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    Movie Critic? June 30th, 2005

    Some advice…be wary of any movie that has ads that cite Larry King as giving a positive review. Larry King never met a movie he didn’t like if it meant risking not getting whatever celebrity associated with the movie on his show. King’s the biggest celebrity asskisser in the world.

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    Quote of the Week June 27th, 2005

    Al Roker

    “Just as we should shut up about wondering if Tom’s relationship with Katie Holmes is a publicity stunt, Tom oughta pipe down about people he doesn’t know about situations he hasn’t experienced. You’re an actor, not a med student.”
    …”Today Show’s” AL ROKER, writing in his blog about the Matt Lauer/Tom Cruise interview

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    Fathers Day Sign June 26th, 2005

    Fathers' Day Sign

    HAND GRENADES?!?

    I meant to have this online by Fathers’ Day but procrastinated. Fortunately the owners of the store left the sign as-is and my wife got a snapshot. Of course, whenever I think of Fathers’ Day, I think of hand grenades. Yeah, right.

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    B.B. King Museum Groundbreaking June 12th, 2005

    Groundbreaking for the B.B. King Museum

    This weekend was the groundbreaking of the B.B. King Museum in Indianola, Mississippi. If you don’t know who B.B. King is, get out from whatever rock you’ve been under (I know, don’t end a sentence with a preposition…okay). If you don’t know who B.B. King is, get out from whatever rock you’ve been under, you dummy! (Kudos to Redd Foxx as “Fred Sanford”).
    An early photo of blues legend B.B. King

    Anyway, the museum is slated to open sometime in 2007 on a 2.3 acre site in Indianola. This will add to the Delta’s allure as a destination for blues tourists worldwide. They can also visit actor Morgan Freeman’s Ground Zero Blues Club and spend the night in an authentic sharecropper shack at the Shack Up Inn. Plus any cursory search on Google for blues attractions in the Mississippi delta leads to many other interesting places and events to visit while in the state.
    B.B. King with several of his older Lucille guitars

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    Tyson Retires? June 12th, 2005

    Mike Tyson refused to come out for a seventh round against Kevin McBride (who?) and basically quit. His spinmeisters are claiming he was disoriented and would have been seriously hurt if he continued. Whatever. Couldn’t care less. He says he’s retiring and turning to missionary work overseas where he can “go to different countries to help with aid and food for people that are in dire need.” Sure. Whatever, Mike. We believe you. Riiiiight. I wonder how long Vince McMahon will take before offering him a contract to join the WWE again.

    Mike Tyson in happier times with Shawn Michaels, Triple H & Stone Cold Steve Austin

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    The Future of Radio? June 11th, 2005

    An audio board

    I’ve had many jobs in radio over a twenty year period and have been an ardent radio listener for even longer. I’ve seen formats go from wide selections to very narrow playlists. With most things in business being cyclical I figured it would only be a matter of time before some station or stations would open up their musical libraries for more airplay.

    Today I read an article in the Washington Post about a format change at WCBS-FM in New York City. They changed from an oldies format to something they are calling “Jack” and have renamed themselves “Jack-FM.” From what I can determine, this format grew popular in Canada and now is spreading across the country in such cities as New York, Chicago and Los Angeles. Even small cities such as Jackson, Mississippi and Aspen, Colorado have become “Jack-FM” stations. Apparently the idea is to mimic someone’s mp3 player set to shuffle mode.

    Now admittedly, it’s still corporate radio. The chances of indie artists being played on these stations is slim, but at least it’s a step away from the overly repetitive formats commercial radio has de-evolved into. My personal dream would be to have a station with real radio personalities who know how to mix music and a HUGE library of music covering several genres. Plus my fantasy station would actually take requests. All day, all the time. I feel, for example, if an artist released 10 albums (whether vinyl or CD) and each album has, let’s say, 12 songs each, then there are 120 songs to choose from. Most stations might play 2-3 songs from that 120 song library. Does that mean that only approximately 2% of that artist’s music is worthy of listening? Of course not! But that seems to be the current consensus with commercial radio. In my little radio fantasy, I’d open that up considerably.

    However, this is reality and I’ll never have an unlimited income to use for my fantasy radio station. So in the meantime, the best I will be able to do is to eventually get a CD player installed in my car and listen to the songs I like when I like it instead of the same old crap the local corporate stations keep forcefeeding the public.

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    Trying To Reason With Hurricane Season June 10th, 2005

    Projected Path of Tropical Storm Arlene

    June 1st opened the 2005 Hurricane Season and already there is tropical activity. As of this entry, Tropical Storm Arlene is churning in the Gulf of Mexico and may develop into a minimal hurricane. The latest report I heard is that maximum sustained winds were at 70 miles per hour. When it reaches 75 miles per hour, it will then be upgraded to a Category 1 hurricane.

    For 2005, the Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico hurricanes will have the names Arlene, Bret, Cindy, Dennis, Emily, Franklin, Gert, Harvey, Irene, Jose, Katrina, Lee, Maria, Nate, Ophelia, Philippe, Rita, Stan, Tammy, Vince and Wilma.

    Last year, Florida was pounded by four hurricanes resulting in every county in the state sustaining damages of various levels. In north Florida, Hurricane Ivan caused massive amounts of damage for the Alabama and Florida Gulf Coast.

    Satellite View of Hurricane Ivan: Sept. 2004

    With Tropical Storm Arlene in the Gulf of Mexico, a lot of people are reminded of Hurricane Ivan and the damage it caused.
    The Interstate 10 Causeway Bridge Over Escambia Bay during Hurricane Ivan

    This is a photo of the I-10 Causeway Bridge over Escambia Bay on the east side of Pensacola, Florida. I’ve driven over this bridge many times and normally the water is about twenty to thirty feet below the roadway but as you can clearly see, Hurricane Ivan’s forces caused the waters of Escambia Bay to actually rise over the concrete slabs and managed to rip several of the slabs off the mountings.
    The Interstate 10 Causeway Bridge Over Escambia Bay after Hurricane Ivan

    Towards the end of the hurricane, officials found that a truck driver (later identified as Roberto Molina Alvarado) had attempted to drive across the bridge only to run off the bridge due to the missing slabs. They found his body still in the cab of the truck in the water after the hurricane. Most likely the torrential rains reduced visibility to such an extent that he never saw the missing slabs. I also have to wonder if there were roadblocks at the beginning of the bridge that he either drove around or were missing due to the winds. We’ll probably never know for certain.
    Waves Crashing Against a Florida Pier during Hurricane Ivan

    Here’s photographic evidence of the awesome power of waves created by Hurricane Ivan. This leads me to wonder why is it that whenever a hurricane churns up dangerous waves there are always a handful of mental deficients (i.e. – idiots, morons, imbeciles, insert your favorite appropriate expression) in the water trying to ride the waves on surfboards. I guess it cleans out the gene pool if they drown.
    Tornado in Panama City Beach, Florida: September 2004

    Another frightening aspect of hurricanes are the tornadoes they spawn. This picture if of a tornado that touched down in Panama City Beach, Florida during Hurricane Ivan. A television station, WJHG, which happens to be located not very far from where this picture was taken, captured images of the tornado from the vantage of their tower camera. The amazing video was available on their website for a long time afterwards.
    Bayfront Parkway in Pensacola, Florida after Hurricane Ivan

    This is Bayfront Parkway in Pensacola, Florida after Hurricane Ivan. The roadway washed away by the tidal surge. This is the same tidal surge that destroyed portions of the Escambia Bay I-10 Causeway bridge.
    Flooding in Gulf Shores, Alabama: September 2004

    In Gulf Shores, Alabama, close to where the center of the storm came ashore, wind damage, tidal surge and flooding caused millions of dollars in damage.
    Hotel Destroyed by Hurricane Ivan in Gulf Shores, Alabama: September 2004

    This is one of many beachfront properties along the Alabama and Florida coastline destroyed by Hurricane Ivan. The area still has not fully recovered.
    Hotel Destroyed by Hurricane Ivan in Pensacola Beach, Florida: September 2004

    Pensacola Beach was hit very hard by the effects of Ivan. Parts of the roadway were completely washed out by the waters. Damage like this was typical all along the Alabama and Florida coastal areas. Repairs are still being made to this day. With Tropical Storm Arlene headed in the same general direction, local residents are definitely reminded of September, 2004.
    A boat on its side in the middle of the road in Pensacola Beach, Florida: September 2004

    Debris of all types were flung about by the winds and tidal surge from Hurricane Ivan. The hurricanes winds causing debris to become deadly missiles.

    Pictures like these were taken all across Florida as a result of four major huricanes that struck Florida in 2004. Charley, Frances, Ivan and Jeanne were all terribly destructive storms that resulted in millions of dollars of damage and thousands of lives lost. With the 2005 hurricane season underway, we all must be dilligent in case hurricanes strike. Forecasters are predicting a higher-than-normal number of major storms this season and with so much damage still in evidence in Florida, it will be devastating if a major hurricane makes landfall in one of those areas.

    A car partially buried in the sand due to Hurricane Ivan in Pensacola Beach, Florida: September 2004

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