The Casual Reporter: December 2008

Monday, December 15, 2008

Bush Dodges Iraqi Shoes

Surreal moments seem to arrive more regularly than they used to. Watching the events of 9/11 unfold certainly felt surreal at the time and still does in many ways. But so, for me, was watching the neoconservative movement convince Americans that Saddam Hussein and 9/11 were directly linked and that invading Iraq immediately was essential to ensuring the safety of the American public. Then, after these claims were proven false, it was surreal that the Republican machine still managed to convince Americans that electing G.W. Bush for a second term was the only way to ensure the "safety" of our great nation. Watching Barack Obama get elected President - perhaps largely a backlash of the G.W. effect - also felt surreal - especially, it seems, to blacks and other minority races.

Whatever the final verdict is on G.W. as President, most would agree he's been colorful. He's not out of the White House yet, though, and the surreal moments keep coming. His latest surreal moment: dodging shoes thrown by an Iraqi journalist. Eight years of dodging bullets by the press seems to have paid off - he looked as agile as Vince Vaughn in Dodgeball. The event was so silly and absurd, yet at the same time disturbing, that I felt compelled to include it in The Casual Reporter.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

WNFR 2008 Final Revised: Jesus Still Wins

In an earlier post announcing the final results of the 2008 WNFR Wild West Show Pool I didn't notice that my Excel file at the time hadn't added the average score for each athlete into each person's total. I've re-posted the results to include the average in the total, although it didn't change much where it counts. The top three winners remain the same: Jesus, Byron, and Lucas. Check it out here.

WNFR 2008 Final: Jesus Wins!

Image borrowed from Desert Tickets

The results are in for the 2008 Wrangler National Finals Rodeo Wild West Show Pool
. With the averages figured in, Jesus is the winner followed by Byron and Lucas. See all the results here.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

WNFR Round 9: Let's Just Get This Thing Over With

Howard's winning. Jesus, Byron, Kave and Hogue are likely to win one or more of the averages so in the end it could be one of them who win. I was in 5th place only in my imagination (I forgot one score and incorrectly assigned another) and even that's out of the winning. Let's please just get this thing over with. See the results HERE.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Casual Reporter Partners with Online Casino

Like to bet? The Casual Reporter has joined forces with the one of the web's most respected online gaming organizations for your gaming pleasure (for over-18's only!). Click on the banner below to check out the wide variety of sports betting, online casino, and online poker gaming options available. Play your cards right and you could win serious money!

Like to win? Check this out:

Bet On Sports With This Revolutionary System And Win 97% Of Your Bets!

WNFR Round 8: Trent Jumps 5 Places

logo courtesy of boyd gaming

After round 8 of the 2008 Wrangler's National Finals Rodeo, Howard keeps the lead with 305 points, followed by Byron (302.5 pts), Jesus (280.5 pts) and Kave (254.5 pts.). But the big surprise is Trent, who jumped from 9th place to 5th place with 225.5 points. For all results, click here.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

WNFR Round 7: Byron Leads by 1/2 Point

In Round 7 of the Wild West Show WNFR 2008 Pool, Byron has sneaked into the lead over Howard, but only by a half point. Normally half-points aren't awarded but in Round 6 three sets of Team Ropers split the $2,700+ payout meaning their winnings totaled less than $1,000 for that round. Howard suggested giving each Header and Healer from those teams a half point. Now that he trails the lead by a half point I wonder if he wishes he hadn't made the suggestion. Check out all the scores here.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Half-Points Awarded in 6th Round

After talking it over with Howard, I changed the grid to allow for the 3-way split in Round 6 Team Roping in the Wild West Show WNFR Pool. According to the normal rules half-points are not given - all thousands are rounded down. In this case however the winnings were less than $1,000 so the rule would have meant 0 points. It didn't seem fair to reward 0 points so half-points were awarded as a compromise. Howard is still in the lead. See the changes here.

WNFR Round 6: Howard Takes the Lead

Photo courtesy of Boyd Gaming Corporation

The Round 6 results of the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo (WNFR) are in and the grid for the Wild West Show WNFR 2008 Pool has been updated. Howard leads the competition with 243 points, Jesus follows in 2nd with 223 points, and Byron is in 3rd with 217 points. The Casual Reporter (Trent) is in 9th place with 157 points. See the rest of the scores here.
Spread some cheer this Christmas with the new "Elfis" eCard from

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Don't Get Put in the Doghouse!

This video is a must-see surivival tool for all normal men.

WNFR Round 5: Jesus Leads Pool by 4 Points

Following Round 5 of the WNFR (Wranglers National Finals Rodeo) Jesus took the lead from Kave in the Wild West Show grid pool. Byron and Howard pushed Kave into fourth place. Jesus has 200 points, Howard 194, Byron 185, and Kave 176. The Casual Reporter only has 131. Click on the cowboy to the right for more information on WNFR and WWS Grid results.

Want to see an e-book that tells you how to make REALLY BIG MONEY on Google? Click Here!

Monday, December 8, 2008

WNFR Pool: Kave Leads by 7 Points

Round 4 results are posted for the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo and the grid is updated on the Wild West Show WNFR Pool. Assuming I have correctly allocated the athletes, which is by no means 100% certain, Kave leads with 160 points followed by Byron and Jesus tied with 153 points. Click on the cowboy in the right-hand column to see all WWS Pool scores.

Bet On Sports With This Revolutionary System And Win 97% Of Your Bets!

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Wrangler National Finals Rodeo Pool Begins

The 50th Wrangler National Finals Rodeo (WNFR) has begun in Las Vegas Nevada. The WNFR is the ultimate competition for cowboys and cowgirls. Fifteen of the cast of Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show (La Legende de Buffalo Bill) Disney Village, Disneyland Paris France, have started a friendly pool to follow the 10-day rodeo. Each participant in the pool draws at random a number from 1 - 15 which refers to the PRCA athletes' world standings on the day after the 1st round (we were late in making the draw). Over the course of the rodeo, one point is awarded for each $1,000 earned by each athlete, all winnings rounded down to the nearest $1,000. The player with the most points at the end of the WNFR wins the pool.

The Casual Reporter has created a web page to track the winnings as the rodeo advances. Allocations of the athletes are based on my assumptions according to my understanding and are not official. I will adjust them if needed after consulting with Byron and Brice. Just click on the cowboy anywhere in The Casual Reporter to access the site.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Trent Makes Shameless Plug for Sponsors

Need help with gift-giving? To assist in the process of long-distance gift-giving during the holiday season, The Casual Reporter provides readers with banners and links to some of the best gift-giving opportunities on the Internet.

I admit, though I'm proud of this fine service, I have an ulterior motive: The Casual Reporter has an affiliate relationship with these internet companies. That means if you click on one of the banners and then purchase an item or service from the online business, The Casual Reporter, in theory, gets a tiny percentage of the sale. The same is true for the Google Ads sprinkled throughout the blog.

Want to see an e-book that tells you how to make REALLY BIG MONEY on Google? Click Here!
I've had banners and links on this blog since the beginning and so far I've been credited a grand total of $5.13. I genuinely thank all of you who clicked through and made this happen, but it's clear that as a fortune-building enterprise The Casual Reporter is hopeless so far.

As a time-waster though, it's fantastic. I figure I'm spending somewhere between 100 - 200 hours per dollar. If only time really were money.

So if you haven't yet done so feel free to subscribe to The Casual Reporter to read all my exciting posts, or simply log on anytime you like and click through to any of the sites or advertised links you see on this blog. Bookmark The Casual Reporter for sure - better yet make it your home page! If you have a particular service or product that you feel would work well on The Casual Reporter, I'd be eager to hear from you.

Poll Indicates Obama Will Be Good for U.S.A.

According to a recent Casual Reporter poll asking readers if President- elect Barack Obama will be good for the United States, 83% of those who participated voted "yes" and 16% voted "no". That only six people voted, one of them being me, diminishes in no way the relevance of the poll and it's result. The Casual Reporter readers are among the wisest people on the planet and when they speak, all should listen. With the Casual Reporter poll as proof, we can all relax in the comfort of knowing for sure that Barack Obama will be 83% good for the United States and 16% bad. Who knows about the last 1%.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Trent Whacked in Head with Tennis Racket

The sad part is it was self-inflicted. To say my back-hand needs improvement is like saying the Mojave Desert could use a little moisture. I have no back-hand. A hand with a back, yes, but backhand, not so much.

Why did I even swing? I was racing after a ball that was way out of bounds anyhow. Maybe a better question is HOW did I swing? How did I manage to miss the ball completely but nail my forehead? I can assure you that grace was not involved. The idea, as I ran full-speed away from the net, was to give a hefty enough flick backwards to return the ball from far out of bounds, just to keep the volley going. So I hefted and I flicked, but ball I hit not. Forehead though, I hit squarely. (As my hairline recedes and my forehead expands, when do I drop the "fore" and just say "head"?)

Spread some cheer this Christmas with the new "Elfis" eCard from
Why am I admitting all this? Because the bump on my head is pronounced enough to be potentially distracting on stage tomorrow and people are bound to ask what happened. Best get the humiliation started early to end early. Yeah right. Perhaps this is penance for the fun I poke at Pinkie. Ah well, it's a small price to pay.
Visit for a wide selection of eCards and printable greeting cards for every occasion. Try it free for 30 days!

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

The Pinkie Chronicles: Face Plant into the Arena

Ah Pinkie, why does it always happen to you?

It started so innocently during the Medicine Ball Pass when Pinkie climbed over the rail to enter the arena. He turned around so he was facing the arena, his heels balanced on the wooden lip 3 feet off the surface of the arena and at the base of the rail, ready to step down into the arena. Only after he started tipping his weight forward to hop into the arena did he sense his spur was caught in the only hole in the entire side of the arena (in which a sprinkler head is hidden).

Pinkie's head went south but Pinkie's foot stayed north. Like a tree, or maybe a tall shrub, Pinkie teetered over, gravity accelerating his descent. His face hit sand first, the foot still lodged for a split second well above his head, before he quickly kicked himself free and jumped to his feet. Pinkie looked around nonchalantly in the hope nobody had seen his face plant. I said over my microphone, with an amused but incredulous tone, "Pinkie, did you fall out of the Ranch?"

"Oh, man!" he said, crimson-faced with a big Pinkie grin. "Why did you have to say anything?! Nobody noticed until you said something!"

Horse Wreck Stops Wild West Show

Last night a horse wreck stopped the Stagecoach scene in Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show (La Legende de Buffalo Bill) Disney Village, Disneyland Paris Resort France. While making the final sharp left turn into the center of the arena, the left wheeler (horse closest to the Stagecoach) stumbled and fell. The right wheeler, who was also pulling left into the turn, tripped over his fallen partner, his momentum carrying him over the tongue of the hitch and on top of his partner. The Indians, many of them authentic Native Americans, and the Horse Team immediately worked to untangle the mess.

About 10 - 15 tense minutes passed, the night-time lighting scheme low and music vamping, before enough straps were cut to free the horses, who, amazingly, were completely unharmed and were lead off stage to a wide round of applause. The guests seat-belted inside the stagecoach when the wreck happened were safely escorted back to their seats during the ordeal and the stagecoach, once freed, was pushed off stage by the cast members.

I entered and improvised for a moment, inviting another round of applause for the expertise with which the ordeal was handled. I reassured the audience that the finest veterinarians in France would look over the horses but, as far as I could see, they were unharmed. I then positioned myself for the start of the Champagne scene and said, "Now then, let's finish this show up." The technical team, on that cue, set the lights and started the music.

The show continued as usual up to the Final Revue when the Horse Team paraded the wagon horses involved in the wreck around the arena, further reassuring the audience that all was well, at least as far as horses and humans were concerned.

The stagecoach, on the other hand, was out of commission for the second show. An emergency team formed in the corridor backstage and we worked out a way to improvise using one of the Chuckwagons, renamed the "Deadwood Express" by Didier and described by me as an authentic western freight wagon used to transport gold during the gold rush. The exemplary professionalism and expertise with which the second show's "Deadwood Express" scene was performed did not surprise me given the team we had on hand but I think it surprised and impressed those who initially sought less creative solutions to the problem.

Without rehearsal or even a cohesive meeting, we worked out the details among ourselves - technicians, managers, and performers working as a team. Performers and technicians adjusted individually and improvisationally during the scene and we nailed it. Even the "guests", necessarily planted in this instance for insurance reasons, performed perfectly. Their "professional" status put them at the mercy of their "Indian warrior" colleagues and they were waffled with bedrolls and nearly dragged from the wagon.

The experience proved once again that the talent and competence of the Wild West Show Performers and Technicians should not be underestimated. Kudos to management for having faith in the team and letting us find a creative solution that utilized our talent and optimized the guest experience.