Thursday, April 19, 2007

HE'S BACK...

Sirius Radio, the home of shock jock Howard Stern, has decided to take a shot with Don Imus, allowing the beleaguered and recently-fired talk show host a tryout on the satellite station. “Look timing’s everything,” said Stern about Imus’ controversial remarks concerning the Rutgers women’s basketball team. “If he had said those things this Monday, I don’t think anybody would have noticed.”

Sirrius, which is in the process of merging with XM, gave Imus a trial run, and here is the first news broadcast from the New and Improved Don Imus Show.

This just in: 'Tiny Bubbles' Crooner Don “Bleep” has died, Imus said.

“Legendary crooner Don Bleep, who entertained tourists for decades wearing raspberry-tinted sunglasses and singing the catchy signature tune "Tiny Bubbles," has died at the age of 76.

“Bleep” had suffered with heart problems for the past several years, and had a pacemaker installed last fall. In 2005, he underwent an experimental stem cell procedure on his ailing heart in Thailand.

The son of bar owners, “Bleep” broke into the Waikiki entertainment scene in the early 1960s and, except for short periods, never left. Few artists are more associated with one place. "Hawaii is my partner," Bleep told The Associated Press in 2004.

OK? Was that OK? I didn’t say ho. I’m I hired?” concluded Imus.

MLB SMART, NFL STUPID

Here’s why MLB is looking smarter, kinder and generally more like the good guys than the boys over at the No Fun League. You may recall that the NFL fun police FORBID Peyton Manning from wearing high top black shoes for ONE game to honor Johnny Unitas. They find crazy guy wide out for the Bengals (Chad Johnson)some stupid amount of money because he put a piece of tape with his nickname over his real name during PRE-GAME warm ups. Then to show what real sweethearts they are they forbid Jake “The Snake” Plummer from wearing ANYTHING on his uniform EVER to honor his fallen friend Pat Tillman who was killed in Afghanistan.

And then there’s baseball. A Calvert County, MD man e-mails Nats' team president Stan Kasten with the idea of the Nats wearing Hokie hats in Tuesday night’s game. Kasten thinks it’s a great idea. "When I read it, I thought, 'Wow. This is really nice,'" Kasten said. "It was the very least we could do." Kasten then ran the idea of the tribute past Major League Baseball's commissioner Bud Selig and chief operating officer Bob DuPuy who "were instantly supportive."

In fact, they were so cool about it, they weren’t even bothered by the fact that at the last minute the Nats couldn’t even round up matching hats. No matter. All ahead full. Way to MLB.

WOODEN HOME FROM HOSPITAL

John Wooden is resting at home after being released from a hospital. The 96-year-old former UCLA coach had been hospitalized since Sunday.

Wooden's daughter reported he is "doing well" and he is thankful for people's thoughts, prayers, cards and notes.

Wooden was taken to the hospital when he began to have symptoms similar to those he had a year ago when he was hospitalized for diverticulitis. Doctors later believed he had a reaction to a combination of medications, including one for arthritis.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

SO THEY REALLY DO HAVE A HEART...

The Internal Revenue Service announced Tuesday that it has granted a six-month extension for filing 2006 income tax returns, moving the deadline from April 17 to Oct. 15. The extension is available to shooting victims and their families, emergency responders, Tech students and university employees.

“Taxes are the last thing the Virginia Tech family should be worried about at this time,” said IRS Commissioner Mark Everson in a press release. “Our hearts go out to the people affected by this tragic event.” The IRS will not apply penalties for those eligible for the extension if returns and payments are made by Oct. 15. To claim the relief, eligible taxpayers must call the IRS at 1-866-562-5227 and identify themselves before filing or making a payment.

The same taxpayers will get an additional six months to file their state income tax returns. The Virginia Department of Taxation announced this morning that it has moved its May 1 filing deadline to Nov. 1 for people impacted by the Tech shootings.

"By granting this income tax filing and payment extension, the Tax Department is doing its small part to work with other state agencies to provide whatever support may be needed,” said Tax Commissioner Janie Bowen. “At a time like this, families need to be together and concentrate all of their efforts on healing."

To claim the state relief, eligible taxpayers must write the words "Virginia Tech" across the top of their Virginia tax returns.

PICTURE OF THE DAY

THE WASHINGTON NATIONALS fell behind against a pitcher bound for the Hall of Fame and predictably ended up losing to the Atlanta Braves last night, 6-4. But what otherwise would have gone down as a routine April defeat by a young team trying to find its way was given greater meaning when the Nationals came out of the dugout wearing Virginia Tech baseball caps.

At that moment, playing baseball took a back seat to remembering the victims of the shootings in Blacksburg, Va., as the 17,791 at RFK Stadium responded with a loud ovation.

WE ARE VIRGINIA TECH

“We are Virginia Tech. We are sad today and we will be sad for quite awhile. WE are not moving on, we are embracing our mourning. We are Virginia Tech. We are strong enough to know when to cry and sad enough to know we must laugh again. We are Virginia Tech. We do not understand this tragedy. We know we did not deserve it but neither does a child in Africa dying of AIDS, but neither do the invisible children walking the night to avoid being captured by a rogue army. Neither does the baby elephant watching his community be devastated for ivory; neither does the Appalachian infant in the killed in the middle of the night in his crib in the home his father built with his own hands being run over by a boulder because the land was destabilized. No one deserves a tragedy.

We are Virginia Tech. The Hokie Nation embraces our own with open heart and hands to those who offer their hearts and minds. We are strong and brave and innocent and unafraid. We are better than we think, not quite what we want to be. We are alive to the imagination and the possibility we will continue to invent the future through our blood and tears, through all this sadness. We are the Hokies. We will prevail, we will prevail. We are Virginia Tech." – Nikki Giovanni, April 17, 2007.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

TODAY, EVERYBODY'S A HOKIE...

NOT RIVALS, NOT TODAY. Beta Bridge on Rugby Road (over the train tracks) in the middle of "Fraternity Row" at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville. Go Hoos.

A DAY LATER AND STILL SIMPLY UNBELIEVABLE

The words CNN is using to describe yesterday’s horrific events – the Virginia Tech Massacre – turn the stomach. Like everyone, we are shocked, saddened, horrified…pick the words, they all apply. None really help. Here are a few points to ponder:

At today’s convocation, the Virginia Tech students gave beleaguered president Charles Steger a standing ovation. We don’t much care for the term “classy.” There’s something about the word that seems to lack ...well, class. But there is no other way to describe it – that ovation may have been the classiest thing we’ve ever seen or heard. In a world hasty to criticize and rush to judgment, Steger’s core constituents – his students – are rallying to his support. While the trauma of the event is most severe for the family members of the victims, the burden Steger is bearing must be substantial. Like 911, he was confronted with a series of events that are easily categorized as “unimaginable,” and he, along with all of Hokie Nation, have since displayed extraordinary strength, composure and…class. Well done.

Secondly, kudos to the Montgomery Regional Hospital. Imagine, it’s your ordinary Monday and suddenly you are besieged with 17 victims with multiple gun shot wounds. Talk about your training paying off. Even though it is located near what the national media now refers to as “quiet, sleepy” Blacksburg, the staff of that hospital had a Code Green disaster plan that appears to have saved many many lives. Again, well done.

Third on the list – Nikki Giovanni. If you heard the author/poet’s closing remarks at the convocation today and you then heard the student’s response of Let’s Go Hokies, Let’s Go Hokies and you did not have tears in your eyes, there is something wrong with you. It was incredibly moving, even on the radio…

Finally, it seems unlikely but true, but no member of the Virginia Tech baseball or the men’s or women’s basketball teams currently wear the number 32. Only Rashad Carmichael, a red shirt freshmen cornerback from Clifton, MD, wears number 32 for the football Hokies. Hopefully, some incoming freshmen will not shy away from the now infamous number, and want to wear it as a tribute. Or better yet, some senior leader of each squad will change his/her number.

We pray that something happens soon that makes us laugh again. God bless Hokie Nation.

Monday, April 16, 2007

TOLY HANSBROUGH HEADED TO UNC?

Even though head coach Roy Williams and the University of North Carolina Tar Heels haven’t landed a single blue-chip recruit with their lone scholarship for next season, the sure-to-be pre-season favorites have been busy wooing young talent. The five-time NCAA champions are hot on the recruiting tail of Tyler Hansbrough’s long, long, long (and we mean “really” long) lost cousin Toly. Known locally as Super Toly, the young phenom is scheduled for UNC’s class of 2020 and recruiting is already underway.

Super Toly, who is routinely the fastest kid on the St. James Pre-School play ground, is generally considered to be the next Ty Lawson due to his blinding speed and complete command of the basketball. In fact, during a recent recruiting visit to the Smith Center the real Ty Lawson waived at Super Toly, as did shooting guard Danny Green. In a subtle move of basketball recruiting genius, sixth-man Marcus Ginyard raised one eyebrow in Super Toly’s direction. How did he know the eyebrow lift is Super Toly’s signature move?

Of course, while in Chapel Hill for lunch and a tour with his cousin who is the latest in a long line of Tar Heels, Super Toly visited the Old Well, the Shrunken Head, a least one girls dorm, the Smith Center, Keenan Stadium and, of course, the Basketball Office where he charmed the staff and had his photo taken with the 2006 ACC Tournament Championship trophy.

Super Toly is also considering UCLA, Kentucky, Florida, Connecticut and Kansas, but insiders say UNC is the clear front-runner and likely final choice due to years of what his family and friends affectionately call “brain washing."

PICTURE OF THE DAY

WHAT HE'S REALLY THINKING...Hey, I'm only five so I'm not sweatin' it, but my Mom is lovin' this...

PICTURE OF THE DAY 2

RELENTLESS RECRUITERS...Family members use a cousin's soccer game as an opportunity to reinforce the message. There was no respite for poor little Super Toly.

PICTURE OF THE DAY 3

EVEN BUTCH DAVIS felt compelled to get in on the Super Toly action.

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