Monday, December 31, 2007

Woman, YOU are my claim to fame!

As 2007 comes to an end, I reflect on my blessings. I have so many! Wonderful children and grandchildren ... good health ... parents and parents-in-law who are all still with us and part of our lives ... a wonderful church to pastor ... gainful employment (a little more gain in 2008, please, Lord) ... a beautiful house and comfortable living conditions ... and many fine friends and colleagues I take too much for granted.

But let me end this year, and start the next, by acknowledging and proclaiming, proudly and gratefully, that the greatest blessing in my life, humanly speaking, is, and has been for many, many years now, my superlative life partner, the most wonderful, sweet, and gracious wife any man could ever have, my one and only, Tanya Beverly Jackson.

I am grateful that in 2007 my mate recaptured my attention, dramatically, excruciatingly, pointedly, and thrillingly. I was mortified to realize I had been taking her, the single most important person in my life, for granted in so many ways. Thinking myself a pretty good husband, I had become a pretty sorry one. That's changed now, thanks to my sweetheart's willingness to give me a millionth chance to really show her how much I appreciate and love her, and how committed I am to trying to be the man she can't live without.

Happy New Year, everyone. Make 2008 the year that you really, really love the ones you say you love!

Thank you, Tuna Pie, for being the mother of our children, my lover, my friend, my wife. You have long been the one I can't live without. Woman, YOU are my claim to fame!

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Merry Christmas!

Who had time to blog during Christmas? Sheesh! Tanya and I have had a great holiday. Hope you had a merry one, too.

We enjoyed Christmastime at our church, of course, especially the great holiday concert by the ARC Choir, and riding with our grandsons in the Emmet Christmas parade.

Then, on Christmas Eve we spent the evening in Little Rock and had food and fellowship with Nana and Grandaddy and Aunt Zada and Tim and Tracy and little Sam and Paul and Kathy and Matthew and fiancee Shannon and Micah and Leah and Jonathan and little son Gavin and James and Jennifer and Jacob and friends Don and Diane from the ARC Choir.

Back to our house for Christmas. Yesterday Judea and fiance Frank and Brutus the dog and Charlie the cat and Joshua and Maw and Paw and Jerusalem and Nathan and Wylie and Miles and Chloe the dog all descended on us for a great day and night (everybody spent the night!) of fun and food and fellowship. We missed Adam and Jemimah far away in Germany very much, but they sent gifts and we spoke with them on the phone more than once. A merry Christmas indeed.

God bless us every one!

And don't forget to Elf yourself one more time!
The Greer Family
The Jackson Kids
The Sandifer Troops
and finally ... we go to the dogs!

Happy Holidays!

I'm getting tired of everybody giving "Happy Holidays" a hard time. If I mean Merry Christmas, I say, "Merry Christmas." If I mean Happy New Year, I say, "Happy New Year." But if I mean Happy Holidays, I say, "Happy Holidays."

From Thanksgiving to New Year's we have Thanksgiving, Hannukah, Christmas, Kwanza, and New Year's. Five holidays celebrated by many people and groups in part or whole. So starting just before Thanksgiving, I start wishing folks Happy Holidays, because there are five of them celebrated in America over the following 5 or 6 weeks.

I don't use Happy Holidays to be politically correct and to avoid offending someone with a Merry Christmas. I say what I mean and mean what I say.

If you mean Happy Holidays, say Happy Holidays. Or, if you can't bring yourself to do it, say, "Happy ThanksKuhChristKwanYear." Just don't let the nit-pickers win!

IT'S versus ITS -- Get IT Right!

I see it everywhere, not only in emails and blogs, but also in professional publications. It's driving me crazy with its ubiquity!

It's very simple. I don't know why it's and its give writers so much trouble. Well, check that, I do know most of the reason -- it's because when we want to make a word possesive, we usually add an apostrophe before adding the final S -- "That book is John's." "I'm going to Grandma's house."

But IT in the possessive does not add the apostrophe. "The car went its fastest." "The school raised its scores." Possessive IT - NO apostrophe.

IT'S is only for contractions. That is, turning two words into one. >>> It is = It's. "It's a crying shame." ... >>> It has = It's. "It's always been that way."

So, if you mean something that BELONGS to IT, use ITS. If you mean IT Is or IT Has -- if you can say what you mean using those two word combinations -- use IT'S.

It's beautiful in its simplicity.

Fantasy Update #17

NFL: My lone team that made it into championship playoffs lost in the first round, thanks to Tony Romo's miserable performance against the Eagles two Sundays ago. That team finishes 9-5-1. My two Fox Sports teams had 6-7 records but those leagues have a consolation bracket of playoffs; both teams had a first round bye, then won in the next two rounds to each finish 8-7, one for 7th place, one for 9th, in 12-team leagues. An ugly season all around. Can't wait for next year!

NBA: My Kevin Garnett team has won two in a row and is 5-3. My Kobe team is on a 4-game losing streak and is 2-6. Could it be because I love the Celtics and not the Lakers? Nahhh.

Monday, December 17, 2007

C'mon -- go ELF yourself

This has to be the absolute funnest website out there right now! Go have some holiday fun right here. ... Be prepared to be patient, though -- I think millions of people are hitting this site, and it takes a little time for the pages to load. But it's worth the wait.

See for yourself:

American Icons
The Greer Family
The Jackson Kids
The Sandifer Troops
and finally ... we go to the dogs!

Merry Christmas!

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Fantasy Update #16: End of the Regular Season

NFL: Well, I never had a season like this before. Only one of my 6 teams finished with a winning record, one finished .500 (see update #15), and four had losing records. Ugh. My winner snuck into the playoffs, thanks to a tie back in week 3 -- I finished 9-4-1 and bumped the guy who was 9-5 by 0.036 points. A fraction of a fraction. "It's a game of fractions." ... Three of my other teams are done for the year, but my two Fox Fantasy teams (both 6-7) get to keep playing because Fox has both championship and consolation flights in the playoffs. So these two teams have a shot at finishing with winning records even though they can't compete for the title.

NBA: Both my teams lost again last week. Both are in contention to win this week. Two nights left to play in this week.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Fantasy Update #15: a SWEET moment

NFL Fantasy Football.

My Ripsnorters team is 6-7 entering the weekend, the last game of the regular season. I need to win to avoid finishing with a losing record. I'm not going to make the playoffs in this league -- I'll finish 7-7 or 6-8. A big difference.

I'm trailing 97-61 after the Thursday and Sunday games. My opponent and I each have one player left to perform in tonight's game on Monday Night Football. He has New Orleans running back Reggie Bush. I have New Orleans quarterback Drew Brees. Both players have had up and down seasons. I will need abig performance by Brees to pull this game out.

I get the first break -- Reggie Bush will not play. He has a torn posterior cruciate ligament and his season is over. I need Brees to earn 27 points to pull out a victory. So far this season Brees has averaged 17.7 points per game. His high was 37 points in week 8. His low was MINUS 1 point in week 3. If he scores his average tonight, I'll lose by 9.

I get the second break, too -- Drew is en fuego tonight! He has 250 yards passing and two touchdowns by halftime. I trail by 4. Now he's thrown his third touchdown in the 3rd quarter and piled up 29 points (so far) -- it's a SWEET moment to be watching as the numbers on my scoreboard change to Ripsnorters 100, Atlanta 97. Go, Drew, go!

I'm gonna win ... unless Drew suddenly starts losing me points by losing fumbles and throwing interceptions. careful, Drew, careful!

OK, I won't have a winning season. But I'll finish with a win, and avoid a losing season. You take your moral vistories where you find 'em.

Friday, December 7, 2007

You really can't make this stuff up!

Ham for Hannukah!?!

Check it out here: Balducci's boo-boo

Meanwhile ...
this Hog appears to be hamstrung ...

University of Arkansas
Athletics Director Jeff Long ...

his bacon's in the fire.

While this former Hog is still a Hot Dog ...

When you say Houston,
duck or pucker!

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Fantasy Update #14 - Updated Dec. 7

NFL: I went 3-3 last week. I have 4 losing teams, 1 at .500, and one winner, at 8-4-1. If that team wins this week -- last week of the regular season -- I could slip into the playoffs, depending on what happens to a couple of other guys. If I lose, no way. It'll kill me to have 6 teams and go 0-fer the playoffs. C'mon, Hawgballers! It's my Tony Romo team, so I need Tony to absolutely slay the Lions.

NBA: My first losing weekend, 0-2. Both teams lost. One is 2-3, the other 3-2. Patience -- it's a long season.

Razorback Football Coaching Search: new Arkansas AD Jeff Long is at least 0-2 ... er, 0-3 (Tuberville, Bowden, Grobe). This situation will soon turn ... er, has turned ... from awkward to outright embarassing. Git R Done, Jeffie Boy!

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Fantasy Update #13

NFL: I had a good weekend, going 4-2. Only one of my teams has a losing record -- but that team got a win. Still looking doubtful that any of my six teams will make the playoffs; the team with the best chance took a 4-point loss -- Brady outpointed my Romo by 5.

NBA: I went 1 and 1. The Kevins, formerly 2-0, have lost 2 in a row. The Kobes, formerly 0-2, have won 2 in a row. Both teams are 2-2.

College Football: season over. I won the championship, with an 11-1 record.

Houston Nutt haters: you people are truly living in a fantasy world. You finally ran off a fine coach passionately committed to his dream job. There's a strong likelihood that one day soon you'll wish he was back (though you'll never admit it). Here's one thing you can count on: beating Ole Miss just got a LOT harder. Good luck, Houston. But ... Go Hawgs!

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Thanksgiving Proclamation

Whereas it is the duty of all Nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey his will, to be grateful for his benefits, and humbly to implore his protection and favor -- and whereas both Houses of Congress have by their joint Committee requested me "to recommend to the People of the United States a day of public thanksgiving and prayer to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many signal favors of Almighty God especially by affording them an opportunity peaceably to establish a form of government for their safety and happiness."

Now therefore I do recommend and assign Thursday the 26th day of November next to be devoted by the People of these States to the service of that great and glorious Being, who is the beneficent Author of all the good that was, that is, or that will be -- That we may then all unite in rendering unto him our sincere and humble thanks -- for his kind care and protection of the People of this Country previous to their becoming a Nation -- for the signal and manifold mercies, and the favorable interpositions of his Providence which we experienced in the tranquility [sic], union, and plenty, which we have since enjoyed -- for the peaceable and rational manner, in which we have been enabled to establish constitutions of government for our safety and happiness, and particularly the national One now lately instituted -- for the civil and religious liberty with which we are blessed; and the means we have of acquiring and diffusing useful knowledge; and in general for all the great and various favors which he hath been pleased to confer upon us.

And also that we may then unite in most humbly offering our prayers and supplications to the great Lord and Ruler of Nations and beseech him to pardon our national and other transgressions -- to enable us all, whether in public or private stations, to perform our several and relative duties properly and punctually -- to render our national government a blessing to all the people, by constantly being a Government of wise, just, and constitutional laws, discreetly and faithfully executed and obeyed -- to protect and guide all Sovereigns and Nations (especially such as have shewn [sic] kindness onto us) and to bless them with good government, peace, and concord -- To promote the knowledge and practice of true religion and virtue, and the encrease [sic] of science among them and us -- and generally to grant unto all Mankind such a degree of temporal prosperity as he alone knows to be best. Given under my hand at the City of New York the third day of October in the year of our Lord 1789.

George Washington

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

I Am Thankful

We'll be celebrating Thanksgiving at the Greer home tomorrow, as Jerusalem and Nathan and Wylie and Miles throw a big shindig. My parents, Tanya's parents, Nathan's parents, my Aunt Zada, son Joshua and his girlfriend Brandi are all expected. There may be more! Daughter Jemimah and hubby Adam will be far away in Germany. Daughter Judea and boyfriend Frank will be even farther away in Texas. We will miss them, but eat some turkey and dressing in their honor.

I am thankful this Thanksgiving ... for the privilege of still being married to the girl of my dreams ... for our four beautiful children ... for two fine sons-in-law ... for two spectacular grandsons ... for our parents still being with us ... for my 3 brothers and their families ... for being healthy and gainfully employed ... for getting to pastor a church full of wonderful people ... for having so many material blessings when so many have so few ... for the Lord Jesus and His faithfulness to us for so many years.

I am thankful, too, to be an American, and to live in a nation that still values the individual and cherishes liberty. Let us never forget, freedom is not free. We must all do our part to help the USA remain the land of the free and the home of brave. God bless you on this Thanksgiving!

Fantasy Update #12: I am The Champ

College Football: The fantasy season came to an end last weekend as I won the championship game 210-185, and finished 11-1. I started the season with a 6 game winning streak and closed with a 5 game winning streak. I scored a total of 2,357 points for the season -- and 573 of them came from the Razorbacks running backs. Way to go D-Mac, Felix the Cat, and supporting cast. When you're hot, you're hot. This year in college football, I was EN FUEGO!

NFL: Another 3-3 weekend. Some abysmal performances have led to some roster housecleaning. One of my teams is 7-3-1 and, with 3 weeks to go, has a shot at the playoffs. My 6-5 team is a long shot. The other four have no chance. I'll just have some fun and start a goofy line-up or two toward the end. Having 2 or 3 non-competitive teams is not something to which I'm accustomed.

NBA: My winless team finally broke through, and my undefeated team kept on winning, so I was 2-0 last week. Both teams have started well this week. My 1-2 team has only 5 of the top 90 fantasy players; my 3-0 team has 7 of the top 90 -- but two of them are #3 and #4. There's NBA action almost every night -- but my fantasy rosters are locked once the week's action begins and cannot be changed until the next week starts. Line up decisions loom large.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Letter to Daughter #1

In response to Jerusalem's beautiful essay
on the pains and pleasures of life in the churches.
(see her blog)

Sweet daughter,
you (and all these friends)
are experiencing in life what you have known in your head
(because your daddy preached about it more than once),
a truth that our souls (intellect, emotion, and will) often resist,
but our hearts (spirit) must come to accept,
and, maybe, even eventually embrace --
there is NO substitute for TIME.

When you were four,
you wanted to be a teenager.
Took time.
When you were a teenager,
you wanted to be a woman.
Took time.
When God created a life in you,
many days you wanted that baby to be born NOW!
... but it took time.
There is NO substitute for TIME.

And so it is with the walk of faith ...
with church life ...
with the Christian life
(the two are not the same!)
... and everything worthwhile.
Those beautiful things you create ...
those wonderful meals or songs Nathan produces ...
those precious boys you are raising.
Takes time.

God sometimes acts suddenly ...

but never hastily.

HE has decreed:

there is NO substitute for TIME.

Fantasy Update #11

NFL: I broke even, 3 wins, 3 losses. Emerged from the weekend with 3 teams with losing records (3-7, 4-6, 4-6), one at 5-5, and two with winning records (6-3-1, 5-4-1). I expected that 5-4-1 team to be 5-5 as Monday Night Football began. All my players were done, my game was tied 90-90, and my opponent had SF tight end Vernon Davis on his team. All he needed was 1 point to win the game. Davis had 4 yards, zero points and I tie instead of losing. Go figure.

College Football: Razorback running backs had a tough day in the loss to Tennessee, scoring only about half their usual points. But I had made a brilliant roster decision -- having played 2 QB's all season, I dropped one QB and started a second set of RB's -- Navy -- who racked up an incredible 89 points against North Texas, ensuring my win in round one of the playoffs. Go, Navy! Now I face off against the 2nd best team in the league for the championship. I beat him by about 20 points in our regular season game. I ought to do it again ... but you never know.

NBA: Second week mirrored the first. My Kevin Garnett team won, my Kobe Bryant team lost. Kevin is 2-0, Kobe is 0-2. Already having to make tricky roster decisions. Long season ahead.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

A Perfect Birthday Present!

This is the book that the 'Roo Crew gave me for my birthday. (That's Jerusalem, Nathan, Wylie, and Miles.) I finally finished it this week. It was great.

It's an account of sportswriter Clay Travis's odyssey attending a football game on every Southeastern Conference campus in 2006, plus the SEC championship game, along with reminiscences about his life, family, being a Southerner, and an SEC football fan in particular.

I certainly identified with many of the things he recounted -- and I also clearly recognized the generation gap between the younger Clay and myself! There were a few things I couldn't identify with (kids and booze, for example), and a few choice four letter words here and there (it's football fans, after all), but most of the book spans the range of amusing to hilarious. I highly recommend it to any college football fan, especially those who love the SEC.

Many thanks, 'Roo Crew! Wooooooo, pig, soooie!

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Fantasy Update #10: More of the Same

NFL: Winning ways continue -- I went 4-2 again last weekend, third good weekend in a row. I have two teams with winning records, 4 with losing records. Tough season continues. Player performances are so erratic this year.

College Football: Razorback running backs led the way again with a record-setting performance, absolutely shredding South Carolina and Steve Superior. Ha ha! I win the regular season with a 9-1 record. Now two weeks of playoffs await. I should dominate ... but you never know.

NBA: The first week is in the books. I went 1-1. My Kevin Garnett team won, my Kobe Bryant team lost. I've tweaked my rosters. Here comes week two in a long season.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Fantasy Update #9: More Good Than Bad

NFL: Winning ways continue -- I went 4-2 last weekend, second good weekend in a row. It's been a brutal season so far. My one team with a winning record is just 4-3-1. I have two teams at .500, and three with losing records. Need a strong second half for sure.

College Football: Razorback running backs led the way back to the win column. At 8-1 I have the best record in the league, with one game left before the playoffs. My team is a point machine. Admittedly, this week I only needed one point -- my opponent had an illegal roster (too many players) and was disqualified. A win is a win.

NBA: The season started last night. First week of competition is underway. My Hawgballers team is led by Kevin Garnett of my beloved Celtics. My HawgAttack team is led by Kobe Bryant of the despised Lakers. Hey, the man is a scoring machine -- a win is a win.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Fantasy Update #8: At Last!

NFL: At last! The kind of week I'm used to -- won 5, lost 1. Yeah, baby! I would've had an undefeated weekend if Cowboys QB Tony Romo had put up his usual numbers, but he didn't and I lost that game by 11 points. My last winless team won big, so I have no winless teams now. One of my teams has a five game winning streak to climb out of the pit and is now 4-3. Another team is 3-3-1. The others have losing records, but at least things are looking up. I made some really good decisions on who to play and who not to play. I see other owners in my leagues losing interest and neglecting their line-ups, which is to my advantage, but less fun. Some doofuses left players with a bye week on their active rosters. Sheesh. ... Okay, I did it once by mistake myself. Once. One of these guys had four non-players on his roster!
College Football: After slipping up last week, the Razorback running backs and I got back on track and won big. I made good roster decisions. My opponent put all his eggs in the Oklahoma basket and wiped out as the mighty Sooners underperformed at Iowa State. I'm 7-1, headed for a showdown with the number one team in the other division, also 7-1. I beat him earlier in the season. Only two weeks left until the playoffs.
NBA: The National Basketball Association is in pre-season play now, with the regular season starting soon. I will field two teams. Had my first draft last week and got some great players. Will draft my second team tonight. The basketball season will increase my fantasy sports action, with games almost every night.

MLB: Fantasy season over. Bombed in one league, won one playoff round in second, won the CHAMPIONSHIP in the third.

Monday, October 22, 2007

I May Never Fly Again ...

NASA refuses to disclose air safety survey

I don't know which is more unbelieveable -- the article itself (click the link), or the fact that the geniuses at NASA admit they have news too alarming to reveal to the good ol' American citizen.

Ignorance is bliss -- disturbed ignorance is not. If you ever wondered if Uncle Sam would actually gamble with your livelihood or your LIFE ... now you know. You can't make this stuff up!

Saturday, October 20, 2007

A Full House

What a weekend! Already!

Frank and Judea -- and Brutus the Dog -- arrived Thursday night from Dallas to attend a wedding in Hot Springs today. (Brutus did not attend.)

Since it was their first return to Arkadelphia since moving to Texas 2 or 3 months ago, Maw & Paw came over Friday from Hot Springs Village to visit and take them out to lunch. (Brutus did not attend.) They went home mid-afternoon.

Friday night Jerusalem, Nathan, Wylie, and Miles arrived from North Little Rock to spend the night and see the Texans. (Their dog Chloe did not make the trip.) Tanya cooked up some spectacular burgers for dinner in 2 or 3 shifts.

Today Tanya fixed breakfast for herself and Miles. I fixed breakfast for myself and Wylie. Then Tanya fixed breakfast for everyone else in 2 shifts. In the afternoon Jemimah called from Germany to visit. She missed Frank and Judea, who were gone to the wedding, but got the rest of us, who were listening to the radio broadcast of the Razorback game against Ole Miss. (We won 44-8. Woo, pig!) Nathan cooked up the spectacular burgers today for a late lunch. This evening he and his family departed for a farewell dinner for his sister Jenny, who is moving to Macon GA tomorrow.

I've walked, fed, and watered Brutus numerous times. Frank and Judea and Brutus go home tomorrow. But they gladdened us with the happy news that they are moving back to Arkadelphia in January and going back to school.

What a weekend!

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Fantasy Update #7 - Finally

MLB: Fantasy season over. Bombed in one league, won one playoff round in second, won championship in third.

NFL: Had another break-even weekend -- won 3, lost 3. My last two winless teams FINALLY got a W. I have three teams that are 1-5. Ugly. The other three teams are 3-2-1, 3-3, and 2-4. I have only ONE WINNING TEAM ... barely. Ugly, ugly, UGLY!

College Football: FINALLY lost a game, as Auburn shackled the Razorback running backs. Woooo, pig, soooieee became WHOA, Pig, shooeyyy! I'm 6-1, still tops in my league by one game.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Fantasy Update #6: Speed of the Game

Naturally, in real life each sport has its own pace and rhythm. The seasons differ dramatically from one another. The most obvious difference, of course, is in number of games. Major League Baseball plays 162 regular season games; the National Basketball League, 82; and the National Football League just 16. Baseball plays almost every day, basketball 2 to 4 games a week, football just one game a week.

In every sport fans, writers, coaches, and players talk about "the speed of the game." This is usually in the context of a particular contest, or in contrast to other sports or other levels of competition. Players moving from high school to college, or college to the pros, have to adjust to "the speed of the game."

With the end of the fantasy baseball season and the onset of the football season, and with basketball not yet begun, I made an interesting discovery. I'm sure it's one which millions of other fantasy sports enthusiasts already know, but is new to me, since this was my first year playing fantasy baseball. (Did I mention that I fielded a championship team in my rookie season?) The discovery was the sudden shift in gears going from baseball to football -- I miss the action.

The speed of my total fantasy game has changed, slowed way down. Two of my three baseball teams allowed me to make any number of roster and lineup changes every day. The action was every day. Now, with football only for a while, I can check and change rosters and lineups every day, but I have to wait for the weekend for the action, the competition -- it's just Sunday games and Monday Night Football. I am a very hands-on owner. I like football much better than baseball, but I miss the daily action.

I'm having to adjust to the speed of the game.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Fantasy Update #5

MLB: Fantasy season over. Bombed in one league, won one playoff round in second, won championship in third.

NFL: I finally had a break-even weekend -- won 3, lost 3. Hopefully, a turning point. I'm tweaking my rosters like crazy.

College Football: I'm on cruise control thanks to the Razorback running backs. Louisville QB actually out-pointed them last week, but they are the key. Still UNDEFEATED, 6-0, the best team in the league by far. Woooo, pig, soooieee!

The Agony ... and the Ecstasy

My beloved Yankees lost. In the first round of the playoffs -- again. After that long, glorious comeback from a terrible start this year to make the post-season for the 13th consecutive season ... they fell flat. Thud. Definitely the end of an era if manager Joe Torre doesn't return. Yanks could see dramatic changes next year.

My beloved Cowboys won! In improbable, incredible fashion. A Monday Night Football instant classic. The inspired Buffalo Bills played out of their minds, but Tony Romo overcame his awful performance and found a way to put rookie kicker Nick Folk in position to win the game ... which he did with a 53-yard field goal -- twice. The 'Pokes are still undefeated with the unbeaten Patriots coming to Big D on Sunday. What a birthday present for Your's Truly. Could this be the year the 'Boys return to the Super Bowl?

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Fantasy Update #4 - Highs and Lows

MLB: I trailed in my championship round most of the two weeks. I was ahead in the batting categories and my opponent led the pitching categories ... then it reversed and I was ahead in pitching, and he in hitting ... but I still trailed ... until the last couple of days when I pulled ahead 6-4, and ended up winning 5-4. The difference? Stolen bases. I had 5, he had 3, and that was the winning margin. My first year of Fantasy Baseball, I made the semi-finals in one league and won the other. I am the CHAMPION!

NFL: I went 2-4 again ... but my two winning teams were previously winless. After four weeks, I have one 2-win team, three 1-win teams, and two 0-4 teams. Pitiful.

College Football: Thank heavens for Darren McFadden and Felix Jones ... and Brandon Barnett. The Hogs barbequed North Texas and had over 400 yards rushing. I'm making good roster decisions. Still undefeated, 5-0, #1 in my league.

Friday, September 28, 2007

Happy Birthday, J-Roo & Nathan-Yahoo

They are out there on the road to Iowa somewhere today, but Happy Birthday greetings go out to eldest daughter Jerusalem and her hubby Nathan.

Nathaniel's birthday was yesterday (September 27). As far as I know and can see he has been a good husband to our daughter, and a great dad to our grandsons. If he hasn't, Big Ups to Jerusalem for not broadcasting it! And BIG UPs to Nathan for fathering those boys ... our only grandchildren ... so far (hint hint to other parties who need to get married and/or get pregnant!). Hope the Iowa gigs are lots of fun, Nathan. Your in-laws love you.

Jerusalem's birthday is tomorrow (September 29), a date she shares with her youngest uncle, my brother Tim. The first of our four children, she was a $25 Air Force baby born in New Jersey, of all places, and a genius from the day she was born, mature beyond her years from the start, the child we treated least like a child. What a super wife, mother, and businesswoman! You may not be too sure of it, Jeru, but your parents think you turned out great! And, oh yeah, thanks for having the grandbabies! We love you!


Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Fantasy (Nightmare) Update #3

MLB: The championship round lasts 2 weeks. We compete in 10 categories. I've trailed by 1 or 2 from the start. I edged ahead 4-3 last night, but so far tonight my hitters are 0 for 9, and now i trail 4-3. Need a strong finish over the next 4 days to win my first baseball championship.

NFL: Oh, man. I don't think I've ever had such a weekend. No wins, 1 tie, 5 losses. 0-1-5. How ugly is that? Drew Brees, who got me 1 point in week one, got me MINUS 1 point in week three. MINUS ONE! My unique rosters idea isn't going so well... so far.

College Football: Thank heavens for Darren McFadden and Felix Jones. Even though the Hogs took it on the chin from Kentucky -- Kentucky! -- the Dynamic Duo led my team to victory. Still undefeated, 4-0.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Fantasy Update #2

A mixed week in my fantasy leagues.

MLB: My CBS Sports team led most of the week, then my hitters stopped hitting when the weekend arrived and my opponent pulled away, so I lost in the semi-finals. My 6th-seeded Yahoo team faced the 2nd seed in the semi-finals and we tied 5-5 -- but I won on the tie-breaker, with a better ERA. I'm in the championship round this week against the 4th seeded team, which upset the top seed.

NFL: I went 1-5 for the weekend! A couple of close games, a couple of blow-outs. So I have one team that is 2-0, one that is 1-1, and 4 that are 0-2. I've deliberately challenged -- and handicapped -- myself by requiring that I have completely unique rosters on all 6 teams, denying myself the ability to have any great player on more than one team. So far, it's tough sledding. At least I got 15 points from Drew Brees this week instead of one -- but I still lost that game by 7. I need some plop plop fizz fizz!

College Football: Won again, thanks to Darren McFadden and Felix Jones. Although the Hogs lost at Alabama, we still ran wild and piled up the RB stats. I'm 3-0.

Monday, September 17, 2007

And he's gone!

Devin Hester of the Chicago Bears had another amazing punt return for a touchdown in yesterday's game against the Kansas City Chiefs. I was hoping there would already be a YouTube video of it I could post here, but it hasn't shown up yet. It was Hester's 8th TD return of a punt or kickoff in the NFL, including his first-play feat in the 2007 Super Bowl.

Describing it just doesn't do it justice, of course. If you see one of the numerous replays on TV, watch #22 (Dimitri Patterson) of the Chiefs, bottom left of your screen. He's one of the outside "gunners" and as he sees Hester cutting to the far sideline away from him, he makes a tremendous adjustment, reversing his field and taking an angle to cut Hester off. He makes one false step, readjusts his angle, and it looks like he will make a shoestring tackle. He bears down on Hester, who hasn't even glanced in his direction. Hester is intent on staying in-bounds, his eyes straight ahead, looking at the sideline, the players in front of him, the path to the end zone. As Hester approaches mid-field, Patterson moves in for the kill, diving full-out for Hester's legs -- incredibly Hester senses Patterson's diving tackle and alters his gait, lifting his feet higher, and jumping over Patterson's outstretched hands! And he's gone! Another 50 yards later, Touchdown!

Patterson made a great play, Hester made a greater play, an amazing flash of athletic excellence, reminding us again -- "it's a game of inches."

Wanna see it? You have to make a little effort. Go to the Chicago Bears website here: Now use the search feature at the bottom and search for Devin Hester, then choose the September 16 highlights file. It's the 3rd play in these highlights. Watch the feet! Enjoy!

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Fantasy Update #1

MLB: My 6-seed team won against the 3-seed in one of my baseball leagues to advance to the 2nd round of the playoffs, where I face the 2-seed now. This is the first week of the playoffs in my other league, and I have a slim lead after one day's play.

NFL: I won 2 and lost 4 in the first week of play. Tony Romo was The Man. Drew Brees got 1 point. ONE point. The losses weren't close. I have work to do.

College Football: I'm 2-0. I have a pretty awesome team, led by the Arkansas Razorback running backs, the Louisville Cardinals quarterback, and the LSU defense.

Think of how much time I would save if there were no such thing as sports.... Ha Ha!

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Diana Krall - Why Should I Care?

OMIGOSH! Now I'm YouTube-ing and cross-blogging! Will this cyberspace addiction never end??? Oh well, enjoy my favorite Diana Krall song.

Fantasy Island

The Playoffs!
The Playoffs!

I confess, I'm a fantasy sports fan. I wouldn't call myself a fantasy nut, but I've definitely made a commitment. If you sign up to play you owe it to the other guys (and gals) in your league(s) to pay attention and stay active. I hate it when people don't even show up for the draft, and/or lose interest and quit actively participating. The fun is staying committed, even if you have a bad season.

I started with Fantasy Football two seasons ago after few years of resistance. Last year I added basketball, and this year I did fantasy baseball for the first time. I've had my share of stinkers, but overall I've done pretty well, I think. Last year, I won two of my six NFL leagues, and this year I've made the playoffs in both my MLB head-to-head leagues. (I'm 11th in a 12-team league in my cumulative points league. Beats being 12th.)

For NFL fantasy football I recommend CBS Sportsline and NFL. com over the others. I did baseball on Yahoo Sports this year, and liked it a lot.

I'll have six NFL fantasy teams again this year -- 2 each with CBS, NFL, and Fox Sports. The season starts tomorrow night with the Colts and Bears. Wish me luck. Dunt Dunt Dunt Dah!

Attention spans ...

I noticed that my recent posts have inspired one or fewer comments. Ha ha!

Reviewing all my posts, I see that the one that got the most comments was my very first one -- 6 comments on the amazing development of my entering the Blogosphere. Next most was 5 comments on my essay on Cleavage -- a subject of universal and enduring interest.

Several others had 4 comments, then it started trickling down to 3, 2, 1 ... none.

Yes, I am amused. No, I don't care. So far. I blog for ME, not for thee. ... Although, of course, I hold thee in highest regard.

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

MeMe Does It Again

What a nice Labor Day we had ... MeMe did it again!

Thinking back, we couldn't think of any special Labor Day events. We don't have a family Labor Day tradition. (I've come to associate Labor Day with my brother Paul coming to preach the day before at my church, and the great concert in the evening service with the Arkansas Revival Center singers. We had a big blessed day on Sunday on that 5th annual event.)

But this year, Tanya decided that we would "do Labor Day." The menu was planned and invitations went out. We cheerfully (mostly) killed ourselves Saturday doing a complete cleaning and wash-down of the screened-in back porch and its contents to get ready for whomever was able to show up. My, how that back porch shines now!

As it turned out, just Maw and Paw (Tom & Ethelee Beverly, Tanya's parents, from Hot Springs Village) and Teija (TAY-jhza) Nelson (Tanya's only sister, from Ft. Smith) were able to join us, but they were enough to have a wonderful time. It was a wonderful visit as we fellowshipped and feasted -- smoked barbeque ribs, corn on the cob, potato salad, Ramen noodle cole slaw, and iced tea, and, naturally, a sweet watermelon for dessert. (The pictures here were taken at the Beverly's house Easter 2006. We were too busy eating to take pictures yesterday!)

It was a lovely day. MeMe did it again! Hope you all had a good day, too.

PS ... and today I had ribs for breakfast ... and for lunch ... yum yum!

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

A Blogger's Apology

My apologies to all my fans out there ... even I can't believe this is only my second post of the month! And this post will be as pathetically brief as the first.

But, allow me to remind you: the Blogosphere exists for man, not man for the Blogosphere. I'll blog when I feel like it!

Of course, one problem is that if I'm not blogging, I'm usually forgetting to check YOUR blogs. So, Apology #2; sorry.

Since my last post, I've drafted 5 NFL Fantasy Football teams (more on that in my next post); survived the incredible 100-degrees-plus extended heat wave; enjoyed a 5-day visit from our two fantastic grandsons, Wylie and Miles; and attended a Weight Watchers meeting with my super sexy wife! (Be on the watch for flying pigs and signs of the Apocalypse.)

Oh, we celebrated our weight-loss plans with a delicious meal at TaMolly's!

Thursday, August 2, 2007

Sloppy Newscasts part 2

Dad^*!%$#^*gummmit! Last night Channel 4 showed a map of the Mississippi River bridge collapse in Minneapolis -- and the river was labeled Missippi! MISSIPPI!!!

This morning they've covered their tracks -- it's spelled correctly on the map they show on their website. At least somebody noticed. Or did a viewer have to point it out? Sheesh.

Friday, July 27, 2007

Sloppy Newscasts

Gee willikers, I can't stand it! I hate sloppy newscasts and journalism! People in the NEWS business are obligated to get the details right!

Last night on Channel 4 the blonde bimbo was doing a story on P.A.R.K. and referred to Keith Jackson as a Razorback great. Good grief! (He's a great Arkansan, and now is on the Razorback radio broadcast team, but he was All-American at Oklahoma.)

I switched to Channel 11 in protest. They were doing an "Amazed by Arkansas" feature on Petit Jean State Park. The feature bimbo (hair color unobserved) said the legend of Petit Jean went back "thousands of years." Jumpin' Jehosaphat, can't she read a calendar? Send her back to 4th grade math!

Goll-leee, it makes me long for the days when the weatherman came on one night (Channel 7, I think) and said with a big ol' grin, "There's no weather in Arkansas tonight."

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Why W is NOT stubborn

I'm not a political being ... at least, not compared to my scorched-earth-policy sweetie pie wife. But I did have what might be called a political epiphany last night. Tanya and I were driving home from grandson Miles's birthday party. The radio options were sports talk (me) or political talk (her), so to prove my love (some more) we were listening to the Sean Hannity show. In his give and take with the callers, Hannity mentioned the history of the Islamic Terrorists and how it goes back a lot farther than 9/11 -- remember the World Trade Center bombing in 1993? The attack on our Marines barracks in Lebanon in the 80's? Embassy bombings, the Khobar Towers, the USS Cole anyone? Without going into all that history in detail or stating it explicitly, what Hannity was reminding us of is that these fanatics are determined ... they are persistent ... they don't plan to give up ... they are resolute. That's when I got it.

Admittedly, nobody thinks things have gone well in Iraq. Not even knee-jerk support the Prez people like me. As things have dragged on and the body count has mounted and progress has been hard to see, the President has increasingly been catching hell from all sides. Even taking friendly fire. More and more you hear criticism that he's stubborn, pig-headed, got blinders on, etc. It sounds logical ... but it ain't so.

The President is NOT just being stubborn ... he is being RESOLUTE. As resolute as the enemy. Whether anybody else in big, fat, soft America has realized it, he has: victory requires that we match, and exceed, the resolve of the enemy. The Islamists are not people you can reason with. They are not interested in dialogue. They are not open to compromise. They actively practice child sacrifice in their homicide-bombing holy war. How you gonna reason with people like that? Match their resolve -- or capitulate.

How did another Sean say it in The Untouchables? Something like, "They cut one of yours, you shoot one of theirs. They put one of yours in the hospital, you put one of theirs in the cemetery." My quote may not be exact, but I think my President exactly understands the principal involved. He is resolved to win. Okay, he's not very articulate, but he's modeling what every American is going to need more and more as we confront our enemies and the future -- how to be resolute.

God bless America. God bless our President. God help us if we lose.

Sunday, July 8, 2007


British politcians and Arkansas weddings set a man's mind awandering ...

It all started a few days ago when the new (and first female) British Home Secretary Jacqui Smith addressed Parliament after the recent terror attacks in Great Britain. I happen to catch some of her while channel surfing ... actually more of her than I wanted. The camera shot was such that in spite of Ms. Smith's very serious topic, one's visual attention was pretty much centered on her very serious ... cleavage. I tried to focus on listening, but dadgumit, red-blooded American male (RBAM) that I am, my eyes kept focusing on looking!

My mental processes did continue to work, however. I did wonder if she was new on the job, if she had a fashion advisor (if not, I'll bet she does now!), and if others would also consider her appearance unprofessional and inappropriate for her position and the occasion. Evidently so. (See Daily Mail columnist Quentin Letts amusing comments on the Brit Ladies here.) I will say to Ms. Smith's credit that if you care to Google up some photos of her, she has probably never looked better than that day in Parliament. Mahhhvelous, dahhling.

A few days later Tanya and I enjoyed attending the wedding of the son of some friends, and yep ... more cleavage. Lots of young friends of the young couple and lots of strapless, backless, less-is-more summer attire was sported by many of the female attendees, and even the bridal gown was strapless. The glowing bride was not the only one seen to sneak a tug here and there to keep too much of There from showing.

All this reminded me of various levels of discomfiture I've experienced in Close Encounters of the Bosomy Kind. I had a boss once who I thought displayed a very unprofessional level of cleavage from time to time. I have a daughter or two who have sometimes showed more than Daddy would like. It seems to me that maybe the female appearance many of us RBAM's profess to enjoy in theory (movies, TV, photos) actually makes us a little uneasy when it's a little too up close and personal in real life. Takes some getting used to. Or not.

Finally, in the interest of full disclosure, I would like to confess that it is no hardship being married to a lady with spectacular cleavage she reserves for my enjoyment alone. But I mustn't say so, lest she be made to blush.

And speaking of blushing, cleavage comes in more than one form, of course. Plumber's crack, anyone?

Saturday, June 30, 2007

Hello, Empty Nest (again)

Well, it actually happened ... Judea and That Boy are off to Big D. They loaded down a pickup truck and their cars with all the worldly possessions they cared to take with them and cleared out for Cedar Hill, TX ... and left us to clean up the rest!

I don't approve of what they are doing and even less how they are doing it -- partly because we're not sure what they're doing! LOL -- but we still love them and pray for God's guidance and blessing for them.

It's been uncomfortable for me to slowly awaken over the past few years to how imperfect a parent I've been. I knew I was imperfect, I just didn't realize I was that imperfect! I'm so grateful my wife and kids love me nonetheless!

One of the hardest parenting adjustments I've had is realizing that Judea -- our baby -- hasn't been a baby for a long time. I've had to keep reminding myself she's no longer 14 ... 16 ... 18. I guess part of us never wants our youngest to grow up. But you can't stop it. So she's a headstrong 22-year-old living her life on her terms. When they get this age, all you can do is shoot straight with 'em and pray, pray, pray! Good luck, D!

And so, welcome back, Empty Nest. Let's see how long you last this time! We've been here before ... but never this empty: Frank and Judea took the dog and one of the cats with them. Hallelujah!

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Chuck Barrett, Wally Hall, and LR TV Razorback Street Cred

Okay, I could write all night ... but I'll keep it short and sweet (just like me).

Hooray for Chuck being named Voice of Razorbacks Football! I think Scott Inman would have done a great job, too, but I don't think anyone can match Chuck's love and passion and loyalty for the Hogs. He'll be super. I hate that he has to leave his radio show behind, but it's a no-brainer. He's got his dream job.

I love that Frank stuck it in Wally Hall's face. Wally's column last Sunday (don't look for a link here) was the most disgraceful, hypocritical thing he's ever written. He wrote a divisive column on the need to unify Hog fans. What a jerk. What an idiot. What a hypocrite. I'll never read another Wally column unless he repents and publishes an apology for the division he has sown among Razorback fans and for his unprofessional personal vendetta against Houston Nutt. Wally should have been fired Monday morning -- and that would've been way too late. (I can't believe I haven't canceled my subscription to the Demozette yet ...)

By the way, here's a hilarious and disgraceful sidebar: as of this posting, 24 hours after Chuck Barrett was officially named The Man, the sports websites for Channels 4 and 11 have prominent stories on the appointment. Channels 7 and 16 have NOTHING! Use their Search Site feature for Chuck Barrett --ZERO, NADA. It's understandable (although disappointing and unprofessional) for Channel 7 -- that's where Scott Inman works. What a pile of ... sour grapes. I'll bet Scott is embarrassed -- not about losing out to Chuck, but about his station's petty reaction. Channel 16? That's just incompetence. Does anyone take their sports coverage seriously?

Finally, as long as I'm at it ... Razorbacks basketball play by play man Mike Nail has been slipping noticeably the past two seasons. He has done a great job for many years, but it's time for him to step away before he is pushed out. Obviously, Scott Inman, who did a superb job subbing on some broadcasts last year, should be named immediately as the new Voice of Razorback Basketball!

Go, Chuck!
Go, Hogs!
Wally, just GO!

Monday, June 25, 2007

A Son Heard From

Finally got my Father's Day call from first and last son, Joshua West Jackson. Hooray! Just called to say he loves dear ol' dad. Better late than never!

For those who do not have both, please be informed that sons and daughters definitely have different operating systems. LOL.

Josh sounded great -- happy and healthy. Busy with his job at Embassy Hotel. and plugging away with his art work. I know he's happy to be mobile again, thanks to his car deal with his maternal grandfather (thanks, Paw!). Oh, and I guess the new girlfriend may be a factor, too.

Anyway -- what's that? Girlfriend!? Yeah, her name is Brandy White. She works at Embassy, too. They've been dating a month or two, after two or three months of flirting.

No telling what we'll find out when Josh eventually starts blogging!

Well, we forgot to call Adam and Jemimah yesterday. We try to do that every Sunday after church, but Tanya was in Hot Springs Village with her folks and sister, and I forgot. That 7 or 8 hour time difference can be tricky. Hope you guys had a good Sunday in Germany.

Dallas calling ... Judea and her boyfriend-fiance-husband-significant other (they won't clarify the relationship for us) are here packing for their move to Big D. Frank just came in and said they got their apartment in Cedar Hill, Texas. Looks like it might really happen.

Garden sass ... just polished off a DELICIOUS onion, lettuce, and tomato sandwich (an OLT) for a mid-afternoon lunch. Yummy. Thank the Lord for my wonderful deacons, Dick Snell and Bobby Harden, who load us down every gardening season with corn, broccoli, cauliflower, squash, cucumbers, zuchinni, peppers, tomatos, potatos, onions, eggplant. As grandson Miles was heard to say recently, "Um um um um um!" Amen.

I'm in such a good mood, I'll wait 'til later to skin that low-down skunk Wally Hall. That's another story.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007


Just a note to confirm Jerusalem's hope/guess/suspicion ...

YES, the reason I've started blogging is because I was inspired by the tributes my daughters posted on their blogs for Father's Day. Thanks again, wonderful girls!

AND keen observers will notice I've already altered the look of my blog. I realized that I had originally chosen the same template that Jerusalem uses, and didn't want to trespass on her territorial style. Now each of the family blogs has its own look.

JUST a little bit of R-E-S-P-E-C-T.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

First Insult

I feel like a real blogger now - I've had my first insult!

I guess I unintentionally hurt the feelings of Son-in-Law #1 when I failed to mention, in my first posting, what an excellent blogger he is, too. In any case, thanks for the reality check, Nathan!

Did I mention, by the way, that Nathan is a great musician, super chef, and, as far as I can see, an outstanding husband and father! Being the only person on earth who has so far fathered any grandchildren for us, he is tops in my book!

Nathan's comment raises an interesting point, however. He said my blog stinks. I THINK he's joking, but if he's not, that's OK. But the point that arises is this: is a blog to be judged by its author's intentions, or by its readers perceptions?

I guess the answer depends on my motivation. Am I blogging for you, or for me? Maybe PERCEPTION is reality, as the old saying goes, but PERSPECTIVE makes all the difference.

The Red Sox can say, "We're still 8 games ahead of the Yankees!" ... but the Yankees, who used to be 14.5 games behind, can say, "We're only 8 games back!" Perspective vs. Perception.

Hey, what stinks?

Monday, June 18, 2007

First Posting

I can't believe it. I'm blogging.

My daughters are professional-level bloggers. Even my brothers are blogging, for Pete's sake! I guess it was inevitable that I would eventually join the blogosphere.

Lord knows when I'll have time to say anything ... or if I'll have anything worth saying. But I'm in.

I do love living in a world of technology that makes complicated things so easy. Internet. Email. Blogging. Sheesh! I have first-hand outhouse experience, and I assure you ... indoor plumbing is better!