Archive for September, 2005

We’re Sorry Mexico
September 30, 2005

In a effort to advertise football, specifically the NFL, Paul Tagliabue (commissioner) has arranged for two teams to play in Mexico City for the Sunday night ESPN game. Let me be the first to say that this was a brilliant idea. We need to show off America’s favorite sport – and moving a primetime NFL game to an international mega city is the perfect way to do just that. But there is a problem. Despite the fact that Tagliabue originally made a good move, we now owe our amigos in Mexico an apology. Why? Well, on Sunday night all of Mexico will be able to enjoy and get an American taste of football by viewing the Arizona Cardinals take on the San Fransico 49ers. If you don’t follow the sport, let me help you understand exactly what we are giving the people in Mexico. It would probably be the equivolent of donating a bunch of food stained clothes to Goodwill. Arizona and San Fran are literally the two worst teams in the NFL after week 3…why in Vick’s name would we send those two pee-wee teams to an international stage. Seriously, it would be like me buying an engagement ring for Melanie…taking the diamond out…and replacing it with a dirty piece of gravel. How embarassing! All of this is probably a conspiracy by the Mexican government to refuel the country’s passion for soccer. Why couldn’t we have sent them the Pats…or maybe Peyton and his baby horses. Commissioner Tag: Next time you want to bake someone a cake…don’t use curdled milk and rotten eggs. I’m out.


The Decline of Farmer Smith
September 24, 2005

I work on a farm…….with mexicans……no, excuse me, mexicanoes. Don Ball (of Ball Homes) owns a 640 acre farm off of Old Frankfort Pike and that is where I have been spending 8+ hours of my days. I grew up doing manual labor with my father so the work is not so bad, actually it is kind of liberating in a way. There is something refreshing about being out in the middle of creation watching butterflies flutter past you and Canadian geese honk in formation overhead. I also enjoy improving my Spanish with my fellow employees. Don’t get me wrong, there are times when I would rather slide down a rusty razor blade into a pool of alcohol than thatch Mr. Ball’s lawn, but I try to stay positive. Anyway, I have had a series of boneheaded incidents occur to me that is, without a doubt, worth mentioning. Check this out:

Incident Numero Uno

It was my first day on the job. I was using the bathroom (banto). I was also reading the paper. You have to understand that the bathroom that I was occupying is beyond dirty. Old paint cans and rusted auto parts were spread all over the floor barely giving me enough room to rest my feet on the ground, and there was stuff all over the back of the toliet (I was praying that it was motor oil…God only knows). So, while I was “busy,” all of the sudden, two huge rats fly across the floor inches from my feet. I jumped and let out a muffled screech, which is not a good thing to do mid-relief. After I finished, composed myself, and checked for other intruders, I left the bathroom. Gary, the mechanic, was waiting for me with a smile on his face. He then gladly proclaimed, “I see you met Trixie and Dixie!” Let’s move on.

Incident Numero Dos

Still first day. I’m driving this enormous truck that they have so appropriately deemed “The Beast.” I finished some business in the vineyard and came back to the garage to eat some lunch. I stop the truck, push the emergency brake, and exit the mammoth on wheels. I close the door. Unfortunately, they forgot to tell the new employee that The Beast’s emergency brake doesn’t work. Beastie starts to roll backwards…down a slight hill. I sprint to the door, fling it open, and attempt to jump in while it is still rolling backward. As I jump in my right foot gets caught in the door, so I have to nearly turn around backwards to stomp on the brake with my left foot. I almost died. Moving on.

Incident Numero tres

Once again…first day. I am driving The Beast. Not only am I driving the gargantuan truck, but I also have a fifteen foot flatbed trailor hitched to the back. Well…aparently I didn’t properly attach the trailor. I’m accelerating around a turn when I hit a bump in the road. No big deal, I’ve hit them before. There is something that catches my attention to my right. I look over and see the once attached trailor sailing down a hill….NOT ATTACHED TO THE BEAST! I slam on my brakes, stall out the truck, and watch as my job slowly desintegrates before my very eyes. The flatbed trailor flies down a hill and violently crashes into an unsuspecting tree. I killed the tree. At this point in the day, I seriously comtemplate just leaving and never returning to that side of town again.

Incident Numero cuatro

I picked up a push mower to load it onto the now properly attached trailor….Burned my friggin’ arm. The burn looked like those crazy alien things that chased around Will Smith in Independence Day.

Incident Numero cinco

The clutch went out on the Beast, so I was forced to travel around the farm in a golf-cart. Literally…it backfires about every 15-20 seconds. It’s about 9 a.m. and I’m not completely awake. I had a rough night sleeping because Mel rearranged the bedroom and now I’m sleeping on the other side of the bed….it had me completely disoreinted. As I’m driving across the farm the morning breeze is blowing in my face which is making my eyes heavy. The cart isn’t going very fast, so there isn’t much to pay attention to as I’m coasting around. I actually fall asleep at the wheel. I am wakened by a F-350 in my face. The driver doesn’t honk his horn because he thinks that I am joking. As I continued to drive right at him, he realizes that I have no sense of humor that early and he needs to get out of my way. He is forced to swerve onto the newly seeded grass, and my cart travels right over the spot that he had once been. I believed he yelled an obscenity. I quickly come too and refuse to look back, apologize, or even acknowledge what had just happened because I was so embarrassed. I just kept driving.
I later found out that he told my supervisor that he needed to start drug testing his employees.

That is all for now…I’ll keep you posted….pray for me.

Bittersweet Glory
September 17, 2005

Since childhood, God has blown my mind with creation, specifically fauna. Not that I always knew to give the Creator glory for His workmanship, but I has always been fascinated with the work done on the fifth day. There were times when I admired Jacque Cousteau and Steve Irwin as much as I did Will Smith and Michael Jordan (that all ended when I saw the Croc Hunter get bite on the head by a crazy snake). Anyway, at the risk of being labeled pantheistic, God can be seen in His creation. And I believe as a kid, I was drawn to this aspect of creation because it resonated with the innate, inherent, innocent knowledge of God that I had as a child. I couldn’t have told you this then, but I wan’t fascinated with animals…I was fascinated with God’s creativity. The colors, shapes, abilities and noises that I observed loudly proclaimed (and proclaims still) God’s glory. Simply…the animals weren’t the ones blowing my mind as a kid, God was. As I have gotten older and matured (depending on who you are talking to), I realize that you can see God in more than just a sermon and a Chris Tomlin song. His glory is everywhere just waiting to be acknowledged.

One part of the lives of animals that I have always loved is their defence mechanisms. From the octopus’ ink to the stunk’s funk, God provided many animals with creative abilities to get out of tough situations. Here is one I have always loved: God painted the Monarch butterfly a beautiful orange and black. It stands out among many things because of its colors. So naturally, preditors are drawn to this flashy meal floating above their heads. But…they only eat one Monarch. The catepillars that later become Monarchs constantly eat milkweed plants until they begin the cocoon process. The bitterness of the milkweed stays in the butterflys systems even as adults, so when they are eaten, the preditor is left with a ultra-bitter taste in thier mouths. Monarchs developed a repulsive tasting reputation so they are forever left alone. The Viceroy butterfly, on the other hand, is sweet and tastey unlike its nearly identical family member. The animal life cannot tell the two apart, therefore, Viceroys are not eaten either forever fooling its enemies. God’s glory and ingeniuity revealed in butterflys…who would have thought it.

Smitty, m.c.
September 16, 2005

ALTER your world. Alter is the sunday night service held at Northeast Christian Church that is geared towards college students and young adults. I recently became aquainted with dos gentlemans by the name of Jimmy Carter and Dave “thrill us” Willis. Jimmy – NE Student minister…Dave – NE College minister. You wouldn’t believe these two cats. They are two of the most genuine guys I have ever met. So naturally, I was drawn to them…anybody would be drawn to them. Anyway, they told Campbell and I about this sunday night service that they were trying to blow up. They wanted a little help with it so we told them that we would do whatever we could to help. This is how the cookie ended up crumbling after many lunch meetings and though sessions. Dave, with the girlies along side (Mel and Sar), would lead worship…but…with a different band behind them. The band is as follows…

Lead Guiter – Austin Robinson (“A. Rob”)
Rhythm Guiter – John Askew (“Askew a Question”)
Bass – The Sex (“Alec Shram”)
Drummy Drum Drumms – Clark Cranfill (“The Clark Bar”…”Cranberry”)

The band is amazingly amazing. Straight up funk.
Jimmy and Dave W. do all the teaching for the time being, and yours truly has been giving the role of M.C. I love it. They give me a microphone and I get to go on stage and totally be myself. I love goofing off and interacting with the crowd. I told the first week crowd that since I was the master of ceremonies…they could call me “master” for short. Just playin’. If you ever have a sunday night free this semester, come on out to ALTER @ 7 p.m. The worship and teaching is biblical and relevant, and tons of people hang out in the cafe up stairs after the service (“After Alter”). ENOUGH WITH THE PLUGGING ALREADY. I’m out.

Elms and Bloodroot
September 10, 2005

Take what you wish from this piece….

“Two friends enter a forest. One sees a mass of trees, the other sees spruce and oak and pine and elm. One looks at the ground and sees tangles of needles and brush, the other looks down and sees bloodroot and hepatica and arnica. One looks up and sees a blur of motion through the leaves, the other sees a Red-Eyed Vireo and a McGillivray Warbler and the Least Flycatcher. Which of the two is more alive to the garden and more in relation to the life spilling out and reverberating all through it in colors and songs, forms and movements – and to God who planted the garden and put us in it? And which of the two is better trained to exercise the glorious freedom of obedience in the context of the intricate necessities of the place?”

– Eugene Peterson Christ Plays in Ten Thousand Places

Overlooking Chattanooga
September 10, 2005

Last weekend, I spent some QT with the Creator on top of Signal Mountain overlooking the Tennessee River. I chatted and wrote as He was showing off. By looking, I was listening. Here are a few curve balls He threw my way.

  • I AM (God is) beautiful…creative…ingenious.
  • Water really shimmers in the sunlight like the classic authors always describe in novels.
  • It took me 21 years to begin to open my eyes and realize creation (more on that in a later post).
  • I believe that the constant astonishing awareness of creation ended with the fall (of man).
  • With each passing generation we become less and less interested, and take it more and more for granted (creation).
  • We are a part of it (Genesis 1, if you dont’ believe me).
  • He handled a lot of business in six days (figurative or literal…don’t know-don’t care).
  • God gave me no direction as far as my future…He didn’t revolutioinize my theology…He didn’t point out any swell passages of scripture. That day He simply, but Loudly said, “Stop…Look…Listen, I AM here!”
  • It was refreshing

SC’s Preseason Picks
September 1, 2005

Saturday marks the start of the four best months of the entire year….the college football season. And before we get rolling, the analyists here at Smittycity want to throw out thier predictions for the 2005 season. Let us start with a comparison between polls.

Preseason USAToday poll:

1. Southern Cal
2. Texas
3. Tennessee
4. Michigan
5. Oklahoma

Preseason ESPN poll:

1. Southern Cal
2. Texas
3. Michigan
4. Virginia Tech
5. Ohio State

Preseason Associated Press (AP) poll:

1. Southern Cal
2. Texas
3. Tennessee
4. Michigan
5. L.S.U.

Preseason SMITTYCITY (SC) poll:

1. Southern Cal
2. Texas
3. Ohio State
4. Michigan
5. Tennessee

Now for SC’s five Heisman preseason hopefuls (in no particular order)

Reggie Bush : Junior, RB – Southern Cal

Matt Leinart : Senior, QB – Southern Cal

Adrian Peterson : Sophomore, RB – Oklahoma

Deangelo Williams : Senior, RB – Memphis

Vince Young : Junior, QB – Texas

The favorite going into the season is most definetly Matt Leinart. Having won the trophy last season, much will be expected out of this senior, but the other five athletes will give Leinart all he wants in this race. Here at Smittycity, we believe that Matt Leinart will join Archie Griffin and become the second player in college football history to claim the Heisman twice.

Finally, we arrive at the destiny of our beloved Tennessee Volunteers. UT is ranked higher than we have ever seen in the preseason polls here at Smittycity (which really means jack). But, regardless, we feel that the Vols have the best shot at reaching the Rose Bowl since the perfect 1998 season. We return Eric Ainge as our semi-veteran QB, and a host of offensive athletes that will make the SEC team’s head spin. The problem for the Vols this season is our schedule. We have one of the toughest in the nation…having to travel to Death Valley (L.S.U.) and the Swamp (Florida), not to mention playing Charlie Weis’ Fighting Irish in South Bend, and trying to stop Heisman hopeful RB, Deangelo Williams when Memphis comes to town.

SmittyCity Prediction: We play Florida and L.S.U. in the second and third week of our schedule (both on the road). If the Vols can get by both teams with a win, THEN we will finish the season with a perfect record and win the SEC championship, placing us in the Rose Bowl to fight the national title. The BCS will not be an issue because of our strength of schedule (which is what screwed Auburn last year).


If Tennessee gets by Florida and L.S.U…..


If not…


Regardless of the competitor, U.S.C. will win the 2005 national championship.

* Stay tuned for SC’s formal rant of the NCAA post-season system