Monday, July 28, 2014

To Bee or Not To Bee

I have shared with you about my various past ailments.

For example, I once had a Sebaceous Cyst which according to The National Library of Medicine is "a closed sac under the skin filled with a cheese-like or oily material".  (If you were eating breakfast while reading this--sorry.) The treatment I had for my Sebaceous Cyst was called "Poke With a Needle and Then Have The Doctor and Her Assistant Take Turns Mashing It Out". This took hours.

I have also written about my Right Bundle Branch Block, which is an electrical defect of the heart. I wish I could say it gets me out of a lot of chores around the house, but it doesn't.

Then there was the time I went to my Colon-Rectal Specialist or as he enthusiastically calls himself, "The Butt Doctor". I'm not going to reveal what my issue was, however, if you ever go to "The Butt Doctor" and he says, "Whoa!", your life will have a couple of unpleasant weeks.

The biggest medical issue of my life (um, just for the record, being stupid is not a medical issue) is that I'm allergic to bee stings.

According to ancient lore told to me by my mother, the late great Inez, I was stung by a bee when I was "liddle". "Liddle" is the way Southerners describe young children. You may have heard it as the word "little".

Inez said that I went ape crazy after I was stung. I never figured out exactly what Inez did to calm me down and to help the sting. My impression is that she mainly watched while I went nuts. She claimed I was literally climbing the walls.

So after a couple of days (I said that just to be funny.. I don't know how long it was), Mom took me to our family doctor, Old Doc Johnson. Old Doc Johnson made the startling diagnosis that I was having an allergic reaction. I'm not sure if he gave me a shot of antibiotics or whiskey. He gave my mother this one piece of medical advice on how her "liddle" Alan is supposed to handle this malady. He said, "Mom, tell him to run like Hell if he sees a bee."  

Now my mother would never use the word "Hell" in front of a small child because every one of her children  would repeat that word in front of the Preacher when he would stop by to visit. ("Well, Hell, Rev McCook, everybody likes Bullwinkle..") So, she decided to tell me that I would die if I got stung by more than one bee at a time.

I remember one time when I wasn't "liddle" but about seven or eight, I got stung by a pretty big hornet and I thought that maybe the size of the hornet equaled  two bees. I walked home knowing I was going to die before the afternoon cartoons came on. 

Well, I grew up and I hid my fear respect for bees pretty well, I guess. I must have been somewhere in my late teens or early twenties when I stopped screaming like a little girl when I was near one. 

Then one day, after I had become a MAN (I was married) I was jogging and I got stung by a bee. I didn't die. I didn't even go into a coma. It just hurt. 

So me and this part of the insect world had a little understanding. If I didn't mess with them, they wouldn't mess with me. 

That agreement worked well until I bought a house and had to mow the yard. In the South, Yellow Jackets will have their hives burrowed in the ground. Somehow, during all my years of mowing yards, I had never heard of this. Until one day.

I was out mowing the yard and suddenly it was like a firecracker went off on my leg. I looked down and saw I had a swarm of yellow jackets around my legs. I had mowed over a hive. In my head I heard "If you get stung by more than one bee, you will die". So I did what any normal red blooded man would do:  I ran.

I was running away from the bees and swatting the ones near me at the same time. It was like they had declared "TORA TORA TORA" on me.  Two kamikazes flew up my pants legs ( I was wearing short pants). One on the left and one on the right and stung me on each individual cheek. (For the record, this is not what caused my Butt Doctor to say, "Whoa".)

I was moving like Jagger when I heard my neighbor say, "Ha, Ha, Ha, Ha, Ha, Ha. That's was a pretty good dance, Alan."  I stood there, knowing I had been stung at least five times, waiting to die. I didn't even get short of breath. It just hurt like rip. You never drop dead when you need to.

Well, Inez was still around at this time and I called her the next day. I told her that I had been stung at least five times. She said, "Alan, hang up this phone right now and go to the emergency room. You have a wife and baby to think about".  I spent the rest of the phone call trying to convince her that I was fine and was in fact, not dead. I'm not sure I ever convinced her.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Up Next On The SEC Network

ESPN, the leader in sports broadcasting, has created a new sports television network that is coming to your local cable provider in a few weeks. It is The SEC Network. Just in time for College Football Season, our favorite professional sport!

For those of you that may not know: SEC stands for "Southeastern Conference" and is a university athletic conference. Two of its member universities are not in the southeastern portion of The United States. One of which, the University of Missouri, is in the "Eastern Division " even though the school is geographically west of the majority of schools in the "Western Division".

What is unique to The SEC is that it has a lot of passionate fans. By "passionate" I mean "clinically insane". I also mean "should be under close psychiatric supervision". ESPN is tapping that market because the passion translates into money. David Climer of  The Tennessean (Nashville) says many "believe the SEC Network will pump $20 million-plus into each conference school's budget per year". That's a lot of moolah. How do they plan on accomplishing this? Climer says, "The SEC Network aims to give passionate fans what they want — lots of games and live programming." 

The only announced non-football programming has been "The Paul Finebaum  Show". It will be a live television broadcast of his live radio broadcast. Four hours a day, five days a week of this face:

A Face For Radio

People say Rush Limbaugh is the most powerful man in radio. I disagree. Paul Finebaum is the most powerful man in radio. When Harvey Updyke poisoned the trees at Toomer's Corner in Auburn, Alabama, he called Paul Finebaum to brag about it.  As you might guess, his radio show in Birmingham featured Alabama/Auburn talk all the live long day. ("Welcome to The Paul Finebaum Christmas Show. I wonder what Coach Saban is getting this year?") but this national show will include some discussion of other schools and maybe even Vanderbilt.

The big question is what other programming besides Paul Finebaum, The SEC Sports Center and football games will be on The SEC Network.  I have been able to contact my sources within ESPN and discovered some of the other programs that be featured on The SEC Network. Note: this may be an incomplete list.

Kiss....His....Butt (game show): Alabama fans compete in various wacky contests to see which one will get to kiss Coach Nick Saban's fanny. The winner will literally kiss Coach Saban's behind. A source said, "This is a win-win. ESPN and their sponsors do not have to put up cash prizes and Alabama fans will have something to tell their grandchildren."

Redd Shirtt (drama): This is a scripted drama that follows an Auburn freshman named "Redd Shirtt" as he tries to the make the team. He also is trying to figure out why the international students at Auburn always play tennis during game days.

Are You Smarter Than A Bulldog? (game show): A contestant matches wits with five UGA students. The catch: No questions about beer or STDs.

Y'all (reality show): Cameras follow several Ole Miss sororities. It will have subtitles just in case you don't understand them (but most likely you won't care).

Why We Can't Have Nice Things (talk show): Ordinary fans of non-Alabama schools talk about why they can't win (everyone else cheats) and what they can do about it (fire the coach, poison some trees, cheat too,etc)

This is a Book (news documentary show): Designed to appeal to Vanderbilt fans, this show will feature great works of world literature. Programming note: It is on the schedule for 3:30 am Sunday Morning.

Gator Swamp (game show): Contestants vie for cash prizes in an obstacle course wearing jean shorts.

Old Timers (talk show): Old men sit around and talk about how good the SEC used to be before everybody starting wearing long hair and baggy pants.

Tailgate!  (cooking show): This show is about the food fans make at tailgates before the game. First show: How to cook a hamburger on a grill.

Who's In Jail This Time? (game show): Contestants try to guess which student athlete was arrested the week before and the reason.

My Woman, My Woman, My Wife (talk show): The wives of the coaches of SEC meet to gab about the other schools coaches and wives. ("Oh, those women at South Carolina are just awful, awful".)

Huh? (game show): Contestants try to figure out what Steve Spurrier and Les Miles just said.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

24 Recap: Hour 12

Previously on "24": China and The United States are on the brink of war. Chloe has jumped out of a car and hits her noggin. Jack pulls a gun on Mr. Audrey. President Rosland Capital does a "President's Arrest! President's Arrest" on Mr. Audrey (This joke works really well if you can imagine Gomer Pyle saying it). Jack, Mr. Audrey , and the Hot CIA Agent  (HCA) go to The Russian Embassy and kill The Russian with the funky facial hair.  Audrey goes to a park to meet a friend and somehow this is supposed to prevent World War III. Unfortunately, the friend gets killed by a sniper working for Cheng. Oh dear, Audrey's lost another friend.

Audrey is sitting on the park bench in the sights of Cheng's sniper. Audrey's friend makes some sort of movement and the sniper finishes off the friend. Cheng calls Audrey again and tells her not to move. Audrey wishes she didn't have that Big Gulp before she left the American Embassy.

At the Russian Embassy Jack, Mr. Audrey and HCA are stepping over all of the dead Russians. Jack finds The Russian's cell phone which is storing all of the texts from Cheng. ("Got Flat Chested One in sights. LOL!") Jack discovers that the Russians have rented a boat to take Cheng and The Chengettes ( Opening for David Spade in Vegas this summer) out of the country.

Then Mr. Audrey gets a text  from Cheng. ("U SUN BE ABLE TO DATE AGAIN"). Mr. Audrey tells Jack that Audrey loves Jack. Jack replies that he really just sort of liked Audrey and that she was okay. Mr. Audrey counters with "Jack and Audrey, sitting in a tree. K-I-S-S-I-N-G". In the midst of all of this intellectual conversation, it was decided that HCA will go and help Audrey while Jack goes after Cheng.

The President is now at CIA Headquarters for some unknown reason. He talks to The Chinese President again. He warns The Chinese President not to let the ships pass the 12 mile limit or the United States will be just a little bit late on paying back some of those loans.

Chloe wakes up from her Grade 2 concussion and walks down an desolate country road in the middle of London when she is picked up by a passing by car. They ask her what that crap is on her eyes. She asks to use their cell phone. She calls Jack and he answers in classic Jack Bauer form: "WHO IS THIS?"  Chloe offers Jack her help. She reminds Jack that all of his friends are dead, which is something everyone who is trying to save the world from war wants to hear. 

HCA finds Audrey and gives her some comical instructions. "Audrey. Do not not move. Do you understand? If you do, shake your head four or five times. The sniper won't mind." The HCA has Audrey to pretend she is running away so the sniper will take a shot at her. Great idea. The sniper shoots Audrey in the thigh, just for old time's sake.

Jack and Chloe meet Jack's friend at the dock. It takes Chloe five minutes to set up a sophisticated computer system. Jack and Jack's friend go on to the boat. With Chloe's help, they basically kill all of Cheng's lesser henchmen in about two minutes.

Inside the boat, Cheng gives the sniper the kill order because there's not that much time left in the show. Kate jumps out of the bushes with a no-name agent and shoot the sniper. However, there are some more bad guys around and one of them shoots Audrey.  HCA tries to perform Jack Bauer Medicine on Audrey (She yells at the wound). But it is no use-Audrey has gone to that great silent clock in the sky to become "The Flattest Angel".

So, where were you when you found out Audrey was dead?  Jack was on the boat and took a call from HCA. For a moment there, it looked like Jack was really going to kill himself. Luckily for the world, the first string Chengettes  appeared out of no where giving Jack a reason to yell and kill something.

Jack kills everybody with a gun. He finds Cheng and  beats him up. There's a satellite feed back to the President. Facial recognition recognizes it is Cheng (this same technology thought Michael W.Smith was my son). That's all we need to save the world from going to war. And with that, Jack decides to give Cheng a haircut. Unfortunately, he took a little too much off the top and sliced Cheng's head off with a handy Samurai sword.

Jack and Jack's friend go back to get Chloe.  She's gone. Jack gets a mysterious phone call.

Suddenly it is twelve hours later. HCA quits the CIA. Hopefully, she'll become a model or something. Mr. Audrey is in a holding cell because the President arrested him for treason. At the airport, Prime Minister Bigchin tries to comfort The President. The President gave a real touching response, but unfortunately, something was in my eye and I wasn't able to pay as much attention as I should have AND I WAS NOT CRYING.

It turns out, some auxiliary Russians were in town and they kidnapped Chloe and held her in exchange for Jack. Jack and Chloe have a moment where they touch hands which is the nearest thing to sex Jack has had since Agent Freckles. Jack is taken to a helicopter and off he goes to a Russian Prison. They will regret it.

Discussion Questions:

1) How would you rate this season's 24?  I give it a 9.9. 

2) Favorite moment? Mine was when Jack throws Mommie Dearest out the window.

3) Favorite Jack line?

4) Do you like the condensed version? I do--it seemed to get to the point quicker.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

24 Recap Hour 11

Previously on "24"Benjamin Bratt shoots a machine gun in the general direction of Jack Bauer but only hits some randomly placed beer kegs.  Chloe and The Head Nerd encounter some relationship hot water particularly after he aimed a gun at her face. Audrey has forgotten how to button her blouse and gets into a spat with Mr. Audrey about YOU KNOW WHO.  Jack breaks Benjamin Bratt's hands.

The Hot CIA Agents goes Medieval on Benjamin Bratt and breaks his spirit. Jack tells HCA about Agent Freckles. Cheng appears out of nowhere and kills The Head Nerd. The device sends a message to a nuclear submarine to torpedo a Chinese ship, which it does, no questions asked.

President Roseland Capital and his top advisers are reviewing this "Chinese Aircraft Carrier that just happens to be in the Mediterranean and just happens to explode" incident. Audrey is also in this meeting because when you are the daughter of the President you can sit in on any meeting you want.

Jack and HCA are shooting at Russians and run out of bullets just as the back up arrives. To quote The Amazing Steve: " The federal agents announce themselves as "Federal Agents", which is kind of a weird thing to say in a foreign country where they have zero authority. It works though, because the Russians give up." 

Cheng has been watching the gun battle and of  course, recognizes Jack.  Cheng finds the tracking device and makes everyone leave The New Nerd Central. Chloe turns on the recording device of an iPhone before she leaves. By the way, she still has that crap on her face.

Jack misses Cheng and them by a couple of minutes. He finds the iPhone and hears Cheng's voice. He tells HCA that it is Cheng even though Cheng has been dead for three years. (It turns out that Cheng is having problems with his country too.) HCA injects that the voice could be Rich Little's.

Jack calls the President and tells him that he heard Cheng;s voice and he is behind everything. The President tells Jack that Cheng has been dead for three years and the voice could be Rich Little's, maybe even Dana Carvey's. Jack convinces the President that Cheng is alive. The President calls the President of China and tells him that it was a video that caused the American submarine to torpedo the aircarft carrier.. He then tells him that Cheng is behind the attack on the aircraft carrier. The President of China reminds him that CHENG IS DEAD and to tell him more about this video.

So now it becomes very important that Jack finds Cheng to convince the Chinese that Cheng is not dead and that he was behind the attack. It may take Jack 90 minutes to do this.

Audrey, who was also tortured  by Cheng, (he called her "Flatsy Patsy") actually said these words, "I think my country needs me".  Right. Our nation turns its lonely eyes to you, Audrey. She has this Chinese friend that she can talk to and maybe the whole World War III thing will just work its way out.

When Jack gets back to The US Embassy or wherever it is the President is staying, he goes full Bauer on Mr. Audrey because he figured out it was Mr. Audrey working in conjunction with The Russian to get Jack arrested by Mother Russia. It was real technical and Mr. Audrey didn't want to tell The President about it. The President said "Citizen's Arrest! Citizen's Arrest!"  Jack has a better idea. Have Mr. Audrey take Jack to the Russian's house and they can trace Cheng from there.

While riding around in a some sort of truck, Chloe grabs a pole and starts beating on some of Cheng's henchmen. She jumps out of the truck into some sort of wooded area that happens to have a hill, which she rolls down and she decides to take a nap. Cheng sort of half way looks for her, but gives up saying, "She wandet  that good wookin to begin wif."

Jack, HCA and Mr. Audrey make it to the Russian's house. Long story short: The Russian dies from a piece of glass in his jugular but not before Jack gives him a Jack yell to tell him where Cheng is and "AND DON'T SAY DEAD".

Audrey meets her Chinese friend. Guess what? Cheng is not dead! Really!? No way!? Are you still dating Jack Bauer? No, I'm married to the President's Chief of Staff. But soon Audrey's friend is dead like all of her other friend except this one is not from boredom. That's right, Cheng killed Audrey's friend and several random Secret Service agents who have the terrible job of having to guard Audrey. Audrey's phone rings and it is Rich Little Cheng!

Discussion Questions:

1) Did you know Presidents could arrest people?  Obama would have arrested John Boehner years ago.

2) Does it make you feel comfortable that the fate of the world is now with Audrey?

3) I made it an entire recap without using one "Moose and Squirrel" joke. Aren't you proud?

4) Name the best impressionist on "Saturday Night Live" beside Darrell Hammond. Give reasons.

5) How come they can contact terrorists and Chinese leaders by Skype, but they can't contact the Vice President? 

Read more here:

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Told You So

The big news this week was a poll taken by Quinnipiac University  (The Home of The Poll Taking Bobcats. Really) that showed President Nerd Obama has been rated the worst President since the end of World War II.

That's really something if you think about it. That's including a lot of stinkerzoid Presidents.

Like Georgia's own beloved son, Jimmah "Jimmy" Carter, who ran for President on the slogan "I will never lie to you and I will carry my luggage". Since it was in the '70's, this message resonated with the American people. As a Georgian, you would not believe how big a deal it was when Carter became President. It was like we suddenly belonged.

This was a Presidential Address. Really

The main thing I remember about The Carter Presidency is disco music. Which was horrible. Everybody was on the dance floor and we had to get up and boogie cause we liked the night life. John Travolta was considered a sex symbol back then, that's how bad it was.

This was considered sexy in The '70's
Carter told us to turn the thermostat down in the winter and just wear a sweater if you got cold. He said we were in a "malaise" and it was our fault. He talked with his daughter about "nukler were" (nuclear war).

It also means people consider Obama worse than Gerald "R" Ford, our only unelected President (don't ask, it was complicated). President Ford's accomplishments: Freeing Poland from Communism, WIN buttons, and making Chevy Chase a star, something we've never forgiven Ford.

Ford to Chase: "You are a very funny suburb" (Chevy Chase, Md is a DC suburb)

It  includes Lyndon Baines Johnson who was the President I first remember mainly because he would pre-empt "Flipper" for one of his Presidential speeches that always began: "Mah feller 'Mericans".

Now Johnson did sign several important Civil Rights bills but then he decided to escalate an unwinnable land war in Vietnam. That in turned caused the older Baby Boomers to take drugs and run around naked (before the 60's, nobody took off their clothes, even while taking showers).

It also means people see President Obama as worst than Richard Nixon. When I was a teenager, the worst President in the history of the Galaxy was Richard Nixon. He was considered evil but goofy by people, kind of like that YouTube parody about Darth Vader's brother Chad Vader.

President Obama also beat President George W. Bush as the worst President which had to sting a little.

What is the reason for the President's  poor showing?

One, and it is not unique to Obama, is that second terms are always a pain for the President. Roosevelt had a terrible second term. Eisenhower's stunk too. Nixon didn't make it to the half way point of his second term. Reagan had Iran Contra. Clinton got impeached.  Bush had Katrina. Second terms are always a mess.

Second and this is unique to Obama, he is simply not a leader. He is a scold. He whines, complains, and nags. Here's what happens to whiners and complainers: they get ignored.

Obama's number one accomplishment, besides feeding Bin Laden to the fishes (which you got to give him credit for) is The Affordable Care Act. He said it was going to drive down insurance costs (it didn't and it won't). If you liked your health insurance you could keep it ( fat chance). If you liked your doctor, you could keep him. Period. (Um, we'll get back to you on that.)

People are real funny about their health insurance. They want it to pay everything and they don't want it to cost anything.  The main thing is they don't want to have to think about it. The Affordable Care Act has made that almost impossible. It combined the worst of health insurance with the worst of government.

Of course, it is just a poll. People rank Kennedy as a good President although he really didn't do much. Nobody remembers Truman or Eisenhower. We liked Reagan and Clinton due to a good economy.

Obama could come back and years from now when I don't have to pay a co-payment on my birth control pills, I'll look back and think Obama was an awesome President.

Nah, I knew he was going to be bad. I told you so.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

24 Recap Hour 10

Previously on "24" turns out The President didn't go boom after all. However, Jack made sure Mommie Dearest and The Kid She Liked Best  went splat. Jack took "The Device" to CIA Headquarters, which in turn was stolen by Benjamin Bratt who can outrun Jack. Chloe shows she is not above giving The Head Nerd some smacky face. This scene occurred after she did something that nobody has ever done in the history of  "24"-go to the bathroom. (Note: one of my readers  theorized that Chloe was buying some, er, protection. Ew.)

Benjamin Bratt calls The Head Nerd to set up a time and place for the exchange of "The Device". Chloe over hears this and appears to be upset. Or she just appears to be Chloe, it is kind of hard to tell with her.

Benjamin Bratt has only one problem. JACK BAUER. Bauer sees Benjamin Bratt and begins to chase him. Bratt somehow beats up a random military guy that just happened to be standing around, takes his machine gun and sprays bullets in Jack's general direction.  Of course, he hits only several strategically placed beer kegs.  [Note: No actual beer kegs were harmed in the making of this scene.]

Bratt  exchanges "The Device" with The Head Nerd. He is then captured by Jack and some CIA second shift guys. Jack lets those guys arrest Benjamin Bratt while he chases The Head Nerd and Chloe into the subway, which so far this season, is the only thing Jack hasn't been able to conquer.

Meanwhile, The Hot CIA Agent (HCA) learns that it was Benjamin Bratt who framed her husband and Roger Rabbit (that joke never gets old). We also learn the Mr. HCA hung himself, which means HCA is single, yeah come on!

Since Benjamin Bratt was arrested, the new chief of The London office of The Central Intelligence Agency is New Jack. New Jack wants to use "enhanced interrogation techniques"  on Benjamin Bratt. Jack Bauer wants to use "Jack Bauer Techniques" on Benjamin Bratt which may/may not include decapitation.  HCA wants a piece of Benjamin Bratt too and soon we are treated to the sight of Jack breaking Benjamin Bratt's hand and HCA totally  freaking out. New Jack wished he used a PTO day.

Back at the London White House, President Roseland Capital is mixing up the medicine and thinking about the government with his B-O-O-Z-E. Of course, he is caught by Audrey, who has apparently forgotten how to button her blouse. President Capital is still serious about resigning from office and doing a reverse mortgage on his home.

Mr. Audrey and Audrey have a spat about YOU KNOW WHO. Audrey apparently still has "feelings" and still "likes" Jack and would consider being "friends" with Jack, if you know, things worked out. Of course, Mr. Audrey has plans to hand Jack over to the Russians along with "The Moose and Squirrel" (that joke never gets old either).

HCA goes total Looney Tunes on Benjamin Bratt and he reveals that he put a tracking device on "The Device" and gives up the code for the tracking device and badda-bing-badda-boom, soon Jack and HCA are driving off to find the device.

During their drive, HCA tells Jack it was Benjamin Bratt that framed her husband and Roger Rabbit. He hung himself because he realized that HCA didn't believe in his innocence. Jack told her about his long lost and dead love, Agent Freckles, who had a rocking hot body and was clinically insane. Jack then broke out into the song "Let It Go", which is the first time a musical number has ever been performed on 24.

Chloe is beginning to have second thoughts about doing the Honolulu Hula with The Head Nerd. She tried to run away but he pulled a gun on her. This upsets Chloe, we think,  but it is hard to tell sometimes.

Speaking of mood killers, when The Head Nerd and Chloe get to the new Nerd Central, they find all of nerds dead, including the one that kind of looked like Winnie on The Wonder Years. Suddenly Cheng walks in which would have been really dramatic if I had remembered who he was.

Here's the problem. Cheng hired The Head Nerd to create "The Device". He didn't like the end product and when The Head Nerd wouldn't honor the warranty, he shot The Head Nerd in the  This upsets Chloe. We think. It is hard to tell sometimes.

While in route to The New Nerd Central, Jack's SUV is t-boned by a Russian truck and they begin shooting machine guns at Jack and HCA. Jack and HCA evade machine gun fire by running.

Cheng's big plan. He used "The Device" to send a message to a nuclear sub. "ATTENTION NUKLEAR SUBMARHINE. THIS IS YOUR PWESIDENT. PWEASE FARWE YOUR TOPEDOES AT THE CHINESE SHIP THAT YARE WOOKING AT."  The submarine fires two torpedoes at a the Chinese ship, blowing it up. This upsets Chloe. We thinkIt is hard to tell sometimes.

Discussion Questions

1) Do you think Chloe will ever have sex again? I don't.

2) What song would you like to hear Jack sing?

3) Did you remember Cheng? I hadn't seen him since 2006.

4) Agent Freckles or HCA?

5) Don't you think Jack runs like one of The Three Stooges?