Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Truth can be stranger than Fiction.

One of my favorite laugh-out-loud movies of all time has to be the 1988 flick “The Naked Gun: From the Files of Police Squad.”

One scene in particular which is always sure to tickle the funny bone is where inept detective Frank Drebin (played brilliantly by Leslie Nielsen) attends a press conference given by the mayor. After making his remarks, Drebin gives way to the mayor and proceeds to go use the restroom. What Drebin doesn’t realize is that he has left on his wireless microphone while he enthusiastically urinates. As the mayor attempts to maintain some sort of decorum during her remarks, she is consistently drowned out by the sound of Drebin relieving himself while singing a happy tune.

Again, that was only a movie.

However, I present this story from the “Truth is stranger than Fiction” department.


Kyra Phillips, anchor of CNN's "Live From...,'' unwittingly upstaged President Bush's speech in New Orleans with on-the-air analysis of her husband and the marriage of her brother — all live from a CNN ladies room.

Unaware that her wireless microphone was "live'' during her break, Phillips could be heard overriding Bush's prepared address Tuesday as he was seen marking the first anniversary of Hurricane Katrina.

The Atlanta-based Phillips, in conversation with an unidentified woman in an echoey room, dismissed most men with a vulgar term, but called herself "very lucky in that regard. My husband is handsome and he is genuinely a loving — you know, no ego — you know what I'm saying? Just a really passionate, compassionate, great, great human being. And they exist. They do exist. They're hard to find. Yup. But they are out there.''

A few moments later, she observed that "brothers have to be, you know, protective. Except for mine. I've got to be protective of him.''

Why? "His wife is just a control freak.''


Hooo, boy!! Thanksgiving with that family ought to be interesting this year.


At that point, another voice cut in: "Kyra.''

"Yeah, baby?'' replied Phillips on hearing her name.

"Your mike is on. Turn it off. It's been on the air.''


No word on whether or not Phillips cursed just prior to switching off her mic.


CNN anchor Daryn Kagan, looking flustered, then broke into the telecast with a recap of what Bush had been saying.


She probably had no clue. She was too wrapped up in Kyra’s ranting and raving.


Phillips later apologized to viewers "for an issue we had with our mikes'' and "for a little bit of an interruption there during the president.''


Did she also apologize to her sister-in law?


CNN issued its own official statement, explaining the network had "experienced audio difficulties during the president's speech today in New Orleans.”


No, there were no difficulties. I’m sure all the viewers heard Phillips loud and clear.


“We apologize to our viewers and the president for the disruption.''


Ah, that’s OK. I’m sure you’ll distort the president’s comments in a later news cast.


The network also apologized to the White House.


Not necessary. I'm sure CNN's blunder provided the White House with plenty of amusement.

That had to be worth more than any apology.

Saturday, August 26, 2006

A Fair to Remember, Part 3.

One of the final stops on our 11-hour excursion at the fair was a visit to the radio show of Minnesota’s Mr. Right,(Oops! Sorry, that’s the intellectual property of Hubbard Broadcasting) Jason Lewis at FM 100.3 KTLK.

Posted by Picasa
The 5:00 hour of the program featured a debate between the candidates for the Second Congressional district of Minnesota, Incumbent John Kline and challenger Coleen Rowley. You may know Rowley as the former FBI employee who “blew the whistle” on the bureau’s alleged ineptitude in handling warnings of the 9/11/01 terrorist attacks.



Upon arriving at the KTLK booth prior to the debate, my wife & I were greeted by a smiling woman in a gray pants suit. This woman seemed very glad to see us until she noticed “Kennedy for Senate” buttons pinned to our shirts. It was Ms. Rowley herself, who initially expressed joy when she mistakenly thought we were wearing her campaign attire. Nonetheless, in an attempt to adapt to her new role of schmoozing politician, she conveyed her thoughts on issues she felt most important.

She really lost me when she felt the McCain-Feingold Act wasn’t stringent enough. This was a law intending to reform campaign financing. One of the major provisions is to ban “non-partisan ‘issue ads’ funded by soft money from corporations and labor unions - those referring to candidates for federal election without expressly advocating their election or defeat -- in the 60 days prior to a general election, or 30 days prior to a primary election.”

So a piece of legislation which is a direct assault on the First amendment is, in the mind of Rowley, “not strict enough”?

Best of luck with that one, Coleen.

It appears John Kline is headed back to Washington.

Labels:

Friday, August 25, 2006

A Fair to Remember, Part 2.

Posted by Picasa
Upon completing our volunteer duties for the Mark Kennedy campaign, we were honored to receive a visit from Mark himself along with a very special out-of-town visitor.

South Dakota Senator John Thune (pictured with my wife & me) stopped by Kennedy State Fair Headquarters as well!


It was an absolute thrill to get a photo-op with the man who unseated chief obstructionistSenate minority leader Tom Daschle!

With a guy like Thune in Kennedy’s corner, look for this Minnesota Senate race of Kennedy vs. Klobuchar to get a lot of national publicity.

Labels:

A Fair to Remember.

My wife and I were privileged to be able to volunteer for the Kennedy for Senate campaign on Friday at the Minnesota State Fair.

Along with two other volunteers we manned a booth designed just like a fishing shack (pictured below).


Posted by Picasa

Inevitably, we were heckled by a few of Minnesota’s finest kook fringe liberals. My favorite had to be a long-haired, earring-wearing man (who I mistakenly called “ma’am”) who approached the booth looking for a conflict.

The exchange went something like this.


Man: What party does this Kennedy represent?

Me: Well, it’s Congressman Mark Kennedy. He’s a Republican.

Man: Republican? Oh, how convenient that part was left out.

Me: (chuckling) I can assure you that it is not a secret.


At that moment, the DVD featuring Kennedy’s campaign ads broadcast the particular commercial which started with the line “I’m a Republican…”

How do you plan that one? Priceless!

The conversation continued.


Man: Where does he stand on impeaching Bush?

Me: Well, his website is
www.markkennedy06.com. Why don’t you look for yourself?

Man: (walking away) I bet he’d get a lot more votes if he voted for impeachment.

Me: Oh I don’t think so.


Typical lefty. He makes a baseless assertion yet doesn’t hang around to debate it.

The goal of the Kennedy campaign is to engage in as many public debates as possible with opponent Amy Klobuchar. I guess she has a tendency to “lose it” when backed into a corner.

It’s going to be another fun election season!

Labels:

Thursday, August 24, 2006

The great Minnesota get-together!

The Minnesota State Fair starts today!! As far as I'm concerned, there's not a better way to kick off the Fall season.

My wife and I will be attending the fair tomorrow. We will be working at future Senator Mark Kennedy's (pictured with my wife & I) booth from 9:00 am until 1:00.


Stop on by if you have a chance.

Labels:

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Hindsight is 20/20.

I knew I should’ve gotten this on the record.

When the Major League Baseball trading deadline came and went on July 31, I was a little disappointed my Minnesota Twins didn’t make a move. With Brad Radke hurting, I figured the Twins could use an extra starting pitcher just in case.

My recommendation was 11-year vet Jon Lieber of the Philadelphia Phillies. I figured with his mediocre record (4-7, 5.52 ERA) as well as exorbitant $7.5 million salary, the Phils would be willing to unload him for virtually nothing. Besides, he has won 122 games in his big league career with a fairly decent 4.24 ERA. You don’t average 11 wins per season for over ten years if you don’t have some ability.

My regrets over the Twins inactivity were further enhanced that very evening of July 31st. That is when it was announced that rookie pitching phenom Francisco Liriano was experiencing arm pain.

Thankfully, the Twins have managed to hang in there and are only ½ game out of the AL wild card race.

Oh, and for those who ridiculed my suggestion of trading for Lieber?

He’s 2-1 with a 1.76 ERA since July 31st.

Apologies accepted.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Wanna feel REALLY old?

Actress Bryce Dallas Howard, 25, and her husband are expecting their first child later this year.

Who is Bryce Dallas Howard?

She is the daughter of renowned movie director Ron Howard.

That’s right. “Opie” is going to be a grandpa.

Moss returns to Minnesota.

Oakland Raiders wide receiver Randy Moss made his return to the Twin Cities last evening. As expected, he was greeted warmly by the Vikings faithful, who rooted him on from 1998 through 2004.

For the most part, Moss has not commented a whole lot on the 2005 trade which sent him from the Minnesota Vikings to the Raiders.

But when superstar lap dog Star Tribune columnist Sid Hartman spoke to Moss after the Raiders’ 16-13 win over the Vikings, ol’ Randy opened up a little regarding his feelings for the Vikings organization.


“…to hell with the organization. I'm still mad at them. I wanted to really stay.”


Keep in mind it was the previous ownership of Red McCombs who sent Moss packing. Not that Moss cares to distinguish between the McCombs era and the current ownership of Zygi Wilf et al.

Personally, I endorsed the Moss trade. Regardless of his all-world talent, his cancerous attitude seemed to overshadow any of his stellar on-field accomplishments.

In his next-to-last game in a Vikings uniform, Moss turned in a great performance in a playoff game victory against the Green Bay Packers. Yet what is he remembered for? After his second touchdown catch, effectively sealing the Vikes win, Moss simulated an act of mooning the Packers crowd.

In this his ninth season in the NFL, Moss looks to be on the downside of his career. Nagging injuries in each of the past two seasons caused him to have his two worst years as a pro, statistically speaking.

Who can forget the first few seasons of his career when Moss played with a Gibraltar-sized chip on his shoulder? After a phenomenal college career at Marshall University, Moss could have justifiably been a Top 5 pick in the 1998 NFL draft. Instead, Moss slid all the way down to 21st, a real blow to his ego (not to mention his wallet). For the most part, Moss let his on-field play do the talking when he put up statistically the finest three seasons ever for a wide receiver.

Then came 2001.

Moss received an 8 year, $75 million extension from the Vikings. It was at that point where his on-field performance, while still productive, seemed to become lackluster. In the middle of the ’01 season he uttered the infamous phrase “I play when I want play.” He went out and proved such a notion by routinely dogging it on many of the offensive plays which did not directly involve him.

Three years and many on-and-off field indiscretions later, Moss was dealt.

Given the warm reception Moss received last night from Vikings fans, I guess I’m in the minority amongst the Vikes faithful.

My applause was heard loudest in March of 2005 when the Minnesota Vikings said “No Mas.”

Or was it “No Moss”?

Either one would suffice.

Labels:

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Another opportunity to witness.

I was attending a business function at the Minneapolis Convention Center last evening. Upon entering the building I went to the restroom to put on my neck tie and cuff links. Once there, I was greeted by a Convention Center custodian (his name was Alfred) who was cleaning one of the stalls. He said something to the effect of “Man, I need to find me a different job.” I chuckled and asked how the rest of his evening was treating him.

Talk about a loaded question.

He proceeded to tell me his tale of woe about his 3-year old daughter landing in the hospital recently. Thankfully, she was released within the last day or two but still needed to be on an anti-biotic. The problem was Alfred didn’t have the $20 for the prescription co-pay. He continued to tell me of his plight by saying he had no money and how he even tried to negotiate with the pharmacy to take partial payment until Friday. I could tell he was a prideful man who couldn’t bring himself to ask me for money. But he really started playing unfairly when he showed me a picture of his little girl. Yes, I think that was the final straw.

Usually when I am approached for money by less-than-clean-cut characters, I am somewhat hesitant. My concern is that they will not utilize the money for the reason they stated. However, I did not have the time to take Alfred to the pharmacy myself. I handed over the twenty bucks and said “God bless you, sir! Take care of that little girl.” It was at this moment that his knees buckled while he wiped away tears. He said “I don’t know what to say except thank you so much.”

To me, that was more than enough.

Luke 6:38 says “Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you."

I don’t believe in generosity merely to expect a blessing in return. For me, it goes far beyond that. It can also serve as an effective witnessing tool of God’s abundant blessings in our lives. I don’t feel it’s bragging to tell you that the Lord has blessed my wife and I “exceeding, abundantly” above what we could ever ask.

For that, all praise and honor goes to our Heavenly Father.

A fact I was proud to share with Alfred.

Friday, August 11, 2006

How's your drinking water?


My wife and I reside in Coon Rapids. We figure the water coming out of our tap may not be the cleanest. Therefore, we decided to invest in a water purifier a couple of years ago.

The photo you see shows the brand new replacement filter on the left and the old one (after one year’s usage) on the right.

We just figured that we either have a water purifier…..

….or we’d be the purifiers.

Monday, August 07, 2006

Oh, Deer!



What you are viewing is the result of a fawn head-butting my bumper.

While traveling home from a family excursion in Northwest Wisconsin on Saturday evening, we came upon said fawn sauntering across the road. It was moving left to right, getting all the way to the center stripe on the highway. At that point the animal just stopped and looked up at my vehicle as I was attempting to go from 60 to 0 in one second.

By looking up, I guess the young deer chose to witness its fate.

Yes indeed, it had that deer-in-the-headlights look.

A good number of my relatives on Dad’s side of the family are avid deer hunters, some of whom never claimed a deer during their hunting exploits.

I can now claim I’ve gotten one.

And I didn’t even need a rifle.

Saturday, August 05, 2006

The Delusion of the Rob.

Given the haughty nature of today’s Hollywood elites, you had to expect the incredible backlash against actor Mel Gibson amid his recent controversial remarks. Upon learning of the despicable comments made by Gibson after his DUI arrest last weekend, I certainly can’t blame the Jews in the entertainment industry for taking offense.

If accomplished Jewish directors such as Steven Spielberg and Woody Allen declared they would sever all ties with Gibson in the movie business, people would definitely stand up and take notice.

But when some insignificant weasel like Rob Schneider speaks out, does anyone honestly care?


Schneider took out an ad in Hollywood trade paper Variety slamming (Gibson) for his behavior in "An Open Letter to the Hollywood Community." The ad appeared yesterday and said, "I, Rob Schneider, a 1/2 Jew, pledge from this day forth to never work with Mel Gibson-actor-director-producer-and anti-Semite." Schneider then went on to say even if he were offered the lead role in Passion Of The Christ 2 or a "juicy voice-over role in his new flick Apocalypto and spoke ancient Mayan" he would still turn them down.


Granted, Schneider has just as much right as the next Hollywood bit-player to express his outrage. However, is this really even an issue?

Mel Gibson was producer/director of the 1995 film “Braveheart”, a story of a great 13th century warrior looking to liberate the Scots. When looking for actors to fill roles as mighty warriors, I doubt very much Gibson ever considered “Orgasm Guy”, a part Schneider played on “Saturday Night Live.”

And when casting began for “The Passion of the Christ”, I have a sneaking suspicion that “Deuce Bigalow: Male Gigolo” was not in the running for a role as one of the twelve disciples.

You may only be 50% Jewish, Rob.

But you’re 100% delusional.

Friday, August 04, 2006

A few mysteries which need unraveling.

This particular post will entail group participation.

Since it is so painfully obvious that I am not the sharpest knife on the tree or brightest bulb in the drawer, I need assistance in deciphering some of the greater mysteries that exist today.

To wit:

-There has been incredible outrage over a recently intoxicated Mel Gibson spewing both foul language and anti-Semitic remarks. However, when Hezbollah or Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad threaten to wipe Israel “off the map”, we need to approach them through diplomatic means.


-Dr. Gregory Boyd, pastor of Woodland Hills Church in St Paul, is lauded by the New York Times for “disowning conservative politics”. However, no dismay was expressed when liberal politics were brought into a Baptist church via John Kerry in October 2004.


-From Mitch Berg at “Shot in the Dark”:

Why is it that when Republicans act to make Republicans act like...Republicans, by shunning candidates that favor higher taxes, bigger government, porous borders, speech rationing and victim disarmament, we're "imposing purity tests", which is a "bad thing" that "chills dissent from the neocon/fundie/Rovian agenda"...

...but when the Kossacks launch a bit to politically lynch Joe Lieberman for being a relative moderate, it's a good thing?


-The Star Tribune recently had a story of a St Paul man killing 10 puppies by snapping their necks. One of the man’s neighbors went into her home to grab two kitchen knives to try and stop him. "I was going out for him," the woman said. "I'm an animal lover."

But if anybody dares protest an unborn child being brutalized? Such protests are the American left’s definition of terrorism.


Well, there you have it. Some of the latest news can make for intriguing questions.

Personally, I’m at a loss.

Anyone else want to give these a whirl?

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

It happened five years ago today.

As a Minnesota Vikings fan I will never forget the utter shock and devastation I felt upon learning of the death of Korey Stringer. Stringer, an offensive lineman for the Vikes, succumbed to heat stroke after a day of practice in oppressive heat much like we experienced this past weekend.

He was only 27-years old.

I remember going to bed on the evening of July 31, 2001 when I decided to check out the latest news on startribune.com. There was a story of how Stringer was taken to a hospital with symptoms of heat exhaustion. I recall exclaiming to my wife that his body temperature had reached 108.8 degrees. My wife replied something to the effect of “That’s impossible. He couldn’t survive.”

That phrase would ring eerily prophetic as I checked the headlines of the newspaper on August 1, 2001:

STRINGER DIES.

I remember gasping in disbelief upon reading this.

As a teenager, I would have been concerned about the superficial aspects of his death. I would have wondered how the Vikings could succeed without their All-Pro right tackle or if his wages would count against the salary cap.

But since I was a thirty-something adult, I immediately felt sadness for the teammates who loved him as a brother. My heart felt condolences went out especially to his widow, Kelci, and son, Kodie. Sadly, as documented in a recent Star Tribune story, the Stringers are still struggling to move forward five years later.

Despite his status as an All-Pro NFL player and multi-millionaire, Stringer appeared to stay well grounded. Just months before his death, Stringer had learned that youth football players in his hometown of Warren, Ohio lacked the necessary equipment to play the game. Stringer proceeded to sign over his earnings from his February 2001 Pro Bowl appearance. Many who knew him best said that type of generosity was the norm for Stringer.

Although I didn’t know the man personally, I had been able to ascertain that Stringer was a better man than he was a football player.

And he was one heck of a football player.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

It's the end of the world as we know it.

There have been many signs of the apocalypse lately.

Iran’s continued threats of nuclear holocaust, the perpetual attacks on Israel, looming dangers of a third World War, etc.

However, none of those events can be considered more penultimate than….

….”Flavor of Love 2.”

The first installment of this VH1 reality show featured 20 gold diggers women vying for the wealth and lifestyle heart of Flava Flav, he of the hip hop group Public Enemy. Flav’s typical appearance consists of wearing a large clock necklace and sporting gold teeth.

But the most bizarre aspect of this reality program had to be the sheer nastiness displayed by the women attempting to capture Flav’s love. From daily cat fights to using language that would make a sailor blush to one contestant spitting in the mouth of another, these women stopped at nothing to be the last babe standing.

Kind of makes one long for the days when the network censors delete a joke containing the words “water closet.”

Anyhow, when Flav decided on a beau in the first “Flavor of Love”, he narrowed the field down to two women (ala “The Bachelor”). Flav was to choose between two gals he referred to as ”Hoopz” and “New York”. Flav decided to hang with Hoopz, a budding internet and magazine model. Upon this momentous decision, Flav then proceeded to present Hoopz with a token of his affection.

An engagement ring?

Nah.

A single rose?

Nope.

How about matching gold teeth!!

Yes, this woman pledged her undying love and affection to Flav…and he reciprocates with a custom gold dental grill.

Sadly, the courtship between Flav and Hoopz did not last.

Ah, but never fear. Flav is emotionally strong enough to endure another twenty gals battling for his bling-bling affections.

The second installment of this wretched display will take place later this summer.