Thursday, March 27, 2008

Men who are fathers

While at the doctor's office, I came across this quote in an out-of-date magazine. It's from a man named Lazare Ponticelli, who died recently at the age of 110. He was believed to be the last living French veteran of World War I:
You shoot at men who are fathers. War is completely stupid.

It seems to me that people who have been through a war are seldom in favor of having another one. What do you think that should tell us?

Reveal secret of life? Check.

Look out above, knowledge being dropped.

That's how winning is done.

End the Cold War? Check.

It's been a while since I posted one of these. The YouTube description says it all: "The speech that ended the Cold War."

You're next, cancer.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Peace within four quarters

As cool as it is that Coach Richt and other college football head coaches are heading to the Middle East to visit the troops, Coach Richt ought to just leave the other chumps at home, skip the military bases and get involved in peace negotiations.

And if you think I'm kidding, you just don't know me.

Hat tip: The man.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Well, there you go

I doubt many of you had Georgia advancing too far in your brackets, so we can't really get upset about being bounced from the tournament. Or can we...
(Xavier) went 27-for-33 from the line, while Georgia was 3-for-5...

Time to blame the refs. And possibly President Bush.

By the way, The Telegraph sent a reporter to D.C. to cover the game. He flew in this morning and plans to fly out tonight. That's right, no overnight stay.

So it's safe to say we weren't expecting the Dawgs to make a run. Congrats, though, gentlemen on an exciting few days. We'll always have the 2008 SEC Tournament.

UPDATE: The Georgia men's basketball team is on the front pages of The New York Times Web site right now. The Times says they boys showed "willpower."

As another writer here said, "What were the odds of that last week?"

Since it will probably cycle off the front page soon, I'm swiping the picture. I hope The Times won't mind too much.

The Georgia senior guard Sundiata Gaines was the last Bulldog player off the floor. He hung his head low, but had nothing to be ashamed of. He vacuumed up every loose ball, led with a veteran’s aplomb and epitomized the fight this Georgia team had shown for the last week.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Stars fell, and joy swept through

Tomorrow will be 14 years since Lewis Grizzard, a great American writer, died.

For my money, he probably wrote the greatest paragraph to have ever been printed in the English language. It was about football, of course:
I hugged perfect strangers and kissed a fat lady on the mouth. Grown men wept. Lightning flashed. Thunder rolled. Stars fell, and joy swept through, fetched by a hurricane of unleashed emotions.

Lewis, rest in peace. The Dawgs are gonna win a title this year.

You can read a lot of Lewis' old columns here. Between that and the Final Four... well, work is over-rated.

Rings on her fingers and bells on her shoes

I don't date a ton, but I've been basically amazed over the years by the willingness of beautiful, intelligent women to give me the time of day. And it occurs to me, you should always err on the side of asking.

And if you make a fool of yourself, at least you made a fool of yourself for a cause.

That's basically the point of this post, on a Telegraph blog some friends of mine write called "Macon Love."

Hey, it's Spring, when hot streaks begin, and you're unstoppable for no reason you need to understand or question. Go get her.

From the other direction, she was calling my eye,
It could be an illusion,
but I might as well try, might as well try

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Totally appropriate

Just got this email from a buddy of mine:
So, I just got out of lunch and I'm walking down 5th Street in downtown Austin talking on my phone. I end the call as I'm crossing the street at the crosswalk, at the last second realize the girl walking towards me has on a Florida shirt.

Without hesitation (TOTAL Tourette's), I yell, and I mean yell - like leaning in and walking towards her with my right hand cupped around my mouth - "BOOOOOOOOOoo Booooooooooooooooooooo Boooooooooooooo!!!!!!"

She literally shifted gears into this quick walk / run so fast that I didn't even realize how inappropriate I was acting, and by the time I did, I was standing alone in the middle of the intersection (because naturally, I followed her off the path of the crosswalk out where the cars are).

Let me back up - so, to onlookers (which were plenty), here is this guy walking down the street in a suit with a briefcase on his shoulder who "boos" a passerby for no apparent reason. Let me add, I have on ZERO UGA clothes right now. To them, I'm sure it looked like a scene straight out of Jackass.

I hope football season comes soon so at least I can have an excuse. That was just wrong and I'm almost embarrassed (who are we kidding, not really but, I do feel bad).

Hey, if she didn't want to get accosted in the street in Texas, the girl shouldn't have gone outside wearing gator clothes.

"Look buddy, your car was upside-down when I got here. And as for your grandmother, she shouldn't have mouthed off like that."
- Homer Simpson

Monday, March 17, 2008

Magill: "Absolutely the most improbable"

I went ahead and called Dan Magill myself. Mr. Magill, as you may know, has been a university bat boy, sports information director, national-title-winning tennis coach, author, Georgia Bulldog Club secretary, club chapter(s) founder, historian and guy we name sports complexes, press boxes and mascots after.

He was at the Yale game in 1929, when we dedicated Sanford Stadium. He was 8.

Mr. Magill still lives in Athens and says this past weekend's run to the SEC tournament title is "absolutely is the most improbable athletic achievement that I've known at Georgia."

So there you go. He said the 1929 victory over Yale was probably No. 2, particularly since we'd lost to "little Oglethorpe" two games before.

He said the weather probably helped us that day, as well. Yale is in Connecticut and back then teams didn't have summer and winter uniforms. So Yale showed up in Athens with heavy uniforms on "the hottest day ever been in Athens in October."

Mr. Magill also said his 1985 tennis team, which started the NCAA tournament as a No. 6 seed, beat No. 3 seed Stanford, the No. 2 seed and then No. 1 seed UCLA to win the National Title. And that all happened in three days.

Even that was "nothing" compared to this weekend's basketball tournament, he said.

Glory, Glory

"God bless these Dawgs."
- My buddy Shawn

I can't put it any better. Having not had the faith, I don't deserve to enjoy this SEC tournament title and NCAA tourney bid. But I think I will anyway.

And someone get Dan Magill on the phone, because this may be the most improbable series of events in Georgia athletic history.

Congrats to the seniors. Congrats to Felton. Congrats to the Bulldogs.

So I called up the NCAA tournament committee and I said, "Hey, where's the Final Four this year? 'Cause I want to make one of those signs that says "Next stop: Wherever the Final Four is." And there was this long pause and then they said: "Sir, are you a Georgia fan?" And I said "Hell, yeah! Go Dawgs!" And then I think they hung up.

Go read about it from some true fans.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Nazis... I hate these guys

I watched Raiders of the Lost Ark last night. Indiana Jones beat up more Nazis than Patton.

I once said this scene from Jaws was the greatest scene in American movie history. I was wrong.

Indiana Jones: 1. Nazi Submarine: Zero.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

"I'll make it."

Remember, the picket fence is a fine play, but don't out think yourself too much.

Sweet, sweet March.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Of course we should apologize for slavery

These double posts are becoming less rare...

I wrote this last year, when the Georgia General Assembly was considering a formal apology for slavery:
Of course we should apologize for slavery. Every human being should.

We should be sorry that we don't love our fellow men like we should. That we let fear and hatred hold us back in this advanced age.

Martin Luther King Jr. was quoting Matthew most of the time. Who was, of course, quoting Jesus.

Love your neighbor.

I'm sorry slavery happened. I'm sorry it happened on my own soil, in my country. I'm sorrier still that so much of it, and so badly, happened in my beloved home state.

I also had these lines, which I liked. But I never felt good about the segues to them:
If you say "we" when you say "America," I think that's proof you owe an apology. ...

I honor all dead. Every man has good in him and is to be missed, and those who sacrifice for others most of all.

Monday, March 10, 2008

How to be a journalism

I'm speaking to a journalism class tomorrow. That's always a train wreck, so I decided to prepare for a change. And I went through a little file I've kept for years called "good ideas in journalism."

For what it's worth, and with not near enough explanation, this is how I try to go about my job:
Accuracy. Fairness. Objectivity. Timeliness. Context.

You are not in the business of making friends and winning influence. Writing about other people should make you feel terrible quite often.

Go see people in person.

Ask the same question of different people. You may have to ask them more than once

A swamp of facts is only useful if you answer the question on everybody's lips.

It's not always about details. Make sure you understand the core of a thing so you can explain it to your friends with complete accuracy.

Ask yourself: Am I comfortable with this being written in a history book?

Put little trust in facts. Re-examine their veracity from time to time.

Pretty much at least one fact per noun, verb and adjective. Think: What do I know, and how do I know it. Ask your sources how they know things.

Get as close as you can.
- The photographer's creed

If you're sitting there with nothing to do, call some people and find out what they want to talk about. Or go see them. Or go look at some public documents. Or buildings. Or watch an intersection work.

File open records requests routinely. You don't have to suspect something.

Don't be overly impressed with power. Or yourself.

There's a thin line between authoritative reporting and editorializing.

Be smart, listen and study. Be difficult to lie to.

No matter how high you get, remember what it's like on the lower levels.

The last 5 percent between 95 percent and 100 percent is the hardest.
- Brian Melton

We're not in the business of keeping secrets.
- Bernie O'Donnell

It is said that great artists steal. This ain't art.

Use a page in your notebook for texture: Sounds, sights, smells. Things that aren't quotes.
- I can't remember whose idea this was

Experiment and technique are fine. But the reader has to come with you.

This job is not about being a great writer.

You want to be criticized by idiots on both sides.

Dimly lit is good. Illuminated by a single bulb is better. Ask Mark Twain why.

If you don't think you've got a public service job, get another one.

The subject line, by the way, comes from another reporter here. He was doing a piece about being in jail and some drunk came up to him and asked "What you is, a journalism."

I believe his answer was "yes."

Friday, March 7, 2008

This sandwich is fantastic, you over-charging hippie

I seldom link the stuff I write for the regular paper here. But I really liked this restaurant review.

I heart the Richts

Seriously, I'm not sure it's healthy.

You probably saw Coach Richt got a salary bump to $2.8 million a year. Ching has some comments from the man:
He joked that his wife Katharyn is in Romania, so maybe she won't find out about the raise. Seriously though, he said he doesn't expect to splurge upon receiving some extra cash: "It’s just more that we can find a good cause we can give it to."

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Better yet, triple it

I ran into Dan Fischer at the grocery store last night. He was a city manager in Colorado, now he works for Mercer University and is pretty much a (hippie) environmental activist/advocate for good planning.

And this isn't exactly what he said, but the idea is the same:
Think, in your heart, what percentage of people in this world are willing to put more into society than they take out.

Now double it.

What kind of world would that be?

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

For you Brothers fans

Just got an email - construction is officially underway at the Big House, the Vineville Avenue home here in Macon where the boys in The Allman Brothers Band lived for a time.

You know that line in Blue Sky - "Good ole Sunday Morning, bells are ringing everywhere?" They still ring there. Like a half dozen of them.

A foundation is turning the home into an Allman Brothers museum, and it's probably going to have the most impressive Brothers collection in existence.


Tuesday, March 4, 2008

But then perhaps all whammies are predetermined

Anyone else, when you're reading a book, just all of a sudden realize you're about to hit a really key paragraph?

From A Passage to India.
He had spoken in the little room near the Courts where the pleaders waited for clients; clients, waiting for pleaders, sat in the dust outside. These had not received a car from Mr. Turton. And there were circles even beyond these - people who wore nothing but a loincloth, people who wore not even that, and spend their lives in knocking two sticks together before a scarlet doll - humanity grading a drifting beyond the educated vision, until no earthly invitation can embrace it.

All invitations must proceed from heaven perhaps; perhaps it is futile for men to initiate their own unity, they do but widen the gulfs between them by the attempt. So at all events thought old Mr. Grasford and young Mr. Sorley, the devoted missionaries who lived out beyond the slaughterhouses, always traveled third on the railways, and never came up to the club. In our Father's house are many mansions, they taught, and there alone will the incompatible multitudes of mankind be welcomed and soothed. Not one shall be turned away by the servants on that verandah, be he black or white, not one shall be kept standing who approaches with a loving heart.

And why should the divine hospitality cease here? Consider, with all reverence, the monkeys. May there not be a mansion for the monkeys also? Old Mr. Graysford said No, but young Mr. Sorley, who was advanced, said Yes; he saw no reason why monkeys should not have their collateral share of bliss, and he had sympathetic discussions about them with his Hindu friends. And the jackals. Jackals were indeed less to Mr. Sorley's mind, but he admitted that the mercy of God, being infinite, may well embrace all mammals. And the wasps? He became uneasy during the descent to wasps, and was apt to change the conversations. And oranges, cactuses, crystals and mud? and the bacteria inside Mr. Sorley? No, no this is going to far. We must exclude someone from our gathering, or we shall be left with nothing.

Monday, March 3, 2008

A Michigan left to Whammyville.

I don't think I can really do justice to my weekend trip to Michigan. Although "weekend trip to Michigan" is a pretty good description in itself.

But the next time you think the Georgia DOT doesn't make much sense, remember that these exist. As my buddy Brett said: "Why have one traffic light when you can have three?"

His brother Scott says he's never going back to Michigan, and these are the sole reason.

Michigan: Move here if you hate sunlight.