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From ...

Sex Change, No Surgery Required

Toy Cars Lack Family Values/a>

Bye Swarmbots, Hello Swarmanoids

... and my favorite ...

2006 Sexiest Geeks: Call for Nominees

... alas ... too bad I am a nerd :(

Pit Bulls

KC pit bull law to be enforced starting Friday
Mandatory spaying or neutering will be required for most of the animals. Some fear dumping of the breed.

The Kansas City Star

Kansas City’s answer to the perceived problem of attacks by pit bulls will get its first real test starting Friday.

That’s when the city’s animal control department, with newly hired enforcement muscle, will begin the search for pit bulls that have not undergone mandatory spay or neutering procedures.

After that date, most pit bull owners who have not acquired a special license face a ticket, a fine and potential confiscation of their dogs if their animals haven’t been fixed, as the new law requires.

Read the rest of the story here.

Anyone have any experience with, or opinions about, pit bulls?

NFL Wild-Card Hunt

Kansas City Star Nov. 27, 2006

The Chiefs are tied with the Broncos for the two wild-card spots in the AFC, and the overall records of their opponents are remarkably similar. Each team’s remaining schedule is below.

Date----------Kansas City-----------Denver

Dec. 3--------at Cleveland (3-8)----Seattle (6-4)*
Dec. 10-------Baltimore (9-2)-------at San Diego (9-2)
Dec. 17-------at San Diego (9-2)----at Arizona (2-9)
Dec. 23-24----at Oakland (2-9)------Cincinnati (6-5)
Dec. 31-------Jacksonville (6-5)----San Francisco (5-6)

Opp. record---29-26 (.527)----------28-26 (.519)

Iraqi Maliki: Difference of Opinion

This just in: President George W. Bush's national security adviser has raised serious doubts about Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki's ability to control sectarian violence, The New York Times reported on Tuesday.

No wait, this just in: President George W. Bush has vowed to speed up transferring security duties to the embattled government of Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki, praising him as the "right guy" for the job and saying there will be no "graceful" exit from Iraq.

No wait, this just in: A leader of a bipartisan commission on U.S. options in Iraq said the group has agreed on a set of recommendations due next week, and published reports said the panel will urge a major withdrawal of U.S. forces but set no firm deadlines.

Influenced heavily by John Wesley?

You scored as Evangelical Holiness/Wesleyan.

You are an evangelical in the Wesleyan tradition.

You believe that God's grace enables you to choose to believe in him, even though you yourself are totally depraved.

The gift of the Holy Spirit gives you assurance of your salvation, and he also enables you to live the life of obedience to which God has called us.

You are influenced heavily by John Wesley and the Methodists.


Evangelical Holiness/Wesleyan

Modern Liberal

Neo orthodox

Classical Liberal

Roman Catholic


Reformed Evangelical



What's your theological worldview?
created with

Brooklynese after all these years?

After 30 years in Kansas this quiz tells me that I still talk like I am from Brooklyn ... well actually Philadelphia ... what's the difference?

Whut bout youse guys?

Who do y'all sound like?

Oath of Office on the Koran?

Keith Ellison, D-Minn., the first Muslim elected to the United States Congress, has announced that he will not take his oath of office on the Bible, but on the bible of Islam, the Koran. Read a conservative's commentary here. I couldn't find a liberal one ... let me know if you find one.

Confessions of a Pastor's Wife

No, this Newsweek article was not written by my wife ... I just read something where a guy called his wife his 'bride" ... yuk ... where do guys come up with this stuff? Any way here is an excerpt from the Newsweek article:

I married a banker. i like to remind my banker-turned-pastor husband of this when we're having a particularly difficult time in the ministry. Although I wouldn't trade his occupation—some would say "calling"—my husband's career choice bestowed on me a title I never bargained for when we walked down the aisle. I am a pastor's wife.

Over the years I have been introduced to others without my first name. Just "the pastor's wife," as though the label alone is sufficient in describing who I am. "I'm Eileen," I gently correct. I usually get the same response. "Oh ... nice to meet you." As the conversation progresses, I feel their eyes examining me as though something about my stance, attire or aura might confirm that I am, in fact, married to a pastor.

Read more here.

Theme Songs from the Bible

Noah: "Raindrops Keep Falling on My Head"

Adam and Eve: "Strangers in Paradise"

Lazarus: "The Second Time Around"

Esther: "I Feel Pretty"

Job: "I've Got a Right to Sing the Blues"

Moses: "The Wanderer"

Jezebel: "The Lady is a Tramp"

Samson: "Hair"

Salome: "I Could Have Danced All Night"

Daniel: "The Lion Sleeps Tonight"

Joshua: "Good Vibrations"

Peter: "I'm Sorry"

Esau: "Born To Be Wild"

Jeremiah: "Take This Job and Shove It"

Shadrach, Meshach, and Abendego: "Great Balls of Fire!"

The Three Kings: "When You Wish Upon a Star"

Jonah: "Got a Whale of a Tale"

Elijah: "Up, Up, and Away"

Methuselah: "Stayin' Alive"

Nebuchadnezzar: "Crazy"

Vote Here for your favorite Catchphrase!

Cast my vote for Neil Armstrongs "One small step for man, one giant leap for mankind." What do you think?

Associated Press Mon Nov 27, 5:35 PM ET

NEW YORK - Sometimes it takes only a word, or just a few, to become immortalized in television history. The TV Land cable network has compiled a list of the 100 greatest catchphrases in TV, from the serious — Walter Cronkite's nightly signoff "And that's the way it is" — to the silly: "We are two wild and crazy guys!"

The network will air a countdown special, "The 100 Greatest TV Quotes & Catch Phrases," over five days starting Dec. 11.

"We have found that television is such a huge part of baby boomers' DNA that it makes sense that so much of America's pop culture jargon has come from TV," said Larry Jones, TV Land president.

The greatest number of moments, 26, come from the 1970s. TV Land identified nine moments from this decade. Ten are from commercials, and 28 from comedies, including six from "Saturday Night Live."

In alphabetical order, TV Land's list:

_"Aaay" (Fonzie, "Happy Days")

_"And that's the way it is" (Walter Cronkite, "CBS Evening News")

_"Ask not what your country can do for you ..." (John F. Kennedy)

_"Baby, you're the greatest" (Jackie Gleason as Ralph Kramden, "The Honeymooners")

_"Bam!" (Emeril Lagasse, "Emeril Live")

_"Book 'em, Danno" (Steve McGarrett, "Hawaii Five-O")

_"Come on down!" (Johnny Olson, "The Price is Right")

_"Danger, Will Robinson" (Robot, "Lost in Space")

_"De plane! De plane!" (Tattoo, "Fantasy Island")

_"Denny Crane" (Denny Crane, "Boston Legal")

_"Do you believe in miracles?" (Al Michaels, 1980 Winter Olympics)

_"D'oh!" (Homer Simpson, "The Simpsons")

_"Don't make me angry ..." (David Banner, "The Incredible Hulk")

_"Dyn-o-mite" (J.J., "Good Times")

_"Elizabeth, I'm coming!" (Fred Sanford, "Sanford and Son")

_"Gee, Mrs. Cleaver ..." (Eddie Haskell, "Leave it to Beaver")

_"God'll get you for that" (Maude, "Maude")

_"Good grief" (Charlie Brown, "Peanuts" specials)

_"Good night, and good luck" (Edward R. Murrow, "See It Now")

_"Good night, John Boy" ("The Waltons")

_"Have you no sense of decency?" (Joseph Welch to Sen. McCarthy)

_"Heh heh" (Beavis and Butt-head, "Beavis and Butthead")

_"Here it is, your moment of Zen" ( Jon Stewart, "The Daily Show")

_"Here's Johnny!" ( Ed McMahon, "The Tonight Show")

_"Hey now!" (Hank Kingsley, "The Larry Sanders Show")

_"Hey hey hey!" (Dwayne Nelson, "What's Happening!!")

_"Hey hey hey!" (Fat Albert, "Fat Albert")

_"Holy (whatever), Batman!" (Robin, "Batman")

_"Holy crap!" (Frank Barone, "Everybody Loves Raymond")

_"Homey don't play that!" (Homey the Clown, "In Living Color")

_"How sweet it is!" (Jackie Gleason, "The Jackie Gleason Show")

_"How you doin'?" (Joey Tribbiani, "Friends")

_"I can't believe I ate the whole thing" (Alka Seltzer ad)

_"I know nothing!" (Sgt. Schultz, "Hogan's Heroes")

_"I love it when a plan comes together" (Hannibal, "The A-Team")

_"I want my MTV!" (MTV ad)

_"I'm Larry, this is my brother Darryl ..." (Larry, "Newhart")

_"I'm not a crook ..." ( Richard Nixon)

_"I'm not a doctor, but I play one on TV" (Vicks Formula 44 ad)

_"I'm Rick James, bitch!" (Dave Chappelle as Rick James, "Chappelle's Show")

_"Is that your final answer?" ( Regis Philbin, "Who Wants to Be a Millionaire")

_"It keeps going and going and going ..." (Energizer Batteries ad)

_"It takes a licking ..." (Timex ad)

_"Jane, you ignorant slut" ( Dan Aykroyd to Jane Curtin, "Saturday Night Live")

_"Just one more thing ..." (Columbo, "Columbo")

_"Let's be careful out there" (Sgt. Esterhaus, "Hill Street Blues")

_"Let's get ready to rumble!" (Michael Buffer, various sports events)

_"Live long and prosper" (Spock, "Star Trek")

_"Makin' whoopie" (Bob Eubanks, "The Newlywed Game")

_"Mom always liked you best" (Tommy Smothers, "The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour")

_"Never assume ..." (Felix Unger, "The Odd Couple")

_"Nip it!" (Barney Fife, "The Andy Griffith Show")

_"No soup for you!" (The Soup Nazi, "Seinfeld")

_"Norm!" ("Cheers")

_"Now cut that out!" (Jack Benny, "The Jack Benny Program")

_"Oh, my God! They killed Kenny!" (Stan and Kyle, "South Park")

_"Oh, my nose!" (Marcia Brady, "The Brady Bunch")

_"One small step for man ..." (Neil Armstrong)

_"Pardon me, would you have any Grey Poupon?" (Grey Poupon ad)

_"Read my lips: No new taxes!" (George H.W. Bush)

_"Resistance is futile" (Picard as Borg, "Star Trek: The Next Generation")

_"Say good night, Gracie" (George Burns, "The Burns & Allen Show")

_"Schwing!" ( Mike Myers and Dana Carvey as Wayne and Garth, "Saturday Night Live")

_"Senator, you're no Jack Kennedy" (Lloyd Bentsen to Dan Quayle)

_"Silly rabbit, Trix are for kids" (Trix cereal ad)

_"Smile, you're on `Candid Camera'" ("Candid Camera")

_"Sock it to me" ("Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In")

_"Space, the final frontier ..." (Capt. Kirk, "Star Trek")

_"Stifle!" (Archie Bunker, "All in the Family")

_"Suit up!" (Barney Stinson, "How I Met Your Mother")

_"Tastes great! Less filling!" (Miller Lite beer ad)

_"Tell me what you don't like about yourself" (Dr. McNamara and Dr. Troy, "Nip/Tuck")

_"That's hot" ( Paris Hilton, "The Simple Life")

_"The thrill of victory, the agony of defeat" (Jim McKay, "ABC's Wide World of Sports")

_"The tribe has spoken" (Jeff Probst, "Survivor")

_"The truth is out there" (Fox Mulder, "The X-Files")

_"This is the city ..." (Sgt. Joe Friday, "Dragnet")

_"Time to make the donuts" ("Dunkin' Donuts" ad)

_"Two thumbs up" (Siskel & Ebert, "Siskel & Ebert")

_"Up your nose with a rubber hose" (Vinnie Barbarino, "Welcome Back, Kotter")

_"We are two wild and crazy guys!" ( Steve Martin and Dan Aykroyd as Czech playboys, "Saturday Night Live")

_"Welcome to the O.C., bitch" (Luke, "The O.C.")

_"Well, isn't that special?" (Dana Carvey as the Church Lady, "Saturday Night Live")

_"We've got a really big show!" (Ed Sullivan, "The Ed Sullivan Show")

_"Whassup?" (Budweiser ad)

_"What you see is what you get!" (Geraldine, "The Flip Wilson Show")

_"Whatchoo talkin' 'bout, Willis?" (Arnold Drummond, "Diff'rent Strokes")

_"Where's the beef?" (Wendy's ad)

_"Who loves you, baby?" (Kojak, "Kojak")

_"Would you believe?" (Maxwell Smart, "Get Smart")

_"Yabba dabba do!" (Fred Flintstone, "The Flintstones")

_"Yada, yada, yada" ("Seinfeld")

_"Yeah, that's the ticket" ( Jon Lovitz as the pathological liar, "Saturday Night Live")

_"You eeeediot!" (Ren, "Ren & Stimpy")

_"You look mahvelous!" ( Billy Crystal as Fernando, "Saturday Night Live")

_"You rang?" (Lurch, "The Addams Family")

_"You're fired!" (Donald Trump, "The Apprentice")

_"You've got spunk ..." (Lou Grant, "The Mary Taylor Moore Show")

Exotic pets in U.S. may pose health risk

Exotic animals captured in the wild are streaming into the U.S. by the millions with little or no screening for disease, leaving Americans vulnerable to a virulent outbreak that could rival a terrorist act.

Demand for such wildlife is booming as parents try to get their kids the latest pets fancied by Hollywood stars and zoos and research scientists seek to fill their cages.

Read more here and label this as weird.

AP: McGwire may fall short in Hall vote

A rather sad article about a one-time baseball phenom ...

By RONALD BLUM and BEN WALKER, AP Baseball Writers
Tue Nov 28, 12:07 AM ET

NEW YORK - For one glorious summer, Mark McGwire was bigger than baseball itself. America stopped to watch each time he came to the plate, and cheered every time he sent a ball into orbit. He could do no wrong, it seemed. Surely he would be a shoo-in for the Hall of Fame someday.

And then came that day on Capitol Hill. Over and over, the big slugger was asked about possible steroid use, and his reputation took hit after hit as he refused to answer, saying he wouldn't talk about his past.

Now, with Hall ballots in the mail, McGwire's path to baseball immortality may have hit a huge roadblock.

The Associated Press surveyed about 20 percent of eligible voters, and only one in four who gave an opinion plan to vote for McGwire this year. That's far short of the 75 percent necessary to gain induction.

"There is a clause on the ballot indicating that character should be considered and after his nonperformance at the congressional hearings his character certainly comes into play," said the Dayton Daily News' Hal McCoy.

"He doesn't want to talk about the past?" he said, "Then I don't want to consider his past."

The St. Louis Cardinals, McGwire's last team, suggested calls for McGwire be left with his business manager, Jim Milner. A message left Monday at Milner's office was not returned.

McGwire, who hit 583 career home runs, headlines the ballot released Monday along with Cal Ripken Jr. and Tony Gwynn. Results will be announced in early January.

"Mark fits the criteria, just like everyone else," Hall chairman Jane Forbes Clark said. "We've been very pleased with the judgment exercised by the writers over the past 70 years of voting.

"The ballot says a player's record of achievement, contributions to the teams, the game, their character, longevity and sportsmanship should be considered. I think this year's balloting will be interesting," she said.

The AP contacted, via e-mails and telephone, about 150 of the approximately 575 present or former members of the Baseball Writers' Association of America who are eligible to cast ballots. Of that number, 125 responded, including 25 AP sports writers. Most of the voters' names were obtained in the Major League Baseball media directory.

And the breakdown was:

• 74 will not vote for McGwire.

• 23 will vote for him.

• 16 are undecided.

• 5 refused to say.

• 5 aren't allowed to vote by their employers.

• 2 will abstain from voting.

That means if all the undecideds and those refusing to say voted for McGwire, and everyone else voted, McGwire would need 84 percent of the rest to get into the Hall.

Chaz Scoggins of The Sun in Lowell, Mass., was among McGwire's supporters.

"He wasn't breaking any baseball rules during his career," he said. "As for using performance-enhancing substances, the fact that so many pitchers have been detected using them kind of evens the playing field."

Baseball commissioner Bud Selig wouldn't address McGwire specifically, saying it was unclear how this generation of home run hitters will be judged.

"Time will tell. We'll have to work our way through all of it," he said Monday night. "All we can do realistically is take care of the present and the future."

McGwire played in the majors from 1986-2001, the first 12 seasons with the Oakland Athletics and the rest with the Cardinals.

When he hit 70 homers in 1998 — breaking the mark of 61 Roger Maris had set 37 years earlier — McGwire became a national hero for his Paul Bunyan-like physique and feats. A year later, part of an interstate highway in St. Louis was named after McGwire. Large signs at both the current and previous Busch Stadium called attention to "Big Mac Land," ads for McDonald's referencing McGwire.

But his reputation plummeted following allegations by former teammate Jose Canseco, who claimed in a 2005 book and subsequent interviews that the Bash Brothers used steroids together while playing on the A's.

And then came McGwire's testimony to a congressional committee on March 17, 2005, when he repeatedly avoided questions, saying time after time: "I'm not here to talk about the past."

That appearance and those allegations are still fresh in the minds of many voters.

"He won't get my vote this year, next year or any year," said the Chicago Tribune's Paul Sullivan.

When the AP conducted a survey of Hall voters during the week following McGwire's testimony, 56 percent of the 117 voters who gave an opinion said they would support his induction.

Ballots will be mailed to voters this week and must be postmarked by Dec. 31. Results will be announced Jan. 9, and inductions will take place July 29.

Players who have appeared in 10 seasons and have been retired for five years are eligible for consideration by a six-member BBWAA screening committee, and a player goes on the ballot if he is supported by at least two screening committee members.

A player remains on the ballot for up to 15 elections as long as he gets 5 percent of the votes every year. McGwire appears to be in no danger of missing that mark.

Gwynn and Ripken are considered virtual locks for election. Canseco also is on the ballot for the first time but is not expected to come close to election.

Gwynn isn't sure whether McGwire used steroids.

"I think he's a Hall of Famer, myself," Gwynn said. "He hit 500 or so homers, almost 600. I think we have no proof whether he did or not. Canseco said he did. He didn't perform well at the congressional hearing, and I think that will stick with people more than anything else. He's on the ballot, too. I have no control over that."

Hall voters will face additional questions when other players accused of steroid use go on the ballot. Sammy Sosa and Rafael Palmeiro become eligible for 2011 and Barry Bonds, who plans to play next season, sometime after that.

Others view it as a matter of baseball rules. Baseball did not have an agreement with its players' union to ban steroids until after the 2002 season.

Some writers say they might vote for McGwire in future years but won't consider him on this ballot, not wanting to give him the extra honor of getting elected on the first ballot.

"I don't plan to vote for him on the first ballot, but I do plan to vote for him," said former Chicago Tribune writer Jerome Holtzman, baseball's official historian.

Some players have seen their support increase over time. Jimmie Foxx got 10 votes when he first appeared on the ballot in 1947, then was elected with 179 votes four years later.

Dave Kingman (442) has the most home runs for a player who has been on the Hall of Fame ballot and was not elected — he received three votes in his only appearance, in 1992, and was dropped.

Among the 33 players above Kingman on the career home run list, 20 are in the Hall, seven are active (Bonds, Ken Griffey Jr., Frank Thomas, Jim Thome, Manny Ramirez, Alex Rodriguez and Gary Sheffield), four haven't been retired the necessary five years (Sosa, Palmeiro, Fred McGriff and Jeff Bagwell) and two are on the ballot for the first time (McGwire and Canseco).

Eleven of the 15 Hall of Famers with 500 homers were elected on the first ballot. The exceptions were Mel Ott (third ballot), Harmon Killebrew (fourth ballot), Foxx (fifth ballot) and Eddie Mathews (sixth ballot).

Neuroscience and Tongues

From the New York Times
November 7, 2006

A Neuroscientific Look at Speaking in Tongues

The passionate, sometimes rhythmic, language-like patter that pours forth from religious people who "speak in tongues" reflects a state of mental possession, many of them say. Now they have some neuroscience to back them up.

Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania took brain images of five women while they spoke in tongues and found that their frontal lobes--the thinking, willful part of the brain through which people control what they do--were relatively quiet, as were the language centers. The regions involved in maintaining self-consciousness were active. The women were not in blind trances, and it was unclear which region was driving the behavior.

The images, appearing in the current issue of the journal Psychiatry Research: Neuroimaging, pinpoint the most active areas of the brain. The images are the first of their kind taken during this spoken religious practice, which has roots in the Old and New Testaments and in Pentecostal churches established in the early 1900s. The women in the study were healthy, active churchgoers.

"The amazing thing was how the images supported people's interpretation of what was happening," said Dr. Andrew B. Newberg, leader of the study team, which included Donna Morgan, Nancy Wintering and Mark Waldman. "The way they describe it, and what they believe, is that God is talking through them," he said.

Dr. Newberg is also a co-author of "Why We Believe What We Believe".

In the study, the researchers used imaging techniques to track changes in blood flow in each woman's brain in two conditions, once as she sang a gospel song and again while speaking in tongues. By comparing the patterns created by these two emotional, devotional activities, the researchers could pinpoint blood-flow peaks and valleys unique to speaking in tongues.

Ms. Morgan, a co-author of the study, was also a research subject. She is a born-again Christian who says she considers the ability to speak in tongues a gift. "You're aware of your surroundings," she said. "You're not really out of control. But you have no control over what's happening. You're just flowing. You're in a realm of peace and comfort, and it's a fantastic feeling".

Contrary to what may be a common perception, studies suggest that people who speak in tongues rarely suffer from mental problems. A recent study of nearly 1,000 evangelical Christians in England found that those who engaged in the practice were more emotionally stable than those who did not. Researchers have identified at least two forms of the practice, one ecstatic and frenzied, the other subdued and nearly silent.

The new findings contrasted sharply with images taken of other spiritually inspired mental states like meditation, which is often a highly focused mental exercise, activating the frontal lobes.

The scans also showed a dip in the activity of a region called the left caudate. "The findings from the frontal lobes are very clear, and make sense, but the caudate is usually active when you have positive affect, pleasure, positive emotions," said Dr. James A. Coan, a psychologist at the University of Virginia. "So it's not so clear what that finding says about speaking in tongues."

The caudate area is also involved in motor and emotional control, Dr. Newberg said, so it may be that practitioners, while mindful of their circumstances, nonetheless cede some control over their bodies and emotions.

Political Vitriol

Vitriol is defined as a bitterly abusive feeling or expression. I think that, when it comes to politics, I have often entered the world of vitriol. Here is my response to Pomoxian's post entitled Should Congress Impeach George W. Bush?:
In hindsight I have to say that my views about President Clinton were wrong ... I think that I probably supported impeachment but really can't remember ... either way I was wrong to support the vitriol against him as I did.

I am also guilty of a similar vitriol against President Bush. I have a son who has been in Iraq and is going back in January. I really don't like the president's policy on Iraq and the Iraq War and have let really let that issue polarize me against him.

The facts of the matter are that the president is very unpopular because of his policy on Iraq. I am hoping that the newly elected Democratic majority will work with the president to change that policy and be a creative force in bringing the troops home. It is only a hope based on an idea that we can get past the politics and work together.

I am glad that impeachment is off the table ... it was a major distraction caused by the Republican majority in congress in the 90s ... I am hoping for better things from the Democrats. Time will tell.
Not sure that vitriol is the correct word but I'd like to describe myself in different terms in the future :)

Is this really necessary?

Soap to feature transgender character: (Associated Press) In a story unusual even for a soap opera and believed to be a television first, ABC's "All My Children" this week will introduce a transgender character who is beginning to make the transition from a man into a woman.

Arrowhead Stadium

In the 1990s I shared a pair of KC Chiefs season tickets with one of my friends from work. Arrowhead stadium on game day was an awesome experience ... I can still smell the aroma of BBQ tailgating smoke ... even the singing of our national Anthem was an experience :)

Stranger Than Fiction ala Codepoke

One of the movies that I am anxious to see this holiday season is "Stranger Than Fiction". Codepoke reviews this movie over at his blogspot.

Iraq's Leader Blames Politicians

This is a picture of Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki. Here is what Reuters reported about him today:

Berating all the political leadership -- rather than shadowy militant groups as he has in the past -- Maliki told a brief televised news conference: "The ones who can stop a further deterioration and the bloodshed are the politicians."

But he added this could happen "only when they agree and all realize that there are no winners and losers in this battle."

"Let's be totally honest -- the security situation is a reflection of political disagreement," he said, surrounded by Sunni and Kurdish leaders as well as his fellow Shi'ites.

Maliki, a compromise choice for premier after months of wrangling earlier this year, has struggled to make an impact on either Iraq's security or economic problems.

Despite pressure from Washington, he has struggled to crack down on militias blamed by Sunni Arabs for thousands of death squad killings, and has said repeatedly his main priority is fighting a Sunni Arab insurgency and al Qaeda-linked militants.

He has promised a cabinet reshuffle, but if it is to have much impact, he will need to break the pattern of ministries being parceled out to political parties and thereafter run as fiefdoms of rival factions within the government.

Maliki is derided on the one hand in the once dominant Sunni minority as an agent of Shi'ite Iran, while fellow Shi'ite Islamists demand he do more to defend their interests against both the Sunnis and the United States.

I have been Dilberted

I love Dilbert but sometimes his commenary is too close for comfort. This one reminded me of what it was like to do some contracting/consulting work for a large corporation after I took an early retirement package when I was 49. I felt young but worked around much younger people - I was the old guy. I am still one of the oldest people where I work now and sometimes get frustrated because of my physical limitations - I have ankle problems that sometimes keep me off my feet. I guess getting older isn't all that bad though when you consider the alternatives :)

Open Range | ★★★★★

Three of my favorite actors (Robert Duvall, Kevin Costner and Annette Benning) collaborated to make this movie ... and I just watched in on TV last weekend for the first time. So I thought that I'd jot a few thoughts down on it while i still had a few thoughts to think. Open Range is a story about the post Civil War conflicts of free-range cattle breeding. It is a kind of Bonanza meets 'Gunfight at the OK Corral' with Duvall and Costner playing the good guy free rangers, Benning playing a wild west town nurse and other unknown (at least by me) actors playing the townies and badguys. I thought the scenery was beautiful (I watched it in HD), the plot a bit too lengthy (needed about 15 mnutes hacked off) and the acting pretty rote. It was highly recommended to me so maybe my expectations were too high.

On a scale of 10 I give this movie ★★★★★

007 - forty years later

Anyone who knows me very well knows that I am a longtime Bondaholic. I read all of Ian Fleming's 007 books when I was in high school and have been mesmerized by the double-naught spy ever since. So it was no surprise that Ann and I got out to see the new Casino Royale the first week it was out (in KC anyway). I suppose that Daniel Craig, like all actors who have donned the Bond, James Bond role, will be compared to all of the previous 007s ... of course many Bondites stopped looking after Connery ... my favorite Bond was Pierce Brosnan and favorite 007 movie was Tomorrow Never Dies - topic for another dicussion.

Generally speaking I liked Casino Royale and for the first time ever my wife liked a 007 flick better than I did. A few bits: Judi Dench played an aging "M"; John Cleese did not play "Q" because this character did not appear in the movie; Miss Moneypenny also did not make an appearance. The film formula was different. Craig played the role as a more pouty-faced beefcaked action hero than all of his predecessors combined ... but I thought that he pulled it off. The film had a lot of action, some suspense and a twist of an ending. I give it 7 (of 10) KB stars and 6 (of 007) bullets.

Click | ★★★★★★★

My wife and I watched the DVD version of Click last night. Like many of his previous movies, Adam Sandler has hit another home run. I found this storyline to be something like "It's a Wonderful Life" in that the main character gets a glimpse of how his life could be if he stays the course and doesn't change. Sandler seems to be good at bringing 'movies with a message' to us. Many of his films are heartwarming, funny and culturally insightful.

On a scale of 10 I give this movie ★★★★★★★

Chiefs 19, Broncos 10

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) - NFL rushing leader Larry Johnson made the Denver Broncos' fifth-ranked run defense look ordinary.

Johnson ran for 157 yards, Lawrence Tynes kicked four field goals and Kansas City inaugurated the league's new Thanksgiving tripleheader with a 19-10 victory over the Broncos on Thursday night.

The Chiefs (7-4) charged into a second-place tie with Denver in the AFC West and gave the Broncos (7-4) their first two-game losing streak since late in 2004.

Johnson, raising his league-leading rushing total to 1,202 yards, consistently burned the Broncos with 8- and 10-yard gains, using his usual assortment of power moves and start-and-stop elusiveness. The Broncos came in giving up a shade better than 90 yards per game on the ground.

Johnson scored the Chiefs' only touchdown on a 1-yard vault late in the second quarter following a crucial mistake by the Broncos' Ebenezer Ekuban, who was called for roughing the passer on a failed third-and-4 play from the 9.

Tynes hit from 24, 34, 29 and 21 yards for the Chiefs, who have put themselves in a strong playoff position by shaking off a host of injuries and winning five of their last six.

It was a memorable night for the NFL, not only inaugurating the league's first Thanksgiving tripleheader but also the first live game telecast on the NFL Network, which is seen in about 40 million of the country's 111 million television homes.

Making the night even more festive was an in-house standing-room-only crowd of 80,866, the largest since 1972, the year the Chiefs opened the facility that many call the loudest outdoor stadium in the league.

The Broncos did not even snap the ball in Kansas City territory until after Jake Plummer hit Javon Walker with a 21-yard pass to the 47 with 1:30 left in the half. Nine plays later, Jason Elam kicked a 31-yard field goal that made it 10-3 at halftime.

Plummer dropped to 0-6 in six starts in Kansas City and had his second pass intercepted when tight end Stephen Alexander tipped the ball into the hands of cornerback Ty Law.

The Chiefs drove to a first-and-goal from the 9, but had to settle for Tynes' 24-yarder.

With Pro Bowl players Brian Waters back at guard Tony Gonzalez back at tight end, KC's offense was back to nearly full strength for the first time since Sept. 10. Quarterback Trent Green, who made his return seven days earlier after a 10-week absence with a concussion, was 13-for-22 for 161 yards and his first interception in two games.

The Broncos, in contrast, were more crippled than they'd been all year. Safety Nick Ferguson was lost for the season this week with a knee injury and Tatum Bell, their leading rusher, was sidelined by turf toe. Earlier, defensive end Courtney Brown and star offensive tackle Matt Lepsis were also lost for the season.

The Broncos got a huge break in the third quarter when Patrick Surtain's interception of Plummer's pass was nullified by an illegal contact penalty on Kansas City cornerback Lenny Walls.

Surtain returned the ball to the Denver 17, but the Broncos wound up with a first down on their own 40 and Plummer immediately connected with David Kircus for a 36-yard gain, Denver's biggest of the night.

A few minutes later, Plummer's 1-yard touchdown pass to Alexander made it 13-10.

Plummer, under increasing criticism from Denver fans, avoided any lethal mistakes and was 25-for-39 for 216 yards.

What About Me?

This is my attempt to consolidate my rantings and musings on life, politics, entertainment and trivia into one stewpot of rhetoric and monkey business.

These posts will tend to be daily and brief in nature and simply reflect what is going on in my boring world. I am also consolidating several other old blogposts (sans comments) onto this site - so I can get rid of all of my old blogsites.

I will continue to post to An Eye for Redemption once or twice a week with my insights on God, pain and trials ... some of these thoughts may bleed into this site but not intentionally.