Monday, June 30, 2008
This produced a ridiculous but completely hilarious result when they reported about Arkansas's Tyson Gay winning the Olympic Trials. Don't believe me? Check the article ran by gay sports blog Outpost which you can find here: http://outsports.com/jocktalkblog/?p=1174#comment-2318 Or you can check out the Arkansas Times blog at www.arktimes.com and go to the Arkansas Blog.
Just when you think you have seen it all......
Sunday, June 29, 2008
Friday, June 27, 2008
Thursday, June 26, 2008
Wednesday, June 25, 2008
As Mike Lupica said, " It's not like he charged a machine gun nest."
Monday, June 23, 2008
Me: I thought I told you not to call me at this number.
Stef: Very funny. What are you doing?
Me: I'm heading to the grocery store.
Stef: Why don't I send you a list?
Me: Text it over to me and I'll take care of it.
Stef: Don't play with my heart like that.
Sunday, June 22, 2008
Me: Man, I'm tired. I spent the last couple of days running around and staying up late.
Lawyer Rick: So this is different from the usual weekend?
Me: I did it in St. Louis. I had to work a lot of stuff in.
Lawyer Rick: Just a change of venue.
Me: I guess.
Here's a pic from yesterday.
Friday, June 20, 2008
Thursday, June 19, 2008
Wednesday, June 18, 2008
There's been all kinds of activity in the sports world the last week or so. You've got the damndest finish to a US Open in history. You've got the NBA Finals with the backstory about whether the refs are fixing the games. You've got the continuing story in the continuing criminal enterprise that is the horse game about the unbelievable collapse of Big Brown at the Belmont.
The Mets treated Willie Randolph like dirt and the Cubs are the best team in baseball.
So, with all this going on what does Wally Hall write about in the erroneously labeled "Like It Is" column? Monday he wrote about the retirement of an assistant AD at Arkansas and today he wrote about how legendary track coach and LR resident Clyde Horton survived a bizarre form of cancer, a story which was covered in depth-and God knows better written-a couple of years ago in the Religion Section.
Understand (as he is fond of starting sentences in which he tries to make a point) that Wally can't be troubled to actually be interested in too much other than Razorback football and basketball, his stupid softball tournament and whatever Charles Cella tells him about the Sport of Kings.
You get the sports page you deserve. And until the Letters page is full of complaints and people march on Walter Hussman's house bearing torches and pitchforks, we can expect more of this drivel.
We found out today that Tiger Woods won the Open with a torn ACL and two stress fractures in his left leg. Guess we can count on Wally to write another column about his daughter's having moved to Memphis.
Monday, June 16, 2008
I wrote them about it and they said they are working out the bugs still. But it is a pretty cool little site. Check it out!
Sunday, June 15, 2008
Saturday, June 14, 2008
I, B, of sound mine do here By write out my Last Will and Statement. I leave 10 acres on the Island on Big Creek to my only son B. my 11 year old Daughtr 7 acres next to B on Big Creek. my only wife C the remaindr of the 40 acress and 33 acrs plus 2 tractr 1 combe all the equmt plus 5 grane bins the haus and truck 79 ford.
After which he affixed his signature.
In 10 years something had evidently changed as the old farmer felt compelled to attempt to draw up a codicil (amendment) to his earlier will:
Don't sell the farm for at lest 3 years. Have time to look at things. I'm given yall the farm and all that goes with it goats and all. Don't sell to M. You can sell one tract to keep things going.
You can learn a lot from reading a will. You can see the extent of the testator's asset picture. You can get an idea of his relations with his family. I can intuit that our farmer loved his family by the references to heirs being his "only" heirs and by the fact that something weighed heavily on his mind when he attempted to make a codicil ("Don't sell to M." "You can sell one tract to keep things going.")
I'm not a father but I am worth a considerable amount of money dead. When I drew up my will some 10-11 years ago I created an educational trust for my nephews to help defray the costs of their educations. I also set up a trust for needy kids at Hendrix College. Laughing chance has intervened since then and I will need to make some changes.
In the first place, I didn't get shot and I didn't drive my car off of a cliff as was widely prophesied as a likely fate for me back in those days when I was choosing the recipients of my bounty. Secondly, my brothers didn't turn out to be nearly as worthless as was widely prophesied about them. So they have no need of my largess. And finally, my goddamn oldest nephew Eli got a Governor's Scholarship to Hendrix which is pretty much a free ride. Even more amazing, he has managed to keep it although it was kind of touch and go at this time last year after Eli discovered girls.
Rocky's old trainer used to say,"Women. They'll take your legs." They'll also cause you to take your eye off the ball. I couldn't be too hard on Eli. Been there, boy. Odds are good that I will be there again.
Most fathers, and eccentric uncles even, have an need to look to the future and to confront the bittersweet reality of the fact that we will someday be, well, dead and to plan accordingly for the welfare of our loved ones. It is part of the toolkit of the responsible man. He may not be all that great at interpersonal communication and he may have what appears to his woman to be an inordinate fascination with whiskey and the golf swing. But if he loves you, he makes sure that the doors are all locked before he turns out the lights. He sits up waiting on the kids. He kicks butts and take names. He plays catch in the yard. He binds wounds. He lays money aside and he tells you where it is in case he snuffs it. He makes sure that the taxes all got paid so that you won't inherit a godawful mess. He protects. He provides. He does the best he can.
He may not be a day at the beach in the present. But He does try to make sure you don't have to worry too much about the future.
Which brings me back to our rural testator. As you might gather, this gentleman did not have much in the way of assets. But one day, he evidently felt it was time to settle up. Maybe he got a bad diagnosis. Maybe the son wanted to know what part of the farm would be left to him. Maybe he just wanted to get it out of the way. Who knows? ( If I were Wally Hall I would have written, " After a night on his knees in prayer, Mr. Farmer decided to write his will." But,unlike Wally, I don't make stuff up.)
Anyway, by his hand, on simple ruled paper with a ball point pen, he did the best he could to provide for his family's future with what little he had to bequeath.
That's what all the good husbands and fathers do after all. They do the best they can. Goats and all.
Happy Father's Day.
Thursday, June 12, 2008
" Every morning I get down on my knees and I thank God for doctor's wives, alcohol and car wrecks. "
Wednesday, June 11, 2008
Tuesday, June 10, 2008
Robin Roberts' response to this news was " I didn't know that."
That's because it isn't true. Ed Reggie was a political insider and pretty big stuff during the administration of Edwin Edwards. But he was never Governor.
Don't they look this stuff up? This is Wally Hall level fact checking.
Monday, June 09, 2008
Her breathing was shallow. She was sleeping hard. So peaceful. So disconnected from my self-important world of ultimately petty cares. I watched Mother sleep. The phone buzzed.
Message from Mississippi: How's Mom?
Me: She's asleep. She's always asleep.
Message from Mississippi: At least you know she is in no pain. She's comfortable. That's good.
Me: Yeah. I guess.
Message from Mississippi: Trust me. It's good. It is as good as it can be.
About that time a nurse's aide came in. Said she needed to dry Mother off. Oh.
"They always sleep after their shower."
" You can come back in when I am finished. She will be awake then."
Phone buzzes again. Do I have time to talk about those releases I have been consulting with those other lawyers about?
Baby, all I got is time. Sure.
Nurse's aide says I can come in. I go in.
I wish my mother Happy Birthday.
"Is it my birthday?" she whispers. She is so weak she has no vocal production. I have to place my head near her mouth to hear anything.
I show her the flowers I bought her. I read the cards that were sent from her friends and relatives. She lies there with her eyes closed, a half-smile playing about her lips.
I stand by the side of the bed. I am leaning on the guard rails.
"85 is a long time Mom" I say. I added it up. It is 85. Thought it was 84. " You were born just after World War I. World War II would get started in Europe 10-15 years after that."
" That is a long time."
" But you know?"
" Happy time for me."
" You were a girl on the farm."
"Um-hmm. She was so pretty."
" I can't talk."
Time for wild guess. "Charlsie?" I asked.
"Yes. We had fun."
Charlsie is her little sister. She didn't recognize her last Saturday. Things have come to that.
" You tired Mother?"
I kiss her cheek.
"Happy Birthday, Mama. I love you."
" You come check on me again real soon, hear?'
"Yes ma'am. I will."
She is asleep before I am out the door.
And I point the car back to Little Rock.
My only response is, if they could make an opera out of "Kiss of the Spider Woman" than I suppose you can put anything to music.
Think of it as a gayer, more rustic version of "La Boheme" or "Madame Butterfly."
Friday, June 06, 2008
Well, my response to that is, with all due respect to the leader of this bunch of weak minded sheep: Jesus, or the Jesus that the people who wrote about Him, hell, somebody got it wrong. Jesus preached that the Kingdom of God was at hand. The early Christians went about doing their mighty works and suffered much tribulation secure in the hope that the end was near. You can make a good case, and a lot of smart people have, that this was the sort of information that the Son of God might have been clued in on.
And unless I missed something in the papers, it hasn't happened. Somebody was wrong.
So I am betting on the under on this one.
No Sunday Feeling this weekend. Off to the family reunion up in the country. Will return soon unless lightning hits me after I push : "publish post."
God, how I love baseball.
The National Pasttime is famous for these kinds of outbursts from its managers although typically you don't see an explosion like this until around the All-Star break.
It was about this time last year when the Cubs's Lou Pinella went "kablooey!" So we're about due.
Wednesday, June 04, 2008
Tuesday, June 03, 2008
Sunday, June 01, 2008
Unlike movies, I think it is pretty hard to stumble into a bad book. I don't really know why that is. I think on a certain level it is easier to get a movie done than a book published. I mean, porn is proof of that. Having said that, I am certain, based upon reviews I have read, that the "Left Behind" series of books are absolute drivel. Not that I would have any interest in that sort of literature in the first place. By the same token, the sort of person who likes that sort of thing would certainly have no use in the body of work by Garry Wills. So it's apples and oranges.
While I didn't read any bad books as such I did read one work that made me want to sew my eyes shut by the time I was through with it. Why I volunteered myself to edit a friend's Masters thesis is beyond me. Actually, I know why I did it. It is for the same reason that has traditionally led to most of the trouble in my life: the author is an attractive woman.
My friend is, I suppose, a linguist and is fluent in about 5 languages. The thesis was a historical overview of "Teaching English as a Second Language" as it is has evolved in this country. As you might have surmised by now, I knew absolutely nothing about the subject matter at hand. And neither do you. My lack of expertise made my task only moderately more difficult. My nodding acquaintance with the English language is what held me back.
I am not unfamiliar with the use of technical language. I have, after all, read banking regulations. I have savored the delights of the United States Bankruptcy Code. However, my general training in arcana did not adequately prepare me for the task of editing a thesis that was aimed at those who toil in the grove of academe.
My friend is brilliant, articulate and funny. You couldn't tell it from her first draft. The thesis was turgid, resplendent with what I thought were mostly redundant citations and heavily reliant on hypersyllabic words where simplicity would have done just as well. " Here is where I can help this girl out" I thought to myself as I put the red pencil to that son-of-a-bitch. After I had done my work, I e-mailed the draft back to her. I had no sooner pushed the send button than my cell phone went off.
PH: What did you do to my draft?
ME: I fixed it.
PH: But it's all different now.
ME: I know. I think it reads much better now.
PH: You don't understand. This is academic writing. They like it when you use high-falutin' language and a zillion footnotes.
ME: But it is unreadable.
PH: I know. But that is the style my advisors prefer. I know my audience.
ME: But that's insane.
PH: Agreed. It's also beside the point. Look, from here on out, you just make sure there's nothing glaringly outside the laws of the English language and leave the stylistic points to me.
And so that's what I did for the rest of the month. Phrases that would cause Orwell to put a gun in his mouth were left in. Words like "disusetude" did not feel the lash of the red pencil. Pages consisting of naught but footnotes didn't receive a second look.
And my friend was happy and bought me dinner at a nice restaurant when we were through.
And we wonder why colleges turn out people that aren't particularly well suited to critical thinking despite being "credentialed." It's because some departments force smart people to think dumb in order to get their walking papers.
So while I didn't read any bad books last year, I did read a Master's thesis. And the next time my friend asks me for a favor I will make sure it is something relatively painless before I agree.
Like donating a kidney or something.
If you want to read about other perfectly dreadful reading experiences go here and read about the worst books of 2008.