Monday, December 17, 2007

Marshall Ramsey bio

Marshall Ramsey, 39, is the editorial cartoonist for The Clarion-Ledger. He is a two-time Pulitzer finalist and is nationally syndicated by Copley News Service. His cartoons have appeared in USA Today, Newsweek, U.S. News and World Report, The Chicago Tribune, The New York Times and on his Mother's refrigerator. It is also rumored that his work has appeared frequently in the bathrooms of several prominent local politicians.

Ramsey is a 1991 graduate of The University of Tennessee. His collegiate cartoons won the John Locher Memorial Award, the top prize awarded to college editorial cartoonists. He has also illustrated several books, including six children's books for financial expert Dave Ramsey and one for chef and author Robert. St. John. He's a dad, husband and an amateur blogger.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Check out the new blog

Here you go.

It's kinda working

I will be posting over on the new site for the rest of the day. But it is still buggy.

My hair hurts.

Blogs aren't working yet

Todd Bridges said that it will take about 30 minutes for everything to switching over (they are moving everything from the test servers to our main ones). Right now, when you try to click on my welcome entry (which is not showing the art that it should), you go to some hybrid page of the old site.

So in the meantime, I will keep using this page. I will put a message up that reads, "GO TO THE NEW BLOG!!!!"

The end is near

I know some make fun of us for using Blogger, but the one thing I will say about it is that it took the process out of the creative process. One of my biggest fears about my job is that my time will get filled up with technical busy work that keeps me from creating. Blogger, designed for my 6th grade mind, kept that from happening.

And I could get my art to show up on the main page.


I'm sitting here, in the blog bunker waiting for the moment everything switches over. And like Y2k, I hope it all goes off without a hitch. But just in case it doesn't, I made a readiness kit:

1. A 12-pack of Coke. It might be something stronger if I wasn't at work.
2. My Frank Melton action figure with karate-chop motion.
3. A six-month supply of toilet paper.
4. My MEMA-emergency radio/TV.
5. A weapon (a sharp pencil)
6. A bottle of Haley Barbour campaign water (I got it at the Neshoba County Fair a couple of years ago)
7. Hand sanitizer.
8. A Calvin and Hobbes book (to read in case the internet goes out).
9. Five cases of SPAM (seems appropriate when dealing with a computer).
10. The rest of my pain pills from last week. Narcotics might be required.

I'm about to go flood the bathroom so we can have extra water. Just in case.

Winding this blog down

In about three hours, we will convert over to the new system. Once you get used to it, I think you will like it -- I know I do. It take a little getting used to, but once you do, it really starts to be fun to play around with.

I will link the crap out of this blog, though, so you can keep checking back to comments and see old posts. No fear. I have 4,000+ posts I don't want to lose.

FBI Director is coming to town

You better watch out, you better not cry, you better not pout, I'm telling you why - FBI Director Robert Mueller is coming to town. His motorcade just went past my window -- and it was armored to the teeth. You pout, you're taken out. There were dudes in the cars (the windows were down) with what looked like an M-16s -- pretty heavy firepower for Pearl Street. There were also some JPD motorcycle cops, several cars -- the procession looked like they were traveling from Baghdad International Airport to the Green Zone.

He was in Alabama yesterday talking about Civil rights-era cold cases. That's probably why he is here today. Or, he may be asking Malcolm McMillin to take over for him.

That's probably it.

Dick's Chute -- An appreciation

There hasn't been this much concrete poured since Hoover Dam was built. All through downtown Jackson, concrete medians are going up -- and through the Waterworks Curve, they are going up on both sides of the road. It's making a really cool thrill ride. Sure, the walls terrify Mrs. R and most other drivers who don't drive through there often, but man, I love them! So much so that I hate that Evel Knievel took the dirt nap before he had a crack at them. He would have gotten all tingly riding his bike through Jackson.

But the most exciting area to drive is going from Woodrow Wilson (I bet 90% of kids don't know who he was) from UMC onto I-55 north. I have affectionately named that area after Dick Hall -- Dick's Chute. Dick's Chute replaced Dick's Sticks -- the contraptions that kept you from Blue Angeling over to Lakeland Drive (across four lanes of traffic). Now, you hit Dick's Chute while driving around 60 mph. Then you curve left and you end up into this concrete chute that spits you out into the left lane. The best way I can describe it is like this -- Remember when the Millenium Falcon shot out the second Death Star? You are like Lando shouting "YAH HOO!" by the time you hit the interstate. And you expect flames from an exploding Hyundai behind you (the older lady hit the wall) to lick at your rear bumper. AWESOME!

And if you want a real thrill, come back and do it at night. Double AWESOME!

Thursday Free-For-All

What's happening? Me? I am still messing around with my new cellphone. That should keep me busy until New Year's...

Mississippi Trivia

40. Beth Henley is a playwright and Pulitzer Prize winner from Jackson.


Question of the day

Are you cool with Ed Thompson coming back as State Health Czar, or should Tyrone Nix have gotten the job?

Morning Blog News Update: Thursday Edition

Like mentioned earlier, the blog has crossed the 4,000 mark and is still clicking along. And today is also another big milestone -- the website will switch over to a new design (yea!) and the blog will no longer be on Blogger. But fear not. The more things change, the more they stay the same. You will continue find the same kind of crap you have come to love and expect from me. And your links will take you to the new blog. I will continue to blog on this blog until the change and then will have links to it when the change happens. So nothing will be lost in the transition. Like bags on a flight. Uh oh.

Well, there is no change in the weather today. It will be pretty much like yesterday and tomorrow. Expect a high of 57 and sun. Rain chances go up to a nasty sprinkle this weekend.

Omaha Mall Shooting
Robert A. Hawkins, 20, goes into a busy shopping mall and starts killing innocent shoppers before he kills himself. Nine are dead, including the shooter. My questions is why couldn't he have started with himself. I realize people are walking around mad a World, but honestly, the World usually is only partly to blame. But outrage aside, what a terrible tragedy. And as place that has scars from such shootings, our hearts go out to our friends in Nebraska.

Nice honor for Croom
It's worth mentioning again, Mississippi State Coach Sylvester Croom went from being on the bubble to S.E.C. Coach of the Year. Nice guys do finish first.

Not Nix
South Carolina (and former Bower Assistant) Tyrone Nix won't be a candidate to replace Jeff Bower at USM and Larry Fedora (Oklahoma State offensive coordinator) and David Lee (Arkansas and soon-to-be Ole Miss offensive coordinator) have been interviewed.

Back to the Future
Here's the full story about Dr. Ed Thompson's full-time return to the Health Department. He'll pull a Malcolm McMillin and continue serve as a Department Head at UMC until a replacement can be found.

Not "24", more like 48. 48 days in Jail
Keifer Sutherland, son of Donald and star of the hit show "24", will be resting comfortably in a
Glendale, California jail for the next 48 days, working off a D.U.I. sentence. "Kiefer made the decision to surrender to custody immediately," his attorney, Blair Berk, told The Associated Press. He could have waited as late as Feb. 12.

Grinch is coming
Lawmakers may slash budget. But of course they will, it's the year after an election.

Thursday's cartoon


According to my dashboard, the odometer just rolled over to 4,000 posts. Thank you. If you weren't reading this blog like you were, I wouldn't be posting so prolifically. I hope you've had as much fun as I have.

Today is the big change over. At around 2 p.m., the blog will switch over to our new system. In most ways, it will be better. And yes, you can create a page that uses your little picture, so that when you blog, your image shows up. You can even create a blog on our site. I know it sounds complicated, but it isn't. I set mine up all by myself. And while I am not stupid, I am way to busy to have time to do that -- and I did it pretty quickly.

Back to 4,000 -- it's an artificial milestone, but took some real sacrifices on the part of my family for me to make it so quickly. So Mrs. R, Son #1, Hot Laser Guy and Baby Ramsey deserve some props, too.

Back to the blog.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Couldn't happen to a nicer guy

Sylvester Croom: SEC Coach of the Year.

Croom, who led the Bulldogs to a 7-5 record and their first bowl berth since 2000, was named coach of the year by his peers and by the Associated Press.


Former State Senator and Lt. Governor candidate Charlie Ross of Brandon has announced he is running for Chip Pickering's Congressional seat. As our good friend Montgomery Burns would say, "Excellent."

Quick hit

From now on, if a quick cartoon idea hits me, I will sketch it and post it to the blog. Don't expect great art (ha, like you ever get great art).

Back to the Future

Dr. Ed Thompson has been named permanent State Health Officer, replacing Dr. Brian Amy who replaced Dr. Ed Thompson. He was chosen from a pool of three finalists. Malcolm McMillin was probably one of them.

Balducci pleads guilty

Lawyer Timothy Balducci has pleaded guilty to conspiracy and is working with federal prosecutors in the Scruggs case.

Read more here.


I met the head of Atmos in Mississippi last night -- great guy and obviously very proud of his company. I wouldn't expect less. He was proudly telling me how his company had invested $300 million into the Mississippi economy and then he asked, "how many companies have done that?"

I answered, "I have -- I am redoing my kitchen."

He looked at me like I was from Mars.

P.S. Operation Tile Backsplash is now into the operational phase. I am staying out of it, other than the shifting around the financial means to fund it. I will be selling kitchen war bonds soon.

More blog info

1. It will convert to the new system tomorrow a 2 p.m.
2. You won't need a Blogger log on (ding dong the witch is dead). You just register on the C-L site for everything.
3. Most of my recent posts will make the new blog. All of my posts will eventually get on there. I obviously have the largest blog to move, so Andy will be busy.
4. It will be better.

State of the Blog

Tomorrow, (I am about 95% sure) the blog will be in a different format. Registration will be easier and the look will be more attractive. And to mark this milestone (and my 4,000th post), I have been looking back at the last few weeks to see what I can do different and better. One thing I have noticed is that I need to be trying some new stuff -- I have kind of fallen into a rut (always a risk when you are super busy). I want to keep this thing as fresh as I can and to keep the consistent growth it has experienced in the past year going. This thing is a canvas for me to be as creative as I can be -- I want to take advantage of it every way I can.

Let's see, what else? Hits are still steadily growing. For example, I've seen a 10% spike in hits since I have been back from vacation. So apparently, I am picking up some new readers out there -- so whoever you are, thank you for dropping in. This is your blog as much as it is mine -- most of the time your comments are funnier and more interesting than mine. The blog is also regularly one of the top non-sports related items on the website and that is a powerful motivator for me to keep spending time on it.

Andy will give me my marching orders today on what I need to do for the new format. It's my ultimate goal to have a one-stop shop for blog, cartoon, archive and store on one page. Tune in and hang on. This will be fun.


The UPS truck is the big person version of the ice cream truck.

10 Posts until 4,000

Let the countdown to another meaningless milestone begin.

Time to wake the sleeping beasts

Even my dogs gave up on me this morning. They are asleep on my bed. But it is time to get the rat race started. Son #1 usually wakes up on his own, but he's sacked out. I need to get him going and get him to school.

I was talking with a co-worker on the way in to work yesterday and found out she has four kids. We outlined our mornings and told tales of getting the kids ready. And I think we both agreed it is good to get to work so we can rest.

Guilty pleasure #234

I love watching stuff I bought as it moves across the country on the shipping companies' websites.

Today's mission: Watching new cellphones as they navigate from Memphis to my house.

Wednesday free-for-all

It is Wednesday, isn't it?

Mississippi Trivia

21. In 1982, through a Joint Resolution of the United States Congress, Jackson became the official home of the USA International Ballet Competition, which is now held every fourth year in Jackson, during the second weekend in June. This dance competition is touted as the Olympics of Dance, where competitors vie for gold, silver and bronze medals, cash awards and scholarships. Jackson is the only city in the United States to host this international event. In Europe, host cities include Moscow, Russia; Helsinki, Finland; Paris, France and Varna, Bulgaria.


Question of the day

What do you think should be the Legislature's top issue this upcoming session?

Morning Blog News Update: Wednesday Edition

That was a short nap. But this is no time to sleep -- I have very important work to do. I must bring you the Morning Blog News Update. I can sleep when I take my dirt nap. So before that fateful day happens, let's get started.

It is cold in my study this morning. That leads me to believe that it is cold outside. OK, just checked my Jim Cantore-model Weather Channel Weather Station and it is 39 degrees. But the good news is that it will be sunny and 67.

New Health Director to possibly be picked today. Maybe. It could happen. There's a chance. Stay tuned. Any second now. We're waiting. Hurry the @#$# up.
The new, shiny, happy Board of Health will vote on a shiny new State Health Officer. Kudos to Dr. Ed Thompson for stepping back into his former job and trying to pick up some of the pieces. And considering how serious the health issues facing this state, I hope the Board is picking someone who is more into solving them instead of just saying "yes" to the Board. To all of my friends at the Health Department, good luck on the new boss.

Another Beef Plant indictment
This time it is James Draper of Mount Juliet, Tenn. He's a refrigeration company sales representative and he faces federal charges for allegedly pocketing funds designated for equipment at the failed Mississippi Beef Processors plant in Oakland. He's the third person in deep beef doo doo. Will he be the last? Who knows.

Big dreams in a small town
Pelahatchie and Puckett (love that name) are planning for growth. And the way Rankin County is booming, I'd say their dreams will come true. There once was a man from Nantuckett who just said Puckett.

Latest on the Scruggs
Here's this morning's story. Timothy Balducci was arraigned and pleaded not guilty.
The Wall Street Journal is all over the story. Here is a Q&A with John Grisham about the case. And they are reporting that Scruggs' firm will be pulling out of the Katrina cases. Here's the Scrugg's Katrina Group's website with the letter on it.

The latest on Iran
From the story: A new U.S. intelligence review concluding Iran stopped developing an atomic weapons program in 2003 is a "declaration of victory" for Iran's nuclear program, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said Wednesday. Bush read it differently. He still sees Iran as a threat."Look, Iran was dangerous, Iran is dangerous, and Iran will be dangerous if they have the knowledge necessary to make a nuclear weapon," he said. "The NIE says that Iran had a hidden -- a covert nuclear weapons program. That's what it said. What's to say they couldn't start another covert nuclear weapons program?"

How about a trailer for the new Narnia movie?
The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian -- coming May 16,2008

The Grinch had nothing on these thugs
Two boys Scouts and their dads were robbed in Ohio while selling Christmas Trees. They were robbed of $350, knocked to the ground and had sawed-off shotguns pointed at them. "At first I thought it was just a little joke, but then, when I saw the gun, I was terrified," said John Hancock Jr., 13, of Troop 393. "And after I saw the gun this guy just punched me right here and it knocked me down," the boy said, pointing to his face. A local business owner replaced their money and the thugs got away.

Wednesday's cartoon

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Tower of Ridgeland

Well. Well. Ridgeland Mayor Gene McGee cast the deciding, tie-breaking vote in favor of the 13-story tower in Ridgeland, 200 Renaissance. When it is done, it will house the Butler Snow law firm, Horne CPA Group and Regions Bank -- and it will leave a big ol' empty Amsouth/Deposity Guaranty/Regions Building in downtown Jackson. Developer Buster Bailey said construction could start as soon as next week.

Life of the party

I got home tonight at 9:40 p.m. feeling a little grumpy and a whole lotta tired. My kids were asleep -- I missed out on seeing them tonight. Darn it. I had no time to unwind -- I was the guest of honor at a pity party for one.

But then I reread today's story about the 3,500 Mississippi National Guardsmen who have been alerted that they may go back to Iraq. And then I thought about the men and women spread out across the globe who would like to just have the chance to kiss their sleeping kids on the forehead tonight.

So much for the pity party. Think will go in, go to sleep and count my blessings like sheep.

Coloring inside the lines

Archie Manning had to be proud the first time his kids scored a touchdown. I came home to find that my 5-year-old had meticulously colored inside the lines (I can't even color inside of the lines). Amazing little fart. My heart is bursting with artistic pride.

Speech to the newly elected legislators.

I think I know how the Blues Brothers felt at Bob's Country Bunker -- standing in front of a bunch of freshmen legislators after an open bar made me feel about as naked as I could've felt while wearing clothes. I would have traded my kingdom for some chicken wire.

But hell, I survived. Made a joke about eating pork (legislators love pork) when there was all of the beef you could eat from the beef plant. Got a few groans on the beef plant cartoons. Showed some Billy McCoy and Amy Tuck cartoons. Showed Haley and John Arthur cartoons. I didn't hold anything back.

I was brave because I was nearer to the door than they were.

From all accounts, this incoming group of newly elected legislators is a pretty sharp bunch. Think of them as a good recruiting class. In a few years, hopefully a good team will emerge from their ranks.

Well, as a cartoonist, I hope not. But as a guy trying to raise kids in this state, I pray it does.

S.I. Athlete of the Year: Brett Favre

And you want to know the truth? It's well deserved.

Here's the link.

And thanks Raymond for giving me a head's up.

Afternoon report

I am not sure if I am lazy or if I am still zapped from the surgery, but I sure would like to go to a park somewhere and read a book today. It is great out there today. Am working on a cartoon for tomorrow that I will be able to use in my speech to the Legislature today. Can't wait for that.

25 to go

Only 25 more posts until I get to 4,000. That and $2.99 will get you a gallon of gas.

Car karaoke

"Seven Bridges Road" by The Eagles came on my iPod last night as I was driving home. CAR KARAOKE! I still don't have a voice left -- that one gets me every time.

Morning faux pas

I got the blog done. I got ready, got the boys ready, emptied the dishwasher -- heck, I even got the trash out. What I didn't do was get my card that gets me in the building.

It sure is cold outside today.

Still getting the Southern Miss hate calls

Got to love a cartoon that keeps on giving.

New feature

Coming soon, you will be able to click on the cartoon and get a much larger version pop up on the screen. That will make all of the little details show up better.

Mississippi Trivia

14. S. B. "Sam" Vick of Oakland, played for the New York Yankees and the Boston Red Sox. He was the only man ever to pinch hit for baseball great Babe Ruth.


Tuesday Free-For-All

What's up?

Question of the day

Are you going to the Liberty Bowl? VHDAWG, we already know your answer.

Morning Blog News Update: Tuesday Edition

Well, this may be the last Morning Blog News Update ever. I speak to the Legislature tonight -- I may not live to see the sun rise tomorrow. It's been nice knowing you. So if anything happens to me, I leave the blog to all of you in equal parts. Oh, and does anyone want to be my food taster? I hear they may be serving beef plant beef.

80 one day, cold as a marble in the freezer the next. Right now it is 29, but in just a few hours, it will be a sunny 63. A slight chance of rain pops into the forecast for the weekend.

Remembering Latasha Norman
This story is just a heartbreaker. Good kid, hooks up with a creep and ends up being abused. And then she pays with her life. Norman's pastor, the Rev. John Evans of Cathedral AME Zion Church in Jackson urged the crowd to forgive her killer (how hard to do) and delivered the most powerful message of all: He urged young women who are being abused to put an immediate stop to it. "That ain't love. That's slavery. Yes, it is. That's slavery. I thought we got out of that," he said. Well said. Well said.

Automatic Data Processing coming to Clinton
The old World Com building will be getting a tenant and our area could end up with 1,000 news jobs over the next five years. Automatic Data Processing on Monday said it bring a "solutions center" to the area on Jan. 1. ADP does business outsourcing services -- including payroll, human resources, tax and benefits programs.

Mississippi History: The Civilian Conservation Corps in Vicksburg
One of FDR's better ideas, the Civilian Conservation Corps mobilized an army of unemployed men to do valuable infrastructure work around the nation. Visit the Great Smoky National Park and most of the trails and roads were built or improved by the CCC. Here's a good story about the work these me did in the Vicksburg National Battlefield Park. There was some stuff I didn't know. (Not a huge shock). It's worth a read.

Clinton vs. Obama
Hillary is tearing into Obama, attacking his lack of experience and suggesting that he has too much ambition (not that she would know a thing about ambition -- and besides, what's wrong with ambition?). Anyway, with about a month to go, the fight really heats up.

Huckleberry Hound
That's who I think of when I hear Mike Huckabee's name. And I have been thinking of the blue dog a lot lately because the former large (now skinny) Governor from Arkansas is gaining serious traction, especially with the evangelical wing of the Republican party. His 15-minutes of fame have caused him to now poll up there with Hillary. From the story: The Rasmussen Reports daily Presidential Tracking Poll for Monday shows Giuliani with 20% support nationwide while Huckabee attracts 17%. Fred Thompson is at 14%, John McCain at 13% and Mitt Romney at 11%. Ron Paul attracts 7% of Likely Republican Primary voters nationwide and no other Republican candidate reaches 2%.

And you wonder why there are eating disorders...
Jennifer Love Hewitt is being attacked for being fat in the tabloids because photos taken of her at the beach. I am sure the dude writing the captions and taking the photos is a size freakin' zero himself. Idiots.

Want a Liberty Bowl ticket? Better hurry
I am surprised they aren't already sold out. Mississippi State received an allotment of 23,000 tickets from the Autozone Liberty Bowl; Mississippi State's ticket office processed telephone and Internet orders for 13,110 as of yesterday. Larry Templeton said State could get more if needed. Sounds like he may need to make that call.

Tuesday's cartoon

I've probably drawn a tornado cartoon before, but I could not think of a better analogy. Especially after that amazing use of a tornado on Desperate Housewives the other day. If the little donkeys in the trailer were on the that show, they'd be taping their windows...

Monday, December 3, 2007

Christmas Song of the day

Snoopy's Christmas by The Royal Guardsmen

Try whistling this

Went to the car dealership to get some warranty work done on the Ramseymobile. Our vehicle is honestly the best car I have ever own -- it is perfect for hauling the Ramsey brood around over vast distances. Boys are happy with the DVD , Mom likes that she can listen to the radio and Dad has heated seats to keep his famously bad back from hurting. But it does have one minor flaw that causes me serious mind-numbing headaches. A trim piece around the windshield keeps warping, making a noise that sounds like a teapot on the stove. Think it is no big deal? Try it for 2,000 miles. Turning up the radio only solves some of the problem. After a few hours of listening to the high-pitched shrill sound, I am ready to play golf using kittens.

It's been fixed twice. And it still rewarps. Like I said, it's not like the transmission falls out on the road, but it's annoying. And I have enough annoying in my life. I don't need more. I just want it to not whistle. I don't need a several thousand dollar teapot.

So I went in today and the dealer fixed it again, with a smile and no hassle. They made it good without a single question.

Being a Ramsey, I don't believe in buying new cars (nor do I lease my cars either) -- but I have to admit, these guys are doing a good job luring me back in with my car finally pushes up iron daisies.