Tuesday, February 28, 2006

21-Gun Salute to Fife

On Friday, February 24th, we lost a legend. Don Knotts, aka Barney Fife. Or, for you younger generation, Mr. Furley from Three's Company. I have to say that I'm beginning to feel old when I mourn the loss of one of the great comic geniuses of his time. I remember when my parents were sad when Red Skelton died, and although I knew who he was, he wasn't as familiar to me as good ole Barn.

We now will live with his memorable voice on video reruns, containing some of the greatest TV moments ever...

"Nip it in the Bud!"

"Now here at the Rock we have two rules. Memorize them until you can say them in your sleep. Rule number one: obey all rules. Rule number two: no writing on the walls."

"Dogs. All of them. If you flew a bird through here, they'd all stand up and point."

And, the melodious singing to Juanita over the phone.

Just to name a few....

TVLand has announced they will be having a prime time marathon of The Andy Griffith Show tonight starting at 8pm, and a 48-hour marathon this weekend to honor Don Knotts featuring The Andy Griffith Show and Three's Company.

One last word from our friend, Barney Fife, "Well, I guess to sum it up, you could say, there's three reasons why there's so little crime in Mayberry. There's Andy, and there's me, and [patting gun] baby makes three."

We'll miss you Barney. May your bullet continue to rest in peace.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Museum Plaza Attacks Louisville

I love my hometown, but I sometimes wonder where we come up with our ideas. First we decided to build a football stadium for the University of Louisville. Thankfully, a little hometown establishment named Papa John's funded the project and it stands in all its glory along the newly-renovated Central Avenue. Years ago there was an ornate clock that sat on 4th Avenue, long before it went "Live" that would run a mock Kentucky Derby daily. After the death of the 4th Street Galleria, and the revival of 4th Street Live, a little cheesecake company, Adam Matthews, is still trying to restore the clock back to working condition.

About five years ago, eMain was born. A segment of downtown Louisville, located, ironically around the East Main area, to foster emerging businesses to locate downtown. My company now occupies some of the ghost town space that never got swiped up due to the slowdown of business growth in 2002 and 2003. Now, business in Louisville is booming again and voila - Museum Plaza was born.

Museum Plaza will tower 61 stories in the air and will house restaurants, a contemporary art museum, retail stores, luxury condominimums, office space and a hotel. This new monster will employ over 500 folks and is being funded by another little local establishment, Brown-Forman (for those non-Louisvillians - they are the liquor company around here promoting Jack Daniels among other lines of liquor and Lennox China). Construction begins in 2007, with completion slated for 2010.

At first glance, this is just stinking ugly to me, not to mention it looks a bit too much like the World Trade Towers. I suppose the concept is good, but take a look at the simulated skyline photo above. We've set ourselves up for the next Godzilla movie - Museum Plaza Eats Louisville.

Thursday, February 09, 2006

Hollywood is Pro Life?

Since I'm on a roll with the social issues of the day, I thought I'd touch on another hot button - abortion. The other night I was flipping channels and came across the old movie, "Look Who's Talking". The movie is the story of a single mom and the trials and tribulations of having her son, Mikey, without a father in the picture.

The movie begins at conception, which was a bit sketchy to me initially. I felt a little like I was back in high school health class watching those films about having babies. But I noticed something rather interesting about this movie the other night that I haven't noticed the ka-zillion other times I've watched it. From the very moment of conception, the voice of Mikey, Bruce Willis, begins talking. Hmm, now look who's talking....

Hollywood has got this one right. A human life begins at conception, and we walk through that experience with Mikey in this movie with all his thoughts verbalized for the world to hear. The next time a pro-choicer starts justifying the right to kill a child, buy them a copy of this DVD and tell them to get back to you. Now, if we can just get that movie playing in abortion clinic waiting rooms...

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

You Betcha?

People never cease to amaze me. A few days ago, I stopped at a local gas/quick mart. Normally my stops there consist only of gas purchasing. With the convenience and technology of "pay at the pump," I have very little need to ever go inside the building. Honestly, I can't remember the last time I paid for gas inside. To go along with my busy lifestyle, getting "gas on the go" saves me a valuable minute or two.

There are rare occasions when I stop at these food marts to pick up a cold bottled beverage (non-alcoholic only) if I need something on the run, or to pick up chips or a 2-liter for a gathering I'm on the way to and have a need to bring things for the party. On this night a few days ago, I needed to pick up a couple of 2 liters for a dinner get together and decided to stop at the quick mart. I grabbed my 2 liters and headed to the check out - they were even on sale!

As I waited in one of the two check out lines to pay for my pop, there began the slow down, the back log - the purchasing of lottery tickets. Not me, mind you, but everybody else. I had to patiently wait while they bought their pick 3, bag o gold, or whatever else they call the gimmicky cards before I could spend my $2 for my drinks. A phenomenon I normally miss by minding my own business at the pump.

Frankly, I don't get the lottery. Let's see....originally it was going to benefit education. Right. I see how well that's going. So, now, we have a society full of people who as soon as they get off work on Fridays and cash their paychecks, they head to the nearest place to buy the ticket that will keep them from ever working again. Ok, does anybody else find this scenario a bit absurd? I work hard for my money (there's an 80's song in there somewhere) and don't intend to throw it to the wind in hopes of landing a financial windfall. The riskiest thing I have to do with my money is when I open my gas bill monthly to see how much I have to throw at that. It saddens me to see so many people putting false hope in gaining an extra buck or two. I'd guess these same people struggle from week to week to make ends meet, yet they'll blow $10 or $20 a week on a lottery ticket. Amazing.

As I left the food mart that night, I saw a man go back in as I got in my car. He had went in to cash a lottery ticket and buy more, and evidently was going back in to collect on that ticket. Talk about your obsessiveness. The next time I fill up with gas, I'll gaze into the quick mart from afar and say a prayer for someone who is putting their hope in a lottery ticket.

Friday, February 03, 2006

Welcome to Heaven!

I'm an American Idol fan. I admit it. I'm not ashamed. I'm so much of a fan that I even tape and watch the auditions (sometimes more than once). Last week I filled out one of those "get to know your friends" internet forwards and one of the questions was "When was the last time you cried?" My response - while watching American Idol.

During the audition shows, you see countless people - some good, some horrible - stand before the three judges and do their best performance. Some of the performers are clueless that they sound so bad, that you just feel sorry for them, and others are really diamonds in the rough. The other night there was a little southern girl - Kelly Pickler (I remember her name, she introduced herself as "Kelly Pickler, Pick, Pick, Pick me") - that if she makes it to the final 12, you can remember her name. Every time they do a touching recap story, you know it's a good sign. She lives with her Grandfather and works for Sonic. Her Mother left her when she was two, and her Father is in and out of jail for drugs. She may not be the next American Idol, but she's got a great voice - and this may be her only chance - for anything outside of a life on rollerskates at Sonic.

Once the audition was over, the three judges say yes or no - they all agreed and said yes and Randy Jackson announced, "Welcome to Hollywood!" She left the room with her Wonka-like golden ticket and fell to the floor in tears. Like I said....it could be her only chance in life to make more than minimum wage.

It made me reflect on something so much more eternally important. This wonderful gift I have in salvation - an eternity in Heaven. Nothing I ever did or ever said ever earned me this gift. It was free. I envision myself walking into the "audition" room of heaven, standing in front of God, ready for my "audition." I'd have rehearsed what I would say or do to "impress" Him. But no sooner than I walk in front of Him and begin to open my mouth, He proclaims, "Wait, my child....it's a yes...Welcome to Heaven!" I did nothing, yet He did it all for me. I don't deserve it, yet He makes me righteous to receive it. I leave that "audition" room and fall at the feet of Jesus weeping, grateful that He paid the price for me. It's far better than any trip to Hollywood.