Thursday, January 30, 2014

Thursday Reading And Big Puma

Genesis 30.

As Tony K. would say, "Happy Trails to Lance Berkman."

He was the best player on the Astros back when they were the Cardinals' chief rivals.  Hardly seems possible these days.

That was the only rivalry in my lifetime in which I actually liked the other team.  And part of the reason was I liked Berkman, a goofy Elvis doppelganger.

I was thrilled when he came to the Cardinals in 2011.  Without him the Cardinals would not have won anything that year.

Game 6 10th inning, Albert Pujols was walked to get to him.  Understandable.  But Berkman was always a clutch guy.

I was upset when they let him go last year.  This time the send off is forever.  Happy Trails.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Wednesday Reading And More Chuck

Genesis 29.

When I posted about the Celebrity of the Month a couple of weeks ago, I almost linked to Linda Ronstadt's performance of "Back In The USA".  It's the version I remember best.

I would rate it just as good as the original.

Well, here's an even better, live, version of Linda and that song.  She is singing with Chuck and a couple other familiar faces in 1986.  At a concert at St. Louis' Fox Theatre.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Monday And Tuesday Reading And More Plaque

Genesis 27 and 28.

This LaRussa thing continues to get people's attention.  Which leads naturally to only one question.

When does spring training start?  Please.

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Weekend Reading And LaRussa's Plaque

Genesis 25 and 26.

I've never written a post about a dude's hat before. 

And not even a hat.  A rendering of a hat on a plaque.

There are actually people on the planet who are bent about Tony LaRussa's decision to wear a logo-less hat on his Hall Of Fame Plaque.

I admit I was never his biggest fan, but I'm glad he's doing his own thing.  It's his honor, not anybody else's.  He wants all his teams to have a part in his induction, because they all played a part in his history.

Greg Maddux is doing the same thing.

So get a life, losers!

And, years from now, when history remembers the steroid era and debates his role in it, he won't have an STL on his plaque cap.  So there is that.

Friday, January 24, 2014

Friday Reading And Super Bowl Decision Tool

Genesis 24.

On Mike and Mike today was a discussion about the closest thing to an algorithm for deciding a rooting interest in the Super Bowl.

Based on one hit hip hop wonders.

Do you prefer "Baby Got Back" or "Whoomp (There It Is)"?

Based on this, I'm for Denver.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Thursday Reading And Oscar Taveras

Genesis 23.

Lots of articles about Taveras this past week.  Bernie Miklasz did one today.

The countdown to spring has begun. 

In fact, there's a hint of spring in the air tonight, isn't there?

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Wednesday Reading And 70s on 7

Genesis 22.

There's a lot not to like about the times we live in.  But the availability of music is not one of them.

Pandora, iTunes, and, of couse, Sirius.  And nothing on Sirius is better than 70s on 7.

I get so tired of oldies radio playing the same tunes over and over again.  What I love about 70s on 7 is that it plays stuff I haven't heard in 35-45 years.

Or just stuff that never gets airplay.  Here's a sampling of stuff I've heard recently.

What could be better than that?  Well... maybe 80s on 8.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Tuesday Reading And Music Videos

Genesis 21.

In the wake of the deaths last week, I found a couple of good videos.

If I knew how to do this stuff, I'd put one together.  Or make a movie.

Monday, January 20, 2014

Monday Reading

Genesis 20.

This thing would be cool, if I could get it to work well.  The map zooms in when you don't want and some of the points on the map are hard to figure out.  Way too cumbersome. 

Maybe it's my browser.

Or me.

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Weekend Reading And Conference Championships

Genesis 18 and 19.

I can't believe the number of doubters of Peyton Manning.  In my opinion he is the best quarterback in the past generation.

He's already won a Super Bowl.  And yet to hear the pundits, that is not enough.  To them he is a disappointment.

Even if he'd won another one, there would still be doubters, those who would say that he's only won as many as his brother.  And still less than Tom Brady.

So they deny what they see with their own eyes.  That no one can move a team down the field like Manning.  Which is what the quarterback is supposed to do.

Winning has to do with a team, not an individual.  Those who think it is on the quarterback's shoulders whether a team wins or loses totally disregards defense.

And coaching.  Does anyone think Manning would have only 1 Super Bowl if he played for New England?  Doubtful. 

This may sound ridiculous.  But...switch the teams of Manning and Brady, and my feeling is only one of those has a Super Bowl ring.

Which tempts me to pick New England.  But in the end I'm picking Denver.

In the other game, I'll enjoy watching two teams try to destroy each other physically.  Should be a fun game to watch.

I prefer Pete Carroll's style to Jim Harbaugh's, even as a Bears fan.  That said, I just think San Francisco is a better team.  49ers in this one.

Friday, January 17, 2014

Friday Reading And Tim McCarver

Genesis 17.

It's disappointing that Mike Shannon is curbing his broadcasting this year.  But understandable given his open heart surgery last year.

So I'm happy to hear the news that Tim McCarver is coming aboard.

I was a McCarver fan when I was a child and he was the Cardinals catcher, but didn't care for him too much as a broadcaster when I first saw him in the mid-80s.

A big reason for that was because he was broadcasting for the hated Mets.  But another was I always felt he slighted the Cardinals.  I don't know if it's because they traded him twice, or if it was because he didn't want to seem biased as an announcer, but he always seemed hypercritical.

My perceptions changed just before the 2006 World Series.  It was probably because, for the first time ever, the Cardinals won a series he announced that he just seemed less anti-Cardinals.  In other words, the other team finally played worse and deservedly received more criticism.

By the 2011 World Series, both McCarver and partner Joe Buck seemed to me to be completely neutral.  However, both were accused online of pro-Cardinals bias.

I've come to realize that when your team is losing, it just seems the announcers are pulling for the other team.  It's only natural.

So for the 2013 Series, I couldn't help but notice the praise heaped on our opponent by the announcers.  I would have been upset by that in years past, but I think I've learned it's just the way it is.  There really isn't any bias.

After it was over, for the first time ever, I sat and watched the post-game ceremonies when the Cardinals had lost a World Series.

I think the reason I watched was that it was McCarver's last announcing gig.  So I hung on to see him sign off and say his goodbyes.

Or so I thought.

I'll be interested to see what his approach will be this Spring on Fox Sports Midwest.  I'll be surprised if he is a "homer" in his announcing style.  I suspect he will be neutral towards the Cardinals, as he probably always was.

But I just couldn't see it.

Maybe Joe Buck will be watching and decide he'd like join the fun in 2015.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Thursday Reading And A One-Two Punch

Genesis 16.

I figured Reuben Kincaid dying today was bad enough.  But the Professor, too?

Say it ain't so.

The Professor was always my favorite castaway.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Wednesday Reading And A Celebrity Of The Month Post

Genesis 15.

I haven't done a Celebrity of the Month Post in a long time.

It's incredible I have not done this one.  Because he is the only Celebrity of the Month who is truly a legend.

And because he has reached an advanced age, it's good that I'm doing this while he is still alive.

These celebs are all already in the so-called Scottius Maximus Ring of Fame:
Alice Cooper (the only two time winner), Bob Costas, Albert EinsteinChris Elliott, John Goodman, Sammy Hagar, Terrence Howard, Billy Bob Thornton, Gretchen Wilson.

I'll bet that is the first and only time in the history of the universe that a line will ever exist that contains the names of Albert Einstein and Chris Elliott next to each other.  And just remember, you read it right here, folks.

Almost every Celebrity of the Month has been either a Cardinals fan or has ties to St. Louis.  The exceptions being Chris Elliott and Terrence Howard.  (How is it that a post could contain more references to Elliott than to Einstein?  I don't even know, and I'm writing this stuff).

Getting back to our subject, however, he has been seen playing at St. Louis playoff pep rallies, singing National Anthems, as well as appearing at regular season games.  As well as other concerts.

He still plays at Blueberry Hill.  Tonight is his 200th show there.

Let's all give a shout out to the legend, Chuck Berry, January's Celebrity of the Month.  Nine years late.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Tuesday Reading And How Cub Of Them

Genesis 14.

The Cubs now have a mascot.  He looks straight out of the 1980s.

And his name is Clark.

Clark?  Clark is the name of your mascot?  What, was Myron taken?

I guess it's Clark because Wrigley is located at Clark and Addison Streets.  Now, Addison, that would have been a wiser choice.

To me, Clark will forever be this guy.

Well, they almost got it right.  Now this guy is definitely more Cub.

Yeah, Cousin Eddie would have been the perfect match as that club's mascot.

Because when it comes to the Cubs franchise, the sh*tter is definitely full.

Anyway, all this mascot talk got me to thinking of the greatest of them all.

Monday, January 13, 2014

Monday Reading And Tickets, Please

Genesis 13.

I had no idea teams could do this.  There went my plans for the weekend.

Seems really lame to me.  Like they are ascared of those 49er people.

And who else is tired of hearing how "loud" and earth-quakey the Seattle stadium is?

Well, it looks like it's a partial dome, doesn't it?  Domes are naturally louder than outdoor arenas.  So what's the big deal?

I find Arrowhead way more impressive than a half-domed stadium.

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Weekend Reading And Divisional Playoffs

Genesis 11-12.

I can see next week's Conference Finals in any combination right now. 

I could see Pats-Broncos, Pats-Chargers, Colts-Broncos and Colts-Bolts for the AFC.  Equally, in the NFC, I could see Seahawks-49ers, Seahawks-Panthers, Saints-49ers or Saints-Panthers.

That doesn't happen very often.

Although as I think more about it, the least likely combination involves the Saints.

But after last week's 1-3 record, it is most likely to be the combination I don't pick today.

New England.

As you can tell, today I'm feeling particularly gutless.

Friday, January 10, 2014

Friday Reading And Video Games

Genesis 10.

I still have Wii and haven't upgraded.  I haven't had the need to yet.

I'll give two thumbs up to Donkey Kong Country Returns.  In the Mario-Donkey world, it is now my favorite, although Mario Kart Wii is also a contender.

That Cranky cracks me up.

Thursday, January 09, 2014

Thursday Reading And YouTube

Genesis 9.

I don't know what your favorite YouTube channels are.  But if you don't subscribe to Classics, you are out of your mind.

Entire games are now on the internet. Including almost all the old classic Cardinals games.

Or maybe your thing is old This Week In Baseball shows with Mel Allen.  That's fun too.

A few weeks ago I watched several innings of a Reds-Cubs game from 1965.  I mostly just wanted to hear Jack Brickhouse call a game again, but there was also Ernie Banks, Billy Williams, Frank Robinson and Pete Rose.  And the commercials were hilarious.

My only fear is at some point someone's going to figure out they can charge money for this.  And then the fun'll all be over for everyone else.

Wednesday, January 08, 2014

Wednesday Reading And PBS

Genesis 8.

I've been watching more and more PBS programs.  Let's face it, TV is a vast wasteland, but there's still some good programming.

One of the better programs is Nature, as long as they don't get too much into the evolution religion.

I found this episode on the Lipizzaner stallions very interesting.

But I think the real reason I watch to one day catch Frasier Crane singing "Buttons and Bows."

Tuesday, January 07, 2014

Tuesday Reading And Bible Listening

Genesis 7.

In addition to reading, I've also been listening to the Bible.

Got these CDs at Christmas and I am in the process of putting them on iTunes so I can listen any time on my iPhone.

I first heard about him on RC Sproul's radio program.  Then I would hear snippets on the local Moody Radio station's daily programming.

Here's the incredible Max McLean reciting Genesis.

Monday, January 06, 2014

Monday Reading And BCS

Genesis 6.

I'm ready for a non-SEC team to win.  I've always liked Florida State.  But I also like Auburn.

I wish I had an algorithm to decide rooting interest on this one.  Maybe I'm becoming too algo-dependent.

Sunday, January 05, 2014

Sunday Reading And NFL Picking

Genesis 5.

Today I'm picking Cincinnati and Green Bay.  I hope the Super Bowl has weather like today.

This season was the second straight in which I did my NFL picks on ESPN website's Pigskin Pick 'Em.

I did okay, finishing at the 80th percentile.  I ended up with 153 wins, out of 256 games for the season.  Considering it was my only entry (some people do multiple entries), I did pretty good.

I would have done even better, but I forgot to pick one week.  Check out my week 7.  I missed picking the Thursday Night as well as all the early games on Sunday.  A total of 9 games that week alone.

All of the ESPN Experts did better than me this year, partially due to my absentmindedness.  It was definitely an off year for me.  See January 1 post.  But check out Jaws' record.  Incredible.

Yesterday I was 1-1.  I'm always a bad playoff picker.  Doesn't bode well today for Bengals and Packers fans.

Saturday, January 04, 2014

Saturday Reading And At Least They're Not The Chefs

Genesis 4.

For a long time the Chiefs were known as the Chefs, because they weren't any good.  Let's hope they don't cook up a smelly cheese dish today against Indianapolis.

Since they are my algorithmically chosen team to root for in the playoffs, I will be rooting for an upset today in Indy. 

Even though, by geographic proximity, I should root for the Colts.  If they beat the Chiefs, the Colts will naturally become my new favorite.

That is, unless we get a new algorithm next week.

I'm picking Indy and Philly today.

Friday, January 03, 2014

Friday Reading And "The New And Improved Website"

Genesis 3.

I've changed the look of my blog for the rest of winter, at least until Spring Training.

I've also considered changing the language I write this nerd.

Let's try it, shall we?

bing mughwI' DanoHmeH jIH ghItlh. maja'chuqjaj Dun?
Cardinals ghoS!

But I digress.

Thursday, January 02, 2014

New Year Reading And NFL Playoffs

Genesis 1 and 2.

With the Bears' elimination Sunday, I have no team to root for in this year's playoffs.

I also have no voice left from yelling at my TV that last Green Bay drive, as well as no reason to believe the Bears will see another Super Bowl in my lifetime.

But I digress.

I found this algorithm and henceforth have found my team.  It's Chiefs for me.

Who ya got?

Wednesday, January 01, 2014

A Look Back Going Forward

As most readers noticed months ago, 2013 was an epic fail for me in regards to my goals for the year.  I've never had a year in which my set goals went so awry.

I always end my "goal posts" with the letters D.V., which stand for Deo Volente, or "God willing".  Last year, He wasn't, for the most part.

Unbelievably, Deo Volente is the motto of one of my Alma Maters, SIU Carbondale.  How long before the nuts in IL make them change that?

But I digress.  For the first time in 2014.

The only goal I was able to complete was reading the Apocrypha.  Which was nice.  I had always wanted to get that done.

But the rest of the goals were out of reach by summer.  Not to make excuses, but I did have an excuse.

I did very well with my exercise goals until I hurt my shoulder. 

I think the addition of pull ups proved too much too quick.  I "got greedy" and started doing a lot more than I originally had planned for.

I also did not have enough rest in between work outs.  The first month or so I did pull  ups almost every day, then went to every other day.  That was way too much.  Since I was adding this to my repertoire, I should have had a lot more days of rest in between.

So it was a combination of too many reps too quickly with too little rest.

Add to all that the fact I turned 50 last year.  That probably didn't help, either.

Boy, there is way too much yellow at the Outback Bowl.  Yellow pants for LSU and Iowa, yellow endzones, yellow walls, yellow field outlines.  Whoa.

But I digress.  For the second time in 2014.

By May, I could hardly move my shoulder anymore and had to quit pull ups as well as my push ups.  I slowly improved (if anyone has ever had a shoulder problem, you know it takes a long time to recover).

So even though I was well ahead of schedule for my goals at that time, I could not go on any farther.  Too much hare, not enough tortoise, I guess.

By the way, Torty, Allen Craig's pet tortoise, is still twitting

But I digress again.  That makes 3 digressions already this year.

I am now about 95% recovered, and ready to start again.  I will hopefully be wiser this year.

Okay, no snickers from the peanut gallery.


Needless to say, because of my shoulder, I wasn't able to get 50 non-stop push ups on my 50th birthday.  So another goal not met.

More relevant to this blog, I didn't get to 300 posts.

I could have.  This blog was at 105 by the end of April.  But at the same time my shoulder went out, I was done with posting also.  Probably out of discouragement, knowing I wasn't going to reach my exercise goals, I stopped trying for my other goals as well.

For the year, I finished with 123 posts.  Not bad, but nowhere near my goal.

And I didn't get the patio done at home.

If you're keeping score, that means 1 success, with 4 failures.

Which brings me to this year.  I'm optimistic, because I'm being more realistic.  Meaning I've lowered my goals for the year.

No sense setting myself up for failure, especially coming off of injury.

We're going back to reading the Bible, ESV again.  Only my goal is not to get through the Bible this year, but merely read a chapter a day.  That should allow for more in-depth study.

We may add the  Book of Concord, we'll see.  But I can't decide between Tappert and Concordia: The Lutheran Confessions.

For exercise, I'm going only for 20,000 push ups, roughly 400 a week.  I'm not setting a pull up goal, because my shoulder concerns have not allowed me to attempt any at this point.

I am shooting for 25,000 squats again.

In regards to this blog, I am going for a more modest 200 posts.  I last did that in 2011.

Lastly, I'll try not to digress too much in 2014. 

But I digress.