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Thursday, February 26, 2009

I keep hearing the word "retirement" bandied about. Hmmmm...I must look this up.
There is no concept of "retirement" in the Aardvark's lexicon. The idea also seems a tad un-Biblical. (No, this is not a shaggy-dog entry.) As lovely as not-working from age sixty-five on sounds, I come back to the fact that so many men die soon after retirement. As lovely as Heaven is likely to be, I have no real comparison for what it is like, and being reluctant to change, I wish to stay here as long as is permissible.

I have a business, and I have it for two reasons: to provide a livelihood for the Dread Dormomoo, meself, and what kinder are hanging on to home for dear life, and to provide an inheritance for our children, something of wealth-producing value such that if they choose, they will not have to work for The Man, said man being likely less intelligent and capable than they. (How's that for home-schooling pride?) Seriously, no pride involved, but rather a recognition of Things As They Are. (Look at our leadership. I rest my case.)
Alas, there is nothing in the program like retirement. This is NOT a matter of pride, or of better-than-you-are, but rather an assessment of Work as God has established it for mankind. "Work is part of the Curse." No. Pointless work is.

In Eden, God set Adam several tasks: To dress and keep the Garden. To dress the Garden is agricultural work, to keep the Garden has a decidedly protective, police aspect
to it. Mind you, this was PRIOR to the Fall. Adam rather fell down on the job as far as serpenty incursions are concerned. The point is: God gave Adam meaningful labor to do in the Garden . I am concerned that the world's entitlement attitudes are rubbing off on Kingdom people, especially as regards work. As far as aging is concerned, the nature of one's work may change (the picture of the older man sitting in the gate- a judicial and advisory role- comes to mind, and the role of elder or deacon in the church.), but work is still in the picture.

If someone can provide retirement info as far as the Scripture is concerned, let me know.

Friday, February 20, 2009

image from: charliechanannex.blogspot.com

Be on the lookout!

I want you to be aware of what is going on in Washington. The Left is well-trained in dialectic behavior, a kind of "two steps forward, one step back" dance. You will likely have seen the Marx 3-step at work already.

updated 2:15 p.m. CT, Fri., Feb. 20, 2009

WASHINGTON - President Barack Obama will not adopt a policy to tax motorists based on how many miles they drive instead of how much gasoline they buy, his chief spokesman said Friday.

Press secretary Robert Gibbs commented after Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood told The Associated Press that he wants to consider the idea, which has been proposed in some states but has angered many drivers.

"It is not and will not be the policy of the Obama administration," Gibbs told reporters, when asked for the president's thoughts about the policy and LaHood's remarks.

An outrageous plan will be put forward, then withdrawn in the face of negative public reaction. Then, a somewhat-less-outrageous idea will be floated, showing how reasonable he really is. Be on the lookout for this dance in the coming months.

The Dread Dormomoo was a tad tart this morning over the morning java. I brought up the new Transportation Secretary's idea of taxing drivers by mileage driven, rather than by gas alone. Every time the Give-mint fiddles with summat, it messes up what it has already fiddled with. They set gasoline taxes, then they messed with gas prices to make one Special Interest happy, and that changed people's driving habits. They messed with gas mileage standards to please other Special Interest Groups, and that made gas usage go down (and made driving far less safe), and played hob with the gas tax revenues. Now they want to tax mileage. The method being tossed about will be a GPS chip in your license registration sticker, so not only will they be able to track mileage, but also your whereabouts.


I would sooner have toll-roads. Building the toll islands would make jobs, and Stimulate the Economy (cue '70s pr0n music), It would make me think I'm vacationing in Florida every day, except for the humidity and palmetto bugs. Ooooooh, can we stop for free OJ?

Back to the Dread Dormomoo. She said: "Every time a politician talks about raising taxes, or suggests a new tax, they are really saying 'I'm a failure.', because they couldn't do their real job." What job? Governing. Governance is more than "spend, then tax to make up the shortfall". Governing requires, true governing IS , self-control: spending within means, not saying yes to every whiner with a shopping list, then handing an ever-burgeoning bill to the taxpayer.

It is time to tell Washington "NO!" No new taxes, no new intrusions. One thing is already becoming certain: any change from this administration is apt to be bad.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

I like Ranch Dressing. Om nom nom nom. Makes me happy. Hidden Valley brand is the ne plus ultra of bottled ranches.

But come on ! Why does everything have to be ranch flavored? Nacho chips, buffalo wings, pizza...my youngest boys like mac and cheese with some ranch dressing on it.

The final straw (oh, no...Ranch Pixy Stix!) was going to the local Piggly Wiggly, and seeing Planters Ranch-Flavored Peanuts on the shelf.
I don't like ranch that much.

I do live in fear of the day that they come out with Ranch-Flavored M&Ms.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Sunday morning at the con. not where I'd LIKE to be, but that's life!

What a great little con. The dealer liaison and her hubby were at breakfast, and we sat talking about Freberg, and old time radio. Good times.

A sign that one is somewhat older than one might like: telling the waitress that she reminds you of an actress...and she has no clue who you're talking about (a young Tyne Daly. She even had the upper-gum smile thing.)


I want to make something plain. Anymore, when the issue of one being a Christian comes up, the concept is given a black eye by certain, ummmmm, church-types who give everyone a bad name.

People, being a Christian has nothing to do with Westboro Baptist Church. Period. I examine the New Testament for examples of such hate-mongering, and cannot find any. Jesus taking on the hypocrisy of religious leaders of his day, and the apostle Paul doing much the same was not hate! Accurate character assessment is not hate!)
There is NO call by Christ or the apostles to spew venom and hatred at sinners (defined as those devoted to a lifestyle of self-serving, trespassing over the boundaries God has set for human attitude and behavior.) The very God who went to cosmic lengths to be born into the world to redeem a lost and dead mankind is antithetical to the message of Westboro. They pick Old Covenant verses to support their spew, but I see no effort for them to rebuild the Temple and re-institute animal sacrifices.

Is there a Cohen in the house?

If you are going to cherry-pick your doctrine from the Law of Moses, you need to be consistent with it. Where's that red heifer, guys?

Lookit, there is sin. Sin is breaking God's laws (His house, His rules. Want different rules? Fine. Create your own universe.) The perfect God hates sin. But he loved the practitioners so much that He sent Jesus to atone for those sins. You may take advantage of this remarkable gift at any time, preferably sooner than later. But God does not hate you. He loves you, and wants you to have the best possible life, but this does involve playing the game by His rules (His house, again).
But c'mon, having principles, having rules, is NOT HATRED, any more than Parker Brothers hates you because there are specific rules for playing Monopoly.

Thus, however much I might disagree with your lifestyle or choices, I should not hate you. Hatred, in fact, is one of the works of the flesh spoken against in Galatians.

19 Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, 20 idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, 21 envy, murders drunkenness, revelries, and the like; of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told you in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.

Please note that hatred is in the same boat as murder and adultery. The statement:

those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.

is a no-brainer. If you live a non- kingdom life, then you won't inherit the Kingdom. I would be bold and say you would not WANT to be in the Kingdom. It would be uncomfortable.
Compare the fruit of the Spirit, borne in the life of a Kingdom citizen:

22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law. 24 And those who are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.

Crucifying the flesh is not comfy. It involves denial of what I want to do, and submitting my will to the One with a better plan. This is likely why Jesus said:

“Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. 14 Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it." Matthew 7:12-14

Point: Christian, if you are exuding hatred, I might question your right to the name, as you are displaying allegiance to your flesh, your own will, rather than obedience to Christ Jesus. But that is between you and your Maker, and we all of us are at different points in a life of obedience to our Lord.

In the parlance of The Street: Don't be hatin'.


The Spirit of the Lord Family Church meets upstairs at the Crowne Plaza on Sunday afternoons. Some of their members were "concerned" at the demonic costumes of some of the cosplayers here at the con, and, being vexed in their spirits, attempted to exorcise someone, because, you know, the kids weren't wearing tapioca-colored polyester, I guess. Thanks for giving a black eye to people who are trying to live the faith in the marketplace.

Chapter and verse, people. Where did Jesus, or an apostle, try to cast out demons from someone because of their clothing?

I'm waiting....

Can we PLEASE stop passing off boogeyman superstition as Biblical faith? Please?

Friday, February 13, 2009

It's Friday; it must be St. Louis.

We are here in sunny St. Louis, MO, at KawaKon, a nice little anime show. Fridays are slow at cons, especially during school time, so we comfort ourselves with things like "Oh, it will be better on Saturday.".

We arrove in St Louis around 8PM Thursday, an uneventful trip, until we were four miles from our exit, and I-64...stopped. Google did not know that there is major construction happening.

ATTENTION GOOGLE EARTH PARANOIACS: You have nothing to worry about.

We spent about an hour-and-a-half looking for our hotel, stopping for directions from an international cast of characters. Finally, I turned the wrong way and lo, there was the Crowne Plaza! We got our room, unloaded the shirts in the dealers room, then had Whittaker's Pizza delivered in. Very good, very cheap, and they had funnel cake balls for dessert. Om nom nom.

Friday dawned. Eggs Benedict at the hotel restaurant. I thank you, and my arteries thank you.

The con staff are helpful and competent, and they love the shirts we did for the con.

I am sick of people taking pictures of our stuff. Not snapshots, mind you. Walking by and taking shot after shot of our work, because they're too cheap to by a shirt, or too sheep to ask for a deal.
I guess that what gets me is the utter cluelessness. They don't even think about the affront. "I can't afford the shirt, but I want the design anyway. I deserve it."
Riatsila likens it to downloading torrents. I disagree.

Your dirt's dirty. Mine's not.

On the other hand, sales ARE going well. Enthusiastic huzzahs from the crowd. Lots of very happy otaku loving the Aardvarks' labor. Friday was an OK business day, but before the room opened at 3PM, we went to the Posh Nosh, a wonderful deli on Maryland Ave. in Clayton, MO.
Excellent Reubens, and their garlic pickles make Claussen's taste like industrial waste.

Business is booming at this cosy little con.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

I don't give a dam about "the children"!

In the days of itinerant tradesmen, a community mainstay was the tinker. He fixed cracked pans, pots and pails, amongst other things. Part of the method he used was to build a wall of cheap pot metal around the offending fissure, and then pour molten iron to patch the crack. He then chipped off the pot metal wall and threw it away. This wall was called a "dam", and once used, was useless for anything else. :"Not worth a tinkers dam" is a phrase hearkening back to those old days. No cussing, just a degree of worthlessness.

I just got an email from a purveyor of fine smokables:

As you may be aware, President Obama signed the State Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) legislation into law last week on Feb. 4.

While this program has some valid goals, it is to be funded by increased federal tobacco taxes that will go into effect on April 1, 2009

The new Federal Exise Tax on large cigars will be 52.75% of the manufacturers wholesale price with a cap of 40.26 cents per cigar.
The previous tax had a cap of 5 cents a cigar so this means that your favorite cigar brands like Cuban Delights, Rollers Select, Acid, Cojimar etc. will increase in price up to 35 cents or more per cigar come April 1st.

Aardvark, you can avoid the tax increases by stocking up now, before the prices go up.

You should also note the following other tobacco tax increases
Cigarettes: $1.0066 per pack
Pipe Tobacco: $2.8311 per pound
Roll Your Own Tobacco: $24.78 per pound
Little Cigars: $50.33 per 1000 ($100.66 per pack)

It's for the children, but they are not my children. I don't give a dam about them. period. Let their parents and local charities help them. The children of layabouts or illegals are not my problem in a governmental sense. For Mr. Obama to forcibly take money from me (overtly punishing me for my choice to enjoy a cigar or pipe) for some stranger's health care is felonious in the extreme. They are not my responsibility.

"Well, that's not very CHRIS-chun," I hear shouted from the back.

Shut up. You don't know what you are talking about.

Charitable and benevolent giving are voluntary in the Christian faith. My responsibility is to my neighbor, and Jesus parable of the "good Samaritan" makes clear that there must be a relationship, even one as tenuous as SEEING a strangers need, as the Samaritan did. Then, I make the decision. No-one decides for me. Except our neo-messiah, apparently.

The government has already robbed me by its war on tobacco. (The schizophrenia is palpable! Many Federal and State health programs are funded by taxes on tobacco products, which they are working overtime to get people to stop using.) I co-own some property in the eastern US with my cousins, which property is leased by a local farmer, who pays us each January based upon what he grows. He used to grow a lot of tobacco. Then the Feds put the kibosh on the tobacco industry, and while cotton and soybeans are nice, the net income from rent has dropped by one third annually. The Government agreed to pay "Oops, sorry" money for a few years to make up for it, but when that program ends in five or six years, we're out that money! Thanks, Big Brother!

So I am steamed. My pocket is picked yet again for people whom I do not know, and for whom I do not care, nor have responsibility for.

If I know you, and you have need, I will help as I can. Requiring anything beyond that is robbery.

Sunday, February 08, 2009

Cutting remarks

Sometimes, it all comes together. I heard a favorite speaker of mine on the wireless this AM, and he mentiomed "circumcision" in passing. (No, this was not Dr. Dean Edell ranting on the cruel mutilation of Western boydom). The issue was that of the Judaizing teachers who were troubling the Galatian gentile church by saying that to be a Christian, you first had to submit to the Law of Moses.This apparently started a Mosaic fan club, and folks wanted to join, with circumcision as the club entry fee. Paul writes:

Gal 5:1-4 Christ has set us free! This means we are really free. Now hold on to your freedom and don't ever become slaves of the Law again.
I, Paul, promise you that Christ won't do you any good if you get circumcised.
If you do, you must obey the whole Law.
And if you try to please God by obeying the Law, you have cut yourself off from Christ and his wonderful kindness.

This makes me worry a bit. Not doctrinally, but as regards communication. I have bleated about jackleg theologians and shadetree preachers in time past here , here , here , especially here. I frankly have problems with the seminary setup, but when I see the insanity that gets praught by the unlearned, well, maybe a bit of larnin' isn't so bad.

Y'see, it is frightfully easy to pull one verse out and beat it like a drum:

I, Paul, promise you that Christ won't do you any good if you get circumcised.

Preachers, and Christians who want to communicate their faith, can easily fall into a trap of assuming that others know what they are talking about, when actually they are speaking the club jargon. "Justification", "sanctification", "the", like that. I know that Paul is showing that the Abrahamic covenant promise was not replaced by the Mosaic covenant, and that we are made righteous by faith in Christ, rather than by obedience to the Law of Moses, which served to point out our sinfulness, and thus established our need for believing Jesus. (Wow, simple.) But the person hearing ONLY that "Christ won't do you any good if you get circumcised" -if he is one of those guys circumcised at birth for Western hygienic reasons - could get the idea that "Well, I guess I can't be saved.".
Rather like the people who worry that they have committed "the Unpardonable Sin" but have no clue as to what it is. The enemy is clever, and as the Bard prophetically wrote, can use Scripture to his own purpose.

When we teach someone the Gospel (and again, I pummel the moribund equine) we need to recognise that "a little dab'll do ya" is good for Brylcreem, but not so much for making disciples. Jesus immersed the Twelve in the Word of God for three full years of teaching and practicum . Three verses, a sermon, and a prayer does not cut it for discipleship. That is better for vaccinating a person from catching a case of faith.

When you share and teach, make certain that you know what you're talking about; make double -sure that they know what you're talking about.

Saturday, February 07, 2009

Years ago, I saw a play which title I cannot recall. There was a single, memorable line that burned itself into my little grey cells. What brings it galloping to mind anew is the comedy being performed in the Senate:

"Whether we cook it, or whether we eat it raw, we must do something!"

I wish I could find the play, and I wish the comedy in Washington would close.

On the
Other Hand...

Last night, I broke down and watched "Li'l Abner" on TCM. Based on one of my favorite comic strips as a yout', the musical had promise.

Al Capp was the comic-strip version of Rush Limbaugh in his day, except that everyone loved his work. Conservative in outlook and politics, Capp skewered the silly sensibilities of the nation from the Depression era on, Conservative and liberal alike. His work in the Sixties was priceless (The hippie activist group S.W.I.N.E.: "Students Wildly Indignant about Nearly Everything" was a study in gimlet-eyed punditry), and he did not fear the sacred comic-page cows of his day; Capp did a strip-in-a-strip featuring Li'l Abner's favorite crime-fighter Fearless Fosdick, a swipe at the bizarre characters in the "Dick Tracy" strip.

I will not comment on the pulchritude of the Dogpatch beauties like Daisy May, Moonbeam McSwine, and Stupefyin' Jones.

The movie was based on the eponymous Broadway play, and a merry romp it is. Stubby Kaye plays "Marryin' Sam" who rides into town on a mule to make ready for the Sadie Hawkins Day festivities, wherein the eligible gals of marrying age and temperament chase the eligible bachelors who may not have the temperament, but who do have a head start, and get to marry the guy they catch. Just one catch: The estimable Senator Jack S. Phogbound ("There's no Jack S. like OUR Jack S.!") has helped the Army determine that Dogpatch, the hillbilly home of our heroes, is the most useless spot in the US of A, and thus the perfect place for AY-tomic bomb tests. (Fallout from Nevada desert testing was dirtying the craps tables in Vegas and hurting the industry.) The search for something, anything , that would give Dogpatch any value whatever ensues. For them wot likes musicals this is a fun movie, but it has the feel of a quick-and-dirty production.

Occasionally, you will see a filming error in a movie: a script left on a nightstand, a microphone dipping into the scene, like that. "Li'l Abner" has raised this to an Olympic height. The canvas backdrop with Dogpatchy graphic blandishments painted thereon droops at the top, affording many views of the soundstage ceiling, Kleig lights, and other filmic hardware.

Many, many views. Almost every long shot of Dogpatch real estate affords a "Making Of" glimpse.

The first scene in General Bullmoose's office is rife with boom mike dippage. Even Appassionata Von Climax's (Stella Stevens) breathing cannot distract, but surprisingly, rather than detracting from the movie, it spurred me to creativity: The Li'l Abner drinking game. Every time you see summat that you're not supposed to, you take a drink of your preferred potent potable. If you are conscious by the end of the movie, YOU WIN!

Loen was spurred by the egregious hill use of "has", as in "I has a pinin' fer Daisy Mae." or "I has been whammied by Evil Eye Fleegle." Every time "has" is used thusly, you take a drink. I discourage this, as most stalwarts would die of alcohol poisoning midway through the third act. Cleanup is such a hassle.

Friday, February 06, 2009


Please, please, PLEASE go see this wonderful film. It completely avoids 3-D tackiness (typified by SCTV's "3-D House of Beef" horror skit) The voice acting is amazingly off-the-wall, from Keith David (Remember "Gargoyles"?) to Saunders and French. Mr. PC from the Apple ads is Coraline's father, Teri Hatcher her mother. Coraline is voiced by Dakota Fanning.

The score by Bruno Coulais is an unexpected treat, a complete departure from Elfman or Williams. "They Might Be Giants" do some special music (the Other-Father's song).

This movie is a treat, done in mind-boggling 3-D stop-motion animation. Please, stimulate the economy, and your senses, and see Coraline. It may well be the best animated film I've ever seen.

Thursday, February 05, 2009

Short, sweet, and watch me hold my breath.

Dear Congressman (Parker) Griffith:
Please vote against the economic stimulus "bailout" bill. From my reading, it appears to be a "winner" for existing project budgets, but a loser for actual stimulus and private-sector employment expansion. Despite our President's well-intentioned blandishments, I urge you not to vote for the bill. There is no Constitutional authority for this move to goose the economy. It is using the same tactics as Hoover and Roosevelt, which wound up prolonging the Great Depression.

Thank you for your time. I hope that you will truly represent me.
Our Alabama senators have voted no in the past. Richard Shelby has received this as well.

Monday, February 02, 2009

Troubadour asks:

Why do hot dogs come in packs of 10 and buns pack of 8?

That is an illusion.
Hot dogs, buns, and mustard all come in packs of six.


This is why hot dogs are not part of the marriage supper of the Lamb.

It is also a collusion between Big Bread and Global Frankfurter. You must buy 8 packs of franks, and 10 packs of buns to make it all come out even. Sounds a party! In fact, if you DON'T purchase enough to come out even, you are not supporting our economy. and that means you are probably a Recession Denier, and THAT means you're worse than Hitler.

Both of my assertions are true.