Tuesday, September 30, 2008

It's Official

I will be testing for my ni-dan (second degree black belt) October 25th.

I'm starting to freak out.


Monday, September 29, 2008

Today's Photo

Cotton Boll. September 28, 2008

Sunday, September 28, 2008


The Cowboys went into the game 11 point favorites. Everyone expected it to be a total blow out. What nobody counted on was how poorly the Cowboys would play tonight.

The entire team just seemed disconnected. There was no cohesion on the offense. Tony Romo threw for over 300 yards and three TDs, but still they lost. Why? Because the defense was even worse, pretty much allowing the Redskins to have their way on the field. Clinton Portis and Santana Moss just went where they wanted too, made big plays, and scored touchdowns.

(Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
The defense did tighten up in the second half, allowing only three field goals, but by then it was too late.

(Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
The offense never found that rhythm. They never got to rolling. There would be no last minute miracle this time. I guess we can take comfort in knowing that the Redskins played really, really well, and the Cowboys played really, really poorly, and it was only a two point game.

Small comfort, but still...

Still, there's a lot of ball left to play. They aren't out of it yet.


It's A Bear

By request, here is Felix:

I've had him for what seems like a gazillion years. In reality, it's only been about 10. He replaced a bear named Barnaby Carmichael Jones (Barney for short) who stayed with me until he began falling apart. Barney--who, by the way pre-dates Barney the Dinosaur by several years-- replaced a bear named Benjamin Shaun. Bennie was a Christmas gift the year I was 16, and was my first actual teddy bear. I'd had stuffed animals before, but Bennie was the first bear. If I find pictures of Barney and Bennie, I'll post them, but for now, I don't think I have any. And that's the bears in my life.

And just for fun:

How Well Do You Know Your States?

My score: 98%, Average Error: 1 mile, Time; 257 Seconds

Can you beat my score?

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Skies and Shawls and Football

It was a beautiful fall day capped with a beautiful cloudless blue sky.

It wasn't quite cool enough to open the windows, despite the North breeze that blew all day. However, despite the warmth, it was a perfect day for knitting and football.

I got part of my problems with my Garden Party shawl worked out, and did the first chart of the More Lacy Lattice pattern. The problem I was having is that the pattern repeats sometimes shift a stitch or two to the right or to the left. Once I began ignoring my stitch markers, I didn't have any more trouble--other than that of my own doing. I started the second chart, but got messed up pretty quickly, being by that time far too engrossed in football games. As such, I was far too engrossed with football games to try to work things out, so I just ripped back to my lifeline and will try again tomorrow. And just what was so engrossing about football?

It was the weekend of the upset. There seems to be one every year, and this weekend was it for this year. It all started with the big upset of #1 USC by Oregon State on Thursday. It was followed today by what will probably be forever known as the shocker of the year: Ol Miss defeating Florida in Florida. (Yeah, Oregon State defeated USC, but they didn't do it on the road. It's a whole different ball game than defeating a team in their own house.)

Ol Miss quarterback Jevan Snead:

(Getty Images)

I'm telling you, that game is going to be the talk of the town all week!

The you have #8 Alabama knocking off #3 Georgia, and unranked Michigan toppling #9 Wisconsin. All in all four of the top ten teams lost. There were more upsets farther down in the rankings (#16 wake Forest, #20 Clemson, #23 Carolina), as well. You know there's going to be some serious shakeups in the rankings tomorrow.

After watching Ol Miss win, I was so excited because they actually showed the Texas/Arkansas game. Woo Hoo! I was going to get to watch it!

Gratuitous Colt McCoy photo:

(Photo by Brian Bahr/Getty Images)

But, early in the third quarter, with the score 45-3, the powers that be decided to switch to the Colorado/Florida State game. Boo Hiss. The final score was 52-10 Texas. You know, everyone gushes over Tim Tebow, but Colt McCoy is just as good. He threw three touchdown passes in that game, and rushed for two more. Tebow hasn't done nearly as much--not this year.

I wasn't that interested in Colorado/Florida State, so I turned over and watched Tennessee almost upset #15 Auburn, who squeaked by with a 14-12 victory.

Finally, I finished out the day watching a rather lethargic looking LSU defeat an even more lethargic looking Mississippi State 34-24.

(Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)
Jarrett Lee played the whole game, with Andrew Hatch still recovering from the slugging he took at the hands of Auburn last week. (The commentator at that game remarked "I guarantee you [the medical personnel] is asking him 'How many fingers?' and he's answering 'Thursday'.") It's been a long time since I've seen a bell rung quite that like that--at least at the college level.

Tomorrow promises to be an even better day. The Dallas Cowboys and the Washington Redskins have one of the oldest and most bitter rivalries in the NFL. Things have cooled somewhat from the early days--no more death threats or funeral wreaths--but there's still plenty of bitterness, at least on the Washington side of things. They absolutely HATE the Cowboys, and it makes them even more mad that the Cowboys don't hate them. To the Cowboys, they have become just another division rival, though I could tell you some stories about the old days--like the time they knocked Roger Staubach unconscious. I was pretty little then, and when I saw him laying there motionless on the field, I thought he was dead. I just stared at the TV screen.

"They killed him," I said in disbelief. I was so relieved when he was able to get up and walk off the field, though he was out for the rest of the game.

Another favorite memory: The 1985 season opener. It was Joe Theismann's 36th birthday. He threw 5 interceptions that day, and the Redskins coach finally benched him. as he was walking off the field, the entire audience at Texas Stadium stood up and began singing;

Happy birthday to you!

It wasn't long after that--just a couple of months--that Joe received his career ending injury when Lawrence Taylor of the NY Giants broke both bones of his right leg while sacking him.

It was pretty icky.

Finally, I put up just a bit of fall color:

Fake Fall Wreath.

Now, if I can just find the rest of my fall decorations...


Ol Miss

Unranked Ol Miss just upset #4 Florida on a blocked extra point, of all things!

Texas is playing Arkansas.

Back later...

It's Contest Time Again!

A few weeks ago, I posted about Mississippi's new Ad Campaign to try to improve the image of the state. I'm not going to rehash all I said in that post. You can go read it if you wanna. However, one of these ads will be the basis of my new contest, and yes it is football themed. The contest is simple.

Tell me what is wrong with this ad:

(Click to enbiggen)

This ad contains what I would consider to be a pretty significant error. Just tell me what it is and you get your name in the hat for some fabulous prizes. But more about that later.

To enter, just send an e-mail to isshinryubearmom@yahoo.com with your answer. Do not try to leave comments on this post. You can't, because I turned the comment option off. Everyone who e-mails me with the correct answer will get your name into a drawing to receive this prize package:

  • One 400 yard skein of superwash merino/nylon blend sock yarn, hand dyed by Mississippi native Laura Linneman in the color Tales of Desperaux
  • One jar of Sweet Potato Marmalade made from Vardaman, MS sweet potatoes.
  • One gel candle in the scent Cotton Blossom, hand made by a local artisan who didn't have business cards, so I've forgotten her name (Sorry!)
  • One plantable book mark by local crafter Vicki at Keep It Sweet & Simple Paperworks. Yes, there are seeds embedded in the paper, so when you are tired of using it as a bookmark, you can dampen the paper and plant it. Instructions are included.
  • Anything else I find to include between now and the end of the contest.
What if you really, really want to enter the contest, but don't have a clue as to what the error in the ad is? You, too, can play. Simply drop me an e-mail saying something to the effect of, "I don't have a clue as to what the answer is, but please put my name in the hat as well."

And your name will be put into the hat for this consolation prize:


A 100 gram skein of Shelly Dyes Sock Yarn in the color What Willie Wore. She's not from Mississippi, but it's been sitting in my closet located in Mississippi for like, a year now.


A print in the size of your choice (up to 8 X 10) of this fabulous photo of wild Mississippi Black Eyed Susans taken by Mississippi resident (but not native) me.

Wild Black-Eyed Susans

It's that easy. Oh, I should note that incorrect answers will also be put into the hat for the consolation prize. If you guess, and guess wrong, you still have a chance to win something, so what have you got to lose?

The contest will run until October 4th when I get out of bed. I will then draw names and announce the winner. But wait....what if nobody guesses the correct answer? No problem. I'll just put all the names into the same hat, and the first name I draw will get the first prize, and the second name will get the second prize. That's it.

Let the guessing begin!


Friday, September 26, 2008

Garden Party

Garden Party is driving me nuts! I thought it was just me at first, but a quick forum search on ravelry showed that it's not. It is the pattern. It just doesn't seem to be very well constructed. It's fine until you get to the More Lacy Lattice chart on page 7. That's where everyone seems to be having troubles. Many people have posted about having to fudge the pattern to get the stitch counts to work out and still keep the pattern going. This is very irritating, considering that I actually paid for this pattern.

I have ripped back to the lifeline at the beginning of that chart twice now. I'm going to go try to get the first row done, then go to bed.

I've gotten lots of contest entries so far. You people are pretty smart. I figured I'd get one or two correct answers, but I've gotten a bunch. I've also gotten some pretty far out answers, but hey, they're still good for the second prize! Keep the entries coming!

Thursday, September 25, 2008

When You Connect

We've all had them.

Those moments when you know without asking what someone is thinking. Those moments when just a glance tells you exactly what the other person is trying to communicate. Those moments when you connect with someone.

Tuesday night, sensei was doing some promotions. The rank test had been a couple of weeks ago, but some students had missed class due to work and other obligations. One such student is Mr. Lee.

Now, Mr. Lee has basically been my student almost from day one. I've worked with him on basics. I've worked with him on stances. I've taught him all of his first kata. I've spent hours going over the details and nuances of isshinryu with him.

Sensei called Mr. Lee to the front of the class, said his little speech

Through my senseis Bill Coppage, Larry Dreher, and the Isshinryu Karate Association, I promote you to sichi-kyu--yellow belt. Turn around and remove your obi.

Then sensei turned and looked at me, without saying a word, but I knew. Without a word in response, I dropped out of line, ran and got the yellow belt sensei had laid on the chair, brought it back and handed it to Mr. Lee. With the briefest of glances, my sensei communicated to me, and I understood him perfectly.

When you've worked, and sweat, and hurt, and bled with someone long enough...

you connect.


Wednesday, September 24, 2008

I'm Beat

So, I was driving home from work and noticed the car was really hard to control. It kept wanting to pull all over the road. I got home--I only live like a mile from the plant--and got out and saw that my driver's side rear tire was totally flat. I hadn't noticed it when I got into the car. My first thought was, "I hope I didn't mess up my rims driving it like that."

I got out my old hand pump and pumped it up enough to get to the corner gas station, where I aired the tire up to the correct pressure. I had promised Cody that I would go watch band practice, and that was my intention. I thought airing the tire up would hold it at least until after practice. After I'd started a load of laundry and gotten ready to go, though, the tire had already lost a significant amount of air. Skipping band practice, I went straight to Wal-mart, where I had bought the tire last year.

Wal-mart only had two people working in the automotive department today, so it took them over an hour to even start on my car. By this time, it was already past time for me to go pick up Cody. I called B and, explaining my dilemma, asked her to look up the number to the band hall, which is now safely programmed into my cell phone. She did, and I tried to call the band hall office several times, to no avail. No one ever answered the phone.

Finally, they pulled my car into the shop. The guy looked at my tire for a moment, then came in and asked me if I'd bought it there. I replied that I had, and he asked me if I'd gotten the road hazard warranty. I replied that I was pretty sure that I had, and he said, "I hope so, because we can't fix that."

They looked me up in their computer, and sure enough, I had bought the road hazard warranty. BUT, they no longer carried the tire I had bought, so they were going to have to put a more expensive tire on my car, and I would have to pay the difference. This really irked me, especially after having waited so long. I mean, it would only be a few dollars--less than $5--but it was the principle of the thing. I told them to go ahead and put the new tire onto the car. I have to have a tire, after all.

I pulled out my cell phone to try to call the band hall again, and noticed that I had missed a call from B. Cody had called her when I was not there to pick him up. She called to tell me that she had gone to get him.

Finally, after two hours in the Wal-mart waiting room, I had a new tire and was on my way home. Driving home, B called again and asked where I was. They'd gone to church. The youth were going to go eat out that night, only they were late and had missed the bus. B said she would have taken him in, but she had her little class to teach, so I needed to come do something with him. I said I was almost there and would come pick him up.

When he got into the car, I asked, "How was your day?" He just growled at me. He was really hungry--not having eaten since lunch. It was now nearly 7 PM. I was really hungry as well, not having eaten since lunch as well. He wanted to go to Burger King.

"I can't," I replied. "I promised Aunt Martha I'd come visit with her this evening." We got home, and Cody fixed himself a pork sandwich and a salad while I put one load of laundry into the dryer and started another. I grabbed a knitting project and ran over to visit with Auntie.

We had a nice visit, but after about an hour, I said, "I'm sorry I can't visit longer, but I've got laundry to do. " I came home, pulled the clothes out of the dryer, left them unfolded on the bed and put the next load into the dryer. I took a quick bath and now I'm going to go kick the clothes off the bed and get into it.

I'm Beat.


Tuesday, September 23, 2008


I remember reading a Charlie Brown cartoon many years ago. My memory is a little fuzzy, but it went something like this. Snoopy had followed Charlie Brown to school, whereupon he was told that he was not allowed inside. He would have to wait in the playground for Charlie Brown to get out of school. The next panel shows Charlie Brown sitting at his desk. Through the window beside him, Snoopy is swinging on the swingset in the school playground. Final panel, Charlie Brown sighs and wonders aloud,

"Why can't I have a normal dog like every one else?"

I can relate.

We have a pear tree in the back yard. Rylea loves pears. I think they make her drunk. Or something.

She will go pick them up from under the tree and carry them around. It's really funny when she carries them by the stem, but I wasn't able to get a picture of it. She will toss them into the air and dance under them. She will shake them like a rag doll, and roll on them like a dead thing. She will snap at them, pounce on them, lay tenderly beside them, nuzzling them as gently as a lover .

Finally, she will nibble away at them until they are about half eaten, then go get another one and start the whole thing over again.


Why can't I have a normal dog like everyone else?


Quick Note

I have turned off my word verification, which I know will make some of you very happy. The catch is, if I start getting bucketloads of spam, I'm going to turn it back on.

A question for those of you who use a blog reader: if I go back and edit a post I've already published, does it show up again in your reader? I'm thinking about going back and tweaking some past posts, and was wondering if they'd show up again. If you see this post twice in your reader, then the answer is yes. Please let me know.

One more thing, I really hate Blogger's autosave thing. Does anyone know how to turn it off?

Monday, September 22, 2008

Go Pack Go!

Well, there was the emotional win against the Eagles.

Then there was what is known as the Monday Night hangover.*

And the Lambeau Jinx.**

And Tony Romo playing his first game in Wisconsin since high school.

And we mustn't forget the supposed phenom of the 2008 season, Aaron Rogers, who racked up a total of 72 points in his first two games as the Packers' starting quarterback.

This was the game that was supposed to be the Cowboys' downfall. I mean, the Browns just had a bad night, or they would have slaughtered the Cowboys, right? And the Cowboys just got lucky against the Eagles in a game they should have lost, right? This was the game in which the Cowboys' luck would finally run out.

Well, it would seem the Monday Night Hangover did have some effect on them. They definitely had an off night. The offense never quite seemed in sync. They never developed that rhythm. They had two turnovers in the red zone--an interception and a fumble, both of which were returned for points. The Packers defense was tough. Real tough. They double and triple covered T.O. nearly the whole game, holding him to just two catches for a total of 17 yards. They held Jason Witten to just 67 yards on 7 catches.

What they couldn't contain was The Barbarian, who rushed for a career high of 142 yards and a touchdown.

(Photo by Tom Hauck/Getty Images)
Neither could they contain Felix Jones, who broke loose on a 60 yard scamper for a touchdown.

(Photo by James Smith)
How about Miles Austin, who came out of nowhere for 2 catches totaling 115 yards--one of them on a 52 yard touchdown pass?

(Photo by Tom Hauck/Getty Images)
That celebrated Packers offense? It was supposed to be so good. They'd racked up 72 points in their first two games--48 of them just last Sunday. Only this time, they weren't facing defenses that, at the time, ranked 20th and 31st. This time, they were facing a defense that ranks 10th in the NFL. Makes a world of difference. Until the final 2:11 of the game when they finally scored a touchdown, that celebrated Packers offense was held to three field goals. That's right. Nine points. Aaron Rogers, who is supposed to be so good, so mobile in the pocket, was sacked for the first time this season. Not once, but five times. Five times.

(Photo by Tom Hauck/Getty Images)
I'll bet they kinda miss Brett Favre about now, don't you?

*Monday Night Hangover occurs after games played on Monday night, which results in a short week the next week, giving teams one less day to practice for the next game or one less day of rest and recover from the previous game.

** The Lambeau Jinx: The Dallas Cowboys have never won at Lambeau Field--ever.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

What A Sunday!

The lowly Miami Dolphins stun the mighty New England Patriots 38-13 on the road , ending their 21 game regular season winning streak. Meanwhile, Indianapolis is shocked at home by the Jacksonville Jaguars with a last second field goal and fall to 2-1 for the first time in like a gajillion years. What's more, they have yet to win in their fancy new Lucas Oil Stadium, with their only win this season coming in Minnesota. The Cowboys and Packers kick off here in about 45 minutes. I don't think my heart can take much more of this--especially after the LSU game last night.

Football--ya gotta love it!

In the meantime, my brother finally got to go into my dad's house and it wasn't quite as bad as they'd originally thought, but it is still bad enough. They got about 3' of water in the house, but they will still have to pretty much gut it, taking out all the sheet rock and insulation and replacing it. Of course, any stuff they had that was below the water level will have to be thrown out.

It is really bad down there. There are dead animals everywhere. Fish that were killed by the salt water, others that were left stranded when the water receded, wild critters--bunnies, mink, nutria, otters. Alligators are moving, seeking fresh water. Many of them are starving and dying as well. The whole place stinks of bilge water and death. Cemeteries have been desecrated, the water floating the caskets right out of the ground. Homes have been damaged, others have been completely destroyed. Some people have lost everything. Everything.

Funny thing, I don't see all the media attention that New Orleans got after Katrina sideswiped that city. On CNN.com today, I found one brief mention of the storm. Yahoo.com news carried the same story. Nothing else. No stories about how incompetent FEMA is or how Bush "purposely" with held National Guard deployment. No endless video footage of the Coast Guard rescuing people. No videos of stranded victims without food or clean water. No celebrity concerts to raise money for the victims or the appeals for volunteers and donations. Where are they? Shortly after Katrina hit, a correspondent for the Oprah Winfrey show asked "What would the response be if this had happened in a predominantly white area?" I guess now we know.

On a brighter note, I visited my auntie this afternoon and finished this charity scarf I started back in August. In my defense, I hadn't worked on it since that one day.

The yarn is Mondial Sophia, and I really don't like it. The thick slubs make it really unpleasant to knit with. However, this was sent to me by Shelly of Scarves From The Heart to knit into charity scarves. I've got one more ball of this stuff, and I'm going to try to knock it out right quick.

Now, I gotta go get ready for the Cowboys game. That means putting on my jersey and cap, getting Demarcus and T.O. out to watch it with me, getting a knitting project ready, and throwing up.

Football--gotta love it!

Saturday, September 20, 2008

LSU At Auburn

For the third game in a row, I'm having to watch LSU play on ESPN360. They are playing in their SEC opener against Auburn. I'm not too confident about this game, due to the quarterback situation. Now, if it were last year, with Matt Flynn starting and Ryan Perrilloux as the backup, yeah, but this is a new year.

LSU is playing alternating QBs. Sophomore Andrew Hatch, who transferred in from Harvard and Freshman Jarrett Lee. Andrew Hatch is, to me, the better quarterback. He's done a lot better in this game, but it's midway through the third quarter and Andrew Hatch has just absolutely gotten his bell rung. He got up staggering and disoriented, with his eyes rolling back in his head. He's out for the rest of the game.

(Photo by Doug Benc/Getty Images)

UPDATE: After Hatch got knocked out of the game, I pretty much gave it up for lost. I should know better. It is LSU after all.

Jarrett Lee came out after a pretty lousy first half--including giving up one interception for a touchdown-- and played like a completely different quarterback.

(Photo by Doug Benc/Getty Images)
He led the Tigers--er the LSU Tigers--back from a 14-3 deficit at the half to win 26-21 in another nailbiter typical of LSU games. They scored the final touchdown of the game, but then gave the ball back to an Auburn team which had 58 seconds on the clock and all three time outs remaining. A fifteen yard penalty by LSU seemed to give Auburn life, but a sack for a 15 yard loss on the very next play followed by two incomplete passes took that hope away. It was fourth and 25. Auburn had one shot, and only one shot left. Quarterback Chris Todd took the snap, dropped back and completed the pass, but was still well shy of the first down.

That was the ball game. And Andrew Hatch still looked like he wasn't quite sure where he was.

Welcome to the SEC, Ivy League.

In other news, U of Texas easily dispatched the Rice Owls 52-10. Gratuitous Colt McCoy photo:

(Photo by Brian Bahr/Getty Images)

And the Skies were not cloudy all day, just most of it.

Cody found out what happens when you put Mentos in Diet Coke:

I got new yarn in the mail:

This is Gloss Lace in Mermaid. This is the yarn I've been waiting on for forever. I'm going to do the Mystic Waters lace shawl with this.

This is Shimmer in Cumulus. I'm not sure what I'm going to do with this one, but I've got some ideas, if I can just find a pattern.

That's about it for this Saturday.

Friday, September 19, 2008


Tonight was homecoming. It poured. I left. I wasn't the only one. When I went back to pick up Cody midway through the 4th quarter, there probably weren't 30 people left in the stands.

I took a crappy video of part of the band performance. Here it is:

Cody is in there somewhere. The blond head that keeps bobbing through the video is part of the reason it is so crappy. I was having to hold the camera up high to get over that head, so I couldn't see the screen that well. That's why you sometimes get sky, and other times get ground. I taped until I ran out of battery, so you only got about half of the performance.

Shortly after the band played, the rain started. That's when a lot of people left. Not long after the rain started, the band went back into the band hall. Well, heck. That's the only reason I went to the game was to watch the band, so I left, too.

I kind of worried, because I didn't have a way to let Cody know that I'd gone home. But then, I figured, "He's a smart boy. If he doesn't see me, he'll call." Sure enough, that's what he did.

Oh, yeah. The football team lost. Again. And that's it for homecoming 2008.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Spider Lilies

The spider lilies are starting to bloom. Fall is here.

Ok, I have a confession to make. I didn't really sleep with the jersey...I laid it on the sadly empty half of my bed intending to hang it up, but was too lazy to do so. I sleep with a lot of clothes that way.

What I do sleep with is a rather old and bedraggled teddy bear named Felix. People often ask me when I'm going to stop sleeping with a teddy bear, and my answer is:

When I find something better to sleep with.

Until then, Felix is it.

Note: Back when I was still with the ex, the only time the bear made it into the bed was when Ex was working nights. Other than that, he stayed on the shelf.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

I Have No Life

One of these days, I'm going to tell myself that I'm going to get to bed early, and I'm actually going to do it! That won't be the case tonight, however.

I still don't have anything to blog about, though. I start to type something out, then erase it because I think you'll find it boring. Like, I was going to tell you about Friday, when Cody got home from school, he walked into the house and said, "Mom, the UPS man is here." I thought that was really weird, because I hadn't heard him knock, and the dogs didn't react either. So Cody walked into the house, leaving the UPS man standing there in the front yard, and said, "Mom, the UPS man is here."

"Well, why didn't you just take the package?" I asked. I don't know why he didn't, but it all worked out as I went to the door, sighed over the really cute--but really married-- Brown Truck Of Happiness driver, and got my package. (One of these days, I've got to kinnear him so you can see what I'm talking about.)

Guess what was in it?

Will you think I'm silly if I told you I slept with it that night? Well, since I can't seem to find a real man willing to...oh, nevermind.

See, boring, huh?

Cindy nominated me for a brilliant blogger award, something I'm not so sure I'm deserving of here lately. Thank you, Cindy. It's a real honor.

I'm supposed to nominate seven of my readers to also receive it, but I think all of you have either already gotten this one, or think these sorts of things are dumb. So, I'm going to be a grouch and break the chain. Sorry bout that.

I'm struggling with my push ups this week. In fact, I haven't done them at all. I didn't do them Monday because my right shoulder was really sore. I don't know why. I don't remember doing anything to it. But I decided to give it a rest anyway. Then today, I just didn't wanna. So I didn't. I know, I know...

Well, I guess I'll stop boring you now and go on to bed.


Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Getcha Popcorn Ready!

For the better part of the 2007 football season, Eagles quarterback Donovan McNabb repeatedly stated that the road to the Superbowl runs through Philadelphia. Lover of irony that I am, I felt a certain sense of justice when the 8-8 Eagles became the only team in the NFC East to fail to make the playoffs. I'm not quite sure what Mr. McNabb thinks has changed over the off season, but shortly after the 38-3 drubbing of the St Louis Rams, the same old trash talk began again. The road to the Superbowl runs through Philadelphia.

So the Eagles rolled into Texas Stadium Monday expecting to deliver another thorough thrashing. Memo to Mr. McNabb:

The Cowboys ain't the Rams, dude.

I couldn't watch the game, as none of the local stations carried it. I followed online until I had to go pick up Cody from band practice somewhere around the end of the first quarter. The Cowboys had a 14-6 lead when I left.

As soon as I got back, I rushed into the computer room to check the score and eek! The Eagles had pulled ahead 30-20. Not good, but when, just before halftime, Nick Folk booted a 51 yard field goal to bring the Cowboys to within 6 points, I began to have hope. After all, the Cowboys have always been a second half team. I wasn't too worried. I knew they would come out strong and put the game away. Still, it was already 9:30 and the second half was just starting. Since 5:00 AM waits for no Cowboy, I went on to bed.

And dreamed.

About the game.

Whoa. Deja vu.

I dreamed that Donovan McNabb had driven the Eagles down to within scoring range, but it was the final few seconds of the game, and it was 4th down. The Cowboys held a 4 point lead, so it was touchdown or nothing for the Eagles. McNabb took the snap, nobody was open. He rolled right and scrambled. He was forced out of bounds, but had he just barely clipped the corner of the end zone? I couldn't tell. I held my breath and waited for the official's signal...

And woke myself up in a fit of coughing. Hey, Allegra's good stuff, but even it can't keep up with haying.

I looked at the clock. 11:57. "That game ought to be over by now," I thought, but I just didn't want to get out of bed. I'll go look in the morning. I lay there for a few minutes, and

"I gotta know."

I ran down to the computer room and once my browser was open, clicked on the football button in my toolbar. (Why, yes, I do have a football button in my toolbar. Doesn't everybody?) It wasn't big, three inch letters, but it was there:


Cowboys Outlast Eagles In Wild, Wacky Game


(Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

I know it's way too early in the season to say that the road to the Superbowl runs through Dallas. There's still a lot of ball to play. There is one thing, though, that I can say with the utmost confidence:

Fasten your seatbelts, folks. It's going to be one heck of a ride!

(Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

Monday, September 15, 2008


The blogging mojo stopped by for a brief visit, but has gone wandering again. I don't even have a picture to post this time. Maybe tomorrow I can catch up with the mojo.

See you then.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Finally Done

blocked and all.

I got up pretty early this morning. Rylea just doesn't seem to quite get the concept of "sleeping in." Since I was up, I decided to go ahead and pin Rona out on my bed to block it.

Here is a close up of the detail:

My aunt and uncle, the ones who are here, got word today that their house only got about a foot of water in it. They are very thankful for that. My dad's house, into which my mother and brother are moving, got about 5' of water in it. There is a gallery of photos here showing storm damage and flooding to my home town and the towns nearby. My aunt is 87 years old, had lived in Southeast Texas all her life, and she told me that she has never seen it this bad down there.

"When you live down there," she said this afternoon, "it's [meaning hurricanes] just a part of life. But I never though that it could get this bad."

Still, everyone is well and accounted for. Aunt and Uncle are here. Cousins Judy and Bill are in South Carolina with their son, but will be heading this way in the morning. Cousins Jimmy and Gina are ok, but have water in their house. Cousin Jeremy was trapped in an attic for a while, but was rescued and has been taken to a shelter in San Antonio. Mother and brother Scott were house sitting for aunt and uncle and had to be rescued with a boat. They are now back at their house--the one they are moving out of. Nobody has electricity. They are saying now that it will be two to three weeks before electricity is restored.

More storm coverage can be found here, but if you watch national news, all you'll hear about is Houston and Galveston.


Saturday, September 13, 2008

Stormy Saturday

While my Saturday Sky looked like this

there were others who were not so fortunate on this day. This is what they had looming over them:

Hurricane Ike, as seen from the International Space Station.

Ike roared ashore around 2 AM this morning, leaving a trail of desolation in his wake. Downtown Houston looked as if a bomb had gone off.

Windows were blown out all over the city, and debris was scattered everywhere. Bits of people's homes, tossed like leaves on the wind.

I wouldn't mind helping these guys...not at all.

Bits of people's lives, scattered carelessly like toys littering a child's playroom.

Why yes, that is someone's sofa in the middle of the highway.

The awesome power of the storm showed no respect for the living or the dead.

While Ike may not have been the strongest storm in terms of wind speed, the sheer size of this monster--almost as big as Texas itself--made it a force to be reckoned with. Destruction is widespread, but so far, I've only heard of two deaths from the storm.

Most of that area experienced major flooding. My mother and brother went out to my aunt and uncle's house--who as I mentioned before came here--and got trapped by rising water. One of my cousin's in-laws went in with a boat and got them, but I don't know where he took them. I haven't heard specifically about any of my other family areas, but I'm sure they are ok. I would have heard if they weren't.

So I spent my day watching football and finishing a sock.

I watched the Tennessee and Notre Dame games. The Texas game is postponed because of the storm and the LSU game is not being broadcast again. Gonna go try to find it on ESPN360.com.

But before I go, here is a lovely parting shot of Cody in his band uniform:

Taken Friday night before the game against South Panola, which the Chargers lost 40-2. No big surprise there, as South Panola has won the state championship 5 years in a row, has a 50+ game winning streak, and is in the top 25 high school teams in the nation.

Well, yes, there was a surprise. Cody and I were predicting 72-0.

So the Chargers done good--so to speak.


Friday, September 12, 2008

I Ain't Never Seen

nothin like this.

I grew up on the Texas Gulf Coast. Dealing with hurricanes has been a part of my life from day one. I can well remember my daddy taping up the windows of the house. I remember asking him if that would keep the windows from breaking and him replying that it wouldn't, but would keep glass from flying everywhere. I remember having to pick up everything in the yard that could become a wind driven missile. I remember my mother filling the bathtub with water so we would have safe drinking water. Later on, we would fill 2 liter coke bottles with water. I remember having to hunt down the hurricane lamps, and finding the candles. I remember taking a bath by lamplight. I remember my dad turning over the swingset to minimize the damage it would cause. I remember Highway 87 between Sabine Pass and High Island being washed out by a hurricane. I remember them fixing it, only to have it washed out by another hurricane the very next summer. I remember cutting our beach vacation short one year, only to discover that if we'd left just an hour or two later, the roads would have been flooded and we would have been stranded down there.

I remember Allen. I remember David. I remember Gilbert. I remember Camille.

When I was a kid, I thought hurricanes were exciting and kinda fun. I didn't know enough to be scared.

Now I know better.

In all my life, I don't think I've ever seen a storm this big.

Freakin' thing stretches from Dallas to Cuba.

Certain death. That's what the warning is to Galveston residents, should they choose to stay. Most people have left already.

B and J once again have a house full of evacuees. J's parents are still here. They came for Gustav, and when they saw what Ike was developing in to, they decided to stay. B's parents and her sister and bro in law are also here. I gotta go visit them here in a little bit. I haven't seen them in years.

When Katrina was on her way to New Orleans, one weatherman said a statement that I will never forget. I think it bears repeating here.

"God help you if you don't get out now."

At least this time, people are listening.


Thursday, September 11, 2008

Just One More Thing

Have you seen Ike lately?

That sucker's huge! And dangerous, too. Almost up to a Category 3, from what I hear. But I guess since it's not headed for New Orleans, the media must not think he's newsworthy. I haven't heard probably a tenth of the stories as there were about Gustav.

To Change A Tire

It seems such a simple thing to stop and help change a flat tire, but so many people won't bother these days. What used to be commonplace is now almost unheard of.

Yet, after being bloodied and bruised, after having nearly 1000 lbs of human flesh land on him, after a long flight home, with 13 stitches in his chin and a bandaged left hand, one young man finds it within himself to stop Sunday evening and help a couple change a tire-- something several other drivers couldn't seem to make the effort to do.

That young man just happened to be Tony Romo.

(Kevin Cox/Getty Images)
My quarterback has character. Does yours?

*Now if we could only get him to show some sense ...

P.S. No he is not quite back to the top of my personal pantheon, but he's getting there.


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