Alabama 49 - Arkansas 14

I've had a sense of foreboding ever since the Crimson Tide thoroughly dismantled Clemson on the first Saturday of this college football season. I imagine it's something akin to the feeling that Cubs fans get every year. Something along the lines of, "yeah, we look pretty good, but you just wait... we'll find some way to screw it up." After all, Alabama finished 7-6 last year. How on earth could they continue to win before shooting themselves in the foot?

All that to say, I had penciled this weekend's game as one of those potential Saturdays where Alabama would find a way to blow it. Arkansas always plays Alabama with some kind of indomitable will in Fayetteville, and I figured Alabama would have its focus set squarely on next week when they travel to Athens to take on the #3 Georgia Bulldogs. If you were looking for the textbook example for a  potential trap game, you'd be hard pressed to find a better one than the Alabama-Arkansas game.

As you can see, I was clearly nervous about this game. Then the most ominous of all omens occurs - Lee Corso picked Alabama to win during this morning's edition of College Gameday  (we all knew he would, but every week I pray against it). Bama fans are familiar with how Corso's prognostications usually turn out when he picks UA; the Crimson Tide usually lose big. 

My feelings of doom of course now being confirmed by Lee "let's kill Alabama's chances" Corso, I tried to remain outwardly cheery and confident lest Liss feel my now substantial doubts about our beloved Tide. Finally kickoff rolls around and Bama quickly appears to run its first drive straight into the ground. My sense of doom deepens. Then Arkansas proceeds to hand Bama the first of many gifts throughout the game... on 4th and 4 PJ Fitzgerald gets bumped while punting the ball and turns in an Oscar-worthy performance.





Penalty - Arkansas. Running into the kicker - 5 yard penalty which results in a first down for Alabama. After that, there was no looking back. Alabama racked up more than 300 yards running the ball, and the defense intercepted Arkansas QB Casey Dick FOUR times. Two of which were returned for touchdowns. At the half Alabama led 35-7, and they looked like they could name the final score.

The rest of the game was 30 minutes of relishing the fact that maybe just this Crimson Tide football team is made of tougher, more spirited stuff than that of previous teams. Not only are they beating the teams that they are supposed to beat, they are beating them senseless. I can't wait for next week's game at Georgia.

Except I have this sneaking feeling....


A very happy birthday!

Is there anything more contagious than laughing (the common cold notwithstanding)? Over the Labor Day weekend, Liss and I went down to Jackson to hang out with family and go to Grandpa Harold's birthday party (G'pa Harold is my step-mom's dad, but he has always treated Liss and I like we have been in the family since we were born). I think the photos below may tell more about how much fun we had than I could possibly write.

I hope you smile :)


Wow that's a lot of white people

I'm watching the Republican National Convention, and it's frighteningly caucasian. Of course, you would expect that the vast majority of the delegates attending the RNC to be white folks, but I have seen very few non-white people.

I know that's a petty complaint, and it's certainly no reason to support or not support a political party (or is it?). However, considering how every single speaker, every single video, every single angle, every single breath is weighed, measured and produced it's shocking to see such a grossly unrepresentative crowd. Are the Republicans afraid to let minorities into their power structure? I doubt it, but you sure wouldn't know it by watching the convention coverage tonight.

Oh well, that's enough of politics...


Alabama 34 - Clemson 10

First of all, thank goodness football season is here.

Second of all, thank goodness I have a wife who is as crazy as I am about wanting to watch every single snap of every possible game.

Third of all, are you kidding me?? Bama made it look like they were playing the Tuscaloosa High School JV team when they took Clemson to the woodshed outback of the Georgia Dome. Full disclosure here: Liss and I were discreetly keeping tabs on the score while at Grandpa Harold's 80th birthday party, so we missed most of the first half. However, the part of the game I saw was unbelievable. Who took my beloved Crimson Tide that regularly blows first half leads and replaced them with this freak of a machine that completely dismantled the three-headed Clemson offensive attack?

The expectations are through the roof for me now. I mean, Clemson was supposedly the 9th best team in the country (according to the Associated Press), and Alabama beat them by 24 points. We'll find out more about Alabama when they face Georgia in Athens a few weeks from now, but the Clemson game leaves me feeling like there just might be a chance...

Roll Tide!


The Hope of Art

This is probably as philosophical as my blog will ever get. As you read in my last post, Liss and I attended the Echo Church Media Conference from Thursday-Saturday, and we had a great time.

Being able to exhibit for SPEAK! was great, but if you want to read about that, you can go to http://www.speakcreative.com/news. Because I was exhibiting at the conference, I was able to attend all of the keynote sessions (the exhibit halls were deserted during this time), and I came away from the collective experience understanding that there truly are people in the church who are passionate about bringing the Gospel to the masses, specifically using media. No, it wasn't the cheesy GodTube presentation of media. The entire conference focused on helping Christians make excellent media, whether it was specifically Christian media or not. 

Some of the videos that were presented were absolutely spectacular. Skills that, in all honesty, I didn't think the Christian community possessed were on display, and it was incredible. Once again, my skepticism in the creativity of God was swept aside in an instant. As I was reminded many times throughout the keynote presentations, the Church used to be a bastion - in fact THE bastion - of creativity. Consider the beauty of stained-glass windows, the awe-inspiring works of the Renaissance that present the Gospel and the sheer volume of architectural advances brought on by the building of cathedrals. I don't know exactly when we began to drift away from highly valuing art - perhaps it was a natural response of the Reformation, perhaps the Puritans who settled in America never really allowed it to flourish like it might have on the Continent, maybe we just wanted to spend some time away from art.

Whatever reason for our long divorce with art, I pray and, if it were possible to create change just by force of will, hope that the divorce is coming to a close. Seeing some of the art that came out of the Echo Conference, I certainly believe the quality of work is excellent and inspiring. As our new Michelangelos and Titians emerge, surely not everyone will love their work. However, it is my fervent hope that the church would view their work and see opportunities to improve and diversify the media that filters into the world - always, above all, striving for excellence.

I've rambled on for a while, so I'll go. The next time you feel urged to pick up a brush, a camera, a typewriter (or laptop), a guitar or any other instrument to create art - think on how you can do it more excellently than before. After all, as DaVinci modeled, you can be good at more than just what you originally planned on doing in life. 

With that parting thought, I'll leave. I'll also probably come back and butcher this post because I've changed my mind or otherwise become embarrassed for thinking I've thought more deeply on this subject than anyone else...


Generic profound blog title goes here

Ok, so Liss and I are up for a "late night" tonight (it's still only about 10:30) while we're finishing up some laundry before we leave for Dallas tomorrow. We're going to the Echo Conference (http://www.echoconference.com) being hosted by Watermark Community Church, and it's probably the conference that I've been most excited about going to.

Of course, I'll be working the conference for SPEAK!, as I show of SiteWrench 4.0 (it's awesome) and some of our other services, but because Liss will be headed to Dallas with me, I'm really looking forward to just getting to hang out with the wife for a couple of days. I'm also hoping she makes lots of friends at the conference break-out sessions, so she can tell them how awesome her husband and SPEAK! are (I hope I'm awesomer than SPEAK!, but I don't know... and yes, I know awesomer isn't a word... yet).

Anyway - watching the Olympics while the laundry is drying, and I'm slightly concerned for NBC next week when Michael Phelps is finished with all of his swimming. I mean, I'm the first to admit that his story is by far the most compelling athletic story coming out of the 29th Olympiad, but I don't think NBC will be able to stretch the Phelps storyline throughout the duration of the Olympics. Maybe they'll just follow him around as he trades pins with other athletes. No doubt if pin trading were an Olympic sport, he'd take gold in that as well...

I'm watching the women's relay right now and just realized that the Olympic pool has LIFEGUARDS! Seriously?! Maybe it's just a cushy appointed job that I can get hooked up with through the IOC. You know the lifeguards are bored out of their minds...

I wish I had something profound to say about the absurdities of a world that has the most developed athletes than ever before in its history being coddled by lifeguards, but I'm struggling as I start thinking about going to bed...

Good night all! Headed to the big D tomorrow!


Good weekend

So this weekend was pretty kick-butt. Liss and I had (as always) our date night Friday night. Nothing fancy.. we ate at Qdoba and hung out at Barnes & Noble to catch up on some reading. It was a really nice night of just getting to slow down and spend some time with each other.

Saturday we met our small group (I love those guys!) downtown to see Get Smart, eat at the Flying Fish and Cheesecake Corner and generally have a good time. Get Smart was quite funny (Steve Carell made it awesome, especially when waxing lyric about Chuck Norris), but I'm pretty sure the rest of the group got their chuckles from watching me laugh so much... Oh well. The Flying Fish was quite good (the crawfish po'boy had enough heat to get my nose running, always a good sign for me), and if you haven't been to the Cheesecake Corner, you're really missing out.

Anyway.. much to the chagrin of the rest of the group, I took along my trusty D70S to document the whole outing. I've posted some good ones below. If you're friends with Liss on Facebook, be sure to check out some more. If you'd like 5x7s or 8x10s of any of these photos, you can mail a check to Matt Roberts in the amount of $1,000.00. Bulk discounts are, of course, available. I hope you enjoy the photos... I'll try to be better about getting some other stuff up soon!