Thursday, April 16, 2015

Easter Hymns

I meant to post this earlier, but it is still Easter.

Here's a link to Issues, Etc. favorite Easter hymn broadcast.  Personally I, like lots of others, like #1 the best, in fact I would say it is not just my favorite Easter hymn but just my favorite of all.  I also like "Jesus Christ Is Risen Today". 

But they're all good.  Worth multiple listens for as long as we're here as the world spins out of control.

Saturday, March 07, 2015

I Don't Necessarily Agree...

But I'm okay with it if it is true.

One person's take on the Bears' off-season.

I'm just waiting for the ultimate, and inevitable, transaction that will signal the Bears' emergence from darkness.  And everyone should know what I mean by that.

Saturday, February 28, 2015

May Not Win The World Series, But...

Well, that remains to be seen I guess. 

But the Cardinals have won again already.  At least in this category.

Although the Mariners new alternates are a worthy rival.  Love the stirrups.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

In Honor Of Last Season

I missed the NASCAR awards show last December.  So as we move to a new season, racing is about to start again, making this day really the last opportunity to look back.

Jay Mohr does his usual good job.  There is a reference to the 2013 show, when he joked on thin-skinned Danica.  Go there in case you missed that.

Some of the drivers took it a lot worse than that this year and showed they could laugh at themselves.  Logano was a good sport, as was Keselowski and Gordon.

But the biggest laugh I think was regarding Carl Edwards, one of my favorite drivers. 

Just some fun stuff after Tuesday's gloominess.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Weather Setting The Mood

It's been gloomy the past couple of days.  So when I heard this song on Sirius, I thought it a good fit.

Sunday, February 08, 2015

One Game

Interesting post over at Viva El Birdos this week.

If you could attend 1 Cardinals game (or baseball game, I guess, for that matter) in the past, which one would you pick?

Answers came in the later post.

Like the majority of fans now, I could have picked a lot of games I never saw with Stan Musial.  Or a World Series game I didn't see until Al Gore invented the internet.

There's certainly a long list to choose from.

Gibson's 17 strike out game.
Gibson's no hitter.
Lou Brock's 3000th hit.  Actually, I missed attending this by 1 day.
Brummer stealing home.
Ozzie Smith's homer game.
Jack Clark's homer game.
4/18/87- aka "Seat Cushion Night."  While this was no Disco Demolition night, it has entered the folklore of famous, or infamous, promotions.  It's even on Tom Herr's Wikipedia page.
2004 NLCS Game 6 with Edmond's walk-off homer.
2004 NLCS game 7.  "Good" parts are in inning 2 (Edmonds catch), inning 6 (Pujols and Rolen) and of course inning 9.
2006 NLCS game 7.
2006 WS game 5 (I recently watched this on YouTube- I had forgotten what an exciting, good game it was.  It's been all but forgotten in the aftermath of 2011).
Speaking of 2011, there's Game 6 AND Game 7.

I ended up picking a game I saw on TV when I was a college sophomore.  I picked it because of what it represented.

It was the first World Series victory I really experienced. 

Because I was so young in 1967, winning the World Series really had no significance to me.  I expected the Cardinals would always win, and remember being quite shocked when the didn't win in 1968.

Hey, a kindergartener can't have perspective on anything.

So I basically grew up rooting for the Cardinals, knowing they had done great things in the past, but never really experiencing it for myself.  I held on to '67 and '68 (and even '64) through those lean 1970 seasons, grade-middle-high school, reading as much as I could about those teams, and imagining what it would be like to see my team finally win again.

There were some years post-season baseball almost happened- '73 and '74 to be exact.  The Cardinals finished 1 1/2 games out both years.  I remember the Cubs playing a role in at least one of those unhappy endings.

June 1980 proved to be the turning point in the modern history of the Cardinals.  The hiring of Whitey Herzog.

The 1981 Cardinals had the best overall record in the NL East, but missed the playoffs by the crazy split-season invention because of the mid-season strike.

So 1982 turned out to be the year I had waited for since kindergarten.  Brummer stole home that August.  The Cardinals spent a large part of it in first. 

But by mid-September, the Phillies, who had won 5 of the last 6 NL East titles as well as the '80 WS, beat the Cardinals to briefly take first from them.  I couldn't as yet let myself believe the Cardinals could get in the post-season.

Until this game, a Cardinals win in Philly that took back 1st place for good.  With a win again the next day, for the first time I believed the team truly was better than the Phillies, good enough to win the division.  So they did.

I remember watching that first post-season game in '82, against the Braves.  Busch Stadium as I had never seen it live, with the red white and blue bunting all over.  Fortunately it was a rainout, because Phil Niekro had shut down the offense that short day.

The Cardinals then won 3 straight, one on a walk off, to win the pennant.

Was this really happening?  After 14 years?  (I wasn't quite 19 at that time, so those years really felt like an eternity).

To make things really weird, 2 of my favorite players from the growing up years, Ted Simmons and Pete Vuckovich, who'd I'd always wanted to see play for the Cards in the WS, were playing for the Brewers.

After a Game 1 disaster, I had fears the Cardinals would be swept.

Falling behind early in Game 2 didn't help that feeling.  I had at least one big exam the next day, and I remember having to turn the game off to study,  checking back in from time to time.

The comeback, led by Darrell Porter, in the late innings helped my academics.  Who could sleep after that?  Might as well study.  At that point, the series was on!

I watched Game 3 and Game 4 at EIU, visiting with friends.  Willie's two home runs and big catches were seen on a small dorm room black and white TV.

I remember leaving to go shopping (I have no idea why except one of my friends didn't like the Cardinals) with St. Louis up big in Game 4.  The realization they lost when I got back in the car was a shock to me. Then I got back home to watch the Sunday Game 5 loss.

So the Cardinals were in the position of going home facing elimination for Game 6, down 3-2.  A theme that would repeat itself in the post-seasons of 1987, 2004, 2005 and 2011 as well.  Only in 2005 did they not win both games.

Game 6 was a laugher in the rain, finishing very late at night.

That rain ushered in the cold for the final game.

I remember that day of game 7 fairly well, being cloudy and cold.

One never wants to get this close to victory and see it slip away, but when the Cardinals took the lead early, it was hard not to think about that thing I had dreamed of most of my life.  It was so close.

So when they fell behind 3-1 with very sloppy play in the 6th inning, my countenance fell.  I had followed this team so closely since Opening Day.  And my heart was on the verge of being ripped from my chest.

Fortunately my two favorite players since 1978 still with the team, Keith Hernandez (it happened to be his birthday) and George Hendrick, came to the rescue, putting the Cardinals back in front.

And Simmons' replacement, Darrell Porter, helped finish them off by building that lead in the 8th.

The 9th inning was something I'll never forget. 

That kid with his mom at 2:27:04, when just 1 strike away, was something that caught my eye at the time of the original broadcast and an image that stuck with me all these years. 

Victory followed soon after.

So here it is, the one game I'd attend if I could.

1982 World Series. Game 7.

Saturday, January 31, 2015

Where'd Winter Go?

Here it's been gone for seemingly a month or so.  We're already to the end of January.

Spring starts in 19 days.  The Daytona 500 is in 22.

So I've started researching what seeds to go for this year for the garden and for the landscape.

Anyone got any ideas or favorites?

By the way, I'll give a plug for Dave's Garden once again.

Sunday, January 11, 2015

The Eye In The Sky

Watched the Packers- Cowboys today.

Congratulations to the NFL and its media.  And I guess its fans.  You've all got what you've wanted.


Two weeks in a row playoff games were decided by unseen judges who look at seemingly infinite replays slowed down to almost uninterpretable speeds and divine what it really was we just saw.

And determine the outcomes of playoff games.

To Dallas advantage last week, and disadvantage this week.  Judging from the reaction on Fox's post-game, I'm not the only one troubled by this.

Now baseball is heading down this path.  Oh happy day.

We are now in uncharted waters.  A league office now has within its power the ability to change results of a game, and no one else has a say.

Is this good for sports?

Any conspiracy theorists out there?  Gamblers?  People who just want to watch athletes determine the outcomes of our sports, not dudes in dark offices who are accountable to no one?

Replay enthusiasts- is this really what you wanted for all of us?

As Bulldog would say-
"This stinks.  This is total BS."

And I couldn't agree more.

Thursday, January 01, 2015

You Win Some, You Lose Some

My 2014 goals were all within reach at one point last year.  Strange thing is, the goal I thought would be hardest I reached, as well as the goal I thought would be easiest.

It was that medium difficulty one that I failed at.

I reached my 20,000 push up and squat goal on 12/19.  I took a break after that.  And promptly got a cold.

I don't know if there was any causality involved.  But that is not the first time that has happened.  Need another reason to exercise?  That one alone convinces me.

However, I have noticed I am aging.  I find myself struggling to do as many reps as I could a few years ago.  But maybe it's just that injury to my R shoulder in 2013 that set me back, and I've just never recovered fully in strength.

I did get back to pull ups and chin ups

I was able to read a chapter a day in my ESV Bible.

So I discovered if you do that and start at Genesis, you can only make it to the end of 1 Chronicles by the end of the year.

I actually read about 4 more chapters than I set as my goal.

And I won't finish the Bible this year either.  In fact, I won't be out of the Old Testament, but will be getting close.  Man, there are a lot of chapters to read.

I'll hit the Psalms soon, and I'm not sure how I'm going to do them, because I'll do more than 1 Psalm a day I'm sure.

Alas, the blogging was my downfall.  I had set a 200 post goal for 2014.  I came in at just under 100.

Not that there wasn't plenty to blog about.  I just found myself too tired from the cares of this world most of the days the past 6 months to put in the extra effort.

The other factor why I didn't make it was I have transitioned the majority of my internet time to an iPad.  Which for some reason or another does not work well with Blogger.  It's cumbersome to post.

So I usually wait until I get on my laptop to make a post.  Which is sometimes days.

For that reason, and the other cited above, I've adjusted my goals for this year.

A chapter a day reading ESV.
20,000 push ups/sqats/pullups.
100 blog posts.


Happy New Year!

Sunday, December 28, 2014

No Doubt You'll Hate Hearing This

Because nobody likes "that guy".

But that's me.  I'm that guy. 

The guy who told you so.

I wrote in March we would check back in December.  I guess it's time to check back.

I knew the Bears would not be good this year.  They only made me doubt it one time.

That one time was the opening drive of the season.  From there they just confirmed what we all knew back on March.

They weren't good.

But I not only said they wouldn't be good.  I wrote they would be unwatchable. 

Unwatchable is exactly what this team was.

It was a completely lost season.  I'd rather there had been a strike with replacement players than to have to watch this crap we were subjected to.

So I didn't watch much.  Which is the definition of unwatchable. 

QB.  Defense.  BAD.  BAD.

I even chastised the team at that time for signing Cutler to that big long contract in that post.

I never wanted to be this right.

I've lived through a lot of cruddy teams they've put on the field, but never a team I didn't like. 

Even though a team is bad, that doesn't necessarily mean you don't root for them.  This team was unlikable (mostly stemming from its QB, but there were others) and unwatchable.  Meaning you couldn't even root for them.

I just hope they blow up everything and start over.


We'll find out tomorrow. 

But you keep Cutler and there's going to be seismic upheaval around here.

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Winter Thoughts

We are fast approaching the shortest day of the year.  Oh, the darkness.

It's strange to me that winter is just starting, but the days will soon be getting longer.

It's also always been strange to me that around December 7th, the sun starts setting later in the evening, even though the days are getting shorter.  At least at my latitude it does.

I've searched for explanations, like this, but I can't say that I definitely get it.  Something to do with the later sunrise and solar noon and there not being truly exactly 24 hours in a day. 

And for that matter, the sun rises later and later until the first week of January or so.  Strange stuff.  Even though the days have already started getting longer.

Anyway, the darkness of late afternoon makes me remember listening to Christmas Carols and thinking of Santa visiting soon when I was wee.

Probably the earliest memory I have, at least of Christmas, is of hearing this song, minus the video, on what must have been an LP.

I went a few decades between hearings of it, but I unexpectedly heard it again 10 years ago or so. Without the internet, I probably never would have discovered it again.

Unlike the following.  I like these wooden soldiers, too.  Not sure which is my favorite.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Week's Reading And Got 'Er Done

2 Samuel 2-8.

I was the last person who thought this team was going to win the NL Central.  If you remember, I had this team pegged as a wildcard before the season started.

They won as many games as I thought they would, I just thought the competition would rise above.  Gladly it didn't.

And at this point, that's all that matters.  The season is over, another season is starting Friday.  And as history has shown in 2006 and 2011, it doesn't matter how you get there, it only matters that you get in.

Then anything can happen.  Just...

git 'er done.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Past Week's Reading And Disappearing Homepages

1 Samuel 25- 2 Samuel 1.

It looks like MyMSN is going bye-bye.  I'm not sure why, but the thing they are replacing it with looks like it stinks.  I don't see that it is customizable.

I've used it as my homepage since iGoogle disappeared last year.

So the question is, what should be my new internet homepage?  It has to be customizable.  I'm thinking of making my blog my start page, since I can customize it.  Any other suggestions?

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Wednesday To Sunday Reading And Yeah, That's Right, It's Great

1 Samuel 20-24.

Hat tip to Viva El Birdos.

Here's a nice piece by a jealous fan.  The only way it could have been made better was if a Cubs fan had written it.

That, and mentioning how much fun it is to lose sleep in October.

Tuesday, September 09, 2014

Monday, September 08, 2014

Weekend And Monday Reading And Scheduling

1 Samuel 16, 17, 18.

I'd like to congratulate MLB on their successful release of the 2015 schedule.  Cardinals are in Cleveland next year, so Cleveland readers get your tickets now.

But what I don't get is why the late start?  According to the announcers of tonight's game, the World Series may not start until October 28th, with it ending potentially as late as November 5th?

Who, but the Cubs and MLB, would think it was okay to schedule your most important games when it is potentially snowing and freezing?  Brilliant.

Friday, September 05, 2014

Friday Reading And Free At Last

1 Samuel 15.

I've spent 25 years joined at the hip to an albatross that made my life miserable, and in the last month I've finally rid myself of it.

Half my life.  When I think about it I shudder.  But I'm finally free.

What a great feeling!

Yep, thanks to the power of the Spok Mobile app, I am now pager-less.

Thursday, September 04, 2014

Thursday Reading And My Predicition

1 Samuel 14.

NFL starts tonight.  Green Bay at Seattle.  And I have a prediction.

Not about the game itself yet.  That will come later and is really not that hard.

My prediction is in regards to the media coverage.  More specifically about the media-generated story lines you will hear about, especially on TV.

You'll hear multiple non-football related storylines, over and over and over.

About CB Richard Sherman's Super Bowl rant.

About Michael Sam.

About the Redskins name.

About the crowd noise, including decibel level at the semi-indoor stadium.

Just stuff that has nothing to do with this here game being played.

So feel free to yell "Scottius Is Right" at the screen each time you hear any of the above tonight during the game.

Which of course Seattle will win.

Wednesday, September 03, 2014

Wednesday Reading And It's Crunch Time

1 Samuel 13.

Difficult part of the schedule starts tomorrow.  Four against the Brewers and four against the Reds.  All road games.  I think this next week will be the decider. 

Only 23 games to go, 14 on the road. 

After next week, there are 9 home games against Colorado, Milwaukee and Cincinnati, followed by 6 road games at Chicago and Arizona.

Very doable if no one gets injured.

Tuesday, September 02, 2014

Tuesday Reading And Football Geography

1 Samuel 12.

Don't know anything about the NFL?  The solution is easy- just go to the maps!

It's all spelled out for you there.

In life, no matter what it is, if you don't understand something, just go to the maps.  You'll find your answer there.

Or you'll just forget what you were looking for altogether.  Either way, it's cool.

Monday, September 01, 2014

Labor Day Reading And Only A Month To Go

1 Samuel 11.

All tied up with a month to go.  Which should be fun. 

So maybe they should just condense every baseball regular season down to a month and have an all-out throw-anyone-out-there-whenever-you-need-them melee to decide division champions?

After playing lifeless and punchless for the past 4 1/2 months, I can't believe the Cardinals stand where they do this morning.

I predict they will likely fall by the wayside, like the 1983 Cardinals did after Labor Day.  Mostly because of the Pirates and the Giants playing so well, I think the Cardinals may not even get a Wild Card slot.

But after a frustratingly mediocre season so far, an explosion of offense and a glimpse of some talent from their highly-touted prospects would seem to be due as well.

26 games, 12 at home and 14 on the road, including two series against the Reds and Brewers and one against the loathsome Cubs, are all that's left of this season.

Time to get out your snowblowers soon.

Sunday, August 31, 2014

This Month's Reading And Vacation

Judges 2- 1 Samuel 10

Took a month off, August being my traditional month for vacation anyway.  Good to be back.

We are now 2/3 of the way through the year, so now would be a good time to take inventory of my goal progression this year.

I am sitting at 13,800 push ups and squats for the year, meaning I am on target for push ups.  I won't reach 25,000 squats, but that's okay because I revised my goal earlier in the year, giving me only a 20,000 incentive.

I have kept up with my reading of 1 chapter a day, and, in fact, read slightly more than 1 chapter a day this past month.

My posting is behind, I know.  But football season is coming, baseball playoffs may be in the picutre, as well as colder "blogging" weather, meaning I have a lot of posting left in me and am still confident I can reach my goal. 

D.V.  See you at the finish line.

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Reading Update And What Took You So Long

Joshua 15-24.  Judges 1.

One of my favorite lines (and there are many of them) from "Seinfeld" is Newman's delivery when the cops showed up at his door.  "What took you so long" he hissed in disdain, cigarette dangling from the lip.

I've the same thing to say to the Cardinals' GM.  From the beginning of the season it has been obvious this club didn't have what it takes to go anywhere.

I'll grant there's been injuries to deal with, just like there always are.  And there's been some tinkering here and there to try to get it going.  But mostly just stagnation.

And I must confess, boredom.  A team that can't score isn't fun to watch.

So how have any of the moves this week helped that? 

Because Allen Craig is no longer the R fielder, I believe Oscar Taveras will get the playing time he has needed all along to ignite his hitting.  Like Kolten Wong did.

Also, I believe in the old adage that the best offense is a great defense.  Two solid above average starting pitchers have been added in the past 2 days.  The Cardinals just improved their starting pitching to if not the best then certainly in the discussion.

And I like the Pierzynski move as a stop gap for Yadi's absence.  Reminds me of the addition of Will Clark in 2000.

Hate losing Craig and Kelly, 2 post-season stars.  That leaves Yadi, Jay, Descalso, Holliday, Lynn, Garcia and Wainwright as the only hold-overs from 2011.

But I'm happy with the moves.  I'm glad the Cardinals decided to make a run for it again this year and roll the dice. 

At least the front office has.  We'll see about Matheny.  Ball is now in his, and the players, hands.  But I won't blame the front office now for this season, if it doesn't turn out so well.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

This Week's Reading And How The West Was Won

Joshua 8-14.

I have season 1.  Looks like season 2 just got released.  I guess that means there will be a season 3 also, given the positive response.

Gotta love William Conrad's narration.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

This Week's Reading And The All-Star Break

Joshua 3-7.

There's very little that has surprised me so far this baseball season.  Except for Kolten Wong's recent power surge.

The office has been at best mediocre, and at its worst non-existent.  Just as I feared.

Barring trade or another injury, I am still thinking this team will have to fight through from a wild-card position.

That said, the NL is pretty weak as a whole and I could see the Cardinals end with the best record again.  Or not make the playoffs at all.

In other words, I don't have a clue about this team.

Tuesday, July 08, 2014

Saturday To Tuesday Reading And Accounting

Deuteronomy 33-34, Joshua 1-2.

We are just past the half-way point for the year, so it's time to take inventory.

This is post #80 for the year.  I am behind schedule, should be at least at 100, based on my goals.  This is not unexpected.  It's difficult to keep up with posting during the warm weather.  I anticipate picking up a lot as football approaches and baseball races heat up.

I am on schedule with my reading.  I have found a leisurely one chapter a day to be easily attainable.

Finally, my exercise goals are right on track.  Well, sort of.  For the year I am at 10,600 push ups and squats.  I decided to adjust my squat goal to match my push up goal, so I am okay.  Actually, that's a little ahead of the pace I mapped out, but not by much.

Anyway, I'll end on another happy note- winter is fast approaching.

Friday, July 04, 2014

Thursday And Friday Reading And Happy 4th

Deuteronomy 31-32.

Happy Independence Day.  Although, after listening to this, Independence Day was 2 days ago.

Wednesday, July 02, 2014

Past Week's Reading And King Of the Monsters

Deuteronomy 23-30.

This morning Monster Zero was playing on one of the Epix movie channels.  Which reminded me I had not posted about the latest movie I saw, Godzilla.

Up until now, Monster Zero was my favorite Godzilla movie along with Godzilla Vs. The Smog Monster.

But the 2014 version has supplanted that.  I am pretty sure it is because of the special effects, which make the early 1960s Japanese effects look pretty child-like.  However, those older versions do hold a certain charm for that reason.

I also prefer Godzilla pictures where Godzilla is a hero.  So I also liked the latest version for that reason.

I'm not clear whether Godzilla is male or female (I always thought Godzilla male as he is "King of the Monsters").  But apparently in the 1998 American movie Godzilla laid eggs.

Of course, there are animal species where males do that, so it all gets rather confusing.  I'll just stick with my male supposition, but who knows?

Anyway, I liked the theme in Godzilla that man is not in control of his world, and anxiously await an almost certain sequel.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Past Week's Reading And Today's News

Deuteronomy 17-22.

Can't wait for "The Decision- Part 2"!  I'd love to see that, maybe even pay to see that.

But he can't be that ignorant.  Right?

Get ready for the media obsession.  It's already started.

Hard to believe he would end up leaving Miami.  But, if he does, I'm guessing he goes to NY.  Or LA.  Possibly Chicago.

But Cleveland?  How could that even be possible?

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Monday-Wednesday Reading And World Cup Action

Deuteronomy 14-16.

I actually have interest in and am actually enjoying the World Cup.  I'm rooting for the US, of course, but also find myself rooting for England and Holland.

Which is funny because for a brief moment today, when I actually saw the Netherlands playing Australia, I was kind of pulling for Australia.

I am also against some teams.  Like Iran.  That one is easy.  But I also don't like Spain, Brazil and Mexico.

I kind of like Portugal and Uruguay and South Korea.

I'm learning a few things about soccer as well.  Maybe because I didn't really understand it, but I always thought soccer was pretty boring.  Learning a little more about the rules has helped it seem kind of interesting.

Hate the flopping, though.  Fakers should never get rewarded.