Monday, January 29, 2007

hey Paul

Since I'm not sure which Paul left a comment last week, I sent emails to every Paul I have an address for.

If you didn't get it, give me a last name so I can call :)

What they don't tell you in Philosophy 101

Over the Hedge gets the work week started on the right foot for me today.

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Quote of the Day

The best men are severe to themselves, and tender over others.

- Richard Sibbes

one day, if God is day....

Friday, January 26, 2007

Shout Out

Can't leave comments over at Observations from the Roof of a Building, so I'll say my congratulations to the quiver-fillers here. God's richest (covenant) blessings upon you (and your household)!

The Last Kiss

One danger of an actor being really good in one type of role is that everyone expects to see him do only that kind of role. Twenty years ago (or so) the thought of Robin Williams doing drama was odd. Now the idea of Robin Williams doing a movie that isn't sappy is odd. The same definately applies to Zach Braff, who's insanely fantastic as J. D. on Scrubs--you just expect him to be funny all the time. Now, anyone who watched even five minutes of Garden State learned better. But if you weren't convinced that 1. he doesn't have to be funny all the time and 2. non-funny Braff is just as good...well, that's where The Last Kiss comes in. For those who have to have funny Braff in their life, never fear...Fast Track, er, The Ex.

Anyway, this is one of the bleakest films I've seen in recent months (years?). Basically this is a story about couples--we have a circle of late 20's/early 30's friends, plus one of the friend's parents. And within the first 30 or so minutes of the film each and every couple stops being a couple (one started off no longer a couple) or the seeds are planted for them to stop being a couple. The characters are not charicatures. The conflicts are real, believable, and painful. It's hard to muster up much sympathy for most of these people (I loathed Casey Affleck's character), most of whom are only the victims of their own pettiness. There is hope in the end--and I do mean end. But even that hope doesn't present itself in typical Hollywood happily-ever-fashion, and one can't help but wonder how long it'll last following the credits.

The message seems to be that life is hard, relationships are harder. Love hurts. Love hurts a lot. And there's not much you can do about it.

The performances are compelling--which is saying something when you stop and think that 2 main characters come from Scrubs and The OC. The script, directing, music, everything was well, well done. Wonderfully made movie. But on the whole, it's a movie I wouldn't want to watch again--and am not so sure how much I wanted to the first time. It's like a big piece of liver presented in a way to make Iron Chef America judges swoon.

An aside: The most important thing I carried away from this film was something to do with another movie. I've never seen Casey Affleck do much before. Now I have. He is so not Patrick Kenzie. Nor do I think he's capable of getting it. Bad casting. Bad grasp of the character on the director/writer's part. Questionable director in the first place. This cannot be good for Gone Baby, Gone a novel that deserves so, so much more.

New Addition

I'll be the first to admit, I'm not a huge dog person. And there's plenty of evidence to support that. But there's always been a dog around in my life--there was Luke, my collie/nanny for the first 3 years of my life; Benji, the epileptic terrier-mix from elementary school; Sushi, the terrier-spitz we got a few years later; Sammy, who served as my mother's excitable Samoyed companion for a few years, before she was given to my niece so my mother could get Joli, the hyper-terrier focus of empty-nest mothering energy.

So it was always expected I'd get a dog eventually, and for the last couple of months, it seemed like now was a better option than later. My kids are the right age (mostly), I'm feeling like a near-constant companion sounds reassuring, and, well, the weight of expectation... So I start keeping my eyes open, nothing really jumped out at me. So I start casually looking a couple weeks ago.

INTERRUPTION FOR PARENTING TIP: Don't let your kids find you looking around at a place like PetFinder unless you're serious about it. Very. And by serious, I mean, doing it soon.

Anyhow, the casual looking, the research into breeds, and the kids finding me doing the above led me "adopting" this here basset hound, named Grant. So far, he's slipped into things very well. Very laid-back, easy going.

He's very content to plod along with me as I walk, or sit and do nothing as I read or sleep when I sleep. Nearly perfect. About the only conflict we've had thus far is over who all is allowed in the driver's seat of my van--particularly while I'm driving.

The kids love him. Samwise in particular has found a bosom companion, and would no doubt pick the hound over the dad if he had to. All four have really gotten into caring for our four-legged friend. If I'm in another room (making copies for school or something, for example), I'll have almost minute-by-minute reports from various children. Even Arnold is trying...he has taken to opening the sliding glass door to let the dog out at random (and generally not helpful) times. Arnold won't pet him unless he can do so from the comfort of his daddy's lap, but he's very excited to watch him do whatever from the safe distance of 12'-18".

Now, the name is a bit of a bother. First of all, Grant just doesn't seem to match him. You'd also like to have some sort of input into the moniker of your pet, y'know? And then there's the whole Appomattox thing (hey! I go to school in SC fer crying out loud!).... So I was looking around for something, while dreading trying to convince the pooch that his name isn't Grant now.

Faced with naming a basset hound, any male of my generation is going to reflexively say "Flash." And for awhile, that seemed like a really strong contender (I can still do a spot-on Roscoe P. Coltrane impression that I perfected in 4th grade). Other nominees were:

  • Stonewall, or maybe Jackson (clearly just a reaction to Grant).
  • Beauregard (in the end, a very close 3rd)
  • Or Baxter the BassetFred! as in Fred Bassit! That was a great comic!
  • Clyde
  • Dabney (semi-Grant reaction, Southern Presbyterian; looks like Dabney Coleman
  • Rufus
In the end tho, it was my pastor's suggestion that won the day. Guerrant, for Edward O. Guerrant--a soldier in the War Between the States, who went on to be come a physician, and then a Presbyterian minister. He apparently preached and planted churches in several locations in Kentucky, was involved in evangelism to native tribes, as well. Why go for something so arcane? Well, if you have to ask, you clearly don't know me that well. :)

Ultimately I decided on that name, for it because it is easy to make the dog (and the kids) understand the name change, and you have the reference obscure piece of Presbyterian history--always a plus.

Now the cute kid pictures will always, always, outnumber the cute dog pics. But every now and then, something will slip in.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Huh. Who'd have guessed?

(H/T: The Taught and Stable Librarian)

Can't complain too much with the top's the rest that bother me. CEV? NWT?!?!?!

You scored as NASB - New American Standard Bible. You are intelligent, responsible, and understanding. You strive to do your best possible in all areas of life and are generally quite successful. You do not mind being different and sometimes taking risks, but you simultaneously find no virtue in completely doing away with the past.

NASB - New American Standard Bible


KJV - King James Version


NRSV - New Revised Standard Version


CEV - Contemporary English Version


NWT - New World Translation


What version of the Bible are you?
created with

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Posted without Comment

(H/T: kletois)

THIEVES who stole global positioning systems (GPS) from a warehouse in New York state were apprehended after authorities activated the tracking devices to locate them.
The rest of the story...

When You Can't Think of Anything to Say....

YouTube comes through!

Carlos Santana and POD. What a combo!!

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Lose a few hours on YouTube...

Is there a greater time-sink in existence right now than YouTube? It's like a giant batch of virtual Lighting you in and can't get you out.

And you just don't care...which is probably the worst part about it.


Anyhow, here's a couple things to get you kick-started in time-wasting.

Just 'cuz.

Hilarious. (h/t Peter David)

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Angels are in the details, too

Last night at work, we were pleased to discover that someone had left an open bag of Tootsie-Roll Tootsie Pops in the staff room. Simple little thing like that brightened things for our shift. Sometimes it's surprising how easily a mood can be boosted, isn't it?

Tuesday, January 16, 2007


Well, it's taken me 15 days to come up with a theme for the return of for all the input oh ye who say you appreciate it :P

Playing around in iTunes today I found myself listening to a lot of The Choir, et voila! A theme! Only problem with something like this is that I had to trim the playlist down to something manageable--which was really hard. If I had the space and you had the time, it'd have been something like 50 tracks. Instead I give you 11. You're welcome.

In the summer of '91 I was doing some temp data entry stuff for the Fish & Game dept, and one of the other ladies on the temp crew and I started talking music one night--she was into Point of Grace and the like, I was more Petra/Bloodgood type stuff at the time. So, no real common ground :) She asked if I'd heard of The Choir. The name alone was enough to get me snoring. Her brother in law was their drummer, or her brother-in-law's sister was married to the drummer...something like that. It wasn't her kind of music, but she said it was good, and I'd probably like it. I had this aversion at the time to keeping money in my wallet, and was in the mood for something new to listen to, so the next day I went out and picked up their latest album, Circle Slide.

And fell in love. WOW. This wasn't CCM as I knew it. This wasn't anything as I knew it. Since then I've grabbed everything I can by them--even paying $40 for an out of print CD from some stranger on an Internet discussion board back before the WWW made internet purchasing ubiquitous. (I should add I had $60 in my bank at the time) A few years later, that same CD was reprinted and I could've picked it up for $10, but I still don't regret the $40.

Okay, enough of that autobiography. On to the music. A few standouts:

  • No father of a beautiful little girl can help but identify with "Wide-Eyed Wonder" and "When She Sees Me"--I swear these songs started playing in the back of my head when I first held my princess.
  • "A Sentimental Song" has to be one of the greatest love songs of all time.
  • "Restore My Soul"--you don't get closer to an extra-canonical penitential psalm than this
oh yeah, sampled the songs at a lower quality this time--that should help my bandwidth. Sorry 'bout the quality.

Monday, January 15, 2007

An old friend...

My mother was cleaning out her closet this weekend, and somehow came across an old Bible of mine. Not just any old bible, was my The Student Bible--my old, trusty, NIV. I couldn't believe it! Hadn't seen it in ages--and neither of us were sure how it ended up in her room. I was half-asleep, starting to deal with that cold that I mentioned yesterday--but when I saw that vinyl cover (pen still in the pocket!) I bolted upright to grab it. Started flipping through it, for no real apparent reason. Finding old notes (some good,, none horrible), there on the inscription page was the date of my baptism, when my parents gave it to me--incidentally, that's the same date they attended church with any regularity, but that's a tale for another time.

I'd had an "adult" translation before--when I was in 6th grade or so, had been given a RSV, but since I started attending summer camps a couple years before, I'd wanted The Student Bible. It was what all the "sold-out" kids had, and I so wanted to be one of them (still do, in a way). I carted that Bible around for a few years longer than I should've--but this was before I had a copy of every major translation, multiple editions of some--one for the car/pocket, one for study, one for this, one for that. This was "my Bible" period. I didn't even have to remember refernces for some verses--just knew it was on this part of such and such page, about so far in. (now I don't remember references for anything because I generally have a search function w/in reach). I've really never "bonded" with a particular Bible like I have with that one. It was with me through a lot of thin, and some thick. Felt good to hold it again.

Not sure how long I sat and flipped through my old friend, but I can tell you that my oldest two boys didn't quite understand my excitement. Lord willing, one day... Frodo did find the date of my baptism to be oddly incongruous with my date of birth :)

Now don't get me wrong, I'm not dumping my no-study notes to be found anywhere ESV for this. It may be handy to have a hard copy NIV around. Regardless, it's good to have the memories around.

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Who needs Tylenol Cold anyway?

Ref21 today made me forget the wretched affliction, misery and suffering that I'm enduring* with these two posts:

*Question of the Day: Is there anything more pathetic than a grown-man with the sniffles?

Friday, January 12, 2007

3 down....

Here's Frodo:

Proud Papa Moment

The Princess read today for the first time :). It was originally scheduled for Wednesday, but blood, sweat, tears, patience, etc. had to be spent along the way.

Doesn't matter now. It happened. I saw it, I heard it. Time to build on it.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

It's the Princess' turn

Not to be out-done...

bit too grown-up for daddy's taste/heart...but...there ya go.

The Most Influential "Christians" in America

Yesterday while hangin' in #prosapologian, someone posted a link to the Church Report's The 50 Most Influential Christians in America. This was quite the disturbing list, I must say.

As I would expect, there were no Reformed people on the list (yes, I saw him, and stand by my statement). A few Calvinistic types, if you look at soteriology only (and Calvin wouldn't for a second). But, hey, let's be realistic, it's the 21st century and we're in America--can't ask for much more than that. (well, you can, but shouldn't expect a positive answer).

What's sad (and probably shouldn't be that unexpected), is the sheer number of non-Christians on the list. Don't write off that comment as me being a snobby Presbyterian, I'm talking Nicaean Orthodoxy here. Lowest Common Denominator Christianity. You can't escape the Top 5 without finding sheer heresy. Damnable heresy. "Where'd I put my Zippo?" heresy.

And it gets worse...then there are the politicians....*

If this is influential Christianity, I want none of it. Frankly, influential Christianity is that silly little thing that used to be called experiential Calvinism. Experimental Religion. That kind of thing. Not someone who has a TV show, or a radio show, or a multi-million dollar "ministry." Someone who lives the Christian life. Who knows his heart, mortifies the flesh, seeks after holiness. That's the kind of Christian who will influence those around him and generations to follow. Not this rag-tag bunch of celebrities, politicians, blow-hards, hair-do's, other assorted goats, and the occasional decent type who must've ended up on the list by accident.

Hey, tired, what's that position called again? Amelm...Allou...Alumin...Amuesli... eh, whatever, sounding pretty good right now.

*that was a joke, son, a joke.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Samwise Meez

Probably get the rest of the kids up in a few days, but here's what Samwise put together for himself today:

If these two can see it...

RJ and Verne get it. Why don't more people?

from yesterday's Over the Hedge:

Fun at the Optometrist

So Monday, my elder two and I go to the optometrist--Frodo and I are overdue for checkups, and Samwise is a little overdue for his first exam. My extended family has been going to the same doctor for approximately forever, but sometime since Frodo and I have been in, he's added a new person to the clinic.

Samwise is having a blast--this is all new to him, he's getting to do things (not just get poked and prodded like at the pediatricians). Frodo's just doing his thing, trying to show how old hat all this is .

The new guy is young (not that the other doctor is exactly old--but like myself, he's getting there, I guess). I'm willing to bet that this is his first job. He honestly looks like he should be doing tech support somewhere--he's definitely got the body for it. Now, he's trying to interact with my kids on their level, I'll give him that (oh, I hope he is, anyway...please don't let him address a senior citizen that way!). Using lingo that shows he's hip, kinda funky, etc. I recognize the symptoms of someone trying to show kids that he's cool, because I used do the same thing when interacting with kids. Until I realized my intrinsic cool-ness made that unnecessary--or was it that I recognized that I was so hopelessly lame that trying so hard made me even lamer (I always get the two confused)?

Samwise does great. Little farsighted, but that's the norm at this age, will be nearsighted eventually (like everyone over 18 he's related to). Young Doctor seemingly on a whim pulls out a couple of "new" tests to try on him. He does fine with those--including one test that he shouldn't do that okay with 'til he's 10 (didn't really get an explanation on that one).

Then comes Frodo's turn. Now, Frodo isn't as outgoing as his brother and he's either just uncomfortable in general, taken aback by the Doctor not talking like a grown-up, or his typical reserved self. Tough to tell without a few more clues than I could get. But it's clear from the get-go, that he's not going to interact with the man like Sam did. I try to joke with him a bit to loosen him up, but he shoots me a look to shut that down. Ahhh, it's performance anxiety. Type-A personality has kicked in and he has to be perfect on these tests. I get it now. Doc runs him through a couple things, and then whatever the next test is, basically blinds him with a bright light. Now Frodo's very light sensitive, and he's trying to recover, I try to buy him some time by mentioning this to Young Doctor who doesn't seem to register that I've spoken. His eyes are watering like crazy and he can't keep them open. Young Doctor is trying to move on, and Frodo's not ready. He's using his index fingers on each upper eye lid to try to pry them open so he can look at whatever he's supposed to be looking at. Young Doctor tells him to stop playing and open his eyes. I tell Frodo to take a minute and let his eyes recover. He rubs 'em pretty hard (probably not helping matters) and tries to get back to work--eyes still not wanting to open. Young Doctor is getting frustrated, moves on to another test. Frodo's back to prying his eyes open. Young Doctor is telling him to knock it off. He finally turns to me and says that he can't work with him like this, and he'll try after he's done with me, if that's okay. I shrug, "sure."

So Young Doctor turns to Frodo and tells him, in a very frustrated tone, to get down, he's done. Maybe when Dad's done he can try again, but he doesn't have time to deal with people that are playing around, not taking this seriously. Very dismissive. Now I know this tone, I use this tone on a fairly regular basis (and feel bad about it afterwards). Also, I know my boy wasn't playing.

I so I stand between the boys and Young Doctor, "You don't talk to my son this way. Come on boys, we're out of here." Slamming the exam room door, we march out, as quickly as I can gently prod them along. They can tell something's up and move quicker than normal (why can't they move like this all the time?) I'm storming through the reception area and proclaim to the gals in the front that "We are done with this office. That man just insulted my son. He has no right to talk to a kid like that. Not just we're done, but..." I list off a handful of relatives--all of whom spend more money there in a year than I do in three.

We're getting into the van, and it occurs to me that I've already paid for three exams! But I'm fuming too much to go back in. So I drive for a few blocks, cool off a touch, and call them. I get the gal who did the initial part of the exam, she's speechless at what I tell her, assures me that she'll talk to Old Doctor personally and mail me my check. Phew!

She calls me back an hour or so later, she's talked to Old Doctor, who wants to see us in a couple weeks, will do the exam himself. She also tells me how great she thinks my kids are--and how she didn't want the day to end without someone saying that to me. Didn't do much for me, but it helped.

Still steamed at Young Doctor. Sorry, you don't talk to patients like that. Period. If you're a genius like House and saving someone's life? (while being fictional) Go for it. Abuse people. If you're some puffy punk kid who's doing a routine eye check? Be nice.

Monday, January 08, 2007

I'm with Linus on this one...

Do you think it's too much to ask?

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Look! Up in the Sky!

Mild-Mannered 3rd Grader
Boy of Steel

My friends,

I'm begging you, don't read yesterday's Calvinist Gadfly post.

And if you do: please, please, don't play the video.

Signs you watch too much TV set in High School...

Was watching a Buffy re-run last night. Buffy and the gang were wondering where their particular non-Vampire threat of the week came from, and I found myself muttering, "Oh come on, it's the meteor rocks."

The voices in my head gave me a really hard time over that, I'll assure you.

Next thing you know, I'll be looking for Weevil to be flirting with Lois in The Talon, or Eli threatening Xander with a wedgie, or Chloe figuring out Mac's password...

I need a life.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Is it just me?

I cannot comment on blogs anymore. Literally. Not that I can't bring myself to, just I can't.

Every one of my friends that's moved to Blogger Beta/Blogger New ... I try to leave a comment, and that stupid visual verification thing never shows up. I just get the words "visual verification."

And then today, try to leave something at the blog of one of my WordPress pals...have to create a login, which I do, grumbling only a little. And then WordPress refuses to acknowledge said login.

My friends--it's not that I stopped caring, it's that your blogs are too snooty for me, or something...

Should probably just close my comments to even things up.

Slow Burn by G. M. Ford

Last few trips to the library, I've been dipping into the Leo Waterman mysteries by G. M. Ford. They don't carry the interestingly titled debut, Who in Hell is Wanda Fuca?, so I started with Cast in Stone and The Bum's Rush, the second and third entries. While I can't say that I've been blown away by them, or addicted to the characters, I've definitely enjoyed my time with Leo. And then we come to the fourth installment, Slow Burn--and Ford earns me as a loyal reader. I still might not rush to get him like I would say, Levine or Butcher (my two favorite "finds" of '06), but I will read anything by him I find.

Why's that? Because while telling a pretty entertaining story and developing the characters naturally, but clearly; Ford reveals himself to be (like myself) an unabashed Nero Wolfe fan. He blends in direct references, subtle references and an homage or two to "my favorite fatty" (to quote Archie Goodwin) seamlessly into his story. Now, if you have no idea who Wolfe is--or only a passing knowledge--it won't make a difference to the story, you still get Leo and his crew of homeless operatives cracking an interesting case in their inimitable fashion. But if you know that the hours of 9-11 and 4-6 belong to the plant rooms, and are not to be violated; you have always wanted to drink a bottle or two of Remmers beer; beam at being told something is "satisfactory" (want to do backflips when told "very satisfactory"); and have ever averred "contact is not a verb in this house;" well then--this book is so much more than Leo and the boys.

There's the client--Sir Geoffrey Miles--who in bulk, mannerisms, and appetite is clearly Wolfe (though he pronounces the interjection "phooey"). Miles' butler, Rowcliffe, who owes his name, but certainly not his attitude to the Lieutenant from Homicide. The plot tips it's cap to both Too Many Cooks and Some Buried Ceasar, two of the most popular Wolfe novels. And at the end there are some direct references made by Leo to Mr. Wolfe. There's quite likely even more than that (oh, like the book's dedication), but that's enough for now. The suspects themselves could've appeared in the yellow chairs in Wolfe's office.

I just loved that. Now, Kinky Friedman tried this in one of his earlier novels. But it didn't work quite as well. It felt forced, sometimes even tacked on. Ford's doesn't.

Again, that's just one part of the novel--it is more than just a Wolfe Geek trip. There's a decent murder, there's the Rebecca-Leo banter, a quick visit from Hector, the ex-ACLU lawyer, the strange family connections that open every door Leo needs, etc., and some very funny scenes. Well worth the read.

Oh, for the .5 of you who might've read this far--a back cover blurb on an earlier Ford novel welcomed Leo Waterman to the ranks of fictional Seattle PI's (or words to that effect). There are other Seattle PI's? Anyone know who? Sure, Gideon Oliver's based out of UW, but I can only think of one case of his in Washington--and that wasn't in Seattle.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Getting a good look at the pyramids

It didn't happen, it didn't happen, it didn't happen.

Sorry, I should try to find it in myself to be happy for these plucky guys from Boise, but I can't. I'm a second-generation Vandal. I came of age during the Decade of Dominance (plus a couple). Sure, that era might seem like something out of the mists of legend now. But it was real. I saw it. Been there. Done that. Got the T-Shirt (literally).

So when it comes to college football, I have two favorite teams. The Vandals, and whoever are playing the Broncos. So yesterday Oklahoma was my team. And they failed. (shudder)

What's worse than the fact that underdog BSU won such a prominent game was that it will just encourage the local media. For at least a week before the Broncos were invited to the Fiesta Bowl, all four TV stations, the newspapers, just about every radio station (dunno about the NPR stuff, and a couple of Christian holdouts), etc. went into Fiesta Bowl frenzy. Once it became official, the coverage seemed to be 24/7. It led local newscasts for weeks (never mind wars, murders, etc.); it pre-empted Nightline one night, interfered w/New Year's Eve Countdown shows, etc., etc., etc. One radio station "The Eagle" renamed itself "The Bronco." And then the Smurf Turf lunkheads won. The coverage will never end!!!

This is just too much for a Vandal to bear....

Monday, January 01, 2007

Okay...month's about over

thinking of re-launching ye olde Will record at a lower bitrate this time and keep a much closer eye on my data transfers...

Now just need a theme. Suggestions?

Update: and before some wisenheimer points out today's the first of the month, I meant month of webhosting service. Which doesn't end for a couple days.

Behind already...

it's Jan 1, and I'm behind on my 2007 Bible Reading Plan already!! Sure, I've got time to catch up yet, but I haven't even picked a plan!

Am tempted to try this one again. It's a chronological plan put together by Dr. Shaw of GPTS, who's recently said on one email list that he'll be putting up notes/etc on his blog to go along with it.

On the other hand, the Blitz approach suggested by Elder Zuelch has some appeal...

Of course, there's good ol' M'Cheyne's.

decisions, decisions, decisions...

Good Riddance, 2006!

Note: This started off with a point, not sure I ended up with one, but at the very least, here are some musings on the calendar change.

I'm not big on the "year end/beginning" days--my birthday, New Year's Eve/Day. Not sure at what point in my teens they stopped being celebrations, and more of an opportunity to think back on all the failures/"things I didn't accomplish" of the past 12 months. Hard to imagine I didn't get asked to more parties, eh?

Didn't do that last night--and I don't seem to be in the frame of mind to do it today. Which is strange, since it's an indisputable fact that 2006 is my Worst Year to Date. Not sure if it's maturity (could it be...finally?), lack of energy, my subconscious saving me from what would be an overwhelming exercise, a more of a day-by-day approach to life...something else entirely. The certainty that 2007 is going to make '06 look like a walk in the park? Whatever it was, as I looked around at my kids just playing randomly until they dropped off like flies (Frodo made it 'til 11:35, Samwise 'til 11:15...he was so looking forward to "the big disco ball"), I could say, "if I get more times like this, it'll be close enough to tolerable."

Yes, in the smoking remnants of my life, it is possible to see blessings, promises of hope in the ashes. Mentioned some of them before here. I'm not dwelling on them too much, either. I'm certainly not looking at either '06/'07 as a year to celebrate (tho' am thankful for them)--mostly out of the dread that many of them will be taken out in the next inferno, I bet. But I thank the Lord that they're there, and hope He gives growth to them...adds to them, even.

There's this repeated thought in the Preacher's book, maybe the point he's trying to drive home (I think it is).

There is nothing better for a person than that he should eat and drink and find enjoyment in his toil. This also, I saw, is from the hand of God, for apart from him who can eat or who can have enjoyment? For to the one who pleases him God has given wisdom and knowledge and joy, but to the sinner he has given the business of gathering and collecting, only to give to one who pleases God. This also is vanity and a striving after wind. Eccl. 2:24-26

Behold, what I have seen to be good and fitting is to eat and drink and find enjoyment in all the toil with which one toils under the sun the few days of his life that God has given him, for this is his lot. Eccl. 5:18

Enjoy life with the wife whom you love, all the days of your vain life that he has given you under the sun, because that is your portion in life and in your toil at which you toil under the sun. Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with your might, for there is no work or thought or knowledge or wisdom in Sheol, to which you are going. Eccl. 9:9-10
If I can just focus on that, should be okay, no matter what year it is.

...and then I go through my normal morning routine of reading some online comic strips (saves me from needing to subscribe to a newspapers), and FoxTrot is still showing Sunday's strip! Oh yeah, as of yesterday, it's a Sunday-only strip. Sigh...'07's off with a bang.