Friday, October 31, 2008

Its all about love

To accomplish something great as a group , that group has to work together. What makes that group work together for a common goal is a mutual respect for each other. Take the minute necessary to download the following file and listen to this explanation of what it feels to accomplish what you set out to accomplish and what it takes as a group. I won't transcribe it. Listen to it the way I heard it.

The meat of it is about 4:45 into the 8 minute file but listen to the whole thing to get a flavor for the speaker.

Its Not What Happens to You but What You Decide After

Once in a while I take a break from being my goofy self and make an entry I hope inspires. Jim Kelly (The NFL player not the guy from Enter the Dragon) lost his eight year old son Hunter to a rare disease. A tragedy no matter how you look at it. But I always have a soft spot for people who use tragedy as a fuel to doing good . It's a choice. He took the courage that he had as an intense competitor on the football field and became a winner in the eyes of so many parent whose children's lives have improved because of Jim's initiative. Hunter did not die in vain. I recommend all parents and would be parents to read the website of the organization inspired by Hunter. The text in black below comes from a writer I enjoy (peter King) who wrote about Jim Kelly's mission. Any young parent or even grand parent will do well to read Jim's message.


Good Guy of the Week

Jim Kelly, retired quarterback, Buffalo.

Kelly, who never could get the Bills over the Super Bowl hump in his Hall of Fame career, has a new mission these days -- to get every state to test for 54 potentially fatal diseases that could be diagnosed at birth. Only one state, Minnesota, tests for that many today.

He's on this mission because of the death of his son, Hunter, in 2005, from a rare brain disease called Krabbe Leukodystrophy. The disease (leukodystrophies afflict one of every 100,000 American births) could have been diagnosed at birth, but New York State did not test for the illness when Hunter was born in 1997.

"The tragedy for Hunter, and for so many children born with fatal illnesses, is that they're simply born in the wrong state,'' Kelly said the other night. "If you don't think that's something that just tears at your heart every day ...''

I've known Kelly for a long time, and I've always found him to be one of the biggest life-of-the-party guys I've covered. He was a prolific pre-curfew beer man in his Bills training-camp years, when the Buffalo players were as tight as a team could be. But when I saw him the other day, I saw he'd changed. There was a grimness to a once-carefree guy, with more lines on his face than I remembered. The grimness is not from giving up; it's a grim determination.

He's already seen governors of three states -- New York, Pennsylvania and Kansas -- and gotten each to increase dramatically the number of diseases tested for at birth. When babies are born, their heels are pricked and a blood sample taken to test for diseases. With Kelly's lobbying, New York has increased from 11 to 44 diseases tested for, Pennsylvania from 11 to 29, and Kansas from four to 29.

Parents can buy a kit to screen their children for the maximum number of diseases for less than $100, but Kelly, and his foundation, want the tests to be done for every child as a matter of course. Considering that the costs of caring for children with one of many known leukodystrophies can run from between $500,000 and $1 million per year, it seems like early-testing money would be well spent.

"I never won a Super Bowl,'' said Kelly, "and for a long time that really bothered me, obviously. But this is real. This is life. My Super Bowl victory will be to get every state to adopt universal newborn screening so we can save lives that are now being lost needlessly. When that day comes, that victory will be 10 times better than any Super Bowl.''

Because New York now tests for Krabbe, Kelly met a perfectly healthy boy, now a year and half old, who was diagnosed at birth and successfully treated. "Little Elmer,'' he said with a grin. Now his goal is to meet a lot more Elmers. If you'd like to help, or learn more about Kelly's mission, you can go to

Its Never Too Late to Learn and Set an Example

First of all it's nice to know another Filipino who rips off Yahoo Sports for material that is useful to prove a point beyond sports. Second of all it makes my day when someone tells me they learn something from reading my stuff. You never stop learning. I also learn more, the more I spread whatever little knowledge I acquire. Again, a concept by Steven Covey.

Watching and learning is powerful. All the cliches apply. Do as I do. Ears are closed to advice but eyes are open to example. When I finally go through the final hoop of my Oral Comprehensive Exam for De La Salle Graduate School of Business maybe I will thank Joe Dumars. Then I will be an example.


Theres The Rub

By Conrado de Quiros
Philippine Daily Inquirer
First Posted 00:27:00 10/22/2008

Joe Dumars is a well-known and beloved figure in the NBA. He recently accomplished his greatest feat yet, and it had nothing to do with basketball.

Dumars was one-half of the formidable Pistons backcourt of the late 1980s, with the other half consisting of Isiah Thomas. Thomas went into free fall after his playing days, making a mess of the New York basketball organization for several years before being booted out of there this year. Dumars went on to become one of the model executives not just of basketball but of the corporate world generally, turning Detroit’s front office into the envy of peers. As president of the Motor City franchise, he piloted Detroit to the championship in 2004 without going into a kind of lavish spending and high-profile player-swapping the rest of the league was forced to.

But, like I said, his recent and greatest feat had nothing to do with basketball. Adrian Wojnarowski, a Yahoo sports writer, wrote about it some days ago. Dumars was born to parents who had the intellectual mettle to make it through college but never had the opportunity to do so. His mom was a custodian of Northwestern State University in Louisiana while his dad was a truck driver. Joe left McNeese State University in Central Michigan with several years of college behind him, but needed 21 units more to graduate. He always planned to finish it, but never found the time to do so.

Over the years, the trophies and the medals and the awards piled up, but he always felt something lacking inside. “It gnawed at me,” Dumars said. “It just gnawed. I’m always talking to my players and my organization about, ‘No excuses.’ You play 14 years, and become a president of a team and you just haven’t had the time—or rather, you didn’t make any time—to get it done.”

Dumars’ wife, Debbie, has a master’s degree in Education, and their son, Jordan, and daughter, Aren, are both in school. Jordan is on his way to the University of South Florida on a basketball scholarship. Joe decided to find the time to get it done. Some 18 months ago, he called up his school to enroll in the online course to complete his bachelor of science in business management.

Wojnarowski: “For all the family discussions of balancing academics and athletics, Debbie understood that nothing made more of a profound impact than her son coming home to find his father completing his course work in his study late at night. ‘If you’re going to talk about falling through in life, you’ve got to show it,’ she said. ‘That’s why it was important for Joe to get his degree, and say, ‘Hey, look what I did.’ It kept in line with everything he was preaching.’

“In August, the McNeese State president arranged a private graduation ceremony at his house on campus. With the playoffs, Dumars had to miss the June commencement. So, Dumars invited some 15 family and friends in Lake Charles, and told his daughter, Aren, and Jordan that they had to come, too….

“The most famous alumnus in the history of McNeese State University wore his cap and gown and his wife wasn’t sure that she had ever seen anything—not the NBA titles, not the Hall of Fame, nothing—that left him seeming so … so … satisfied.”

It’s almost enough to make me shift my loyalties to Detroit. It’s an affirmation of some pretty good values. Not the least of them is the power of example.

It’s not what you say but what you do that imparts lifelong lessons. You can lecture your kids about the importance of learning and education, but if you spend your Sundays in the cockpit and stagger home late at night stinking of gin, there’s precious little love of learning you’ll encourage. That ad that says that in the eyes of your child, what you do takes on an entire syllabus, or something to that effect, is absolutely true. You bribe a cop, you drive through a red light, you cut corners, you will have taught your child a lesson not all the pointers on good manners and right conduct at school can undo.

Conversely, you see your parent trying to better himself or herself, that’s something you’ll carry with you all your life. Don’t you just get goose pimples imagining how Dumars’ kid must have felt seeing him burning the midnight candle in his study deep into the night?

Just as well, it affirms something truly valuable that’s being lost today. That’s being lost today because of things like, well, basketball and American Idol, with all the glitter and hoopla and big bucks that they promise and exude. And which have become today’s measure of success.

By those standards, Joe Dumars would have been one of the most successful men in the world. He had fame, he had wealth, and he had power—more than most men on Earth could possibly have in 10 lifetimes. He had the admiration of his peers. Unlike many of his colleagues, he had shown himself to possess as much brain as brawn, every inch deserving of his executive position. Hell, his management style was being copied by people who had more letters after their names than in them.

Yet he wasn’t satisfied. He didn’t define success as the way other people saw him or measured him or proclaimed him to be, he defined success as the way he saw and weighed himself. He defined success as fulfilling a longing, an ache, a desire to be better than he was, to be the best that he could be. He had done that in the sport he loved, he would do it in the life he lived.

Some sportsmen accomplish things that go way beyond sports. Muhammad Ali did—Joe Frazier never could grasp why Ali stood head and shoulders above the other fighters of his time and other times. On a quieter note, which is always how Dumars has done things, Dumars has produced an echo of it. There were only 15 people who attended his graduation.

But a lot more watched—and learned.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

The Oxymoron that is Joe Biden

No matter what your opinion or your politics or your religion , please hear me out on this one.

First of all Joe Biden is the forgotten of the Fab Four in the election. So let's give him his due since it seems his counter part on the other ticket gets about 90 times more coverage. About 97% of it negative. 86% of it about her wardrobe.

During Obama's fight to represent the Democrats you hear the phrase "Change You Can Believe In" . When he finally is on the ticket , he picks Joe Biden to be his running mate who has been in the Senate since Nixon was president. By being in the Senate for that long (Richard Nixon resigned in 1974) , Biden is part of the problem that Obama is trying to "change" away from.

You have to stand for something or you will fall for anything. I don't know who originally said that but John Mellancamp put that in a song. Biden tries to walk the incredible tight rope where he is Veep Candidate for one of the strongest pro choice voices of all time yet sticking to his Roman Catholic religion. How does he manage this? By projecting his wishy washiness on the Catholic Church's stand on abortion. Claiming that they wrestle with it. Not sure what Catholic Church Sen. Biden takes his cue from. The one I know is so crystal clear on what they think of abortion that they are continuously ridiculed by the left.

Biden's tightrope is described by Pastor Erik Raymond as

The pluralism talk is a cloak that attempts to veil accountability for his actions. The only problem for Biden is the cloak is see-through.

Translation : Biden does such a bad job at sleight of hand that anyone with the IQ of a turnip will not buy his double talk. Or as we say in Manila "palusot". Obama promises Change We Can Believe In. Can we believe in Joe Biden and his logic ? What he is saying is that he has his beliefs but everybody else can have their beliefs so he will stand for nothing. Pastor Raymond explains it better than I can . If Palin did the same shoot herself in the foot argument she would have been crucified like the same person that Biden claims to be the source of his principles.

I really wish Obama was aborted since he loves it so much. Think about that for a second. If that's cruel who supports the act? Yeah Obama should put his matured fetus where his fancy mouth is and volunteer to be aborted. He is only on his 144th trimester. Yeah Barrack, exercise that 'choice' that you are so in favor of. That is change I can believe in.

Your pal, Ed

PS Shout out to my high school friend Greg in Las Vegas for tipping me off on this under covered aspect of Biden.

Catholic World News (CWN)
Feature Stories
Biden joins Pelosi in challenge to Church teaching on abortion (Subscribe to RSS Feed)
by Phil Lawler
Sep. 8, 2008 ( - Taking his cue from Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, Democratic vice-presidential candidate Joseph Biden has told a nationwide television audience that although he believes human life begins at conception, he will not impose that "personal and private" belief on others by voting to protect unborn children.

In a Sunday-morning appearance on Meet the Press, Biden told NBC interviewer Tom Brokaw that he accepts the Church's teaching that life begins at conception. But he argued that the Catholic teaching cannot be applied to non-Catholic citizens.

Senator Biden's inaccurate rendition of Church teaching on abortion could be challenged today in a very public setting. On Monday, September 8, Bishop W. Francis Malooly will be installed as the new head of the Wilmington, Delaware diocese in which the Democratic lawmaker lives. Biden is expected to attended the installation Mass this afternoon. Thus the new bishop may be challenged immediately to decide whether a Catholic politician who flagrantly violates Church teaching on the sanctity of life will be allowed to receive Communion.

During his Meet the Press interview with Biden, Brokaw reminded the senator that a few weeks earlier he had questioned Nancy Pelosi about Catholic teaching on abortion. When the host asked him to respond to the same question, Biden produced an answer remarkably similar to the one that Pelosi had offered.

"I'd say: 'Look I know when it begins for me,'" Biden replied. "For me, as a Roman Catholic, I'm prepared to accept the teachings of my Church. But let me tell you. There are an awful lot of people of great confessional faiths-- Protestants, Jews, Muslims and others-- who have a different view."

The vice-presidential candidate continued:

I'm prepared as a matter of faith to accept that life begins at the moment of conception. But that is my judgment. For me to impose that judgment on everyone else who is equally and maybe even more devout than I am seems to me is inappropriate in a pluralistic society.
Like Pelosi, Biden claimed that the Catholic Church has wrestled with the question of when human life begins. Citing St. Thomas Aquinas (whereas Pelosi had referred to St. Augustine), he pointed out that a Doctor of the Church believed that human life begins with quickening, when the baby first stirs in the womb.

But St. Thomas Aquinas, like St. Augustine, was wrong about the biological facts-- facts which modern science has confirmed beyond dispute. Human life is present from the moment of conception. This is not a matter of faith, nor a question of Church teaching. It is a biological fact.

In his response to Tom Brokaw, Biden claimed that he was "prepared to accept the teachings of my Church." But the Church does not issue teachings on scientific questions. Where the Church does claim authority-- on the moral duties of believers-- Biden is not prepared to follow that guidance.

Again and again in the past 20 years, the Church has taught that Catholic lawmakers have a solemn obligation to uphold the dignity of human life, and that to fail in that obligation is gravely sinful. That is a matter of Catholic teaching, and if he is prepared to accept the guidance of the Church, Biden must shoulder his political obligation.

If he truly believes that an unborn child is a human person-- whether he reaches that conclusion foolishly, believing it to be an article of faith, or logically, realizing that it is an established biological reality-- Senator Biden has a moral obligation to protect that young life. This obligation is not a matter of confessional loyalty, but a duty under the natural law. Until late in the 20th century, the vast majority of American lawmakers recognized that duty, and laws against abortion were passed in all 50 states, invariably by legislatures in which Catholics were a minority.

Senator Biden says that the unborn child is a human life, and yet he refuses to protect that life, because some Americans do not recognize the humanity of the unborn. The senator's logic suggests that laws can be based upon entirely subjective criteria, so that human life can be protected only if everyone agrees that it is human life-- regardless of demonstrable facts. The same sort of subjective approach prompted Chief Justice Roger Taney (a practicing Catholic) to observe that since some Americans regarded their African slaves as less than human, those slaves had "no rights which white men are bound to accept."

When Nancy Pelosi appeared on Meet the Press two weeks earlier, her comments on abortion provoked a chorus of rebukes from the American hierarchy. The fact that Biden pressed ahead with the same arguments, ignoring the bishops' protests, shows that the battle is now fully joined.

In Madison, Wisconsin, Bishop Robert Morlino reacted angrily to Biden's televised comments, and tossed aside his prepared Sunday homily to focus on the question, realizing that this has become a topic on which Church leaders must speak forcefully. Bishop Morlino told his Sunday congregation:

Senator Biden does not understand the difference between articles of faith and natural law. Any human being-- regardless of his faith, his religious practice, or having no faith-- any human being can reason to the fact that human life, from conception until natural death, is sacred. Biology-- not faith, not philosophy, not any kind of theology; biology-- tells us-- science-- that at the moment of conception there exists a unique individual of the human species.
Bishop Morlino went on to say that while Senator Biden and Speaker Pelosi claim to be honoring the principle that religion and politics are separate realms, the politicians themselves are violating that principle by presuming to speak about Church teachings-- and stating those teachings inaccurately-- before a nationwide television audience. "They're stepping on the Pope's turf and mine," the bishop said, "and they're violating the separation of Church and state, confusing God's good people."

God's good people will remain confused as long as prominent Catholics continue to ignore fundamental moral principles, and offer distorted presentations of Church teachings to justify their treason. The only effective antidote-- the only way to eliminate the confusion-- is for the bishops to present authentic Catholic teaching forcefully, and to let the world know that prominent Catholics cannot flout Church authority with impunity.

At his installation Mass today, Bishop Malooly will face a challenge. If Senator Biden attends the ceremony-- and especially if he receives Holy Communion-- his presence will be taken by millions of Americans as evidence that his public stand is within the boundaries of acceptable behavior for Catholic politicians. In his very first hours on the job, the new bishop must decide whether he can allow that impression to stand.

Glossary Terms: None

Biden's new bishop blasts candidate on abortion
Published: October 28, 2008Bishop W. Francis Malooly, who was installed as Bishop of Wilmington last month, has criticized vice-presidential candidate Senator Joseph Biden over recent remarks the candidate has made about abortion.

Catholic Culture reports that in a letter to the editor published in the Wilmington News Journal, Bishop Malooly noted, 'Sen. Joe Biden presents a seriously erroneous picture of Catholic teaching on abortion. He said, 'I know that my church has wrestled with this for 2,000 years,' and claimed repeatedly that the Church has a nuanced view of the subject that leaves a great deal of room for uncertainty and debate. This is simply incorrect. The teaching of the Church is clear and not open to debate. Abortion is a grave sin because it is the wrongful taking of an innocent human life.'

'This Sunday,' Bishop Malooly concluded, 'all the parishes in the Catholic Diocese of Wilmington will pray the Litany of St. Thomas More, martyr and patron saint of statesmen, politicians and lawyers. We will ask St. Thomas More to intercede so all statesmen and politicians may be courageous and effective in their defense and promotion of the sanctity of human life. We hope Sen. Biden will carefully listen to the Church's 2,000 years of testimony on abortion and that he will join in the defense and promotion of the sanctity of life.'

More at Catholic Culture

More Stuff

Two Things Janet Jackson and I Have in Common

a) Age

b) This

I am telling you it is no fun at all. I just woke up one day dizzy like nuts. A certain dizzy that was aggravated when I my head was at certain angles. I then went to the kitchen and boom it hit me hard. I hung on the middle counter of the kitchen for dear life. I felt like I was in Dorothy's house in Wizard of Oz.

So yeah I feel bad for Janet Jackson or anyone that has ever gotten this. You just feel so helpless. Bet you were scared that b) was going to be wardrobe malfunction? But I digress. I remember this happened once to Ken Dayley I think. A set up man for the St. Louis Cardinals/ Toronto Blue Jays. My boss at the time, Pat Coffey was nuts about anything Toronto. His tone of voice suggested Dayley's dizzy spells were of his own doing. I kept revisiting that conversation when I got this 6 or 7 years later.

You know the cliche I am not a doctor but I play one on TV. Here is some info on what it is and as you can see ,it 's still a bit of a mystery. I hope you or anyone you know does not get this. In case you do, let me tell you it's no joke and learn so if happens to anyone you know you it may be in their head but not in their head.


Labyrinthitis and Vestibular Neuritis

Labyrinthitis and vestibular neuritis are disorders resulting from an infection that inflames the inner ear or the vestibulo-cochlear nerve (the eighth cranial nerve), which connects the inner ear to the brain. Vertigo, dizziness, and difficulties with balance, vision, or hearing may result.

Infections of the inner ear are usually viral; less commonly, the cause is bacterial. Although the symptoms of bacterial and viral infections may be similar, the treatments are very different, so proper diagnosis by a physician is essential. Such inner ear infections are not the same as middle ear infections, which are the type of bacterial infections common in childhood affecting the area around the eardrum.

Neuritis (inflammation of the nerve) affects the vestibular branch of the vestibulo-cochlear nerve, resulting in dizziness or vertigo but no change in hearing. The term neuronitis is also used. Labyrinthitis (inflammation of the labyrinth) occurs when an infection affects both branches of the nerve, resulting in hearing changes as well as dizziness or vertigo.

An inner ear viral infection may be the result of a systemic viral illness (one affecting the rest of the body, such as infectious mononucleosis or measles); or the infection may be confined to the labyrinth or the vestibulo-cochlear nerve. Usually, only one ear is affected.

Symptoms of neuritis can be mild or severe, ranging from subtle dizziness to a violent spinning sensation (

vertigo). They can also include nausea, vomiting, unsteadiness and imbalance, difficulty with vision, and impaired concentration. Sometimes the symptoms can be so severe that they affect the ability to sit up, stand, or walk. Labyrinthitis may produce the same symptoms, along with tinnitus (ringing or noises in the ear) and/or hearing loss.

The onset is usually very sudden, with severe dizziness developing abruptly during routine daily activities. In other cases, the symptoms are present upon awakening in the morning. After a period of gradual recovery that may last several weeks, some people are completely free of symptoms. Others have chronic dizziness, if the virus has damaged the vestibular nerve.

No specific tests exist to diagnose vestibular neuritis or labyrinthitis. When other illnesses have been ruled out,
medications are often prescribed to control nausea and to suppress dizziness during the acute phase. Examples include Benadryl (diphenhydramine), Antivert (meclizine), Phenergen (promethazine hydrochloride), Ativan (lorazepam), and Valium (diazepam). Other medications that may be prescribed are steroids (e.g., prednisone), an antiviral drug (e.g., Acyclovir), or antibiotics (e.g., amoxicillin) if a middle ear infection is present.

If treated promptly, many inner ear infections cause no permanent damage. In some cases, however, permanent loss of hearing or damage to the vestibular system can occur. If symptoms of dizziness or imbalance persist for several months,
vestibular rehabilitation exercises (a form of physical therapy) may be suggested in order to retrain the brain's ability to adjust to the vestibular imbalance, in a process known as compensation. A key component of successful adaptation is a dedicated effort to keep moving, despite the symptoms of dizziness and imbalance.

From VEDA publication F-9, Vestibular Neuritis and Labyrinthitis: Infections of the Inner Ear

Labyrinthitis - Topic Overview

What is labyrinthitis?

Labyrinthitis (say "lab-uh-rin-THY-tus") is a problem deep inside the inner ear. It happens when the labyrinth, a part of the inner ear that helps control your balance, gets swollen and inflamed.

The inflammation may cause sudden

vertigo. This makes you feel like you're spinning or whirling. Labyrinthitis may also cause temporary hearing loss or a ringing sound in your ears.

What causes labyrinthitis?

The cause of labyrinthitis is not clear. Labyrinthitis can happen after a

viral infection or, more rarely, after an infection caused by bacteria. It is often triggered by an upper respiratory infection, such as the flu or a cold.1 Less often, it may start after a middle ear infection.2

What are the symptoms?

The main symptom of labyrinthitis is vertigo. Vertigo is not the same as feeling dizzy. Dizziness means you feel unsteady or lightheaded. But vertigo makes you feel like you're spinning or whirling. Symptoms of vertigo and dizziness may be caused by many problems other than labyrinthitis.

With labyrinthitis, the vertigo begins without warning. It often starts 1 to 2 weeks after you've had the flu or a cold. It may be severe enough to make you vomit or make you feel sick to your stomach. Vertigo slowly goes away over a few days to weeks. But for a month or longer you may still get vertigo symptoms if you suddenly move your head a certain way.

Labyrinthitis may also cause hearing loss and a ringing sound in your ears (tinnitus). Most often, these symptoms don't last for more than a few weeks.

How is labyrinthitis diagnosed?

Your doctor can tell if you have labyrinthitis by doing a physical exam and asking about your symptoms and past health. If you have vertigo, your doctor will find out if it is caused by an inflamed labyrinth. Your doctor will look for signs of viral infections that can trigger labyrinthitis.

If the cause of your vertigo is not clear, your doctor may do other tests to rule out other problems.

How is it treated?

Most of the time, labyrinthitis goes away on its own. This normally takes several weeks. If the cause is a bacterial infection, your doctor will give you antibiotics. But most cases are caused by viral infections, which can't be cured with antibiotics. Your doctor may give you other medicines to help control the nausea and vomiting caused by vertigo.


Monday, October 27, 2008

I am totally regretting it

The weekend has come and gone. To say I have pangs of regret is a complete understatement. There was something I needed to do but could not do. Since then I have felt shame and dishonor. You see I listened to my peers and not to my heart. And now my heart won't leave me alone. This is where procrastination bites me in the rear. Bleeding with the pain of indecision. I did not get around to watching this. And the world is worse for it.I feel like an empty shell of a man, if I am a man at all. I am sorry. But if you don't forgive me , I will understand.


ABC Wants Britney Spears to Wake Up America

What a stupid choice for a headline. Ms. Spears in a train wreck. Out of everything she has ever accomplished in her career for me the biggest glaring one is :

She lost a custody Battle to K-Fed.

On the other hand what glory is there in winning something when second place goes to Britney Spears. ABC wants B.S. to wake up America when she has yet to wake up and smell the coffee herself?


Tue Oct 21, 5:45 AM PDT

Set your TiVos, or just start lining up: Britney Spears will perform on Good Morning America to promote the release of her sixth album, Circus.

According to The New York Post, the mini-concert will be held at Bryant Park on Dec. 2, the disc's release date and the singer's 27th birthday. An ABC rep confirms for that Spears is being eyed for a December performance, but says a date and time have not been set.

Nabbing Spears was a major coup for the Alphabet because "everybody wanted her," a source told the paper.

But are we really that surprised ABC got her? After all, Spears' bare and buff video for her record-breaking first single "Womanizer" premiered two weeks ago on 20/20.

Thus far, the pop princess is only locked in for a performance, the Post says, not an interview. But by then, you may have heard her speak enough — her MTV documentary On the Record airs Nov. 30.

Are you pumped for Brit's comeback performance?

Friday, October 24, 2008

Who I am rooting for in the 08 World Series

Let's go through the two teams and their pros and cons.

Tampa Bay Rays

Reasons for:

  • confident young bunch who play the game fundamentally well despite the odds
  • management stuck to a plan and stayed the course
  • low payroll

Reasons against:

  • bandwagon fans
  • stupid cowbell

It was not so long ago that the words Devil Rays Fans were an oxymoron although they did put their fans through a lot.


Reason Against :

  • The fans there boo Santa Claus

Reasons for :

  • My heart bled with Phillies fans when Joe Carter stuck it to them in 1993

  • The fans don't leave the bandwagon but they boo in there
  • My dad went to school there and was even in town for Gene Mauch collapse .

  • Mitch Williams put it all behind him

No Such Thing As A Free Lunch Part 2

Yeah I wish I was smiling two hours later

For those of you who read Part 1. Here is a blog entry I found on the same thing. Difference, they were smart enough to bail. How we got on their list was a "raffle " in the lobby of Meralco Theater . Show was West Side Story. This person pretty much summed it up.


An Astoria Bogus Raffle Winner

I can clearly remember the number of times I won in a raffle. The very first time was when I was a freshman in U.P. when a blockmate sold me some tickets for P5 each and I bought 5. I won two cakes from Vinzon's Hall! I still have those stubs which I never claimed. I was just so happy I won. Next was when I was working in Makati in the mid-nineties. My first Christmas in my new office and during a raffle draw I won a rice cooker/couscousier. I am looking at that box right now that has never been opened. Just the fact that I won it fair and square also makes me happy. Jump to two years later, during a lunch with my colleagues in the then very trendy Chateau 1771 in Adriatico Malate I left my business card and low and behold, about 5 days before my birthday of the same year they sent me a letter informing me I had won a dinner for two on my birthday. Okay, so it wasn't really a raffle, but from all the business cards that was thrown in willy nilly in their giant fish bowl, mine was the one fished out. I was, needless to say very happy about that one and it was much appreciated and greatly savoured with a good buddy of mine.

Which brings me to today. I am not a happy camper. Someone from Astoria Suite (?) called me Monday to inform me that I had won a free dinner buffet for two at Astoria, but I that I had to claim it the next day (?) in Ortigas. Aside from this dinner I had allegedly won an over night stay for two in one of their hotels (?) in Baguio and that she was most apologetic that it only covers accomodations and not transport. I was not born yesturday and I believe that I asked all the appropriate questions to find out if this was legitimate or they were trying to sell me something. She then informed me that all they asked was a bit of my time to introduce me to the ammenities of their hotel. I guess this is the part where I went deaf, because that "little" time turned out to be 90 (or nine-zero as a certain Arvin confidently told me on the phone). I agreed to go claim my gift certificate after the "introduction" because I was made to believe that I had won the raffle fair and square during our dinner in Tagaytay (that was where I filled out the raffle stub) and I don't recall ever hearing the nine-zero from the first person who called me. Who in their right minds would believe that a tour of a hotel's ammenities would run up to an hour and a half? Something was obviously afoot.

Out of curiosity, more than anything else D wanted to go see what it was really about. I was not keen on going but since he was driving I agreed. After enduring traffic going to Ortigas, and a difficult time looking for Escriva drive we finally got there, but not after losing my temper twice. The nerve of these people sending me a text message asking me to inform them of my whereabouts?! Not satisfied, this nine-zero person even called me to say that they were monitoring (?) the attendance of their guests. Guests?? I guess I wasn't the only one who won (haha, won, that is a good one). The throng of women in the entrance of the Astoria COMDOMINIUM should have been enough to warn us from going down a tight, winding tunnel of a parking space to almost the 4th basement level parking slot.

So, finally we arrive at "Cafe" Astoria. While I was speaking to the woman who was looking for my name on the page (s) of paper on her desk D went in and checked the place out. What finally did us in was the question of one of the women there. "Are you here for the presentation?". My response? "We are leaving". I felt justified in ignoring Mr. nine-zero's call as D drove to megamall where we laughed about the incident over sandwiches and a delicious blackberry, ginseng and vanilla iced tea at Almon Marina.

When I got home I rummaged for the stub and was dismayed to discover that my original insticts were indeed correct. Written in miniscule font (I really couldn't read the words, I had to ask someone with better eye sight to read it to me) below the name Club Astoria were the magic words: holiday ownership.

The moral of the lesson is: before agreeing to fill up any raffle ticket read it carefully and look for any fine print and read it! If anyone calls informing you that you won anything, be sceptical and wait for the punch line. If there is none, be wary and investigate. Ask for a number where you can call them back, ask for names, dates and addresses. It's nice to win and be given free items, but in the world that we live in today most of the time there is always a catch, some more irritating than most.

Posted by Nini at 8:00 AM

Wisdom of Tug

"Ninety percent I'll spend on good times, women, and Irish whiskey.
The other ten percent I'll probably waste."
- Phillies pitcher Tug McGraw , on his plans for his $75,000 salary

I used this quote to begin my presentation back in the days when I was trying to sell myself as a financial adviser. Unfortunately Tug left us 10 years after I started using this quote. When it was announced that there was a tribute set for him in Philadelphia my thoughts returned to this character. You may know his son even if you are not a baseball fan . Tim McGraw is a country music star who is married to Faith Hill. The picture you see here is the only time a World Series ended in 100 plus years with a Philadelphia team victorious. Tug was the last one to throw a pitch that guaranteed a Philly team win the World Series. I hope this turns out to be a good series. There are more links at the end for those that need to read more.


Tug McGraw Quotes
Quotes From & About Tug McGraw

Quotes From Tug McGraw
"I dunno. I never smoked any Astroturf." - Asked for a preference of grass or Astroturf

"I have no trouble with the twelve inches between my elbow and my palm. It's the seven inches between my ears that's bent."

"Kids should practice autographing baseballs. This is a skill that's often overlooked in Little League."

"Ninety percent I'll spend on good times, women and Irish Whiskey. The other ten percent I'll probably waste."

"Ten million years from now, when then sun burns out and the Earth is just a frozen iceball hurtling through space, nobody's going to care whether or not I got this guy out."

"They say that was the slowest fastball (Game 6 of the 1980 World Series thrown to Willie Wilson) ever thrown in Philadelphia. It took ninety-seven years to get there. Those memories are strong, still fresh and still a lot of fun to share with people who care about the Phillies." (2002 Spring Training Camp)

"Ya Gotta Believe!" (1973 regular season rally cry)

Quotes About Tug McGraw
"He was full of life, love and spirit. His death is a reality check for us, just like when Tommie (Agee) died a couple of years ago. His passing drives home to me that you have to value every second that you are on this earth." - former Mets teammate Buddy Harrelson (on January 5, 2004)

"He was my childhood hero. When Mike Piazza came to the Mets a couple of years ago I took Tug's number to honor him. Growing up in Brooklyn I was a Mets fan mainly because of him. To me he was the essence of what a relief pitcher was all about. I'll never forget a couple of years ago when the team honored me after my four-hundredth save he rode in from centerfield on a motorcycle to greet me on the mound. He was one of a kind." - Mets closer John Franco (on January 5, 2004)

"I am so, so saddened. I don't really know how to compose myself. He was like a son to us. He was someone very special. He touched everybody he came in contact with. He made believers out of all of us. Tug was someone so special." - Joan Hodges, widow of former Mets manager Gil Hodges (on January 5, 2004)

"It's hard to lose anybody, but to lose somebody like Tug is devastating. Losing him is like losing a superhero because he's one of the most charismatic people I've ever met. We've immortalized him and it's a sad reminder that bad things happen to good people." - Phillies left-hander Randy Wolf (on January 5, 2004)

"The guy was a consummate professional on the mound, but he relaxed in his own way. He had his own way of doing things. There are more than one way to do things and Tug certainly had his own way. He was always ready. I think the one thing that might be the greatest legacy that you can have as a teammate is to be always be ready and Tug was." - former Phillies teammate Tim McCarver (on January 5, 2004)

"Tug and I drove to the ballpark together before that final game (Game 6 of the 1980 World Series) and I made him promise that if he was on the mound for that final out to wait for me. Both of us knew whoever was on or near that mound for the final out would probably be on the cover of Sports Illustrated. Sure enough, it worked. Tug struck out (Willie) Wilson and then turned to look at me at third base. Of course I came running in and jumped on him." - Mike Schmidt (2001)

"Tug got more out of his time on earth than anyone could imagine. I have the photo of Tug allowing me to jump in his arms following the last out of the 1980 World Series on my wall. I will take it with me this summer, hang it on my office for all to see, and look at it a split second longer each day." - Former Phillies teammate Mike Schmidt (on January 5, 2004)

"Tug McGraw was the epitome of what Philadelphia was all about - a hard worker, dedicated, he never gave up. The picture of him jumping off the mound after the last out (of the 1980 World Series) is one of the most memorable moments in Phillies history. He was truly a great person, and he'll be sorely missed." - Phillies manager Larry Bowa (on January 5, 2004)

"We had a lot of good times on and off the field. He was inspirational, had a lot of fun, was a happy-go-lucky guy. He lived life to the fullest. He was a fighter. He has been fighting all year. He didn't want to give up. Every time I saw him he had a positive attitude. He was flamboyant, excitable extroverted, he would do anything for a laugh. I'm going to miss him. He was full of life." - former Mets teammate Ed Kranepool (on January 5, 2004)

recap of game 3

The sad death of Tug McGraw

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

To DH or not to DH

Warning only for people who know baseball or the baseball curious:

I can't believe how long this has been percolating in the drafts section With Game 5 being postponed today I saw it as a sign to get this one off.

Here we go again. Every year there is an argument World Series time about people getting the advantage with the DH or without the DH. I don't know anybody that cares about baseball that is ambivalent to this issue. You are on one side or the other.

Baseball until the mid 70's was played one way. If you played the field then you also got your turn at bat until you are removed from the game entirely. The American League ( half of Major League Baseball) decided at the time that their attendance would increase if they had more offense. So they exempted the pitcher from hitting and stuck in a guy who just hit. This guy during the game never handled the ball for any reason. Baseball is 9 guys on defense and those guys hit in a certain order when it's their turn.

Y'all know I am a Cincinnati Reds fan and they play in the National League without a DH. Does not matter. It's all about playing baseball however you want to interpret that. Baseball is fielding, hitting and base running. I just am of the camp that all players should do all those aspects. The DH is just an excuse for players not to work on defence. The DH is an excuse for pitchers not to work on hitting.

The DH sanitizes the game. Baseball is baseball. Warts and all. Give you an example that you basketball junkies can relate to. Would you allow for a rule that somebody else comes in and shoots Shaq's foul shots? Nope, part of the game is you want him accountable. It's like that in baseball even more. Pitchers who hit can be held accountable for their bean balls when it's their turn to bat instead of having another player take it for me. Sorry that's the manly way of doing it.

Since the beginning of baseball the universal rule is the more to the center of the diamond that you are, the more your lack of hitting can be excused. If pitchers are lousy hitters its because it has become a self fulfilling prophecy. Blinded American League junkies love to call the pitcher the designated out. It has just turned that way over time because of the DH rule.

Hitting a baseball is an incredibly hard thing to do. The top hitters in the Major Leagues fail more than 60% of the time. Pitchers are already handicapped since they do not play everyday so of course their hitting skills will be dim most of the time. The DH just legislated against versatility.

Want an argument that the DH is bad?? Because Hank Steinbrenner is for it.


Bull Durham I Believe

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

They Don't Make Hits Like They Used To

Just this morning, Doughboy AKA Inez Delafrossange was quoting lines from the classic Escape the Pina Colada Song. When you have a mind as deranged as mine , certain innocent things trigger obscure unpredictable thoughts. Before I go any further I realize most of my multiply mates can not remember a time without Internet, Ipods and even CDs. In the old days when I began my lifelong addiction to music, I learned a lot of my music trivia from listening to Casey Kasem on American Top 40. We had so little back then in the late seventies that stuff I heard I probably cherished more than I should have. There was no transcript , no Google maybe a cassette recording at best. When Kasem preambled before playing Escape the Pina Colada Song, he talked about Rupert Holmes previous claim to fame. He was hired to write a song for the Buoys that would generate controversy therefore publicity. Well it worked since that was the Buoys only hit.

In 28 years I never heard the song nor remembered the title nor the artist. Just the songwriter Rupert Holmes and the controversial subject matter. BINGO! Google and Youtube and BINGO! I finally scratched a 29 year old itch this afternoon.

If you actually read the lyrics, listen to the song you will agree on one thing. I have a pretty warped mind to remember this for 29 years.



Trapped in a mine that had caved in

And everyone knows the only ones left

Were Joe and me and Tim

When they broke through to pull us free

The only ones left to tell the tale

Were Joe and me

Timothy, Timothy, where on earth did you go?

Timothy, Timothy, God why don't I know?

Hungry as hell no food to eat

And Joe said that he would sell his soul

For just a piece of meat

Water enough to drink for two

And Joe said to me, "I'll have a swig

And then there's some for you."

Timothy, Timothy, Joe was looking at you

Timothy, Timothy, God what did we do?

I must have blacked out just around then

'Cause the very next thing that I could see

Was the light of the day again

My stomach was full as it could be

And nobody ever got around

To finding Timothy


Monday, October 20, 2008

BBC Maid Skit revisited Filipinos still Moral Beacons that will show the world the way

For a review of my thoughts on the issue please go here:

Found several interesting links plus a victory of sorts for the Politically Correct Filipinos abroad. This country is anything but politically correct and anything but a feminist utopia but let them get their false sense of accomplishment. I found the reaction by the local feminist movement far more realistic. They did what I was clamoring for all along: look within instead of scolding externally. Click here or read below.

Anyway some highlights:

Some 30 to 50 protesters in the separate venues demanded a public apology for depicting a Filipina maid on the "Harry and Paul" show as a sex object.- Filipinas in their own country who never leave are never used or seen as sex objects correct? I guess my perception that we have a large population is an erroneous one. The only rape and abuse on our shores are caused by foreign males.

It’s treating the Filipina maid as an object, sexual object, as if you own the person. At saka yung other sexual innuendos, ayaw ko yun. That’s wrong,’ said Edgar,- Edgar, if you were back home and you watched TV and you toured the places of ill repute and the tourist girly traps, will you like what you see? Is it correct by your infallible moral standards?

Meanwhile, protesters at the BBC office headed by Loline Reed, chairperson of the Overseas’ Woman’s Club said: "Kung wala tayong matatanggap na public apology, walang meaning ang ating complaints. Ang feeling ng ibang Pilipino, bakit ba tayo nag-iingay. Sana tumahimik na lang tayo. Kung di tayo mag- iingay, the more they will target us. They will stereotype us."- Loline, I get the impression that show insults everybody and everything. Most people recognize that its a comedy show as in not to be taken seriously. Do yourself a favor and watch all the other British comedies. Imagine if every group ethnic or otherwise that was targeted did what you did? Why is it OK for them and not OK for you? We export maids and other nations import them. It's a two way street.

"They have demeaned women, especially the Filipino woman, in public by broadcasting and by airing the program. "Bong Farouza, - our shows, movies and magazines produced on our own soil have never done that Bong? Our women are put on a pedestal here? They have to go abroad to be demeaned?

"the humor underlines gross ignorance and insensitivity of the producers of the show " ABS CBN and GMA Networks are particularly enlightened and sensitive to all cultures with the dignity of their programming correct?

If you read my trilogy my thoughts should be predictable by now. Just read them again. Make sure you also read the British point of view of this. Link below. People in glass houses should not throw stones. Unless you want to argue we are perfect here and the British have to catch up with us.


Pinoys in UK demand, get apology for 'racist' comedy skit


By ROSE ECLARINAL, ABS-CBN Europe News Bureau | 10/20/2008 8:07 PM

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LONDON--Simultaneous protests spearheaded by Filipino organizations in London were held on Friday in front of offices of television companies that were behind a segment depicting a Filipina maid on a British comedy show as a sex object.

The protests were held outside the offices of the British Broadcasting Corp. (BBC) on White City, home of the BBC Television Center, and Tiger Aspect productions (TAP) on Soho St., London.

The show was aired on a BBC channel while Tiger Aspect Productions is behind the TV comedy series.

Some 30 to 50 protesters in the separate venues demanded a public apology for depicting a Filipina maid on the "Harry and Paul" show as a sex object.

They also believe the comedy sketch was racist and sexually-abusive.

“It’s treating the Filipina maid as an object, sexual object, as if you own the person. At saka yung other sexual innuendos, ayaw ko yun. That’s wrong,’ said Edgar, who joined the protest at the Tiger Aspect Productions office.

Meanwhile, protesters at the BBC office headed by Loline Reed, chairperson of the Overseas’ Woman’s Club said: “Kung wala tayong matatanggap na public apology, walang meaning ang ating complaints. Ang feeling ng ibang Pilipino, bakit ba tayo nag-iingay. Sana tumahimik na lang tayo. Kung di tayo mag- iingay, the more they will target us. They will stereotype us.”

Another community organizer, Bong Farouza, also said a public apology, and not a personal apology, was imperative as the "insult" was also done in public.

“They have demeaned women, especially the Filipino woman, in public by broadcasting and by airing the program. It’s a public insult so a public apology is needed and an undertaking that this thing should never happen again,” she added.

Apology read on TV

The silent protest at Tiger Aspect productions became emotionally-charged when the company’s chief executive, Andrew Zein faced the protesters.

He maintained the company had already apologized and showed copies of newspapers articles highlighting the company’s remorse and apology for unwittingly offending Filipinos.

However, the protesters insisted on an apology on television.

“You have done the offense on TV, you have to apologize on TV,” said one protester.

In no time, Zein gave in to the demand of the protesters and faced the camera to read the apology.

"We understand that a large number of viewers has been concerned by the depiction of a Filipino woman featured on an episode of Harry and Paul, a series we produce on BBC 1. Firstly, we are absolutely sorry to anyone who has been in any way offended by the program. That wasn’t our intention," he said.

After reading the apology, Zein addressed the protesters: "We certainly recognize that there was a section of the Filipino community who were offended, and to them, we apologize for any offense taken.”

Except for a letter to the Philippine Embassy in the UK promising investigation on the matter, and personal apologies to some individuals who lodged complaints against the show, the BBC has yet to issue a public apology.

The "Harry on Paul" show was aired on BBC1 on September 26 and has sparked various reactions from Filipinos in the UK.

Pinoy sensibilities were hit by the "gutter humor" on the show, which allegedly depicted racism and exploitation of domestic helpers.

For many Pinoys in the UK, the humor underlines gross ignorance and insensitivity of the producers of the show and is an insult not only to domestic helpers but to the Filipino people as a whole.

as of 10/20/2008 8:13 PM

Gov't wants BBC apology for wrong reason: Gabriela | 10/09/2008 6:40 PM

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A national alliance of women criticized the government’s hypocrisy for seeking a public apology over the racial slur aired in a British comedy show in the guise of defending the Filipino dignity.

“The Philippine government is seeking public apology from the show’s producers and the British Broadcasting Corporation not in defense of the Filipino dignity but in defense of its labor-export policy especially on the eve of the Philippine hosting of the Global Forum on Migration and Development,” said Gabriela Secretary General Emmi de Jesus.

In a statement, De Jesus said Filipino women in foreign countries are viewed as domestic helpers prone to abuse and exploitation.

“The Philippine government is not affronted that Filipinas are being exported abroad as domestic helpers and/or entertainers vulnerable to ridicule, exploitation and abuse. The Philippine government is flustered the 'anti-Pinay' portrayal in 'Harry and Paul' mirrors the current state of many Filipina overseas workers, which thus puts into question it’s claim that the Philippines is the showcase of how migration leads to development,” De Jesus said.

She added that the racial slur against Filipino women is not the first and will not be the last.

“Ultimately, accountable to this is the government’s continued export of Filipinas as commodities in exchange for badly-needed dollars,” de Jesus said.

The comedy show “Harry and Paul” portrayed a Filipina maid in a demeaning manner. The Filipina maid was ordered to dance in front of a depressed man as two others were egging him to have sex with her.

The group said the Philippine government has done so little to help Filipino migrant women, whom for decades have been maltreated, raped and abused.

They cited the cases of “Grace”, an overseas Filipino worker in Kuwait who was raped by her employer and turned away by the Philippine embassy when she asked for help, and that of 22-year-old “Hazel” who was raped by a US soldier in Okinawa, Japan.

The group added that the portrayal of a Filipina maid in the skit “speaks not of development, but of degradation.”

as of 10/09/2008 6:40 PM ( a British point of view of this incident)

Communication , Caring and Respect in the workplace

Bet you thought I was going to talk about my workplace? Maybe one day. In the meantime let's take this case. , difficulties from the previous year and previous management are documented. A boss who did not believe in them and left in the middle of the night. Then they hire a no name boss who somehow took a once chaotic workplace and made them thrive . That same no name boss so energized by an opportunity he did not think was possible. I don't care if t Just read the passages in bold first. I dare you not learn anything. This management case study is like the lyrics from "Hey Jude" "Take a sad song and make it better, remember to let her into your hearts and you can start to make it better".


Smith brightens the Falcons' days

By Michael Silver, Yahoo! Sports

Oct 17, 3:09 am EDT

The first time Todd McClure heard the term, back before the start of the regular season, he did a double take. The Over 30 Club? The Atlanta Falcons' veteran center thought the team's first-year coach, Mike Smith, might be messing around when he called for a meeting with the team's 11 thirtysomethings.

Soon McClure, 31, and his fellow Falcons graybeards were up in gray-haired coach's office, looking around in wide-eyed wonderment. "Man, that's the first time I've been in this office in awhile," one player joked, provoking laughs and knowing eye-rolls from his audience.

Smith told the veterans he wanted to meet with them regularly to discuss anything they had on their minds, from practice schedules to the overall mood of the team. The grateful players went back and forth with the coach on a few topics, goofed on one another in the process and left the room blown away by what had just gone down.

Six weeks into a season in which the Falcons have emerged as the NFL's feel-good story of early autumn, McClure credits the new coach for putting the fun back in the Falcons' universe – and for caring enough to involve the players in the process.

"Twice a month Coach Smith gets the older guys together and lets us know what's going on and what he's thinking," he says. "He entrusts the team to those veteran leaders, and he lets us sell his system to the young guys and patrol the locker room. It's nice to be able to go up there and have that relationship with the man in charge."

As opposed to last season, when Falcons players literally couldn't get a hello in the hallway from their head coach – one of many flaws that made Bobby Petrino's 13-game reign of error one of the biggest disasters in NFL history. How much better are things under Smith, 49, the former Jacksonville Jaguars defensive coordinator who generated almost zero buzz before getting the Atlanta job last January?

"The best analogy I can give is it's like Dorothy when she was looking for the Wizard of Oz," veteran safety Lawyer Milloy says. "When she finally accomplishes her goals, you just see the dark skies open up and all of a sudden it's glorious sunshine."

Ding dong, the wicked witch is dead!

Even better, Petrino's replacement is the NFL's version of Glinda, minus the pink dress and fairy dust. A man whose pre-Falcons profile was as extraordinary as his name, Smith has been energized by an opportunity he never saw coming and carries a near-constant smile to prove it.

Smith, the surprising choice to rescue the Falcons from the dual-edged disaster of Michael Vick's dog-fighting conviction and Petrino's horse's-ass disposition, has snuck up on the outside world like the team he coaches. Heading into their bye week and coming off back-to-back victories over the Packers and Bears, the Falcons (4-2) have already equaled their '07 victory total and are in a three-way tie for first place in the NFC South.

There are many reasons for Atlanta's early success, from the influx of impact players like rookie quarterback Matt Ryan and free-agent halfback Michael Turner to the effective teaching of a coaching staff that features 188 collective years of NFL experience. The biggest factor, however, is also one of the simplest: Smith, through the tenets of positive thinking and open communication, has turned a once miserable workplace into a fruitful one.

"I'm a very communicative guy, and I want my players to communicate with me as well," Smith says. "We've tried to focus on camaraderie, teamwork, resolve and positive energy. It's kind of a novel thing, huh? One of the things I say to the team is, 'Rules without interaction will lead to rebellion.' You've got to have interaction – that's just being a good person, and it's important in any business."

Now contrast that with Petrino, who came to the Falcons from the college ranks (Louisville) and quickly fled back (Arkansas), saying goodbye to his players via form letter on a Black Tuesday in December. The previous day, former franchise quarterback Vick had been sentenced to 23 months in prison. Hours later, the Falcons suffered a humiliating Monday night home defeat to New Orleans that dropped them to 3-10.

The toxic workplace, in McClure's eyes, was a function of Petrino's disdain for his players. "I guess that's kind of the sense we got," he says, "because it wasn't ever really expressed that he did enjoy being around us. You'd pass by him in the hallway and you might get a head-nod, at best. With some guys, he wouldn't even look up. That's kind of hard to take, because communication is the key to a good team environment."

According to Milloy, Petrino's rules included no talking on team planes, during pregame meals or in the locker room before taking the field. "If you talked, you had to whisper," Milloy says. "In the locker room before a game, you could listen to your iPod, but otherwise it was dead silence. No TV, no sound system, no talking. During the meals, you could hear the spoons and forks clanking against the plates.

"We had to spend nine months out of the year with somebody like that. It's one thing to have college kids and send a position coach to deal with them. In the NFL, there are real men with real concerns, and I don't think he knew how to handle that. Last year – and I wouldn't have said this at the time – I just never felt like we had a chance."

Milloy says he would've tried to force his way out of Atlanta had the atmosphere not improved. McClure says there's no way he would've put up with another season of Petrino.

"I don't know if I've ever really said this to anyone except my wife," McClure says, "but I told her in the middle of the season that if he had come back I was going to go upstairs and do what I could to get out of here. Because it was just miserable – the meeting room was so stale, and we all sat there straight-faced. If you stay serious all the time, you just kill yourself. Under Coach Smith, it's been like night and day."

Though Smith heard the horror stories, he never spoke to the players about the past, telling them at their first meeting in April, "It's 2008, and we're all starting with a clean slate." Even before that time he had placed phone calls to numerous veterans and met with some in person, as he and new general manager Thomas Dimitroff, a fellow rookie, went about reshaping the team's roster.

Milloy says he and his teammates knew so little about Smith, they began "doing research on the Internet to try to learn about what kind of person he was. From his first speech we heard a guy who was kind of beside himself to be in that position, and he showed it by smiling the whole time he was talking. Smitty had so much passion for the sport, and you could tell it was genuine. You could just feel his energy."

The Falcons are feeling it even more now. In successive weeks, Atlanta pulled off an upset at Lambeau Field and stunned the Bears after falling behind with 11 seconds to go. Their top five draft picks, including third overall pick Ryan, are either starting or playing significant roles. Turner is second in the NFL with 597 rushing yards, as a formerly dismal offensive line has thrived under position coach Paul Boudreau. Wideout Roddy White is second in the league with 566 receiving yards, and defensive end John Abraham (another Over 30 Club member) has an NFL-best seven sacks.

Along with Boudreau, experienced assistants like offensive coordinator Mike Mularkey, receivers coach Terry Robiskie, quarterbacks coach Bill Musgrave, defensive coordinator Brian VanGorder, defensive line coach Ray (Sugar Bear) Hamilton and defensive backs coach Alvin Reynolds have connected with players while stressing fundamentals. And while Smith may be relentlessly positive, there's no ambiguity about who's the boss.

"Oh yeah, I've seen him (lose his temper) and it's not pretty," McClure says. "With Coach Smith, I don't think there's much of a middle ground with him. He's either nice and upbeat, or he needs to get a point across and you know he means business.

"Three or four weeks ago in practice, the defense was supposed to be doing a specific stunt, and he started screaming at (second-year defensive end) Jamaal Anderson, 'You gotta get across the guy's face!' Then Jamaal threw his palms up, and all hell broke loose. Coach screamed, 'Don't you ever throw your palms in the air on this field!' The funny thing is, he came to find out later that Jamaal wasn't at fault. And to his credit, he apologized."

It's the kind of mistake for which, as he grows into his job, Smith might get ribbed during an Over 30 Club meeting. If so, chances are he'll laugh right along with his veterans.

"One thing you've got to do in any business, there's got to be a time for some levity, enjoyment and having fun," Smith says. "If you can't do that around each other, it's hard to be successful."

Somewhere in Fayetteville, Ark., a failed Falcons coach is frowning.


Sunday, October 19, 2008

No Such Thing As A Free Lunch

Oct 18 2008

Astoria Holiday Ownership

Location: Ortigas, Pasig

Address: 15 J. Escriva Drive, Ortigas Business District Pasig City, Manila, Philippines

That has always been a motto that I believed. I have no idea why I thought this time it would be different. Make a long story short Jacque and I were enticed to a sales presentation which I thought was for the hotel. The worm was a buffet dinner. Instead of boring you with details I have included excerpts of a chat between Jacque, her sister Maricar and I . For my non Tagalog speaking audience , you may ask for translation. I present this to you so you may know. The links provided are a wealth of information on this topic. Providing the good and bad points.


flyheight69: yan ang aming reaction doon

flyheight69: heheheh

innagadda54: we should have thought of exit strategies beforehand

innagadda54: like chair throwing

innagadda54: that would have made good reality show

flyheight69: heehheheheh

innagadda54: what people do in order to get buffet

flyheight69: tapos yung nakasulat na bago kami magkaroon ng free buffet

flyheight69: eh dapat agree muna kami na magkaroon ng

marc_c_lim: ano?

flyheight69: 90 mins. na

innagadda54: for some reason they thought we were really hot prospects

flyheight69: ano yun baby?

innagadda54: people likely to buy tama?

marc_c_lim: i tot u knew that

flyheight69: dicussion about nung promo nila sa asturia

flyheight69: nakakainis kaya

flyheight69: chinika kami ng todo

marc_c_lim: so, after 90 mins tska kyo nakakain?

flyheight69: 4 hours kami kausap

flyheight69: umuwi na lahat

innagadda54: I swear we left there midnight

marc_c_lim: ngek

innagadda54: I said kala ko 90 mins

flyheight69: kung hindi pa sinabi ni Gigs na --I thought 90 mins. lang kami dito, what time na..

marc_c_lim: u did not give any hint that u wer not interested?

innagadda54: she replied it was mnimum

innagadda54: maybe we should have just washed dishes

marc_c_lim: hahaha

flyheight69: tama

innagadda54: and we said that to her

flyheight69: interested lang kaya kami sa buffet

marc_c_lim: u did not make "parinig"?

marc_c_lim: u said that u shuld have just washed dishes???

flyheight69: balak namin aalis na kami dun after nila i-present promo

innagadda54: ask your sister

marc_c_lim: ano reaction?

flyheight69: eh di natawa siya

flyheight69: tinatawanan kami pag sumasagot kami

marc_c_lim: she tot u wer joking?..hehehe

flyheight69: yeah

marc_c_lim: tsk tsk.. she doesn't know that its the truth..hahaha

flyheight69: hindi nga tinarayan ni Gogs eh

innagadda54: what is the truth after we went through that

innagadda54: tinarayan?

flyheight69: we got traumatized

flyheight69: heheheheh

marc_c_lim: hahaha

flyheight69: Joke

flyheight69: ...

innagadda54: then she told us

innagadda54: we should not have come if we

innagadda54: were not going to through that

innagadda54: or if we were not prepared

flyheight69: sabi sa text no strings attached

flyheight69: hindi naman finoforce

innagadda54: thats exactly why I sent it to you

flyheight69: parang iintroduce lang nila yung promo nila

marc_c_lim: whew, good thing i was not with u..

flyheight69: mabait kasi kami

flyheight69: tsaka inaantok na kami

marc_c_lim: ows? since when pa?..hehehe

flyheight69: wala na kaming energy mag isip ng answer

innagadda54: another 20 minutes I might start singing

innagadda54: another 30 I might start disrobing

flyheight69: hehehehe

marc_c_lim: hehehe

flyheight69: ang kulit hehehehehe

innagadda54: anything ot get out of there

innagadda54: convince them they dont want me me as a member

marc_c_lim: u should have walked away after 90 mins

flyheight69: tsaka

marc_c_lim: u were required to be there for only 90 mins

flyheight69: parang si Gogs na rin yung nag explain

marc_c_lim: and it was way past that..

flyheight69: mas okey pa nga siya mag promote nung promo

marc_c_lim: wat was the offer for?

flyheight69: kaysa sa representative nila

innagadda54: vacation time share memberships

innagadda54: one week a year

flyheight69: for 30years

flyheight69: hay naku

innagadda54: anywhere where they have memebers

marc_c_lim: ah.. they do that now there in the phils?

flyheight69: sobrang tagal nun 30 years

innagadda54: for a while

innagadda54: here is the thing

flyheight69: international din kasi sila eh

innagadda54: we kept saying no

innagadda54: she kept saying 'why"

marc_c_lim: madami ba kayo dun?

innagadda54: a lot

flyheight69: yeah

innagadda54: not sure why we were star prospects

flyheight69: heheheh

marc_c_lim: and wat about the rest of the guests?

flyheight69: ma english ka kasi baby eh

marc_c_lim: did they not pester them?

flyheight69: dapat hindi ka na lang pala nagtagalog

flyheight69: hehehehhe

marc_c_lim: yeah u shld have left the talking to ling..hehehe

flyheight69: ewan ko kung ano na nangyari sa mga ibang tao

flyheight69: wala naman natira (link for hotel) (complaint)