Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Me has been berry berry bad to Baseball

Back on June 6, it was noted that I hadn't been talking a lot about the Yankees lately. Now, I'm sure that Joel was trying to goad me at the time because the Yankees were falling apart--and if not for A-Rod, would've been mathematically eliminated from the rest of the season. That, believe it or not, wasn't the reason for a lack of baseball/Yankee posts. It was simply that I hadn't been watching any baseball then.

Actually, I haven't watched any baseball (save a couple of innings of the All-Star Game) since early May this year. Only keep up with a couple of Yankee blogs regularly (Pete Peter Abraham's Lohud Yankees blog is a 6-day a week read, ditto for Yanks Blog), barely have a clue about anything else going on in the League (did I hear something about a SF Giant hitting some home runs?)

But a good friend of mine realized he wasn't using his account while I'm at work. And the Yankees hosted the Red Sox today. Sooo....this is gonna be fun!

ahh....1-2-3 7-pitch first inning by Andy Pettite. What more do you want?

Update: (fixed spellings above--didn't want to verify them earlier 'cuz I'd probably accidentally get news on the game)
Now, that's the game to break a drought with! Pettitte rocked, Matsuzaka was good but not great (so, so glad the Yankees didn't overpay for him like some other team did), Jeter broke a slump, everyone looked solid, Damon was good in LF, finally got to see this Joba kid everyone's raving about--and now I can start raving about him (and, I know how to pronounce his name)--and the Yankees beat the Sox! Loved it!

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Beauty's Mug Shots

This is a pretty cool video.

(I guess you could call this a veritable rouges' gallery)

Just SO Many Things Wrong with This

Hard to know where to begin--or stop--commenting.

From Newsweek's Beliefwatch:

China Regulates Buddhist Reincarnation

China has banned Buddhist monks in Tibet from reincarnating without government permission. According to a statement issued by the State Administration for Religious Affairs, the law, which goes into effect next month and strictly stipulates the procedures by which one is to reincarnate, is "an important move to institutionalize management of reincarnation."
Now, the impulse here is to chuckle at those crazy commies, maybe make a joke about how long it'll be before our Congress tries it, while noting how interesting it is that the Chinese at least take religion seriously enough to try that.

But this is apparently a pretty serious effort by the Chinese government to pick the next Dalai Lama.
By barring any Buddhist monk living outside China from seeking reincarnation, the law effectively gives Chinese authorities the power to choose the next Dalai Lama, whose soul, by tradition, is reborn as a new human to continue the work of relieving suffering.

At 72, the Dalai Lama, who has lived in India since 1959, is beginning to plan his succession, saying that he refuses to be reborn in Tibet so long as it's under Chinese control. Assuming he's able to master the feat of controlling his rebirth, as Dalai Lamas supposedly have for the last 600 years, the situation is shaping up in which there could be two Dalai Lamas: one picked by the Chinese government, the other by Buddhist monks.
It's likely that the monks will pick a Tibetan-exile, maybe even from the U.S. (like what almost happened to Bobby Hill), where Gallup tells us 20% of adults believe in reincarnation.

On the one hand, I thought the 20% was a little low, reassuringly so--but wait, we're not done with poll numbers--we can still be appalled by the findings!
Recent surveys by the Barna Group, a Christian research nonprofit, have found that a quarter of U.S. Christians, including 10 percent of all born-again Christians, embrace it as their favored end-of-life view. (emphasis mine)
Granted that Barna's definition of born-again is a bit loose, and his respondents are self-identified as such, his numbers are generally seen as close to reality. We've got 10% of supposedly regenerate people disagreeing with the principle that:
it is appointed for man to die once, and after that comes judgment
It's disturbing enough that they believe in it, but I can live with that. It's the idea that it's their "favored end-of-life view." Favored. Ten percent of those who name the name of Christ would prefer coming back and doing this all again (including acne, high school, and driver's education) to passing immediately into glory and being with their Lord and Savior. Thankfully, the majority still agree with Paul.
to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain...My desire is to depart and be with Christ, for that is far better.

Friday, August 24, 2007

from my iGoogle page today

55 in August??

Curse that global warming!!

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Stand True on Michael Vick

Sorta predictable, but still a good point.

Michael Vick should have invested his money into killing babies instead dog fighting

Gotta be Something in the Geneva Convention About This

Think I've stumbled upon some new method of torture--cops, MPs, counter-intelligence agents might want to consider using this (I know many, many of those read this blog, after all).

Poppped one of those "single serving" microwave popcorn bags in the microwave a few minutes ago (incidentally, the existence of those bags is probably proof that Satan is Alive and Well on Planet Earth)...and got two or so kernals popped when I followed the directions. So I cooked it double the time it's supposed to be. Couple more pops.

That's it.

At that point, I figured I'd better stop before I blew something up, or burned something (who needs that smell?).

However, now our work area smells like popcorn, and there's not any to be had.

The aroma is driving me crazy. I'm perfectly willing to tell anyone all the secrets--state or otherwise--that I know. Just give me the chance.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Quote of the Day

I wish people who have trouble communicating would just shut up.
- Tom Lehrer

Monday, August 20, 2007

Still Psyched

Got the Bauer books this weekend--it looks even better than I remembered. Hadn't looked through the Activity book before, and am very impressed with it--think about getting it, Mist. Still have some more books to get, but am getting closer... :)

This one was actually funny...

Not sure how long ago it was that my older sons learned their first Knock-Knock joke. It wasn't long after that when they learned their second, their third, etc. And they quickly started writing their own. The results were, as most parents can attest, disastrous. They simply didn't get what made a joke funny, and would frequently just replace one word in a joke they heard with one of their own--"Orange" for "Gorrilla", etc.--and laugh hysterically at each other's. (we laughed at their first attempts, and then stopped...only way they're gonna learn they're not funny is to be met with silence. Just wish Carlos Mencia's parents had felt the same way). Not only were they not funny, they frequently just didn't make sense.

Which brings us to this morning. Taking TLoML to work and we hear this behind us:
Arnold: Knock-Knock.
Princess: Who's there?
Arnold: Samwise.
Princess: Samwise who?
Arnold:Samwise and I can't open the door!

Made sense, was kinda funny in that he really can't open the door. We may have struck comedic gold with this kid!

Please pass the Geritol or Hope He's Found Time for Love

I enjoy Gerald So's blog a lot, particularly the weird celebrity birthdays he notes. Today's is:

Do we still call him Short Round?

Jonathan Ke Quan, who played Indy's sidekick in Temple of Doom, is 36 today. Did you know his brother actually auditioned for the part, but the producers picked Ke instead?
Short Round's 36? Is it possible to feel older than I do right now?

An Incredibly Important Discussion

Husbands, in particular, should take note of this one.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Thought for the Lord's Day #6

bonus thought today as I didn't get one out last week while recovering from a night in the ER

What fitter day to ascend to heaven, than that on which He arose from earth, and fully triumphed over death and hell. Use your Sabbaths as steps to glory, till you have passed them all, and are there arrived.
- Richard Baxter

Thought for the Lord's Day #5

Sing aloud, O daughter of Zion;
shout, O Israel!
Rejoice and exult with all your heart,
O daughter of Jerusalem!
The Lord has taken away the judgments against you;
he has cleared away your enemies.
The King of Israel, the Lord, is in your midst;
you shall never again fear evil.
Zephaniah 3:14-15

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Annoyed Musings on an Enjoyable Read

Started reading a new book this morning, and I'm really enjoying it. This annoys me greatly.

You see, the author is a not-notorious-enough heretic. And while she's not writing on anything theological in this particular book--so far the only reference to God is a borderline 3rd commandment violation--it bugs me that she's writing so well.

In theory and, generally, in practice, I have no problem with the unbeliever/pagan/false religion adherent producing thoughtful, useful, enjoyable work. A quick look at my bookshelves; CD/DVD collection; list of doctors/nurses/medical technicians/pharmacists; technology a depend on; or non-homemade food I eat will testify to that. To put it another way--I do not look at the cow's statement of faith before sitting down to my Oreoes and 2%.

Call this a firm conviction in Common Grace (if only to annoy PRC-types), a perception of the marred, but present imago Dei (to tip the cap to Van Til), noticing the borrowed capital of the Christian worldview (to echo Bahnsen), or simply an acknowledgment that the rain does indeed fall on the just and unjust alike (because the speaker of those words trumpse those--and all other--authorities). Whatever label you put on it, I typically have no problem listening to and gleaning from the non-Christian (unless their voice is annoying, like Carl Sagan's).*

So why does this gal being right annoy me so?

Part of it, I think, has to do with truth in labeling. It bugs me when G. W. Bush is dubbed a conservative, Dominos Pizza is called tasty, or Jay Leno is described as funny. So when reviewer after reviewer (whether it be a New York Times-type or TrendianityChristianityToday-type) calls this gal a Christian, my dander gets up. This probably colors my read of her.

Maybe a little closer to the real issue is how inside-my-head this book feels. I know that even after almost 2 regenerated decades my perceptions, understanding and reasoning embody Romans 3:23, but for this book to resonate so with me, maybe it indicates that my sanctification hasn't progressed as much as I like to think it has.

Maybe it's something else altogether. The fact that I can't quite put my finger on it is almost as annoying as the fact that I'm enjoying it so. Anyway, back to my book.


*I just have to point this out because I'm accused of the contrary so often. In principle, this applies to theology as well. I can and do regularly learn from the heterodox--charismatic, dispensational, Arminian, baptist, etc.

Friday, August 17, 2007


it's enough to make a James Joyce novel seem sane.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

One of Life's Little Mysteries

Why is it that "All You Can Eat" so frequently translates into "Eating 3x What You Normally Would?"

(this is purely hypothetical, of course)

Not quite an M.L.T., but close

Apparently August 16th is True Love Forever Day--so say the electronic greeting card companies anyway, and you know me, a slave to the sentimentality industry...

To my true love--
Given all the thesauri known to man, woman, muggle, dolphin or Alpha Centaurian, I couldn't come up with the words to tell you how I feel about you. Given the rest of my life, I doubt I'll be able to demonstrate it either.

Thank you for the second chance, I won't squander it. Because I know now how true Westley's words were, "This is true love. You think this happens every day?" Don't want to lose any more opportunities to enjoy it.

How could you not
love a face like this?

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Portrait of an Artist and a Young Man

Samwise is proudly displaying his award-winning picture and his award for placing first in a local restaurant's Back-to-School coloring contest. (that's an unnecessarily convoluted sentence, but, eh...) That backpack is chock full o' school supplies (yay!)

He was so excited when we got the phone call today--and rightly so--he literally shook with excitement as he told the news to his Grammy and Mom on the phone. :)

Way to go, pal.

Friday, August 10, 2007

Getting Psyched

One of the best pieces of advice we ever got on Homeschooling was to remember who's in charge--the parents, not the materials used. Expressly, this dad (who graduated 2 HS'ers before it was cool) said, "Take dominion over the curriculum." (I'm sure his expression and devotion to Rushdooney are purely coincidental)

Especially after watching several friends slavishly follow along with the book/video/whatever and wondering just what role the parents were playing in their education beyond flashing their MasterCards, we've always striven to do just that. Usually just in minor ways, because the stuff we bought was pretty good to begin with, but sometimes we seriously deviated (which was always a lot more fun for me)

Well for Frodo's work this coming year, we've stepped up our dominion taking and have come up with a totally custom-built package that should play to his strengths and chop away at his weaknesses. And, as an added plus, should save us $400 or so (while giving him the same amount, if not more, work).

I've just placed the first order, The Story of the World: History for the Classical Child by Susan Wise Bauer. This is so much more promising than the anemic Bob Jones text he's used before. Can't wait 'til Sept. 4th!

Quote of the Day

from Kelly Ling's Christian Quote of the Day email (which almost never elicits a laugh from me, I've got to note the exceptions...esp. when they're right as well as funny):

Well doth David call children "arrows"; for if they be well bred, they shoot at their parents' enemies; and if they be evil bred, they shoot at their parents.
- Henry Smith

Always good to have a reminder

of why I do what I do.

(If only all the Christian bloggers encouraging people to use GRTF schools would move beyond their bogus "salt and light" arguments and deal with this issue...)

Thursday, August 09, 2007

A question of priorities

'American Idol' Contestant Auditions While She's in Labor

For the first time in "American Idol" history, an auditioner went into labor while waiting with 3,500 hopefuls for her chance to become the next singing superstar.

On Monday, nine-months-pregnant Antoria Gillon arrived at Texas Stadium with hopes of becoming the next "American Idol." However, as she waited patiently for her melodic moment, the 20-year-old hair stylist started making moves of a more "contractual" kind.

"I didn’t want to turn around after being there all those hours in the heat with people pushing,” said Gillon. "So my friend helped me walk through the line. I wasn’t going to leave without singing."

Taking Stock

(which is easy to do when you're largely unsuccessful, and moreso every year)

For the last 13 or so years, I've had a pretty clear vocational goal (and had been leaning that way for 6 or so years before that), and had slowly been working toward that goal--sometimes faster than other times, but always with that goal in mind.

Well, that goal is gone now, and I don't have the foggiest idea what to put in its place--at least not realistically.

I can't stay where I am for too long--not that I have anything against the place, bu this is a grunt-level gig, with commensurate pay and practically zero chance of advancement.

I had a rough idea about something that would get me a step or two closer to having a career, and had an appointment Monday to talk to someone about step one in implementing that. A minor family crisis prevented me from making that meeting, but in the research to prepare for that meeting, I came across a disturbing figure. To get the certificate I was showing for (and then the jobs that certified me for), I'd need to clock 6,000 hours of supervised work after meeting the educational requirements. 6,000 hrs! That's 37.5 months at 40 hrs. a week--and no one I know in the field (those who are certified already) gets 40 hrs a week, so no chance of a grunt getting that time in easily. And again, that certificate was just going to be step one...mostly a way of financing steps two and beyond. But I'm just not sure I'm willing to wait 3+ years after 2-3 of education to complete step one. Doesn't seem prudent at this juncture (read that in a Dana Carvey Bush voice).

So that sorta puts me back at the drawing board (not that I can draw, as my tenure in the architectural drafting field attests). I just got done looking at some graduate programs, and there's one or two options there that might work--next fall. Early August is not the time to try to find your way into grad school. Leaving me feeling all elevated and anhydrous.

Do not get me wrong--I love being a homeschooling dad, and am more than willing to continue to sacrifice career, vocational fulfillment, or whatever, to make sure my little quiver gets the best education I can give. But at some point, sooner rather than later, I'd like to get out of the 1 Tim 5:8 area, I'm not really comfortable falling into the "worse than an unbeliever" category. It's one thing to work entry level stuff in your mid-30s when you've got a lofty goal, it's another if you're not the next Kevin Smith, Quentin Tarantino or Great American Novelist just waiting for their big break.

I just wish I knew what to do.

Not sure if I have a point to this, just getting things off my chest and giving ya'll an update on my so-called life.

Bewilderedly and bemusedly yours,

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

My Ron Paul Video of the Week

Monday, August 06, 2007

One Child Not Left Behind

Such a heartwarming tale...
A Teacher Grows Disillusioned After a ‘Fail’ Becomes a ‘Pass’

Sunday, August 05, 2007

Thought for the Lord's Day #4

In 1 Corinthians 15:56-57, [Paul] sings with a holy ravishment of joy the praises of God and Christ our Redeemer, by whose achievement this glorious victory over death is won: The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the Law. But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ." This indeed is our David who cut off the head of this Goliath with His own sword. He killed death by falling dead upon it. He unstung this serpent by receiving its sting into His own blessed body. He overcame the great conqueror by submitting Himself for a time to be conquered by it. When Christ lost His life, then His whole army of saints won the day. Death now to them is no death; that which was their punishment as sinners is now their privilege as saints. That which stood among the threatenings of the law, and was the most formidable of them all, has not changed its place and is among the promises of the gospel. “All things are your, whether or life or death” (1 Corinthians 3:21-22). So precious an oil our apostle extracts from this slain scorpion; so sweet a honey comb he finds in this dead lion's breast, and give it into the hand of the saints, to eat it to their unspeakable joy and comfort.
- William Gurnall


Hearty Congrats to Julie and Jason on the arrival of little Kayleigh!

Lady K, God's richest covenant blessings upon you! (especially those mommy and daddy don't believe in)

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

We've been Simpsonized!!


family photo assembled by my pal ~Substance20, who is capable of much, much more than that :)