John Furie Zacharias
having a bad day in a strange place
Thunderstorms Anywhere

Thunderstorms in the Imajica

 The different ways I don't like you 
 in a list that may never become organized
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JfZ making a mess of the web
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Monday, February 20, 2006
Bugs n Cheese 006 - On the hunt!

More Bugs 
n Cheese

[Headphones] :: Allah's Helicopter (beta) - JfZ

Friday, February 17, 2006
Olympic Upset!

2006 U.S. Womens Hockey Team

Anyone paying attention to the U.S. Women's Hockey team would have thought they would be playing against the Canadians for the Gold Medal game.  Today, Sweden pulled out a total upset game and beat Team USA in a tie-breaking shoot out match.

According to Harry Thompson, Managing Editor of USA Hockey magazine, in an article on the Team USA website:

It was, after all, a safe assumption that the two hockey superpowers would play for the gold in Torino, just as they have at two previous Olympics and every other international tournament since 1990.

The players consistently talked about the gap closing in women's hockey. The questioner would politely nod and ask the next question about playing Canada.

Maybe now, people who think women's hockey is only played once every four years will realize that the cards are shuffling in the new world order of women's hockey, and that the road to Canada can also go through Sweden and Finland.

I have to say, I've been watching as many hockey games as my bloodshot eyes can soak up.  I miss the near daily dose of Detroit Red Wings games that I used to watch.  Apparently, even though Florida has professional hockey, no one bothers to broadcast it on television for me.  I was very impressed with the women's hockey games.

If I only have one opportunity to complain, it wouldn't be that Team USA lost today.  Team USA played their game -- and it's up to them to criticize themselves.  Perhaps, Team USA had their 'off' game at the same time that Team Sweden had their truly 'on' game.  These things happen in sports when competition is acutely focussed on just one game.

My only complaint about women's olympic hockey is the no-check rule.  Women aren't allowed to check each other.  The game referees end up trying to call penalties in a gray area between incidental contact and purposeful checking.  The Olympic rules committee may have good reasons for this no-check rule, but it slows the games down considerably with penalties.  Special teams spent more time on the ice and all the teams barely kept their normal lines on the ice.

Other than that one issue, women's hockey is an exciting and truly competitive sport with some amazing athletes playing the game.  While I'm relishing the opportunity to watch my favorite male NHL players on the ice, I'm also looking forward to seeing the women's Team USA go for a medal on Monday.

[Headphones] :: Cruise Control - The Wreck

Tuesday, February 14, 2006
Holderman Memorial

Photo - Thanksgiving Dinner: (L-R) friend Jean, R. "Jeanne-Bug" Holderman, daughter Rhonda

From the The Villages Sun (links added)

R. Holderman

WEIRSDALE - R. Jeanne-Bug Holderman, 56, died Tuesday, Jan. 31, 2006.

Mrs. Holderman was born in Indiana.  She was retired in 2001 from Johnson Controls in Indiana after 27 years of service; was employed at the Daily Sun, The Villages, for 1 1/2 years; and was a long-standing member of the DAV, Moose Lodge, and American Legion in Indiana and Florida.

Survivors include her brother, James (Goats) Amsden, Milford, Ind.; daughters Rhonda Burnett, Warsaw, Ind., Shelly Pease, South Carolina, Tracy Lynn Holderman, Granger, Ind.; sons T.J., Orlando; and five grandchildren.

Memorial services for Mrs. Holderman will be held at 6 p.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 15, at the American Legion Post 347, Lady Lake, with a Wake immediately following.

Memorial donations may be made to Hospice of Marion County or the American Legion Post 347, Lady Lake.

[Headphones] :: Gods Must Cry - The Wreck

Friday, February 10, 2006
Torino 2006 Winter Olympics

When I blogged about the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens, I commented, "I have to be honest with you.  I much prefer to see images of young Americans overseas competing in the 2004 Olympic Games on MSNBC, Bravo, and NBC than seeing them with camo and kevlar on Fox news in Bush's Iraq."

Now another games is about to begin at the 2006 Winter Olympics in Torino, Italy, and sadly my 2004 comment has to be repeated.  It's a very sad statement on the condition of peace in the world and U.S. foreign policy when the first lady travels to Italy as part of the U.S. Olympic delegation and ends up talking about terrorism with the press after a meeting with Pope Benedict XVI in Rome.

However, rather than again counting car bombs, suicide bombers, and body bags -- I prefer to count bronze, silver, and gold medals -- at least during the next few weeks.  I hope for the day when angry Muslims someday thrive on the speed rush of bobsledding or the nationalistic joy of bringing home a gold medal rather than the hopelessness of violence and destruction, chronic unemployment, and futile unchecked rage against the rest of the planet.

How about you?  Do you even pay attention to the Olympic Games?  Do you have a favorite winter game sport?  I love hockey!

Here are some handy-dandy links to the Olympic action:

Torino 2006 Games

 Alpine Skiing - NBC  Figure Skating - NBC  Short Track - NBC
 Biathalon - NBC  Freestyle Skiing - NBC  Skeleton - NBC
 Bobsled - NBC  Ice Hockey - NBC  Ski Jumping - NBC
 Cross Country - NBC  Luge - NBC  Snowboarding - NBC
 Curling - NBC  Nordic Combined - NBC  Speed Skating - NBC

Here are some other links I thought were very cool.

U.S. Olympic team web sites

 Paralympics  Curling  Luge
 Biathalon  Figure Skating  Speed Skating
 Bobsled / Skeleton  Ice Hockey  Skiing

International web sites

 Paralympics  Olympic Museum  Official olympic site
 Bejing 2008  Vancouver 2010  London 2012

[Headphones] :: Safe To Land - The Wreck

Tuesday, February 07, 2006
Cartoon Violence

cartoon by John Sherffius - click for more

Well, I guess my vacation from blogging is over.  I don't know if I actually enjoyed my time off or not.  I just wanted to make sure I wasn't addicted to blogging, since online addictions are all the rage nowadays.  I guess I can walk away from blogging, if I had to do it.

I don't really gamble in real life or online.  So, I don't think I could be a gambling addict, despite the many offers from casino spammers that I constantly delete in email and in comments here.  I spent $100 in the casino on the Carnival cruise ship travelling to the Bahamas once, about eight years ago.  That was minimally entertaining, at best.  Also, I admit that I buy about 4 lottery tickets every year, when the jackpot becomes very large.

If I am addicted to some online-anything, it's probably just the act of being able to be online doing anything.  After about a week without sitting in front of my PC doing something, I do get a little jittery.

So, while I haven't been blogging for several weeks, I have been online sneaking around behind your back.  I was tempted to break my blogging hiatus several times -- for President Bush's ridiculous State of the Union speech, or the White House renaming the NSA warrantless wiretapping as the Terrorist Surveillance Program for the press, or a friend's best friend finally succumbing and dying of cancer, or the Alabama church fires, or the Super Bowl, or my birthday.

As blogworthy as those things might have been as blog fodder, I stayed the course and just chilled out.  I finally crawled up to the blog when the controversial political cartoons depicting the prophet of Islam continues to cause the faithful Muslims around the world to burn stuff.

I was disappointed that the Superbowl didn't set my hometown of Detroit in a pre-Halloween conflagration, but it is comforting for me to know that a few cartoons can piss off people enough to spur violence and riots.  That just gives me a warm and fuzzy feeling all over, and I had to share it with you.

Politically, I'm Libertarian.  On the issues of freedom of speech, freedom of expression, and freedom of the press, I feel there is too much censorship already by any number of organizations in society -- corporate, religious, and governmental.

I feel that sunshine, or the light of day, is the best cleanser for bigotry.  If bigotry and intolerant speech is outlawed and kept underground, it does little to fix the real problem -- except to put lipstick on a pig, or rouge on a cadaver.  The best places to read about this cartoon violence is at Islam Online and the political cartoon blog by Daryl Cagle.

[Headphones] :: Allah's Helicopter (beta) - JfZ

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