Author: Michael Brown

He Takes Purty Pictures Too

My guru, Computer Ed, is pretty handy with a camera too. He has a good post on the sea change that has taken place in the world of photography with the conversion from film to digital media. You camera buffs (and even those who aren’t so buff) will find his thoughts worth reading and some of his suggestions worth emulating.

Other signs of the times:

  • The Dell desktop computer that I recently purchased has a media card reader which can transfer photos, video, data and music from thirteen different types of media cards.
  • I spend my day typing and reading entries in a completely paperless computerized medical record system.
Read the rest

See Ralph Run. Run, Ralph, Run!

Faith, purity and prayer. According to Catholic theology, these are the ingredients needed in order to perform a miracle. Unfortunately, Ralph Walker, a 14-year-old hormone-driven parochial school student, has, just in the previous week alone, taken the Lord’s name in vain 211 times, had 22 impure thoughts (along with 22 sins of the flesh), and contemplated murder. For him, faith, purity and prayer are about as rare as rosary beeds and Hail Marys at a fundamentalist tent revival.

Hamilton, Ontario is the setting for the warm and quirky running movie, “Saint Ralph,” recently released on DVD. The year is 1953 in a time when the pre-Vatican II Catholic Church loomed large in the lives of many North Americans, defining and controlling nearly every aspect of their existence.… Read the rest

Fantasies on Ice

It was a strange scene, one that forced me to stop and do a double-take. There in my living room sat/slouched three red meat and potatoes, football loving, video game playing, Southern white-bread boys with table manners that would make a medieval baron blush, watching, of all things, Olympic ice dancing.

It didn’t take me long to figure out why. “Wait till you see the Americans in second place, Dad. They’re really good,” they said. I think what they meant to say was, “Wait till you see Tanith Belbin skating with ol’ what’s-his-name. She’s HOT!”

My sons, along with millions of other adolescent boys across the globe, had been smitten with the captivating good looks (and yes, she can skate well too) of Canadian-born, recently naturalized U.S.… Read the rest

A Pair of Classy Devils

It was no surprise that J.J. Redick scored 30 points in yesterday’s 92-71 victory over Miami and became Duke’s new all-time leader scorer. It was also no surprise how he did it–once again losing a defender off a screen by teammate Lee Melchioni and popping one of his patented treys just a few feet in front of assistant coach Johnny Dawkins whose record he broke.

But it may come as a surprise, given J.J.’s reputation for on-court intensity and bravado and the general culture of “in-your-face” celebrations in today’s sporting world, what occurred after the game was over. In a post-game interview at center court following a short ceremony honoring J.J.’s… Read the rest

Hanging Out in American Babylon

Since my entry into the blogosphere a few months ago, I’ve noticed quite a few Christians, especially seminary students, who seem to struggle with the idea of “dual citizenship”–i.e., balancing their identity as both Americans and Christians. As they react to what they see as a too close alliance between the cross and the flag among those on the Christian Right, their tendency is to resort to Platonic dualism and “either/or” solutions. In other words, choose whom you will serve, cross or flag, but never both.… Read the rest

Alabama 6, Harvard 2

Most people would pick the Alabama Crimson Tide over the Harvard Crimson in a football game without giving it a second thought. But how many would ever think that the Tide would top Harvard in a battle of brains?

Well, surprise, the USA TODAY’S 2006 All-USA College Academic Team was announced this week and the final score was Alabama 6, Harvard 2. Alabama has placed more students on the team than any other school in the nation three out of the past four years and over that period of time has produced a total of 20 honorees, a figure which also leads all schools.… Read the rest

Starsky and Hutch, Where Are Ye?

I thought this was supposed to be the Torino Olympic Games? If so, then where the heck are Starsky and Hutch and that hot, heavily-muscled car of theirs? Can you imagine what would happen if you let those two compete in the two-man bobsled event? Well, those prissy Europeans wouldn’t be taking up so much room on the medal stands, I can tell you that much!

If you’re like me and you’re a little confused on whether Torino is a car, a golfer or a Canadian city then help can be found at sportswriter Frank Deford’s NPR commentary and this story from NPR’s Alex Chadwick.… Read the rest

Basketball and Bobsleds

The “J.J. Meter” has been humming as of late. In last night’s 93-70 win over Wake Forest, Duke’s J.J. Redick scored 33 points (his fourth 30 plus game in a row, a Duke record) and went 4 for 7 from beyond the arc to pass former UVa player Curtis Staples’ 413 career treys and become the new NCAA career 3 point marksman. Redick is currently second on the Duke career points list behind his assistant coach Johnny Dawkins and fourth on the ACC list. He now trails all-time leading ACC career scorer Dickie Hemric by 60 points with 5 games remaining in the regular season.… Read the rest

Talkin’ ‘Bout Eyegal, Eyegal!

I’ve got sunshine on a cloudy day.
When it’s cold outside I’ve got the month of May.
I guess you’ll say,
What can make me feel this way?
Eyegal (Eyegal, Eyegal)
Talkin’ ’bout Eyegal (Eyegal!)
Ooooh Hoooo.

With apologies to The Temptations, I’d like to do a little talkin’ ’bout my Eyegal in honor of St. Valentine’s Day.

I first spotted Eyegal sitting in the row in front of me in developmental psychology at Harding University in the Fall of 1982. Little did we know then what would develop from that little chance encounter. Although I didn’t ask her out right away, we competed for who would get the highest scores on tests and quizzes (she almost beat me on a couple of occasions) and had lunch a few times at Heritage Cafeteria before she went off to spend a semester in Europe.… Read the rest

Barking Up the Wrong Tree

I’m always amused by the search strings that lead some to land on Ocular Fusion. There have been some post-worthy ones in the past, but this one takes the cake. Both yesterday and this morning, several visitors Googled “school closings for the blizzard of 06,” and when they followed the link of the #1 hit, lo and behold, they landed here!

In what can only be described as a cruel and ironic twist of fate, apparently there have been several of my fellow citizens who are seeking critical survival information in the blizzard-bound Northeast and have landed on my site only to get some Alabama hayseed prattling on about bread and milk runs at the local grocery store.… Read the rest

What’s On Your Window?

Although you wouldn’t know it from the amount of time I’ve spent recently blogging about my beloved Duke Blue Devils, I actually love soccer as much, if not more, than college hoops. I’m sure you’ll be reading some of my thoughts and observations about real football as I follow my sons’ soccer teams this spring and also as the FIFA World Cup approaches this summer.

I’m also an unabashed, card-carrying “eyeguy.” So imagine my delight when I recently discovered that I could combine two of the great passions in my life and enjoy them simultaneously–sort of like a Reeses Peanut Butter Cup or an Oreo cookie .… Read the rest

Tangle in the Triangle, An Update

I have to admit, for a while there I thought Number 2 Son had enough mojo left to pull it off last night. I figured that surely he must have expended himself earlier in the evening in Tennessee’s 75-61 win over Kentucky in Rupp Arena, the Vols first win there since 1999. But after the Carolina Tarheels came charging back in the second half to take the lead against Duke last night, I was afraid some of that ol’ black magic was going to be the Devils’ undoing.

Not to worry. As bile and fury poured forth from the cerulean blue cloud gathered in the Dean Dome, the Blue Devils held fast and emerged with an 87-83 road win over the young, but plucky Tar Heels.… Read the rest

Tangle in the Triangle

Now that we have that little football game out of the way we can move on to more important matters–like Duke v. UNC-Chapel Hill.

Tonight those two teams will clash for the first time this season and you can bet that Number Three and I will be breaking out the face paint and donning the Blue Devil Blue as we head up the Huntsville Extension Chapter of the Cameron Crazies. Number One has been pulling for the Dookies lately and earning some major brownie points with dear old Dad (probably just wants to borrow the keys to my car again). Number Two (the Vols fan) will be lurking in the shadows as usual, chanting the same tired old mantra, “Duke’s gonna lose, I can just feel it.”… Read the rest

Singing Those Super Bowl Blues

Like many of you, I was a little disappointed with yesterday’s Super Bowl. Not with the outcome, mind you, since I really don’t have an NFL favorite these days and really didn’t care who won. I do enjoy a good athletic contest, however, but unfortunately what was supposed to be pro football’s ultimate gridiron tussle turned into an anemic affair which neither team seemed to really want to win. The real news was Pittsburgh’s three road wins over the top three American Conference teams en route to the “big game.” Everything else seemed like anticlimax.… Read the rest