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What is it about nice people that attract total idiots?Nice people are martyrs. Idiots are evangelists.


Friday, November 30, 2012

Time Machine week 44

Today is November 30, 1970, and like many a November 30th, nothing really noteworthy happened.  In my search for nuggets of amusement about the day, though, I found a site where they listed the UK top five on this date, and I thought it might be fun to share.

At #5 was Dave Edmunds' I Hear You Knocking- which will enter our chart later on and peak in February.

At #4 was a guy by the name of Don Farden with his version of a song that will hit #1 next year- Indian Reservation.  Don's version hit #20 here over two years ago, in October of 1968.

At #3 is a song that hit #1 here about 3 months ago- Clarence Carter's Patches.

At #2 is the Jimi Hendrix Experience with the final cut of the lp Electric Ladyland- Voodoo Chile (Slight Return), a slightly altered 5+ minute version of the 12-minute long classic at track #3.  It was released soon after Hendrix's death.  Never hit here.

And the #1 song in the UK this week was Mathews' Southern Comfort with their version of Woodstock- a version that we'll be seeing, oh, around May of next year.

Oh, y'know, there was one slightly important thing that happened- that will have a bearing on something a little later in the countdown.

George Harrison released his masterpiece solo debut, All Things Must Pass, on this date.  An apropriately named album that signalled a new era in popular music on many levels.

Welcome to Time Machine!  We have a good crop of debuts this week, a good crop of birthdays,  yet another constituency alienated by Berry Gordy, and a good reason why the saying, "you can never go back"  should be "you SHOULD never go back"!  And a six degrees that basically connects James Taylor with himself, but draws two of the bigger acts of the sixties along with him.  Bust out your sitar and let's go!

This week I'm going to mention 6 of our 11 hot 100 debuts... just not all at the same time.  Coming in at 100 is Jerry Reed's crossover hit Amos Moses.  At 95 is a song I mention more because I know it than because you might know it.  It is the Byrds sounding countryfied with a tune called Chestnut Mare, and it comes in at 95.  I burned it a long time back basically sound unheard... it's no Eight Miles High, but it's kinda cool.  Lynn Anderson comes in at 85 with her country crossover, Rose Garden.  The Bee Gees debut at 78 with Lonely days.  And the last two... I don't want to give anything away, but one is in the top 40, and one is the b-side of said tune, so we'll save them just a bit.

In our birthday tune section, turning 30 this week are Kenny Loggins' Heart To Heart, Billy Joel's Allentown, and the vastly underrated Golden Earring with Twilight Zone.  Turning 35 are Neil Diamond's Desiree, Dan Hill's Sometimes When We Touch (which is so much better with the verse from the lp version that they cut on the single), Steely Dan's Peg, and a basically true story- Lynyrd Skynyrd's What's Your Name.  The only part that really wasn't true was kinda true- They were in Miami, not Boise, at 8 o'clock.  HOWever, Ronnie Van Zant's little brother Donnie WAS opening at the aproximate same time with his new band .38 Special in Boise, and "8 o'clock in Boise, Idaho" is a lot easier to rhyme than "8 o'clock in Miami, Florida..."

Well, hell, Donnie, it's eight o'clock SOMEWHERE...
Turning 40 this week are John Denver's signature Rocky Mountain High and Carly Simon's signature You're So Vain.  Turning 45 are The Beatles' two sided Hello Goodbye/I Am The Walrus, a special favorite for me- Donovan's Wear Your Love Like Heaven, and a special non-favorite of mine, the Doors' Love Me Two Times.  Turning fifty is recent MHOF member Bobby Vee (not Bobby G.) with The Night Has A Thousand Eyes, as well as Flatt and Scruggs' The Ballad Of Jed Clampett.  Finally, turning 55 are Danny and the Seniors Juniors and At The Hop.

Well, blow out them there candles an' shoot yerself a coon, Granny's in the kitchen, we'll be eatin' possum soon...

That brings us to the big movers within the countdown this week.  Our fast climber is Led Zep's Immigrant Song, up 22 to #66; while Free free-falls 40 spots from 9 to 49 with All Right Now.  That's right, they are one of four songs that will fall from the top ten this week.

And that brings us right up to #50 and our Where Are They Now victims.  This week, it's the Chairmen Of The Board, who gave us Give Me Just A Little More Time not long ago, landing on the hot spot with Pay To The Piper.  The Chairmen were the brainchildren of the famous Motown songwriting team of Holland/Dozier/Holland.  They had gotten fed up with Berry Gordy's cheapskate ways and founded their own label, Hot Wax.  We just talked about this last week with their other big act, 100 Proof Aged In Soul, and our six degrees victim, R Dean Taylor.  The trio put singer General Norman Johnson together with new bandmates Eddie Custis, Danny Woods, and Harrison Kennedy.  After Give Me hit, it was slower going. Custis left after the second lp; Kennedy departed right before a tour of the UK, after which they split up.  But not for long, as Johnson and Woods picked up new third member Ken Knox in 1978 and went back to work.

They were still together when Johnson died of cancer in 2010; Woods left, but Knox still tours with his Chairmen.  Woods tours with his own band, the cleverly-named Board Of Directors.  Custis and Kennedy are still performing as solo acts, although Kennedy restircts himself to the near environs of his hometown of Hamilton, Ontario.

Now we're up to the top 40 debuts.  New Orleans soul man King Floyd climbs 9 spot to 38 with his song Groove Me, a song recorded in the same session as Jean McKnight's Mr. Big Stuff. That hot 100 debut?  George Harrison- from All Things Must Pass- with My Sweet Lord, coming in at 37 (and its b-side, Isn't It A Pity, comes in at 62).  Aretha Franklin's version of Border Song moves 13 to #35.  Neil Diamond's version of the Hollies' hit He Ain't Heavy, He's My Brother climbs 7 to #34, and Santana takes a 20-spot leap from 43 to 23 with Black Magic Woman.

A couple of Almost But Not Quite shoutouts.  Joe Cocker peaked at 16 last week and falls to 19 this week with a song whose title perfectly captures my feelings on his disappointment- Cry Me A River.  On a more positive note, Mashmakhan's As The Years Go By peaked at 30 last week, and drops to 40 this time.

Our lookback this week brings us to the Ray Noble Orchestra.  An Englishman, he and his band hit the top four times in the US of A before he packed up vocalist Al Bowlly and drummer Bill Harty and moved stateside.  One of those #1s was the seven-week chart topper Isle Of Capri.    He racked up three more top dogs after he had Glenn Miller put him together a band, including 1935's Paris In The Spring.  Noble's group had 25 top tens in the US of A to go with the seven #1s.

A composer and bandleader, he didn't sing, and though he played piano, never did it with the band.  His performances as a "proper English gentleman" on some of their records ended up landing him some acting jobs, including a co-starring role with Burns and Allen in the 1937 flick A Damsel In Distress.  About this time, Bowlly faced some health issues and went back home to England in 1938.  Three years later he was killed when his home was flattened in an air raid during the Blitz.

Noble went on to other roles, starring on the Charlie McCarthy Show with Edgar Bergen and his two dummies, McCarthy and Mortimer Snerd, for 15 years.  He also did the orchestration for the Lou Gehrig film, Pride Of The Yankees, with Gary Cooper.

I'll bet you're wondering who besides Free fell out of the top ten this week.  Well, it was We've Only Just Begun (8 to 13), Indiana Wants Me (5 to 22), and Green Eyed Lady (10 to 24).  And our weekly Yellow River report finds that it has meandered it's way up another 7 spots to 17 in its 22 week in the hot 100.

First of our 4 straight debuts is the King, Elvis Presley, up 2 to #10 with his fabulous job on You Don't Have To Say You Love Me.

Bobby Bloom shoots up 8 to #9 with the Jamaican-flavored Montego Bay.

The Who come in at #8, up 5, with See Me, Feel Me.

The Guess Who roar in at #7, up 12 big notches, with Share The Land.  (Who? Guess Who.  Pretty amusing there.  Or not.)

For a third week, 100 Proof Aged In Soul hold at 6 with Somebody's Been Sleeping.

And that brings us to the six degrees victim.

James Taylor slips a notch to 5 with Fire And Rain  This song had bits and pieces pulled from throughout his life in it, and we'll hit them along the way.  His musical career really got started when he made friends with guitarist Danny Kortchner.  With Danny, a vet who'd been in a band called the King Bees, he formed a new band, the Flying Machine ("Sweet dreams and Flying Machines..").  Drugs, a too-rough style of singing, and other difficulties led Taylor to abandon the Machine, and Kortchner and he went to England to try and get him back on track.  Now the King Bees had once upon a time opened for Peter and Gordon, so Danny knew Peter Asher.  Asher got to hear James' demos, and took them to Paul McCartney to see if the Beatles' Apple Records had any interest.  They did, and George and Paul had uncredited background parts on what would be his first single, Carolina In My Mind ("Been walking my mind through an easy time, my back turned towards the sun...")  Durning this time childhood friend Suzanne Schnerr committed suicide- a fact that was withheld from James until the lp was finished so it would not distract him ("Suzanne, the plans they made put an end to you...").  But the drugs became a problem again, and his lack of touring left the single to falter at #118.  Along about that time, the Beatles (over the strenuous objections of McCartney) hired Allan Klein to run Apple, and one of the first things he did was run Asher off- and he took Taylor with him.  Klein tried to sue for breach, but McCartney put his foot down on the matter and Klein dropped it.  Asher and Taylor went to California, where they recorded Sweet Baby James- and re-released Carolina, which is on our chart right now, at 84 in its third week.

Bryan Hyland makes an impressive dance up 3 to #4 with Gypsy Woman.

The Jackson Five once again give ground stubbornly, slipping one to #3 with I'll Be There.

Smokey and the Miracles edge up a spot to #2 with Tears Of A Clown.

Which means the Partirdge Family are still at the top with I Think I Love You!!!

Hey, man, you know you don't get the picture two weeks in a row.  Besides, the people'd rather see me... I look more like Chris Martin!

And that wraps 'er up for another week.  See you next time!

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Fun with scam posts

I know, we've hit this before- when you get those comments on youir blog that seemingly have nothing to do with what you wrote about, and then comes that last line-  "My website: (usually stupid link)."  Check your spam filter, you know you have them.

But instead of just saying "you are stupid for sending them, or merely a critique, or even throwing up our hands and (once again) asking them to explain WHY on earth they would think we'd ever click on them, I've decided we're going to rate my current crop.

I'll rate them on 1) coherence of thought; 2)germaine-ness to topic posted on; and 3) stupidity of link.  Since this is for my entertainment, it will be on a 1 to 5 scale with 1 being, "Well done, thou good and faithful servant", and 5 being, "I didn't know it was feeding time at the asylum already."  Now that you know the rules, let's look at contestant #1:

From the post "A little this and that, and Sports Tuesday":  Hi it's me, I am also visiting this web site daily, this web page is truly fastidious and the viewers are genuinely sharing nice thoughts.
Also visit my site ... grow tall for idiots

Coherence:  WTH is a fastidious website? 4.
Germaine:  Since I got 4 nice comments, I'll give this a 2.
Link: A solid 5.
Score: 3.67.

#2, From the post "Vietnam and Constantinople": I'm impressed, I have to admit. Rarely do I encounter a blog that's both equally educative and entertaining, and
let me tell you, you have hit the nail on the head.
The issue is something which not enough people are speaking
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Take a look at my blog : raspberry ketones weight loss

Coherence: Not bad at all. Give it a 1.
Germaine: Pretty good, in an ambiguous sort of way. 2.
Link: Who cares about raspberry ketones? 1.
Score: 1.33.

#3, from the caps blog post "Playing Catch Up": I was recommended this blog through my cousin. I'm now not sure whether or not this submit is written via him as nobody else know such distinct about my problem. You are wonderful! Thank you!
Check out my web site - internet casino

Coherence: "Nobody else know such distinct about my problem"? 5.
Germaine:   "Nobody else know such distinct about my problem"? 4.  I was going to give it a 5, but I am wonderful.
Link: Please, this is a big fail. 1.

#4, From "As If There Needed To Be Another Reason":  Hello my family member! I wish to say that this article is awesome, great written and include almost all significant infos.

I would like to look extra posts like this .
Feel free to surf my blog ; how to make an app

Coherence:  Dubious at best. 3.
Germaine: If nothing else, I suspect the sender is NOT a family member. 2.
Link: Another big fail.  Can't you people be funny like the first guy? 1.
Score: 2.

And our final contestant for today, from the Caps blog post "Because it pays to pay attention": Imagine what if there was found guide which teach win a lottery 98% of time. Find out this web page if you want to win lottery almost every time you play ...

Coherence:  Better than some.  2.
Germaine: Since Laurie has only managed to hit 3 numbers on 8 tickets on the last two Powerball draws, fairly germaine to life if not to the post.  Split the difference and give 'em a 3.
Link: Too lazy to hyperlink??? WTH!!! -3.

So that gives us a final rating of:
"grow tall for idiots"- 3.67
"internet casino"- 3.33
"how to make an app"- 2.00
"raspberry ketones"- 1.33
"lottery"- 0.67.

Congrats to grow tall for idiots! You are the first winner in the spam comment ratings game!

I do have a couple of regular scams I may as well hit to clear out my junk file.  First, we have a job offer:

I'm looking for someone who can handle my business & personal errands at his/her spare time. Someone who can offer me these services:

* Send Payment and Receive payment

* Shop for Gifts

* Bill payment (pay my bills on my behalf)

* Sit for delivery (at your home) or pick items up at nearby post office at your convenience.

I am currently on a business trip in Canada so there will be no interview. I will prepay you in advance to do my shopping. I will also have my mails and packages forwarded to your address. If you will be unable to stay at your house to get my mails, I can have it shipped to a post office near you and then you can pick it up at your convenience. When you get my mails/packages, you are required to mail them to where I want them mailed to. You don't have to use money out of your pocket. All you have to do is have the package(s) shipped to wherever I want and do my shopping. You are allowed to open the packages to reveal its content. You will work between 15 to 20hrs a month. The payment is $500 per week. That is not a bad offer is it? I need your service because I am constantly out of town. I will be returning to USA in month of December/January so this process will be going on till then.If you don't mind, I will meet up with you when I return and then we can talk about the possibility of making this long term. Well, let me know if you are able to handle the position.

Let me know if you will be able to offer me any or all of these services. Contact me via this email address:

Email Address:

Guideline & Benefit as follow

***Weekly pay $500

***Don't reply back to the sender email address

***Candidate from USA only.

*** no sign up fee is required.

Kenneth Ziegler

Because we ALL know Canada's just so far away!  You do get that your talking  "15 to 20 hours a month" for ONE month, right?  I especially liked the "Don't reply back to the sender e-mail address"- it's about time somebody figured they'd better account for the fact that they are sending from a hacked e-mail address.  I also like that I can open the package- I guess that's to allay the fear of passing drugs on down the line.  Or is it just to implicate the opener in whatever he's doing?  I tell you what, Ken.  Just start sending me the $500, and we'll see.

And finally, another of those oh-so-irritating "let's put all the info in the subject line and send a blank e-mail" deals.  This one is from "Mr. Bayford's Donations", and says:
£1.5 Million Pounds Have Been Donated to you by the 2012 euro millions lottery winners, please get back to us for more info.

Looking into this one, I discovered that other people have gotten this e-mail:

I am Adrian Bayford, I and my wife were Recent winners of the euoro million lottery of £148.6 million , and have voluntarily decided to donate the sum of 2 Million pounds ($3.20 million ) to you along with my new found half brother Paul Wilson as part of our own charity project to Improve the lot of 20 unknown lucky individuals all over the world plus 15 Close friends and family. If you have received this email then you are one
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us so that
We can send your details to our
lawyer to proceed with legal remittance of your funds to you

Which, when you dig yet deeper, you find this:

This is Adrian and Gillian Bayford, who DID hit the EuroMillions up for £ 148 Million- but are NOT currently looking to divvy it up with strangers.  The scam came to their attention in late August, about two weeks after they hit the biggest jackpot in English history.  In a bit of understatement, Bayford's business partner, Richard Hudspith, said, "I think we can safely say that’s it’s complete rubbish."  Do tell.

Okay, that's it for this one.  Keep those scam posts coming, and see if you can break 3.67!

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Hmmm... what to write about...

Okay, well I can start with Lokomotiv lost a third straight this morning, to Ak Bars at home 3-2.  Emil Galimov got #5 to put us up once, and Artym Anisimov got #8 to put us up again, but Kazan outshot us 14-8 in the third , and struggling Canuck goalie Curtis Sanford gave up a pair of bookends- one aminute and a half into the third, and one with a minute and a half left.  The first was a power play because it took just a half-minute of the third for us to manage to have too many players on the ice.  Curtis has comparable stats to Vitaly Kolesnik, but got chased from the last game he started, and lost this one at the end.

Next up, how about some flummoxery at our local TV channel.  If you pay better attention than they do, you'll see what's wrong with this picture:

Or maybe not, since a whiz at screenshots I ain't, but if you look carefully at the third line, you'll see that everybody is excited about "hopes of winning the $500 jackpot."  Apparently it took them 2 hours to figure out you can use either the "000,000" or the "million" or the "M" to indicate $500,000,000, but you must use ONE of them!  However, with the discovery, they tossed the whole article about 40 minutes ago and replaced it with the update that it is now "$550 M".  However, if you search the articles' headline, you can still see this:

FORT WAYNE, iND. (Wane) As Powerball mania continues to build, people showed up early Wednesday morning to get a free ticket in hopes of winning the $500 jackpot. That jackpot increased to $550 million later in the day.
I hadn't noticed before that they also capitalized everything but the "i" in "iND".  But wow, imagine the lottery going up $549,999,500 in just 2 hours!
Third, if you only occasionally visit my cap blog (link in the upper right corner!), you might not have seen there are two new posts! Soon to be a third because, as Mynx so correctly pointed out, she also sent me a couple of caps to add to the collection.  I'll do that as soon as I wrap this and take a urinary go to the little boys room.
Finally, today is over-the-hump-day!  Five of my eight straight working days done, three to go!  I wonder what I'll do with my day off...


Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Marginally more important stuff, then the playoffs!

(Marginally of course is in the eye of the beholder.)

First of all, the mother of my blog friend Monkey Butt passed away this week after a painful battle with cancer.  I thank God her suffering is over and can't wait to meet her in Paradise.  As for the cancer- add it to the long list of things you will suffer for, Satan.


Second, soon (read: when I get it read) I will be doing a book review.  You see, with the magic of the internet, anybody with a talent can get a book published online.  One of those talents is my friend The Simple Dude, and if you hit the link above, you can get details on his book 101 Things To Do Before The Apocalypse.  He says it's pretty funny and I have no reason to doubt him, having already seen samples not only of this book but throughout his entertaining blog.  I hope to get a review done in the next couple of weeks, schedule allowing.  You see, we're in busy season and I work every day from the Friday after Thanksgiving till this Saturday, and start it all over again a day later.  And there's the blog, Scrappy, etc., etc., but it will get done in the next two weeks.  I think.


Thirdly, and speaking of reviews, remember the Art contest I won over at Mynx's blog ?  Well, my prize arrived yesterday:

I will be getting a proper frame for it soon (see last entry), but in the mean time it gets to hang in a singular spot of honour- with the sketch I did when we first got Scrappy and the shadow box memorial Laurie made for Fred.  It is truly lovely- THANK YOU!!!


Next, when you bash something as often as I do unions, it's nice to see one that actually tries to do it's proper function.  In particular, I am referring to the Sheet Metal Workers International Ass'n Local 237 at the Manitowoc Foodservice plant on Hadley road.  Manitowoc is moving the plant to Cleveland, and aren't being very nice about it.  I worked at a non-union plant that closed, and they gave us a week's severence for every year worked and our vacation and bonus.  For the Manitowoc workers who don't feel like paying their own way to Cleveland just to start back at the beginning of the pay and seniority scale (losing up to $5.50 an hour), the company is only offering "two weeks paid per person- if they meet aggressive production goals until the end of the year."  Local leader Mark Mettler is trying to get them more what we got.  Company officials wouldn't talk to the media.  Maniwotoc in Ft. Wayne made restaurant conveyor ovens, so there's little profit in screaming, "Boycott!" unless you have a client list. But keep the SMWIA and the soon to be former employees- and Mark Mettler- in your thoughts and prayers.  Because if there's no need for the BCGTM to have been ass nuggets, there's no need for Maniwotoc Foodservice to be, either.


And now, on to the final week of the NHFFL season!  The Beagles, Aguas, and KCAs won their games, forcing a three-way tie at the top of the Purple division.  The Beagles beat the Rangers 30-20 when the Rangers offense could only manage a Calvin Johnson TD.   The Aguas drilled the Angels 51-22 behind two Arian Foster TDs and 15 points from Dez Bryant (hooray for Texas!).  The KCAs swamped the Greenwoods in the battle for the last playoff spot 61-20 with RGIII netting 18 Thanksgiving Day.  A three way tie gives the division championship (and a first round bye) to the Beagles, by virtue of their 3-1 record head-to-head with the other two.  Aguas get second by an 87-83 margin in the two games with the KCAs, and these two will play their rubber match this week.

In the Gold division, the Porkchops ended the season with a 5-game winning streak courtesy of a 57-29 win over the Ducks, which dropped them back into last place, because the Clock BBQs won!  That's right, they broke a 7-game losing streak with a 39-32 win over the B2s.    Defenses were the big thing in both games; the Porkchops got 19 from New England against the bumbling Jets, and the Clock BBQs got 23 from San Fran.  And in the battle for second, with Buzz needing a win to hold the spot... they didn't get it.  The Elks blasted them 56-17 behind 21 by Tom Brady (boy, the Jets helped everybody win except themselves!), and play them again next week in the first round game while the Porkchops watch and wait.

So next week it's KCAs/Aguas and Elks/Buzz!  Plus I'll announce the teams for the all-star game!

Monday, November 26, 2012

Monday stuff: Politics, Scrappy, and Hockey

First today, I thought I'd bring up the middle east situation because of a wise comment I saw on Facebook this weekend.  Before I begin, let me just clear the record on Hamas.  They are a terroist group, period.  I know a lot of Israel bashers out there would like us to think of them as a cuddly bunch of freedom fighters, but let's be frank.  They do not have as their goal the improvement of live for their "co-religionists" in Gaza and Palestine.  They have two goals: To destroy Israel and Israelis, and do enough of the first goal that countries that also hate Israel such as Egypt, Syria, and Iran will keep sending them arms to do so.  They have no legitimate good purpose on the face of this earth.

That said, the comment that sparked this went along the lines of, "I said immediately when (Hillary Clinton) was dispatached there she will now get her Nobel Peace Prize and earned about like (Obama) did his."  And I think that is true, except that to earn hers like he did his, Hillary would have to have received it BEFORE she got on the plane over there.  But now, let's take a look at this from the "players" standpoint.

Hamas certainly came out okay, they met their two goals by killing Israelis and getting their names in the papers yet again, making Israel "look bad", which no doubt earned them further care packages from Cairo, Teheran, and what's left of Damascus.  Egypt gets to be a big winner, because Morsi- who's own people are pissed at him, accusing him of "wanting to be Pharoah"- gets to look like a peacemaker, shoring up his international image (despite the fact that he probably had a hand in stirring up the latest attacks, and covering his weekend power grab).  Obama looks like a genius yet again for supporting him (depending on the type of glasses you wear),  Hillary gets her name submitted to the jokesters at the Nobel Commision, Israel probably gets some weapons deals from Hillary for saying "Oy, all right,"  And everyone comes out a winner.

Except the dead in Gaza and Israel.  But who really cares about them?

Moving on, Scrappy got an e-mail birthday card from his doctor.  Now, we don't actually know his birthday, he was a "rescue animal" and was estimated to be between 8 months to a year old when we got him.  That was like five years ago, and his "birthday" is basically when he got to visit the vet for the first time "parts removal".  Not sure you want to celebrate that day, but as he's never complained about missing them, I suppose he's all right with the date.  Anyway, lets see if I can get this link to work so that you can watch it too.

Damn... how much is that in dog years?
Finally today, the boys from Yaroslavl played Sunday in Bratislava in Slovakia against Slovan, and it went about as well as the game in Prague  did.  Libor Hudacek lit us up for 2 goals- one that gave Slovan the first lead halfway through period 1, and the other just 34 seconds into the third that gave them the 3-2 lead and the win.  Emil Galimov tallied #4 just 38 ticks into the second to tie it once, and Niklaus Hagman tied it again at 2-2 in the second with his 7th, but Slovan goalie Jaroslav Janus topped his save percentage  coming in by three notches,  stopping 39 of 41 Lokomotiv shots.

In the meantime, SKA was coming from 2-0 down to beat Vityaz 4-3 and tie Dynamo Moscow for first place overall.  And after the game, in a real head scratcher, the SKA board told coach Milos Riha that the team hadn't done good enough according to their expectations, and fired him!  First place in the league and 19 more goals than anyone else, but that wasn't good enough?  Assistant coach Mikhail Kravets now gets the unenviable task of figuring out how to top a 19-6-3 record the rest of the way.  And former Lakers coach Mike Brown thought he had it bad getting fired after just 5 games!

Back in Yaroslavl where some sanity remains, our boys will be hosting Ak Bars Wednesday, and Salavat Yulaev on Friday.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Sunday message- on the other hand....

If any of you managed to scroll down to the bottom of yesterday's post for the mini message (as Monkey Butt did) and glommed as she did onto the line, ""I'm right, and I don't have to say it to be right" ( as expressing my lack of a servant's heart), you might be saying, "Chris must mean that "servant's heart= always acting as if you're wrong."   And sometimes I get mad at God because I equate the two myself.  But this morning, a funny thing happened as I listened to James McDonald.

He described my old church.

Well, it wasn't his point to do so, nor was it an exact picture.  But he was speaking on conflict, and factions, and brought up his background as "being brought up a fundamentalist."  Now to me, fundamentalism was believing the Bible as the total, inerrant Word Of God. Period.  But to him, there was more to it... and it was very similar to the church I became an active Christian in.

He said that fundamentalism added to the Bible a bunch of rules and restrictions that had nothing to do with Scripture- "No music, no dancing, no drinking, no movies"- or as he described it simply, "no FUN, too much DAMN, and not enough MENTAL."  My old church wasn't all like that, but... I know wedding receptions to be held there couldn't have secular music or dancing,  my old life at the bar would have been frowned upon, and the thing that made my blood boil.  That was when two pillars of that church, a man and a woman, both lost their spouses within months of each other.  Now mind you they were old enough that even if he found his, he might never have found hers.  But the man, a well-respected deacon, told me, "I've wanted to go over and visit (her), but I didn't want people to talk."  You had to keep the other sex at such arms length that two lonely old people couldn't feel comfortable going to visit one another.  GGRRRRRRR!

Now I won't say that that was the attitude of any ONE person, but it was accepted as "what you do" as a member of the church.  Add to that that the Pastor, a good man who I really miss, not only upheld this thought process, but had the additional problem (IMHO) of taking the whole "women being submissive to men" thing a bit too far.  I think that may have been because he had both a submissive wife and a (usually) submissive mother and never learned to deal with women who stood up on their hind feet to him.  It certainly harmed his counseling efforts with couples, from what I could see.

He was also a bit shorthanded in the good men willing to help division (small church), so he was always scouting talent for the Lord.  He decided that I, as a single man, was a good candidate, and first asked me to teach the teen Sunday School.  Not my cup of tea, I thought, but God led me to try it, and He blessed it phenominally.  Then he asked me to be a deacon.  I told him I was not comfortable with the idea, that my interpretation of the stricture "husband of one wife" meant not only "don't have two wives" but "you NEED a wife to support you in this job."  I prayed about it, and never got a sense of it being a good idea.  But he kept after me, and I finally said, "Only if you have the elders examine me like the Bible says."  He agreed, but rushed me through, and when I asked about the exam, he told me "they'd all just agreed on it."

Faith lesson one:  If God doesn't say "DO IT", don't do it.

McDonald went on to describe what he called "secondary separation".  Basically, fundamentalists have an attitude (to him) of "I like you- but you like this person, which I don't agree with.  Therefore, I cannot be with you."  And that's where Laurie came into play.

She had found Christ in a church where there was a group she was comfortable with.  This is the kind of thing important to both of us, as neither of us are what you would remotely term outgoing.  But as her group moved on, she felt kinda left out, and was churchless when we started hanging out.  I was slowly trying to get her comfortable with my church, and was making good progress, when "secondary separation" set in.  The Pastor said that I was spending too much time with her (actually, he said, "You spend more time with her that I spend with my wife!" To which I naturally answered, "Is that a condemnation of me, or you?") and would have to step down from my posts.  I said "Fine," which I think surprised him, because then he asked me to keep teaching the Sunday School for the time being.

I won't go through all the heartache that followed, but in short order, I lost teaching the Sunday School, I wasn't even allowed to lead the adult class, I couldn't lead prayers (despite the fact that just weeks ago I had led prayers at his father's funeral), couldn't even go up and help collect the offering.  After months of accepting all this as God's humbling of me, I finally was told I couldn't have a part in a father's day thing the next week (not to my face right then and there, but five days later after he left for a day trip), and I called last straw.

At this point, McDonald goes on to the concept that their are fixers and avoiders in every church.  For example, when Paul had the problem with John Mark.  He wanted to avoid the problem, leaving the boy at home, while Barnabas wanted to "fix it", and take him along.  At length, they decide on a "temporary separation" to solve their conflict- Paul would go on with Silas, while Barnabas would take Mark with him on his own trip.  And despite the old saying about not letting the sun set on wrath, sometimes you just have to back off and give the sides time to think about it.

Lesson number two:  Somethings you can fix on the spot with duck tape.  Others- especially personal things like broken bones and hearts- you have to let time heal.

And the over all lesson today- a servant's heart is a good thing.  It does involve patience, humility, and a willingness to not always be right.  But sometimes right is right... and it's time to move on.  I've carried a good deal of guilt about how things went down at my old church, and there was a lot to be guilty for on my part.  But this morning's message taught me one thing- it would have come down to it sooner or later.  Eventually, whether on the subject it came up on or something else we hadn't gotten to yet, the extra rules and I would have come to a Rubicon.  There is a time to say, "I'm right," and act on that, and that is also part of that servant's heart.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Some Thanksgiving leftovers

First of all, I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving!  I can't say I had the best meal I ever had (courtesy Stouffers, who did their best), but I got good'n'full, thought the goal of "eat yourself skinny" remained elusive.  Football was great- I can't remember the last time the two day games were that good.   However, the night matchup was the Patriots (who everyone around here, especially Laurie, is sick of) and the Jets (whom I cannot stand, being a Dolphin fan).  At a certain point, I had said, "The only thing that will make this game entertaining to me is if the Pats really humiliate the Jets."  Within seconds of saying this:

- The Pats scored on a pass to the sideline which the receiver went 52 yards for a TD with;
- On about the second play after the Jets got the ball, Pat lineman Vince Wilfork pushed the Jet lineman INTO QB Mark Sanchez, causing him to fumble, and another Pat picked it up and scored;
-On the ensuing kickoff, the returner was hit and the ball shot straight up to another Pat who also scored.

Three TDs in 52 seconds- two of them on what announcer Chris Collinsworth called "two of the oddest plays I've ever seen"- yup, that's humiliation.  Chris was satisfied.

"Man, what the hell else can happen?  Seriously!"

But before football, Scrappy and I took a little walk.  In the woods, we decided to go look at a section just beyond the deer trails, where it is usually separated from the main woods by tall grass.

This patch is a triangle bordered by the main woods, the housing addition to the north, and the medical buildings to the west.  And there is, for most of the way, an additional reason to stay out of it:

A thick row of briars that cuts the patch off from the main woods most of the way.  There are ways through, but they are tricky, and Scrappy actually got a scratch on his inner leg  (the inside of his back leg, get out of the gutter!) making it through.

The rest of the woods trip was uneventful in the extreme.  All God's creatures were off visiting relatives for the holiday- the only living things we saw in the entire woods was a family taking a walk.  The grandpa asked if we'd seen any deer, and I answered that we hadn't even seen birds or squirrels!

Stony Run from the Plex road bridge.
So we cut over the canal and along the back of the IPFW soccer pitch to the river.  Here at least we saw three small birds (two of them were Mr. and Mrs. Cardinal) and a heron when we got to Scrappy's favorite spot.  We clambered down to the beach and walked along the river for a long while.

The river had a lot of waves today!

Now, getting off the beach at the other end can be a challenge.  Along the north side of the main IPFW pitch is an inlet that leads to a swamp.  Above that below the next field is a thick wood, made thicker because when they cut out the trees for that field, they left the debris lie right at the edge- so there is no way to cross out.  You have to follow as close to the edge as you can...

...going through stuff like this, until you get to the point where the edge of the woods and the top of the swamp meet.

Fortunately, at this point, a hard right gets you to the soccer field and solid ground.  After that, we saw a lone squirrel in the distance, and that was all we saw in a three-mile walk.

Next up, it's time for a Lokomotiv update.  The boys won that rematch with CSKA Wednesday 4-0 behind another great game from Semyon Varlamov.  Sergei Plotnikov continued hot with his 6th and 7th goals, and my boy Emil Galimov added his 3rd and the equally hot Artym Anisimov picked up his 5th.  Despite several good chances, Varlamov stopped all 34 shots.  It was a rough game, and after Mikhail Grabowsky knocked the Lokomotiv goalie down with an elbow (and some good acting on Varlamov's part), he became a target for the boys the rest of the night, with the referees just keeping Niklaus Hagman from beating him on the spot.

Yesterday it was a trip to Prague to play Lev.  This was not a good game for us, and after Curtis Sanford was peppered for 20-some shots and 3 goals in 27 1/2 minutes, he left the game trailing 3-0 for Vitaly Kolesnik, who gave up a 4th goal less than 4 minutes later.  That ignited a flurry that saw both teams score twice in a a six minute span, with Alexi Kalyuzhny getting #7 and Plotnikov getting his eighth to end the flurry at 17 minutes of the second with us trailing now 5-2.

Sanford came back in in the third, after Kolesnik had given up 2 goals on 5 shots in his stint.  Yuri Petrov tallied his 2nd at 3:10, but Lev pushed it to 6-3 at the 9 minute mark, and they hit an empty net for a 7-3 lead with less than 3 minutes to go to finish off the butt-whupping.

That leaves us 14-6-8, tied with SKA for second overall and 3 points back of Dynamo Moscow.  Tomorrow it's a trip to Bratislava to take on Slovan.

In other news, the Dynamo team masseur was fined the equivalent of $3200 and suspended 2 games.  How does a masseur get suspended in fined?  Well, the team had just given up a penalty shot goal to Minsk's Tim Stapleton, and as Stapleton skated by, this happened:

This, I do not believe was a one finger massage offer.  The disciplinary board didn't either.

Finally, a story about last night at work.  An incident- if you want to call it that- occured just before lunch that pissed me off.  I tiny little thing that I'm not going to go into- though I was planning on it.  Boy, was I planning on it!  But as I calmed down a little I began looking around.  First off, I'm reading the story of Nazi Germany's defeat right now, and got thinking about all the crap "the greatest generation" went through to defeat Hitler and saw how small a thing it was.  Then, I began watching this one little Burmese guy.  He was sent over to cut open our boxes when it was really busy (which it no longer was) and thought about how he was being treated like a servant.  Then a voice (no, not God's) seemed to say, "We're all servants around here!"  Which got me thinking about the "servant's heart" we are supposed to have- which I don't.  I have a bitcher's heart at work, always have.  And I got thinking about the long way I have to go to change that.

Shortly thereafter, a series of equally insignificant incidents showed me how stupid I would have felt if I had said something about the first incident.  I've always known that in situations as this, I end up better off keeping my mouth shut.  But I never really look into the why of that.  When I manage to keep quiet, it is generally out of, "it just doesn't pay if I say something," rather than trying to show that servant's heart.  It is more important to me to say, "I'm right, and I don't have to say it to be right."  I guess because I haven't had to live in a foxhole, or spend time in a concentration camp, or be run out of my homeland by greedy dictators.

So there's one last thing to be thankful for- the ability to learn such lessons without going through such conditions.  And thus, be thankful for the thing last night that made me mad.

Or at least work on that.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Time Machine week 43

It's November 23, 1970- a night that will live in infamy, at least in the annals of Monday Night Football.  Coincidence had left them with a turkey of a game- the 1-7-1 Philadelphia Eagles versus the 6-3 NY Giants.  Eagle QB Norm Snead would score twice on one-yard runs, and the Giants would blow the lead three times to lose 23-20.

But that wasn't all that blew.

Don, could you move your feet? I don't feel so well...
It was 16° in the unheated MNF booth in Philly, and team owner Leonard Tose took it upon himself to warm the broadcast team with vodka martinis and cognac.  And Howard Cosell took it upon himself to get warm.  So much so, in fact (and though he would blame it on an "inner ear infection"), he blew chunks all over Dandy Don Meredith's cowboy boots.  He would leave at halftime in a cab for Manhattan, and later (he says) went to a hospital thinking he was having a heart attack.  No, Howard, you were just hung over.  Only in Philly, right, Bobby G.?

And with that lovely mental image to start us off, welcome to a special Time Machine-post-Thanksgiving edition.  This week, I bring you not one, but TWO special countdowns, which I call the "turkey" and the "dressing".  Also, a six degrees taking us from R. Dean Taylor to Edwin Starr, via Marvin Lee Alday (who?) and a new top dog.  Put down that glass o' booze and let's go!

As always, let's kick things off with the hot 100 debuts from this week 42 years ago.  There were 11 debuts, and we'll look at 3 of 'em.  Led Zep comes in at an appropriate pilgrim-kinda week at 88 with Immigrant Song.  Elton John, who had recently had his first American chart single with Border Song (which will come up- er, will be mentioned again later- curse you, Howard!) now debuts with what will be his first big American hit: Your Song, at # 82.  And finally at 74, Gladys Knight und der Pipsters with If I Were Your Woman.

Which leads us into the birthday songs of the week.  Turning 30, we have J Geils' cover of I Do; The Other Guy by the Little River Band; Adam Ant's Goody Two Shoes, Barry Manilow's cover of the song Memory from the musical Cats, and Judas Priest's You Got Another Thing Coming.

"Don't drink, don't smoke, what do I do?"
Turning 35 would be ELO's Turn To Stone and Bill Withers' Lovely Day, both of which bring back fond memories of listening to CLKW.  Turning 40, we have Carole King's Been To Canaan, Dr. Hook and the Medicine Show with Cover Of The Rolling Stone (which brings back fond memories of the day back at St. Louis Besancon grade school when the eighth graders got to babysit the first graders for some odd reason- and amazingly the school didn't burn down when they played Steppenwolf's The Pusher), and one other oddity which I, in my perverted sense of humour just had to mention- a song called Day And Night by a group called- The Wackers.

I can't make this stuff up.

Finally, turning 45 is American Breed's Bend Me, Shape Me; and turning 55 is Jerry Lee Lewis and Great Balls Of Fire ( I wonder if the Wackers... or maybe not.)  Blow Out The Candles...

Now normally I'd just go right into the big movers of the week, and then hit the Where Are They Now.  But as I said, this is a special week, and we interrupt your normal programming for the first of my two countdowns.  This one is the "turkey" countdown- my all time biggest turkeys.  Now, back in the day, I would have had a long list of songs to put in here, but as I grew older, many of those songs I started to like.  These eleven, though, retain the title of turkey.  Why eleven?  Because 10 is the normal, and 12 is a dozen, and eleven is just that turkey number in between.  So, in sorta-kinda order, here we go:

11. Going A Little Crazy, the Guess Who.  As much as I love these guys- because they had great singles- they... struggled sometimes on album cuts.  This seven minute oddesey of stupidity from So Long, Bannantine is as good an example as any.

10. Judy In Disguise (With Glasses)- John Fred and the Playboy Band.  I mentioned last week my distaste for this tune.  Allegedly inspired by Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds, I think I'll take the original instead.

9. Rapture, Blondie.  Y'know, I still kinda like this tune, but admit it: man from Mars, eating cars?  The only thing that made this palatable back then was the Novelty of rap.

8. Imagine, John Lennon.  Yeah yeah, I know a lot of you out there think this is the greatest song of all time.  But if universal atheism was going to make a utopia, why isn't the Soviet Union still in business?

7. Emotional Rescue, Rolling Stones.  Not only a terrible imitation of the Bee Gees, a terrible excuse for songwriting.  We used to call it Emotional Restroom.

6. Kites Are Fun, The Free Design.  I found this kicking over rocks in the "sunshine pop" category.  A definite top-lister for "songs to play to prisoners serving life terms".  Mind numbing within seconds.

5. Andrea, The Sunrays.  If you ever doubt that it took Brian Wilson immense talent to put those harmonies together right, listen to a song where it's done wrong.

4. Don't Worry, Be Happy, Bobby McFerrin.  Do I REALLY need to say more?

3. Cease To Exist, Charles Manson.  Speaking of Wilsons, here's a guy Dennis should have stayed away from.  I tried to give it the benefit... but in the end, it IS Charles Manson.  The later, re-worked Beach Boys version was only marginally better.

2. Physical, Olivia Newton-John.  Take one "sweet and innocent girl" trying to change her image, give her possibly the sluttiest song not sung by Courtney Love, make a video that tries to make it look like she's singing about physical fitness.  Oh, and have her screech at the end.


1. Bohemian Rhapsody, William Shatner.  Could there be ANY doubt?

I know some of you might have been expecting Tiny Tim's Tiptoe Through The Tulips, but, c'mon, at least that had a certain charm to it.  Maybe we'll give that an emeritus status.

So now (if you didn't get up and leave, or do a "Howard" and have to clean up) let's move on to our big movers this week.  Moving up 22 spots to #48 is Aretha Franklin with her cover of that song we said would be back, Elton John's Border Song, (which she subtitled "Holy Moses").  We have not one, but two songs that fell (count'em) 42 notches this week- Teegarden and Van Winkle's God Love And Rock'N'Roll, to 56, and Blood Sweat And Tears' Lucretia McEvil to 64.

Which brings us to our top 40 debuts this week.  Ray Price's crossover hit For The Good Times goes from 49 to 40.  Last week's WATN, Andy Kim's Be My Baby, moves from 50 to 39.  Neil Young comes in at 38, up 9 with Only Love Can Break Your Heart.  Badfinger enters at 37, a 14-spot advance with No Matter What.  Flaming Ember, who was just recently here with Westbound #9, hits again with I'm Not My Brother's Keeper moving from 41 to 36.  Up 12 big spots are the 5Ds with One Less Bell To Answer.  And at the top, we have Eric Clapton going from 45 to 33 with After Midnight.

And that brings us to the "dressing" countdown.  These are songs I've unearthed looking for other things that have become big hits in my book.  This ten, in a semblance of order:

10. Bang En Boomerang, Svenne and Lotta.  You remember this story from just a few weeks ago.  I still need to listen to the ABBA version.

9. Pretty Ballerina, the Left Banke.  A follow up to Walk Away Renee, I found this searching for baroque-pop tunes.

8. For The Love Of Him, Bobbi Martin.  Alright, this doesn't QUITE fit the profile.  But it went from a "song I know"  when I read the heartbreaking story of her mom's getting screwed over by her father and her own fruitless search for a man that wasn't worthy to be a "dad", to a song that makes tears come every time.

7. Summer Soldier, Brave Belt.  I liked a lot of the stuff I heard listening to this early incarnation of BTO, but this is the one that sticks in my mind.

6. Did You Boogie With Your Baby, Flash Cadillac and the Continental Kids.  How could you not fall in love with this retro tune featuring Wolfman Jack? 

Did you boogie with your baby in the back row of the movie show
And did you boogie there cause you had nowhere else that you could go
And when the lights went way down low
Did you forget about the picture show
Yes, did you boogie with your baby in the back row of the movie show?

5. It's My Time, the Mynah Birds.  A band with Neil Young AND Rick James.  Wow!

4. It's OK, Beach Boys.  The best tune I never heard before.

3. Hit The Road Jack, the Stampeders.  A great tune set to the lead singer trying to beg a place to stay from Wolfman Jack and Ray Charles.

2.  Diamonds And Rust, Joan Baez.  A haunting melody, and lyrics to match.


1. A Wednesday In Your Garden, The Guess Who.  Okay, so not all their album cuts were awful.  This might be their best song save for No Time.

Whaddya mean, our album cuts suck?
One song enters the top ten, one falls out.  Bread be the victim, falling from 7 to 20 with It Don't Matter To Me.

Two songs arrest downward motion this week.  Sugarloaf's Green Eyed Lady is first, holding at 10 after falling out 2 weeks ago.

The other is Free's All Right Now, which "free-zes" at # 9 again this week.

The Carpenters slip from 3 to 8 with We've Only Just Begun.

Bryan Hyland returns to the top ten for the first time in 8 years (since 1962's Sealed With A Kiss) with Gypsy Woman.

100 Proof Aged In Soul holds at 6 with Somebody's Been Sleeping.

And that brings us to our six degrees victim.

R Dean Taylor's Indiana Wants Me falls from top dog top #5 this week.  Taylor recorded this on the Rare Earth label, which was Motown's "Rock'n'roll" subsidiary.  Among the acts on this were (obviously) Rare Earth, the Rustix- whose claim to fame is that they were the first all-white band signed by Motown, and believe it or not, one Marvin Lee Addy- known best by all as Meat Loaf!  Yes, Meatloaf's first lp was a disc recorded with his co-star from the Detroit cast of Hair, Shaun "Stoney" Murphy.  The disc, Stoney and Meatloaf, had a hit single which we will one day see on Time Machine, What You See Is What You Get.  Meat Loaf soon left the Motown fold; Berry Gordy, in his unending attempt to alienate all those who worked for him, took Meat Loaf's "one song he liked on the album", a tune called Who Is Thje Leader Of The People?, erased his and Stoney's vocals, and gave it to Edwin Starr.  Edwin, as far as I can tell, released it as a single in Germany, and wasn't included on any lps other than later greatest hits packages.

The man claimed the music industry "treated him like a clown"- but he let them dress him up like this on album covers...

James Taylor holds at 4 with Fire And Rain.

Smokey Robinson and the Miracles know how Meat Loaf felt- they move up 5 spots to 3 with Tears Of A Clown.

The Jackson 5 go from 5 to 2 with I'll Be There- perhaps next week!

And the new #1 song this week-

The Partidge Family with I Think I Love You!!!!!!

Hope you all had a nice Thanksgiving, and for those who get to spend today sitting around digesting yesterday's meal..

See ya NEXT holiday!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

And what am I doing for Thanksgiving?

Well, let me put it this way.  It is presumably my only day off until a week from this Saturday.

So zip, zilch, nada.  Laying low, seeking out the poorer quarters where the ragged people go, as Simon and Garfunkel would say.

I have a double shot of Stouffers' turkey entres in the freezer.  A little extra stuffing and potatoes and a few rolls, and I'm good to go.

And I will be thankful I have a home and a job.  (Not to mention I'm off that job tomorrow!)  I will be thankful for family and friends, reasonable health, and especially my salvation.

I will be thankfully that I live in a nation which, despite the best efforts of her enemies of every stripe, is still free.

And for my Booogle, how can I forget him?

Damn straight you don't forget the Booogle!

And I am thankful for sharing my life with someone who is very hard to describe in a few words, but would be far harder to live without.

And for two healthy, basically happy kids who have entered young adulthood.

I don't require turkey and football to enjoy any of these, or a special day to commemerate them.  I'm thankfull for them all the time.

But it's sure nice to have a day to add the turkey and football to it once a year.


Well, my junk folder is full of spam, so let's see if there is anything amusing.

First off, spammers, you HAVE to make an effort.  Just sending an e-mail titled Hey Christopher and including a link doesn't cut it, "Aaron Atkinson". Also, ones that say "Remember me?  I have some bad news..." from someone I don't know don't work too well either.

Also, the ones that have an "enticing" subject ("Get good quality tires for cheaper") followed by three paragraphs of gobbledygook don't cut it.  It is however to see the address it gets sent from ("bolsterhereaboutphysiotherapistcrouchtrapezoid@").

Then there are the ones that I get as e-mails from "anonymous" commenters on blogs I follow.  One fine gentleman from England has been particularly beset this week with long junk filled "comments" from someone promoting an Ugg boots site.  A note to companies like these- you should do more to prevent spammers from making money "advertising" your product.  Any of these things I get, I note the company and put it on my "do not buy from" list.  Sorry, Ugg boots, you lost a prospective customer this week.  Another example:  Another fellow blogger apparently got this spam comment on a recent post:

Somebody necessarily lend a hand to make severely posts I would state. That is the first time I frequented your web page and to this point? I amazed with the analysis you made to make this actual publish extraordinary. Excellent task!

I am amazed that you knew what you were talking about, because no one else did!  Coherence is a virtue, you know.

Next up is the latest in "my money is trapped in Africa" e-mails.  This time, I'm trying (in my sleep apparently) to get $5.5 Million, though for a change, I'm not told which country it's in.  However, with a little digging based on the name of the kind philanthropist trying to help me, one Dr. Richard Benson, I learned that in other scam e-mails, he says he is "the son of Dr. Clifford Benson of Zimbabwe".  In any event, Dr. Benson, a few rules of grammar- Capitalize the word "I" plus the beginnings of any sentence.  Also, the standard is two spaces between sentences.  Rather than boring you with the entire letter, let me just give you my favorite part:


For some reason, the phrase "more better" always cracked me up.

Next up, I guess Bobby G. finally got some of his "male enhancement" letters to come my way, but G. Chiranjeev wasn't real clear on the subject:

hi cw Do you need to new push to get to the size you want? DrOz endorses this product Try this out right now http :// It works for nearly everybody
Well, if I ever need that "to new push", I'll let you know.

Next, here's an interesting new wrinkle- Natural hair wigs!

Hi, Thank you for reading this letter. I just looked through ur website,its
nice. We are factory for hair products(wig,hair weave) inChina. Sample order
accepted to check quality. More information, catalogue andprice are
available. Thanks& Kind regards. candy Yin Salesmanager Qingdao
Arison Co.,

Yeah, I can see where anybody reading my blog would think I'd be interested in wigs.

Next, I had one (supposedly from Sensa) Urging me to "Eat Myself  Skinny".  Gonna try that myself tomorrow.

Then there were the two who sent me links "to relieve my financial stress" which both had the clever subject "wow cw".  You don't know me well enough to call me wow.

And I'm not real receptive to those who send blank e-mails with everything in the subject, such as "My late father’s WILL and Bankers insist that I must produce evidence of administrator, of USD35.8M my inheritance  I need help  Contact me for details/PN Williams "  PN, you do need help.  Maybe Dr. Richard Benson can recommend someone...

Next, do try to make sure your address and your name coincide.  When an e-mail from Jayne Montgomery starts with, "Hello, I am Mr. Patrick by name and i am a loan lender. ..", you've pretty much shot your credibility.
Miriam Lucchi had much the same problem, but threw in an interesting wrinkle along with her identity problem:

I am Capt. Andrew Huth ,i need your urgent help to move $5,600,000.00million,
please note this is not a stolen money.

Well, at leats it's not STOLEN... probably because it DOESN'T EXIST!

Finally, let's be smart out there.  Don't be like one of our Facebook friends, who posted this last night...

Is it for real or is it a scam? When my husband logged on to his computer, a big old FBI warning popped up. He has 24 hours to pay $2,000 or he will go to prison for 11 years.

One would hope the 16 responses of SCAM!!! were sufficient, but you never know...

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

NHFFL Tuesday

We are down to one week before the playoffs, and as the Gold division becomes clearer, the Purple becomes more muddled.  The games this week sent the Purples into a 4 way tie for first.   The Beagles downed the Aguas 28-22, with Brandon Marshall's Monday night TD doing more good here than it did for Da Bears.  The KCAs beat the Angels 44-31 on 24 points from the dynamic duo of RGIII and Santana Moss.  And the Greenwoods joined the party with a 20-17 win over the now-eliminated Rangers.

  With the KCAs/Greenwoods playing next week, the Beagles have the advantage here with a 4-2 record against the other three.  The Greenwoods need help, because they are 2-4 against the group.  A Beagles/Aguas tie or Beagles/Aguas/KCAs or Greenwoods tie will go to the Aguas; A Beagles/KCAs tie goes to the Beagles.  A Beagles/Greenwood tie also goes to the Beagles, so basically the Beagles need to win and the Aguas to lose to claim a division title.  Either way, the Beagles and Aguas are in the playoffs, and the Greenwoods really need to beat the KCAs by 33 to make up for their 57-25 loss earlier to get in.

On the other side, the Porkchops keep rolling with a 43-33 win over the Clock BBQs courtesy of the 23 points the Colts gave the New England D (See! I knew the Colts were good for something...).  The Elks climbed over the B2s with a 43-30 win and a win next week puts them in the playoffs, and the B2s would climb over Buzz with a win in that event over the Clock BBQs.  If the Elks lose to Buzz, Buzz is in and the Elks would need the B2s to lose.  Buzz got put into that position with an upset loss to the Ducks, 31-21, behind the 2-TD swan song of Rob Gronkowski.

So next week it's Beagles/Rangers, the showdown between KCAs/Greenwoods, Angels/Aguas, B2s/Clock BBQs, the Buzz/Elks showdown, and Porkchops go for 10 wins against the Ducks.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Now back to our regularly scheduled hockey post

In case you were wondering (and even if not), the reason it has been over a week since I've reported on my boys from Yaroslavl (AKA Lokomotiv) is twofold.  First, the league actually took a week off, and didn't play until last Wednesday.  Second, The KHL site was doing wonkiy things on my computer and was hard to read- until this morning when my computer announced that it was because it was blocking what it considered a pop-up but was in truth most of the site!  So now, it's time to get caught back up.

Wednesday they played the first of three straight home games, against Slovan.  Semyon Varlamov racked up his second shutout since coming over in the NHL lockout, posting 32 saves in a hard-hitting 4-0 victory.  Maxim Trunyov got us started with his 3rd score of the season at 6:16 of the first, and Alexei Kalyuzhny made it 2-0 at 6:49 of period two, his 6th, with an assist from Viktor Kozlov.  Artyom Anisimov put in his third at 2:51 of the last period, and exactly a minute later, a cross ice pass in front of the Slovan net was stolen by Roman Lyduchin (who came to us this year after 4 seasons with Spartak), who planted his 1st of the season behind the shell-shocked goalie for Slovan for the 4-0 win.

Friday we hosted Lev Prague.  After a scoreless opening stanza, Lev scored halfway through the second, and held a 1-0 lead most of the rest of the way.  With just under 5 minutes to play, though, Alexandr Chernikov scored his 5th to tie things up.  We went to OT, and you KNOW how we are in OT.    The first shot of the extra period, 28 seconds in, went from the stick of Staffan Kronwall past the goalie for a 2-1 win.  It was our defenseman and leading scorer's 6th goal on the year, and made us 6-for-6 in OT and shootouts.

Yesterday, we hosted CSKA (Red Army).  Things didn't go very well for Varlamov in the opening period.  In a period where each team only had 5 shots on goal, two found their way behind him.  The first came from Yakov Rylov at 6:44, and the second with 31 ticks left in the period, from Mikhail Grabvosky, a lockout from the Toronto Maple Leafs, with assists from fellow lockouts Pavel Datsuk of the Red Wings and Alexandr Radulov of Nashville.

The second period was vastly different.  Starting at 15 seconds in, Lokomotiv got 3 goals in 3:16.  Sergei Plotnikov took advantage of CSKA not being able to clear their net to score in a scramble; just under a minute later, Vitaly Vishnevsky shot one from high on the boards on  goalie Ratislav Stana's right and Yuri Petrov tipped it in for a 2-2 tie.  It was the first for Petrov, a veteran of Lada Togliatti who went to Sibir when Lada was demoted to the VHL.  Two minutes and twenty seconds later, Anisimov put us on top 3-2 in another scramble, which like the first one netted an assist for my boy Emil Gallimov.  The goal was Anisimov's 4th, and spelled the end of the night for Stana.  It also spelled the end of scoring, and Lokomotiv had a 3-2 win.

This puts us at 13 wins, 5 losses, 6 OT games (in which we have 2 wins in OT ant 4 in the shootout).  55 points, tied with Dynamo Moscow (14-5-7) for best in the league overall.  SKA (17-6-2) and Traktor (15-4-6) are next at 53 points.  Dynamo hosts Vityaz tomorrow, while we travel to Moscow's CSKA Ice Palace to play a rematch with Red Army on Wednesday.

Not too surprisingly, Locked out NHLers Radulov (36), Sergei Mozyakin (34), Evgeni Malkin (31), and Ilya Kovalchuk (28) hold down the top 4 spots in league scoring.  We are not a high scoring team- but we have a balanced attack with eight players with 10 to 12 points (Kalyuzhny and Anisimov at 12, Kronwall and Niklaus Hagman at 11, and Plotnikov, Petrov, Chernikov, and Yegor Averin at 10).  However, we are a great defensive team and Varlamov leads the league in save percentage, with Vitaly Kolesnik in fourth, with Curtis Sanford having an even better percent than either of them in just 4 games!  This puts us tied with Ak Bars for fewest goals allowed (49, 4 better than Traktor and Dynamo), even though we only rank 13th in goals scored (68, a whopping 31 behind SKA and 15 back of second place Traktor).

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Sunday Message

In the last week or so I happened to mention the Woman at the Well story in John 4. And something inside it has opened a double edged lesson for me.

As you know, I have often jousted with atheists.  Unfortunately, it is hard to score points in matters of faith with those to whom faith is anathema.  For, according to Logic, "Why would a God who requires worship not reveal Himself?"  Sound logic, I guess, but the problem becomes that, while I will put myself in their shoes to understand their point, they will never afford me that same courtesy.  Or, in doing so, they just can't take it far enough to make sense to them.  But I was thinking in listening to a couple of preachers tonight (Yes, this one is written ahead.)

Say that you are God.  Your purpose in creating man is to make a people peculiar to You, that is tried in the fire, winnowed from the chaff, and completely loyal, which is what You as Creator deserve.

To do that, these people have to be presented with choices so they can choose You.  And the one attribute more than any others that is the opposite of the Love You wish to share with them is pride.  Pride tells them that they are more than You, that they don't need You, that the Universe doesn't need You.  So Pride has to be the main thing winnowed away.  But how to do that?

That is why You choose faith to be Your winnowing staff.  Not faith as in, "I have faith the sun will come up tomorrow," but spiritual Faith, described in Hebrews 11:1 as " Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen."  The belief in a reality beyond our own, and yet very much our own.

Here's where logic can help.  If you wanted to trip up those who believe that man is the pinnacle of evolution, of existance, how better to do so than with faith?  For it is a concept that they can never accept without tearing down the temple of their self-perception and thinking in an entirely new, non-logical way.  Or to put it another way- if God wanted to winnow out those who would never truly believe on Him, what better way than requiring faith?

But it goes deeper than that.  Now suppose your brand of logic brings you to the point where you believe that there is a God.  Whether as a "Hairy Thunderer" or a disembodied "force" or even a disinterested experimentor- or even Jesus Christ after some fashion-you accept that a divine being exists.  History shows us that the natural reaction at this point is to find a way to please that God.  Sacrifices, rituals, laws and regulations.  Somewhere, somehow, there is a way that you can make yourself acceptable to this God.  And this is pride as well- the "I can do it" complex that we all have.  But God wants to shave this away from His peculiar people, too.  What better way to do so than to require, as Luther termed it, "Justification by faith alone"?  Because the whole of the Old Testament is about showing man that, first, he cannot make himself acceptable, and then, that the Law cannot make him acceptable.  And the whole of the New Testament is the hope that comes from Christ having made us acceptable when we could not.

But it goes another step deeper, and this is where we have to refer, if but for a moment to the Woman's story.

“Sir,” the woman said, “I can see that you are a prophet. 20 Our ancestors worshiped on this mountain, but you Jews claim that the place where we must worship is in Jerusalem.”
21 “Woman,” Jesus replied, “believe me, a time is coming when you will worship the Father neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem. 22 You Samaritans worship what you do not know; we worship what we do know, for salvation is from the Jews. 23 Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in the Spirit and in truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks. 24 God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in the Spirit and in truth.”

So, what does "In spirit and in truth" mean?  Read the context.  True worship is not about the building you worship in, nor even the denomination you worship with.  Romans 10:9 lays the groundwork for heaven: "That if you shall confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus, and shall believe in your heart that God has raised him from the dead, you shall be saved."  That is the Spirit end of things, because it is the Spirit that leads you to this point.  But what then?  One of the pastors I listened to tonight was speaking on the story of the prophetess Deborah in Judges 4.  His point being that Deborah's job was to proclaim to the Israelite general Barak (which is going to seem highly ironic in a second) that God was going to put the enemy general Sisera the Canaanite into his hands- all Barak had to do was obey.  But Barak was afraid, didn't have enough faith of his own, and would only lead the troops against Sisera if Deborah came along.  Thus Deborah told him,

9 “Certainly I will go with you,” said Deborah. “But because of the course you are taking, the honor will not be yours, for the Lord will deliver Sisera into the hands of a woman.” ( I think I know another Barack who may someday learn that lesson.)

The point the pastor was making is that if God gives us a task, faith should compell us to act without requiring just the right conditions.  That many people who go all the way to Spirit then just sit there in their pew and let someone else take care of the Truth.  Doesn't mean they have to evangelize or teach or be a missionary, just do what you can in your everyday life, according to the gifts you were given, to act on the FAITH you supposedly have.  In other words, what better way to winnow out those who have faith from those who don't than requiring them to then act on that faith?

In summary of this last part, Spirit is the part of worship where we let the spirit guide us into faith; and truth is acting based on that faith in our lives.  Dear Lord, help me to worship in truth as well as spirit.

And summing up the rest, you can see that far from being "illogical", my dear Sarek, Faith is the most logical way for God to build the people he desires.  Because the people He wants must be able to let go of pride and humble themselves to Him.