Thursday, December 29, 2011

On to the Rose Bowl !

Christmas is over and it's on to the Rose Bowl. Let's Go Ducks ! Win the Day and the game !

In other years when the Ducks have gone to the Rose Bowl I have been swept up in the hype. NOT THIS YEAR ! It's time for the Oregon Ducks to win the damn game ! LET'S GO DUCKS !

Rose Bowl January 2nd, Iowa Caucuses January 3rd...... Life is good !

Mitt Romney: "I believe in America!"

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

You, sir, are no Teddy Roosevelt

It upset me a few weeks ago when Barack Obama compared himself with one of my heroes. Today my candidate for President, Mitt Romney offers a rebuttal.

Mitt Romney:
Just a couple of weeks ago in Kansas, President Obama lectured us about Teddy Roosevelt’s philosophy of government. But he failed to mention the important difference between Teddy Roosevelt and Barack Obama. Roosevelt believed that government should level the playing field to create equal opportunities. President Obama believes that government should create equal outcomes.

In an entitlement society, everyone receives the same or similar rewards, regardless of education, effort, and willingness to take risk. That which is earned by some is redistributed to the others. And the only people who truly enjoy any real rewards are those who do the redistributing—the government.

Can you imagine Obama charging up San Juan Hill on a horse with bullets flying all around him. Me neither. Bully for Mitt Romney !

Christmas Bubble Lights

A repost from the last few years at Christmas.

I love Christmas lights and I particularly 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

Home for the Holidays

One of the best part of the Christmas Holidays is having our adult children come home. Since they both live in the Eastern time zone we don't get to see them that often during the year. Last Saturday night we picked up our son at the Jackson County "International" Airport. He came in from Lexington Kentucky where he is working on his PhD in History. Tomorrow night we will go back to the airport to pick up our daughter who is coming in from Washington D.C.. I love this time of year and the trips to the airport !

Monday, December 19, 2011

Movie & TV Cowboys

If you grew up like me admiring the cowboy heroes of old movies and TV shows then click on the title for a real treat.

Be sure to watch till the end because he gives special honor to Audie Murphy.

McCain: Kim in 'warm corner of hell'

Senator John McCain speeks for me on the death of North Korean leader Kim Jong II

"I can only express satisfaction that the Dear Leader is joining the likes of Qaddafi, Bin Laden, Hitler and Stalin in a warm corner of hell,”

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Writer Christopher Hitchens Dies

RIP you fought the good fight.

I have decided to take whatever my disease can throw at me, and to stay combative even while taking the measure of my inevitable decline. I repeat, this is no more than what a healthy person has to do in slower motion. It is our common fate.

Click on the title for a link to one of Christopher Hitchens writings on a young U.S. Army officer who died in Iraq. The officer never met Hitchens but was influenced by his writings. If you read anything about Hitchens read this article.

Time for Conservatives to Rally to Mitt Romney!

I don't know about you but this Conservative is getting tired of these Republican intramural squabbles. For this political junkie it has been fun but now the squabbles are beginning to be so petty they are distracting us from the real contest to save America by beating Barack Obama. Rally to Mitt and demand he pick a Conservative VP for the future.

The Republican Presidential candidates need to all campaign against Obama and not each other!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

National Review: No on Newt!

National Review magazine has been my political compass for all of my adult life and I consider it the flagship of the conservative intelligentsia in this country. Founded by William F Buckley it led the Draft Goldwater movement in 1964. Today,it's editors came out against nominating Newt Gingrich as the Republican Presidential Nominee. The editors write in part:

....the White House seems winnable next year, and with it a majority in both houses of Congress, so that much of this conservative consensus could actually become law. A conservative majority on the Supreme Court, a halt to the march of regulation, free-market health-care policies: All of them seem within our grasp. But none of them is assured, and the costs of failure — either a failure to win the election, or a failure to govern competently and purposefully afterward — are as large as the opportunity.

We fear that to nominate former Speaker Newt Gingrich, the frontrunner in the polls, would be to blow this opportunity. We say that mindful of his opponents’ imperfections — and of his own virtues, which have been on display during his amazing comeback. Very few people with a personal history like his — two divorces, two marriages to former mistresses — have ever tried running for president. Gingrich himself has never run for a statewide office, let alone a national one, and has not run for anything since 1998. That year he was kicked out by his colleagues, the most conservative ones especially, who had lost confidence in him. During his time as Speaker, he was one of the most unpopular figures in public life. Just a few months ago his campaign seemed dead after a series of gaffes and resignations. That Gingrich now tops the polls is a tribute to his perseverance, and to Republicans’ admiration for his intellectual fecundity.....

Gingrich’s colleagues were, however, right to bring his tenure to an end. His character flaws — his impulsiveness, his grandiosity, his weakness for half-baked (and not especially conservative) ideas — made him a poor Speaker of the House. Again and again he combined incendiary rhetoric with irresolute action, bringing Republicans all the political costs of a hardline position without actually taking one. Again and again he put his own interests above those of the causes he championed in public.

He says, and his defenders say, that time, reflection, and religious conversion have conquered his dark side. If he is the nominee, a campaign that should be about whether the country will continue on the path to social democracy would inevitably become to a large extent a referendum on Gingrich instead. And there is reason to doubt that he has changed. Each week we see the same traits that weakened Republicans from 1995 through 1998:

"I’d vote for Paul Ryan’s Medicare reform; Paul Ryan’s Medicare reform is radical right-wing social engineering; I apologize for saying that, and no one should quote what I said because I was wrong; actually, what I said was right all along but nobody understood me. I helped defeat Communism; anyone who made money in the ’80s and ’90s owes me; I’m like Reagan and Thatcher. Local community boards should decide what to do with illegal immigrants. Freddie Mac paid me all that money to tell them how stupid they were."

Enough. Gingrich has always said he wants to transform the country. He appears unable to transform, or even govern, himself. He should be an adviser to the Republican party, but not again its head.....

As Republican primary voters consider their choices, they should ask themselves several questions: Which candidate is most likely to make the race turn on the large questions before the country, and not his personal idiosyncrasies? Which candidate is most likely to defeat Obama? Who could, if elected, form an effective partnership with Republican leaders and governors to achieve the conservative agenda? We will render further judgments in the weeks to come as the candidates continue to make their cases and are, just perhaps, joined by new candidates. At the moment we think it important to urge Republicans to have the good sense to reject a hasty marriage to Gingrich, which would risk dissolving in acrimony

In the end if Newt gets the nomination he will have my undivided support. Even with all of his faults, he is vastly superior to Barack Obama. I believe the Republican Party, my party, should nominate Mitt Romney. He is not as conservative as I am but he gives us the best chance to beat Obama and be able to serve as a competent President. America can NOT take four more years of President Obama. We need competence.

To read the entire National Review editorial click on the title for a link.

Wickre Duck Bowl History

I was middle aged before I went to my first Oregon Duck Bowl. I was too young to go the 1958 Rose Bowl or the 1963 Sun Bowl. To be more precise, my parents were not football fans and thus as a kid we did not go to either of those bowls. I did watch them on TV. All through my college years and young adult years I "swore" that I would go to any bowl to which the Ducks were invited. In those years based upon Pac-8 or Pac 10 rules Oregon was mostly limited to going to the Rose Bowl and Oregon had terrible teams in those years and thus received no invitations. That all changed in 1989.

1989 Independence Bowl Oregon 27 Tulsa 24 Won
That all chanced in 1989 when Oregon Athletic Director, Bill Byrne, agreed to buy 14,000 tickets to the Independence Bowl in Shreveport Louisiana in return for a bowl invitation. My 6 year old son and I flew to Dallas Texas and I drove a rental car from there to the game. With a windchill temperate of below zero we watched the Ducks, led by QB Bill Musgrave, come from behind to win the game. During the game I kept worrying that my wife would "kill me" if our son got frost bite. He didn't and that game became a bonding experience we will never forget.

1990 Freedom Bowl Colorado State 32 Oregon 31 Lost
The next year the entire family drove down to the Freedom Bowl in Anaheim, California. We went to Disneyland and had a great time at the Disneyland Hotel. The Washington Huskies were in the Rose Bowl that year and the fans we ran into treated the Freedom Bowl as a Junior Varsity (JV) game. This is one of the reasons I learned to hate the Huskies.The loss was very disappointing but at both the Independence Bowl and the Freedom Bowl you could see the thirst of Oregon fans to go "bowling" after such a drought.

1992 Independence Bowl Wake Forest 39 Oregon 35 Lost
Fortunately we had a tailgate party at home and watched this turkey on TV. Oregon led big time at half time and managed to lose the game in the second half.This game reinforced this Duck fans fatalism that no Duck lead is ever enough.

1995 Rose Bowl(1994 Season)Penn State 38 Oregon 20 Lost
Again the entire family drove down I-5 to this game and stayed at a hotel near LAX as part of an UofO Alumni "ground package" trip. It was over priced but we did get a bus ride to the game. We had a great time driving down I-5 to the game and passing other Duck fans in their "Ducked out" cars and vans. We met Ducks at every stop on the way down and back. We loved the Pep Rally at Century City, the day before the game, and it was fun just being at the Rose Bowl. It was a disappointing loss but it was the first time Oregon had been to a "big time" bowl and the entire state of Oregon was excited about the event. When we got home a friend gave my wife a tee shirt that said "I survived the Rose Bowl." Unlike our kids my wife is not a big football fan and dislikes crowds.

1996 Cotton Bowl Colorado 38 Oregon 6 Lost
We stayed home and watched this game on TV. This is where we learned to hate then Colorado coach Rick Neuheisel when Colorado went for a fake punt late in the game when Colorado lead Oregon by a big margin.

1997 Las Vegas Bowl Oregon 41 Air Force 13 Won
The entire family drove to Las Vegas for this game. On the way through the Mojave Desert a radio station was giving away Berry Manilow tickets to a concert at the MGM Grand as part of a promotion. The radio station broadcaster said that if you were near a specific exit to stop and show the DJ in the radio station van some Christmas item and they would give you two tickets to the concert. We were near the exit in the middle of "nowhere" and saw the van on top of the overpass and stopped and showed the DJ our cassette tape of Bing Crosby's "White Christmas" and got the two Barry Manilow tickets. We loved the game and my wife and daughter went to the concert. We stayed at the team hotel, the MGM Grand, and enjoyed touring the Vegas Strip.

1998 Aloha Bowl Colorado 51 Oregon 43 Lost
We had a Hawaiian Luau in our family room and watched the game on TV

1999 Sun Bowl Oregon 24 Minnesota 20 Won
We welcomed in the Millennium by watching this game on TV on the morning of New Years Eve day.

2000 Holiday Bowl Oregon 35 Texas 30 Won
What a fine game this was. Watched it on TV. Wish I had gone ! I love the play where our QB Joey Harrington catces a pass and runs it in for a touchdown.

2002 Fiesta Bowl(2001 Season) Oregon 38 Colorado 16 Won
Our son and I and some friends drove all the way to Tempe, Arizona in our van to watch this game. Had a great time and enjoyed New Years Eve on Mill Street in Tempe near the stadium. It was good to finally win a big time BCS bowl and to beat Colorado.One of my favorite Oregon games of all time.

2002 Seattle Bowl Wake Forest 38 Oregon 17 Lost
Our son and I and the same friends drove to Seattle for this game and it was one of the few time I was ashamed to be a Duck. It was obvious the team did not want to be at this "lower tier" bowl and put in little effort and it showed. To top it off it rained very hard as we drove back to Portland after the game to my sisters home.The rain felt like the tears of Oregon fans. We stopped at a fast food restaurant on I-5 after the game 45 or so miles from Seattle. It was full of Oregon fans and it was so quiet!It was like we were at a funeral.

2003 Sun Bowl Minnesota 31 Oregon 30 Lost
Watched on TV New Year Eve Day.

2005 Holiday Bowl Oklahoma 17 Oregon 14 Lost
The entire family had plans to spend Christmas at Disneyland and so we extended our stay in Southern California to go to this game. Stayed at the team hotel in San Diego and had a great time. It was on the waterfront and we went to the Duck pep rally, the parade and a tour of the navy aircraft carrier Midway which is now a museum. The Ducks almost pulled out a win at the end but no luck. It was fun for the entire family to again go on a bowl trip together since our kids were now adults and living away from home.It was strange when my kids bought me a beer in the
Gas Light district of San Diego.

2006 Las Vegas Bowl Brigham Young 38 Oregon 8 Lost
Watched this on TV and was very disappointed in the Ducks. Looked like they didn't care. I cared and it hurt.

2007 Sun Bowl Oregon 56 South Florida 21 Won Watched on TV.
This win helped heal the pain of the loss of Dennis Dixon to an injury in the Arizona game and the loss of the "Civil War" to the Beavers on our own field.
Watched on TV. Little did we know this would be Coach Mike Bellott's last game.

2010 Rose Bowl (2009 season) Oregon 17 Ohio State 26 Lost
The four of us took another "Road Trip" to this game and had a good time. We went to Disneyland and marched up "Main Street" with the Oregon Marching Band" and spent time in Old Pasadena. We cruised the Sunset Strip" and Hollywood Blvd.We attended a wet/cold pep rally at the Santa Monica Pier. The weather on game day was perfect but the loss was a bitter pill.

2011 NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP (2010 season) Oregon 19, Auburn 22 Lost
My son and I drive to Sacramento and took a flight to Phoenix for the game. Our daughter took a flight from Washington DC and met us there. We enjoyed the Pep rally in Scottsdale with 30,000 Duck fans. It was a lot of fun. Our daughter did not have a ticket to the game and was going to watch it at a nearby bar. However when we dropped her off to get a seat in the bar Stub Hub had a booth set up nearby and she was able to buy a last minute ticket. She has never told us how much she paid ! We all three then got together and celebrated her getting a ticket. We enjoyed the game but were disappointed when Auburn won it off a last second field goal.

2012 Rose Bowl (2011 Season)
Can you say "road trip"!Our son and I are driving down I-5 for the game and will meet our daughter in L.A. who will fly in from Washington D.C. This time we have tickets for all three of us. we are looking forward to the Oregon Duck pep rally at the Santa Monica Pier. Hopefully this time in sunshine. In my lifetime the Ducks have been to three Rose Bowls and lost all three. It's time they win the fourth... it's on my 'bucket list."

Saturday, December 10, 2011

The 12 Days of "Bowl Season"

Tired of Christmas shopping in the freezing cold..... putting Christmas lights up in the freezing cold..... raking leaves in the freeing cold......

Click on the title for a link to "Fish Duck" for a great rendition of "The 12 Days of Christmas."

It will bring a smile to your face :) Be sure to sing it out loud for your spouse so she will enjoy it too. :)

Just remember as "Fish" says: ".....the real holiday begins January 2nd."

Thursday, December 08, 2011

The Three Musketeers Return !

This time they meet at the Rose Bowl ! "One for all and all for fun ..... and a Duck win"

Is Newt Like Churchill?

There is an interesting article today at the National Review online website comparing Winston Churchill with Newt Gingrich. I support Mitt Romney for the Republican nomination but could support Newt if he were to get the nomination. I don't view either as Conservative as I am, nor one being more conservative then the other. In fact, it could be argued that both are "Rockefeller Republicans." The difference is in their style and temperament. Mitt is the "conservative" safe choice. He is a thoughtful organized manager who would appeal to the majority of "moderate" Americans. Newt, on the other hand is exciting and dramatic. He with his oratory and ideas could inspire the country. The issue is whether he could manage the job of President. He didn't do a very good job when he was the Speaker of the House. Most of his Republican colleagues, from his time as Speaker, are not supporting him for President and don't in fact like him. He did a great job getting a Republican majority in the House but was a failure once in the majority. Yet, I have for some time, seen in Newt a Churchillian quality and parallel that is also seen by the author of this article.

In his National Review article Steven Hayward writes:

But before becoming prime minister, Winston Churchill was often dismissed in similar terms by members of his own party, who complained that “his planning is all wishing and guessing,” that he was “a genius without judgment,” and that he had been “on every side of every question.” His many non-fiction books were even characterized as “autobiographies disguised as history of the universe.”

Two questions must be asked in order to judge whether Newt might have Churchillian qualities (both good and bad) once in office, or whether Romney’s predictable managerial qualities are more suited to the present moment.

The first question is whether we require someone utterly unconventional to match up to the circumstances of the moment.

the second question. While Churchill never shed his weaknesses and defects, he did bring with him to office important lessons of his earlier failures in World War I, along with his serious study of history during his wilderness years. Though Newt wrote a book called “Lessons Learned the Hard Way,”

The next couple of months may well prove out the unplanned logic of our long campaign process. The debates, Newt’s strong suit so far, are about to give way to real voting, and to the week-by-week ground game that requires focus and consistency. Newt has a chance to prove conservative skeptics wrong about his constancy — the chance to win over skeptics in the face of so much evidence against him. The course of John Colville’s evolving assessment of Churchill in the 1940s is suggestive. Colville wrote in his diary the night Churchill became prime minister on May 10, 1940: “He may, of course, be the man of drive and energy the country believes him to be and he may be able to speed up our creaking military and industrial machinery; but it is a terrible risk, it involves the danger of rash and spectacular exploits, and I cannot help fearing that this country may be maneuvered into the most dangerous position it has ever been in.”

If you like history, Winston Churchill and politics click on the title for the complete article...... it is very good.

Will Newt Gindrich be called by to power from his "Wilderness years" ?

Saturday, December 03, 2011


The Oregon Ducks win the first ever Pac 12 Championship game. The game was at Autzen Stadium, in Eugene, Oregon. They are again, for the third year in a row, Pac 10/ 12 Champions. On to the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California. LET'S GO DUCKS !!!!!!!!

UPDATE: Oregon will face the Wisconsin Badgers in the Rose Bowl. Go Ducks beat the Badgers!

Thursday, December 01, 2011

Called to Duty

Time for a little perspective on what is important. The Eugene Register Guard newspaper invited local World War II veterans to come have their portraits taken to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor. The response was overwhelming. (See the photos and read and hear their stories in print and at in a special four-day package starting this Sunday, Dec. 4.)

This is a video of those picture taking sessions. Click on the title for a link to a better view of the video. Soon they will all be gone. This is a wonderful act and tribute. Thank you Register Guard !