividend.

To make the math simple, let’s assume there are 200,000,000 bona fide U.S. Citizens 18+.

Our population is about 301,000,000 +/- counting every man, woman and child. So 200,000,000 might be a fair stab at adults 18 and up….

So divide 200 million adults 18+ into $85 billon that equals $425,000.00.

My plan is to give $425,000 to every person 18+ as a We Deserve It Dividend.

Of course, it would NOT be tax free.  So let’s assume a tax rate of 30%.

Every individual 18+ has to pay $127,500.00 in taxes.  That sends $25,500,000,000 right back to Uncle Sam.

But it means that every adult 18+ has $297,500.00 in his or her pocket.  A husband and wife has $595,000.00.

What would you do with $297,500.00 to $595,000.00 in your family?  Pay off your mortgage – housing crisis solved.

Repay college loans – what a great boost to new grads!

Put away money for college – it’ll be there!

Save in a bank – create money to loan to entrepreneurs.

Buy a new car – create jobs.

Invest in the market – capital drives growth.

Pay for your parent’s medical insurance – health care improves.

Enable Deadbeat Dads to come clean – or else.

Remember, this is for every adult U S Citizen 18+ including the folks who lost their jobs at Lehman Brothers and every other company that is cutting back. And of course, for those serving in our Armed Forces.

If we’re going to re-distribute wealth let’s really do it…instead of trickling out a puny $1000.00 ( “vote buy” ) economic incentive that is being proposed by one of our candidates for President.

If we’re going to do an $85 billion bailout, let’s bail out every adult U S Citizen 18+!

As for AIG – liquidate it.  Sell off its parts.  Let American General go back to being American General.  Sell off the real estate.  Let the private sector bargain hunters cut it up and clean it up.

Here’s my rationale. We deserve it and AIG doesn’t.

Sure it’s a crazy idea that can “never work.”

But can you imagine the Coast-To-Coast Block Party?  How do you spell Economic Boom?

I trust my fellow adult Americans to know how to use the $85 Billion We Deserve It Dividend more than I do the geniuses at AIG or in Washington DC.

And remember, The Birk plan only really costs $59.5 Billion because $25.5 Billion is returned instantly in taxes to Uncle Sam.

Ahhh…I feel so much better getting that off my chest.

Kindest personal regards,

T. J. Birkenmeier, A Creative Guy & Citizen of the Republic

PS: Feel free to pass this along to your pals as it’s either good for a laugh or a tear or a very sobering thought on how to best use $85 Billion!!

An Open Letter to John McCain

The Hon. Sen. John S. McCain
c/o John McCain 2008
P.O. Box 16118
Arlington, VA 22215

Dear Senator McCain,

First, let me express, as a fellow veteran, my deepest appreciation for your sacrifice in service to our country.  Few in our nation have given what you have and lived to tell the tale.  No matter what the future holds, in my eyes you are a hero for what you have done.

Senator McCain, I am one of those “Reagan Conservatives” who has, of late, felt abandoned by the GOP.  In fact, I am so ashamed of Republican kowtowing to public opinion, to the Democrat machine that has succeeded in establishing a double standard of public opinion where a Klansman who is a Democrat can become President Pro Tem with impunity but it seems that a Republican who hears a sneeze and says “God bless you” gets censured for failing to separate church and state, and to Big Business by “pimping” out utilities and infrastructure to the highest bidder to the point where the American consumer is squeezed dry that I have in recent years disassociated myself from the party to which I once contributed.  I have become disgusted with both parties and had seriously considered not participating in a Presidential election for the first time in my adult life.

Then, you did a most remarkable thing:  you selected Sarah Palin as your running mate.  The Alaska Governor first came to my attention in March when she disclosed her pregnancy at a time of her own choosing.  She even managed to prevent an “outing” during a Vanity Fair interview!    I was impressed enough to blog on her amazing accomplishment back in March.

Senator McCain, your detractors say that you selected her merely to attract conservatives who felt disenfranchised.  If so, may I congratulate you for a job well done, for it worked far beyond the expectations of many a man!  She is everything I want in a candidate:  pro-life; a strong defender of the 2nd Amendment, the family, and traditional values; and a “Great Communicator” in the tradition of Ronald Reagan–the President to whom all the presidents in my life are/will be compared.  In short, I’m definitely a fan of Gov. Palin.

Having said that, I must relate to you that I found the recent parody of the governor and Senator Clinton on Saturday Night Live downright side-splitting!  I think you may have made a mistake in having declared the skit to be “sexist.”   As a woman (and a Palin supporter to boot), I thought both Tina Fey and Amy Poehler did “spot-on” imitations and the skit itself was almost equally balanced in the number of jabs at each side of the political spectrum.  In fact, both my husband and I (neither of which had tuned in to SNL since Joe Piscopo was in the cast) felt that a slight majority of the barbs were actually directed at Senator Clinton!

Saying that the skit portrayed Gov. Palin in an unflattering light makes you sound petty, Sen. McCain.  It makes people think that you are unable to take a joke.  Again, I thought the sketch was harder on Sen. Clinton than Gov. Palin, but I have heard no comments from the other side of the fence–not even reports of the sound of lamps shattering in the vicinity of Chappaqua, New York.

Sarah Palin has re-energized your campaign, Senator McCain.  She has made conservatives get excited about the race for the first time in a long time.  Momentum, right now, is on your side.  Please, for the sake of a country that cannot afford the “tender mercies” of an Obama Administration, don’t blow it by choosing battles cavalierly.  Our nation is depending on you.

Most Sincerely Yours,


P.S.  I support you in November, but football takes priority.  My Dawgs over your Sun Devils tomorrow by 14, Senator.  You heard it here first!!

September 2008
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