Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Easing the pain

For those who are feeling the void left by the demise/hiatus of Purgatorio, you should add Tom in the Box to your RSS feeds/blogroll/bookmarks. Today's post alone should justify that action: Exclusive! James White Reported to Have Shaved Head Bald

Noise-y Kids

The kids liked this one so much I thought I'd throw it up. Taken this last Lord's Day. It was one of those mornings that makes you wonder if your life has been taken over by an ABC TGiF show. Somehow I made it through without severe injury to my body or my pride, and we ended up with these results:

Sunday, February 25, 2007

A little improvement

This morning I had the great priviledge of witnessing the baptism of a dear friend's daughter. It was also the first time I'd seen it done in a church from the Dutch Reformed tradition. Not that the ceremony was much different--just done on a cheaper budget [rim shot]. Now, I'm not that much on set forms, but one strength in them is that you are guaranteed some well-thought-out words with them. I thought that the form used this morning was particularly good, and really wished I had a copy of the 3rd point to hand out to my baptistic friends (alas...cannot find it online).

But the important thing is that me and my kids got another glimpse of the infinite goodness of God, in appointing an initiating ordinance, irreversibly sealing all the blessings of the covenant to the elect seed.

Well, actually, that was of secondary importance. The important thing is that the blessings of the covenant were irreversibly sealed to that precious little girl.

Which meant that today was the day for us all to perform the needful but much neglected duty of improving our baptism.

I checked with some friends, and the "Reformed" Baptists have no concept of this--and even Presbyterians rarely pay attention to it. So should probably give a quick explanation about how one does that:

I. By serious and thankful consideration of
A. the nature of baptism
B. the ends for which Christ instituted baptism
C. the privileges and benefits conferred and sealed in baptism
D. our solemn vow made in baptism

II. By being humbled for
A. our sinful defilement
B. our falling short of, and walking contrary to, the grace of baptism, and our engagements

III. By growing up to assurance of
A. pardon of sin
B. of all other blessings sealed to us in baptism

IV. By drawing strength from the death and resurrection of Christ, into whom we are baptized
A. for the mortifying of sin
B. for the quickening of grace

V. By endeavoring to
A. live by faith
B. live in holiness and righteousness, as those that have therein given up their names to Christ
C. walk in brotherly love, as being baptized by the same Spirit into one body

...hefty-sized list, but at least it gave me osmething to do for the afternoon :)

Thursday, February 22, 2007


Can't get the JavaScripts to work...oh well.

Did update the This is the playlist I've been using while doing some writing lately. And despite what it sounds like, the writing has been fairly upbeat, hopefully even funny. Gotta tap into this to get to the funny. Upbeat, rocky songs are better for serious or nonfiction stuff for me. Doesn't make sense. Never claimed it would. :)

Checkin' In

Yeah, been too long. Sorry. Have some things to say, still working on how to say them. Expect some cosmetic updates today--new links, removed links, a java script or two just for fun...maybe a new (have 2 playlists that I'm working with...question is, which gets done first?)

Thank you, Stephen Pastis for this.

Oh, before I forget...gotta share this--got the ThinkGeek newsletter today. I so need one of these for those rare times when I conquer insomnia.

Monday, February 19, 2007

You can't take the sky from me

how shiny are the results of this test?

You scored as Serenity (Firefly). You like to live your own way and don’t enjoy when anyone but a friend tries to tell you should do different. Now if only the Reavers would quit trying to skin you.

Serenity (Firefly)


Babylon 5 (Babylon 5)


Deep Space Nine (Star Trek)


Galactica (Battlestar: Galactica)


Millennium Falcon (Star Wars)


Nebuchadnezzar (The Matrix)


Enterprise D (Star Trek)


Bebop (Cowboy Bebop)


FBI's X-Files Division (The X-Files)


Moya (Farscape)


SG-1 (Stargate)


Andromeda Ascendant (Andromeda)


Your Ultimate Sci-Fi Profile II: which sci-fi crew would you best fit in? (pics)
created with

(H/T: The Crusty Curmudgeon)

Sunday, February 18, 2007


If you were sitting here with me, you'd have been able to hear my perfect impression of Keanu Reeves' "whoa" when I saw this.

There's 1000 words worth of atheistic refutation...

Saturday, February 17, 2007

1 Part Gadget, 1 Part Axel F, 2 parts Flutist/Flautist with wayyyyyy too much time on his hands

Ladies and Gentlemen, I give you Greg Pattillo. If I'd have known you could do this with a flute, I'd have avoided the sax (flutes being so much easier to carry when you're in 5th grade)

(his Super Mario Bros and Sesame Street Theme shouldn't be missed either)

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Quote of the Day

When an eagle is happy in an iron cage, when a sheep is happy in water, when an owl is happy in the blaze of the noonday sun, when a fish is happy on dry land - then, and not till then, will I admit that the unsanctified man could be happy in heaven.

- J. C. Ryle

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Summer's on the way...

been so distracted by fluff and nonsense in my life that I didn't even know that Feb. 13th was reporting day in Tampa for Yankee pitchers and catchers!

I've got to work on my priorities...

Welcome back to work Wang, Moose, Mo, T.J., Jorge... Welcome home Andy! “It’s like Groundhog Day,” he said. “Not much has changed.” [sniff, sniff...we missed ya man] and goodbye Old Unit! Now just shed that workman's comp claim taking up roster space, Carl "I gots another Owie" Pavano....

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

One of My Best Days

Remember that scene in City Slickers where Mitch, Phil, and Ed are riding along talking about their Best Days? You ever played that? Had a lot of insomnia lately, and have been doing that while staring at the ceiling. Come up with a list of nominees, not sure which is #1. This is the 11th Anniversary of a strong contender for the title.

I've given abbreviated versions of the tale before (here and here). But a little more detail tonight, because I've been thinking about it a lot and have some time to kill. That afternoon I'd been in the dorm computer lab typing out a draft letter to the father of the girl I was courting, asking for her hand. Unbeknownst to me, she came up behind me to surprise me--and surprise me she did! I hadn't been in the workplace much with computers, so my Alt-Tab skills were non-existent, and it took me roughly an eon to get Word minimized. We chatted briefly and the whole time I was thinking, "How much did she read? Of course she read the whole thing. So much for surprise. What is she thinking? What do I do now?" Later she told me she hadn't seen a thing, but in the end, I'm glad I didn't know that ('tho at the time it would've been golden to know).

That train of thought didn't leave me for a couple of hours, I finally give up. Toss out my timeline, borrow a phone card from someone, and after a call to information, have one of the scariest phone conversations of my life with her father. Having secured his approval, I headed up to her place. I remember being very nervous, which sorta goes without saying, I guess. I was pretty confident I'd get a yes, but it was the act of asking that made me worry the most. That, and what it all meant--the weight of the future. But what I would get out of the act--the hand, the love of the woman of my dreams, made it worth it. And the future? Eh, I'd go into it with one of my best friends with me (it wouldn't take long before I dropped the "one of" modifier).

She was sitting on a couch against the wall facing the TV, I was sitting a few feet away on the loveseat-type thing that was the "L" leg off of the other. Wasn't exactly the typical-Hollywood on bended knee type situation, but I figured it was now or never, and set to mustering up confidence, wit, nerves, and everything else. Jeopardy was over, and I asked her if she was doing anything for the next 60-70 years, 'cuz if not, I was hoping she'd marry me. She thankfully said yes, and I honestly don't think I'd known what joy was before that moment.

And then we kissed for the first time. And she played me what I always think of as our song, Alanis' "Head Over Feet"--still think of that moment every time I hear that song. And the rest of the evening was taken up with my all-time favorite activity. Spending time together.

There ya go, one of my Best Days.

Again, that was 11 years ago. Making 49-59 years left. I should've asked for more, 'cuz that's nowhere near enough time to spend with her. The eleven years since haven't been a bed of roses for sure, been far more lean and bad times then I'd ever wanted. But I've been in the best company possible.

Thanks for saying yes, dear.

Stumbled on to this old scan the other day. This is actually the following Saturday (I think the 13th was a Tuesday that year--maybe a Monday), but it's as close to the day as I have. Not the most flattering pic of me--I'd shaved that day, because she was curious what I looked like sans beard. Think it took 5 seconds for her to tell me to grow it back :) If it weren't for Steinbrenner-esque standards at the McDonald's I worked at, this would've been the last time I'd ever shaved it.

But man...look at her.

A dissenting note

Hope this doesn't clash too horribly with yesterday's post. But that one was serious, this is for fun. I meant that one. This just made me smile as I read the words of these particular old curmudgeons.

'You shouldn't take liefe so seriously,' said Bryant. 'Think of it like pipe tobacco. It's dark, it's bitter, and it finally destroys you, but it provides a few moments of heaven on the tongue.'

'And it can make you ill,' snapped Finch.
--Christopher Fowler
Ten Second Staircase

Monday, February 12, 2007

Hey, Crafty-types!

(and I'm not necc. looking for crafty like a fox)

If you were going to attempt to attach a pipe cleaner to a rock, what type of bonding agent would you use? Not surprisingly trusty old Elmer's School Glue doesn't do the trick.

What is our Life for?

What's life all about? What's it mean to be really pro-life? The Westminster Divines gave a pretty decent answer in their application of Scripture in the Larger Catechsim Q. 134-136. Sadly, our culture--and the Church to a great extent--doesn't agree with much of that wisdom. So sermons like this one have to be preached still today--and we need more of them.

And yet, what is our life for? It's not for convenience. It's not for luxury. It's not for joy. It is not for happiness, but for holiness. To grow in our relationship to God."

Sunday, February 11, 2007

What David (and we) really ask...

It'd really help if you can "hear" Sinclair Ferguson reading this quotation. If you haven't listened to enough/any of him, go for a soft Scottish accent. Trust me. Protestant Theology needs a Scottish accent to be fully appreciated.

Discussing Ps. 51:

There is one final court of appeal, beyond God's mercy, greater even than his "great compassion." It is God's "unfailing love" (v.1).

The word David uses is "covenant-love" (chesedh). It is the love to which God has committed himself, even obligated himself, in his covenant promise to his people.

It is as though David were saying: "O God, obligate yourself to love me with a love that will save me from my guilt." He scarcely knew what he was asking for.

Do we, when we ask for the forgiveness of sins?

In asking for "mercy," David, you are asking that GOd will show it to you, but withdraw it from Jesus.

In asking to experience God's "unfailing love," you are asking that Jesus will feel it has been removed.

In asking to taste God's "great compassion," you are asking him to refuse it to Jesus as he dies on the cross.

In asking God to "blot out" your transgressions, you are asking that they will be obliterated by the blood of Jesus.

In asking to be washed, you are asking that the filth of your sin will overwhelm Jesus like a flood.

In asking to know the joy of salvation, you are asking that Jesus will be a Man of Sorrows, familiar with grief.

In asking to be saved from bloodguilt, you are asking that in your place Jesus will be treated as though he were guilty.

In asking that your lips will be opened in praise, you are asking that Jesus will be silenced, as a sheep before her shearers is dumb.

In asking that God will hide his face from your sins, you are asking that he will hide his face from Jesus.

In asking that you will not be cast out of God's presence, you are asking that Jesus will be cast out into outer darkness instead.
--Sinclair Ferguson

Saturday, February 10, 2007

At first, this bothered me

which they describe as:
As Eustace Scrubb, you may have a bit of a short fuse, but ultimately you can be caring and loyal. You also have a thing for girls called Jill.

...the more I think about it, the more I'm okay with it. For years I've thought if that scene with Aslan and the Dragon isn't my life...I don't know what is.

Friday, February 09, 2007

"My Name is Steven, How the H*ll are You?"

Quite possibly my all time favorite comedy performance. A friend taped this off of Showtime or HBO or whatever waaaaaay back. I have a 2nd generation copy of that in a box somewhere. Have been searching for it in a better format for a decade or so. This isn't the better format...but it's something I can watch.

Over. And Over. And Over. And Over.

Especially when I have deadlines looming. :)

Steven Banks Home Entertainment Center:

(click on the video to be taken to YouTube to watch the other parts)

Cassie, I'm sorry. Really. I know nothing is going to get accomplished in your home tonight. Enjoy, Al!

(H/T: MDH)

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Today's Funny Pages...

Prickley City nails it (tho it seems that joke could be recycled every 4 years...I just don't remember anyone doing it)
Wally shows why he's a front-runnerh in my mentor search.

The benefit of waking up hoarser than Secretariat's about the only time that you get to go up an octave to sing along with Josh Turner on the radio.

Monday, February 05, 2007

Quote of the Day

Sadly, the biblical teaching on the sovereignty of God in his providence has too often been a bone of contention for Christians when it was revealed chiefly as a means of encouragement. It is vital for us to be familiar with it if, like David, Daniel, and his companions, we are to stand in days when our circumstances are liable to overwhelm us.
--Sinclair Ferguson

Suddenly, I couldn't care less about the new WW movie

Whedon's off the project. Never been a big WW fan, anyway--DC has better female characters to focus on. Sure she's one of the Big 3, but the lamest of the batch. With the Master gone, who cares about this?

Focusing all my geek energy at Favreau's Iron Man :)

Sunday, February 04, 2007

Do you really believe this?

Here Jesus' description of himself as the Good Shepherd will help us. Our natural instinct is to suspect that if he restores us at all it Will be grudgingly; it must be a necessary but irritating inconvenience for him.

But Christ does not come to us officiously; he comes willingly and graciously to restore us. Recall what he said to those who "muttered" that "this man welcomes sinners":
Suppose one of you has a hundred sheep and loses one of them. Does he not leave the ninety-nine in the open country and go after the lost sheep until he finds it? And when he finds it, he joyfully puts it on his shoulders and goes home. Then he calls his friends and neighbors together and says, 'Rejoice with me; I have found my lost sheep' (Luke 15:4-6, italics added).
This is a parable; but the Shepherd's joy is literal. Do you really believe that?
--Sinclair Ferguson

Saturday, February 03, 2007

New Blogger

well, blogger made me switch over to the "new blogger" format today. Doing so kinda messed things up in FireFox--can't log in using that anymore. So am having to update things using [shudder]IE 7[shudder].

Have added some tags to the most recent 50 posts or so, may do some more of that. Plus some other template tweaks.

Pop Music & Aging

It's nine-thirty A.M., still theoretically rush hour, but I'll be driving north, against traffic. Keeping one eye on the road, I reach absently into the messy heap of CDs scattered on the seat beside me, an eclectic assortment sypmomatic of a vague and misguided effort to transcend my actual age. It's not necessarily that I'm afraid of aging; I just refuse to do it alone. And so, at thirty-four, I'm listening to Everclear, Blink 182, Dashboard Confessional, Foo Fighters, and a host of other contemporary stuff. My audio Rogaine. I've somehow managed to beat the odds and keep a full head of hair, but that's really beside the point. We're all going bald somewhere.

Besides, I come from the eighties, a neon, hair-sprayed decade from which very little music made it out alive. When was the last time you heard Men at Work, Thompson Twins, or Alphaville on a mainstream radio station? The music from my youth has aged poorly and is now like a joke out of context. You had to be there.
- Jonathan Tropper, The Book of Joe
Other than line about full head of hair, that could be me. That could be any number of my friends, too. Just a couple nice paragraphs from a gorgeous book...

Friday, February 02, 2007

Resumé or "...and I can take or leave it if I please."

Inspired by that scene in The Shawshank Redemption, my coworker asks me if I'd ever consider hanging myself--she couldn't handle the pain--I had to agree that hanging was flat out for me--despite my merit badge in 1988, my knot tying skills leave a lot to be desired, and I couldn't trust it to hold. Sides, during the year I came closest, the pipes that ran 6" below my dorm room's ceiling level just didn't look strong enough to hold, and there were no other viable options. She looked at me kinda strange for thinking of that, so I assured her that, yeah, there was a period in my life where I evaluated the various options. Which made her look at me even stranger.

I sat there later trying to remember the various reasons I'd eliminated assorted methods of offing myself. I think I was able to reconstruct the list, but, to be truthful to you, faithful reader, I may have substituted my fears/dreads/issues of the present time.

  • Slitting the wrists--ouch, just flat out, ouch. And blood...shudder. Even hearing about bleeding, thinking about bleeding makes my head swim and my toes curl. And not just a little curl, almost right through the bottom of my feed curl. Odds are, I'd get too distracted with the toes and swimming head to finish the job,and it'd just result in an embarrassing mess (and foot injury).
  • Self-inflicted gunshot wound. Couple problems with this: 1. I don't own a gun. Yes, a too-right-wing for the GOP Idahoan, and I don't own a gun--I can't afford one. This was especially true in college (when I compiled this list); 2. It's been so long since I've shot on a regular basis, not sure I can trust my aim...and then it comes to this, you gotta be sure of your shot--short range or no.
  • Freezing to death. Nice, easy, peaceful. Just could never think of a convenient place to do it. Or it'd be too warm.
  • Drowning. Feh. Just too easy to lift the head up.
  • Pills. Just never have enough around to do the job. Hate pills anyway. Don't even take them when I need to. Just wouldn't work out.
  • Jumping off of bridge/cliff/roof. Words cannot express what effect heights/the fear of falling have on me. Would literally be too paralyzed to take the first step.
  • Leaving the car running in a closed garage. Again, this was college--I parked in the dorm's lot.
Ultimately, the thing that kept me going then (and has continued to at times) is curiosity /stubbornness. It's like watching a movie that you're not sure is worth the time/effort, but you keep wondering how/if the director's going to pull it off. Well, that, and a realization of the preciousness of human life and the contents of the 6th commandment--tho when you're thinking about punching your own ticket, those considerations don't usually come into play.

Naturally, this makes me think of one of my favorite Dorothy Parker poems:
Razors pain you;
Rivers are damp;
Acids stain you;
And drugs cause cramp.
Guns aren't lawful;
Nooses give;
Gas smells awful;
You might as well live.
This of course illustrates why in an Ideal World, I'd have lived at the same time as she did, I'd have met Ms. Parker and fallen head over heals for her--although even in a perfect world I can't see myself as witty or charming to be anything other than a dalliance for an evening or two for her. Following which, I'd pine for her for at least months on end, whilst eating copious amounts of pizza and junk food to mask the pain...which, come to think of it, is pretty much what I spent 1993 doing.