Sunday, December 22, 2013

Presidential Quotes (16 of 16) :Ronald Reagan, the Actor President

Today, we conclude our series of Presidential Quotes with a quip from Ronald Reagan who was president of America from 1981 to 1989:

"Recession is when a neighbor loses his job. Depression is when you lose your's."

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Presidential Quotes (15 of 16): Jimmy Carter

Yes, we would probably get more hits by arbitrarily mentioning Phil Robertson of "Duck Dynasty," who is apparently not related to the televangelist Pat Robertson or the fringe minister Johnny Robertson, from Martinsville, Va.

But, we are sticking with our game plan and quoting former Democratic president Jimmy Carter, whose term lasted from 1977 to 1981; Carter was also the governor of Georgia before becoming president.

He is the only president we've quoted so far in this series who is still alive, and he is the second oldest president behind George H.W. Bush:

"You can do what you have to do, and sometimes you can do it better than you think you can."

Friday, December 20, 2013

Presidential Quotes (14 of 16): Gerald Ford

Today, we are quoting President Gerald Ford, who was president from 1974-77. Since he came to the vice presidency because of the resignation of Richard Nixon's first president Spiro Agnew, then to the oval office when Nixon resigned because of the Watergate scandal of 1973, Ford is the only American president who was not elected into office.

Ford's presidency and Nixon's scandals became fodder for the early years of "Saturday Night Live," which premiered in 1975. A young Chevy Chase, who turned 70 in October, frequently made fun of Ford, while his "SNL" co-stars Dan Aykroyd played Ford and John Belushi played Henry Kissinger in skits which were co-written by Al Franken, who is now a Democratic senator from Minnesota.

Here is Ford's quote: "I am acutely aware you have not elected me as your president by your ballots, so I ask you to confirm me with your prayers."

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Presidential Quotes (13 of 16): Richard Nixon

Today, we quote our personal favorite Republican President, Richard Nixon (it should be pointed out that we are Democrats here). One can visit the Nixon Library Museum in Yorba Linda, Calif.

A poster of Nixon bowling in the Coen Borthers film "The Big Lebowski" has also become a part of pop culture. And, a Lebowski Fest will be taking place in Tampa, Fla., from Jan. 31-Feb.1, 2014.

But, before we quip Nixon, let's throw in one from Al Capone in the hopes that it will increase our hits from Belgium and Slovenia: "Capitalism is the legitimate racket of the ruling class."

Here is our quote from Nixon: "Only if you have been in the deepest valley, can you ever know how magnificent it is to be on the highest mountain."

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Presidential Quotes (12 of 16): Lyndon B. Johnson

Today, we quip President Lyndon B. Johnson who abruptly took over for John F. Kennedy after the first Catholic president was murdered by Lee Harvey Oswald (note: Oliver Stone begs to differ).

Johnson left a mixed legacy as he was heralded for Civil Rights, but blamed for the failure of the Vietnam War. LBJ is one of three modern-era presidents from Texas: the other two are George Bush and George W. Bush.

The LBJ LIbrary is in Austin, Tex., which is also the capital of Texas and where the University of Texas is.

Here is LBJ's quote:

"Peace is a journey of a thousand miles and it must be taken one step at a time."

Monday, December 16, 2013

Presdiential Quotes (11 of 16): John F. Kennedy

To answer your question, especially those of you who read this blog in Kazakhstan (we're not making that up!): "Yes, it was our intention to have this series of quotes from American presidents overlap with the 50th anniversary of President John F. Kennedy's assassination, which occurred on Nov. 22nd.

This is also the 20th anniversary of the release of Oliver Stone's controversial film about the Kennedy assassination "JFK." The year before, then-independent filmmaker Richard Linklater poked fun of Kennedy assassination  conspiracy theorists in a segment for his film "Slacker," filmed in Austin, Tex. JFK was killed in Dallas, Tex.

President Kennedy who hailed from Massachusetts is perennially ranked as the most popular 20th Century president, eclipsing both Franklin D. Roosevelt and Ronald Reagan.

Ironically, he has even been praised by conservatives who generally opposed the Democratic Party, which all of the Kennedys (also Sens. Robert and Teddy) were a member of. Sen. Ted Kennedy, who died in 2009, was the last remaining Kennedy brother.

The right-wing spoof film "An American Carol," which generally got bad reviews, from the makers of "Airplane" actually included a positive representation of Kennedy, who was played by character actor Chriss Anglin.

Along with Robert Kennedy, JFK is buried at Arlington National Cemetery, in Arlington, Va., just outside of Washington, D.C. and the JFK Presidential Library is located in Boston, Mass.

Here is JFK's quote:

"Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolutions inevitable."

Presidential Quotes: Dwight D. Eisenhower

We are keeping it simple tonight, but we do want to tell blog-readers that we had the opportunity to visit the Eisenhower Presidential Library in Abilene, Kansas, last year, and it's a very neat place. The center also has Ike's childhood home and his grave. It should not be confused with the Eisenhower Public Library District, which is located a few states over in Harwood Heights, Illinois.

Here is Eisenhower's quote:

"Any man who wants to be president is either an egomaniac or crazy."

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Presidential Quotes (9 of 16): Harry S. Truman

Today, we continue our series of presidential quotes with a quip from Harry S. Truman, a Democratic senator and vice president, who succeeded Franklin D. Roosevelt, who was one of four American presidents to die of natural causes, to the presidency.

The Truman Library is located in Indepedence, Mo., just outside of Kansas City:

"I never did give any body hell. I just told the truth and thought it was hell.

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Last 10 Films I've Seen (as of Dec. 1st): Sex Kittens Go to College is NOT an Adult Film

A cult film made in 1960 with a 2.6 IMDB rating starring Mamie van Doren, who hails from South Dakota, and Tuesday Weld with a cameo from a then unknown country singer named Conway Twitty (too bad he's no longer alive as it would be fun to follow Twitty on Twitter). We are, of course, referring to "Sex Kittens Go To College." It aired late at night on TCM in June, and we finally got around to watching it.

Of course, as always, we like to mention that we ripped off this idea from "Film Comment" magazine. But, in all seriousness, Gavin Smith, Amy Taubin, et al, always make a compelling film journal. And, I imagine neither of them has seen "Sex Kittens Go To College")!

Here is the list:

1. Sex Kittens Go To College (1960. Albert Zugsmith)

2. Alphabte City (1985. Amos Poe)

3. The Italian (Russia. 2005. Andrey Krovchuk)

4. Night of the Creeps (1986. Fred Dekker)

5. Kapo (Italy. 1960. Gillo Pontecorvo)

6. Thief of Paris (France. 1967. Louis Malle)

7. V/H/S (2012. Many directors)*

8. Dallas Buyers Club (2013. Jean-Marc Vallee)

9. The Telephone Book (1971. Nelson Lyon)

10. 12 Years A Slave (2013. Steve McQueen)**

*-It's a terrible film, but it is as a gruesome as advertised

**-Named film of the year by Peter Travers of "Rolling Stone"

Weather Temps in the Mid-Atlantic

With this image of the Snowshoe Ski Resort in Snowshoe, West Virginia. we look at weather conditions throughout the mid-Atlantic. In some places, such as the Carolina coasts, the weather is actually fairly decent for the winter time, but that it's not case in many areas, including metro areas in Virginia and Maryland.

1) Mount Jackson, Va. 25 Overcast

2) Bowie, Md. 30 Overcast

3) Chapel Hill, NC 33 Overcast

4) North Myrtle Beach, SC 42 Overcast

5) Danville, Va. 33 Overcast

6) Lewisburg, WVa. 27 Overcast

7) Oxford, NC 32 Overcast

8) Colonial Heights, Va. 33 Overcast

9) Roanoke, Va. 30 Light freezing rain

10) Fayetville, NC 37 Overcast

11) Eden, NC 34 Overcast

12) Hopewell, Va. 33 Overcast  (Capital Weather Gang)

A Snow Storm in Any Language

Greetings to our blog-readers in Kuwait, Bangladesh and New Zealand. It great to get hits from people quite far away from us.

Today, the mid-Atlantic portion of the United States got hit with either ice, snow or rain. Reportedly, the city of Frederick, Maryland, 45 miles northwest of Washington, D.C., got three inches of snow.
NPR is reporting that there are long delays and flight cancellations at Reagan Airport in the nation's capital.

Our favorite foreign language word for snowstorm is the Danish word 'snestorm,' which we actually googled.

Here is the list:

1) schneesturm (German)

2) tempele de neigert (French)

3) kar firtinasi (Turkish)

4) tormento de nieve (Spanish)

5) sno storm (Norwegian, actually one word)

6) zamiec (Polish)

7) vielista (Bulgarian)

8) snestorm (Danish)

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Remembering Nelson Mandela with a Quote from Him

Unlike Martin Luther King Jr. and Mahatma Gandhi, who were both gunned down in their fights for the respective freedom movements they established, South Africa's Nelson Mandela was able to live a full life: He died two days ago at the age of 95.

But, nevertheless, the death of this amazing man leaves a void for those you admire him around the world.

Five actors played Mandela on films, including Idris Elba, Morgan Freeman, Terence Howard, Danny Glover and Dennis Haysbert.

Here is his quote:

"Real leaders must be ready to sacrifice all for the freedom on their people."

SIDEBAR: We always like to periodically quote Sunday comic strips. Here is a line from "The Amazing Spiderman" by Stan Lee which was published on Nov. 17th: "How do we know it was Spider-Man who got off that plane from Cape Verde?"

Thursday, December 5, 2013

College Volleyball Notebook: Ivy League vs. Pac-12

It will be presumably easier for Yale Bulldogs fans to travel from New Haven, Conn., to University Park, Pa. (the Penn State campus) than it will be for Utah Utes fans to trek into the Quaker State from Salt Lake City. But, the two teams will meet there at 5:00 p.m., the winner will very likely face host Penn State, a national championship contender, in the next round.

For Yale (20-4), Kendall Polan (pictured top) is the three-time Ivy League player of the year. Her teammates include fellow all-Ivy League team members Mollie Rogers and Kelli Johnson. For Utah, players to watch include Erin Redd-Brando (wearing number 17, bottom), a senior middle-blocker.

Here are a look at four games on Friday, all times are eastern:

Utah vs. Yale 5:00 p.m. Penn State

Charleston College @ Duke 7:30 p.m.

Univ. of Cal-Santa Barbara @ San Diego 10:30 p.m.

Wichita State @ Kansas 7:30 p.m. on ESPN3

For other games, check out our sister blog:

NOTE: Incidentally, this is our 2,500th entry!

College Vollyeball Notebook: For the 3rd Year in a Row, UNC Faces Cal in NCAA Tourney

Madison, Wisc, the host site where the University of North Carolina Tar Heels and California Bears will play each other in the first round of the NCAA tournament for the third consecutive year is a 17 hour drive from Chapel Hill, NC, and a 34 hour drive from Berkeley, Calif.; nevertheless, it is a 'neutral site.'

UNC (27-4) features Serbian stand-out Jovana Bjelica (pictured top) and Page Neuenfeldt, while Cal features Adrienne Gehan, a senior who is an outside hitter.

Here is a list of four highly-anticipated games on Friday, all times are Eastern:

UNC vs. Cal. Madison, Wisc. 6:00 p.m.

New Mexico State vs. Arizona. San Diego. 8:00 p.m.

Madi Kingdon and Penina Snuka are stand-outs for the Arizona Wildcats.

Iowa State vs. Colorado. Minneapolis 5:30 p.m.

Iowa State features Kristen Hahn, the Big 12 Libero of the year; the CU Buffs' line-up includes Nicole Edelman and Taylor Simpson.

Arizona State vs. Brigham Young University. Honolulu. 10 p.m.

For more college volleyball games, go to

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Dutch Futbol Notebook: An Easy Road Win for Ajax

It was a good day for Iranian international Alireza Johanbaksh, 20, who plays for the Nijmegen in the Dutch Premiere League, as he scored two goals for the home side against AZ Alkmaar. For the visitors, Dutch international Roy Beerens scored his team's two goals. The final was 3-2.

In a game that was broadcast on ESPN3 in America, Ajax Amsterdam routed Den Haag in the Hague by a 4-0 score. Danish star Viktor Fsicher scored a goal for Ajax in the 34th minute. Dutch player Quincy Promes scored the game-winner for the visiting squad Twente in their 2-1 win over Roda.

Here are all the scores from weekend domestic play:

Nijmegen 3 AZ Alkmaar 2

Den Haag 0 Ajax Amsterdam 4

Roda 1 Twente 2

Feyenoord 3 PSV 1

Vitesse 3 Canbury 0

Heracles 1 Utrecth 2

Zwolle 1 Waalwijk 1 (tie)

Heerenveen 3 Go Ahead Eagles 1

Breda 2 Gronigen 2 (tie)

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Favorite Comic Strips from the Sunday Roanoke Times: Another Great Week for Pearls Before Swine

We aren't just posting a 1993 photo of Heather Locklear in the hopes that it will generates lots of hit from Cuba to Kazakhstan to New Zealand (though that would be nice), but because a blonde woman named Wanda who looks a bit like a young Heather, is the main guest character in this week's Sunday comic strip.

Wanda ends causing friction to Rat, one of the strip's central characters, and his Uncle Dan, without intention.

Here are our top 10 comic strips from this Sunday's "Roanoke Times" (Roanoke, Va.):

1. Pearls Before Swine

2. Agnes

3. Doonesbury

4. Get Fuzzy

5. Garfield

6. Speed Bump

7. Funky Winkerbean

8. Dilbert

9. Blondie

10. Jump Start

Presidential Quotes (8 of 16): FDR

Today, we quote one of America's most beloved presidents Franklin D. Roosevelt, A Democrat, who was elected to four terms of office. Roosevelt is one of four presidents who died while in office. His veep Harry Truman replaced him. Roosevelt has been portrayed on film by actors such as Jon Voight and Bill Murray.

Here is his quote: "In politics nothing happens by accident. If it happens, you can bet it was planned that way."