Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Miss South Carolina explains what happened with her answer at the Miss Teen USA pageant on the "Today" show this morning

Click here to watch and listen, http://today.msnbc.msn.com/id/20473692/

or read below

Miss South Carolina Teen USA explains herself
Caitlin Upton botched the map question because she was ‘overwhelmed’

By Mike Celizic
TODAYShow.com contributor
Updated: 6:57 a.m. PT Aug 28, 2007
The Miss Teen USA pageant contestant who became a YouTube sensation after butchering a question about why many Americans cannot find the U.S. on a world map says she was overwhelmed by her national television appearance and chalks up the experience to being “human.”

TODAY’s Matt Lauer and Ann Curry gave Caitlin Upton a do-over on the now infamous question during an exclusive interview Tuesday. And this time the 18-year-old from South Carolina nailed it.

But first Upton was forced to relive the moment she will likely never forget. She watched the embarrassing video clip for the first time with Lauer and Curry, and could only shudder and laugh.

“I am sitting here laughing at myself,” she said good-naturedly. “Is that really me? It’s like I’m not in my actual body.”

Upton admitted that she totally froze on national television last Friday during the Miss Teen USA Pageant. Asked why a fifth of Americans could not locate the United States on a world map, she stammered out an answer that made Paula Abdul’s worst “American Idol” moment seem like a model of cogency.

Her answer, in its entirety, was: “I personally believe that U.S. Americans are unable to do so because, uhmmm, some people out there in our nation don't have maps and uh, I believe that our, I, education like such as, uh, South Africa, and uh, the Iraq, everywhere like such as, and I believe that they should, uhhh, our education over here in the U.S. should help the U.S., uh, should help South Africa, it should help the Iraq and the Asian countries so we will be able to build up our future, for us.”

Caught off-guard
The question clearly caught Upton by surprise. She explained Tuesday that she was so overwhelmed by the moment she barely heard any of the question.

“Everything did come at me at once,” she said. “And I made a mistake — everybody makes a mistake — I’m human. Right when the question was asked of me, I was in shock ... I would love to re-answer that question.”

Curry obliged, reading the entire question as it had been asked during the pageant. This time, Upton was ready.

“Personally, my friends and I, we know exactly where the United States is on a map,” she said. “I don’t know anyone else who doesn’t. If the statistics are correct, I believe there should be more emphasis on geography in our education so people will learn how to read maps better.”

She came back later in the show to deliver a flawless explanation of lunar eclipses.

Held up on the Internet as the quintessential dumb blonde, Upton was an honor student in high school who played varsity soccer for four years. This summer, she traveled to Germany with an elite soccer team that placed second in a tournament involving teams from a number of European countries. In her junior and senior years, she was her school’s president of SkillsUSA, which describes itself as “a partnership of students, teachers and industry working together to ensure America has a skilled work force.”

She’s taking a break between high school and college to pursue modeling opportunities. Advertisements she’s modeled for have been placed in such national magazines as “Seventeen,” “Cosmo Girl” and “American Cheerleader.” She has modeled for Wrangler, Soffe and Nautica.

She has said that she entered the Miss Teen USA pageant, which is co-owned by Donald Trump and NBC Universal, in part to improve her communication skills. Despite her attack of brain lock on the geography question, she finished fourth in the competition, which was won by Miss Teen Colorado Hilary Carol Cruz.

Upton’s long-term goals include enrolling in Appalachian State University to major in graphic design. On graduation, she wants to study special effects at the International Academy of Design Technology in Los Angeles and embark on a career designing special effects for movies and television.

“I am 18,” she said. “I believe I am a very strong person with a strong character and my parents raised me really well.”

Curry and Lauer assured her that everyone who does live television commits verbal gaffes and that they often wonder at the things they sometimes say during broadcasts.

The interesting, the unique, the beautiful ...Portland

Honestly, you never, ever know what you're going to see in Portland. It's a wonderful place to be.

Not long ago I walked around my building after eating lunch and saw the Hot Lips Pizza delivery vehicle waiting at the traffic light. "Shoot," I thought, "I left my camera upstairs!" I knew I'd get a shot of it for y'all, eventually. Saturday two weeks ago, I wandered the East Rose Garden in Ladd's Addition, taking photos, hardly raising my head, until something made me look up. There it sat, parked as the driver made a delivery across the street! Click, click. Satisfied, I walked back towards the car and spied one of the most unique vehicles I've ever seen. The Thing, all Volkswagen, all orange, all convertible. If I hadn't stopped to smell and photograph the beautiful roses, I'd have missed the interesting and the unique vehicles.

For the curious:

A bit from Wikipedia about The Thing:

The 181 has become something of a cult classic, due in no small measure to their funky angular styling, which leaves no question as to its strictly utilitarian purpose. The doors are removable without tools and the windshields fold down (like a Jeep). The interior is a perfect illustration of form following function, and its painted steel door panels and split, flat bench seats look appropriately post-modern, industrial chic today. Prices range from $3000 USD for restorable units to upwards of $15,000 for nicely restored examples. In early 2007 four 181 "Things" sold at the Barrett-Jackson auto auction for well over $20k each, with one 1973 example selling for $42,560 USD.[1].

If you have time and are curious, click here to see Ladd's Addition from the sky, http://www.wikimapia.org/#lat=45.50854&lon=-122.64940&z=15

Here's what Wikipedia has to say about Ladd's Addition:

Ladd's Addition is one of the oldest residential districts in Portland, Oregon. It is in the Hosford-Abernethy neighborhood, located in the near southeast part of the city. Ladd's Addition is known in Portland for its peculiar diagonal street pattern relative to the rest of the area. It is roughly eight blocks (east-west) by ten blocks (north-south) in size (by reference to the external grid) and is bordered by SE Hawthorne, Division, 12th, and 20th.

Ladd's Addition is named after William Sargent Ladd, a nineteenth-century Portland mayor. He originally owned a 126 acre (500,000 m²) farm on this land, and in 1891 decided to subdivide the land for residential use. Rather than follow the grid that the majority of Portland was based on, Ladd was inspired by Pierre L'Enfant's plan for Washington, D.C. Ladd designed the plat based on a diagonal street system surrounding a central park.

In addition to the off-kilter layout that has confounded many Portlanders, the narrow streets in Ladd's Addition are lined with American elm trees and many lead to a large traffic circle in the center. Other streets lead to four smaller, diamond-shaped "circles" located to the east, west, north, and south. Each of these "circles" contain one of Portland's test rose gardens, with the northern garden's rose bushes being in a slightly different layout than the other three.

FLAG - Friends of Ladd's Addition Gardens, raises money and volunteers to maintain the beautiful rose gardens, and Save Our Elms inoculate the elm trees yearly for Dutch Elm Disease. They sponsor fun neighborhood events such as BBQ's, a neighborhood yard sale, and home tours.

The entire neighborhood is designated a Historic district. The neighborhood also hosts several churches, a hat museum, a few shops including an espresso and dessert house (Palio) and "Funky Church," a residence that was formerly a church and currently hosts small concerts and other events. Portlanders directionally savvy enough to navigate the web-like neighborhood can often be found walking their dogs, or admiring the many early 20th century homes and gardens.
Musicians Elliott Smith and Neil Gust lived in Ladd's Addition after graduating from College.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Anyone have this going on with Blogger, please? Thanks.

Just now I noticed that three of four photos I put on my blog yesterday evening had changed themselves into those teensy little blue boxes containing white questions marks. Has that happened to any of you Bloggers? Any idea what causes it?

It appears that I may have fixed them by uploading the photos again and deleting the information that equaled the question marks. I hope that I have fixed them because I don't want that going on with this blog business--it's too much fun to be incomplete or troublesome.

Friday Night Moving Van Mania, or an episode of our lives in the middle of a Richard Scarry* book.

Living in Portland is a treat for us, day in and day out. There's always something going on outside the window, whether that's the vehicle, office or apartment window--the sights and sounds of the city. I love it! Even those two moving vans at midnight last night. And the serendipitious appearance of the auto commercial with the DUH in lights. Perfect situational statement.

Here's what happened. Just about 11:40 p.m., I heard air brakes right outside the living room windows. This was before I had put in my earplugs--which I often do on weekend nights or sporting-event-at-PGE-park nights--and crawled into bed. Curious, I looked out. Imagine my surprise when I saw a full-sized moving van parking in front of the building across the street! I went into Mama's room to look out her windows and got an even bigger shock when another moving van made its way east in front of us, pulling to a stop, blocking the entire intersection as it went back and forth, back and forth, under the not-so-helpful direction of two men, one the driver of the other truck, on a passenger in one not yet parked. Finally, finally, it hissed to a stop beside our sidewalk at 11:50 p.m. By now, we've got the screen out of one bedroom window, our-curious-selves watching in disbelief as one man opens a door on the street side of the moving van across the street. Keep in mind that moving is an unbelievably frequent activity around here, with apartment buildings on all four corners of our intersection as well as up and down each and every street in the neighborhood, but this is our first midnight moving experience. Our last? Who knows.

A slender, mature-looking woman, dressed in a matching casual outfit, joined the men at the back of the truck across the street for a few minutes, then disappeared into the building. Our street has two parking lanes and two traffic lanes or these guys would've been chopped liver as they pulled moving pads out, tossing them in the street. Traffic continued, passing closely as the three men toted boxes into the building, loaded two two-wheelers with heavier, bulkier boxes and wheeled them into the building, carried rugs taped into cylinders and boxes that must have held framed artwork. When this particular man happened to look up at us, Mama asked him how long they'd be. He said, "Ten minutes, not more than that, 10 minutes," saw my camera and asked me to take his picture. Not enough flash for a good photo--we live on the 4th and top floor of our building--but you can see wrapped in plastic and cardboard the biggest thing they carried in on a two-wheeler. Could that be a curio cabinet or a grandfather clock? I wanted to try some photos without the flash, so I did, until no one was beside the truck and I got second picture below with the flash.

Mama and I made our way into the living room; she said she was hungry and headed for a carton of yogurt. I checked the Comcast guide again when Jay Leno introduced the music act, names I didn't recognize instead of Brad Paisley who was listed on the Guide, doggone it. Mama went to bed, earplugs installed. I watched a rerun of Nextel Cup practice at Bristol on Speed because I didn't think I could fall asleep yet. At one point I looked out and saw our intersection just like I wanted it to be, empty and quiet in the middle of the night. Every once in a while, one of the men would bring out an empty box or two and throw them into the van. Things appeared to be winding down. When two of them separately stepped between the truck and trailer of the nearest moving van, to relieve themselves I think is the mannerly way to state it, I knew it wouldn't be long before they started the motors and left.

Finally, at 1:10 a.m., the moving vans pulled away. I slept fine after that, no earplugs installed, with the sound of my fan serving as white noise.

I must report, though, that I dreamed that the three men looked up at us and asked if they could come upstairs and use the bathroom, and we unhesitantly replied yes! Once they'd used the facilities, they sat down to tell us moving tales and fell asleep all over the couch and chair! Mama calmly went back to bed in her room, the door shut. I myself couldn't fall asleep, fearing that the men were playing possum and would leave our apartment stealthily, loaded with more than they had in their possession when we had opened the door for them.

Can you say, "There's such a thing as carrying creativity too far"? I'm close, ain't I?

*Some of my all-time favorite children's books to read to Lamont and Leland were Richard Scarry books. Here's the Wikipedia link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Richard_Scarry.

How Addicted to Blogging Are You? And Friday Night Moving Van Mania

68%How Addicted to Blogging Are You?

Mingle2 - Dating Site

Surprise! Surprise! Surprise! I read about this on another blog! Only now that I've just about finished putting it onto my blog did I realize it's part of a dating site. Good grief. What does that drawing-blood-type icon have to do with dating? Anyone? Anyone?

And I'm still awake because two full-size, over-the-road moving vans parked out front at 11:50 p.m., unloaded a bunch of crap into the apartment building across the street--three men unloaded it, not the vans--and drove away at 1:10 a.m. I've got a headache, probably partly from squinting into my camera, trying to take a few candid shots without using the flash. They're downloading as we speak, oops, as I type.


Friday, August 24, 2007

What I saw while I waited for or on the bus, after "Spamalot"

Remember the mannequin from a few weeks ago? Here's her store, empty, at SW 3rd and Washington across the street from where I waited for the No. 15. See the streetlight from the corner, reflected on the wall?

Two blocks west, the driver took his 15-minute break in a pull-out space across from Kelly's Olympian. For me, it's an enticing bit of neon heaven.

I also like this motorcycle, one of several parked at the sidewalk. Perhaps it appealed to me because I believe its paint job reminds me of one from the '70s, back in Kansas City. I wonder if my memory is correct?

Yes, I lugged my camera into the Keller Auditorium, stuffed down in my bag among my library book, coin purse, credit card wallet, empty plastic tea jug, empty Gladware sandwich container, sweater, my emergency sunglasses in an unbreakable eyeglass case, and little silver-colored zipper bag of essential junk. What I wouldn't have given to be at the Broadway show with a press photographer pass!

For the Love of High School Football and What It Can Mean in Teens' Lives

When so much of the national news has been on the downfall and stupidity of Michael Vick, this story should give your heart a lift. In case you missed it and you have a couple of minutes, take a look at "Football's Newest, Northern Fans An Alaskan High School Embraces Football After Fundraiser Brings Field to Frozen Town" at this ABC link: http://abcnews.go.com/WN/PersonOfWeek/story?id=3517898&page=1.

You'll be glad that you did.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

A Parody: "Always Delete the Spam from Your Life"

For the past few weeks, I've thought and thought about purchasing a ticket to see "Monty Python's Spamalot." While pondering yet again Tuesday night, I sat at my laptop, deleting spam. An idea popped into my mind. Why not parody a song? About spam. But what song should it be? It must have taken me five minutes to have my biggest duh moment ev-er. Spam. Duh. It had to be "Always Look on the Bright Side of Life."

I'm sharing my effort with you because I hope you'll "... laugh and smile and dance and sing" like I wanted to tonight when I saw "Spamalot" at Keller Auditorium. I found the Broadway musical that visited Portland to be intelligent, hilarious, creative, entertaining, vivid, bawdy, memorable.

Here's "Always Delete the Spam from Your Life," to the tune of "Always Look on the Bright Side of Life":

Computer spam is bad,
Viruses make you really sad,
Not much else makes you feel any worse,
‘Cept your toe on a thistle,
Be humble,
Give a whistle
Good friends’ll speed to help at your behest
And …

Always delete the spam from your life
Always delete the spam from your life

It seems the spam you’ve gotten,
Contains things most verboten,
Please don’t give up in the face of this thing.
You just have to take your lumps.
To avoid the dumps
Caused by a spammed epistle
Here’s the thing.
And …

Always delete the spam from your life
Always delete the spam from your life

Spam is only a word
It’s the truth you just heard.
So you won’t kill your hard drive, no way, anyhow
If you don’t click In
Box received items unknown
Because you don’t recognize them no how

So …

Always approach e-mail spam with stealth
Just do so and ensure your hard drive’s health

Life’s quite full of it,
When you take a hit,
So laugh, don’t hold your breath ‘til you’re blue.
You’ll make less mess and so
Keep deleting as you go
And remember that new virus can’t get you.
And …

Always delete the spam out of life
Always delete the spam out of life

Always delete the spam out of life
Always delete the spam out of life
Always delete the spam out of life
Always delete the spam out of life
Always delete the spam out of life
Always delete the spam out of life
Always delete the spam out of life
Always delete the spam out of life

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Half a dozen diverse restaurants in one block, SW Morrison, between 10th and 11th

For months as the No. 15 bus turned west at SW Morrison on my way home from work, I have noticed the juxtaposition of two restaurant signs and pondered on them, not in a culinary way but in a geographical sense--India House on the corner, Perian House down the block, right here in Portland, Oregon. Neat.

So the other week when I walked that block after my trip to the Central Library, I decided to look closer, once this MAX Blue Line slid by bound for Hillsboro, a suburban city like Brandon, Clinton, Madison, Pearl, and Ridgeland.

Imagine my surprise when I realized that six separate restaurants populate the block! And they're easy to get to, with a Smart Park garage down at SW 10th and Morrison, plus the nearby MAX and bus stops. I wonder what the block looks like at lunch time as well as dinner time? Oh, let me make it clear that I've not yet dined in any of these diverse eateries; I'm just impressed that there are six in one single block and thought you Jacksonians would be, too. I well remember how much Jacksonians enjoy a meal out, be it breakfast, lunch or dinner. Or is that breakfast, dinner and supper? Or breakfast, lunch and supper? Are you hungry yet?

Now you're looking west towards the bus stop I often use after my trip to the library. It appears other parking exists to the south, too.

Back at the corner of SW 10th and Morrison the first restaurant on the south side of Morrison is a Mexican one. I didn't go back around the corner to get a photo of it's front, so I don't know it's name. Any of you Portlanders reading this know? I'd love it if you'd share it. I do know that one young man often on my homeward-bound bus when I catch the No. 18 says the food there suits him.

Glowing reviews for Habibi Lebanese & Mediterranean Cuisine exist at Citysearch. What do you think about those reviews? Do you use them as guides for your dining pursuits? I like those green umbrellas; they're interesting, in an eccentric sort of way. And the font used for the restaurant's name esthetically appeals to me.

Just what is casual Italian, as the round sign for La Capanna states?

Persian House's sign goes on to explain that the menu is continental in addition to Persian. Their Web site says Spanish, Italian, French, Greek, and Middle Eastern recipes. I must admit, that broadness makes me wonder about the attendant quality.

Here's India House at the opposite corner from the Mexican restaurant. Those umbrellas stand out, too. I suppose midday diners need them, especially if they don't have any sunglasses.

Directly across the street from India House is this Big Town Hero Sub Sandwich Shop, born in Corvallis. Their slogan on the Web site: an army travels on its stomach.

I'm hoping my Mississippi buddies will share names and details of their favorite dishes at any and/or all of these ethnic restaurants. One of these days I'd like to stop for a bite or two, but I'd like to go in with some knowledge. Also, any Portlanders reading this willing to share your knowledge about these restaurants, feel free to comment.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Look-a-here, y'all, at what I saw!

On the ride across the Hawthorne Bridge over the Willamette River yesterday after work, this yacht shocked me with its size. I vowed then and there to get a photo of it this morning, if I was lucky enough for it to still be there. It was there, but being a creature of habit I got right on the bus and rode onto the bridge. Seconds later I remembered the yacht, turned my head and spied it over my shoulder. I pulled the cord for the next stop, disembarking from the bus while still on the bridge. I made my way several hundred feet westward until I could take these three photographs. Click on them to see the massive differences in size of the watercraft moored there in the marina.

How about that houseboat? That looks like fun, doesn't it?

When you click on this one, look towards the back and you'll see someone standing there.

An extremely short news piece this evening identified the yacht as "Kisses," reported to be the 46th largest yacht in the US by Power and Motoryacht dot com. I found that in 2000, it was no. 28. Launched in 200, Kisses is 175 feet long, 32.15 feet wide at its widest point, cruises at 13 mph with a maximum speed of 15.4 mph (don't you love these decimals?), holds 10 guests and a crew of 11. My word.

Speaking of my word(s), I'd like to share with you one of my bridge poems, please.

A Bridge Limerick, Sort Of

Portlander Daphne Odora
Yearned so for the fragrance of flora
Blooming upon yonder high ridge
She happily strolled the river bridge
With her man in his dandy fedora

Sabra is America's favorite dancer! Hooray!

For weeks I've wished that bundle of energy and talent with a huge heart would win. And she did! Mama and I look forward eagerly to Nov. 27 when we see the "So You Think You Can Dance" tour here in Portland. Yippee!! We'll see the top 10, plus possibly the four alternates, dance many of our favorite routines from the show. I imagine there'll be lots of new stuff, too. Wowsers!

Monday, August 13, 2007

"The Closer," G. W. Bailey, Dave Robicheaux, Boris Said and NASCAR, and some random thoughts

"The Closer" update: Doggone it! I can't tell you anything 'cause I don't wanna give it away in case you decide to watch it. Oh, I will tell you that Barry Corbin is playing Brenda Leigh's daddy Clay! And the wonderful Frances Sternhagen plays her mama, Willie Ray. (Try saying Willie Ray real fast, over and over. Give me a report on what happens, please, and then I'll tell you what happened to me.) About tonight's episode, suffice it to say that Mama and I spent every minute with our faces pointed straight at the TV, our ears tuned to every word. At one point, I excitedly asked Mama, "What wuz tha-yet?" She turned toward me and calmly said, "A lotta shootin'." She sounded just like Lt. Provenza, for some reason, which got me to laughing throughout the entire commercial break.

Any of y'all remember G. W. Bailey from "St. Elsewhere"? Was he a psychiatrist on the hospital staff? He played Capt. Harris in those Police Academy movies. Now he's Lt. Provenza on my favorite TV show. I found out on the Internet that Bailey's originally from Port Arthur, Texas. And get this, he grew up with Janis Joplin! Port Arthur is one of the dozens of towns we lived in in Texas, back when Daddy had that job working on cooling towers when I was little. Mama says Port Arthur is where my hair lost its natural curl; she blames it on the salty wind that blew in from the Ship Channel. I can testify that the curls never returned unless aided by chemicals and a beautician!
Here's some photos I found at Google images:

Bailey's on the back row, with the glasses and the camel-colored vest. Oh, how I loved "St. Elsewhere." Remember it and "Hill St. Blues"? Ground-breaking series that sucked me, I'm glad to say.

My goodness, I had no idea that Lt. Provenza would clean up this good!

If you're wanting a book to read, let me recommend James Lee Burke's "Pegasus Descending," one of his Dave Robicheaux series. Whew. It's heavy, wonderfully so. It's a hundred percent Louisiana bad and Louisiana good. Vivid, tortured, honorable.

Boris Said update, from NASCAR dot com: Kudos to Bill Elliott for volunteering to give up his Wood Brothers ride in Sunday's Cup race to Boris Said, who was extremely frustrated and disappointed when he couldn't attempt to make the race on his own because qualifying Friday was rained out and the starting grid was set according to owner points (watch video). Said was forced to start 39th because of the driver change, but finished 14th. That was good enough to lock the Wood Brothers' No. 21 Ford into the top 35 in car owner points, guaranteeing it a spot in this weekend's race at Michigan.

Now for the random thoughts. Be grateful for your beliefs, for what's available to you. Partake of life. Branch out. Don't get in a rut. Exercise your mind, your heart and your body. And tell your loved ones how much they mean to you each and every day. I'm talking to myself, too.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

As the sun sets in the west and reflects in the east, Mama and I get ready for Scrabble!

Here's the sunset, from Mama's bedroom windows ...

Here's the same sunset, from our living room windows, and reflected on Portland's Big Pink--looks more like a fire tower in this shot.

I took these two pictures quickly in order to at least capture the essence of the sunset.

We played two games and watched "Grease" at the same time. Mama won both games, which is not unusual. Not that John Travolta wasn't a distraction!

Speaking of Travolta, who among you has seen "Hairspray"? Remember, I recommended it to y'all back on July 24? I'd like to see it again already. And I hope that Adam Shankman, director and choreographer of "Hairspray," choreographs a group dance number for the "So You Think You Can Dance" tour. Mama and I got tickets for Nov. 27 when it comes to Portland!!!!!

How much is that doggie in the window?

I didn't go inside to inquire. I did give you the artist's phone number, in a photo of course.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Boris Said to drive the No. 21 Little Debbie car Sunday!

I'm watching NASCAR Live! on Speed, dozing because I woke up at ever-lovin' 5 a.m. and couldn't get back to sleep! I just saw Bob Dilner interviewing Bill Elliott, resplendent in his Georgia twang, and heard him say that Boris was going to drive the car tomorrow in the NASCAR Nextel race at Watkins Glen.

Elliott said something like, "I'm not in the points. The car's in the points." Then he said that's why Boris is going in the Wood Brothers' car, because Boris' road-racing skills are based in road racing. Then he said, "I like Boris." My word. Bill Elliott--a class act from way back. And evidently the two guys are similar sized, so not too much will have to done to the car/seat, according to the Little Debbie crew chief Fatback McSwain.

Excited, wanting to read any reports already online, I Googled "Boris Said" and found a 35-minute old report from Scene Daily dot com. Here's the link in case you want to read it: http://www.scenedaily.com/stories/2007/08/06/scene_daily271.html.

In a little while, Said will qualify for today's NASCAR Busch race, but he did get in some practice in the No. 21.

I guess I'm turning into a bit of a Said Head. For those of you who can't fathom that last comment, that great head of curly hair has prompted his fans to show up at races wearing curly wigs and to be known as Said Heads.

Boris Said, photo from The Garage Blog dot com

Here's a link to cartoon that puts it all in perspective--http://www.borissaid.net/06%20cartoon.jpg.

Time has passed and Busch qualifying is now running on ESPN2. Bye for now.

UPDATE No. 1 Boris qualified 9th for the Busch race. In front of him are several full-time NASCAR Nextel drivers, which is another bone I'd like to pick with NASCAR, letting the big dogs run in races that I feel ought to be for the up-and-coming drivers.

UPDATE No. 2 Boris finished 9th overall, gaining 11 spots in the Busch standings.

Friday, August 10, 2007

NASCAR Qualifying Rained Out in Watkins Glen ... drat!

Naturally, the weather's gonna be the weather. Anyone's who's lived like I I have as an adult in Mississippi, Kansas, Texas and Oregon understands that. Plus as a kid, over a period of seven and a half years, my daddy's work took us to right at half the United States. The longest we lived anywhere was three months, the shortest was one night. I know one must put up with the weather and what it causes.


As a life-long racing fan, rain frustrates me. I cannot even imagine how these teams who keep getting their dreams dashed feel in the pits of their stomachs. Drivers like Boris Said . Here's what I found about Said in an article at USAToday dot com:

"But another road-course ace won't be racing. Boris Said, who placed third at the Glen in 2005, will miss a Cup race because of weather for the second time this season. His Ford was on the pole last month at Daytona International Speedway before a thunderstorm washed out qualifying.

Said believes NASCAR should have postponed qualifying until Saturday morning both times.

"All the weather tomorrow is sunshine, sunshine, sunshine," he said. "NASCAR should roll with the punches and make a change. They've done it in the past."

The rainout "puts our team out of business," he said. Said is running a part-time schedule of road courses and restrictor-plate tracks. He said the fall race at Talladega Superspeedway likely will be the last for the No. 60 Ford.

"I guess they care about the top 35 teams," Said said. "The small guys, we're trying to make it, but it's twice as hard. We're probably pretty much done now. It's a bitter pill to swallow."

Elliott Sadler, a guy who wasn't civil at all to my friend Kay when we were in the Talladega garage in April, 2006, said on "Trackside" on Speed today that NASCAR ought to at least let the teams out of the top 35 have a chance to run against each other on Saturday, for the final eight starting spots. That sounds fair, doesn't it? Instead, NASCAR went with the 43 teams with the most owner points. Six drivers were eliminated because they have fewer qualifying attempts and/or lower standing in owner points than those who made the race.

Come on, NASCAR. Get real. You began as America's sport, the everyman of competition. Take the time and be responsible. Work this out so that something no one can control won't shaft the same teams again and again. Three times this season. Three out of the last four years at Watkins Glen.

I don't like this one bit. Do you?

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Second in a series, my homage to football halftime shows, thanks to Portland's Rose Festival, 2007

Performing second at the Concert in the Park, the Last Regiment of Syncopated Drummers. I first heard them last summer as they paraded up Division as part of the Clinton/Division Street Parade. I agree wholeheartedly with this quote I found online in the Oct. 11, 2005, Portland Tribune: Drummer Roger Pease described an e-mail he got from then-prospective tenor drum player Casey Scott. Scott lived in an apartment on the Starlight Parade route. She heard the band coming down the street and went to the window to see the source of the racket. Pease paraphrases her e-mail: “ ‘All of a sudden I hear way off in the distance, something like a sonic disturbance, and I knew then why all throughout history, militaries have used drums to signal their approach, because hearing that you realize that there is nothing--nothing--an enemy could do.’”

Here's a bit I found at www.lastregiment.com: The Last Regiment of Syncopated Drummers was founded in 1998 in Portland Oregon by acclaimed Long Beach drummer Greg Odell. From traditional syncopation to funky street beats, marching rhythms to military cadences, the Last Regiment moves feet and stops hearts at parades, races, awareness walks, sports venues and backyard barbeques.

If you've developed a hankering to hear syncopated drumming, go to www.lastregiment.com and partake of their mp3. If it doesn't get you at the very least bobbing and rocking in your chair, have someone take your pulse right away!