Thursday, January 8, 2009

Remembering The King

Today, Jan. 8, was Elvis Presley's birthday.

I well remember when Elvis died at the age of 42 way on back in 1977. If Elvis was alive today, he'd be 74-years-old and that, for some reason, is a staggering fact.

I almost let Elvis' birthday slip by as I've been very busy with work lately. However, I couldn't let the day slip past without acknowledging one of the finest entertainers in this great nation's history. So I've attached a YouTube video taken from Elvis' 1968 Comeback Special.

Yes, that's the way I prefer to remember Elvis -- vibrant, looking almost like a thug and belting out a rock n' roll classic. Enjoy the video!

How 'bout them Hogs?

It seems we have reason to rejoice here in Arkansas.

For one thing, that miserable football season is well behind us. Last season was the first one for head coach Bobby Petrino and the Razorbacks wound up with a miserable 5-7 record (2-6 in the SEC). We'll see what happens when Petrino has a chance to get some of his own recruits and the team has had a season to get used to his system.

The best news, of course, is that the basketball Razorbacks are off to a heck of a start. This is head coach John Pelphrey's second season and the Razorbacks are 12-1 thus far.

The Hogs have won their past 10 games, in fact, and we haven't seen that happen since 1995 -- a year in which the Razorbacks made it to the final round of the NCAA tournament and lost to UCLA. Of course, the Hogs won the NCAA championship in 1994 by beating Duke (it was fun to watch Duke lose, particularly since the "experts" predicted they'd slaughter Arkansas).

At any rate, Arkansas has also managed to knock off two top 10 teams in the past week. Last week, 4th ranked Oklahoma came to Fayetteville and the Hogs beat them 96-88. No. 7 Texas lost 67-61 in Fayetteville just the other night.

What was noteworthy about both of those games is that Arkansas is a young team (you can't swing a dead cat without hitting a freshman) and the Hogs went up against two teams that had more talent and experience. Regardless, the Hogs found a way to win both games and I haven't seen the Razorbacks scrap and fight that much since Nolan Richardson left in 2002.

The icing on the cake here is that Pelphrey showed up in a red sports coat the other night, thus showing off those school colors on national television. Good for him.

Hopefully, the Hogs will keep winning those games the team is supposed to lose and make it past the second round in the NCAA tournament this year. Pelphrey's turning out to be a heck of a coach and that's good news.

Monday, January 5, 2009

The Hawg's gift to the world

As I've mentioned here before, I turn 40-years-old in June and I'm mad about it.

I figure I'm angry for the reason most people about to enter middle age are irate. Yes, I haven't achieved much of anything in my 40 years on this earth in spite of having some potential and too much education.

Ah, but I vow to achieve greatness on my 40th birthday. How? I, The Hawg, hereby swear to either develop a new interjection or modify one that's fallen out of vogue and inflict it on the world!

I initially thought a new obscenity would be good and that might be just the thing for people who want to yell something while angry but are bored with the limitations of the English language. However, my new interjection doesn't have to be obscene -- it merely has to be something unique that angry people can yell when frustrated. One that sums up an emotional state in a scant few syllables and makes all who utter it feel a little better.

I figure on assembling a team of people who are given to getting angry and yelling things. That team will help me develop the perfect interjection. I've already enlisted the support of a foul-mouthed fellow at my office and my brother (a redhead, and we know how mad they get, right?) More team members are sure to follow in the weeks to come.

What kind of interjection will my crack team develop? Will it be something so foul that a kid can utter it in school and get thrown out for a year? Will it be an anglicized version of some particularly nasty German curse? Will it not be profane at all and merely be an old chestnut that has fallen out of favor and needs to be reintroduced?

The sky's the limit here, so who knows what we'll come up with over the next few months? The only rule my crack team of interjection experts will have to follow is that it can't be blasphemous. Hey, I'm a Methodist and blasphemy just isn't cool.

My birthday is June 16, so I figure on introducing my anger-relieving interjection at that time (I'll be so mad when that cursed 40th birthday arrives that I may use my new word all day long). Stay tuned. I'm sure we'll come up with something that will catch on quick and sweep the planet.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Putting pressure on IHOP

I recently got an e-mail from a lady by the name of Rachel Thompsen who has started a blog called Bring Back Boysenberry.

Yes, I've been irate at IHOP for some time because of the fact that company's restaurants don't carry wonderful, wonderful boysenberry syrup here in central Arkansas. I fired off an e-mail a few months ago griping about the lack of boysenberry syrup, and received a note from IHOP that local managers could choose whether or not to carry boysenberry syrup.

That fact didn't help me a bit, of course, so my brother sent me a gallon of boysenberry syrup for Christmas. I became complacent and, indeed, didn't care that the rest of the boysenberry fans in the world were having to choke down IHOP pancakes covered in syrup flavored with maple, blueberry, strawberry or something else that pales in comparison to the magical flavor of boysenberry.

So I'm glad to see that Ms. Thompsen has started her blog and I'd encourage all you disgruntled boysenberry fans in the world to go visit it. You can even sign a petition over there calling for the return of boysenberry. I had trouble getting my signature to take on the petition on the blog, but I had more luck going directly to the petition located right here. I'm not sure if there's something wrong on the blog or the fact that I'm using a computer equipped with junky Windows prevented the "blog based" petition from working.

Here's the thing about IHOP. That e-mail suggesting that local managers can determine whether boysenberry syrup is carried in restaurants is a bunch of bureaucratic nonsense. It's all buck passing and blame shifting, really.

IHOP corporate certainly has the authority to force local stores to carry boysenberry. An outraged public could make them do just that. Give them hell, folks.