Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Homemade Flamerthrowers

This is why I'll be watching Brennan and his brothers closely as they get older.

This kid is a young, evil genius! [Seriously, Mythbusters should find out about him and offer him an internship or something.]

In case you think parenting doesn't matter, the kid in this video could become either the next Unibomber or the next Thomas Edison depending on his upbringing. And, yes, I'm the type of Dad that would totally support this kind of dangerous project (it's merely a simulation of a movie special effect). Way to go, son.

57,000 Hits

We passed 57,000 hits this morning. Thanks for reading!

Also, a big thank you to my proofreaders who call me day and night to warn me of typos and mistakes that I make. I really do appreciate it.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Random Thoughts 4/29/08

  • How much has sea level risen since 1850? One whole foot! Has the world ended? Were cities flooded? Read about other global warming misconceptions and understand the arguments involved with this great article here. It's also always good to hear from Victor Davis Hanson on any topic of historic importance.
  • Our church is meeting with an architectural team tonight. I'm really looking forward to it. It should be really informative.
  • Elijah is such a bandwagon fan. A few weeks ago he hardly ever mentioned Jayhawks. Now they're national champions and Elijah can't go a day without a KU shirt or a Jayhawk toy. Those four-year olds and their fair-weather devotions.
  • I play basketball every Tuesday at Noon down in Bonner Springs. We were supposed to have a nice large group of ten or twelve guys, almost twice normal. So I arrive expecting a good crowd but actually find Jay-rod shooting baskets by himself. What?! We ended up with only four guys. So much for five-on-five.
  • Don't miss the latest goings on in Mexico with Mexico Aviator, which is basically like Jungle Aviator but less green and more brown. And on a different continent. Other than that it's essentially the same.
  • Most of the time spent on the Wii has been Brennan and Tanner playing games. I'm behind them at a distant second. But Mom hasn't played a whole lot… until now. We found a cheap pinball game that has ten classic pinball tables from the 70's, 80's, and 90's and Shannon's addicted! We've always liked pinball, but this game really takes the cake. If you like pinball at all, Pinball Hall of Fame: the Williams Collection is a must (and for $19 at Target it's much more affordable than all the quarters you'd go through).
  • We're going back to two services this Sunday at church and I'm not freaking out yet. Hmm… maybe it will hit later…
  • You should see the the boys! Shannon buzzed their heads for the summer and they all look like basic training recruits. Brennan and Tanner especially look like twins with the same haircut and matching clothes. Tanner is actually half an inch taller and a few pounds heavier than his older brother.
  • In case you missed it, here's the link to the funny video Shannon had on her blog: Falcor!

Christmas in April

I received my Christmas present this week. After more than four months, I finally received my Leatherman tool, the Skeletool CX, that I've been waiting for since last December. It's been on back order and after several complaints it finally arrived Saturday. After such delay, it would have been appropriate for it's arrival to be accompanied by fanfare or a short speech. But it just arrived in a plain envelope wrapped in brown paper. How anticlimactic!

All I can think of is the countless times I could have used a knife or a tool in the last few months. As I've noted before, being a homeowner and a dad both require a lot of fixing and opening and removing. Christmas morning alone would have worn out a typical dad's pocket knife.

But now that I have it, how do I remember to carry it with me?

Monday, April 28, 2008

Chiefs Draft Notes

  • In 12 picks, the Chiefs picked three Brandons, a Brian, a Brad, and a Barry.
  • Only two offensive linemen were picked in this Chiefs' draft, though it was an area of urgent need. Both draftees are solid linemen though.
  • The Chiefs drafted the tallest tight end available, 6' 8" Brad Cottam.
  • The Chiefs may have drafted the best player overall (Glenn Dorsey), the best interior lineman (Brandon Alberts), and one of the best cornerbacks (Brandon Flowers). All three of these guys could be pro-bowlers.
  • The Chiefs only have five players remaining from the six draft classes of 2000-2005. They currently have 12 of the 14 draftees from 2006 and 2007. Here's the update from January on those picks.
  • The Chiefs drafted no Jayhawks and no Wildcats but they did draft a Mizzou Tiger, WR Will Franklin. Four Jayhawks, two Wildcats, and two Tigers were drafted. Notably, MU running back Tony Temple was not drafted (but signed with Cleveland). Washburn (Topeka) had a cornerback drafted in the seventh round by Tennessee.
  • The Chiefs have picked up some rookie free agents, see the list here or here. This includes a quarterback and a kicker.
  • Everyone loves the Chiefs' draft but no one will know for sure until about three years down the road.

Happy Birthday Elijah

Elijah's fourth birthday is today. When asked what he wanted for his birthday that sweet little boy only asked for two things: a stuffed Jayhawk and the presence of our friends.

So we went to McDonald's after church and were joined by several friends and lots of family. He got his stuffed Jayhawk, among several other gifts, and played to his heart's content.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Flow of Unconsciousness

Shannon has been gone for 29 hours.

She'll be home tomorrow afternoon.

Why does it feel like months?

The children have been looking at me funny.

We need Mom.

Time to Despair

Do you need to laugh because otherwise you'd cry? Do you need to know that someone out there identifies with the crushing meaninglessness of your hum-drum life? Then is for you!

Calendars, posters, t-shirts, etc. – this website knows just how to take the wind out of your sails. I picture Solomon surrounded by these messages when he wrote Ecclesiastes. Here's a few of my favorites.

This sums up my opinion of about 90% of paid counselors and psychologists. They don't actually fix anything; they make tons of money while making you feel better about perpetually dancing around the issue.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Random Thoughts 4/24/08

  • The Chiefs traded star DE Jared Allen to the Vikings. NFL schedules are such that Jared Allen won't see the Chiefs again until they play in Minnesota in 2011. In other words, Allen may never sack a Chiefs quarterback in his entire career. That's good.
  • Tax Freedom Day was yesterday (April 23); that's the day when you are no longer working to pay your tax bill. Actually in Kansas it was April 18 (MO - April 14 and OK - April 11). Follow the link to read more about Tax Freedom Day with some especially interesting charts, like the one below.
  • The Kansas City Zoo will increase their prices ($10.50 adults, $7 children 3-11). That's fifty bucks for my family, so we're considering a family membership for $65. The discounts, coupons and benefits help the membership pay for itself after the first trip.
  • Shannon is leaving for a few days to go the Women's retreat at Ozark Christian College. That means the four boys and I will be on survival mode until Mom returns. We're excited for her to go but it's not easy to do without her; she's the hub that everything we do revolves around.
  • Can Mario Chalmers or Darrell Arthur improve their draft position by returning to school for another year? Possibly. They would certainly stand out more on a weakened KU team but they won't likely be coming off an NCAA championship. In the end, I hate to see any player leave school early.
  • Here's the link to the website I mentioned in Revelation class last night, the Apocalypse Project. I've not read every article yet, but it seems to be from an amillennial view, which is a rare treat in a church culture shaped by Tim LaHaye and Hal Lindsey.
  • It's reaching the point, finally, where I have to mow my yard. The problem is that we've added two dogs since last year. That means my yard is filled with debris, dog poo, and holes. My backyard, which used to be kind of nice, is now a wasteland.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Hope is Dashed

Two sports notes:

• It's the Chiefs; of course things won't work out. We Chiefs fans need to remember to lower our expectations. That way, when it inevitably crashes and burns, it'll hurt less.
Mario Chalmers just declared for the NBA draft. Nuts. And to increase our anguish, there is a slim chance he might return to the team.

A Glimmer of Hope

The Chiefs traded away their star defensive player last night and that's a good thing.

Jared Allen, who was never going to see eye-to-eye with GM Carl Peterson, was traded to the Vikings for three picks in Saturday's draft. The Vikings broke the bank, paying him $74 million, $31 million of which was guaranteed. That makes Allen the highest paid defensive player in the NFL. The Chiefs received the 17th pick in the first round and two third round picks. The teams also swapped sixth round picks, which would be a five pick improvement for the Chiefs.

So the Chiefs have 13 picks this weekend and six picks in the first three rounds. In other words they have options and flexibility. It means that they have the power to work out more deals. It also means that the quality of draftees should be much higher than what Kansas City has seen in a long while.

The Chiefs could never have paid Allen what he got (which may prove to be way too much) and we are not one defensive end away from being a competitive team. Kansas City needs to build a core of players that can produce over the next five years or so.

Hmmm… maybe this will work.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Not Greener on Earth Day

Today was Earth Day. Yahoo.

Al Gore is full of hot air. He's also a big-government, totalitarian, big brother elitist. Everyone who would have been a communist 30 years ago is an Al Gore acolyte today. That's all.

So here are some witty retorts from t-shirt designs and bumper stickers found on the internet:
  • Pave the Rain Forest
  • Save a Tree, cancel your subscription to liberal newspapers.
  • Al Gore didn't invent the Internet, but he did make up Global Warming.
  • I understand liberalism. I was just like you when I was 12. I work now.
  • Annoy a liberal, think for yourself.
  • Annoy a liberal, believe in God.
  • Annoy a liberal, question global warming.
  • The motivation for liberalism is to feel good about doing good, whether or not the "good" you're doing is doing any good.
  • Convictions rooted in falsehood are not admirable.
  • Inconvenient Truth: I need my car to feed my kids.
  • Call me bitter, but I like my guns and my religion.
  • Life lesson 101: make a so-so movie littered with half-truths and hysteria - win the Nobel Peace Prize!
  • Hot air from Al Gore is the number one cause of Global Warming.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Random Thoughts 4/21/08

  • When Elijah has been asked what he wants for his birthday (turning four next Monday), he always answers by naming people he wants to see. It's awfully precious. We're just glad he's turning four because people don't believe us when we say that big ol' kid is only three.
  • Well, I guess I missed out on the big holiday yesterday. 420, it turns out, is a major marijuana holiday. I didn't know they had such a thing. Perhaps I'm not the drug culture aficionado I thought I was…
  • We've recently watched a few movies that were noteworthy. One was Juno (2007). Juno is perhaps one of the best movies I've seen in the last few years (not counting the classics I've been watching). I was very impressed with it. I was also surprised by Denzel Washington's Deja Vu (2006), from which I wasn't expecting anything at all. But it's a well acted little thriller and that does a few tricks you've never seen in a movie before. Both of these movies have a small amount of objectionable content, but Deja Vu is a fun ride and Juno is required-viewing level material.
  • Our cute meter is just about maxed out. Brennan (seven and a half) is becoming very clever and witty while Tanner is exiting his "prickly" stage and becoming very sweet and affectionate. Elijah is about as adorable as a doe-eyed kid can get and Graham, our happiest and funniest, is beginning to talk well, which is a laugh a minute. Add to this our floppy ear, sad-eyed Beagle and our adorable little lap dog. It's all oohs and ahs at the Altic house.
  • The Chiefs will draft this weekend and hopefully I'll be too busy to watch the train wreck. Please, please, please don't mess this up!
  • Speaking of movies, the last ten films or so on my AFI top-100 list, have been just about impossible to track down. I've been looking for half a year and those films aren't shown on regular television (or basic cable) nor are they usually available at the video store. If I had Encore or HBO I could probably finish out this list of classic movies but I'll probably have to search the public libraries to find them all.

Bowled Over

We went bowling with members of the church yesterday. John F. set things up and forty or fifty of us enjoyed an afternoon of cheap bowling. Our older three boys seemed to really enjoy it; Graham (two years old) screamed his head off as he forfeited his nap to be there.

I didn't do so well, largely because I release the ball incorrectly which injures my thumb after a few frames. So I always end up with a bruised thumb and half torn off thumbnail – making it difficult to enjoy the game like I think I would otherwise. So I began experimenting with a different throw, not inserting my thumb into the ball at all (maybe some of you bowlers out there can help me out a bit).

Not that the change really helped…

I bowled a 98 and a 114. Shannon, Dustin and the others bowled circles around me and the little kids were nipping at my heals. Fortunately I was several lanes away from the avid bowlers (like John) who passed my high score in about the fifth or sixth frame.

To make myself feel better, I went home and bowled a 200 on the Wii.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Random Thoughts 4/18/08

  • The Chiefs are impossible. In a nutshell, the organization tends to treat fans and its own players in a hostile way. I assume that attitude comes from Carl Peterson, as it's been this way for a while. One aspect is that every year there are multiple players that are alienated from the team (Jared Allen this year). Another aspect is that the drafting is unusually inept and this year is ripe for disaster. I just hope we're not looking at another 4-12 year.
  • Graham stayed with Grandma and Grandpa overnight so that Shannon and the older three boys could go on a field trip today. It was genuinely strange to come home last night, go upstairs to kiss the boys goodnight, and not find Graham in his bed. When I work late I love seeing all four of those precious boys asleep in their beds, but last night the littlest one was missing. How depressing.
  • Two more Jayhawks went pro yesterday, Brandon Rush and Darrell Arthur (though Arthur could conceivably return in case of a freak accident or something). This opens up another scholarship spot for the Jayhawks. Six players are already signed to join the team. Coach Self and Sherron Collins will stay but Mario Chalmers is still undecided. We're looking at a team that probably is not Final Four material, but should still easily win 20 games (and beat Missouri).
  • The Seattle Supersonics have a green light from NBA owners to move to Oklahoma City. It's too bad they couldn't have worked something out to move to KC's Sprint Center but the investors were all from Oklahoma. Now can somebody explain to me how six cities, which have smaller metro areas than Greater Kansas City, have NBA teams (Indianapolis, Charlotte, Milwaukee, Memphis, Oklahoma City, New Orleans)? KC is also about the same size as five other NBA cities: San Antonio, Orlando, Sacramento, Cleveland, and Portland (2 million, ± 100k).
  • Our church is going bowling Sunday after church. At last count we have about 45 people going of all ages. How cool is that? I've bowled a 300 on the Wii, but in real life I play once a year and top out at about 150, averaging maybe 130 or so. Not great.
  • Here's a pic of the KU parade last Sunday. Yes, that's just about the whole parade, a small chunk of the 80,000 fans on Mass that day, and the reason it took us over an hour to get out of town.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Pray for Jayhawks

Can you use reverse psychology on God?

I think not, but the notion came up recently with the KU national championship. Quite normally, people will pray for their sports team to win and I was asked if I did that during the Final Four.

Did I pray for the Jayhawks to win? "No," I responded, "I don't want to draw God's attention to how morally bankrupt the school is. He may decide the just thing to do is to spite them instead." That's right, I'm going to lay low and hope God blesses us by mistake!

Don't get me wrong, I'm a die hard Jayhawk sports fan. But I grew up around Lawrence and I know people who have lived there and gone to school at KU. And certain aspects of KU and life in Lawrence can be about as godless as it can get. There are good people in Lawrence, but kind of like Lot was a good person who lived in Sodom.

But does God know this already? Sure he does. And is the hedonism and godlessness of college towns and university classrooms well known to him? Of course it is. God knows the hearts of men. So if KU is blessed by a basketball championship and an Orange Bowl victory within three months of each other, then God has allowed that in full view of the individual and collective sins of Kansas University. And that sounds a lot like Grace.

In fact every time we enjoy the blessings of God we experience his Grace. We are all sinners with a record of corruption and sin. But God chooses to give us good gifts anyway, including that gift two thousand years ago on a cross.

Turning 61

Today my dad, Richard, turns 61. I intended to write a flowery, lavish note to communicate how much I love and respect my father. But as it turns out…

…I wrote that last year.

Well, happy birthday again, Dad. We're so glad you're in our lives.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Yon on the Surge

"…the transformation over the last 14 months is little short of miraculous."

Michael Yon knows about Iraq. As a journalist who has spent most of the last 4 years
embedded with Americans, British and Iraqi units, he knows. And Michael Yon wrote recently that we should "surge some more" because the Iraq War you think you know is not necessarily the Iraq War that exists today.

[Read the article here.]

Yon concludes, "We stand now at the moment of truth. Victory – and a democracy in the Arab world – is within our grasp. But it could yet slip away if our leaders remain transfixed by the war we almost lost, rather than focusing on the war we are winning today."

Mac vs. PC

Popular Mechanics compared Macs against PCs, both desktop and laptop models, to see which was better. Do you want to guess which type won? Not only were the Macs more highly rated but the desktop model was cheaper than the competition. It's a good article with plenty of data and insight. Make sure you check it out.

Macs are great computers with inspirational designs. I heard J.J. Abrams (of Alias and Lost fame) say recently that he felt obligated to write something worthy of the computer he was typing on. Okay, that may be a bit obsessive, but I kind of know what he means. My Macs and iPods feel creative.

You can also see the latest Mac commercials here.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

56,000 Hits

We passed 56,000 hits sometime in the last day or two but I'm not sure when as apparently my hit counter was down for a few days.

I'm considering revamping some of my sidebar material and features on my blog but it's largely a issue of time. I don't have any.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Worst Parade Ever

We went to Lawrence today to see the Jayhawk parade – the victory triumph of the conquering heroes!

We set out for "Mass," the main drag through downtown Lawrence, about 2pm. The parade was starting at 3pm and we wanted a good spot along the street. We walked over a mile with the boys in tow and then spent almost 90 minutes waiting in anticipation on the corner of 15th and Mass.

I prepared the older three boys, telling them about the floats and the marching bands, about candy throwing and not running out into the street, about fire trucks and veterans groups and mascots in costume. Tens of thousands of people filled the streets.

About 3:40 the parade finally came into view. A two police cars rolled by and a color guard followed and then the first marching band came into view. This is where it went downhill.

When the band reached 15th street, they turned off Mass and quit playing. They stopped and put their instruments down. Oh no! Why are they quitting? What about us?!

Then a line of convertibles came down the street carrying the team and coaches, which was really cool to see the players up close.

The End.

Seriously. It was 3:47 and that was it. After the last car carried Russell Robinson and the NCAA trophy past where we were standing. The parade was over. No candy, no more bands. No creepy clowns or Shriners in little cars. No jayhawk mascots in costume and not one single float. You've got to be kidding! Our high school pep club organized better parades for homecoming. Talk about a let down.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

It's Snowing in Mid-April

Thanks, Al. Thanks a lot. Where's global warming when you need it?

Coming back last night from what must have been the coldest baseball game in history, we actually encountered snow flurries. This morning, it flat-out snowed.

It's April.

C'mon already!

Friday, April 11, 2008

Clever Cell Phones

My wife just got a new cell phone with all kinds of bells and whistles and most of us carry a phone with us all the time. So here's a few clever tips and tricks I've scoured from the net:

  • Take a picture of your kids, as they're dressed today, before you travel or go to a public place where they could get lost.
  • Take a picture of brainstorming notes or grocery lists on the marker board before it gets erased.
  • Take a picture of the parking lot sign so you know where you parked.
  • Use your phone's back light as a flashlight. I actually do this on a nightly basis after everyone's asleep and it's better than the Indiglo light on my watch.
  • Interrupt yourself. Get out of boring meeting by assigning your phone's alarm clock a believable ring tone. There's also services available that allow you to call yourself for the same purpose.
  • Text Google. Text GOOGL (46645) with a question and get a free response. Enter "weather (zip code)" or "define (word)" for useful searches.
  • Don't use your phone while you drive. Ever. Even with a hands free headset, it's one of the most dangerous things we ever do.

My HR Rep

I just took a phone call from some sort of financial advising company asking to speak to our "HR rep about our benefits package."

"Um… do you know you called a church?"

"Yes, sir."

I tried to explain that we're a small, independent church with two ministers on staff and we don't have the same organizational structure that a corporation would have. In short, we don't employ a human resources representative.

What I wish I'd said was, "My HR rep? Yes, just fold your hands and close your eyes…"

Take Me Out to the Ballgame

It's 40 degrees and raining, so naturally I'm going to a baseball game!

I have a wonderful opportunity to watch the Royals tonight (who are actually starting the season well). Some of my friends, who are resilient Royals followers, are chomping at the bit to go and seem eager to take me with them. Which is awesome!

Except that I don't like baseball.

And it's cold and wet outside.

But when push comes to shove, I actually want to go because good (and generous) friends are hard to find. So spending time with them, doing something they're really excited about, becomes worthwhile to me because they are worthwhile to me.

And it's buck night.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Not So Privileged

Iowa State University astronomer Guillermo Gonzalez, the author of Privileged Planet, was sacked last year. He had the opportunity to apply for tenure at the university but was rejected largely due to his advocacy of intelligent design and in spite of his impressive record. In short, he contradicted the atheist dogma of evolution and was slapped down for it.

You can read about his excommunication here and hear his own view on the matter in a blog article here. He's also noted in Ben Stein's new movie Expelled, which deals with much the same topic – the elimination of free speech in science.

I've watched the documentary made from Gonzalez' research and I liked it tremendously. That said, it's not that inflammatory or iconoclastic at all and I'm surprised it's become such an issue.

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Aborting Black Citizens

A black baptist minister, Clenard Childress, has a website that advocates a pro-life, pro-family position, which is also staunchly anti-Obama (Sen. Obama is pro-abortion). He argues that a vote for Obama is a vote against African Americans because candidates like Obama support abortion and abortion hurts African Americans the most. Here's the gist of Childress' argument:

  • Although black Americans comprise only 12-13% of the population, 36% of abortions are performed on black women.
  • Since 1973, black abortions have happened at twice the proportion as black live births.
  • 80% of Planned Parenthood (abortion) clinics are in minority neighborhoods.
  • On average, 1,452 black babies will be aborted each day.
  • 203,000 black people have died of AIDS since 1973. 13 million black babies have been aborted during that same period.
  • A black woman over 50 who has had an abortion is 4.7 times more likely to develop breast cancer.

Childress is especially critical of Planned Parenthood founder Margaret Sanger and eugenics. Sanger is easy to vilify; read about her here. I don't understand how anyone can support these racist organizations. It was just in the news recently how a caller recorded conversations with Planned Parenthood officials encouraging donations to support the abortions of black babies. It's sickening.

Former Catholics

US News and World Report ran a cover story recently on the state of Catholic Church in America. I was stunned by how poorly things are going.

  • The abuse scandal cost the Church in America $1.5 billion.
  • Only 70% approve of the Pope and only 17% believe abortion is always wrong.
  • Catholics in America are about one third Latino, but that will be 50% in 25 years (I consider this a negative, not because I'm anti-Latino in any way, but because it says the Catholic church is dependent on immigration and not evangelism.
  • 1 of 3 Americans were raised Catholic but 1 of 10 Americans were raised Catholic and left the Church. Only 3% of Americans joined the Catholic Church as adults.
  • More Catholics leave the religion of their childhood than any other church.
  • Only 19% of Catholics born since 1981 go to confession yearly.
  • In the last 40 years the Church has lost one-third of its priests and two-thirds of its religious sisters, while over six times as many parishes don't have a a resident priest.

I know we have a lot of former Catholics in our church family and by-in-large they seem to judge their experience with Catholicism harshly. In fact, they usually describe their transition from Catholicism to Christianity as "when I was saved" or "when I became a believer." That's pretty harsh condemnation in my book.

My chief interaction with the Catholic Church professionally is on social issues like abortion, in which they are my allies. But the Church seems to affect a powerful loyalty to (fear of?) "the Church" even in its non-practicing members and my job is to convince people to be devoted to Jesus Christ and him alone. So I'm not really competing with my congregation verses the local parish; I'm persuading Catholics and Protestants alike to put Christ above every other loyalty.

Mocking the Chiefs

The NFL Draft is at the end of the month and the general consensus is that the Chiefs will mess it up badly. Oh, how I wish there was compelling evidence to make me believe Carl Peterson can do the right thing.

Probably the most urgent need the Chiefs have is along the offensive line; we need blockers. It's the foundation of any team. The Chiefs pick fifth and should have two great offensive linemen to choose from, Jake Long from Michigan and Ryan Clady from Boise St. This should be a no-brainer! But check out what Don Banks of Sports Illustrated said today:

This will be the test of whether Chiefs general manager Carl Peterson and head coach Herman Edwards can see the forest for the trees. As tempting as [quarterback Matt] Ryan may be, the reality is Kansas City can't protect him with its current rag-tag offensive line. At least one league insider predicted to me that if the Chiefs take Ryan instead of an offensive tackle, Peterson and Edwards will both wind up getting fired sooner than later. If Jake Long doesn't make it to No. 5, Boise State tackle Ryan Clady should be K.C.'s fallback plan. But something tells me [they'll take the QB].

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Roy is Exorcised

Let bygones be bygones…

Kansas fans can officially get over Roy Williams' spurning of KU.

It was five years since he left us, but jilted Jayhawk fans were still bitter going into last Saturday's KU-North Carolina game, facing their ex for the first time. But KU won that game, Roy Williams showed up wearing a Jayhawk sticker on his shirt Monday night, and Bill Self delivered what Roy never did, a national championship.

Now we can let it go.

Roy's just another coach. Bill Self is our man.

…unless Bill leaves us too… then we'll hate him forever.

Round 6 of Sweet 16

The Sweet 16 contest is officially over. As noted before, the contest was over after the fifth round (the Final Four), with everyone mathematically eliminated from taking the lead.

I may have won it this year (thank you, Jayhawks) but I was actually in last place last year. The winning score was also 11 points lower than last year's winning score. Justin D. came in second for the second year in a row (congrats). Interestingly, we only had three teams pick KU as the top team overall.

The scores:
Josh T.-394
Matt S.-334

Final stats here

Monday, April 07, 2008

KU Wins!

Rock Chalk Jayhawk! KU!

2008 NCAA Champions

75-68 OT • Go Kansas!!!

Round 5 of Sweet 16

The Sweet 16 competition has now been clinched. Justin D. was overcome with dual losses by North Carolina and UCLA. Now he cannot gain back the ground he's lost and I'll win the contest by four points regardless of who wins tonight. As the winner, I'll now declare that the secret grand prize was $1 million paid in increments over the next 50 years. I'll begin payments to myself immediately.

My dad, Richard, was the only one who correctly predicted the final two teams. He had Kansas and Memphis as his top two teams and had the Final Four teams all in his top five. Only the overrating of Duke, his 13-point team, was his downfall.

See all of the stats here.

Sunday, April 06, 2008

Oprah the Open Heretic

This isn't exactly news, as anyone who has heard Oprah talk about religion knows she is something other than Orthodox. But the video clip shown here is some of the more blatant denials of the faith I've seen from her.

She seems to have such a desperate need to accept everybody that she denies the uniqueness of Christ, in which case she might as well throw him out altogether. The real Christ declares himself to be the only path to God – Oprah thinks otherwise. She appears to have bought in to a syncretistic hodge-podge religion, where everyone feels sort-of-good for now but nothing is actually true.

She also seems to grossly misunderstand the "jealous" reference from the Old Testament, but that may just show how superficially some people understand the Bible.

055500 Hits

I was updating the blog late Saturday night and I noticed the hit counter was at 055500.


That's all.

Saturday, April 05, 2008

Kansas Mass Exodus?

Kansas won their Final Four game tonight and will play for the championship on Monday. But does this mean goodbye?

KU has six seniors on their roster. Case, Stewart, and Witherspoon were not huge factors. But Darnell Jackson, Sasha Kaun, and Russell Robinson are all key players that would be hard to replace under any circumstance.

Then KU has potentially three more players that could go pro. Brandon Rush, Darrell Arthur, and Mario Chalmers. In most mock drafts, Arthur is projected to be drafted in the middle of the first round and both Rush and Chalmers are projected for the end of the first or early in the second round. There's a lot of temptation here.

Worst case scenario: nine Jayhawks leave this team with half of them going to the NBA. In that case, the seniors will be Brennan Bechard and Matt Kleinmann, two bench players. The only future junior who has played significant time will be Sherron Collins. Cole Aldrich will be the ONLY other player on the team with experience.

So that's more than half of the team and all of the starters gone, with only two members of the current rotation (of nine) returning. UGH! To top it off, Bill Self could leave to coach at his alma mater, Oklahoma State.

Fortunately, conventional wisdom has Self and Chalmers returning (Mario's dad is on the coaching staff at KU) and you never know about Rush and Arthur. Rush was going pro last year and blew out his knee in a pickup game, delaying him for a year. Anything can happen (we hope).

Besides, KU has recruited six quality players including: a pair of twins, forwards Markieff and Marcus Morris, local star shooting guard Travis Releford, forward Quintrell Thomas, and "a couple of junior-college studs" forward Mario Little and guard Tyrone Appleton.

It may be a few years before KU is back in the Final Four, but it'll be okay. It's not like we will sink as low as Missouri (knock on wood).

What I Would Have Blogged About…

Here's what I would have blogged about this week if I had the time…

  • April Fools Day and your kids. Is it really a good idea to teach young children to play practical jokes? We shied away from it this year, not only because we didn't want to be mean or cruel but because we didn't want to prompt them to follow suit.
  • Kansas in the Final Four. This ought to be a big deal, and it is, but KU fans also expect it. In fact, some fans I know are getting a little perturbed it's that it has been 2o years since the last championship.
  • So much for global warming. What a con! Even the UN admits now that not only is 2008 cooling enough to undo the single degree of warming we've had in the last 30 years, but the Earth hasn't warmed at all in 10 years! And the warming we had in 1998 was due to El Nino. Sorry, Al.
  • If my preacher was a race-baiting bigot… it wouldn't take me 20 years to deal with it. Obama is not going to help guilty-feeling white people feel better.
  • Hillary is a pathological liar. Sniper fire? Tried to join the Army after Yale law school? Chelsea saw the towers fall? Whitewater? This is getting embarrassing.
  • I still wish I wasn't stuck with John McCain, RINO extraordinaire. Maybe the VP choice will help me feel a little better about it.

Friday, April 04, 2008

Not so Immune

I'd been teasing that I was immune from the flu and various illnesses because of the medical study I've been participating in.

So much for that…

The boys took ill Wednesday night, specifically Brennan, who was vomiting all Thursday morning. Then Graham and Shannon starting running fevers and having other symptoms. I carried on like normal until 7am this morning when it hit me. You can write us off, we're done for.

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

That's Not Punny

The boys have learned a knock-knock joke. Not how to tell knock-knock jokes in general, mind you, but just one.

Knock, knock!
Who's there?
Boo who?
Don't cry it's only a joke!

But that doesn't stop them from trying their own interpretations of this classic groaner. So fifty times a day Brennan, Tanner, or Eli will ask, "Knock, Knock!"

*sigh* "Who's there?"

[pause] The longer the pause the more painfully nonsensical the joke will be.

"Head!" *snicker, snicker*

*eye roll* "Head, who?"


"A big monkey… is going to smash your head… with a banana… and throw you in the sky… and shoot you with a bazooka, and…"

"…Uh, okay, son." Elijah, in particular, seems fixated on the idea of someone getting smashed in all of his jokes. We're not sure why. We're watching him closely.

Kitchen Inventory

One can receive a lot of funny calls at the church but what are the odds that I'd receive two calls in the space of an hour to count items out of the refrigerator?

The first call was to count the number of hot dogs we had in the fridge for the MOPS auction.

The second call, from a different lady in the church, was to count the lettuce in the fridge. Fortunately, lettuce can be counted by the bag, or I'd still be there. That said, if we run out of lettuce at the dinner tonight, it's probably my fault.

Rules, Rules, Rules

I found a photo in the news today that made me chuckle so I made a motivational poster out of it. Follow this link to make your own.

The A-10 in question declared an in-flight emergency and landed wheels up so I'm guessing it's not going to roll away. But somebody ordered someone to chock those wheels anyway (can you spot the yellow chocks?).

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Everyone's Favorite Topic

On my church blog I posted a portion of a conversation about baptism. It's a shame that baptism is a topic that causes so much frustration and enmity among believers. Nevertheless, you can read a part of that conversation by following the link here.

Part 2 here.