Friday, March 31, 2006

V is for Keep Trying

Since this blog first reported on the closing of the Varsity Theater in 2003, curious residents and preservationists have wondered what was happening with efforts to "SAVE" the venerable venue. Those efforts will be recounted in my blook-in-blogress, but at this point all the actors have finished playing their roles, except for one -- Carbondale Mayor Brad Cole, who has a folder

THIS_THICK

on his desk, documenting his efforts to bring a developer with about $15 million to the old building on one of Illinois Avenue's most prime blocks. The reason developers aren't lining up for the opportunity is plain and simple -- Carbondale's small population and 18 mile distance from Interstate 57. What to do, what to do.

Since the owners won't sell the building for the purpose of showing first-run films, that rules out a competing theater chain as a buyer. Similarly, a group of art patrons and performers would like to SAVE it as a cultural center. But that won't happen, either: not as a stand-alone Arts Center -- not in that building -- not without a massive infusion of capital from a few dozen more Mr. X's" (remember him?).

Finding a viable buyer for the Varsity Theater (and finding funds to construct a Police & Safety Center on the old Lincoln Junior High School property) are at the top of Mayor Cole's list of "things to do" during his first term.

Meanwhile, my editor is ready the Varsity Theater chapter of my blook, and when it's done I'll post a link to it here V is for Varsity

Say What?

It turns out that City Manager Jeff Doherty was on a trip last week with Mayor Brad Cole and some other community and university leaders to Carbondale's Sister City in Japan (which recently changed its name, did you know that, Bloggy? No more Nakajo! That city is now called Tainai -- though the City website does not reflect this change -- and the SIUC extension campus is now called SIUC-Niigata).

When he returned to the Capital of Southern Illinois, Mayor Cole was piqued that a reporter did not contact him about Doherty's alleged action before writing an editorial in the Southern Illinoisan. I say 'alleged' because the Mayor doubts that Doherty would -- or could -- tell the Daily Egyptian he would stop speaking to its reporters -- since he is an employee of the City -- and I have yet to ask the D'oh man to tell his version of what transpired. Let's see how the other media handle it.

No matter what, you can expect the CM to break his silence at next week's City Council meeting, if not before.

Thursday, March 30, 2006

'Exceedingly good' not good enough

After changing his mind about getting another job, SIUC Chancellor Walter V. Wendler has decided to stay in Southern Illinois for a while longer than he may have hoped. Of course not getting the job at Mississippi State University helped him to the decide. But that's behind him now, and Walter is looking ahead (and over his back?).

Reports Caleb Hale:
"Wendler said the atmosphere at SIUC these days is something worth sticking around for, and he noted it would take an awful lot to make him consider pulling away.
When Hale asked what exactly it would take to make him leave SIUC, Wendler replied:
'Quite honestly, it would have to be an exceedingly good combination of factors. . . . I never came to Southern necessarily thinking I would be here for a short while and then move on. I promised I would stay at least five years, but I also mention that it wasn't always up to me. I don't necessarily plan to leave, but I recognize there are a lot of forces at work that determine whether I stay.'"
Never came? Necessarily thinking? He's lying. . . . Everyone who wasn't born or raised here, when they first move to Carbondale, thinks they will only be here temporarily. Many stay for many years, finding the atmosphere conducive to their life plan. Welcome to our hell, Walter! I mean our heaven! ;-)

And what's this "exceedingly good" stuff. Exceeding what?

Whatever. Wendler told Hale
"I promised I would stay at least five years, but I also mention that it wasn't always up to me. I don't necessarily plan to leave, but I recognize there are a lot of forces at work that determine whether I stay.'"
A lot of forces? Not up to him? What are these forces?

True, C'dale isn't God's Gift to Southern Illinois, but it has its charms. And Carbondale isn't the sexiest name in the world either. But neither is Starkville, Mississippi, where MSU is located.

Which certainly excedes the account in the Southern Illinoisan.

More on the subject in the Walter Wendler blog .

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Doherty's interdictive dictum

Not surprisingly, the decision of Carbondale City Manager Jeff Doherty to exercise tighter control over City employees' communication with the Daily Egyptian has elicited some pointed comments: Jim Glover thinks Doherty's action is part of a larger problem; D Gorton thinks the City Manager's action is cause for job dismissal; still another DE reader writes "Doherty's stranglehold on information may be personally satisfying to him, but it is not in the interests of the city or its residents."

Do you think the CM's action taken without the approval of the Mayor, Bloggy? Has anyone interviewed him about this? Don't ask me! . . . If there's a freeze on speaking with university newspaper reporters, one can only imagine the freeze on bloggers!

It will be interesting to see if crusading liberal City Councilman, Chris Wissmann, will comment in the popular entertainment guide he edits. A new issue is due out tomorrow.

This sounds like a job for Audios Amigos, amigos -- a podcasting opportunity -- to interview the CM and the Mayor, et. al. to hear their reasons for supporting or opposing Doherty's interdictive dictum.

This will also be an opportunity for the Mayor to mend some fences, if he isn't too defensive.

Monday, March 27, 2006

What was City Manager Jeff Doherty thinking when he decided to restrict access of city officials to DE reporters? Was he speaking (or not speaking) for himself, or carrying out the wishes of City Council? As he says, this situation is unprecedented in the history of Carbondale Town-Gown relations: City officials to DE: 'No comment'.

Saturday, March 25, 2006

On Location with Alt.News

The crew of an award winning SIU student video production team was on the scene on North Washington Street yesterday shooting footage for a soon-to-be-aired production on PBS-TV8.

Over the years, Alt.News 26:46, a monthly TV news magazine, has captured 18 Emmys in competition with professional production.

Lucky for this blog, our man on the street was able to obtain a 10 second clip of the coming attraction. Viewers may wonder why the man in the wheelchair stops to take a swig of wine or whiskey while fleeing two assailants. But hey, it's the movies.

Basketball Bills

Although I took myself out of the blog-game for a week to work on my blook etc., I feel driven to comment on Washington University losing to the Huskies from Connecticut. Former Carbondale High School standout Justin Dentmon performed well for WU, as did the commentators -- Vern Lundquist and Bill Raftery, who mentioned Carbondale, Illinois a few times. Raftery is a far better commentator than his doppleganger Billy Packer. Both were college basketball stars in the early 60's: Packer at Wake Forest (in the ACC) and Raftery at LaSalle (an independent small college back then).

Packer is "a jerk" (to quote an email correspondent) who has never seen a MVC game yet criticizes the inclusion of so many "mid-Majors" in the NCAA tournament. Here's the deal: since Packer is an Atlantic Coast Conference guy, he and broadcast partner Jim Nance play down the NCAA tournament qualifications of mid-Major teams like SIU Salukis -- which really gets my goat, as a Dawg.

Raftery, on the other hand, has friendly smile and a ready laugh -- like one of those NPR radio car doctors. With his love of the game and gift for the catchy catch phrase (one of which inspired an Award!), Raftery is my favorite basketball colorman.

St. Louis Sports agrees
Bill Raftery is without question the most entertaining college basketball analyst working for CBS…that is, of course, if your definition of “entertaining” is something along the lines of “Is that guy talking on TV completely bombed right now?”

Call me a fellow Explorer, Bloggy (class of '69), but I enjoy Bill's ebullience and felicitous turns of phrase -- like his "With a kiss!" ejaculation (meaning #2) when a player makes a layup off the glass. And Raftery is more supportive of Mid-Majors like SIU -- perhaps because he played college ball for a small private college with a strong basketball tradition. (remember Tom Gola? Joe Bryant?)

With a title as broad as this one, props must be given to the other basketball Bills, beginning with the Hall of Fame centers and commentators Russell and Walton. The first won 11 NBA championships with the Boston Celtics. As a Philadelphia Warriors fan, I hated him, but enjoyed his insights as a retired TV commentator. The other was great on the court for UCLA, but is frequently wrong as a commentator. Packer and Walton are opinionated know-it-alls; Raftery and Russell are compassionate know-a-lots.

Bench warmer

Speaking of turning of phrase, legendary ideologue William F. Buckley was on display on Charley Rose's show last night -- a compilation of highlights of Bill's many appearances on Rose's show over the years -- in honor of WFB's 80th birthday. Unfortunately, Buckley's recent analysis of Hillary Clinton's fundraising campaign is disingenuous to the extreme -- as if Republicans were any better! It's doubtful that William F. Buckley, Jr. ever played much basketball, otherwise he wouldn't always go to his right. (His son Chris probably hooped it up as a kid -- author of the book "Thank You for Smoking" that the new movie is based on.)

Long Shot

Writing this at 8:37 a.m. on Sunday. Meet the Press reporters are explaining why there isn't more coverage of the good things happening in Iraq (the reason: unfortunately the bad outweighs the good). Dribble, dribble.

At the top of the key, the hoop looks large.

Looking left, there is the excellent local Green Party candidate for Governor of the state of Illinois, Richard "Don't Call Me Dick" Whitney, who wasn't mentioned by Judy "Bar the Door" Baar "Topeka" Topinka when she asked that another candidate be included in the upcoming debates between her and Governor Rod, who can spin a basketball with his bare hands.

To the right, U.S. Rep. John Shimkus spins his electronic newsletter.

As a "New Winger" I support honest, competent leadership. But sometimes this blog will fake left, then go right . . . or fake right, then go left . . . or fake long, then take it strong . . . or stop, pull up . . . and . . . pass!

Here's the deal. I will pay someone to add links to selected words or phrases in these posts every day. The lucky applicant will be paid via PayPal and gain valuable job blogsperience. The job should take about 30 minutes per day. Pay by the hour, or by the link. We'll work something out.

If no local readers step up, the job could be outsourced to a distant land, like Murphysboro or Salem, Oregon.

Friday, March 24, 2006

Thanks to Southern Illinoisan webmaster Lauren Joy for explaining why the links to the The Southern's stories are often dead the day after they are posted to this blog. She updates the page at 6:45 a.m., and yesterday's news gets a new archival link -- which makes it hard on a blogger, not to mention the disappointment a bloggee feels when getting The Southern's error page. So click fast, bloggy: the story you seek about (former Saluki basketball star and assistant coach) Shane Hawkin's guilty plea in Kansas may not be so readily available tomorrow. We're workin' on it though. ;-)

And thanks to Carbondale City Clerk Janet Vaught for giving me the heads-up on next week's City Council meeting (still listed on the City's website): There isn't one! -- which makes it easier on a blogger -- and for a bloggee.

See ya April 1.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

update

What's goin' down, dawgs? Surprised about the results of the vote on Jackson County 'Safety Tax'? Me too. Also surprised by the overwhelming majority that supported Murphysboro expansion. Pleased to see Judge Bruce Stewart win the appelate judge job, since I've known him since he and current Saline State's Attorney C. David Nelson were law partners in Harrisburg in the 80s.

Maybe the two of them will attend the Between the Rivers CD party on April 15, featuring the Ivas John Band at Jimbo's House of Brews, in Harrisburg. How about you, Bloggy? I just got off the phone with the Blue Star Lines about leasing a limo for the night, or maybe Busdog's party bus will be available.

If you go, don't dance so much that you can't participate in the 4th Annual Carbondale Bike 2 Work Day on May 12 -- events are shaping up around the U.S. and in The 'Dale. Details as they develop are available at the recently updated Bike 2 Work Day blog

What next?
  • Prepare the chapter "'V' is for Varsity" from my blook for online publication with the help of my new eduhtor.
  • Add more artists and images to Art Lovers Trading Company web site.
  • Locate "The Ubiquitous One" about contributing to the On The Square Online newsletter.
  • Watch basketball, especially my new favorite team, the Washington University Huskies, with 2004 CCHS standout Justin Dentmon at point guard. Reminiscent of Walt Frazier, with long arms and agressive defense - also a winner.
See you after the next City Council meeting (Tues. April 4) allowing time to listen to the audio -- say Friday, April 7.

Saturday, March 18, 2006

Go Maroon! Go Dawgs!

The school colors are the same, and both universities have a dog for a school mascot, so maybe that's why SIUC Chancellor Walter Wendler is interested in the Mississippi State University Chancellor's job -- as reported today in the Northeast Mississipian: "Illinois chancellor among MSU prospects."

It's Hard Out Here for a Slogger

This blog has fewer readers on weekends, but the blogging impulse doesn't follow the clock or calendar. Usually, I'm up and at it early in the morning, powered by Papa Nicholas brand espresso with vanilla ice cream (Esprilla Vanesso), listening to George Noury or Alex Jones on the radio, or music through a headset.

The Muslim call to prayer has a phrase that "prayer is better than sleep" -- and I agree. And blogging is better than sleep, too -- especially since I've started taking Ambien . . . I've been blogging in my sleep! (A new genre I call "sleep blogging" or "slogging" for short.)

This entire post is being composed as I snore away.

My new hero is Stephen Colbert (ColBEAR), who follows Jon Stewart on Comedy Central, a show he calls The Colbert Report with a silent T (like rapporte). I like the way he makes up new words and skewers the political scene with his brand of "Truthiness" (last year's word of the year). He had a segment on his show recently about people who overeat while on Ambien. I think it was Colbert, well, whoever it was, CBS broke the story.

Colbert is sharp as a tack and always on the comic attack. He shamelessly pumps the live studio audience for applause, especially before his pre-guest interview. You'd think he'd just hit the game-winning home run in the 7th game of the World Series the way he gets a standing ovation before he interviews his guests, who generally look on with bemusement at their host, whose speciality is (usually) specious, "devil's advocate" debate against anti-Bush politicians, writers, and media personalities, such as Christopher Buckley, Keith Olbermann or Al Franken, whom he attempts to trip up with "truthy" facts, taken from an extremely pro-Bush perspective -- like Sean Hannity with a brain.

He also insists he isn't gay, despite being the 7th youngest boy in his family. But if Stephen isn't gay, as he insists, then why does he use the phrase "Nailed You" all the time? Perhaps the man who each night gives us The Word -- does not believe that metaphors matter? If so, he must not have ever read I.A. Richards. (Yo, Stephen: "Nailed you! Did I nail you?")

Colbert is also obsessed with media critiques of his performance, in a feature called "Who's Attacking Me Now." The night before last, he telephoned a reporter on the Orlando Sentinel, Commander Coconut, who commented on SC's asymmetrical ears. Stephen told him about the tumor that was removed from one ear and he couldn't hear well out of it, making the Commodore feel small, as small as Stephen's weird ear, but SC was lying, "playing the tumor card," he joked straight-faced to the audience.

Well, Colbert may have made short work of the Orlando Coconut, but what about the Carbondale Dispatcher? . . . blogging in his sleep, a tuppeny nail hammered by the Almighty, driving home the point to the magnificent, magnitesticular, comedian extraordinaire Stephen Colbert.

(Bloggitor's note: I've never used Ambien or known anyone who does. )

Friday, March 17, 2006

Bloggers' 'Blooks' Selected

The Blooker Prize Short-List has been announced by LuLu Press. As you can see, my own blook is not among them. This is ironic, though because Lulu used the term I coined in September, 2005 for a prize they announced the following month. Mere coincidence you say? A Zeitgeist thing? Okay.

The books selected -- including one by a London hooker -- are overviewed in Media Life Magazine.

Will my own blook qualify for next year's Blooker Prize? A guy can try. (I think I may enjoy the process of doing more than the finishing -- like a meal or foreplay that never ends!) The manuscript is now at the stage where it needs a kompetent editor. Like the song says, sorta. . . Sir or madam will you read my blook? Took me months to write; won't you take a look?

Thursday, March 16, 2006

TGTGIOTV

If you're a Salukis fan, you already know the SIU men's basketball team will play West Virginia University today in a first round game in Auburn Hills, Michigan (tip-off at 1:55 p.m.). You also know that the Mountaineers has some excellent players, as does the team from Carbondale. Sports Illustrated a good article about the two teams.

This will be a great game. The Mountaineers are favored to win by most experts. To win, the Salukis must rebound well. Expect to see Tony Boyle and Jamaal Foster get early minutes if "Reboundin'" Randal Falker and Matt "Aw Shucks" Shaw get into foul trouble guarding the Mountaineers big men.

What does TGTGIOTV mean? Thank God the game is on TV.

Happy St. Patrick's Day

The local Irish Festival is having a fundraising dinner at the Newman Center tonight from 5 - 7:30.

Heavy Petting

As a former "English" teacher (and current media dumpling), occasionally I shout-out my appreciation to the hard-working reporters who make my job (not easier, but) possible. My job? Keeping an eye and index finger on the pulse of events occuring in my town, and on the planet-- through the miracle of the internet -- then using my remaining fingers and eye to compose these blog posts for you, my imaginary reader (an obviously intelligent professional person who doesn't take all the sh*t going down in the world too seriously -- just seriously enough).

So, in case you missed this in The Southern: an event of biblical proportions has been predicted by a presumably editorless reporter: "It won't be long until people and pets are flooding the streets of Carbondale, flocking to the new Petco store."

This may be the first case of simultaneous flooding and flocking in recorded climatological or metaphorical history. A true catastrophe.

Petco will be located where Goodys used to be, next door to Best Buy, and will open on May 29. But instead of risking life and limb on the streets that day, you want to visit the company website first.

A Cup of News

Of course, you know about the new "gourmet coffee sandwich shop" soon to be open for business at the old Rallys hamburger building, don't you Bloggy? -- a project of Dan Terry, the man responsible for the Newell House restaurant (which used to be a coffee shop, but no longer serves special coffee drinks). To be called Sambucca Joes. You can pour over more details in On The Square Online, which is developing slowly. As the tardy doctor said, thank you for your patience.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Wet noodle

What is it with Jim Muir and wet noodles, Bloggy? Every time he goes AWOL from his blog for days and weeks at a time, he returns asking to be whipped "with a wet noodle." It must be a code word for "Comment" because yesterday he really wanted at least ten comments in recognition of his hard work (and slacking off).

Not me, Bloggy. I try to make my posts so righteous and informative that there is nothing more to add, except possibly "You are correct, sir." In fact, I long ago stopped checking to see how many readers this blog gets on a daily, weekly or even monthly basis. Last time I looked (about two years ago), it was getting 75 hits per day. I imagine there are more these days, but if I knew how many people actually read this blog, I might get "bloggers block."

But it looks like Muir's plea, did result in ten comments -- if you count the one he wrote himself. Should it be counted? Your comments appreciated.

Wonder-full Show

Last night's American Idol had the singers performing the songs of Stevie Wonder, who also worked with the singers and will perform himself tonight. (I wonder it that is his real name!? Steveland Judkins? Far out!) -- a very difficult composer to "cover" -- and some of the young performers seemed out of their depth. But based on last night's show, this blog can now predict who will be the last two standing in the final week of the show: Katharine McPhee and Chris Daughtry. The other contestants are terrific, too. And most will enjoy careers in music whether or not they win the ultimate prize.

Monday, March 13, 2006

New Winging It

This morning, dark and early, as the sky lit up to the north, and thunder rumbled in the distance, I tuned into the Genesis Radio Network to get a dose of new wing extremism on the air. I say "new wing" because left or right wing do not convey the spirit that drives radio personalities like Alex Jones, Doug Rense, Barry Lynn, Joyce Riley and Dave VonKleist, who bash the Bush brigade daily -- as if they were criminals, or something!

This morning a guy named Jack Blood, interviewed a law student and blogger Thad Anderson, who filed a Freedom of Information Act request to the Department of Defense seeking DoD staffer notes from meetings with Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld on the afternoon of September 11, 2001. (the staffer's notes were cited heavily in the 9/11 Commission Report's reconstruction of the day's events.) Anderson received a response from the DoD on February 10, 2006 -- including partially-redacted copies of Cambone's notes. The documents can be viewed as a photo set on Flickr. The documents proved that DR was making plans for war on Iraq on the afternoon of Sept. 11, 2001, following the Twin Towers & Pentagon attacks. Anderson explains on his website, Outraged Moderates:
The released notes document Donald Rumsfeld's 2:40 PM instructions to General Myers to find the "[b]est info fast . . . judge whether good enough [to] hit S.H. [Saddam Hussein] at same time - not only UBL [Usama Bin Laden]" (as discussed on p. 334-335 of the 9/11 Commission Report and in Bob Woodward's Plan of Attack).

In addition, the documents confirm the contents of CBS News' Sept. 4, 2002 report "Plans For Iraq Attack Began on 9/11," which quoted Rumsfeld's notes as stating: "Go massive . . . Sweep it all up. Things related and not."
Unlike moderate blogger Anderson, the "new wing" radio hosts can be pretty extreme. Alex Jones sounds like he's foaming at the mouth at times, but hosts like Barry Lynn and Thom Hartmann (who can be heard on WINI 1420AM 11-1pm) are more reasonable.

Some New Wingers believe the powers-behind-Bush plotted the events of 9/11. Can you imagine, Bloggy? Some radio talk show hosts have made DVDs, like 911: In Plane Site to "prove" their case. Many others have tried, too.

One thing all New Wingers agree on is the need for Honest, Competent Leadership . . . which provides a nice segue to Friday's post:

Friday, March 10, 2006

In One Ear, and In the Other

What a city, Bloggy. If you didn't attend last Tuesday's City Council meeting (or if you did), you can download the entire meeting from the City's website (18 min. w/dsl), or listen to the proceedings agenda item by item.

The topics that received the most discussion were Item 6.4, a Resolution Supporting Illinois General Assembly House Bill 4316 expanding the City's ability to create Enterprise Zones, and Item 6.5, an Ordinance Amending Title Two (2) of the Carbondale Revised Code as it relates to Alcoholic Liquor and After Hours Special Events.

As this is being written, the wisdom of hiring Livingston Group lobbyist Bernie Robinson is being questioned (in my headset) by Councilman Joel Fritzler (who's ag'in' it), but Mayor Brad Cole gives sound reasons for hiring his former associate, in the discussion of item 6.3. The rest of the Council agreed with Cole.

As this is being written, Councilman Fritzler is objecting to possibly expanding and redefining and extending the City's Enterprise Zone capability. If a bill sponsored by State Rep. Mike Bost, is passed, City Council would have one year to identify, expand and extend Enterprise Zones within the city limits. Fritzler is ag'in' it, again: gives his reasons, and City Manager Jeff Doherty gives his. Truth be told, Councilman Fritzler's main objection is lack of "openness" of the process -- a theme sounded later by Councilwoman Sheila Simon, who thinks the Council should have been informed sooner than a month ago. Undeterred, Cole stated (at different times, but spliced together in this sound byte. You can hear the different tone of voice): Council was informed and the bill will benefit the City. The rest of City Council agreed with the Mayor, so the resolution supporting HB 4316 was passed 5-2.

Unfortunately, the split vote could send the wrong message to Springfield -- that Carbondale does not fully support enterprising endeavors. If Bost's bill isn't passed, Joel and Sheila's vote against supporting it (especially Ms. Simon's) may be the reason why -- unless they change their tune (as Sheila hints she may).

The next item -- about allowing 18 year olds into alcohol-free event after midnight -- also elicited concerned comments from Council members, including Wissmann, who would charge more at the door in order to discourage getting "very happy" in the parking lot between 10pm-midnight. But Councilman Lance Jack, sounds like he may be hosting -- or at least attending -- after-hours events himself, as passionately as he speaks on the subject. It must have been his idea to introduce this legislation, with help of the mayor (His three pitches for the revised ordinance can be heard, one after another, by clicking hear. (The revised ordinance is available in pdf format).

For his part, Mayor Cole was ambivalent about the new regulations, believing the rules are stiffer for people who do not drink alcohol than for those who do. The roll call vote began three "No's" in a row: McDaniel, Simon, Fritzler, followed by a Yes by Jack and Wissmann (responding to LJ's "clarion call" despite serious reservations about 18 year olds getting very happy in the parking lot) . . . would Haynes vote "No"? Would he? Did he? (You may already know, but a record may have been set for the longest pause before voting on record. What was he thinking? Had he dashed out to the men's room?)

Other items selected as Audios Amigos sound clips: Councilman Wissmann's expression of concern for the dispossessed of the South 51 Business District (where Arnold's Market is located -- a victim of highway relocation, but not in the City Limits). Also Councilman Lance Jack's official comic routine: "I'd Like to Make a Motion" and Cole's unedgy complaint to those who want to change things at the last minute." Ironically, one of those to whom the Mayor directed his comment (Simon) has been public in her disagreement with the mayor's modus operandi (way of getting things done) by leaving members of City Council out of the process until they have a need to know. Sheila thinks she (we) need to know sooner. Joel Fritzler thinks he should have been informed before Bost introduced the bill in the House.

You wouldn't think that City Council meetings could be so much fun, would you, Bloggy? Thanks to Mark Jones at City Hall for making the audio files of the meeting available uncut, as well as agenda item by item. So you can download the entire meeting and listen to it while you write your blog, or on your IPod as you walk your dog, or give your legs a jog.

See you On The Square, Bloggee.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

March of the Salukis

How 'bout them Dawgs, Bloggee -- winning the MVC championship tournament in St. Louis, powered by Tournament MVP Randal Falker's career-high 16 rebounds and injured SIU cheerleader Kristi Yamaoka, who continued the arm movements of the school's fight song to the beat of the music as they carried her off in a stretcher -- which beat even Bryan Mullins' clutch performance with a sprained ankle (or me, typing this with a cramped mousin' hand).

A Tampa Bay television station has a video showing prone Kristi's school spirit. She and
teammate Taylor Baker were flown to New York last night to appear on the NBC Today Show this morning, along with the rest of the cheerleading squad via satellite from the SIU Arena.

Sunday, March 05, 2006

Working Overtime

Did you see Saluki men's basketball player Bryan Mullins make that spectacular fall-away half-hook shot in Saturday's televised 55-46 overtime victory vs. Northern Iowa in the MVC Tournament semi-finals in St. Louis? Maybe you attended the game in person, or saw it on television.

I bet you didn't see Erin Pauk make a running layup off the glass with two seconds left in overtime, giving the Saluki women's basketball team a thrilling 59-58 win over Illinois State in the MVC finale at the SIU Arena.

The win gives the Dawgettes eighth-seed for next week's MVC Tournament in Springfield, Missouri. The women play ninth-seeded Creighton in the first round Thursday.

Today at 1 p.m., the men will play the Braves of Bradley in St. Louis -- televised nationally on CBS.

Going against the MVC Defensive Player of the Year Patrick O'Bryant, and second team All Conference Marcus Sommerville, Salukis Mullins, Young, Tatum, Shaw, Falker and company will have their work cut out for them today. Me too.

Basketball provides an excellent metaphor for business: members of a business team can strive to make a maximum number of "baskets" (definable) while dealing the competition and other obstacles. Each player on the business team has skill and talent to contribute to the effort, from accounting to advertising; from product development to presentation. On the court, I'm an above-average passer, but (like Mullins) sometimes overpass. Nevertheless, the freshman's heroics reminded me: If no one else is open, and the clock is running out . . . you've got to take it to the hoop yourself.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Holiday

Move Over St. Pat; Make Room for St. Dave

Today, people around the world are celebrating the Patron Saint of Wales -- St. David's Day -- a day to get the jump on that other Celtic Saint and drink naturally-colored amber beer, instead of green. Eat some Welsh leek soup and wear a daffodil. Most Welsh people think it should be a national holiday (in Wales). I'll drink to that.

American Idle

Did you watch American Idol last night, Bloggy? Ten women sang covers of old songs to impress the judges and the audience, but only three stood out. Tonight, the men take the stage, a superior group than any previous year (Justin Guarini? Clay Aiken? Get serious!). Tomorrow night, another record number of viewers may watch to see who will be eliminated. I know a lot of people think this show is hokey, but some very talented young people get a chance to shine for a minutes before millions of viewers, so what's wrong with that?

And speaking of wrong . . .

Dubai it?

What's wrong with the ports management deal with DP World that's been in the news lately? Sounds like a public relations problem, not a security issue.

And speaking of defense . . .

Young named to MVC "All Conference" first team

Tony Young, Bryan Mullins and Jamaal Tatum were named to MVC All-Conference teams, along with Wesley Clemmons and Randal Falker posted on the MVC web site.

Time off for beer behavior

Those ten days after St. Valentine's Day have spoiled me, Bloggy. I'm thinking about another ten-day break from blogging to brew some amber beer, with dextrose, naturally. See you On The Square.