Saturday, December 30, 2006

I enjoyed watching the broadcast media and reading the print pundits this week. Usually not much happens during the holidays, and many in the business are on vacation. (Particularly radio talk show hosts, as ratings are not gathered during this period.)

Who anticipated the death of a former president and the execution of a well-known despot? Even with the 24-hour news cycle that permeates most Americans’ existence, these two events provide more than enough analysis and commentary.

I’ve written it before in this blog, and I’ll write it again. I’m glad I don’t work in that field any longer. I am thoroughly enjoying the slow pace of the past week and a half, with my family at home. It’s nice to have a life.

On a slightly related matter, yesterday while watching the Sun Bowl, CBS switched over to coverage of President Ford’s casket arriving at the church in Palm Desert. My 5-year-old daughter watched with a level of attention that was unusual for her, considering this was not a program on Nickelodeon or the Disney Channel. She asked what was happening and why the people were all dressed in black. I explained (very briefly) about the significance of a presidential funeral and mourning protocol. I am not sure if she will remember much about this, but who knows? I can remember December 1972, riding with my father (just a leisurely drive during the holidays) through the rural areas of Maryland and, most likely, southern Pennsylvania, listening to Harry Truman’s funeral on the radio. Or maybe it was just one segment in a memorial process that took several days. Either way, I knew this was something that didn’t occur often.

The things I can remember. That’s my noggin for you.

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Busting my brain has an interesting story/chart regarding football ranking by state. Texas comes in at number one. The ESPN writers tag it with 10 Division I college football teams. Wonder if I can recite them by memory? (In no particular order.)

1) Texas
2) Texas A & M
3) Texas Tech
4) Baylor
5) University of Houston
6) Rice University
7) TCU
8) SMU
10) North Texas!

Exclamation mark added 'cause that last one took awhile. Nice brain exercise for this holiday period.

Where did Arizona end up? Don't ask.

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

No like-eeee

I almost choked on my Christmas-evening ham sandwich when I read about this.

The Arizona pundit's opinion? Don't. Why should the team trade young talent for a man whose best baseball days are behind him? Need I remind everyone Johnson taking the mound isn't a lock for a victory (remember the 2004 season?). Not to mention the way he left town for the Big Apple. It's hard to say whether the Diamondback fans will forgive and forget.

Monday, December 25, 2006

Merry Christmas

The gifts are ready. The tree is ready. So is the fire! (Courtesy Channel 45.)

Hard to believe, it's 7 on Christmas morning and Geogal and Geoana are still asleep. I remember wanting to be up as early as possible on the Navidad mornings of my childhood. Then again, I am the only morning person in this household.

As far as I know, the gifts to the nephews and nieces made it to their intended destinations in time. And my iTunes Christmas playlist? As follows:

We Need a Little Christmas-- Percy Faith
The First Noel-- Frank Sinatra
Silent Night-- Johnny Cash
Up on the Housetop-- Gene Autry
White Christmas (1947 Single)-- Bing Crosby
O Holy Night-- Mormon Tabernacle Choir
Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer-- Gene Autry
Away In a Manger-- Celtic Woman
Sleigh Ride-- Leroy Anderson
The Christmas Song (Merry Christmas To You)-- Nat King Cole
I Wonder As I Wander-- Jewel
Adeste Fideles-- Il Divo
Angels We Have Heard On High-- Don Grusin
Jingle Bell Rock-- Bobby Helms

OK, so some of these are newer, but they still stay true to the traditional arrangements.

Merry Christmas!!!

Saturday, December 23, 2006

Happy Christmas Eve eve!

Woke up this morning to fog, an unusual sight around here. The heavy humid air was courtesy of a steady drizzling rain yesterday afternoon/evening. It was just one of those perfect days to sit inside the house, engaging in casual activities and drinking warm beverages (with and without caffiene).

Here in the Arizona desert those kind of days are rare. As Geogal commented, it finally felt like the holidays had arrived. Chilly, gray skies, and a warm feeling that can only take place inside one’s own home. The only thing missing was a fire. (The Geohouse has no fireplace.)


My relaxed feeling was aided by the knowledge that as of 11 a.m. Thursday morning, I completed ALL of my Christmas shopping, even the stocking stuffers. I cannot recall when I had the dreaded “S” word finished this early, save for out-of-town holiday trips.

The exchange of money for merchandise was fairly easy this year. More on that after the big day.


My last big project for Christmas? I will create a list of favorite Christmas-themed songs, download them from iTunes, then burn them onto a CD for easy enjoyment. So far, it will contain works from Gene Autry, Bing Crosby, and Nat King Cole. You may already have ascertained that I don’t care much for the newer stuff, and you’d be right! I’ll have my playlist posted here, probably by tomorrow evening.

Saturday, December 16, 2006

This Christmas season is somewhat odd for me. For the first time in I don't know how many years, buying gifts for Geogal is actually EASY.

She is, after all, one of the hardest people for which to buy. A lack of hobbies and general eschewing of "girly" things make gift-giving a difficult task for me several times a year. This time of the Christmas shopping season usually finds me having already entered and left several stores with a slowly-increasing frustration. Not so this time!

I should enjoy this feeling while it lasts. I don't know if I just got fortunate this year, or if I actually am improving on extracting genuine, affordable gift ideas from her. Probably the former.

On the other side of the coin, I shipped off the gifts for the nephews and nieces last Tuesday. Two families, two packages filled with wrapped presents.

Two families that received each other's packages. I'll never use that UPS Store again. Stay tuned for the resolution of this mess. If there is any upside to all of this, at least I sent the packages early enough for the switcheroo to be made prior to the Big Day. I'll just dwell on that for now. No need to raise my blood pressure at this time of the year. So there, family members! Don't call me Scrooge!

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Just some random lazy Sunday thoughts

Arizona State could have done worse. After all, Erickson should have a solid recruiting base in the Pacific Northwest and he has a good track record in Pac-10 football.

That's pretty much all I will say about that issue. Since my alma mater is among the bottom-feeders of Division I college football, it is interesting to watch the actions of a school that has a strong local alumni base and extremely devoted fans. In fact, I interact with so many people who bleed maroon and yellow, I have to usually hold my tongue when I feel a need to express my gut-level emotions about ASU. (Hint: these aforementioned feelings tend to not be positive.)


I noticed this article, then this one, regarding satellite radio.

I'm not positive about a merger. Yes, the FCC likely will block it. However, I wonder if satellite radio (both providers) are presently lacking a "killer app." Something that will make it highly desireable to the general public. Remember how th e IBM PC was introduced in 1981, with Apple's version already on the market? While spreadsheets were the killer app for business users, the home user had no real counterpart until about 1995, when the World Wide Web took off. Suddenly even Grandma was buying a computer in order to get online. The corporate heads of Sirius and XM should both be thinking about what they can offer that nearly everyone would want. I'm sure it's out there. Time for some creative thinking.

Sunday, December 03, 2006

College Gridiron Contests: Out With A Bang

And I thought I was just going to passively enjoy some end-of-the-regular-season matchups. Without Texas playing for the Big 12 Championship, I wasn't too invested in these games.

But whoa! I got caught up in the USC-UCLA grudge match. While I did obtain a certain amount of pleasure in seeing the Trojans lose, I should admit my disappointment that they will not be playing Ohio State for all the marbles. That would have been a good game.

Still, I won't bog myself down in the Michigan-Florida quagmire. It may still be a good championship slugfest regardless of who is chosen. And a close game won't hurt, either.


Cooked two porterhouse steaks on the ol' propane beauty last night. Not grilling perfection, but not bad eating either. Geogal paid me the ultimate compliment by not reaching for the steak sauce. I look ahead to some more uses of the grill after this week, when I will have more time on my hands. (More about that later.) And yet again, the grilling tome did not let me down.

(It's good to be able to insert hyperlinks into my blog. I can't blame Blogger for this one. For some reason, the Safari browser does not give the hyperlink option in the menu. Thank the computer geeks for Firefox!)