Friday, March 31, 2006

You Know It's A Windy Day...

...when the building you're in is firmly anchored on the ground, yet you're experiencing "turbulence" on the inside of it.


A Business Announcement

Lutherans who can read take note:

Katie's Beer's publishing troubles have forever disappeared by moving to a new address. The new one is The great taste/less filling debate regarding Katie's Beer will undoubtedly surface again.

And I have added Necessary Roughness to my Lutheran blogroll. Go visit Referee Dan there. Anyone who can mix football and blogging while professing the certain truths of the Unaltered Augsburg Confession has my vote.

SHHHH- It's Announcement Time!

Attention all!

I have an announcement to make.

My sky jacket hyacinths are going to bloom this weekend!

Which can only mean one thing. The 2006 Gardening Season has reached opening day. So get ready for my announcement:

"By the power invested in me, I hereby declare on this Friday, March 31, 2006, that the 2006 Gardening Season is now open!"

Oooh...I feel all tingly... like Jacques Rogge.

Which reminds me. How long before gardening becomes an official Olympic sport? Think of the possibilities.

And here's a plug for Dave's Garden, my favorite gardening website. Check it out if you haven't already bookmarked it.

And for you non-gardening fans, here's an announcement for you, albeit much more boring:
"This weekend begins daylight savings time."

Yeah, that was less than spectacular. I'm glad I don't live in that world.

Thursday, March 30, 2006

Lights, Camera, Arch...And... IS THAT BLOOD?

Well, the lights work. I hope they spent enough money to get a decent string of lights. Not like those Christmas tree ones where if one blows, the whole bunch quits.

I'm not sure, but if you stare long enough into the lights in this photo, I think you start to see the words "Scottius Maximus."

Those aren't bleachers down there. It's a holding zone for thousands of cases of Bud Light.

The jumbo-scoreboard is done. Here it is showing the view from Mike Shannon's villa.

The new stadium's field has about twice the illumination of the old, although there are fewer (only 4) banks of lights the outfielders must battle.

KSDK has a video of the stadium under the lights.

What's with this photo below with the camera? I have no clue why on earth KMOV thought a picture of the back of a camera guy's head was publishing-worthy.

The view from atop the Arch, courtesy of Redbird Central.

But what's up with the picture below? Blood around the warning track? I didn't know "sacrifices" were going to be part of the stadium-opening festivies.

I think this is the left field corner. I'm glad they kept the green colored walls. It looks very much like the old stadium corner.

The upper deck in left field either still has no seats- or is going to be a giant sandbox for people to frolic in. One of the many new "atmospheres" to this park. And doesn't the grass look purty?

(Okay. So it's not really blood. Happy now?)

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Pride And Prejudice- A Man's Review

My most excellent wife went with me to rent movies Friday night. I picked out "Guarding Tess". And "The Best Of Chris Farley" (which I had wanted to see for some time). She must have been thinking along those same lines, because she picked out "Pride and Prejudice", a 2 CD movie lasting 4 or 5 hours.

I had never seen the movies. Nor read that book ("Pride and Prejudice", not "The Best of Chris Farley". But you probably knew that). Still, that didn't stop me. I did my duty and watched it.

And, I must say, it was quite an entertaining movie. Although I wouldn't classify it as a comedy, it had plenty of fun moments. There were parts I didn't understand, and the English was sometimes over my head, but all in all I believe I got the gist of the movie.

So, here are my impressions and thoughts scattered amongst the things I learned, which should serve as a guide to other men who watch:

1. Jane Austen is an 18th century author who wrote the book. She was by no means ever married to Steve Austin, The Six Million Dollar Man.

2. That Mr. Collins fellow seemed like a good fella and nice catch to me. Unless you're stuck up. Right ladies?

3. What the heck happened to that Mary chick in her childhood that messed her up so?

4. What was with the Elvis sideburns everyone wore? Is this going to come back as a fashion trend? And I didn't see one beard.

5. For these people to be living a couple hundred years ago, and English no less, their teeth sure were pretty.

6. If I were producing it, I would have made the father the protagonist and revolved everything around his point of view. He had some laugh out loud lines. Would have made an even better movie.

7. I kept waiting for something to blow up, someone to be shot, or for there to be a murder. Never happened.

8. Good thing Lady Catherine De Bourgh was rich. 'Cause she sure was ugly.

9. I don't quite understand what Mr. Wickham did to Mr. Darcy and his sister. I'm confused.

10. In today's world, Mrs. Bennett would have been on Prozac and Xanax. And for this reason alone she was born 200 years too soon.

11. Women sure showed a lot of their chest-ical areas in those days.

12. I found out through a little research that those two younger sisters were the inspiration for the song "Dizzy" by Tommy Roe.

13. Not to spoil the ending or anything, but Miss Elizabeth (saying that reminds me of the WWF) marries Mr. Darcy, meaning the rest of her life will undoubtedly be spent with very little conversation and in a vast, humorless wasteland. But she's got the bucks. So that's not a nice message. Meanwhile, her sister seemed to make out much better with a pretty congenial chap. Not as rich mind you, but he does know how to smile, and, I dare say, crack a joke once or twice.

All in all I have to say it was the most entertaining movie I have seen in years. I'm going back Friday to look for the sequel. Anyone know what it's called?

Monday, March 27, 2006

The Next Number One Show

I'm pitching a new program to Fox. Ready?

American Blogger!

Bloggers from all over the United States audition their blogs on television. For instance, they could read select postings they have made. Or present them on a jumbotron monitor.

Then a judge panel, led by yours truly, will berate them in front of a national audience.

And then even more bloggers can blog about it the next day. So the whole thing just self-perpetuates.

I get to be Simon!

And do you know why I get to be Simon?

Because I called it.

Basketball Alzheimer's

I've been so busy these past 2 weeks, I forgot all about the NCAA basketball tournament.

Anyway, I overheard two people today that said the Final Four had been set. And I missed it all.

My Final Four picks were LSU, UCLA, George Mason, and Florida.

How'd I do? I haven't had a chance to even check.

Nice Take

Jim Rome weighed in again Friday on his show about Barry Bonds troubles, which is partially reproduced on his website.

"I have always had a sneaking suspicion that Barry Bonds listened to the program. You might recall me saying for the last 10 - 14 days that if I were Barry Bonds, and a book was written about me, that was going to tear down all my accomplishments, tarnish my legacy and call into question the legitimacy of my numbers, and it wasn’t true, I’d be screaming from the rooftops. I explained I’d be looking to sue everyone who had anything to do with that book; the authors, the publishers, the slugs selling it at Barnes and Noble, the people buying it and I wouldn’t leave out the lumberjacks who knocked the trees used to get those alleged lies on paper. I’d get the best attorneys money could buy and I’d go to battle.

No sooner than we got off the air yesterday, the story breaks that Bonds is suing the authors of Game of Shadows and the publisher. However, and here’s the catch, he’s not suing for libel; he’s suing because he believes the authors illegally obtained materials. He’s arguing that laws prohibit people from possessing grand jury materials unless they are unsealed and authors Mark Fainaru-Wada and Lance Williams, “have made a complete farce of the criminal justice system.”

Notice, what Bonds is not saying! The guy is not saying what the authors reported isn’t true. He’s not saying the accusations are false, he’s saying they illegally obtained documents."

Sunday, March 26, 2006

Busch's 57 Varieties

The other day I woke up to find on the KMOV website the following pictures. It looked as though some one had put white frosting and a light dusting of powdered sugar on the new Busch Stadium.

Although I like frosting, love sugar, and am quite sure the ballpark would have tasted just fine, I prefer my Busch unfrosted, like this:

The new Clark Street at the north of the new stadium looks ready to pave. And the outfield wall and bleachers are going in.

The left field upper deck seats aren't in yet. To which I can only quietly advise the following:

I heard somewhere that the reason for this was that the "facilities" aren't ready yet. I'm guessing that means the johns. This part of the stadium may not be ready for opening day. How'd that happen?

Fifteen days and this puppy officially opens. I doubt it's going to be ready.

The really scary thing is they are going to have a "practice game" run through with two minor league affiliates a week from tomorrow. Prediction: No way that's going smoothly.

Friday, March 24, 2006

Gandalf Groupies?

Favorite Apron posts on a new style trend- the mighty beard.

She asks the question, why do adult males want to look pre-pubescent when they can throw away the razor and have a beard?

Answer: Men shave for the same reasons women do. Extra hair is not exactly comfortable. It can be prickly and itchy. Especially when it's hot. And wearing pieces of my dinner mixed with hair on my face is not fun either. If you've ever seen me eat, you know what I mean.

Don't get me wrong, in the winter a beard is a nice thing. But not during the summer. Especially if you're planning on watching a baseball game in St. Louis.

But still and all, I'm game. How about it? The Confessional Lutheran guys will grow summertime beards if the Lutheran Ladies will also forego any shaving. Deal?

Uh...yuck...wait a minute...on second thought, cancel THAT deal.

This Will Warm Your Heart And Make You Feel More Secure

My friend's mother, who is 85, has been banking at the same Chicago bank for 40 years. In other words, she has known these people for 40 years. They even know her by her first name.

She is a very active woman who still works part-time at K Mart. So she is responsible and on the ball.

But she doesn't drive, so she has no photo identification (she walks to work). So, having no photo ID, when she went to the bank to deposit her latest check, they wouldn't do it. Something about homeland security regulations.

Now she has to have her son drive up to Chicago this weekend to take her to the license facility to have a photo ID taken. All so she can cash her check at her bank.

I'll sleep safe tonight. We live in a wonderful country, but sometimes I wonder where this will all end.

I'm Going To Have To Forego The Usual Timewasters This Weekend

Because this superhero application has been bogging me down.

It's seven pages long. Some of the questions are easy because they just ask for facts. Others are more difficult.

Here's what I have so far:

Name: Scottius Maximus

Non-superhero name and occupation: Mark. Just a simple country doctor.

Describe your costume and physical appearance: Well, duh, just look at my picture and imagine me with a red cape.

Does your superhero have any talents or hobbies? Blogging. And radio-blogging, if anyone would show me how.

What are your superheroes catch phrases? "What would Maria say (or think, or do)?" "This would make an interesting post."

Does your superhero have any specific friends, family, or loved ones? Well, yeah. I have parents like everyone else has. What am I, a plant? And I count as friends the entire Confessional Lutheran and Cardinal Nation.

What are your superheroes weaknesses? Definitely clowns. I am terrified of clowns. Fortunately I keep this a secret from my enemies. I also have an aversion to Jimmy Olsen and Chachi from Happy Days.

What are your superheroes strengths? I've been well catechized.

I'm still working on my primary powers, my background story, and my special weapons and tools as well as other specifics about my non-superhero life. And, as I said, this is taking more time than I thought. I have yet to find a deadline for this, so I'm taking my time. I need to review the archives for more ideas.

And I need a song. I definitely need to come up with a theme song.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Stick A Cape On Me...I'm THERE!

Never in the history of history has there been something so suited to myself.

It's a superhero reality show. The winner becomes a superhero and gets his own comic book and movie.

Is there anyone better suited for superhero status than me? Even my name screams "superhero".

I hope you will join me in my quest. Help me. Go to the SciFi Channel website to see what this is all about. Who wants to be a superhero?

Then help me with my ideas for the application and 10 minute video.

By the way, since I'm not that familiar with reality TV- it isn't at all humiliating, is it?

Monday, March 20, 2006

Birth Of Busch Stadium III

Looking east:

I've been glad to show you this stadium's development from an embryo, and now that it's reaching full term, and it's ready to be born (EDC 4/10/06)...(sniff, sniff) I'm feeling rather sad!

This baby is already beautiful, isn't she, even before birth?! Okay, I'm prejudiced. I'll probably really break up when it's time for her to go to kindergarten.

Say, speaking of babies, that reminds me of the funniest joke I ever heard. I first saw it told by Flip Wilson on the Tonight Show with Johnny Carson. Seeing it in print is funny, but to see it performed by Flip Wilson is THE BEST.

"What I had in mind mentioning was an incident that took place recently when I was returning from Chicago by train. And I got on the train and I just fell out in the seat there. And I noticed that the woman across from me in the aisle had her baby with her. Ugly baby. Ugly baby.

From the other end of the coach comes this guy and he was very drunk and he was staring at the baby. And the woman heard him when he said to her under his breath, "Damn." And she turned to him, she said, 'what the hell are you looking at?" And the guy said, "I'm looking at that ugly baby. That's a horrible looking baby lady. Where'd you get that baby from?" And the woman said, "I don't have to take that!"

And she snatched the emergency cord and the train came to a screeching halt, and the conductor came running in, now this was his moment, at this moment he represented the Pennsylvania Railroad. And he said, "what's going on here?" And the woman said, "this man just insulted me. I don't have to spend my money and ride this railroad and be insulted. I'd rather walk."

And the conductor said, "Calm down! Calm down! Madame there's nothing, nothing, that the Pennsylvania Railroad will not do to avoid having situations such as this. Perhaps it would be more to your convience if we were to rearrange your seating, let you sit somewhere else in the coach. And as a small compensation from the railroad, if you will accompany me to the dining car, we are going to give you a free meal. And maybe we'll find a banana for your monkey."

Saturday, March 18, 2006

Weekend Time Waster, Part Whatever, I've Lost Track + 1

In addition to the tartan generator, here are some more great time wasting links.

From Peripetia

1. One Billion Mazes.
2. Acme License Generator-

Here are two of my creations:

Another from Karen McL (of Peripetia)
1. Falling Sand Game

From Cranach

Read about Rock, Paper, Scissors tournaments.

Weekend Time Waster, Part... Whatever, I've Lost Track

Vote for the official Cardinals Tartan. I designed these. Or make one of your own by going here.







Friday, March 17, 2006

St. Patrick's Day- St. Louis Style

From the great KMOV.

In honor of St. Patrick's Day, the field at the new Busch Stadium has been painted green. See?

Okay, so it's not paint. It's real grass.

But to save money, instead of sod, the Cardinals bought millions of little Chia Head's to lay on the field. And they're growing great!

And it's nice to see that the commercialism in this park will hardly be noticeable.

Visit Cranach Today

There's a great little post honoring Patrick.

No, not that one.

The greater one. The Saint.

"St. Patrick's Day should remind us that even white people first came to Christianity through missionaries."

Read more, with the comments, by clicking the above link.

Purpose Driven Failure

The so-called Evangelical world and "Church Growth Movement" is full of success stories and very rich folk. Do this, try that, and you'll be blessed beyond measure. Especially if you give more of your money. And if you aren't being blessed, it's your fault. It's full of Pat Robertsons, Rick Warrens, Joel Osteens, and the like.

It's also full of "successful" churches. By that I mean "churches" whose mission it is to entertain, coddle, and make its members "feel good" about themselves. No, or little, preaching of the law and gospel. Just a bunch of how-to-have-it-good-in-this-life psychobabble. And people flock to them in droves. They go over here for awhile, then they go over there for awhile, always looking for the next, best, exciting thing.

And people try to use "the numbers" as evidence of God's blessing. Just like they use money as a sign of God's blessing.

Well, there's lots of things to say about that. That is of scripture. The reality is that life is a struggle until the day you die. And if you're NOT struggling, you better take a good look at yourself. The flesh calls to have it's way. Satanic forces surround us. The world entices us. And Christ himself promises if you follow him you WILL bear a cross. Doesn't sound like a recipe for a successful church in 21st century America to me. But at least its a faithful message to what the Bible teaches.

So, what am I leading up to? Well, this post is going to take a turn from the serious to the fun.

The fact is that not everyone who subscribes to "Church Growth-Purpose Driven Life-Willow Creek-Joel Osteen" Christianity succeeds.

For every Purpose Driven Life success, there are lots of failures. Things that didn't "draw the masses" like it was anticipated.

Scottius Maximus Investigative Agency, another subsidiary of Scottius Maximus Enterprises, has uncovered several campaigns by Evangelical American Churches that failed to pack them in.

Here are the "Purpose Driven Failures":

Wrestle-mania Sunday- "Wrestle with the devil- and win" sounded like a good sermon series to the pastors and elders at Indiana's New Beginnings Church. However, the church was forced to close when their insurance refused to pay medical bills for the 3 people with broken vertebrae, 6 people with shoulder dislocations, 19 people with torn cartilage, and 40 people with lacerations- all the result of a 350 lb. escapee from the local psych ward showing up and claiming to be the devil.

Disco Demolition Night- Everyone remembers the Old Comiskey Park in Chicago, home of the White Sox for 80 years. And everyone should remember the disastrous Disco Demolition Night in 1979 that sparked a riot and almost destroyed the stadium. Well everyone does, except the good folks of the Church of the Harvest in Iowa. The community was invited to bring their old disco records and burn them to renounce the satanic influences of dancing. Let's just say this- the Comiskey Park fiasco looked like a girl scout campfire compared to the carnage that ensued at that church.

Beef Jerky Day- At a non-denominational church in Ohio, ushers were instructed to hand out free packages of beef jerky to anyone who might be a "seeker". Unfortunately the Holy Roller Church across the street had Fried Egg Day at the same time. Since more people like eggs than beef jerky, the concept never got off the ground.

The Bill Orpine Memorial Sunday In The Fight Against Hemorrhoids- Deeds Not Creeds Lutheran Church in Missouri thought it would be a good deed to relieve the suffering from hemorrhoids sufferers in their 5,000 member church by handing out free Preparation H at the door. Considering the offer too embarrassing and too personal, and not wanting others to think they had a hemorrhoid problem, all but 56 people stayed home that Sunday.

Illegal Alien Sunday- Anyone bringing an illegal alien to a non-denom church in a small Illinois town, to be promptly handed over to a US INS agent, would receive an "anointing" at the altar with promises of great blessings in the next year.

The Anton Levay Invite A Satanist To Church Night- Who needs the gospel more than someone worshipping Lucifer? At least that was the idea of one of the deacons of "New Paradigm Lutheran Church" in Nebraska. It didn't work out so well, as the sanctuary was overrun by unbathed vampires on Harleys. Whether the church burned down accidently or on purpose is currently under investigation.

Soap Night and Get Your Oil Changed For Free Night- Whether in part or in full, these two "themes" were inspired to try to "make good" on the Anton Levay disaster. Soap for the unbathed, and an oil change for the motorcycles.

Bring Your Cholesterol Level To Church Sunday- Anyone with high cholesterol was encouraged to bring copies of their blood work and place them on the altar, where a special envoy from Oral Roberts University would pray over it. Litigation is pending as the pastor who came up with the idea suffered a heart attack the next day.

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Yeah, I Once Ran For President

Of the United States.

When I was a junior in high school, in 1980, I announced I was running for President of the United States in the year 2000, the first election I would be old enough. Back then, 37 seemed old.

However, my campaign never got off the ground. After my announcement to my three friends in German Class one winter's day, one of them volunteered to be my campaign manager. However, he had to resign in the previously unheard of Pamela Palomino Incident scandal. To this day I maintain my innocence. And I was.

But after that was the campaign slogan fiasco. It was supposed to be-

Scottius Maximus- "I want to cut your taxes."

With the secondary slogan being-

Scottius Maximus- He wants to cut your taxes.

Unfortunately, the advertiser got the two mixed up.

My credibility was shot when the slogan

"Scottius Maximus- I WANTS to cut your taxes" began appearing in advertisements.

Oh, well...what might have been...

Where am I going with this?

Well, I was inspired to run for President by the campaign of the great Ronald Reagan.

He just had a knack for communication. So when I saw this post at Katie's Beer with the quotable Ronald Reagan, it made me think of my own "struggles."

My favorite quote is:
"The most terrifying words in the English language are: I'm from the government and I'm here to help."

There are lots more at Katie's Beer that are classics. Whatever your politics, you'll get a chuckle.