Tuesday, May 31, 2005

The Indy 500

We spent the entire weekend at the 500. Saturday was the Indy 500 Parade. We sat in the Grandstand in front of the start point (benefits of working the race) and were done and to the car before the parade reached it's end point. Fun time and great weather.

Sunday started for me at 3:00am and I was at the Speedway by 4:00am to do 6 hours of live TV. When the show was over I raced (no pun intended) to meet the wife and boy to bring them back to the track. We arrived just in time to see Reggie Miller wave the Green Flag, we then spent the entire race enjoying it from several different views. We sat behind the pits for 100 laps, wandered the infield for awhile and then settled on Turn 1, next to the exit of the pits and in front of the JumboTron for the finish. For those of you who do not know how big the Speedway is here is a hint, the track itself is a 2.5 mile oval and besides the track facilities, garages, hospital, museum, offices, media center, Executive suites, Grandstand, parking spots, helioport, access roads there is also a golf coarse inside the track, it is several square miles on the inside not including the outer ring of stands and parking. When seeing a race the cars zoom past at 200+ mph and are gone in a flash, then silence, then a low grumble, then the echo, then the chest starts to rattle then...zoom...zoom....zoom....33 cars go flying past!!!!!! Very exciting and what a great day for it.

It took 2 hours after the race to get back to my station (usually a 15 minute drive with traffic and lights) and I finally got home around 6:00pm after leaving at 3:30am....needless to say I was out like a light before the garage door closed.

I got some pics below, so enjoy!!!!

From the 500 Parade, Shriners!!!!!! Need I say more?! Posted by Hello

The boy, on the grass, for the final 20 laps. We are at Turn 1.  Posted by Hello

We got very close at the end of the race, this is right out of Pit Row. Posted by Hello

From the Start, my first and only shot of Danica Patrick, the rest is just track as she was way too fast Posted by Hello

Monday, May 30, 2005

Memorial Day

Several weeks ago my son's Boy Scout troop was involved in a 'small' project. I wrote a little something on it but decided to hold till today.......

Yesterday we woke early and headed down to Oaklawn Memorial cemetery to help a Scout from our Troop on his Eagle Project. For the past few years our town has had a Healing Field set up for Memorial Day. For those of you not in the know the Healing Field is a patch of land where a full sized US Flag is placed for each Service Man and Woman who has given the ultimate sacrifice in defense of this country during the War on Terroism. This year our Life Scout was going to place a yellow ribbon on each flag, each ribbon would contain the name, rank, service and place and time of death of each person. Also included was a little something about that person if the family had responded to the letter our Scout sent out for each ribbon he was making. Our job that day was to assist in the building of the healing field. A rebar post was planted every 2 ft for 20 posts per row (105 rows). We then paired two Scouts and later brothers, sister, mothers and fathers, one carried a flag and the other a ribbon. The flag carrier stopped and placed the flag on the rebar post, the ribbon carrier then tied the ribbon to the flag and then read the ribbon, the Scouts saluted then went back in line to take another flag and ribbon. This went on for several hours and when finished 1805 flags and ribbons were in place. 1,805 men and women who died in service of their country were now represented. A few local family members showed up to help and were able to plant the flag of their loved ones and one of our own Scouts was given the Ribbon of his cousin who had passed a little over a year ago in Iraq. It was long, tiring, emotional work and as we drove home my son was sitting in the back of the car and started to cry. It was too much for him, he and several scouts for his patrol took a flag or ribbon down every row. He saluted and honored over 100 dead and that was a little too much death for a 12 year old who has both parents, 3 sets of Grandparents, 2 sets of Great Grand Parents and the same dog since he can remember. He understood what each flag represented and was overwhelmed by the sheer size of the field when we were done.

Today we went to a ceremony at the Healing Field to honor our war dead and my son was interviewed by a local TV station (OK mine) and his sound byte was used in a package about the service.....

On this Memorial Day as we honor the dead and celebrate the fact that their sacrifice enables us to live in a safe, free country I leave you words of wisdom from my 12 year old....

"It is just wrong that all these people had to die and it makes me very sad but they were also doing their job to protect us and we have to honor them and it makes you proud."

Thursday, May 26, 2005

And The Band Played On.....

I was going to write about the Lost season finale last night (awesome) but then something hit me as I started to write it. I was becoming all that I hate about the media today, blindly prattering along about celebrity couples, latest fashions and hot TV shows. Do not get me wrong, I love TV and have several favorite shows on air right now that I do not miss but there is a lot more going on outside my neighborhood that will eventually affect me and mine if it has not already and we can no longer ignore it, like the media does.

I enjoy The Today Show and sometimes visit the other morning shows but find it lacking in real news. Anne does her little 2 minute segment on top stories then back to Matt and Katie, which is a good format and works for them but nothing of real significance is discussed. Recent hard hitting stories from national to local:
Runaway Bride, Paris Hilton Sex/Burger Commercial, The Local Wisteria Lane (Desperate Housewives), Too Much Sun Is Bad, Not Enough Sun Is Bad, Tom and Katie, Brad and Angelina, Country Star and Squinty Actress Secret Wedding, Who Won American Idol, Jackson Trail, Blake Still Crazy. What is wrong with people that some of this shit actually matters!!!!!!

Has anyone noticed we are still paying almost $2.00/gallon for gas?

That the population of illegal immigrants in the US is topping 20 MILLION?

That is took 4 YEARS for the Democrats to allow this female judge appointment?

That local schools and government are turning our kids into non-competitive, under achieving masses.

That, while I am no prude, the sex, drugs and Rock and Roll cry is being shouted by 4th graders and that although I feel it the parents DUTY to control what a child watches and listens to there are less and less "good and clean" options out there to choose from.

That government and lawyers are destroying the core values that this country was built on and that our Founding Fathers' insistence of Personal Freedoms may actually cause the downfall of this great country as radical and liberal and in the name of civil rights twists our Constitution until everyone is just plain old vanilla!!! No one can stand out, stupid whores are glorified in TV shows and commercials and real role models for young girls cannot get the spotlight unless they fuck someone on camera or wear tight jeans; scores are not kept, everyone is a winner; Private Clubs cannot decide who they want to associate with; qualified men and women are passed over due to hiring quotas, and qualified people are passed over for government positions because they hired an illegal alien to mow their lawn, an illegal this same government, while not giving this one individual the job, will not deport; children are starving in my backyard but millions of my tax dollars go overseas so some despot can have a harem of virgins and his people can still starve; and that millions of dollars are sent to treat AIDS in Africa (how about just stop fucking each other) while the generation that gave their best for our country cannot afford the medicines needed to make their Glory Days pain free and healthy; and that hundreds of my fellow Americans must die cause no one has the balls to use air power and bomb the shit out of these terrorists and their supporters back to the stone age (not a far trip) and tons of legislation on a local and national level is held up because our "representatives" forget it is WE THE PEOPLE that put them there not WE THE LOBBYISTS; and that finally until we stand up and say NO MORE our government and the powers that be will treat us like the bitches we are for taking this crap for so long with no consequence to them!

And from the darkness in their lifeboats, the survivors of Titanic heard the notes of the band still playing as the great shit slipped under for the last time and disappeared from the surface.......

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

The Circle is Now Complete.

After 3 tries and getting Sold Out, we finally saw Star Wars this weekend. It was a long and wonder filled road since my first meeting with this monster back in 1977. I saw the first Star Wars on the big screen in Bayside, New York. I remember the biggest secret in film history being revealed in Empire. Bigger than Rosebud, bigger than Kaiser Soza, bigger than who did it in Clue: The Movie, Luke I am Your Father stunned millions of viewers and sucked us in even more. My Uncle owned a Video Store back then and I had a bootleg copy of The Empire Strikes Back the week after it hit theaters, the tape was watched so much and think we might have actually worn the video off of it. But the big one was Return Of the Jedi. I was in 8th grade and I bought my first Time magazine as it had pictures from the new movie and I carried it in my backpack for weeks and we all gathered round it in the playground to try and figure who was doing what and what these pics of a half finished Death Star were (for the record I thought is was the original Death Star all blowed up and found in the depths of space waiting to be salvaged). On the day of it's release it seemed like my whole school ran up to Bell Blvd to catch the 3pm showing. We were packed in like sardines, with bookbags on the sticky floor and us Catholic School kids still in uniform, but what a movie, what a show and what an experience.

I was skeptical when I heard Lucas was returning to the beginning and while floored by the film making and ground breaking effects the first 2 of the new trilogy left me wanting. This final installment however wowed me out of my seat. For the first time in history you know the entire plot of the film, who lives, who dies and how it has to end and are STILL blown away by the storytelling and film work. Walking in you knew:
1) Anakin would turn to the Dark Side
2) The Emperor would win
3) Padme would die giving birth
4) Obi-wan would retire to Tatoonie
5) Yoda would go into exile
6) Every other Jedi you knew and maybe loves (even Sammy J) would be killed
7) The sneak peak at the Death Star plans in II would start to be built
But still it was an incredible film!! Lucas pulled it off and I could not be happier. I enjoyed this almost 30 year journey and am thankful to Lucas for letting us along for the ride.

Friday, May 20, 2005

Friday Feast

Thought what the hell and give it a try again so.....

Approximately how many hours per day do you spend watching television?

Trick question as I work in TV, so outside of work I watch about 2-3 hours a day. I have a handful of regular dramas a like to watch, 2 or 3 sitcoms and I will stop and enjoy anything on the History Channel. But basically I watch from 8ish till 11pm on a good night and then what ever might have been DVRed over the week that seems interesting.
Soup Which colors decorate your kitchen?

Adobe, green, yellow, light blue. We saw the Fiesta Kitchen by Frank on Trading Spaces like 3 years ago and went with that. Homey with a splash of color. The walls are the deep adobe red.
Name 2 brand names you buy on a regular basis, and what do you like about them?

Land o' Lakes butter and cheese. My wife will use no other butter and the white American cheese makes the best Grilled Cheese Sandwiches ever!!!!
Pepsi products, again the wife's choice. It is Pepsi or nothing. I am not very Brand Loyal as I have never bought the same type of car, electronics or PC. No one is good at everything so I always do my homework on big purchases and get the best value in my price range. Although I am partial to Toshiba products (TV and DVD players) my surround sound is Phillips....

Main Course What is your biggest fear?

To die before I have a chance to see my son grow up. I have no fear of death just going early, I do not want my son to be that kid whose Dad died before his graduation. That is why I am working out 3-4 times a week and need to lose 100lbs the right way and keep it off.


If you could wake up tomorrow and find yourself in another location, where would you want to be?

Ireland, I would want to own a pub in a small town in the Irish country side. Serve beer, learn Gaelic and appreciate European Football.

Bonus Birthday Question
What's your favorite flavor of birthday cake?

My Nana's homemade from scratch Chocolate Cake. Nothing is better!!

Tuesday, May 17, 2005


Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

After reading of what happened concerning the Newsweek article and the subsequent deaths and riots that resulted in such a blatant disregard for the safety of our troops and Americans abroad I have come to this. The editors and managers that allowed such a travesty to be printed should be arrested and tried for incite to riot. Many a pioneer and swindler have hidden behind the first amendment and it has protected us and made us an unique and great country in this current world of ours. However, Freedom of Speech and The Press does not cover speech like yelling Fire in a crowded movie theater when there is none and that is what Newsweek has done. They jumped into the Middle East and yelled fire from the top of their lungs on every corner. The masses responded and 16 people are dead, our troops are in even more danger and every American abroad should be looking over their shoulder, all for a rag to take another shot at this President and the War on Terror. Examples need to be made of these people. I am not for censorship but if these idiots did some homework they would have found their source not as credible and the possible result of publishing this story on the 'arab street' dangerous.

As for Guantanamo Bay, abu Grab, etc.....these men are enemies of the state, they have taken shots at and have tried to kill American Soldiers. They have information on location, numbers, leaders, plans and abilities of terror cells across the globe and if they have to stand around with panties on their head to get that info then so be it. During WWII our boys did not have a spot of tea with German POWs to get intel on troop movement, war is a dirty business and above all else is the safety of our men and women on the front lines and the citizens at home, PERIOD. These ACLU layers who fly down to Cuba to represent these POWs forget something, these are not American Citizens and not covered by our constitution, these are prisoners of war and are getting more in their little cell then they would back home in the mountains of Afghanistan or Iraq, and if a few eggs are broken while getting information then too bad. I did not see any arab lawyer pleading for Daniel Pearl's life, or the other dozens that have LOST THEIR HEADS to these terrorists. And until the people realize that we are in a fight for our very lives in the Middle East and that this fight can be at our front door as I write this we will be on the losing end. How many 9/11s must we endure until we see that these animals do not play by the same rule book and that in order to take out the trash one must get their hands dirty.

Monday, May 16, 2005

And the Winner Is........

For the first time in a long time the winner of Survivor is the man who worked his ass off, played harder than anyone I've seen in a while and did not play the backstab game....Tom. Not since RUpert has there been a more likable Survivor and one who so deserved to win. He carried his tribe on his back, stood by his word until others turned on him and was generally an all around class act. After the disappointment of watching Rob and Amber try to turn Amazing Race to the dark side (quick Star Wars reference) it was nice to see the good guy finish first on Survivor.

Best moment of the reunion was the name of Colby's new adopted daughter, Janu.

Friday, May 13, 2005

Live from LA It's Dead Criminals

I left a comment over at Brent's about yesterday's live shooting, here it is:

As a member of the media I sometimes hate myself, however, this man got what he deserved, pull a gun on an officer and see what happens. As for showing it on the TV, I am glad of that too. Hopefully the TV Police, ie PARENTS made sure that their children were not watching, or maybe it is a good thing they were watching, this is what happens to bad people who run from police and use guns...These officers are heroes and that criminal scum....But in a society that doesn't keep score at ballgames and changes grading systems so kids aren't traumatized by receiving an "F", it is about time they are introduced to the real world!

I am going to use a word I have seen and heard many times lately and that is "pussification". This is what is happening to America and especially our children. It starts in the grade schools when Athletic Leagues stop keeping score at ball games. We were in many leagues when I was a kid, baseball, swimming, soccer, basketball and we always kept score, for as in life their are winners and losers, period. I understand that they want to teach children about the sport but are afraid of the 'stigma' of being branded losers. Well that brand is a good motivator. One tries to improve their play, work on things outside the field and work together as a team and tries to BETTER THEMSELVES to win the next game. Now the state of Florida is changing the way grades are noted. Some places have added an "E" so the student is not stuck with an "F", bullshit. Too many rules and regulations so children do not have to face real life. What will happen is these kid will grow up and get to college (if they keep up that "E" average) and then get kicked in the balls when the real world comes crashing down on them.

So this station airs this car chase (as they are wont to do out west) and catch this ass getting shot as HE PULLS A WEAPON ON POLICE OFFICERS. What should have happened was a close up on this piece of crap as he bleeds out, then an interview with the cops that shot him.....

Reporter: "Nice shot at the end there, what was going through your head at the time."

Officer: "Well we had been chasing him for sometime, he had already put several lives in danger, crashed into several cars, we are awaiting the condition on several victims. I thought we had him when he accidentally dropped his gun and he was pretty much surrounded. He was warned several times to stay down and keep his hands in the air then he went for his 2nd piece and I thought, I am going home to my wife and kids tonight and I am not attending another Police Officer's funeral for this piece of shit and I took him down."

Reporter: "Uhm thanks, up next millionaire drug dealers and their pimped out rides and Jane has an expose' on Jail Overcrowding and why sexual predators are being allowed back on the streets to prey on your innocent children."

Maybe if we did not go around looking at life with blinders on this world would be a better place!

Maybe if we had our priorities straight this world would be a better place.

Maybe if we had better morals and the strength to speak up and speak out this world would be a better place.

And maybe if we took this great country back from the lawyers, the ACLU and fanatics, our world would be a better place.

Thursday, May 12, 2005

Been A Long Time.......

Cop Talk is back as Law & Disorder. As I said in his comments "A missed voice is silent no more.

Other Random Thoughts:
- Been a lazy blogger lately, no reason given just not feeling the urge. Don't worry someone/thing will piss me off and on the rant I go.

- On a historical reading kick lately (see my Reading List) and I am all about Rome and ancient Britain, and now Alexander the Great. If you dig the Roman Legions, bloody battles and life in ancient Rome then check out Simon Scarrow's Marco and Cato series. Fun reads and a nice author, he responded to my e-mail within 3 days of sending him one.

- As you may or may not know I have been collecting comic books since the late 70's. Early on it was all super heroes, Batman, SpiderMan, X-Men (my longest run goes from Issue 133 to present which is Issue 458). That being said my current tastes run along the independent reads or non-traditional super heroes. Currently the best read out there is The Walking Dead. Zombies have risen and a cop in a coma awakes to find the world topsy turvy. Great art (black and white), great story, dialog and character development. You know he's got you when you are saddened when something happens to a minor character. Trade collection available at Amazon.com.

- Yesterday finished my 6 month review with my exercise coach, 6 MONTHS!!!! Now if I continue to eat right (and not cheat) the pounds will drop off. I am now up to 40 minutes of cardio and lifting 18,000 lbs a day, 3 days a week.

- The Amazing Race is over and my faith has been restored. Uchenna and Joyce won it all but almost blew it because they did not have enough money to pay the cabbie and begged for bucks outside the finish line while Rob and Amber were right behind them (OK not right behind them but the editing made you sit on the edge of your seat!!). In the end they crossed first and showed that team work, respect for each other and other teams will beat out cheap tactics and underhandedness everyday. I am a huge Amazing Race fan and I love Survivor. The beauty of Amazing Race is that the best team does win! Complete your tasks, run your heart out and get to the mat first. No backstabbing, voting alliances or lying, just plain old good competion and may the best team win. There is no room for Rob's bullshit underhandedness on the show and I am glad that he and Amber did not win. Side Note: While talking to Rupert one day he told me that originally he and Rudy were supposed to go on the Amazing Race, they had discussed it at an appearance on the Family feud and the producers heard and went with Rob and Amber instead, they thought better TV and good promotion for Rob and Amber's Wedding also being televised soon. I would have liked to see Rupert and Rudy instead.

- Family Guy is back and there isn't a funnier show on TV. Fox was idiotic to cancel this gem the first time and have seen the light and ordered up an entire season's run. The laughs are non-stop and come from fart jokes to Van Gogh; Wonder Twin references and Shakespeare. This could be the next Simpsons with a long run on Fox. Check it out Sunday nights at 9pm, it will turn your life upside down face.

- Speaking of the Simpsons, Sunday was the best episode in 3 years. Homer predicted the Rapture and all hell breaks loose. This is Simpsons at its best. I missed these episodes and hope the writers can finish this classic season strong (if this is to be the last season).

- Best line ever heard on TV was uttered this week: "Chloe, we are in the middle of a crisis here and do not have time for your personality disorder." 24 may have jumped the shark but that one should go down as "Best Line Ever".

Tuesday, May 03, 2005

Caught In A Mosh

Alright I'm not 17 again but this was a jam packed weekend. It started Friday night with almost 2 hours of baseball in the freezing rain and a delayed game which will be finished at a later date. My birthday started at 6am and ended chilled to the bone at 10pm, so much for dinner and a movie. Up Saturday morning with cleaning, charging the dead mower battery, getting the deck ready for our new patio set. Then out to a local cemetery for 4 and a half hours to help with an Eagle Scout project, placing 1805 large US flags into a grid and attaching 1805 yellow ribbons on each one (more at a later date). Then home to collapse for an hour then off to work for some OT. Awake Sunday morning at 7am to attend a Ceremony for the Field of Flags built the day before, hit Sam's and Costco to get food and needed supplies, off to my Birthday Dinner (at 1pm and two days late) with my family (and surprise visit of youngest brother) the to 5pm mass for Scouts, home to mow quick, put together new table and 8 chairs for patio then collapse, again, for The Simpsons and GOD BE PRAISED a new Family Guy. Then bed!!!!!

I am tired, bruised and have 10 days in a row to work now and it is just starting May, the busiest time of the year for us at the TV Station........I feel like I spent the whole weekend in a mosh pit!!!