Sunday, December 22, 2013

Presdiential Quote (16 of 16): Grover Cleveland (again..........)

Well, we couldn't resist............

Due to time constraints and our hopes to post another entry later in the day/evening/night, we are cutting to the chase with a quote from Grover Cleveland, the only president to hold two terms non-consecutively:

"Officeholders are the agents of the people, not their masters."

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Presidential Quotes (15 of 16): Benjamin Harrison

Today, we quote Benjamin Harrison, a Republican from Indiana, who was president from 1889-1893, who, judging from this quote, sounds like the Ron Paul of his day, and he likely would have had issues with Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.):

"We Americans have no commission from God to police the world."

Friday, December 20, 2013

Presidential Quotes (14 of 16): Grover Cleveland

Today, we quote president Grover Cleveland, who is the only president to serve two non-consecutively. Cleveland was thus both the 22nd and 24th president of the United States, so we will actually quote him twice. Cleveland, whose first term in office was from 1885-1889, was the only Democratic president from 1861-1913.

As it turns out, the city of Cleveland, Ohio was not named for Grover Cleveland but a general named Moses Cleaveland. There are Grover Cleveland High Schools in New York, Buffalo and Reseda, Calif.

Here is his quote:

"The United States is not a nation to which peace is a necessity."

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Presidential Quotes (13 of 16): Chester Arthur, the Man from Vermont

Greetings to our blog readers in Serbia, Poland and Kazakhstan.

We are pretty sure this series of quotes from early American presidents will get considerably fewer hits than if we were to quote American serial killers, such as Charles Manson, who at age 79 has actually outlived our subject of the day, President Chester Arthur (1829-1886).

Or we could quip gangster John Dellinger who said: "I rob banks for a living, what do you do?" But, we'll stick with this one-term president.

Arthur was America's 21st president, and ironically, given that he was a Republican, he is one of only two presidents from Vermont, America's most progressive state today. President Calvin Coolidge, also a Republican, hailed from the same New England state.

Here is our quote: "I may be the president of the United States, but my private life is nobody's business." (I believe we've used this one before, but it's a gem!)...

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Presidential Quotes (12 of 16): James A Garfield

Today, we quote president James A. Garfield (1831-1881), who was president for a mere six months before being assassinated by a very troubled Charles J. Guiteau, who was executed by hanging for his crime though there was evidence of him being insane.

Here is our quote from Garfield, who was a Republican: "A brave man is a who dares to look the Devil in the face and tell him he is the Devil."

SIDEBAR: Today was a major day on Capitol Hill. No, there was no meaningful legislation passed, but three members of the House of Representatives announced they would retire and/or not seek re-election.

The first is Cong. Frank Wolf (R-Va), a man the blogger got to know when reporting for a newspaper in Woodstock, Va., which was then in Wolf's 10th district (it is now in Cong. Bob Goodlatte's sixth district). Wolf was one of the main champions of human rights on the Hill, and he even traveled to troubled countries, such as Sudan (and what is now South Sudan), to report on mass atrocities. Today, one of the people who praised Wolf was former Cong. Tom Perriello (D-VA), now a progressive activist, for Wolf's role in recognizing human rights.

Cong. Jim Matheson (D-Utah), who was arguably the most conservative Democrat in the House, which is understandable given that his district was very ultra-conservative. Matheson won his much- publicized last election over Mia Love, who is a rare African-American female Republican. Like Matheson, Love is a practicing Mormon, though she converted into the faith.

Late in the day, Cong. Tom Latham (R-Iowa), one of House Speaker John Boehner's (R-Ohio) main allies in the House also announced he was stepping down.

Monday, December 16, 2013

Presidential Quotes (11 of 16): Rutherford B. Hayes, a Forgotten Man

If one takes the Mental Floss "Name All 43 Presidents Quiz," we have a feeling Rutherford B. Hayes, a one-term Republican president from Delaware, Ohio, might be one of the half-dozen a person would forget.

Hayes (1822-93; president from 1877-1881), did have a better fate than his successor, President James Garfield, who was the second of four American presidents to be assasinated.

Here is a quote from Hayes, which those of us who are capital punishment opponents can identify with:

"One of the tests of the civilization of people is the treatment of its criminals." (Virginians for Alternatives to the Death Penalty)*

Both the Miller Center and the VADP are based in Charlottesville, Va.

Presidential Quotes (10 of 16): General Grant Said.....

With perhaps the exception of Dwight D. Eisenhower, whom we are quoting on our sister blog Ulysses S. Grant(1822-1855; president from 1869-1877)  was perhaps more known for his life before the presidency as a Civil War general for the winning Union side, than he was for his years in the White House.

Grant was born in Point Pleasant, Ohio. He signed an end to the Civil War with General Robert E. Lee, who headed the losing Confederate side of the Civil War, in Appomattox, Va.

Grant also defeated Horace Greeley of New Hampshire to win reelection in 1872, and Greeley also had the misfortune of dying before all the votes were tallied!

Here is Grant's quote:

"My failures have been errors in judgment, not of intent."

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Presidential Quotes (9 of 16): The Man who Followed Honest Abe

Greetings to our blog readers in Brazil, the Czech Republic and Thailand.

We're not sure how well a quote from Andrew Johnson, the 17th president of the United State, will do overseas, but unlike our entries on Turkish soccer* and women's college volleyball, we can assume someone reading this entry in the year 2024 will find that this entry will not be dated.

Here is Andrew Johnson's quote, a man who became president after Abraham Lincoln was assassinated at Ford's Theatre, which will follow with a link from the Miller Center in Charlottesville, Va.:

"If I am shot at, I want no man to be in the way of the bullet."

*- Kudos to Istanbul powerhouse GalataSaray for upsetting Juventus 1-0 today in Turin, Italy, a city which saw some snowfall today, and congrats, to Fethiyespor, a lower level Turkish team, which pulled 'an upset of the century' by beating another Istanbul powerhouse Fenerbahce 2-1 in Turkish Cup play two weeks ago. As I jokingly tweeted, my dream UEFA final in the year 2020 would be between Fethiyespor and Barcelona. Hopefully, Lionel Messi will be retired by then.

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Last Ten Films I've Seen (as of Dec. 8th): Rollerball, et al

Here are the last ten films I've seen; we got this idea from "Film Comment:"

1) Rollerball (1975. Norman Jewison, pict)

2) The Big Mouth (1967. Jerry Lewis)

3) Widow of St. Pierre (France. 2000. Patrice Leconte)

4) Lured (1947. Douglas Sirk)

5) Deadly Blessing (1981. Wes Craven)

6) Gregory's Girl (1981. Bill Forsyth)

7) Gulliver's Travel (animated. 1939. Dave Fleischer)

8) TerrorVision (1986. Ted Nicolau)

9) Hysteria (2011. Tanya Wexler)

10) Scream of Fear (1961. Seth Holt)

Weather in the Mid-Atlantic: Snow, Ice and Rain

With this snowy image of the Humpback Covered Bridge in Covington, Va., a town that is one hour northwest of Roanoke, which is seeing inclement weather tonight, we present a look at the weather in this region. We are looking at areas from southern Pennsylvania to northern South Carolina.
The city of Frederick, Maryland, reportedly had three inches of snow today:

1. Covington, Va. 21 Light Snow

2. Frederick, Md. 25 Ice Pellets

3. Winston-Salem, NC 33 Overcast

4. Fort Mill, SC 31 Overcast

5. Shippenburg, Pa. 26. Light Rain

6. Martinsburg, W.Va 25 Overcast

7. Dover, Delaware, 32, Light Freezing Rain

8. Charlottesville, Va. 29 Overcast

9. High Point, NC 33 Light Drizzle

10. Marion, Va 30 Overcast

11. Arlington, Va. 29 Light Freezing Rain

12. Asheville, NC 35 Light Rain (Roanoke) (Winston-Salem) (Washington, DC metro area)

An Ice Storm in Any Language

Greetings to our blog-readers in Kazakhstan, Italy and Guatemala. We hope the weather is better where you are. Here in the mid-atlantic part of the United States we are experiencing ice storms, especially in Virginia, West Virginia and Maryland.

So, we thought we'd google the various words for ice storm in other parts of the globe; our personal favorite terms are isstorm (Norwegian and Swedish), which we actually put into Google and buz firtinasi, which is the Turkish word for ice storm.

Here is the list:

1) eisstrum (German)

2) tempete de glace (French)

3) buz firtinasi (Turkish)

4) tormenta de nieve (Spanish)

5) isstorm (Norwegian and Swedish)

6) gradobice (Polish)

7) snezha burya (Bulgarian)

8) isslag  (Danish)

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Remembering Nelson Mandela with a Quote from Him

Nelson Mandela died two days ago in his native South Africa.

Former President Bill Clinton said Mandela would ask to speak to Chelsea when he called the White House to ask her if she had done her homework. Chelsea Clinton went on to graduate from Stanford.

Though former Vice President Dick Cheney made disparaging remarks about this remarkable man, he was lauded by politicians on both sides of the aisle in the United States. Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Va) and Cong. Bobby Scott (D-Va.) praised his contributions to ending Apartheid while Cong. Frank Wolf (R-Va.) praised Mandela for being a champion of human rights.

Here is a quote from Mandela:

"It always seems impossible until it's done."

SIDEBAR: Alas, it was a rough night for us as spectators as all four of the teams we were rooting for somehow fell in the NCAA tournament: Cal upset North Carolina, LSU came from two sets down to win over Michigan, Radford University posted a great second set but still fell in straight sets to host Minnesota, and in spite of winning the first set against Utah, the Yale Bulldogs lost to the Utes 3-1.

Oh well............

Thursday, December 5, 2013

College Volleyball Notebook: Four to Watch: Minnesota Hosts Radford

If you include Chicago traffic, a drive from Radford, Va., to Minneapolis is about 20.5 hours, and that journey passes through Madison, Wisc., another host city in the first round of the NCAA tourney.

The Radford University Highlanders will be in Minneapolis to face the Minnesota Gophers on Friday. Two of the stand-out players for both teams include Rachel Wiecchecki (pictured top), a junior who guided RU to a Big South championship, for the Highlanders, and Tori Dixon (pictured bottom) , a member of the all Big-10 Conference Team who has also overcome open heart surgery, for the Gophers.

Here are Four Games to Watch on Friday, all times are eastern

Radford @ Minnesota 8:00 p.m.

Florida State vs. Georgia Southern 5:00 p.m. Gainesville, Fla.

The FSU Seminoles feature two all-ACC team members in Ashley Neff and Katie Mosher

Purdue vs. Central Arkansas at the University of Missouri

Purdue's outside hitter /setter Val Michael, a junior, was named to the all-Big 10 team

Michigan State vs. Ohio University

The MSU Spartans feature Kori Moster, the Big 10's defensive player of the year.

 For more games in the tourney, go to our sister blog:

College Volleyball Notebook: The NCAA Tournament is Underway (4 to Watch)

Michigan and LSU have a lot in common: The schools are from major conferences, they have similar team colors and both have solid women's volleyball programs. On Friday, Michigan which includes stand-out Canadian middle blocker Jennifer Cross (pictured top, wearing number two), and LSU, a team that features exceptional middle blocker Briana Holman (pictured bottom, wearing number 13) face each other in Seattle, where the national championship game will ultimately be played.

Here is a run down of four worthy games in the field of 64; all of these matches will be played on Friday (all times are eastern):

1. Michigan vs. LSU. Seattle. 8:00 p.m.

2. Creighton vs. Arkansas Lawrence, Kansas. 5:00 p.m. (on Espn3)

3. Oregon vs. Miami (Fla). Lincoln, Nebraska. 5:30 p.m.

The Oregon Ducks feature stand-out Liz Brenner; The Miami (Fla) Hurricanes' roster includes all-ACC team member Savanah Leaf.

4. Louisville vs. Marquette. Champaign, Illinois. 5:30 p.m.

The Cardinals feature Emily Juhl, the American Athletic Conference Player of the Year.

For more tourney games, go to our sister blog

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Turkish Futbol Notebook: A Wild Tie Game in Istanbul

Argentinian soccer player Fernando Belluschi (pictured) of Bursaspor may get overshadowed by this countrymen and Bursaspor teammate Pablo Battala, but they won a game on the road against Elazigspor 2-1. The game also saw red cards for Serdar Aziz of Bursaspor and Pepe Sow of Elazigspor.

Trabzonspor won its home game over Kayseri Erciyesspor 3-1 with two goals from Florent Malouda of France.

And, finally, there was a zany Istanbul derby match between powerhouses Fenerbahce and Besiktash which ended in a 3-3 draw. The highlights of the game included goals from Fener's star Moussa Sow of Senegal (77th min) and Dirk Kurt of the Netherlands (83rd min). For BJK, Portuguese national Hugo Almeida had two goals very close to each other (43 min. and 45th min.) The game also saw two red cards!

Here are scores from domestic weekend play in Turkey:

Eskisehirspor 0 Karademir 0 (tie)

Kasimpasa 1 Galatasaray 1 (tie)

Trabzonspor 3 Keyseri Erciyesspr 1

Fenerbahce 3 BJK 3 (tie)

Elazigspor 1 Bursaspor 2

Anakara GB 1 Gaziantepspor 3

Kayserispor 0 Akhisar 0 (tie)

Konyaspor 2 Rizespor 1

Sivasspor 0 Antalyaspor 3

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Our Favorite Comic Strips from the Sunday Washington Post: Black Friday at Gal-Mart

Today, in honor of "Brewster Rockit: Space Guy," we are featuring a photo of Gal-Mart, well actually we couldn't find an image of Gal-Mart, but we did find one of Wal-Mart the store he was satirizing. The science fiction satiric strip focused on how Christmas insanity leads to overspending and basically turns us into barefoot starving children in Uganda.

Black Friday also turned into a very ugly scene in rural Tazewell, Va., which is near the borders of West Virginia and Kentucky in southwest Virginia, as one man stabbed another man for a good parking place.

But, the comics are here to take us away from the madness around us.

Other favorites, included a painful yoga workout in "Reply All," an educational look at elk in "Mark Trail" and lightning striking a beach full of tourists in "Sherman's Lagoon."

"Barney and Clyde" which is co-written by Gene Weingartens, an award-winning journalist/columnist for "The Washington Post," ranked number two in our survey. The comic strip this week made fun of cartoonists running on empty and using the same gas routinely.

Here is our list:

1. "Brewster Rockit: Space Guy"

2. "Barney and Clyde"

3. "Dustin"

4. "Pearls Before Swine"

5. "Reply All"

6. "Foxtrot"

7. "Agnes"

8. "Sherman's Lagoon"

9. "Prickly City"

10. "Mark Trail"

Quote of the Day: Abraham Lincoln

Yes, we have come to the 16th President Abraham Lincoln, who is one of the four Mount Rushmore presidents in South Dakota. Ford's Theatre in Washington, DC, where Lincoln was assassinated by John Wilkes Booth is both a museum and a working stage company. They are currently producing their annual staging of the Charles Dickens classic "A Christmas Carol."

Here is quote from Lincoln, whom actor Daniel Day Lewis won an Oscar for in the film "Lincoln," which was filmed partially in Petersburg, Va. (near Richmond):

"You cannot escape the responsibility of tomorrow by evading it today."

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Presidential Quotes (7 of 16): James Buchanan

Today, we quote James Buchanan (1791-1868), a Democrat who was the 15th president of the United States. He is surprisingly the only person from Pennsylvania, one of America's most populous states, to be elected to the presidency though ultra-conservative former U.S. Senator Rick Santorum from Pennsylvania tried to win the Republican nomination, that went to Mitt Romney, in the last election cycle.

Buchanan was also the only life-long bachelor to occupy the White House. He actually won a three-way race for the president over former prez Millard Fillmore and John C. Fremont, who was the first U.S. Senator from California.

Of course, the president after Buchanan was Abraham Lincoln.........but, here is the quote from Buchanan:

"The ballot box is the surest arbiter of disputes among free men."

Friday, November 29, 2013

Presidential Quotes (6 of 16): Franklin Pierce, the Only President from New Hampshire

Greetings to our blog-readers in Canada, The Bahamas and Peru.

When one plays the "Name All the Presidents" trivia game on the web site for "Mental Floss" magazine, President Franklin Pierce, the 14th president and the only to hail from the Granite State, New Hampshire, may be one of the names one is most likely to forget.

But, Pierce, who served in office from 1853-57, was able to overcome the tea party radicals of his day, and defeat the conservative Whig Party candidate Winfield Scott by a 50-44 margin. Pierce's veep was William King, from Alabama, who alas died of tuberculosis a mere 45 days after becoming vice president.

Here is his quote: "Frequently the more trifling the subject, the more animated and protracted the discussion."

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Presidential Quotes (5 of 16): Millard Fillmore...........not the duck

Greetings to our blog-readers in Dubai, France and Norway, where the English soccer team Tottenham Hotspur traveled all the way to Tromso, a city inside the Arctic Circle, in which the visitors prevailed 2-0.

Though he may not be a household name in France or even here in les etas unis, President Millard Fillmore was the fourth and final Whig Party member and the 13th man to rise to the presidency. In Fillmore's case, it was not an election but the death of President Zachary Taylor which allowed him the presidency. Fillmore was later on a 1938 postage stamp, and his time in office lasted from 1850-53. He was also a political conservative.

This brings us to Mallard Fillmore, a right-wing cartoon duck whom we must admit is quite amusing even though we prefer the progressive politics of comic strips like "Doonesbury" and "Knight Life" (by the ever-kewl Keith Knight), which is the brainchild of Bruce Tinsley.

"Mallard Fillmore" first became syndicated in 1994, and Tinsley got his start as a political cartoonist for "The Daily Progress" newspaper in Charlottesville, Va., which is ironically the most progressive zip code in Virginia.

Stephen Colbert made fun of Mallard Fillmore in 2006 saying that the duck was to right-wing media as Garfield was to lasagna.

Here is Pres. Millard Fillmore's quote: "It is not strange to mistake change for progress."

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Happy Thanksgivingukkah from Papa Smurf

Greetings to our blog-readers in Nigeria, Cyprus and Japan. We have chosen Papa Smurf as the best pop culture entity to wish everyone a Happy Tahnksgivingukkah as a large helium balloon of him is likely to be in tomorrow's Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, and because images of Sonic the Hedgehog, who will also be in the parade, are too darn hard to find!
We have put together a dream Thanksgiving dinner list, which can be found on our sister blog:
Today (Thursday), we are celebrating Thanksgiving here in America, and this year the holiday overlaps with Hanukkah, so the term Thanksgivingukkah has been termed for the occasion.
Spiritual leader Kate Judd of the Shir Herharim Jewish community in Brattleboro, Vermont, told her local paper that she felt the mixture of the two holidays was a nice coincidence. Several years, we found out by chance that there is a synagogue in Waco, Tex., called the Congregation Agudath Jacob, where Rabbi Gordon Fuller is a minister.
In the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia, the Hotel Strasburg in downtown Strasburg, a town of 5,000, that is an hour and half south of Washington, DC, will hosting a traditional Thanksging dinner to the public from 11:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m
Tomorrow, in Durham, NC, the largest vegan/vegetarian Thanksgiving diner in America will take place. The event organized by the Triangle Vegetarian Society has already sold out for seating. But, the event, first organized in 1992, will presumably be taking reservations for Thanksgiving2014 soon.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Futbol Notebook: All Three Istanbul Powerhouses Win in Weekend Domestic Play

Greetings to our blog-readers in Austria, Azerbaijan and Colombia.

Tonight, as Galatasaray prepares to head to Spain for a UEFA battle with Real Madrid, we reflect back on weekend domestic play in the SuperLiga which had some interesting headlines, especially in the Galatasary-Sivasspor match, but no major surprises as all three Istanbul powerhouses and perennial contender Trabzonspor all won their respective games.

We start with Fenerbahce, one of the three Istanbul power teams, had a fairly competitive 2-1 win over Antalyaspor on the road in Antalya, Turkey's largest resort city. For the Yellow Canaries, goals from Pierre Webo (Cameroon) and Moussa Sow (Senegal). The lone goal for the home team also came from an African player as Lamine Diarra (Senegal) scored.

The lone goal in Trabzonspor's 1-0 home win over Eskisehirpsor came from Paulo Henrique (pictured bottom, Brazil) in the 74th minute of play.

One of our favorite teams Bursaspor tied 1-1 at home in Bursa with Kasimpasha, the fourth team from Istanbul in the Superliga, with the home field Crocs' getting a goal from Sebastian Pinto (Chile) while another South American player Ezequiel Scarionne (Argentina) scored for the visitors.

Georges Mandjeek (Cameroon) scored the lone goal  in Kayseri Ericyesspor's 1-0 home win over Ankara G.B.

There were four red cards issued in Galatasaray's home win in Istanbul over Sivasspor, including three from the visitors from Sivas, a city in northeast Turkey. But, the game did see Turkish star Burak Yilmaz (pictured top) kick in his 100th career in the 13th minute of play. We have to thank our good friend Ahmet Bob Turgut for filling us in on that.

The third Istanbul powerhouse Besiktas had a relatively easy home win over Konyaspor 3-1.

Here are the scores:

Besiktas 3 Konyaspor 1

Anatlyaspor 1 Fenerbahce 2

Trabzonspor 1 Eskisehirspor 0

Akhisar 0 Karabuk 1

Gazinantepspor 3 Elazigspor 1

Kayseri Erciyesspor 1 Ankara G.B. 0

Bursaspor 1 Kasimpasha 1 (tie)

Rizespor 0 Kayserispor 2

Galatasaray 2 Sivasspor 1

Monday, November 25, 2013

Kudos to Radford University Highlanders for Winning Big South Volleyball Crown

Greetings to our blog-readers in Slovenia, Israel and Algeria.

Tonight, it is with great pleasure that I report that Radford University, my beloved alma mater, won the Big South Women's Volleyball tournament in Clinton, SC, yesterday, by defeating Coastal Carolina University in straight sets. However, the game was a very tight one as the Highlanders won the opening set 36-34! Typically, in order to win a set one team has to reach 25.

Radford U (25-9), located in Radford, Va., and the top seed in the tourney, won the game over CCU, a school from Conway, SC (near Myrtle Beach), and the second seed by a score of (36-34, 25-23, 25-22).

For the Highlanders, Cheyanne James had 16 kills, and Rachel Wiechecki and Emma Denninger had 11 kills each. Wiechecki was also named tournament MVP.

The Big South title is the fifth overall for the Highlanders, and the first for the school since 2000.

As an alumni, I must profess that I still miss Rowdy Red (pictured top) our old mascot.

SIDEBAR ONE: Our tweet of the night goes to "Writer's Digest," a magazine centered on helping both pro and amateur writers write: "#midnightprompt Your spouse is in bed asleep but you can't sleep. There's a knock at the door. The person changes your life forever."

SIDEBAR TWO: Cartoonist Terri Libenson's strip "The Pajama Diaries" is not in the Sunday comics pages of the two Sunday newspapers I read most weeks, but her work is quite remarkable. In a strip that will be published on Tuesday, there is a touching scene between an adult daughter and her mother.

Libenson also posted a blog entry with the strip which she candidly admits to suffering from writer's block at times. She said life distractions, such as her daughter's Bat Mitzvah, are one of the most difficult obstacles to overcome.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Best Comic Strips in Sunday Roanoke Times (Roanoke, Va): Rats, Ants and Batman

We are just going with one image this week. It is of an army of ants, which are the centerpiece of Dave Coverly's "Speed Bump," a one-panel strip, which bears the off-beat humor of the great 1980s comic strip Gary Larson's "The Far Side." "Speed Bump" ranks number two on our list.

The winner of this week's survey is the always hilarious "Pearls Before Swine." Interestingly enough, "Pearls" bore some similarity to this week's "Family Circus," which is essentially "The Waltons" or "Little House on the Prarie" of the comics section in that it has traditional themes. Both comic strip focus on a family gathering on Thanksgiving Day. But, Stephan Pastis, the cartoonist behind "Pearls" shows a family of rats actually being upfront and honest with each other while "Family Circus" has the orthodox view of the American holiday.

Tony Cochran's "Agnes" featured the title character making a pop culture reference to "Batman," which makes on wonder if Adam West read this week's Sunday strip (he played Batman on American television in the '60s).

Here is our top ten:

1. Pearls Before Swine

2. Speed Bump

3. Agnes

4. Get Fuzzy

5. Funky Winkerbean

6. Blondie

7. Garfield

8. Dilbert

9. Doonesbury

10. Zits

Presidential Quotes (4 of 12): Zachary Taylor

Greetings to those of you in Poland, Mexico and Japan.

Our quote today is from Zachary Taylor (1784-1850), the 12th president of the United States who was one of four American presidents from the Whig Party and one of four American presidents to have the dubious distinction of dying in office from natural causes.

Taylor was born near Charlottesville, Va., and he apparently had little formal education. He was replaced by his veep Millard Fillmore.

Here is Taylor's quote:

"It would be judicious to act with magnanimity towards a prostrate foe."

Yeah, one does not hear the word magnanimity much today!

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Presidential Quotes (3 of 16): James K. Polk, a President with a Song About Him

Today, we are quoting America's 11th president James K. Polk (1795-1849), a Democrat who was born in our former state of residence North Carolina but was a resident of Tennessee when he won the presidency in 1845.

Alas, he died just three months after leaving his one term in office of natural causes, but more interested in him in more recent years has been generated by the song "James K. Polk," (1996) from the New York-based band They Might Be Giants. The song was on the band's record "Factory Showroom." The band is playing this weekend in Berlin, Germany.

Here is our quote from Polk:

"The world has nothing to fear from military ambition in our government."

Friday, November 22, 2013

Presidential Quotes (2 of 16): John Tyler

Greetings to our blog readers in Baltimore, San Francisco and Denver here in America, and to those of you in India, Turkey and Germany. I'm not sure this quote from John Tyler, America's tenth president will be of universal interest, but we can hope that it is.

This quote below is actually making me reconsider getting a latte at Starbucks, though the coffee chain is one of our favorite commercial entities. Amazingly enough, there are even Starbucks locations in small towns like Front Royal, Va., and Gaffney, SC.

There is also a John Tyler High School in Tyler, Texas.

Here is his quote:

"Wealth can only be obtained by earnings of industry and the savings of frugality."

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Presidential Quotes (1 of 16): William Henry Harrison

Greetings to our blog-readers in Moldova (?!), Slovenia and Portugal.

Yes, we have many unique and interesting ideas which are perhaps more exciting than quoting American presidents from waaaay back in the day, but if we quoted the late, great English playwright Harold Pinter, people might well still ignore us.

We are kicking off this series today because it is the 50th anniversary of John F. Kennedy's assassination in Dallas, Tex., presumably by Lee Harvey Oswald (though Oliver Stone begs to differ) he was the last of eight American presidents to die in office. Four died of assassinations, including William McKinley, whom we will quote on our sister blog and four died of natural causes.

We begin with William Henry Harrison, the ninth president, who was the first one to die in office and it was from natural causes. In fact, Harrison was only in office for one month before his death. 

Previously, we have quoted the first eight and last American presidents, so now we are filling in the gaps.

Here is the quote from Harrison, who hailed from Charles City, Virginia:

"I contend  that the strongest of all governments is that which is most free."

PS- Though we have discontinued the practice of using quotes from our favorite Sunday comic strips, this line from "Judge Parker" that we saw in "The Washington Post" got our attention: "Call your man in Niger and tell him we're going to pay the ransom."

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Top Ten Comics from the Sunday "Washington Post:" Foxtrot Takes the Blue Ribbon

Since there are close to 30 comic strips in the Sunday edition of "The Washington Post," we weren't able to rank some our personal favorite comic strips, including "Knight Life," "Reply All" and "Rhymes with Orange." But, both "Judge Parker" and "Mark Trail" made into the top ten.

Here is our top ten:

1. Foxtrot (since this week's strip made a reference to an exclamation point, we are using it for our top image)

2. Pearls Before Swine: This Sunday's strip contained 20 panels!

3. Lio

4. Dustin (We definitely agree with the strip's premise that Fanta ads before movies are very annoying)

5. The Argyle Sweater

6. Sherman's Lagoon

7. Prickly City (since the strip has a cactus, we are using an Arizona cactus for our middle image)

8. Brewster Rockit: Space Guy

9. Judge Parker

10. Mark Trail (the strip revolved around mountain goats; a goat is also one of the lead characters in "Pearls Before Swine"

Our favorite line from the soap opera comic strip this week, comes from "Apartment 3-G," which is not in "The Washington Post": "I Just Asked You To Be My Wife"  

PS: While we have a moment, we want to thank those of you in Moldova (?!) for reading our blog. Yes, we know your country is a former Soviet republic which borders Romania.

PPS: Happy 37th birthday to Dominique Dawes, one of our favorite Olympic gymnasts.

Monday, November 18, 2013

The Last Ten Films I've Seen: Novel Ideas

I was completely oblivious to the fact that Angelica Huston (pictured bottom) has written a new memoir called "A Story Lately Told," which she will be promoting on "Fresh Air with Terry Gross" tomorrow when I watched one of her very earliest film roles "A Walk with Love and Death" (1969).

Like "Oliver Twist" (1949), one of many filmations of the Charles Dickens novel, and "Ender's Game" (2013), the current film based on one of Orson Scott Card's signature science-fiction novel, which is number two on the top ten fiction books being sold in the Washington, DC-metro area list on "The Washington Post" (Card lives some six hours south of DC in Greensboro, NC), "A Walk with Love and Death" is based on a novel.

We got this idea from "Film Comment" magazine, the current issue has a photo of actor Oscar Isaac in the Coen Brothers' new film "Inside Llewyn Davis" on its cover, and "Oliver Twist" is one of many films being offered by the Criterion Collection.

Several of these films were also taped from Turners Classics Movies, which has an amazing lineup of films tonight, including "Elephant Man" (1980. dir-David Lynch).

Without further adieu, here are the last ten films I've seen as of Saturday:

1. "Oliver Twist" (1949. dir-David Lean)

2. "Ender's Game" (2013 dir-Gavin Hood)

3. "A Walk with Love and Death" (1969 dir-John Huston)

4. "Creature from the Black Lagoon" (1954 dir-Jack Arnold)

5. "Memories of Murder" (South Korea. 2003. dir-Joon-ho Bong)

6. "The Beat Generation (1959 dir-Charles F. Haas)

7. "The Defiant Ones" (1958 dir-Stanley Kramer)

8. "Caged" (1950. dir-John Cromwell)

9. "Mrs. Soffel" (1984. dir-Gillian Armstrong)

10. "Gravity" (2013. dir-Alfonso Cuaron)

SIDEBAR: For those in the DC-metro area, graphic novel writer Joe Sacco will be promoting his new work "The Great War...." at Politics and Prose, an independent bookstore in Washington, DC, on Wednesday at 7:00 p.m. Sacco's amazing work includes graphic novels on the Bosnian war and the West Bank in Israel. (Orson Scott Card's official web site)

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

College Volleyball Notebook: Radford U and Yale are Among Emerging Small School Teams

While our last entry was on teams in the ACC, a conference with three nationally-ranked programs, we now turn our attention to two smaller schools which are having great years.

The first one is Yale University. The Bulldogs' Mollie Rogers (pictured top) was named co-Ivy League Player of the Week along with Alexis Censke of Penn. With home weekend straight-set wins over Columbia and Cornell, Yale also won their fourth consecutive Ivy League with two remaining games in the season. Brittani Steinberg of the Bulldogs had 15 kills in the win over Columbia.

Meanwhile, Radford University (the alma mater of the blog editor), is gradually pulling ahead in the Big South Conference with one remaining weekend of play, which will include two games on the road.

For the Highlanders, Rachel Wiechecki (pictured bottom) was named Big South Player of the Week. She led her team to a home victory over Campbell University with 22 kills and 19 digs in a game that went to the full fifth set. Additionally, she had 20 kills on Saturday when the Highlanders won another home game in straight sets over High Point University.

Here are weekend scores for the Ivy League, Big South and other east coast games.


Big South:

Radford 3 Campbell 2

Winthrop 3 Gardner-Webb 0

High Point 3 Liberty 2

UNC-Asheville 3 Presbyterian 2

Other scores:

Yale 3 Columbia 0

NC A &T 3 Savannah State 0

Wofford 3 Elon 1


Big South:

Radford U 3 High Point 0

Winthrop 3 UNC-Asheville 2

Liberty 3 Campbell 0

Other Scores:

Penn 3 Harvard 2

Furman 3 Elon 1

UNC-Greensboro 3 Wofford 1

Princeton 3 Dartmouth 2

Brown 3 Columbia 0

Yale 3 Cornell 0


Univ. of Rhode Island 3 George Washington 1

College Volleyball Notebook: It Was a Good Home Weekend for UNC and Virginia Tech

It was a busy weekend for the ACC in women's college volleyball play this weekend. Three teams from the conference, Duke, UNC and Florida State are nationally ranked while Virginia Tech has been a team on the rise.

UNC won two home games over Clemson and then Georgia Tech over the weekend. In Friday's win over Clemson, UNC had two outstanding performances from the Tarheels' two international players as Ece Taner, from Izmir, Turkey, had a career high 28 digs while her teammate Jovana Bjelica from Belgrade, Serbia, had 14 kills and 14 digs in the team's four-set win over the Tigers.

On Sunday, Paige Neuenfeldt (pictured top) posted 11 kills and four blocks in the three-set sweep over the Yellow Jackets.

This Saturday, UNC hosts Virginia Tech (pictured bottom), a team which also had a superb weekend which included a major upset over nationally-ranked Florida State.

On Friday, Lindsey Owens knocked down 15 kills in a four-set win over Miami (Fla). Then, on Saturday night, Victoria Hamsher and Samantha Gosling combined for 35 kills in the four-set win over the Seminoles. For her efforts, which included 13 kills versus the Hurricanes, Hamsher was also named ACC Player of the Week.

Here are weekend scores from the ACC:


Duke 3 Maryland 0

Virginia Tech 3 Miami (Fla) 1

UNC 3 Clemson 1

Florida State 3 UVA 1

Pitt 3 Wake Forest 2


Virginia Tech 3 Florida State 1

Notre Dame 3 Boston College 2

UVA 3 Miami (Fla) 1

NC State 3 Georgia Tech 2


Maryland 3 Wake Forest 0

UNC 3 Georgia Tech 0

Syracuse 3 Boston College 2

Duke 3 Pitt 1

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Futbol Notebook: A Turkish Guy Named Jimmy???

With the images of Portugal international Jose Bosingwa (pictured top), who got a red card over the weekend, who plays for Trabzonspor and Jimmy Durmaz (pictured middle) a Swedish international with Turkish citizenship, who kicked the winning goal for Ankara Genclerbirligi, over Trabzonspor, we are informing soccer fans around the world of the goings-on in Turkish soccer.

Unlike our good friend Ahmet Bob Turgut, we don't blog about Turkish soccer every week,  but the giant match between Istanbul powerhouses Galatasaray and Fenerbahce, which resulted in a 2-0 win for the Yellow Canaries from Fenerbahce, we thought this would be a good week for an entry on Turkish soccer.

The two goals for Fenerbahce, who played on the Asian side of Istanbul, whereas Galatasaray plays on the European side of the Bosporus, came from Turkish international Emre Belozoglu in the 23rd minute. In the second half, a second goal from Brazilian player Cristian Baronir in the 66th minute.

This was a tough week for Galatasaray as they lost to Copenhagen 1-0, thus Didier Drogba, the heart and soul of the team wasn't able to produce a goal and neither was his team.

The other Istanbul powerhouse Besiktas scored a 3-0 win over Kayserispor, but in spite of their win over the team from Kayersi, in central Anatolia, the Eagles' Matta Roman, a Brazilian international. got a red card in the second half.

It was also a good for Sivaspor, a team from Sivas, in northwest Turkey, which beat our beloved Bursaspor 2-1 thanks to two goals from Aatif Chahechouche, of Morocco; Bursaspor got a goal from another African continental player as Taye Taiwo of Nigeria scored the lone goal for the crocodiles (yes, we don't think there are any crocs in Turkey either), which reminds us that if any blog readers are contemplating a trip to the central African country of Burundi to photograph Gustave the man-eating crocodile, perhaps it's just best to say home and watch futbol and "Doctor Who"!

Here are the results from Week 11 of Turkish domestic soccer play:

Fenerbahce 2 Galatasaray 0

Ankara Genclerbirligi 3 Trabzonspor 2

Kayserispor 0 Besiktas 3

Sivasspor 2 Bursaspor 1

Konyaspor 0 Antalyaspor 2

Kasimpasha 3 Gaziantepspor 0

Karademir Karabuk 2 Rizespor 1

Eskisehirspor 2 Akhisar G.K. 0

Elazigspor 0 Kayseri Erciyespor 1

Currently, Fenerbahce is winning the league with 28 points, ahead of Kasimpasa (24 points), Sivasspor (22 pts) and BJK (21 pts).

Turkish national player Deniz Turuc, who is also a Dutch citizen, plays for the Dutch team Go Ahead Eagles, to find out how they fared in domestic play, go to our sister blog