Showing posts from November, 2005

Sports: 3 days to go until U$C vs. UCLA


Clinton had beaten Dole for re-election.

UCLA and USC were terrible that year.

I lived and worked in suburban Maryland.

The UCLA alumni club of Washington DC takes over a downtown sports bar for the big game each year. I decided to go down to watch even though I heard radio updates saying UCLA was down. I got to the bar where I saw Jennifer, the vivacious club president, and asked her what the score was. She shook her head and said it didn't look good: USC 38-21 and it was already mid-fourth quarter.

I found a bit of wall space (yes, I'm the DEFINITION of wall flower at a party) next to another UCLA alum. I found out he was working for the White House Counsel's office. Okay, so he is a democrat and I'm a republican but today, we are BRUIN fans!

Cade McNown and the Bruins began an improbable rally managing to tie the game by scoring 17 unanswered points to send it into overtime. The place was going crazy with every UCLA success.

I don't remember when the NCA…

Sports: Wanton speculation - BCS stuffs

If everyone holds serve, I'd look for this line-up for the BCS bowls:
Rose - USC vs. Texas
Fiesta - Notre Dame vs. Ohio State
Orange - Va Tech vs. Penn State
Sugar - LSU vs. West Virginia

If Texas loses to Colorado:
Rose - USC vs. Penn State
Fiesta - Colorado vs. Notre Dame
Orange - Va Tech vs. Texas
Sugar - LSU vs. West Virginia

As you can see, I think a loss by Texas knocks them out of the championship unlike Nebraska and Oklahoma which lost the Big12 championship in the past and still wound up in the BCS championship only to get crushed!

If Va Tech loses to FSU:
Rose - USC vs. Texas
Fiesta - Notre Dame vs. Ohio State
Orange - Florida State vs. Penn State
Sugar - LSU vs. West Virginia

I'm afraid that if the Hokies lose, they finish the season 10-2 and out of the BCS mix.

If LSU loses to Georgia:
Rose - USC vs. Texas
Fiesta - Notre Dame vs. Ohio State
Orange - Va Tech vs. Penn State
Sugar - Georgia vs. West Virginia

I think that the Tigers at 10-2 would not garner at at-large bid.

If USC loses to U…

Sports: 4 days to go until U$C vs. UCLA

How do people become fans?

In some cases, multiple generations of their family went to one school or the other.

One of my USC friends went there as did his father and grandfather!

In my family, my brother and I were the first ones to go to a four-year college. My brother being older went first and indeed, he went to UCLA. So I suppose my being a fan of UCLA started then.

At that time, UCLA was the basketball school and USC the football school in the handful of years after John Wooden. Alas, in these 30 years since Wooden's retirement, UCLA has only made it to the NCAA finals twice winning it all in 1995. So in that regard the glory days of UCLA basketball are now a faded memory. The championship banners hanging in Pauley no longer haunt UCLA coaches like they used to.

By the time, I got to college, I went to UCLA as well, the school's football team was garnering the good press and the basketball team was described with the headline, "Bruins in Ruins."

Terry Donahue …

Sports: UCLA Basketball - more lucky than good as they slay the dragons

UCLA 57 Drexel 56.

The Dragons of Drexel had the Bruins beat. They held the lead for most of the 2nd half. The gutty little Bruins managed to get close in the final minute. Down by two Afflalo flung a three-point shot and was ... fouled. He made two of three to tie the game. Drexel coach "Bruiser" Flynn was upset and he might have a case.

Drexel tried to inbound the pass and promptly threw it away.

The Bruins got the ball in and the play was busted and Farmar had no choice but to drive to the basket and shoot and hope for the best ... and he got fouled. Drexel coach "Bruiser" Flynn was upset and he might have a case.

He air-balled the first foul shot! But bounced in the 2nd.

Drexel with less than a second tossed the ball in and UCLA's Mata caught it and the game was over and the Bruins escaped the Big Apple with a win.

UCLA is not ready for prime time.

UCLA's two guards are still young and getting better but against Drexel, Farmar went 2-15 shoo…

Devotional Thoughts: Jesus called a small child

Am looking at Matthew 18:1-10 this morning.

Jesus has begun to tell the disciples of his impending death in some prior episode.

So what do the disciples ask here?

Which of us is the greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven?

Makes me think of excessively arrogant and totally clueless sports figures whose every action points ME! ME!! ME!!!

But to be honest, there are times I just shake my head in disgust when I catch myself being so self-centered.

I wondered if Jesus rolled his eyes upon the question.

Anyway, he called for a small child to come forward to help illustrate his response to the question.

We can't even get into the Kingdom of Heaven without becoming like little children. Children at their best are without guile and agenda unlike adults. And it is when we are transformed in that way, we can even get into the Kingdom where Jesus is King.

We can become great in the Kingdom by becoming humble like children. Children are eager to learn and soak up things like a sponge. As adults we ofte…

Sports: 8 days to go until U$C vs UCLA

USC is 11-0 (7-0 in Pac-10) and ranked #1 in the country. UCLA is 9-1 (6-1 in Pac-10) and ranked #11.

I'm guessing the odds makers have USC favored to win by 14 or something like that.

UPDATE: USA Today has the odds on the USC vs. UCLA game and says USC is favored by 21.5 points!

UCLA's coaching staff is probably looking at the tapes of the USC vs. Notre Dame and the USC vs. Fresno State games.

Unfortunately, both opponents have serious offensive and defensive lines which UCLA does not have.

One of my friends is a huge USC fan and this was his analysis of the surprising Bulldogs:Great game plan by the coach of Fresno State. 2 of the 4 interceptions in the 2nd half occurred when the FSU QB strayed away from the short, underneath game and tried a few long passes.

Both FSU's offensive and defensive lines outplayed the Trojans. The USC linebackers are really dinged up and were playing with 2 true freshman and 1 walk-on. The starting middle line backer was just coming off…

Devotional Thoughts: Jesus pays taxes and how we only hear the bad news

Taking a look at Matthew 17:22-27.

Verse 22-23 has Jesus reiterating: The Son of Man is going to be betrayed. He will be killed, but three days later he will be raised from the dead.

The disciples were "filled with grief".

It would seem they only heard Jesus say: The Son of Man is going to be betrayed. He will be killed ...

It is easy for me to sit in my chair and say, if I was there, hey, what do you mean raised from the dead? You mean you are going to beat death? Wow, tell me more!

But let's face it, when we hear "good news/bad news" how often we really only hear the bad news?

The Bible here is pretty honest about the human condition!

The next episode, verses 24-27, is an odd one. I don't think I have EVER heard a sermon on this passage!

Someone asks Peter, does Jesus pay the Temple tax which is about two-days wages?

Peter says, yes. I do wonder though how sure was Peter in his answer.

When Jesus sees him, they discuss this. He asks Peter, when kings tax…

Culture: Seen on the NET - Asian Backstreet Boys and EBAY Parody

Just gotta laugh out loud at "On Ebay" and the internationally famous Yao Ming jersey wearing lip-synchers the "Asian Backstreet Boys".

Check it out.

LA Dining: Papa Cristo

Prior to my health episode, I went to have dinner at Papa Cristo.

A full report can be found at LA Foodblogging.

Papa Cristo
2771 W. Pico Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90006
(323) 737-2970 (phone)
(323) 737-3571 (fax)
Tuesday - Saturday: 9am - 8pm
Sunday: 9am - 4pm
Closed Mondays

Devotional Thoughts: Faith in faith?

Am looking at Matthew 17:14-21.

Quick note about transparency of scholars who translate the Christian Scriptures into English. If you have a copy of the Bible at hand, check out verse 21. There should be some kind of footnote or something that tells you this verse is not found in all manuscripts.

The ancient Greek editions of the New Testament date back to about the 3rd and 5th century. I'm told there is remarkable agreement between various editions. When there are differences, they are noted in the footnotes. In this case, verse 21 doesn't seem to make too much difference to the incident described.

So what is the incident if you don't have a copy of Gospel of Matthew next to your computer?

A man approaches Jesus. He has a son with severe problems asked for help from the disciples and they failed to cure him. Jesus heals the son. The disciples afterward ask Jesus how come we couldn't cure him?

Jesus rebukes them: Because of the littleness of your faith; for truly…

Life: 5 days in the hospital - bowel obstruction ... again

I was in the hospital from Sunday to Thursday.

Want to say thanks to friends and family who prayed for me and encouraged me during this time of health concern. Some of you are occasional blog visitors and might want to know more of what happened. Since I have a habit of writing out my experiences as part of dealing with them you've come to the right place.

I imagine some readers will find this blog post via google or yahoo or some other search engine because either you or someone you know is going through the same thing and want to read more. I hope this post will be helpful in some ways in pointing medical web pages and descriptions of what the experience was like.

The short version - just the facts ma'am

My diagnosis: a partial small bowel obstruction. For a web page that is a bit more graphic, try this one. Here is another web page where X-ray's of intestinal obstructions are shown.

My treatment: nasal-gastric tube and supportive hydration via IV until obstructi…

Life: Digital Camera CCD Problems - My Canon PowerShot A70

One of my friends is quite in the know about technology. I happen onto this post describing problems with digital cameras manufactured from 2002 to 2004. He reported the following: Over time, the plastic encased CCD (the image sensor) started to be affected by heat changes and humidity, so a number of camera lines that were manufactured between 2002 and 2004 are now failing.

Intrigued by this, I went to the article on CCD failures he linked to read more about it.

Yup, it described exactly the kinds of problems I've been having with my Canon A70.

I went to the service notice section for my camera and found this item:It has recently come to our attention that the vendor-supplied CCD image sensor used in this Canon digital camera may cause the following malfunction: When the product is used in recording or playback mode, the LCD screen and/or electronic viewfinder may exhibit either a distorted image or no image at all. While reports of this malfunction have been rare in the Unite…

Politics: And Survey USA Says ... latest polling data on Cal Props

Survey USA has done polling on Props 73 to 77.

Here is what they say as of November 1, 2005Prop 73 - 55% Yes, 44% No, 1957 likely voters, +/- 2%
Prop 74 - 49% Yes, 50% No, 1966 likely voters, +/- 2%
Prop 75 - 50% Yes, 49% No, 1959 likely voters, +/- 2%
Prop 76 - 49% Yes, 49% No, 629 likely voters, +/- 4% [ed. note - there are 3 versions of their polling data on prop 76, I've cited their "version A." I wasn't clear to me what the differences were between the versions but versions B and C have the No count ahead by various margins.]
Prop 77 - 44% Yes, 53% No, 1948 likely voters, +/- 2.3%As you can see, it is very close.

Whether you agree with the recommendations I offer at this blog or not, take a look at your official voters guide and cast an informed ballot next Tuesday.

UPDATE: The Sacramento Bee cited the Field Poll and those numbers show the No side ahead of the Yes side in many of the measures.A new statewide Field Poll this week showed the four initiatives supporte…

Politics: California Special Election Ballot Measures

Originally posted October 16, 2005.

Extensively modified since and will continue to update!


UPDATE: Its been nice to see the site visitation at this blog jump up a bit because of people googling and yahooing for information about the propositions.

Occasionally, people do leave comments (THANK YOU!! It is always good to hear from readers!) and in most cases, it has been a good conversation. I'll leave comments up whether they agree with me or not. I'll only take down comments that are spam ads, contain egregiously offensive material or completely off topic. I've left the comment up at No on Prop 80 even though this person obviously disagreed with me and thinks I'm completely wrong about everything. My approach is if its clean and on topic, it stays. As Dennis Prager often says: I prefer clarity to agreement.

Devotional Thoughts: The beginning of the end of Jesus' earthly mission

Back to Matthew 17:1-13.

Earlier, I blogged a bit about the Transfiguration which is the event at the beginning of chapter 17.

I can only imagine the cognitive dissonance the disciples felt. They have seen Jesus do miracles. He always seemed to know how to respond to critics. Now, three of the disciples have seen Jesus in glory like the way Moses caught a glimpse of God in the Old Testament. In this transfiguration moment, they would think, AIN'T nothing stopping Jesus now from restoring the nation of Israel!

But, in Mt. 16:21, Jesus had plainly told them he would be killed. And now, in Mt. 17:9, he talks about being raised from the dead. Mark 9:2-8 and Luke 9:28-36 described the same incident. Each has a slightly different angle but the story is essentially the same.

From the Mark 9:10, the disciples were clearly having a hard time putting their minds around Jesus talk about dying and rising from the dead.

I suppose that is why they ask about why must Elijah return before the…