Listless Redskins dominating the conversation
We're listening to 106.7 THE FAN from WASHINGTON, D.C., online this morning.
The local NFL team is dominating the conversation, following KANSAS CITY'S 45-10 win over the REDSKINS yesterday.
Washington seemed lifeless on the field, although few would have noticed in person. The stands at FedEx Field were shockingly empty.
Was it the weather? Crowds flocked to see games played in blizzards in Philadelphia and Baltimore yesterday -- Washington had marginally better weather.
It must have been the listless play on the field.
Now, the commentators on the radio are discussing the hapless state of the franchise from top to bottom.
Recalling the inspiration of Nelson Mandela in the little details
I still have the button from my first political protest action -- a college rally calling for the end of APARTHEID in SOUTH AFRICA and the release of the iconic NELSON MANDELA.
Yesterday's news of Mandela's death came as no surprise, but saddened millions nonetheless.
I immediately recalled singing along to "Free Nelson Mandela" by The Special A.K.A. and "Mandela Day" by Simple Minds.
I recalled watching live on television during Mandela's release from prison.
I recalled the newspaper front page I saved from South Africa's 1995 Rugby World Cup victory -- "Springboks World in Union" -- read the banner headline. Mandela featured prominently in the nation's celebration of the win.
These were all little details of Mandela's life, inspiration and presence I have kept throughout the years.
Like so many people around the world, I will miss Mandela and will continue to be inspired by his life's work to bring freedom to all.
Enjoying a special night of Christmas music in Galena
ANNIKA and I spent last evening marveling at the breadth of great CHRISTMAS music.
We traveled to GALENA, ILL., for the UNITED CHURCHES OF GALENA ANNUAL CHRISTMAS CONCERT.
The top choirs and musicians from 10 local churches and two schools converged to perform "On This Holy Night," "Lift Thine Eyes," "Joy to the World" and other traditional Christmas songs.
It was probably the best Christmas concert I had ever attended.
There were several "wow" moments, including a Christian school's girls ensemble singing like angels, a young man performing a dazzling version of Handel's "Hallelujah Chorus" on classical guitar and a combined church choir accompanied by a beautiful oboe.
The variety of the choirs was remarkable, with youngsters followed by older adults, traditional church choirs followed by swinging, guitar-led singing collectives.
The concert certainly helped fan the flames of my Christmas spirit.
Isn't music amazing?
There's something rotten in Big Apple sports this fall
Now I understand why NEW YORK media has spent so much time covering free-agent signings by the NEW YORK YANKEES.
I just reviewed the standings of the teams playing their current seasons.
Gotta hand it to those NEW YORK RANGERS -- at .500 they're the only one of the bunch with a non-losing record during what must be an historic BIG APPLE sports meltdown:
Giants 5-7, Jets 5-7, Nets 5-13, Knicks 3-13, Rangers 14-14, Devils 11-12-5, Islanders 8-15-5.
That's such a widespread drop into futility it would be enough to make any sports fan wonder:
"Is it baseball season yet?"
Amazon's drones push us closer to a 'Jetsons' reality
The weekend news that AMAZON.COM is developing unmanned aircraft to deliver packages immediately made me think of THE JETSONS.
The WILLIAM HANNA-JOSEPH BARBERA always represented a view of the future when I was a kid -- with George, Jane, Judy and Elroy Jetson relying upon numerous robotic conveniences.
The family used video phones, watched TV on flatscreens, robot maids served their human employers and flying cars folded into briefcases.
Amazon's drones would have fit right in.
Some of my musical heroes -- The Rezillos
THE REZILLOS have always been musical heroes for me.
The Scottish band proved that art students could create a band that avoided the ponderous and just had fun with rock.
Alan Forbes and Sheilagh Hynd rightly knew that an arty and alternative rock band should be bigger than life, so they took the stage names Eugene Reynolds and Fay Fife and never looked back.
They were aided by Jo Callis, the guitarist who would prove to be among the best songwriters of the New Wave era ("Don't You Want Me" comes to mind).
The Scotsman once wrote:
"Having formed at Edinburgh College of Art, the band’s colourful comic-book image swiftly produced luridly catchy songs to match."
The results included "Top of the Pops," "Destination Venus," "Flying Saucer Attack" and other punky pop gems.
I'm celebrating the Rezillos' quirky legacy this morning, with the volume cranked up!
Thanks for the grey hairs, 117th Civil War game
I have a few more grey hairs after tonight.
Marcus Mariota threw three touchdown passes to Josh Huff -- including the final scoring toss with 29 seconds remaining -- as MY BELOVED OREGON DUCKS outlasted their dreaded rivals, the DANGED OL' BEAVERS, 36-35, in the 117th CIVIL WAR game between the schools.
Once flying high in national title contention, the Ducks have spectacularly sputtered this month, not only losing to Stanford and Arizona, but looking almost completely over-matched in the defeats.
As a lifelong fan of UO, it's been a nightmarish endurance, rather than a final month of a college football season.
Oregon State seriously threatened to make the nightmare complete in Eugene tonight.
The Beavs scored a touchdown with only 1:38 left for a 35-30 lead. I was feeling woozy, watching it unfold on TV.
When Huff scored his third and final touchdown of the night, my exclamations were actually more from relief than the flush of victory.