Archive for August, 2010

This is just sick.  What’s even more ridiculous is that it isn’t like it’s a fluke.  He’s hit that shot before, and every time it blows my mind.


Read Full Post »

So despite the weapons poised for imminent mass destruction, an evil dictator hell-bent on world conquest, our American freedoms on the brink of extinction, and a world-class terrorist training system where no child is left behind, I’m starting to think maybe this Iraq War was a bad idea.

Read Full Post »

It was my morning to get up when Gabe got up, so I decided that, since it was so nice outside, we needed to take a walk.  I didn’t want to do the normal walk around the school, and what better place is there to be on a Saturday morning in Beebe than the sale barn.  If you’ve never been to the sale barn it’s really a huge open-air flea market/livestock auction.  Since my land ownership consists only of a lot in town right at, or less than, one acre, and I’ve never had any interest in farming, the flea market portion has always been where I spent my time and money.  There’s really no telling what you can find to buy there.  Need old farm tools?  Over-the-counter medication?  Groceries for cheap?  A puppy?  Dvds?  Guns?  Swords and knives?  Old toys?  Sporting equipment?  They’ve got it all.   If you’re a coin collector, they have at least three coin stands.  The stand where we used to buy NES games as a kid is still in the same spot, and it still sells some NES and SNES games although it has expanded up to the current generation.  One thing I didn’t notice was baseball cards.  I can remember as a kid there being about five baseball card stands right in a row as you came in.

That’s not to say that the sale barn hasn’t changed much over the years.  It’s changed quite a bit even since the last time I was there.  Admittedly that’s been a couple of years, but it was still surprising.  Now next to the guy selling a zillion different baseball caps, you have a stand selling films only in Spanish.  Or next to the guy with all the sunglasses, you have a table of CDs and a radio playing that same Latin American music you hear in Mexican restaurants.  Apparently the swelling Hispanic community has embraced the Beebe sale barn, and I think the place is better for it.

Nowhere is this more apparent than the food.   There are lots of food stands at the sale barn, but now besides just hot dogs on a stick, you have a wide variety of Hispanic foods to choose from.  There are stands selling tacos and quesadillas.  There was a fruit drink stand with all kinds of delicious looking concoctions on display in huge jars that must have held five gallons each.  There was a lady with a stock pot that almost filled the back end of her SUV selling tamales for $1.00.    Everything looked fresh – in fact at most places you could watch them cook it in their giant skillets – and it all smelled delicious.  A lot of the stands even had the same look and feel as places I’ve been to in Nicaragua, Honduras, and Belize.  It was a really cool brush with Hispanic culture that I wasn’t at all expecting to have this morning.  A lot of people around here have never had the opportunity to go to Latin America, and they’ve probably never had that experience.  I think it’s great that they can get a small idea of what’s it’s like just by going to the sale barn on Saturday morning.  Now I want to go back with some money, gorge myself, and pretend I’m visiting Latin America.

Regional food was well-represented also.  We walked by a barbecue stand that smelled awesome, and saw people eating smoked sausage on a bun as big around as my fist.  It never occurred to me to go to the sale barn for the culinary delights, but I may have to start making regular pilgrimages.

Next time I’ll bring my camera so there will be some visual evidence.  I forget my camera too often.

Read Full Post »

Forget all that nonsense about moral dilemmas, hitchhiker’s guides, teaching, and dickens.  Here’s the good stuff – a random Wikipedia article.   This week’s subject is:

The University of Finance and Administration.

You might be fooled by the name into thinking this is in the USA, but it’s not.  It’s a business school in the Czech Republic.  I think Wikipedia should have used the original name, Vysoká škola finanční a správní o.p.s.  It’s not as tricky that way.

Read Full Post »

In yesterdays post I claimed that “I had a dickens of a time…”  spelling a word, and I have to admit that I looked up dickens because I wasn’t sure if it should be capitalized or not.  You see, I knew what it meant and its proper usage, but after I wrote it, I started wondering what it referred to.  Maybe it was a proper noun, such as a reference to Charles Dickens, and saying “I had a dickens of a time getting here.”  really meant “The journey here was long, but through a series of elaborate and improbable coincidences I finally arrived along with these other people who I at first didn’t think were in any way connected with me.”  or “The journey here, like Victorian England, was rough.”

When I did look it up I found that it was actually a reference to the Devil or at least a devil, and usually used as an exclamation.   So saying “What the devil!”, “What the dickens!”, and, my favorite,  “What the deuce!”  mean the same thing.  I think “What the deuce!” may become my exclamation of choice.

As I read the definition of dickens I realized I’d heard all of this before and had just forgotten it, or at least my mind was telling me that to save face.  But what the deuce do I know?

The picture at the top is of Charles Dickens staring thoughtfully off into space.  I imagine he’s in the middle of writing Great Expectations and trying to figure out what direction it’s going, much like I was when I read it in the ninth grade.

I’ve also decided that with a name like Charles Dickens he should have written more religious-themed horror that we could adapt into movies like The Omen, The Exorcist, and Jesus Camp.

Read Full Post »

I’m a huge fan of Pearl Jam.  They rank right up with The Beatles as my favorite musical artists of all time.  In the summer of ’09 I was able to see Eddie Vedder perform a solo show at the Orpheum in Memphis and it was an amazing night.

I just found out about this the other day, when my good friend Clint emailed it to me.  Eddie Vedder is going to be doing an acoustic performance a few miles down the road from me.  So what’s the problem?

It’s a benefit for the West Memphis Three.

Why is that a moral dilemma?  Easy, I don’t know if they’re innocent or not.   The problem is, I’ve never seen the documentary, I’ve never read any of the books, and I only know the barest facts about the case and what Pearl Jam tells me.   So if I bought a ticket and went to this, would I be doing my part to help free psychotic child-killers, or innocent men who basically got sent to prison as kids for wearing black and listening to heavy metal music.  I tend to lean towards the latter, because mostly what you do hear about this case is the fight to have it retried due to an alleged lack of evidence and the fact that the defense attorney was apparently incompetent.  Also, that’s what Pearl Jam tells me.

Of course since the members of Pearl Jam have definitely devoted their time and presumably devoted their money to this cause, and I’ve bought all of their albums, I’ve probably contributed in an indirect way anyway.  Now I’m going to watch the documentary so if this situation ever arises again I’ll be able to make a firm decision.

In reality it’s all a moot point anyway.  I’ll be out of town this weekend.  Also, I had a dickens of a time trying to spell “dilemma”.

I’ll leave you with the only YouTube clip I could find of that magical night at the Orpheum.

Read Full Post »

I’ve just finished re-reading The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy trilogy, and I’m wondering what to do.  There is a sixth book now titled And Another Thing… by Eoin Colfer who is not Douglas Adams, the original author.  Douglas Adams, sadly, died in 2001.   I’m debating whether or not I want to read this book.  I’ve been a huge fan of the Hitchhiker series ever since I first played the original text adventure on the computer as a kid, but I have to admit after this recent re-reading that the fifth book, Mostly Harmless, is pretty weak compared to the others.   I have trouble imagining a different author filling Adams’s shoes and it not feel like bland imitation, but the mostly positive reviews on Amazon have me intrigued.   Are there any times when an author has taken another author’s characters and done things at least as good with them?

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »