For over a year now, I have been saving My Coke Rewards points off of the bottle and boxes of Coke products.

My hoarding of these little gems has been made much easier by having several other people save them for me, but remembering to login to the website and enter the codes on a regular basis isn’t without difficulty.

At first, the rewards were somewhat lame (Blockbuster rentals, a Coke backpack!), but they’ve gotten progressively better.

The rewards I have personally redeemed my points for have gradually improved as well: $10 gift card to Disney.com (which I used to pay for the majority of Finding Nemo), a white Adidas ClimaLite Jersey, and now, for a mere 1,500 points, a brand new pair of Mexican National Team Adidas Sambas.

And the best part: when I ordered them on Monday, I was told that they’d be here in 2-8 weeks. That’s right; I got them today.

I know, I know. I don’t play soccer, and sometimes I even make fun of it. But soccer apparel is way cool.


Burning A Hole In My Pocket

Of all possible gift ideas in the world, for my recent birthday, my sister-in-law made the excellent choice to get me an iTunes gift card.

I love music and I love iTunes, so gift cards are always greatly appreciated. With the temptation of songs only being $0.99 each, I’ve discovered before how easy it can be to spend more money than you intended, so now, I try to never spend more money than I currently have in my iTunes account.

But now, reveling in my relative riches (after my birthday gift, I have about $30 in my account), I find myself faced with an unfamiliar problem: I can’t think of any songs I want to download.

I’ve suffered from Writer’s Block before, and a friend of mine wrote the other day about having Blogger’s Block, but this current malady that I suffer from—this Downloader’s Block—is something entirely new to me.

So here it is, the purpose of this post: what should I download?

There are certainly some genres of music that I like more than others, but on the whole, I’m pretty much open to anything. Here are the only limitations:

  • I’d prefer something without excessive profanity.
  • I can’t stand polka music in general, and I’m really not a big Weird Al fan specifically (we can thank my cousin Will for that).
That’s it! Give me some ideas. What’s something you like, or something you think I might like?


True Peace

Wars with no end in sight are unpopular, and currently, the United States finds itself embroiled in such a war.

Because of this, it has become increasingly popular to trumpet the cause of peace, and among Christians (especially those of the blogging variety), I have observed the growing belief that all war is wrong and that it is, inherently and fundamentally, un-Christian.

I disagree with this viewpoint. Don’t get me wrong. I hate war. I think it is a terrible thing which should be avoided whenever possible, and should only be considered as a last resort, but I do believe that sometimes, war is the only option (World War II would be the classic support of this viewpoint).

Christians are called to be peacemakers, and it should always be our goal, in whatever circumstance we find ourselves, to reconcile rather than to incite.

But sometimes, I think the peace that Christ came to bring about is misunderstood.

My friend Robb Hadley wrote a very good article on peace the other day that I really appreciated, and he put it better than I could:

When Jesus was born, “Peace on earth” was proclaimed by angels (Luke 2.14). If you define peace as all people on earth holding hands with flowers in their hair singing, “I’d like to buy the world a Coke,” Jesus failed completely. If you understand that Jesus came to make peace with God and with each other available, then real peace is possible (Ephesians 2.15–16).
How would things be different if people would strive after the eternal peace of Christ as eagerly as they seek the uncertainty provided by man-made treaties?


Always Improving

Important announcement: The Doc File has now stepped into the exciting world of mid-1990s technology with the addition of a search feature at the bottom of the sidebar.

Now, if want to go back and re-read a post and don’t know where to find it, or if you’re just curious to see what I have to say about something specific, you’re in luck.

I tested out the search bar myself after installing and it seemed to work pretty well, which was pleasantly surprising to me.

What’s next for The Doc File? There’s no telling, but I’m sure it will be equally mind-blowing.

My Better Half

Happy Birthday to my wife, Caroline, who turns 24 today.

I generally try to avoid being excessively mushy on my blog, but today, I’ll make an exception.

Three and a half years ago, we went out on our first date, and from that night, I knew there was something special about her.

And I was right—after a year of marriage I know how special she is because she is able to put up with Yours Truly day after day and even seems to enjoy it.

The more time I spend with Caroline, the more I realize how blessed I am, and the more it confirms my theory that I expended all of my clutch-ness back in the Spring of 2006 when I both played my best ultimate, and somehow convinced her to marry me.

Caroline reads The Doc File only sporadically (it’s really one of her only downsides), so she may not even read this post, but to her, I just want to say:

I love you. I thank God every day for you, I can’t imagine living without you, and I look forward to spending the rest of our lives together.

Happy Birthday Toots!


Seriously, I’m Going To Do Better

I’m having a hard time getting back to blogging on a semi-regular basis. After being out of town for quite a while and largely without internet access, I returned home determined to do a better job, only to have my computer die on me.

My iMac is under warranty and should be repaired free of charge, and I also have a laptop (which I am typing this post on right now), so this is not a tragedy, but it is still pretty annoying. After all, I’ve been waiting for a part to arrive from Apple since Wednesday, and my laptop is considerably slower than my iMac, which makes blogging, surfing the Web or anything else much more difficult.

Reading over this post, I realize that it sounds pretty whiny and that as problems go, this one isn’t bad at all.

But it’s still annoying.


He Never Ceases To Amaze…

As much as I dislike Barry Bonds, I was planning on taking the high road and giving the guy a break for a while, even though he turned the greatest record in all of sports into a travesty.

But that was before I read this article.

Apparently, BALCO Barry is tired of people suggesting that he reached his freakish proportions unnaturally, and is now considering suing those who have accused him of roiding up, including Boston Red Sox pitcher Curt Schilling.

Who knows, since I’ve accused Barry of cheating as well, I might be on his radar as well.

This might be my favorite quote from the article:

Schilling said some things that were inappropriate and potentially defamatory. I know it was upsetting to Barry.

I can believe that it upsets Barry that nobody likes him. After all, that’s what prompted him to begin his steroid regimen in the first place back in ’99.

What I can’t believe is that there is any sort of ground for a defamation of character lawsuit. I mean, after all, don’t you have to have character before it can be defamed?

Hat tip to my cousin Veronica for sending me the article.


Home At Last

I’ve been gone for the last several days, but I am finally home.

After having spent nine of the last ten nights staying in hotels, I got to sleep in my own bed last night, and hope to get to do so for a while.

I also hope to get back to blogging on a more regular basis. I actually had my laptop with me the whole time, but I only had reliable wi-fi access in one of the four hotels I stayed in, so that severely limited my ability to blog.

First, Caroline and I were in Branson for a few days for vacation. We had a good time shopping, going to a zoo and aquarium, visiting a museum and an amusement park. Here are a few of the highlights:

A chameleon at the zoo looks at me with one of his cool eyes.

An alligator smiles for the camera. I wasn’t entirely sure
what all the leaves on her head and back were about.

The ferris wheel at Celebration City all lit up.

After we got back in town last Monday, we left the next day for Denver, but this time, the trip wasn’t for fun.

My grandmother is very sick with cancer, and we weren’t sure if she would live until Thanksgiving, so my parents, my brother and sister, Caroline and I made the difficult trip to Colorado to see her for maybe the last time.

I took my camera along in case I saw anything worth taking a picture of:

The sun peaks through the clouds.

The city of Denver, from the top of Table Mountain.

At the base of one of the bluffs near the top. Since I’m not a
real rock climber, I had to find a different way up.

Me at the top of Table Mountain. I wasn’t actually in a terrible mood as my facial expression might indicate; I just don’t like having the sun shine in my face.

It’s good to be home.



Sunday night, Tom Glavine became the 23rd pitcher in Major League History to win 300 games, and just the fifth left-handed pitcher to ever reach that milestone.

Glavine’s first 242 career victories came with the Atlanta Braves, and of the three dominant Braves pitchers of the 90s—Glavine, Greg Maddux and John Smoltz—Glavine was always my favorite.

Never blessed with overpowering speed or a devastating breaking ball, he seemed to win games solely on willpower, guile and stubbornness.

I was somewhat heartbroken when Glavine left the Braves a few years ago to play for the New York Mets, Atlanta’s arch-rival, and even if his reasons were somewhat justified, I still shifted some of my allegiance from him to Smoltz, and took some delight when Glavine would pitch against the Braves and get roughed up.

I’m sure Glavine has lost a little bit over the last few years, but his career numbers certainly haven’t been helped by playing for the Mets, who were mediocre at best the first three years he pitched for them, and even since they’ve been good have ruined several of his strong performances by a lack of run support and meltdowns from the bullpen.

It does make you wonder how many wins Glavine would’ve had by now had he remained a Brave, or at least, it made me wonder, so I took a look at his stats. After a superficial investigation, assuming that he continued to win the same percentage of his starts, he would’ve had about 315 victories by now—basically a season’s worth.

Either way, Glavine will end up in the Hall of Fame, and will go down as one of the best pitchers of all time, but had he stayed in Atlanta, I think he might have had a chance of winning more games than any other left-handed pitcher in history (Warren Spahn holds the current record with 363), which would have put him in some very impressive company.

But then again, for a kid from the Northeast who wanted to be a hockey player and then went 7-17 in his first full season in the bigs, maybe getting to 300 is impressive enough.


Another Good Report Card

While there are certainly many things that I am not good at (like swimming for example), one thing I never really had much trouble with was school.

I had friends who were always sweating it come report card time, but for me, that was never really a problem all the way from Kindergarten through college (with the notable exception of Mrs. Pharr’s AP Calculus class in 11th grade). I was always on the Honor Roll (or the “Dean’s List” as it is referred to in college), even my last semester at Harding when I was a full-time graduate student, a Graduate Assistant for the Foreign Language Department, working as an ESL teacher at an elementary school and playing my last year of college ultimate.

But any and all academic achievements I may have accomplished in the past have been dwarfed by what I found out today when I checked my Harding e-mail account for the first time in several months: I managed to make the Dean’s List this past spring semester despite the fact that I wasn’t enrolled in any classes.

Sometimes schools give out honorary Doctorate degrees. I guess this is something similar—based on past achievements, I’ve been honorarily appointed to the Dean’s List.

Here’s an excerpt from the message I got from the Vice President for Academic Affairs:

It is my pleasure to inform you that you made the Dean’s List at Harding University for the past semester. Recognition on the Dean’s List is a high honor because only students who have earned at least a 3.65 grade point average on twelve or more hours are eligible.

You should be proud of this significant achievement. We fell that Harding offers a very challenging academic program. Therefore, your academic success is one indication of your potential for success throughout your life.
I used to think that Harding was pretty challenging as well. But that was before I got straight A’s without even being aware that I was enrolled in classes.

The Doc File © 2006-2012 by Luke Dockery

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