Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Fat Tuesday

Mardi Gras. The day before Ash Wednesday. Which begins Lent.

Today is like a winter Halloween, in a way. A day preceding something special. I've grown to view both Mardi Gras and Halloween as celebrations of darkness, both fleshly and spiritual. Thankfully, I will not participate. Not through any power of mine, mind you, but because God, thankfully, keeps this part of me in check. As I have gotten older, I look at both as man's continual raging against the holy, and God himself.

In their pre-Lent letter to our congregation, our pastors put this in front of us.

"Jesus, knowing all that was going to happen to him, went out and asked them, 'Who is it you want?'" (John 18:4)

"And you? Who will you want- and seek- these coming Wednesdays and Sundays of Lent? Will the world and your flesh argue their priorities? Or...Him who gave His body and shed His blood for you?"

And you?

Monday, February 27, 2006

Bad News Dept. Part 1

Fair warning. Get your tickets soon, or you may not get them. Which may cause you to sit in the dreaded "rapture seats".

See story here.

The Chronicles Of Jupiter, Part 2

It looks like Tony LaRussa thinks he can challenge Pujols for starting 1st baseman. Either that, or he doesn't like what he sees from the corner outfield prospects, and is going to put Pujols back in left. Leaving us the only team with a manager/1st baseman.

If LaRussa is confident enough to call his shots like the Babe, maybe we should give him a chance...

...but then again, just one half inning of play made him look this tired.

Just look at our team. How can you look at the picture below and not conclude that they're World Series bound? Our opponents are surely cowering in fear, as their "suffering shall be legendary."

Saturday, February 25, 2006

Anybody Out There Wanna Spot Me $59.95?*

*Plus $3.50 shipping and handling.

Available March 28th:

A MUST-have DVD.

"Filled with more than 17 hours of unedited, pure-Cardinals passion, this collection includes the complete actual game broadcasts."

Look what's in the collection:
*1968 WORLD SERIES GAME 1: Bob Gibson’s record-setting, 17-strikeout masterpiece
*1982 WORLD SERIES GAME 7: From a pre-game flip, to a late-rally, the Cardinals secure a World Series Championship
*1985 NATIONAL LEAGUE CHAMPIONSHIP SERIES GAME 5: The incredible, improbable, bottom-of-the-ninth, game-winning-homer by Ozzie Smith
*1987 WORLD SERIES GAME 3: Brilliant pitching and Vince Coleman’s clutch hitting spark a Redbirds victory
*1998 MARK McGWIRE’S 62nd HOME RUN: The magnificent crescendo of a mesmerizing race for the record; “Big Mac”, Mark McGwire’s record-setting homer began an emotional, unforgettable celebration
*2004 NATIONAL LEAGUE CHAMPIONSHIP SERIES GAME 7: This come-from-behind pennant-clinching victory was powered by the clutch hitting of Albert Pujols and Scott Rolen

Hall of Fame Induction Speeches: Bob Gibson, Lou Brock, Red Schoendienst, Ozzie Smith, Jack Buck;
Milestone Moments: Brock’s 3,000th Hit, Stolen Base Record, Albert Pujols’ 1st Major League Homer, 2004 NLCS Homers by Pujols & Jim Edmunds;
Rare Interviews: Tony LaRussa, Joe Buck, Scott Rolen, Mike Shannon, Jim Edmunds, Whitey Herzog;
Uniform Retirement Ceremonies: Bob Gibson, Lou Brock, Ozzie Smith;
MLB Video Archives--This Week In Baseball Player Segments;
Busch Stadium Final Send-off;
Interactive Menus;
Inning Selection

Click here to order one for me. Remember my shipping address:
Scottius Maximus
C/O Post Master
Boody IL Post Office
Boody, IL 62514

Friday, February 24, 2006

This Can't Be Good For Business

H&R Block-IRS.
IRS-H&R Block.

That's more awkward that Uma-Oprah. (Although personally I thought that was an awesome moment).

I heard on Paul Harvey's radio news show today that the great tax business, H&R Block, "misunderestimated" their own taxes by $32 million.
Come on. Give 'em a break. It's not like they know what they're doing, right?

Tax preparers make $32 million tax mistakes on their own taxes, right? Like...like...like Supreme Court justices get thrown in jail sometimes, right? Like...like...hunters shoot other hunters, right? Like...ambulance drivers stop at Hardee's before completing the emergency run, right? Like fireman sometimes burn down buildings accidently, right?

How does the defense go on this one?

"Sorry, your honor, we hope you can overlook (wink wink) this one." No.

"Sorry, your honor, we weren't as good as we thought we were. I hope you can understand, we're in over our heads." No.

"Look, your honor, we're sorry, but we really have no idea what we're doing. Just please don't tell anyone about this, okay?" No.

"This stinkin' tax code is so ridiculous, judge baby, we couldn't figure it out. And we're "supposed" to know what we're doing." THAT'S IT!

New Ballpark Photos From New Perspectives

Thank you, cameraperson, whoever you are. This is awesome. From STLToday.

This is the view coming west from Illinois. This is the right field corner of the stadium.

This is a photo from south of the stadium and highway 40 looking northerly toward the same corner.

View looking southerly and slightly westerly.

Looking southwest. The right of the photo is where the Clark Street extension is going to pass through with the ball park village to the north.

Nice Hardee's sign, huh?

Light tower and scoreboard with Cardinals clock.

North of the new stadium looking back east toward the river. Ladies and gentlemen, the ball park village is looking quite prehistoric at present. You can still see where the old Busch's outline is.

Looking due east, this is where Clark Street will continue on north of the new stadium.

And if you'd rather watch a video of the new stadium, click here.

Thursday, February 23, 2006

In The Year 2525 2006

When I was a little one, age 6, I remember hearing the song "In The Year 2525" by Zager and Evans and being mesmerized by it. I just loved it. As I got older I forgot all about it, until I heard it again on an oldies station 10 or 15 years ago. Then I thought it was good music with a kind of kooky theme.

Later I discovered the many websites publishing song lyrics, and I looked up "In The Year 2525". I guess those lyrics are fine. For 1969. But they need a little tweaking. A little updating, if you will. For the 21st Century.

And I'm just the ape to do it.

By the way, if you go to this website, it has cheesy "In The Year 2525" music playing in the background. But it isn't as bad as the background music of the Petals Around The Rose site linked to by World Magazine's Blog last year. Click here to listen to that. Rush's "Red Barchetta" on a toy keyboard? Are you kidding me? Vomit.

Anyway, my digression is over, and without further fanfare, here it is...

"In The Year 2525 2006"
Music by Zager and Evans. Words by Zager, Evans, and Scottius Maximus (with humble apologies to Zager and Evans).

In the year 2525
If our blogs are still alive.
If our words can survive, you may find...

(Kick up tempo)
In the year 3535
Ain't gonna need to speak, or in the morning rise.
Everything you think, do and say,
Is in the Blogger post you wrote that day.

In the year 4545
Newsweek's still keepin' Cheney's shotgun blast alive.
Hatin' on Bush, Number 43,
Hasn't stopped in 25 centuries.

In the year 5555
We're still laughing at the worst of AI.
Now the descendants of William Hung,
are gettin' flamed by Simon's offspring's tongues.

In the year 6565
Roman Numerals are finally pushed to the side.
MMMMDCXCIX is too lengthy
For that year's Super Bowl Trophy.

In the year 7510
"I Love Lucy" is gonna still be on then.
Look out for everyone, we'll all be crazy...
'Cause Barney's "bat eggs" become reality.

In the year 8510
Will the Cubs ever win it all, even by then?
In downtown St. Louis will Busch 3 still stand ,
Or will they tear it down and start again. Whoa-oh

In the year 9595
I'm kinda wonderin if Ablaze! will be alive.
Bettin' they're still short of their man-made goal.
Of "reaching" 100 million souls. Whoa-oh

(Slow down again)
Now it's been ten thousand years
I've made you cry a billion tears.
For a purpose I never knew,
Now my blog is through.

But through eternal night.
The twinkling of starlight.
So very far away.
Maybe it's only yesterday.

(Pick up the tempo again)
In the year 2525
If my blog is still alive.
If my words can survive, they may find...

In the year 3535 {fade}

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

How About A St. Louis Vacation This Summer?

Now that the ballpark is getting much closer to completion and its opening day only 47 days away (is that possible?), the next phase of development is coming in to focus. From KMOV, I "borrowed" some more pictures that show what the Ballpark Village Complex is being planned to look like.

First of all, looking northeast.

Looking east. The old Busch Stadium stood here, and the road, obviously, was not there. Moving to the east down Clark St. is where first base in the old stadium was.

Look at all the development going in there, north of the new stadium. What? You can't read all that?

On this wacky map, east is on top, north to the left, and so on, and so on.

I'm not sure, but it looks like something's on fire in the background. And is that the outline of a great pyramid back there?

I'm completely turned around here. Are we looking north from the galleria? Who knows?

This is a funky picture. It's supposed to be taken from one of the buildings in the village looking south onto the field, but the shadowy figures are freaking me out. Looks a little like those folks have been raptured or something. Weird color scheme, too, man.

I'm thinking of expanding Scottius Maximus Enterprises into the travel industry. I think my explanations would benefit most travelers. Right?

Monday, February 20, 2006

Just Blog, Baby

If Al Davis blogged, he might say that. But if I may, I'd like to use that expression for Minister2B at Lutheran Jargon.

TK links to a post at Lutheran Jargon about subject matter that is very familiar to me. And probably everyone else with a blog.

I find it impossible to focus in on only one subject for my posts. Frankly, I don't know how anyone can, and am fascinated by those who can and can do it well.

When I first had the idea to write a web log, I thought I was going to just write about the St. Louis Cardinals, thanks to my inspiration at Redbird Nation. But I realized that really limits what one can write about.

So I expanded my concept of this blog to include two other foci, Christianity (in the generic sense, and Evangelical Catholicism, or Lutheranism, in the narrow sense), and the culture (what there is of it). Fortunately this has provided a bottomless well of topics.

I am so glad I did not limit myself, because when I seem to have beat a theme to death, or there is nothing to write about in one area, I can move to another. That has its own problems, because there is rarely a seamless transition from one topic to another. But I don't care about that!

And another familiar thought offered by Minister2B- that his blog has turned into something different than what he originally intended:
Looking back on what this blog has degenerated into, it's nowhere near what I had originally intended it to be. To its definite detriment, I may add."

I think anyone who has been at this awhile can relate to that feeling. My blog sometimes goes over the border in to just plain silliness, something that I did not foresee at its inception. This blog has sometimes taken the old Rush Limbaugh concept of "illustrating absurdity by being absurd" to an extreme.

But its mine and I like it.

Sunday, February 19, 2006

The Chronicles Of Jupiter (FL): The Lion, The Man In Black, And The Homeless Pitcher

With apologies to C.S. Lewis, here's something to get you excited, something to make you do a double take, and something to make you laugh.

Just to to get you excited...and make the rest of the league whimper...look at who's showed up early at Spring Training. Here he is...The Lion. El Hombre, Albert Pujols, himself. Please be careful, and don't get hurt. Hat tip thank you to Cards Clubhouse for the photos.

Yadi and Pujols take the field.

Don't look now but do the Cardinals have a new manager? Yeah. I think his name is Johnny Cash, or something. Actually, that is LaRussa standing back there, doing his Man in Black impression, I guess.

But the funniest picture of all has to be the following one of outfielder John Gall. What on earth is going on here? Insert your own caption.

All I can say is, I think the veterans left the rookie with the bar tab again, and he couldn't cover it. I saw him at the Cardinals Caravan in January. I would have slipped him a sawbuck if I had known his situation.

To see a few posters on Cards Clubhouse tell it, the Cardinals must be the only team in the big leagues who has a Homeless Pitcher.

I Hope They Didn't Run Out Of The Stuff

According to this article, the last piece of steel went in to the new Busch Stadium last Wednesday when the final light grids were finished.

Which begs the question- what will they finish the rest of the stadium with? Toffee and brickle bits? Ladies and gentleman, presenting Willie Wonka Stadium.

I nominate Bud Light cans and Michelob bottles, something not in short supply in St. Louis.

Friday, February 17, 2006

Open Letter To Jacques Rogge

Jacques Rogge, President
Internation Olympic Committee
Lausanne, Switzerland

Dear Mr. Rogge:

I am writing tonight to express my appreciation for the quality of this year's Winter Olympics. While I don't necessarily agree that everything in these games is a "sport", I do agree that most of it is competition at its finest.

Take last night's Snowboard Cross. This new "sport" can only add to the "prestige" of the Olympics. Why this was not thought worthy of our attention before now is a tragedy. I mean, didn't anyone realize the entertainment potential of watching snowboarders barrelling down slopes and over jumps and waves with three others at the same time? Even a NASCAR fan can appreciate its carnage potential.

But use this knowledge to your advantage. Really push the envelope here. I have some new "competitions" that I am SURE will send your TV ratings through the roof. I have listed some here with a brief description.

1) "Blindfold Freestyle Skiing"- Mt. Dew addicted "athlete-dudes" put on a blindfold and hit the slopes, doing aerial jumps through flaming hoops and over churning windmills.

2) "Crocodile Ski Jump"- The regular Ski Jump adds a new twist: there are large water pits teeming with crocodiles surrounding the so-called "safe" landing zone.

3) "Wolfpack Super G"- The Super G could be jazzed up by having packs of hungry wolves around various corners of the course, randomly selected and at a location unbeknownst to the racer.

4) "Adventure Hockey"- Each player has the option to use his or her stick as a weapon. Most goals, or the team with the only players still standing, wins.

5) "Figure Wrestling"- It's figure skating. And its professional wrestling on ice. Two skaters wrestle each other. With ropes, turnbuckles, and salchows. Have Macho Man Randy Savage announce with Scott Hamilton. "OOOH YEAH- that was a nice triple toe loop piledriver, Scott."

6) "Short Track Speed Skating Baseball"- Four skaters on the track at a time. Each speed skater carries a baseball bat, which he can use as the need arises. I don't think I need to detail this further.

7) "Bobsled Jumping"- Just run the bobsleds down the ski jump ramp. Points awarded for length of jump, style, and number of broken bones.

I think you can agree that these events would make the Winter Olympics more exciting than ever.

Please consider these options for the 2010 games in Vancouver. I would be willing to work on these experimental selections with you. For a "small" fee, of course. Have your people call my people. Or just e-mail me.

Later dude,

Scottius Maximus

Thursday, February 16, 2006

I've Solved The Budget Deficit

This was, in all humbleness, too easy.


Corporate sponsorships.

Sell naming rights to our oldest and finest institutions. Once a year sell naming rights to the highest bidder.

For example:

The "Capital One" Capitol.

The "Bud Light" Supreme Court.

The "Budget Rent A Car" White House.

The "Pizza Hut" Washington Monument.

"Phillips'" Lincoln Memorial.

The "Oscar Mayer" Smithsonian Institute.

The "Quaker State" National Archives.

This way, whenever these places are named, the corporate sponsor gets a plug. For instance, when the news anchor comes on every night and says, "Here's Brian reporting from the "Bud Light" Supreme Court", the sponsor would get a free advertisement.

We could do the same with our National Parks.

The "Depends Incontinence Undergament" Yellowstone Park.

The "Viagra" Grand Canyon.

We'll have a balanced budget to conduct the war from here on out. And we'll be out of debt in a few years.

No thanks necessary. Just remember to visit this blog for more good ideas.

I should be king.

Wanna See Something Scary?

Okay. Don't say I didn't warn you. Scroll down.

Know who that is?

No, it's not two anemic, scurvified raccoons.

No, it's not two "undead" models.

And, no, it's not two fashion vampires, ready to turn in to bats to fly in your hair and lay their eggs so you go crazy.

It's those two rug rats from the TV show "Full House".

I mean, I knew this Tanner used to be a meth freak. I didn't know these other two wanted to look like one.

Spring Has Arrived!

Winter is dead. It felt short this year. Spring arrives at 11 a.m. CST today.

Anybody care to make any predictions?


Okay, besides "pain".

I predict my blog will revert to its baseball season layout.

I predict if he stays healthy, Anthony Reyes will claim a spot on the team. In the rotation.

I predict a ton of facial hair for somebody new, to stir up murmurings among the faithful, like Morris' beard did last year. Let's just hope it's not this guy.

Speaking of that guy, I hope Scott Rolen remembers to bring his glove to spring training this year. As opposed to last year. Rumor has it that it was Rolen's jaw, not his shoulder, that gave out last season. Of course, I did hear that on Art Bell's Coast to Coast AM.

I predict something incoherent will come from Tony LaRussa's mouth. Just like last year. Or like the year before, when he blamed Matt Morris' horrendous first outing, giving up eight runs in one inning, on the fact the game started 5 minutes late.

I predict Mike Shannon will spend his spring training on the golf course and at the track. With a few games to announce sprinkled in.

I predict someone will show up late to spring training and need a good excuse. Therefore, I am selling this photo to any Cardinal who wants to use the excuse his SUV was attacked by marauding Mongols.

Price: $2,500.00.

Ahh, spring training...

it should be fun. Let's do it.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Spring Is Verging Upon Us!

Tomorrow is the day baseball begins. Let's hope 8 months from now we're still following it closely.

The new stadium is looking more and more complete. Good thing, as there are only 53 days to complete it. Live camera shot here, which updates every 10 minutes. I spend hours sitting watching it. Sometimes I actually see something change. So I got that going for me. Which is nice. Awesome view.

1 Day until pitchers and catchers report
5 Days until Spring Training officially begins
15 Days until the first official Grapefruit League game
47 Days until Opening Day
54 Days until Busch Stadium III opens

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Scottius Maximus Word Of The Month

For February it is..."practice".

Of all the definitions and meanings of practice I'd like to focus in on one in particular. From Dictionary.com.

"Practice: To do or perform (something) repeatedly in order to acquire or polish a skill."

Let's use it in a sentence.

"Vice-President Cheney needs to practice not hitting people in the face with smoking-hot birdshot."

By the way, Rebecca at Daisies 'N Chocolate is back and has a great post on this happenstance.

Even Allen Iverson weighed in on the Vice President. Listen here.

Monday, February 13, 2006

If THIS Doesn't Get You In The Mood...

...nothing will.

Hat tip to Get Up, Baby. Click here and watch the video. And then watch it again. And again. And again.

And again.

I can't get enough of it, myself.

3 Days until pitchers and catchers report
7 Days until Spring Training officially begins
17 Days until the first official Grapefruit League game
49 Days until Opening Day
56 Days until Busch Stadium III opens

Maximus Kennel Club

All eyes tonight and tomorrow night will turn to Madison Square Garden, site of the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show.

However, few eyes were aware of the Maximus Kennel Club Dog Show held earlier at Maximus Circle Garden. Since the more famous dogs tonight and tomorrow will get their night in the sun (?), I thought it would be nice to spread a little of the recognition around.

So without further ado, here are the winners of the 1st Annual Maximus Kennel Club Dog Show.

The Drug Dog Group: (ed. note- these aren't dogs that "sniff out" drugs, these are dogs that "sniff" drugs).


The Goofy Group:


The Back Off Really, Really Fast Group:


The Hyperthyroid Group:


The It Might Be A Dog But I'm Not Sure Group:


The Older Than Methuselah Group:

"Wilfred Brimley III"

The Over/Underbite Group:


But, of course, Best In Show went to the winner of The Just Plain Ugly Group:


(This award is, of course, posthumous, as old Sam passed away November 18, 2005, at the ripe old age of 15).

Sunday, February 12, 2006

Scottius Maximus Book Club

February's recommendation:

That photo is not of a cereal box. It's of the book's cover. My wife got this at the library. Nice.

The book is called "The Breakfast Cereal Gourmet", by David Hoffman, copyright June 2005. Lots of pictures of old cereal boxes. It's also full of recipes.

There's a great big picture of Sir Grapefellow at the end. Any book with"the Grapefellowmeister" in it is okay by me. Pick up a copy tomorrow. And I promise I won't have to go on Larry King to defend Mr. Hoffman.

The Importance Of Getting It Right- Justification

Justification. Was Christ's death a justifying, atoning act for all, or only to a few?

If justification is not universal, how can you be sure Christ died for
YOU? Because if he didn't justify everyone, but only the "elect", then maybe he didn't die for YOU, because maybe you are "unelect". Which makes you nothing but the unholy sinner you are, and your life is a wasted sham.

It's a shame some people believe in a limited atonement, despite the number of scriptures to the contrary, starting with the most basic, John 3:16.
And to the Lutheran, there is comfort in knowing he paid for ALL SINS on the cross. Every single thing. Everything. It is all forgiven. And the forgiveness is already there, all you have to do is accept it in faith. It is finished. It is done. There is nothing a person has done, or will do in the future, that was not already paid for by Christ on the cross. All the sins we have ownership to, every rotten thing we have done and will do. Because Christ paid for the sins of the whole world, and for His sake, God forgives us all our sins. Mine, my kid's, my neighbor's, my friend's, my great grandfather's, and all of my descendants' sins. Even "uglier" sins, like Muslim bombers and Nazi sins. Every single sin made by every single person who ever walked this planet is already forgiven by God, including the "most evil" of us. Because Christ took on the sins of the WHOLE WORLD.

Isn't that great? All that we have to do is have faith this is so.

But even God does that for us through the Holy Spirit. So we have nothing of ourselves, but everything by God.

So how could anyone believe Christ did not die for all? That would make me terrified.

It also keeps me from worrying every time I fall down that God won't forgive me this time. But because He paid for everything, I no longer fear I will sin so much I will no longer be forgiven. Sure, I need to repent daily of my continuing sins, which is a part of the ongoing conflict we are promised we will fight until we leave this world. But I don't despair that God will abandon me when I keep on sinning. And I do.

I love this summary of the doctrine of justification found in Albert Kohler's "A Summary Of Christian Doctrine." He writes:

"Thus, the reconciliation of the whole world by Christ and the forgiveness of all sins of all men is an accomplished fact, which, in itself, is not affected by the attitude of men (Romans 3:3). This fact is proclaimed in the gospel to every slave of sin; and the very moment that he applies this fact to himself, believing that for Christ's sake also his sins are forgiven, he has the forgiveness of all his sins, is free from the guilt and punishment of sin, and is personally justified before God...

If we tell a heathen man that for Christ's sake God has forgiven all his sins, we are simply stating a fact, which the unbelief of man cannot make ineffectual, "without effect" (Romans 3:3). The function of faith in this matter is merely instrumental; it does not achieve forgiveness of sins; it does not earn it; it does not make us worthy of it; nor does it move God to forgive our sins. It is not a condition we must fulfil before forgiveness is available for us...

Justification is that forensic act of God, by which He, on the basis of the perfect vicarious atonement wrought by Christ, declared the whole world to be justified in His sight (objective justification), and transmits and imputes the effect of this declaration to all whom He brings to faith by the work of the Holy Ghost through the means of grace (subjective justification)."

Now THAT, Chris Farley, "IS AWESOME!"