Showing posts from January, 2007

Binding contractual agreement

AGREEMENT Re: Wager on Colts v. Bears Hoskins v. VanAcker, No. 07-SUPERBOWL-XLI Pursuant to an email agreement reached Jan. 28, 2007, this is a binding contractual document that constitutes an official wager between Bob VanAcker and Mike Hoskins. This wager shall be settled upon final outcome of Super Bowl XLI, to be held Feb. 4, 2007 between the Indianapolis Colts and Chicago Bears (hereafter referred to as "The Game"). Whereas, Loser shall - upon notification of outcome of The Game provide brewed alcoholic beverages (herein: "beer") to Winner. This said beer shall be of Winner's choosing and in packaged form of 24 cans. Said Loser shall make arrangements to deliver said beer within 60 days, or by April 4, 2007. Therefore, said Winner shall determine how settled debt is to be divided. Parties shall individually bear responsibility for additional expenses related to these terms, including but not limited to room and board, travel and mileage, and extracurricula

A Call for Conscience Journalism

Posted today on by Jerry Mitchell, a reporter for the Clarion-Ledger in Jackson, Miss. These are dark days for the Fourth Estate, days when Americans trust auto mechanics more than journalists, days when crazed lawyers host news programs, days when people refuse to believe what they read in their newspapers but believe any babble they hear on talk radio.These are days when footage of celebrity faux pas is held up as news exposé, days when partisan rancor masquerades as political debate, days when amateur blogging is passed off as investigative reporting, days when a photo spread of a celebrity couple's baby is touted as an evening news exclusive.To make matters worse, the things that have been happening lately to the American press sound as if they'd be more at home in a totalitarian nation than a democratic one -- military leaders detain media members, courts subpoena reporters' phone records and journalists go to jail for refusing to reveal their sources to

True Circle City spirit

A few co-workers and I journeyed to a Colts rally Friday in downtown Indy at the Circle Center Mall, few-a minute walk from the paper. Free posters, long lines at the pro shop, massive fans with painted faces and costumes cheering, singing, dancing and posing for pictures with "Blue" the Mascot. I course bought two AFC Champions sweatshirts, as we have little Colts attire since our move three years ago from Detroit. So, that was a necessity. Well, we glance over at one during the rally, and see a Bear and Colt (who we thought was a unicorn) nearby, being hassled by security guards. At first, we thought it was two innocents on a work-assignment who happened to stumble upon the rally, unknowingly garnering the attention of fans in a different light. Those securing the scene wouldn't let the custome-wearing folk near the rally and told them to leave. Bear threw his hands up in disgust. Great moment. Later that day, we discovered the true identies of the pair: Bear v. Colts.

Google me this, Google me that

Google has thoughts on press: "More is better." Outstanding. Here's the story from today's the Wall Street Journal online. Hail to the press. For journalists who wanted to spend an hour with Google founders Sergey Brin and Larry Page... the payoff was catching a glimmer of optimism about the news business. After tracing a labyrinthine route to Google’s meeting room, reporters heard the search giant’s founders express just a hint of optimism about newspapers, which have struggled to hold onto advertising and readers as online readership has soared. “It will be a long time before displays will be as good as paper,” said Mr. Page, who gets his news online. “I’m still a believer in paper.” Papers will have to focus more on creating unique content,” Mr. Brin added. “I think unique content is going to become a lot more valuable.” He also said he worries about the small number of professional journalists, which he said is too low for the world’s information needs. “I think i

Who should die?

Death penalty issues are always interesting to watch. They're so charged with emotion on all sides, from the victims' families wanting revenge or death (the "eye for an eye" theory), to the inmates pleading for life, advocates arguing against unjust behavior, and the legal world debating what the law says about "insanity" and methods of death. Good stuff. Now, an Indiana lawmaker has pitched an idea of voluntary selection of the death penalty. In other words, anyone sentenced to at least 200 years inprisonment or life without parole can elect for this death option. Of course, any deemed "mentally ill" would be excluded from all this somehow. How fascinating! This comes following a recent decision from Indiana Supreme Court justices disagreeing on the issue, but ultimately deciding to halt the execution of a "mentally ill" man condemed for shooting a state tropper back in 1993. They want to hear what the U.S. Supreme Court Justices say abo

Children, parents, and teaching lessons

Once, when I was a young child, I screamed and acted like a child when my parents took me out to a restaurant. They warned me, but the story goes that I apparently didn't listen. So, they took me outside, locked me in the car, and went back in to eat. I could see them while they were dining on the other side of a window. I learned a lesson. At age 11, I played with pink muscle men. Also played "guns" with a neighborhood friend, but using sticks, hands, and cool alien-like weapons. When I misbehaved for whatever reason, and didn't listen, there was a threat from dad. At times, he only had to refer to a belt to get me in line. I learned a lesson - of course, that depends on who you talk to. Not liking it, lessons were learned and parents were there to keep me in line. Not bribing me with snacks, or allowing me to take an inch and mile and watching while it happened. They did the job. Now, enter recent news stories. The now 21-year-old Pontiac man who at age 11 shot anot

Live State of the Union blog, minute by minute

Well, as outlined earlier in the day, here's the game. Minute-by-minute, live blog of the State of the Union. And, as fellow bloggers did during the Indiana Gov's State of the State, we had a patent-pending SOTU Drinking Game. All in all, a 50-minute speech that was half and half on domestic, foreign policy. Of course, watered down with too much applause and way too much media anaylsis before and after. Nonetheless, here's the rundown. (Be warned: I'm a cynic.) 8:55: CNN live coverage blogging begins, though they’ve been analyzing for days. Now, it’s Barack talking with and hugging his people. True emotion among politicians. Outstanding. 8:57: Senate President Nancy Pelosi - her mouth is moving, but she’s saying nothing. Smile some more, Nancy. Clapping for meaningless words. 9:00: Nice party-colored suit, Laura Bush. 9:01: Only four of nine justices??? WTF? So much for justice. Maybe it's for security purposes... Minutes later…. 9:08: Finally. He enters. DRINK for

Lame-duck, lackluster leadership

A fellow blogger out of D.C. made this outstanding observation from news coverage today.... "The 'best political team on television' has come to the remarkable and controversial conclusion that George W. Bush is in the final two years of his second term. As a result of this stunning research, CNN asks a question that rattles the very foundations of our elderly and disheveled democracy: Is Bush a Lame Duck?To support the very act of raising such a hot-button question, the teevee reporters have assembled shocking polls that show Bush is very unpopular. But how can we be sure that it’s okay to wonder if Bush is, indeed, a Lame Duck?" Kudos, enough to repost it on my own and use as fuel to stand up on my own virtual soupbox. That's the thought process as we make our way toward tonight's annual State of the Union, which comes in about 9 p.m. to disrupt the reality-show, comedy sitcom-watching populace's prime-time viewing. I'd be afraid to ask how many woul

Blue, Blue City

We missed Tiger-mania in Detroit last summer and fall. It's been years since the Red Wings graced our memories with Stanley Cup championships. And the yearly college football excitement of Michigan v. Ohio State has passed. But now, here's the chance to get into the Blue Crew Craze of Indianapolis, now that the Colts are heading to the Super Bowl. Outstanding game, one that I wasn't that interested in watching at the beginning but - like everyone else - got sucked into during the amazing second half and record-breaking comeback. The type of football game every fan or casual watcher lives and hopes for. Now, city's ablaze with blueness, everywhere and everyone. Fun part, those who know Bobby know that he's moved to Chicago in recent months - so now he's a Bears fan, and we're on the opposite ends of the Super Bowl. We've already traded some fun emails and messages kidding each other, even though we're both native Detroiters (funny how Lions aren't

You're kidding... Another one????

Well, now I've crossed the line. Another blog created, another way to keep the world in touch with my random ramblings and insane mumblings each day, week, month. You should be scared. The decision came reading legal blogs, or "blawgs" related to work, as well as creations from politicos and friends across the country. Suddenly, the MySpace craze didn't seem to cut it anymore. So here's another attempt to create that boundless network of readers who can bounce in periodically when time permits. Maybe this means the coffee pot will brew more often, or that the pillow will welcome my sleeping head later or less often. Hope yes for the first, and no for the latter. As far as new year resolutions go, better health maintenance tops the list along with better financing, but other personal ones that should be on the list include more regular schedules and written or expressive reflection on daily life. So, here's my latest attempt at all the above. Read with pleasure