Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Monday, July 30, 2007

Monday Reading

Psalms 59, 60 and 61. 2 Corinthians 13.

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Scottius Maximus Celebrity Of The Month



This month, it's Bob Costas.

I loved his retort to Barry Bonds after Bonds had called him "
that little midget man who absolutely knows jack (expletive) about baseball, who never played the game before".

Costas reply? Classic!

“As anyone can plainly see, I'm 5-6½ and a strapping 150, and unlike some people, I came by all of it naturally.”

Hey, Bare, dude...you picked the last person in the world you would want to get in a war of words with! He'll cut you to pieces.

Although not a native, Bob is an adopted St. Louisan due to his ties with booming superstation 1120 KMOX, where he honed his craft before moving to NBC Sports. There he would become an award winning television sportscaster and household name.

We used to listen to him frequently in the late 1970s, and even after moving to NBC TV, he would frequently call in to KMOX on the air. My memory is fading, but I think he would even be an in-studio guest at times.

Many nights as a teenaged ape, I would listen late (after midnight, which was when I had to be home) to his sports recaps, and after the news, his banter with his fellow newsmen and broadcasters. Even then you could tell he had a special talent for communicating. I missed out on a lot of sleep sometimes. But as I have said before, sleep is over-rated.

He has always been very gracious towards his mentors at KMOX and St. Louis. He made his home in St. Louis for a long time, although I am unsure whether he still does or not. You'd need to contact your neighborhood celebrity stalker for that info.

Here's to you, Bob Costas, our July Celebrity Of The Month!

Brief Baseball Blogging



Now that the second half of the season is already two weeks old and counting, I figured it an appropriate time to jump in with my mid-season thoughts, hopes and predictions.

- It's rumored GM Walt Jocketty will leave after this year. Which would be a shame, because over the past 13 seasons, he has been responsible for assembling teams that have won one Wild Card, six Division winners, two NL Pennant winners and one World Series winner. Not a bad resume.

If he's leaving on his own terms, then Happy Trails. But if he's being slowly pushed aside for sabermetric guru Jeff Luhnow, who in my opinion has been hand selected by ownership to replace Jocketty, then I want to vomit up phlegm.

Not because Luhnow isn't good, because I have no idea, but because my biggest fear is that Cardinals ownership is about to get incredibly cheap. Luhnow can probably play "Moneyball" better. Do more with less dough.

The timing of which makes no sense. Money is pouring in from winning a championship. Merchandise sales are through the roof. The stadium is sold out almost every night. And the Cardinals owners are looking to cut payroll and expenses to make the bottom line even more gigantic. That sucks. I feel phlegm in my throat.

Prediction: Walt Jocketty's disposition at the end of the season will determine whether the above ownership statement is true or not. If he stays, then the ownership cheapness rumors are not true. If he resigns
or is fired (little chance of this), then be prepared for some mighty lean years to end the '00s.

- Tony LaRussa is completely spent in St. Louis. With the talent he's been given by Jocketty, he has done well. Not great, but he has been successful. But nobody likes him. And he seems to do everything in his power to make sure that happens.

At the end of last season, after finally getting the monkey off of his back by winning a championship, he has blown it. It should have been a reprieve. He should have been much more relaxed and jovial.

Instead, not only do we get Mr. Surly back unchanged, but he has proceeded to completely wipe away any good will most fans had left at the end of 2006. An idiotic feud with his 3rd baseman went on all winter long, he gets busted for a DUI in the spring, he gets in to it with CF Jim Edmonds, leaves the best player in the NL on the bench in the All-Star game, then bristles at Albert Pujols for actually wanting to play in the All-Star game.

On top of that, he has continued his bone-headed strategery during games, his handling of the starting pitching and bullpen have been a mess and the Cardinals, barring Walt pulling off a big trade, are going to miss the playoffs for the first time in 4 years. But I will say something good about his on-field managing. He's good at the squeeze play. Which is nice the 3 times during the year when it's used.

But the biggest factor is that I think this team was never ready to start the season. In fact, I'm still waiting for the season to start. The team has been sparkless, sluggish and difficult to watch. And that hasn't changed this entire season. Injuries to key players have undoubtedly contributed to my perception, but if we aren't going to win, then doggone at least give me a team that is fun to watch.

Prediction- It all depends on Jocketty. If he exits, then LaRussa won't be too far behind. But I can't imagine him wanting to end his tenure in St. Louis like this. He'll be back one more year.


- Albert Pujols remains incredible. Just put some half-way decent guys around him and you'll have a .500 team.

- The starting pitching has been criminal. The blame for that falls on Jocketty and on LaRussa and pitching coach Dave Duncan. Jocketty put this team together, LaRussa has completely botched using it, and Duncan, the so-called miracle worker, must have had a short circuit. No wonder the team is lifeless. When you are consistently down 5 or 6 runs in the 2nd inning, it gets to you after awhile.

- The offense, which started slow, has been passable. But the hitters are not nearly as patient as they were before Hal McRae arrived as hitting coach 2 years ago. Even Pujols at times has seen anxious. Just take some pitches sometimes, guys.

- The bullpen has been overworked and misused. However, collectively they have overall done the best job on the whole team.

- The defense has been horrible, almost as bad as the starting pitching. Hey Tony, So Taguchi CANNOT play centerfield. He's a terrible outfielder. Why can't you get it?

- Player predictions: Scott Rolen will be traded. David Eckstein will be lost to free agency. Jim Edmonds will retire. Jason Isringhausen will be traded. And next year is going to be a long one.

- Divisional predictions:
National League East- Mets will outlast Phillies.
National League Central- Cubs. The Cubs do this every few years. They win a slew of one run contests in the same year, and everyone jumps on their bandwagon. Then for the next 4 or 5 years they return to normal and lose all those one run games, often in hilarious fashion. I will say this, though- I think the Cubs have a harder schedule than the Brewers. The Cardinals? They will finish 4th behind the Cubs, Brewers and Astros.
National League West- Padres. Although it should be wild to watch. And the trade deadline, which looms large, could tip a team over the top.
American League East- Yankees. Don't laugh. I believe they are poised for a run.
American League Central- Indians. I'm not just saying that! The Tigers faded the end of last year and will do so again this year.
American League West- Angels.

- Wild Card predictions:
National League- Milwaukee.
American League- Boston.

- Pennant predictions:
National- Mets.
American- Boston.

- World Series:
Boston over Mets.

- There is no dominant team this year. Making it all kind of up for grabs. Too bad the Cardinals won't be in the mix. Because, as was shown last year, all you need to do is make it in. Then it's a crapshoot-

anything can happen!

Friday, July 27, 2007

And Speaking Of Stairway...


Enough has been written about Stairway To Heaven to fill several books.
But none of it by me. So here goes:

In addition to its guitar solo being voted the greatest of all time, polls and experts have also dubbed the song itself one of the greatest, if not the greatest, rock and roll song of all time. With good reason.

By what I'm about to write, some of you may get the idea that I don't like Jimmy Page's Stairway To Heaven guitar piece. But that would be wrong. I really do love it. This song's guitar work shows more than any other, save for the two or three songs mentioned on the immediately preceding post, why he is a virtuoso of his craft.

T
his idea I am going to propose is also probably going to get me called crazy again. But who cares? So here it is...

Stairway To Heaven is the song that it is, not because of the guitar powered ending, but because of John Bonham's drums.

Every time I hear that song, which builds from its mysterious woodwind-like and acoustic beginning, I begin waiting. I am waiting for that overpowering moment when this song suddenly switches gears, and abruptly transitions from a European folk song to an amazing piece of rock and roll.

I bet a lot of you, when you hear this song begin to build itself, layer upon layer, are also eagerly anticipating that moment that comes at about 4:18, when John Bonham enters the scene and completely changes the energy by a few beats on his snare, his tom, his bass and a crashing cymbal. The pace, caused completely by Bonham, overwhelmingly quickens to its climactic ending, which includes Page's famed "solo".

It is the drums, Bonzo's drums, that "make" this song.

Even during the guitar "solo", Bonham carries Page's guitar perfectly. In fact, what I hear during the last major section of Stairway is a well-timed and frenetically energized drum accompaniment which more than holds its own with Page's complex rendering.

In other words, I think Bonham makes Page's effort sound better, and without him, I think Stairway To Heaven wouldn't be the song it is. Still excellent, still in the top echelon of songs. But not at THE top.

Its drums make it what it is.

Anyway, the funny thing about having just said all of this, considering I am a Christian in the tradition of Martin Luther, is that the point where Bonham jumps into the song is exactly the point in which Fundamentalists and Evangelicals think the "evil Satanic messages" in Stairway To Heaven are to be found backmasked.

In other words, the point in the song that I personally love the most musically, is where, allegedly if you play the song backwards (who does this crap?), you will hear a Satanic message. And which allegedly was put there deliberately.

Well, thanks to the internet, and Wikipedia, we can now listen for ourselves. To all you Stairway To Heaven backmasking fools, listen to the segment forwards, and then listen to this. Please, please, convince me of your sanity and tell me what you hear backwards is nothing but gibberish and not some loving tribute to the devil. Do it without looking at what someone else has written about what you are supposed to hear. And then tell me you won't be so gullible next time.

It's incredible, but Stairway To Heaven-like claims of backmasking have been scientifically studied (I know, it's sad). And the scientific conclusion is- there is no Satanic message. People will hear what someone else tells them they should hear. And that's the Satanic message in a nutshell.

If someone tells you its a Satanic message, and you want to hear a Satanic message, then you hear a Satanic message. If someone tells you it says Scottius Maximus rocks, then you'll hear that. The mind is very open to suggestion. And because somebody once hated rock and roll, or Led Zeppelin, or this song (who knows?), then someone once "heard" a Satanic message when played backwards. And the legend started.

To which I can only say to all the kooks out there...stop playing songs backwards, stop listening to songs played backwards, stop looking for the devil everywhere (but DO do its converse- seek the Lord instead), stop hating on Led Zeppelin, and stop hating on one of my favorite songs.

One more thing...you have GOT to get a life.

Stairway To Solos

What is a guitar solo?

By definition, doesn't a solo mean going it alone? I've never understood people using the term "guitar solo". Most of the guitar "solos" I've heard are just musical interludes in which there are no vocals and in which the "lead" guitar features more prominently. But they hardly qualify as solos. Most have drums, bass, other guitars, and possibly keyboards accompanying them.

Let's look at the drums, for example. When someone performs a drum solo, it's just the drummer.

That being said, can anyone really give me a good example of a true guitar solo?

The list of 100 greatest guitar solos ever, compiled from opinions of Guitar World's readers, are, in my opinion, not guitar solos for the above reason.

And while we're at it, although Stairway is listed #1, I don't even believe it is Jimmy Page's best work, let alone the greatest of all time.



I think Jimmy's best work is on the blues song "Since I've Been Loving You" which is track 4 of side 1 of LZ III. This is followed closely by "Babe I'm Gonna Leave You" and "Whole Lotta Love", both off LZ II.

Friday And Weekend Reading

Friday Psalms 49, 50 and 51. 2 Corinthians 11.

Weekend Psalms 52, 53, 54, 55, 56, 57, and 58. 2 Corinthians 12.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Thursday Reading

Psalms 46, 47 and 48. 2 Corinthians 10.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Am I Crazy?



Or does anyone else look at Kip Wells and see Bob Forsch?



I mean facial resemblance, not career resemblance. To sort of answer my own question, I'm not THAT crazy.

Today's Menu Demands A Choice- Claustrophobia Or Acrophobia?

I'm not sure which is worse.

This.

Or this.

Thankfully I've never experienced either one.

But if you've ever been inside those trams, with no air-conditioning, sharing about a 5 x 5 foot space with 4 others, and having to slump down a bit to avoid hitting your head on the top of the car, then I'd say the first choice would be a little worse.


A tram car.

But then again, I hate heights, especially with no net below.

There is only one way to ascertain the answer to this question. Let's put all the dudes and ladies who were trapped for two hours up ON (not in) the top for two more hours. Then we'll ask THEM what is worse.

You know, use science to figure out the answer. It's the only way.

Tuesday's Reading

Psalms 42 and 43. 2 Corinthians 8.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Frazzled



There's too much on TV right now. Not since the days of Mail Call and Extreme History have I had so many options.

My new favorite show is Ice Road Truckers on The History Channel. These crazy truck drivers drive their rigs hundreds of miles across frozen lakes near the Arctic Circle in Canada. Most of this travel is mining related so they carry some big loads. Did I mention that they haul this tonage over ice? That the road is basically a lake that froze over? That the road is only made out of water? And that they show footage of cracks in the ice that move back and forth as the trucks move across it?




Last night one of the young guys on the show was hauling a 95,000 pound piece of equipment across the ice. When he got it to the mine, two trailers were froze together in the -40 below temps. The back trailer was covered in ice. He hadn't slept for 24 hours. It took a few hours to finally get them apart. He was a little tired.

Another trucker, who is not one of the show's 'regulars', had part of his rig fall slightly through the ice. Fortunately, they were able to pick him out before he fell completely through.

This stuff is fascinating because it is extreme. And because you don't even realize these people exist and live these kinds of lives until a show like this comes along.

One other thing I learned- these guys are all one wave short of a shipwreck. But that probably goes without saying.

If this weren't bad enough, I fear I'm hooked on another History Channel program that came on last night after Ice Road Truckers.

This one is called Human Weapon. It's about two guys who travel the world to learn all they can about martial arts. Last night it was Thailand and the deadly Thai martial art of Muay Thai. They spend time at different academies in Thailand learning different strikes. Last night they even went to some Buddhist monkey temple! I can't wait to see what happens.

There's also a new program I've only seen once called Cities of the Underworld. Basically a guy who travels the world going through catacombs and sewers of famous cities. The episode I saw was of underground Paris. There were some tight quarters getting beneath the city, so that if you get caught or stuck going through a passage, you're dead. Trust me, if you're claustrophobic, you won't enjoy watching this.

But once he's down there, it's fascinating. It's of course dark, but when lit up, you'll see things like paintings and other art down there. It's like another universe. And the history between the Nazis and French underground was cool to learn about also.

To top it all off, and on a gentler note, last night also meant the beginning of HGTV's new season of Design Star. Last year's season was great, with just enough argumentiveness and artistry in the competitors to hold my attention. Last night they picked the candidates for this year's show.

There are already a couple of kook picks that will be weeded out quickly. I don't know why they do this.

What am I to do with so many selections? The problem is it all starts late on Sundays at 9 p.m. Central. And to make matters worse, my radio drama comes on at 10 p.m.


Thank God for DVR!

Reading For Monday

Psalms 40 and 41. 2 Corinthians 7.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Weekend Reading

Psalms 34, 35, 36, 37, 38 and 39. 2 Corinthians 6.

Friday, July 20, 2007

Manny And The Pope

That has a nice ring to it, doesn't it?


"Coming up after the game, it's another zany episode of 'Manny and the Pope', right here on Fox!"

Now, before anyone else calls for help to have someone come get me, let me explain what I mean.

Manny Ramirez is a talented yet zany (I can use 'zany' twice in the same post, right?) outfielder for the Boston Red Sox. He's a man who definitely marches to a different drummer.

But he is a man true to himself. He does bizarre things, such as selling his own grill on E-bay to make some extra cash (despite making $20 million a year), but no one gets upset about it anymore because doing the weird and clownish is expected. It's part of his character. It's who he is.

It's just Manny being Manny. In fact, that last sentence has become a well known catch-phrase to those in the baseball world.

"It's just Manny being Manny." Which brings me to the pope.

Recently Pope Benedict rubbed the fur of some Protestants and non-Christians the wrong way by suggesting the Roman Catholic Church was the only true Church on Earth. In fact, to read an excellent post on this, go here to Cranach. And for something really in depth, go to Cyberbrethren.

I find Benedict's talk refreshing. Not that I agree with him, but he speaks what he believes and what his church has taught for centuries. Of course he believes the Roman Catholic Church is the only church. HE'S ROMAN CATHOLIC, AND HE'S THE POPE FOR CRYING OUT LOUD!

Anybody who thought for one minute that the Roman Catholic Church had changed it's stance after almost 500 years was deluding themselves. All these supposed attempts by Rome at ecumenism are one-sided. All designed to bring Protestants back into the Roman Catholic Church. They have no intention of changing. Nor should they. Let them be who they are.

The Council Of Trent still stands. Therefore, if you're not Roman Catholic why waste time trying to be in fellowship with that church? You aren't. And non-Romans need to get over it.

We Lutherans believe, teach and confess a completely different salvation. Not the salvation of belonging to and following the teachings of Roman Catholicism, but the salvation of God through the work of Jesus Christ.

In fact, if you agree with the Lutheran Confessions, which I believe to be true expositions of Christian doctrine, then you have no problem seeing the seat of the Pope as the seat of Antichrist, not the top dog of the church.

Those who got upset over the pope's comments are the same people who get upset over Manny Ramirez and his statements and antics.


They need to learn- It's just the pope being the pope.

Or, if you prefer, it's just Popey being Popey.



"Ohhhhh, ho ho ho, Manny!" "Ohhhhh, ho ho ho ho, Popey!"

Friday's Reading

Psalms 31, 32 and 33. 2 Corinthians 5.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Good Night, Folks

I'm tired.

But the Asiatic Lillies are in bloom.




Thursday's Reading

Psalms 28, 29 and 30. 2 Corinthians 4.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

The Next Chapter Or A Whole New Book?


My first book, which came out two years ago, had a second edition published last year.

Now we have news of this. This could easily be chapter 3 of my book, but being the visual creature I am, I am reluctant to go with it without a good picture. And the x-rays I have seen which I might use are none too clear.

Which makes me think that perhaps I should use this story as the first chapter in an entirely new book. The working title is "Americans Are Nothing But A Bunch Of Whiney Pussies."

Because if this story would have happened here, it undoubtedly would be a different story. The man would have found the nearest lawyer, sued the doctor who sutured him with a tooth in his head, sued the hospital that allowed the doctor near him, sued the other rugby player for allowing his teeth to be in a state that they were so easily evacuated from his mouth, sued his parents for passing on to him a skull that wasn't strong enough to stop a tooth, as well as all relatives and by-standers of said persons.

Then he would have appeared on Today, Good Morning America, Oprah, and Greta, where he would cry on about his tragedy to all the pinheads who would listen.

Then the governement would get involved, and some jag of a representative would enact a law making it a crime to play rugby without a helmet or mouthguard.

But, thankfully, this guy is Australian. His name is Ben Czislowski. Here's his take on the situation as noted in the above link:

"I can laugh about it now but the doctor told me it could have been serious with teeth carrying germs," Czislowski told Australian Associated Press.

"I feel so lucky that the worst that I got out of it was that my head looked uglier than it does normally."

That's awesome, no?

If you haven't seen Russell Crowe's 60 Minutes interview, I suggest you go here to read it. It illustrates what I am talking about. This country is all about being the biggest crybaby. We overreact to everything. It's true. And the press, being obnoxious and self-important, eggs this behavior on. I really admire what Crowe has to say. He's one of the few who have the stones to say what he really thinks. What you see is what you get. There's little room for hypocrisy when you live your life that way.

The following was a great post from Gates of Vienna a while back that illustrates the kind of country we've allowed ourselves to be caged into:
"See what fifty years will do:

Scenario: Jack pulls into school parking lot with rifle in gun rack.
1956 Vice Principal comes over, takes a look at Jack’s rifle, goes to his car and gets his to show Jack.
2006 School goes into lockdown, FBI called, Jack hauled off to jail and never sees his truck or gun again. Counselors called in for traumatized students and teachers.

Scenario: Johnny and Mark get into a fist fight after school.
1956 Crowd gathers. Mark wins. Johnny and Mark shake hands and end up best friends. Nobody goes to jail, nobody arrested, nobody expelled.
2006 Police called, SWAT team arrives, arrests Johnny and Mark. Charge them with assault, both expelled even though Johnny started it.

Scenario: Jason won’t be still in class, disrupts other students.
1956 Jason sent to office and given a good paddling by Principal. Sits still in class.
2006 Jason given huge doses of Ritalin. Becomes a zombie. School gets extra money from state because Jason has a disability.

Scenario: Billy breaks a window in his father’s car and his Dad gives him a whipping.
1956 Billy is more careful next time, grows up normal, goes to college, and becomes a successful businessman.
2006 Billy’s Dad is arrested for child abuse. Billy removed to foster care and joins a gang. Billy’s sister is told by state psychologist that she remembers being abused herself and their Dad goes to prison. Billy’s mom has affair with psychologist.

Scenario: Mark gets a headache and takes some headache medicine to school.
1956 Mark shares headache medicine with Principal out on the smoking dock.
2006 Police called, Mark expelled from school for drug violations. Car searched for drugs and weapons.

Scenario: Pedro fails high school English.
1956 Pedro goes to summer school, passes English, goes to college.
2006 Pedro’s cause is taken up by state Democratic party. Newspaper articles appear nationally explaining that teaching English as a requirement for graduation is racist. ACLU files class action lawsuit against state school system and Pedro’s English teacher. English banned from core curriculum. Pedro given diploma anyway but ends up mowing lawns for a living because he can’t speak English.

Scenario: Johnny takes apart leftover firecrackers from the 4th of July, puts them in a model airplane paint bottle, blows up a red ant bed
1956 Ants die.
2006 BATF, Homeland Security, FBI called. Johnny charged with domestic terrorism, FBI investigates parents, siblings removed from home, computers confiscated, Johnny’s Dad goes on a terror watch list and is never allowed to fly again."

Can we ever return? Of course not. I just hope our mentality is not contagious and doesn't spread to places like Australia and New Zealand.

So, which should it be? The new chapter? Or the new book?

Scottius Maximus Word Of The Month

For July, it's "oi." Or, if you prefer, "oy".

Oi- an interjection; used to get someone's attention.

Wikipedia says "Oi, pronounced [ɔɪ], is a British, Irish, Australian, and New Zealand slang interjection used to get someone's attention, or to express surprise or disapproval. It is also occasionally used in the United States. It is also used in Singapore, with the alternate pronunciation [oɪ]. It is not polite, but it is not especially offensive. It is not to be confused with the Yiddish exclamation of dismay or exasperation "oy" or "oy vey". Often, on television, radio and other media, a stereotypical London Policeman says "Oi! Sunshine! You're nicked!"."

Let's use it, say...in a song...

Here's cousin Bon...

Wednesday's Reading

Psalms 25, 26 and 27. 2 Corinthians 3.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

I Want My Money Back

I thought it was my dog. Poor Sam. And to think that last week I spent $35 for 5 bags of bulbs.

I Know People Like This

Still more hilarious stuff from The Onion.

Tuesday Readings

Psalms 22, 23 and 24. 2 Corinthians 2.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Birthday Buzz

If anyone else has a birthday this week, please e-mail me and let me know. That way I can miss yours also. I'd hate to slight you.

I missed Barb The Evil Genius' birthday on Friday, which also happened to be one of our pastors birthdays.

Then yesterday I missed Cardinals' announcer Mike Shannon's birthday. Here's Mike at his restaurant, a picture I "borrowed" from that website.



He's now 68. And it's been a rough year for the great one. His wife has been ill with cancer, and so understandably he may not accompany the team on road trips the rest of the year. He's also being sued by Josh Hancock's father because his restaurant served him alcohol the night of Hancock's fatal accident.

Happy year 69 to you, Mike! Let's hope it's a better one.

By the way, if you haven't checked out the great johnsebben.com, then do it now. There's a lot of interesting stuff.

And he has the biggest collection of Mike Shannon quotes, also known as "Shannonisms", on the web. Here are some of the newest submissions, as well as some 'classics':

"They boo everyone here in Philadelphia...Santa Clause....the Easter Bunny....(dead air for a few moments)....themselves."


"Here's the 1-2 pitch. DeLeon winds and delivers. SWING AND A MISS! No, wait, he held up. But he's punched out on a called strike three!!!!"

"Ozzie doesn't have an earflap on his batting helmet. There's a rule in the National League that batters must have an earflap on their helmet on the side facing the pitcher. But some players are {long pause} extinct from that rule."

"What a play by Grudzielanek! He goes left, he goes right, he's the man on the high flying trapeze."(after a great diving catch by Mark Grudzielanek)

"You can't sweep a doubleheader if you don't win the first game."

"The young man taking the mound is a native of Tooo-leee-dooo, Ohio...........That's Toledo, for those of you who don't know...heh...heh...heh."
Wayne Hagin: "You had me going there for a second, Mike."


"Cinco de Mayo! That's coming up.....next May."

"Brad Aus-moss" (pronunciation of Brad Ausmus, Houston catcher)

"Jack, it's great to see those beautiful ivory-colored walls again here at Wrigley."


"Heh-heh...ol' Abner's done it again, eh Jack?"

"The reason you can't do that is the light will get in the fielder's eyes and they'll get hit right between the coconuts." (the umpires had stopped the game to get some press box lights turned off)

"Mike Schmidt nursed Dayley for a one-out walk."

"That didn't look like a Van Gogh painting, but he got 'er done".(after a fly to deep center sent a runner to third)

"Mulder can't cut the rug."

"A home run by Jenkins would be great news for Mr…Mr…(long pause)….and Mrs. Brewers fans."
(apparently he forgot the manager's name so he came up with this save)

"Take a ride on that knockdown pitch big boy."
(July 4, 2003, when Albert Pujols hit a home run off Kerry Wood after a fastball inside on the previous pitch)

"When it rains it pours, and there's bucketfulls falling on the Cardinals right now."

"That thing dern near hit him on the tootsie and he would've barked."

"That's Ernie Hayes playing at the pearly gates."

"That was a headsy play by the Cardinals second baseman."

"Jimmy [Edmonds] steps in to lead off the bottom half of the inning... with nobody on base.…(long pause) It could happen... just not tonight."

"Two outs, two on. The cardinals trailing by two, here in the ninth. The two-two pitch to Pujols - Swwwwiiiing and a looong one! Get up baby! That's a winner folks, the cardinals win it -- what? Oh! Sorry folks, we're in the top of the ninth. Still got another half-inning to go..." (spring training game)

"He wont get any symphony over there; no symphony at all......."

"I'll bet Glen's old heart was beating like the Bells on Christmas Day!"
(Padre's Third Base Coach Glen Hoffman dove to the turf to avoid a hard hit foul ball down the left field line).

"There sure is a lot of psychological electricity going on with the Cardinals this inning!"
(Talking about strategies that Tony LaRussa was implementing in Game 3 of the 2006 NLDS series.)

"He's so hot, if you stand too close to him you'll get a suntan." (Bobby Abreu)

"We have Rick Ankiel on the mound tonight, pitching on his twenty-first birthday. Yes sir folks, this young man, just as of today is old enough to vote!"

"You can hear that in his broadcasting if you have a keen eye."(Jack Buck)

"That's an intoxicating battery out there tonight... Bush and Miller!"(Milwaukee pitcher and catcher).


There are dozens more.

Yours truly submitted an entry last fall, and it has finally been accepted. It is officially now part of Mike Shannon lore. See if you can find it here. (Hint: It has to do with Opening Day 2006).

Monday Readings

Psalms 19, 20 and 21. 2 Corinthians 1.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Weekend Reading

Psalms 13, 14, 15, 16, 17 and 18. 1 Corinthians 16.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

In The Big Picture...



My family's more important than yours.

We just finished our week as a Nielsen TV family. So now you can blame us for what's on TV next year.

But don't worry. With my loyal help, Johnny Quest, Sponge Bob and Scooby Doo shall never leave the airwaves.

All Hail Fujifilm!

Lucy got a new camera for her business. So I've been doing some shooting.



Not that kind, no.

She needs to be able to get a lot of close up detail.

I'm still practicing, but here's a tight shot of my Skytel Timex pager in great detail:


Thursday, July 12, 2007

What If...

You could go to your favorite political/religious blog and not see someone try to argue with that tired cliche, "the strawman"?

Whitey Herzog directed movies and Werner Herzog had managed the Cardinals?

Account numbers that begin with a string of zeroes were outlawed?

We are the real puppets, and Howdy Doody and Knucklehead Smiff are actually pulling our strings?


Subway at least offered us PB and J?

Instead of going down to Georgia, the Devil went up to Schenectady?

The Bears had been called The Goats?


KC and the Sunshine Band was really a CIA operative like Chuck Barris?

Instead of a hairy place on the upper lip, God put a hairy patch on each cheek?

Instead of a bullfrog, Jeremiah was a chain smoking halibut who hated wine?

You could have the last 60 seconds of your life back?

Thursday Reading

Psalms 7, 8 and 9. 1 Corinthians 14.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

iGoogle

For years I've used a personalized MSNBC homepage on my Firefox browser at home. I also have used Bloglines to subscribe to and read my favorite blogs without having to actually go to the site.

I've wanted to try Google Reader for many months and finally got around to using it last weekend. It is visually much more attractive than Bloglines. It also seems to load my feeds faster.

So now I've moved my browser's homepage to iGoogle, which is also much prettier than MSN. I like the beach theme and how the look changes to correspond to the time of day. I've added some features to my homepage and deleted others I either didn't read or use. Overall I'm very satisfied.

Unless there is something even better out there. They wouldn't come up with something new, would they?

Tony Stewart

Not too many people are notorious enough for me to write a haiku about, but Tony Stewart just joined the ranks of Randy Moss, toilet drinking dogs, goofy weather, bad allergies and transsexuals.




It's never my fault.
Shorter than Napoleon.
I'm a total tool.

Wednesday Reading

Psalms 4, 5 and 6. 1 Corinthians 13.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Tuesday Reading

Psalms 1, 2 and 3. 1 Corinthians 12.

Monday, July 09, 2007

Monday Reading

Job 40, 41 and 42. 1 Corinthians 11.

Sunday, July 08, 2007

Weekend Reading

Job 36, 37, 38 and 39. 1 Corinthians 10.

Friday, July 06, 2007

Thursday, July 05, 2007

My New Hero


And, naturally, he's a Scot.

His name is Alex McIlveen.
"That's when I saw red. That sort of thing just isn't on...I told my passenger to run for her life, then I went for the passenger and managed to skelp him in the face. I followed it up by booting him twice...I don't think the policeman I saw at the scene drew his baton during the whole thing. He should have given it to me - I'd have leathered those guys with it."

Read his awesome story here.


"Awesome! Totally awesome! All right, Hamilton! ..."

The Benoit Contoversy

The tragic death of pro wrestler Chris Benoit has left me saddened. Even though I am more of a "classic" wrestling fan, growing up on Dick The Bruiser, Sailor Art Thomas, The Black Jacks, etc., and reached the zenith of my interest long ago in the Macho Man/Hulk Hogan era, I still follow it a little and consider myself a fan.

This whole thing is undoubtedly going to get very ugly. The people that run wrestling, like their counterparts in boxing, sound like VERY BAD people.

This case has had Fox's Greta all over it, of course. One of her frequent guests has been Bret "Hitman" Hart, one of my favorites from long ago.

Which brings us to the controversy in our household.

I commented to Lutheran Lucy how much I liked Hitman's hairstyle:



For the past 5 years I have had my hair shorn closely to my scalp, and have been thinking lately about growing it out again. She thought I was joking when I said I wanted to grow my hair out like Hitman's. I was serious. She didn't believe me.

I guess I'll just have to do it to show her how serious I am! Why on earth she would think I was joking is beyond me! But she does! Me! Of all people!

I'm going to wait until the end of July to start, though, so I can keep it short during the hot months. And since I'm growing out the scalp, why not the facial hair again, too? Perhaps I can post updates as the months go by.

How's that sound, Luce?!!! Are you ready?!

Miller Time

I have always been a fan of Dennis Miller.

I loved his HBO show in the 1990s. He's quite Cosellian, in that he's always "telling it like it is". His obscure references jibe well with my own sense of humor. I found his CNBC show very interesting in a Bizarro kind of way. He's a libertarian, but he "gets it".

On Wednesdays he has a segment on Bill O'Reilly's show, in addition to his appearances on the Fox 1/2 Hour News Hour.


The following rant from that show was posted on Town Commons. I also thank Maverick News Media for the link to the above and YouTube for the video. So hilarious, and so dead-on-target regarding wimp-boy Harry Reid. Dude must be French.


Happy 5th Of July Reading

Job 31, 32 and 33. 1 Corinthians 8.

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Wednesday Reading

Job 27, 28, 29 and 30. 1 Corinthians 7.

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

I Know It's Been Rather Empty Here



This post over at RedbirdBrain sums up exactly how I've felt about the baseball season so far. Hence, the paucity of Cardinals' posts. Ordinarily such seasonal mediocrity would have had me rabidly producing.

However, recently this Doris Day attitude has started to crumble. I've been getting more and more into winning again. Earlier in the year, I thought the Cardinals would be buried by now. The fact that they are still in striking distance before the All-Star Break, with Carpenter, Edmonds and Mulder coming off the DL within the next month, has given me hope for another October surprise.

God help me. Because I've kind of enjoyed this more relaxed approach to baseball. It's not going to last much longer. I'm beginning to awaken out of my peaceful slumber. I'm soon going to be like the SuperFans, awaiting my 15th heart attack.

Readings For Tuesday

Job 25 and 26. 1 Corinthians 6.

Monday, July 02, 2007