Sunday, August 30, 2009

How Ted Kennedy could have been "Right" instead of "Left"!

Speaking of the Green Bay Packers:

Amid all the news stories, remembrances and mourning for Senator Ted Kennedy, who died Aug. 25 of brain cancer at age 77, came this little bit of his biography that I never knew: He was once offered a spot with the Packers!

According to info on the site, the young stud was quite the football player during the years he attended Harvard:

"On November 20, 1955, in a 21-7 defeat to Yale, Harvard's lone score came on a low five-yard pass that was snared by No. 88, the Senior Right End Ted Kennedy. Just one month earlier, Kennedy's promise on the football field had caught the notice of Green Bay Packer Head Coach Lisle Blackbourn. "You have been very highly recommended to us by a number of coaches in your area and also by our talent scouts as a possible Pro Prospect," Blackbourn wrote to the young Right End. Kennedy declined the offer, saying he was flattered, but that he had plans to attend law school and to 'go into another contact sport, politics'.
(And we all know how that decision turned out! )

Hmmm ... you think that maybe the ultra-liberal politician was already prescient enough to be bothered by the fact that, if he accepted such an offer, his career accomplishments would bear the adjective "Right" instead of "Left"?!?

Monday, August 24, 2009

Favre, Packers, and the nature of competition

As a defacto fan of the Green Bay Packers (Mom was from Green Bay), I have followed the rocky career path of famed quarterback Brett Favre over the past couple of years, since he was traded to the New York Jets in 2008 -- after much back-and-forth drama and finger-pointing with Packer management over Favre's retirement, change of mind, forced ouster, etc.

His one-year stint with the Jets garnered just so-so results (they ended the season with a 9-7 record, but did not make the playoffs) and much criticism over his increasing penchant for throwing interceptions (he currently owns the record, at 310 total for his career).

After that one-season run, Favre again announced his intentions to retire. That was it, I sighed: no more Brett drama to dominate the news pages and sports blogs, just good, old-fashioned game play.

But retirement, apparently, doesn't sit well with the almost-40-year-old athlete: He has just signed with the Minnesota Vikings, who happen to be the Packers' No. 1 rivals. In years past -- Favre's glory years -- Viking fans loathed him just as much as Pack Backers loved him.

And now, almost comically, those tunes have switched completely: Green Bay fans are booing Favre and decrying his turncoat ways; while Viking fans have developed Brett fever, even giving him a standing ovation at the start of the team's preseason game Aug. 21 against the Kansas City Chiefs. The Vikings, apparently, have pinned their Superbowl hopes on Favre.

Says a recent AP story: "In about 72 hours, the Twin Cities have turned into the Favre Cities. Purple Favre jerseys and T-shirts are everywhere and fans have filled the phone lines of talk radio to hail the arrival of a three-time MVP who, despite turning 40 in October, is believed by many to be the missing link between this franchise and its first Super Bowl appearance since 1977."

It's still a little soon to tell whether Minnesota's dreams will be realized: Though they won that game 17-13, Brett threw only four passes -- with only one completion -- before he had to be replaced due to a hard tackle (read: injury avoidance!). And I know that fanatic Green Bay followers are hoping he falls on his face (literally!).

And then there are those Favre-ophiles who love him so much, they've switched team allegiance with his every move. (Geez, folks! What are you going to do when he finally retires?)

As for me: I personally don't care much one way or the other. My basic loyalties still lie with the Packers, but I'm really more interested in seeing good football. Will Minnesota's sudden "darling" be worth the big bucks -- and controversy -- of his signing? We'll just have to watch and find out. It's going to be a fun season!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Walk naked, and prove your patriotism!

At the risk of disseminating a politically-incorrect message, I just had to post this hilarious e-mail I received today. But because its basic message is about tolerance vs. intolerance, here goes:


Don't forget to mark your calendars. As you may already know, it is a sin for a Muslim male to see any woman other than his wife naked. He must commit suicide if he does. So next Saturday at 4 PM Eastern Time, all American women are asked to walk out of their house completely naked to help weed out any neighborhood terrorists. Circling your block for one hour is recommended for this anti-terrorist effort. All patriotic men are to position themselves in lawn chairs in front of their house to prove they are not Muslims and to show support for all American women. Since Islam also does not approve of alcohol, a cold 6-pack at your side is further proof of your anti-Muslim sentiment. The American government appreciates your efforts to root out terrorists and applauds your participation in this anti-terrorist activity. God bless America!

It is your patriotic duty to pass this on. If you don't send this to at least 5 people, you're a terrorist-sympathizing, lily-livered coward and are in the position of posing as a national threat.

(As a side benefit, by posting this, I've hopefully passed it along to at least 5 people, proving once and for all my patriotism!)

Monday, August 17, 2009

The newest eating disorder: Healthy eating!

The youth-obsessed Baby Boomers have been instrumental in a widespread shift toward a healthier lifestyle, including healthier eating -- which on the whole is a very good thing. But, like with every human activity, there's a fringe of people who have taken it to unhealthy extremes, by becoming obsessed beyond all reason about what foods go into their bodies.

This disorder has become so serious that doctors have even given it a name: orthorexia nervosa.

According to a recent story in the British Guardian: This eating disorder "affects equal numbers of men and women, but sufferers tend to be aged over 30, middle-class and well-educated. The condition was named by a Californian doctor, Steven Bratman, in 1997, and is described as a 'fixation on righteous eating.'"

Orthorexics have rigid rules around eating. Forbidden foods typically include not only things like sugar, salt, caffeine, alcohol, wheat, gluten, yeast, soy, corn and dairy foods, but also anything with pesticides, herbicides or artificial additives. Those suffering this disorder are so restrictive on what they eat, that it can seriously impact their personal and social lives. Also, many can actually become malnourished.

So, in their obsessive attempts at becoming healthier, they get less healthy! Once again, we return to my basic argument about practicing moderation and doing everything within reason -- by never taking any activity or enterprise to ridiculous extremes!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Looking on the bright side

So, a new study bolsters the notion that being optimistic is better for your long-term health.
According to a story in "Women 50 or older who are optimistic are less likely to get heart disease and die of any cause in a given time period compared to women their age who are more pessimistic, according to a study published this week in Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Association."

Well, duh!

Even if you don't believe in the ideas behind the Law of Attraction -- what you think is what you get (because the energy you put out into the universe is what returns to you) -- how can you possibly argue against the notion that putting out positive vibes is better, period: Better for you, better for those near you, just better all around.

So, whenever possible, do strive to see the positives to any given situation. Of course this does not mean putting on blinders or becoming myopic from those rose-colored glasses. Sure, there are going to be events and times in your life where it's damned difficult to see anything positive, at least in the short term. But I 'll bet if you look back at most -- if not all -- of those situations, you'll be able to discern at least a glimmer of a silver lining. And it's there where the bright side lies!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Long time, no write

Hey there!

Sorry about my absence, but I've been on holiday, with limited access to a computer, for nearly two weeks. I spent quality time with my family at a lovely condo in Peru, Vermont -- the locale of the Bromley Mountain ski resort, and a wonderful place to spend a summer vacation!

It was marvelous! No constant monitoring of e-mail or Facebook or Twitter, no news headlines blaring onscreen at me, no pressure to stay "connected." Just me, my sister, brother and dad, hanging out, hiking the local mountains, swimming in the community pool, kayaking on the Battenkill River, and barbecuing at night, with a roaring fire and board games -- and some TV (hey, they're not totally uncivilized there; they do have cable!) -- to occupy our time. We also played a little golf and tennis, to work out a bit of the rust and kinks in our games! Oh, and I completed a 500-piece jigsaw puzzle all by myself (everyone else got too frustrated with it!).

I did manage to post a few articles on my Examiner site, so in case you didn't get a chance to check those out -- here's the link.

Otherwise, it's been a very relaxing and rewarding couple of weeks. But now, back to reality! Which means, of course, that you'll be hearing more from me ... that's a good thing, right!!!

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