127. Obama Is An Empty Suit With No Clothes On

I’ve been thinking all along that people would, eventually, see the truth about Obama.

They would see him as too liberal. A thug up to his elbows in corrupt, Chicago-style political practices. Facilitating ACORN voter fraud, which is Community Organizing in action. He's wrong on Israel, the Palestinians, Iraq, Iran, Russia, and Venezuela. He's a tax increaser, a wealth redistributor. An empty suit with no serious accomplishments to show for his 47 years. And I had faith that there would be time enough for all the junk to come out and Americans would reject this terribly flawed candidate resoundingly.

Now I am not so sure. And I wonder if Americans can’t see all this because they can’t see it. While conservatives went drowsily about their business in the eighties and nineties, even with majorities at times, the progressives were busy in the neighborhoods, the schools, the churches, the arts, the city councils, the think tanks, the county governments and the state legislatures. And now many Americans have learned to not see. They will not see the difference between right and wrong, up or down, left or right. Or, maybe more devastatingly, they might argue there’s really not much of a difference. And that the only thing that’s really wrong is insisting that there are things that are absolutely and always right.

We freedom loving Americans may dodge this bullet if the polls reflect an actual move to McCain. But if the culture, from kindergarten to statehouse, has determined not to see, then the future is grim indeed.

I wonder, will there be any free places left on Earth?

Less grimly, McCain is confident concerning Ohio and Pennsylvania.

Michael Barone is predicting that there will not be 60 Donkey senators. That is very good news.


126. Phillies Are Champs

Congratulations to the Philadelphia Phillies on winning the World Series over the Tampa Bay Rays and inclement weather. It is the Phils second world title in 105 years.

Seriously, for all the attention that the Mets and the Diamondbacks and the team on the Windy City's north side got, Philadelphia has as much talent as any of them and it is a deserved championship.

125. Beautiful Music Together

I’m generally a happy person, so when I listen to music, I want music that, at a minimum, does not drain my happiness.

Until recently, I put a great deal of stock in ‘styles’ of music or ‘types’ of music I liked or didn't like. Something like “I hate country” or “I hate disco”, and I would use these 'opinions' to guide my music selection. But this approach is often informed merely by peer pressure or the ever fickle culture and is so insufficient as to almost always miss the point.

What is most important is my heart, the furnace of my soul and source of all my outward action, including my mood and attitude. Obviously, my heart’s health is primarily dependent on being happy in the Lord each day and then, as the day goes on, I will encounter stuff that either aids my happiness or doesn’t, like music.

That said, I’ve decided that ‘genres’ of music is just not enough information alone for picking music and I suppose that's not really groundbreaking. But the motive is the happiness of my soul no matter what the alleged 'genre'. Where I can get fooled is by the memories that some music evokes and sometimes that's enough to trick you into 'liking' a tune, but not because you really like it, but because it reminds you of a time or a place or people. And that's not the point.

The point is, does the music cooperate with my current happiness or drain me of it?

Now, what's really interesting is my wife wrote about this very topic on her blog today and neither of us knew what the other was doing!

Stuff like that makes me happy, too!


124. A Better Burger

Anybody who knows me, knows I love hamburgers. I'm picky about them. They need to be juicy and have only mustard and American cheese on them. I don't know if I'm an expert or not, but I know what I like.

(In the interest of full disclosure, I served a number of years at McDonald's in various capacities, including Night Shift Manager. I am fond of their burgers when cooked properly.)

Tonight, my bride wasn't home after work, so I stopped off on the way to get a bite and I decided to do something different since I was on my own. I went to Hardee's to try a Thickburger, or to be precise, a Little Thickburger. I didn't expect it to be great, but they have done a lot of advertising, so I wanted to see (or taste) for myself.

I was right - it wasn't great. But, it was pretty good. However, I won't pay two dollars for another one when McDonald's has double cheese for a buck.

Well, I read the little write-up on the burger bag and it seems the president of Hardee's, Andy Puzder, is offering a money back guarantee if you do not agree with him that his is the best fast-food burger around. The bag says to contact him.

So I did and here's what I wrote:

Dear Andy -

The bag says to contact you if "you don't agree with me that these are the best tasting fast-burgers you can get anywhere". And you say that you would give me my money back.

I'm not too interested in the money, but I am interested to know if you mean what you say. I post regularly at www.centralstandard.blogspot.com and I will post about this. If you stand behind your product, I'll give you credit for it on my blog.

Frankly, I like Steak-n-Shake, Culver's and McDonald's burger better than the Little Thickburger I had tonight. Nothing wrong with it - just not better. We also have a local drive-in called Taylor's that has a better burger.

I just sent that email a while ago.

If Andy's word is good, I'll let you know. And I'll even post the Hardee's logo! How's that?!

Isn't this exciting?


123. Clean Up, Clean Up

Here's some stuff I've collected and will now share. Have a good day!

Lots of fun! Claymation chess match at this link.

More fun! Graph of the housing market plugged into Roller Coaster Tycoon at this link.

Visualizing the Bible. My son sent me this link and I have since seen it somewhere else. Using arcs of color this site links Bible verses with their cross-references. Interesting and beautiful!


122. One of the Good Guys

Mike Singletary was named the head coach of the San Fransisco 49ers today. He was always one of those guys I liked, even though I didn’t root for his teams. ESPN has details here.

A Baylor grad, one of his admirable qualities is he has made no secret of his commitment to Jesus Christ. And it's easy to root for guys like that, though his new team is in the same division as the Seahawks. And, as it turns out, Seattle will travel to San Fran this week. I hope Singletary does well, but I hope the Seahawks win.

I posted the 'Niners logo in his honor and it's a good looking one, at that. On the logo/team colors front, the Niners added black to their uniforms a few years ago and, I think, it was a helpful addition. In the early to mid nineties, black and teal seemed to be favored by new franchises in pro sports and by teams updating their look. Very few of these actually looked good, but the 49ers logo/uniform is an exception, in my opinion. The black seemed to make their colors pop.

So, in honor of Singletary’s promotion, we post the Niners logo.

Boy, I hate doing it during Seahawks week, though.


121. The Future Is Now

A dog wash is not what any of us saw coming. Marty never anticipated it.

When we were young and imagined what the future would be like, well it’s become a joke now, we imagined flying cars. We imagined teleporting devices that would enable us to travel from place to place instantly, when you weren’t driving the flying car, I suppose.

We imagined machines that would prepare a meal and do the clean-up without us doing more than issuing a command. Well, whatever George and Jane Jetson had, we were sure we would have.

But no. We have none of it. What has all our ingenuity, technology and imagination given us? A dog wash.

Marty noticed the new place a few weeks ago as it was being built. Looks like a car wash, he thought. A car wash with an odd little room on the end with a regular door, lots of glass and a table with a stainless steel tub on it. Marty was sure it wasn’t for a car.

A few days later, the answer to the puzzle. The sign was up and it declared the new establishment was the County Line Car Wash and Dog Wash. A dog wash, thought Marty. What about just putting Rover in the tub at home? Or just hose him off in the driveway? Get the kids to do it. How hard can this be? Now we need a place to go and wash the dog?

And in public? The last thing I want anyone seeing, thought Marty, is me wrestling a sopping wet animal half my size. And then what? How do you get him home? You put a wet dog in your car. Isn’t this the sort of thing you try to avoid?

Now if we just had flying cars, you could let the top down and Rover would be dry by the time you got home.

Yup, a flying car would do just fine.


120. Piper Twice

About a month ago a new I-35 bridge opened in Minneapolis replacing the one which collapsed last year, as I'm sure you recall. John Piper, a pastor there and a great benefit to me and the church at large throught his writing and preaching, posted on the Desiring God blog about the event.

Among other things, Piper wrote, "If the bridge had collapsed at midnight and 13 people had died, the media would have been (rightly) filled with amazement that only 13 people had died, and officials would have been expressing relieved gratitude that the bridge did not collapse at rush hour. For if it had, surely hundreds would have died. But the fact is, there was heavy traffic on the bridge at 6:05 PM when the bridge went down and still only 13 people died. This is simply astonishing. It could not be said out loud last year because even the pain of 13 lost (and 145 injured) is not to be minimized. But now it must be said. Whatever reasons God had for not holding up the bridge at rush hour, he was merciful to spare hundreds of lives. For that we should thank him."

There is more to the article and all of it is God-centered, which Piper is always so eager for us to see and feel. Read it all here.

And while we are at it, here's an article from Piper on "Tethered Preaching" that I found to be a refreshment. You can read all of it at this link, but for now, here's a taste, "The Bible tethers us to reality. We are not free to think and speak whatever might enter our minds or what might be pleasing to any given audience—except God. By personal calling and Scripture, I am bound to the word of God and to the preaching of what the Bible says. There are few things that burden me more or refresh me more than saying what I see in the Bible. I love to see what God says in the Bible. I love to savor it. And I love to say it."

Finally, one more thing before I quit.

You have probably noticed an absence of political talk here. I admit I am weary of it and, frankly, disheartened. All outward appearances indicate that Barack Obama will be the next president of the United States. This makes me very sad. I mourn for our country that it would so readily throw over freedom for this charismatic man.

I saw the Soviet Union. I can see Cuba. I can see Venezuela. I can see the People's Republic of China. I want nothing to do with socialism. And that's why I want nothing to do with Obama. I prefer the freedoms of the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution.

I have been meaning to write about Providence for many days now. I think it would be timely in view of the upcoming election. But I think what I have to say will be long enough to merit mutltiple posts, so it's not ready yet.

In the meantime, we must do all we can and part of that is prayer. Please pray with me that God would allow us to remain free a while longer.


119. World Series Logos

I don't know if you pay attention to this sort of thing, but it appears there is an intentional design process in place for all the major sports championships and the World Series is no exception. How about we take a look, hmm?

For a while in the 70's it appeared as if they came up with a new one each year - here's 1975:

From 1980 to 1986 they all looked the same, except for updating the year, of course. Here's 1982 when the Cardinals beat the Brewers:

From '87 to '99 the logos were based on the ball diamond motif, with script 'World Series' - beginning in '92, a globe was added, emphasizing the 'World' aspect, I guess. I think '89 is most interesting of this group:

From 2000 to '07, the globe was the dominant feature and the details were more modern and sort of 'Worlds Fairsy', if that's clear. The best one of the bunch is, obviously, '06 when the Cardinals beat the Tigers:

This year they've returned to the ball diamond image and used colors suggesting fall and I think it is the best of the bunch. It and the League Championship logos are similar and one or more of them may wind up in the Logo Farm on the right:
If you'd like to see them all from 1974 to this year, you can right here.


118. Tuesday Roundup

Here's a brief roundup of stuff -

An article on SportsIllustrated.com by Kansas City's Joe Posnanski about the Cardinals' Albert Pujols. He makes a solid case for Pujols for MVP, though, I think St. Louis' absence from the playoffs will hurt his chances.

He says: "Perhaps there were once genuine grounds for debate about Pujols' talent. Not anymore. He is, in my mind, the best player in baseball, and I don't think that anyone approaches him."

And he says: "He (Pujols) has the best on-base percentage the last five years. He has the highest slugging percentage the last five years. He has the most total bases, the most extra base hits, the most times on base. And this year, despite missing a few games, he probably had his greatest offensive season. With offense down all around baseball, the guy hit .357, walked 104 times (while striking out 54), banged 44 doubles and 37 homers, scored 100 and drove in 116."

Albert Pujols - The Best Player In Baseball.

More on the job former Seahawk Jim Zorn in doing in Washington with the Redskins. Keep in mind that this was written before the 'Skins defeated the Eagles Sunday.

From the article: "But as turnarounds go, it's hard to match the one the Redskins and Zorn have pulled off in Washington, because we're not even talking about last year to this year. How about the strides the Redskins have made from the beginning of September until the end? Anybody who watched Washington's Week 1 disaster against the Giants on that opening Thursday night at the Meadowlands wouldn't recognize the team that fairly well dominated Dallas on Sunday."

Washington's next three games are St. Louis, Cleveland and Detroit and a 7-1 start is very possible. You gotta feel good for Jim Zorn.

Finally, if my research is correct, this is the first time in Major League Baseball postseason that two cities had two teams involved: the LA Angels and LA Dodgers and Chicago's White Sox and The Team That Shall Not Be Named.

But there will be no intra-city World Series as only the Dodgers advanced of the four.

Incidentally, I only found four instances of one city having two teams in MLB postseason prior to this season and not surprisingly, they all have come after the addition of two more playoff teams in each league. Both New York teams in '99, 2000 and '06 and the two LA teams in '04. In 2000 we had the all-New York World Series, won by the Yankees.


117. Mizzou @ Nebraska

This was to be a longer post, but I no longer have much longer in me. I'm tired.

Missouri will journey to Lincoln, Nebraska Saturday for some college football action, Big 12 style. The Tigers will be playing their first conference game and if they intend to win the Big 12 and be in the BCS hunt, they gotta win.

Missouri has not won a football game at Nebraska since 1978, a game which is memorable for one fourth quarter run. Watch it on YouTube, I'll give you the link in a minute, but first a story.

My dad and I were watching the game at home. Missouri was very good in the 60's and competitive in the 70's in the Big 8 (at the time). Nebraska and Oklahoma were always favored, but if one of them slipped, Mizzou could steal a second place finish from time to time.

Well, Missouri and Nebraska went back and forth in this game all the way to the fourth quarter. Down 31-28, the Tigers were knocking on the door again. QB Phil Bradley handed the ball off to James Wilder and what happened next lives in Tiger history.

Some Nebraska defender, trying to do his job, met Wilder in the hole. Wilder appeared stopped. But that didn't last long. With a twist of his shoulders, Wilder flung the defender to the turf and proceeded to the end zone. Two more defenders, with bad angles on Wilder, were run over at the goal line. Mizzou had a touchdown and, with the extra point, a 35-31 lead that held up.

But what I'll never forget is the great joy my father got from all this. As they showed replay after replay, Dad laughed every time we saw Wilder knock that first guy flat and then high-step into the end zone. Here's the clip.

There's no question we are enjoying a resurgence of Missouri football, a recovery that has taken up to heights never anticipated just a handful of years ago. Here's hoping that Saturday brings another, long-awaited victory in Lincoln.


116. Predictions Guaranteed To Be Made

It is time, once again, for baseball playoffs, a most hallowed time. Likewise, it is time for me to predict stuff and not really expect any of it to be correct.

I'll start with a couple of easy ones. I predict that neither the Cardinals, the Royals, nor the Yankees, (sorry Gary) will win the World Series. What about teams actually IN the playoffs, you say? Glad you asked.

Alright, well, the playoffs have gotten started and so I have given myself a bit of an advantage there. The Dodgers are playing the Team That Shall Not Be Named and I'll pick the Dodgers to win that series. They have already won Game 1 and lead in Game 2. The other National League Series features the Phillies and the Brewers and Philly has a 2-0 lead in that series, so I'll be brave and take them to finish off Milwaukee.

That leaves me with the LA Dodgers and Philadelphia Phillies in the NL Championship Series and I'll take the Dodgers. I like Joe Torre as a manager in October and Manny Ramirez, late of Boston but now of LA, can carry a team for weeks at a time. In fact, I kind of like them to win the whole deal. They sort of have that 'playing well at the right time' vibe to me.

In the American League, the LA Angels are playing the Boston Red Sox and Boston won Game 1. LA is very strong and I like their manager, Mike Soscia, but I'm headed somewhere with my predictions, so I'll pick Boston. In the other series, the Tampa Bay Rays have made post-season play for the first time and they are facing the Chicago White Sox. Tampa leads 1-0 after winning today and I will pick them to win this series in five games.

So that would set up an AL East showdown for the AL pennant and in that matchup, I'll take the Red Sox over the Rays.

Which would give me a Dodgers-Red Sox World Series and, as I hinted before, I'll pick the Dodgers here. I'm looking for Manny Ramirez to face his old team and Torre, former Yankee manager, to face New York's arch foe, Boston. And I like both of them to get their new team a title and, as long as we're dreaming, let's have them win Game 7 in Boston. With Manny hitting 2 homers.

Since you asked.

OK - This may look horrible, but why not try?

Because I'm interested in these things, I set up a Logo Tournament using the baseball playoff teams' logos and created a bracket and I'm going to try to post it. The graphics really broke down, but, let's see, shall we?

Well, well, well. I posted it and it's ugly. Anyway, I like the Red Sox' logo best of the eight is the basic result here. The head-to-head match-ups differed from my "on-field" predictions in only two ways: Rays-White Sox and Red Sox-Dodgers. That's kind of interesting.

I wouldn't be surprised at all if my predictions were influenced by uniforms and logos.

It could be worse. There could be money on it.