Category: General

A Tale of Two Schools: A Review of the 2010 Christian Scholars’ Conference

People look at you kind of strange when you tell them that you shelled out good money to attend something called a “Christian Scholars’ Conference” and that you actually enjoyed it. Reactions can range from “What’s a guy like you doing in a place like that?” to “Well, la-de-da!” But believe me, after a long season of Tim James political TV ads and rootin’ tootin’ “Ag Commish” wannabe viral videos, I was ready for a little more “la-de-da” in my life.

You know Eyegal and me–liberal arts geeks to the core. An itch like that doesn’t always get scratched sufficiently in a high tech town like Huntsville, Alabama.… Read the rest

Dmitri, You Stop That RIGHT NOW!

Gentle Fusioneers–

If you’re trying to read the comments on my blog you may have noticed you can’t. In fact, you can’t leave one either for that matter.

You can thank Dmitri for that. He’s one of the imaginary Russians that I race toward the end of my long runs (and always beat, BTW–USA!, USA!, USA!). But in real life he’s a spammer. A good one, too.

This time he left a piece of…well, you know what he left, that apparently corrupted my database. Rest assured, your five years worth of comments are still there, careening through the interwebs, floating in the virtual ether, and as soon as I can figure out to to retrieve them, they will appear again.… Read the rest

Why Some People Should Go Straight To Hell

tentslogoI would never tell my good friend Dr. Mark Elrod of Harding University (Hail!) to go to hell. He’s too nice a guy for that, plus he has this “condition”–an enlarged heart. Not the type that would cause you to keel over in the middle of a pick-up basketball game, but the kind that bleeds heavily when people are suffering. It’s a malady we could all use a little more of these days.

As for Pat Robertson and Rush Limbaugh, those purveyors of post-quake logorrhera, and the political dude from South Carolina who when speaking about people on public assistance used the analogy of denying animals food so they couldn’t “breed” but now “regrets” saying that even though it brought him much attention and fired up his “evangelical” base–I would wish them all straight to hell in a handbasket.… Read the rest

All Eyes Are On Alabama, And It Feels So Right

Bama washingtonIf you’re going to stand in line in subfreezing temperatures in order to enter the holy of holies of college basketball, then you’d better know your stuff because every other Cameron Crazie wannabe standing in line with you sure will.

Well, mostly anyway.

When it comes to football, we were a motley crew, united only in our love for Duke basketball. Clemson, LSU, Georgia, Alabama, Penn State and Rutgers were just a few of the schools represented in our little knot of frozen fandom near the front of the line.

Kid Clemson, the guy in the Tiger hoodie in front of me, was a veritable walking encyclopedia of sports statistics.… Read the rest

I Don’t Hate UT, But Bama Man Does

The Third (or thereabouts) Saturday in October is upon us, and if you’re a true Crimson-blooded Tide fan, that means one thing: Tennessee Hate Week.

The problem is, I’m just not feeling it. The hate, that is. No, I am full of love for all mankind–even, and perhaps most especially, my many friends, neighbors, co-workers and dear, dear family who are loyal Volunteers. You see, it’s been quite a year for our family, and frankly, football is just not that high on my priority list anymore. I’ve grappled with some enormous challenges, and the raging, blind forces of fate have compelled me to consider once again, What are The True First Things of Life?… Read the rest

25 Random Things About The Eyeguy


Why am I resorting to pirate talk so early in the morning? Because I’ve been tagged about a gazillion times in yet another internet meme, this time on Facebook: 25 Random Things About Me.

Not that I mind that much, it’s just that it has that whole cheesy, chain-letter feel. When I was a kid, my mother would always make a big production about ripping those up and throwing them in the trashcan whenever we received one, so it’s probably just one of those weird Baby Boomer childhood psychological baggage flashback things. Don’t sweat it if you tagged me; I’ll deal with it like I always do.… Read the rest

Abileners–Be On the Lookout For This Man

I’m taking time out from our regular Olympic programming for a special bulletin to my Abilene readers. Please be on the lookout for this man:


He was last spotted headed west “on the road to Abilene” with his wife Janet and a van full of kids. But don’t worry, he’s not dangerous; he’s just a little wordy sometimes.

You see, Doug is headed there to fulfill a lifetime dream of teaching in the journalism department at his alma mater, Abilene Christian University. For years, he’s been working at The Huntsville Times and writing a regular column “Soul Food,” which he also turned into a book, How Jesus Ended Up in the Food Court: Seventy-seven Devotional Thoughts You Never Thought About Before.Read the rest

A Few Final Four Thoughts

A few Final Four thoughts:

  • The Davidson bubble was bound to burst at some point, but wasn’t that some kind of run?
  • There was something delightfully retro about watching Stephen Curry and his band of undersized, underappreciated major conference reject brothers taking it the big boys. It reminded me of the ACC and Southern Conference basketball of my 1960s-70s youth before everything got oh-so-complicated and fancy.
  • I loved getting reacquainted with Dell Curry and his lovely wife Sonya this weekend. What a class act. And Christian to boot. It’s not hard to see why their sons are turning out so good.
Read the rest

Breakfast, Seagrove Beach


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Read the rest

Playing Dead

Sometimes I feel a little dead at the end of the day, but I’ve never had the opportunity to become a middle-aged cadaver.

But my friend and outdoor adventurer Ed has.

Be sure to read his delightful story on his recent time spent “playing the stiff” for a team of training Search and Rescue Dogs (SAR K9) at the 2008 Airscent Seminar near Rogersville, Alabama.

And Ed, glad to have you back in the land of the living. Jake must give pretty good spit baths. Or was it the nose bite that did the trick?

Read the rest

Bad Number

Okay, so I’ve written my March column for The Huntsville Times, and I do a word count and find out that I’m pushing the maximum limit of 680 words.

No problem. I relentlessly self-edit (a skill that all of you–some more than others–should practice each and every day), and I whittle it down. I redo the word count. I stare in horror:


I’m thinking: better add a few words.… Read the rest

My Top Ten Anti-Resolutions for 2008

Why start off 2008 with a laundry list of resolutions that I know I won’t keep? No, no, better to make anti-resolutions, things that I know, absolutely without a doubt, I will never, ever do this year…

1) Serve on another committee. I wasn’t just any committee member. I was a bona fide read-all-the-emails, attend-all-the-meetings, believed-I-could-actually-make-a-difference kind of committee member. I was determined to overcome my natural cynicism and play well with others. Ha! What was I thinking? Eyegal kept telling me: “Careful, Mike, you’re gonna get burned.”

I hate it the way she’s right all the time. Bureaucracies, whether they be at work or church (and sometimes it’s hard to tell the difference), suck.… Read the rest

She’s No Lumberjack’s Wife

All you Fusioneers who are waiting around with bated breath for the reincarnation resurrection of Ocular Fusion into whatever-the-heck-it’s-gonna-become are no doubt starving for something good to read in my absence.

Well, never fear, my friend Jason is here. Jason, former youth minister and now associate minister and right hand man to the Big Kahuna, would be the first to tell you that he’s not afraid to explore the feminine side of things, and of course, these days, there’s no shame in that. So it was no surprise, really, that he freely admits to reading this.

He got one thing wrong, though–she’s no lumberjack’s wife.… Read the rest