Saturday, July 29, 2006

Attention, All Smart People...

"Now is the time to come to the aid of your neighbor," as Barney Fife might say. We need people 'more smarter' than us folks.

Read the comments of this post and then vote on who's right and who's wrong:

a- Lutheran Lucy.
b- Scottius Maximus.

Let's just say we disagree on this one.

Friday, July 28, 2006

Who's Your FACE?

Na. Hopefully we all can do better than that.

What I mean is, who is the face of your city? Your franchise?

MLB's Hometown Heroes vote is taking place right now. From the website:
"Cast your vote for the most outstanding player in each club's history..."

You can also enter to win 2006 World Series Tickets.

In St. Louis, there "can-na be no-a debate", as Poppy would say.

The face of the St. Louis Cardinals is, without question, Stan Musial. The Man. Baseball's greatest living player.

When they have had a GIGANTIC statue of you downtown outside of two baseball stadiums for the past 40 years, that pretty well settles all debates. At least for the next decade or two. Wait 20 years and we'll see if Albert Pujols is revered so much as to put a giant statue of him on the city's sidewalks.

The Statue's old home... and the new home.

Of course, even then, Albert will still need to be put on the cover of TIME magazine just to draw even with "The Man".

Anyway, I thought it would be fun to go through the other 29 teams and pick, from the perspective of a St. Louis Cardinals fan, the Hometown Heroes, the "Faces" if you will, of each franchise.

Not all of these picks are found on the official ballot. But remember, they are my perceptions, who I "see" in my mind's eye when someone mentions a particular team. A la word association.

National League East
Mets- Tom Seaver. (Remember 1969?)
Braves- Hank Aaron (714, too easy)
Phillies- Mike Schmidt (To Phillies fan, he's the face and the so-called other end)
Marlins- Jim Leyland. (Hey, a manager could win this, no?)
Nationals/Expos- Rusty Staub. (A red headed assassin with long socks. Nicknamed Le Grand Orange?!! I always wanted to be called that. Yeah. He's your man)

National League Central
Reds- Pete Rose (MLB be-damned)
Astros- Nolan Ryan (No-no anyone?)
Brewers- Robin Yount (1982 hero. I can like him because the Cardinals won the World Series over the Brewers. If they'd have lost, I'd have forever hated him)
Cubs- Ernie Banks (Let's play two? Heck-fire, the Cubs don't even like playing one)
Pirates- Willie Stargell (Best All*Star Baseball player ever- had the biggest "1", i.e. home run, on the playing disc when I was growing up)

National League West
Dodgers- Jackie Robinson (A baseball icon)
Giants- Willie Mays (Sorry Barry, your godfather's got you beat all the way around)
Diamondbacks- Randy Johnson (Wanna argue with him that he's not?)
Padres- Steve Garvey (1984 NLCS game 4 home run against the much-hated Cubs is a memory a Cardinals fan can't help but treasure)
Rockies- Larry Walker (Sure, it doesn't hurt he finished his career with El Birdos)

American League East
Red Sox- Ted Williams (A no-brainer, like Stan Musial. The sad thing is, they could take his deeply-frozen face and stick it at Fenway- making him the face...literally)
Yankees- The Babe (I thought this team would be the hardest, but how can you go against the single most famous baseball player in history? That's easy. You can't)
Blue Jays- Joe Carter (World Series winning home runs always pretty-much seal the deal)
Orioles- Jim Palmer (This was perhaps the toughest pick. I could go with Eddie Murray or Earl Weaver on any other given day. But those guys didn't do underwear commercials. And when all other things are even, a guy who does underwear commercials will always win out over those who don't)

American League Central
Tigers- Mickey Lolich (Pains me to say it, but my most clear memory of early Cardinals fan-dom is of Mickey and the Tigers dancing on Busch Stadium's turf after the final out in game 7, a pop foul, in the 1968 World Series. Still brings a tear to my eye. Alright, everyone look away for a minute. Sniff-sniff)
White Sox- Joe Jackson (Another hard one. I almost went with Harry Caray! Definitely could never vote for a total malcontent like Frank Thomas. Let's face it, despite 2005, when you think of the Sox, the Black Sox Scandal pops in to one's head first. And who is the most famous of the Black Sox? I rest my case)
Twins- Kirby Puckett (Went to Bradley U. in Peoria. I almost went with Harmon Killibrew. But how many dogs do I know named Harmon? Zip. But I do know one named Kirby)
Indians- Lou Boudreau (Hey, I'm an Illinois Boy! Who else could I even consider? Hall of Fame player. Managed the Indians to their last title. I find it incredible this guy's not even on the ballot)
Royals- George Brett (Another no-brainer. Duh)

American League West
A's- Reggie Jackson
(Love him or hate him, he's definitely a famous dude)
Angels- Don Baylor
(Like Randy Johnson, who's gonna tell him he's not?)
Rangers- Nolan Ryan (Houston, we have a problem. Sorry. I always wanted to write that. Seemed terribly appropriate to say that, since I picked this same guy for the Astros also. Get it? GET IT? Never mind)
Mariners- Ken Griffey, Jr. (It is what it is. Who else?)

Notice I left one team out. Tampa Bay. What business do the Devil Rays have being in this thing? They have no face. They've never even fielded a competetive team. So I thought I'd spare them the embarrassment of having everyone snicker at whoever is picked for them. Maybe if they ever do something...

But since they have no face, I'll "loan" them this one:

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

I Have A Task For You

Next time you're at a funeral or a visitation, go up to the corpse and start asking it questions. Ask it to make a "decision" for Christ. And then await an answer. See what happens.

You know, the "ask Jesus into your heart" "make a decision to follow Christ" "pray the Believer's Prayer and you'll be saved" load of BS that makes salvation as much a "work" as all the nonsense emanating from the Roman pope's mouth.

I know this topic has been beaten around much more deeply and eloquently than what I could possibly do. But on Sunday one of our pastors began a study of Paul's epistle to the Ephesians. Chapter one completely destroys the "decision theology" of pop Christianity.

In fact, the first eleven words of the letter destroys decision theology:
"Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God,..."

How can anybody miss this? Paul became an apostle by the will of God, not a decision he had made. He then weaves a thread of jaw-dropping theological insight that would destroy any remnants of decision theology if Satan himself were not alive to this day.
-Verse 4: "For he chose us..." The decision was His not ours.
-Verse 5: "he predestined us to be adopted as his sons through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will—" God made it so before the Earth existed. Reason- it was His pleasure to do so, he wanted to do so.
- Verse 6: "to the praise of his glorious grace..." His grace, in other words His unmerited favor, not our decision to follow Him.
- Verse 7: "we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins..." We are redeemed by something of real value, not something we have done.
- Verse 11: "In him we were also chosen..." Again, the question, what exactly did we contribute to all of this? If you answer 'nothing', you're beginning to get the picture.
- Verse 13: "you also were included in Christ when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation...." Again, what did you do to contribute to your salvation? Nothing. All you did was hear the gospel by the will of God. You did nothing. And it was God's good pleasure and will to do so.

I love the repetiveness of scripture. Because humans are so weak, stubborn and so often, quite frankly, stupid, God has spelled it out again and again and again. How is it then this is missed by so many?

Salvation has been accomplished, and could be accomplished, only in the person and work of the Christ, true God and true man. You can do nothing. Salvation is a done deal, done once for all. There is nothing one can do now to save himself, and there is nothing one can do now that wasn't already paid for and forgiven by God. It is finished, accomplished, done for all eternity.

Scripture calls us dead in our transgressions. Dead men cannot make themselves alive. Dead men cannot choose Christ because dead men cannot make decisions. To make something dead come alive requires a miracle, an act of God.

So, why is it that so many Lutherans want to believe and become like Protestants? We should be who we are, true catholics (as opposed to Roman Catholics). I cannot fathom why anyone would want to turn their Lutheran church into a two-bit like-every-other Protestant church by embracing their beliefs and practices. It makes one want to scream and cry simultaneously.

As my pastor so eloquently said, Lutheranism is really nothing but Paul-ine theology. Such as that found in Ephesians. That's it, in a nutshell. We'd not only be sinful...we'd be nuts not to embrace this stuff.

Friday, July 21, 2006

VIDEO? Killed The Radio Star?

"No. I don't think so."

Nor did radio kill the video star. Whatever any of this means.

But something killed the video star.

And do you know what it was?

If you are over 25 years old, surely you do. Just think about it.

MTV played videos all the time in the early 1980s. A college student's dream. And there was this new thing called stereo TV. It fit perfectly with the new music video channel. One of the videos MTV delighted in playing was called "Video Killed The Radio Star." It's premise was that radio was on the way out, and a new dimension to music was beginning due to the music video.

MTV wasn't all garbage programming back then. Okay, there was some garbage. Most of the programming was, however, videos. And videos were supposed to make music radio obsolete.

But sometime, not too long after a certain video appeared, MTV began it's short spiral into garbage programming and essentially quit showing music videos. And I propose it's all because of this band and it's freaky video. We saw how silly the whole concept of "music videos" was.

It's true. Where are the videos now? Confined to the upper stratosphere of cable and DISH channels, where no one can find them easily.

It pains me to say it, because the band is one of my favorites, but I am putting forth the theory that this one band single-handedly destroyed video music. Which was probably a blessing in disguise. Because it exposed video music for what it was- just plain silly. Music is much better when the imagination plays along with it.

And they were able to do this despite a great song, great vocals, great guitar, and a great (yes, I used that adjective one more time) synthesizer.

And so, enter Beavis and Butthead.

Still don't know what I'm referring to?

It's one of the most ridiculous, and I think unintentionally hilarious, things I have ever seen.

In the video, there's a drummer that appears spastic and who appears to be playing with a pair of long chopsticks, there's over-the-top "acting", lots of "air instruments", an unattractive chick, a lead singer who can't stop flapping and flailing, and a criminally inexpensive "wardrobe" for the whole band.

Still don't know?

Well, we're about at the end of the post, so just take a guess if you don't already know. Then go to Caffeine and Irony to watch the video and read a hilarious play by play outline of the goofy moments, complete with the time of occurence.

Then check back and tell me if you agree with my hypothesis.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Thursday Update

It's time for another in a long(?) line of Thursday updates.

The Lutheran Links section has needed updating for a long time. I finally got around to it.

I've linked to Dr. Vieth's Cranach. I've long had his World site linked, and overlooked linking to Cranach. Which is weird because I reference it so much.

The Quipper's Quipspot, Barb The Evil Genius, and Des Moines Girl have all contributed significantly to Scottius Maximus. Please visit their most-excellent blogs.

Homestead Lutheran Academy and Schreiben von Schreiber are two sites I have noticed while visiting the above, and deserve a linking to as well.

And finally, how could I have posted about great Star Trek fun without including this clip of William Shatner on $10,000 Pyramid (compliments of TK)?

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Star Trek Fun

All of my fellow Star Trek fans...this post is for you.

I found this on Drudge. Some guy has enough spare time to carve Star Trek mazes in his corn fields. Seems like my kind of guy.

From Karen McL at Peripetia. Have you ever wondered what would happen if the Star Trek folks explored strange new worlds and ran across the Star Wars folks? We all know James T. Kirk could blow those evil Star Wars guys away, but what about Capt. Picard? View the video here.

And another from Karen. Check this out. Warning: some fast-motion action here.

Finally, here is something I found that is rather Larsonesque.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Is- is that SWEAT?

I always strive for original programming, so its rare that I'll run a repeat. But this heatwave seems just like last year's. Which brought out these sentiments, which I'm sure are shared throughout the heartland.

Okay, that and the fact I feel too lazy to write today.

"Stairway To Hell" , copyright 2005.
Words by Scottius Maximus.
Sung to the tune of "Stairway To Heaven."
With my deepest apologies to Led Zeppelin.

"There's a lady who states,
that this heat wave is great
as she's frying an egg on my sidewalk.
It's so humid, I bet,
that I'll be soaking wet,
just by blinking my eyelids too quickly.
Ooooh, ooh ooh ooh ooh ooh oooooh, and she's frying an egg on my sidewalk.

It's so bright I can't see, as the sun beats on me,
'Cause my pupils constrict down to nothing.
I'll bump into the wall, and down the stairs I'll fall,
'Cause my eyes they're both nothing but iris.
Oooooooooooh, and it makes me sweat more.
Ooooooooooh, it makes me sweat more.

There's a feeling I get,

as my eyes fill with sweat,
like the stinging of thousands of hornets.
And I stick to the seat

of my car from this heat,
Like I'm glued by some resin from Saturn.
Oooooooh, and it makes me sweat more.
Oooooooh, and it makes me sweat more.

And I think that we fell, and landed in hell,
'Cause I know that my insides are melting.
But a new day will dawn,

over my burned up lawn.
With no water we'll just have to drink dust.
Ooooh, it makes me sweat more.
Oooh, oh oh oh oh oh oh oh.

If you see fire raining down soon, don't be alarmed now.
'Til you see "EVACUATE" posted.
Don't leave the windows of your car up, or it will erupt.
And your own rear end will be toasted.

Oooh, and it makes me sweat more.
Ooooh, ahhh, ahh, ahh, ahh.

Your sweat's precipitating on you, leaving a white dust.
No you're not hallucinating.
Because the water level's so low, babe did you know?
It will be 4 more years till you'll have to mow.

And as I drive on down the road.
Cursing that A/C that I sold.
I nearly faint as I am told
never again will it be cold.
The air is heavier than gold
so that I'm wheezing like I'm old.
The heat index is 2-0-4,
We need to go bathe in Crisco.
And we'll all be ready- to explode.

And she's frying an egg on my sidewalk."

Sunday, July 16, 2006

Newt's Taking His Cues...

...from of all people- ME!

Like him or not, you have to admit that Newt Gingrich is an incredibly intelligent guy, in a worldly sense. I just didn't know he read Scottius Maximus.

When I saw this article linked on the Drudge Report, I had to read it. Because it is just what I had posted on Friday.

Now I'm waiting to see what Newt has to say about Ted Nugent.

Golly, I mean, I knew CBS News' Melissa McNamara has read Scottius Maximus. I didn't know Newt did too!

Saturday, July 15, 2006


Mike Shannon! He's 67 today. What a character!

"I wish you folks back in St. Louis could see this moon."- Mike Shannon during a broadcast.

If you don't know of the legend of Mike, then click on the links below. The coveted Scottius Maximus Laughter GUARANTEE is firmly affixed to these!
- Moon Man Mayhem
- Mike doing a commercial

- According to Shannon- The first game at the old Busch Stadium

- Mike's winter vacation
- Opening Day 2006

If'n you're ever in St. Louie, you must eat at Mike Shannon's Steaks and Seafood. Absolutely fabulous. And lots of baseball memorabilia.

Mike and Pat Shannon with Tony LaRussa at Mike Shannon's Steaks and Seafood in downtown St. Louis.

Happy birthday to every Cardinals fan's favorite announcer (well, since Jack Buck died and Joe moved to Fox)...

YAAAYYY MIKEY!!!!!!!!!!!

Just You And Me, Kid II- Sola Scriptura

Wouldn't you love to see a film with that title?

Well, the wife and son have left me again. Which means we're having a sequel
to this and this at my house this weekend.

They are traveling with the church's youth group to Wisconsin for the weekend. I think they're going skiing, or something. I told her to pack a sweater.

I do know this- tomorrow they will go to church at our
ULMA mission congregation in Milwaukee. The youth choir is going to sing for their service in the morning. They'll be back by 10 p.m. tomorrow. Allegedly.

Speaking of the mission congregation, I don't think I posted it when it happened, but it now has a name:
Sola Scriptura Lutheran Church.
Has a nice ring. There are about 20-30 faithful members at this point. They have called a pastor, with installation being scheduled for the first weekend in August.

Some of you may not know that
our church voted to leave the LCMS after the disastrous 2004 convention. The LCMS was in conflict with what we believe, teach, and confess.

"And away we go!"

So away we went.

We are now an independent Lutheran congregation. We are traditional Waltherian Lutherans (real LCMSers!) who are confessional Lutherans, that is, we hold to the teachings of the Bible first and to its teachings (doctrine) as explained in the unaltered Augsburg Confession.

For some back ground, I invite you to go..."to the archives!"

- Coming out of the LCMS
- LCMS Board Member Resignation Letter
- Mission Church
- LCMS needs a doctor

A lot of congregations locally thought we had made a big mistake. However, being out from under the ever increasing power-thumb of Gerald Kieschnick and his ilk has been the one of the best things that could have happened to us. Because the LCMS is a political and bureaucratic tool. It is not a "church", as so many people believe.

The Synod is truly cracking at its foundations, bringing it ever closer to its inevitable fall. As this occurs, more and more congregations are inquiring about
leaving the LCMS, according to our pastors, who field phone calls frequently from other pastors and congregational presidents.

The ULMA is good in that we can pool resources with like-minded congregations, such as
Redeemer in St. Clair Shores, Michigan, to build mission churches with confessional beliefs, while still being independent in the "political" sense of the word. There's nothing wrong with being independent, in fact, I'm sure we believe, teach, and confess the same doctrine that other confessionals do. We just don't have to put up with BS like this (source: Reclaim News)-

In discussion in response to a query at the Ohio District Convention about possibly revisiting the '04 Synod Convention (and CTCR) position on the role of women in the church, President Kieschnick made this pronouncement:

"You are free to disagree, everyone is free to disagree, but let me say this: You, pastors, are NOT free to publicly teach or preach that Synod is wrong on ANY given issue. I'll say it again, you are NOT free to teach in a bible class or preach from the pulpit that Synod is wrong on any issue."

Trust me, when we hear things like this, we continue to pray for all of our brothers who haven't had the courage to come out of the LCMS...yet. Because it's only a matter of time before David Behnke or another like him prays with Hindus and Muslims again, with the blessing of Pope Kieschnick.

And LCMS pastors will not be free to speak against it.

That is, if they fear men more than God.

Friday, July 14, 2006

And The Crowd Chants...


True story according to Snopes.

Ted Nugent, a heavy metal guitar legend and devoted (bow) hunter, was being interviewed by a French journalist. Eventually, the conversation turned to his love of outdoor pursuits. The journalist asked, "What do you think the last thought is in the head of a deer before you shoot it? Is it, "Are you my friend?" or maybe "Are you the one who killed my brother?"

Nugent replied, "They aren't capable of that kind of thinking. All they care about is, What am I going to eat next? Who am I going to screw next? and, Can I run fast enough to get away? They are very much like the French in that."

I love that guy!

I'm Feeling Particularly Patriotically Perky Today

So I'll rip off a rant or two.

For those of you still with your head in the sand...

World War III started a few years ago. Most of the US realized this after 9/11/01, although some are still quite "nave" (as Archie Bunker might say) about this. Western culture is at war with fascism again, this time Islamic.

And it all seems to be escalating now, doesn't it? That whole Middle East definitely is ready to blow. If history tells us anything, it's that there are civilizations that no longer exist. Because war wiped some out. Celts. Moabites. Assyrians.

Two opposing cultures, or civilizations, eventually reach the tipping point in which co-existence is impossible. It may sound oxymoronic, but war is sometimes the only worldly answer to obtaining long-term peace and stability.

So, let the two sides fight it out. May the best one win. I hope that is our side. And if you don't realize this yet, or worse, don't have the guts to realize it...may you stay safe in your utopian world...LOSER!

The enemy is within this country, and has the willingness to carry their mission to its completion. Some still don't get it.

So here. Here are two great songs to keep us motivated, lest we grow tired of the prospect of this world war.

1. "American Soldier", by Scottius Maximus Enterprises favorite Toby Keith.

Go here to find the video, and for video of another of our favorites, "Courtesy of the Red, White, and Blue".

"I'm just trying to be a father
Raise a daughter and a son
Be a lover to their mother
Everything to everyone
Up and at 'em, bright and early
I'm all business in my suit
Yeah, I'm dressed up for success
From my head down to my boots

I don't do it for the money
There's bills that I can't pay
I don't do it for the glory
I just do it anyway
Providing for our future's my responsibility
Yeah I'm real good under pressure
Being all that I can be

And I can't call in sick on Mondays when the weekends been too strong
I just work straight through the holidays
And sometimes all night long.
You can bet that I stand ready when the wolf growls at the door
Hey, I'm solid, hey I'm steady, hey, I'm true down to the core
And I will always do my duty no matter what the price
I've counted up the cost, I know the sacrifice
Oh, and I don't want to die for you
but if dyin's asked of me
I'll bear that cross with honor
'cause freedom don't come free

I'm an American soldier, an American
beside my brothers and my sisters
I will proudly take a stand
When Liberty's in jeopardy,
I will always do what's right
I'm out here on the front line
Sleep in peace tonight
American soldier, I'm an American soldier

Yeah, an American soldier, an American
Beside my brothers and my sisters I will proudly take a stand
When Liberty's in jeopardy I will always do what's right
I'm out here on the front line
So Sleep in peace tonight
American soldier, I'm an American
An American, an American soldier"

2. "Have You Forgotten", by Darryl Worley.
Go to video here.

"I hear people saying we don't need this war
I say there's some things worth fighting for
What about our freedom and this piece of ground
We didn't get to keep 'em by backing down
Now they say we don't realize the mess we're getting in
Before you start your preaching let me ask you this my friend
Have you forgotten how it felt that day?
To see your homeland under fire
And her people blown away
Have you forgotten when those towers fell?
We had neighbors still inside going thru a living hell
And you say we shouldn't worry 'bout bin Laden
Have you forgotten?

They took all the footage off my T.V.

Said it's too disturbing for you and me
It'll just breed anger that's what the experts say
If it was up to me I'd show it everyday
Some say this country's just out looking for a fight
Well after 9/11 man I'd have to say that's right
Have you forgotten how it felt that day?

To see your homeland under fire
And her people blown away
Have you forgotten when those towers fell?
We had neighbors still inside going thru a living hell
And you say we shouldn't worry 'bout bin Laden
Have you forgotten?

Now I've been there with the soldiers

Who've gone away to war
And you can bet that they remember
Just what they're fightin' for
Have you forgotten all the people killed?

Some went down like heroes in that Pennsylvania field
Have you forgotten about our Pentagon?
And all the loved ones that we lost and those left to carry on
Don't you tell me not to worry about bin Laden
Have you forgotten?
Have you forgotten how it felt that day?

To see your homeland under fire
And her people blown away
Have you forgotten when those towers fell?
We had neighbors still inside going thru a living hell
And you say we shouldn't worry 'bout bin LadenHave you forgotten?
Have you forgotten?
Have you forgotten?"

So. Have you forgotten that this IS World War III? And like it or not, we're in it? Islam is marching, like Hitler seventy years ago.

Israel realizes what IT is up against and what it must do. Do we? I sometimes wonder.

It's time to rally, folks. Or do you want your children in Israel's predicament?

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Why Soccer Blows

Most sports would consider a championship, like the past month's World Cup, to be sufficient to determine who the best team is.

Of course, not soccer. Nooooo. Soccer is just plain weird.

Didn't we just witness Italy win the World Cup Championship? Did that not count for anything?

Why is it that Italy is ranked #2 in the world in the latest "rankings"? Why is it that Brazil, a team that couldn't even make it in to the finals, is #1? How can these things be? By winning the World Cup, Italy earned the right to be #2 in the world?

What was the point of the whole World Cup, then? I admit to being soccer ignorant. But this is hard to comprehend.

Can you imagine the Italians getting up this morning and seeing this?
Mario: Hey, the FIFA World Soccer Rankings are out!
Luigi: I bet I know who #1 is!
Mario: I bet you don't!
Luigi: Let me try to guess.
Mario: Go for it.
Luigi: Well let's see...the Italian team did not lose a game in the recent World Cup...they trailed only one time...and they gave up only one goal. They won the whole tournament and defeated all challengers. That means they must be #2.
Mario: You're right, Luigi. That's amazing.
Luigi: Yeah, Mario. It is amazing.

Didn't we just watch (or not watch) a tournament designed to settle this very issue? Weren't billions of dollars spent on this whole thing? What a crock!

Are we on Bizarro?

So...the whole thing was a sham, huh? I thought I knew what absurdity was until now. Leave it to soccer to get things all mixed up. Maybe the soccer powers haven't eaten enough orange wedges, or drank enough Sunny Delight, to keep their minds sharp.


Uuuuggghhhhh. I've got a major league headache. Give me some baseball again.

Friday, July 07, 2006

Highlights Of Highlights

A Highlights For Children magazine came to the office today. I remember reading this as a second grader, and maybe a little bit after this, but there was a narrow window of time in which I was interested in it.

When I was looking through it, there were two things I was looking for.

One was Goofus and Gallant. I never "got" Goofus and Gallant. First of all, what kid that you have ever come across has been named Gallant, let alone Goofus. Secondly, if you're a pig, you're a pig. That is to say, if you're a pig, and you read how Goofus and Gallant each behave, chances are you'll still be a pig after reading it. Gallant's gallantry will in no way influence you. And there's no way you see that there is a problem with that Goofus kid. So I don't get the point of the cartoon.

Maybe I can get a grant from the government to study the effectiveness of the "Goofus and Gallant" strip on influencing kid's behavior. My hypothesis is that it does nothing.

And now they look different than they did when I was growing up. Which leads me to the conclusion that the original Goofus and Gallant are all grown up.

Let's see if we can use the imagination God has given us to figure out what the original Goofus and Gallant are up to. I bet Goofus is a biker with a cascade of tattoos covering his drug addicted carcas who has spent more time in jail than rehab. I bet Gallant is an institutionalized psychotic, drummed over the edge by his relentless drive for perfection.

The second running series of Highlights is the Timbertoes. There is nothing in my 42 year old memory banks that seemed to creep me out more at the age of 7 than the Timbertoes. What the heck were these creatures supposed to be? Aliens? Tree People? Insects? How about we just call them Freaks, huh?

They were always scaring the crap out of me from their black and white hell-world. For some reason they all have abdominal swelling, which I would guess is either from cirrhosis of the liver or kwashiorkor. When I ran across a picture of them in the current issue, I physically shuddered. Chills are going down my spine just writing this down. I'm scared folks, and I'm leaving the lights on all night tonight. Whatever those dots are on their torsos seem to multiply as they get older. I won't even get into the hinged hips.

Freakin' Timbertoes. Uuuuuhhhhh.

Hey, Ringo!

Did you know one of my favorite Beatles songs is Octopus's Garden?

Speaking of gardens...

Here are some more garden photos. Most things are doing well. I've only killed one plant so far. The rabbits got a few others.

This was still in spring...

Bell Song Daffodils. Yeah, that's the shadow of my giant ape-head.

This was a beautiful Lamb's Ear. Unfortunately, I got a little overzealous with the Sevin a couple of weeks ago. Killed this sucker dead (is there any other way to be killed?) in about 5 days. Don't try this at home.

Phlox of the white lands.

Phlox of the lavender lands.

This dude blooms all spring, summer, and fall, but only opens up during daylight, closing back up at night. He's an interesting one called Colorado Gold Gazania.

Purple Dragon Lamium. This has turned out to be great ground cover, although it is tending to become invasive the longer it's there. I'm anxious to see how it fares against the English Ivy behind it. Let 'em duke it out for supremacy.

Spireas, on opposite ends of the house.

These are two interesting creatures: Herman's Archangel above and Wormwood below. These were planted this spring. Neither has spectacular flowers. They are more shrub like. I think the thing that drew me to both is the textures of each. The Archangel feels somewhat fabric-like, while the Wormwood has a soft, fluffy, almost feathery, feel. Besides...I liked both of their names.

Let's move on to summer...

Oriental trumpet lily. Nice, subtle fragrance. Just bloomed on July 2nd.

Close up views. Herman's Archangel is back there.

Night time close ups.

Night time lily.

There are two groups of bulbs of this lilly, but the rabbits got the other as a small child. This is the first year I've been able to get this far, because last year the rabbits got all of my lillies.

"Yeaaaaahhhhhh, baby!"

Group of Sedums, variations of Autumn Joy and Purple Emperor with Blue Fescue.

Sedums at night.

Marigolds planted from seed. They are on the cusp of blooming this weekend.

Russian Sage at night.

Russian Sage in daylight.

Sage with Fountain Grass and a patch of Blue Fescue. This poor sage was "trimmed" accidentally by my dog's leash the other day. There are only two branches still standing after his impromptu yard work.

Another Russian Sage. Kind of droopy because, miracle of miracles, it had just rained.

Dave the Bumble Bee dropped by to visit my sage.

Some petunias my wife "planted". Either they are trying to commit suicide by uprooting themselves, or something is trying to dig them up. Mugo pine to the left, Privet in the background.

Goblin Gaillardia. Pretty cool flowers. Kind of like daisies on acid.

Thanks to my parents for the use of their camera. If you'd like to borrow it, I'm sure they wouldn't mind. Just email me and I'll make the arrangements. Or, I can give out their email address. They probably wouldn't care if I give it out to people who they don't know. As long as it is for a good purpose like this.

Okay, just kidding.