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keeping an eye on the tree and the forest

Dave's Exegesis is my eclectic site of exegesis on pretty much everything I can think of, whether biblical studies, theology, music, movies, culture, food, drink, sports, or the internet.

I am Now an Uncle…

05.30.06

Here’s my brother-in-law’s account of the story:

Julia, weighing 6 pounds, 12 ounces and being 20 inches long, was born on May 29th, 2006 at 12:28pm – 10 days early. Both mother and baby are doing fine. Wendy is still a little groggy, but is amazing.Wendy got woken out of bed at 1:13 this morning with a “large” contraction – it almost knocked her out of bed. She starting timing the contractions and told me to wake up around 1:30. We watched contractions for another 45 minutes and then called the hospital. After a short phone call, they told us to come in.

We arrived at the hospital at 3:00am. At triage they found that she was 1 cm dilated, and her water had broken, which of course means BABY ON THE WAY! We were admitted, and got to our room.

Wendy went through another 3 hours of painful contractions, before getting an epidural around 6am. This was the greatest relief she had ever felt – up to this time. She is now at 6cm.

She continued contractions under the epidural for another 2 hours. She is now at 9 and 3/4 cm. Doing good! At 9:30am she starts pushing.

In the background for the last hour or so, I’m talking with people on IM and calling parents. One of the comments that sticks out rather well is from Mike Richards:

“I bet she’ll push for 20 minutes, 30 minutes max.” heh.

After the first hour of pushing, Wendy is starting to feel pain. More pain, more pain. Hit the epidural button, get more medicine, not good enough, hit the button again, not good enough. Call the anesthesiologist. She comes in and ups the dosage and gives her more powerful stuff. “You should be all good in 5 to 10 minutes.” She leaves around the 9 minute mark. Wendy is still in pain, and it’s growing. Now Wendy is pushing and in major pain. In total, 2 and 1/2 hours of pushing are done. During the last 30 minutes, it’s painful to watch. Finally the doctor comes in and suggests that “we go get this baby”. “OK!”, no need to twist our arms. This must have been the longest 10 minutes of my life. Wendy is curled up, shaking and groaning in pain. She has to be put onto a new gurney, wheeled down the hall, put into the OR, cleaned up, prepped, and then she gets the Spinal Block. About 30 seconds after the spinal block, Wendy is out of pain. (Now this is for sure the greatest relief that she has ever felt) — It’s really hard to communicate how hard that is to go through, and I was just the helper.

So now, they make me put on these funny gowns, mask, hat, and booties. I have to go in via a different door than Wendy. I get to sit right next to Wendy, up near her head. There are people buzzing around, but I barely notice; I’m just watching Wendy.

Just as I get comfortable, they make me go out the door that I couldn’t go in, and then around the corner, to go back in the same room, but on the other side. I guess I’m not supposed to walk around the sterile objects to avoid contamination. I go around, and sit next to Wendy, this time on her left side.

The crew throws up a blue shield, with a little plastic window in it. Wendy can’t see what’s going on below, but I can. I’m not sure if that’s good or not, but I’m adventurous, so I look.

The team is fast. The cut through the various layers, and get to Julia, in seemingly 3 minutes. The doctor calls out, “Oh, look at those lips!”, indicating that Julia is indeed, sunny side up. That is one of the reasons why Wendy was in so much pain while she was pushing. They pull Julia out, whisk her over to the various people that need to inspect and poke her. Meanwhile I start crying, Wendy starts crying as we see her over in the basket. CRAZY.

After we get a few pictures in the OR, we go back to our room. I’m carrying Julia, as Wendy is being rolled back. After they put Wendy on the main room bed, we hear the other reason that Wendy was in so much pain. The epidural had fallen out. Whoa.

Julia is amazing. She is pinked up, alert, looking around, has already cried plenty, and even latched on right away, first try, evoking ‘wows’ and ‘whoas’ from the nursing staff and doctor. Her vital signs look good and we’ve both decided that we’re going to keep her.

Welcome to the world Julia Walter & Congratulations Wendy and James!!

A Fantasy League for Females

05.16.06

By Bill Simmons
Page 2

Editor’s note: This article appears in the May 22 issue of ESPN The Magazine.

I need to win my AL-only fantasy league this season. It’s one of the most crucial things happening in my life right now — not top-five, but definitely top-10. I wish I were making this up.

So does my wife. When she hears me discussing trades with my co-owner, Hench, or sees me silently swearing in front of my laptop because Torii Hunter took another 0-for-4, it makes her angry. Like, really angry. Like, we-might-be-getting-divorced-soon angry. She doesn’t know (or care) that Hench and I were favored to win this season, or that we’re currently floundering in fifth place with a cast of underachievers. Our defining player? Rocco Baldelli, an $8 flier who was recovering from knee surgery when we drafted him last year. We were looking ahead to 2006, when he’d go for $22 to $25. But we hadn’t counted on Rocco blowing out an elbow in rehab. Ever hear of a nonpitcher needing Tommy John surgery? Apparently, he’s made of papier-maché. For two solid months, I’ve been scouring Tampa papers for good news, but Rocco has suffered more setbacks than Whitney Houston and Bobby Brown combined. I could go on and on, but as ESPN Radio’s Erik Kuselias says, talking about your fantasy team is like showing off vacation photos. In the end, people really don’t care; they just want to know if you had a good time. I’m not having a good time. This team is ruining my life.

Of course, my wife doesn’t understand. She thinks I’m nuts. And maybe I am. I’ve already spent 100-plus hours managing my team: talking trades, researching free agents, bitching to Hench, monitoring our guys through DirecTV’s baseball package, even calculating how much it would cost to murder Baldelli. I can’t think of a less productive way to spend my time, short of joining a gym or appearing on “Around the Horn.” When you consider the upside (a 1 in 10 chance of winning the league) against the downside (a 9 in 10 chance of losing), then mix in the anticlimactic feeling of taking the title — no raucous champagne celebration, no ring, just the respect of friends and not enough prize money — there’s no real reason to play fantasy other than for the male bonding or for watching your one friend who married too soon get completely bombed at the draft.

So why do I want to belong to more leagues? Because I’m an overly competitive psychopath, that’s why. Currently, I belong to five: one baseball, two NBA, two NFL. I’d join more, but no other sport appeals to me; not NHL, NASCAR, golf, tennis or even bass fishing. It makes me wonder why we aren’t more creative with this stuff. Why aren’t playoff leagues popping up for the NFL and NBA? Where are the March Madness leagues? Are there boxing and wrestling leagues out there? And what about nonsports leagues? Why aren’t, say, Hollywood-related leagues more prevalent?

Some junkies are ahead of the curve. Take Matthew Berry, who runs “The Talented Mr. Roto” Web site. He belongs to a movie league. Berry and his friends bid on any film that is scheduled to be released over the course of a year, their stats coming in categories like most weeks spent in the top-five grosses, total box office and Oscar nominations. According to Berry, someone spent nearly half his cap ($260) on “The Da Vinci Code” in February. Wow. When he griped to me that one of his big sleepers, “Akeelah and the Bee,” opened poorly, I was hooked. Yes, I need to belong to a fantasy movie league, if only so I can spend $45 on “Snakes on a Plane” and taunt someone because he overpaid for Vin Diesel’s next movie. This sounds fun. This sounds dangerous, potentially life-threatening. This sounds like something for me.

When I told my wife about it, she looked like George Karl at the end of the Nuggets-Clips series: sourpuss face, hands at her sides, complete disbelief. All she was missing was the potbelly.

“You have a problem,” she decided.

“You don’t understand the fantasy thing,” I countered.

“Well, come up with a league I’d enjoy. Then, maybe I’ll understand.”

Now that sounded like a challenge. And I never turn down a challenge. So I racked my brain, contemplating all the dopey things she likes.

And then it hit me.

Us Weekly.

The Sports Gal loves Us Weekly. It’s her bible. She devours it religiously each week. She examines every picture, reads every story and mutters stuff like, “My God, she’s too skinny!” and “I just don’t get why they’re together!” If I’ve begun to thumb through the mail on the day the magazine arrives, she walks over and rips it out of my hands. She likes seeing what everyone is wearing. She likes the gossip. She out-and-out loves the “Fashion Police” and the “Stars — They’re Just Like Us” sections. (Because, after all, stars are just like us! They go to Starbucks! They take out the trash!) There is nothing about Us Weekly she doesn’t appreciate.

So I’m going to create an Us Weekly fantasy league just for her. It’s a million-dollar idea that could make me rich, if I weren’t too dumb to figure out how to trademark it. More important, it will save my marriage. I can’t afford to get divorced, it’s way too expensive.

Here’s how it works: 10 teams, auction format, $200 cap, five male and five female celebs per roster. Scoring is head-to-head for 22 weeks, playoffs over the last three (so you can have two seasons per year). OK, let’s say you pay $55 for that chain-smoking tramp Lindsay Lohan. If she makes the cover of Us, you get 10 points (three for the inset photo). Every other Lohan picture inside is worth one. If she appears in the “Fashion Police,” you’re docked three. That’s it. Simple. You can add or drop your celebs each Monday. Like maybe you want to dump Jake Gyllenhaal (because the whole “Brokeback” thing has played out) and grab Josh Hartnett (because he’s dating Scarlett Johansson). Then again, you might want to hang on to Gyllenhaal. He’s single and his number might be up in the Lohan deli line.

Here’s the beauty of my new league. Let’s say you took a $5 flier on Denise Richards a while back, hoping she and Charlie Sheen would patch things up. But when, out of nowhere, she lands in a love triangle with Richie Sambora and Heather Locklear, she suddenly becomes Chris Shelton or Jonny Gomes, a bona fide sleeper! On the downside, I could easily see someone overpaying for Nicole Richie, thinking she might start to date Diddy or seek help for an eating disorder, and when she doesn’t, you’re playing catch-up for five months. See? The possibilities are endless.

When I described the concept to the Sports Gal, she was confused, then intrigued, then enthralled. “I’d win that league!” she ultimately decided. Now she wants me to organize it. And I just might. I want our whole house to be as crazy as I am. I want her swearing at Mariah Carey like I swear at Rocco Baldelli. I want her to sneak out of bed to change her lineup at 2 on Monday morning, or complain about her team on Friday when the magazine arrives. Then, she’d finally understand the whole fantasy thing, and we’d live happily ever after.

At least until the first time we tried to work out a trade.

Rediscovering the White Horse Inn

05.11.06

It was like 6 years ago the last time I listened to Michael Horton, Kim Riddlebarger, and the crew of the White Horse Inn. On the phone today, Danny O made a reference to one of their programs a while back and it rekindled an interest into this radio program. It is fantastic to hear that they are still doing their thing because what they are saying is so important and so heavy. It is a night and day contrast from the other #$&@ that is on the radio. I think listening to these guys gives me a great perspective as to where Danny is coming from on a lot of issues. This should be an audio ficture for people who are serious about God for so many reasons. It is hearty, wide-ranging, prophetic, wholistic, culturally engaging, and thoroughly reforming.

Here’s the link to the site and the audio.

We Worship Worship

05.08.06

“If you go to church to get your needs met, then I would encourage you not to come to church.”

I took a listen to a talk Derek Web did at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School (TEDS) in October 2003 entitled, “Music Style & the Sufficiency of Jesus“. He has some great insights through the lens of worship in the church that is transcultural. Good stuff.