"Life moves pretty fast. You don't stop and look around once in awhile, you could miss it." - Ferris Bueller

Wednesday, September 13, 2006
Tucker Carlson - Not Quite The Lord Of The Dance
Tucker Carlson, the kinda/sorta/not really conservative MSNBC talk show host has decided to stretch his entertainment career just a bit and appear on ABC's Dancing With The Stars.

I've gotta hand it to the guy. I married a very talented dancer and she's spent well over a decade attempting to teach me to dance. Despite her best efforts, I don't dance. It's not pretty. I don't want to discuss it.

I'm afraid Tucker shares my talent for dancing. I'll give him kudos for putting stretching his talents, but that's about it. His first performance was with Elena Grinenko - a professional dancer who wore a bright red outfit that makes the Girl from Ipanema look like a nun in comparison. Newsbusters has the video. See for yourself.

My one encounter with Tucker was a near collision in Times Square during the 2004 RNC in New York. Personally, I hope his ratings improve on MSNBC because I'd hate to see him try and make a living as a dancer.
Monday, September 11, 2006
Remembering Linda M. George

In the small town of Holden, Massachusetts, there is a headstone in Grove Cemetery which contains the following simple inscription:

Linda George – Daughter, Fiancée

Along with her name is the date of her birth, and the date of her death – September 11, 2001.

Linda Mae George was a passenger on American Airlines Flight 11 on that Tuesday morning in September. She was part of a contingent from TJ Maxx headed from Boston to Los Angeles on a buying trip. I’m sure there were a million things going through her mind as she prepared for this trip – only a few of which had anything to do with the fact she was traveling across the country.

You see, Linda was due to be married to her fiancé, Jeff Pereira within the month. Her whole life lay before her.

I never got the chance to meet Linda, but from what I have gathered about her, I know she’d be someone I’d like to know. In 1992, she graduated from St. Peter Marian High School in Worcester, Mass and continued on to Providence College where she graduated in 1996.

Of all the things I learned about Linda, the fact that she played college rugby impressed me the most. Rugby is the equivalent of American Football without the benefit of pads or helmets. People who play that sport – especially at the collegiate level – have to be strong, quick, and just a little crazy. People seem to remember Linda for the way she played rugby – and that says a lot about the love she had for the game. To honor her legacy, a scholarship fund has been established at St. Peter Marian High School in her name.

Linda was only one of the 2,996 people lost to this nation on that Tuesday morning in September 2001. She, like all the others, had hopes, dreams, wishes, and loved ones. Those who knew her personally and professionally describe her as the friend everyone wants to have once in their lifetime.

The world is a smaller place without people like Linda May George.


Tuesday, September 05, 2006
Steve Irwin
In the beginning, there was Mutual of Omaha's Wild Kingdom. It came on Saturday or Sunday morning and basically consisted of an old guy showing film reels of wildlife footage. Maybe he actually left the studio on occasion and interacted with animals. I don't really remember. What I do remember is the show was about as entertaining as watching golf, grass growing, or paint drying. It was educational and informative, but not very fun.

Today's media has produced a new genre of "Animal Experts" personified by Jack Hannah, Jeff Corwin, and the late Steve Irwin.

Steve Irwin looked and sounded like he came straight from Crocodile Dundee Central Casting. He was excited about animals and their world. This excitement translated well across the medium of documentary style reality television. Steve brought a passion for his work and drew viewers into his world of crocodiles, snakes, kangaroos, lions, tigers, and bears. Oh my! Translated into Australian that would be "Crikey!"

For those of you who have spent the past two days living under a rock, Steve Irwin died Monday after being stabbed in the chest by a Sting Ray. Most everyone agrees this type of injury is rare, and rarely if ever fatal. Just goes to show that when your number is up, you're out.

Steve was always one to get up close and personal with animals most people would be fearful to get within visual distance of. He wrestled alligators and crocodiles, rescued pythons and cobras, and gave viewers a chance to see wildlife they never would have a chance to otherwise. He loved his job and therefore never worked a day in his life.

He had his critics - many of whom complained about his TV antics and his habit of putting himself in close proximity to the animals he was filming. All of Steve's knowledge came from on the job experience. Many if not all of his critics got no closer to the animals they claimed to be experts on than Steve's TV show. Australia Zoo serves as a lasting monument to what one man with a vision can do.

I crossed paths with Steve on Thanksgiving Day 2004 in Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. He was, as usual, having a ball being the consummate showman. That is how I will remember him.

Steve Irwin at Central Park West, Thanksgiving Day 2004

Thanks, Steve, for bringing the Animal Kingdom a little closer to home. Godspeed to you, and prayers for your family. May they always understand you taught the world the true meaning of "Crikey!"
Friday, September 01, 2006
John Mayer's Slacker Song
I'm not much of a music critic. Some music I like. Some music I don't. Some music I just can't stand. I admire musicians who write their own stuff and are able to perform it live without the benefit of technology that can make Pee Wee Herman sound like Pavorotti.

So, when it comes to John Mayer, I've been fairly impressed with the stuff he's put out since he came on the music scene in 2003. He's won two Grammys, justifiably, for Your Body Is A Wonderland and Daughters. Both songs are top notch and well done.

His latest release, Waiting On The World To Change, is cut from the same cloth as his previous work. I've heard it played on most of the Top 40 stations I'm exposed to. Unlike most people (in my experience anyway) I pay attention to lyrics. After listening to Waiting On The World To Change I came to the conclusion this song was about the Slacker Generation. Here's a sample of what Mayer sings about:

It's hard to beat the system
when we're standing at a distance
so we keep waiting
waiting on the world to change.

It's not that we don't care,
we just know that the fight ain't fair

so we keep on waiting
waiting on the world to change

and we're still waiting
waiting on the world to change
we keep on waiting waiting on the world to change
one day our generation
is gonna rule the population
so we keep on waiting
waiting on the world to change
I purposely didn't quote the political references in the song - that's not what my post is about - today anyway. My point is pretty simple: People who sit around waiting for the world to change are usually passed up by people who are changing the world.

Memo to John: Life isn't fair. There is no such thing as a level playing field. One would think after a few years in the cut-throat business world that is pop music, you would have learned that by now. The world doesn't reward mediocrity in the same way the public school system does. If, as you say, you and all your friends keep waiting on the world to change hoping it will offer you better opportunities than you currently see, I'm afraid your generation's chance to "rule the population" will come and go with you not in a position to Carpe Diem. Sorry if you're a little light on your Latin. Go look it up.

I'm not much older than John Mayer, but I'm definitely not going to watch the world go by hoping I get an opportunity to make a difference. Attitude creates opportunity.

Here endeth the lesson.

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