Friday, January 30, 2009

The Iceman Cometh - part 2

We are still holed up at the Drury. We have power and cable came back yesterday. The boys brought their Wi and there is soda on tap in the lobby so they are happy.

Restaurants are open during the day. The boys traipsed to Taco Bell and Donna and I ate at O'Charleys. There is still a sundown curfew. Most places were only taking cash since they couldn't get connections for their card readers. There are still long lines at the gas stations with police controlling things (thankfully). Wal-mart by the mall finally opened but the lines were the worst I've ever seen. Power is restored to about half of Paducah Power users. Jackson Purchase only had about 2000 out of 25,000 restored as of last night. Nobody with West KY electric has been restored.

Cell service for AT&T finally came up last night at least for now. Something about them not having generators at their towers and having to get them. Seems like that would have been standard equipment for situations like these?

Most everyone I know still has no power. I've heard it could be weeks before things get repaired even with all the extra help.

Keep everybody here in your prayers. I'll try to keep things updated as best I can.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

The Iceman cometh...

It's been a wild past few days in the Paducah area. It started with freezing rain Monday night and Tuesday. That was only the beginning.

I made it to work OK Tuesday. When we got home, our power went out about 4:30pm. Fortunately (in a rare bit of foresight on my part) I had reserved rooms at the Drury Suites in Paducah. We headed down there and checked in. It broke my heart to see people come in needing a room and not being able to get one. I almost gave ours up a couple of times. There was no cable (sparing me having to watch UK lose to Ole Miss) but we had electricity. I woke up in the night to see they'd lost power at our hotel. Despite that, everything stayed warm and they were even able to provide breakfast for us.

There was ice everywhere Wednesday morning and several inches of snow on top of that. Everything was closed. I finally got out to run by home to get provisions. It wasn't horribly slick (I fortunately still have my 1989 S-10 Blazer with 4WD) and I made it OK. The big problem was dodging downed tree limbs and power lines. I had to backtrack several times. I finally ended up on 286 and got to our road. I met Jesse Hunt on a front end loader. His dad (Darren known here as Little Doc) and he had cleaned off most of the road. I got within about a quarter mile of the house and ran into some limbs which I was able to manhandle out of the way. I got in and got food, clothing, board games and our two Nintendo DS's. I left food for our cats as well.

I finally went by work. I had gotten a voice mail on the home phone about issues. When I got there, it turned out all of our WAN links to all other USEC sites were out so I could do nothing about that. I made it back to the hotel OK.

We spent a pretty enjoyable afternoon playing Scrabble, Yahtzee and just talking. We ate the food I'd brought and the hotel even managed to get soft drinks and ice, salad, chips and salsa and pretzels to eat. Josh went out to walk around and see what was open. He was stopped by a policeman who told him there was a curfew and he needed to go back (the policeman was nice about it).

Whenever a gas station would open up, people would converge on it. I heard numerous reports on the radio about this type of thing (I again showed amazing foresight and had filled up Tuesday night). I would see huge lines (like in the late 70s Arab oil embargo days) at the stations. They'd run out of gas and then people would leave and look for another open station.

Power finally came back on the hotel about 6:00. There was a curfew so we didn't go out to try and eat. We had plenty to eat and we felt bad about going out when other people who needed something were going too. I was able to talk to my parents and find out they were ok. Donna discovered by going to the top floor of the hotel she could get a cell phone signal (it's been spotty at best) so we went up there to make a few phone calls then we went to bed.

The amount of downed power lines and tree limbs are almost unbelievable. I saw numerous poles snapped as well. There was an army of repairmen at our hotel this morning heading out to work, but I still have to believe it'll be days before this is all back to anywhere near normal. Please keep the people here in your prayers.

The Drury Suites has been great through all of this. They've bent over backwards for everybody here. The young man serving food has been here for four straight days and was just as nice and congenial as he could be. They've always been one of my favorite hotel chains and this only confirms that for me.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Arizona Cardinals in the Super Bowl.....

Kurt Warner stood up and said multiple times "Arizona Cardinals in the Super Bowl". He remarked on how good it sounds. It sounds absolutely great to me.

You've seen my previous posts on the Cardinals. Never in my wildest dreams when I posted about them being in first place one week into the season did I see this coming. I honestly thought the New York Giants would take it. I think they would have if Plaxico Burress would have had a good firearms training class.

They have not won a championship since 1947. There was actually footage I saw yesterday of them winning that game over the Eagles. I had heard of Charley Trippi who played for them them and helped lead them to victory.

Now to yesterday's game. I had to be in Nashville on Monday so I had to drive up yesterday. I listened to the first half in the car and couldn't believe how great they were playing. Donna kept calling me all excited about how well they were doing. It is one of her many amazing qualities that she now embraces sports so much and is happy for me when my teams do well. I got to my hotel just in time to see Neal Rackers boot a field goal at the end of the half to give them a 24-6 lead. However, the Eagles came roaring back in the 2nd half. Their defense completely shut the Cardinals down and with two long TD passes, the Eagles took a 25-24 lead in the 4th quarter. I called Donna convinced they had choked. However, Kurt Warner led the Cardinals back down the field to take a 31-24 lead. The Cardinals held them off and were NFC Champions.

I proudly wore my Cardinals jacket. I got congratulations from fellow hotel guests, Adam Faughn and members of Lebanon Road church of Christ (where I went to worship services that night), via Facebook and text from friends and family, and from people at the training center today.

I still have a hard time believing it. And of course, they are underdogs to the Steelers now. I found this comment from Mike Cezilic of NBC sports after the Cardinals victory quite appropriate though.

There aren’t enough crows in the world for all the humble pies that all of us in the expert analysis business are going to have to eat.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

A very good day...

We started the day by e-cycling. As you probably know, throwing away computers and their peripherals isn't a good idea since they contain contaminants. One of the local recycling companies said they would take any computer and peripheral items today. We drove down there to drop off some items and I was pleasantly surprised to see how well organized it was. They had a drive through lane set up that you pulled into. You then pulled into their building and they had a lot of people in there that ran right up to your car and picked up your stuff. We were in out in five minutes.

Then we headed to our youth rally at our congregation (Central church of Christ). I was on audio/visual duty. This the first time I've ever been able to participate (the last two years the boys had a track meet at Tilghman on the same day). Ben Selbe (who used to be a member of our congregation til his family moved to Hopkinsville) led the singing. He did a great job especially considering he had his wisdom teeth pulled on Tuesday. Josh Herndon (who preaches at Union Hill) did three lessons. He did a fabulous job. The lessons were very good for the kids and had a lot of good points for us adults too. It's very encouraging to see so many young Christians gathered together sing praises to God and making service to God their top priority today.

Finally, there was the Panthers Cardinals game. I had to hear (again) all week about how weak they are and how they didn't have a chance. I didn't see anybody who gave them a chance. All of the guys on the pre-game show smugly predicted an easy Carolina win. I was afraid they'd be right when Carolina drove right down the field with the opening kickoff and scored a touchdown. After that, it was all Cardinals. After a trade of punts, they drove down and scored a touchdown to match. Delhomme fumbled and the Cardinals took advantage and scored again. The Panthers drove down and appeared that they would tie the game. The Cardinals intercepted and drove down and scored a field goal. They drove to another field goal, intercepted a pass and drove for another touchdown. It was 27-7 at the half!!! They tacked on another couple of field goals in the second half. The Panthers scored a meaningless touchdown at the end to make the score 33-13.

I don't think I'll hear anymore about "worst team in the playoffs" or "doesn't belong on the playoffs"

Friday, January 9, 2009


I have turned over several times about blogging this. I first thought about it when we were at Krystal at Memphis. A young man approached us (seeing our car license from Kentucky) and talked with us about the Liberty Bowl game later that day. An older gentleman next to me wished me good luck saying "you'll need it". He told me that Kentucky was an underdog to Eastern Carolina. He said he liked to gamble some and always liked to bet on "his boy Peyton Manning". He then said "when they play the Eagles this weekend". Jonathan and I told him "the Colts play the Chargers" this weekend. I guess he lost his money betting on "his boy Peyton Manning" that weekend. All the games I had interest in were either won by underdogs (UK football, Arizona Cardinals) or covered the "spread" (UK vs Louisville).

What really pushed me though was a news story I heard yesterday. Our governor Steve Beshear is trying to deal with a PROJECTED 456 million dollar shortfall in the Kentucky budget this year. He is making another run at expanded gaming (i.e gambling) to help cover the shortfall. He tried this last year and fortunately our State Senate defeated the measure. I wrote my legislator then (Steven Rudy) and he opposed expanding gaming. The Senate president (David Williams) went as far to say that he'd "get rid of the state lottery if he could".

I remember when the lottery amendment came up in the late 1980's. Wallace Wilkinson (our governor at the time) was really pushing it. It was voted in and Kentucky has had a lottery ever since. All we heard was "It'll all be used for education and we'll never have to worry about funding education again". Well, that certainly isn't the case. As long as my sons have been in school (14 years), there have always been concerns about education funding.

There are numerous studies that show how crime, bankruptcy, divorce all increase when gambling is first introduced then expanded in an area. Our founding fathers spoke out against it. George Washington said: “Gambling is the child of avarice, the brother of iniquity, and the father of mischief.” Benjamin Franklin advised: “Keep flax from fire, and youth from gaming.”

Gambling violates serveral New Testament principles.
  • It is an abuse of the concept of stewardship. The resources one has are to be managed on behalf of the Lord; we are not free to waste our income in such a frivolous manner.

  • Gambling is a form of covetousness; it seeks to obtain money quickly, cheaply, and without honest labor in exchange for income.

  • Gambling is a violation of Matthew 7:12. How can you be a successful gambler and practice the Golden Rule? For you to win, many people must lose

  • The known gambler will have no Christian influence at all. I distinctly remember a Christian man I had a great deal of respect for appearing on the news at the time Wallace Wilkinson was pushing the lottery. He was holding a sign saying "You don't have to play to win". Mr. Wilkinson walked right up to him in fact. I lost a lot of respect for that man after that.

I want to give credit to a tract I read by Brother Garland Elkins years ago concerning lotteries as well as Brother Wayne Jackson and his articles about this subject on the Christian Courier web site. I have used their teachings many times in discussions with Bible classes and individuals conerning this subject.

Thursday, January 8, 2009


I was getting directions to the Liberty Bowl in Memphis and found

I never realized that they would get pictures out in our little rural area. This is the Yancy homestead.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

How do you like me now?

To all those "experts" at ESPN, Sports Illustrated and their ilk who said the Cardinals didn't belong in the playoffs, what are you thinking now?

Cardinals 30 Falcons 24!!!

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Give me Liberty...

Kentucky has only made it to three straight bowl games from 1950-52 when the coach was a guy named Bear Bryant. They've never won three in a row so this year's Autozone Liberty Bowl was their chance to do that.

We took out Friday morning and drove to my sister's house in Memphis. She only lives 3 blocks from the Liberty Bowl. So, we were able to park there, visit with my family for a while, and then walk over.

Kentucky has started the tradition of the "Cat Walk" over the past few years. UK fans line up from the team bus to the entrance of the stadium. This generally happens more than two hours before the game, so we've never participated. With the proximity to my sister's house, we walked over for this one. It was very neat. You could see the players up close, tell them words of encouragement, and even shake/slap hands with them. I was especially interested in speaking to Joker Phillips (the offensive coordinator and heir apparent to Rich Brooks) since he played at UK when I was there. Two things you realize is how big the players are and how young they look (since they are college kids).

There were a lot of East Carolina fans when we first got there. When we got there the second time, a lot more UK fans were there. They eventually announced the attendance at 56,000. The stadium wasn't nearly full though. There were way more UK fans there than ECU.

The game did not start off well. Kentucky was tacking horribly and gave up several big plays. The offense was sputtering. The defense made a key stop at the end of the first half to keep ECU out of the end zone. It was still 16-3 at half.

Kentucky got the ball to start the 2nd half and the whole game turned the other way. Winston Guy had dropped two straight kickoffs so DB David Jones was now on the kickoff return team. He took the kickoff at the one, sprinted through the first wave, cut to the sideline and took it the whole way for the TD. Lonas Seiber had the XP blocked, but it was now 16-9. The teams traded possessions and then UK scored on a TD pass to tie the game. ECU kicked a field goal and UK did the same.

The clock wound down and ECU got the ball deep in its own territory. Sam Maxwell then ran an interception back for a TD but it was called back for defensive holding. The teams traded possessions and then Micah Johnson picked up a fumble and took it in for a touchdown. The play was reviewed and reversed even though it didn't look like conclusive evidence to me. ECU drove to near midfield. They fumbled again and Ventrell Jenkins snatched up the fumble and rumbled (he weighs 285 pounds) for the touchdown. Seiber had another XP blocked, so the lead was only 6.

Kentucky kicked off and the ECU returner appeared to go to his knee to catch it on the one yard line (He'd done this before on previous kickoffs). After ANOTHER review, he was ruled down there. They got a first down but Kentucky held. With a little over 2 minutes to go and three timeouts and deep in their own territory, they punted. Uk took over and ground out two first downs to run out the clock. Of course, we were ecstatic.

Some random notes

  • We stopped at Krystal on the way. I had the mistaken idea that since the burgers were little, the prices would be too. We paid more for three of us to eat then we normally do at McDonalds, Taco Bell, etc. I love those Chili Pups though.

  • The Liberty Bowl is an older stadium located on the Fairgrounds there. They have buildings for livestock, displays, etc. It's an older non NFL type stadium where most of the seats are bleacher type seats. Fortunately, I got us tickets in section with chair back seats. I doubt I'd be in an upright position today if I had not.

  • I was walking around the concourse minding my own business (looking to buy a commemorative t-shirt) when some crazy ECU fan jumps right up in my face and starts yelling about how great ECU is and how they are going to win. I just looked at him like he was crazy and walked around him.

  • We kept seeing Mike Hartline (the UK quarterback) run to the south part of the stadium where the UK locker room was. I found out after the game he had "flu-like" symptoms. Wow, poor guy and he still played really well.

  • Sara Evans was the half time performer. I've always liked her, but she must not like UK since she faced the ECU side the whole time. Plus, she sang one of my least favorite songs of hers (Suds in the Bucket)

  • The officiating (I think it was a Big 10 crew) wasn't very good. They missed several calls both ways. Donna said the ESPN announcers were commenting on how bad it was too

  • Wonder who will be the UK quarterback next year? Hartline is a junior, Randall Cobb is a sophomore and they have two pretty good recruits coming in. Plus, we've got to do something about our placekicking game. I know the blocks may have not been Lonas Seiber's fault, but they looked like pretty low kicks to me on the XPs. We were groaning every time he lined up to kick (one lady would cover her head with a blanket every time, she could not bear to watch)

  • Right after David Jones ran the kickoff back, a guy came back to his seat and asked (I kid you not) "Did I miss anything?". Uh-huh, you did :-)

  • My brother in law Richard is an Ole Miss alum, so he was equally happy about their Cotton Bowl win. If you had asked anybody before Friday which of the SEC teams playing that day would be the one to lose, I would say very few would have said "Alabama"

Since we left from my sister's house, we had an easy time getting out. And bless her, she had packed ham sandwiches and chips for the drive home. I didn't eat at the game although the foot long corndogs were very tempting. The drive home was without problem.

Jonathan and I have seen history. No UK team has ever won three bowls in a row. I know it's not a BCS or even a major bowl. However, I've suffered through a lot of pain as a UK football fan (including a 0-10-1 season my senior year there) so I am loving this post season thing...