As many of you know, my grandfather recently died and we (the family) are uncovering many things unknown or long forgotten while sorting their stuff. (On a personal note, special thanks to my mom for all the work she is doing in largely spearheading this thankless and at times heart-wrenching process.)

One thing that was uncovered was this printed poem by John Guy Britton (my grandmother’s father) in 1943. The copyright resides with him and his side of the family, but I wanted to copy it up here as I thought it was appropriate for our times today as well.

A part’s lost from our washer, the darn thing’s made of brass
but we’ll get along without it, Like we’re doing ‘bout the gas

The belt’s off the cleaner, That we use to clean the rooms
But Grandma’s house was always clean, And all she had were brooms

The refrigerator’s on the blink, It used to work real nice
But we’ll go back a few decades, And buy some cakes of ice

And now the oil for heating, Is pretty hard to get
so we’ll use the good old fireplace, And we’ll be warm, I’ll bet

What if we’re cool in other rooms? None of us should care
We’ll go through the trunks of yesteryear, For heavier underwear

And soon I’ll have no tires, I don’t intend to cuss
For when they’re run down to the quick, I’ll just block up the bus

They say they want my bumpers, To keep Hitler on the jump
O.K. – with no gas or tires, My car won’t be there to bump

My suit’s all right but looks so queer, With no cuffs of double flares
I never was a fashion-plate, So I just say, “Who cares?”

My coffee’s flat, so it my tea, And yours is too, no doubt
But I’ll just grin and see how quick, I’ll learn to do without

Now these are the frightful hardships, The Home Front has to suffer
So let us stop and think a bit, Could it be any tougher?

Well, we’re not in concentration camps, Our kids are still well fed
No bombs drop through out roofs at night, While we’re asleep in bed

And all the farmers raise, we get, It’s all for our boys – or home
While the cream of the crop on the other side, Goes to Berlin and Rome

We’re free to enjoy our radios, On short waves or on long
Foreign or domestic, In any Nation’s tongue

Our press is free to criticize, We get unaltered news
And we may vote for whom we wish, we’re not told whom to choose

And we may worship as we please, We can run our Congress down
We may even ride our President, And really ‘go to town’

We should be quite happy too, We have no Himmlers here
No Quislings or Lavals to hate, No Gestapo to fear

So compare your hardships and blessings, with those of across the seas
And the very next time you pity yourself, Just stop – and get down on your knees

J.G. Britton
Lansdowne, PA

Over a year ago I wrote about Matt who has traveled the world dancing poorly and loving every minute of it.  Well, he has put out a third video, so I wanted to make sure that my couple readers were aware.

Where the Hell is Matt? (2008) from Matthew Harding on Vimeo.

Also, turns out many people have started spoofing his idea, and I was shocked to even see that someone has done it in World of Warcraft too… amazing.

Arguably the most recognizable athlete worldwide.  An amazing footballing talent.  Star midfielder and captain for his international team.  Superstar of Manchester United – the reigning title holder of both the EPL and Champions League and the most valuable sports brand in the world.

If I was writing this 6 years ago, everyone would know I was speaking of superstar David Beckham, right before he moved from Manchester United to Real Madrid and is now playing for LA Galaxy.  

An eerily similar script is unfolding before our eyes today, with Cristiano Ronaldo, the new Beckham.  Yes, Ronaldo is flirting with the idea of following in Beck’s footsteps even more by moving to Real Madrid.  If you are interested in this, plenty of sports writers are discussing it, check one of them out.  To be honest, I couldn’t care less.  That’s right, I really don’t care.  

What I do care about regarding this situation is the comments that have been made by FIFA head Sepp Blatter.  Blatter said that Ronaldo should be free to pursue a transfer to Real Madrid rather than be kept to the contract that he signed 18 months ago.  Fine that is all well and good.  However the “Mad Blatter” had to continue talking, and in those remarks, he went on to compare poor Ronaldo’s situation to “modern slavery”.  

Yes, slavery.

When asked about Blatter’s comments regarding slavery Ronaldo, the portugese international said, “I agree with the statements of [Blatter] … What he said is correct.  You know what I said, what I want and what I would like.  Now I have to wait and see what happens.”

Wow. Ronaldo who just signed a 5 year contract a mere 18 months ago feels treated like a slave.  A contract that pays him a mere $238,000 per week.  Yes, I said per week, as in there are 52 of them a year.

To compare this spoiled brat to a slave is an insult to slaves.  Ronaldo makes more money than he and his friends and his family could even think of spending.  He lives like a king in a great country.  He works out and plays a sport he loves 40 weeks of the year, and gets 12 weeks of vacation.  

If he doesn’t like it, he can quit, and go into another line of work (unlike slaves).  Now there isn’t another line of work that can offer him the limelight that his ego craves or a ludacris salary like that… so if he is complaining that the team that is paying him so much has requested that he not play for a rival team, that doesn’t seem like it is asking too much.  

Grow up Cristiano.  What little respect I had for you (off the field) has all officially eroded away.  I hope Man U “puts you out to pasture” by trading you to Real Madrid and you rot in the Spanish sun like so many others have.  

During the off-season for the EPL, news of player signings tend to dominate the headlines and tide the fans over until the games start again.  Sadly, Everton made the news this week for a tragic reason.  Joseph Yobo, one of Everton’s starting defenders, recently confirmed that his brother has been kidnapped in his home  country of Nigeria.

Authorities are assuming that this will be like many other kidnapping cases in the impoverished region, wait for the ransom, pay it, and he will be returned.  It is hard to imagine that there are cultures where this is commonplace and where it is almost an accepted practice.  So sad.

While getting lunch with an old college friend today at Big Al’s Sports Bar I noticed an athletic looking guy walk in.  His haircut was a little strange, but I didn’t give it much more of a thought. Later, our waiter (who was a legit sports fan, so that was fun) came by and asked us if we were UFC fans.  We both said we are familar with it, but not really “fans” and he pointed at the athletic guy with the strange hair and said that he was the winner of the Ultimate Fighter (a reality tv show on Spike).  

A google search later, and sure enough, today I was sitting 10 feet away from Amir Sadollah. Apparently Amir just won the UFC sponsored Ultimate Fighter 4 days ago – and I didn’t see a bruise or cut on him (not that I really looked close).   

I haven’t watched mixed martial arts fighting in a few years, but one of my old roommates liked it and we’d watch matches frequently.  Kind of fun.  He was very kind to the fans that came up to him (took a few pictures and gave out some signed photos).  Seemed like a humble and very likeable guy.  Glad he is representing Richmond and Tucker High School well and hope he continues to.  So the next time I cross SpikeTV while flipping channels, I’ll take a moment to see if Amir is on and root for one of Richmond’s own.