Shots of Christmas

Photo shoot-type of shots, that is.

Here is what Christmas looked like around here, and at various relatives’ houses too.

First of all, in chronological order at least, was the traditional gingerbread train.

photo of children frosting a gingerbread and graham cracker train

We keep telling the kids that no, they cannot eat it, especially since it is more than a couple of weeks old. But that doesn’t stop them from picking bits o’ candy of it and eating them anyway.
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Playoff Plans

Now that the bowl games have started, it’s time for the annual discussion of playoffs for college football.

Plus I know my youngest brother thinks there aren’t enough playoff proposals, so I’m adding mine to the mix. I’m sure he will appreciate it.

Introducing:

Some Plan for College Football Playoffs

  • Step 1: Combine some conferences so that there will be 8 conferences.
    This step is slightly muddy, because I’m arranging the current conferences without taking this year’s planned changes into account.
    But the overall goal should be achievable.

    • ACC – currently 12 teams. Adds 4 teams to become a 16-team conference. The 4 teams come from half the Big East.
    • Big 12 – currently 10 teams. Adds 6 teams to become a 16-team conference (yet keeps its name). The 6 teams come from the entire West division of Conference USA
    • Big Ten – currently 12 teams. Adds 2 teams to become a 14-team conference (yet keeps its name). The 2 teams come from the Big East (Pittsburgh and Cincinnati, in case you’re wondering).
    • MAC – currently 13 teams. Adds 1 team to become a 14-team conference. The 1 team comes from the East division of Conference USA.
    • MWAC – currently 16 teams. This new conference just combines the 8-team Mountain West Conference with the 8-team Western Athletic Conference.
    • PAC 12 – currently 12 teams. Not scheduled to get any new teams. Maybe it could take 2 teams from the MWAC.
    • SEC – currently 12 teams. Adds 4 teams to become a 16-team conference. The 4 teams come from East division of Conference USA (3 of them) and the Big East (1 of them).
    • Sun Belt – currently 9 teams. Adds 3 teams to become a 12-team conference. The 3 teams come from East division of Conference USA (2 of them) and the Big East (1 of them). May need to rename this one to something ending in ‘C’. I’ll propose GSC for Gulf-South Conference.

    Of course, the 16-team conferences might to share with the other conferences so that everyone has 14 or 15 teams. Or maybe not.

  • Step 2: Every conference must have a championship game.

    The championship game becomes the first round of playoffs, so there are 16 teams right there. One of them has to be the best in the country. If they aren’t the best in their conference, they can’t be the best in the country.

  • Step 3: Change the major bowl games to quarter-final playoff games.

    This would maintain the importance and tradition of the bowl games.

    • Rose Bowl – Currently PAC12 vs. Big Ten. Stays that way. Everyone is happy.
    • Fiesta Bowl – Currently BIG12 vs. ???. Adds the MWAC.
    • Sugar Bowl – Currently SEC vs. ???. Adds the MAC.
    • Orange Bowl – Currently ACC vs. ???. Adds the GSC.
  • Step 4: Change other bowl games to semi-final playoff games.

    This would maintain the importance of the bowl games.

    • Cotton Bowl – Currently BIG12 vs. SEC. Stays that way. Everyone is happy. Would need to add MWAC and MAC into the mix, in case BIG12 or SEC lost.
    • Citrus Bowl – Currently Big Ten vs. SEC. Can’t stay that way. Too bad. Changing to Big Ten or PAC12 vs. ACC or GSC.
  • Step 5: Keep the championship game rotating among the 4 major bowl games.

    This would placate the people who like the current BCS format. All 3 of them.

    And it would be the concession they want in order to agree to be the quarterfinal round instead of the semifinal round.

There.

That wasn’t so hard, right?

I’m looking at you, NCAA.

Oh, right…the schedule.

  • Conference championship games are the first weekend in December.
  • Quarterfinals are the second weekend in December.
  • Semifinals are the fourth weekend in December.
  • The championship game is the Saturday after New Year’s Day.

I don’t care as much about the schedule. They can keep the games on separate nights like they do today.

The main thing I care about it that the contract does not go to ESPN. It must remain with the over-the-air broadcasters so that regular Americans can watch.

I don’t have fancy-schmancy satellite TV or cable or streaming internet, and I would like to watch the bowl games.

Now I exhort you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you all agree and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be made complete in the same mind and in the same judgment.

1 Corinthians 1:10

Christmas Music

In general, I like Christmas music. We turn on the radio in the van for our travels during the month of December so that we can partake in the sounds of the holiday.

But the songs on the radio station get old fast. Rockin’ around the Christmas Tree might be fun to hear 3 or 4 times through the Christmas season, but when it becomes 3 or 4 times a day then something is wrong.

“I’m tired of these fake Christmas songs and I’d like to head some real Christmas songs,” I thought to myself recently. And that got me thinking:
s
What makes a song a real Christmas song?

It’s easy to sort them as I hear them:
O Holy Night is a real Christmas song, and
Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas is not.

I figured it out today – fake Christmas songs are about the Christmas season and real Christmas songs are about the birth of Christ.

Alternative method: if it’s in our hymnal, it’s a real Christmas song.

I suppose you could use the terms “carol” and “song” to differentiate between real and fake. If that’s the case, then I’d like the radio stations to play more of the carols. And no, having 3 different versions of O Holy Night doesn’t count as 3 carols.

And suddenly there appeared with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest, And on earth peace among men with whom He is pleased.”

Luke 2:13-14

Tim Tebow Endorsement Deals

I should have timed this post for last week, when the Tim Tebow topic was more prominent before the Patriots game. Oh well.

I see that Tim Tebow has lined up some endorsement deals. However, none of them really captures the spirit of his name. What inspired this post wasn’t an actual endorsement deal. Rather, it was a brewery that named a beer after Tim Tebow, kind of.

I don’t know if that’s the best choice, pairing a beer with a Baptist, but here are some other marketing deals that would be interesting:

  1. Tim Tivo: This one should be obvious. Comes pre-loaded with footage of all the Broncos’ 4th-quarter comebacks.

  2. Tim Teabow: Not as obvious as the Tivo, but still promising.
    Lipton? No.
    Celestial Seasonings? Close.
    Snapple? Yes – if I have to explain the connection between football and the name “Snapple”, then you’re not going to get it anyway.

    Types of Tea:

    • Rookie Tea – formerly known as Green Tea
    • Golong Tea – Oolong’s football equivalent
    • ??? – what others are there?
  3. Tim T. Rowe (Price): financial management company. Not sure what it has to do with football though.

  4. Tim Temow: lawn care company. I know the name’s shaky, but I’m running out of steam.

  5. Tim Treebow: tree-cutting service. This one’s a stretch too, but it goes nicely with Temow.

I’d better stop there, as I am apparently out of ideas.

Any better match-ups out there?

Blessed are you when men hate you, and ostracize you, and insult you, and scorn your name as evil, for the sake of the Son of Man.

Luke 6:22

Christmas Cycle

Here is how things are in my house for most of the month of December:

vicious cycle of chocolates at Christmas

Transcript:
Hey! There’s no chocolate in the house!

It’s the Christmas season. We need to have chocolate and cookies and stuff.

(make/obtain sweets)

These are yummy. It’s hard to stop eating them.

Oh good – they’re gone. Now I don’t have to worry about self-control anymore.

The righteous has enough to satisfy his appetite, But the stomach of the wicked is in need.

Proverbs 13:25

All-Haiku Bowl Predictions, 2011

Based on the popularity existence of last year’s article predicting bowl games in haiku form, I present to you this year’s all-haiku bowl game predictions. Still America’s only all-haiku college football bowl game predictions.

These are listed in order of date (earliest first). Some picks are whom I think will win, and some picks are whom I want to win. I’ll leave it to you, the reader, to decide which is which.
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Things Said Recently Around Here

Children can be creative. It is my job as a parent to teach them to behave properly without squashing their spirit. It is a fine line between those two ideas sometimes.

Here are some Things Said Recently Around Here:

  • Wife: No climbing on the table!
    (This one is common)
  • Me: You can’t have your medicine until you eat some more meat.
    (Gamma likes his medicine a little too much)
  • Wife: There’s a fly in the house.
    Gamma: Where’d it go?
    Wife: Is it in your nose? (kidding, of course)
    (pause)
    Wife: No! Get your finger out of there…the fly is not in your nose.
  • Wife: Do you love me? (sung to the tune from Fiddler on the Roof)
    Gamma: Noooo. (sung back)
    Wife: Boo hoo hoo (pretend crying)
    Gamma: Yes! (he changed his mind)
  • Wife: Do you love daddy? (sung to the tune from Fiddler on the Roof)
    Gamma: Noooo. (sung back)
    Me: Boo hoo hoo (pretend crying)
    Gamma: No! (not changing his mind)

A joyful heart is good medicine, But a broken spirit dries up the bones.

Proverbs 17:22