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Rain

Thu, 17 Apr 2008 20:08:00 +0000

We’ve recently experienced a good deal of rain here in Arkansas. I’ve been amazed at the variety of rains. “Big ol’ fat rain, and itty bitty stinging rain,” as Forrest would say. I’ve also been amazed at the sheer quantity of the rain. The evidence of which can still be seen in anything from the puddles in my street ditches to the east Arkansas towns that are many feet deep in the flow of the crested White River. While some of it is frightening and depressing, it’s reminded me of this humble and awesome bit of observation. The Great Work of God: RainA Thanksgiving MeditationBy John Piper November 19, 1998Job 5:8-10But as for me, I would seek God, And I would place my cause before God; Who does great and unsearchable things, Wonders without number. He gives rain on the earth, And sends water on the fields. Job 5:8-10If you said to someone: "My God does great and unsearchable things; He does wonders without number," and they responded, "Really? Like what?" would you say, "Rain"?When I read these verses recently I felt like I did when I heard the lyrics to a Sonny and Cher song in 1969: "I'd live for you. I'd die for you. I'd even climb the mountain high for you." Even? I would die for you. I would even climb a high mountain for you? The song was good for a joke. Or a good illustration of bad poetry. Not much else.But Job is not joking. "God does great and unsearchable things, wonders without number. He gives rain on the earth." In Job's mind, rain really is one of the great, unsearchable wonders that God does. So when I read this a few weeks ago, I resolved not to treat it as meaningless pop musical lyrics. I decided to have a conversation with myself (= meditation).Is rain a great and unsearchable wonder wrought by God? Picture yourself as a farmer in the Near East, far from any lake or stream. A few wells keep the family and animals supplied with water. But if the crops are to grow and the family is to be fed from month to month, water has to come on the fields from another source. From where?Well, the sky. The sky? Water will come out of the clear blue sky? Well, not exactly. Water will have to be carried in the sky from the Mediterranean Sea, over several hundred miles and then be poured out from the sky onto the fields. Carried? How much does it weigh? Well, if one inch of rain falls on one square mile of farmland during the night, that would be 27,878,400 cubic feet of water, which is 206,300,160 gallons, which is 1,650,501,280 pounds of water.That's heavy. So how does it get up in the sky and stay up there if it's so heavy? Well, it gets up there by evaporation. Really? That's a nice word. What's it mean? It means that the water sort of stops being water for a while so it can go up and not down. I see. Then how does it get down? Well, condensation happens. What's that? The water starts becoming water again by gathering around little dust particles between .00001 and .0001 centimeters wide. That's small.What about the salt? Salt? Yes, the Mediterranean Sea is salt water. That would kill the crops. What about the salt? Well, the salt has to be taken out. Oh. So the sky picks up a billion pounds of water from the sea and takes out the salt and then carries it for three hundred miles and then dumps it on the farm?Well it doesn't dump it. If it dumped a billion pounds of water on the farm, the wheat would be crushed. So the sky dribbles the billion pounds water down in little drops. And they have to be big enough to fall for one mile or so without evaporating, and small enough to keep from crushing the wheat stalks.How do all these microscopic specks of water that weigh a billion pounds get heavy enough to fall (if that's the way to ask the question)? Well, it's called coalescence. What's that? It means the specks of water start bumping into each other and join up and get bigger. And when they are big enough, they fall. Just like that? Well, not exactly, because they would just bounce off each other instead of joining up, if there were no electric field present. What? Never mind. Take my word for it.I [...]



What Others Think

Mon, 28 Jan 2008 01:43:00 +0000

This was a lesson taught to the youth of our church a few weeks ago. I identified with the message, and I thought others might as well. So I’m sharing.Life is too short to spend time and energy worrying about what others think of us. Or should we care about what others think precisely because that really matters in this short life? Should we be radically free from what others think, so that we don’t fall into the indictment of being a “second-hander” or “man-pleaser,” a slave to expediency? Or should we keep an eye out for what others think of what we do, so that we don’t fall into the indictment of being boorish and insensitive and offensive? The answer is not simple. John Piper, Life As A VaporThis is an odd predicament that we often find ourselves in. Do we adhere to the teaching of and the sharing of the gospel in all situations, no matter who we may intrude upon, offend, or otherwise put off? Or should we focus on maintaining a good reputation among others by tending to their feelings and desires, and being a “real” person by having an open mind and relaxing our rigid boundaries of right and wrong?Let’s look at what the Bible says about such issues. In Luke 6:26 Jesus says, “Woe to you when all men speak well of you.” In Galatians 1:10 the Apostle Paul says, “If I were still trying to please men, I would not be a servant of Christ.” Mark 12:14 and 1 Thessalonians 2:4 also contain similar messages. According to what Jesus and the Apostle Paul say here, we are not to be concerned with making everybody happy. In fact, we are to be concerned if everybody is happy with us. Furthermore, Paul says that you cannot serve Christ and worry about making everybody happy at the same time. The answer seems simple when you ask the right question: Do I please men, or God? Should I bend myself to please men who have the power to destroy my body, or do stand firm in order to please God, who has the power to judge my heart and appoint my eternity? In this light, obviously, I wish to please God above men.However, continuing to use the Bible as our guide, we find what seems to be conflicting passages. Proverbs 22:1 says, “A good name is more desirable than great riches; to be esteemed is better than silver or gold.” Likewise, 2 Corinthians 8:20-21 says, “We want to avoid criticism of the way we administer this liberal gift. For we are taking pains to do what is right, not only in the eyes of the Lord, but also in the eyes of men.” And, 1 Timothy 3:7 says, speaking of church leaders, “He must also have a good reputation with outsiders, so that he will not fall into disgrace and into the devil’s trap.” Romans 15:1-2 and 1 Peter 2:12 also provide useful information to this issue. According to what we read in these verses, it is not only desirable, but also of very high importance to achieve and maintain a good reputation among your peers and all those around you. This is of such importance, that it is listed as a requirement of being a church leader, like an elder or deacon.So which is it? What are we to do? Surely there are plenty of circumstances in which we must decide between pleasing people and pleasing God. How do we know when to please who? If we believe the Bible does not contradict itself, then what is it trying to say to us? Maybe we are asking the wrong question. Maybe we don’t have to view the decision making process as having an “either/or,” answer. Consider what Paul says in Philippians 1:20, “I eagerly expect and hope that I will in no way be ashamed, but will have sufficient courage so that now as always Christ will be exalted in my body, whether by life or by death. For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain.” There it is – To live is Christ! What he is saying is that in everything we do, our primary concern should be to glorify Christ. If we keep that goal of exalting Christ in focus in our everyday decisions, big and small, easy and difficult, we cannot go wrong. Most certainly there will be times when we must do what others may not be [...]



Rodent Foliage

Fri, 16 Nov 2007 01:50:00 +0000

This visually-aided blog was inspired by a recent post by Matt Gumm and his apparently warm-blooded donut.



Just stepped outside the back door this evening and jumped back in terror at what lie before me. As you can see, it is fall here in Cabot. Horrifying!


(image)






Pride without lions

Tue, 07 Aug 2007 02:03:00 +0000

“There is one vice of which no man in the world is free; which every one in the world loathes when he sees it in someone else; and of which hardly any people, except Christians, ever imagine that they are guilty themselves…And the more we have it ourselves, the more we dislike it in others. The vice I am talking of is Pride.”

C.S. Lewis, in his book Mere Christianity, of which the above selection is from, calls pride “The Great Sin.” I would have to agree with that title. No matter how well we lead our lives, no matter how often we walk in the Spirit, no matter how hard we battle against sin, pride eventually slips into our hearts and causes us to stumble. It is one of Satan’s most perfect creations. His pride and joy perhaps.

My most recent circumstance, of which pride took center stage, happened at work. Out of the blue, it seemed, a co-worker of mine approached me in my office. (I share an office with four other people, so it’s not really ‘my’ office, but that’s what I call it.) Well, from the doorway of ‘my’ office, she addressed me in a tone that I could tell was not her usual cheerful way. She proceeded to tell me, in a very condescending style, how I had acted in an unprofessional manner and completely insulted her in a meeting we both participated in earlier that day. When she was finished, she turned her back and walked away. I was petrified. Not only was I horrified that I had done something to inflict so much hurt and pain, but I could hear the utter silence of my office, and I could feel the eyes of my four office-mates staring at the back of my head. There I was, embarrassed, covered in shame, totally unable to begin to explain myself. So I did the only thing I knew to do, avoid all eye contact, get up and go home.

After I had gotten over some of the initial shock of what happened, I began to grow indignant, and be honest, mad. I had been publicly called out in front of my peers, and then been left without opportunity to counter. I couldn’t even think of what I could’ve said that would have offended her. How dare she? She should be glad that I didn’t retaliate, and berate her for breaking the chain of command, publicly humiliating me, and pretty much flat out lying. I thought I had handled the situation well. I had honored God in keeping my cool. Then it came to me, a verse from James 4, “God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble.” Maybe I hadn’t sinned against my colleague. Maybe I had sinned against God, and this was his method of bringing me down a notch. Come to think of it, it had been a while since the last time I was taught this lesson. I prayed to God for his forgiveness and thanked him for his correction. As I began to pray, conviction overcame me. Not only was I guilty of the pride that began this whole scene, but also of the prideful thought that I had somehow honored God by holding my temper and not let flying the unwholesome tirade I had already scripted in my mind. I was reminded that I’m not the big man that I sometimes think I am. Usually the opposite, in fact.

The next day I offered a written apology to the co-worker that I upset and received her forgiveness. In recounting the episode, I was reminded of another C.S. Lewis book, “The Screwtape Letters.” In this book, a man overcomes some form of persecution with such Christ-like form, that he becomes proud of himself. Yet another example of how pride can bite at your ankles while you look to the Heavens for compliments.

Pride is strong. And pride will come at you. You may win often, but it will win some. If it seems that God has knocked you down a few rungs, just know it is because he loves you. He is pruning you, shepherding you, sculpting you to be more honoring of him. And be thankful that he does, because you are unable to do so yourself.



Smells Fishy

Thu, 24 May 2007 18:46:00 +0000

(With Japanese accent) “Today…one of these lucky contestants will win his or her weight in fish…right here on ‘Wheel Of Fish!’ Okay, let’s play the game! We start with yesterday’s winner…Mrs. Phyllis Weaver. Are you ready, Weaver?” (With American accent) “I sure am, Kuni!”“Okay, you get over there and spin the Wheel of Fish! Go ahead, give it a big spin…Come on, come on. A red snapper! Mmm, is very tasty! Okay, Weaver, listen very carefully. You can hold on to your red snapper, or you can go for what’s in the box that Hiro-san is bringing down the aisle right now! What’s it gonna be?” “I…I…I’ll take the box!”“You took the box! Let’s see what’s in the box….Nothing! Absolutely nothing! Stupid…! You so stupid…!!!”I know that there is only a small fellowship of simple-minded people that will recognize and appreciate the above scene. If you don’t then you need to watch the movie, UHF. You can expect to laugh uncontrollably, and to be a few IQ points lower by the time the credits roll. In the above exchange, Karate instructor Kuni tries desperately to persuade Mrs. Weaver to keep the fish that she won; he obviously knows of the red snapper’s value and tastiness. The red snapper is a delicacy in the sushi world and can be quite expensive. It has gotten that way because it has been over-fished in recent years, causing the demand to out pace the supply. This has unfortunately led Sushi restaurant owners to do some underhanded deeds, and sushi consumers are getting a raw deal.The Chicago Sun-Times newspaper investigated 14 different sushi restaurants in the Chicago area. They ordered red snapper from the menu, and then performed DNA tests (probably later, in a lab) on the served fish to determine if it was in fact, red snapper, as advertised. Here are their results: “Not a single one was really red snapper. In most cases, the red-tinged flesh draped across the small mound of rice was tilapia – a cheap substitute. Nine of the 14 samples were tilapia. Four were red sea bream – nearly as pricey but still not red snapper.” And we the people have been taking the bait…hook, line, and sinker.According to the article, when the restaurant owners were confronted with the test results, they had some interesting explanations. The majority of owners played dumb saying, “Of course, its red snapper. If we order red snapper, we have to get red snapper.” The blame was passed to the supply company. At the reporter’s request, he examined the box the fish was shipped in. “Izumidai.” Izumidai is the Japanese word for tilapia. “I never thought to look at the description,” says the owner.When faced with the DNA results, another owner responded, “Tilapia and red snapper look alike. They’re really close. They taste almost the same.” Good explanation except he didn’t deny the fish swapping accusation. A third owner, whose restaurant subbed the red sea bream for the red snapper, stated, “Most American customers don’t know the name sea bream.” Not very remorseful and again, not a denial. It seems as if they understand what they’re doing, and they expect the consumer to just deal with it.In the United States, the Congressional Research Service, reported last month that 37 percent of fish examined by the National Marine Fisheries Service were mislabeled. A separate survey by the Fisheries Service discovered that close to 80 percent of red snapper was mislabeled.If you think you are a victim of fish fraud, you can contact the Health Department or Department of Consumer Services.Ahh…what some people will write about to get bad fish puns and UHF quotes circulating.[...]



Final Four

Tue, 27 Mar 2007 13:35:00 +0000

Well, it’s nice to be back in the Natural State once again. My trip to the Gulf Coast was a time of relaxation that was much needed. Some souvenirs I brought home with me included cinnamon rolls from Lambert’s, the satisfaction of pulling a few fish from the sea, a sunburn, Pepa’s Lincoln, and a few extra pounds no thanks to Mema’s handiwork in the kitchen. The one thing I didn’t bring back with me is points. I seemed to have lost them somewhere between Romar Beach and Yazoo City. A few of you, however, found them and not a moment too soon for you.

Since today, I’m off again on another Spring Break adventure, I do not have much time to dedicate to this post. Not much time or not much motivation. You’ll understand when you see the standings. Sadly, let’s go ahead and look at them.

Rank/Previous Rank/Name

1 / 1 / Kris
2 / 12 / Pepa
3 / 6 / Carol
4 / 3 / Monkey
5 / 7/ Kevin
6/ 4 / Mike
7 / 5 / Chuck
7 / 2 / Rob
9 / 15/ Michelle
10 / 12 / Tracee
11 /14 / Kelly G
12/ 7 / Cherie
12 / 7 / Kelly S
14 / 10 / Chris
15 / 11 / Drew
16 /16 / Mema
17 / 17/ Abe

As you may have noticed, there are no points listed. Unbelievably, there are eight (I think) players who can still win this thing. Also, some of the eight players with a chance are not currently in the top eight of the rankings. So, you must continue to root hard and persevere the duration, until the last buzzer sounds, unless you are Chris, Drew, Mema, or Abe. I like to refer to this group as the Final Four; the final four to be listed on the rankings no matter the outcome of these last games.

I would like to congratulate everyone on their Final Four selections. Every participant correctly identified at least one team in the Final Four, except Abe of course (Penn was so close). Also you may have notice some major movement in the standings. The most drastic leap came from Pepa. See what happens when you take the Bom fishing. And it doesn’t hurt to run the table in the Final Four round. That’s right. Pepa nailed all four teams, leading to a 32 point round for him. 32 points and bunch of gum-bumping smack talk I would assume. Also there seems to be some controversy dealing with Pepa’s selections. There may have to be an internal investigation into some insider information that may have been received by Pepa prior to the tourney start. If you are interested in this case, please hassle Pepa.

Well, I’m off to Toon Town with high hopes of fairing better than I have in this competition. One royal flush ought to bring my spirits up. Well, at least the buffet never lets me down.

Bom and Babe



Elite 8

Tue, 27 Mar 2007 13:32:00 +0000

In the past 24 hours, I’ve experienced some things that are hard to describe. I’ve seen one the top five sights you can see, the blue horizon of the ocean. I’ve smelled one of the top five aromas you can smell, the salty air of the Gulf Coast. I’ve heard one of the top five sounds you can hear, the peaceful rhythm of waves crashing on the beach. I’ve felt with my hands one of the top five feelings you can feel, the pull of a fish on the other end of your fishing line. And I’ve indulged in one of the top five tastes you can taste, Pepa’s waffles in the early morning. This is an experience of a lifetime, but I know that it pales in comparison to the Sullivan Family Bracket Challenge results and rankings. Since I have a long day of fishing, walking on the beach, eating, and napping, I’ll keep this short. The round of the Sweet 16 proved a moving day for many of you. Some took significant steps toward the top, while others fell in a disturbing way. Let’s see it:Rank/Previous Rank/Name/Official Score/Games Won/Upset Score1 / 1 / Kris / 80 / 47/ 1592 / 2 / Rob / 79 / 47 / 1633 / 3 / Monkey/ 77 / 45 / 1314 / 6 / Mike / 75 / 43 / 1495 / 6 / Chuck / 71 /41 / 1196 / 12 / Carol / 70 / 40 / 1177 / 9 / Kelly S / 68 / 40/ 1377 / 5 / Kevin / 68 / 41 / 1307 / 9 / Cherie / 68 / 41 / 12910 / 8 / Chris / 65 / 40 / 12711 / 14/ Drew / 64/ 36 / 10712 / 11 / Pepa / 63 / 38 / 11012 / 15 / Tracee/ 63 / 35/ 10114 / 12 / Kelly G / 62 / 38 / 12415 / 3 / Michelle / 61 / 40 / 13716 / 16 / Mema / 45 / 30 / 9717 /17/ Abe / 30/ 22 / 89Everybody except Abe, and (sigh) me, have their tournament winner still in the mix, which means, pretty much anybody can still win and anybody can still be shamed ruthlessly. So, keep your eyes on the prize, and by prize I mean the TV. It was brought to my attention that people tend to have brackets that resemble something about themselves. Sometimes their character, sometimes their tendencies, but most of all, their car. Here are some examples:Mema’s bracket is like her car because it’s all banged up.Tracee’s bracket is like her car because she needs a new one, at least a different one.Mike’s bracket is like his car because it’s not much to look at, but it is moving well.Mema’s bracket is like her car because it was going pretty fast, but now it got pulled over.Kelly S’s bracket is like his car, it’s apparently very fast because he tracking down the leaders.Carol must have dropped some nitro in her car, because she moved from 12th to 6th.Kevin’s bracket is like his truck, it’s all jacked up.Pepa’s bracket is like his car, he thought he had this thing all locked up, but it got stolen away from him.Mema’s bracket is like her car, because the Arkansas blinker is left on way too long.The following people deserve kudos[...]



Enter the Sweet 16

Thu, 22 Mar 2007 22:17:00 +0000

Congratulations. You’ve made it through the first two rounds of the Tourney. We are now prepped for the battles of the Sweet 16. I think everybody is doing quite well this year, and I expect the all time high score 136, set by Kelly S, to be topped by the end of the contest. I expect Kris’ winning score from last year, 89, to be topped by the end of this weekend. All brackets, except for Abe’s, still have their tournament winner alive, although that will change after today. It’s time for the big dogs to clash and some will fall, along with your dreams of being etched in Sullivan Bracket Challenge history and of being engraved on the winner’s plaque. I have to say, Kansas is doing much better this year, actually winning one. The previous two years they’ve fallen to an underdog: Bucknell and Bradley. Now, if Butler makes it to the final four, look for the Jayhawks to go down to the third ‘B’ team in consecutive years. UNC is fairing much better now that their star inside man, Hansboro is playing without his mask. Did anyone see him in that mask? That’s got to be the worst fitting, oversized thing I’ve ever seen. He looked cross-eyed in that mask. The numbers showed it too. He scored much less and played much worse when he had that suit of armor strapped to his face. All of you who picked UNC to do well better hope he doesn’t get his beak bumped, or he may have to lace up the goalie mask for the remainder of the tourney. If that does happen, look for UNC to struggle. I think my favorite team now is Oregon. I mean, their the Ducks. Who doesn’t like ducks? I like all kinds of ducks. Daffy, Donald, Huey,…Howard. I also like big fat slow flying green heads who can’t see or hear very well. I know Kevin does, he can hit those.Well, hears how the rankings shake out:Rank/Official Points/Games Won Points/Upset Score Points1 /Kris / 52/ 40 / 1492 / Rob / 51 / 40 / 1533 / Michelle / 49 / 37 / 1323 / Monkey / 49 / 38 / 1315 / Kevin / 48 / 36 / 1246 / Chuck / 47 / 35 / 1116 / Mike / 47 / 36 / 1388 / Chris / 45 / 35 / 1199 / Cherie / 44 / 35 / 1219 / Kelly S / 44 / 34 / 12711 / Pepa / 43 / 33 / 10312 / Carol / 42 / 33 / 10612 / Kelly G / 42 / 33 / 11714 / Drew / 40 / 30 / 9715 / Tracee / 35 / 28 / 9116 / Mema / 33 / 27 / 9317 / Abe / 26 / 21/ 88Don’t be discouraged if you are not in the upper tier, and don’t get complacent if you are. This begins the crucial group of games where wins are worth more, and people start to leap-frog each other, either up or down. We shall see after this weekend, who pulls ahead, and who fades away, like my hopes of having an afro. Kudos to the following for picking all four teams to come out of a regional:Chris – SouthChuck – WestDrew – SouthKevin – West and South (Kevin’s South bracket is perfect through two rounds)Kris – SouthMichelle – SouthMonkey – WestRob – South (Rob’s South bracket is also perfect through two rounds, hmm, I think he’s copying off of Kevin’s!)Good luck to you all during the next two rounds and I hope you enjoy the games. I will watch some of the games, when I don’t have the sun warming my shoulders, or my toes in the cool sand, or a fish on the line. LATE!Bom and Babe[...]



Half of Round Two

Sun, 18 Mar 2007 03:44:00 +0000

Finally some action. Unfortunately, this kind of action means good teams lose. What I mean is, teams you picked as Final Four teams lose. It was just reported that today’s games included more overtime periods than any other day in NCAA tournament history. It’s been unnerving. I think I’ve chewed off all my fingernails and pulled out all my hair. Well, figuratively speaking.

A clarification from the previous post, I am not disqualifying UCLA and Memphis. I only said that they had lost as an intro to my paragraph attempting to illustrate a dream sequence. I apologize for your misunderstanding.

Scary moment for Ohio State fans and pickers. Xavier (of which I have heard numerous pronunciations including the Hispanic name, Javier) had the number one team in the South on the ropes. Then, with Sweet 16 in hand, Xavier snatched defeat from the jaws of victory. It was as painful to watch as Mema preparing for a tee shot.

Here are the updated ranks after the first eight games in round two:

1. Kris / 42
2. Rob / 41
3. Michelle / 39
3. Monkey / 39
5. Cherie / 36
5. Kevin / 36
7. Chris / 35
7. Chuck / 35
7. Mike / 35
7. Pepa / 35
11. Carol / 34
11. Kelly S / 34
13. Kelly G / 32
14. Drew / 30
15. Tracee / 29
16. Mema / 25
17. Abe / 17

Here are your Final Four choices (as you can see, some have chosen…poorly), the bold team is the chosen tournament winner:

Abe – Notre Dame, S. Illinois, George Washington, Penn.
Carol – Florida, Kansas, Georgetown, Ohio St.
Cherie – Florida, Kansas, UNC, Memphis
Chris – Florida, Kansas, Washington State (oops), Texas A&M
Chuck – Florida, Kansas, UNC, Ohio St.
Drew – Florida, Kansas, Texas, Memphis
Kelly G – Florida, Kansas, Texas, Ohio St.
Kelly S – Oregon, UCLA, UNC, Louisville
Kevin – Florida, Pitt, Georgetown, Ohio St.
Kris – Florida, Kansas, UNC, Ohio St.
Mema – Florida, Gonzaga, Arkansas, Memphis
Michelle – Florida, UCLA, Georgetown, Tennessee
Mike – Florida, Kansas, UNC, Ohio St.
Monkey – Florida, Kansas, UNC, Ohio St.
Pepa – Florida, UCLA, Georgetown, Ohio St
Rob – Florida, Kansas, UNC, Memphis
Tracee – Florida, Kansas, Georgetown, Memphis

Florida was picked by everybody except Kelly S and Abe to come out of the Midwest bracket, and they were chosen to win the tournament five times, which leads all teams.

Sorry Mema for losing Arkansas, sorry Kelly S for losing Louisville, and sorry me for losing Washington State. And sorry Abe, you just stink. But, tomorrow is another day.

Bom & Babe
PS – If you would like to make a comment that is visible for everyone to see and respond to, you can post one by clicking the "comment" link below.



NCAA Tourney

Sat, 17 Mar 2007 16:20:00 +0000

Sorry all my dedicated readers (both of you) but for the next month this will be the home of the Sullivan Family Bracket Challenge. Hope you can bear with us until March Madness is over. But here is the first installment.Welcome all you hardwood hacks, to the Third Annual Sullivan Family Bracket Challenge. Queen Kris is back in the mix after a year long reign and is putting her title on the line. But until someone knocks her off, we must continue to bow. Let’s do it!The first round was one of thrill and major upsets. All the number one seeds moved on, but the two’s and three’s were not so lucky. UCLA and Memphis go down in the first round, both by missing free throws in crunch time. And how about Arkansas? USC jumped out to an early lead with their star players, Cherie and Rob. But in the end, off a missed jumper by Trojan forward Kris, Razorback center Mema collects the rebound with ten seconds left. She pushed it ahead to sophomore guard Carol, who penetrated and dished to fifth year senior Kevin on the wing. Kevin, with Abe’s hand in his face, releases and buries the three and the hopes of the Trojan picking traitors. ……Wouldn’t that have been nice?Well, what can I say about the Hogs in reality? We’re consistent. One and done. I think I could just cut and paste last year’s first paragraph, but that would be too generous. Let’s see, what went well for us last night? The tip-off was nice. Then there’s the fact that we didn’t lose by 18. And that’s about it. The Stan Heath bullet has been loaded and the hammer is cocked, we’ll soon see if lame duck Frankie pulls the trigger. Let’s move on before I start crying like that little girl I bit on the playground in first grade. As I mentioned before, this is the third year of our little bracket challenge, and it has seen healthy progressive growth. Here’s this year’s line-up, in reverse alphabetical order:1. Tracee – thinks she has the right ingredients this year2. Robert – he has the time, the experience, and the ‘stache, he ought to win3. Pepa – hope he picks winners better than he shoots ducks4. Monkey – he’s an imaginary figment, and he’ll probably beat you5. Mike – looking for his first win, aren’t we all (be quiet Kelly S. and Kris)6. Michelle – she ain’t no cupcake, this rookie’s looking to make statement7. Mema – Mema’s statement: “I believe in Arkansas, and I shouldn’t”8. Queen Kris – trying to be the first back to back champ9. Kevin – previous winners were Kelly S. and Kris, Kevin hopes he’s the next ‘K’10. Kelly S. – looking to avenge his unsuccessful title defense11. Kelly G. – Please Kansas, just win one!12. Drew – Drew? Who? You may know soon.13. Chuck – Prater head of house who red-shirted last year, but is back in form14. Chris G. – teases people and then runs and hides15. Cherie – tee’n em up, and drivin’ em long16. Carol – gonna set the skeptics straight17. Abe – not gonna set the skeptics straightAbe, for the newcomers, is a bracket populated by Abraham Lincoln. No, we didn't dig him up, but we did flip a penny for each game. As you can see, it's not the desirable way to win a bracket pool. The Monkey, is the bracket that we let Mike fill out. Just kidding, it's a bracket that is filled out based entirely on favorites. The favorite is always the winner. With all #1's in the final four, the teams are ranked 1Florida, 2North Carolina, 3Ohio State, 4Kansas. This is to see how you stack up against the selection committee. I call it the Monkey, because even a monkey can pick favorites. I know, that in reality, the monkey probably would have eaten the bracket and then thrown some feces at me, but just humor me.The point awarding system is the same as always, 1 for a first round win, 2 for a seco[...]



Sweetness

Wed, 07 Mar 2007 02:28:00 +0000

Once again it is that time of year to commemorate my birthing. I never did understand why I always receive such special attention for something that I had nothing to do with. It’s almost as if everyone is apologizing for my coming into the world by paying me a yearly dowry of presents, cake, and a song. When I think about it, I should be giving my parents gifts on my birthday to thank them for a job well done. But I’m certainly not complaining.

Anyway, I wanted to share with you the best part of my birthday this year. Well, actually the best part was the original Nintendo Entertainment System that my wife gave me. But a close second was the cake I ate. Make that…cakes, that I ate. They were, perhaps, the two best cakes I have ever permitted into my mouth, and trust me, I’ve eaten some cake in my day. Chocolate Peanut-butter Brownie and Italian Crème. Need I say more? What made them even more meaningful, was that they were created by my sister, Tracee. Let me tell you just a little about her. She has forgotten more about sports medicine than I’ll ever know, she endured a year in Iraq serving our country as a medic and ambulance driver, and she sings mean version of “A Friend Like Me,” (you’ll have to ask her).

Tracee’s newest passion may be one she excels at the most, and the one that makes me the happiest (besides the singing), and that’s cake making. “Cake making” doesn’t really do it justice, she’s more of a cake artist, incorporating creative vision, detailed sculpting, and a set of unbelievably steady hands. She has something else though, something hard to come by these days. That’s care. She devotes herself to each individual cake, funneling her complete attention so that every detail, from the quality of taste to the personalization of the theme, is achieved with integrity.

(image) You may think that I’m just shamelessly plugging for a family member, but I’ve brought proof. Check out the photos. Tracee is relatively new in this arena and is quickly constructing a respected reputation with a knock-out portfolio. Her schedule is busying rapidly as demand for her services grow.

I must say that I am very proud of my sister. Not just because she’s so good at this, but..well..I guess because she is so good at this. The cakes she designs are truly breath-taking and they just seem to keep getting better. I wish it was my birthday everyday. (image) Leave me a comment if you are interested in contacting Tracee for one of her cakes.









Centro'mere'

Thu, 01 Mar 2007 22:42:00 +0000

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Mere Christianity, by C.S. Lewis, is considered by many Christians to be one of two books that all people, Christian or not, should read (the other being More Than a Carpenter). This book was originally a radio broadcast series given by Lewis in Europe as a “radio talk.” This means that it was delivered in a very conversational manner, as if C.S. Lewis was sitting across from you in your living room, in his sweater, holding his cup of coffee while he explains in the in’s and out’s of Christian belief. You can almost hear his voice defending the roots of his faith.

Mr. Lewis writes in his preface, “The reader should be warned that I offer no help to anyone who is hesitating between two Christian ‘denominations’. You will not learn from me whether you ought to become an Anglican, a Methodist, a Presbyterian, or a Roman Catholic…in this book I am not trying to convert anyone to my own position. Ever since I became a Christian I have thought that the best, perhaps the only, service I could do for my unbelieving neighbours was to explain and defend the belief that has been common to nearly all Christians at all times.”

The gist of C.S. Lewis’s book is a cause that I support. He ascends past the petty conflicts that believers of different denominations argue about, and devotes himself to the heart of Christian theology and meaning. I definitely recommend this book to anyone, whether you are an unbeliever looking for straight and honest information about the religion of Christianity, a believer looking to reinforce your faith, or a believer simply looking for deeper meaning. A must read.



New Name

Thu, 15 Feb 2007 02:46:00 +0000

Just wanted to give credit for the development of my new blog name. Although "Rulerman" has great sentimental value, "Glazed Over" is just way better, and quite accurate I might add. Thanks to Bryan Main and the think tank that is the Main family. Visit them at The Loft. I am currently entertaining ideas on the subtitle that is to appear under "Glazed Over" on my blog heading. Something about double helices, fantasy football, the Holy Spirit, and Krispy Kremes. It needs work.

I would also like to take this time to introduce you to the two new additions to the Glaze household. Both are male, 12 weeks old, and very furry. Yes, they are kittens, adopted after the unsettling loss of our cat, Tiger, after only three years here on Earth. The two quadrapeds are aptly named Dunkin and Shipley. Think about it. There it is.

I hope that with the blog make-over and the additional feline brain power, the blog will move forward, at a more consistent pace, hopefully.



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Blood and Jail Cells

Wed, 31 Jan 2007 17:11:00 +0000

The question: If I were to receive a blood transfusion, and the next day commit a crime, and I happen to leave some blood at the crime scene, would the DNA evidence be compromised?

First of all, I think it highly unlikely that even the most dedicated criminal would feel well enough to break the law the day after a blood transfusion. Second of all, I would be very disappointed to know that there existed a person who was in need of a blood transfusion, blessed enough to actually receive one, and then thank God by committing a crime the very next day. But all that aside, we must examine the science of the question.

Human blood is composed of three types of cells: red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets. Of these, the white blood cells are the only component that is considered complete, meaning they possess a nucleus and DNA. Red blood cells are designed to efficiently transport oxygen to the body and carbon dioxide away from the body. Platelets are not true cells, they are more like discs that have chipped off a larger cell, and are used in clotting. These two cell types do not contain a nucleus or DNA.

Blood used in transfusions usually contains only red blood cells. Therefore, in theory, none of the donor’s DNA is being imported into the recipient. And even if there happened to be some stow away white blood cells, the recipient’s immune system would attack and kill them, probably within 24 hours. So, again in theory, the recipient, also known as the criminal, could be identified using DNA evidence.

Now a bone marrow transplant, on the other hand, can cause some confusion when dealing with DNA. The development of blood cells, or haemopoiesis, originates from the stem cells located in the bone marrow. In this case, the transplanted stem cells would populate the recipient’s blood with cells containing the donor’s DNA, and since the recipient’s bone marrow has obviously failed, there would be little to none of his own DNA in his bloodstream. This situation can, and has, caused some serious issues concerning DNA evidence.

And I know that the post’s title sounds like a Wheel of Fortune Puzzle answer.



Bad Blood

Wed, 08 Nov 2006 23:35:00 +0000

By now, if you have been reading my posts, like a good (and patient) reader, then you should know all about CoDIS. But for everyone else, CoDIS is a network of DNA databanks that house DNA profiles. These profiles come from convicted offenders, crime scene evidence, unidentified human remains, and several other sources. These profiles are regularly searched and shared across state lines in attempts at solving unsolved crimes. It can provide a lead on a cold case (called a “hit”), or simply confirm the identity of a suspect the police have already apprehended. But, a new wrinkle has developed in the search methodology.

“Familial” searching is a technique (that I have written about before) where a crime scene profile is deliberately run through the offender databank in the hopes of getting a list of profiles that are genetically similar to the evidence and using this information as an investigative lead to interview family members of the near matches. This type of searching is based on the fact that relatives have more similarities in their DNA than do non-relatives. Siblings have the most similar DNA, while a parent and child are close behind.

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Currently the FBI does not perform these types of searches, but it doesn’t seem out of the question for the future. The UK is already utilizing this technique and has had some success. It was used in Cardiff, Wales in 2003 to solve a 1988 murder of a 16 year old girl named Lynette White. Analysts identified a single rare allele within the DNA profile typed from the crime scene evidence. The UK National DNA Database searched for individuals with the identified rare allele and it led to a 14-year-old boy with a similar overall DNA profile. Further investigation led police to the boy’s paternal uncle, Jeffrey Gafoor. Jeffrey Gafoor’s DNA profile matched the profile from the crime scene evidence. He confessed and was later convicted of the murder of Lynette White.

There are, however, some privacy issues. One of the most popular criticisms include statements such as, “I shouldn’t be considered a suspect in a case just because my brother or cousin is a felon.” It’s being perceived as an involuntary intrusion.

But, whether is an infringement on my rights or not, you gotta admit, it’s pretty amazing.



Back That Up

Wed, 25 Oct 2006 23:07:00 +0000

“Back that up!” Usually the call of geeky computer programmers or rappers named Juvenile, but it’s rapidly catching on with NFL head coaches. And what matters to head coaches, matters to fantasy owners.

In the past two weeks, ten out of thirty-two NFL teams found themselves without their starting quarterback on the field. That’s about five sixteenths (the fraction won’t reduce any further) of all the teams in the National Football League that had their quarterback, their “field general,” their leader sitting on the bench. A backup QB leads a life of uncertainty. He patiently waits on the sidelines, fetching the coach’s Gatorade, sometimes for years, just for one chance to prove his worth. These eleven quarterbacks (the Raiders are actually on their third) stepped between the lines as an effect of two causes. Seven were replacing injured starters while four got the nod due to underachievement by their senior pigskin chuckers.

Two of these teams were on a bye last week, Baltimore with Billy Volek and Tennessee with Vince Young. But of the remaining eight teams that did play, what would you figure their win/lose ratio to be? If you supposed “not good,” then you would be right. Five teams, Seattle with Seneca Wallace, Pittsburg with Charlie Batch, Arizona with Matt Leinart, Miami with Joey Harrington, and Dallas with Tony Romo, all lost. Two teams, Kansas City with Damon Huard and Tampa Bay with Bruce Gradkowski, both won, albeit by game winning field goals at the end of the game. And flying in the face of all logic and reason, the Oakland Raiders with Andrew Walter and Marques Tuiasosopo, won convincingly. And for those keeping score, that would three eighths of the backup quarterbacks that won.

So, what can we learn from all this? 1) If you are an NFL starting QB, upgrade your Aflac. 2) Trends show that if you are a backup QB, you have better luck the longer and more phonetically challenged your last name is. 3) If you are a fantasy football owner, don’t expect much out of a backup quarterback. And, 4) the Raiders were so bad with their starting QB, that a backup did not hurt them in any way, and as the NFL’s only winless team, the law of averages simply caught up with them and afforded them an unearned win.

If you find yourself in peril with your stud QB sidelined for whatever reason, here are three I would recommend for week 8 (and I use the term ‘recommend’ very loosely). Charlie Batch for Pittsburg – he can pass with the best of them and has five touchdowns with zero interceptions. Matt Leinart for Arizona – he will be up against a downright pitiful pass defense in Green Bay. Vince Young for Tennessee – he will probably rush for as much as he passes for against a porous Texan defense. You can probably find these guys hanging out in your Free Agent pool, and if you decide to pick one up, good luck!



Bye-Week Blues

Thu, 12 Oct 2006 00:04:00 +0000

AHH! The dreaded bye weeks have arrived. And if you did not plan ahead, then you are feeling my pain. The evil television companies have devised an evil plan to increase profits, and they enact this plan under the cover of “more games to broadcast for the fans.” Well, this plan has wreaked havoc on my fantasy team. So, I have put together a list of a few players to watch for on the waiver wire. If you’re lucky, you’ll be able to find one or more of these bye-week specials to get you through.

Quarterbacks – It seems as if Daunte Culpepper has seen his last game starting for Miami this season, barring an injury to Joey Harrington that is. Harrington played decent enough and will most likely continue to start. Damon Huard is consistently playing his guts out, and is the best of the rest for fantasy starters. Philip Rivers has the best matchup this week against the 49ers.

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Running Backs – Leon Washington is close to taking over the starting position for the Jets, if he hasn’t done so already. The regular starter out with a knee injury leads to increased playing time which leads to increased point production for you. Lendale White in Tennessee is also getting more touches and is likely the “mighty mighty” Titan back for the future. Try to get him now, while is value is still low, it will go up. Denver’s running back Cedric Cobbs is also….no wait…never mind. I’ve got C4 on my fantasy equipment manager team.

Receiver/Tight Ends – Bryant Johnson in Arizona looks to get a lot more looks now that No.1 Larry Fitzgerald is out 2-5 weeks. Of course you may want to sit him against Chicago (along with any other player up against the Bears), and then play him later versus Oakland and Green Bay. Wesley Welker may turn into Joey Harrington’s go-to guy in Miami. He’s catching more balls than any other Dolphin. Jerramy Stevens is back for Seattle. He should start this Sunday and could play a big role in Hasselhoff’s passing game.
Defense – If you need a get-you-through-the-bye defense, consider Miami vs the Jets. I know what you’re saying, “Miami? What the..?” But Chad Pennington threw three interceptions last week, come on, live a little.

In addition to the waiver wire acquisitions, don’t be afraid to peek at the line-ups of other fantasy owners in your league. Offer a trade here and there, the worst they can do is say no, and who knows, maybe you’ll get the Marques Colston for the Chris Chambers. Anyway, good luck to you, and to me.



Kicks

Sat, 30 Sep 2006 02:40:00 +0000

This is an excerpt from a New York Times blog written by Toni Monkovic. I was in awe at such obsure rules of such a mainstream game. Anyway, enjoy.Those who made it this far may remember Doug Flutie’s successful drop kick for an extra point last season – the first one in the N.F.L. in 64 years. Another rare play almost came out of the N.F.L.’s attic Sunday. Arizona was planning to try a 77-yard free kick after a fair catch at its 33 on a St. Louis punt with no time remaining. A free kick, a variation of a field goal, can be taken on any fair catch, and a half or a game can’t end on a fair-catch punt. Arizona never had its chance because of an offsides penalty on the punt, and St. Louis won, 16-14. The N.F.L. record for a field goal is 63 yards, so how could Arizona have pulled it off? Arizona was counting on the strong leg of Neil Rackers, a Pro Bowler who led the league in field goals last season with 40 (with only two misses). He would not have faced a rush. The kick would have been from the spot of the fair catch, not the usual 8 yards behind the line of scrimmage. Rackers would have had a full run-up to the ball, instead of the typical three steps for a field goal. The holder would have held the ball on the ground and the rest of the Cardinals would have lined up for a kickoff.Arizona Coach Dennis Green lamented that “we didn’t get an attempt at a miracle kick by the best kicker in the game.”Rackers told The East Valley Tribune in Arizona: “It could have happened. I would have loved a chance, but there would have been about a 5 percent chance the ball could have gone through. You can use your field goal steps, or your kickoff steps, and we would have been using every bit of our kickoff steps to get it there. It would probably have to bounce off the bar to be good.”The last team to convert a free kick was Chicago against Green Bay in 1968. Last season, Tennessee’s Rob Bironas missed a 58-yard attempt at the end of the first half against Houston.“We have to work on it with Rob,” Titans Coach Jeff Fisher said at the time. “He took the field goal approach, and we have to get more comfortable taking the kickoff approach so he can drive the ball a little further.”According to Wikipedia.com, a fair-catch kick has been attempted four times in the last 42 years. Two noteworthy excerpts from Wikipedia on opportunites when free kicks were passed up:Detroit Lions vs. Baltimore Colts, November 25, 1965. Tied at 24-24, the Lions fair caught a punt on the Baltimore 42 with 24 seconds left. However, they inexplicably decided to attempt a 50-yard FG from scrimmage rather than the 42-yard free kick; Wayne Walker’s attempt was low, nearly blocked, and came up short. The game ended in a 24-24 tie.Dallas Cowboys vs. Atlanta Falcons, September 20, 1999. Wayne McGarity fair caught a punt on the Atlanta 47 with no time left in the first half. Dallas coach Chan Gailey knew of the rule, and had specifically instructed McGarity to fair catch the punt if it was inside the 50, but Gailey forgot that he would be able to attempt the kick with no time left on the clock. Instead, the Cowboys went to the locker room.One additional note: Mason Crosby, Colorado’s all-American kicker, routinely kicks the ball through the uprights on kickoffs, drawing cheers from the home crowd. But two things help account for that: The air is thinner in Colorado, and college players kick off from the 35-yard line. In 1974, the N.F.L. moved kickoffs to the 35-yard line (from the 40-yard line) to reduce touchbacks, and in 1994, the kickoff was moved farther back, to the 30-yard line[...]



Fantasy World

Tue, 26 Sep 2006 21:38:00 +0000

First of all I must apologize for being gone for so long. I don’t think I’ve written anything for about a month, and I vow to never let that happen again. My excuse lies within a new world that I have recently discovered. That is the realm of fantasy football. Yes, you read right. So, in an attempt to combine the two, I am incorporating my studies on fantasy football into my blogging rotation. Let’s begin.
For the next few months, this will be the location to get one day old fantasy football information. I scour sports websites and digital newspapers and watch endless Sportscenter reruns in order to compile a not so complete, somewhat biased, layout of analysis and advice. Now, after three weeks of competition, I have climbed the rungs of my fantasy league, landing myself at an 0-2-1 record. So, that is the ruler by which you may measure my information. Sort of like taking shampoo advice from a bald man, it doesn’t make much sense. And by the way, I prefer Garnier Fructis Sleek and Shine, in the green bottle.
First, please a moment of silence. If you listened very carefully, you heard two things. One, the cracking of a foot bone, and two, the scream of a pathetic man who chose Shaun Alexander in the first round. Me. The 2005 MVP is out indefinitely (two to four weeks) with a broken foot. Some experts are saying this is the time to trade him while the price is still high, but I recommend hanging on, because this guy will be back and he should pile up the points before the season is over. But as of now, Mo Morris will be starting, an option if you’re desperate.
Chris Simms is still recovering from the emergency removal of his spleen after Sunday’s game. He is out indefinitely. His backup is sixth-round rookie Bruce Gradkowski. Careful picking him up, he had a good preseason, but the Bucs are already dragging in veterans like Tommy Maddox and Shaun King to give it a go. Cadillac Williams looks like he’ll get a good deal of touches if he stays healthy.
After a fumble fest, Matt Leinart is rumored to start in place of Kurt Warner for the Cardinals in week 4. Michael Vick’s numbers were not impressive against the Saints, but that was due in large to dropped balls by Alge Crumpler, who is still his number one target and still a must start. Mark Brunell has some elbow pain but shouldn’t miss any playing time. Vernon Davis, 49ers tight end, is out for a month, so back up Eric Johnson is an excellent pick up and a roster starter if you need him. Matt Jones, aka Big Slim, should be returning for week 4 play. Ron Dayne seems to have sealed up the starting job for the Texans, but should see some carries go to Samkon Gado, although Gado did not touch the ball in week 3. Jets RB Leon Washington will probably see increased playing time with his impressive performance Sunday. Frank Gore injured his ribs Sunday, but is expected to be back for week 4 and may split time with rookie Michael Robinson after failing to score on the goal line. Corey Dillon should also be back in action for week 4, but is losing ground to backup Laurence Maroney in popularity. After sitting out week 3, Reuben Droughns should also return to action for the Browns. Adam Vinatieri is iffy for week 4.
I know this is all very fast paced and quite unorganized, and in the future I promise to plan better. The injury report comes out on Wednesday, so there will be more information then. If you have any comments or fantasy questions, I will do my best to give you the 0-2-1 answer that you deserve.



Mr. Fixit

Sun, 20 Aug 2006 03:42:00 +0000

This post will have no deep meaning or insights into life, but it is a happy one. One week ago, as I was cruising across my lawn on my Craftsman riding mower, I eased to a stop. I did not purposely stop, something was wrong. I turned the engine off and began pushing the mower back to the garage when I spotted the culprit – a snapped belt. Now, I must admit, I’m no mechanic. By that I mean that my first instinct upon seeing the broken belt, was that I had run over this piece of garbage and it must have damaged something on my mower. Then, using all my engineering background, I deduced that the belt was actually part of the engine, and by breaking, it prevented the something that made the wheels turn from doing whatever it was it was supposed to do.

So, today I set out to attempt to fix the mower. First thing this morning I made a trip to the Home Depot, which, just being in a place like that always makes you feel like a real man. Once I got there, I had to get a little old lady to show me the mower belts and pick out the right one for me. Back at home, I stood in my garage and gathered all the necessary tools that I might need. With instruction book in hand, I delved into my project. The next hour and half is full of minor successes accomplished by a method I like to call, trial by errors. But, eventually there stood my mower, all parts in place, with no extra pieces. It started up beautifully and ran even better than it had before.

When that engine fired up, I felt like I was such a man. A manly man. You know, wrench in hand, grease under the nails, blood on the knuckles, strain in the back and cramp in the leg. Even though it would have taken the average man half the time, I was still proud. I felt like disassembling my truck motor, or watching a Chuck Norris movie. But my yard, by this time really needed mowing. After two and half weeks, it looked like the African Congo, I really thought I might run into a few orangutans back there.

So, I guess the point of the story is…since there should always be a point to every story, right ladies? The point would be, don’t ever ask me to help with anything mechanical. Or if you do, don’t expect to get it right the first time.



Arkansan on the Loose

Wed, 16 Aug 2006 00:55:00 +0000

Everybody from San Francisco is gay. Gas station attendants are usually from India. And women can't drive. These are all stereotypes. This is an unfair way of painting a group of people with one broad stroke. This is typically the work of the prejudiced or the ignorant, or is it, hmmm.
The common stereotype that we Arkansans sometimes run up against is that of being inbred. This is usually garnished with a little bare footedness, toothlessness, dirt roads, and chewing tobacco, but mostly inbreeding. This usually erks me, but as I was attending a recent DNA class in Washington D.C., a fine place full of people around the country, I found myself doing my darndest to perpetuate the public's view of Arkansans.
This was a class of 20 DNA analysts from all different states, and there were two of us representing Arkansas. During my trip, I met up with three of my family members, yes cousins, that happen to be in D.C. at that time. One cousin lives there and works at the capitol, one cousin was in D.C. to take a class, and the other was just visiting. I'm sure that when the my classmates heard that this bumpkin from the south had so much family up there, coupled with the recent press about the Duggars and their 17 or 170 or however many kids, firmly cemented into shape the stereotype that Arkansans are prolific breeders and have infested all sections of the country.
During my stay, I twice had dinner with one of my female cousins, and, to give her a break from her living arrangements during her class, I offered to let her stay at my hotel for a night. She welcomed the offer, and the stereotype lives on.
Also, at the end of our class, our facilitators were unveiling some new features of the software that we were studying. One of these was a new population database to use when we are determining how rare a DNA profile is. This new database was entitled "Double Cousins." So naturally, everybody turned to my colleague and me for the definition of double cousins. They all got a good laugh out of it, but what they didn't know, and we dared not divulge, was that both of us, born and raised in Arkansas, WERE double cousins!! Not related to each other of course, but in our own respective families. (By the way, that is when two brothers marry two sisters, their kids will be double cousins…headache, I know.)
So, I apologize for not being a very good representative of our fine state. At least I brought shoes, parked my donkey ‘round back, and waited until after class to chew my tobacco.



Plan B

Wed, 09 Aug 2006 02:35:00 +0000

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Congress has all but finalized the over-the-counter sale of Plan B, an emergency birth control drug better known as the "morning after” pill. The FDA has sent an approval letter to the manufacturer, Barr Pharmaceuticals, outlining the contract details.
Plan B is a hormone pill similar to that of the daily oral birth control pill. But instead of taking the drug on a regular basis, this pill is only ingested directly after unprotected sex. It is recommended that it be taken within 72 hours of copulation. A second pill is included with Plan B that must be taken 12 hours after the first.
Law makers have put some restrictions on the sale of morning after pill. Barr's first proposal had the drug on convenient store shelves and available for purchase by females fourteen years old or older. The final version, however, states that the drug can only be sold in places where there is a permanent pharmacy present. It will be kept behind the counter and women eighteen or older can buy it with photo I.D.
There are many facets of this issue to consider. I won't get into all of them right now; I'll leave that to you. I've considered many of the implications, and I'm not sold either way yet. I'm not sure what the Bible says about a situation like this, and I welcome and encourage all comments and insight. The one thing that I am surprised about is the noticeable lack of an outcry from the anti-abortion groups. I'm no expert on how the pill works physiologically, and I'm not saying that I would agree with them on this, but I still expect more media and lobbying from those activist groups. Let me know what you think, and if you know of any corresponding scripture, post those as well.



Anniversary

Fri, 28 Jul 2006 01:57:00 +0000

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On July 27, 2002, four years ago today, in front of two large families, numerous friends, and God Himself, I said to my wife, “I will.” Yep. Oopsie daisy. How can you mess up the “I do” part of your own wedding? Not a promising beginning as a husband. But a beginning nonetheless, and despite my endless shortcomings, Kelly and I are still married and still happy today, four years later.

This last year was a year of growth. Not only for our marriage but also for ourselves. Kelly completed her first year at a new school and also took on responsibilities at her school library. She is now the church librarian and has already given our little church library a dramatic and much needed makeover.

Tiger, our kitty, has also grown in the last year. He has matured to the point where we permit him entrance into our bedroom after dark. Normally he is forbidden because he boxes the mini-blinds and eats the fake plants. He still gets shooed out when he abuses his privileges, but for the most part, he acts appropriately (at least until we go to sleep).

I think the most important, in all regards, is the fact that Kelly and I have grown spiritually. This only strengthens our marriage. I cannot fathom my life without my wife. I have absolutely loved the first four years of our lives together, and I can’t wait to see what the next year holds for us. I guess we’ll find out tomorrow.



Pop!

Wed, 12 Jul 2006 02:44:00 +0000

“Of every earthly plan that be known to man, He is unconcerned, He's got plans of His own to set up His throne, When He returns.” Kevin Max When He Returns. I heard this song today, and these words especially spoke to me.

Early this morning, God displayed His sovereignty and graciously bursted my bloated bubble. For the past month or so, my feelings of self importance have steadily grown and grown. At work, at home, and at church, things just seemed to be going my way. God was blessing my every move. However, I am a sinful, fallen, greedy, prideful man, and the responsibilities and temptations that accompany my accomplishments and advancements were too much for me. I was overcome with my pride, and I began to forget who actually allowed me to succeed to my current position. I also began to make my own plans for the future. Nothing too ambitious, I thought, but my own personal plans nonetheless. I think God gets a good chuckle when we humans start to think we are in control.

After hearing the news this morning, I was sincerely disappointed and a little indignant. I was upset that I had been given a promising opportunity, and after I basked in my glory, it was ripped from my hands. Eventually, after I had calmed a little, I began to see God’s loving discipline. I am so thankful for it. Knowing that God only corrects His own children, I have moved from a feeling of unfairness, to one of humility and security. Of course it hurts, but I also feel very warm. He’s reminded me of His love for me and of my eternal goal. “He’s got plans of His own to set up His throne.” What an awesome thought, what an awesome reality, and I truly want to participate in His plan. Humility is the only option. Pride fogs over my view, and keeps me from seeing God’s path.

Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Hebrews 12:1

If this blog sounds like some of my other blogs, you are correct. Its pretty evident that pride is an offer that I have a hard time resisting. Sometimes I think I’ll never learn my lesson. Sheesh.



The Price

Wed, 21 Jun 2006 01:06:00 +0000

I wrote this back in high school and happen to run across it during a recent garage sale. I was, of course, impressed with myself, and decided to share it. Hope it means something.


The Price

It ended and began again,
It was known from the start.
Any who believes can understand.
By naiveté it was shunned,
And through broken bones and broken hearts
So many saved by one dying man.

A liar who must die
He was a hypocrite.
But only by the mouths of some.
Though from his lips not a lie,
The blood he still bit
In his pain, he was alone.

The cross, an albatross,
Thorns as his frills,
Enduring lashes from whips and tongues.
But over the cross
To which he was nailed,
Angels hovered and sung.

This thing unforgotten,
The divine suffering
Before a perfect death,
His blood in the sod
With salvation lingering,
The price of eternalness.