Tuesday, December 30, 2008

TPIR: The Early Days

I got home late from work this morning because I finally found a good barber shop here (thanks, Leroy!). Over breakfast, I was watching The Price Is Right, a show I don't get to see much anymore, but I watched WAY too much of when I was a kid. Drew Carey seems to have settled into the host role.

I started thinking about when the show first started in the 1970s:

  • It was originally called "The NEW Price Is Right" for a number of years. I think the prior edition dates from before I was born.
  • It was originally half an hour long, and there was no Showcase Showdown.
  • The showcases were well under $10,000 in value.
  • Johnny Olsen was the announcer. It was he who made "A NEW CAR!" his signature line. Eventually, he appeared in many of the showcase skits.
  • Every other prize was a grandfather clock, or a fur coat from Zinman Furs of Camden, New Jersey.
  • The prices of the cars that were given away all began with 2 as the first digit . . . and there were only four digits.
  • Hardly anyone in the audience wore specially made T-shirts. (Is TPIR becoming the next Let's Make A Deal?)
  • Bob Barker didn't have gray hair . . . yet.
  • Bob Barker hadn't had any affairs with the lovely ladies on the set . . . yet.
  • There was a syndicated nighttime version with Dennis James as the host. I think more recently there was another attempt at a weeknight version (no, not Bob Barker's prime-time specials) with another host, but it didn't last long.
  • I could swear a mini-submarine was once one of the Showcase prizes, but whoever guessed the price didn't come close to it.
Take a look around YouTube for some great TPIR highlights. My favorite is the woman who just couldn't grasp the concept of the Ten Chances guessing game. Bob Barker's reaction afterward is priceless.

And help control the pet population . . . have your dog or cat spayed or neutered.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Baby? Check. Bathwater? Check.

Premarital Abstinence Pledges Ineffective, Study Finds

I have yet to find the actual study on which this article is based; if anyone finds it, please let me know.

I am soooo glad I'm not a teenager these days. When I was, no one was pressuring me to have sex (not that others weren't having it, nor that I didn't have opportunities), and I remained pure until my wedding night. The simple and unarguable fact is that abstinence works every time it's tried.

The proper question is not why abstinence is "ineffective," but why it's not being tried. I think the answer lies in this quote from the anti-abstinence faction:

"There's been a lot of work that has found that teenagers who take part in abstinence-only education have more negative views about condoms," she said. "They tend not to give accurate information about condoms and birth control."
Might the fact that condoms have up to a 14% failure rate have something to do with that "negative view"? Would you fly in a commercial airliner that had a 14% chance of crashing? But I think there's an easier answer.

Abstinence doesn't sell. Sex, and condoms, do. Follow the money. To me, there are many vested interests in kids having sex, not to mention the fact that the media rams it down their collective throats. And, way too sadly, often their own parents expect and encourage it. How much support do kids who make these pledges get from anyone, especially in the school system? (I would hope they'd get it from their churches, but maybe THAT doesn't even happen!)

One other thing: In this day and age of "childhood obesity," what if kids were taking pledges to become more physically active, but weren't doing so? Would we see a study or a headline saying, "Exercise Pledges Ineffective, Study Finds"? I doubt it.

UPDATE: Nice dissection of this study by William McGurn in the WSJ.

I Will Not Submit

Bill Kristol tells me what I already know:

The assault on Prop 8 supporters has been extraordinary in its mean-spiritedness and extremism--but the left knows what it's doing. The purpose has been to intimidate people with an opposing point of view from defending their position. To be against same-sex marriage, even against the judicial imposition of same-sex marriage, is to be a bigot. [...] Making that charge is at the heart of the agenda of the gay lobby. They don't want to debate same-sex marriage. They want to demonize its opponents.

I guess I can count it a privilege that I've already been demonized. That's okay; I can handle it, and it's not changing my stance one bit.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Really, We Used To Sing This At Mass - I

To be alive and feelin' free
And to have everyone in our family
To be alive -- in every way
Oh! How great it is to be alive.


(a Great Amen)

A-a-a-a-men, a-a-a-men, a-a-men

We come to join in your banquet of love

Let it open our hearts

And break down the fears

That keep us form loving each other

May this meal truly join us as one.

I hope I can find some more. Having my old Peoples Mass Book would help.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Quote of the day

From my brother, although he may have gotten it from somewhere else:

2/3 of the earth is covered by water.
The rest is covered by Ed Reed.

Take that!

I don't condone the motive, but I do enthusiastically applaud the effect of what these kids are doing; they're showing how speed cameras are for revenue first and safety/law enforcement somewhere down near 67th. After all, when would the police or the county reach that conclusion on their own? Furthermore, how can the county legitimately claim it's even your car anymore?

Local teens claim pranks on county's speed cams

As a prank, students from local high schools have been taking advantage of the county's Speed Camera Program in order to exact revenge on people who they believe have wronged them in the past, including other students and even teachers.

Students from Richard Montgomery High School dubbed the prank the Speed Camera "Pimping" game, according to a parent of a student enrolled at one of the high schools.

Originating from Wootton High School, the parent said, students duplicate the license plates by printing plate numbers on glossy photo paper, using fonts from certain websites that "mimic" those on Maryland license plates. They tape the duplicate plate over the existing plate on the back of their car and purposefully speed through a speed camera, the parent said. The victim then receives a citation in the mail days later.

Students are even obtaining vehicles from their friends that are similar or identical to the make and model of the car owned by the targeted victim, according to the parent.

"This game is very disturbing," the parent said. "Especially since unsuspecting parents will also be victimized through receipt of unwarranted photo speed tickets."

The parent said that "our civil rights are exploited," and the entire premise behind the Speed Camera Program is called into question as a result of the growing this fad among students.

The prosecution rests.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Update - Blob's Park

I blogged back here that Blob's Park, the German dance hall between Baltimore and Washington, was closing. But it's still open! From a friend on Facebook:

Apparently there was a big family argument - some wanted to sell, others did not. Max, one of Miss Katherine's sons, somehow managed to buy the others out. He is in the process of renovating the place - updating the entire kitchen, the bathrooms, etc...nothing had been done in the hall for many, many years. So, the doors to Blob's either are opened now, or will be soon. In fact, my sister, Sue, is now one of the kitchen managers!
Good news indeed.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

The Roethlisberger Rule

Here's the least-known rule in the NFL:

If the Pittsburgh Steelers do not put the ball across the plane of the goal line, it is a touchdown anyway.


Page 776 of the rules digest in the NFL fact book reads: "A player with the ball in his possession scores a touchdown when the ball is on, above or over the goal line." --AP

(I must admit Pittsburgh's final drive was impressive, and the Ravens' pass defense was inexplicably absent while it occurred. I give Pittsburgh credit. Still, it's frustrating to lead for 59 minutes of the game, only to lose in the 60th because of a blown call.)

At least lowly Cincinnati put the Deadskins out of their misery. Yay.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Merry Something-Or-Other

If I wanted to, I could raise a ruckus about the annual "war on Christmas" in the secular world, and there are plenty of people commenting about that.

But what happens when such a war extends to . . . the Christian churches? Read it and weep:

Politically correct Christmas carols censor 'king', 'son' and 'virgin'

I didn't excerpt anything because I'd probably have to just reproduce the whole article. (HT: Fr. Z.)

Although the following isn't a carol usually sung in churches, this appears to be the direction in which this political correctness is headed (authorship lost to the Internet):

On the 12th day of the Eurocentrically imposed midwinter festival, my Significant Other in a consenting adult, monogamous relationship gave to me:

TWELVE males reclaiming their inner warrior through ritual drumming,

ELEVEN pipers piping (plus the 18-member pit orchestra made up of members in good standing of the Musicians Equity Union as called for in their union contract even though they will not be asked to play a note),

TEN melanin deprived testosterone-poisoned scions of the patriarchal ruling class system leaping,

NINE persons engaged in rhythmic self-expression,

EIGHT economically disadvantaged female persons stealing milk-products from enslaved Bovine-Americans,

SEVEN endangered swans swimming on federally protected wetlands,

SIX enslaved Fowl-Americans producing stolen non-human animal products,

FIVE golden symbols of culturally sanctioned enforced domestic incarceration,

(NOTE after members of the Animal Liberation Front threatened to throw red paint at my computer, the calling birds, French hens and partridge have been reintroduced to their native habitat. To avoid further Animal-American enslavement, the remaining gift package has been revised.)

FOUR hours of recorded whale songs

THREE deconstructionist poets

TWO Sierra Club calendars printed on recycled processed tree carcasses

AND a Spotted Owl activist chained to an old-growth pear tree.
As Glenn Beck puts it, have a RamaHanuKwanzMas.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Gone with the Wind

I've found that people on the West Coast are glad that they don't have to deal with hurricanes, never mind that we have days of warning about them. Earthquakes worry me because they give no warning at all.

So I figure this will give some folks out here a taste of what hurricane weather is like:

1030 PM PST THU DEC 11 2008



I was thinking of driving to Sacramento tomorrow night. Maybe I'd better not.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Fr. Hulk

Thanks, Adoro, for turning me on to Fr. Hulk. If I were a priest, I think this is what I'd be like. His fairly new blog is worth perusing for some common sense.

I especially like his post, "Touchdown!" This is something that I used to be an unwitting part of, the holding hands at the Our Father and the "signaling of a touchdown" at the "For the kingdom . . ." He explains (his emphasis, my comment in red):

The priest's gestures (particularly the Orans position, with arms extended and palms upward) are not intended for you - at all. The priest opens and closes his hands in prayer to God invoking the Holy Spirit on those gathered. He isn't waving hello, so there is no need to wave back.
The only think I don't like about Fr. Hulk's blog is that he doesn't allow comments.

Oh, zoinks, I've done it now! Run! (Yeah, that Hulk.)

UPDATE: Thanks to some litigious readers, his blog is now known as Fr. Cranky.

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Games for the Idle

A meme that I gacked from Adoro Te Devote.

It's simple: just bold anything you've ever done in this list. My comments need not be included.

1. Started your own blog (goes without saying)
2. Slept under the stars
3. Played in a band
4. Visited Hawaii
5. Watched a meteor shower
6. Given more than you can afford to charity
7. Been to Disneyland (DisneyWorld)
8. Climbed a mountain
9. Held a praying mantis
10. Sang a solo
11. Bungee jumped
12. Visited Paris (when I was 7)
13. Watched a lightning storm at sea
14. Taught yourself an art from scratch
15. Adopted a child
16. Had food poisoning
17. Walked to the top of the Statue of Liberty
18. Grown your own vegetables
19. Seen the Mona Lisa in France
20. Slept on an overnight train
21. Had a pillow fight
22. Hitch hiked
23. Taken a sick day when you’re not ill
24. Built a snow fort
25. Held a lamb
26. Gone skinny dipping (not that I'm proud of it)
27. Run a marathon
28. Ridden in a gondola in Venice
29. Seen a total eclipse (of the moon)
30. Watched a sunrise or sunset
31. Hit a home run

32. Been on a cruise
33. Seen Niagara Falls in person
34. Visited the birthplace of your ancestors
35. Seen an Amish community
36. Taught yourself a new language
37. Had enough money to be truly satisfied (in general)
38. Seen the Leaning Tower of Pisa in person
39. Gone rock climbing
40. Seen Michelangelo's David
41. Sung karaoke
42. Seen Old Faithful geyser erupt
43. Bought a stranger a meal at a restaurant
44. Visited Africa
45. Walked on a beach by moonlight
46. Been transported in an ambulance
47. Had your portrait painted (Caricature, actually. Does that count?)
48. Gone deep sea fishing
49. Seen the Sistine Chapel in person
50. Been to the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris (Not quite. First level, I think.)
51. Gone scuba diving or snorkeling (I live to snorkel!)
52. Kissed in the rain

53. Played in the mud
54. Gone to a drive-in theater
55. Been in a movie
56. Visited the Great Wall of China
57. Started a business
58. Taken a martial arts class
59. Visited Russia
60. Served at a soup kitchen
61. Sold Girl Scout cookies
62. Gone whale watching
63. Got flowers for no reason
64. Donated blood, platelets or plasma
65. Gone sky diving
66. Visited a Nazi Concentration Camp
67. Bounced a check
68. Flown in a helicopter
69. Saved a favorite childhood toy
70. Visited the Lincoln Memorial
71. Eaten caviar (Eeeewwwwww.)
72. Pieced a quilt
73. Stood in Times Square
74. Toured the Everglades (but not all of them)
75. Been fired from a job
76. Seen the Changing of the Guards in London
77. Broken a bone
78. Been on a speeding motorcycle
79. Seen the Grand Canyon in person (From Humphreys Peak)
80. Published a book
81. Visited the Vatican
82. Bought a brand new car
83. Walked in Jerusalem
84. Had your picture in the newspaper
85. Read the entire Bible (I think I missed Obadiah)
86. Visited the White House (Been past it many times, but never in it)
87. Killed and prepared an animal for eating
88. Had chickenpox
89. Saved someone’s life

90. Sat on a jury
91. Met someone famous
92. Joined a book club
93. Lost a loved one
94. Had a baby
95. Seen the Alamo in person
96. Swam in the Great Salt Lake
97. Been involved in a lawsuit
98. Owned a cell phone

99. Been stung by a bee
100. Read an entire book in one day