Friday, May 28, 2004

Listening to the Radio

Heard some interesting things on the way home tonight

1. A certain county commissioner here in Idaho (actually the county I reside in) has issued a "Public Safety Advisory" because the INS is not enforcing it's regulations and will allow 12 illegal immigrants currently in Canyon County Jail for various crimes to be released if a judge sets bail. Reportedly the commissioner doesn't understand why the INS is doing this. This same commissioner made the news a few weeks ago when he sent the Mexican government a bill for the expenses of incarcerating illegal immigrants who committed crimes in the county. He made Hannity & Colmes, Today, etc. because of that one

So the big question is: Guy looking for headlines, Racist, or Hero? (I'll make it a little easier for you: his name is Velasquez)

2. This can only happen in Idaho: a few days ago a young bear stumbled across a McDonald's parking lot, some idiot gave him a chicken sandwich. Shock, surprise, the next day, bear comes back with a friend. More food is given to them. Bears keep coming back, McD's asks people to stop giving them food. People ignore them, give more food. Supposedly the Fish and Game dept. will be on hand tomorrow to trap the bears and take them far, far away from the Golden Arches.

There was a third thing I found chuckle-worthy, can't think of it now (wish I'd had a pen on me...)

Thursday, May 27, 2004

Can I get this kid on a committee for General Assembly?

So, Frodo's reading to me from his reading book. This is an optional assignment--topic is Dinosaurs, obviously written from a non-Christian perspective (the curriculum makers allow us to skip this assignment and a fairy tale involving a witch). It's talking about "scientists tell us ...millions of years ago..." And I interrupt, "Some scientists think that--not all, okay?" "Okay." He keeps going, we get to another "millions of years ago" thing (cue Carl Sagan voice).

I ask, "What if some very smart people say one thing, and the Bible says something different. Which do we believe?"


"Well, how do we know what God wants us to think about it?"

He looks at me with something bordering between pity and contempt, "It's in the Bible."

So black and white for him right now. There's no "well, when you start with the assumption..." or anything. Just God's right, and He tells you what you need to know in the Bible. How refreshing. Hope he keeps that.

Wednesday, May 26, 2004

Our Life with Newey

Samwise has himself an imaginary friend. Well, an imaginary fish, to be exact. His brother (and to the best of my recollection, his father) never did this kind of thing. But a couple of weeks ago when they went camping, the boys went fishing with Grandpa. Sam caught the first fish, which he called Newey (from his last name), they threw Newey back and fished some more.

About a week later, Newey the Newton resurfaced--this time in the form of a drawing of a fish that he carried around for days, cared for, slept with (without wrinkling or tearing!) and so on. He may be on a different drawing now, I'm not sure. Anyhow, he pays a whole lot of attention to Newey--more than a real pet would get, I think. Today I was told (after a conversation on his sister's toy phone) that Newey's mom was coming to live with us, and his dad would be visiting tomorrow after work--he misses his son, after all.

I wonder what it's like to live in that boy's head sometimes...

America has Spoken

And my 5-year old's confidence in democracy has been restored. After the debacle with LaToya and slip up with Jennifer I didn't know if he could take a Fantasia loss...probably turn into a commie. But thankfully, that's a moot question now. He apparently was incredibly excited about the results. I'm just waiting for tomorrow morning when he'll be glued to FoxNews for their recap (over the last couple of Thursdays he's actually started grabbing the remote and switching from The Disney Channel to Fox for this) and he can tell me all about the show.

This afternoon he was full of confidence--Fantasia had to win, he and his mom voted, and who ever gets the votes wins... (lesson for Al Gore there).

This was our first season watching the show, probably not our last. I was really surprised how into it I got--btw, YAY FANTASIA (where do you think the boy got his taste?).

Now, I've got to work a couple of CD's into the budget so I can keep the command "Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger..."

Tuesday, May 25, 2004

Guys Night Out

Well, afternoon, really.

Saturday after work, took Sam and Frodo to Shrek 2. First time in ages the three of us have just gone somewhere to hang out. They were in hog heaven (literally--couldn't believe the way that Sam devoured the popcorn!). This was only the fourth time they'd been to a theater, so that fact alone made their day. Something we need to do more often.

How was the movie? Wonderful. If you liked the first one (it's one of my favorite comedies of all time), you will love 2. Everything that made the first one worth watching--humor, pop culture riffs, music, animation, moral, characters--it's all back and all better.

I grant $104 million or whatever on the first weekend is obscene...where are our national priorities? But since $17 of that was mine, guess I can't throw too many stones.

How heartwarming

Hitler Heir Doesn't Want 'Mein Kampf' Royalties

Group project

Received this in an email to a bunch of my family...not sure if I will respond or not. Anyone want to help? It was written in response to boycotting something Muslim because of 9/11, Iraq, etc.

Some of the responses are fairly obvious, others are likely as obvious, but I don't have the facts at my fingertips...if anyone does leave a comment, and I'll think about assembling them into a response
Catholics kill Protestants daily, and Protestants kill Catholics daily. Do we boycott things of the Pope or Billy Graham? Every day here in America, Christians kill Christians over money, politics, abortion issues, love triangles, etc. Shall all good patriotic Americans boycott Christmas and Easter?

So, the people who planned and carried out the attacks on Pan Am Flight 103, the World Trade Center, the Marine Barracks in Lebanon, the USS Cole, etc, happen to be Muslim. They did not do those things because they are Muslim. Nor did they do those things because most American citizens are not Muslim. They did so because of perceived political or economic injustices. The USA is now waging war on some Muslims, not because they are Muslim, but because of political, or economic reasons, or because they attacked us first.

Good Muslims the world over repudiate terrorist attacks regardless of who the attacks target. American citizens including Muslim Americans, Christian, Buddhist, and Jewish Americans, are involved in the war against terrorism. This is not a religious war and shame on any of us guilty of making it a religious war!

The terrorists are trying to make it a religious war in order to gain backing from all Muslims for their cause. If "we" Americans make it a religious war, then we are only helping the terrorists in their cause, and hurting a lot of Americans including Muslim Americans. When we Americans start fighting wars over religious beliefs, which religion will be the last one standing, Catholic, Episcopalian, Lutheran, Protestant, Baptist, Mormon, Muslim, or Buddhist American. Or will it be atheist Americans?

Saturday, May 22, 2004

We're back!

Was just notified that some people have been getting a blank white screen the last couple of days when trying to access this...which does sound slightly more edifying than a lot of what's put up here.

Anyway, tweaked the settings and those of you using Internet Explorer should be able to see it again. Sorry for the trouble.

You know what the best use for IE is, don't you? It's one of the better ways to go to where you can get a really good web browser :)

Friday, May 21, 2004

Missing the point

Samwise* comes up to Daddy's Little Princess and says, "Frodo** and I are running away. You and Daddy need to take us in the van to Grammy and Grandpa's."

I interrupted, "Um, if you're running away, you need to go by yourselves, I can't drive you."

Frodo objects: "But we're not allowed to ride our bikes on the street. We're too young. It's too far to walk, so..."

Samwise adds on, "Yeah, to take us to Grammy's and pick us up tomorrow at 4, because we're running away."

*Codename for Son #2
**Codename for Son #1

Wednesday, May 19, 2004

Great Books?

Well, Scott reminded me to visit Joanne Jacobs this week, both of whom were talking about's 101 Great Books to read.

Here's the list. Those in bold are the ones I've read. 39/101--not exactly a wonderful score. But better than Scott :)

Achebe, Chinua--Things Fall Apart
Agee, James--A Death in the Family
Austin, Jane--Pride and Prejudice
Baldwin, James--Go Tell It on the Mountain
Beckett, Samuel--Waiting for Godot--why did I waste my time?
Bellow, Saul --The Adventures of Augie March
Bronte, Charlotte--Jane Eyre--worse ways to spend time
Bronte, Emily--Wuthering Heights
Camus, Albert--The Stranger --hated it
Cather, Willa--Death Comes for the Archbishop
Cervantes, Miguel de--Don Quixote (read bits of it)
Chaucer, Geoffrey--The Canterbury Tales--some great, some pointless
Chekhov, Anton--The Cherry Orchard--eh, whatever
Chopin, Kate--The Awakening--I would welcome the sweet taste of death before reading this again
Conrad, Joseph--Heart of Darkness--I would read Kate Chopin again, several times before I would read this again
Cooper, James Fenimore--The Last of the Mohicans
Crane, Stephen--The Red Badge of Courage
Dante--Inferno--cool, bad theology, but cool
Defoe, Daniel--Robinson Crusoe
Dickens, Charles--A Tale of Two Cities
Dostoyevsky, Fyodor--Crime and Punishment
Douglass, Frederick--Narrative of the Life of Frederick

Dreiser, Theodore--An American Tragedy
Dumas, Alexandre--The Three Musketeers--pretty cool
Eliot, George --The Mill on the Floss
Ellison, Ralph--Invisible Man
Emerson, Ralph Waldo--Selected Essays
Faulkner, William--As I Lay Dying--whoa. Absolutely loved it
Faulkner, William--The Sound and the Fury--blew me away, not as good as Dying, IMHO
Fielding, Henry--Tom Jones--considered by many to be the first novel. Definately one of the most enjoyable. Who needs Pickwick Papers?
Fitzgerald, F. Scott--The Great Gatsby--nice, but never left me wanting to read again ('tho I've read it several times)
Flaubert, Gustave--Madame Bovary--dreary, painful
Ford, Ford Madox--The Good Soldier
Goethe, Johann Wolfgang von--Faust
Golding, William--Lord of the Flies Ultimate Proof-Text for Total Depravity from a totally secular point of view
Hardy, Thomas--Tess of the d'Urbervilles--dreary, painful
Hawthorne, Nathaniel--The Scarlet Letter--worst hack-job on the Puritans ever
Heller, Joseph--Catch 22 (on my "To Read" list, for about 15 years)
Hemingway, Ernest--A Farewell to Arms--ummm, whatever.
Homer--The Iliad--cool!
Homer--The Odyssey--cool!
Hugo, Victor--The Hunchback of Notre Dame
Hurston, Zora Neale--Their Eyes Were Watching God
Huxley, Aldous--Brave New World
Ibsen, Henrik--A Doll's House
James, Henry--The Portrait of a Lady
James, Henry--The Turn of the Screw
Joyce, James--A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man--Slightly better than Joseph Conrad. Slightly.
Kafka, Franz--The Metamorphosis --great premise, well done
Kingston, Maxine Hong--The Woman Warrior
Lee, Harper--To Kill a Mockingbird--THE best novel I've ever read
Lewis, Sinclair--Babbitt--proto-Tom Wolfe, loved the style (that's Tom Wolfe, not Thomas Wolfe, below)
London, Jack--The Call of the Wild
Mann, Thomas--The Magic Mountain
Marquez, Gabriel Garcia--One Hundred Years of Solitude
Melville, Herman--Bartleby the Scrivener--don't remember any of it.
Melville, Herman--Moby Dick --don't want to remember much of it
Miller, Arthur--The Crucible--second only to Hawthorne in Puritan hit pieces
Morrison, Toni--Beloved
O'Connor, Flannery--A Good Man is Hard to Find--hard to get better than this!
O'Neill, Eugene--Long Day's Journey into Night
Orwell, George--Animal Farm--best political allegory starring animals ever. (yeah, yeah, I know--probably the only one, too)
Pasternak, Boris--Doctor Zhivago
Plath, Sylvia--The Bell Jar
Poe, Edgar Allen--Selected Tales
Proust, Marcel--Swann's Way
Pynchon, Thomas--The Crying of Lot 49
Remarque, Erich Maria--All Quiet on the Western Front
Rostand, Edmond--Cyrano de Bergerac--read this so many times it should count as 50 selections on this list
Roth, Henry--Call It Sleep
Salinger, J.D.--The Catcher in the Rye
Shakespeare, William--Hamlet--blech
Shakespeare, William--Macbeth--blech, blech, blech
Shakespeare, William--A Midsummer Night's Dream--blech, blech
Shakespeare, William--Romeo and Juliet--blech, blech, blech, wherefore art thou, blech?
Shaw, George Bernard--Pygmalion
Shelley, Mary--Frankenstein
Silko, Leslie Marmon--Ceremony
Solzhenitsyn, Alexander--One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich
Sophocles--Antigone--somehow ended up reading this about a dozen times, never finished the cylcle, tho'
Sophocles--Oedipus Rex
Steinbeck, John--The Grapes of Wrath--self-important, overly political, waaaay too long
Stevenson, Robert Louis--Treasure Island
Stowe, Harriet Beecher--Uncle Tom's Cabin
Swift, Jonathan--Gulliver's Travels
Thackeray, William--Vanity Fair
Thoreau, Henry David--Walden
Tolstoy, Leo--War and Peace
Turgenev, Ivan--Fathers and Sons
Twain, Mark--The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn--Can't say enough about this
Voltaire--Candide--great play!
Vonnegut, Kurt Jr.--Slaughterhouse-Five
Walker, Alice--The Color Purple
Warton, Edith--The House of Mirth
Welty, Eudora--Collected Stories
Whitman, Walt--Leaves of Grass
Wilde, Oscar--The Picture of Dorian Gray
Williams, Tennessee--The Glass Menagerie
Woolf, Virginia--To the Lighthouse
Wright, Richard--Native Son (but I did read--and hate--Look Homeward, Angel)

Quite possibly the most important link I've ever blogged

The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy -- Movie Blog

Tuesday, May 18, 2004

So stupid it pretty much has to be true...

Couple wants kids, but never tried sex

Monday, May 17, 2004

LWW Casting

Well, they've started casting The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe. There are a lot of high hopes a la Peter Jackson with this film, hope it pans out.

The White Witch will be played by Tilda Swinton, who's just got a cool first name, and seems to have the right look (very glad that rumors of Nicole Kidman didn't go anywhere).

And then James McAvoy will be playing Mr. Tumnus. Can't tell much about him by his filmography or pic...guess time will tell.

New Fall Season

Well, the new fall TV season is being announced. NBC is the first out of the gate, and, *yawn*. The only things that look at all interesting are Scrubs (two year renewal of that is the smartest thing NBC's done in ...well, a long time), and Joey (which will probably be really, really bad, but you gotta check it out).

Man, if the others don't pull through for me, I may have to get a bigger book budget....

Welcome to the Slippery Slope

For years now, "gay marriage" activitsts have been poo-pooing the suggestion that it opens the door for polyandry/polygamy and will destroy the definition of family that has built Western Civ.

Oh really? World's blog had this entry on 5/15: Polyamory, here we come!, which read in part:

"Jasmine Walston, president of UUPA [Unitarian Universalists for Polyamory Awareness], said, 'We're where the gay rights movement was 30 years ago.'"

The attorney for a group wishing to marry in Utah stated, "This prohibition of polygamist relationships is as unconstitutional as Texas' prohibition against homosexual sodomy because it criminalizes a private sexual relationship between consenting adults."

Sunday, May 16, 2004


I was less than thrilled with my exhortation today. Last week I sat down and outlined how I'd approach the remainder of Ephesians 6. And so all week I set about trying to tackle the first step, and it just doesn't seem to be working for me. I know there's much I could say, but it just wasn't forming right.

That impression continued through this a.m. when I was doing my final prep.

That impression increased when I was delivering the exhortation. "I am wasting everyone's time, I should just shut up." My mind wasn't there, didn't feel like I was being coherent.

Anyway, after the service a godly man in the congregation approached me, thanked me for what I said. He'd been dealing for a few days with something right along those lines, and it was as if God was speaking to him, he said. It's truly humbling and very gratifying to hear that. Who cares if I was that coherent? I helped him in a way he could be certain about. It's all worth it.

Soli Deo Gloria.

Good times

The older boys went camping with my folks this weekend. So last night after work it was just my wife and I hanging out with Daddy's Little Princess and the sleeping baby. Don't know that last time (if ever) the three of us spent time together without the boys. It was a whole lot of fun.

Then today the Mrs. wasn't feeling that well, so she stayed home from church, so it was just the Princess and I for both services--the boys came home from camping too frazzled for church (I knew I should've put my foot down about them coming home on the Lord's Day!). That was a very sweet time for me--I think she felt pretty special, too. Not sure the last time I got so many hugs.

Sometimes it's really good to be a dad.

Friday, May 14, 2004

now, *that's* precious

Click here for Rapping Gollum

All Aboard!

After a few weeks of sporadic attempts, I got serious (again) about getting Daddy's Little Princess out of diapers. Yesterday I pretty much abandoned her perched on the seat for awhile and lo and behold--we struck gold (or yellow anyway). Finally! And then twice so far today...yay! Hopefully she stays the course, and I can get down to just buying diapers for one child...not something I'm used to doing.

What's up with the subject line? Well, she knows that she's being potty trained. So, obviously, the thing she's sitting on is the Potty Train. :)

Thursday, May 13, 2004


Ticked off at Sean Hannity lately. Might be annoyed with other Talk Radio guys, too, but my schedule is such at the moment I can only hear part of Hannity and part of Glenn Beck--which is not necc. the best use of my time, I'll admit.

Yesterday he starts the show with "Well, I guess we really know what an atrocity is now..." or something close to that. This comes after a week or so of him harping on those in D.C. who are trying to turn the Iraqi Prisoner Scandal into political gain. He always throws in, "of course it's horrible and despicable" kind of disclaimer before he goes on into: Well, look what they did--X, Y, Z--and yes, what these few soldiers did was horrible, but it wasn't as bad as it was just a year ago. And I'm hearing/reading that kind of thing all over the place.

Flummery. Utter flummery. Or as Colonel Sherman Potter used to say, "Bull Pucky."

Why this obsession with comparing the levels of depravity in Iraq? It's not hard to get away without doing it.

Saddam & Co. were despicable leaders who did unspeakable things to the people they were supposedly governing.

Those who dragged those dead bodies through the streets and hung them off the bridge? Repugnant.

Those butchers who decapitated Berg? Not deserving of breath.

Those soldiers/contractors/whoever in the prisons who humiliated, raped, tortured, etc.? Despicably repugnant.

See? Did it without comparing relative morality. All the above should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law--which in each case probably doesn't go far enough. It's not that hard.

But if you insist on comparing moralities, the US guys have more dirt on them. I know, I know, to many I've just made myself out to be a traitor. Whatever. I just happen to think that those who came into a nation to liberate it, to free it from tyranny and oppression, should be held to a higher standard. Sure, it was Tyranny and Oppression Lite (less carbs, too), but we can't grade this stuff on a curve.

Our credibility there has been shot to H-E-Double Hockey Sticks. The work, sacrifices, and victories of the Coalition troops weighed against this? Weighed and found wanting. Which just means more boxes wrapped in flags. And more of the people we're "liberating" will be dead, too.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying we need to pull out--if we do, it'll be worse for everyone. I'm not saying it's our fault that the Bad Guys did evil things. The fault rests solely on those who did the deeds, those who knew about it and didn't stop it, and those who ordered them done. But please, call evil what it is: evil. Don't settle for "not as bad as it was..." settle for "good." Nothing more, nothing less.

Tuesday, May 11, 2004

Origin of Baseball

Pittsfield stakes its claim in baseball history

So Long, Farewell . . . .

Plan on commenting more in a few days on the big series finales of a couple of sit-com gems. But one quick vent right now based on the press push.

PLEASE, PLEASE STOP saying, "Cheers to Frasier"!!! It's not original, and it wasn't funny the first time someone said it (11 years ago as I recall...)

Mini Reviews

Okay, still having trouble coming up with something of substance to talk about. So a few quick reviews:

Smallville I'm not a huge fan of the whole Indian mythology/spirituality sub-plot. But I got over that long enough to really enjoy last week's episode (finally got caught up on my back episodes of everything but Alias). Lots o' action. And some great insight into Lex--esp. the Lex of the future. In his mind he's not evil, he's the "thorn in the flesh" that keeps ol' Supes from being too powerful (y'know Power tends to corrupt, Absolute power tends to ...). Oh, yeah, and an actual sub-plot with Chole and Pete (mostly Pete) that has nothing to do with the green rock, Clark, or someone's impending death. Cue Keanu Reeves: "Whoa."

The finale they're leading up to is gonna rock.

Wire Good, strong album. Nothing fantastic. But a whole lot better than Come Together. Not as good as Conspiracy No. 5 or Time.

Tricky Business In his book about computers, Dave Barry closes with this short story about a couple on the verge of cyber adultery. It was, as I recall, sweet, honest and well told. I do remember being very surprised. So then a couple of years later when his first novel is published I was very intruiged. Intruiged but broke. Finally got the chance to get my hands on it at the library a couple of months ago. It abso-smufing-lutely blew me away. Hilarious, tight plot, great characters, was perfect. So, now I get my hands on his second novel. Not perfect.
The plot wasn't as tight, well--the plot might have been, but it got out of control. The characters were just as strong, just too darn many of them. We got little sips of characters we should've had gallons of. Still very funny, and worth more time and effort in reading than anything Robert B. Parker's put out in a couple of years.

Monday, May 10, 2004

Random Monay Thoughts has a new and attractive look and interface. Kinda threw me for a loop as I logged on.

The ol' brain has been running on empty for a few days now, keep telling myself I need to think of something soon. 1. To insure that the ol' bean is capable of generating thought. 2. So I can have something to blog.

Hopefuly soon...

Friday, May 07, 2004

best line of the night

Saw this in a few places: "NBC took a break from promoting the "Friends" finale to air it Thursday night"

Wednesday, May 05, 2004

even slightly less grumpy

I'd lost my bookmark and forgotten the name of this site 'til today: The Holy Observer

It's tough to pardoy modern evangelicalism anymore, but when Lark News and these guys hit their mark--they hit it!

slightly less grumpy

Just spent a few minutes over at Lark News. Day's looking better now, be sure to check out:

Joseph Smith returns to assert finer points of doctrine

Student who chose Bible college over Yale now feels 'royally screwed'

Church multi-plex serves choosy faithful


Received a new batch of puns in the mail, felt obliged to share the pain:

Two antennas meet on a roof, fall in love and get married. The ceremony wasn't much, but the reception was excellent.

Two hydrogen atoms walk into a bar. One says, "I've lost my electron." The other says, "Are you sure?" The first replies, "I'm positive..."

A jumper cable walks into a bar. The bartender says, "I'll serve you, but don't start anything."

A dyslexic man walks into a bra.

Two cannibals are eating a clown. One says to the other: "Does this taste funny to you?"

Two cows standing next to each other in a field, Daisy says to Dolly, "I was artificially inseminated this morning." "I don't believe you," said Dolly. "It's true, no bull!" exclaimed Daisy.

An invisible man marries an invisible woman. The kids were nothing to look at either.

I went to buy some camouflage trousers the other day but I couldn't find any.

Two termites walk into a bar. One asks, "Is the bar tender here?"


You ever have one of those days where you just want to go back to bed and start all over? But then you think about it a little bit, and you really don't want to do that, 'cuz you'd have to face it all again.

Nothing really major, nothing really bad, just a lot of inconvenient annoyances all popping up at the same time...okay, one bad thing--my temper. But otherwise, just life with fallen people (fallen short people who look and act a lot like me)

Saturday, May 01, 2004


Long day at work...just fixed the image below...assuming my eyes will actually focus (which they really haven't since 10 am) may say something later....