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 ( 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.

Banshee Polling

Since it's been about two months since there was a Banshee Poll, I figured it would be wise to start back into things with a poll that didn't require much thinking. This week's poll is pretty much a gut reaction thing.

This week's poll: Banshee Blog wants to know, "Do you think that the state where you live is the best state in the Union?"

Saturday, June 11, 2005

Quote of the Day 6/11/05

"You may have a fresh start any moment you choose, for this thing that we call 'failure' is not the falling down, but the staying down." Mary Pickford

Banshee is Back

The long national nightmare is over. Wild Banshee has returned to posting. After a two-month break, I am fired up again about blogging. The Banshee now has a new (and hopefully long term) apartment. This apartment features DSL, so posting will be much less of a chore than it was back in the dial-up days.

The formatting and polling glitches that began just before my hiatus are now cured. I also made a small adjustment to the title bar of the blog. Other than that, things should pretty much be returned to normal here at Banshee Blog.

I anticipate that Banshee Blog will once again feature occassional posts from Hawk, Dr.Ah and Mimi. Quote of the Day will be back. Banshee Polling will again be conducted on a daily basis. And, Ask Banshee will resume as a Wednesday feature.

Although, I am a creature of habit, I also believe that you gotta give the people what they want. If you have an idea for a feature that you would like to see included on Banshee Blog, leave a comment or drop Wild Banshee a line. And, as always, if you have a burning question for Wild Banshee, then send an email to Ask Banshee.

Dispelling Some Myths

When Banshee Blog went offline at the beginning of April, rumors ran wild through cyberspace. And, as Wild Banshee's absence continued, those rumors only intensified. Now that I am back, I feel that I owe it to Banshee Blog readers to dispel some of the more prominent myths and rumors.

1. Pope. Since this rumor was actually started right here on Banshee Blog, I will address this first. Wild Banshee did not leave for Rome at the beginning of April in order to position herself for a run at the Papacy. While the Banshee is a product of Catholic school, I am also a female. That pretty much puts me out of the running. Therefore, I concluded that the airfare to Rome would be a waste. However, those in the know have told me that it it weren't for the girl thing I would have had the inside track.

2. Missing the animals. As the Banshee looked ahead at the second year of Banshee Blog, a cold reality did set in. Banshee Blog's animal celebrities, Coco and Smarty Jones, would not be in the news for this second campaign. A lesser blogger might have concluded that it just wasn't worth blogging on without these furry friends. But not the Banshee. After all, I can always post these pictures if we all get lonely.

3. Too embarrassed. Too depressed. Wild Banshee is living in a weird world right now. It is June 11 and the New York Yankees have a losing record. Dale Earnhardt, Jr. is currently not eligible for the NASCAR Chase for the Championship. But, the Banshee did not stop writing because of embarassment or depression. The Banshee's loyalties remain strong and hopes remain high. And, even if that were not the case, it is only three more months until football season, so it's time to start writing about that anyway.

4. Uncovering Deep Throat. No, the Banshee was not MIA due to being too preoccupied with unearthing the true identity of Deep Throat. That would have been real journalism. Anyone who reads this blog regularly knows that the Banshee is no journalist.

5. Ran out of material. Are you kidding? Just keep checking back and you can judge this for yourself.