HOW BACK IS DAVID HURTA? Yesterday afternoon in his room, recovering from a serious heart attack, several days in a coma and concerns about a diminished brain capacity, Dave proved to the world (as he has been doing now for about a week) that he is doing very well, which is remarkable and even miraculous as multiple doctors have described his recovery. Asked who he thought would win the NCAA tournament last night, David said Butler. Why? "Because this is Master's week and everyone knows about Butler's cabin at the Masters." Heck, David even remembered why I missed last year's Roar With Laughter Lion's Club Comedy Event (the flu). I didn't even remember that until he reminded me.
THE PLANETS ALIGN. How else can it be explained that I totally agree with this Bill O'Reilly column? You will not find a true and good Roman Catholic in America today that is not horrified over the latest round of child sex abuse charges by priests. It's appalling and unacceptable and were any priest to be found guilty of any criminal charges regarding sexual abuse, he should immediately be laicized and turned over to authorities. What has happened is not a reflection on the lion's share of the world's 1 billion Catholics. Not at all. As Bill O'Reilly sums it up:"If you cut through all the bull, the doctrines of treating others as
you want to be treated, forgiveness and redemption, and charity for all
stand the test of time. Even if the atheists are right and there is no
God, the philosophy of Jesus is full-force positive. Live the way he
lived, and the world will be a better place. The actions of
others must be considered, of course. But I like this analogy: We've
had some pretty bad leaders in America, right? Do they make you want to
renounce your citizenship? The United States is not the people who
lead it. It is all of us."
IS UNREST IN THE FOREST, THERE IS TROUBLE
WITH THE TREES. On hearing more news of Tiger Woods' and Jesse James'
unfaithfulness this morning, The Boy said, "People should have to take
tests to see if they will be able to be decent people. If not, they
should be trees." But then, you know what Geddy Lee always said.
BEST FEEL GOOD MOVIE I'VE SEEN IN AWHILE: "The World's Fastest Indian." Warm and endearing, Anthony Hopkins is as far away from his "Silence of the Lambs" role as you could possibly imagine. Good cameo by Christopher Lawford as well as most of the quirky characters Hopkins meets on his journey from New Zealand to Utah to break the word land speed record on his vintage 1921 Indian "motorsickle." Excellent movie.
EARLY FRONTRUNNER FOR BEST MUSIC OF THE YEAR (FOR THE OVER 40 CROWD): "Midnight Souvenirs," by former J Geil's singer, Peter Wolf. What the Rolling Stones would sound like if they turned it down a few notches. Great country blues mix.
Sean and Leigh Anne Touhy, the Mississippi parents who took in neglected African American teenager Michael Oher and whose lives were immortalized by Tim McGraw and Sandra Bullock in the movie "The Blind Side" will be the featured speakers at this year's "An Evening With ..." presentation hosted by Centers for Children and Families.
The Touhys, at left with Lewis, will be the guests of honor for the Centers fundraiser on Friday, August 13, 2010 at the Midland County Horseshoe.
Just last Sunday, Bullock received an Academy Award for Best Actress in a Leading Role for her portrayal of Mrs. Touhy in "The Blind Side," which was nominated for an Oscar for Best Picture.
Contact Centers at 570-1084 for ticket information.
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Other notes and musings:
-- Just once I'd like to see a TV anchor throw to the weatherman and get the
toss all wrong. Anchor: "So, Bart, lotsa snow today, eh?" Bart: "Well
umm, no, actually Ted, it's sunny and beautiful and 91 today. Maybe
some snow next winter, big guy, but thanks for payin' attention
-- Knowing network TV and how it devolves in front of our very eyes on a regular basis, I'll probably regret this later, but the new NBC program 'The Marriage Ref' is one of the funniest programs Ive seen recently, except for '30 Rock,' which remains in a class by itself.
-- I am happy to say I have seen the day where WWF no longer stands for World Wrestling Federation in the American cultural lexicon. WWF is the newest sensation, a word game that has literally swept the nation. If you see someone with their nose buried in their phone at every possible moment there's a decent chance that person is involved in one or more WWF games ... a sort of updated Scrabble app for smart phones. I'm addicted. I'm bad, but I'm addicted. Not as bad as Texas Rangers' pitcher C.J. Wilson, one of 11 Ranger players addicted to the game at the team's Surprise, Ariz., camp. In a story last week on MLB.com, Wilson admitted to being involved in 18 games at the same time.
-- Best judge of how passionate you are about your life? Easy: Wake up to the sound of a fire alarm at a hotel while you are on a business trip. This happened Monday night in Austin when I was on the second floor of one of those roadside business template hotels that all look and feel the same. At 1:30 in the morning ... I very nearly did NOT get myself out the front door. The only reason I did? What my self-perception might've been had I not.
-- First 'Paper or plastic?' now this: Remember when we used to be able to just order shaved ham and they'd know what to do? Now, we have to decided whether we want it 'falling apart' or 'holding its shape.' Why so hard? Just cut the meat already. Surprise me.
-- Sadly this is what my life has come to: I was sitting with some senior women recently, all of us waiting for a speaker to begin a presentation. I am the only man in the room; "Chair of the Outnumbered Committee," I joked to those around me. They laughed. Their conversation went from Broadway to family and finally to recipes they'd tried. One women mentions how she cooked a rump roast and how good it was with all its seasoning and green and red peppers. So what do I do? I go home and cook it based on a conversation on which I had just eavesdropped between older women I did not know. And to answer what would surely be your next question: No, it wasn't that great. I'd make a lousy older woman.
-- And finally, this posted on someone's Facebook page recently: Three sure signs spring is back: The flowers have bloomed, the wind has kicked up, and the Mormons are back on their bicycles.
-- I really had to do a double take when I saw that THE Garrison Keillor is coming to Midland College as part of the Phyllis and Bob Cowan Performing Arts Series. Few people are as well spoken and as accomplished with the word, written or otherwise, as Keillor. Congrats to the college and to the Cowans for landing such a giant. Treat yourself and mark your calendars: Monday, October 18, at 7 p.m.
-- What are you doing at 10 a.m. today? If you're like way, way too many others you'll be hanging on Tiger Wood's every word. Let's hope there's an ounce of sincerity in his presentation. I mean, we've already seen untold numbers of athletes try to lie themselves back into the public's favor, and it just doesn't work very often.
-- When the mayor of a 105,000 population city feels it worthy to mention in a public forum (Wes Perry's State of the City address this week) his city's nasty driving habits, I'd say we have a significant problem, bad enough to do something about ...
-- I think the good people down at myWestTexas.com should consider running a poll asking their readers who would come out and who wouldn't if you locked '24''s' Jack Bauer in a cage with Chuck Norris. I'm pretty sure I'd know how I'd vote after watching the last coupe of episodes of '24.'
-- Texas Monthly was fairly generous to West Texas with its latest edition, mentioning 15 places or things to see or experience in their 'Bucket List' issue, on newsstands this week. Of the "63 things all Texans should do before they die, TM's editors include these West Texas gems: making the drive from Dalhart to Brownsville ... visiting Palo Duro Canyon ... McDonald Observatory, Davis Mountains ... the Perini Steakhouse in Buffalo Gap ... Mount Cristo Rey, El Paso ... driving The River Road, Lajitas to Presidio ... visiting Donald Judd's 100 Aluminum Boxes, Marfa ... Santa Rita No. 1, Texon ... watching the Nazareth HS girls basketball game ... seeing the Marfa Lights ... experiencing the H&H Car Wash and Coffee Shop, El Paso ... visiting the Indian battle grounds in the Canadian River Valley, near Amarillo ... Cadillac Ranch, Amarillo ... Buddy Holly's grave, Lubbock ... and Railroad Blues, Alpine.
-- And finally, isn't it sad to watch a once mighty cultural icon like Elton John resort to making outlandish statements in order to capture what little share of attention he can still get ...
Things that make you feel old, Part 1: So, today, the young man living in my house formerly known as The Boy many lifetimes ago gets his learner's permit. Yeah ... driving. It may not make you feel as old as I do, but I'm pretty much at a a loss for words.
Things that make you feel old, Part 2: If The Boy's driving doesn't make you feel like you've put on a few years, watching Roger Daltry and Pete Townsend perform at Sunday's Super Bowl halftime show surely will. Was there ever a band that epitomized teenage rebellion more than these guys? "Baba O'Riley," "My Generation," "The Kids Are All Right" and the like ... it'll seem weird watching Daltry (now 65) and Townsend (64) singing about a teenage wasteland. Maybe they'll change the lyrics to "It's only my senior waistline" instead? The Who was musically one of the great bands of alltime and a big part of that reputation was the late Keith Moon, simply one of the greatest, maybe THE greatest, rock and roll drummer of all time. An overdose killed him 31 years ago ...
In case you missed it: Hopefully you didn't miss it, but Basin PBS rose to the occasion once again last night, giving us "Three Girls and Their Buddy," a Soundstage presentation featuring folkies Buddy Miller, Shawn Colvin, Emmylou Harris and Patty Griffin. What a treat it was ... here's hoping Basin PBS has plans for an encore presentation.
Factchecking: Does anyone ever check Punxsutawney Phil's work? i mean the guy lives underground 364 days a year, comes out one day of the year and looks around for himself. Has anyone ever thought to see if he's anywhere near accurate? In fact, I posed that question over at my Facebook page ... and alert reader Briley Mitchell tells me he checked, and found the famed groundhog has been right 39 percent of the time, which is actually a better average than your typical baseball player, but much worse (hopefully) than your everyday weatherman.
One job I wouldn't have: TV weatherman. It's been a brutal winter for forecasting for the local guys. I can't imagine having a job where your success rate is completely dependent on the whims of Mother Nature. This year, the unpredictability of the weather seems almost at an alltime high, though that's most certainly unverifiable.
Can't go there: One thing keeping me from buying a 50-inch TV? A 50-inch Kelly Grimsley.
Catholics in the Diocese of San Angelo have raised and donated more than $103,000 in relief aid for victims of the Haiti earthquake. When making the announcement, Bishop Michael Pfeifer also said it was the most ever raised for a special collection in the diocese.
Many Catholics in West Texas may also remember the name Joe Vasquez. Vasquez spent some of his childhood in Abilene, was ordained a priest in the diocese of San Angelo in 1984 and served parishes in Fort Stockton, Odessa and San Angelo. Yesterday, Pope Benedict XVI named Vasquez the Bishop of Austin, succeeding Gregory Aymond, named Archbishop of New Orleans last June.
I remembered vaguely something showing up in my email box only a couple of hours after the earthquake struck Haiti January 12, killing tens of thousands. Something about Haitians being aligned with the devil, it said. I quickly deleted in hopes I could convince myself that that sort of talk hadn't started. And then Rush Limbaugh, with all the charm and grace of a petulant, spoiled 10-year-old who'd just been bested in a playground fight, came out later in the week and said something about the U.S. already making a donation to Haiti. "It's called income tax." Nya-nya-nya, all the way home.
And then later in the week, Pat Robertson bottomed even Rush's gutter sniping and seconded the notion that Haitians had entered into a pact with the devil centuries ago to escape slavery at the hands of the French and for that they had brought this calamity upon themselves. Pat's God is quite obviously different from the benevolent one I talk to every day. The one who has and does forgive me for every dumb thing I do and has not once brought anything bad on me.
How can these powerful, important, influential men be so daft as to so entirely not even get it? When someone is down, we kick them again? Is that what Pat and Rush would teach their children? Is that what they would have us teach our children? Pat Robertson certainly didn't mean we shouldn't help Haitians because they're sleeping with the devil, did he? Rush didn't mean we shouldn't help them because they already get enough money from us anyway. Did he?
If Pat Robertson were a fireman holding a net and a homosexual jumped from a burning building he'd pack it all up and head back to the station house mid-way through the doomed man's plunge.
In times like these we scarcely have time for judging others. We shouldn't put Haitians before our personal review board to determine if they're worth saving because of something some angry 21st century Vaudevillian radio announcer or misguided tele-evangelist says, should we? Now is not the time for holding people up in the public square to determine their value. Now is the time for helping other people because it's what God would have us do. It's what Jesus would do -- remember those bracelets? And it's what should be done.
Pat would have his listeners believe that Haiti is filled with Satan worshiping witches and warlocks who deserve what they got. Haiti in fact is 96 percent Christian making it one of the most faith-filled countries in the entire world. Not that the number of Christians in the country should matter. We should help these people because they're people. Not because of how or what or who they believe, but because they were put here by the same maker who put you and me here. We -- and they -- are God's people, all. And that is reason enough to help, save for the fact that it's simply the right thing to do.
Jesus Christ said it is easy to love your neighbors, it is when we reach out and love those who are our enemies that we are truly practicing what he set forth. And while Haitians may not be enemies in the first sense, they are clearly enemies of the message put out by Pat and Rush. Were either commentators the least bit concerned about what Christ would want us to do, they would have at the very least withheld comment. By merely stating something outlandish they have likely prevented hundreds of thousands of dollars in relief money from being sent to an already-struggling country. The message handed down from Pat and Rush: Don't help those not like us. How can either of them sleep at night?
-- Oriental water-colorist Ricky Chou says he's been inundated by phone calls, visits to his H-E-B tortilla factory and expressions of well-wishes since his weekend appearance on "Texas Country Reporter," which highlighted Ricky's artistic creativity with a brush. Ricky told me he's received calls from as far away as Austin, San Antonio and Fort Worth from people wanting to buy his art. One local man has approached Ricky about commissioning him for a piece that he said he would like to hang in his home.
-- The Dallas Cowboys real problem? No on-field leadership. None. Watching Tony Romo it becomes increasingly apparent the kind of inspiration Roger Staubach was to his teammates. He made those around him want to play better. The way Michael Jordan did and Derek Jeter does. The Cowboys of the 1970s wanted to win not just for themselves but for Staubach. Tony Romo doesn't have that spark. As a co-worker said the other day, Romo's more Danny White than Roger.
-- Wade Phillips should have fined Igor Olshansky after the Dallas lineman recorded a tackle late in the Cowboys' loss to San Diego Sunday and threw a quick salute San Diego's way. How do you taunt after you make a tackle when you are hopelessly out of a game? It's yet another symptom of the snarkiness sports suffers from more and more today. Igor's dumb moment hearkened back to this brainless moment by OU's Ryan Broyles in the Sooners' big loss to Texas Tech last month.
-- Meryl Streep lights up a screen like no one else. She is the best actor, male or female, we have the pleasure of watching today. The latest example is how she almost single-handedly props up "Julie & Julia," a movie that wouldn't have been much of a movie without Streep's expert portrayal of Julia Child.
-- And I'm disappointed that the Yalies decided not to include "I'm just sayin' " among their list of top quotes of 2009. Maybe not since "awesome," "NOT!" and "No Way/Way" have their been words more overspoken in our language. The phrase is so prevalent on Facebook, the social networking site should include it in its branding. Just sayin'.
LADIES, TRY TO RESIST MAKING A COMMENT YOU'LL REGRET LATER ... This from
"Mother Angelica's Private and Pithy Lessons from Scripture": "I’ve
often wondered, why are there still apes around if we came from them? Somewhere
along the line if apes became man, wouldn’t all the apes be men by now?" I
love that ...
POINT TO PONDER: My friend Alan Moravcik wondered this allowed the other day at a men's group at church: "There's a
fine line between looking like you're in deep thought and looking like you
don't have the first clue what's going on." (Alan's a pretty deep thinker.)
HEAD SCRATCHER: No one has ever yet adequately explained
to me exactly why there is something in high school football called WEEK ZERO.
Surely there's a better name. I can't imagine there would be a sensible explanation for THAT term.
A FEW OR A COUPLE?: We have a disagreement in our house.
Karen says the definition of "a few" is "2 or more." I say
it is "4 or more." Two is "a couple." Three is
"3." Four or more, therefore, is... "a few." (But no more than 7, because 8 would probably qualify as several. I looked it up.
Webster says the definition of a "few" is "a small number." Webster ain't much help. He's right
about all those other words, but he's kind of ambiguous this time. But my wife is just wrong, I'm sorry to say, because she is on so few occasions. Two is two
and that's too few to be a few.
KUDOS TO MIDLAND LEE COACH MORTON: Midland Lee's first year head football coach James Morton took the time recently to visit the Rebel band and tell each of them how important they were to the whole high school experience. Morton told the kids he felt all extracurricular students should work together and he congratulated each of them for their success and wished them well. I don't know a lot about the first-year coach yet, but I can tell you that I like what I have seen and heard so far.
CBS network weather guy this morning said that people in Pittsburgh were, quote,
"waking up this morning to pick-up trucks and other large debris in
their yards after a night of storms." I dunno, if you have a pickup
truck blow into your front yard and it just lands there ... shouldn't that
actually wake you up WHEN IT HAPPENS instead of you leisurely waking up to
it the next day?
Took the dog to the after-hours emergency vet last night ... and yes, there is another line of work as lucrative as the one Bernie Madoff was in.
Anybody else notice? NBC's Brian Williams has a serious man crush on Barack Obama.
I started drinking Smart Water the other day. So far ... nothin'.
lot of people take their dogs for granted until one day they turn up
sick and no one can figure out what's wrong with them. For many I would suppose,
it's only at that point that they realize how much an animal is indeed a part of the