Thursday, August 30, 2007
I say it is a true, undermining shame that you have merely and temporarily suspended young Mr. Garchar for this scheme. I must ask you, Principal Bandow, in all sincerity: Have you no sense of humor? Where is your funny-bone?
You should be having ticker-tape parades for the young man. He should be raised on a chair held aloft by the and cheered on by the entire student population, past and present. He should be immortalized in bronze in front of the school and in several city parks. Cheerleaders and brainiacs alike should be fighting over who will carry his books to class. Teachers should treat his name with the reverence reserved for the likes of Dr. Martin Luther King, Abraham Lincoln or Copernicus or Albert Einstein.
He single-handedly (supposedly) did for your school what the football team didn't. Make it feel good.
Monday, August 27, 2007
Long-time Chief of Staff and candidly-open Karl Rove is out of the White House? Oh, no! What will patriotic, American flag-waving, Jesus friends do now? Who can we turn to in our moment of dire need? It's a good thing Attorney General Alberto Gonzalez is still around to defend our liberties from terrible terrorists who want to spy on us without restraint and thwart our federal justice system.
You see Mr. Freedom Eagle is getting all teary-eyed?
Good thing that Dick Cheney's still around.
And motorcycle Jesus. Apparently, he'll never leave us. (h/t to Jeffrey Overstreet)
Oh, I didn't even notice this. Thanks to myfourwalls.wordpress.com for pointing this out. But the Jesus Action figure that says "I am Peace" is him as a dove-holding soldier, with a semi-automatic underneath his robe.
It's quite moving... Jesus willing to kill so that he can save us from those terrorists over there...
Monday, August 20, 2007
For some strange reason, there's no auntie pix, at least not digitally.
There's also more head shots of the little one. Who, by the way, is still very healthy, even as she's been battling a bit of a head cold, heat rash and really, really stuffed nose.
The other, and much-related news is that we're going to transfer much of this baby-related stuff to a joint blogsite, name TBD. (EDIT: It's called The Family DYEgest. Get it? It's a pun - put together by mommy [I don't really do puns. So much]. Because we're overly concerned about what and how she eats.) Somewhat because I promised myself I wouldn't tell any poop-stories or jokes on this site. And I want to remain a man of integrity. EDITEDIT (I made a mistake in the link there. It's fixed now. Don't ask. Don't tell.)
On another, related note, congratulations to new members of the blogosphere, the Gotzi - or Gotzes, not sure which of the two. They just moved into Virginia (ironically, my brother and his expectant wife are just on the verge of relocating from VB, VA and the Navy. And not a moment too soon I might add. Of course, moving into Noo Joisey is a bit of into the frying pan, but still...) and have got the coolest/weirdest masthead for a blogspot I've seen. Their site is Thetwogotz.blogspot.com, with a current track of what their cat kills/eats/fiddles with, presumably.
Friday, August 17, 2007
Too many years of sorrow and managerial neglect. Not enough up's to go with the down's. And when they do blow an up, they find a poor ol' Billy Scape Goat. Or a Bartman.
And if you think that the management's little diplomacy trick this off-season of signing huge contracts would sate me: nope. Or the fact that they will be sold this next off-season. Again. Nope.
But since nothing else is happening now (no, Bears preseason doesn't count)...
Thursday, August 16, 2007
Suicide rates in the US Army are at a high. A 26 year high. That's since shortly after Vietnam, early in the Reagan years, during the height of the Cold War.
That's when I was in school, learning to jump underneath my desk to protect me from the almost inevitable nuclear blast and its radioactive after-effects.
Last year, there was "a significant relationship between suicide attempts and the number of days deployed in Iraq, Afghanistan or nearby countries where troops were participating in the war effort," according to the Washington Post article.
Now, only a quarter of the suicides (about 100 in all) were of those deployed in Iraq. But still, the growing strains this is taking on our military, our troops, our economy (the cost is gAstronomically high to maintain this effort), not to mention the cost we've battered on the Iraqis... I just think it all adds up to one enumeration:
Get our troops out now!
But, that's just my opinion. (How about Iraqi bloggers? They have opinions. too, interestingly enough.)
You know, despite all the hoopla, I was just not caring either for or against President Hugo Chavez. In some respects, honestly, I at least admired his chutzpah, standing up against big oil consumerist America while selling it big oil.
But this new call to end term-limits for Venezuelan presidents is... familiar. Like I've heard these words before: "It's not that I want to enthrone myself"... "This is a transfer of power to the people"... private property owners risked confiscation if their operations "damaged" communities... Critics charge that by creating federal districts and giving new power to the communal councils, the populist president seeks to bypass governors and mayors and extend his personal power.
Yeah, Cuba and China all over again. Not to mention countless Central American and African despot rulers who started out with similar people-based promises.
Thank God this one's rule is over in eight years.
Idjits. Gotta love 'em. And their vote.
In The Know: Candidates Compete For Vital Idgit Vote
Saturday, August 11, 2007
Thursday, August 09, 2007
Awe is more than emotion. It is a way of understanding insight into a meaning greater than ourselves. The beginning of awe is wonder, and the beginning of wisdom is awe... Man may forfeit his sense of the ineffable. To be alive is a commonplace, the sense of radical amazement is gone... Deprived of the ability to praise, modern man is forced to look for entertainment, entertainment is becoming compulsory.
Stanford University, 1963
from Pillar of Fire, Taylor Branch
As you may note, there are more pictures. And I took more liberties playing around with the images (you might see why I dropped out of art school [not to be confused with Art Ruch]).
Enjoy! She's a doll (if I do say so myself).
P.S. Over the Rhine is now streaming their entire new album at OvertheRhine.com. Go, listen, enjoy. If nothing else, it'll make for a great soundtrack while you view and read this blog.
Wednesday, August 08, 2007
But what really got my attention (and my ears burning) was at the end:
[T]he Bible does offer a direct solution for people who are burning in lust: marriage (1 Corinthians 7:9). Adolescence—that time when a person is physically an adult but socially a child—is a modern invention. In the past, people married much younger, as soon as they were sexually ready. Today's culture postpones marriage while stretching celibacy to the breaking point.
A counter-cultural church may do well to encourage younger marriages. The young couple may still need the financial support of their parents and the social support of their fellow Christians. But this would be better than the current hypocrisy and guilt. And it would fulfill God's positive purpose for sexuality.
I know I have a few problems with this possible solution. But what should be taken seriously is this idea of the cataclysmic void era. I too believe that sex is really only viable within the marriage union, and that teenagers daily confront sex urges, not just from advertisements and general cultural signposts - which only serve to confuse them further -but from their very God-created bodies.
I also applaud Veith in not buying the standard Evangelical line, that "True Love Waits" and celibacy programs work. As he (and Lauren Winner in her marvelous book, Real Sex) notes, the effects of these campaigns are only short-lived and only temporarily delay what GNR and GEV may both call an appetite for destruction. Although self-control is certainly a good thing, it is often neglected. And even so, calls to self-control are often no more effective in the sexual area than in the peer-pressure area (remember "Just Say No"?).
So, maybe this is asking for too much, but I'd like to see what people think. Post your thoughts.
Having seen what my pregnant wife went through riding the CTA [Chicago Transit Authority] to and from work, the antagonistic (and bullish) tone of the replies in Tuesday's article doesn't surprise me - only frustrates. After all, if the only passengers who give up their seats for someone in their third trimester tend to be little old ladies, why wouldn't Rush Hour [sic, oops!] patrons be so exasperated at the site of mothers and children using up precious space? After all, it has to be phenomenally easy for a singular parent to wheel their infant in through a jammed bus, find available seating, unstrap their child from the restraints, place them in the CTA's infant restraint seats (while praying the bus ride itself won't give the child whiplash), and folding down and disposing of the stroller.
But what I also sense is a case of classism. Many of the parents who ride on the bus or train with their infants are riding the bus not to get downtown to their relatively high-paying jobs, or to get to Wrigleyville to scope out the scene or whatnot, but to effectively get around. They use the CTA and not a car with adequate child-restraint seats because they cannot afford to own a car. For them, the CTA is a lifeline, inconvenience or not.
Sunday, August 05, 2007
Saturday, August 04, 2007
It's a wonderful song and a good sentiment, I'm sure, but no baby is lovely at that period. That is the ugly period.
Isn't she lovely?
Isn't she beautiful?
Isn't she precious,
Less than one minute old
Not to say that she wouldn't be precious...
Thursday, August 02, 2007
11 Her husband trusts her without reserve, and never has reason to regret it.
13 She shops around for the best yarns and (papers), and enjoys (throwing fun birthday parties).
15 She's up before dawn, preparing breakfast for her (daughter. And occasionally her husband - like on Father's Day).
20 She's quick to assist anyone in need, reaches out to help the poor.
26 When she speaks she has something worthwhile to say, and she always says it kindly.
27 She keeps an eye on everyone in her household, and keeps them all busy and productive. (Well, sometimes it works!)
28 Her children respect and bless her; her husband joins in with words of praise:
29 "Many women have done wonderful things, but you've outclassed them all!"
30 Charm can mislead and beauty soon fades. The woman to be admired and praised is the woman who lives in the Fear-of-God.
31 Give her everything she deserves! Festoon her life with praises!
Proverbs 2:2 Tune your ears to the world of Wisdom; set your heart on a life of Understanding.
10 Lady Wisdom will be your close friend, and Brother Knowledge your pleasant companion.
I Corinthians 13:1 If I speak with human eloquence and angelic ecstasy but don't love, I'm nothing but the creaking of a rusty gate.
2 If I speak God's Word with power, revealing all his mysteries and making everything plain as day, and if I have faith that says to a mountain, "Jump," and it jumps, but I don't love, I'm nothing.
3 If I give everything I own to the poor and even go to the stake to be burned as a martyr, but I don't love, I've gotten nowhere. So, no matter what I say, what I believe, and what I do, I'm bankrupt without love.
4 Love never gives up. Love cares more for others than for self. Love doesn't want what it doesn't have. Love doesn't strut, Doesn't have a swelled head,
5 Doesn't force itself on others, Isn't always "me first," Doesn't fly off the handle, Doesn't keep score of the sins of others,
6 Doesn't revel when others grovel, Takes pleasure in the flowering of truth,
7 Puts up with anything, Trusts God always, Always looks for the best, Never looks back, But keeps going to the end.
8 Love never dies. Inspired speech will be over some day; praying in tongues will end; understanding will reach its limit.
9 We know only a portion of the truth, and what we say about God is always incomplete.
10 But when the Complete arrives, our incompletes will be canceled.
11 When I was an infant at my mother's breast, I gurgled and cooed like any infant. When I grew up, I left those infant ways for good.
12 We don't yet see things clearly. We're squinting in a fog, peering through a mist. But it won't be long before the weather clears and the sun shines bright! We'll see it all then, see it all as clearly as God sees us, knowing him directly just as he knows us!
13 But for right now, until that completeness, we have three things to do to lead us toward that consummation: Trust steadily in God, hope unswervingly, love extravagantly. And the best of the three is love.
I John 4:7 Let us continue to love each other since love comes from God. Everyone who loves is born of God and experiences a relationship with God.
8 ... God is love.
Song of Songs 1:2 Kiss me, full on the mouth! Yes! For your love is sweeter than wine.
3 ... The syllables of your name murmur like a meadow brook. No wonder everyone loves to say your name!
- 2:4 He took me home with him for a festive meal, but his eyes feasted on me!
* Ok, if I did my addition right, it's 31. So, sue me. On second thought, in this heavily litigious day and age, strike that from the record.
All scripture is from The Message translation of the Bible.