Friday, November 16, 2007

The Old Lefthander Heads for Home

As we get older, we find ourselves doing things we never thought we would - like glorifying moments of our youth.

But I couldn't help falling into that trap today when I went to the Cincinnati Inquirer website to find information about Wabash College's football opponent this weekend. And, there it was. Joe Nuxall, the 'ol lefthander', had died.

I'm not much of a baseball fan anymore. I guess all of the labor strife did me in back in the early 90s. And since moving away from Southern Indiana after college and into Central Indiana, there have been other diversions.

But as a kid I wanted to be a broadcaster and Marty Brennaman was my hero. He took over Reds' broadcasting chores in 1971 from Al Michaels. And of course, Joe Nuxall was at his side. He was a part of my youth. I spent many, many nights with a radio to my ear, sitting the living room watching TV. Or, I'd be up late lying in bed with the radio tuned to WLW 700.

I got an extraordinary opportunity in 1975. I was a senior at Northern Kentucky University and our radio-television instructor was a television producer for WLW. He arranged for me to sit in the booth with Marty and Joe. I don't have a lot of memories of that experience - other than awe. I remember Marty coming down to escort me up the elevator and offering some broadcasting advice. Nuxall left the booth when he wasn't calling the game.

I wish I had the two autograph a baseball. I'd treasure that. I didn't. But both of their signature calls resonate still today in my memory.

When the Reds win a ballgame, Brennaman gives his signature: "And this one belongs to the Reds!"

Nuxall would sign off his postgame show with: "This is the old lefthander rounding third and heading for home."


PS: The photo appeared in today's edition of the Cincinnati Inquirer

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Got your $20,000 check for Bush ready?

I'm an optimist by nature. Really! I think our government, and most politicians, stink - but I've always thought it could be fixed. I'm coming to the conclusion that I was niave or underestimated the ability of one 8-year administration to wreck America.

The Iraq mess is costing America it's future. My future. Your future. Your children's future. It's real and people just don't seemm to get it. This story will get a lot of play in the news today, so take a few seconds to read it. If it doesn't get a lot of play, it should.

Essentially, George Bush's war has now cost each American family $20,000. Think about that my Republican (fiscal conservative) friends.

I look at what's happening to the market and my retirement funds and it's scary.

The cost of this senseless war and our dependancy on foreign oil has got to end. I've shared this thought with friends on many occasions. And, I have perhaps, written about it here.

But why don't we have a Manhattan Project in this country - again? You'll recall the Manhattan Project brought together our greatest scientists to develop the atomic bomb.

Why not form a government commission and spend some money wisely. Fund the necessary research, hire the best engineers and scientists and lets develop an automobile that runs on anything other than oil/gasoline.

As any good ol southern Indiana redneck would say, "If we can send a man to the moon why can't we build car that will do 70 mph on a fuel cell?"

Well, that redneck might not put it quite that way - but I do!

Thursday, October 25, 2007

What a beautiful site!

I've worked at Wabash three years now but never cease to be amazed by the new discoveries. Sometimes those discoveries come in contact with faculty, staff, and often students. And, sometimes the discovery is right before my eyes on campus.

I was walking across campus through our beautiful Arboretum when I noticed the setting sun (this was about 6:40 p.m.) skimming across the top of the trees. It gave each tree, and particularly the ones with changing leaves, a bright flame of color. I'm not sure if this picture does it justice, but it was stunningly beautiful.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

It just gets scarier and scarier!

Scary things coming out of Washington D.C. - and I'm not talking about Dick Cheney's Halloween mask.

There is another story today about the administration editing comments from the Center for Disease Control about the impact of global warming on illnesses and our health.

Again, it's classic Bushy policy - change, edit, delete, hide anything that doesn't line up with their political agenda.

And this story isn't by, or some left-wing blogger (ok, like me) - its from the Associated Press and Senate testimony.
Read for yourself and be outraged!

Monday, October 22, 2007

Cheney - At it again!

I keep seeing this video clip of Dick Cheney speaking last week and saying: "We will not allow Iran to have a nuclear weapon."

This is like a bad dream or the movie Groundhog Day - except Bill Murray is funny. Dick Cheney is just a looney old man. The things the Veep were saying were almost identical to the lies, half truths, and bad information leading up to Iraq.

If Cheney has his way, our country will be tied up in the Middle East not for years but decades!

Two thoughts I'll share.

First, these nuts are going to absolutely bankrupt our country. We can't afford these incredible efforts in the middle east. It's billion of dollars. Chris Matthews (Hardball) is on TV as I write this. I hear out of my ear him saying that Cheney is again laying out "the worst case scenario," and not reality.

Finally, here is my platform for president and I wish some candidate Republican or Democrat would take it up. Why not have another Manhatten Project. Bring together the very brightest and best scientists our country has to design an automobile engine that runs on something other than gasoline. I'll even revert to the good ol' boy in the morning diner who says, "If we can send a man to the moon ..... " Well, you get it.

We eliminate our dependancy on foreign oil, we bring out troops home. We don't get involved in other country's politics, civil wars, and unrest.

Is it too late to impeach Cheney. He's a very dangerous man.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Nice when others notice your work - I think!

A part of my job as director of New Media at Wabash College is to keep an eye across our site every day. It's not that easy when you consider we have 5 major landing pages and literally thousands of pages inside those portals.

So imagine my surprise today when our Alumni Director Tom Runge wrote a bit on me! Very nice of a real nice guy!

You can see it here.

PS: I love the pic!

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Wow -- that's a great inexpensive red wine!

I havent' been keeping up with the wines I've been drinking ... at least as far as blogging about them. Tonight I drank one of the best value reds I've had in a long, long time.

The wine is a Casillero del Diablo Carmenere 2005. Wow! This is a wine you can find in lots of wine stores under $15 bucks, or less ... that was a Wine Spectator 2006 "Best Buy" and has won a number of awards.

They advertise it with bottle neck tabs as the smooth, rich flavor of Merlot and the spicy flavor of Syrah. And - surprisingly - they are right!

Wine Spectator said: "Nice supple texture, with a mix of plum, cocoa, tobacco and vanilla. The smoky finish gains flesh as it opens. Drink now." I can't argue. My comment would be the smooth flavor of a big red wine without the price!

The winery also has the craziest website I've ever seen. And you might guess, I've seen a few. It's the only one I've ever seen with a built in video game!

Amd read about the winery's long history here:

They have a full line of wines from Cabernet Sauvignon to Reisling and Rose. I'm anxious to try the others. I've read about Casillero before with generally rave reviews of this Chilean winery!

Here is another site to read more about Casillero Del Diablo:

This is a great buy and a GREAT value wine! I found it at Village Bottle Shop in West Lafayette. But is is widely distributed. My previous experience with Carmenere was not a positive one. Now, I'm sold on the varietal.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Remembering 911 - and Understanding Why

I haven't posted in awhile, but seems like 9-11-07 is a good day to get back in swing of things. I remember 9-11 ... 01 ... like everyone else, in detail. I was in a newsroom in Noblesville, Ind., and noted to the boss some plane had flown into the World Trade Center. We all speculated it was a small aircraft.

You know the rest of the story.

We moved from that day and published stories related to 9-11 for more than 70 consecutive days. It was an interesting journalistic challenge and experience.

My time at Wabash College has really given me a different perspective on 9-11. It was a horrific event that could have been prevented. I don't believe for one second anyone in our government had put all the pieces together - but that's the problem. The "intelligence community" - an oxymoron if I've ever heard one - had all the pieces but was as dysfunctional as ever.

During my time at Wabash I've had the fortune to hear 3-4 very prominent experts on the Muslim world. When I read in news accounts, blogs, "they hate us and our way of life" I cringe.

Muslim people by and large, minus a few real whackos, do not hate us and our way of life. They hate our government and out bully attitude toward the rest of the world. We make no attempt to understand the Middle East and its people and assume we know what's best. If you think that's just left-wing babble, I challenge you to ask your Congressman to offer up an explanation of the difference between Sunni and Shite.

Good luck.

An update: I'm dieting, my doggy got neutered, I bought a new car!

Thursday, August 16, 2007

More Hoosier Common Sense

I just stumbled across this presidential quote - another example of Hoosier common sense:

"We Americans have no commission from God to police the world." - Benjamin Harrison

It's now been 1,567 days since W's declaration of "mission accomplished. US soldiers killed since "mission accomplished" declared: 3561

Friday, August 10, 2007

And why are kids fat?

At the risk of being called a hypocrite, being a guy who could lose 20 pounds - I think I found the MOST outrageous sign in the local grocery just the other day.

Next time you drive by an elementary school, or attend a school function - count the fat kids. There really is an epidemic spreading (literally) all across this country.

I innocently wandered down the frozen food aisle and noticed a big display near its end. When I got within visual range I saw it. Bags and bags and bags of candy! But the sign is what floored me:

"Get your Back-to-School Candy Now."

Friday, August 3, 2007

This is just insane - Impeach Bush

I just read this morning that the 93rd Hoosier was killed in Iraq.

Yesterday's news was that the Sunni block pulled out of the U.S.-backed Iraqi government.

There can only be two people in this country who think this is going to end well - Bush and Cheney.

They've never understood basic world history. Sunni and Shite factions have been at odds - violently so - for 1,000 years.

Every day there is news out of Washington showing the administration's arrogance. The stonewalling, failure to admit a mistake, and acts against the Constitution are unprecedented.

And, it's sad!

Sunday, July 22, 2007

A Great Summer Rose

I've been off work for a week and had a couple of experiences I should have written about, but alas - it happens.

Second, I've had a number of people tell me the link for this blog didn't work when they first tried it - so I guess I need to 'modestly' re-send it to friends and co-workers!

But I'm writing today - again - about wine. I've bought several dry Rose' this summer and none better than one I picked up Thursday evening at the Massachusetts' Avenue wine shop in Indy.

It's an absolutely fabulous granache-based Spanish Rose. From Cruz De Piedra and Calatayud. I couldn't find a web page for the winery but did find several hits to buy the stuff.

I had purchased two Tavels (the holy grail of Rose from the lower Rhone valley in France) a few weeks ago that were so-so. This wine had a nice fruit taste but retained the characteristic dry finish. The back side had no bitterness, it was a great, great summer evening wine. I had chilled it pretty good - which I'd recommend.
The best part? I only paid $9.99 for it. The Tavels, as I recall, were $16 and $18 each.

If you haven't tried Spanish wines you should try some Crianza Temperanilla from the Roija region. It's great redwine that will hold up to steaks or drink alone year round.

But the best summer evening chilled wine of the summer is Crus De Piedra Granache 2006 Rose!

Monday, July 9, 2007

Cool Job When Boss Goes Out of the Way

In my prior blogging effort more than a year ago and from time to time in our Wabash blog, I write about my job. There are many cool things about working at Wabash College.

Last week I traveled to the Fort Wayne area where I interviewed three students doing very different types of summer jobs. I wrote about that in our Wabash FYI Blog.

Today was a bit of a typical day on campus with just desk work to complete. But in another way it was atypical. A 1973 graduate, Wayne Hoover, was cycling through Crawfordsville to honor a deceased friend. You can read about that on the Wabash homepage.

Today was also the annual admissions' canoe trip. The admissions staff invite incoming freshmen to campus for a canoe trip down Sugar Creek, lunch, and a chance to get to know their new classmates.

The cool thing is there was our CEO - President Patrick White at the college chapel at 8:15 a.m. to greet the cyclist, and then he was present again in the blazing sun to share lunch with the 18 year olds experiencing their new college.
You can call it kissing up if you like - but I think that's pretty cool!

Monday, July 2, 2007

A couple of weekend Pinots

There is nothing like a nice Pinot Noir. My two trips to California in the past 12 months really heightened my appreciation for Pinot. I tasted some great ones, and brought back some crazy good Pinot from Gary Farrell, Arista, and Robert Stemler.

What's tough is finding a good cheap Pinot for a Tuesday evening on the front porch. I had two this weekend to mixed reviews. Saturday evening I opened a bottle of Toasted Head Pinot Noir I bought in a new wine shop on upper Main St. in Lafayette. Toasted Head is probably most famous for its ownership. The winery is owned by comedian Robin Williams' brother. The wine was actually one of the best Pinots I've ever had for under $15. I paid $14.95. It had a nice nose, a good Pinot flavor and balance.

Unfortunately the Sunday night Pinot was not nearly as good. Red Bicyclette is a French company shipping thousands of cases of value wine to the USA. Perhaps you've seen the label in your local grocery store. There was nothing wrong with wine but predictably nothing right with it either. It had little flavor, almost a water-down quality. The label is showing up everywhere so I'll probably give another of their varietals a try - but the Pinot is not worthy of even supermarket prices.

Friday, June 29, 2007

Fun Summer Wine

Wine is a hobby - no, not just drinking it. But I love learning about it and sharing with others. So, one of the big reasons I started blogging again was to write about wine.

It's hard to find fun summer wines better than the supermarket undrinkable swill. But instead of the standard white, try a Rose' - make that a dry Rose.'

When most people see pink wine they recoil and expect a big glass of Kool-Aid. But the history and tradition of great dry pink wine is substantial. The motherland of great dry Rose is the Tavel region of France.

The southern Rhone region is famous for its dry Rose wines. If you go into a decent wine shop and find the French wines, there is a good chance you'll seem some Tavel during the summer months. The good ones are usually dry to even quite dry. Often there is a strong hint of strawberry to the taste. They're wonderful.

There are dry Rose's being made everywhere from many different grapes. In France, Cabernet Sauvignon and Grenache are often used for Rose, syrah has been used to make Rose. A bit sweeter versions have been made from Pinot Noir grapes. They're all over the place.

One of the things I enjoy about my wine hobby is trying new things. So the other day I bought a dry Rose from South Africa. It's called Bon Bon in a floral label. I bought it in a wine shop on Massachussets Ave. in Indianapolis. I had never purchased a South Africa wine before.

The wine wasn't bad for an $11 bottle. It had the hint of Strawberry/cherry typical to the wine. It was dry enough for me. It did improve a little after opening up (being open awhile for the novices). It didn't have as robust a flavor as I would like, but not bad for the price point.

Try a dry Rose this summer. They are a great value. Even great French Tavel's sell for $18-$25 bucks. You can often find others even cheaper. They're great with cheese or fruit for snacking and not overly sweet like some Pinot Grigio or a Reisling!

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Despair can be fun!

If you like fun, sarcastic, twisted humor - and who doesn't - this site is for you. has calendars, t-shirts and all sort of products to put a twisted smile on your face. It's brilliantly wicked stuff!

I'm not a total left-wing nut case.

Just to defuse those of you who know/think I'm left of Ted Kennedy - common sense in the news today from a Republican. That much-admired GOP Senator said "Bush's Iraq policy is clearly not working." He also called for a reduction in troops and a new direction.

How darn refreshing. Of course, for a liberal anti-Bush, rhetoric spewing idealogue, I'm also a good Hoosier.

That Republican was Indiana's Richard Lugar. Read the story from -- here.

Monday, June 25, 2007

Dick Cheney is a very, very dangerous man!

My first entry and it's about Dick Cheney. That really wasn't part of my plan to resume blogging. But I wanted a venue to vent, rant, and ruminate. I'll write about wine, Wabash, travel, and one of my favorite topics - politics. Tell your friends!

Cheney has been back in news for his behind-the-scenes dealings with government agencies - primarily over compliance with an Executive Order required disclosure of how the government handles top secret issues. That's an over simplification, but you get the point. Nothing new about Cheney and secrecy - remember his on-going refusal to talk about his energy advisors? The list for the former Haliburton chief is endless!

This all got started thanks to a Washington Post year-long investigation looked behind the scenes of how Cheney worked to expand presidential powers, and specifically how they re-wrote laws circumventing their own administration - particularly Colin Powell, so Afghan and Iraqi prisoners had no rights. Forget the Geneva Convention, Powell was portrayed as "quaint" before he had the chance to use the long-accepted Geneva convention to prevent the mess at Guantanamo Bay mess.

Go to the Washington Post or site and read the series of articles. It's startling. It's also an incredible example of good journalism. Those who predict the demise of newspaper due to electronic media, bloggers or whatever, should read this kind of reporting. It's great, great work.

For the past six years I was convinced Cheney would step down in final two years or final year so Bush could hand-pick a successor and potentially give someone a leg up for 2008. I'd have bet money. But the current group of 10 middle age or older white men running for the GOP nomination loathe Bush adequately (in private), even that conspiracy theory no longer holds water.

Well - this qualifies as a rant! But I feel better now.