Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Finished Reading:

"Golden Fox" by Wilbur Smith.


Monday, January 29, 2007

I listened to:

"The Best 1980-1990" by U2.


Sunday, January 28, 2007

Score Update:

International Cricket: England beat New Zealand by 3 Wickets.
Australia beat England by 4 wickets
New Zealand beat England by 90 runs
Australia beat England by 9 wickets - All matches part of the one day Triangular series.

International Football: USA 3 Denmark 1. International Friendly.

Rugby Union: West Hartlepool 20 Rochdale 17. League Two North East. West stay in 4th place.

Football: Wrexham 1 Hartlepool United 1. League 2
Hartlepool United 2 Bury 0. League 2. Pools move up to 4th place.

Ice Hockey: Florida Panthers 2 Carolina Hurricanes 3
Carolina Hurricanes 2 Washington Capitals 5
Carolina Hurricanes 5 Tampa Bay Lightening 6 (after over time)
Carolina Hurricanes 6 Washington Capitals 2
Washington Capitals 7 Carolina Hurricanes 3. The Canes have 58 points and are still in 2nd place in the South East Division, 6 points behind The Atlanta Thrashers.

Basketball: Dallas Mavericks 109 Houston Rockets 96
Houston Rockets 92 Phoenix Suns 100
Houston Rockets 113 Denver Nuggers 121
San Antonio Spurs 85 Houston Rockets 90
Houston Rockets 99 Portland Trailblazers 69. The Rockets are 27-16 and in third place in the South West Division 8 games behind Division Leaders, Dallas Mavericks.

College Basketball: Clemson Tigers 55 North Carolina Tar Heels 77
North Carolina Tar Heels 77 Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets 61
Wake Forest Demon Deacons 60 North Carolina Tar Heels 88
Arizona Wildcats 64 North Carolina Tar Heels 92. UNC are 19-2 on the Season and 5-1 in the ACC. They are in 2nd place in the ACC and ranked 4th in the Nation.
Duke Blue Devils 62 Wake Forest Demons Deacons 40
North Carolina State Wolfpack 56 Duke Blue Devils 79
Duke Blue Devils 68 Clemson Tigers 65. Duke are17-3 on the Season and 4-2 in the ACC. They are in 4th place in the ACC and ranked 10th in the Nation.
North Carolina State Wolfpack 58 Virginia Cavaliers 71. NC State are 11-8 on the Season and 1-5 in the ACC. They are in 11th place in the ACC.

I listened to:

"Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Heart Club Band" by the Beatles. This is probably my favourite "pop" album, and in my opionion the greatest one ever. It broke so many boundaries and was so far ahead of its time.


Visions - "Lies!"
Truth is found,
Relative -
Are you sure
I exist?
You exist?,
Exists? What
Power, Life -
Domain - Earth
ion? Big Bang?
Truth is God
Truth is true
God is God
I am Good
God love Me!!!

19th April 1992 - Skegness, Lincolnshire, England.


Friday, January 26, 2007

I listened to:

"Dove Hits 2002" by Various Contempory Christian Artists.


Wednesday, January 24, 2007

I finished reading:

"The Anti-Soviet Soviet Union" by Vladimir Voinovich. This is been the book that I've enjoyed the most for some time. The author is a Soviet emigre expelled by that country in the 80's. The book consists of different satires on that country. In some cases very funny, in others mind blowing in the sense of some of things that he wrote about. Many were from personnel experience.


Monday, January 22, 2007

I listened to:

"1" by the Beatles.


Sunday, January 21, 2007

The next cats we fostered we nicknamed the fabric kittens. They came into us the week of November 16th 2004. They were not with us long as they were adopted very quickly. The first to go was Chenille (top). She was little Tortie and was adopted the week of November 30th 2004. Cashmere (second down), who was a little fluffy black cat went the week of December 4th 2004 followed finally by Flannel (Third), a little grey guy and Silk (bottom) a short haired black kitten the week of December 21st.

"I Have a Dream..."

How often we find
When painting pictures in our mind
The images idealize
Giving the reality a surprise
By creating a paradise
With so much extra spice
That it, itself can't
(And quite often daren't)
Compare. However, my dream
Does (for once) seem
To be approaching a truth
That despite being from youth
The vision is clear
Comaprable to life, that, without fear
I can surely say:-
My dream is the U.S. of A!!

19th February 1992 - Edna, Texas, USA.

This poem was written on my first visit back to the States after working at Summer camp in 1989. I actually went to visit Jenn and her mother, with whom, I had kept in touch with after leaving in 1989. It was still a good three years before we started dating. What I did get from this visit was that I did love this country and it wasn't a one off feeling. There was a certain something that caught my imagination back when I first landed at JFK in 1989 to this visit to Texas, to now that I still have. At this point I did could not ever imagine that I'd end up living over here never mind falling in love with Jenn and marrying. It's a funny old world!!


Saturday, January 20, 2007

Finished Reading:

"The Blessing Way" by Tony Hillerman.


Thursday, January 18, 2007

Finished Reading"

"Reminiscences" the Autobiography by Douglas MacArthur.


Wednesday, January 17, 2007

I guess, the follow up question to my previous post about the possibility of becoming a Citizen so that I could vote is: "Who would I vote for?"

The answer at the moment is a resounding "I don't know" . This is despite studying American politics for the last 9 years. One, would think, with my general political activity over the years back in England (out lined briefly in my previous post) that I would be a natual fit for the Democratic Party. This may end up ulitmately correct, but, to be perfectly honest if I could have voted (this is hypothetical as I never had to put it in to practice) I would have voted for Bush. The reason for saying this is the absolute weakness of, in my opinion, two awful candidates the Democrats put forward. Both, came across confused, clueless and ultimately were hypocritcal in many ways. Bush, whilst philosophicaly the opposite to me at least (at the time) came across more assured consitent and left no doubt where we stood. Like, I said, if it came to it could I have voted for a Conservative? I really do not know.

I guess the cruz of my uncertainty is essentially that both parties (and I know if any Democrats or "Liberals" happen to come across this they will hate this statement) are Conservative. At least economically. From everything I have observed all references to "equality", or "fairness" etc.. are just statements without the substance to back it up. Getting lectured by Millionaires like Kerry, Gore, Michael Moore etc.. on such things, with such hypocrosy rub my the wrong way. On the other hand, at least they to talk about it. They are just as much Conservative Capitalists as the other party. Also, their Liberalism is not the Liberlism of the greats. There Liberalism is essentially to ethical issues such as abortion for example. Liberalism is freedom, is the right of people to make their own decisions, the right of individual States, for example, to plot their own course, in many ways it is Federalism. It got lost in the translation. The centerlisation that the Democrats are proponants off is very pale image of Socialism. Now, you can see why I am not certain. The party where I should naturally be inclined to vote for are too Conservative economically, Morally and ethically in most cases misguided and organisationally choose one of the worst aspects of Socialism.

On the other hand the Republicans. In most cases one word greed can sum them up. Right wing Conservatism at the worst. Look after yourself and screw the rest. However, in decentralisation I agree with a more Federal and free approach.

I always said that I would never vote Conservative. If I was back in England I would certainly not vote Labour at the moment as they have gone to far to the right with Tony Blair and away from their roots. So, as both parties here are essentially Conservative what am I going to do? At the moment who knows, but, I will listen read, study and make a decision based on which candidate meets more of things I agree with than the other. It may come to a list and the one with most ticks wins.

Time will tell.....

I realise these are very sweeping and general statements and there are many, many people who are members of these parties who exceptions to these very brief and incomplete observations. More of an impression and explanation of where I am at now. Obviously there is no room or I do not have the time to go into each issue individually.

One of the major decisions I have to make this year, and if its going to be a yes, I need to start on so far is the question of my Citzenship. Despite the fact that I lived in the States for nearly 9 years I have not really considered to this question. There have been times it has crossed my mind, but, never really seriously.

The reason I am thinking about this year is for one reason only. That is the right to vote. Essentially as a "permanent resident" I have do not have many disadvantages compared to the Citizen. and of course, I still have to pay a ridiculously high rate of tax as a Citizen. I have always had as active interest in Politics from joining the Liberal party when I was a teenager back in Harltepool to being a member of the Liberal Society at University before quitting with the merger of the party with the Social Democrats and campaigning for Labour when living in London etc... The last two General elections over here I have followed assiduasly with a growing frustration with my lack of a franchise. Next year is the next General election, which at the moment looks as though it could be a very interesting event. I would like to be able to vote in it, so, now is the time to get moving.

There is one negative to the whole thing, which, to be perfectly honest, is more stubborness on my part than anything else. It is my total irratation and anger of the amnesty that illegel immigrants get. They get to break the law and avoid all the financial costs, and emotional stresses that is involved in doing it correctly. Even though, I was married to an American it was a long, stressful and occaisonally intimadating process, so why should those who do not do it corrrectly get to avoid these costs? The act of becoming a Citizen also involves more cost, hence, my so far not doing it, not, for the financial side of it, but, for the reasons I have stated above.

Does this mean that I will be giving up my Citizenship of the United Kingdom? Absolutely not. I would retain it as dual Citizen which is theoretically allowed. To not be a British Citizen I would need to formally renounce it at the British Embassy in Washington. I also do not want to cut off the opportunity to move back home. It is something that Jenn and I are open to if the opportunity comes, therefore, it would actually make sense to get US Citizenship before that point. Also, at the moment I would consider moving back to England at retirement. The primary reason for this would be Health Care. In the US the cost of this is ludicrously and in my opinion criminally high and out of reach of most people. In England we have the National Health System, which, although has many, many flaws, but, is still free. Who knows what the situation will be in thirty years, but, it is certainly something to think of even now.

At the moment I do not really know what I will do. At the moment I am leaning to "go for it",but, I am still not sure. I hope to have made a decision in the next month or so. I will post my decision, deliberations and the steps of the process on here as (if) I go through it.

I listened to:

"The Big Blue" the soundtrack to the movie of the same name composed by Eric Sera. This is one of my favourite pieces of music. It was first introduced to me by my friend Steve when we both at Bradford University together.


Monday, January 15, 2007

Score Update:

International Cricket: Austrlia beat England by 77 runs. Twenty 20 International
Australia beat England by 8 wickets. International One Day Triangular Series.

Rugby Union. Horden 20 West Hartlepool 7. League 2 North East. West Stay in 4th place.

Football: Hartlepool United 1 Milton Keynes Dons 0. League Two. Pools stay in 5th place.

American Football: Philadelphia Eagles 23 New York Giants 20. NFC Wild Card Play-off

Ice Hockey: Toronto Maple Leafs 1 Carolina Hurricanes 4
Carolina Hurricanes 6 Florida Panthers 4
Carolina Hurricanes 3 Atlanta Thrashers 4 (after overtime). The Canes have 53 points and are still in 2nd place in the South East Division 5 points behind the Atlanta Thrashers.

Basketball: Chicago Bulls 77 Houston Rockets 84
Houston Rockets 102 Los Angeles Lakers 77
Denver Nuggers 86 Houston Rockets 90
Sacremento Kings 111 Houston Rockets 115. The Rockets are 25-13 and in 3rd place in the South West Division 5 games behind Division Leaders, Dallas Mavericks.

College Basketball: North Carolina Tar Heels 84 Florida State Seminoles 58
North Carolina Tar Heels 79 Virginia Cavaliers 69
Virginia Tech Hokies 94 North Carolina Tar Heels 88. UNC are 15-2 on the Season and 2-1 in the ACC. They are in 4th place in the ACC and ranked 1st in the Nation.
Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets 74 Duke Blue Devils 63
Miami Hurricanes 63 Duke Blue Devils 84. Duke are 14-3 on the Season and 1-2 in the ACC. They are in 8th place in the ACC and ranked 11th in the Nation.
North Carolina State Wolfpack 76 Clemson Tigers 87
Wake Forest Demon Deacons 74 North Carolina State Wolfpack 88. NC State are 11-6 on the Season and 1-3 in the ACC. They are in 10th place in the ACC.


Sunday, January 14, 2007

I listened to:

"Double Live" by Garth Brooks.


Friday, January 12, 2007

Beckhammania has hit the States. Well, at least in the football circles the world is a buzz. The World's most famous and most marketable sportsman makes the move to MLS. I guess the first thing the main stream US media will have to learn is that whilst Beckham may be the most famous he is not the World's best and secondly they will have never seen anything like the media circus that will follow him. It will make Barry Bonds, for example, seem irrelevent.

So, outside the glitz what does it mean for the sport in this country? The initial exposure has to be nothing but good. However, he needs to perform at least to a reasonably level. I've watched is career since he was a young kid playing for the Manchester United Youth Team and like him so I hope from a playing perspective he can suceed and finish career at a high level. If he can do that and maintain the interest he will be worth every penny. My only concern is that league does not over extend itself ala the old NASL. As long as they do not carried away and continue to grow the home players and keep the "big" players limited I think it will be fine and we will see a good growth. However, time will tell.

The really unfortunate thing about this is who he signed for. The unmentionables.!!

I listened to:

"Greatest Hits" by Bob Dylan.


Tuesday, January 09, 2007

I listened to:

"Love of Colours" performed by Katie and Marielle Labeque

"Big Love" performed by Tracy Byrd.


Sunday, January 07, 2007

Score Update:

International Cricket: Australia beat England by 10 wickets. 5th Ashes Test Match. Australia sweep the series 5-0

Rugby Union: West Hartlepool 31 Sheffield 16. League 2 North East. West are in 4th place.

Football: Shrewsbury Town 1 Hartlepool United 1. League 2. Pools stay in 5th place.

Ice Hockey: Pittsburgh Penguins 3 Carolina Hurricanes 0
Carolina Hurricanes 0 Phoenix Coyotes 2
Carolina Hurricanes 4 New York Islanders 2. The Canes have 48 points and are in 2nd place in the South East Division 8 points behind Division Leaders Atlanta Thrashers.

Basketball: Houston Rockets 103 Seattle SuperSonics 93
Houston Rockets 100 Utah Jazz 86
Minnesota Timberwolves 103 Houston Rockets 98. The Rockets are 21-12 and in 3rd place in South West Division 5 1/2 games behind Division Leaders The Dallas Mavaricks.

College (American) Football: Auburn Tigers 17 Nebraska Cornhuskers 14. Cotton Bowl

College Basketball: North Carolina Tar Heels 102 Pennsylvania Quakers 64. UNC 13-1 on the Season and 0-0 in the ACC. The are in 7th place in the ACC and ranked 2nd in the Nation.
Duke Blue Devils 73 Temple Owls 55
Duke Blue Devils 67 Virginia Tech Hokies 69 Duke are 13-2 on the Season and 0-1 in the ACC. They are in 9th place in the ACC and ranked 5th in the Nation.
North Carolina State Wolfpack 95 North Carolina Greensboro Spartans 93
North Carolina State Wolfpack 58 Boston College Eagles 74. NC State are 10-5 on the Season and 0-2 in the ACC. They are in 12th place in the ACC.


Saturday, January 06, 2007

The next kitten that we got was Glynne, a little black girl, that came from the same place that our first set of kittens (Gladstone, Winston, Maggie, Blair and Clementine) came from. She was with us for a month coming in the Week of Oct 16th 2003 and getting adopted the week of Nov 16th 2003.

The next poem that I wrote that I am going to post was written at the time of Freddy Mercury's death.

Loneliness III

The life he lived, or tried to live
Appeared to everyone outside
A spectacular combination
Of adulation, wealth and fame.

He exuded that sparkle
That one attributes to a
Person to whom performing on a
Stage comes naturally.

Acclaim, talent, success, life
The world put under his feet
"Prince of the Universe" he sang
Strutting around, crown on his head.

"The Show must go on" he cried
As ravages of drugs, drink and sex
Combined with deel loneliness started
Destroying all he created.

Even a monarch must have love,
Must have a inward life to
Sustain all the vast excesses brought upon
Superstars in this world of ours.

Superstars have always been
Idolised seeking their fame.
All except one. The greatest of all.
He was mocked, spat upon amd killed.

This one, however, is the
Only "star" to leave a mark
Forever upon the earth. Leaving
A legacy of life not death!!

"But for the great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead." - Ephesians 2:4

30th November 1991 - Hanwell, London, England.


Friday, January 05, 2007

I finished reading:

"People of Darkness" written by Tony Hillerman.

I listened to:

"An Innocent Man" by Billy Joel.


Thursday, January 04, 2007

I listened to:

"Please Please Me" by The Beatles.

A fresh new year!! Life is good, no problems a new clean out look on life!! How things change quickly. It's like the beautiful white snow. Pure, shiny, exciting and then along comes the slush!! 2007 already tainted after only a couple of days....


Tuesday, January 02, 2007

I listened to:

"Symphony in Three Movements", "Symphony in C" and "Symphony of Psalms" all composed by Igor Stravinsky and performed by the SWR Sinfonieorchester Baden-Baden und Freiburg conducted by Michael Gielen.


Monday, January 01, 2007

Finished Reading:

"The Romanovs" by W. Bruce Lincoln.

In 2006 I finished 46 books.

Score Update:

International Cricket: Australia beat England by an Innings and 99 runs. Australia lead The Ashes Series 4-0.

Football: Hartlepool United 1 Peteborough United 0 League 2
Mansfield Town 0 Hartlepool United 1. League 2. Pools stay in 5th place in the table.

American Football: Washington Redskins 28 New York Giants 34. The Giants finish the regular Season 8-8 and in the 3rd place in the NFC East Divsion. However, they clinched a play-off spot as the last wild card team.

Ice Hockey: Carolina Hurricanes 4 Florida Panthers 2
Buffalo Sabres 4 Carolina Hurricanes 1
Carolina Hurricanes 4 Anaheim Ducks 2
Carolina Hurricanes 2 Philadelphia Flyers 5. The canes have 46 points and are in 2nd place in the South East Division 6 points behind Division Leaders, The Atlanta Thrashers.

Basketball: Indiana Pacers 81 Houston Rockets 76
New Jersey Nets 71 Houston Rockets 96
Houston Rockets 94 Atlanta Hawks 68
Houston Rockets 111 Memphis Grizzlies 109. The Rockets are 19-12 and in 3rd place in the South West Divison, 5 games behind leaders, Dallas Mavericks.

College (American) Football: Iowa Hawkeyes 24 Texas Longhorns 26. The Alamo Bowl.

College Basketball: North Carolina Tar Heels 87 Rutgers Scarlet Knights 48
North Carolina Tar Heels 81 Dayton Flyers 51. UNC are 12-1 on the Season 0-0 in the ACC. They are in 6th place in the ACC and ranked 2nd in the Nation.
Duke Blue Devils 70 San Jose State Spartans 51. Duke are 12-1 on the Season and 0-0 in the ACC. They are in 7th place in the ACC and are ranked 5th in the Nation.
North Carolina State Wolfpack 64 East Carolina Pirates 57
North Carolina State Wolfpack 72 North Carolina Wilmington Seahawks 51. NC State are 9-4 on the season and 0-1 in the ACC. They are in 11th place in the ACC.

So, here it is another year. 2007. 2006 is in the books.

2006 was a tough year in many ways, but also had some good points. One of my highlights is the way Olivia, one of our foster cats learned to trust and has progressed from being one of the wildest cats our vets has seen to be being really sweet. Below is a photo that was taken on Christmas Day with her laying on my chest sleeping.

I think my prime goal for 2007 is a year to "Honour God". I am starting a new position at work (theoretically today) which will have more responsibility and pressure so I want to Honour God in that. We are looking forward to the start of the Football (soccer) Season of the new Carolina Railhawks USL Division 1 team starting play this year. We have Season tickets. The other major event of the year we are looking forward to is our 10 year wedding anniversary for which we are going to rent a cabin in the Smokey Mountains for a week.

I would like to wish everyone a prosperous, succesful and blessed New Year.