Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Lady Knights Down Bethune

The Lady Knights of RU defeated the Wildcats of Bethune-Cookman 73-48 Tuesday night.

After a fairly even beginning, RU opened up a 35-26 lead going into the half and continued to pull away after the break. At one point the Scarlet Knights went on a 25-2 run.

With the victory over Bethune-Cookman the Lady Knights extended their winning streak at the RAC to 17 games.

The 6/7 ranked Knights are now 3-0 for the season.

Their next game is against San Jose State on Saturday at 1:00 in the KCRG-TV9 Hawkeye Challenge in Iowa City, Iowa.

(Game Story and stats here.)

Can You Say: Slow Start?

The RU Men's Basketball team got off to a very slow and quiet start tonight against Temple at the RAC in Piscataway. Freshman Antywane Robinson's 5 three-pointers in the early going boosted the Owls to an 18-6 lead with nary a field goal scored by the Knights.

They got over it, however. The Knights closed the margin to just 3 points by half time and came out SMOKIN' after the break. The Knights quickly tied the game at 23-23. Then Anthony Farmer downed a 3-pointer to make it 26-24 and RU never looked back. The final score was 67-53.

Quincy Douby, virtually the only scorer for the Knights in the first half, finished the game with 27 points.

Freshman Anthony Farmer has become a strong floor leader at point guard. Farmer had 13 points in 33 minutes.

Marquis Webb had only 8 points before fouling out with only 3:02 left but he held Temple's All-American candidate Mardy Collins, averaging 17.3 points per game early in the season, to no baskets and only 5 points from the free throw line. (He didn't get his first field goal until there were only 1:19 left in the game.) Collins finished the game with just 10 points.

Temple had 12 turnovers matching the in their first three games of the season but had 12 in the game

RU is now 3-0 at the RAC (4-1 over all). Improvement upon last year's 7-8 record at the RAC was a big goal of Coach Gary Waters and the Knights can become very tough at the RAC--when they believe in themselves.
The RAC = The Second Noisiest Arena In College Basketball = Intimidation

Field Goal Shooting
RU 41%
Temple 28%

(Game Story and stats here.)

Next up is an away game against the Gaels of St. Mary's College in California on Saturday night.

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Fruits' Health Benefits

Apple Juice is good for your heart
Compounds in apples and apple juice called phytonutrients act in much the same way that red wine and tea do to delay the break down of LDL or "bad" cholesterol.

So is grape juice
The brain benefits of grape juice stem from its flavonoids, natural plant chemicals that act as antioxidants. Antioxidants mop up the harmful free radicals generated when cells burn oxygen for energy, and their activity seems to help the brain in two ways.

First, the very same general antioxidant activity that protects the heart also protects the brain, since the brain -- a metabolic furnace that is the body's biggest user of oxygen -- depends on a constant blood flow. Grape juice flavonoids help keep arteries clear by reducing the production of clotting factors while increasing the production of nitric oxide, a substance that keeps arteries open.

Flavonoids may also increase the production of "good" HDL cholesterol and lessen the risk of clogged arteries posed by "bad" LDL cholesterol. And a recent preliminary study hints that daily glasses of grape juice may even help matters further by reducing blood pressure.

And cranberries are good for you too
…since these little red bombshells are a good source of vitamin C, vitamin A, potassium and fibre. But there is more to them than just vitamins. Cranberries contain hippuric acid, which has antibacterial effects on the body, as well as natural antibiotic ingredients. Cranberries also contain plant pigments called bioflavanoids which help repair damaged molecules formed when the body uses up oxygen. Research in Europe has shown that anthocynin, one of these bioflavanoids, aids the formation of visual purple, a pigment in the eyes instrumental in colour and night vision.

And let us not forget red raspberries
The most promising benefit that red raspberries hold for consumers is their substantial quantity of ellagic acid. … a phenolic compound that has become a known as a potent anti-carcinogenic/anti-mutagenic compound. … a naturally occurring plant phenol may help prevent cancer, inhibit the growth of cancer cells, and arrest the growth of cancer in subjects with a genetic predisposition for the disease

Or tart cherries, whose health benefits include:

Inflammation - Eating the equivalent of 20 tart cherries a day may be ten times more effective in fighting inflammation than aspirin.
Antioxidants - High in antioxidants, that help fight cancer and heart disease.
Melatonin - Cherries are also rich in melatonin said to destroy "free radicals" which are toxins believed to cause or worsen diseases.
Cancer - Research is continuing to see whether tart cherries could prevent colon or other cancers.
Gout - Cherries may lower uric acid levels when consumed daily.
Arthritis - Anthocyanins in Tart Cherries contain natural anti-inflammatory properties for Arthritis relief.
Glycemic Index - Tart Cherries score a very low 22 on the Glycemic Index.

Or blueberries
one-cup serving of Wild Blueberries had more antioxidant capacity than a serving of cranberries, strawberries, prunes, and even raspberries. Also, this is the first USDA study that evaluated the antioxidant capacity of both Wild (lowbush) and cultivated (highbush) blueberries, with Wild Blueberries topping cultivated by more than 48%.

Antioxidants are important in terms of their ability to protect against oxidative cell damage that can lead to conditions like Alzheimer’s, cancer and heart disease - conditions also linked with chronic inflammation. The antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects of blue-purple foods like Wild Blueberries may have the potential to help prevent these diseases.

Okay, we know the benefits from grapes are also contained in red wines. Can we assume the others can also give us benefits as, oh, say, Apple Jack or apple pie, cherry liquor (or pie), cranberry sauce, blueberry pies, ...etc.?

Today’s health tip was inspired by Appalachian Gun Trash

RU Scientist Create Mighty Mice

Working with the mice’s genes, they have discovered a “fear gene” that controls both innate and learned fear.
Their genes have been tweaked to make them unafraid.
In so doing, they have created a generation of lab mice who are a rather “cocky bunch.” (These lab mice sneer at danger)

Sounds like Danger Mouse to me! (But I keep getting an image of little white mice in brown leather jackets a felt fedora and a bull-whip on their belt…kindda like Indiana Mouse. Nah, they'd still be afraid of snakes.)

The goal is to help develop new means of treating anxiety disorders.

(Maybe that's why the football team has gotten better? Or why the free-throw shooting by the men's BBall team has improved?)

Haggis Hunting Season Opens Nov. 30

Meanwhile, we have the impending haggis hunting season for the elusive and shy bog-dwelling haggii. Check out the Haggisclopedia for Myths, Facts and Hunting Tips before venturing out with your trusty meuran (the weapon of choice) to seek the little critters.

(I don’t think I’ll be going out for this one. I believe in eating the game that I kill and the haggis I’ve had in the past didn’t thrill me.)

Lions and Coyotes and Bears, Oh My!

Even the cities of California are subject to invasion by the denizens of the forest as Hollywood hears the call of the wild.
A Los Angeles internet blogger who runs the site, "Here in the Hills", reported sighting two coyotes two weeks ago as she drove along Mulholland Drive, within a mile of Hollywood Boulevard.

Dog-walkers in Runyon Canyon, which include celebrities such as Cameron Diaz and Orlando Bloom, have also reported frequent coyote sightings in the last year.

Other wild animals are also becoming increasingly at home in the cities.

Some of the more curious of California's 30,000 black bears frequently invade the gardens of homes to the north of Burbank, home to most of Hollywood's major film studios.

Large bears with cubs have been filmed cooling off in swimming pools, while mountain lions roam the hills beyond.

At least it may be an answer to the problem of feral cats.
Two small family dogs, including a schnauzer and a bichon frise, have been killed by coyotes, which can weigh over 40lbs and have powerful jaws.

But Ken Podborny, a wildlife expert, warned that cats were the main attraction for coyotes and warned homeowners to keep pets indoors overnight.
There are towns and cities in NJ that could use a little help in this area. Some of our towns harbor feeding stations for feral cats. These are built and maintained by the same folks who cry “garbage control” when the subject of bear population control comes up.

Monday, November 28, 2005

Now For Something Completely Different

Mosquito makes unruly teenagers buzz off
Summation, the inventor has a device that emits a sound that teens find annoying. So annoying is it that they can’t stick around. Others can hear it, but they aren’t as annoyed.

Maybe all the loud music that is said to damage their ear drums has actually made them susceptible to attack! Next time the kid comes to ask for $$$ or to borrow the car, you just flip the switch he goes!

Swiss, Brie, or Limburger?

There has got to be a joke in this headline Feingold: U.S. Due for 'Cheesehead' Prez, hasn’t there?

More Animals Gone Wild

Some folks out in St. John, Indiana had a visit from a big bird last Friday. No, it wasn’t the one from Sesame Street. Nor was it the ghost of some past turkey. There was a runaway ostrich in the backyards.

The police managed to corral the critter and lasso it before turning it over to animal control.
Police Chief Fred Frego said he believed it was the first time local police had captured an ostrich.

Gee, ya think?

First Delgado, Now Wagner

Oh boy, oh boy, oh boy, OH BOY!

Huge contract but Wagner's not blown many saves. Just what the Mets need. Pedro and Tom have got to be jumping for joy right about now.

Now they need a catcher.

When do pitchers and catchers report? It's not soon enough. ;-)

Be a Traveler, Not a Tourist

I was writing my annual Christmas letter just before Thanksgiving when I realized just how much traveling Terry and I did this year. Some of it was by air (NJ to California for Xmas 2004, Terry by air to Nashville for conference) but most was by truck, usually hauling the travel trailer. Since much of our travel involved getting from one place to another as quickly as possible, we found ourselves on the interstates. I was reminded of the following from Charles Kuralt:
Thanks to the Interstate Highway System, it is now possible to travel across the country from coast to coast without seeing anything. ~On the Road With Charles Kuralt

The interstates have a rather blah appearance. Get plopped down on one anywhere in the country and you’d have a hard time telling where you are. In the developed areas you are usually looking at shopping malls, office parks or industrial centers. In rural areas the interstates bypass all the small towns so you’re looking at fields of crops or range in the area between the Appalachians and the Rockies and either forest corridors or sound barriers in the rest of the country. You really don’t see much of America.

Of course when you fly, it is even worse. Not only do you not see America by flying over it, you don’t even get a real feel for its size and open spaces. At least when you drive across country you begin to get a sense of just how big this country is. From NYC to San Francisco will take you 4, maybe 5, hours to fly but 4 days to drive. To go from the Canadian border to the Rio Grande will take you 3 days to drive. (This is assuming you drive no more than an 8 to 10 hour day at 75 miles an hour, stop only for meals and do no sightseeing. At that rate, it takes you nearly a full day just to drive east to west across Montana!)

We travel too often with a destination in mind forgetting the saying goes: no matter where you go, there you are. By that I mean that we should spend time looking around us as we travel instead of just being concerned with passing through. Stop and search out the small towns. Find out what makes the people tick. Look for the unusual attractions and not just those that are heavily advertised. Be a traveler and not just a tourist as per this quote:
The traveler was active; he went strenuously in search of people, of adventure, of experience. The tourist is passive; he expects interesting things to happen to him. He goes "sight-seeing." ~Daniel J. Boorstin

When next we hit the road, I will be trying to avoid the destination fixation and stay off the red lines on the map. Of course, with a 27-foot trailer, I’ll have to spend time on the larger blue roads or risk not being able to navigate the road at all.

A Brief History of the Interstate Highway System
A Brief History of the US Highway System
Highway History from the US DOT

Related Posts:
Hunting License Plates
Poems On the Side of the Road

Hunting License Plates

Hunting License Plates was a game we used to play when I was a kid. As we drove around touring the country, we maintained a list of those states and Canadian provinces whose plates we found. The more unusual the find (mostly defined by distance from our NJ home but sometimes by the distance from point of discovery), the more exciting the discovery. Most exciting of all was to find a plate from Canada’s Northwest Territories—it was, and remains, shaped like a polar bear. It’s the only non-rectangular plate issued in North America. This actually ranked above finding a Hawaiian plate despite the difficulty of driving from that particular state to the continent. (Nunavut, a recent addition to the Canadian Provinces carved out of the Northwest Territories, also has a bear shaped tag.)

Terry and I played this game when we toured the US back in 1976 and again, with our kids, back in 1993. It helped pass the miles and keep the kids occupied. We still keep track of the plates we see when traveling, but we also have the fun of looking for unusual vanity plates, too.

Today, hunting plates has become much more difficult. First you need to contend with the rapidly changing design of the states and provinces as well as the many specialty plates each issues. Secondly you have the plate holders on many cars that surround the plates. Too often these holders obscure the names of the states leaving you with only the colors for identification.

Plates Of the US:
Are here.
Plates Of the Canada:
Are here.
Checklist of US and Canadian Plates:
Are here.

Related Posts:
Be a Traveler, Not a Tourist
Poems On the Side of the Road

Poems on the Side of the Road

I remember taking road trips back in the 50s and early 60s with my family when I was younger. Mom, Sis and I would pile into the car and Dad, a professional driver of both trucks and buses would take us to places like Virginia’s Blue Ridge Mountains. This was in the days before the Interstate Highway system was finished. Much of the time was spent on US Highways. There weren’t many bypasses around the towns and there were still lots and lots of billboards. But the things we enjoyed the most (besides hunting license plates) were the poems on the sides of the road.

From the 1920s through the mid 1960s the highways and byways of our nation were dotted with tiny little signs that entertained, amused and advertised all at once. I’m talking about the Burma Shave signs. When travel was necessarily slow because of the design of the automobile and the road itself, the drivers and passengers could easily read the short messages on the 5 to seven little red and white signs that formed each poem.
Here is a sample of what those signs communicated:
On curves ahead
Remember, sonny
That rabbit's foot
Didn't save
The bunny

My job is
Keeping faces clean
And nobody knows
De stubble
I've seen

Candidate says
Babies kiss me
Since I've been using

[To read more go here.]

Today all I’ve seen along the highways that come close are the signs for South of the Border on I-95 and for Wall Drug along I-90. Of the two, I prefer Wall Drug for both content and originality. The place has a story as well as history. It may be touristy, but, more importantly, it isn’t South of the Border. Wall Drug also started back in the late 1930s during the hay days of the Burma Shave campaign.)

You also used to be able to see all the barns and tobacco sheds down south painted in black, yellow and white by the Mail Pouch Tobacco folks. (See here, here, and here.)

Related Posts:
Hunting License Plates
Be a Traveler, Not a Tourist

Thanksgiving Pics

Here are three pics from our Thanksgiving Dinner.

First there is one of Grandma K, my Mother-In-Law:
Grandma K

Then we have the everyone present (except me) sitting at the table (Laura missed the memo about wearing blue):
Everyone at the table

And finally we have the three "kids" Laura, Jessica and Brian:
Laura, Brian & Laura

Of Polar Bears and Penguins

As a science oriented person, I'm slightly upset with the cutesy Coke commercials that show Polar Bears and Penguins sharing a Coke. It's no the sugary sweetness of the appeal that troubles me, it's the falseness of the scene that troubles me.

1) Penguins are Southern Hemispheric species. Some may make it as far north as the shores of Brazil or Chile but none cross the Equator. Polar Bears are a Northern Hemispheric bunch. They live around the Arctic Ocean, venturing out onto the ice for meals of seals. The furthest south I have ever heard of these big white beasts traveling is Churchill on the south end of Hudson Bay. In short, the two would never meet except at a zoo.

2) The scene in the Coke commercial shows a family of Polar bears and that's just wrong. While Mama bear may care for her cub for a year or two, Papa bear looks upon young bears as a snack. The male bear is not terribly social. The only time the male approaches a female without the visions of food in his mind is those few days when he may mate with her. He certainly isn't going to stick around for any child rearing.

3) Making cutesy commercials may make people go, "Aww, ain't that cute." but it will also give them false impressions of the real world. (See the Disney version of Bambi for one of the worst cases.)

Now, about that three bears commercial for Hummer's H3...

(And yeah, I thought it was cute too.)

Heartbreak Sunday

For NY football fans, that is.

G-men lose to Seattle in overtime, 24-21, when Jay Feely misses three (3) field goals to win the game. All those flase start penalties didn't help.

The Jets played an exciting game against the Saints. They made no turnovers but the muffed center snap with about 25 seconds left cost them three vital yards as the winning field goal attempt was a half a yard short. The final: 21-19, Saints.

(I originally wrote exiting instead of exciting in the line about the Jets' game. At 2-9 I guess it was that too.)

Sunday, November 27, 2005


You are Marcie!

Which Peanuts Character Are You?

Ssshh!! It's Hunting Season

I found this cartoon over at Italics Mine for your enjoyment.

Deer Hunter Kills Mountain Lion In MT

The female cat was stalking the off-duty Sheriff’s Deputy and had gotten to within 20 feet. This occurred near Great Falls, MT. Read the details here.

Bear Bites Hunter

Then we have the story of a PA hunter who too quickly approached the black bear he had just shot four times. The bear revived, temporarily, to leave his mark with tooth and claw upon the hunter.

Turkeys Terrorize Town

Seems a contract had to be put out on a small flock (20 birds) of wild turkeys who were picking on joggers in Canton, MA.

This story is a few days old so the three birds that were offed may have already been...well, you know.

Saturday, November 26, 2005

Global Warming?

Are you sure? Cold snap grips Europe

Eco Animation

I just came across this while surfing around and thought it was quite good and that some of you might enjoy the animation. I think the moral might be to stop messing with Mother Eart or She might find a way to strike back.

Whatever. The animation is well done.

This was originally posted at Spline Doctors.

Illinois over RU;
But The Lady Knights Win The Junkanoo Jam

Dang! RU BB (Men’s version) ran into trouble with #15 Illinois tonight in the Championship Game of the South Padre Invitational. After jumping out to a 4-0 start, it was downhill…pretty quickly. Illinois took a 7-6 lead and never looked back. It was 38-26 at half time. The Illini shot better and out rebounded the Knights. In the first three games of the season, RU out rebounded its opponents by an average of 14 per game.

At the half, RU was only shooting around 23% from the field and when you don’t get those rebounds…well, it ain’t good. Quincy Douby was leading RU with 12 points at half time. Douby has been averaging 16 points per game. Unfortunately he was also just 2-9 from beyond the three-point line.

Things didn’t improve in the second half. Illinois slowly but inexorably increased its lead. The final score was 77-57.

Douby did score 21 points. The rest of the offense was worse than sluggish. They had no inside game and no transition game.

Marquis Webb fell off the radar the last two days. He had only 4 points against Kent State on Friday and had none against Illinois until very late in the game when he made I-2 at the foul line. For RU to be successful he needs to score in double digits at least. For him to do that he will have to shoot.

RU is now 3-1 on the season.

You can get the stats and story here.

RU Women defeated North Carolina State 66-56 to win the Junkanoo Jam (I just love that name) on Grand Bahama Island. The Lady Knights (is that an oxymoron?) are now 2-0. Here are their stats and story.

Brazil Does What?

Let me get this straight.

Brazil, home of the girl from Ipanema, the thong, Carnival that makes Mardi Gras look like a Sunday afternoon tea party, with all those beaches around Rio where the babes wear veeerrry skimpy bikinis prohibits the sale of “sexy” postcards, but has a beauty pageant for inmates?

Yep. (shakes head in wonder)

I’m NOT Addicted to Blogs.

I swear, I DO NOT have a problem! My life DOES NOT revolve around my Blog or any of the 352 I have on my Favorites list.

I DON’T I DON’T I DON’T have a problem! Really.

But if I did, I might take these twelve steps to heart.

From Pebblepie via Mostly Cajun


The Scarlet Knights (7-4, 4-3) combined a strong defensive performance (only 146 total yards allowed, 9 sacks) with a potent rushing attack to defeat the Cincinnati Bearcats (4-7, 2-5) by a score of 44-9. Freshman Ray Rice gained 195 yards on 28 carries, pushing him over the 1,000 yard mark for the season. Rice scored two TDs on the ground. As a team, RU rushed for 337 yards on 50 carries. Junior Brian Leonard again had over 100 total yards and two TDs. Sophomore Jeremy Ito added three field goals. Senior Ryan Hart completed his Rutgers career (or at least the regular season portion of it) throwing for 237 yards for 1 TD and guiding the Scarlet to the strong victory.

Should the Notre Dame squad defeat Stanford tonight, the Scarlet Knights will be in the Insight Bowl in Phoenix, Arizona on December 27th where they will play Arizona State. Twenty-seven years ago in the one and only New Jersey Bowl, the Arizona State team defeated Rutgers in its last bowl appearance. (Should Notre Dame lose, the Knights may end up in the Motor City Bowl.)

The Bearcats had -23 yards (that’s negative 23) rushing on 28 carries.

You can read the full story here.

UPDATE: Notre Dame managed to score a touchdown and 2-point conversion with 55 seconds remaining then held on to survive a scare from the Stanford Cardinal 38-31. The win virtually guarantees ND will be in a BCS bowl meaning RU should be recieving a bid to the Insight Bowl.

1-AA Playoffs

Back in 1998 my daughter was looking to attend a college that had an outstanding marching band (she played the tuba). She visited and/or auditioned for Colorado, Colorado State, Ohio State, Penn State, West Virginia, Rutgers (the home state) and Massachusetts. She was extremely impressed with Band Director George N. Parks at UMass and with was extremely pleased to join the Power and Class of New England in the form of the Minuteman Marching Band. Between the time of her acceptance and attendance at band camp, the Minuteman Marching Band received the most prestigious honor bestowed upon college bands, the Louis C. Sudler Trophy which was awarded to the band during her inaugural season.

Being “only” a three-hour drive from our northern New Jersey home, we drove up for several football games to see the band perform. With 300+ members the shows were spectacular but I also began to appreciate the football on the 1-AA level. The players may have been slightly smaller and slightly slower than those you saw on TV from the 1-A squads but the competition was just as intense. That first year, the football squad went on to play in Chattanooga against Georgia Southern for the 1-AA championship. While I didn’t get to go down to Tennessee to watch that game in person, it was on TV. The southern fans weren’t particularly hospitable to either the football team or the band. GS was the heavy favorite because they had Adrian Peterson and several championships under their belt. But that is why they play the game. UMass forced something like half a dozen turnovers in the first half and you could have mailed it in after that. And the Georgia fans were not happy.

In the years since, I have become a big fan of 1-AA football and its playoff structure in which the top 24 teams play single elimination for the title. While I would like to see something like this in the 1-A, the economics of the big BCS bowls and all those ancillary bowls make it virtually impossible. Add to that what some one said on ESPN the other day. To paraphrase: “The 1-AA system allows only one coach to end the season as a winner. 1-A coaches will never allow that to happen. To much money from the alumni and prestige in the recruiting circuit depends upon being a winner in that last game.”

I bring all this up because, while listening to RU vs. Cincinnati on the radio (23-3 RU at the half, I’m watching the first round of the 1-AA playoffs. #1 ranked New Hampshire is dismantling #24 Colgate. This one was over at half time 34-0 but has now progressed to 48-14 at the end of the third.

Friday, November 25, 2005

New York Mets Make Changes

It’s a year later than anticipated, but the Mets now have a first baseman named Carlos Delgado. The Mets had made an offer to Delgado last year but he chose to sign with the Florida Marlins because they had a better chance to win. He proceeded to hit 33 home runs, drive in 115 runs, score 81 runs for the Marlins. He hit for a .301 average and had slugging and on-base percentages of .559 and .399 as a first baseman (516 at-bats), designated hitter (three at-bats) and pinch-hitter (two at-bats) in his lone season with the Marlins. Now the Marlins have traded him to the Mets. The Mets also receive $7 million dollars and send frist baseman Mike Jacobs, Yusmeiro Petit and minor league third baseman Grant Psomas to Florida.

Earlier last week the Mets had traded outfielder Mike Cameron to San Diego for first baseman-outfielder Xavier Nady. Cameron, a centerfielder by trade, played most of his time in rightfield. He’ll get to play center for the Padres. Nady will become a valuable bench player able to fill in at first, third and the outfield.

Now, Mets GM Omar Minaya is talking to free agent closer Billy Wagner about a $30 million dollar package. The sales pitch the team made the other day seems to have impressed him. Hopefully he’ll like the idea of having Delgado at first, Reyes at short, Wright at third, Floyd in left, Diaz in right and Beltran in center.

With Martinez, Glavine, Benson, Seo, and Trachsel as starters, the team is in good shape in that department. Heilman, Padilla and Bell served well as middle relief. They still need a second baseman and a catcher. Matzui hasn’t made the transition from Japan and Ramon Castro filled in admirably for Piazza but can’t be counted upon to be the everyday backstop. Ramon Hernandez and Bengie Molina are available and one of them might be tempted with the new New York Mets. The changes in orange and blue aren’t over yet.

It’s not Christmas yet and I’m looking forward to pitchers and catchers in February. Is something wrong with me?

Rutgers Jumps Out to 3-0 Start

Rutgers continued to play strong defense and managed to get enough scoring to defeat Kent State today in a third round game in the South Padre Island Invitational. In their first road game of the year, the Scarlet Knights jumped out to a big first half lead only to see the Kent State Golden Flashes come back strong early in the second half. The Golden Flashes ignored the 12-point margin in RU’s favor at half time to bring it back to a 1-point game at 41-40. The Knights responded to open a 6 point lead with less than three minutes left but Kent State closed again to 53-52 with one minute to go.

Quincy Douby recorded 19 points to lead all scorers, but it was Freshman Anthony Farmer who went to the line with 25.5 seconds to go and made both free throws. Farmer then made the final rebound off a three point attempt to seal the victory.

RU outrebounded the Golden Flashes 43-26. Both JR Innman and Byron Joynes had 10 rebounds.

WS had 28 free throws vs RU's 18 but the Flashes only shot 64.3% from the stripe while the Knights shot 88.9%.

The final score 55-52. It wasn't pretty but it is another in the "W" column. You can read the story here.

RU now moves on to the championship round on Saturday night against either Illinois or Wichita State.

UPDATE: It will be Illinois. They escaped with a 1-point vistory, 55-54, over Witchita State.

Thursday, November 24, 2005

Thanksgiving Dinner

We had a great Thanksgiving Dinner with six of us at the table. Terry and I were joined by daughter Jessica, Terry’s Mom, and niece Laura and nephew Brian. The “kids” range from 24-26 years of age and get along swimmingly despite the three of them living in New Jersey, California, and Chicago respectively.

Terry truly outdid herself this year. We had roast turkey, venison fillet, stuffing, mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, string bean casserole, nibblet corn, whole cranberry sauce and corn bread. We had wines from Ohio and Idaho that we had picked up in our travels during the summer with dinner. Desert included the traditional Friendly’s ice cream log and home made pies. Terry baked pecan and pumpkin pies and her Mom baked apple. Coffee and tea were served with desert and then I cracked open a bottle of 12-year old Glenlivet. Brain and I enjoyed the scotch but the ladies only took a small sip.

We took our time at the table and enjoyed the visit and conversation. We had phone calls from Rick (Son) and Lucille (Brian and Laura’s Mom). We sat there and passed the phone around so we could all talk to those on the other end.

The turkey was prepared using Alton Brown’s recipe for brining the bird and cooked to perfection. The breast meat was nice and moist. This not only made it delicious, but it made it the easiest bird I have ever had to carve. Every one of the pies tasted great as did the sweet potatoes, string bean casserole and…well everything!

I’m stuffed!

I hope you had as good a day as I did.

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Cajun Joke

Mostly Cajun has got a real good story on Hiring Boudreaux… go take a look.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

RU Men’s BB Off to Good Start

Delaware State 42
Rutgers 49

Tonight RU got 21 points from freshman forward JR Inman in only his second collegiate game. Inman also had 7 rebounds and 4 blocked shots. After a back and forth first half, the Knights managed to pull away from the Hornets of DS in the final minutes for a 49-42 victory. Quincy Douby made a few too many turnovers but added 10 points.

The Scarlet Knights improved to 2 –0 in the South Padre Island Invitational. The Knights meet Kent State at South Padre Island at 2:00 PM on Friday.

Saturday could be a busy day:
Should RU defeat Kent State on Friday, they will play for the South Padre Island Invitational championship Saturday night.
Saturday afternoon the football team will be playing Cincinnati at 1:00 PM in Piscataway. A victory over the Bearcats would make the Scarlet Knights 7-4 for the year and that could propel them to a bowl game.
Also, barring and upset, Saturday evening the No. 5/6 ranked Women’s Basketball team will be playing for the championship at the Lucaya Division of the Junkanoo Jam (don't you just love that name) on Grand Bahama Island.

UPDATE: You can read the RU story here.

For All the Vegans Out There

Groups like PETA would like us all to become Vegans so we don’t have to kill or exploit animals for our eating pleasure. After reading this article: Vegetables and fruits cause more US food illnesses, you might want to rethink that choice.


November 24th is Thanksgiving this year. Family, food, festivities (parades), and football will mark the day. As has become tradition here in the USA, it will be the fourth Thursday of November—but the holiday has not always been on this Thursday. For more than half of our history, we either did without an annual Thanksgiving celebration or celebrated at the whim of some politician.

We have all heard the tale of the Pilgrims under Governor William Bradford celebrating the first Thanksgiving in 1621. They celebrated in the tradition of an English harvest festival with a three-day feast.

Yet, this was not the first thanksgiving to be celebrated in North America. Native Americans had celebrated the harvest in different forms for thousands of years before Europeans arrived. Back in 1578 Martin Forbisher held a formal celebration in New Foundland giving thanks for surviving a long Atlantic crossing. Additionally, Spanish, French and Dutch settlements probably held harvest celebrations in the European tradition.

Even the Pilgrims’ 1621 Thanksgiving was not repeated in 1622. After several days of prayer brought about a long, steady rain to end a severe dry spell that threatened their crops, Governor Bradford again proclaimed a Thanksgiving Day. That was it until June 1676. On June 29th of that year the governing council of Charleston, Massachusetts held a thanksgiving celebration in part in recognition of their recent victory over the “heathen natives.” (Bet there were no Indians at that one!)

October of 1777 was the first time all 13 colonies joined in a thanksgiving celebration. What were they celebrating? The victory of the Americans over the British at Saratoga was the first major success in the Revolution.

The first National Day of Thanksgiving celebrated by the USA was in 1789 and many were opposed to it. President Washington’s proclamation referenced the hardships of the Pilgrims and that rubbed those in the other states the wrong way. President Thomas Jefferson (from Virginia) disliked the idea enough that it was dropped for decades.

Magazine editor Sarah Josepha Hale championed the idea of an annual day of Thanksgiving for 40 years before President Abraham Lincoln proclaimed the last Thursday in November as a national day of Thanksgiving in 1863. Every president after Lincoln continued to proclaim a Thanksgiving Day. Usually it was the last Thursday in November, but not always.

In the mid 1930s, President Roosevelt tried to increase the Christmas shopping season by moving the holiday to an earlier date—the next-to-last Thursday of the month—but this didn’t go over well with the public and the holiday was moved back to the last Thursday of November just two years later. All this time, Thanksgiving was still not an official National Holiday. Then in 1941 President Roosevelt and Congress finally declared Thanksgiving to be a legal holiday to be celebrated on the fourth Thursday in November.

Wilstar’s Thanksgiving Page

Thanksgiving Traditions

President George Washington’s proclamation

President Lincoln’s proclamation

The History Channel on Thanksgiving

Annie’s Thanksgiving History page

Australia’s Thanksgiving—3rd of June 2006 (the first Saturday in June)

Canadian Thanksgiving Day—Second Monday in October

Thanksgiving Around the World

Monday, November 21, 2005

Would You Eat A Roo?

I would. How about you? I limit my diet to…well…nearly anything. Sushi, smoked eel, antelope, rabbit, squirrel, venison (some of it roadkill), moose, bear, caribou, bison, rattlesnake, goose (wild), duck (wild), boar, grouse, turkey (wild), ostrich, shrimp, crayfish, oysters and scallops (off the back of the boat), shark, conch, squid, octopus, ray…. Eating a roo would be no problem and I don’t care what they call it. I’m an omnivore who tends to the carni side of things.

Brett Farve--'Nough Said

The man has started 215 consecutive regular season games. For a QB that is something else.

The Jets haven't had a quaterback play 215 consecutive offensive plays during the last...I don't know if they have ever had one! Hell, the Jets went to their 5th QB of the season on Sunday.

On One Level This Makes Sense

"Great works of art, at a deep level, bring about a feeling of destruction, an urge to destroy which also many artists have. Michelangelo himself destroyed some of his own works or parts of them."
I don't know that I would take a hammer to Mike's David, but there are definitely some things being past off as great art that I would gladly smash into molecules. Let's start with any thing by Andy Warhol.

They call it "David syndrome"

Bring Out Your Dead—Animals, That Is.

I can empathize with the forestry department in India asking for dead animals. Why, just this morning I sat in a tree stand in western NJ hoping a doe would come within range of my shotgun. I would have made her dead. Across the field three vultures sat upon rolls of hay. My guess? They were waiting for the gut pile but were disappointed as much as I. Three other guys from my hunting club were stationed around the fields and none of them got a shot either.

RU Hoops Officially Begins

I was so busy trying to locate a buck deer in the Adirondacks of New York that I find the RU basketball season has snuck up upon me.

The Scarlet Knights defeated Austin Peay 66-46 in the opening round of the South Padre Island Invitational. Not having listened to or watched the game, I have little more to add than what I read on the RU Athletics page. You can read it here.

It was good to see that Quincy Douby and Marquis Webb have good games with 19 and 17 points respectively. On the other hand, some additional scorers are going to be needed if this team is going to be competitive.

Looking at the roster, it is interesting to note the following:

(1) There is only one senior on the squad and the starting five consists of two freshmen, two juniors and one sophomore. This bodes well if they develop—if they stagnate, well, it could be a long year.

(2) Six players are from NJ (as is redshirting sophomore Courtney Nelson) while two are from the NYC area. It’s good to see some of the local talent staying home. Let’s just hope that is some of the better players.

(3) Only freshman JR Inman of these local players is over 6 ft. 5 in. Aren’t there any good local players over 6-6? At 6-9 Inman will team with 6-7 Ollie Bailey to do the inside work. They are undersized, even for forwards, and will often be overmatched. They did come up with 10 rebounds and 2 blocks against Austin Peay. Help off the bench in the form of 6-10 Zack Gibson (freshman) and 6-11 Dan Waterstradt (both from Michigan—must be the water, I hear the have a Great Lake) will be much needed. Against Austin Peay (whom they beat 45-26 in rebounding) there were only 16 points for the Knights in the paint (AP had 18).

This could be an interesting or frustrating year.

Next up: Delaware at the RAC on Tuesday.

There Are NO Deer In The Adirondacks!

At least that's my personal experience. After several weeks of looking for a deer in the southwest Adirondacks and having no success, I returned to NJ Sunday afternoon.

First I spent a week with the muzzleloader but fleetingly saw three deer—too fleetingly to even raise the rifle, let alone take a shot. Luckily, my buddy Mark had better luck and we split the venison so there will be filet on the Thanksgiving table next to the turkey (store bought).

I then spent three weeks traipsing around the woods looking for a buck and seeing—nothing. Even after it snowed a couple of inches there were no tracks in the area we had been hunting—and I spent two days verifying that. It wasn't until Saturday morning when I walked into a nearly impenetrable swamp that I discovered where all the deer were hiding. If I had another week, I would have set up on the edge of that swamp ever morning and stay there all day. Unfortunately I had to head home.

All that walking wasn't wasted. I managed to get a better picture of the woods on my acreage and where the borders really are. I also have a better idea of where the deer hide—for future reference and all that.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Irish Nursing Home Has a Pub

St Mary's Hospital in County Monaghan has opened a pub on its premises and finds it helps keep the patients’ …uh…spirits up.

It doesn’t surprise me that this is in Ireland. The pub is the center of social activities in even the smallest hamlet. Why not carry the idea into the health field. After all, we have pets visiting for feel-good time, why not an ale or two along with a game of darts.

Smoked Salmon….SODA!!!???

What the heck was he thinking? Yeah, it’s Salmon Soda.

Even the company’s founder says he can’t finish a can of the stuff. Heck I wouldn’t even be interested in the Turkey and Stuffing variety!

I wonder what the cat would think of it.The bubbles would probably tickle her whiskers.

Figures it’s from Seattle. They can’t even leave coffee alone. Say, “Black, no cream or sugar please,” at a Starbucks and they look at you weird.

Saturday, November 12, 2005

Is Rutgers Dead?

“Nobody ever died for dear old Rutgers” go the lyrics of the song, but it sure seems that the RU football team has died. They have managed to lose what momentum they had after defeating Navy to go 6-2 and are now a depressing 6-4 having dropped games to the University of Southern Florida and Louisville.

Number 23 Louisville hammered the Knights into submission with a 56-5 drubbing Friday night. With this loss the Knights hopes for a bowl game may have gone up in smoke. It’s not that they lost but the margin of the defeat that may have doomed their chances.

Despite jumping out to a 3-0 lead the Scarlet Knights were never really in the game. There were some positive highlights on an individual basis, but the offense failed to move the ball consistently (they had only 9 first downs and were 1 for 13 on third down conversions) and the defense spent far too much time on the field against an overpowering Louisville squad.

You can read the official RU take on the game here and then check out the game stats here.

The Scarlet Knights next game is on November 26 against Cincinnati at RU. The bye week gives them a chance to lick their wounds and ponder what might have been.

Friday, November 11, 2005

Gunnery Sgt. Basilone Honored with New Stamp

Jim over at Parkway Rest Stop has a post about the new stamp being issued by the U.S. Postal Service. Said stamp is in memory of Gunnery Sgt. John Basilone of the Marine Corps. Gunnery Sgt. Basilone is the only man in the history of the United States to win both the Congressional Medal of Honor (for his actions at Guadalcanal) and the Navy Cross (for actions at Iwo Jima). Returning to action in the Pacific instead of taking an offered post in Washington, D.C., Gunnery Sgt. Basilone was killed in action at Iwo Jima.

Gunnery Sgt. Basilone was from Raritan, New Jersey.

The stamp was released to coincide with the 230th Birthday of the U.S. Marine Corps (November 10th).

Jim has links to the entire story . Go look at it.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Friday, November 11th is Veteran’s Day here in the US of A.

WW I came to a grinding halt with the declaration of an armistice (a cease fire) at the 11th hour of the 11th day of November, the 11th month of 1918. Then followed the signing of the Treaty of Versailles in 1919. That same year, President Wilson declared November 11th to be Armistice Day with this proclamation: "To us in America, the reflections of Armistice Day will be filled with solemn pride in the heroism of those who died in the country’s service and with gratitude for the victory, both because of the thing from which it has freed us and because of the opportunity it has given America to show her sympathy with peace and justice in the councils of the nations…"

In 1921, Congress established the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Arlington National Cemetery and planned the dedication for November 11, 1921. It was at this time that Congress also declared November 11, 1921 to be a legal Federal holiday.

Although the sitting President continued to issue annual proclamations making November 11 a Federal holiday, it wasn’t until 1938 that Congress passed legislation making the day a legal Federal holiday (many states adopted the day as a legal holiday along the way). The day of recognition was still called Armistice Day.

WW II and the Korean War added millions of war veterans to those vets of the First World War already being honored by Armistice Day. In a move to incorporate these men and women—and any future veterans—President Eisenhower signed legislation on June 1, 1954 changing the name from Armistice Day to Veteran’s Day.

In a New Coke kind of move, Congress passed the Monday Holiday Law in 1968 that established the fourth Monday in October as the new date for the observance of Veteran’s Day. This was to begin in 1971. Initially all the states (except Mississippi and South Dakota) followed the new schedule, but within the next four years, most states (46 in all) chose to move their observances back to November 11. (New Jersey followed the Federal date and held its observations on the fourth Monday of October from 1971 through 1978.)

In 1975 Congress, due to popular support/pressure, passed legislation returning the Federal observance of Veteran’s Day back to November 11 effective in 1978 where it has remained.

The men and women who have served and are serving in our nation’s military deserve our respect and thanks. Through their sacrifices we have enjoyed the best life style to be found on the planet.

Thank you, thank you, thank you.

(As an aside: You can’t possibly support the troops and not support their mission. They are one and the same. Ying and yang.)


Virginia’s Department of Veterans Affairs

U.S. Army Center of Military History

The History of Veterans Day by Steve Paul Johnson

Monday, November 07, 2005

Calvin and Hobbes

This article in Slate, Calvin and Hobbes: The last great newspaper comic strip. By Chris Suellentrop points out that it is 10 years since Bill Watterson stopped cartooning and C & H stopped running in the papers. The article is short but don’t miss the linked slideshow: The Appeal of Calvin and Hobbes.

The text in the slideshow discusses Charles' Schulz's influence upon Watterson's work and uses C & H strips to illustrate. Well worth the time especially since you aren't going anywhere soon.

The Iceman Strikes Back!

First it was the curse of Tut, now it’s the curse of Oetzi.

So far seven people connected with the discovery, recovery or investigation of his body and affects have died “prematurely.”

Singing Mice?

I came across this report of singing mice (they apparently sing for many of the same reasons birds do) when first I visited Sad Old Goth.

I did several papers on bird song while working on my Masters degree at Seton Hall. I then did my Masters research thesis on wild populations of white-footed deer mice.

I looked into whether the little buggers crossed the multilane Interstate highways in Somerset County. It was a trap, tag, release and retrap project that went on for about 18 months. I trapped mice on the medians of I-78 and I-287 as well as in the woods adjacent to the highways. None of the mice caught on median plots were recaptured in the woodland plots or visa versa. Whether this was due to the wiliness of the mice, the possibility of becoming furred Frisbees should they cross three lanes of traffic, or an unwillingness to expose themselves to predators by scampering across such open space, I could not be sure. I could conclude that, for whatever reason, white-footed mice did not cross the roadway successfully despite previous studies showing they may actually roam quite far from home.

Never heard one sing though. Then again, I can’t hear ultrasonic sounds. This might explain why I have seen fox tilting their heads as if to listen before pouncing on prey. Maybe it’s more than just the scurrying sounds they are picking up.

Saturday, November 05, 2005

Election Day, 2005

This Tuesday is Election Day here in NJ and throughout the country. As is my habit, I will trek to the polling station to make my selection known. NJ is electing a Governor and General Assembly.
Two statewide questions are also on the ticket. Both questions call for constitutional amendments. One is for the creation of the post of Lieutenant Governor and the other to expand the use of dedicated tax revenues to fund air pollution control and the administrative costs of the underground storage tank program.
Locally we have County Freeholders, town Mayor and Councilman.

I’ve made up my mind on nearly all of my choices with the exception of the question dealing with the use of the dedicated tax. I have no idea what the goal is of the program mentioned in the description of the question.

I’ll be glad when Tuesday is over. At least the automated phone calls from the candidates will stop for a while.

Bomb Squad Blows Up A …Fishing Pole?

Considering its appearance and the current security concerns, this sorta makes sense. The kid’s project probably did look like a pipe bomb…except that it was THREE FEET long! Don’t leave any plumbing supplies lying around in Perryopolis, PA.

Break A(n)…Arm?

Now this sounds terribly prophetic.

Actress Susan Foster broke her arm while rehearsing for a play. The number she was practicing? “I’m An Accident Waiting to Happen.”

Read the whole thing here.

RU ---Wha' Happen'?

RU squared off against University of Southern Florida this afternoon and self-inflicted wounds proved too much for the Scarlet to overcome. It was ugly. It was brutal. And if it had been a prize fight we would have seen RU slugging itself in the noggin over and over. When it was over, the USF Bulls were victorious by a score of 45-31.

Six RU turnovers led to 28 points for the Bulls. But while the Scarlet offense givith, it also took. Four interceptions and two lost fumbles combined with only 3-10 on third down put RU in the hole all afternoon. The RU defense created no turnovers and gave up over 240 yards on the ground, yet they actually helped keep RU in the game in the second half.

Freshman Ray Rice rushed for 158 yards. His third 100-yard game of the season.

RU falls to 6-3, (3-2 in the Big East).
USF improves to 4-3 (2-1 in the Big East).

Next up: RU is at Louisville on Friday at 8 PM. The game will be televised on ESPN2.

Friday, November 04, 2005

Another Deer Story, This in Minnesota

The white tailed deer go into rut this time of year and like sex obsessed teens with heightened hormones do some crazy things. They drowned in swimming pools, wander into office complexes and malls (anyplace there's lots of reflective glass, really), attack farmers in the field, jump through windows (see earlier post on Deer Hunting in Arkansas. I've been in the woods, making lots of noise, and had a doe being chased by a buck almost run me over. Neither acted like they cared that I was there.

Out in Minnesota, there is this story: Deer Almost Takes Out Gov. Tim Pawlenty. Saturday is opening day in MN. Perhaps this buck just wanted to get his licks in before the opposition got armed. Or perhaps he figured that if he stopped the Gov. from going to the annual kickoff event for the deer season, he could stop the whole thing.

Thursday, November 03, 2005

I'm geddeng a gold

On the 20th of October Terry and her mother drove to Harper's Ferry for a military reunion and then on to South Carolina to visit in Columbia and Sumter. They were on the road for a week. Terry's mom had a head cold.

A few days after getting home, around the 30th, Terry developed a head cold and is still suffering from it.

I came back to New Jersey from the Adirondacks on the 29th. Terry has been coughing and sniffling and wheezing through the night since the 31st.

Today, November 3rd, I started getting a tickle in the back of my throat and developed a little cough. And it has been getting worse all afternoon and evening.

Might have to break out the 12-year old Scotch cold medicine.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Autumn Leaves

The colors of the autumn leaves have reached their peak here in Northern New Jersey and they are a sight to see on the hillsides. But here in suburbia they can be a drain on your time, energy and sense of wonder.

There are four very large (and slow) oaks above my house. My neighbor has several very large maple (beautiful bright yellow leaves) and locust (miserable little tiny leaves that are impossible to rake) trees. I've already raked the yard twice. I'll probably be raking through the middle of December--possibly later. I haven't gotten up on the roof to get the leaves out of the valleys--yet. That chore can wait until more leaves have fallen.

But I know exactly how this guy feels.

Deer Hunting in Arkansas

This is a story about a man who got his buck…with his bare hands…in his daughter’s bedroom.

Of course it’s in the freezer! When the Lord provides you don’t thumb your nose at the offering.

Was This the Start of Our Troubles?

On the other hand, they still aired the Charlie Brown half hour cartoon "It's the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown" Monday night.

First presented in 1966, it may be the cause of our litigious society. When Charlie Brown's little sister demands restitution because she missed tricks-or-treats to sit in the pumpkin patch all night with Linus...well that may have been the start of it all. She takes absolutely no responsibility for her decision and demands that someone else (Linus) make it right.

Sigh! :-(

Harry Reid Needs a Time Out

On the other hand, Harry Reid and the Senate Dems found a unique way to celebrate the Day of the Dead on November 1 by throwing a temper tantrum and invoking Rule 21. They apparently aren't happy that Special Prosecutor Fitzgerald didn't indict anyone for what they predetermined should have been the "crimes" committed in the Valarie Plame affair. (For those not paying attention, the indictments handed down against "Scooter" Libby had nothing to do with leaking Ms. Plame's name as a CIA opperative. They (the indictments) merely claim that Libby lied to the Grand Jury.

The Dems continue to try to ride the old "Bush lied" meme on WMD dispite all the evidence that shows the President used the same evidence touted by the Clinton administration and believed by nearly every one since the early 1980s. Should they continue to beat this horse one can only that it leads them out of town.

See Resistance Is Futile for a complete rundown of the WMD reports and warnings.

Halloween Disappointment

Once again we had a rather diappointing turn out for Halloween's trick-or-treating. Only 15 or so kids showed up at our door despite the lovely weather. No one came by during the daylight hours and of those that came by after dark, all showed up between 5:30 and 7:30 PM. The littlest ones (ages 5 or 6) were accompanied by their parents and/or slightly older siblings. We had two of those giant bags of bite-sized candies (Snickers and Nestle's Crunch because they are our favorites and we anticipated having leftovers)and managed to dole out only half of that amount despite giving each costumed kid two pieces.

Have we lost the tradition of trick-or-treating door-to-door? There are kids down the block I know didn't show up at our door. Has it become "uncool" to go out above age 12? I know that the kids at the middle school at which I taught until last year were psyched enough about Halloween to come to school in costume and really enjoyed the day.

Even Mischief Night was quiet. I saw no soap, toilet paper or any other indications of tricks having been played either in my neighborhood or in the areas I drove through running a few errands Monday morning.

Sigh. :-(