Saturday, 8 March 2008

Long Ago


Years before Hillary met Bill and moved to Little Rock to be Ms Clinton....she did rope tricks and rode "Tippy" over the badlands of Oklahoma. She carried a pistol and could shoot a man dead at 50 feet. Known for tying one on....she would consume 12 shots of whiskey and then shoot eggs off the back of her favorite horse. Rumor had it....that she'd shot six men one day....mostly by accident....when they spoke some flattering words about her boots.

One day, as Bill rode through town....Hillary felt the urge to dump the cowgirl lifestyle and just become a regular woman. So she sold Tippy and gave her gun to a homeless man on the street, and left the good life.

Years later....after arriving at the White House as wife of Bill....did Hillary regret this whole mess and wish she'd kept her gun and horse. But by then....it was too dang late.

WHNT: The Rove - 60 Minutes Saga Continues


So, the FCC wizards will show up in Huntsville this week...to question WHNT (ole Channel 19) over the 60 Minutes "loss of connection" episode. Two weeks ago....on 60 Minutes...they featured a nifty dirt article on Karl Rove and how he tried to bring down a Alabama governor but failed. Although this is the democratic governor who later was discovered accepting bribes for stuff and sits in prison today. Channel 19 apparently lost its satellite connection at the key time and this entire part of the Karl Rove story on Alabama.....didn't arrive. Some locals.....up to twenty complaints....believe that Channel 19 did this on purpose.

I'm pretty sure the Channel 19 folks are going to be dressed up in their finest and give those FCC folks a mighty fine Bama welcome. The very idea.....that they'd do this for Karl.....is just totally up wrong. Having grown up in north Alabama, and spent many hours of my youth watching the Channel 19 station....with H D Bagley (the ole dude for weather) and Grady Reeves (the wrestling moderator and 7AM morning show dude).....I'm a staunch Channel 19 supporter.

I'm guessing that the FCC folks will smile for the cameras.....do a interview or two...and then have real ribs for lunch...and settle back to write a five page document on how things just accidentally occurred. And for those who are't aware of the worldly status of Channel 19....this is
Storm Center 19, the only channel to watch during tornado episodes....which is rather odd....that in all these years....they've never lost their signal at the wrong time.

The ABC Picture of Depression in Utah

This week on ABC...they kinda featured a piece on how bad life is in Utah. The key bit....an awful lot of Mormons....more than any other state....are in depression. The piece went on to blame the various edges of Mormons and their religion. It was a delightful piece delivered by ABC....and for most folks....would just puff them up to know that their state wasn't the most depressed. Yep....nice puff piece. And those Mormon folks...they really need help bad....ifing I believed ABC.

Simply an observation of mine in life....after watching people and life for almost fifty years. Those who put a mighty strong belief in religion....no matter if they are Mormons, Baptists, Scientology, Catholics or new-age....all tend to have a fairly unsatisfied life and feel somewhat miserable. I'm not anti-religion...but it seems the more effort you put into something...the less satisfied you are in what you are doing. I am kinda thinking folks are expecting "golden" answers...and not getting what they thought.

Its not a Utah problem....its a society-wide problem. Utah just has an abundance of dedicated Mormons.

And I will offer this insight...there are a fair number of male Baptists walking around...who drink a fair bit (unknown to their wives)...and they really don't toe the Baptists line that much (unlike their wives). These guys aren't exactly miserable or in a meeting program with some mental health doctor over depression. They are...just regular folks.

ABC does some occasional reporting that is 4-star in nature. This time....I'd rate it 1.5 stars at best. But the key thing here....dump on the Mormons as much as possible. Don't mention Scientology....because they might sue you. Thats why ABC is such a great news organization.....I better sip some more 60-proof bourbon to keep my mind focused the ABC way.

Kaiserslautern, Soccer & the Stadium

So this is the road to the pit in Kaiserslautern....concerning soccer.

First....the major-league soccer situation in Germany is rather simple. You have roughly twenty teams of various towns. If you finish in the top three...you play Europe-wide championship games and make a fair amount of extra money. You finish in the bottom three....they dump your team to the second league. The second league? Well....this is where 2nd-rate players and cheaper teams play. The second league also means that you charge roughly seven bucks max to get into a game. There are roughly twenty teams in the second league. If you make it into the top three of this league's ratings...then you move up to the first-league...more money...more class....more potential. If you get into the bottom three of the second league...you get dumped....to the regional leagues.

Regional leagues in Germany....are where small towns of 10,000 exist. They pay their players a small amount of salary...usually in the $10k a year or less. All of these guys have regular jobs and play on weekends only. They train after work, and stay in shape....hoping that one day....their lousy team might climb into the second league and they might actually collect a real salary. Its a fair method of encouraging team sponsors to spend money on quality players or face issues.

So here in Kaiserslautern...throughout the 1940s, 1950s, 1960s, and up until the late 90s....their team was in the 1st league. They had legendary players on the team.

At some point in the late 90s....they were sent to the second league for a year....from which they acquired a player or two....got back into the first league the next season, and won the German championship that year.

The boys up in Mainz, who control the government purse strings...set aside money and actually fix up the fairly nice stadium in Kaiserslautern. It was a 37,000 guest stadium which had been fairly renovated in the 1980s. But this extra money before the World-Cup period of 2005...really sparked up the Kaiserslautern stadium. Its one of the top dozen in Germany today.

Somewhere along the past three years....the club and its sponsorship have stalled out. Two years ago....the club was sent to the second league. Most locals said "no problem"....they would just climb out in a year and clobber the league. Well....after the first season in the second league....there were no real acquisitions or additional players of quality. The club really floundered. So this year's effort in the second league...was dismal. They finished the final game yesterday with a tie, and based on efforts of two teams this weekend....they are likely to be banished from the second league by tomorrow night.

The amusing thing....is that this basically pits this team from a town of 100,000 to play against cities of 10,000 or 20,000 residents. It'll be the finest stadium in Germany at the 3rd level of play. I doubt that they can charge more than $5 entry fee to anyone....and the players who remain with this club? I'll bet less than three stay. The club is in dismal shape and need a 4-star sponsor to step in. Here is where the issues lie.

Kaiserslautern is dying....in a economic sense. There is no job market....most folks now are fairly welling to drive to Mainz or Frankfurt or Mannheim...to get real pay and real jobs. So there are no major companies in this region. Opel manufactures cars....but this is a plant that has been on the sales lot for several years...with no buyers....so they won't sponsor nothing. They had a potato chip company sponsoring them for a decade or two....but the chip business isn't glowing.

The team has one of the best off-site practice areas in the country....with tons of state money poured in during the world-cup period. Its less than a mile from my house. I'm guessing that the local town may try to take the thing over and kick out the FCK club. Their value in local politics is slipping.

So its a sad woeful tale of how a major stadium exists in a town of 100,000 and is a home for a 3rd level soccer team. I'd expect for next season for crowds to be no more than 15,000 people at best. This is things are....in Kaiserslautern...home of the "unfinished building", a grand stadium, and 3rd rate team.

The Baptists Have Arrived in Sweden


This past week...in Stockholm....fourteen of the country's parliament ministers (congressmen, for you folks from Ripley)....decided to form a anti-drinking group (mostly left-wing....which is rather shocking).....and they want no alcoholic beverages served in the local parliament bar/chow hall. This has triggered a discussion from the 349 members of the assembly.....over abstaining from alcohol or possibly limiting folks. No one is sure where this will go. The fourteen folks....claim that a fair portion of their friends there.....can't abstain from booze.

This is a rather sad event. Apparently these folks drink there in the parliament bar/chow hall....they drink out in the street during recess....and they drink in the local pubs. One might even get the impression that they might out-drink Bama folks....but I'd bet against that.

Yep....the Baptists have arrived and will "dry" this county for sure. My advice for the Swedes.....hide your booze and learn how to flask appropriately. Its best to have two flasks on your person at all times....mostly 40 proof or more in each container....mostly vodka. Mix it with coffee or Pepsi....and just smile at everyone. That tends to fix the "Baptist" problem.

But you gotta remember....the last thing on earth you really want....at your house, your legion hall, the gas station, the pub, the city park, the parliament building in Stockholm or your pontoon boat....is a drunk Swede. Things in this universe go outta whack....if you got one really drunk Swede....so beware.