Old Time Radio at OTRCat!

Wednesday, February 25, 2004

LILEKS (James) Welcome!

James Lileks owes me for a hernia operation.
Not THAT kind of hernia. I was perusing his multitudinous offerings last night, and doggoned if he didn't cause me SERIOUS hurt.
I hurt myself laughing. There are few sites online which provide such a wealth of merriment. Be warned, though. you MUST wrap your abdomen with ace bandages.
Otherwise you will endure the pain of pleasure!

The REALLY neat thing about his ever-burgeoning collection is that it endures. When I first found his "Gallery of Regrettable Food" several years ago, I hurt myself laughing.
Laughed until I stopped. I shopped his site last fall for ideas- wound up buying the book "Regrettable Food" for a Christmas present- and I hurt myself AGAIN! The man is implacably evil!

The site would carry a PG rating, but with careful handling you can enjoy 'most all of it with your family.

James Lileks, MY lawyer will call YOUR lawyer in the morning! "Money for my pain and suffering."
...but thanks for all the giggles!

Sunday, February 22, 2004

First, a disclaimer. I am NOT dealing with the phony dichotomy of "Pietism vs. Activism". I am dealing with the phony bill of goods sold to the church to render it "relevant". So, that being said...

Every hour that "the church" spends marching, arguing on chat shows, or writing political activist tomes, is an hour not spent on discipling the nations.

Ancient Rome was a slave-keeping society. It was a natural and intrinsic part of the Roman economy. Jesus, Peter, and Paul really missed an opportunity to inform Poor Benighted Believers of the effectiveness of marching in the streets demanding rights and attention from the Unwashed Heathen. Yet, they did not instruct the Christians to march in the streets condemning the practice of slavery. Discipleship abolished slavery in the Roman empire. How can I call "slave" whom I also call "brother"? The early Christians did NOT march- unless it was to the Coliseum. They instead CHANGED THE WORLD. One heart at a time. As the Word of Christ conquered the empire with His love, slavery became an increasingly untenable option.

This is not to say that individual Christians may not be political, vote, or run for public office- or become butcher, baker or teeshirt maker. But individuals are not the Church. WE are the Church, and WE have a higher and specific calling.

Matthew 28:18-20, "And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen."

That, children, is how we change the world. Every thing else is second best, at best.

Here endeth the lesson.
This site is certified 68% GOOD by the Gematriculator

Saturday, February 21, 2004

Well, folks, I've been blogged out this week. Vanity, and striving after wind, and now I have my second. (Was that a zuegma?)

Oh, boy, The Passion of the Christ comes out on my birthday. I will NOT be likely to see it this week, though.
I have been ruminating on the debacle in the media, and have realised a horrific fact. We True Believers have NOT done our job well.
At all.

Pundits, wags and whiners are weighing in on this Jesus business, and to a man seem to be shocked and amazed by the idea that He had something to do with the Jews. Hmmmmm, born in Bethlehem...bar mitzvah-ed in Jerusalem...best friends in Bethany...crucified in Jerusalem...YEP, the Gypsies done 'im in!

Now, evangelicals, to a man, defend the baptised paganism we wrap in Holly and Ivy and call Christmas, defend it as a jolly tool for evangelism, a time when the most jaded heathen can look up and unabashedly shed a tear at the Little Baby Jesus. (No Scrooge, I, as I ADORE the Christmas Season with all its trappings. It's just that Scripturally speaking, Christmas isn't exactly kosher.) Back to the Jews.

Jesus was a Jew. He claimed to be the Messiah, the Son of God- and proved it with a life that fulfilled SO MANY prophecies about Himself that NASA computers get puffed figuring the odds. This after the Jewish political and "spiritual" leaders had declared it a capital crime to make such a claim. The Roman Occupation had outlawed the locals' death penalty. Only the Empire could execute criminals. Ah, the Judeo-Roman connection!

All this, and Jesus died for our sins, too! Shed His blood and everything. For us.

Why don't they know the story?

Why don't they know about Jesus?

All the World REALLY knows about Jesus is that His followers are a whiny, politically ineffective lot. (What Issue have we truly won on in recent memory?) Sounds like we've done a GREAT job, guys!

Thank God for Latinate Mass-loving Mel Gibson. Very CATHOLIC Mel Gibson. He's takin' the heat for the rest of us.


Saturday, February 14, 2004

It is disturbing when a tall, cadaverous man walks into my shop and gets a twinkle in his eye. It's like an undertaker saying
"I'm looking forward to seeing you again." I was printing shirts for a local band when a local Baptist minister came in. He is a great guy, but conversations with him redefine "eternity". While he was chatting -and keeping me from my work ( I don't multitask well)- Lurch strode in. I recognised him, noted the handful of fanfold he clutched, and continued my chat.
He looked at my new conveyor dryer, which is big enough to cook a pizza (don't ask...JUST KIDDING OSHA!) and I swanee,
his eyes lit up as he commented about the nice new big piece of equipment. He then was drawn into a conversation with the preacher. As I said, I recognised Lurch, and so we both settled into an uncomfortable wait until our Baptist friend took his leave. We had business to conclude.

You see, The Tall One is an agent of the local tax office. He was gentleman enough to not talk business in the presence of others. He was there to remind me of a small amount of tax I owe the County. No threats, no trouble, just makin' the
rounds. The rub lies with what it IS.

The tax is on "Personal property used for business". The mechanic must pay tax on the wrenches he uses, the baker must pay tax on his kneading bowl, the plumber on his Friend. The Tax guy first met me on a cold February day a couple of years ago after he discovered my little storefront whilst trolling for new business. A man I never met before came into my shop and informed me that I owed his office money. I must not only pay taxes on the money I earn, but also on the tools I use to earn my living. I was inwardly infuriated. I was given a form to list the items in my shop, with their estimated value.

As nice as this gentleman is- and I have reason to believe that he is a fellow believer- he could not disguise his joy on seeing my new $3000+ dryer.

I seethe.

Thursday, February 12, 2004

I have two things to share today: A bit of nostalgia, and a Dark Secret.

I really MISS "The Ed Sullivan Show". Really. Topo Gigio-the little Italian Mouse, Senor Wences, Belgian circus performers spinning plates on poles...and the COMICS. Especially the Borscht Belt comics, those vaudevillian masters ov yiddishkeit who brought an oddly foreign-yet-familiar flavor to their humor:.Alan King, Myron Cohen; and Jack Carter, f'rinstance. Myron Cohen, a fine Irish name...I REVELLED in his stories: bizarre, convoluted, and unique in their comic logic. Which leads me to my Dark Secret.

I really do NOT like "King of the Hill". I find it crude, tacky and needlessly ugly. It is "Beavis and Butthead" Lite, and I TRULY do not enjoy B&B, but my terrible little secret is:

I was Bobby Hill.

I was a chunky, crewcut blond elementary school kid, with a penchant for class clowning. Today, I would be drugged beyond caring on Ritalin; back in the early 60s, I got a desk near the teacher. At recess on Monday, I would regale my classmates with the tales I learned from Cohen and Co. "I like privacy!!" (My father and grandmother would be irked when I did stuff like that at home:"If you studied your lessons the way you study that foolishness...") I loved the cadence, the accent, the PUNCHLINES!
Most of all, I loved the laughter. I remembered every line, every gesture, and I'm SURE that few if any of my classmates got it. But we all laughed. I will not debate that some of it may have been AT rather than WITH -I was, after all, the chunky kid who had to sit near the teacher- but it was laughter.

A merry heart doeth good like medicine. If I can keep the laughter up, I'll live FOREVER!
50% of me is a huge nerd! How about you?

Wednesday, February 11, 2004

Yeah, I know, I did an internet quiz. But I'm a MAN, and my reason is
Harrumph Harrumph
58% Of The Internet Loves Me!
I am loved by 58% of the population, including:
2024 people who love quiz takers
2374 people who love short people
2282 people who love bloggers
In return, I love 93% of the population, including:
2865 people who like cake
1358 tall people
3288 women
show the love at spacefem.com
Rein it in, Bucko. Whilst musing in the shower, and being overcome by my cleverness, I hit upon a new thread. I've got a lot of 'splainin' to do.

The title of this paean to vanity is "The Plumbline". The name derives from a simple tool used to determine the true perpendicular from the ground. Masonry workers use it to see if the wall they are building is straight up-and-down.
The Old Testament prophet Amos refers to this tool:

Amos 7:7-8, "Thus he shewed me: and, behold, the Lord stood upon a wall made by a plumbline, with a plumbline in his hand. And the LORD said unto me, Amos, what seest thou? And I said, A plumbline. Then said the Lord, Behold, I will set a plumbline in the midst of my people Israel: I will not again pass by them any more:"

God was going to measure Israel against the unchanging standard of the line. The ULTIMATE point of this blog is to measure our culture against God's standard: His Word and His righteousness. But I want do do so with a degree of subtlety.

I have a favorite Playstation game: Castlevania: Symphony of the Night. The graphics, THE MUSIC!!
One of the weapons in the game is what appears to be a 25-pound King James Bible on a long chain. Cry "Havok", and let slip the Bibles of War! Whilst I do not wish to batter you, my Gentle Readers, about the head and shoulders with a 25 pounder, I will not shy from citing Scripture where required:

Romans 1:16, "For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek."

See, I dood it. I do NOT intend this to be Internet Bible Time, however. There are many such resources online, and I do not intend to reinvent the wheel which so many have squared so ably- but that's ANOTHER issue. My opinions for the most part are informed by my faith. To paraphrase:

"I'll show you my faith BY my blogs."

And have a good rollick on the way.

What an intellectually incestuous group we have here. We GOTTA get more readers, people, or we're doomed to playing Pingu, and linking to each other, and taking goofy tests. OOH-OOH! I have bouncing HAPPY FACES on MY blog.

Hey, I'm comin' off of a two-day emotional bender, so cut me some slack, jack! Two glorious fun-filled Seasonally Affected pull the covers over my head days. Sometimes I really love my life!

If I were my boss, I'd fire me.

Oops. My boss heard that. Bad vibe. No Vermont Teddy Bear for HER!!!

Isn't the SPIKE network a class act? I mean, their VTB commercial (sounds like an STD, duddn it?) with a VO by Adam Carrolla - I tol' you it was a class act! - shows the highest broadcast standards. Really. "The gift that keeps giving and giving...so YOU'LL keep getting and getting!" That Love sentiment should surely be put on a book-mark. I'll mark 1st Corinthians 13 with it. That's the ticket! Lessee..."It's bigger than I thought...I want to kiss it and kiss it..." Sounds like background chatter at a PlushieCon.

I LIKE manic!

Tuesday, February 10, 2004

A COPPER Dragon Lies Beneath!

My inner dragon color is COPPER. Click here to try the Quiz!

My inner dragon is the mighty warrior of dragon-kind. I don't play silly head-games or use fruity magic, I stick to the basics: big muscles and lots of flame. Wipe that smirk off your face, pal. Click the image to try the Inner Dragon Online Quiz for yourself.

Monday, February 09, 2004

Vox Popoli
I finally remembered the rantlet I had in mind.

Where in bonny blue blazes did the word "prophesized" come from? The earliest I can find a media usage of it is in the movie "Army of Darkness". It has become a Hollywood mainstay, now.

When you check out at the New Age bookstore, does the crone at the counter ask "You want me to Prophesize that for 25 cents more?" ?

The word is "PROPHESIED".

It had to be said.
Yes, I love the internet. Since 1996, and 14.4 modems, I have loved the 'net; back when every URL was a new discovery, and each web search unearthed untold treasures, and HTML was as mystical as speaking in tongues. Journey with me now to those thrilling days of yesteryear, before searches for "dominion theology" yielded sites full of people in odd black costumes, when search engines were egalitarian, unsullied by ranking for dollars. Back, way, way back when surfing the Web....was FUN!

Now, I'm just tired. Weary of searches yielding what someone pays them to yield, drive-by home page hijackings and the endless parade
of scum and villainy, where one MUST be cautious. Tired of email filled with offers to enlarge my penis {not necessary}, enlarge my breasts (I could make money with a webcam, but no...), enlarge my social circle (not wanted), and subject lines that read like a pentecostal on crack.

Thank God for blogs. Now I can navigate an endless river of whines, rants, jackleg punditry, bad spelling and self- absorption. And that's just MINE...But seriously, folks, you're a great audience, and an even BETTER entertainer.
I enjoy the wit and insight which shines like gold dust in a riverbed. Fellow bloggers, I raise a glass of homebrewed Nutmeg Lager in salute. Well played!

Sunday, February 08, 2004

Gad! This blogging thing is taking on a bizarre life of its own. One blog leads to another, then another, then i've GOT to comment on THAT blog. Did anyone comment on MY blog, and do I need to ANSWER it? It's a O-Cs nightmare come true!

The best laid plans often fall to the "Tyranny of the Immediate". I can't do what I have to do, because I have to do what I have to do! Too much to do. Blogging is IMPORTANT, though. Informative. Therapeutic. Fun, even.

The biggie is, if I have anything helpful to share, anything of Truth, anything edifying or instructive, then it behooves me to MAKE the time to share.

'Course, if it's just bafflegab, then what's the point?
How SAD is Yahoo? Specifically, Yahoo Auctions? I have had our most popular current designs up for 51/2 days, 19 auctions, and I have a whopping 13 hits. Not bids, hits. I have 18 auctions up on eBay. They have been up for about 23 hours, and already there are 72 hits. The bad news is: eBay KNOWS it's good, and has raised its rates accordingly. Now, I'm a laissez faire man myself, a rabid free marketeer, but even I can recognise greed when I see it!

Speaking of shameless commerce, a current selection of shirts we produce may be found at:


I am a purveyor of embellished sportswear ( "See, Marge, I TOLD you he was a purv..."},
and am a recipient of the mixed blessings of NAFTA. Don't tell your local screenprinter that I told you, but t-shirt prices have been stable for around 5 years. There have been other costs involved which have gone up, but shirts have remained much the same price. The other costs have necessitated our raising prices a bit, an act which I perform with great difficulty, but come ON, I looked at a printed price list from a decade ago, and our basic prices HAD NOT CHANGED!

How sad is THAT?

BUT, I used to be able to crow to my customers "We use American-made shirts!". While semantically it is still true (Central AMERICA...) It is no longer the case in the sense my customers wish to hear. My shirt labels now echo the contents of my
humidor: Dominican Republic, for example. The world, it is a-changing, and like it or not, "Norma Rae" is keeping our domestic manufacturers from competing in the world market.

OH! My sweet wife came up with this gem of wordplay in response to listening to NPR:

"If you want the country on the right track, you don’t elect a leftist."


Monday, February 02, 2004

I did NOT see Janet Jackson's breast Sunday night. Blessed am I among men.
However, I got an EARFUL of her breast on Monday morning. Don'tcha love talk radio? Glenn Beck, who is an Old Time Radio aficionado, put on a little Theatre of the Mind bit on his show, with the on-the-spot announcer ultimately reporting
that the entire stadium audience suffered catastrophic "wardrobe failure". Apparently Justin Timberlake did not have enough hands to go around.
The march of Bad Taste rolls ever on. I grew weary of boycotts in the 90's when Conservative Christendom was flexing its
collective muscles, but I could handle losing CSI just to poke my finger in the all-seeing CBS eye. MTV, well, what can you say? Daria's not on anymore.

Talk Radio has done more to LIMIT participation in the system than any other thing in society. If I listen to Limbaugh or Boortz, I have participated in the process. I feel as though I have Done Something. I've been "eddicated".
If I CALL IN, well, I've really done something. I've shared my mind with the masses. My energy has been spent, whether by venting my spleen on-air, or by doing so at the radio in my shop. I'm a bit tired after all that bebotherment to do anything substantive or practical, like write to my congressmen, or actually pass out Fair Tax info.
Rush refers to his show as a never-ending course of study. Unfortunately, I am not called to be a Professional Student.
My Boss says that I must be salt in the world. While I am not equating such political ideas with the Faith, my faith MUST inform all areas of my life, including Public Policy. Thus, as a friend once said, "There is a time to be in the shaker, and a time to be in the soup.". Mmmmmmmmmm, salty.....

Sunday, February 01, 2004

There is a problem. How do you present an idea compellingly and WELL?

Taxes, specifically INCOME taxes, are inherently wrong. Other writers have documented the inequities and Sheriff-of-Nottingham dastardies of the tax system far better than could I. For the Powers to seize what I have worked for by threat of harm, and give it to ones who did not expend their effort- beyond voting for a jackass in the booth- is a morally bankrupt act. Theft of the most egregious sort.

"Look, Marge, HE's a kook, too!"

Now, I know that the Income tax is putatively legal, and we shall examine Shakespeare on lawyers perhaps at another time, but to trumpet that "The Income Tax has been constitutionally passed by amendment to the Constitution.", when the Constitutions Framers provided other means of funding the government (Tariffs and duties, f'rinstance), while OPPOSING the concept of directly taxing one's income is to me much like proclaiming Theft and Adultery to be moral should Readers Digest Condensed Books edit the 10 commandments down to the Top 8.

There are several alternate- and constitutional- tax plans out there. I favor the Fair Tax.

Here is the problem: I hear a LOT of tax talk, and a lot of talk radio, and well, all it is is TALK. Period.
I want to know HOW to deal with things like the fair tax (which would ABOLISH the IRS!) without sounding like a CRANK!

Because most of the anti-tax crowd sound like cranks.

Even more, how do we get actual ACTION started? Because all I hear is talk.

Dr. Miller, my environmental science prof. in college, posits that there are four stages of human action:

No talk / no do.
Talk / no do.
Talk / do.
No talk / do.

We are currently at stage two.
How can we move to three?