Saturday, June 30, 2007

Duty, Honor, Sacrifice.

I just wanted to get the day over with and go down to Smokey's for a few cold ones. Sneaking a look at my watch, I saw the time, 1655. Five minutes to go before the cemetery gates are closed for the day. Full dress was hot in the August sun. Oklahoma summertime was as bad as ever -- the heat and humidity at the same level -- both too high.

I saw the car pull into the drive, '69 or '70 model Cadillac Deville, lookedf actory-new. It pulled into the parking lot at a snail's pace. An old woman got out so slow I thought she was paralyzed. She had a cane and a sheaf of flowers, about four or five bunches as best I could tell. I couldn't help myself. The thought came unwanted, and left a slightly bitter taste: "She's going to spend an hour, and for this old soldier my hip hurts like hell and I'm ready to get out of here right now!"

But for this day my duty was to assist anyone coming in. Kevin would lock the "In" gate and if I could hurry the old biddy along, we might make the last half of happy hour at Smokey's. My hip made gritty noises when I took the first step and the pain went up a notch. I must have made a real military sight; middle-aged man with a small pot-gut and half a limp, in Marine Full Dress Uniform, which had lost its razor crease about 30 minutes after I began the watch at the cemetery.

I stopped in front of her, halfway up the walk. She looked up at me with an old woman's squint. "Ma'am may I assist you in any way?"

She took long enough to answer. "Yes, son. Can you carry these flowers? I seem to be moving a tad slow these days."

"My pleasure Ma'am." Well, it wasn't too much of a lie.

She looked again. "Marine, where were you stationed?"

"Vietnam, Ma'am. Ground-pounder. '69 to '71."

She looked at me closer. "Wounded in action, I see. Well done, Marine. I'll be as quick as I can."

I lied a little bigger "No hurry, Ma'am."

She smiled, and winked at me. "Son, I'm 85-years old and I can tell a lie from a long way off. Let's get this done. Might be the last time I can do this. My name's Joanne Wieserman, and I've a few Marines I'd like to see one more time."

"Yes, Ma'am. At your service."

She headed for the World War I section, stopping at a stone. She picked one of the bunches out of my arm and laid it on top of the stone. She murmured something I couldn't quite make out. The name on the marble was Donald S.Davidson, USMC, France 1918.

She turned away and made a straight line for the World War II section, stopping at one stone. I saw a tear slowly tracking its way down her cheek. She put a bunch on a stone; the name was Stephen X. Davidson, USMC, 1943. She went up the row a ways and laid another bunch on a stone, Stanley J. Wieserman USMC , 1944.

She paused for a second, "Two more, son, and we'll be done."

I almost didn't say anything, but, "Yes, Ma'am. Take your time."

She looked confused. "Where's the Vietnam section, son? I seem to have lost my way."

I pointed with my chin. "That way, Ma'am."

"Oh!" she chuckled quietly. "Son, me and old age ain't too friendly." She headed down the walk I'd pointed at. She stopped at a couple of stones before she found the ones she wanted. She placed a bunch on Larry Wieserman USMC, 1968, and the last on Darrel Wieserman USMC, 1970. She stood there and murmured a few words I still couldn't make out. "OK, son, I'm finished. Get me back to my car and you can go home."

"Yes, Ma'am. If I may ask, were those your kinfolk ?"

She paused. "Yes, Donald Davidson was my father; Stephen was my uncle; Stanley was my husband; Larry and Darrel were our sons. All killed in action, all Marines." She stopped, whether she had finished, or couldn't finish, I don't know. She made her way to her car, slowly, and painfully.

I waited for a polite distance to come between us and then double-timed it over to Kevin waiting by the car. "Get to the "Out"-gate quick. I have something I've got to do."

Kevin started to say something but saw the look I gave him. He broke the rules to get us there down the service road. We beat her. She hadn't made it around the rotunda yet.

"Kevin, stand to attention next to the gate post. Follow my lead." I humped it across the drive to the other post. When the Cadillac came puttering around from the hedges and began the short straight traverse to the gate, I called in my best gunny's voice: "Atehen-Hut! Present Haaaarms!"

I have to hand it to Kevin, he never blinked an eye; full dress attention and a salute that would make his DI proud. She drove through that gate with two old worn-out Marines giving her a sendoff she deserved, for service rendered to her country, and for knowing Duty, Honor and Sacrifice.I am not sure, but I think I saw a salute returned from that Cadillac.

May God bless our Troops now more than ever.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

The Bounced Check

Shown below is an actual letter that was sent to a bank by an 86 year old woman. The bank manager thought it amusing enough to have published in the New York Times.

Dear Sir:

I am writing to thank you for bouncing my check with which I endeavored to pay my plumber last month. By my calculations, three nanoseconds must have elapsed between his presenting the check and the arrival in my account of the funds needed to honor it. I refer, of course, to the automatic monthly deposit of my entire pension, an arrangement which, I admit, has been in place for only eight years.

You are to be commended for seizing that brief window of opportunity, and also for debiting my account $30 by way of penalty for the inconvenience caused to your bank.

My thankfulness springs from the manner in which this incident has caused me to rethink my errant financial ways.

I noticed that whereas I personally answer your telephone calls and letters, --- when I try to contact you, I am confronted by the impersonal, over-charging, pre-recorded, faceless entity which your bank has become.

From now on, I, like you, choose only to deal with a flesh-and-blood person. My mortgage and loan repayments will therefore and hereafter no longer be automatic, but will arrive at your bank, by check, addressed personally and confidentially to an employee at your bank whom you must nominate. Be aware that it is an offense under the Postal Act for any other person to open such an envelope. Please find attached an Application Contact which I require your chosen employee to complete. I am sorry it runs to eight pages, but in order that I know as much about him or her as your bank knows about me, there is no alternative.

Please note that all copies of his or her medical history must be countersigned by a Notary Public, and the mandatory details of his/her financial situation (income, debts, assets and liabilities) must be accompanied by documented proof.

In due course, at MY convenience, I will issue your employee with a PIN number which he/she must quote in dealings with me.

I regret that it cannot be shorter than 28 digits but, again, I have modeled it on the number of button presses required of me to access my account balance on your phone bank service. As they say, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.

Let me level the playing field even further.

When you call me, press buttons as follows:

#1. To make an appointment to see me
#2. To query a missing payment.
# 3. To transfer the call to my living room in case I am there.
# 4. To transfer the call to my bedroom in case I am sleeping.
# 5. To transfer the call to my toilet in case I am attending to nature.
# 6. To transfer the call to my mobile phone if I am not at home
# 7. To leave a message on my computer, a password to access my computer is required. Password will be communicated to you at a later date to that Authorized Contact mentioned earlier.
# 8. To return to the main menu and to listen to options 1 through 7.
# 9. To make a general complaint or inquiry.

The contact will then be put on hold, pending the attention of my automated answering service. While this may, on occasion, involve a lengthy wait, uplifting music will play for the duration of the call.

Regrettably, but again following your example, I must also levy an establishment fee to cover the setting up of this new arrangement.

May I wish you a happy, if ever so slightly less prosperous New Year?

Your Humble Client

(Remember: This was written by a 86 year old woman)

In the Eye of the Beholder?

At the National Art Gallery in Dublin, a husband and wife were staring at a portrait that had them completely confused. The painting depicted 3 black men totally naked, sitting on a park bench. Two of the figures had black willies, but the one in the middle had a pink willy.

The curator of the gallery realized that they were having trouble interpreting the painting and offered his personal assessment. He went on for over half an hour explaining how it depicted the sexual emasculation of African Americans in a predominately white, patriarchal society. "In fact", he pointed out, "some serious critics believe that the pink willy also reflects the cultural and sociological oppression experienced by gay men in contemporary society".

After the curator left, an Irishman approached the couple and said, "Would you like to know what the painting is really about?"

"Now why would you claim to be more of an expert than the curator of the gallery?" asked the couple.

"Because I'm the guy who painted the picture," he replied. "In fact, there are no African Americans depicted at all. They're just three Irish coal miners. The guy in the middle went home for lunch."

Padres - Games 71 to 80

After 70 games, my Padres have a record of 41-29 (home 21-13, road 20-16). They are tied for first place with Arizona (42-30) and are 1/2 game ahead of the Dodgers (at 40-31). The Pads have scored 316 runs, opponents 238. The Pads have 65 KR, the opponents 36. The team BA is 0.246, the opponents 0.240. The Pads team ERA is 3.04, the opponents 4.02.

As this period starts, the Pads have just split games with the Orioles, and have a 3-game series coming up with the Boston Red Sox over the weekend. After that, they go off to San Francisco and Los Angeles for 3-game series.

Game 71, Thursday, June 21, Baltimore at SD: O's win, 6-3. The Pads faced another starter with great stuff - Eric Bedard, who gave up 2 runs, 5 hits, 0 BB and had 9 K's in 6 innings. The Pads got runs in the 3rd, 6th and 9th. The O's got single runs off David Wells (loser 3-5, 6.1 innings, 10 hits, 3 runs, 3 BB, 4 Ks) in the 4th, 5th and 6th, plus 2 in the 8th and one in the 9th. The game was close until Chris Gomez drove in 2 in the 8th after a hit batter, a strikeout-wild pitch, and a walk loaded the bases against Heath Bell. After 71 games: Won 41, Lost 30 (home 21-14, road 20-16), Runs 319-244, Homers 65-37, Lost 2 in a row, won 5 of last 10 games.

Game 72, Friday, June 22, Boston Red Sox at SD: Sox win 2-1. This was a classic "student bests the master" game. Daisuke Matsuzaka ("Dice-K") walked the bases loaded in the 1st, but only gave up one run on a single to left. That was it for the Pads, as Dice-K went 6 innings, gave up 1 run on 5 hits, walked 5 and struck out 9. Four relievers struck out 4 more Pads over the last 3 innings to wrap it up. Greg Maddux (loser, now 6-4) went 6 innings, gave up 2 runs, 7 hits, 2 BB and 2 Ks. The Sox scored 2 in the 4th on 4 line drive singles. The Sox fans were loud and sometimes dominant tonight. After 72 games: Won 41, Lost 31 (home 21-15, road 20-16), Runs 320-246, Homers 65-37, Lost 3 in a row, won 5 out of last 10.

Game 73, Saturday, June 23, Boston at SD: Pads win 6-1. We were there. Chris Young was masterful again (winner, now 7-3, went 7 innings, 0 runs, 1 hit, 2 BB, 11 Ks). Tim Wakefield baffled the Pads with his knuckleball through 4 innings. The Pads scored one in the 2nd on Cameron's bunt single and stolen base and a timely hit by Josh Bard. In the 5th, the wheels came off for Wakefield as Kahlil Greene hit a solo homer to left, and Marcus Giles drove in Kevin Kouzmanoff with a double off the fence in left. In the 6th, Josh Bard hit a two-run homer off the foul corner of the Western Metals Building and then Greene cracked another homer to left. The Sox averted a shutout by scoring a run in the 9th off Justin Hampson. The Sox cheering section died down after the Padres homers. The intensity level was playoff caliber this night. After 73 games: Won 42, Lost 31 (home 22-15, road 20-16), Runs 326-247, Homers 68-37, Won 1 in a row, lost 3 of last 4, won 6 of last 10.

Game 74, Sunday, May 24, Boston at SD: Sox win 4-2. This was a matchup of premier pitchers, Jake Peavy (9-1) against Josh Beckett (10-1) and it lived up to its billing until the 3rd. The Sox punched 5 singles to score 3 runs in the 3rd off Peavy, who had to cover the bases twice and was on his belly twice. Due to the high pitch count, he only went 5 innings (loser, 9-2). Royce Ring went 2 innings, Scott Linebrink gave up a Jason Varitek homer in the 8th, and Trevor Hoffman set the Sox down in the 9th. Josh Beckett (winner, 11-1) went 8 innings, giving up only a 2-run double to Terrmel Sledge in the bottom of the 5th to make it close. The Pads stranded him at 3rd base, and never had another threat. Beckett was excellent, and Jonathan Papelbon threw a perfect 9th for his 18th save. Another playoff caliber game. After 74 games: Won 42, Lost 32 (home 22-16, road 20-16), Runs 328-251, Homers 68-38, Lost 1 in a row, lost 4 out of last 5, won 5 out of last 10.

These three games were playoff caliber, with excellent pitching, decent defense and not much power hitting. The Pads finished 6-9 in inter-league play, and seemed to be outhit by Seattle, Tampa, Baltimore and Boston. The bullpen got roughed up by everybody but Boston.

Game 75, Monday, June 25, SD at SF: Giants win 4-3 in 11 innings. This was a winnable game. Justin Germano gave up two early runs, but went 6 innings (3 hits, 2 runs, 1 BB, 4 Ks) and left with a no decision. Linebrink blew his 3rd save with a run in the 8th, and Hampson gave up a run in the 11th to lose it (now 2-2). Tim Lincecum was great - 7 innings, 0 runs, 4 hits, 4 BB, 8 Ks). However, Mike Cameron hit a 3-run homer in the 8th to put the Padres ahead, briefly. After 75 games, the Pads have won 42, lost 33 (home 22-16, road 20-17), Runs 331-255, Homers 69-39, Lost 2 in a row, Lost 5 of last 6, lost 6 of last 10.

Game 76, Tuesday, June 26, SD at SF: Pads win 3-2 in 10 innings. David Wells pitched one of his best games of the year, going 6 innings (1 run, 6 hits, 3 BB, 3 Ks), but got a no decision. The Pads had solo homers by Mike Cameron and Kahlil Greene to go ahead 2-1 in the 7th, but Scott Linebrink gave up a run in the 8th. Kervin Kouzmanoff hit a solo homer in the 10th to put the Pads ahead. That made a winner of Cla Meredith (now 3-5), and Trevor Hoffman has his 20th save. Barry Zito went 8 innings and pitched well. After 76 games, the Pads have won 43, lost 33 (home 22-16, road 21-17), Runs 334-257, Homers 72-39, Won 1 in a row, lost 5 of last 7, won 5 of last 10. Record in one-run games is 13-17.

Game 77, Wednesday, June 27, SD at SF: Padres win, 4-2. Greg Maddux (now 7-4) threw one of his best games this year, givng up only 1 run on 5 hits over 7 innings. The Pads scored 1 in the 4th and 3 in the 8th on an RBI single by Jose Cruz and a 2-run error by the Giants SS Frandsen. Heath Bell gave up a run in the 8th, and Trevor Hoffman efficiently saved his 21st game. Matt Cain pitched well for the Giants, who don't score many runs for Cain. After 77 games, the Pads have won 44, lost 33 (home 22-16, road 22-17), Runs 338-259, Homers 73-40, Won 2 in a row, lost 5 of last 8, won 5 of last 10.

Game 78, Friday, June 29, SD at LA Dodgers: Pads win 7-6. This was a strange game - the Pads were behind 2-1 when they erupted for 6 runs in the 4th inning against Hong-Chih Kuo. The big hit was a 3-run homer by Kevin Kouzmanoff. Then, the bullpen gave up 3 runs in the 8th and 1 in the 9th to make it too close for comfort. Chris Young pitched just OK (won, now 8-3, went 6 innings, 2 runs, 7 hits, 1 BB, 9 Ks) and Trevor got his 22nd save. The Dodgers' bullpen was effective with 5.2 innings of 3 hit relief. After 78 games, the Pads have won 45, lost 33 (home 22-16, road 23-17), Runs 345-265, Homers 74-40, Won 3 in a row, won 5 of last 10. Pads lead the Snakes by 1/2 game and the Dodgers by 1 game in the NL West.

Brian Giles is back off the DL, and Chase Headley went down to AA again. The Pads traded AAA starter Andrew Brown to Oakland for the rights to Milton Bradley, an oft-injured mercurial player who may have some pop in his bat. We'll see who goes on the DL (Sledge?) or gets demoted to AAA.

Game 79, Saturday, June 30, SD at LA: Padres win 3-1 in 12 innings. This was one of those pitching matchups you wait for - Jake Peavy vs. Brad Penny. Both went 7 innings, gave up 1 run on 5 hits, Peavy had 6 Ks, Penny had 7 Ks. Then it went to the bullpens, and the Pads scored 2 runs in the 12th off Brett Tomko. Trevor Hoffman closed it out for his 23rd save. The winning run scored when Kahlil Greene singled, was bunted to second, and scored on a Jose Cruz hit to LF that Andre Ethier barely missed. Geoff Blum then doubled to bring Cruz home with the 3rd run. After 79 games: Won 46, Lost 33 (home 22-16, road 24-17), Runs 348-266, Homers 74-41, Won 4 in a row, won 5 of last 10.

Game 80, Sunday, July 1, SD at LA: Dodgers win 5-0. Bummer - another one that got out of hand early. Justin Germano (lost, now 5-2) gave up 3 runs in the 3rd, 1 in the 4th and 1 in the 7th. Chad Billingsley shut the Pads out through 7 on 3 hits and the Dodgers bullpen finished it off. After 80 games: Won 46, Lost 34 (home 22-16, road 24-18), Runs 348-271, Homers 74-43, Lost 1 in a row, won 5 of last 10.

The All-Star team was announced - only Jake Peavy and Trevor Hoffman are going from the Pads. Chris Young also deserved a spot.

So after 80 games (one game shy of half the season):

The Padres are in 1st place in the NL West, with a one game lead on the Dodgers (46-36), 1-1/2 on the Snakes (46-37), 8 on the Rockies (39-43) and 11 on the Giants (35-45). Their record of 46-34 is 1/2 game behind the Milwaukee Brewers (47-34) and even with the NY Mets (46-34). They are 19-13 against the NL West, 40-25 in the NL, and 6-9 against the AL. They are 5-6 in extra inning games, and 13-16 in one-run games.

As a team, the Pads are 16th in the NL in Batting Average (0.243), 11th in runs scored, 9th in home runs hit, 1st in ERA (3.03), 1st in shutouts (11), with an opponents BA of 0.243. The Pads walk 9.8% of the time (opponents walk 7.8% of the time, and strike out 23.0% of the time (opponents strike out 19.7% of the time).

The BA-HR-RBI of the starters are:

Brian Giles (0.281 - 1 - 12, 178 AB)
Marcus Giles (0.251 - 4 - 30, 303 AB)
Adrian Gonzalez (0.272 - 14 - 51, 320 AB)
Mike Cameron (0.266 - 10 - 38, 308 AB)
Michael Barrett (0.255 - 9 - 31, 243 AB)
Kahlil Greene (0.241 - 13 - 45, 290 AB)
Kevin Kouzmanoff (0.218 - 7 - 33, 211 AB)
Jose Cruz (0.259 - 5 - 20, 224 AB)

The W-L, ERA, IP, H, BB and Ks of the starting pitchers are:

Jake Peavy (9-2, 2.09 ERA, 112 IP, 87 H, 31 BB, 119 K)
Chris Young (8-3, 2.14 ERA, 96.2 IP, 69 H, 36 BB, 90 Ks)
Justin Germano (5-2, 3.12 ERA, 60.2 IP, 50 H, 11 BB, 31 Ks)
Greg Maddux (7-4, 3.66 ERA, 98.1 IP, 105 H, 16 BB, 52 K)
David Wells (3-5, 4.48 ERA, 86.1 IP, 106 H, 21 BB, 48 K)

It's great to be in first place at the halfway point. If they can hit better, continue the excellent pitching and play steady defence, the Pads have a real chance to be in the playoffs. The last month has been one where the Pads, dodgers and Snakes have jumped in and out of the lead in the NL West. The Pads can't afford to come in 3rd in the NL West...

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Survivor - Southern Style

Because of the popularity of the Survivor shows, several Southern TV stations are joining together and are planning to do their own, entitled:


Contestants will start in Alabama, travel over to Georgia and on to South Carolina. From there they will head up to North Carolina and over to Tennessee. They will then proceed down to Mississippi, to Louisiana, and finally end up back in Alabama.

Each will be driving a pink Volvo with New York license plates and large bumper stickers that read:
  • I'm Gay,
  • I'm a Vegetarian,
  • NASCAR Sucks,
  • Go Yankees,
  • Hillary in 2008, and
  • Deer Hunting is Murder!

The first one to make it back to Montgomery alive wins.

How to Save the Airlines

Dear Editor,

How can we save the airlines? I have a suggestion or two:

Dump the male flight attendants. No one wanted them in the first place.

Replace all the female flight attendants with good-looking strippers! What the hell -- They don't even serve food anymore, so what's the loss? The strippers would at least triple the alcohol sales and get a "party atmosphere" going in the cabin.

And, of course, every businessman in this country would start flying again, hoping to see naked women. Because of the tips, female flight attendants wouldn't need a salary, thus saving even more money. I suspect tips would be so good that we could charge the women for working the plane and have them kick back 20% of the tips, including lap dances.

Muslims would be afraid to get on the planes for fear of seeing naked women. Hijackings would come to a screeching halt, and the airline industry would see record revenues. This is definitely a win-win situation if we handle it right -- a golden opportunity to turn a liability into an asset.

Why didn't Bush think of this? Why do I still have to do everything myself?

Sincerely, Bill Clinton

Monday, June 18, 2007

Oldies but Goodies

1975 : Long hair
2006 : Longing for hair

1975: KEG
2006: EKG

1975 : Acid rock
2006: Acid reflux

1975 : Moving to California because it's cool
2006 : Moving to Arizona because it's warm

1975 : Tryin to look like Marlon Brando or Liz Taylor
2006: Trying NOT to look like Marlon Brando or Liz Taylor

1975 : Seeds and stems
2006: Roughage

1975 : Hoping for a BMW
2006: Hoping for a BM

1975 : Going to a new, hip joint
2006: Receiving a new hip joint

1975 : Rolling Stones
2006: Kidney Stones

1975 : Being called into the principal's office
2006 : Calling the principal's office

1975 : Screw the system
2006: Upgrade the system

1975 : Disco
2006: Costco

1975 : Parents begging you to get your hair cut
2006: Children begging you to get their heads shaved

1975 : Passing the drivers' test
2006: Passing the vision test

1975 : Whatever
2006 : Depends

Just in case you weren't feeling too old today, this will certainly change things...

Each year the staff at Beloit College in Wisconsin puts together a list to try to give the faculty a sense of the mindset of this year's incoming freshmen. Here's this year's list:

The people who are starting college this fall across the nation were born in 1987.
  • They are too young to remember the space shuttle blowing up.
  • Their lifetime has always included AIDS.
  • Bottle caps have always been screw off and plastic.
  • The CD was introduced the year they were born.
  • They have always had an answering machine
  • They have always had cable.
  • They cannot fathom not having a remote control.
  • Jay Leno has always been on the Tonight Show.
  • Popcorn has always been cooked in the microwave.
  • They never took a swim and thought about Jaws.
  • They can't imagine what hard contact lenses are.
  • They don't know who Mork was or where he was from.
  • They never heard: "Where's the Beef?", "I'd walk a mile for a Camel", or "de plane, Boss, de plane".
  • They do not care who shot J. R. and have no idea who J. R. even is.
  • McDonald 's never came in Styrofoam containers.
  • They don't have a clue how to use a typewriter.

Friday, June 15, 2007

Instruction manuals

These are for the ladies ---

One day my housework-challenged husband decided to wash his Sweat-shirt.. Seconds after he stepped into the laundry room, he shouted to me, "What setting do I use on the washing machine?"

"It depends," I replied. "What does it say on your shirt?"

He yelled back, " University of Oklahoma ."

And they say blondes are dumb...


A couple is lying in bed. The man says, "I am going to make you the happiest woman in the world."

The woman replies, "I'll miss you..."


"It's just too hot to wear clothes today," Jack says as he stepped out of the shower, "honey, what do you think the neighbors would think if I mowed the lawn like this?"

"Probably that I married you for your money," she replied.


He said - Shall we try swapping positions tonight?

She said - That's a good idea... you stand by the ironing board while I sit on the sofa and fart.


Dear Lord,
I pray for Wisdom to understand my man; Love to forgive him; And Patience for his moods. Because, Lord, if I pray for Strength, I'll beat him to death.
------------------------------------------------------ -

Q: Why do little boys whine?
A: They are practicing to be men.


Q: What do you call a handcuffed man?

A: Trustworthy.


Q: What does it mean when a man is in your bed gasping for breath and calling your name?

A: You did not hold the pillow down long enough.


Q: Why do men whistle when they are sitting on the toilet?
A: It helps them remember which end they need to wipe.


Q: How do you keep your husband from reading your e-mail?
A: Rename the mail folder "Instruction Manuals"

Ronald Reagan quotes

"Here's my strategy on the Cold War: We win, they lose."
- Ronald Reagan

"The most terrifying words in the English language are: I'm from the government and I'm here to help."
- Ronald Reagan

"The trouble with our liberal friends is not that they're ignorant; it's just that they know so much that isn't so."
- Ronald Reagan

"Of the four wars in my lifetime, none came about because the U.S. was too strong."
- Ronald Reagan

"I have wondered at times about what the Ten Commandments would have looked like if Moses had run them through the U.S. Congress."
- Ronald Reagan

"The taxpayer: That's someone who works for the federal government but doesn't have to take the civil service examination."
- Ronald Reagan

"Government is like a baby: An alimentary canal with a big appetite at one end and no sense of responsibility at the other."
- Ronald Reagan

"The nearest thing to eternal life we will ever see on this earth is a government program."
- Ronald Reagan

"I've laid down the law, though, to everyone from now on about anything that happens: no matter what time it is, wake me, even if it's in the middle of a Cabinet meeting."
- Ronald Reagan

"It has been said that politics is the second oldest profession. I have learned that it bears a striking resemblance to the first."
- Ronald Reagan

"Government's view of the economy could be summed up in a few short phrases: If it moves, tax it. If it keeps moving, regulate it. And if it stops moving, subsidize it."
- Ronald Reagan

"Politics is not a bad profession. If you succeed, there are many rewards; if you disgrace yourself, you can always write a book."
- Ronald Reagan

"No arsenal, or no weapon in the arsenals of the world, is as formidable as the will and moral courage of free men and women."
- Ronald Reagan

"If we ever forget that we're one nation under God, then we will be a nation gone under."
- Ronald Reagan

Senior Humor...

An elderly gentleman...had serious hearing problems for a number of years. He went to the doctor and the doctor was able to have him fitted for a set of hearing aids that allowed the gentleman to hear 100%.

The elderly gentleman went back in a month to the doctor and the doctor said, "Your hearing is perfect. Your family must be really pleased that you can hear again."

The gentleman replied, "Oh, I haven't told my family yet. I just sit around and listen to the conversations. I've changed my will three times!"


Two elderly gentlemen from a retirement center were sitting on a bench under a tree when one turns to the other and says: "Slim, I'm 83 years old now and I'm just full of aches and pains. I know you're about my age. How do you feel?"

Slim says, "I feel just like a newborn baby."

"Really!? Like a new born baby!?"

"Yep. No hair, no teeth, and I think I just wet my pants."


An elderly couple had dinner at another couple's house, and after eating, the wives left the table and went into the kitchen. The two gentlemen were talking, and one said, "Last night we went out to a new restaurant and it was really great. I would recommend it very highly."

The other man said, "What is the name of the restaurant?"

The first man thought and thought and finally said, "What is the name of that flower you give to someone you love? You know... The one that's red and has thorns."

"Do you mean a rose?"

"Yes, that's the one," replied the man. He then turned towards the kitchen and yelled, "Rose, what's the name of that restaurant we went to last night?"

Hospital regulations require a wheel chair for patients being discharged. However, while working as a student nurse, I found one elderly gentleman already dressed and sitting on the bed with a suitcase at his feet, who insisted he didn't need my help to leave the hospital.

After a chat about rules being rules, he reluctantly let me wheel him to the elevator. On the way down I asked him if his wife was meeting him. "I don't know," he said. "She's still upstairs in the bathroom changing out of her hospital gown."


A couple in their nineties are both having problems remembering things. During a checkup, the doctor tells them that they're physically okay, but they might want to start writing things down to help them remember

Later that night, while watching TV, the old man gets up from his chair. "Want anything while I'm in the kitchen?" he asks.

"Will you get me a bowl of ice cream?"


"Don't you think you should write it down so you can remember it?" she asks.

"No, I can remember it."

"Well, I'd like some strawberries on top, too. Maybe you should write it down, so's not to forget it?"

He says, "I can remember that. You want a bowl of ice cream with strawberries."

"I'd also like whipped cream. I'm certain you'll forget that, write it down?" she asks.

Irritated, he says, "I don't need to write it down, I can remember it! Ice cream with strawberries and whipped cream - I got it, for goodness sake!"

Then he toddles into the kitchen. After about 20 minutes, the old man returns from the kitchen and hands his wife a plate of bacon and eggs.

She stares at the plate for a moment. "Where's my toast?"


A senior citizen said to his eighty-year old buddy: "So I hear you're getting married?"


"Do I know her?"


"This woman, is she good looking?"

"Not really."

"Is she a good cook?"

"Naw, she can't cook too well."

"Does she have lots of money?"

"Nope! Poor as a church mouse."

"Well, then, is she good in bed?"

"I don't know."

"Why in the world do you want to marry her then?"

"Because she can still drive!"


Three old guys are out walking. First one says, "Windy, isn't it?"

Second one says, "No, it's Thursday!"

Third one says, "So am I. Let's go get a beer."


A man was telling his neighbor, "I just bought a new hearing aid. It> cost me four thousand dollars, but it's state of the art. It's perfect."

"Really," answered the neighbor . "What kind is it?"

"Twelve thirty."


Morris, an 82 year-old man, went to the doctor to get a physical.

A few days later, the doctor saw Morris walking down the street with a gorgeous young woman on his arm. A couple of days later, the doctor spoke to Morris and said, "You're really doing great, aren't you?"

Morris replied, "Just doing what you said, Doc: '

Get a hot mamma and be cheerful.'"

The doctor said, "I didn't say that." I said, 'You've got a heart murmur; be careful."

A little old man shuffled slowly into an ice cream parlor and pulled himself slowly, painfully, up onto a stool. After catching his breath, he ordered a banana split.

The waitress asked kindly, "Crushed nuts?"

"No," he replied, "Arthritis."

Jury Duty Done!

Here is the case I sat on during my jury duty experience this week.

A guy takes his fiancee to a football game. They meet friends, have some beer, but get kicked out of the seats they are in. The girl is upset about a lot of things and verbally abuses the guy. They have more beer, and after the game, start to drive home. During the trip, about 20 miles on a dry freeway with light traffic, the girl goes out of control and grabs the steering wheel. The car lurches to the right, hits another car, and both crash into the freeway concrete barrier on the right. The other driver is OK, the guy driving is slightly hurt, but the girl is knocked out and injured.

The paramedics come, the highway patrol comes, the guy states that he tried to evade road debris. He claims to have had 3 or 4 beers over 5 hours. He fails a field sobriety test. He is cooperative with the officer, but declines another field sobriety test. He is arrested, taken to jail, booked, and he takes a breath test that shows he has a 0.09% blood alcohol level one hour after the accident. The girl goes to the hospital, where she test 0.23% blood alcohol level one hour after the accident. She has back injuries and a badly cut face.

The defendant in the case is the guy who was driving home from the game. He is charged with driving with more than 0.08% blood alcohol in his system resulting in an injury. He testifies in his own defense, and states that his fiancee grabbed and turned the wheel, and that he might have had 5.5 beers during the evening. The fiancee testifies that she doesn't remember anything from the ride home, and admits she was very angry with him during the game.

The prosecution criminologist describes absorption and removal rates for "standard drinks" (12 ounces of beer is a standard drink) and states that for a 0.09% test one hour after the accident, that he would have been at 0.10% or higher at the time of the accident. There is a calibration correction that would lower 0.10% to about 0.09%. The defense attorney tried to confuse the issue some, but could not get the criminologist to budge from her estimates. The criminologist also stated that, using standard calculations, the defendant must have had 9 or 10 "standard drinks" over 5 hours in order to have a 0.09% level at the time of the accident.

So - how does the jury determine what happened, is the defendant guilty of the charge, and what is the outcome? I will describe the jury deliberations in the next post down - here.

The Verdict is In!

I described the case for which I served on the jury in the post above this one - here.

This case would have been fairly straight-forward, easy to resolve, and would not have been brought to trial if there had been more witnesses to the drinking, to the driving, and to the freeway incident. But there were not - so the jury had to sort out guilt or innocence according to the instructions provided by the judge.

In order to find the defendant guilty of the charge, the People had to prove that the defendant:

1) was driving the car,
2) had a blood alcohol level of 0.08% or higher at the time of the accident,
3) committed an illegal act or neglected to perform a legal duty, and
4) the above conditions caused bodily injury to another person.

The evidence and testimony showed conclusively that he was driving the car, had a blood alcohol level above 0.08%, and that an injury resulted from the incident.

The big stumbling block was if he had committed an illegal act (defined explicitly in this case as turning the car unsafely without using his turn indicator) or had neglected to perform a legal duty (to exercise ordinary care at all times and maintain proper control of the vehicle).

We spent about 4 hours of the 6 hours we deliberated discussing the above issue.

In the end, it came down to reasonable doubt. We had only the testimony of the defendant that the fiancee grabbed the wheel and caused the accident. But he had lied to the police, and apparently had lied in his testimony about the number of drinks he had consumed. Should we believe him? If we did believe him, then we decided that he did not commit an illegal act or neglect his legal duty, and was therefore not guilty of the charge. We thought that this was a reasonable conclusion regarding the cause of the incident.

What else might have happened? The jury speculated that he could have been angry at his fiancee and turned the wheel himself, resulting in the incident and the injury. If he had done this, he would be guilty of an illegal act and neglected his legal duty. But there is no evidence or testimony that he did this - it was speculation. But the incident happened one way or another - something had happened, and this speculation was a reasonable conclusion.

So we had two reasonable conclusions - one that was exculpatory, the other that damned the defendant. The jury instructions provided by the judge said:

"...if you can draw two or more reasonable conclusions from the circumstantial evidence, and one of those reasonable conclusions points to innocence and another to guilt, you must accept the one that points to innocence..."

Based on the judge's instruction, we decided that the defendant was not guilty of the charge as drawn - one conclusion pointed to innocence and we had no other evidence or testimony about the cause of the incident. We the jury had reasonable doubt concerning his guilt on this higher charge.

There was a lesser charge to be considered if we found the defendant not guilty of the higher charge - and we found the defendant guilty of driving with a 0.08% blood alcohol level.

We had to wait about an hour between the time we decided on the verdicts and filled out the forms, and when we went to the courtroom, since all court rooms were busy until noon time. We spent the time telling stories about our life experiences and jobs.

So we marched into the courtroom at noontime and heard the verdicts read. The judge thanked the jury, and asked if we could wait outside to talk to the attorneys. The defendant was pretty happy about the outcome. The attorneys were eager to understand how we had come to the verdicts, and we told them.

This jury had 12 people from different ages, occupations, life experiences, etc. The atmosphere in the jury room was respectful and understanding. One of the keys was to read the charges, and the jury instructions about evidence, carefully. We didn't "find" and apply the instruction about circumstantial evidence until this morning. That set us off to agreement on the verdicts after much discussion about illegal acts, legal duty and ordinary care.

So I don't have to serve for another three years. Too bad - I think I found the best deli in Chula Vista!

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Jury Duty

Life has slowed down this week for me - I was called for Jury Duty.

The local courts have a "one trial or one day" system. You go down to the courthouse on one day, and if you are not picked for a jury on that day, your service is finished. If you are picked for a jury, then you serve to the end of that trial.

I was picked for a trial, so I am currently serving on the jury. I cannot talk about it - yet. Maybe I'll post some details of the trial when it's over and the jurors can discuss it.

There are 14 of us in the same situation - so we kind of band together at the breaks for small talk, but we can't talk about the trial. I eat lunch in the courthouse cafeteria - it is really good and the price is very reasonable. I had a chicken thigh with rice and vegetables today for $5.99. All of the other jurors go out to eat or go home.

I'm going to miss the Padres games the next two days - they play in the morning on Thursday in Tampa and on Friday in Chicago. Oh well!

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Will Rogers Sayings

Will Rogers, who died in a plane crash with Wylie Post in 1935, was probably the greatest political sage this country has ever known. Enjoy the following:

1. Never slap a man who's chewing tobacco.

2. Never kick a cow chip on a hot day.

3. There are 2 theories to arguing with a woman...neither works.

4. Never miss a good chance to shut up.

5. Always drink upstream from the herd.

6. If you find yourself in a hole, stop digging.

7. The quickest way to double your money is to fold it and put it back in your pocket.

8. There are three kinds of men: The ones that learn by reading. The few who learn by observation. The rest of them have to pee on the electric fence and find out for themselves.

9. Good judgment comes from experience, and a lot of that comes from bad judgment.

10. If you're riding' ahead of the herd, take a look back every now and then to make sure it's still there.

11. Lettin' the cat outta the bag is a whole lot easier'n puttin' it back.

12. After eating an entire bull, a mountain lion felt so good he started roaring. He kept it up until a hunter came along and shot him. The moral:When you're full of bull, keep your mouth shut.


First ~ Eventually you will reach a point when you stop lying about your age and start bragging about it.

Second ~ The older we get, the fewer things seem worth waiting in line for.

Third ~ Some people try to turn back their odometers. Not me, I want people to know "why" I look this way. I've traveled a long way and some of the roads weren't paved.

Fourth ~ When you are dissatisfied and would like to go back to youth, think of Algebra.

Fifth ~ You know you are getting old when everything either dries up or leaks.

Sixth ~ I don't know how I got over the hill without getting to the top.

Seventh ~ One of the many things no one tells you about aging is that it is such a nice change from being young.

Eighth ~ One must wait until evening to see how splendid the day has been.

Ninth ~ Being young is beautiful, but being old is comfortable.

Tenth ~ Long ago when men cursed and beat the ground with sticks, it was called witchcraft. Today it's called golf.

And finally ~ If you don't learn to laugh at trouble, you won't have anything to laugh at when you are old.

If a Dog Was the Teacher

If a dog was the teacher you would learn stuff like:

When loved ones come home, always run to greet them.

Never pass up the opportunity to go for a joyride.

Allow the experience of fresh air and the wind in your face to be pure ecstasy.

When it's in your best interest, practice obedience.

Let others know when they've invaded your territory.

Take naps.

Stretch before rising.

Run, romp, and play daily.

Thrive on attention and let people touch you.

Avoid biting when a simple growl will do.

On warm days, stop to lie on your back on the grass.

On hot days, drink lots of water and lie under a shady tree.

When you're happy, dance around and wag your entire body.

No matter how often you're scolded, don't buy into the guilt thing and right back and make friends.

Delight in the simple joy of a long walk.

Eat with gusto and enthusiasm.

Stop when you have had enough.

Be loyal.

Never pretend to be something you're not.

When someone is having a bad day, be silent, sit close by and nuzzle them gently.

Padres 2007 season - Games 61 to 70

After 60 games: Pads have won 36, lost 24, lead the NL West by 1 game over Diamondbacks, 1-1/2 game over Dodgers. Runs 262-196, Homers 51-31.

Game 61, Saturday, June 9, Seattle at SD: M's win 6-5. This should have been a win - the Pads led 5-1 when it was turned over to the bullpen in the 7th inning. David Wells started and went 6+ innings (6 hits, 3 runs, 0 BB, 2 K). Heath Bell, Scott Linebrink and Doug Brocail (loser, now 2-1) each gave up one run in an inning of work. The Pads jumped on starter Jeff Weaver for 2 in the first and on Jason Davis for 3 in the 5th, then rolled over meekly for closer JJ Putz in the 9th. After 61 games: Won 36, Lost 25 (home 20-11, road 16-14), Runs 267-202, Homers 51-32. Lost 2 in a row, won 5 of last 7, 7 of last 10.

Game 62, Sunday, June 10, Seattle at SD: M's win 4-3. This was another winnable game - the Pads led 3-1 when the M's chased Chris Young in the 7th with 2 runs to tie it up. In the 9th, Kevin Kouzmanoff made an error that led to the winning run off Trevor Hoffman (loser, 2-3). Mike Cameron and Terrmel Sledge homered for all 3 Padre runs in the 4th inning. JJ Putz again closed the Pads out for the 3rd straight game. After 62 games: Won 36, Lost 26 (home 20-12, road 16-14), Runs 270-206, Homers 53-32. Lost 3 in a row, won 5 of last 8, 6 of last 10.

Game 63. Tuesday, June 12, SD at Tampa Bay, Rays win 11-4. This was a winnable game - the Pads were ahead 4-3 in the 7th inning, but the bullpen got rocked. Greg Maddux pitched 6.1 innings (6 hits, 4 R, 3 ER, 3 BB, 4 K) - not that good an outing. Cla Meredith lost it (now 2-5) giving up 2 unearned runs, and then Doug Brocail finished it, giving up a grand slam to Carlos Pena in the 8th. Scott Kazmir and 3 relievers struck out 14 Pads. After 63 games: Won 36, lost 27 (home 20-12, road 16-15), Runs 274-217, Homers 53-33, Lost 4 in a row, won 5 of last 10.

Game 64, Wednesday, June 13, SD at Tampa Bay, Pads win 9-0. Jake Peavy (winner, 8-1) was on, giving up 2 hits in 7 innings with 3 BBs and 8 K's. The Pads jumped on Edwin Jackson for 5 runs in the 1st inning - a 3-run homer by Adrian Gonzalez and a 2-run homer by Kevin Kouzmanoff. In the 3rd, Khalil Greene emptied the bases with a double to make it 8-0, and the Pads coasted from there. Terrmel Sledge hit a solo homer in the 7th. After 64 games: Won 37, Lost 27 (home 20-12, road 17-15), runs 283-217, Homers 56-33, Won 1 in a row, lost 4 of last 5, won 6 out of last 10.

Game 65, Thursday, June 14, SD at Tampa Bay: Pads win 7-1. But it wasn't that easy. Justin Germano threw 6 innings of shutout ball, giving up 3 hits, 1 BB, 4 K's and getting the win (now 5-0). The Pads scored a run in the first on a walk, a double and an error. In the 7th, the Pads scored four runs with RBIs from Cruz, Gonzalez, Blum and Greene. The Rays scored a run in the 8th off Doug Brocail, and the Pads added one in the 9th on a Marcus Giles RBI single. After 65 games: Won 38, Lost 27 (home 20-12, road 18-15), runs 290-218, Homers 56-34, Won 2 in a row, lost 4 of last 6, won 6 out of last 10.

Game 66, Friday, June 15, SD at Chicago Cubs: Cubs win 4-1. David Wells pitched 6 innings, giving up 4 runs, 10hits, 1 BB, 4 Ks, losing (now 3-4). The Cubs got a run in the 4th, and the Pads tied it in the 6th. In the bottom of the 6th, Wells gave up home runs to Mike Fontenot and Alfonso Soriano. Soriano pranced a bit before running it out. Ted Lilly shut the Pads down over 8 innings on 6 hits1 BB, 3 Ks. After 66 games: Won 38, Lost 28 (home 20-12, road 18-16), Runs 291-222, Homers 56-36. Lost 1 in a row, lost 5 of 7, won 5 of last 10.

Game 67, Saturday, June 16, SD at ChiCubs: Pads win 1-0. Another "best game of the year." There were three major highlights in this game. Chris Young started for SD, and hit Derrek Lee in the top of the 4th. Lee charged Young and the teams emptied the benches. Lee and Young were tossed. Carlos Zambrano lost his no-hitter in the 8th, when he tipped a hopper up the middle. He lost the game in the 9th when Russell Branyan one-armed an opposite field home run. The Pads bullpen was superb - Justin Hampson went 3.1 innings, Heath Bell went 1.2 innings (winner, 1-2), and Trevor Hoffman pitched the 9th for his 19th save. After 67 Games: Won 39, lost 28 (home 20-12, road 19-16), Runs 292-222, Homers 57-36, Won 1 in a row, lost 5 of last 8, won 5 of last 10.

Game 68, Sunday, SD at Chicago Cubs: Pads win 11-3. It wasn't that close. Greg Maddux (winner, now 6-3, 6 innings, 3 runs, 7 hits, 0 BB, 1 K) sailed until the 6th and the bullpen finished up with 3 shutout innings. This game was all about Padres' power (huh? what power?) - Mike Cameron had 2 HRs and 3 RBI, Adrian Gonzalez had a HR, 3 doubles and 3 RBI, with 2 RBI, Kahlil Greene hit a 3-run HR with 4 RBI, and Rob Bowen hit a solo shot for 9 of the Padres runs. After 68 Games: Won 40, Lost 28 (home 20-12, road 20-16), Runs 303-225, Homers 62-36, Won 2 in a row, won 5 of last 10.

Game 69, Tuesday, Baltimore Orioles at SD: Pads win, 12-6. Jake Peavy sailed through 5 innings, then gave up 3 runs in the 6th and was gone (6 innings, 3 ER, 6 hits, 2 BB, 7 Ks, won, now 9-1). The Pads were ahead 5-3 when they scored 6 in the bottom of the 6th. The Birds got 3 in the 7th off of Justin Hampson, and the Pads added 1 in the 8th. On offense, Marcus Giles (HR, 3 RBI) and Kahlil Greene (HR, 3 RBI) were the stars. After 69 games: Won 41, Lost 28 (home 21-12, road 20-16), Runs 315-231, Homers 64-36, Won 3 in a row, won 5 of last 10.

Game 70, Wednesday, Orioles at SD, Birds win 7-1. It wasn't that close! Justin Germano (loser, now 5-1) gave up 4 hits to lead off the 1st, then shut the Birds down for 6 innings. Doug Brocail pitched the 7th and 8th, giving up 4 runs to put the game out of reach. Jeremy Guthrie shut the Pads down on 4 hits over 8 innings. Russell Branyan's solo homer in the 8th spoiled the shutout. After 70 games: Won 41, Lost 29 (home 21-13, road 20-16), Runs 316-238, Homers 65-36, Lost 1 in a row, won 5 of last 10.

After 70 games, the Pads are in first place in the NL West, 1/2 game ahead of the D-backs and 1-1/2 ahead of the Dodgers. The team BA is 0.246 (opponents 0.240), and the team ERA is 3.02 (opponents is 4.23).

The Pads called up Chase Headley when Kevin Kouzmanoff had a back problem, and Paul McAnulty went to AAA. They traded C Rob Bowen to the Cubs for C Michael Barrett.

Friday, June 08, 2007

The Fans were Wild...

It is only a game. They keep telling us that! Tell that to the delirious Padres fans and the dejected Dodgers fans after last nights game. Talk about a game with a turning point, and good luck (or bad depending on your point of view!).

We were in our season ticket seats - in Section 310, Row 4. For the first time this year, the two fellows who had the seats next to us last year came to a game that we attended. They are fun and knowledgeable and we enjoy analyzing the players and the game with them.

The Padres won the last game of the series, 6-5, to sweep the three game set and take sole possession of first place in the NL West. How they did it is the story, and a tremendous example of never giving up hope, and how the ball bounces in baseball. 40,631 were in attendance, but many more will say they saw this game. Of those, perhaps 5,000 were Dodgers fans in regalia, and they made their presence seen and heard.

The game started out as a pitchers battle - Jake Peavy, the Padres ace, against the Dodgers Hong-Chih Kuo, a left-hander in his second start with good stuff. The umpire was Jeff Fairchild, a AAA replacement, and he was inconsistent and squeezed both pitchers in the strike zone.

The Dodgers got a run in the top of the 3rd, and the Padres scored a run in the bottom of the fourth.

In the 7th inning, the Dodgers had some good luck and then timely hitting. With one out, Andre Ethier singled past a diving Marcus Giles. Brady Clark lined out to left field, and Jose Cruz's throw to first would have doubled up Ethier, except it hit Ethier's foot about 10 feet from the bag. So it was 2 out and a runner on first. Pinch-hitter Wilson Betemit walked on a 3-2 count, bringing up Rafael Furcal. He smacked a double to the base of the Petco Porch in right field, scoring both runners. Tony Abreu doubled to left to make it 4-1.

Padres fans were dejected, Dodgers fans were elated. The tension in the stands rose as the Dodgers fans hooted and chants of "Beat L.A." reverbrated in response. Security personnel appeared in our section, and removed several fans for infractions.

To make matters worse, Cla Meredith gave up a long home run to center field to Luis Gonzalez in the top of the 8th inning. More Dodger fans elation, more Padres fan dejection. Many fans left in the 8th inning. More Dodgers fans were taken down by security. The Padres went meekly in the 8th inning, and Justin Hampson struggled in the top of the 9th, but didn't give up a run. It was 5 to 1 Dodgers entering the bottom of the 9th inning.

The group of Padres fans in back of us started yelling "Let's Go Padres" and a bunch of guys put on their rally hats in the seats below us. Jonathan Broxton, the Dodgers new closer with the 98 mph fastball and nice curveball, came in to pitch. All of a sudden, the momentum changed. In order, the Padres:

1. Geoff Blum topped a ball that second baseman Jeff Kent came up with but his throw drew Garciaparra off first base. A hit, but could have been an out.

2. Terrmel Sledge pulled a two hopper right at Nomar Garciaparra at first base, who booted it for an error. Should have been an out.

3. Marcus Giles lined a ball to center field that Juan Pierre charged and gloved as he hit the ground, but it got away from him for a single. Bases loaded, nobody out. Could have been an out. My comment to my wife now was "if McAnulty can get on, Adrian can win this with a grand slam."

4. Paul McAnulty, pinch-hitting for the pitcher, topped a ball of the plate - a big hop that Garciaparra gloved but could not beat McAnulty to the bag. A hit, a run scored, the bases are still loaded, nobody out. It could have been an out if Garciaparra had tossed to the pitcher.

5. Adrian Gonzalez smashed a drive to right-center that hopped over the fence, driving in two runs, making it 5-4, with runners on second and third, nobody out. The Padres fans are delirious, lots of high fives, and high hopes for winning this game.

6. Josh Bard was intentionally walked to load the bases, nobody out.

7. With the infield and outfield in, Mike Cameron lined a single right at Juan Pierre in center, scoring the tying run, leaving the bases loaded, nobody out. We have 3 shots at winning this with a hit, walk, balk, flyout, etc. The stands are swaying even though half the people left last inning.

8. Kevin Kouzmanoff struck out on 3 pitches. One out.

9. Russell Branyan worked the count to 3-2, and took a close pitch for a walk-off walk. The winning run scored, the Padres fans cheered loudly, the Dodgers fans looked on in disbelief.

PADRES WIN, 6-5 scoring 5 runs in the 9th inning. Lucky. Good. Cool. Broxton actually pitched pretty well - he could have had 4 outs in the first 4 batters with a little more luck or defensive skill. The Padres drove in runs in scoring position for a change.

There were no smiles on Dodgers fans faces, and there were taunts and jeers by some Padres fans directed at Dodgers fans, as we left the stadium and walked to the trolley station. The Padres fans were still enjoying the afterglow. On the trolley, we sat next to a fellow with a Dodgers cap on - he was glum, and there was only one jeer in the 30 minute ride to the parking lot.

Taking the trolley to the games - $4 round trip. Two upper deck tickets - $32, Sweeping the Dodgers and leading the NL West - Priceless!

But the season is not over - there are 103 more games. The hope for a third straight NL West title, and to go further in the playoffs, still springs eternal.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Lolo and Baba and Gamma

We had the pleasure of caring for every whim and fancy of our 2-year old granddaughter this past weekend. Lolo's dad was on a business trip and her mom had important classwork to do, so Lolo came to visit on Friday. Her mom went home on Saturday and came back on Tuesday to take her home. Four days, three nights of chattering, playing, reading, sleeping, bathing, eating, etc. My only feeling is "Exhilaraustion."

The highlights from Baba's point of view (yep, that's me!):

1) Lolo is babbling quite a bit, and it takes a while to figure some of the words out. She has a decent vocabulary, knows her colors and body parts, some numbers, some letters, and is always naming things.

2) The grandfather clock in the entryway. Every time it chimed, she would point at it and say "Kock." When it ended, she would say "aw dun" and make the "safe" sign. On the hour, she and I would count the chimes. She was puzzled by how it worked. We were afraid it would wake her up at night, but it didn't.

3) Her favorite games are "riding on Baba" and "chasing Baba." She's getting braver riding on my back - to the point of falling off a time or two. We chase through the house - with much laughter and giggles, especially when I catch her, toss her over my shoulder, hang her upside down and give her a tummy buzz.

4) When we go outside, we hide the balls in the weeds and pots, and she goes around collecting them. Then we look for interesting bugs and watch them do their thing. We sit on the wall and watch the cars and trucks go by on the street below - counting them and naming them "blue car" "white truck" and so on. We usually collect some flowers on our walks down the block and bring them home for Grandma.

5) We have a set of stacking blocks called Wedgits which are great. She stacks them nicely, naming the colors every time, and has started being creative in the stacking. Then a sweep of her hand and the blocks fly with a hearty laugh. And then we do it again.

6) Eating. She loves fruit and sweets. She picks the peanut butter out of the waffle holes at breakfast. She eats pretty well when we're out to lunch or dinner. We went to Rubio's for lunch on Monday and she had half a fish taco, half a quesadilla, chips with guacamole and sour cream, and most of the rice. Of course, that night at dinner she just picked at her food. Oh - ice cream is a big hit. Lolo and Baba really enjoy sharing a Cold Stone or Marble Slab treat. She picks out the M&Ms or choc chips - loves them.
7) Bath time is part of the nighttime ritual. She loves to investigate gravity and fluid dynamics by pouring water out of cups, investingating the drain, and squirting water from the fish mouths and frog bellies. I don't know who gets wetter. Then it's time to wash up, and she submerges all but her face to get the shampoo off her head. When she gets out, we dry off and then she runs naked through the house to find Grandma.

8) Night time is amazing. After the bath, diaper and nightie, and teeth-brushing, she gathers 3 or 4 books for reading. Gamma usually gets the reading duty, but Baba does his share. Then we say "it's night-night time" and she runs into the bedroom, lifts her amrs, we put her in the crib, and she lies down with her sleep buddies. Most nights we don't hear another sound until 6 or 7 in the morning. She woke up Sunday night at 3 AM, had a snack, and I rocked her for awhile and she went back down. She takes 1 to 2 hour naps in the early afternoon.
Needless to say, she is a delight, cute as a bug, smart and fun, always laughing and giggling, a pretty typical 2-year old.

We had a fun, happy and tiring three days with her. We can't wait to go visit her and her parents, or have them come visit again. But not for another week or two!

San Diego is #8?

Fox sports has an article about the Top 10 Cities with the longest suffering sports championship drought. San Diego is listed as #8.

The Top 10 are:

1. Buffalo (won 1964 and 1965 AFL championship)

2. Cleveland (won 1964 NFL Championship)

3. Seattle (no champs in major sports)

4. Philadelphia (76ers won in 1983 in NBA)

5. Milwaukee (Bucks won NBA in 1971)

6. Minneapolis/St. Paul (Twins won in 1991)

7. Cincinnati (Reds won MLB in 1976 and 1990)

8. San Diego (Chargers won AFL in 1963)

9. Kansas City (Royals won MLB in 1989, Chiefs won NFL in 1969)

10. New Orleans (won nada in major sports)

It seems to me the list should be Seattle, New Orleans, San Diego, Cleveland, Buffalo, Milwaukee, Cincinnati, Philadelphia, Kansas City, Twin Cities.

We long-suffering Chargers/Padres fans know how bad it has been over the last 47 years. We thought we had an NFL champ this year and the defense let us down. The Pads have knocked on the door several times now, but can't break through. Hope does spring eternal here.

At least we don't have the dark, snow, cold, ice, sleet, rain, etc. that the northern cities do.

The "Style Invitational"

The Washington Post runs a weekly contest in its Style section called the "Style Invitational".

The requirements this week were to use the two words 'Lewinsky' (the Intern) and 'Kaczynski' (the Unabomber) in the same limerick. Now, remember, the following winning entries were actually printed verbatim in the newspaper, no bleeps or xxxs:

Third place:

There once was a girl named Lewinsky
Who played on a flute like Stravinsky
Twas "Hail to the Chief"
On this flute made of beef
That stole the front page from Kaczynski.

Second place:

Said Clinton to young Ms. Lewinsky,
"We don't want to leave clues like Kaczynski,
Since you made such a mess,
Use the hem of your dress
And please wipe that stuff off your chinsky."

And the winning entry:

Lewinsky and Clinton have shown
What Kaczynski must surely have known,
That an intern is better
Than a bomb in a letter,
When deciding how best to be blown.


The first day of school our professor introduced himself and challenged us to get to know someone we didn't already know. I stood up to look around when a gentle hand touched my shoulder.

I turned round to find a wrinkled, little old lady beaming up at me with a smile that lit up her entire being. She said, "Hi handsome. My name is Rose. I'm eighty-seven years old. Can I give you a hug?" I laughed and enthusiastically responded, "Of course you may!" and she gave me a giant squeeze.

"Why are you in college at such a young, innocent age?" I asked. She jokingly replied, "I'm here to meet a rich husband, get married, and have a couple of kids..."

"No seriously," I asked. I was curious what may have motivated her to be taking on this challenge at her age. "I always dreamed of having a college education and now I'm getting one!" she told me. After class we walked to the student union building and shared a chocolate milkshake. We became instant friends.

Every day for the next three months we would leave class together and talk nonstop. I was always mesmerized listening to this "time machine" as she shared her wisdom and experience with me.

Over the course of the year, Rose became a campus icon and she easily made friends wherever she went. She loved to dress up and she reveled in the attention bestowed upon her from the other students. She was living it up.

At the end of the semester we invited Rose to speak at our football banquet. I'll never forget what she taught us. She was introduced and stepped up to the podium. As she began to deliver her prepared speech, she dropped her three by five cards on the floor. Frustrated and a little embarrassed she leaned into the microphone and simply said, "I'm sorry I'm so jittery. I gave up beer for Lent and this whiskey is killing me! I'll never get my speech back in order so let me just tell you what I know."

As we laughed she cleared her throat and began, "We do not stop playing because we are old; we grow old because we stop playing. There are only four secrets to staying young, being happy, and achieving success. You have to laugh and find humor every day. You've got to have a dream. When you lose your dreams, you die. We have so many people walking around who are dead and don't even know it!

"There is a huge difference between growing older and growing up. If you are nineteen years old and lie in bed for one full year and don't do one productive thing, you will turn twenty years old. If I am eighty-seven years old and stay in bed for a year and never do anything I will turn eighty-eight. Anybody can grow older. That doesn't take any talent or ability. The idea is to grow up by always finding opportunity in change. Have no regrets. The elderly usually don't have regrets for what we did, but rather for things we did not do. The only people who fear death are those with regrets."

She concluded her speech by courageously singing "The Rose." She challenged each of us to study the lyrics and live them out in our daily lives.

At the year's end Rose finished the college degree she had begun all those years ago.

One week after graduation Rose died peacefully in her sleep. Over two thousand college students attended her funeral in tribute to the wonderful woman who taught by example that it's never too late to be all you can possibly be.