Great to be…

Other games might not go so well. (LSU and Georgia are on the schedule)

But it’s always great to play Tennessee. Neyland Stadium is beginning to be like another home game. The Gator Sports Shop should set up an outlet store there.

The best part of winning any rivalry game is to read the newspaper of the opposing school afterwards. This article is good…but the comments at the bottom of it, from loyal fans of the Stumbling Vols, are priceless.

This picture, from the Gainesville Sun, of a guy going with the Heath Ledger/Joker look…how appropriate, if not a little creepy.

Go Gators.

THE Tournament

I have four brackets. I kept them pretty consistent, with only a few minor variations between my picks. A few games are still going on tonight, but currently:

Picks of Faith bracket (church league)
Current score: 19 (tied for 8th out of 12)
Leader score: 21
Best pick: Davidson over Gonzaga
Worst pick: Cal State Fullerton over Wisconsin
4 of my sweet 16 have already been eliminated.

BQ Bracket Busters (Bible quiz league)
Current score: 20 (5th out of 11)
Leader score: 23
Best pick: Davidson
Worst pick: South Alabama over Butler
Again, 4 of my sweet 16 are gone.

Hoops Gurus (league with Gary Robles)
Current score: 100 (7th out of 7)
Leader score: 168
Best pick: Davidson
Worst pick: CSUF
Only 3 of sweet 16 gone, but I’ve lost interest in this bracket. Rules were changed after tourney began, with players allowed to change their picks before today’s games, though I didn’t know it. Weak.

Google (my bracket, no league, just to test the iBracket widget on the Google home page)
Current score: 42
Best pick: San Diego over Connecticut
Worst pick: Georgia over Xavier
3 sweet 16 picks gone, the worst being Drake, whom I had making it to the Final Four. Crazy, but what did I have to lose?

The Madness is Coming

Admittedly, I am not looking forward to the NCAA Men’s Tournament as much this year as I have the past couple of years. The two-time defending National Champions might not even make it into the field.

But it’s still the best period of sports of the year – the Tournament, Opening Day for baseball, the Masters – all within a few weeks.

Bowling with Sam and Shae

Spent New Year’s Day at the Capital One Bowl in Orlando, cheering for the Gators and Heisman Trophy winner, Tim Tebow. Shae and I wore Tebow jerseys. Unfortunately, the Gators lost. We had a good time.


Shae as we wait to get in. You can see Sam sitting in the background


Sam was tired after staying up all night.


Actually, he was happy. He’s just serious about eating.


This is on the ramp on the way to our seats. Sam would make a new friend shortly after this picture.


Ashley Pounders and Shae.


From our seats, high in section 312.


The Gators on the field.


Fireworks were at eye level.


Apache flyover


My favorite picture and memory of the whole day

Making NFL Picks

My picks for this weekend in the USA Today pool I’m in. Other members of the pool mostly are connected with Assemblies of God HQ in Springfield, Missouri. Was invited by my sister, Tammy. (Hey – Tam – no fair looking at my picks. Specially since I’m ahead of you right now!)

Can’t Hold That Tiger

Auburn 20, Gators 17. Sad. Hope it’s not the Year of the Tiger, because Florida plays the LSU version this week. 🙁

Hopeful Iron-y

Spent Thursday and Friday at a great event hosted by Convoy of Hope at the Sawgrass TPC. It was a last-minute generous invite.

For those of you that don’t know, Sawgrass is home to the PGA headquarters. We got to play the Dye Valley Course on Thursday, followed by the TPC Stadium course on Friday. Steven Porter and myself played the two-man scramble together, shooting an 82-80, finishing 2nd in our flight. (Yes, we were in the bottom flight.)

One great moment was on the famous 17th hole on the Stadium course. After making it safely on the green with my tee shot, I had almost the exact same putt as Tiger’s famous “better…than…most” shot. His was better than mine, too, when mine BARELY lipped out. Still, a par there felt pretty good.

Got a few pictures (including some of the hotel that I didn’t post) including the 17th and 18th holes, plus the clubhouse.

Convoy raised over $800,000 at the event to help their efforts around the world. Ironically, while I was there, I found out that my nephew, Nathan, is currently interning with COH and will travel to China in a few weeks.

Overall, it was a lot of fun. And what takes more hope than golf? Especially on a world-class course like the TPC?

Fantasies

September means football and football means…fantasy football and pick-em’s and all sorts of other time-wasting activities associated with football.

So, after week 1, here’s the update on my fantasy league pursuits…(and no, I don’t spend much time on any of this – much.)
Game: Pigskin Pool – USA Today Pro Football Picks
League: PPL2007 – This is mostly members of Headquarters in Springfield. (invited by my sister, Tammy)
My Team: Great to Be a Gator – that’s  a name that says it all.
Results so far: Tied for 2nd after picking 13 right in week one. Not bad.
Game: Pro Football Pick’em
League: Exit Pick’em Football – league started by our youth pastor, Jason Goss, and includes students and adults. (Exit is the name of our youth group.)
My Team: Controlled by Monkeys – don’t you ever feel that way?
Results so far: Tied for 2nd after picking 9 right in week one. If only I would’ve used my USA Today picks.
Game: College Football Pick’em
League: Exit College Pick’em. ibid.
My Team: Own Ohio Renting the Other 49. A maybe-not-so-obvious reference to the Gators’ total domination of Ohio State athletics in the last year. Big news if you haven’t heard – the NCAA won’t allow Florida and Ohio State to play each other anymore. It turns out that slavery is illegal.
Results so far: Tied for 1st after picking 17 correctly in week one. Missed the USF-Auburn game.
Game: Survival Football. This is interesting. You have to pick a winner each week, and you can’t pick the same team to win more than once for the whole season. If you pick a team and they lose, you’re out.
League: Exit Survival Football.
My Team: If I’m Lion I’m Dyin’ – because I’m a Lions fan and they kill me every year.
Results so far: Alive. Picked Seattle to beat the Bucs. This is farther than I got last year.
Game: Salary Cap Football.
League: Exit Salary Football.
My Team: Hair is Overrated. Another obvious statement.
Results so far: Last out of seven. My guys had a down week.
Game: Fantasy Football. This is the kind where you draft players and have to keep up with it over the season. It takes the most time, but I don’t expect to spend too much time on it.
League: Exit Fantasy Football. The league has a matchup element, where not only do we collect points, but we are competing head-to-head every week.
My Team: Flaming Platypi. 
Results so far: 1-0, and in 4th place after defeated Yo’ Mama. I expect to get better – Ladanian Tomlinson is my main guy and he had an off week.
I won’t give updates every week – but I’ll let you know from time to time how it’s going.

Random Thoughts

I’ve tried to keep posts to one subject, but there are too many little thoughts that don’t deserve their own post, yet deserve to be mentioned. Well, I guess you’ll be the judge of that.

*****

Just finished reading a long discussion about the upcoming General Council of the A/G and the Relational District Resolution on the FutureAG blog. Interesting. I understand the reasons for the resolution, but I’m not convinced this (re)solution is the best one.

*****

Mark Teixiera and a pitcher for Jarrod Saltalamacchia and five other players. I hate losing Salty. I think he’s going to be great. But I hope it works out for the Braves.

*****

Much has been said and written about When Bad Things Happen to Good People. But why do Good People Do Stupid Things? {sigh}

*****

I am reminded almost everyday that our time with all our children in the home is growing shorter. This is a golden time.

*****

Speaking of our children, Sam and Shae are working hard, getting ready for next week’s National Fine Arts Festival. They are performing a sketch (along with their friend, Adam). Shae also has a Book Chapter entered. We leave Monday.

*****

I have been sitting on an idea for a new podcast. For about a year. Sometimes it’s hard to pull the trigger.

*****

A new poll is on the right side of the main page. If you don’t know what the poll is asking, choose “Neither”.

*****

Many people participated in yesterday’s prayer and fasting for families. I’m looking forward to hearing some testimonies. I already know the enemy didn’t like it.

*****

I feel sorry for Barry Bonds. I wish he wasn’t going to break the record, but I still feel bad that people treat him as an object, instead of a human being.

*****

I haven’t done a new episode of the Bible Quiz Podcast since I went to Arizona, and I really need to. Hopefully soon.

*****

We had a GREAT episode of the Church Drama Podcast on Sunday. Maybe it wasn’t so great – but I laughed much. It should be posted soon. (It’s taking forever to encode the video.)

*****

I still like my iPhone. And next week – the new iMac!

Small World

Somehow I don’t think this will be the last post with this title. It always amazes and delights us when we run into someone we know that either, a) knows someone we know, b) has lived/lives somewhere we have lived/live, or, c) all of the above.

We – Ray, John, Paul, and myself…four Bible Quiz guys – headed to The Gallery today for a round of golf. Paul rode along while the other three of us played.

The interesting thing was, while we were driving to the course, Ray started talking about his son. I’ve known his son for a long time, and I knew he had recently moved from his church in South Carolina to a church in Texas.

Before I finish that story, I need to add that my roommate here in Tucson, Josh Weber, recently moved to the Tampa area from Nashville. He attended Cornerstone A/G, where a guy named John McKinzie used to be on staff. John is now lead pastor at Hope Fellowship in Frisco, Texas.

And it wasn’t until today, when Ray mentioned again about his son that I made the connection. His son, Scott Berkey, is children’s pastor at Hope Fellowship, not only the home of John McKinzie, but the new home of another old friend – that I’ve mentioned in this blog – Mark Lunsford.

Small world, indeed.

{Picture is of Scott Berkey’s dad, Ray}

Fore!

The ball was headed directly for their cart, as the twosome passed behind the green on their way to the next hole.

So, yes, I did really yell “Fore!” once this week.

I was at the Southeastern University Tournament at The Pearl in Calabash, North Carolina. It’s a very good tournament. It was great to see Mark Carr. He’s started a new church in Raleigh. It looks like he’ll do well.

We – the seven of us from Faith, along with Pastor’s brother – arrived Monday about 10am, having left North Fort Myers after the Sunday morning service, driving all day, spending the night in Florence, SC, and driving to the course, by way of Krispy Kreme.

We played golf until 5pm Monday – 18 holes on the West Course, then the last 5 holes of the East Course – then had dinner in the clubhouse.

After a good night’s sleep at the hotel on the beach, we played the 1st round of the tourney on Tuesday morning on the West Course. My foursome – me, Pastor, his brother Paul, and Stephen Porter – didn’t have a good day, but it worked out well for us. We shot a 1 under, 71, and we were put into the 3rd flight. We then played a practice round on the East Course.

Tuesday night was dinner at The Isle restaurant on the beach. It was a buffet with she-crab soup, salad, fish…then we went to the main buffet, with steak, chicken, fish, and vegetables.

Wednesday morning we played the second round. It was a much better day. We started the day with a one-shot lead in our flight, then shot a 9-under 63. I had told Stephen before we started that I thought we would need to shoot a 62 to win. I was right. The 2nd place team shot a 62 to tie us, then won on the tiebreaker.

It didn’t matter, because everyone gets a prize. I won a pair of golf shoes. Adidas. Worth $150. Nice shoes. I also got a pitching wedge, hat, and shirt.

We left about 3pm, and drove to just north of Orlando. We drove home this morning.

It was a good trip. Good golf, good food, good fellowship. It was good to see Mark. It was great weather. It’s good to be home.

Yes, the ball missed the twosome.

Better Fonts

Happy Mother’s Day.

My mom (and dad) were here for the afternoon. Dad wanted to watch the end of the Player’s Championship (golf) and Mom wanted to see us. Okay, I’m sure Dad wanted to see us, too…I think.

But do you care about all that?

What IS interesting is a tip I heard on MacBreak Weekly about ComicBookFonts. These are great looking fonts, and it challenged me to do a better job with the fonts we use in Sunday services. I wanted to buy a few of the fonts at the ComicBookFonts web site, but didn’t want to spend the money.

Fortunately, I have about 4000 fonts already on my Mac. (Yes, that’s way too many. Microsoft Office has a cow every time I open a document.) But I have no idea what they all are. I’ve been spending time this weekend getting to know them. So far my favorite is Bolton Sans. That’s the font I’m using in the blog header.

I just wish Blogger would give me more options on fonts to use in this blog.

(At least I didn’t lose $747,000 like poor Sean O’Hair did today. Wait a minute…did I say poor? The guy still won over $200,000. Slightly better than I did today.)