Friday, August 31, 2012

3 Chords & the Truth: Running the option

Another football season has arrived, and that brings to mind a helpful analogy for 3 Chords & the Truth.

Something about how Nebraska used to be the king of option football, about how you can't touch this . . . will he keep it . . . or pitch it . . . something something . . . yadda yadda . . . keep 'em guessing . . . just like the music on the Big Show . . . something something . . . whatever.

Brilliant timing is what makes it work . . . flexibility . . . amazing to behold . . . blah blah blah . . . 3 Chords & the Truth.

WE CLEAR on that, podna? Really, it's just as simple as can be.

It perfectly explains why this week's episode of the Big Show is so dadgum good, dadgummit! Now I'm off to watch the game.

It's 3 Chords & the Truth, y'all. Be there . . . TOUCHDOWN!!!

Oh, no! Don't let the house fall down!

There was a crooked man and he had a crooked smile.

Had some crooked fortune and he walked a crooked mile. Had a crooked cat, and he had a crooked mouse. And after Miss Katrina, they left their crooked house.
Ah, ah! Oh, no, don't let the rain come down! Ah, ah! Oh, no, don't let the rain come down! Ah, ah! Oh, no, don't let the rain come down! My roof's got a hole in it and I might drown! Oh, yes, my roof's got a hole in it and I might drown!
And when Isaac's rain came down -- and when his wind blew hard -- the crooked, empty house came down, and the neighbors' house was jarred.

It gave those neighbor folks a start. It made their house a mess. For the crooked, empty house could not pass the acid test!
Ah, ah! Oh, no, don't let the rain come down! Ah, ah! Oh, no, don't let the rain come down! Ah, ah! Oh, no, don't let the rain come down! My roof's got a hole in it and I might drown! Oh, yes, my roof's got a hole in it and I might drown!
And then the shutterbug from New Orleans' Picayune came to snap this picture and, thus, I cribbed this tune. For a fallen, crooked house comes but once in a blue moon!
Ah, ah! Oh, no, don't let the rain come down! Ah, ah! Oh, no, don't let the rain come down! Ah, ah! Oh, no, don't let the rain come down! My roof's got a hole in it and I might drown! Oh, yes, my roof's got a hole in it and I might drown!

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Now if it had been Krispy Kreme. . . .

WAFB 9 News Baton Rouge, Louisiana News, Weather, Sports

Hurricanes can't shut down Waffle House. What's a little wind and rain?

Hell, for all I know, nuclear war and/or the Apocalypse couldn't keep the legendary short-order chain from scatterin', smotherin' and coverin' the hash browns . . . and probably anything else you desired. If hostile space aliens mounted an invasion of Earth tomorrow and came across a Waffle House, my best guess is that they'd be so busy assimilating waffles and chili-covered hash browns, they'd never get around to exterminating the human race at all.

And when they had sated themselves, they'd wobble away on their spindly, green little legs shouting "OOP! BLOOP! QUARK! FLEEGAMATRONICS!" That's space-invader speak for "I love you, man!"

"Y'all come back!" the gal at the register would reply with a friendly wave goodbye.

NOPE, nothing can turn out the lights at Waffle House.

Well, except for one thing: the long arm of the law. Baton Rouge, La., police were not amused -- well, maybe they were a little -- to find the lights on and a party going on at one Waffle House late into the Isaac-tossed night after a 6 p.m. to 6 a.m. curfew took effect Wednesday.

Here's the story from a bemused reporter from WAFB television, which a generation of baby-boomer Baton Rougeans grew up knowing as "big, booming, powerful Channel 9":
The streets were bare through most of the city, but it was like a party at the Waffle House on College Drive.

"Four o'clock this afternoon, you could hardly get in the door it was so busy," said Karl Landry. "It was packed. Matter of fact, the waitress told me they had to lock the doors at 5:00 to be able to clean up."

It was one of just a handful of places open as Isaac's winds and rain lashed the Capital City, which is why Karl Landry visited the restaurant three times Wednesday.

"We're here for the food," said Leah Couvillion. "Our power is currently out, so the air conditioning and the nice break to have some food and to get together is really nice."

"I'm very appreciative to Waffle House for being the only thing in town that's open," added another customer.

However, there was one problem. With the curfew still in place, the restaurant was not supposed to be open.

"I'm sorry, they're closed," an officer said. "We're under a curfew for the town, so I'm going to have to ask you to go home."

The curfew is in effect until till 6 a.m., so officers with the Baton Rouge Police Department spent the night making their rounds and forcing shops to shut down, sending employees and potential customers home.

"No one told us, so we came here and they told us and we were like, 'Oops,'" said one customer forced to leave.

"It's pretty devastating. I'll be honest. I mean, it wasn't that serious of a storm, so we thought Waffle House would be open serving us hash browns," Couvillion added.
HERE'S A TIP for corporate: It's Louisiana, y'all. I reckon that if a cute and buxom waitress had waved a plate of scattered, covered and smothered in front of the local constabulary, Baton Rouge's finest might not have actually failed to enforce curfew, but I bet they would have taken their sweet time about it.

Just as soon as they'd finished off a late supper at a Southern institution. And a couple or three cups of coffee.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Hometown hurricane inside baseball

I've been in the Midwest for a while, y'all.

This means I have grown accustomed to looking to local government for, well . . . government. This means I've grown unaccustomed to looking to local government for entertainment.

Then another hurricane hits Louisiana and I end up glued to the computer, watching the hometown TV news online, and suddenly I'm confronted by some clown dressed unconvincingly in police casual as he tries to rock it like Clint Eastwood rockin' it like Dirty Harry.

Again, unconvincingly.

And I'm thinking "What the f*** is this?"

THIS THOUGHT LASTS for a split second. Of course, it's the mayor of Baton Rouge, Kip Holden (right).

And of course, it's a hurricane. Hurricanes mean that Baton Rouge mayors have to start acting all bad ass -- it's a city ordinance or something, I think.

They have to tell people obvious things as if the fine citizens are abject morons -- which, of course, many are. They have to threaten to arrest all those potential offenders of the public order, throw their asses in jail and then laugh when Yankee civil-rights advocates demand that arrestees be supplied with soap on a rope.

I think I even saw Kip do that corner-of-the-lip thing. He even may have said "punk" a couple of times, but don't hold me to that. I was laughing pretty hard -- it all was soooooooo Baton Rouge.

I MEAN, if you were a looter, would you be deterred by the sight of . . . that?

Me neither. By the way, nice flat screen you have there, Your Worship. And you keep the jewelry and cash where again?

And for what it's worth, I think the Boss Hogg look (top) would work a lot better for you. And if you could have a joint press briefing with Gov. Bobby Jindal when he's doing his "Mister Rogers on speed" act, that would be great.

What is dumbth?

WAFB 9 News Baton Rouge, Louisiana News, Weather, Sports

I can't define it, but I know it when I see it.

Oh, look!
Here's a great example caught on camera as Hurricane Isaac turned Louisiana's Lake Pontchartrain into a swollen, storm-tossed tempest -- which, of course, is to moron 20-something males as a light bulb is to a moth. And with similar results.

Plaquemines Parish's watery passion play

Seven years to the day after Hurricane Katrina, Plaquemines Parish, La., is going under the waves again.

As I write, authorities and private citizens in private boats are pulling people off of their roofs and out of their attics. We see what has become of a subdivision in Braithwaite, La., in this photo posted to Facebook by the Times-Picayune in New Orleans.

Hurricane Isaac, by the way, came ashore as a Category 1 storm. And this house, by the way, is three stories high.

ONE HAS TO WONDER how much longer whole swaths of coastal Louisiana, for all practical purposes, will remain habitable absent a massive federal effort to extend the hurricane-protection levee system and an even larger effort to restore Louisiana's lost wetlands. Of course, then you have to consider the reality of coastal subsidence, climate change and rising sea levels.

Between nature, neglect and the failure of state and local government to effectively govern -- and let's not even get into Washington's special brand of dysfunction -- my home state, day by day and bit by bit, literally is becoming a no man's land.

Lord have mercy. Mercy now.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

The dog days of hurricane season

I believe in God and country. I also believe in baseball, hot dogs, apple pie and Toyota automobiles.

And I damn well believe in a television anchorwoman who brings her dog to work during a hurricane.

In this picture from WWL television in New Orleans, Eyewitness News legend Angela Hill is shown behind the scenes of the station's ongoing coverage of Hurricane Isaac with her personal assistant, Diesel the Dog. Channel 4's news director may have other thoughts, but I think it's pretty much mandatory that Diesel be given some on-air role in keeping folks up to date on the storm.

TV news never lets a pretty face go to waste and, with one like Diesel's, it would be a doggone crime if it started now.

Monday, August 27, 2012

#*@! you and the false idol you worship

As a native of south Louisiana who seven years ago watched on TV as New Orleans drowned -- and whose hometown of Baton Rouge is gonna get whacked by Isaac -- I would just like to say to Rev. Airhead of the Fashion-Challenged Church of God's Own Party that . . . never mind.

It's not fit for print.

I will say, though, that the God you worship seems to me to be a pretty piss-poor caricature of the Creator of the universe. Furthermore, you might be surprised at what the Holy Trinity really thinks of the Republican Party, not to mention nimnals such as yourself.

HAT TIP: Rod Dreher.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Tranquility base here. Neil Armstrong has landed.

I was blessed to gave grown up during an age of American giants, though we didn't always realize it at the time.

As Joni Mitchell sang, "Don't it always seem to go that you don't know what you've got till it's gone?" Now in this land of small minds, smaller men and great discontent, we may be getting some idea of what we had.

Neil Armstrong, first man on the moon, is dead. He was 82.

Above is what I -- and hundreds of millions -- saw that July day in 1969, a time of trouble, yes, but also a time when giants walked the earth. And when astronaut giants flew to the moon --
and back.

One of the last of those giants now is gone, God bless his soul, leaving this postmodern world to its pygmy overlords.

UPON HIS LEAVING, it's almost as if Neil Armstrong: Giant has left us his final commentary about the kind of hands now holding our collective fate as Americans. Look at this screenshot of the front page.

Says it all, doesn't it?

Goodbye, Mr. Armstrong. Thank you for your courage. Thank you for your dignity.

Thank you for our dreams.

Friday, August 24, 2012

3 Chords & the Truth: We play everything!

You know what's great about 3 Chords & the Truth?

We play everything -- and nearly anything -- and it all ends up having a musical point. It goes somewhere. It's part of a tapestry we put together every single week here on the Big Show.

For instance, we start our first set of the day with the Carpenters covering the Beatles. That's not where it ends up, and all the fun is in getting there. Ta da! That's 3 Chords & the Truth in a nutshell.

Or CD jewel case. Whatever.

ANYWAY, that's our deal -- 3 Chords & the Truth plays everything (within reason). And it all has a point . . . and an end destination.

That's it. Managed to make my point right before my brain quit working due to exhaustion.

Whew! And nighty night.

It's 3 Chords & the Truth, y'all. Be there. Aloha.

GOP finds a solution for democracy

The Republican National Committee comes to the conclusion that democracy is overrated, then employs North Korean techniques to improve upon it.

Who knew that the Great Successor was a Mormon?

At any rate,
WXIX television in Cincinnati has all the sordid details the glorious saga of the Great Patriotic Republican Party's wise and ingenious countermeasures against the nefarious sedition of the party's pig-dog counterrevolutionary traitors.

Film at 11. Firing squads at midnight.

Look, folks! They're not actually singing!

There really was a more innocent time in TV history. Hosts would tell you when the acts were faking it.

Well, OK. Maybe only Arthur Godfrey would tell you when the acts were faking it, er . . . lip synching . . . which is one of the dadgum hardest things to pull off in show bidness, dadgummit!

Certainly more difficult than getting the performers' names right -- when the Carpenters appeared on this 1969 episode of the syndicated Your All-American College Show, Arthur managed to turn Richard into "Ed."

No, Ed was the name of the slab of carved stone placed next to Godfrey. Back in the day, slabs of carved rock were known to have long-running variety shows on network television. We are hopeful this age's brightest archaeologists -- soon, one hopes -- will be able to explain this ancient practice.

ANYWAY, it was just as well that Godfrey proudly touted that "what they're gonna do is give you the number right off the album, and what these kids are gonna do is lip-sync it." Viewers would have figured it out from a few clicks and pops in the audio . . . because they were playing "Ticket to Ride" right off the album. Not a tape.

Thus was the world of syndicated TV shows in the 1960s.

AND FOR your trivia enjoyment, here from 1968 is The Carpenters' first TV appearance -- as The Dick Carpenter Trio, also on Your All-American College Show.

The Interwebs . . . you can find
anything in there.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Radio-geek photos of the day

At the Iowa State Fair on Saturday night . . .

. . . and Sunday afternoon.

Bobby Jindal's Louisiana

Them that's got shall get
Them that's not shall lose
So the Bible said,
and it still is news
Mama may have,
Papa may have
But God bless the child
that's got his own
That's got his own . . .

The University of Louisiana System Board of Supervisors heard Tuesday that state budget cuts caused a wide range of dismal conditions in the state’s higher education system, from low morale and program cutbacks to tuition hikes and faculty layoffs.

Board members for the system that oversees nine public universities received testimony that state budget cuts may be the cause of an increase in employee thefts on campuses, particularly the institutions that haven’t been able to keep a full-time internal auditor on staff.

Board members learned about the increased thefts moments before adopting a $762 million operating budget, which leaves the system’s nine universities with about $38 million less than last year.

“There is a lot of cash on campus and we’re starting to see where the cash is not getting into the bank,” said Robbie Robinson, UL System vice president for business and finance.

Yes, the strong gets more
While the weak ones fade
Empty pockets don't ever make the grade
Mama may have, Papa may have
But God bless the child that's got his own
That's got his own . . .

Without going into specifics, Robinson mentioned an ongoing investigation on one UL System campus, where administrators believe an employee diverted about $40,000 into a credit card account.

Robinson said something that auditors call the “fraud triangle” comes into play when times are tough.

The fraud triangle is a term coined by sociologist Donald Cressey. The points of the triangle are made up of the three most common factors that occur in cases of fraud. They are incentive, or financial stress; rationalization, where the person believes the money won’t be missed; and opportunity, where a person may see a weakness within the organization.

Money, you've got lots of friends
Crowding round the door
When you're gone, spending ends
They don't come no more
Rich relations give
Crust of bread and such
You can help yourself
But don't take too much
Mama may have, Papa may have
But God bless the child that's got his own
That's got his own . . .

UL System President Randy Moffett said some employees have spouses who have lost jobs, making them more prone to stress.

“Their financial situation has changed,” Moffett said. “Most of them haven’t had an increase in pay for four years.”

Moffett, however, said the system’s campuses have “done a great job” reporting when money isn’t accounted for.

On the budget, the UL board sat through a presentation that showed largely the same trend Louisiana’s other three college systems have been going through.

The reduction in state dollars is a continuation of a familiar trend in Louisiana’s higher education system that has seen state funding cut by $426 million since 2008.

Cuts to the UL System have totaled $207 million during the same period.

Mama may have, Papa may have
But God bless the child that's got his own
That's got his own
He just worry 'bout nothin'
Cause he's got his own

Song: "God Bless the Child" -- Billie Holiday and Arthur Herzog, Jr., 1939
News story: "UL budget cuts cited as thefts rise" -- The Advocate, 8/22/2012

It is (pretty much) finished

In a few weeks, you'd never guess there ever was a baseball stadium on the hill.

Except for the last bits of its torn-down and blown-up carcass, the demolition men have relegated Omaha's Rosenblatt Stadium to blessed memory for those of us who loved it.

The missus and I didn't go back to Rosenblatt in June when zoo officials opened it up during the College World Series for fans to say goodbye. We did that during the last baseball game to be played there in 2010.

I prefer to remember the old gal like this (above). We hold closed-casket funerals for a reason.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Get on the stick

Hidey ho, neighbors!

Welcome to the Iowa State Fair!

Here, food comes on a stick. Even food that wouldn't seem to be particularly stick-friendly.

I'm guessing PBJ on a stick is heavy on the PB and light on the J.

In Iowa, even salad dressing and juice come on a stick.

Not to mention origami.

Look, even Cajun "cheeze" comes on a stick, cher. I think Cajun cheeze must be cheeze that you roll around in "garlik" and "kayenne" pepper and call it "Cajun" -- a
nd "cheeze."

I wonder whether "cheeze" is to cheese what "krab" is to crab.

But if you think "cheeze" on a stick might give you a heart attack on a stick, you certainly can opt for salad on a stick.

Or perhaps some fruit on a stick.

Or . . . you could just go for the original stick food.

I won't tell your cardiologist.

Monday, August 20, 2012

What I learned at the fair

Everything is better on a stick.

Even this meatball-and-melted cheese sandwich on focaccia that I just made. And consumed. After removing the stick.

I'm not that dumb.

Friday, August 17, 2012

3 Chords & the Truth: Rock-a-hula baby!

When the show is in the can, and on the Internets, and you can't decide what to write about it, that just might mean it's double good this week.

As a matter of fact, 3 Chords & the Truth is double good this week. I mean, do I tell you all about the Elvis tribute marking the 35th anniversary of the king of rock 'n' roll's passing?

Or maybe I should highlight out musical trip to the Hawaiian islands in this edition of the Big Show.

Elvis . . . audio luau . . . Elvis . . . audio luau. . . .

What to decide?

OH, the perils of being double good! Total PR paralysis!

Well, I can't decide, and I shall free myself from fretting over it.

OK, people, listen up! We got ourselves a mighty fine segment featuring the sounds of Hawaii over the years. We also got a wonderlific set of music by and about the King to mark that sad day in August 1977.

You can't go wrong with the Big Show this week. So you decide what you're tuning in for, I'm taking the night off.

IT'S 3 Chords & the Truth, y'all. Be there. Aloha.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Today's picture from Mars

The NASA rover Curiosity continues to send back breathtaking panoramas of the Martian surface -- this latest one from just a day ago. You'd think, if you didn't know better, that the spacecraft was in the Arizona desert, or maybe the Nevada desert near Las Vegas.

Yeah . . . Las Vegas for sure.

I don't know why; it just looks that way to me.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Bonne anniversaire, Julia!

Sometimes, America cranks out a true individual. And even more rarely, that person gets recognized for what he or she is, earning the embrace of the Powers That Be.

And even more rarely than that, those Powers That Be are in television.

A hundred years ago today, America cranked out Juila Child. A half-century ago, a public television station in Boston realized who -- and what -- had walked into its studios.

Before the centenary of Julia's birth slips away from us here, let's enjoy the second-ever episode of
The French Chef, which originally aired Feb. 11, 1963.

Et la révolution gastronomique commencé.
Vive la chef française . . . et bon appetit!

Hate is not a family value. Right?

So . . . do you think this might be a case where politically correct types, in a frenzy to wipe out "hate" -- I'm sorry, H8 -- have fostered hate against the "haters" in the name of "love," only to encourage a hate crime?

If that indeed is the case with the shooting today at what some regard as H8 Central, otherwise known as the Family Research Council in Washington, it would be the most unsurprising thing in the world. When you begin to dehumanize the "haters" in the service of what you hold as a righteous crusade of liberation, you not only have just made yourself indistinguishable from your enemy but you also have unleashed a darkness unlimited by ideology.

The darkness doesn't know "rights."

It could care less about "justice."

Diversity? Homogeneity?
It's all the same to the abyss.

I WOULD IMAGINE the extent of one's outrage over the events reported by The Associated Press today is largely determined by which side of the culture war you're fighting for. We're Americans, and that's what Americans do these days.
An armed man walked into the Washington headquarters of a conservative Christian lobbying group Wednesday morning and was confronted by a security guard, whom he shot in the arm before the guard and others wrestled him to the ground, authorities said.

The man was taken into custody by the FBI and was being interviewed. Authorities did not identify the man or disclose where he was being interviewed. The guard was taken to a hospital in stable condition.

FBI spokeswoman Jacqueline Maguire said the man got into an altercation with the guard. However, police and FBI officials said it's too early to know the circumstances of the shooting, which occurred around 10:45 a.m. at the headquarters of the Family Research Council, or whether it was connected to the group's activities.

"We don't know enough yet about him ... or mentally what he's thinking," said James McJunkin, assistant director in charge of the FBI's Washington field office.

The Family Research Council confirmed in a statement that the security guard was employed by the group.

"Our first concern is with our colleague who was shot today," the group's president, Tony Perkins, said in a statement.

The Family Research Council advocates conservative positions on social issues and strongly opposes gay marriage and abortion.
DID I MENTION that FRC head Tony Perkins had been strongly supportive of Chick Fil-A and the stance of its president, Dan Cathy, against same-sex marriage?

I wonder what the Buchanan Obama Administration will have to say about ginning up the hate -- sorry again . . . H8 -- to the point where some start to think the final solution is some version of a Final Solution?


It's just different down there

They take their football seriously in the Gret Stet.

And they take it even more seriously than that in Tejas.

Look at this opening sequence for the high school
Game of the Week on Cox cable in southeast Louisiana. The high school Game of the Week . . . which airs live.

We have Cox cable here in Omaha, too. But we don't have that. We do good to have games on tape delay, if you can find them.

There just may be a good reason the SEC absolutely pwns the Big Ten
in head-to-head matchups.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

He has met the enemy. . . .

I hate it when this happens. . . .
As a rising star in Hungary's far-right Jobbik Party, Csanad Szegedi was notorious for his incendiary comments on Jews: He accused them of "buying up" the country, railed about the "Jewishness" of the political elite and claimed Jews were desecrating national symbols.

Then came a revelation that knocked him off his perch as ultra-nationalist standard-bearer: Szegedi himself is a Jew.

Following weeks of Internet rumors, Szegedi acknowledged in June that his grandparents on his mother's side were Jews — making him one too under Jewish law, even though he doesn't practice the faith. His grandmother was an Auschwitz survivor and his grandfather a veteran of forced labor camps.

Since then, the 30-year-old has become a pariah in Jobbik and his political career is on the brink of collapse. He declined to be interviewed for this story.

At the root of the drama is an audio tape of a 2010 meeting between Szegedi and a convicted felon. Szegedi acknowledges that the meeting took place but contends the tape was altered in unspecified ways; Jobbik considers it real.

In the recording, the felon is heard confronting Szegedi with evidence of his Jewish roots. Szegedi sounds surprised, then offers money and favors in exchange for keeping quiet.

Under pressure, Szegedi resigned last month from all party positions and gave up his Jobbik membership. That wasn't good enough for the party: Last week it asked him to give up his seat in the European Parliament as well. Jobbik says its issue is the suspected bribery, not his Jewish roots.

Szegedi came to prominence in 2007 as a founding member of the Hungarian Guard, a group whose black uniforms and striped flags recalled the Arrow Cross, a pro-Nazi party which briefly governed Hungary at the end of World War II and killed thousands of Jews. In all, 550,000 Hungarian Jews were killed during the Holocaust, most of them after being sent in trains to death camps like Auschwitz. The Hungarian Guard was banned by the courts in 2009.

By then, Szegedi had already joined the Jobbik Party, which was launched in 2003 to become the country's biggest far-right political force. He soon became one of its most vocal and visible members, and a pillar of the party leadership. Since 2009, he has served in the European Parliament in Brussels as one of the party's three EU lawmakers, a position he says he wants to keep.

Friday, August 10, 2012

3 Chords & the Truth: Overboard over 'over'

We're all over "over" over here on 3 Chords & the Truth.

What? No, really.

But that's "over," not Oveur. As in captain.

Victor's got the vector, and Clarence has the clearance, and Roger just rogered that . . . so we're taking off for a destination high over "over" and definitely not under the radar tracking tasty tunes on the Internets.

In other words, 3 Chords & the Truth, your one-stop source for audio wonderliciousness, is all over that sucker.

SURE, giving a whole segment of the show over to "over" may be overdoing it, but I don't think we're exactly going overboard over the thing on this week's edition of the Big Show. It sounds good to me over here, and I figure it will overwhelm you with excellence over there, too.

But it'll go over easy and sunny side up.

Of course, this week's devotion to "over" is only a scintilla of the oeuvre of
3 Chords & the Truth over the years, so it's not like we go over the top over "over." Just on this week's Big Show, we also display our overt affection for all things jazz . . . and rock . . . and blues, soul, country and the sounds of my native Louisiana. That's just how we roll here in the www.Revolution studios, located in beautiful Omaha, by God, Neb.

Eclecticism is the name of our musical game, and that musical match won't be ending until the fat lady sings. Which is good, because we don't do opera.

WELL, I don't want to overtax your overwhelmingly ample patience, so I'll just say this week's show is a good 'un. That's all there is to it, plain and simple. I dare say you'll probably be over the moon once you start listening.

3 Chords & the Truth, y'all. Be there. Aloha.

Over and out.

Mad Hatter don't care

Honey Badger takes what he wants.

In the end, a source says, that's why LSU football Coach Les Miles did what he had to. To get to the point . . . why do you think they call it dope?

And when that's the problem (allegedly), and when the star Tiger defensive back already had a suspension on his permanent record for synthetic marijuana, Mad Hatter don't care. Tyrann Mathieu's off the team, national-championship consequences be damned.

Some things are more important than college football . Miles knows that, and that's why you ultimately have to love the guy. He's putting his own multimillion-dollar butt on the line to make the point that rules are rules -- and it's not the first time the Mad Hatter's done it.

ASK Ryan Perriloux . . . him and legions of LSU fans who spent several years apoplectic about the quarterback chaos that principled hammer drop set in motion.

Verily, there is no stupider creature than an under-25 male. Double that for certain big-time college jocks, amo
ng whom Matthieu now stands as Exhibit A.

Here's what the New Orleans Times-Picayune is reporting:
The Honey Badger's days at LSU are done. The Tiger's All American cornerback and Heisman finalist Tyrann Mathieu has been dismissed from the team because of a failed drug test, a source close to Mathieu said Friday.

LSU Coach Les Miles made the announcement of the dismissal at a hastily called noon press conference, but he would not elaborate on the nature of the infraction.

"This is a very difficult day for our team," Miles said. "We lose a quality person, teammate and contributor to the program. However, with that being said, we have a standard that our players are held to and when that standard is not met, there are consequences.

"It's hard because we all love Tyrann. We will do what we can as coaches, teammates, and friends to get him on a path where he can have success. We are going to miss him."


Miles declined to elaborate what the violation was other than team and school policies. He said he felt Mathieu still had a chance to rectify the matter personally.

"We have a simple policy here of behavior," Miles said. "Consequences are pretty (well) spelled out and defined. We did what we could do but Tyrann is no longer on our team. He violated team policies.

"For Ty, it's an opportunity for him to redirect. He's still got a bright future. I think he can reeally accomplish all the goals he set for himself. It's not going to be easy, but it's going to be doable."
DOING the right thing is its own reward. The Tigers' infamously insane fan base might have to keep repeating that one this season.

It's a nostrum that's as true as it is facile, but that doesn't always make it any easier to swallow -- particularly if your priorities aren't as apparently in order as Miles' seem to be.

Geaux Tigers.

Wednesday, August 08, 2012

When alumni get mad, miracles happen

This . . .

. . . is the last I saw of my alma mater, Baton Rouge Magnet High School. I took these photos in October 2007.

Baton Rouge High is my hometown's best high school -- one of the nation's best, actually -- filled with talented, high-achieving students. Literally, filled with what hope a poor, dysfunctional state can count on for the future.

The facilities they inhabited pretty much showed them what a city and a state thought of them -- and about its future.

THEN enough alumni saw enough of what had become of the grand old school at 2825 Government St. And they got mad. And the engineers told the East Baton Rouge Parish School Board that the piddly repairs that had been scheduled for the campus were wholly insufficient -- indeed, impossible, given how far gone the facilities were.

So, in response, the school board considered tearing down the whole campus -- including the main building, a Gothic masterpiece built in 1926. And Bulldog alumni got really mad.

What grew out of that was a miracle. Just look at this grand tour of the school taken Friday by Channel 2 in Baton Rouge, WBRZ.

FIVE YEARS AGO, I was heartbroken at what I saw of my old school. No more.

Today, my heart soars. Investing in your children -- and in the places most important in their lives -- is never, ever a mistake.

These are the things futures are made of.

Tuesday, August 07, 2012

Leadership = Never having to say you're sorry

Your new superintendent-to-be quits her old job early because the emails she sent on official accounts read more like
Lady Chatterley's Lover, only with dildos attached to chairs.

Nancy Sebring advises you about the reason for her early departure -- and that she's desperately trying to keep the whole thing out of the newspaper. She says she doesn't want Omaha Public Schools board members to be blindsided.

You, the board president, along with the board's lawyer, tell no one. And when it all hits the fan, you lie through your teeth about what you knew. You claim ignorance.

And when your lies are found out, your supporters start to cry racism. And sexism, for you are a black woman.
If you've gone this far, what's a little shamelessness?

It must be interesting to be you, Freddie Gray.

ULTIMATELY, your fellow board members vote 8-4 to keep you as president, because the OPS board is more a close-knit conspiracy than a governing body. According to the Omaha World-Herald:
Before the vote, Gray made a statement highlighting her goals and accomplishments and urging her fellow board members to “continue on this journey with unity and purpose regardless of tonight's outcome.”

Gray said she wished to be judged on her entire work, not just the Sebring situation.

“There are privacy and withholding of information rationales that can be debated,” she said. “But it comes down to my fellow board members looking at my president's tenure totally and coming to the conclusion that we are, or are not, moving in the right direction.”

She said she believed that she still could be an effective board spokesman and leader. With a crowd of nearly 250 people packing the board room, Gray's supporters on the board praised her leadership and said she shouldn't be removed for a well-intentioned mistake.

“She made a mistake,” [board member Shirley] Tyree said. “She's going to have to live with that mistake.”

Tyree said she didn't want to disrupt the board as a second superintendent search gets under way and kids head back to school on Aug. 20.

[Member Justin] Wayne said the board “can't preach about accountability if we don't hold ourselves accountable.”

He said he wanted Gray to acknowledge that she made a mistake. If she did, he said, he would be willing to support the board publicly censuring Gray but allowing her to stay on as president.

“I heard a lot of people today talking about mistake. I've never heard Mrs. Gray use that word,” Wayne said.

Kersten Borer made the motion to remove Gray, calling her a “bold and passionate leader” but saying that removal was necessary “in order to move forward, improve communication and regain trust from the community.”

Wayne seconded the motion, but the votes weren't there.

[Member Nancy] Huston said Gray was at the center of “a scandal she did not create.”

“She has been a good president,” Huston said. “She is leading us.”

LEADING YOU is no virtue if it happens to be over a cliff.

Support for public education is a tenuous thing these days. When an inner-city school district starts to look as if its governed by arrogant, unaccountable incompetents and overall moral cyphers, it is only a matter of time before middle-class parents with the money to have options abandon it to the poor and to the incorrigible, who have neither.

Really, if you can't deal with l'affaire Sebring, can't get rid of a renegade board president and your moral compass can't point straight, running a successful school system really is a bridge too far. "Urban nightmare," on the other hand, isn't.

And "pathetic" is your everyday reality.

Monday, August 06, 2012

The cure for Monday

Normally, about this time on Mondays, my advice to you would be to start drinking heavily.

And you ought to listen to me. I've been to a doctor.

Sometimes, unfortunately, drinking heavily isn't a Monday-night option -- namely, because you used up the last of your booze Saturday night. Well, in that case, I recommend this bit from a 1990 episode of
A Bit of Fry and Laurie -- Stephen Fry and Hugh Laurie -- on BBC2.

It'll make it all better.
I promise.

I love it when a plan comes together

How it was supposed to work -- and the NASA scientists themselves admit it's sheer craziness -- is exactly how it did work.

And the Mars rover Curiosity just phoned home this morning. It even texted a picture of itself on the Martian surface.
Kids today.

Meantime, CBS News and The Associated Press fill in the details:

Dutifully executing its complex flight control software, the Mars Science Laboratory silently raced toward its target Sunday, picking up speed as it closed in for a 13,200-mph plunge into the Red Planet's atmosphere and an action-packed seven-minute descent required a rocket-powered "sky crane" to lower the one-ton nuclear-powered rover to the surface. It seems to have gone off without a hitch.

"We are wheels down on Mars," came the news from JPL as engineers saw the first grainy image beamed directly back from the rover - showing one of its wheels on the Martian surface.

CBS News space consultant William Harwood reports from NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in California that the rover's target was Gale Crater and the goal was a pinpoint landing near the base of a three-mile-high mound of layered rock that represents hundreds of thousands to tens of millions of years of Martian history, a frozen record of the planet's changing environment and evolution.

Exploring the crater floor and climbing Mount Sharp over the next two years, the Curiosity rover will look for signs of past or present habitability and search for carbon compounds, the building blocks of life as it is known on Earth.

But first, the rover had to get there and its entry, descent, and landing represented the most challenging robotic descent to the surface of another world ever attempted, a tightly choreographed sequence of autonomously executed events with little margin for error.

"We're about to land a rover that is 10 times heavier than (earlier rovers) with 15 times the payload," Doug McCuistion, director of Mars exploration at NASA Headquarters, told reporters. "Tonight's the Super Bowl of planetary exploration, one yard line, one play left. We score and win, or we don't score and we don't win.
TOUCHDOWN! In every sense of the word.

Saturday, August 04, 2012

Life can be bright in America

Have I mentioned lately that I think Rita Moreno is the bomb?

And can you believe that this woman is 80?
Eighty??? Really?

The eighth wonder of the world, she is.
And she's here in America.

Friday, August 03, 2012

3 Chords & the Truth: Moved by the spirit

Sometimes, you just have to go where the spirit moves you.

That was the case on this week's episode of 3 Chords & the Truth -- the spirit was moving, and we at the Big Show went with the flow. I think you will enjoy the musical results of that.

But as the spirit was -- and is -- moving and I can't stop, I can't stop, I can't stop going with the noncorporeal flow, I'll finish telling you all about this spirit-driven installment of 3 Chords & the Truth . . . in tongues.

I say hey now -- hey now -- iko iko I day. Jockomo feeno ah nah nay . . . jockomo fee nah nay. Mairsey doats and dosey doats and littlelambsydivy, a kiddlely divey too, wouldn't you?

HEY! Theresabathroomontheright. Hey diddle diddle, put your kitty in the middle and we'll mmmmmf ! Mmmmmmf! Nanoo! Nanoo! The Big Show!

Ooby-dooby, ooby-dooby, ooby-dooby, ooby-dooby.
Ooby-dooby, ooby-dooby, ooby-dooby, dooby-do-wah-do-wah-do-wah! Well ya wigga to the lef, ya wigga to da ri! Ya do the ooby-dooby with all of your might!

Ooby-dooby, ooby-dooby, ooby-dooby, ooby-dooby. Ooby-dooby, ooby-dooby, ooby-dooby, dooby-do-wah-do-wah-do-wah coz I'm Henery the aighth, oy am! 3 Chords & the Truth!

Louie Louie, oh no! Me gadda go! Aye-yi-yi-yi, I seh, Louie Louie, oh bay, me gadda go!

IBIDA? Wir fahren fahren fahren auf der Autobahn! Howsyer mamandem?

3 Chords & the Truth, y'all. Be there. Aloha.

He's on a mission from Jah

Working in a stout former bank building with windows closed and air conditioners humming, Orleans County, Vt., sheriff's deputies didn't know what was happening in their parking lot until a neighbor called 911. A man on a big farm tractor, angry about his recent arrest for resisting arrest and marijuana possession, was rolling across their vehicles -- five marked cruisers, one unmarked car and a transport van. By the time they ran outside, the tractor was down the driveway and out onto the road.

With their vehicles crushed, "We had nothing to pursue him with," said Chief Deputy Philip Brooks.

Thursday afternoon's incident ended when city police in Newport, the county seat of the northern Vermont county, caught up with Roger Pion, 34, a short distance away.

No one was injured. At least two deputies had gone inside a few moments before after washing their vehicles, officials said.

"Nobody was hurt. That's the thing everybody's got to cherish," said Sheriff Kirk Martin.

Vermont State Police said in a statement that Pion would face seven counts of felony unlawful mischief, one count of misdemeanor unlawful mischief, one count aggravated assault on a law enforcement officer, one count of gross negligent operation, and one count of leaving the scene of an accident.

The cops forgot to add the one count of AWESOME!

I mean . . . ummm . . . in the most unfortunate, deviant sense of the word.

Um hmm. Yeah, that's the ticket.