Tuesday, November 30, 2004
Zerg's reply was posted first. Zerg correctly wrote, "What is H&R block?" Then Jennings' answer was posted. He incorrectly answered, "What is Fed Ex?" An audible gasp went up from the audience and from Ms. Zerg herself. It was a stunning moment.
So, tomorrow will start the beginning of the Zerg era on Jeopardy. No doubt it will be a lot shorter that Mr. Jennings' reign. Jennings' run of 74 straight wins was a game show record as was his $2.5 million dollars in winnings.
Monday, November 29, 2004
Poll results: Last week's poll asked what was the proper time to begin decorating for Christmas. The choices were (1) after Halloween (2) after Thanksgiving (3) Christmas Eve. 12% of voters said that after Halloween was the proper time. 12% also said that Christmas Eve was the best time. An overwhelming 75% said that after Thanksgiving was the appropriate time to begin decorating for Christmas.
New Poll: As frequent readers of Banshee Blog know, the Banshee loves movies. Now that the holidays are officially upon us, Banshee Blog wants to know: What is your favorite holiday movie?
Friday, November 26, 2004
Since Christmas is a perfect time for sharing, Wild Banshee is calling on each of you to share some of your family's Christmas traditions. It can be special foods. Decorations. Activities. It can also be things you remember from doing on Christmases from your past.
Please send these contributions to Wild Banshee. On Saturday, December 18, I will put together a compilation of the stories and notes that I have recieved and post them on this blog. And don't worry. I will be reminding you all periodically about this project.
Thursday, November 25, 2004
The tasks of our everyday life we will face.
Our faith ever sharing, in love ever caring,
Embracing his children of each tribe and race.
With your feast you feed us,
With your light now lead us;
Unite us as one in this life that we share.
Then may all the living with praise and Thanksgiving
Give honor to Christ and His name that we bear.
-- Verse 2 of "Sent Forth by God's Blessing" as taken from the Lutheran Worship hymnal
1. The re-election of President George W. Bush.
2. That the Virginia Board of Bar Examiners saw fit to admit me to the Virginia State Bar.
3. That I got to know my grandfather for 25 years.
5. The support and encouragement that I have received from Banshee Blog readers.
Wednesday, November 24, 2004
Here is the text of President George Washington's Thanksgiving Proclamation from 1789:
Whereas it is the duty of all nations to acknowledge the providence of
Almighty God, to obey His will, to be grateful for His benefits, and humbly to
implore His protection and favor; and Whereas both Houses of Congress have, by
their joint committee, requested me "to recommend to the people of the United
States a day of public thanksgiving and prayer, to be observed by acknowledging
with grateful hearts the many and signal favors of Almighty God, especially by
affording them an opportunity peaceably to establish a form of government for
their safety and happiness."
Now, therefore, I do recommend and assign Thursday, the 26th day of
November next, to be devoted by the people of these States to the service of
that great and glorious Being who is the beneficent author of all the good that
was, that is, or that will be; that we may then all unite in rendering unto Him
our sincere and humble thanks for His kind care and protection of the people of
this country previous to their becoming a nation; for the signal and manifold
mercies and the favorable interpositions of His providence in the course and
conclusion of the late war; for the great degree of tranquility, union, and
plenty which we have since enjoyed; for the peaceable and rational manner in
which we have been enable to establish constitutions of government for our
safety and happiness, and particularly the national one now lately instituted'
for the civil and religious liberty with which we are blessed, and the means we
have of acquiring and diffusing useful knowledge; and, in general, for all the
great and various favors which He has been pleased to confer upon us.
And also that we may then unite in most humbly offering our prayers and
supplications to the great Lord and Ruler of Nations and beseech Him to pardon
our national and other transgressions; to enable us all, whether in public or
private stations, to perform our several and relative duties properly and
punctually; to render our National Government a blessing to all the people by
constantly being a Government of wise, just, and constitutional laws, discreetly
and faithfully executed and obeyed; to protect and guide all sovereigns and
nations (especially such as have show kindness to us), and to bless them with
good governments, peace, and concord; to promote the knowledge and practice of
true religion and virtue, and the increase of science among them and us; and,
generally to grant unto all mankind such a degree of temporal prosperity as He
alone knows to be best.
Given under my hand, at the city of New York, the 3d dy of October, A.D.
(signed) G. Washington
The following proclamation was written in the fall of 1863. This is at the height of the Civil War -- just months after the Confederate invasion of the North at Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. As you read, please note President Lincoln's recognition of the Lord's providence in allowing the Civil War as a punishment for our national sin of slavery. And furhter note that President Lincoln is able to see the blessings that the Lord bestowed on our nation even in the midst of this punishment.
President Lincoln wrote:
By the President of the United States of America.
The year that is drawing towards its close, has been filled with the
blessings of fruitful fields and healthful skies. To these bounties, which are
so constantly enjoyed that we are prone to forget the source from which they
come, others have been added, which are of so extraordinary a nature, that they
cannot fail to penetrate and soften even the heart which is habitually
insensible to the ever watchful providence of Almighty God. In the midst of a
civil war of unequaled magnitude and severity, which has sometimes seemed to
foreign States to invite and to provoke their aggression, peace has been
preserved with all nations, order has been maintained, the laws have been
respected and obeyed, and harmony has prevailed everywhere except in the theatre
of military conflict; while that theatre has been greatly contracted by the
advancing armies and navies of the Union. Needful diversions of wealth and of
strength from the fields of peaceful industry to the national defence, have not
arrested the plough, the shuttle or the ship; the axe has enlarged the borders
of our settlements, and the mines, as well of iron and coal as of the precious
metals, have yielded even more abundantly than heretofore. Population has
steadily increased, notwithstanding the waste that has been made in the camp,
the siege and the battle-field; and the country, rejoicing in the consiousness
of augmented strength and vigor, is permitted to expect continuance of years
with large increase of freedom. No human counsel hath devised nor hath any
mortal hand worked out these great things. They are the gracious gifts of the
Most High God, who, while dealing with us in anger for our sins, hath
nevertheless remembered mercy. It has seemed to me fit and proper that they
should be solemnly, reverently and gratefully acknowledged as with one heart and
one voice by the whole American People. I do therefore invite my fellow citizens
in every part of the United States, and also those who are at sea and those who
are sojourning in foreign lands, to set apart and observe the last Thursday of
November next, as a day of Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who
dwelleth in the Heavens. And I recommend to them that while offering up the
ascriptions justly due to Him for such singular deliverances and blessings, they
do also, with humble penitence for our national perverseness and disobedience,
commend to His tender care all those who have become widows, orphans, mourners
or sufferers in the lamentable civil strife in which we are unavoidably engaged,
and fervently implore the interposition of the Almighty Hand to heal the wounds
of the nation and to restore it as soon as may be consistent with the Divine
purposes to the full enjoyment of peace, harmony, tranquillity and Union.
testimony whereof, I have hereunto set my hand and caused the Seal of the United
States to be affixed.
Done at the City of Washington, this Third day of October, in the year
of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty-three, and of the Independence
of the Unites States the Eighty-eighth.
By the President: Abraham Lincoln
Tuesday, November 23, 2004
The major suspensions were as follows:
Ron Artest: remainder of the season (73 games)
Stephen Jackson (Pacers): 30 games
Jermaine O'Neill (Pacers): 25 games
Ben Wallace (Pistons): 5 games
But, the story isn't gonna end there. On Tuesday, the NBA Players Association (aka the union) filed an appeal on behalf of the three worst offending Pacers. I understand that it is the duty of the Players Association to represent the interests of the players. But, that begs the question -- Which players?
I would submit that it may not be in the interest of the players overall for the union to align itself with these violent rule-breakers. The league has been suffering for several years from the growing thug image of many of its players. Popularity has been waning. If I were a member of the players union, I would seriously question the wisdom of backing those players who attacked fans. After all, the existence of the NBA depends on fan support.
Monday, November 22, 2004
Trend 1: Men in women's pants. I mean this in the literal sense. Last week, the local paper published a two page spread about a weird new fashion trend. According to this paper, it is now very fashion forward for men to wear women's jeans. The story is that men's jeans are simply cut too baggy for many people's taste. Men who want a more snug fit are forced to buy from women's stores.
The three DJ's on the morning show the next day were really shaken up by this newspaper story. They asked local listeners to call in with their opinions. Most of the grown-ups that called in thought this was bizarre and disturbing. However, one young teen told the radio audience that most of her male friends wear women's jeans. Rumor has it that there has even been an outbreak of this in the Banshee's own family -- not from a direct relative but from a boyfriend of a relative.
Trend 2: Partially opening cards. Today I was in the Hallmark store to scout out Christmas cards before the pickings got slim. I don't think that I am alone in finding joy in using the cards I receive as a key element of decorating. However, that might be a problem this year. There are quite a few cards this year that only partially open. Only a small cut-out opens or there is a large size difference between the front and the back. They are sort of half-opening cards. The main point here is that they will not be able to stand up on mantles or TV tops. If you ask me, this is not a positive step forward in the field of Christmas correspondence.
Sunday, November 21, 2004
The Ford 400 was a caution-plagued race despite the fact that there were very few cars gathered up in wrecks. However, the final caution of the day was brought out when race-leader Ryan Newman ran into the wall. This late caution set up a green-white-checkers situation. It was a dramatic finish.
When all was said and done, Kurt Busch's teammate, Greg Biffle held off the charging Jimmie Johnson to take the victory. Jeff Gordon finished 3rd. Kurt Busch miraculously salvaged a 5th place finish, and that was good enough to give him the Nextel Cup Championship by a margin of 8 points.
As in the race, Johnson finished the season in 2nd place and Gordon in 3rd. Mark Martin, in his final full season, finished in 4th place. Dale Earnhardt, Jr. had a poor showing in the finale and dropped to 5th place.
New Poll: As soon as Halloween ended, I began to see Christmas decorations popping up in different places. Last week, the Christmas decorations went up in the town where I work. This week, Christmas decorations will get in full swing all over the place when Thanksgiving ends. So, the poll question for this week is: When should Christmas decorating begin?
Leading the way with college basketball news and commentary is the College Basketball weblog. This blog is maintained by a recent commenter here at Banshee Blog. This basketball weblog is truly an outstanding site. It's far more technically savvy than Banshee Blog and is updated many times a day. This blog is so terrific that it has earned a permanent link here on Banshee Blog. Please check it out.
Saturday, November 20, 2004
Okay, not a huge deal yet. A timeout was called. Then for some reason, Ron Artest felt the need to lie down on the scorer's table. A hometown Pistons' fan apparently felt this was a disrespectful thing to do and let his feelings be known by lobbing a water bottle down onto Artest's face. Then Artest follows Detroit native Eminem's advice and just loses it. Artest sprang to his feet, climbed several rows into the stands and attacked a fan.
(AP Photo/Duane Burleson)
Upon video review, it turns out that Artest didn't even attack the fan who actually threw the bottle. After Artest entered the stands, things just got totally out of control. Several other Pacers went into the seats. Several fans went onto the floor. Players threw haymakers at paying customers and paying customers threw sucker punches at players. The final lowlight of the fight came when a fan threw a folding chair into the scrum near the Pacers' bench. The fight eventually ended when the referees called the game and cleared the floor.
The NBA did not take long to react to this incident. NBA commissioner David Stern announced on Saturday afternoon that the Pistons' star Ben Wallace has been suspended indefinitely pending further investigation. Stephen Jackson, Jermaine O'Neill and Ron Artest of the Pacers have all been suspended indefinitely as well.
Has anyone noticed? The answer is mostly, "No." But after watching the bizarre brawl at the Pistons' game last night, I'm beginning to think that the American sports world might actually need the return of the NHL.
As the Pater Familias pointed out, this kind of thuggish brawling is the sort of thing we expect at a hockey game. Hmmm. Perhaps this fight between players and fans really had nothing to do with the hard foul on Ben Wallace. Perhaps this was a case of frustrated Wings fans being forced to bring their WWE antics over to the Palace at Auburn Hills since the doors are locked over at the Joe.
So, in the wake of last night's ugliness, I'm making a heartfelt plea to Gary Bettman. Please get your league back on the ice so that this criminal behavior can go back to the sport where it belongs.
Friday, November 19, 2004
I recommend that all the ladies out there find out which Disney princess is most like you. Wild Banshee is most like Princess Jasmine. Interesting. Jasmine is pretty fun and gets to hang out with Genie. On the other hand, I'm a little too afraid of heights for all that magic carpet riding.
After you're done with that quiz, find out which Disney princess would make the best friend for you. The Disney friend finder determined that Ariel would make the perfect friend for Wild Banshee. She does seem like fun. Plus, if I ever needed a thing-a-mabob, she's got twenty.
(Thanks to Erin Violette for providing these links)
Thursday, November 18, 2004
In the boardroom, Wes exercised his right to bring all three of his teammates in for the final showdown. Jenn M. and Andy never seemed to be in danger. Maria continued to have a meltdown, and Wes was unable to explain away his inability to control Maria during the task. The Donald fired Maria. Then, in an unexpected turn of events, the Donald also fired Wes. Clearly a re-shuffle will be needed again this week to balance out the numbers.
Wednesday, November 17, 2004
This day in history: 135 years ago today, the Suez canal opened.
Song of the decade: CMT replayed its 100 Greatest Songs countdown tonight. I learned an interesting bit of trivia during my brief, 10-minute stop on CMT. I learned that Toby Keith's "Should Have Been a Cowboy" was the most played song of the 1990's. Perhaps the commentator should have said that it was the most played country song. Nonetheless, that is an impressive feat -- especially considering the fact that that record label later ditched Mr. Keith because they thought his lyrics were too brash to sell.
Well, last night there was a Robert Sean Leonard sighting in prime time. Leonard has now featured in a recurring role in FOX's brand new, highly acclaimed, medical drama, House.
By the way, ladies, Robert Sean Leonard is now 35 years old -- that's 2 years younger than Tim McGraw.
Tuesday, November 16, 2004
That being said, I couldn't resist a quick update. So much has occurred since my laptop went down on Sunday the 7th of November. For one thing, Dale Jr. won the Phoenix race and the overall standings have been shuffled and tightened.
The President's cabinet has also been shuffled. Most noteably, John Ashcroft has resigned as Attorney General and Colin Powell has resigned as Secretary of State. This afternoon, President Bush announced that he has chosen Dr. Condoleezza Rice to replace Powell as head of the State Department. For the reasons discussed above, I do not want to get too political from this computer. But I will say that I wholeheartedly approve of this choice. Any woman whose real dream in life is to be the commissioner of the NFL is okay in my book. Even the President noted this ambition in his comments to the press this afternoon.
Wednesday, November 10, 2004
Seven presidents were born in Ohio as well as Thomas Edison, the Wright brothers, and Jesse Owens. Volcunized rubber, chewing gum, the hot dog, cash registers, the airplane, Teflon, Formica and the traffic light were all invented in Ohio. The first labor union and interracial coeducational college were established in Ohio. And 50% of the population of the United States lives within a 500 mile radius of Columbus!
If you'd like to know more, check out www.50states.com/facts/ohio.htm or better yet . . . come by and visit Mimi!
Worry no more. I am happy to report that the Banshee is well, but her computer is sick . . . very sick. Fortunately she will be able to use another computer soon. So check back and get caught up with all the latest.
Sunday, November 07, 2004
New Poll: This week Banshee Blog wants to know if you live in a red state (Bush) or a blue state (Kerry).
This is something that many on the Left simply cannot understand (and by "the Left" I don't mean all Democrats. I mean those who read Roe v. Wade like a fifth Gospel and equate the gay marriage issue to the abolitionist movement). But, those individuals are not just baffled. They are enraged and terrified. And they are beginning to lose touch with reality. There is no better example of this than New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd.
The day after the election, Maureen Dowd wrote the following in her Times column:
The president got re-elected by dividing the country along fault lines of
fear, intolerance, ignorance and religious rule. He doesn't want to heal rifts;
he wants to bring any riffraff who disagree to heel.
W. ran a jihad in America so he can fight one in Iraq - drawing a devoted
flock of evangelicals, or "values voters," as they call themselves, to the polls
by opposing abortion, suffocating stem cell research and supporting a
constitutional amendment against gay marriage.
This anger borders on the delusional. Using the word "jihad" to describe any democratic election goes far beyond all resonable discourse. But, I remind myself of the tantrums I have thrown following the defeat of sports teams I have loved and would be willing to dismiss this venom. However, Dowd refused to back off from this statement when she appeared on Meet the Press this morning. In addition, in today's column Dowd stepped up the attacks on the Christians and conservatives that she disdains and despises.
Dowd's column from today's New York Times, entitled "Rove's Revenge," says the following:
W.'s presidency rushes backward, stifling possibilities, stirring
intolerance, confusing church with state, blowing off the world, replacing
science with religion, and facts with faith. We're entering another dark age,
more creationist than cutting edge, more premodern than postmodern. Instead of
leading America to an exciting new reality, the Bushies cocoon in a scary,
paranoid, regressive reality. Their new health care plan will probably be a
return to leeches.
America has always had strains of isolationism, nativism, chauvinism,
puritanism and religious fanaticism. But most of our leaders, even our devout
presidents, have tried to keep these impulses under control. Not this crew. They
don't call to our better angels; they summon our nasty devils.
This is truly outrageous. Not only does this column display Dowd's hatred, but it displays her bigotry and fear. Like many others in the elite press, Dowd is simply unfamiliar with evangelicals and conservatives. She doesn't know any. She doesn't socialize with any. Therefore, she doesn't understand them. And like many whites in the old days of segregation, Dowd chooses to hate and fear what she does not understand.
Saturday, November 06, 2004
Friday, November 05, 2004
However, I can say that the acting in this film is quite excellent. The only big name actor in the movie is Billy Bob Thornton. Thornton gives a compelling and believable performance as head coach and role model, Gary Gaines. Derek Luke (of Antwone Fisher fame) gives an emotional performance as star running back Boobie Miles. Tim McGraw (yeah, that Tim McGraw) makes his big screen debut in Friday Night Lights. It's an interesting role that required real acting. Tim doesn't look good in any scene in this movie as he ably plays an angry, abusive drunk.
In conclusion, if you've played team sports, you will like this movie and should see it (note: this is a fairly gritty film that may not be appropriate for young boys who will be drawn to the subject matter). And, if you have a hard time understanding why Wild Banshee is so consumed with sports then you should definitely see this movie.
Thursday, November 04, 2004
Today is another day. Today is a day of analysis ... and a little gloating.
Historic victory. George W. Bush did not win by an enormous margin in either the popular vote or in the electoral college. However, there is no room for the whining about an illegitimate President that the liberals have been subjecting the nation to for the last four years. George Bush garnered more votes than any candidate in our nation's history. More votes even than the beloved Gipper. Bush also became the first President to get a majority of the popular vote since the first George Bush did it back in 1988. This is a feat that Bill Clinton could never achieve.
Conservative mandate. The Presidency was not the only thing Americans were voting on this past Tuesday. Americans were also electing governors, representatives and senators. And the American people spoke out in a loud and clear voice. The party of Reagan and Bush dismantled the Democrats. The GOP expanded their edge in the Senate. The tally in the Senate is now 55 Republicans, 44 Democrats and 1 Independent. The Republican party also expanded their lead in the House. The GOP picked up 11 House seats and now enjoys a 234 to 200 majority with 1 Independent. So, not only did our nation re-elect our conservative President, but the electorate also swept out a series of congressional Democrats and replaced them with Republicans.
Job Search. Let the job search begin for Senator Edwards and Senator Daschle. Edwards gave up his North Carolina seat -- partly because of his campaigning and partly because he was likely to lose. Puff Daschle, on the other hand, just took it on the chin from the challenger John Thune in the South Dakota race. So, the Dems in the Senate that managed to hold onto their seats this time around will have to choose a new leader come January.
Take that liberals. I have to admit that I took great enjoyment in watching my liberal friend suffer through George Bush's victory speech yesterday afternoon. She muttered some of the typical anti-Bush nonesense. And I just smiled. I no longer felt like I was some rebel outcast with my conservative views. I felt a great sense of community with the 59,373,619 other Americans who also voted for George W. Bush and helped advance the Republican agenda in Congress. And, it was nice to know that my friend and those who think like her are virtually powerless right now in American and will likely remain so for quite some time.
Wednesday, November 03, 2004
Prior to this election, both parties had gathered teams of lawyers all throughout the Midwest and Florida. Pundits warned about the possibility of protracted lawsuits challenging votes and judges deciding the election.
In the wee hours of Wednesday morning, it became clear to most of the nation that George W. Bush had won the state of Ohio and therefore the election. Still, the networks were hesitant to call the election. And when morning dawned and America went back to work, John Kerry had still not conceded the election. Apparently, Kerry's staffers were urging the Senator to mobilize the legal teams and go to battle in the court rooms of Ohio.
But, John Kerry stood up and admitted defeat like a man. For the good of the country, Senator John F. Kerry accepted defeat and urged the nation to come back together. For this, the nation owes the Senator a debt of gratitude.
Tuesday, November 02, 2004
Monday, November 01, 2004
George Bush: 305 EC votes
John Kerry: 224 EC votes
The GOP will pick up at least 3 Senate seats. Most notably, the Senate Minority Leader, Tom "Puff" Daschle will lose to the Republican challenger, John Thune.
The GOP will pick up a couple of seats in the House, as well.
So, that's my prediction. I feel good about tomorrow. However, I have a fairly bad record in predictions -- see last year's NFL playoffs and NCAA basketball tourney.