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Monday, December 15, 2008

Rod Blagojevich - The Sad Part


Rod Blagojevich - OUT OF WIND
Originally uploaded by craynol

Although though a lot of Chicagoans will tell you that they're not surprised by RB's behavior, I AM surprised - and sad.
You see, Rod was my neighbor for 3 years. When you see CNN broadcasting live at his home, they're standing in my (old) front yard. It's true that I moved away from Chicago in 2004, so I've not been around for most of the "troubles," and maybe that makes it easier for me to feel for this man and his family.
My experience with RB was limited. In fact, I would tell you that he wasn't an engaged neighbor. He never made any effort to get to know any of us. But I do have a couple of connections. The first is that he has a daughter just a few years older than my own. She used to like to come and play with my daughter when she was very little - and she was precocious, but sweet. I can only imagine what this must be like for her.
The second experience is more personal and more powerful. It happened on September 11, 2001. I had just made the call to shut down my company for the day and get our employees home. If you remember back to that day (and who can't), you'll probably remember just being stunned . . . as if the whole world had changed. The old rules for behavior didn't really apply. We didn't really know what to do.
When I got back to my house, RB, was sitting on his stoop talking on the phone. At the time, he was my congressman, and was just starting to look like he might be a political player - an up-and-comer. He had just moved in, and I'd never spoken to him before.
I walked across the street and introduced myself. I knew that Congress was trying to figure out how to get back to Washington with the travel bans in place, so I asked if he knew what his plan was - and he didn't. He seemed as stunned as everyone else. I asked him what he thought we ought to be doing - how we could best help. And his response stuck with me. He said, "All we can do right now is to support each other, and support President Bush."
Profound? I guess not. But there was something about the utter helplessness (and completely non-partisan-ness) of it that felt very real, very honest and very admirable.
Anyway, when I heard that he had sunk so low as to try to sell a Senate seat - and that his wife was hip-deep as well, those are the things I thought of. And that's why it makes me sad. Wasn't there more potential than that?

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Crumple It Up!



I've been working for the last few months on designing a web site that the Innovation Center (the part of Humana where I work) could call home. We're doing some pretty unique work, and we wanted to create a place where we could showcase our work, our people, and the things we're interested in.

Last week, CrumpleItUp went live. The Crumple It Up name refers to the Innovation process . . . we do a lot of experimentation, moving quickly, testing, revising and moving on - often going back to the drawing board. Another principle that's represented on the site is that we want to go where people already are; to design products and services that they already care about. That's why almost all of the site's content resides elsewhere on the web . . . on YouTube, Facebook, Flickr, Blogspot, Twitter, etc.

Anyway, we haven't done any formal PR on the site, and probably won't. Just like all of our work, the site is experimental - it's going to grow and change based on factors we can't even imagine today. But I'd love your feedback on it; I'm particularly interested in your reaction to the Blog, which we'll be updating a few times every week. Feel free to comment on the individual posts or right back here. Enjoy!

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Big A gets Goofy



As many of you know, our family made its first trip to DisneyWorld as a 4-person unit last week. We had a great time, and did all of the great Magic Kingdom stuff (including lunch in Cinderella's Castle - rock on!) and added the Hollywood Studios and Epcot to the agenda as well. I wasn't too sure whether Avery would prove to be as brave as her sister (who is a roller-coaster nut), but she did us proud. She went on every ride she was tall enough to ride, and even loved the "scarier" rides like Haunted Mansion and Pirates of the Caribbean (which, incidentally, is aka "Pirates in the Carivvean" according to Big A).

Anyway, her reaction to the thrill-rides was so great that I thought I'd try to videotape one . . . which turned out pretty well. Enjoy.

Friday, October 31, 2008

An Interview with 2 Princesses

How to Trick-or-Treat



Avery instructs the viewer on how trick-or-treating works.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

The Danish Dance of Greeting



I'll apologize in advance for the length of this clip, and promise to replace it soon with an edited version. However, it was so cute that I wanted to post it right away. As you'll see, Avery is absolutely loving her ballet class - and is actually doing pretty well. I also think that this song - and particularly the voiceover - is hilarious. You'll find yourself chanting "Run . . . on your . . . tippytoes" for hours on end.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Campout


Girls in the tent
Originally uploaded by ChiMoose

Continuing on the theme of "our summer of firsts," Ellie and I decided to take advantage of the fact that our neighborhood was without power and camp out. Ellie has been asking to do that all summer, and we finally found the perfect time.
The girls and I set up the tent together on Friday afternoon, and we borrowed a couple of lanterns (which, as you can see in the picture, were a perfect complement to the tent). The girls actually had dinner in there! When it got dark, the whole family came in to read stories by lamplight, then Avery and Amy went inside to go to bed. Ellie and I read for a bit longer, and then we both conked out. She slept like a rock . . . I felt like I slept ON a rock.
Anyway, it was a great experience, and we may do it again, as we are now on day 9 with no power . . . and getting along fine.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Check Me Out on Freewheelin

Freewheelin Community

For those of you who've been wondering what I've been up to this week, I am in Denver for the Democratic National Convention. Before anyone freaks out, you should know that next week I will be at the Republican National Convention in Minneapolis. Why? Because my company, Humana, is co-sponsoring an amazing free bikesharing program called Freewheelin.

We have been the darlings of the DNC, appearing in literally hundreds of publications in the last few months. We're trying everything we can to spread the word, so please take a look at our web site . . . you can check out our blog, live webcams from our stations, and photostreams taken by our riders.

Appreciate your support, friends and family - and I'll see you in September!

Thursday, August 14, 2008

My first bike ride!


My first bike ride!
Originally uploaded by ChiMoose

Some of you may know this already, but Ellie has just learned to ride her two-wheeler! We were so excited. We used a new (to me, at least) technique . . . Before ever trying to pedal, Ellie just practiced gliding down a gentle slope, trying to keep her balance. She'd kick herself back up whenever she found herself leaning.
After 4-5 times, she could go for 50 feet without her feet touching the ground - and then she was ready to pedal! Within 3-4 more trips, she could go all the way around her school parking lot by herself. It was incredible!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Ellies first day 2008


Ellies first day 2008
Originally uploaded by ChiMoose

Well, it's that time of year again. My Ellie is 8 years old and off to the 3rd grade at Goshen school!
She was up early and was really excited to go to Mrs. Parrott's class. Mrs. P came to our house last week for a home visit to get to know Ellie, which went a long way toward making her feel comfortable.
Ellie had sewn a little stuffed elephant that she gave to Mrs. P - and it is displayed proudly in the classroom! Off to a good start; Avery goes back next week.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Freewheelin Program in the Courier Journal


This is a nice Op/Ed piece from the Monday Louisville Courier Journal . . . this is the program that I've been focused on for the last month or so . . . take a look by clicking the link above!

Monday, August 11, 2008

Turnabout



I figured that since I have embarrassed Avery in this space, I ought to be fair and embarrass myself as well. When Avery and Ellie made their Wii boxing video, there was another video made . . . featuring their father, a chronic overacter. Enjoy - at my expense!

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Oldham County, Kentucky


Oldham County, Kentucky
Originally uploaded by Wandering Photo Nut

I thought it'd be nice to start this gorgeous summer day with a tribute to God's creation . . . at least the little corner of it that we live in. I complain sometimes about the bucolic nature of our current surroundings. But the truth of the matter is that this part of the country is just about the prettiest anywhere . . . and this photo reminded me of that. Good morning, everyone!

Friday, August 1, 2008

Test post!

Sorry to my loyal readers, but I am testing an email-based post. I will be live-blogging at the political conventions this summer for freewheelin, and am trying to figure out how . . .
I'll keep you "posted" as I work out the details.
Gm


Greg Matthews
Director, Consumer Innovation
Humana, Inc.
W: (502) 580-8341
C: (502) 550-6817
[This Message is being Sent via Blackberry]

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Humana's New Healthy Recipe Widget

Check out this new widget we've developed to bring healthy recipes to you every day . . . just grab it and pull it back to your own page!

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Big A gets her game on

More Torch Lake Pics





Torch Lake and the 4th


Yep, I know it took me a while to get around to this post, but I've had to get it just perfectly laid out mentally before trying to write it (yeah, right!).
My family spent the long 4th of July weekend in northern Michigan (see Alden, MI if you're a google mapper) on Torch Lake with Amy's parents, aunt, sister and our niece and nephew. This is the second time we've made this trip, which involves the investment of a 10-hour drive. This year, we solved the driving problem by letting each girl watch her own movie . . . Ellie watched the 4 Star Wars movies she's allowed to see on BOTH legs of the trip!
Anyway, the experience is always a great one . . . starting with Chez Maxene for breakfast (my M-i-L is an amazing cook) and then off to the lake for swimming, sunning and kayaking. If you haven't been to Torch Lake before, it is quite the experience . . . a perfectly clear, spring-fed glacial lake (no seaweed), it is caribbean-clear. We played a little golf, had family Wii tournaments when it was time to get out of the sun, and closed every day with a campfire by the lake (yes, of COURSE we had s'mores!). According to my kids, the only downer (aside from leaving) was that we were far enough from the ALden fireworks (over the lake, by the way) that they weren't loud enough! Can't wait to get back . . .

Friday, July 11, 2008

The Bike-sharing Blog: Democrats and Republicans to Have Bike-sharing at Conventions

The Bike-sharing Blog: Democrats and Republicans to Have Bike-sharing at Conventions

I was thrilled to see that the Bike-Sharing Blog included a topic on Humana's sponsorship of its Freewheelin bikesharing program at the Democratic and Republican National Conventions later this month.

I've been working on the social media strategy for these mega-events, and this kind of publicity is fantastic. Thanks, Bike-Sharing Blog!

Friday, June 20, 2008

Join the Conversation

I've recently been reading Join the Conversation by Joseph Jaffe.
As most of you know, one of my many jobs at Humana is to design new products and services that consumers really want and need relative to their health. One of the challenges of that job is that most (OK, all) consumers of health insurance don't really think that they need anything from their health insurer except the prompt and accurate payment of their claims (and perhaps a lower premium!).
But the fact is that we, as the insurer, are in a position to be pretty helpful to people who are interested in health. That's why we've created programs like Games for Health that have been so well-received.
But I digress. I was talking about Joseph Jaffe. In one section of his book, Jaffe documents the exploits of a guy called Tom Locke who decided to write to a number of different companies to ask for free stuff. To nobody's surprise, most of them told him to jump in a lake - or just didn't respond. Jaffe posits that these companies were missing an opportunity to create a relationship with a devoted customer (or to create a devoted customer from one who was merely a customer before).
To be honest, I found myself being sympathetic with the companies who suggested that Mr. Locke should take a hike.
I think that Jaffe is right about one thing; companies should be able to recognize the customers who love them, and LOVE THEM BACK. Example: I'm not a crazy-shopper or anything, but I have found a kind of pen I really like. In fact, I liked the pen well enough to a) buy them on my own, because my company's supplier doesn't carry them; b) go to an inconvenient office supply store because they're the only place in Louisville who carries the pen and c) order 2 dozen refills from the ONLY online source for them (the manufacturer doesn't sell direct to consumers). I even created a page on Squidoo to tell the world about this pen.
The point of all this is that Zebra pens should definitely be loving me. But is there really any reason for Target to be loving Tom Locke? I'm not so sure, Mr. Jaffe.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

I'm Back


Well, it's been a VERY long time since my last post. I had the unfortunate experience of having my hard drive crash (and I was never a very good backer-upper) and then the fortunate experience of going to China (see communist group photo). But for my 3 loyal readers, I wanted to be sure to report that I am back on the air.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Humana's Games for Health

Humana Games for Health
Humana has launched a new web site focusing on our Games for Health initiative (something that my Consumer Innovations team is working on). We sponsored this year's Games for Health conference (Games for Health Conference) which has been a raging success.

This is one example of the innovative work we're doing to help people get healthier by making health fun and entertaining. At the conference, we presented the results of our Horsepower Challenge game, which was created for the Jefferson County Public Schools. As a result of this game, the participating 6th graders increased their "Steps per day" by 47%!

I'm really proud of my team and my company for pioneering in this exciting space.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Swinging into Birthday Time

We celebrated Avery's birthday last week at Louisville Gymnastics with all of her friends from the Bear Cubs class at preschool. Good time was had by all!

Avery's Birthday Announcement

Being 4 is pretty cool.

Friday, May 2, 2008

Insurer's Aren't to Blame for High Health Care Costs

Link Here
Working for a health insurance company, I am used to being the whipping boy . . . nobody really seems to love their health insurer. Some of that is well-earned; in my opinion much is not. However, you almost never see articles that shine the spotlight somewhere other than private insurers or medicare. This article in Slate magazine has a different perspective that I felt was noteworthy enough to . . . well, to NOTE. Curious to hear what my thousands of readers think.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Ellie's 8th Birthday Party



We had a great time at Ellie's 8th birthday party at Louisville Gymnastics this weekend . . . this little clip is of Avery being rolled along in a huge tube . . .

2 Mermaids


Attached is Avery's most recent masterpiece. She has been drawing typical 3-year-old things . . . mostly scribbles, sometimes a simple face. We were pretty shocked when she produced this doozy . . . two mermaids called Avery and Ellie. Think that we may have another talent on our hands!

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

My Models


Some friends of my in-laws, the Zamataros, recently took this picture of Amy and Avery. The scanned version isn't of great quality, but I loved the picture so much that I had to post it anyway . . . are these girls beautiful, or what? I am blessed!

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Newport Aquarium





I took the day off on Friday (the last day of Spring Break) to take the kids to the Newport Aquarium in Cincinnati. We had a fantastic time, highlighted by getting to pet sharks in the tank (see the pic of Ellie and Avery doing so).
We'll definitely be back.

The Bluegrass Stakes





Our friends Grant and Christine Hofmans graciously invited us to attend the Bluegrass Stakes (the last major Derby Prep race) in Lexington today. Grant's dad, David Hofmans, had a horse running in the event, so we had the added excitement of getting Paddock Passes for the event. We arrived a little late, and the office had run out of event passes, so they gave us all-access passes for the entire spring meet at Keeneland!
We were there as Grant saddled the horse and helped onboard the jockey, Michael Baze, then watched the race from the winner's circle (where I am pictured with the bugler who called the horses to the track!). After the race, I was able to get winning jockey Edgar Prado to sign a baseball for my collection. It was quite a day!

Friday, April 11, 2008

Insurers Seek Balance in Web 2.0 Projects - Insurance & Technology

Insurers Seek Balance in Web 2.0 Projects - Insurance & Technology

I am quoted in this article in Insurance and Technology Magazine . . . I think that this is my first professional appearance in a trade journal. How exciting!

Digg!

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

St. Patrick's Day




Our girls love their holidays . . . and I managed to catch up with these adorable leprechauns!

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Snowmen and Snowsuits



I had a chance to build a snowman today with Avery . . . and it gave me flashbacks to building snowmen with Ellie at the same age. I was able to dig out this photo from the winter of 2003 (on top) and took this pic of Avery today (below) . . . note the outfits! Hannah Anderson sure makes durable snow-gear!

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Michael Flowers' New Inspiration

I saw this video on the Big Ten Network before the IU game tonight, and was really moved. You can now count me as a Michael Flowers fan - even though he torched IU this year!

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Ellie's Basketball











As many of you know, I had the pleasure (joy, really) of coaching Ellie's basketball team. We had our last game on Saturday, and the team did just great (again!). Thought that I would share some fun pictures of the season that one of the team parents was kind enough to take.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

"The Hug"

Hoosiers gut out win in Evanston Inside the Hall An Indiana basketball blog
For you Hoosier fans out there, I hope that you had an opportunity to see Dan Dakich's on-court post-game interview with Shon Morris of the Big Ten Network.
After Dakich gave an emotional but very thoughtful interview, crediting coach Sampson for building an outstanding team, DJ White grabbed Dakich and gave him a big hug.
We've been reading about how distraught the team has been (understandably) at losing the leader of their "Second family." And rumors that the players favored having assistant coach Ray McCallum take over the team instead of Dakich. DJ's wordless "Statement" sent a huge message that this team is still together, and that Dakich is their recognized NEW leader. Let's hope that this team can pick up the pieces from the Sampson debacle (which, while it may have reached the right decision, the University bungled horribly) and move on to dominate the Big Ten and the NCAA tournament.

Monday, February 11, 2008

The Matthews Family Meets the Shrine Circus



We all went to the Shrine Circus on Sunday night. It was a wonderful time; the smiles of delight on the girls' faces were priceless. Avery's favorite were the tigers and lion; she was amazed by the tigers jumping through the ring of fire. Ellie's favorite (and mine) were the trapeze artists. I am always amazed by that display of talent. Amy and I were wondering how much these incredible artists are paid; we were guessing not very much.

At right, Ellie and Avery had the singular experience of riding an elephant during the intermission. Think it's easy to tell that they are having fun!

Friday, February 1, 2008

ABC News: Whole Foods: A Whole New Approach to Employees' Health Coverage

ABC News: Whole Foods: A Whole New Approach to Employees' Health Coverage
This is a great article about Health Savings Accounts. I have been on a plan like this for the last 3 years, and think that it is the best thing since sliced bread. A lot of people (and employers) are fearful about "high deductible health plans." And why wouldn't they be, with that name?
But we have reached a point that people need to be personally engaged in the health decisions they make - and that means sharing in the understanding of financing health. And smart companies (mine included) are softening the blow by doing things like contributing to employees' HSAs (this is YOUR MONEY!) and covering preventive care at 100% (annual physicals, mammograms, etc.).
In the past 3 years, I have not spent a single dollar "out of pocket" on health care for my family - including prescriptions. Yes, I contribute to this HSA every month. But it comes out of my paycheck on a pre-tax basis, and it goes along with an incredibly low premium - which means that I only pay for the healthcare that I use. With conventional plans, if I don't use the healthcare system much, I am actually overpaying. With an HSA, any money I don't use is MINE, and is growing (still on a pretax basis) in my HSA investment account.
If your employer offers a plan like this, you need to do the math . . . put an excel sheet together. Chances are you're going to see an opportunity to save a lot of money. And if your employer DOESN'T offer an HDHP with a Health Savings Account, you should be insisting that they do. Yes, I work for a health insurance company - but I wouldn't say it here if I didn't really believe it.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

3 Little Witches

Avery was a big fan of Halloween this year, and learned a great Halloween song in her Bear Cubs class at St. Francis. Back by popular demand; Avery the singer!

Ellie's Silly Christmas Song

I made the mistake of teaching Ellie and Avery a rather silly version of "We Three Kings" - which they immediately memorized and sung constantly over the holidays. Somehow, this version doesn't capture the somber nature of the original! Luckily their Grandma Marty taught them the real version too.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

The Passage on my mind: Nehemiah 6:10-14

BibleGateway.com: Search for a Bible passage in over 35 languages and 50 versions.
My Sunday school class has been studying Nehemiah for some time, which has been great. My old testament knowledge is even further behind than that of the New - which is nothing to write home about. Anyway, last week was an epiphany for me, and its been on my mind ever since. Here's the passage that has me buzzing:

10 One day I went to Shemaiah's house. He was the son of Delaiah. Delaiah was the son of Mehetabel. Shemaiah had shut himself up in his home. He said, "Let's go to God's house. Let's meet inside the temple. Let's close the temple doors. Some people want to kill you. They will come at night."
11 But I said, "Should a man like me run away? Should someone like me go into the temple just to save his life? No! I won't go!"
12 I realized that God hadn't sent Shemaiah. Tobiah and Sanballat had hired him. That's why he had prophesied lies about me. 13 They had hired him to scare me. They wanted me to commit a sin by doing what he said. That would give me a bad name in the community. People would find fault with me and my work.
14 You are my God. Remember what Tobiah and Sanballat have done. Also remember the prophet Noadiah. She and the rest of the prophets have been trying to scare me.

Here's the thing (because it's probably not obvious): Someone was trying to trick N into entering the temple - the holy of holies - to save himself from (nonexistent) assassins. For most people (including me) this would have been pretty tempting. In fact, I think that I would have been great at rationalizing it. "I am the governor of Jerusalem - and the people are in a delicate state. Our enemies are literally at the gates. If I were to fall now, all of our work would have been for nought. The people need me - more than God needs me to keep his commandments about the temple."

But N didn't even think about it. He obeyed first; knowing that once you've disobeyed once, it's too late to go back. And when you obey, God always shows you that there was some really good reason to do so.

So what's it mean to me? Put God first. Don't rationalize in order to be able to follow my own will or the expedient course. It takes courage to obey - and I have been praying for it every day.

Monday, January 14, 2008

When a health insurer says it won't pay | Philadelphia Inquirer | 01/13/2008

When a health insurer says it won't pay Philadelphia Inquirer 01/13/2008
This is a pretty nicely balanced article about the tragic case of Nataline Sarkisyan, the 17-year-old girl who died while waiting for an experimental liver transplant.
The ethics of this case are very tricky. We Americans are rightly emotional about children, and have a passion for against-the-odds rescues. There are some pretty intelligent suggestions in this article about new criteria that could be used by insurers and employers to evaluate this kind of situation.

Friday, January 11, 2008

Christmas Angels


I thought that you might like to see these pictures of our Christmas angels. Also, if you're interested I have added a new feature to the blog. By entering your email address in the "Subscribe to Bluegrass Adventures" blog, you can get an email notification whenever I add a new post. Enjoy!

Thursday, January 10, 2008

President Bush in Palestine

NPR : Bush Offers Peacemaking Checklist
I heard about this piece on NPR this morning, and was pretty intrigued by some of the nuances. One of the things that is mentioned only briefly is a comment by the President referenced in the radio piece. President Bush said something like, "I now have a deeper understanding of why the Palestinian people are so frustrated by this situation."
It doesn't sound like much, but when a world leader makes a statement like that, it has diplomatic consequences. It tells me that the President is ready to throw the weight of the US behind a solution that will end illegal Israeli occupation. I am no fan of the President, but this seems very promising. I'm glad that we're finally taking real steps to address this crisis.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Transparency Hits Hotels

Reviews of vacations, hotels, resorts, vacation and travel packages - TripAdvisor
TrendWatching.com tweaked me to this web site today . . . which includes over 10 million hotel reviews, most of which are provided in great, entertaining detail by users. I will never travel blind again.

This is one of many web portals that are truly putting the power in the hands of the consumer; any company that doesn't take this trend seriously does so at their own peril.

Indiana Struggles to its first Big 10 win

NCAA Basketball - Indiana Hoosiers/Iowa Hawkeyes Box Score Wednesday January 2, 2008 - Yahoo! Sports
This is just what I was afraid of . . . Indiana reverts to its Xavier form in beating a weak Iowa team. The game wasn't really as close as the score indicated, and I'm not worried about the late-game heroics displayed by Iowa's Justin Johnson, who went unconscious at just the right time.
But I am worried about a few things, in no particular order:
- Too often IU reverted to pure 1x1 play, forcing quick shots both inside and outside. We showed on occasion how we could break down the defense with good screens, penetration and dishing off. But too often Gordon, Ellis and Crawford forced the action unnecessarily.
- Sampson's substitution pattern was strange and disconcerting. We have DJ, Gordon and Ellis on the court for long, long stretches when things aren't working in the offense, and the defense is breaking down. I want to see more rapid substitutions, and think that Brandon McGee needs to be in the rotation from time to time.
- I don't understand what happened to Armon Bassett. Was he hurt? In the doghouse? On the bench, he didn't seem to be hurt or particularly chastised, so I am not sure why we didn't see more of him on a night when Crawford was spotty at best.
- DeAndre Thomas had some good opportunities, but was too tentative on some (forget the shot fake when you're inside 5 feet, Dre. Power up!) and too aggressive at others (backcourt foul on the defensive end - just silly). More playing time should help him to smooth out these aspects of his game.

On the plus side, Jamarcus Ellis kept us in this game late in the first half and early in the second half with clutch rebounds, baskets and defensive stands. DJ was dominant on the boards at times - including some key ones. And when Gordon really wants to score, he is pretty darn tough to stop.

It's good that we have weak sister Michigan next, although they showed some solid flashes against a very tough Wisconsin team tonight. Onward and upward!

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

IU Rocks!



Amy and I had the good fortune (thanks to my parents and Lee and Helen Butler) to sit courtside as IU crushed Chicago State in Bloomington on December 29.

The Hoosiers are looking really good against the cupcakes. However, much as Kelvin Sampson might want to deny it, I think that this schedule is going to wind up hurting us. It's given us some practice in running an offense (as opposed to the constant 1x1 that we've seen against real teams) but I am worried about our first test on the road against a Big 10 contender.

Luckily, we get to start off at Iowa and Michigan; it couldn't get much easier (although it's NEVER easy on the Big 10 on the road!). I enjoyed watching Iowa struggle against Southeastern Louisiana; I predict that we will see a different Hawkeye team show up tomorrow.

Louisville's Top 10




Politics in Kentucky

This has been an incredible year for Louisville . . . a year when many things begun. As an "outsider" in the community, I often dwell on the bad stuff (no-fault insurance, double the income tax of Illinois, stupid educational requirements from uninformed state legislators), but most of that stuff is coming from Frankfort.
Louisville and its mayor, Jerry Abramson, have big dreams. See the linked list above, and the art here . . . the downtown arena and museum plaza are going to change the face of the city, quite literally. To see how these proposed landmarks will look in the context of Louisville's skyline, see the photo collage at the top of this blog . . . oh yeah, and happy new year!