Thursday, September 30, 2004

new blog on my daily reads

they pretty much just let anyone have a blog these days (well, see the present one for example). Here's the latest: Bloggeronicus Rex

they sure grow up fast/Kidney Kid Update

Frodo wakes me this morning with, "Daddy! I'm not 5 anymore, I'm 6!" 6? He's 6? ugh. At this rate he'll be a grown up before me.

Took the Kidney Kid to his doc yesterday. His blood levels are astounding--it's possible that we could be looking at 8-15 for a transplant now. That's right, I said 15!!!!!!!! We've gone from 2 to maybe 15 in 6 months! This is too wonderful. Thank you, Lord! Thank you readers for all your prayers.

Now that he's added solids (and I use that term in the broadest sense possible) we're in the fun zone where we have to be careful he doesn't get too much liquid in him and cause all sorts of problems for that .75 kidney, but hey...there are worse things to deal with.

Also, yesterday he mastered the front-to-back roll. Then he went on to combine it with his back-to-front, and is now mobile. Granted, it's not as cool as SpaceShipOne, nor will it win us $10 million, but it's pretty neat. :)

Your early morning cup o' reality

From a USA Today ("75% of Americans love Pie Charts") article on some overrated football team:

Still, stereotypes persist. According to a recent poll commissioned by the Idaho Economic Development Council, the top three things that come to the minds of out-of-staters when they hear the name "Idaho" are potatoes, white supremacy and "I don't know."


Banned Book Week

Ooh, it's Banned Books Week--that time of the year when librarians can change their posters and make people think of all sorts of scary things that can happen if a book it stomped out. Now, to an extent, I see the point, and can share the concern. But frankly, I bet it's publicity like this that helps keep people banning certain books.

Well, the Crusty Curmudgeon posted a list of Banned Books, and like him, I'm a sucker for these lists. So here's the list with the ones I read in bold. I count 18, which means I'm just a little bit naughtier than Scott.

  • Scary Stories (Series) by Alvin Schwartz
  • Daddy's Roommate by Michael Willhoite
  • I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou--I think I started this one, but can't say it for sure.
  • The Chocolate War by Robert Cormier--read this and a sequel or two as I recall...creepy, intense, but I loved it.
  • The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain--this one goes down as a "YOU MISSED THE FRIGGIN' POINT OF THE BOOK IF YOU BANNED IT!!!" I love this book, and it grieves me no end that people trash it...
  • Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck--it was a nice book. Like it better than The Grapes of Wrath
  • Harry Potter (Series) by J.K. Rowling--yup, read 'em all at least twice (well, haven't read the Order of the Phoenix twice yet...hmmm, know what I'm doing on semester break...)
  • Forever by Judy Blume
  • Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson. Read it several times, don't remember a think about it
  • Alice (Series) by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor
  • Heather Has Two Mommies by Leslea Newman--should probably read it just so I know what the fuss is all about
  • My Brother Sam is Dead by James Lincoln Collier and Christopher Collier
  • The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger--should probably read it just so I know what the fuss is all about
  • The Giver by Lois Lowry
  • It's Perfectly Normal by Robie Harris
  • Goosebumps (Series) by R.L. Stine--looked dumb then, looks dumber now
  • A Day No Pigs Would Die by Robert Newton Peck
  • The Color Purple by Alice Walker
  • Sex by Madonna--oh my, can't believe I'm admitting in public that I read this. What can I say? I was in college, curious, and my roommate had too much money. So he bought it, brought it back to the dorm and we read it...and got really bored (when we weren't freaked out)
  • Earth's Children (Series) by Jean M. Auel
  • The Great Gilly Hopkins by Katherine Paterson
  • A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle--read this and the sequels several times...don't see why this would be banned (unless people don't like Gnostics, which hey, I can relate to...)
  • Go Ask Alice by Anonymous
  • Fallen Angels by Walter Dean Myers
  • In the Night Kitchen by Maurice Sendak
  • The Stupids (Series) by Harry Allard
  • The Witches by Roald Dahl--not my favorite Dahl, but as I recall it was okay
  • The New Joy of Gay Sex by Charles Silverstein
  • Anastasia Krupnik (Series) by Lois Lowry
  • The Goats by Brock Cole
  • Kaffir Boy by Mark Mathabane
  • Blubber by Judy Blume--I think it was this book that made me decide that only the books about boys by Blume should be read by boys.
  • Killing Mr. Griffin by Lois Duncan
  • Halloween ABC by Eve Merriam
  • We All Fall Down by Robert Cormier
  • Final Exit by Derek Humphry
  • The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood
  • Julie of the Wolves by Jean Craighead George
  • The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison
  • What's Happening to my Body? Book for Girls: A Growing-Up Guide for Parents & Daughters by Lynda Madaras
  • To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee--this falls into the same category as Huck Finn. YOU HAVE TO READ A BOOK BEFORE YOU BAN IT, IDIOTS!
  • Beloved by Toni Morrison
  • The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton--um, whatever. Didn't really see the point of all the excitement about this one
  • The Pigman by Paul Zindel
  • Bumps in the Night by Harry Allard
  • Deenie by Judy Blume
  • Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes
  • Annie on my Mind by Nancy Garden
  • The Boy Who Lost His Face by Louis Sachar
  • Cross Your Fingers, Spit in Your Hat by Alvin Schwartz
  • A Light in the Attic by Shel Silverstein
  • Brave New World by Aldous Huxley--been on my "to read" list for about 15 years
  • Sleeping Beauty Trilogy by A.N. Roquelaure (Anne Rice)
  • Asking About Sex and Growing Up by Joanna Cole
  • Cujo by Stephen King
  • James and the Giant Peach by Roald Dahl--wha? how is this on a banned book list? Did I miss something?
  • The Anarchist Cookbook by William Powell--don't own it, never made anything from it, never felt the slightest bit of interest in doing so
  • Boys and Sex by Wardell Pomeroy
  • Ordinary People by Judith Guest
  • American Psycho by Bret Easton Ellis
  • What's Happening to my Body? Book for Boys: A Growing-Up Guide for Parents & Sons by Lynda Madaras
  • Are You There, God? It's Me, Margaret by Judy Blume--tried it, remembered the lesson learned from Blubber and stopped
  • Crazy Lady by Jane Conly
  • Athletic Shorts by Chris Crutcher
  • Fade by Robert Cormier
  • Guess What? by Mem Fox
  • The House of Spirits by Isabel Allende
  • The Face on the Milk Carton by Caroline Cooney
  • Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut
  • Lord of the Flies by William Golding--best literary example of Total Depravity, but hated the book
  • Native Son by Richard Wright
  • Women on Top: How Real Life Has Changed Women's Fantasies by Nancy Friday
  • Curses, Hexes and Spells by Daniel Cohen
  • Jack by A.M. Homes
  • Bless Me, Ultima by Rudolfo A. Anaya. Absolutely don't see why this would be banned. Called over-rated? Sure. But it was a nice little story.
  • Where Did I Come From? by Peter Mayle
  • Carrie by Stephen King
  • Tiger Eyes by Judy Blume
  • On My Honor by Marion Dane Bauer
  • Arizona Kid by Ron Koertge
  • Family Secrets by Norma Klein
  • Mommy Laid An Egg by Babette Cole
  • The Dead Zone by Stephen King
  • The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain--not even going to comment
  • Song of Solomon by Toni Morrison
  • Always Running by Luis Rodriguez
  • Private Parts by Howard Stern
  • Where's Waldo? by Martin Hanford--this has got to be a misprint
  • Summer of My German Soldier by Bette Greene
  • Little Black Sambo by Helen Bannerman
  • Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett
  • Running Loose by Chris Crutcher
  • Sex Education by Jenny Davis
  • The Drowning of Stephen Jones by Bette Greene
  • Girls and Sex by Wardell Pomeroy
  • How to Eat Fried Worms by Thomas Rockwell--got to be banned by a petition from PETA
  • View from the Cherry Tree by Willo Davis Roberts
  • The Headless Cupid by Zilpha Keatley Snyder
  • The Terrorist by Caroline Cooney
  • Jump Ship to Freedom by James Lincoln Collier and Christopher Collier

Man, my recommendations are gonna be messed up for weeks after me doing some searches to confirm what I remembered....

Wednesday, September 29, 2004

It's Not Only About Terri Schiavo

This whole Schaivo thing makes me literally sick. I have to take a breather everytime I read about it. This piece by Henthoff, "It's Not Only About Terri Schiavo," is really good.
Fighting for her life is more than enough reason to keep up the challenges to her husband's evil. But if she falls, the next will be easier....

Wednesday, September 22, 2004

From the Home Office...

from The Holy Observer

Tuesday, September 21, 2004

I'll second that

Puh-reach it brutha John, Puh-reach it!

Active Investigative Explorer

Sounds like the name of a semi-generic Action Figure, but that's actually a description of me (in theory). Gerald So's blog directed me to Find Your AQ. Your AQ is your Adventure Quotient--a measure of your spirit of adventure (sponsored by Land Rover).

Anywho, my result was:

The old saying "You learn something new every day," is a bit disappointing to you--you'd like to learn something new every hour, at the very least. Our initial calculations reveal that you are the Active Investigative Explorer.
The mysteries of this world fascinate you and your life's mission is to gain insight that can satisfy your hyper-curious mind. Your quest is knowledge, and lucky for you that treasure is free for the taking. There are no secrets to this universe, just truths; and while they can't all be discovered in one lifetime, searching for them is the ultimate adventure.

eh, maybe...

Monday, September 20, 2004

Pe-dro! Pe-dro!

whoo-hoooooo! 11-1, baby!

4 1/2 game lead now for the Yanks...sure, Fenway this weekend could change that. But...heh,heh Pedro giving up 5 in one innning? Too sweet.

Friday, September 17, 2004

Seminary Updates

I'm keeping (well, trying to anyway) a blog of my seminary work, for those who are interested. I'd have put that info up here, but many of my supporters, church members who might be interested, etc. really don't want to read my rants about George Lucas' ego, Batman movies and questionable taste in TV shows. Anyway, I do know a couple of people who read this are interested, so now you have a place to go.

It's also added to my blog list to the left, there.

uh oh

Discovered that my church's candidate (or at least his wife) has read this thing...gotta be careful what I say here (esp. if I don't like the sermons).

On the other hand, this could come in handy for a bargaining chip...just need to start posting things like...."Great guy, decent preacher, but man, I just worry that he's asking for too much in the way of salary. On the other hand, there's this other candidate..."*

*This is of course a joke, all pastoral candidates ask for too much money.

Tuesday, September 14, 2004

Fulfilling the contractural obligation

It seems like it's a duty for blogs to talk about this forgerygate story (after all it was blogs that made it a story), so I'll just point to Fred Barnes' piece. Doesn't say anything you don't know, but ya gotta love the opening line to his article, The Burden of Belief: "CBS has left the flap over purported documents involving President Bush's record in the Texas Air National Guard in this posture: Who are you going to believe, CBS or your lyin' eyes?"

Monday, September 13, 2004


from my notes for last week's Catechism class, here's a couple of gems from John Willison

Q. Does Baptism seal and apply these things equally to all who are baptized?
A. No, for to elect infants and believers in reality it seals and applies these things absolutely. But to those who are only believers in profession it seals and applies conditionally, upon supposition that they are what they profess.

Q. Are the benefits sealed to believers immediately conferred upon them at the moment of baptism?
A. Though a sealed right to these is then given them, yet the efficacy of baptism is not necessarily tied to the moment of time where in it is administered. For God, being a most free agent, makes this ordinance effectual and confers His grace when and how He pleases. Besides, the fruit and power of baptism reach to the whole course of a believer’s life (John 3:5,8).

Sunday, September 12, 2004

20 winks

As those who've known me for any length of time can attest, sleep has never been a huge concern/priority for me. I do it when I have to, but if I can put it off to read something, write something, watch something, or for pretty much any other reason, I will.

Now normally this is fine, doesn't cause too many problems--and at times has even worked to my advantage (when I have to meet a deadline of some sort, it's easier for me to push sleep to the side and get it done). And over the last few months, for the most part anyway, as I've been preparing my exhortations for Sunday mornings, that's been invaluable.

Last night I got less sleep than normal for a Saturday night (30 minutes total), but didn't really even notice it--I was really into the writing, really into the text, and loving the final prep. So I ended up only taking a quick nap from 2:30-3.

I do my final practice/revision on the way to church while my wife drives. This morning, I was going along, editing a bit, reading, practicing how I wanted to phrase things and ... next thing I knew I was 2 pages ahead of where I remember being. I'd drifted off reading my own sermon! How bad is that? (how boring must it have been?)

Friday, September 10, 2004

Tip o' the Cap

Kudos to the Crusty Curmudgeon for doing a typically more thoughtful rant on Lucas tinkering with his classics...

Catching Up

I've been meaning to link to this for a few days now: Jonathan Edwards blog which describes itself as, "Quotes from the sermons and writings of Jonathan Edwards." A great place to drop by once a day or so...

Thursday, September 09, 2004

Guess I'm an idiot

Heinz Kerry Bashes Health Care Plan Foes

Teresa Heinz Kerry says "only an idiot" would fail to support the health care plan proposed by her husband, Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry.

Kerry's proposal includes health care subsidies for children, the unemployed, small companies and others as well as government assistance to insurers and employers that hold down premiums for workers.

Watched part of a Kerry speech yesterday morning (before I put myself and my kids out of our misery and watched a Dora the Explorer re-run for the 13th million time). In the Health Scare section of the speech, he talked about how horrible George Double-U Bush's policies were (I doubt he meant the huge Medicare expansion in this, otherwise I'd agree) and how the US needs to join the nations of Europe (Kerry's template ideas are from France after all) recognizing that medical care isn't a privilege for those with the money, but a basic human right!

If I didn't care about the Swift Boat Vets, the war in Iraq, or on terror, or anything else, Kerry would lose my vote right there. Why not just drop the pretense and run as a socialist?

"Only an idiot wouldn't like this," Heinz Kerry told the Intelligencer Journal of Lancaster for a story in its Thursday editions. "Of course, there are idiots."

Ahh, such a calm, reassuring, tolerant voice for a future First Lady to use. Yeah, this'll unify the country.

If Kerry is elected, Heinz Kerry predicted, opponents of his health care plan will be voted out of office.

Great rallying cry for the RNC here!

Still, the multimillionaire and philanthropist balked at the idea that she was selling her husband's plan.

Psssssssssyeah, right!

Wednesday, September 08, 2004

Someone STOP George Lucas!!!

The man just has to be stopped--now. By almost any means necessary--do like the South Park guys did and just steal his movies from him. Or take him to court a la Randall from ABC's Clerks. Or something not done by an animated character, I don't care. Just STOP HIM!

According to Sci Fi Wire, he's going to tweak the original trilogy when it comes out on DVD. 1. Hayden Christensen (the piece of plywood in the role of Anakin Skywalker in Ep. II) will be the spirit next to Kenobi and Yoda at the end of Jedi. 2. Ian McDiarmid will be in Empire as a holographic Emperor. 3. The whole who shot first, Greedo or Solo thing will end with it being a draw.

LEAVE IT ALONE MAN!!! THEY WERE CLASSICS FER CRYIN' OUT LOUD!!! You want to re-do something, fix up Tucker or Willow, or some other movie that wasn't that good in the first place.

And this is the man that's doing the re-write on Indy IV? Ack.

Tuesday, September 07, 2004

School Daze

First day of school today...forgot how hard this is (I think Samwise did, too, come to think of it).

First curriculum induced gripe of the year--everything's in cursive for Frodo. Fine, you want to teach him a horribly useless style of writing, okay go ahead. But to have everything in his curriculum (phonics, spelling, etc.) in cursive already on Day 1 seems to be asking too much...part way through the year, you know, when he's had a chance to learn the letters, fine. But to start out with all of his examples in a script he can't read just seems mean.

On the way home from PE today, I was trying to tell him about this, and he replies very matter-of-factly "Oh, that's okay, Mojo Jojo is always saying 'Curses' and 'Curse you,' so I know about it."

Ah, silly me, never mind then...


Mentioned a few weeks ago that my blood pressure was high (to say the least). Well,
good news it's down. Bad news: that's all via medicine, haven't taken a pound off yet. Don't think the Doc is going to be happy w/me.