Wednesday, December 30, 2009

White on White

With the weather around here in East Central Illinois, the scenery is draped with white sky and white landscape showing grass stubble. Up in Iowa though there was no stubble to be had. And the white landscape was significantly deeper in white.

Here in Coles county we don't have near as much snow as the Cedar Valley has, but we went sledding yesterday. The snow around here isn't good packing snow yet. Last year we had enough to make a snowman, our first since one year in St. Louis a number of years back.

After visiting my mom in her rehab/assisted living facility, I'm thankful it looks like she'll be able to come home sometime in the near future after breaking her hip. It was a strange Xmas trip with us having to visit her at that place and not having Xmas eve at my old house.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Music Friday [Saturday]: "Zombie"

Maybe it's just the toy-induced hangover from Xmas, but this is a song I have rattling through my head this morning.

Click HERE for "Zombie."

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Wintry Mix and Counting Crows

The forecast for driving tomorrow doesn't look good. provides the menacing "wintry mix" descriptor of what'll be like on the roads. Thank goodness it's all interstate from Chucktown to Waterloo.

But we'll be taking our time.

A friend from high school quoted a snippet of "Anna Begins" from the Counting Crows as one of her Facebook statuses (or stati?) today, which then turned me on to listening to August and Everything After.

That's a great album, and like Blind Melon's first album, August... reminds of a certain place and time (Kirksville and in particular the "Gin Mill"). Good times were had, people.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Music Friday: "Excuse Me While I Break My Own Heart"

Click HERE for a clip of Whiskeytown playing in St. Louis from over a decade ago.

Oh, and the video also features Beatle Bob.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Deja Vu All Over Again: Pac 10 Considering Expansion

Click HERE to read about how the Pac 10, like the Big 10, is considering expansion.

I wonder if Vegas odds-makers have lines on this stuff?

If the Pac 10 can persuade Colorado to switch conferences, I would expect TCU to be embraced by the Big 12.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

The Big Ten [11] to Expand to be the Big Ten [12]

As has been reported, it's time for the talk about expanding the Big 10 to begin again. It was probably about a decade ago when the conference courted Notre Dame, who simply said, "No thanks, we're making major money with NBC, fellas."

So I wonder if the Big 10 will try to seduce ND to become part of the conference again? Perhaps last go-round, Big 10 officials asked this question: "If we were the last conference on the earth, do we have a chance of you joining us?" to which Notre Dame replied with "Maybe." The Big 10 brass thought, "There's still a chance!"

Big 10 = Unrequited Lover

I imagine speculation is out there on who the Big Ten conference will court this time, and here are my so-called thoughts:
  • U of Pittsburgh: They expanded over to Happy Vallley, so why not the Land of Piroges?
  • U of Cincinnati: Since they've become a football power at present, this might make sense. However, I wonder how long that will last.
  • U of Louisville: This would be a serious expansion southward for the conference. Athletically the school is strong in both football and basketball. For U of L, a move from the Big East to the Big Ten is a no-brainer.
  • Boston College: "You can't always get what you want, but if you try sometimes ... you just might find ... you get what you need." This is a very strong academic school, and they're good in football. This would mess up the ACC, and Boston is long ways from Big 10 country though.
  • Iowa State: What if ISU jumps ship to the Big 10 and then TCU moves into the Big 12 where it should be? Pipe dreams, yes. But this makes lots of sense, people. I smell conspiracy and collusion.
So what do all of you sports fans think?

Who should the Big 10 seriously court?

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Traveling Thoughts

As is usual on every Monday (gymnastics) and Thursday (dance), we trek over to Mattoon for Hannah to do her thing.

On the way over yesterday, Hannah informed me the Pocahontas is still alive today, that there are no more Native Americans but there are Indians, and that people came over and "took the Indians' world" a long, long time ago, "like when great grandpa was alive."

So I proceeded to play History Professor during the commute, but she was on to something about those "people" who came over and took over this world. They say "we" discovered America, but Europeans really just invaded it.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Music Friday: "Mississippi Snow"

Click HERE for a showing of Caroline Herring doing her thing.

I discovered her recently through the the annual music issue of The Oxford American.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Stay Positive: Winter is Here

It's funny that just Sunday I harvested the last few patches of lettuce in my garden. The outside leaves weren't so good because of the cold weather, but they're still good eating, folks. And the produce is better than the stuff you'd get at the grocery store. Organic, home-grown--all that stuff.

Nevertheless, wintery weather has hit east central Illinois, providing a crunchy mix produced by rain followed by sleet followed by a little bit of snow.

Of course, my kids, like most, love the stuff because they look forward to sledding. Hopefully the snow holds on for the weekend.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Jason Isbell Interview with Three Songs

For you fans of Jason Isbell, you can click HERE to get KDHX's website that provides an interview with him before he played at Off Broadway in St. Louis.

It's a short interview, and his performance of "The Blue," "Streetlights," and "Soldiers Get Strange" is solid.

It's just a poet and his guitar.

Thanks to Foz, a friend of Planned Obsolescence, for passing this along to me.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Sunday Hangover: Florida--SEC Championship

What an outstanding performance yesterday. The Tide won its 22nd SEC Championship.

The Tide flat out out-muscled the Gators. While Alabama didn't get many sacks of Tebow and he had a couple of long runs, the defense, besides giving up a drive for a touchdown in the second quarter, limited the big plays of Florida and executed a solid game plan on pass rush. Whether you can sack Tebow or not, you don't go past him, and you simply try to keep him in the pocket since he's at his most dangerous outside of the pocket.

And McElroy simply outperformed Tebow, the chosen one of the media. McElroy played well with strong and accurate passes while the OLine did a great job for him and the Tide's trio of runners--Ingram, Richardson, and Upchurch (pictured above).

Ingram is back in the spotlight for the Heisman, and I hope he wins it. I, like some media types, think Suh from Nebraska deserves an invitation to the Downtown Athletic Club too. But Ingram amassed 189 yards of stats while Alabama had 490 yards of total offense against the defense that is statistically the best defense in college football.

After reading post-game comments from players, they felt that they just wore out the Gators' defense. And their D did look tired and beaten down, especially since the time of possession difference was 39:37 (Tide) to 20:23 (Gators).

Alabama played well in all phases of the game.

Roll Tide.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Music Friday: "Do the Evolution"

I got the recent Pearl Jam album, Backspacer, a while back, and I've enjoyed it. However, like most Pearl Jam albums, they take a while to grow on me.

In contrast, this song from Yield though hooked me right away.

Click HERE for the imaginative video of "Do the Evolution."