Wednesday, April 28, 2010

What's That Smell?

That awful smell coming from the baseball world has been from the Dodgers.  The Dodgers have lost 2 out of 3 games to Pittsburgh, Florida, Cincinnati, Washington, and just lost all 3 games to the NY Mets.  Their defense is pathetic, but is better than their pitching (yikes!).  Their offense was doing great, until the last six games (they've been outscored 13 - 30).  

Good news...well they have won 4 out of 6 games at home (including 2 out of 3 versus the Giants!).  They are about to start a 10 game homestand. Hopefully they can get some home cooking and get back into the groove.  

We headed into yesterday's game with a league record of 4-2, with a chance to avenge one of those losses to keep up our hopes of 1st place in league.  After the second inning a few things happened for the first time all season.  #1, we gave up 8 runs in the first inning (4 unearned).  Not exactly the way we planned it.  #2, I had words for the umpires on multiple occasions. Heated in one case.  #3, The home umpire called a balk with NO ONE ON BASE.  He was about to send the batter to first when I mentioned that you can't balk with no one on base.  (This was not the incident that I got upset about).

So we are now 4-3 in league with a shot at 2nd...we just can't lose any of our remaining games.

So here's to my team finishing strong.  And here's to the Dodgers getting their act together.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Come on People!!

Why do people drive the speed limit or slower and drive in the fast/passing lane?  Is there a lack of education on the etiquette of driving by the driving schools or parents?  It really is ridiculous how slow some people drive in the fast lane.  

If you want to drive slow (for whatever dumb reason), then enjoy your ride in the slow lane.  Especially on a two lane highway.  Move your donkey (or whatever you call your slow vehicle) over to the right lane and let people drive normal in the left lane.  

So when I'm driving 10 mph over the speed limit (give or take), and another car is rapidly approaching me, I move over and let him (or I guess it could be a her) go by.  No harm done.  No thoughts of "Well I'll show him that he needs to slow down!"

What is the appropriate way to "encourage" the driver in front of you to move over?  Pray for enlightenment?  Flash your lights and honk your horn?  Hope that the cell service will drop the call?  See how close you can get to the car in front of you until you can go around them, then cut them off?

Honestly, if you are a slow driver, and are willing to admit it, please comment on the best way to get you to move over?

Oh, and when you give me "The Finger" as I pass you, it only gives me pleasure.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

So Sad

 As an educator I hope to influence my students' behavior, decision making skills, and help them to overcome difficult situations.  I try to instill a sense of pride and responsibility.  The year I was an assistant principal, I spent many hours working with students who were sent to my office due to their behavior.  There were many "regulars" who I saw frequently.  No matter what their issues were, I always tried to point out the best in them...even if I was interrupted with profanity.

But there is nothing that prepares you to see bad things happen involving former students.  This particular story has the former student allegedly involved in a brutal crime.  It's tough to see a 15-year-old girl possibly partake in a burglary, murder and conspiracy against an 81-year-old woman.  See the story here.

This is an awful story all the way around.  It's sad that the lady had to die in such a brutal way.  It's sad that Katila's life has led her to this situation.  I just pray for all involved, and hope that one day Katila (and the others) will learn from the past and make a better life for themselves.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Good Friday

Today is Good Friday, the day that Jesus of Nazareth was crucified.  Christians believe He died to be the ultimate sin sacrifice for those who believe in Him.  His death was required to allow anyone, no matter what their baggage is, to go to Heaven. 

He died for the "good people."  You know the type.  They don't get arrested, they volunteer in the community, and they help the old lady load her groceries in her car.  They are polite, helpful, and are good friends.

He died for the "bad people."  The person that every other word would be bleeped out if he/she was on television, gets drunk/high every night, or is a San Francisco Giant fan.  The person in prison for murder, rape, or any other horrible crime.  

"For ALL have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God." (Romans 3:23)

"For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God.  Not by works, lest any man should boast." (Ephesians 2: 8-9)

"Jesus answered, I am the way and the truth and the life.  No one comes to the Father except through me." (John 14:6)

Jesus came here to die for us all.  There is no prerequisites for anyone to follow Him and receive eternal life.  He asks that you admit that you are a sinner.  Admit the obvious, we all suck from time to time.  Repent for your sins by asking for forgiveness.  

Then believe that Jesus Christ is Lord, that He died for you, and rose again so that we all can live in Heaven.  "For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord." (Romans 6:23)  

Finally, confess that Jesus Christ is Lord and follow Him. "That if you confess with your mouth, "Jesus is Lord," and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved." (Romans 10:9)

The tough part is sometimes believing that you are wanted, loved, worthy of someone's unconditional love.  But that's exactly what Jesus offers.  There is no shame, guilt, sin, flaw, hang up, addiction that is so gross that Jesus says, "Whoa! That's too awful."  Instead He says "Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest." (Matthew 11:28)

Someone once said, "Christianity does not guarantee a release from the ills of the  world, but a way to deal with them."  Life is hard and unfair at times.  But having faith and hope in the right place leads to something better.

Jeremiah 29:11 says, "For I know the thoughts that I think towards you, says the LORD, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope."  We all stumble and fall, but we get back up.  Even if the world says you are not good enough, no one cares about you...someone does. 

A Boy and a Dream

Opening Day is almost here and it is time to put on my rosy colored glasses and make my prediction (wishful thinking) about the Dodgers.

The Dodgers have a loaded team with talent, but do have holes they will need to address.  Here's how I see it:

*Russell Martin rebounds and returns to his All Star form.

*Rafael Furcal stays healthy and has an average year (good batting average, defense and lots of runs scored).

*Matt Kemp and Andre Ethier both take another step towards stardom.  Both are on the All-Star team.

*Mannywood stays challenged by his walk year (he will be a free agent after the season) and by the play of Kemp and Ethier.  He leads the league in batting average, but can't keep up with Kemp and Ethier's power numbers.

*Kershaw and Billingsley make everyone forget that they didn't start the season with an "Ace", but now have two.

*Broxton continues his dominance in the 9th.

**Feeling the good vibes on how the team is doing, but seeing how the Phillies appear to be unstoppable, Frank McCourt get drunk and gives Ned Colletti the okay to do whatever it takes to get Cliff Lee (the Mariners fall apart and make Lee available).

The Dodgers pay all of Lee's salary and give up multiple AA prospects.  McCourt wakes up the next day with an awful hangover, but is delighted to see a headline that actually is positive about him being the owner.  He then sees that Cliff Lee is a Dodger, throws up, tries to veto the deal, but it is too late.

The Dodgers storm through the playoffs, finally beating the Phillies to get to the World Series.  They sweep Boston (Manny and Torre dance the jig on the pitcher's mound at Fenway).

The day after the parade through downtown LA, Jaime McCourt teams up with an investment group led by Mark Cuban and buys out Frank.  Jaime tells Frank, "They boys will still own the team in the future, it will just be me handing them the reins."  

Dodgers resign Cliff Lee during the offseason and now have Kershaw, Lee and Billingsley leading the rotation, with Broxton slamming the door shut.  Kemp and Ethier make everyone forget about Mannywood.

Vin Scully retires, and his final words were, "The Dodgers are the World Champions once again...Good night everybody."