Thursday, August 28, 2008

Babb on China

Geoff Babb, the Foreign Area Officer for China at the Army's Command and General Staff College, is my guest this morning at 9 a.m. This map is a reference for his appearance. We aim to serve and educate. I have to tell you, I visited with Geoff last week and in 30 minutes learned more about China and her people than in the rest of my years put together. He's also a lot of fun. Listen in online at, or on your AM dial at 1440. Up before Geff is Paul McGuire from the Bureau of Land Management on their mustang adoption program, and afterwards, Jane Tetuan, author and cancer survivor.

We're always visiting with someone interesting and invite your calls. 877-297-1440.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Why, I Ask, Why?

Why did the chicken cross the road?
BARACK OBAMA: The chicken crossed the road because it was time for a change! The chicken wanted change!
JOHN MC CAIN: My friends, that chicken crossed the road because he recognized the need to engage in cooperation and dialogue with all the chickens on the other side of the road.
HILLARY CLINTON: When I was First Lady, I personally helped that little chicken to cross the road. This experience makes me uniquely qualified to ensure - right from Day One! - that every chicken in this country gets the chance it deserves to cross the road. But then, this really isn't about me.
GEORGE W. BUSH: We don't really care why the chicken crossed the road. We just want to know if the chicken is on our side of the road, or not. The chicken is either against us, or for us. There is no middle ground here.
DICK CHENEY: Where's my gun?
COLIN POWELL: Now to the left of the screen, you can clearly see the satellite image of the chicken crossing the road
BILL CLINTON: I did not cross the road with that chicken. What is your definition of crossing?
AL GORE: I invented the chicken.
JOHN KERRY: Although I voted to let the chicken cross the road, I am now against it! It was the wrong road to cross, and I was misled about the chicken's intentions. I am not for it now, and will remain against it.
AL SHARPTON: Why are all the chickens white? We need some black chickens.
DR. PHIL: The problem we have here is that this chicken won't realize that he must first deal with the problem on this side of the road before it goes after the problem on the other side of the road. What we need to do is help him realize how stupid he's acting by not taking on his current problems before adding new problems.
OPRAH: Well, I understand that the chicken is having problems, which is why he wants to cross this road so bad. So instead of having the chicken learn from his mistakes and take falls, which is a part of life, I'm going to give this chicken a car so that he can just drive across the road and not live his life like the rest of the chickens.
ANDERSON COOPER, CNN: We have reason to believe there is a chicken, but we have not yet been allowed to have access to the other side of the road.
NANCY GRACE: That chicken crossed the road because he's guilty! You can see it in his eyes and the way he walks.
PAT BUCHANAN: To steal the job of a decent, hardworking American.
MARTHA STEWART: No one called me to warn me which way that chicken was going. I had a standing order at the Farmer's Market to sell my eggs when the price dropped to a certain level. No little bird gave me any insider information.
DR SEUSS: Did the chicken cross the road? Did he cross it with a toad? Yes, the chicken crossed the road, but why it crossed I've not been told.
ERNEST HEMINGWAY: To die in the rain, alone.
JERRY FALWELL: Because the chicken was gay! Can't you people see the plain truth? That's why they call it the ‘other side.' Yes, my friends , that chicken is gay. And if you eat that chicken, you will become gay, too. I say we boycott all chickens until we sort out this abomination that the liberal media whitewashes with seemingly harmless phrases like ‘the other side.' That chicken should not be crossing the road. It's as plain and as simple as that.
GRANDPA: In my day we didn't ask why the chicken crossed the road. Somebody told us the chicken crossed the road, and that was good enough.
BARBARA WALTERS: Isn't that interesting? In a few moments, we will be listening to the chicken tell, for the first time, the heart warming story of how it experienced a serious case of molting, and went on to accomplish its lifelong dream of crossing the road.
ARISTOTLE: It is the nature of chickens to cross the road.
JOHN LENNON: Imagine all the chickens in the world crossing roads together, in peace.
BILL GATES: I have just released eChicken2008, which will not only cross roads, but will lay eggs, file your important documents, and balance your checkbook. Internet Explorer is an integral part of eChicken2008. This new platformis much more stable and will never cra...#@& &^(C%..........reboot.
ALBERT EINSTEIN: Did the chicken really cross the road, or did the road move beneath the chicken?
COLONEL SANDERS: Did I miss one?

From my bud, John Arnold. Visit him at Oh, and also visit the good folks at What a fowl site!

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Oklahoma Cattle Hauler

Some photos defy words. From my friend, Cheryl, who lived in Oklahoma and saw this very vehicle and this very bovine with her very own eyes.

Or not.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Birthday Salutes

Today is the birthday of Neville Brand (third from left), a character actor I came to know and love through the TV series, Laredo. I was already in love with his costar, Peter Brown (swoon, of Lawman fame, second from left). Add hunks Phillip Carey (left) and William Smith (far right, and see more below) and there's no wonder why I was a fanatical viewer. Brand was a veteran of WWII, and his career is detailed in this article on Combat's website: It's great reading and corrects some of the misconceptions about Brand's military career. Brand died in 1991 of emphysema.
William Smith

. . . has to be one of the most interesting character actors alive. I fell for this cowboy in Laredo, and the more I have learned about him and his career, the more interested I've become. He'd make a great guest for our radio show. A native of Columbia, Missouri, Smith speaks five languages (including, I believe, Russian) and is descended from Kit Carson and Daniel Boone. I quote directly from

William Smith was riding horses nearly before he could walk. Keeping true to his roots as a cattle rancher's son, one of his first jobs, as a boy, was cleaning horse stables for Jock Mahoney.

In 1957, Bill secured a screen test at MGM and was signed to a contract. "I had no acting background," he recalls, "but this was at the height of television's western binge, and I squinted well and sat tall in the saddle."

Bill saddled up in Laredo as the half-breed, Texas Ranger Joe Riley and as Brodie Hollister, an aging fast-gun in Disney's Wildside. Among his more notable guest appearances are in Gunsmoke, the episode titled The Hostage and the Kung Fu episode titled The Chalice.

A flood of television watching memories include
The Virginian, Death Valley Days, Daniel Boone, Here Come the Brides, Custer, The Guns of Will Sonnett, Seven Brides for Seven Brothers...

Can't forget his appearances in The Young Riders and Walker Texas Ranger.
Bill was once again the Cowboy in
The Shooter, directed by Fred Olen Ray. It was nominated for an award at the 1998 Golden Boot Awards.

And, from

He was born on March 24, 1934, in Columbia, Missouri, on Rolling Acres, a Hereford cattle ranch. After losing everything to the dust bowl, the family moved to California.

From 1942, when he was eight, through young adulthood, Bill appeared in many movies as an extra (uncredited). After high school, he joined the Air Force and served during the Korean War and received a Purple Heart for wounds incurred in action. He studied at the University of Munich, and Syracuse University. He graduated cum laude at UCLA.

Bill would go on to become one of Hollywood's best-known character actors, with over 300 TV and movie credits.

Wow. Can you get any cooler than that? I'm calling his agent right now.

Freddy the Plumber, and Philosopher

My old friend, Freddy Badgett, plumber extraordinaire, joins me on the radio tomorrow. Listen in. He's a hoot.
Dan Fogelberg

Today is also the birthday of Dan Fogelberg. When I interviewed Vicki Lawrence last week, she quoted Fogelberg, "The audience is heavenly, but the traveling is hell," and we both commented on how much we loved him. My thoughts are with his wife and all those people who loved him, all those whose lives he touched.

Friday, August 8, 2008

Mama, ala Vicki Lawrence

Chatted with Vicki Lawrence yesterday. Yes, that Vicki Lawrence.

She's performing tomorrow night at the Topeka Performing Arts Center, so I visited on the phone and taped an interview that will air on the radio show today. Since I am technologically challenged, she was gracious and patient as I grabbed my producer, Steve Forman, from a meeting so that he could tell me to push the "ON" button for my microphone.

I explained to the patient Vicki that I was not in my own studio (where I have a sign telling me to push the "ON" button).

Finally, we got 'er done.

It must be difficult for very famous people to encounter the public -- a public that has invited them into their homes for decades and feels like they're part of the family. Vicki Lawrence is as familiar to me as one of my far-flung cousins, but I had to remind myself that she doesn't know me from Adam's house cat. I admitted that I was extremely jealous that she was able to land special guest, Fess Parker, on her own talk show a few years ago. We mutually swooned at the thought of that tall, rugged, drink-of-water.

We talked about "Mama," Vicki's alter ego and the costar of her two-woman show. Originally a sketch written for the Carol Burnett Show, Mama evolved into a regular skit and then a spinoff television show. The role of Mama, however, was written for Carol Burnett, not Vicki Lawrence. Carol wanted to be the spoiled daughter, Eunice, so she changed the roles.

It was also Carol who decided that Mama should be Southern, reflecting Carol's own roots in Texas. The writers feared it would be offensive. On the contrary, the public, including Southerners, loved it.

"Mama was a gift Carol gave me," said Vicki.

And it's a gift Vicki Lawrence has been giving us ever since.

Tickets are still available for Vicki's show and my interview with her airs on around 10:10 today. Hey, remember the night the lights went out in Georgia? Yep, the same Vicki Lawrence. What a talented gal.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Anybody Lost a Cat?

My friends, Freddy and Barbara Badgett from Mount Airy, sent this:

I think it's priceless!

Andy, Andy, Andy!

On a related note, if you're not looking for a cat, but are instead looking for an erudite, elucidating, business column, check out Andy Oberumueller at He may not find you a feline, but he can tell you which is a better investment--a cat or a dog.