Sunday, December 31, 2006

Closing the book on 2006.

The following is a rather fitting way to wrap up the blogging year of 2006.

Actually, I got this “survey” from Katie who got it from Mitch who received it via Red.

1.Was 2006 a good year for you?
Yes, for a whole host of reasons which are too many to list.

2. What was your favorite moment(s) of the year?
Being able to help a stranger financially and witnessing his tearful appreciation when receiving the money.

Michele Bachmann winning a seat in the US House, shutting up the frothing-at-the-mouth leftist kooks!

3. What was your least favorite moment(s) of the year?
The Minnesota Twins going belly-up in the first round of the playoffs after a brilliant regular season.

4. What did you do in 2006 that you'd never done before?
I played a board game called “Settlers of Cataan.” I stuck my nose in the air at first but now I am hooked!

5. Did you keep your new years' resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
I didn’t make any for 2006. I will make one for sure in 2007. I am going to drop 20 pounds and actually KEEP IT OFF!

6. Where were you when 2006 began?
My wife & I rang in 2006 at Trevor and Noel’s home in NE Minneapolis.

7. Who were you with?
My wife as well as Trevor, Noel, Josh, Lindsay, Greg, Todd and a friend of Lindsay’s whose name I don’t recall.

8. Where will you be when 2006 ends?
As of this blog post, I’m planning to be home.

9. Who will you be with when 2006 ends?
My wife and our three cats.

10. Did anyone close to you give birth?
My cousin Dawn gave birth to a girl, Isabelle Joy. Our friend Noel also welcomed a daughter, Annabeth Noel.

11. Did you lose anybody close to you in 2006?
Thankfully, no.

12. Who did you miss?
December 25, 2006 was the third Christmas without Grandma Johnson. I still miss her a lot since she was a part of almost every Christmas of mine from 1969 thru 2003.

13. Who was the best new person you met in 2006?
A young man by the name of Shadrach. I first met him at work and then discovered he attends the same church as my wife and I. He is originally from Liberia and he recently started a charitable organization which provides food to the orphanages in his native land.

14. What was your favorite month of 2006?
June. The Summer began and the Minnesota Twins had a terrific month of baseball.

15. Did you travel outside of the US in 2006?

16. How many different states did you travel to in 2006?
Let’s see: North Carolina, Virginia, Illinois, Wisconsin….is that it? Four, I guess.

17. What would you like to have in 2007 that you lacked in 2006?
A significant leap in income.

18. What date from 2006 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
August 25th. About eleven hours at the Minnesota State Fair with all of the food, politics, various exhibits, etc.

19. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
I never once called in sick to work!

20. What was your biggest failure?
I let too many weekends pass by without being productive in important areas of my life.

21. Did you suffer illness or injury?
Praise the Lord, I did not!!

22. What was the best thing you bought?
Our above-the-range microwave!!

23. Whose behavior merited celebration?
My nephews, Nathan and Aaron. Despite some incredibly difficult domestic issues, they were still very good students in school and are all-around great kids!

24. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?
Sister-in law.

25. Where did most of your money go?
Mortgage and charitable organizations.

26. What did you get really, really, really excited about?
The prospects of a new job. I got a call last week from this prospective new employer, with the first interview coming on Friday. I’ll keep you posted!

27. Did you drink a lot of alcohol in 2006?
By my standards, yes. I drank what amounted to be a case of beer. That’s a lot for someone like me who averages two cans of beer per year.

28. Did you do a lot of drugs in 2006?
Does Advil count?

29. Did you treat somebody badly in 2006?
I sure hope not.

30. Did somebody treat you badly in 2006?
My Dad.

31. Compared to this time last year, are you:
i. happier or sadder? Happier
ii. thinner or fatter? Unfortunately, fatter.
iii. richer or poorer? Fortunately, richer!

32. What do you wish you'd done more of in 2006?
More trips to the Health Club.

33. What do you wish you'd done less of?
Less trips to the refrigerator.

34. Did you fall in love in 2006?
I fell in love with a certain gal back in 1998 and haven’t ever fallen out!

35. What was your favorite TV program(s)?
CSI: Crime Scene Investigation.

36. What song will always remind you of 2006?
“Our Country” by John Mellencamp

37. How many concerts did you see in 2006?

38. Did you have a favorite concert in 2006?

39. What was your greatest musical discovery?
I won an I-pod at our company’s Holiday party. Now I run on the treadmill to the sound of my favorite 80s tunes.

40. What was the best book you read?
“Your Best Life Now” by Joel Osteen.

41. What was your favorite film of this year?
United 93”.

42. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
In the morning I woke up and blogged about Jason Lewis returning to MN. My co-workers then took me to Applebee’s for lunch. In the evening I had a nice dinner with my wife. I was 37 on May 24.

43. What did you want and get?
A nice, quiet evening with my gal!

44. What did you want and not get?
A Twins win. They were thumped by Cleveland, 11-0.

45. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
Hearing my Dad say “I’m Sorry.”

46. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2006?
Less beige, much to my wife’s delight!!

47. What kept you sane?

48. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
Patricia Heaton: Small, cute and a strong conservative voice in the liberal bastion of Hollywood. Sounds a lot like my wife except change “Hollywood” to “the public school system.”

49. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2006.
In the immortal words of Yoda, “Do or Do Not. There is no TRY!”

50. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year.

I turn on the tube and what do I see
A whole lotta people cryin' 'Don't blame me'
They point their crooked little fingers at everybody else
Spend all their time feelin' sorry for themselves
Victim of this, victim of that
Your momma's too thin; your daddy's too fat
Get over it
Get over it
All this whinin' and cryin' and pitchin' a fit
Get over it, get over it

Saturday, December 30, 2006

The Chronicles of NARN.

Pictured (from left to right): Captain Ed Morrissey, me, Mitch Berg.

Saturday was the final 2006 installment of one of my favorite talk radio shows on The Patriot. Volume 2 of The Northern Alliance Radio Network was broadcasting live at the White Bear Lake Superstore.

Yep, I had the best seat in the house!

If Rush Limbaugh is the fastest three hours in media then I would venture to say Mitch Berg and Captain Ed Morrissey are the quickest two hours. Amongst the hot topics discussed were the execution of Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein, the death of President Gerald Ford and a brief review of some other noteworthy events of ’06.

My favorite moment of Saturday’s program was when the tranquil Paul Rubin, President/Owner of WBL superstore, referred to Saddam as an S.O.B. (and no, he didn’t just use the letters) live on the air. Hearing that coming from such a laid back character was quite amusing.

Given that I’m a radio show rube, I was honored when Mitch mentioned my name at the conclusion of the program. He said something to the effect of “Our thanks to Brad Carlson, who provided security.”

Glad I could help!

Friday, December 29, 2006

Goodbye, Saddam.

As we await word of Saddam Hussein’s execution, I feel this quote attributed to an Iraqi man is rather fitting:

"All these people who run around wearing the black turbans [i.e. the Mahdi Army] - where were they when Saddam was here? They weren't here. They were in Great Britain or Iran. Only Baqir* stayed and faced Saddam. Now, thanks to what you Americans have done, they are free to come back, and for this these (S.O.B.s) call you 'occupiers!'"

(*The Ayatollah Baqir Al-Sadr (uncle of Muqtada Al-Sadr), who was supposedly tortured and assassinated by Saddam Hussein in 1980.)

Via Kelly (a/k/a The Patriette).

UPDATE: It's official! Saddam Hussein has been executed. As the news came to America, Iraqi-Americans seemed to have mixed emotions: Joy & Happiness.

A Look Back: Remember this little parody prior to the invasion of Iraq?

The Johan Santana Farewell Tour.

Fans of the Minnesota Twins, listen up!! The 2007 season may be your last opportunity to see Johan Santana in a Twins uniform.

Granted, Santana’s contract is not even due to expire until after the 2008 season. However, it’s looking less likely that he’ll even finish said contract as a Minnesota Twin after another pitcher broke the bank yesterday.

Barry Zito and the San Francisco Giants reached a preliminary agreement on the largest pitcher contract in baseball history, a $126 million, seven-year deal.

Like Santana, Zito is also a left-handed starting pitcher. Given Zito’s durability and performance over his seven-year career, the Giants saw fit to reward him with a free agent contract which will average $18 million per season!

That said, what will Santana command on the open market when his contract is up after the ’08 campaign? The Twins were interested in extending Santana’s current deal but he decided to wait on what the market would bear. In retrospect, that move has made him millions!

Let’s look at it from a shear numbers standpoint. From 2004-06, Zito has a won-loss record of 41-34 with a 4.05 ERA.

Santana in the same time frame: 55-19 with a 2.75 ERA and two AL Cy Young awards.

It would stand to reason that it would take $20 million per year MINIMUM just to keep Santana in a Twins uniform. Sadly, I don’t see that happening.

If the Twins were to be out of contention for the playoffs by the All-Star break this coming July, Santana could possibly be dealt then. With CF Torii Hunter also likely to be gone after ’07, there is definitely a sense of urgency for the Twins to get to the World Series this year.

So get your tickets ASAP, Twins fans.

The Johan Santana Farewell Tour commenced the moment Zito signed on the dotted line.

John Edwards announces candidacy.

John Edwards was the latest to announce his intentions to be the poor sap who gets thumped by Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama Democratic candidate for President in 2008.

Former Democratic vice presidential nominee John Edwards jumped into the presidential race Wednesday, a day earlier than he had planned.

The 53-year-old North Carolina Democrat's campaign website accidentally announced his intentions online. He had planned to announce his presidential bid today using New Orleans as a backdrop.

Making the big announcement at the site of one of the largest US natural disasters in quite some time? A rather inauspicious omen I would say.

Edwards' website features some of his expected campaign themes.

"This campaign is about changing America," the website read, listing five priorities that fit neatly with Edwards' message of economic equality.

Did the website specify which one of the two Americas he plans on changing?

The son of a textile mill worker,….

Whoa, whoa!! His Dad worked in a mill? Why has this never been mentioned before?

……Edwards has been on a fast track most of his life despite his up-by-the-bootstraps roots. A standout law student who became a stunningly successful trial lawyer,….

…who manipulated jurors' emotions by claiming a baby stricken with cerebral palsy spoke through him.

…..Edwards vaulted from nowhere politically into the U.S. Senate and then onto the 2004 Democratic presidential ticket -- all in less than six years.

Edwards launched a bid for the Democratic nomination in 2003 and quickly caught the eye of Democratic strategists. His handsome, youthful appearance also gave him a measure of star quality. Those were among the qualities that led Massachusetts Sen. John Kerry, the Democrats' 2004 standard bearer, to select Edwards as his running mate.

As Jerry Seinfeld once said: “Not that there’s anything wrong with that.”

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Where's Waldo Ron Jr.?

I know it’s the holiday season so I’m assuming Non Ron Reagan must be too busy to comment on the latest Keith Ellison saga.

Speaking in Dearborn late Sunday night, the first Muslim elected to Congress told a cheering crowd of Muslims they should remain steadfast in their faith and push for justice.

"You can't back down. You can't chicken out. You can't be afraid. You got to have faith in Allah, and you've got to stand up and be a real Muslim," Detroit native Keith Ellison said to loud applause.

Many in the crowd replied "Allahu akbar" -- God is great.

Ellison, a Minnesota Democrat elected to the U.S. House in November, has been the center of a national debate in recent weeks over Islam and its role in politics. Ellison has said he would take his oath of office on the Quran, the Muslim holy book, igniting a storm of criticism from some commentators.

If you recall it was Ron Jr. in June 2004, during the eulogy of his father (and former President) Ronald Reagan, who warned us of political figures who “wear faith on their sleeves.” Since being elected to the US Congress, Ellison has donned his Muslim faith as if it were a sweat suit.

I’ll give Ronnie Jr., a self-proclaimed atheist, a few days to let this soak in. It would stand to reason that he will remain consistent in his criticism of politicians who vigorously profess their respective faiths, right?


In actuality, I would be shocked to hear Reagan criticize Ellison. The comments Ronnie made in the eulogy of his father were merely a gratuitous shot at President Bush.

If asked about Ellison, Ron Jr. will prove once again, as he did in the ’04 presidential campaign, that he’s nothing more than a lefty political hack.

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Here We Go Again.

When Dennis Green was hired as coach of the Minnesota Vikings in January 1992, he declared “There’s a new sheriff in town.” Such a bold declaration was designed to change a culture of apathy which surrounded the franchise. Green led the Vikings to playoff appearances in each of his first three seasons. Unfortunately, the Vikes’ playoff run in those seasons lasted one game. It was after an embarrassing 35-18 home playoff loss to the Chicago Bears in 1994 that signified the end of the honeymoon for “The Sheriff”.

Green’s decade-long tenure was marred by such incidents as taking his assistant coaches down to the college “Senior Bowl” in Alabama under the guise of helping the Vikings scout collegiate talent. Green would then unceremoniously dump the unsuspecting coaches upon their arrival.

Green even managed to alienate one the classiest professionals in future Hall of Fame offensive lineman Randall McDaniel. Apparently McDaniel had the audacity to voice his displeasure when the Vikings did not honor a financial commitment made to him in 1998. As a result, Green released McDaniel after the ’99 campaign. Naturally, Denny didn’t have the guts to tell the perennial all-pro in person. A short phone call was the only courtesy extended.

It became very apparent over the years that Denny had acquired quite a penchant for scapegoating.

All that being said, Green did indeed have a free pass for his first three years as Vikes’ boss.

However, current head coach Brad Childress (a/k/a Chili) may have just shattered the record for shortest honeymoon for a Vikings head coach (and yes, I haven’t forgotten Les Steckel).

The Minnesota Vikings have told receiver Marcus Robinson he is being released, Robinson's agent told The Associated Press Sunday.

Agent Ken Sarnoff confirmed a newspaper report that the 10-veteran will be released.

"I'm not surprised," Robinson told the St. Paul Pioneer Press on Sunday.

Robinson and coach Brad Childress have had a strained relationship. The two never saw eye-to-eye about Robinson's role in the offense. The veteran receiver had been deactivated for several games this season, despite being healthy enough to play and being arguably the Vikings' most consistent receiver.

A Vikings spokesman confirmed that Robinson had been released and said the team would have no further comment Sunday.

Let’s see: A power struggle between coach and player. Coach exercises authority to rid himself of said player who could still contribute to the team. Coach gives no explanation of the move.

This all has an eerily familiar ring to it.

I Bring You Good News!

From Luke 2:8-18:
(Amplified translation)

And in that vicinity there were shepherds living [out under the open sky] in the field, watching [in shifts] over their flock by night.

And behold, an angel of the Lord stood by them, and the glory of the Lord flashed and shone all about them, and they were terribly frightened.

But the angel said to them, Do not be afraid; for behold, I bring you good news of a great joy which will come to all the people.

For to you is born this day in the town of David a Savior, Who is Christ (the Messiah) the Lord!

And this will be a sign for you [by which you will recognize Him]: you will find [after searching] a Baby wrapped in swaddling clothes and lying in a manger.

Then suddenly there appeared with the angel an army of the troops of heaven (a heavenly knighthood), praising God and saying,

Glory to God in the highest [heaven], and on earth peace among men with whom He is well pleased [men of goodwill, of His favor].

When the angels went away from them into heaven, the shepherds said one to another, Let us go over to Bethlehem and see this thing (saying) that has come to pass, which the Lord has made known to us.

So they went with haste and [by searching] found Mary and Joseph, and the Baby lying in a manger.

And when they saw it, they made known what had been told them concerning this Child,

And all who heard it were astounded and marveled at what the shepherds told them.

Remember, Jesus is the reason for the season!

I wish you all a blessed Christmas.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

No thanks!

I have a very good spam filter for my e-mail.

However, something managed to sneak through yesterday.

The subject line read as follows:

Limited Time Offer: NY Times home delivery at $1 a week!

Couldn’t it have been an offer for something more desirable like, say, a certificate for a free root canal or a vat of acid for me to plunge my head into?

Just a thought.


OK, stop me if you’ve heard this one before: Tonight’s Vikings-Packers tilt could be Brett Favre’s final game in Lambeau Field.

Yeah, whatever.

Look, I know it’s been a rough year for the Pack at Lambeau. Their 2-5 home record is pretty sorry. But does the sports media have to resort to this tired old speculation just to hype what is otherwise a mediocre match-up? Come to think of it, why would anyone outside of Minnesota or Wisconsin care about this game?

The truth is I was more convinced that Favre, 37, would retire after last season than he will at this year’s conclusion. The Packers may stink this season but they have some good, young talent on their squad. Why shouldn’t Favre play at least another year or two? We all know after last season’s charade that the Packers’ brass doesn’t have the guts to cut Favre loose. Brett could become the George Blanda* of the Green Bay Packers, if he so chooses.

As a Vikings fan, I will be curious to see rookie QB Tarvaris Jackson make his first NFL start. He reminds me of Daunte Culpepper except for the fact that Jackson is four inches shorter, 35 pounds lighter, has a solid work ethic and doesn’t have a birth mother in prison.

Anyhow, the Packers are a 3 ½ point favorite.

Look for Green Bay to cover the 3 ½. I’m thinking 21-14, Packers over the Vikings.

*Obscure reference to an NFL player who played until he was 49-years old.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

It happened 25 years ago today.

It was 25 years ago today, December 20, 1981, when the Minnesota Vikings played their final game at Metropolitan Stadium --- and I was there!

The temperature was only in single digits but I didn’t care. It was an opportunity to see my favorite Vikes in person. Tommy Kramer was the QB with Ahmad Rashad and Sammy White at wide receiver.

With the Vikings trailing the Kansas City Chiefs 10-6 late in the game, Kramer led the Vikings down the field in one last quest for victory. Alas, the Vikes came up short as Kramer’s fourth down pass to TE Joe Senser in the end zone was broken up. My brother, Eric, had brought along a Vikings pennant flag autographed by Rashad. Eric was so disgusted at the outcome that he threw said flag onto the field and exclaimed “VIKINGS SUCK!”

As we were walking to the car, I suddenly began to limp. Within seconds, it felt as though my feet were going to fall off. Yes, it appeared I was stricken with a slight case of frost bite. Of course, being only 12-years old, you would have thought I was shot in the foot with a .357 magnum. A family friend ended up performing the fireman’s carry in order to get me to the car. Picture that. A guy in his late 20s with a kid dressed like Randy (from the movie A Christmas Story) draped over his shoulder.


Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Weather update.

“I love the smell of napalm in the morning.”
-Lt. Col. Bill Kilgore (played by Robert Duvall) in the movie Apocalypse Now.

It’s not just Minnesota where there appears to be above-average warmth in December. Drudge linked to statistical reports citing record highs in San Antonio, TX, Washington, DC and the state of Delaware.

There has also been another report of this record warmth continuing right into January. Yes, the global warming demagoguery will be increasing right along with the temperatures.

Personally, I’m not a fan of cold weather. I’ve lived in Minnesota all of my life and if “global warming” is the cause of the spike in temperatures, so be it.

In the motif of Duvall, I love the smell of greenhouse gasses in the morning.

WARNING: The final two paragraphs in this post may cause dry heaving and frothing at the mouth amongst the radical environmentalist crowd. In the absence of a sense of humor, please do not read the aforementioned paragraphs again and immediately seek professional help.

Monday, December 18, 2006

Brad Radke is calling it quits.

As expected:

The Twins knew Brad Radke was close to announcing his retirement. They just weren't sure when.

Radke plans to make it official Tuesday with a press conference at the Metrodome, ending a 12-year major league career spent entirely with the Twins.

Radke was first called up to the big leagues in 1995. With a team that would go 56-88 in a strike-shortened season, he won 11 games his rookie year. The Twins would finish with a losing record in each of Radke’s first six seasons, a period which saw him win 78 games.

Because Radke was the only consistent performer for what had become a moribund franchise, he was rewarded with a 4-year, $36 million extension in the middle of the 2000 campaign. Radke’s loyalty was rewarded as the Twins had a winning season in 2001, their first since 1992. He was also on the mound for the Twins first playoff victory since 1991, a Game 1 win over Oakland in the 2002 AL Divisional Series. The Twins would go on to win that series, with Radke putting in a stellar performance in the Game 5 clincher.

Despite winning 20 games in 1997, Radke will be most remembered for his final season in 2006. He went 12-9 while pitching with a torn labrum and a stress fracture in the shoulder socket of his pitching arm. What Radke had to endure in the 4-5 days between starts was the stuff of folklore. He literally would not use right arm to pour milk, brush his teeth or comb his hair on the days he didn’t pitch.

With 148 career victories, the baseball Hall of Fame is not likely to beckon. However, given the class, professionalism and grittiness he displayed over 12 seasons, we Twins fans would be fortunate to see his kind around here again.

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Vitriolic View.

Since Rosie O’Donnell became a member of ABC TV’s “The View”, she has apparently become completely unhinged.

Some examples of O’Donnell’s asinine commentary in her short tenure:

"Radical Christianity is just as threatening as radical Islam in a country like America..”

"Don't fear the terrorists. They're mothers and fathers."

I found the latter quote rather intriguing. How are we not supposed to fear those “mothers and fathers” when they are willing to strap bombs to their own children in the name of their cause?

Not to be outdone, one of Rosie’s co-hosts decided to join the freakish festivities:

On Thursday's The View, Joy Behar seriously suggested Senator Tim Johnson was the victim of a deliberate act to cause his brain disorder that led to emergency surgery and has left him in critical condition: "Is there such a thing as a man-made stroke? In other words, did someone do this to him?" An astounded Elisabeth Hasselbeck wondered: "Why is everything coming from the liberal perspective a conspiracy?" Behar contended, on the ABC daytime show, that the Republican Party is capable of such a nefarious deed: "I know what this, that party is capable of."

Really? That sounds like quite a medical breakthrough, causing a fellow human to suffer a stroke.

But I guess when a political party has the ability to concoct hurricanes as well as have a hand in lowering gas prices prior to an election, we gotta figure that “man-made strokes” is the next logical step up.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Global warmists warmly embrace Pawlenty.

Since Governor Tim Pawlenty announced his plan for Minnesota to start using alternative fuel sources, WCCO TV’s Don Shelby and Paul Douglas have barely been able to contain their joy.

DFL Don’s “In the Know” segment Tuesday evening was introduced this way:

Gov. Tim Pawlenty said Tuesday he wants an aggressive new energy initiative that would lower greenhouse gas emissions and move us toward more renewable energy. Don Shelby said, here's a new breed: a conservative Republican environmentalist.

Meanwhile, Douglas (a/k/a The Goof on the Roof) weighed in on this subject Thursday in the Strib:

Governor Pawlenty, concerned about climate change and energy alternatives? I’m not surprised. The root of the word conservative: conserve. Some would say the essence of conservatism is no-spin, seeing things for what they really are with no attempt to manipulate the truth - let the chips fall where they may – forget politics, what is science telling us?

Now, the last thing I want to do here is engage in a “global warming” debate. I have no doubt that there is significant climate change. However, I have a hard time believing that it is due to human sources. We humans occupy approximately 10% of the Earth’s surface. Based on that, it seems rather arrogant to believe we could significantly damage the environment.

Again, that is an argument for another day.

My point here is what’s this “conservative governor” nonsense?

Does a “conservative” utter campaign rhetoric stating that the “era of limited government is over”?

Does a “conservative” talk about a plan for invoking some sort of Hillary care “Universal” Health Care?

Does a “conservative” mandate increased taxes (which is inevitable given the likelihood of increased farm subsidies) for a poor fuel alternative like ethanol?

DFL Don’s commentary ended with this:

Isn't it interesting that the two most earth-friendly governors in the country are Republicans Schwarzenegger in California and Pawlenty in Minnesota?

What does that say about the modern day Democrats? Apparently, in their eyes, anyone to the right of Ted Kennedy must be a “Conservative”.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

The Gift of Life.

Everson Walls played twelve seasons as a cornerback in the National Football League. You don’t last that long in the NFL without having some talent.

However, Walls seems best known for his futile attempt in defending San Francisco 49ers WR Dwight Clark. In the 1981 NFC Championship game, Walls (a rookie), is part of a memorable photo from a most memorable game.

Clark’s sensational catch with less than one minute to go gave the 49ers a 28-27 victory and a berth in the Super Bowl.

Walls has had to endure the stigma of being the victim of “The Catch” for about 25 years.

I would guess from this day forward he will be thought of in a much more heroic sense.

Former NFL cornerback Everson Walls is giving an old friend and teammate a gift for life.

The Washington Post reported that Walls has agreed to donate a kidney to former Dallas Cowboys teammate Ron Springs and that surgery is imminent.

Springs' son Shawn Springs, a cornerback with the Washington Redskins, told the newspaper that surgery could take place "any day now."

According to the newspaper, Ron Springs, 50, has diabetes and has been undergoing dialysis to get ready for surgery.

Shawn Springs offered to end his career and donate a kidney, but his father would not allow any of his children to be tested, the newspaper reported.

"Everson Walls is my dad's best friend and somebody who taught me a lot about being a cornerback in the NFL," the younger Springs told the Post.

Walls and Springs were Cowboys teammates between 1981 and 1984.

I saw a TV interview with Walls last evening. He indicated that the surgery will take place sometime in late March.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

All grown up (or "Dang, I'm old!").

During my sophomore year of high school (1984-85), I played was a member of the JV basketball team.

We had a Friday evening game one week where our coach, Lee Carlson, had a visitor sitting with him on the bench. Mr. Carlson was a divorcee who saw his daughter every weekend. One of the parents sitting just behind the bench remarked to Mr. Carlson on what a lovely daughter he had. When asked her age, Mr. Carlson replied “8….going on 21.”

Today, that cute little girl is all grown up at 30 years of age.

Her name is Kelly Carlson and she is now a Hollywood actress.

And to think I knew her when she was begging her Dad for money to go buy some cotton candy.

Apology NOT accepted.

The ripple effects of Senator John Kerry’s “botched joke” don’t seem to end. As Captain Ed reported yesterday, if Kerry decides to run for President in 2008, he may not even have the support of fellow Massachusetts senator Ted Kennedy.

Our good friend Leo, who has a son serving in Iraq, recently voiced his displeasure with Senator Kerry’s “botched joke” via e-mail.

You can imagine Leo’s surprise when he received a reply from Kerry.

However, Leo has decided not to accept the Senator’s apology.

Mr. Kerry, until this past year, never in my life would I have thought that I would live to see the day when elected officials would, during wartime, so cavalierly, publicly and seditiously go out of their way to speak ill of our soldiers' mission; while in the same vile sentences have the unmitigated gall to proclaim that they "support the troops."

Freedom of Political Speech, a gift given us not only by our Founding Fathers, but by the lifeblood of every Soldier, Sailor and Marine since the founding of our Nation, is a multi-edged sword that can cut in varying directions. A prudent, judicious American will recognize that with such an awesome freedom, comes an equally awesome responsibility to use it wisely. You sir, have wielded it with a reckless abandon befitting not a statesman, but a brigand.

Once again, Senator Kerry, at the very least, I wish to thank you for taking the time to respond to my correspondence. But accept your apology?

Thanks, but no thanks.

Check out Senator Kerry’s e-mail and Leo’s entire response here.

Monday, December 11, 2006

Weekend at Franken's!

Al Franken was supposed to be the huge attraction to lib radio network ”Dead Air” Air America. Now his show will not even be heard live in the city where he broadcasts said show.

Local affiliate KTNF (950 AM) will carry liberal commentator Ed Schultz's show during Franken's 11 a.m.-2 p.m. slot while Franken will move to Shultz's slot (2-5 p.m.)

Franken had no comment on the change, but "we're not horribly offended," said his executive producer. "They're free to do whatever they like."

A spokesman for the station said the change might be only temporary, while Franken goes on a USO tour to Iraq and his show will broadcast reruns. However, if Franken decides to run for the U.S. Senate, his show probably would cease production.

Cease production? Who would be able to tell the difference?

Continuing production on the Franken show is analogous to Weekend at Bernie’s. Certainly you all remember that late 80s classic. Two guys dress up their dead boss as if he were alive.

My sympathies go to those who attempt to make the Franken show seem alive on a daily basis.

"Meowy" Christmas.

Our cat, Macbeth, just couldn't wait until Christmas to start opening gifts.

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Will Iverson be "The Answer" in Minnesota?

As I mentioned in my blog bio, my interest in the NBA is almost non-existent. Admittedly, that could change if the Minnesota Timberwolves put together a club which actually had a chance to win it all.

Something like this would certainly pique my interest!

Allen Iverson and the Philadelphia 76ers appear headed toward a bitter parting.

Iverson is talking about bolting Philly -- and the Sixers might finally be ready to show their franchise player the door.

"We're going to trade him," Sixers chairman Ed Snider said Friday night.

"At a certain point, you have to come to grips with the fact that it's not working. He wants out and we're ready to accommodate him."

The possibility of Iverson being traded to Minnesota boosted
Kevin Garnett's spirits just minutes after a big win over Utah.

"Bring it on, I love 'The Answer," Garnett said. "We welcome A.I. with open arms. Where's Kevin McHale?"

McHale, vice president of basketball operations, would not comment on rumors that Iverson would end up in Minnesota. But his star player went so far as to look into a local television camera and make a plea to Iverson.

"Come on, boy," Garnett said. "I can't think of anyone who wouldn't want to play with him."

The question is what will the Sixers ask in return for Iverson? He is currently 31-years old, which would seem to indicate that his best days are behind him. However, he is averaging over 31 points per game, which is the most when comparing him to other NBA point guards. That would seem to command a pretty high price. But I do think it is very telling that Philadelphia has no posture whatsoever. It has been made quite clear that both Iverson and the Sixers want to part ways. That would seem to indicate a strong buyer’s market when it comes to potential suitors.

Given that Garnett is also a thirtysomething, the sense of urgency is palpable when it comes to winning a championship. Even though Garnett has been one of the top NBA all-stars throughout his career, he has never been much of a 4th quarter “go-to” guy. That is where a Garnett-Iverson tandem would be most beneficial since A.I. has never been shy about taking any shots at any point of the game.

A bigger question is, what do the Wolves have to offer? They seem to have put together a nice core of young players like Rashad McCants, Randy Foye and Craig Smith. Would it be worth mortgaging the future for maybe an above average chance at wining a title? Best case scenario is that the Sixers are so desperate to sever ties with Iverson that they would be willing to take on dead weight like Troy Hudson, Trenton Hassell and Marko Jaric. Combine that with the fact that the Target Center has only been 70-75% capacity during Wolves home games this season.

A trade for Iverson might be good for basketball but for sure it would be great for ticket revenue!

Friday, December 08, 2006

"Hed" games.

Mitch Hedberg, comedian, died over a year ago at age 37. I vaguely knew Mitch. We attended the same High School, he being a year older than I.

Not surprisingly, he was voted “Class Clown” in Harding’s class of 1986. He also fashioned a mullet which bore an uncanny resemblance to that of Dee Snider of the 80s heavy metal band Twisted Sister.

Around 1985, a lot of kids in our high school were abuzz over the Emilio Estevez movie just released, entitled That Was Then, This Is Now. The film had been shot right in St Paul with Mitch himself having a cameo appearance. It was at that moment when many of us felt he was on the verge of something big.

Last evening, I came across a clip on YouTube which featured one of Mitch’s several appearances on David Letterman’s show.

This 5-minute clip gives as good an indication as any of Mitch Hedberg’s off-the-wall humor.


Thursday, December 07, 2006

Keep the memories alive!

In December 2004, my wife and I had the privilege of visiting the World War II memorial in Washington, DC.

A simple phrase of “HERE WE MARK THE PRICE OF FREEDOM” is etched in stone in front of a wall of 4,000 gold stars. Each star represents approximately 100 soldiers killed in action. Think about that! 400,000 soldiers lost their lives in an effort to preserve the precious liberty we have enjoyed for over sixty years!

Two of my maternal grandmother’s brothers, Robert & Richard, actually fought in World War II. Uncle Bob died last year around Thanksgiving. Uncle Dick passed away in 2000.

As other members of our greatest generation pass on, so too do their memories of courage and sacrifice. Given the fact that their bravery has allowed us to live in the greatest country in the world for so long, many citizens today don’t understand what went in to establishing the freedoms and liberties we currently enjoy.

So on this 65th anniversary of the bombing of Pearl Harbor, my prayer is that the sacrifices made by our American military will never be in vain.

Like the generation of WWII, may we never lose our passion in preserving freedom.

Friday, December 01, 2006

Doogie wonderland.

Since I’m an aspiring radio personality, I always enjoy reading Strib reporter Judd Zulgad’s Friday column on “Broadcast Sports.” I saw an interesting tidbit in today’s report regarding probably one of the worst sports anchors this town has seen since Russell Shimooka. That would be KMSP channel 9 sports guy Jim Rich. At least Shimooka was entertainingly awful. Rich, on the other hand, is about as exciting as dietary fiber.

Anyhow, it appears Rich will be traveling to Sweden later this month for the World Junior Hockey Championships. So who will man the sports anchor desk while Jimmy is gone?

KFAN's Darren (Doogie) Wolfson will sub for Rich on KMSP for several nights during his absence.

Doogie??!!! The impudent pipsqueak on Chad Hartman’s KFAN show? The same kid with the head that looks like a dirty tennis ball and the voice which sounds like Kermit the Frog with a Nordic Minnesota accent?

Believe it or not, I may have to tune in to Channel 9 later this month. It’s kind of like the proverbial train wreck: It looks and sounds pretty ugly but you just can’t turn away.