Sunday, July 29, 2007

Thought for the Lord's Day #3

For the mountains may depart
and the hills be removed,
but my steadfast love shall not depart from you,
and my covenant of peace shall not be removed,”
says the Lord, who has compassion on you.
- Isaiah 54:10

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Happy Birthday, Das!

Meant to write up another post celebrating the birthday of my hero, J. Gresham Machen, but the day just got away from me (unpacking like a madman...). So, here's last year's post.

Baseball vs. Football

Was talking with girlfriday's dad (dadfriday?)* about life, baseball, etc. and he starts talking about this classic Carlin bit, one that both of us are surprised I'm not familiar with. Typically, he scours his memory, trying to remember specific lines; I search youtube and google. His is the honest, respectable route. Mine produces results like this:


However funny Carlin is, the 98 of the 99 items in Thomas Boswell's "Why Is Baseball So Much Better Than Football?" are better reasoned (and I'm not just saying this because of the obvious pro-football bias in Carlin).

* BTW, I don't know if this has been addressed before, but is there any relation between girlfriday and King Friday XIII? I can sorta see a resemblance.

Friday, July 27, 2007

For her

Earlier tonight I was trying to come up with a way to tell my wife how I feel about her beyond that three word phrase--wasn't necessarily trying to come up with a poem or anything, no knock-yer-socks-off-sonnet or swoon-inducing lyric (tho' I'm never one to pass up a swoon)...just something more.

I was sweeping up after dinner, muttering all stream-of-consciousy, brainstorming. And that old Robert Burns poem came tumbling out--lousy accent and all. First three verses anyway--word perfect, I should add (took a quick prompt from a page google found me to get the last one re-cemented). Which I found fairly impressive as I did a rush-memorizing job of it back in '93 in order to impress some girl who was left totally cold by it anyway.

Circumstances interfered, and I didn't get to hit TLomL with the verse--accent would've killed the intended effect anyway, so can't complain too much.

Nevertheless, sentiment fits, so here it is.

A Red, Red Rose

O my Luve's like a red, red rose
   That's newly sprung in June:
O my Luve's like the melodie
   That's sweetly play'd in tune!

As fair art thou, my bonnie lass,
   So deep in luve am I:
And I will luve thee still, my dear,
   Till a' the seas gang dry:

Till a' the seas gang dry, my dear,
   And the rocks melt wi' the sun;
I will luve thee still, my dear,
   While the sands o' life shall run.

And fare thee weel, my only Luve,
   And fare thee weel a while!
And I will come again, my Luve,
   Tho' it were ten thousand mile.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Really shouldn't have taken the time when I did, but...

I'm done. And to steal a phrase from Nero Wolfe, all I have to say for the moment is, "Most satisfactory."

First time I remember wanting my shift to be longer...

Cracked this open for the first time last night, shortly after my shift started. At 6:25, when I had to take care of some end-of-shift chores, I had 100 pages left.

100 pages!!!

My kingdom for another 40 minutes!

Sunday, July 22, 2007

The Makings of an Interesting Week

This morning after the service, TLomL was approached about sending our older kids to a camping trip this week. After some discussion, we decided that Samwise is too young for that batch, but Frodo'd just about fit (the problem when you start your kids in school early and everything is figured out by grade level)--and it'd probably be good for the two of them to occasionally do something w/o the other involved.

The boys were game--esp. since we're dog sitting for some friends, and Sam'll be in charge of that. But even without that carrot, it didn't even seem to occur to him that he should be upset that we weren't talking about letting him go--the little dude surprises me sometimes. Speaking of surprises, Frodo, my little wall-flower, didn't realize he should be nervous about this. Eh, kids these days, what're ya gonna do?

So, Sam gets to be BMOC for a couple days, Frodo gets to head out on an adventure, and I get to be a nervous wreck. I think I've mentioned before that Nemo's dad, Marlin, is a role model to me (at least at the beginning of the flick--by the end he's such a sell-out).

I am so not ready for this.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Leaving Barnes & Noble Last Night

Betcha can't guess why we were there...

(Obviously, it was the large Magic Tree House display in the kids' section that drew us)

Friday, July 20, 2007

'bout sums it up for me

(click on the image to see the strip in its full size)

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Burn Notice

Am really wanting to talk about The Closer, which has really hit its stride this season (not that it's been off before), but TLoML is a few episodes behind. So I'll let those thoughts percolate a bit and talk about another solid Summer TV show.

USA Network is really developing a niche for the quirky detective (or detective-ish) show. Last year, Psych served as a good complement to Monk, and this year Burn Notice joins their ranks (if only Andy Barker, P.I. had aired on USA, it'd have had a shot--and been better made).

In the pilot, covert op Michael Weston, finds himself cut off by the Agency (you know which one)--and everyone associated with it. This gets him unhappily stranded in his home town of Miami while he tries to get the Burn Notice lifted. While he's in town, he uses his skills to help people in jams (being framed for grand theft, threatened by mobsters, ripped off by con artists, etc.).

In addition to Jeffrey Donovan's charming yet deadly Weston, there's a very good supporting cast. Sharon Gless serves as Weston's mother--always ready with a guilt-trip or three to keep her boy in line. Bruce Campbell's along as comic relief, as Sam, who retired from the spy game a few years back, but still has plenty of connections. And Gabrielle Anwar serves as, well...Gabrielle Anwar. But Gabrielle Anwar with an Irish accent, a proclivity for violence, and a soft-spot for her former flame.

Burn Notice is pure fluff--like it's comrades on USA. You won't find it tackling serious social issues, there will never be a "very special episode" and it won't be competing for a Best Drama Emmy anytime soon. But for good, escapist fun, it's well worth checking out. The "mysteries" are easy to crack--as are the villains, really. Well paced and light--even the violence is light for cable (tho' not as light as Monk/Psych).

Shout out to Gerald for blogging about the show--I'd have missed it entirely if not for him, getting 99.5% of my non-Nick Jr./Disney Channel TV from my DVR and the Net.

Only Semi-Joking

Please Excuse the Mess...

Major overhaul underway, things are going to look a bit odd for a bit, I think.

Update: 2 hrs. and 5 min. later, I'm pretty sure that I'm done. Other than finding a spot for ye olde, which according to my bandwidth report is used a good deal, so I'll try to find a spot for that right away.

What do ya'll think of my new digs?

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Who Needs a Sense of Security Anyway? - or- You Can't take the Sky from Me, but Everything Else is Up for Grabs

Well I'm finally moving (see Aug. of last year--kinda got sidetracked by all that other stuff) this week--having a place to hang my hat is quite the relief--even if a bunch of cardboard boxes to be moved and unpacked stand in our way before we can relax and enjoy it.

Anytime you move, you expect certain hangups--"Where did all that silverware get packed?", "You really want to keep that?" and the like. But this time we got one that I didn't see coming. Yesterday afternoon as we pulled up to the place I've been staying, The Love of My Life sees my van Serenity parked out front asks, "Did you leave your window down?"

"What?" That would be a stupid thing to do--and while I don't rank myself as a genius, I'm not that dumb.

"Look, it's open." TLoML points.

But it wasn't, technically, open. It was gone.

But it wasn't, technically, gone, I guess. It was relocated. Most of it was anyway--there was a nice collection of shattered pieces clinging to the rubber weatherstripping. And the rest was located in many tiny little pieces outside the door and on the driver's seat.

I knew what I was going to find when I opened the door to look, but I did it anyway. My nice, but not excessively so, months-old Alpine deck wasn't in the dash anymore--just a battered mounting kit. The mangled metal frame to it was on the floorboard, the faceplate was face down on the seat, and the rest was...well, elsewhere. The rest of the van's contents had been tossed, didn't look like anything else was taken...just the stereo.

Now this was the second car stereo I've had stolen in 18 months--different van this time. So I'm starting to wonder if I hadn't just find an old 8-track player to use. But this one really hurt to lose--it was a gift from a great couple from church to help me out. And judging by the remnants they left, what they took isn't even usable! Not only criminal, but stupid and pointless.

It's pointless, but on the off chance it'll help out a neighbor, I report the thing stolen to the police, the dispatcher says they'll send a car out. The officer ends up acting like this is more pointless than I know it is, but it at least gave him the chance to hand out one of his business cards and flash his Oakleys.

While I'm waiting for him to come by, I decide to read my mail--kill a little time. Mostly bills, which I set aside--don't need to fret about that now. One envelope throws me--it's from one of the few states I don't seem to have a creditor in--so I open that one up.

It's from some company that processes checks for retail companies and whatnot. Seems one of their employees took it upon himself to take names, addresses, account information, etc. and sell them to some other company. Now, "it doesn't appear" that this information has been used for anything other than getting names added to mailing lists, but they give about a page of tips to battle identity theft both now and in the future. So it's entirely possible that while I have no car stereo, I'm in some other state buying them like crazy.

Have 11.5 months left on this lease...days like yesterday make me think I ought to look to buying land in Lancaster County, PA when it's over.

Sunday, July 08, 2007

Thought for the Lord's Day #2

A Song of Ascents. Of Solomon.

Unless the Lord builds the house,
    those who build it labor in vain.
Unless the Lord watches over the city,
    the watchman stays awake in vain.
It is in vain that you rise up early
    and go late to rest,
eating the bread of anxious toil;
    for he gives to his beloved sleep.

Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord,
    the fruit of the womb a reward.
Like arrows in the hand of a warrior
    are the children of one's youth.
Blessed is the man
    who fills his quiver with them!
He shall not be put to shame
    when he speaks with his enemies in the gate.

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

But our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, who will transform our lowly body to be like his glorious body, by the power that enables him even to subject all things to himself.

Monday, July 02, 2007

And in a related story, you apparently get wet when you jump in a lake...

from the Telegraph:
Babies not as innocent as they pretend

Behavioural experts have found that infants begin to lie from as young as six months. Simple fibs help to train them for more complex deceptions in later life.
Infants quickly learnt that using tactics such as fake crying and pretend laughing could win them attention. By eight months, more difficult deceptions became apparent, such as concealing forbidden activities or trying to distract parents' attention.