Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Sweet 16 (After Four Rounds)

After four rounds of our Sweet 16 contest, Mike K. is still in the lead with a whopping 399 points (perfect would be 430 and the leader at this point last year only had 380).

Bryan C. is right behind Mike with 393, and Justin (383) and Jared (377) are behind him struggling for third place. Everyone else is between 302 and 360, completely out of the race.

Other notes:
  • Bryan had all of the Elite Eight in his top ten slots.
  • Only Jared had his top two teams make the Final Four.
  • Jared can't catch Bryan or Mike but can make up 8 points on Justin if UConn wins out.
  • Justin can't catch Bryan or Mike either.
  • Bryan, trying to catch Mike from 6 points down, makes up 3 points per Mich St win, 2 points per UNC win, 1 point per Villanova win, and breaks even on UConn. So Bryan needs Mich St to win out (or have UNC beat Mich St. in the Finals) and he'll beat Mike by one or two points. If UConn beats Mich St., the game is over; Mike wins. Also Villanova can beat Mich St. in the Finals and Mike would still win by 1 point.
Updated stats here.

Signs of a Job Well Done

In the month of March only four Americans died in Iraq due to hostile fire (four others died of non-hostile causes).

Since 2003, the combat in Iraq led to an average of over two deaths per day (American and Allied troops) and over four deaths per day during some months. More telling is the number of hostile-fire deaths per month, which sometimes topped 75 or 100, has now been in the single digits seven out of the last nine months.

But the low casualties, i.e. peace, is just one sign among many that America has made a dramatic difference in a part of the world where many thought it was impossible.

Let's pray we don't abandon the hard work and sacrifice of so many.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Random Thoughts 3/30/09

  • Legendary basketball coaches Rick Pitino, Mike Krzyzewski, Roy Williams and Bob Knight dancing in their underwear. You don't see that everyday.
  • This was supposedly Kansas' off-year. Hmmm. 14-2 in the Big 12 and making the Sweet 16. I'm okay with that. There's interviews with Bill Self that indicates he is encouraging Collins and Aldrich to stay for another season, but that's yet to be seen. If both players stay KU could easily be the preseason #1, although I wonder how they'll have enough roster spots for the players joining the program (2-3 recruits and one transfer) – KU is only graduating two seniors, Brennan Bechard and Matt Kleinmann. So if Collins and Aldrich stay someone will have to transfer or be cut, I suppose.
  • My car is in the shop again. Fortunately we have a good, reliable, trustworthy muffler guy down on 78th and Leavenworth Rd. I highly recommend them.
  • The McDonald's All-American game is this Wednesday. It includes four players going to North Carolina and two each to Duke, Villanova, Memphis, and Oklahoma. There's also a player going to K-State (Wally Judge) and a player that will announce tomorrow whether or not he's going to KU (Lance Stephenson).
  • My NCAA bracket saw three of my four Final Four predictions make it. I missed on Villanova, who I thought would lose to Duke in the Sweet 16. Oops. My bracket looks really good this overall. I picked 14 out of 15 games in the West region and 13 out of 15 in both the East and South. It's the stupid Midwest region that killed me with Wake Forest losing early.
  • My boys played at the church for an hour while Mom took Anneliese to the doctor for a checkup. They are so well behaved while I'm in the office. I can really imagine them doing homeschool here with me as they get older. And that makes it much easier on Mom while she's running errands.
  • We're getting ready to start another volleyball league at church. This time we'll play up at Wallula Christian Church. With volleyball leagues, volleyball practice, and Tuesday basketball, I'm getting more exercise currently than I have in years.

Broken Into

Both of our cars were broken into last night. They were parked at home, unlocked, and when we got into them this morning, both glove boxes were opened and their contents spread over the front seats.

There was no damage to either vehicle.

There was nothing stolen. Documents, papers, money, books, and a mountain of miscellaneous remained. Someone rifled through our stuff but nothing appears to be missing. Honestly there were things that should have been taken but weren't, which makes the whole thing feel like more of a prank.

Nevertheless we made a police report and called our bank (our only real concern is identity theft). We'll certainly be locking our cars from now on.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Leave the Lights On

Tonight at 8:30 we're supposed to turn our lights out for an hour… … … wait for it… to save the Earth.


It's called Earth Hour – a symbolic gesture of solidarity against Global Climate Change. The morons. We had a freak snowstorm today in Kansas, dumping 28 inches in some parts of the state. So I'm thinking we need more global warming climate change, because currently we're freezing to death.

Friday, March 27, 2009

The Value of Work

Mike Rowe on the value of hard work (this talk is really good, btw):

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Sweet 16 (First Two Rounds)

Good luck, as the tournament continues tonight.

In the first round Mike K., of Valley Falls, didn't lose a single team, giving him a perfect 136 points. He then goes on to only lose five points in the second round. So Mike is cleaning our clocks with 267 points.

A few of us have 250 points or better but poor Mindy lost her 16-pointer in the first round. What rotten luck! Overall, this year looks like it'll be higher scoring than usual.

Here's the updated stats.

85,000 Hits

The blog has passed 85,000 hits.  Thanks for reading.

I'm also closing in on 2,000 posts written, probably early this summer at the rate I'm going.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Random Thoughts 3/25/09

  • VeggieTales have a new logo.
  • The Chiefs may play all 16 games on the road this year. The union (God bless 'em) that is working on the stadiums is expected to strike and a prolonged strike could mean that Arrowhead stadium won't be ready for the 2009 season. Great. I'll never understand why a union would think this is a good time to squeeze the construction companies? As I see it, various unions have come across like short-sighted mafia types that run companies (and communities) into the ground with their unsustainable demands. Read a history of the UAW and why Detroit is in the toilet right now; it's remarkable.
  • I sure enjoyed being at DeKalb Christian Church, where they greeted me with such enthusiasm. But in the end, there's no place I'd rather be than here at my home church.
  • Unions, by the way, served an essential purpose at one point in history. Please don't come to my house and slash the tires of my Honda.
  • If you have a Wii (and assuming that you've hooked it up to the internet) it works differently today than it did yesterday. Now it can play WiiWare and Virtual Console games off an SD card, where formerly they could only be stored on an SD card. This means that you can have access to a library of several Gigabytes of classic games and new gems like World of Goo. This also will give Nintendo the opportunity to make much larger arcade games available for download.
  • I set up the trampoline in the backyard last week (it's how we thin the herd). But the older boys are getting old enough to actually play some sports, like soccer and basketball and such. I'm really looking forward to this next phase of our life, playing games and teaching the boys the fundamentals. My big dream would be to pave our driveway and set up a nice basketball goal. I've wanted it for years but we could actually put it to use in the near future.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Revival Bloggin' 3

I'm finally home.

The revival services in DeKalb are complete and I'm glad to be home and back to my regular schedule. I preached 5 sermons and taught 4 classes in about 72 hours, which means I'm just plain tuckered out.

To DeKalb Christian Church (and my friends from Rushville), may God bless you! And thank you for your warm hospitality and graciousness.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Revival Bloggin' 2

I'm going back to DeKalb tonight and again tomorrow tonight for the revival. I'm greatly encouraged by what I've seen in that church in that little town – it seems like its bursting with spiritual potential. After 24 hours there my typical preacher-cynicism was abated.

I'm eager to go back tonight. I'm preaching on fruitfulness tonight and Heaven tomorrow night. I hope there will be a good crowd!

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Revival Bloggin'

I got to DeKalb this evening in time for the men's fish fry they were having. We had a table full of nearly indistinguishable fried items (fish, chicken, potatoes, who knows?). I figure deep frying is a good way to send all the men to an early grave but put a smile on their face at the same time. I spoke for about 25 minutes on having confidence as men of God.

Tonight I'm staying with a local family. I have my own room, my own bathroom, indeed my own floor of the house. I also have Wi-Fi and my computer, so you'd think I'd be good to go. But instead I'm just missing my family pretty bad.

Tomorrow I'll preach the morning service and teach a class afterwards. I'm preaching on God's love in spite of our sinfulness (Hosea–my favorite Bible story) and I'm teaching a class/forum on Church government.

I'm not completely sure how the afternoon will go, but I'm preaching again in the evening and then driving home.

Sweet 16 Updates

I'm preparing to leave for a revival in DeKalb, Mo, so I haven't run the numbers yet on the Sweet 16 contest. I'll update the numbers late Sunday/early Monday, after the second round.

Good luck.

Predicting the Tourney

On my one bracket this year (I normally fill out two: a heart bracket and a head bracket), I've successfully predicted 26 out of 32 first round games. In fact, I called the East and West regions perfectly as well as two 10-seeds (Maryland and Michigan), an 11 (Dayton) and a 12 (Wisconsin).

Wake Forest, on the other hand, nearly ruined my bracket. I had them going to the Elite Eight… stupid Demon Deacons, what it in the world kind of mascot is that anyway?! Wake was my only miss that I had going on to win additional games.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Sweet 16 Stats (2009)

Here's our Sweet 16 game, which I'll update as each round comes to completion. Thanks for playing! Please double check for mistakes.

[Updated after Round 6, the Finals]

Pts Jared Richard Bryan
16 UConn-4 UConn-4
15 UNC-6
14 Duke-2
13 Mich St.-5
12 Memph-2
11 Pitt-3
10 Wake-0
Mich St-5
9 OU-3
KU-2 KU-2
8 L'ville-3
Mizzou-3 Wake-0
7 Syr-2
'Nova-4 Mich St-5
6 Xavier-2
Mich St-5
Wash-1 Mizzou-3
5 KU-2
Ari St-1
4 'Nova-4
Duke-2 Wash-1
3 Gonz-2
Flor St-0
2 Purdue-2
Arizona-2 Xavier-2
1 Mizzou-3
Utah St-0
W Ky-1
Rd1 126 120 133
Rd2 126
121 111
Rd3 77 71 95 80
Rd4 48 35 44 43
Rd5 28 19 24 20
Rd6 15 13 14 13
Tot 420 374 431 382

Pts Justin
Mindy Chad
Mike K.
16 L'ville-3 Wake-0 UConn-4 OU-3
15 UNC-6
Syr-2 Syr-2 L'ville-3
14 Pitt-3 Mizzou-3 Pitt-3 Pitt-3
13 Memph-2 'Nova-4 Wake-0 UConn-4
12 UConn-4
11 Mich St-5
UNC-6 Mizzou-3Mizzou-3
10 Duke-2 Xavier-2 Mich St-5
9 Syr-2 Wash-1 'Nova-4 KU-2
8 OU-3 L'ville-3 Memph-2 Memph-2
7 'Nova-4 Mich St-5
L'ville-3 Mich St-5
6 Wake-0 Memph-2
KU-2 'Nova-4
5 KU-2 Illinois-0 Texas-1 Gonzaga-2
4 Mizzou-3
Pitt-3 Purdue-2 Xavier-2
3 Wash-1 Duke-2 Clem-0 Wash-1
2 Flor St-0
Clem-0 Xavier-2 Ari St-1
1 Utah-0
BYU-0 W Ky-1
Rd1 127 112 120
Rd2 124 103 114 131
Rd3 87 56 79 94
Rd4 45 31 47 38
Rd5 26 18 22 19
Rd6 15 11 12 12
Tot 424 331 394 430

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Random Thoughts 3/18/09

  • Even though the USAF F-15s are expected to last another 15 years or more, Boeing has unveiled a new, somewhat redesigned version of the undefeated (104-0) air-to-air fighter. With stealth features, internal weapons bays, and new electronics the new "Silent Eagle" can be about as stealthy as the F-35 if the US government allows that kind of technology to be exported. The most distinctive feature is the angle of the vertical tails, now canted at 15º outward. Boeing expects customers like South Korea, Singapore, Japan, Israel and Saudi Arabia.
  • Who needs to sleep? Shannon and I are struggling with this new little girl in the house. Shannon of course is interrupted every two hours for feedings. But apparently I can't sleep anywhere but my cozy bed, and though I've tried to sleep in various alternative locations throughout the house, I just can't get any rest at all. I've been in zombie-mode for several days now, which is no fun for anyone.
  • Get your predictions for the Sweet 16 contest in by tomorrow morning. The games start early; don't be late.
  • Why so downcast, Oh my soul? Besides not getting a lot of sleep, I've also been struggling with some depression. Feeling down like I do seems stupid to me – nearly everything is going really well in life right now. But I can't deny the miserable disposition that covers me like a blanket - it saps my energy, steals my joy, and alienates me from my friends. I guess you could say I'm not very happy about not being very happy.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Sweet 16 (2009)

The NCAA tourney starts Thursday (play-in games don't count) and people everywhere are filling out their brackets.

But instead of filling out a bracket, try my "Sweet 16" game we've been playing the last few years. Instead of predicting sixty-some games, we pick the best sixteen teams in the tournament and rank them best to worst. The best team will get 16 points for each win, the second team will get 15 points and so on until you get to the 16th team which gets one point per win. If you put them in the correct order, your maximum score would be 477 points.

I won last year with 423 points (Thanks KU). I had correctly had KU, Memphis, UNC, and UCLA in my top four. The year before I came in last place. Justin D. has two years in a row in second place, so we'll see how he does.

If you want to play along, just post your list of of sixteen, in order, in the comments section and I'll keep a running tally as we go along. The cutoff is Thursday morning.

Oh, and what does the winner get? The satisfaction of a job well done.

My Irish Lass

Anneliese Keegan

Wearing Orange

While playing basketball today, I was asked why I wasn't wearing green, it being St. Patrick's Day.

"Because I'm not Catholic."


"Catholics wear green, Protestants wear orange."


I'm not anti-Catholic, nor am I protesting anything about St. Patrick's Day (though as a Protestant non-drinker with German/English roots, I'm not enthusiastic for the holiday either). But I am a history buff, so I'm appropriately wearing an orange t-shirt.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Sleeping Peacefully

During the middle of the day, of course…

Random Basketball Notes 3/16/09

  • Good job, Mizzou, on Saturday. I didn't want Baylor to get lucky (-er) and I can set aside my distaste for all things Missouri in order to root for the Big 12 North team. Congrats, Tigers.
  • Sorry K-State, the world hates you and there is no justice. It really is too bad. It also would have been nice to have Bill Walker still with the team, who currently is getting three points and six minutes per game with the Celtics.
  • Big 12 teams in the tourney: Oklahoma (2), Kansas (3), Missouri (3), Texas (7), Oklahoma State (8), and Texas A&M (9). I guess that means the NCAA thought that Oklahoma won the Conference. Mmmm.
  • Teams at the Sprint Center in Kansas City this week: Cal v. Maryland and Memphis v. Cal St. Northridge (who?), Clemson v. Michigan and Oklahoma v. Morgan St.
  • What happened to "economic considerations" is seeding teams such that they play games with less traveling? To make the Final Four, the fortunate Jayhawks only have to travel to Minneapolis, Indianapolis, and then Detroit. But most teams are crisscrossing the country as much as ever. Poor UCLA must play in Philadelphia and then Boston to get to Detroit. Both Arizona and Arizona St. have to start in Miami. Talk about jet lag.
  • And how is that Duke and North Carolina get to play virtual home games in Greensboro, North Carolina?!
  • I'll set up my annual "Sweet 16" game tomorrow. Check back soon to add your list of top 16 teams.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Adam Savage Gets Me

This is the epitome of what it means to geek out.

Most guys understand this; whether the object of obsession is sports or cars or hunting or whatever, it's in the nature of most guys to work on their hobbies.

For Adam Savage, it's movie props and modeling, i.e. constructing replicas. For me, it's history and stories and information and language. But without any personal interest in dodo birds or movie props, I completely understand what he's doing and why he's doing it.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Going Home with Baby

We're being sent home!

It's about 5:20pm now and we're hoping to be dismissed in the next hour or so, barely 24 hours after we delivered. We're so thankful!

Our boys are with the grandparents tonight so it will be a quiet house when we take her home.

Thank you for all your prayers and support!

Hanging Out with the Ladies

Shannon, Anneliese, and I are hanging out this afternoon in the hospital waiting for the doctor to tell us if we can go home. We're hoping to go home later tonight rather than in the morning, but that may require a little extra cajoling on our part.

But Mom is doing fantastic, Daughter is doing fantastic, the dogs miss us, we miss our boys, the cat thinks she owns the house now, sooooo… LET'S GO HOME!!!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Perhaps a Redhead?

Freshly bathed, there's my sweet little girl!

We feel like she looks a lot like Brennan did newborn, but her hair (so far) is a different shade of red now that it's washed and dry. Who knows?

The Live Baby Blog

6:12am - Hello, we're about to leave for the hospital to have our baby girl, Anneliese. I'll try to get set up at the hospital and update everyone as regularly as possible. See you in an hour or two…

7:12am - We're here!

7:17am - Shannon said she'd like guests after the baby comes. I might ask that we wait until late afternoon or evening–and certainly after our daughter is finally here; we don't want family or friends with us during labor.

7:22am - They're starting Shannon's pitocin now.

7:44am - The nurse said this may go quickly, but what's quickly? Three hours? Six?

7:46am - Shannon's had her first real contraction. Here we go.

8:25am - I've made my rounds. I walked to the other end of the hospital to visit Jim R., from our church, who is recovering from surgery. The rabbit's warren-like maze here at Shawnee Mission is a little crazy, to get from one end to the other, but it's not as bad as the old buildings at KU Med.

8:27am - We didn't sleep much last night–a few hours I guess. It's eight in the morning and we both are pretty exhausted. I've already called my mother-in-law to give her an update.

9:01am - The doctor came in at a quarter 'til 9 and checked Shannon. We're at a 2 but a little high. A few hours of contractions and we'll break the water; it'll be quick after that. We have a great nurse who's from Wetmore, Ks (people from Valley Falls and Winchester know where Wetmore is). She's funny and personable, very down-to-earth; we like her.

9:41am - Shannon wanted to pass the time with a movie… so naturally she's watching Transformers. I've seen it; but it's edited for TV so it's pretty tolerable.

11:31am - Shannon is truly hurting now, no doubt about it. It doesn't seem like we're that close yet but I know we're making progress.

11:48am - The iPod is in now in use. That means Shannon is going to her "happy place" and is decidedly less interested in my witty banter or the KU game. If her water doesn't break soon, the doctor will break it in the next hour.

12:15pm - We're making slow progress. It won't be soon; maybe a couple more hours? I really don't want Shannon to deal with visitors until late afternoon or early evening. If we have our baby early this afternoon and Mom has a couple of hours to recover then we'll look forward to seeing everyone.

12:31pm - Seriously, about the visitors, no one is getting in until Shannon's seen the baby, held the baby, had time to recover, etc. and that may be hours from now. Please call or wait for the go ahead here on the blog before you come over. I don't want friends or relatives waiting in the waiting room for hours but you're not getting in early either.

12:49pm - The doctor just broke her water. He said it could be an hour or maybe three hours; we don't know. Recovery time would be about two hours after that. Shannon's still at a 3, about 60% effaced and still high.

1:41pm - Shannon is going to get an epidural now. She's in terrible pain and still only at 3 cm.

1:52pm - The epidural is in. For those scoring at home, that's two without and three with (the three big ones). The doctor just checked her again, she's at 3.5 cm, 70% effaced, and high.

2:50pm - Progress! Shannon was just measured at 8 cm! I actually left the hospital to get some food because I hadn't eaten yet today. It's a long story, but I came back empty-handed feeling rushed and frustrated at being gone almost 45 minutes. I walked in the room hungry and frustrated as Shannon was being checked and she had progressed 5cm in that time! That's worth missing a meal over!

3:01pm - 9 cm!

Welcome Anneliese Keegan Altic
Born at 3:12pm, 7 pounds 15 oz, 18 and a half inches long.

3:40pm - No visitors until 5:30pm please.

4:31pm - We are in room 293 now but we'll be moved to our new room within the hour (information may or may not have that change recorded yet).  Anneliese seems perfectly healthy.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

My Church Website is Louder Than Your Church Website

Candidate for the most flamboyant, gaudy, loud, flashy and overdone church website ever…

Evangel Cathedral!!! (make sure your speakers are turned up!)

First thoughts through my mind:
  • Mmm… subtle.
  • Jesus must be so proud.
  • I guess if you make yourself a bishop then, technically, you can call your church a cathedral.
  • The preacher's wife is formally called "the First Lady." Seriously? How do you do that with a straight face?
  • Love the website's electric guitar effects. That and the lightning.
  • Meek and humble… this guy is dripping with it.
  • Were those raptures shooting to heaven from the cathedral? I thought I recognized the whooshing sound.
  • So who's the preacher there and what does he look like? I might have missed it.

I can pretty much guarantee that our church website will never, ever, ever, ever, ever look like this. Ever.

I'd never have the gall.

[I found this link on a secular website of non-believers talking about how bad Christians are. Thanks, Bishop Meares.]

An Inconvenient Debt

Here's Glenn Beck again on devaluing our money:

If you want to know more about the gold standard and why we have fiat currency now, start by reading this article.

[Thanks Gordie D. for the heads up.]

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Roger, Roger

Our sweet 2-year old (nearly 3!), Graham, has the most wit and quirky humor of all our boys at this young an age. The kid's a ham!

Recently, as his older brothers have been watching the Star Wars cartoon on TV, Graham has been answering us with a long, stretched expression on his face and in a stiff, robotic voice, "Roger, roger!"

He's mimicking the battle droids from Star Wars. The comic relief of most Star Wars battles, the droids are the hapless fodder that get themselves in all kinds of trouble. Now we have our own little battle droid, patrolling the house saying, "Roger, roger" to the commands and requests of his older brothers.

The only question is what does that make them? Jedi? Sith? Darth Brennan, perhaps?

Worst Holiday Ever

Believe it or not, today is the "National Day of Appreciation for Abortion Providers."


The website linked above has suggestions to praise and encourage abortion providers such as "bring your local clinic staff flowers or a breakfast basket of fruit or muffins" and "organize local appreciation day events." Wow. That's just sick.

Don't forget who the real victims are.

Thanks for the heads up American Thinker.

Saturday, March 07, 2009

Big 12 Champs (Again)

The Jayhawks have won the Big 12 regular season again this year. That's five in a row and seven out of the last eight years.

KU also won the Big 12 tournament the last three years. This year's tournament starts Wednesday night and KU will play the winner of Nebraska/Baylor midday Thursday.

Good luck 'Hawks!

Watching the Watchmen

I watched the Watchmen and now I'm not sure how I feel about that.

First off, I don't condone its wantonness, which was way too much even for an R-rated film. But I knew the source material and thus knew when to avert my eyes.

Second, as good as the film was (as an artistic re-creation of the graphic novel), I'm not sure that anyone would understand or enjoy this film without reading the book first and having a real solid grasp of 20th Century American history and pop culture.

Mr. Beaks from Ain't It Cool News says it perfectly:

And that's what's most peculiar about Snyder's achievement: his film is aimed almost exclusively at those who've read the graphic novel. Starting with the opening credits sequence (a cleverly modified walkthrough of Hollis Mason's [book] UNDER THE HOOD), he dispenses with backstory at a dizzying clip, and doesn't seem to be worried that the uninitiated might not be able to keep up. Perhaps he thinks it'll be more mindblowing for the newcomers this way. Or maybe it'll just be utterly confusing. Again, that's something I can't answer. I just know that, as a fan, I love that the first knife flung in The Comedian's defense embeds itself in a framed pin-up of Sally Jupiter… These scenes reward familiarity, and, I can only assume, confound everyone else. Regardless, it gets the film off to a rousing start.

I just don't think the uninitiated could possibly understand the nuance and ephemera employed here. From the countless (altered) historical references to the soundtrack itself, the viewer is practically required to know Henry Kissinger, Richard Nixon, the Vietnam war, the lyrics of "All Along the Watchtower," and the war room from the movie Dr. Strangelove, among numerous other cultural references and allusions, even especially when they've been altered.

That might be too much work for the average movie-goer. Watchmen felt inaccessible, in contrast to the Lord of the Rings movies which presented more obscure material in a friendlier way.

Thursday, March 05, 2009

Neilson Ratings

We are now a Neilson Ratings household… at least for the first week of sweeps (March 5-11).

If you have a favorite TV show, the Altic family now holds that show's fate in our collective hands, as we'll represent thousands of television viewing households. [insert maniacal laughter here] Checks can be made payable directly to us and we also accept cash bribes.

  • We do watch American Idol, so that show is probably safe. We're also huge fans of Dirty Jobs, Mythbusters, and Survivor.
  • On the scripted end of things, we watch the Office and Scrubs, as well as Chuck, Heroes, and Battlestar Galactica. Yes, we know we're nerds – we can't help it; we're born that way.
  • The kids like stuff on the various Disney channels and Cartoon Network's Star Wars: The Clone Wars (again with the nerd thing). I'm silly about almost any documentary on the History Channel and I watch Fox News daily.
  • During the week-long survey I'll be avoiding "stupid" like the plague. 99% of E!, the network newscasts, home shopping networks, infomercials, MTV and VH1, and every reality show that involves dating or celebrities being themselves… will be effectively banned.
  • A show we watch that deserves to be canceled: Heroes, which recently announced they'll get a fourth season next year in spite of itself.
  • An old show we wish we could bring back: Firefly. If you saw it, you understand why.
  • A show more people should watch: Special Report with Bret Baier on Fox News, the only daily news show I'll actually record to watch later.

1,800 Posts

I've now written 1,800 posts over 4 years of blogging. Thanks so much for reading!

I've received somewhere around 83,000 to 84,000 hits, mostly from friends and family. I truly appreciate your checking in on my various ramblings.

Thank You for the Brilliant Illustration

Thanks to PageTutor, we know that one million dollars (in $10,000 stacks of $100 bills) looks like this:

But what does a billion dollars or the much talked talked about one trillion dollars look like? If you want to understand what borrowing a trillion dollars from China looks like, you need to follow the link.

[Thanks again PunditReview]

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Lord of the Commercials

The people in charge of TNT network programming should be thrown to the orcs.

TNT ran a 12-hour Lord of the Rings high-def marathon last weekend, which I eagerly recorded to my DVR. I was so excited to watch the Lord of the Rings in HD, chipping away at it a little each evening, until I realized there would be commercial breaks.

Lots of commercial breaks.

Like long three or four minute breaks about every 10 minutes for 12 hours. My fast-forward-button finger has carpal tunnel syndrome! That's something like three solid hours of commercials. And guess what? The Lord of the Rings doesn't have natural stopping points every 10 minutes! The sudden interruptions ruined the epic story-telling mood. How are you supposed to switch gears from a life-and-death struggle against evil to a Sonic fast food commercial?

Ultimately, I'd be better off to break out my DVDs and watch them at a lesser resolution but without the interruptions. The LOTR is a classic story and the movies are now award-winning classics in their own right, but even a classic can have its mood spoiled.

Happy Birthday Shannon!

My lovely wife, Shannon, turns 32 today! Happy birthday, honey.

For your birthday you'll get a brand new baby girl! (Please allow 1-2 weeks for delivery)

Monday, March 02, 2009

Random Thoughts 3/2/09

  • So you want to hear Rush Limbaugh's great speech at the CPAC convention last Saturday? Follow the links at the end of this article to watch it in seven parts, it was pretty good and might be a real eye-opener if you don't listen to radio show. Here's the transcript. On a related note, detractors of Limbaugh who can't stand up in an argument on the issues, call him "great entertainment" when they are not entertained and Limbaugh was being dead serious. When liberals call Limbaugh "great entertainment" they are trying to dismiss him and the very serious intellectual, philosophical arguments he's making.
  • I have no idea what is holding that baby in. The continued delay in that little girl's arrival has absolutely no correlation to what we had experienced with her four brothers. It just shows that every pregnancy is different.
  • I thoroughly enjoyed the KCK police academy graduation I attended Friday night. My good friend, Mike B., graduated after a long, slow path (slowed by a broken leg that delayed his training by a year). There were about 40 of us from church that came to see him get sworn in and receive his diploma; not everybody could be there but it was a pretty good showing from the church family.
  • We had several inches of snow this weekend. Every surprisingly unseasonable snowflake is God laughing at the uber-idiot Al Gore [thanks Pundit Review]. Climate Change Warning/Prediction: the climate will change this Spring… and again this Summer… and in the Fall and the Winter…
  • The Chiefs have really made out like a bandit with the Patriots trade. The Chiefs, i.e. new Chiefs GM Scott Pioli, offered a 2nd round pick for a QB, Matt Cassel, that is already known to be pretty good and might be the Chiefs starter for the next 10 years. If Cassel wins a Super Bowl in KC, it'll be the greatest trade in Chiefs history.
  • How is it possible that after KU lost so many players to professional basketball and yet may actually be better this year? This year KU will likely win the Big 12, have a good shot of winning the Big 12 tournament, and could possibly even find their way into a #1 seed in the NCAA tourney. That's incredible. And the credit goes to Bill Self, who ought to be the coach of the year, considering what he overcame.