I’m sitting here watching a nail-biter shaping up between the Hogs and USC at the NCAA Tournament. Well, okay, it’d really be more of a genuine nail-biter if, oh, say, the score was a little bit closer. I’m not sure if this has really gotten outside of the state, but the rumor has it that coach Stan Heath is out of a job if he loses tonight’s game. A local TV sports commentator said it best tonight: every time that rumors have flown around that Arkansas football coach Houston Nutt is considering another job, the school has issued copious denials that Nutt is leaving, as well as bending over backward to let everyone know how much they love Nutt and don’t want him to go anywhere but wish him well anyway. Now we have the rumor train rolling, saying that the school itself is going to nix Heath five years after he took over during the firestorm of the Nolan Richardson controversy…and not a single official denial from the University of Arkansas. Now, on the one hand, I can understand not dignifying an outrageous rumor with a response, but this kinda demands on – this could do some very real damage to the school (and I’m sure it’s helping the team play a better game to have this crap hanging over their heads). For the sake of argument, let’s say that Heath is indeed out (I guess we’ll know in about five and a half minutes as I write this)…what the hell kind of coaching talent can the school attract when the scuttlebutt is that you’ll be fired for not bringing home a solid wall of conference or national titles? I didn’t entirely buy Richardson’s accusations a few years ago that the school didn’t seem kindly disposed toward having a black coach on staff, but you know, I find myself re-assessing that now.

The wife and I went out tonight and blew some money. There, I’m not even gonna try to sugarcoat that. But we both kinda needed to. Got some baby books, and I raided the bargain section: a collectibles/price guide to Star Wars merchandise (slightly outdated with its circa-Attack Of The Clones publication date), a book on storm chasing (and chasers), and a biography of Neil Armstrong. (There, you now know what to expect in the book review section for the rest of this year – that, and whatever Dave, Philip and Rob happen to be reading! 😆 ) A visit to a store that I don’t normally frequent also got me very nearly completely caught on classic series Doctor Who DVDs. I’m still missing The Web Planet (and I know folks who argue that this isn’t really missing much) and The Hand Of Fear, but that’s it. (I blew Amazon UK store credit – thank you, dear readers – on the recent UK New Beginnings box set release, so when I say caught up, I mean caught up. I also spent a few minutes today entering every online contest I could find for a giveaway copy of the next release, Survival, which promises some killer bonus features, and of course it’s Othello’s favorite Doctor Who, with its killer black cats.)

Speaking of cats, Oberon is at the vet’s office overnight tonight after having his claws removed. Poor little guy. You know, it’s strange. So many cats have come through the door of this house that we’ve gotten attached to (i.e. Sampson or Gabby) or that I’ve taken one look at and said “Not the one, no, no, not the one…and this…is the wrong kitten” (i.e. Obsidian). But somehow, Obi has been the one just about from the moment I set eyes on him. Maybe it’s because the poor little guy’s such a dimwit that this automatic instinct to protect the slowest of the herd kicks in. But for whatever reason, I love the little guy and miss him pretty badly now that he’s not here for a night. He really is the Derek Zoolander of the cat world – pretty, but not exactly touched by brilliance. I’ll be happy to see his cat carrier come back through the door with him in it.

Well, the Hogs lost by nearly 20 points. I guess we’ll see what kind of mess comes with the Heath rumors.

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