Sunday, March 20, 2005

Quote of the Day 3/20/05 Palm Sunday

"Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord. Blessed is the King of Israel." John 12:13

Banshee Polling

Polling results: This poll asked readers if they had ever walked out of a movie. Since there was very low voter turnout after one week, I left this poll up for a second week. Then, something weird happened. About one hundred people voted in the last two days. That just doesn't make sense. The final tally told us that 111 people had walked out of a movie while only 11 people had not. But, like I said, I think something fishy was going on here.

New Poll: This week, Banshee Blog wants to know: Which TV show is Mark Burnett's greatest creation?


I already wrote this post two times, but it got erased through technical difficulties. Enough is enough. So, this is the abbreviated version.

The race was in Atlanta. Carl Edwards won. Dale, Jr., Jeff Gordon and Kurt Busch all did lousy. Jimmie Johnson finished second. He is the new points leader.

There is no race next week. Good southern boys don't race on Easter Sunday.

Saturday, March 19, 2005

Quote of the Day 3/19/05

"If you reveal your secrets to the wind you should not blame the wind for revealing them to the trees." Kahlil Gibran

Friday, March 18, 2005

Quote of the Day 3/18/05

"The best way to predict the future is to invent it." Alan Kay

Mad Methodists

One of the most interesting things about the blogosphere is that it connects readers and writers with people who hold all different points of view. I recently ran across this little tidbit by following a link on a blog that was linked to one of my friend's blogs.

I discovered that there is a segment of the United Methodist Church that is extremely angry with our President. George W. Bush is a Methodist. But, if a certain group of Methodists gets its wish then he may not be a Methodist for ever.

These Methodists have set up an online petition dedicated to ex-communicating the President from the United Methodist Church. I am not familiar with the Book of Discipline of the United Methodist Church, so I don't know how accurately the Methodist positions are stated. I will say, however, that those calling for the President's removal from the church basically want him to be ex-communicated for being a conservative.

Here is the conclusion of the petition:

We, the undersigned, are also very much disturbed by President Bush's many
references to the significance of Christian faith in the decisions that he has
made as President of the United States. George W. Bush has called Jesus his
"favorite philosopher", said that Jesus changed his life, and that his decisions
are often guided by prayer. In fact, we feel that most of his actions as
president have directly contradicted the philosophy of Jesus. Jesus said to
feed, clothe, and shelter the "least of these", not to starve, strip, and bomb

We are also concerned that the respondents seem completely ignorant of
their denomination's stances on many weighty moral issues and have consistently
ignored the advice and pleadings of their own Council of Bishops. We, the
undersigned, recognize that the Methodist tradition is founded on both support
and accountability. Our leaders and our members have tried to support the
respondents with prayers and petitions, but we fear it has been to no avail. At
this point, we cannot be expected to "encourage and enjoin obedience to the
powers that be" (2000 Discipline, p.66) when they are reckless and irresponsible
with power given them by our democratic process.

Now is the time to hold them accountable, or to be judged ourselves by God
for not doing so.

Thursday, March 17, 2005

Quote of the Day 3/17/05 St. Patrick's Day

"The Irish are a fair people - they never speak well of one another." Samuel Johnson

Congress and Baseball

As I write this post, I am struggling to think of a day when I was less proud of our government than today. While our soldiers are still in Iraq and while our citizens are concerned about Social Security, one congressional committee dedicated an entire day to investigating the use of steroids in baseball. This was one of the most egregious examples of petty grandstanding that I have ever seen.

Congress brought in the mothers of young athletes who died as a result of steroid use. Then they trotted in a collection of current and former players to grill them for a bit. Last, but certainly not least, Congress brought in representatives of the business side of baseball, including Bud Selig and Don Fehr.

Some Representatives insisted that the purpose of the hearings was to address the growing public safety issue of steroid use. The thinking of those individuals is that baseball's weak drug policy has greatly contributed to the supposed rise in 'roid use amongst teen athletes. Other representatives stated that the purpose of the hearings was to preserve the integrity of America's pasttime. What?!?! Correct me if I'm wrong, but I don't remember preserving the integrity of baseball being listed anywhere amongst the Congressional duties laid out in Article 1 of the Constitution.

Since I was working, the only part of the hearings that I really got to watch was the third panel of witnesses which included Bud Selig and Don Fehr. Selig is the Commissioner of Baseball. Fehr is the head of the Players Association (the union). Before this day, I really did not like Fehr. The idea of a union for multi-million dollar athletes just kind of makes me mad. I didn't have much use for Bud Selig, either, after he ended the 2002 All-Star game in a tie. But, at the end of all this nonesense, I had a great respect for both of them. While self-important congressmen continually misprounounced their names, both men remained calm and respectful as they explained time and again that the current drug policy in baseball is the best thing they could come up with through collective bargaining.

My condemnation of these hearings should not be interpreted as a disinterest in the issue of steroids in baseball. I hate the idea that some players are using illegal drugs to slant competition in their favor. I feel sad that the era of baseball during which I grew up will be forever tainted by this cloud. And I feel betrayed to know that Mark McGuire probably cheated his way through that magical summer of '98. And yet, I don't feel like any of this is really Congress' business.

The steroids in question are illegal. They are federally controlled substances. It is against the law to use them -- or, at the very least, to sell them. If the federal government wants to stamp out these substances, it has the power to do that. It is the government's responsibility to enforce the law, not Mr. Selig's and not Mr. Fehr's. There are certainly plenty of reasons (most of them being dollars) why Major League Baseball has an interest in getting rid of steroids on their own. But, if Congress wants to end the use of steroids in baseball, then all they need to do is lean on the Department of Justice to start enforcing existing laws with gusto. This is not the responsibility of Major League Baseball.

Madness is Here

Sports fans wait 365 days for this day to roll around. This is Day 1 of the NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament ... a.k.a. The Big Dance. At the start of the day, 64 teams still have a dream of winning the national championship. At the end of the day, 16 teams will be on their way home. 16 more will be eliminated tomorrow.

The beauty of this tournament is that on any given day, any given team can beat any other. This may sound like an overstatement, but history tell us that no one is safe even in the early rounds of the tournament. The other beauty of this tournament is that a champion will be crowned through a scoreboard rather than through voting. Win and you advance. Lose and you go home. This tournament captures the purest essence of sports.

Wednesday, March 16, 2005

Quote of the Day 3/16/05

"I often quote myself. It adds spice to my conversation." George Bernard Shaw

Ask Banshee

Dear Banshee,

What do you think of internet dating services? Are they dangerous, desperate, or a waste of time???

~ Wired


Dear Wired,

This is a topic that has puzzled me for quite some time. Dating services in general make me skiddish. You never know who you might be interacting with. This seems even more true with the Internet. That 27 year-old with an MBA and a love of children could be any slob in a sweaty tee shirt down in their basement. My gut reaction is that it's just kind of a weird thing to do.

However, Wild Banshee firmly believes in giving more weight to facts and history than to emotional hunches. One of my college roommates and one of my cousins found the loves of their lives online. They are now living in wedded bliss. One of my other close friends is also involved in a serious relationship with a girl he met through the Internet (though I don't believe a match-making service was involved).

One advantage to meeting a person online is that a couple has the opportunity to get to know each other through corespondance before anything physical starts to mess with their thought process. So, I'd have to say that Internet dating services are no worse than any other spouse finding technique.

~ Wild Banshee

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

Tuesday, March 15, 2005

Quote of the Day 3/15/05

"No matter what side of the argument you are on, you always find people on your side that you wish were on the other." Jascha Heifetz

Legend of the Banshee

When I started this blog, I didn't know much about the historical legends behind banshees. I first heard of banshees while playing an adventure game on my Commodore 64. They were quick and scary. I knew they were sort of ghostlike. I also knew that they were associated with screaming. I mostly knew that "banshee" was a cool sounding word.

A couple of weeks ago, I ran across a website about banshees. The myths originated in the British Isles. The myths seem to vary from location to location. But, all the myths seem to agree that banshees are females and that they are quite the nasty characters. Whether they are resposible for deaths or just come to give warnings of impending death seems to be up for debate. However, everyone agrees that you don't really wanna hear the Wail of the Banshee (link to the website).

Wail of the Banshee ends its article with a Highland legend. The legend concules, "Highland legends tell us that any man bold enough to creep up behind the Banshee and grab her breast will be granted a wish. It's not known if any man has succeded."

Don't get any ideas, readers.

Monday, March 14, 2005

Quote of the Day 3/14/05

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

Top Dog -- Finally

After disappointment two years in a row at the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show, Coco will end her career on perhaps the ultimate high note. Today, Coco won the Crufts dog show in Birmingham, England. Victory was sweet. While Westminster is America's most prestigious dog show, Crufts is perhaps the world's most prestigious dog show. Wild Banshee has made no secret of the fact that she believes the Coco is the most adorable and lovable dog in the world, so this comes as no surprise to the Banshee. Coco defeated over 21,000 dogs to capture this coveted cup. And, as you can see below, she celebrated in style.

Coco's handler, Peter Green, announced that Crufts was Coco's last competition. What a way to end a career! Now Coco will have time to concentrate on raising her three young pups.

Sunday, March 13, 2005

Quote of the Day 3/13/05

"A committee is usually a group of uninformed, appointed by the unwilling to accopmplish the unnecessary." Syd Thrift

NACAR Update

After taking a week off, the boys of NASCAR got back in action in Las Vegas, Nevada. This is Kurt and Kyle Busch's hometown.

I didn't watch more than just a few brief minutes of today's race. The ACC conference championship game was still going on when the race began. When the game ended and I flipped the channel over to FOX, I saw Junior with steam coming up from under his mashed up hood. He had already wrecked. So, I played some video games and watched the NCAA basketball selection show instead of the rest of the race. I did see the last 5 laps, though.

At the close of the day, it was Jimmie Johnson who captured the victory out in the desert. Extending back to last year, this was Johnson's 5th win in the last 9 races. Rookie Kyle Busch delighted the hometown fans with a second place finish. Older brother Kurt came in third.

Today's win vaulted Jimmie Johnson past Kurt Busch and into first place in the championship standings. After the first three races of the season, Greg Biffle is in third and Jeff Gordon is in fourth. Carl Edwards rounds out the top five.

Next week: The Golden Corral 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway.

Banshee Polling

Polling here on Banshee Blog has kind of fallen into a lull. Last week's poll had extremely low voter turnout. That was a difficult question, though. This week had equally low turnout. However, this was an easy question. Almost everybody goes to movies, so almost everybody could have a vote here. So, this poll will continue for another week.

Saturday, March 12, 2005

Quote of the Day 3/12/05

"Prosperity is only an instrument to be used, not a deity to be worshipped." Calvin Coolidge

Vanity Plates

Here in the Old Dominion, vanity license plates are not expensive. As a result, they are plentiful. Most are pretty standard. Initials. A first name. Stuff like that. But, some are pretty unique. A lot of cars have sports related plates. A car that I park near everyday has a plate that reads "5 FAN" in honor of Terry Labonte. Too bad that Kyle Busch drives that car now. One of Baby Sister's co-workers has plates that read "HAIL DC" in honor of the Redskins (Hint: "Hail to the Redskins ...."). A die-hard Virginia Tech fan over in Lynchburg has plates that read "HOO HTR" to show his disdain for UVA.

I actually got the idea for this post when I was boxed in by two cars with vanity plates. The plates directly in front of me said, "2ENLOVE." That kind of made me roll my eyes. I glanced to my left to pass that lovey-dovey car and saw perhaps the ultimate vanity plate message. It said, "READ THS."

If you have a cool vanity plate or have seen something clever, please leave a comment.

That's Where I Come From

Locust Summit Breaker, Locust Summit, PA
(near the Merrian Patch, outside Locust Dale; torn down in October, 2002)

This picture came from a website called

I spend a lot of time on this blog talking about stuff that happens in my new home state of Virginia. I love living in Virginia, especially here in the southwest part. But, I'm a coal region girl at heart. If you don't know what that is, then by all means, follow the link. And, if you're a coal region native yourself, you'll definitely enjoy the site. It features a coal region dictionary, a guide to local patch towns (again, follow the link if you don't know what that is) and top ten lists of block parties, pizza parlors and sleigh riding sites. Spending a spending some time at this website might give you a little insight into the inner workings of Wild Banshee.

Friday, March 11, 2005

Quote of the Day 3/11/05

"The more I want to get something done, the less I call it work." Richard Bach

Two connected stories

I don't normally post messages that I get from forwarded emails. But, these two stories just really captured my attention. I don't know if this is all true or not, but I choose to believe it. Thank you to Cyndee Hawk for passing this on to the Banshee.


Many years ago, Al Capone virtually owned Chicago. Capone wasn't famous for anything heroic. He was notorious for enmeshing the windy city in everything from bootlegged booze and prostitution to murder.

Capone had a lawyer nicknamed "Easy Eddie." He was his lawyer for a good reason. Eddie was very good! In fact, Eddie's skill at legal maneuvering kept Big Al out of jail for a long time. To show his appreciation, Capone paid him very well. Not only was the money big, but Eddie also got special dividends. For instance, he and his family occupied a fenced-in mansion with live-in help and all of the conveniences of the day. The estate was so large that it filled an entire Chicago City block. Eddie lived the high life of the Chicago mob and gave little consideration to the atrocity that went on around him.

Eddie did have the one soft spot, however. He had a son that he loved dearly. Eddie saw to it that his young son had the best of everything: clothes, cars and a good education. Nothing was withheld. Price was no object. And, despite his involvement with organized crime, Eddie even tried to teach him right from wrong. Eddie wanted his son to be a better man than he was. Yet, with all his wealth and influence, there were two things he couldn't give his son. He couldn't pass on a good name and a good example.

One day, Easy Eddie reached a difficult decision. Easy Eddie wanted to rectify wrongs he had done. He decided he would go to the authorities and tell the truth about Al "Scarface" Capone, clean up his tarnished name and offer his son some semblance of integrity. To do this, he would have to testify against The Mob, and he knew that the cost would be great. So, he testified. Within the year, Easy Eddie's life ended in a blaze of gunfire on a lonely Chicago Street. But in his eyes, he had given his son the greatest gift he had to offer, at the greatest price he would ever pay. Police removed from his pockets a rosary, a crucifix, a religious medallion and a poem clipped from a magazine. The poem read:

The clock of life is wound but once,
And no man has the power
To tell just when the hands will stop
At late or early hour.
Now is the only time you own.
Live, love, toil with a will.
Place no faith in time.
For the clock may soon be still.


World War II produced many heroes. One such man was Lieutenant Commander Butch O'Hare. He was a fighter pilot assigned to the aircraft carrier. Lexington in the South Pacific.

One day his entire squadron was sent on a mission. After he was airborne, he looked at his fuel gauge and realized that someone had forgotten to top off his fuel tank. He would not have enough fuel to complete his mission and get back to his ship. His flight leader told him to return to the carrier. Reluctantly, he dropped out of formation and headed back to the fleet.

As he was returning to his air craft carrier, he saw something that turned his blood cold. A squadron of Japanese aircraft were speeding their way toward the American fleet. The American fighters were gone on a sortie, and the fleet was all but defenseless. He couldn't reach his squadron and bring them back in time to save the fleet. Nor could he warn the fleet of the approaching danger.

There was only one thing to do. He must somehow divert them from the fleet. Laying aside all thoughts of personal safety, he dove into the formation of Japanese planes. Wing-mounted 50 caliber's blazed as he charged in, attacking one surprised enemy plane and then another. Butch wove in and out of the now broken formation and fired at as many planes as possible until all his ammunition was finally spent. Undaunted, he continued the assault. He dove at the planes, trying to clip a wing or tail in hopes of damaging as many enemy planes as possible and rendering them unfit to fly. Finally, the exasperated Japanese squadron took off in another direction.

Deeply relieved, Butch O'Hare and his tattered fighter limped back to the carrier. Upon arrival he reported in and related the event surrounding his return. The film from the gun-camera mounted on his plane told the tale. It showed the extent of Butch's daring attempt to protect his fleet. He had, in fact, destroyed five enemy aircraft. This took place on February 20, 1942, and for that action, Butch became the Navy's first Ace of WW II and the first Naval aviator to win the Congressional Medal of Honor.

A year later Butch was killed in aerial combat at the age of 29. His hometown would not allow the memory of this WW II hero to fade, and today, O'Hare Airport in Chicago is named in tribute to the courage of this great man. So the next time you find yourself at O'Hare International, give some thought to visiting Butch's memorial displaying his statue and his Medal of Honor. It's located between Terminals 1 and 2.


Butch O'Hare was Easy Eddie's son.

Thursday, March 10, 2005

Quote of the Day 3/10/05

"I have always found that mercy bears richer fruits than strict justice." Abraham Lincoln

The Contender

On Monday night, NBC debuted a new TV show. It's called The Contender. The show is the brainchild of Mark Burnett and Sylvester Stallone. Sly and Sugar Ray Leonard are the hosts. This show is sort of a hybrid between a legit sporting event and a reality TV show. Of course, the Banshee loves it.

The show started out with 16 boxers. The last man standing will get a chance at a $1 million title fight. The boxers are divided into two teams. There is an East team and a West team, and it's based on the hometowns of the fighters. Each week there is a challenge and a boxing match. The challenges are tough, manly tasks like dragging logs up a mountain in 100 degree heat. The winning team gets to choose who will fight from their team. They also get to choose who will fight from the other team. Then, those two men have a legitimate, 5-round boxing match that counts on their professional records. The winner stays. The loser goes home.

The quality of this show is outstanding. The boxers are not just tough guys who think they could beat a champ. They are real boxers. I've seen some of them on ESPN before. The camera work on the fighting is fantastic. The show is also enjoyable because NBC allows us to know these men. We see a lot of footage of the boxers playing with their children, talking with their fathers and praying with their wives. For the most part, they seem like very nice, very likeable guys.

But, the best part of this show is that there is no need for Survivor-style back-stabbing or alliances. In this show, if you don't like someone, you will get to punch that person in the face for five rounds. Popularity has nothing to do with anything. If you win your fights, you get to stay. If you lose your fight then you have no one but yourself to blame.

The second episode of The Contender will air tonight on NBC at 10 p.m. -- after The Apprentice. I think it's regular night will be Sunday, but I am not sure. If you want to catch up on what you missed from Monday, Yahoo! has generously provided the Internet public with an extensive recap of the first episode. It was great, so I highly recommend reading it.

Wednesday, March 09, 2005

Quote of the Day 3/9/05

"The trouble with being punctual is that nobody's there to appreciate it." Franklin P. Jones

Ask Banshee

Dear Banshee,

My mother helped me pick out a great college and a great grad school. Should I also let her help me pick out a husband?

A Darling Daughter


Dear Darling,

I guess the first thing you need to decide is whether or not your mother has demonstrated skill in husband selecting. If your mother is unwed or married a moron, then perhaps she is not a good person to involve in your husband search. Of course, we all change and grow, so even that is not an automatic disqualifier. However, if your mother is happily married to a man you respect, then she has already proven that she has some skill in spousal selection.

If you are actively looking for a husband, then you would be foolish to disregard the aid of a proven expert. On the other hand, there are some practical limitations to the aid that any third party can provide in a husband search. For one thing, there is the problem of knowing what men are actually looking for wives. Information about colleges and grad schools is available in catalogues. So far, Princeton Review has not put out an eligible bachelor volume. Of course, if your mother lives in your neighborhood, then she might have already compiled her own catalogue of the men in your area. But, the main obstacle to a mother's help is getting the target husband to be interested in you. I'm not sure what your mother can do about that. His mother ... well, that might be a different story. His friends are probably the most useful asset in this department.

Most importantly, though, it has to be your idea. If the whole husband hunt is your mom's idea then it ain't gonna pan out anyway. But if it is your idea, then by all means, take advantage of every resource at your disposal.

~ Wild Banshee

If you have a burning question, please Ask Banshee.

If the Pants Fit??

This is a saga that every woman can relate to and no man can ever really understand. Yesterday I decided it was finally time to get a new pair of pants.

I went to the mall and (this is no lie) tried on over 100 pairs of pants and found only 4 that fit. Now I don’t want you to start thinking that I just didn’t like the other 96, or that the other 96 were out of my price range. Oh no, the fact is that not even the most impatient husband could have brought himself to say, “Buy those, honey, you look just fine.”

And don’t be tempted to think, “What’s wrong with this woman’s body?” Trust me, if I passed you on the street you would not even notice me. I’m just average (for a middle aged woman that is). No, this is just another one of those inequities in life. Men can ask a stranger to pick them up a pair of 36/32s and they’ll wear them that afternoon. Women on the other hand need to spend an entire day out of their busy lives just trying to find four pairs of pants that fit and two of those will still have to be hemmed!

I’m trying to look upon this experience as another reminder of why heaven will be so great. When I get there I’ll simply walk up to the gates and say, “I’ll take that one size fits all robe please!”

(A special note of thanks should be given to my tireless and encouraging sisters who helped me find four pairs of pants that fit.)

Tuesday, March 08, 2005

Quote of the Day 3/8/05

"There is no starting in dirty fighting. Life is one big fight from the day you're born till the day you die." Dewey during a fighting lesson on Malcolm in the Middle.

Calling for Questions

The "Ask Banshee" resevior of questions has almost run dry. So, if you have anything at all on your mind, please Ask Banshee. Oh, and you don't actually have to be looking for an answer to your question. You could just be wondering what the Banshee would say about the topic.

Monday, March 07, 2005

Quote of the Day 3/7/05

"A man's manners are a mirror in which he shows his portrait." Goethe (taken from Mrs. Dunwoody's Excellent Instructions for Homekeeping).

March Madness

The NCAA Tournament is still 10 days away, and the major conference tournaments don't even start until later in the week. But the madness of March came early, complete with nail-biting finishes and huge upsets. Yesterday, the #1, #3 and #7 teams all fell to unranked opponents. And, oh yeah, there was one other game on the slate. The #2 ranked Tarheels of North Carolina hosted the #6 ranked Duke Blue Devils.

In the early game of the day, top-ranked and undefeated Illinois traveled to Columbus to take on Ohio State. Ohio State is on self-imposed probation and is therefore ineligible for the NCAA tournament. So, this was basically the last hurrah for the Buckeyes. And what a hurrah it was! Matt Sylvester his a 3-pointer with 5.1 seconds remaining to give Ohio State a 1-point victory.

(AP Photo/Jay LaPrete)

But, that was just the start of the day's action. The #3 Kentucky Wildcats had already wrapped up the regular season SEC title, but they still had a date reamaining with the Florida Gators -- their chief conference rival. Though Florida has a respectable program, the Gator seniors had never beated the Wildcats. Until today, that is. Anthony Roberson hit two free throws with twelve seconds remaining to give the Gators a 53-52 lead. Florida's defense then preserved the victory.

Meanwhile, #7 Kansas was finishing up their regular season by taking on their arch rival, the Missouri Tigers. Missouri has had a dissapointing season and came into this day with a losing record. But, today they were 4 points better than the mighty Jayhawks.

And then there was Duke-Carolina. North Carolina came in ranked #3, and Duke was ranked #6. North Carolina was playing for the regular season ACC title, but they had lost their first match-up against Duke earlier in the year. But, that game was played at Cameron. This game was in Chapel Hill. Carolina held a slim lead for most of the game despite the fact that Rashad McCants was out with an illness. But Duke pulled out to a 9-point lead with only 3:07 remaining. Then Carolina's defense came alive. Duke didn't score again. The Tarheels ended the game on a 9-0 run and won the game by a score of 75-73. I'm not a Carolina fan or a Duke fan, but the end of this game actually gave me chills.

(AP Photo/Gerry Broome)

Rah is Back

After taking several months off, frequent Banshee Blog contributor, Daniel Rah has revived his personal blog. The blog is entitled I Kissed English Goodbye. Don't worry, though. Rah's blog is published in English. Rah occassionally tackles the serious issues of our day, but he mostly offers commentary on the events of his daily life. If you scroll back and explore the archives, you can read all about Mr. Rah's summer in Honduras. It's all very enlightening and entertaining. I've added a link to I Kissed English Goodbye to Banshee Blog. I labled it Rah's Blog.

Sunday, March 06, 2005

Quote of the Day 3/6/05

"Those were some expensive hotdogs." Virginia Circuit Court judge after a defendant was sentenced to a year in the penitentiary for stealing $3.54 worth of canned meats and Pringles.

Banshee Polling

Poll results: This week's poll asked: If steroid use is proven, should Bonds' records be removed from the record books? 3 voters said "yes." 2 voters said "no." 1 voter said "maybe." No one said "who cares." That adds up to a total of only six six votes. That is very low turnout for a Banshee Blog poll. I think this low turnout may actually be an indication of what a probing question this really is. I think many people refrained from voting because they don't really know what to think about this topic. Wild Banshee herself voted "yes," but it was a tough choice. I almost abstained myself.

New Poll: This poll has nothing to do with anything. It is totally random. Banshee Blog wants to know: Have you ever walked out of a movie?

Banshee Ventures Out

It doesn't take a lot of courage to post my thoughts on various topics here in the relative seclusion of my own blogsite. Venturing out to voice lengthy opinions on someone else's blogsite, well, that's a different story. That's especially true when the blogsite belongs to someone you know.

The author of a blog entitled Inner Monologues recently published a post about the Attorney General of Kansas' recent requests for the medical records from some abortion clinics in the state. This post from Inner Monologues describes the situation pretty fairly and provides a link to a report on the story. Basically, the Kansas AG's office is investigating illegal abortion and statutory rape. In pursuit of this investigation, the Kansas AG's office has demanded the unedited medical records from certain abortion clinics. This request includes the records of approximately 90 patients. Of course, the abortion clinics have resisted. The clinics have offered a compromise of providing edited medical histories that do not include, among other things, the names and addresses of these women and girls.

The author of Inner Monologues is a deep thinking individual and a dear friend of the Banshee. She raises an interesting debate about the conflict between the interests of personal privacy and the power of the state to enforce its laws. The Inner Monologues post pretty clearly takes the position that the Kansas AG has no legitimate reason to be making this request. The overall tone of the post implies that the Kansas AG has some sort of hidden agenda or is trying to satisfy some sort of paternalistic and slightly pruient interest.

As a prosecutor, Wild Banshee could not resist commenting on this post. If you'd like to read some of the Banshee's thoughts on this post and the power and responsibility of prosecutors, follow the link to read the Inner Monologues post and then read the comments.

If you feel the desire to make your own comments at Inner Monologues, please respect the author's desires avoid the underlying debate on the morality of abortion. Comments should be restricted to the topic of the original post.

Saturday, March 05, 2005

Quote of the Day 3/5/05

"Why isn't there a special name for the tops of your feet?" Lily Tomlin

That stinks!

For those of you who do not know, natural gas has no natural odor. That distinctive odor is added to the gas so that people can detect leaks and avoid danger. This weekend, the citizens of Roanoke, Virginia discovered that the odor-adding agent is some pretty nasty stuff. Many people awoke on this Saturday morning to an overwhelming natural gas smell. The hideous stank even invaded the Banshee's lovely abode. Logically fearing a gas leak, many people called 911 and fled from their homes, taking their pets with them.

Although the stench alone caused some people to feel sick to their stomachs, it turns out that there was no need for alarm. There was no natural gas leak. Instead, it was the odor-adding agent that had escaped into the air. Less than a gallon of the smelly stuff was spilled at a recycling plant. But that was enough to stink up houses and business for a several mile radius. Word to the wise: never spill that stuff on your hands.

Friday, March 04, 2005

Quote of the Day 3/4/05

"I am returning this otherwise good typing paper to you because someone has printed gibberish all over it and put your name at the top." An English Professor, Ohio University

Crazy Monkeys

I have never liked monkeys. I have always thought they were creepy and dangerous. This week, I got confirmation of that fact. I also got confirmation of the fact that some animal lovers are just plain crazy.

Earlier this week, there was a vicious chimpanzee attack at the Animal Haven Ranch near Los Angeles, CA. A Bakersfield man had most of his face ripped off by two chimpanzees. The man will likely loose his foot, and he also sustained serious damage to his nether regions. The man's wife also received serious injuries to her hand. A representative of the California Department of Fish and Game said, "It was a very bloody attack, indeed."

Saint James Davis and his wife LaDonna (yeah, those are their real names) were visiting the Animal Haven Ranch so that they could deliver a birthday cake to their former pet chimp, Moe. Moe is no longer living at the Davis' home because Moe assaulted a police officer and bit off a woman's finger during his stay there. But, Moe wasn't the culprit this time. Sometime before the Davis couple arrived, neighboring chimps, Buddy and Ollie, escaped from their cage. While Saint and LaDonna were distracted by their birthday celebration, Buddy and Ollie ambushed the couple and brutally attacked them. The gruesome mauling ended when Buddy and Ollie were shot dead by a relative of the sanctuary's owner.

It is still unknown how the chimps escaped from their cage. It is also unknown whether Mr. Davis at any point exclaimed, "Get your stinking paws off me, you damned dirty ape!"

Thursday, March 03, 2005

Quote of the Day 3/3/05

"No degree of dullness can safeguard a work against the determination of critics to find it fascinating." Harold Rosenberg

Senior Night

High school and college sports teams typically designate their final home games of the year as a night to honor the seniors on the team. It's an emotional time for these players. It's the end of an era, and it's a great chance for the fans and younger players to express their appreciation for the hard work and sacrifices that these seniors have made.

Tonight, it was senior night for the men's basketball team at the University of Louisville. Three seniors were recognized before the game at Freedom Hall. Head coach Rick Patino chose to recognize Francisco Garcia tonight, as well. Garcia is a junior who will be forgoing his senior year and entering the NBA draft.

Garcia is a great basketball player who has done great things for the Cardinals' basketball program. He overcame a very tough childhood to get where he is today. Garcia's mother still lives in the South Bronx in the same neighborhood where her other son was murdered just a year and a half ago.

Garcia is making a good decision in leaving school for the dollars of the NBA. I am happy for him, and wish the best for his family. But, Garcia is not a senior. If I were a Louisville Cardinal, I would have opposed honoring Garcia on senior night. It's called "senior night" for a reason. It is not called "last game night" or "goodbye night." It should belong to the seniors who have stuck it out for four hard years.

Pressure is off

This week, one of my life dreams came true. I was a Nielson family. Not only did I get to tell the ratings people what television shows I watch, but I got paid $10 in cash to do it. Fantastic, right? Eh ... well, yes and no.

It was great to know that my television choices were going to make an impact. But, it really was a lot of pressure. You get a separate diary for each TV in your home, and you have to record everything you watch in those diaries. And, the time slots are divided into 15-minute increments. This Nielson diary began to rule my life. In the morning, I would delay my shower until 6 a.m. so that I could get a good, solid 15 minute mark in the book for SportsCenter. In the evening, I would delay my dinner and watch an extra 15 minutes of PTI on my bedroom TV. And, channel surfing really makes a mess of things. I basically did that in 15-minute segments as well.

My seven days of Nielson ratings came to an end last night. Overall, I would have to say that I felt a sense of relief when I turned on the magic box tonight and flipped through the channels at will. And now if I happen to watch a little Dr. 90210, I can do so in blissful anonymity.

Wednesday, March 02, 2005

Quote of the Day 3/2/05

"Whenever you are asked if you can do a job, tell 'em, 'Certainly I can!' Then get busy and find out how to do it." Theodore Roosevelt

Ask Banshee

Dear Banshee,

I blame nuclear bombs on pacifists. If not for them, someone woulda blown up Germany before they started the second world war. The War necessitated the exodus of european geniuses to the US to seek refuge and a lab where the US hired them to build nuclear weapons. What's the best way to deal with pacifists today?

~ Non Dove


Dear Non Dove,

I'm guessing that when you refer to pacifists, you really mean appeasers. Pacifists are concientious objector types. Quakers and the like. Pacifists had very little to do with the decisions that led to World War II. You are correct that appeasers had a lot to do with the horrendous scope of World War II. Germany should have been stomped on when they first started violating the Treaty of Versailles. Appeasers allowed Germany to become a juggernaut rolling into Poland before anyone did anything. It is an interesting (and probably accurate) observation that appeasers actually accelerated the dawn of the nuclear age.

Heywood Broun once said, “Appeasers believe that if you keep throwing steaks to a tiger, the tiger will turn vegetarian.” Of course, that is silliness. You can throw steaks to a tiger for 100 days in a row, but if there is no steak on day 101, that tiger will bite your arm off first chance it gets. The appeasers of the 1930's threw Germany the steak of the Rhineland. And once that was eaten, Germany took all of France.

But back to your question. If you wanna know what to do with pacifists ... well, tell them watch Friendly Persuasion -- a fine film starring Gary Cooper as a Civil War era Quaker. If you're talking about appeasers ... well, I'd suggest sharing that Broun quotation with them. I'd also challenge them to cite a single example from history of a time when appeasing an aggressor actually worked out for the good of the world. After that, I'd just ignore them and out vote them.

~ Wild Banshee

If you have something pressing on your mind, please Ask Banshee.

Tuesday, March 01, 2005

Quote of the Day 3/1/05

"Search others for their virtues, thyself for thy vices." Benjamin Franklin

Beyond the Wonder Years

When you spend three hours a day commuting, you have time to hear all kinds of things on the radio. Today, I heard my local DJ's interviewing Danica McKellar -- aka Winnie Cooper of the Wonder Years. She was on the radio today because she is making a guest appearance on NYPD Blue's finale tonight.

Since the Wonder Years went off the air, Danica McKellar has been doing relatively little acting. That's because she went off to UCLA where she earned a B.S. in mathematics. Now, she maintains a website where, among other things, you can get Winnie to answer your math questions. The questions that are currently published on the website range from fractions to calculus.

As fascinating as all that is, I learned something even more interesting during this interview. Kevin Arnold's other junior high girlfriend, Becky Slater, was played by Crystal McKellar -- Danica's younger sister. Becky Slater and Winnie Cooper were real life sisters. As it turns out, Danica isn't the only smart one in the family. Crystal McKellar studied economics at Yale before graduating cum laude from Harvard Law School in 2003. Crystal is now a practicing attorney in New York City.

Oh, and despite what you may have heard, Paul Pfiefer did not grow up to be Marilyn Manson. Danica was very clear about this and thought that whole rumor was hilarious. So, what did Paul actually do when he grew up? After a little internet digging, I discovered that instead of worshiping the devil and buying a pair of mismatched contacts, Josh Saviano actually took a similar path to Crystal McKellar. Saviano studied political science at Yale and then went on to law school. He is now a corporate attorney at the New York City law firm of Morrison Cohen. His picture at the Morrison Cohen website reveals that he has aged a bit, but you can still recognize old Paul.