Thursday, July 31, 2014

Reading Update And What Took You So Long

Joshua 15-24.  Judges 1.

One of my favorite lines (and there are many of them) from "Seinfeld" is Newman's delivery when the cops showed up at his door.  "What took you so long" he hissed in disdain, cigarette dangling from the lip.

I've the same thing to say to the Cardinals' GM.  From the beginning of the season it has been obvious this club didn't have what it takes to go anywhere.

I'll grant there's been injuries to deal with, just like there always are.  And there's been some tinkering here and there to try to get it going.  But mostly just stagnation.

And I must confess, boredom.  A team that can't score isn't fun to watch.

So how have any of the moves this week helped that? 

Because Allen Craig is no longer the R fielder, I believe Oscar Taveras will get the playing time he has needed all along to ignite his hitting.  Like Kolten Wong did.

Also, I believe in the old adage that the best offense is a great defense.  Two solid above average starting pitchers have been added in the past 2 days.  The Cardinals just improved their starting pitching to if not the best then certainly in the discussion.

And I like the Pierzynski move as a stop gap for Yadi's absence.  Reminds me of the addition of Will Clark in 2000.

Hate losing Craig and Kelly, 2 post-season stars.  That leaves Yadi, Jay, Descalso, Holliday, Lynn, Garcia and Wainwright as the only hold-overs from 2011.

But I'm happy with the moves.  I'm glad the Cardinals decided to make a run for it again this year and roll the dice. 

At least the front office has.  We'll see about Matheny.  Ball is now in his, and the players, hands.  But I won't blame the front office now for this season, if it doesn't turn out so well.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

This Week's Reading And How The West Was Won

Joshua 8-14.

I have season 1.  Looks like season 2 just got released.  I guess that means there will be a season 3 also, given the positive response.

Gotta love William Conrad's narration.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

This Week's Reading And The All-Star Break

Joshua 3-7.

There's very little that has surprised me so far this baseball season.  Except for Kolten Wong's recent power surge.

The office has been at best mediocre, and at its worst non-existent.  Just as I feared.

Barring trade or another injury, I am still thinking this team will have to fight through from a wild-card position.

That said, the NL is pretty weak as a whole and I could see the Cardinals end with the best record again.  Or not make the playoffs at all.

In other words, I don't have a clue about this team.

Tuesday, July 08, 2014

Saturday To Tuesday Reading And Accounting

Deuteronomy 33-34, Joshua 1-2.

We are just past the half-way point for the year, so it's time to take inventory.

This is post #80 for the year.  I am behind schedule, should be at least at 100, based on my goals.  This is not unexpected.  It's difficult to keep up with posting during the warm weather.  I anticipate picking up a lot as football approaches and baseball races heat up.

I am on schedule with my reading.  I have found a leisurely one chapter a day to be easily attainable.

Finally, my exercise goals are right on track.  Well, sort of.  For the year I am at 10,600 push ups and squats.  I decided to adjust my squat goal to match my push up goal, so I am okay.  Actually, that's a little ahead of the pace I mapped out, but not by much.

Anyway, I'll end on another happy note- winter is fast approaching.

Friday, July 04, 2014

Thursday And Friday Reading And Happy 4th

Deuteronomy 31-32.

Happy Independence Day.  Although, after listening to this, Independence Day was 2 days ago.

Wednesday, July 02, 2014

Past Week's Reading And King Of the Monsters

Deuteronomy 23-30.

This morning Monster Zero was playing on one of the Epix movie channels.  Which reminded me I had not posted about the latest movie I saw, Godzilla.

Up until now, Monster Zero was my favorite Godzilla movie along with Godzilla Vs. The Smog Monster.

But the 2014 version has supplanted that.  I am pretty sure it is because of the special effects, which make the early 1960s Japanese effects look pretty child-like.  However, those older versions do hold a certain charm for that reason.

I also prefer Godzilla pictures where Godzilla is a hero.  So I also liked the latest version for that reason.

I'm not clear whether Godzilla is male or female (I always thought Godzilla male as he is "King of the Monsters").  But apparently in the 1998 American movie Godzilla laid eggs.

Of course, there are animal species where males do that, so it all gets rather confusing.  I'll just stick with my male supposition, but who knows?

Anyway, I liked the theme in Godzilla that man is not in control of his world, and anxiously await an almost certain sequel.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Past Week's Reading And Today's News

Deuteronomy 17-22.

Can't wait for "The Decision- Part 2"!  I'd love to see that, maybe even pay to see that.

But he can't be that ignorant.  Right?

Get ready for the media obsession.  It's already started.

Hard to believe he would end up leaving Miami.  But, if he does, I'm guessing he goes to NY.  Or LA.  Possibly Chicago.

But Cleveland?  How could that even be possible?

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Monday-Wednesday Reading And World Cup Action

Deuteronomy 14-16.

I actually have interest in and am actually enjoying the World Cup.  I'm rooting for the US, of course, but also find myself rooting for England and Holland.

Which is funny because for a brief moment today, when I actually saw the Netherlands playing Australia, I was kind of pulling for Australia.

I am also against some teams.  Like Iran.  That one is easy.  But I also don't like Spain, Brazil and Mexico.

I kind of like Portugal and Uruguay and South Korea.

I'm learning a few things about soccer as well.  Maybe because I didn't really understand it, but I always thought soccer was pretty boring.  Learning a little more about the rules has helped it seem kind of interesting.

Hate the flopping, though.  Fakers should never get rewarded.

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Weekend Reading And The Greatest Trade

Deuteronomy 11-13.

Wow. 50 years ago today, what more than one person consider to be the most lopsided trade ever occurred.

50 years is a long time.  But the results are still enjoyable. 

Most trades have a slight effect on the teams involved.  Rarely they have a major effect.

This trade couldn't have turned out better for both teams involved. 

The Cardinals got a Hall of Famer, and as a result 3 pennants, 2 championships, 3,000 hits and over 900 stolen bases as a result.

And the Cubs continued to suck.

Yep.  Couldn't have turned out better for the 2 teams involved.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Reading And Playing The GM

Deuteronomy 8-10.

This was a fun exercise at Viva El Birdos.  I remember 8-10 years ago, the whole internet was full of fun things like this to do.  It seems not so much now.

Of course, it was also full of all kinds of bloggers back then.  For most it was just a fad.  Only us die-hards remain.  I always kind of wanted to keep a journal, and this is the closest thing I've ever done to doing that.

At any rate, the idea was to create one Cardinals line-up for all-time.  The rub was you had a salary cap.  Each player was assigned a dollar amount it would cost to have him, and you could not exceed that limit.

Here's what you had to work with, with a $27 limit:

My starting 9:
P Gibson $5
C McCarver $3
1st Hernandez $1
2nd Schoendienst $3
SS Renteria $2
3rd Pendleton $1
LF Coleman $1
CF Edmonds $5
RF Musial $6

Had to have Musial.  Hernandez was such a bargain, I couldn't pass that one up.  So I left Albert off for that reason.

Edmonds was over-priced, so I almost took Willie McGee.  I decided on Edmonds over Brock only for defense and power.  Since I needed some speed I took Coleman instead, and he wasn't pricey.

Had to have Gibson to pitch.  That left only $9 for four other positions.  Pendleton was too big of bargain to pass up also.  That left me with McCarver, Schoendienst and Renteria with the other $8.

I could have spent another few hours coming up with other iterations.  I still might if I get bored.

So my lineup would be:

Of course, I could take Yadi if I downgraded to Herr and McGee.  Hmmm...

Monday, June 09, 2014

Monday Reading And Secretariat

Deuteronomy 7.

It's been 5 years since I posted about it, but Saturday's Triple Crown failure makes this moment all the more miraculous.

It was 41 years ago today, by the way.

Sunday, June 08, 2014

This Week's Reading And The Finals

Numbers 36-Deuteronomy 6.

Looking forward to the Finals the next 2 weeks.  Both of them.

I would like to see a Spurs win in the NBA.  I think San Antonio is as nuts about the Spurs as St. Louis is about the Cardinals.

And unbelievably it's been 20 years since the Rangers killed "the curse"


Because if the curse were really dead, it wouldn't have taken 20 more years for them to get back to the Stanley Cup Finals.

The first curse lasted 54 years.  If they don't win this year, they'll have only 34 more years to go.  They are rapidly reaching the 1/2 way point.

But that's okay.  Because at least they won one.

Like one of the signs in the Garden that night 20 years ago, no matter what happens, "Now I can die in peace".

Sunday, June 01, 2014

Weekend Reading And My Calendar

Numbers 33-35.

Most people have January through December on their calendar.

My calendar is simpler.  It has just a few entries. 

These would include the start of the seasons, the holidays, including Opening Day.

And today- the start of Food Network Star.  8 PM CDT.

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Monday To Thursday Reading And The Danger Of Experimentation

Numbers 29-32.

From the great Gizmodo.

The following is worse than Frankenstein's monster.  Hybrids are just no good.

What a bad idea.  You can't cross a couple of bands and expect something better than the originals.

And they cut out Jimmy's guitar solo, one of the highlights of Whole Lotta Love.  A much worser idea than the overall concept of this.

Take a bath in this, you'll lots feel better.

Sunday, May 25, 2014

This Week's Reading And Rush

Numbers 22-28.

Rush is not my favorite band.  Rush is not even my favorite Canadian band.

But don't misunderstand- I do like them.

I only have two of their albums- Moving Pictures and Signals.  I think they went too synthesizery after that.

Still, Moving Pictures is one of my favorite albums.  It came out my senior year of high school.

I rarely listened to "side 2" of the album because "side 1" is so impressive.  Red Barchetta is my favorite song on the album.

I never even saw a red Barchetta until the internet appeared.  When Gran Turismo 2 came out, I had to create one to drive and it was my favorite vehicle.

Yesterday morning while channel surfing I ran across a movie chronicling the band's history.  I didn't intend to watch the whole thing when I ran across it.  But I did.  Because it was solid enough to hold my attention. 

I would give it two thumbs up if I were two movie reviewers.  I'll daresay it was excellent.  Watch it if you ever run across it.

I am still not the band's biggest fan, but I do respect their intensity and musicianship.  They definitely deserve their Hall of Fame recognition.  Especially for a 3 man band.

To me, though, something about the music always seemed a little too perfect, like in a mechanical way, to me.  Like a computer would generate or something.  Which is why I rank April Wine and Triumph above them.

It's just a personal taste thing.

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Weekend Reading And Our Modern World

Numbers 19, 20 and 21.

I am considerably amazed at the advances on the march in our world today.

May the work of geniuses always be appreciated.

This was an awesome experience.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Tuesday-Thursday Reading And An Anniversary

Numbers 16, 17 and 18.

I was going to post this Tuesday, which was the 10th anniversary of this situation comedy's passing.

I've loved a lot of sitcoms along the way.  Andy Griffith.  Dick Van Dyke.  Mary Tyler Moore.  All In The Family.  Bob Newhart.  Cheers.  Cosby.  Seinfeld.

But I think with the perspective of time tesing all candidates, this one is king of the mountain.

Monday, May 12, 2014

Recent Reading And The Non-Clutch Cardinals

Numbers 6-15.

I didn't write this article, but I could have.

I like linking to articles that support my opinions.

Friday, May 02, 2014

Wednesday To Friday Reading

Numbers 3-5.

Why bother watching NBA playoffs when you already know the end result?  Even though there could be some exciting games and series along the way, it will all soon be forgotten.

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Sunday, Monday And Tuesday Reading And Winter Soldier

Leviticus 27, Numbers 1-2.

Saw Captain America: Winter Soldier recently.  I haven't been to an action movie that was so relevant to the time it was released.  The parallels are so staggering to our world today, I'm actually shocked Hollywood made it.

Saturday, April 26, 2014

This Week's Reading And No Surprises

Leviticus 20-26.

The season's unfolding has been worse than even I forecasted.

So far this year, in 25 games played, the Cardinals have scored:
0 runs 3 times
1 run 7 times (including the last 3 games)
2 runs 3 times
3 runs 2 times
4 runs 2 times
5 runs 1 time
6 runs 3 times
7 runs 2 times
8 runs 1 time
9 runs 0 times
10 runs 1 time

They've scored 10 runs this week in 7 games.

I believe this is all due to the absence of Carlos Beltran.  The presence of Beltran for 2 years made opposing teams pitch to this lineup differently.

This year there is really no one to fear.  And by that I mean no one with any power to hit home runs consistently.  So pitchers can throw strikes without fear of severe consequences.

Which isn't bad if you have pitching, speed and good defense to counter your anemic offense.  The 1980s teams had only one power hitter in the lineup and did just fine, because they had all three of these attributes.

This year's team is loaded with pitching, but so lacking in the latter two categories that I fear this is a .500, or worse, team.

It reminds of the late '70s Cardinals again.  Which is not a compliment.

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Mid-April Reading And Hymns

Leviticus 9-19.

Although you might get the idea my favorite time of year is Opening Day, it is actually Holy Week.

Some of my favorite hymns are played this week, as well as during Easter.

Let All Mortal Flesh Keep Silence
Stricken, Smitten And Afflicted
O Sacred Head, Now Wounded
Jesus Christ Is Risen Today
I Know That My Redeemer Lives

Tuesday, April 08, 2014

Lotsa Reading And Flip Or Flop

Leviticus 4-8.

Pretty pumped about Flip or Flop, as there is a new season starting tonight.  I got hooked on this show last spring.

It has all the elements of what I love about HGTV.  Buying a house (sometimes sight unseen), renovating with the inherent unexpected costs/disasters, then the pressure of trying to sell it.  All in 30 minutes.

Since these two supposedly put up their own money on these flips, and often find they have a flop on their hands, it's kind of fun to watch.  Especially when Tarek starts to get nervous.

The only thing I'd change would be to give later updates when episodes end without the house selling.

Thursday, April 03, 2014

Wednesday And Thursday Reading And My Contempt Is Showing

Leviticus 2 and 3.

I thought this was the best April Fool's joke I saw this year:

Anyway, for more Cub-bashing, this is a good start.  Too easy.  And too much fun.

Tuesday, April 01, 2014

Monday And Tuesday Reading And 2014

Exodus 40 and Leviticus 1.

Today is day 91 of 2014.  So we are in effect 1/4 of the way through the year.  Time to take inventory.

This is post number 59 for the year, putting me on pace for 236, well above my goal of 200.

I am at 5000 push ups and 5000 squats for the year.  I'm on target on push ups but will fall short on squats, but I decided that's okay.

I've kept up with reading a chapter a day.

Just got to keep it up.  We're entering the slow blogging season, when finding time to post gets scarce.

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Weekend Reading And Set Up To Fail

Exodus 38 and 39.

We're just hours before launch of a new baseball season.  And I'm ready for a regression in results this year. 

A lot of pundits consider the Cardinals to be superhuman and unstoppable.  Just like the Natinals were last year, who wound up sitting at home in October.

They forget that until the last week of the season the Central Division was up for grabs. 

They forget the Cardinals got hot at the right time of year in 2013.

They forget that until last year the Cardinals had not won this division since 2009, relying on the wild card to get in the post-season.

They forget the Cardinals scored so many runs due to a once in a generation ability to score with 2 outs.  That won't happen this year.

They forget the Cardinals have in effect replaced David Freese with Kolten Wong.

They forget the team didn't hit many home runs last year and did nothing in the offseason to improve that.

The pitching, while good, will not be as good as last year, as the rest of the league starts to figure out these young pitchers.  Who will then have to adjust.

So my prediction is they won't win 97 games again this year.  I don't even think they will win their division.  I didn't think they would last year, and I really don't this year.

But I'll be happy with a wild card again.  And if that doesn't happen, only then will it will be a disappointing year for me. 

I'm betting for everyone else they will end up calling such a finish a near disaster.

Friday, March 28, 2014

Thursday And Friday Reading And The Tournament

Exodus 36-37.

I chose Wichita State, Creighton and Iowa State in my bracket to make the Final Four.  As it turns out, it was just wishful thinking on my part.

But I can't help but root for teams that would stick a thumb in the eye of the NCAA, the most corrupt and indefensible of organizations the mind can conceive.

Which leaves me conflicted.  I want UK to win the tournament, partly because they're my favorite and partly because I'm hopeful their coach will leave for the NBA if they win again.

But UK winning will probably make the NCAA happy.

Welcome to my mind.  It's complicated in here.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

A Bunch Of Reading Up Through Today And The World's Best Bracket

Exodus 31-35.

They're calling this the world's worst bracket.  I disagree.

That would be mine.

But it is the funniest one I've ever seen.  My favorite part of it is BYU beating Oregon in the first round, but then Oregon advancing on into the sweet 16.

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Thursday And Friday Reading And I'm OK With This

Exodus 29 and 30.

I'm OK with Duke losing.  And I'm OK if you want to do this, also.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Wednesday Reading, With Apologies To Wichita State

Exodus 28.

Bracket is done, I'm ready for the games.

But I do have to apologize to Wichita State.

It's not that I am not picking them.  I am.  Which is the reason I apologize. 

Because I have officially jinxed them.  I only remember picking the winner of this thing a couple of times, and both times I think involved Kentucky.

But I can't help myself.  I watched more college basketball this year than I have in probably 10 years.  And they were by far the best team I watched play.

They look big enough, strong enough, fast enough and experienced enough.

And did I mention they were Missouri Valley?

So despite the NCAA's attempt to destroy the strongest Mid-Major in modern tournament history, I look for them to get on a roll.  Even though no one else is picking them, I am.

Which means they are sure to lose.

But I can't help myself.  It's what I do.