Thursday, April 5, 2018

Monday, January 8, 2018

“Eyes For Me”

Anxious souls will hope for crazy things
When no one sees the phantoms they can see
And I’d be chief among them to believe
That a day will come when she has eyes for me

But daylight burns and I’ll write stupid songs
Camouflage the writing on the wall
And wonder just what I would have to be
For a day to come when she has eyes for me

See in the dark the memory of the light
Another face, another aimless fight
And I get the feeling the last thing that I need
Is a day to come when she has eyes for me

But I don’t walk in my sleep; just wake and dream
I don’t walk in my sleep; just wake and dream

Several things that I don’t understand
Eagles, snakes, a woman’s way with man
Or what it takes to wake up from the dream
Of a day to come when she has eyes

For me

Saturday, January 6, 2018

Book Brief: God Rest Ye Merry

God Rest Ye Merry: Why Christmas Is the Foundation for EverythingGod Rest Ye Merry: Why Christmas Is the Foundation for Everything by Douglas Wilson
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Enjoyed it. As usual, Wilson has a lot of good thoughts. I've heard that his books these days tend to be compilations of stuff from his blog, and I can see that here. It reads like a series of loosely-connected essays about different topics related to Christmas. Which isn't a bad thing, it's just different.

#vtReadingChallenge (2/52) "A Book Of Your Choice"


View all my reviews

Thursday, November 30, 2017

Why Auburn Should Not Make The Playoff

And now for some wrangling over trivial matters.

Auburn and Alabama had the most objectively similar schedules you could possibly ask for between two teams this year. Consider the following: They both play in the SEC West, so they both faced six common opponents for that reason alone. Moreover, they both faced two SEC East opponents. They both faced a decent ACC team at the beginning of the year: Auburn facing Clemson, and Alabama facing Florida State. (I know, Florida State pretty much tanked the rest of their season. But that was largely due to Francois’s season-ending injury.) And finally, they both had three “cupcake” games a piece, relatively easy matchups in which they were heavily-favored.

At the end of these remarkably similar schedules, and prior to the Iron Bowl, Auburn had suffered two losses (to Clemson and LSU) and Alabama had suffered exactly zero.

Of course, Auburn ended up defeating Alabama in the Iron Bowl. So at the moment, Alabama is 11-1 and Auburn is 10-2. But now Auburn has a chance to defeat Georgia (a second time) in the SEC championship. If they manage to do this, good for them. But it still doesn’t make them playoff-worthy. Auburn would still have no more wins than Alabama already has, and would still have more losses.

If Auburn does end up winning the SEC this year, what the committee needs to do is exactly what they did last year, when they gave the one-loss Ohio State precedence over the two-loss conference champion Penn State, despite the fact that the latter had defeated the former. Virtually the same scenario could play out this year between Alabama and Auburn, respectively, yet the committee appears more than ready to give Auburn the edge, should they win the SEC.

But clearly this whole “conference championship” system is quite broken. It very often doesn’t pit the two best teams in the conference against each other in the title game. Nobody seriously thinks Florida was the second best team in the SEC last year. Yet with a 9-3 record, they played for the conference title. Sure, they got obliterated by the undefeated Alabama. But what if they had caught Bama on a bad night and pulled off an upset? Would that have made Florida the best team in the SEC? Hardly.

And yet this weird “conference championship” thing is what’s making everyone think Auburn is having a more successful year than Alabama, even though Auburn has less wins and more losses. Conference titles muddy the waters of the playoff committee’s decision-making, and shouldn’t be getting in the way like they are. Conferences like the Big 12 are now forced to go back to having a conference championship, just to ensure that their conference has a chance at making the playoff. Which doesn’t make any sense to me at all.

Personally, I think every conference should forego a title game, and instead schedule an additional regular-season cross-division conference game for each team. I don’t foresee that happening any time soon, if ever. But I do think it would give the playoff committee a more sensible set of data to work with.

Sunday, November 5, 2017

“Chasing Wind”

Here’s a man who studied love, like volumes on a shelf
Marking up the pages, he reasons with himself
He builds his cases, and crafts arguments
And who’s the girl that’d waste her time, when all he makes is sense

When all that he can make is sense

Beauty like the world has never known
As vain today as it’ll be tomorrow
But lately you’ve been feeling darker days closing in

And a gaze the likes of which you’ve never seen
Is turning everywhere but your direction
The whispers of your lying heart will set you chasing after wind

Here’s a man who labored for the shelter he provides
Arrows in his quiver, a woman at his side
He’s getting older, but she keeps him young
Countless flowers in the world, and all he needs is one

Beauty like the world has never known
As vain today as it’ll be tomorrow
But faintly you can hear the chorus of a siren’s song

And a gaze the likes of which you’ve never seen
Is turning everywhere but your direction
An awful fear you’ll never find another quite as beautiful

. . .

Beauty like the world has never known
As vain today as it’ll be tomorrow
But lately you’ve been feeling darker days closing in

You fancy she could be the one you love
The smile that greets you early in the morning
The whispers of your lying heart will set you chasing after wind

Monday, October 23, 2017

Why Do People Work Out?

Full disclosure: I’m writing this as someone who doesn’t really “work out” in the usual sense of the term. I do push-ups and squats on a fairly casual basis. But that’s about it. I’m just exploring a thought I had the other night: Working out for a muscular body is somewhat analogous to wearing glasses that you don’t actually need.

In case you weren’t aware, some people wear glasses despite having no medical need for them at all. It’s simply to make them appear more intelligent. And what I’m suggesting is that most people work out for a similar reason. They want to appear a certain way.

To be clear, I’m not talking about people who work out for health reasons, because they’re overweight or something. That’s different. And I’m not talking about guys who work out because they actually need muscles for some tangible purpose: like a soldier or an athlete. But the average guy doesn’t really need to be very muscular. Speaking for myself, I’m a relatively skinny guy, but I can still lift just about anything that ordinarily needs to be lifted.

So why would I work out? Well, for pretty much the same reason people wear glasses they don’t need. It’s for looks. I like to look muscular. Although perhaps it would be more to the point to say that girls like guys who look muscular.

But if a guy exhibits a muscular physique, it feels to me like that should communicate something meaningful about him. For example, it should communicate that he actually does hard labor. But nowadays, all it means is that he’s spent a lot of time in a comfortable, air-conditioned gym repeatedly lifting weights. Don’t get me wrong: working out is strenuous to be sure. But it isn’t really work in my mind. It’s pretend work. It doesn’t actually produce anything. Just muscles.

Some people speak of working out as a therapeutic thing. They say that it’s rejuvenating, both physically and mentally. I can believe that’s true for some people, although it’s not my own experience at all. I despise working out. All it does is make me tired. It doesn’t rejuvenate me; it drains me. Even the casual amount of push-ups and squats that I’ve been doing lately, I do them out of a sense of duty. There’s nothing in them that’s intrinsically pleasing at all to me.