Tuesday, August 31, 2004
The theme for Day1 was "The Courage of a Nation." The focus of this night was the War on Terror. Senator John McCain gave a very strong speech in support of President Bush. McCain did an excellent job explaining the necessity of the invasion of Iraq and lauded George W. Bush for having the courage to wage this war aggressively. The final speaker of the night was Rudy Giuliani.
I must confess that I dozed off and missed that last 20 minutes of the former mayor's address. It ran far over time. Still, I will not allow sleep to win out on Day 2. My old friend Diet Pepsi and I will make sure that I am wide awake when the Governator and the First Lady speak on Day 2.
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Monday, August 30, 2004
My favorite part of the night was P-Diddy's arrival. Sean "P-Diddy" Colmes' imposing, white yacht sped into the dock, creating a huge wake in the water. P-Diddy was standing with his arms outstretched at the bow of the boat, dressed completely in white. But, Colmes was not alone on the yacht. Joining P-Diddy's usual posse were Naomi Cambell and Bruce Willis. It was a cool arrival.
Overall, the awards themselves were pretty tame this year. No one climbed the sets. No one writhed around on the ground in a wedding gown. No one rapped insults about entertainers who were standing a mere two feet away. Perhaps the most surprising moment of the night came during Usher's acceptance speech for Best Male Video. Usher won this award for the song "Yeah." Usher said, "I wanna thank my Lord and Savior for giving me the rhythm and these feet to dance." Why was this surprising? Just not the kind of acceptance speech that you'd expect for a song which contains these lyrics:
These women al on the prowl, if you hold the head steady I'm a milk the cow.
Forget about the game I'm a spit the truth, I won't stop till I get em in they birthday suits.
So gimmie the rhythm and it'll be off with they clothes, then bend over to the front and touch your toes.
Granted, these words are actually rapped by Ludicrous on the winning track, but still ....
Usher wasn't the only artist to explicitly mention his Christian faith. Upon taking home the top honor of the night, Video the of Year, one of the members of OutKast (not Andre 3000 -- the other main guy) declared, "I want to thank my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ." Then the artist continued to be explicit in another way in the performance which flowed directly out of his acceptance speech. He needed to be bleeped out 3 times in the song that followed.
All in all, it was an interesting night, as always, at the VMAs.
Sunday, August 29, 2004
Last night the Virginia Tech Hokies started off the 2004 season in garrish fashion. It's hard to look good when your school colors are purple and orange, but this is just hideous.
Those orange socks are a nightmare. And, it was like 85 degrees out for that game. There was no reason to be wearing any high socks at all. The only thing that makes those socks worse is that orange triangle thing on the bottom of the pants that runs into the socks. The Hokies lost last night, so hopefully those uniforms will not be making another appearance. The nation's retinas will thank them.
Kerry's campaign has chosen not to respond to the facts and acusations made by the Swift Vets. Instead, they have attempted to paint the Swift Vets as partisan political operators (as if that alone makes the accusations false). They have also called repeatedly on President Bush to ask that the ads be pulled from the air. Perhaps the most outrageous move of all has been the Kerry campaign's attempt to use lawsuits to take these ads off the air.
Many in the Kerry camp and many casual political observers have come out to question why any of this should even matter. They ask, "Why should we care what happened 30 years ago? We have modern problems to discuss."
Here is why it matters: John Kerry chose to make his four months in Vietnam the center piece of his campaign. The clear message from the Boston convention was that John Kerry's Vietnam service is his primary qualification for being Commander in Chief. Before and after the campaign, Kerry was running commercials that featured the images of fellow vets who oppose his candidacy despite their protestations. In addition, Kerry and Edwards have both said that if anyone questions Kerry's character then they should ask those who served with him in Vietnam. In short, Kerry has been running on the backs of the swift boat vets from Vietnam.
That being the case, how Kerry served while he was in Vietnam is a legitimate and important topic of discussion. If Kerry truly did serve honorably then he should welcome this discussion and refute the facts of the accusations. However, if Kerry did indeed lie to get medals in Vietnam then this speaks volumes about his character. If he is willing to lie about something like that, then what won't he lie about.
I certainly don't know what happened in Vietnam. But, I believe that the Swift Vets have a right to speak out about this topic. This debate is on a topic of Kerry's choosing. He should welcome the opportunity to discuss his service further.
Perhaps this would be a good time for me to speak a moment about the chase for the championship. This year, NASCAR has a new format for crowning its champ. They're moving towards more of a playoff format. Only the drivers in the top ten (or within 400 points of the leader) after the September 11 race at Richmond will be eligible to win the championship. In addition, those who are eligible will be bunched all together in the standings. Only five points will separate each driver from the driver behind them. So, there is still an advantage to being in first at the cut-off date, but the tenth place guy will only be 50 points (approximately 10 finishing positions in a given race) out of the top slot.
There are only two races remaining till the chase for the championship begins. Next Sunday there will be an evening race from the California Motor Speedway. Then on the night September 11, the final "regular season" race will take place at the Richmond International Speedway.
Saturday, August 28, 2004
"BCA" stands for Black Coaches Association. Interestingly enough, neither USC nor Va Tech is coached by an African-American. But, that doesn't really matter. What matters is that there will be football tonight.
(Check out these Aussie uniforms. Are they using the same tailors as their swim team?)
It was a strong showing overall for the American women in team sports. The women's basketball team joined the women's soccer team and the softball team as gold medalists. As usual, our men did not medal in soccer, and our baseball team did not even qualify for the Olympic tournament. In other news, our men's basketball team did rally to win the bronze medal, avoiding the dubious distinction of becoming the only American team to fail to win any medal.
Friday, August 27, 2004
There is one silver lining, though. The last time that the United States failed to win the gold medal in basketball, the American people rallied around the flag and elected a man named George Bush to the Presidency.
Thursday, August 26, 2004
At yesterday's anniversary celebration, French President Jacques Chirac engaged in a bit of revisionist history and declared, "Liberation was finally a victory for the French army." I'd like to point out to Mr. Chirac that if weren't for the United States he would have had to make yesterday's declaration in German.
In other news, a co-worker of mine declared yesterday that the tide of World War 2 had already turned towards the allies by the time we were drawn into the war in 1941. Of course, she "learned" this from some elitist professor in Los Angeles. You can all rest assured that I did not allow this assertion to go unchallenged.
Wednesday, August 25, 2004
The veteran Russian was clearly the crowd favorite in the high bar, and he did a fantastic routine. The commentators were raving. And then the scores came out. The Canadian judge and the Maylaysian judge scored the Russian particularly low. The crowd went berzerk. They booed and booed (as much as a gymnastics crowd really can). American Paul Hamm was supposed to go next, but for some reason he was unable to start his routine with all the raucus going on (I won't even comment on the wimp factor in that). After about a ten minute delay, the boss judge came down from his perch and confronted the Canadian and the Maylaysian. Then they all went back to their seats, and the Russian's score was increased.
So, let me sum up. The judges made a subjective call that was unpopular with the fans. The fans booed their lungs out. And then the judges bowed to the wishes of the angry fans and changed their subjective call.
Can you even imagine if the NFL adopted that kind of spineless officiating? After a key, incomplete pass, the referee clicks on his mike and says, "Due to the fan's overwhelming disaproval, we officials have decided to throw a flag for interference on the preceeding play. The ball will be spotted on the 35. First down."
I do not support sight reading for young children. The phoenetic method is the only way to teach children to read.
I was personally the victim of so-called educators who adopted the sight-reading method of teaching children to read. It's true that grown-ups don't sound out every letter. Adults do read words in their entirety (as demonstrated by "Mind Games"). However, the idea that children should start out with this method is ludicrous. The beauty of the Arabic alphabet and the English language is that there is a system to it. Complex words are made manageable because they can be sounded out. Sure, there are instances where pure phonics doesn't work out perfectly (ch, th, etc.), but these are the exception and not the rule.
If phonics is disregarded, written English becomes just as difficult and confusing as Egyption heiroglyphics and Chinese characters. Depriving a young child of phonics is the equivalent of setting you or I loose in the Valley of the Kings without the Rosetta Stone.
Tuesday, August 24, 2004
Of course, I am still waiting with baited breath for Tim's Roanoke show on September 11. No album could put a damper on my excitement for that concert.
(Courtesy of Denise Humble a.k.a. "the only d")
Monday, August 23, 2004
The radio rumor also says that Trick Pony may be making an appearance at the personal request of the President. Trick Pony? Come on, George, I'm disappointed. That girl's been rode hard and put away wet, and the guys are just weird. If I were President, I would beg and plead for Toby Keith to sing "The Angry American" and "The Taliban Song" at Madison Square Garden. And, I'd like to see the Blue Band make an appearance.
Sunday, August 22, 2004
New Poll: Banshee Blog will return to an age-old debate. Which animal makes the best pet?
Saturday, August 21, 2004
Friday, August 20, 2004
The sexy nature of this year's primetime broadcasts was first came to my attention while I was listening to the morning DJ on the local top 40's station lament the fact that the broadcasts were not particularly family friendly. Then I started noticing this for myself.
Perhaps the worst offenders are the American beach volleyball duo of Misty May and Kerri Walsh.
(AP Photo/Dave Martin)
Now, I understand that if we have to have beach volleyball as an Olympic sport, then the players might as well wear bathing suits. But, this does not mean that you need to wear the smallest, tightest bathing suit possible. The men wear shorts and tank tops -- not Speedos. I think the women should do likewise. But the skimping down doesn't end there. The USA women's gynmastics was certainly doing its part as well.
(AP Photo/Amy Sancetta)
Again, I realize that leotards are the traditional garb for this event, but this does not require a French cut leg. I actually had to sort through a few pictures of gold medalist Carly Patterson because several of them were just a little too revealing for comfort. I'm just glad that the American women's basketball team still wears a traditional basketball uniform and has not yet adopted some sort of Cat Woman body suit.
What am I talking about? Well, it's simply a day where people all over the world choose to talk like a pirate.
I first heard about this day when I checked out the home page of someone who left a comment on this site (www.allkindsoftime.blogspot.com). The idea was born when two guys started talking silly while playing raquetball. Then they decided they needed a whole day of that silly talk. A couple years later, syndicated columnist, Dave Berry, heard about the day and spread the word. Now it is something of an international phenomenon. You can read all about it at the Talk Like a Pirate Day website.
So avast, me mateys, and prepare to participate in the day, or I'll be introducin' ya to the tip o' me sword!
Thursday, August 19, 2004
Today, I logged on to the site. There is indeed a link to see the primetime coverage schedule, but right next to that link is a colorful and changing display that announces the results of events that have already occurred but will only be shown later that night. I accidentally learned the results of the women's all-around gymnastics three hours before NBC's coverage began. I realize that these things will leak out from time to time when the host country is 8 hours ahead of eastern standard time. However, I would not have thought that NBC's own coverage website would be one of those places where the cat gets let out of the bag.
These are screen shots from the game. Notice and marvel at the details here. The different helmet styles (all of which can be altered for each player). The uniform details right down to the brand name. The exact stadium designs. And the realistic body positions of the players. It's astounding.
And the game play is equally detailed and realistic. Recievers look back at the quaterbacks and slow down at the appropriate part of their route. Running backs struggle to hear audibles in loud stadiums and sometimes run the wrong play as a result. Punishing hits by safeties will gradually give opposing recievers alligator arms as they reach for future passes. It's unbelievable.
I could go into more detail, but I won't bore you all with that here. But, if anyone would like further discussion, do not hesitate to email or comment.
Wednesday, August 18, 2004
On Tuesday night, Dr. Kengor appeared in studio on FNC's Hannity and Colmes to discuss the new book. For those of you who are not familiar with the format of the program Sean Hannity is the conservative and Alan Colmes is the liberal. Both have the opportunity to question the guests. Hannity asked Dr. Kengor some fairly generic questions about the book and about Bush in general.
The show really got interesting when Colmes started to ask questions. Colmes did not really ask about the book. Rather, he zeroed in on the idea that a belief that God ordains what will happen and who will lead nations translates into an arrogance in Christians and in Bush in particular. Dr. Kengor then did a masterful job at clearly explaining how the opposite is actually true and that a belief in God's sovereignty really translates mostly into a calmness in a Christian's approach to life. It was a difficult question, and Dr. Kengor expertly represented the Christian viewpoint on the topic.
It is truly an honor to know Dr. Kengor and to have had the opportunity to learn from him in college. I encourage you all to purchase both the Reagan book and the Kengor's new book on George W. Bush.
Tuesday, August 17, 2004
Due to the similar body types, I suggest that someone should arrange a televised match race between Boots and the eventual winner of the National Dachsund Races which will take place at the end of September. My money would be on the Doxie in either the open air or the dryer hose.
Phone book ripping. The Ferret Olympics weren't the only weird event that ocurred in Oregon recently. There was phone book ripping as well. Sixty-nine year-old Ed Charon reclaimed his title as phone book ripping champion by tearing through 39 Portland white pages directories in 3 minutes. Each book contains 1,004 pages. "Of all the phone books I've torn, I've found that the Portland ones tear better," Charon said. What kind of man spends his life perfecting phone book ripping? A retired pastor of Umpqua Trinity Fellowship. That's who.
Monday, August 16, 2004
When Sunday started, Vijay Singh had the lead with Justin Leonard in second place. Almost all of the leaders played plus par golf and moved back towards the field. Singh himself was +4 in the final 18 holes and did not have a single birdie in the round. Meanwhile, Chris DiMarco made a valiant charge. He shot one under par for the afternoon. DiMarco even had a putt on the 18th green that would have given him the championship outright, but he left it short. Justin Leonard had the lead on the final hole, but he hit his ball into a hideous bunker and made a bogey. That left Singh with a birdie putt that would have given him the championship. But, Singh also left his birdie putt short. I guess Singh and DiMarco don't know about my family motto, "Never leave a birdie putt short" or have never had the benefit of hearing their uncle yell, "What's the matter, Sally? Putter get caught in your skirt?"
At any rate, DiMarco, Leonard and Singh were all tied at -8 at the end of 72 holes, so the three men moved to a 3 hole playoff. Singh logged his first birdie of the day on the first playoff hole. Singh was then able to hold off the other two men in the remaining holes to win the final major of the year.
Since Ernie Els did not finish in second place on Sunday (he finished fourth), Tiger Woods held on to the #1 ranking in the world. Woods has now held the top spot for 332 consecutive weeks. That breaks Greg Norman's record.
Vijay Singh moved ahead of Els and will overtake Woods this week at the WGC NEC Invitational in Akron, OH if he finishes ahead of Woods or tied with him in any position outside of the top 10. This will add a little extra drama to the weekend at the Firestone Country Club.
She was probably in her mid-thirties. Her long, dirty-blonde hair was pulled plainly into a low ponytail. She was dressed all in black, causing the pale skin of her legs to stand out starkly where they protruded from her capris. This woman was clearly not hung up on appearances or decorum. Although she was not part of the band that was performing, Dancing Girl stepped boldly into an open grass area and began to dance. But this was no ordinary dancing. This was some sort of spaced out combo of tai chi and clogging, complete with hand motions that demonstrated some of the lyrics to the traditional bluegrass songs.
However, you cannot possibly grasp the whole image here without knowing two more details. First of all, the Dancing Girl performed her entire act with a lit cigarette alternating between her hands and her mouth. Second, she was doing all of this in a downpour.
Sunday, August 15, 2004
New Poll: Much to The Weather Channel's delight, hurricane season is now upon us. So this prompts the Banshee to wonder what type of natural menace Banshee Blog readers find the most fearsome. We have seen the destruction of hurricane Charley in Florida this past weekend, but there are certainly other types of natural forces that can pack a powerful punch. Go ahead and log your vote for the most fearsome natural phenomenon.
Tony Stewart overcame illness and cramping to win the race. Stewart remained in 4th place in the chase for the championship. Points leader Jimmy Johnson had an early exit again this week. His engine troubles left him with a 40th place finish. This did not knock him out of the top spot, however. Johnson's teammate, Jeff Gordon, also struggled on this day. Gordon finished in 21st, but this was good enough to keep him in second place in the standings. Dale, Jr. mustered a 5th place finish to remain in 3rd in the overall points race.
Next up: GFS Marketplace 400 from Michigan International Speedway.
The United States' first opponent was Puerto Rico -- a team that the US had recently routed in pre-Olympic play. Although the gap between the United States and the rest of the international basketball world has clearly been narrowing over the years, no one thought that Puerto Rico would pose a serious challenge to the Americans. But, the American super-stars looked indecisive and tentative as they fell way behind in the first half. They played far better in the second half but eventually lost by an embarrassing score of 92-73.
The Americans struggled with their outside shooting for the entire game and inexplicably never employed a full-court pressure defense against their athletically inferior foe. Nonetheless, the Puerto Ricans should be given full credit for their accomplishment. They played hard, and they played well, and they won.
I personally felt a mixture of sadness and anger as I watched Puerto Rican point guard Carlos Arroyo (of the NBA's Utah Jazz) taunt our boys on his way off the floor. Although this performance was a national embarassment, it will realistically have little to do with the United States' actual chances at the gold medal. The US only needs to finish in fourth or better in their six team pool in order to advance to the single-elimination medal round. Nonetheless, this was an inexcuseable loss that had better not be repeated.
Saturday, August 14, 2004
At the start of this tournament, I highlighted the fact that there could be a new #1 in the world golf rankings when they come out on Monday morning. These rankings are done via a mathematical formula that is much more similar in concept to the world tennis rankings than that ridiculous mess that is used in college football. Vijay Singh originally had a shot at taking over the #1 slot, but that is no longer the case. Since Tiger Woods made the cut, Singh cannot move into the top spot. Els, on the other hand still has a good chance. Even if Els finishes in second, he can become the world's #1 player if Tiger Woods finishes in 16th or worse. Woods is currently in 25th place.
Like the 2000 games from Sydney, Australia, these games will be somewhat difficult to follow. Due to the extreme time difference, most of the events that will be aired on NBC's primetime schedule, including last night's opening ceremonies, are actually on tape delay. As a result, avid sports fans are likely to accidentally learn the results of events they are planning to watch during the nighttime coverage by tuning into ESPN or cruising through cbs.sportsline.com sometime during the day.
Friday, August 13, 2004
Thursday, August 12, 2004
There was a time when some contemplated whether Tiger's skills would make PGA golf courses obsolete. That time has passed, however. Tiger hasn't been a factor on the final day of a major for quite some time. Meanwhile, Els and Singh and America's darling, Phil Mickelson, have stolen the golf spotling.
At the close of business on Day 1 of the PGA Championship, Darren Clarke had the lead at -7 (complete leaderboard). Els is just one stroke back, in second place. Singh is in third place with a -5. Phil Mickelson is four strokes off the pace in 7th place. And, Tiger ... well, Tiger is tied for 112th at +3.
Wednesday, August 11, 2004
Why does manhood matter? Because we're at war. What kind of leader do you want when armed lunatics are trying to kill you and your family? Do you need a master of nuance or a leader of men? Do you want Alan Alda or Braveheart? .... To state the crushingly obvious, war is a male thing. Even when directed by the occasional Maggie Thatcher or Joan of Arc, war is fought by men's rules, by men.
I say, it's about time someone came out and said this. Wild Banshee, for one, has not been shy about calling out John Kerry on his manhood. I know, I know, John Kerry served 4 months in Vietnam while George Bush was stateside in the National Guard. But I say that a real man would not have to parade his "band of brothers" around like some show-and-tell prop and would not have to bring up his bronze star in every other sentence. A real man would have the courage to stand up and directly refute those who are now challenging his military record and his honor rather than send out a team of lawyers behind the scenes to intimidate his fellow vets into silence. A real man would not look to the perpetually surrenduring French for guidance in how to conduct military affairs. And, a real man would have reached home plate from the Fenway Park mound -- as President George Bush did in Yankee Stadium in 2001.
Maybe I'm getting a bit carried away here, but I do urge you all to read Mr. Anderson's column.
The shirts cannot actually be obtained through PP's website at the moment because they are sold out. However, PP gives instructions as to how to obtain the shirts directly from the manufacturer. Planned Parenthood has clearly turned its eye away from merely protecting the legal status of abortion and is now focused on normalization and social approval of abortion as a completely legitimate lifestyle choice. Planned Parenthood itself says as much when they, on the opening page of their website, quote the New York Times lamenting, "Abortion is legal — it's just not supposed to be mentioned or acknowledged as an acceptable option."
Perhaps these shirts are the final sign that there is no such thing as shame left in our culture. I wonder what other shirts we might see coming down the pike. "I plagiarize" shirts? "I cheat on my taxes" shirts? "I'm an adulterer" shirts? Why not?
Now, Mr. Mihalko has developed his cuddling into a booming business in New York City. If you visit his website, you can arrange to be part of a cuddle party. For $30 you can cuddle with friends and strangers alike. But fear not, there are strict rules. Pajamas must remain on the body and no sexual contact of any kind will be permitted.
I gotta be honest, the whole thing sounds pretty weird to me. But, the concept is obviously striking a chord with some people. Mihalko has been making appearances in the mainstream press to discuss the benefits of his Cuddle Parties. As a die-hard capitalist, I say, "Good for you, Pal. Cuddle your way to the bank."
Tuesday, August 10, 2004
Earlier this summer, Jack Ryan was forced out of the Senate race by a scandal surrounding his divorce from actress Jeri Ryan. Since that time, the GOP has been scrambling to find a replacement worthy of challenging the up and coming Democratic star Barack Obama. The GOP flirted with legendary Bears' coach Mike Ditka before he ultimately refused the nomination. Enter Alan Keyes.
Ambassador Keyes is eminently qualified for the seat (full bio) and is an an experienced campaigner. Keyes has twice run for the US Senate in Maryland and has twice made a run at the Presidency. Keyes has already struck an aggressive tone in this campaign, challenging the young Obama to honor his original offer to debate the Republican nominee 6 times before November 2.
Keyes is certainly at a disadvantage due to his late entry in the race (his website is not even finished as of Tuesday night) and trailing badly in terms of fundraising. Still, the race should be intriguing since Keyes offers a truly conservative alternative to the formidible Obama and clearly means business.
But then I remember what an insanely stupid idea preseason football really is. College and high school kids don't need fake games to warm up. Why should the pros? Each year some team loses an important player to injury in these meaningless games. Last year it was the Falcons' superstar Mike Vick. Last night it was a far less famous but still very important player. Early in last night's exhibition game, the Redskins lost star right tackle Jon Janssen for the season with a ruptured achilles tendon.
Still, NFL teams seem to make money on these practice games, so I'm sure they will continue. In the meantime, fans will just have to hold their breath as they wait to see which player will be next to fall in a meaningless game.
Monday, August 09, 2004
(not the actual hearse)
Quite the advertising method. Hearses may not have much to do with the outsourcing of payroll, but the hearse in the yard certainly caught my attention. I made sure to drive back by the hearse later on to figure out what was going on there. Then I went home and looked up the business on the Internet. Prior to the hearse on the lawn, I had no idea that there even was a PAYCHECK$ Plus on my street.
I first heard about the film In America when the 2004 Academy Award nominations came out. It was nominated for three awards, including Best Actress, Best Supporting Actor and Best Original Screenplay. I finally had the opportunity to view this film this weekend.
In America is a story about an Irish family of four who comes to New York City and starts a new life in Hell's Kitchen. They battle with poverty, a change in cultures and the still fresh wounds of the recent loss of their son. The film is basically a one man project. Jim Sheridan directed the film and co-produced it. Sheridan also co-wrote the Oscar-nominated screenplay along with his two daughters.
As expected, the acting was outstanding in this film. Samantha Morton of Minority Report fame received the Best Actress nomination for her portrayal of the wife. Djimon Hounsou received a Best Supporting Actor nomination for his portrayal of the mysterious downstairs neighbor. Hounsou was excellent in this film just as he was in Amistad and Gladiator. However, I believe that the most compelling acting in this film came from real life sisters, Sarah and Emma Bolger. These young girls alone make the film worth watching.
In America provides a gritty portrayal of a struggling Irish family in one of America's toughest neighborhoods without resorting to gratuitous language and violence and the sexuality is contained within the marital context. Although I probably will not watch this movie again any time in the near future, I would say that it was a worthwhile use of an hour and forty minutes.
Sunday, August 08, 2004
New Poll: What Olympic event are you most excited about for the 2004 games? All right, I know that we already decided as a group that we're not dying in anticipation for the start of the Olympic games, but that does not mean that most of us will not end up watching many of the events. I know that I certainly will. So, log your vote for which event you are most excited about. As always, comments are appreciated.
This was an action-packed race that featured a race record 12 cautions and the first use of the new green-white-checkered rule. The final caution came out with five laps to go when Brian Vickers got tangled up with Ryan Newman. In the past, the race would probably have finished under caution since it would take more that five laps to clean up the mess from a wreck like this one. But, under the new rules, the race is extended as long as necessary to get a green flag finish. Once the track was safe for racing, NASCAR dropped the green flag. The white flag came out on the next lap, followed by the checkers.
Jeff Gordon led the field when the final green flag was dropped and had no trouble holding off Jarrett and Saddler in the two-lap shootout. Dale Earnhardt, Jr. was in 6th place at the final restart, but he cut down a tire in the overtime session and limped across the line for a 27th place finish. That finish keeps Junior in third place in the overall standings. Points leader, Jimmy Johnson also had a bad day, but he held on to the top spot in the standings despite his 36th place finish.
The Bourne Supremacy is now showing in theaters. Actually, it has been showing now for two weeks. The Bourne Supremacy stars Matt Damon as title character Jason Bourne. It is the second in the Bourne series which is based on novels by Robert Ludlum, and it brings back all of the actors from The Bourne Identity, including Julia Stiles and Brian Cox. Like its predecessor, The Bourne Supremacy is action-packed and exciting. Perhaps the most striking aspect of this film is the cinematography. The fight sequences and the car chases are filmed in an extremely up-close manner. Sometimes it is hard to tell exactly what is going on. The viewer experiences a mixture of anxiety and confusion. It almost gives the viewer an idea what it might be like to actually participate in a deadly hand-to-hand struggle or a high speed chase through urban traffic. The film also has a very cool techno-Euro soundtrack.
Like The Bourne Identity, The Bourne Supremacy is only loosely based on the plotline of the novel for which it is named. However, I believe that this is a good thing. The Bourne movies remain extremely true to the tone and feel of Ludlum's excellent novels, but they still contain new and innovative plots that will keep even the most loyal Ludlum readers guessing.
Saturday, August 07, 2004
I know that this was already the quote of the day once, but I felt the urge to revive this one because of a confrontation I was indirectly involved in at the Roanoke Civic Center. It's been my experience that a bureaucrat's willingness to think for himself is inversely proportional to the actual importance of that individual.
Despite its limited history, the Brickyard 400 is one of NASCAR's most prestigious races and has one of the richest purses on the circuit. Race coverage will begin on NBC at 2:30 pm.
Friday, August 06, 2004
Also, please take a moment to vote in the current poll about Olympic anticipation.
Thursday, August 05, 2004
Republican Senator John McCain, a Vietnam vet who spent several years as a POW, immediately condemned the ad. McCain called the ad "dishonest" and "dishonorable." Although McCain did not point out any factual errors in the ad, he called on President Bush's campaign to condemn the ad as well. The Vets for Truth responded to McCain by asking that McCain respect their right to express their opinions. The Vets for Truth pointed out that McCain did not serve with Kerry as they did and that he does not know what really happened on the swift boat missions.
However, much to many of the President's supporters' consternation, the Bush campaign did condemn the ad. White House spokesman, Scott McClellan, said, "We have been very clear in stating that ... we have not and we will not question Senator Kerry's service in Vietnam."
The debate surrounding Kerry's service in Vietnam will not be fading quickly, however. One of the Vets for Truth has recently penned a book entitled Unfit for Command : Swift Boat Veterans Speak Out Against John Kerry. The book is set for release later this month, but it has already reached #1 on the Amazon best-seller list.
Wednesday, August 04, 2004
The 2004 races will feature a variety of events including a senior’s race for dogs over 10, a puppy race and an obedience/obstacle race. There will also be awards for non-race events in such categories as “best dressed female” and “best nose.”
But, the National Dachshund Races aren’t just about competition. Since the event will take place on a Sunday, there will also be a religious component to the day’s festivities. The Methodist church in Janera, OH will provide a “special sermon for people and all animals that have ears.”
This should be an outstanding spectacle.
A Vatican spokesman said, “The church, which has always shown particular attention to various and important sectors of human coexistence, is called upon without doubt to pay attention to sports, which certainly can be considered one of the nerve centers of contemporary culture and one of the frontiers for new evangelization.” The spokesman continued, “Tendencies that have distanced more and more the practice of various disciplines from the original ideals of sports pose with urgency the need to appeal to fundamental values in this field.”
No word yet if one of the chief goals of the Vatican’s new sports department will be to restore a winning tradition to the University of Notre Dame football team. But, if I were on the Pope’s committee, I would put this to the top of the agenda. Seriously though, I think the establishment of a Vatican sports department is an interesting and worthwhile endeavor. I wholeheartedly agree that positive influences from the world of sports can be a great force for good in many cultures.
Tuesday, August 03, 2004
I, for one, would like to thank Smarty Jones for a fun summer of racing, and I look forward to seeing his babies in the Derby in a few years.
Monday, August 02, 2004
But, fear not. I will be gradually catching up with this blog. I will be back-dating the posts so that they will appear in the sequence in which they should appear. So, take a little scroll back and see what I may have posted from July 28th forward. This back-dating is not for the purpose of deceiving readers into believing that I have never let a day go by without a post. Rather, it is to keep the posts appropriately archived so that they will be easier to access in the future.
Sunday, August 01, 2004
Jimmy Johnson continued his dominant season and took home the victory at the Pennsylvania 500 from Pocono International Raceway in Long Pond, PA. Obviously, this finish kept Johnson in first place in the championship standings. Dale Earnhardt, Jr. was forced to leave the race early again this week. John Andretti replaced Junior. The Budweiser team finished in 25th. This caused Dale Jr. to slip to third place in the standings. Jeff Gordon finshed 5th in the race and moved up to second in the points race.
Next week: The Brickyard 400 from the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.