1) With my father-in law still laid up with badly bruised ribs, I spent the duration of my weekend on a lawn mower. It'd been three weeks since my lawn saw a mower blade, so I put on the blower attachment and bagged seven 55-gallon bags of grass and leaves (which took most of the day). We'd had a lot of wind and an extra mammoth dog last week, so I spent an hour just picking up sticks and poo (lots of poo). Then yesterday, after church and lunch, I popped out to Gomer to hopefully have mowed Bryant's lawn for the last (or next to last time). It don't mind doing it, outside of the fact that it just takes forever cause it's huge. Next year, though, Max will be old enough to start doing some mowing.... Hallelujah!
2) We did, however, take some time out of the weekend to go to MC Sporting Goods to buy the boys roller blades and all the assorted padding. Aimee signed them up to play roller hockey at the Y, which is pretty tough to play without skates. Now they'll follow in their esteemed Uncle Andy's footsteps, brandishing a stick and the infamous
Bucher competitive streak. I've kinda tamed mine, but Andy's verging on a career in law so I think his is still firmly intact. We get it honest. I can remember my Dad talking trash when we'd play one-on-one when I was a kid (which he refused to do anymore after I beat him at the age of 12). We've tried to kind of tame the boys even at their tender age, but I've a sense that while Max is more-mild mannered, Xavier will be a different story.
And Lord help us with Eli. We may finally have our OSU linebacker.
3) Speaking of the Bucks, they've got a big game in Happy Valley this weekend. Saturday confirmed what we all suspected though... the defense is stellar while the offense is still very much a question mark. I've heard people draw comparisons that this was what the 2002 National Championship team was like... great defense, a couple of good wideouts, a heavy-duty back fighting nagging injuries (let's just hope that's the only similarity between Beanie and Mo), lots of close games to teams they should beat. The big difference for me, though, is in the position of quarterback. Craig Krenzel had more field time under his belt than Boeckman does now, and consequently, he made better decisions (not to mention, the guy was an honor student while pursuing a degree in Molecular Genetics... not too shabby). He was really the X factor in that amazing stretch run. Boeckman has spent five years waiting to play behind a Heisman winner, and it shows. Thus, if the Bucks lose during this stretch where they have to play on the road at Penn State and Michigan (which is loaded for bear after crapping the bed against A State), my sense is that it'll end up being inconsistent play from the QB that will do them in.
But, who knows... maybe this is Boeckman's dream come true. I guess that's why they play the games.
4) We had a former Buckeye speak at the church last night. Joel Penton, who played on the defensive line from 2002-2006, now works for FCA doing evangelistic and motivational speaking around the state. Leigh Wise (soon to be Ditto), our new youth pastor, set everything up as a benefit for the Jeremy Hutchison Memorial Scholarship that the church initiated with the family's blessing after Jeremy and Jeff's tragic deaths earlier this year. About a 150 people showed up to hear Joel talk about what Christ has meant to him. More than $1200 ended up being raised, and all had a good time. The night was especially memorable because a good number of Hutchison family members came out for the event. I got to talk to Marty for a while (Jeremy's grandmother and Jeff's mother). She wants everyone to know how much their prayers and support are appreciated. The family is getting by, day-to-day, which is all anyone can really expect. We'll continue to pray for the Hutchisons, and look to other events in the future that will help this scholarship get up and running. Thanks to everyone who helped put this event together, and came out to support this great cause.
5) How about this article about a TB outbreak in St. Maarten's that started with an infected stripper. How do you explain that one to the wife when you get home?
"Uh, honey, I must have bumped into her at the bank or the tourist market while buying you this very big, fancy, expensive diamond ring. Have I mentioned how much I love and adore you?"
6) To be honest, my interest in baseball has not been all that high since the strike in the 90's. I never much enjoyed playing the game as a youngster (hence my forgo-ing playing my senior year of high school, despite repeated invites on the part of the varsity coach to pitch one more year), and after the fantasy league I played in with my college chums fell apart, I just kinda lost interest. Considering Max got plunked in the head with a foul ball at a Locos game this summer, I don't see this changing in my household anytime soon.
But I still dig the Indians. I grew up a Reds fan (largely due to my grandfather and the Unk), but while at Miami I started hanging out with a bunch of guys from Cleveland. One summer we all went to a game in old Cleveland Stadium which was a complete hole, but the vibe of the place was great. In those days, the team stunk perpetually so we could buy a ticket 20 minutes before the game and sit in the front row. After that, I was hooked. Once we even got to see (The Governor) Jerry Browne beat Dennis Eckersley (at his peak) with the long ball to win a game... which is to say we actually saw the Indians win. Good times.
That being said, though, I think the Indians got jobbed this weekend... particularly in game six. The strike zone that the ump was laying out for Carmona was so ridiculously small and inconsistent, that he was forced to throw the ball over the middle of the plate for strikes. That's what happens when you don't get the outside corner, the inside corner, high, or low strikes. You end up working consistently behind, forced to throw grapefruits up the middle of plate.
I also, to be honest, wonder why in the world Westbrook got pulled last night. After a slow start, by the sixth inning the guy was in the zone. He had Red Sox batters diving at bad pitches, which is exactly what you want as a pitcher. Betancourt was amazing throughout the post-season, but in an effort to hide their normal closer, I think Wedge wore him out. To ask for more innings from him last night while Westbrook was cruising just seemed like asking for trouble.
It was, and trouble was delivered. Anyhow, a disappointing end to a season I only started noticing during the Yankees series. Now I'll probably flick between the World Series and some bad 80's movie, Law and Order reruns, or Dog the Bounty Hunter.
7) Am listening to a lot of Kool of the Gang. The occasion gives rise to a You Tube clip.
Speaking of how the 80's rule, have you watched MTV lately? All they show now are reality kids featuring rich kids who live in California and d-list celebrities. Back in the day, MTV used to be cool. It was a place to hear new music you couldn't get on your local radio station. To this day I still dig Madness, Squeeze, The Split Enz, A Flock of Seagulls and dozens of other bands I heard on MTV first. Now... it's just nothing but drek. I'll bet more middle schoolers watch the Disney Channel than MTV. How in the world did MTV's finger slip off the pulse of Teen America?
My theory... not enough spandex and hair spray:
not enough new wave bands from England:
not enough jerr... check that (I stand corrected Thief), jehri curls:
and not enough animation:
and not enough of whatever the heck this was:
or maybe when I was in the eighth grade, I had no taste. You can be the judge.
8) I'm calling the first meet of my academic progress review team for the beginning of November. This is a group required by Asbury Theological Seminary of laypeople who make sure that we, as pastors, continue to make progress on our DMin. I've got a good group of people who will make sure I keep my nose to the grindstone. Of course, I just sent the my Chapter 1 (20 pages) to read as their briefing. Heaven help the person who asks for my Chapter 2 or 3, which are 70 pages of pure boredom (unless you want to read about the history of how churches raise up new leadership). I'm not scheduled to do another round of interviews until January, so progress is moving slow. I'll need to pick up the pace next spring and summer if I have any hope of making my March 2009 deadline.
9) Now from the "truth is stranger than fiction" department, just received a letter from my District Superintendent to protest a "Girls Gone Wild" event scheduled to occur in..... Ada, Ohio?
Umm..... is this April Fools Day?
Well apparently not. After typing in "girls gone wild" into my Google bar, a link sent me to their MySpace page, which lists some place called "The Armory" in Ada as the location for a GGW party tomorrow night. I'm just too incredulous to be outraged. Are there really co-eds going to ONU who want to lift up their shirt and go "woo"? Will the person who owns that bar actually be able to leave their house after inviting a company led by a sleezeball like Joe Francis - currently imprisoned for tax evasion and is awaiting other charges like "contributing to the deliquency of a minor" - to their home town? What a surreal turn of events. I can't believe this sits well with the city fathers of Ada or the powers that be at Ohio Northern University. I mean do you really think the Hardin County sheriff or Town Constable (or whatever officer of the law presides in Ada) will allow public nudity and drunkeness in Ada. Smart money says this even ends up getting canceled, or ends badly with cops and arrested kids. Let's just pray its canceled.
10) Finally, hope to see out at Koininia tomorrow evening for our second "Quest For Paul" Bible study. We had a great turnout last week (about 70 folks) and the buzz afterwards was pretty positive. I mean, nobody is going to get naked or scream "woo", but we'll still have a good time (and free coffee!). And any ONU student who shows up at 6:45pm tomorrow night will not only not have to deal with an eventual arraignment, but also will receive a coupon for a free roast beef sandwich at Arby's. You can't beat that with a stick! All college and non-college students alike are welcome. See you there.