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.