Old Time Radio at OTRCat!

Friday, July 25, 2008

It has seemed odd to me that the tinfoil helmet brigade, and others like them, have not made the obvious connection. Word is that the Apollo astronauts experienced UFO sightings in space, and on the moon, besides sighting possible alien structures on the Moon. They are adamant on the point, insisting that we were given the word to mind our terrestrial business. You hear a lot about this on Coast-to-Coast AM, as well.

I have yet to hear anyone talk about Apollo 13. Oxygen tank explosion, or a UFO pot-shot?
Was it the first salvo of a shooting war? Did we cave?

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Jack Chick, Hal Lindsay, Tim LaHaye, I apologise.

Yep, I have apparently been wrong. My taking doctrinal pot-shots at dispensationalism and the whole Left Behind thing may have been ill-advised, if not out-and-out erroneous. Trust me people, I hate being wrong, but this is so important to us all.

When you think of "The Beast" in Revelation you think of this:

Rev 13:11-17 MKJV
(11) And I saw another beast coming up out of the earth. And it had two horns like a lamb, and he spoke like a dragon.
(12) And it exercises all the authority of the first beast before him, and causes the earth and those dwelling in it to worship the first beast, whose deadly wound was healed.
(13) And it does great wonders, so that it makes fire come down from the heaven onto the earth in the sight of men.
(14) And it deceives those dwelling on the earth, because of the miracles which were given to it to do before the beast, saying to those dwelling on the earth that they should make an image to the beast who had the wound by a sword and lived.
(15) And there was given to it to give a spirit to the image of the beast, so that the image of the beast might both speak, and might cause as many as would not worship the image of the beast to be killed.
(16) And it causes all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark on their right hand, or in their foreheads,
(17) even that not any might buy or sell except those having the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of its name.

Facility of speech, the ability to bring people together in their awe of your ability to speak to the Issues of the Day, international adulation; all point to a miraculous ability as a communicator. Even when you say nothing of note, the masses hang upon every syllable. Iraqis, Germans, Israelis, Americans, what a disparate bunch to be enthralled by your person. The Germans are in a veritable furor over you!

You really say nothing, but the People receive it as wisdom from on high. Again, a miracle.

Jack, Tim, Hal, I'm sorry. Nero wasn't the one. Barack Hussein Obama is The Beast. Gotta be.

I hope I can get the letters in his name tot up to 666. That would be AWESOME .

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Home again!

Got a call Monday from the Medical Study people. "Your appointment is Tuesday at 9:30.
Come with a full bladder." Yaaaaaaay! Sounds like a party.

I am an obedient patient, so I did as told. Dr. N. took my BP, and did not glower at me. My new BP pills have done the trick. 110 over 80. My head is NOT going to pop.

OTOH, over two months after the first series of shots, things are getting back to normal, which is not great. After peeing in the machine, which is precisely as fun as it sounds, I find that things are as they were before. OK, it is a double-blind study, some get the goods, some get sterile water.... I have less than a year 'til I get the goods for sure, and then we'll see.

I have experienced some peevishness that turns out to be a side-effect of the treatment, if in fact I am getting the real deal. If not, well, I guess I'm just being a jerk.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Hello Mr. and Mrs. America, and all the ships at sea...

Your Aardvark is reporting from Fort Wayne Indiana, attending IkasuCon, and wondering why.
The event is more the size of a very large party, rather than a small convention. the otaku and cosplayers seem very small and alone in the medium-sized Wayne Convention Center. Attendance is wa-a-a-a-ay down from last year. There is a higher-than-average percentage of costumed con-goers at this one, rather good, most of them.

We are staying at the attached Hilton, at a reduced con rate, which is OK. The waitresses at the restaurant are attentive, and don't overcharge (if you get the buffet, but only eat oatmeal and fresh fruit, they charge accordingly, which is nice, as I dislike eating $16 oatmeal, even when it is GOOD oatmeal.

I find myself attending cons for individuals. Of course, I'm here to sell shirts, but the attraction is the individual. This con, it is Tristan MacAvery, the English dub voice of creepy Gendo Ikari in Neon Genesis Evangelion. He writes improv texts, bizarre fiction, and is a funny, funny guy. Our conversations generally devolve into doing Charles Nelson Reilly at each other. We are both good mimics, but he gets paid for such, so I take the moral high ground. HAH!

So, Ted has made noises about stopping by. Maybe we'll grab a gnosh at King Gyros next door.

So here is the rant, borne out of burned-outness. Fan-beings, if you are going to use Japanese words (or ANY words), LEARN TO PRONOUNCE THEM.

YAOI - "Yahweh" is God's Name..."Yow-ee" is close enough for your little fetish.

HENTAI - Ummm...it is not "hen-TAY". "Hen-TIE" is the term for your tentacle pr0n and other such.

GODOT - The character from the Phoenix Wright game is not "go-dot". "Guh-DOE" is more like it (although"Godot" is pronounced in Britain and Ireland with the emphasis on the first syllable i.e. /'gɒ.dəʊ/)

DALEK - The pronunciation is "dah-leck" not "Day-leck" or "DAR-leck". Where the heck does the "R" come from?

GYRO - The Greek sandwich is not a "JYE-roh". That is a rotating device which helps missiles stay properly oriented. It is also the name of Scrooge McDuck's inventor friend.
The sandwich is pronounced "yee-roh"

We have a shirt that says :

The secrecy of my job prevents me from knowing what I'm doing

It does NOT say
The SECRET of my job...nor "The SECRETARY of my job...".

Public education is SO great.


Wow...I feel the love. Just had a taciturn young man in a red shirt and a dog collar say
"I'm sorry Mr. McLeod didn't come." (that is a paraphrase). This is me, being chopped liver.
I kid...what's not to love about the McLeod?

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Things churches have taught me.

Things churches have taught me.

Presbyterian: You go to church on Sunday. Once.

Episcopal: Wherever you find four Episcopalians, you're bound to find a fifth. And the Book of Common Prayer rocks (just not the NEW one).

When I attended both Presbyterian and Methodist churches: You can believe in sovereignty and free will at the same time.

Baptist: Color-blind guys can do AMAZING chalk drawings and lead one to Christ.

Assembly of God: You may be God's Man of Faith and Power on Sunday night, but you're still an unemployed loser come Monday morning.

Churches of Christ: We speak where the Bible speaks, but where the Bible is silent, we mumble.

(fill in town) Christian Center: Children distract from the grup's praise & worship. We'll put 'em in a nursery and let 'em watch videos.

Different groups, different stuff. HOWEVER, there is one overarching Truth in all these groups, however imperfectly communicated or implemented:

Jesus is the Son of God, and He is Lord. The truth will out, if you just look for it.
There are a few things that this brings to mind:

I am 51 years old. I've been a churchgoer since being a toddler, a committed disciple since I was 12.

39 years following Christ.That's as old as Jack Benny. One thing that I have struggled to do is to follow the Word. I tend to stay away from books about the Latest Truth-Fad (Pray the Prayer of Jabez, and push God's buttons for fun and profit! ). C.S.Lewis referred to the problem of "Christ-and". Jesus' teaching isn't enough; you need summat else as well.

The something else generally revolves around Preference and Opinion. "I know, but..."

  • I know that Jesus said that He was "the Way, the Truth, and the Life; no one comes to the Father but by Me.(John 14:6), but that's just not fair to the Norse Pagans.
  • I know that Jesus said to be baptised, but isn't just praying a prayer a lot simpler, and less messy?
  • I know the Word teaches to meet on the first day of the week for communion, but I think it would have more meaning if we did it once a quarter.
  • I know that Jesus prayed that we be one, as He and the Father are one, but I think it's neat that there are so many different and contradictory groups, so we can all find a place where we are comfy.

Like that....

Jesus also said: "Truly I say to you, Whoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child, he shall not enter into it." (Mar 10:15) Little children tend to be trusting, accepting, and as a rule, obedient. They do not suffer from nuance, or sophistication.
Got my daughter in a jam. When she was wee, her mom and I told her to clean up her room, and put her toys away. We came back later to find...nothing done. I waxed wroth, and asked why she had not put her toys away? "But Daddy, where is 'away'?"

We assumed a programming element that was not there. She did not argue, but neither could she accomplish the task.

Jesus tells us what is required of us, desired of us. He makes it plain. When issues arose in the New Testament church, the Spirit of God led Peter, Paul, James, John, and others to give instruction so as to fix the situation. (Mental meander: it seems to me that all the talk of the Gospels' "religion OF Jesus" versus Paul's "religion ABOUT Jesus" comes from those with no real desire to bow the knee, and so adopt a pose of theological sophistication to obviate the need for it. This from a college religion major. HAH! I found a more useless major than English Lit or Womyns' Studies!)

The key, though, is to submit to the Word. " It is the Spirit that makes alive, the flesh profits nothing. The words that I speak to you are spirit and are life. (John 6:63)

Joh 12:48 He who rejects Me and does not receive My Words has one who judges him; the Word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day.

Joh 14:24 He who does not love Me does not keep My Words, and the Word which you hear is not Mine, but the Father's who sent Me.

What's the point? If we strive to follow the Gospel teachings, the words of Jesus, and the instruction of His apostles, divisions will decrease dramatically. If we delete "Yes...but..." from our thinking, we will have less strife. If I truly behave as though Jesus is my Lord (and as Roger Bush says "You spell Lord 'B-O-S-S'."), and that I am not smarter than the Son of God, or more clever than His apostles, then I will come far closer to being conformed to His character than if I insist upon my own way, my own opinions, and my own blather.

There are two verses that give me hope and comfort. Here is one::

(KJV+)Him that is weak in the faith receive ye, but not to doubtful disputations.

(CEV) Welcome all the Lord's followers, even those whose faith is weak. Don't criticize them for having beliefs that are different from yours.

(Aardvark's Paraphrase): Invite someone with a different opinion to the Bible study, but not so you can "fix" him.

The other is:

Php 3:15 Let us therefore, as many as are perfect, be thus minded: and if in anything ye are otherwise minded, this also shall God reveal unto you: (MKJV)

Php 3:15 All of us who are mature should think in this same way. And if any of you think differently, God will make it clear to you. (CEV)

Read Phil 3 for the context.

Jesus was about unity, NOT uniformity
Likewise Paul, and the other writers.

Hear what Paul saith:
Eph 4:1 Then I, the prisoner in the Lord, exhort you to walk worthily of the calling in which you were called,
Eph 4:2 with all humility and meekness, with long-suffering, bearing with one another in love,
Eph 4:3 being eager to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.
Eph 4:4 There is one body and one Spirit, even as you also were called in one hope of your calling;
Eph 4:5 one Lord, one faith, one baptism,
Eph 4:6 one God and Father of all, the One above all and through all and in you all.
Eph 4:7 But to each one of us was given grace according to the measure of the gift of Christ.

Here is the baseline for unity in the Body of Christ.

A side note: The heretic or "factious man" is not necessarily one who teaches false doctrine. He is one who insists "my way or the highway" (factious - Adjective - inclined to quarrel and cause divisions.).

Jesus prayed that we (the church) would be one (in unity), even as He and His Father are one. (If modalism is correct, then the church is just one person as well. The Bible language is not gooey here. The equation must balance. Plurality in unity on one side = plurality in unity on the other.) We are to be obedient to His Word as little children: trusting in God's loving desire for the best for His kids. If Jesus says to do something, we do it. If He says NOT to do something, we don't do it. If He says nothing about a thing, then we do not argue about it and make it a test of fellowship.

When Paul dealt with the problem of Christians knowingly eating meat sacrificed to idols, he was dealing with an issue of love. If my eating prime rib offered to Chthulu causes you, a younger or weaker brother to think that worship of The Elder Gods is a pretty neat and tasty proposition, then I am to go for the salad bar instead. It is not loving my brothers and sisters to insist on MY way if it causes them to stumble.

1st Corinthians 13 is not a pretty assemblage of words to be read at weddings (as if anyone is going to pattern their marriage by that anyway. Pass the pre-nup .) It is instead to be the way we live our lives in toto : relationships, work, family, church. You know...Life.

So here we have the main ways toward church unity.

For my next trick, I shall plug the black hole at the center of our galaxy.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

It has been a busy week at Chez 'Vark.

We have returned from G-fest, and are prepping for IkasuCon in Ft. Wayne, IN. I love Ft. Wayne. Pretty downtown area, with a great convention center, and good affordable eateries.

The Dread Dormomoo went under the knife, as well. Nothing drastic, nor life-threatening, but it was surgery, and she is experiencing the discomfort of recovery. Feel free to pray for her. The only thing that approaches the discomfort of being in hospital for treatment or a procedure is staying in the room with the patient. I wrote about hotel ettiquette at one time, and hospital staff while helpful, are also loud in the wee hours, and not yelling over medical emergencies. Just yakkin'. The furnishings are apparently chosen to remove any question as to whether or not you are staying at the Hilton. There is NO such thing as a comfortable hospital room chair. The straight wood chair with padding had sharp angles thet dig into your back. The padded rocker is built precisely at the wrong angle, and Torquemada would be proud of the fold-out "sleep" chair, wherein occurs no sleep, but much exercise of the twisting and squirming variety in the vain attempt at finding a comfortable position.

She was in the semi-outpatient 23-hour program. The doctors and nurses were good, and helpful; the purchasing agents for the hospital, less so.

The DD is doing well, and is being a Good Girl, not overdoing it.

We give you our latest t-shirt offering. Not an endorsement, certainly advantage-taking.


Thursday, July 10, 2008

In case anyone thinks I'm huffing hard vacuum, here is what I'm talking about.

And of course, it's Japan wot's doing it.

They've gotta power those giant robots somehow !
Well, I just got back from Chicago, where Riatsila and I attended G-Fest, the daikaiju (giant monster) convention. Godzilla, Mothra, like that. This is our third year at G-fest, and the second of our printing their con T-shirts. J.D. Lees of Manitoba has parleyed his love of Tokyo-stomping critters into a well-produced fan magazine (G-Fan) and a major player in the fan convention world. Godzilla and Co. are rarified fan objects, but J.D. and his crew pull a stellar group of guests and (ahem) dealers to attract a stellar group of fans to the Crowne Plaza O'Hare hotel for a weekend of costumes, movies, toys, t-shirts, and the camaraderie to be had in cheering on your favorite monster in battle.

We enjoyed the pizza of Chicagoland (Al's Pizza is amazing), the fireworks from the 13th floor in a 180 degree panorama of flame and color, and alas, we mourned the passing of Larry Harmon, the real Bozo, the only clown not included in the Aardvark's Axis of Grease-paint Evil. Our business was record-breaking for the con.

Thanks, J.D. and all.


Our trip was nine-plus hours by Aard-van, traveling at 70 MPH. Senator John Warner (R, VA), is actively working against my best interests. After thirty-plus years of Congressional inaction re: domestic oil production, Warner is fielding the idea of returning to the 1970s. Maybe he wants to dig out his Saturday Night Fever outfit. He wants to study the benefits of a return to the double-nickel. Yep, 55 MPH nationwide, good buddy. We can surely conserve our way out of this fuel crisis. And I have fairies at the bottom of my garden.

Conservation plays a (small) part in the overall solution, but with the oil companies prevented from exploring for domestic oil by Congressional fiat, we will have no solution that maintains the lifestyle to which we are accustomed. You know, the lifestyle that feeds the world's hungry (when hoarding dictators let their people partake of our largesse), that produces new technologies which usher in the future, and that has cleaned up a polluted nation, and rehabilitated moribund wildlife populations. Ten years ago, our representatives whined that drilling and building new refineries wouldn't do any good for ten years, so we should do something else, which turned into nothing else. The same song is being warbled again by politicos and pundits alike: ANWR is no answer. Oil shale is too hard to make profitable. Drilling off Florida will lower beachfront property values (the same values that will plummet when no-one can drive there).

There are a plethora of "alternative energy" options out there, but compared to the existing petroleum-based economy and infrastructure of the US, they are nothing more than classified ads for ecological living in the back of Mother Earth News.

Here's an idea. Make NASA do summat useful. put up BIG solar-panelled satellites in geosynchronous orbit. Convert the electricity thus produced to microwaves (a maser would be perfect), then beam it down to rectifying antennas in the Mohave desert and similar wastelands. The rectennas convert the unending supply of Sun-power to electricity, where it is put into the grid for toasters, TVs and washing machines to run off of. And electric cars.

Like it or not, though, our world runs on oil, and it will not easily give it up, thus we must increase our current supply so as to birth the future energy systems into the world. Effective wind power, solar power, geothermal, even zero-point energy for the Keelynet crowd, all must be built up from the present modes. Congress has done nothing but obstruct, mandate, and bloviate for decades where energy policy is concerned, and now Sen. Warner and his ilk want to punish The Peeeee-pul, guys like me, and Billiam, gals like PL and CunningDove with a 55MPH speed limit, when THEY have stood in the way.

Obama wants to "examine" nuclear power, but sez "we have to look at nuclear waste".
Ah, the nuclear waste that would be reduced by 90% if Congress had not legislated against the recycling of nuke waste back into usable fuel. John Adams had it right.

"One useless man is a disgrace, two are called a law firm, and three or more become a Congress."

We must have conservation. Yes.

We must have increased production of oil from domestic sources. THAT is called homeland security.

We must have new alternative energy sources.

We must have nuclear. It works, and Utah squawking aside, the waste is containable. Read about vitrification, which turns nuclear waste into a solid block of glass.
I wpould let 'em store some in my back yard. Besides, it's the 21st Century. Where's my Li'l Atom Home Atomic Pile? And my rocket pack? I want my rocket pack.

It is not either/or stupid binary thinking. We need them ALL, but we need the oil FIRST. Not instead of. Merely first


This is not advocacy, merely the Aardvark using his golden eyeglasses to prognosticate. If our representatives do not get hearing aids and start listening to the folks back home, if they do not BEGIN representing us, then the only options left for true "change" will be starving Washington by removing the economic feeding tube on a national basis and sending no money to D.C., or the people actually uprising and throwing them out by main force.