Monday, December 29, 2008

A Respectable Loss

The Fighting Huskies of Northern Illinois University were fortunate enough to achieve a bowl bid in coach Jerry Kill's first season in DeKalb. But the luck ran out with the game clock as the Huskies fell to the Louisiana Tech Bulldogs, 17-10, in the dog fight that was Independence Bowl XXXIII. Despite Northern's domination of the game stats, turnovers and special teams breakdowns ultimately told the full story.

NIU loses alot of seniors in some key positions, but Coach Kill and freshman quarterback Chandler Harnish give Huskie Nation much to look forward to in the coming seasons.

"Forward together forward...."

Monday, December 22, 2008

"Happy Krimble and Merry New Year"

But seriously, folks. Even as we remain a long way from spring training, Clincher really enjoys Christmastime. From the colored lights across the neighborhoods and stores, and the extra effort that most folks put in to make the season joyful, to all those classic TV reruns of Burl Ives and Charley Brown. Even the long-familiar carols make the season uniquely enjoyable, year in and year out. About the only thing that comes close to ruining it is the traditional "War on Christmas" trash talk. But there will always be killjoys who feel some nagging need to exploit any reason to accentuate our differences and advance a divisive agenda to make some asinine point that ends with their moral superiority over the rest of us. They will never go away. Indeed, they belong in the palate of free and vibrant societies as much as blizzards and wind chill factors and hazardous driving conditions belong to this holiday season.

Perhaps no modern expression of Christmastime spirit is stronger for its unrestrained comfort and joy than those old Fan Club holiday recordings by the Beatles. I have never been what you might call a Beatlemaniac, but a big part of what I look forward to each Christmas is DJ Terri Hemmert spinning those old 45 RPM flexidiscs on WXRT:

Hello! This is John speaking with his voice. We're all very happy to be able to talk to you like this on this little bit of plastic....

This is Paul here. Everything that John said goes for me, too.... So, I'll finish now with a wishing everyone happy Krimble and merry new year, and especially all the ones who paid the subscription.
Even the Xmas war drum triumphalists can't ruin a good Krimble.
[Krimble pic h/t, The Adventurer's Club]

Sunday, December 21, 2008

The Dark of Sun & Moon

While lacking all the popularity, marketability, pageantry and controversy of winter's Official National Holiday, Chanuka fortunately retains most of its modest charm as a traditional solstice festival....

The Hebrew calendar being guided predominantly by lunar phases, the eight-day Chanuka festival consistently brackets the new moon closest to the winter solstice; or, the darkest part of the northern hemisphere's year. For each of the eight nights of the festival, an additional flame is lit in a nine-branch candelabra called a chanukiah.

In some narratives, the sequential lights commemorate a miraculous day of life to what should have been an insufficient supply of sacramental oil in the old Temple in Jerusalem following the victorious Judean-Hasmonean revolt against Greco-Syrian occupation of ancient Israel. Others may find a hopeful primordial satisfaction from the ritual increment of lights as daylight slowly begins to last longer, and the Hebrew calendar's Tevet moon reveals its first slivers in the nighttime sky.

However anyone chooses to approach it, may we all enjoy the warmth of hope and home at this season of our planet's orbit around its star.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008


With the arrest of Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich, Republicans are salivating for overtime in the Obama-associations game. One may even detect a slight quiver in the voices of conservative pundits as they again invoke the name Tony Rezko.

Meanwhile, consider the criminal complaint (links to pdf)....

ROD BLAGOJEVICH stated that he is "struggling" financially and does "not want to be Governor for the next two years." ROD BLAGOJEVICH said that the consultants (Advisor B and another consultant are believed to be on the call at that time) are telling him that he has to "suck it up" for two years and do nothing and give this "m*therf*cker [the President-elect] his senator. F*ck him. For nothing? F*ck him." ROD BLAGOJEVICH states that he will put "[Senate Candidate 4]" in the Senate "before I just give f*cking [Senate Candidate 1] a f*cking Senate seat and I don't get

Later in the conversation, R*D BLAGOJEVICH said he knows that the President-elect w*nts Sen*te Cand*date 1 for the open se*t but "they're n*t w*ll*ng t* give me anyth*ng exc*pt appreciation. F*ck th*m."

That sure is some conspiracy theory they got cooking up there. But seriously, if we want to drive the right wing whackos even whackier then we all ought to start refering to Blago as a Maverick. You betcha.

Friday, December 5, 2008

The Wars of Xmas

(Click on image to enlarge) -
It is unclear exactly how the compliance with restrictions against religious displays at town halls across America keeps anyone in our towns from celebrating Christmas, or otherwise takes the religion out of the Christmas holiday.

In America, business is free to ram Christmas down our throats even as we rake our autumn leaves.

So, it is fairly easy to appreciate how many believers feel that their beliefs and traditions are threatened when their fellow Americans express an unwillingness to share those beliefs and traditions by giving them the force of law.

If you are a Christian in America, you may expect the government to share your tradition of denying American couples of the same sex the same rights and responsibilities that other American couples take for granted (and often hire legal counsel at great expense to relieve themselves of).

If you are a Christian in America, you may expect our civil laws to conform to your belief that human life begins at the moment when sperm meets egg.

If you are a Christian in America you may feel persecuted when nativity scenes and other religious displays are prohibited on public property (or, more often, require a fee or insurance deposit).

Are Christians really being persecuted when the rest of us are simply not required by law to share their beliefs and traditions?

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Around the Horn

Welcome to the zany virtual adventures of an aging softball hippie's ascent into the blogosphere.

More soon come....