Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Like I would know

You scored as Kate. You're Kate! You're not really a bad person, you've just had some trouble with your past - what's a few lies, anyhow? You're a little secretive but let's face it ... what others don't know won't hurt them. Under all that, you really are a good person. You're ready to help even if it'll set you back a bit.



























Who is your "Lost" alter ego?
created with

This may be the first quiz I've done where all the possible results were equally obscure to me. Since I don't get TV, I've never seen this show. So I was curious to see what results I would get with absolutely no dog in the fight.

Akubra tip to Julie, who not only finds cool quizzes, but watches TV so I don't have to.

They're playing my song

It's here if you want to hear it. I couldn't get a copy of Jerry Garcia's version, so this is a free-download version by the Almost Acoustic Band. They sound like a really good band, but the recording is definitely 'leg quality.

But what the heck? What else can you expect when you're old and in the way?

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Hell hath no fury...

This poor schmoe really should be more careful about the women he gets involved with. There's nothing more terrifying than a vindictive ex. It's enough to make a man wear a clove of garlic around his neck and keep an alarm on the rabbit cage.
[Ken] Slaby says his ex-lover, Gail O'Toole, was angry he had moved on after their break-up, so she waited until he fell asleep, then glued his penis to his stomach, his testicle to his leg, and glued his buttocks together.

He also says she dumped nail polish all over his head, then suddenly booted him out of her Murrysville home -- forcing him to walk a mile to the nearest convenience store to get help.

The jury awarded him $46,200. It's not worth it.

Wait a minute! We're on your side!

Turns out that The Religion of Peace™ isn't all that grateful to Christians who try to hamstring their own side in favor of Islam:
Al-Jazeera broadcast an insurgent video Tuesday showing four peace activists taken hostage in Iraq, with a previously unknown group claiming responsibility for the kidnappings.

The Swords of Righteousness Brigade said the four were spies working undercover as Christian peace activists, Al-Jazeera said. The station said it could not verify any of the information on the tape.

I have a certain amount of fondness for pacifists, much like I might have for dodos. They're interesting and likeable, and it's a shame they aren't able to survive in the real world. These people really wanted to believe that the scorpion wouldn't sting them this time. Alas, the "Swords of Righteousness" have nothing but contempt for their naïvete. Peace, to them, happens only when there are no voices but theirs.

Flags at half mast in Bear Country today

Stan Berenstain has died at 82. I had the Berenstain Bears books as a kid, my kids had them on video, and they have one of the most kid-friendly websites I've ever seen. I don't know any parent (or former child, for that matter) who hasn't gained something fromm them.

One of the things I really liked about the Bears is that they never were trendy or preachy.
"Kids still tell fibs and they mess up their rooms and they still throw tantrums in the supermarket," Stan Berenstain told The Associated Press in 2002. "Nobody gets shot. No violence. There are problems, but they're the kind of typical family problems everyone goes through."

More to the point, there was none of the agenda that Sesame Street or Barney presented; the issues are simple ones unaffected by the conventions of the time. Sister Bear didn't have an abortion, Brother Bear never came out of any closet, and I don't recall any of them hugging the trees they lived in.

Good-bye, Stan. I hope your eternal Bear Country is as happy as the one you made.


This morning I slithered over to The Curt Jester to glom onto his Advent Wreath, and naturally I went to leave a comment to thank him for it. Apparently he has "Word verification" turned on:

No comment spam happening there, I'll tell you what!

Bloggers, Jeff has put his wreath up for grabs, so help yourselves! Code here.

Monday, November 28, 2005

I am Spock!

Not to be confused with Leonard Nimoy, who used to not be Spock and then was again.

You are Spock
Very loyal and a good friend. You will sacrifice
yourself for others and give very good advice.
You are very serious person, but also can have
fun if you want.

Which Alien are you?
brought to you by Quizilla

Yet another Akubra tip to Miss Cellania.

Friday, November 25, 2005


I'm sure this is probably a joke, but I don't care. After the hot sauce incident, anything that will keep the little barbarian confined looks like a good idea to me.

A/T to Miss Cellania. Where does she get this stuff from?

A note of gratitude

Thanks a lot to all the fine, upstanding Christian jerk-offs who considered themselves sufficiently righteous to twist and mock Michael Spencer's words in his wonderful essay about how the ministry has been a disaster for his family.
I have concluded it was a mistake to post this particular essay. I wrote it for my family- as the preface stated- as a way to say some things that I have very much wanted to say for years. They received it as I intended. I shared it with the IM audience with some reluctance. It has become apparent that my detractors in the blogosphere are reading the essay in a different context; as a description of my ordinary, daily approach to my life and calling; as my typical mental state in the pulpit. One has announced that I am a “fraud.” Since the essay has been excerpted in the cause of demonstrating that I am mentally unstable, unfit for the ministry and possibly not a Christian, I think it is safe to say the misuse of the essay now outweighs its potential good use. Those these interpretations are perversely, purposefully absurd, I take responsibility for the lack of clarity in the essay. I reluctantly have removed it.

He had the audacity to admit what so many other pastors insist must not be acknowledged: that there is a cost to ministry, that some men really aren't called to be preachers, and that those men are no less important to the Body of Christ than their counterparts in the pulpit. Some of them may even be better Christians than their shepherds. And therein lies the ego bruise for these self-satisfied sphincters.

So thanks a lot, jackasses. I hope you can return to your pulpits (even if they're only electronic ones) with the pride of knowing that you have protected your hegemony by leaving a wounded fellow-soldier out for the buzzards.

For those whose faith is greater than their egos, the essay is still available by request. I highly recommend it. You might stop by and offer Michael some support as well. He's a brilliant writer, an honest man, and someone I'm proud to call "brother."
It's almost not fun anymore to be mean to the French, despite their rather snotty attitude toward... well, not so much America, as all those parts of the world ruled by toothpaste and deodorant. They're such easy targets it just doesn't seem sporting. Alas, I'm just too lazy today to come up with something original. So to heck with sportsmanship; this list from Wicked Thoughts is worth a chortle:
"I would rather have a German division in front of me than a French one behind me." - General George S. Patton.

"Going to war without France is like going deer hunting without your accordion." - Norman Schwartzkopf.

"We can stand here like the French, or we can do something about it." - Marge Simpson

"As far as I'm concerned, war always means failure" - Jacques Chirac, President of France

"Well as far as France is concerned, you're right." - Rush Limbaugh,

"The only time France wants others to go to war is when the German Army is sitting in Paris sipping coffee." - Regis Philbin.

"The French are a smallish, monkey-looking bunch and not dressed any better, on average, than the citizens of Baltimore. True, you can sit outside in Paris and drink little cups of coffee, but why this is more stylish than sitting inside and drinking large glasses of whisky I don't know." - P.J O'Rourke

"You know, the French remind me a little bit of an aging actress of the 1940s who was still trying to dine out on her looks but doesn't have the face for it." - John McCain, U.S. Senator from Arizona.

"You know why the French didn't want to get Saddam Hussein? Because he hates America, he loves mistresses and wears a beret. He is so French." - Conan O'Brien

"I don't know why people are surprised that France won't help us get Saddam out of Iraq. After all, France wouldn't help us get Hitler out of France either" - Jay Leno.

"The last time the French asked for 'more proof' it came marching into Paris under a German flag." - David Letterman

The only thing worse than a Frenchman is a Frenchman who lives in Canada. - Ted Nugent.

War without France would be like ... uh ... World War II. - Tom Brokaw.

"What do you expect from a culture and a nation that exerted more of its national will fighting against DisneyWorld and Big Macs than the Nazis?" - Dennis Miller.

"It is important to remember that the French have always been there when they needed us." - Alan Kent

"They've taken their own precautions against al-Qa'ida. To prepare for an attack, each Frenchman is urged to keep duct tape, a white flag, and a three-day supply of mistresses in the house." - Argus Hamilton

"Somebody was telling me about the French Army rifle that was being advertised on eBay the other day -- the description was, 'Never shot. Dropped once.' - Roy Blunt

"The French will only agree to go support the war when we've proven we've found truffles in Iraq." - Dennis Miller

Raise your right hand if you like the French ... raise both hands if you are French.

Q. What did the mayor of Paris say to the German Army as they entered the city in WWII?
A. Table for 100,000, m'sieur?

"Do you know how many Frenchmen it takes to defend Paris? It's not known, it's never been tried." - Rep. R. Blount (MO)

"Do you know it only took Germany three days to conquer France in WWII? And that's because it was raining." - John Xereas, Manager, DC Improv.

The AP and UPI reported that the French Government announced after the London bombings that it has raised its terror alert level from Run to Hide. The only two higher levels in France are Surrender and Collaborate. The rise in the alert level was precipitated by a recent fire which destroyed France's white flag factory, effectively disabling their military capability.

French Ban Fireworks at Euro Disney: The French Government announced today that it is imposing a ban on the use of fireworks at Euro Disney. The decision comes the day after a nightly fireworks display at the park, located just 30 miles outside of Paris, caused the soldiers at a nearby French Army garrison to surrender to a group of Czech tourists.

Read and sniffle

'Tis the season to be sentimental, and this story certainly is that. My own grandparents are getting close to the 70-year mark, come to think of it.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

How much caffeine will it take to kill you?

My doctor told me to lay off the coffee, so I suspect it might take less than this test would indicate. It's rather encouraging, really, since I haven't had 75 cups of coffee at a time since college.

A vigorous hat tip to Miss Cellania.

This is more frightening than funny

My first instinct was to laugh at the lengths to which the animal-rights nutjobs will go. But in looking over the whole thing (warning: evil pdf format!), it's even worse than I thought. It's not just that they want to stop people from eating fish; it's that they'ree willing to mess with children's minds this way to achieve that.

There's a word for this tactic; it's called parental alienation. It's a favorite strategy of divorced parents, who try to convince their children that they should hate or fear the other parent, to cement the children's loyalty to themselves. I've had it done to my kids, and it's despicable.

If PETA wants to propagandize against fishing, more power to 'em. Won't hurt my feelings any, as I sit down to a nice plate of trout. But convincing my kids that I'm a monster should be outside the pale.

A tip of the fishing hat to the Godfather of St. Blog's.

Monday, November 21, 2005

What kind of a sicko enjoys this?

Well, me, I'm afraid. I don't go in for Flash games much, as I really don't have time for a serious addiction, but I made the mistake of following this link from A Welsh View. It's a wonderful way to get in touch with your inner psychopath.

The next step for the Episcopalians?

Church. Whorehouse. Let's not get caught up in petty nomenclature.
A German brothel owner is planning to build his own multi-denominational church.

Bert Wollersheim, 54, who has over 50 prostitutes working for him, plans to preach from the pulpit himself.

Wollersheim, one of Germany's best known pimps, wants to speak out against fanaticism.

Story here.

I've never even read a Jane Austen book

But I'll bet my Lovely and Brilliant Wife would know what this means.

You scored as Elinor Dashwood. As Marianne's older sister, Elinor lives at the other end of the emotional spectrum. She rarely reveals her intense feelings and is more concerned with being honest and loyal than having what she deserves. Even though her intentions are pure, she sets herself up for loss by constantly placing other people before her own needs. Overall, Elinor is gentle and rational but is just as capable of radical emotions (despite her withholding them) as her sister.

Elinor Dashwood


Jane Bennet


Elizabeth Bennet


Emma Woodhouse


Marianne Dashwood


Charlotte Lucas


Lady Catherine


Which Jane Austen Character are You?
created with

A courtly, Austenesque tip of the hat to Cacciaguida, who's also Elinor. If we were women, it would be like coming to a party in the same dress, and we'd be scratching each other's eyes out now.

Who can testify in his defense?

So another alleged Fondling Father was arrested in Phoenix. This one has a bit of a twist, though.
The former vicar general of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Phoenix was arrested Monday on charges he fondled boys and young men and asked them prying questions about their sex lives that he pretended were part of confession.

Assuming the confessions were valid because of the intention of the penitents, who is there that can testify on the priest's behalf? It's their word against... nobody's. He can't even take the stand himself, because that would violate the seal of the confessional. Even if the confessions were objectively invalid, who can make that determination?

The playing field tilts ever more in this witchhunt.

When wars were fought by gentlemen

Well, no war is ever really fought decently. And World War I was bloodier and grimmer than most, with little to show at the end. But the Christmas Truce of 1914 shows that soldiers can be men as well as weapons.
With their morale boosted by messages of thanks and their bellies fuller than normal, and with still so much Christmas booty to hand, the season of goodwill entered the trenches. A British Daily Telegraph correspondent wrote that on one part of the line the Germans had managed to slip a chocolate cake into British trenches.

Even more amazingly, it was accompanied with a message asking for a ceasefire later that evening so they could celebrate the festive season and their Captain's birthday. They proposed a concert at 7.30pm when candles, the British were told, would be placed on the parapets of their trenches.

The British accepted the invitation and offered some tobacco as a return present. That evening, at the stated time, German heads suddenly popped up and started to sing. Each number ended with a round of applause from both sides.

The Germans then asked the British to join in. At this point, one very mean-spirited Tommy shouted: 'We'd rather die than sing German.' To which a German joked aloud: 'It would kill us if you did'.

Christmas day began quietly but once the sun was up the fraternisation began. Again songs were sung and rations thrown to one another. It was not long before troops and officers started to take matters into their own hands and ventured forth. No-man's land became something of a playground.

Men exchanged gifts and buttons. In one or two places soldiers who had been barbers in civilian times gave free haircuts. One German, a juggler and a showman, gave an impromptu, and given the circumstances, somewhat surreal performance of his routine in the centre of no-man's land.

With the Truce in full swing up and down the line there were a number of recorded games of soccer, although these were really just 'kick-abouts' rather than a structured match.

On January 1, 1915, the London Times published a letter from a major in the Medical Corps reporting that in his sector the British played a game against the Germans opposite and were beaten 3-2.

Kurt Zehmisch of the 134th Saxons recorded in his diary: 'The English brought a soccer ball from the trenches, and pretty soon a lively game ensued. How marvellously wonderful, yet how strange it was. The English officers felt the same way about it. Thus Christmas, the celebration of Love, managed to bring mortal enemies together as friends for a time.'

The last man who was there when the guns fell silent and the soccer balls came out died today.

Alfred Anderson lived beyond the Western Front to see death camps, a cold war, and suicide bombers on British soil. He was living proof that war doesn't have to take the humanity out of the men who fight it.

God give him the rest he deserves, and may we live to see such times again.

Sunday, November 20, 2005

And one I found on my own

You Are Mashed Potatoes

Ordinary, comforting, and more than a little predictable
You're the glue that holds everyone together.

Bland. Just what everybody wants to be. Huh.

And another one from Michelle

The Movie Of Your Life Is A Cult Classic

Quirky, offbeat, and even a little campy - your life appeals to a select few.
But if someone's obsessed with you, look out! Your fans are downright freaky.

Your best movie matches: Office Space, Showgirls, The Big Lebowski

That's not so bad

31.25 %

My weblog owns 31.25 % of me.
Does your weblog own you?

A/T to Michelle.

I'm not really sure which is which

statler jpeg
You are Statler or Waldorf.
You have a high opinion of yourself, as do others.
But only because you are in the balcony seats.

Those two old guys in the box.
Heckling, complaining, being cantankerous

"Get off the stage, you bum!"

"The Art of Insult" and "How To
Insult Art"

Their pacemakers.

What Muppet are you?
brought to you by Quizilla

A/T to Shushan.

As a Dawg returneth to his vomit...

As everybody in the Northwest knows by now, the Cougs seized another victory frrom the slavering, alpo-scented jaws of Husky defeat.
In front of 70,000 fans, with less than 90 seconds left, Harvey took Brink's screen pass at about the Washington 40, correctly read Prator's textbook block, and outran the Huskies defense for the game-winning, 39-yard touchdown in WSU's 26-22 Apple Cup win Saturday.

In your face, pooch-lovers!

Thursday, November 17, 2005

An Apple Cup prayer

My friends, this being the Apple Cup weekend, let us all join in prayer for our mighty Cougar warriors, that they might by their God-given superiority prevail over their perfidious foes. Let us also pray for the conversion of the pagan Huskies, that just as God will change their mourning into dancing, so may He change their purple and (fool's)-gold into holy maroon and grey. And finally, let us pray for the poor benighted heathen who are misled into rooting for the foul curs, that they might see the error of their ways and become true Wazooites in heart, if not in alumni affiliation.

Those who will not so pray, let them be anathema, as they are no better than Seattle coasties themselves, and perhaps (gasp!) not even Washingtonians and so not salvable even by the grace of a merciful Maroon-and-Grey-wearing God.

Amen, and go Cougs!

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Career training

I don't know for sure what to make of this.
Tasha Henderson got tired of her 14-year-old daughter's poor grades, her chronic lateness to class and her talking back to her teachers, so she decided to teach the girl a lesson.

She made Coretha stand at a busy Oklahoma City intersection Nov. 4 with a cardboard sign that read: "I don't do my homework and I act up in school, so my parents are preparing me for my future. Will work for food."

"This may not work. I'm not a professional," said Henderson, a 34-year-old mother of three. "But I felt I owed it to my child to at least try."


Tasha Henderson said her daughter's attendance has been perfect and her behavior has been better since the incident.

Making a 14-year-old stand on a streetcorner seems a little over the top, but I can sympathize with having to go a step farther than a recalcitrant offspring. I remember telling my oldest daughter when she was four, "I've got more spankings than you have disobeyings!" Sometimes it was even true, but just as often I had to let up because she was perfectly willing to outstubborn me into abusiveness, and I had to let her win or risk doing her harm. I have no use for smarmy parents of easygoing kids who can't understand that there are children for whom the kinder-and-gentler child-rearing theories simply don't work. (See post below for an up-and-coming example.)

Overall, I have to approve tentatively. I hope Coretha really has learned her lesson, and I'll bet she goes on to love her kids enough to raise them the best way she knows how, instead of burying her head in the sand and letting them screw up their futures.

Bright child? Or not?

So my Lovely and Brilliant Wife takes her eyes off Visigoth for a moment. Next thing she knows, he's slathered himself with hot salsa. (Pace, I think.) She pops him in the tub and washes the stuff off him. Ho, hum. All in a day's work with this kid.

A few minutes later, she finds him sitting in front of an open fridge, smearing himself with habañero sauce. (In case you're a ketchupetarian or something, habañeros are reputed to be the hottest peppers on the market. This is not mild stuff. In fact, I hear rumors that this sauce may replace white phosphorus if the latter proves to be ineffectual.) Once again, Mama bathes the little hound, and he escapes with only minor burns around his mouth. A lesson learned, no?

Well, no. Apparently not. Because what does he do next but open the fridge again, open the bottle of habañero sauce, and chug it like a college kid at a frat party afraid that the beer's running out? Last I heard, he was running around the house foaming at the mouth like Cujo, screaming like a Democrat restricted to voting only once, and resisting Christina's every effort to feed him milk, ice cream, or any other substance that might ease the unbelievable firestorm he's just ignited on what used to be his tongue.

He's a year and a half old, mind you, and we have a child latch on the fridge. (We are fairly careful parents, after all, and he's our sixth, so we pretty much know what we're doing.) Moreover, I usually close sauce bottles very tightly after they're opened (much to Christina's annoyance), which means he probably opened a new one with the plastic seal on the neck. So here's the dilemma: Is he exceptionally bright because he can open the fridge and a sauce bottle lid, or is he Darwinianly backward because the first batch of burns didn't teach him that he really doesn't like habañeros all that much after all?

I hope Christina will forgive me

Since marrying a California girl (why can't they all be?), I've learned that there's a lot of the state that's not really well represented by the popular image. Sort of like the brown side of Washington. ("You mean you have a desert up there? They never mentioned that on Frasier!")

But I still had to laugh my hiney off at Welcome To Francifornia. It really wouldn't have occurred to me to notice these parallels.

BTW, did I mention that my Lovely and Brilliant Wife also speaks fluent French? I expect I'll learn how to say "What a comfortable couch!" when I get home.

Another hat tip to It Comes in Pints?.

New Jersey: Don't look in the trunk

A slogan survey for New Joursey's tourism industry (they have one? Who knew?) brought in some cute ones:
"New Jersey: You Got a Problem With That?"

"NJ: How You Doin'?!"

And "Most of Our Elected Officials Have Not Been Indicted."

How about

"New Jersey: These boots were made for sinkin' "

"New Jersey: The stem of the Big Apple"

"New Jersey: Ellis Island is really ours"

And if McGreevey were still governor:
"New Jersey: Greetings from Ass-hunter Park!" (with apologies to the Boss)

If they really want to play up a strong point, though, their best bet might be
"New Jersey: The Garden of Eden!"

A/T to It Comes in Pints?.

Maybe it's a commentary on my housekeeping skills

Pig Pen
You are Pig Pen!

Which Peanuts Character are You?
brought to you by Quizilla

i'd rather have been Linus, all things considered. But at least I didn't end up being Marcy.

A skill I never learned but wish I had

It's been so long since I took this quiz that I had to do a search to remember whom to tip the ol' Akubra to. I'm pretty sure it was Magic Statistics. The only Basic I ever did was back in 1981 or so, on the TRS-80s that my school had. I never got much past drawing a rudimentary middle finger on the screen. At that age, I thought it was height of wit.

QBASIC screenshot
You are 'programming in QBASIC'. This programming
language (of which the acronym stands for
'Quick Beginners' All-purpose Symbolic
Instruction Code'), which is so primitive that
it cannot easily be used for any purpose
involving the Internet nor even sound, was
current more than a decade ago.

You are independent, in a good way. When something
which you need cannot be found, you make it
yourself. In writing and in talking with
people, you value clarity and precision; your
friends may not realize how important that is.
When necessary, you are prepared to be a
mediator in conflicts between your friends.
You are very rational, and you think of things
in terms of logic and common sense.
Unfortunately, your emotionally unstable
friends may be put off by your devotion to
logic; they may even accuse you of pedantry and
insensitivity. Your problem is that
programming in QBASIC has been obsolete for a
long time.

What obsolete skill are you?
brought to you by Quizilla

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

A blog's-eye view of the Jordan bombings

I hadn't seen it lately, being away from the computer for a while, but Staghounds has been in Amman for a week or so and has been blogging on the scene.
Fun jihad fact- we all know that corset bombers fire their heads straight up. Did you also know that the martyr's noggin has enough velocity to punch right through a ceiling?

No, I didn't know that. Reminds me of the "mama had a baby" game we used to play with dandelions when I was little. Check out the whole thing.

Sex is okay, just not with your spouse

I meant to say something about this after the story broke back in July about a 22-year-old Nebraska man who had married a 13-year-old and then been prosecuted for consummating the marrriage. (To be fair, there had been a certain amount of pre-consummation, as the girl was pregnant.) Now comes another such story, this time from Georgia, where a 37-year-old, equally knocked-up, married a 15-year-old boy and is now in jail.

Now, I have no problem with jailing adults who molest children, whatever the sex of the perp. And having teenagers of my own, I find both cases really creepy. What I have a problem with (and this is going to be unpopular, I know) is that the law presumes to prohibit sex between married people. In both cases, the marriage was legal, and the elder spouse fell afoul of laws intended to regulate extramarital sex. They married under duly enacted laws, and they performed acts that are not only permissible within a marriage, but more or less mandatory. And those acts were what they are now prosecuted for. There is a glaring hypocrisy in allowing a marriage to be performed and then prohibiting the natural exercise of that marriage.

I don't care what else is involved; if marriage is to be sacred, it must be sacred. Period. If we want to make the sanctity of marriage a part of our societal and legal foundation, we can't pick and choose which marriages we support.

Don't mistake what I'm saying. I'm not suggesting that this applies to homosexual partnership. By definition, such a union can't be a marriage. But in the case of two people of opposite sexes, there is no natural barrier to their creating a marriage bond. They are both physiological adults (as evidenced by the wives' condition), and the marriages are legal according to the laws of the states in which they married. If you want to prevent these marriages (and I'd love to), then change the laws as to who may marry whom. But once a marriage is made, it must – I repeat, must – be left alone. Otherwise, we cede precisely the same power over the definition of marriage that those who would redefine marriage to include homosexuality would claim. What God – or an otherwise recognized authority like a judge – hath joined, let no prosecutor put asunder.

Monday, November 14, 2005

Praise the Lord and pass the mushrooms!


To which race of Middle Earth do you belong?
brought to you by Quizilla

Thanks again to Julie, who makes sure I never have to go looking for blog material myself.

Things that make you snort coffee out your nose

From Upper Canada Catholic, several funny kid moments that he swears are true. I'm not going to ruin it by posting 'em here. Go look at them in their natural environment.

A/T to Julie.

Teenagers plus nekkid wimmen probably don't equal good sense

Here's a good reason I don't mourn my lost youth too much. I did some dumb things as a teenager, but at least I never did this!

Seems a couple of 18-year-old horndogs went out to a nudie bar and weren't familiar with the rules in the establishment.
The two teens kicked off the night by sitting near the stage as the dancers "danced." Then Everett and Wakji were invited by dancers Orchard and Carmela to adjourn to the VIP Room for private lap dances. By the time the strip club closed at 2 a.m., Everett and Wakji had, according to the club manager, been the recipients of 82 lap dances - 41 each.

At about three minutes per dance, this is roughly one hour and 23 minutes of having a naked person sitting on you. A thing like that isn't cheap.

Each dance is marked by a song, club manager Jonnie McArthur told police. When the song ends, the $30 dance is over.

How on earth can you have an unclothed stranger gyrating on top of your genitals for almost an hour and a half and never once wonder, "Now why is she being so friendly to me? Is she going to maybe want money for this?" I know randy teens are known for thinking with the wrong parts, but this requires a level of distraction not usually seen this side of Porky's!

Looks like the criminal charges were dropped. I suspect they had enough punishment just from having to call their parents to bail them out. They'll be a long time living this down.

He's ba-a-a-ack!

Warning: This post is all personal stuff. Nothing particularly amusing or related to events outside my home. Feel free to skip it at will, and I'll get back to ordinary blogging as soon as I can.

Thanks to everybody who commented with "get well" messages. I can sit at a computer fairly well now, which is a jolly good thing because I had to return to work today. Mostly, in staying off the computer, I was being a big baby and lying around in bed watching old movies and being waited on hand and foot by my Lovely and Brilliant Wife, whose patience with my whininess knew no bounds.

What happened a week and a half ago was that I had a hernia fixed that I've been carrying around for a decade now. It was a fairly minor operation, but between insurance hassles and work schedule, I just hadn't gotten around to going through with it. In the course of the whole thing, I had a reaction to the anesthetic that caused some sort of heart malfunction, which landed me in the ICU for a night. I don't feel like a guy with a dicky ticker, and I rather suspect it was a trivial thing, but my doctor is a cautious sort who is taking shameless advantage of the situation to insist on certain lifestyle changes. That's okay; I like him being careful, since I tend not to be. Meanwhile, I'm trying to stay on task at work and stay off the painkillers until I get home.

Meanwhile, Christina went in for another ultrasound, and now we know: it's a girl. We decided tentatively on the name "Mona Grace," Mona after my grandmother and Grace because Christina's always wanted a little girl named Gracie to say "good night" to. I'm waiting for a chance to call my brother and sister-in-law, who just got married this summer, to see about godparenting. I've never had to ask a family member to do this before (Dai's godparents were from Christina's family), and it's fortunate that I have two Catholic brothers, all the rest of my family is Protestant. (Except for my Reverend Auntie, who as a Unitarian minister defies all such pigeonholing. Not that pigeons are any less valid than other holeable birds, of course; all are equally holey.)

Finally, it's time to start feeling old and in the way again, as I'm counting down to another birthday. I'll be 38, which seems more significant than it actually is. It's the year that most people have their 20-year class reunion, showing all the former teenagers in their balding, beer-bellied adulthood. I'll have a daughter turning 18 this year, and a son going to college. Within a decade, I'll almost certainly be a grandfather, and a decade isn't as long as it used to be. I'm the age my parents were when they got married. (No, they're not in their 70s; it was a second marriage and they both had teenagers.)

So far I've outlived Janis Joplin (27), Hank Williams (29), Mozart (35), Marilyn Monroe (36), and both Mama Cass and Karen Carpenter (32). I've always held a secret hope that Mama Cass and Karen Carpenter are up in heaven laughing at each other today. (Yes, I know Mama Cass' "ham sandwich" story is an urban myth. Let's not spoil a good image, though, okay?)

At times like this I sit and play Randy Stonehill's song over and over, and remember when turning thirty was just as scary as nearing forty is now:
Well, now thirty ain't like fifteen
And it's not like twenty-five
My back's a little stiff
And there're some lines around my eyes
But I've still got my energy
And I've got most of my hair
And I'm not too old to rock and roll
And I'm not really scared
Of turning thirty...

Or, to quote the song I always play on my birthday,
When just a boy, he left his home
Thought he'd have the world on a string
Now the years have come and gone
Through the streets he walks alone
Like the old dog gone astray, he's just old and in the way

There's truth in both songs, but overall, I like Uncle Rand's vision better. (No, not this Rand! This Rand!) And besides, he's now older than Jerry, who sang about an age he never lived to see. Who died of a heart attack because he couldn't change his lifestyle soon enough. Who left this brokedown palace without ever getting to see his grandchildren. I guess aging isn't so bad after all, when you consider the alternative.

Mama, Mama, many worlds I've come. And there's plenty more ahead.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Just a quick note

I can't stick around at the desk long, but I just had to say, "You go, Jimmy!"
Former President Jimmy Carter yesterday condemned all abortions and chastised his party for its intolerance of candidates and nominees who oppose abortion.
"I never have felt that any abortion should be committed -- I think each abortion is the result of a series of errors," he told reporters over breakfast at the Ritz-CarltonHotel, while across town Senate Democrats deliberated whether to filibuster the nomination of Judge Samuel A. Alito Jr. because he may share President Bush and Mr. Carter's abhorrence of abortion.

I've always said that Jimmy Carter was a good and decent man (which is a lousy combination for a president), and I never understood why he didn't take this stand long ago. A little late, but still a very welcome vindication of my faith in the man.

A/T to Mark Shea.

Monday, November 07, 2005

Mighty quiet in here

And it's my own fault. I haven't posted lately because I'm recovering from surgery (nothing life-threatening or anything) and I haven't been able to sit in front of the computer for more than a minute at a time. I should be back to blogging in a few more days. And for the folks to whom I owe answers on comments, I haven't forgotten.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Crime might pay, but Uncle Sam wants his cut

This is an actual cut-and-paste from the IRS website:
Illegal income. Illegal income, such as money from dealing illegal drugs, must be included in your income on Form 1040, line 21, or on Schedule C or Schedule C-EZ (Form 1040) if from your self-employment activity.

Kickbacks. You must include kickbacks, side commissions, push money, or similar payments you receive in your income on Form 1040, line 21, or on Schedule C or Schedule C-EZ (Form 1040), if from your self-employment activity.

Stolen property. If you steal property, you must report its fair market value in your income in the year you steal it unless in the same year, you return it to its rightful owner.

I'd be curious to know what happens if you report this honestly. Not curious enough to try it, but then, I don't have much need to.

A/T to the same guys who came up with the WWII game below.

The least of these...

Next time you want to ask "Who is my neighbor?" don't ask these people unless you're ready to be ashamed.

omg this rox!!!

If World War Two was fought in a chat room.

I'm more of a history geek than a game fanatic (the latter is a foreign language to me), but I have a son who combines both. He'll love this.

A/T to Mark Shea.

I think I'm proud of myself

Monkey Challenge Trivia Quiz
I beat the monkey by 25 points.
Take the Trivia Quiz

H/T to Miss Cellania.

The Catholic Carnival is up

This week it's at Bearing Blog. Lots of good stuff!

Out of the Catholic Closet

Gus from Romecoming has revealed to the world that his real name is Kevin, and his new blog will be called Emergentpdx. Kevin is a seminarian at the excellent Multnomah Biblical Seminary in Portland, and has found himself called to the Catholic Church, which has put him in kind of a tough situation. He's committed to serving in a Protestant church for a while longer, so he's put off his Tiber-swim until he's free to do it. You can read his steps through this process at the archives at the old blog. Do – it's fascinating.

You might stop by and offer Kevin some encouragement. Frankly, I'm impressed by his sense of honor and his refusal to let down a congregation that's counting on him, even if he's called elsewhere. Rome will still be there when he's done, and I think God would much rather have obedience through perseverence than through abandonment, if that makes sense. We're praying, Kevin!

Sermon or sacrament?

A trans-Tiberian brother, Tim Bayly, brings up an interesting point in regard to worship and the centrality of preaching. While he doesn't try to downplay the importance of the Eucharist in worship, he does feel that the preaching of the word should be the primary focus: first among equals, as it were.

I think his point is worth heeding, at least with some caveats. Preaching is no substitute for the sacrament, which takes the inncarnation to its conclusion (can we call it "inpanation"?) and should not be sidelined. But I wonder if the Mass doesn't go too far in eclipsing the homily. The first time my daughter brought her (Campbellite) boyfriend home for a weekend visit and they attended Mass with us, he actually had to ask afterward if there had been a sermon at all. He'd noticed that the priest stood and spoken for a few minutes after the Bible readings, but it seemed more like an afterthought. Having grown up in a Baptist environment, I can sympathize. I've gotten a lot of good information out of sermons, and a well-delivered one is an art form in itself. Does this abbreviated homily happen at other parishes, or is it just mine?

Something else that Tim's post made me wonder about is this statement:
... it is my understanding that, from the beginning, the reading and proclamation of God's Word were more central to the worship of the Church than the Lord's Supper, although changes occurred in this almost immediately following the Apostolic Age. (“More central” here is to be understood as a slight differentiation among equals, not superiority and inferiority.) It wasn't that the Lord's Supper wasn't central to worship but that it did not always occur every time the Word was preached, whereas any time the Lord's Supper was observed, it occurred in the context of the Word preached. The traditional reformed way of referring to these elements is by saying that, in worship, the Word is present through preaching and the Sacraments.

I don't know enough about the Apostolic Age to be able to agree or disagree with this, so I'm asking readers for some help here. Does anybody know a good source for Christian worship between Pentecost and the First Apology of Justin Martyr (155, if I recall)? I once attended an Orthodox "Typica" or "Reader's Service" where there was no priest available, and the whole liturgy centered around the readings and homily instead. Is it possible that the earliest Christians resorted to this when there was no apostle available to celebrate the Mass? And at what point in the Church's history were presbyters authorized to confect the Eucharist instead of a bishop?

Tuesday, November 01, 2005


Given the popularity of both body piercings and cell phones among the young 'uns, I suppose this was inevitable. Now let's see how long it takes before my kids start bugging me for one.

Akubra tip to A Welsh View.


That's the last word from Dianne Feinstein's notepad on the Alito nomination, according to the indescribable Jeff Goldstein. Steel yourself to the bad language and go take a look.

Cluelessness in Uniform

I'd like to believe that's what it is, anyway. This officer needs some serious training to get through his skull that there are religions other than his own out there.
Airman 1st Class Andrew Howells of Salt Lake City says his commander threatened to kick him out of his unit if he did not remove his sacred religious undergarments. His commander complained that the garments worn by faithful members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints showed through his uniform.

Now, theere needs no ghost come fromm the grave to tell him that a Mormon is required to wear his temple garment at all times. Now, I don't believe in the traditional Mormon undies a whole lot more myself than the CO does, but that's about as relevant to the discussion as the number of nostril hairs on a Bactrian camel. The LDS Church doesn't have to submit its traditions for the approval of every pea-brained gentile with an insignia. Naturally, the Deseret News covered the LDS angle more heavily, but this caught my eye for obvious reasons:
During his seven-month deployment, Howells said he was allowed to attend religious services only twice, and a Catholic airman said he could count on his hand the number of times he was allowed to attend religious services...

When Howells approached Edwards on May 11 about the possibility of attending Sunday services, the commander reportedly told him, "God does not live in a building; you don't need to go to church to worship."

Yes you do, you cretin! Somebody needs to explain to this blockhead that Mass is mandatory for Catholics. Period. Sure, it's not a sin if you're actually unable to attend, but this guy is treating the requirement as though it were trivial, simply because he doesn't believe it's important in his own religion. (His personal religious inclinations aren't mentioned, but it's strongly implied that he's an Evangelical. I'm inclined to doubt it myself, because an Evangelical would appreciate the importance of church attendance, even if the requirement isn't as strongly defined for them.) How does a bozo like this achieve that kind of rank in the Air Force, I'd like to know?

A/T to Dave's Mormon Inquiry.