Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Quote of the Day 8/30/05

"Treat all disasters as if they were trivialities but never treat a triviality as if it were a disaster." Quentin Crisp

Monday, August 29, 2005

Quote of the Day 8/29/05

"Most of all, I gotta thank God for waking me up this morning to accept this award. .... This ain't gonna be the last one. We just getting started disturbing the peace." Ludicrous' acceptance speech after winning "Best Rap Video" at 2005 VMAs.

Sunday, August 28, 2005

Quote of the Day 8/28/05

"If only we'd stop trying to be happy we could have a pretty good time." Edith Wharton


I gotta start this update with a big thank you to TIVO. In my past life, I would have had to choose between hanging out with friends and watching the night race from Bristol. In my new life, I can start watching the race whenever I get home. What a wonderful era in which to live!

Last night's race was the Sharpie 500 from the Bristol Motor Speedway. This race is the toughest ticket on the entire circuit despite the fact that the grandstands now hold over 160,000. Why is this such a good race? Well, partly it's because it's under the lights. But, whenever you jam 43 cars onto a half-mile, high banked oval, you're bound to have a lot of paint-swapping action. This year's installment from Thunder Valley was no exception.

Bristol always plays a major role in the championship picture, but this year it is even more important than it was in the past because there are only two more races after this before the Chase for the Championship begins. That means that the scramble is on to climb into the top ten. Matt Kenseth stepped up on the big stage and made an aggressive move up the standings. Kenseth won the race and moved from 15th to 11th in the standings. Kenseth is now only 11 points out of the tenth position. The man Kenseth trails is Jeff Gordon. Gordon's sixth place finish allowed him to vault into the final qualifying position. Dale Jarrett was the big loser on the night. Jarrett was right on the cusp of the Chase when the night began, but he allowed his emotions to get the best of him in Thunder Valley. Jarrett attempted to get some payback on Ryan Newman for an earlier incident. However, Jarrett wrecked himself in the process and dropped himself to fourteenth in the standings. And, that faint pulse you hear is coming from inside the Budweiser Chevrolet. Junior was the "lucky dog" three times in the early laps, but he was able to claw his way to a ninth place finish. But, that only allowed him to move up to fifteenth in the standings, and he his still over 100 points out of tenth place.

Next week, there is an evening race from Fontana, CA. It's not a Saturday race, though. The race will air on NBC at 8 p.m. on Sunday night.

Banshee Polling

It has come to my attention that there have been some technical difficulties with the polls on this site. I tried to get this problem fixed on Thursday night, but it took me until now to get things reorganized. I'm still using the same polling tool, but I got a new membership. Hopefully things will be working better from now on.

Polling results: Last week's poll asked if Banshee Blog readers supported a flag burning amendment to the constitution. 22% of voters said that they were not sure. Only 11% of voters said that they were in favor of an amemendment banning flag burning. A strong 66% said that they were opposed to a flag burning amendment.

New Poll: A realize that it's still August, but football college season starts next week. So, as far as this blog is concerned, that signals the start of fall. September and October are perhaps the best sports months of the whole year. This week, Banshee Blog wants to know: Which fall sport has you most excited?

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Quote of the Day 8/24/05

"[T]he feminist movement has gone so far in promoting professional women over homemakers that, in our society, you practically have to be Mei Xiang, the National Zoo’s mama panda, to get any respect for being a good mother." Charlotte Hays, IWF

Ask Banshee -- Break

I did receive an Ask Banshee question in time for this week. It's a good question that I look forward to answering, but I decided to take a little break this week. Please check back next Wednesday.

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Quote of the Day 8/23/05

"Jealousy is the art of injuring ourselves more than others." Alexandre Dumas

A Tribute to Play-doh

Last night, I had the great privilege of spending some quality time with a childhood friend. Play-doh. Play-doh can teach a kid lot of things. Hand-eye coordination when using the molds. Creativity when going free form. And discipline in keeping the colors from all bleeding into a yucky gray. Of course, there are a few drawbacks. There is the horrible, horrible taste and the lingering smell on your hands. But overrall, even for adults, Play-doh fun and soothing. It's like a squishy stress-reliever ball that you can also form into a plate of spaghetti or the letters of your name.

Monday, August 22, 2005

Quote of the Day 8/22/05

"He removes the greatest ornament of friendship, who takes away from it respect." Cicero

Girl with a Pearl Earring

Over the weekend, the DVD of Girl with a Pearl Earring. This movie can best be described by one word: Hmmmm. Despite the fact that really nothing happens during the film, I was still confused about the end.

The movie is about a young maid who works in the home of Johannes Vermeer during the time when he was painting his most famous work. Despite my earlier comments, I don't mean to say that this movie is boring. The film is asthetically pleasing, and the acting is tremendous. Griet, the maid, is played by Scarlett Johansson. And Vermeer is played by Colin Firth. In 2003, this film was nominated for 3 Oscars. The movie's plot is sufficient to allow these actors to play out their characters development in interesting costumes and pretty lighting.

If you require a lot of fire or a lot of funny in a movie, then Girl with a Pearl Earring is not for you. But, if you're in the mood for a period piece, this is worth renting.

Sunday, August 21, 2005

Quote of the Day 8/21/05

"Worry is a misuse of imagination." Dan Zadra


This week, NASCAR took the track in the Motor City to run 400 miles at Michigan International Speedway. This two-mile track is wide and fast. There is plenty of room for passing in the turns and on the straightaways. Like most Michigan races, the action this afternoon was entertaining. But, as is often the case at Michigan, the race was actually decided by fuel mileage.

For most of the day, the usual suspects battled for the lead. But, the top contenders throughout the day came up short in the fuel game and had to pit with under ten laps remaining. This allowed Jeremy Mayfield to come out of nowhere and win the race. This win solidified Mayfield's place in the Chase. It moved Mayfield from seventh to sixth in the standings. Scott Riggs came in second on Sunday and Matt Kenseth came in third. Carl Edwards finished fourth. This strong finish moved the young Edwards out of the tenuous tenth position and into ninth in the standings. Tony Stewart rounded out the top five. This was good enough for Smoke to keep his spot at the top of the championship standings.

Next week, NASCAR returns to Thunder Valley for the night race at Bristol. This is possibly the hottest ticket of the entire season. The race can be seen on Saturday night at 7 p.m. on TNT.

Banshee Polling

Poll Results: The subject of the poll was snack food. Banshee Blog asked readers which foods tempt them the most. Sweet treats or salty snacks? 55% of voters said that they prefer sweet treats. 44% voted for salty snacks.

New Poll: Polling topics have been pretty frivolous the last few weeks. This week, Banshee Blog turns to something a little more substantive. The question for this poll actually came from a comment left by a reader. Banshee Blog wants to know: Do you support a flag burning amendment?

Saturday, August 20, 2005

Quote of the Day 8/20/05

"In necessary things, unity; in doubtful things, liberty; in all things, charity." Richard Baxter

Saturday Musings

There's nothing quite like driving at 60 miles an hour in the Virgina sunshine with two windows down on a 90 degree day and Aerosmith playing loud enough to vibrate the mirrors in your car.

Banshee Begging

#1 Polling. Voting is very slow on this week's poll. The topic of this poll is your personal snacking preferences. Everyone has a an opinion to voice on this.

#2 Ask Banshee. The "Ask Banshee" question resevoir has run dry. So, if you've got any questions at all, please send them before Wednesday.

Friday, August 19, 2005

Quote of the Day 8/19/05

"A short stubby pencil is better than a long sharp memory." Cary Payne

Thursday, August 18, 2005

Quote of the Day 8/18/05

“I am really enjoying it. I mean, I understand why they pay you to do it, but for a job it’s actually pretty fun.” Julie Hawk on her first job after college.

Flag-burning and Christianity

Apparently, there is talk once again about adding a flag-burning amendment to the United States Constitution. I am kind of lukewarm about the issue. I have great reverence for the flag. I'm not sure that I could be trusted to refrain from assaulting someone that burned a flag in front of me. But, amendments to the Constitution are a serious and difficult thing. I am not sure that banning flag-burning is worth that effort.

In its July 30, 2005 issue, World Magazine ran an interesting column on the flag-burning issue. The piece was written by correspondent Janie B. Cheaney. Cheaney is clearly a patriotic individual. She is also an outspoken Christian. She presents an interesting argument that Christians should respect what the flag represents but not necessarily support a flag-burning amendment. This short article is well worth reading.

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Quote of the Day 8/17/05

“Anger is our basic protest against the fact that we are not God and that we cannot control reality.” Drs. Cloud and Townsend

(Quote supplied by Mimi)

Mascot Hall of Fame

Yesterday, the Mascot Hall of Fame opened its doors in Philadelphia. The opening ceremonies included the induction of the first three members. To be eligible, a mascot must have been in existence for at least 10 years, have had a major impact on its sport, industry and community. In addition, the mascot must have a performance that is consistently memorable and groundbreaking.

The first inductee class included three members. They were ... (drum roll, please) ... The Philadelphia Phillies' Phanatic, the San Diego Padres' Chicken and the Phoenix Suns' Gorilla.

These three were chosen from fourteen finalists. The list of finalists included Micky Mouse, Ronald McDonald and Rocky of the Denver Nuggets. Based on the criteria that are outlined by the Hall of Fame, I suppose the three inductees are as good as any. Tony Kornheiser of PTI summed up the quality of this inaugural class when he said, "We're not talking about the first class at Cooperstown. We're talking about three guys that dress up as birds."

Jack McKeon, current manager of the Florida Marlins, worked in the Padres front office when the Chicken was born. He was less than enthused about the Chicken's induction. McKeon said, "We win the pennant, and they want to make the Chicken bigger than the team. Our marketing people think he's putting people in the seats. Marketing people thought he was the reason we were putting people in the ballpark. Once you see him 10 or 12 times, come on." McKeon went on to say, "Fans liked him. The Chicken is all right. Do your act, and get the hell off the field."

The Banshee is kind of torn on the whole Mascot Hall of Fame. On one hand, it's a weird spectacle, and I am generally in favor of that. On the other hand, I despise mascots that act like they are bigger than the game. When I think of great mascots, I think of college football where the mascots represent tradition and not tomfoolery. The Nittany Lion, who always finishes high on ESPN polls, is a good mascot because he doesn't distract from the game and he does push-ups for each point scored (which, admittedly hasn't been very often in the past few years). Same deal with Notre Dame's Leprachaun. The Sooner Schooner is pretty cool, and the Colorado Buffalo is just fantastic. Unfortunately, that Buffalo will never make it into the Hall because a real, live bison can't really participate in corporate events out in Boulder.

Ask Banshee

Dear Wild Banshee,

I just moved into my very own apartment for the first time. I know you are an expert in this area. Any advice for a first timer like myself?

Big Girl


Big Girl,

Yeah, I am kind of an expert in this area. I'm starting into my fourth year of solo apartment living. My current apartment is the third different apartment during that stretch. So, even though I'm sort of a nester by nature, I am developing some expertise in this area. I have three tips for you.

#1 Make friends. You may be a person who enjoys some quality solitude. The Banshee herself doesn't have a problem with alone time, what with sports to watch and this blog and all. But, there are a lot of hours in the day. Particularly in the Saturdays and Sundays. Dorm life and home life automatically provide some human contact. That automatic contact disappears when you move into your own place. It's important to have someone to hang out with once in a while. Human contact is good for the soul.

#2 Entertainment. This tip is based on the same principle as the first tip. There are a lot of hours in the day. Even if you've got tons of friends, you're gonna have some long stretches of alone time. So, make sure you've got some fun ways to entertain yourself. TVs, DVD players, video game systems and computers are all good items. I've been told that books can also fill this void. The Banshee has a friend who moved into her own place during this past year. She lives alone. She's got no cable, no Playstation and no Internet in the house. Needless to say, she hasn't been very happy with her life this past year. So, get yourself some hobbies. And also some electronics.

#3 Decorate. No matter how much you like your new place and your new independence, it's easy to feel a little homesick once in a while. This is particularly true if you're living in a sterile, cookie-cutter apartment complex. Decorating is a good way to combat the impersonal nature of most apartments. Throw down some rugs. Hang up some curtains. Paint if your landlord allows it. If you're not really a Martha Stewart typw, ask your mom or your sister or a friend for some help. If you make your apartment your own, it will feel more like a real home.

So, Big Girl, enjoy your new place.

~ Wild Banshee

If you have a burning question, please Ask Banshee.

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Quote of the Day 8/16/05

"Like its politicians and its wars, society has the teenagers it deserves." J.B. Priestley

One way litmus test

Soon, the United States Senate will begin its confirmation hearings for John Roberts, the President's nominee to replace Justice O'Connor on the High Court. Once the hearings begin, we will surely hear a chorus of liberal pundits decrying the conservatives' so-called litmus test on abortion.

The Banshee is here to dispel that myth. If anyone has a litmus test for Supreme Court nominees on the issue of abortion, it is liberals.

First of all, let me say that I do not think that there is anything wrong with either side of the debate having a litmus test for judicial nominees. Nominating justices for the Supreme Court is one of the President's most important duties. After all, it is one of the few duties that is specifically outlined in the Constitution. Voters know that this is the President's job and can certainly take that into account when casting their ballots every four years. I would never expect a pro-choice President to nominate a pro-life justice. Why should anyone expect that a pro-life President should nominate a pro-choice justice?

However, I appear to be a minority in this viewpoint. Political pundits basically accept it as true that a pro-life litmus test is somehow inappropriate. But, this pro-life litmus test is really a myth. No one would argue that a President should choose a judge who does not have a judicial philosophy that matches his own. Conservatives tend to be strict constructionists. When it comes to the Supreme Court, this means that they believe justices should look at what is actually written in the text of the Constitution and apply those words to the cases before them. This philosophy will tend to lead to "pro-life rulings." Regardless of whether you think abortion is good policy or not, if you look strictly at the words in the Constitution, you will not find a right to abortion on demand.

In contrast, liberals tend to view the Constitution as a living document. In other words, the actual text does not matter all that much. Instead, under this philosophy, a justice should look at the spirit of what the Founders wrote and apply that to the morals and society of today. Operating under this philosophy, a litmus test on abortion is absolutely necessary. After all, under this philosophy, there is no real overriding principle that guides any given judicial decision. Therefore, a pro-choice President must inquire into each important issue in order to have any idea how a prospective justice might rule on that issue. Abortion would be chief among those issues.

Liberals and conservatives will both tend to nominate justices that agree with their positions on abortion. Conservatives seek to accomplish this by nominating justices who agree with their judicial philosophy. It should be noted that neither Reagan nor Bush 41 were particularly succesful in putting pro-lifers on the bench. Liberals, however, use a true litmus test when it comes to making nominations for the High Court and have yet to fail.

Monday, August 15, 2005

Quote of the Day 8/15/05

"It is the height of wimposity to wear a visor on the golf course. .... That's why I didn't like Phil Mickelson in the first place." Bob Ryan on whether Lefty should wear a cap or visor at this weekend's PGA Championship. Lefty wore a cap to victory.

PGA Championship

This weekend, the world's greatest golfers competed in the 87th PGA Championship. The PGA is the fourth and final major of the golfing season. The tournament was supposed to end on Sunday evening, but thunderstorms over northern New Jersey stopped play prematurely. Prior to the storm, Tiger Woods finished his final round and posted a respectable -2 in the clubhouse. When play was stopped, Phil Mickelson was at -5 and Steve Elkington was at -4, but both golfers were struggling and coming back to the field. Play resumed at 10:00 a.m. on Monday morning. Mickelson, whose only major victory came at the dramatic 2004 Masters, quickly coughed up the lead. But, Lefty ultimately prevailed when he chipped up for a tap-in birdie on the 72nd and final hole of the tournament. Unfortunately, the Banshee did not get to see this exciting victory for my favorite golfer. In order to pay for this Internet connection, I am forced to work in the daytime.

With the win, Mickelson became the first wire-to-wire winner of the PGA Championship since Tiger Woods accomplished the feat in 2000. This win also made Phil Mickelson the only left-handed player in history to win two major championships.

Sunday, August 14, 2005

Quote of the Day 8/14/05

"I'm a professional video game player trapped inside a lawyer's body." Words of a flunking law student to his dad in an SNL sketch.

Banshee Polling

Poll Results: Banshee has been struggling lately to come up with popular polls. This week, Banshee Blog asked readers if they preferred movie rentals or pay-per-view. This was not a popular poll. 40% said that they preferred rentals. 20% voted for PPV. 20% also voted that both were good. And 20% voted that both were a waste.

I don't usually comment on poll results, but this time I just can't resist. I confess that I am disturbed that a reader of this blog voted that both movie rentals and PPV were a waste. The goes against everything this blog stands for. I can only hope that person voted for "waste" because they already make a point to see every movie in the theater.

New Poll: This week, Banshee Blog wants to know about your snacking habits. The question is: Which foods tempt you most?


Where there's Smoke, there's fire. That's because Smoke is absolutely burning up the track in recent weeks. Tony Stewart notched his second victory in a row this week when the circuit hit the road course at Watkins Glen. But, he didn't just win. He absolutely dominated. Stewart started on the poll and led about 80 out of 90 laps. The win allowed Stewart to extend his championship lead to 105 points over Jimmie Johnson.

The big mover in the Chase for the Nextel Cup was Jamie McMurray. McMurray's 13th place finish was good enough to move him from 11th to 9th in the standings. With only 4 more races remaining until the Chase begins, that makes him eligible for the Cup. Carl Edwards still holds a tenuous hold on the final, 10th place Chase position. Elliott Sadler and Dale Jarrett are only 3 points out of that 10th slot. Jeff Gordon and Kevin Harvick are both less than 100 points out of that 10th place position.

Next week, NASCAR heads to the Motor City.

Sunday, August 07, 2005

Quote of the Day 8/7/05

"Is there any lesson that sports can't teach us?" Hank on King of the Hill

Banshee Polling

Poll results: This week's poll asked if Banshee Blog readers had ever written or responded to a personal ad. The results were overwhelming. 83% said "No." Only 16% said that they had participated in a personal ad.

New Poll: The Banshee recently re-entered the modern era and acquired a television subscription that includes pay-per-view programming. This week Banshee Blog wants to know: Do you prefer movie rentals or pay-per-view?


Dreams really do come true. Tony Stewart grew up less than an hour from Indianapolis Motor Speedway. As a boy, he watched his hero A.J. Foyt win multiple Indy 500's, and he dreamed that one day he, too, could capture a checkered flag at the world most famous raceway. Today, Tony Stewart got a chance to kiss the famed bricks at Indy. Tony Stewart won the Allstate 400 at the Brickyard.

While Stewart was racing to victory lane, Jimmie Johnson, points leader heading into the weekend, was heading to a local hospital. Johnson was running in 11th when he cut down a right front tire heading into turn 4 on lap 145. Johnson hit the wall at nearly full speed. There was a dramatic scene when the Lowes Chevrolet came to a halt in his pit box. Crew chief Chad Knaus reached in the driver's side window and pulled Johnson from his burning car. "I don't really remember coming from Turn 4 to the pits," Johnson said. "I just remember kind of waking up on pit road the guys pulling me out of the car. So it's all good." Johnson was taken to a local hospital, but it appears that he did not suffer any serious injuries.

Tony Stewart's victory combined with Jimmie Johnson's wreck led to a changing of the guard at the top of the Nextel Cup standings. Stewart now holds a 75 point advantage over Johnson. But, Johnson wasn't the only driver whose day ended in the junkyard. Dale Earnhardt, Jr. finished dead last. This wreck might have been the final death knell in Junior's pursuit of the Chase for the Championship.

(AP Photo)

Next week, the NASCAR cicuit hits the road at Watkin's Glen.

Saturday, August 06, 2005

Quote of the Day 8/6/05

60th Anniversary of the First Atomic Bomb

"[T]he United States was fighting on the side of the angels, but they were willing to use the tools of the devil to win." From a History Channel special on the last days of WWII.

Hallelujah! Hallelujah!

Why is the Banshee rejoicing today? Because today two NFL teams buckled their chinstraps and played a full contact game against each other. At 5:00 a.m. EST, the Indianapolis Colts played the Atlanta Falcons in the American Bowl in Tokyo, Japan. I am not a gigantic fan of the NFL preseason. The games don't count, but the inevitable injuries still do. Still, I gotta admit that I could feel my heart rate increasing when Mike Vick trotted on the field for his first series. But, the most exciting thing about the first preseason game is that it means that we only have to wait another month for the real games to start.

What a Difference 60 Years Makes

On August 6, 1945, Americans dropped an atomic bomb on the Empire of Japan. Today, August 6, 2005, Americans threw bombs in Japan. But, these bombs were only on a football field. What a difference 60 years makes!

Only 60 years ago, the United States and Japan were engaged in a death struggle that only ended when the U.S. employed the most fearsome weapon that the world had ever seen. The carnage from the two bombs that were dropped was truly horrifying. But once the war was over, the United States wrote a new constitution for the Japanese people and helped them rebuild themselves into an international economic power. And today, our country shared one its greatest creations with the people of Japan when Falcons played the Colts in an exhibition game in the Tokyo Dome.

Friday, August 05, 2005

Quote of the Day 8/5/05

"Poets have been mysteriously silent on the subject of cheese." G. K. Chesterton

Thursday, August 04, 2005

Quote of the Day 8/4/05

"A committee is a cul-de-sac down which ideas are lured and then quietly strangled." Sir Barnett Cocks

What's going on?

Who could not have noticed all the women teachers who have lately been charged with being sexually involved with their young male students?

Today I was wondering about Beth Geisel, the Christian Brothers High School teacher who has been charged with the third degree rape of one of her male students. What could cause her and other women to abandon their traditional role as nurturers and become predators? What line of thinking would allow a grown woman to consider a child something to be used and abused just because she wanted to? And then it hit me.

Isn't this just another logical extension of the abortion mentality? When women have been raised to consider killing their unborn helpless children as something acceptable and almost noble, how big of a leap is it to think of other selfish ways to take advantage of our power over children? I can just hear the apologist now explaining how it was "her body" and if she wanted to be satisfied by a young boy, who are we to judge? Perhaps he's even better off this way.

I know this may seem like a stretch to many people but it is obvious that since the abortion mentality has helped women harden their hearts towards unborn children, all children are now more at risk.

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Quote of the Day 8/3/05

"A man is not idle because he is absorbed in thought. There is a visible labor and there is an invisible labor." Victor Hugo

Ask Banshee

Dear Banshee,

I have an Ask Banshee question that is half soap-box and half question. It relates to the theme of the last question you answered in Ask Banshee-- friends who sell stuff. It seems like the latest rage is "home parties". Women invite their friends over for a "party" and the the entire premise is to watch a demonstration of something (cooking products, home decor, craft supplies, sex toys-- yes, I was invited to a sex toy party) and then everyone gets out their checkbook to buy the stuff. The more the guests buy, the larger the gift the party hostess receives. The parties seem especially ridiculous when I already have cooking utensils, my home is decorated, I don't do the craft, and I'm not into kinky sex. I hate these parties. My attitude is, if you are really my friend, invite me over for a glass of lemonade or out for lunch where I am spending my money on something useful and where the invitation is premised on true friendship not financial gain. Don't invite me over when there is a cover charge of at least one spatula order per person.

That was the soap-box part. Here's the question part: Is it just me, or are these parties rude? Am I rude to kindly turn down invitations to these parties?

Down on Parties in Minnesota



How about you tell us how you really feel. Wow!

I have to say that I don't have anywhere near your level of passion on this topic. I think the only parties of this sort that I have ever attended are Mary Kay parties. I have enjoyed myself and spent money at all the Mary Kay events I've ever been to. Certainly, there is pressure to spend at these events since the hostess has a reward on the line. However, it seems to me that most people genuinely do enjoy these parties. It's a chance to socialize and share a common interest. In fact, just today a group of women that I know were raving about Princess House and Pampered Chef parties (Tasteful Treasures, on the other hand, seemed to be getting the thumbs down).

So basically, I would have to say that I do not think these parties are inherently rude. A lot of people find it awkward or intimidating to invite folks over. An event like this gives everyone an activity and as a result, gives the hostess a little confidence.

My advice to you, Minnesota, would be to just do what you wanna do. If you don't like these parties, don't go. After all, this is supposed to be a fun event, right? Just as you shouldn't overreact to these parties, a hostess shouldn't overreact to a declined invitation.

~ Wild Banshee

If you have a burning question on your mind, please Ask Banshee.

No accident

I'm sure a lot of you out there do not care at all about the Rafael Palmeiro steroids story. Those of you who do care probably already know most of what what is written here. That being said, I can't resist a little follow-up on Monday's post.

When MLB first announced that Palmeiro had tested postitive for steroids, Palmeiro said, "Today I am telling the truth again that I did not do this intentionally or knowingly." The basic implication was that Raffy had accidentally ingested something naughty as part of some otherwise harmless dietary supplement. On Monday, the Banshee called "B.S." on Raffy's innocent explanation.

Today, the New York Times reported that the substance that was found in Palmeiro's test was stanozolol. I'm certainly not a doctor or a steroids expert, but I have listened to a lot of people in the know talk about this substance over the course of the day. This is a powerful steroid. This is not something you accidentally ingest. ESPN analyst and former pitcher Jeff Brantley put it most succinctly when he said, "This isn't the kind of thing that you accidentally find in your cereal."

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Quote of the Day 8/2/05

"Men who are unhappy, like men who sleep badly, are always proud of the fact." Bertrand Russell

New Link

A new link has been added to the list at the right side of the screen. The new link is for a Lynchburg, Virginia blog. Although Banshee Blog doesn't write about Lynchburg very often, the Hill City is actually Banshee Blog headquarters. So, if you wanna know what's happening on Banshee's home turf, check out this new link.

Monday, August 01, 2005

Quote of the Day 8/1/05

"Your life is what your thoughts make it." As seen on a sign outside a local church.

I Am Sam

Last night, I watched the 2001 film, I Am Sam on CBS. While this film is certainly no way to cure the Sunday Night Blues, it is a very worthwhile movie. The movie is about a mentally retarded man who is desperately fighting through the court system to retain custody of his 7 year-old daughter. Sean Penn plays Sam, the mentally retarded man. Dakota Fanning plays Sam's cute and brilliant daughter. This was Fanning's first major role, and she really was only 7 years old at when this film came out. Michelle Pfeiffer plays Sam's slick, cold-hearted lawyer. All three give exceptional performances. Penn received a best actor nomination for his role. The movie is also extremely well written. None of the characters are shallow stereotypes. They are all dynamic, full people. Clearly, the audience will sympathize with Sam, but they will not see Child Protective Services as the enemy, either. Perhaps that is why the film is so touching. The audience wants Sam to be happy, but they also want to see his daughter get the care and education that she needs.

In summary, although this movie isn't particularly fun, I Am Sam is thought provoking and well worth the cost of a rental.


Back in March of this year, Congress dragged a slew of current and past baseball players and executives before a subcommittee in D.C. Banshee Blog was highly critical of these hearings, but they apparently did succeed in creating a semi-respectable steroid policy for Major League Baseball. One of the players who testified in March was Rafael Palmeiro of the Baltimore Orioles. Palmeiro was first linked to steroids in Jose Canseco's tell-all book. Under oath, Palmeiro pointed his finger and vehemently denied ever using steroids. Well, Pameiro's most recent urine test tells a different tale.

Today, baseball handed down a 10-day suspension for violating the league's steroid ban. This comes just on the heels of Palmeiro becoming only the fourth person in the history of the game to accumulate 3,000 hits and 500 home runs. Palmeiro accepted the punishment levied by MLB, but didn't really admit to guilt. Palmeiro said, "When I testified in front of Congress, I know that I was testifying under oath and I told the truth. Today I am telling the truth again that I did not do this intentionally or knowingly." Palmeiro claims that the substance must have been part of an unprescribed dietary supplement that he was using.

Okay, I can believe that a person could accidentally ingest a banned substance as part of an envelope-pushing yet legal dietary supplement. I can certainly see this happening in a shabby hotel room during your days in the Carolina League. But, Rafael Palmeiro is not an ignorant kid playing A ball in Durham, N.C. Palmeiro is a potential hall of famer. He is a man who was recently named as a steroids user. And, most importantly, he is a man who raised his hand before Congress and said that he never ever used steroids. After all of that, there is no way that Palmeiro was carelessly putting random mass-builders into his body without finding out what was in them.

Sunday, July 31, 2005

Quote of the Day 7/31/05

"In taking revenge, a man is but even with his enemy; but in passing it over, he is superior." Sir Francis Bacon

Banshee Polling

Old Poll: Last week, Banshee Blog asked a simple question. Are you married? I have to admit, I am a little surprised by the results. 64% of the respondents said that they are married. Only 35% said that they were not. Based primarily on the past Ask Banshee questions that have been sent in, I was under the impression that most of this blog's readership was single.

New Poll: This week's question is inspired by a movie I saw this weekend. The question is: Have you ever written or responded to a personal ad?

Trading Deadline

The trading deadline for Major League Baseball expired today at 4:00 p.m. And, the big news is that nothing happened. There were a few minor trades, but there was nothing resembling the Nomar Garciaparra blockbuster of last July. Out of all the rumors that were swirling in the past week, the only one that came true was the Pirates dealing Matt Lawton to the Cubs. The trade that will probably have the most impact on the post-season is the Atlanta Braves' acquisistion of the hard-throwing Kyle Farnsworth from the Detroit Tigers. Farnsworth has been having a good year closing in Detroit, and Braves' coaching has traditionally made Cy Young out of any pitcher that joined their staff.

Oh, and in case you were wondering ... Manny Ramirez is still a member of the Boston Red Sox.


No race today. Next week, NASCAR goes to Indy for the Allstate 400 at the Brickyard. The Indy race has traditionally been held on a Saturday afternoon, but this year the race will be on Sunday. It will air at 2:30 on NBC.

Saturday, July 30, 2005

Quote of the Day 7/30/05

"Too much of a good thing is wonderful." Mae West

Eating Champion Crowned

As I mentioned in yesterday's post, the Alka-Seltzer U.S. Open of Competitive Eating was under way this weekend in Las Vegas, NV. Today, the competition wrapped up. As in the Nathan's Hot Dog Eating competition over the Fourth of July, Takeru Kobayashi and SonjaThomas proved to be in the class of the field. And once again, it was Kobayashi who took home the crown. During the course of the competition, Kobyashi set a new world record for pasta eating. In addition to that record, Kobayashi also owns the world record for hot dogs, rice balls, hamburgers and cow brains. Mmmm, mmmmm.

Lynchburg Adventures

Soon after the Banshee moved to Central Virginia, Mimi passed along this website of Little Known Attractions in the Lynchburg Area. Today, the Banshee and Baby Sister set out with a Lynchburg city map in search the local curiosities. We only had a limited amount of time, so we chose 5 attractions. We looked for the Seven Hills Swingers Club, Chestnut Hill, the boyhood home of the inventor of the catcher's mask, the first area home with indoor plumbing, and the worlds ugliest building. I had been told by several co-workers that this entire site was an absolute hoax. After 3 hours of driving inside the city limits, I would have to agree that there is limited truthfulness to that website.

The only site we were able to visit was the world's ugliest building. I already knew where this was, so it was not a huge discovery. However, a close examination of the building cast some doubt on the history described on the site. As for the rest of the sites ... well, the addresses listed on the website simply don't exist. The addresses are on real streets that are in plausible parts of town, but the streets always came to an end before the we got to the house number.

But, the day was not a total loss. Most of our trip wound around through skinny streets in questionable parts of town. So, we found plenty of interesting stuff. We found a deserted warehouse on the banks of the James River. This warehouse is apparently in the process of being renovated into an upscale apartment complex. But, that paled in comparison to the discovery of the day. A couple blocks away from the warehouse, in a sketchy dead-end parking lot, Baby Sister and I discovered a 15 foot high, red, high heeled shoe. This shoe was truly a blog-worthy item. Perhaps, if the Banshee gains access to a digital camera in the near future, I will be able to get a photo on the website.

Friday, July 29, 2005

Quote of the Day 7/29/05

"Part of the secret of success in life is to eat what you like and let the food fight it out inside." Mark Twain

Holy Cheese Fries, Fat Man

If you've been living under a rock the last few days, you might not be aware that the U.S. Open of Competitive Eating is going on in Las Vegas, NV. Actually, I believe this event might already be over, but it is being broadcast on ESPN from July 28-30. The event, appropriately sponsored by Alka-Seltzer, is being held at the ESPN Zone in Sin City.

The Open consists of 5 rounds. Competitors are seeded much like in the NCAA basketball tournament. Then they compete against each other in head-to-head matches. The competitor who eats the most food in a set time period moves on to the next round. Each round has a different type of food. Some rounds require utensils. Some do not.

The first round was cheese fries. Each plate contained 2 pounds of the greesy goodness. The matches lasted 5 minutes. Several competitors polished off two full plates. Hot dog king, Takeru Kobayashi, is the top seed in the Open, and was the class of the first round. Although utensils were not required, Kobayashi used an innovative two fork method. He gripped both forks in one hand, creating a large shovel that allowed him to jam fries into his mouth at an alarming rate.

Kobayashi at Coney Island over the Fourth of July (AP)

Round 2 was spaghetti. Utensils were required for this food, and the rounds were 14 minutes long. The world record for pasta fell 4 times in the course of this round. Kobayashi ate last and was the holder of the record at the end of the night. The most entertaining match from the first two rounds was undoubtedly the match between bitter rivals, Timothy Janus and Dale Boone. Janus is known as Eater X and wears WWF-style makeup. Dale Boone claims to be a descendant of Daniel Boone and wears a coonskin cap in competition.


Eater X was victorious.

To learn more about the various eaters on the competitive eating circuit, follow this link to the International Federation of Competitive Eating.

Thursday, July 28, 2005

Quote of the Day 7/28/05

"The early bird may get the worm, but the second mouse gets the cheese." Unknown.

(Contributed by Cyndee Hawk)

Sports Round-Up

Crying in Football. This week, members of the Miami Dolphins reported to training camp. Rookie defensive tackle, Manuel Wright, reported to camp overweight and with back problems. For this, new head coach, Nick Saban, lit into the 21 year-old in front of the entire team. Wright broke down in tears when the screaming ended. The worst part of the whole incident is that the cameras were rolling. I have seen this poor kid crying no less than ten times in the last 24 hours.

You might be surprised to hear compassion coming out of the Banshee when it comes to crying in football. But, I gotta say that I really feel for this kid. Okay, so if you get a $190,000 signing bonus as an undrafted rookie then you shouldn't come into camp overweight. Nonetheless, there is almost nothing worse than being publicly chastised by someone from whom you are trying desperately to gain approval.

I say good luck to you, Mr. Wright. And to the media, I say enough is enough. Stop showing this.

Welcome home. Those words lit up the marquee at Madison Square Garden this afternoon. New York native Larry Brown has finally reached an agreement to coach the New York Knicks next season. Despite his age and his poor health, the Knicks signed Brown to a 4 year deal worth between $8-10 million a season. If I recall correctly, that makes Brown the second highest paid coach in all of sports. Phil Jackson holds the top spot. If any basketball coach is worth that kind of money, Brown is that coach. This signing is probably a good move for the woeful Knicks because it has already generated buzz around the upcoming season. That's always good for ticket sales. Brown has made his name by bringing horrible teams up to respectability and even playoff success. But, this Knicks team has about the worst front office in the history of basketball. This team is about $50 million over the salary cap and 20 games under .500. Even Brown can't work this miracle. At least not next year.

Manny gone wild. The MLB trading deadline is coming up in just a few short days. And rumors are swirling around the northeast that the Boston Red Sox are entertaining offers for World Series MVP Manny Ramirez. I am going to declare right now that the chances of Manny Ramirez being traded during this season are absolutely zero. Zilch. There is no chance.

Even a rabid Red Sox hater like the Banshee cannot dispute the fact that Manny is an astonishing hitter. He hits for power and average and is a run producing machine. But, this guy is just way too weird for any other team to take on mid-season. My fingers are too tired to type out a whole history of what a weirdo this guy is. So, I'll stick to just this past week. During a home game at Fenway last week, there was a brief meeting on the mound. This was not a pitching change. Yet, Manny took the opportunity to disappear into the Green Monster in left field. Why? To urinate, of course. The thing is, there is no bathroom inside the Monster. Manny wasn't back on the field when play was set to resume. Then over the weekend, Manny renewed his yearly request that he be traded. But, if anyone was considering coming after this guy and his gargantuan contract, Manny pretty much ended that with his antics last night. Yesterday, Manny refused to play despite the fact that injuries had left the Sox shorthanded in the outfield. Why the refusal? Because he'd already asked for the day off.

Manny Ramirez still has 4 years and $60+ million left on his current contract. The only team in baseball that could afford to take on that contract right now is the New York Yankees. That will simply never happen. The Sox will not send their top slugger to the Yanks, and Joe Torre would not take on this guy's antics.

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Quote of the Day 7/27/05

"What some call health, if purchased by perpetual anxiety about diet, isn't much better than tedious disease." George Dennison Prentice

Ask Banshee

Dear Wild Banshee,

When do you consider someone too old, if ever, to have stuffed animals on their bed? I am assuming this is a more acceptable practice for females, but still, any thoughts?

I Heart My Stuffed Friends


Dear Heart,

Before answering this question, I consulted with my close friend and advisor Darla Beagle. Darla and I have decided that girls are never ever too old to have stuffed animals on their bed. That being said, stuffed animals may be a bit inconvenient once you are married. It should be noted, though, that Darla disagrees with that assertion.

As for boys, well, teddy bears on the bed are certainly not very manly. There is no way that John Wayne had stuffed animals on his bed. Even Darla agrees with that. As for a bright line age ... well, that's a tough one. Stuffed animals certainly are not like Barbie Dolls. Giving them to your young sons won't turn them into wimpering sissies. But, men's dorms at college are not real good places for stuffed animals.

In summary, there is a difference between guys and gals when it comes to stuffed animals. Grown men shouldn't really be cuddling with them, but girls can hang on as long as they want to.

~ Banshee

If you have a burning question on your mind, please, Ask Banshee.

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Quote of the Day 7/26/05

"Money can't buy friends, but it can get you a better class of enemy." Spike Milligan

Check this out ....

Unhealthy, USA

Centrum and BestPlaces recently collaborated on a study that ranked the health of the United States' 50 largest metropolitan areas. The factors that were considered in the rankings included the following: health status, nutrition and exercise, mental health and life balance. I'm not sure how empirical any of these factors really are, but the Banshee is a sucker for any countdown.

According to this study, the healthiest city in America is San Jose, CA. San Jose was followed by Washington, D.C. D.C. probably managed to finish that high because drug use and violent crime are not factors in the study. But enough about the healthy places. Let's look at the other end of the spectrum.

The unhealthiest city in America is ... drum roll, please ... New Orleans, LA. The Banshee just visited the Big Easy about 6 weeks ago, and I gotta tell you that this ranking comes as no surprise. After all, this is a city where public drunkeness is actually encouraged. Drinks are served in to-go cups so that you don't even have to take a break as you walk from one bar to another. Plus, just breathing in the stanko air down there for any length of time has got to give you some kind of lung fungus. Don't get me wrong, though, there is plenty of fun in Nawlins.

Perhaps the most shocking info in the study is the horrid health condition of the state of Ohio. All three of the of the Buckeye state's major cities made it into the top ten. Columbus ranked 6, Cleveland ranked 4, and Cincinnati ranked 3. Perhaps this explains why Ohio sports franchises range from mediocre (the Indians) to downright embarassing (the Brownies). Once players get there, they are doomed to becoming fat and sick.

Monday, July 25, 2005

Quote of the Day 7/25/05

"The man who doesn't read good books has no advantage over the man who can't read them." Mark Twain

Parenting as a Vocation

I first heard a discussion about vocations during my days in Catholic high school. My religion teacher explained to the class that some people are called to the vocations of being priests or nuns. She went on to explain that God is no less active and has just as much purpose in calling other people into other roles in society. While I didn't adopt most Catholic doctrine during my plaid skirt days, I really did take this teaching to heart.

For the past couple of Sundays, my pastor has been preaching about the vocations of Christians in society. This week, he touched on the high calling of parenthood. Like the Banshee, my pastor is not yet a parent. But, again like the Banshee, my pastor views parenthood as perhaps the highest calling there is in life. Discussion of this topic continued after church when one of the older men in the congregation shared an interesting bit of trivia. He said that the Latin root of the word parent means "in place of God." This tied in nicely with pastor's message.

Certainly, parents do not replace God. That is absurd. But, they do serve as a substitute caregiver for the children that God allows them to have. In addition to caring for the child's physical safety, parents also bear a responsibility to aid in the child's intellectual development. Everyone would agree with that. But, pastor encouraged parents to take their duty of training up their children in the ways of the Lord just as seriously as they take their duty to feed their children and teach them to read. Pastor said that churches serve an important role in aiding parents in their duty to teach children about their need for the Savior and the forgiveness we enjoy in Christ. But, the emphasis should be on the word "aid." It is still the parents' responsibility to continue Christian education the other six days of the week when church is not in session.

This post is not meant to be a scolding or an admonishment to anyone. Certainly, a girl who spends her days watching DIRECTV and playing PS2 is in no position to instruct anyone as to how they should parent. Rather, this post is meant as an encouragement to those of you who are engaged in the hard work of building a Christian home. The Banshee has been the beneficiary of two parents who certainly took their duty of Christian education quite seriously. For those of you who are now in the early part of the parenting journey, I want to say this on behalf of your children. Five, ten or twenty years from now, there is nothing that will have been a more positive force in your child's life than the confidence that can only be gained through a firm knowledge that we belong to God and have been saved through Christ.

Disappearing Act

As many of you probably noticed, Wild Banshee has been on a 2+ week hiatus. I'd like to say that this can be attributed to long hours at the office or new commitments to volunteering at charities. But, neither of those is really the case. The Banshee's negligence cannot even be attributed to DIRECTV addiction since the dish only went up a few days ago. In reality, the break from the blog can mostly be attributed to the Banshee's love of sports.

From the very inception of this blog, there has always been a healthy dose of sports content. However, I have made a firm commitment to myself that I would not turn Banshee Blog into a sports-only site. But lately, I just can't get my focus off of the sports world. I know that during my absence the high court ruled that Americans have no property rights, that terrorists attacked our close friends the Brits, and that a new justice has been nominated for the Supreme Court. But, the Banshee's waking thoughts have been almost entirely consumed with the Yankees closing the gap in the AL East, Tiger's domination of the British Open, the Larry Brown saga in Detroit and New York, Dale Jr.'s struggles, rumors of Penn State's return to the top 25, T.O.'s threats in Philly and Ricky Williams' return to the Dolphins.

Nonetheless, I am gonna give blogging the old college try once again.

Sunday, July 24, 2005

Quote of the Day 7/24/05

"Education is when you read the fine print. Experience is what you get if you don't." Pete Seeger

NACAR Update

This week, the boys of NASCAR thundered through the Pocono Mountains for the Pennsylvania 500. Pocono International Raceway is actually the only track where the Banshee has ever seen a race in person, so this race always holds a little extra excitement for me. This flat, 2.5 mile triangle is always a difficult test for drivers. So, it's no surprise that 3 of NASCAR's old vets finished in the top ten. In their final trips to Pocono, Rusty Wallace and Mark Martin finished second and third while Ricky Rudd finished tenth. Mike Bliss had a surprisingly strong ninth place finish in his NetZero Chevrolet. But it was Kurt Busch who captured the checkers.

No one moved in or out of the all important top 10 in the championship standings. Jimmie Johnson remains in first place despite a poor showing this week. Tony Stewart's seventh place finish allowed him to jump Greg Biffle and move into second in the standings. Fan favorites Jeff Gordon and Dale Earnhardt, Jr. remain on the outside -- now just barely peaking in.

Banshee Polling

Old Poll: During the Banshee's summer break, the same poll remained on the site for almost a month. Although website traffic remained high during that time, polling responses were pretty low. The poll asked readers about their favorite summer holiday. 87% of voters said that the Fourth of July was their favorite. 12% said that Memorial Day was their favorite. No one voted for Father's Day or Labor Day.

New Poll: Every once in a while, the Banshee likes to get an idea of who really reads this blog. So this week, Banshee Blog asks: Are you married? This poll doesn't take a lot of thinking so there should be good turnout.

Friday, July 08, 2005

Quote of the Day 7/8/05

"Bismarck reflected that the supreme fact of the 19th century was that Great Britain and the United States shared the same language. And surely future historians will note that a supreme fact of this century was that Great Britain and the United States shared the same cause; the cause of human freedom." President Ronald Reagan, welcoming Prime Minister Thatcher in 1988.

Sisters Injured in London

College students Kathleen "Katie" Benton, 21, and Emily Benton, 20, sisters from Tennessee were on the subway in London when a terrorist' bomb exploded near them. Both girls were injured but will recover. Their church as begun posting updates on their conditions.

Their Pastor has said that he looks forward to seeing how God will use this terrible event in their lives for good. "We know that all things work together for the good of those who love God—those whom he has called according to his plan." Romans 8:28

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Quote of the Day 7/5/05

"Losing to a bear is not good because, for example, Anika Sorenstam would not lose to a bear." Tony Kornheiser, comparing the greatness of golfer Anika Sorenstam to that of champion eater, Takeru Kobayashi.

See archived post for more background.

Hot Dog King

Takeru Kobayashi did it again. For the fifth straight year, the 27 year-old Japanese man was declared the hot dog eating king at the annual Nathan's Famous Hot Dog Eating Contest at Coney Island, New York.


Kobayashi ate 47 hot dogs in 12 minutes. This is a good amount of processed meat, but it is down from last year's mark of 52 dogs. Since Banshee Blog came online, Kobayashi's only hot dog-eating defeat came at the paws of a grizzly bear on Man vs. Beast I.

This was the ninth time in the last ten years that a Japanese man took home the coveted Yellow Belt. This year's runner-up was a woman from Alexandria, VA named Sonya Thomas a.k.a. The Black Widow.

Weekend Features

The Banshee returned safe and sound from my Dixieland travels. For those of you who logged on over the weekend, waiting breathlessly for the usual weekend features like the NASCAR update and a new poll ... sorry to disappoint. Here is an abbreviated version.

Banshee Polling: The current poll asks Which is your favorite summer holiday? Since the weather is warm, it's hard to be dedicated to surfing the Internet for polls like this. As a result, the voting this week was extremely slow. Therefore, the poll question will remain for another week. Please be sure to vote. It means a lot. After all, when the government decides which holidays will be official holidays, they always ask Wild Banshee for her advice.

NASCAR Update: This week's race was held on Saturday night. At least, that's when it started. The Pepsi 400 from Daytona is one of the Banshee's very favorite races of the year. However, rain pushed the start time back until almost 11 p.m. The Banshee's mind was willing, but the flesh was weak. I admit that I fell asleep after only about 25 green laps. To check on the results and the new championship standings, log on to NASCAR.com.

Friday, July 01, 2005

Quote of the Day 7/1/05

“A judicial activist is a judge who interprets the Constitution to mean what it would have said if he, instead of the Founding Fathers, had written it.” The late Senator Sam Ervin.

On the Road Again

Wild Banshee is heading out of town for the Fourth of July weekend. Banshee is headed off for some R&R with Hawk and Mimi. Posting will resume on July 5.

Sandra's Day is Done

Today, Sandra Day O'Connor announced her retirement from the Supreme Court. I have to say that this is a joyous day for the Banshee. I make it my policy not to criticize any Supreme Court Justice too harshly due to the fact that they have all recieved degrees from law schools that would not have granted me admission and they have all achieved far more after graduation than I can realistically aspire to achieve. However, I will say that Sandra Day O'Connor is my least favorite justice out of the nine. Why? It's largely because her never-ending quest for compromise has made her extremely unpredictable and apparently unprincipled in her judicial theory. Nonetheless, Justice O'Connor is noteworthy as the first woman to sit on the High Court. FOX News has provided a timeline of Justice O'Connor's life.

Thursday, June 30, 2005

Quote of the Day 6/30/05

"You can't build a reputation on what you are going to do." Henry Ford

Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Quote of the Day 6/29/05

"He who asks is a fool for five minutes, but he who does not ask remains a fool forever." Chinese Proverb

Ask Banshee

What do you think about long distance relationships? Do you have any advice for people in such relationships?

~ The Asian Dude from Lost


Dear Asian Dude,

Wow, I can't believe a high profile celeb like yourself is asking Wild Banshee for advice. This is kind of an abstract question, so it's difficult to answer.

Based on everything that I have observed in life, long distance relationships are difficult to manage. Since one of the primary reasons for being in a relationship is to have someone to be with, the separation inherent in a long distance relationship will obviously present a difficulty. This is something you should think long and hard about if you are contemplating getting into a relationship with a chick on the other side of the country. I'm no saying that no one is worth it, but I am saying that you are asking for a bit of trouble at the outset.

However, sometimes separation in existing relationships is inevitable. And, just because separation must come does not mean that a relationship should necessarily end. Grad school, military service or a mid-season trade are all reasons that spring to mind. The Banshee values loyalty above almost all other qualities. So, I would certainly never advocate a break-up merely because a little geographical strain comes along.

One thing I will say definitively is this ... if you are contemplating marriage to someone with whom you are in a long distance relationship, it might be wise to make sure y'all live near each other for a while before taking the big leap. After all, getting along via phone and email is way different than putting up with each other's excentricities on a daily basis.

I hope that provides a little guidance.

~ Wild Banshee

If you have a burning question on your mind, please Ask Banshee.

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Quote of the Day 6/28/05

"Property is the fruit of labor; property is desirable; it is a positive good in the world. That some should be rich shows that others may become rich and, hence, is just encouragement to industry and enterprise." Abraham Lincoln

Fighting Back

If you're like me you often feel helpless when it comes to responding to outrageous Supreme Court decisions. I mean, these guys are on the court for life! Well take heart. One creative man in New Hampshire has come up with a great idea. His news release is quoted below and can be read in its entirety at his web site.

Could a hotel be built on the land owned by Supreme Court Justice David H. Souter? A new ruling by the Supreme Court which was supported by Justice Souter himself itself might allow it. A private developer is seeking to use this very law to build a hotel on Souter's land.

Justice Souter's vote in the "Kelo vs. City of New London" decision allows city governments to take land from one private owner and give it to another if the government will generate greater tax revenue or other economic benefits when the land is developed by the new owner.

On Monday June 27, Logan Darrow Clements, faxed a request to Chip Meany the code enforcement officer of the Towne of Weare, New Hampshire seeking to start the application process to build a hotel on 34 Cilley Hill Road. This is the present location of Mr. Souter's home. Clements, CEO of Freestar Media, LLC, points out that the City of Weare will certainly gain greater tax revenue and economic benefits with a hotel on 34 Cilley Hill Road than allowing Mr. Souter to own the land.

The proposed development, called "The Lost Liberty Hotel" will feature the "Just Desserts Café" and include a museum, open to the public, featuring a permanent exhibit on the loss of freedom in America. Instead of a Gideon's Bible each guest will receive a free copy of Ayn Rand's novel "Atlas Shrugged."

Clements indicated that the hotel must be built on this particular piece of land because it is a unique site being the home of someone largely responsible for destroying property rights for all Americans.

"This is not a prank" said Clements, "The Towne of Weare has five people on the Board of Selectmen. If three of them vote to use the power of eminent domain to take this land from Mr. Souter we can begin our hotel development."

A very little bit of war

Recently I came accross this short video on the net which shows what it is like to have an IED (Improvised Explosive Devise) explode in front of you. It can be viewed at Operation AC. The link to the video is on the lower left side of the page. While you're there, check out the good work being done by this group.

Monday, June 27, 2005

Quote of the Day 6/27/05

"When you have got an elephant by the hind leg, and he is trying to run away, it's best to let him run." Abraham Lincoln

Sunday, June 26, 2005

Quote of the Day 6/26/05

“Many a man met his God that Sunday … but not in church.” Narrator in the film How the West Was Won regarding April 6, 1862 and the battle of Shiloh.

Banshee Polling

Poll results: Last week, Banshee blog asked when readers felt like summer had really arrived. Memorial Day was the most popular choice. Memorial Day got 42% of the vote. 28% of voters said that the end of school is when they feel like summer has arrived. 14% voted for Summer Solstice, the official first day of summer. 14% voted for "Other." No one voted for Father's Day.

New Poll: The Fourth of July is coming up in a week. Wild Banshee loves patriotic holidays. This week, Banshee Blog wants to know: Which is your favorite summer holiday?


There is no update this week. This week's race was held at the road course at Infineon Raceway. In other words, it was a boring, Formula One-esque exhibition. Next week, NASCAR resumes entertaining competition with the Saturday night race at Daytona.

Birdie Kim

This weekend, the world's greatest female golfers competed in the 60th Women's U.S. Open. And the winner is ... Birdie Kim. That's right, Birdie Kim. Ms. Kim is a native of South Korea. South Korea is a veritable factory for world class female golfers, and Kim is the most common surname in that nation. In fact, there were seven other Kims in the U.S. Open field. In order to set herself apart, Ms. Kim recently changed her first name to "Birdie." And, it was a miraculous birdie on the 72nd hole that won the championship for Ms. Kim. Perhaps the teenaged runner-ups Brittany Lang and Morgan Pressel should change their names to "Eagle" before next year's Open.

Saturday, June 25, 2005

Quote of the Day 6/25/05

“Flattery is all right as long as you don’t inhale.” Adlai Stevenson

Tyson: The Birdman of Phoenix?

Following his June 11 loss to Kevin McBride, Mike Tyson had a long chat with the press. During that chat, Iron Mike said, "I used to kill pigeons, rip their heads off, 'You dirty rat pigeon!' I don't even have the heart to kill an animal no more. I just changed my whole life in general. That probably could have changed the way I fight."

Mike Tyson has come full circle on his feelings for pigeons. Not only has he given up ripping their heads off, Tyson is actually the proud owner of 350 of the flying rodents. But, there might be trouble on the homefront. Tyson recently bought a $2.1 million mansion outside of Phoenix, AZ. He was in the process of building a home on his property for his feathered friends, but was stopped by local officials for lack of a permit.

One can only hope that Tyson's pigeons will have their living situation straightened out before some of fellow Phoenix resident Alice Cooper's snakes sneak out and make this a moot point.

AFI Hundred Quotes

In the Banshee's world, the only thing better than a Top 10 list is a Top 100 list. Earlier this week, the American Film Institute unveiled it's list of 100 Greatest Movie Quotes. AFI jurors were supposed to consider three factors: the quote itself, the cultural impact of the quote, and the quote's legacy.

Six of the top 100 quotes came from the movie Casablanca. But, Casablanca's top quote peaked out at #5. This quote was, "Here's looking at you, kid." #4 on the list was Dorothy's famous statement, "Toto, I've got a feeling we're not in Kansas anymore," from The Wizard of Oz. Quotes #3 and #2 were both said by Marlon Brando. #3 was "I coulda been a contender," from On the Waterfront, and #2 was, "I'm gonna make him an offer he can't refuse," from The Godfather. Not surprisingly, AFI selected Rhett Butler's immortal words, "Frankly, my dear, I don't give a damn," as the top quote of all time.

Of course, most of the quotes on the list were quite familiar to me. But, the only quote that actually gave me chills as I read it was quote #70. This quote is when Lawrence Olivier asks Dustin Hoffman, "Is it safe?" in Marathon Man. My big disappointment with this list is that there is not one single John Wayne line on this list. I'm also a little disappointed that no part of the opening monologue from Patton made it to the list. Overall, though, it is an entertaining list. And, what good is a countdown if it doesn't spur at least a little debate?

Friday, June 24, 2005

Quote of the Day 6/24/05

"If you are a sports fan, there are no more delicious words than 'Game Seven.'" Al Michaels, ABC announcer

New NBA Champs

We have a new champion in the NBA: The San Antonio Spurs. The Spurs held off the defending champion Detroit Pistons in a hard-fought Game 7. Like the rest of the series, it was a low-scoring, defensive struggle. The final score of Game 7 was 81-74. But despite the lack of points, Game 7 was by no means a boring contest. The Pistons held the lead partway through the third quarter before the Spurs stormed back and took control of the game.

Despite the fact that many commentators had be highly critical of his performance throughout the series, Tim Duncan was named the MVP of the Finals. Another solid candidate for MVP was Spurs' shooting guard, Manu Ginobili. The NBA title capped off an outstanding twleve months for Ginobili. At the end of last summer, Ginobili led team Argentina to a suprising gold medal at the 2004 Olympics.

Looking ahead to next year, it seems that both the Spurs and the Pistons should be strong contenders once again. Both teams have all their major players signed through next year. The big change heading into next year may be on Detroit's bench. Health problems may force Larry Brown to end his coaching career.

Thursday, June 23, 2005

Quote of the Day 6/23/05

“Work is good medicine for happiness.” Polly Warrington

Cat Got Your Tongue?

In perhaps one of the greatest upsets of all time, a 73 year-old Kenyan man defeated a leopard in a hand-to-paw death match. It took a little while for this remarkable story to leak out of Africa, but by this afternoon, the legend of Daniel M'Mburugu had spread even to PTI (the Banshee's favorite television show).

Earlier this month, M'Mburugu, a 73 year-old Kenyan grandfather, was peacefully tending to his crop of beans and potatoes. Then all of a sudden, M'Mburugu was knocked to the ground by a pouncing leopard. M'Mburugu said, "It [the leopard] let out a blood-curdling snarl that made the birds stop chirping."

But, that was the last snarl the world would ever hear from this leopard.

M'Mburugu had a machete in his hand when the leopard attacked, but the elderly farmer voluntarily dropped the weapon to free himself up for hand-to-paw combat. "A voice, which must have come from God, whispered to me to drop the panga (machete) and thrust my hand in its wide open mouth. I obeyed," M'Mburugu said.

In a truly gutsy move, the old man reached into the leopard's deadly mouth and yanked out the animal's tongue. The leopard was already in the throes of death when neighbor who had heard the raucus came by to finish the beast off with his machete.

So, ruffians of Nairobi be warned: Do not mess with Daniel M'Mburugu.

Rules Were Made to be Broken

The nation got good news this week when searchers discovered lost, 11 year-old Brennan Hawkins in Bountiful, Utah. The Boy Scout had been missing for four days, leading many news observers to give up hope. Now that Brennan is safe and sound with his family, I think it's okay to take a little look at an ironic detail in this whole situation.

A friend of mine pointed out the following paragraph in an AP report. Paul Foy reports:

The boy said he kept two thoughts in mind, both of them instructions from
his parents: Never leave a trail and never talk to strangers. So, when people on
horseback appeared on his trail Tuesday, Brennan pulled off the path and out of
view until they passed.

Staying on the trail might have ultimately saved Brennan's life, so I gotta say that the trail rule seems to be pretty solid. I'm generally a fan of the "don't talk to strangers" rule, too. But, parents, perhaps y'all should consider putting a caveat in that rule.

Proposed Banshee rule: Don't talk to strangers, but if you've been lost in the wilderness for more than two days, then you don't have to hide from search parties.

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Quote of the Day 6/22/05

"If you don't make a total commitment to whatever you're doing, then you start looking to bail out the first time the boat starts leaking. It's tough enough getting that boat to shore with everybody rowing, let alone when someone stands up and starts putting his life jacket on." --Lou Holtz

(Contributed by Jennifer S. Bennett)

Ask Banshee

Dear Banshee,

It is the first day of summer and I am wondering what to wear. The problem is . . . bathing suits. Is a one piece the most modest? How much cleavage is OK? Should the leg openings be “French cut”? And most importantly, does my age, size and marital status change my options?

Esther Williams Wanna Be


Dear Wanna Be,

Ah ... the bathing suit dilemma. Always a tough one. Basically, there is no stock answer. Suits are as unique as the people who wear them. And each suit looks different on each different person.

But, I can definitively answer your final question. Heck yes, age, size and marital status change your options. This isn't necessarily a modesty issue. It's more of a self-respect issue. I'm gonna go ahead and be blunt. If you are old, fat and wrinkly, wearing a suit that would be immodest on Jessica Simpson would be just gross on you.

As far as the modesty goes ... well, I wish I had some math formula for this. I don't. Here is a guideline: If you would feel weird about your little sister or daughter (or fill in the blank with a female you feel protective of) wearing the suit then it probably ain't good for you to be wearing it, either.

I realize that this was kind of a vague answer. But, in the end, it really does come down to individual body type and attitude. If you look at yourself in the mirror and think, "Whew! I am sure gonna turn the boys on in this number," then you probably need to give yourself a modesty check. You should also consider using the buddy system when selecting a bathing suit. Before making a purchase, ask a close friend or a sister a couple of questions. First, ask, "Do I look gross in this?" If the answer is "no," then ask, "Well then, do I look like a slutty wench?" If you get an honest "no" to that question then you're probably okay.

Hope this helps.

~ Wild Banshee

If you have a burning question on your mind, please Ask Banshee.

NBA Finals

I've been a little bit down on the NBA on this blog, but it turns out that this year's NBA Finals are the best ones we've had in a long, long time.

For those of you who don't know, the San Antonio Spurs are playing the defending champion Detroit Pistons. San Antonio won Game 1 and Game 2 by in San Antonio by convincing margins. The the Pistons hammered the Spurs in the next two games in Detroit. So, the best-of-seven series was tied at two games a piece. Game 5 was played in Detroit on Sunday night. It was a wonderful game that went into overtime. Eventually, the Spurs stole this game on the hostile floor. This meant that the Spurs only had to win one more game in order to claim the championship, and both of these games were gonna be in the Lone Star State.

Game 6 was held on Tuesday night. Most experts agreed that the Spurs would follow up their dramatic Game 5 victory with a win on their home floor. But, the defending champs showed the guts that made them so inspiring during last year's finals. The Pistons managed to hold off the Spurs in Game 6.

So, the stage is set for a winner-take-all Game 7. This is the first Game 7 for an NBA Finals in over a decade. It should be an outstanding game. Both teams have offensive players that are capable of putting on dazzling performances. And both teams play outstanding defense.

Game 7 will air Thursday night at 9 p.m. on ABC.

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Quote of the Day 6/21/05 First Day of Summer

"It's a sure sign of summer if the chair gets up when you do." Walter Winchell

Monday, June 20, 2005

Quote of the Day 6/20/05

"When men are pure, laws are useless; when men are corrupt, laws are broken." Benjamin Disraeli (1804 - 1881)

Listen Up?

I know this sounds really dull but this weekend . . . I listened to golf on the radio. I also listened to baseball. And I listened a little to the NASCAR race. And to my surprise I found out that I enjoyed listening to sports on the radio!

While I listened to the US Open I learned a lot about Michael Campbell (http://www.cambogolf.com/about_cambo/about_cambo.html) the winner. I heard about his struggles to remain a professional golfer, his Maori heritage, his line of clothing, and I even heard his father interviewed live from the tiny clubhouse of the nine hole course in Titahi Bay, New Zealand where he learned to play.

Listening instead of watching a sport requires you to use your imagination. It also gives you the opportunity to hear all kinds of information about the players, the game itself and even a bit of history.

Happy Birthday, Pac-Man!

(Property of NAMCO)

Remember these guys? Well, Blinky, Pinky, Inky and Clyde are all celebrating their 25th birthday this year. And, of course, so is their loveable nemesis, Pac-Man. That's right, Pac-Man has been with us for a quarter of a century. That means that there is an entire grown-up generation of Americans who have never known a world without video games. The Banshee is one of those Americans.

Pac-Man was one of the first mainstream video games. The NAMCO product was, and still is, available both in the video arcade and on home gaming systems. This was in an era before Halo, Madden or Goldeneye. Pac-Man's rivals were games like Centipede, Asteroid, Q-Bert and Frogger. It was an era where video games were far simpler but no less addicting. Even in our current, dazzling video game era, Pac-Man remains an enjoyable experience. Next time you see an old Pac-Man machine in a laundromat or a dive bar, go ahead and drop in a few quarters to celebrate Pac-Man's 25th.

(Property of NAMCO)

Sunday, June 19, 2005

Quote of the Day 6/19/05 Father's Day

"Families stand at the center of society." Ronald Reagan

Banshee Polling

Poll results: Last week, Banshee Blog asked readers if they believed that the state where they lived was the best state in the Union. The voting produced a 50-50 split. It should be noted that everyone who left a public comment on the poll voted in the affirmative.

New Poll: The official start of summer is coming on up June 21. However, this always seems late to me. This week Banshee Blog asks: When do you feel like summer has arrived?

NACAR Update

This was a big sports day for the state of Michigan. The Detroit Pistons are hosting Game 5 of the NBA Finals, and NASCAR ran the Batman Begins 400 at the Michigan International Speedway. Despite the fact that it had a terrible name, the race was pretty good. Unfortunately the Banshee missed most of it because I was distracted by the 105th U.S. Open golf tournament (an American didn't win).

So, here's the short summary of the race. Greg Biffle won. Tony Stewart came in second. Jimmie Johnson struggled. Jeff Gordon and Dale Earnhardt, Jr. were both lousy again.

Due to Johnson's poor performance, the points race tightened up a bit, but the order of the top five remained unchanged. Johnson still leads. Biffle is still in second. Saddler, Edwards and Martin are third, fourth and fifth, respectively. The big mover of the day was Tony Stewart. His strong finish propelled him from tenth to fourth in the standings. Eleven drivers still remain within 400 points of the leader and are therefore still eligible for the Chase for the Championship. After today, Jeff Gordon joined Dale, Jr. on the wrong side of the 400-point line.

Next week, the circuit heads to Sonoma, CA for a little road racing.

Saturday, June 18, 2005

Quote of the Day 6/18/05

"Discretion in speech is more than eloquence." Sir Francis Bacon

And It Just Gets Weirder

The Tyson-McBride fight is sort of like a car accident. Even though I know that I should, I just can't look away. And that's because it just keeps getting weirder.

This week, Kevin McBride, claimed that Mike Tyson threw an intentional head butt, tried twice to break his arm, and gave him a forearm shiver to the face. That's all old news. But, McBride also claimed that Mike Tyson bit his nipple during the June 11 fight. Yeah, you read that right. Of course, who should really be surprised? Tyson has had several bizarre biting incidents in his past. There was the famous munching of Evander Holyfield where Tyson actually bit off a piece of the Holy Warrior's ear. That was in 1996. But, there was also a lesser-known biting that occurred several years later. In 2002, Mike Tyson bit Lennox Lewis' leg at a press conference brawl in NYC.

One can only hope that Tyson is true to his word and stays in retirement. But, Tyson needs money to pay his tax debts, and as Tony Kornheiser said, "What do you think he's gonna be, Secretary of Agriculture?"

Cinderella Man

This weekend, I had the pleasure of seeing two outstanding films. I saw Batman Begins and Cinderella Man. Since Hawk already reviewed Batman (see 6/16 post), I will stick to Cinderella Man.

My thoughts on Cinderella Man can be summed up in one word: Tremendous.

Now regular readers of this blog know that it does not take an Oscar-worthy film to earn a ringing endorsement from Wild Banshee. But, the Banshee does see a lot of movies, and I can homestly say that Cinderella Man is perhaps one of the ten best movies that I have ever seen.

Cinderella Man is the true story of depression-era boxer James J. Braddock. Braddock (Russell Crowe) runs on hard times when the market crashes in 1929. A series of injuries take Braddock out of the ring, so, like millions of Americans, Braddock struggles to scrape together enough money to feed his wife (Renee Zellweger) and three children. When Braddock finally gets a chance at redemption in the ring, a depressed nation rallies behind him.

Crowe and Zellweger turn in passionate and convincing performances as they portray the Braddocks' commitment to their children and to each other. Ron Howard does an outstanding job directing this film. He creates truly dynamic characters with whom the audience will undoubtedly feel an emotional connection. Howard also does an outstanding job with the cinematography of the fight scenes.

Of course, boxing plays a central part in this movie. But, Cinderella Man is much more than a fight film. Cinderella Man serious without being depressing. It is moving without being manipulative or sappy. And, above all, it is inspiring. Cinderella Man is absolutely a must-see film.

Friday, June 17, 2005

Quote of the Day 6/17/05

"Courage is fear that has said its prayers." Dorothy Bernard

Brand Names

Some brand names become so popular that the product itself becomes known by that name. Kleenex is a prime example of that phenomenon. But not every company can expect that level of success. Another way to make sure that people remember your brand name is to simply choose a name that describes your product's purpose. I recently discovered one such product.

Hiney Hiders is one of the leading producers of bathroom stall doors. What a great name! I have no idea who Hiney Hiders' competitors might be. Perhaps if they had chosen a name like Butt Barriers then I would be aware of their existence, too.

I think that more companies should use this strategy. Who wouldn't be drawn to Road Gripper tires? Or Wake You Up coffee? And no one would forget Stink Stopper deoderant.

Thursday, June 16, 2005

Quote of the Day 6/16/05

"When the water reaches the upper level, follow the rats." Claude Swanson

Batman Begins To Impress Me

Yesterday I saw the movie premier of Batman Begins. This movie has received excellent reviews as far as I can tell, and in my opinion earned every one of its four stars. Because I am not exactly a Batman fan, I'm a little uneasy recommending the movie to those who have seen (and loved) the previous movies, since it is so different from most superhero movies. But this is what makes it, in my opinion, so fantastic. Director Christopher Nolan does such an exceptional job of making the story realistic that I actually found myself thinking about halfway through the movie, "Is this a true story...?" For as bizarre and comical as the idea is - that a man dresses like a bat, single-handedly kills groups of armed men, becomes invisible, flies across buildings and drives a nearly invinsible steel sports car at outrageous speeds - all of this - I don't know how - but it somehow actually becomes believable throughout the movie. I also thought the movie dealt well with the psychological and even moral aspects of Batman's rise to superhero-hood, with lots of quotable one-liners about fear, goodness versus evil, and character. And finally, although this is a somewhat minor point, the movie is noticably devoid of sexual innuendo and pointless profanity, which I found to be an added plus.

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Quote of the Day 6/15/05

"People sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf." George Orwell

Ask Banshee

Dear Banshee,

Let me first say how excited I am to have direct access to the great Banshee herself. After almost a solid year of gleaning little gems of wisdom on everything from politics to sports to dog shows and other events of importance, I can't believe I can actually bring my own personal fears/concerns/problems to the wise diva.

Anyway, here's my question. I've recently started a side business. Of course, I'm anxious to kick it into high gear and begin selling my products. Now, is it wrong to solicit friends and family? How much is too much? When one starts a business, selling make-up for example, how does one appropriately introduce one's acquaintances to the products without being annoying and manipulative? Do you have any tips to make sure my new business doesn't ruin my old friendships?

Scared to Start Selling


Dear Scared,

Wow. Thanks for the compliments. After all that, I feel a little nervous about coming up with an answer worthy of all that praise.

Here's my main advice: Believe in your product. If you truly believe that your product is a wonderful thing, then you will naturally want to share it with the people you know. So, go ahead and talk about it and encouraging people to try it. If you at it as sharing, then the people you're dealing with will likely feel that way, too. Just don't let it get too personal. If your friends and family don't embrace your wonderful product, then it is really just their loss. Even though you might lose a little financially, they're the ones missing out on the true joy of what you sell.

Good luck to you in your business endeavor.

~ Wild Banshee

If you have a burning question on your mind, please Ask Banshee.

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Quote of the Day 6/14/05 Flag Day

"Shoot if you must, this old grey head,But spare your country's flag," she said.

~ From the poem "Barbara Fritchie" by John Greenleaf Whittier.

Click here to read the full poem. The poem is about a legendary resident of Fredrick, MD who proudly flew Old Glory while Confederate soldiers marched by and about how Stonewall Jackson spared her life.

A Poem for Flag Day

"The Flag Goes By" by Henry Holcomb Bennett

Hats off!
Along the street there comes
A blare of bugles, a ruffle of drums,
A flash of color beneath the sky:
Hats off!
The flag is passing by!

Blue and crimson and white it shines
Over the steel-tipped, ordered lines.
Hats off! The colors before us fly
But more than the flag is passing by.

Sea-fights and land-fights, grim and great,
Fought to make and to save the State:
Weary marches and sinking ships;
Cheers of victory on dying lips;

Days of plenty and years of peace;
March of a strong land's swift increase;
Equal justice, right and law,
Stately honor and reverend awe;

Sign of a nation, great and strong
To ward her people from foreign wrong:
Pride and glory and honor, --all
Live in the colors to stand or fall.

Hats off! Along the street there comes
A blare of bugles, a ruffle of drums;
And loyal hearts are beating high:
Hats off! The flag is passing by!

Greatest Pillow Ever

We all know that the right pillow can really make or break a night's sleep. Who hasn't spent the night in a hotel where the pillow was either flat like a pancake or round like a basketball? Most of the time we really don't realize how awful the pillow is until morning rolls around.

Well, the Banshee recently bought a new pillow. And boy, has it changed my life! Prior to getting the pillow, I just assumed that it was natural to wake up with a slight headache and a stiff neck. Turns out this isn't the case at all.

The most wonderful pillow on the planet can be purchases at Bed, Bath and Beyond for under $50. I do not know the exact brand name because I removed the tag. But, the pillow is synthetic down. Basically, this means that it feels exactly like down but doesn't have any prickles poking through and doesn't get mushed all flat right away. The pillow is advertised as the ultimate side-sleeper. I think this is because there are actual side walls on this pillow. Those side walls allow the pillow to keep its shape under you without requiring bunching and balling. But, rest assured, the pillow still feels comfy when you lie on your back.

I realize that pillows are kind of a personal thing and that everyone has their own subtle preferences. But, if any of you are preparing for a new pillow purchase, I strongly encourage you to check out the synthetic down at Bed, Bath and Beyond.

Monday, June 13, 2005

Quote of the Day 6/13/05

"Jealousy is the art of injuring ourselves more than others." Alexandre Dumas

Bolton or Dr.Ah

"Has anyone else noticed that the leader of Israel and the Little Mermaid have the same first name? No wonder there's no peace in the Middle East. How can you be keep a straight face around a big, fat dude named Arial?"

Hmmm. Good point.

I found this gem on Dr.Ah's blog. Since Dr.Ah is clearly a genius of international politics, perhaps the President should consider withdrawing his nomination of John Bolton for ambassador to the U.N. and consider nominating Dr.Ah instead.

Smooth Criminal

"You've been hit by
You've been struck by -- a smooth criminal."
You gotta figure that those lyrics blared out of the speakers in Michael Jackson's black SUV as he pulled away from the Santa Barbara County Courthouse this afternoon. That's because, as you know, the King of Pop was acquitted of all charges. I'm not surprised by the verdict. After all, California already used their one big conviction for this decade on Scott Peterson.

Sunday, June 12, 2005

Quote of the Day 6/12/05

"I don't know who I am sometimes, but I am not the guy I used to be." Mike Tyson, June 11, 2005.

NACAR Update

This week, NASCAR ventured north of the Mason Dixon for the Pocono 500. This is the first of two Nextel Cup races that will be held in Long Pond, PA. The Pocono Raceway is one of the more unique tracks on the circuit. It's a 2.5 mile tri-oval. But, unlike Daytona or Talladega, the turns are sharp and the banking is limited. From above, it really looks a lot like a flat triangle. One would think that the unique nature of this track would give the advantage to the wiley veterans, right? Wrong. Carl Edwards had never even seen this track in person before Friday morning. Edwards said that his only experience with the track had come from video games. Yet, it was Edwards who celebrated with his patented back-flip off the window of his car when the day ended.

This win propelled Edwards from 9th to 4th place in the standings. Jimmie Johnson retained his top points position with a 7th place finish on Sunday. Greg Biffle and Elliott Sadler remain in 2nd and 3rd, respectively, despite the fact that neither had a top 10 finish in this race. Mark Martin rounds out the top 5 thanks to his 5th place finish.

Next week, NASCAR heads to the Michigan International Speedway for the Batman Begins 400.

Porcelain Mike Tyson

(AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

Once known as the Baddest Man on the Planet, Mike Tyson's bizarre boxing career apparently came to an end on Saturday night when he refused to answer the bell for the seventh round against Kevin McBride.

Coming into Saturday's bout, Tyson had lost 2 out of his last 3 fights. This included last summer's fourth-round knockout at the hands of Danny Williams. Nonetheless, Tyson was filled with his usual pre-fight bluster in the days leading up to the McBride fight. At the pre-fight press conference, Tyson promised that he would "gut him like a fish." As it turned out, Mike Tyson was the man with no guts.

According to written accounts, (no, the Banshee did not shell out $49 for PPV on this), the fight was fairly even through the first 5 rounds. Tyson landed some hard shots, but McBride did not waiver.

(AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

Then in the sixth round, spectators witnesses a Tyson meltdown reminiscent of the second Holyfield fight. Tyson had already been warned in the second round for throwing a low blow. In the sixth, Tyson was warned again for an illegal arm bar. Then Tyson was finally penalized 2 points for an intentional headbutt that opened a gash over McBride's left eye. After a brief consultation with doctors, McBride continued the fight. McBride fought well for the remainer of the sixth round. The gigantic Irishman utilized his 38-pound weight advantage by leaning on Tyson. Just before the end of the round, Tyson gave way to the leaning and fell to the canvas.

None of the written accounts indicated that Tyson was hurt by anything McBride threw in the sixth round. And yet, Tyson refused to rise from his stool when the bell sounded to start the seventh round. After the bout, Tyson indicated that he would not fight again. Tyson told ESPN, "I don't have the stomach for this no more. I most likely won't fight again. I'm not going to disrespect the sport by losing to this caliber of fighter. I'm sorry to disappoint. I wish there was some way the fans could get some of their money back."

Now that it's all over for Iron Mike, the Banshee has mixed feelings. Mike Tyson has been part of the sports landscape in America for twenty years. In the mid to late '80's, Mike Tyson was more than just a fighter. He was a force of nature. In a sport known for showbiz glitz, Iron Mike would step into the ring with black shoes, black trunks and no robe. Then he would destroy his foes with a ferocity so great that he struck fear into spectators and opponents alike. Never was this more apparent than when Michael Spinks stepped into the ring on June 27, 1988 in Atlantic City. When you watch the tape of that fight, there is no mistaking the fear in Spinks' eyes as he took the instructions at the center of the ring. That title fight lasted only 90 seconds.

But, all that was 17 years ago. The man who once ruled the boxing world with his iron fists spent his last moments inside the ring sitting on his stool. He had been beaten by the sort of plodding, heavy fighter that one normally only sees in the early phases of an EA video game. Although the Banshee had once despised Mike Tyson more than any other athlete on the planet, I actually did feel a little lump in my throat as I watched this broken man end his career in such disgrace.