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Sunday, June 29, 2008

Bigger is NOT always better.

What a weekend! We had three conventions: Wizard World in Chicago, ColossalCon in Cleveland, and PersaCon in Huntsville, AL. Wizard is a huge media con held at different venues across the country, and it was a dog. WA-A-A-A-A-Y too many dealers, thus, too much dollar dilution. Everyone is apparently buying the newshype about gas prices, and were not in the mood to buy t-shirts, or videos, or PVC figures of catgirls. We did a fifth of what we reasonably should have done. Meh. Not for lack of trying.

Mr. McLeod and Friend were at Colossal, and for the weekend, lived up to its name. It was made of win. Very good time.

The Dread Dormomoo, Loen, Zoomerdog, and I were at PersaCon 6, a little event that we have been with from the beginning, and is at the forefront of the Aardvark fanbase.
You think I'm kidding. I get hugged frequently and well, with much sincere glad-handing.
We get treated like rockstars at that con. I have realized that at 51, I am not Teh Hotness, and I am becoming comfortable in the role of Con Poppa. It's kind of neat. There are kids who would be VERY happy if we would adopt them. We are apparently Cool. What amuses me is that much of our persona derives from our being Christians.
Not religious freakchildren. Disciples.

Overall, the weekend went very well. I hope the Wiz experience does not dishearten GG and Co. Effort was made, but the con just did not deliver. The dirty little secret is: most cons pay for MUCH of their cost with the Dealer Table fees. The Dealers pay for the con in large measure.The more dealers, the more dealer's fees. However, if you have five t-shirt dealers, and fifteen sellers of PVC catgirl figures, you reach the level of diminishing returns, given a finite population of customers. The Con promoters get their bills paid between the dealer and the attendee registration fees, but the dealers come away eating Burger King on the way home, instead of Logan's Roadhouse or Cracker Barrel.

We had sushi, nonetheless. It's what we do.

Friday, June 20, 2008

I may get canned for "objectionable content", but oh, well. I am REALLY tired of the whole presidential circus. Such a choice we have. Obama, the Affirmative Action candidate, who is still in the running precisely because it is cooler to be black than to be a woman. If McCain had opted out of the public money, he would have been piled on as a flip-flopper or worse (I AM amused to see McCain-Feingold come home to roost). Obama is merely reacting to political reality in going against his pledge. McCain would be painted as a liar, an oath-breaker, and would likely be accused of kicking his dog. Obama's wife should be muzzled. His overt socialism is scary, but the wholesale lust for socialism of his followers is more frightening still. Perhaps I should say their stupidity. Change for change's sake is rarely wise. Undefined change for change's sake bodes ill for the Republic. Obama is smart. I think that he may be more clever than smart, in a trickster kind of way.

RINO McCain is little better. He MAY have a little better understanding of business and economics than Obama. May. He served his country, suffered as a POW, and that is laudable. Now, he is an old white moderate, trying to play the conservative card. I do not trust him.

To forestall the knee-JERK accusations, I WOULD support a sensible black candidate, a Constitutional one, like Walter E. Williams or Thomas Sowell. I supported Alan Keyes in his last candidacy.

I find it ironic...NOT in the Alanis Morisette fashion...that a black candidate ultimately seeks to enslave the entire nation to the State. Obama's version of State's Rights.

Neither candidate is looking hopeful re: getting our military out of the mid-east. Ron Paul has made it clear (and as a Congressman, he is privy to much that the hoi polloi is not.) that bin Ladin's beef is with our presence in their territories, on their sacred land, as 'twere. The longer we remain in the Middle East, remaining militarily, seeking to mold the area into a sandier version of US (wasn't that a clever bit, then?), the more we will have problems with terrorism. (Of course, with an enemy like terrorism, we'll never be shed of the problems. You can kill men with bullets and bombs. You can't kill an "ism" except with another "ism". Or an "ity".)

The Constitution Party candidate, Florida pastor/political activist Charles O. “Chuck” Baldwin, is pretty much Moral Majority material. The platform is sound, but the pro-life drumbeat serves to alienate many who would otherwise sign on. (May sound odd for a pro-life marcher to say that, but I'll deal with that another time.) Realistically, this is the Invisible Party.

Bob Barr's candidacy: He is the Libertarian Party candidate. I hope he likes herding cats.

And I'm libertarian.

Green Party: The presidential contenders are as follows:

Jesse Johnson
Cynthia McKinney
Kent Mesplay
Kat Swift

Oh PLEASE! Let Cynthia McKinney win the nomination. Please.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008


I believe to have stumbled upon the Problem.

Hymns with content, with honest instructional and worship value, are perfectly fine. Great, even. Their intent is to edify the singer/hearer, and to offer praise to God. Where I have trouble is another class of song, them wot serve to manipulate you into a response or action, the hymnal analogue to a Steven Spielberg movie. To praise the Maker of All is laudable in the extreme; to inspire fellow believers to greater acts of faith and service is devoutly to be wish'd. A sentimental song designed to push buttons is low and not worthy of being sung, whether it moves one to guilt, and so to "make a decision" (what's wrong with that? It is not reasonable. It does nor proceed from knowledge of God and His Word, rather it springs from emotional jiggery-pokery. Feelings change and fade; God's Word does not.) or to become teary at the thought of seeing Mother over on the other bank of Jordan, on that evergreen shore, where the roses never fade, O glory.

Hmmmm...maybe I have a new career as a popular hymn writer.

O, glory.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Your Aardvark feels...uncomfortable. He is struggling to fight the predations of peer-pressure. There is a rough crowd hard at work, and the Dread Dormomoo is in with them. Never thought I'd see the day. She and her buddies are out at all hours (She rolled in at 3 AM Sat.morning) doing I-don't-know-what-all. Actually, I DO know exactly what is going on.


The Diana singing is a local institution, drawing around 3000 lovers of a capella gospel singing from all over. A bunch of folks from our congregation get together and drive caravan-style the thirty some-odd miles to the event. Your Aardvark is not with them. He is not fond of crowds, and is also not fond of hymn sings. Actually, he is a hymn elitist. Congregational worship is dear to heart, and we are instructed to sing and make melody in our hearts to the Lord, teaching one another thereby. What knots this Aardvark's tongue is what he terms "cracker hymns": the songs that are naught but sentimental and escapist tripe, about:"over there", "won't it be wonderful", "this world is not my home, I'm just a-passin' through", like that. Psalms, hymns and spiritual songs are meant to instruct us, as well as to express praise to God. Wallowing in treacle does neither. Many of the songs grow out of Depression-era and Wartime, times that cried for escape. Revivalism also wrought terrible things, with songs of limited and simplistic theology.

The Aardvark once wrote a paper on "The transition from psalmody to hymnody in the American Free-church tradition. Yes, like NASA, he can make wonderful and important things boring. The singing of psalms and other scripture set to tunes was the standard of the church. Into the 1700s hymns, poetic expressions of praise and doctrine became The Rage. One of the most sublime hymn writers was Isaac Watts. Here is one of his treasures from 1707:

Alas! and did my Savior bleed
And did my Sovereign die?
Would He devote that sacred head
For such a worm as I?

Thy body slain, sweet Jesus, Thine—
And bathed in its own blood—
While the firm mark of wrath divine,
His Soul in anguish stood.

Was it for crimes that I had done
He groaned upon the tree?
Amazing pity! grace unknown!
And love beyond degree!

Well might the sun in darkness hide
And shut his glories in,
When Christ, the mighty Maker died,
For man the creature’s sin.

Thus might I hide my blushing face
While His dear cross appears,
Dissolve my heart in thankfulness,
And melt my eyes to tears.

But drops of grief can ne’er repay
The debt of love I owe:
Here, Lord, I give my self away
’Tis all that I can do.

Amazing work. Then a Ralph Hudson in 1850 was deeply moved in a revival when the song was sung, and was apparently also moved to write a badly-needed chorus for the hymn

At the cross, at the cross where I first saw the light,
And the burden of my heart rolled away,
It was there by faith I received my sight,
And now I am happy all the day!

The style meshes so perfectly.

Perhaps hynmnodic licensure is the answer.

Point: good quality rules. Hack-work drools. The classic "grand old hymns" speak. The "galloping gospel" types babble and whinge.

Aardvark got his reasons...so why does he feel like the guy who beats his wife when he gets drunk...just 'cos he doesn't like to go to hymn-sings?

IMPORTANT NOTE: The DD understands, and in no-way trips him into feeling thus.

"I'll fly away, O glory...."

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Pick-up lines that just won't do.

"You like women...I like women...we have SO much in common.

From the ridiculous to the sublime dep't.

The underlying a priori of the Plumbline is that The Bible is inspired by the Spirit of God, and is our source of authority in Things Christian, and Things Churchy. To do other than
described in the Scriptures is like playing Monopoly by the rules of Parcheesi.

Point being: if we do NOT do as (assuming) God says, then we may as well come up with our own ways of dealing with God, and seeking to please Him. Things like sacrificing babies, having sacramental sex to encourage crop fecundity, killing those who disagree with our personally authorised practises.

If we are our own authority in things spiritual or religious, then one thing is as good as another, now isn't it?

Such a Goodie!

I have a friend, a fellow enjoyer-of-cigars, eater-of-sushi, and a law-enforcement guy.(deputy sheriff). He once lived in California, and did security work at Paramount. Himself turned down a role as a Klingon extra in one of the movies. I wanted to dope slap him when he related the tale, but as he is built such that the Trek guys offered him a Klingon role, I thought it wise to refrain.

The other day he called and said he needed to see me. He dropped by the house and when he did not serve me papers, I figured it was a friendly visit. He handed me the patch you see here on the condition that I would not hug him. A guy at Paramount was throwing out a bunch of old Trek stuff (these people NEVER learn). He gave my pal a few goodies, including this patch. Riatsila and I did some quick web searching, and found that this insignia is from Star Trek - The Motion Picture. It is a medical insignia from a uniform. who knows? Maybe DeForest Kelley or Majel Barrett wore it. It is clearly period, as they make patches differently now, and the fraying indicates it was removed after being used.

It makes me happy. Thanks, Deputy!

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Just an odd bit day. Thoughts and prayers for Rachel Lucas' situation. I am horrified at the callousness of people who ignore a person's emotional pain to advance their own agendas. The believer and non-believer alike are capable of such; believer who takes the opportunity to use a funeral to "evangelise" the heathen, and the atheist who seeks to "evangelise" an agnostic who may be wavering toward faith in...something, and who is unfortunate enough to be culturally literate in her blog titling. Faugh. There is a time to confront, and a time to dummy up, be a pal, and be a leaning post if need be.

Kudos to Roci, Pretty Lady, and all others who supported RL in her embattled state. To the others, nuts to you.


The Confusticated One has taken me to task about Capitalisation for Emphasis. I forget the word he used. Pompous, pedantic, Pretty Lady-esque.

He knows I have done this for years, and have not been coat-tailing PL, but lest I give offense, I shall Rein It In.

BUT. The British variant spelling is back. I worked so hard to quit, too.


Gas prices. ZOMG!! The end of Western civ. American families must forego their Disneyworld vacations, and must stay home eating baloney, and playing on the Slip 'n' SlideTM. Pucky of the equine variety. Eat a couple of Burger King meals instead of Cracker Barrel or IHOP. Stay at Motel 6, Budget Inn, or at a nice Mom & Pop motel, instead of Hilton, Sheraton, or even Best Western. (Motel 6 allows pets, so be aware.)
You can have a lovely vacance , and still drive the minivan. Your Aardvark travels much, and he knows, especially about the minivan.


Character is what you are in the dark. Christian life is what you do outside the church building.


Things medical

Had a BP reading of 190 / 107 yesterday at my local doc's. The BPH trial has my BP checked each visit, and Dr. N. has given me a hard stare on more than one occasion, so I took the opportunity to get a new prescription. Yaaaaaay! pills.I'm so thrilled. Can't you tell? Now my head won't pop!! No-one is telling me that I need to drop 40 pounds, but I do. Any suggestions? I can categorically say that Atkins no longer works for me. I know I need to do more as far as walkies are concerned, so we'll see what the Summer brings. The NP wrote the scrip after saying that I need summat else so I won't have a stroke. That was cheery news. Dunno if he was just being dramatic, or if I should have blanched when he said that. Might have dropped my reading! I should ask for leeches.

I'm not worried or anxious, which frankly surprises me, being that I am having mortality issues. Death is a nuisance. I am offended that I have to die. I will have words with Adam. Such words I plan to have with Adam. I'm not scared of dying...I don't think. I just don't WANNA. "Everybody wants to go to Heaven, but no-one wants to die."

Oh dear, I hope I don't offend someone who DOESN'T want to go to Heaven.

Saturday, June 07, 2008


Rev 18:4 And I heard another voice from Heaven, saying, Come out of her, My people, that you may not be partakers of her sins, and that you may not receive of her plagues.

There is a type of person who picks verses like others pick ripe fruit, squeezing gently, inhaling the aroma, choosing the piece that most suits their needs of the moment. That need may be comfort, or inspiration, or a need to bolster one's own angle on things. The idea of context is apparently foreign thinking to them.

Allow me to impersonate the type:

I am unhappy with America, unhappy with strictures the US places upon me ( taxes, number of spouses, like that ) and because it is self-evident that I cannot be wrong, then the nation and its laws certainly must be. How may I Biblically justify myself?

A-HA! COME OUT OF HER! That's it! I must dig into the Book of Revelation, and see what God says about the heinous apostasy that is certainly the YouEssofAY, because the revelation is just like reading the NY Times, if the Times were inspired by the Holy Spirit, rather than...other spirits.Of COURSE it's about the US...EVERYTHING is about the US.

Except that the book of Revelation was written specifically for the Christians of the first century. "A Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave to Him to declare to His servants things which must shortly come to pass." (Rev. 1:1) . As Jesus warned the Jewish believers in Matthew to leave Jerusalem when they saw the siege beginning which led to the utter destruction of Jerusalem, So he warns the believers in Roman environs to "come out of her" spiritually and physically before the ultimate destruction of Rome.

Jesus was talking to the Christians of that day, in the Rome of that day. Our nation is not analogous to Rome. It is merely another nation in the long roster of ethnae , with Christians resident who are commanded to be good citizens within Scriptural bounds, and to pray for the leadership, and not to be whiners and complainers.

Well, that kills most talk radio.
I took the online Myers-Briggs personality test.
Now you know what you're dealing with.

Your Type is
Extroverted Intuitive Feeling Judging
Strength of the preferences %
11 12 25 56

Qualitative analysis of your type formula

You are:

* slightly expressed extrovert
* slightly expressed intuitive personality
* moderately expressed feeling personality
* moderately expressed judging personality

Famous ENFJ-ers
Bill Clinton, Tony Blair, Clara Barton (Founder of the American Red Cross),
Ronald Reagan

slightly expressed extrovert, huh.
Summat isn't right, here.

Friday, June 06, 2008

Humpty Dumpty Revisited

“When I use a word," Humpty Dumpty said in rather a scornful tone, "it means just what I choose it to mean - neither more nor less.” --Through the Looking-Glass

Humpty-Dumptification of language is so commonplace as to elicit an "Oh come ON...that's just the way people talk.". It is the less-than-literate cousin to Orwell's doublespeak. On an assembly line job years ago, I used the word "invaluable" (yeah, I know...). There was some misunderstanding, so we got out the dictionary, as they did not believe that I was the most reliable one at hand, and found it to mean "valuable beyond estimation". The dissenters said that where they came from, "invaluable" meant "worthless". These same people burn down trailers when they throw a liquid marked "inflammable" on a kitchen grease fire to put it out.

"Idolatry" is a fun one. Writers of Popular Christian Books pen multiplied volumes on how "putting ANYTHING before God is idolatry."

No. Worshiping an inanimate object AS God is idolatry. "Well...what about people who are all addicted to American IDOL and don't go to church when it's on...?!?"

They're just stupid.

The upshot is, there is a level of authority to correct language. A major frustration I continue to have is the people who pull Things Religious from their nethers and foist them upon the Masses as Truth. Some months back, I issued a challenge for anyone to PROVE Scripturally that one must "Pray the Sinners Prayer and ask Jesus into your heart" in order to become a Christian. I offered a cash prize.

There have been NO takers.

Now, this could appear to be an "angels on the head of a pin" issue to some, but let me ask this: If I were to say to you : "I have a gift of a million dollars for you, because I love you and want you to be happy. I need for you to come to my house and pick it up.", would you get the moolah if you stayed home watching American Gladiator ?

Would the money be any less a gracious gift because I require you to come get it?

The Author of our faith instructed Peter, and when he was asked how to be rescued by the panicky Jews on Pentecost, Peter said "Repent. Be baptised to have your sins remitted. You will receive the Holy Spirit." (Acts 2:38)

No prayer. Just an acknowledgment that Jesus is Lord (Repentance demonstrates this), and then obedience to that Lord (be baptised for the remission of sins).God then resuscitates you with the Holy Spirit.

Faith in Jesus as Lord: Puts to death the Old Man of Sin, nailing him to the cross.

Baptism: Buries the Old Man (see Romans 6) and you are raised from that death into new life.

Receiving the Holy Spirit: Divine CPR.

It is simple. It is sensible. It is what the Bible teaches. Every popular radio preacher and Huckstervangelist teaches something else. Let me encourage you to challenge EVERYONE who teaches the "Sinners Prayer / ask JEEEEE-zusss into your heart" to prove to you Biblically (and contextually) that it is true.

You preachers and teachers: Be careful, guys. Remember what happened to Mr. Dumpty.

And once again: I offer $200.00 (Two hundred dollars) to the first person to prove the doctrine to be Biblically authorized.

Thursday, June 05, 2008

Well come to my old college roomie and his sweet wife. After all these years, he's still listening to me rant.

I've had almost a week to muse on things, and all the goodies that I did not write down have flown the coop. Old things are coming back, though. I watched a couple of episodes of Voyager today, and found it to be Not Bad. We are currently waiting with bated breath on J.J. Abrams' new Star Trek movie. Wow. I hope it doesn't Kirby as badly as Frakes' treatment of Thunderbirds.

We have a new Capt.Kirk shirt in the works. You'll see it here first. Keepin' the franchise alive by making fun of it.