The View From Wisconsin

Just a random set of rants from a Sports Fan from Wisconsin.

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Thoughts for an early morning

Some added thoughts (aren't I wonderful?):
  1. The words Jesus wrote in the dirt (John 8:6b).
  2. The song the disciples sang (Mark 14:26).
  3. Who, exactly, Jacob wrestled with before he visited with Esau (Genesis 32:24-30).

Sunday, April 26, 2009

A Note to Fox Trot fans

4 - 19 - 11 - 12 - 13 - 23 - 4 - 15 - 9 - 23 - 10 - 7 - 11 - 23 - 15 - 20 - 2 - 15 - 18 - 2 - 15 - 9 - 1 - 15 - 22 - 13 - 20 - 5 - 3 - 16 - 4 - 13 - 12 - 19 - 12 - 19 - 13 - 23 - 1 - 13 - 16 - 19 - 10 - 9 - 15 - 9 - 8 - 13 - 6 - 6 - 11 - 22 - 10 - 20 - 17 - 2 - 15 - 9 - 19 - 13 - 23 - 22 - 11 - 12 - 19 - 22 - 13 - 23 - 12 - 11 - 26 - 10 - 23

(If you're clueless, see the comic from the 19th.)

Saturday, April 25, 2009

The Notebook - An Update

I finally got through all of the notes in my NIV study bible. 81 pages worth. As I suspected, I had way more notes in the NT than the OT - 58 and a half to 22 and a half. The Gospels were 14 pages total.

Speaking of 14 - that was the number of books that I didn't have notes for. Only three were NT books (2nd Peter, 3rd John, and Jude).

Two chapters had about the same number of notes: I Timothy 3 and James 1. Though I Corinthians 15 had a little more than a page, it wasn't as concentrated as the two previously mentioned chapters.

I also had 28 different verses/passages that were marked "John 3:16". No, that's not a misprint; they are 28 different verses that point to John 3:16. (I'll post them one of these days.)

I also added a page that I'd highlighted from the Ryrie section on doctrine, about the doctrine of Salvation. That made for an even 82 pages of notes.

At some point, I'll share some of the stuff I had written down here - some of it's fun, some of it's serious.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

The Notebook

Normally at this time I'd be complaining about the Brewers' slow start, or the Admirals playoff woes (which, at this point, there are none), or on some other topic of general interest to sport (LeBron James deserved the MVP award in the NBA).

However, today I'm going to be talking about something else: notes.

I don't know about you, but if I think something's important, I write it down. I usually grab some paper, a pen and start writing. Lately, I've gotten into the habit of sitting down in front of the computer, book propped open in front of me (aside: anyone who can find me a book holder that can do that for me would be appreciated greatly - and twice that if you can get it for me...) and copying my notes into Microsoft Word. It's how I did it with The Purpose Driven Life by Rick Warren.

Back in the old days, though, I wasn't fussy about where I wrote notes. In fact, I think I'm like many of us who went to church and bible studies and wrote in the margins of our Bibles. Back on Saturday night, I decided to sit down with my old Ryrie NIV Study Bible and copy down the notes I had in the margins into a separate notebook.

I knew for a fact that I would likely have much, much, much more in the way of notes in the New Testament than in the Old - and I'm pretty much dead on with that. I managed to wind my way through the entire OT - not reading every page, mind you, but just skimming to find the tell-tale sign of ink on the pages. I had a habit back in the days of my youth of preferring ink rollerball pens, which are nice for writing - they give you a feel of using a "real" ink pen, at least to me. However, they tend to bleed through most paper - and they definitely bleed through the thin pages of most Bibles.

All in all, I had 22 1/2 pages of notes on the 39 books of the OT. Thanks to Pastor Nathan James, I had 3 1/2 of those on the book of Hosea. 11 of the books, though, had no notes at all: Ruth, 2nd Chronicles, Nehimiah, Lamentations (yeah, I never was crazy about Jeremiah's wailings), Joel, Obadiah, Nahum, Habakuk, Zephaniah, Haggai, and Malachi. I was somewhat surprised at that last one, because I thought I had noted some of the last verses in Malachi.

So 22 1/2 pages on 28 of the 39 books of the Bible. That sounds like a lot, but keep this in mind: I've only gotten through three of the Gospels in the New Testament (Matthew, Mark and Luke), and I've already got nine full pages of notes. I can pretty much assert that I'll have much more in the way of notes on the NT than the OT. I commented to Sarah in church about how hard it was for me to read when we were doing a series on the book of James - because I had practically every word of the first two chapters already underlined and highlighted!

Anyways, there were some really neat things that I've come across in my transcriptions so far. One of them was, of all things, a song. In the book of Numbers, the tribes of Israel were on the verge of entering the Promised Land, as they were sitting at the Desert of Paran. God told Moses to have one of the leaders from each of the tribes go into the land and explore it, spying out the fruits, trees and soil of the land; and the people who live there and the cities they live in.

In the narrative, each of the 12 men were listed by their tribe. At the end of the list, it was noted that the representative from the half-tribe of Ephriam was given a different name by Moses. We know from his words earlier in the book of Exodus that Moses was "slow of speech and slow of tongue", so it's possible that Moses, due to his speech impediment, couldn't say "Hoshea" properly. Either way, Moses gave him the appellation Yah-Shua - what we call in English "Joshua".

An aside: Joshua isn't the only Yah-Shua in the Bible, of course; by the time of the return of the Jews to Palestine, the name of the other "Joshua" had been shortened to Yeh-Shu, which the Greco-Roman alphabet shortened to IESU, and then later (when "J" was added to the alphabet) Jesus.

Anyways, 12 men went to spy on Canaan. What do you think they saw in Canaan? Well... some saw giants, big and tall - or is that big and strong? Some saw grapes of clusters long. But some, like (assumably) Joshua and the elder Caleb from the tribe of Judah saw God was in it all.

"We should go up and take possession of the land, for we can certainly do it." was Caleb's statement to Moses and the people. Unfortunately, this was drowned out by the cries of the other 10 elders, who started circulating rumors about the giants who roamed the land they explored. When Joshua and Caleb tried to make their case for taking the land - the people of Israel considered stoning them. In the end, the 10 who were bad ended up dying of the plague after 40 more years of wandering through the desert in Sinai - while Joshua and Caleb, the two who were good, ended up leading Israel into the Promised Land. Unfortunately, all of Israel suffered because they believed the 10 that were bad over the two that were good.

And that was where the song comes in:

Twelve men went to spy on Canaan
10 were bad and two were good
What do you think they saw in Canaan?
10 were bad and two were good
Some saw giants big and strong
Some saw grapes of clusters lo-ong
Some saw God above it all
10 were bad and two were good

I might be a bit off on some of the lyrics; I've seen "giants big and tall/grapes from clusters fall" in Google searches instead of strong/long. Still - that song got lodged in my brain over the weekend. I think it might even take over the vaunted title of "song dislodger" from Abba's "Take A Chance On Me."

Back to the story: Joshua apparently didn't forget about the public relations loss from this incident at Kadesh in Paran. This was evident when he became the leader of the Israelites after Moses died - and he sent only two spies into Jericho to look over the land.

Anyhow - I'm having fun with this transcribing. I've already peeked ahead, and I believe that of the 66 books of the Bible, I've got notes on 52 of them - and that's just in this Bible alone. (The other three books are the second book of Peter, the third book of John, and the "forgotten" epistle of Jude.)

I hope to write a few more of my findings in a blog or two over the next few weeks as time permits. To me, it's like finding something you had hidden up in the attic from your childhood.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009


One of our local sports talk guys (Doug Russell from WSSP 1250 AM) made a somewhat sarcastic comment on his Facebook page about being "done" with the Brewers after their 2-6 start. The truth is, eight games in the major league baseball season is a blip on the radar compared to the NFL and NBA.

In fact, being the stat geek that I am, I went as far as doing an equivalency table, just so you can tell your friends:

One out in baseball is equivalent to...
One full inning of baseball (six outs, each team) is equivalent to...
One nine-inning game of baseball is equivalent to...


Yep, it's that time of year again. Here are the best players (statistically) in the NHL from 2008-09 (* indicates league leader in the category; ** indicates the Norris Trophy winner):

C: Evgeni Malkin, PIT (82 GP, 125.5 GC, 169.5 FPTS*, 110.7 HART*)
LW: Alexander Ovechkin, WAS (79 GP, 113.9 GC, 166.3 FPTS, 107.4 HART)
RW: Martin St.Louis, TAM (82 GP, 83.2 GC, 100.0 FPTS, 65.0 HART)
D: Mike Green, WAS (68 GP, 93.1 GC, 142.8 FPTS, 101.3 HART**)
D: Zdeno Chara, BOS (80 GP, 67.6 GC, 108.6 FPTS, 76.6 HART)
G: Martin Biron, PHI (55 GP, 4.0 GC, 4.0 Offensive FPTS, 7.7 Offensive HART; 97.2 VZNA, 29.8 HART)
G: Henrik Lundqvist, NYR (70 GP, 142.0 FPTS, 113.2 VZNA, 44.3 HART)

C: Pavel Datsyuk, DET (81 GP, 130.8 GC*, 157.2 FPTS, 92.2 HART)
LW: Daniel Sedin, VAN (82 GP, 104.0 GC, 129.2 FPTS, 73.0 HART)
RW: Jarome Iginla, CGY (82 GP, 84.9 GC, 112.3 FPTS, 71.0 HART)
D: Nicklas Lidstrom, DET (78 GP, 88.3 GC, 114.3 FPTS, 83.8 HART)
D: Duncan Keith, CHI (77 GP, 73.6 GC, 89.6 FPTS, 69.5 HART)
G: Marty Turco, DAL (74 GP, 4.0 GC, 7.6 Offensive FPTS*, 11.3 Offensive HART*; 128.0 FPTS, 101.3 VZNA, 42.2 HART)
G: Miikka Kiprusoff, CGY (76 GP, 167.8 FPTS, 123.4 VZNA, 51.7 HART - best among goalies)
G: Evgeni Nabokov, SAN (62 GP, 180.7 FPTS*, 136.9 VZNA*, 46.8 HART)

Calder Trophy Candidates:
Kris Versteeg , RW, CHI (78 GP, 64.9 GC, 87.9 FPTS, 43.4 HART)
Bobby Ryan, RW, ANA (64 GP, 68.1 GC, 98.7 FPTS, 42.9 HART)
Steve Mason, G, CLB (61 GP, 159.4 FPTS, 124.4 VZNA, 42.2 HART)
(Sorry, Pekka; you were just outside the top three)

C: Yan Stastny, STL (34 GP, -8.1 GC, -4.1 FPTS, -2.6 HART)
LW: Jeff Tambellini, NYI (65 GP, -6.8 GC, -0.4 FPTS, -1.58 HART)
RW: Andreas Nodl, PHI (38 GP, -11.1 GC, -10.7 FPTS, -4.05 HART)
D: Brendan Witt, NYI (65 GP, -30.3 GC*, -11.5 FPTS*, -14.16 HART*)
D: Scott Hannan, COL (81 GP, -11.5 GC, -6.3 FPTS, -6.62 HART)
G: Curtis Joseph, TOR (21 GP, 9.7 FPTS, 18.1 VZNA, 1.4 HART)
G: Andrew Raycroft, COL (31 GP, 1722:26 MIN, 29.8 FPTS, 46.3 VZNA, 7.4 HART)

Thursday, April 09, 2009

Wii Golf Masters - Round 2 update

I don't think I'm cut out for tournament play just yet.
The Island Woods hole (Wii Golf hole #9/18) bit me in the posterior big time today.
There was a wicked 20 mph crosswind, and every time I tried to get the ball onto the island with the green - it sailed either just short of the island or too far.
I ended up having to "give up" the hole (10 over par, or a horrendous 15) for a round of 45. Unfortunately, that would get me DQ'ed from most tournaments, so this ends the Masters for me.

OUT: 3 - 3 - 4 - 5 - 6 - 4 - 3 - 2 - 15 -- 45 (121, +13, DQ)

Best shot of the day: Tie between my agressive move on the 7th (Dogleg Woods) to use the wind to hit the green directly - which I did; or the chip-in putt on the 8th (Snake Point) from the edge of the green.
Worst Hole of the Day: If you have to ask, you weren't paying attention.

(Posted via Wii Internet Channel; didn't even want to bother turning on my computer.)

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

The Wii Masters

In attempts at trying to get more "in shape", I'm picking up Wii Sports again. And, in honor of the Masters golf tournament that's going on this weekend, I'm going to play the Wii Sports Nine-hole golf course as a tournament.

Here's the basics:
  1. One "round" is two nine-hole games on the full course. I play them in the order they are presented in Wii Golf.
  2. The course is a par-4 course, rated at 5,540 yards for 18 holes. In case you've forgotten, there is another post in my blog about the course and my take on each hole.
  3. I note my rating before and after each nine-hole "segment". As I started the first round, I was rated at 1,168, or Pro level.
  4. To play in the fourth and final round, I need to at least have a score of par or better for the tournament, or be at a rating of 1,210 or better.
  5. I'll post my scores here on a daily basis, from now through Saturday.
Round One

OUT: 4 - 3 - 3 - 4 - 5 - 4 - 4 - 3 - 6 -- 36 (Even; 1,184)
IN : 4 - 2 - 5 - 2 - 6 - 4 - 4 - 3 - 11* -- 40 (+4, 1,168)
TOTAL: 76; +4

Best hole of the day: Probably the Eagle on the par-five third hole (Cliffside Woods). There was enough wind where my second shot carried enough to get to the lip of the green. I holed in with a nice putt.
Worst hole of the day: Gee, I wonder which one I had the most trouble with (Hint: Island Woods). Two drops and nightmare winds on the 18th, and I posted a godawful 11. I have this mental block about that hole, for some reason. Anyone out there who could give some tips on attacking it would be appreciated; I can never seem to get to the green in regulation.

Gotta work on my approach shots, that's a definite.

Sunday, April 05, 2009

Random Sunday Rants

More stuff from the disgruntled Sports Fan: