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Drew, Pudge, and irises


We received a few new pictures of Drew last evening. Since some of you have been clamoring for more recent pictures, here are several...

Earlier I posted a picture of a trial run on the carseat when Drew was still in the NICU. Below is a picture of him when he was in the carseat to go home...

picture of Drew in his carseat

Drew meets the family terrier, Pudge...

picture of Drew meeting Pudge

Here's a picture of Drew in one of his preemie outfits, eyes wide open...

picture of Drew with eyes wide open

Last fall we redid the beds by our front porch, pulling up 10 big, ugly Boxwood globes and putting in more colorful and varied bushes and plants. Here's a shot of some of the plants "waking up" this spring...

picture of the bed on one side of our front porch

Here's a close up of several of the Sapphire Beauty Dutch irises in the picture above...

picture of sapphire beauty irises

Back at you soon...

Rob

March Madness or April Fools?


My recent post on oxymorons included "sports scholarship." If anyone doubts that that expression is oxymoronic, today's iv should help remove all doubt. Granted, it's well known that they are not recruited for their intellectual or elocutionary prowess. The following quotations are from players, coaches, sportscasters, and fans.

Quotations from the "salary is inversely proportional to IQ" crowd...

DISCLAIMER: I have tried to determine whether these quotations are authentic and/or accurate, but alas, I've not been able to. If there are any mistakes, please let me know and I'll correct them.

Winston Bennett, University of Kentucky basketball forward: "I've never had major knee surgery on any other part of my body,"

Philadelphia Phillies manager, Danny Ozark: "Half this game is ninety percent mental."

Greg Norman: "I owe a lot to my parents, especially my mother and father."

Ralph Kiner, announcer for the New York Mets: "Today is Father's Day, so everyone out there: Happy Birthday!"

Baseball player Mike Greenwell: "I'm a four-wheel-drive pickup type of guy. So is my wife."

Ian Rush, on the difficulties of adjusting to playing football and living in Italy: "It was like being in a foreign country."

Mike Ditka: "A big factor in the game was the number of points scored."

Nick Zito: "A lot of horses get distracted. It's just human nature."

The following quote was made by a Montreal Expos ball player, who was not named by the reporter (the player might have been Larry Walker) in reference to another player's mental faculties: "He ain't no rocket surgeon."

Magic Johnson: "I only know how to play two ways and that's reckless and abandon."

Jimmy Hill: "Don't sit on the fence, Terry. What chance do you think Germany has of getting through?" Terry Venables: "I think it's 50-50."

reporter: "Did you visit the Parthenon when you went to Greece?"
Shaquille O'Neal: "I can't really remember the names of the clubs that we went to."

Murray Walker: "The lead car is absolutely unique, except for the one behind it which is identical."

Soccer coach Ron Greenwood: "They have missed so many chances they must be wringing their heads in shame."

Baseball player Pete Incaviglia: "People think we make $3 million and $4 million a year. They don't realize that most of us only make $500,000."

reporter: "Would you quit baseball if the Yankees lose the series to the Pirates?"
Casey Stengel: "Well, I have given that thought a lot of thinking lately and last night, well - I finally made up my mind."
reporter: Which way?
Casey Stengel: "I made up my mind both ways."

Frank Bruno: "I was in a no-win situation, so I'm glad that I won rather than lost."

Basketball player Chris Washburn, commenting on his ability to drive to the basket: "Yeah, I can go to my right and my left. That's because I'm amphibious."

Shaquille O'Neal, on his lack of championships: "I've won at every level, except college and pro."

Bobby Robson, after playing Cameroon in the 1990 world cup finals: "We didn't underestimate them. They were just a lot better than we thought."

Lou Duva, Veteran boxing trainer, on the Spartan training regime of heavyweight Andrew Golota: "He's a guy who gets up at six o'clock in the morning regardless of what time it is."

David Thompson: "Ball handling and dribbling are my strongest weaknesses."

Pat Williams, Orlando Magic general manager, on his team's 7-27 record: "We can't win at home. We can't win on the road. As general manager, I just can't figure out where else to play."

Chuck Nevitt, North Carolina State basketball player, explaining to Coach Jim Valvano why he appeared nervous at practice: "My sister's expecting a baby, and I don't know if I'm going to be an uncle or an aunt."

Steve Spurrier, telling fans that a fire at the football dorm had destroyed 20 books: "But the real tragedy was that 15 hadn't been colored yet."

Frank Layden, Utah Jazz president, on a former player: "I told him, 'Son, what is it with you? Is it ignorance or apathy?' He said, 'Coach, I don't know and I don't care.'"

Torrin Polk, University of Houston receiver, on his coach, John Jenkins: "He treats us like men. He lets us wear earrings."

Shelby Metcalf, basketball coach at Texas A&M, recounting what he told a player who received four Fs and one D: "Son, looks to me like you're spending too much time on one subject."

Johnny Walker, world middleweight wrist-wrestling champion, on what it takes to be a champ: "It's about 90% strength and 40% technique."

Barry Beck, New York Ranger, on who started a brawl during the National Hockey League's Stanley Cup playoffs: "We have only one person to blame, and that's each other.

Dizzy Dean explaining how he felt after being hit on the head by a ball in the 1934 World Series: "The doctors X-rayed my head and found nothing."

Mickey Rivers, Texas Rangers outfielder, on his warm relationship with Yankee owner Steinbrenner and manager Billy Martin: "Me and George and Billy are two of a kind."

Don Mattingly, New York Yankee, on Mets pitcher Dwight Gooden: "His reputation preceded him before he got here."

Curt Gowdy, network sports announcer, on air: "Folks, this is perfect weather for today's game. Not a breath of air."

Dennis Rappaport, boxing manager, explaining his silence regarding boxer Thomas Hearns: "I don't want to tell you any half-truths unless they're completely accurate."

Casey Stengel, baseball great, Yankees and Mets manager: "A lot of people my age are dead at the present time."

Ron Davis, Minnesota Twins pitcher, commenting on press reports quoting him as criticizing team managers for trading top players: "All I said was that the trades were stupid and dumb, and they took that and blew it all out of proportion."

Alan Minter: "There have been injuries and deaths in boxing, but none of them serious."

Football coach Bill Peterson: "Men, I want you just thinking of one word all season. One word and one word only - Super Bowl."

Phil Watson to reporters: "Gentlemen, I have nothing to say. Any questions?"

'Whispering' Ted Lowe: "And for those of you watching on black-and-white, the pink ball is the one behind the blue."

Yogi Berra, when asked his cap size: "I don't know. I'm not in shape yet."

Dale Berra, Yogi Berra's son: "The similarities between me and my father are different."

Basketball player Jason Kidd: "We're going to turn this team around 360 degrees."

Soccer coach Ron Greenwood: "I don't hold water with that theory."

Curt Gowdy: "The Baltimore Colts are a bright young team. It seems as if they have their future ahead of them."

Baseball player Pedro Guerrero, on sportswriters: "Sometimes they write what I say and not what I mean."

Ron Pickering: "Watch the time. It gives you an indication of how fast they are running."

John Snagge, commentator for a boat race between Oxford and Cambridge: "I can't tell who's leading. It's either Oxford or Cambridge."

And, upon hearing Joe Jacoby of the 'Skins say "I'd run over my own mother to win the Super Bowl," Matt Millen of the Raiders said, "To win, I'd run over Joe's mom too."

Marlon Starling: "I'll fight Lloyd Honeyghan for nothing if the price is right."

George Raveling, Washington State basketball coach: "I know the Virginia players are smart because you need a 1500 SAT to get in. I have to drop bread crumbs to get our players to and from class"

Murray Walker: "Just under 10 seconds for Nigel Mansel. Call it 9.5 seconds in round numbers."

Bill Peterson, a Florida State football coach: "You guys line up alphabetically by height." He also said: "You guys pair up in groups of three, then line up in a circle."

Clemson recruit Ray Forsythe, who was ineligible as a freshman because of academic requirements: "I play football. I'm not trying to be a professor. The tests don't seem to make sense to me, measuring your brain on stuff you haven't been through in school."

Terry Venables: "If history repeats itself, I should think we can expect the same thing again."

Boxing promoter Dan Duva on Mike Tyson hooking up again with promoter Don King: "Why would anyone expect him to come out smarter? He went to prison for three years, not Princeton."

Stu Grimson, Chicago Blackhawks left wing, explaining why he keeps a color photo of himself above his locker: "That's so when I forget how to spell my name, I can still find my clothes."

Tommy Lasorda , Dodger manager, when asked what terms Mexican-born pitching sensation Fernando Valenzuela might settle for in his upcoming contract negotiations: "He wants Texas back."

Jim Finks, New Orleans Saints G.M., when asked after a loss what he thought of the refs: "I'm not allowed to comment on lousy officiating."

Lincoln Kennedy, Oakland Raiders tackle, on his decision not to vote: "I was going to write myself in, but I was afraid I'd get shot."

Football commentator and former player Joe Theismann: "Nobody in football should be called a genius. A genius is a guy like Norman Einstein."

Senior basketball player at the University of Pittsburgh: "I'm going to graduate on time, no matter how long it takes."

Amarillo High School and Oiler Coach Bum Phillips when asked by Bob Costas why he takes his wife on all the road trips, Phillips responded: "Because she is too ugly to kiss good-bye."

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"group iv" project...

Recently when my wife and I were driving in rural North Carolina, she spotted a beauty parlor with a great name - Grand Illusion Styling Salon. We laughed and laughed over that one. We tried to think of other beauty salons we'd seen with funny or bizarre names. We remembered one called in Michigan near Camp CoBeAc called Curl Up and Dye. My wife suggested that it might be fun to ask the people who read the blog to tell the humorous or strange names of beauty parlors that they know of. So either leave a comment at the end of this blog entry or email me (see the email link in the sidebar on the right side of the blog.) I'll give them a while to accumulate and then post the list you the readers come up with.

Mark and Katie arrived in a safe and timely manner at Jim and Megan's. They're enjoying their time up there, especially getting to meet Drew in person. Katie's older sister and her husband had their first child in January, and he's also named Andrew, with Drew as his nickname too.

(non-athletic) quotation...

"No one is an atheist for intellectual reasons, but for moral reasons." - Ravi Zacharias

=^..^= =^..^=
Rob

As Yogi Berra once said, "When you come to a fork in the road, take it!"

I'll end this post with the Mallard Fillmore from Saturday, March 31. The cartoon below can serve as a bridge from this blog entry to the one right below it. 8-)

picture of Mallard Fillmore comic strip from 31 March 31 2007

Two Cows … No Hoof Left Unstepped On!


During much of my adult life I enjoyed reading and hearing about politics. I've always voted since first becoming old enough to do so. Yet as important as this aspect of responsible citizenship is, I've known all along that politicians are not the answer to the problems of society. In recent years the political scene, especially on the national level, has left me increasingly disenchanted.

I usually stay away from political things in my iv's because it's a realm of life where people hold very strong personal views, and ivman.com is about a break from stress and tension rather than being another cause of stress and tension. 8-)

However, several things lately have me more sick-to-death than ever of most things political! Is anyone else out there sick of the politicizing of this war, with little or no regard for what's best for our country or our military personnel in harm's way?! It seems that for some, power and advancement of an agenda far outweigh what is right and prudent! Also, is anyone else out there already sick of the 2008 presidential campaign?! Give us a break already!!! Starting the whole thing up over a year before the first primary! Good grief! I keep hoping that everyone will be so sick of all the candidates with hats currently in the ring that by the time the primaries actually roll around, these candidates will be off the scene and the voters will finally be presented with some real candidates worth voting for!!!

Because of my frustration, I'd like to poke fun at it all - and then some! I think enough "sacred cows" are lampooned in today's iv that everyone should be amused through most of it.

Anyway, off those soapboxes and on to the iv....

TWO COWS - A Bovine Guide to Political, Corporate, and Societal Theory

Here are some philosophical insights based on COWS, with no hoof left un-stepped-on...

FEUDALISM: You have two cows. Your lord takes some of the milk.

PURE SOCIALISM: You have two cows. The government takes them and puts them in a barn with everyone else's cows. You have to take care of all the cows. The government gives you as much milk as you need.

BUREAUCRATIC SOCIALISM: You have two cows. The government takes them and puts them in a barn with everyone else's cows. They are cared for by ex-chicken farmers. You have to take care of the chickens the government took from the chicken farmers. The government gives you as much milk and as many eggs as the regulations say you should need.

PURE COMMUNISM: You have two cows. Your neighbors help you take care of them, and you all share the milk.

RUSSIAN COMMUNISM: You have two cows. You have to take care of them, but the government takes all the milk.

DICTATORSHIP: You have two cows. The government takes both and shoots you.

ANARCHY: You have two cows. Either you sell the milk at a fair price or your neighbors try to kill you and take the cows.

TOTALITARIANISM: You have two cows. The government takes them and denies they ever existed. Milk is banned.

FASCISM: You have two cows. The government seizes both, hires you to take care of them, and sells you the milk.

CAPITALISM, AMERICAN STYLE: You have two cows. You sell one, buy a bull, and build a herd. Your herd multiplies, and the economy grows. You sell them and retire on the income.

PURE DEMOCRACY: You have two cows. Your neighbors decide who gets the milk.

REPRESENTATIVE DEMOCRACY: You have two cows. Your neighbors pick someone to tell you who gets the milk.

SINGAPOREAN DEMOCRACY: You have two cows. The government fines you for keeping two unlicensed farm animals in an apartment.

DEMOCRACY, AMERICAN STYLE: The government promises to give you two cows if you vote for it. After the election, the president is impeached for speculating in cow futures. The press dubs the affair "Cowgate". Or if you already have two cows, the government taxes you to the point you have to sell both to support a man in a foreign country who has only one cow, which was a gift from your government.

REPUBLICANS: You have two cows. Your neighbor has none. So?

DEMOCRATS: You have two cows. Your neighbor has none. You feel guilty for being successful. You vote people into office that put a tax on your cows, forcing you to sell one to raise money to pay the tax. The people you voted for then take the tax money, buy a cow, and give it to your neighbor. You feel righteous. Barbara Streisand sings for you.

LIBERTARIANS: You have two cows. You let them do what they want. You tell everyone else to go away. What you do with *your* cows is no one else's business!

UNITED NATIONISM: You have two cows. France vetoes you from milking them. The United States and Britain veto the cows from milking you. New Zealand abstains.

REDISTRIBUTIONISM: You have two cows. Everyone should have the same amount of cow. The government takes both cows, cuts them up, and spends more than the cows are worth giving everyone a small portion of cow.

BUREAUCRACY: You have two cows. At first the government regulates what you can feed them and when you can milk them. Then it pays you not to milk them. After that it takes both, shoots one, milks the other and pours the milk down the drain. Then it requires you to fill out forms accounting for the missing cows.

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some corporate and personal philosophies...

AN AMERICAN CORPORATION: You have two cows. You sell one, and force the other to produce the milk of four cows. You are surprised when the cow drops dead and hire a consultant to analyze why.

A BRAZILIAN CORPORATION: You have two cows. You enter into a partnership with an American corporation. Soon you have 1000 cows and the American corporation declares bankruptcy.

A BRITISH CORPORATION: You have two cows. You feed them sheep's brains and they go mad. The government doesn't do anything.

A FRENCH CORPORATION: You have two cows. You go on strike because you want three cows.

A GERMAN CORPORATION: You have two cows. You reengineer them so they live for 100 years, eat once a month, and milk themselves.

AN INDIAN CORPORATION: You have two cows. You worship them.

AN IRAQI CORPORATION: You have two cows. They go into hiding. They send radio tapes of their mooing.

AN ITALIAN CORPORATION: You have two cows but you don't know where they are. You break for lunch.

A JAPANESE CORPORATION: You have two cows. You redesign them so they are one-tenth the size of an ordinary cow and produce twenty times the milk. You then create a clever cow cartoon image called Cowkimon and market them worldwide.

A MEXICAN CORPORATION: You think you have two cows, but you're not sure where they are. You'll look for them tomorrow.

A SWISS CORPORATION: You have two cows. Somebody else has 5,000 cows, none of which belong to you. You charge them for storing their 5000 cows with yours.

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some off-center societal movements...

ARISTOCRATISM: You have two cows. You sell both and buy one really big cow - with a pedigree.

ENVIRONMENTALISM: You have two cows. The government bans you from milking or killing them and fines you for the methane gas they emit.

FEMINISM: You have two cows. You don't need a bull - just adopt a calf.

IDEALISM: You have two cows. You get married, and your spouse milks them.

POLITICAL CORRECTNESS: You are associated with (the concept of "ownership" is a symbol of the war-mongering, intolerant past) two differently-aged (but no less valuable to society) bovines of non-specified gender....

POP CULTURE: Whoa, dude, there's, like...these two cows, man. You gotta have some of this milk, ya know?

SOCRATIC METHODISM: How many cows do I have? Why?

SURREALISM: You have two giraffes. The government requires you to take harmonica lessons.

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All is well here at our house. The weeks between Bible Conference and graduation always fly by, and this first week has been no exception to that! Megan and Drew are doing well, but since he's not been sleeping well during the night, he has two tired parents. Mark and Katie are going up to see them all this weekend. Grandma and I wish we could be stowaways....

This coming week is the annual Living Gallery on campus. We are looking forward to seeing the presentation which has become a part of our Easter celebration here.

quotation...

"The most terrifying words in the English language are: I'm from the government and I'm here to help." - Ronald Reagan

=^..^= =^..^=
Rob

Sacred cows often make the best hamburgers!

Roller Coaster Rides


One of the neat features of posting to the blog instead of sending the iv's by email is that I can include pictures or even have an almost totally pictorial iv. The way I used to have to send the iv's by email was text only, so pictures were an impossibility.

Today's iv is a series of pictures I received this weekend of one of the roller coasters at Cedar Point in Sandusky, OH. I grew up about 50 miles from Cedar Point, and going there at least once each summer was just a given in our family. The place has grown and changed immensely since the days of my youth, but it's always been known for roller coasters. I haven't been to Cedar Point in about 10 years, but when I went there last, I loved their roller coaster called the Magnum. As much as I love roller coasters, from the pictures below, I don't know if this grandpa's heart could take the kind of ride delivered by this roller coaster that debuted at Cedar Point in 2003 - the amusement park's 16th roller coaster!

Though it has since been succeeded in 2005 by Kingda Ka in New Jersey as the highest and fastest roller coaster, with an at-that-time record-breaking height of 420 feet and record-breaking speed of 120 mph, Top Thrill Dragster delivers on its promise of thrilling riders at Cedar Point. The last picture in the series below says it all.

Top Thrill Dragster - shot 1

Top Thrill Dragster - shot 2

Top Thrill Dragster - shot 3

Top Thrill Dragster - shot 4

Top Thrill Dragster - shot 5

As promised, this final picture says it all....

picture of that says it all

It's not for certain that that picture is actually of someone who had just been on Top Thrill Dragster, but I'm not sure it's not authentic either. That's what I would probably look like if I rode this roller coaster!

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After the roller coaster our daughter and son-in-law have been on for the past few weeks, we are delighted that Drew was able to go home this afternoon - without even a monitor on him! Grandma and I got to hear him cry on the phone tonight. What a blessing! He goes to see his pediatrician Tuesday morning, and Megan goes to see her doctor Wednesday morning. Her 6-week check-up is already scheduled - it will be two days before her original due date! We are praising the Lord for so many direct answers to prayer! We hope that the roller coaster we've all been on for the past several weeks has finally pulled into the station.

Below is a picture of Drew without tubes!

picture of no tubes!

Below is a picture of Drew in his car seat during a trial run at the hospital the other day...

picture of Drew in his carseat

quotation...

"Can you honestly look at the emptiness of our culture and say 'that's what I want for my life.'?" - Rev. Rick Cross

=^..^= =^..^=
Rob

A picture is worth a thousand words, but it uses up a thousand times the memory.

It Was a Dark and Stormy Night…


A while back I received an email with what purported to be some winning entries to the Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest (BLFC). During my 34 years of teaching French, I've graded my share of student compositions. Some things that students have written, not always intentionally, have made me laugh out loud. The most memorable is what one student wrote in a composition for second semester French - they have to write the first paragraph of a thriller. One student wrote (and I translate) something like "The man and his dog rounded the corner and found the baker lying in the alley behind the bakery with a spoon in his chest." This student had obviously not taken the time to look up the French word for "knife" in the dictionary and gone with her memory. I commented on her paper that that must have been a horribly painful way to die! I still laugh at this one, but the really humorous twist on this is that that student went on to minor in French and is now living in Paris, France, where she's been transferred to work for three years with the Ernst and Young accounting firm.

I did a little research online about this contest. If you go to the Bulwer-Lytton site, be warned that some of what you find may not be to your liking. I trudged through a lot to give you what I'm posting today. 8-) Here's some of what I learned from Wikipedia and from the official site for the BLFC:

Edward George Earl Bulwer-Lytton, 1st Baron Lytton (May 25, 1803–January 18, 1873) was an English novelist, playwright, and politician. Lord Lytton was a florid, popular writer of his day, who coined such phrases as "the great unwashed", "pursuit of the almighty dollar", "the pen is mightier than the sword", and the infamous incipid "It was a dark and stormy night." Despite the popularity in his heyday, today his name is known as a byword for bad writing. Since 1982 the English Department at San Jose State University has sponsored the Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest, a whimsical literary competition that challenges entrants to compose the opening sentence to the worst of all possible novels. The first year there were only three entries, but the contest has really taken off since then.

Here's the opening sentence of Bulwer-Lytton's novel Paul Clifford (1830): "It was a dark and stormy night; the rain fell in torrents - except at occasional intervals, when it was checked by a violent gust of wind which swept up the streets (for it is in London that our scene lies), rattling along the housetops, and fiercely agitating the scanty flame of the lamps that struggled against the darkness."

(And here I had always attributed "It was a dark and stormy night..." to Snoopy sitting atop his doghouse with his typewriter! Is nothing sacred?! The "Peanuts" beagle Snoopy plagiarized Bulwer-Lytton for years!)

"Lyttony" of Grand Prize Winners (I'm posting the ones I enjoyed most.)

The camel died quite suddenly on the second day, and Selena fretted sulkily and, buffing her already impeccable nails - not for the first time since the journey began - pondered snidely if this would dissolve into a vignette of minor inconveniences like all the other holidays spent with Basil. - Gail Cain, San Francisco, CA (1983 Winner)

The bone-chilling scream split the warm summer night in two, the first half being before the scream when it was fairly balmy and calm and pleasant for those who hadn't heard the scream at all, but not calm or balmy or even very nice for those who did hear the scream, discounting the little period of time during the actual scream itself when your ears might have been hearing it but your brain wasn't reacting yet to let you know. - Patricia E. Presutti, Lewiston, NY (1986 Winner)

Professor Frobisher couldn't believe he had missed seeing it for so long - it was, after all, right there under his nose - but in all his years of research into the intricate and mysterious ways of the universe, he had never noticed that the freckles on his upper lip, just below and to the left of the nostril, partially hidden until now by a hairy mole he had just removed a week before, exactly matched the pattern of the stars in the Pleides, down to the angry red zit that had just popped up where he and his colleagues had only today discovered an exploding nova. - Ray C. Gainey, Indianapolis, IN (1989 Winner)

Paul Revere had just discovered that someone in Boston was a spy for the British, and when he saw the young woman believed to be the spy's girlfriend in an Italian restaurant he said to the waiter, "Hold the spumoni - I'm going to follow the chick an' catch a Tory." - John L. Ashman, Houston, TX (1995 Winner)

The moment he laid eyes on the lifeless body of the nude socialite sprawled across the bathroom floor, Detective Leary knew she had committed suicide by grasping the cap on the tamper-proof bottle, pushing down and twisting while she kept her thumb firmly pressed against the spot the arrow pointed to, until she hit the exact spot where the tab clicks into place, allowing her to remove the cap and swallow the entire contents of the bottle, thus ending her life. - Artie Kalemeris, Fairfax, VA (1997 Winner)

The corpse exuded the irresistible aroma of a piquant, ancho chili glaze enticingly enhanced with a hint of fresh cilantro as it lay before him, coyly garnished by a garland of variegated radicchio and caramelized onions, and impishly drizzled with glistening rivulets of vintage balsamic vinegar and roasted garlic oil; yes, as he surveyed the body of the slain food critic slumped on the floor of the cozy, but nearly empty, bistro, a quick inventory of his senses told corpulent Inspector Moreau that this was, in all likelihood, an inside job. - Bob Perry, Milton, MA (1998 Winner)

Through the gathering gloom of a late-October afternoon, along the greasy, cracked paving-stones slick from the sputum of the sky, Stanley Ruddlethorp wearily trudged up the hill from the cemetery where his wife, sister, brother, and three children were all buried, and forced open the door of his decaying house, blissfully unaware of the catastrophe that was soon to devastate his life. - Dr. David Chuter, Kingston, Surrey, ENGLAND (1999 Winner)

A small assortment of astonishingly loud brass instruments raced each other lustily to the respective ends of their distinct musical choices as the gates flew open to release a torrent of tawny fur comprised of angry yapping bullets that nipped at Desdemona's ankles, causing her to reflect once again (as blood filled her sneakers and she fought her way through the panicking crowd) that the annual Running of the Pomeranians in Liechtenstein was a stupid idea. - Sera Kirk, Vancouver, BC (2001 Winner)

She resolved to end the love affair with Ramon tonight...summarily, like Martha Stewart ripping the sand vein out of a shrimp's tail...though the term "love affair" now struck her as a ridiculous euphemism...not unlike "sand vein," which is after all an intestine, not a vein...and that tarry substance inside certainly isn't sand...and that brought her back to Ramon. - Dave Zobel, Manhattan Beach, CA (2004 Winner)

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Here are some that weren't chosen as winners, and some were actually given "dishonorable mention!"

It was a day, like any other day, in that Linus got up, faced the sunrise, used his inhaler, applied that special cream between his toes, wrote a quick note and put it in a bottle, and wished he'd been stranded on the island with something other than 40 cases each of inhalers, decorative bottles, and special toe cream. - Chris Harget, Campbell, CA

As a scientist, Throckmorton knew that if he were ever to break wind in the echo chamber, he would never hear the end of it. - David C. Mortensen, Pocatello, ID

He loved her like no other, their romance developing quickly, like the rapid growth of farm swine which grow from 2 to 4 pounds daily until they're fully grown and put to market for slaughter, or like the rapidly growing cells that produce moose antlers until they fall off in early spring, and suddenly Bill sensed the imminent doom of his romance lying in wait. - Jeremy Perreaux, Sarnia, Ontario

She looked at her hands and saw the desiccated skin hanging in Shar-Pei wrinkles, confetti-like freckles, and those dry, dry cuticles - even her "Fatale Crimson" nail color had faded in the relentless sun to the color of old sirloin - and she vowed if she ever got out of the Sahara alive, she'd never buy polish on sale at Walgreen's again. - Christin Keck, Kent, OH

The victim said her attacker was nondescript - 5' 10 and 3/4", 163 pounds, with Clairol #83N hair (a hint of #84N at his temples) - and last seen wearing Acuvue2 contacts, a white Hanes 65/35% poly-cotton t-shirt with a 3mm round Grey Poupon stain on the neckband, Levi's 501s missing the second button, and Nike Crosstrainers with muddy aglets. - Linda Fields, Framingham, MA

Lisa moved like a cat, not the kind of cat that moves with a slinky grace but more like the kind that always falls off the book shelf when he's washing himself and then gets all mad at you like it's your fault (which it wasn't although it probably was kind of mean to laugh at him like that), although on the bright side, she hardly ever attacked Ricky's toes in his sleep. - Debra Allen, Wichita Falls, TX

When he heard the woman upstairs scream, the Maytag man's heart thumped in his chest like an off-balance washer full of heavy bath towels. - Linda Shakespeare, Elk Grove, CA (real name? I don't know - that's how it came! Rob adds on 15 Aug., 2007 - if you look at the comments to this post, Linda Shakespeare herself commented on this!)

Words cannot describe the exquisite loveliness of the brilliant azure sky with its cerulean striations of periwinkle, cornflower, and cyan. - Mary Barberio, Northville, MI

Like an over-ripe beefsteak tomato rimmed with cottage cheese, the corpulent remains of Santa Claus lay dead on the hotel floor. - John Renfro Davis, Conroe, TX

"This is almost worth the high blood pressure!" he thought as yet another mosquito exploded. - Richard Patching, Calgary, Alberta

Stanley looked quite bored and somewhat detached, but then penguins often do. - John Witschey, Alexandria, VA

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Many have been asking how Megan and Drew are doing, so I'll give a quick update. Megan is steadily feeling better and stronger, though she is still anemic. Drew is still in the NICU, but he's gaining an ounce or two a day. Several times in the past few days, he has stopped breathing as he is eating. Each time this happens, it pushes his release from the hospital off by 48 hours. Jim is cheerful but tired - on top of his work schedule, he's got a lot of running around to do since Megan can't drive yet. It's hard to believe the baby is already two weeks old today! Wow! *So much* has happened in the past two weeks!

This week is our annual Bible Conference here on campus. It's been a great time of spiritual refreshment and fellowship. My wife and I have been invited to drop in on several class reunions tomorrow evening. I guess this is all part of our being among the "old timers" now. It's been great to run into people from all over the world and from many decades of my life and teaching!

quotation...

"When was the last time your king heard your voice?" - Dr. Will Senn

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Rob

Although Sarah had an abnormal fear of mice, it did not keep her from eeking out a living at a local pet store.