Monday, December 31, 2007

New Year's Eve reminders

1. All you Florida voters, remember today is the last day to get registered if you want to participate in the primary on 1/29/08. Make sure you get down to your local supervisor of elections office and sign-up so you can vote for the next President of the United States: Mike Huckabee!!

2. All you Gator fans, make sure you wear ORANGE tomorrow to counteract all the Michigan blue at the CapOne Bowl. Kick-off is 1pm tomorrow. If ye socks are fortunate enough to be in the Central Florida area, our favorite Heisman winner will be allowing fans to take pictures with his recently-acquired trophy outside the stadium before the game!

3. Be safe. If you're going to be drinking tonight, do it responsibly. And, if you're going to be out on the roads, use a designated driver. This may seem trite, but it cannot be said enough.

4. Have a Happy, Healthy, and Prosperous 2008!!

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Sunday, December 30, 2007

Hail and farewell

As the year draws to a close, I always like to pause and reflect on those folks who passed away over the last 12 months whose lives touched mine--even if it was in a trivial way. Here are some from my 2007 list:

Yvonne de Carlo - played Lily on "The Munsters"
Art Buchwald - newspaper columnist, he cracked me up!
Dennis Doherty - one of the pappas.
Molly Ivins - an outspoken Texan.
Sidney Sheldon - author (I have a lot of them on my list for some reason!)
Anna Nicole Smith - her "reality" show didn't last nearly long enough.
Arthur Schlesinger - historian (a category right up there with authors!)
Calvert de Forest - better known as "Bud Melman" on Letterman.
Kurt Vonnegut - novelist.
Don Ho - the epitome of Hawaiian.
Boris Yeltsin - the former President of Russia who wasn't afraid to party.
Tom Poston - I will always remember him as George Utley on "Newhart."
Jerry Falwell - conservative religious leader.
Charles Nelson Reilly - comic figure who did his best work on game shows.
Bill France, Jr. - godfather of NASCAR.
Don Herbert - bettern known as "Mr. Wizard."
Kurt Waldheim - the controversial Austrian statesman.
Liz Claiborne - fashionista.
Joel Siegel - that funny-looking movie critic.
Beverly Sills - America's diva.
Lady Bird Johnson - former first lady.
Tammy Faye Bakker - former televangelist, but more importantly played Mimi's mother on the Drew Carey Show.
Ingmar Bergman - filmmaker.
Tom Snyder - I watched way too much of his late show in college.
Bill Walsh - legendary coach of the San Francisco 49ers.
Merv Griffin - I grew up on his talk show and gameshows.
Leona Helmsley - the "Queen of Mean."
Luciano Pavarotti - the greatest tenor of his generation.
Jane Wyman - actress and first wife of the great Ronald Reagan.
Marcel Marceau - iconic mime.
Porter Wagoner - country music legend.
Norman Mailer - yet another writer.
Robert Cade - inventor of GATORade.
Sean Taylor - played safety for the Washington Redskins, died too young.
Evel Knievel - the daredevil I imitated when I was still tooling around on my BigWheel.
Ike Turner - the guy we Tina Turner fans loved to hate.
Dan Fogelberg - an amazing lyricist.
Benazir Bhutto - former Prime Minister of Pakistan.

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Saturday, December 29, 2007

Mitt Romney: You can't buy the truth, you can't even rent it!

It is no secret that former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney has been outspending Mike Huckabee by a margin of 20 to 1 in his efforts to buy the presidency by winning the Iowa caucuses.

And, rather than using all that money to tell the folks in Iowa why they should caucus FOR him, he's spending it all on spreading lies about Huckabee.

So, let's begin to set the record straight:

1. As Governor of Arkansas, Mike Huckabee signed a bill in 1999 that doubled sentences for production and distribution of methamphetamines. In fact, they were FOUR TIMES longer than sentences imposed in Massachusetts under Romney's "leadership." Huckabee is tough on crime.

2. Arkansas' state budget did increase during Huckabee's 10+ years as governor, but that increase was less than 4%--a rate even the New York Times has acknowledged as astonishingly low.

3. Mike Huckabee actually CUT overall taxes in Arkansas. There were a few examples when court orders and a public referendum forced increases to improve education and infrastructure. But, Romney conveniently "forgets" the 94 other taxes that Huckabee cut, including: elimination of the marriage penalty, indexing for inflation, and doubling the childcare tax credit.

4. Romney actually RAISED the tax burden in Massachusetts. He did so by calling his increases "FEES" instead of "TAXES," merely a matter of semantics, perhaps. But, it cost his constituents an extra half-billion on top of what was already one of the highest rates of taxation in the country.

Romney plays fast and loose with the truth, and not just when it comes to attacking Mike Huckabee. Notice his recent gaffe, in which he claimed his father had marched alongside Martin Luther King during the Civil Rights Era. What a whopper that was, and it was uncomfortable watching him try to squirm his way out of it when the media held him to account.

With everything going on in the world today, what America needs more than anything in its new president is someone they can trust. And, given Romney's pattern of lying to the folks in Iowa, I don't see how anyone could trust him in the Oval Office.

I am not alone in hoping caucus goers reject Romney's lies and, instead, choose to support the only candidate on either side of the aisle who has the executive experience to govern this country and the honesty we should demand from our leaders: Mike Huckabee.

Go, Mike, go!

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Friday, December 28, 2007

Huck in the Dryer!

In case you missed it, Mike Huckabee was down here in Central Florida yesterday.

That's a photo of him and his wife Janet at the Orlando Executive Jetport at Herndon.

They came down here to attend a breakfast in Winter Park and a fundraiser out in Windermere before heading back to Iowa.

I think the Huckabees and their staffers were a little surprised when they arrived at Herndon to board their jet, because the parking lot was PACKED with supporters.

But, then, how often do we socks in the dryer get an opportunity to see the next President of the United States?!?

Go, Mike, go!

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Thursday, December 27, 2007

Steve Morgan (1953-2007)

More sad news from the Virginia branch of the family.

Just one day after his aunt Frances Morgan Browning passed away, Steve Morgan of Virginia Beach joined her.

Born in Norfolk, he was the son of the late Richard Paul Morgan and Virginia Scott.

He is survived by his brother Dr. Michael S. Morgan, sister-in-law Lisa N. Morgan, and nieces Laurie and Kelly Morgan.

A lifelong sports enthusiast, Steve was particularly fond of baseball, playing for the varsity team at both Maury High School and Atlantic Christian College in Wilson, North Carolina.

For the last 21 years, Steve worked in the food service and restaurant business. He was food service program manager for the Accomack County school system and a territory manager for Sandler Foods and PYA Monarch before becoming the owner of Zero's Sub Shop at Birchwood eleven years ago.

Steve was also heavily involved in Virginia Beach civic life, and was named "Volunteer of the Year" by the local public schools in 2003.

In keeping with his wishes, family and friends are invited to an informal service tomorrow at H.D. Oliver Funeral Apartments, Laskin Road Chapel, at 4pm.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Steve's memory to either the American Cancer Society or "I Need a Lighthouse." (

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Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Ron Paul is an idiot

Lest ye socks be drawn into the spellbinding powers of the RINO candidate for President after his recent appearance on "Meet the Press," let me assure you that he is as irrelevant to the '08 campaign as Abraham Lincoln and the Civil War.

But, that didn't prevent the idiot from trying to make it relevant.

Don't get me wrong. As anyone who read my recent book will tell you, I love talking about the Civil War Era. But, it just does not need to be a focus of a presidential primary in this day and age . . . especially when the guy talking about it is a complete idiot.

In case you missed it, Idiot Paul believes Abraham Lincoln is to blame for singlehandedly starting the Civil War because he thought it would be cheaper to expend the lives of 600,000 people on both sides than it would be to have the federal government simply buy all the slaves and set them free.

Specifics as to why this argument makes him a complete idiot:

1. Not even Abraham Lincoln, as big an historical figure as he is, had THAT much influence. The war had been brewing for decades.

2. Putting morals aside for a moment, isn't the Idiot Paul the person who screams loudest whenever anyone proposes a big federal spending plan? This would have been the biggest ever contemplated!!

3. The war could not have been avoided as late as 1860, when Lincoln was elected president. And, the issue wasn't even slavery. It was, rather, whether the individual states had the wherewithall (if not the right) to withdraw from the Union as freely as they entered it. It had to be decided. And, unfortunately, it involved going to war. It happens, and it's horrible. But, it happens.

I think that's what the idiot was really trying to accomplish in his public display. He was, I believe, trying in some round about way to make George W. Bush's leadership in the war on terror appear as "unnecessary" as Abraham Lincoln's leadership in the Civil War.

Way to go, Ron, you just succeeded in making yourself look like an idiot again.

What I don't understand is how idiotic the people must be who keep sending you money!!

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Tuesday, December 25, 2007

The gift that keeps on giving

This Christmas, a lot of folks are having to do with less, or without.

There are fewer coins to rub together in some pockets, because the cost of gas has gotten up to $3 a gallon.

Fewer year-end bonuses were handed-out, because businesses are struggling.

There are fewer people sitting around the dinner table this year, including my own.

But, these "fewers" shouldn't be our focus today. Instead, we should all be remembering what we do have, the greatest gift ever given to man.

And, it didn't magically appear under ye socks' Christmas trees in the wee hours this morning.

Rather, it arrived in a manger over two thousand years ago.

And, THAT is the gift that will keep on giving, and will get us thru the hard times.

Merry Christmas all!

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Monday, December 24, 2007

Glazing a ham

Ho ho ho, ye socks!

I'm taking a break out of my holiday-making here in Apopka to wish you all Yuletide Greetings.

I am spending Christmas Eve learning something new: how to glaze a ham.

Traditionally, I bake a plain old Smithfield this time of year.

But, today, Winn Dixie was sold out!!

All they had left were a bunch of spiral-cut hams with glaze packages.

So, what's an elf to do, right?

Anyway, I just added the glaze and stuck the ham back in to the oven for the last couple of minutes.

I guess I better run back downstairs and check on it. I'll let ye know how it turned out!

I hope you all have a very MERRY CHRISTMAS tomorrow!

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Sunday, December 23, 2007

Frances Morgan Browning (1919-2007)

I am sorry to report the passing of a Morgan cousin today up in Charlottesville, Virginia.

Frances Morgan was born 28 January 1919 in Campbell County, Virginia, to Hubert Payne Morgan and the former Jeannette Perrow. Both the Morgan and Perrow families were closely associated with the history of "Shady Grove," the historic home featured in my recent book.

Frances was preceded in death by her husband Harry Frederick Browning.

She had a keen interest in history and genealogy and was a member of the Daughters of the American Revolution, the United Daughters of the Confederacy, and the Fluvanna County Historical Society in Virginia. She was also a member of the New Hope Christian Church in Danieltown, Virginia.

I hope ye socks will join me in offering condolences to the surviving members of her immediate family: son Wallace and his wife Brenda; daughter Peggy and her husband Charles Greer; son Roger and his wife Verona; sister Ruth Morgan Bailey; brother H.P. Morgan, Jr.; 8 grandchildren; and 15 great-grandchildren.

The family is asking memorial contributions be made to Hospice of the Piedmont, 2200 Old Ivy Road, Suite #2, Charlottesville, VA 22903.

Online condolences may be made to the family at

Thanks to cousin Bryan for keeping the dryer posted on this.

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Saturday, December 22, 2007

Return to Sender

That's the mark I'd like to place on the "gifts" Hillary Clinton is promising to deliver if the people of this country are foolish enough to elect her President of the United States.

Have you SEEN her Christmas commercial?

It is truly disturbing to watch. There's the former first lady sitting on a couch with her crazy Joker smile a la Jack Nicholson in that Batman movie. Surrounding her are a bunch of wrapped packages, to which she's "struggling" to affix the correct labels bearing things like "socialized medicine," "higher taxes," "bigger government," etc. etc. etc. (I may be paraphrasing. )

I cannot believe that she and her staffers truly believed this was an acceptable message to send to voters, that the presidency is nothing more than the keys to a candy store. And, don't bother trying to explain how exactly she's going to pay for those "gifts." But, be assured it's not going to be on HER platinum American Express card.

Where is the scorn? The disdain? The disbelief?

I guess all of that was used up by the nuts who've been criticizing Mike Huckabee's Christmas message. You know the one with the "floating cross" in the background that any normal person would recognize as a bookshelf. He was accused of subtly adding the Christian symbol as something of a subliminal message. Poppycock!

Meanwhile, there's nothing subtle about Hillary or subliminal about her message. She is making a blatant plea to return to the failed tenet of socialism: redistribution of wealth. And, nobody in the mainstream media is jumping on her about it.

She deserves nothing less than a lump of coal in her stocking this year.

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Friday, December 21, 2007

Finding the good in a bad situation

I heard today that a good friend had been let go from a job held for fifteen years.

That had to be a kick in the stomach.

But, such are the economic times, especially in the homebuilding industry down here in the Sunshine State.

An optimist by nature, I tried to help find something positive in the situation. But, the best I could come up with is, "At least you'll be getting a severance package."

Some of the folks still on the payroll of the company in question will not even get that, if talk on the street is true.

The word is they will be filing bankruptcy in just a matter of days, and no more severance packages will be handed out to any of the folks they let go after the filing date.

So, maybe someone in the HR department over there was actually looking out for my friend by scheduling the termination on the Friday before Christmas . . .

Still doesn't seem "right," though, does it?!

Ah, well, at least this whole situation highlights what I've been preaching for quite some time now: Count your blessings, because some people don't have as many as you!

And, most of the greatest blessings don't stem from the place that prints your paycheck . . .

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Thursday, December 20, 2007

Ta-ta, Tom T!

In case you missed it, Representative Tom Tancredo of Colorado has finally withdrawn from the race for the Republican presidential nomination.

He needed to do so a long time ago. The field has been too crowded for too long, and will remain so even after his departure.

(If you're having trouble placing him, he's the guy who was always talking about illegal immigration.)

In fact, I guess you have to admire him for staying "on topic" throughout his failed campaign. He was, quite simply, a one issue candidate. And, that doomed him from the start. A viable candidate must have considerably more depth than that.

His departure makes the choice even more clear for ye Republican socks. We need Mike Huckabee as the next President of the United States. And, the sooner we coalesce around his candidacy, the greater our victory will be over the Clinton-Obama nightmare the Democrats are threatening to visit upon us all.

Go, Mike, go!

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Wednesday, December 19, 2007

U.S. Troops get Scrooged by Nancy Pelosi

In case you missed it, the illustrious Speakeress of the House of Representatives has rallied her Democrat majority to give a collective middle finger to our men and women in uniform.

Just before scurrying away from Capitol Hill to enjoy her Christmas vacation, she rushed thru an omnibus spending bill.

And, she spent like a drunken sailor. We're talking 3,500 pages of itemizations totaling $515,000,000,000 of ye socks' tax money.

But, here's the kick in the teeth: Of that huge wad of cash, she stipulated NO funds should go to our troops in Iraq!

Is she completely out of her mind? How can she do this?!? It is nothing short of an outrage!!

Clearly, she and her ilk want to ignore the success of the recent troop surge. Violence is down in Iraq, and order is being restored.

I think Al Gore would have to call this an "inconvenient truth." You see, it is not in the best interest of the Democrats in Congress for the US to succeed in Iraq. They have a vested interest in seeing America's defeat. They must be so proud of that.

Fortunately, the Senate is expected to thwart the House in their efforts to play politics with the lives of our troops. The Democrat majority in the upper chamber of commerce is razor thin, and is unable to pull the type of shenanigans Pelosi can get away with in the House . The final version of the bill will likely correct her gross miscarriage of duty. And, I guess we will have to be content with that.

But, remember this the next time you're tempted to elect a Democrat to Congress. Their party politics come before the insignificant lives of our fellow Americans, especially those putting everything on the line in a war zone.

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Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Calling all Disappointed Democrats

And, I know there have to be a lot of you out there, when the best your party can put forth is Hillary and Obama.

Case in point: Senator Joe Lieberman of Connecticut, the party's nominee for Vice President back in 2000. He didn't leave the Democratic Party. The party left him. Literally. High and dry. They abandoned him in his campaign to retain his senate seat last year.

Well, yesterday, he returned the favor. After surveying the field of candidates offered on the Democratic side of the aisle, he has decided to endorse a Republican. Now, I wish he'd picked Mike Huckabee, but I still have to hand it to the guy for the courage he displayed in saying "enough is enough" to the leftist nut jobs who have hi-jacked his party.

So, today I would like to put an "all call" out to all ye everyday Joe's who are registered Democrats and feel as abandoned as Lieberman does.

In the great State of Florida, we allow people to switch party affiliations prior to primary elections. The deadline down here is 12/31. But, if you're not blessed to live in the Sunshine State, check your local supervisor of elections office. And, in so doing you can accomplish TWO things:

1. It will really send a message to party leaders when they see the rank and file switching to Indpendent (or, better, to Republican)!

2. You will have an entirely new slate of candidates from which to make your selection. Of course, we here in the dryer think Mike Huckabee's track record and position on the issues will knock your socks off.

But, even if you cannot bring yourself to switch registration. At least take some consolation in knowing YOU ARE NOT ALONE in recognizing the Democratic frontrunners do NOT represent mainstream America, its values or its best interests.

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Monday, December 17, 2007

The Leader of the Band

An only child alone and wild, a cabinet maker's son
His hands were meant for different work
And his heart was known to none
He left his home and went his lone and solitary way
And he gave to me a gift I know I never can repay
A quiet man of music denied a simpler fate
He tried to be a soldier once, but his music wouldn't wait
He earned his love through discipline-- a thundering, velvet hand
His gentle means of sculpting souls took me years to understand

The leader of the band is tired and his eyes are growing old
But his blood runs through my instrument and his song is in my soul
My life has been a poor attempt to imitate the man
I'm just a living legacy to the leader of the band

My brothers' lives were different for they heard another call
One went to Chicago and the other to St Paul
And I'm in Colorado when I'm not in some hotel
Living out this life I've chose and have come to know so well
I thank you for the music and your stories of the road
I thank you for the freedom when it came my time to go
I thank you for the kindness and the times when you got tough
And, papa, I don't think I said 'I love you' near enough


I am a living legacy to the leader of the band

RIP Dan Fogelberg (1951-2007)

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Sunday, December 16, 2007

Some early Christmas surprises

For ye out-of-state socks, this may all seem "ho-hum" to you, but whatever:


I wasn't sure if it was a Nyquil-induced hallucination until they replayed it again, and again, and again.

That's right, in the long and storied history of our beloved ball team from the bay, we have NEVER seen a kick-off returned for a touchdown. NEVER.

Until today, that is. (Early Christmas surprise #1.)

And, by going on to beat the Falcons, the guys in pewter also clinched a play-off spot. (Early Christmas surprise #2.)

But, the greatest thing about this afternoon of being shut-in at the house, I discovered an unopened bag of Hall's cough drops in the "gift closet." (Early Christmas surprise #3.)

I hope all these early surprises don't mean Santa plans on disappointing on Christmas Day. He's never let us down before, but how many more surprises could he have up his sleeve?!

Perhaps some snow in Apopka wouldn't be entirely out of the question this year?!

And, maybe Denise the Lunchlady will win Survivor tonight?!

Ok, ok, I'll stop.

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Saturday, December 15, 2007

The Miracles of Peppermint

I find myself in a battle with my own sinuses this weekend. Must be the approaching cold front, lowering the barometric pressure, etc.

Anyway, I had a piercing headache last night. Then everything slithered down my throat while I was sleeping. And, today I woke up with a nasty, persistent cough.

I had a few cough drops on hand, but they didn't last very long.

Then, almost like an early Christmas gift, I noticed the vast quantity of candy canes adorning my tree in the corner of the living room. I remembered I had about a dozen left over, and decided to try one of them before schlepping up to the Walgreens for more traditional over-the-counter remedies.

Lo and behold, it worked!

I can get about an hour and a half of cough-free time out of each candy cane!!

There must be some medicinal properties to peppermint. It's been my pre-Christmas miracle today, that's for sure!

Oh, and happy birthday wishes go out today to Tater, Thad, and Mason. I'd call you, but don't know how long the voice would last . . .

Pass the candy canes!!

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Friday, December 14, 2007

Florida Loves Huckabee!

That is according to the latest Rasmussen Poll which found GOP voters in the state support the following candidates in the 1/29/08 primary:

27% Huckabee (+18% since November's poll)
23% Romney (+4%)
19% Giuliani (-8%)
9% Thompson (-7%)
6% McCain (-4%)

So, what do these numbers tell us? Is McCain losing people to Romney? Is Huckabee drawing support away from everyone else? Who knows?

What the numbers do tell us is the momentum each candidate enjoys (or doesn't) in the Sunshine State. And, clearly, Mike Huckabee is outshining everyone else. Keep in mind, he was only registering 3% support down here as recently as September. So, for him to rise to the top of the pack in just three months is truly an amazing statement about his campaign. And, I'd like to think this little corner of the blogosphere contributed a little bit to the trajectory.

The other piece of news out of the Huckabee camp today was Ed Rollins is joining the team as National Director. Political junkies will remember that name as belonging to the man who orchestrated the most successful presidential campaign EVER back in 1984, when his strategies earned Ronald Reagan the electoral votes of 49 states. (Only his never-to-be-mentioned opponent's home state of Minnesota and the wayward District of Columbia fell to the Dems that year.)

Expect both the poll numbers and Ed Rollins to be discussed tonight when Huckabee and his buddy Chuck Norris appear on The O'Reilly Factor. (8pm on FoxNews, replayed at 11pm.)

Go, Mike, go!

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Thursday, December 13, 2007

Amplified Words

Quite a few folks on the campaign trail are learning the meaning behind the old adage, "Choose your words wisely." When you're on the national stage, everything you say is amplified.

The primary example is our favorite presidential candidate Mike Huckabee, who recently submitted to a interview with the unbiased folks over at the New York Times. During their long conversation, they tried to bait him into talking about rival Mitt Romney's religion. Fortunately, the former Arkansas governor is a little too savvy to be drawn into that kind of discussion. But, he did offhandedly ask a question that he should have kept to himself and googled it later: "Don't Mormon's believe that Jesus and the devil are brothers?"

Well, the Times isn't planning on printing the entire interview until this Sunday's edition. But, they have been gleefully spreading Huckabee's out-of-context question all over the media. Fortunately, the governor had the opportunity during yesterday's final Iowa debate to cross the stage and apologize to Romney in person in advance for any offense.

My thing is it was a parenthetical question Huckabee was really asking himself. But, now that he's in the "big leagues," he needs to be more careful about his mutterings. The media (not to mention his adversaries) are going to be looking for ANY reason to pounce on him, and he shouldn't be giving them the opportunities. And, the upside of this (which I hope our Mormon friends will appreciate) is that it has given their church a higher national profile, and will result in a lot of non-Mormons doing some googling of their own to find out more about them. I would hope they would welcome people asking for more info.

Ok, that unpleasantness aside, there was an even more awesome example of amplified words out in Austin, Texas, yesterday!

It seems Governor Rick Perry, who made the mistake of endorsing Rudy Giuliani back in October, personally filed the former NYC mayor's papers to put him on the state's primary ballot. While doing this, a reporter asked him about the potential impact the next President of the United States will have on the Supreme Court. Here is his EXACT response:

"The issue becomes very, very clear to me from the standpoint of who I want to support, and it is MIKE HUCKABEE."

That's right! I think Governor Perry let his true preference slip! Officially, he is still somewhat obligated to back Rudy. But, in his heart of hearts, I think we know who he really supports!

Or, maybe, we should give him the benefit of the doubt . . . sometimes, folks just slip-up under the glaring media spotlight . . . nobody's perfect.

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Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Thanks to Amy for sending this one!

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Tuesday, December 11, 2007

States I've Visited

create your own visited states map
or check out these Google Hacks.


Monday, December 10, 2007

Les gustan Huckabee en Miami

For ye non-Cuban socks in the dryer, that means "They like Huckabee in Miami."

This statement is made following last night's GOP debate broadcast on Spanish language station Univision, at which former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee once again wowed the crowd.

If you need further proof, note who joined the governor for breakfast this morning at La Carreta Restaurant in Miami:

Marco Rubio, Speaker of the Florida House of Representatives


David Rivera, chairman of the Rules Committee in the state legislature.

These two gentlemen are arguably the two most influential Hispanics in Florida state government.

And, they both formally endorsed Mike Huckabee in his campaign to become the next President of the United States.

He won them over not only with his stellar performance on Univision last night, but also because he shares their pro-family persepectives and demonstrated his commitment to freeing nearby Cuba from the shackles of Castro-style communism.

If the momentum continues in this direction, watch Rudy Giuliani's numbers here in the Sunshine State continue to fall as folks flock to Huckabee.

Oh, and try to catch Mike on Hannity & Colmes tonight at 9pm.

Go, Mike, go!

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Sunday, December 09, 2007

Law of the Sea Treaty

Isn't it more than slightly ironic that the acronym for this UN attempt at a power grab is L O S T?!?!

For ye socks just tuning-in to the Law of the Sea Treaty controversy, allow me to give you a little history.

Our subsidized friends at the United Nations crafted this piece of garbage back in the 1970s, whereby they declared the oceans of the world the "common heritage of mankind."

Sounds innocuous enough, doesn't it?

But, by making that declaration, they extend their faulty logic to demand that all the nations in the world--including those that are completely landlocked--should receive a share in any mineral resources that may be discovered under international waters.

Essentially, the career bureaucrats up there in New York City expect anyone with the entrepreneurial spirit enough to risk their lives and fortunes to explore the vast uncharted underwater world to turn over a portion of anything valuable they might discover for "equitable" redistribution.

Smacks of socialism, doesn't it?

Back in 1982, the late great Ronald Reagan rejected LOST because he correctly perceived it as a threat to US sovereignty. Indeed, it not only threatens the sovereignty of EVERY country in the world, it also discourages private enterprise.

LOST never seemed likely to pass the US Senate since the Reagan years. But, since last year's lurch to the left, the socialist wing of the Democratic Party now controls Congress and is salivating at the opportunity to revive the treaty.

Evidently, the supporters of this treaty didn't learn anything from the collapse of the Soviet Union. If you stifle the free market by removing profit motive, you also stifle innovation. And, mankind will be poorer for it. How many potential discoveries and technological advances may be left at the bottom of the ocean if it doesn't pay to get your boots wet?!

LOST must be stopped. I encourage all ye socks to contact your US Senators and tell them to VOTE NO ON LOST!

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The Man of Steel wears Orange and Blue!

Ye out-of-state socks may not be aware of this, but the running joke down here in Florida this year has been: "Superman wears Tim Tebow pajamas to bed."

But, before you laugh too hard at that one-liner, can you tell me the last time you saw Clark Kent over at the Daily Planet?!

I have recently come to the conclusion that Superman has at long last ditched his reporter alter ego in favor of a much more dynamic modern alias:


(Or Timmy T, or Touchdown Tim, or any of a thousand variations of the name Gator Nation has grown to love over the last two seasons.)

I think what we love most about Tebow was evident this evening up in NYC when he accepted the Heisman Trophy at the Downtown Athletic Club - - the first sophomore to do so in the history of the most prestigious award in college football.

He was humble.

It wasn't all about him.

In fact, he acknowledged his faith first and foremost as the reason why he was standing up on that stage. Then repeated that and other acknowledgements several times over.

That's what has made this underclassman stand out as a leader on and off the football field. He gives credit for his amazing achievements not to his own abilities, but to the support he has had and continues to receive from others: his parents and siblings, his teammates, his coaches, etc.

And, that's probably why his win isn't just being celebrated in New York and Gainesville tonight. It's being heralded at the prisons and orphanages across this country that he visits on a regular basis. It's being lauded in the Philippines where his parents work as missionaries, and where newborn babies are being named Timothy in record numbers. And, don't forget Bangladesh, where his sister Christy took a brief break from fighting poverty to attend tonight's ceremony.

The appeal of this guy is wide spread. With Heisman in hand, he is not only an ambassador for the University of Florida or NCAA football. He has become a superhero for the modern generation.

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The Man of Steel wears Orange and Blue!

Ye out-of-state socks may not be aware of this, but the running joke down here in Florida this year has been: "Superman wears Tim Tebow pajamas to bed."

But, before you laugh too hard at that one-liner, can you tell me the last time you saw Clark Kent over at the Daily Planet?!

I have recently come to the conclusion that Superman has at long last ditched his reporter alter ego in favor of a much more dynamic modern alias:


(Or Timmy T, or Touchdown Tim, or any of a thousand variations of the name Gator Nation has grown to love over the last two seasons.)

I think what we love most about Tebow was evident this evening up in NYC when he accepted the Heisman Trophy at the Downtown Athletic Club - - the first sophomore to do so in the history of the most prestigious award in college football.

He was humble.

It wasn't all about him.

In fact, he acknowledged his faith first and foremost as the reason why he was standing up on that stage. Then repeated that and other acknowledgements several times over.

That's what has made this underclassman stand out as a leader on and off the football field. He gives credit for his amazing achievements not to his own abilities, but to the support he has had and continues to receive from others: his parents and siblings, his teammates, his coaches, etc.

And, that's probably why his win isn't just being celebrated in New York and Gainesville tonight. It's being heralded at the prisons and orphanages across this country that he visits on a regular basis. It's being lauded in the Philippines where his parents work as missionaries, and where newborn babies are being named Timothy in record numbers. And, don't forget Bangladesh, where his sister Christy took a brief break from fighting poverty to attend tonight's ceremony.

The appeal of this guy is wide spread. With Heisman in hand, he is not only an ambassador for the University of Florida or NCAA football. He has become a superhero for the modern generation.

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Friday, December 07, 2007


For ye socks outside the dryer, today is a big day in Orange County, Florida.

It marks the first time that two local high school teams will face-off in a state semi-final football game.

Kick-off is at 7:30pm at Boone HS (13-0), when the Braves will be taking on the Apopka Blue Darters (12-1).

Ye need not doubt who yours truly will be supporting. But, I do have much respect for Boone, and not only because my buddy John is an assistant coach. Their defensive line is extraordinarily good. They have not allowed more than 2 TD's in any of their games this season. Johnell Thomas and Jamarcus Allen are rock stars.

But, rock star status only goes so far against a high-powered offense like the one led by Darter QB Jeremy Gallon. He has nearly 2,500 combined yards rushing and passing this year, for a total of 35 TD's. Simply amazing.

No wonder Boone is considered an underdog.

The bottomline: This will be a GREAT high school football game. And, regardless of where your loyalties lie, the good news is that Orange County is sending one of them to vie for the state title at the Citrus Bowl next week.

So, when can we fire up the grill and do some tailgatin'?!?

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Thursday, December 06, 2007

EPCOT goes thru rehab

And, no, I'm not talking about the type of rehab immortalized in that catchy tune by Amy Winehouse.

Rather, I refer to Spaceship Earth . . . you know, the big "golf ball" at your favorite Disney theme park.

Ye socks who have visited lately have no doubt noticed the "communication thru the ages" theme was more than a bit outdated.

Well, fear not!

The ImaginEars have come up with a new theme: Inspiration and Innovation.

Ye traditionalist socks need have no fear, either. They've kept all the old vignettes leading up to the moon landing . . . if, indeed, you conspiracy buffs are willing to accept that as historical fact.

But, from the 1960s, the ride changes with a portrayal of the invention of the first computer mainframe in some dude's garage.

Then, as you reach the crescendo and the ride starts to wind you back down the sphere a new voice (Dame Judi Dench replaced Jeremy Irons) peppers you with a bunch of questions like "Do you prefer the journey, or the destination?" Hmmmmm . . .

Well, at least it's a step in the right direction. And, more modifications are expected in the near future--including allowing each passenger to listen to the narrative in the language of their choice.

There is also talk of allowing folks to pinpoint where they live as they disembark, so everyone can get an idea just how powerful the Disney magnet is.

But, we don't need an amped-up globe to see that, do we?!

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Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Tebow Mania

There are 14.3 million folks in the Sunshine State, and they all love Tim Tebow.

They've got lots of company, too. We'll find out just how much after 5pm today, the deadline for all those much-coveted Heisman ballots.

If the voting goes as expected, Mr. Tebow will be the youngest winner of the Downtown Athletic Club's prized trophy. And, he deserves it.

But, I am still a bit unnerved by all the mania that has gripped folks down here.

We have reports in the Orlando Sentinel today that at least one person has seen his image in a block of cheese.

And, there was mass confusion down at Lake Eola Park when a dog owner called for his lost canine companion: "Here, Tebow!" Something like a dozen little rovers answered his call. That's right, folks are actually naming their new puppies after the Gator quarterback!

The only thing the real Tebow is going to fetch, though, is that Heisman.

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Tuesday, December 04, 2007

A lot of grim faces in Washington yesterday

Well, more than usual, anyway. I mean, DC can be a pretty grim place even on a good day.

But, in case you missed it, the U.S. Treasury Department hosted a forum yesterday in an ongoing effort to resolve the "crisis" in our country's housing market. All the big names were there. And, it seemed, the bigger the name meant the bigger the frown.

Angelo Mozilo, head of Countrywide Mortgages, was there. Of course, he was lobbying hard for the feds to jump in and save lenders by having Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac secure loans the private sector won't. And, he wants DC to mandate other lenders to follow his company's lead and freeze interest rates for those in danger of defaulting on their mortgages. Both of these suggestions rub my free market soul the wrong way. But, then again, I'm one of those heartless folks who got a traditional mortgage and pay it on time.

Bob Toll was there, too. He's the head of Toll Brothers, the country's largest luxury home builder. He warned any potential homebuyers out there, if indeed any are left, that this is "not the best time." He is correct. Not only does the liquidity problem make it hard to get a loan, but prices are going to keep falling. So, sit back and wait, you could get a better deal--if you can find someone to finance you!

The most alarming statements were made by Moody's chief economist Mark Zandi, who quoted several statistics that he said indicate we are in the worst housing downturn since the Great Depression. And, more frightening, he believes it will continue thru the end of the decade.

Zandi's dire prediction was supported by a Bank of America Securities report that expects median home prices will actually DROP 15% over the next four years.

None of this is good news to us socks in the homebuilding industry. But, it could be devastating news to a lot more people beyond the dryer. Hang on to your hats folks, it's going to be a wild ride!

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Monday, December 03, 2007

3 Reasons Why Mike Huckabee's Poll Numbers Are Rising

In case you missed the latest poll out of Des Moines, our favorite presidential candidate now leads the Republican field:

Mike Huckabee = 29%
Mitt Romney = 24%
Rudy Giuliani = 13%
Fred Thompson = 9%
John McCain = 7%
Ron Paul = 7%
Tom Tancredo = 6%
Undecided = 4%

"So, where did this guy come from?" That's what a lot of lost socks are asking nowadays, having apparently missed all the posts in this dryer over the last several months.

The momentum that put him on top has been building for quite some time, and it's due to three primary reasons, in my humble estimation:

1. He has a sense of humor. That's a rarity amongst politicos nowadays. I mean, can you even imagine someone like Hillary Clinton making jokes about herself?! So, the governor's self-effacing manner makes him stand out in the crowd.

2. He knows how to govern. He can speak in confidently and in clearly understood terms about how he made government work for the people of Arkansas while he was governor, and how he'd like to translate that to the federal level. More importantly, he approaches public policy problems from an optimists' viewpoint--something we haven't seen since (dare I invoke the name?!) Ronald Reagan.

3. He is a unifyer. I know that sounds somewhat trite. But, he's not campaigning to simply beat-up on the other guys. Rather, he's trying to rally folks to his message of coming together to tackle the myriad challenges that face all Americans, regardless of partisan stripe.

The bottom line is, you don't have to be a Republican to like Mike. I've given you the three big reasons, as I see them. But, I'm sure if you stack him up against "the other guys," you'll come up with a few dozen more yourselves. So, give him a look, ye socks. A lot of folks in Iowa already are . . . if you believe the polls!

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Sunday, December 02, 2007

It's official, Christmastime is here!

How can I be so sure, ye socks may be asking?

Well, it's simple!

Yours truly has FINALLY gotten a Christmas tree up at the Lake Hammer chalet.

Took me three days, and had to be done in stages. But, it's finally done. And, as corny as it may sound, it really does usher in the holiday spirit--even if it's 80+ degrees outside and the AC is doing overtime this winter. . .

Pass the eggnog and gingerbread!

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Football & Housewarming Party

Well, today was the big day at the Jenks Mansion with Howard and Valda hosting throngs of their closest friends in a fashion that would have made P-Diddy jealous.

Of course, it's still Fall Football season here in the South, so there was much pigskin discussed over Lil Smokey's & BBQ sauce. Yeah, we ARE that fancy.

The big news was Apopka's win over Spruce Creek last night, which catapults them into a state semi-final against the highly-overated Boone Braves this Friday.

One of the outstanding young varsity men in Darter Blue was on hand to give us all the inside scoop. The Braves should be quaking in their mocassins, according to what he tells us.

Sidelight entertainment was provided by LSU whooping-up on the Vols in the SEC championship game up in Atlanta; Pitt surprising the West Virginia Mountaineers in the backyard brawl; and Oklahoma beating up on "number one" Mizzou.

I love this time of year, and the mansion proved an awesome venue for a lot of folks down here to indulge the twin southern passions of sports and grub.

Congrats to the Jenkses, and thanks for playing host!

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