Sunday, August 31, 2008

Lollapalooza '08

Without a doubt, the chance to attend such a glorious occasion is something that only comes around once or twice in a lifetime if you do not live within the Chicago city limits. This was my first concert festival and I thoroughly enjoyed every moment. The weekend was filled to the brim with pizza, walking, beer, sweat, standing around, noise, art, wine, random connections, being shirtless, and of course...rapturous energy from a plethora of musical acts.

Thursday, July 31:

After a long day of work I return home with my bags fully packed. I change into shorts and a tshirt, meet up with John, load my bags into my dad's truck and we are off to the airport to catch our 7 pm flight to Chicago. The excitement quickly turns to sheer terror when upon our arrival to Denver International Airport we are informed that our flight is canceled and there is no other way to get to Chicago that evening. Dread fills our minds as the expensive concert we are attending begins promptly at 11 am the following day. Many phone calls and online encounters later we finally land ourselves on a 6 am flight out of Colorado Springs.

Friday, August 1st:

My alarm begins playing sounds from the ocean promptly at 3:45. I jump in the shower, throw on my cloths from the previous day, we hop in the car and head for my parents house. My dad, being the saint that he is, agrees to drive us to the Springs airport at 4:30 in the AM. Not too much ruckus presents itself at the airport and we safely board the early flight to the Windy City.

Our flight lands around 10ish in Chicago. Armed with only or small carry on luggage, we deplane and head towards the Hertz rent a car location. With exhaustion in our bodies but excitement in our hearts, we drive away from O'Hare International Airport. Already we had decided that no bands that we had any desire to see were going on until after 3.

With time on our hands and adventure at our fingertips we decide to drive past Wrigley Field. I despise the Cubs with the fire of a thousand suns but have great respect for the Field's place in history. It was quite a site to drive past. John then decided that I should have my first true Chicago style pizza experience. We met Brandy and Joanie who were roadtripping from the east coast to SoCal at Giordano's. It was a fun beginning to the trip

Finally we arrive at Grant Park just in time for the Black Keys to take the stage. The twosome from Akron, Ohio did a fine job. It was hard to get excited because I'm only familiar with their most recent album, but I enjoyed the few songs we stayed for nonetheless.

We then took a couple of hours off to simply sit down in the shade with a brew. The early morning flight, pizza and sun definitely was catching up to us. Around 6 we headed back to the stage just in time to see the Raconteurs go on. These guys exhibited a great deal of energy. I expected nothing less from Jack White and crew. My only regret is that we were only able to stay for about half the show. Radiohead played at 8 on the opposite end of the park and we wanted to get there early for a good spot in the grass.

Promptly at 8 pm, the reason we bought the tickets in the first place took the stage. Anticipation had been building up for the past few months. For years I've wanted to experience Radiohead live and it was about to happen. They played for two solid hours, hitting songs from every album except for Pablo Honey. It was enjoyable, but it would be nice to see a more intimate show where they headlined. Seeing a band in this setting was fun, but the view is terrible. Hopefully they'll hit Denver soon.

Saturday, August 2:

After a filling gyro in Greek Town, we headed over to the park. We arrived around 3ish, just in time to see DeVotcKa take the stage. This was one of the best shows we saw. Surprisingly, the band from Denver was incredible live. The sound was great and their showmanship was unmatched. Being that they were at a smaller stage that was on a slant, it was not too crowded and easy to enjoy.

Next we witnessed Explosions In The Sky. I saw these guys in Denver back in March and was excited to see 'em again. Sadly, while playing well, they suffered from what most other Lollapalooza bands suffered from. Shuffle in the crowd, lack of excitement, and competing bands on other stages. I enjoyed them but the intimate setting of the Ogden in Denver was a far superior experience.

Next we hit Jamie Lidell. Neither of us had ever heard him but his bio was intriguing. It was a forgettable experience and we left after 2 songs.

At 6:30 Broken Social Scene took the stage. These guys were far from perfect, but pretty impressive. They put on a pretty decent show.

John and I then separated. Wilco and Rage were scheduled to play on opposite stages. John decided that he could not live with himself if he passed up a chance to see Wilco in their hometown of Chicago, while I decided that a band like Rage who's been on hiatus for 8 years, would not be a wise band to pass up. John stayed put and I headed to the other stage for what would end up being the best show of the weekend.

People were more excited for Zack, Tom and crew than any other act that weekend. The event began with me arriving to the stage about an hour early and pushing my way as far forward as possible. I finally settled on a spot in the middle about 50 yard from the stage. This was relatively close compared to where some would have to stand. The next thing that happened was quite odd. First of all, where I was standing was nowhere near a bathroom of any kind. To relieve yourself, you'd have to risk losing your spot to walk around and find a bathroom. So I'm standing in a crowded area and notice that people are quickly backing away. I then feel a sprinkle on my left calf. I turn around and there is a drunk guy behind me who has dropped trou and proceeded to urinate in front of everyone. What an asshole. If you can't hold it, sucks to be you. Don't piss on everyone else. But I got over it.

When Rage finally took the stage, 60,000 people rushed like maniacs forward plowing anyone in their way. I had no choice but to inadvertently push whoever was around me, carried along with the crowd. It was quite an exciting experience. Zack had to actually stop in the middle of the third song. He stopped his rapping, signaled to the band to quit playing, and addressed the audience. The moshing had gotten so crazy that many people were starting to get hurt. Apparently people were being crushed in the front row near the stage. "Brothers and Sisters," he began, "please respect and take care of those around you. We have tons of our best shit to throw down for you this evening, but we can't do that if you are going to hurt each other. Please, everyone take ten steps back." We obliged. He only had to make this same announcement twice more during the show. Even though it is ridiculous that people would actually hurt each other during a rock show, it was an amazing experience to be a part of. The energy was unmatched. They played all the old favorites and were musically flawless. On top of that, their showmanship was breathtaking. I left an altered person.

Sunday, August 3:

After another Chicago style pizza experience, John and I decided to visit the Art Institute of Chicago before hitting up the third day of the concert. This proved to be a relaxing and moving way to begin the afternoon.

We entered the park around 4, just in time for Iron and Wine to take the stage. Surprisingly, he was plugged in the whole time. No quiet acoustic pieces for the normally low key and lo-fi artist from Miami. It was quite a good show.

Next came one of the best surprises of the weekend. If you had told me that Blues Traveler would have been one of my favorite experiences this weekend, I'd have had words with you. But they put on a hell of a show. They do not take themselves too seriously, they rock hard and get the crowd involved. I loved it.

After the hasbeens, we viewed the dynamic duo of Cee-lo and Danger Mouse, more commonly referred to as Gnarls Barkley. These guys also put on a hell of a show. They are thought of more as a R&B act, but they were there with a full band. They played their best stuff from both albums and closed with a cover of the Radiohead song "Reckoner." They put a smile on my face.

The weekend ended with an arrogant over the top performance from Kanye West. His show was easily the most expensive one all weekend. Needless to say, it was an impressive performance. The crowd was completely enthralled. My favorite part was when he prophetically claimed that he would one day be the greatest of all time. Greater than Jimi Hendrix, Bob Marly, Marvin Gaye, and Michael Jackson. "If I don't speak for myself, who else will?" It was fun.

This weekend proved to be extremely memorable. Even though I'd prefer to see many of these bands in a more intimate setting, it was definitely worth the trip. Being that I love lists I'll leave you with two. The first is the order of the bands I was most excited to see. The second is a list of what ended up being my favorite shows.

1. Radiohead
2. Rage Against the Machine
3. Explosions in the Sky
4. The Raconteurs
5. Kanye West
6. Gnarls Barkley
7. The Black Keys
8. DeVotchKa
9. Iron and Wine
10. Broken Social Scene
11. Blues Traveler

1. Rage Against the Machine
2. Radiohead
3. Blues Traveler
4. DeVotchKa
5. The Raconteurs
6. Broken Social Scene
7. Gnarls Barkley
8. Kanye West
9. Iron and Wine
10. Explosions in the Sky
11. The Black Keys

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Pardon My Absence

I write here now to offer my sincerest apologies to the 2 or 3 of you that read this blog for my month and a half absence. July and August whipped past like a tornado that'd make Dorothy Gale urinate all over those ruby red slippers. Here's what the time period consisted of...

July 4th - 6th:

Spontaneous road trip to visit the Riley family in Orem, UT. Tim was my boss/mentor during my year with SENTREX Exterminator my senior year at APU. He ended up inviting me to be an unofficial member of the family. I cordially accepted. Tim, his wife Glenda, his daughter Catherine, and son Chris all became vital members of my world. They moved to Orem over a year and a half ago. All the while I'd been promising to visit, but never did. Finally, the week before the 4th, I decided that I'd jump in my car that Friday morning. I had the day off from work and wanted to get the hell out of town. It was an outstanding but short trip.

July 10th:

My hard drive goes belly up. It doesn't get fixed until the first of blog entries.

July 11th - 21st:

In Portland for David's wedding. It was a blasty blast. I'll go into detail in a later blog.

July 20th:

Our landlord drops the "you have 30 days to get your asses the hell out of the place you're renting or your souls are mine" email. Ok, I guess it wasn't that dramatic. It came out of the blue and we were in no way prepared to search for a place at that current time. Apparently he had family that had fallen on hard times and wanted to move them into the place for a reduced rate. What a douchebag.

August 1st - 4th.

In Chicago for Lollapalooza! I'll not go into detail for this will be the subject of my next blog.

August 5th - 19th:

Frantically searching for a place to live. We ended up finding one about a block from where we lived the day before our lease was up. We moved in a day and a half. It was unbelievable.

So my focus has been elsewhere these last two months. Hopefully the 2 or 3 readers of this blog found other useless ways to occupy their internet time.

Monday, July 7, 2008

First Halfsies

2008 is halfway over. Here are my music and film favs over the first halfsy of the year.


1. WALL-E (pure magic and inspiration)
2. Iron Man (Downey Jr. is the cat's pajamas)
3. Forgetting Sarah Marshall (Doesn't quite reach the hilarity of Knocked Up, but still funny)
4. In Bruges (a little uneven, but strong in parts)
5. Wanted (fun to watch, altogether forgettable)

Films I have not yet seen that may have changed this list

The Bank Job
Smart People
The Life Before Her Eyes
Kung Fu Panda
Paranoid Park
Run Fat Boy Run
The Visitor

Disappointing first half film

Be Kind Rewind (Great cast, promising premise, solid director, bad film)
Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of Crystal School (Could have been wasn't, could've been wasn't)
Prince Caspian (Not a bad film by any stretch...too much action and too little character development, fun action but could've been so much more)

Second half film I'm looking forward to

The Road (John Hillcoat)
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (David Fincher)
Milk (Gus Van Sant)
The Dark Knight (Christopher Nolan)
Synechdoche, New York (Charlie Kaufman)
Pineapple Express (David Gordan Green)
Choke (Clark Gregg)
Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist (Peter Sollett)
W. (Oliver Stone)
Zack and Miri Make a Porno (Kevin Smith)
Quantum of Solace (Marc Forster)
House of Lies (Ridley Scott)
Changeling (Clint Eastwood)
Che (Steven Soderbergh)
Brothers (Jim Sheridan)


Five Favs so far

1. My Morning Jacket - Evil Urges
2. Sun Kil Moon - April
3. Bon Iver - For Emma, Forever Ago
4. Spiritualized - Songs in A & E
5. The Raconteurs - Consolers of the Lonely

Very Solid albums (alphabetically)

The Black Keys - Attack and Release
Coldplay - Viva La Vida or Death and All His Friends
Death Cab For Cutie - Narrow Stairs
DeVotchKa - A Mad And Faithful Telling
Gnarls Barkley - The Odd Couple
Jack Johnson - Sleep through the Static
The Roots - Rising Down
Sigur Ros - Med Sud I Eyrum Vid Spilum Endalaust
Unwed Sailor - Little Wars

Decent Albums, few good songs, altogether forgettable

Fleet Foxes - Fleet Foxes
The Mars Volta - The Bedlam in Goliath
Weezer - Weezer (Red Album)

Albums I'm most looking forward to

Beck - Modern Guilt (tomorrow)
Conor Oberst - Conor Oberst (August 5)
The Verve - Four (August 19)
The Cure - ??? (September 13)
Mogwai - The Hawk is Howling (September 23)
Oasis - Dig Out Your Soul (October 6)
David Bazan - ??? (???)
Common - The Believer (November)

Both these lists are subject to change...especially the music list, seeing as albums grow on you with repeated listens.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008


Barring any unforeseeable obstacles, my roommate John and I are headed to Lollapalooza! I'm experiencing a level excitement which is causing me to sweat in places I never have. The current lineup is quite impressive. The likes of Radiohead, Wilco, Rage Against the Machine, Kanye West, The Raconteurs, Nine Inch Nails, and Gnarls Barkley will grace the stage with their presence....not to mention smaller equally awesome acts like Broken Social Scene, Explosions in the Sky, Iron and Wine, Devotchka, The Black Keys, and Grizzly Bear. Needless to say, I can't wait.

There is in fact a dilemma. Wilco and Rage Against The Machine are scheduled to perform at the same time. I love both of these bands. Who in the hell do I go and see?

I'm leaning towards RATM and let me tell you why. I've already seen Wilco twice this past year....once in May and once last September. I've never seen Rage. Rage has also been divorced, or I guess separated, for about 8 years now and they are performing again. This is a chance to see a historical band, once thought to be dead, now resurrected in glory. I'm also excited about the energy of a live performance from a band like Rage.

A couple of things that would send me Jeff Tweedy's way include that my roommate really wants to see them, even though he was with me in both September and May. Also, both of those shows were indoors, while they'd be playing on an outdoor stage at Lollapalooza. Finally, the concert is in Chicago, which is where Wilco hails from. Bands, like sports teams, usually play best at home.

What should I do?

Monday, June 23, 2008


Here's a list of guilty pleasures and other embarrassments. Enjoy...

I love the movie Newsies and have sung along while watching.

If I could, I would leave my job, friends, and family to enter training to be a Jedi Knight.

I can name 4 out of the 5 members of the group N*Sync. If one of them is named Chris, I can name all 5.

I flex in front of the mirror on a regular basis.

The main reason I decided to attend Azusa Pacific University is that when I toured the campus my senior year of high school, I saw the prettiest girl I had ever seen in person walk out of Engstrom Hall. I made my decision then and there and never saw that angel again.

I actually think Ashton Kutcher is kinda funny.

I would vote for Barack Obama just so the arrogant uber intellectuals would think I was cool.

I played with my younger brother's toy lightsaber late into high school.

If I had to, I could probably sing every word to "I Want It That Way" by the Backstreet Boys.

I still cry every time I watch the scene where Rudy reads his Notre Dame acceptance letter on the park bench.

I still kinda have a crush on a girl that I haven't seen since 2nd grade.

Once, at work, I was assisting one of the kids in his self help routine (brushing teeth, washing face, etc.) and I farted. A coworker of mine pointed to my kid and said "I think he just farted." "How do you know it was him?" I asked her. "I know that smell, and it's him," she replied. This means I've successfully passed my own stench off on the 12 year old, deaf, autistic kid I work with. I'm proud of that.

My arrogance is so great that I sometimes actually believe I am smarter than people wo think Napoleon Dynamite is a funny movie.

I am still scared of the troll from the movie "Ernest Scared Stupid"

I've peed in the shower before.

The best and most exciting dream I ever had is that I was a winning contestant on American Gladiators. I had that dream 6 years ago and still remember intimate details.

I owned Boys to Men's II on cassette tape in 6th grade and loved the song "On Bended Knee"

I've seen Weird Al Yankovic in concert.

I went and saw Brokeback Mountain in the theater by myself, and even though I am straight, I was offended that I was not hit on.

I pretend to have an opinion, but deep down, I don't really care who gets elected president.

I'd read Pride and Prejudice cover to cover if I actually thought It'd impress a girl that I had a crush on.

Even though everyone says he sucks, I think Keanu Reeves is a badass.

I try and put on a facade of humility, but I am constantly looking for sly ways to let people know about my impressive 10k time.

I've farted at least 7 or 8 times while writing this.

Thanks for reading, hopefully this gives you a chuckle.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

I dig your music...Your band name sucks

Occasionally, when I'm trying to sleep, I lay awake making random lists in my head. Who are the top five guitarists from the 70's? Who are the five best defensive outfielders in the National League? What are my top ten breakfast cereals of all time?

Last night, I could not sleep due to the fact that I was thinking of band names. I started thinking of great band names and band names that suck all sorts of ass. So, I started listing. As therapy, I decided to list a few of these bands in cyberspace. My only criteria for a band to be on the list is I have to own at least one of their albums, so there will be no novelty bands on here. Reasons for loving a band name include witty puns, names that just role of the tongue, something deep or emotional is communicated in the name. Reasons for hating band names include exactly the opposite of what's listed above.

Here are some band names I love in alphabetical order

The Arcade Fire
Black Sabbath
The Clash
The Cure
Fleetwood Mac
Guns 'n Roses
Led Zeppelin
Pearl Jam
Pink Floyd
Rage Against the Machine
The Rolling Stones
The Roots
Sigur Ros
The White Stripes
The Who

Now, here are some names I strongly dislike...remember, these are all bands that I like/love, but I had to get over their name first. I mean, really, their are some awful choices here. Who makes the executive decision on these names?

Arctic Monkeys
Better than Ezra
Counting Crows
Death Cab for Cutie
Foo Fighters
Jimmy Eat World
My Morning Jacket
Pedro the Lion
Red Hot Chili Peppers
Smashing Pumpkins

I know, I know...these names probably mean something to the members of these bands...a clever inside joke perhaps. The simply don't translate well into band names. Fortunately for these bands, they make good music. A few of them make great music.

I'm interested in all of your thoughts. Do you disagree with any of my opinions? Doy you have your own band name love/hates?

Saturday, June 7, 2008


It's June. Sunlight illuminates the wind blowing through the trees. There's still snow on Pikes Peak. Outside is where I belong.

Ski Season is over. Saturdays finally offer a day of rest. Today's laundry list of activities include above all, laundry. Whites - check, colors - check, delicates - check, bedsheets - check, towels - check. The soft rumble of the dryer echoes in the background as a French film causes me to wonder if I could really communicate only blinking my left eye. Is there really a worse prison than one's own body?

Should I put my jeans in the dryer or hang them to dry?

The Rockies have won 3 straight games. They are now 3-7 in their last ten games. Last night, they were down 4-1 to the Brewers. They scored 5 in the bottom of the 8th to go ahead by two. It brought back feelings of excitement from last season. I want to feel that excited about something again.

Did I use too much detergent with my whites?

I guess Monday evening was rather exciting. Garret and I were given the opportunity to see the Roots in Denver. They opened for the ever creative Miss Erykah Badu. It was my first hip hop show. I wore my cool jeans, hoping to fit in with the hip crowd. The concert was really quite fantastic. The Roots covered everyone from Iron Butterfly to Talib Kweli to Julie Andrews. I never imagined that The Sound of Music would be inspiration for a 10 minute guitar solo at a hip hop show. The band did exactly what they needed to entertain. It was more about spectacle and performance than simply playing their greatest hits. I thoroughly enjoyed myself. I've never sweat so much at a concert. Garret and I also turned to each other a few times to inform of the phantom hands regularly caressing our hind ends. I guess R & B brings out the touchy feely aspect of one's personality.

Why can I never get the sheets tight and straight on my bed?

Tonight, I'll be cheering on my last place Rockies from the club level...Coors in one hand, hope in the other.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

"You would do far more good if you just preached the gospel of Jesus rather than trying to get rid of Third World debt relief" - On Bono's crusade against poverty in Africa.

-Stephen Baldwin

This puzzles me. I am not aware of the entire context of this quote, but I can't imagine any context which entirely justifies it. This is a sad attitude that prevents the Gospel rather than encouraging it.

Not so wise words from the star of Bio-Dome.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Out of Retirement

An opportunity presented itself to me recently allowing me to relive dreams of old. I am now playing on a baseball team in a Southern Colorado 18 and over adult league. Opening Day was today and marked the first time I've seen live pitching from 60 feet 6 inches. A period of adjustment is bound to take place, but for now I am having a blast back on the field. This must be what "His Airness" Michael Jordan felt like the first time he came back to the Bulls out of retirement. New life and young blood courses through my veins, pumping my level of hustle to the max.

Today I played right field, hit third in the lineup, and had a blast. I hit 2 or three balls hard and was out in front of a few other pitches. Not bad after a few years of softball. It's great competing without too much pressure.

The most exciting news is that my brother Joe is returning home from college in May. He'll be 19, making him eligible for the team. And, oh yes, he is playing! Being that we're six years apart, we've never played sports together. My parents are thrilled.

If you are at all interested, here is the team website.

Now you can keep track of my dreams.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

A Thought

Solitude breeds enlightenment, but community brings life to the enlightened.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008


It hasn't even been 24 hours and I already need to amend my list. I forgot a mention for the film Away From Her. This film goes in at #12, therefore bumping everything after it one number down. My apologies.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Film: A Review of 2007

We're already two months into 2008, so my apologies for the delay of this post. Living in Colorado Springs makes it tough to see some more obscure film before the end of the calendar year and it is my desire to see as much film as possible before reviewing the year.

I thought 2007 was pretty spectacular for film. The top three were pretty easy to decide, after that there were too many from which to decide. The order could easily be shifted.

Before the main list, here are a few minor ones.

Worst/Most Disappointing

Fortunately, I was able to steer clear of most of the crap released in 2007. Sadly, I still saw some not so great stuff. This list is a combination of stuff that was simply bad, and also film that I was looking forward to that was disappointing or didn't live up to potential. Here they are in alphabetical order.

Margot at the Wedding
Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End
Reign Over Me
Spider Man 3

Most Surprising

Here's a list of film that I either didn't hear that much about, didn't look good on paper, or had a poor trailer, that I ended up really enjoying.

Gone Baby Gone
Mr. Brooks

Best of 2007

Honorable Mention: The Savages, Eastern Promises, Once, Charlie Wilson's War, Mr. Brooks

1. Into The Wild
2. There Will Be Blood
3. No Country For Old Men
4. Zodiac
5. Juno
6. Before the Devil Knows You're Dead
7. Gone Baby Gone
8. Knocked Up
9. The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford
10. Superbad
11. Rescue Dawn
12. Sunshine
13. 3:10 to Yuma
14. Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street
15. The Bourne Ultimatum
16. Hot Fuzz
17. Grindhouse: Planet Terror & Death Proof
18. American Gangster
19. Breach
20. Michael Clayton

Movies I've not seen that may have changed this list: Atonement, The Diving Bell and the Butterfly, Dan in Real Life, The Kite Runner, Things We Lost in the Fire, Lars and the Real Girl, Lions for Lambs, Grace is Gone, I'm Not There, Persepolis, Youth Without Youth, Steep, In the Valley of Elah

Like I said, I enjoyed much of the film 2007 had to offer. It was tough to narrow it down, so I didn't. I still have trouble narrowing it down to ten. Did I leave anything out? Do you disagree? Let the dialog begin...

Wednesday, February 13, 2008


A brief look in the dictionary reveals this word's meaning as excessive irrational zeal, excessive intolerance of opposing views, great enthusiasm especially about religion, wild extravagant notions on a subject.

The idea of fanaticism began its tour through my never sleeping mind last fall. Since moving to Colorado in 1996, I've developed a love for the Colorado Rockies. This past season, their ever patient fans were awarded the honor of experiencing them complete the most improbable winning streak in baseball history. Excitement buzzed throughout my family's house and I cherished the thought of being a fan. I was/am a Rockies fan. It is a beautiful thing. My zeal is sometimes irrational. I am intolerant to opposing views. I hate the Dodgers, Padres, and Diamondbacks. Fans of these teams hold views which I am intolerant of.

Recently, I've begun reading a book about violence in Mormon Fundamentalism. These fundamentalists are religious fanatics. Their zeal and intolerance has brought pain, suffering, and death to many. Naturally, as a Christian, I can't help but parallel these religious fanatics with my own experience in the Protestant church. While the mainline Protestant and even mainline Mormon churches may not subscribe to this irrational fanaticism held by fundamentalists, it is still odd that there is a sense of fanaticism.

As evangelicals, we are often guilty of this zeal and intolerance. Yes, we may choose to peacefully coexist, but there still seems to be a mental intolerance that takes place. Very few Christians seem to be willing to engage in rational dialog regarding theology, philosophy, and scripture. Yes, we will discuss it, but only its merits. This is one reason that I am thankful for a small handful of friends with which I can safely engage in true dialog on all subjects. Instead of arguing or refuting my basic questions on the existence of a supreme being or the complex history of scripture, they listen and engage with me.

I'm continually intrigued by the fact that even though most evangelicals don't engage in behavior that the average American would refer to as religiously fanatic, there still seems to be a negative element of fanaticism in the church. I understand that as a die hard Rockies fan, this may sound hypocritical. The truth is, most sports fans know how to compartmentalize that part of their life so that it does not have a negative impact on those around them. It is merely for fun and to be part of a community of fans. Religious fanaticism, however, consumes all aspects of life.

I realize as I'm writing this that I have not necessarily thought all of this through. I apologize for the rambling nature of this blog. I'm just getting some thoughts out and would appreciate comments. Let us engage in some health dialog.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008


I read this article the other day. It made me tingle in my jiblets. Enjoy...

Chat with Tim Kurkjian

Can the Rockies repeat at National League champions in 2008, or will they fall back to their non-contending status? Tim Kurkjian made the cases for and against the reigning NL champs and he stops by Tuesday at 1 p.m. ET to talk about this and more. The case for the Rockies They were stunningly good down the stretch and through the first two rounds of the playoffs, winning 21 of 22 games during one stretch. That was no fluke. During that stretch, they posted an ERA of 2.80. After finishing the first half of the season with an ERA 43 points above the league average, the Rockies led the league in ERA in the second half of the season, an amazing turnaround. And their pitching staff at least appears as if it should be better in '08. Jeff Francis (17 wins, tied for the most in a season ever by a Rockie) was terrific once he became the ace after Aaron Cook got injured. Now Cook is healthy. The Rockies have have Ubaldo Jimenez (''hardest throwing young pitcher we saw all year,'' one Dodger said) for the whole season, and they added veterans Josh Towers, Mark Redman and Kip Wells to compete with Franklin Morales (another hard thrower) for the fifth spot in the starting rotation. And maybe Greg Reynolds, their No. 1 selection in the 2006 draft, will be ready by late in 2008. Plus, Manny Corpas, who had 19 saves last year, will be the closer on Opening Day. The Rockies have a dynamic offensive team (''they won't have an out in the lineup, one through eight,'' one scout said), led by left fielder Matt Holliday, who finished second in the NL MVP voting last season. Holliday, shortstop Troy Tulowitzki, third baseman Garrett Atkins and outfielder Brad Hawpe received multi-year contracts, another sign that this team plans on being together, and winning together, for a long time. But the biggest reason they can repeat is their defense, which set the NL record last year for the highest fielding percentage. It will miss second baseman Kaz Matsui, who signed with Houston, but it still has Tulowitzki, who was the best defensive shortstop in the league last year as a rookie. The case against the Rockies Seasons such as last year happen once in a lifetime. The Rockies were the fifth team ever to go from last place to the World Series, and the sixth team ever to go from nine games under .500 to the World Series. It was the first time in their history that they'd won more than 84 games in a season. Maybe 2007 was the start of something great, but they will miss Matsui's defense, and his speed at the top of the order. And is that rotation good enough to win again? The Diamondbacks, who finished in first place in the NL West last year, added Dan Haren to go along with Brandon Webb. If Randy Johnson makes a comeback, Arizona's rotation will be much better. The verdict The National League isn't very good right now, but it's also very hard to repeat these days. The Mets, with Johan Santana, are the best team in the league. The Rockies are a contender. They may not return to the World Series, but they're closer to getting there again than to falling back to the 75-win level.

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Right now, just relaxing my legs after a day of skiing with people whose talent is vastly superior to my own. My lower half is numb, upper body is sore, and my mind is stoked to watch the Super Bowl. This first post serves the lone purpose of killing time before 4:00 Mountain Time.