Sunday, January 30, 2011

My Favorite Superbowl National Anthem (Whitney Houston)

Over the years, there have been many great renditions of the National Anthem of the United States (Star Spangled Banner). However, the best performance of that anthem was by Whitney Houston in 1991 before the Superbowl. The United States had been at war with Iraq for less than one month, when she took to the stage in front of 100 thousand fans and sang the Star Spangled Banner in a way no one had ever heard before. Over 100 million people in the US watched Whitney Houston sing the National Anthem that day on television and for some of us we will never forget it.

Over the years, Whitney Houston has found herself in difficult situations, many of which were brought on by herself. While those indiscretions are regrettable, millions of people will never forget how Houston sang the United States National Anthem on a cold Superbowl Sunday in 1991. On that day, for the first time in my life, I not only heard the lyrics and the melody of the Star Spangled Banner – but I also felt it's power deep within my soul.



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Baylor Lady Bears Squeak Past A&M Girls Sunday

If you did not watch the game between the Lady Bears of Baylor and Texas A&M on Sunday, you missed one of the best basketball games of all time. The first half was pretty much all Baylor, but A&M came back with a vengeance in the second half and almost won the game. The final score was 63-60 and A&M had a chance to send the game into overtime, but missed a three point shot as the buzzer ended the game.

For most of this game, I found myself sitting on the edge of my seat as players from both of these teams played their hearts out. All I could say to my wife when the game ended was, “Wow, I think we just watched one of the best games in collegiate girls' basketball history”. Going into Sunday's game between Baylor and A&M the Bears were ranked number one in the nation, but they were closely followed by A&M at number six.

I am sure that A&M and Baylor will meet again when the NCAA championship games get underway in late February and March. At that time, everyone in the nation will be eager to witness another great match-up between the Lady Bears and A&M. For fans of the “Big 12”, it's wonderful to have not just one great lady's basketball team in the conference – but two competitors potentially fighting for the same national championship in the 2011 “Final Four”.

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Lindsay Lohan Gives Advice To Charlie Sheen (Oh Please)

It was reported early today that celebrity trouble maker and drug abuser Lindsay Lohan is worried about Charlie Sheen. Really? Wasn't it just a few months ago when Lohan snubbed her nose at the legal system when they tried to get her clean and sober? I guess it takes a Hollywood star to understand another one, but to me this whole mess with Sheen and Lohan smells of the old entertainment slogan that the only bad news - is no news at all. The worst thing for anyone in Hollywood is for everyone to start ignoring them.

I will say this about Lindsay Lohan. For the past few weeks she has not been the butt of as many jokes as she was six months ago. However, I do not think that she has reached a point in drug treatment where she should be giving advice or for that matter even be worrying about anyone but herself. Sure Charlie Sheen is an drug and alcohol abuser, but you don't have to be a trouble Hollywood star to figure that one out. Just think back to how many times a court had to send Lindsay Lohan to drug rehab, before it started to work?

As I have said before, until Charlie Sheen or for that matter anyone else - admits that they have a problem with drugs and alcohol, no meaningful recovery is possible. The real thing to look for is a "rock bottom" in a persons life, before any type of meaningful recovery is possible. While some people believe that Charlie Sheen has hit "rock bottom" - I am not one of them. I have watched for years as Hollywood celebrities like Lindsay Lohan and Charlie Sheen have continued their drug abusive ways - while at the same time lying to everyone around them, including members of law enforcement, about how many drugs they are putting in their bodies each day.

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Why Wasn't The Pro Bowl Canceled Long Ago?

Later today - the annual worst game in NFL football will be played. Few people will watch the game on television and scant players even want to show up. It was bad enough when the Pro Bowl was played in Hawaii one week after the Superbowl, but since they moved the game to the Sunday before the big game - it got even worse. I believe the time has come for the NFL to cancel the Pro Bowl once and for all.

Unlike baseball, professional football is all about players working together as a team. There has never been a good Pro Bowl game and there never will be, because the players are not teammates. Why in the world do we need another NFC and AFC game before or after the Superbowl? The Pro Bowl is boring and it always has been, so why don't NFL owners just shoot this dead horse and get it out of it's misery? Frankly, it's a disgrace that the NFL continues to hold onto a game that few in the general public will even watch on TV.

Some might suggest that the NFL will not cancel the Pro Bowl game, because it makes the league money. To that I say, where is all of this so called money coming from? By the time the NFL pays the airfare, travel expenses and the players to participate in the game - I doubt if there is much profit left over that would warrant continuing this horrible game. Certainly, the revenue received from TV rights to the Pro Bowl cannot be that large - consider that fewer people will watch today's Pro Bowl game than watched some of the pre-season action last August.

Come on NFL owners. Do the right thing and finally put an end to your Pro Bowl game.

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Saturday, January 29, 2011

Entlebucher Mountain Dog | Norwegian Lundehund | Xoloitzcuintli - New Dog Breeds

The American Kennel Club has announced the addition of three new dog breeds. While hardly anyone can pronounce their names now, just wait a few years they will become household names for dogs. I guess it's a good thing when breeders continually experiment in the DNA mixing of dogs in an effort to come up with something entirely new, but a certain part of me believes that mankind should just stay out of the business of Mother Nature.

The names of the AKC's newest dog breeds are:

The Entlebucher Mountain Dog
The Norwegian Lundehund
The Xoloitzcuintli

For me, my mixed breed Cocker and full blood Rat Terrier are perfect companions.



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Two and A Half Men On Hold - Charlie Sheen Back in Rehab

The hit TV show "Two and a Half Men" has been put on hold after it's lead actor, Charlie Sheen, checked himself into a rehab center. The past couple of years have proven to be disastrous for Sheen as his heavy drinking and drug abuse have lead to divorce, hospitalization and even arrest. Will the next thing to fall apart in Sheen's life be his career? Right now, it's too soon to know.

Everyone, but Charlie Sheen, knows that he has a problem with drugs and alcohol - but until Charlie himself awakens to smell the coffee, no amount of rehab is going to do any good. The first rule of any successful rehabilitation from drugs and alcohol involve the party effected, in this case Charlie Sheen, admitting a problem exists. I still believe that Sheen is having too much fun to clean up and live a sober life, so I doubt if rehab will work for him right now. In order words, "Charlie Sheen has not hit rock bottom yet".

It's really sad when the incomes of dozens of people are put on hold, because Charlie Sheen cannot or will not get his act together. When a TV show like "Two and a Half Men" is put on hold, the livelihoods of more than just the people we see on the television screen are effected. None of those folks did anything wrong. However, they will still be financially punished - because of the selfish and self destructive nature of that shows star. I hope Sheen will get clean and sober someday, but I doubt if now is the time.

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Friday, January 28, 2011

25 Years Ago Today Space Shuttle Challenger Explosion (Video)

It was a normal morning in America until the Space Shuttle Challenger exploded on this date in 1986. I remember sleeping in that morning only to have my wife rush into our bedroom, wake me up and say that the Space Shuttle Challenger with that teacher on board had just exploded shortly after launch. For a few minutes, I thought I was dreaming and attempted to fall back to sleep. However, about one minute later I realized that this was no dream - but a wide awake nightmare. As I walked into the living room to watch the news coverage on CNN, the endless loop of replays of what had just happened were already in full swing. I still remember that nauseating feeling inside my gut, when I watched the explosion of the Challenger for the first time on television.

The men and women who choose to be astronauts are some of the bravest people in America. In memory of their sacrifices, I have included the same video I watched on CNN 25-years-ago today - when American astronauts and one brave school teacher lost their lives in a terrible and preventable tragedy.



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NFL Players & Owners Could Lose Billions During A Strike

Lots of money could be lost if NFL owners and players do not reach an agreement on a new contract by March. Most of the conflict between NFL owners and unionized players will be handled out of sight from fans and that's a good thing. Like with every other labor negotiation, at the heart of the current dispute between NFL players and owners is money. To me, watching NFL owners and players negotiate a contract is like watching a millionaire employee crying that he is not making as much money as his billionaire boss.

The National Football league already has more money coming in than most of the other national sports leagues in the United States combined. How that money is divided up in the future is at the heart of what team owners and players are negotiating over right now. In about one week, the Superbowl will be played at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas. From now, until then - there will be little reported about the differences between NFL owners and players in regards to their contract negotiations. However, the minute next Sunday's Superbowl game in Dallas is over - the gloves will come off and NFL owners and players will get about the business of dividing up several billion dollars in revenue between themselves.

For most NFL football fans, what goes on during the off-season is not that important and that's a good thing for the game of football in general. The last thing NFL owners and players what to see is for a players strike to spread through the spring and summer and not be settled before players are scheduled to show up for training camp in July and August. With so much money at stake for both NFL players and owners, I doubt that a strike will really carry over to the start of next season. If it does, it will show that none of the fat cat owners or players in the NFL have a clue that it's the fans who are allowing them to make so much money in the first place from the game of professional football.

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Thursday, January 27, 2011

My Favorite Superbowl Commercial (Soldiers In Airport)

With the Superbowl about one week away, I have started to think back to all the wonderful commercials that have been shown during this game each year. One of my favorite Superbowl commercials was the one from Budweiser where it showed US soldiers returning from the war and being applauded (cheered) by dozens of people in an airport. Today, I watched that commercial again and I still found myself with tears rushing down my face as I viewed it. There are so many pressing problems in the world today that it's easy to forget there are still thousands of brave men and women in the military who are serving in harms way. As we all prepare to enjoy the Superbowl one week from Sunday - let's not forget about our troops who are still on active duty in Iraq, Afghanistan and other places around the globe.

These young men and women do an admirable job, for very little pay, just to ensure that our way of life is not jeopardized. God bless our men and women in uniform.



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Troubled Celebrity Charlie Sheen Rushed To Hospital

The celebrity website TMZ is reporting that this morning around 7am west coast time - trouble actor Charlie Sheen was taken by ambulance to the hospital. Reports suggest that Sheen was having abdominal pain. It's been clear for along time now that Charlie Sheen has been suffering from substance abuse problems, which have lead to some pretty erratic behavior from the star. Like many of you, I have been hoping that Sheen will hit bottom, before he ends up killing himself. Hopefully, this morning incident will open his eyes to the reality that he has a problem with drugs and alcohol. The first step is the biggest for any drug and alcohol abusers and that involves the effected person (Charlie Sheen) admitting that he has a problem.

As Sheen was placed in the ambulance this morning, two young women were reportedly coming out of his house at the same time. While it's extremely easy to point fingers of blame at someone like Charlie Sheen, I believe that many who suffer from extreme drug addiction - cannot stop using their drug of choice without professional help. That said, if the person who is addicted does not what help - there is nothing anyone can do to save their life.



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Bret Michaels OK After Heart Surgery

I still remember last year when Bret Michaels fell gravely ill and almost died from some type of brain hemorrhage. Then this morning, I woke up to the news that Bret has been in the hospital again - this time for heart surgery. The good news is that Bret is OK and is recovering well at a hospital in Phoenix, Arizona. In a strange twist of fate, last years brain issue with Michaels revealed that he had a hole in his heart. Bret's most recent surgery was to repair that hole, so hopefully he will be healthier from now on.

Bret Michaels' has just lived through the most interesting year of his life. After experiencing a near death experience, while competing on "Celebrity Apprentice". Michaels went on to win the championship on that show last year, which gave his music career a big rebound in the process. Hopefully, Bret Michaels' will now be able to spend more time on the concert stage and personal appearances and less time in the hospital. For Bret, everyday is special - after living through what he experienced in 2010.



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Chris Medina's Fiancee Brings Tears To American Idol Judges

A new American Idol season is underway and one of the first contestants to win the hearts of the viewing public is a young man by the name of Chris Medina. Medina's fiancee, Juliana Ramos, is working her way back to a normal life after suffering a traumatic brain injury. As Chris Medina stood before the three American Idol judges and sang "Break Even", it was hard to hold back the tears just thinking about what he and his fiancee have gone through in their short lives.

Even without the heartbreaking story of Ramos' brain injury, it was easy to hear that Chris Medina has a wonderful singing voice. Folks in and around the Chicago area now have a favorite to hold onto in this years edition of American Idol. Only last weekend, Chicago football fans were devastated when their beloved team the Bears lost to Green Bay in the NFC championship game. Now, like magic - people all over windy city have a new person to cheer for and I predict right now - that Chris Medina will go far in this years American Idol competition.



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Washington D.C. Buried Under Feet Of Snow (Blizzard)

To say that it's a mess in Washington D.C. this morning would be an understatement. Even the President of the United States was forced to use the same roads as everyone else when he returned from a trip on Wednesday. About the only thing moving in D.C. right now are the snow plows that are trying to keep up with the ever falling snow. It's been a terrible winter in the northeastern United States and sadly it's not over yet. Thankfully, here in the South - the cold weather has eased a bit and the sun was shining yesterday.

On Thursday, most of the US government will likely shutdown because getting to and from work for federal employees may be impossible. It's one thing for President Obama to make his way 20 miles from Andrews Air Force Base in a SUV to the White House and something else entirely for regular folks to navigate the dangerous roadways of Washington this morning. One part of me is glad that most of the federal government will not be working today. Too many times, when our elected leaders are on the job - they are either raising our taxes, cutting our benefits or trying to pass new laws to control our behavior.

While many on the political left are usually speaking daily about the dangers of Global Warming and Climate Change, few voices can be heard today - because it is far too cold in Washington for them to get to a microphone to speak. According to some weather sources, 2011 is one of the worst winters on record for the northeastern United States. Boston, Washington D.C. and New York City have already been covered with more snow than they can handle during the month of January. In two years, the Superbowl will be held at the Meadowlands in New Jersey. I certainly hope that year will not be a repeat of this one.

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Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Someone Hacked Into CEO Of Facebook's Page?

The social network website Facebook has hundreds of millions of users around the world and the CEO of that company is still in his 20's. Earlier today, it appears that someone hacked into Mark Zuckerberg's personal Facebook page and left a disparaging message. If this turns out to be true, many additional questions will be asked about what safety measures are in place at Facebook to keep something like this from happening to everyone else. Like many of you, I love using Facebook on a daily basis. It's a wonderful tool to keep up with family and friends and I also like playing some of the games on Facebook like Farmville and Cityville.

Almost from the very beginning of Facebook, there have been questions about the security in place to protect the private information of it's more than 500 million users. From an IT standpoint, it's amazing to me that Facebook is able to run as flawlessly as it does - considering how much time most users spend on the site everyday. While Facebook is fun and is definitely the biggest player in the social media spectrum - the fact that it's own CEO's personal page was hacked should give everyone something new to think about when dealing with this giant company.

Young ideas and management are the reasons why Facebook has grown into a dominate force on the Internet in only a few short years. However, along with youth comes inexperience and that lack of experience at the table - could spell an early demise for Facebook, if changes are not made. Right now, Facebook is growing so fast that it's hard to keep up with the changes they are making to their network on a daily basis. While fast growth is exciting, it also creates many security holes in their network that might be exploited by professional hackers. Facebook is wonderful, but I do often worry that they are allowing too much information about their users to slip out onto the Internet and into the hands of criminals.

Read More: Mark Zuckerberg’s Facebook Fan Page Hacked

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64-Year-Old Margaritaville Singer Hospitalized After Fall

One of my favorite singers, Jimmy Buffett, was hospitalized in Australia after falling from a stage. Buffett was apparently blinded by bright lights, lost his way and fell from a stage at a concert. The fall left Jimmy Buffett uncontentious, so he was rushed to a local hospital. Late reports suggest that Buffett is OK, but he will remain in the hospital for observation for the next few days. Jimmy Buffett became a household name after his biggest selling song "Margaritaville" not only went to number one on the music chats, but found a place in the hearts of millions of music fans for decades. Jimmy Buffett is one of those singers who has found a way to not only cross music format lines, but also attract fans from different generations.

I want to wish Jimmy well and pray for his speedy recovery. I hope that when I am 64-years-old - I am having at half the fun that Buffett is experiencing today.



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Lawsuit Asks Taco Bell "Where's The Beef"?

In a lawsuit filed recently, Taco Bell was accused of using fillers - instead of real beef in it's products. Of course there is meat in Taco Bell meals, it's just the amount included that the lawsuit is questioning. When I first heard about this new lawsuit against Taco Bell, it reminded me of an old television commercial where an old lady stood at the counter of a Wendy's Restaurant and continually asked the attendant - "where's the beef". I really don't know how much real meat is used in the preparation of Taco Bell tacos and meals, but I do know that their food tastes good and that's all I care about.

It seems like every big company is getting sued these days over some pretty silly things. Lawsuits can be a good thing when they go after companies that have really harmed the public. However, lawsuits like this one against a fast food company like Taco Bell - appear to be totally based on filling the pockets of a few lawyers with several million dollars, instead of righting some corporate wrong. In a statement on Wednesday, Taco Bell denied the claim that what appears to be beef in their ground meat product is not really meat at all. I'm sure now there will be competing scientist on TV talk shows trying to prove both side of this lawsuit are correct.

To me, this new class action lawsuit against Taco Bell is nothing more than a quick grab for cash by some lawyers in California. Is it any wonder that both California and most other states around the nation are bankrupt? Some people have completely lost their way when it comes to using the brain God gave them to make logical choices. If and it's a big "if", Taco Bell is breaking the law - it's the federal governments job via the USDA to handle the issue and not civil attorney's via a class action lawsuit in California. In the end, the victims named in this class action lawsuit will probably receive a free taco or two - while the attorney's who brought the action will walk away with millions of dollars.

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Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Troy Aikman & Wife Rhonda Announce Separation Pending Divorce

It is with sadness that I report tonight that Troy and Rhona Aikman have separated and appear headed for divorce court. The Aikman's have been married since 2000 and have two children. Most people now know Troy Aikman for his work in the broadcast booth for Fox Sports. However, a decade ago - Troy Aikman was one of the best quarterbacks in the NFL when he played for the Dallas Cowboys. In his tenure as the starting quarterback for the Dallas Cowboys, Troy Aikman won three Superbowl championship rings.

One week from Sunday, Troy Aikman will once again be calling an NFL football game. This time his work will take him not far from his Dallas home as the Green Bay Packers and the Pittsburgh Steelers play in the Superbowl in Arlington, Texas. It's sad when a marriage does not withstand the test of time, but Troy and Rhonda Aikman are not by themselves in discovering that sometimes love does not last. Unlike many other former NFL players and sports commentators, Troy Aikman has kept his family life completely private from the prying eyes of the media. That is why the marriage separation news released today that Troy and Rhonda Aikman were splitting up, came as such a shock to so many people.

To me, Troy Aikman has always been a mans man - not only in the way he played the game of football, but also in the way he supplied loyalty to teammates who found themselves in trouble. That same type of personality seems to be present in Rhonda Aikman, as well. Neither Troy or Rhonda seems to desire the airing of dirty laundry - even as their marriage comes to a end. Troy Aikman, or as I sometimes call him, Mr. GQ, will soon be one of the most eligible bachelors on the planet. That said, I would be shocked - if his laid back lifestyle changes much once he is officially single. It has been reported that Rhonda Aikman has purchased a home in the same neighborhood as their old home. That move suggests that both Troy and Rhonda want to share some kind of joint custody arrangement with their two children.

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New York City (NYC) Baby Kidnapper Confesses To Crime

The FBI announce Monday that New York City baby snatcher Ann Pettway has confessed to kidnapping Carlina White in 1987. Sources say that Pettway admitted taking White, because she was unsuccessful at carrying a baby to term on her own. Apparently, Ann Pettway was able to conceive a child - but suffered several miscarriages before making the decision to kidnap baby Carlina White. In a statement, Pettway said that she understands the pain she has caused to many people and is sorry. In my view, short of murdering a person - the worst crime a person could commit is to steal a baby that belongs to someone else.

It's entirely possible that Ann Pettway would have never been brought to justice, if Carlina White had not suspected that Pettway was not her real mother. While the act of child abduction is terrible, Pettway did do one responsible thing and that was to admit her crime to White when confronted. That admission brought out the curiosity in Carlina White, which drove her to find out who was her real mother and father. After searching for months, White was eventually reunited with her birth mother this week. I believe there is a special sense inside our DNA that gives off clues to who our real parents are. I believe that "gut instinct" was working inside of White and that is why she doubted that Pettway was her real mother.

So, what does the future hold for Ann Pettway now that she has confessed to kidnapping Carlina White? While it would be easy to demand that she spend the rest of her life in prison for her crime. I believe there will be a plea agreement, which will harshly punish Pettway - but not force her to live out the remainder of her life in prison. The act of kidnapping, while severe, should have some room for leniency considering the child was unharmed and when confronted Pettway admitted her crime. To not prosecute Ann Pettway, as was first reported, would have been a terrible message to send about kidnapping. However, to over punish her - because of an abundance of media publicity, would also be the wrong thing to do.

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Monday, January 24, 2011

Arlington Welcomes Superbowl To Cowboys Stadium

No sporting event on Earth attracts more attention than the Superbowl and no city is more pleased to be hosting the 2011 game than Arlington, Texas. Two years ago, Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones opened his new stadium to the public. Since that day, it has been understood that there are NFL football stadiums around the league and then there is Cowboys Stadium, which stands in a class all it's own. In Texas, no sport comes close to football. For die-hard Texans, it doesn't really matter whether it's a high school game played on Friday night or the Dallas Cowboys playing on Sunday. Either way, fans will be watching.

For decades, Dallas fans have hoped to host a Superbowl. However, until the Cowboys moved from Texas Stadium in Irving to their new facility in Arlington - there was not a venue large enough in the DFW area to host the game. Then Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones stepped up and built not just a stadium large enough to host a Superbowl game, but one that put all other NFL stadiums into second class. The fans from Pittsburgh and Green Bay are in for a real treat when they watch the Superbowl in person at the new Cowboys Stadium. It's like nothing else in the world and there is not a bad seat in the house. Steelers and Packers fans who are lucky enough to get tickets for the game are in for a great time.

Cowboys Stadium is so much more than just another dome where NFL football is played. In addition to a video screen that goes from one 20 yard line to the other, there are hundreds of other large video screens at every turn. Then there are countless expensive pieces of art that are present everywhere. The best thing about playing the Superbowl in Cowboys Stadium is that unlike both NFL championship games this weekend, bad weather will play no role on the field and all fans who attend the game will be a comfortable 72 degrees - no matter how bad the weather might be outside.

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Sunday, January 23, 2011

Brett Favre Should Be Basking In Superbowl Glory In Dallas

Now that the Green Bay Packers will face the Pittsburgh Steelers in Dallas for a Superbowl championship, I wonder what Brett Favre is thinking right now. Back when it was clear that his playing days were over, Favre made the choice to keep playing football - instead of taking it like a man and hanging up his helmet to retire. In two weeks, Brett Favre's old team - the Green Bay Packers will be playing for a Superbowl Championship in Dallas. If Favre would have done the right thing and retired when Green Bay said his time was up - he would be living in up in Dallas for the next two weeks as a true blue Green Bay Packers hero.

Instead, Favre decided that playing football until the last possible minute was more important than his long term reputation - so he left Green Bay and move around to different teams and has been playing in a less than spectacular way since then. Since Brett Favre moved to the Minnesota Vikings, I have seen his true colors present themselves as he takes questions from the press after football games. On many occasions, Brett Favre talks only about himself and little about the team he is playing for. It's not uncommon for NFL football players to be extremely narcissistic, but I believe Favre is one of the worst ones.

In the world of NFL football, the Dallas Cowboys and the Green Bay Packers are two of the most popular teams. Just look at Troy Aikman. He had a choice to continue to play in the NFL after Dallas cut him, but instead he took the high road and is still considered a hero by Dallas Cowboys fans even today. On the other hand, look at Brett Favre. I wonder how many Green Bay Packers fans still hold him in high regard after he left the city that allowed him to become great to begin with? In the NFL there is a right and a wrong way to retire from the game of football. Troy Aikman did it the right way, while Brett Favre did it totally wrong.

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He Made Exercise Fun, Jack LaLanne Dead At Age 96

When I was a little kid, I remember watching an old guy on television showing viewers how to exercise properly and have fun doing it. That man's name was Jack LaLanne. He passed away tonight at the age of 96. Long before guru's like Jane Fonda and Richard Simmons became a part of the exercise craze - Jack LaLanne was helping people stay fit with his unique brand of physical fitness. In later life, LaLanne could be seen on late night television selling unique food processing machines that extracted just the right amount of vitamins and minerals from fruits and vegetables. However, LaLanne will forever be known as the man who made physical fitness a cool subject in 1950's and 1960's America.

To Jack LaLanne, exercise was not just about living longer - but instead all about living life to it's fullest each and everyday. That said, who could argue with the longevity of LaLanne's life? Most people do not live to 96 years old, so all of that extreme exercise that LaLanne was famous for during his life certainly did not cause an early death. Jack LaLanne died Sunday from respiratory failure due to pneumonia. Several generations will remember the big smile Jack had on his face every time he was in front of a TV camera. I will remember how he always had a positive attitude that was contagious to everyone who surround him.



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Shootout At Detroit Police Station Wounds Four Officers

On Sunday, a lone gunman walked into a Detroit police station and opened fire. When the chaos ended, four Detroit police officers were wounded and the gunman was pronounce dead. The only reason I can think of that would cause a person to walk into a police station and start shooting would be one of "suicide by cop". If this 35-year-old man wanted to die today, he certainly got his wish. Fortunately, all four Detroit police officers who were shot and wounded in today's shootout are in stable condition and expected to survive their wounds.

Only a few weeks ago, another crazy gunman walk up to a Tucson strip-mall and open fire on innocent people there as well. I'm not real sure what is behind this rash of lone gunman wanting to turn into mass killers, but I hope someone figures it out so the killing can stop. That said, there does appear to be differences between today's shooter at a Detroit police station and the complete madness that made up the brain of the Tucson shooter. The name of the dead shooter, from Detroit, has not been identified at this time.



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Steelers Jets Sunday Playoff Game Time 6:30pm (5:30 CST)

Each year, the Superbowl begins at 6:30pm EST. Now in 2011, the big game before the biggest game begins at the same time. The playoff game between the Pittsburgh Steelers and the New York Jets begins at 6:30pm (5:30 CST) today and may be watched on CBS television. Before the Steelers and Jets take to the field - the NFC part of the Superbowl will already have been decided. Either the Green Bay Packers or the Chicago Bears will be deep into celebration and already mentally preparing to play in the Superbowl in Dallas in two short weeks.

President Obama said last week that if his favorite team the Chicago Bears earn a trip to the Superbowl today - he will be attending the game. In a couple of weeks, over 100 million people will gather around television sets all over the country to watch the 2011 Superbowl. No single US sporting event even comes close to matching the fan popularity of the Superbowl game each year. In fact, most of the names on the top 10 rated TV programs of all time - have the NFL and Superbowl beside them.

I'm sort of looking forward to watching the Pittsburgh Steelers and New York Jets game later today, because I want to find out once and for all if the Jets are for real in 2011. It's not that often that the NY Jets earn a trip to the playoffs, much less a Superbowl game. NYC Jets' fans are electrified by that possibility this year. After tonight's Steelers and Jets playoff game, CBS will show a new episode of "Hawaii 5-0". I loved the origional version of that show and the new adaptation is not bad, either.

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Will Texas Be Number One After Defeating Kansas?

The rankings in college basketball change rapidly this time of year as dreams of a "Final Four" championship infect the brains of young college students. Nowhere is that dream of becoming national champions of basketball any greater than in Austin, Texas - the home of the UT Longhorns team. On Saturday night, the Texas Longhorns' defeated the number two team in the nation (Kansas) by a large margin (74-63) in the Jayhawks home city of Lawrence, Kansas.

By tonight, Texas Longhorn fans around the world will be asking themselves - if their beloved team will be the number one ranked basketball team in the nation come Tuesday morning? I'm not sure that's going to happen, but it would be a positive development in my view. J'Covan Brown for UT scored 23 points to make Saturday's Texas victory possible. For Longhorns fans, to wake up next week and find out that their team went from # 10 in basketball rankings to #1 - would ease many of the wounds they have been suffering with, after their dreadful performance on the football field last year.

A few days ago, I watched the Kansas Jayhawks totally control and dominate the Baylor Bears men team in a game here in Waco. Then, only a few days later - that same Jayhawks team was soundly defeated by the University of Texas team. Baylor has a great basketball team this year, but it was clear by the end of the game that they were outmatched totally by Kansas. Now, UT did to Kansas what I thought no "Big 12" team was capable of accomplishing this late in the season. Frankly, I think UT deserves to be the number one ranked basketball team in the country and that wish might just come true early next week.

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Bears Packers Sunday Playoff Game Time 3:00pm (2:00 CST)

Sunday's playoff game between the Green Bay Packers and the Chicago Bears will start at 3:00pm EST (2:00pm CST). The other playoff game between the Pittsburgh Steelers and the New York Jets will start at 6:30pm EST (5:30pm CST). As the NFL has become more popular, the idea of moving more playoff games later in the day on Sunday and closer to prime-time has become an easier sell for the NFL. More than likely the two highest rated TV shows on Sunday will be the Packers/Bears game - which will be slightly edged out by the Steelers/Jets game because it takes place in prime-time.

Over the years, the NFL has grown in popularity on television to the point where almost all TV networks would choose to preempt regular programming in favor of showing a popular NFL match-up in prime-time. It's not just that more eyeballs will watch the NFL over regular programming, but it's the age and demographics of those viewers that are much more attractive to advertisers. Sadly, my favorite team the Dallas Cowboys were nowhere to be found in this years playoffs - after the team fell completely out of contention early on in the 2010/2011 season.

I would not be surprised at all - if the Green Bay Packers/Chicago Bears afternoon game draws an audience in excess of 40 million viewers and I will be completely shocked, if the Steelers/Bears match-up in prime-time Sunday night does not pull in 50 million viewers or more in the ratings. It's a cold weekend throughout most of the country and both playoff games on Sunday will be played in sub-freezing temperatures. All of that cold weather, should keep more people than normal safe and warm in their homes and eager to watch a live NFL football game as their family entertainment.

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Saturday, January 22, 2011

Todd Palin Caught Visiting Madame Shailey Tripp?

The National Enquirer recently announced that it had proof that Todd Palin has been having an affair. If true, it's likely to ruin the political aspirations of his wife Sarah Palin for the foreseeable future. The other woman, Shailey Tripp, has a criminal record including several charges related to prostitution. In addition to the speculation that usually accompanies a tabloid story like this one, the Enquirer also reported that there was physical evidence to prove Todd Palin was involved in a sexual relationship with Tripp. In recent years, the National Enquirer has had a good track record when it comes to catching public figures in the act of adultery.

Remember John Edwards, the politician who ran for President and cheated with a girl friend while his wife was dying of cancer? It was the National Enquirer that broke that story and after all the lies and denials stopped - it turned out that the Enquirer was right all along. While I hope this story is untrue, I have a gut feeling that it is correct. So what will this news, if true, do to the political aspirations of Todd Palin's wife Sarah? I would think it would hurt them, but the views and values of the American people have changed so much over the past few decades - who knows what effect it might have if Sarah Palin decides to run for President?

I personally believe that Sarah Palin will not leave her husband Todd, even if he cheated on her many times with this madame named Tripp. When I listen to Sarah Palin talk, her stump speech's sound exactly like something taken from the President Ronald Reagan playbook back in the 1980's. So, will Sarah Palin divorce her cheating husband Todd - or will she forgive him and try to make nice as not to derail her political career? In today's political climate, it by no mean is certain that Sarah Palin's political career will be hurt by these revelations, if true. In a weird sort of way, husband Todd's cheating way might end up helping her political career in the end.

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Roy Kronk No Longer Fall Guy For Casey Anthony's Defense Team

For months, Jose Baez has made no secret of his intention to accuse meter reader Roy Kronk of being the real murderer of Caylee Anthony. Finally, Judge Perry has put a stop to that non sense and advised Casey Anthony's defense team that dragging up negative facts about Roy Kronk's past will not be allowed at her murder trial beginning in May. The case against Casey Anthony has been moving much faster and with more fairness since Judge Strickland was replaced by Perry.

The whole idea that somehow Roy Kronk was the real murderer of Caylee Anthony has been a crazy notion from the very beginning. I know it must be hard for Jose Baez and Cheney Mason to defend a client that is guilty as sin - but criminal defense attorney's, around the world, must do that every single day. The first thing a good criminal defense attorney does, when their client is guilty, is to try and find some other person (fall guy) to blame the murder on. For Casey Anthony's defense team, that fall guy was to be Roy Kronk. However - now at Judge Perry has ruled that Baez and Mason cannot drag up old issues in Kronk's life, just to allow reasonable doubt in this case, they will now be searching for a new fall guy.

Make no mistake, Jose Baez will find a new fall guy by the time Casey Anthony's murder trial begins later this year. My person guess is that he will switch his defense strategy from blaming Roy Kronk to attempting to tar and feather a member of Casey Anthony's own family for the murder. Will it be Cindy, George or Lee who is thrown under the bus in order to save poor Casey Anthony? Who knows, maybe Baez will just throw all of them up against the wall and see if something sticks with the jury? Most people believe Casey Anthony is guilty and I have no doubt that when a jury of her peers examines all the evidence against her - they will come to the same conclusion.

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Snow Removal Truck Falls Through Parking Garage

In one of the scariest events ever to happen to a truck driver, a snow removal truck (snow plow) recently fell through the second floor of a parking garage in a suburb of Atlanta. In the video below, it's clear to see that the driver of this vehicle had no idea that the parking lot beneath him was about to fall in. I must admit that I have watched this video several times and I am amazed that the truck driver was not injured. While it's true that the truck driver suffer no physical injuries - I'm sure his mental well being is still struggling to right itself.

This afternoon, I was watching Headline News (HLN) and the video below was a part of their half-hour news coverage. Sometimes people talk about how a life changing event causes them to completely rethink their life. I believe the man driving that snow plow that fell through the top floor of a parking garage in Atlanta - is most certainly rethinking his career as a snow plow truck driver.



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Will Qwiki (Quickie) Replace Google Yahoo & Bing?

There is a neat new site about to join others on the Internet. This new search engine or better named search technology is called Qwiki. Billions of people around the world now find what they are looking for on the Internet via Google, Yahoo or Bing. However, the developers of Qwiki hope to change all that with their new multimedia approach and in the process earn billions of dollars for their investors. We all know how wealthy the founders of Google and Yahoo became after they provided something new and popular for an ever changing high tech world.

The question today is, will Qwiki join Google, Yahoo and Bing in changing Internet search options for people around the world? Qwiki is really new and has not even made it into the beta testing phase of it's development. Qwiki is completely different from all the other search engines on the market today. What I like about Qwiki is it's multimedia format for delivering search information back to the user. However, what I dislike about it is the exact same thing. Sure multimedia presentations are nice and yes even cool - but sometimes folks just want to find information on their own the old fashion way.

So, will Qwiki be the Google killer that some on the Internet are proclaiming? I doubt it. However, as you may see in the video presentation below - Qwiki is likely to find a large audience of consumers who enjoy receiving multimedia presentations every time they make a search on the Internet. While Qwiki will create huge initial public interest because of the differences between it and major search engines like Google, Yahoo and Bing. I doubt that in the long run most search engine users will want such a long and drawn out audio and video explanation for every single topic they search for the Internet. Time will tell.

Qwiki at TechCrunch Disrupt from Qwiki on Vimeo.


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Gabby Giffords' Sheds Tears Of Joy To Public Cheers

On Friday, Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords' (Gabby) was transferred from a trauma center in Tucson where she was shot - to a rehab facility in Houston. Two weeks ago, a crazy man with a gun tried to kill Gabby Giffords' - while she was talking to her constituents in a local Safeway strip-mall. Giffords' was shot in the head and the 9mm bullet used, went completely through her brain. In amazing astonishment, millions of Americans have watched and learned about her recovery process on national news media reports and via newspapers around the country.

After Congresswoman Giffords' was loaded into an over-sized ambulance for a short ride to the Tucson airport, hundreds of well wishers lined her travel route. As the ambulance slowly made it's way to the airport, hundreds of Tucson citizen began to cheer as she passe by. Their loud emotions of approval were easily heard inside the ambulance and according to some people traveling with Gabby, she began to weep (cry) tears of joy when she heard the cheers outside. It must make Gabby feel good knowing that she is not facing the long battle to full recover alone. Giffords' husband, Mark Kelly has been at her bedside since shortly after she was shot.

Right now, Gabby Giffords' is still unable to talk - but her prognosis for regaining much of her speaking ability is good. The road to recovery after suffering a gunshot wound to the brain is a long process. However, from what I've learned about Gabby - she is a strong fighter and if a full recovery is possible from her type of head-wound, she will continue to defy the odds that might be stacked against her and make that recovery a reality. As a Texan, I am proud that a hospital in our state was selected to managing the rehab of Congresswoman Giffords'. It's clear that the prayers of millions of Americans for Gabby Giffords' full recovery have been heard by God and answered.

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Boiling Water Turns Into Snow Instantly (Video)

With cold weather seemingly everywhere this winter, I thought it would be neat to write about a subject that has been making the rounds on the Internet this week. As I learned in school long ago, when it is cold enough outside - boiling water will instantly turn into snow when tossed into the air. Frankly, it's one of the neatest things I've ever watched. In the video below, watch as science experiments are conducted on three different amounts of boiling water. First, a small cup of boiling water is thrown into the air - then a coffee cup size amount is tossed and then finally a whole pot of boiling water is used.

All three demonstrations were conducted when the outside temperature was -30 degrees or lower. Also, all of these tests were conducted using boiling water and not room temperature or cold water. Scientist say the reason boiling water turns into snow instantly, is because water molecules are spread out more in boiling water than in cold or room temperature H20. While I would never recommend anyone try this experiment on their own, it is fun to watch others do something that seems completely amazing and totally impossible. Hopefully, experiments like this one will cause more young people to be interest in and eventually go into the field of science.



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Friday, January 21, 2011

Thank God & Greyhound He's Gone (Keith Olbermann)

On Friday night, Keith Olbermann announced to the nation on his nightly MSNBC show that tonight would be the last night for his show "Countdown on that network. Talk about a quick farewell. Until Oldermann announced that he was leaving MSNBC on Friday, there was not even a hint that he would be departing the network anytime soon. Back when I was a kid, there was a country song called "Thank God & Greyhound She's Gone" and that's why I used a form of that title for this blog post. My meaning is that for many people, self included, Keith Olbermann was one person who had no business having his own show on television. That is why I am glad he is gone.

I know there are liberals in the United States who really liked Keith Olbermann on "Countdown", but hardly anyone in the middle or on the conservative side of politics agreed with anything he said. To me, Keith Olbermann and Rush Limbaugh are exactly the same kind of person. The only difference is they spread their narrow view of the world in completely opposite ways. While I really don't care if Rush Limbaugh is on the air nationwide or if Keith Olbmermann does the same thing - when NBC added Olbermann to their NBC NFL football coverage, I thought their decision was complete wrong and yes - even stupid for the network and ultimately for Olbermann.

If you remember back many years ago, Rush Limbaugh also tipped his toe in the water of sports when he joined ESPN as a commentator. In the long run, it turned out that it was a mistake for ESPN to give Rush Limbaugh that job and the same can now be said for NBC when they put Olbmermann on NBC Sunday Night Football. When will networks learn that partisan political commentators are best kept in their cable television or radio time slots? Those types of commentators seldom are able to accomplish anything, but anger from half of the viewing public when added to TV sports coverage. I'm sure Keith Olbermann will find another place to spread his narrow view of this world, because there is an audience for that kind of programming.

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Rehab For Gabrielle Giffords' Could Be Long & Challenging

The good news is that against all odds, Congresswoman Gabrielle (Gabby) Giffords' survived a gunshot wound to the brain. The bad news is that her rehab will certainly take months and no one knows exactly how much of her old self will remain when she is finally released from medical care. For me, it's amazing that Gabby Giffords' is alive at all - not to mention that she seems to know the people around her and is able to show emotion to her husband, Mark Kelly. Put simply, the very fact that Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords' is alive today is nothing short of a miracle.

Now the hard work begins when Gabby is moved from an ICU unit in a Tucson hospital to a top rated rehab center in Houston, Texas. The first step toward the continuation of the rest of her life was performed admirably by first responders and doctors at a Tucson hospital. However, as one person put it today - "the real work for Giffords' begins on Friday when she starts her rehabilitation". It's is still not known if Congresswoman Giffords' husband Mark Kelly will fly on the final Space Shuttle mission in April, but it was easy to tell that he wants to be on the space ship in a couple of months - after his interview with Diane Sawyer on ABC earlier this week.

Mark Kelly has turned out to be a remarkable man who has dropped everything he was working on to spend all of his time at the bedside of his wife. While I am not a medical doctor - it has to pay positive dividends, in a situation like this, when there is a spouse who as at the ready to help with anything that might come up. My hope is that after rehab, Gabby Giffords' will be able to resume her duties in the US House of Representatives. Until the tragic shootings in Tucson earlier this month - I had never heard of Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords'. However, now that we all have learned so much about her - I want to see her again soon in the "Well of the House", debating issues that are important to her district and the nation.

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Thursday, January 20, 2011

Will This Be The Final Season For American Idol?

Ratings for the first show of American Idol 2011 were down 13% from last year. For a long time, I have speculated that Simon Cowell was solely responsible for the success of American Idol and now it appears that I was at least partially right. American Idol producers tried to make the best of a bad situation when Simon left the show by hiring Steven Tyler from Aerosmith and Jennifer Lopez to take his place. However, there is not another judge on the face of the Earth - who is exactly like Simon Cowell, so there in lies the problem for Fox television.

It's not like Simon Cowell just up and left Fox holding the bag, since he is set to star in another reality show on the network, soon. However, for many years - the bread and butter of Fox TV was American Idol and if the ratings continue to drop this season, I predict it will be canceled for good. Honestly, American Idol has lived many more years than was expected by executives at Fox. Three years ago, I remember reading interviews with top Fox suits - advising the public and advertisers that the America Idol brand had probably already run it's course with American TV viewers. Back then, Fox executives turned out to be wrong - but their wisdom was correct. All people eventually tire of the same show, after it has run for many seasons on television.

Even if 2011 turns out to be the final season of American Idol, no one can successfully argue that it has not been a successful program for the Fox Television Network. Idol has made many people very wealthy over it's long run on television and without that show - it's likely that great talents like Carrie Underwood would never have been discovered through traditional music channels. Several years ago, I became tired of American Idol and stopped watching the show. However, I am not in the age group that Fox wants to reach with that show, so I doubt if I cost anyone any real money. While I love watching television, I have become increasing turned off by the sheer numbers of reality and contestant based shows. Hopefully, some new type of show will become popular soon - so we can all move on to something more interesting.

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Watch Replay Of 1961 JFK Inaugural Speech (YouTube Video)

50 years ago today, I was a 3-year-old boy who did not understand or know anything about politics. However, my mother and father were in love with a guy who was just elected President of the United States. That mans name was John F. Kennedy (JFK). On this day, in 1961 - JFK took the oath of office as President of the United States and in his inaugural address to the nation, gave a speech that his been played thousands of times on radio and television over the past five decades. JFK was a Democrat, but by no means was he as liberal as most members of the democratic party today. In fact, on most issues of importance - JFK was closer to political mindset of Ronald Reagan than Barack Obama.

In memory and celebration of John F. Kennedy, I have included a video of President Kennedy's inaugural speech which you many watch in the video box below. JFK was a special man that had the ability to excite people from all political persuasions. However, not every loved President Kennedy and one sick man end his life with a bullet, in Dallas, several years after this speech was made.



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Happiness & Outrage In 1987 NYC Baby Kidnapping

Joy White and Carl Tyson had their baby girl kidnapped from a New York City hospital back in 1987. I can only image the terror and trauma those two went through after that terrible crime was committed. Then as their baby girl, Carlina White, grew up - she began to doubt that the woman raising her, Cassandra Pettway, was her real mother. When White asked if she was her real mother, Pettway admitted that she was not. After Carlina White leaned that she belonged to someone else, she began looking on the Internet in search of her real parents. Then through DNA testing, it was discovered that she was the child of Joy White and Carl Tyson. Their baby girl had been kidnapped back in 1987 from a NYC hospital, by a fake nurse. White was recently reunited with her parents.

This story is filled with happiness for sure, but there is one aspect that is outrageous. When asked by reporters, if charges would be filed against Cassandra Pettway or anyone else in the kidnapping of Carlina White back in 1987 - they were told no. New York City police said that there was not enough probable cause evidence to make an arrest in this case. While it is good news that White was raised to adulthood in a decent way - that does not excuse the fact that she was kidnapped in the first place. If a man or woman robs a bank and then gives all that money to the poor and needy - do you think for a minute that the New York City police department would just look the other way and not make an arrest in that case? Of course not, the fact that Carlina White is a happy and health young woman today - does not excuse the crime that was committed against her parents decades ago.

I hope that New York City police change their mind and at least decide to pursue charges against the fake nurse who kidnapped White back in 1987. For police to not file charges, in this case, sends a message that you can get away with a kidnapping - just as long as you don't hurt the child involved. No matter how well Carlina was treated after she was taken, the origional crime of kidnapping her caused untold grief and pain to her mother and father. I am so happy that Carlina was able to track down her real parents in New York City. While I am sure their hearts are filled with joy and celebration now that their little girl has been returned to them. In time, that celebration will be tempered with other emotions of outrage when faced with the fact that someone kidnapped their child and was never even charged with a crime.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Will Jerry Jones Share A Sky-Box With Obama At Superbowl?

It's a big if, but it was learned Wednesday that if the Chicago Bears earn a trip to the Superbowl this year, President Obama would like to attend that game. The 2011 Superbowl will be played in Dallas Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas. I can only image the security nightmare that will present itself to the US Secret Service - if a sitting President of the United States, decided to attend the biggest sporting event of the year. Dallas Cowboys fans, like myself, have a different name for Cowboys Stadium - that name is "Jerry World". Love him or hate him, Jerry Jones was and is the driving force behind the largest and most expensive sports complex ever built in the United States. If the Chicago Bears win a trip to the 2011 Superbowl and President Obama makes good on his pledge to attend that game, my guess is that Obama will be joining Jerry Jones in his sky-box at the 50 yard-line that Sunday.

Cowboys Stadium is more than just a football field were games are played on Sunday afternoon. My guess is that President Obama wants to tour that new stadium and if I am right - he is likely to attend this years Superbowl even if the Bears don't earn a trip to the big game next month. To me, no two men could be more different than Jerry Jones and President Barack Obama. Sure, both men are powerful and love the affection of others - but Jerry Jones has a "Type A" personality, while President Obama has a more laid back style. The State of Texas has never been "Obama Country", in fact the state voted overwhelmingly for John McCain in the last presidential election. However, on Superbowl Sunday - all political labels seem to fade away and they are replaced by a love of NFL football. Personally, I hope President Obama travels to the DFW area on Superbowl Sunday to enjoy the game. Sadly, the Dallas Cowboys did not earn the chance to compete in this years Superbowl.



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Gabby Giffords Moved To Houston Hospital For Treatment

It's frankly amazing the amount of progress that Congresswoman Gabrielle (Gabby) Giffords has made after suffering a gunshot wound to the head less than two weeks ago. On Wednesday, it was learned that Giffords' will be moved from Tucson, on Friday, to the Hermann Rehabilitation Hospital in Houston, Texas. That center is one of the best in the United States in helping patients return to a normal life after suffering a gunshot wound to the brain. Houston is also the home of Gabby Giffords' husband, Mark Kelly, who is an astronaut with NASA. Giffords' doctors on Wednesday said that her recovery is nothing short of miraculous and I think everyone in the world would agree with that statement.

Even without the help of rehab, Giffords is showing affection for her husband and in testing at her current hospital in Tucson, she is proving that her brain is functioning in an incredible way considering a bullet pierced through one side of it, less than half a month ago. As a middle aged man, I am blown away by the advancements made in the medical field when it comes to treating people who have suffered a gunshot wound to the brain. Back in the 1970's, when I was a young man, it was unheard of for anyone to survive a head shot from a gun. In Congresswoman Giffords' case, she was fortunate that a guy who worked for her knew how to treat a head wound the morning she was shot. She is also lucky that a trauma center was nearby to provide treatment and surgery within one hour of her injury.

Tonight, I did some research on Hermann Rehabilitation Hospital in Houston and after just a quick glance at their success rate at treating gunshot trauma victims - I believe Mark Kelly made the right decision in choosing that rehab center. Kelly is fortune to call Houston, Texas home because some of the best medical professionals in the world work at hospitals in the Houston metropolitan area. I also learn tonight, that Kelly has extended family in that area too and that support is going to worth a lot as Gabby Giffords' travels that long road back to a normal and productive life.

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Jared Loughner On Video Tape Shooting Congresswoman Giffords

As if police needed anymore evidence to convict Jared Loughner of shooting Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, it was learned yesterday that police have video surveillance tape from that Safeway parking lot in Tucson - showing him walking up to Gabby and shooting her in the head. Last night, Diane Sawyer (ABC News) conducted an hour long interview with Gabby's husband Mark Kelly. After watching that interview - I saw that, like his wife, Mark Kelly is one remarkable man. Not only is he a success in his professional life, but Kelly has shown the type of courage that I hope everyone would present under the same circumstances. I was especially moved when Sawyer asked Kelly if he would meet with Loughner's parents and he said that he thought he would. He said, "I do not think it was their fault". It take a big man to make a statement like that one.

While many in the media and among the general public want to just put Jared Lougner to death and be done with this mess, there are many more issues that must be explored and learned before he dies from a lethal injection. The major news media jumped to conclusions early on when it was first learned that a crazy man had tried to kill a Congresswoman in a parking lot in Tucson, Arizona. Instead, of focusing on the real issue of the mental health of some folks in the United States - they attempted to make a mockery out of this shooting, by politicizing it. Sadly, the media has become obsessed with the right, left and center of everything that happens in the US - to the point where they cannot or will not see the truth standing right in front of their faces.

Hopefully, the video of Jared Loughner shooting Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords' will never be made public. There are just too many sick people walking around in this world, who would get a kick out of watching something like that - instead of being discussed by it. We all know what Loughner did in that Safeway parking lot and while an eventual jury of his peers will need to see all the evidence in his criminal trial - the general public should not see this type of violence, because it is disrespectful to the families of the victims. The real reason Jared Loughner bought a gun and ruined the lives of so many in Tucson had nothing to do with political discourse in the United States, but it had everything to do with the lack of treatment this nation offers to those who are mentally ill.

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Relaxing With "Stairway To Heaven" Before Going To Bed

Everyone has some way to relax after a long hard day at work. For me, a couple of cold beers and listening to the Led Zeppelin classic song "Stairway To Heaven" sends me right into dream land. Back in the mid-1970's, I was a high school student growing up in a town so small that it did not appear on some maps. My close group of friends would ride around at night and listen to great music on powerful radio stations like KOMA in Oklahoma City, WOAI in San Antonio and my favorite WLS in Chicago. My favorite song during those years was "Stairway to Heaven" by Led Zeppelin. Even today, 35 years later, listening to that song via YouTube - not only brings back some great memories of my younger years, but it also has a calming effect on my soul. To me, "Stairway To Heaven" is really three songs all rolled into one. From a soft beginning, to a moderate middle, to an outright rock and roll classic ending - "Stairway To Heaven" is the perfect rock & roll song. I have "Stairway to Heaven" bookmarked on my Internet browser - so I do not need to search for it, late at night, when I need my sleep fix. If you like this classic Led Zeppelin song as much as I do, feel free to listen to it via the video box below - anytime the mood strikes you.



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No Tomatoes On McDonald's Big Mac (Million Dollar Money Drop)

Every now and then, a new TV show asked a question that an old guy like me can answer. Last night, on "Million Dollar Money Drop" - the following question was asked:

"What ingredient is not on the McDonald's Big Mac"?

The choices were: Lettuce, Pickle Slices or Tomatoes.

Like every good child of the 60's and 70's who were brain washed by slick television commercials, I remembered that old McDonald's jingle just like I heard it again today. It goes like this: "Two all beef patties, special sauce, lettuce, cheese, pickles onions on a sesame side bun". If you are a 20 or 30 something and have never heard that McDonald's jingle, you may watch it in the video box below. One good thing about new shows like "Million Dollar Money Drop" are that they ask questions that were easily answered back in the day, but which are total foreign to their young contestants.



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