A Quote to Start Things Off

"Passive Aggressive. It works for my mother, it works for Duolingo" Luis Von Ahn , co-founder of Duolingo from his TED talk, How to make learning as addictive as social media.

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Pictures of Memories I

Pictures of Memories I
Snow kidding! These "kids" now range from 17 to 23

Sunday, February 28, 2021

The Tonight Show: A History of Hosts


  Steve Allen 1954- 1957


Jack Paar 1857-1962


  Johnny Carson 1962 - 1992


  Jay Leno 1992 - 2009 and 2010 - 2014

Conan O'Brien 2009-2010

Jimmy Fallon 2014 - Present

Wednesday, February 17, 2021

Dave Out Loud : Quick Random Takes Quiznos

The First QRT of 2021 and also the first time where we went with the first take rather than the 2nd.

Sunday, February 14, 2021

How to Get Through 2021: Shoulder to Shoulder

Last month I wrote about how to get through 2021 by advocating adherence to the lyrics of  Day by Day from the musical Godspell. I've been in a bit of a musical renaissance lately.  I've been listening to music for 2 to 3 hours each day and much of it has had an encouraging effect on my outlook on life.  

On the way to work, I listen to the same playlist each morning which features a lot of music from Allen Levi.  In a live concert Allen, who lives and has his recording studio on a Georgia farm describes how he saw two purple finches at the bird feeder outside of his studio.  The first was blind in his right eye and the second blind in the left eye.  

Levi wrote a fictional conversation from one bird to the other about teaming up "to make it through this obstacle course called life. "

Levi's finch also tells his prospective traveling partner that 

"If we travel all alone the danger's plenty but side by side were perfect 20/20."

This got me thinking about the obstacle course that was the year 2020 and how that 2020 was far from perfect in seemingly every aspect. 

2021seems to be shaping up like a movie called 2020: The year that wouldn't leave.  Political turmoil, Covid, Tom Brady winning another Super Bowl.  

If the answer to getting through this year is shoulder to shoulder, a new question that emerges is how do we do that 6 feet apart? 


I might suggest 3 ways.

1) Stay positive with each other.

Discontentment is a more infectious virus than even Covid. When one person complains a line soon forms so everyone can get in on the act. 

To stay positive with each other, you first need to stay positive yourself so you can pass it on to others.  In the same way, walking in step with positive people will help you combat negative thoughts and behavior patterns.

Consider the ripple effects of Phillippians 4:4- 9 ...

First have a pattern of rejoicing always (vs.4). add to that gentleness (vs. 5) remove anxiety by presenting your needs to God (vs 6 )and God's peace will guard your heart (vs. 7).  Then to cap it all off think and act only in ways that are true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent,  and 
praiseworthy (verses 8&9)

2. Encourage each other.

The English Standard (ESV) New International (NIV) and New American Standard (NASB) version of the Bible (3 of my favorite versions) all translated the 1st word of Isaiah 35:3 as strengthen.

ESV: Strengthen the weak hands,
         and make firm the feeble knees. 

NIV: Strengthen the feeble hands,
        steady the knees that give way;

NASB: Strengthen the exhausted, and make the feeble strong. 

In 1995 the NASB went through a revision and the verse is now translated ...

Encourage the exhausted, and strengthen the feeble.

When you think about it, encouragement is a kind of strengthening. And you have to admit that 2021 life is enough to make the strongest among us exhausted and feeble.  Words and acts of encouragement can provide an oasis in a barren wasteland. 

3. Find Common Ground

Acts chapter 17:16-34  is generally considered a passage that gives a blueprint on evangelism.  Paul in Athens is able to study the culture and then use the culture as a way of sharing the message of Jesus.  One ministry I know took this pattern and developed a method called ask, admire and admit as a way of presenting the gospel to others.

I believe that Paul's model can also be used beyond the scope of evangelism to promote unity.  As you may have noticed we live in an increasingly divisive society even among Christ-followers.  I sometimes think I can only use 24 letters on Facebook as I always seem to be minding my p's and q's. The thing about Facebook is that ideally our circle is composed of friends, relatives, and acquaintances with whom we once shared common bonds.  Sometimes it helps me to remember those bonds and post those memories as a way of strengthening those bonds rather than focussing on differences. 

In January I wrote that depending on God is a good way to get through 2021.  Depending on each other seems to be the next logical step as God created us to be in relationship with one another.  Working in concert through this obstacle course called life is much better than being each other's obstacles. 

LHS Drama Presents Shakespeare's Sonnets: A Valentine's Special Production

Saturday, February 13, 2021

Hall of Fame Voting Results 2021

 The 2021 BBWAA voting for the Hall of Fame was announced on January 26th.  For the 3rd time since 1996 no one received the 75% of the vote needed for enshrinement this year.  

Here is a quick list of the voting results with years on ballot this years % & last years percentage (where applicable) and where they appeared on my unofficial ballot(Those ranking 4th or higher would have been on my official ballot if I had one). Ranked in descending order of vote received.

Curt Schilling 9th year on ballot 71.1 % in 2021 70% in 2020 Schilling was 4th on my 2021 ballot.

Barry Bonds 9th year on ballot 61.8% in 2021 60.7% in 2020 I did not vote for Bonds.

Roger Clemens 9th year on ballot 61.6% in 2021 61% in 2020 I did not vote for Clemens

Scott Rolen 4th year on ballot  52.9% in 2021 35.3% in 2020 Rolen was 7th on my 2021 ballot.

Omar Vizquel 4th year on ballot 49.1% in 2021 52.6% in 2mmy021 Vizquel was 2nd on my 2021 ballot.

Billy Wagner 6th year on ballot 46.4% in 2021 31.7% in 2020. I did not vote for Wagner in 2021.

Todd Helton 3rd year on ballot 44.9% in 2021 29.2 in 2020. Helton was 3rd on my ballot in 2021.

Gary Sheffield 7th year on ballot 40.6% in 2021 30.5% in 2020.  Sheffield  would have appeared 11th on my 2021 ballot. (official ballots can only have as many as 10 players on them)

Andruw Jones 4th year on ballot 33.9% in 2021 and 19.4% in 2020. Andruw was 8th on my ballot in 2021. 

Jeff Kent 8th year on ballot 32.4% in 2021 27.5% in 2020. Kent was 6th on my ballot in 2021.

Manny Ramirez 5th year on ballot 28.2% in 2021 and 2020. I did not vote for Ramirez.

Sammy Sosa 9th year on ballot. 17% in 2021 13.9% in 2020. I did not vote for Sosa.

Andy Pettitte 3rd year on ballot. 13.7% in 2021 11.3% in 2020. I did not vote for Pettitte in 2021.

Mark Buehrle 1st year on ballot received 11% this year  and was 1st on my ballot.

Torii Hunter 1st year on ballot received 9.5% this year and was 9th on my ballot.

Bobby Abreu 2nd year on ballot received 8.7% in 2021 5.5% in 2020 Bobby was 10th on my ballot in 2021 

Tim Hudson 1st year on ballot received 5.2% in 2020 and I did not vote for Hudson this year.

These 17 players are eligible to return to the ballot on 2022

Other 1st year playes receiving votes were Aramis Ramirez (who would have been 13th on my ballot) LaTroy Hawkins and Barry Zito.  5 players (AJ Burnett, Shane Victorino, Dan Haren, Michael Cuddyer and Nick Swisher) failed to receive any votes.  

This years vote was the first time since 2013 that no one was voted in by the members of the BBWAA a look back at the 2013 ballot should give the players shutout on this years a vote a reason for hope. 17 players from the 2013 ballot returned to the 2014 ballot. These 13 did not include Dale Murphy who was in his last year of eligibility.     4 of those players were on the ballot for the first time are still on the ballot (Schilling, Bonds, Clemens & Sosa). 9 Of the 13 remaining have since been inducted to Cooperstown. 

Here is a list of those 9 in descending order of votes received in 2013

Craig Biggio was in his 1st of year  eligibility and received 68.2 % of the vote in 2013.  He increased his % to 74.8% of the vote in 2014 (just missing the 75% threshhold for enshrinement) and then in 2015 in his third year on the ballot was inducted with 82.7% of the ballot.  

Jack Morris was in his 14th year of eligibility in 2013. This was back when  candidates were on the ballot for a maximum of 15 years rather than 10.  He received 67.7% in 2013 61.5% in 2014  on his last chance for enshrinement through the BBWAA.  In 2018 Morris was elected to the Hall of Fame through the veterans committee. 

Jeff Bagwell was in his 3rd year on the ballot in 2013 where he received 59.6 % of the vote.  In 2014 he went down to 54.3 and up to 55.7% in 2015. His percentage increase by more than 15% in each of the next 2 years culminating with his election to Cooperstown in 2017

Like Schilling, Bonds, Clemens, Sosa, & Biggio, Mike Piazza was on the BBWAA ballot for the first time in 2013.  Piazza received over 55% of the vote in 2013 and increased into the 60's the next 2 elections until garnering 83% in 2016 on his way to Cooperstown.  

Tim Raines was in his 6th year on the ballot in 2013 where he received 52 % of the vote.  In 2014 his votes went down to 46.4% due to the election of Frank Thomas, of 7 Maddux and Tom Glavine in their first year of eligibility.  In 2015 received 55% of the votes and then went up to 69.8%  in 2016 and over 80% in 2017 achieving the Hall of Fame. 

Lee Smith was in his 11th year on the ballot in 2013 where he received 47.8 % of the vote. In 2014 after receiving between 35 & 51 % of the vote in first 11 years of the ballot Smith saw his numbers drop.  He went from 47.8 % in 2013 to 29.8 % in 2014.  His numbers increased a little in each of his last 3 years on the ballot and his final BBWAA % was 34.2% in 2017. 2 years later in 1019 the Veteran's committee came calling and he was inducted into Cooperstown.

Edgar Martinez was in his 4th year of eligibility when he received 35.4% of the vote in the 2013 ballot.  His % decreased to the 20's the following 2 years due mainly  to the influx of 7 1st year hall of famers on those ballots and the 10 player limit imposed on the writers.  In 2016 Martinez rose to 43.4% and increased by about 15% each year until 2019 where he received 85.4% of the vote in his last year of eligibility.

Alan Trammell received 33.6 % of the vote in 2013 on his 12th year on the ballot. This percentage dropped to 20.8 in 2013 increased to 25.1 in 2015 and went up again to 40.9% in 2016 on his final year on the writer's ballot.  The Veteran's Committe elected him to Cooperstown in 2018.

Larry Walker was in his 3rd year on the ballot in 2013 when he received 21.6% of the vote. Walkers votes went down in 2014 and 2015 and slowly climbed back up year after year until reaching 76.6% of the vote last year.  

Fred McGriff, Mark McGwire, Don Mattingly and Rafael Palmeiro returned to the 2014 ballot and have all since been eliminated from election by the BBWAA.  They could still make it to Cooperstown by means of the Veteran's Committee.

Of the 9 Hall of Famers (so far) from the 2013 ballot 6 were elected on the writer's ballot and 3 by the veteran's committee. 

In 1996 there were also no players receiving the need 75% of votes on the writer's ballot needed for induction to Cooperstown. Since then 7 players from that ballot have been inducted Although Joe Torre was inducted in 2014 as a manager and not a player.  .  The other 6 are Phil Niekro (1997 BBWAA), Tony Perez 2000, BBWAA), Don Sutton (1998 BBWAA),  Ron Santo (2012 Veteran's Committee), Jim Rice (2009 BBWAA) & Bruce Sutter (2006 BBWAA).  There are several players from that ballot including Dick Allen who may someday join the other 7 inductees via the Veteran's Committee.  

While the tales of the players from the 1996 & 2013 ballots may encourage the players from the 2021 ballot about their future in the hall their immediate inclusion seems less likely.  No players are aging off the ballot this year and players  like David Ortiz and Alex Rodriguez are being added to the 2022 ballot.  Curt Schillings seems to have the next chance for Cooperstown in 2022 as he has 4% of voters to gain.  He recently asked to be removed from the ballot and while that doesn't seem likely this may not increase his chances on maintainig his votes let alone garnering new support.  

A to Z 2023 Road Trip

#AtoZChallenge 2023 RoadTrip