Tuesday, November 20, 2007

I scuffed myself

I rearranged my office today.

Stole a desk from another office.

Got everything neatly organizaed and in its place.

Suddenly remembered why I've spent the last five years using a desk with no middle drawer. ... It's a short world

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Here's lookin' at you

Well, our little city, in the words of one local businessman, has “finally repealed prohibition” and ushered in a new era of sin and debauchery. An era in which the sin and debauchery is legal as opposed to the illegal sin and debauchery that we are currently experiencing. Tuesday’s election in our town included a referendum for the package sale of alcohol. It’s been a big deal in this town and pretty much caused a split right down the middle. The referendum passed by a mere 36 votes with an additional 57 provisional ballots yet to be approved and counted.

What does this all mean?

The proponents say it will bring new business, increased opportunity and convenience to our town.

The opponents say it will bring new business, increased opportunity and convenience to our town.

With a split like that can you believe that both sides actually say they are doing what’s best for the youth of our town?

Crazy, isn’t it?

Personally, I voted against it. I’m just fundamentally opposed to supporting any type of business that has the potential to destroy and ruin lives that are already in pretty poor shape to begin with if people are turning to alcohol for the answers. Does this mean I am completely against drinking and think that everyone who imbibes is in the express lane to Hell? No. If you want to drink a glass of wine with your dinner or have a beer after work that is completely up to you. I have no problem with that. I don’t do it because I know it would be wrong for me to take part in such activities but I’m not going to condemn other people for such an act. Many people will be responsible with their consumption of alcohol and it will never cause them a problem. But many more won’t. What I do have a problem with are the irresponsible people who don’t know when to stop. Therefore, I don’t want to support any business or organization that feeds their habit, making the procurement of alcohol easier and more convenient.

I think, however, the opposition to the amendment failed to win any additional support once they took the stance that, “We are doing this to protect our youth.” The group officially named themselves The Coalition to Protect the Youth. I felt at that moment that all money spent to fight the movement would be money lost because, in my humble opinion, once you exploit anyone or anything for personal gain, you are doomed to fail. But what do I know? I’ve just worked in newspaper and public relations for the last 12 years. I don’t really have a feel for how people publicly react to certain situations. Of course, no one asked my opinion. They seldom do and even more seldom do they listen to my opinion when I offer it, so I basically have learned keep my mouth shut … sort of.

One side said we have to protect our youth from the evils of alcohol. The other said we must increase tax revenue in order to provide them with more opportunity in our small town. Alas, silly me, I thought we should have left the youth out of it since they are neither old enough to vote nor drink. Perhaps it would have been more effective to ask people to “Vote No” simply on principle. Once you start throwing out statistics, everything you say can and will be rebutted by your opposition.

But it’s too late now. So I sit here in my office on our college campus, listening to the supporters clink their champagne flutes in celebration of their victory and the impending wealth that alcohol will inevitably bring to our community. With their hope and vision and promise for the future completely laid out and tied into the completely reputable alcohol industry I fully expect our enrollment to double within the next three years.

Monday, November 05, 2007

... Any Other Name ...

This is yet another entry in the “What’s In a Name” category, but many times the name is all you need to see the humor in a situation. Around here, we have one particular name that stands out above all the rest.

Our school has a long and storied history when it comes to women’s basketball. We were at the forefront of bringing women’s basketball to mainstream America. It was our team that played the Russians, traveled to Mexico City for international tournaments and our coach pushed to change the rules of the women’s game to a full-court, 5-on-5 contest. Granted, we haven’t done much in the last 20 years, but with everyone else, including major state universities, picking up the women’s game, it has been a little difficult for our small, private school on the dusty plains of Texas to compete in the recruiting game. Our team has had only three losing seasons in its history. Unfortunately, two of those have been the last two seasons.

Still, our women’s program holds the collegiate record for the longest win streak (131 consecutive games) and our program has more wins (1,425 including Saturday’s season opener) than any women’s collegiate basketball program at any level. That’s more wins than Tennessee, University of Connecticut, Duke, North Carolina or any of the teams mentioned among the best in women’s basketball. The only potential drawback, however, is that the team is named the Flying Queens.

Yes, it’s an easy nickname to make fun of and it has been on several national lists as one of the worst nicknames in college sports. But there is a good reason for the name. In the late 1940s, the team was sponsored by the Harvest Queen Mill which still operates in our fair city. With their sponsorship, the school decided to name the team the Harvest Queens. This sponsorship was key as the team began to build to its historic status. A few years later, a local businessman, Claude Hutcherson, began flying the team to all its games in his fleet of Beechcraft Bonanza airplanes. Thanks to his sponsorship, the team became famous world-wide, and the name was changed to the Flying Queens.

However, it’s the latest team sponsorship that has given me cause to chuckle. It’s not a major sponsorship. This group isn’t shelling out thousands of dollars to have their name on the team warm-ups, but it is enough of a sponsorship to pay for schedule posters and things like that. And in so doing, the sponsorship name appears on the posters. It may not be a big deal to many people, but its not every day your athletics team is sponsored by Kornerstone Funeral Directors. …