Archive for March, 2011

My Open Letter to Craigslist Users

Posted in Craigslist, Downtown Bristol, Local, Modern on March 8, 2011 by Divide By Zero

This isn’t going to be about the creepy predators or anything like that.  And I’m sure it’s going on around the web, not just locally.. but I’ve dealt locally with Craigslist users and most of the time I end up bailing out on the deal 3 e-mails into the negotiations.

Specifically the video games section of the Tri-Cities Craigslist sellers.  This goes out to all of you:

No one is going to buy your Nintendo DS for $150 when the PSP just dropped to $129.99 (or even $128.77 at wal-mart).

No one is going to trade you their Wii for a PS2, or an Original XBox.. I don’t care how many games you have with them.

Seriously, you need to go to GameStop, and see how much they would give you for your games.. you’re not going to get much more for your 10 year old games than what they have to offer.. unless it’s a really rare game.

Trading a PS3 for an XBox 360, I can see.. that makes sense.  Trading your “PS2 EXCELENT [sic] COND. WITH OEVR [sic] 60 GAMES 4 CONTROLER [sic] PLUS XTRAS! [sic] WTT FOR XBOX 360 OR PS3” <– are you kidding me, guy from Kingsport?  First of all you can’t spell, so you have to lay off the video games for a bit anyways.  Second of all.. go to GameStop, look at how much you’re going to get for all of that.. $75.00 if you’re lucky?  And 360s/PS3s retail for between $150-$225 (read: 2 or 3 times what your crap is worth).  Really?  You know better than that.

Just because your games are “BRAND NEW” or “SLIGHTLY USED” they are not new.  Even if they are still wrapped in plastic, they are used.  Example: you buy a new car, and drive it off the lot and try to sell it online as “new” just because you bought it new, and you didn’t take the paper covers off the floor mats… are you going to get what you paid for it?  No.  Same thing with your video games.

Seriously, don’t try to take advantage of other people.  Quit trying to rip them off.  Video games are supposed to be fun.. don’t take that away from people!  I thought that living in the Tri-Cities, a more tightly-knit, friendlier community people wouldn’t do this to each other.  Let’s stop the craziness and be a little more non-rippy-offy to each other.

The Jester.

Top 10 Tuesdays 15: Movies to Watch…

Posted in movies, Top 10 Tuesdays on March 8, 2011 by Divide By Zero

 

I figured I’d do things a little different this week for my Top 10 list.  If you’ve noticed with my Nerdy Monday posts, I’ve been reviewing some of the strong points of some of my favorite movies.  I’m trying to break up my usual routine of reviewing video games that have been around for ages, as well as to not bore you guys (my readers).  Also, I play video games more than most people would deem necessary, or even healthy, anyways.  That brings us to this weeks Top 10 Tuesdays:

Top 10 Movies to watch when you don’t feel like playing video games.

#10.  Clerks II  (2006)

For me, this was an instant classic.  Brought to us by the very talented Kevin Smith, it is hilarious.  It’s perfect if you’re looking for a movie you don’t really have to pay attention to, to enjoy.  But the more you pay attention, the more you will laugh.  So order a pizza, turn off the Atari, and pop this movie in.  You don’t even have to see the first one to understand/enjoy it.

#9.  Goodfellas  (1990)

There’s never really a bad time to watch this one.  I can understand how not everyone who likes movies, likes The Godfather (even though it is one of the best movies of all time).  The Godfather is long, it’s drawn out, it makes you pay attention, and those daggone Italians are just weird!  Goodfellas however is in the same vein as The Godfather, but it’s more modernized, and instead of showing what a mafia family looks like from the inside looking out (like the Godfather), it shows what a mafia family looks like from the outside looking in.  Which I believe makes it easier to understand.  Even if you don’t like mafia movies, you’ll like this movie.  So unplug the Nintendo, grab some popcorn and give it a watch.

#8.  Waiting  (2005)

Perfect for anyone who has ever worked in a restaurant… or eaten in one for that matter.  Ryan Reynolds and Justin Long have excellent play, off of one another.  And Dane cook is in there as an EXTRA, before he became world famous.  He has like 2 lines and I find it hilarious that when Comedy Central advertises it, they throw in Dane Cook’s name.  Yeah, I’m not even sure if he’s credited for the role… he’s just sort of there.  Put down the Sega Genesis controller and get ready to laugh and/or be a little disgusted after watching this one.

#7.  Wedding Crashers  (2005)


What can I say about this movie?  Hilarious, great, inspiring, awespiring, and super-duper don’t even begin to describe it.  I guarantee you that this movie was responsible for about 10,000 weddings across the country being crashed back in 2005/2006/2007.  And that’s just low-balling it.  The way Owen Wilson and Vince Vaughn have their back-and-forth scenes, never gets old.  Christopher Walken is amazing.. it’s really one of his better roles, and I’m not certain but I think this launched Bradley Cooper’s career (He’s one of the dudes from the Hangover).  Great movie, Push the N64 out of the way, kick your feet up and enjoy.

#6.  Without A Paddle  (2004)


This movie, I don’t think a lot of people know about it.  It was from before Seth Green came out with the whole Robot Chicken fandango, and it was right on the cusp of him becoming as famous as he is today.  It also features one of my most favorite actors, Matthew Lillard.  He is an underrated guy, and insanely funny.  Just his whole persona with the don’t-really-care-about-this attitude make just about anything funny.  Dax Shepard is also in it, and completes the trifecta of awesomeness that is Without A Paddle.  A hilarious albeit relatively unknown movie that deserves more attention than your Dreamcast does.

#5.  Fight Club  (1999)

Wow, really?  I put this movie on the list?  I have to pay attention to what I write down the night before.  This movie is just flat out awesome.  It’s in a league of its own.  It’s incredible, and deserves at least one viewing by anyone.  You will want to watch it more than once after you see the ending for the first time and SPOILER ALERT! find out that Brad Pitt’s character is a figment of Edward Norton’s imagination.  The perfect substitution for playing anything on Sega Saturn.. check it out and tell me if I’m wrong.

#4.  The Boondock Saints  (1999)


The first time I watched this movie, I watched it 4 times in a row.  I love everything about it.. the writing, the complexity, the characters, the actors, the setup, the plot.  It is the perfect “guys movie” — and in fact there have been more than one of my guy friends that have told me if they were to ever cheat on their girlfriends/wives.. it would be with this movie.  I can’t explain to you how awesome this movie is.  What is it with 1999 and making badass movies?  Way better than anything on your Game Boy.

#3.  Batman  (1989)


I usually try to let my own personal bias into these lists I make, but this one is a given.  Batman is the greatest superhero of all time.. and Jack Nicholson does a great performance as the joker.  There was a perfect showdown between good and evil in this movie.  It wasn’t overblown, it wasn’t overcomplicated, it wasn’t over- or under- anything.  It was an elegantly done performance by both actors and by the entire supporting cast.  Because of this movie, I often wonder how the whole Batman movie franchise would have turned out if Tim Burton had stayed on as the director for all of them.  Ah well, that’s just wishful thinking.  Put down your XBox controller– throw it across the room even.  Do it now, thank me later.

#2.  Christmas Vacation  (1989)


If you haven’t seen this movie, then you just need to excuse yourself from the computer right now, go to the bathroom, look at yourself in the mirror, and punch yourself in the face.  G’head.. I’ll wait.

Okay good.  This movie is a guilty pleasure of mine and gets watched at the very least once a year.  It’s great, it’s Christmasy, and it’s just.. great.

The Winner and #1 this week.  Eurotrip  (2004)

 
Quite possibly one of the funniest movies of all time.  This is your homework before you read my next Nerdy Monday’s article:  If you haven’t watched this movie, go watch it.  If you have watched this movie, watch it again.  More to come on this one.

 

Honorable Mentions:

  • A Murder of Crows
  • Ninja Turtles II: The Secret of the Ooze
  • Ready to Rumble

See you at the Blockbuster.

The Jester.

 

*All images are property of their respective owners and may be subject to copyright laws.  All images obtained through Google Image Search.*

Nerdy Monday 21: Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen (2009)

Posted in 1980's, 2000's, Modern, movies, Nerdy Monday, Robots, Transformers on March 8, 2011 by Divide By Zero

Ok, so there are some (or a lot) of people out there that don’t enjoy Michael Bay’s sequel to his own Transformers installment.  I don’t understand why!

Have you seen it? It was only, awesome.

I don’t know why people have become so jaded by watching movies.  This film not only brought back a lot of the elements set up in the first film, grazed upon some of the characteristics of the old T.V. show/comic books, but added to the storyline.  The same way Batman Begins added to the Batman storyline.

It’s easy to point out the bad things about a film that changes what we know and love from our childhood, but let’s look at some of the good things:

  • Devistator.  The ginormous Constructicon (that’s nerd lingo for more than one Transformer combining to make one Autonomous Robot) at the end of the movie built on the old Constructicons.  Back in the 1980’s it blew our mind when there were 2 trucks, or a truck and a helicopter or 2 of whatever transformed to combine one big robot.  Remember that on Saturday mornings?  TWO OF THEM!?  WHAAAAAAT????!!1 *KABLOOEY* that’s when our heads exploded all over the T.V. screen.  And Devistator… what were there about a dozen (?) or so different pieces of construction equipment that formed him?  People thought that was “too unrealistic” to be in the movie.  Are.  You.  Serious?  Like Optimus Prime doing his thing is really going to happen, but Devistator… that’s WAY too far fetched.  Dorks.

It took a team of Cal Tech doctors and one surgeon on acid to engineer this toy.

  • Soundwave.  How awesome did he look when he was connecting to that satellite in outer-freakin’-space?!  The only complaint I have about Soundwave is that I don’t think he got enough screen time.  But the point is Soundwave used to be a cassette recorder.. now he’s hooking into government satellites and intercepting intel from all over the world.  That’s something new and fresh that probably wasn’t even conceivable back when we were watching Ravage come out of Soundwave’s chest as a cassette tape.  C’mon now!

Definitely not what we grew up with.

  • Sector 7.  I’m not sure about this one, but I’m pretty sure that Secotr 7 made it’s debut in Transformers (2007).  John Turturro’s character as one of the S7 agents was a little eccentric and was the main source of comic relief in that movie.  I am very glad that his character was brough back in Revenge of the Fallen (ROTF).  I know a lot of people were disappointed at that, but why?  He gave a lot of relevant information to the plot AND added the some comic relief to ROTF.  I’ve even heard rumors that Michael Bay has done away with this character.  A big pee-soaked thank you goes out to all of you fair weather Transformers fans who have nothing to do but complain.  You non-appreciative disappointment-bags!

He means business. Funny business.

  • Sam Witwicky containing all the knowledge of the All Spark.  In all my extensive research (read: about 5 minutes of Googling) I haven’t come across this happening before ROTF.  I think it was a cool twist.  A lot of people didn’t agree with this concept, but think about how much sense it makes.  Anyone who has had a high school science class SHOULD know that energy can never be created nor destroyed, it can only change forms.  Since the All Spark is “pure energy” as mentioned countless times throughout all forms of the Transformers, it can’t be destroyed, right?  Therefore, since Sam had so much physical contact with the All Spark in the 2007 movie.. as well as being the one that pushed it into Megatron’s chest to “destroy” it… the energy contained really had nowhere else to go but into Sam.  Not so far fetched now, is it, critics?

This kid holds all the information and energy of the universe. He looks like it, doesn't he?

Those are the main arguments I’ve read on the internet and heard from other movie goers.  There are dozens more, but I really don’t have the energy to go through everything.. this article would be 50 pages long.

The bottom line is that Transformers (2007) was a huge accomplishment in the Transformers Franchise.  Therefore ROTF had some pretty big shoes to fill.  I’m not saying that ROTF was better than the 2007 movie.  Nor am I saying it was better than the old show, or the comics.  But I tell you what, it wasn’t WORSE!  And with all of that “disappointment” ROTF was surrounded by, let’s look at the other movies that came out the same month ROTF was released:

  • Land of the Lost
  • My Life in Ruins
  • Tennessee
  • Imagine That
  • The Taking of Pelham 123
  • The Proposal
  • Year One
  • My Sister’s Keeper

Is anyone talking about those movies anymore?  Look on your DVD shelf, do you own any of these movies?  Who was even IN those movies?  Of all the movies on that list, I’ve only seen one.  One single movie: Pelham 123.  It was okay.  It didn’t hold a candle to “Michael Bay’s excretion called ‘ROTF'” though.

All in all, I can’t wait for the next installment to be released.  I can’t wait to see what else Michael Bay’s Transformers franchise adds to the storyline.

Quit whining about all the things that “don’t add up” in a movie, and appreciate it for what it is.

Pictured: most of the people complaining about ROTF.

See you at the concession stand.

The Jester.

 

*All images are property of their respective owners and may be subject to copyright laws.  All images obtained through Google Image Search.*

The Special Olympics: My Interview with Nancy Brown

Posted in Downtown Bristol, Family, Local, Special Olympics with tags , , , , , , , on March 8, 2011 by Divide By Zero

My deepest apologies go out to Ms. Brown, the Special Olympics, and everyone involved with them.  I was supposed to have this article written about 2 weeks ago, but I just got over the worst bout of the flu I think I’ve ever had.  I also wanted to make it to the Bowling competition that was held this past weekend.

A few weeks ago, I had the distinct honor to interview Ms. Nancy Brown.  She is a wonderful and generous woman who gives a lot of her time, and herself really to supporting the local Special Olympics; a cause that is very near and dear to my heart.  She was so nice that she told me all about the Special Olympics in detail not only once but twice.  Let me explain:

Upon being welcomed into her office, I explained to her that since I didn’t know much about the local Special Olympics, I didn’t really have any interview questions prepared for her.  So she divulged a lot of information to me in detail.  I was amazed at how much was involved with this one organization!  It’s like our entire community backs the Special Olympics, helps out in every aspect, and supports it 100%.  I felt very proud to be a part of this community when I heard all of this, and this article is the very least I can do to show my own personal support, and hopefully to bring other people’s support to the Special Olympics, either in donation or volunteer form.  Like I said, this is a cause very near and dear to my heart.

Once Ms. Brown, was finished telling me about everything involved with this locally, I was in shock.  Then I calmly said: “Could you repeat that for me once I hit the ‘record’ button?”  She kindly obliged.  Here’s what she had to say:

 

Del Dotson:  Okay this week, I’m here with Nancy Brown. She’s going to tell you all a little bit about herself and what she does here at the college and also how she’s affiliated with the Special Olympics, and she’s really just going to take it from here. So here she goes!

Nancy Brown:  Well I’m an Assistant Professor at Virginia Intermont. I teach in the education department, and my specialty is that I make the program for special education teachers. For young people that are going to use special education in their teaching profession. And I help them get into the program that includes their course descriptions, and getting their certification and their endorsement in special ed.

I also teach some psychology with the exception of childrens classes. That goes along with our education program also. Since 1974 I have worked in Special Olympics. And Special Olympics is the sports program for individuals who have intellectual disabilities. It’s really dear to my heart, because it gives all of us an opportunity to provide [sports] programs for those individuals and let them have a successful experience.

I am the coordinator for Area 10’s sports programs which includes all of Southwest Virginia. We’ve got 2 events that are coming up in just a few weeks, actually. March 5th we have our bowling competition at Interstate Lanes. We will have between 70 and 80 athletes that will come in to bowl from all over Southwest Virginia. Our youngest athlete is going to be about 12 to 13, and our oldest one is going to be in their 70’s.

Then in April, we’re going to have our Spring games. We have a Track & Field competition that’s going to be April the 16th. Once again, we’re going to have about 125 athletes from all over Southwest Virginia. They will participate in wheelchair events, they will participate in running events, softball throw, shot-puts, and we will have ages probably 11 through 75. It’s a big day at John Battle [note: a local high-school] because we have a lot of key volunteers that come in to participate and sponsor us. The Knights of Colombus will usually be represented in some form. The Knights of Colombus will help us in our bowling competition. The Veterans of Foreign Wars, the VFW always does the opening ceremonies for our Spring games, and that’s just such a privilege. We have had an athlete do the National Anthem for us for the last 2 or 3 competitions, and that’s just.. it’s a heart-stopper.

Oh, we have some wonderful key volunteers, we have a bunch of colleges that come and help us. Emory & Henry has sent volunteers, King has, my own VI [Virginia Intermont] has. One of my real good friends here on campus actually runs the competition for me. The education department gets involved with us. The photography department here at VI did coverage for us last year. We generally have wonderful media coverage from both WCYB and the Bristol Herald Courier.

We do take donations to run the program. We’re very conscious that we want to run the program for our athletes, so we do take donations that helps pay for state events. We try to make sure that we take our athletes up on Thursday, so they don’t have to travel all day Friday and get really tired. So we do try and raise money so that we can cover a third night of motel bills. Plus covering the rest of the expenses. We usually end up taking between 30 and 40 people to state games. That includes the athletes, coaches, and the volunteers, which is a good group. We try to take the athletes who have done everything that they have needed to do to train and get ready for state games. We want to make sure that we take athletes whose parents are comfortable with letting us take them away for 3 nights. We make sure that they, themselves are comfortable with being gone. We like to take athletes who have trained, and trained hard for what they’re doing.

DD: Right.

NB: This is something… We don’t take this lightly! It’s not something that we just throw out there. We really take this very strongly, it’s something that means a lot to all of the people involved. Because we know that our people can succeed, we just have to be there to give them the opportunity.

DD: That’s awesome. And can you.. I mean you mentioned a little bit before [Read: before I started recording the interview.] about the history of the Special Olympics here in Bristol.

NB: Yes. Now we had started, I think in 1974, we had a wonderful special ed teacher here by the name of Ruth Thrash, and a special ed director by the name of Calvin Durting, who saw the need for this to begin here. I was a young teacher, and they let my young legs take care of them. They’re the ones that really got us off to a beginning, and we just held it in place. All of us became involved with Ms. Thrash and Mr. Durting, and they built a strong core, and after all these years we’ve still got a strong core. We’ve got a family here by the name of Jim & Anna Combs, who have been involved as long as I’ve been involved.

DD: Wow.

NB: They started out with me in ’74, and ’75 and they’ve always been there. They go to the state games most of the time and we have got other people that have been involved now for about 20-25 years. We’ve got a lady in Big Stone Gap, her name is Joyce Gilbert who has been involved a loong time. And she brings a strong support group with her from Big Stone Gap. And that’s the neat thing about what you’re doing.. is that these blogs and things that you do, they see them over there where they are.

DD: Right. [I felt really humbled by Ms. Brown telling me this]

NB: And, when you mention certain names like Ms. Gilbert, Darlene Dean in Smith County, there’s a group from Crossroads Point that’s got a really strong coordinator, her name is Melanie. You’ve got a lady by the name of Deb Greene, who’s very strong in Wise County, and you’ve got people in Tazwell.

DD: I think I’ve met Deb Greene, I’ve spent some time out at Uva Wise.

NB: Oh, do you?

DD: Yeah, small world.

NB: She brings her athletes, I think at Uva Wise.

DD: I think so, I think you’re right.

NB: And Deb, she is just a great, great lady. Her church is a big support group, I forgot what the name of it is. They’ve been a big support group, and you’ve got people like Virginia Goodson, you may have heard of Ms. Goodson…

DD: It sounds familiar.

NB: She’s on City Council, no not City Council, on the School Board here. I think she came off last year, but she’s been a big support system for this group. Abingdon Civitan with Ms. Lee Price, I mean there’s just… I go down through and I think about all the people [involved].. You probably know this family, the Campbell family.

DD: That’s ringing a bell, but I can’t place them.

NB: Bill [Campbell] was over the City Bus system for years. Bill and his sister JoAnne, they were the ones that bowling program so strong here in Bristol. You know? When you start looking at it, these people that are involved with us, they’re not fly-by-night people, okay? They’ve become a part of us. Year after year they come back. It’s not like they volunteer one year and then they’re gone. You’ve got Jack Wisenberger who has been involved with us now for a number of years through the Knights of Colombus. That group.. They’re just wonderful people! And without them, I honestly, I probably would have given up a long time ago.

DD: They just make everything so easy?

NB: They do! I almost feel guilty when I’m the one that’s interviewed. It makes me feel so humbled because I know I’m representing them.

DD: Of course.

NB: And without them.. it’s just a big team, we all work together.

DD: Yeah, and like I’ve said before, I didn’t really know anything about all this stuff. And just you mentioning all of those names, and telling me about all of these organizations that support this so strongly, it’s just… it makes it seem like it’s a whole lot bigger to me now, than 10 minutes ago when I came into your office.

NB: Well, what’s so great about it for me as a person is.. I moved here to Bristol in 1969. I’m a farm girl from Middleton. And I love this area because this area gives to it’s people.

DD: Yes.

NB: I came here as a young teacher, and here I am now the old.. OLD teacher. Haha, I don’t like to admit it, but I am! And people still are there for me. I’ve got people that volunteer for us, and with us, year after year after year. I had a group to call me, the Moose Lodge, from Abingdon, called me last week. They chased me down from last week about helping us. It just thrilled me to death because I know organizations have hurt for money the last 2 or 3 years. NHC called me and said they would like to get involved. Well you know, these are groups that, I know a lot of these people but I’ve just never been involved with them over stuff like this. To have those and the other organizations that have backed us, it’s just been a blessing. That’s all I can say is it’s just been a blessing.

DD: It sounds like it!

NB: They call and.. there’s some people that call and say “Don’t. Forget. To call us. You’re getting ready to have Spring games…” I can’t say enough for the people that are involved. This is not an organization that… you don’t get burnt out. I don’t know what it is.

DD: I know what you mean.

NB: I have got athletes that are in their 50’s and 60’s now, that started out as young kids with me.

DD: Wow.

NB: And this young man that’s in this wheelchair [Ms. Brown has a poster of a past special olympics event hanging up by her desk, she pointed to it]… I started out working with him when he could walk and run just like you and I. And he was not much bigger… I could pick him up and throw him over my shoulder.

DD: See, that’s incredible.

NB: And to watch him today, and still, I can maybe not even see him for years and walk in to where they’re training, and they’ll holler at me and say: “HOW YOU DOIN’ MS. BROWN?!” You realize, Yes(!), you’ve made an impact on their lives because they still remember your name.

DD: Exactly.

NB: I do.. It’s in my blood, and I’ll probably stay in it until the day I die.

DD: That’s inspiring. Well God bless you. I know if it weren’t for people like you, and the people you’ve mentioned, none of this stuff would be possible.

NB: that’s true.

DD: I’ve worked with people with disabilities before, I’ve been fortunate enough to do that and it is, it’s really rewarding. It’s more rewarding than just giving money to a charity, or donating clothes to the Salvation Army, or something like that. You develop a really special bond, and it’s one of the quickest ways to see rewards, and it makes them feel worthwhile. And it makes us feel worthwhile.

NB: It does, and you know, there’s a lot of things that I think you see that they really get out of it. It’s that they are just so appreciative.

DD: Yeah.

NB: Whatever you do, OUR Special Olympians, and they’re representative of all individuals with intellectual disabilities, they do appreciate.

DD: Yes.

NB: And they let you know. They have a warmth about them. I know that the Kennedy family established this because of their sister Rosemary, I know that’s when they saw the need. But they stuck with it. I remember last year, when I was introduced to Timothy Shriver, who I guess is now the President/CEO, of Special Olympics, because I think he took over for his dad Sarge & Mrs. Shriver, and I looked at him and I thought of how humbled he seemed to be as a young man following in their footsteps. I’ve had an occasion with my involvement in Special Olympics to be around some of the Kennedy family in the Special Olympics arena. Never with the politics and things that they have been into, but they have been to games and things where I have been, and that was the impression that I got of all of them. That they were genuine, and they did love that aspect of their lives.

DD: Yeah. And they were sincere about it?

NB: They were sincere about it. That’s what I read out of him [Mr. Shriver], just like the rest of them. I remember the first time, I guess it was, that I ever saw part of that family was at an international game in New York. And then, here all these years later I see him and it’s just like you’re looking in the face of where you looked at them 30 years ago. Good feeling. Good feeling.

DD: Oh man. Well, I think that about covers everything

NB: Okay.

DD: Thank you very much for your time!

NB: I’m glad you came by!

 

I’m really glad I got to interview Nancy.  After typing all of that up, I really don’t think there’s anything I can say that could sum any of that up, or even supplement it.  I personally thank everyone involved with this cause and anyone who donates money to the people at the Special Olympics.  I think it’s good ot end on that note, and with this:

If you’d like to donate to the local Special Olympics here’s the information:

Area 10 Special Olympics

C/O Nancy Brown

35 Timber Ridge Rd.

Bristol, VA  24201

I really urge anyone to donate, because there’s a world of people that are going to benefit from it.

I hope I was able to get people more involved!

The Jester.

An apology to everyone…

Posted in Uncategorized on March 7, 2011 by Divide By Zero

I am so sorry to my readers, and to the people I’ve interviewed. I have not been keeping up with the blog due to the flu, and I will be getting “back on the saddle” tomorrow (actually today). I will be starting with finishing Nancy Brown’s interview with the special olympics, and will continue forth from there. I haven’t forgotten about anything.. and I have been writing some stuff down on loose leaf paper. I have the next couple of days off so that I can get everything all caught up. Again, I am sorry to everyone, and check back soon!