Thursday, July 31, 2008

Brett Favre Sings to the Packers

You will love this. Regardless of whether you follow football or not. Make a long story short Brett Favre retired from football and his team the Green Bay Packers in March. Team said fine and they moved on. Life after Brett. Brett is a legend. Anyway he changed his mind and only officially declared in writing to the league that he wants to un -retire. Packers are not so thrilled. Here is his musical tribute in the mp 3 files below. For a more accurate telling of the events click here.


Beware of your own kids!

They will turn you in. Story says the mom also posted bail the same day. It does not say with what.


Boy, 10, turns mom in for making phony money

Wed Jul 30, 8:10 PM ET

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. - A Bakersfield woman faces charges that she counterfeited money and identification cards after her 10-year-old son turned her in to authorities.

According to Kern County Superior Court records, the boy gave sheriff's deputies phony money last month that his mother created. The child told investigators she also had a computer that makes fake ID cards.

Deputies executing a search warrant seized computer disks, scanners and printers.

The thirty-year-old woman is due in court Friday. She faces several charges, including possessing equipment to commit forgery.

Deputies said she was arrested July 4 and posted $50,000 bail the same day.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

I feel so Inadequate

I am only slightly younger than this woman and she has me beat by 18.


ABBOTSFORD, British Columbia - A Romanian immigrant has given birth to her 18th child in British Columbia, making her the province's most prolific mother in 20 years.

Proud dad Alexandru Ionce said Saturday that his 44-year-old wife, Livia, gave birth on Tuesday. Their daughter Abigail weighed in at seven pounds, 12 ounces.

"We never planned how many children to have. We just let God guide our lives, you know, because we strongly believe life comes from God and that's the reason we did not stop the life," said Alexandru Ionce.

The couple immigrated to Canada from Romania in 1990 and now live in Abbotsford, British Columbia. Their 17 other children range in age from 20 months to 23 years old.

Ionce said he did not know if the couple would have more children. The family now has 10 girls and eight boys.

"We would have liked a boy to be even," he said. "We thank God all of them are healthy and happy."

Ionce said the family has received calls from Germany, Romania and England, as well as from media outlets across Canada.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Lapse Catholic Reclaimed in his own words

I have never lapsed but many have. Every body has internal battles about their faith. Through the magic of Multiply you can read this man's story and hear it from him. How he left the church for 20 years only to come back because of the leadership of one man. There is a link to some of his other work too.

Some of you may ask how did I discover this story or how did I discover Mr. Kane. Well I provided the audio. I was listening to a syndicated talk show you can get here. You can pay $50 dollars a year to listen to the whole show year round if it's not available in your local market. Or you can do what I do and listen to about the 10% of the show they allow you to listen to for free via Itunes download. When you figure out that I listen to Keith Olbermann and Dennis Miller you will wonder no longer why I am as screwed up as I am.Anyway it's the message not the messenger. Please benefit from the tale of Mr. Kane.


Administrators and students at St. Frances Academy, along with residents of the Johnston Square neighborhood, and others, participate in a march to protest drug activity. (Sun photo by Monica Lopossay / May 15, 2008)

They did what?!"

Those were the only words I could mutter when Ralph Moore answered my question. We were walking east on Preston Street on Thursday afternoon, headed toward Greenmount Avenue. A cadre of marchers followed Moore, most of them students and staff from St. Frances Academy. Carl Stokes, the former city councilman who is now director of operations for the Bluford Drew Jemison Math Science Technology Academy, brought about 15 sixth-grade boys from the charter school, located in the 1100 block of N. Caroline St., to participate in the march.

City Council President Stephanie Rawlings-Blake joined the march, as did City Councilwoman Mary Pat Clarke and Baltimore State's Attorney Patricia Jessamy. All were there to protest the rampant drug dealing that has now all but crept up to the very doors of St. Frances Academy.

Moore, the director of the community center at St. Frances, sent out e-mails May 1 letting everyone know about the march. I've known Moore for years. We met through a man we both - to understate the matter - admire immensely: retired Johns Hopkins University Chaplain Chester Wickwire.

Gregory Kane Gregory Kane E-mail | Recent columns

I've always known Moore to be even-tempered, calm and a man who would go out of his way to help even the drug dealers he was leading a march against. What had they done, I wondered, to get Ralph Moore, of all people, in such high dudgeon? So I asked him.

"They stashed drugs near a statue of the Blessed Virgin in the school grotto," Moore answered. Dealers also used a vacant lot next to the nearby convent on Brentwood Avenue - where nuns who teach at the school live - as a testing area to hand out free drug samples. That's when I gave my reaction to Moore's answer: "They did what?!"

I'm telling you, I didn't know I had any good Catholic left in me. Oh, there's plenty of bad Catholic left, believe me. I rarely attend Mass, I eat meat on Fridays and haven't been to confession since black folks were called Negroes. I've been known to say - and frequently - that while I've never doubted God's existence, I do doubt his sanity on an almost daily basis.

But that might change now. These sacrilegious scofflaws dealing drugs around St. Frances have managed to arouse the long-dormant good Catholic in me. (I guess I should try for the total truth here: make that "virtually dead good Catholic in me.")

This outrage has left me asking myself if I need to church it up more. Maybe I should start attending Mass again, do some praying and testifying and worshiping and maybe slipping in a little request that the Good Lord forgive me for my sins. I could start at St. Peter Claver's, where I was baptized in early January of 1952. Then the next couple of weeks I could visit churches like St. Bernardine's and St. Gregory's and St. Leo's in Little Italy.

And maybe I should drag some of those idiots dealing drugs near St. Frances along with me.

"Historically, people have respected St. Frances," Moore said as he showed me the grotto where the statue of the Virgin Mary stands. "The nuns took neighborhood kids to ballgames and helped residents with housing." There was an understanding about St. Frances that even those who weren't exactly law-abiding types adhered to: There was to be no funny business, not even a hint of misconduct, in the vicinity of St. Frances.

Moore told me a story that actor Charles "Roc" Dutton, who grew up in the neighborhood around St. Frances, told once. According to Moore, Dutton said that when neighborhood kids started a fight and found themselves near St. Frances, they knew they had to take the fisticuffs up to Biddle Street. It was understood that they couldn't fight near St. Frances.

Now the neighborhood has drug dealers walking onto the St. Frances school grounds to stash drugs. Dealers and addicts use lots next to where nuns live to hand out and use drugs.

On Thursday, Moore looked out on a playground across the street from St. Frances where several of the school's younger students swung gleefully down a pole. The administration at St. Frances built the playground for neighborhood children, but even that is now used to stash drugs. Only a few days ago, Moore said, there was an open drug deal at the corner of Chase and Forrest streets, right in front of the school.

"They're just brazen with it," Moore said. So brazen, in fact, that the Baltimore Police Department will have no choice but to treat these dealers like an anvil and drop a heavy hammer on them. Then they will need somebody praying for 'em.

Looks like I'll be doing just that at Mass tomorrow.

July 22 to 27 2008 The week in jokes

Jokes can say a lot about a society besides what it finds funny. It can say what it takes for granted. What is on everyone's minds. I wonder what it says about me that I don't touch local TV with a ten foot poll. It can say what is not sacred. They can talk about current issues. Like below.

The press' fondness for Barack and taking the German's taste with a grain of salt.


Sunday Funnies.

Source ABC News This Week

There was a huge reception for Obama in the Middle East this weekend.
People were screaming, chasing him , hanging on his every word. That
was just the U.S. press corps. (Jay Leno)

They really love Obama in Germany. He is like a rock star over there.
It's impressive till you realize David Hasselhoff is also like a
rockstar over there.

More on the joke

Friday, July 25, 2008

Slice of Life Google problems

As you all know. I am chemically addicted to the Internet. Tonight Jacque and I will finally watch Dark Knight. But she gets off later than I do plus she has to fight rush hour traffic to meet me here. So I get to blog to you guys. Anyway I am in an unfamiliar Internet Cafe not far from the chosen Dark Knight theater. I turn on Google . It's in some Eastern European language that does not use the 26 letters you see before you. I take a guess looking for English. Remember the saying as bad as things get, they can always get worse. I find myself in some Arabic language . Now it's really roulette. I take another stab and YES!!! I get French. Which would have been my third choice out of all the languages they have. Then I get it back to English. Moral of the story: Use Yahoo.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

How to post lots of pictures on Multiply

This will be old hat for some you IT savvy young uns. But some of us remember a time when monitors were not in color, there were no hard drives and even when the only computers we ever saw was the one Lt. Uhura talked to. Ever wonder how some people can have such huge albums on Multiply and it's a pain to even post 6 or 20 pictures on your own? Then you got to reduce the pictures yourself or wait a while to upload huge pictures? Well you know the saying a wise man learn from his mistakes and a wiser man learns from other mistakes. Well I am not sure if there is a category for me but I am willing to pass what I learn to you so you can be a wiser man/ woman. You can see the exchange below with my friend. She is plenty tech savvy but did not know this. I spent enough time explaining that I added links to make it easier and hopefully you will all benefit with this experience. I have a bunch of albums in the draft stage that need some fine tuning but it was so easy to get them posted and in Multiply in the first place. Of course any questions ask me but please click all the links and read the instructions. Please let us all know if this is news to you and if this works. Also some of you can improve on this so let me know.


----- Forwarded by Edward Lopez 07/24/2008 10:37 AM -----

Edward Lopez/PERCOM

07/24/2008 08:50 AM

Re: Multiply picsLink

Go to Google and just search "picasa" . Its a Google made application. Then once its installed it searches for EVERY image in your HDD. and organizes it. By date (

In the meantime go to Multiply. Click the sidebar for tips,, specifically how to get a "PIN". How to post pictures by email. For example mine is or something like that in that format. So whatever is emailed to that address will come out in Multiply. Blog entry , Pictures whatever. ( You can blog from anything that will email. Palm Pilot, Cel phone , Wii etc.

Once you have all the pictures in your Picasa program , go to settings or options. What you want to do is have picasa reduce the size of all the pictures going out via email , this will make outgoing mail smaller so it takes less time. Even if you don't do this , Multiply will still accept your pictures up to a point. There is some finite post email on any body's email. I think the most I ever posted was around 180 in one shot but pictures were reduced to less than 60K each.

For example your goodbye Party was in one folder so Picasa made all the pictures one after the other. Then using "Shift" I selected 180 or whatever number of pictures. Then I clicked "email".

At this point Picasa asks you if you want to use your default email client "like Outlook" or Gmail itself. from there, mail to your pin and you have an instant web album. you can use Picasa before the mail to make horizontal pictures vertical etc.

You can also set Multiply to treat every emailed entry as draft so that you decide when your draft is released.

You also know that Multiply emails everything I post to Ling and other people who are not in Multiply.

Picasa and Multiply are not made for each other but it just seems that way.


07/24/2008 06:49 AM

ELopez@percom. .ph
Re: Multiply pics

o-oh... i don't know picasa... how does it work? how to update? I still have to post one by one...

----- Original Message ----
From: "ELopez@percom .ph"
Sent: Monday, July 21, 2008 8:32:31 AM
Subject: Re: Multiply pics

Like I mentioned before. You and Maricar and one of your friends are now my Multiply contacts. And with Picasa , its so easy to post albums of 20 or more pics. that album was posted in one shot.



Jennifer Lim <>

07/20/2008 11:58 AM

Re: Multiply pics


I've seen the goodbye party, I haven't seen the rest yet... Thank You...

----- Original Message ----
From: ""
To: cli
Sent: Wednesday, July 16, 2008 9:44:58 AM
Subject: Multiply pics

Among those albums :

Your goodbye party

Ruby-Anne birthday mall of Asia

Ling birthday Rockwell.



Just read its part of an experiment Part 1

Please take this experiment with me. See if I can communicate and educate something you may know nothing about.

I love football . I always wanted to do an NFL football for dummies class or book or whatever. So why not a series of blog entries? I know I can find financial backing
for that. I want to make it so simple that anyone can learn
something. I had this in the draft section since July 24 then yesterday I saw my football partner in crime publish his own and it gave me the punt in the posterior I need to reignite this.
This is a football

This is the field.

Each team at any one time has 11 players on the field.
The 11 players are usually one of these 4 types:

  • offense
  • defense
  • kicking
  • receiving the kick/ defending the kick.

Football is an ironic name for the game because rosters are usually 40
+ players but usually only 2 people per team actually make contact
with the ball with their feet. That would be;

the place kicker


the punter.

Part 2 When I dream it up .

May She Rest In Piece

I mean there has to be special place in heaven to have played Bea Arthur's mom. We will expect a surge in rentals for this movie.

To all of Estelle's Fans,

Sadly, today July 22, 2008 at 5:35 a.m. Pacific Time, we said our last good-byes to our little friend Estelle, who passed away and made her journey to the great beyond. Although it was a trip that she never wanted to take, she went gracefully, in the comfort of her own home, surrounded by her family and her very loving care-givers.

Estelle's legacy will live on and on through the comedy and laughter she gave to us all, which will forever keep us laughing out loud.

For us here, who have known and cared for her for so many years, we've lost our dear little friend who always kept us entertained by filling our days with joyful laughter. Estelle's fans across the globe have lost the feisty little lady known as Sophia Petrillo, whose quick wit, cutting remarks, and outrageous punch lines will forever be quoted and remembered.

Estelle was a fighter. She always stood up for the underdogs, fought for equality for all, and always pictured a world filled with "Love and Laughter" --her most favorite catch phrase.

Estelle, we love you and will miss you dearly. We pray that you are met at the Pearly Gate with open arms and a warm welcome by all who have passed before you. If there's a stage over there, I know you'll be on it. If there's a thrift shop, I know you'll be shopping, and if there's a deli, I know you'll be eating there holding court with Rhoda and Sylvia ... and the laughter will be heard throughout the heavens.

Goodbye, dear friend. Thank you for all the talent and love that you've shared with us during your time here on Earth. You have touched my life, and the lives of so many others who will never forget you.

Until we meet again...

Love and Laughter to You,

Paul Chapdelaine

Monday, July 21, 2008

As in Any

No intro necessary for this one. Just enjoy.


A medical student was in the morgue one day after classes, getting a little practice in before the final exams.

He went over to a table where a body was lying face down. He removed the sheet over the body and to his surprise he found a cork in the corpse's rectum. Figuring this was fairly unusual, he pulled the cork out, and to his surprise, music began playing a rap song.

The student was amazed, and placed the cork back in the rectum. The music stopped. Totally freaked out, the student called the Medical Examiner over to the corpse.

"Look at this. This is really something!" the student told the examiner as he pulled the cork back out again and to his surprise, music began playing a rap song again.

"So what?", the Medical Examiner replied, obviously unimpressed with the student's discovery.

"But isn't that the most amazing thing you've ever seen?" asked the student.

"Are you kidding?" replied the Examiner, "Any **can sing rap music."

musicAs In Anybody

A medical student was in the morgue one day after classes, getting a little practice in before the final exams.

He went over to a table where a body was lying face down. He removed the sheet over the body and to his surprise he found a cork in the corpse's rectum. Figuring this was fairly unusual, he pulled the cork out, and to his surprise, music began playing a rap song.

The student was amazed, and placed the cork back in the rectum. The music stopped. Totally freaked out, the student called the Medical Examiner over to the corpse.

"Look at this. This is really something!" the student told the examiner as he pulled the cork back out again and to his surprise, music began playing a rap song again.

"So what?", the Medical Examiner replied, obviously unimpressed with the student's discovery.

"But isn't that the most amazing thing you've ever seen?" asked the student.

"Are you kidding?" replied the Examiner, "Any asshole can sing rap music."

Sunday, July 20, 2008

NBA Betting Scandal Revisited

For a quick review click here. What does this tell you?

1) Don't trust in house investigations.

2) To quote the great Leonard Smalls from the must see Raising Arizona " "You wanna find an outlaw, you call an outlaw. You wanna find a Dunkin' Donuts, call a cop.". The best way to find out how deep the NBA is in gambling is to ask gamblers.

Maybe I watched too many Sopranos in a short period of time but if I was going to put in a fix , I would put it in something few people watched and not in the Prime time NFL. Some of these games were not big name match ups during prime time but lesser teams in the middle of the week.


Big Money UNDEFEATED in Accused Ref's Games

by RJ_Bell on 07/16/2008 8:00 AM
Statistics indicate that NBA Referee Scott Foster Affected Games

Las Vegas, Nevada (7/15/08) News reports have revealed that NBA referee Scott Foster was involved in over 130 suspicious phone calls with disgraced ref Tim Donaghy. An examination by RJ Bell of of betting patterns in Scott Fosters games raises even more questions.

During the 2006-07 period under investigation, seven games refereed by Scott Foster had lopsided enough betting on one team to move the point spread by at least 2 points; those seven teams were undefeated against Vegas meaning that the big-money gamblers won a 7 of 7 times on Fosters games; the odds of that happening randomly are less than 1%.
Statistics alone cannot convict, but its certainly noteworthy that seven times in Fosters games one team was bet extremely heavily, and all seven times that team won, said RJ Bell of

Two of those seven games stand out:
On January 19, 2007 the Kings opened as a 1.5 favorites at Boston; betting on Sacramento moved the line to -4.5. Kings won by 5, shooting 25 free throws, versus only 14 free throws for the home team Celtics. On March 20, 2007 the Nuggets opened as 2.5 point underdogs at New Jersey. Denver was bet so heavily, they closed as 1 point favorites. Denver won by 4, shooting 32 free throws versus only 22 for the home team Nets.

In prior reporting widely carried by the national media, RJ Bell of uncovered that big-money bettors won 15 straight lopsidedly bet games refereed by Tim Donaghy during the 2006-2007 season.

Inside the numbers of this study: Teams bet in a disproportionate fashion typically win only around 50% against the Las Vegas line. Wins and losses determined against the opening number. The time frame considered: Opening Day 2006 through March 31, 2007.

MEDIA NOTE: Print, radio, TV, and Internet media should feel free to quote any information above. Please attribute: RJ Bell of

For complete game-by-game details, follow-up questions, or media appearances email:

About RJ Bell of
RJ Bell, president of, has been featured on CBS News with Katie Couric, ABC News with Charles Gibson, Nightline, Sportscenter, Outside the Lines (ESPN), First Take (ESPN2),, ESPN National Radio, Yahoo,, and in Wall Street Journal, USA Today, Associated Press, LA Times,, Maxim, and Forbes.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Jimmy V Foundation all about Love Living and Fighting Cancer

Please read this, it's not about sports I promise. ESPN radio and I have an umbilical cord between us. It's says about the times we live in that I live here in Manila that I can honestly say that. Now the consequence of that addiction is I have these multitude of voices in my ear one to five days a week , year round. But anybody can give you sports or politics . What makes you as a listener loyal to a voice on the radio and Howard Stern has proved this, is to have that person talk about your personal life.

One of my motivations as a writer is provide an outlet for what touches me both good and bad. because if it touches me then maybe it will touch you. Just maybe your day will be different. Then in turn you can make the day of other people around you different.

Cancer touches everybody. It just does. I have had this good friend for twelve years and she lost her mom late last year. She was so full of life. I remember telling my own mom that this person was really " ka sadya " in the Ilonggo sense of the word even though she was Irish Canadian. Somebody who always cracked you up. It was hard reading about her gradual deterioration but it's flattering when someone trusts you enough to share that pain with you through a series of emails.

Sometimes adversity brings out a strength and will in people that will never surface in times of content and tranquility. Jimmy Valvano was handed what turned out to be a death sentence. What touches people 15 years later is what he did with that death sentence. What he did not do is throw a pity party . He put in the building blocks for the foundation that bears his name today. I will attempt to give you today what Jimmy V decided to do with his death sentence. When you see what he did and the fruits that bore from what he did, his death sentence did not end with a period.

Anyway Thursday morning at my desk, I have tears in my eyes listening to the different people and their winning bids and their reasons for doing what they do. The annual fund raiser for the Jimmy V foundation. I provided the audio clip about a father's fight and the effort to stay postive , too awkward to describe anyway. I may provide the file for the whole show but in the meantime you can get it HERE . Make sure you get the July 16 2008 show. Again about 2 or 3 people worldwide read this column anyway so I "reward " you about real life things like crying in my desk. At least the desk itself is enclosed.

Of course as I write this my thoughts turn to people taken by cancer and family we lost for whatever reason. Tita (Aunt) Vicky was hard to take. There was the time we first heard the news. The symptoms first started showing up during a long weekend back in 2003. I was not there but we were vacationing in the same place. Then the roller coaster ride that lasted 2 1/2 years .

I remember my dad getting the call when we were in a taxi in Bangkok that she was better. This was during their visit to Stanford (June 2004 Palo Alto , California). We were relieved but sometimes those feelings don't last. I remember Christmas 2005 being particularly bleak for her but she was able to overcome that hurdle. I know I was drained and it's not like I had first hand view of it. She finally succumbed April 13 ,2006 which was Holy Thursday here. Her funeral was the following Sunday. Below is the bookmark they gave out that day. i don't know the origin exactly but it could not be that well known since it did not show up on Google so I typed it out.

Moments in Life

There are moments in life when you miss someone so much that you just want to pick them up from your dreams and hug them for real!

When the door of happiness closes, another opens; but we often look so long at that the closed door we don't see the one which has been opened for us.

Don't go for looks , they can deceive. Don't go for wealth , even that fades away. Go for someone who makes you smile to make a dark day seem bright. Find the one that makes your heart smile.

Dream what you want to dream; go where you want to go; be what you want to be, because you have only one life and one chance to do all the things you want to do.

May you have enough happiness to make you sweet , enough trials to make you strong, enough sorrow to keep you human , and enough hope to make you happy.

The happiest of people don't necessarily have the best of everything; they just make the most of everything that comes along their way.

The brightest future will always be based on a forgotten past. You can't go forward in life unit you let go of your past failures and heartaches.

And while you have the your time and before you go , thank God for all the people who have come your way ; show your appreciation , your love.

To those who have touched your life in one way or another; To those who make you smile when you really need it; To those who make you see the brighter side of things when you are really down; To those whose friendship you appreciate; To those who are so meaningful in your life ;

I hope I did.


Vicky Benares Jalandoni

Feb 18 1950 - April 13 2006. Don't count the years , count the memories!

Well since I spent enough time on her decline I prefer to end my recollection of her with some fond memories. Memories that have come back listening to the Jimmy V speech.

  • mid 70's in Fabrica, Negros. Coming from the beach and something was wrong with my feet. I remember seeing Jelly Fish right on the beach and I was scared I may have stepped on one. She was sympathized with me.
  • 1986 she went to Vancouver for Expo. I remember we chatted with her asking me if I felt Canada was truly home.
  • 1997 My cousin Rissa got married and we were in LA and San Fran. She learned from me two trivial things but she treated it like the Dead Sea Scrolls. 1) a short pencil is better than a long memory. A philosophy a high teacher had that has served me well when I was wise enough to use it. 2) We were stuck in traffic in the highway outside San Fran and I told her the term "rubber necking" the phenomena of a traffic jam caused more by people slowing down to look at the accident than the actual accident itself. Not sure why she got a kick out of those things but as you can see, I treasure the memory.
  • 2001-2005 - She was a semi regular at our office. There were more than a few times I should have been at my post but I was talking to her. One topic we always enjoyed was talking about Angela's kids. I remember I told her Matthew's first name for me was "EEEEEEEEEEEEE" . She then said "I want him to know me so he can give me a name". I also told her about when Andrew was really young but I was astounded when he wanted to look at the digital camera monitor to see how the picture turned out and she enjoyed the thought of this little boy coming to that level of awareness and deduction.
  • Her last message to me was relayed by my Ninoy Benny. How she appreciated me looking to see if she was there at her usual desk. Of course I did not want to think of anything as "last". Denial was there until the actual end.

Memories from four different decades. Impacted on me by Tita Vicky. You know what was another layer of sad in the Tita Vicky story? For the second time in my life I saw a mother bury her child. I hope it never happens to any of you but if it has or does you will definitely get a sympathetic ear from me. Unfortunately I have seen it twice since then.

Valvano received a lengthy standing ovation after the speech you will see, hear and read about. .He died less than two months later after a year-long battle with cancer. I hope somehow his "mind, heart and soul" has somehow in some small capacity lived in me the last few days I have been working on this multimedia piece. I know without a doubt it made the others that were claimed live again even though it comes at the price of some sadness. If you were patient enough to read all I had to say and allow Jimmy V to touch your heart like it has mine , thank you. Should you feel moved enough to spread the word by linking my piece or making a donation to a cancer foundation you may not have or by being extra caring to one you know. Don't talk about me, I have done nothing. I am just a blabber mouth who can type. Talk about Jimmy V, talk about ESPN keeping his message alive well past his death. Play the audio files , watch the video and share it with others . So that at least we can do our small part to prove the end of his speech true.



Thank you very much. Thank you.

That's -- That's the lowest I've ever seen Dick Vitale since the owner of the Detroit Pistons called him in and told him he should go into broadcasting.

I can't tell you what an honor it is to even be mentioned in the same breath with Arthur Ashe. This is something I certainly will treasure forever. But, as it was said on the tape, and I also don't have one of those things going with the cue cards, so I'm going to speak longer than anybody else has spoken tonight. That's the way it goes. Time is very precious to me. I don't know how much I have left, and I have some things that I would like to say. Hopefully, at the end, I'll have something that will be important to other people too.

But, I can't help it. Now, I'm fighting cancer, everybody knows that. People ask me all the time about how you go through your life and how's your day, and nothing is changed for me. As Dick said, I'm a very emotional, passionate man. I can't help it. That's being the son of Rocco and Angelina Valvano. It comes with the territory. We hug, we kiss, we love. And when people say to me how do you get through life or each day, it's the same thing. To me, there are three things we all should do every day. We should do this every day of our lives. Number one is laugh. You should laugh every day. Number two is think. You should spend some time in thought. And number three is, you should have your emotions moved to tears, could be happiness or joy. But think about it. If you laugh, you think, and you cry, that's a full day. That's a heck of a day. You do that seven days a week, you're going to have something special.

And so, I can't help -- I rode on the plane up today with Mike Krzyzewski, my good friend and a wonderful coach. People don't realize he's ten times a better person than he is a coach, and we know he's a great coach. He's meant a lot to me in these last five or six months with my battle. But when I look at Mike, I think, we competed against each other as players. I coached against him for fifteen years, and I always have to think about what's important in life to me are these three things. Where you started; where you are; and where you're gonna be. Those are the three things that I try and do every day. And you know when I think about getting up and giving a speech, I can't help it -- I have to remember the first speech I ever gave.

I was coaching at Rutgers University, that was my first job -- oh, that's wonderful [reaction to applause] -- and I was the freshman coach. That's when freshmen played on freshman teams. And I was so fired up about my first job. I see Lou Holtz, Coach Holtz here. What was it like, the very first job you had, right? The very first time you stood in the locker room to give a pep talk. That's a special place, the locker room, for a coach to give a talk. So my idol as a coach was Vince Lombardi, and I read this book called Commitment To Excellence by Vince Lombardi. And in the book, Lombardi talked about the fist time he spoke before his Green Bay Packer team in the locker room -- they were perennial losers. And I'm reading this and Lombardi said he was thinking should it be a long talk? A short talk? But he wanted it to be emotional, so it would be brief.

And here's what he did. Normally you get in the locker room, I don't know, twenty-five minutes, a half hour before the team takes the field; you do your little X's and 0's, and then you give the great Knute Rockne talk. We all do. Speech number eight-four. You pull them right out, you get ready, get your squad ready. Well, this is the first one I ever gave. And I read this thing -- Lombardi, what he said was he didn't go in. He waited. His team was wondering: Where is he? Where is this great coach? He's not there. Ten minutes -- he's still not there. Three minutes before they could take the field Lombardi comes in, bangs the door open, and I think you all remember what great presence he had, alright, great presence. He walked in and he just walked back and forth, like this, just walked, staring at the players. And he said, "All eyes on me." And I'm reading this in this book. I'm getting this picture of Lombardi before his first game and he said "Gentlemen, we will be successful this year, if you can focus on three things, and three things only: Your family, your religion, and the Green Bay Packers." And that...And they knocked the walls down and the rest was history. I said, that's beautiful. I'm going to do that. Your family, your religion, and Rutgers basketball.

That's it. I had it. Listen, I'm twenty-one years old. The kids I'm coaching are nineteen, alright? And I'm going to be the greatest coach in the world, the next Lombardi. And...I'm practicing outside of the locker room and the managers tell me "you got to go in." "Not yet, not yet"... family, religion, Rutgers Basketball. All eyes on me. I got it, I got it. Then finally he said, "three minutes," and I said "fine." True story. I go to knock the doors open just like Lombardi. Boom! They didn't open. I almost broke my arm. I was like...Now I was down, the players were looking. Help the coach out, help him out. And now I did like Lombardi, I walked back and forth, and I was going like that with my arm getting the feeling back in it. Finally I said, "Gentlemen, all eyes on me." These kids wanted to play, they're nineteen. "Let's go," I said. "Gentlemen, we'll be successful this year if you can focus on three things, and three things only: Your family, your religion, and the Green Bay Packers," I told them. I did that. I remember that. I remember...where I came from.

It's so important to know where you are. And I know where I am right now. How do you go from where you are to where you wanna be? And I think you have to have an enthusiasm for life. You have to have a dream, a goal. And you have to be willing to work for it.

I talked about my family, my family's so important. People think I have courage. The courage in my family are my wife Pam, my three daughters, here, Nicole, Jamie, LeeAnn, my mom, who's right here too. And...that screen is flashing up there thirty seconds like I care about that screen right now, huh? I got tumors all over my body. I'm worried about some guy in the back going thirty seconds, huh?

You got a lot, hey va fa napoli, buddy. You got a lot.

I just got one last thing, I urge all of you, all of you, to enjoy your life, the precious moments you have. To spend each day with some laughter and some thought, to get you're emotions going. To be enthusiastic every day and [as] Ralph Waldo Emerson said, "Nothing great could be accomplished without enthusiasm" -- to keep your dreams alive in spite of problems whatever you have. The ability to be able to work hard for your dreams to come true, to become a reality.

Now, I look at where I am now and I know what I wanna to do. What I would like to be able to do is to spend whatever time I have left and to give, and maybe some hope to others. Alright, Arthur Ashe Foundation is a wonderful thing, and AIDS, the amount of money pouring in for AIDS is not enough, but it is significant. But if I told you it's ten times the amount that goes in for cancer research. I'll also tell you that five hundred thousand people will die this year of cancer. And I'll also tell you that one in every four will be afflicted with this disease, and yet, somehow, we seem to have put it in a little bit of the background. I want to bring it back on the front table. We need your help. I need your help. We need money for research. It may not save my life. It may save my children's life. It may save someone you love. And it's very important.

And ESPN has been so kind to support me in this endeavor and allow me to announce tonight, that with ESPN's support, which means what? Their money and their dollars and they're helping me -- we are starting the

Jimmy V Foundation for Cancer Research. And its motto is "Don't give up, don't ever give up." And that's what I'm going to try to do every minute that I have left. I will thank God for the day and the moment I have. And if you see me, smile and maybe give me a hug. That's important to me too. But try if you can to support, whether it's AIDS or the cancer foundation, so that someone else might survive, might prosper, and might actually be cured of this dreaded disease. I can't thank ESPN enough for allowing this to happen. And I'm going to work as hard as I can...for cancer research and hopefully, maybe, we'll have some cures and some breakthroughs. I'd like to think I'm going to fight my brains out to be back here again next year for the Arthur Ashe recipient. I want to give it next year!

I know, I gotta go, I gotta go, and I got one last thing and I said it before, and I'm gonna say it again: Cancer can take away all my physical ability. It cannot touch my mind; it cannot touch my heart; and it cannot touch my soul. And those three things are going to carry on forever.

I thank you and God bless you all.

files available here

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Sgt Pepper and Innovation Behind It

I love the Beatles. What is critical to know is the Beatles influenced a lot of acts I would end up loving to pick up a guitar, write songs and form a band. Knowing that, our debt to them is amazing. A lot of music we know and love may not exist without them. My cousin Justin and I have had long arguments how useless rap is . All this going back to 1994. One of the things that clinched it was I told him when I was first year high school hearing Joe Walsh made me wish I could play guitar. Listening to Rick Davies of Supertramp made me retake piano lessons. What does rap make you want to do? he said "Nothing" . I don't entirely believe that but that is a generation speaking of the uselessness of a genre. Rap music is an oxymoron.

Individually very few people would consider George Harrison a guitar whiz or confuse Ringo Starr with Buddy Rich. Yet put those four together with their talents as song writers and with people like George Martin further adding to the creative process, well immortal magic.

The very first sentence in Sgt. Peppers is "It was twenty years ago today , Sgt. Pepper taught the band to play". Some people think Brothers in Arms by Dire Straits was the first album to show that CDs have arrived. That was 1985. The Beatles catalog was released on cd two years after that. To show you how much of a weenie I was I bought my copy of Sgt.Peppers (CD) exactly twenty years after the release of the record which was the day of the CD debut. Twenty one years later after the fact I am admitting to you guys.

Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band is a lot like Citizen Kane in the sense that if you are younger like me ( I was a year old when it came out) You take for granted what is on it because it has been copied and added to so much since then. Below Bob talks about listening to only that for a week. He is not the only guy to publicly admit that. Peter Frampton did too and so many others. It's because Sgt.Pepper's was the first time any of this was tried before. Once you have heard the offshoots, the original sounds almost ordinary.

It was the first record with lyrics provided. Enjoy Bob Lefsetz's Beatles memories plus his meeting with producer Sir George Martin. I provided one of the cuts from Sgt.Pepper's Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds along with some information on it. Link about the entire album itself is in the previous paragraph.

There's so much to say about the Beatles. But they are what they are because they were not complacent. They were already on top but they took advantage of their added clout by pushing the envelope more. Maybe those forces could not co exist for too long so don't go blaming Yoko too much.



"Do you need anybody?"

Last night I went down to USC to hear George Martin tell the story of the making of "Sgt. Pepper".

Not that I usually go to NARAS events. But a friend I only know from the Internet bought me a ticket. And despite my arriving thirty minutes past the time of our assignation, when I phoned Mike he was still stuck on the freeway, so while I ate hors d'oeuvres I engaged in conversation with Mike Clink about producing the new Zakk Wylde album and Daryl Friedman regarding the Recording Academy's agenda in D.C. Daryl assured me that there would be a performance royalty for recordings played on the radio in 2009. And then we discussed the NARAS agenda. Clink and David Helfant laughed and said the board argued over all the same issues I bring up in my newsletter. And then the bell rang and we went inside.

This is not your normal Hollywood crowd. These are not the faces on TMZ. They're connected with the industry somehow, but I didn't know almost any of them. And not being connected, I found myself upstairs in the balcony, wedged in between unfamiliar faces. And the reason I'm complaining about this is when George Martin emerged, I couldn't hear every single word.

But I could hear enough.

I couldn't understand why the woman next to me spent the entire presentation with her head on her boyfriend's shoulder. Then again, she probably wasn't even born when "Sgt. Pepper" was released. She didn't live through not only one chart-topping success after another, but the endless limit-testing. Madonna kept reinventing herself, but the Beatles kept reinventing their music. They were always one step ahead of us, they pulled us into the future.

But they almost didn't get their chance. George spoke of making the deal with Brian Epstein, how he'd have passed if he knew everybody else had. How he thought the original material was rubbish. How the original version of "Please Please Me" was a lame Roy Orbison clone. But when they came back to record it...he was stunned... They'd delivered. You see the Beatles were hungry. They had an awful royalty rate, but they would have done it for free.

George told how Paul McCartney rejected his use of strings on "Yesterday" out of the box, worried about his cred, but then caved and was pleased and was ultimately open to George's rip of the "Psycho" soundtrack for "Eleanor Rigby".

Then we got to the main attraction, "Sgt. Pepper".

And George told how they'd cut "Strawberry Fields Forever" first. And then "Penny Lane". Breaking down "Strawberry Fields", hearing the original version sans mellotron, was fascinating. As was the use of a classical musician for the trumpet solo on "Penny Lane".

But then the real work began. On the album as we know it.

And to tell you the truth, although fascinating, very little of this was a revelation. Because it's been covered so many times before. But then, George starts breaking down the tracks.

I don't know what it's like being a kid today. Whether all the distractions make for the harried life the media depicts. What with soccer practice and music lessons and Facebook and Net surfing it appears kids have no free time. We didn't have so many diversions. To us, the music was almost everything. Sure, we had TV. But there were only three networks, and the programming was safe. The records were dangerous. Limits were tested aurally, not visually.

But those days are through.

I love a great record. But I don't hear as many as I used to. Or maybe it's me, I'm in a different part of my life.

But then, sitting high in Bovard Auditorium, George Martin isolated the background vocals on "With A Little Help From My Friends".

This is after telling the story of coaxing Ringo to do the vocal. Before Ringo complained that everybody else in the group was a frustrated drummer and told him how to play his parts. We were in the middle of the track. That's when the spine-tingling moment occurred.

We listen on earbuds. Most people's stereo is their computer, whose awful speakers, which including amplification, cost less than $100. We get a facsimile of the sound. It's so far removed from the studio that it doesn't make any difference if the sound was made by machines, machines are just about the only thing that sounds good using today's technology.

But we used to listen to analog recordings. On the best stereos money could buy. And what came out of the speakers was POSITIVELY MELLIFLUOUS!

Where were you during the summer of '67? I bought "Sgt. Pepper" the day it came out and listened to only it for a week straight. My favorite cut was "Being For The Benefit Of Mr. Kite". Then I fell in love with "Lovely Rita". The title track's reprise was too short for me.

But that was eons ago, forty years, in fact. Not only has my body been ravaged by time, but my mind has been buffeted by life, and two of the men who made this music are dead.

But when I heard the band backing up Ringo, we were all suddenly ALIVE!

"Does it worry you to be alone?"

It does me. The joy comes from being a member of the group. As great as some of the band members' solo work was, they were best together. With egos clashing, laughing, trying to top each other.

This vocal sound was not something cut in GarageBand. Through experience George Martin blended the background vocals so you could hear the husky emotion in John Lennon's unique voice, imploring you to pay attention, riddled with the desire to leave Liverpool behind, yet still sweet. All of this baked into one little snippet, a movie appearing in the theatre of the mind.

Now the audience has a grip on our performers. Acts are afraid to take a step without checking the public's pulse. But we used to just try to keep up. We didn't own the acts, they owned us. We followed them to a better place. And, forty years later, when you hear these tracks it's all still there. The joy. Of life, of record-making, of experimentation, of music.


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Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds

(John Lennon/Paul McCartney)

John Lennon: Vocals, electric guitar, piano
Paul McCartney: Organ, bass guitar, vocals
George Harrison: Electric guitar, acoustic guitar, tamboura, vocals
Ringo Starr: Drums, maracas

Recorded March 1, 2 1967.

Available on:
Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band
The Beatles/1967-1970
Anthology 2

It's a well-known theory that Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds really stands for LSD (Lucy-Sky-Diamonds).

But John Lennon always disputed this.

Lennon said he got the idea to the lyrics one afternoon when his then four-year-old son Julian came home from nursery school with a drawing. Julian had drawn a sky, stars and a girl, and told his dad that it was Lucy in the sky with diamonds. Lucy was in fact Lucy O'Donnell, one of Julian's school friends.

This triggered John's imagination. He had always been fascinated by the surreal, and in particular by two of Lewis Carroll's books, Alice in Wonderland and Through The Looking Glass. He later said that the hallucinary images in the song were inspired by the chapter Wool and Water in the latter book, where Alice is taken down the river in a rowing boat ("Picture yourself in boat on a river").

However, Lennon did admit in later interviews that he frequently used the drug LSD between 1966 and 1968, and it's of course possible that Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds was an attempt to describe a LSD trip. It is also possible that the lyrics were written while Lennon was under the influence of the drug. Nevertheless, the fact that the song title could be shortened to L-S-D is most likely to have been a coincidence.

The Beatles used several effects in the recording studio to create the dream-like, surrealistic atmosphere that surrounds Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds.

Firstly, Lennon's child-like, high-pitched voice was created by recording him at slow speed before playing the track back at normal speed. In addition, his microphone was put through a Leslie amplifier inside a Hammond organ (Beatles had used the same technique on Tomorrow Never Knows from 1966's Revolver).

George Harrison played the Indian tamboura on the song, an Indian, guitar-like instrument which makes a drone sound. Together with McCartney's delightful bass line and Ringo's timely use of cymbals it all sounded weird and wonderful at the same time.

It was McCartney who played the song's distinctive opening passage on a Hammond organ. The organ was taped with a special organ stop to create the celeste-like sound.

Several artists have covered Lucy In The Sky with Diamonds, the most famous version is Elton John's remake which was recorded in 1974 and which features John Lennon on backing vocals and guitar (he used the pseudonym Dr. Winston O'Boogie). This version was released as a single and topped the US charts for two weeks in January 1975.

Lennon's last live appearance was at Elton John's Madison Square Garden concert in 1974. The two friends did a version of Lucy In the Sky With Diamonds, which can be heard on the CD box set entitled Lennon from 1990. The single version is available on a number of Elton John's greatest hits records, such as The Very best of Elton John.

Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds

(John Lennon/Paul McCartney)

Picture yourself in boat on a river
With tangerine trees and marmalde skies
Somebody calls you, you answer quite slowly
A girl with kaleidoscope eyes

Cellophane flowers of yellow and green
Towering over your head
Look for the girl with the sun in her eyes
And she’s gone

Lucy in the sky with diamonds

Follow her down to a bridge by a fountain
Where rocking horse people eat marshmallow pies
Everyone smiles as you drift past the flowers
That grow so incredibly high

Newspaper taxis appear on the shore
Waiting to take you away
Climb in the back with your head in the clouds
And you’re gone

Lucy in the sky with diamonds
Picture yourself on a train in a station
With plasticine porters with looking glass ties
Suddenly someone is there at the turnstile
The girl with kaleidoscope eyes
Lucy in the sky with diamonds

Tribute to Charles Durning

Everybody and anybody can do a tribute for someone when they die. I did that when I heard about Sydney Pollack. Anybody and everybody can do a tribute for someone or something ultra popular. Today I want to go against the grain. Do a tribute for someone enormously appreciated by the Coen Brothers and Burt Reynolds. With references like that there can be few people cooler. Charles Durning. For a while I just thought he was a flunky for Burt Reynolds. Imagine pro boxer and war hero and someone who has been in countless films. Here's to you Charles!!!!


Charles Durning

Born: 28-Feb-1923
Birthplace: Highland Falls, NY

Gender: Male
Race or Ethnicity: White
Sexual orientation: Straight
Occupation: Actor

Nationality: United States
Executive summary: The Muppet Movie

Military service: US Army (Ranger, WWII)

Charles Durning joined the US Army when he was 17 years old, and during World War II he was seriously wounded by a mine and suffered severe bayonet wounds in hand-to-hand combat with Nazis. His unit was eventually defeated in Belgium by an SS Panzer unit, but Durning escaped and was spared the fate met by many of his friends -- the infamous Malmedy massacre, in which German officer Joachim Peiper had over 100 American prisoners shot dead without warning as they stood in a field. On 6 June 1944, Durning was with Allied troops for the invasion of German-occupied France in the Normandy landings. For his military service, he was awarded three Purple Hearts and a Silver Star. He later had a long career as a movie actor.

Wife: Carol (div. 1972, three children)
Wife: Mary Ann Amelio (childhood sweetheart, m. 1973)

Purple Heart
Silver Star
French Legion of Honor
Tony 1990 for Cat On A Hot Tin Roof
Golden Globe 1991 for The Kennedys of Massachusetts
Taken Prisoner of War
Risk Factors:

Ex-pro boxer, WWII veteran, dance instructor and diversely talented stage & screen actor are all inclusions on the resume of this perpetually busy US actor who didn't get in front of the cameras until around the time of his fortieth birthday ! The stockily built Charles Durning is one of Hollywood's most dependable and sought after supporting actors who first got his start in guest appearances in early 1960's TV shows. He scored minor roles over the next decade until he really got noticed by film fans as the sneering, corrupt cop "Lt. Snyder" hassling street grifter 'Robert Redford' in the multi award winning mega-hit The Sting (1973). Durning was equally entertaining in the Billy Wilder production of The Front Page (1974), he supported screen tough guy Charles Bronson in the suspenseful western Breakheart Pass (1975) and featured as "Spermwhale Whalen" in the story of unorthodox police behavior in The Choirboys (1977).

The versatile Durning is equally adept at comedic roles and demonstrated his skills as "Doc Hopper" in
The Muppet Movie (1979), a feisty football coach in North Dallas Forty (1979), a highly strung police officer berating maverick cop Burt Reynolds in Sharky's Machine (1981), and a light footed, dancing Governor (alongside Burt Reynolds once more) in The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas (1982). Durning continued a regular on screen association with Burt Reynolds appearing in several more feature films together and as "Dr. Harlan Elldridge" in the highly popular TV series "Evening Shade" (1990). On par with his multitude of feature film roles, Durning has always been in high demand on television and has guest starred in "Everybody Loves Raymond" (1996), "Monk" (2002) and "Rescue Me" (2004). Plus, he has appeared in the role of "Santa Claus" in five different telemovies!

Another World Police Chief Gil McGowan (#1, 1972)
Evening Shade Dr. Harlan Elldridge (1990-94)
First Monday Justice Henry Hoskins (2002)

Deal (29-Jan-2008)
Desperation (23-May-2006)
Dirty Deeds (26-Aug-2005)
A Boyfriend for Christmas (27-Nov-2004)
Mr. St. Nick (16-Nov-2002)
Bleacher Bums (7-Apr-2002)
The Judge (6-May-2001)
Lakeboat (13-Apr-2001)
O Brother, Where Art Thou? (22-Dec-2000)
State and Main (26-Aug-2000)
The Last Producer (22-Aug-2000)
Hard Time: Hostage Hotel (14-Nov-1999)
Justice (30-Apr-1999)
Hard Time (13-Dec-1998)
Hi-Life (27-Nov-1998)
Jerry and Tom (19-Jan-1998)
Shelter (16-Jan-1998)
One Fine Day (20-Dec-1996)
Mrs. Santa Claus (8-Dec-1996)
The Grass Harp (11-Oct-1996)
Spy Hard (24-May-1996)
The Land Before Time IV: Journey Through the Mists (1996) [VOICE]
Home for the Holidays (3-Nov-1995)
The Last Supper (8-Sep-1995)
I.Q. (25-Dec-1994)
The Hudsucker Proxy (11-Mar-1994)
Cat Chaser (08-Sep-1993)
The Music of Chance (4-Jun-1993)
When a Stranger Calls Back (4-Apr-1993)
V.I. Warshawski (26-Jul-1991)
Dick Tracy (15-Jun-1990)
Brenda Starr (20-Jul-1989)
Far North (10-Sep-1988)
Cop (Mar-1988)
A Tiger's Tale (12-Feb-1988)
The Man Who Broke 1,000 Chains (31-Oct-1987)
Happy New Year (7-Aug-1987)
The Rosary Murders (1987)
Kenny Rogers as The Gambler, Part III (1987)
Solarbabies (26-Nov-1986)
Tough Guys (3-Oct-1986)
Where the River Runs Black (11-Sep-1986)
Big Trouble (30-May-1986)
Death of a Salesman (14-Sep-1985)
Stick (25-Jul-1985)
The Man with One Red Shoe (19-Jul-1985)
Mass Appeal (06-Dec-1984)
Two of a Kind (16-Dec-1983)
To Be or Not To Be (1983)
Tootsie (17-Dec-1982)
The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas (23-Jul-1982)
Sharky's Machine (18-Dec-1981)
Dark Night of the Scarecrow (24-Oct-1981)
True Confessions (2-Oct-1981)
The Best Little Girl in the World (11-May-1981)
The Final Countdown (9-Jul-1980)
Die Laughing (Apr-1980)
Attica (2-Mar-1980)
Tilt (18-Jan-1980)
When a Stranger Calls (12-Oct-1979)
Starting Over (5-Oct-1979)
North Dallas Forty (3-Aug-1979)
The Muppet Movie (22-Jun-1979)
The Greek Tycoon (29-Jul-1978)
An Enemy of the People (17-Mar-1978)
The Fury (10-Mar-1978)
The Choirboys (23-Dec-1977)
Twilight's Last Gleaming (9-Feb-1977)
Harry and Walter Go to New York (17-Jun-1976)
Breakheart Pass (25-Dec-1975)
The Hindenberg (25-Dec-1975)
Dog Day Afternoon (21-Sep-1975)
Queen of the Stardust Ballroom (13-Feb-1975)
The Front Page (17-Dec-1974)
The Sting (25-Dec-1973)
Sisters (27-Mar-1973)
Deadhead Miles (1972)
I Walk the Line (18-Nov-1970)
Hi, Mom! (27-Apr-1970)
Stiletto (30-Jul-1969)