The recent outdoor scenes courtesy of Mauthe Lake Recreation Area, Wisconsin.
Tuesday, August 30, 2005
FEMA says that Hurricane Katrina will go down as the greatest natural disaster in this country's history. I've been thinking of what to say for several hours now, and I still don't have words. I have been to Biloxi in the past, I stayed at the Grand Casino. The casino itself, in actuality a floating barge that was anchored to the main structure to qualify as "off shore" is now several hundred yards away and in pieces. The mayor of New Orleans says that people may not be able to return to their homes for as long as two months. Folks, this is staggering. Here's a link to the American Red Cross. They need our help.
Monday, August 29, 2005
At this time Hurricane Katrina continues to move northward, now located in northeast Mississippi. It appears as though New Orleans was spared the worst of the storm, but it will be days before the full extent of the damage is known. As luck would have it, my business travel has put me square in the path of the storm track, in Wilmington, Ohio. By the time it reaches here (late tonight and tomorrow), it should be no more than a tropical depression, but that still means lots of rain and some concerns for flooding. I have just learned that the storm has now been downgraded to a tropical storm. Check back here tomorrow for more observations.
Sunday, August 28, 2005
That's probably more light than I want to make of this devastating storm. It is now a category 5 hurricane with winds exceeding 175 miles per hour. New Orleans is about to become Atlantis. Please keep the residents of Louisiana and Mississippi in your thoughts. It's going to be a rough ride.
Friday, August 26, 2005
These last several days I have been trying to paint a picture of a small town in northern Illinois. Spring Valley is a place that time seems to be leaving behind. Take this sign, for example. There were many vacant store fronts on this town's main street, and you would think this establishment was defunct as well. But it's not. And yet the sign is derelict. I was told this town was in a worse depression back in the 1980's and early 1990's. It's difficult for me to picture something worse than what I saw. Before you begin to think that all small towns are like this, you only have to travel 6 miles down the road to La Salle, and you see a downtown that, while still struggling, is doing its level best to bring itself into the new century. A new performance theater, and an upscale restaurant stand testiment to a local leadership that knows where the focus needs to be: getting people downtown.
Thursday, August 25, 2005
Tuesday, August 23, 2005
Monday, August 22, 2005
Make your plans for Monty Python Day at Doune Castle in Scotland. I don't think I can make it this year, coconuts take a long time to grow, and I don't have any swallows to carry the things over there with. And who really needs the hassle of being deficated on by a man with a phony French accent anyway? Here's a story that will help fill you in.
Sunday, August 21, 2005
Saturday, August 20, 2005
Northwest Airlines mechanics went on strike today, after a 30 day cooling off period expired and a failure of last minute talks to prevent it. As a traveler, I pay attention to news that could affect how I get to where I need to go. Here's the curious thing: flights are apparently still on schedule. Northwest brought in replacement workers as part of a contingency plan that had been in the works for a year and a half. What is more telling is that none of the other unions that work for Northwest are honoring the picket lines. Such is the desperate state of the domestic airline industry. Read more here.
Thursday, August 18, 2005
Wednesday, August 17, 2005
The United States Men's National Soccer Team scored an important 1-0 over Trinidad and Tobago in East Hartford, Connecticut tonight. The only goal was scored by Brian McBride on a gorgeous finish in the second minute. Trinidad and Tobago only managed a few organized attempts against a solid USA back line, anchored by Oguchi Onyewu and Eddie Lewis, leaving keeper Casey Keller largely untested. The United States played with a man advantage for most of the match, after D. Lawrence of Trinidad and Tobago was sent off in the 42d minute for a foul which denied an obvious goal scoring opportunity on Landon Donovan. The two sides remained at those strengths until Bobby Convey was sent off for the United States in the 87th minute for a second bookable offense. The game was not as close as the score indicated, which is worrisome for the United States as they could not finish on numerous scoring opportunities against a suspect T&T defense throughout the match. The United States, now assured of finishing no worse than fourth in the CONCACAF Final Qualifying round, next face arch-rival Mexico on September 3 in a match that will likely decide the outcome of the group.
Monday, August 15, 2005
Sunday, August 14, 2005
Sorry folks, but I couldn't resist on this one. You may not want your kids hit this link unless you want to start the birds and bees talk. Don't say I didn't warn you. Story.
Saturday, August 13, 2005
Congratulations to the Cadets Drum and Bugle Corps for their victory in the 2005 Drum Corps International World Championships. Their score of 99.15 (out of 100) beat the second place Cavaliers by more than 1.5 points. This was the ninth championship for the Cadets. I can hardly wait until next year when the World Championships return to Madison, Wisconsin and Camp Randall Stadium. See you there next year!
The two summers that I marched in the Cadets Drum and Bugle Corps (then the Garfield Cadets) were life changing for me. The experience of being part of an elite team (I was a member of the 1984 DCI World Champions) taught me many lessons on the dedication and discipline required to achieve such an accomplishment. The 2005 Drum Corps International World Championships are under way in Foxboro, Massachusetts, culminating tonight with the Finals performances. I am especially jazzed because my old corps won the semifinals last night and are in a great position to take home the championship. The CBS Evening News ran a segment on the event; I urge you all to check it out here.
Friday, August 12, 2005
The American Cancer Society conducts Relay For Life events all across the country. Tonight is the local event here in Watertown. What you see here are luminaries that have been placed all around the track. This one is in memory of my mother, who died from lung cancer last fall. My family has been hit hard by cancer, but unfortunately we are not unusual in that regard. Cancer, in all its forms, is a vicious killer. But we continue to make progress toward the day when cancer is eliminated. Your support will get us to that day more quickly.
Thursday, August 11, 2005
Wednesday, August 10, 2005
Tuesday, August 09, 2005
Sunday, August 07, 2005
my band broke today
that i wore since the dreadful news
the silent reminder of a horrible event
helped to keep me together
has it worked? am i healed? i don't know
so far i have learned that
those questions don't have answers
I like happy endings. Thus, I was quite happy to see that the trapped Russian submarine was freed with all aboard surviving. Read more about it here.
Saturday, August 06, 2005
Friday, August 05, 2005
For all the negative attention professional athletes generate these days, I actually believe more good things are done than bad things. This article should warm up even the coldest cynic.
Midsummer, a very special time of year here in Wisconsin. County fairs in full swing. State Fair in Milwaukee in full swing. And, our local favorite, Watertown Riverfest. For local flavor and cheap family fun, it doesn't get any better than this.
Thursday, August 04, 2005
Wednesday, August 03, 2005
Just remarkable the story out of Toronto yesterday about Air France 358. Three-hundred and nine were aboard, and all were evacuated safely, despite the eruption of flames that eventually consumed the airplane. Here is a story from Yahoo that describes the main reason why there were no fatalities. Lessons will be learned and even safer planes and practices will follow to make the safest mode of transportation in the world even safer.
Tuesday, August 02, 2005
Monday, August 01, 2005
President Bush appointed John Bolton as ambassador to the United Nations today, using the vehicle of the recess appointment to bypass the Senate, where his nomination had been stalled for five months. For the uninitiated, the Constitution gives the President the authority to make appointments at his discretion during periods of time when Congress is not in session. These appointments are not subject to scrutiny, and are valid until the end of the current Congress. The intent was to give the President to ability to fill urgent vacancies in a streamlined manner. What this President has done is to thumb his nose at the Senate in general and the opposition in particular. In my struggle to remain objective, I cannot find any way that this move builds any kind of consensus inside, or outside, of the United States.
By selecting Bolton, we have sent the United Nations an individual with little credibility to elucidate our foreign policy (just what exactly, our foreign policy is, is a topic even the most informed have trouble putting a finger on). Bolton was in the thick of the misinformation battle that lead to the mess that we're in the middle of now. We have essentially told the United Nations that not only do we have no regrets for our actions of the last three years, we don't even want to consider alternatives. And, by the way, we're going to dictate to you how you do your business. Great way to improve our image abroad.
So now, in a time that cooperation between opposing factions should be more important than ever, we get this. How much of this will weigh on the impending confirmation process of Judge John Roberts? I'm no rocket scientist.