Monday, October 30, 2006

Maybe I'll be a Fan of the Utah Jazz

Over the last several years, I've lost interest in NBA basketball. College players (most of whom are not paid large sums of money for playing) play with intensity, like the game means something. Pro players have been coddled, and make millions whether they give their all or not. That tires me out to no end.

This year, however, I will pay attention to the Utah Jazz. Roger Powell Jr., son of one of my former teammates at Washington Jr. High and Joliet (IL) Central, appears to have ma
de the opening season roster of the Utah Jazz. I began watching University of Illinois basketball in earnest when Roger Jr. went there, and followed him through his 4 years there. He was a key member of Illinois' NCAA runner-up champion in 2005, but went undrafted by the NBA. He nearly made the Seattle Supersonics team last year, as an undrafted walk-on, but was cut from the roster just before the start of the season. He was then drafted by the CBA Rockford (IL) Lightning, where he played the entire 2005-2006 season, being named the CBA Rookie of the Year. He went to the Utah Jazz training camp as an undrafted invitee, after playing for one of their summer teams. He joins fellow Illinois teammates, Deron Williams (the Jazz starting point guard last season), and Dee Brown.

Roger Jr. is a licensed minister. He graduated from Illinois in 3 and a half years, and was doing some theological study during his last semester there. I try to check his official ministry website occasionally. Today's Deseret News had a pretty nice article about what make the Rev different than the rest.

Go, Roger!


Friday, October 27, 2006

Mud-slinging Ads & Missouri Amendment 2

Mid-term elections are just around the corner, and the mud-slinging has been evident. Living in the SW corner of Missouri, the campaigns in the race for U.S. Senator have stooped to pretty low levels. He slings mud at her, and she slings mud at him. It bothers me that they don't just run on the merits of their position, rather than slinging mud at the opponent (even if he/she is guilty). The races in Kansas are gearing up the ad hominem attacks as well.

I was pleased to see the following celebrities take a stand against Missouri Amendment 2: Kurt Warner, Jim Caviezel, Patricia Heaton, Jeff Suppan, and Mike Sweeney. The campaign, largely funded by a Bio-medical research institute in Kansas City that stands to reap millions of dollars if the amendment passes, claims to ban human cloning, when in reality it makes cloning a constitutional right! Kurt Warner proclaims Christ, and had a wonderful Cinderella-like ascent from stocking groceries at a Hy-Vee store in Iowa, to MVP on a Super Bowl winning team. Since then, his stock as a quarterback has fallen. On this spot against Missouri Amendment 2, however, Warner got it right:

"Why does it cost 28 million dollars to convince Missourians that an amendment to the constitution is good for them? Maybe because it's not! Don't be bought!"

Kurt, you just threw a touchdown pass. I'm voting no on Amendment 2!

If you vote in Missouri, I hope you will as well! See my earlier post concerning this matter!

Peace to all! (even to unborn embryos).


Monday, October 16, 2006

Sweet Lou is the new Manager of the Cubs!

I've been busy, installing software, grading papers, translating for DWI offenders. I think that some teams are still playing baseball (though for Cub fans the season ended months ago).

Johnny B. (Dusty) Baker was not renewed as the manager of the Cubs (PTL!). Today the news that Cubs have signed for Lou Piniella to be their next manager. Lou is about the opposite of Dusty, in that if a player loafs or makes a mistake caused by lack of hustle, Lou will make certain that player will hear about it. Under Dusty, his favorites could make whatever mental mist
ake they wanted, and Dusty would seemingly cover for them. Though I was hopeful the Cubbies might hire Joe Girardi, I think this is a step in the right direction. When Ryno went into the Hall of Fame, he talked about players respecting the game and playing it "the right way." Largely, today's coddled super-stars have forgotten how to do that. Lou will help the Cubbies re-discover "the right way."

Gotta run!

Have a nice day!

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Goat Roasts, Johnny B., and Bart Ehrman

Goats Roasted at DeWelt's. I worked all day long on Saturday remapping network folders on machines in my computer lab, preparing for a software upgrade during the coming days. While I was mapping directories, Rose was at the DeWelt's property observing the killing (not ceremonial, I'll have you) of three goats. Our church is very intentional about showing kindness to international students. African students, especially, enjoy goat roasts. The committee from our church (with which Rose works very closely) dealing with international students, planned the goat roast with the help of some African students at OCC. Last year, they had done their own event, and had about 45 people show up. This year, the idea was to invite more internationals, and have more people. The goats were killed and the meat was dressed on Saturday. On Sunday, the principal roasters showed up in the early afternoon to prepare the festivities. We thought there would be about 70 people there. There were about 180 in attendance, and probably about 90 vehicles! A fun time was had by all!

Johnny B. (Dusty) Baker. In the off season between 2002 and 2003, the Chicago Cubs hired Dusty Baker (a proven winner) to be the manager. I was thrilled. Baker had seemed to put a winner on the field consistently. As Cub fans know, a consistent winner is a rare thing on the North side of Chicago. Dusty came pretty close in 2003, as the Cubs were 5 outs from the World Series. The Cubs collapse was no more Baker's fault than it was Bartman's (neither one of them were responsible for giving up 8 runs). 2004 was a disappointment, but the last two years, the Cubs have been such a disappointment, that I was wanting the axe to fall, and for Dusty to be relieved of his managerial duties. He was not fired, but yesterday that announcement was made that his contract, which was completed, would not be renewed. The day before that Andy McPhail resigned as chief executive office of the Cubs. Joe Girardi, former Cub, was fired today after one year as manager of the Florida Marlins. He is supposedly on the short list of potential Baker replacements. I would like to see what Girardi could do as the Cubs manager.

Bart Ehrman. I just picked up a copy of Bart D. Ehrman's book, Misquoting Jesus (2005). I read the introduction over lunch. Ehrman relates his journey from an Episcopalian background in Lawrence, KS, to his conversion at the age of 15 by a graduate of Moody Bible Institute. He went to MBI in Chicago, getting a 3-year diploma, finished his Bachelor's degree at Wheaton College, then went off to Princeton to study textual criticism under Bruce Metzger. All students of textual criticism know that there are textual variants in the manuscripts of the New Testament. When I was a freshman in college, we used J. Harold Greenlee's book Introduction to New Testament Textual Criticism (Eerdmans, 1964). Greenlee addresses the issue of variants, listing kinds of changes, both unintentional and intentional (pp. 63-68). That is nothing earth-shattering. Ehrman's book, however, promises something that it cannot give. The sub-title of the book is The Story Behind Who Changed the Bible and Why. I don't think this book will alter my position. Perhaps I will write a bit more about it, after giving it a read. Daniel Wallace has an abbreviated review of the book here.

I'm out of random thoughts right now. I guess I'll turn my attention to English grammar.

Peace to you all,