Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Does Anyone Else Find Stuff Like This A Little Disheartening?

Click here. (I promise it's not pornographic).

I ask you- does this look more like a church's website, or a social club's, or of that of a business?

Where's the law and gospel? It's definitely relegated to page two material. "The Church" has only one purpose, found in Matthew 28. I'm pretty sure "Build The Home, Change The World" is not one of the verses there. And why do churches now have slogans? (You don't really have to answer that).

And this is a "Lutheran" church, although that no longer means anything. But for those of you out there still LCMSers, here are your brothers and sisters. Rock on.

Monday, November 28, 2005

The Busch Ruins- As Possibly Viewed 945 Years In The Future

2950 AD- Archaelogists digging at a dried up old river bed have uncovered evidence of yet another primitive Busch Stadium, c. late 20th century/early 21st century. Scholars now believe there have been a total of 27 Busch Stadiums. It is believed this stadium, pictured below, was one of the first Busches, and a primitive game called Base-ball was played there. Ancient "photos" follow.

During this period of Earth's history, as plainly seen in the picture, the sky was indeed still blue.

It is believed that some type of fire or natural disaster must have destroyed part of the stadium, as it is obvious two different architectural designs formed one gigantic stadium.

Of note here, historians now believe the giant arch like structure in the background was used to punish criminals, making them walk on it's outside.

This primitive structure had no obvious toileting facilities.

It is felt by most scholars that the enormity of the stadium's size was useful for the enactment of giant sea battles. That is, the water from the river that once flowed next to the city was diverted into and filled the stadium for this purpose. Others disagree.

Okay, enough nonsense for today. Must get working.

Sunday, November 27, 2005

LCMesS Board Resignation Highlights One LONG Post (So Please Read It!)

As I posted previously, I believe unquestionably that the LCMesS is dead. Dissent is no longer to be tolerated. The highest authority in the Synod is not the scriptures, but is now the Constitution and Bylaws. The majority of the members of the Commision on Constitutional Matters are appointed. Ugly stuff. Sound un-Lutheran? It should.

God help those who choose to remain in that Synod. They will need it. I hope that they're not doing as the ostrich is above, with head in sand while singing "The Wheels Of The Bus Go Round And Round." But how much longer can they tolerate it. Or ignore the elephant in the room. These are people needing prayers, as they do as their consciences lead them to do.

Julie Martinez, formerly a member of the LCMS Board of Directors, could not struggle against her conscience any longer, and therefore resigned 11/17/2005. I have heard she is looking at joining an ELS congregation.

I feel she should be lauded, although others may disagree. But if you do disagree, just remember- this woman saw first-hand what this Synod is about, what it holds dear, and how things work.

From Reclaim News. Emphases are mine.

"'LCMS Director Resigns: Says President Places Bylaws over Bible"

Julie Martinez, elected to the LCMS Board of Directors in 2004, handed in her resignation letter at the LCMS Board of Directors meeting in Palm Springs CA on Thursday, November 17-19, 2005. Reclaim News is publishing her resignation letter as follows:

Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

Like most of us in this room, God called me to faith in His Son, Jesus Christ, through the Word and Sacrament ministry of a faithful pastor in the LC-MS. My heart and soul was captured by this message, and through the faithful proclamation of the Word by my pastor, I was being fed the pure doctrine of Christ on a regular basis, being assured of the absolution of my sins before God. God also worked through me in congregational service, in evangelism, music, publications, etc. I have tried to serve faithfully and to the best of my abilities in what I have been asked to do in my congregation, and as a member of this Board of Directors.

However, I have been extremely disappointed with the political in-fighting that seems to color everything at the Synodical level. Upon studying the history of the Synod, it appears to be a sad fact that this political infighting is nothing new, and has been going on for generations. The casualty of all this is that the doctrine that was once precious to the LC-MS, the beautiful, pure, saving doctrine of Christ Jesus for sinners like you and like me, while still officially taught, is no longer faithfully practiced. As many Lutheran theologians have written, our doctrine defines our practice, and our practice reflects our doctrine. When our practice is compromised, then our doctrine suffers as well.

While there are some remarkably faithful pastors and lay individuals in the Synod, it has become heartbreakingly clear that, for the most part, the congregations of the LC-MS no longer practice the orthodox Lutheran faith. If a congregation does stand firm in the faith, it inevitably has factions within it that are actively campaigning to change those practices in a direction that is not a reflection of our doctrine. Indeed, it appears obvious that the more faithful the pastor and/or the congregation, the more active and vicious the dissident faction becomes. Pastors and congregational leaders who defend the faith are often attacked from within, and these faithful men and women who stand for what they believe are spiritually, emotionally, and sometimes even physically harmed. Congregations are torn apart, relationships are damaged, some irreparably, and some people even leave the faith.

In his essay on Communion Fellowship1, C.F.W. Walther writes that "the true visible the one in which the Word of God is preached purely and the holy Sacraments are administered according to Christ's institution..Every person is obligated to stand up for the visible church, and given the opportunity, to join it". In the congregations I have visited recently, these marks, sadly, have not been unambiguously present.

Many LC-MS congregations today practice open communion, and many encourage women to act in ways that are contrary to their vocations, such as being readers and communion assistants in the Divine Service. In the congregations where I have visited recently, many sermons do not even proclaim the gospel of Christ crucified for the forgiveness of sins, and instead speak of Him as nothing more than a good teacher and example for us.

Yet these things begin at the Synodical level. We have witnessed an elected leader openly engage in syncretistic, public worship, a situation that is clearly in violation of the first commandment and thus an insult to God's Holy Name, and is not only encouraged to do so, but is protected by his ecclesiastical supervisor, thereby confirming him in his unrepentant sin, which sin we each share to some degree by virtue of our fellowship relationship.

Some would say that these matters are adiaphora and should all be permitted under Christian freedom. However, these things are all in direct opposition to the very clear words of Scripture, yet they continue without any kind of ecclesiastical supervision being exercised. Additionally, the Scriptures, as well as our Lutheran Confessions, state quite clearly that, in matters which cause disunity and are harmful to the faith of our weaker brothers, nothing is adiaphora, for "true believers are grieved, offended, and weakened in the faith." (SD X:5-16, Romans 14:1-6)

In the fourth century, Gregory of Nazianzus writes, "As then the straightness or crookedness of the course of the body depends upon the clearness or dullness of the eye, so must the church necessarily share the peril or safety brought by the conduct of its chief."2

At the Synodical level, the Scriptures and Confessions are no longer the norm of our relationship with each other, but they have been replaced by the Constitution and Bylaws of the corporation that calls itself "LC-MS, Inc." Indeed, during a recent Board of Directors conference call, the comment was made that "the highest authority in our Synod is the Constitution and Bylaws." This statement was not challenged by anyone on the board because it is, regrettably, true.

Frankly, I think that, in an orthodox church body, the highest authority should be the Scriptures and Confessions, not the Constitution and Bylaws. In an orthodox church body, the President of Synod should be a theologian, not a self-proclaimed "bylaws kind of a guy". In an orthodox church body, ecclesiastical supervision should mean something and be exercised. If it were, we would indeed be "walking together in unity", and our practice would once again reflect our doctrine. In sad fact, the doctrinal disunity in our congregations is a direct consequence of the noted lack of these essential things in our Synod.

As He has all Christians, God has called me to faith in Christ for a reason. That reason is to give me forgiveness of my sin through His death, to feed me with His precious Word and Sacraments throughout my life, and to give me eternal life with Him when I die through His resurrection. Unfortunately, what has actually happened since my election to the Board of Directors is that I am fed more and more frequently on conflict, compromise, and political one-up-manship, and less and less often with the gifts God intends to give to each of us, His precious Word and Sacraments.

That must change. These circumstances have been detrimental to my faith, as I have watched the focus in our Synod turning further from Christ and more and more to political agendas and quests for personal glory. I will be the first to admit that I am one of the "weaker brothers" of whom Paul spoke, in that I need constant refreshment and reassurance through solid Word and Sacrament ministry. I do not believe that I am alone in this, but rather, that many others, like myself, are also suffering doubts and questions of faith as a direct result of the doctrinal compromises that are prevalent in our Synod. This is surely not God's wish for His children, as we read in Matthew 18:6.

C.F.W. Walther also writes, in his same essay, that "Everyone is obligated to avoid heterodox churches, and if one belongs to one like that, he is obligated to renounce it and leave it."

A decision such as this is one that can only come through much anguish, and also much prayer. My conscience, under Holy Scripture, has now made the decision for me, for the clear Word of God has led me to the sad conclusion that the LC-MS, the Synod of my own birth and baptism in Christ, has become the heterodox church body of which Walther writes. Therefore, I now share with you my intent to renounce and leave what I believe to be this heterodox church body, the LC-MS. (Romans 16:17-18). It is therefore incumbent upon me to inform you that I hereby resign my position on the Board of Directors, effective immediately.

I have come to this meeting so that I could inform my colleagues on this board face to face, for it would be cowardly to do otherwise. Additionally, it would be unethical for me to participate having so announced my intent. I shall therefore absent myself from the remainder of this meeting. Let the record also show that I have abstained from any and all votes at this meeting prior to being given the floor in this matter

For those faithful men and women who find yourselves in the same quandary and have chosen to stay and fight for the truth within the LC-MS a little longer, in spite of the heterodox practices, I respect you for your decision, and I wish you God's peace. God has also granted me peace and a clear conscience with my decision, and I would ask only that you consider carefully what I have said here.

David writes, "Restore unto me the joy of Thy salvation, and sustain me with a willing spirit." (Psalm 51:12) I speak not for myself alone, but also for those many others in the church, from whom the joy of God's salvation has been stolen. I join with David in that prayer, that God restores us to Himself, and keeps us firm in the unity of His doctrine and in His true faith.

Respectfully yours, in Christ's service,

Julie Martinez"

"What News Of The North?"

-Edward "Longshanks" I, from the movie Braveheart.

Since when does one incorporate Braveheart quotes into news of the first mission congregation of the ULMA? Why, whenever possible!

On Sunday November 20, 2005, confessional Lutherans from the Milwaukee area congregated for worship and Bible study at a Holiday Inn Express. A total of 30 worshippers attended, 24 from the area and 6 from our congregation. Response was generally positive. I am anxious to hear of this weekend's turnout, as several persons who attended apparently stated they would bring others today.

Please pray with us that this endeavor would be a success, not in a numbers and dollars-oriented worldly sense, but in the way of teaching and proclaiming God's word purely, upholding the Lutheran confessions, and administering the sacraments rightly to sinful people.

NFL Week 12 Picks

For the year, after a 10-6 week last week and 1-1 record Thanksgiving, I am for the year 104-58. Here's how the ESPN NFL experts are doing compared to me:

This week:
Atlanta (W)
Dallas (L)

St. Louis



Kansas City









Indianapolis- Monday Night

Friday, November 25, 2005

All Ye Of The Cast Iron Stomach Club...

The Mighty Katie's Beer has a post on turkey-induced holiday vomiting, which reminded me of my own holiday food poisoning last Christmas. It did make last Christmas memorable. But I definitely could have done without it. A December 23rd Christmas breakfast at work, starring egg casserole (which was mighty tasty I might add), was my downfall.

I had not vomited since 1972 until that fateful night last year. A vomit streak of 32 years. Which begs the question- what's the longest anyone has gone without vomiting, i.e., what is the longest vomit streak in your life?

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Hey, I'm Just A Poor, Dumb, City Boy

At least that's the excuse I'm using.

The old saying "he may be crazy but he ain't no fool" doesn't apply to me anymore. And not because I ain't crazy. Let me explain.

My partner in business and I took a lunch to a local eatery. He's more of a city boy than I am. Born in Brooklyn. Moved to Chicago as a teenager. We're at one of those all you can eat spreads where you can visit the tables of food as many times as you want.

They had about five kinds of potatoes there to eat. Which launched the following conversation. Or at least a reasonable facsimile of what my mind remembers of it.

Scene: A buffet restaurant. During a crowded lunch time. Two seriously hungry eaters, referred to here as diner #1 and diner #2, are discussing the selections.

"Diner #1: These potatoes are awesome.
Diner #2: Well, so are these.
Diner #1: What is a potato?
Diner #2: Huh?

Diner #1: I mean, is a potato a fruit or a vegetable?
Diner #2: It's a vegetable...I think. Actually, I'm not sure.
Diner #1: What exactly is a fruit... I mean, what makes something a fruit and not a vegetable?
Diner #2: Well a fruit grows on trees, right?
D1: No, I don't think so. I mean, they can, but what about raspberries, or strawberries? They grow on the ground.
D2: Yeah. So that's not it.
D1: What's not it?
D2: A fruit being something that grows on a tree. It must be something else. But what?
D1: Well, a potato could still be a fruit. I think they come out of the ground.

D2: I think a fruit has something to do with the ovary of the plant or something.
D1: THE OVARY OF A PLANT!!!! Yeah, that's it, it's a reproductive organ!
D2: I'm serious. But I don't know for sure.
D1: Well a potato couldn't be a fruit. Did you ever see a reproductive organ on a potato?
D2: I've never seen anything on a potato. Not even a stem. It's just some lump. I think they pull it out of the ground as a lump that just grows there.
D1: How do they know it's there?
D2: Good question.

D1: Where do they grow?
D2: Idaho I think. And Ireland.

D1: Why though?
D2: Don't know.

D1: It's cold in those places isn't it?
D2: Yeah.

D1: And dark and rainy, right?
D2: Right.
D1: Isn't Idaho out by Oregon and Washington, where it rains all the time?

D2: Yeah.
D1: So how does something grow in the ground without any sun?
D2: Maybe it does have a stem or something. Or leaves.

D1: No way, I have never seen a potato with a stem or leaves. It's just got an ugly skin and some bumps.
D2: Maybe that's how they reproduce.
D1: How?
D2: Well, you've seen how a ripe potato will sprout legs if you leave it in a dark place.

D1: Yeah those things are still alive when they're in the bag.
D2: Until you throw it a hot boiling pot of water or piping hot oven wrapped with aluminum foil
D1: Which kills it, whatever IT is.
D2: But maybe these things just bud off a leg or something to reproduce a new potato.
D1: Like an amoeba, or bacteria?
D2: Yeah.

D1: Like fission, only on a larger level?
D2: Sure.

D1: Get outta here.
D2: Well they sure don't have seeds. You ever see a potato seed?
D1: Well, no.
D2: So, maybe they bud new potatoes off the old ones. They sure don't have seeds, or leaves, or stems.
D1: I guess so. And I don't see them growing in pods like peas. You never see a pod of potatoes.
D2: What the devil IS a potato?
D1: I don't know, but maybe the potatoes have always been here.

D2: Like, there was once a giant potato that budded off all the potatoes that are now in existence all over the world.
D1: Or maybe the potato has always existed, starting as a giant potato, and then it exploded. Like the Big Bang. So now we have tons of little potatoes.
D2: That we're digging up all over the place?
D1: Do you have a better idea?
D2: Actually, no.
D1: Well...there you have it.

D2: No, we don't have it. That's stupid.
D1: As opposed to biting in to a potato and expecting to find seeds?

D2: No. But I know potatoes have NOT always existed.
D1: Maybe it's a premature animal life form. Like a cross between an animal and plant. It does seem to be alive and it sprouts legs after awhile.
D2: Sprouting legs doesn't make something an animal. Come on.
D1: Maybe they form directly from the ground. That would explain why they only grow in certain places. Maybe we don't have the right dirt here for them to form.
D2: I don't think the potato is a fruit or a vegetable. At least I know a fruit and a vegetable grow on a plant. A potato doesn't does it? I never see anyone selling a potato tree or bush.
D1: No, I'm quite certain it doesn't grow on a tree or bush. It grows in the ground. Definitely.
D2: But how?
D1: Let's just say this. We don't know.

D2: Agreed. But when we get back to the office, we're going to look this up on the internet. That will answer all our questions.
D1: No, I got it. It's a fungus.
D2: (Pause) You might have something there.
D1: Sure. It grows in dark, wet places, right?
D2: Right, just like mushrooms--
D1 and D2 together: ANOTHER FUNGUS!

D1: Am I smart or what?
D2: No doubt about it.
D1: Let's look it up when we get back.
D2: Trust me, I will."

Believe it or not we are both highly educated men. With Biology backgrounds (please don't tell my former professors). But this puzzled us. So I went to look up just what the heck a potato was. And what the difference was between a fruit and vegetable.

If you already knew the answers, congratulations. If not, click on the links below.

To read what a potato is and other fine Thanksgiving foods, go here.

And here you'll find the difference between a fruit and a vegetable.


Must Read If You're Cooking Turkey This Thanksgiving


"Claim: Clueless cooks in the process of commiting Thanksgiving mayhem call turkey hot lines.

Status: True.

Origins: Key to the celebration of Thanksgiving is gathering with family and friends to partake of a sumptuous feast prepared in honor of the day. Central to that feast (or at least to our common mental image of it) is a roasted turkey laid on a platter before the hungry guests, the bird presented in all its mouthwatering crispy-skinned perfection.

Yet not every aspiring Thanksgiving-maker knows how to properly roast a turkey. The bird proves an utter mystery to some, resulting in many a holiday mishap of a culinary nature.

Luckily, those confounded by the fowl can access a great deal of help by calling a number of turkey preparation hotlines. While some offer only recorded tips on how to prepare and roast the bird, others provide live assistance from trained experts well experienced not only with poultry but with nervous and overwhelmed cooks. Over the years, these talk line mavens have fielded all manner of queries from those bewildered by the fickle bird.

One of the more unusual questions handled by Butterball's Turkey Talk-Line (which the company has operated since 1981) comes from those who have mistaken a well-traveled joke for an actual recipe: They call to ask if they can pop popcorn in the turkey's cavity during the roasting process. (The joke's punch line is: "You know the turkey is done when the popcorn pops and blows the rear off the bird.") And no, you can't.

The hotline has heard from a gal who couldn't find the turkey she buried in a snowbank, a guy who wanted to know how to carve his bird with a chain saw, and a mechanic who worried about using motor oil as a baste.

Then there was the young mother who failed to notice her children playing near the oven-ready bird. The kids decided the turkey's cavity was a good place to park toy cars. Their mom didn't discover Ol' Tom was doubling as a garage until after the turkey had been roasted.

Another confused cook called the Butterball line after cleaning her turkey because she wanted to know how to get the metal pieces out. "Apparently," said one of the Butterball economists, "she had scrubbed her bird with a steel scouring pad." A West Coast woman who had taken anti-bacterial precautions too far called Butterball to find out how to get the bleach she'd used off her bird.

Butterball turkey experts still talk about the Kentucky woman who called in 1993 to ask how to get her dog out of her turkey. It seems the woman's Chihuahua had dived into the bird's cavity and become trapped there. The woman tried pulling the pooch and shaking the bird, all to no avail. A Butterball economist finally suggested the woman carefully cut the opening in the turkey wider to release the captive canine.

The Reynolds Wrap Turkey Tips Line (800-745-4000) took a query from a woman who wanted to know if she could cook her turkey by placing it in a Reynolds Oven Bag, putting it in the window in the back of her car, and letting the heat from the sun bake the turkey. (She was told that would be an uncontrolled heat source and was instructed to use an oven instead.)

The folks at Butterball have also dealt with cooks determined to roast turkeys on the back ledges of their cars. And they've had people call to ask if they could cook their holiday birds on radiators. Then there was the bride who had a small, apartment-size range and was worried the turkey would get larger as it cooked (similar to a loaf of bread rising) — she was fretting she wouldn't be able to get it out of the oven after it was done.

There are those whose problems are not how to get the turkey out of the oven, but when. Said Nancy Rodriguez, coordinator of the Butterball Turkey Talk-Line in 1985, "One lady in Arkansas had her five-pound turkey in the oven 24 hours — did we think it was done? Another caller wanted to know the best method for reattaching the thighs and drumsticks when they fall off. His 12-pound turkey had been in the oven since 8 a.m. the day before."

The self-cleaning option offered on a number of ranges has caused its share of Thanksgiving troubles when confused cooks have inadvertently started its cycle while their birds were in the oven. Others have different range-related questions, such as: "Your directions say to roast the turkey, but my oven says only bake or broil; how do I set it?"

We'll leave it to others to provide the more mundane advice regarding thawing and cooking times, how to prepare the bird for roasting and how to prepare stuffing, and instead offer these useful tips, as gleaned from the experiences of turkey hot line counsellors:

  • Do not leave your turkey on your back porch, either to slow thaw it or to keep it chilled until the big day. Those who have failed to heed this advice have discovered themselves birdless on Thanksgiving morning. Their loss was the local raccoons' gain — those masked marauders celebrated the day in fine style.
  • If you choose to bring home your frozen bird within the car proper rather than in the trunk, do take care to seatbelt the fowlsicle lest a sudden stop transform the star of the upcoming dinner into a weighty frozen projectile. One woman who failed to belt down her bird was rewarded for her lack of foresight with a broken toe when a sharp tap of the brakes caused the iced fowl to slide off the seat and onto her foot.

    Barbara "she fell victim to fowl play" Mikkelson"

What Am I Thankful For? Breakfast Foods That Rock!

After recently viewing a History Channel program on the history of breakfast foods, I thought it would be a good thing to delve back in to the depths of my memories (don't worry, I left the scary stuff in there) and pull out what I think are perhaps the greatest breakfast foods in history.

1- Tang
The only question is- orange or grape? I wanted to be an astronaut when I was small, and this was the closest thing to being one. And as I remember, Tang was a good word for it, because it was sour. Question- has anyone drunk (drank? I don't know) Tang in the past 30 years?

2- Quisp
Some cereal from an outer space alien. He had a counterpart named Quake. I think Quake was some kind of giant, maybe an alien, maybe not. As I remember (okay I was probably only 3 or 4 so what do I know?), Quisp tasted sort of like Cap'n Crunch. Which reminds me, there are probably more cereals in the Cap'n Crunch vein than about any other cereal kind. Such as Freakies and King Vitamin. They were essentially Cap'n Crunch with a different box. Imagine my joy when I saw Quisp and Quake in the aisle at SuperWalmart recently. Only I didn't buy it. My mistake.

3- Boo Berry
A blue berry flavored cereal? Are you kidding me? But it was awesome, baby. And I can't describe the blue milk in your bowl when the cereal was gone. De-lish. The last of the 3-headed monster cereal group to be made, it was the best (the others in that group being Count Chocula and Frankenberry). Boo Berry had little blue marshmallows with crunchy larger round pieces of blue. I spotted it again in Super Walmart within the past year. But I didn't make the same mistake I did with Quisp. This one I bought, and it was as good as I remember as an 8 year old. My highest recommendation.

4- Crunch Berries
That Crunch Berry beast freak creeped me out. What was he supposed to be? But this was my favorite of the Cap'n Crunch genre. Cap'n Crunch with little red berry balls. Nice.

5- Count Chocula
Large chocolate round hard bits with tiny chocolate marshmallows. Leaving the chocolatiest (word?) milk in the land to drink down when finished. And I loved the picture of the Count on the box. Now, looking at him as an adult medical professional, I think he looks a bit jaundiced. Maybe he vampired on the wrong person. Yuck. Anyway, one of the original two of the eventual monster cereal trio.

6- Sir Grapefellow
I was skinny as a kid, and this guy was skinny also, so I guess that was part of the reason why I liked him better than his short fat counterpart, Baron Von Redberry. Sir Grapefellow was also a WWI Ally, English I remember, to counterbalance the Kraut, Von Redberry. They both had their own cereal, Sir Grapefellow obviously being grape, and Baron Von Redberry being a red raspberry flavor. They were supposed to be WWI flying aces who fought one another. Over their cereal, I guess.

I think this was the single most unique cereal I have ever eaten. A freakin' grape flavored cereal. I love it. I haven't seen this one brought back. That's a shame.

7- Frankenberry
One of the original two cereals in the eventual three-headed monster cereal group, this cereal was strawberry flavored as I remember. It had hard crunchy round bits combined with soft small marshmallows like the other two in the franchise. But the Frankenberry dude seemed like such a dolt on the commercials I couldn't get with eating his cereal as much as Count Chocula or Boo Berry. He reminded me of Curly, only with a Transylvanian accent and bolts in his neck.

8- Alpha-Bits
I don't know what it was about the taste as a child, but I loved it. I tried it as an adult and found I did not care for it much. Kind of reminded me of pet food. And I could never get it to spell my name, 'cause it has a K in it. Which one could never for certain identify. "Let's see is that a K...or a Y...or an X." I think they calculated the letter distribution in the bag based on its frequency in the game Scrabble.

9- Super Sugar Crisp/Super Orange Crisp
Sugar Bear was one bad dude. As in cool and powerful. His popularity was so great that in my neighborhood growing up, one of my friends went as Sugar Bear on Halloween one year. In the early '70s the bear branched out into another cereal called Super Orange Crisp. Sweet Super Sugar Crisp with tangy orange bits in it. The contrast of sweet and sour was awesome. I must have been the only person who loved this cereal, because they quit making it after a short time and have never brought it back. What a shame.

10- Pink Panther Flakes
The Pink Panther, my favorite cartoon character, had his own cereal at one time. It was like eating Frosted Flakes that were dyed pink. Weird stuff. Like, far out, man. Just like a lot of early 1970s stuff. I probably have bits of pink dye in my spleen to this day, waiting to awake from dormancy and cause cancer or something. There just was something not right about this cereal.

11- Sugar Smacks
Start your day the Sugar Smacks way. Dig 'Em the frog was cool, although not as cool as Sugar Bear. But then again, who on this planet is cooler than Sugar Bear? Question- weren't Sugar Smacks and Sugar Crisp the same cereal? Did they think we wouldn't notice?

12- Sugar Pops
One thing I love about the '60s and '70s is they weren't afraid to put the word SUGAR on their products. They were PROUD of all the sugar. Nowadays they try to hide it by changing the name and using the term "high fructose corn syrup". That's SUGAR, too, folks. But it makes us feel better about eating sweetened cereal.

13- Frosted Flakes
I loved Tony the Tiger, and to this day I think this is the single greatest cereal ever made. In the world of kid-dom, I think only Oreos is on par with this food. Want proof? Have you ever seen them try to improve it by adding flavors or colors to Frosted Flakes? Ever got a box of "New and Improved Frosted Flakes"? Of course not. Because it's perfect the way it is. Its only downside is its tendency to wilt after only 20 seconds in milk.

Frosted Flakes of Corn. Yep, that pretty much sums it up.

14- Froot Loops

I loved Toucan Sam as much as Tony, until they gave him a fruity English accent sometime in the 1970s. But the cereal remains to this day a treasure to behold in front of one's hungry eyes. The only other gripe I have is they've tried to "improve" Froot Loops by adding more colors. When I was a kid, there was red, yellow, and orange. And that's the way it should still be.

15- Trix
Another cereal they've tried to improve by adding more flavors/colors. Why? Can anyone really tell the difference between red and purple tiny cereal balls. A lot of people think Trix are just Froot Loops in ball form. Wrongo! Two distinctly tasting cereals altogether. A real cereal connoisseur would know that. And I never understood why no one would share their bowl of cereal with the rabbit. I hated those Trix kids for that. Selfish, sinful Trix kids.

That sums it up. Any others I forgot?

Monday, November 21, 2005

Harold Lloyd

About six weeks ago I switched from cable to DISH network satellite service. I have been thrilled so far. The highlight of the switch has been that Turner Classic Movies is available on my package. This has been great for my entertainment, although bad for my other home agendas.

In a matter of just six weeks, I have been able to see North By Northwest, Psycho, Rear Window, Shadow of a Doubt, The Pink Panther, It Takes a Thief, Gaslight, Vertigo, and many other wonderful old movies. If you love movies, you must get this channel.

Last night they had a Harold Lloyd marathon. Harold Lloyd was a silent film star. I hadn't seen a movie of his in about 30 years. The first movie was about 70 minutes long and was titled "Safety Last". The scene above is from this movie.

The movie was thoroughly entertaining despite the lack of conversation. It was very well made in both a technical and artistic sense. I almost could not watch the ending, as Harold scales the outside of a 12 story building, because it kind of reminded me of those whacks who climbed out on top of the Arch. Too bad Harold lived too early for the Arch, because I'm sure he would have made a movie from outside of it.

"Girl Shy" was the next movie, and a completely different sort of comedy. Although Mr. Lloyd had playing a doofus down pat before doofus was even a word, it is a charming and touching movie. But, like in Safety Last, this movie has a fantastic ending that is both exhilirating and funny. One of the wildest chase/race scenes I have ever seen, and made in 1924. Several other film shorts followed but I was too tired and went to bed.

That this guy was a genius cannot be denied. Imagine me entertained by a couple of silent pictures. Who'd have thunk it?

Sunday, November 20, 2005

NFL Picks Week 11

I was 9-5 last week, leaving me 93-51 for the year. This would leave me tied for 2nd with the NFL Experts at ESPN.


St. Louis

New England









San Diego



Kansas City

Green Bay- Monday

Saturday, November 19, 2005

Let The Bidding Begin?

Another great Gizmodo find. Especially for all of you fellow Trekkie wannabes.

It's Kirk's kidney stone.

I don't know about you, but I'd take Uhuru's nail clippings, Spock's nose hair, Bones' gall stones, Chekov's molars, and Scotty's ear wax before I'd buy Kirk's kidney stone. And don't get me started about owning any part of Sulu. Yuck.

This seals it. Some people will buy anything. Now, if only I could figure out how to turn that to my advantage. But somehow I get the feeling I'd be breaking a commandment. So I'll hush up.

Would You Pay $499...

Just so you could play "Joust" again? This just isn't right.

More Proof The LCMesS Really Is Ablaze!

More LCMesS news for your Saturday consideration. From Reclaim News:

"CCM Says "Follow Synod's Position": Walther Said "Follow Christ's Doctrine"

The LCMS Commission on Constitutional Matters (CCM) adopted new rulings that

are binding on all parties in the Synod in its Orlando, Florida meeting
October 16-18, 2005.

These rulings reverse the congregational autonomy taught by C. F. W. Walther

and demand that congregations must obey "the position of the Synod."

There was a time that all "positions" of the Synod were advisory and

everyone was to follow Christ's doctrine.

The CCM writes:

88. Activity of Small Groups Within the Synod (05-2443)

"Accordingly, it is not in harmony with the Constitution and Bylaws of the
Synod for any member of the Synod or any groups within the Synod to teach publicly, publicly advocate, or promote any position contrary to the position of the Synod."

Walther wrote: "But if the Synod would say, 'we have decided it; we are the
highest court; you must obey us, or we shall excommunicate you' then the congregation would have to say, 'Farewell, Synod! It was nice knowing you.' You see, you are assuming the role of Christ; you are an assembly of outright popes. We want to be and remain free; that is what it means to be
Lutheran." ("Essays for the Church" Walther, "Duties of an Evangelical Lutheran Synod Iowa District Convention, 1879, Volume II CPH 1992 Page 29-30)

Walther wrote: "The Synod is only an advisory body." (Page 31)

Walther wrote: "If our Synod would ever say, 'every congregation must
contribute one cent every year,' then the congregations should say, 'Not even half a cent. You must beg; yes, we'll gladly give to a beggar. But if you try to give us orders, our friendship is over.'" (Page 31)

Walther wrote: "According to our Constitution, no synodical resolution is
binding on the individual congregations. No resolution. Mark that well! What we resolve here in convention the pastors and lay delegates must report to the home congregations and say, 'This is what the convention resolved.' But they cannot say, 'Now you must also observe this.' No, on the contrary the congregation can say, 'As soon as it is a matter that has been left free for us as Christians, we can disregard the resolution of the convention.' And the Synod can say nothing against that.'" (Page 31-32.)

The majority of the members of the CCM were appointed, not elected to their
office, by Synodical President Gerald Kieschnick. Kieschnick, the CCM, and the COP, all say that the rulings of the CCM are binding on all parties in the Synod. This includes all pastors, teachers, and congregations.

Now, Second Vice President Dr. Paul Maier lends his support to Kieschnick in
the Nov. 2005 issue of "Jesus First." Maier says that the Synod has been controlled by right wing extremists for the past 30 years and was only set free by Kieschnick in 2001.

Maier writes: "Through careful politicization, our right-wing extremists
have managed to control the LCMS for the last thirty years, or until the July 2001 Convention."

Yes, Maier applauds Kieschnick for compelling everyone in the Synod to agree
with the "position of the Synod" something that the Synod's founder condemned.

Maier is a learned man and uses his knowledge to convince people to follow
the Synod's position. At least he admits that the liberal Seminex machine, that ran the LCMS until 1974, is the group he calls "Biblical centrists."

Walther writes: "Accordingly, a pastor cannot say, 'I've studied for 9 or 12
years; I must know better than you what is right and what isn't.' No, here all are equal. Everyone must himself deal with Christ; therefore no one can dictate to him what he must believe. Only Christ can do that. And for that reason also no one can let himself be tyrannized, but every individual must say, 'Show us; how is it written?' The proverb has always proved to be true, 'The more learned, the more mistaken.'" (Page 28)

Maier is fighting for his political life in the Synod and denounces the
lawsuit against the Synod as "unjustified, ill-conceived, inept, unnecessary." He appeals to the biblical centrists, who really don't know what is happening or what the Bible and Walther said, as follows: "Although the vast majority of believers in both the ELCA and LCMS are biblical centrists who avoid both extremes, the ELCA has an unusually vocal left extremist faction, while the LCMS is the mirror opposite: We are beset by an unusually vocal right extremist faction."

An extremist in the LCMS today is anyone who vocally defends the teaching of
the Synod's founder, C. F. W. Walther.

Walther wrote: "When the Word of God has neither commanded nor prohibited
something, then the congregation must decide, no synod, no pastor, no presbytery, no consistory. That is the position of our church. That is a free church. That is not a community under clerical control, but a community of members of Christ, united by an evangelical, gentle bond of love." (Page 26)

"Accordingly, the congregation should refuse to obey, not only if the pastor
teachers false doctrine, but also if his teaching is sound but he proposes something that God has not commanded. Then the congregation should guard its independence and say, 'We'll take that matter under advisement, and if our thinking differs from yours, pastor, then we'll follow our judgment.' Every faithful Lutheran pastor takes the great pains to assist the congregation in securing its freedom, whereas false pastors keep it hidden from the congregations. (Page 27)

Walther wrote: "A synodical convention is therefore a representative of the
church. Should it not therefore be empowered to make demands of a congregation, make rules for it that it must obey for the Lord's sake? No. Just as little as a pastor can make rules and regulations for a congregation, so little can a whole assembly of pastors together with as many laypeople do that. For also the church has no power to make a rule that would bind the conscience of individual Christians or even of whole congregations. For in the kingdom of God we are all equal." (Page 29)

Somehow, the definition of a right wing extremist in the LCMS is someone who
wants the Synod to conduct honest elections and follow the laws of the State of Missouri? At this time the LCMS is plagued by "leaders" who have little regard for the word of God and the laws of man.

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Battle For The Planet Of The Ex-Cardinals

You've waited for this moment through four other films...
Planet of the Ex-Cardinals.
Beneath the Planet of the Ex-Cardinals.
Escape from the Planet of the Ex-Cardinals.
Conquest of the Planet of the Ex-Cardinals.


Despite being hampered by post-production delays, Scottius Maximus Productions, a wholly owned subsidiary of Scottius Maximus Enterprises, is proud to announce the release of the exciting final installment of the Planet of the Ex-Cardinals Series, 2005. Presenting...

"Battle For The Planet Of The Ex-Cardinals."


Tony Womack, Yankees
G- 108, AB- 329, R- 46, H- 82, 2B- 8, 3B- 1, HR- 0, RBI- 15, TB- 92, BB- 12, SO- 49, SB- 27, CS- 5, OBP- .276, SLG- .280, AVG- .249, OPS- .556

Edgar Renteria, Red Sox
G- 153, AB- 623, R-100, H- 172, 2B- 36, 3B- 4, HR- 8, RBI- 70, TB- 240, BB- 55, SO- 100, SB-9, CS- 4, OBP- .335, SLG- .385, AVG- .276, OPS- .720

Woody Williams, Padres
W- 9, L- 12, ERA- 4.85, G-28, GS- 28, CG- 0, SHO- 0, SV- 0, SVO- 0, IP- 159.2, H- 174, R- 92 ER- 86, HR- 24, BB- 51, SO- 106

Steve Kline, Orioles
W- 2, L- 4, ERA- 4.28, G- 67, GS- 0, CG- 0, SHO- 0, SV- 0, SVO- 3, IP- 61, H- 59, R- 34, ER-29, HR- 11, BB- 30, SO- 36

Mike Matheny, Giants
G- 134, AB- 443, R- 42, H- 107, 2B- 34, 3B- 0, HR- 13, RBI- 59, TB- 180, BB- 29, SO- 91, SB- 0, CS- 2, OBP- .295, SLG- .406, AVG- .242, OPS- .701

Danny Haren, A's
W- 14, L- 12, ERA- 3.73, G- 34, GS- 34, CG- 3, SHO- 0, SV- 0, SVO- 0, IP- 217, H- 212, R- 101, ER- 90, HR- 26, BB- 53, SO- 163

Kiko Calero, A's
W- 4, L- 1, ERA- 3.23, G- 58 GS- 0, CG- 0, SHO- 0, SV- 1, SVO- 2, IP- 55.2, H- 45, R- 20, ER- 20, HR-6, BB- 18, SO- 52

Marlon Anderson, Mets
G- 123, AB- 235, R- 31, H- 62, 2B- 9, 3B- 0, HR- 7, RBI- 19, TB- 92, BB-18, SO- 45, SB- 6, CS- 1, OBP- .316, SLG- .391, AVG- .264, OPS- .707

From high atop my critic's chair in the balcony, here's my review of the "plot" of our climactic episode:

1. In the catching theater, Matheny wins on all accounts, except in the subcategory of picking runners off of first base. And watching the young Molina make multiple bonehead plays during the playoffs didn't help his cause. (A thumbs down for the Cardinals).
2. Marlon Anderson, super-sub. Although he cooled off down the stretch, I wish we still had good ole Marlon. (Another thumbs down for the Cardinals).
3. Haren and Calero vs. Mulder is no longer a tough call. We've been "Bartoned". As in we gave up two good pitchers and possibly the next Pujols (Daric Barton) for a pitcher who cannot win in the post season. Mulder had better believe he has something to prove to St. Louis next year, assuming he's back. (Still another thumbs down for the Cards).
4. I still love the great "Albert" Eckstein, and I'm still glad Edgar Renteria is gone. Albert Pujols stole more bases than Edgar. I'm going to say it for the last time: Edgar is WAY overpaid. (Thumbs up for the Cards).
5. Tony Womack did not go all Bizarro Womack the last month of the season. In fact he barely played at all. So I won't change my mind that the Cardinals did well not to re-sign him. His OBP was anemic, and his SO rate was horrible. (Thumbs up for the Cards).
6. Woody Williams had a bad year. And it was painful to see the Cardinals blow him up in the playoffs, even though I was glad we won. (Thumbs up for the Cards).
7. Steve Kline- No saves. Three blown saves. Lots of homers for a reliever. 'Nuff said. (Thumbs up for the Cards).

So, it looks like four thumbs up and three thumbs down for this film, a net gain of only one thumb.

From the Cardinals standpoint, it was close. The ex-Cardinals almost outdid their counterparts on the actual Cardinals. But Walt Jocketty eked out the one thumb victory for the Cardinals despite the Mulder debacle in the playoffs.

And so it ends...well, until Spring Training. Which is only ~90 days away!

Until next time, I'll see the movies.

The LCMesS

Borrowed this scene from Beckfest. But the LCMS really is Ablaze!. So it seemed fitting. Still more sadness.

From Reclaim News:

"LCMS Agrees that a Congregation Can Excommunicate another Congregation"

"For the first time in the history of American Lutheran Synods, the Lutheran
Church Missouri Synod is agreeing that one of its member congregations can excommunicate another member congregation from the LCMS. We aren't talking about excommunicating a guilty party or parties, but every man, woman, and child in the congregation, including members in nursing homes.

The Missouri District of the LCMS is agreeing that Trinity Lutheran Church
in Roselle, Illinois can demand that Trinity Lutheran Church in New Haven, Missouri be excommunicated from the LCMS.

Missouri District President, James Kalthoff, has already written that
Trinity Lutheran Church in New Haven MO is suspended from the LCMS. This is the first step in the process of excommunication. The congregation can appeal. However, since there have been no additional developments in the case, Trinity New Haven, will be excommunicated for the same reason for which it was suspended.

The LCMS 2004 Convention's recent innovations in settling disputes reject
the tenets of American justice and take a decided turn toward cultism.

The LCMS now teaches if one man in a congregation sins the entire
congregation is guilty. This is a revival of guilt by association that was practiced at the time of Christ. At that time a creditor could have a debtor jailed including his wife, children, and all his relatives. This practice continued in England through the 18th Century.

Also, in the LCMS, the accused and the accuser no longer need to face each
other, but may act through a second party.

Before the 2004 Convention the Synod required that the accused and the
accuser face each other, as stated in Matthew 18:15-16: "Moreover if thy brother shall trespass against thee, go and tell him his fault between thee and him alone: if he shall hear thee, thou hast gained thy brother. 16 But if he will not hear thee, then take with thee one or two more, that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established."

The Synod has now reinterpreted these verses to mean that only a member of
the LCMS is a "brother."

Trinity, Roselle, announced on its web-site, for anyone in the LCMS to read,
that it was filing charges against Trinity, New Haven, for "failure to supervise the teaching and actions of their pastor, Herman Otten."

Trinity Roselle claims that its pastor, Rev. Charles Mueller, was slandered
by the pastor of Trinity, New Haven, Rev. Herman Otten. Trinity, New Haven, by vote of the LCMS Convention, is a member of the LCMS, though its pastor, Rev. Otten is not a member of the LCMS.

Now, here comes the complicated part of all of this. Since Otten, a
Lutheran Pastor, is not a member of the LCMS, the LCMS says that Otten is not a "brother" and neither Rev. Mueller nor Trinity Roselle need to follow Matthew 18: 15-16 in dealing with Otten. The LCMS now considers these verses to only apply to the LCMS, as if God wrote the Bible just for the LCMS.

Not even during the infamous days of the St. Louis Seminary Walk-Out in
1974, did the Synod excommunicate any seminary professors, students, or congregations that supported the Walk-Out. But now, the Synod is condemning an entire congregation to hell because they won't kick out their pastor, Rev. Herman Otten.

What is Otten's sin? Otten wrote that Rev. Charles Mueller, one of the
pastors of Trinity, Roselle, wants the LCMS to be broad enough for those who are promoting women pastors in the LCMS.

Mueller tell his congregation that is a lie.

When Otten wrote to Mueller and asked Mueller to put in print that he never
made such a claim, Mueller refused to reply because Otten is not a "brother." He also doesn't have to meet with Otten because Otten is not a "brother." The Missouri District President agrees that Mueller's congregation can file charges against Trinity New Haven but Mueller doesn't have to answer any questions from Otten or meet with Otten.

The "brothers" know how to take care of each other.

Now the Missouri District President, Doctor James Kalthoff, with the
agreement of LCMS President Gerald Kieschnick, is proceeding to excommunicate an entire congregation at New Haven MO and condemn them to hell for unrepentant sin.

The advice from Reclaim News is that trial attorneys make sure they keep
LCMS pastors from serving as jurors in American Courts. Their religion teaches them to condemn the accused without following the principles of the U.S. Constitution. The Constitution says that the accused must be confronted by his accuser, a principle the LCMS now rejects.

Editors seeking further information may call LCMS President Dr. Gerald
Kieschnick at the LCMS's International Center, (314) 965-9000 and Dr. James Kalthoff at the LCMS's Missouri District Office (341) 317-4550. Trinity Lutheran Church, Roselle, Illinois (630) 894-3263, Trinity Lutheran Church, New Haven, Missouri (573) 237-3026)."

Friday, November 18, 2005

The Scottius Maximus Celebrities Of The Month

It's the Sklars, Jayson and Randy, from ESPN Classic and Cheap Seats Without Ron Parker. Loyal partisans of the St. Louis Cardinals and Busch Stadium.

Last night's Cheap Seats episode showed our heroes gallantly fighting to keep Busch Stadium from it's destruction. Of course, it ends as the wrecking ball is crashing through the roof.

But I loved Jayson and Randy's compromise plan, something which is still doable. Combine the new and old Busch Stadiums into one GIGANTIC ballpark.

Left field in the new park would (okay, less than seamlessly) be formed from the old stadium, keeping the old home plate, 3rd base, and left field areas of the old park intact. The left field stands where Mark McGwire's 62nd home run landed would be part of centerfield of the new configuration.

<--Home plate area (part of new park)

<--Left field wall and stands of new complex(from old Busch's home plate area).

Of course, this would put the new left field fence a mere 800 feet from home plate. To which I can only say, "AWESOME DUDES!"

Okay, so no plan is perfect. And as the Sklars pointed out, Busch stadium would be the "inside the park home run" haven, with it's cavernous left field. I would guess that managers would have a hard time figuring how to pitch, and defend, this gap. It would change the face of baseball as we know it.

Call the Cardinals now to stop the total destruction of Busch and incorporate a win-win strategy of keeping the old with the new!

And then stop by the Cheap Seats website and view part of the episode, On The Road: Busch Stadium.

Thursday, November 17, 2005

It Seems To Me Some Congratulations Are In Order

I "found" this item surfing the news spots this a.m.

"November 17, 2005, Decatur, IL (Associated Press)

Although his blog is celebrating it's one year anniversary tomorrow, Scottius Maximus doesn't seem to understand all the hoopla.

"Yeah, it'll be one year old on November 18th," the 42 year old primate relunctantly acknowledges. "But when you're as big a star as I am, the little things like this often go unnoticed."

Maximus' impact on the blogosphere, though immeasurable (yes, in the smallest sense of the word), is something his humble heart will not allow him to comment upon. "But I will say this," the ornery ape goes on. "There are two things I am proud of with this endeavor. One, that there has so far not been a single fatality. And, B, to my knowledge, there's been absolutely no wagering. Those are facts I defy you to refute."


Accolades have been pouring in from all over:

"Ronnie would have loved it."- Nancy Reagan.

"Huh? I guess I slept through it."
"(You) didn't miss anything."- Those two old geezer audience members on the Muppet Show.

"Is that guy still around?"- Paul Simon.

"A credit to Cardinals baseball."- Tony LaRussa.

"Okay kids. Support this guy in his attempts to combine wrasslin' and baseball. And take your vitamins, say your prayers, and read Scottius Maximus daily."- Hulk Hogan.

"He owes me $5,000 for using the NFL logo on his site without permision. I'll be darned if he'll get away with it. Tell him I'll see him in court."- NFL Commissioner Paul Tagliabue.

"Does anyone know how to get him off Blogspot?"- Former NBA star and US Senator Bill Bradley.

"If you talk to him, tell him to call me sometime. That'd be a first"- Scottius Maximus' Mother.

"Just wait and see. '60 Minutes' has some interest in talking to this Mr. Maximus."
"If that's his real name."- Dan Rather and Mike Wallace.

"I've spent most of my life fighting for a better life, a better educational system, a better future, a better America for crying out loud, for our kids and grandkids. And then this idiot came along."- William Bennett.

"He stole that 'Blogger's Wonderland' song from me, and I want it back."- Paul Schaffer.

"What's that smell? Well, I'll tell you. It's Scottius Maximus' blog."- Marilyn Manson.

"Scotgurink Maxdorgorgufus iz a (bleep) mumb joeg ketpagned (bleep) shlud."- Ozzie Osbourne.

"I always thought he was...well, you know. Not that there's anything wrong with that."- Barry Manilow.

"My great great great great great great great great great great great great great grandfather would have loved to read this blog. But only after a couple beers."- Rusty "Elvis" Luther.

"That cat is far out!"- Michael Waltrip.

"If it weren't for my beard, he'd be nothing."- Matt Morris.

"Well, SURPRISE, SURPRISE, SURPRISE! Bless his little heart."- Gomer Pyle.

"(That) dude's pathetic."- Race Bannon, TV cartoon hard guy.

Yes, truer words could not be spoken, Race.

Which is why Scottius Maximus almost did not come back for a second season.

"Blogspot and I had a hard time coming to a contractual agreement regarding doing another year. But we were able to come to one after all, so I'll be back. And let's just say this- A LOT of money changed hands," stated the backward blogger.

Sources close to us investigated this claim with Blogger, and found this was indeed true. Maximus is paying in excess of $500 a month to Blogger just to allow him to keep publishing.

How does he do it? Or better yet, as Gallagher would say: "Why does he do it?"

To end this tedium, Scottius Maximus does have one more thing to say: