Thursday, July 16, 2009

Riverdogs Choke On Their Bats

The Charleston Riverdogs swallowed their bats last night right down to the handles! They are probably still choking today. On a night when the Riverdogs hosted a "Go Back To Ohio Night -A Salute To Choke Artists" promotion, the only ones choking were the hosts! Four, count 'em, four lousy hits and only two of those came off the starter! Poetic justice, I guess. Probably had it coming and the baseball gods delivered. That happens sometimes when you ridicule other people, especially those who are better than anyone in your immediate area. It comes back to bite you in the ass! Anyone who plays any sport knows it is not a good idea to tempt the gods. Let's just hope they don't decide to stage a "Salute To Hitless Wonders Night" any time soon!! Or, if you are from Ohio, hope they do!
You had it coming, 'Dogs!! "That's what you get" as my friend Nolan would say!!

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Saving The USS Laffey

If you have read my blog before, you know how strongly I feel about preserving our historical monuments. Therefore, it is with mixed feelings that I read about the South Carolina legislature authorizing a loan of $9.2 million for repairs to the Laffey, "The Ship That Would Not Die".

I am all for saving this gallant warship so that future generations can walk her decks and get a feel for what happened on them and the sacrifices that were made for their freedom. I want them to understand how men fought and died not only to protect their own lives, but the lives of future generations.

However, I still believe that spending that much money on repairs and then dunking that grand old dame right back into the salty harbor water is foolish! In another 10, 15 or 20 years, we are going to be right back in the same spot we are now, the proud owners of an historical warship that is leaking like a sieve through the hundreds of holes in her hull caused by the cumulative effects of spending decades immersed in saltwater! We just cannot keep throwing money at a problem, we have to fix, or eliminate the root cause of the problem. We should not be passing this issue on to future generations with the hope that they will be smart enough to find the solution that escaped us.

In short, WE HAVE TO GET THE LAFFEY OUT OF THE WATER FOR GOOD!!!! How, you say? Sorry, I don't have all the answers, but building a dry dock for her seems like a good idea to me. Whether that will work or not is something for the maritime engineers to figure out. But if it WON'T work, then it is imperative that they find a solution that WILL work. I've heard solutions from dredging the harbor and piling the sand around her until it is above the high water mark to filling her lower decks with concrete up TO the water line. Whatever the solution, we need to find it and use it, now!

Start with the Clamagore, the submarine. It is the smallest of the four ships at Patriot's Point and as such should be the easiest to keep out of the water. Work out some of the kinks and then move on to the next largest vessel and do the same thing. Then the next and finally the Yorktown. Let's get this problem fixed NOW and not pass it on to future generations like our government is so wont to do!!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009


I am being lazy today, but the issue is still in the forefront. So, here is a re-post!

I LOVE American history! I love being in the places where the history happened. The battlefield at Yorktown, the freedom trail in Boston ( now THAT will make the hair stand up on the back of your neck, standing in Fanueil Hall where the founding fathers plotted the revolution!) My favorite part of our country's history is WWII, specifically the Pacific Theatre. As a teenager, I devoured every book I could find on the subject. My father had served on an aircraft carrier in that war and I guess that is what sparked my interest.We now have floating museums all around the country as monuments to that war and the men and women who served in it. There are aircraft carriers, battleships, destroyers and submarines that anyone can tour and get a feel for what these brave men endured for our freedom. On the USS Hornet in Alameda I saw where Neil Armstrong took his first steps upon returning from the moon. Heady stuff, these floating monuments, but therein lies the problem. They don't float forever!We have left these venerable ships where they served, in the ocean. The problem with that is, since they are now immobile, they don't get into drydock for their regular repair and refitting that they so desperately need. Salt water has no feelings, no loyalty, no empathy, no patriotic zeal. It destroys everything steel with equal efficiency. And salt water is sinking our naval history.In Charleston, SC, Patriots Point is home to the USS Yorktown, USS Clamagore and "The Ship That Wouldn't Die" the USS Laffey. (You should google the story of how she got her nickname. Goosebumps will follow!) The Laffey is sinking. Eight million dollars is needed to keep her afloat. For a while. Then, more millions will be needed to keep the Yorktown and the Clamagore afloat. For a while. That is the problem, folks, for no matter how much we spend and how good a job is done on the repairs, they will be temporary, for salt water never stops destroying metal.If we want to preserve these magnificent fighting ships so that future generations can see and appreciate how their freedom was saved, then we must get the ships out of the ocean! Spending millions upon millions on constant, repetitive repairs is insane. The rust will not stop. The leaks will continue to appear and the money will continue to be dumped into a bottomless pit.I, for one, do not want to see these monuments to our fathers' sacrifices disappear. And the only way to save them that makes sense to me is to get them out of the water. Building drydocks seems like the best solution to me, but I am neither a ship builder nor an engineer. I don't know what the best solution would be, but those who are experts in the field better come up with one soon because, especially in this economic climate, Americans are NOT going to keep donating money to a cause that is hopeless.Save the ships!! Get them out of the saltwater!! Allow our children and grandchildren the chance to feel the same goosebumps we feel when we go aboard!! They are history. They are important. They need to be saved just as much as the Olde North Church, for they are just as much a part of our history!!

Wednesday, June 3, 2009


The Florida Gators choked away a national championship last night! The number One ranked and highly favored softball team, with a veritable Murderer's Row lineup, left their bats in Gainesville and fell with merely a whimper to a huge underdog, the Washington Huskies. The Gators had been ranked number One most of the season and were expected to cruise to their first national championship in softball. But the games are played on the field and those lofty expectations meant absolutely nothing to the Huskies. Or, apparently, to the Gators, as the Huskies took only two games to win the best-of-three finals.
To be sure, the Huskies do have the national Player of the Year in Danielle Lawrie, but the vaunted Gator offense was supposed to be unstoppable. However, Gator after Gator after Gator walked forlornly back to the dugout after futile trys at hitting Lawrie's pitches. They managed to dent the plate twice in the first inning, but Lawrie shut them down and shut them out the rest of the way.
Taking nothing away from the fine Washington Huskie team, who played hard, hustled relentlessly and never stopped believing in themselves, this Gator team just pulled off one of the biggest choke jobs in the history of the NCAA! In fact, when they get back to Gainesville, they will probably still be gagging!!

Monday, June 1, 2009

Lebron is Wrong!!

Lebron James doesn't understand why he should congratulate and shake hands with the members of the team that just defeated his team. Lebron James doesn't understand that it is defeat that builds character. Lebron James doesn't understand the true essence of sports. Lebron James doesn't understand sportsmanship. Lebron James doesn't understand class.

As a native of the Buckeye State who was rooting for the Cavs, I am appalled at his behavior. Didn't anyone teach Lebron when he was growing up that sore losers are not good people? That sore losers are not fun to be around? That nobody likes a sore loser? That being a sore loser is extremely bad sportsmanship?

"Lebron, it is a game! It is NOT life and death! The other team is not trying to steal your car, your house or kidnap your family. They are just trying to win a GAME, same as you. How often have you seen football players shake hands, smile and embrace each other after a game? And these are people who have just spent three hours attempting to knock each other off their feet! Or, better yet, how often have you seen boxers embrace each other after the final bell? And these are men who have just spent 12 rounds trying to hit each other in the head hard enough to score a knock-out! But, in both cases, the respect for the opponent overpowers the result of the contest just ended. And what you did was show a total lack of respect for, not only the entire Magic team, but the entire NBA. Show a little class, Lebron. Step up and be man enough to admit the other team was better - this time. "

I understand intensity and the will to win. Trust me, people, nobody hates losing more than me! However, having an intense desire to win does in no way excuse Lebron's behavior. EVERYONE in sports has the same desire and most of them understand that when the final buzzer sounds, the game, the struggle and the intensity are over. It is time to be friends again. If Lebron wants his popularity to keep growing ( and, in direct correlation, his endorsements to keep growing ) then he needs to leave the petulant little boy behind and grow up into a man who can accept defeat with the same aplomb as victory. I don't care if he doesn't understand it. I don't care if he doesn't "get it". I don't even care if he doesn't LIKE it. He still needs to DO IT. If not, I am fairly certain that I will not be the only fan he loses.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Craigslist Is Not The Bad Guy

Once again, our nation's elected officials have totally missed the point. It seems every one of them is absolutely certain that, if Craigslist did not have an Erotic section, then Phillip Markoff would not have allegedly murdered Julissa Brisman. Well here's a newsflash for all of you, if these working girls do not advertise on Craigslist then they advertise on scores of other sites that serve the same purpose. And not just on the web. Check the classifieds in your local paper. You will find them there. Check the yellow pages in any good sized city, especially vacation destinations. You will find them there. There is a myriad of other web sites that are used and I would suspect that there are more popping up every day.

The issue isn't Craigslist, the issue is Phillip Markoff and others of his ilk. The issue isn't prostitution, the issue is Phillip Markoff and others of his ilk. If there was no Craigslist and no erotic advertising of any kind any where, is there someone who does not believe that Phillip Markoff would have been cruising dating sites for his victims?

Craigslist merely supplies a vehicle for people to advertise whatever it is they want to advertise. To sell, buy, look for a job, fill a job opening, find a friend, share a ride, etc, etc, etc. It is a godsend to millions of people. The only one culpable here is Phillip Markoff. He has been on a road straight to this for a long time. And it was only a matter of time until it happened. Don't blame anyone else for what he did. Just blame him and hope that he gets what is coming to him. Sooner rather than later.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Washington Politicians Are Idiots!!

Two wars to be fought! Huge economic meltdown to be turned around! Millions losing their jobs and their homes! Pirates running amok and kidnapping hundreds! A pandemic on the horizon! Our infrastructure falling down around our ears! And what is congress considering this week? How to regulate the college football national championship!

What's the matter, Rep. Joe Barton of Texas, all that other stuff too boring for you? Do you really have every other pressing problem in this country solved so that you have time for this inane nonsense?

Come on, people, wake up! College football is fun, it is exciting, it is riveting, it is compelling, but what it is NOT is important to the welfare of our country. Who wins or loses a college football game will not change you life one iota! You will still have to go to work, pay your utility bills, feed your family, buy gas for your car, change diapers, drive the kids all over town, pay your taxes and do housework and yardwork. And your favorite team winning a game will not help you do any of that! So why in the name of Thomas Jefferson is Joe Barton wasting valuable time in Congress crying about the fact that the Longhorns didn't get to play for the BCS version of the national championship? Grow up, Joe! You were not elected to spend your time on such trivial matters. You were not elected to waste the valuable time of your fellow representatives, time that, I am certain, they would much rather be using to solve some serious problems.

As President Andrew Shepherd said in the movie "The American President, "We have serious problems and we need serious people to solve them!" Well Joe, if you don't want to be serious about your job, then resign from it and let someone with a lot more common sense take over. You can then spend all the time you want fretting about your favorite college football team, but I can tell you with upmost certainty that it won't change your life one little bit!