Thursday, August 31, 2006

Yes, Virginia, Dual Loyalties Do Exist

I became embroiled in a contraversy today over at The Film Geek's blog. One of his regular commenters really took exception to a remark I made about - let me be careful here - the way WVU fans view Marshall fans as - I'm just reporting here so spare me the flames - obnoxious. The average Marshall fan is very, Very, VERY sensitive about criticism from people who are partial to the large university upstate and they often become very, Very, VERY ebullient, much to the glee of the needlers. So when I tried to explain this I was attacked by Off Route 75 and falsley accused as being a guy "from the University of Southern Pittsburgh at Morgantown (USPAM)" , having a "holier than thou" attitude and even accused of being Mitch Vingle!

When I tried to defend myself and explain I have no connection to WVU, OR75 just started coughing and scoffing. But the kicker came when I said that I root for both Marshall and WVU . OR75 told me that I was lying because that there was no one in West Virginia that actually roots for both teams. I know better.

Since OR75's profile indicates he's from Kenova, I know that his view is defintely obscured by his location. If you were to look at the state of West Virginia county by county, you would find that most counties would have a dominant loyalty to one of schools, but some would be very much balanced in their allegience. I'm not saying that there aren't pockets of feircely loyal zealots in every county, there absolutely are, but every county has a dominant loyalty. Here's the way I'd break it down. Counties for Marshall in green, WVU in blue and pink counties are those I feel are pretty much divided down the middle - and in those counties especially reside a lot of folks who truly do pull for both teams:Now I know that I'm going to get blasted for the overwhelming amount of blue counties, but I calls 'em like I sees 'em. Marshall folks should be proud because Kanawha County only recently (maybe in the last 10-15 years) went into the pink column. In fact, if you'd cut Kanawha along an east/west line the wesern half would probably go green. Marshall has a much wider fan base around the state than ever before. If they continue to be successful that will only grow larger.

I'm looking forward to the game. I will root for whoever has the ball and be satisified with the outcome unless it's a tie. No, really OR75, I will. I swear.
I mean it.
No Joke.
Take it to the bank.

No, really.

Friday, August 25, 2006

The Latest Cavalierism

Channel 3 weatherman Tony Cavalier said last night that "Saturday temperatures will be hot and tangy." He was trying to play up the Taste of Charleston.

In his own quirky mind I'm sure it made sense, but it just made me go "Huh?"

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

The Charleston Labor Day Weekend Festival

You really can't call it the Sterwheel Regatta anymore, now can you? I heard Sharon King, director of the festival formerly known as Regatta, on the radio yesterday trying to sound upbeat and chipper about a sternwheel-less regatta. She blames high fuel prices on the absence of the boats that give the festival its name. Look at the schedule and notice the dearth (maybe "death" is more apt) of river activities at this year's festival. Sad.

I remember standing on the South Side Bridge when I was 12 years old watching the big boats come across the finish line at the Second Annual Sternwheel Regatta in 1972. I didn't realize then how big the festival would become, and many years later as I stood on the levee with a few thousand of my closest friends watching and listening to The Beach Boys I wondered how much bigger it could get. It was a big deal for several years, then I think it got so big that it scared the city leaders and they took steps to scale it back - way back. Back so far that it doesn't even include sternwheelers anymore.

This year's FestivAll remided me of the early days of the Regatta. I hope its organizers learn from the Regatta and not allow it to suffer the same dinosaur-like rise and fall as Regatta.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Appalachian Power Park and "Your West Virginia Power!"

Last night I went to the ballgame with Stanton. See his comments on the hot dogs here.

While he was busy grousing about the state of the hot dog affairs at the park, I turned my attention to the park itself, the people and the team. The very first observation I have is that they should have a section of the park designated for people to sit who actually want to watch the damn game!

I was there to watch the game and it seems to me that if someone goes to all the trouble of buying a ticket and going to the park that they are interested in watching the game. Not so! When I found my seat and settled in to watch the action, I was dismayed to find that seated directly between me and home plate was a very large mother of several children. This woman was in constant motion. She would stand up and take a picture of her little darlings about every 30 seconds. In between snapshots she would stand up to let the kids get by her to go to the concession stand. I counted nine trips from the four kids in two innings. Even though she was not paying any attention at all to the action on the field she still managed to stand up every time the pitcher went into his wind up. For the first two innings I never saw a single swing by any batter. At first it was an annoyance, but the longer it went on the more fascinated I became by this family's behavior. Why did they pay for tickets if they had no interest in the game? I watched them, all of them and not mom nor the kids nor the father paid any attention to the game for the two innings I sat there. I finally gave up and looked for another seat.

For a few minutes I stood on the concourse behind home plate and watched Rod Blackstone, the hardest working deputy mayor in show business, do his toastman act. It hasn't changed in many years (I SAY "PIZZA", YOU SAY "RIA") but is still pretty entertaining. It's also kind of embarrassing to have the City's number two man making an idiot of himself every night, but he was the Toastman before he was the deputy mayor.

After I got my fill of T-O-A-S-T, I wandered over to the souvenir shop to check out the Power merchandise. They have quite a bit larger selection than I expected and the prices were higher than they should be, but hey, whatever the market will bear, right? It's the American Way. But who is buying this stuff? I didn't see a single piece of merchandise go out the door while I was there and I didn't even see any kids carrying around souvenir bats or wearing hats.

All in all, the ballpark proved once again to be a great place to hang out on a nice evening even if there's no game. But if there is a game, please sit down!

Sunday, August 13, 2006

"Best in the Valley" Awards

Charleston Newspapers annually publishes a very long list called "Best in the Valley Reader's Choice Awards." It is obviously an advertising gimick - at least it's obvious to me, but it seems that many people take it very seriously.

Stanton was telling me that he has received several emails refuting his Weenie Award winners because his choices didn't mirror the Best in the Valley hot dog award winners. I have noticed several businesses that proudly advertise that they were chosen as BITV in their particular discipline.

Some of the the categories are laughably specific and obviously meant to guarantee that the honor would fall to one particular potential advertiser since there is only one such business in the area:

Best Gutter Protection (GutterPro)
Best Neighborhood Restaurant/Bar (Applebees)
Best French Restaurant (Cafe deParis)

Other categories are obviously victims of either low voter turnout or ballot box stuffing, the most glaring of which is "Best Local Band": Kanawha Valley Ringers won honors in this category (for those who don't know Kanawha Valley Ringers is a handbell choir that play mostly for church funtions).

Still another amusing thing, if you take the list at face value, is the incredible level of unenlightenment it would seem to accuse us of. For example, in the category of "Best Delicatessan" Kanawha voters picked Krogers. Or how about Outback Steakhouse for "Most Romantic Restaurant"?

Look over the list. It's good for a chuckle or two.

Saturday, August 12, 2006

Devolutuion of The Clay Center?

The site that now holds the $130 million Clay Center for the Arts and Sciences used to be a car dealership. This morning it looks as if it is returning to its former - and some might say more useful - purpose.

Pretty darned expensive car lot , if you ask me.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Gazette Site - Bad to Worse?

I have to agree with oncee, the new format of the Gazette Online is really horrible.
It seems to be getting worse with tweaking in the past week. It probably views OK if you have areally big monitor with the proper display settings, but for a normal home or office computer setup it is just terrible.

I have complained to their webmaster before about other issues and never received a response. I don't think they care about customer feedback much.

Saturday, August 05, 2006

Peace Protest: Sponsored by Mercedes?

From last week: This old-school peace slogan is resurrected for the anti-Bush rally in Charleston. This message brought to you by your friends at Mercedes Benz.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Fire at Will Podcast

Will Stewart, our local blogging community's token Neo-Con, has his podcast "Fire at Will" up and running in earnest. Slick and well produced, but just as fair and balanced as his blog posts.

Hear his take on the Charleston u$er fee here.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006