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Something else to be thankful for at Christmas December 21, 2006

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I will blog more about this later, but read this and be thankful that you have countrymen like this man.

It’s Over/Under time December 19, 2006

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Well, it certainly has been a long time and I want all of you to know that I am alive and well and my new year’s resolution is to try to be a better blogger!!  The ultra powerful O/U computers have been bored in my prolonged absence, and it is time that I revved them up for a special Christmas edition of O/U.

1.  Santa Claus – Overrated.  Sad, but true.  Here’s a guy with the ability to rip through the time/space continuim at such a rate that he not only can make it to every kid on the planet in one 24 hour period but he can also simultaneoulsy appear at every mall in North America.  Now what does the jolly fat man do with this amazing technology?  He works one day a year and runs an elf sweat shop.  He tries to play on our sympathies by  the charitable stuff, but he’s gotta be raking in a fortune advertising revenues and appearance fees.  Plus, I might add that there is a perfectly good fat man in our house to get credit for my daughter’s presents.

2.  Caroling – Overrated– There once was a time when this quaint tradition was one to be appreciated.  These were before the days when one was forced on Christmas Eve to cloister oneself from the family so one can put together complicated toys with instructions written by people with only a passing relationship with the English language and diagrams drawn by what seem to be drunken monkeys.  When you are involved in this type of activity the last thing you want to hear is “Honey, come here – We’ve got carolers!”  Here’s an idea – don’t come around with your minimally-rehearsed, poorly sung versions of “We Wish You a Merry Christmas” unless you want a snootfulof “figgy pudding” flung at you at high and dangerous speeds.  Instead, bring a couple of tools, a vivid imagination to interpret diagrams, and a Taiwanese-to-English dictionary.

3.  White ChristmasUnderrated – Nothing cooler.

4.  The movie “It’s a Wonderful Life” – Overrated  I know I am being tough here, but I remember when I was in high school when this movie would show 8 times a day on every cable and independent station in the world (It would be like, “MTV now will break from our normal schedule of showing over-hyped Michael Jackson videos to bring 16 hours of uninterrupted ‘It’s a Wonderful Life’, and after that… Headbanger’s ball!!).  It was at that time I swore off this movie even though it had that wonderful scene of them falling in the swimming pool at the school dance (why, oh why, couldn’t they close the floor over them and make it a horror flick?  Let’s see Clarence get his wings on that!)  So, please, keep your Jimmy Stewart, your loser suicidal angels, and most of all Zouzou’s petals.

5.  Being with your family as you read the Christmas storyUnderrated– There is nothing better than getting out your Bible and remembering with those closest to you the miracle of the incarnation.  We get busy with lots of stuff and stress, but to take the time to sit and ponder what it must have been like to be those shepherds or to witness the first incredible breaths and cries of the King of Kings, or to feel the exhileration and panic of Mary and Joseph as they tried to understand how their lives had just drastically changed is an incredible time.  So, in all the busyness of friends and family, don’t forget to gather your loved ones close and worship the Lord.

Merry Christmas.

Now here’s a friendly wager… September 28, 2006

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As my loyal readers know, I am currently involved in two fantasy football leagues.  In one league, I am clearly a train wreck.  But in the other, I am apparently vying for first place, which has caused my friend Richard to lose his mind.  On his blog, he has challenged me to a friendly wager on who will win this week’s matchup between the two of us.  Since he is a native of Detroit, he has offered up a can of motor oil as a symbol of his city, and he has asked me to respond in like with a symbol of my city.  Frankly, I am glad he chose motor oil, because I was wondering how he would package a riot, since that is clearly the only other thing Detroit is known for.  My first thought on a symbol for the city of my birth (Indianapolis) was racing.  Because even though Detroit is known as “The Motor City”, we had to show them how to make those motors go fast.  But I remembered that I hate racing.  Then I came upon IT.  What is the one thing that captures the heart of Indianapolis, indeed the entire state of Indiana?   …Basketball!  Even Detroit can appreciate that, because the greatest Piston of all time learned his basketball lessons in Bloomington, Indiana.

So here is my counter-proposal:  The winner of this week’s matchup will host the loser at a Pacers-Pistons basketball game this season.  In addition, the winner may make the loser wear whatever the winner wishes.  So, if you decide to accept, please send me your size so I can tell Coleman which tent to put the Pacer logo on.

How do you like that, Music Boy?

Apologies to all September 19, 2006

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I can tell that many of you are worrying about me because I have not posted for so long.  Well, I have not been abducted by aliens, nor have I lost so much weight that I can no longer lift my fingers to type.  Some of you may have even thought that I have abandoned the effort and quietly left to wallow in my own immenseness.  None of these things are true.  What is true is that I have been very busy and not able to post anything for quite a while.  So, here are the answers to the burning questions you all have been asking

1.  Yes

2.  I don’t know.  I need more information

3.  That’s what people are saying, but I tend to disagree

4.  12

5.  No, that’s the total.

6.  I’d rather not get into that at this time.

7.  I couldn’t agree more.

8.  Before the end of the week

Well, that’s all I have time for today.  Maybe if I have more time later I will fill you in on the questions.

Weekly Update on “the effort” August 30, 2006

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Well, if it’s Wednesday it must be the day to update the health issue.  Well, I must say this has been a busy week.  Everyday I went to the gym and worked out twice a day (with the exception of Sunday because I only do cardio on Sun).  A lot of calories burned and muscles aching and today was the payoff.  This morning I slowly crept to the scale so it wouldn’t hear me coming and brace itself.  Then I set the balance to the right 50 pound area and began the slide.  With each increment the scale passed anticipation raised. How much would I lose?  What would be the incredible number I could report to you today?  Well, here it is folks – One pound lost!! 

OK, so I didn’t exactly burn up the scales this week, but I’m not discouraged.  First of all that was one pound less than I weighed last week.  Secondly, I really didn’t expect to lose all that much because of the weight training I have been doing.  Thirdly (and penultimately), I have received a few nice comments about how much better I’m looking.  Fourthly (and ultimately), I have noticed quite a few positive health changes already.

What are these health changes you ask?  Allow me to enumerate:

1.  Increased endurance – I’ve had to up the intensity of all of my workouts because what was killing me two weeks ago is not challenging me today.

2.  The slight beginnings of definition have begun to show up in my muscles.

3.  Lower blood sugars- My blood sugar this morning was 121.  Two weeks ago that would have been in the 200’s.

4.  Increased Flexibility – I can do “Head and Shoulders/ Knees and Toes” with hardly any difficulty (except for actually touching the toes).

An excercise in excercise August 23, 2006

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For those of you who know me you know that rotund isn’t an apt description of me.  In fact, I would have to lose the combined weight of a couple of toddlers to get down to morbidly obese.  Recently I went on the WebMD weight-loss web site and put in height and weight so they could tell me my BMI.  As soon as I hit “enter” my entire screen started flashing a warning and a voice called out from my computer that said “Sir, put the fork down now!”  Then a message came up that told me I didn’t have a BMI – it was more like a specific gravity.  After that I decided to take my health more seriously.  I decided to start eating better and excercising, and also to find out what in the world a BMI was (It stands for Body Mass Index and it turns out it is another tool to tell you exactly how fat you are!).  Also, in another fit of insanity I decided to share my progress with all of you each Wednesday.  Call it cyber-accountability.  So, here are the changes I have made so far:

                      1.  My family joined the Y (You may begin singing anytime)

                      2.  I’m working out twice a day (5:30 lifting & pm cardio)

                      3.  Changing my diet

                      4.  Going to bed earlier (5:00 am comes very early)

So, I bet you are wondering what is the net effect of all these changes.  Well, I’ve only been on this schedule for a week, but here is what I’ve noticed so far:

                     1.  I’m fitting into my clothes better.

                     2.  I used to get really tired in the afternoon, but now I’m really tired all the time (still adjusting to the new schedule).

                     3.  Last week when I walked up a flight of stairs I would grunt – Now I scream! 

                     4.  I lost 8 pounds

In future posts I’ll get into more of what I’m doing from a diet and excercise standpoint.  I also will post how much I excercise and what other benefits I see that aren’t weight related.  If you want to join me in my cyber accountability for health or weight loss just post your progress in the comments section each week after I post.  Thanks 

An excercise in excercise August 23, 2006

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This is why the 2nd ammendment is important August 18, 2006

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If you don’t think there is a need for people to have concealed carry permits you need to read this story

You’re It August 16, 2006

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Evidently without warning or provocation I have been tagged.  I am told the polite thing to do is answer the questions asked of me and pass them along.  Although I am always leery of doing the polite thing it just so happens I was “tagged” by my wife, so I am obliged to be on my best behaviour.  So, here it goes . . .

Four Jobs I have had

1.  Cookin’ for the Colonel @ KFC (had to quit when the District Manager hit on me and he wasn’t my type.)

2.  Regeneration Plant Technician @ H2O solutions

3.  Youth Pastor

4.  V.P. of Sales @ S.E. Fenstermaker (If you think that sounds impressive you have to realize that the company only has one employee and I can only make V.P.)

Four Movies I would watch over and over again

1.  Monty Python’s Search For The Holy Grail

2.  The Outlaw Josey Wales

3.  West Side Story

4.  Anything with John Wayne

Four Places I have visited

1.  Scotland

2.  Vail, Colorado

3.  Boston, Mass

4.  Bean Blossom, Indiana

Four things I like to do

1.  Spending time with my family

2.  Reading

3.  Participating in and watching sports (specifically football, basketball, soccer and golf)

4.  Hunting

Four favorite foods

1.  Great big steaks (anything smaller than 16 oz. is a warm-up steak)

2.  Steamed Crabs

3.  Steamed Lobster

4.  Great  big steaks served with sides of steamed crab and lobster

Four Websites I visit daily

1.  Indystar.com

2.  Newsbusters.org

3.  espn.com

4.  crosswalk.com

Four places I would like to be

1.  On vacation with my wife most anywhere

2.  In the woods hunting

3.  Pebble Beach

4.  Quietly sneaking up behind Osama bin Laden with a knife in my hand (Sorry, just heard some recently released 911 calls from 9/11).

Four Places I would like to go on Vacation

1.  Hunting in Alaska

2.  Hunting in Africa

3.  Golfing @ Pebble Beach

4.  Hunting in the Western U.S.

Four People to tag

1.  John

2.  Paul

3.  George

4.  Ringo

Back by popular demand – the NFL version of Overrated/Underrated August 10, 2006

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I can tell by the frenzied beating of the drums that the natives are getting restless.  So, I am left with a dilemma – publish a new O/U or let them sacrifice a virgin.  Well, here at Random Scubalon we have a long history of opposing human sacrifice.  So, without further ado – the NFL version of Overrated/Underrated. 

(Just a quick explanation to the O/U uninitiated – these are not my opinions on these subjects.  These ratings are fed through powerful super-computers specifically designed to determine the actual “value” of certain persons, places, things, or ideas as opposed to the hype that they generate.  The reason you can’t do this is only I have access to the computers and the super-secret formulae needed to make them work. You can’t imagine the chaos that would occur if these tools fell into the hands of our enemies like al Quaida or the New York Times. These rankings are science in its purest form.  They can’t be questioned.  On an unrelated note, it has occurred to me that I said I would get to the NFL O/U “without further ado”.  This explanation clearly qualifies as “ado”, and for that I apologize.)

Retirement of Commissioner Paul Tagliabue Underrated– This guy not only led the NFL to become the #1 sport in America, but he held together a system that allowed for free agency, allowed small-market teams to have a legitimate chance to compete for a title, and provided uninterrupted labor peace.  I know the new guy is supposed to have all these credentials, but if in five years teams like KC, Indy, TN, Cincy and GB can’t compete because of competitive imbalance then that will be a blow from which the NFL will not easily recover.

The entire NFC – Overrated– Sorry, but this is one weak football conference.  The best they will have to offer is Carolina.  Carolina stinks!  Their quarterback is Jake Delhomme.  Here’s a guy who caught lightning in a bottle for a few playoff games.  Let me be frank – the lightning has run out of the bottle.  They will win that division because they are the best of the JV teams in that group, but they are not even a good team.  That will be exposed this year.  It has also been said that the NFC east is the best division in football.  Just because there is not one “bad” team in the division by NFC standards does not mean the division is anything more that spectacularly mediocre.  Philly will be lucky to win five games and the Cowboys are one T.O bad hair day away from being 6-10.  In the Snyder era Washington always looks good in August but that only has translated in one playoff appearance, and what T.O is to Dallas Shockey is to the Giants.

The Detroit LionsUnderrated– Please try to contain your shock.  Here is a team that has QB issues, WR issues, and has been on the coaching carousel.  Also, don’t forget that they also have what possibly is the worst front office in the league after the Raiders.  But, don’t forget what they do have going for them – they play in division that is truly weak and something I like to call “professional sports momentum.”  PSM is a phenomena that occurs when one sports franchise in a city gets good and creates an environment where other sports franchises in that same city start to improve as well.  Detroit seems to be in that groove right now.  A few years ago every team in D-town was not doing well (with the possible exception of the Red Wings, but who really cares?).  Then the Pistons get really good and win a championship.  They spend the next two years challenging for championships.  Along comes this baseball season – All of a sudden the Tigers have the best record in the American League.  I don’t know why it seems to happen this way (other current examples are Indy of the mid ’90s and Boston of the early ’00s.), but it does happen sometimes.  The Lions are going to get a big PSM push that will have them competing for a playoff spot late in the year.

The Cincinatti Bengals – Overrated and  Underrated– I must admit the computers were a little perplexed by this one.  As an NFL team they are way overrated.  However, the computers do pick them as three touchdown favorites over any team in the Ohio State Penitentiory System.  Word to the wise – take the points.  (If you don’t get the above rating it may help to know that 5 different Bengal players have been arrested this off -season with one of their draft picks leading the league with 4 arrests in 3 states since December.)

Ben RothlisbergerOverrated– Please, please, please contain your whining Steelers fans!  There is no room for your raw emotion when we are engaged in science.  Big Ben is a taller version of Jim Harbaugh.  As a Colts fan I loved Harbaugh.  He was tough, a good leader and made plays, but he was NOT A GREAT PLAYER.  Ben isn’t one either.  I hear you saying “But . . . but . . . he won a Super Bowl.”  No, he didn’t.  He took every opportunity to give that game away, but the only people that had a worse game than him were the guys in stripes that kept giving it back.  I will say this for him – he is the best tackling QB I’ve seen in a long time (not only did he tackle Nick Harper, but evidently a mini-van as well).

There you go – an entire NFL version of O/U.  I know you are thinking “What, no Colts?”      

                           #1  Would you please start thinking in complete sentences?

                           #2  There will be an all-Colts O/U before the season starts. (Boy, do I smell a lot of underrateds coming)