Monday, October 29, 2007

The Raw Diaries

Hey, I'm back! Its been over a week, and I was trying to figure out what to write about tonight, since the longer you go without blogging, the more likely you are to lose your regular readership, so...

Tonight... its The WWE Raw Running Diary! Thats right, the Monday Night Raw wrestling event, as it happens!

8:01... it just came on, as usually we're treated to an opening segment with big stars like Shawn Michaels & Randy Orton challenging each other, typically resulting in the main event being set... tonight?

8:03... the WWE Divas are coming out, one by one. Honestly, I'm not a fan of the Divas, cause they really aren't that good looking, and most are plenty fake. I'm a real guy. So, tonight, we have a Diva battle royal. The way a battle royal works is, you toss 'em over the top to eliminate them.

8:04... if I had a favorite, which I don't, but if I did, it would probably me Mickie James, only because she looks just dorky enough to be hot. No one will ever top Stacy Keibler. She's the Ashley Judd of the wrestling world, though Stacy retired years ago to pursue acting. How's she doing now? Well, have you heard of her, besides wrestling? Exactly.

8:07... this is stupid

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Stacy Keibler. Posted only for Michael's sake.

8:08... Kelly Kelly is the winner. And here comes the Women's Champion, Beth Phoenix, who is a flippin' horse. At least, with some of the Divas, I could consider them mildly attractive. With Beth Phoenix, there's nothing attractively redeeming about this chick. Dude. Whatever.

8:10... So, last night was CyberSunday, which was October's Pay-per-View.

For the uneducated, let me enlighten you. The WWE (World Wrestling Entertainment) used to be WWF (World Wrestling Federation) until the enviromental group WWF ( World Wildlife Fund) sued to get the rights to the acronym WWF. They won, so the WWF I'm watching became the WWE.

Anyway, they used to do four pay-per-view events per year, which was SummerSlam (August), Survivor Series (November), Royal Rumble (January), and the big one, which is like WWE's Daytona 500 and Super Bowl and Paula Maddox's 42nd birthday party all rolled into one, WrestleMania.

Some years ago, they added more and more Pay-per-Views until there was one each month, with names like No Mercy, Vengeance, No Way Out, Great American Bash and so on. Think of a name that could have doubled for a Steven Seagal movie and chances are good that it is, or at least was at one time, a WWE monthly event.

Anyway, last night was CyberSunday, which is where the fans can go online and vote for the match participants.

8:16... and live, from Philadelphia, we're back! And here comes one of the all time greats, Shawn Michaels. He's in his early 40s by now, he made it big as half of The Rockers back in the early 90s with Marty Janetti, and he's been on his own for a decade or so. He recently came back from back surgery (his back as always been an issue with him), but the great thing about Michaels is, he's a Believer, and he even discusses it on the show sometimes. His language is always clean, he does nothing with the Divas (he has said he always wants to honor his wife), and his autobiography is pretty good.

8:19... Michaels signature move is "Sweet Chin Music", a roundhouse kick to the face, one that he's used on Randy Orton, the reigning WWE champion. Randy Orton is a bad guy, a "heel" as they call it in wrestling. Shawn Michaels is a "face", short for "babyface", which means a good guy. When Randy Orton turned to the bad side some odd years ago, he "turned heel".

8:20... Shawn Michaels is calling out Randy Orton, but here comes the theme music to Mr. McMahon, who is the chairman of the WWE. Vince McMahon, in his 60s, owns the WWE, inheriting it from his family back in the 80s, but inserted himself in the late 90s as a heel character, and has been awesome ever since.

8:22... I feel like I'm explaining Lost.

8:23... McMahon and Michaels actually don't really get along in real life, but McMahon knows how valuable Michaels is to the company, and so there's a respect there. Of course, in the ring right now, McMahon and Michaels are staring each other down, and McMahon is baiting him. Vince is tossing out Scripture, the "eye for an eye, tooth for a tooth" scripture to get Michaels to admit he wants revenge on Orton (who, in the WWE kicked him in the head and knocked him out of the league, but in real life, it was due to the back injury).

8:25pm... By the way, "eye for eye, tooth for tooth" isn't a "I'm doing what he did to me!" verse... it actually was written in the law to keep judges from being too leini...

8:26... Shawn Michaels just layed out Vince with Sweet Chin Music. Where was I? Yeah, to keep judges from being too light or to harsh on sentences. As in, don't execute someone for stealing some bread, but don't go easy on a murderer. Figured this out this weekend in Sunday Sch... er, Life Connection.

8:29... Just saw a commercial for "Just For Men Hair Color". Ya know, people have asked me before why I don't color my hair, since its about 1/4 to a 1/3 grey by now. First of all, I don't really care that much, since grey is not a bad thing. One some women it looks great too. One of my friends moms used to have a grey streak that looked really, really cool until she colored it. Anyway, if I colored my hair, there would be way too many people that would notice that my hair wasn't grey, then I'd have to answer for it. I just don't care that much.

8:31... The first real match, 30 minutes into the show, features Hardcore Holly tagging up with Cody Rhodes, son of the legendary American Dream Dusty Rhodes. Or, as Dusty would say it, Amewican Dweam Duthty Rhwodes. Anyway, Holly and Cody are teaming up against Charlie Haas & Shelton Benjamin.

More WWE/wrestling education. Haas and Benjamin are what they call "Jobbers". This means that they have names, they have characters, but they are really there now to win or lose matches based on whatever story line is going on. As in, they are supporting characters in the story line, but its not about them. Cody Rhodes is getting what they call "A Push", which means storylines are written in his favor to "push" him up the popularity chain for the fans. And, jobbers like Haas and Benjamin are "pushing him over", as in, agreeing to lose to him to make him seem better for fans. This make sense?

Like any other company, it gets real political... some jobbers don't like being jobbers, and some don't like pushing other wrestlers over. A great example of this was a few years ago when Hulk Hogan was at the end of his career in the WCW (World Championship Wrestling, a great faction that folded when the people who actually owned it didn't have a clue what they were doing). Hogan refused to "push over" anyone, which causes resentment and bitterness in the locker room. For anyone who thinks its ALL scripted, I give you the infamous Montreal Screwjob.

8:41... Yes, wrestling is fake. However, the injuries are real... like the injury to Candice Michelle last week, when she fell off the top rope, and pretty much landed on her neck. She actually broke her collar bone in two places. I think they're featuring the Divas more tonight, because tonight is the end of the "Diva Search", one of those fan vote things to determine... well, who the next Diva is. But, alas, no Stacy Keibler. Come back, Stacy.

8:45... An exchange between the tag team champs Lance Cade and Trevor Murdoch. Unfortunately, there aren't any good tag teams now. Back in the day, we had The Rock & Roll Express, The Hart Foundation (Bret & Jim the Anvil), the British Bulldogs, Demolition (Ax and Smash. Crush didn't really exist), The Midnight Express, the Rockers, the Steiners, The Road Warriors (Hawk & Animal)... now? We have Cade and Murdoch. And thats it. No rivalries. Sad, really.

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The Hart Foundation, back when tag teams were really cool to root for

8:47... To describe a storyline, you'll hear the word "Angle". I say this only to tell you that I refuse to comment on the Hornswoggle angle, other than to say this is one of the worst angles ever. Ever. I can't write anymore.

8:53... Does anyone else think the burgers on those Hardees commercials look revolting?

8:54... For weeks, they've been showing this video clip with random bits of binary code, random numbers, a scripture from the book of Revelations and other fun stuff. The rumor is that Chris Jericho, also a Believer, is making his return. Jericho, or also called "Y2J", walked away two or three years ago to play music, act, appear in random "I Love the (fill in the decade)" Vh1 shows and so forth. It would be cool to see him come back.

8:55... Jonathan Coachmen is taking on Hornswoggle. Again, I refuse to comment.

8:56... however...

8:56... Mick Foley just came out as the "Special Guest Referee". Mick Foley, like Stone Cold Steve Austin, is a fan favorite, but due to serious injury, he's regulated to making appearances, doing well orchestrated, low impact wrestling moves and coming out as referees in matches I otherwise would not watch.

901... Hornswoggle wins, with the assistance of "Little Socko", courtesy of Special Guest Referee Mick Foley. Sigh. I won't say anything else about it.

902... Triple H is up now. This guy is so freakin' big... he's like, 320, 6'9... imagine Wookiee, but with long hair and nothing but muscles. He was one part of Degeneration X, along with Shawn Michaels, but he also was out since January (until August) with a knee injury. By the way, where to almost all the wrestlers comes for their orthoscopic surgeries and rehabs? Birmingham, Alabama, to Dr. James Andrews.

904... Triple H was originally called Hunter Hearst Helmsley, a character created to rival some other WCW...

...sidebar. To understand this statement, you have to know that from 1995 to 1999, there existed "The Monday Night Wars". It was WCW, which was on TBS and TNT cable channels, taking on WWE, on USA. For a while, WCW won the Monday Night Wars, with their premiere program, Monday Nitro, regularly beating WWF Monday Night Raw. But, as stated before, actual management, along with bad planning and terrible events and angles led to the utter demise of the WCW. I could go indepth in this, but won't for fear that right now, Alissa Kelly is yawning and about to go find something on Google. You can read about it here, which is actually a fascinating story of business, power and ego as much as it is wrestling.

...character that I don't remember. So, Hunter Hearst Helmsley was shortened to HHH, then to Triple H, and has been a dominate force since then. His theme music is Motorhead's "The Game", a kick guano song if there ever was one.

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket Here's some of the bigger stars of the WCW. On the left is Diamond Dallas Page, with Goldberg next to him. Goldberg was an animal, but again, was mismanaged. On the far right is then Booker T, one half of Harlem Heat, another great tag team, and the blond guy is Scott Steiner, or Big Poppa Pump, one half of the Steiner Brothers. He was also awesome... on steriods, but still. In the middle is the superstar of the WCW, Sting. Sting, also a Believer, refused to sign with the WWE after the WCW folded (even though everyone else in this picture did at one time or another). Sting said that he didn't like how raunchy WWE had become, and citing his beliefs and family, he walked away. WWE has since toned down their content in the last few years, which is why I started watching it again.

9:08... Paul London and some other guy that I can't remember are taking on Cade & Murdoch. I think they are trying to push London and the other guy... Brian Kendrick... but its not working because no one cares. Earlier, Cade and Murdoch were actually arguing, so its a possible "break up" angle, but again, no one cares.

912... And here comes The Highlanders, a face team when they first came in, and they were terrible... however, they turned heel over the summer, and they're actually a fun team to watch. They are still terrible, but a fun terrible.

916... Just saw the trailer for "The Mist", based on the Stephen King short story. An excellent story, by the way... the movie almost looks a little hokey, but its directed by Frank Darabont, who did both "The Green Mile" and "The Shawshank Redemption", which, along with "Misery" are the finest King movie adaptations. I'm intrigued.

918... Jeff Hardy, the current Intercontinental Champion, enters the ring. This guy is so all over the place... flying through the air, acrobatic, talented. He's being teamed with DH Smith, who is the son of the late Davey Boy Smith, one of my all time favorites, of the aforementioned British Bulldogs. So DH is getting a push too. They'll be taking on Carlito, who really had a chance to be big, but it didnt seem like he was angled very well. Carlito is joined by Mr. Kennedy, who I can't help but like. He usually does this microphone thing where he yells "Miiiiiiissttteeeerrrr Keeennnnaaaadddddeeeeeeeee!!!!" Its kinda cool.

922... Not having anything to do with Kennedy, Hardy, Carlito or DH Smith, but I'm wondering if they'll reunite Shawn Michaels and Triple H? Triple H is one the bad end of a 1-on-2 handicap match, taking on not only Randy Orton but also the Samoan Bulldozer, Umaga. Michaels and HHH, being the former Degeneration X before one, then the other got hurt, would be a great tag team again. Of course, they could feud, especially if one of them wins the championship.

930... The Lovely Steph Leann just came home from her Creative Memories meeting. Did you know its more than just pasting pictures in a book? There are dozens of ways to preserve your memories, including digital options, and digital scrapbooks! Makes great gifts for Christmas, and its a great hobby and lifestyle to dive into! Just click here for more information!

932... This is actually not a bad match. Lots of techinical wrestling, and by that, I mean actual moves and holds and such, not just flips and slams. Of course, Jeff Hardy just laid Carlito out using the Swanton Bomb, which has Hardy leaping from the top rope, flying through the air, doing a flip and landing with the upper back slamming into the head of the opponent.

938... Here comes one of the worst characters ever, Santino Morella. I liken this guy to Doink the Clown from the 90s. This guy is that bad, seriously. What's worse is that he's joined by Maria, supposedly good looking because she's a Diva, but she looks like she swallowed about six Atomic Fireball Sour Candies.

943... And its good that the Lovely Steph Leann is home... the winner of the Diva Search is next!

950... Eve wins it. Steph Leann was pulling for Brooke, I know, but Eve is the winner. Brooke actually looked better, I must admit.

951... Another mysterious code video.

952... Here comes the WWE champ Randy Orton.

sidebar... there are only a few belts in the WWE, the WWE Championship (Randy Orton), which is on Raw, the WWE World Championship (currently held by Batista) which is prominent on WWE"s other show, SmackDown! on Friday nights. The ECW on Tuesday night, also owned by WWE, has the ECW title belt. Each show, SmackDown!, Raw, and ECW, also called "Brands" has a title belt and a tag team belt.

One of the issues with WCW was the fact they had, from the best I remember, a WCW title, a World title, a World Tag Team title, a United States Tag Team title, a Cruiserweight title, a United States Title, a TV Title, a North American title... and this is on ONE show. And the belts changed hands in what seemed like every week, so no one knew who was what champion. One of the things I've liked about the WWE lately is that you keep a belt for a while. John Cena was the champion for the better part of three years, only giving up the belt due to a major shoulder injury that he ended up having surgery on (in Birmingham, by Dr James Andrews!) a few weeks ago.

Why the brands, and not just one big show? Well, its allows more superstars to be superstars, instead of all of them fighting on one show. They do interchange brands some times, as in, you'll see Rey Mysterio from SmackDown! take on someone from ECW on Monday Night Raw, but typically they are seperate. You do see all of them in the pay-per-views, though.

958... Its Umaga! His real name is Eddie Fatua, or something like that, but Umaga is this big, fat, face painted dude from "Samoa" who yells and screams alot, and has a finishing move called "The Samoan Spike", which causes him to ram his thumb into someones throat.

959... TIME TO PLAY THE GAME!!!!!! I am the game, you don't wanna play me, I am control, no way you can change me, I am your debts, no way you can pay me, I am the pain, and I know you can't take me... I am the Game and I want to play....

1001... Its The King of Kings... The Game... Triple H. Yeah, I kinda had an issue with "The King of Kings" too, but I figure if Christ Follower Shawn Michaels can deal with it, then I can too.

1002... HHH's signature move is called The Pedigree, and its slamming a guy's head, face down, between your knees, folding his arms behind his back, and picking him up and slamming him down back first. So, now, Umaga is taking it to HHH, while Orton circles and stomps. Of course, though, its the end of the show, so something will happen. This won't end just by a pin fall.

1003... SHAWN MICHAELS!! I KNEW IT!!! HBK is here!! (that's "The Heartbreak Kid", by the way). HHH and Michaels!!!! Michaels cleared the ring, Umaga tossed out, Orton tossed out....

1005... The parting shot has Mr. McMahon saying next Monday night, one night only, the return of Degeneration X.

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Triple HHH in back, Shawn Michaels in the front, its DX.

1008... Alright, thats enough for one night. Green Bay is leading Denver 13-10 in the 4th, I have to pee, and this blog has gone on long enough. Good night kids.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

The Barnes & Noble of Troy University, and other strange things on campus

This past weekend, I went to the first homecoming at Troy University since I'd left Troy for Birmingham back in 1998. They took on a terrible, terrible North Texas football team that they proceeded to beat down 45 to 7, even while turning the ball over 6 times.

Honestly, by the third quarter, I was kinda bored with the game. Most of the student section had cleared out, the end zone section we were in was beginning to thin, and the home side, filled with alumni and parents had begun to empty slightly.

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Flecks of grey tussled through my hair, both I and Tom watch the game, though North Texas put up very little of a fight

What I could marvel at, however, was how much the place had really, truly changed in the 9 years since I had a class there. As someone put it, "It's becoming a real university!"

The traveling crew for gameday was myself, my buddy Tom (who is my former Deucemate), and Big Wookiee, who was my roommate for four years, and one of my best friends. We got there late morning, just missing the homecoming parade, and stopped by Wal-Mart so Wookiee could find a Troy flag to replace the tattered one that was on his truck.

We parked at the BCM, the Baptist Campus Ministry, and for me, it was surreal. Tom had never been there before, being a graduate of Samford here in Birmingham, and Wookiee wasn't a regular attender, but for me, it was my old stomping ground. Some of my most cherished friendships, relationships and memories stemmed from the walls of that place--Shelby Logan, Troy McConnell, Amy Alexander, Melanie Jackson, Eddie Hamner, and my best friend in college, Allyson Guy--and so walking through the doors again was... well, heartwarming.

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Those BCM couches... terrible to sleep on (believe me, I tried) but great to hang out on (did that too)

I walked upstairs and looked at the couches, those same couches that ten years ago, I would sit on, skipping class to play Phase 10 with Kim Springer and Ink Hwang-Po, or to talk in sign language to Julie Haynes, or wonder if I'd ever find a chick as gorgeous as Tiffany Abbott (my sophomore crush--and I did, by the way).

I ran into Sharon Dobbins, who was sitting downstairs with a chick named Annie, whom I didn't remember at first, and by the time I did, I think she thought I was making up the fact that I remembered her. I also got to peruse the photo scrapbooks laid out on the table, one of which I made and took most of the pictures for.

I was hoping to talk to Rene, who graduated the year before I did at Samson High School, and truly one of the nicest people I've ever met. But, she wasn't there, and I never got to catch up with her.

Wookiee & Tom & I walked over to FarmHouse Fraternity, of which Wookiee was in the Beta pledge class (the 2nd) and I was in the Eta class (the 6th). Consider for me, this was 1995. I got to see old friends of mine from back in the day like Bob Spurgeon and his wife Betsy (and their kid!), Dave and Dana Bush (and their kids!), Warren and Melissa Whittaker (and their kids!), Dave and Suzy Huck (no kids...)... remember, these are all people I went to school with, so this puts an age on them all.

In fact, I went out with Melissa Westberry once, when we were both freshman. She sat next to me in Dr. Welch's Advanced Western Civilization, and I asked her to a movie... we went to see "Indecent Proposal". We had a good time, but didn't go out again. She went on to marry Warren (and in a moment of gooberism, when I saw her on Saturday, I actually said, "Well, hey, its Melissa Westber... er, um, Whittaker!")

Betsy walked by me and smiled, saying "Hey, the grey looks good on you.". I smiled and rolled my eyes. A few minutes later, Dana told me that one of the FarmHouse brothers had changed the trash, and she replied, "Thanks for doing that", to which they answered, "Yes ma'am!".

It was somewhere in this timeframe that I made the most startling discovery of the day... Troy has a Barnes & Noble. The bookstore on campus sold to B&N two years ago, and from what I gather, B&N has bought several college campus bookstores. And when I walked in, I was blown away.

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A Barnes & Noble? Proudly brewing Starbucks Coffee? Heck, I'm going back to school...

It was bright, it was vibrant, it was packed, and they even had a coffee cafe there. Its on the 2nd floor of the Adams Student Center, and as I exited the bookstore and walked down the long corridor, I saw the more familiar locations--the big ballroom where Shelby, Wookiee, Heather Howell and I played campus Pictionary (our team, "Green Deoderant Soap", got rooked on a bad call), I saw the large lounge area with the couches where I would take naps as a Freshman while my girlfriend at the time, Katharine Gates, studied, and the kitchen area where I spent tons of evenings at my job for Marriott Catering.

Over the course of the day, I saw very few people I knew, besides the ones already mentioned. I saw a guy named Wally, though I chose not to talk to him. I mean, I guess he's a nice guy and all, but I wasn't all that big on him to begin with, and I didn't want to spend however long it would take to find out about him, tell him about me, when neither of us truly, really cared, only to say "good to see you" and not really mean it.

I saw another guy I knew that worked for the school newspaper, couldn't remember his name, and again, didn't stop for reasons you can re-read in the above paragraph.

At the BCM tent, I didn't see anyone I knew. Well, I take that back, I did see Jennifer McKenzie--now Jennifer Mosley--but we barely spoke at Troy, so I didn't want to bust in on her conversations. I did randomly spot people I thought I knew, thinking of how they used to be, then mentally aging them 10 years, but no one that really excited me to see them.

I did see Joy Johnston at the game, though. She's someone I knew back in Troy, and unlike Wally, she's someone I kinda wished I had known better, and had taken the time to get to know better. We caught up a little bit sitting there in the bleachers, and it was nice to chat for a few.

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Joy! So good to see Joy!

All in all, it was a great day for a game, a great day to go back and remember. Marriage and Deuce aside, college was perhaps one of the greatest eras of my life... I love talking about it, I love remembering, and I would do it again in a heartbeat (though there are some relationships I would definately take back...)

Oh, and one final thought... it wouldn't be a Troy football game without the best freakin' college band in the country, the Sound of the South. Million Dollar Band? They suck. There's a reason the band hall of fame is in Troy.

Anyway, if you read The Rise of Troy, chronicling their trouncing of Oklahoma State earlier this year, you'll know that the Sound of the South wouldn't be the same without Sweet Sweetback and his BadA** Song... and Sweet Sweetback was here again, in all his male, velvety pant wearin', colorguard flag wavin' goodness. Cause, it just had to be.

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You know, if Sweet Sweetback is actually straight, he's probably a genius, because I'll bet every chick in this band LUVS this guy.


Thursday, October 11, 2007

My Final Night Alone

In case you missed it, make sure you scroll down to read all about Hillary's SCHIPfest...

So, the Lovely Steph Leann comes back tomorrow (she's on the phone now regaling tales of being lost in Atlanta trying to find their hotel and how scary Baltimore is at night), so I'll get to see my wife after like, ten days.

Which makes tonight my final night as a married bachelor... so after I cleaned up the apartment, I had to go to Wal-Mart... so here's my photojournal of Wal-Mart:

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Ah, Hwy 31, on the road to the world's largest discount retailer to buy some medicine for a sore spot on my knee. The windows are down, it feels great outside, and here we go!

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The weather is great enough for me to wear my favorite outfit... long sleeve shirt and shorts and sandals.

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Notice the Halloween stuff on the right, also known as Treat Street (Trick Street can be found in most downtown areas). Beyond, straight ahead, you'll see Christmas. Yep, its time. I'm sure this has actually been up since July.

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Oh, what a credit card world we've become... first Monopoly has a "credit card payment" system, now the game of Life has sold out... use your credit card to pay your debts!! Use cancer cells to fight off your AIDS infection!

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One of my favorite parts of any Wal-Mart... the clearance aisle. Most of the time you have to look for it, but its one row full of just crap. Everything, all marked with a big red sticker. Heck, in this one section alone, you can see sporting equipment, an Axe Body Spray package complete with a "She-Devil" rubber ducky, some Spider-man doll, spray paint, on the bottom is a freakin' welding kit (!) and, of course, Metamucil (Berry Burst, no less). Who in the crap is going to buy their laxatives on clearance? Clearance is the right word, I guess.

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Finally at home, I noticed it was a bit crisp (I left the screen door open so the Lovely Steph Leann wouldn't whine too much about how bad the apartment smelled), so I put my favorite house shoes on. I bought these about five years ago on a road trip to Montgomery's Disney Store (now closed) with a good lookin' South African (Chantel Els).

Anyway, thats my night! I love having a blogpage!

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Hillary: Full of SCHIP

Here's a political commentary. Its about healthcare. I've read, I've listened, and this is what I have to say. Enjoy.

Okay, first of all, let me say this about what I believe. Health care is NOT a right. It is not a constitutional right, it is not something that you are guaranteed as an American, it is not something that you should be given just because you live here. Legally or especially illegally.

I mean, if we go to socialized health care, where are people from Cuba and Canada going to go to get their medical appointments taken care of?

Do I feel some sympathy for the struggling working mother who's trying to make it happen for her three kids, by working two jobs, and trying to keep her kids healthy... sure. I want that family to succeed. But I truly think these families are few and much more far between than you'd think. What I don't want or agree with is me making money for my family, working hard at Starbucks, pushing my way through the company only to have the government (re: Democrats) tell me "Oh, you make too much money now. You need to give a bunch of your money to help other families who don't have healthcare".

In fact, Hillary Clinton, who is a SOCIALIST through and through, has a new program out, called the State Children's Health Insurance Program -- SCHIP -- which was actually created by Slick Willie in 97. And the media will tell you its for the kids, and oh, we need to give money to the poor families and oh, you don't deserve all that stuff you've worked hard for and sacrificed for so you need to give to not just the families themselves, but trust the government to take it and spend it wisely for those poor families and oh the terrible economy and oh Bush hates black people and oh its the strategery to hold the poor families down and oh oh oh...

So, let's review the plan, shall we?

Many of the "poor" kiddies that would be under SCHIP are actually adults. Adults who are already covered by private insurance companies (Alfa, All State, etc). This bill considers anyone under 21 years old as a "child", and will cover those "children" if the family makes up to $82,600 per year. Thats EIGHTY TWO THOUSAND, SIX HUNDRED dollars per year. Thats FOUR HUNDRED percent above the poverty line. If Dad is pulling in $82 and a half per season, and Mom is a stay at home mom, bless him heart, to their four kids, then your tax dollars are going to cover them.

Almost 89% from the families making 300 to 400% above the poverty line have private insurance. These are the very families that SCHIP wants. Thats millions of kids, many of them already out of the house, in college, and in their early 20s, demanding their money from the government.

The old SCHIP bill, as it stands, already has lots of people taking advantage of it. Fourteen states already have a form of this bill in place, and in those states, Investor's Business Daily reports that "Last year, almost 700,000 adults were enrolled in this place designed to help insure children of the working poor. Adults with SCHIP coverage outnumbered children in three states". Six more states even cover childless adults... and some of those states count fetuses as children.

Funny how liberals qualify fetuses as children only when it helps the liberals, but not in an abortion debate.

The new SCHIP bill states that there should be "no federal funding for illegal aliens". But, in the fine print, it also says "states have the option to check for proper documentation or not." Because you know how our government likes to make sure that all immigrants are legal, and have proper methods of doing such a thing now.

Because the federal government offers doctors "payment rates lower than private insurance rates", many doctors opt out. Why take the pay cut? According to the Center for Studying Health System Change, "about 1/5 of physicians... reported accepting no new Medicaid patients in 2004-05, a rate... five times higher that for privately insured patients." SCHIP is an offspring of Medicaid. So, in middle school terms, SCHIP will shrink the collection of doctors who are supposed to be taking part in it. Fewer doctors means more children needing help means long, long wait times means more money out of your pocket to "fix" the problem that was created when the problem of SCHIP was itself instituted.

The Congressional Budget Office tells us that about 60% of the children were covered by private insurance in the year before the program was created. But... the program appears to offer FREE health care to families, so they opt out of their already successful private plans... plans they had probably been affording just fine.

House Democrats (thats Pelosi, Clinton, Harry Reid, Barbara Boxer, Ted Kennedy--just wanted to make sure you know who these people are, in case you hear their names all the time but never put a notion to them) want $50 billion dollars, and at the same time, are running around telling everyon that mean President Bush is cutting funding for children's healthcare. We are now spending $4 billion per year on such programs, but because its not $50, its considered "Cutting".

Democrats also tell us that "don't worry, we have a plan to pay for this... smokers". I don't smoke. Never have. I grew up in a family that did, so I never wanted to be around it... but at the same time, its YOUR right to do so. Its a bar's or restaurant's right to determine if they want smokers in their establishments, and the free market should decide if thats something that will work, not Capitol Hill. To fund SCHIP, all you cigerette smokers will be paying upwards of $1 or more tax, and cigar smokers are looking at a 200% increase or more tax.

Remember, smokers are the same bunch that are being shoved out of bars, restaurants, and in California, private apartments. These are the same bunch that are being constantly bombarded and stigmitized as second class citizens because they smoke... but if you crunch the numbers, we'll need about 22.4 million new smokers in the next 10 years to foot this bill. I don't know about you, but I know a few people who are quitting smoking not for their health, but simply because its too darn expensive.

Oh yeah, the dirty little secret is where this money will come from if all these smokers don't appear over the next decade. Me. You.

And we know the track record on staying in budget for government programs, don't we?

Two words for you: Social. Security. Once people get a taste of the free life, its over. This is an entitlement program, pure and simple. And SCHIP has two ways to feed the entitlement mentality...

First, it creates incentives for states to get as many people as possible covered by SCHIP. In addition to regular payments, the bill would offer states "bonus payments" for levels of enrollment. And as these enrollments get larger, the payouts do too. Secondly, unlike the first version of SCHIP, this one has no "review or renew" clause, as in, a clause that states it must be looked at after a certain amount of time to discuss its failures and successes... nope, once SCHIP as it is today is here, its here. For good. Again.... social security.

If you Google SCHIP, you find not only its Wikipedia entry, which is written from a "SCHIP is going to help our kids, Bush is a mean man who doesn't support it" viewpoint, you'll also see a Wall Street Journal entry which supports what I'm talking about and my research.

As for Hillary, two things must be mentioned... be wary of anything from "" or "". MoveOn was created in the mid-90s, during the Bill Clinton impeachment procedings. It's original purpose was to "help America MOVE ON from the current state of our government and MOVE ON past this silly Clinton perjury charge". I wish I were kidding.

Oh, and Media Matters? Its a supposed site that reports "an unbiased look at what you don't see in the media..." They supposedly review Conservative talk show programs like Limbaugh, Hannity, Cavuto and so forth, and tell you "the real truth". Click on over to Media Matters website and you'll see two things there... the Rush Limbaugh "phony soldiers" story and the story of little Graeme Frost (I believe its pronounced "Graham")

As for Rush, this is proof positive that truly, the elite Democrats and libera media think... well, you are an idiot. Seriously. You as an American are a freakin' moron, especially in the South with your two teeth, Skynyrd in the 4x4 and a Rebel flag over your back windshield. They must think you are stupid if they believe that none of you don't actually know what happened, what Rush said, or that if you cared, you wouldn't know how to find out. No, just take Media Matters at their word. Whatever they tell you, just believe that. Moron.

Which brings me to Graeme Frost, the precious little 12 year old who, along with his little sister, rely on the SCHIP program to provide money for the treatment they need to assist with injuries sustained in a recent car crash. The Democrats wheel little Graeme out to the nation, an hour after President Bush gives his radio address as to why he opposes SCHIP in its present state, to give a Democratic response about how much he and his family needs the SCHIP program to survive. This kid is TWELVE.

This is, of course, the latest in a long line of ill people whom the Democrats have trodded in frong of the cameras to try to shovel their crap to you.

Too bad the kid got sick, while his family had no healthcare, huh? Yeah, but I guess its a good thing the Frost family lives in a Greystone type neighborhood in Baltimore with a house estimated at somewhere around $400 or more. Its a good thing that the Frost family sends both of their kids to a private school, one of the best in Baltimore, that cost about $20,000 per year. Yeah, too bad Mr. Frost only makes $45 or so per year, but hey, its good that they own their house, and he owns his own business, and Mrs. Frost is employed in a medical position that doesn't offer healthcare.

So, it seems to me, that while I'm happy that the Frosts are doing so well, and I think they worked for all they have achieved, that perhaps they should make some decisions. I'm not one to judge them on putting expensive private schools and expensive neighborhood homes and owning your own business ahead of paying for healthcare for the family. I read an article that puts a monthly premium for a family like theirs in a neighborhood like theirs at about $650 per month, with $0 deductible and a $20 co-pay. Perhaps they cant get that rate now, since Graeme is injured, but perhaps that should have been a discussion early. Just don't expect me to pay for it now.

Bottom line is, if you say SCHIP too fast, it sounds just like what it is. A pile of SCHIP. Don't be fooled by the liberal spin on this, and how its going to help our children... its only going to help Hillary achieve her goals of a federalized socialistic healthcare plan, and its going to help millions of families who could do better do what Democrats love for them to do--depend on the government, who in turn, takes from YOU to give to THEM.

As a final thought, I went about 10 years without healthcare. I couldn't have afforded it... with the lifestyle that I led. I felt relatively healthy, and always have been, so I chose to put school and other things ahead of health insurance. You say "but you were too old by then", and I reply "Under the SCHIP plan, part of this 10 years without healthcare would have been covered by SCHIP".

Its by God's grace I didn't get sick, or worse, get into an accident that would have caused me catastrophic medical repercussions, but if I had, then not one single time would I have expected the government to pay for it. I would have moped and regretted the decision to not have healthcare, but I wouldn't have reached for a handout.

ps... if you are truly intrigued by what you've heard about Rush, and the "phony soldiers" comment, then please ask... but ONLY if you are just too lazy to find out the truth and know that I'll know the answer, not if you are totally believing, without question, because MSNBC's Keith Olbermann and Jon Stewart said so "Rush called our soldiers who speak out about the war phony!!" and "Rush called a decorated veteran a suicide bomber because he spoke out against the war!!". If that's what your thinking, I have no reason to debate you because... well, you aren't very smart. But God loves you too. I'm sure of it.

Saturday, October 06, 2007

A Couple of Hours of Late Night Football

It's 930pm on a Saturday night... Stephanie is in Baltimore... I'm watching like, four football games at one time... here's how it goes...

931pm.... Holy cow.... last week, I flipped it on Versus (the channel formerly known as "The Outdoor Channel" just in time to see Colorado beat Oklahoma on a last second field goal. Now, on Versus? Stanford leads the #1 team in the land (according to one poll) USC by one point with one minute left. If I'm the programmer at Versus, I'm loving my job.

Forget Appy State over Michigan... Appy State was a good, championship team over a over-ranked Wolverine team that really wasn't that good. This is Stanford. They suck. But not tonight. Because Stanford just intercepted the ball, they take a knee, and they win it. On USC's home field. And USC's coach, Pete Carroll, looks like he just got kicked in the back with a steel toed boot. There's a shot of some sorority chick crying... trying moving to the SEC.

The sideline reporter tries to talk to Jim Harbaugh, Stanford's coach and former Chicago Bear player (I've even got his football card), but Harbaugh, jumping up and down and running, tells the reporter "No! Talk to the QB! It's his night!"

This is why I love college football.

940pm... Back over to Florida/LSU, just in time to see LSU score a touchdown. As much as I'm enjoying Florida leading the game, I'm in fear of the 2nd half... LSU was struggling with Tulane last week, until the 3rd quarter, when they rolled. Now, Florida is no Tulane, but LSU is in fact LSU.

943pm... Over to ESPN, where Missouri is beating Nebraska 17 to 3. Crud. I picked Nebraska in the Deuce Football Championship competition. Oh me of little faith...

945pm... Uh oh, we got ourselves a game on ESPN2. Rutgers leads Cincinnati 20-14... and already, I've seen Stanford's defeat of USC on three different recap/clips. Wow, sideline reporter Stacy Dales looks rough.

946pm... Okay, whats happening on Fox Sports? Texas A&M just kicked a field goal and now leads Oklahoma State 24-20.

946pm... TOOOOUUUCCCHHHDOOOOWWWWNNN GGGAAAATTTOOORRSSSS!!!!!!! Tim Tebow is a freakin' beast. Did you know when it rains in The Swamp, Tim Tebow doesn't get wet? The rain gets Tim Tebow'd.

947pm... Over to ESPNU, where... Maine is taking on Hofstra? Where the heck is Hofstra? I wonder if they give rookies at ESPN games like Maine/Hofstra, or if its a punishment. Like, three late meetings, and you get a Maine game. Another blunder and you end up with a William & Mary/Wofford bout. It IS homecoming at Hofstra, which is ranked #12 in the Championship Subdivision (re: Division I-AA) arena of play. We'll check on this one... later.

950pm.... Don't look now! Notre Dame Fightin' Catholics are leading UCLA in the 3rd!

1009pm... So, for the second time, LSU's kicker shanked it. Again. Does this guy come from Florida State? Lovin' in. Florida up 24-14.

1010pm... They showed an ad for the Bruce Springsteen interview on 60 Minutes. So, I've heard some of his new album, "Magic". Its really not very good, but... BUT... he sings an anti-war song, so naturally, he's this musical genius and all the critics love him and he's so great and a legend and so on and so on. What if he sang a pro-military song? What if he sang a song called "The Terrorists, the Enemy"? It would be declared a bad effort, a bad CD, a misstep by an American legend. I'll stop before I go run over a liberal with Steph's car.

1013pm... On ESPN, its halftime in the Nebraska/Mizzou game, which means three things. 1) Rece Davis... 2) Mark May... and 3) Lou Holtz. I really like Rece Davis, and I've alreaydy admitted that the ESPN College Football theme song makes me giggle. I think Mark May is kinda cool, he'd be fun to hang with during a game. Lou Holtz? He blubblers. I'm not sure what he's even talking about most of the time, and I'm pretty sure that Rece and Mark doesn't either.

1015pm... LSU is driving... down at the 3 yard line.

1016pm... I have to pee

1017pm... 4th and 3. *#&&$. Touchdown LSU. I say again, *#&&$.

1018pm... Cut to the sidelines, Tim Tebow is staring at the playbook. Oh, he's not reading it. Tim Tebow doesnt read books. He just stares at it until it gives him what he wants, out of fear.

1020pm.. Somehow I fumbled when clicking channels, and ended up on Trinity Broadcasting. I would have flipped away quickly, except Third Day is on, singing "God of Wonders", and some chick is singing with them. I'm actually trying to figure out who the chick is... could that be Christy Nockel, from Watermark? Aside from my wife, natch, Christy Nockel might have one of the sweetest, most melodic voices ever. Ever. And now, David Nassar is speaking. But... Florida is playing LSU.

1023pm... So, Florida got the kickoff, ran it back, but it looks like he might have run out of bounds. The refs were reviewing it, then declared he didn't go out, and subsequent replays show that he didn't. However, Les Miles, LSU's coach, tossed the challenge flag. Which means if this isn't overturned, LSU loses their final timeout. I'm diggin' it.

1026pm... This call is still being reviewed... and its a crap call. His foot was not out of bounds... (watching the replay...) okay, it was slightly. Darn it.

1027pm... Good news... not only did Troy win, beating Florida International, but Hofstra's up on Maine 14-0.

1035pm... LSU went for it on 4th, and they crossed the yellow line. Not that the yellow line means real life, but its close. They got it...

1043pm... And now LSU is driving, inside the 5. And Steph calls me. I love my wife, but my loving wife calls me from her Baltimore business trip not at halftime, not in the 3rd quarter, but with less than 90 seconds left in a 24-21 ball game. I love my wife.

1046pm... And touchdown LSU. #($@**@. I think Stephanie jinxed me.

1047pm... Hofstra is still up on Maine 14-0, with less than a minute in the 2nd quarter to go.

1049pm... And Colt David, the kicker for La State, puts it through. LSU, up by 4, with about 45 seconds to go. Colt? What kind of name is that? Colt McCoy for Texas, Colt Brennan for Hawaii, Colt David for LSU. Why Colt? Why not go Stallion McCoy, or Clydesdale Brennan? Thats a much more powerful name... what about Colt Dollar? That just looks stupid. Kinda like this game.

1052pm... Cincinnati beats Rutgers. My night just gets worse and worse. Next your going to tell me that Nebraska is getting beaten badly by Missouri... wait. Crap.

1053pm... 26 seconds remain. Tim Tebow should just kill someone with his bare hands.

1058pm... I hate LSU. Kinda always have. Especially now.

1059pm... Final score, LSU 28, Florida 24. At least Hofstra's up, 21-3. G'night.