Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Oh, my! Non-sport memories of Dick Enberg

The sad news from Boston that Nicole Vaz told the AP her father, Dick Enberg, died while packing his bags for a family vacation to the area lastweek was another sign of how our legendary figures of our youth are dying.

Mr. Enberg, 82, and wife Barbara were headed to Boston and the wife arrived, only to learn he never made it out of his La Jolla home, waiting to be transported to the airport.

But as much as we know him from sport, he did television game shows, none of which lasted but a year or two.  We found a few clips from game shows he hosted as a tribute to Enberg the quizmaster – something that started as a gofer at a radio station in college never expected we'd see, let alone a distinguished broadcasting career.

Three For the Money




Baffle


Perfect Match

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

St. Stephen, the First Martyr

THE STONING OF ST. STEPHEN BY REMBRANDT
This second day of Christmas is called St. Stephen Day, and whom do we celebrate on this day?  He was the first martyr of Christianity, as seen in Acts 6-7.  (Because of copyright restrictions, we are posting only a Public Domain version of the Bible.  There are other versions out there, but we cannot post them without hitting copyright infringement issues.)

Acts 6

1 And in those days, when the number of the disciples was multiplied, there arose a murmuring of the Grecians against the Hebrews, because their widows were neglected in the daily ministration.

2 Then the twelve called the multitude of the disciples unto them, and said, It is not reason that we should leave the word of God, and serve tables.

3 Wherefore, brethren, look ye out among you seven men of honest report, full of the Holy Ghost and wisdom, whom we may appoint over this business.

4 But we will give ourselves continually to prayer, and to the ministry of the word.

5 And the saying pleased the whole multitude: and they chose Stephen, a man full of faith and of the Holy Ghost, and Philip, and Prochorus, and Nicanor, and Timon, and Parmenas, and Nicolas a proselyte of Antioch:

6 Whom they set before the apostles: and when they had prayed, they laid their hands on them.

7 And the word of God increased; and the number of the disciples multiplied in Jerusalem greatly; and a great company of the priests were obedient to the faith.

8 And Stephen, full of faith and power, did great wonders and miracles among the people.

9 Then there arose certain of the synagogue, which is called the synagogue of the Libertines, and Cyrenians, and Alexandrians, and of them of Cilicia and of Asia, disputing with Stephen.

10 And they were not able to resist the wisdom and the spirit by which he spake.

11 Then they suborned men, which said, We have heard him speak blasphemous words against Moses, and against God.

12 And they stirred up the people, and the elders, and the scribes, and came upon him, and caught him, and brought him to the council,

13 And set up false witnesses, which said, This man ceaseth not to speak blasphemous words against this holy place, and the law:

14 For we have heard him say, that this Jesus of Nazareth shall destroy this place, and shall change the customs which Moses delivered us.

15 And all that sat in the council, looking stedfastly on him, saw his face as it had been the face of an angel.

Chapter 7

1 Then said the high priest, Are these things so?

2 And he said, Men, brethren, and fathers, hearken; The God of glory appeared unto our father Abraham, when he was in Mesopotamia, before he dwelt in Charran,

3 And said unto him, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and come into the land which I shall shew thee.

4 Then came he out of the land of the Chaldaeans, and dwelt in Charran: and from thence, when his father was dead, he removed him into this land, wherein ye now dwell.

5 And he gave him none inheritance in it, no, not so much as to set his foot on: yet he promised that he would give it to him for a possession, and to his seed after him, when as yet he had no child.

6 And God spake on this wise, That his seed should sojourn in a strange land; and that they should bring them into bondage, and entreat them evil four hundred years.

7 And the nation to whom they shall be in bondage will I judge, said God: and after that shall they come forth, and serve me in this place.

8 And he gave him the covenant of circumcision: and so Abraham begat Isaac, and circumcised him the eighth day; and Isaac begat Jacob; and Jacob begat the twelve patriarchs.

9 And the patriarchs, moved with envy, sold Joseph into Egypt: but God was with him,

10 And delivered him out of all his afflictions, and gave him favour and wisdom in the sight of Pharaoh king of Egypt; and he made him governor over Egypt and all his house.

11 Now there came a dearth over all the land of Egypt and Chanaan, and great affliction: and our fathers found no sustenance.

12 But when Jacob heard that there was corn in Egypt, he sent out our fathers first.

13 And at the second time Joseph was made known to his brethren; and Joseph's kindred was made known unto Pharaoh.

14 Then sent Joseph, and called his father Jacob to him, and all his kindred, threescore and fifteen souls.

15 So Jacob went down into Egypt, and died, he, and our fathers,

16 And were carried over into Sychem, and laid in the sepulchre that Abraham bought for a sum of money of the sons of Emmor the father of Sychem.

17 But when the time of the promise drew nigh, which God had sworn to Abraham, the people grew and multiplied in Egypt,

18 Till another king arose, which knew not Joseph.

19 The same dealt subtilly with our kindred, and evil entreated our fathers, so that they cast out their young children, to the end they might not live.

20 In which time Moses was born, and was exceeding fair, and nourished up in his father's house three months:

21 And when he was cast out, Pharaoh's daughter took him up, and nourished him for her own son.

22 And Moses was learned in all the wisdom of the Egyptians, and was mighty in words and in deeds.

23 And when he was full forty years old, it came into his heart to visit his brethren the children of Israel.

24 And seeing one of them suffer wrong, he defended him, and avenged him that was oppressed, and smote the Egyptian:

25 For he supposed his brethren would have understood how that God by his hand would deliver them: but they understood not.

26 And the next day he shewed himself unto them as they strove, and would have set them at one again, saying, Sirs, ye are brethren; why do ye wrong one to another?

27 But he that did his neighbour wrong thrust him away, saying, Who made thee a ruler and a judge over us?

28 Wilt thou kill me, as thou diddest the Egyptian yesterday?

29 Then fled Moses at this saying, and was a stranger in the land of Madian, where he begat two sons.

30 And when forty years were expired, there appeared to him in the wilderness of mount Sina an angel of the Lord in a flame of fire in a bush.

31 When Moses saw it, he wondered at the sight: and as he drew near to behold it, the voice of the Lord came unto him,

32 Saying, I am the God of thy fathers, the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob. Then Moses trembled, and durst not behold.

33 Then said the Lord to him, Put off thy shoes from thy feet: for the place where thou standest is holy ground.

34 I have seen, I have seen the affliction of my people which is in Egypt, and I have heard their groaning, and am come down to deliver them. And now come, I will send thee into Egypt.

35 This Moses whom they refused, saying, Who made thee a ruler and a judge? the same did God send to be a ruler and a deliverer by the hand of the angel which appeared to him in the bush.

36 He brought them out, after that he had shewed wonders and signs in the land of Egypt, and in the Red sea, and in the wilderness forty years.

37 This is that Moses, which said unto the children of Israel, A prophet shall the Lord your God raise up unto you of your brethren, like unto me; him shall ye hear.

38 This is he, that was in the church in the wilderness with the angel which spake to him in the mount Sina, and with our fathers: who received the lively oracles to give unto us:

39 To whom our fathers would not obey, but thrust him from them, and in their hearts turned back again into Egypt,

40 Saying unto Aaron, Make us gods to go before us: for as for this Moses, which brought us out of the land of Egypt, we wot not what is become of him.

41 And they made a calf in those days, and offered sacrifice unto the idol, and rejoiced in the works of their own hands.

42 Then God turned, and gave them up to worship the host of heaven; as it is written in the book of the prophets, O ye house of Israel, have ye offered to me slain beasts and sacrifices by the space of forty years in the wilderness?

43 Yea, ye took up the tabernacle of Moloch, and the star of your god Remphan, figures which ye made to worship them: and I will carry you away beyond Babylon.

44 Our fathers had the tabernacle of witness in the wilderness, as he had appointed, speaking unto Moses, that he should make it according to the fashion that he had seen.

45 Which also our fathers that came after brought in with Jesus into the possession of the Gentiles, whom God drave out before the face of our fathers, unto the days of David;

46 Who found favour before God, and desired to find a tabernacle for the God of Jacob.

47 But Solomon built him an house.

48 Howbeit the most High dwelleth not in temples made with hands; as saith the prophet,

49 Heaven is my throne, and earth is my footstool: what house will ye build me? saith the Lord: or what is the place of my rest?

50 Hath not my hand made all these things?

51 Ye stiffnecked and uncircumcised in heart and ears, ye do always resist the Holy Ghost: as your fathers did, so do ye.

52 Which of the prophets have not your fathers persecuted? and they have slain them which shewed before of the coming of the Just One; of whom ye have been now the betrayers and murderers:

53 Who have received the law by the disposition of angels, and have not kept it.

54 When they heard these things, they were cut to the heart, and they gnashed on him with their teeth.

55 But he, being full of the Holy Ghost, looked up stedfastly into heaven, and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing on the right hand of God,

56 And said, Behold, I see the heavens opened, and the Son of man standing on the right hand of God.

57 Then they cried out with a loud voice, and stopped their ears, and ran upon him with one accord,

58 And cast him out of the city, and stoned him: and the witnesses laid down their clothes at a young man's feet, whose name was Saul.

59 And they stoned Stephen, calling upon God, and saying, Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.

60 And he kneeled down, and cried with a loud voice, Lord, lay not this sin to their charge. And when he had said this, he fell asleep.

Monday, December 25, 2017

Saturday, December 23, 2017

25 Days of Ad-vent, Day 23: Get used to it

I don't know about you, but this isn't exactly my idea of what I want to see under the tree on Christmas morning. As I said in the title, though, get used to it: as soon as Christmas is over, you'll see nothing but weight-loss commercials on TV. I can't wait!


Friday, December 22, 2017

25 Days of Ad-vent, Day 22: Here's to you!

I don't drink egg nog myself, but if I did, it would have to be Sealtest. After all, if it passes the Santa test, it has to be good!


Thursday, December 21, 2017

Christmas Grinches: What does not fit for the season

It caught my attention last night at church during the candlelight service in the middle of the Third Week of Advent (the fourth week is Christmas week itself, so it clashes with the first half of Christmastide), they want Christmas Eve to mimic the big self-help centres with one loud daytime rock concert instead of Bible reading.  A music ministry official permitted a vocalist at church to sing Leonard Cohen's "Hallelujah" with karaoke accompaniment.  Karaoke it is well known I have a problem, but one listen of it and I was having to escape because it was highly inappropriate for me to accept that song in church, especially if you've seen Fleming, von Stade, and others, participated in a Singalong Messiah where the seating organisers forgot instructions that I thought I was driving Kyle Larson's sprint car and could not find the cushion as I could not find fellow tenors in the tenor section to ensure proper matching just two days ago, and have been able to discern what is and not appropriate for church.  How inappropriate was it for that song to be sung for a Christmas service, especially when "Hallelujah" means Händel's No. 44 from Messiah, and even then, that's an Easter song, not a Christmas song.  (The final Christmas section from the piece is "His Yoke is Easy", No. 21.)

The acceptance of that song for Christmas has puzzled me, considering during a Christmas party for the CrossFit box I visit weekly (sometimes twice a week), they did not accept the more Christmas themes from "Not That Far from Bethlehem," Schubert's "Ave Maria," "The Season of Love" (which my old Townhall and 74157 Club member who writes the Jenny's American Slice blog appreciates), but they accepted every winter song and numerous awful versions of a Mariah Carey song that I just don't see being Christmas-like.  Why has it every Top 40 hit can be accepted for Christmas, but the platinum standards of Schubert, Franck, Bach, and Händel are not accepted in the public square, but now not even accepted in churches today?

These incidents forced me to read again an Amy Spreeman commentary about one popular group and their promotion of sin, yet too many accept their arrangement of Christmas songs.

And two cases of nativity scenes with perversion support led to two opposites, as a Rhode Island bishop objected to a nativity scene in California that was perverted with Baby Jesus and two Josephs, no Mary (that wouldn't be welcome at Hobby Lobby) . . .

. . . meanwhile, Pope Francis selling out to perversion activists again with a scene in The Vatican that is suggestive and associated with activists in Italy.  Does he remember October 31, 1517?

The progressive push to make Grinches on Christmas continue to rise.  And just notice that when the Christ Child is forgotten everywhere.

25 Days of Ad-vent, Day 21: The Price is right

This isn't as ridiculous as it looks; Vincent Price was a world-renouned art connoisseur who not only chose works of art to be sold by Sears, he also trained the employees in how to sell it. If your ornaments have been selected by Vincent Price, they're sure to be in good taste.


Wednesday, December 20, 2017

25 Days of Ad-vent, Day 20: Let's shed some light on it!

The first few airings of Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer were on NBC's General Electric Fantasy Hour, and the characters appeared not only in GE's print ads, the elves also appeared in the commercials during the program. Makes for the kind of show when you don't want to fast-forward through the commercials!


Tuesday, December 19, 2017

25 Days of Ad-vent, Day 19: Don't let it foil your Christmas!

I don't know the year of this ad, but it has to be from some time in the mid-to late-'50s, I'd guess - just look at those Sputnik-styled stars and the stylized ornaments on the red package to your left. Then you have the multi-colored letters in the headline - it looks as if it could be an ad for a color TV. There's nothing not to like about it.


Monday, December 18, 2017

25 Days of Ad-vent, Day 18: Wheels down!

Wonder how many youngsters found a Schwinn under the tree on Christmas morning? But how many bikes did this kid get? And he doesn't need the girl's version - unless this was a precursor to today's cultural mores. By the way, Dad looks way too rested for someone who probably spent most of the night assembling presents though, doesn't he?


Sunday, December 17, 2017

25 Days of Ad-vent, Day 17: It's about time!

You know all those ads where the man buys his wife a toaster or vacuum cleaner or something like that? I have the feeling this will go over better, fellas.


Saturday, December 16, 2017

25 Days of Ad-vent, Day 16: Stopping at the five and dime

I loved going to Woolworth's when I was a kid. It was within walking distance for me, so it was a place we went to often. At Christmastime they had a great selection of ornaments and decorations; as I look around our home today, I can still pick out a handful that have survived the past 45 or 50 years. It was a sad day when it went under.


Friday, December 15, 2017

25 Days of Ad-vent, Day 15: What a sweet gift!

Here's another ad appealing to those of you with a sweet tooth. I don't remember Necco myself, although my wife does, but this would be sure to please any youngster who found it in their stocking. This ad is from 1952, and you notice that despite the fact there are two Christmas trees in the room, they don't display the glitter and stylization that would come to typify the midcentury tree, it's still pretty festive.


Thursday, December 14, 2017

Of 42,915 lore, and It doesn't sound right -- and churches are singing it?

Those who read this blog have seen our cases against Pope Francis and similar Protestant liberalism affiliated leadership (they are two peas in the same pod), and also have reached into the crevices of church music corruption.  Before we get to that, however, Sunday night after returning home, I had been out of town doing my annual test Saturday in a 42,195 metre challenge that took just over six hours and eight minutes (when calculated from the absurdly late start caused by traffic) and watching a Daytona 500 and Big Machine 400 winner relaxing somewhere on the island after "Big Mac" (his sponsor tags him that way) finished three hours earlier (now that means I've run a 12k with the most infamous of all Olympic athletics runners and I've run the marathon with a Daytona and Indianapolis winner in the event), which is the perfect reaction when I see people call binge watching an entire season of a premium pay television programme (six to ten episodes) in one setting as a place full of fennels that in Greek gives its name to the battle between the Greeks and Persians that the Greeks easily won.

Unfortunately, the logic of calling binge watching an entire season of shows in a setting a place full of fennels in Greece is lacking any rationale. The real story is  Greek soldiers marched from the plains back to Athens (roughly 40km) in an attempt to stop the Persians at Cape Sounion -- only to see a retreat of Persians to announce their victory.  Legend Plutarch wrote (italics) On the Glory of Athens (/italics) states that soldier ran from those fennels back to Athens, announced victory, and died, of which the story was later retold by Robert Browning through his poem "Pheidippides" that gave us the name of the Olympic, and now well known sporting event, that carries the name of those fennel plains.  How is an unhealthy habit of binge watching on the same level as running from the fennel plains to Athens?

It does not hurt that my reward for 42,195 metres of pain was a nice recital, a second time to see Renée Fleming (left), only to learn a current college student that was in front of me after the event knew Dr. LaRoche, as she knew students in the studio for college students singing there doing what I did a generation ago with the same voice teacher!

As for the other issue on church music, on the way home Sunday evening, an incident at church caught my attention for the wrong reasons.  The church had decided for both the morning (I was in a church near the city where I ran my 42,195 Sunday morning) and evening to substitute youth (morning) and adult (evening) karaoke performances by the respective choirs for church services.  The unprofessionalism of submitting to the large entertainment organisations for Christmas music was dastardly offensive to those who have worked over the years, considering how forgetful they have become in knowing the Advent season comes before Christmas, and how Big Entertainment and their Emergent colleagues have been at work hacking classic hymns and sacred songs to advance their cause.  One such case came from the classic "What Child Is This?," which we noted Easter references have been removed from hymnals, and pop singers will not sing those lyrics, even though we sing parts of the Easter motet in Händel's Messiah.  In Universal's latest Christmas "cantata" packet, which is deemed "Ready to Sing" and pushes choirs into using their karaoke accompaniment, including their featured video, the same hymn is drastically altered to fit their theme, which has the markings of Brian McLaren and other liberal leaders that change songs to fit their theme.

Here's the video that Universal offers (Courtesy Universal Music Group). Does this even sound correct, or does this fit to push Big Entertainment with the lyrics they wrote?  Those who know the song will see the mistake, but a generation in church that has only heard Big Entertainment wares with loud rock concerts will swallow it hook, line, and sinker, sadly.

Works Cited:
"Why the Presbyterian Church in Ireland and I No Longer Sing from the Same Hymn Sheet."


25 Days of Ad-Vent, Day 14: It won't burst your bubble

For me growing up, bubble gum was just the hard, pink stick that came in a package of football or baseball cards. Fleer certainly made their share of those, but here's a nice ad for the stand-alone product. I love the bright colors and one-dimensional animation; it reminds me a lot of Mr. Magoo's Christmas Carol.


Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

25 Days of Ad-vent, Day 12: Make your mark!

Did any of you try these when you were growing up? I remember doing it once; it was a bear to get off the windows. (But it looked like so much fun in the ads!) Do they even make these anymore? I've seen them in antique stores, but I don't remember seeing them anywhere else.


Monday, December 11, 2017

"Joy to the World" and the Second Coming

We understand Advent comes before Christmas.  Albert Mohler, a sage of American conservatism as well as Protestant faith, recently spoke at the seminary where he leads at their graduation.  In his commencement speech, he discussed the history of the 298-year old "Joy to the World," as written by Isaac Watts.

At Advent, we celebrate the anticipation that he comes, and many churches today, including the one headed by the brother of our state National Right to Life Chapter president, forgets the Advent tunes and are singing the latest in Universal's Christmas tunes, we rarely hear any Advent tunes.  (I visited Sunday because of a little incident the previous week.)  We celebrate his birth during the twelve days from December 25 to January 5 (when our 2018 State March for Life dinner happens this year), but in Dr. Mohler's speech to graduates, he notes Mr. Watts developed the English hymnody of the era drawn from the book of Psalms, and this hymn in question is from Psalm 98 when Christ will come to rule and judge. His primary commentary of the song relates to the third verse and the Second Coming of Christ referenced in Paul's letters to Corinth, Philippi (now Kavala, Greece), and Thessaloniki, his letters to Timothy, Titus, and Hebrews, in addition to epistles by Peter, John, Jude.  Dr. Mohler makes a reference in the song to Genesis 3, where Eve commits the first sin known to man, causing serious harm that we still have to this day, and yet some churches have performed blasphemous work violating this.

Take a look at this commencement speech where a well-loved Christmas song is found to be not just Christmas, but too, as we've learned in Händel's Messiah written 43 years later, is regarding the time that is to be.  This hymn and the third motet of Messiah go well together.  However, too many have ignored the simplicity of such.

25 Days of Ad-vent, Day 11: Let's see him get that under the tree

Similar to yesterday's ad, the vivid colors and the stillness of the night below are very evocative, and very effective. The ads from the '50s are so well-done.


Sunday, December 10, 2017

25 Days of Ad-vent, Day 10: Don't forget your Dextrose!

Here's another ad I'm really fond of. Not just because that Baby Ruth bar looks inviting, but the Christmas tree, the icicles, the ornaments, the bright colors - it's a great ad, isn't it?


Saturday, December 9, 2017

25 Days of Ad-vent, Day 9: What's better than three roses?

Another ad that I'm very fond of. Christmastime in the City is so evocative; it reminds me of downtown Minneapolis when I was small. Memories are a big part of the Christmas season.


Friday, December 8, 2017

25 Days of Ad-vent, Day 8: How sweet they are!

The Great One, Jackie Gleason, advertising for Manhattan shirts. (Nice plug for CBS, by the way.) I'm not sure why he looks so surprised, though - I thought Santa knew everything!


Thursday, December 7, 2017

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

25 Days of Ad-vent, Day 6: Home for the holidays

I really like this ad; it perfectly captures the excitement of Christmas, and coming home, and unlimited possibilities. There's just something magic about it.


Tuesday, December 5, 2017

25 Days of Ad-vent, Day 5: Have a bang-up holiday!

I'm not sure that mom really wanting this is necessarily a good thing. I guess it depends on the mom, and what else you've got for her under the tree...

Monday, December 4, 2017

Sunday, December 3, 2017

25 Days of Ad-vent, Day 3: The perfect gift

Because nothing says "Merry Christmas!" like appliances, right? I wonder how Santa gets them down the chimney?


Saturday, December 2, 2017

25 Days of Ad-vent, Day 2: How do you get it under the tree?

Apparently cars have always been thought of as great Christmas gifts - who knew? I'll admit this is a novel way to deal with getting it under the tree, but you'd better be sure the tree is non-flammable...


Friday, December 1, 2017

25 Days of Ad-vent, Day 1: Open me first!

You might remember that back a couple of years ago, I did a December feature called "25 Days of Ad-vent," looking at some of the great Christmas-themed ads from over the years. I thought that this Christmas, being our first back in Minnesota (and  what I hear, it's sure going to look and feel like Christmas next week), it might be fun to do it again. So, for the next 25 days, we'll look at some vintage ads from a time in which people weren't afraid to say the word "Christmas" in public.

To kick things off, I think it's only right to look at this ad for the gift that always says, "Open Me First!" As Dick Van Dyke would tell you, it's the key to a Merry Christmas!


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