Wild Life Of A Little Monster

Others are scared of me because of all the fun I have. Considered a vigilante by my Eponine.

Then There Was More

While getting my NPR fix and having coffee Wednesday morning, it happened. Even more coverage regarding Coach Gundy's tirade.

In his story, David Folkenflik doesn't focus on the coach's outburst. He talks about how the reporter's comments and the coach's "points" bring up the issue of if college athletes should be off limits. He asks should or can student-athletes be criticized. The story provides a pretty good view from both sides. And includes plenty from Coach Gundy.

By chance, it was followed by a very interesting commentary by Frank Deford. He talks about when athletes and fans play the race card. You might recall that I saw Mr. Deford at an event. He was in Kansas City awhile back with some baseball player.

Something interesting is that for something that happened Saturday night, it sure has legs. Maybe local news on Saturday. Then slowly YouTube and the Internet. ESPN highlights on Sunday and Monday. Headline news on cable, msn, foxsports, cbssportsline and other places on Tuesday. NPR on Wednesday.

All Obstacles In My Way

While on the subject of the car, thought it important to mention that just yesterday there was a splurge on all new windshield wipers. Two on the front and one on the back. Even went with the "higher-quality" graphite ones. Almost $50 on wipers.

But let me tell you, with Tuesday's all-day thunderstorm, the new blades couldn't have been purchased at a better time. The view was perfect. It was clear sailing. Even around all the 18-wheelers on 435.

Guess Mom knew what she was talking about last June when I was taking her home -- KC to Tulsa. She kindly suggested, "I think you need new wipers, Cowboy." I retorted, "Oh Mom. It's just all the bug guts smearing the windshield. It has nothing to do with wipers." She didn't debate the topic further. How could she even possibly be an expert on the matter.

It ended up being a grayish-tint, foggy view throughout the summer. Even on the long, rainless stretches. Glad the view is better.

Black Magic

I'm not into fancy cars. They are nice and all. Who wouldn't want a cool BMW or some other sort of cool-looking, sleek machine of a car? For me, though, I'd only want one if it was won on The Price Is Right. Or if I won the lottery and felt like having a spare, sexy, sweet ride or two.

Until then, just a fine vehicle is good enough. One that is comfortable. I love my PT with its 100,000-plus miles. As a matter of fact, I want another one. It would be thrilling to be in a two-PT household. I can't imagine a happier garage. OK. A garage with two BMWs won on TPIR probably would be fairly happy.

And although my car is kept moderately clean, it doesn't get detailed, polished and fancied up on a regular basis. It does get maintained and runs pretty smoothly.

A member of the job's board of directors is coming to town Wednesday. He's speaking to a small group of employees. He's a former CEO of a huge foodie and has all sorts of other accolades and accomplishments. He has a great story, is an inspiration and is a board member that is admired. He's even unsuccessfully thrown his hat in political contests.

But now he's in for the treat of his life. After his talk, guess who's driving him to the airport? For whatever reason, my boss decided this board member needed a ride in Cowboy's PT. I know he's going to die when he pushes that little, silver door-handle button and hops into that captain's seat. Makes me laugh just thinking about it. I'm going to do my best to stay around the speed limit.

Vacuumed the car and wiped Daphne's nose prints off the insides of all windows. Also wiped the dust off the dash and wiped out the cubby holes and cup holders. Got rid of lottery tickets under the visor and a few old receipts. It rained all day today so didn't get a wash. I did spray some Black Magic stuff on the tires to make them look all dark and shiny.

Hope this board member is impressed. Opted not to take the Pistol Pete off the rear-view mirror, though. One can only go so far.

Orange Blush

If you follow sports, you might be seeing the coach at Oklahoma State making news. I knew nothing about the incident until I started receiving e-mails from friends telling me about it. By Tuesday it was making Headline News.

He went on a maniacal rant during his post-game press conference after the game against Texas Tech. I bet the air in the room was tense! His tirade was over an article written by an Oklahoma City reporter. One that many have long said is not an OSU fan and is never shy about showing her anti-OSU bias.

Although I admit I've wondered why the player mentioned wasn't playing quarterback anymore, but also found her article not useful and somewhat mean-spirited.

Watching the coach's diatribe makes me blush. I'm proud of him for sticking up for his player, but also am embarrassed. His yelling, grabbing his crotch, rambling, use of the word downgrade and lack of any emotional control for over three minutes. He doesn't appear very bright and his Oklahoma twang is so very evident. An example that we should work on getting Americans to learn to speak English.

I do wish he would have used the post-game press conference to at least congratulate the team on their awesome effort and then go into his rant. Regardless, because I am loyal and true to my alma mater, I support him. I think he is a good guy. I hope. And I hope all works out OK ....LAHOMA, Oklahoma ..... STATE!

Creates Smiles

Seriously, it is not ground-breaking television or something super phenomenal, but Dancing With The Stars is great. For whatever reason, it cracks me up. Light-hearted, silly and fun tv.

Any predictions on who you think will win? How about a go-out-on-the-limb prediction right now on who you think will be the final three? I've heard gossip that some people say they won't vote for Marie Osmond because she is Mormon. Just kidding!!!

I'm not a huge television watcher, but I am very pleased to get this tv-season started. With work and all else happening right now in my little part of the world as well as all that's happening in the world, I'm very much looking forward to relaxing, escaping and hanging out on the sofa with the monster, Gabby, enjoying some shows.

Wolf Attack

A "fan" ran onto the field and took off for about 70 yards (more than the team's leading rusher was able to muster) during this past Sunday's Chiefs game against the Vikings. The dude, as is always eventually the case, was tackled and taken off the field in handcuffs.

The team's mascot got in on the action to capture the trespasser. Check out the video on KMBC's site of the KC Wolf's effort to tackle the dude. It makes me laugh.

Running Toward The Finish Line

Kansas City's United Way campaign is off and running. Sept. 6 volunteers announced a $39.4 million goal, with a stretch goal of $40.4 million. Both are lofty, espcially as Kansas City's economy and companies continue to change. Including my own. The only thing I am sure of is my own effort.

I attended the breakfast meeting where the goal was announced. It was a nice event held at the Downtown Marriott. I was joined by six very generous and caring co-workers and three folks from a community agency. Gary Lezak, the weather dude from the local NBC affiliate, was the emcee. He did a fine job.

This year's citywide theme is "Going The Distance."

Finalists Announced

The Kychn Synk boys from Liberty, Missouri have advanced to the top 5 in the Oreos jingle contest. Thank you if you took a moment to vote for them. Other finalists are Samantha and Bluegrass Jam (father/daughter), VOX5 (three guys who do an Oreo hug at the end), Wild Orchards (looks like high school kids dressed in top hats and stilts) and Kreamy Krunchies (four guys singing in an auditorium). I'll be sure to let you know who gets selected as the overall winner.

Happy Anniversary Baby

Read on CNN's site that the :-) is 25. The "smiley face's" birthday is Sept. 18. According to CNN, a dude at Carnegie Mellon University evidently was the first to use the colon, hyphen and a parenthesis to create a horizontal smiley face.

Back in 1982, I was doing my typing mostly on a typewriter still and had not thought about smiley faces. Thanks to my old TI calculator from junior high I did know about 7344 (ooops - should have been 7734) and turning my calculator upside down. That always provided tons of fun for my buddies and me.

The CNN article says the smiley face helped folks to create emotion or feelings in the typed message world. I know for a fact that the lack of intonation in e-mails has created many workplace and personal issues. Maybe we all should use more smiley or sad faces. My favorite is the :~) or the :o). Another fun one is 8-) from someone who wears glasses.

Just Like Heaven by Patrick McDonnellStopped by the Schramwiches tonight on the way home from the J-O-B. Sept. 19 is El's birthday. She's seven. I gave her a great book titled "Just Like Heaven." She liked it but was more excited about the approaching birthday and Friday night's slumber party.

This book is fantastic. Patrick McDonnell writes about a cat named Mooch. When Mooch wakes from a nap, something cats often do, he doesn't know where he is because of a deep fog. He concludes he must be in heaven.

Mooch then walks around and explores "heaven" and doing what he thinks he should do since he's in heaven. Hmmm? The drawings are super special. My favorite is of two friends waving to each other.

Happy Birthday, El!

The Pride Of California

My niece is in the 230-member Cal Band. I call them the high-stepping Marching Bears. And they're marching with much confidence right now after winning their first two games of the season, including the opener against Tennessee. This could be the year Cal makes it to the Rose Bowl. Or, if USC falters or some other Pac 10 school doesn't surge, maybe they'll be playing for more!

University of California's (also known as Berkeley or Cal-Berkeley) marching band is a student-run group. The director is the only person that is an employee of the school. The director and five students lead all aspects of the band.

Band members annually elect four students to the Executive Committee. They serve a calendar year. The prior year's Executive Committee appoints the student that is the Senior Manager for the next year.

This is pretty much the same format we used at OSU for the Homecoming Steering Committee. We even had only one paid university employee, our advisor. We had an Executive Director and five Executives, each in charge of specific committees. We made all decisions.

There were complaints it was a self-perpetuating group that limited the general student population from participating. All students could apply for the steering committee, then the five executives and executive director, elected by the prior year's steering committee, selected the current year's steering committee. It was often hard to break into that circle.

My experiences over the years on that committee in various roles were some of the best of all my college years. I experienced and received more of an education regarding people, loyalty, dedication, scandals, organizational and motivational skills, decision making, ill-will folks, and keeping calm in stressful situations than anything ever taught in a classroom.

Here's a link to the Cal Band website. Here's a link to the band's performance schedule.


abc is on to something. I'm certain of it. A television show about our videos. But it is not America's funniest. It is "viral videos" out on the Internet. What we are forwarding to each other, posting on our blogs, talking about to co-workers, friends and family, that we see glimpses of on our local nightly news ... our videos.

The show is called " i-CAUGHT," airing Tuesdays at 8 p.m. CT. Have to point out that the host is not one of favorite abc news/entertainment folks. There's something a little too quirky or cocky about him that I just don't enjoy. He's growing on me, though. Good thing the focus is on the videos and not him.

My favorite part about each episode is the "Your Three Words" segment. It's amazing how strong a statement a less-than-five-second, three-worded message can make. "Keep It Simple Stupid" is something I learned as a 4-H'er.

Bank on it, "y3w" will become a common catch phrase.

Cleaning Toes For Tuesday

Toe washing for Tuesday

A Bonus Pic


Comfortable Sleeping Places

Gabby snoozing in the Pistol Pete officeGabrielle seems drawn to the Pistol Pete home office. She dozes in that room the most. Maybe her light, orange spots make it so that she identifies the most with this room. She has claimed several favorite spots. Under the desk, beside the desk, under the desk chair, next to the book shelf, on the center of the rug ... it varies, but I almost always find her in there.

It's right across the hall from my room. In the mornings as I hit the snooze button on the ol' alarm clock, I see her emerging from that room. She crosses the hall and hollers at me for a moment until realizing I'm snoring again. She starts the routine again nine minutes only to retreat again. At least for another nine minutes.

Monday night I put Eponine's OSU collar on Gabby. I worry some that she may not be used to collars. Plus, she's so small, I don't know if it'll be comfortable. We did have to take it to its smallest size. I smiled as I heard her little bell on the collar dinging around the home this evening.

The Main Course

Here's a pic of the salad bowl I worked to create for all the deer in the 'hood. I hope they're happy. The marigolds have stayed safe, though. The OSU sign has too.

The Real Estate Market

Checking out new homes in the area reminded me of a story I heard the other day on NPR. Morning Edition's Jason Beaubien discussed the housing market in Kansas City. His story first aired Aug. 24.

He mostly talked about the subprime mortgage crisis and the impact that is having. He talks about how prices are falling, but that certainly wasn't evident with the homes I saw this past Sunday.

My hope is that my home value continues to soar upward, despite the deer eating my hostas and flowers, and leaving their evidence in my yard. And if I were to decide to purchase anytime soon that prices continue to adjust downward to just the right level for me to get exactly what I want.

Sleek And Shiny

Checked out some new home developments and some downtown condos this past Sunday afternoon. Not because I'm truly interested, although it is fun to dream, but mostly just because of curiosity.

Saw a super-sweet condo on the 18th floor of one downtown building. Although I had an anxious feeling stepping out on the balcony, it was really nice. Very awesome floor-to-ceiling windows. Including in the restroom. Anyone sitting on the toilet would be fully exposed. The windows are mirrored, but I was told at night with inside lights on a telescope-using lunatic could get an eyeful. Window treatments are suggested. The west views were the best, but I'm sure it heats up throughout the day.

For me, stainless-steel appliances do not make sense. Seriously, what do you do with all the fridge magnets and fridge art? Surely you don't just get rid of it. Every single place I checked out Sunday had stainless steel everythings. I wonder how much lost business the fridge magnet people can blame on the vast stainless steel conspiracy.

A Perfect Storm

Of all the potential names for 2007 named storms, I can't believe that Henriette and Gabrielle are two of the options. I pronounce Henriette differently than I've heard on the news, though.

Henriette currently is making its way up the western coast of Mexico and could impact weather across the U.S. midsection and eastward over the next several days. Gabrielle is not a named storm yet.

My Little Monster has not had any vomit issues since Saturday. I read and read again every food label. I am fully convinced it is a food issue dealing with gluten.

I wish you could see how much of talker she is. Her interaction is really nice and even a little overbearing. When she was looking for me (prior to moving into mi casa), I can just imagine her wandering through a field, hiding under a tree or sitting near a rock just meowing and meowing. Waiting for me.

Gabrielle fits. I'm sure of it. I really had hoped for a Henriette, but am certain she's Gabby. And her abundant shedding, loud meows, need to be combed and loved, constant desire to have food in the bowl, nonstop interaction and many other things is just the perfect touch to liven up my home.

From Our View

W was in town Wednesday, Aug. 22. He made his way here to speak to attendees at the national convention of the VFW (headquartered in KC) military group. Also giving speeches during the convention were Hillary Clinton, Fred Thompson, John McCain and Barrack Obama. I didn't see any of them in person. Heard about lots of traffic snarls.View of Downtown KC from Liberty MemorialCharles Gibson and the crew from ABC's "World News" will be checking out the sites in Kansas City. The Sept. 6 and Sept. 7 evening news broadcasts will air live from Kansas City's Liberty Memorial. The CBS Morning show broadcast from the same spot Aug. 10.

The Liberty Memorial honors those who served in WWI and was built shortly after the war ended. A fascinating museum only recently was added to the memorial. It is directly one block west of The Westin hotel, Crown Center and Hallmark headquarters. A really cool area of town.

Here's a pic of Mom over Memorial Day weekend as she stood on the memorial's deck. I think the news broadcasts will be set in about the same place. In the immediate background is Union Station (where the Amtrak train arrives/departs). Beyond is downtown KC. Just above Mom's head is the new Sprint Center, the venue for the 2008 Big 12 Basketball Tournament.