Down With Bush!
At least that's the unfortunate stance of these ladies from VodkaPundit. On the chance this isn't a political statement, their personal lives must be full of conflict.
Bitter Defeat
Well, the season has come to an end. The Duke Blue Devils fell to the persistent Kansas Jayhawks last night, and I was none too pleased. I get a little fired up during the games, and I was in no mood to hear the whoops of Kansas fans at a local watering hole. Fortunate or not, a few of my friends bought some conciliatory shots when all was said and done.

Duke played a good game, and (in my completely unbiased opinion) outplayed Kansas in a tough and exciting matchup, but just couldn't overcome poor shooting. J.J. Redick was 2-for-16 shooting, which is unheard of; when he's alone at the top with 1:13 left and nearly misses the rim on an open three he normally nails, you know he's off. However, he's a freshman, and he'll be back next year. So will Duke in the tourney.

Arizona laid a lickin' on Notre Dame. The game started out in a scoring bonanza, but the Irish couldnt' keep up. Neither could CBS, who wisely switched back over to the riveting Wisconsin-Kentucky matchup once the Wildcats (Arizona, that is) started putting on a hurting. Speaking of hurting, I could use an alka-seltzer; I disgress. Anywho, Wisconsin held the vaunted Kentucky offense in check and stayed close the entire game, surprising even the most stalwart Wisconsin fans, who themselves merely hoped not to be blown out. They had a chance to win it in the last minute, which certainly shocked some obnoxious Kentucky fans in the bar.

I can only hope that tonight's games match the level of intensity. Great stuff!!!

Update: Two things. Unlike this highly fictionalized, yet stunningly penned account of 12:04 AM, I was in a Virginia bar, and my cries of pain were decidedly censorable.

Update #2: I have one word for Jaquandor's rather eccentric take on March Madness. That word is "poofter".


Man Among Men
Polar opposite of Michael Moore: Award to Peter O'Toole for displaying class, wit, charm and eloquence in his honorary Oscar acceptance speech. That he didn't win for Lawrence of Arabia was one of the Oscar crimes of the 20th Century.

Here it is, from the Unofficial Peter O’Toole Pages (where would I be without Google?):

"Meryl Streep, members of the Academy, distinguished guests, viewers, ladies and gentlemen. 'Always a bridesmaid, never a bride' – my foot! I have a my very own Oscar, to be with me 'til death do us part. I wish the Academy to know I am as delighted as I am honoured. And I am honoured. The magic of the movies enraptured me when I was a child. As I totter into antiquity, movie magic enraptures me still. Having already bagged this baby, as it were, and so spared uncertainties prior to the opening of an envelope, I am able to think. I think of our colleagues, our old friends, now gone, who played their parts in this ceremony. I think of the sumptuous talents alive and well and with us now. I think of the astonishing young, the gifted and able young men and women who I meet practically every time I go to work – and from whom I grab energy in handfuls. I think of the United States and of the loves and friendships I've known here for more than half a century. And of how much the nation has given to me both personally, privately and professionally – I am deeply thankful. And now, at this last, you have given me this delightful shock!
You are very good. Good night and God bless you.”

Thank you Peter.


NCAA Live Updates - Round Two

Updated the link for second round coverage, above. I'm that kind of guy.

Update. The weekend's not over yet, but it's already been a helluva tournament. ESPN has nailed it on their Top Ten Moments So Far page's top two plays; Maryland's prayer shot with no time (an obvious aficionado of dry humor, coach Gary Williams commented that Nicholas had better clock management this time -- Nicholas had a near buzzer beater in the ACC tournament that left 1.3 seconds on the clock)and Wisconsin's corner three with 1 second to play.

Not that it's any of your business, but I have been out in a sports bar watching these games, because I find it excruciatingly torturous to wait for CBS to flip to the "most exciting game" at the time. Jaquandor noted below that ESPN has an agreement to take over for CBS if war coverage breaks in. Luckily, that hasn't happened much; from what I observed of ESPN's coverage on Friday, their "clock management" skills were even worse.

Duke and Kansas will play Thursday in the marquee matchup of the tournament so far. Both teams looked impressive in their wins Saturday. To quote my friend Paul, "let's rock!!"

Brief War Commentary -- How Dare They Interfere with March Madness

With a global version of March Madness, perhaps? I fully support our troops and our president. I am not an anti-war ignoramous. I have, unfortunately, gotten in a war debate with some fool every single night I've been out, and let me tell you that I have supreme patience for the "war is just bad, let's stop" mentality of anti-war goombahs who clearly don't get it, and probably never will. But it's wearing thin. I'll talk more about that later.

CNN has great updates here. Relativity scale: "great" = "reliable".

I'll comment about the war later, of which I am watching with a great amount of interest. Things appear to be going well, but you never know.

A quick story to let you know where my mentality (not to be confused with priorities) are. My boss walked in on Thursday at 1pm and said, simply, "So, it's finally started." I responded, enthusiastically, "Yes, I've beeen waiting and waiting but thank god it's finally started. I'm so excited, this is going to be great!" After a long pause accomanied by a confused stare, he replied, "Are you talking about basketball? I was talking about the war."



This just in!!! In a stunning display of underwhelming news, France has declared that it won't authorize a U.N. resolution allowing the United States and Britain to administer postwar Iraq. I'm shocked. Really.

Can anyone tell me when France has approved anything?

They would most likely veto a resolution to save their own asses in world community status. Oh, wait, they already have.


NCAA Tourney and BYU Screw Brackets

This morning I woke up fresh from a good night's sleep, knowing that my Duke boys are stuck in the West bracket along with powerhouses Kansas and Arizona. My friend Paul's team Wisconsin is in the Midwest, and has the potential to play Kentucky in the Sweet 16. Or, perhaps Texas in the South. Confused? What did I just say?

You heard it. The brilliant, yet quirky selection committee for the NCAA has inadvertently (hopefully) plunked the big Mormon Cougars in a bracket that would have them playing on Sunday. And God doesn't allow that. Anyone who has seen Chariots of Fire, the 1981 Best Picture winner and personal favorite, knows this. Unfortuately, in this case, BYU doesn't have a buddy who's already won a medal to step aside and let them run. No, their potential buddy will be either Wisconsin, Dayton, Tulsa, or Weber St.

If by some reason BYU happens to upset UConn and potentially Stanford and get to a point where they would play Texas, well apparently that's where the NCAA committee will apply brakes and do a Chinese fire drill to the brackets. Swapping teams in midstream is about the dumbest thing I can think of. What the hell is going to happen to anyone's picks? This has the potential to screw up all the pools in the country.

Therefore, I am hereby going to become the biggest fan of UConn this week. I suggest, for the sanity of all, you do the same.


In the category, "If You Can't Be Famous, Be INfamous"...

As some of you may know, I was born and raised in a small town called Allegany, NY. Right next door to the two-stoplight town is a private, catholic college called St. Bonaventure University. It is a division one basketball school, with membership in the Atlantic Ten.

That is, at least for now.

It's a shame that a bunch of whiny kids did this to a great team. I grew up watching games in Reilly Center, and it's embarrassing that the team would forfeit their last two games because of their own duplicity. I even have to agree with Dick Vitale's assessment.

If I was a ticket holder for those games, I'd be even more pissed.

Still, good to see the ol' town in headlines!


Well, in case you've been unable to find a working television set, or for some reason have begun Lent early by shunning newspapers, we finally captured the kingfish brainpower behind al Queda this weekend, during what looks to be a massive hangover.

They also apparently took his two sons, 7 and 9 years of age into custody. I'm not sure how much brainwashing, er, indoctrinating they've had into their dad's way of life (I should say former way of life for mister-soon-to-be-living-the-rest-of-his-short-life-in-agonzing-pain [thanks Ving]), but I hope someone is considering their situation right now. I see two alternatives: re-education or death. Although it would be nice if these kids could be saved, I think that it might be better to have them "corrected" (in the Charles Grady from The Shining sense of the word) than risk having them grow up mad, mad and determined to 'avenge' in the name of "Allah".

Of course, I don't plan to win any flowers with this attitude, but in light of what this f-ing guy has done, I'm willing to walk on the dark side for a bit.


Sine Curves and Religion

The other night, I was having a drink out with a co-worker, and in the midst of playing a game of Trivial Pursuit (Genus 5). The question was (paraphrasing – I was drinking), What Tennesseean was actually a physics teacher when he substituted as a biology teacher, leading to a landmark 1925 trial? The answer, I replied immediately, was “John T. Scopes,” who was represented in the trial by Clarence Darrow in the famous “Scopes-Monkey Trial”.

My co-worker couldn’t believe that I knew that; he is one of those players who, if opposed by someone who knows an answer he can’t fathom, insists that his opponent must sit at home and memorize the cards. Aside that one of the characteristics of knowledge is memorization, I find the comments to be generally insulting, but not enough to give him anything more than a frowning-of-a-lifetime.

He asked how I knew the answer so readily, and I explained that the trial was written about in Karen Armstrong’s excellent book, “The Battle for God,” a history of fundamentalism. I picked up the work for several reasons, most prominently that I feel that fundamentalism is more prevalent in the world theatre these days, especially in light of 9/11, and I’ve had a fascination with God (or “god”) for a long time. Anyway, the trial was a major battle between Christian fundamentalists and evolutionists, and the fundamentalists lost and lost big. And like most fundamentalists, when confronts with the facts, they crawl up in their shell, close their ears, sing “la-la-la-I-can’t-hear-you” and become even more fundamental. It’s a last ditch attempt to “save” the religion from progress and/or change. It’s a death rattle, but a messy one that may take centuries. But, I digress.

This led my co-worker to ask me if I had ever seen any direct proof of evolution, or if I believed in the Big Bang theory of creation. My response to that was, “I believe more in the Sine Wave Big Bang theory than any religion.”

People have asked me what I believe in, especially in regards to God and religion. I’ve read so much and thought about it at great length, almost on a daily basis – I find it interesting, at this point, the way I find vampires interesting, and about as credible. Unfortunately, I haven’t read or experienced anything that would make me believe in any religion, except as a societal evolutionary process. Or any God (or “god”, again). I’m sure I’ll tap into this later.

This is what happens when you mix Trivial Pursuit and Jack-n-Cokes.