Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Let Nothing Go To Waste

Times are extremely tough in my county. Local schools have seen severe crimping of their budgets. In fact, each school was directed to brainstorm ways to save money at the school. The lists were all submitted to the budget office.

One item from one school caught my eye...

[Click to enlarge]

You have to admire their dedication and financial stewardship.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

CavMan Down

Things are not off to a great start this football season at UVA (aka DSU) In today's game against TCU, in which UVA lost 30-14, CavMan lacked passion.

Sunday, September 06, 2009


It lies in all of us.

~Angelus from Buffy, the Vampire Slayer


“COME ON MAN…WHERE’S YOUR PASSION????” screamed the 40-something year old drunk VT fan and his slightly younger and more drunk brother as they pointed their shaky fingers in my face.

My crime? I was sitting down during a time-out in the endless first quarter of the Alabama/VT football game in 2009.

I tried to explain to Mr. Passion that there was a time-out. There was no action on the field, and that Frank (Beamer), himself, always says, “You gotta pace yourself so you can really git after it late in the game.”


“”Just watch the game.” I retorted. “I’ll be there.”


My seats were on the goal line in the upper deck on the second row of the Georgia Dome. Normally the seats should have been awesome… But Mr. Passion, who had appointed himself the section cheer captain despite the fact that the whole section collectively ignored him, was relentless and in our faces for almost the entire game from the front row.

In order to see any football action, I had to stand and look around him from side to side countering his sway. My sister, who deals with bad knees, was in no position to stand at all, so she saw even less of the game than I. Since he was on the front row, this man and his bro already had the best seats in the house without even standing. But stand they did until the artificial chemical imbalances in their brains forced them to sit.

When Mr. Passion grew tired of waving his arms during timeouts and yelling at us during plays instead of watching the plays himself, he’d sprawl back in his seat and lay his head back between my wife’s legs. She didn’t appreciate that very much. I suppose the bourbon caught up with him at about halftime. He swayed off with his bro, presumably to find a bathroom. When he and his minion returned, over half the third quarter was gone. Somehow, the section and the football team had survived without him.

Newly refreshed and juiced, Mr. Passion jumped right back in. This time he questioned my older brother’s passion when he spied him sitting down between plays sipping from his beverage. “PASSION! MAN, WHERE’S YOUR PASSION? COME ON GET UP AND YELL!!! [Accusing finger flashes toward my brother.]

“Don’t you worry about me. I’ll be there for third down.”

“THAT’S NOT GOOD ENOUGH!. YOU’VE GOT TO HAVE PASSION! YOU’VE GOT TO GRAB IT FROM DOWN HERE [pointing to his crotch].“ Disgustingly, Mr. Passion turned away again shaking his head in disbelief which unsurprisingly was our reaction to his gesture.

As Alabama began putting a hurt on our defense in the fourth quarter, Mr. Passion and his bro began to sit more and more in front of us. Oddly, even though VT was losing, my level of enjoyment actually increased. Perhaps because the cloud of abuse had largely lifted.

With about 3:42 seconds left in the game, Mr. Passion gave up and went home leaving the rest of us in the section rudderless.

It speaks to us... guides us... Passion rules us all. And we 

obey. What other choice do we have?

~Angelus from Buffy, the Vampire Slayer

post script: As the first half assault continued unabated, all of us behind Mr.Passion thought seriously about finding officials and complaining about his behavior. I’m not entirely sure why none of us did. But the fact is that even though he questioned our passion, he didn’t throw up on any of us nor did he touch any of us other than the annoying fist bumps and high fives he demanded after good plays. Maybe we all suffered from something like “Battered Wife Syndrome.” Regardless, we allowed Mr. Passion to largely ruin our game experience. For that, I continue to kick myself.

Tuesday, September 01, 2009


My father had a stroke today.

87 years old with emphysema
Out of the blue at almost exactly Noon
He came in from working in the yard
Went to the bathroom
Began taking stuff out of the fridge to make lunch
Got dizzy and had his right side go numb
Leaned against the kitchen sink

Mother heard the quiet from her slumber recliner
Made her way to the kitchen and discovered him
Chair dragged over
Made him sit
Called my sister, first number in Rolodex
Sister had mom call 911

Rescue squad was fast
Taken to the emergency room
Trauma team evaluates
Right arm limp
Right leg stiff
Right side of face stretched
Speech slurred
Very alert

Tissue Plasminogen Activator (tPA) given at 2:35pm
Controversial and Risky clot dissolving drug
1-15 chance of bleeding in brain
Nurse said if it works miraculous results would be observable
It did and they were
Must be closely monitored for 24 hours

While not by any stretch back to normal
Pop is better
Both hands can be raised
Both legs have full range of motion
Speech still slurred

So far, prognosis good
Morning will bring new tests and evaluations
Then we will all move forward bravely.
Intercessions appreciated.

As a family aside, I haven't yet contacted my wife's side of the family. If you are one of them, please know that no slight was intended...we just didn't get to it before most humans get to sleep (I'm burning the candle right now). Please do not discuss this health matter with others inside the family until Jackie has the opportunity to officially inform everyone later Wednesday morning. Thanks