Saturday, October 24, 2009

My sons are competing in a tough guy contest tonight…

Two of my sons, Nate and Eli Stancliff are competing in a tough guy contest at Cherie Heights Casino (Trinidad) in a couple of hours.

Nate is fighting in the 155 weight class. It’s considered the most competitive weight and usually the Big Event of the night. A two-time champion will be among Nate’s opponents.

Eli is fighting in the heavyweight class (200 and up). Eli weighs 210 and is the lightest heavyweight to compete. There’s one guy in his class whose 6 foot-eight inches, and weighs 250 pounds.

Neither of my sons have ever entered a contest like this. They were both varsity wrestlers while in high school, but this type of mixed-martial art competition is a whole different ball game. Neither one of them even trained for it.

Their wives are both worried about their safety. So am I, and their Mother even more so. You can’t help it. You worry when a loved one gets involved in a violent sport. The wives went to the contest to support them.

Shirley and I stayed home, and are both trying to stay busy until this thing is over with tonight. Until we get that phone call telling us they are both all right.

My feelings are mixed however. I remember boxing while in the Army and I enjoyed it. I have to admit that there is a savage joy in pounding someone into submission in the name of sport. You know you’re not going to get in trouble, so you can let it all “hang out” in a display of fury and fists.

I want my boys to survive this contest. If they win it, I hope they don’t do it again. I hope one last fling will be enough. They’re both in their 30s, and really too old to be involved in this kind of competition for younger men. But, like I said, I understand. Deep down where words have no meaning. Where you find yourself testing your limits just because.

Good luck boys!

Love, Dad

Image via Google Images

UPDATE: Both of them survived without serious injuries last night. Nate ended up fighting the two-time champion (wouldn’t you know it?). His brother Richard (my third son) recounted the action to me: “Nate was kicking the crap out of the champion for most of the round. He knocked him down several times and busted his eyebrow open, but made a mistake when he went to the ground to finish him off.

The guy was a belted ju-jitsu fighter, and managed to slip a choke hold on Nate…and Nate had to tap out or pass out. He tapped out. The crowd was stunned. It looked like his fight until that sudden skillful move turned the tables.

Eli’s fight was one of the biggest crowd-pleasers of the night. Eli is five-foot, ten-inches tall and weighs 210 pounds. His opponent was six-foot two-inches tall and weighed 250 pounds. He looked like a midget next to the guy.

Eli was the smallest heavyweight of the night. In the first two minutes Eli tried to take the big man to the ground and absorbed numerous powerful punches while doing it. In the last minute Eli switched tactics and started slugging his opponent. With a dramatic round-house right Eli dropped the big man to the canvas! He then jumped un him and pounded away as the guy tried to cover up. Then the bell rang! The judges awarded a split decision to his opponent (who by the way went on to win the heavyweight championship).

Apparently the crowd was on their feet cheering Eli, and Richard said it was like watching the first Rocky movie! The crowd booed the decision.

I’m glad it’s over. But it looks like I have to worry again next year. Both of them have decided to fight again. Eli’s coming down to his natural weight class of 185-200 lbs.the next time around. Theyre actually going to train this time around and both fully expect to win their weight classes next year.

Okay…I’m proud of them. I see myself in both. I just wish they didn’t want to do this again. I’ll have to sedate Shirley next year!


Re-crafting the United States as Disunited Duchies

I highly recommend this article to people who are interested in understanding what is really happening with race relations in America today. It’s a troubling read, but one that will give you insights you may not have had before.

Authors of two recent books, "Whitopia" and "The Big Sort," see Americans as disuniting based on politics, race and culture.


Lewis Beale is a freelance writer whose work has appeared in The New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Washington Post, Newsday and many other publications.


In Coeur d'Alene, Idaho, where 95 percent of the population is white, Rich Benjamin saw more Confederate flags than black people. Not that Benjamin was looking for suggestions of racism, but in his forthcoming book,Searching for Whitopia: An Improbable Journey to the Heart of White America (Hyperion, Oct. 6), he was trying to discover why some of the fastest-growing areas in America are also the most Caucasian.”

Read the rest at Miller-McCune

In drug trafficking hub, artist is in demand

“Between mansions for the living and mausoleums for the dead, there is work to be had in the Sinaloa capital for painter and sculptor Jose Espinoza, who says of his patrons: 'I don't probe.'”

Story at LA Times

Jose Espinoza pauses in the Santa Ines church in Culiacan where he carved the altar and produced five stained glass windows and three murals. (Don Bartletti / Los Angeles Times)


Friday, October 23, 2009

Go on a hike with As It Stands this Sunday

Coming this Sunday, Nov.25th in

The Times-Standard


Surviving a deadly hike on a trail with no name

A cautionary column on hiking. It can make your life richer, and it can take your life if you aren’t careful.

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  image via


Comedian Soupy Sales dies at 83

 I loved the Soupy Sales program growing up. I really got a kick out of White Fang and Black Tooth, his two crazy dogs who spoke in grunts that he translated for viewers.

Then there was that famous (I think last episode) show where he flipped off the producers! With his demise, slapstick is officially gone. RIP…

Soupy Sales, he of the crumpled hat and droopy bowtie, whose raucous in-your-face daily kids show was an iconic hit of the '50s and '60s, died Thursday at the age of 83.”

See full story at USA Today (Photo by Scott Gries, Getty Images)

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Sad News: Child’s body found in search for missing girl

Somer Thompson disappeared on way home from school on Monday.

Her body has been located in a landfill. Police are interviewing 75 known sex offenders in a five-mile-radius of where Somer lived.

 That’s just known sex offenders. It’s scary to think how many were in just the small area by where she lived. What is it lately with all these children being kidnapped and killed? It sure seems to be happening an awful lot. Just another sign of decay in our society.

Read the story here at MSNBC Photo via Today/MSNBC

Money to perserve monuments best spent on live veterans

The Associated Press recently ran the following news story and it got me to thinking.

What’s more important? To preserve and protect national monuments to wars, or helping live veterans today?

The Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund, the private organization that built the memorial, is in the process of raising funds to take care of the monument’s needs because the federal funding is drying up.

My challenge to the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund is to consider the live veterans that need help in this country and to start fundraising for them along with their other efforts.

As a Vietnam veteran I think symbols are fine, but I also believe veterans are better served while their still alive and have needs right now. 


“Repair work was underway Wednesday at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial on the National Mall as a private memorial fund took over landscaping and maintenance of 13 acres from the National Park Service.” Click here to read the whole article.

Photo by By J. David Ake, AP

Other female cartoon characters competed with Marge Simpson for Playboy gig

By now you might've heard of (or maybe even seen) the photos of Marge Simpson'sPlayboy spread. Yes... THAT Marge Simpson "posed" for THAT Playboy.

Well, the folks at the always funny site Holy Taco have actually uncovered that there were several other female cartoon characters who posed for Playboy's cover, such as 101 Dalmations' Cruella de Vil, Popeye's Olive Oyl andSouth Park's Mr. Garrison. Yes, he's a girl. Unfortunately, none of them made the cut.

P.S. These are fake. Just making sure you knew that. Except that Marge Simpson REALLY posed for Playboy. I know, I know.

photo courtesy of Holy Taco

Rejected Playboy Cartoon Cover Girls originally appeared on Web Humor on Tuesday, October 20th, 2009

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

A shout out to all you crazy Texans!

Here are five weird Texas laws. Why Texas? All the states have weird laws right? My wife is from there and I like picking on the state of Texas! For a lot more go to weirdfacts

  • It is illegal for children to have unusual haircuts.

  • A recently passed anti-crime law requires criminals to give their victims 24 hours notice, either orally or in writing, and explain to the nature of the crime about to be committed.

  • It is illegal to milk another persons' cow.

  • One must acknowledge a supreme being before being able to hold public office.

  • It is illegal to sell ones eyes.

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Is this what it’s going to come to?

Image via

'Ponzi' princess scheme mirrors Madoff

P.T. Barnum is credited with saying, “There’s a sucker born every minute,” and I think he was on to something.

Lately it seems that a lot of people with money to invest are loosing their shirts to scam artists like Madoff, or this Schneider character.

Probe eyes $30M janitor-supplies 'scam'

The owner of a Long Island janitorial-supply company -- under investigation for cleaning out scores of investors -- is known as a "Ponzi princess" for pulling off a scheme that destroyed families while she lived the good life, sources said.

The US Bankruptcy Court trustee in the case, lawyer Kenneth Barnard, estimates the alleged fraud by businesswoman Laurie Schneider has hit as many as 50 victims and losses may rise to $30 million.

"Madoff is the king. She is like a little Ponzi princess," said one distraught victim, who says he lost $200,000. "And no one has done anything about it." Read the rest at The New York Post


Monday, October 19, 2009

It was a slow news days folks…

Cartoon by R.J. Matson, NY, The New York Observer and Roll Call
Visit RJ -- E-Mail RJ --


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Feds to issue new medical marijuana policy

If this announcement sounds familiar there’s a good reason for that. Eric Holder said the same thing six months ago and guess what?

The Feds are still busting dispensaries (LA Medical Marijuana clinics raided by LA police – a week ago). They’re calling it a new policy. The only new thing will be is if they keep their word for once!


WASHINGTON – Federal drug agents won't pursue pot-smoking patients or their sanctioned suppliers in states that allow medical marijuana, under new legal guidelines to be issued Monday by the Obama administration.

Two Justice Department officials described the new policy to The Associated Press, saying prosecutors will be told it is not a good use of their time to arrest people who use or provide medical marijuana in strict compliance with state law.

Click here to read the rest.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Marijuana proven effective in treating different types of cancers

By Dave Stancliff/For the Times-Standard

Posted: 10/18/2009 01:27:25 AM PDT

Marijuana opponents in the federal government are up against the wall and the wall is crumbling. The feds have fought marijuana use for decades, disregarding its medicinal applications, in a senseless war against the herb.

The demonized killer weed is turning out to be anything but that. As myths about this ancient herb are dispelled, scientists are using it to treat everything from chemotherapy-induced nausea to different cancers.

In August, The British Journal of Cancer published the results of a study that found THC (the main active component in marijuana) is effective in fighting prostate cancer. Reportedly, pot attacks prostate cancer cell types that do not respond to the usual hormone treatments.

Click here to read the rest at The Times-Standard

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GOP Governors Unite in Fight to Stop Unions in their States

Six Republican Governors have gathered to warn their residents against the evils of unionization which they claim would threaten their jobs...