Thursday, June 25, 2009

A Tale of Two States

There is a pretty big rivalry between Indiana and Kentucky around these parts.  In the Evansville, IN metropolitan area, there are two decent sized Kentucky towns:  Owensboro and Henderson.  I hear plenty of jokes that find the natives of the "other" state the butts. Depending on which side of the Ohio River you are, determines on whether you hear a Kentuckian joke or a Hoosier joke.

Why did they build the bridge between Evansville and Henderson?  So Kentuckians can swim across in the shade.  Not to be outdone, the editor of the Henderson Gleaner publishes a Hoosier joke every week.  It is all in fun till someone gets hurt.

Indiana knows about injury.  In 1997, Indiana went to class basketball.  Before then, the high school basketball tournament was legendary.  All schools, big and small, played for one title.  The championship game was carried on ESPN every year and the movie Hoosiers was based on a small school that conquered the giants.  Hoosier Hysteria was known from sea to sea.  Now?  There are four classes of high school basketball, four state champions and exactly four people who actually care about Indiana high school basketball.  My friends in Kentucky were quick to jump, "I knew you hoosiers were stupid, but not THAT stupid."

Fast forward to 2009.  Kentuckians get their comeuppance. As basketball is/was to Indiana, horse racing is to Kentucky.  Because of river boat and other casinos in the area, horse race wagering has been down in the commonwealth.  The solution?  Expand the betting experience at these tracks, to include slot machines or even video poker. 

So, the governor and the legislature got to work. They aren't going to let the "Sport of Kings" die out in the bluegrass state, are they?  Yes they are.  Every measure has been defeated in the legislature by one party (guess which one).  

This isn't about gambling.  It is about history, tradition and an institution.  It is about hoosier hysteria Kentucky style.

So far the fallout has been that Ellis Park in Henderson is announcing that this is its last season after 80-some odd years as a cultural and economic staple.  Even major players like Churchill Downs, the home of the Kentucky Derby, are taking a hits over it.  Some major players are moving their operations to other states.  The eight horse tracks in Kentucky will be fewer.  Ellis Park is the first to announce, but probably not the last.

So, now hoosiers get their chance to laugh at the stupid Kentuckians.  However, no one on either side of the river seems to find it funny.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Socialism, Different Strokes for Different Folks

NEWS FLASH is basically news or thoughts that may be changing over time - an update or an evolution of thought that covers a multiple of topics. It is what makes a blogger tick and it is the reason why we read. So, with that in mind, I came up with NEWS FLASH as an acronym that stands for what is going on in life:



News (or current events)
Entertainment (movies, TV, celebrity, etc.)
Writing (thoughts on the blog(s) or other writing projects)
Spirit (thoughts on God and/or the supernatural)
Family (or friends)
Love
Anxiety (a rant or a trouble)
Sports (also considered should be contests, reality TV, recreation, cards, games), and
Home (house, yard, or even another family type of thought.
__________________________________________
It has been a while since I had my old trusted NEWS FLASH.  There is no way I am going to be able to catch up.  That, I trust, will come about slowly over time.  However, I will take more of a snapshot of what is going on right now.
NEWS - For those of you with a memory, it won't be surprising to know that healthcare reform is the topic I would choose to cover in this segment.  President Obama, who promised reform, cannot emphasize enough that for those people satisfied with their insurance and healthcare, they don't have to change anything.  However, the public is getting pelted with scare tactics about (shutter) SOCIALISM!! (pardon me while I go lock the doors!). Not only is he not talking about a single-payer system like the backward, third world countries like France and Great Britain have, he is just trying to get everyone covered with an affordable plan.  However, since socialistic medicine is so bad, I think I am going to get my mother off Medicare since that is what IT is.  Plus, maybe I should lead a crusade to get all of the socialistic things out of our society.  Join with me while I opt out of police and fire protection in addition to shredding my library card.  Sheesh!  In insurance companies we trust!
ENTERTAINMENT - My latest guilty pleasure is Fear.net.  It is on my cable system as a free on-demand option.  These movies are great in some way.  They don't seem to be low-budget, but some of the acting is a little bad.  However, they are fun and entertaining.  I suggest Dee Snyder's Strangeland.  Snyder, best known as the front man from Quiet Riot, wrote, produced, directed, and starred in this thing.  Quite entertaining despite it being kind of . . . bad.
WRITING - Obviously, the blog is back.  I am still wrestling with opening it up to everyone.  Previously,  I had blog people, and real life people and never the two met.  My fear is that the worlds will collide or worse, I sensor some subject matter to spare people's feelings or sensitivities.  Just don't know . . .
SPIRIT - I am finding that I am a different person, spiritually, since my divorce.  I wouldn't say that I am weaker in faith, I just have a shift in priorities. As a matter of fact, I think my faith is stronger. I never felt I was a legalist (a person who strictly follows the rules for rules sake).  However, I am even less of one now.  I believe too strict a lifestyle retards communion with God.  In a since, following the rules becomes one's God.  So, I follow my inner conviction more, and fundemental teaching, less.  Of course, this may just be a phase I am going through as a part of healing.  I am open.
FAMILY - My sister had a major stroke last week.  It was quite a miracle, according to her physician (if you can believe that).  The doctor came in after reading her MRI and other test results and claimed to be dreading talking to the family because she expected my sister to be quite severely affected (perhaps even comatose or vegetative).  However instead, she was alert and conversing with us.  She is confused and has forgotten a lot of things, but she is far ahead of what the doctor expected.  He said, "People throw this word around too much, but this, indeed, is a miracle!"
LOVE - Love is never the same after a divorce.  There is fear and ego damage and an ever-guarded attitude.  I have seen a few people, but it is too soon to tell what is going to happen with the latest one.  I am really not completely sure about what I even want.
ANGUISH - I have been trying to buy the house I lived in with my wife.  She owned it before we married; it is in her name.  The bank (who presently shall remain nameless) had a good deal going for me.  Then, nothing!  I was supposed to close on May 15, but I haven't heard anything.  All my phone calls since then have been unanswered.  I stand to lose a great interest rate and a $200 application fee if this falls through.  I understand there is a deadline for the rate lock, but I am not sure what it is.  I am sure that if it expires, it isn't my fault.  There will be hell to pay.
SPORTS - Sadly, I was on hiatus during some of the best sports times.  We missed the Superbowl, and the Kentucky Derby and the fact that I was even present at the NASCAR Bristol Food City 500 and the Indianapolis 500 Time trials.  Well, I guess I covered it after all - sort of.
HOME - I finally have someone in that cursed house I need to get rid of.  He has the same deal the last guy had except a better one for him. What it is, is that he lives there at a VERY discounted rate in exchange for helping me improve the property for future sale.  The difference is that this guy comes recommended by someone that knows him well. He works in construction and apparently can do about anything. I am optimistic.  At some time in the future, I will address what happened to the last guy.  It is quite a story.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

The Return of the Psycho or is it another False Positive?

I would like to think this is the beginning of a new era for my blog.  I miss blogging and expressing my frustrations, joys, and opinions.  I also greatly miss the exchanges with people that I learned to care about - those of you that would give a few precious moments of your lives just to see what might be on my mind.

I don't know if I would have ever stopped if I didn't really care if it was a decent post or not. I felt responsible for writing something that most people could tolerate reading.  When life became too tough, it was too much for me to be able to insure that.  So, I let it go.

I am not sure that I can let go of that blog value yet, but perhaps enough time has passed that I can at least satisfy my self-imposed standards and fire this puppy back up.  We will see.

When I do get this thing chuggin' along again, it has to start somewhere. It might as well be here.