Monday, March 31, 2008
Not the Irish Sweepstakes. Not a chance at several million sweet, sweet Nigerian dollars. Not EVEN Publishers Clearing House.
Your Aardvark qualified for a Medical Trial. I am part of a blind study of a BPH medication
trial. The next 16 months have the Aardvark transmogrified into a guinea pig, complete with shots, as they so genteelly put it, in the hip. I have a one in three chance that one of the three shots I get will be a placebo. Yaaaay! The good news is that I get some serious health care for nuttin'. I am not a responsible adult where my own health is concerned. I don't do seriously damaging things to my bod; I just don't take as much care and get the checkups I should. Perhaps this is a change for the better.
I will give suitably sanitary reports. This has GOT to be mineable for some amusement.
Sunday, March 30, 2008
I should be napping, as it's Sunday afternoon, and I have a tummy full of roast, and a circulatory system full of Benadryl. Good times. If I could work my will, every single Bradford Pear would be hewn to the ground, the stumps dynamited, and the craters sown with salt. Lots of salt. I'm debating over whether-or-not I should pave over the craters. That could get expensive.
The wretched trees are a nasal nightmare, with an unpleasant scent, and copious pollen. The ARE pretty, and relatively cheap, so every contractor and jackleg landscaper HAS planted a few on every site. Mercy.
So, should I attend CoastCon? Last year they had about 700 attendees. I'm printing their shirts, and plan to ship 'em, but we have so much work here to do, and it's a 14-hour round trip. Not much money to be had, and I'm in it for the money. In general, Sci-Fi cons are a losing proposition for me. The fan dollar is in anime. That I enjoy the Japanese cartoony goodness helps loads, as well, and as I have written elsewhen, there are far fewer unpleasant and disagreeable characters with anime fandom than with Sci Fi. Odd. Not to poke fun at others' misfortunes, but I DO note the preponderance of Aspy and A.D.D. types at SF cons, especially the bearded ones who loom over the table like God's Own Vulture, and proceed to regale you with corrections to t-shirt gags (not a sex toy) that have sold quite well up till now without your help, thank you.
I also think it's cute when the gamers stand around talking As Though It Actually Happened. " ...and then I cast Magic Missile, and the giant Blancmange exploded. Boy, we had too much dessert on THAT quest!"
(Please don't think me to be a merchant of that loathsome sort who disdains his customers. I should as well curse the bread and jam at breakfast! They are persons of exacting and excellent taste, who choose our - he smiles modestly - well crafted comically imprinted sportswear over many of our competitors'. I am thankful and am merely making a comparison between two distinct sets, and acknowledging my preference for one over the other.)
What to do...what to do?
AH! I'll take that nap.
Friday, March 28, 2008
Thursday, March 27, 2008
Wednesday, March 26, 2008
Photo thanks to PHYSORG.COM
The good news is, I am seeing honeybees about. When I go outside, I can often hear the ambient droning buzz of bees on the prowl for pollen.
Not being silly, here. Be aware of the bees in your environs. Pray for the bees. Our lives depend upon their tireless labor.
Monday, March 24, 2008
I mourn...I WEEP - revisited
Constantine spills the beans. I mean, apparently Neo just can't keep his trap shut.
Ted has shared with us part of the raison d'etre for the remake of The Day The Earth Stood Still:
The first one was borne out of the cold war and nuclear détente. Klaatu came and was saying cease and desist with your violence. If you can't do it yourselves we're going to do it. That was the film of that day... The version I was just working on, instead of being man against man, it's more about man against nature. My Klaatu says that if the Earth dies, you die. If you die, the earth survives. I'm a friend to the earth.
Keanu Reeves, sadly, is not the star of the movie.
Al Gore is. I guess this propaganda-piece is what he needs to keep his Inconvenience afloat.While he is not credited, Gore has clearly affected Public Thought such that it comes out in unexpected and inappropriate ways. It is troubling that Gore's best work, what he will be forever remembered for, is his different appearances on FUTURAMA.
Even I can stand him in that.
Sunday, March 23, 2008
The Great Restorationist Blind Spot
If Some is Good, Then More is Better!
Of COURSE I'm a Campbellite...I LOVE Soup!
One of the hallmarks of the Restoration Movement, (in particular, amongst churches of Christ) is avoiding adding to or taking from God's Word in areas of Faith and Practice. The New Testament church met upon the first day of the week, so we meet on that day. They celebrated the Lord's Supper (Communion) upon that day, therefore we do.
Like that. No doctrinal additions, no novel practices; the Word says do it, so we do it.
If the Scripture does not authorize a practice by command or example, we do not do it. (This is where the business of non-instrumental or a capella singing comes in. The Scripture says to "sing and make melody in your hearts to the Lord". It does not say, "make melody with a piano, an organ, a Praise Band, or a glockenspiel." If it did, it would therefore be incumbent upon ALL of God's people to learn the instruments to do so. God says merely "sing and make melody in your hearts". Virtually anyone can do that. God offers opportunity to the broadest cross-section to worship him.
You do NOT want me on glockenspiel.
The rubric of "Speak where the Bible speaks, be silent where the Bible is silent" looms large in our fellowship's thinking. But in one area, we tend to become a tad shaky, and it is the area of custom. But first a Word from our Sponsor:
Rom 14:10-14 But why do you judge your brother? Or also why do you despise your brother? For all shall stand before the judgment seat of Christ.
For it is written, "As I live, says the Lord, every knee shall bow to Me, and every tongue shall confess to God."
So then each one of us will give account concerning himself to God.
Then let us not judge one another any more, but rather judge this, not to put a stumbling-block or an offense toward his brother.
I know and am persuaded in the Lord Jesus, that nothing by itself is common; except to him who esteems anything to be common, it is common.
In the book of Acts, we receive clear guidance by the example of the apostles and the early church, to meet as the church on the first day of the week (Sunday).
(Act 20:7 And upon the first day of the week, when we were gathered together to break bread, Paul discoursed with them, intending to depart on the morrow; and prolonged his speech until midnight) We are instructed to meet together:
Heb 10:19-27 Therefore, brothers, having boldness to enter into the Holy of Holies by the blood of Jesus,
by a new and living way which He has consecrated for us through the veil, that is to say, His flesh;
and having a High Priest over the house of God,
let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience and our bodies having been washed with pure water.
Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering (for He is faithful who promised),
and let us consider one another to provoke to love and to good works,
not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching.
For if we sin willfully after we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remains no more sacrifice for sins,
but a certain fearful looking for judgment and fiery indignation, which shall devour the adversaries.
So we are commanded to meet together, and by example, to meet on Sunday. Preachers and church leaders have decided that if some is good, then more is better, so a second meeting was added on Sunday evening. Then, even that wasn't sufficient. Wednesday night was added as well. (A dirty little secret...the Baptists came up with this first.)
Now, look. Let me be clear. I don't have a complaint about meeting together, so you can fold that "Why don't you want to meet with your brothers and sister?" McCarthyite sermon up and file it. Where I have a problem is the judging of people for not going to man-mandated meetings; judging someone's faithfulness for not adhering to someone else's Real Good Idea.
How can someone be judged less-than-faithful by adhering to the Scripture's example?
How can you say I am not being faithful by my not being at every meeting held in addition to Scripture's example? My work, and sometimes my health, causes me to not be at every Sunday night or Wednesday night meeting. Often when I am at the next meeting, the "So glad you're here tonight" has a distinct " 'Cause you weren't here LAST time" flavor. Lest I be thought a tad paranoid, the comments on nights when attendance is down have that very taste. "I'm glad we're here tonight...but we're not all here.".
If you forsake assembling with God's people, then you need correction, certainly. But it seems to me that if you aren't kowtowing to man's additions, then you should not be accused of disobedience, or have your faithfulness questioned in a passive-aggressive manner..
Col 2:16-17 Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of a feast day or a new moon or a sabbath day: which are a shadow of the things to come; but the body is Christ's.
If we are to do Bible things in Bible ways, then we had best get to it. Judging one for not obeying man's additions is not what I call sounding a clear note.
Friday, March 21, 2008
Anti-abortion legislation…ain’t gonna happen. The harpies are louder than the saints, whether they are or not. To flog the moribund equine, it isn’t legislation that will end abortion. It is individuals who decide to keep their babies to full term. That requires training, another term for making disciples. Voting for McCain will not usher in the Kingdom of God. NO lever-pulling will do that. Even Hillary’s ascent to the Cherry Blossom Throne will not immanentize the Eschaton. It MAY usher in a little persecution that may strip some lard off the church.
Teach God’s Word to people: friends, family, neighbors, cow-orkers. In short, Christians, do your JOB. Quit looking for political short-cuts. The church has wasted 30 years going the Falwell/Robertson route, and the barbarians are taking the country. If you do things Jesus’ way, you can expect results. Good ones. If you continue to do it your way, or denominational HQ’s way, you can expect to do as well as you have already.
Thursday, March 20, 2008
Tuesday, March 18, 2008
Barack Obama's "pastor" is out of bounds.
I find nothing in New Testament church polity and hermeneutics to even hint at the vituperous mouthings emitted by Mr. Wright. The Apostle Paul at his most...intense was speaking against false brethren who sought to bring Christians back under the bondage of the Law of Moses. Likewise, Jesus' condemnation of the Pharisees took the form of accurate character assessment. Neither railed against Rome, or damned Rome.
Jesus had said
"Matt 5:44 But I say to you, Love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who despitefully use you and persecute you..."
"Rom 12:9-21 Let love be without hypocrisy, shrinking from evil, cleaving to good; in brotherly love to one another, loving fervently, having led one another in honor. As to diligence, not slothful, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord;
rejoicing in hope, patient in affliction, steadfastly continuing in prayer,
distributing to the needs of the saints, pursuing hospitality.
Bless those who persecute you; bless, and do not curse.
Rejoice with rejoicing ones, and weep with weeping ones;
minding the same thing toward one another, not minding high things, but yielding to the lowly. Do not be wise within yourselves.
Repay no one evil for evil. Provide things honest in the sight of all men.
If it is possible, as far as is in you, being in peace with all men.
not avenging yourselves, beloved, but giving place to wrath; for it is written, "Vengeance is Mine, I will repay, says the Lord."
Therefore if your enemy hungers, feed him. If he thirsts, give him drink. For in so doing Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good."
Compare this with the ministry of Jeremiah Wright.
By the plumbline of New Testament Scripture, I would say "Weighed in the balance and found wanting".
Monday, March 17, 2008
I suspect he has an oil painting hidden somewhere.
John Ankerberg is a decent sort.
He has been an ardent apologist
for the Christian Faith, and while
he suffers That Blind Spot about
End Times, he is keen on historic
orthodoxy for the most part.
He has (apparently) avoided much
of the hucksterism of Televangelism -
though he has his fair share of books
and DVDs for sale on his site.
He DOES get hyper about fads, like the
New Age debacle in the '80s, but does an admirable job moderating panels of both
sides of an issue.
The thing that REALLY worries me is that he still looks like he should be in Davey and Goliath. He looks an experienced 12-year-old.
Just another guy with a painting of himself stashed away.
Sunday, March 16, 2008
It is Ma-a-a-a-a-arch Ma-a-a-a-a-a-a-dness.
Very much. We are moving into our major convention season. Majorly.
Mr. McLeod is returning from MomoCon fresh from an AMAZING weekend. Heh. He probably has Harrowing Tales of Meteorology from his weekend in Atlanta to rival my riding the wings of Katrina home from MechaCon.
Not ruddy likely.
Congrats on record-breaking Momo-Biz.
I will be doing some bloggery, but in 'Vark-LiteTM mode. Please keep checking in, because I've got stuff to say, and a short time to get there. (Yes, I was a movie theater projectionist in the '70s.) I'll be at Anime St. Louis in 2 weeks. Never been to St. Looie.
I've always wanted to build a giant with a croquet mallet across from the Arch. Someday...someday....
Friday, March 14, 2008
Ben Bernanke and His Magic Helicopter
Ben is at it again. Increase the money supply, and everybody happy. The Prexy's $300.00 tax rebate stimulus package thingie is such a tragic little effort, like urinating on a California wildfire. So the US$ is plummeting on the world market, and the cursed Euro is winning.
Maybe the Amero will fare better. Oh, yeah, it doesn't exist, and there are NO plans for it. Right.
Facts remain, and one damning truth is that a barrel of oil can be had for the same amount of gold as it could 20+ years ago. Real commodities relate to one another. Gold has broken the $1K per ounce mark, but gold is really no more valuable than it ever has been. The dollar has shrunk in comparison to the stability of gold. The Full Faith and Credit of the United States. It is to laugh.
Maybe Bernanke is a closet gold bug, driving up the relative value of his hoard.
Wednesday, March 12, 2008
I am a True Believer. For over twenty of your years, I have studied and sought the Tankless Water Heater. They instantly provide hot water on demand, and have models powered by either electricity or gas. We installed one a couple of years ago, and have been happy with the results, though the model we got is slightly smaller than would be ideal for our household. I have been trying to buy a larger propane burning unit as an upgrade, and even filled out the Rinnai dealer finder online. Their local guy called me, and proceeded to talk me out of a tankless, and into installing an old-style boiler. Said it would be more economical.
It is to laugh.
Which will be more economical over time: a boiler that keeps water hot 24 hours heating, then reheating as it cools, for water usage of an hour to an hour-and-a-half out of the day, or a heater with no tank, that supplies the precise amount of hot water you need, when you need it?
I have had two dealers in our area, including Home Depot, to try to convince me that the old-style heat it and hold it boiler is the way to go.
Feh. I am suspecting a conspiracy here.
Tuesday, March 11, 2008
A Voice From the Past! (or) Be Careful What You Post
Back in April '07 I posted a Sci Fi Channel rant. In it, I referenced:
Overall, I find SciFi Channel to be as cutting-edge as tapioca pudding, but occasionally they have some neat reportage on their website.So, last week, I got an email:
I got cable originally on the strength of the provider having SciFi Channel (or as Tony Papagermanos, a Greek nuke engineer I worked with said, the "Skiffy Channel". I miss Tony...a really nice guy, and personable.)
It's all nice and well, BUT you got my name wrong! It's not TONY PAPAGERMANOS. Heck, I don't know HOW you remembered that much (i.e., my last name). My first name is Michael.
But, I am just shocked you remember me after so many years. Feel free to visit me on my blog.
Heh. I got the "Tony" wrong. I blame it on the fumes from cleaning screens. And the years passing. AND watching too much bad SF on cable.Yes, ultimately I blame it on Canada.
Mike, I DID get the hard part right! Papagermanos. You gotta admit, it is a LOT more memorable than "Jones"!
The main reason I remembered you is that you were a nice guy, with intelligent interests.You also encouraged my budding t-shirt business. You also did not come to the supply window begging for an electric eraser every day.(Those were something of a status symbol amongst some of the engineers at Bechtel.)
(The "Skiffy Channel" quote was not my poking fun. I was enjoying the pronunciation were it in Greek.It is a fond memory.)
Michael posts a fair amount on the SciFi.com forum. He also has a blog, which I will have to plug into Babelfish. (Michael,If you read this, send me a link to your blog so I'll be sure it's the right one.) Keep writing, come visit. I hope all is well with you.
Browns Ferry Nuclear Plant is ticking away just fine, so apparently your engineering superpowers, and my filing of engineering revs did the trick. That, and no-one checks the wiring with a candle anymore.
That's right, kiddies. My blog is Nuclear Powered! I think that is so neat. An atomic tea-kettle does the trick! I feel like Jeff Tracy.
God bless you, Michael. Stop by soon.
Sunday, March 09, 2008
Your Aardvark was in Montgomery, AL this weekend. I attended the Starfleet Region 2 Summit. I am not a member of this august group, but sell my wares at their events. I print their Summit shirts, and that has gained my entry into an otherwise closed organization.Color me Ferengi-at-Large. As I have explained in previous posts, Starfleet is a civic organization which raises funds for charity, and is built around the Star Trek universe. Think of the Rotary Club with phasers. Klingons with fezzes. Like that. I have good friends in Starfleet, but I see a sad side to this. You have the Movers and Shakers who are Normal People in an Odd Club, and then you have the people who have no lives outside of Trek, about whom documentaries are made. The grown men who go to a convention with their mothers.
I am respectful of filial devotion, and sharing fun things with family, but....It's just so different. I'm talking myself out this, 'cos doggone it, at least these guys have their moms, and have an active relationship with them. It's kind of sweet.
But it sure is different.
It seems that the Star Trek franchise is moribund. Yes, there is a movie in the works, but that's happening in summer aught-nine. Pfui. Amway is more popular at this juncture, just not as much fun. This waning interest is a problem for fan groups like Starfleet, who are suffering (apparent) decline in membership.
Rank is gained through passing tests demonstrating the acquisition of knowledge and skills, like Merit Badges, only shinier. These guys have fun, but it's Fun with a Purpose. Hello.
If you have time on your hands, and like Star Trek, check out your local Starfleet ship (local clubs are organized as "ships", and can be any group signatory in the Federation. Thus you have Klingon ships, f'rinstance.) A good time can be had by all. And it'll get you out with People, and away from your household Logic.
OK, to reward sniveling, here is a link to an amusing Star Trek blog entry.
It IS funny, and would be great for the Star Trek: Phase Two crowd to play with.
I'd download it!
Thursday, March 06, 2008
To all the handicapped drivers, or fakers driving a kinsman's vehicle with a handicap tag:
Your Lincoln MKX is not a Hoveround or a Rascal. Please do not drive like it is one.
People who do not have a handicap , but drive the vehicle and park in the handicapped spot, you are a pox on the bum of society.
OTOH, If a handicapped person parks in a regular spot, he should be ticketed.
And yes, some of my best friends are handicapped.
Monday, March 03, 2008
I am a fan of the Nation of Israel. It is the Dispensational Notion of Israel that grinds my conceptual gears. The dirty little secret of pre-millenial eschatology is that all of the efforts to get the Jews back to Palestine, to re-establish a nation, for ministries to collect money to pay the way for impoverished Eastern European Jewry, and Jews from the various -Stans, into Israel, the really vile raison d'etre for all these efforts is to immanentize the Eschaton, to provide them as Antichrist-fodder for the End of the Age.
If only Hitler had waited. The Evangelicals would have gotten it done for him. In the name of the Lord.
But what hath Israel wrought? From the beginning of their taking possession of Canaan under the leadership of Joshua, they have never completed a task set for them. They were to utterly wipe out the Canaanites from the land of the living. Cruel, cruel, bloodthirsty Yahweh, yes?
During the 400+ years Israel spent as day-laborers in Egypt, The Canaanites practiced Idolatry Most Vile, including post-partum abortion, otherwise known as the worship of Molech, amongst others. Yahweh, who at that time spoke to the patriarchs of the families, was ignored in Canaan, so for TEN generations, He gave them time to repent.
They did not, so Israel left Egypt (who had oppressed them for 400+ years.), and Yahweh put the kibosh on Pharoah and his ilk, destroying their workforce- by Israel being exodized! - and stripping Egypt of their pantheon (examine the plagues). Israel, after stupidly ignoring their opportunity to claim their property and thus having to wander the wilderness for 40 years, ultimately arrived at Canaan-land, and was commanded to kill the Canaanites, and thus destroy the infanticidal religion of Molech, as well as Baal and Ashtoreth worship.
Israel then began a history of NOT obeying Yahweh. They did not destroy the Canaanites, nor the Philistines, but were tricked into making a covenant treaty with some of the inhabitants, thus invalidating the command (I have never understood how a false treaty could trump God's command), so they could not destroy the Canaanites. The Philistines are the forbears of the poor, misunderstood Palestinian hobos, so we can see how if Israel had done their job, things would be a shade better in the Mid-East today. Of course, if Abraham hadn't been God's Little Helper - Yes, dear, doing your servant is a GOOD idea, and the obvious fulfillment of Yahweh's promise! - we wouldn't have any Arabs (sons of Ishmael) to deal with at all. Thanks Abe!
Israel NEVER completed the job. Prophets kept calling Israel back to obedience, and promising Captivity if they did not obey.
Inevitably, Israel as a nation chose captivity rather than obeying Yahweh's commandments. Clever, clever Israel.
Ultimately Rome took over, and God offered the choice: The Messiah whom God had promised, or the destruction of Israel.
To quote the Loen "The only thing the Jews ever finished was killing their Messiah, and even then they had to get the Romans to do the job."
So, it is not surprising that modern Israel should pull back from ending the Hamas problem once and for all. Everything I have said here is Biblically and historically accurate.
Be prepared for yet another round of talks bound to secure Ultimate Peace in the Middle East.
I have SUCH hopes!
*NOTE: I am NOT anti-Semitic. I love the Jews, and pray for Israel. I just don't like historical stupidity. Or tricking Jews to move back to Israel. I believe that the "Left Behind" theology is false and heretical. However, should it turn out to be correct, it's gonna be UGLY for the Jews. The ultimate Evangelical / CBN / TBN / Sumrall / Cerullo / van Impe motive is even uglier.