Wednesday, December 10, 2008
So if the absurd is sometimes possible…how is it that God is not possible?
There have been 9 reported rains of frogs since 1939.
In 1953 it happened in Massachusetts. In just 1998 it happened in London. As late as August of 2007 it happened in Chistlehurst, Bromley.
In these incidents, a waterspout or tornado, will pick up animals that are often in a pond, then drop them in a localized area.
Sunday, December 7, 2008
Wednesday, December 3, 2008
But I Believe In The Israelite being a stronger statement for me than the original Until I Believed In The Israelite.
Maybe the most powerful lyric for me is the final The Christmas We Get We Deserve.
As Lake might be saying..."this could be more powerful a holiday if we didnt screw it up."
But it also makes me think that of course we don't deserve ANY Christmas..much less Easter.
The fact we have received this gift and made it something Christ would not have wanted it to become...at least in part.
In a fairly recent interview, Lake said "There is a sort of sadness to Christmas too. It is all those mixed emotions that go up to make, you know, the very sort of special time really."
Here is Greg Lake's version. The end of the video possibly being the most interesting part.
Monday, December 1, 2008
performed by U2
U2 released this just today for publicity to the (R)ed Wire website
As far as Christmas themed songs go by rock artists, I think Greg Lake's song is one of the strongest. (As I reread that sentance that might not be a huge statement...but I think its a solid song). I find it interesting to be one U2 would choose to cover. When I looked up the lyrics, I noticed the song provokes strong feelings with people.
According to one source, Lake wrote this as an objection to the commercialism of Christmas. He was concerned that the true spirit of Christmas was being lost in the marketing of the holiday.
And that is the way I hear the song. Others do not. Wondering if any of you might have a certain take.
They said there'll be snow at Christmas,
They said there'll be peace on earth,
But instead it just kept on raining,
A veil of tears for the Virgin birth.
I remember one Christmas morning,
The Winter's light and a distant choir,
And the peal of a bell and that Christmas tree smell,
And eyes full of tinsel and fire.
They sold me a dream of Christmas,
They sold me a silent night,
They told me a fairy story,
'Til I believed in the Israelite.
And I believed in Father Christmas,
And I looked to the sky with excited eyes,
Then I woke with a yawn in the first light of dawn,
And I saw him and through his disguise.
I wish you a hopeful Christmas,
I wish you a brave New Year,
All anguish, pain and sadness,
Leave your heart and let your road be clear.
They said there'd be snow at Christmas,
They said there'd be peace on earth,
Hallelujah! Noel!, be it Heaven or Hell,
The Christmas we get, we deserve.
Monday, November 24, 2008
"You looked kind of cute when I was drunk" and "What I really want is an Australian" (the duo are from New Zealand) are harsh yet hilarious to me.
Tuesday, November 18, 2008
But through the debates between Obama and Keyes, something was brought up that I have heard pondered locally and nationally. As in, "Who would Jesus vote for?"
(I asked essentially this question in a Sunday School class...not claiming to have an answer.)
The quote from Keyes was "Christ would not vote for Barack Obama, because Barack Obama has voted to behave in a way, that is inconceivable for Christ to have behaved."
Does your faith (if you have any) go into your decisions for who to vote for? Should it?
Do you prefer politicians to have a rather obvious belief system or to keep that out of the discussion?
Tuesday, November 11, 2008
Tuesday, November 4, 2008
70 % of eligible Iraqi people turned out in 2005 to vote. Amid promises of violence (44 people were killed).
This election will almost surely set records for turnout. The sad thing is, if we all decided to vote it would be too much for us to handle. Because it has never been close to 100%, its never been much of a concern. And that is sad.
Malta averages 94% turnout
New Zealand 88%
United States 54%
We should burst over 70% this election. As much as we might pat ourselves on the back, will we stay around those numbers?
We will see.
Monday, November 3, 2008
"I had some much to do today. I drank like 20 beers!"
Sunday, November 2, 2008
Saturday, November 1, 2008
Friday, October 31, 2008
Thursday, October 30, 2008
JFK's song was very catchy
We also see why Eisenhower beat Stevenson. He wrote an original song.
Stevenson had to rip off old songs
Tuesday, October 28, 2008
By all means, if you have good, valid reasons for voting for either McCain or Obama then please do so.
But if you don’t know where your candidate stands on the issues, then it is your responsibility to go find out.
This election is very important. We will elect the President of the United States .
Please don’t be one of those millions who are content to watch TV or listen to radio coverage, and vote based on someone else’s opinion.
Do your own independent research. Below are some links that I have found to be helpful:
Project Vote Smart - http://www.votesmart.org/election_president.php
McCain - http://www.votesmart.org/issue_rating_category.php?can_id=53270
Obama - http://www.votesmart.org/issue_rating_category.php?can_id=9490
Citizens Against Government Waste - http://www.cagw.org/site/PageServer
National Tax Payer’s Union - http://www.ntu.org
(Thank you anonymous for being the first to guest blog. If anyone else would like to do this sometime please just email me....Matt)
Monday, October 27, 2008
The ominous music aside, does this disturb you or does this make you think Obama is a forward thinker that we need? We are hearing a lot about redistribution. Could it be good?
Tuesday, October 21, 2008
Friday, October 17, 2008
Sunday, October 5, 2008
Tuesday, September 30, 2008
Your risk of death goes up 18% that day.
If someone tells you "I do not care who you vote for, as long as you vote" that person hates you. Of course they care! Now I realize those people are evil.
"Voters can easily avoid the risks by not speeding, wearing seat belts and avoiding alcohol use before driving to the polls and on the way home."
Please... If voting in this election makes you want to drink...wait until you get home.
Saturday, September 27, 2008
He served in the navy in WWII as a tail gunner. In one battle his entire detail was killed except for him and his pilot. They were held back at the last moment because his pilot had an ear infection.
At the age of 70, he became the oldest driver to be part of a winning team in a major sanctioned race, the 24 Hours of Daytona in 1995.
He was married for 50 years to actress Joanne Woodward. They lived in Connecticut.
As of May this year, the Newman's Own Brand had contributed over 220 million dollars to charity.
Thursday, September 25, 2008
"PETA's request comes in the wake of news reports that a Swiss restaurant owner will begin purchasing breast milk from nursing mothers and substituting breast milk for 75 percent of the cow's milk in the food he serves," the statement says.
Ben and Jerry's HAS wanted their customers to start younger. Stay tuned...
Tuesday, September 16, 2008
Monday, September 15, 2008
Just a little reflection about my weekend.
I went to Pennsylvania with the girlfriend and another couple.
We saw Abraham and Sarah at the Living Waters Theater. Good stuff. Not my favorite but some good stuff. Then we went for a buggy ride. We saw some Amish people working there. Got excited to have a real Amish person give us the ride/tour.
Saw a young blonde woman wearing jeans walking around looking for who her next customers were. We wanted to hide. "She's not Amish! We want our money's worth." It felt worse than when I ordered a large #3 yesterday and got a small fry.
But thats who we got and it turned out great. She had just bought the company from an Amish guy because Amish aren't supposed to profit from tourism. The guy felt guilty and sold it. She runs it with her boyfriend who grew up Amish, but left the church right before having to choose to join. If he HAD joined and THEN dropped out he would have been shunned. But left before officially joining so not so bad a thing.
The four of us enjoyed an hour long ride courtesy of Smokey the horse. Smokey was a slow mover but that was fine by us.
Stopped for a few minutes to buy some lemonaide from some Amish children who had a stand. Freshly squeezed and the best lemonaide I ever remember having.
Stopped at a home where an Amish family lived. They had deer as pets in a large pen. Don't think could do that where I live.
We went to a church service the next morning. Found an Amish-Mennonite church. Not Amish. Not Mennonite. Amish-Mennonite. They broke away among other reasons as I understand it, that they did not believe in the practice of shunning people that leave the faith.
They also have cars. When we got to the church we parked in spaces up front marked visitor. Shortly an Amish dressed woman apprached our car to tell us when to come in for service. We walked in at 10am and were very warmly greeted. We signed in the visitors book and then noticed one thing I did not think about. The men were sitting on one side while the women were on the other side of the church. Our greeter told us we could of course sit together and an usher would seat us. He sat us on the left side with the women. Ladies in traditional Amish dress and "kaps" were all around us as we were smack in the middle with our "modern" clothes. Once seated the service was already into singing. They use no instruments other than the voice. The worship leader was asking for requests. We would turn to that page in the hymnal and he would blow into his pitch pipe and then start us into the singing. One song had a very nice, women sing first and then men harmonizing part that was quite beautiful.
One song was on a handout and people from both aisles that surrounded us were giving us theirs. Then when the sermon began the speaker began immediatly reading verses from Romans and Exodus. We did not have any bibles with us and there were no "pew bibles." As soon as they realized, our Amish neighbors handed us their bibles to use for the rest of the service.
One Amish boy in front of me was coloring and not really paying attention. Kids in church are same wherever you go.
The message was a good one. (maybe told a bit slowly but good) We found out instead of one preacher there is a team of four men that take turns preaching.
After the sermon which was at least 35 minutes (whole service maybe hour and a half) as I remember, they had one of the 4 team members sum up the sermon. Then we prayed by kneeling but turning around so your arms are clasped on the seat of the pew.
Then they had another member do a sort of commision for lack of better word. Then they asked for any testimonials or anything the congregation would like to share. One member (grabbing the microphone..yes they had a sound system) gave a good 5 minute talk on what was on his mind and that was that. As soon as we were told "You are excused" The Amish women around us tell us how nice it was to have us and one lady invited us to lunch. We had to accept of course.
The Kaufmann family were wonderful hosts. Six children (which is the average) 3 boys 3 girls and their parents could not have been nicer. When we got there Mrs. Kaufmann was already pealing potatoes. One of the girls argued she wanted to set the table, so another task had to be found for the youngest sister.
Now we had just learned the day before from our buggy ride that Amish lunch is more like our dinner. They go all out for lunch. And it ended up being one great meal. I even took seconds on the green beans. I do not think I have EVER done that.
Mashed potatoes? Best I ever had. Meatballs. Apple sauce. Corn pudding was it? Another one of those things I rarely eat but was delicious. The kids were personable and considering 4 strangers were in their house, remarkably well behaved. Mrs. Kaufmann would make note on two occassions that her children were quite "mischievous" which made me think she was unsure what that word meant.
The conversation was light and easy. In explaining where we were from, the girls seemed excited about Chincoteague and hearing about the Pony Swim. They had read "Misty Of Chincoteague" and expressed an interest in going for a visit. Mr. Kaufmann found out my friend Pete was a firefighter (as was he) and they exchanged stories. His day job was involved in an apple orchard, and we noticed many beautifull red apple trees around the house
Finally there was pie and a bowl filled with icecream passed around as well as the option of coffee.
Part of my point on all of this? The most welcoming church experience I have ever had. I was just talking to a friend of mine about this same kind of thing. Some churches overdue it. But we were not made to stand up (though we obviously stood out) and tell who we were. On the other side, we were not ignored as I have been often at new churches. They seemed to do it just right. It was a weekend I will remember, and most of all from the way we saw God's face through strangers that welcomed us warmly.
Thursday, September 11, 2008
Wednesday, September 10, 2008
Tuesday, September 9, 2008
Sunday, September 7, 2008
Commander-In-Chief is kind of a big deal. So when the thing that defined the outgoing president's foreign policy is brought up at the RNC, makes sense I would think.
Could showing something we saw over and over again seven years ago now be inappopriate?
As Keith Olberman of MSNBC says, "At this late date." Does he mean we should never see it again?
Should Pearl Harbor footage be shelved? Is Holocaust footage off limits? What about films? Was Olberman offened by the two 9/ll films released by major studios? Did he think it was too soon?
Was it? What are the rules? Where is the line or where should it be?
Wednesday, September 3, 2008
What other films are now kid friendly? Well Die Hard 2 naturally. This could only help Nickelodeon and The Family Channel.
Here is an example. Maybe Fred Thompson could have used the "stupid arrogant psychopath line" to Putin. Why we didn't elect that guy... Look at his executive experience !
Tuesday, September 2, 2008
Everything was going so well.
“The worst Republican Environment since Watergate up against an exciting, charismatic Democratic Nominee.” (Mary Matalin)
Then he went to Berlin and pretended he was already president. The smug level that day in Germany was especially high and it did not play well back in the States.
Then he had a “forum” (please don’t call it a debate) with John McCain at Saddleback Church and lost so convincingly the (forum not debate) that his own supporters said “McCain must have known the questions ahead of time.”
His “safe” choice of Joe Biden actually dropped him 2 points in some polls the next day. No matter, he had the convention speech. It’s all anyone would be talking about the next day. Only McCain picked Palin and the news-cycle went something like this: McCain picks Palin!! What do you think of THAT!! McCain picks Palin!! What do you think of THAT!! McCain picks Palin!! What do you think of THAT!! Obama gives a right pretty speech. McCain picks Palin!! What do you think of THAT!!
Knowing they should be up more than they are they go on the attack. “Palin is not experienced! She’s so inexperienced our guy almost looks like he has experience!” You cannot focus on the potential Vice President’s “lack of experience” when it just reminds people of the lack of experience of the potential President.
But now the arguments are going from experience into things that should not matter.
You cannot go after a mother because her 17 year old daughter got pregnant. And you cannot…can NOT go after Palin for deciding to have her child, knowing before its birth it had Down Syndrome. Yes these are the kinds of arguments Obama has wisely asked people to lay off.
Here is an example of the kind of criticism I am talking about from a guy who signed his name as “reporter” on a political site.
Sarah Palin lacks personal moral scruples. Knowing that her baby (and 5th child) would suffer Down syndrome, she deliberately carried him to term. For her, religious belief is more important than human compassion: the humane thing to do would have been to abort the fetus in order to spare it from a life of suffering. Also, Palin deliberately chose to give birth to a 5th child even though she, as governor, does not have time to properly care for him.Note that about 90% of women who are aware that their fetus is afflicted with Down syndrome choose to terminate the pregnancy. These women (including both conservatives and liberals) did not want their potential child to live a life of suffering. (reference: “Anti-Abortion Activists Cheer McCain’s V.P. Pick” @ online.wsj.com/article/SB122005503104485161.html )
How many Down Syndrome people do you know? How many do you think are suffering and wished they had never been born? How does this person (or anyone) know what kind of care the child is receiving?
Must we be deemed perfect pre-birth to be worthy of love or life?
Because pretty much as soon as you are born you are no longer perfect.
“How dare she take the VP job when she has a 4 month old disabled child!!” (another comment on the same site)
So much for the feminist spirit if you are running against a Democrat.
How did that song go? I am woman hear me roar/but only if I am Democrat, let me out the door!!
I mean if 90% are going one route, it must be the correct route.
Obama wisely has said Palin’s daughter is off limits. I hope he says the same about her son. I give him the benefit of the doubt.
If these people think they are helping, they are sincerely wrong. The more people hear these kinds of attacks or want to focus on someone having or not having children, the more ammunition for the Republicans.
Diehards will have to bring up Obama’s support against the Illinois Born Alive Infants Protection Act.
And why does a far left position on abortion still matter in this election? Because these are the people who are voting:
“A new poll finds half of voters don't know that presidential candidate John McCain is pro-life on abortion or that Barack Obama is pro-abortion. The survey shows that, when pro-life voters know that information, they support McCain by a three-to-one margin.
A new poll from the Pew Research Center finds voters are more interested in the 2008 election than they were the 2004 election, but they are less informed on where the candidates stand.
Pew finds that just 52 percent of voters rightly identify Obama as pro-choice and only 45 percent know John McCain is pro-life on abortion.
A stunning 38 percent of voters don't know where either Obama or McCain stand on the issue of abortion. Some ten percent wrongly identify Obama as pro-life and 17 percent think McCain supports abortion. http://www.lifenews.com/nat4043.html
There is a long way to go. Obama could be photographed saving a child from the storm while Palin makes her speech Wednesday (and if he is smart he will) That would be good for at least a 5 point surge. But it looks like we might have a race on our hands after all.
This has been considered the Democrats Election to lose.
Sounds like they are taking that as a challenge.
Friday, August 29, 2008
Thursday, August 28, 2008
We have had spirited responses (so far all between people who are most likely voting for the same person) and I thank those for opening the discussion.
Let's hear the other side of the coin.
Wednesday, August 27, 2008
Players who have been LPGA members for two years face suspension if they can't pass an oral evaluation of English skills. The rule is effective immediately for new players.
Is this fair? Is this just good business?
Tuesday, August 26, 2008
Sunday, August 24, 2008
But to me the Olympics are everything that COULD be right about sports. Do they succeed? For moments at a time, absolutely. Other times, no.
Some of my memories of the Olympics growing up contained Mary Lou Retton’s perfect 10. Greg Louganis winning, then next Olympics bashing his head on the board and still winning on the very last dive of his career. Carl Lewis. The Ice Hockey Team in 1980 (If I did not see it when it happened, it was talked about enough I feel I did). Men’s Volleyball. Bad boxing decisions. Bad figure skating decisions. Eddie The Eagle. I could keep going.
And yet I watch the much ballyhooed American Men’s Basketball team with a feeling of loss. Loss for what the Olympics no longer are in certain ways.
It all changed when we let pros play in what was once an amateur competition. I know I know. Michael Phelps and many others aren’t really amateurs. Not with his Speedo and other endorsements before these Olympics. But with swimmers and others who we only see every 4 years, they still have that amateur feel.
There will never be another “Miracle On Ice” because we are the same as the “professional” Soviets were. A bunch of college kids beating a pro team is a story for the ages. We have not won that gold medal since. And if we did, watching pro NHL All-stars play against one another, we would not care even close to as much.
I watched Chariots Of Fire the night before the Beijing Olympics started. The controversy back in 1924 Britain, was the fact that sprinter Harold Abrahams hired a coach. An amateur athlete hiring a coach was not illegal but looked down upon. What a truly long time ago.
Thursday, August 21, 2008
Sunday, August 10, 2008
I liked it better when we did not know who was the woman in the Mona Lisa. I preferred a time when we were unsure what the heck Stonehenge was.
Macguffin: A term used by Alfred Hitchcock to refer to an item, event, or piece of knowledge that the characters in a film consider extremely important, but which the audience either doesn't know of or doesn't care about. Examples: the engine plans in The 39 Steps, the statue with the microfilms in North by Northwest, and the contents of the briefcase in Pulp Fiction.
The best Macguffin of all is the one we live through every day. The big questions we all have for God. “Why if _____ then _____ , _____, ______ happens?” It can be frustrating to the point where we say a lot of blankety blanks to ourselves.
But don’t forget. We are characters in one heck of a story. And even Orson Wells is gonna be impressed with all of the reveals at the end.