Tag Archives: ghost blog

Friday Weisblog: With Drew and Peyton ‘Manning’ the QB spots, the Super Bowl will be a ‘Brees’

In my last correspondence, I told you all about what was wrong with this year’s Super Bowl. What’s right with the game deserves equal time, so here goes …

Drew Brees led the NFL in touchdown passes this season. Peyton Manning was the league’s Most Valuable player. It could be rightly argued that each means more to his respective team than any two other players in the entire league – including the elderly #4 in purple.

But the goodness goes beyond that. These are two guys who are genuinely fine, upstanding people. They seem to always do and say the right things – and manage to stay off the rap sheet. What a concept!

Brees signed with the Saints four years ago when he could have gone to teams that were then far more glamorous than the Saints, who had recently suffered the devastation of Hurricane Katrina. He felt it was his calling to play there, and he and the Saints fans have developed a unique love affair for each other. He’s thrown for more than 4,000 yards four years in a row, including a mind-boggling 5,069 in 2008.

Meanwhile, Manning came into the NFL as the the top selection in the 1998 draft – and he has more than lived up to the hype. He’s thrown for more than 4,000 yards 10 of his 12 years, and has NEVER thrown fewer than 26 touchdown passes in any season, including his rookie campaign. The son of Archie Manning, ironically the Saints’ best-ever signal caller until Brees came to town, Peyton may very well go down as the best to ever play the game if he continues on his current pace.

This is a rare year. I will be happy with either team that wins the big game, largely because of their quarterback.

NOTE: Speaking of quarterbacks, kudos to Kurt Warner, who announced his retirement from the Arizona Cardinals today. Another of the league’s true gentleman, his was a true rags-to-riches story. Warner went from bagging groceries to the Arena League to NFL stardom, and he certainly belongs in the Hall of Fame. I think he gets there eventually.

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Tuesday Weisblog: Her ‘cutting’ comments got her in trouble

Emily Walton is a not only a veterinarian, she’s also a Hancock County, Ohio County Commissioner. Apparently, Ms. Walton has upset one of her community members to the point that he is calling for her resignation.

It all stems from an incident that happened September 3. On that day, Walton and Jeff Davidson were engaging in a somewhat spirited discussion about a community drainage issue. Walton became agitated at Davidson and told him that she “wanted to castrate him and had the tools to do it.”

Bob Barker would be proud. (If you don’t get the joke, it’s not funny enough to explain. Just move on.)

“Sometimes things don’t go your way, and sometimes you have to raise your voice … but you don’t threaten to castrate somebody,” Davidson explained. “If she can’t manage her temper, and manage the words that come out of her mouth, she should resign.”

I tend to agree with him.

For her part, Walton’s explanation was a simple one: “That is a well-known, tongue-in-cheek comment that I have used for years and which people with half a sense of humor understand.” She also mentioned that she once, for comic relief, walked into a former mayor’s office carrying “a big white bag of tools,” though she never specifically mentioned castration.

I take offense to Ms. Walton’s actions for several reasons:
(1) She is a public official who should be acting appropriately.

(2) I am a male. If she had the same “equipment” I do, she may not be quite so liberal with her usage of the “c” word. It makes me wince just to think about it.

(3) If a male had said something off-color to a female, there would be much more made of this story, and I am 99.9% sure the male government official would be forced to resign.

Ms. Walton got her government post running unopposed last election. Something tells me that if she makes it through her term, she’ll have some competition next time around.

Friday Weisblog: Remembering 9/11

Much like everyone else, I still remember where I was on September 11, 2001. I was at work, at a company called Progressive Communications International in Lake Mary, FL.

One of my coworkers, Gilbert Cauthorn, regularly listened to news/talk radio on headphones. He gave us the report that the first plane had struck, and it didn’t even seem real, especially since we’d not seen any pictures at that point. It must have either been some guy with a death wish or a plane that simply went down, I remember thinking to myself. After all, we were the United States, and certainly no one would do anything that brash and calculated on our own soil.

Then the second plane hit, and by that point it was obvious to everyone what was happening. I was later to find out that a former coworker of mine at a local radio station had recently moved to New York to work in the Wall Street Journal building, which I understand is very close by. His account of that day is harrowing.

About two weeks after 9/11 I flew out to the area to see some of my clients in the greater New York area. This particular auto dealer, Paul Miller, dealt in high-end cars such as Bentley, Rolls-Royce, BMW, Land Rover, Porsche and more. Out of the goodness of his heart, he was taking back just-purchased vehicles (with no penalty) for people whose spouses had perished or been injured during the tragedy, who could no longer afford these big-ticket purchases. Very impressive, indeed.

That night, I decided to attend the New Jersey Devils NHL hockey game. It was their home opener – and I felt very privileged to be there. While the entire country mourned, it was nothing like the feelings experienced by those who lived right there in the immediate area.

Before the game began, there was a moment of silence honoring those whose lives were lost. Fifteen thousand people, and you could hear a pin drop. It was amazingly quiet, other than the tears being shed by those who felt a sense of loss. I had everything I could do to keep my own composure.

They also brought out the spouses of heroic firefighters who did not survive the ordeal. Again, the place was thick with emotion.

During the first intermission, they played a tape-delay of President Bush’s message to the country. A completely impromptu “USA … USA … USA!” chant broke out, and a mixture of pride and sadness filled my heart.

I guess what I am trying to say is, it was an unforgettable honor to be there. Eight years later, I still remember all of it vividly. Tomorrow, I’ll say a prayer for those who lost family members, friends and loved ones. I’ll give my well wishes to people like Paul Miller, who sacrificed a great deal for those who needed it – when they needed it most. And I’ll look back upon my trip to New York with a bittersweet feeling that will never leave me as long as I’m alive.

Friday Weisblog: Nothing is sacred anymore

You know what’s wrong with this country? Nothing is sacred anymore. We’re too worried about being so politically correct that we’ve swung in the entire opposite direction.

What I discovered today is a perfect example. (Note: This is actually being written on Thursday evening.)

My stepson JR tells my wife and I that he is studying Native American history in school. Fine so far, right? Well, they began to study some of their legends of how the world began. I’m a little uncomfortable with that, but OK.

But what I found out next enrages me. The teacher wants the students in the class to MAKE UP THEIR OWN STORY about how the world began.

Hold on a second … aren’t we supposed to be politically correct these days, going out of our way NOT to offend anyone? I guess that’s only a one-way street.

For those of us who believe in God and the Biblical account of creation, this is highly insulting. So now we are stuck in a bit of a predicament. If we instruct JR to not do the assignment because none of us are comfortable with it, we risk JR getting a bad grade. If we instruct him to do it, he is then forced to do something he isn’t comfortable doing.

I get that it’s a “creative writing” project, but there are thousands of other topics that are just as interesting and much less controversial.

Christian families should be upset over this. Even evolutionists should be outraged if they truly believe this theory. Making light of such a serious subject is not acceptable, and the teacher will hear my opinion … like it or not.

Wednesday Weisblog: Roll tape!

Canton, Ohio is the home of the Pro Football Hall of Fame. But right now, it’s also known for something altogether different.

Municipal Court Judge Stephen F. Belden was in the middle of a hearing to determine whether or not there was sufficient evidence to have Harry Brown’s case reviewed by a county jury. The 51-year-old Brown was charged with robbery and obstructing official business. He allegedly fought with personnel from a local Wal-Mart, who were attempting to prohibit Brown from shoplifting.

Once the proceedings began, Brown began complaining about the competence of his public defender, who Brown claimed did not do a sufficient amount of homework. Judge Belden informed Brown that he was not going to give him a new public defender; either he could represent himself or deal with it.

That did not sit well with Mr. Brown, who decided to continue arguing with the judge. Eventually, Judge Belden had his fill of the belligerent Brown, and he let Brown know he was upset under no uncertain terms.

“I’m gonna get some duct tape,” the judge said to Brown. If you keep interrupting me, I’m gonna have Mr. Smith (bailiff Jeffrey Smith) put it over your mouth, OK?”

Brown decided he wanted to just go back to the holding area for prisoners, but the judge told him he was staying right there. When Brown continued to yap back at him, Judge Belden made good on his promise.

“All right, duct tape. Duct tape the defendant,” Belden said.

Once Brown’s mouth was sealed, the judge ran the hearing without incident until he asked Brown if he had questions for a witness. “We’ll put some more (tape) back on if you decide to, uh, go back to your former, uh, disrespectful ways,” Judge Belden said.

Brown’s reply? “I’m not being disrespectful, Your Honor,” Brown said. “I think you’re being more disrespectful to me, as, you know …”

That was all the judge could stand. “OK, that’s it, that’s it. Prelim is over. You’re bound over. I find probable cause. You can go back, down in the basement,” retorted the judge.

As you might expect, Brown continued. “I want to ask him some questions.”

“Yoooooouuuuuuu … go ahead, take him away,” said the angry judge.

On his way out the door, Brown uttered obscenities.

“OK, you can get 30 more days on top of whatever you get, for contempt,” Belden shouted.

Brown claims he wants to file a complaint, saying what the judge did was “unethical.” As for Belden, he was not the least bit sorrowful for what he’d done.

“You have somebody who’s disruptive, you have to make a decision on the spot how to handle it,” he said.

NOTE: For audio of this interesting hearing, click here:
http://www.cantonrep.com/communities/canton/x1886195990/Canton-judge-orders-silence-in-the-court-with-duct-tape

Monday Weisblog: A most unwelcome piece of advice

Saturday afternoon, our family was at Flagler College moving my daughter, Chawney, into her new college dorm room. I knew that at some point, I was going to feel some sadness knowing that my daughter, who I’d just adopted in March, was not going to be accompanying us on the ride home.

That time came at around 4 pm Saturday, when the parents and students were ushered to separate “orientation” classes. One of the first things out of the mouth of one Daniel P. Stewart, Dean of Student Services, was that the parents needed to learn to “let go.” In other words, they had to let their kids make their own decisions and take responsibility for themselves.

When he said those two words, “let go,” I felt as if someone had kicked me flush in the stomach. I suddenly realized that I’d spent all last week trying to imagine what must be going through the heads of Chawney and/or my wife (Christina). This mother/daughter combo is as closely knit as two people in those roles could be.

In this one split second, I discovered I’d never actually taken the time to stop and consider how saying goodbye to someone who’s been an integral part of my life for the last six-plus years would affect ME. I was so worried about everyone else I didn’t really ever stop to deal with my own thoughts and emotions.

But now here we were and there was no turning back. I was going to have to say my goodbyes within the next couple hours, and quite frankly, I knew it was going to be something I was not prepared to handle.

It was everything I could do to not stand up and shout, “BITE ME, Daniel P. Stewart!”

See, what Mr. Daniel P. Stewart doesn’t understand is that I will NEVER let go, at least not completely. Sure, Chawney now has the ability to make decisions on her own and lead her own life, but I am always going to be her dad. I will always be there for her and her brother – no matter how old they are, where they live or what they become.

During dinner, our last “official” gathering together, we were all unusually quiet – and if you know “the Weises,” you know we are normally among the most chatty, animated families on the block. We all knew the time was drawing near, and there was no conversation or humor-driven banter that could gloss over the emotions we all felt.

I had an entire laundry list of emotions going on: I was proud simply to be the father of such a magnificent kid; I was feeling grateful for having Chawney under my roof for the last six-plus years; I was feeling cheated because I only had her under my roof for six-plus years; I was thrilled for Chawney because I do feel this is a great opportunity for her; and I was feeling sad that life as I knew it was never going to be exactly the same. Maybe it was a little selfish, but that latter one was by far the strongest.

Prior to dinner, I’d promised myself that because I was a man – and men don’t get all emotional, I would be strong for my wife and Chawney. But who was I kidding? I didn’t even make it through dinner before starting to cry – and I don’t mean just a little. I literally sobbed for the rest of the time we were there and about a third of the way home. Just re-living the moment now makes the water works start all over again.

“Let go.” You’re joking, right?

As Chawney closes one chapter of her life, I intend to be a part of the new one – even if it means going from being a major player to a “best supporting role.”

Bite me, Daniel P. Stewart!

One more reason to love AMW

2688453987_0140f445c8_tI still remember the first time I watched America’s Most Wanted. I fully expected it to be nothing more than a show that would create a few curious onlookers, but would never last. But after just one episode, I was hooked – and apparently so were many others.

To date, the show has helped capture nearly 1,100 heavy-duty fugitives, both in the United States and abroad.

While I do think the show has gotten a bit more “schlocky” in recent years (especially in the opening credits when host John Walsh looks at a criminal who’s just been placed in handcuffs and says, “It’s a bad day for you!”), it serves a very useful purpose other than just to entertain us.

Such was the case late last week when another fugitive was plucked from off the streets – this one for a crime committed in my home state, Florida. Jorge Ivan “Angel” Villamizar-Ayala, 36, was taken into custody in Brownsville, TX as he left a church service last Friday night.

Villamizar-Ayala is accused of killing his then-girlfriend Bianca Sierra in Pompano Beach in 2004. The death was particularly gruesome, as he allegedly killed her with a sledgehammer and left her to be discovered by her two children. Villamizar-Ayala then disappeared until a recent broadcast of America’s Most Wanted.

If you think this makes Villamizar-Ayala seem like a bad guy, well, you ain’t heard nothin’ yet! He’s also accused of killing his wife in Colombia prior to fleeing to the United States in 2001. He is also charged with attempted murder in New York of another girlfriend, Luz Jackelina Fuentes.

Villamizar-Ayala tried one last trick to elude authorities, giving them a false name and ID, but they weren’t buying what he was selling. Once the fingerprint results came back, they were certain they had the right guy.

For his sake, I sincerely hope Villamizar-Ayala absorbed everything he heard in church while he was on the outside!

Nice job, America!

PLEASE NOTE: This is my last blog of the week. I’ll be back on Monday as usual. I’m taking a few days off to celebrate my birthday and help get my daughter moved into her new college facility.