Tuesday, May 31, 2005

A Respite in the Hoops World

Anyone wondering why I haven’t posted on the NBA Playoffs lately need look no further than the string of disappointments I have endured since my last post. I feared for Dallas in that series against the Suns because I knew what kind of series that would be, and how good of an offense Phoenix has. I really thought that Dallas would have beaten anyone in the playoffs except Phoenix, the Spurs included. However, I figured, if Dallas had to lose to someone, it might as well be Steve Nash, and the most beautiful offense since the Chris Webber Kings and, well, the Steve Nash Dallas Mavericks. Well, that series has been over for some time, and an even more dreaded moment has come.

I didn’t think that Phoenix could beat San Antonio. I had actually thought that San Antonio might lose to Seattle in their series, but unfortunately, that did not happen, and now the Suns are playing the Spurs. Even worse than that: before tonight, they were in a 3-0 deficit for the (best-of-seven) series. Every NBA fan knows that no team has ever come back from a 3-0 deficit in any round of the playoffs and won the series. I don’t expect this one to be an exception. San Antonio’s offense is as good as Phoenix’s, but their defense is vastly better. Even more importantly, though Steve Nash has never matched up well with Tony Parker. This is something I hate to admit. Parker is possibly the quickest point guard in the NBA, and Nash might be the slowest. Nash is a better player, hands down, but he just can’t match up with Parker. Nash has never been relied on for his defense, but Parker can just pick apart defenses without ever worrying about Nash.

Let’s take a break from the gloomy side, though, and talk about the reason I bothered to post this evening. Phoenix won their first game tonight, sending the series back to Phoenix for Game 5. I expect the Suns to win Game 5, and the Spurs to win Game 6 in San Antonio. I am just happy to see some competition, and I like it when a team like Phoenix with some offensive flair makes it tough for a better team like the Spurs.

I shouldn’t be too hard on the Spurs. I actually like Manu Ginobili. I like all their players other than Tony Parker and Robert Horry. The Spurs are a classy, well-coached team. Until recently, two players on their team were Christians who had incredible witnesses to their team and to the whole of San Antonio. Even though David Robinson and Avery Johnson are gone, I could get past the fact that the Spurs are the Mavs’ rivals. It’s just that I’m bitter because they disappointed me year after year when they faced the Evil Empire Lakers. The Spurs had better teams than the Lakers, and, yet, would fold as Robinson and Duncan would completely disappear when the fourth quarter came around. I gave up cheering for them, and started hoping for something better.

Monday, May 30, 2005

Late night memories

The “Hops” denotation of this blog will have to lay in waiting for a while now, as I am not supposed to drink any alcohol during my time on a certain medication. However, today, as my beer substitute, I had a malted milkshake made by my lovely wife.

Quality. From the simple ingredients of vanilla ice cream, a drop of vanilla, a splash of milk, a squirt of Whopper’s syrup, and a couple pours of half-and-half, a stupendous beer substitute was born. The kind where saliva keeps coming to your mouth after it’s done because the sheer memory of the taste is so delectable that your brain doesn’t yet realize that no more food is in your mouth. The kind that makes you reflect on its worthiness for the next half hour. A tastiness that just gives you pause every half hour after that, and makes you turn and say to your wife, “That was a really good milkshake.”

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Harmonies News

This is borrowed news, I guess, having read it on Robert Uthlaut's blog. However, it is big enough news that I can't keep it under wraps. U2 (the greatest band, ever) is considering re-recording their Pop album, which, incidentally, is one of my favorites (though Liv hates it). Maybe she will like it after this. There is a lot of good stuff on that album. Edge is great on this album, in my opinion. When Pop first came out, the critics loved it; however, U2's audience didn't, and it ended up being their biggest financial flop yet. Anyway, you can take a listen over on U2.com, on the sidebar Harmonies links.

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

12 Weeks

This is an image from an ultrasound, so it looks a little different, but you can see the baby pretty well. This is what an average baby looks like at 12 weeks. Little baby is fattening up. He/she doubled in weight over the past week and now weighs in at 14 grams. The liver has begun to function, and the vocal chords are beginning to form. Also, the baby is now about 2 inches long. Lots of other things are happening, too.
Posted by Hello

Saturday, May 21, 2005

Beautiful Blacksburg

The hills are alive... Posted by Hello

Glamour shot Posted by Hello

Ben Vastine gave me a great idea for a post. So, today, when Liv and I went for a walk, we took our digital camera. These are just a couple of views along our walk. Blacksburg really is beautiful right now. And to think, this was all within a short walking distance from our apartment. Posted by Hello

Friday, May 20, 2005

Priscilla Owen

Senate minority leader Harry Reid has called (appeals court nominee) Priscilla Owen's written dissent in a case concerning parental consent for abortion (click here to see the decision; see page 70 to see Judge Owen's opinion in question), a case of judicial activism. Consider for yourself if it is a case of judicial activism, or a reaction against that. You will see that Reid is very comfortable with double-speak. This description (by Reid) is so far from the truth, that no person, not even someone idealogically opposed to the ramifications of her dissent can actually believe this lie, with real knowledge of the facts. Senator Reid hopes that voters will never see the facts, and trust him.

At least the senators are seeing that everything important that they can do has to do with the appointment of justices, since they are the ones who really run the country.

Thursday, May 19, 2005

The long-awaited blog from Liv is finally here...

My topic of choice is the main thing that occupies my life and thoughts at this point in my pregnancy—morning sickness. First of all, let me clarify for everyone that this malady is horribly misnamed. I’m sure every mother will agree with me that this condition should be named ALL DAY, EVERY DAY sickness! I really didn’t understand that a person could feel so crummy and so tired until I experienced it. The only thoughts of comfort are that this will likely be ending in a couple of weeks, and I will get a baby out of this whole ordeal. Also, it does help that a lot of women have gone through the same thing (many of them much worse than me) and are able to sympathize.

But for those who can’t understand because they haven’t been through it, it can be hard to explain. I’ve found that with Rich. He just can’t understand how I can still feel tired after getting nine or ten hours of sleep at night. Or how one week I will crave bananas and the next week I can’t stand the sight of them. Or how I can be hungry, sit down to eat, eat two bites, and feel like I’m going to throw up if I eat any more. The recurring theme is, “What’s going on here?” But guess what? I’d like to know the same thing! Unfortunately, it remains a mystery for even the doctors and scientists seeking to find a cause or cure for morning sickness. Even in our age of discovery and technology, no one knows why pregnant women suffer from it.

As I mentioned earlier, though, I should start feeling much better as I head into the second trimester, my fourth through sixth months. Remember, to learn more, log onto Pregnancy.org on the Hoopla links.

What's the big hype about blogging?

Okay, is it just me, or did you feel weird writing your first blog to post on the internet for all to read? I just can't help feeling weird about writing my personal thoughts down and then publishing them on a website. Do people actually care much about what I say?

I know people who are really into all this can spend hours reading other people's blogs and making comments as well as working on their own. Maybe it's a bit addicting.

I guess I can understand how it can be fun to let people know what's going on in your life or what issue you've been thinking or learning about lately. And it's pretty cool when people comment on what you've posted.

Hey, it sounds like I'm beginning to come around; maybe I'll give it a try.

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Late night

The Mavs are very frustrating. They've had the lead most of the game, and had it at the beginning of the 4th quarter. Something happens to them when the pressure's on, though. I think it's a conspiracy by the refs. Anyway, there's less than 5 minutes left and they're losing by 9.

I've been reading Given For You, by Keith Mathison (loaned to me by my father-in-law). There's been a discussion of the historical Reformed take(s) on the Lord's Supper, and I'm mostly through a discussion of relevant Scripture passages. It's pretty difficult to read, at least for me. The scripture passages discussed are relevant, but they all seem kind of mysterious to me, no matter how you understand the Supper. Anyway, I hope to make a meaningful post about that sometime in the future.

Liv's feeling pretty bad lately. The first tri-mester will be over soon. I (and she) are looking forward to that. She has been wonderful to me in the midst of her trial, and I haven't noticed a bit of crankiness on her part. Whether or not you might guess otherwise, Liv has been a big help with the re-starting of the blog. She is a little unfamiliar with the set-up, so she's gearing up to start posting soon. She should have some awesome stuff to talk about, b/c she's into science, and knows all kinds of cool facts, including many about pregnancy. We've got some plans in the works for some exciting material soon. We'll keep you updated.

Signing off...(with Dallas still down 9 and 52 seconds to go--I can't believe Amare Stoudemire still only has 3 fouls!)

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

11 Weeks

It's 11 weeks, and Baby Hamlin's feet look like something close to this. Although, the size of the picture can be misleading, as the child's whole body is about 1.6 inches long. Liv says that the feet are about the same size as those on the pro-life pins, which are actually that of 10-week old fetuses. That would make them between 1 and 2 cm long. That's just me guessing. The amazing and fun thing to see, though, is how well developed they are.

We also know that nearly all his/her structures and organs are formed and beginning to function. Hair and nails are beginning to grow. There's lots more to know. Just go click on the Hoopla link to pregnancy.org, and surf to your heart's content. But do so with the knowledge that as amazing as this miracle is, it is only a taste of the creativity and power of the Author, Sustainer, and Redeemer of life, by whose glory we will be forever fascinated. Posted by Hello

Monday, May 16, 2005

Getting into the swing of things,

Well, now that I’m married, my wife is pregnant with our first child, and I am more than halfway through grad school at Va. Tech, I am going to begin talking about important things. That’s right, the NBA Playoffs have started. As much as I like the NBA, I love the playoffs. Every game is very important; great players rise above, but even more so, great teams rise above, and teams’ contrasting styles and personnel are tested and compared. Liv and I have watched two playoff games so far, though, because we aren’t able to get ABC, and we don’t have cable. The highlight reels at go.espn.com have served as our sustenance in this staple food group. Dallas is still in the playoffs, fighting off their opponents and all the prognosticators, who have predicted sweeps by the opposing teams in each of their first two rounds. Dirk Nowitzki, however, is the real issue. The German Bird finally had his first “Ri-Dirk-ulous” game of the playoffs in game 4 of the Phoenix series, and even that was only about par for him. Unless he starts playing better, I don’t believe that Dallas can put away the Suns. (I feel obligated to make some sort of prediction when I’m discussing the playoffs.) Right now, however, the series is tied 2-2, with the winner facing the winner of the San Antonio/Seattle series (also tied 2-2).

Continuing on the playoffs thread, Liv has decided, against her God-given authority (me), that she will cheer for the San Antonio Spurs, one of the most-hated teams for a Mavs fan. Obviously, she is in sin; however, I have decided not to fight this battle and to hope that God will convict her in a two-fold manner: first, that the San Antonio Spurs are, by virtue of having the softest players in the NBA, a Frenchie for a point guard, and Robert Horry as a valuable back-up, not going to win the NBA championship (and if they do, are not going to deserve it); and second, that her husband is in the right, and she should have found something about the Mavericks to cheer for all along. Not that she would have to look very hard, though, because a 7-foot tall, fade-away shooting, 3-point nailing, ball-handling German wizard of a basketball player is reason enough in and of himself.

another trial run

Can I post, too?

Upside-down pictures of the newest member of the Hamlin family. Posted by Hello

Sledding in Blacksburg, the day before breaking my ankle. Posted by Hello

Just seeing if it works

If a tree falls in a forest, and no one hears it,...