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The Man of My Dreams

October 19, 2005 at 1:59pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in 625 Elm Street

I slept oddly last night. It was a fairly deep sleep, and yet it wasn’t very restful. I have a vague recollection of dreaming a lot, but I don’t remember any of my dreams. Well, I didn’t remember any of them until I read an article on President Bush just a few moments ago.

One of my dreams is coming back to me. I dreamt about George W. But this wasn’t just any dream about George W. The entire dream was basically a highlights clip of Bush’s verbal goofs, along with peoples’ reactions to them. I recall the goofs being pretty funny—and slightly embarassing—but I can’t remember any specifics. Too bad.

I wonder why my subconscious decided to pick on the president?

Loss of Privacy?

October 18, 2005 at 2:28pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in 625 Elm Street

Let me get this straight: Harriet Miers may or may not support the privacy rights protected by Griswold v. Connecticut. But she’s not really sure. It freaks me out to think that the right wing of the Republican Party wants Griswold overturned. And it really freaks me out that Bush’s nominee for the SCOTUS can’t even clearly enunciate her position on basic privacy rights.

The confirmation hearings are going to be very, very interesting.

De-Thatchification

October 18, 2005 at 2:27pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in 625 Elm Street

I dethatched a small area of the yard last night. I’m too cheap to hire somebody or to rent a machine, so I did it by hand. I’m fairly sore today, but I enjoy the exercise. Afterward I threw on some grass seed. Hopefully the seed will take and next spring I’ll have a much better lawn base. I still want to dethatch and overseed a bit more of the yard, but I don’t know if that’ll happen. I just don’t have the time to do the labor. Plus, fall is passing by awfully quickly.

The grass I planted in the back yard is coming along well. Well, some of it is. The area I planted is fairly small—about 200 square feet. I manually dug up the whole area, worked the soil, and so on. About 2/3 of the area’s grass is coming up just fine. But in the final 1/3, nuthin’. What’s the difference? There’s not a blade of grass in the area that is always in the shadow of our privacy fence. That area is fairly large right now due to the autumn sun. I planted shade-tolerant seed, so that shouldn’t be the problem. Will that seed just take longer to take? Is the soil staying too wet since it’s always in shadow? Anybody out there know their grass?

We’re Number 23

October 17, 2005 at 7:41pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in 625 Elm Street

The BS

BCS sez Nebraska is the 23rd best team in college football. Get out the streamers and party hats!

Enemies Playing Enemies

October 14, 2005 at 7:54pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in 625 Elm Street

Many people say things like “the enemy of my enemy is my friend.” Well what happens when the enemy of your enemy is your enemy? And what if those two play football this weekend? How the heck is a guy supposed to decide who to root for?

My head hurts.

You Tell ‘em, Jack!

October 14, 2005 at 2:25pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in 625 Elm Street

Jack Snider, professor emeritus in the School of Music at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, puts the smack on modern marching bands. Excerpt:

While watching the bands at Lincoln High’s Marching Band Contest last Saturday, I saw band after band wander around the field. Apparently we don’t march together anymore. In a way this is fine. The kids don’t have to think about keeping in step, they just wander about getting to the next spot without running into anyone. To my way of thinking, marching bands aren’t marching bands anymore. I think the name should be changed to “Show Bands” and forget about playing, since they do it so poorly.

That probably isn’t hilarious to those of you who aren’t in to marching bands or who don’t know Jack Snider. But to those of us who are (or were) and who do, it’s a hoot. In the words of the philosopher Homer, “It’s funny because it’s true.”

Riverdance Meets Marching Band

October 14, 2005 at 4:49am By: Mr. Wilson Posted in 625 Elm Street

In less than 24 hours I’ll be sitting in the Lied Center watching Blast. What’s Blast, you ask? Blast is what happens when you stick a Drum and Bugle Corps on a stage. Think Riverdance meets marching band. But without that guy who scares the bejesus out of Chandler.

I’ve been in love with Blast ever since I first became aware of it in 2000. I’ve watched the show on video about 30 times, and I’ve seen one and a half live productions (a half show at California Adventure, and the whole show at the Orpheum in Omaha a couple years ago). If you decide to buy tickets, try to get balcony seats. The show is much better seen from above than from straight on.

The Harriet And George Letters

October 13, 2005 at 2:29pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in 625 Elm Street

The Smoking Gun has posted all sorts of Harriet and George correspondence. I didn’t make it past this whopper on page 2.

Warming Heats Up

October 12, 2005 at 2:28pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in 625 Elm Street

Creighton men’s soccer coach Bob Warming doesn’t like referees. He yells at them, he insults them, and he disagrees with pretty much everything they do. And now he wants the world to know: referees are screwing him over (BugMeNot).

I don’t mind that coaches tend not to agree with referees. They aren’t supposed to agree, at least not when calls go against their team. They want to protect their team. I don’t have a problem with that.

I do have a problem when coaches sink to the levels that Bob Warming sinks to. On the soccer field referees have let him get away with far too much over the years. He goes leaps and bounds beyond the line separating simple disagreement from abuse. And now he has taken his cause to the pages of the Omaha World-Herald. Writer Steven Pivovar has given Warming free reign to say pretty much whatever he wants to say, and Pivovar takes his words at face value.

Particularly bothersome to Warming are the past two matches - the tie with UMKC and the loss to Illinois-Chicago. Creighton dominated play in both matches, outshooting UMKC 27-9 and Illinois-Chicago 26-6. In both games, the Bluejays had a goal disallowed by an offsides [sic] call.

A check of the tape, Warming said, indicates otherwise.

“We’ve looked at the tapes and we have unrefutable proof,” Warming said. “Usually you have a call like that a year, when you look at the tape and say, ‘Wow, that was close, that was a tough one to call.’ That’s not the case here.” (Emphasis added)

Pivovar never bothers to check up on Warming’s “unrefutable proof.” That’s sloppy journalism. In fact, it’s not even journalism. Apparently it goes without saying that the referees that do Creighton’s games

are idiots. How difficult would it have been for Pivovar to solicit soccer experts to review the tape? Or even to review the tape himself? How about including frame captures from the video along with the article, so that the reader could judge for himself? Or even posting video clips on the OWH website?

Warming’s suggestion—that all Division I referees be given copies of the game tape to review following the game—is a good one. I supported that even before I read this article. His motives are almost certainly not pure, but the outcome—improved opportunities for self-review by game officials—is a good one. Few referees would disagree. The problem with guys like Warming is that they assume referees have some sort of internal motivation to screw up. Nothing could be further from the truth. Sports officiating is a game of its own. Every good sports official wants to “win” the game-within-the-game every time out on the field. A college referee would be devastated to learn that he had erred to a large enough degree to have altered the outcome of the game. And at the Division I level he would be penalized, since each game is followed by a referee assessment.

I haven’t seen any of the game tapes Warming is questioning, although I have tried to find a copy of them. It’s too bad Mr. Pivovar couldn’t be bothered to do the same. Heaven forbid he practice journalism.

Osborne Picks a Mate

October 11, 2005 at 2:28pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in 625 Elm Street

Actions speak louder than words, of course, but it looks like Osborne might just be serious about his “let’s make government more efficient” plank. Gov. Heineman has said similar things, but where is the action? He is already in office. Wouldn’t it be wise for him to start pursuing his campaign promises today, rather than waiting until after he’s re-elected?

Pork Gumbo

October 11, 2005 at 2:28pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in 625 Elm Street

Your household will have to pony up $1,900. Don’t you want to know what that money will be spent on?

Why Did Harriet Miers Cross the Road?

October 11, 2005 at 2:23pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in 625 Elm Street

I haven’t picked on Harriet Miers much, though I’ve considered it. But why should I bother, when others are doing it so well?

Curry and Habaneros for Young and Old

October 10, 2005 at 2:33pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in 625 Elm Street

Hot damn! No sissy rice cakes and oatmeal for my kid! While other kids are suckin’ on lollipops, my kid’ll be poppin’ habaneros like Tic Tacs.

Justice New Orleans Style

October 10, 2005 at 2:29pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in 625 Elm Street

Is it just me, or is it a little odd to charge a guy with resisting arrest after you’ve just beat the crap out of him?

Good News for the Cervix

October 6, 2005 at 8:10pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in 625 Elm Street

Merck’s tests have shown one of its cervical cancer vaccines to be 100% effective, at least in the short term. That’s incredible news. When was the last time any medicine was 100% effective? Follow-up studies will probably reign in the enthusiasm a little bit, but this is a great place to start.

Further good news lies in the fact that the vaccine, Gardasil, was created via genetic engineering. That in itself is nothing new, but one can certainly hope that this sort of success demonstrates that the field of genetic engineering is maturing and becoming more effective.

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