Headlines and Deadlines

There is a lot going on in the world but more importantly in my life. That was a joke.

Anyhow, there is a lot going on and for once there are fewer people living in high risk hurricane zone's. For once, people might be getting it. Thanks to Al's Morning Meeting for that one. I'm now an every day reader, that's every day (two words). More on that later.

In other news, Democrat, that's Democrat with a big 'D', insiders meet Saturday to decide how Michigan and Florida are to be handled in the delegate race that seems like it has gone on longer than the Iraq War. If you don't know, the democratic primary quagmire, I mean process, does not include the Florida and Michigan delegates that could prove fatal for Barack Obama's candidacy, despite the feelings of some.

More importantly, thieves are punching holes in gas tanks to steal gasoline; even in Hawaii. This, perhaps an aberration from all the pump 'n' run nonsense that has ruled the gasoline-thieving industry.

And, once again some ideas from Al's; ideas the president should propose. These include:
- Five-day-a-week postal delivery
- A Manhattan Project for energy
- Year-round school
- Tax credit for blood and organ donations
- Scrap the electoral system
- All fed officials should hold a news conference at least once per month
- End the Social Security penalty for working seniors
. . .among others.

And, another crane collapsed in NYC. One person is dead.

In my life, I have been stressed all week about this or that. And I haven't even had anything in the paper!

I have been working on a few larger assignments; one about a teacher retiring 42 years after he started and another about tornadoes.

The state of my bank account perplexes me but that is OK, because I'm sure I'll be making millions in a few months time. (No sarcasm)

I am heading back to the hospital this weekend to work. I'm on this bi-monthly work schedule there and that's just fine with me because it means i get to hang out with my best buds.

I'll be doing really well though, when I'm done with this class, it's killing me. But, now its time to leave, time to eat and time to well, put gas in my car. yuck.


Mauk, Georgia - - Braves v. D'backs

Those red-dirt roads just do it for me.

Whether you know or not, I made a trip with my sidekick to Mauk, Georgia this past weekend.

The trip was centered around my sidekick's cousin's graduation but culminated with a trip to Turner Field in Atlanta, GA.

The trip began with a 629 mile drive from Richmond, Ind. to Mauk, which took about 11 hours and enough gasoline to make these guys happy.

We arrived at supper time, which is southern for dinner. And waiting for us was a large pot of sloppy joe's that my sidekick's cousin has made up.

They were delicious as I had not had sloppy joe's since before my departure to the old country. I ate 4 before calling it quits and going outside to enjoy the pool and the 80 degree weather, I have not seen since Greece.

After swimming we hung out with the family including the new one, "junior" who looks just like his daddy when he was his age.

The next morning we arose early to get dressed prior to the graduation at Hardaway High School in Columbus, Georgia. The graduation was highlighted by names like Balil and Vlady and the police escorts issued to a few in attendance for talking during the handing out of diploma's.

Yes, they arrested people for yelling when someone walked across the stage. The person being escorted would then have to serve a community service sentence before the "yelled for" could get their diploma. Crazy isn't it, well its true. If you still don't believe me read this from Macon, Georgia.

After graduation we headed back to their house, but not before sliding into Sonic, a staple of every where but here.

Once arriving back to the homestead, I put on my swimming trunks, Richmond Park Dept. issued, and laid on the newly built deck by the pool. As temperatures grew I took more time in the pool than on the deck. We had hamburgers for lunch and I got to see a velvet ant.

That night we had a campfire in the back yard, as I made up a story while everyone questioned my sanity.

The next morning we awoke early, again. We had a fun day full of cheeseburgers and sunbathing. I took a walk through the woods on the Marino's property.

The rest of the night was full of fun and relaxation before we retreated to board games before retiring early. That night the Reds lost in 18 innings to the SD Padres.

The next morning we arose early and packed our bags with pancakes in our belly's and baseball on our minds.

Around 9 a.m. we departed for Atlanta and Turner Field. We arrived about Noon and walked around before the game.


All those naysayers before the game that said the messiah had not come to save the day were wrong.

If they were right, and it looks like they WEREN'T, they are going to have a hard time arguing with the thousands/millions of disciples that there are now.

Jay Bruce did come up and with a loud crack heard from Cincinnati to Jerusalem, after going 3-for-3 with two walks, a stolen base and two RBI, in his MLB debut.

Thousands of his disciples pined to kiss the saviors feet after the game, but were denied as a shaving cream pie greeted his face instead.

The irony of that is that Bruce, although GREAT in every detail of human existence, is so young that might have been the first time shaving cream has graced his face.

No, but really Bruce came up in the 1st and drew a walk. In the 5th Bruce walked again before scoring on a meaningful Adam Dunn home run. In the 6th Bruce came up and got an opposite field single knocking in his first RBI. In the 7th Bruce doubled in another RBI.

At the advent of the near-homer, the crowd of 17,964 cheered:"Bruuuuuuuuuuuuuuuce! Bruuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuce!"

I'm sure he liked it.

Photo property of http://reds.com

Onion Reports: Nike Signs Big Brown to $90 Million contract

According to The Onion, the most reliable source of news on the internet, the Kentucky Derby and Preakness winner has signed a $90 million horseshoe contract with Nike.

This from The Onion:

PORTLAND, OR—In a move that added the world's pre-eminent equine athlete to its stable of endorsers Tuesday, Nike signed Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes winner Big Brown to a seven-year, $80 million endorsement contract that included a $10 million signing bonus as well as the creation of a signature horseshoe, the Air Brown.

"Nike is ecstatic to sign the top star in horseracing," CEO and Nike president Mike Parker said, unveiling the "jumphorse" logo as the Kentucky-bred colt trotted onstage. "From Michael Jordan to Tiger Woods, Nike has created formidable partnerships with the very best in sports. I can't say how proud we are to work with B.B., who is an extraordinary individual both on and off the track."

"Big B doesn't complain when he gets the far outside starting gate position," Parker added. "He just gallops. And he gives hope to everyone out there that if they train hard, push themselves, and keep their snout clean, they can accomplish anything."

Big Brown, whose Nike endorsement deal is the largest ever for a thoroughbred, was flown from New York to Portland in a private Nike jet stocked with the world's finest bourbon, caviar, sugar cubes, cigars, carrots, and hay. Upon arriving on the west coast, the equine superstar's handlers whisked him past a throng of cheering fans into a stretch limousine bound for Nike headquarters, where Brown, his 11-horse entourage, and his team of lawyers reviewed the contract one last time before signing.

Read more here.

Information acquired from: http://www.theonion.com/content/index
All rights belong to The Onion

Reds, Reds and Paul Harvey

Jay Bruce is finally here. Check this out, its my other blog, on the Cincinnati Enquirer site.

Also, WLW dropped Paul Harvey according to this.

Oh and the trip to Georgia was great, above is a picture of me at Turner Field. Fun Fun.



Although, I support Barack Obama I do not get caught up in the celebrity-'he said-she said' nonsense. When the Jeremiah Wright fiasco surfaced last month, I held my head not in anguish but in annoyance. And, now as this link has come out, I am wondering how it will hurt John McCain's prospects and image.

Apparently, as you read, The Rev. Hagee, a McCain supporter, and one that has been at his side until recently, said "God, sent Hitler to help Jews reach the promise land," or some other variation of such.

Don't you love how much attention this will get from CNN? And don't you love how politics has become like teenage drama, or better yet professional wrestling?

Sweet Lou At The Track

I know there are Cubbies fans that read my blog, so get a hit on this story about 'Sweet Lou', its pretty funny. It comes from Hal McCoy's Cincinnati Reds blog, The Real McCoy; check it out!

Speaking of Big Brown, one of the nation’s prettiest horse tracks is Del Mar, not far from San Diego. Lou Piniella loves the sport of kings and the last year he managed the Reds he and I went to Del Mar on a Saturday afternoon.

You had to wear a sport coat in the clubhouse. I wore one, Lou didn’t. So they brought him an usher’s jacket - a blue blazer with an orange Del Mar logo on the pocket. So there was the manager of the Cincinnati Reds sitting at a table checking out his program in an usher’s blazer.

He hit three out of the first four races and it was time to go - Piniella needed to make out a lineup card for batting practice. But he was running hot with the ponies and wanted to stay. “One more, one more,” he said.

I nearly had to drag him out of Del Mar and as we sped down the interstate toward the ball park, I said to him, “We’re going to be late. Batting practice starts soon and they don’t even have a lineup.”

It was early September and Piniella wanted a contract extension from owner Marge Schott, but she wouldn’t talk to him during the season. So, at that moment, on the freeway, Piniella said, “To hell with them. I’m not coming back next year anyway.”

And that’s how I got the scoop that Piniella wasn’t returning for another season.

Oh, for the good ol’ days - back in the day…

Thanks again Hal!


Scotty's To Georgia

Last night I did my first assignment on deadline: covering the American Idol party at Scotty's Brewhouse in Muncie, Ind.

I covered the event and rushed back to the newsroom to write the story, about the craze that was, or more accurately, wasn't, at Scotty's.

The finished product is here, and let me tell you, it was fun to write on deadline and get it in within an hour after starting it.

Another interesting thing I ran across this morning, after finishing my articles for tomorrow's Star Press, is this map that details gas prices across the country. You can type in any county and find the average. Quite interesting, especially for me, who is travelling with my partner in crime to the Peach State.

Also, I am thinking about two story ideas, including one about how and why, 90 percent of students pass on to the next grade, while only 30 percent do the necessary work to succeed at their given level. Controversial, yes, but interesting, well yes too.

And, one more happy story: CNNMoney is announcing that if the U.S.A. has a bad hurricane season, a 60 percent chance, we will probably be looking at $6 a gallon gas by the end of the year.

So, I guess you were right Uncle Bob; just like you always said.


Livin' in America

I have been back in the United States for nearly a month and a half now. I am leading a different life than my travels across Europe, where I found myself in places that only seem like dreams now.

The other day I ran into Dr. Mark Popovich, and to see how sad I am, I walked into his office and he quickly asked me: "Do you miss London?"

To which I felt inclined to merely say yes, without enthusiasm - which radiates the furthest thing about how I miss that old place.

Like I said it seems like a dream now, but I keep reminding myself that it wasn't.

But, we all have to grow up at some point and whether or not that growing up smacks us in the face as it is now.

I began at The Star Press last week as part of my internship and hopefully it goes well.

I hope to keep this blog running so don't stop reading. I will post links to articles I write and I will add news of the weird and fun and hopefully some news of the relevant.

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