A Blog devoted to all things SWC, the greatest college athletic conference. Updated weekly with the SWC Game of the Week during football season. Other relevant SWC News will appear from time to time as well.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

There's a place in France...

As I read the newspaper accounts and watch the news from a burning Paris I remember our summer trip to Italy. There, in Murano where we bought our stem wear (wine glasses) the Italian man explained to me that Europians don't understand Americans and how violent they are. Citing the looting in New Orleans at the time he said things like that would never happen in Europe.

Maybe France doesn't count. Of course there were riots in Northern Ireland while we were there as well.

He was a nice man, married to a girl from Brooklyn. The glasses are beautiful. If you come and visit you can drink out of them.

Saturday, October 22, 2005

World Series

1984 I went to my first Astros game and we sat behind home plate. I remember the net in the Astrodome at the time didn't go straight up, it went back over your head. I was disappointed because I wanted to get a foul ball. I don't remember if the Astros won, I think they did, but there was an Oiler football game afterwards so we stayed and watched them change the field over for awhile. I remember looking at the roof and hoping for a homerun so I could see the scoreboard go off.

1985 I was an Astros Buddy for the first time and we went to the 6 Astro Buddy games in the Dome. Mostly we sat in the Upper Deck. I went with a friend once and came back with buttons and a wooden bat.

1986 was the first time Dad and I went to opening day. Will Clark hit a homerun off Nolan Ryan and a guy with an arm cast caught it in the outfield. The '86 team will always be special because they won the pennant. Of course we all know the Game 6 of the NLCS story, the only game that has made me cry. I was young though, and I honestly thought they would be right back in the hunt of things. Game 6 still haunts me. God Bless Glenn Davis, Bill Doran, Craig Reynolds, Phil Garner, Denny Walling, Jose Cruz, Billy Hatcher, Kevin Bass, Nolan Ryan, Mike Scott, Dave Smith, Charlie Kerfield, Bob Kneeper, Larry Anderson.

1987 - Mom utters after a little league game, "Don't worry Joel, even Jose Cruz stikes out."

1988 - the last year of Nolan Ryan as an Astro. I was so mad at our Yankee owner for letting my hero go to the ... Rangers?? Another note, a catcher made his major league debut, his name, Craig Biggio.

1989 - The Astros were in 1st place in August, but this was the last competitive team for awhile.

1991 - The Astros finished in last place this year and I must have gone to 15 games. We're in the bleachers now mostly, as I've out grown the Astros buddies. Lots of young guys on this team, Steve Finley, Luis Gonzalez, and a guy we got from Boston, Jeff Bagwell.

1992 - The Astros are on the road for a month to accomodate the Republican Convention in the Dome. The team responds well and finish strong. My friend Brad and I try to raise money to buy the Astros by standing on the street corner with a sign that says, "Help us buy the Astros" and a bucket. We get enough for 2 slurpees and 2 candy bars.

1993 - The Astros finish ahead of the Cubs winning a $5 bet I made with a friend at the beginning of the season. Dad and I see Darrlye Kile's 1st career no hitter. I also set the record for eating 6 $1 hotdogs.

1994 - Sad season, no World Series as the Astros were on their way to a division title. Will we be back in this position again?

1997 - For the first time since 1986 the Astros are back in the playoffs. They aren't the best team, but making it to the playoffs is good enough. I remember Dad calling me at college after the clinching game.

1998 - Astros make deadline deal for Randy Johnson and win 100 games. The best Astros team? They fall to the Padres in the divisional series. I went to the first game the Big Unit pitched in the Dome and that place was rocking. He looks terrible as a batter.

1999 - The last year of the 'Dome. Astros again face playoff disappointment.

2000 - Enron Field is awesome. The Astros aren't.

2001 - I met my wife and took her to her first Astros game. She realizes that she must embrace this Astros obsession if this is going to work.

2004 - I miss the first Opening Day with Dad since 1986 because of my move to New York. The Astros are back in the playoffs again as the wildcard for the first time since 2001. The beat the Braves in the divisional round for the first playoff series win for the franchise. The go back to St. Louis with a 3-2 lead in the NLCS only to lose the next two games.

2005 - WORLD SERIES!!!

Tonight I finally get to see my team in the World Series, a moment I thought would never happen. I love it. I love this team.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005


I'd cry, but when you get punched in the stomach you don't have the breath to cry. This is about as hard as I've taken any loss, ever. That and I get to work and have a Yankee fan tell me he understands losing because when he was growing up in the 80's the Yankees were below .500. I tried to explain that rooting for a team with rainbow uniforms that have never made the World Series and a team with (at the time) 22 World Series Championships is a bit different. Plus the Yankees have won 4 since.

But we've got Roy O going on Wed. and if any team in the world can come back, it's this one. But that is about as close as you can get and not make it.

I just want them to make it to the World Series, if they win, that would just be gravy. I just want to see them play in the Series, once.

Sunday, October 02, 2005


So the Astros beat the Cubs today and won the National League Wild Card for the second straight year. They will play the Braves in the NLDS starting on Wednesday. It was a big win for the Bubba Household. Now that we can relax for a few days and breath, lets revisit the biggest transacation of the Astros offseason, i.e. Carlos Beltran signing with the NY Mets instead of the Houston Astros.

Beltran: Salary-$11.5 million, Avg-.266, HR-16, RBI-78, SB-17, SLG-.414, OBP-.330, OPS-.744

Now the Astros who played the outfield for the Astros this year, Jason Lane, RF and Willie Taveras, CF.

Lane: Salary-$345 thousand, Avg-.267, HR-26, RBI-78, SB-6, SLG-.499, OBP-.316, OPS-.805

Taveras: Salary-$316 thousand, Avg-.291, HR-3, RBI-29, SB-34, SLG-.341, OBP-.325, OPS-.665

You do the math.

Sunday, September 25, 2005

Running From Rita (Bubba's Sister in Houston):

I do not have a Blog, however my brother was kind enough to let me do a "guest appearance" on his.....

Sunday morning, September 25

Our story is not a storm story - it is an evacuation story. I pondered just what to title this - several ideas came to mind: Running from Rita, How Rita Ruined My Week, Rita is a Bitch......but decided to just call it Reflections on Rita. Mine is certainly not the worst evacuation story by any means; it is only one story of millions. But I experienced and witnessed so much in the past few days and there are so many thoughts and images running around in my brain that I felt like I needed to somehow express them. So here is my story.

On Monday and Tuesday we did not know what to do; our theme song could have been "Should I Stay Or Should I Go?". We live about half-way between Houston and Galveston, so we were concerned with the weather forecasts. We went back and forth, but on Tuesday night decided (along with my parents) that we should go. We have family in Dallas who wanted to see us anyway, so we decided to load up and leave on Wednesday. The sooner the better, we thought. So we packed, we prepared our homes, we brought along our treasures and tried to secure the rest. We couldn't board up our windows because plywood was already sold out. Grocery stores were quickly selling out of water, batteries, the hurricane essentials. There was a sort of public frenzy - probably a combination of media hype and Katrina still fresh on our minds. Fortunately we did have the foresight to fill our cars up with gas on Tuesday night. We knew the traffic would be bad getting out of town, but what else could we do? By the time we left it was a Category 4 storm headed straight at Galveston. We had to leave. We had no idea what we were about to go through.

My parents left their house at about 1:00 p.m. Wednesday afternoon; we were not able to leave until a couple of hours later. It was 103 degrees outside when we left home. We kept in touch as best as we could by cell phone - but the circuits were so busy that many times we were unable to connect. Mom and Dad ran into heavy traffic, but assured us that once we got past The Woodlands we'd be OK. The traffic was literally bumper-to-bumper from the minute we pulled out of our League City neighborhood with our 2 kids, our 2 dogs, and our van packed to the gills with all that we could get in there. And thus began the creep northward. From home to Centerville we averaged about 5-10 mph. I have never seen so many people and cars trying to go the same direction. Cars were overheating; people were running out of gas; some people pushed their cars along in the traffic to save what gas they had. The gas stations ran out of gas. They ran out of food. The restrooms were disgusting. No stores or restaurants were open. Large groups of people would pull over to the shoulder together and sleep in/on their cars. Ambulances frequently passed us on the shoulder; I assume they were transporting hospital patients to safer ground. At midnight we were just getting to the Woodlands, and there was no relief in sight. Rita was now a Category 5 - the 3rd strongest storm in recorded history. I finally got thru to Mom on her cell phone and they were already at our Dallas destination. Thinking we were not far behind, Mom asked how close we were - when I told her we were only at The Woodlands she couldn't believe it. It had taken us 9 hours to get only to the other side of Houston, and they were already there! What a difference leaving a couple of hours later made! Friends of ours that left after we did took 12 hours to get that far - they ended up turning around and going back home for fear of running out of gas and being stranded. I wish we had done the same, but the reports on the radio told of a "mammoth storm" headed straight at us! I began to worry we would ride out the storm in our van on I-45. My husband got tired (imagine that!) so I took over the driving for a while and let him sleep - neither of us wanted to stop moving - but I could only drive for about an hour before my eyes wouldn't stay focused and I had to pull over. That was at Centerville. After a short rest in the van, my husband took back over and we forged on, still seeing so many people by the side of the road either out of gas or sleeping, so many ambulances, so many tail lights ahead of us! We kept hearing on the radio that they were going to open the southbound lanes of I-45 to head north as well, but we never saw it. We drove (inched along) all night. At dawn on Thursday we were in Buffalo; we again had to pull over to a gas station parking lot (no gas there) and sleep for about 45 minutes. Finally at Ennis we decided we HAD to get off of 45 so we cut over to 35 and got into Dallas that way. We arrived at our final destination at 10:00 Thursday morning - a 19 hour drive. We were worn out, hungry, grungy - hadn't eaten anything decent or gotten any real sleep in over 24 hours - hadn't brushed our teeth, showered.....you get the picture. But we made it. And I have to say that I have THE BEST kids in the world - never a complaint, never a problem - they either played with their Gameboys or watched a movie or slept - real troopers! The dogs were good, too - they slept a lot - but I think that was the Benadryl I gave them......the puppy (6 months old) pooped in van at about Waxahatchie - at that point we were up to 55 mph so I just tossed it out the window. We were physically and emotionally exhausted.

Of course, the "mammoth storm" did NOT come to our homes - it instead weakened and went inland well northeast of where we live. My mother-in-law lives in Orange and we know she evacuated but we don't know where she is or if she has a home to come back to. Our hearts are with all the residents of the Beaumont/Port Arthur area. We decided as soon as we knew it was safe, we were headed home to check on our own houses. Perhaps we could beat the crowds back into town.....

Other people thought that, too; it still took us 8 hours to get home. That is much better than the 19 hours it took to get there, but still a long day - a long hot day with no place to stop for gas, food, drinks, restrooms; we had brought some things to snack on and drink in the car and we had water for the dogs; we found one rest stop that had a rather clean bathroom (thank goodness!); my son had to tinkle by the side of the road at one point. But we made it home. We have power and phones and water, but our cable is still out. We haven't had mail or newspaper delivery since last Wednesday. Now the clean-up begins - mainly we have limbs and branches in the yard to pick up, and from looking at the size of some of them I think we are lucky they didn't break out the front windows of the house (they were certainly slamming into them). We found a couple of shingles, too - not sure if they are from our roof or if they blew over from someone else's. There are ants everywhere - outside and inside. But we are VERY lucky. We have limited food in the house - we stocked up on non-perishables and water before the storm, but we have no bread or milk or meat - no stores are open. It is like a ghost town around here. I guess we'll be eating a lot of canned ravioli and ramen noodles for a few days. The kids don't go back to school until Thursday. We don't know when my husband will need to be back at work (probably Monday). We have learned a lot of lessons for "next time" - Rita Lessons as the press is calling them. For one thing we will buy plywood as soon as it becomes available next week and have it pre-cut and ready. We now have a plan for packing/protecting our things. We know that if we ever have to evacuate again we will leave earlier and not try to go as far. I don't like to ever say "never", but at this point I am saying "never again" - it'll have to be pretty darn bad for us to evacuate again. Next time this family will most likely hunker down and ride it out.....

Thursday, September 01, 2005

Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Hurricane News

From the Houston Chronicle...

People donate money for disasters half a world away, but when it happens so close to home, the reaction is more intimate. Houston shares more than geography with New Orleans and Mississippi — family and religious ties, a love of Cajun cuisine and music and, for many people, personal memories.
"So many people here have been on Bourbon Street, so many people have been to the casinos on the Mississippi coast," said Ryan. "People can relate, because they've been there." And because we could be next.

Growing up in Houston on the Texas Gulf Coast, (only a couple of miles from Galveston Bay) this has hit home for me. If you've riden one of these things out and if you live or have family along the Gulf Coast, you really feel for these people. I think the yankees up here are rather blase about the whole affair, if it doesn't happen in NY it doesn't happen. But let me encourage everyone to give to the Red Cross, or another organization giving aid.

Saturday, August 27, 2005

6 Man Football

Saw this in the NY Times:

Jack Pardee, a former N.F.L. linebacker and Washington Redskins coach, was a member of the Christoval, Tex., six-man team in the early 1950's, once scoring nine touchdowns in a game that was played in the town's rodeo arena. "Six-man football is what small-town life in Texas is all about," he told me. "It provides kids with the wonderful experience of being part of a team and an important part of the community."

Of course Jack Pardee is also a Fightin' Texas Aggie, a Junction boy who played for the Bear. I have two friends that played 6 man football in the Texas Panhandle, the famous Tim Smith and Jody Copp.

Thursday, August 11, 2005

Reporters in the Locker Room

From ESPN's Jason Whitlock...

Going into the men's bathroom following a practice or a game, and conducting interviews while athletes undress and shower, is not a gender rights issue. It is not a sign of equality. It's a stupid, disrespectful, antiquated tradition started by men, and it really needs to stop -- especially now with the explosion of new media and the full-blown gender integration of sports reporting.

When did they say anything worthwhile anyway?

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Shakespeare in the Park

From my daily Playbill email, more info here...

When you become a Summer Sponsor of Shakespeare in the Park, you'll do much more than receive one reserved seat to TWO GENTLEMEN OF VERONA. You'll help keep a New York tradition - FREE Shakespeare in the Park - alive! Your $100 donation reserves ONE seat to ONE production and is 100% tax-deductible.

Only in NY does buying a $100 seat to a play keep it free. That doesn't make sense to me. The more people buy seats, the less free it is, and the more it forces the general public out. Free Shakespeare is going corporate, just like everything else.

Friday, August 05, 2005

NCAA is a Monopoly

Of course the NCAA is a monopoly anyway. They can do whatever they want.

"I have felt as long as I have been in coaching that the NCAA has wanted to eliminate the NIT," Knight said in a deposition played in U.S. District Court in Manhattan on Thursday. As for the NCAA, he added, "it's a monopoly."

Indian nicknames

Can't say I agree with this. What about the Fightin' Irish? Or the Aggies (demeans farmers)?

The NCAA banned the use of American Indian mascots by sports teams during its postseason tournaments, but will not prohibit them otherwise.

Thursday, August 04, 2005


Which would you want?

Outfield A: Avg: .256 HR: 16 RBI: 46 SB: 6 OBP: .302 SLG: .488
Outfield B: Avg: .263 HR: 12 RBI: 56 SB: 7 OBP: .313 SLB: .429

Outfielder A is Jason Lane for the Astros, Outfielder B is Carlos Beltran for the Mets.

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Roid Rage

Well, seems that steroids has it's first big time victim in Rafael Palmerio. The sad part is that he testified before Congress where he, in a rather Bill Clinton moment, shook his finger at the camera and declared he had never taken steroids, never. Now it seems he has, but not willingly, as he says. I don't understand the way he is spinning this. If he took something that had a banned substance in it and was unaware, as he claims, why would he not just come out and tell everyone what he took and how he didn't know. But instead he is losing because everyone is assuming the worst. ESPN is reporting he did in fact test positive for steroids.

I also don't understand how he people like Jason Stark and say they will still vote for him for the Hall because it was baseball's fault for not enforcing no steroids. When are people responsible for their own decisions? When is it the players themselves and the players association which fought steroid testing on all fronts fault for not protecting themselves (players) against suspicion of steroid use?

Tuesday, August 02, 2005


They're back.... 22-7 in July and back in first place for the wild card. The buzz is back. I would say I'm back to reading the Astros report in the Houston Chronicle every morning, but I never stopped. With Clemens, Oswalt, Pettitte on the mound I think they are the favorites for the last playoff spot.

I'm back as well, a little blog nap.

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Aggies Make Mistake

Texas A&M fired Mark Johnson this week. He won more games at the baseball coach at A&M than any other man. He averaged 41 wins over 21 years, before he was coach they won 40 games in a season twice. I think you can judge a coach by what his former players and peers say about him, and in Mark Johnson's case, it is only good. From the Bryan College Station Eagle:

“ That’s my only explanation as to why this happened to Mark,” Garrido said. “It isn’t about coaching ability. It isn’t about him being a good teacher or his ethics. It isn’t about his baseball knowledge. My guess is that it’s about the evolution of the game and the expecations for coaches. You’ve got to win, and you’ve got to win every year.”

“ He’s an important figure in my life,” Rupe said. “I feel sorry for him, and I also feel sorry for the other coaches. It’s a sad day for A&M baseball. It really is. As much as everyone is going to look to the future, for his past players, it’s a very sad day.”

A&M has made a claim with this move, win our your out. Of course as Larry Dierker said in the Houston Chronicle about the Astros,

There are two types of fans: baseball fans and fans of winning.

It seems to me that A&M's new administration is a fan of winning.

Listen to My Wife...

This is interesting in our house, as we think about starting a family in a two career household. Granted, we are both civil engineers so our hours are not quite lawyer or investment banker hours, but it is still something we think about. Read the whole article here.

Maybe you know a woman (or a few million) like her. It's hardly news that the issue vexing talented people is the struggle to balance their professional lives with time for fulfilling lives outside of work. The shock is that after decades of wrestling with these tradeoffs, the obvious answer is the one everyone has been too skeptical or afraid to explore: changing the way top jobs are structured.

In a world where most people are struggling, the search for "balance" in high-powered jobs has to be counted a luxury. Still, there is something telling (if not downright dysfunctional) when a society's most talented people feel they have to sacrifice the meaningful relationships every human craves as the price of exercising their talent.

Of course my opinion is the situation is driven by greed, corporate greed and individual greed. If no one would work the hours or put up with the bs, then corporate America would be forced to change. As far as women, business is going to have to change the way they handle mom's or they are going to lose some of their best employees.

Why can't we be sucessful and have a life? I like my job, I think I'm pretty good at it - I don't want to brag, and I work with a top firm in my field. But my job is a job, and I want to have my weekends to spend some of the money I'm making, and I like to go home and have dinner with my wife. So far I've been lucky, but as I see where my career might go it is not pretty.

Friday, May 20, 2005

More on Muslim Views in the Middle East

From today's Wall Street Journal. Read it here. (Register to read, easy, painless, worth it.)

As a Muslim, I am able to purchase copies of the Quran in any bookstore in any American city, and study its contents in countless American universities. American museums spend millions to exhibit and celebrate Muslim arts and heritage. On the other hand, my Christian and other non-Muslim brothers and sisters in Saudi Arabia--where I come from--are not even allowed to own a copy of their holy books. Indeed, the Saudi government desecrates and burns Bibles that its security forces confiscate at immigration points into the kingdom or during raids on Christian expatriates worshiping privately.

The Saudi Embassy and other Saudi organizations in Washington have distributed hundreds of thousands of Qurans and many more Muslim books, some that have libeled Christians, Jews and others as pigs and monkeys. In Saudi school curricula, Jews and Christians are considered deviants and eternal enemies. By contrast, Muslim communities in the West are the first to admit that Western countries--especially the U.S.--provide Muslims the strongest freedoms and protections that allow Islam to thrive in the West. Meanwhile Christianity and Judaism, both indigenous to the Middle East, are maligned through systematic hostility by Middle Eastern governments and their religious apparatuses.

The lesson here is simple: If Muslims wish other religions to respect their beliefs and their Holy book, they should lead by example.

Too bad they have all that oil. It seems to me that what we are dealing with in the Middle East are facist and Islam is the medium to convert the masses. I always wondered how the Nazi's could get everyone to buy into their terror, but now I'm witnessing it first hand. Of course liberal America will not face up to this fact and want to make us out to be ugly Americans intruding where we don't belong. Of course our relations with places like Saudi Arabia are ridiculous because they have all that oil.

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Middle East Hypocrisy

Great atricle in today's New York Times, imagine that. Thomas Friedman writes:

It is hard not to notice two contrasting stories that have run side by side during the past week. One is the story about the violent protests in the Muslim world triggered by a report in Newsweek (which the magazine has now retracted) that U.S. interrogators at Guantánamo Bay desecrated a Koran by throwing it into a toilet. In Afghanistan alone, at least 16 people were killed and more than 100 wounded in anti-American rioting that has been linked to that report. I certainly hope that Newsweek story is incorrect, because it would be outrageous if U.S. interrogators behaved that way.

That said, though, in the same newspapers one can read the latest reports from Iraq, where Baathist and jihadist suicide bombers have killed 400 Iraqi Muslims in the past month - most of them Shiite and Kurdish civilians shopping in markets, walking in funerals, going to mosques or volunteering to join the police.

Yet these mass murders - this desecration and dismemberment of real Muslims by other Muslims - have not prompted a single protest march anywhere in the Muslim world. And I have not read of a single fatwa issued by any Muslim cleric outside Iraq condemning these indiscriminate mass murders of Iraqi Shiites and Kurds by these jihadist suicide bombers, many of whom, according to a Washington Post report, are coming from Saudi Arabia.

The Muslim world's silence about the real desecration of Iraqis, coupled with its outrage over the alleged desecration of a Koran, highlights what we are up against in trying to stabilize Iraq - as well as the only workable strategy going forward.

Read it for yourself.

I would add that Americans attitude about this story is outrage, as it should be if it had in fact been true, too bad for liberal America it isn't, but what if someone had flushed a Bible down the toilet and Christians had rioted? I imagine the Christians would be called hypocrits. What if someone had written a novel about a Islam where they made something up about the prophet Muhammed that went against Isalm teachings?

Thursday, May 12, 2005


Letter to the editor in the NY Times.

To the Editor:
The Texas House of Representatives has it all wrong when it comes to elite cheerleading and sex ("Texas Legislation Adds a Bah! to Sis and Boom," news article, May 5).

The squads that engage in the "provocative" routines they seek to ban are elite squads - focused on competition, athletic skills and leadership.

These young women are athletes. Studies show that young women involved in sports - and make no mistake about it, in the South cheerleading is a sport - are less likely to engage in sex than their nonathletic counterparts.

As a former elite cheerleader, I saw more than one girl "kept out of trouble" by her participation on an elite squad.

These squads build leaders with self-confidence, lead to college scholarships and give young women the chance to value their bodies for their athletic abilities instead of their sexual appeal.

The routines may look sexy, but that does not mean the girls are having sex. Instead of banning routines and becoming the "dance police," the Texas Legislature should see the value in these squads for young women's futures and say, "Bring it on!"

Mary Alice CarrNew York, May 5,

First of all, when did cheerleading become a sport? Second, call it sport, call it dance, whatever, but when will people face up to the fact that the reason there are girls in tight clothes rolling around on the ground at basketball games is so the men in attendance can see them as sex objects. Who wants this for their daughter?

Thursday, April 14, 2005

NE "Fans"

After attending the Astros vs. Mets game at Shea last night in an Astros cap, and watching the Yankees vs. Red Sox tonight I can say on thing, fans up here are terrible. At the Mets it seems yelling obscenities at you for wearing the other teams hat is an o.k. A guy in right field just took a swipe at Gary Sheffield in Fenway as he fielded a ball. The most intelligent thing that Yankee fans, Met fans, and Red Sox fans can say is that whoever they are playing "sucks." So, don't buy the warm fuzzy Red Sox feel, or the Yankees win with class, the people in the stadium are terrible drunk immature people. It has nothing to do with baseball tradition in those towns, it has everything to do with alcohol consumption and trashy people.

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

Tired of the Red Sox

Who else is tired of the Red Sox? They are the only team in sports history that have come close to winning and then lost so we should all feel sorry for them. Now we should all rejoice because they won and they all got to call their dads after the game, blah blah blah.

I root for a team that has never played in a World Series and has been close several times. How about being up 3-2 last year in the NLCS and losing the last two games, one with Roger Clemens on the mound. Where is the national outcry for the Astros?

Friday, March 11, 2005

True Love

As Guy Clark sings, "Only two things that money can't buy, that's TRUE LOVE and HOME GROWN TOMATOES."

Wednesday, March 09, 2005


From my book by future governor of Texas, Kinky Friedman, The Mile High Club, "Jesus is coming, look busy."

Saturday, March 05, 2005

History Channel

Why does the History Channel have a show called "Modern Marvels?"

Breakfast Cereal

There are two types of people in this world, those whose parents let them have sugar cereal and those who didn't. Thanks Mom. We even put sugar on our non-sugar cereal. I guess our kids will be in the category of parents that let their kids have sugar cereal because Daddy will be having Count Chocula. Actually that will be better for me, then when I buy it I can say it is for the kids. But I won't get the prize once the kids learn to read.

Thursday, March 03, 2005

Walmart and Barnes and Noble

New Yorkers are fighting to keep Wal Mart out of NY. They reasons, they force their suppliers to cut costs so they can undersell the Mom and Pop stores. Also, they under pay their employees, but that doesn't seem to be an issue with the employees. I wonder if the Upper West Siders who think Wal Mart is evil care that the folks in the Bronx may want a chance to save some money on house hold items.

An easy example is bookstores. Barnes and Noble is of course the Wal Mart of books. But, when I go to the Barnes and Noble at 84th and Broadway, it is packed with self righteous West Siders strolling through for their latest Al Franken books. But when I go to Murder Ink / Ivy's Books on Broadway and 94th, which I love, usually it is just me. So, if the big guys are evil, why do you shop there? There are still Mom and Pop alternatives. The truth is everyone likes to save a buck, some just don't admit it.

Subway Antics

Yesterday I saw a guy carry a 30" TV on the subway. My first thought, "I hope that isn't my TV."

Sunday, February 27, 2005


The Gates in Central Park are coming down. I'm glad. They were "cool" for a while, but I'll be happy to get my park back and ready for all the tourist mobs to make their way back to Times Square. Central Park is a beautiful place, so you don't need to put orange shower curtains up to attract crowds. I went for my Sunday walk through the park yesterday and it was packed with camera tooting folks trying to catch the Gates on their last day. Without the Gates I would have been almost alone, seeing Central Park with some left over snow from Thursday's storm, enjoying being outside on a clear, cold Sunday in Feb. They say the Gates got people in the park that don't normally come in the winter, that is their lost because the Park is great in all 4 seasons. Granted in the summer the park is more crowded than Sunday with the Gates, but people are enjoying the park for what it was built for which was not to display "art." So, the Gates was cool because of the scale, but it was nothing spectacular and it is now time for it to go away and the park to become functional again.

Thursday, February 03, 2005

Iraq Vote

WOW, the NY Times columnist Thomas Friedman has some positive things to say about the Iraq vote.

In other words, this election has made it crystal clear that the Iraq war is not between fascist insurgents and America, but between the fascist insurgents and the Iraqi people. One hopes the French and Germans, whose newspapers often sound more like Al Jazeera than Al Jazeera, will wake up to this fact and throw their weight onto the right side of history.

It's about time, because whatever you thought about this war, it's not about Mr. Bush any more. It's about the aspirations of the Iraqi majority to build an alternative to Saddamism. By voting the way they did, in the face of real danger, Iraqis have earned the right to ask everyone now to put aside their squabbles and focus on what is no longer just a pipe dream but a real opportunity to implant decent, consensual government in the heart of the Arab-Muslim world.

Who would have thunk it. Now if the lunatic fringe would get past their sore loser mentality and actually admit that the Iraq vote went well and was a good thing, we'd be o.k.

Sunday, January 30, 2005

Put down your cell phone

I took a study break on Saturday afternoon and went downstairs in our building to run on the treadmill. Mrs. Bubba and I are studying for the PE test which we will be taking in April. It was still a bit too chilly to run outside, plus if I run on the treadmill I can watch college basketball while I run. I know that our apartment "gym" is not a real gym, but we have some nice equipment. I went in to run and there was one other guy in there doing free weights. He was wearing cargo shorts and flip flops. Flip flops, while he handled free weights. Ridiculous.

Then another girl came in talking on her cell phone with a big bag and the entire Saturday New York Times. She hung up the phone and got on the treadmill next to me. She then called her girlfriend back and talked while she was walking. The newspaper she had, why?, then fell onto the treadmill and off the back so she had to stop, get off, gather her newspapers so she could put them right back where they were when the fell. She caught them as they fell the second time. She then speed up the treadmill so she was walking fast, but had to jog a few steps to keep up every so often. All while she analyzed her date to her girlfriend.

We need some gym rules. No cell phones, proper gym attire required. Why are you even bothering doing this if you are going to talk on the phone the whole time? You are just going through the motions and you aren't doing yourself any good. You aren't taking your exercise seriously if you think you can combine it with your paper reading and phone talking. And damn it, can't any one do anything by themselves anymore without having to talk to someone all the time. You live a sad life if you are so co-dependent that you can't exercise by yourself, you have to be talking on the phone while you do it. Cell phones are not bad things, but I think they are destroying people's ability to enjoy being alone. Alone time is important, leads to self discovery, observation and helps you appreciate those that are around you.

Friday, January 28, 2005

Colder Than ... (Fill in Blank with something that is really cold)

So, good news, no more slush. Bad news, no slush because it is frozen. It was 11 going to work yesterday and 6 today!

We went out for Happy Hour (Happy Evening, really) with some co-workers and their spouses in the Upper West Side after work yesterday. We left the bar about 10:00 and it is 10 degrees outside, so quite chilly. This man runs by without a shirt on and his pants were falling down. We stand in amazement and watch as he crosses the street and someone else unzips his backpack and gives this man a sweatshirt. The man is jumping around trying to put it on, when the light changed for us and our friends from the Upper East Side jumped into a cab and we ran for the warmth of the subway station to take us home.

It was weird, I initially thought it was some sort of polar bear club thing, but it was obvious this man was homeless. But what happened to his clothes? It's been cold for a while and there are places you can go and get coats, etc. It all happened so fast, by the time you figured out what was going on it was over.

Monday, January 24, 2005


O.K. first everyone should know that I was the first to utter the phrase, "Blizzard of 2005." That was Friday night when we were out with friends. It was butt cold Friday night and the storm was coming. I think I should get royalty or something.

So, in New York City we got 14" of snow, that is a substantial amount of snow, but nothing to write home about. It is enough to blog about, but not to write home. We enjoyed the snow, or I did, don't know about Mrs. Bubba. When you grow up a Bubba, you don't see much snow. We went out on Sat. when it was snowing and took some pictures. We saw the frozen Hudson River, which was cool. Then Mrs. Bubba sang in Carnegie Hall on Sat. night, so we went down to Midtown for the concert. Sunday the snow had stopped by the time we got up and about. But we went sledding, which I have only done once in Crested Butte, CO on a ski trip. We took pictures there too. I did the double black diamond slope. Our friend took out 5 people at the bottom of the hill, it was like bowling. One guy was going down on a raft, that was cool. The disk is the most fun because you can spin around and circles and go down the hill. Lots of fun.

The not so fun part of snow is now, now that it will be around until Opening Day of the baseball season. Stained yellow, turned brown, gross. You try not to drop anything in the subway these days, as the floor is gross, wet and muddy. But fun things turn up, like frozen vomit, frozen pooh, etc.

We are suppose to get another 1" to 2" on Tuesday night and Wednesday morning and that will be a nice topping. It was snowing when I left work, but not when I got off the subway at home, so we will just get flurries tonight.

All and all, snow is cool, errr.... cold.

Sunday, January 16, 2005

Thumb War

I can't beat my wife at thumb war anymore. Before we were married I dominated, I could beat her while I was driving. Now she gets me everytime. We "play" during the offering at Church, on the subway, or other slow moments.

Tuesday, January 11, 2005

More on Liar Beltran

From the Houston Chronicle Richard Justice:

"The thing that was disappointing is that we never really had any negotiations until Saturday night," McLane said. "We tried. We offered to fly to Puerto Rico. We've negotiated five contracts with Craig Biggio and four with Jeff Bagwell. Every time we did it with the player in the room. I thought if we could all sit down, Carlos included, we could get a deal done."

Funny, Beltran was quite impressed with the Mets coming to Puerto Rico, this from ESPN:

Boras suggested the two sides meet in Miami. Minaya, fresh off his successful recruiting trip to the Dominican Republic where he charmed pitcher Pedro Martinez with Thanksgiving dinner, said the Mets would travel to San Juan to see Beltran on his home turf.

Earlier in the day ESPN ran this as well, they have since taken it down, so you will just have to take my word for it.

Beltran said he was impressed that Mets owner Fred Wilpon and general manager Omar Minaya flew down to visit him in his native Puerto Rico.
So, the Astros were not allowed or welcome to come to Puerto Rico, which was apparently the deciding factor. What a loser.

Lets talk no-trade clause again, as Beltran is using that as his good guy out. This is what Drayton McLane says in Justice's piece in the Chronicle.

McLane acknowledged he had offered only a partial no-trade clause, but he emphasized there were a host of other unresolved issues. He considered all of them negotiable.

He said the real problem was that the two sides didn't really begin negotiating until the deadline was closing in. He said he tried to draw Boras into serious discussions several times but was always put off.

And from Richard Justice's Q&A on the Chronicle, you may have to scrow down...

Question: Do you really think that the no-trade clause was the primary reason that Carlos Beltran picked the Mets over the Astros?
Roger in Houston

Answer: I don't think the no-trade killed it, but it does make for a convenient excuse now. I'm sure Scott Boras wants everyone to think that's what did it. Based on what I've been told, Drayton McLane and Scott talked at around 8:30 Saturday morning and Scott agreed to get back to him. He did -- at 7 p.m. At that point, he started making big changes to the deal. He wanted more money moved up front. He wanted a longer contract. He wanted a no-trade clause. There were so many issues on the table that they never got down specifically to the no-trade clause. If they'd been able to agree on everything else, the no-trade clause wouldn't have killed the deal. In the end, they never had anything approaching real negotiations, at least in the usual sense. I think it struck the Astros late Saturday that Beltran never had any intention of re-signing with them. I'm not sure we'll ever know his reasons.

CARLOS, STOP THE LIES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

He states the Mets really wanted him, like the Astros didn't. He got the petition that everyone in Houston signed that said they wanted him back. Did he read any of the signs at the stadium? What a louse.

The bottom line is he had no intention of every signing with Houston. Boras wanted him in NY, so that is where he is. That is fine, it is life as a fan of a mid market team. I understand that, I never thought the Astros would sign him. But he doesn't have to drag the Astros through the mud and lie about everything like he did. Scott Boras is the devil. I'm sick of the lies. Come clean Carlos, stop the lies.

Sunday, January 09, 2005

Carlos Beltran is a Liar

Carlos Beltran is a liar. He rejected the Astros offer of 7 years and 108 million dollars for the Mets 7 years and 119 million dollars, see ESPN article.

He said he wanted a winning organization, a comfortable clubhouse, a nice city, a home. He said that money was not the biggest issue. He said he like the ballpark in Houston, he liked living in Houston, his wife liked Houston, he enjoyed his Astros teammates. But in the end it was all about money. Read what Richard Justice for the Houston Chronicle has to say...

The Mets are about nothing.
The Mets are a bad team with a stupid front office. Despite throwing millions at a few high-profile free agents in recent years, they aren't close to being competitive.

They're promising they'll do things right under new general manager Omar Minaya. But even if Minaya is allowed the autonomy his predecessors never had, the Mets are years away from being competitive.

All the Mets can offer Beltran is money. That's apparently all that ever mattered.

Lets look at the Mets right now, last year they were 71-91, 4 games out of last place. In 2003 they were 66-95, last place. In 2002 they were 75-86, last place. In 2001 they were 82-80, 3rd place. Sounds like a winning organization to me. They did win the NL in 2000 and were the wild card in 1999. Before that you go back to 1988 before they were in the playoffs. The Mets aren't improving either, they've overpaid Pedro this off season, freeing the Boston Red Sox of that bad contract.

Meanwhile the Astros were in the playoffs 5 times the last 8 years, with divisional championships in 97, 98, 99, 01. They finished 2nd in 2002 and 2003. The only losing season since 1991 was in 2000 when they went 72-90. The Astros were one game from the World Series last year, and if Beltran came back they would be well on their way to make another run.

Lets look at the money. He took a deal that was 11 million more, or 9% more. New York City has a state and city income tax unlike Houston, TX. I've read he would have to make 4% more in New York just to off set the tax increase. The cost of living multiplier between NY and Houston is 2.5 as well. So, more money, but he won't see it. In fact he will net less money with his NY deal, but his agent still gets his cut. As far as the argument that we would all take the money, that is not true, I didn't take the money when I was coming out of school, I chose the job that I thought would make me the most happy. I don't think everyone just goes for the money, but athletes do.

O.K. the other argument is that Beltran will be in NY, the media capital of the world, so he will have more endorsement opportunities and make more money that way. But the Yankees run this town. When is the last time you saw a Met in a national ad campaign? I know that Tom Glavine was a bigger name with the Braves than with the Mets. Beltran is supposedly a laid back guy, playing in no pressure zones in KC and Houston. He was happy in Houston. Well, he is in the pressure cooker now. The Met fans will boo him on Opening Day if he doesn't perform. But he has his money, and that was all he cares about. Sports sucks now, why watch?

It is all about the Benjamin's.

Athletes Out of Control

I guess everyone has heard about Randy Moss walking off the field before the end of the game last week.

With his helmet in hand and head down, Moss slowly walked off the field Sunday while his teammates were lining up to try an onside kick with 2 seconds left.

His quote:

Moss claimed he left to avoid doing "something stupid" in frustration -- like tossing his helmet or launching a stream of obscenities.

These guys are humorous now. They obviously don't have a grasp of reality. I just laugh at it now. This is little league behavior, except in little league he would actually get in trouble and people would not be defending him. Nice Randy.

Friday, January 07, 2005

This was my response on another blog, about cutting taxes and government "charity" aid and allow US citzens to take the tax cuts and give it to charity themselves.

In theory your idea is right on, but in practice I'm afraid it fails. The bottom line in my opinion is as a soceity we have to determine if taking care of the poor / less fortunate is important. As a democracy what the public wants in theory the public will get. There are two ways to support the poor as a soceity, we could leave it up to ourselves to contribute to charities, or we could establish government programs to perform the roll of the charities and have everyone contribute in the form of taxes. Correct me if I'm wrong, but before The New Deal, the majority of aid to the poor was through private donations, but now the government has established several programs to help the poor.

Another problem is deciding which programs the government should support and which should not. This is always a huge problem when cuts must be made and those making the cuts are always cast as evil doers who only care for their own kind. My opinion is that you can do alot to help by yourself. If the only charity you give is through your tax dollar, than you have no right in my mind to call someone greedy or non-caring when they want to cut a government program.

My point during the election was you don't have to wait for the government to develop a program to help the poor, you can do it yourself. There are plenty of charities that will take your money. More valuable than money often times is your time. If everyone cared about the poor and helped out, we wouldn't need medicare or welfare, but that is not the case.

As far as the rich go, they often times are the greedy ones. Ready Steinbeck's Grapes of Wrath, where they say if you need help the poor are the ones that will share what they have with you long before the wealthy. Also, in New York City when the cab fares went up a few months ago they interviewed cabbies, who make nothing by the way, and they say the worst tippers are the ones on the Upper East Side who make the most money.

I like to give to Christian organizations that are not eligible for federal funds because they present the Gospel. One great one when we live in Dallas was an organization that helped women who were escaping abusive relationships. It gave them a place to stay, trained them how to find and peform a job, and helped them get on their feet. They had a nightly worship service as well and present Jesus Christ as hope for a better future. If you look in your community there are probably multiple charities that would love your money and your time!

Tuesday, January 04, 2005

Still Want to Move to Canada?

Saw this at Instapundit. Canada is limited in their response to the Tsunami, read Flightless DART.

There's little to say about the tragedy of Canada's response to the tsunami tragedy that hasn't already been said. A lot of excuses have been bandied about for why Canadian soldiers weren't sent, when Australia, Taiwan, Israel, and other countries despatched forces early, and the American military launched its largest operation in the area since Vietnam to try to save lives.

In the end, though, the answer's pretty simple: 600 tonnes.

That's the amount of airlift required to move the DART(Disaster Assistance Response Team). Since Canada only has the 4 CC-150 Polaris (modified Airbuses) for strategic airlift, with a cargo capacity of 13 tonnes each, rapid deployment of DART anywhere outside the effective ferry range of our 30-odd additional short-range Herc transports (ie, off this continent) was a mathematical impossibility, without civilian airlift... and civilian airlift is in pretty short supply at the moment.

I find it humorous that all the anti-war folks want to move to Canada because Bush won, and Canada does not have the means to help the world in a natural disastor like the US can. It is probably still uncool to be an American though, so don't worry.

Sunday, January 02, 2005

Goodbye 2004, Hello 2005

O.K. my wife has done it, my friend Wes has done it, I guess I'll do it. Review the year, look forward to the next year, enjoy.

2004, what went right, what went wrong, what turned up ugly...
  • In January we moved to New York City, something we had really wanted to do for over a year. It is great when God puts things together the way you want them to go together. Several things on this list will be a direct result of "the move."
  • Learned to live with less. This is a good thing. It is akin to simplifying your life. It is also tied into charity in our minds. Manhattan is full of the very rich and the very poor at the same time. We try to realize that we have so much, and give what we don't need away. The best example is our pastor at Fifth Ave. Presbyterian gave a sermon on stuff, so we came home and cleaned out our closets.
  • Learned to live in small spaces, again another good thing. We have recently heard of a friend that bought a big house back in Texas and our reaction was, "What a waste." I don't think we will ever want the giant house now, we just don't need it.
  • We have been to fabulous museums, performances, restaurants, etc. It is sometimes like we have been on vacation for a year now.
  • Learned that some people strongely disagree with us politically and think we are stupid because of it. I know that I don't like that feeling, so will try not to express that when / if we move back to an area that we are again in the majority politically.
  • Learned that sometimes dream jobs are not what you think they are going to be.
  • Made some new friends that we both love and would do anything for. We had trouble making friends in Dallas. Funny, had to move to cold, rude New York to make friends we will always have.
  • Kept in touch with old friends as well, some of which have undergone major changes in their lives this year that we have been fortunate to hear about and encourage.
  • Learned that sometimes you don't miss a place until you go back to it.
  • Learned to step out and take on the leadership role, i.e. taking on leading the Couples Class at Church. God works through you, if you let him.

Goals for 2005:

  • Stay attuned to what the people around me need, and try to fill that need. I believe that Christ has called us to serve, as he served.
  • Understand that you can't solve huge problems by yourself, but you can help individual people. I don't have the solution to the homeless problem, but I can give someone a warm dinner and a smile.
  • We want to go to Europe again in the fall.
  • I want to take charge of my career and be more agressive at work. This starts with getting my PE, which I will sit for the test in April.
  • Learn more about my wife and try to keep her laughing.
  • Be more generous.
  • Run in a timed race. I used to do the "fun" runs in college, but haven't in some since. I need to get back into it, it is fun!
  • Build a real snowman. When you grow up on the Texas Gulf Coast, you don't see snow, so I have alot of catching up to do. I also want to sled.
  • Grow a beard. My dad has one, so genetically I should be able to right? I always chicken out because I don't want to look like a dope while I'm trying.

I guess that is it!