Thursday, March 31, 2011


The inability to insert paragraph breaks is a system-wide thing that Google hasn't gotten around to fixing yet. They are also having trouble uploading pictures and videos. This has been going on for about a week.

I can edit and publish in html but it looks like crap. Will keep you posted.

Hopefully Google can fix this soon as a lot of blogspot users are high pissed.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Dispatch From The Field

An exchange between two baseball guys that was initiated from the one that's a Dodgers fan in North Carolina. Polycarp: It's funny. Even in a year like this one, where the Dodgers are a mess, they get lots more press than the Angels, even in the LA Times. tmfw: Season starts tomorrow right? Polycarp: Thursday is the first real game. tmfw: Hard to think of baseball when it's 40 degrees. Polycarp: Not if you've been listening to hillbillies talk hoops and Nascar for 5 years it isn't. tmfw: Point for you.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Technical problems is resisting all attempts at editing today. I apologize for the run-on paragraph that is the last post.

My Sunday Feeling

Scripture instructs us that to everything there is a season and a time for every purpose under Heaven. I realized about a month ago that it was time for me to leave the Board of a local non-profit here in town. I wasn't pissed off at anybody. My resignation wasn't an act of protest concerning any action the Board had taken. On the contrary, I get along with pretty much everybody on the Board and those in the auxiliary support group of young professional folks. Indeed, looking back on it I realized that I had been affiliated with this organization for the better part of my professional career. This was my second tour of duty on the Board. This time it foolishly made me an Officer and I served as Acting President off and on for 2 years and President the last 2. So what happened? Well, as some people say on Facebook about their own relationships, "it's complicated." And I'm still pondering these things in my heart as I type this. Like most guys, I'm not terribly inward directed. I'm not much one for excessive navel gazing. But here goes. If memory serves, it was that noted humanitarian John Lennon who said that life is what happens when you're busy making plans. One day you are rocking blissfully along and then the game changes on you. A best friend dies about the time other things are going "boom!" And so it becomes time to step back, scratch the back of your head and take stock of the situation. And it occurred to that I needed to go. It occurred to me that I didn't have the emotional energy anymore to devote to the position. I started doing the calculus. I was scheduled to leave in June. Everybody that we needed to get rid of is gone. We got through another audit. There's nothing really left to do before the fiscal year ends. So they don't really need me anymore. Well, they certainly don't need someone at the helm who is as blanked out as I am right now. But still, I've done this a long time. I'm identified with this Board and it with me. It's hard to take the overt step to sever the ties with folks you care about even if those ties were soon to be severed by operation of the By-Laws anyway. I believe that it was Dirty Harry who said that a man has got to know his limitations. I think I know myself pretty well. And I know that I have hit the wall. And so, one night last week I poured me a glass of Knob Creek. I put an ice cube in it. And I started typing. I told the Board that my service with them was an honor and a privilege. I told them that I was tired and that I didn't feel up to making decisions much more complicated after 5 than what club to pull out of the bag. And that it was time for me to go. That was about it. I arrived in Jackson early in the afternoon on the day before Hugh's funeral 3 weeks or so ago. My hotel was next door to Millsaps College, where Hugh and Laura both went. And graduated even. So I went for a walk on the campus that day to stretch my legs. Millsaps, like Hendrix, is a Methodist college, although Hendrix is vastly superior. Just kidding. Anyway, after awhile I happened upon a statue of John Wesley on which was inscribed his famous dictum: "Do all the good you can, in all the ways you can, in all the places that you can, at all the times you can, to all the people you can,as long as ever you can." As I have said before, I am not a very good Christian but I am pretty good Methodist. I wondered what Bro. Wesley would think about me quitting on the job as I typed my resignation e-mail last week. I figured he might not approve. Then again, he never ran a goddamn women's shelter either. Point for me. Do all the good you can. As long as you ever can. I didn't do anywhere near that. Whatever was accomplished while I was hanging around had zero to do with me. I mainly had sense enough to stay out of the way of the folks that actually ran things. Because of them I now have the luxury of moving on. It's time for me to go. I took a sip of whiskey. I pushed the send button. And it was OK.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

My Sunday Feeling

We don't do much political commentary around here. It doesn't much interest me the way it fascinates some of my friends. Besides, I would much rather write about whiskey, women and sports. But the other day, something remarkable happened in the Arkansas State House. That august body, led by a highly principled bloc of Tea Party infected Republicans held up an increase in the appropriation for the Arkansas School for the Deaf. The amount of the increase? A measly 6 grand.

I guess the School for the Blind knew better than to even ask.

Now it is one thing to insist that all state agencies, even the one entrusted with the care and education of deaf children, execute its mission in a fiscally responsible fashion. Noone would seriously dispute this. But it is another thing altogether to come down hard on the deaf school while drawing extra tax free compensation to dummy corporations set up by these stalwarts. My friend and neighbor John Brummett explains it all on the jump: And as if that wasn't bad enough, they held up the appropriation for the deaf school while rubber stamping a 700k appropriation for the Arkansas Sports Hall of Fame.

Let me get this completely straight. These fiscal conservatives don't blink at damn near a million bucks for a mostly useless shrine to jockdom but they will draw the line at a 6 grand increase for the Arkansas School for the Deaf all the while funnelling extra swag to themselves?

It's not just Republicans who benefit from this largess. There are Democrats who are in on the gravy train too. And it stinks. John refers to all of this merely as "hypocrisy" in his column. But that is because he writes for a news service and must keep up appearances. I am burdened by no such constraints.

To call the Republicans (or hell Democrats for that matter) who sought to balance the budget on the backs of the deaf while double-dipping from the public trough is to libel hypocrites everywhere. No. They are chickenshit bastards, sons-of-bitches, punks, and greedheads with Oedipal tendencies(think about it for a minute).

The fact that the appropriation was passed after an indignant response from the electorate might give me some small hope that these Tea Party types are at least minimally conversant with shame. Except that I have no hopes for any long term political consequences for this stunt given the short term memory of the electorate and the fact that the core constituency of the Tea Party consists primarily of corporate interests and lunatics.

This is why I vastly prefer to think about sports. I am not unmindful that hypocrisy abounds in sports, particularly at the intercollegiate level. I give you Ohio State's Jim Tressel and Tennessee's soon-to-be-canned Bruce Pearl. But in an athletic contest there is pretty much always a winner and a loser. And the outcome-whichever way it shakes out-is generally explainable in simple terms. Unless we are talking about figure skating which is not a sport or boxing and the horse game which can be rigged.

It's hard to explain voting against deaf children. At least not with a straight face.

Gee. It's good to be back.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Status Report

First of all I want to thank everybody who has been in touch with me the last week or so. I have received countless e-mails and text messages since my last post. It is gratifying and humbling to know that so many people care about me. It is also fascinating to realize that many of you came to "know" Hugh and Laura through these pages or from the usual back and forth on Facebook. This is indeed a brave new world that has such people in it.

I made up that last sentence myself. Bet y'all are relieved that my puckish sense of humor survived the recent unpleasantness intact.

Anyway, everybody is doing as well as can be expected under the circumstances. I spoke with Laura and Camille last night. Camille is excited about her new camera and the photography class she is enrolled in. Laura,in turn, learned way more than she wanted to know in response to the perfectly innocent question "What does SLR mean?" She probably won't answer her phone for a couple of weeks if she sees me on the Caller ID.

As for me, I'm doing OK too. Between Governor's School Auditions and doing a music review for the paper when I got back in town in addition to the day job, I was a little busier than I needed to be. I was a lot more exhausted than I realized. It takes a lot of energy to get through such a traumatic event. And I don't have as much as I used to.

I don't know when I'll get back here. There's a lot going on right now, both in my head and in my heart. These recent events have caused me to look at a great many issues with a different perspective.

But it is Spring and Spring won't let one be idle. Miracle League is coming up along with Major League Baseball. The NFL is on strike which promises to be amusing and the NCAA Tournament starts next week. Golf tournaments have been entered during which we can expect the usual finger pointing and recriminations. But just sitting here on the porch swing with some amber liquid sounds pretty good too.

Like I said in the last post, I will be back. I just don't know when. But thanks for asking. I appreciate it.

I invited Laura to come see me this Spring. She and Hugh loved their last visit to Hillcrest. She said she just might do it.

And when she comes we will sit right here on this swing together. And I bet she won't ask me any more questions about cameras.