Thursday, February 26, 2004

Los Straitjackets Were A Blast!

Despite the threat of bad weather, and having the concert on a "school night", there was a good crowd at the Handlebar to see Los Straitjackets, and no lovers of surf music could have been disappointed. They played wonderfully.

Check out the pictures.

Monday, February 23, 2004

Don't Forget! Los StraitJackets Is At The Handlebar Wednesday Night

The Utterly Fantastic And Totally Unbelievable Sound Of Los Straitjackets Tis The Season For Los Straitjackets

You say you don't know who Los Straitjackets are?

They are a super surf rock band that re-capture the blazing thrill of the Ventures. Faces covered in Mexican wrestling masks, these guys deliver red hot guitar licks that are timeless. This is great stuff. Their official website now reports that their most recent effort with Eddy "THE CHIEF" Clearwater has been nominated for a Grammy!

Here is what the Handlebar has to say:
LOS STRAITJACKETS, February 25, 2004 (Wednesday)
Hold on to your Mexican wrestling masks, folks, we finally got 'em! At the top of our wish list for so long we can hardly believe it, this quartet of weirder-than-weird surf rock maniacs are at last making their first Handlebar appearance! For our true geek-rock fans (we're thinkin' Southern Culture, Red Elvises and Cigar Store Indians, to name a few), this is one of the must-see shows of 2004. Think Dick Dale on Telemundo or the The Ventures on vacation in Tijuana; it's instrumental surf-rock with a definite South-Of-The-Border feel (and look). Clad all in Mexican wrestling garb, the 'Jackets give you a show-within-a-show with their Broadway-ready choreography (well, maybe off-Off-Broadway) and beach-blistered hot licks! It may still be winter outside, but it's a Baja shindig at The Handlebar! 8:30 p.m. $10 (Add 50 cents sales tax)

Check out the following links:
Holiday Album At Amazon
Los Straitjackets At Amazon
2003 Christmas Tour Article at ChartAttack
Los Straitjackets News At Surfwax

Thursday, February 19, 2004

Dean Quits, Edwards Holds Commanding Lead Over Bush in New Poll

While I ate lunch with friends yesterday, I watched Dean exit the race. This morning I got the following email from the Edwards campaign:

The latest CNN/USA Today/Gallup poll out today shows John Edwards with a ten-point lead over George W. Bush! (Edwards 54%, Bush 44%)

Here is the poll result at

Saturday, February 14, 2004

I won't hurt kittens for real. Let me play.

Rich Salter is a very funny guy. He offers not one, but two kitten shooting games that really should be banned.
Until they are, give them a go...

Friday, February 13, 2004

MTW2 - New Wallpaper

I got my black and white pictures developed today and they turned out marvelous. I am not planning to post them on the web, but I took one and converted it into an appropriate size for use as wallpaper on your computer. The link to the new wallpaper is below. I think this should work on most any computer.

View New MTW2 Wallpaper

Debate Night Photo Album

Some of the photos I took on debate night are now online.

Photo Album

Thursday, February 12, 2004

A Special Welcome to Michael Travis Whitmire, Jr. We got pictures!

I feel pretty sure that these are the first pictures on the web of my newest nephew.

Michael Travis Whitmire, Jr. born 2/11/2004
Photo Album

Wednesday, February 11, 2004

What is this ?!?

This is something crazy...

I am guessing that drugs are legal everywhere on planet boohbah. Paul calls it trippy!

Monday, February 09, 2004

Newsweek Asks -- Who Killed Jesus?

We are just weeks away from the release of Mel Gibson's The Passion of The Christ. For many months it has stirred controversy on its approach and conclusions on who really killed Jesus. The film is graphic, violent, and unrelenting in its depiction of the final hours of Jesus of Nazareth. Mel Gibson presents the film through the focus of his own religious upbringing in a reactionary sect of Roman Catholicism. The Newsweek article attempts to balance the scale and brings the historic accounts to bear on the question.

From the article:
In the best of all possible worlds, "The Passion of the Christ" will prompt constructive conversations about the origins of the religion that claims 2 billion followers around the globe...

Newsweek - Who Killed Jesus?
The Passion Of The Christ -- Movie Website

Sunday, February 08, 2004

Nationwide ridicule of Georgia's public education system will be inevitable...

That's what former President Jimmy Carter said about Kathy Cox's recent decision to remove the word "evolution" from education in Georgia's public schools because she sthought it was a politically charged buzzword rather than a scientific term.

An editorial in the San Antonio Express News remarked:
Failing to use the scientific term for one of the underpinnings of biology would have done students a grave disservice, like using nicknames for body parts to dance around a delicate but essential subject in a sex education class.

Thankfully she reversed her decision later in the week. (

Shards O' Glass Freeze Pops are for adults only

Did you know that Shards O' Glass Freeze pops are the nation's leading consumer frozen treats containing glass shards?

Friday, February 06, 2004

Is this an "Honorable" Mention?

I went to my first live Poetry Slam last night. I had watched this sort of competition on television, but I saw an ad in the paper that reminded me that the World Poetry Slam Individual Championships were going to be held in Greenville, SC this weekend. I went, met a few people, and was asked to be a judge at the competition. It turns out that they ask random members of the audience who are unaffiliated with the presenters to judge the competition. I did not know the contestants and can read and write English fluently -- I was qualified! The judging was difficult, but I followed the instructions given by the MC and scored the poems consistently and fairly, biased only by my own taste in verse. I had a great time and would do it again in an instant.

As I am now an experienced Poetry Slam Judge, will people address me as "Your Honor?"

Greenville News - Poetry Slam provokes laughter, thought

My pal, Biggus Billus saw the article in the paper and delivered this tribute to me via email.
I score it a ten!

Here's to my friend,
who in the end,
will bring great fame to the name
of my business,
because he's got game!
-Biggus Billus

Lennox Lewis Announces He Is Retiring...

Personally, I really wanted to see Vitaly Klitschko and Lennox Lewis go at it a second time. What a spectacular combat that first fight was. Lennox, one of the greatest heavyweight champs of all time got surprised by a competent fighter who was all heart. Lennox was unprepared and Klitschko took advantage of it. When the fight was stopped due to the cut over Klitchko's eye, he screamed he wanted to continue. He felt that he was winning the fight and that he only needed a few more rounds to knock Lewis out. The doctor rightly stopped the fight. The gash above Vitaly's eye was awful. When the judges revealed their scorecards, Klitschko was ahead by two points on all three. The doctors stopped the fight, and Lewis dodged the bullet. He got lucky and walked away with a victory and his World Boxing Council heayvweight belt.

Barry Mcguigan of The Mirror Eulegizes Lewis' career
Reuters Announces His Retirement
Lennox Lewis Factbox at Reuters
Vitali Klitschko Reacts at
JOHN MCGRATH of The News Tribune Says It Won't Last

Thursday, February 05, 2004

Marketplace Talks about Vonage, Voice Over IP

Vonage just recently announced that they have provisioned over 100,000 lines for its voice over IP offering. To observe the milestone, Marketplace talked with Adam Lashinsky on the state of voice over internet. With an unexpected twist, the interview ends up being a humorous celebration of the strengths and weaknesses of making your phone calls over your cable modem.

PRI :: Marketplace :: David Brown and Adam Lashinsky talk about Voice Over Internet

John Edwards Does Letterman's Top Ten List...

Presidential Candidate John Edwards delivered David Letterman's Top Ten List ---

Top Ten Things Never Said Before By A Presidential Candidate

World Poetry Slam competition in Greenville this weekend

This may be your last chance ever to see the World Poetry Slam competition in Greenville!

From the poetry slam website:
Contenders from cities across America will lyrically compete in two Preliminary Bouts on Thursday 5th and Friday 6th at Blue Ridge Brewery and Betty Pearle's. The top twelve finalists will compete in a final clash for the $2300 on the main stage of the Handlebar on Saturday 7th. In addition to the competing poets, slam enthusiasts and featured performers from across the country will descend upon our sparkling southern city.

Calendar of Events:

Tuesday, February 03, 2004

My Annual History Book

For a number of reasons, my history education is not all that it could be. I have made an attempt to supplement it by reading at least one history book a year, and they are frequently surveys of the history of civilization. I most recently finished the Great Civilizations Micropedia from Parragon Press. The book is an easily digestible volume cut into short chapters which cover the religious, political, and trade developments within each of the Great Civilizations that it covers. The book is portable, readable, and a real help on getting caught up on my history.

Monday, February 02, 2004

Zogby Poll Reports Edwards Over Kerry By 5 In South Carolina

If you like horse races, then your going to love Tuesday, February 3rd in South Carolina. The democratic candidates are nearly in a dead heat. Zogby has Edwards by 5:

The CBS Poll has Edwards ahead by a wider margin.

The prior Zogby poll had the candidates in a dead heat.

Weather may be a factor in the voting. At this writing, many counties in South Carolina have weather watches or advisories. WYFF - Weather

If Candlemas Day is bright and clear, there'll be two winters in the year.

It's Groundhog Day!

If finding a website with lots of good information about Groundhog day were not enough ( I found the official Groundhog Day website which screams my name! (

Check out the AP Groundhog Day coverage at CNN.

Sunday, February 01, 2004

I Can't He'p Myself...

Singer James Brown Is Released From Jail
James Brown Released From Jail on Domestic Violence Charge; Told Not to Contact Wife

Soul singer James Brown , in this Aiken County Sheriff's Office photo, was arrested Wednesday, Jan. 28, 2004, and charged with criminal domestic violence in Aiken, S.C. (AP Photo/Aiken County Sheriff Department)

Story at

Limbo, by Alfred Lubrano

I just finished reading Alfred Lubrano's Limbo. On nearly every page of this book I saw that the author had hit his subject dead on. The struggle to maintain connections with family, friends, and culture as the first generation to attend college can be enormous. Lubrano's well researched work addresses the issues of the forgotten class struggle in America against the backdrop of his own story as a reporter and bricklayer's son.

The Mondrian Machine

Make your own Mondrian here:

M1 by Phil Yanov :: A digital artwork inspired by the neoplasticism of Piet Mondrian and created using the Mondrian machine at