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Archive for the ‘sports’ Category

         Ok, I get it…the Oscar awards are supposed to be about recognizing the best in the film industry; however, over the years…the Oscars have turned into an industry unto itself.  There are Oscar parties, pre-Oscar and post-Oscar parties, the Barbara Walter’s pre-Oscar interviews, the morning shows that preview the menu’s and the decor of the dinning areas…come on!  Enough already.  (more…)

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        With recent terrorist attacks on civilians in China; and, a video promising more of the same, up to and during the Olympics; you have to wonder…are the Olympics in Beijing, China safe to attend?  Will the threat of terrorist attacks weaken the support for the games?

         There have been attacks on buses and on a plastics factory, allegedly by the Turkistan Islamic Party…they have claimed to be responsible for the recent attack of the bus bombings.  They are promising to attack Chinese cities by “means that have never been employed” before.  With the whole world watching, the temptation to use violence and fear, to control large numbers of people who would go to support the Olympic games, appears to be irresistible.  The threats must be taken very seriously. (more…)

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         I am sure Oscar De La Hoya is breathing a little more deeply today; the defamation lawsuit against him by a stripper who had been showcasing pictures that seemed to show Oscar with a fishnet & high heel fetish has been dropped.  I remember seeing those pictures and thinking to myself…wow…if that were real it would ruin his boxing career in the macho sports world.  How embarassing for him.

         Oscar denied that the pictures were real.  The stripper, Milana Dravnel still said that they were in fact real.  She was on television showing the pictures.  Again, Oscar said the pictures were fake and had been doctored.  If they were fake…why would she claim otherwise when it could be proven differently…money, attention, passion,  a need to humiliate him for revenge for a broken heart? Did they have a relationship that went badly?   Who knows!

        When Oscar stood his ground…Ms. Dravnel then filed the lawsuit claiming that he defamed her.  After an expert backed up Oscar De La Hoya…Ms. Dravel allegedly admitted it.

         The question is…what was her motivation, if in fact the pictures were doctored?  And if they were doctored…why did it take her from last fall, when she admitted it; until now to drop the lawsuit?   Hmmmm, many questions…not as many answers for those who would like to know.

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          Does it seem like the news scene is exploding with activity to anyone else but me lately?  Geez…each day there are tons of news stories that are equally important…but, there is not enough time to do them justice so i will just touch briefly on the most noteworthy for today.

            The biggest story is that Hillary Clinton the ended her bid for the Democratic nomination for running for the office of the President of the United States…she says that she endorses Senator Barack Obama now and urges her supporters to throw their support to him in his bid for the office of the President of the United States.  This is newsworthy because their duo quest for the Presidency was historic; Hillary because she was a female running for the job…and him because he is the first African American who was running.  Some of Hillary’s supporters are angry and say they will not vote for Barack.  Both Hillary and Barack are calling for unity in the Party so that a Democratic can win the Presidency from the Republicans.

            Today it was announced that Lynda Carter, the actress who played Wonder Woman, found a body in the Potomac River, Washington.  It was a woman and Lynda didn’t have a cell phone so she called to some fishermen to get help.  She stayed near the body until help arrived.   She said it was something anyone would do.  I beg to differ, as earlier this week…a video showed a person being hit by a car and noone stopping to help him out.  The world is slowly becoming desensitized to people in  need.  Good job Lynda for acting with compassion.

            On a sad note….a person of great renown in the sports world passed away.  Jim McKay a wonderful sportscaster who set the bar for todays new crop of televised sportscasters died at the age of 86 at his home in Maryland of natural causes.  I remember watching him while i grew up and he had a voice that you wanted to listen to.  He could create a natural excitement about whatever sport he was addressing at the time.  He was special.

           Also, the weather is playing a big part in the news this past week.  There has been horrendous storms in the central part of the country.  There have been tornadoes, torrential rains, flooding and lightening strikes.  Right now the National Weather Service has issued warnings for 15 counties in Indiana.  There are several dams that are on the brink of failing…and already widespread flooding is occuring.  Parts of several highways have been shut down due to flooding and people are being evacuated in several areas for the same reason.  With rain predicted off and on over the next few days…the threat could become more widespread for the residents of Indiana.

              Last but not least, the Dow Jones dropped 400 points today and the price of oil jumped again making the leap up 13% in the last two days.  The price of gas continues to fly skyward…making many families fearful about their financial future.  There seems to be no end in sight as to the lengths that the gas/oil industry will push the cost of purchasing the much needed precious fuels that make the world go round.  It is frightening to think what this winter will hold when it comes to gasoline and heating fuels. 

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          Today there will be news reports on the outcome of Senator Ted Kennedy’s brain surgery.  He was scheduled to undergo brain surgery this morning at 9 am.  Then he will be in the hospital for approximately 1 week.  After the surgery he will be undergoing radiation and chemotherapy soon to treat the cancer.  We wish him and his family well.

           Also, it was announced that actress Tatum O’Neal was allegedly arrested in a drug bust over the weekend.  She had been a competitor on an earlier season of Dancing with the Stars.  She has admitted a past drug usage that played a part in her divorce from tennis star John McEnroe and custody of her children.   This last couple of weeks has seemed volatile in the news. 

           Today, a music icon, Bo Diddley passed away at his home in florida from heart failure.  He contributed much to the music scene in the early years of the rock and roll beat.

           Fashion designer Yves Saint Laurent died…he had been ill for some time.  He was 71 years old and is credited with making it fashionable for women to wear pant suits.

           History was made in the allotment of delagates for Michigan and Florida.  There was much brouhaha about who would get the opportunity to cast their votes.  All of the delagates will get to vote however, their votes will each only count for half.  No one is satisfied with this agreement…however, the only other obvious solution was being touted was to throw out their votes…that too, was unacceptable.  So, the democratic convention is penalizing Michigan and Florida for having their primaries earlier than the democratic party condoned.

          This week proves to be no less traumatic than last week.  Stay tuned!

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         It is June and the end of the school season.  That means that there are many more children out and about.  I just want to take a few minutes to remind people about child vehicle safety.

          Last week there was a horrible reminder of how easy it is for an accident to happen, with the loss of Christian singer Steven Curtis Chapman’s 5 year old daughter.  She was killed when she somehow got in the path of a vehicle driven by her teenaged brother.  Our prayers go out to the whole family at their time of loss.  But, the period of grieving is going to be complicated because of their son being the driver of the vehicle.  There are so many emotions to deal with, in addition to loosing their daughter.

          Teen drivers have less experience watching out for the little ones.  They are new to driving and it only takes a second for a distraction to cause an accident.  With cell phones, radios and passengers along for the ride there is much to distract a driver these days.  Also, reminding elderly drivers about taking extra precautions around driving near young children is a good idea.  Every driver needs reminding about such things.   Teaching the little ones to play away from parking areas, away from the curb, or away from the roadways is very important. 

        Educating teens and reminding all other drivers about the extra dangers of the importance of watching out for kids at play…especially when balls, bikes, skates or skateboards are involved.  Quick decisions by young children aren’t based on …is it safe for me to chase my ball that just went out into the road, or is it safe for me to skate across the corner of the road…or am i fast enough to get by on my bike…they just make quick decisions that can put a driver in a bad situation.

         My adult daughter lives in a housing development in a cul -de- sac.  This is a housing development that has alot of young families; as well as a day care, right next door.  I am paranoid when i go to visit because of the parking available.  Whenever i arrive or leave, i take several exta moments to check where all of the little ones are because; they are riding little electric cars that are low to the ground, they are running and chasing each other, they are often riding little bikes and push toys.  It is hard to see them.  I am terrified that i will miss seeing one of them while backing out of the parking space.  Apartment buildings, beaches, parks and school zones are all areas that require extra focus and attention watching for children at play.

          The neighbor who runs the day care, in my daughter’s neighborhood, is very good about keeping an eye on the children and no-one plays out of doors without adult supervision.  However, it only takes a moment to be distracted as parents arrive to pick up, or, drop off their children.  There are other neighbors, who get visitors, who do not always watch their children vigilantly.  It only takes a few extra minutes to make sure where everyone is located; and, to make them aware that a vehicle is coming or going.   It could save a life and alot of legal responsibility.

          As long as we are talking vehicle safety and wee ones…let talk about the electronic windows.  It is so easy for little ones to accidently get trapped in the electronic windows.  Every year we hear of deaths or severe injuries caused by little arms or heads that somehow get rolled up in the electronic windows.  Please, please, please, make sure the children are strapped into their seat belts or their child restraint seats properly.  That way, you can be a little more confident that they are not playing with the buttons on the windows while you are driving.

          Children love playing and hiding in out of the way places.  Cars are a temptation. If there are abandoned cars in your neighborhood…get them removed or locked up.   Please, keep your vehicle locked when you are not using it…even if it is parked in a garage.  Children sometimes get into the vehicles and can’t get back out; or they climb into the trunk and the same thing happens.  Teach children not to play in a vehicle; but still, protect them and yourself by locking the vehicle.

          Communities are becoming much more pro-active about teaching and inspecting child seat restraints.  Often community police or rescue personnel will offer a safety inspection of your child safety seat.  They will make sure that they are properly installed and offer tips on how best to make sure that your child or grandchild is safe.

         Finally, now that summer is here…the warm weather is too.  The air in a closed vehicle quickly heats up and becomes unsafe for little ones to be left in a vehicle; even for just a few minutes.  Always, always take your child into the store or gas station.  For safety’s sake, do not leave them in the vehicle.  Even when the vehicle is empty, crack the windows a bit; or, open the vents in the back of the vehicle to let out excess heat so that the vehicle is not overly warm when you and your child get back into the vehicle.  That blast of heat can damage young lungs and it can be painful to the skin to touch hot seats.

          Every year we hear tragic reports, on the news, of another child that died as a result of being left in a hot vehicle.  When transporting your child to day care on your way to work…place your brief case, lunch bag, purse or some other such reminder in the back so that in your haste you don’t forget that your child is strapped in the back.

           Put a reminder in the front seat near you such as a toy or a bottle, to remind yourself that your child is in the back; especially if you are transporting your child in an out of normal circumstance of your daily routine.  Or, put a post it note in a bright color on your steering wheel; these reminders are important, because forgetting your child is not an option.  If the child falls asleep and is quiet, in your haste to get to work or whatever your routine is, if you normally dont transport your child at that time every day…it can happen that you “forget” that your child is in the vehicle with you. 

             It seems silly to go over these safety issues…but, take the time to remind yourself of them.  It is worth taking a few extra minutes to go over them if it saves one life…and a lifetime of guilt and regrets.  Have a safe and fun summer!

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        I don’t know who this is for…but, i felt compelled to write it today.  If you are struggling to accomplish a goal…and are climbing your way to the top; and, you think you are almost there, as you breech the clear white peak of the hill, expecting the celebration of your victory, only to find another hill; that adversity can cause you to stop, dead in your tracks… to give up. 

         Don’t do it; find another way to make it happen.  What did I say and why did I say that?  Don’t take the time to wallow in your disappointments…it is a waste of time and energy.  You will only succeed in making yourself more miserable.  Instead, pick yourself up off of the rocky ground where you threw yourself in a dramatic heap and consider whether it is better to backtrack down that slippery slope; or, better to climb the next hill and fully expect to find your victory.

        If the goal that you are trying to achieve is a positive one…give it another shot…dig in with courage; and, focus your determination on meeting that goal.  If you discover  upon some healthy self-reflection that your goal is rooted in negativity…give it some thought …maybe you can redirect the goal into a positive direction.

        Sometimes, we give up just short of accomplishing our goals, only to find out that what looked like a mountain range of barriers, was simply, just another set of small hills.  There are times when you just need to look at the issue again from a different perspective.

          Take a deep breath, surround yourself with positive, encouraging people, get some balance in your diet and your lifestyle; go to sleep and wake up to a new day and a new mind set…begin anew…notice the pastel sunrise; feel the crisp morning air as you take the first step of the day. 

           This time around, find ways to enjoy the beauty of the journey along the way.  You will be surprised how much easier your struggles become when you find beauty and gratitude in your climb to the top of the hill. 

           You can do it; whatever you set your mind up to do.  If you set your mind on giving up… and failure is your goal, that is easily accomplished too.  Hang in there just a little while longer; you will be glad that you did…the reward for all of your hard work is waiting to greet you!

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         Up, Up, and away, in my beautiful, my beautiful balloon…that is how the old song goes (with a much better voice than i will ever have).  This was how i envisioned Michel Fournier’s scientific experiment starting off…with that little song running through my head, as i watched the replay on the evening news!  No such luck. 

          It was reported today that the balloon somehow became detached and floated into the sky without the capsule.  How in the world could this have happened?  That balloon cost something like two hundred thousand dollars or so.  How could it have become detached without someone noticing, before this could derail Mr. Fournier’s attempt to lift off?

         The poor man, yesterday his experiment of going up in a capsule attached to a special made helium balloon, to set a few records, was cancelled due to the weather.  He had already had a couple of other attempts that were aborted in 2002 and 2003 due to the balloon being ripped apart before it could even get up into the air.

         Now this experiment, that he was attempting was important but, extremely dangerous and never before been attempted by anyone else, to my knowledge.  He was going to go up in the capsule attached to the helium balloon to then skydive from an amazing heighth…something like 131,000 feet if i remember correctly….planes fly at like 39,000 feet.  That is wild to someone like me who is afraid of heighths.  But not for Mr. Fournier who is a former paratrooper…this would have been a dream.

        It wasn’t just for “fun”…the experiment was also to document data for astronauts and scientists to see the effect on the human body in the highest altitudes.  Michel would also be wearing a pressure suit much like they wear in space because at a certain height…a person can develop a blood clot…or ewwwww, the blood can “boil”.  Yuck! 

          Mr. Fournier wanted to set four records by setting the fastest and the longest free fall (he is a skydiver) as well as the highest documented balloon flight & the highest parachute jump on record. 

           I can’t begin to imagine the extreme disappointment he must be feeling.  He has spent a fortune trying to make this happen over the years.  He has run out of money from the sounds of it…so this could have been his last attempt.  Maybe …just maybe…it was the big guy up above, looking out for him…maybe he would not have survived such an attempt!  Still, i do feel for him…his disappointment must be immense.

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        Today is the Indy 500.  It is the 92nd Indy.  Over the last few years more people are getting into watching it.  I think some of the newer drivers, and the next generation of already famous drivers, have brought in new viewership.  This helps to keep the sport alive; but, i was a little bit shocked at some of the  negative comments i read about that.

        It seems there are alot of bashers out there.  Wow, some of it was gender based and some of it was anti-celebrity based.  People like Danica Patrick (female) and Helio Castroneves (popular from a spin on Dancing With The Stars fame) have brought more attention to race car driving.  However, some of the fans really take issue with that.

       Danica seems to inspire alot of the bashing.  Comments about her were pretty mean spirited and sexist.  I read things such as she spends alot of time showing off her body to compensate for her lack of exerience. Or, yeah right…she is going to win…with only one OTHER win under her belt.  Or people making comments about some of the other drivers in the race.  I mean…geez…everybody has to start somewhere.

       It is ok to have a favorite driver or team…but come on…isn’t really all about the driving?  About safety,skill and entertainment?  Who is best will be reflected in the outcome.  So why spend so much time dumping on any of the drivers?  Just watch and see!!!  Comment on the actual race…and how the drivers perform.   

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         Last night’s competition on dancing with the stars was outstanding.  The group dance that began the show was awesome to see.  The teamwork and genuine joy of working together for these three competitor teams was obvious to see.  They like each other…they really like each other.  When the individual dances began, Kristi and her partner Mark set a standard that looked impossible to beat.  I think to myself as i watched it….the Gucch has got it!  The showman in her just can’t help but ooze through her pores.  But, she competes with style not with a mean bone in her body.

       Then Jason and Edyta started their dance and it was fireworks from the beginning.  Boom, there they were…somehow though, i don’t know how it happened…they both seemed to have costume malfunctions…they each “lost” pieces of clothing!  LOL The song was hot and so was the dance. 

          Then, right before Christian and Cheryl began their dance; Samantha was awkwardly interviewing Jason.  She made references to the media buzz surrounding Christian and Jason’s newfound friendship.  Jason with a wry grin said, that was last week!  🙂  His sense of humor comes through.  I loved seeing him with his children.

          Christian and Cheryl’s dance was good.  After all, he was not capable of doing the high flying of Kristi and Marks dance, he wasn’t able to lift his partner Cheryl in competitive lifts the way Jason was able to smoothly lift Edyta, but what he did have was Latin blood pumping through his veins and it brought a salsa side dish to the dance.  His surgery is scheduled for Friday.  His dance was good.   I am just afraid with the injury….Kristi’s dance was more advanced; advanced to the point of winning the trophy.

         Of course, it all comes down to the wire with the votes of the fans.  That could, as always, change everything!  This year’s finale was great.  No disappointments here, no matter who you support!

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