Auburn and the BCS National Championship Tonight

Jan 10, 2011 by

GAME TIME TONIGHT is 8:30 Eastern/7:30 pm Central on ESPN. Auburn v. Oregon.

UPDATE: I’ve written before on how I understood White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs protecting the interests of the news media.   I missed this the other day, but it’s a hoot that Gibbs says he’ll roll the White House if Auburn wins tonight.

I wasn’t born in 1957.  I’m told that’s the last time Auburn won a national championship.  Believe me, I’ve had dozens, if not more, Alabama fans remind me over and over and over since 1980 when I moved to Alabama for the second time in my life.

We moved back at the beginning of my sophomore year of high school.  In getting to know the mates in class, I’d ask who they were pulling for in the NFL.  Being a Dallas Cowboys fan since I can remember, it was just the most natural question I could ask.

Auburn or Alabama

But you see, in Alabama, there is no professional football team.  (Keep the snod Cam Newton comments to yourselves, please.) I was told, “We don’t follow the NFL here. You’re either and Auburn fan or an Alabama fan.  There ain’t no in between and there is nothing else.  Plus, the Falcons suck.”

And so in those formative years, I found myself following Auburn.  They began a run over Alabama in those days–though that first November Paul “Bear” Bryant beat Auburn and achieved his record setting wins or something.

Three years later, when it came time to choose where I wanted to go to college, there was only one place.  Auburn.

After college, when I began working in the Governor’s Office for Gov. Guy Hunt, an Alabama fan, and then Gov. Fob James, a star on the 1954 Auburn team, the loyalties for Auburn became more and more entrenched.  Being from North Alabama and hiring a good many fokes from up that way, members of the Hunt administration to me mainly were “Them.”  Being in Montgomery and so close to Auburn, I became to them an “Aub.” A “One of ’em.” And I became an easy mark.

Driving through east Alabama on one of the governor’s stops, someone looked at a dilapidated old country home and said, “Look, there’s the Auburn campus.” One of the security used to send me beeper messages saying there was a 10-54 in the road in Auburn.  (A dead cow.) Yeah, with Auburn having done so much for agriculture in the state, it was so easy for them.

Gov. James was different.  Well, he at least still pulled for Auburn.  And with him were more like-minded people.  I didn’t hear anything more about 10-54s.

The History of Auburn Sports

Over the years, I’ve seen Auburn so close to being able to break into the top, only to be let down by a bad play, a bad referee call, or the prejudices of the BCS system where a 13-0 record wasn’t good enough to get into the top game only to see Oklahoma field a team that played as well as a little league squad.

I’ve seen the incredible beauty of Bo Jackson running.  I’ve seen good quarterbacks rise up and become household names in Alabama where you could talk about them like they were regulars in sitting across the dinner table.  And I’ve seen them try so hard, and just not make it.

It’s been an up and down ride.  The ridicule. The crap the BCS pulled.  I’ve seen coaches come and go.  And now I’ve seen two great players, Bo Jackson and Cam Newton win the Heisman Trophy.

Tonight’s Game

Tonight’s game is going to be an emotional event for many, many people across Alabama and across the country, and around the world.  There are Auburn people everywhere, we’re probably just not as loud as fans like Georgia or Oklahoma.

We work hard.  We wear orange and blue.  And we confuse many when we yell War Eagle!” at kickoffs, or when we walk past someone else with an Auburn t-shirt or lapel pin, and then describe ourselves as “The Auburn Tigers.”

The stories are rich.  To ever see the Eagle fly from the stands at Auburn’s Jordan Hare Stadium down to the center of the field over the AU emblem stirs almost as much emotion in many as the playing of a wedding march or the national anthem. And to see the mascot, Aubie, usually a crazy guy in a tiger suit who has an uninhibited personality, hamming it up with referees, players, children and the hot hottie who’s gushing for him as much as he’s gushing for her, is enough to make you smile and say, “War Eagle” all over again.

Naturally, I don’t know what will happen in tonight’s game.  But I can easily get choked up like John Boehner winning a door prize at the pride I have of the guys who will be there on that field tonight, (most likely with Brent Musburger biasedly hyping Oregon).

There are generations of people around the world who have been waiting for tonight to happen almost as bad as Cubs fans long for a return to the World Series.  (I’m a Cubbie, too, so trust me, I get it in the Fall and Spring and Summer.)

Hopefully, things will go well tonight.  Even so, the 2010 football seasons has been one of the best rides ever.  We’re honored to have had you along.

War Eagle!

And ESPN, if Musberger sounds biased, I’ll just watch it with no sound.

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Anti-Gun Nuts To The Rescue! How About Nut Control Instead?

Jan 9, 2011 by

Well, that didn’t take long.  Politico is reporting tonight that Dem. House member from NY Carolyn McCarthy is planning to introduce new gun control legislation as early as tomorrow in the wake of Rep. Gabrielle Giffons’ shooting Saturday in Arizona by a nut job. 

We’re back to the same old tired stuff.

Instead of limiting guns in America, last time I checked that was protected in the Constitution–let’s do something else.  Now I need to say that I sympathize with her loss of her husband and understand her motivation.  In fact, I honor it.  I’m working on Veronica Galaviz’s project Living To Share for some of the same reason.  But you don’t mend madness with more madness.  It’s kind of like sending the head of the FBI to Arizona yesterday.  Other than symbolism, did it really do any good for America’s lead crime fighter to be in Arizona?

Nut Control Legislation

How about we introduce a bill that says Nut Cases can’t have guns?  The reason we don’t is because it’s not enforceable.  The sad fact is that a mentally depressed person intent on doing something mad like Saturday is almost always going to find what they need to carry out their madness.  I worked with state troopers when I was in the governor’s office years ago.  Their greatest fears weren’t a car with mercenaries unloading on them.  Their worries were if one goofy nut like Jared Lee Loughner got close enough with the intent to do what Loughner did yesterday.

So Mrs. McCarthy will have her soapbox and so will the rest of the anti-gun lobby.  Maybe they could all fly out to Arizona, too.  It’d make as much sense as sending Robert Mueller out there.

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Snow in DFW 2011; Time lapsed pics

Jan 9, 2011 by

UPDATED at 2 p.m. CST Here’s the first shot from my apartment complex of the first 2011 snow.

Not much to look at yet, but I remain the eternal optimist.

Have you taken any snow pics?  Please send them to me Donny AT DaddyClaxton DOT com, done the normal way.

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Snow Storms in the South & TV Snowpocalypse coverage!!

Jan 7, 2011 by

Having spent multiple years of my life playing in real snow in Northern Michigan where my brothers and I would tunnel through the snow banks and make some of the coolest snow forts ever, when I hear that we’re likely to get even just a wee bit of snow in the South, I get excited.  It so reminds me of my kid-hood and my longing for the innocence of those much simpler times. 

Snowpocalypse 2011 in the South

In the North, 1/2 to 1 inch of snow is little made mention of.  Big whoop.

In the South?  OMG.

For one, people race to the grocery stores and go buy enough toilet paper they could roll half the houses in DFW with it.  They also stock up on milk.

The Sport of Watching TV Snow Coverage In the South

It’s also the time that TV meteorologists get to take their coats off on air and roll up their sleeves.

Cub reporters get sent out with their warm coats, hats, mittens and gloves to do remote live feeds.  They usually stop first at a truck stop to get some unawares red neck on tape saying, while shaking his head and then spitting before saying, “I ain’t never seen nothing like it.”

Then there’s that proverbial shot of CAR CAM News Channel 7 HD (Everything now has an HD behind it!) rolling down the highway with flakes falling and the wipers wiping.

The Remote Cub Reporter

For each snow “storm” I think every cub reporter in town goes out and buys a brand new ruler to take out into the Snowpocalypse with them.  You’ll see this for when they set up on a bridge with the highway behind it.  It’ll either have cars racing past like nothing’s happening, or creeping along.  If it’s not snowing yet in their location, the toss from the station will be something like this, “And for more of our Arctic Snowpocalypse Blast, we now turn to News Channel 7 HD’s cubette, (I couldn’t decide whether that should be Cube, as in ice, or Cubbette, because it’s most often the youngest female reporter at the station trying to pay her dues.) reporter Susan X, how’s it going out there, Susan?”

This is when the humor really takes off, (though Susan is dead serious) because Susan will have multiple directions in which she can venture.

1) “Oh! It’s cold out here!” (The first No-sh**-Sherlock moment of their continuous coverage. It’s supposed to almost be snowing!) We’re out here and as you can see behind me, traffic is A) still racing at a fast clip (because it’s not yet snowing)/ or B) there are cars out here braving the elements and just creeping by.” She’ll then roll the video that she shot back at the truck stop (“I ain’t never seen nothing like it!” spit) then go to the video of them driving down the road with their exclusive News Channel 7 Car Cam in HD,  and then come back to Susan, shivering out in the cold.

2) If it is snowing, she’ll have that ruler with her.  “Oh! It’s cold out here!  It’s been snowing where we are for like, two million days and as we here at Channel 7 HD like to bring you the latest on Arctic Snowpocalypse Blast 2011, I want to show you something! (Out comes that ruler….)  I’m just going to step over here, Kevin, can you pan over here to me,” and Susan will then show us how much snow is on the railing of the highway, the concrete top of an overpass, or the hood of the News Channel 7 HD remote truck.

3) If it’s icing, well, then Susan has strategically set herself up along the Interstate somewhere, (Actually it will have been Kevin who did it because he’s done this so many times he can’t recall) and Susan will be standing next to that guard rail or the metal bars that protrude out of the overpass cement, and take her gloves off and run her hands over the ice. “Oh, it’s really cold out here!”

Now if it’s one particular station in town, Kevin some how will have had the incredible luck to set them up in just such a space where a car coming up over the hill apparently sees them as they peak over the hill and begin to slam on their brakes like one does if a police car is half a mile in front of them.  Because of the ice/now, the unsuspecting driver will now begin to slide, (Doesn’t know to turn into the spin madly applies the breaks because he/she “Ain’t never seen nothing like it!” let alone driven in it. Spit!) and come to a stop somewhere in the vicinity of the News Channel 7 HD remote truck.

For the next 24 hours, this will be the video that runs in a nauseating loop in all News Channel 7 HD’s Arctic Snowpocalypse Blast bumpers, news updates, and then the post-Arctic Snowpocalypse Blast promos that say, “News Channel 7 HD brought you the most accurate breaking news when X’s weather was at it’s worst.”

When Susan finishes, she will then toss it over to Steve who is on the other side of the viewing area.  But not before saying, “If you don’t have to be out in this, just stay home! This is Susan X reporting from News Channel 7 HD, how’s it going over there Steve?”

Before repeating the series line up again, Steve will first say:

“That’s right Susan, if you don’t have to get out in this, just stay at home.  Even though  it’s not yet snowing/icing/snowpocalypsing yet here, but it looks like it might.”

Whew.  With it being Friday evening and the snow supposed to be here on Sunday, I’m almost ready for Monday night when the Auburn Tigers are going to beat the snot out of the Oregon Ducks.   Lord knows I hope the ABC station still isn’t into Arctic Blast Snowpocalypse mode. 

I’m already ready for it to melt.


For those of you in the South who want to see what a REAL snow storm looks like, here, from 1976-7 at KI Sawyer AFB in Northern Michigan.   Now that was snow.

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Why I cut 3,119 Non-Followers on Twitter and Feel the Better For It

Jan 6, 2011 by

As you may recall, there was a post here on 371 or so days ago was entitled: Why I cut 3,300 peeps from my @Twitter account and feel all the better for it.  This year, I only cut 3,119, but it was time for a cleansing of the tweeps who I was following who either weren’t kind enough or who were too important in their own minds to be following me back.  There was a smaller group, like of about 350 or so, whom I cut because they haven’t used Twitter like  since the days of smoke signals. 

It took me about three days again, but this year I had help.  I used a couple of UnFollow Twitter sites.  And using Firefox and a plug in that lets me check boxes on pages where the Twitter API no longer will allow programmers to build it into a page, I zapped roughly 1,500 peeps a day, by the categories mentioned above.  The site I used for the purging was ManageFilter and I have to say, it worked really, really easy.  Of course, I didn’t cut everyone it recommended, but it did clear a lot of fog.  Because really, who wants to get a bunch tweets from someone you can’t really carry on a conversation with?

I used ManageFilter most of all because it didn’t cost me anything.  I began with another site,, and although they were kind enough to tell me of the Firefox plug-in Check-Fox, I couldn’t figure out how to use it.   It’s sort of tricky, but it goes like this.

On a Mac, you hit Control+A at the same time you’re right clicking on your mouse. (I think it’s the same for a PC, but if you have a PC, you’re probably more worried about if it’s going to work in 10 minutes than the number of Twitter followers who aren’t following you.) This works on pages where there are check boxes for miles and you don’t have the patience or the extra hour or so of time to click down through say, 1,500 boxes. Because I didn’t know that, would only cut 500 non-followers at a time, I wasted the time to highlight the 1,500 I wanted to get rid of, only to click delete and for it to tell me it had a limit.  So, I wasted about an hour and a half time, total, and largely decided I was not happy.  I then downloaded the Check-Fox add on for Firefox, logged back into to use it, and then it said my three FREE attempts were all used up and I could pay $1.37 or some crazy-assed amount to use it for three days.  I sent‘s developer a Tweet saying how disappointed I was.  His response was to get the Check-Fox add on.  I decided for the time I’d already invested with them, there was no way I was going to pay $1.37.

Twitter 2011

Like last year, I want to commend Twitter for how it’s really worked to clean up the spammers and those tramps trying to sell sex sites.

But I also have to say that I’m not real crazy about their new layout.  It’s frustrated me, and maybe that’s more so because I’m now 45, but here’ what I did last night that I didn’t want to do.

I sent a DM to someone I didn’t want to send a DM to.  I clicked in the messages portion I guess at the top center of the new Twitter screen and sent them a message.  Well, I was so tired when I sent it, and frustrated that I was having to use new Twitter that I didn’t realize until this morning that I’d sent the DM.  

So, for those of you out there who might be struggling with the new Twitter to figure out how to send a DM to someone, you click the MESSAGE space at the top.  Now the screen it takes you to to me feels like it’s a Timeline screen, and that’s where I made my error.

So, person who got a DM from me last night asking why you’ve not been on Twitter the past few days, I didn’t mean to do that, and I’m glad you replied this morning to one of my normal tweets to you.  Like I promised when you began following me, I plan to continue to be judicial in how I send DMs to you, as the last thing I want to happen, is for you to unfollow me.

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Think About This: Messages in a Mason Jar

Jan 6, 2011 by

It’s time to dig into the Mason Jar Christmas gifts from my daughters again.  My heart is now warmed for the day.

Today’s messages:  La La Looking Good!  I love you enjoy music. And then I enjoy spending time with you.

I share these messages because I encourage you to think about the same project with your own kids.  My girls each got a Mason Jar with words of wisdom.  They each gave me one that has special messages from them.  When I need an extra lift in my day, these have been worth all the Christmas presents I’ve received in the past 45 years combined.  Well, there was that one year …   I’m kidding.

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