Sunday, July 31, 2005

Sven just rocks my world

I'm having the week from hell, and what's worse, I'm in the office on a Sunday, so I slither on over to World of Sven, and sure enough, he's had a tougher week on the Help Lines than I've had at the paper.
Q. I spilled my dinner over my keyboard and now it won't work, can you put me through to your technical support department so they can fix it?

A. Well no, to be honest, but please eat more responsibly in the future. I can put you through to our Bibs and High Chairs division if you are interested in avoiding further such incidents. When the automated menu comes up choose option #3 "I should not be allowed near electrical equipment or sharp objects and I still wet the bed."

If you haven't been checking his blog regularly, make a habit of it in the future.

Thursday, July 28, 2005

I am the Dean of Modern Science Fiction

I am:
Robert A. Heinlein
Beginning with technological action stories and progressing to epics with religious overtones, this take-no-prisoners writer racked up some huge sales numbers.

Which science fiction writer are you?

And I wasn't even trying for him! Heinlein is far and away my favorite writer in my favorite genre. I suppose it's a little arrogant of me, but I tend to feel like I identify with Lazarus Long. (Of course, I've never traveled back in time two millennia and slept with my mother, but to each his own.)

My Lovely, Brilliant and Gravid Wife read Job a while back, and that was enough for her. I enjoyed the humor of it, since it pokes fun (kindly, albeit with an edge) at the Fundamentalism I grew up with, but it tested her patience to the limit, as Christian theology was one of the few things Heinlein was underinformed about. The net effect was much like I had written a satire on astrophysics – it might have been fun to read, but a specialist would grind his teeth at the howlers.

I don't like the sexual mores he put into his books, especially the later ones, but outside of that, Heinlein and I get along perfectly. His are among the books I read when I'm too tired to read something new, and I've read just about everything he published. I'm still hoping to live to see the publication of the "stinkeroos."

A/T to my LBaGW, who sent this to me the second she saw it. I'll bet she wasn't too surprised either.

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

The silence of the grave

Actually, that's beginning to sound appealing. I've lost track of the actual hours, but I've been at the office since yesterday morning, trying frantically to make a deadline with a computer behaving inexplicably boorishly. My eyes are starting to cross, my clothes feel painted on, and I'm pretty sure that it's me that that weird odor is miasmating off of. And to top it off, I still missed press time. Ugh. And likewise, gah.

Meanwhile, take a look at this. Anybody who's ever raised a "nanotyrannosaur" will resonate with it immediately. Egad, and my Lovely, Brilliant and Gravid Wife and I are about to spawn another of these. What were we thinking? (Actually, never you mind what we were thinking!)

My apologies to whomever I should be tipping the Akubra to for this. It's been so long I don't remember, and besides, I'd probably just put it over my face and take a nap.

Sunday, July 24, 2005

Swelling the ranks

At last count there were 1.1 billion Catholics in the world. Guess which blogger is about to increase that by one.

Friday, July 22, 2005

And while I'm at it...

This is from Sven's theologian quiz, which I took a couple of weeks ago and never got around to blogging:

You scored as Karl Barth. The daddy of 20th Century theology. You perceive liberal theology to be a disaster and so you insist that the revelation of Christ, not human experience, should be the starting point for all theology.

Karl Barth






John Calvin


Paul Tillich


Jonathan Edwards


Charles Finney


Friedrich Schleiermacher


Jürgen Moltmann


Martin Luther


Which theologian are you?
created with

I don't know why it identified me as Barth, rather than Augustine of Hippo, my patron. The scores were the same. Sorry, Augustine!

BTW, Sven finally had to take the thing down because he was getting snotty e-mails from quiz-takers. For pete's sake, people, it's an Internet quiz! Some folks take this stuff way too seriously.

Surprise, surprise

You scored as Sacrament model. Your model of the church is Sacrament. The church is the effective sign of the revelation that is the person of Jesus Christ. Christians are transformed by Christ and then become a beacon of Christ wherever they go. This model has a remarkable capacity for integrating other models of the church.

Sacrament model


Institutional Model


Mystical Communion Model


Herald Model


Servant Model


What is your model of the church? [Dulles]
created with

Ann Coulter on John Roberts

The queen bee of the right-wing media hive gives us some reminders that John Roberts may not be the conservative we hope he is. Of course, he may not be the liberal lackey and NARAL running dog that she dreads, either. He's an unknown quantity, which means he stands a chance of getting past the Senate Cerberus.
The only way a Supreme Court nominee could win the approval of NARAL and Planned Parenthood would be to actually perform an abortion during his confirmation hearing, live, on camera, and preferably a partial birth one.

Still, I don't think Bush would have picked him if he didn't have at least a strong pro-life bent. And these days, we have to take what we can get.

"Lost one round, but the price wasn't anything..."

Actually, the price was a lot: a chunk out of the lives of two little girls. My friend Patty, for whom I asked for prayers the other day, lost her initial bid this morning to keep her two little granddaughters. On the positive side, it looks like the father has gotten his [manure] together since their last encounter, and they'll be well cared for. Meanwhile, Patty has a legal ace up her sleeve that I'm not in a position to disclose. All is not lost in this fight.

Thanks to everybody who prayed, and if you can, do keep her on your list of people to pray for.

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

I didn't know he was still alive.

Gerry Thomas, the inventor of the TV dinner, has died of cancer at the age of 83.
The first Swanson TV Dinner - turkey with cornbread dressing and gravy, sweet potatoes and buttered peas - sold for about $1 and could be cooked in 25 minutes at 425 degrees. Ten million sold in the first year of national distribution.

It was fast and convenient, and fit nicely on a TV tray in the living room, so that you didn't have to drag yourself away from your favorite television show.

There will now be two to four-and-a-half minutes of silence in his honor, following which let us stand for another two minutes. Ding!

Cthulhu loathes me, this I know...

Remember I mentioned the Cthulhu-Chick tract parody that had been taken down after Chick publications threatened to sue? I found another copy, and I'll put it here (with the bad language Photoshopped out) until somebody tells me not to. Click on the image to see it in a more legible size.

H. P. Lovecraft was to horror fiction what Wells and Verne were to sci-fi: the seminal author that all the others in the genre pay homage to every time a book rolls off the press. His Cthulhu stories in particular have become classics, inspiring all kinds of parodies and knockoffs like Campus Crusade for Cthulhu. If you've never read his stuff, you won't really get the joke, but for fans, it's hilarious deadpan.

Jimmy Akin, if you ever come in here, you need to see this. "That is not dead which can eternal lie..."

Prayer request

I don't usually do this, as I'm ashamed to admit I usually forget to pray for other bloggers' requests. But I'm going to go out on a limb anyway.

A little background: My friend Patty lost her daughter to cancer a month ago. Kimmy was 30, and had four children, the oldest of whom is six, from three different fathers. Patty has been taking care of the children, as Kimmy had wanted her to. The kids were all close to Gramma in a way that only children of a single mother can be.

Patty has reached an accommodation with one of the kids' fathers, and another is nowhere to be found and likes it that way. But yesterday morning, she was served with papers from the girls' "father," saying that he was coming out on Friday to take custody. She went to a lawyer here in town, who told her there was nothing she could do. Her family lawyer back in Minnesota called an old school chum of his here in Washington, who couldn't take the case in time himself but gave her a lot of good advice for how to present herself to the judge.

So why does a diehard father's-rightsnik put "father" in sneer quotes? Well, not only was the guy violent – the reason Kimmy fled to Washington in the first place – but he's been out of the picture for five years. He's never even laid eyes on the younger girl. But apparently there's a little money in having them now that their mother is dead, and he wants his cut.

So I'm begging y'all to pray. Pray hard. If you belong to a group or an order that prays together, ask them. And I'll be better about praying for the requests other folks post from now on, honest.

Are you gonna pull those rosaries, or whistle dixie?

Blog Scoop

I read the AP wire at the office, so I usually get the stories a half-hour or so before they hit the Net. I might get in trouble for saying it, but just once I want to be the first blogger to break a story.

Scotty been beamed up.

UPDATE: I was just reading the trivia for James Doohan on IMDB. I didn't know he had been at D-Day. Lost a middle finger there. So tell me, what could he have done when he was cut off in a space lane by some jerk talking into his tri-corder?

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

End of an era

I didn't have time to blog on this yesterday, but as everybody knows by now, General William Westmoreland, the Army Chief of Staff during Vietnam, died yesterday. he was 91.

The really ironic thing about this is that yesterday was my dad's 62nd birthday. Or rather, it would have been, if he hadn't gone to Vietnam and served under Gen. Westmoreland. He died in 1994, probably from the aftereffects of Agent Orange.

I'm not blaming the general for this; he did the best he knew how, and from what I can see, he was a helluva soldier and leader of soldiers. But it seems sad that the man who sent him to war lived to be almost twice as old as Dad did himself. I wish it had been the other way round.

And the nominee is...

John G. Roberts. He looks pro-life enough to torque off the Democrats in the Senate, but it may take years before we know what that translates to in practical terms. He's given some ambiguous answers on Roe v. The Human Race – he argued against it before the Court as a lawyer, but admitted that it was the established "law of the land" at his 2003 confirmation hearings. On the bright side of that, he was being interrogated by the Senate Judiciary committee, which has a history of snatching and snarling in cur-like fashion at any hint of respect for life.

Here's hoping!

Monday, July 18, 2005

Right on!

Apparently Islamofascism has infested the Blogosphere, as Chris Byrne the AnarchAngel has been honored with a fatwa for something he posted. His highly colorful response (edited slightly):

If you attempt to do anything to me, to my friends, to anyone I care about; I WILL KILL YOU. I will not simply defend myself, I WILL kill you, and while you are dying I will piss on you.

I have just rolled all my bullets in pig fat. I'm going to start carying around pieces of swine flesh with me; and I'll shove them into your wounds, then force feed them to you. Then I'll cut your [male parts] off and shove them down your throat.

I am heavily armed at all times, I have booby trapped my car and my home, and I am waiting for you. If you come after me or mine, you will die, and I will make damned sure you won't see paradise for all eternity you evil [oedipally-inclined persons].

You know, Americans are kind, generous people as a rule, but it doesn't pay to forget that we settled this country at the point of a gun. We're an ornery, cantankerous, often heavily-armed lot, who don't play nicely with others. Perhaps the Brotherhood of the Bomb Belt should stick to threatening somebody more civilized, like the Spanish.

A/T to it comes in pints?.

Okay, repeat after me...

Children's sports like T-ball are a game. They're meant to be for fun. It's not fun when you hire a player to bludgeon another player on your own team. No, really, it's not.

A/T to Lance Salyers, who's a good sport all around.

Sunday, July 17, 2005

I don't really have time to be doing this...

...but if I'm going to have to work on a Sunday, I'm jolly well going to take a moment every so often away from the drudgery. This was too good an ego trip to pass up.

You Are Incredibly Logical

(You got 100% of the questions right)

Move over Spock - you're the new master of logic

You think rationally, clearly, and quickly.

A seasoned problem solver, your mind is like a computer!

My kids would be the first to dispute the result. Let 'em. Neener neener!

Friday, July 15, 2005

Feeling profiled? Try being a pit bull.

All I'm gonna say is this. You whiny, European Arabs better just cut the drama, people. It's quiet time for you.

All this concern that you're all going to be profiled, and singled out because a few repressed homosexuals in your broad religious category can't keep their smelly mitts off the exploding cummerbunds. Well you don't know profiling until you've been one of Me, mister.

See, I just finished eating a diabetic octogenarian with a MedicAlert bracelet. Quite frankly, the attack was totally unprovoked. But I've got a good case against my owner, and the ability to look like I've been daily threatened with a cutting torch. He's going down if there's any trouble.

Sometimes you just want to jump to your feet and shout "Amen," at least until you remember that you're in a crowded office and would rather the boss didn't notice you reading blogs on company time. So read the whole thing when you get home.

A cautious A/T to Protein Wisdom, whose author may or may not foam hilariously at the mouth, but I'm in no hurry to find out.

Thursday, July 14, 2005

I wonder what the other 29% is

You Are 71% American
Most times you are proud to be an American.
Though sometimes the good ole US of A makes you cringe
Still, you know there's no place better suited to be your home.
You love your freedom and no one's going to take it away from you!

I have to admit I fudged a bit on a couple of the questions. The Lee Greenwood song was a source of goosebumps the first thousand times or so that I heard it, but now I just want to pimp-slap the next person who plays it in a public place. And the cheese question was severely lacking. How is a good northwesterner supposed to refrain from singing the praises of Tillamook cheddar? Also, I wear an Akubra instead of a Stetson (and Mexican boots!), but the quiz thankfully didn't ask about that.

And I don't care what they say, American beer – the mass-produced kind – reminds me more of hop-flavored pond water strained through the kidneys of a sick coyote. (Don't ask me how I know what that tastes like; it's not a pretty story.)

A/T to Fr. Tucker, who probably only scored so low because he's a Confederate at heart.

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

This is sad through and through

A toddler whose father was using her as a shield was accidentally shot by the police. It's hard to blame the cops; the louse was shooting at them from behind his daughter. Maybe they should have handled it differently, maybe not, but it's not a decision I'd want to make in the heat of the moment.
It was unclear who fired the shot that hit the girl, but officers were struggling with the thought that they killed a baby, McDonnell said.

"The officers are taking it very hard," he said. "Anytime you have a baby killed, it takes its toll."

On the positive side, Planned Parenthood sent the officers a very nice congratulatory card and the promise of a cash bounty for future incidents of this kind.

Monday, July 11, 2005

My horse for a kingdom!

This is kind of fascinating. The idea of creating a nation where nobody else has is kind of a fun thought, if a little daunting. I remember seeing an article about Sealand back in the 70s on TV, and I'm surprised it's still a going concern (at least as much as it ever was).

When you consider how young some parts of the US are, and how easily some of this territory could have been Mexican or British (or Russian, or French...), the possibilities come home a little more.

For more countries you never heard of, check out Footnotes to History. A history fan can read these for hours at a time.

Sunday, July 10, 2005

Welsh statesman, or Oregon Catholic Press hymn?

"The countries of the world must unite against international terrorism, and unite in the work of making injustice and poverty - wherever they exist - history.."

Dafydd Iwan has been my hero since I was a teenager, but his unflinching leftism gets my goat. (My sheep? This is Wales we're talking about.) In particular, I hate to hear him sound so much like something out of a bland OCP missalette. Especially since he's a master of political rhetoric - he was a protest singer back in the sixties - Mr. Iwan should be able in these of all times to find something stronger to say about the sort of pig-droppings-disguised-as-men who would blow up civilians in the hope of intimidating soldiers.

I'm sorry, but we're not going to make these people go away by eliminating injustice and poverty. Would that it were that easy. Injustice and poverty are not the problem; evil is. The correct response to evil is not compassion and equitability; it's contempt and eradication, and those right quickly. Any other method of dealing with it is like taking small doses of antibiotics - you don't get rid of the disease, but you eliminate your ability to cure it.

Thursday, July 07, 2005

They said if you was to kill him...'d only make him mad.

You know, Al-Qaeda pretty much loathes all Westerners, so setting off bombs in London was not a smart thing to do, given how many other places they could have attacked. The English have never really forgotten that they used to run a fifth of the globe, and they're really sensitive to attacks on their own islands. If the IRA and its spawn haven't managed it in a century of car bombs, what makes Al-Qaeda think they can intimidate these people?

Note to Al-Qaeda: If you try to invade Britain, don't do it through Fishguard.

Incidentally, after you've read about Jemima Fawr from the above link, check out this for a good chuckle on the subject. Don't mess with Mam!

Wednesday, July 06, 2005


If you do a google news search on "Lance Salyers," "Mathias Heck," or "Mathias H Heck," the only reference that comes up in the results to Lance Salyers' axing is Dawn Eden's article in the NY Daily News. Not a word in the local Dayton Daily News. Is it not news, or is Lance under a Spokesman-Review-style blacklist?

More racism!

Oh, the humiliation! It's bad enough that Oprah Winfrey wasn't allowed to shop in a closed store where other people, mere peasants maybe, were shopping in plain sight. Now, she's being denied her basic civil right to be a Zulu.
"I went in search of my roots and had my DNA tested, and I am a Zulu. I feel so at home here," Femalefirst quoted her as saying.

"I hate to tell Oprah this, but she is sorely mistaken," Zulu leader Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi was quoted as saying.

This sounds like a discrimination lawsuit to me. Maybe she could do a class-action thingummy with Ward Churchill.

The Francin' of the Oprah

You know, I don't always get let into stores after hours, either, and I'm white enough to suit Robert Byrd. Of course, I'm just a disreputable-looking wage slave, and even the local Stop-n-Rob store has its standards. But when Oprah Winfrey is expected to adhere to a store's shopping hours, that's a racial incident.
"People were in the store and they were shopping. Oprah was at the door and she was not allowed into the store," Winfrey's friend Gayle King told US show Entertainment Tonight.

Apparently, heads haven't rolled at Hermes, which is snooty enough to turn away anybody they want to with impunity. I'll bet there were some eyes rolling, though.

A/T to my LaBW.

Just in case she comes by here...

I wanted to say "hi" to my Reverend Auntie Sister Cutlass of Love and Mercy. So, what do Unitarian Jihadists find in heaven (or cultural equivalent) when they die? Seventy-two virgins would seem a little... well... oppressive and patriarchal.

Just wondered.

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Don't you know that freedom of speech doesn't apply to the other guy?

That's what my Lovely and Brilliant wife said when I told her about this. Anybody who questions a news report, she points out, is accused of violating the freedom of the press. That's what seems to have happened here.

A priest who has defended Jim West against unsubstantiated allegations is himself now being tarred with the child-abuse brush.
Michael Ross and others are demanding that the Rev. Joseph Weitensteiner, longtime ranch director, be removed from that post after a newspaper this week published allegations that he had a long history of striking boys with paddles or his fists.

The newspaper in question (surprise, surprise!) is the Spokesman-Review, which has been gunning for West since last fall when he didn't play ball with the paper's owners on a real estate deal.

Does anybody remember Pastor Robbie Roberson, during the Wenatchee sex-rings witchhunt? He spoke up to say that the charges against some of his church members were highly unlikely (read: stank like an old flounder), and the next thing he knew, he was arrested himself. This is from an AP report of 11/7/95:
The nine remaining cases are pending, including the trial, starting Tuesday, of Robert "Roby" Roberson, pastor of the Pentecostal Church of God House of Prayer in East Wenatchee, where authorities say one of the rings was based.
According to affidavits from children and statements from adults who confessed participation, parents and children would gather in the church basement to sing and listen to Scripture. The adults would then order the children to undress and have sex with them, the documents indicate.
The statements further allege that Mr. Roberson, 50, used sermons to whip his flock into a sexual frenzy and once called a teen-age girl to the altar and had sex with her there, telling the faithful he was driving out the devil.

Of course, all those convictions were eventually overturned, but the families were broken up permamently as children were adopted out and parents had to prove their innocence. When a priest (or a pastor) is targeted for retaliation for speaking up, who will speak up for him? And when the primary news outlet in the city is doing the retaliating, how can anybody speak up at all?

Steven Smith makes me ashamed to be a journalist.

No good deed goes unpunished

I sure hope there's more to this story than meets the eye.
Police say Dave Newman, 48, disobeyed repeated orders by emergency personnel to leave the water. The police report does not mention Newman's rescue of 35-year-old Abed Duamni of Houston on Sunday afternoon...

"When he came across the river, the officer stuck out his hand like he's going to help him out of the water, and he put cuffs on him," said the Rev. John Parnell, pastor of St. Augustine Old Roman Catholic Church in Fort Worth.

A thankfully dry A/T to Bunnie Diehl.

A day in the life of an internet junkie

Vulgar, depressing and hilarious. At the end of the day I can say that at least I'm not this bad.
7:00 – Wake up, turn on computer, use the bathroom, shower, get ready for work.
8:30 – turn off computer, hug and kiss the monitor and say, “I’ll be seeing you later!” Leave for work.
11:00 – Hit up eBay, try and find an image of the Virgin Mary in a pile of dried vomit some drunken college kid left on the floor from a party the night before. No luck
12:00 – Lunch time! Respond to my personal emails while eating a sandwich and check each one of my email accounts again. 50 new emails, all junk.
12:45 – Step outside for a brief moment, I have to squint my eyes since it’s the first time I’ve seen the sun this month. Run back inside in fear of getting burned alive.
2:30 – Search for random video clips, laugh my ass off at the idiots out there. Someone somewhere is being videotaped getting gravely injured so we can all laugh at them while they sit in the hospital for weeks. Thank You!

Go read the whole thing, if you don't mind the ribaldry. H/T to A Welsh View.

Apes do read philosophy; they just don't understand it

My Lovely and Brilliant Wife suggested that title, from A Fish Called Wanda . Perfect, isn't it?

I'm no fan of Seattle, and even less of Baghdad Jim, but I have to admit his last answer here was a good one.
McDermott says Seattle is smarter, more politically astute and better read than most of the country. "Goldberg can talk about me if he wants, but don't attack my city," he said.

Goldberg responded, "It takes Seattle to create a Starbucks; that wouldn't happen in Kansas City."

"He's right," McDermott said. "He just doesn't know why."

In case you haven't checked out the article yet, McDipstick was ranked #38 among the "100 People Who Are Screwing Up America (and Al Franken Is # 37)" in a new book by Bernard Goldberg. Congressman McDirtbag is honored, he says, to be in such company. I don't think he meant to be ironic in saying that.

Another Akubra tip to Jim Romanesko, in whose company I'm honored to blog.

Are you sure she said "wits?"

Where did this happen? Oh, yes, San Francisco. Gee, who'd'a thunk?
Members of the Breasts Not Bombs contingent, which included seven women, three men and two young girls, said the war in Iraq is indecent, not their nakedness.

"Boobies never hurt anyone," said Sherry Glaser, size 40DDD.

After more than two years of opposition to the war, protesters are having a hard time grabbing headlines, said Sheba Love, size 40D.

"We're kinda at our wits' end, so it's come to this," Love said. "But it blows me away that all we have to do is bare our skin and we can cause such a snit."

Me, too, Sheba. I've got a wife and six kids. Ya think I've never seen a hooter before? Of course, I've never been to a nudie bar, so the ones I've seen aren't attached to somebody named "Sheba Love." And I have trouble taking seriously the political opinions of somebody who puts her breast size after her name like it was a degree.

A/T to Jim Romanesko, who hopefully collects neither dollar bills nor olive branches in his G-string.

I, Fido, take thee...

I have to keep reminding myself that the delightfully deadpan Maureen is only kidding. For that matter, she could be kidding, were she a United Methodist Episcopal goatherd. Do we want to go there? I don't think so.

Check it out here. And keep telling yourself that it's only satire. At least until the next Supreme Court ruling.

Saturday, July 02, 2005

A little juvenile humor

This is probably beneath the dignity of a blogger (if that's not a complete oxymoron), but I couldn't resist. What do you think?

Montgomery County's Matt Heck and

"Married... With Children's" Steve Rhodes

Separated at birth?

What the heck, Heck?

That's Montgomery County, Ohio Prosecutor Matthias Heck, Jr., of whom I'd never heard until he eighty-sixed one of his assistant prosecutors over a post on his private blog. I don't know all the details, as all I have is Lance's description of what happened, and that's intentionally vague. However, I don't see anything in his post that violated any confidene, or that undermined his employer directly; all I see is that he deplores some unnamed decision by his superiors that he considers cowardly. Apparently, Matt "honi-soit-qui-mal-y-pense" Heck saw more in the post than the blogosphere did, and canned him.

What this tells me is that private speech which names no names and compromises no professional canon is nonetheless subject to censorship by any tinhorn tyrant that has enough brains to sign a paycheck. The result, I suspect, is going to be that Heck ends up having to explain himself to the media - the mainstream media, not us pajamahadeen - exactly what the cowardly act is that has Lance's BVD's in a knot. Otherwise, the world outside Dayton, Ohio might never have known, let alone given a rat's patoot.

I'm inclined to agree with one supporter's e-mail: Heck is going to be sorry as hell he opened this can of worms.

Oh, and an A/T to Dawn Eden for getting this out in the open.