Sunday, February 19, 2006

Snortin' Fartin' Hog - UNMASKED

I guess it is about time I explained the title and URL of my blog. First of all, I must explain that Arkansans are sports fanatics, in a state where there are no professional sports teams and the only Division I college teams that we have on which to hang our collective hat are those of the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville, where my wife and I both attended college.

My father graduated from the U of A back in the 1950s, and being a small town boy who fought his way into college, and then found his way into a fraternity and eventually became president of that fraternity, my father was indeed a proud alumnus of the University of Arkansas, and a fierce devotee of the Razorbacks, and passed that love on to me at an early age. I remember him teaching me the 'Razorback Fight Song' before I could read, and I knew all the words to most of his fraternity's songs before I was a teenager. So, it naturally followed that I would attend the U of A as well.

When my time to enter college came around, it was the mid 1980's, and the football team was enjoying a bit of a resurgence and was at that time still a member of the now-defunct Southwest Conference. As anyone who attended a southern university knows, football was, and is, the lifeblood of collegiate sports down here and, well, embodies the spirit of the school as a whole. But even with its rally in the 1980's, it was and still is a far cry from the glory of the U of A's National Chamionship year of 1964.

Basketball had its own resurgence in the 1990's. The winning ways were brought back to the University by a visionary coach, Nolan Richardson. He was new, he was brash, he was unconventional, and he had a huge chip on his shoulder. The perfect makings for a great coach. In 1991 the U of A joined the SouthEastern Conference, the SEC, and over the next decade had the most successful winning percentage of any Division I Basketball team in that decade, including a National Championship in 1994, and a National Chamionship Runner-up in 1995. All good things must come to an end, and Nolan was abruptly fired after a controversial spate of outspokenness on his part regarding the athletic director. But, not until changing the enitre face of college basketball as we now know it.

Richardson's arch-nemesis in the SEC was the University of Kentucky and its coach Rick Patino. Patino was and is great in his own right, but when Nolan entered the SEC, Patino no longer was the golden boy. Over the next 10 years or so Arkansas was the ONLY Southeasten Conference team to have a winning record over Kentucky. AND, after the first few years of playing Nolan, you could see Patino's style try to change to match Nolan's '40 Minutes of Hell' style defense and 'huevos' style of offense. You will see, to this day, a variation of that offense played by the majority of college basketball teams accross the country. Richardson was an innovator and went the way of many innovators and people we don't understand, with a chips on their shoulders: into anonymity.

Now, how did I become Snortin' Fartin' Hog? Well, Belinda's dad was a Razorback. And when I say that I mean that he played basketball for the University of Arkansas in the late 1950's. In fact, my wife reminds me, he played starting forward on the FIRST Razorback basketball team to ever win a Conference (at that time Southwest Conference) championship. He wore that ring until the letters were barely visible, then wore it still. He was, needless to say, a huge Razorback fan, and he and I had much fun trying to show each other who could find the most outrageous accoutrement of Hog fandom.

As some of you know out there, Universities will change their athletic logos every few years, just so you can't feel comfortable with what you have already bought, and will need to buy more. Anyway, Belinda's father had several car magnets for his truck portraying a galloping Hog, blowing hot breath from his nostrils and leaving a trail of dust behind. I just had to have some. So, I went out and bought some magnets for my truck. But, when I got home, lo and behold, my magnetic Hogs were the new logo.
"Heh heh heh," he chuckled. He loved it. "Bet you wish you had some of those snortin', fartin' hogs like I've got, don'tcha? They don't make 'em like that anymore." But through perseverence, I did find some, and with the acquisition of my very own "snortin', fartin' hogs," became a true son-in-law.

I loved that man not only as the father-law that he was, but as the friend and role model he became.

I have had two men, my father and Belinda's father who have both made indelible impacts on my life in many ways. Both of them are gone now. Not too many years apart. I can just see them up there in Heaven now looking down on my little family: me, Belinda and Bella and seeing how well we are doing. They can see how all that they taught us is helping us to be a happy family.

Every time I watch the Hogs play I can just imagine them up there there in Heaven together cheering.

Those men were Razorback fans.

Daddy and Bella

Bella and Mommy

Friday, February 17, 2006

The Manly Dunce

From Sweetney. For the boobalicious version, see here.

Objects in photo may be larger than they appear.

Thursday, February 16, 2006

I Love my wife

Yep, I love her.

Friday, February 10, 2006

I ain't afraid of no ghost.

Did I tell you we bought a beautiful new house? A really big new house? A really big new house in the woods? This house is scary. There is ghostses. I don't see no ghostses, and I don't hear no ghostses. But, they be there. That's what makes them sooo scary. My wife, Belinda, says I'm crazy for saying there are ghosts in this house. But, then she SAW, oh, yes, she SAW, the little baby ghost finger prints in the paint on a wall in a room I was painting. She saw, yet did not believe. Thats why I believe that when they attack they will come for her first. That was of some comfort, but then I realized I would be the one having to explain to little Bella that Mommy got taken by the ghosts because she did not believe when she saw the little baby ghostie finger prints.
Oh, and did I mention the Amityville Horror hearthroom? Big ole brick fireplace and hearth, complete with the squinty window-eyes on either side peering at you with evil squinty ghost- house intelligence. It is my theory that the only thing holding back the full evil squinty ghost- house force is the fact that that room is painted a ghost-inhibiting pea soup green (you know, the kind that Linda Blair puked in The Exorcist). And now, oh yes, and now, it is my wife's decision to paint that wall a much more ghost-friendly RED. Dried-sacrificial-blood red. All the better to eat you with, my pretties! Aaarrrrggghhhh!
can't find my Depakote, runnin low on Klonopin, make Alex ghost-filled brain, feel like a-stompin..........
can't find my Depakote, runnin low on Klonopin, make Alex ghost-filled brain, feel like a-stompin..........
can't find my Depakote, runnin low on Klonopin, make Alex ghost-filled brain, feel like a-stompin..........
can't find my Depakote, runnin low on Klonopin, make Alex ghost-filled brain, feel like a-stompin..........
can't find my Depakote, runnin low on Klonopin, make Alex ghost-filled brain, feel like a-stompin..........

What was that noise?

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Weeper Meme, and First Post

Well, maybe ONE tear for me. Tagged by Belinda. My wife. That's right.

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