Sunday, January 28, 2007

2 years in my own place ...

A few days ago was the 2nd anniversary of something else ... today is the second anniversary of me getting my own place.

See, in August 1986 I left home for college. I was 19 years old; on my own doing laundry, etc ... for the first time. I stayed in that dorm room for the 86-87 school year and then bounced around.

Oh, how I bounced around.

At no time from August 1986 until the duplex I lived in from December 2000 (until two years ago today) did I reside in the same place for two complete and consecutive calendar years. A couple of places came close; Kenmore, both Pullman houses, and Waller, but never for two full calendar years.

In and of itself, that might not be noteworthy, but the fatigue of moving that often just wore me down, to the point where I just didn't go through all the boxes, instead moving them from place to place. It took until this time last year to finally get through the vast bulk of what was once my garage in order to get a dining room.

Now, I have been in this place in Edmonds for two full years, so two consecutive residences have made it to that threshhold.

With the rent being raised fifty bucks, who knows?

Saturday, January 27, 2007

Sometimes I miss things ... (Ephemera Project updates)

Sometimes I miss things ... (Ephemera Project updates)

Sometimes I am a moron. Sometimes I am careless. Sometimes I can't type well. Other times I just forget to proofread properly. Some of that actually applies here, but mostly it is just that I found out stuff later or realized that something was missing and don't like to change postings later once I put them out.

So ... instead of looking at these omits, incompletes, and corrections as what they are, I am simply going to correct the record here. It is not like in Dead Poets Society where the father is angry at the actor kid for "making him a liar" or anything like that. Lies are intentional. Of course, you can be factual and still lie, just ask our next president's husband. And, as Captain Picard once said, "A lie of omission is still a lie!" (Damn you Wesley Crusher!) But, none of that actually applies here. I will also go on the record as copping to this as beyond self-indulgent.

Hockey list updates

12.29.85 Seattle Thunderbirds vs. Victoria Cougars - 6-0

1.6.86 vs Kamploops Blazers ...

Pro Wrestling updates

I have never been to a RAW! taping. But, I have been to a Smackdown!, Pay per view, and house show. If I go to the upcoming SD in Key I can also say I have seen ECW, so I might go.

I Heart Live Theatre updates

07-08-88 "Angry Housewives" - Pioneer Square Theatre

Football posting updates

09-16-95 is the correct date for UI vs. Sonoma State

Baseball posting(s) updates

I need to update the Major and Minor League to include College Baseball and a few other details ...

08-21-96 The Ballpark in Arlington Tour

M's Record since 1990 is 21-14 overall (@ 1-0 / 12-8 SF / 8-6 KD)

College Baseball games include several in Pullman in the 80s and 90s where I even had a chance to win $5K by throwing a ball through a target in 95, but missed and won a tee shirt (the $5K tee I call it), a WSU vs. UW game in Seattle at their old diamond, and the College Baseball Classic V in the Kingdome in March 1994 with Notre Dame and others, where Ron and I got to sit in a KD Box. I remember seeing a GU game in Spokane, too.

Ms record is /s\ 12-8, KD 90-94 8-6, @ 1-0 ----21-14 since 1990

Friday, January 26, 2007

"It's nothing more than ordinary life ... "

There is a song on the Cruel Intentions Soundtrack titled "Ordinary Life" that I frequently have playing on my Myspace page. It's a moody, cool number that I really enjoy by a singer named Kristen Barry. (I don't do a lot with the Myspace page, but I do try and keep a song I like playing and a few pics up.)

"Ordinary Life" is not just up on the page because I like it.

In 1990, I was a long-haired recent college graduate spending the Spring and Summer of the year as Editor In Chief of City Heat Magazine. City Heat was a decent little mag trying to chronicle the "Seattle Music Scene" of the time. I was lucky in what I got to witness first hand; future millionaires, future rock martyrs, and talented folks who never made it.

Kristen Barry was the subject of a feature article I was writing one month. I saw her play a show at the Central Tavern. She was amazing; talented, graceful, and beautiful. I will fully admit to being distracted. We met for an interview at a coffee shop, but moved on to Greenlake since it was a beautiful day. I remember sitting there on the grass with her, discussing music and her future in it.

Later, I was working on the article at my apartment and my fiance saw her photo and remembered that I had recently spent the day at Greenlake, that was not pleasant. She could tell that my attention was being diverted. However, I am a decent guy and no overtures were ever made (as if I should assume such overtures would have been welcomed).

The article was not properly proofed and her name was misspelled in a number of places. As Editor In Chief that was even worse since it was my article. I sent a note of apology to her agent. That was the end of the matter.

Over the years I still had the demo tape of four songs I had received, but never got it back from a coworker I can no longer find.

Recently, I found a copy of her 1998 release and discovered the "Ordinary Life" song on Myspace. The material is as good as I would have hoped for and look forward to any future releases she might eventually give us.

Try this one on a right leaning friend ...

If you really wanna freak out a friend that politically leans to the right just try working something like this into the conversation, "Things will be different when Hillary is in the Oval Office." You need to say it sort of matter of fact. It needs to blend into a conversation already ongoing in order to work. If you just drop it out of the blue it will actually dim the effect. Just try it. It's fun. It is like the ultimate political litmus test. If I were to say it to certain people I know and they were driving it would cause an accident.

The worst part of the above is that Hillary just really might be in the Oval Office two years from now. She is the obvious front runner. She skipped over the silly exploratory committee fake campaigning approach (declaring you are kind of running, but raising money and campaigning without having to actually formally declare, ie ... the wussy campaign approach) and flatly stated she was running and "in it to win", sort of like Matt Hasselbeck in Green Bay in Overtime a couple years ago after the coin toss (we know how that turned out). For all intents and purposes her announcement and its timing have effectively squelched just about anyone other than the previously announced Edwards candidacy and the non-campaign of Barack Obama. Kerry announced his non-candidacy moments later.

Gore still claims he is not running. And since he is not running he is able to be himself and people like him, sort of like Bob Dole post-1996 doing SNL and Viagra ads. I can just picture Al morphing right back into Robo-Gore. You are doing more good on the outside Al, stay there.

I am seriously starting to doubt whether or not Obama will fully declare at this point. After all, he is young, has a bright future, and can step out of the way without blowing his political captital for 2012 or 2016. Hillary's declaring pulled him right off the front page. His campaign is effectively much ado about nothing at this point given the conventional wisdom that she is the front runner.

Edwards is the other issue. He is the only other declared candidate with a real chance of winning the nomination, and with the right geographical running mate could contend for the White House in 08. As such, those who want to de-Clinton American politics will likely latch onto him. Otherwise, we are looking at a pattern of Bush, Clinton, Bush, and Clinton in the Oval Office for over twenty years. What we really need is for both of those families (and the Kennedy's, Rockefeller's, etc ...) to all get out of politics for a while.

Hillary is now running on her own record. By all accounts she has been a pretty good senator. She has now won statewide office twice in a media circus and rightfully thinks that she can survive in the national spotlight.

On a side note, wouldn't it be funny if Rudy and Hillary finally went at it for the Oval Office in 08 when the expected match up did not happen in New York in 00? It's not exactly Lincoln vs. Douglas, but still kind of interesting.

The national spotlight and 24/7 multiple cable channel news cycle means that the coverage of this campaign will be another reason for me to not get cable. Old stories will be rehashed and brought up as though they were news or newsworthy to the 2008 campaign. And, since so much of campaign coverage these days centers on issues having nothing to do with the presidency itself, all the old Clinton baggage will get opened for inspection. Monica Lewinsky, wherever you are, brace yourself. Ann Coulter will get more air time than anyone would want. This will redefine ugly.

The best thing for the country and the Democratic Party would be for someone else to get the nomination.

(My mother asked me if I could vote for a woman. Yes. I still think it is weird that the United States has not elected a woman to high office and a country like Pakistan has. I would love to get to the point where that was not an issue.)


(From the original Shotgun Prose site I had on Tripod in November 1999)

"This ain't rocket science ..." vote for Rudy and end the Clinton era of electoral politics in this country.

Running for the Senate has nothing to do with the people of New York or being a Senator for Hillary Rodham Clinton. It is about her future bid for the White House. The Senate is merely the proving ground for her future candidacy. Bill should have been left high and dry by the supposedly strong Hillary, a woman I once thought had integrity. Instead, she just sat there humiliated and looking like an absolute ass for taking him back. They deserve each other. The people of New York at the very least deserve a senator with New York interests like Rudy, and I can't stand him. The people of New York have the opportunity to end the Clinton Era of electoral politics in this country, once and for all. Even if they have to elect a Republican to the Senate in the process.


I was pissed. The Republicans may have utterly botched their feeble attempt at impeachment, but the country was going to be better off in so many ways once the White House had a new occupant. Granted, W has been an utter disaster, but the place needed moving vans brought up to the back door, much like it needs it again now. But, when Rudy bowed out of the race and left Hillary to run against a lightweight, the announced candidacy of Hillary 2008 became inevitable.

This creates a quandry for me. In 1996, out of disgust for the entire slate of candidates I voted for a third party candidate. In 2000, I voted for McCain in the Washington State Primary. I can see voting for McCain, but none of the other Republicans could I vote for on accident, let alone as an alternative. I am not going to vote for a losing third party guy again. This will be a hold my nose vote if it comes to it.

Dear new Sonics ownership group (part two)

Dear new Sonics ownership group (part two)

I still think you have no real intention of keeping the team in Seattle. I just feel like that needs to be said up front to get it out of the way and to make certain that there is no misunderstanding.

The other day representatives of the Sonics went to the Washington State Legislature and presented what they called a plan. The plan included no diagram or blueprints of an arena. the plan included no firm estimate of cost for building the arena. The plan picked sites which are not necessarily even for sale as potential locations for the arena. The plan still managed to ask the government to fork over hundreds of millions of dollars. In effect, they offered a non-plan or a wish list.

Presenting a non-plan as a plan is not trying. It is lame and for show, so that when you move the team you can say you tried.

In the time since the Sonics were sold (the same day I heard the Lynnwood Hooters closed, I am still torn over what made me angrier at the time) the new ownership group has announced timetables that they have not stuck to, presented a non-plan to the government, mounted no defense against a local ballot measure (that easily won) against the public funding of arenas, and watched no real groundswell of support for the team to remain emerge.

Hardcore sports fans, KJR listeners, and virtually no one else has jumped on this bandwagon. I have looked to see if there would be a surge in people wearing Sonics shirts, hats, and coats in a public display of support for the team. Over the holidays I went to the Alderwood Mall and found one person wearing a Sonics hat while I saw a number of people wearing M's stuff.

A new multi-purpose arena in this region is probably a good idea. I think Key Arena is okay, but I feel very crowded and squeezed in while attending sporting events there. I attend the occassional Sonics game, Storm game, and the like and just feel like the remodel of the 90s was not worth the time and effort. They could have done it right and didn't. The arena in Spokane was built about the same time and the new arena in Everett are both places I would rather go to sporting events in.

However, it seems to me that the attempt here is half-hearted. If the new ownership group really wanted the support of the fans in an effort to rally people to hound the legislature (think 95 after the ballot measure failed for the M's and how the M's owners were detailing the need for a retractable roof or 97 when the Seahawks made certain soccer dimensions could be accomodated) then much more than we have seen needs to be done.

People want specifics. The vagueness of issues surrounding this arena and the future of the franchise in a region with the level of political fatigue this region has (in less than a dozen years we have had the WTO, the Nisqually Earthquake and subsequent never ending Viaduct issue, a mayor assaulted, major ballot initiatives and public funding issues for other pro sports teams, strippergate, etc ...) and the tepid reaction to the Sonics ownership approach hardly seems surprising.

It is stunning that the new ownership group did not have blueprints in hand when they purchased the team, since part of the decision to purchase the team should have been playing out a scenario about the arena needs. I cannot believe that the new owners spent hundreds of millions to buy something without a plan and they cannot expect the legislature to spend a similar amount on what has been presented to them.

"Give us hundreds of millions and then we will figure it out" is not going to work. There is not enough leadership politically to get votes for something like that, and there shouldn't be.

I hope the Sonics stay. It would be cool if there was a true first class arena here for a variety of purposes. I hope I am wrong.

A.P.E.S. ... a definition (of sorts)

Although it is not listed in any dictionary that can be properly referenced for academic work I give you the following word and defintion ...

A.P.E.S. - Advanced Placement English Students from Mountlake Terrace High School

As a teacher I see a lot of students and classes. As a student I had hundreds of classmates and dozens of classes. Few of those classes were really noteworthy. I keep in touch with a very small percentage of those former classmates and have had a hard time recognizing or remembering many of those classmates at reunions. I can recall teachers telling me the same thing; that there are good classes and bad classes, good students and bad students, but few that really stand out to be remembered or kept in touch with.

The A.P.E.S. OF 85 are a rather interesting group of people. We have had ongoing and regular reunions that have become events like a retirement party for our teacher, included other teachers, brought in more classmates than just A.P.E.S. themselves (we include those fortunate enough to know A.P.E.S.), had people fly in to attend, is peripheral to, and led to a manhunt for the few we could not find (we now know where everyone is).

If it is true that the people we choose to surround ourselves with reflects our values, then i am lucky.

I post this here because I, on occassion, mention the A.P.E.S. in other posts and writings. This can be a reference point.

Ringo had his own cheerleader (Ephemera Project)

Ringo had his own cheerleader.

When Ringo was little, he had his own cheerleader. I would take him to the women's games and sit down low while his mom was at work. Well, at one of those games I let him sit down by himself next to Butch. At age one a giant Cougar wearing a basketball uniform and sitting on the bleacher next to you is a fairly frightening thing to have happen. He screamed. I was only a few feet away trying to get a picture of this event, but a blonde Cougar cheerleader beat me to him. He stopped crying immediately and did not want her to put him down. Duh. She could not cheer for the next stretch of the game. A few days later at the grocery store she walked up to us and he practivally dove into her arms, leading to raised eyebrows on mom.

I enjoy women's hoops. As a freshman at Wazzu we would go to hoops games every Thursday and Saturday, it didn't matter if it was men or women we just went. That 86-87 season was the first full season of Pac 10 play for women's hoops. Over the years I had the opportunity to see a number of great players come through Pullman including Jennifer Azzi, Tina Thompson, and Kate Starbird. I believe a big part of why I watched ABL and WNBA games was that I got to witness first hand the growth and deveopment of the game and got to know players.

The Seattle Reign was fun. I was in Pullman so I only got to see a couple of games before they folded, but the game against Colorado was one of the best sporting events I attended in the 90s.

There are those in the media that dislike women's hoops. That is fine. But, they also seem to be actively interested in helping it fail, going out of their way to mock it at all times. Why they seem to need to use their collective bully pulpit to do so seems very, very wrong to me. Ignore it if they don't like it, but don't try and squash it for those that do. Taking my kids to games has been a joy; it is healthy for them to see women in sports being cheered, they are healthy role models, and the tickets are reasonable for my budget.

non-WNBA pro

10-10-97 Seattle Reign vs. San Jose Lasers (Spokane Arena) - Pre-season ABL

09-20-97 Seattle Reign vs. Long Beach Stingrays (Mercer Arena) - Pre-season ABL

02-01-97 Seattle Reign vs. Colorado Xplosion (Mercer Arena) - ABL Regular Season

-------- Columbus Quest vs. College All-Stars (U of I - Moscow ID) - ABL Exhibition during 96-97 season

+ I went to the public "wake" for the Seattle Reign when the league folded during the 98-99 season at the Seattle Center House

College Hoops

I attended a number of college games over the years at Wazzu in both Bohler Gym and at Beasley, and a couple of games at Hec Ed. There was a game against USC that went back and forth 3 times in the final minute. I watched fantastic teams from Stanford light it up.

02-16-96 WSU @ UW (Hec Ed) - L - 60-78

I Heart Live Theatre (Ephemera Project)

I Heart Live Theatre

I love live theatre. That is hardly something that makes me unique. But, in general, I prefer live anything in music, arts, sports, or whatever. Unfortunately, the cost of going and figuring out what to go to has made my live theatre experiences far fewer and farther between than I would prefer. I made a point of catching a Broadway play in 2k4 when I went to New York City. I saw a play on my honeymoon. I have had the opportunity to experience somes great theatres. Now, I just need to do a better job of making a habit of going.

The Ephemera Project I am working on is a work in progress and much of the details here are more limited than the sports lists.

Professional Theatre

12.17.06 “White Christmas” 5th Avenue Theatre (Seattle) – 4th Row, with Kelly

--.--.06 “Junie B. Jones and a Little Monkey Business” Seattle Children’s Theatre (Seattle) – With Mantha’s 1st Grade class

12.--.04 “Nutcracker” McCaw Hall (Seattle) – with Mantha

06.05.04 “Sly Fox” Barrymore Theatre (New York City) – my first Broadway play with an Oscar winner and a cast I knew

11.29.03 “The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe” Seattle Children’s Theatre (Seattle) – with Ringo

09.30.03 “The Phantom of the Opera” Paramount Theatre (Seattle) – with Nana

01.07.00 “The Complete Millennium Musical (Abridged)” Bagley Wright Theatre (Seattle)

12.--.95 “Nutcracker” Beasley Performing Arts Coliseum (Pullman) – could be 94

--.--.93 “Nutcracker” Opera House (Seattle) – could have been 92 or 93

08.--.92 “Othello” Elizabethan Stage (Ashland) – the 10th or 11th in the balcony

--.--.—“A Midsummer Night’s Dream” Lynndale Park Amphitheater (Lynnwood) – outdoors in early 90s

--.--.90 “The Winter’s Tale” Elizabethan Stage (Ashland) – APES Reunion

--.--.90 “The Merry Wives of Windsor” Angus Bowmer Theatre (Ashland) – APES Reunion

07-08-88 "Angry Housewives" - Pioneer Square Theatre

--.--.84 “Hay Fever” Angus Bowmer Theatre (Ashland) – APES 84

--.--.84 “London Assurance” Angus Bowmer Theatre (Ashland) – APES

--.--.-- “The Miracle Worker” Poncho Theatre (Seattle) – with I think my 3rd grade class, my first ever live theatre

*** theatre tours in Ashland in 84, 87, 90, and 92 - I missed A.P.E.S. II for DECA nationals and did not see a play when stopping by in 87 with Bob on our road trip (we were trying to get to SF in time for a Giants game and succeeded in re time, but they were in San Diego so the point was moo)

Student Theatre

--.--.01 “The Lady from the Sea” Shoreline CC (Shoreline) – in the round with Scott

--.--.87 “Deathtrap” Daggy Hall (Pullman)
*** I have enjoyed many school productions at Terrace High School, Robin Hood at Hollywood Hill, the Evergreen School opera program, Kings’ musicals, and other kids plays and production

The Viaduct should be almost finished ...

It was the morning of February 28, 2001 and I was working on the phones in a training center in Bothell. I was standing, as I prefer to do, and appear to have felt it just enough of a second prior to my fellow co-workers, hung up and started to head under the desk. The quake was a 6.8 magnitude quake that damaged significant portions of Pioneer Square in Seattle and brought to a head the need for a replacement to the aging Alaskan Way Viaduct. Six years later, they are still talking about what to do. The demolition and replacement of the Viaduct will take several years. If the State of Washington and City of Seattle had anything remotely resembling leadership the replacement would already be almost finished and would have cost much less than what voters are facing in the upcoming election.

Emperor Nickels was not even mayor at the time and is still dealing with this, but he wants the tunnel option so badly that he is willing to hold his breath until his face turns blue, or until he gets voted out of office, whichever comes first. The Seven Dwarves of the Seattle City Council are utterly incapable of deciding anything and will study something longer than grad students on a trust fund. Governor Gregoire has finally decided to just "git er done" and forced the hand of the Emperor and the Seven Dwarves. It is so far past pathetic that it has come to this I don't even want to get started.

The Viaduct was in need of replacement years prior to the Nisqually Earthquake. Yet, 6 years later they have not even started, when they could almost be finished had they dove into this at the time.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Take me out to the ballgame (Ephemera Project)

When Major League Baseball went on strike in 1994 I was as frustrated as the average fan. Of course, I fully expected that it would not last. Yet, a few weeks later Bud Selig cancelled the World Series, replacements were brought in for Spring Training, and the strike continued. Just before the start of the season with replacement players in the field, the players suddenly called an end to the strike and went back to work, leading to a shorter than 162 game 1995 season. In 1995 the Seattle Mariners went on a tear, made the playoffs, had their stadium proposal voted down, and got a special session of the Washington State Legislature called to get their stadium funded anyways. However, I did not watch a single game of the 1995 season. I did not watch in 1996 either. And, until the last week of the 1997 season I did not witness a single baseball game. It was somewhat easier living in Pullman at the time, but nonetheless, I made a specific effort to not watch any games, and other than a couple of highlights on television here and there, I have not really watched any of that time period. Eventually, I just decided to catch a couple games to see if I could get back into it and slowly did, but my enthusiasm for baseball has never really got back to where it was in 1994 on Opening Night or at the game I saw in Anaheim that summer. I have now seen over half of the National League with the Pirates and the Reds coming this year.

This listing is another part of the ongoing Ephemera Project I am working on to catalogue the ticket stubs, game programs, photos, and memories I have as a sports fan.

07-08-06 Tigers (L) 1-2 - instead of the Club America game next door
07-02-06 Rockies (L) 3-4
06-18-06 Giants (W) 5-1 - Bonds struck out to end the game and 3 times total
05-07-06 Indians (L) 0-2
04-09-06 A's (L) 4-6
09-29-05 Rangers (W) 4-3
06-18-05 Mets (W) 4-1 - The M's finally beat Pedro
06-14-05 Phillies (W) 3-1 - 2 hours and 4 minutes with a single pitching substitution
08-14-04 Yankees (L) 5-7
06-12-04 Expos (W) 3-0 - now the Nationals
06-06-04 Mets vs. Marlins @ Shea Stadium (5-2) with Bob
06-04-04 Yankees vs. Rangers @ Yankee Stadium (7-6) with Richard
07-26-03 Rangers (W) 4-0
06-13-03 Braves (W) 2-1
08-03-02 Indians (W) 12-4
06-12-02 Cardinals (W) 5-0 - Darryl Kile pitched this game and then passed 10 days later
09-05-01 Devil Rays (W) 12-6
06-22-01 Angels (L) 1-8
04-03-01 A's (L) 1-5
08-26-00 White Sox (W) 11-5
04-07-00 Yankees (W) 7-5
07-16-99 Padres (L) 1-2 - 2nd game at Safeco Field but first with roof closed
06-20-94 @ Angels (W) 5-0 - my last game for several years
05-21-94 Rangers (W) 13-2
04-11-94 Twins (W) 9-8 (10) - Opening Night
09-22-93 Rangers (W) 7-4 - Nolan Ryan pitched his last inning and got no outs
08-16-93 Orioles (W) 8-6
06-22-93 A's (L) 3-10
06-15-93 Royals (W) 6-1
04-06-93 Blue Jays (W) 8-1 - Opening Night
05-23-92 Indians (L) 4-5
08-30-91 Red Sox (L) 2-3
06-08-91 Brewers (W) 6-2
08-13-90 Orioles (L) 2-3
06-01-90 Tigers (L) 7-9
05-07-90 Red Sox (L) 4-5 - sat and chatted with Tony Pena until first bullpen call
05-06-90 Orioles (W) 5-4 - anniversary gift to the folks, 2nd row above Orioles' dugout
08-01-89 Angels
07-04-89 Twins
08-13-88 White Sox - if memory serves I went to BP and then left
06-10-88 Twins
04-19-86 A's
06-11-85 White Sox

*** 3 GA Tix from 87-88 / (GA 200) $3.50 #16 / (GA) $5.50 #29 / (GA) $5.50 #30 - I believe the $3.50 ticket stub is from a game with the Bartlett Man in Summer 88 against the A's

** 2 Tix pre-86 logo / (GA) $4.50 #7 / (GA 200) $2.00 #8

* Herfy's Honorary Batkid vs. Brewers 78/79

* Red Sox - MTE game w/GPa 77/78

* Angels - Nolan Ryan game with Dad and Ron - 200 Level - 77-79

* Yankees game in the 300 Level with Reggie and Billie - Rupert Jones Inside the park home run Ron missed

* The Ballpark in Arlington Tour - 1996

* no Spring Training or October games

It's Cougar Football Saturday! (Ephemera Project)

As a part of my ongoing personal Ephemera Project I am posting these lists of events and games and my thoughts and memories of them.

It's Cougar Football Saturday!
(except for the Stanford game in the 80s that was a Thursday)

9.11.04 Colorado - QF - L - 12-20 -
A makeup game from the 2001 season cancelled because of 911 on the 4th anniversary of 911.

11.15.03 ASU - W - 34-19 -
In Lance's amazing seats.

8.30.03 Idaho - QF - W - 25-0 -
An efficient, but dull, win.

8.31.02 Nevada - QF - W - 31-7 -
This was fun, a Cougar sellout when the hawks couldn't sell out their own new place.

11.17.01 UW @ - L - 14-26 -
It was like the Cougar players had never met each other before.

10.6.01 OSU - W - 34-27 -
No matter how hot the co-ed, that color cannot look good.

11.20.99 UW @ - L - 22-14 -
Why did Gesser not play more?

11.21.98 UW - L - 9-16 -
A bad game between two bad teams where the backup QB's were both better than the starters.

11.15.97 Stanford - W - 38-28 -
Rose Bowl here we come.

11.8.97 SW LA - W - 77-7 -
Good Lord ...

10.25.97 UA - W - 35-34 (OT) -
The most exciting finish to a non-Apple Cup I have ever seen in Martin Stadium. Had the UA two point conversion worked, no Rose Bowl.

10.18.97 Cal - W - 63-37 -
Cal got 37 points only because the Cougs stopped playing when they got to 63.

9.27.97 Boise St. - W - 58-0 -
A punk kicker from BSU was shut out, now that franchise is awesome.

11.23.96 UW - L - 24-31 (OT) -
Two inches from a second OT.

10.26.96 USC - L - 24-29 -
Another USC squeaker.

10.19.96 Cal - W - 21-18 -
Pounding on Dorian's shoulder pads after the game when he jumped up into the crowd was so cool.

9.28.96 San Jose St. - W - 52-16 -
The games which should not be scheduled.

9.21.96 UO - W - 55-44 -
Ducks unite Huskies and Cougars.

11.11.95 Stanford - L - 24-36 -
Leaf ended up playing in a terribly wet and damp game where the anthem was messed up horribly.

10.7.95 OSU -W- 40-14 -
I don't think I have ever seen the Beavers beat the Cougs in Pullman. They didn't here either.

9.23.95 UCLA - W - 24-15 -
This was the final Pac 10 team for me to see in person.

9.9.95 Montana - W - 38-21 -
Games like this should not count.

11.19.94 UW - W - 23-6 -
It is always okay to enjoy beating the Huskies.

11.5.94 USC - L - 10-23 -
The Johnson's were men amongst boys that day.

10.15.94 UA - L - 7-10 -
This was more lost by the Cougars than won by the Wildcats.

10.8.94 UO - W - 21-7 -
They were still wearing the Donald Duck logos.

9.10.94 Fresno St. - W - 24-3 -
Other than getting introduced with the soccer team, this was a boring day.

11.20.93 UW @ - L - 3-26 -
Sitting in the rich and snooty UW Alumni section was kind of fun, until they realized I was not one of them.

10.16.93 Cal - W - 34-7 -
Right before the Annual November Swoon.

11.21.92 UW - W - 42-23 -
I still own the tape of this game and watch it from time to time. Standing there with Richard and Jim was fun, at least for me, since I was able to stay a lot warmer than them.

11.17.90 UW - L - 10-55 -
I stayed until the end on general principle.

10.21.89 UA - L - 21-23 -
The beginning of the Annual November Swoon Era.

10.14.89 Stanford - W - 31-13 -
Pulling the redshirt off of a young QB that then spent his career behind the guy that came in next was necessary, but cruel in retrospect. This was the Thursday game.

9.30.89 USC - L - 17-18 -
Todd Marinovich was being pulled down by his cup when he through the game winner.

9.16.89 OSU - W - 41-3 -
Another trouncing of the Beavers.

9.2.89 Idaho - W - 41-7 -
I think Idaho fanse expected this to be closer than this when they scored first and the Cougs went and punted right away.

11.19.88 UW - W - 32-31 -
Due to the wonder that is "The Internets" the finish of this game is online for all to see worldwide.

11.12.88 OSU - W - 36-27 -
So cold I had to carry her from the stadium sober.

10.22.88 ASU - L - 28-31 -
A late pick gave this one away, almost kept us from the greater glory of the Aloha Bowl.

9.12.87 Wyoming - W - 43-28 -
The only game I saw that season.

11.22.86 UW - L - 23-44 -
The first Apple Cup loss I ever experienced, they never get easier.

11.8.86 UA - L - 6-31 -
We freaked out the Wildcats the day before by being in shorts in the cold, it didn't stop them.

10.11.86 USC - W - 34-14 -
With Bob K. and his father. SI captured this one beautifully.

10.4.86 OSU - W - 24-14 -
The first game I attended as a student also doubled as a soccer doubleheader with me playing the second half and my father in attendance. And, I met a girl I really wish I had gotten to know much better.

11.23.85 UW @ - W - 21-20 -
A great intro to the Apple Cup for me, with James going for two instead of the tie and it not working.

All games at Martin Stadium unless noted
QF = Qwest Field/Seahawks Stadium
@ = Husky Stadium

Minor League Baseball (Ephemera Project)

In retrospect, I am surprised by how little minor league baseball I have actually attended. No Tacoma. No Bellingham. No games attended while on road trips. The few games I have actually attended in Everett kind of surprises me. (More work needs to be done on the results for this posting.)

7.28.04 - Aquasox vs. Vancouver Canadians - with the kids

8.13.02 - Aquasox vs. Tri-City Dust Devils - with the kids - picture posted from this game

?.?.91 - Spokane Indians vs. ????? - Spokane Fairgrounds - I have the program

7.25.92 - Giants vs. Bend Rockies - none of the Bend players would be able to do that whirlwind minors to the majors in one season thing since the major league Colorado Rockies would not start playing until the next season.

8.15.91 - Giants vs. Spokane Indians

8.8.85 - Giants vs. Medford A's

**** Giants Tix - undated (3) must be from 85-88

Football ... the American kind (Ephemera Project)

NFL games are expensive, and Seahawks tickets have gone through periods where they are generally impossible to get. The only Seahawks games I have attended were in the Kingdome days. I have seen several football games at the new park, but they are all college games at this point.

Seattle Seahawks

12.13.98 - San Diego Chargers - 38-17 - Ron - KD 100 - Leaf, Coach Erickson

11.8.92 - Washington Redskins - KD 300 - 3-16 - Rypien

9.27.92 - Miami Dolphins - KD 300 - 17-19 - Marino

12.20.85 - Denver Broncos - KD 100 - 24-27 - w/Bob, Elway showed me that game what an amazing player he was

12.1.85 - Kansas City Chiefs - KD 300 - 24-6 - w/Dad

12.18.77 - Cleveland Browns - KD 300 - 20-19 - w/Brian, in the absolute uppermost seats of the 300 level in the middle of the end zone across from the screen

Everett Hawks

4.30.06 vs. Central Valley Coyotes - (L) - 41-60 - AFL2 (EEC), with Ron, then to Hooters for me to pay up on the bowl season bet, this year I owe him the game itself

4.21.05 vs. Tri-Cities Fever - (W) - 64-62 - NIFL (EEC) - My evil upstairs neighbor reported me for being loud that evening to the landlord, even though I was not home.

Other Football

1.13.79 - Challenge Bowl II - Pac 10 vs Big 8, KD 100 - I have an autographed ticket stub from this game.

10.5.85 - Bacon Bowl - KD 100, w/Bob

12.7.85 - Kingbowl - KD 100, w/Bob, we sat through all 5 games

?.?.86 OSU vs. BSU - end of game in Corvallis, then we played soccer against OSU afterward in the rain

?.?.95 - UI vs Sonoma State - w/Earl in Kibbie Dome - This game redefined why blowouts are boring.

9.25.93 - UW vs East Carolina - @ Husky with the Hornings - 35-0 - Right before the Husky program went into decline, the first games of the probation era with Coach Lambright.

1230.02 - Seattle Bowl - Oregon 17 vs. Wake Forest 38 - Seahawks Stadium/Qwest Field - Husky fans wore duck hunting gear and taunted the thousands of Ducks in attendance. Wake ran the same formation and play over and over and the Ducks never stopped it.

*** Snohomish County Vikings (3-4) including Eastside Hawks (pictured) and losing Championship game, I tried out one day as kicker/punter

Seattle Storm (Ephemera Project)

Seattle Storm

I enjoy going to these games; I have taken the kids to several of them, sat in a Key Arena Suite, witnessed a WNBA playoff game in 02, an Inaugural Game, teams which already no longer exist, franchises in different incarnations, met players, and met a Bono look-a-like.

07-16-06 CT Sun (L) 83-92
07-19-05 NY Liberty (W) 87-78
07-22-04 IN Fever (W) 59-54
08-08-03 MN Lynx (W) 68-65
08-15-02 LA Sparks (L) 61-78
07-12-02 CL Rockers (L) 58-62
06-12-01 OR Miracle (W) 70-63
06-18-00 UT Starzz (L) 53-56
06-01-00 HOU Comets (L) 47-77

+ Inaugural Season Nickname Party 00 @Key
+ Draft Party 02 and Open Practice 01 @ Furtado Center
+ Fanfests @ Center 02 and Greenlake 04-06
+ Christmas Party / New Coach Announcement 02 @Key
+ Championship Celebration 04 @ Westlake

My name is Jefferson and I watch Pro Wrestling ...

I love pro wrestling. There. I said it. I do. It is crazy, awful, vulgar, and all sorts of other bad things, yet I watch it regularly and, on occassion, attend. A man must be willing to admit such things. I drive a minivan. I like manicures. I watch pro wrestling. So. Be. It. Technically, this is part of the Ephemera Project.


2.10.04 - WWE Smackdown - Tacoma Dome - (+Velocity) - I have the tapes from these broadcasts. - Eddie, Brock, Cena

3.31.03 - WWE Wrestlemania 19 - Safeco Field - picture posted is from here - My seats were better than Ron's and Paige's, even though they were down low - Hulk, Piper, etc ...

9.12.98 - WWF - House Show - Key Arena - I even have pictures - I went with Ron, Jesus and his wife - Owen, DX, The Rock - Nana commented that Ron and I needed to be sure to do nothing that would embarrass the family, thanks mom.

PNW Big Time Wrestling - all at Seattle Center Arena (now named Mercer Arena)

2.12.86 - w/Gerbil - I ended up taking my brother's girlfriend because he couldn't go. Things which, in retrospect, I should not have done.

12.25.83 - Xmas with the Lageson's on impulse

12.26.82 - with Dad and Uncle Rick - Cage Match - I still have pictures

9.29.82 - with Ron, Rob, Uncle, Aunt - Ringside - Ric Flair vs. Buddy Rose, Buzz and Hack Sawyer in tag team action

The Ephemera Project

Ephemera - Printed "Ephemera" is material like tickets, flyers, programs, menus, schedules, or anything that is printed for immediate use that is not intended to be needed beyond that immediate use.

I recently discovered this word while reading the Washington State Magazine Winter 2006-07 issue, an article on page 11 titled "When Trash Reveals History: The world of printed ephemera at Oxford" by Trevor Bond. I intend to study this topic further as it is a great way to study popular culture from various periods of time.

I have always collected ephemera and have a rather extensive number of scrapbooks covered with stickers and full of ticket stubs and flyers, as well as a large number of old programs from sports and other events. Some stuff has been lost over the years, but the volume of the material is quite extensive. I am also quite thankful I have taken so many pictures over the years. As a part of the Oxymoron Project I was using the scrapbook material to develop lists of my soccer games and experiences and decided to try and chronicle and document all of it into lists and indexes in order to figure out just what I have attended and who I have seen. With the help of "The Internets", media guides, library newspaper microfiche, and my own memory, I have compiled a good deal of material that I have already begun to post on this site. It is for my own benefit more than anything else, but lists are fun and some people like them and I have this blog so I am using it.

The lists will include postings chronicling sporting events like hockey games, football, women's hoops, pro wrestling, minor league baseball, Major League Baseball, live theatre, and others. Some information is still needed to complete some of these entries and as it becomes unearthed I will post updates as needed.

Top Ten Lists - Soccer Books and Movies (Oxymoron project)

As part of the ongoing Oxymoron Project I am continuing to compile various lists and post them here.


10 Soccer Books To Read

The Miracle of Castel di Sangro - Joe McGinniss - 2000
- really get to know the town and Italian politics

The Education of an American Soccer Player - Shep Messing - 1979
- cut through the obvious attempts to shock and there is a really good account of the 1970s, Munich Olympics, and early NASL

All Played Out - Pete Davies - 1990
- The account of the USA - Italy game was perfect, just a great understanding of that entire world cup

Fever Pitch - Nick Hornby - 1992
- in some ways the best book, a non-fiction novel, but I'm Liverpool so I have to drop it a bit, women should read this book

The Game of Their Lives - Geoffrey Douglas - 1996 -
- Focused on the men and their lives as much as the game, good profiles of ethnic communities post ww2 and depression

Among the Thugs - Bill Buford - 1992
- read this, then watch Football Factory

A Season with Verona - Tim Parks - 2002
- the grind of fandom in a country mad about the game

How Soccer Explains the World - Franklin Foer - 2004
- sociological, cultural, political, ... wow, should be a sociology text

All The Best - Doug Thiel - 1978
- cut through the destiny crap, it felt forced, but it is accurate

Goooal! - Andres Cantor - 1996
- the culture and playing style of world cups throughout the decades, a love for the game and how it is played


10 Soccer Movies To Watch

Bend It Like Beckham (2002)
- dated since it is a WUSA infomercial, but worth watching just for the final wedding reception / game montage, saw this as a sneak preview at the Guild 45th, very cool, I own it

Once In A Lifetime (2006)
- Galacticos 1977, Sounders, Chinaglia - 10-12 people in very small theatre, I own it

Football Factory (2004)
- watch this, then read "Among The Thugs", recomended by a bloke at the George and Dragon one morning who had a great perspective on women and football

Fever Pitch (1997)
- The spirit of the book, but to see Liverpool lose that way drops it

Goal! The Dream Begins (2005)
- we'll see about this as a trilogy, a typical Rocky type of sports move, but enjoyable because they did it well, even if a bit obvious

The Miracle Match (2005)
- a bit over the top with destiny and attempts to make the 2002 success a direct result, but good soccer scenes and setting, title change from theatre to video from book title due to NK film

Victory (1981)
- good war film, what Hogan's Heroes wasn't, the American becomes a goalie, Pele's bike, arm break scene

Shaolin Soccer (2001)
- sort of bizarre but entertaining in and utterly ridiculous way

Mean Machine (2001)
- Vinnie Jones in a Longest Yard remake set in England, plus Jason Statham as a psycho goalie, as a remake I cannot rank it higher on principle

Kicking and Screaming (2005)
- as I am now a youth soccer coach this is a great lesson, parent horror stories are also possible, I have been lucky so far

HM - Cats and Dogs (2001) for "Uruguay versus Chad!", MLS product placement, and youth soccer tryouts

HM - Ladybugs (1992) filmed at a Colorado Foxes APSL match

David Vanole RIP

David Vanole RIP

Eight overtimes.

It doesn't matter the sport, but overtimes rarely get to 3, on rare occassions to 4, but 8 is just ridiculous, especially in a sudden death situation.

In 1985 UCLA played American University in the NCAA Soccer Championships in the Kingdome in Seattle. The final score that day was 1-0, UCLA winning on a goal in the 167th minute. The NCAA did not have a PK system in place at the time so the overtimes just kept a coming, ten minute chunk after ten minute chunk. The final whistle finally came on the 167th minute goal. the NCAA now has a PK system. So, for all of you that hate PK's, and that is basically all of us, this game is why they are NECESSARY.

American University fans were warned over the PA that their plane was leaving on several occassions, but they stayed. Not many other people did. I stayed in my seat in one of the endzones for the entire game. I was tired just watching it. And, despite the 1-0 scoreline, this was not a dull game; crossbars were hit, players were ejected, and the ball kept moving. American had the Coach of the Year and a Player of the Year. UCLA had a future USMNT coach as an assistant and Paul Caligiuri on the field.

Also, USMNT goalie David Vanole was in the nets. A 167 minute shutout is like a 17 inning shutout in baseball. I also saw Vanole, albeit in a reserve role, when I saw the USMNT play at Italia 90. Vanole is a part of a long lineage of solid UNMNT goalies over the decades.

David Vanole died January 15.

I never met the man. But, when I heard he passed I thought back to the night of December 14, 1985 and the amazing game I witnessed. I wish his family well.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Today I am almost XL ... (aka 39 1/2)

Waitresses and 7-11 clerks in various locations wear all sorts of buttons about ID.
I have seen buttons like ...

"You have such a baby face"

... or ...

"I'd card your mother"

... and my favorite is at Red Robin ...

"We card under 39 1/2" ...

Today, I turn 39 1/2. It is the last birthday I plan to celebrate. I know ...
I know ... I KNOW ...

I will continue to age ...

When asked my age I will honest and tell them the truth. This is not vanity. I have just cared little in the past for birthday celebrations and really haven't done anything about my birthday in years. I didn't even go out dancing this summer.

But, see ...

10 meant I was double digits
13 meant I was a teenager
16 meant I could drive
18 meant I could vote and registered for the draft
19 meant legal to drink in Idaho
21 meant legal to drink in Washington
35 meant I could run for POTUS

... other than just marking time, social security, reaching life expectancy, or getting senior discounts, there really isn't anything noteworthy upcoming. 39 1/2 means Red Robin won't card me, so this seems like as good a time as any to stop celebrating and just use my birthday to mark time.

40? XL? A U2 Song? (see blog entry from September about this same topic)

I guess it is the new 30 ...

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Comic Book Projects (aka The 90's) ...

Comic Book Projects (aka The 90's)

Back in the 1990's I spent a fair amount of my creative efforts working on breaking into the comic book industry. Since my artistic skills are a bit laking in regards to character drawing I worked with a number of artists to create characters and develop projects.

Hurricane Studios was one such project. We produced a bunch of material collectively, but given the glut and collapse of the comic book market during that time we were never really going to have much of a chance. "Spare" was a project that came from this endeavor, and there is a fully inked and lettered story I could post on here.

I later (circa 97-98) began working under the banner of Keeper Studios in order to differentiate my own materials.

JD Solo was actually a collaboration with a guy I never met in person and only spoke to on the phone once. It also was due to be published in an anthology series through a small press publisher that went out of business during the previously mentioned comic book market collapse. There is actually an 8 page first story fully inked and lettered that I may scan and post on here at some point.

The other projects that I am posting on here are concepts I worked up but never got to finish or completely turn into fully inked and lettered panel to panel comic stories.

Saturday, January 20, 2007

The Kingdome R.I.P. (Redux) ...

The Kingdome R.I.P. (Redux)

(As I have moved more toward using this blog and less toward the old site on Tripod, I have decided to update and revise some of the pages and repost them here ...)

This is my little tribute to the ugliest stadium ever built.

It (was) loud, cold, ugly, and difficult, which is why it was the greatest home field advantage ever in football. Qwest Field is loud, but the Kingdome made the NFL change its rules.

I scored my first goal there in a 1979 Sounders pre-game.

I saw The Rolling Stones twice (1981 & 1997). I also saw Paul McCartney, Van Halen (Sammy era), and Metallica.

In 1978 I was an "Honorary Batkid" for the Seattle Mariners. This was a Herfy's promotion. I will always remember my brother sliding on his bike up at the playfield to tell me that I had one the opportunity. I had my picture taken with Craig Reynolds, but it never came in the mail.

Over the years I saw the US National Team play a World Cup Qualifier (against Canada in 1976)and a couple of exhibition games against the Soviets (79) and Russia(94). There were numerous Sounders (even one indoor), Sonics, and a half dozen Seahawks games. I saw Nolan Ryan's last inning in 1993, the NASL Soccer Bowl in 1976, two Mariners opening nights, the Final Four in 1984, Pele and the Cosmos in 1977, and Reggie Lewis' final trip to Seattle with the Celtics in 1992(while listening to the second half of the Copper Bowl.

I voted against it's destruction. Even though I enjoy Qwest Field, there still is not a grass field there as promised to the soccer fans that put the ballot measure over the top. I am still convinced the stadium should be standing.

There are 3 chunks of the Kingdome in with my Sounders stuff in my living room.

Friday, January 19, 2007

It was either that or "Buddy" ...

It was either that or "Buddy" ...

Back when he was in the White House Bill Clinton got a dog, he named him "Buddy". I can remember the goofy dumb grin on his face when he announced the dog's name, like it was something so cool ... and I remember thinking that the Ivy League and Oxford didn't change the fact that he was a redneck at heart.

Well, 16 years ago today (give or take a couple days but I think I am right) I got a little pet too. Of course, mine was a turtle. I was in school in Spokane at the time and decided to get the turtle, I had wanted one for a while and was living alone. A fellow classmate helped me set up the tank and get it all together (he had a pet ball python) so it was kind of cool.

Then it came time to name him, or her (we figured out it was a her by the under shell) and since we had been listening to Buddy Holly it became Holly as the name. I believe for a little while we did call her Buddy, but it passed. The other option was Harry or Sally since we had just watched that movie on video. A turtle named "Harry"? That would have been funny had she been a he.

Well, Holly still is in the tank living her little turtle life. She has been back and forth across the mountains a couple times, lived with friends and relatives for short periods, and even spent some time in a greenhouse, but there she is. For whatever reason she will freak out for everyone else, but when I put my face up close she mellows. I believe that she is now the pet I have had the longest, as Raffles died just prior to turning 16.

Now, I just have to keep Tiger off the tank.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Hockey List (Ephemera Project) ...

Hockey List (Ephemera Project) ...

This is a listing of material that is part of my effort to catalog ephemera that I have retained over the years. I will also have a football, pro wrestling, live theatre, and other sports lists that I will post here. The decision to post it all on the blog is just for the purpose of documentation. I will try to add anecdotes and details about these games and maybe add photos as I go. The recent Top Ten list of college basketball games was the first of this ephemera project. It sort of is a dual track of research with the Oxymoron project as I was running across this stuff at the same time so I decided to document it as well.

This is a limited listing of games I have been to, but is pretty close to everything. I have only attended WHL minor league and Olympic matches, never an NHL game, which really needs to change and is kind of inexcusable given that Vancouver is so close. Much of my ephemera pre-1990 is fairly limited. I remember going to a couple of Seattle Breakers and Thunderbirds games with my dad and with Bob in the late 70s to the mid 80s against teams like the New Westminster Bruins at Mercer Arena, but have limited information on those games. The list includes only the games for which I have ticket stubs post-1990. It doesn’t make much sense to make a Top Ten list when I really haven’t been to that many memorable games. Hockey is fun, and some of the games have been more fun than others, but it doesn’t stick with me like other sports. I have not got all of the scores at this point, but it is a pretty good list, all things considered.

SLC Olympics
(The photos on this posting are a montage from the SLC Olympics)

2.12.02 United States (W) vs. Germany – 10-0 – First Round Pool Play – E Center – The US scored more goals than the Germans took shots on goal, so the US could have played without a goalie and won. The security for our double header was very intricate, as this was very shortly post-911. We had to exit the building and go through the entire line again security again.

2.12.02 Austria vs. Slovakia – 3-2 – First Round Pool Play – E Center – Ron and I decided to root for Slovakia since there were a number of very attractive Slovakian women sitting in front of us, which is as good of a reason as any. Satan was supposed to have played for Slovakia, but did not. Mike Eruzione and Jaromir Jagr were in attendance. The game was 1-1 with 10 shots each after one. The game was 2-2 with 20 shots each after two. The game was 3-2 with 30 shots for Austria and 29 for Slovakia after three.

Everett Silvertips

1.8.06 vs. Kamloops Blazers - 4-5 (L) – EEC – w/Ron – Tying goal called back upon review very late in the game. Took Ron for Xmas.

12.17.03 vs. Tri-City Americans – 1-1 (T) – EEC – w/Tim – Inaugural season present from the kids.

Spokane Chiefs

1.7.98 vs. Portland Winter Hawks – Spokane Arena

3.16.97 vs. Tri-City Americans – Spokane Arena – w/Jacob as a baby enjoying the spectacle until the Chiefs scored and everyone cheered, then he was unhappy.

2.16.91 vs. Victoria Cougars – (Old Spokane Coliseum) – w/Larry – Then I walked to the Opera House and enjoyed a free concert from Blue Oyster Cult the same night.

1.23.91 vs. Seattle Thunderbirds – (Old Spokane Coliseum) – Apparently the Thunderbirds bus had caught fire on the way over and the players had to escape through the windows. The game nearly did not take place.

Tacoma Rockets

1.23.93 vs. Prince Albert Raiders – Tacoma Dome – I have the pennant from the Red Robin giveaway that night, the final was 6-3 in favor of Tacoma, which tied a single season home consecutive home victories streak for in the WHL.

Seattle Thunderbirds

12.15.01 vs. Saskatoon Blades – Key Arena - A birthday present for someone.

2.27.99 vs. Kamloops Blazers – Key Arena

2.3.98 vs. Edmonton Ice – Key Arena – w/Ron using tickets he got from work.

9.26.92 vs. Portland Winter Hawks – Seattle Center Coliseum - Home opener with Ron and Richard.

1.2.91 vs. Moose Jaw Warriors – Mercer Arena

“Game 18” 1985-86 Season – Seattle vs. ??? (possibly Kamloops, as I have photos from a game in that time period that look like the opposing team is Kamloops)

12.29.85 vs. Victoria Cougars

I also had a “Burn the Blazers” playoffs tee from 1986 that I am pretty sure Bob got for me. I cannot specifically remember if I went to those playoffs with him, or if I just intended to and couldn’t.

Seattle Breakers

I attended a handful of games for the Seattle Breakers in the late 70s and early 80s, but I have no ephemera or specific games that I recall. I do remember seeing the New Westminster Bruins, for some reason, once or twice. I can remember going with my dad and friends.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Recent passing thoughts ...

These are recent notes that I wrote down in passing, in emails, on post it notes in response to situations, conversations, news articles and reports, or just because they occurred to me ...

Here goes ...

United States Air Force Staff Sergeant Michelle Manhart has posed nude for the latest issue of Playboy ... That is one way to get out of going to Iraq.

Chemistry ...
... is dangerous. It is why scientists wear goggles, big heavy rubber gloves, lab coats, and masks and generally work in special rooms with warnings on the door. They want to avoid the messes, the fumes, and the explosions and to minimize the dangers to the rest of the world ….

How else can survivors be found but alive? (Headline read "14 Survivors Found Alive")

Bob Nardelli The former CEO of Home Depot reportedly was paid a $210 Million dollar check to go away because of poor performance … it is too easy, but I would love to go fail as a CEO somewhere …

The Baseball Hall Of Fame ballot is not a vote of "magnitude". It is important to a degree and in context, yes, but voting for president or local officials is of far more magnitude. It is time to take sportswriters out of the equation as they are turning themselves into the story. Too many seem to come across as self-righteous pricks.

Upstairs in the mail room I noticed that there were four wall clocks. All of the clocks on the wall were showing different hours and minutes, the only one that was correct was the one labeled Pacific Time. The three labeled Mountain, Central, and Eastern seemed sarcastic. The clocks have been off for a while and everyone seems okay with it or to have not noticed it at all.

I don’t want to take a job just to take a job, even a decent one, that is going to put me in the same place 2-3 years from now to where I was a year ago, I’d rather go bankrupt, and likely will as a result.

(From a note dated 1/3/07) I wish I would have been drinking or partying last night, I would actually feel better about being so stupid this morning.

Mark this day 1-8-07, the Cougs are #22 in the AP poll, first ranking since one week in Feb 1983 (one of 4 tourney years ever …) + 3 NIT years ... I was just hoping that they had a shot at being in the top 64 this year.

I don’t like to think of myself as an opportunistic type of guy with women, but maybe it is time to actually TRY.

Saturday, January 13, 2007

Don't Want To Talk About The Weather ...

... but holey moley Andy!

I have never been one to complain about the weather, but this year Winter has just grinded the whiner out of me.

I remember the 98-99 Winter with 116 straight days with rain (give or take). And, I lived through Pullman and Spokane winters ...

... and I've always dealt with it by running and going about my business no matter what.

But ever since this past September when it suddenly went from too hot to too cool in a day and a half it has just been too much.

So, to all of you who don't believe that climate change is legit, just please shut up.

Dasher ... 12 years in the family

My little white doggie Dasher has been with me 12 years as of this weekend - January 14, 1995.

Even after she broke her back in 1996 she still had the spunk to climb up and tended to sleep on me for some time. As she has gotten older and slower, this is not possible any more.

I know her time is winding down, but she is still my tiny girl.

When we got Dasher she bonded very quickly with Babie, and has managed to tolerate Tiger, at least for the most part.

The past couple years she has pretty much gone with me everywhere. In part, this is because I am not home a lot and she would not be able to go out when she needed to. She takes medicine for her injuries and I can better regulate it this way. Also, this is in part a solution to having the Grinch living upstairs from me; a woman who has reported Dasher to the landlord for being loud when locked up, and me for being loud when I was at work during my nightshift era at Safeco.

When I wrecked the van recently, more people asked if Dasher was okay first, which I can understand in part since I was standing there and obviously not critically injured, but was still a bit much ...

These days I have to wait for her instead of having her run ahead of me, and sometimes I carry her up the stairs, but there are times where her spark is still there.

Top Ten Club Shows I Can Remember Attending ...

Top Ten Club Shows I Can Remember Attending ...

These are not the sorts of events that have the ephemera I love to save. There aren’t ticket stubs. I may or not have paid cover for some of these shows. The dates are a bit foggy. Some of the clubs no longer exist. I cannot remember all of the other bands that played. Basically, this is what comes to mind when I think of club shows over the years.

1 - Dharma Bums / Young Brians - March 1991 The Big Dipper - Spokane WA - it was snowing and a weeknight and it was packed and it rocked like you would not believe ... the bands themselves commented on this during the evening ... there are just nights where things click and for whatever reason this night everything just rocked ... I can even remember thinking at the time that this was better than most of the arena shows I had been to over the previous few years and had paid much more money for ...

2 - Forced Entry / Bitter End / Condemmed - 1990 - Central Tavern - Seattle WA - I am still surprised the building is still standing, but then again it has handled earthquakes. This was a night of absolute thrash metal where I mostly sat up high on the side and looked down on the stage. There is even a review of this in an issue of City Heat.

3 - Kristen Barry 1990 - Central Tavern - I love this woman's music - a separate blog entry is forthcoming

4 - Ruby Dee and the Snakehandlers / Heartbreak USA - 12-06 - Highway 99 Blues Club Seattle WA - great bands I've seen before, and even together, with too small a crowd, so I was able to just enjoy the music ... I did get the opportunity to teach Sabrina to two step a little and dance a song with Ruby ...

5 - Big Feeling - Spokane WA 1991 - I just remember the acoustic solo version of Staying Alive and that is enough to make this list. I cannot for the life of me remember the name of the club there in Spokane and there weren’t many people there, which was not fair. There were a couple of decent bands in Spokane back then and this is one of them.

6 - Vinyl Avengers/Gold Spikes/The Davanos - OAT 2006 Seattle and LRH Seattle 2006 – exchange a couple guys and these bands change names but not quality, I saw them all a bunch and they are always great, so not one particular show here since there were great times to be had, I am simply putting them on the list on general principle ...

7 - Katrina Benefit Jam - Sept 2005 - Little Red Hen Seattle --- a who's who of local country and rockabilly for a good cause, packed and fun night, and the mixing and matching of musicians was really cool, there is simply so much quality in the genre in the Seattle area these days ...

8 - Knut Bell and the Blue Collars - EMP - 12-2003 - Liquid Lounge – I went to just get out of the house. I had no idea who was playing but just hoped for something worth seeing. I ran into an ECS member and my friend said to stay for a couple songs. I stayed for a couple sets. A girl flashed me. This show led to so many other things down the road that I am hesitant to think about how some things would be different for me today.

9 – (Unknown) Irish singers - Kell's - 6-05 Seattle – I went with my aunt and mom to take them to an Irish restaurant and we decided to hang out for a while. My mother had never bought me a drink until an Irish Coffee that night, I was almost 38 when this happened. There was a small band of three Irish singers on stage and it was very, very cool.

10 - BOC - Under The Rail - Seattle WA - 1993 - I am hesitant to add these guys to the list since they are arena rock big boys, but it was a club show after all. We stood right up front, some local bands opened (Bathtub Gin and ???) ... amazing ...

Honorable Mention - My Violent God – small short lived club near Northgate in Seattle - 5 people 93/94ish – I went with my brother to see an artist friend perform. It was kind of a strange experience to have the entire club to ourselves, it was almost like being at a rehearsal. It really wasn’t a good Top Ten type of show, but worth noting.

Honorable Mention - The Swain's – I have seen these guys several times, but both nights on one wild weekend in 6/05 was when it became clear I knew how to dance ...

Ten Best College Hoops Games I Have Attended (Men)

Ten Best College Hoops Games I Have Attended (Men)

As part of my ongoing effort to chronicle various things into lists and anecdotes I now list my best hoops games. Granted, I have never had the good fortune to see games in places like Duke or Indiana, but I have been to a Final Four and sat in the old Kennel at Gonzaga as a student. Also, one NIT game made me face up to the reality of The Sports Guy’s rule about only really being able to root for one team ...

1) Washington State 92 Gonzaga 73 – 3.14.96 – NIT First Round – Pullman, WA – Friel Court – I stood down front mid-court and watched my two teams square off in Pullman while I stood in the student section at Wazzu (I was in grad school). I have always preferred the college game and watching these two teams play an elimination game, even in the NIT, was intense. The crowd was huge and emotional. I now understand what The Sports Guy means. I had to decide right then and there that I may have attended both schools, but I AM a Coug first.

2) Houston 49 Virginia 47 (OT) – 3.31.84 – NCAA Final Four – Seattle, WA – Kingdome – My brother and I got nosebleed 300 level seats in the Kingdome for a semifinal double-header but both had to work so only got to attend one game. Olajuwon took on and defeated Polynice (Sampson was an NBA rookie by then) and if it had not gone to OT we would have been able to at least see a little more of Georgetown (Ewing) and Kentucky (Bowie) than the warm ups.

3) Washington State 94 Texas Tech 82 – 3.15.95 - NIT First Round – Pullman, WA – Friel Court – This game was as intense as any I have ever seen. The Cougs were hoping for back to back NCAA bids and settled for a home NIT match with Texas Tech. It was clear from the start that this game meant something to the players more than just another game.

4) Washington State 72 Washington 59 – 3.13.93 - PAC 10 Regular Season – Seattle, WA – Hec Ed – The Cougs ran away with this game during the Kelvin Samson Era and the Cougar crowd owned the building. Mike Price was sitting just a bit in front of me leading cheers and Butch ran the Husky mascot off the court. When Bennie Seltzer scored late and danced down the court with the clock ticking down it was as cool as winning the Apple Cup.

5) Gonzaga 81 Eastern Washington 63 – 12.15.90 - Non-Conference – Spokane, WA – The Kennel – The only game I attended in the student section while I was shortly a student at Gonzaga. I remember sitting there with a classmate reflecting how GU really got the whole student section thing right. Then they beat up on Eastern.

6) Washington State 73 UCLA 78 – 1.4.96 – PAC 10 Regular Season – Spokane, WA – Spokane Arena – This was an incredibly talented UCLA team that kept it close and won it late in front of a rowdy crowd in Spokane (since school was out in Pullman the Cougs often play home games there around the holidays). More than anything else I remember the calm confidence of the UCLA team that looked at us like we were crazy to think the Cougs would win. Toby Bailey had me hating a player for having a great game more than almost any player in any sport ever has (Todd Marinovich in the 4th quarter against the Cougs in 1989 is a tie for first).

7) Idaho 64 Washington 61 – 12.6.95 – Non-Conference – Moscow, ID – Kibbie Dome – I didn’t tend to venture over for many UI events during all the years I lived in Pullman. But, when you win tickets on the radio and get to see the Huskies lose to a team they scheduled for an easy win, that was sweet. I ... D ... A ... H ... O ... Idaho, Idaho ... Go! Go! Go!

8) Washington State 83 UCLA 98 – 2.11.95 – PAC 10 Regular Season – Pullman, WA – Friel Court – A recurring theme of being a Coug fan is to watch them come close, but usually fall short (They win just enough to give you that faint sense of hope each time anyways). Friel packed to the rafters. My father sitting next to me. Drew Bledsoe sitting across the aisle. UCLA wins with a late surge.

9) Washington State 59 Arizona 96 – 1.15.87 – PAC 10 Regular Season – Pullman, WA – Bohler Gym – The power went out due to a huge snowfall. But, me and Dan and other guys from the dorm were in front waiting to get in at Friel and heard the game was being moved before anyone else and hightailed it in record time to Bohler Gym. I can still remember having to high step through a huge snow drift running downhill in the dark, hoping not to slip in order to get there first. We did. Front row. Free throw line seats in a gym that holds under 3k for an Arizona team that had Steve Kerr and Sean Elliot. We had to move our feet for players to inbound the ball and I can remember having to move for Kerr and Elliot. We got killed but enjoyed the game anyways.

10) Washington State 101 California 83 – 2.1.92 – PAC 10 Regular Season – Pullman, WA – Friel Court – My first basketball game as an alumnus back in Pullman. I had been back for an Apple Cup, but this was different feeling. The Cougs won the game during the upswing of the Kelvin Samson Era. This team went on to make the NIT.

If I was to extend this list I would add a UW/Arizona game with my brother at Hec Ed in the early 90s when the Dawgs sucked but still beat UA, a game against Cal in 87 with Lance and Elgin where this big oaf from Cal got taunted but hit the game winner and taunted us back, wins over the Dawgs in Pullman in 87 and 95, a PLU game with Lance on the roster in later 87, and a Friel Court loss to Gonzaga in 86.

Saturday, January 06, 2007

Updates (or putting 2006 to bed) ...

Updates (or putting 2006 to bed) ... aka Ohio State - you suck!

This is (presumably) the last word on blog entries from 2006. I hope ...

* no one solved Predictable Patterns
* Dasher squatted on my slippers, and by that I mean she stepped over the top of one of them and deliberately while looking at me peed inside one of them, hence I need new slippers
* I got the van back and it is drivable - not a long-term solution for transportation and it is taking a lot of work to minimize how bad it looks, but I still have wheels. While I was sitting at the bottom of the ravine looking for my phone and thinking about what to do I did not expect to be driving the van ever again.
* Scott put Chitty Chitty Bang Bang in a bag of videos for me to borrow while I was recovering from the rollover, yet claims to have not known about why I have never watched it in its entirety.
* I have still neither heard nor sung Emma Peel on a Sunday night at the Hen.
* The BCS is staying put
* Bob Bradley is still the interim USMNT coach
* Voice articles are still pending an issue being released
* Proving that at least someone has read this blog, Kelly took me to White Christmas at the 5th Avenue ... and it was awesome. Thanks Kelly!
* The Xmas wish list was a complete and utter strike out, except that Robin gave me our old fryer which I didn't even know we had in the first place. This is like the first time I have ever really come up with a good list and it was like noone used it since I would know what I was getting. Now, I got a couple of cool things and it was all good, but c'mon now ...
* I won the MFLS Prediction League after all
* I successfully tested for my 1st Degree National Level Black Belt in Taekwondo and it is very cool to wear. The Purple in Thai Kickboxing will take a while to progress out of as I will miss some classes due to my shoulder and neck.
* I am signed up to go for Seattle Marathon number 10, and although I would like to try two marathons this year, I don't know if I can be ready after the accident.
* has been updated, with more to follow
* Ringo has now progressed to the point where we are writing songs together. A future blog posting on this is in the works .... music does not need to be a generational barrier.
* It turns out that girl I dated as a sophomore in high school really was who I thought she was and now I know how she is doing, which is really weird.
* My hand healed up after the brick a lot faster than my neck and shoulder after the rollover.
* Some subbing stories are not funny.
* The Cougs blew a winnable Apple Cup ... again.
* I found some old friends through
* I still haven't traveled farther than Tacoma in now over two years ... that will need to change.
* Africa still beckons ...
* Coaching little girls in soccer is very rewarding and I miss practicing with them.
* The State of Washington remains frustrating to work with for a variety of reasons and functions.
* My friend moved to Texas, but the piece I had to write for her is now entered in a writing contest ...
* I did not go to Alice in Chains or Guns 'n Roses ...
* I'm still turning 40 this summer ... which is much better than the alternative.
* Jefferson's Brewery is still in the planning stages ... but will happen some day. I will be brewing up some blonde or amber shortly as a test.
* Steve Zungul is still not in the Hall of Fame ...
* Liverpool is not the cup team I thought they were. Two losses to Arsenal at home in cup matches in four days is simply terrible.
* The Ron won the annual bowl bet. It came down to the last game between Ohio State and Florida and wouldn't you know it, Ohio State sucks. Michigan, Notre Dame, Alabama, Nebraska and other supposed powers; you all suck too. Boise State and Troy, you two came through for me. So now I will be treating to a Sunday afternoon AFL2 game between the Everett Hawks and the Stockton Lightning in May.
* Dasher is fine. She wasn't in the van. More people have asked about her being okay than have asked if I am ...

The Tours I Never Got To See ...

The year was 1981. I ditched football (as in American or Gridiron Football to clarify to my friends) practice to head to the Kingdome to see The Rolling Stones. The tickets cost SIXTEEN DOLLARS (!) and that was for upper deck seats. I have never been the same.

We all love to swap stories about how many great shows we’ve been to.

There was the time Bob and I were at The Firm and the wall broke, but we did get to be mere feet from Jimmy Page. There was the time that Robert Plant finally decided it was okay to play Led Zeppelin songs and “In The Evening” kicked in and it was like Beatle-mania. I had great floor seats for Paul McCartney in the Kingdome after camping out all night in the cold at the old Frederick & Nelson at Aurora Village in the days before “the internets”. Similarly, there was camping out for Def Leppard tickets during the Hysteria tour in the cold of Pullman. And, there are times where we’ve all wanted to go to a show and couldn’t and listened in silent jealous rage (usually silent anyway) as our friends rubbed our noses in it about “how great it was” and how “it would have been so cool if you could have made it”. Even the best of friends can be passive aggressive jerks.

We endure stories and revel in our own. I would have loved to have seen The Kinks in 1983, Eric, and been able to witness the Dave Davies Incident.

I am fortunate in that I have been to a lot of concerts, club shows, band rehearsals, and the like as a fan, a journalist, etc ... and it is fun to be the passive aggressive jerk and tell those stories.

But ... there are those shows that we wanted to go to so bad that it still hurts now. Of course, some of these hurt more than others.

We have to miss out on stuff in life, it’s just life. Things like school, location, money, time, jobs, conflicting events, kids … they all play a factor in that.

Years later I saw many of these performers. Some were worth the wait, others weren’t, but that is all beside the point. And, this is not even a complete listing.

U2 1987 Joshua Tree Tour – I tried for four hours on the phone to get through to get tickets for a show that would have required a road trip from Pullman to Vancouver BC. My roommates were mad I was tying up the phone, which was hardly a problem since other issues led to me moving out shortly thereafter.

The Police 1983 Synchronicity Tour – Ended up going to Peelers (my high school club soccer team) practice that night at 60 Acres (60 Acres is where the Mighty, Mighty Panthers played this year and where I would later break my right ankle on my first wedding anniversary). Lance missed practice due to his birthday, since it turned out his dad took him to the show.

Iron Maiden 1982 Beast on the Road Tour – a Mercer Arena show with Saxon and Fastway. ‘nuff said. You can also add the 1984 tour with Twisted Sister to this list since I can remember being a jerk to the stoners in wood shop that actually got to go.

Metallica 1993 Tour – I really though Robin was surprising me with tickets as we drove into Seattle. As we drove past the Mercer Street exit and it was clear I was not going to Memorial Stadium and I started sulking she caught on. I still think that is why she surprised me with Pearl jam tickets in 1998 at the same venue.

Ozzy Osbourne 1986 Tour – Ozzy on tour with Metallica. Gary went to the show in Kentucky before Cliff’s death and still rubs it in to this day.

Journey 1981 Tour – I know … but everyone on the football team (same team as in the above Stones mention) wanted to go. It was peer pressure at its worst.

AC/DC 1981/82 Tour – Henry went, rubbed it in, and it bothered me for years. I finally saw them in 1988 with Bob and they were great, so I can tell Ringo that yes, I have seen AC/DC in concert. But, I really wanted to go to this tour.

Frankie Goes To Hollywood 1985 Tour – Don’t ask. One of those things I could not admit to back then was that the album they were touring on was one of the great records of the 80s. I almost took my brother’s girlfriend, pretending to be doing it so he didn’t have to go. I later took her to Big Time Wrestling when he had to work once and regretted it.

BOC/Black Sabbath 1980ish Black and Blue Tour – I actually remember driving past Memorial Stadium that night to visit my godparents with the family. I went outside to try and hear it from their house on Queen Anne. There was noise, but no luck. I did see BOC several times later and I did see Dio in 1985, but this was the tour to see both.

Duran Duran 1984 Tour – Again, I could not admit that I wanted to go and therefore simply could not go or risk being spotted. I secretly envied Kristi et al for a long time, until 2005 when I got to go to the Duran Duran reunion with Kristi et al and admitted over dinner to everyone that I had wanted to go 20 years earlier. A piece for this blog and is in the works.

Candlebox 1994 Tour – They were playing in Pullman and I just couldn’t make the scheduling work due to soccer coaching commitments.

Foo Fighters 1994 Tour – They were playing the CUB Ballroom, the very same CUB Ballroom Alice in Chains played in 1989. I regret this one very, very much.

Soundgarden 1989 Tour – They also played the CUB, but the lower level. A guy in my Bible As Literature class rubbed it in. I think he wore the tee shirt to class several times after that to just be a jerk.

Keith Richards 1989ish Talk is Cheap Tour – Keith played The Paramount on that tour and I think I couldn’t go because of school. That would have been a cool show.

Van Halen 1986 5150 Tour – This show was across the street from my dorm. However, tickets sold out very quickly while I was deciding if I even wanted to see the Van Hagar version of Van Halen. I should have gone, just on general principle.

The Rolling Stones 2002/2006 Tours – 2002 was C3’s fault, pure and simple. 2006 was just plain too much money for where I am at financially these days. The fact that Ringo really wanted to go the 2006 tour makes this one a bitter pill to swallow.

Simon and Garfunkel early 2000s Tour – Ticket prices beyond what I could afford or reasonably ask my mother for as a gift. Just a concert way out of my price range.

It is easier to miss a show when I’ve seen a band before, especially if it is more than once. It would have been cool to see Queensryche this fall, but I’ve seen them several times and watched them do Mindcrime before, so it was a bit easier to take. And, I’ve seen the original Guns ‘n Roses (they aren’t really GnR anyway, they are really just Axl Rose solo and well, who cares about Axl Rose and the Hired Guns?) and Alice in Chains so the reunion shows have not bugged me that much.

I also remember wishing my folks would take me to see Johnny Cash as a kid. I regret never seeing the Man in Black in person. Eventually, other performers I wanted to see like Judas Priest I eventually got to see. Ozzfest has provided me with the opportunity to see so many new and used acts over the past few years that I am hoping this won’t happen as much in the future.

Of course, I really would like to go see Stone Sour later this month, but likely can’t.

So be it.

"The Bet"

This is what happens when I lose a bet ... I have to write something romantic for a woman ... well ... I have also entered this in the Richard Hugo House "One Foot On The Floor" writing competition. The premise is that the piece cannot be overtly sexual, it must be romantic and sensual, like back in the day when all scenes in movies had to have "one foot on the floor" in order to not be considered obscene. The romance of some of those old movies far outweighs the romance of many modern films precisely because so much was left to the imagination ...



I felt the skin on her back as we slowly danced in the crowd. Smooth like satin, I longed to explore it further. If it was that soft on her shoulder I could only imagine how soft it is elsewhere. The dress had caught me off guard. Strapless. Black. Short. Flirty. It moved with her as she swayed to the Latin beat. Beads of sweat on my forehead were not from the heat of the dance floor, but from the thoughts swirling through my head. She could move. And, if she could move like that here I could only imagine how she could move without a crowd somewhere more private. We swayed gently, slowly, like we had been together before in other ways. Her right hand was gently resting in my left and her left rested softly on my right shoulder. Was I imagining it? Or, was her left hand slowly caressing my arm? I hastened a glance, trying not to look as nervous as I was starting to feel. Fortunately, she was looking away and I did not make eye contact, for at that moment I was susceptible to influence and the eye contact with her would have betrayed my real thoughts. And then I felt it. She kissed my neck, softly, and then again. Her face remained close to the spot, breath warm and inviting. For a moment, I tried to ignore it, but that lasts about 3.2 seconds before I lean down and kiss her. I skip the whole neck or cheek step and proceed directly and firmly to her lips. SheƂ’s surprised, but responds. She kisses back, firmly too. The kiss lingers several seconds longer than I expected, then we both pull away. Her eyes were closed, but with a content smile crossing her face. I lean in and kiss her again. Her arms reached up, heads pulling my face down, holding it to where she could control the force and duration of the kiss. The song had stopped; the band on a break. But, we stood there, swaying, embraced and lost in the moment that was now more than just a mere moment. My hand slowly works it way down her back to her waste, pulling her closer. At this point we are in need of moving away from the dance floor and her next reaction tells me our minds are on the same page. She takes my hand and starts to pull away. With her other hand she places one finger on my lips as if to keep me silent. Her eyes glance back to our table in the corner by the stairs and she begins to lead me ...

Friday, January 05, 2007

"Mission Accomplished"

Much ado was made over the now infamous “Mission Accomplished” sign in 2003. However, the ballyhoo about the sign has continually missed the point. From the military’s standpoint, they had accomplished what they were sent to do. They were right. They were right then. They are still right in retrospect. What the problem is in regards to that sign and the notion that the mission was accomplished is that the role of the military has not been adequately discussed.

Prior to the invasion in 2003 the military role was in support of the diplomatic and political mission. Although I believe that the Bush Administration had no actual intent to do anything less than invade and that the diplomatic and political efforts were always for show, it does not change the fact that the military role was to be in support.

The invasion, ouster, and eventual removal of Saddam Hussein was the only portion of this entire long national nightmare where the military was supposed to be in the primary role. Once Saddam was removed and captured, the role of the military was to move back into support of the diplomatic and political efforts. The Bush Administrations absolute inability to handle this situation has been documented ad nauseam elsewhere so I will merely mention it here. But, suffice it so say, it is not the fault or role of the military in this matter.

The military has had its own well-documented problems in Iraq, but again I do not believe that is the issue here. What is the issue is that they have been stuck in an awful situation as a police force without an actual mission to accomplish since 2003. Death tolls have mounted due to the failure of the diplomatic and political process. These deaths are not a military failure, they are the result of an utter lack of vision and foresight and the ignoring of the diplomatic and political reality they were stuck in the middle of.

And yet, nothing seems to be changing; after an election where the US public voted for change, after the Iraq Study Group Report, after so many other things I don’t want to list them all, the president has evidently come to the conclusion that he was right all along and is going to just keep plowing away.

Meanwhile, the government in place in Iraq is pretty much made up of anti-American segments. The media in Iraq is hardly free and open and reports come in that it is being squashed and subverted (the lesson being that when you censor something you give it additional power when it goes to Syria or Egypt and broadcasts from there). A surge of troops appears to be coming. The Iraq government bungled the hanging of Saddam in such a way that it appears to be our fault when it clearly is not (they wanted to show they are independent of us so they handled it themselves and I won’t accept or point fingers on that one).

The POTUS is now engaged in Orwellian double speak; to paraphrase, “Americans want victory, and victory means winning” is all we get. He. Doesn't. Get. It. At. All. The troops coming home is not a military failure.

This is not much ado about nothing.