Going into Saturday’s games:
Team Points Points Back Hot Wheelers 88 — Power of the Pen 81.5 6.5 Clemente’s Clubbers 76 12
Going into Saturday’s games:
Team Points Points Back Hot Wheelers 88 — Power of the Pen 81.5 6.5 Clemente’s Clubbers 76 12
Red Robin is a gourmet hamburger chain that recently arrived in Cedar Rapids. In fact, it opened less than a week ago, and the service showed that some of the kinks are still being worked out. While nthe service was slow, the staff was friendly and cheerful. The atmosphere was pleasant, but quite loud.
I had a strawberry shake and the Sante Fe Burger. The shake wouldn’t pass the upside down spoon test, but it was ample and tasty. The burger, which featured guacamole and pepper-jack cheese, was awesome. It also came with bottomless steak fries (what is a bottomless steak?) but between the shake, burger and fries, the first serving was more than ample.
Though I’m trying to eat more healthy fare, my Friday lunch is usually a time to splurge. However, should I resist that temptation, Red Robin also offers many chicken sandwiches, a vegetable burger, and a salmon burger. One of our party ordered the 5 Alarm Burger, but with the salmon instead of beef. I may try that next.
I use APC battery backup devices with all of my computing equipment, as I think they provide superior surge protection to the more common surge strips. (Whether this is actually true, or just a legend, is a different topic.)
Occassionally, it’s necessary to replace the rechargeable battery. While it often seems less expensive to replace the whole unit rather than replace the battery, I’ve discovered a store the dispels this myth: zbattery.com.
I recently needed a B&B BP7-12 replacement battery. Zbattery had an actual B&B battery (not merely a compatible battery), a low price ($14.25), and shipping charges were reasonable. I placed an order on Monday, and $21.13 and two days later, the battery was delivered by UPS.
Good price; good service. Thumbs up for zbattery.com.
Going into Friday’s games:
Team Points Points Back Hot Wheelers 85.5 — Power of the Pen 81 4.5 Clemente’s Clubbers 75.5 10
In mid-August, I posted an update about the fantasy baseball team that Matt and I manage, the Hot Wheelers. At that point, the standings were:
Team Points Points Back Hot Wheelers 82.5 — Clemente’s Clubbers 80 2.5 Power of the Pen 77.5 5.0
I’d predicted that we’d finish with about 87 points, which I thought was good enough to finish in first place.
Since then, we’ve climbed to as high as 92 points, but recently fallen back a bit. With just a few more games to go in the season, we’re about where we predicted to be. The current standings, going into Thursday’s games, are:
Team Points Points Back Hot Wheelers 86 — Power of the Pen 78 8 Clemente’s Clubbers 75.5 10.5
I have only two categories at reasonable risk. However, they are the categories most difficult to manage: OBP and WHIP. Some good outings by my starting pitchers could be a great help; some bombs could put some points at risk. Even so, I do have some upward potential but limited potential for point loss, so it’s a good position to be in.
WMT, my former local Cedar Rapids radio station of choice, recently struck out in their decision to not jointly air the Jan Mickelson in cooperation with Des Moines sister station WHO. Instead, WMT is airing a new program, What’s Happening with Andy Petersen.
This is the third strike for WMT.
I’ve not yet listened to Andy Petersen’s program. It may be great. It may be thought-provoking. It may be the next great thing. I don’t know; I haven’t listened to it.
Is it fair of me to strike out WMT without even listening to the new program? Absolutely. Why? Because I like the Jan Mickelson program. I don’t need something else that’s great. I don’t need a new thought-provoking program. In short, I don’t need something new and different from WMT. I want Mickelson.
WMT is now sitting on the bench. I’ll still be joining WMT for Hawkeye sports and during severe weather, but WMT won’t be a regular station in my household anymore.
What is this “religion of peace” that President Bush refers to? Surely he’s not referring to Islam.
According to the Lebanese newspaper, Ya Libnan:
In his speech at the University of Regensburg on Tuesday, Benedict quoted criticism of Islam and the Prophet Mohammad by 14th century Byzantine Emperor Manuel II Palaeologus, who wrote that everything Mohammad brought was evil and inhuman, “such as his command to spread by the sword the faith he preached”.
“The emperor comes to speak about the issue of jihad, holy war,” the pope said.
“He said, I quote, ‘Show me just what Mohammed brought that was new, and there you will find things only evil and inhuman, such as his command to spread by the sword the faith he preached,”‘ Benedict quoted the emperor as saying.
On Thursday, the Vatican said the pope had not intended to offend Muslim sensibilities with the remarks.
Sheikh Ahmed Badereddine Hassoun, a moderate cleric, said the comments “raise intellectual, cultural and religious problems between followers of religious faiths.”
In Qatar, prominent Muslim scholar Sheikh Youssef al-Qaradawi rejected the Pope’s comments and said Islam was a religion of peace and reason.
Meanwhile, according to Forbes:
Palestinians wielding guns and firebombs attacked five churches in the West Bank and Gaza on Saturday, following remarks by Pope Benedict XVI that angered many Muslims.
Let’s take a quiz.
And I can now prove it, too.
I recently purchased an Atari Flashback 2. This game console is modeled after the legendary Atari 2600 gaming system released in 1977. For about $30 — less than the price of a game cartridge in 1977 — you get the console, two joysticks, and 40 built-in games. It quickly plugs into the AV ports of a modern television, transporting grown men back to their youth.
The Flashback 2 includes two of my favorites: Combat and Outlaw. Unfortunately, it doesn’t include my absolute favorite: Air-Sea Battle. (The original Atari Flashback includes fewer games, but does include Air-Sea Battle.)
During my last few years of high school, when my father got home from work we would often play a game or two of Air-Sea Battle. Our favorite version was game 10: 2-player submarine with guided torpedoes. The screen was divided into two halves, left to right. Each player could shoot torpedoes, which traveled from the bottom to the top of the screen, as boats raced across. There were four kinds of boats:
Each player could have only one torpedo in the water at a time, but that torpedo could be guided – left, right, faster, slower – with the joystick. The first player to reach 99 points won.
My Dad and I played our own variation. Our goal was to wipe out all of the boats — to prevent any boat from moving safely across the screen. This took a little more cooperation, and we became pretty good at it. (I usually made it to 99 first.)
My parents still have our original Arari 2600 and lots of game cartridges for it. Even though we had to replace the power adapter a few years ago, it still works great. I’ve played it several times with my kids through the years.
Even though the graphics and sounds are primitive by today’s standards, there’s still something appealing about these classic, old games. Maybe it’s just nostalgia, or perhaps it’s the simplicity. Whatever, I sure enjoy them!
I’m a baseball fan; you might even say that I’m an old-school baseball fan. Stirrups are old school; I like stirrups. Beanballs are old school, too. So it might not be a surprise that I think that there are times when a beanball is needed. For instance, Jeffrey “one flap down” Leonard’s antics in the 1987 National League Championship Series called for a beanball. Of course, I don’t condone throwing at the head. But a nice inside pitch that results in the batter sitting down, or taking first after being plunked in the rump, has its place. Even though baseball is a gentleman’s sport, it has a code that includes getting even.
Football, a more violent sport, has a different code, enforced by the referees. For instance, the quaterback is given more protection by rule than a running back. Kansas City quarterback Trent Green was knocked out during yesterday’s game versus Cincinnati. Green scrambled for a first down, then went into a slide to end the play. A Bengels’ defender took a shot at Green, knocking him out and knocking him out of the game. After the play, while trainers were rushing to Green’s side, the Bengels’ defender pranced around as if hitting a sliding quarterback took some great skill. Instead, it was clearly a late hit against a defenseless player. Oddly, the NBC announcers kept insisting that it was a clean hit. The FOX announcers, after seeing a replay, couldn’t believe that a roughing penalty wasn’t called.
My initial reaction (which I’m not proud of) was that it was time for the Kansas City players to get even. Some one on Cincinnati’s team needed to leave with a broken leg. Carson Palmer, Cincinnati’s quarterback, needed to be knocked down. Kansas City needed to get even for the cheap shot.
I felt much the same way on 9-11-01. My country had been attacked. Four planes had been hijacked and crashed, two into the World Trade Center, one into the Pentagon, and one into a field in Pennsylvania. Thousands of people had been murdered. It was time to get even.
There’s something in our human nature that results in our desire to get even. Perhaps it is a reflection of God’s nature. God is wholly just, and we therefore desire for justice in our world. Unfortunately, our imperfect nature twists that justice, often resulting in a selfish reflection of what justice should be.
God both prescribes and sets limits on our response to injustice. You’ve heard the expression, “an eye for an eye; a tooth for a tooth”? That’s from the Bible.
If anyone injures his neighbor, whatever he has done must be done to him: fracture for fracture, eye for eye, tooth for tooth. As he has injured the other, so he is to be injured. Whoever kills an animal must make restitution, but whoever kills a man must be put to death.
— Leviticus 14:19-21 (NIV)
God prescribes justice: whoever kills a man must be put to death.
God limits justice: eye for eye, tooth for tooth. (No more than that.)
It’s important to note that these are instructions to society and not to individuals. I’m not given license to get even; that’s an assignment given to government (see Romans 13).
A funny thing about justice — we most often want to see it applied to other people. When it’s personal, though, we prefer mercy to justice. Thankfully, that’s just what God offers!
While we were still sinners, instead of getting even with us, Christ died for us, so that we could be forgiven instead of punished.
— Romans 5:8 (NIV) — italicized text added
This helps me understand Jesus’ teaching in the Sermon on the Mount.
“You have heard that it was said, ‘Eye for eye, and tooth for tooth.’ But I tell you, Do not resist an evil person. If someone strikes you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also.”
— Matthew 5:38-39 (NIV)
Because it is in His nature to offer mercy, I am to offer mercy. Because I am to treat others as I want to be treated, I am to offer mercy. I like how my pastor said this: “I am to be predisposed towards mercy.” It doesn’t mean being a patsy or doormat; it does mean responding in love, not vengeance.
Maybe I’ll have to rethink my stance on beanballs.
When I was about my son’s age, I spent a summer as an electric meter reader for Oklahoma Gas and Electric. I learned a lot about dogs that summer.
That summer, I escaped a yard of Chihuahua’s and an angry Doberman. I did not escape a Pit Bull. My leg still bears the scar where I was bit, and there’s a hollow spot behind the skin that was streched to cover the missing flesh. Fortunately, the dog was restrained by a chain and (belatedly) its owner, or I might have more than just that one scar!
Though it’s been many years since I was a meter reader, I’ve come to think that the devil is a lot like one of those bad dogs.
Just as that Pit Bull was restrained and prevented from causing further damage, Satan is restrained by God. He is not allowed to go beyond the boundary that God has set:
No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it.
- 1 Corinthians 10:13 (NIV)
Even so, sometimes we ignore the warnings and the escape route and end up getting bit. The good news is that, even though there may be scars, we can be forgiven.
If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.
1 John 1:9 (NIV)
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