Friday, November 30, 2007

Evel Knievel makes his final jump

Evel (I have his action figure in my parent's basement) Knievel has died at the age of 69. I hope it was an easier jump than the Snake River Canyon one.

Countertops are in

All we lack now is the tile backsplash. That's next on the agenda. But the counters looks great (I will post a picture as soon as I can find my photo cable).

I did a masterful job directing from the couch. Now, thankfully, my neighbor is going to reconnect my plumbing.

I have the best neighbors ever.

Friday Free-For-All

Since I am pretty much useless right now, keep everyone informed with what is going on in your life and beyond.

Morning Update

I am directing the installation of the new countertops from the couch. Afterwards, I plan on a nap and then will blog a lot today. I plan on an afternoon news update.

Thanks for your patience. I overextended myself yesterday and am feeling it this morning.

Friday's cartoon

Thursday, November 29, 2007

What's next?

Thanks for hanging with me today. I pushed myself too much -- but I went ahead and did a new cartoon for tomorrow because of the latest Dickie Scruggs news. I have a feeling that I can use anyone one of the five ideas I did today.

What the heck is going to happen tomorrow? Is Haley going to come out and say he is retiring to dance on Broadway?

Well, it's off to the couch. A couple of Aleve (no more prescription painkillers for me, thank you.) and a remote control and I will be happy as a clam.

Chess

Think of Mississippi Politics like a big ol' bloody game of Chess. There are the Business folks (Republicans) and the Trial Lawyers (Democrats) and they are playing to the death. Haley is King on one side and Dickie is king on the other. And his butt is currently in check. Will it be checkmate? I don't know -- unlike some, I am not ready to fry him. But if he did indeed do what he is accused of he should be punished for being stupid alone. Bribing a judge? It's a move an amateur would make -- or someone who's incredibly overconfident. Or is he completely innocent? We'll know for sure once the Mississippi trial of the Century kicks off: The power of the Government against the power of one of the richest lawyers ever. And like in Chess, every piece on the Trial Lawyer's side of the board will sacrifice itself to save the King.
Prayers go out to the friends and family of missing Jackson State student Latasha Norman.

Scott Adams on why he is cutting back on blogging

I thought was interesting. Scott Adams of Dilbert fame, does a very good blog -- but he is going to cut back on it because he say is is costing him money. Here's a quote from his post:

I hoped that people who loved the blog would spill over to people who read Dilbert, and make my flagship product stronger. Instead, I found that if I wrote nine highly popular posts, and one that a reader disagreed with, the reaction was inevitably “I can never read Dilbert again because of what you wrote in that one post.” Every blog post reduced my income, even if 90% of the readers loved it. And a startling number of readers couldn’t tell when I was serious or kidding, so most of the negative reactions were based on misperceptions.

Read all of it here.

Mississippi Trivia

67. Leontyne Price, of Laurel was the first African-American to achieve international stardom in the field of opera. Ms. Price was with the New York Metropolitan Opera and gave her last performance on January 3, 1985, in the role of Aida.

Source: visitmississippi.org

Thursday Free-for-All

What's up? I'm not for long.

Weather forecast

Sunny, fall-like, with a high of 62. If you wear a sweater, you will sweat like a 13-year-old at a school dance. Rain chances go up later in the week.

Question of the day

Do you think there is something to Dickie Scruggs' indictment or is he a target of a Republican Justice Department witch hunt?

Morning Update

This is going to be short. My head is foggier than London and I am swimming in a sea of discomfort. But I thought I'd update a few things.

1. I survived. Four of my five senses were assaulted and my dignity died on the table, but I survived.

2. Why anyone (Rush Limbaugh, Matthew Perry) would get addicted to pain pills is beyond me. I do not crave walking through life wanting to barf.

3. And yes, I see that Dickie has been indicted. If I can cut through the mental daze I am in, I will do a cartoon on it. I have already received excited e-mails from some of my Republican friends. I guess they should be excited. It will cut off their opposition's #1 source of cash. Is it a political witch hunt or is Dickie really an idiot? If he did indeed do what he is accused of, he's not very smart. I have some digging to do today. When I wake up. I'm headed to the couch.

Thursday's cartoon

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

I am pleased to announce...

No syndicated cartoons while I am recovering. In fact, I think I ended up drawing one too many.

Just thought you would like to know.

Time to take a three-second break

How many of you are finished with your Christmas shopping?

Your choice

I can blog lots and lots today, but you will get syndicated cartoons for the next four days. Or I can draw like my butt's on fire so I can get out of the office by 1:30 to go get chopped on and leave you some cartoons. It's up to you -- I am aiming toward cartoons. If you disagree, let me know.

I will be spending a couple of days recovering from the latest addition to my collection of scars.

Mi$$i$$ippi Trivia

100. Oliver Pollock was the largest individual financial contributor to the American War of Independence, and is buried near Pinckneyville. He is best known, however, as the man who invented the dollar ($) sign.

Source: visitmississippi.org

Wednesday free-for-all

Anything going on?

Question of the day

Was Houston Nutt the best choice for the Ole Miss job?

Morning Blog News Update: Who'd have thunk it edition

Good morning. Frank Melton has quit, Leslie McLemore has been named as interim Mayor. Haley Barbour has been picked as Vice Presidential Candidate for Rudy Giuliani, Phil Bryant will be temporary Governor until a special election can be held. Sylvester Croom has been named as the new Arkansas Coach. Jeff Bower is being interviewed to replace him. Dick Cheney will quit and be replaced by Senator Mitch McConnell. Rush Limbaugh is retiring to become a professional golfer. Reruns from his early shows will be played in his timeslot.

None of that is true -- but considering how weird the last week has been been, why not? Hell, at this point I will believe anything.

Weather
There is a 100% chance of a sunset tonight. Otherwise, sun and a spring-like high of 68.

Dancing with the Stars winner is:
Race car driver Helio Castroneves. Although former Spice Girl Melanie Brown was the more polished dancer (what the story said, heck if I would know), Castroneves won over the audience with his.... oh whatever. He won. The Supreme Court will review the voting. I'm sure Florida screwed it up somehow.

Expensive Nutt job
The price of Ole Miss' new head football coach? $7.4 million over four years. As Pete Boone says: "That may be heavy on some ends, but the price of poker has gone up. They're high, but reasonable numbers with the market as it is." Southeastern Conference coaches average around $2 mill. First-year Alabama coach Nick Saban makes $4 million per year - the highest in the country. No-longer Coach "O" made about $900,000 a year. Mississippi State coach Sylvester Croom makes about $975,000.

Scruggs Law Firm searched by the FBI
No, not for information in Scruggs' involvement in the Ole Miss coaching decisions. They were searching for a single document that "might be ancillary to something pertaining to Katrina litigation" but is not directly involved in any of those cases, according to Joey Langston who is representing the firm. From the story: Langston said that "the search warrant was issued from the northern Mississippi district of U.S. District Court and doesn't appear to be linked to criminal contempt allegations Scruggs and his firm already face in Alabama. Maybe it is about football.

ELECTION MAN! for SENATE
Yes, former Jackson Mayor Harvey Johnson, Jr. is considering running for Trent's seat. Hooray! Sorry, that's the cartoonist in me. Other wonderful names floating out there: Musgrove! Mike Moore! Mike Espy! I can already draw all of them! Hooray! And, please hold your excitement, Erik Fleming is thinking about running again. (crickets chirping)

CNN/YouTube GOP Presidential debate
Yes, the GOP candidates for President will be facing the snowman from YouTube. This should be interesting. Not. Tune in tonight on CNN. I may take a few painkillers and watch Rudy Giuliani's teeth grow and then slide off the screen like a Dali painting.

Wednesday's cartoon


The call from the Democratic HQ, "Save us Mikey, you're our only hope."

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Bam!

Emeril Live! has been cancelled. It will cease production on Dec. 11. The Food Network will continue producing Emeril's "The Essence of Emeril," and he'll "take part in "specials and other development opportunities in the future," Welch said," but the daily show will go away after ten years.

Pallbearers will pour Gatorade cooler over his casket

Dr. Robert Cade, who invented Gatorade, died Tuesday of kidney failure. He was 80.

Sports vs. Politics

I just ran into Kyle Veazey and Rick Cleveland -- seeing them in the office at the same time is like seeing Elvis doing shots with Big Foot. It's pretty darn rare. I was talking to them about the sports news and congratulating them for some massive blog hit numbers. Rick had this blog post on Monday, asking the question on what would get more hits: The coach firings or Trent Lott resignation? Wanna know the answer?

It's about five to one coaches.

A piece of tomorrow's cartoon

In light of the events of the past week...

This looks really bad. I found this on my desk when I was cleaning it off. It is from November 1, 2007. How things can change so very quickly in the world of big-time athletics.

You have to be kidding me

Lott rendevous denied by male escort. I can't make this crap up.

Translation

I want to spend time with my family. (origin: Corporate America, Big-Time Athletics). 1. "I am about to get my butt fired and had a choice between resigning or being publicly fired on national television with my kids watching who would cry and be scarred for life knowing their old man is a complete loser. Hari Kari was also an option." or 2. " I have a much better job lined up, but don't want you to know that that I am selling out my present job just for more fame, power, money or all of the above."

Editor's note: There are rare times when people actually realize their family actually is the most important thing in their lives. But this phase seldom is used in those moments.

Ole Miss expected to hire a Nutt

Houston Nutt, that is (and no Coach O jokes, I promise). They hired him faster than you can say, "Orgeron, you're fired."

Sometimes you feel like a Nutt. Sometimes you don't. The Rebs have Nutt. The Razorbacks don't.

Leaves

I just watched a dude blow all the leaves from the sidewalk into the street. He left and cars have blown them back onto the sidewalk.

A perfect analogy for my job.

McMillin chosen for U.S. Senate seat

Jackson -- In a surprise move this morning, Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour has appointed Hinds County Sheriff and Jackson Police Chief Malcolm McMillin to fill the seat of retiring Senator Trent Lott.

"Sure, he's a Democrat and sure, it will mess with the balance of the Senate-- but Mac's a can-do kind of guy. Anyone who can be Sheriff, Police Chief, head football coach for Ole Miss and Southern Miss at the same time can handle the workload of the U.S. Senate," Barbour said in the inpromtu press conference at Shoney's.

"I was initially amazed at McMillin's work ethic -- especially coaching two football teams," the Governor continued, "until I remembered that Southern Miss's games are never played on Saturday. They are usually on whenever there is an open slot on ESPN 4. Tuesday at 3 a.m., Sunday at 11:45 p.m. Gotta love Conference USA."

"Well Gosh darn," said former Congressman and presumed choice Chip Pickering replied when contacted by phone. "Oh fudge -- this isn't fair."

Religious leader Reverend Donald Wildmon has already called for an investigation." This is proof there is illegal cloning going on in South Korea. There is no way one human being can do all these jobs. Send money so we can fight to stop this Godlessness."

Lott himself chuckled when he heard the news. "He's no Strom Thurmond, but what do I care? It's time for me to do a little lobbyin', a little lawyerin' and a lot of moneymakin'. Hoddy Toddy."

Former Attorney General Mike Moore was unavailable for comment but a muffled scream was heard from his house when the news was slipped under his door.

Back at Shoneys, McMillin made a brief statement at the all-you-can-eat bar. "I'm flattered. Now, do you want that last sausage link?"

Updates when they are made available.

Mississippi Trivia

59. On May 11, 1887, a most unexpected object fell from the sky during a severe hail storm near Bovina. The unusual object proved to be a 6-inch by 8-inch gopher turtle completely encased in ice.

Source: visitmississippi.org

Question of the day

Who would you like to see replace the Trentster? (Sen. Lott)

Tuesday Free-For-All

Some many people were quitting or getting canned yesterday, I was almost afraid to raise my head.

What is going on?

Trent Lott cartoon gallery

In case you missed it.

Morning Blog News Update: Day after massacre edition

Unemployment in Mississippi has soared in Mississippi by three in the past few days. There's a real crisis out there folks. I am about ready to record a charity single to benefit these poor guys :

"We are the World...we are Mississippi.
We are the ones who'll make a better life for those whose jobs went missing.
There's a choice schools are making; to fire their own kind,
and Trent Lott is stepping down to make a better living."

... What? They get nice retirements/buyouts? What? They will end up getting new jobs that pay more than I will make in 20 years? Hang on, I need to call Quincy Jones and Michael Jackson and cancel the record session.

Weather
Clearing and 61.

Trent Lott
Who will succeed him? Mississippi has had only four Senators in nearly 3/4 of a century. This is a job opening that doesn't come open often. For the record, I am not running. I want to spend more time with my family.
Trent on the National scene: the Good, the bad and the ugly.
Trent Lott slideshow: 15 of my favorite cartoons.

Coach O and Bower
One I get, one I don't. Dissenting Southern Miss fans feel like the program was stuck. That someone needs to bring it to the next level. And that Bower was let go to unite a divided fan base. I heard the same things about Cutcliffe -- Ole Miss was taken to the next level, alright. Morale: Be careful what you wish for. Truth: I wish Bower well. And I hope Southern can attract someone who doesn't mind being fired for winning.
Houston Nutt is now at the top of the Ole Miss wish list. He was offered $2.4 to stay at Arkansas so Ole Miss would have to squeeze Dickie Scruggs pretty hard to get that kind of cash.

Foodserver set to close in Jackson
U.S. Foodservice is about to close North Star distribution after losing the contract with Sonic Drive-ins. 180 will be put out of work. No Coach-like buyouts or Senator-like retirements are coming their way.

You're getting nuthin' for Christmas...
The Jackson Council couldn't pass payroll because of a spat over giving raises to Frank's bodyguard promotions. City workers may not get checks. The vote was 3-3. Councilman Stokes didn't attend (once again). Maybe he shouldn't get a check either.

Redskins player shot and killed in his Miami home
Washington Redskins safety Sean Taylor is dead. From the story: Family friend Richard Sharpstein said Taylor's girlfriend told him the couple was awakened by loud noises, and Taylor grabbed a machete he keeps in the bedroom for protection. Someone then broke through the bedroom door and fired two shots, one missing and one hitting Taylor, Sharpstein said. Taylor's 1-year-old daughter, Jackie, was also in the house at the time, but neither she nor Taylor's girlfriend were injured.

Hulk slammed; wife Linda wants a divorce
Hulk Hogan might lose the costliest match of his life -- to his wife. Linda wants property. Lots of property. And alimony. And child support. I can't wait to watch the next season of their reality show, Hogan Knows Best. Apparently he didn't.



Tuesday's cartoon

Monday, November 26, 2007

Quiet Riot singer found dead

A moment of silence for the man who brought us "Cum on Feel the Noize."

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Kevin DuBrow, lead singer of the popular U.S. 1980s heavy metal band Quiet Riot, has been found dead from unknown causes at his home in Las Vegas, authorities said on Monday.

Read the rest here.


Come on, feel the noise
Girls rock your boys
We'll get wild, wild, wild,
wild, wild, wild

A piece of my teenage years has just died, too.

Trent Lott cartoon gallery

Here you go.

Bloggerman waves at the monkey in the zoo

Thank you for using all five fingers.

Trent Lott cartoons

I pulled 15 of my favorite Trent Lott cartoons from the past few years. It will be on the main site soon and I will put a link up when it does appear. Thank Harold Gater for making it so.

Eagles: Long Road Out of Eden

I was a big Eagles fan back in the day (I love being old enough to say crap like that). I particularly liked the band after Joe Walsh joined them -- Hotel California and Long Run are two of my all time favorite albums. But then they broke up -- only to come back together to rake in quarter of a billion bucks on their Hell Freezes Over tour (after a remark made about when they would get back together.)

But lo and behold, a trip to Walmart revealed they had a new album. Twenty songs for $11.88 -- talk about a price cut. Long Road Out of Eden.

So I bought it. It is another Hotel California or Long Run? No. But what it is is a collection of songs that have the trademark Eagles sound. While I'm not crazy about all of the songs (pick up the pace some, guys -- let Walsh cut loose), the CD is growing on me. Their voices sound great and their opening single "How Long" sounds like it would be home on their first collection of greatest hits (it's in fact an older song that they have played in concerts that was written by former member J.D. Souther). The album is doing quite well, btw. It has already hit #1 on the album charts.

Here's their website for you to find out more about the album.

Coaches are dropping like flies

Also Houston Nutt is fired at Arkansas (according to ESPN.com), along with Chan Galey of GA Tech.

Texas A&M hired former Packer Coach Mike Sherman.

Where I am thinking of going tomorrow


It's a couple of football players looking at new Ole Miss Coach Trent Lott. The text isn't final, but close.

Jobs Trent Lott won't be taking

Curator at the Strom Thurmond museum and restaurant.
President of the Hair Club for Men.
State Farm Agent
Southern Miss Football Coach
Backup Singer for former Singing Senator Larry Craig
Greeter at Wal Mart
Goat rancher with an electrified Goat fence
President of the George W. Bush fanclub.
Runner for his brother-in-law's law firm.
Police chief in Jackson

Bloggerman

I have a great photo of Bloggerman waving outside of my window, but I forgot my camera cable. I will post it when I can connect to the computer.

He was walking to his ride after being on official Bloggerman business.

Gut feeling

My guess is that Chip Pickering will be appointed to fill Trent's seat. Nothing to back it up, just a gut feeling (and listening to office gossip). Why do I think it?

1. He has been Trent's understudy (I've joked Trent is his second of "My two daddies.")
2. He quits with no real job lined up. Spending time with your family is wonderful -- I did it for a week in a minivan -- but bills have to be paid, too.
3. Barbour really can't appoint himself. If Trent had hung on a couple more years, I would have said that was the scenario.

That's conventional wisdom at this point. But the last week has proven that conventional wisdom doesn't mean squat. I would have never guessed McMillin would be Jackson Police Chief or that Jeff Bower would have been run off.

Boil water alert for Hattiesburg

There is a boil-water alert for Hattiesburg. Apparently there is something in the water that makes you make really stupid decisions -- like firing a winning football coach.

Weirdness continues

Southern Coach Jeff Bower has been fired. After 14 consecutive winning seasons...

Trent Lott's replacement just named

Sheriff McMillin. He will be Senator, Sheriff and Jackson Police Chief. Rumor is is that he will also be Ole Miss Football coach.

Developing.

This week's schedule

I will be out of the office on Thursday and Friday (I know you are thinking, "When does he work?") This time it's not for pleasure; it's for surgery. Thankfully, it is not cancer-related -- but it will involve enough discomfort that I won't feel like sitting at my desk. I plan on lying on my back for two days.

So I will be pushing it all week to leave enough cartoons behind. No more syndicated cartoons. I promise.

Trent Lott resigns; to become next Ole Miss Football coach

I am kidding about the second part. But Lott really has resigned. From the story:

No reason for Lott's resignation was given, but according to a congressional official, there is nothing amiss with Lott's health. The senator has "other opportunities" he plans to pursue, the official said, without elaborating.

To me, other opportunities has to mean he will be the next Ole Miss head football coach. He knows how to runs right and and already wears a helmet.

Question of the day

Who do you think Ole Miss will get as a head coach?

Cyber Monday Free-for-all

What's up? How's work today?

Mississippi Trivia

76. The DEVILS PUNCHBOWL, located near Natchez, is one of nature's freak occurrences. It is a gigantic, semi-circular pit, somewhat cone-shaped. Connected with this uncanny spot are countless stories of river pirates, runaway slaves, buried treasures, and other involvements with adventure and romance.

Source: visitmississippi.org

Morning Blog News Update: Cyber Monday edition

Good morning! I am officially back today, going into the office for the first time in 12 days. And for the record, I missed it. Sometimes it takes a few days off to make you realize how much you love your job. (Yes. I know I am crazy. )

Weather
After a good soaking yesterday, we will be starting to dry out today. Expect scattered mist until late afternoon with a high in the 50's. Next chance of rain comes later in the week.

State troopers busy, busy, busy
Over 12,000 tickets were issued over the Thanksgiving holiday by the Mississippi Highway Patrol. Thankfully, I did not get one.

Search for missing JSU student hits the Web, continues
The search for missing Jackson State University student Latasha Norman has turned to Facebook (if you don't know what Facebook is ). Over 1,200 people from around the country have joined the Facebook group, "Help Find Missing Jackson State University Student Latasha Norman."

Cyber Monday
I know what you will be doing today besides reading my blog -- you will be shopping! Today is CyberMonday, the start of the online Holiday shopping season (and when most people return to their work computers.) Because you know, the only time we have time to do anything is at work. From the story: Internet research firm comScore Inc. estimated online sales may exceed $700 million online on Monday. I will post my Christmas list if you are having trouble figuring out what to buy me. Just remember, I have been good this year.

Bush lends clout to Mideast Peace Talks
He still has any? From the story: WASHINGTON - President Bush will lend his clout Monday to help broker an elusive agreement between Israel and the Palestinians on the contours of long-stalled peace talks the two sides expect to relaunch this week at a high-stakes international conference.

Weekend Boxoffice
From Boxofficemojo.com: Enchanted #1, This Christmas #2 and Beowolf #3.

NFL Scores
I watched the Denver/Chicago game -- Chicago had an awesome comeback. Bears 34-31 in OT I was pulling for Philly, but I see they did not pull it out against New England. Pats won 31-28. Eli Manning had a cruddy day and the Giants got slayed by Vikings 41-17. And of course, the Saints won big 31-6 over Carolina. Click here for all the scores and stats.

Coach O and 8 still fired.
Pete Boone is getting assistance contacting candidates. My first thought was Dickie Scruggs was calling them. But Boone is getting a headhunter.

Croom: Bowl game will be fun
"This is one area I always differ with my former head coach in college (Bear Bryant)," Croom said. "The four bowl games I went to in college were miserable. We're going to make this one fun for our players." "We'll get all our work done here before we leave to go to a bowl game," Croom said. "Everything will be prepared and done. The bulk of the work will be done here and then when we get to the bowl game most of our practices will be like our Wednesday and Thursday practices." I hope they have a blast. They earned it.


Sunday, November 25, 2007

C-L card

I have spent most of the afternoon working on a Holiday card for The Clarion-Ledger. It's the one that will go out to our customers. I'm about to scan it now and color it electronically. That should take about 45 minutes to an hour and then I am free for the evening.

As soon as it is blessed, I will post the artwork here.

The cat who loved Christmas


Sam the Kitty loves the Christmas tree. He plopped his fat bottom down in front of it and has been sleeping peacefully there ever since.

The question is...

Will I remember how to draw a cartoon tomorrow?

Am still trying to digest this...

Malcolm McMillan is both Sheriff and Police Chief.

C'mon, someone jump out and yell April Fool's. I'm waiting. Anyone? Hello?

Just as long as Doug Anderson isn't both head of the Hinds Supervisors and Mayor of Jackson.

Congrats Saints

I only watched part of it because I was putting up Christmas decorations, but the score says it all 31-6. Each time I would walk into the room, the score would grow more and more lopsided. That moves the Saints ahead of Carolina in to second place in their division.

The only problem with eating Thanksgiving dinner 400 miles away...

The only problem with eating Thanksgiving dinner 400 miles away is that the leftovers are 400 miles away, too.

Turkey lunchmeat ain't cutting it.

Weekend free-for-all

Anything you'd like to say before we head back to work?

Mississippi Trivia

69. The University of Southern Mississippi, in Hattiesburg, houses the de Grummond Exhibit, which is the World's largest collection of original manuscripts and illustrations of children's literature.

Source: visitmississippi.org

Question of the day

Should Coach O have been fired?

Morning Blogs News Update: Sunday edition

Good morning. California is on fire again and Mississippi is all over the emotional map. State fans are bouncing off the ceiling and Ole Miss fans are sifting through the rubble of their season (and program). Coach O will be a lot of money not to coach this Christmas. Ole Miss fans will be getting coal. And Coach Croom is finally feeling a little relief from the boo-birds who wanted his scalp. Southern Miss is going to yet another bowl (congrats) and Frank is on the verge of naming Sheriff McMillan the Ole Miss Coach. And I am about to put up Christmas decorations. No comment on how excited I am about making trips into the attic. At least I am happier than Kentucky today.

Weather
Today will be a gray. Damp. And cool. Expect about a 90% of rain today with a high in the lower 60s. At least the deer will be running. Maybe I can get a trophy with my car.

Putting some bite into animal laws
Allen Kelly, who lives near Byram, has become a vocal advocate for strengthening laws on vicious animals. He has a good reason; he was a human chew toy for a couple of pit bulls. "Older people and younger people are very vulnerable to those vicious dogs," he said. He's gotten Hinds County to tighten their laws now he is taking his fight to the Legislature. I was attacked by a Boxer once -- I hope he succeeds.

Strong start to Christmas shopping season
Even though there are economic clouds on the horizon, consumers came out of the gate strong on Black Friday. From the story: According to ShopperTrak RCT Corp., which tracks sales at more than 50,000 retail outlets, total sales rose 8.3 percent to about $10.3 billion on Friday, the day after Thanksgiving, compared with $9.5 billion on the same day a year ago. This is in spite of the on-going credit crunch and higher energy costs.

Movie we might see this weekend
Enchanted: It's the story of a Disney princess thrust into the real world. It has been getting good reviews and looks like a nice, light break to putting up Christmas decorations.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Holy cow

Tennessee is going to the SEC championship. Mrs. R., a Georgia grad is none to pleased.

I am trying to get my heart out of my throat. What an exciting ending. This UT team has fought back over and over to get to this point.

Wow.

Places that should not have free WI-FI

Airport bathrooms
Honeymoon suites
Church
Movie theater
Funeral parlor

Coach O and 8 fired

Coach O may have decided not to punt, but Ole Miss just did. After going 0 and 8 in the SEC this year and blowing a 14-point lead in the Egg Bowl, Ole Miss has just fired Coach Ed Orgeron.

Send resumes to Pete Boone if you are interested in the job.

Morning Blog News Update: Lite edition

I've forgotten how to do this, so I am going to do a Morning Blog News light to get me back into the swing of things.

A drought buster?
There's a wad of rain (that really doesn't sound good, does it) heading up from Texas. We can use it. Expect rain and cool weather with highs in the 40s.

Egg Bowl
Props to State for an amazing come-from-behind victory. I don't really have a dog in this hunt (no pun intended) but Coach O for 8's mid-field 4th down gamble when Ole Miss was up by two touchdowns was the dumbest call I can recall ever seeing. I haven't heard it yet, but I know someone will blame David Cutcliffe for the call. Rick Cleveland is right -- it is Christmas come early for State fans -- and especially for Sylvester Croom. He's living proof that if you want to be loved, win. And note to you Bowl reps out there, you can't go wrong picking Mississippi State. The fans are so engergized that they will not only show up at your bowl, they would walk on their hands to get there.

Bush loses major ally in Australia
Australian Prime Minister John Howard has lost in a humiliating defeat to Labor leader Kevin Rudd. Rudd has promised to immediately sign the Kyoto treaty and withdraw Australia's 550 combat troops from Iraq. Howard was Australia's second-longest serving leader.

The SEC is whacked, #1 LSU gets whacked.
Arkansas beat LSU yesterday in a barn-burner, triple overtime 50-48 win and thus completely screwed up the National Championship picture.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Atlanta's water mess

I got to see the drought first hand this week. Lake Allatoona, a lake the I spend a good chunk of my childhood swimming in, is nearly dried up. The city of Atlanta is on severe water rationing -- the area is nearly 20 inches behind on their rainfall. Even the Atlanta Journal-Constitution has the lake levels as a regular feature on the front page of the daily paper. I almost felt guilty flushing the toilet. Almost.

It rained hard at my parent's house on Thanksgiving morning. I know most of the area was thankful for that rain. And they are hoping Santa brings them a couple more feet of it. Coal won't cut it this year -- The city will be out of business.

Into the cave

I joke that when I go on vacation, I go into the cave. This time, I literally did. The whole family went 600 feet under the ground. Did I ever mention I am claustrophobic?

Thank you

Thanks for keeping the blog going.

Thanksgiving

I am so blessed. I had both parents, my sisters and their families and my family together on Thanksgiving. And we got to be with my wife's family, too.

This was a special Thanksgiving. As I get older, I realize how lucky I am to have so many of my loved ones healthy and happy.

Gas

The most I paid for gas this week was $3.09 a gallon for regular. That was in Cartersville, Georgia. The least was $2.83 at the Sam'/Walmart in Tupelo. Membership has its privileges. Atlanta was the highest region. I saw one station in downtown Atlanta charging $3.19. We are lower than Alabama and Georgia by a few pennies-- just looking at the prices as I passed the pumps.

Long food

Between speeches and my "vacation" (three kids in tow isn't really a vacation, is it?), I have driven over 2,000 miles in the last couple of weeks. And I have eaten my fair share of fast food. Let me make it known right now, I am sick of fast food. ANd I am not alone.

When we announced that we were having fast food tonight, I heard my middle son (Hot Laser Guy) say, "I don't want fast food, I want long food." At first, Mrs. R and I didn't know what he was talking about. And then it hit us. Long food is food that you have to sit down at a table to eat.

And you know, I'm with him. I want some long food, too.

From the hills to the Dome

The Georgia Dome, that it is. My brother-in-law, Adam, very graciously took my other brother-in-law Jeff (both are my sisters' husbands), my Dad and me to the Thursday night's Atlanta Falcons/Indy Colts game. I grew up liking the Falcons and I am a Peyton Manning fan, so it was a great night to go watch football. I sat in the excellent seats (second row, upper deck on the 45) and let my turkey slowly digest. That was my first pro game since I was a kid (and my first game in the Georgia Dome). It was fun to watch what I wanted to watch, not what some director in a booth picked out for me.

Head for the hills






I love the mountains. Ozarks, Smokies, Appalachians, Rockies, you name it -- if there are hills, I am happy. That's why we decided to spend a few days hiking this week. I needed to literally head for the hills. Here are a few of the pictures I took while my sons and I were on an "adventure." We "discovered" a graveyard, an old homesite, a century-old barn and a 80-year-old outhouse. You will never guess what their favorite was.

And one of these photos will be my next painting.

Home

The engine is still warm, the kids are eating their umpteenth fast food meal and I still have a van-load of stuff to unload. But I just wanted to say, I am back.

I haven't read your comments yet, but will as soon as I get things unloaded. And apparently I have a lot of catching up to do. I had lunch with my family in a Buckhead (north Atlanta) sportsbar and watched the first half of the Egg Bowl. Ole Miss was up 7-0. I just learned that State pulled it out. I thought I heard Cowbells while I was driving through Alabama --I could hear them starting west of Birmingham. And I just read that the Sheriff was named Police Chief. OK, Frank tries to get his guy elected Sheriff and then appoints Mac as police chief.

I am confused.

That's what I get for taking the week off.

And about that, I didn't touch a computer for a week. I had intended to carry a laptop with me and keep the blog going, but I couldn't get one from the paper. Thank you for keeping it going.

The time off did me some good.

Now to unload the van.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Save the blog

OK. Here is the place to keep this thing going while I am trying to recharge my brain. I will jump in when and if I can. Have a good T-day. I'm very thankful for all of you.

BREAKING NEWS

Barry Bonds may have another record next to his name -- a criminal record.

From the San Jose Mercury News article:

SAN FRANCISCO—Barry Bonds was indicted Thursday for perjury and obstruction of justice, charged with lying when he told a federal grand jury that he did not knowingly use performance-enhancing drugs.

The indictment unsealed Thursday against baseball's home-run king culminated a four-year investigation into steroid use by elite athletes. Read the rest here.

Monday's cartoon

Sunday's cartoon

A week off

I have five vacation days left this year and I plan on taking four of them next week. That means the blog will slow down to a trickle for a few days. If there ever was a time I needed a vacation, this is it. I will pop in from time to time, but will leave you a place to keep the conversation going.

I apologize for it going dark, but I need to recharge. My low-fuel light is on and I think it is safe to say I need to take little time to love on my family.

The good news is that this is the last time this year that the blog will go quiet. And one other thing, you will be stuck with seven days of syndicated cartoons. I meant to leave more behind, but I have been on the road too much to draw 14 cartoons this week.

Have a good Thanksgiving. I will talk to you between now and then.

Friday's cartoon

Weir's most famous person ever

Remember the post about Weir, Mississippi and how Penthouse ran the article about all of the famous athletes that came out of their town ( “Weir, Mississippi — How did this town produce six NFL players and a baseball All-Star?”)

Well, the article left out the most famous citizen of all:

Andy.

Yes, our own Andy is from Weir.

You read it here first.

Speech

Just got back from my speech -- I got good reviews and other than a couple of moments when my voice cracked, I made it through with a voice. There were hundreds of people -- but thankfully I had a good microphone. I might have enough voice to pull off tomorrow morning's speech.

Now to draw. I wish I could lie down in a corner and go to sleep.

Saturday's cartoon

Police Union protest

Apparently the Police Union was out front of the Police Department protesting with signs that said, "Stop the Abuse of Power." My guess is that they were talking about the Mayor. Went down with my camera to get a shot and they had gone.

Probably had all been fired.

Tonsils

Clucky's daughter's tonsillectomy brought back memories of mine. Except I was 19-years-old when I had mine out. And I was put in, no lie, the pediatric wing of my local hospital. I suffered every nurse making witty comments like, "you're too big to burp," or " Time for a diaper change." Ha. Ha. @#$@# Ha.

1986-87 -- it was the year of strep throat for me. One infection after an other had nearly crippled my first semester in college. The only good thing about it was that I got out of French orals (I sucked at French). But otherwise, it was one fever after another. I would go to the health clinic, they would pump me full of antibiotics, gave me a handful of condoms (I really don't know why they did that) and then they would send me on my merry way.

Finally I had had enough. The tonsils had to come out. I couldn't take another day of my throat looking like ground beef.

I remember it hurt like hell, too. I think it is easier for kids than it is for adults -- they seem to bounce back quicker than I did. I do remember that I craved potato chips for a week -- and I normally don't eat potato chips. I just lusted for the forbidden fruit. Or chips in this case.

The operation itself was fairly uneventful. As I was going into the operating room, my cart was next to my Mom's boss' cart. She was going in for a hysterectomy. I prayed they didn't get our charts mixed-up. And as I was about to get put under, the doctors were telling the stupidest jokes I had ever heard. I was praying for anesthesia. And then, nothing.

As I was slowing waking up in recovery, the guy next to me was having a hard time waking up. The nurses were on top of him, shaking him and, screaming into his ear, "DAVID! DAVID, WAKE UP! WAKE UP DAVID!" I popped up and said, "I'm OK! Right here, ready for duty. Just don't beat me like that poor guy." Then I noticed that my throat had felt like Dan Jensen had speed skated on it. Ouch.

Within a week, I was back to normal. I even ate a bag of potato chips. So today, I will eat a bag of Lays in honor of Clucky's daughter's speedy recovery. And look forward to hearing when she can have some, too.

Question of the day

Do you agree with Mayor Frank Melton's decision to reassign the Police Chief?

Thursday Free-For-All

What is happening, MRBA?

Mississippi Trivia

72. Windsor, circa 1860, near Port Gibson, was the largest antebellum mansion ever built in Mississippi. Because of its immense size, this stately home was often incorrectly referred to as a college by Samuel Clemens, better known as Mark Twain, as he piloted riverboats up and down the Mississippi River. The mansion's cupola served as a lookout post for both Union and Confederate patrols, and the mansion was used as a Union hospital. Windsor survived the destruction of the Civil War, only to burn in 1890, at the hands of a careless smoker.

My note: Windsor is one of my favorite spots in the state.

Source: Visitmississippi.org

Morning Blog News Update: Thursday Edition

It is Thursday, right? Anyway, I have one speech and three cartoons to draw today. The speech is to a Baptist Hospital leadership retreat -- I think I still owe them money, so I am working some of that debt off. I then have a speech tomorrow in Tupelo at 8:15 in the morning. It's speech talking about cancer, survivorship and how I have used humor to keep from being scared to death. Speaking of scared to death, here is the morning blog news update.

Weather
Global warming has taken a few days off. A cold front blew through last night (and hopefully blew some of the leaves I haven't had a chance to get to down the street) and now, we are getting closer to seasonal temps. Today will be windy and cool, with a high of 59 (compare that to the 80's yesterday). Winds will blow at around 20 mph.

If you removed a chief that made no sound, would she be removed?
Well, well. Frank gave Chief Shirlene Anderson the ax, reassigning her to "special duties" and has appointed a hostage negotiator, Lt. Gerald Jones. (I turned down the job). Dale Danks said Frank was "man enough to make the call." If she takes the new job, her duties will be to "coordinate emergency services, including police, fire and disaster response. She also would oversee interagency communications with local, county, state and federal law enforcement." No word whether she will drive kids in patrol cars to Frank's BBQ's. But the reason for the pre-Thankgiving massacre seems to be over the bodyguard promotions. From the story: Tension existed between the two because Anderson did not sign promotion forms for Assistant Chief Michael Recio and several other officers Melton bumped up without Anderson's input. The officers have not received raises. Now the questions are whether the Chief will take the new job and of course, how the city will pay for having another leadership position. The story even had a quote from Electionman himself, former Mayor Harvey Johnson. He is rested and ready.

Trial of the Century: Part II
Judge orders O.J. to stand trial for his memorabilia rescue mission gone bad. A recovered Nancy Grace will have something to cheer about now. "If I have any disappointment it's that I wish a jury was here," Simpson told The Associated Press before he left the courtroom. "As always, I rely on the jury system." Why yes, Juice, you sure do.

It's a cartoon world after all
The Spongebob TV movie sucked up 9 million viewers. I will end up seeing 9 million times. And Ratatouille, a great movie, was the top DVD in sales and was #3 in rentals. We already own it.

Long-time legislator challenges election results
John Reeves (Jackson) is challenging the results that left him 221 votes behind his Hinds County District 71 race challenger, Adrienne Wooten. At question are precincts with split districts -- thus two different ballots. Wooten came out with 1,524 votes to Reeves' 1,303 in the Nov. 6 general election.

No ho, ho, ho: It's offensive to women
Merry PC Christmas: Santas in Sydney, Australia are being warned not to used Santa's tradition greeting because it may be offensive to women. Sydney's Santa Clauses have instead been instructed to say "ha ha ha" instead, the Daily Telegraph reported.

Thursday's cartoon

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Kinda hard to send a copy to Grandma

OK, this is choice. Writer Merrell Noden, a freelancer from New York, writes a story, tells the town it will be in Sports Illustrated, but SI doesn't want it so he sells it to Penthouse -- a magazine not normally read at the Wednesday Night Church Supper and Social hour. The town pitches a fit and the fit hits the fan. From the story: Tempers rose among residents this week as the Choctaw County School Board addressed a December issue of Penthouse magazine. The issue includes an article titled “Weir, Mississippi — How did this town produce six NFL players and a baseball All-Star?”

You can hear the conversation now: "Aw heck, Edith, I just read it for the article."

Bowling party

Son #1 had a bowling party tonight. It was his baseball team's end-of-the-year party and to be honest, I wasn't so sure about the idea. But man, it was fun. Kids and parents seemed to have a good time. It was a good, relaxing end to the fall season.

We had a pretty good season, no real moments jumped out at me, but the kids all got along and had a pretty good time. I know some parents are pretty intense about sports at this age, but I kind of take the attitude that I want my kids to learn the fundamentals. And I want them to have fun. Come to think of it, if you take the FUN out of that world, you have damentals, which sounds a lot like demented. But I digress.

My kid was lucky to have great coaches this year. They didn't forget that the kids were seven and eight. And they cared for the boys.

That meant a hell of a lot to me.

My son is proud of his trophy. But I know he got a lot more out of the experience than a shiny piece of plastic and steel. And I have the coaches to thank for that.

What the heck is that wet stuff hitting the ground?

Is it rain? Nah. It couldn't be.

Matt Damon -- People's 2007 Sexiest Man

Yup, the Bourne star topped the list. He was really second -- I turned them down after they said I would have to get a chin.

Cartooning on the fly

Frank apparently has shuffled the deck over at the Police Department. The Chief, who was never really the Chief, will no longer be the Chief -- even though she never really was.

So basically, I redid my cartoon at 5:30. I am scanning it now and it turned out well. Cartooning on a hyper-deadline is the most fun of all. Coming up with an idea and drawing it that fast is a sick thrill.

Andy on the case

I'm not the only whose blog is having trouble today. Apparently a couple of the others are having problems when you try to comment on them. Andy, Dr. Pepper-drinking blog expert, is looking into the problem. I am just trying to draw a cartoon.

Sid's tree

CAr wreck?

Have you noticed the John Arthur Eaves' billboard have been changed from "for Governor" to "Car wreck?"

Excellent.

Hot Laser Guy -- five years of saving the World

Hot Laser Guy, my second son, recently passed the five-year milestone. So I will toss out a happy birthday to my little super hero that has saved me from many frowns.

Popping up like zits on a 13-year-old chocoholic

A few years ago, I illustrated a book for Robert. St. John. I made the run from Jackson to Hattiesburg pretty frequently -- so frequently that I can tell you exactly when I am going to get some place in Hattiesburg when I leave the office. For example, last night I needed to be at dinner at 5. I made it there at 4:59. But what used to once be a straight shot down 49, is now getting clogged with new traffic signals. In the last couple of years, new traffic signals have popped up in:

Star.
At the Hwy. 35/49 intersection.
Collins.
Seminary.

What's next? Piney Woods? Mendenhall? The turn off to Sumrall?

No doubt they were all needed. I would hate to turn onto 49. But last night, at around 9 p.m., when there was no traffic, I found myself sitting at the Highway 35 intersection looking at a red light. The only thing I could figure is that a opossum must have tripped it. Me and the mosquitos sat and watched as it cycled back to green. I just sat there and wondered if 49 will end up being like Richland all the way to the Coast.

Oh the horror.

Cochran to run again

Senator Thad Cochran will run again for a sixth six-year term.

That sound you hear is Mike Moore screaming.

Song and Dance

I can't sing. Mrs R can't either. We hear each other singing in church and laugh. I can't dance -- rhythm is missing from my DNA. A fish flopping on the dock has more grace than I do. So it brought incredible joy today to watch my son sing and do his choreographed moves during his school performance this morning. I hope our genes cancelled each other out -- because seeing the joy on my kid's face today was pretty darn cool.

Mississippi Trivia

5. William Faulkner, one of the literary giants of the twentieth century, was born in New Albany. His accomplishments include winning the Nobel Prize for Literature, two Pulitzer Prizes and the National Book Award. He is considered to be the greatest writer of fiction during the first half of the 20th century. His novels include The Reivers, The Sound and The Fury, Light In August, and Absalom, Absalom. His home, Rowan Oak, in Oxford, is open to the public. At Rowan Oak, visitors may view Faulkner's room where an outline for A Fable has been scribbled on the wall by the author's own hand.

From visitmississippi.org

Morning Blog News Update: Wednesday Edition

I woke up at 5:40 -- so I slept late today. Thus, the morning blog news update is late, too. I'm going to my son's school performance this morning. I missed his other one because of a speech, so this is a make-up for me. I'll head over there in an hour.

Weather
Today's high will be 81 balmy degrees. There's also a 40% chance of rain. Rain. You know, the wet stuff that falls out of the sky. And there is a 70% of it, too -- even with some lightning and thunder. I know, I don't remember what that is, either.

State Budget funding tight
No real surprise here. Katrina money is drying up, the national economy is predicted to tank and expenses are rising. The Joint Legislative Budget Committee adopted a state revenue estimate of nearly $5.1 billion which is only 2.9 percent more than the current year's estimate. That will make it tough to hand out raises and fully fund everything. Education will probably do OK -- but this isn't an election year. So all bets are off. "To live within this budget is going to mean some real belt-tightening, which I think is going to come as a surprise to a lot of people," Barbour told committee members. "Unfortunately, today, the numbers are a lot lower than what people were hoping for." Hang on, this session will get bumpy.

Pump it up
Despite environmental and fiscal concerns, the Army Corps of Engineers is pushing forward the building of the $220 million Yazoo Backwater Project pump. This pump has been on the drawing board for over 60 years and is designed to reduce flooding of wetlands and other land in the south Delta area -- this is in an area that floods when the gates are closed to prevent the Mississippi River from flooding the Delta.

Report: Blackwater killings were unjustified
From backwater to Blackwater. From the story: The New York Times cited unidentified civilian and military officials in reporting for Wednesday's editions that the killings of at least 14 of the 17 Iraqi civilians shot by Blackwater personnel guarding a U.S. Embassy convoy were found to have been unjustified and violated standards in place governing the use of deadly force.

Robbery suspect eaten by an alligator
In Miami, a robbery suspect jumped into a pond and was eaten by a large alligator.

Question of the day

What's your favorite city in Mississippi?

Wednesday free-for-all

What is going on?

Am running a little late today

Pulled in kind of late last night. All of the blog stuff will show up throughout the morning. Promise.

Wednesday's cartoon

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Home at 9:54

Just pulled in from Hattiesburg. I want to thank USM for having me down, I hope I wasn't too bad and I feel like I have been beat with a baseball bat.

Cool theater that I spoke in, though.

Whirled tour

The Ramsey whirled tour continues. Now it is off to the Hub City.

Richland, you and all of your traffic lights, here I come.

Back from Clinton

Wow, what a crowd! There were many more people there than I expected. I hope I did a good job -- I feel like I could lie down and take a nap right now. And my voice has gotten croaky again -- I am going to have to do some tricks to get it ready for tonight's Hattiesburg speech.

Now to eat my lunch and draw another cartoon. And then it on the road by 3:30.

Awesome Earthrise photo

A Japanese Moon probe took this unbelievable HDTV photo of the Earth rising over the Moon.

SAnta's back in town

Northpark Mall's very own Santa Claus is back in town. How do I know? He dropped me off a present (I must have been good this year). He's already hard at work, listening to wishes of good little boys and girls (and one bad cartoonist).

I got to know Santa. He's a great guy and I am glad he's back in town.

A couple more Mistletoe pics

Christy Bridges e-mailed me these -- the first photo is of Christy and me in the booth. A cartoonist in a tie -- you don't see that often. (I had a speech in Magnolia that night)






The second photo is of Tom Hughes. If you come to The Clarion-Ledger, you've met Tom. He's pound for pound one of the nicest people I have ever met (and Christy is right up there with him). It was fun working the booth with them.

Day so far

Blogged.
Fed kid.
Got ready.
Made to-do list.
Blogged again.
Took kid to school.
Drove to work.
Loaded four boxes of books from mailroom across the street into car.
Made eight new transparancies for noon and six p.m. speeches.
Got change for books.

Now to come up with two ideas.

Things I could live without but don't want to

In random order

Heated seats
Remote control
An Ice Maker
My iPod
Steering wheel controls for the radio and cruise control
Direct deposit
A kneaded eraser
Air Conditioning
The History Channel
My blog

Tuesday Free-For-All

What is happening?

Question of the day

Do you think that the Legistlature should give money to the City of Jackson to support services the city provides for state property?

Mississippi Trivia

1. The event which led to the creation of the Teddy Bear occurred near Onward, in 1902, when President Theodore Roosevelt, acting upon the suggestion of some friends, visited the state on a hunt for wild game. A bear was located by a member of the hunting party for the President. The bear was exhausted and possibly lame, some claim it was a mere cub. In any case, Roosevelt refused to shoot the helpless bear because he found it unsporting. News of the President's refusal to shoot the bear spread far and wide. Soon after, Morris Michtom, a New York merchant, made toy history when he created a stuffed toy bear and labeled it "Teddy's Bear. " Mr. Michtom placed the bear in the window of his candy store to draw attention. His success was so great that it led to the formation of the Ideal Toy Corporation in 1903. The Teddy Bear continues to be a favorite toy of children everywhere.

From visitmississippi.org

Morning Blog News Update: Tuesday Edition

The daily Ramsey schedule? Two speeches today -- one at the Clinton library at noon and one in Hattiesburg at 6:30. I will be a busy boy.

Weather
A 10% chance of rain with a balmy (it is November) high of 80. It's like it has forgotten how to rain -- it pathetically spit rain on my windshield last night. We need a weather pattern change.

Jackson: Alms for the poor
Since every other building in Jackson is either a state building or a church which can't be taxed, Jackson city leaders are trying to get part of the budget shortfall from the Legislature. There is an estimated $14 million revenue losses from having a large amount of untaxed property. Good luck. It's not exactly the most pro-Jackson group on the planet.

Unsurging
The U.S. is pulling back on the 30,000 troop surge -- which has had a positive affect on violence in Iraq. Now the test will be to see if the lower levels of killing can hold.

Prayers for rain
Gripped in a historic drought, Georgia is asking for a little help from above. Governor Sonny Perdue, lawmakers and ministers will stand on the steps of the state Capitol today and pray for rain.

Suspended sentence
Rob the bank, you get thrown under the jail. Rob the taxpayer and you get a one-year suspended sentence. Politics seems to be a safer place for those with illegal intentions. From the story: NATCHEZ — Former Adams County Circuit Clerk Binkey Vines was sentenced by Circuit Judge Joe Webster on Monday to one year in jail, and it was suspended. Vines was indicted on 13 counts of embezzlement on Sept. 26, 2006. On May 4, Vines pleaded guilty to three counts.

Bloggers go on strike to support writer's strike
From the story: Seventeen entertainment blogs—among them Televisionary, Give Me My Remote and The TVAddict—will go dark Tuesday, replacing their sites with WGA solidarity statements. Considering I no longer have time to watch @#$#@ television, this blog will continue going as is. I want to celebrate bad writing by performing it right here every day.


Tuesday's cartoon


One of two things things is happening here:

A: I wanted a "Pleasantville" effect, where the State Fan was the only person in color in a black and white world, symbolizing joy in a gray World. Or

B: I didn't have time to color the whole thing.

The truth lies somewhere in between.

Monday, November 12, 2007

It's time to get mad

Gas is going up again and we will sit there and take it. And take it and take it. When I bought my car in 1999, it cost $1.27 for premium. It is projected to go to $3.22 for regular in two weeks. That's about $35 more a tank every time I fill up. That's money I could use for food, clothing, rent, power -- anything else. Instead it is going into my tank.

A friend of mine bought a Honda Civic Hybrid. He said he was buying it to stick it to the man. I kind of smiled when he said it, but I am starting to think he was right. The man is sticking it to us -- maybe it's time to give him a dose of his own medicine. I'm going to start by looking for ways to make my car more efficient-- I'm checking the air pressure, putting in a clean air filter, getting a tune-up, watching how I drive (smooth starts and lower speeds on the way to work) and combining trips. And my next car will get better mileage than the one I have now (it gets 24 mpg the way I drive). I'd love a big, roomy monster that gets 12 mpg. Heck, I need the space with my ever-growing brood -- but it's time to wake up and face facts. The comet is about to wipe out the dinosaurs. The era of cheap gas is over.

Hang on, it's about to get rough

According to the government, gas will jump 20¢ in the next two to three weeks.

Over the river and through the woods to Grandma's house is about to cost you through the nose.

Just got home

One cartoon, one event and one meeting. I just got home. Fifteen hours after leaving the house this morning.

No wonder Mrs. R stays ticked at me.

Mistletoe photos

The infamous "Hug me" sign. I finally had to tuck it away because people tried to take me up on it.




















The Mistletoe Katrina cottage. I was right near it for hours per day saying, "Would you like a book?"

A Maroon Christmas

The leaves may turn orange in the fall, but the people are turning maroon.

Sid Salter has a Mississippi State Christmas tree on his desk. Andy is wearing maroon. I swear I can hear cowbells if I listen. A breeze is floating in from Starkville -- Sylvester Croom is breathing a massive sigh of relief. The bandwagon is full, people are coming out from their caves -- there is a morning after.

Congrats State Fans. You've suffered long and hard. I am pulling for a great bowl for you.

Mississippi Trivia

16. The world's first human lung transplant was performed at the University of Mississippi Medical Center in Jackson, in 1963. The world's first heart transplant was performed at the Center the following year.

Souce, Visitmississippi.org

Question of the day

Do you get Veteran's Day off?

Monday Free-For-All

What's going on?

Morning Blog News Update: Monday Edition

Good morning. The week before Thanksgiving week -- and it will be one of my busiest weeks ever. Today's schedule? Two cartoons, a Christmas card for the office, a T-shirt for charity, an event at 3 and a meeting at 5. Tomorrow is a cartoon, a speech in Clinton and a speech in Hattiesburg. And it continues like that for the rest of the week. But being busy beats the alternative.

Weather
A balmy high (for November) of 74 and expect a slight chance of rain (20%). Rain chances go up mid-week, capping at 50% on Wednesday night.

Veteran's Day holiday
The mail won't run. Banks will be closed. Government offices will be closed. Kiddies are still in school and the rest of us will be at work. The only thing we will get is less traffic on the way to the office.

Troops families worry during deployment
Sure, this has been going on for over 200 years, so it's not earth-shattering news, but I think it is important to remember what our friends and neighbors are going through. I've know so many Mom's (and Dad's) that have held down the fort at home these last few years -- most without any outward sign of complaint.

Worst recession since the 1930's?
Jim Melcher runs Balestra Capital Partners and is considered a Wall Street superstar. And he's saying says he's "worried about a recession. Not a normal one, but a very bad one. The worst since the 1930s. I expect we'll see clear signs of it in six months with a dramatic slowdown in the gross domestic product." Oh crap. This week will by bumpy because of continued fallout from the subprime mess. Asian markets are already down.

"Time to redefine privacy"
From the story: Privacy no longer can mean anonymity, says Donald Kerr, the principal deputy director of national intelligence. Instead, it should mean that government and businesses properly safeguard people's private communications and financial information. Can you hear me now? Yes.

Entertainment Weekly's last interview with Norman Mailer
Author Norman Mailer died November 10 at the age of 84. Here's his last interview with Entertainment Weekly magazine.

Saints roundup
If you really want to read about yesterday's loss to the hapless Rams, here you go.

The 60,000-yard man
Brett Farve passed another milestone in his roaring season. The Packers, now 8-1, routed the Minnesota Vikings 34-0. Favre was 33-of-46 for 351 yards and three touchdowns before he was relieved by his backup. Favre is also 1,105 yards from passing DAn Marino's all-time record.

Monday's cartoon

This is the last of the Mistletoe Marketplace cartoons. The last four cartoons were drawn at a booth while talking to people as they walked past. Was it the most creative environment ever? No -- but it shows that I can draw a cartoon in both the middle of a hurricane (Katrina) and a stampede (Mistletoe).

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Nap

This time change is messing with me. I took a three-hour nap this afternoon and woke up to it being dark. I didn't know where I was and what day it was.

It's Sunday night, feels like Monday morning and I am craving a return trip to my pillow. Maybe I should do my morning blog news update now. It feels like 4:30 a.m.

I did wake up to find out that the Saints had lost. Bummer.

Smiles

I met a person at Mistletoe that had a huge smile and a glow about her. I didn't know her from Adam, but just her smile made me glad that I had met her. It's funny how powerful a smile and a good disposition can be.

I really don't have it -- at least not consistently. I try. It's a goal. But I have days when my dark, inner grumpy side comes out.

Not that this really matters for much, I guess -- I will continue to wake up and go to sleep one way or the other. But I have to believe life is much better if you see the glass half full. If you smile and enjoy the bright side of things. If your smiles come from deep within you.

My baby is very much like that lady. He is very quick to smile. He has an infectious grin. He is laid-back and takes the challenges a baby faces in stride. And everyone that meets him, loves him. And he honestly seems to love them back.

I want to be more like my six-month old. Well, other than the crapping in my pants part. Other than that, he seems like he has it going on.

Question of the day

What bowl game do you think Mississippi State will go to?

Sunday Free-For-All

Anything going on?

Veteran's Day


Veteran's Day. While the Government holiday is tomorrow, the real one is today. The 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month -- Armistice day. The official end of World War I, the war to end all wars (hardly). Today, we have a stretched V.A. system, we had thousands of wounded vets coming in from Afghanistan and Iraq who have been getting poor care at Walter Reed and we have recent reports that show that one in four homeless people are Veterans. We need to do better honoring our heroes.

I couldn't do what I do with out the sacrifices these men and women have made. People like to throw around the word freedom lightly -- but for me, it is my oxygen. My cartoons would be a blank piece of paper without Veterans.

So this Veteran's Day, I officially say thank you to ever person (my Dad and Father-in-law, and Brother-in-law included) who have ever put on a uniform.

Good Morning

Am still recovering from the last few days and trying to get ready for the next week. I have four speeches in Clinton, Jackson, Tupelo and Hattiesburg and I have no voice at the moment -- figuratively and literally. I will post some stuff today -- but I am kind of on bloglite mode at the moment. I just need to recover.

I really enjoyed Mistletoe, the people I met and my coworkers that manned the booth with me. But I am really glad to get to spend a day at home. I realized it had been four days since I had held my baby -- and three since I had seen him awake. And speaking of Mistletoe, Book sales did really well for a year-old book. I even had a lot of people come back and by more copies to give as gifts because they enjoyed it so much. That was a nice compliment.

I'm pumped about State's win -- I am glad to see them rise out of the ashes. Tennessee won big over Arkansas (and shut down their great runner Darren McFadden, a Heisman Trophy candidate) and Georgia beat Auburn. So the Ramsey household is happy today.

So it is off to Church. I would have loved to sleep in, but I need to formally go say thank for all of the blessings of the past week.