Little of nothing

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, March 30, 2004

Let’s just call it a &uot;Spring Cleaning&uot; of the mind.

As the calendar flipped to another season some 10 days ago, I saw it as the perfect time to get a few things off my chest. So, without further ado, here’s a ton of stuff to say about little of nothing.

So, how did your NCAA men’s basketball tournament bracket fare this year? I was so busy here at work that I didn’t take the time to fill out one, as I’ve done for so many years. However, I did like UConn’s chances at a Final Four berth. Once that bunch got healthy, as they did late in the regular season, I saw them as a force in the post-season.

Georgia Tech punching its ticket to San Antonio is a surprise, but yet in the same breath it only backs-up how strong the ACC was this season. We here on Tobacco Road – even us diehard NC State fans who watched our ‘Pack snatch defeat from the jaws of victory in the second round – should be proud with the Yellow Jackets joining the Dookies in the Final Four. But my money is still on UConn to win it all.

This just in, NASCAR Nextel Cup officials have ordered a complete investigation into why Dale Earnhardt Jr. did not win Sunday’s Food City 500 at Bristol Motor Speedway. They gave &uot;Little E&uot; all the chances in the world to get himself back into contention, with all those late-race caution periods. The sad part was that Dale Jr. couldn’t steer the Budweiser Chevy straight and was the reason for two of those caution periods.

How much is enough when it comes to the price of gas? If you’re like me – PPP (a poor, pitiful pacifist) – then you must be thinking a securing a second job just to keep up with the rising price of oil. This latest wave of price spikes – up from $1.49 per gallon when the United States launched its assault on Iraq to $1.72 on Friday of last week – continues along the old &uot;supply and demand&uot; theory; demand is high and supply is low. Perhaps if we all chose about a one-week span from where we do not purchase a single drop of petro, maybe the major oil dealers would be forced to sell their high-demand product at a cheaper rate.

While on the subject of skyrocketing prices, why is it a big &uot;no-no&uot; for Americans to purchase cheaper pharmaceuticals from Canada while at the same time our countrymen (and women) are losing their jobs by the hundreds of thousands to cheaper labor markets overseas? As far as I’m concerned, it’s the old &uot;double whammy&uot; standard – it’s okay for American-based businesses to ship their products elsewhere for completion, but don’t dare try to take money from the heavily laden pockets of HMO’s and the pharmaceutical industry. After all, they’re the ones with enough clout (a fancy word for tons of cash) to control the political process in Washington.

This just in – on Thursday, the North Carolina Independent Schools Athletic Association is set to announce sweeping changes regarding the recruitment of student-athletes. Ironically, Thursday is April Fools Day.

Did you hear last week about the pair of pre-school students who, in unrelated incidents, brought marijuana and crack cocaine to class. These innocent young souls said they respectively thought the drugs were oregano and flour. I sure would like to see the recipes their parents are using.

Speaking of school kids, what’s up with all the violence in the classroom? Last week, I read in our sister publication – the Suffolk News-Herald – where a student severely beat a teacher. Whatever happened to respect?

I can identify the root of this ever-growing problem. It’s a sign of the times. All these &uot;soccer moms&uot; do not have time to feed their kids a hearty breakfast. For them its get the kids up at the last possible second, offer them a banana or perhaps a bran muffin for breakfast and then whisk the kids off to school. By the time they arrive to start the school day, the kids are mad because they didn’t get a good breakfast.

Whatever happened to the good-old days when moms got up, slapped some lard into a huge frying pan, plopped in a pound or two of bacon and then a dozen eggs. Top that off with hot, buttered (real butter, not that low-fat junk) toast covered with jelly (not some fancy-dancy fruit spread). When you wash that all down with a tall glass of ice cold chocolate milk, then all you want to do at school is sit and learn. You’re too bloated to commit acts of violence.

As a sidebar to this, if these soccer moms will start putting some real food into their kid’s book bags to take for lunch, then there’s no room for guns or drugs!