Monday, May 31, 2004

Quote of the Day 5/31/04 Memorial Day

"Follow me!" Teddy Roosevelt’s charge command at Kettle Hill

Greetings from Banshee Blog's new headquarters!

Similar to the EIB Network, Banshee Blog headquarters have been pretty nomadic over the last month or so. However, Wild Banshee is now settled into her new permanent home. A big thanks has to go out to Jerry Wetzel, Chris Underwood and Seth Johnston. Without these three men, the great Banshee move could not have happened.

Friday, May 28, 2004

Quote of the Day 5/28/04

"It was a great point. I felt like pulling my pants down. What's bad about that?" Marat Saffin after a match at the French Open duirng which he pulled down his pants to celebrate winning a big point.

Do you have reservations?

What does the word reservation mean? Apparently nothing if you work for U-Haul.

As some of you know, Wild Banshee is switching home bases this weekend. U-Haul was supposed to be part of the process. However, less than 24 hours before the supposed move, U-Haul alerted us that they would not actually have any trucks available at the time that we had reserved one. Basically, the reservation only meant that if there happened to be a truck on the lot at the time that we reserved one then we could use that truck. Otherwise, we are just out of luck.

As Mimi correctly pointed out, it is good that hotels do not operate in this manner. Imagine a road-weary traveler dragging themselves into the hotel lobby with a reservation number in hand only to be told that there is no vacancy. The hotel manager informs the traveler, "We didn't mean that we would actually reserve a room for you. We just meant that if we happened to have one available when you showed up that you could have it."

Unfortunately, there is no real recourse for a customer in my position. Obviously there are more people wanting trucks than there are trucks available, so me canceling a reservation and using a competitor is no real skin of U-Haul's nose.

Thursday, May 27, 2004

Quote of the Day 5/27/04

"I'd like to thank God. He has blessed me so much this year. But, I'm gonna have to ask His forgiveness in advance because I'm gonna go ahead and raise a little hell tonight." Dierks Bentley after winning the Academy of Country Music's award for top newcomer.

The Pulse of America

Standing in stark contrast to the Cannes Film Festival which awarded Michael Moore with the prize for Best Picture, the Academy of Country Music awarded three of its top honors to unabashed patriot Toby Keith. Keith won Male Vocalist of the Year and Entertainer of the Year. Keith's latest album, Shock 'n Y'all, won Album of the Year. Shock 'n Y'all features such classics as "American Soldier," "Whisky Girl," and "I Love This Bar." If I remember correctly, Shock 'n Yall has already gone triple platinum. I wonder how Michael Moore feels to know that more people can sing the lyrics to "The Taliban Song" than will ever dream of seeing his "documentary" Fahrenheit 911.


Yesterday, John Ashcroft and Bob Mueller held a press conference to alert the American public about a possible terror attack planned for this summer. The terror alert level was not raised, but Ashcroft reminded the American public that the threat of Al Queda is still very real. He also provided the names and a brief biography of seven individuals who are thought to be involved in the planning of an upcoming attack. Illinigirl did her part in raising awareness by posting this informational poster on her website, and I thought that I would follow suit.

Wild Banshee's Top 15 Walt Disney World Attractions

Wild Banshee recently returned from the happiest place on earth. No, not Fantasia's house. Disney World. Like any good American, I wasn't content to just experience the wonders and the spectacles. Of course, I felt an overwhelming need to rank them. So, thanks to the help of some of my traveling companions, Banshee Blog is proud to present Wild Banshee's Top 15 Walt Disney World Attractions.

1. Illuminations (EPCOT)

2. Tower of Terror (MGM)

3. Fantasmic (MGM)

4. Aerosmith's Rock n' Roller Coaster (MGM)

5. Sci-fi Cafe (MGM)

6. World Showcase (especially food and music) (EPCOT)

7. Kilimanjaro Safari (Animal Kingdom)

8. Bugs' Life (Animal Kingdom)

9. Mission Space (EPCOT)

10. Indiana Jones' Stunt Spectacular (MGM)

11. Festival of the Lion King (Animal Kingdom)

12. Muppets 3D (MGM)

13. Splash Mt. (Magic Kingdom)

14. Philharmagic (Magic Kingdom)

15. Haunted Mansion (Magic Kingdom)

Wednesday, May 26, 2004

Quote of the Day 5/26/04

"Pennsylvania is a John Wayne state, not a Jane Fonda state." Gov. Bob Casey

Happy Birthday to the Duke!

Today, May 26, we honor the birthday of one of Hollywood's and America's greatest icons. John Wayne would be 97 years old today. John Wayne, born with the name Marion Morrison, acquired the nickname "the Duke" during his pre-Hollywood days when he earned his paycheck as a prize fighter. Although he is one of the biggest legends the silver screen has ever known, the Duke won is one and only Oscar in 1969 for his portrayal of Rooster Cogburn in the movie True Grit. Even though John Wayne is one of my favorite actors of all time, I have no argument with his lack of awards. By his own admission, Wayne was not much of an actor. He once said that he played himself in every movie. And that is why fans loved him. His fans also loved him because he was a true patriot. Wayne once recorded a spoken-word album entitled "America: Why I Love Her." He also made the film The Green Berets during the height of the Vietnam War. In fact, John Wayne turned down the lead role in the Dirty Dozen in order to star in and direct the flattering portrayal of Vietnam-era Marines. John Wayne was also active in the Republican party.

I realize that many readers of this blog probably consider John Wayne's movies to be simplistic and trite. But, I think there is something to be said for unadulterated heroism on the big screen. John Wayne's characters stand for self-sacrifice, bravery, honesty and, of course, toughness.

Thank you, John Wayne.

New Additions to the Banshee Blog

In case you didn't notice, Banshee Blog is now sporting two new features: A Google search bar and a tagboard.

Google Search Bar: This could be a very useful tool, especially as time goes by and the volume of posts increases here at Banshee Blog. For example: Say you were wondering if the Wild Banshee or friends ever shared any wisdom on the topic of the BCS or Mona Lisa Smiles. Instead of searching through all of the archives, you can now just search Banshee Blog via the Google Search Bar.

Tagboard: As Banshee Blog's 6-month blogoversary approaches, Wild Banshee hopes that a greater sense of community will begin to develop amongst Banshee Blog readers. What better way to build community than to facilitate communication between Banshee readers and, of course, the writers? That's where the tagboard comes in. The tagboard is sort of a hybrid comment-tool/chat-room. It's a little more open-ended than straight up comments, so I'm hoping that it will spark more discussion. I've never really used a tagboard before, so this will be a new experience for all of us. It's located on the right-hand side of the screen (scroll down some if you don't see it). Please give it a try.

Tuesday, May 25, 2004

Quote of the Day 5/25/04

"When they said to you at graduation, 'Follow your dream,' did anybody say you have to wake up first?" Bill Cosby.

American Idol

So, I watched the final showdown episode of American Idol this evening. This was really the first episode that I watched this year, and I must say that I was shocked. I wasn't shocked so much by the fact that Diana was extremely flat in every single song as by the fact that Simon, Randy and Paula kept praising her voice. I thought it was absolutely awful. At one point, my family actually muted the TV because we were afraid of doing permanent damage to my cat's ears. But, don't take this to be a vote of confidence in Fantasia. She had tons of spunk, but I was offended by her need to do her own arrangement of the Gershwin classic "Summertime." Oh well, enough bashing of those who dare to perform in public. After all, we can't all be great vocalists like say ... Tim McGraw or Stephen Tyler. But, in all honesty, I think I'd sooner buy a Smarty Jones cd than anything done by these two chicks.

Monday, May 24, 2004

Quote of the Day 5/24/04

"You're a victim once. After that, you're a volunteer." Naomi Judd.

Fear Factor is more important than the President

As I announced earlier this afternoon, all four major networks chose to air their regularly scheduled programming tonight instead of President Bush's prime time address on Iraq. Just out of curiosity, I decided to see exactly what was so pressing on the networks that it could not be preempted. Here's what I found: CBS was airing piped-in laughter sitcoms, ABC was airing A Beautiful Mind, FOX was airing the Swan Pageant, and NBC was airing Fear Factor. Wow! With a time sensitive line-up like that, I guess it's no wonder that the networks couldn't make room for the leader of the free world.

Bush snubbed by the networks

The battle cry from the Kerry campaign and the strong innuendo from America's major news outlets is that President Bush stumbled blindly into post-combat difficulties in Iraq and has no plan for what to do next. In order to inform the public on the current status in Iraq and his future plans for the new nation, President Bush has scheduled a prime-time speech for this evening. Topics that the President plans to discuss include: security in Iraq, the June 30 hand-off and the Iraqi elections. The President will also likely say a few words about Abu Ghraib prison in Baghdad. The speech is said to be nearly 30 minutes long.

In summary, President Bush scheduled a major, prime-time speech that will address the questions that Senator Kerry and the mainstream media have been asking for weeks. However, all four major networks have decided not to air the speech. In other words, the major news outlets have decided to deny access to the Commander in Chief's address to those who do not have cable television. Instead of airing the speech, the networks have decided that it is sufficient to just edit and summarize the speech as they see fit on tomorrow's evening news.

I'm not one to jump onto conspiracy theories, but I do not think that it takes too much imagination to see this programming decision by the networks as a political manuever. I believe that the audience for this speech is being intentionally limited so that the networks can continue to claim that the President has no real plan for Iraq. Maybe I'm going too far with this, but I am angry.

For those of you who are interested in hearing the President's actual address and not just Dan Rather's summary tomorrow night, the speech will be aired on Fox News at 8 pm this evening. I believe that it will also air on MSNBC.

Sunday, May 23, 2004

Quote of the Day 5/23/04

"And, how about people who always wanna play devil's advocate? The devil doesn't need any more advocates. He has enough advocates." Rev. Victor Belton (Possible paraphrase. I did this from memory).

Polling Results

It was a very even battle for late night supremacy here at the Banshee Blog. David Letterman received two votes. Conan also received two votes despite his 12:30 time-slot. However, two people also said that they are asleep and don't watch any of this. Leno and Kilborne each got one vote.

This week's poll concerns Banshee Blog's recent addition of audio blogging. Help Banshee out by voicing your opinion. If you vote against audio blogging, please leave a comment. Don't worry -- it's all anonymous.


Saturday night was the Nextel All Star Challenge (formerly known as the Winston) at Lowe's Motor Speedway in Charlotte, NC. It is not a points race and does not count towards the championship standings. However, it is a fan favorite and very lucrative for the drivers. Matt Kenseth took home the million dollar prize. The race was aired on FX, so I missed it.

Next week: The Coca-Cola 600 will be run in Charlotte, NC on Sunday. This is a day-night race that begins at 5 pm and ends under the lights. This is one of my favorite races of the year.

Overwhelmed Banshee

I missed a few days of blogging here at the end of the great Florida vacation. This is the first time in Banshee Blog's brief history that there will actually be days with no posting. That is not because there was a lack of content. No, it's just that travel days and a cold got the best of me. Anyway, enough personal stuff -- othwerwise known as excuse making.

Wednesday, May 19, 2004

Quote of the Day 5/19/04

"Imagination is more important than knowledge ...." Albert Einstein.

Off Kilter at EPCOT

This band is called Off Kilter. They were made up of an electric guitar, an electric base, a Hammond organ and bagpipes. That's right, bagpipes. Off Kilter was playing at the Canadian pavilion in EPCOT's World Showcase.

this is an audio post - click to play

Audio Post from China in EPCOT's World Showcase

this is an audio post - click to play

Tuesday, May 18, 2004

Quote of the Day 5/18/04

"This art of resting the mind and the power of dismissing from it all care and worry is probably one of the secrets of energy in our great men." Cpt. J. A. Hadfield

2012 Olympics

Over the years, the Olympics have become almost as much about making political statements as they are about winning medals. Choosing a site is just the first step. This morning, the IOC revealed the five finalists for the 2012 games. The finalists include: Moscow, Paris, London, Madrid and NYC. Apparently, Paris is the front-runner. Cities that got cut in this wave include: Havana, Istanbul, Rio de Janero and Leipzig. IOC president Jaques Rogge said that this trimming of the field was about "separating the boys from the men."

"Separating the boys from the men" is an interesting choice of phrase from the IOC president since the IOC also decided on Tuesday morning that they are unable to separate the men from the women when it comes to the athletes who will be competing in the Athens games this year. The IOC has cleared transsexuals to compete in the 2004 games, provided that the athlete's new gender has been legally recognized and the athlete has undergone two years of post-op hormone replacement therapy.

Unbelievable. This decision by the IOC basically makes the IOC's rules a farce. Now, the IOC will strip a man of a gold medal in the 100 meter dash if he is taking anabolic steroids, but we will allow a person who has lived 25 years as a man to win a gold medal in the women's 100 meter butterfly.

Is this bizarre to anyone else?

Monday, May 17, 2004

Quote of the Day 5/17/04

"Come to France where we mock those who saved us from the Germans twice." From the 5/16/04 episode of the Simpsons.

Audio Post from Disney-MGM Studios

I apologize for the sound quality of this post. This was posted from a cell phone at the Hollywood Hills Ampitheater in Disney-MGM Studios just minutes before the thrilling spectacle of Fantasmic. The crowd was fairly loud in anticipation of the imminent visual extravaganza.

this is an audio post - click to play

The First State

This morning, Massachusetts claimed the distinction of being the first state in the union to conduct homosexual marriages. Not civil unions, mind you. Marriages.

Those in favor of redefining marriage to include any two adults claim that this is a civil rights issue. They claim that the real issue is ending discrimination. However, I would strenuously disagree with that sentiment. One reason why I disagree with that argument is because proponents of homosexual marriage have no principled reason for ending the redefinition at two consenting adults. They have no principled reason for denying the right of marriage to multiple adults. After all, banning poly-amorous marriages is a no less discriminatory policy. In fact, banning multiple-person marriages may be more discriminatory because it actually touches on the constitutionally guaranteed right of the free exercise of the Mormon religion.

Homosexual marriage is not about ending discrimination. It is about earning acceptance, approval and moral equivalency for the homosexual lifestyle. The push for homosexual marriage comes from a desire by the homosexual community (as well as those who are firmly committed to the doctrine of moral relativism) to have the government declare that their lifestyle choices are morally equivalent to the choices supported by all major religions of the world -- all major religions of the world besides secular humanism, that is. Perhaps Massachusetts' legalization of homosexual marriage is just another sign that secular humanism and its tenets of moral relativism are quickly becoming the official, state established religion of the United States.

Sunday, May 16, 2004

Quote of the Day 5/16/04

"No, don't give me a map. I don't want to look like a tourist." Chris Underwood upon entering the gates of the Magic Kingdom.


Dale Earnhardt, Jr. captured the checkered flag at Saturday night's Chevy American Revolution 400 from Richmond International Speedway. Jimmy Johnson finished second, and Jeff Gordon finished sixth. This left the top of the order in the championship standings unchanged, but Junior's lead is now 40 points over Johnson. Gordon is right behind them both in the chase for the Nextel Cup.

Sorry that there isn't more detail here, but I missed most of the race.

Saturday, May 15, 2004

Quote of the Day 5/15/04

"Smarty reminded me of Secretariat, the way he pulled away." Gary Stevens, jockey on Preakness runner-up, Rock Hard Ten.

(AP Photo/Jim Dietz)

Hooray for Smarty!

Smarty Jones overcame a variety of distractions to put together an absolutely electrifying performance at Pimlico on Saturday.

The race was delayed for about fifteen minutes after Imperialism threw a shoe in the walk-over from the barns. Preakness officials allowed Imperialism to take a quick trip to the track farrier before the start of the race. Then there was another delay when the 10 horse, Rock Hard Ten, refused to enter the gate. Jockey Gary Stevens even had to dismount before starters physically forced Rock Hard Ten into the gate. And then they were off.

Smarty Jones, who went off as the 3-5 favorite, had a clean break from the gate. Just like at the Derby, Lion Heart took the early lead and held it through the back stretch. As the field rounded the final turn, it appeared that it would be a two horse race. But in reality, it was a one horse race. At the top of the stretch, Smarty Jones put on the afterburners and blew the field away. When Smarty crossed the finish line, the Pennsylvania colt had won the Preakness Stakes by nearly 12 lengths -- the largest margin of victory ever at the Preakness.

(AP Photo/Matt Houston)

And when the day was done, Smarty celebrated and America rejoiced.

(AP Photo/Al Behrman) (AP Photo/Nick Wass) (AP Photo)

Smarty Jones' record is now a perfect 8-0. Smarty will try to complete the Triple Crown in two weeks at Belmont park. If Smarty wins the Belmont Stakes, Smarty will be the first horse to win the Triple Crown since Affirmed did it more than 25 years ago. Smarty would also become the richest horse in history.

Audio Posting from Orlando

this is an audio post - click to play

Friday, May 14, 2004

Quote of the Day 5/14/04

"No one tests the depth of a river with both feet." African proverb.

On the road again

In approximately 12 hours, my plane will be touching down in Orlando, FL. I will be on the road for approximately 10 days. I should have internet access during my travels, but the blogging may not be quite up to the high standards of the Banshee Blog. So, my apologies in advance. On the other hand, there should be some interesting things to comment on during my time in the Happiest Place on Earth. So, even if a day or two slips by without a post, be sure to keep checking. There may even be some fresh faces posting during my vacation.

Love in the Air?

Tony Kornheiser on ESPN's PTI speculated that Smarty Jones may have his mind on other things besides the upcoming Preakness Stakes.

(AP photo/Gail Burton)

Smarty Jones is seen here nuzzling stablemate Butterscotch in the Pimlico barn. They make a cute couple, don't you think? I wonder if Butterscotch will be allowed to come to the winner's circle on Saturday if Smarty Jones takes home the Preakness.

Thursday, May 13, 2004

Quote of the Day 5/13/04

"I’ve stopped reading the newspapers. (Much applause). .... Instead, I’ve been reading a book about Ulysses S. Grant and the Civil War." Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld during today's moral-boosting address to the troops in Iraq.

Loyalty and Honor Still Matter in State College

Today, Penn State announced that they have given Joe Paterno a 4-year contract extention. This comes amidst speculation from the media that the game has passed the 77 year-old Paterno by. Undeniably, the Nittany Lions have undergone a tough stretch in the last couple of years. However, Paterno still has the 5th highest winning percentage amongst active coaches, and Penn State's football program has one of the nation's highest graduation rates. Penn State president Graham Spanier said, "Coach Paterno's program has become a model for the integration of college football into the fabric of an institution of higher education. His success on the field, the graduation rate of his student-athletes and the positive impact his players have made on society have brought great pride to Penn State Alumni, faculty, staff, students and friends." This upcoming season will be Paterno's 54th season on the Lions' sidelines and his 40th as head coach. During their time in State College, Joe and his wife Sue have given more than $4 million to the university.

My love of Coach Paterno cannot be fully expressed in words. Therefore, I'll just celebrate the contract extention by saying: We are ... Penn State!

Sports Shorts

NHL and Beer: During their recent Stanley Cup Playoff game against the Philadelphia Flyers, the Tampa Bay Lightening enticed fans to become season ticket holders for the 2004-2005 season by offering them free beer. Anyone who put $100 towards next year's season tickets received 4 coupons that could be redeemed for 12 oz. beers. Apparently, only 25 people took up the Lightening on this offer. Nonetheless, the promotion drew a negative response from MADD and from some local law enforcement officers. Critics said that the promotion encouraged irresponsible drinking. But, I think the more serious issue here is the state of the NHL. The Lightening are one round away from playing for Lord Stanley's Cup, and yet they need to entice people into buying tickets by offering them free beer. What a contrast to NFL tickets which pretty much need to be willed from generation to generation.

Tennis as a life-long sport: After a 10-year hiatus, Martina Navratilova will be playing singles this year at the French Open. Navratilova is 47 years old. That makes Martina more than twice as old as Justine Henin-Hardenne, the world's top-ranked player.

Baseball as a non-contact sport?: Yesterday, Yankees catcher Jorge Posada got his nose broken by a throw while sliding into second base. Posada was trying to break up a double play when a side-arm, relay throw from Angels' Shortstop Alfredo Amezaga hit him square in the face. Yankees manager Joe Torre seemed to think that the throw was uncalled for. Most of you know about my love for the pinstripes, but I would have to disagree with Torre on this one. I think it was just hard-nosed baseball (no pun intended). Posada was trying to break up a double play. Amezaga was forcing him to get down. Posada didn't get down fast enough. Such is life as a professional athlete. Posada plans to return to the field this weekend.

Wednesday, May 12, 2004

Quote of the Day 5/12/04

"True peace is not just the absence of conflict, but the presence of justice." From the film Air Force One

Smarty Jones at Pimlico

Today, Smarty Jones made the trip from his home track at Philadelphia Park to Pimlico Downs. The 3 year-old arrived in Baltimore, MD, to much fanfare. 5,000 fans turned out to watch the Derby winner take a gallop in preparation for Saturday's Preakness Stakes. After the workout, Smarty Jones got a much deserved shower.

(AP photo/Gail Burton)

Smarty Jones opened up as the as the favorite for the Preakness with 8-5 odds and will be starting from the 7th post position. The Derby runner-up, Imperialism, will be going off from the 8 hole.

Winning and War

Yesterday I saw these words on a bumper sticker: "You can no more win a war than win an earthquake." I later discovered that Jeanette Rankin was the author of that quotation. A fine sounding platitude, I suppose. I guess the point is well-taken that there is tragedy and destruction inherent in both wars and earthquakes. However, I would strenuously disagree with the idea that there is no winner in a war. I think the Israelites at Jericho certainly won. The Romans won a few campaigns in their day. The Americans certainly won the American revolution. And the Allies clearly won World War II.

William Tecumseh Sherman once said, "War is cruelty. You cannot refine it." And, Sherman would know. But, that does not mean that war cannot and does not sometimes advance a greater good. And even when war is used to advance evil, that does not prove there is no winner. It only proves that evil won a temporary victory.

I think that that the owner of the car sporting that bumper sticker should take a moment and give thanks that not all Americans hold with the platitude on her car. If no one was willing to fight, I doubt that car owner would have the freedom to hold and express such idealistic views.


I case you haven't noticed, Wild Banshee has acquired the ability to post pictures on this blog. Since I still can't upload anything directly to this site, pictures will likely remain few and far between. However, a couple have been added to some recent posts, so go ahead and take a scan down to see the new additions.

Tuesday, May 11, 2004

Quote of the Day 5/11/04

"If you can’t convince 'em, confuse 'em." Robert Savage's Life’s Lessons

What's in a name?

I was listening to the radio this morning, and the local disc jockeys had on an expert in "nameology." The expert said that a person's name can have a lot to do with forming that person's personality. She did not attribute this to societal expectations for people with certain names or the socio-economic factors that usually accompany certain names. Rather, the expert said that pronunciation of words creates certain vibrations, and that these vibrations can impact our brains. Since we hear our own names quite often in our lives, the physical vibrations from the pronunciation of a name actually alter the person's personality. Sounds pretty weird to me, but the DJs and the test subjects that called in seemed convinced by the personality summaries that she offered.

A Word to Ohio Farmers

If there is ever a drought in Ohio, I have a recommendation for farmers. Get a tee time for the morning and another for the mid-afternoon. Apparently, it rains every day in Ohio but only when a person is trying to golf or cut the grass. It never rains while you are working at a desk job or cleaning the house.

Monday, May 10, 2004

Quote of the Day 5/10/04

"To his dog, every man is Napoleon; hence the constant popularity of dogs." Aldous Huxley

All Shepherds Church

Just outside Columbus, Ohio, there is a church named "All Shepherds Church." All Shepherds? Hmmm .... Is this some kind of polytheistic church? Or, is this the result of when All Saints Church merged with Good Shepherd Church as part of a leveraged buyout? I tried to do some research on this church, but the results were sketchy. Yahoo! had one hit that showed this church as a member of the ELCA denomination. Not surprising, really. Since the ELCA has pretty much done away with viewing the Scriptures as the source of Truth, why should any congregation have the audacity to claim that there is a single Shepherd? However, I must clarify that All Shepherds Church did not appear on the ELCA's own online directory for Columbus area churches.


Banshee readers apparently run the gamut when it comes to interest in American Idol.

Next poll topic: Who is your favorite late night TV host? This will be a two week poll.

Sunday, May 09, 2004

Quote of the Day 5/9/04 Mother's Day

"The hand that rocks the cradle is the hand that rules the world." W.R. Wallace

Blogger Improvements

At 3 pm this afternoon, Eblogger will be undergoing an upgrade. Supposedly, that means that I will have some new features that I can use on this site. However, it also means that there is a possibility that my posting access may be interrupted. So, I apologize in advance if technical difficulties interfere with posts at the start of the new week.

Smarty Jones

In case any of you missed it, Smarty Jones won the Kentucky Derby on May 1. The Derby win improved the Pennsylvania horse's record to a perfect 6-0. That made Smarty Jones the first undefeated Derby winner since the great Seattle Slew back in 1977. Smarty Jones picked up a $5 million bonus for the victory since he also won the Rebel Stakes and the Arkansas Derby at Oaklawn. If Smarty Jones is able to win the remaining two legs of the Triple Crown (the Preakness Stakes at Pimlico and the Belmont Stakes at Belmont Park), Smarty Jones would pick up another $5 million bonus. That would push Smarty Jones past Cigar as the winningest horse of all time.

However, all was not rosy for Smarty Jones following his Derby win. There were some health concerns. So much so that trainer John Servis talked about holding Smarty Jones out of the Preakness on May 15. But, as of this weekend, John Servis sees no reason why Smarty Jones will not be making the short trip to Baltimore for the Preakness.

Coverage of the Preakness Stakes will be at 5 o'clock on NBC on May 15.

Saturday, May 08, 2004

Quote of the Day 5/8/04 Wild Banshee Graduation Day

"... what does the Lord require of you but to do justice and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God?" Micah 6:8, as spoken by Rev. Pittman in his invocation at the W&L Law commencement ceremony.

Graduation Day

Today, Wild Banshee received her Juris Doctorate from Washington and Lee School of Law. Bagpipes played "Oh Shendoah" as the graduates processed with their walking sticks across the colonade. The ceremony was held outdoors on the steps of Lee Chapel, about 20 feet from where Traveler and General Lee are buried.

Like all graduations, there was the one guy who insisted on wearing flip flops and having his hairy legs sticking out from under his doctoral regalia. And, of course, there was that one girl who insisted on pinning her hat in some sort of vertical position on the back of her head so as to not mess up her precisely quaffed bangs.

Overall, it was a nice ceremony. I think the General would have been pleased.

Friday, May 07, 2004

Quote of the Day 5/7/04

"I wouldn't cross the ocean with my kids on the QE2, let alone in a row boat." Tony Kornheiser commenting on a mother-daughter tandem who crossed the Atlantic Ocean in a row boat.

Thursday, May 06, 2004

Quote of the Day 5/6/04

"From listening comes wisdom and from speaking repentance." Fortune cookie at the Hong Kong Buffet.

Quiz update

As of this morning, 194 people have taken the Is Your Crush Datable? quiz at Quizilla. I am truly astounded by this number since there was very little publicity surrounding this quiz when it was posted back in early March. No mass emails to all my school friends, etc. Quizilla lists WildBanshee (Quizilla requires one-word formatting) as the author, but Banshee friend Erin Violette is the true author of this masterpiece. If you haven't already, take the quiz -- especially if you long for the days when Seventeen magazine was a compelling read.

For the love of popcorn

On Tuesday, in the lobby of a Manhattan movie theater, Crazy Legs Conti enclosed himself in a telephone booth-sized container filled with buttered and salted, movie theater popcorn.

His goal -- to eat his way out of the container. Conti is a competive eater and is the current world champion of oyster-eating. Tuesday night was the debut of a movie about Conti's life. Conti's popcorn submersion was a spectacle designed to drum up publicity for the film. Apparently, Conti was only able to eat his way down to his shoulders before he decided enough was enough. Conti said that it wasn't so much the popcorn as the "butter" that got the better of him (I say "butter" because nature could never come up with something so wonderful as the mystery liquid that is squirted on movie theater popcorn).

Popcorn and oysters are not the only foods on Conti's mind. Apparently, Conti hopes to one day defeat Takeru Kobayashi at the world hot dog-eating championships at Coney Island. Kobayashi, a slender Japanese man, is no doubt a world class eater, but Kobayashi suffered a very public defeat on national television last year when he was soundly beaten by a grizzly bear on FOX's original "Man vs. Beast" in 2003. So, there is hope for Conti at Coney Island if he is as hungry as a bear. However, if Conti is unsuccessful at Coney Island, he could always challenge a starfish to an oyster-eating contest on "Man vs. Beast III" which I sincerely hope FOX will produce next fall.

Wednesday, May 05, 2004

Quote of the Day 5/5/04

"Your biggest competitor is your own view of your future." The Visionary Handbook by Watts Wacker and Jim Taylor

Age and Treachery

It has been proven to me time and again that age and treachery will overcome youth and skill. However, today I learned that youth and treachery will not overcome age and skill. Mimi taught me that lesson by beating me by eight strokes in only nine holes of golf. And, Mimi did this despite the fact that she was dressed for the Arctic North. I, on the other hand, was dressed for summer golf in a light polo and shorts. Quite the snappy outfit from the hat down to the shoes. Unfortunately, it was about ten degrees too cold for my outfit. However, I cannot attribute my defeat to the cold. In the end, there is only one word to describe the beating that Mimi handed out ... Ouch!

Tuesday, May 04, 2004

Quote of the Day 5/4/04

"Capitalism does for greed what marriage does for lust." Dinesh D’Souza

13 Going On 30

I saw 13 Going On 30 over the weekend, and I loved it. Even though the trailers seem to be pitching the movie towards junior high girls, I think the audience that will best appreciate this movie is young women in their mid-20s and older. The movie begins with lead character Jenna Rink (played by Jennifer Garner) celebrating her 13th birthday in 1987. Then the movie skips ahead to 2004 when Jenna Rink is a 30 year-old adult. I found the references to the 80's to be hilrarious both in the 1987 scenes and in Jenna's 2004 dialogue. Jennifer Garner did a delightful job acting like a 13 year-old who is thrust into the adult world. And, the movie had a good message with a sweet ending. And just to top it all off, the movie contained a touching scene featuring Billy Joel's song "Vienna." Overall, I think this movie is quite enjoyable.

Hong Kong Buffet

As I've mentioned before, one of the perks of having your own little piece of the world wide web is that you have the opportunity to put out the good word on people and places that you like. Today, Mimi and I discovered a new place to whom I want to give some free advertising. That place is the Hong Kong Chinese Buffet in Findlay, OH. This week was the buffet's grand opening. And, it is fabulous. It is extremely clean and bright. The service is good. The prices are extremely reasonable. And, the selection on the buffet is tremendous. Those of you who know me from my Lexington era know my affinity for Chinese buffets. The Hong Kong Buffet is now my new favorite (sorry Crystal). On my way out the door, I promised the apparent owner of the Hong Kong Buffet that I would spread the word about his new establishment. So, those of you in the Findlay area should check out the Hong Kong Buffet. It is located on Tiffin Avenue in the old Damon's space.

Monday, May 03, 2004

Quote of the Day 5/3/04

"It mystifies me that anyone with a rudimentary knowledge of world history can fail to appreciate that the United States is on balance a great blessing to the world. There has never been a nation with such enormous power that has used it so benevolently." Mona Charen

Tom Jones

Tonight my mother and I watched Tom Jones. We borrowed the movie from the public library. It caught our eye because it won the Academy Award for Best Picture in 1963. I can't give an extremely detailed critique because I did doze off during parts of the movie. However, the main question that I was left asking when the film ended was: What other movies came out in 1963 that allowed this to win Best Picture?

The novel Tom Jones was written in the 1700's by an Englishman named Henry Fielding. The plot centers around the presumed bastard, Tom Jones, and his wayward exploits in the English countryside. However, the movie was apparently some kind of farce. I say "apparently" because I was never really sure about the point of the movie. I am sure that the movie reveled in bawdy (though certainly not grapic) sex and contained some weird 60's scenes of flowers. I guess what I'm trying to say is that Tom Jones was a terrible film. Now, if you want to see a good film from 1963, check out McClintock.

Bar Application

Today, I completed and mailed away the bar application for the state of Virginia. Actually, I had been working on the application for several weeks, but the finishing touches proved to be an all-day affair. It was an extremely difficult and tedious task. The instructions are scattered throughout several portions of the Virginia Board of Bar Examiners' website and in differed portions of the printed forms. It is a total mess. And yet, each instruction ends with a statement like, "Not only will we deny you a license to practice law if you give us three copies instead of two, but the Board will also seek you out and burn down your house since the extra copy might cause one of our professional bureaucrats to think about something." All right, that's a bit harsh. But, the whole process was one of the least fun ways to spend an afternoon and $600.

Sunday, May 02, 2004

Quote of the Day 5/2/04

"So they're making me a a doctor of music? A Ph.D.? I guess school's never really out." Alice Cooper's reaction to be being told that he will receive an honorary doctorate from Grand Canyon University at the school's May 8 commencement.

Banshee Polling

In the Drama in Sports finale, the Banshee Blog readers chose the World Series over the Final Four by a 3-to-1 margin.

This week's poll topic is about American Idol. Over the last two weeks, American Idol has been generating a lot of controversy and gossip. Wild Banshee has not been able to weigh in on the American Idol debate because I have really not watched the show enough to form an opinion. So, the question is: Do Banshee readers watch American Idol?

NASCAR Update -- Gordon Wins Again

Jeff Gordon captured his second straight victory this weekend in the Auto Club 500 at the California Motor Speedway. Unlike last week's race at Talledega, the Auto Club 500 was relatively incident and drama free. But, it was an exciting day for Mr. Gordon. Gordon led the most laps and took home the checkered flag. Jimmie Johnson drove a car owned by Gordon to a second place finish. Dale Earnhardt, Jr. fought a poorly handling car all afternoon and finished a lap down in 19th place. However, that was good enough for Junior to hang on to first place in the Nextel Cup standings. Jimmie Johnson remained in second place but managed to trim the deficit down to 25 points. Gordon is now only two points behind Johnson and is still in third place.

No race next week in honor of Mother's Day.

Saturday, May 01, 2004

Quote of the Day 5/1/04

"Bloody noses are great teachers." Joseph McKinney

Apologies to Melo

On Tuesday, Banshee Blog added to the chatter that linked NBA rookie Carmelo Anthony to pop star Christina Aguilera. However, that rumor was apparently false. Melo not only denies dating Aguilera. He also denies ever having met her.

So, Wild Banshee extends sincere apologies to Mr. Anthony. Wild Banshee would also like to express her extreme gratitude to the anonymous commenter who dispelled the distressing rumor and provided this link to the USA Today.

Brief hiatus

Well, it seems that finishing law school and celebrating the end of law school took a little more out of Wild Banshee than I had anticipated. As a result, I took a few days off from posting. My apologies to those who have been waiting in anticipation for the daily quotes, etc. However, in the interest of archival organization, there are a few post-dated entries.