Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Say it just like Toy Story's Little Green Men... (link fixed)


Deathly Hallows cover released (a wrap around!).

Click here for a full image, and non-US covers.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

What the FRAK?!?!?!

uh, uh, wwwha, homina, homina...(sputter) (sputter) (gasp)!!!!!

Yeah, I just finished the Season 3 Finale of Battlestar. NOW I HAVE TO WAIT 'TIL '08? '08??!? Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaagh!

These people, they're killin' me! Not my favorite show on TV right now, but I cannot think of something better acted, written or produced. And they certainly lived up to their own high standards on this one.

One question: how long have they been planning what they revealed? Was it from the Get-Go? or a Recent Idea?

(if you comment, be aware there's one reader who's an ep. or two behind, so keep details vague)

Sunday, March 25, 2007

No. 5 is Alive!

Title really has nothing to do with the post, just only thing I could think of involving the number five.

My princess is five years old today. I'm honestly taking it harder than I am the aging of any of the boys. She is the apple of her daddy's eye. My little Giggle Monster is the sweetest, silliest, giggliest, most exasperating, most annoying, most stubborn girl imaginable. A veritable Protestant American Princess. And I wouldn't have it any other way. And smart. Can't forget she's wicked smart. Not a "Math is Hard" bone in her body, sorry Barbie.

Sweetie, I really don't want you to grow up any more than you have. Cuz the older you get, the closer the day comes when some guy comes to take you from me. And he' won't be good enough. Not by a mile. But I promise to grade on a curve for your sake. Just don't think I'm going to be happy about it.

In the meantime, I will try to protect you from every bit of pain and trouble that I can. Will try to take care of you, make you giggle, make you feel safe and warm...will enjoy your smile and your giggle as much as I can. Basically, trying to set the bar as high as I can for the future, I mean...

Happy birthday, beautiful. :)

What fathers can learn

Meant to say something about this the other day...

Over on the reformation21 blog a few days ago, Phil Ryken noted:

Educator Allan Shedlin has recently conducted a series of 100 interviews documenting what fathers can learn from being fathers. According to Shedlin, being a dad

-- reminds fathers of what is really important, of what needs are fundamental;
-- exposes them to a new, deeper kind of love;
-- diminishes their self-absorption;
-- demonstrates the value of asking good questions;
-- helps them appreciate the responsibilities and obligations of power;
-- reminds them of the value of playfulness, imagination, enthusiasm, and wonder; and
-- makes them laugh.
Amen. Amen. Amen. ('tho I'd have put laughter at the top, well, no...the deeper kind of love, well, no...the value of...never mind)

Saturday, March 24, 2007

An unexpecedly pleasant day

Not really sure why, but basically from out of nowhere today the kids got a hankerin' to see the great-grandma, and started assaulting me with the chant of "GG! GG! GG!" Honestly and naturally, I hate to encourage that particular M.O. But, how do you say no to that demand?

Afternoon, dinner, and evening plans were then tossed--and a pleasant day was had by all. The nice thing is, the kids really don't have to actually do anything different than they'd normally do--really don't have to interact much at all with her. They just do their thing, and she watches, and has a blast. (that's not to say they want to/do/or would get away with ignoring her...just that it's low pressure). Very relaxing day for me, too. Gram's one of my favorite people in the world, always feel better about life when I spend time with her--just wish I found the time to do so more often. She's got many miles on her odometer, I only hope she's got plenty more to come.

Highlight of the day for the kids might have come when they found the picture of yours truly at approx. 6 mos. old :) Don't expect to see that reproduced here anytime soon.

It's been a few days, and I always get requests for more of these when I post 'em, so....obligatory family pics:

Friday, March 23, 2007

"Should never have let him out in the first place..."

Oh, cursed time-sucking vortex that is YouTube! While pulling up yesterday's clip, I of course, found roughly 3.2 million related videos. Thankfully was able to resist the impusle to watch them all (just barely).

But I have to share just one more bit of smegging funny material...the first minute-twenty or so of this always make me LOL (the description of death at the end is usually as effective, too). Enjoy!

Thursday, March 22, 2007

"Little League baseball is a good thing 'cause it keeps the parents off the streets and it keeps the kids out of the house."

Follow up to last night's post...

It's very easy to forget the shame, the humiliation, the pride, the Three-Stooges level of comedy, the joy that is T-ball from the parent's perspective. Particulary the first practice (although the first game is far worse/better...far more everything).

The Princess did a wonderful job tonight. I was so proud. But, man, she's got a long way to go. 8-) Can't wait to watch her make the trip.

If I have to put up with Sanjaya another week...

Justice is denied again on American Idol. This year's answer to Kevin Covais and Scott Savol, Sanjaya, lives on. I can't stand it. Need to impose the 25th Ammendment to the US Constitution to Idol voting. Where's the Congressional hearings on this? They can look into steroids in MLB, but this travesty continues unchecked? What madness!!!

uhhh, anyway. While I consider switching to decaff, watch this. It occurred to me this morning that this is quite likely the perfect Sanjaya song--and one that would get him a vote from me. Next week's theme seems like the time to pull it out.
(that, and this is always worth listening to/watching)

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

"Baseball, it is said, is only a game. True. And the Grand Canyon is only a hole in Arizona."

For Josh Lyman, it was Election Day; for Casey McCall and Dan Rydell, it's Draft Day; for Lorelai Gilmore, it's the first snow; for Danny Tanner, it's Spring Cleaning. For me...well, it's right now.

As I type this, it's 10 days, 22 hrs, 19 min., 47 seconds 'til Opening Day. Frodo and Samwise had their first practice today. The Princess has her first (ever!) practice tomorrow.

As Bryant Gumbel said, "The other sports are just sports. Baseball is a love."

Frodo at work (yeah, I know they're small..brought the wrong camera)
Sam makes a heck of a throw

Crais' Latest

I've set aside most of my current reading because Robert Crais just released his latest, The Watchman. I will admit that I was very nervous about this book heading into it, because this is being billed as "The First Joe Pike Novel." I just didn't think the idea would work. Instead of the focus being on his partner, Elvis Cole, this time we're treated to seeing things from Pike's POV (thankfully not told in first person, because I really don't think that'd work at all). I'm glad Parker has decided to not write a Hawk novel, Stout writing from Wolfe's perspective wouldn't have been the same (we need Archie in order to like his boss), LeHane having Patrick and Angel play second-fiddle to Bubba would just be scary.

But so far, I'm really enjoying this book. I could easily have finished it in one sitting--but am forcing myself to take a week or so to work through it. Lovin' this thing. Mr. Crais, sorry for doubting you.

Very blurry line...

A friend posted this in the chatroom today:

It is an unusual combination of religion and business. Yesterday Ford Motor Company C.E.O. Alan Mulally along with the Reverend Rick Warren announced plans to produce a special edition of Ford's popular Fiesta for 2008, called the Purpose-Driven Car.
And I had to ask in all honesty if that was from The Onion, Tom in the Box, or Lark News. My big fear was that it was from AP or Reuters.

Thankfully the answer was Tom in the Box. Read the rest!

Messy Desk = Productivity

This is one of those news stories that's more of an advertisement than anything. But that doesn't mean it's not worth reading.

"A Perfect Mess: The Hidden Benefits of Disorder," by Eric Abrahamson and David Freedman, a new book that argues neatness is overrated, costs money, wastes time and quashes creativity.

"We think that being more organized and ordered and neat is a good thing and it turns out, that's not always the case," said Freedman.

"Most of us are messy, and most of us are messy at a level that works very, very well for us," he said in an interview. "In most cases, if we got a lot neater and more organized, we would be less effective."
In your face, world!

Monday, March 19, 2007

Better, stronger, faster.

Gentlemen, we can rebuild him. We have the technology ... Better than he was before. Better, stronger, faster.
Couple weeks back, tragedy struck. My custom-built desktop computer, closest thing to a pride and joy next to these knuckleheads, stopped working. No warning, no slow breakdown, nothing like that. It was working when I went to sleep and dead when I woke up (reason #67 to never sleep again?)

After a few days of messing around with it myself, I took it to a professional. It was very hard leaving my baby behind. But if it was hard on me, it was near torture to my kids--I think Samwise was about to lose all will to live, he probably would've if he didn't have several Tamagotchis depending on him.

Turns out the motherboard fried--right under the CPU socket. Ouch. Ouch. Anyway, got it back last week, and finally got the chance to fire it up this weekend. Wow. What a difference a new motherboard/CPU can make! Same memory (need to get more), new main hard drive (need to finish transferring my data, installing programs...note to self: go get Acrobat), but it's on the way back--and definately better than ever! I didn't think my old system was slow in any way, shape or form. But MAN! I was wrong...this thing smokes!

Best of all, I'm back in the good graces of my kids. This morning Arnold walks up to me looking very excited, "You Computer Fix?" "Yeah, buddy, it's fixed." He gives me the hugest smile and wraps my legs in a bone-breaking bear hug. And he doesn't even get to use the thing! :)

Commentaries of the Day/Recent Days

Religious: Why John MacArthur Is Not "Reformed"
Sports: Yankees stopper's play a good sign
Social: Yesterday's Over the Hedge (fixed the link)
Political: (h/t: Shamgar)

Saturday, March 17, 2007

The Lorica/Saint Patrick’s Breastplate

Well, it's St. Patrick's Day (incidentally, he's never been canonized by the Roman Catholic Church--so why the "St."?), so might as well post something attributed to him--this poem may date from the eighth century and so post-date Patrick. But it is traditionally assigned to him.

The other day at work, someone was working on some self-affirming phrases to post around for his own reminder--to keep him self on target. "I am not afraid," etc. They were simple (maybe simplistic), and pretty much empty of meaning. But they got me to musing about the usefulness of such things ingeneral, and if it was possible to come up with any that actually communicated more than a cliche. Didn't take me long to think of this, quite possibly my favorite poem, it sorta fits what I would like to come up with if I was try that project.

That, coupled with the date (and the fact that none of the posts I've been working on for a few days have been finished), figured I'd throw it up here. I think the translation Cahill used in his little book reads nicer, but don't have that one handy, this works for me tho.

The Lorica (a.k.a. Saint Patrick’s Breastplate)

Today I put on
a terrible strength
invoking the Trinity
confessing the Three
with faith in the One
as I face my Maker.

Today I put on the power
of Christ’s birth and baptism,
of his hanging and burial,
His resurrection, ascension,
and descent at the Judgment.

Today I put on the power
of the order of the Cherubim,
angels’ obedience,
archangels’ attendance,
in hope of ascending
to my reward;
patriarchs’ prayers,
prophets’ predictions,
apostles precepts,
confessors’ testimony,
holy virgins’ innocence
and the deeds of true men.

Today I put on
the power of Heaven,
the light of the Sun,
the radiance of the Moon,
the splendor of fire,
the fierceness of lightning,
the swiftness of wind,
the depth of the sea,
the firmness of earth
and the hardness of rock.

Today I put on
God’s strength to steer me,
God’s power to uphold me,
God’s wisdom to guide me,
God’s eye for my vision,
God’s ear for my hearing,
God’s word for my speech,
God’s hand to protect me,
God’s pathway before me,
God’s shield for my shelter,
God’s angels to guard me
from ambush of devils,
from vice’s allurements,
from traps of the flesh,
from all who wish ill,
whether distant or close,
alone or in hosts.

I summon these powers today
to take my part against every implacable power
that attacks my body and soul,
the chants of false prophets,
dark laws of the pagans,
false heretics’ laws,
entrapments of idols,
enchantments of women
or smiths or druids,
and all knowledge that poisons
man’s body or soul.

Christ guard me today
from poison, from burning,
from drowning, from hurt,
that I have my reward.

Christ beside me,
Christ before me,
Christ behind me,

Christ within me,
Christ beneath me,
Christ above me.

Christ on my right hand,
Christ on my left,

Christ where I lie,
Christ where I sit,
Christ where I rise.

Christ in the hearts of all who think of me,
Christ in the mouths of all who speak to me,
Christ in every eye that sees me,
Christ in every ear that hears me.

Today I put on
a terrible strength,
invoking the Trinity,
confessing the Three,
with faith in the One
as I face my Maker.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

The Mission of Messiah

The mission of Messiah, undertaken in the covenant of eternity, was not merely that of a teaching Prophet and an atoning Priest, but of a ruling King as well. His work was not to enunciate simply a doctrine concerning God and man’s relations to God, as some Socrates, for the founding of a school; nor even merely to atone for sinners as a ministering priest at the altar; it was, as the result of all, and the reward of all, to found a community, to organize a government, and administer therein as a perpetual king.

It will be perceived, therefore, that the primary and fundamental conception of the Church of God has its germinal source far back in the purpose of God, and that the Church naturally and necessarily grows out of the very form and mode of the scheme of redemption for sinners, as it lay in the Infinite Mind. As the purpose was to redeem not only elect sinners, but a body of elect sinners,-an organic body with all its parts related to each other, and the Mediator himself the head thereof,-it is manifest that in that purpose is involved ideally the Church as an elect portion of the race under the Headship of the Messiah, and distinct from another and reprobate portion of the human family.
- Stuart Robinson

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Follow Up on Godfrey

As promised, the recent Robert Godfrey Lecture on Worship and the Q & A time.

Quote of the Day - March 13, 2007

All that has transpired under the reign of grace and under the administration of Providence, since the world began, is conceived of as simply the gradual manifestation in time of the purpose formed from eternity.* The revelation which God has made of himself in his word is but the record of the execution of his Eternal Decree, and the publication to the world in time of the proceedings had in the counsels of eternity. The revelation of Himself experimentally to the souls of his people is but the manifestation of the love wherewith he loved them before the world began. Every syllable of truth revealed in the Scriptures is conceived of as having its significance and its importance determined by its relation to the purpose previously existing in the Divine Mind; so that the doctrine of the Decree and Predestination of God is not so much a doctrine of Calvinism—one distinct truth in a system of truth—as a mode of conceiving and setting forth all the doctrines which make up revealed theology.
- Stuart Robinson

* Eph. 1:4-12, 3:9-11; Rom. 8:28-33; John 17:2-5.

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Attempted Exorcism

Okay this song is stuck in my head. More than stuck. Plastered. Sealed. Cemented. Welded.

This afternoon, after we hop in the van, I pop in the latest Switchfoot (probably their strongest album, but I personally like The Beautiful Letdown more), and right away I hear the Princess singing along. Track 1 ends, she asks for it again. So I comply. And again. And again. Before long everyone is shouting/singing along--pretty sure I heard Arnold get out, "We found out the hype won't get you through"--and half a beat after the song ends, a chorus of "Again!" would ring out.

So I'm now going to be hearing this song for the next decade in everything I do...(sung it 2x while typing this up)...hoping this will help purge it.

And if it doesn' least the kids'll have something to watch.

Public Service Moment...

looked around this here "IntraWeb" thingy for the source/author of this...didn't get anywhere. But thought these tips were handy enough I had to make sure my readers were able to benefit from the wisdom:

7 Amazing Simple Home Remedies

1. A mouse trap, placed on top of your alarm clock, will prevent you from rolling over and going back to sleep after you hit the snooze button.

2. If you have a bad cough, take a large dose of laxatives, then you will be afraid to cough.

3. Clumsy? Avoid cutting yourself while slicing vegetables by getting someone else to hold them while you chop away.

4. Avoid arguments with the Mrs. about lifting the toilet seat by simply using the sink.

5. For high blood pressure sufferers: simply cut yourself and bleed for a few minutes, thus reducing the pressure in your veins. Remember to use a timer.

6. Have a bad headache? Smash your thumb with a hammer and you will forget about the headache.

7. Sometimes, we just need to remember what the rules of life really are: You only need two tools: WD-40 and Duct Tape.

If it doesn't move and should, use the WD-40. If it shouldn't move and does, use the duct tape.

Some thoughts from Owen on the Ways Scripture speaks for God

from his commentary on Heb. 12:5:

...[in the] exhortation, "Which speaketh unto you as unto children," there are sundry things very remarkable.

(1.) It is said to speak. The Scripture is not a dumb and silent letter, as some have blasphemed. It hath a voice in it,--the voice of God himself. And speaking is frequently ascribed unto it, John 7:42, 19:37; Romans 4:3, 9:17, 10:11; Galatians 4:30; James 4:5, And if we hear not the voice of God in it continually, it is because of our unbelief, Hebrews 3:7,15.

(2.) The word which was spoken so long before by Solomon unto the church in his generation, is said to be spoken unto these Hebrews For the Holy Ghost is always present in the word of the Scripture, and speaks in it equally and alike unto the church in all ages. He doth in it speak as immediately unto us as if we were the first and only persons unto whom he spake. And this should teach us with what reverence we ought to attend unto the Scripture, namely, as unto the way and means whereby God himself speaks directly unto us.

(3.) The word here used is peculiar, and in this only place applied unto the speaking of the Scripture. Dialegetai,-- it "argues," it "pleads," it maintains a holy conference with us It presseth the mind and will of God upon us. And we shall find the force of its arguing, if we keep it not off by our unbelief.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Thought of the Day

God's patience is one of the most profound proofs of His Sovereignty.

-- William Still

Monday, March 05, 2007

Yankee Bits...

from one of my favorite blogs (which I'm glad to have an excuse to start reading was a long winter):

  1. Carl Pavano pitched two innings yesterday. Quick, trade him.
  2. Mariano mows ‘em down
    The great Mariano Rivera made his spring debut just now. Here is how it went:

    Brent Cleven: Struck out swinging on a 1-2 cutter.

    Brandon Inge: Struck out swinging on a 3-2 cutter.

    Sean Casey: Grounded to first on the first pitch.

    Mo tossed 13 pitches, nine for strikes. Thanks for coming, drive home safely.
ahhh, Peter...good to have you back.

Movin' On

I'd like to think I'd have noticed this in my iTunes newsletter (it's weekly arrival is almost as tempting--but cheaper--as the Solid Ground Books "covet-o-rama" email), but you never know, so props to Julie for pointing out to me that they'd released Elliot Yamin's first single, "Movin' On." (oh, and Julie--lovin' Cities)

I'd remembered that I'd liked him last year, but not really why. Now I do. This single, and the other peaks at his album over at his myspace page, prove that he was the best vocalist from last year's Idol batch. Not my style of music, but great to listen to. Very relaxing. Now, frankly, I don't see the Elliott as really embodying these lyrics, but he pulls it off.

Anyway, just a quick recommendation...

Saturday, March 03, 2007

Worship Workshop

Had the distinct pleasure of being present for a lecture on the "non controversial" and "easy" topic of Worship today given by W. Robert Godfrey. It's supposed to show up online pretty soon, will post the link when it does. Obviously, in one lecture he couldn't get very deep. But what he said was very worthwhile. He made a lot of points I've tried to make lately in conversations with various people, but in a winsome, comprehensive and more logical manner than I've pulled off. So I'm going to have to memorize his talk and steal like crazy :)

In describing how the church's understanding of worship has changed, Godfrey described a recent visit to a Presbyterian church in San Diego. He said that looking down the center of the 'sanctuary' towards the front of the room, everything that was in that line of vision would've been hated by Calvin. Not that Calvin is the be-all and end-all of Christian--or even Reformed--thought. But for a "conservative" Presbyterian church to be that thoroughly opposite to what the Reformed have historically understood was proper says a lot about how things have changed, and how it should at least give us pause for reflection.

(for the record, when you listen to the lecture...I'm with Calvin on that one)

Friday, March 02, 2007

Three Years Down...

Wow...three years already. Arnold, my boy, Frodo and Sam have taught me just about everything I know about being a dad (Frodo by being first, Sam by being totally different than Frodo), but you've taught me a lot more about life than just about anything and anyone else. I learned what fear can really feel and taste like when you went back to the hospital on Day 3--I learned how to hold on by faith to our Shepherd's rod and staff from that, too. And in the aftermath, I learned how tenous our grip on life really is--and how precious life can be. Now, as a result of that, I've treated you with kid-gloves, and let you get away with things that your siblings never would've. You and I will pay the price for that in years to come, but I'm not going to change my approach. (I have, however, started saving for your therapists)

But 'til then, you are the gentlest, the sweetest person I've ever met. I am a better person because of your presence in my life. God has truly blessed me through you, and I pray those blessings keep coming for many, many years. I love you, little buddy. Happy birthday.

He was being insufferably cute last weekend, so some bonus pics:
really not sure how this got to be his "super happy smile," but am learning that when I get this I've done very good :)

What kind of difference do glasses make, really?


Yeah, Frodo got his first pair of glasses today, his father's genes run too strong in him. You gotta admit looking at the above's easier to understand how Lois, Jimmy and Perry never picked up on anything.