Tuesday, December 30, 2008


Tonight the University of Oregon Ducks beat the Oklahoma State Cowboys 42 to 31 in the San Diego Holiday Bowl. My blow-up Duck is now 3 and 0. I first put him up on our deck last year for the Michigan game in Ann Arbor. This year, I put him out for the Oregon State game and tonight for the Holiday Bowl. Oregon won all three games... thus he is 3 and 0. Before the game tonight our son decorated up our "movie room" for the game with Oregon Duck green and yellow and we had a very festive "tailgate" party during the game with lots of good food. We were a little worried in the first half when the Duck fell behind in the game 7 to 17. In the second half the Ducks scored 35 points as they wore Oklahoma State down. The second half was a lot more fun! After the game our daughter called from Washington DC where she was watching the game so we could all celebrate together. What a fun night.... but as we always say "they never do it easy!" What a great 10 win season. This season we beat the Oregon State Beavers, the Washington Huskies and won a bowl game. They finished 2nd in the Pac-10. Not bad! Congratulations to the entire team and coaches.. Go Ducks!

How long to the Spring game?


The University of Oregon Ducks vs Oklahoma State Cowboys in the Holiday Bowl in San Diego, California at 5 PM PST today on ESPN TV. Go Ducks !

Oregon, our alma mater
We will guard thee on and on
Fellows gather 'round and cheer her
Chant her glory, Oregon
Roar the praises of her warriors
Sing the story Oregon
On to victory urge the heroes
Of our Mighty Oregon !


Monday, December 29, 2008

Christmas is Over

This morning I took our daughter to the airport here in Medford so she can fly back to Washington DC for her job. Our son will stay for another two weeks before he has to fly back to Kentucky for school. The four of us had a good Christmas with a lot of family time at home watching DVD movies and playing scrabble. We did get out yesterday to the newly rebuilt Callahan's Lodge up on Mt Ashland for a Sunday lunch.There was a lot of snow and the fireplace felt good. We spent Saturday shopping in Ashland and had lunch at Standing Stone. On Friday our daughter got to get together for lunch with some of her old high school friends. Before Christmas we went out to Jacksonville for dinner at the Bella Union. We had planned on going out to some movies but found better movies at home in my "movie room". (blu ray of "Mamma Mia", "Patton", "How The West Was Won" and some Netflix movies followed by "Sleepless in Seattle") We watched part of the Emerald Bowl from San Francisco and ate a ton of food at home. In many ways this was the most relaxing Christmas I have ever enjoyed. The weather was terrible with rain and snow but it did not prevent us from two trips to Donut Country for a "healthy" breakfast two Saturdays in a row. Our kids, between them, have lived a lot of places since leaving home for college and then on to jobs but they tell us they have not found any place that has donuts as good as Donut Country right here in Medford. I thing our son and I will make it again next Saturday!

Of course the fun is not over. The Ducks play in the Holiday Bowl on Tuesday and our son and I have plans to see "Valkyrie" at Tinseltown early New Years Eve followed by our tradition of takeout Chinese food for New Years Eve and a game of Trivial Pursuits by the fireplace. New Years day is college football heaven in Bowl Games and then the following week are two South Medford home basketball games. Oh, we will take down the Christmas decorations and outside lights on Saturday after New Years.

Following all of that is the NFL playoffs and the Super Bowl. I always like to stretch "The Holidays" all the way to Super Sunday.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Best Christmas Present

Blu-ray DVD of the Movie "The Searchers"(1956) staring John Wayne and Directed by JOHN FORD.

Unless you saw the movie on the big screen in 1956 in VISTAVISION you have not seen it unless you watch it in high definition Blu-ray. It was filmed in Monument Valley and it looks great. I originally saw the movie with may parents in the 1950's from the back seat at a drive in movie theater.. Since then I have watched it on broadcast and cable TV. I own the VHS Tape of the movie as well as the DVD. I also own the special restored version of the movie on DVD but nothing matches the picture and sound of the Blu-ray high definition DVD.It was as John Ford wanted us to view it.

From IMDB:
A favorite film of some of the world's greatest filmmakers, including Martin Scorsese and Steven Spielberg, John Ford's The Searchers has earned its place in the legacy of great American films for a variety of reasons. Perhaps most notably, it's the definitive role for John Wayne as an icon of the classic Western--the hero (or antihero) who must stand alone according to the unwritten code of the West. The story takes place in Texas in 1868; Wayne plays Ethan Edwards, a Confederate veteran who visits his brother and sister-in-law at their ranch and is horrified when they are killed by marauding Comanches. Ethan's search for a surviving niece (played by young Natalie Wood) becomes an all-consuming obsession. With the help of a family friend (Jeffrey Hunter) who is himself part Cherokee, Ethan hits the trail on a five-year quest for revenge. At the peak of his masterful talent, director Ford crafts this classic tale as an embittered examination of racism and blind hatred, provoking Wayne to give one of the best performances of his career. As with many of Ford's classic Westerns, The Searchers must contend with revisionism in its stereotypical treatment of "savage" Native Americans, and the film's visual beauty (the final shot is one of the great images in all of Western culture) is compromised by some uneven performances and stilted dialogue. Still, this is undeniably one of the greatest Westerns ever made. --Jeff Shannon

For more information click on the title for a link to the IMDB

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Christmas 2008

The following is a poem I received this morning by email from a friend:
The embers glowed softly, and in their dim light,
I gazed round the room and I cherished the sight.
My wife was asleep, her head on my chest,
My daughter beside me, angelic in rest.
Outside the snow fell, a blanket of white,
Transforming the yard to a winter delight.

The sparkling lights in the tree I believe,
Completed the magic that was Christmas Eve.
My eyelids were heavy, my breathing was deep,
Secure and surrounded by love I would sleep.
In perfect contentment, or so it would seem,
So I slumbered, perhaps I started to dream.

The sound wasn't loud, and it wasn't too near,
But I opened my eyes when it tickled my ear.
Perhaps just a cough, I didn't quite know, Then the
sure sound of footsteps outside in the snow.
My soul gave a tremble, I struggled to hear,
And I crept to the door just to see who was near.

Standing out in the cold and the dark of the night,
A lone figure stood, his face weary and tight.
A soldier, I puzzled, some twenty years old,
Perhaps a Marine, huddled here in the cold.
Alone in the dark, he looked up and smiled,
Standing watch over me, and my wife and my child.

"What are you doing?" I asked without fear,
"Come in this moment, it's freezing out here!
Put down your pack, brush the snow from your sleeve,
You should be at home on a cold Christmas Eve!"
For barely a moment I saw his eyes shift,
Away from the cold and the snow blown in drifts..

To the window that danced with a warm fire's light
Then he sighed and he said "Its really all right,
I'm out here by choice. I'm here every night."
"It's my duty to stand at the front of the line,
That separates you from the darkest of times.

No one had to ask or beg or implore me,
I'm proud to stand here like my fathers before me.
My Gramps died at ' Pearl on a day in December,"
Then he sighed, "That's a Christmas 'Gram always remembers."
My dad stood his watch in the jungles of ' Nam ',
And now it is my turn and so, here I am.

I've not seen my own son in more than a while,
But my wife sends me pictures, he's sure got her smile.
Then he bent and he carefully pulled from his bag,
The red, white, and blue... an American flag.
I can live through the cold and the being alone,
Away from my family, my house and my home.

I can stand at my post through the rain and the sleet,
I can sleep in a foxhole with little to eat.
I can carry the weight of killing another,
Or lay down my life with my sister and brother..
Who stand at the front against any and all,
To ensure for all time that this flag will not fall."

" So go back inside," he said, "harbor no fright,
Your family is waiting and I'll be all right."
"But isn't there something I can do, at the least,
"Give you money," I asked, "or prepare you a feast?
It seems all too little for all that you've done,
For being away from your wife and your son."

Then his eye welled a tear that held no regret,
"Just tell us you love us, and never forget.
To fight for our rights back at home while we're gone,
To stand your own watch, no matter how long.
For when we come home, either standing or dead,
To know you remember we fought and we bled.
Is payment enough, and with that we will trust,
That we mattered to you as you mattered to us."

"PLEASE, would you do me the kind favor of sending this to as many
people as you can? Christmas will be coming soon and some credit is due to our
U.S service men and women for our being able to celebrate these
festivities. Let's try in this small way to pay a tiny bit of what we owe. Make people
stop and think of our heroes, living and dead, who sacrificed themselves for us.

LCDR Jeff Giles, SC, USN
30th Naval Construction Regiment
OIC, Logistics Cell One
Al Taqqadum, Iraq"

In this morning's (Christmas Day) Medford Mail Tribune newspaper there is a front page story on a young Marine from Southern Oregon, Central Point to be exact, who died in Iraq in the last few days. He was on his second tour of duty there. The serge has done it's job in Iraq and there are few casualties, but I am sure that is small comfort to the family and friends of this young Marine. Thank God that there are men and women who are willing to stand guard on the frontiers of freedom this Christmas of 2008

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Merry Christmas

Silent night, holy night
All is calm, all is bright
'Round yon virgin mother and Child
Holy infant so tender and mild
Sleep in heavenly peace
Sleep in heavenly peace

Silent night, holy night,
Shepherds quake at the sight.
Glories stream from heaven afar,
Heav'nly hosts sing Alleluia;
Christ the Saviour is born
Christ the Saviour is born

Silent night, holy night,
Son of God, love's pure light.
Radiant beams from Thy holy face,
With the dawn of redeeming grace,
Jesus, Lord at Thy birth
Jesus, Lord at Thy birth

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Christmas 1776

Americans in this Christmas of 2008 are facing one of the most serious financial crisis since the Great Depression of 1929-1941. There is also a serious crisis in the confidence of the American People. In times like these it is helpful to remember when we overcame worse problems.

In the winter of 1776 George Washington kept the American Revolution alive. Gen. Washington had a long and painful summer and autumn of defeat in 1776. His American Army had been defeated across New York -- in Brooklyn, Manhattan and White Plains -- and then driven across New Jersey and forced to flee across the Delaware River into Pennsylvania.

Washington's forces had dwindled until he had only about 4,000 effective soldiers left. There were another 6,000 men present, but they were so sick they were unable to go into battle.

Yet he conducted himself with honor. James Monroe, a future Precedent, described Washington during the retreat as follows:

"I saw him... at the head of a small band, or rather in its rear, for he was always near the enemy and his countenance and manner made an impression on me which I can never efface. A deportment so firm, so signified,, but yet so modest and composed, I have never seen in any other person"

Washington knew the end could be near. A majority of the citizens of the 13 former colonies were either pro British or felt the war for Independence was lost. The British were a mere 60 miles from Philadelphia. The Congress that had declared Independence only a few months before were ill or exhausted or absent. Jefferson had gone home to Virginia, John Adams was back home in Massachusetts and Ben Franklin had departed to France. At times there were not enough delegates for a quorum. Philadelphia was in a panic due to the advancing British. People in Philadelphia were getting out and taking all of the possession they could carry.

Thomas Paine who had volunteered to serve as a civilian aide to one of Washington's Generals wrote during the long retreat by the light of a campfire on a drum head:

"These are the times that try men's souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country; but he that stands it now deserves the love and thanks of man and woman."

Faced with declining morale, rising desertions, the collapse of political will in the country at large and a sense of despair, Washington decided to gamble everything on a surprise attack. It would require a night crossing of an icy river against a formidable professional opponent.

But the most telling sign of Washington's mood as he embarked on the mission was his choice of a password. His men said "victory or death" to identify themselves.

That night crossing,is immortalized in the painting above of Washington's standing in the boat as Marblehead Fishermen rowed him across the ice-strewn river. It started December 25, 1776 when all of the men were gathered at the point of embarkment by 3:00 p.m. and the loading of the boats began at nightfall. Washington and a party of Virginia troops crossed over first to secure a landing site. The original plan called for the entire army to be disembarked on the New Jersey side of the Delaware by midnight, but it was not until 3:00 a.m. on December 26 that the army completed the crossing and it took another hour to get the troops organized for an attack. A hail and sleet storm had broken out early in the crossing, winds were strong and the river was full of ice floes.

As soon as the army was ready, Washington ordered it split into two columns, one under the command of himself and General Greene, the second under General Sullivan. The Sullivan column would take River Road from Bear Tavern to Trenton while Washington's column would follow Pennington Road, a parallel route that lay a few miles inland from the river. Only three Americans were killed and six wounded, while 22 Hessians were killed with 98 wounded. The Americans were able to capture 1,000 prisoners and seize muskets, powder, and artillery

In two weeks, Washington had gone from defeated, hopeless bungler to victorious American hero and personification of the American Cause.

Much of the above information is from David McCullough's book "1776". I recommend it highly.

Conservative Snobs Are Wrong About Palin

By John O'Sullivan
I know Maggie Thatcher. The two women have a lot in common........

As a parliamentary sketch writer for the Daily Telegraph (and a not very repressed suburbanite), I watched Mrs. Thatcher's progress as opposition leader. She had been a good performer in less exalted positions. But initially she faltered. Against the smooth, condescending Prime Minister James Callaghan in particular she had a hard time. In contrast to his chuckling baritone she sounded shrill when she attacked. But she lowered her tone (vocally not morally), took lessons in presentation from (among others) Laurence Olivier, and prepared diligently for every debate and Question Time.


Mrs. Palin had four big occasions in the late, doomed Republican campaign: her introduction by John McCain in Ohio, her speech at the GOP convention, her vice-presidential debate with Sen. Joe Biden, and her appearance on Saturday Night Live. With minimal preparation, she rose to all four of them. That's the mark of star.

If conservative intellectuals, Republican operatives and McCain "handlers" can't see it, then so much the worse for them.

To read more of Mr O'Sullivan's column click on the title for a link.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Christmas at Arlington National Cemetery

"Rest easy, sleep well my brothers.

Know the line has held, your job is done.

Rest easy, sleep well . . . "

Saturday, December 20, 2008

University of Oregon Football Vault


Last night my wife,daughter and I went to Costco in Medford doing some Christmas shopping and I found something my daughter said had my name on it!

It's a great book called "University of Oregon Football Vault." It is a combination coffee table size book and scrap book all in color. It has great large color pictures and Duck memorabilia in pockets on the pages in the book. For example, a pocket card that is the same as the Cotton Bowl program.

For example one page will have postcards with pictures of a bowl program, another a miniature cloth pennant, and another, football cards like they give out at the games and so much more. These memorabilia envelopes are attached to pages of photos and narrative on the history of Ducks football.

It all comes in a nice box with color images of Ducks that encloses the book as a tight fitting book slip cover. Under $30.00 at Costco.

It's also available on Amazon.com. Click on the title for a link to Amazon's page on the book. Last report they still had about 75 here in Medford at Costco.

On the way out the cashier and the lady who checks receipts at the door both said they were selling like hot cakes! Unfortunately my wife grabbed it as we got home and is wrapping it as one of my Christmas presents.... so I can't look at it til Christmas Eve.

No I have no financial interest in this book.

Merry Christmas and Go Ducks!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Home for the Holidays

Both the kids made it home for Christmas. There were some missed connections in Denver because of a weather delays in Chicago but they are now both home under our roof and the house is alive again. Even Gabby our cat was happy to see them. Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Medford: Early "White Christmas"????

From the Weather Service:

Winter Storm Warning
1152 AM PST WED DEC 17 2008

1152 AM PST WED DEC 17 2008





Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Bob Hope, Christmas and the Troops

For over 60 years Bob Hope would spend most of his Christmas with American soldiers sailors Marines and airmen guarding the frontiers of freedom. Out of patriotism and wanderlust for the days of vaudeville he would lead USO tours that took him away from his home for the Holidays. From Wikipedia:

Hope performed his first United Service Organizations (USO) show on May 6, 1941, at March Field, California. He continued to travel and entertain troops for the rest of World War II and later during the Korean War,the Cold War the Vietnam War and the 1990–1991 Persian Gulf War. When overseas he almost always performed in Army fatigues as a show of support for his audience. Hope's USO career lasted half a century, during which he headlined approximately 60 tours. For his service to his country through the USO, he was awarded the Sylvanus Thayer Award by the United States Military Academy at West Point in 1968.

Of Hope's USO shows in World War II, writer John Steinbeck, who was then working as a war correspondent, wrote in 1943:

"When the time for recognition of service to the nation in wartime comes to be considered, Bob Hope should be high on the list. This man drives himself and is driven. It is impossible to see how he can do so much, can cover so much ground, can work so hard, and can be so effective. He works month after month at a pace that would kill most people."[6]
A 1997 act of Congress signed by President Clinton named Hope an "Honorary Veteran." He remarked, "I've been given many awards in my lifetime — but to be numbered among the men and women I admire most — is the greatest honor I have ever received."[cite this quote]

Hope appeared in so many theaters of war over the decades that it was often cracked (in Bob Hope style) that "Where there's death, there's Hope".

Bob Hope would take with him on these Christmas Shows a bevy of beautiful women, sports stars and celebrities to entertain the troops. He would close each show with the the troops and the the USO cast singing "Silent Night."

I didn't see Bob Hope when I was in the Army but while a student at the University of Oregon in the late 1960's he came to campus for a show at Mac Court to raise funds for the Air force ROTC on campus. I still remember one of his jokes. A good looking woman comes up to him on stage and he says: "I like that perfume what is it" She Said: "Midnight in Paris" He then holds out his lapel for her to smell and she says: "What is that" He says: "Noon in Albany" ( For non Oregonians Albany is a town on the main freeway that runs through the Willamette Valley and it has a pulp mill the smells very bad)

Bob Hope died in 2003.

Thanks for the Memories!

Two Ducks Intentional Act of Kindness

George Schroeder, the sports columnist for the Eugene Register Guard has a column today about an intentional act of kindness committed by Oregon football players Walter Thurmond III and Patrick Chung, and what it meant to a gravely ill teenager and his family. Click on the title for a link to the story. You hear a lot of stories about athletes getting into trouble and it is refreshing to read a news story that is true and tugs at your heart and puts everything into perspective.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Movie: "Christmas With the Kranks" (2004)

In 2004 my wife and I saw this movie at the theater and thought the movie was a "throwaway" movie to enjoy an afternoon with but nothing more. We came out of the theater really liking it and each Christmas it shows up on TV. Tonight we watched it again and it has held up over time. I remember our daughter back in 2004 told us she didn't like it. Maybe my wife and I like it because we identify with a couple whose child has grown up and moved away from home and they want to break with the traditions of Christmas past and do something new. If our adult children were not coming home for Christmas I also would be looking for something different. I do know that Halloween has lost it's charm since our kids grew up. The IMDB has a good synopsis of the movie:
For the first time, Luther Krank (Tim Allen) and his wife Nora (Jamie Lee Curtis) are about to celebrate the holidays without their daughter Blair (Julie Gonzalo), who has just left for the Peace Corps in Peru. Luther sees a Caribbean cruise poster in a Chicago travel agency window, and he begins to plan the trip. First he must see how he will pay for the trip, so he comes up with an idea that if they skipped Christmas, they could go. He will save money by not buying a tree, having a party, or putting up decorations. The neighbors think he is crazy and want him to at least put Frosty the Snowman on his roof for the local decoration contest. The battle begins between the Kranks and their neighbors. Then Blair calls and tells her parents that she is flying home for Christmas with her fiancée. They have twenty-four hours to put up all the decorations and prepare for the Christmas party. The movie was based on a John Grisham book, 'Skipping Christmas'. Douglas Young (the-movie-guy)

The movie is not for the sophisticated but it has a certain sweetness to it. It also shows a a world where neighbors know and support one another which is a a world disappearing from popular entertainment and perhaps from the real world. A community of shared traditions is disappearing and that is too bad.

Best Thing about Christmas!

Both of our adult children will be home for Christmas! We are picking up one on Tuesday night at the Jackson County "International" Airport and the other one on Wednesday night. It is a wonderful life!

Snow in Medford

Overnight we had s snow storm hit and awoke to a white winter wonderland outside. Yesterday during the day as I was raking leaves... again! snow was falling but did not stick until I was almost done. I was using my electric leaf blower and was concerned about electric shock but figured if I had to actually "rake" the leaves there was greater concern of a heart attack. (I used rubber gloves, the leave blower is plastic and I wore rubber soled shoes.) I got the leaves "raked" just in time! The snow should burn off by tonight but another snow storm is predicted for Wednesday night or Thursday morning. Snow Snow Snow. (Pictures were taken during another snow we had several years ago but snow is snow! The Medford schools are starting two hours late because of the snow but we got to work on time.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

"Mac Court to Matt Court"

The Oregonian has some quotes from Nike's Phil Knight at today's press conference announcing the naming of the new basketball arena at the University of Oregon after Knight's son Matthew who died on 2004. (see post below)

Phil Knight Said:

"Matt was not a child of great accomplishment," "He never graduated from college. But he seemed to be finding a niche in charitable work...."

"He liked to rebel, never in a bad way -- he was never into drugs and booze, which we were grateful for, and he always had the best of friends -- but he didn't really like authority that much, and he had a particular way of tweaking the nose of his father.

"He inherited his father's love for sports but if his father rooted for Georgetown, he made sure he rooted for Connecticut. If his father rooted for Duke, he made sure he rooted for North Carolina.

"But that line stopped at the University of Oregon. He loved Oregon sports. And indeed in the last five years of his life, he went to more Oregon games than I did, which is saying a lot. I know that he would look on this with particular pride."

"The ultimate tribute in naming, in our eyes, was obviously the gift by Leland and Jane Stanford to the great university named after their son Leland junior. This is by no means at that level. This is just a small slice of an already existing university. A university that I must say, over the last 15 years of the leadership of the previous speaker (Frohnmayer) has really gotten better qualitative in every way.

"A lot is made in the media about its athletics but it's also its music program, its education program, its business school, its law school, and right on down the line across the board, it's become better in every way.

"We're proud to be associated in this way with this, and we hope that the Matthew Knight Arena will be something that's warm and vibrant for many decades to come."
It's reported the the crowd applauded then stood for an ovation.

Rachel Bachman of the Oregonian reports that after the above statement Phil Knight took a few questions and the first came from golfer and Oregon Duck Peter Jacobsen.

"So we're gonna go from Mac Court to Matt Court?" he asked.

"You bet," Knight said.

"Good with me," Jacobsen said.

"The Matthew Knight Arena"

The University of Oregon today announced the name of Oregon's new basketball arena. It will be "The Matthew Knight Arena" named after Nike founder Phil Knight's deceased son Matthew Knight who died in 2004 in a a scuba diving accident in El Salvador. He was 34.

A perfect choice and one I predicted last night in an instant message converstion with my son.

The University of Oregon Press Release:

New UO arena to be named for Phil and Penny Knight’s son

Today, University of Oregon President Dave Frohnmayer announced that the new 12,500-seat arena will be named Matthew Knight Arena in honor of the eldest son of Nike Founder Phil Knight and his wife, Penny. Matt Knight drowned in 2004 at age 34.

“Phil and Penny Knight have been longtime, generous supporters of the University of Oregon, including their most recent cornerstone gift of $100 million to the Oregon Athletics’ Legacy Fund,” said Frohnmayer. “After discussing naming options with Phil and Penny, choosing Matthew Knight seemed ideal.”

Frohnmayer and Knight made the announcement at a news conference held at the Rose Garden in Portland prior to the start of the Pape¢ Jam, a basketball event featuring the University of Oregon’s men’s and women’s teams.

The University of Oregon began exploring options for a new arena in 2002. “This project is the result of the efforts of many people over the course of many years — architects and athletes; faculty, staff and students; legislators; city leaders and neighbors,” Frohnmayer noted. “We are grateful to everyone for helping to bring about this beautiful facility.”

The official green light for construction of the $200 million arena was granted last month with the university’s receipt of a conditional-use permit.

Frohnmayer also emphasized the positive impact on the local economy of the new arena and the fact that no taxpayer money will be used to fund the facility. “The economic impact of the arena in our community, region and state will be significant and sustained,” says Frohnmayer. Frohnmayer conservatively estimates that more than $300 million will be injected into the local economy from the construction of the facility alone.

“The Matthew Knight Arena, together with our first-rate football stadium, new baseball park and world-class track and field facility, provides a solid foundation to position Oregon Athletics for the future,” said Pat Kilkenny, UO’s athletics director. “It’s been an honor for me to be a part of the team at Oregon and I couldn’t be more pleased with the support and commitment we’ve received from donors, fans and athletics department staff.”

Kilkenny announced that the arena, which will be located at 13th Avenue and Franklin Boulevard in Eugene, is scheduled to be open by the start of the Pacific-10 Conference basketball season in 2011. Shoring and excavation work will begin next week, and a groundbreaking ceremony will be held in mid-January. “This has and will continue to be a community effort, and we want to involve the community in celebrating the project every step of the way,” said Kilkenny.

The new arena will feature several elements of Mac Court that made the venerable building appealing to fans and student-athletes, and intimidating to opponents. “One of the most important criteria for the design of the new arena was to replicate the intensity and intimacy of Mac Court,” said Jim Bartko, UO’s executive senior associate athletic director.

Almost 2,000 seats, including nearly 1,000 in the lower level of the arena, will be allocated to students. This total is more than the approximately 1,600 seats currently reserved for students in Mac Court. In addition, the pitch of the seating—while not quite as vertical as Mac Court—is significantly steeper than virtually any other arena in the country. “Students and fans will still be right on top of the action on the court,” Bartko said.

The arena has two distinct levels, divided into premier, loge and terrace seating categories. Premier and loge seats are in the lower level of the arena, closest to the court; terrace seats are in the upper level. Bartko emphasized that full-court visibility will be good from all seats in the arena, regardless of level or seating category.

Bartko also unveiled the general ticket pricing strategy and timeline for purchasing season tickets at Saturday’s event, attended by basketball coaches Ernie Kent and Bev Smith and players from both teams.

“We heard loud and clear from donors that they wanted basketball at Oregon to be affordable,” Bartko says. Nearly 3,000 seats for men’s basketball games will cost just $15 per game and require no additional contributions. The average ticket price for men’s basketball across all seating levels, excluding the 108 courtside seats, is $28 per game. Most basketball seasons include 18 home games.

A one-time construction fee, a common mechanism used for funding sports arenas at universities around the country, will apply to approximately 7,200 seats in the arena and will range from $250 per seat in the upper level to $2,500 per seat for premium, mid-court seats close to the court. The construction fees are payable over five years. Annual Duck Athletic Fund donations are required for 6,000 seats and range from $100 per seat to $500 per seat, excluding the courtside seats, which require a $2,000 annual donation.

Season ticket prices for women’s basketball and women’s volleyball will remain close to current prices and season-ticket holders for these programs will retain the rights to choose comparable seats in the new arena. UO faculty and staff will continue to receive discounted tickets to all university-organized athletic events held in the arena.

Seat selection will begin in summer 2009 and be based on donor level and priority within the Duck Athletic Fund.

More details about the arena seat plan, ticket pricing and the timeline for selecting and purchasing tickets are available online at www.godunks.net, the new Web site devoted exclusively to the arena.

UO arena web site, www.godunks.net

UO coaches’ quotes: http://tinyurl.com/5clwav

Arena background information: http://tinyurl.com/662n28

Rendering and site plan: http://tinyurl.com/66prjs

Ticket pricing graphics: http://tinyurl.com/6rotts

Friday, December 12, 2008

Oregon's New Basketball Arena to be Named Saturday

University of Oregon officials will announce the name of a long-planned basketball arena at 11 a.m. Saturday at the Rose Garden Arena. They also will unveil arena ticket prices and updated renderings of the $200 million facility. I will have the new name posted here on Saturday!


Looks like Medford and the Rogue Valley has a snow storm coming this weekend !




Christmas Presents

Continuing with my posts about "Things I like about Christmas". I LIKE GETTING PRESENTS! I am not one of those "It's better to give than receive" types! I like getting presents at Christmas. I think it's a great tradition! Don't get me wrong, I do like giving presents to loved ones like my wife and children. There are those who are hard to buy for at Christmas because they have few strong wants. My wife is an example of this type of person. Not me! I always have a long list of things I would like for Christmas. I love to shop and am always happy to give a suggested gift list to who ever will listen. Some people like practical gifts for Christmas ... not me. One year my wife gave me a leaf blower for my birthday and I must say I was not very enthused. I do appreciate it every time I go out to "rake" leaves which this time of year is a lot. I also like getting gift lists from others. Noting is worse than getting a bunch of stuff you don't want and trying to act pleased as you open the gift. In the last few years we have been giving more and more 'gift card" to reduce this problem. Of course, the problem with "Gift Card" is they know exactly what you paid for the gift. With real gifts you can find some "bargain" and let the gift receiver think you spent a lot of money on them. So if you expect something from me this year a suggested list is much appreciated. Hint for me ....... Blu-ray DVS's or a gift card for a place that has them ...... AMAZON!

Our family's tradition is to open presents Christmas Eve after we have had dinner and washed the dishes ....put them in the dishwasher and cleaned up the table. We then all gather around the tree and hand out all the presents. Both of our adult children will be home and my sister will join us this year along with my mother-in-law and brother-in-law. We will all then open one present and everyone will do a "show and tell." We will then repeat the process till all the presents are open. While we do this we take care to put the trash in a garbage bag. For a number of years we have been using reusable cloth bags to wrap many of our presents. Then on Christmas morning Santa will come for the kids. They are now adults but Santa still comes ..... not as much as when they were young..... but he does not forget them.


Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Favorite Movies about Christmas

( repost from last year)I am a sucker for movies about Christmas. This time of year my wife is always watching those, non stop, Christmas movies made for TV on the Lifetime and ABC Family TV cable channels. I will be watching FOX NEWS on the TV in the room where I am and will walk by the TV my wife is watching and will watch a few minutes and I am hooked. It's fun to watch these TV movies because you see actresses and actors (Mostly form canceled TV shows) who you haven't seen for a while, because they are on the down hill slide in their careers, and will work cheep. Once in a while you will see a movie made before an actor became famous. I have gotten so I remember movies they showed last year and the year before. However my favorite movies about Christmas are the classics that were originally shown in theaters. The following is my list of my favorite movies about Christmas. I decided the test for a movie to make the list is have I purchased it on DVD. Here is the list in order of preference in reverse order.

4. National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation (1989)

Stars Chey Chase in a very funny movie. I see a lot of me and my family in this movie, trying to have the "perfect" Christmas. The scenes with the old folks who come over for Christmas eve dinner reminds me of Uncle Herman and Mrs Hills and others who my folks would invite over for Christmas. They are all gone now but the memories remain.

3. Meet Me in St Louis (1944)

A Judy Garland classic. About an upper middle class family in turn of the century St Louis ( young folks the one in 1900). The movie focus in on a group of young people (They didn't call them teenagers then) who are excited about the coming of the Worlds Fair to St Louis and their trials and loves. The dad, who is a lawyer, gets a job at a prestigious firm in New York and causes a crisis that hits it's boiling point at Christmas. Garland sings "Have yourself a Merry Little Christmas" that is a show stopper and is one of those moments you never forget.

2. White Christmas (1954)

What can I say, Bing Crosby, Danny Kaye and Rosemary Clooney in a movie about two GI's from World War II that want to help out the general of their division who is now the owner of a lodge in New England that has fallen on tough times. Crosby and Kaye are Broadway writer and producers who decide to put on a Christmas show at the lodge and have it shown nationwide on TV on something like the Ed Sullivan Show. Rosemary Clooney has never looked better. A classic 1950's movie that says a lot about the times and in glorious color. of course, Bing sings "White Christmas."

1. It's a Wonderful Life (1946)

The Jimmy Stewart, Frank Capra classic about a guy who gives up his dream of college and travel to stay in his small home town and makes it a better place. I never tire of this movie. The Christmas decorations in this movie remind me of the decorations we had when I was a kid. Next to The Duke, Jimmy Stewart was and is my favorite.

Christmas Music

Another thing I love about Christmas is Christmas music. Every year after Christmas I lament that I didn't listen to more Christmas music before the big day. For the last few years in December we have been listening to Christmas CD's in our car on the way to work. My favorite songs in no particular order are:

Pop Christmas Music:

"White Christmas", by Bing Crosby from the movie "White Christmas"(1954) and "Holiday Inn"(1942)

"I'll Be Home for Christmas" by Bing Crosby

"Little Drummer Boy" by Bing Crosby and David Bowie

"Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas",by Judy Garland from the movie "Meet Me in St Louis"(1944)

"The Christmas Song" by Nat King Cole

"It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year" by Andy Williams

"Aspenglow", by John Denver

"Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer" by Gene Autry

"Frosty the Snow Man" by Gene Autry

"(There's No Place Like) Home for the Holidays" by Perry Como

"Silent Night" sung by the troops at every Bob Hope Christmas show at the end with the cast and crew.

"I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus" by 13 year old Jimmy Boyd

Traditional Christian Christmas Music:. (I am not religious but this is beautiful music that everyone can enjoy.)

"O Come All Ye Faithful"

"Away In A Manger"

"It Came Upon A Midnight Clear"

"Joy To The World"

Old English Christmas "Sing Along" Songs:

"Deck The Halls"

"We Wish You A Merry Christmas"

"Jingle Bells",

Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Christmas Bubble Lights

Between now and Christmas I am going to post about some of the things I love about Christmas.Here is a post I made last year to start things things off.

I love Bubble Christmas Lights. When I was a little kid in the early 1950's one of my favorite things to do at Christmas was watch the bubble lights on our Christmas tree ... "bubble". Gradually as the 1950's led to the 1960's the bubble lights would burn out one by one. By the late 1960's we had a metallic tree with a color wheel shining on it. What where we thinking? Sometime in the 1980's I had a yearning for a return to the bubble lights of my youth. I searched and searched and they were very difficult to find. I finally found a string at a "Christmas Store" and we have been stringing it on our fireplace mantel for the last 20 or so years.. This year I put them on our tree and it really takes me back to my youth and they look great. We even went down to the store and bought more. They are now very easy to find. Some of them would not 'bubble" so I went "on line" and found out if you let them warm up and then unscrew them and shake them upside down they will start to bubble and it worked. Now I have 15 or so bubble lights on our tree and they are all bubbling. Merry Christmas

"If Illinois isn't the most corrupt state in the United States, it's one hell of a competitor."

Today's events in Illinois will cause me to suspend my self imposed moratorium on making political posts on this blog that has been in place since November 4th to post the following:

Picked this up on a blog over at National Review Online:

The FBI Special Agent in Charge of the investigation of (Illinois Governor) Blagojevich just said, "If Illinois isn't the most corrupt state in the United States, it's one hell of a competitor." Beautiful.

Give Obama a bit of credit; from the indictment, it sounds like Blagojevich wanted something in exchange for naming Obama's preferred candidate (Valerie Jarrett?) and all he was offered was "appreciation," spurring a profane response from the governor.

The question is, facing one of the most open-and-shut, slam-dunk corruption charges in recent political memory, does Blagojevich try to save his skin by talking about the corruption of other figures who have recently been involved in Chicago and Illinois politics? I wouldn't count on it, but it certainly isn't unthinkable.


David Freddoso on a blog at National Review Online:

two important observations. First, no one wants a Senate appointment from a man accused of selling the seat. We may need a change of governor soon. There is no law in Illinois providing for situations in which the governor temporarily gives up his powers. The general assembly would have to pass such a law. An impeachment is probably more likely. Blagojevich could appoint someone from jail, but I don't think the Senate would seat such an appointment under these circumstances.

Second, by arresting Blagojevich before Inauguration Day, U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald has done the one thing that absolutely prevents Barack Obama from removing him from his position. As he has worked doggedly to send corrupt politicians (many of them Obama's friends and political allies) to prison Fitzgerald has arguably become the most important man in Illinois politics.

Did I mention Governor Blagojevich is a Democrat.

Sunday, December 07, 2008

Oregon Ducks vs Oklahoma State Cowboys in Holiday Bowl

Click on the title for a link to the Holiday Bowl website. Game: Tuesday December 30 at 5PM PST in sunny warm San Diego on ESPN.(Oklahoma State another OSU that wears black and orange....lots of motivation) Go DUCKS!

Holiday Bowl Press release:

The University of Oregon Ducks and Oklahoma State University Cowboys have accepted invitations to play in the 31st annual Pacific Life Holiday Bowl, 2008 President Larry Baber announced today. The game will be played Tuesday, December 30th at 5 p.m. (PST) at Qualcomm Stadium in San Diego, California. It will be televised nationally on ESPN.
“The Ducks and Cowboys are two high scoring football teams that will surely treat fans to a great football game,” Baber said. “I think it’s safe to expect yet another exciting Pacific Life Holiday Bowl.”

Head Coach Mike Bellotti brings his Oregon Ducks to San Diego after finishing the regular season with an overall record of 9-3, 7-2 in the Pac-10. This is Oregon’s third appearance in the Pacific Life Holiday Bowl. They beat Texas 35-30 in 2000 and were defeated by Oklahoma 17-14 in 2005.

“We are honored and excited to accept this invitation,” Bellotti said. “Oklahoma State is a great football team and this matchup is going to be exciting for our players and fans, and fans of college football.”

Oregon’s offense is led by senior running back Jeremiah Johnson who finished the regular season with 1,082 rushing yards and 12 touchdowns. He averaged 6.9 yards per carry and 90.2 yards per game for an offense that led the Pac-10 in scoring (41.9 points per game). On the other side of the ball, senior defensive end Nick Reed led the conference with 13 sacks and five fumble recoveries. He also recorded 50 tackles.

The Oklahoma State Cowboys, guided by Head Coach Mike Gundy, enter the bowl game also with a 9-3 overall record, 5-3 in the Big 12. The only Oklahoma State appearance in the Pacific Life Holiday Bowl came in 1988, with Gundy under center for the Cowboys. In a 62-14 route of Wyoming, Gundy passed for 315 yards and two touchdowns. 1988 Heisman Trophy winner Barry Sanders also played for that Cowboys squad, rushing for 222 yards and five touchdowns.

“We’re very excited about heading to San Diego for the Pacific Life Holiday Bowl,” Gundy said. “It was a tremendous experience for me as a player and I’m happy our team will get to enjoy San Diego and the festivities that surround a great bowl game. On behalf of Oklahoma State, we want to thank Pacific Life, the Red Coats and the Holiday Bowl staff for their hard work. We look forward to playing an excellent Oregon team.”

Sophomore running back Kendall Hunter leads the Cowboys offensive attack. He finished the regular season by rushing for a conference-best 1,518 yards on just 228 carries. He also tallied 14 touchdowns. Defensively junior linebacker Orie Lemon had a stellar season. His 52 solo tackles and 84 total tackles this season is among the Big 12 Conference leaders.

This will be the first ever meeting of the two universities.

How Oregon (9-3, 6-2 Pac-10) got to this point (home team in bold) No. 21 Oregon 44, Washington 10
No. 18 Oregon 66, Utah State 24
No. 16 Oregon 32, Purdue 26, OT
Boise State 37, No. 17 Oregon 32
Oregon 63, Washington State 14
No. 9 USC 44, No. 23 Oregon 10
Oregon 31, UCLA 21
Oregon 54, Arizona State 20
California 26, No. 23 Oregon 16
Oregon 35, Stanford 28
No. 24 Oregon 55, Arizona 45
No. 19 Oregon 65, No. 17 Oregon State 38

How Oklahoma State (9-3, 5-3 Big 12) got to this point
Oklahoma State 39, Washington State 13, in Seattle
Oklahoma State 56, Houston 37
Oklahoma State 57, Missouri State 13
Oklahoma State 55, Troy 24
No. 21 Oklahoma State 56, Texas A&M 28
No. 17 Oklahoma State 28, No. 3 Missouri 23
No. 8 Oklahoma State 34, Baylor 6
No. 1 Texas 28, No. 7 Oklahoma State 24
No. 9 Oklahoma State 59, Iowa State 17
No. 2 Texas Tech 56, No. 8 Oklahoma State 20
No. 11 Oklahoma State 30, Colorado 17
No. 3 Oklahoma 61, No. 11 Oklahoma State 41

Sunday Dec 7th ........1941

From a article by Victor Davis Hanson of the Hoover Institution

On Dec. 7, 1941 - 65 years ago this week -(now 67) pilots from a Japanese carrier force bombed Pearl Harbor. They killed 2,403 Americans, most of them service personnel, while destroying much of the American fleet and air forces stationed in Hawaii.

The next morning, an outraged United States declared war, which ended less than four years later with the destruction of most of the Japanese empire and its military.

Sixty years after Pearl Harbor came another surprise attack on U.S. soil, one that was, in some ways, even worse than the "Day of Infamy."

Nearly 3,000 people died in the Sept. 11 attacks - the vast majority of them civilians. Al-Qaida's target was not an American military base far distant from the mainland. Rather, they suicide-bombed the United States' financial and military centers.......To defeat both Japan and Germany, we averaged over 8,000 Americans lost every month of the war - compared to around 50 per month since Sept. 11..And after Pearl Harbor, Americans believed they had no margin of error in an elemental war for survival. Today, we are apparently convinced that we can lose ground, whether in Afghanistan or Iraq, and still not lose either the war or our civilization.

Of course, by 1945, Americans no longer feared another Pearl Harbor. Yet, we, in a far stronger and larger United States, are still not sure we won't see another Sept. 11.

In many ways the Japanese in their surprise attack on Pearl Harbor did the world a favor by their treacherous attack on Pearl Harbor. The United States then,as today,was a divided nation with a majority isolationist. The treacherous attack united the United States in a war against Germany and Japan. Fortunately for the United States our aircraft carries were at sea and escaped the attack and were available for the major naval battle of the war at Midway.

Saturday, December 06, 2008

Getting Ready for Christmas

This weekend my wife and I continued the process of getting ready for Christmas. We put up our tree and decorated inside the house last weekend. Today I went out early and raked leaves... lots of leaves.Sure wish the kids were home to help. :) After raking leaves I put up our outdoor Christmas Lights. I got a head start Friday night. I put up about 30 strings of lights and seven light up figures such as a snow man and Santa. Sure wish the kids were home to help.:) If you saw National Lampoons Christmas Vacation with Chevy Chase you get the picture.I finished up in the dark about 8:30 pm. It was hard work but looks nice for the kids when they come home for Christmas in a few weeks.This time of year it gets so dark and dreary .... I find Christmas lights help fight the dreariness. As I was in and out putting up the lights I kept abreast of the college football scores. Sunday we plan on going to the Festival of the Trees at the Armory. People from the community decorate trees and auction them off to raise money for a local hospital. After the auction the trees are kept on display for the weekend. After that we plan on doing some Christmas shopping. In the next few weeks we need to get out our Christmas cards, and do the rest of our shopping. This is a very busy time of the year. Merry Christmas.

No Rose Bowl for the Beavers.... Holiday Bowl for the Ducks!

U$C beat UCLA today so the Pac-10 Bowl Line up should be as follows:

Rose Bowl in Pasadena - U$C

Holiday Bowl in San Diego - Oregon

Sun Bowl in El Paso - Oregon State

Las Vegas Bowl - Arizona

Emerald Bowl in San Francisco - Cal Bears

Only 5 Pac-10 teams qualify for a Bowl game.

Friday, December 05, 2008

This Saturday's College Football

The Ducks regular season football games are over and we won't find out for sure until Sunday if they will meet Oklahoma State in the Holiday Bowl in San Diego. But, there will be plenty of football this Saturday. Important games for me are:

Army vs. Navy (Philadelphia) 9:00 a.m. CBS

I was in the Army so I guess I will pull for Army

Washington at California 12:00 noon FSN

I NEVER cheer for the Huskies! Go Bears!

SEC Champ : Alabama vs. Florida 1:00 p.m. CBS

I don't like either school!

U$C at UCLA 1:30 p.m. ABC

I don't like U$C or their coach Pete Carroll. I don't like "Newweasal" the coach for UCLA. However, Go Trojans! If the Bruins win the Oregon State Beavers back into the Rose Bowl and the Ducks will go to Sun bowl in El Paso or the Vegas Bowl. U$C should win big!

Big XII Champ.: Missouri vs. Oklahoma 5:00 p.m. ABC

I don't like Oklahoma,their coach or fans. What a bunch of whiners.
Go Missouri!

Arizona State at Arizona 6:00 p.m. FSAZ / ESPN

The "nightcap" game. This is a tough one to pick a team you want to win but I will pick Arizona State's Dennis Erickson over Arizona's Mike Stoops.


I don't know if all these game will leave me with any time to rake leaves!


Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Game Day... "Civil War"

Two Ducks in a row!

Whew, Too Much Celebration! Ducks 65 Beavers 38

Isn't Capitalism Great?

Get your tee shirt hot off the press! A great Christmas present for your Beaver friends.


Tuesday, December 02, 2008

BIG NEWS:Oregon Duck's Athletic Department Succession Plan

The following is a formal announcement made this afternoon by the University of Oregon

EUGENE, Ore. -- (Dec. 2, 2008) -- University of Oregon President Dave Frohnmayer and Athletics Director Pat Kilkenny today announced their succession plan for several key positions in the UO athletics department. Frohnmayer said he intends to promote Mike Bellotti, head football coach, to athletics director when Pat Kilkenny steps down from the position at a time yet to be determined. When that occurs, Chip Kelly, offensive coordinator for the UO football program, will assume the role of head coach.
Frohnmayer underscored the importance of developing a succession plan that will allow the athletics department to maintain its financial, academic and competitive success. “Today I’m announcing a transition plan to assure the athletics department continues its momentum as one of the premier programs in the country. I am grateful Mike and Chip will continue to serve the university, the athletics department and the football program. While the exact timing of the changes is yet to be determined, I wanted to announce the intended changes to establish the future direction of the department,” Frohnmayer said.

“I could not be happier that Mike Bellotti has agreed to assume management of the athletics department once Pat decides to step down. Mike has vision, proven leadership ability and an understanding of what makes Oregon special. This combination will help continue to make the depart ment one of the most successful in the nation.”

Under Kilkenny’s leadership, the athletics department has reached new heights. He has led successful efforts to reinstate baseball and build a new baseball stadium. He has reinvigorated plans to build a new basketball arena, and he helped establish the Legacy Fund, using generous private gifts to take Duck athletics from being self-sufficient to become self-sustaining.

“Pat has accomplished an extraordinary amount in the time he has been at the University of Oregon. My goal is to establish a plan for an orderly transition so when he leaves, the Athletics Department will be able to continue to thrive. He has served the University of Oregon with great distinction and we are deeply indebted to he and Stephanie. I know that Mike Bellotti will be able to take the department to even greater heights on the field and in the classroom thanks to Pat’s efforts,” Frohnmayer continued.

“Dave Frohnmayer and I have been discussing the future of Oregon athletics since I joined the university,” Kilkenny said. “I am pleased we are able to announce Mike will remain at Oregon once his storied his storied coaching career concludes. I am confident that Chip will be a highly successful leader of our football program.”

The longest-tenured head football coach in the Pacific-10 Conference, Bellotti has accumulated a record of 115-55 (.676) in 14 seasons at Oreg on while guiding the program to 12 bowl appearances. Bellotti is tied for fourth all time in conference wins and has won more than any other Oregon football coach. His 115-55 ledger as the Ducks’ head coach (136-80-2 overall) makes him the sixth coach in conference history to win 100 games at one school, while his winning percentage of 67.1 percent trails only Hugo Bezdek (72.7%—1906, 1913-17) among Oregon’s all-time mentors who coached the Ducks a minimum of three seasons. Included is this year’s 9-3 record and no worse than a second-place tie in the Pac-10 following Saturday’s 65-38 win at Oregon State.

University of Oregon offensive coordinator Chip Kelly will succeed Mike Bellotti as the Ducks’ head football coach when Bellotti decides to step down as head coach of a program he has led to national prominence.

Kelly has masterminded the Ducks’ offensive attack for the past two seasons as offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach following eight years as offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach at New Hampshire.

Since his arrival in Eugene, Kelly has succeeded in transforming Oregon’s spread offense into one of the most prolific offensive units in college football. The Ducks currently rank fourth in the country in rushing offense (277.8-yard avg.), seventh in scoring offense (41.9-point avg.) and eighth in total offense (478.2-yard avg.).

“This is an incredible opportunity for me and I am honored to be named the head c oach designate for one of the elite programs in the nation,” Kelly said. “I appreciate the confidence that President Frohnmayer, Pat Kilkenny and Mike Bellotti have bestowed on me.”

“It means so much to me to be entrusted with carrying on the great tradition of Oregon football. To succeed someone as successful and accomplished as Mike Bellotti when he retires from coaching is not only a great honor but also a tremendous challenge. Until he retires as head coach, we will continue our pursuit of a Pac-10 and national championship, and continue to provide a student-athlete experience that is second to none. I am thrilled to be staying at Oregon and in a special place with special people.”

Frohnmayer said he would use the intent-to-promote process once timing of the transition is finalized. The promotions are subject to approval by the University of Oregon’s Office of Affirmative Action and Equal Opportunity.

No specific date has been announced as to how long Mike Bellotti will continue to coach the Oregon Ducks. At his press conference today he said:The timing is uncertain, however, and Bellotti said that he "will not step down immediately. … It could be a year, it could be more, it could be less."
"The timeline is particularly my own," Bellotti said. "I don’t have a feeling. It’s something year-to-year we’ll evaluate."

U.S. Capitol Visitors Center Opens in Washington DC

Today the United States Congress officially opened the new 621 million dollar underground Visitors Center between the U.S. Capitol and the Supreme Court and Library of Congress Buildings at a formal ceremony broadcast live on C-SPAN TV. My wife and I watched the ceremony because one of our family sang as part of the choir during the ceremony. We are very proud!

From Wikipedia:

The United States Capitol Visitor Center (CVC) is an addition to the United States Capitol which will serve as a gathering point for up to 4,000 tourists[1] and an expansion space for the US Congress. It remains under construction below the East Front of the Capitol, between the Capitol and 1st Street East. The complex contains 580,000 square feet (54,000 m2) of space below ground on three floors.[2] The overall project's budget is $621 million.[3]

The CVC has space for use by the Congress, including multiple new meeting and conference rooms. On the House side, there is a large room which will most likely be used by a committee. The new Congressional Auditorium, a 450-seat theater, will be available for use by members of Congress or for either House of Congress should their respective chamber be unavailable.[4]

The CVC's opening date was December 2, 2008. This date celebrates December 2, 1863, the day that Thomas Crawford's Statue of Freedom was placed atop the Capitol building, signifying the completion of construction of its dome.[5]

As was pointed out during the opening ceremony Abraham Lincoln gave his Second Inaugural Address above where the new Visitors Center is located on Saturday, March 4, 1865.

The Visitor Center will allow visitors to the U.S. Capitol a chance to get out the Sun or rain while they are waiting for their tour of the Capitol and will have many exhibits to entertain and inform them about our history.

(For more information click on the title for a link to the Visitors Center's web site)