"So Let it Be Written... So Let it Be Done"

The life and times of a real, down to earth, nice guy. A relocated New Englander formerly living somewhere north of Boston, but now soaking up the bright sun of southwestern central Florida (aka The Gulf Coast). Welcome to my blog world. Please leave it as clean as it was before you came. Thanks for visiting, BTW please leave a relevant comment so I know you were here. No blog spam, please. (c) MMV-MMXV Court Jester Productions & Bamford Communications

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Robert Goulet (1933-2007)

When I was a married man, I took my wife to see the musical/play "Camelot" at the Wang Theater in Boston. Robert Goulet was the star of the show. He was fantastic! What an awesome singing voice he had. I still have the program and a t-shirt that I bought at the performance.

What I didn't know until today is that he hailed from Lawrence, Massachusetts - a town not far from where I live. So I copied the article from the Eagle-Tribune, Goulet's home-town newspaper, for you all to read.

Robert Goulet, whose baritone voice launched award-winning stage career, dies at 73
By Rosemary Ford , Staff Writer
Eagle-Tribune

The world knew Robert Goulet as a singer, actor and entertainment icon.

In his hometown of Lawrence, people knew him as the boy who sang at St. Anne's, as the Broadway actor who used to deliver The Eagle-Tribune and the dreamy-voiced singer who frequently visited his elderly aunt, the late Laura Goulet Moher, on Washington Street. You knew he was there by the black limousine.

The 73-year-old son of former millworkers Joseph and Jeanette died yesterday in Los Angeles while awaiting a lung transplant for a rare form of pulmonary fibrosis, a scarring of the lungs.

Goulet gained stardom in 1960 with "Camelot," playing Lancelot in the Lerner and Loewe musical that starred Richard Burton as King Arthur and Julie Andrews as his Queen Guenevere.

He became a hit with American TV viewers with appearances on "The Ed Sullivan Show" and other programs. Goulet won a Grammy Award in 1962 as best new artist and made the singles chart in 1964 with "My Love Forgive Me."

"When I'm using a microphone or doing recordings I try to concentrate on the emotional content of the song and to forget about the voice itself," he told The New York Times in 1962.

"Sometimes I think that if you sing with a big voice, the people in the audience don't listen to the words, as they should," he said. "They just listen to the sound."

While he returned to Broadway only infrequently after "Camelot," he did win a Tony Award in 1968 for best actor in a musical for his role in "The Happy Time."

Goulet had no problems poking fun at his own fame, appearing recently in an Emerald nuts commercial in which he "messes" with the stuff of dozing office workers. He also lent his name to Goulet's SnoozeBars.

"You have to have humor and be able to laugh at yourself," Goulet said in a biography on his Web site.

Goulet always seemed like an ageless performer. He celebrated his 70th birthday in Las Vegas, partying into the wee hours with family and friends. One journalist who attended the celebration compared Goulet to the ageless title character from Oscar Wilde's book "The Picture of Dorian Gray," who makes a pact with the devil in order to remain the picture of youth.

"(He) didn't see me when I get up in the morning," Goulet told The Eagle-Tribune, adding he stayed youthful by eating right and exercising - not devilish pacts. "I don't go in the sun - the only time I go in the sun is to play golf. I don't eat junk food - no fried stuff. My wife is a great cook and she keeps us healthy."

Goulet was born in Lawrence, where he got his start as a singer. Years later, he told The Eagle-Tribune about a nun he had for a teacher at St. Anne's Grammar School, who he called "a tiny Attila the Hun."

She whipped young Robert into shape academically.

"She scared the heck out of me," Goulet recalled. "I haven't been scared by too many things in my life, but she scared me."

It also took those nuns to get young Robert on stage. He suffered from stage fright since he was 3, when he blackened his face, borrowed his mother's white gloves and entertained his family with an Al Jolson impersonation. The family loved it - but the loud applause scared the preschooler.

To get him to overcome that fear, the Sisters forced the 11-year-old to sing at a church function. With his rendition of "Lead Kindly Light," Goulet wowed the crowd - including his dad, who hugged him with tears in his eyes after the show. Later, his father told him to use the talent God gave him, which Goulet called a turning point in his life.

Goulet left Lawrence after graduating from St. Anne's. But he did keep in touch with his family members. He also kept track of his beloved Boston Red Sox.

"I go all over the country working every day," Goulet told The Eagle-Tribune shortly before the team won the 2004 World Series. "I see the games. I look at who got all the hits. I follow that year-round, every year of my life."

In January 2004, Goulet pledged to ride his bicycle from his home in Las Vegas to Boston to realize a dream of singing at Fenway Park. He said at the time he refused to die without belting out a tune in front of the Beantown fans.

"I will last until then - even if it's 200 years," he said.

Goulet realized his dream at the season opener at Fenway this year, singing "The Impossible Dream" as each member of the 1967 "Impossible Dream" team walked out on to the field.

"I'm still shaking," Goulet said about five minutes after singing. "I still can't believe I really was here at Fenway Park, fulfilling a dream. I really feel like a kid today. I'll never forget it."

Goulet is survived by his wife, Vera. He also had a daughter with his first wife, Louise Longmore, and two sons with his second wife, actress Carol Lawrence, who played Maria in the original Broadway production of "West Side Story."

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Today is the second anniversary of my first kidney stone surgery, which was my first surgery ever.

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Monday, October 29, 2007

World Series Champs

Someday, as a Boston sports fan, I'll look back on these days with pride and amazement. Pride in the fact that I'm a lifelong Boston Red Sox fan (since 1975) and amazed that this team won its second World Series (sweeps no less) in four seasons.

We're talking uncharted water here, folks. Even the powerhouse Red Sox in the 1910's (four World Series titles, no defeats in the decade) never accomplished this. Jayson Stark of espn.com agrees, pointing out some very interesting statistics along the way.

But for me and many Red Sox fans, winning this World Series had a much different feel to it than the win in 2004. In '04, the Red Sox had to conquer the mountain (86 years and four heartbreaking seven game world Series defeats between titles) which included coming back from a 3-0 deficit to the Yankees in the ALCS before steamrolling St. Louis. That World Series was all about redemption and the "Aren't World Series supposed to be painful experiences?" mantra of fans for more than a generation. This World Series was simply fun from the get-go. No pressure, no problem.

But, if you haven't lived and died with the Red Sox over the years, you probably wouldn't understand the difference in the two championships.

You'll note that I apparently gave the Rockies too much credit in my World Series prediction. My bad. Even I didn't expect the Sox to sweep the Rockies.

As game 7 last night was winding down I predicted, at least 15 minutes before the award was given out, who the World Series MVP would be on a team full of worthy candidates... Esther can back me up on this too, as she and I were talking on YM when the game finally ended around 12:15 AM.

And here's a stat I never thought I'd be able to legitimately write: In the 21st century so far, the Yankees are 0-2 in the World Series (losing in 2001 and 2003) and the Red Sox are 2-0 in the World Series (winning in 2004 and 2007).

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If that weren't a glorious ending to the sports landscape here in New England this weekend, we sure had a heck of a beginning. #2 Boston College did nothing in the first 56 minutes against Virginia Tech last Thursday, yet won the game, 14-10 in the last four minutes with two touchdown passes by QB Matt Ryan (being dubbed "Matty Heisman" recently around here, as one of the leading candidates to win that award this season).

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Exhibit C is the Patriots weekly dismantling of their opponent. This week's victim was the Washington Redskins lost 52-7. If ever there was a garbage-time touchdown in football, the score by the Redskins was it. Every week I say, "Can it get much better for the Pats?" and apparently it does. The Patriots have scored 331 points in 8 games and 204 more points than their opponents. Only two other NFL teams (Dallas, Indianapolis) so far have scored over 204 points for the whole season. The New York football Giants just miss out with 200 points scored.

There are only two unbeaten NFL teams left through eight weeks (Patriots, Colts). Those two teams will meet on Sunday in Indianapolis. The winner will, in all likelihood, have home field advantage for the playoffs. Right now, Indianapolis has the upper hand. They are the defending Super Bowl champs and have beaten the Patriots three straight times, including the epic AFC title game last January, 38-34. Tom Brady vs. Peyton Manning. If you like American football, it doesn't get any better than this. The game will be nationally televised this Sunday on CBS @ 16:15. Tune in to see a great game.

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Thursday, October 25, 2007

SNMR 3.1-3.30 Index Page

Here's the complete list of SNMR films that I reviewed in series three:

  • 3.30 The Chronicles of Riddick
  • 3 stars
  • 3.29 Pitch Black
  • 2 stars
  • 3.28 Mary Poppins
  • 5 stars
  • 3.27 Catch and Release
  • 2 stars
  • 3.26 A Bug's Life
  • 5 stars
  • 3.25 Quills
  • 3 stars
  • 3.24 Ocean's Eleven
  • 4 1/2 stars
  • 3.23 Casablanca
  • 5 stars
  • 3.22 North By Northwest
  • 5 stars
  • 3.21 Derailed
  • 4 stars
  • 3.20 You've Got Mail
  • 5 stars
  • 3.19 The Shop Around the Corner
  • 3 1/2 stars
  • 3.18 Harvey
  • 5 stars
  • 3.17 Rope
  • 4 stars
  • 3.16 The Philadelphia Story
  • 4 stars
  • 3.15 Rock Star
  • 5 stars
  • 3.14 The Secret of My Success
  • 5 stars
  • 3.13 What About Bob?
  • 4 1/2 stars
  • 3.12 Pleasantville
  • 5 stars
  • 3.11 Real Genius
  • 4 3/4 stars
  • 3.10 Star Wars VI - Return of the Jedi
  • 5 stars
  • 3.9 Star Wars V - The Empire Strikes Back
  • 5 stars
  • 3.8 Star Wars IV - A New Hope
  • 5 stars
  • 3.7 Blood Diamond
  • 4 stars
  • 3.6 Grosse Pointe Blank
  • 3 1/2 stars
  • 3.5 To Have and Have Not
  • 5 stars
  • 3.4 The Break-Up
  • 4 stars
  • 3.3 The Time Machine
  • 4 stars
  • 3.2 Titanic
  • 5 stars
  • 3.1 The Ten Commandments
  • 4 1/2 stars

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    Wednesday, October 24, 2007

    2007 World Series Preview

    The 103rd World Series begins tonight between the Colorado Rockies and my Boston Red Sox.

    The schedule for the series is over on the sidebar and will be updated after every game.

    The Rockies scare me as the Red Sox opponent. They came into Fenway this year during inter-league play and won two out of three, kicking the Red Sox around in the process. They are also on a scary good post season roll, becoming the first team to win their first seven post season games since the Cincinnati Reds did it in 1976. If they win game one tonight, they will tie the 2004 Red Sox for most consecutive post season wins. They've also been on a roll otherwise, losing only once in their last 21 or 22 games, just to qualify for the playoffs.

    As far as individual match-ups go, I don't know enough to say position by position who is better, but today's Boston Globe does.

    What I think is that the Red Sox playoff experience from 2004, along with home-field advantage will tip the scales in their favor. It's going to be a tough series, though.

    The Red Sox should win the first two games at home, with a pair of former World Series MVP's as their starting pitchers. If the Sox can win one of the three games in Denver, then they should win it at Fenway in game six. If they get swept at Coors Field, then they should win it in seven games.

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    And I need to wish my little man a Happy Birthday today. That's right folks, M turns 8 today, officially at 20:29. Where has the time gone???

    =========

    As I was driving to the ATM after work this afternoon, I had to smile as the station I normally listen to played a song I haven't heard in years. Such a stupid song, too. That song was "Bang Your Head" by Quiet Riot. Starting with Quiet Riot, a recent sampling of songs this station followed with:

    "Purple Rain" by Prince
    "Love Will Find a Way" by Pablo Cruise
    "A view to Kill" by Duran Duran
    "Maggie May" by Rod Stewart
    "Yeah" by Usher
    "Pink Houses" by JC Mellencamp
    "Born to Run" by Bruce Springsteen
    "Sweet Caroline" by Neil Diamond
    "Back in Black" by AC/DC
    "Still the One" by Orleans
    "I Alone" by Live

    and

    "What's Going On" by Marvin Gaye.

    I love the eclectic variety of music this station plays.

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    Sunday, October 21, 2007

    Weekend Wrap-up

    Wow, what a busy weekend.

    Friday night I met K at Denny's in Nashua, where I picked up V and M. We drove to my parent's house after I completed a few errands.

    Activity started early on Saturday morning as V, M and I got up early in order to be out the door by 8. K and the kids competed in a Tae-Kwon-Do tournament; with K meeting us at Tewksbury High School where the competition took place. They broke the athletes up by age and belt level, with the youngest kids competing at the beginning of the tournament. M and V, both green belts at 7 and 10 were among the first to compete. Both V and M only competed in breaking this time, opting not to do forms or sparring.

    Every participant in the tournament medaled for participating. Mike won a bronze medal and V won a silver medal.

    V and M wanted to see their mom compete which I had no problem with. The tiring part came with the wait, since the kids were done realtively early. K didn't get in the ring until 2:30ish in the afternoon. She competed in two events, earning a gold medal in forms and a silver medal in breaking.

    We didn't get out of there until 3:15 or so; much later than I had anticipated.

    Watching this tournament was neat and I have the feeling it won't be the last tournament I'll need to attend. Though one thing I know and it was reinforced while I was watching: I have no desire to take up any form of martial arts. I Advanced to an orange belt in karate as a youth but never carried it any further than that.

    Good thing for me I brought a book to read during all of the down time, which made it bearable.

    Today the kids and I went to church in the morning and afterwards headed up to K's house for M's birthday party. He'll turn 8 on Wednesday. M had invited six school friends to the party and four showed up. Aside from the standard cake, ice cream and unwrapping presents, all Mike wanted to do after was play with his friends. No cheesy "party games" here.

    While I was at K's house, I turned on the Patriots game which had just started the third quarter with the score 42-7 in the Patriots favor. I was kind of surprised at that because the Pats have historically had trouble winning in Miami. Not today. The Patriots are that good and the Dolphins are that bad. QB Tom Brady threw 5 touchdown passes in the first half and had six for the game, eclipsing his personal best set last week and setting a franchise record for a single game in the process. They are now 7-0 and look unbeatable at present.

    Boston College moved up to #2 in the Associated Press poll this week even though they were idle, mainly because the previous #2 team lost this past Thursday. If the college football season ended today, BC would play Ohio State for the National Champopnship.

    The Red Sox have advanced to the 2007 World Series tonight by dispatching the Cleveland Indians 11-2, breaking the game open late and winning the series 4 games to 3. The opponent will be the Colorado Rockies. The World Series begins on Wednesday night at Fenway Park.

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    Saturday, October 20, 2007

    SNMR: hiatus

    I started the Saturday Night Movie Reviews column in March 2006 and have just completed, with last week's selection, the third series of films.

    That makes 90 movies that I've reviewed, thirty movies in each series. Generally, there's no rhyme or reason to which movies I review - with a few exceptions along the way. I do think that I've reviewed a wide range of films and that won't change.

    I've been contemplating this for quite some time, but I've decided to put the column on hiatus for this week and next. Regular weekly reviews will resume on Saturday, November 3rd.

    So here's the deal:

    I've never gotten as many comments with it as I'd like to have on a weekly basis, and occasionally a comment will appear there that has nothing to do with the movie under review. Obviously the more readers and comments there are, the better I like it.

    What I want to know in the mean time is what do you, dear readers, like and dislike about the column as presently formatted? What improvements would you suggest to make it better? I'd like to give you this opportunity to state your opinions and share your ideas. Talk to me, people. and let me know what you're thinking...

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    Monday, October 15, 2007

    Since I've been gone...

    No folks, I'm not dead.

    Or missing.

    I've just been extremely busy in the past week getting used to the new schedule.

    Which means I have considerably less time for blogging, unfortunately.

    I have a few posts I've been working on but just haven't gotten around to finishing them as well as I'd like.

    So when I do, I'll be backdating them accordingly.

    Stay tuned.

    That is all.

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    Saturday, October 13, 2007

    SNMR 3.30: "The Chronicles of Riddick"

    This week's SNMR feature is "The Chronicles of Riddick" (2004, PG-13, 135 minutes), starring Vin Diesel, Colm Feore, Thandie Newton, Judi Dench, Karl Urban, Karl Urban, Linus Roache, Alexa Davalos, Yorick van Wageningen, Nick Chinlund and Keith David. The film was directed by David Twohy. I was watching the Director's Extended Cut.

    Like last week, this is the first time that I've watched this movie. I certainly hope that I like it better than last week's film.

    From the DVD's dust case:
    Vin Diesel (XXX, The Fast and the Furious) stars in this electrifying, special-effects-fueled action spectacular! After years of outrunning ruthless bounty hunters, escaped convict Riddick suddenly finds himself caught between opposing forces in a fight for the future of the human race. Now, waging incredible battles on fantastic and deadly worlds, this lone, reluctant hero will emerge as humanity's champion - and the last hope for a universe on the edge of annihilation. Powered by groundbreaking visual effects and pulse-pounding, thrill-a-minute action!


    From Martin and Porter's DVD & Video Guide 2007, p. 203:
    Five years after the events depicted in Pitch Black, escaped prisoner Riddick is hiding out on an ice planet, only to be returned to his home planet by bounty hunters, thus setting in motion a battle between what one character calls "evil and a greater evil." Despite this, Riddick (supposedly the "greater evil") turns out to be a self-sacrificing hero who takes on the overwhelming forces he must vanquish like a knight of Old England, a la Robin Hood. While it did not reach the level of popularity of its predecessor, this ambitious movie may start off somewhat slowly but it builds into an impressive futuristic adventure with many memorable moments. If nothing else, it establishes star Vin Diesel as a screen icon. Those viewers willing to take this release on it's own merits, particularly science-fiction aficionados, will be impressed by its depth and inventiveness.


    This movie was definitely better than Pitch Black, but still not great. I thought that the script had too much going on at the same time without much in the way of depth and background. The special effects and CGI work on this film were top notch. However, I was more impressed with Diesel this time out - but this film hardly makes him a screen icon. When I think of screen icons, I think of Humphrey Bogart, Jimmy Stewart, Cary Grant, Lauren Bacall and the more modern stars like Harrison Ford, Tom Hanks and even Denzel Washington but certainly not the Vinster. I'll give this film three stars.

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    Sunday, October 07, 2007

    What a weekend!

    Not only has the weather been nice here in New England over the past week, but it's also been nice to be a Boston sports fan. But for the latter, not just for the last week.

    On Saturday, Boston College routed Bowling Green University 55-24 to move up to #4 in both the AP poll and the USA Today/coaches poll. BC is 6-0 for the first time since 1942 and enjoy their highest national ranking ever. BC plays at 1-5 Notre Dame next Saturday.

    The Patriots continued their winning ways, improving to 5-0 by beating the Cleveland Browns today 34-17 at Gillette Stadium, setting up a huge game next Sunday at Dallas with potential Super Bowl implications.

    The Red Sox completed the three game sweep of the Los Angeles Angels with a 9-1 win at Angels Stadium and will play the winner of the Indians/Yankees series in the AL Championship Series, starting on Friday at Fenway.

    Oh wouldn't it be nice if the Yankees would lose tonight and be swept?

    Though that didn't happen as the Yankees just won, 8-4.

    ----

    Also, I must wish my brother A a Happy 36th Birthday today.

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    Saturday, October 06, 2007

    SNMR 3.29: "Pitch Black"

    Tonight's SNMR feature is "Pitch Black" (2000, R, 107 minutes), starring Vin Diesel, Radha Mitchell, Cole Hauser, Keith David, Lewis Fitz-Gerald, Claudia Black and Rhiana Griffith. The film was directed by David Twohy.

    Several weeks ago when I was considering which films to include in the SNMR feature for series three, I asked my brother for some suggestions. For better or worse, this is one of them, which I kept putting off for something else. I've never seen this film before this, primarily because I'm not a Vin Diesel fan. Perhaps my opinion of his acting ability (or lack thereof) will change with the viewing. I do like sci-fi movies, though - so on that basis I'll give it a chance.

    From the DVD's dust case:
    When their ship crash lands on a remote planet, the marooned passengers soon learn that escaped convict Riddick (Diesel) isn't the only thing they have to fear. Deadly creatures lurk in the shadows, waiting to attack in the dark, and the planet is rapidly plunging into the utter blackness of a total eclipse. With the body count rising, the doomed survivors are forced to turn to Riddick with his eerie eyes to guide them through the darkness to safety. With time running out, there's only one rule: Stay in the light. Pitch Black is the original sci-fi hit that introduced the world to the character of Riddick, the ultimate anti-hero. Take a ride on the pulse-pounding adrenaline rush that USA Today calls "the best excuse to root for the bad guy since Arnold in the original Terminator."


    From Martin & Porter's DVD & Video Guide 2007, p. 876:

    A Starship crash-lands on a desert planet with three suns. The planet is also inhabited by carnivorous creatures that thrive on darkness - and a rare solar eclipse is on the way. Director David Twohy has an excellent visual flair (the film really does seem to be on another planet) and performances are strong. Unfortunately, all are defeated by the script, a banal and predictable rehash of Alien.


    This film is okay but certainly not great. The special effects are decent but the creatures look too much like the monsters from the Alien movies. The storyline is not original and suffers from a weak script. The actors performances are so-so. Vin Diesel does nothing to impress me with his ability to "act". I'll give this film two out of five stars.

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    Thursday, October 04, 2007

    Next batch of quizzes

    You Are Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Ice Cream

    A classic and an original, no wonder everyone snakes your style!


    You are Milk Chocolate

    A total dreamer, you spend most of your time with your head in the clouds.
    You often think of the future, and you are always working toward your ideal life.
    Also nostalgic, you rarely forget a meaningful moment... even those from long ago.


    Your Hippie Dude Name Is:

    Lucky


    Your Dominant Intelligence is Linguistic Intelligence

    You are excellent with words and language. You explain yourself well.
    An elegant speaker, you can converse well with anyone on the fly.
    You are also good at remembering information and convicing someone of your point of view.
    A master of creative phrasing and unique words, you enjoy expanding your vocabulary.

    You would make a fantastic poet, journalist, writer, teacher, lawyer, politician, or translator.

    Your Passion is Yellow

    You're a total sexual shape shifter.
    You possess a complex sex drive and are very adaptable.
    Of all the colors, you are the most likely to be bisexual. (Ummmm.... NOT!!!)
    While you the most passionate, you are very open minded.


    Never Date an Aquarius

    Freaky, unconventional, and downright strange - it's likely that any Aquarius will weird you out.
    And if you do happen to fall for an Aquarius, you'll probably find them too emotionally distant to connect with.

    Instead try dating: Cancer, Pisces, Capricorn, or Virgo


    You are a Black Coffee

    At your best, you are: low maintenance, friendly, and adaptable

    At your worst, you are: cheap and angsty

    You drink coffee when: you can get your hands on it well, no, I don't...

    Your caffeine addiction level: high

    You Should Visit Peru

    Peru is ideal for your "off the beaten path" traveling style.
    Head out to an ancient Incan city, visit a volcano, and don't forget to pet a llama.

    You Can Make 69% of Your Crushes Fall in Love With You

    Your seduction skills are practically legendary. You know how to close the deal.
    Just don't let someone you're really into get the better of you!
    As long as you keep up your end of the flirting game, you'll get the prize at the end.


    You Are Ned Flanders

    A good neighbor and a devout Christian, you are a community leader.

    And you are called to make the world a better place, especially for left handed people.

    You will be remembered for: your goofy expressions - "hi-dilly, ho-dilly!"

    Your life philosophy: "I've done everything the Bible says - even the stuff that contradicts the other stuff!"

    You Belong in 1987

    Wild, over the top, and just a little bit cheesy. You're colorful at night - and successful during the day.

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    Wednesday, October 03, 2007

    2007 MLB Playoff Predictions- Division Series

    I'm your self-proclaimed resident "expert" sports pundit here in blogger-land. That being the case, I just know you want to know how I think the baseball playoffs will go this year. Here are my picks for the Division Series, which are best-of-five series. Predictions for the two League Championship Series and World Series to follow later in the month.

    Since three of the four series start tonight, let's begin with the National League:

    Colorado Rockies vs. Philadelphia Phillies
    Season Series: Col 4-3

    My prediction: Phillies win 3 games to 1.
    Actual result: Rockies won 3-0.

    After Colorado's exciting one game "playoff" to decide the NL Wild Card last night plus a cross country trip to Philly I see fatigue and a messed up rotation playing a big role in this series for the Rockies. Plus, the Phillies are playing on-fire baseball right now. They will be more rested, have their pitching rotation in order and have home field advantage.

    Chicago Cubs vs. Arizona Diamondbacks
    Season Series: Arz 4-2

    My Prediction: Cubs win 3 games to 2.
    Actual result: Diamondbacks won 3-0.

    The Diamondbacks, I think, were supposed to be decent this season but nobody, save for die-hard Cubbies fans thought their team would make the playoffs this season, especially after a 96 loss last place finish in 2006. Even though the Cubs have the worst won-loss record of any playoff team in either league this year, it's a new season and anything can happen. I think Lou Piniella is a great manager and Alfonso Soriano had a phenomenal season in his first year in Chicago. Thank God he now plays in the NL! It's all about momentum and pitching in the second season and the Cubbies have more of it.


    Now for the American League:

    New York Yankees vs. Cleveland Indians
    Season Series: NYY 6-0

    My Prediction: Indians win 3 games to 2.
    Actual result: Indians won 3-1.

    Kudos to the Yankees for having a heckuva second half and even getting to the playoffs- combined with the second half meltdown of the Detroit Tigers. Still, the Indians will win this series because pitching wins in the playoffs. The Yankees just have too many questions in their rotation outside of Chien-Ming Wang as their #1 guy. I know the Indians lost all six games to the Yankees in the regular season, but a 1-2 punch of C.C. Sabathia (whom the Yankees haven't faced since 2004) and Fausto Carmona is just too much to handle in a short series. Having said that, it wouldn't surprise me if the Yankees won this series, setting up another potential monster Yankees-Red Sox ALCS.

    Los Angeles Angels vs. Boston Red Sox
    Season Seires: Bos 4-2

    My Prediction: Red Sox win 3 games to 1.
    Actual result: Red Sox won 3-0.

    Potential CY Young winner Josh Beckett will face the Angels twice if the series goes four games, Matsuzaka once and possibly twice, if it goes the full five games. The Angels didn't face Dice-K in the regular season. Oh, yeah. Then you have 2004 World Series hero Curt Schilling to pitch Game 3. Angels Ace John Lackey won 19 games this season but his personal house of horrors is Fenway Park. Not to mention uber-freak power guy Vlad Guererro is battling serious injuries and the Angels other power bat, Gary Matthews, Jr. is inactive for this series due to injury. Both managers are excellent and both have won World Series this decade (Angels 2002; Red Sox 2004). Not that it matters, but the Red Sox swept the Angels in the Division Series in 2004, en route to a World Series Championship and are 2-0 vs. the Angels all-time in the playoffs (won the LCS in 1986 en route to a heartbreaking WS loss to the Mets).

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    Tuesday, October 02, 2007

    red tape and other miscellaneous thoughts

    A few weeks ago now I worked for three days at two temp jobs and was supposed to get paid last Wednesday. I thought that the money would be deposited right into my checking account, since direct deposit was what I signed up for.

    The money was not deposited, nor was I sent a check.

    So last week I sent an email to my contact at this temp agency inquiring about what happened and got no response.

    Today I called this temp agency and was told that as of recently my contact no longer works there and that particular office of the temp agency is closing.

    WHAT!?!?!?!?

    So I was given the number of a guy (supposedly in the Boston office) who is supposed to help me sort through all of the red tape. Of course, he was not in today; so I left him a message on his voicemail and will call him first thing in the morning.

    ----

    On a more positive note, another temp agency that I've been working with called me today. When I called the woman back she went through a list of open positions, two of which I think I would qualify for and to whom she will submit my resume. We'll see how that goes....

    I still need to make a few more calls on Wednesday morning to drum up some responses to resumes sent out.

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    The New England Patriots romped over the Cincinnati Bengals last night, winning their fourth straight game by 20+ points, marking the first time that's happened in the modern NFL. Only one other team did it - the 1920 Buffalo All-Americans (who were 9-1-1 that year), in the very first year of the league that eventually became today's NFL. During that 1920 season, the fourteen league teams were allowed to play non-league teams, so lopsided scores were not unusual.

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    Maintaining my tradition of remembering significant dates: Yesterday would have been my 13th wedding anniversary, if I were still married to K.

    Monday, October 01, 2007

    Books of the Month - October 2007

    The first book for this month's Book of the Month Selections is absolutely fantastic. The authors don't even mention God or religion for the first half of the book and do a fantastic job with convincing, logical arguments. A must read for Christians and skeptics alike.


    All worldviews---including atheism---require faith. But some belief systems are more reasonable than others! Geisler and Turek make the case that Christianity requires the least faith of all because so much evidence points toward the existence of God and the reliability of Scripture. An engaging, easy-to-follow defense for Christians and very informative for skeptics.

    “I already know ten people to whom I will give this book. It’s truly a Godsend.” –David Limbaugh, author, Absolute Power and Persecution, from the Foreword

    “I wish [this book] had been available when I was an atheist—it would have saved a lot of time in my spiritual journey toward God!” –Lee Strobel, author, The Case for Christ and The Case for Faith

    “If you’re still a skeptic after reading "I Don’t Have Enough Faith to Be an Atheist", then I suspect you’re living in denial!” –Josh McDowell, speaker, author, Evidence That Demands a Verdict

    “Atheism requires gobs of blind faith while the path of logic and reason leads straight to the gospel of Jesus Christ. Geisler and Turek convincingly show why.” –Phillip E. Johnson, author, Darwin on Trial and Reason in the Balance

    “I Don’t Have Enough Faith to Be an Atheist will equip, exhort, and encourage you‘to give the reason for the hope that you have . . . with gentleness and respect.’” –Hank Hanegraaff, president, The Christian Research Institute & host of the Bible Answer Man

    “This book should disturb anyone claiming to be an atheist . . . perhaps enough to persuade them to begin a search for the God who has been there all along.” –Cal Thomas, syndicated columnist, host, After Hours, Fox News Channel

    “Geisler and Turek present the crucial information needed to avoid being swept away by the onslaughts of secular ideologies that cast science, philosophy, and biblical studies as enemies of the Christian faith.” –William A. Dembski, author, The Design Revolution


    Purchase your copy here or here.


    The second book for this month was recommended to me by Esther. Donald Miller is one of her favorite authors. When she suggested I read the book, I did not know what to expect, having never read anything that the author had written previously. Obviously, I thought it was a bit off the wall but still excellent or I would not be recommending it to you.

    Brokenness. We deny it, but our innumerable doubts and fears reveal its constant presence. We try and hide from it, but it's lurking behind every concealed corner. In Searching for God Knows What Donald Miller explores the countless ways that we try to fix our brokenness, which work about as well as the attempts of the king's men to put Humpty back together again, and clearly guides us to the fix we've been frantically looking for: redemption. Through clear biblical teaching and witty, engaging stories, Don Miller will help us to confess our brokenness and find the fix we've been searching for.


    Get your copy here or here.

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