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Lou Pickney's Online Commentary

Hurricane Ivan

Wednesday
September 8, 2004

The latest hurricane path from the National Hurricane Center puts Hurricane Ivan on a path right toward the Tampa Bay area. This is not good. At all. The last thing we need here in another hurricane. As my friend Neal Boling told me (about Ivan), "I don't think we could survive that storm for a number of reasons." Let's hope he's wrong, or better yet that Ivan steers off course and away from Florida.

Unfortunately the remnants of Hurricane Frances are still being felt. Today at work we were running on minimum strength due to a power outage; I couldn't access my work on the Bubba server, as we had to keep almost all of our servers turned off due to the air conditioning being out. I was sweating like a whore in church all day, and it was much more difficult to concentrate than usual. I love Tampa, but early September can be a bitch when you combine the forces of the late summer heat with the dramatic powers of hurricanes and tropical storms.

The 5 PM track update for Ivan is out, and it didn't do us any favors here in Tampa. It shows that monster in the Gulf, approximately 100 miles west of Port Charlotte, at 2 PM on Monday. From there it might continue north, but there are a number of models that show it slamming right into Tampa Bay. And that would be a most horrible thing for us here.

In listening to some of the Michael Savage show tonight, he advocated the U.S. reinstating the draft. You know, I really like listening to his show, but there are a litany of issues that I strongly disagree with him on. The draft is the most blatant form of age discrimination we've seen in the history of our so-called land of the free, even worse than the 21 drinking age, and it was a major reason (in my opinion) why there was so much backlash against the Vietnam War. Then again, sometimes I think Savage intentionally makes over the top points (like urging his audience to NOT have colonoscopies because they involve a medical instrument being inserted into the colon) just to get a rise out of his audience. Keep them fuming and you'll keep them listening, I suppose (along with the really out-there people who actually believe some of the outlandish views he espouses).

I will hand it to Savage, he did at least draw attention to how the media has ignored the Islamic connection to the Chechen soldiers who cruelly stormed a Russian school, held children in torturous conditions for the span of two days, and ultimately ended the lives of many of those innocent children as a result. I had brought that point up this past weekend with a friend who works in the media; he told me that it was because of political correctness that the connection wasn't mentioned. My take is that the "rebels" couldn't be confirmed to be of Islamic faith, so it wasn't fair to label them as such. However, the situation is Chechnya is as such: separatists there want their own state separate from Russia, and in 1999 Islamic law was established. With that said, the fact that none of this information has made it into any newscasts that I've seen is surprising and borders on irresponsible.

21
David Legler (right) is one of several people still ahead of Ken Jennings on the television game show all-time money earnings list.

As of this writing I haven't seen the Wednesday Jeopardy!, but it continues to be the Ken Jennings show here in Season #21 of the show in syndication. The best thing they've done on that show in years was removing the 5 day returning champion limit, as the Jennings saga has drawn me in with rapt curiosity. It's really like the old 21 show of the 1950s (only this one isn't fixed... at least I hope not). Speaking of 21, there's a show that NBC dropped the ball on when the game show fad hit in 2000. Even with Maury "You Don't Know!" Povich as host, it was a great show (especially before they changed the money-earning potential and people could earn insane amounts of cash), but sadly it didn't last. Jeopardy! is one of those shows that puts me back in my place as far as how much I really know. That's especially good after Wheel of Fortune, where I generally have the puzzles solved well before the people on TV. Every now and then someone on there will clearly be a better player than me, but throw me in there with any two people picked at random from the past 5 years and odds are I'd go to the final round. I'm not being cocky, that's just fact. But Jeopardy! you can forget about. Unless the categories are things like "WWF 1990" and "Counting Crows rarities" and "NFL Superstars of the 2000s", I wouldn't stand a chance.

One thing I almost forgot -- those Rupert promos on CBS for the new season of Survivor are hilarious. They play clips from some of the new participants and then he comments. One in particular is funny where the woman says "I play on playing with integrity" and Rupert retorts "She's in for a shock!" If it were anyone else it wouldn't be memorable, but Rupert's delivery is great.

Well time to wrap this up... it's Jeopardy! time. And today I can watch it sans static, as my cable is now back up and running.


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