Sunday, November 30, 2008

And He's Not Alone

Thought for the Lord's Day #31

this one's from The Great Quotes to Take Out of Context collection:

If you are a preacher of mercy, do not preach an imaginary but the true mercy. If the mercy is true, you must therefore bear the true, not an imaginary sin. God does not save those who are only imaginary sinners. Be a sinner, and let your sins be strong, but let your trust in Christ be stronger, and rejoice in Christ who is the victor over sin, death, and the world. We will commit sins while we are here, for this life is not a place where justice resides. We, however, says Peter (2. Peter 3:13) are looking forward to a new heaven and a new earth where justice will reign. It suffices that through God's glory we have recognized the Lamb who takes away the sin of the world. No sin can separate us from Him, even if we were to kill or commit adultery thousands of times each day. Do you think such an exalted Lamb paid merely a small price with a meager sacrifice for our sins? Pray hard for you are quite a sinner.
- Martin Luther

Seriously, this counsel to Melanchthon (yet again voted as "Theologian most likely to Have Name Misspelled" for the 487th year running) is well worth meditating on. Even for those of use who are not "preachers of mercy."

Saturday, November 29, 2008

He did it!! Updated: It's Official!

A couple hours ago he finished writing for the afternoon, and I just finished typing it up--Frodo has passed his word count for NaNoWriMo!

Sadly, the OpenOffice word count differs from the NaNoWriMo's verification tool, so he has to come up with another 305 words by their reckoning to make it official. Which is fine, since his storyline still needs to be wrapped up.

Still, first time out of the gate, and Frodo nailed it with time to spare without breaking a sweat. A stand-up triple.

Way to go, champ.

Official NaNoWriMo YWP 2008 Winner

Friday, November 28, 2008

I'm totally at a loss for words

Not only do I have to come up with something for the novel (think if I can just get on the right roll, or three, I can knock this thing out in a day).

I need something for here...ack. But the brain's not working, it's like I'm...

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Thanksgiving Post

I tried several times today to write something along the lines of the near-obligatory Thanksgiving post, and got no where. I didn't get as far as I planned/wanted to/coulda/shoulda with NaNoWriMo either (got 1400 words out of a goal of 2700). Was at my mother's today and let myself get distracted by the relatives too much.

Still not sure I'm going to end up saying what I wanted to, but I think the quotation Dr. Clark posted to the Heidelblog today from Ursinus on True Thankfulness will help. In particular this portion:

Thankfulness in general is a virtue acknowledging and professing the person from whom we have received benefits, as well as the greatness of the benefits themselves, with a desire to perform towards our benefactor such reciprocal duties as are becoming and possible. It includes truth and justice. Truth, because it acknowledges and makes mention of the benefits received : and justice, because it desires to return thanks equal to that which has been received.

First off, let me acknowledge my cyber-pals, bros & sisters. In particular, kletois, bluewoad, Micah and SpideyGeek (not an exhaustive list by any means). You are a source of laughter, encouragement, and conviction that I dare try to do without. Thanks so much.

Secondly, the Offspring. (pictured below with their cousin and one of my favorite bugs) Thanks for being you. Thanks for giving me a reason to get moving every morning, to keep plodding through the afternoon, and frequently a reason to rejoice that I can rest in the evening and let someone else take over. Mostly kidding there. You guys are the best--more than I should hope for and far greater than a schlub like me deserves.

Thirdly, to The Love of my Life. For everything.

Lastly, to the Lord Jesus Christ, God the Father, and God the Holy Spirit. "Amen! Blessing and glory and wisdom and thanksgiving and honor and power and might be to our God forever and ever! Amen."

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

last second post: Thanksgiving pt. 1

trying to come up with a nice Thanksgiving post, and it's just not happening right now. So I'm just gonna cut to the chase and trust the gratefulness fairy will visit me tomorrow while stuffing stuffing down my throat.

I'm thankful for the handful of you (shrinking all the time) who read this. I really do appreciate you taking the time.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

If Anything's Going to Turn Frodo into a Theater Junkie...

It's this, Mary Pope Osborne's Magic Treehouse: The Musical.

can't believe it's up there with Les Mis or Sondeim--but gotta be better than Disney on Ice or that Weber guy.

(h/t: Julie Kenner)

Monday, November 24, 2008

Some More Vacation Photos

Honestly haven't thought of anything to put here today, but I'm on such a streak...hate to see it ruined. Soooo, here's some more photos from our enjoyable-yet-potentially-NaNoWriMo-Victory-killing vacation.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Thought for the Lord's Day #30

Quick Dispatch from the Parenting Front

Horror of horrors, we ran out of coffee here, and didn't have enough time in the schedule yesterday to drive to a reliable source, so while at the grocery store I buy a couple of those little vacuum-packed single-serving packs of whatever little occasionally acceptable "gourmet" blend they're featuring.

This morning I'm getting the coffee ready when the Princess comes over to see what I'm doing, astonished, she gasps, "You can buy it ground already!?!"

Almost brought a tear to my eye.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Number 9, number 9,

Happy Birthday to the goofiest of my Offspring.

While the impulse has always been to think of you as the sidekick to your older brother--the Boy Wonder to his Caped Crusader, that's rarely been the case. You truly exist in your own little world much of the time, it's an honor and a privilege to get a glimpse inside it from time to time. Whether on the diamond or some other athletic endeavor; from some text you produce; or some other path the Lord brings you down--I expect nothing but creative greatness in your future. You've already delivered it, I eagerly anticipate what's next.

Friday, November 21, 2008

only 81%?

I can now sing along with Jemaine with a bit more confidence when I hear this Flight of the Conchords classic:

What...what is wrong with the world today?
You gotta think about it
Think think about it.
Good cops been framed and put into a can.
All the money that we're making is going to the man.
What man?
Which man?
Who's the man?
When's a man a man?
What makes a man a man?
Am I a man?
Yes. Technically I am.

Because, according to GenderAnalyzer, they "think is written by a man (81%)."


You know now that I've pasted a link to that song I'm watching/rewatching it for the rest of the morning...

Thursday, November 20, 2008

No time for love, Dr. Jones

Wow, not much to say, and even less time to say it. Been doing all I can to gin up words for NaNoWriMo--if you're really bored, you can go check out my author page there, the stats tab is very encouraging to me. I topped 50% today (didn't realize I did it when I had), I'm almost content to leave it there.


Not only have I been trying to egg myself on (with some gracious and needed support from TLomL) but we've been trying to get the Offspring to move ahead with their YWP projects. Frodo, probably my least imaginative child, is doing awesome, I didn't expect that at all. He probably topped 70% today (I won't type his work in 'til I'm at work tonight). Samwise--who I fully expected to write laps around us all, is starting to get in gear--I think he'll pull it off, but it'll be a last minute/second surge. I fear the Princess is running out of steam, but we'll see...

Anyway, that's all I've got for today. Sorry. Am trying for something better tomorrow--I've def. got the weekend covered. So, content on the way, thanks for stopping by :)

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Da Feel Good Post of da Day

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

It's Trailer Time!

The Internet is abuzz with the news of a new SF movie trailer, rebooting a classic series from the 70's, I for one, think it looks promising:

Oh yeah, there's this new trailer, too:
(naturally, Scott Kurtz' PvP and Dave Kellet's Sheldon had the best reactions, both of which I heartily agree with)

If Only Their Pizza Tasted Good...

from Lifehacker:

As though you needed yet another excuse to stay firmly planted on the couch, DVR service TiVo has integrated with international pizza-maker Domino's so that you can now order a pizza from directly inside your TiVo. My belt just loosened two notches in anticipation. It doesn't have the geek cred of, say, tracking your pizza's delivery status from the terminal, but it's still undeniably cool.
It won't be long at all until we will never have to move. Our DNA will merge with our La-Z-Boys, our sofas, our desk chairs and Homo sittus will emerge (metaphorically speaking).

Monday, November 17, 2008

Random Quotes on Liberty and the Loss Thereof

One of the quotes from my iGoogle's Quote of the Day widget has been percolating in the back of my mind today. Which got me to compiling this little list--mostly so I have a handy place to come and grab from in the future. Most are oldies but goodies. The last one on the list is the one that got me going, and I should add, that I definitely hate the source material it came from, just so I don't get slammed in the comments :)

If Tyranny and Oppression come to this land, it will be in the guise of fighting a foreign enemy.
-- James Madison

When the government fears the people it is a democracy....when the people fear their government it is tyranny...
-- Thomas Jefferson

Those who give up essential liberties for temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.
-- Benjamin Franklin

The means of defense against foreign danger historically have become the instruments of tyranny at home.
-– James Madison

Fascism will come wrapped in a flag and carrying a Bible.
-- Sinclair Lewis

So this is how liberty dies. With thunderous applause.
-- George Lucas

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Thought for the Lord's Day #29

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Decade of Dominance II

Sequels really always are worse than the originals...

It looked fantastic for a few minutes (7-0), then looked surprisingly well for the first half (10-17)...and then it looked like the rest of the last ten years (45-10), as the Boise State (state? I thought Boise was a city) Broncos routed the Univserity of Idaho (alma mater to me, all but one of my extended family with a college degree, TLomL, Sarah Palin, etc.) Vandals.

Excuse me, I need to go burn Chris Tormey in effigy. Again.

Friday, November 14, 2008

The Facts Are These...

The ratings are in the toilet, and ABC executives are impatient as well as soulless.

TVWeek reports:

"Pushing Daisies" may be close to pushing daisies.

According to industry sources familiar with the situation, ABC has decided not to produce any more episodes of the critically beloved show this season. Word of the show's apparent death began spreading around Hollywood Thursday morning, though an ABC spokeswoman insisted no decision has been made on the show's fate.
"Daisies" wraps production on its 13-episode fall order today. A decision to end the show has been expected for some time now, but it nonetheless represents a stunning reversal of fortune for the Warner Bros. Television-produced fantasy drama.
Apparently dangling storylines are likely to be resolved in a comic book--which is fine. Particularly in light of the dynamite work that's been going on in Buffy Season 8. If Whedon et al. can do it, Fuller should be able to, too. But it won't be the same.

Tennant's leaving, Chuck/Ned/Emerson/Olive may be thing I'll hear is that Sheldon's trading in physics for fast food or Casey's leaving the Buy More. Bah Humbug.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Catching Up

Yeah, I know the posting's been lighter than normal this week--not much to say about that other than, it's all I've got. Really don't have much to say, for some reason--probably because I've been pretty much brain dead since Monday when we flew back.

I'm not going to say I need a vacation to get over my vacation--drives me crazy when people say that. Just took a while to get caught up on life again--I didn't get anything written while I was away, like I'd hoped. I thought through a few scenes, which has helped/will likely help, but that was all. I was struggling to stay on target before we left (like Samwise), but now I'm light years behind. Had a decent day yesterday, have done really well this morning--well on my way to meeting/exceeding today's target output. The kids didn't write a thing either, and tried to buckle down yesterday to get back on track. Frodo, who again, I really thought wouldn't do well with this project did 130% of what he needed to do--what an annoying little overachiever he can be--the rest did a little less. But it's still early in the month, and we've got a couple of weekends ahead of us.

Anyway, the vacation, um...well it wasn't horrible. The kids had a blast, TLomL did, too (mostly). I got some excellent sleep--which sounds bad for me to focus on as a highlight, but if you really understood how unusual that is for me, you'd know that it really is highlight worthy. Had some fun doing non-sleep stuff, too, I should add.

Didn't get a decent group shot of us all while we were gone, but here's a decent one of the Offspring--hopefully will find another one or two worthy of posting.

Gotta get back to work, thanks for stopping by.

P.S. Have no idea what the movie looks like, how well it's been adapted, etc. But I started reading The Tale of Despereaux: Being the Story of a Mouse, a Princess, Some Soup, and a Spool of Thread with the kids this week--what an utterly charming read. Give it a glance if you're the type who's willing to read children's lit.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

The Palin Smear

I'm not sure how gung-ho I am on Gov. Palin, (lost 50% of my readers there) but I did/do find the media/GOP establishment treatment of her sickening.

But no, reporters have been too busy playing mini-badminton with every random spitball about Sarah Palin, who has been subjected to an atrocious and at times delusional level of defamation merely because she has the temerity to hold pro-life views.

How dare Palin not embrace abortion as the ultimate civilized ideal of modern culture? How tacky that she speaks in a vivacious regional accent indistinguishable from that of Western Canada! How risible that she graduated from the State University of Idaho [go Vandals!!] and not one of those plush, pampered commodes of received opinion whose graduates, in their rush to believe the worst about her, have demonstrated that, when it comes to sifting evidence, they don't know their asses from their elbows.

Liberal Democrats are going to wake up from their sadomasochistic, anti-Palin orgy with a very big hangover. The evil genie released during this sorry episode will not so easily go back into its bottle. A shocking level of irrational emotionalism and at times infantile rage was exposed at the heart of current Democratic ideology -- contradicting Democratic core principles of compassion, tolerance and independent thought. One would have to look back to the Eisenhower 1950s for parallels to this grotesque lock-step parade of bourgeois provincialism, shallow groupthink and blind prejudice.

I like Sarah Palin, and I've heartily enjoyed her arrival on the national stage. As a career classroom teacher, I can see how smart she is -- and quite frankly, I think the people who don't see it are the stupid ones, wrapped in the fuzzy mummy-gauze of their own worn-out partisan dogma. So she doesn't speak the King's English -- big whoop! There is a powerful clarity of consciousness in her eyes. She uses language with the jumps, breaks and rippling momentum of a be-bop saxophonist. I stand on what I said (as a staunch pro-choice advocate) in my last two columns -- that Palin as a pro-life wife, mother and ambitious professional represents the next big shift in feminism. Pro-life women will save feminism by expanding it, particularly into the more traditional Third World.

As for the Democrats who sneered and howled that Palin was unprepared to be a vice-presidential nominee -- what navel-gazing hypocrisy! What protests were raised in the party or mainstream media when John Edwards, with vastly less political experience than Palin, got John Kerry's nod for veep four years ago? And Gov. Kathleen Sebelius of Kansas, for whom I lobbied to be Obama's pick and who was on everyone's short list for months, has a record indistinguishable from Palin's. Whatever knowledge deficit Palin has about the federal bureaucracy or international affairs (outside the normal purview of governors) will hopefully be remedied during the next eight years of the Obama presidencies.

The U.S. Senate as a career option? What a claustrophobic, nitpicking comedown for an energetic Alaskan -- nothing but droning committees and incestuous back-scratching. No, Sarah Palin should stick to her governorship and just hit the rubber-chicken circuit, as Richard Nixon did in his long haul back from political limbo following his California gubernatorial defeat in 1962. Step by step, the mainstream media will come around, wipe its own mud out of its eyes, and see Palin for the populist phenomenon that she is.
Wow, what right-wing ideologue wrote that, you ask? Camille Paglia. Is there any wonder why so many find this woman to be their favorite feminist? When she's right, she's right; when she's wrong, she's still a blast to read--e.g., "one of those plush, pampered commodes of received opinion." Read it out loud, it's a blast...(David Tennant would have a field day with lines like that)

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Everytime I Start to Think I'm a Geek...

I come across something like this. A brilliant/frightening/strange tribute to Star Wars and John Williams. Don't know whether to laugh, cry, applaud or hope this guy's family & friends have staged an intervention.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Gone Fishin' - 3

Theoretically, about the time this posts, I'll be being inspected by a TSA official, and deemed worthy of boarding a plane headed home. I'm taking a risk this trip, and aren't taking a Michael Connelly book with me--been a long time since I've flown without Harry Bosch to keep me company/distract me from the very real possibility that this metal tube isn't going to stay airborne. But there's just no way I'd have enough time to finish due to the length of the flight and trying to keep the Offspring occupied.

Normal posts should resume tomorrow...

Sunday, November 09, 2008

Thought for the Lord's Day #28

Heavenly Father, if I should suffer need, and go unclothed, and be in poverty, make my heart prize Thy love, know it, be constrained by it, though I be denied all blessings. It is Thy mercy to afflict and try me with wants, for by these trials I see my sins, and desire severance from them. Let me willingly accept misery, sorrows, temptations, if I can thereby feel sin as the greatest evil, and be delivered from it with gratitude to Thee, acknowledging this as the highest testimony of Thy love.

When thy Son, Jesus, came into my soul instead of sin He became more dear to me than sin had formerly been; His kindly rule replaced sin's tyranny. Teach me to believe that if ever I would have any sin subdued I must not only labour to overcome it, but must invite Christ to abide in the place of it, and He must become to me more than vile lust had been; that His sweetness, power, life may be there. Thus I must seek a grace from Him contrary to sin, but must not claim it apart from Himself.

When I am afraid of evils to come, comfort me by showing me that in myself I am a dying, condemned wretch, but in Christ I am reconciled and live; that in myself I find insufficiency and no rest, but in Christ there is satisfaction and peace; that in myself I am feeble and unable to do good, but in Christ I have ability to do all things. Though now I have His graces in part, I shall shortly have them perfectly in that state where Thou wilt show Thyself fully reconciled, and alone sufficient, efficient, loving me completely, with sin abolished. O Lord, hasten that day.
- from The Valley of Vision

Saturday, November 08, 2008

Gone Fishin' - 2

Vacation? Why am I taking a vacation now of all times?

I certainly can't afford one--esp. not this one. But that's okay, I'm not paying. My mother took a good chunk of her inheritance from my grandmother and paid for my clan, my parents, sister and niece to fly off for a weekend.

Honestly, as I write this, I'm worried that by now we're all not getting along--particularly my father and I. And am fairly certain I'm regretting this. But there's a decent chance my kids are having a blast, and TLomL should be able to restrain my temper enough that I'll actually have a relationship with my parents after we return to Idaho.

And who knows, hopefully I'm wrong, and we're all having a good time.

Friday, November 07, 2008

Gone Fishin' - 1

I'm on vacation at the moment. But I hate to ruin a decent post-a-day, have some posts scheduled just in case I can't find a decent wifi connection.

Assuming the planes actually delivered us where they were supposed to (something I don't take for granted anymore), here's what kind of weather I'm supposed to be experiencing.

At home it was supposed to be like this:

No matter how rough things go with the extended family (and, oh how that possiblity exists), should be able to focus on this and have an okay time, right?

Thursday, November 06, 2008

'Bout Sums it Up:

Colin Cowherd opened his show this morning (at least the portion aired locally) with:

One day after the election and already I feel younger, hipper, and overtaxed.
Really, really, really, last political post around here for the better part of a week, at least.

Glad to know I'm not the only one going through Election Withdrawals.

The Beauty of Ugly Prose

Got on a nice roll this afternoon with my novel--had a blast with two scenes in particular. One scene I'd been wanting to write for days, but wasn't sure how to do it 'til mid-way through, and another one that came to me out of the blue--well, out of the blue and searching madly for a way to meet my word-count target.

It was great, the kind of rush you get when everything's firing just right. I loved it. I was having so much fun, it was almost perfect.

But oh man, honestly...both scenes are nasty. It's gonna take me hours to edit them into something acceptable. Strange thing is, I knew it at the time. "This is crap, this is garbage. Whoo-hoo!"

It's this messy pile of goo, pablum, fluff and nonsense. But for now, they're done. For now, I like them.

I've never been a big rough-draft kind of guy. For better or worse, when I wrote papers/essays/etc. 95% of what I typed made it to the final. I tended to be that way with my fiction--and now that all I have are self-imposed deadlines, I wouldn't get very far insisting on near perfect drafts. This is pretty freeing--focusing on a word count, a completed draft, a deadline. Nice thing is, I'm actually going to have something done for a change.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

More on Wasted Votes

Should've thought to check out Chuck Baldwin's site yesterday when I was finishing my rant on "wasting" votes--who better to talk about the idea than a 3rd Party nominee?

Obviously, it's a little dated now, but here's some food for thought as we start looking towards the 2012 General Election (gak...already?), but here's some portions of Baldwin's piece, "A Wasted Vote"

When asked why they will not vote for a third party candidate, many people will respond by saying something like, "He cannot win." Or, "I don't want to waste my vote." It is true: America has not elected a third party candidate since 1860. Does that automatically mean, however, that every vote cast for one of the two major party candidates is not a wasted vote? I don't think so.

In the first place, a wasted vote is a vote for someone you know does not represent your own beliefs and principles. A wasted vote is a vote for someone you know will not lead the country in the way it should go. A wasted vote is a vote for the "lesser of two evils." Or, in the case of John McCain and Barack Obama, what we have is a choice between the "evil of two lessers."

Albert Einstein is credited with saying that insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, and expecting a different result. For years now, Republicans and Democrats have been leading the country in the same basic direction: toward bigger and bigger government; more and more socialism, globalism, corporatism, and foreign interventionism; and the dismantling of constitutional liberties. Yet, voters continue to think that they are voting for "change" when they vote for a Republican or Democrat. This is truly insane!
Here's the best part, and an argument I tried to make on a friend's blog (and really made a mess of):
But, back to the "he cannot win" argument: to vote for John McCain is to vote for a man who cannot win. Yes, I am saying it here and now: John McCain cannot win this election. The handwriting is on the wall. The Fat Lady is singing. It is all over. Finished. John McCain cannot win.

With only three weeks before the election, Barack Obama is pulling away. McCain has already pulled his campaign out of Michigan. In other key battleground states, McCain is slipping fast. He was ahead in Missouri; now it is a toss-up or leaning to Obama. A couple of weeks ago, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Florida were all leaning towards McCain, or at least toss-up states. Now, they are all leaning to Obama. Even the longtime GOP bellwether state of Indiana is moving toward Obama. In addition, new voter registrations are at an all-time high, and few of them are registering as Republicans. In fact, the Republican Party now claims only around 25% of the electorate, and Independents are increasingly leaning toward Obama.

Ladies and gentlemen, Barack Obama is headed for an electoral landslide victory over John McCain. John McCain can no more beat Barack Obama than Bob Dole could beat Bill Clinton. [He wrote this on 10/10/08, btw]

I ask, therefore, Are not conservatives and Christians who vote for John McCain guilty of the same thing that they accuse people who vote for third party candidates of doing? Are they not voting for someone who cannot win? Indeed, they are. In fact, conservatives and Christians who vote for John McCain are not only voting for a man who cannot win, they are voting for a man who does not share their own beliefs and principles. If this is not insanity, nothing is!


Since mid-afternoon yesterday, I've been unable to focus. Between fatigue, election results and who knows what else, I've simply been unable to keep my thoughts organized enough to do anything. Can't write. Can't type out what the Offspring have written. Can barely focus attention on TV.

Am pretty sure I could nap--but I'm at work, and it's frowned upon.

Feels like I'm going crazy.

Just one of those days.

I thought I had something to say about the lack of focus, but don't think I do. Sorry.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Wasting my vote

This is probably more disjointed than it should be...sorry, written in bursts when I should've been doing something else, and I'm probably a bit more angry/annoyed than I should be before I put pen to paper/fingers to keyboard. But, meh...take it for what it is.

According to several people--including some I'd call friends--I wasted my vote for President of these United States today. Because I didn't vote for a Republican or Democrat (or, more and more commonly, I didn't vote against a Democrat or Republican--btw, I enjoyed Nathan Eshelman's post "A Vote Is Affirmation, Not Against Someone You Do Not Like"--even if it could've used an edit or five for length). See, your vote is wasted, we're told, if you don't vote for a major party candidate--'cuz the other guys can't win. Not sure why a vote for a losing candidate isn't considered wasting it--in Idaho for example, Sen. Obama doesn't stand a proverbial snowball's proverbial chance of winning our electoral votes. Did all those who voted for him waste their votes?

Thankfully, I was able to vote for some people who have a chance of winning (and some others who don't), so I guess I redeemed parts of my ballot.

Here's the thing--I know I didn't waste a single vote. I cast my vote for a Presidential candidate who shares most of my political beliefs, who would do what he said he would do if he got into office. Not a lesser of two evils, but someone I can believe in. That's the job of the voter, right? Not to vote for the guy you think has the best chance of winning--not once you get past voting for Student Body Presidents anyway. If the man I voted for shocked the world and was elected, I wouldn't have to worry about what he was going to do now--which campaign promise would he renege on first? How many more troops would he send into harm's way unnecessarily? What further damage would he do to civil liberties? What new taxes would he suggest/sign into law? How would he sell out his own party again? What socialistic impulse would he give into first--universal education, health care, something else?

I don't think any vote is wasted except the one not cast. But if I were to consider one a waste, it'd be vote cast for maintaining the status quo (unless you really like the status quo). Oh yeah, I should add, the status is not quo. A wasted vote is one cast that will simply perpetuate a system that the voter finds distasteful/immoral. One cast out of fear of the other guy. A vote you have to "hold your nose" to cast (metaphorically or not).

In short, no matter what--for the next four years I can look at myself in the mirror while listening to the news. My conscience is clean. How many people who voted for whoever wins tonight will be able to say the same thing in 2012? How many people who voted for the "conservative" in the White House right now can say that? Sure you won...but at what cost?

Monday, November 03, 2008


Over to your right, you'll notice some new graphics (Micah had nothing to do with them, excuse the blandness). What're they about? Well, it's November, which for thousands means, National Novel Writing Month. Some of you may recall that I gave it a shot. Sadly, energy, enthusiasm, homeschooling, and life in general got in the way, and I just didn't get that far. But I've been gearing up for this year's for a bit, and think I have a better game plan going in.

I was poking around their website last week, and out of curiosity, checked out their Young Writer's Program. Inspiration struck, and we've now canceled about 1/3 of our normal school stuff for November for an exercise in Applied Language Arts. I've always admired (and wanted to be) one of those homeschool parents who throws their gameplan out the window because their kids were interested enough in something that they just focus on it for a few weeks. Just couldn't find anything to do like that.

The people over at NaNoWriMo have really done a great job with their Young Writer's Program, they have some age-appropriate workbooks to give guidance through the process; they allow parents/teachers and the writers to set their target goal instead of having something set; and there's enough fun stuff on the site (when traffic's low enough) to keep the writer's amused when they need a break from their work.

The kids are really into the idea--which I love, because they typically approach a writing exercise like a series of inoculations. Frodo and the Princess are both a few words ahead of their daily quota, Samwise is at about 50% (his brain works like mine, I expect great strides in Week 4). Arnold's annoyed because I'm not involving him--call me cruel, but if the kid can't read, I don't think he should be trying to author a book (I'm sure even Dan Brown could work his way through a Boxcar Children novel).

We've got a 4 day vacation this week that's gonna louse up our schedule a bit, but on the whole, I'm thinking that having the kids do it with me--and having to keep their enthusiasm up, is really going to help me. Not to mention, really don't like the idea of hearing "Frodo, you've met your writing targets for 2 weeks now, your Father's still trying to catch up to Week 1."

So in addition to my official NaNoWriMo widget down below, we've got the little graphics for the three kids and our collective word goal, to advertise our progress (nothing inspires like the pressure of many, many people seeing your fail).

The Great Candy Extortion Caper '08

Friday being what it was, the Offspring, like so many others went door to door extorting candy (as bluewoad calls it) from the neighbors.

While on the whole, they're the same as last week's pics, here's what I captured on film, er, memory card:

The SWAT costume was a hit again--particularly with a neighbor who turns out to be a police officer. He was impressed enough he gave Arnold a movie-sized Juji Fruits box. When I was a kid I couldn't have dreamed of scoring that much from one house.
I couldn't get a decent pic of Frodo all night--kept coming out looking more like a hobo than an adventure-prone archeologist.
.jpg withheld to protect his reputation.
The Princess...well, what can you say about this?
Skulduggery Pleasant was back, this time with some gloves and fire to complete the look. TLomL spent a little time on google and improved the makeup job, too.
and a closer look at the improved details.
In a little less than 2 hours, our team of 4 collected this much booty. Just about 7 gallons here! That amount was just unthinkable back in my day--way back when we had to walk to school uphill both ways to school in the snow, only 3 TV networks, and a Michael Jackson who dated in his age group.

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Thought for the Lord's Day #27

saw this as a .sig file on an email the other day, struck me as one of those things worth thinking about for awhile:

As the suffering of Christ is the principal part of the ransom paid for us by him and the special foundation of our confidence and consolation, it should also be the primary object of our faith and the theme of meditation, that with Paul we may count all things for loss but the knowledge of the crucified Jesus. We should attend to it more diligently as Satan the more impotently rages to obscure the truth of those sufferings and to deprive us of their saving fruit.
- Francis Turretin

Saturday, November 01, 2008

Trudeau Calls the Election

from FOXNews:'Doonesbury' Strip Predicts Obama Win on Tuesday

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- It's not exactly "DEWEY DEFEATS TRUMAN," but some newspaper editors are pondering how to deal with a "Doonesbury" comic strip to be published the day after the election that assumes Barack Obama will win the presidency.

Comic creator Garry Trudeau delivered a series of strips for next week's papers showing his characters reacting to an Obama victory. But he offered no such option in the event of a comeback by John McCain, who's trailing Obama in the polls.

Trudeau's syndicator is offering papers a series of rerun strips from August. But the Obama story line is forcing some editors to question whether "Doonesbury" could put them in a spot -- albeit in the funny pages -- similar to 1948, when the Chicago Daily Tribune infamously declared in huge, front-page type that Republican Thomas Dewey had beaten Democrat Harry Truman for the presidency.
Honestly, there's probably no need for Trudeau to do 'McCain Wins' strips--even if McCain pulls off the upset, Trudeau can just write them off as another of Mike's Summer Dream Sequences--just later in the year than normal or something. Frankly, it's probably better if he doesn't do 'McCain Wins'--they'd be too full of vitriol to be worth reading.
Tim Bannon, editor of the Chicago Tribune's Live! section, where the paper's comics usually run, said the strip won't appear in the comics section because of deadline issues but might end up on another page.

"If McCain wins, we would never run it," he said. "If Obama were to win, we would try to see if we can get it in somehow in some other place. ... It strikes us as being a little strange to have that strip if that's not how it ends up. It's not like he hedged it so it works either way."

Kathie Kerr, a spokeswoman for the Kansas City-based Universal Press Syndicate, said about a dozen calls have come in from newspaper editors.

"They're still coming in," Kerr said Friday. "After we got the initial inquiries, we asked Garry to pick substitutes for the editors who were not comfortable with running the strips."

Trudeau, who lives in New York, said he might have provided papers with a McCain option if the election were a toss-up. But, he said, at the time he drew the strip, poll analysts were giving McCain less than a 4 percent chance of winning.

"From a risk-assessment viewpoint, I felt comfortable with the odds," Trudeau said in an e-mail to The Associated Press. "The way I see it, if Obama wins, I'm in the flow and commenting on an extraordinary phenomenon.

"If he loses, there'll be such a national uproar that a blown call in a comic strip won't be much noticed. Besides, I'll be the one with the egg on my face -- not the editors."
He's absolutely right about that--as popular as the strip is, particularly with left-leaning journalists, politicians and journalists seem to love to dogpile on anything semi-controversial he writes.
Naedine Hazell, assistant managing editor of features and business for The Hartford Courant in Connecticut, dismissed the fuss over the Obama strips. The Courant plans to run the series.

"It's a comic. I don't think people necessarily expect accuracy in comics. There's all sorts of wack stuff in comics," Hazell said.

"I don't think Snoopy actually flies his doghouse either."
Brilliant analysis, most of us don't think that cats love lasagna, advertising executives who are thin as rakes eat sandwiches that are 4' tall, and cavemen were Evangelical Christians. But fer cryin' out loud, lady--Schultz is writing a different kind of strip! I agree with your call to run them as Trudeau wrote them, I'm just insulted by that reasoning. If an editor can't tell the difference between Schultz's world of hyper-intelligent dogs and birds, and Trudeau's biting political satire--well, that might go a long way in demonstrating why American newspapers are in decline.