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Commentary, sarcasm and snide remarks from a Florida resident of over thirty years. Being a glutton for punishment is a requirement for residency here. Who am I? I've been called a moonbat by Michelle Malkin, a Right Wing Nut by Daily Kos, and middle of the road by Florida blog State of Sunshine. Tell me what you think.

Saturday, January 31, 2009

Former Heavyweight champ Ingemar Johansson dead at 76

He won the title from Floyd Patterson in 1959 but lost the title in a re-match a year later. He was AP athlete of the year in 1959.

I got to meet Ingemar Johansson in the late 70's thanks to my father's involvement with harness racing.(There were many pro athletes who liked the ponies then) By then Johansson had put on quite a bit of weight and was asked to be Santa Claus for the Broward County(Florida) Christmas boat parade.

Unfortunately I don't remember anything else from our meeting. His boxing career ended when I was still a toddler. RIP Ingemar.

Ingemar Johansson, the Swede who stunned the boxing world by knocking out Floyd Patterson to win the heavyweight title in 1959, has died, a longtime friend said Saturday. Johansson was 76.

Johansson died at a nursing home in Kungsbacka on the Swedish west coast, said Stig Caldeborn, a close friend who sparred with Johansson when they were in their teens.

Caldeborn said he didn't know the cause of death but told The Associated Press that Johansson had recently returned to the nursing home after being hospitalized with pneumonia.

Johansson's daughter, Maria Gregner, told Swedish news agency TT that the former champion died just before midnight Friday.

Johansson was diagnosed with Alzheimer's and dementia more than 10 years ago, when he lived in Stockholm. He spent the rest of his life in Kungsbacka, only a few miles from the house where he grew up.

Johansson knocked out Patterson in the third round at Yankee Stadium on June 26, 1959, to win the heavyweight title. He floored the American seven times in the third round before referee Ruby Goldstein stopped the fight 2:03 into it.

Back home, hundreds of thousands of Swedes listened to the live radio broadcast at 3 a.m. as Johansson became only the fifth heavyweight champion born outside the United States. His feat earned him The Associated Press' Male Athlete of the Year in 1959, only the second Swede to win the award.

Patterson avenged the upset loss a year later in the rematch in New York, knocking Johansson out in the fifth round. In March 1961, the Swede floored Patterson twice in Miami before being knocked out in the sixth round of the rubber match.

Johansson had four more fights -- all wins, one of them a knockout of England's Dick Richardson for the European title in 1962 -- before retiring the following year.

Johansson was married and divorced twice, and is also survived by five children. Funeral arrangements were not immediately announced.

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Friday, January 30, 2009

Move over Michelle Wie Part VI

Meet Karen Kim

It is now easy to spot Korean family names like Kim, Lee, Park or Pak on the leaderboards of youth golf championships in the United States. Some second-generation Korean-Americans, such as Anthony Kim and Michelle Wie, grow up to become world-class golfers.

Being touted as the "next Michelle Wie," nine-year-old Korean-American Karen Kim is one of these promising players. Kim, a student at Lincoln Elementary School in Linwood, California, has already won over 70 titles, including the U.S. national championship for children in Arizona last December. In October 2008, she won the kids' PGA Invitational and then the California Kids Golf Tour. She was voted golfer of the year by the CKG in 2008.

Kim started playing the golf at the age of five, taught by her father Casey Kim, a professional golfer. Her dream is to surpass Michelle Wie.-Chosunilbo

Over seventy wins, and she isn't even ten years old. That's very impressive. We'll have to keep an eye on Karen. Will she get a contract with Nike? Cause some golf writers and LPGA players to act irrationally when they discuss you? Get disqualified for not signing a score card?

I think the chances are that Karen won't cause that big a stir. Look at how Vicki Hurst has handled success on the golf course.(Vicki is half Korean for those who don't know her and after Ji Yai Shin, is arguably the leader member of the 2009 LPGA Rookie class.

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Thursday, January 29, 2009

The Ginn Open is dead

Another hole has been blown in the 2009 US Women's professional golf schedule. From the Orlando Sentinel-

The recession has claimed another victim: the Ginn Open, the LPGA Tour's lone event in Central Florida.

Ginn Sports Entertainment and Ginn Development Company announced Wednesday afternoon that they will no longer host, produce or sponsor professional golf tournaments, including the Ginn Open at Reunion Resort and the Champions Tour Ginn Championship in Palm Coast.

"The economy is rough, and it's no surprise," Ginn Open Tournament Director Linda Chen said.

This year's Ginn Open had been slated for April 16-19, and it is unclear whether the LPGA Tour can find a replacement tournament for that point on the schedule.
The chances of a replacement being found between now and April rank up there with my winning the Florida lottery in any given drawing. It isn't going to happen.

No one from the LPGA has commented on this latest tournament debacle. AP reports that VP of LPGA communications Connie Wilson as saying because of travel and schedules the tour would have no immediate comment.

Which might be true. Or Carolyn Bivens and other officials are in a bunker somewhere just like they were when their horrendous LPGA English policy was announced not by the tour, but by a member of the golf media. You mean there isn't one person available on the cell phone right now? I find that hard to believe.

LPGA blogger Hound dog writes-

Despite the reality of the current economic situation, I am pissed off about this announcement. Thanks for waiting until only 11 weeks before your event to pull out, fellas. Thanks for giving the Tour absolutely no chance to replace your over-speculated asses. Thanks for shooting yet another hole in our schedule and removing one of its largest purses to boot. Thanks for giving our Commissioner a reason to alienate and then kick out one of the Tour's longest-running sponsorships three years ago - since most folks are still buying groceries these days, I imagine the ShopRite people would already be preparing to host their '09 tournament if you guys hadn't come barging in.
Hound Dog is right, it would have nice if the company didn't wait so long to announce the inevitable. The demise of the Ginn Open comes as little surprise to people and blogger knowledgeable about the LPGA considering how the Ginn Tribute folded.

I wrote about the Shoprite debacle two years ago. To make way for Ginn, the LPGA gave the shaft to Shoprite who rather than take crappy dates on the schedule, pulled the plug on their Atlantic City event. It was an outrageous way to treat a long-time LPGA sponsor that earned Carolyn Bivens a Knucklehead award a few months later when she gave the shaft to another LPGA tournament sponsor, Wendy's. Don't forget ADT pulled their sponsorship of the year ending West Palm Beach tournament last year because of tournament pricing, not a change in marketing as the LPGA claims.

I wonder how LPGA headquarters will spin the Ginn Story? Some how I imagine a official speaking with the song 'Don't worry, be happy.' playing in the background.

The LPGA will need luck to survive in the US over the next few years. In the meantime, I will repeat what I been saying multiple times for over two years. Carolyn Bivens has to go or the LPGA Tour is cooked.

A few extra notes-

There is no Florida tournament on the 2009 LPGA schedule now. The ADT is defunct, and the Stanford International which was played in the Miami area last year, has since moved to Texas.

The Ginn Open trophy was named after Kelly Jo Dowd, the mother of Dakoda Dowd a amateur who played in the inaugural tournament. Mrs Dowd died less than two years ago.

Her husband, Dakoda's father, Mike Dowd was quoted as saying-

"It would have been phenomenal to have Kelly Jo's name on that trophy for years to come, We got one year."

One year is better than none. God bless the Dowd family. Mike Dowd also said-

"There's going to be a lot of sad folks over this," Mike Dowd said.
I'm betting there are a great many angry LPGA golfers because of this too.

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Tuesday, January 27, 2009

President Obama's idea of change?

The illegal alien Aunt of the US President isn't getting deported for the time being.

Barack Obama's aunt, who lived in Cleveland last year, got a stay of her deportation order and her case has been reopened, a major development in any immigration case.

Zeituni Onyango, 56, the half-sister of Obama's late father, will be represented by Cleveland immigration attorney Margaret Wong and associates at a hearing before an immigration judge scheduled for April 1 in Boston.

The stay was issued on Dec. 17 and a judge reopened her case, in which she requested asylum in the United States, on Dec. 30.

"Her case has been reopened and the immigration judge will be looking at evidence that they may not have been aware of four years ago," said Michael Rogers, spokesman for Wong. "Wong is optimistic that the outcome will be favorable. We would have preferred to not conduct this case in the media spotlight, but that's not going to happen."


Onyango came to America on a temporary visa in 2000, joining a son who had been accepted at a college in Boston, Wong said in December

Obama has said he did not know that his aunt was living in America illegally and that all appropriate laws should be followed.
I'd like to hear one person in Washington justify this when legal alien spouses of US citizens face deportation today and the widow of a dead marine is denied a green card. How can't this be seen as some sign of favoritism in light of the other actions of HS I cite above? Homeland Secretary Janet Napolitano, would you like to take a swing at this? How about any democrats out there? Rick, want to take a swipe since you're one of Obama's biggest supporters down here.

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Saturday, January 17, 2009

Sizing things up

What happened to the days when students would watch 'On the Waterfront' or 'The Miracle Worker' at school? From

A university in Taiwan has opened a course to teach students how to appreciate and analyse porn movies.

The Mass Communication Department of Providence University opened the course this semester, reports United Daily News.

To pass the course, students must give a 15 minute presentation in which they analyse an audience's psychological reaction to a porn clip from an academic perspective.

One worried student, who did not wish to be named, commented: "If I get a very good score in this course, I don't know how I'll explain it to my parents."
The student has things reversed. How do you explain to your parents why you are taking this course.

When registering for the voluntary course, students signed a paper agreeing that if the scenes were too explicit, they could choose to leave the classroom.

The teacher, assistant professor Miss Chen Mingmei, said no students had ever left her class but some would briefly cover their eyes during the stronger scenes.
I'm glad to hear that. By the way how does one become a professor of porn movies?

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Friday, January 16, 2009

Book em Danno

Might be Steve McGarret's first order after reading the Honolulu Advertiser obituary on Hawaii Five-0 supporting actor Harry Endo.

"Hawaii 5-0" actor Harry Endo, who portrayed a cerebral medical examiner who belied a real-life, dry wit, has died of a stroke in New York at the age of 87.
It takes great skill for a newspaper and one of its writers to blow the first paragraph of a story but Dan Nakaso and the Advertiser do just that. Harry Endo's character, Che Fong, was not a medical examiner. He was a forensics expert, crime scene analyst. The Medical Examiner most often seen in the twelve-year run of Hawaii Five-0, was Doc Bergman played by actor Al Eban.

We're not talking an editorial written thousands of miles away about an obscure show but the local newspaper reporting on the television show that portrayed Hawaii to people around the world for 12 seasons and was popular in syndication for many years afterwards. For chrissakes Five-0 repeats are still broadcast weekdays by a Honolulu television station. Someone at the Advertiser should have caught Nakaso's goof.

I'd give Dan Nakaso and the Honolulu Advertiser the Knucklehead, but someone might say it was in bad taste. The mistake in the Endo editorial is just another sign of how newspaper journalism is slipping. Five-0 is a legend in the Hawaiian Islands, and Che Fong was a popular character on the show, the Advertiser couldn't even do an article correctly about them.

Back to Endo and Five-0. The catch phrase 'Book em Danno' is one of the things most remembered about the television show. I'd wager fifty dollars, that if you tallied how many times those words were said and count how many times the words 'What do you have for me Che' were also spoken by Steve McGarret, that the Che line would come out on top. Since Five-0 is only available on DVD and only up to season five at present, I'll have to wait a few years before being able to do that vital research.

RIP Harry Endo.

Endo had made a commercial for Territorial Savings Bank and HonFed Bank when he was selected to play the character of Che Fong as one of the original cast members of "Hawaii 5-0," which ran from 1968 to 1980 — making it one of the longest-running police dramas in television history.

"He was such a nice guy," remembered Doug Mossman, 75, of Mililani, who played several bit parts on the show before evolving into the character of "5-0" detective Frank Kamana midway through its television run.

"One of the things about Harry is that he was very studious looking," Mossman said yesterday. "He looked like a business guy. He worked for Territorial Savings and had that look — glasses, very studious. But he was humorous and funny, a quiet kind of humor."

Endo's daughter, Leslie Baker, told The Associated Press that her father was born in Colorado but spent much of his life in Hawai'i. He served in the Army in Europe as a radio operator, the AP reported, and was married for more than 60 years.

"Hawaii 5-0" featured its star, Jack Lord, playing the role of Steve McGarrett, the head of a fictional, elite unit that reported directly to the governor. The show cemented the image of Hawai'i as a gorgeous and exotic, multiethnic destination to millions of television viewers who still remember Lord's catchphrase to his fictional second-in-command, Danny Williams: "Book 'em, Danno."

On the show, Endo portrayed "the all-encompassing forensic genius, who was supposed to know everything about everything," Mossman said. "The rest of us actors were very happy we didn't have to have his dialogue with all of those $12 words. I'd look at the script and say, 'I'm glad I'm not saying that.'

"There were times he'd be a little nervous about the line coming up and anybody else would be shaky, too. Because Jack (Lord) was a perfectionist who wanted you to get everything right, that was a double whammy pressure to get the line right — not just for the line's sake but for Jack's sake."

Endo's death on Friday at Brooklyn Methodist Hospital follows the passing of Lord, Kam (Chin Ho Kelly) Fong, Richard (the governor) Denning, Herman (Duke) Wedemeyer and Gilbert (Zulu) Kauhi, among other actors on the show.

Endo is survived by his wife, Myrtle; daughter Leslie Baker of Brooklyn; and Scott Endo of San Diego,

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Wednesday, January 14, 2009

The Knucklehead of the Day award

Today's winner is San Francisco Board of Education member Jill Wynns. She gets the award for the following-

Overworked and exhausted San Francisco public school teachers and principals could be forced to give up their soda machines, as part of an effort to make sure they're not setting bad health examples for students.

While San Francisco Unified School District teachers and staff are given incentives -- under a federally mandated policy -- to exercise, eat healthy and stay away from junk food, the district can't force them to change their ways, according to Trish Bascom, health programs director.

However, it can take the soda machines from teacher break rooms -- and that's just what Board of Education member Jill Wynns is calling for, as the district is updating its student nutrition policy.

The student policy removed soda and candy machines from student cafeterias and locker rooms in 2003, but allowed the machines to remain in teacher break rooms.

"I know of one school, and I won't name names, where there is a soda machine in the principal's office," Wynns said, adding that it sets a bad example if teachers are telling kids not to buy caffeine-laden drinks but sipping one themselves.
Ms. Wynns do you or any of your fellow board members ever drink caffeinated coffee, get any kind of fast food for you or your children, eat beef? Should I go on?

The school board needs to pay more attention to what is going on in the classroom, not what is being bought in the faculty break room. For failing that lesson, I give San Francisco Board of Education member Jill Wynns today's Knucklehead of the Day.

Hat tip- Joanne Jacobs who writes- 'What's next? Rip out the coffee machine?'

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Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Son of a Marine

Michael Ferschke III was born in Okinawa Japan last Friday. From Stars and Stripes-

Michael H. Ferschke III, the son of a Marine who was killed on a mission in Iraq last August, was born Friday on Okinawa. Hotaru Ferschke delivered the healthy child at 1:18 p.m. at a Japanese clinic near Kadena Air Base. He weighed 7 pounds, 8.8 ounces and was 19.7 inches long.

The much-awaited arrival brings to a close another chapter in a story that began Aug. 10, when Sgt. Michael H. Ferschke Jr., a team leader with Okinawa-based 3rd Reconnaissance Battalion, 3rd Marine Division, was killed conducting door-to-door searches north of Baghdad.

It was exactly one month after Ferschke and Hotaru exchanged marriage vows by proxy while thousands of miles apart. Hotaru, supported by her in-laws, has vowed to raise her son in the Tennessee town where his father grew up.

Her son seems to be growing stronger every hour, she said Monday in her room at Yabiku Women’s Clinic. A framed photo of her and her husband taken before he deployed, as well as his ID bracelet, were at her bedside table.

"I told my husband that our baby has arrived, although I had a bit of a hard time," she said, looking at the photo.
I wrote about the immigration difficulties Hota was running into in these posts- here and here. It isn't over. I've been in contact with a member of the Ferschke family who has told me Hota's immigrant relative petition has been turned down. What kind of fucked up immigration system do we have in this country? The wife of a fallen marine can't gain entry. The other Marines in Michael's unit and their wives have been very supportive.

I'll save that for another post. Lets celebrate a very special child that just came into the world. God bless Hota and little Mikey and all the Ferschke family. The rest of the Stars and Stripes article is below.

She said the photo was with her while she was in the labor room.

"The baby has his father’s mouth, eyes and hairline," she said. "But he got my nose."

She said her husband’s parents, whom she first met in Tennessee during Christmas 2007, are to arrive on Okinawa next month to see their new grandson and make arrangements to bring him and his mother to their home in Marysville, Tenn.

"I do have some anxiety in moving to an unfamiliar place," she said. "But I also know that my parents-in-law and all the family there will be always with us. They treat me like their own daughter."

She said she would soon apply for a passport for the baby, and her six-month temporary visa should be ready before they leave for the United States in late February.

She said she was grateful for all the help provided by the U.S. Consulate and the Marine Corps to process the paperwork for the visa and passport.

At first, she will be on a six-month temporary visa, which can be extended for another six months. She and her family in the States hope to change the visa status before the visa expires.

Help and support has been "bountiful" from Ferschke’s unit, she said. Soon after the battalion returned from Iraq in November, a group of Marines took her to a dinner. They called Sgt. Ferschke their brother and asserted that Hotaru was their sister and the baby their nephew, she said.

Also, the battalion’s wives group held a surprise baby shower for her.

"They offered so many gifts that they [hardly fit] in my car," Hotaru said. "I was overwhelmed by their warm thoughts."

As she remembered the events during the past year, tears welled.

"Had it not been for the baby, I would never have got over from the shock [of Michael’s death]," she said.

While in Iraq, Michael Ferschke kept a running letter in diary form for his bride. The last page was written only a few hours before he went out on his last mission.

The last sentence was: "I love you."

"The diary, or the log book, that is so precious to me. [It] will be a valuable treasure for our baby because he will be able to see his father’s own handwriting," she said.

"I truly feel how fortunate and lucky I am to be able to meet someone like him."


Saturday, January 10, 2009

Clipping their wings- Florida pounds Atlanta 8-4

The Panthers tallied the most amount of goals this afternoon since they defeated Toronto on February 5th of 2008. With the win Florida is just one point behind Carolina for the last playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.

I have quite a bit to note about today's exciting win.

*- Florida was outshot 32 to 28.

*- Seven different Florida players scored goals. Ville Peltonen scored twice. The other goals were scored by Radek Dvorak, Jay Bouwmeester, Nathan Horton, Cory Stillman, David Booth, and Michael Frolik. Gregory Campbell had three assists, Karlis Skrastins and Richard Zednik two each. Today's win was definitely a team effort.

*- Radek Dvorak's goal today was his second in a shorthanded situation this week. He had another SH on Sunday versus Montreal.

*- Michael Frolik's goal was on a penalty shot. It marked only the second time Florida has scored one of these at home in franchise history. The other took place on March 2nd 2007 when Peltonen netted one against Tampa Bay.

*- The game was one of momentum swings. Florida was up 3-1 after the first period. Atlanta scored two unanswered goals in the 2nd to tie it at 3-3. Then Florida came out blazing in the third, two goals in less than two minutes, and five for the entire period.

*- Florida is 4-0-1 in its last 5 games in which they scored 27 goals!

*- Why is there a blimp at an indoor hockey game?

*- Florida has scored four or more goals in its last five games. That is the first time this has happened in franchise history.

*- Atlanta's Goalie Kari Lehtonen is inconsistent to say the least. He shut out New Jersey a few days ago, then gives up seven goals to Florida.

*- Never heard the term 'sin bin' used for the penalty box before today's game. Anyone ever heard it used? I admit to watching very little hockey for over 20 years before getting the 'Florida Panther' bug two years ago. Now my wife asks me daily- 'Is there hockey tonight?'

*- Talking about the penalty box, Anthony Stewart and Chris Thorburn got put in it for five minutes each. The penalty was fighting, but it looked more like dancing to me. Where's Wade Belak when you need him?

*- No Panther game again till January 16th. Boy will I be suffering from withdrawal by then.

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