Wednesday, August 29, 2007

The North and the South--big differences

Not a link to this one--one of those forwarded e-mails. Saving it here for a few laughs:

The North has Bloomingdale's, the South has Dollar General.

The North has coffee houses, the South has Waffle Houses.

The North has dating services, the South has family reunions.

The North has switchblade knives; the South has Lee Press-on Nails.

The North has double last names; the South has double first names.

The North has Indy car races; The South has stock car races and mud boggins.

North has Cream of Wheat, the South has grits

The North has green salads, the South has collard greens.

The North has lobsters, the South has crawfish. (NOTE: Louisiana has crawfish or mudbugs.)

The North has the rust belt; the South has the Bible Belt.


In the South: --If you run your car into a ditch, don't panic. Four men in a four-wheel drive pickup truck with a tow chain will be along shortly. Don't try to help them, just stay out of their way.
This is what they live for.

Don't be surprised to find movie rentals and bait in the same store.
Do not buy food at this store.

Remember, 'Y'all' is singular, 'all y'all' is plural, and 'all y'all's' is plural possessive

Get used to hearing 'You ain't from round here, are ya?'

Save all manner of bacon grease. You will be instructed later on how to use it.

Don't be worried at not understanding what people are saying. They can't understand you either. The first Southern statement to creep into a transplanted Northerner's vocabulary is the adjective 'big'ol,' truck or 'big'ol' boy. Most Northerners begin their Southern-influenced dialect this way. All of them are in denial about it.

The proper pronunciation you learned in school is no longer proper!

Be advised that 'He needed killin.' is a valid defense here.

If you hear a Southerner exclaim, 'Hey, y'all watch this,' you should stay out of the way. These are likely to be the last words he'll ever say.

If there is the prediction of the slightest chance of even the smallest accumulation of snow, your presence is required at the local grocery store. It doesn't matter whether you need anything or not. You just have to go there.

Do not be surprised to find that 10-year olds own their own shotguns; they are proficient marksmen, and their mammas taught them how to aim.

In the South, we have found that the best way to grow a lush green lawn is to pour gravel on it and call it a driveway.

AND REMEMBER: If you do settle in the South and bear children, don't think we will accept them as Southerners. After all, if the cat had kittens in the oven, we wouldn't call 'em biscuits.

Send this to four people that ain't related to you, and I reckon your life will turn into a country music song 'fore you know it.

Your kin would get a kick out of it too!

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

I love my dog

Michael Vick apologized for his cruelty to dogs yesterday and entered his guilty plea in a courtroom in Richmond, Va.

It now falls to the judge (who has a dog) to decide M.V.'s fate.

I love dogs.

I despise what this famous, wealthy, powerful "role model" professional athlete has admitted to doing.

Read all about his guilty plea and his contrition in the above link.

And this just in from Dr. Jo Koster of the English Dept. at Winthrop University, who notes that Ted Sorenson of the Charlotte Observer wrote a piece, with "a nice tone," published this morning that went like this:

Vick apologized to NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, Atlanta Falcons owner Arthur Blank and coach Bobby Petrino, apologized to his Atlanta teammates and, more than once, to children.

He called dogfighting "terrible."

He blamed nobody but himself.

He made a mistake when he said he "found Jesus."

Maybe Vick has. But a man who wants to get out of jail or stay out of jail always says he has found Jesus. Find me a man who stands before a judge who has not found Jesus.

It's a cliche. It was one too many.

"I told a judge once that my client had found Jesus," says George Laughrun, a Charlotte criminal defense attorney for 26 years and the rare attorney people like. "The judge said, `I didn't know he was lost.' "

Sunday, August 26, 2007

More and more Vick bulletins

Blogging a bunch about Michael Vick, lately, but his situation SO intrigues me.

America definitely has a love affair with dogs. Plus, who knew that dog fighting, illegal in every state, is such a blood sport and is so prevalent.

I've never known (to my knowledge) anyone connected with dog fighting.

But informed sources say that up to 40,000 Americans engage in it--in some form or manner.

Don't harm our dogs!

Continuing sad saga of M.V.

If you're a professional athlete and you brutalize or kill a dog, your playing days (and your career) may come to a screeching halt. If you don't believe that, re-read what the NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell has ruled--regarding Michael Vick.

Goodell is extremely angry and disappointed.

And M.V. will be hard-put to ever get his good name back.

Friday, August 24, 2007

New media approaches to journalism

They say newspapers and the people who work at them are going down the tube.

Not really--especially if you're a journalist who's Web savvy or with digital media skills.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Why don't people read?

I read myself to sleep practically every night. Now reading a historical novel, written by a man from Newberry, S.C., about Shoeless Joe Jackson and his wife Katie.

Learning a lot about probably the greatest baseball player ever to come out of the Palmetto State.

Many people, however, don't read books.

Sad and puzzling.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Farewell (at least for a year or so) Michael V.

Americans love their dogs.

Count me as one of those dog-lovers.

You do not hurt or kill dogs.

Michael Vick learned that the hard way--losing tens of millions of dollars from his endorsement and NFL contracts.

Michael Vick has a passing arm like a rifle.

Michael Vick runs like the wind.

Michael Vick apparently has no love for dogs.

Too bad, M.V.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Murders in Newark, N.J.

Here's to not forgetting about Iofemi Hightower, 20; Dashon Harvey, 20; Terrance Aeriel, 18, and Natasha Aerial, 19.

The first three were executed (shot in the back of the head while kneeling down in a playground near Mount Vernon High School in Newark, N.J.). The last (Natasha, sister of Terrance) was injured but survived.

Police have made arrests in this apparent hate crimes case, but it won't bring back the victims.

Why so much hate in this country? When will it end?

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Life decaffeinated or KISS

I don't usually blog about church sermons but I heard a danged good one this morning--at the Connection, an off-campus ministry of West End Baptist Church in Rock Hill, S.C.

The guy delivering it was Pastor Mike Lowery, who came to Rock Hill several years ago from Texas.

Lowery, who happens also to be the minister/clergy person for the Winthrop University men's basketball team, spoke about "getting rid of the iClutter in our lives." Catchy title of his sermon: "Life Decaffeinated."

In religion, getting rid of the clutter--that breaks us down, tires us out or needlessly complicates our life--is called living the decaffeinated life.

In journalism, we call this writing in line with the KISS principle. (Keep It Simple, Stupid."

Highlights from Mike's message this morning (that I need to revisit from time to time to keep my priorities straight).

1. Time is our most valuable commodity--not money, possessions or worldly accomplishments. Despite the digital age, with all its electronic gadgets, that we live in, we can't seem to make time for quality, meaningful time with the people we love most. Our "relationships," many times forged with cell phones, text messages or Blackberries, tend to be shallow and superficial.

2. Lots of things work against our changing this negative tendency, including: addiction to speed--we try frantically, for example, to beat others in the checkout line at the grocery store, and we allow ourselves an inward smirk if checked out first or beat the crowd; talking to much and listening too little (reminds me that God gave us two ears and one mouth for a reason); having too much clutter in our lives (homes, offices, cars, wherever) which tends to burden us, just by its sheer volume; trying to impress others with our "toys" (cars, houses, computers) and worldly accomplishments ("My kid is a straight A student at Mountain City Middle School") or "I'm a big shot CEO who works 80 hours a week."

Lowery's prescription--Biblically based:

1. Jesus had time for God. So should we. At the very least, we should not work on the Sabbath, which is supposed to a day of rest, relaxation and reflection.

2. Quit saying "Yes" to so many things just to be loved or respected in our culture. Learn to say "No" to those people or things that weigh you down.

3. Quit being rushed, tired and fatigued. Change your lifestyle if you're in a rut that keeps you running like a Tasmanian devil. Stay away from doing so much "multitasking"!


Lead and live the decaffeinated life.


Good advice, Mike Lowery.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

No First Amendment right in Lebanon

It's easy to take freedom of expression for granted. But take no such thing for granted it you're living in Beirut or elsewhere in conflict-torn, dangerous Lebanon.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Why do people blog?

Blogging (rhymes, curiously, with clogging) has been called playful, spontaneous, unfiltered communication. Others think it's a waste.

I think it has value, of course.

Here's a link from the NYT (about how men insult women) that also has a video link on the right of the page about "How much does the president matter." Click on that link, here about the president, and then click on link next to it (for an encapsulated defense of blogging.)