Friday, April 29, 2011

Death Toll At 300 After Southern Tornadoes

It was a depressing day for rescue workers in southern states like Alabama. Sadly, at least 300 people were killed on Wednesday as April tornadoes ripped through the south. On Friday, President Obama will visit the area and do what he can to try and raise the spirits of those who were effected by these storms. The pictures from hard hit areas like Tuscaloosa are difficult to look at, because regular neighborhoods were completely destroyed as multiple tornadoes crushed everything in their path.

It is likely to take years for hard hit areas in Alabama to recovery from the tornado damage this week. In some small towns, no homes or businesses escaped damage from this rash of tornadoes. When the chips are down and everything is going wrong for folks in the south, it always does my heart good to learn that average Americans are coming to the aid of their fellow citizens with contributions of cash and even raw manpower to help in the search and rescue effort. In a strange sort of way, we Americans are always at our best when it comes to helping out our fellow citizens during times like these.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Tuscaloosa Alabama Wednesday Tornado Disaster

On Wednesday, as several tornadoes tracked across the southern United States - in Tuscaloosa, Alabama a huge storm destroyed hundreds of homes and businesses. The Mayor of Tuscaloosa said that large areas of his city were left in total devastation. There was so much damage there, that emergency and rescue personnel could not reach some of the tornado survivors - because most of the roads were impassable due to massive debris. One of the most hard hit areas of Tuscaloosa was near the DCH Regional Medical Center.

President Obama quickly responded to a request from the Governor of Alabama for a disaster declaration that will include search and rescue equipment from the federal government. Late Wednesday night, it was still not clear how many people where injured and killed in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. However, the death toll there is likely to rise along with the Sun on Thursday morning. April of 2011 has turned out to be a record breaking year for tornadoes in many parts of the United States. From Texas to the deep south and now even some parts of New England - tornadoes are ripping apart buildings and lives as they move across the nation.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Verizon's 4G LTE Goes Down For Hours

Verizon must have spent millions of dollars already promoting their new 4G network. However, as early birds have learned - sometimes something new is not necessarily better. Recently, Verizon's 4G network went down and stayed down for hours. Fortunately, for the company - there are not millions of customers on the new 4G network, but those who are were not happy campers. Right now, a major battle between AT&T and Verizon is in full swing and until this latest outage - Verizon had been beating AT&T at almost every turn.

I love competition, because it almost always leads to lower consumer prices on stuff like cell phones. However, sometimes in the race to be first with the latest technology - a company will release a new product before all the bugs have been worked out of it. That might be the reason why the Verizon 4G network has been going down so much the past week. In the fierce fight between AT&T and Verizon for customers, nothing will slow Verizon's growth more then for them to rush a new network to market before it's ready. I know I will be waiting awhile now before I switch to 4G.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Is The Price Of Silver Sustainable?

Like Gold, Silver prices have been moving higher in recent weeks. In fact, on some exchanges - silver has been going up at a higher percentage then Gold. Inflation is what drives precious metal prices higher and there are examples everywhere that high crude oil prices are making inflation worse.

Another issue that is driving Silver prices higher is the likelihood that President Obama and the GOP leadership in Congress will not reach an agreement on how to cut the US ever growing budget deficit. With turmoil comes high Silver prices and right now - there is a lot of turmoil going around. This week the US Federal Reserve will meet and what they say after that meeting will have a big impact on future Silver and Gold prices.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

New York (NYC) To Los Angeles (LA) Cab Ride Adventure

A couple of friends who live in New York City, recently approached a cab driver and inquired what the fare would be to take them from the "Big Apple" to LA. After hearing that it would cost $5000 for the trip, the two friends paid the fare and headed off on their cross country cab ride.

I'm not sure if this has ever been done before, but one thing is for sure - the smell inside that cab could not have been pleasant, considering the trip took 6 days and the two friends only showered one time. Like in a Hollywood movie, the two New York friends stopped off for some gambling in Las Vegas before their trip concluded in Los Angeles. Some folks are always up for an adventure.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Tornado Hits St. Louis Airport Causing Major Damage

On Friday night, a major storm that could have produced a tornado struck the St. Louis Airport. Pictures from the scene show broken out windows and even a huge passenger buses that was blown from the parking lot onto the roof of one of the terminals. Broken glass was spread everywhere as people both inside and outside of the airport rushed to take cover.

Early reports suggest that five people were injured during this storm, but that number is likely to go higher as rescue workers search through the damage. At this time, there is not a confirmation that a tornado caused the damage Friday night in St. Louis - but it does appear that one might have been involved. By mornings light, a better picture of what exactly happened at the airport in St. Louis on Friday night should be known.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Gold/Silver Bonanza As Prices Skyrocket

After looking at Gold and Silver prices today, I was completely blown away by how much those two metals have gone up since the first of the year. While most people know that Gold is selling for $1500 per ounce or more, the lessor known story is what is happening to silver prices as inflation starts to heat up once again.

On Wednesday, the stock market was on fire - but precious metals were going up as well. I believe at some future date, the stock market will stop increasing and metals like Gold and Silver will keep going up. Inflation is increasing more right now then the government wants to admit and with high inflation you usually get a lower stock market and much higher prices for Gold and Silver.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Casey Anthony Testimony Without Her Taking The Stand

I have never in my life seen two lawyers work harder to break rules in order to win a not guilty verdict then Jose Baez and Cheney Mason. The latest tactic from these two involves getting a third party to testify as to Casey's state of mind during the 31 days Caylee was missing, without calling the defendant to the stand herself. To me this is nothing more then a lawyer trick and hopefully Judge Perry will not allow it.

Baez and Mason do not want to put Casey Anthony on the witness stand for obvious reasons. Most of that first month when Caylee was missing, Casey Anthony told no one she was gone and was photographed dozens of times out getting drunk and dancing around half naked at numerous bars and night clubs. Using a back door legal technique in order get Casey's side of the story on the record, without putting her on the witness stand, does not seem right to me.

Gold Price $1500 As Dollar/Markets Drop

It's becoming increasing clear that world markets do not believe President Obama and GOP Members of Congress will do anything to slow US government spending. The past couple of days, the price of Gold has increased to over $1500 per ounce and that is terrible news for most Americans.

Inflation drives high Gold prices and we all know that almost everything we buy is going up faster then it has before. An ever increasing price for Gold is the direct result of a world not believing that President Obama and the Congress will lower US government spending any time soon. Better hold on, because things could get really bad from here on out.

2012 USA Recession Fears As Inflation Increases

There are some economist who fear that the United States is head back into the same type of recession we suffered through in 2008. If that does indeed happen, the job recoveries that have been gained between 2008 and 2010 could disappear overnight and another giant stock market crash could follow.

Like in recessions past, the ongoing recession of 2008 has proven to be a "Gold Mine" for rich folks - while the poor and the middle class suffer disproportionately. If the United States of America falls into recession again in 2012, it could wipe out most of the middle class in this country and turn the USA into a nation of rich and poor people without much of a middle class at all.

Monday, April 18, 2011

FAA Swing Shift Should Be Changed To Regular Hours

It is completely insane that swing shifts are still allowed by the FAA for air traffic controllers. When I heard over the weekend that the amount of time between when a person leaves work and returns would be increased from 8 hours to 9, I just had to laugh out-loud. Does anyone really believe that most people immediately leave work and go directly to bed thereafter?

Look at your own life and reflect on how a wind down time is required before you go to sleep at night. The FAA should get rid of swing shifts for air traffic controllers for good. In fact, I believe most businesses work better when a person shows up at the same time everyday for work. The new FAA guidelines for air traffic controllers does not improve the alertness of it's employees.

Monday Stock Declines Worry Investors & Politicians

On Monday, all three major US stock exchanges reported declines in the shares they trade. The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DOW) was off over 142 points, while the NASDAQ lost almost 30 and the S&P 500 was down 14. Most financial experts blamed Monday's sharp sell-off on Wall Street on S&P's downgrade of long term US debt.

It would be nice if politicians in Washington would have noticed that something is wrong with government spending because this downgrade, but President Obama was quick to blame it on partisan politics and the S&P organization. It's totally ridicules that most Americans have known for a long time now that the US is in trouble financially, but most of our elected leaders continue to bury their heads in the sand.

USA Credit Score Lowered By S&P

I am frankly surprised that it took this long for world recognized credit company S&P to lower the rating for United States debt. However, on Monday they did lower the long term credit outlook for the US government. So, what does that mean to the average American? Not much for now, but future generations will find it more expensive for the government to borrow money.

Even a small increase in the interest rate the US government must pay to get people to invest in our government debt will result in adding billions of dollars to what we must pay each year to find folks willing to continue to buy our ballooning debt. Simply put, the US has maxed out their Mastercard, Visa and American Express cards and now if they want a credit increase, they will have to pay a higher interest rate.

Raising The Debt Limit Wrong For Many Republicans

Every time the US debt limit is about to be raised, more and more Republican voters claim they want Congress not to do it. Soon, it will be time to raise the US debt limit again and many new Members of Congress are prepared to stand on principle and vote no.

While I agree that not raising the US debt limit might make a few conservatives happy in the short run, in the long run - not doing so would put the US government in a terrible mess with nations around the world. The best bet for GOP Members of Congress would be to extract as many spending cuts as they can get before they must vote on the next increase in the debt limit. To follow through and not raise that limit would create a worldwide financial crisis that would make the last one we suffered through seem like nothing at all.

48 Hours Trying To Prove Casey Anthony's Innocent

On Saturday night, the CBS show "48 Hours" took the case against Casey Anthony and turned it completely around. They even had a fake jury stand-up and claim that they would not find her guilty of murder. As you might have already guessed, "48 Hours" only talked to the defense team of Baez and Mason - because the prosecution would not be interviewed by them this close to going to trial.

By the end of this "48 Hours" show, I was so angry at the way CBS allowed themselves to be lead around by the nose by Casey Anthony's defense team that I almost tuned to another channel. Both Mason and Baez performed a spin job on CBS News and had plausible explanations to all the evidence in the case. My hope is that a future jury is not as easily manipulated as "48 Hours" - when they sit down and review the evidence in this case.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

22 Dead In North Carolina Tornado Disaster

It was a terrible weekend in many states around the nation as severe weather and tornadoes tore apart the lives many people. The worst state hit by tornadoes was North Carolina where at least 22 people were killed. On cable news this weekend, the massive power of these tornadoes was put on display for all to see.

Between now and the end of June, tornadoes are expected to touch ground somewhere everyday in the United States. Fortunately, most of those twisters will hit in unpopulated areas - but some will find their way into large cities where dozens of people will be killed. My prayers go out to the people who lost family members and property in North Carolina last weekend.

Friday, April 15, 2011

ABC OLTL Canceled Along With All My Children

My wife is not going to be a happy camper tomorrow when she finds out that her all time favorite "soap opera" has been canceled. For 40 plus years, she has watched "One Life To Live" and "General Hospital" every single day. Like many other ladies, she works during the daytime - but records those two shows daily without fail and watches them the next morning when she wakes up.

Sadly, for women like my wife, the days of the daily "soap opera" appear to be numbered as more talk-show based programming during the morning and afternoon hours take their place. A new generation of women are moving away from "daytime dramas" and with the invention of DVR recorders, the choices of things to watch on television has never been greater. That said, it is sad to see shows that have lasted for decades get canceled.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Parents Sue Applebee's Over Alcohol Served To Child

You may have heard about a recent mix-up at Applebee's Restaurant when a toddler was served a Margareta, instead of apple juice. Not long after the child drank a sipping cup filled with an adult Margareta, the young boy began to pass out. The child is OK now, but while at the hospital a blood alcohol level was obtained that showed he was well over the adult legal limit for driving a car.

I guess it's just the society we are living in today, but that child's parents are now suing Applebee's and claiming that they have made this same mistake before. Really? Funny I have never heard of a case like this before at any major restaurant chain, but now that someone has come forward to sue - everyone seems to want to join the easy money bandwagon. Applebee's made a mistake and they will likely pay a big price for it as this case will surely be settled by their insurance company.

Mother Kills Children & Self In Hudson River Suicide

There was a terrible story out of New York last night involving a mother who intentionally drove her mini-van into the Hudson River, killing three of her children and herself. 25-year-old Lashandra Armstrong reportedly drove her mini-van into the water with four children inside. Her oldest son was able to escape through a window and report the incident to police.

I do not understand why any parent would want to see their children die. Depression is a terrible thing, but when a person's own suicidal thoughts take them to the next level of wanting to die and take other family members with them - it's just sick. Thank God one of the children survived and could alert police to what really happened.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Kristen LaBrie Convicted In Death Of Her Son

In a terrible case of parental neglect, on Tuesday Kristen LaBrie was found guilty of the attempted murder of her son who was autistic and also battling a very curable type of cancer. What really sank LaBrie's defense strategy was that when child protective services ask if her son had received his cancer treatments, she lied and said yes - even though the true answer was no.

Withholding medical treatment is a touchy subject in the United States right now, but when that treatment is directed at a minor child - the issue becomes much more fuzzy. Unlike years past, there are some forms of cancer which can be cured with new treatments and apparently Kristen LaBrie's son had one of those types.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Will Some Parts Of Japan Resemble Chernobyl?

Even though the nuclear problems in Japan are no longer front page news in the United States, things there are steadily getting worse. In fact, one expert claimed on Monday that Japan's nuclear issue is already as bad as the Chernobyl disaster in the old Soviet Union decades ago.

If this prediction turns out to be true, there will be many miles of Japanese soil where it will be unfit for human beings to live or visit for years to come. I am a supporter of nuclear energy, but I do admit that when things go really wrong - the consequences can be disastrous. There are still dozens of men who are working a suicide mission to save this stretch of Japanese territory from a nuclear catastrophe, let's all hope they are eventually successful.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Charl Schwartzel Masters Tournament Winner (2011)

In one of the most amazing "Masters" tournaments I have ever seen, a relatively unknown man by the name of Charl Schwartzel made a charge at victory on Sunday and ended up winning the 2011 Green Jacket. Schwartzel is from South Africa and almost no one was suggesting his name as this weekends winner at the Masters until he won late Sunday afternoon.

There were so many side stories to this years Masters Tournament with the most interesting one being the rise and fall of young Rory McIlroy who saw his dream of becoming a champion at the Masters, completely fall apart in one of the worst final rounds ever played in this tournament. The other major side story was the return of Tiger Woods to competitive golf play in a major tournament.

Saturday, April 09, 2011

Casey Anthony Case Profiled On "48 Hours" Next Week

At the end of "48 Hours" on CBS Saturday night, they previewed next weeks show. It appears that they will have a new show on the upcoming Casey Anthony trial next week. Of course, it's easy to get mislead by TV previews - but in the short clip I saw tonight, it appeared they had polled a test jury and most of them said they would acquit Casey.

Sometimes, I get frustrated when national television shows like "48 Hours" try to take the opposite side of public opinion when they produce their shows. Like most people, I believe Casey Anthony is guilty of killing her daughter and after seeing all of the evidence against her - I cannot foresee any jury of her peers finding her not guilty. I will watch "48 Hours" next week just to see if they come down on the side of Jose Baez and the rest of Casey Anthony's defense team.

Friday, April 08, 2011

Tiger Woods Masters Tournament 2011

For the first time in a long time, pro golfer Tiger Woods is in contention to win a major golf tournament. During the first rounds of the 2011 Master Tournament, Woods is just three shots off the lead. Over the past year, Woods golf game has suffered ever since it was learned that he was unfaithful to his wife on many different occasions.

When all the dust settled, Tiger Woods lost his wife and family after word of his infidelity surfaced and he also lost his ability to play and win golf tournaments. Now, for the first time in a long time, Tiger Woods is in the position to win a major golf tournament at the Masters. If he plays well on Saturday and Sunday it is likely that Tiger Woods will once again hold up one of those winning trophies like he use to do all the time.

Thursday, April 07, 2011

Crude Oil $110 Per Barrel & Rising

As gas prices continue to increase, inflation is becoming worse everyday. On Thursday, crude oil on the spot market was selling for $110 per barrel. Once again, speculators are driving oil futures higher because of potential problems in the Middle East - even though there is no shortage of oil or gasoline at this time.

I wish I could report that President Obama and the US Congress are taking high oil and gas prices seriously, but they are not. Instead, they are busy doing nothing and blaming each other for the pending government shutdown this weekend. At no time in my life have I been more disappointed in all of our elected leaders.

Wednesday, April 06, 2011

Lauer/Vieira Leaving The Today Show?

Rumors have already surfaced that Meredith Vieira is leaving the "Today Show". On Wednesday, another rumor surfaced claiming that Matt Lauer will be leaving too. Lauer's contract with NBC expires in December of 2012 and sources claim that he has already told NBC that he will not be staying once his contract expires.

Personnel changes are a normal part of morning television at the big three broadcast networks and while it is sad when a long time anchor, like Matt Lauer, decides to leave - it does open up opportunities for younger folks to step in and take their place. No word yet from Lauer on whether these rumors are true.

Tuesday, April 05, 2011

Aggies Defeat Notre Dame Win National Championship

It's fun times tonight in Bryan/College Station as the 2011 Texas A&M Lady Aggies won their first national title in basketball. As a die-hard Baylor Lady Bears fan, I knew first hand that the Lady Aggies were a great team this year - because I watched them play Baylor four different times.

I still remember how I felt back in 2005, when the Baylor Lady Bears traveled to Indianapolis and won their first national title game. I hope A&M and the City of College Station, Texas throw a big parade for the 2011 Lady Aggies - because right now they are the best team in the nation and they won it the old fashion way, with hard work and perseverance.

Will NFL Season Be Canceled In 2011?

With the NFL owners and players still unable to reach an agreement, it appears that the 2011 NFL season might be canceled. If true, that would be a huge slap in the face to football fans who have made NFL owners and players some of the richest people in the world. Frankly, I cannot imagine that there might be no NFL football this fall.

The two side are still fighting over the same thing and that is money and the number of games played each season. I do not feel sorry for either side in this dispute, but in the end I do believe the owners will prevail - because they have deeper pockets then the players. It's such a sad thing when millions of Americans cannot even find a decent job, while owners and players in the NFL only care about making themselves even richer.

Atkins Diet Gout Affects Some People

About one month ago, I decided to start the Atkins Diet after a friend lost over 30 pounds. During the first three weeks I was losing weight and eventually I discovered that I was not hungry anymore. However, at about the one month point of following Atkins - I came down with a bad case of gout. If you have never had gout, trust me when I say that it is very painful.

More than likely, my gout was caused by eating too much red meat and not drinking enough fresh water each day. The breakdown of protein from meat tends to build up in the body to the point where the kidneys cannot keep up with removing it from the blood. I was able to get rid of my gout symptoms within a few days by drinking a bunch of water and cutting back on my red meat consumption.

Battle Over Budget & Raising The Debt Ceiling (Chat Room)

It's amazing how little a group of grown men and women can get done once they get to Washington. The past few weeks, Democrats and Republicans have been fighting over cutting the federal budget - but behind the scenes it's the social issues that are messing everything up.

I believe a compromise that would keep the government running until October could be reach today, if Boehner and a few of his GOP colleagues would ditch their efforts to try and end federal funding for "Planned Parenthood" and "National Public Radio". There is a time and place where those issues could be discussed, but right now is not that time or place. Stop fighting over social issues and cut federal spending.

NASA Red Alert As Junk Threatens Space Station

Over the decades as nations around the world have sent vessels into space, they have been less than clean when it comes to picking up after themselves. Today, thousands of small and large pieces of junk are orbiting the Earth and one of those is threatening to strike the International Space Station this afternoon.

According to NASA, a piece of a Chinese rocket that was exploded into thousands of pieces will come within 2 miles of the International Space Station this afternoon and in doing so is putting astronauts there in extreme danger. Everyone on the space station has been moved to the escape pod until the threat has passed. Hopefully, this piece of space junk does not hit the station or hurt anyone on board the International Space Station.

High Gas Prices Caused By Futures Speculation

Everyday I drive by the same gas station and each day the prices there go up just a little bit more. While politicians in Washington continue to blame each other for this problem, most regular folks are hoping that someone will just tell the truth about what is going on. Problems in the Middle East are allowing billionaire speculators to drive up oil prices, even though there is no a shortage of crude oil at this time.

Sadly, the problems are even worse than a bunch of speculators who are getting rich at the expense of everyone else. The nations of OPEC control the price of oil, but some members of OPEC are seeing their citizens rebelling against them. All of this uncertainty is causing crude oil futures to rise, but there is no shortage of oil on the market today. I believe futures speculation is allowing a few people to profit off a crisis that does not really exist.

McDonald's Hiring Day April 19, 2011

In a couple of weeks, fast-food giant McDonald's plans to hire 50,000 new workers in a single day. While it is always good to learn that companies are hiring new workers, honestly it would be better news - if a company like GM or Citibank were hiring that many new employees. After the major recession of 2008, most of the new jobs being created in the USA are not high paying ones that require some intelligence, but instead they are at businesses like McDonald's who pay only slightly above the US minimum wage.

I guess a recovery in the US economy has to start somewhere, but if all those politicians in Washington believe that Americans will be happy again with a bunch of jobs at McDonald's - they should think again. I don't think McDonald's is such a bad place to work when you are a kid or wanting to earn extra money during retirement years. However, for a man or woman who is trying to support a family - working at McDonald's is probably the last place they would choose to work.

737 Inspections Ordered By FAA After Southwest Incident

While it might surprise some, I am personally happy that the FAA is requiring 737 jet aircraft to be inspected ASAP. On Friday, part of a Southwest Airlines flight tore off during a flight in Arizona and after inspecting other planes in the SWA fleet, more metal fatigue issues were found. While Southwest Airlines uses the 737 as their primary workhorse, other airlines use this popular plane as well for short hops.

SWA is finding itself in unfamiliar territory in recent days after many of their usually happy customers have started to grumble about delays. On Saturday and Sunday, hundreds of Southwest Airlines flights were canceled leaving customers stranded around the country. SWA placed all of their eggs in the 737 basket and now that big basket is showing signs of strain. Southwest Airlines regular flight operations should return to normal, soon.

Salmonella Turkey Burgers Resistant To Antibiotics

In a terrible news story on Monday, the CDC announced that there may still be some turkey burgers for sale in supermarkets that contain a drug-resistant strain of salmonella. The burgers were sold by the Jennie O Turkey Store in Willmar, Minnesota. So far, more than 12 people have been sickened by these burgers and the list of states affected has increase to 10.

So far, the states affected include: Arizona, California, Colorado, Georgia, Illinois, Missouri, Mississippi, Ohio, Washington and Wisconsin. The worst outbreak has been in Wisconsin where at least three cases have been reported. Check your refrigerator to make sure you do not have Jennie O Turkey Store All Natural Turkey Burgers with seasonings Lean White Meat. If you do, return it to the supermarket where you purchased it for a refund.

Monday, April 04, 2011

UConn Defeats Butler In Disappointing Game

Like many other folks around the country, I was secretly wanting Butler to win in their national championship game against UConn on Monday night. However, when the final buzzer sounded - UConn defeated Butler by the score of 53-41. Oh what a nice ride it was for Butler this season - as they beat the odds, once again, to play in a national championship game.

I don't want to take anything away from UConn, but I was hoping that a new team would be holding up that winners trophy at the end of the game Monday night. That said, Butler has nothing to be ashamed of and it will be a long time before any of the sports TV "talking heads" take them for granted in future years. Soon, when sports announcers talk about the greatness of Duke and UConn - Butler will also be included on their lists of great basketball teams.

Christina Taylor Green Honored With Sculpture In Tucson

Who could forget the little girl who was murdered in Tucson, Arizona when a crazy gunman attempted to assassinate Congresswoman Gabby Giffords? Today, there is a new sculpture in Tucson to honor this young girl who was born on September 11, 2011.

When Gabby Giffords was shot, little Christina Taylor Green was in attendance at the same event. A neighbor brought Green there because of her interest in public service. To add insult to the death of Green was the fact that she was born on one of the worst days in American history.

Calories On Menus - New FDA Requirement?

The USFDA is considering whether or not to require some fast-food chains to list the number of calories of meals on their menus. Some people believe this is a good idea, while others think that it is stupid. I personally think it's a good idea for restaurants to show calories on their menu, but I would take that logic one step further.

I also want the FDA to require restaurants to show fat, carbohydrates, sodium and potassium on their menus. There are millions of Americans on low carb diets right now and it's almost impossible to know exactly how many carbs are in fast-food meals. Most folks just order a burger and throw away the bread. However, if the amount of carbs were printed on the menu - some fast food businesses might offer whole grain as a substitute to their traditional white bread.

Hutcherson Hunger Games To Star With Hemsworth

The lead actors in the new movie "Hunger Games" were announced today. Josh Hutcherson (no relation to yours truly) will join Liam Hemsworth in this new movie. The basic storyline of "Hunger Games" involves teenagers being forced to fight to the death, once per year, on a TV spectacle watched by millions. Hollywood speculation suggests that the producers of "Hunger Games" will try to create a franchise of movies using this storyline, similar to "Twilight".

Hundreds of teen actors have been hoping that their name would be called when the starring roles for "Hunger Games" were announced, recently. If successful, movie company "Lionsgate" could build a franchise out of "Hunger Games" that could earn the company billions of dollars. Hutcherson and Hemsworth are good choices as lead actors, but I'm still waiting to see if the script for this movie is any good.

Dog Named Dolan Brings Tears Of Joy To Family

In case you missed it on the "Today Show" this morning, you may follow this link to watch one of the most heart warming stories I have seen in years. In San Antonio, Texas the TSA trains dogs to work in airports and train stations to help them search for explosives. One of those dogs is named Dolan and he met the family of the brave man he was named for this morning.

The human Dolan was killed in the Pentagon on September 11, 2011 when a jet hijacked by terrorist flew a plane into the building. Dolan is the 500th dog to be named after a victim of 911 and the TSA showed up in NYC on Monday morning to introduce him to the wife of the man he was named after. This is a very moving video that everyone should see.

World Trade Center 38th Birthday Today

If terrorist had not brought down the New York Twin Towers, known as the "World Trade Center" in 2001 - today would have been the 38th anniversary of their opening. Like many of you, I remember where I was and what I was doing when I heard about the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001. On that day, thousands of Americans lost their lives and the skyline of NYC has not been the same since.

Many things have happened since that terrible day in 2001 and I sometimes wonder if it's any safer to be an American in the world today then it was prior to those attacks? Two wars have been fought in the name of 911, but when I look around the world today - there are even more conflicts facing the USA in the future. It has always been easier to destroy things then to create them and the former World Trade Center buildings in New York are a perfect example of that truth.

Katie Couric Out At CBS News Or Is She?

It's no wonder that the CBS Evening News is no longer respected either by it's peers or television viewers at home. Rumors have been circulating for weeks now that Katie Couric's contract will not be renewed, but network executives are stilling acting like she might still be around after her contract expires in June. Now in a face saving move, Katie Couric is talking about how this departure from CBS News will be a great thing for her career.

One of the worst things CBS News ever did was to try and turn happy Katie Couric from the "Today Show" into a hard news anchor on the CBS Evening News. Both CBS and Katie suffered under that decision and it appears that they are both still playing games with television viewers at home about what will happen in the future. The world would be just fine without either of them.

Keith Urban/Nicole Kidman Appear At 2011 CMA

Once again, Keith Urban and Nicole Kidman appeared on the 2011 CMA show. I like these two young people more each time I see them in public together. Both Kidman and Urban have had a checked past when it comes to the choice they made in life, but in recent years both of these superstars seem to be helping each other stay grounded and happy.

Keith Urban and Nicole Kidman are now parents and unlike some Hollywood and music types, they seem to be incorporating them into their professional lives - rather than leaving them with babysitters and ignoring them most of the time. It's refreshing each time I see Keith and Nicole. He seems to support her at Hollywood awards shows and she is always right there by his side during every country music show he appears in.

ND/A&M Final Two Teams - What A Great Year

It's been a long time since two teams who were not highly ranked did the impossible and traveled to the NCAA championship game in girls basketball. On Tuesday night, Texas A&M and Notre Dame will play in the final game of the 2011 season in Indianapolis and one of them will be crowned national champions.

Early Sunday night, the Texas A&M Lady Aggies defeated favorite Stanford to earn their ticket to college basketballs biggest game. Then later that same night, Notre Dame did what most people thought to be impossible by soundly beating UConn and earning their ticket as well. It's going to be a great game Tuesday night in Indy as Texas A&M and Notre Dame fight it out, but my best guess is that Texas A&M will be the team holding up that big trophy at the end of the game.

Sunday, April 03, 2011

Taylor Swift Wins Top Prize On 2011 CMA Show

I was surprised when Taylor Swift won the top prize (Entertainer of the Year) on Sunday night. I frankly thought that this would be the year Miranda Lambert would win it. It completely amazes me how many awards Lady Antebellum continues to win, simply because of that one huge hit song they released one year ago called "I Need You Now". While I did watch some of this year's CMA's, I did not watch it all because A&M was playing basketball on ESPN.

Other winners on the 2011 CMA Show were: Brad Paisley for male vocalist of the year, Sugarland for best duo and The Band Perry as the best new artist. It's always fun to watch country music award shows on television, because unlike their more contemporary counterparts - country artist at least try to act human when they win awards. Congratulation to Taylor Swift who is now the 2011 Entertainer of the Year winner.

Is Southwest Airlines Safe After Friday's Incident?

The metal fatigue that caused an emergency landing on a Southwest Airlines jet on Friday, may be present on other jets too. For people who fly for a living, the idea that Southwest Airlines jets may not be safe is of great concern. Of all the major airlines, I prefer Southwest simply because their flights usually take off and land on time and they do not nickle and dime their passengers with silly fees.

On Saturday and Sunday there were numerous canceled flights on Southwest Airlines as the carrier pulled almost 80 of their jets out of regular service. I hope there is a better plan in place come Monday, when tens of thousands of business travelers start showing up at airports around the country. Southwest Airlines is such a big players in the US marketplace, that a problem there will effect all the other airlines as well as folks try to rebook canceled flights.

A&M First National Championship Tuesday Night

Sunday, the Texas A&M Lady Aggies defeated the second number one seated team in as many games with a victory over Stanford. That victory has placed the A&M Lady Aggies in their first basketball national championship game in school history. The game Sunday night between A&M and Stanford was a come from behind victory by the Aggies who once again proved that great defense can and does lead to victories.

On Tuesday night, Texas A&M will play either UConn or Notre Dame for the 2011 NCAA National Championship and that should be a wonderful game. In the final game of the Dallas regional, the Texas A&M Lady Aggies defeated the Baylor Lady Bears who were the number one seat. Then on Sunday night they beat Stanford who was also a number one seat. I believe these Aggie girls will win it all.

Charlie Sheen Road Show Might Be Canceled

Last night, Charlie Sheen was not given a warm welcome from the people who paid to see him in Detroit. Tonight, some people are expecting the same type of reaction from folks in Chicago. I wonder if this whole Charlie Sheen road show was a bad idea? When people pay good money to watch someone like Sheen and then spend most of their time just booing him - it kind of makes me wonder, if the real reason they showed up was just to ridicule the guy?

Charlie Sheen needs mental health treatment, but no one in Hollywood really cares about that - if there is a buck to be made off of him. Apparently, many regular Americans feel the same way as they pay money to watch Charlie Sheen live and then just boo everything he does. Sometimes, people are hard to figure out.

SWA Canceled Flights Angry Passengers Stranded

Southwest Airlines (SWA) decided to cancel 300 flights on Sunday after one of its 737 (300) jets had a portion of it's metal skin peal back during a flight on Friday. As air leaked from the cabin, oxygen masks dropped and the pilot used an emergency procedure to lower the altitude of the jet to where passengers could breath on their own.

Thousands of SWA passengers are asking if Southwest Airlines' 737 (300) fleet is safe? It appears that SWA did the right thing in grounding those jets, but in doing so they have halted the travel plans of thousands of leisure and business travelers. Sunday is normally a very busy day for SWA - as business travelers board jets in preparation for Monday morning meetings.

GOP $4 Trillion In Spending Cuts Real?

Representative Paul Ryan went on the Sunday news talk shows and told the American people that the GOP proposed spending cuts will trim US deficits by $4 trillion over the next decade. Does anyone really believe that figure, except Washington politicians? Why is it, that no political party is willing to cut even a small amount of wasteful spending when they are in office, but instead keep kicking the big savings can down the road to when they are not?

In recent days, the GOP leadership in Congress has been unable to cut the current budget by even one half of what they promised voters in 2010. Why should anyone believe that they will cut even more money over the next 10 years? I do not believe the GOP wants to cut the federal budget any more than Democrats do. The only reason they are making this false promise to cut spending, is to try and pull the wool over our eyes once again when it comes to their out-of-control spending.

Southwest Plane Problems - 80 Jets Grounded

Is there something wrong with the 737 (300)? Apparently, Southwest Airlines thinks there might be - because they grounded 80 of them on Saturday. Late last week, on a flight from Phoenix to Sacramento a huge piece of one of those planes popped out of the top of the aircraft and caused an almost disaster to occur over Arizona.

Most experts claim that the problems with 737 (300) involve metal fatigue. From what I have been able to learn on the Internet - mental fatigue becomes worst each time a jet takes of and lands. Considering that the 737 is the primary workhorse of the Southwest fleet, the take offs and landings of that jet are much larger than on other long haul carriers.

Gabby Giffords Phone Calls Are Encouraging To Doctors

The congresswoman who was shot in the head a few months ago is making a miraculous recovery in a Houston hospital. Congresswoman Gabrielle (Gabby) Giffords has been recently talking on the telephone in short and long conversations to friends and family for several days now. This is wonderful news for the millions of Americans who have been praying that she would make a completely recovery.

Later this month, Gabby Giffords husband, astronaut Mark Kelly, will be the commander on the last US space shuttle flight. He and Gabby both hope she will be well enough, at that time, to visit the launch pad in Florida to watch him take that historic trip into space. To me, it's nothing less than a miracle that Gabby is still alive and doing so well today. I hope her recovery continues to progress well.

UConn/Butler Final Four Game Monday Night

The two teams who will play for the national championship in 2011 have been decided. One of those teams is the University of Connecticut (UConn) and the other is Butler. Since Butler is considered the underdog, I will be pulling for them. Most people thought that it would be Kansas winning the national championship this year, but they were all wrong.

Like has been the case before, the traditional wisdom going into the 2011 NCAA championship series fell flat on it's face as teams who were suppose to win early on - found themselves defeated. I believe most experts will predict a UConn victory, while most fans will go with Butler. Should be a great game and a good finish to this years basketball season.

Saturday, April 02, 2011

Charlie Sheen Booed In Detroit Live Show

It's not like it's a big surprise to anyone, but on Saturday night when Charlie Sheen opened up his nationwide live tour - his show ended with many people walking out and boos filling the auditorium. Sheen told one man who was heckling him, that he had already got his money.

I'm not sure if Charlie Sheen will receive a better reception in his other shows around the United States or not. Right now, Sheen is a spectacle - almost like a car wreck on the side of the road people cannot look away from. However, in time - people will grow tired of his exploits and he will be forced to deal with the fact that he has personally destroyed his professional life.

Judge Unhappy With Lawyers In Casey Anthony Case

Judge Belvin Perry is not happy with attorney's in the Casey Anthony case. Recently, the defense and prosecution were ignoring the instructions of Judge Perry so much that he has now told them both to either address the words they are speaking as an objection or they will be fined $100 each time they do not.

Only a little over one month to wait before Casey Anthony goes on trial for murder. Right now, the games between the prosecution and the defense are getting down right silly and it appears that Judge Perry has had his fill of both of them. Like many of you, I believe Casey will be found guilty of murder and that is why these silly lawyer games are not only upsetting Judge Perry - but many other followers of this case at home, as well.

Jalen Rose (ESPN) Benched Over DUI Arrest

It's never going to end well when a person fails to tell their employer about a DUI arrest. Jalen Rose was arrested for DUI in March and failed to let his boss (ESPN) know about it. However, in today's modern Internet age - no crime that serious is ever going to be kept private, so Rose made a mistake by not telling them about it. Now, during the "Final Four" of 2011 - Jalen Rose finds himself not on-the-air, but instead suspended for not reveling to his employer the details of his recent arrest.

I believe it's a touchy subject anytime an employee is arrested when it comes to notifying their employer about such an embarrassing event. I believe ESPN would have removed Rose from his position even if he came clean and told them what happened. That fact probably was in the mind of Rose when he choose to purposely not tell them about his DUI arrest in Detroit. Sadly, in today's society - telling the truth is not rewarded with any positive benefit other than the knowledge that you did the right thing. Jalen Rose is not suspended or fired at this time from ESPN. I'm not sure what is going to happen to him next.

Lizamoon Event Spyware Problem Grows Worse

There is yet another problem on the Internet. This new threat is called the "LizaMoon Event". Like many other spyware issues of the past, this one also deals with a pop up advertisement that encourages the user to buy software to protect their computer from this new problem. However, unlike real and legitimate software manufactures - the "LizaMoon Event" is nothing more than a sinister attempt to steal credit card numbers and personal identity from folks even though there is really no problem with their computer.

To make matters worse, if the consumer does purchase and download this software - their computer is then infected with spyware that will indeed harm it and compromise their personal security. The best practice, while antivirus and real protection spyware software companies work on a fix, is to never click on this pop up box. If it does appear on your computer, close your browser immediately and do not return to the site you previously visited. Hopefully, Norton, McAfee and Trend Micro will provide a solution to this new problem, soon.

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Nuclear Nightmare Continues In Japan - Radiation In Ocean Water

The problems at some Japanese nuclear power plants continue to get worse. It was just reported on Fox News that radiation has now been found in ocean water not far from one of these damaged plants. Sadly, there is little anyone can do about this tragedy right now - but one US cement company has been contracted to bring the largest cement mixer in the world to Japan.

It appears that the only hope still remaining for preventing even more damage and deaths is to bury these damaged reactors in thousands of tons of cement and hope that technology in the future will allow for a more permeate clean up. Already, dozens of Japanese nuclear workers have been standing tall and endangering their own lives daily in order to save their fellow citizens. I also read yesterday, the head-hunter employment agencies are now looking for US works to also travel to Japan and risk their own lives for an above average income.

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Turning $10 Into $50,000 If VCU Wins NCAA Title

It was reported this week, that one $10 bet which was accepted in Las Vegas at the beginning of this basketball season - could net the purchaser a $50,000 payout, if VCU wins the "Final Four" NCAA championship on Monday. Wow, can you even image holding that ticket - considering how well VCU has been playing this year? I'm sure the Las Vegas odds maker who took that bet is sweating this weekend out, just like the holder of the ticket will be.

You just can't make this stuff up. Months ago, it seem more likely that a giant asteroid would strike the Earth - then VCU winning the 2011 NCAA championship. However, oh how things can change in the world of sports. While I am not against gambling, I do worry that there is too much of it in college sports today. That said, if these kinds of legal bets on sports competition are ever made illegal - a black market bigger then during prohibition would swell to life and create another Al Capone type mobster.

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Congress At Stalemate Again Over Small Spending Cuts

If you thought the US Congress got the message from voters last November and would beginning cutting wasteful Washington spending, you were wrong. Like they have done every time before, politicians from both the Republican and Democratic parties are finding it impossible to get anything accomplished so gridlock continues to be the norm in our nations capitol. The GOP got on board with the "Tea Party" in 2010 and said all the right things to get themselves elected, but now they seem powerless to even persuade many of their own members to support modest cuts in our huge federal budget.

I don't know what it's going to take to stop all of this overspending by the US Congress. My biggest fear is that only a total bankruptcy of the United States government will force their hand and bring about some kind of sound financial policy. It's clear that both old and new Members of Congress are equally weak kneed when it comes to doing the right thing and neither party is really standing up for the majority of the American people who what them to get their financial house in order. It must be nice to own a money printing press and legally be able to print as much of it as is needed. It's completely outrageous the way politicians are acting right now.

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Scary Ride On Southwest Airlines Flight Friday

I have often worried about a decompression when flying commercially in the United States. Then today, something like that really happened on a Southwest Airlines flight. The flight was en route from Phoenix to Sacramento when a three to five foot hole blow out of the side of the plane. At the time of the accident, this jet airliner was flying at 500 MPH plus at an altitude of 36,000 feet.

Passengers told news reporters after landing that the hole seemed to appear out of nowhere, but the sound of rushing air was very loud. There were no passenger injuries, but a flight attendant for Southwest Airlines did bump his head after falling down. As the fresh air rushed from the aircraft, some passengers reported feeling light headed - but soon thereafter the oxygen masked dropped and within one minute the pilot took the jet from 36,000 feet down to a breathable 11,000 before landing in Yuma, Arizona.

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Friday, April 01, 2011

Mom Used Febreze To Remove Smell From Casey Anthony's Car

According to court records, Casey Anthony's mother (Cindy) used almost a full bottle of Febreze and still could not get that bad smell out of her car. If you remember, at first both Cindy and George said that it smelled like a dead body had been in Casey's car - but later they retracted that statement and said it smelled more like a rotting pizza.

That must have been one bad smelling pizza for it to take that much Febreze to get the smell out of the car. Of course, Cindy and George have been known to lie now that their daughter Casey Anthony is on trial for murdering her daughter. I think everyone knows that their first reaction was the right one and that terrible smell was of a decaying body and not an old rotten pizza.

Casey Anthony goes on trial for murdering her daughter Caylee in May.

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April Fools Jokes Are Funny But Get Old Fast

It's April Fools Day and people all over the world are having a little bit of fun at the expense of their friends and family. Like many of you, I enjoy telling a good joke from time to time, but on April Fools Day I am usually tired of them by the end of the workday. I think that April Fools Day should be changed to April Fools Half Day.

For me, all the fun has gone out of this day by lunch time. What is really irritating is when different people tell the same April Fools joke to people who have already heard it many times before. Even worse is being forced to listen to the same person telling the same April Fools joke each time someone new walks into the office.

I know this day is all about fun, but too much of anything is usually bad.

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Bronx Zoo Cobra Found Alive/Well Coiled In Dark Corner

The search is over for a baby Egyptian Cobra snake that went missing a few weeks ago at New York's Bronx Zoo. The popular "Reptile House" at the zoo has been close since this extremely deadly snake turned up missing. Sadly, the "Reptile House" will not open for business this weekend, but management at the zoo hopes to have that part back open for business during the second weekend in April.

Like many other people, I have never been a big fan of snakes. I don't mind looking at them behind a glass or in the movies and on television, but up close and personal with a snake of any kind is not my idea of fun. When I first heard about this missing snake at the Bronx Zoo, my mind instantly went back to a scary movie that was released several years ago about a bunch of snakes that were let loose on an airplane.

Thankfully this Bronx Zoo snake and everyone else there is now safe and sound.

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