Laboring Before Labor Day

August 31, 2008

Allison awoke this morning with a desire to transform our family room and basement.  It’s been a rather interesting project…we’ve moved 5 couches, acquired 3 large carpet remnants, turned the office into a toy room.  Still have to lay carpet in one room and on the steps (yuck!).  Therefore, I’m delaying my report on the DNC grand finale yet another day.  I’m sure my audience of 8 is waiting with baited breath.

In the meantime, I came across this video of Pavarotti singing “Di Quella Pira”, one of the most badass arias ever.  Enjoy…


Voting Criteria

August 31, 2008

It’s strange to find myself immersed in a system that is corrupt and inefficient.  No, I’m not talking about the Church (this time) – I’m talking about politics.  I’ve realized that I’ve been sucked in to the vortex of a perfect storm of candidate and circumstance.  The candidate – Sen. Barack Obama.  The circumstance – a bleak immediate future for our country.  I’d be lying if I said that the economy, environment, and our standing among other nations of the world didn’t keep me awake several nights each week.  I’m not so niave as to think that Mr. Obama would be able to wave his magic wand and make all the bad things go away – but, for some reason, who he is and what he represents gives me hope for my children’s future.

I’m still crafting my major reasons for why I’m planning to vote for Barack Obama in a couple of months.  In the meantime, I’d like to offer a few thoughts on voting criteria.  As I’ve engaged a variety of people in political discussions over the past few months, I’ve grown increasingly frustrated at how low we set the bar or our Commander in Chief.  Comments like, “I don’t like McCain because he seems too rigid” and “I like Obama because he’s black” and “Biden’s teeth bug me” are absolutely obsurd…and yet these are just a few of the rationale given for why people will vote (or not vote) for a certain candidate.

Then comes this little bit of political insight regarding Sen. McCain’s selection of Arkansas Governor Sarah Palin as his Vice Presidential nominee:

…rural and working class males…will be at least interested in someone who actually fishes and hunts and has worked for a living (and is married to someone who works for a living) and who probably has never eaten arugula in her life.

I hope that most “rural and working class males” are offended at the notion that we will vote for someone because their Veep candidate hunts, fishes, and hasn’t eaten arugula.  How shallow are we?  I suppose we’ll also support her because she used to be a beauty queen and had a brief stint as a local sportscaster.  By all accounts, Ms. Palin is a person of conviction and strong ethics.  I think her nomination is a breath of fresh air for a party that needs a little ingenuity.  I just hope that, as with the entire election, that the American people engage their brains and come up with voting criteria that is more well-constructed than “they have the same hobbies I do”.

Ms. Wasallia

Ms. Wasallia


All Roads Lead to Invesco

August 30, 2008

My time in Denver this week was short-lived.  I’m still sorting out my thoughts on the speeches and performances I heard at Invesco Field on Thursday afternoon / evening.  However, just a brief word about the organized chaos that was taking place outside of the stadium.  I thought the City of Denver did a remarkable job helping everything run smothly.  No major fights broke out, which is no small accomplishment.  By all accounts, most credentialed people were able to find their seat prior to Obama’s speech.  I, for one, was surprised that I only waited in line for 45 minutes before entering the stadium at 2:15 PM.  As people continued to trickle in throughout the afternoon, there was an overwhelming sense of patience and joy exhibited by the people I was around.  Everyone seemed thrilled to be a part of such a huge event.

The Denver Post did a nice recap of how 84,000 people got in-and-out of a football stadium with minimal incidents.

More tomorrow…


Raise Your GPA

August 30, 2008

It seems that people who regularly attend worship get better grades, at least according to this article.  Perhaps this should be a part of the ELCA’s evangelism strategy for youth & young adults.


Pray For Rain

August 30, 2008

An inspired call for Christians to pray for rain.  Not rain in portions of Africa that are ravaged by drought, causing dozens of people to die each day.  Instead, rain so that the baby-killing sodomites (aka “Democrats”) won’t enjoy their party.  Seems a little mean-spirited, don’t you think?

The weather was perfect on Thursday.  Not a cloud in the sky.  Assuming that Focus on the Family was able to get thousands of people to pray for rain, does that mean God doesn’t answer prayers?  Perhaps this will lead to a crisis of faith on behalf of Dr. Dobson’s cronies.  Or, maybe they will one day realize that there’s more to being a Christian than being opposing abortion and hating gay people.

More reflections on Thursday’s experience in the days to come…


What the Hillary?

August 27, 2008

I’m not a Hillary Clinton fan.  Much to the dismay of my Democratic family and friends, if she would have been the Democratic nominee, I would have put a John McCain out of spite.  I just couldn’t handle any more Clinton Family Drama, no matter how “qualified” she was.  Needless to say, I didn’t make an appointment to watch her speech at the DNC…but maybe I should have.

Here’s a written transcript, courtesy of Wall Street Journal blog.

This was a really, REALLY marvelous speech.  Regardless of a person’s politics, I think most people could agree that this hit all the correct topics (in the correct order), was humble and self-effacing, and even told a few tear-jerking stories.

I’m still an Independent…still leaning toward Obama…excited to see him speak in Invesco on Thursday night.  I leave at 9:00 tonight and plan to arrive in time for breakfast in the Mile High City.


What Were You Thinking?

August 25, 2008

Here’s one college president that appears to be in favor of lowering the drinking age…

I have nothing else to add.


Olympic Highlights

August 25, 2008

I’m sure in the weeks to come, NBC will allow me to purchase a DVD of the greatest Olympic moments from the 2008 Beijing Games for $39.99 (plus $14.99 S&H).  And since Dick Ebersol’s Special Ops Unit (read: interns) has effectively removed any Olympic footage from YouTube, I can’t link to my favorite moments from the last fortnight.  (NBC’s Olympic site has a pretty good collection of highlights, though.)  Regardless, in spite of that setback, I give you my Top 7 Favorite Olympic Moments:

1.  Men’s Swimming, 4 X 100 meter relay — also known as The Lezak Race

2.  Shawn Johnson — one gold and three silver…and goes to school in my ‘hood

3.  USA Men’s Basketball — the Redeem Team took care of business

4.  Women’s 10K Open Water Swim — Natalie du Toit from South Africa

5.  Ussain Bolt — this guy HAS to be on something illegal, right?

6.  USA Men’s Volleyball — big-time underdogs…had no business winning…bittersweet for the coach

7.  Women’s Beach Volleyball — yeah, they’re hot…but they’re also really REALLY good

Lots of other great moments.  I really enjoyed the Olympics…and stayed up way-too-late most nights to watch the drama unfold.  Thankfully football season is right around the corner!


The Greatest Game You Never Saw

August 25, 2008

For the most part, I think NBC nailed it’s coverage of the 2008 Olympic Games. The in-studio work by Costas, Lampley, and Carillo was solid. Play-by-play analysis was right on for the most part (except I’m ready to not hear Tim Daggett’s voice for another 4 years). I was occasionally frustrated by NBC’s choice to tape-delay some events in Primetime, instead of show them at 9:00 AM EST (women’s gymnastics event finals, track & field sprints, etc.). All in all, I’d give them an “A-” for their coverage.

Until the travesty occurred with the Men’s Basketball Gold Medal Game between Spain and the USA. They got it right in this regard…the game tipped off at 2:30 AM EST, and was aired live. Where they screwed up is that they didn’t offer to also show a tape-delayed game at a time when most people in the United States are awake. Furthermore, if you want to see the game on-line, you have to have cable or a dish in your home. If you have a basic antenna that brings FREE broadcast television into your home, you’re not afforded the luxury of watching that game on the Internets.

I managed to stay awake for the first half. It was exciting, intense basketball…and, by all accounts, the second half was even more dramatic. (Check out this live blog from the game.)  The teams started getting physical with each other, to the tune of 65 foul shots between them. There was also amazing offensive spectacles from both teams, which combined for nearly 230 points in 40 minutes of action.

The US restored basketball order, by winning its first gold medal in International competition in eight years. It was a historic moment…and an exciting game. Coach K called it, “one of the greatest basketball games in International competition, ever!”  A great rivalry was born between the racist Spanish team and the cocky US team early this morning…it’s just too bad most people didn’t see it.


Don’t Buy Stuff You Cannot Afford

August 25, 2008

Funny SNL clip, courtesy of Consumerist.com…


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