Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving to everyone.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

‘Turkeys Away’

One of the funniest sitcom episodes ever. This is the classic WKRP In Cincinnati episode from October 30, 1978. Station manager Arthur Carlson dreams up a “brilliant'” Thanksgiving promotion for his station. The promotion involves flying a helicopter over the Pinedale Shopping Mall -- and then releasing twenty live turkeys into the air.

Only one problem…turkeys can’t fly!

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Saturday, November 22, 2008

‘24: Redemption’

My favorite TV show is 24. Because of last season’s television writers strike, it’s been nearly two years since it last aired. The drought ends this Sunday with a 2-hour movie called: 24:Redemption.

Instead of the usual show being presented in real time, the movie will be a “normal” show with time compression. Rick Moran has a write-up on his blog.

I can hardly wait!

Update: I watched the show Sunday night. I saw some scenes from the 24 trailer and thought they were going to take place in the movie. Instead, they were scenes from Season 7 which begins in January. There was no time compression and the 2-hour movie took place in…two hours. My bad!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

In Flanders Fields

In Flanders fields, the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below...

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved, and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields...

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields...
-- John McCrae (1915)

Funny video!

I heard about this funny squirrel video on YouTube!

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Letter to Mrs. Bixby

I am currently reading David Herbert Donald’s biography of Abraham Lincoln and am in the section of the book that briefly discusses a letter Lincoln wrote to Mrs. Lydia Bixby -- a Boston widow who was believed to have lost five sons fighting for the Union in the Civil War. Massachusetts Governor John A. Andrew asked the president to send his condolences to the widow and the letter was also printed in the Boston Evening Transcript.
Executive Mansion, Washington, November 21, 1864.
Mrs. Bixby, Boston, Massachusetts:
DEAR MADAM: I have been shown in the files of the War Department a statement of the Adjutant-General of Massachusetts that you are the mother of five sons who have died gloriously on the field of battle. I feel how weak and fruitless must be any words of mine which should attempt to beguile you from the grief of a loss so overwhelming. But I cannot refrain from tendering to you the consolation that may be found in the thanks of the Republic they died to save. I pray that our Heavenly Father may assuage the anguish of your bereavement, and leave you only the cherished memory of the loved and lost, and the solemn pride that must be yours to have laid so costly a sacrifice upon the altar of freedom.
Yours very sincerely and respectfully,
Abraham Lincoln
Afterwards, it was discovered that Mrs. Bixby had actually lost “only” two sons in battle. One son survived and was honorably discharged. A fourth son was a deserter and the fifth son either deserted or died as a prisoner of war. It was also later revealed that Mrs. Bixby was a Southern sympathizer who hated Lincoln. She later destroyed the original letter.
The authorship of the letter has been debated for years by scholars. Many believe the letter was written by John Hay, one of Lincoln’s secretaries. Whether Hay wrote the letter on his own or was directed to do so by Lincoln does not diminish the beauty and eloquence of the words.
Fans of the movie Saving Private Ryan may recall that, in the early part of the movie, the letter was read aloud by General George Marshall.
Compare Lincoln’s letter to a letter written by the German Kaiser to a mother of nine sons who died fighting for the Fatherland. In the letter, the Kaiser was “gratified” by the sacrifice and was “pleased” to send a framed and signed photograph to the mother. This came from a New York Times article dated July 30, 1918.
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Friday, November 7, 2008

The official website of President-elect Obama is The site invites readers to share ”…your story and your ideas, and be part of bringing positive lasting change to this country.” That’s fine except, according to the blog Polysigh, there are restrictions “governing” the use of a .gov domain. According to Wikipedia, it is “…a sponsored top-level domain restricted for use by government entities in the United States of America. The .gov domain is administered by the General Services Administration (GSA), an independent agency of the federal government.”

The official guidelines also state that:

The Gov domain is for the operation of government, not the political, political party, or campaign environment. No campaigning can be done using Gov Internet domains. The Gov Internet domain websites may not be directly linked to or refer to websites created or operated by a campaign or any campaign entity or committee. No political sites or party names or acronyms can be used. Separate webites [sic] and e-mail on other top-level domains (TLDs), such as .org, will have to be used for political activity.

So, is an official government site or an extension of the Obama campaign site?

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Sen. McCain appears on SNL

Sen. John McCain and Gov. Sarah Palin (Tina Fey) appeared on the opening skit of Saturday Night Live. I thought it was pretty funny.