Archive for the ‘Blogging’ category

The New Blog Is Ready

August 2, 2007

If anyone still cares, here it is. I’ve only got one post up so far, a summary of our two week trip to NJ and PA, with new baby pics, too, and also my thoughts on some of the BIG NEWS from the last few weeks.

That means this is it for the Alablawg.

One final note, though, I forgot to announce the winners of the final picture contest. Susan and Barry both got it right: The remnants of US Steel’s Ensley Works. (This guy has some pics of the works at work, if you’re curious).

Anyway, it was fun. Maybe I’ll hear from you at the new place. Hope so.

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I’m Working On The New Blog

July 16, 2007

I hope to get it finished sometime early next week. Probably won’t be much posting at all until then. Two reasons.

One, living in Louisiana and posting on the Alablawg makes me feel like one of those couples who still hang out even after they break up. Or like one of these Evander Holyfield “now I’m retired, now I’m not” types. Come on folks, it’s over, move on.

Two, we’re about to pack up the van for a three day drive to points Northeast, where we’ll spend a week or so before trekking back here. The stated purpose is a wedding, but the real reason is so I can pick up a tandem that my uncle is giving me. I’m really stoked (ha ha, get it?) about the whole thing, but the traveling makes posting tough.

Btw, and on the topic of long trips, why has no one thought of something like “Child Care Airlines?” Set apart on the plane is a room for kids under, oh, like four or so. In the room are professional attendants, toys, cribs, all that stuff. You buy spots in there just like tickets and then check your kids into it when you board the plane. Speaking as the parent of eight month old twins, I know I would probably be willing to pay double the price of a normal ticket for a ticket on that airline. And for kidless people, how much would you pay for a guarantee that all screaming kids would be locked in a sound proof room during the flight? Surely the amount is enough to make up for the costs of the extra space and employees. This is winner all the way around, I think.

Whatever

June 29, 2007

I think that’s going to be the name of the new blog. I’m open to suggestions, though.

As for the content, the name says it all: Whatever interests me enough to make me want to write about it. I imagine it will be the same basic content as the Alablawg – local and national politics, sports, religion, music, books, beer and pictures – but with the addition of comments on Louisiana and Shreveport stuff as well as on my new career as a teacher.

We’ve finally got the internet, so I’ll be regularly posting again. Soon enough I’ll get a new site up and going, but until then I’ll be on this one.

Anyway, consider this the first post of the Whatever blog: A few thoughts about Chris Benoit.

First, as background for the next point, and on wrestling in general, discovering it was fake was, for me, a far more traumatizing growing up experience than the same revelation about Santa Clause. I watched all the matches; had all the toys; and practiced all the moves – Boston crab, figure four, full nelson, camel clutch, pile driver – with my buddies. Hulk Hogan was just as much my hero as Doc Gooden and Daryl Strawberry. (We can discuss my choice of heroes in another post). Hence, when I found out the Hulkster and all the rest were frauds, I really think I went through all five stages of grief, only “acceptance” was replaced with “rejection.” Oh, and I was at most ten years old when this happened.

Which brings me to point two. Bill Simmons had this to say yesterday:

Adam (NY): So what does WWE do from here? With the macmahon death awkwardness floating over their heads I think they’re going to lose a huge portion of their audience. They have to, right?

SportsNation Bill Simmons: Honestly, I couldn’t tell you. I think this could be it – it’s going to be the dominant story of the next 2 weeks and everyone is going to bring up the death stats and all the crazy incidents that have happened, I don’t think the average person realizes what a damaging sport this has been (physically and psychologically) to the people who do it. Again, I think we’ve reached the tipping point. Sorry to be so somber, but the Benoit thing… i mean, it’s hard to explain how big he was in wrestling circles.

I’m saying no-way this hurts the WWE. I was ten when I found out it was fake, and I never watched the sport again. Why not? Because even as a ten year old I realized it was pointless. Why watch a sporting event when the outcome is predetermined? Who cares?  So, if the “sport” is too ridiculous for even a ten year old, then that means the average adult WWE fan is either 1) really, really stupid; or 2) willfully ignoring reality. Neither type of person will, I think, care about Chris Benoit. I’m not saying all the WWE fans are morons; but enough of them are that the WWE will continue.

What I’m saying is that the average WWE fan is like the average George W. Bush supporter. If by this point they have not come to their senses, they never will.

Third point. Like Simmons said, this issue is bigger than Chris Benoit. Later in the chat, someone posted a link to this site, which lists every famous pro wrestler since 1986 who has died before the age of 65. It’s a long list. 38 of them were 40 or under, including Benoit.

If that does not shock you, imagine if the list featured baseball players who had died under the age of 65, or football players, or basketball players. Or else consider the reactions to Lyle Alzado’s death, or Len Bias’s death. Even casual sports fans remember those, yet until I saw that list I had no idea that any pro-wrestler had died young. As someone said on Simmons’s chat, if any other sport had seen this many of its athletes die untimely deaths, we’d have seen Congressional hearings long ago.

Does the list mean wrestling caused the deaths? If so, should someone other than the WWE or the individual wrestlers do something about the problem? I do not know about causation. As for the remedy, I certainly do not want to call for government oversight of the WWE. And hey, these guys all chose their profession. But even if wrestling was real, or if I was one of goobs who watches it even though it’s fake, that list would definitely make me reconsider my support of the WWE.

I’m Still Here

June 22, 2007

First, I’m still here. We’re now not only in S’port, but pretty well unpacked and settled. So why is this the first post since Monday? Like I said, I hate phone companies and I hate cable companies.

We gave up on using the cable for internet access when Comcast told us we could not get service in our area. That in spite of the fact that we are in the middle of the city and THERE IS A CABLE BOX ON THE POLE OUTSIDE MY HOUSE WITH WIRES RUNNING TO THE HOUSE. Comcastic my a**. Anyway, we won’t even get cable tv until Monday, a full ten days after moving into the house and about three weeks after we first called them.

As for the phone, they were supposed to hook us up yesterday, but someone, somewhere – not us – cancelled our order. After much arguing, we managed to get the phones going, but the internet tubes won’t flow until next Thursday. Grhhh.

Time was, being without access to the interwebs might not have bugged me too much. O.K., so I have to check the box scores in the paper, no big deal. But things are different when you’re a blogging addict. The other problem is school related. To be certified to teach, I had to enroll in an 18 hour program at LSUS (like UAB, but LSU and Shreveport, and no sports teams). My classes this summer are 100% on-line. In short, I’m spending way too much time and money at the local coffee shop.

The moral to the story is that though I have lots of stuff I want to say, posts will be infrequent until late next week.

In the meanwhile, here’s some pictures from the move and of the babies.

Merton, making sure we don’t “forget” him:

Scratchy helped, too:

Allie and I in the truck:

The fleet ready to roll:

Saying goodbye to our house:

Now for the kids.

“Hey dad, are you posting about us?”

Saw this quote on father’s day:

Certain is it that there is no kind of affection so purely angelic as of a father to a daughter. In love to our wives there is desire; to our sons, ambition; but to our daughters there is something which there are no words to express.

Lots of stereotypes in there, but . . .

Here she is modelling a more casual hat:

And with her puppy:

Her brother’s allright, too. Here’s Malcolm standing up:

And Malcolm falling over:

Malcolm and Moby, my step-sister’s basset hound puppy:

And finally, brother and sister in their Memorial Day outfits:

Goodbye Part III, Stuff I Never Got To Do

June 11, 2007

Alabama things I always wanted to do, but never got around to doing.

See DBT. They’re in town every year right after Thanksgiving. We’re always in town, too, but I’ve never made the show. Mostly because we always have turkey day at our house, which means out of town guests with whom I want to spend time. Hence, no show.

Head up to Lake Guntersville to see the bald eagles. No excuses here, just never took the time to do it.

Eat at Dreamland. I frequently ride my bike past the one in Southside. Smells great. I always say I need to eat there. Never have, though.

Ride my bike from B’ham to Atlanta. There’s a rails to trails route from Anniston to the Atlanta burbs. The Alabama part is the Chief Ladiga Trail; the Georgia section is the Silver Comet Trail. We rode the former, and after doing that, I went home and mapped out a route from B’ham to the Ladiga trail in Jacksonville, figuring I could take back roads (some familiar) to the trail and then ride it all the way to Atlanta. I think the total distance would be in the 150-175 range, but the last 100 would be on the flat, smooth, car-free trails. My plan was to do it in two days, riding to Jacksonville on day one and Atlanta on day two. Jenny would have driven the SAG wag and also provided the ride home from Atlanta. So why didn’t I do it? It would have taken three days, and days off being precious for lawyers, I always had another use for them.

Do the Vulcan Run with the kids in the jogger. They were too small last year and we’re moving before this year’s race.

Go to the Unclaimed Baggage Center.

Rent one of those cabins on Cheaha. I’ve backpacked up there many times, but I always thought it would be fun to spend a weekend taking it easy on top of the mountain. It would be couch potato camping, but hey, everyone’s entitled to be a slacker sometimes.

Ride the Cheaha Challenge. Each of the last two years it’s been the day after the 3-state 3- mountain challenge. There are some folks who can do 100 miles with 10k feet of climbing one day and then 100 miles with 7.5k feet of climbing the next. I’m not one of them.

We always meant to “tour” the Catholic Churches in the B’ham area, taking one Sunday a month to go to a different one. Never did. In fact, other than St. Paul’s we’ve only gone to two: St. Francis Xavier in Mt. Brook (everything bad about contemporary services and architecture) and St. Stephen’s in Southside (everything good about contemporary services and architecture).

I’m sure there’s more, but that’s all I can think of right now.

Programming Note

May 29, 2007

Friday before last, I sent this message via e-mail to everyone at my firm:

To all,

For those who don’t yet know, this afternoon I submitted my two week notice. 

Jenny, the kids, and I will be moving to Shreveport, Louisiana next month, where I plan to teach high school.

Of course, my decision to leave the firm was very difficult. This is the only law job I have every held and I thoroughly enjoy working with all of you. But most of my family lives in the Shreveport area, and I really want my kids to grow up with all of their little cousins. 

Feel free to ask me any questions, as I’m sure there are many.

Thanks,

Moving to S’port means the end of the Alablawg, too. I hate it, I really do. I don’t have state legislators blogging here, nor do I get interviewed by national publications. The Alablawg is rightly subjected to all the typical complaints about blogs: Opiniontated, crude, self-infatuated. But it’s fun.

When I started this thing, I initially wanted it to be an objective review of Alabama law. That lasted about two hours: My opinions are too strong and my interests too varied. Instead my standard became blogging about whatever I found interesting. That doesn’t mean I disregarded readers. Far from it. I always blogged about whatever I wanted to blog about, but the best part of it was knowing some folks actually enjoyed what I wrote. I really am shocked every time someone leaves a comment, or e-mails me, or links to me, or – as happened just last week – whenever I run into a reader and they tell me how much they enjoy the Alablawg.

I’ve enjoyed the Alablawg so much that I even considered trying to keep it up from Louisiana. That wouldn’t be right, though.

Anyway, about the future. We’re moving the weekend of June 15th, and I had initially planned to wait until a few days before then to announce the end of the blog. But reading the news today, I just could not bring myself to post about any of it. I feel like a lame duck. Time will be limited, too. The next couple of days at work will be dedicated to wrapping up files and that sort of thing. Then I’ll be out of town until the middle of next week. After that, it’s packing, packing, packing. Most importantly, though, I didn’t want the end of the Alablawg to be one single abrupt goodbye post.  

So, over the next two weeks, rather spend the limited amount of free time between now and then posting about the news, I’ll follow a goodbye theme. In other words, after this post, I plan on putting up a few others discussing things like: 1) Stuff I’ll miss about Alabama; 2) Stuff in Alabama I never got around to doing, and; 3) Why we’re moving (this will be the final post). There will probably be some more pictures as well.

And if there’s anything else you want me to discuss, just let me know.

Blogrolling

April 27, 2007

Three new ones.

The first two aren’t much worth reading for anything other than a good laugh, being propaganda machines. Besides, neither of them have me on their blogroll, so obviously they are clueless. (Joking, really I’m not that full of myself). Anyway, here’s the Alabama Democratic Party’s blog, and here’s the Alabama Republican Party’s blog.

The third one is Bessemer Opinions. Good stuff, there, especially all the flower pictures. Also, I discovered after reading this post that a favorite bike ride of mine takes me past the author’s house. Small world.