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Wednesday, April 29, 2009


The Dread Dormomoo was doing number things in The Red Room, and felt a...thing...on her leg.
she reached down and picked up a sizeable ant. It screamed.
Loen and I were at a surprisingly good convention this weekend. The otaku at the University of Alabama-Tuscaloosa put on Kami-Con. This was the first year for the con, and the keeds loved our shirts. The con putter-onners had about double the attendance than they had expected.

We arrived Friday night (it was a Sat, Sun. con) and delivered the convention shirts. On our way back to the La Quinta, we saw a Chipotle Grill, and pulled in for supper. Their offerings taste good, but come on, the burritos look like they are pregnant to bursting with ANOTHER burrito, like some fat larval...something, or a mutated termite queen. As far as investment strategies go, forget gold and silver: guacamole is the commodity to trade. At $1.80 for a couple of tablespoons, it has real growth potential. I bet Glenn Beck could get behind this one.

If you go to Tuscaloosa, you MUST try The Snappy Tomato. This is a pizzaria for those who prefer tomato sauce to the normal corn syrup sludge that passes for sauce at, say, Papa John's. Sweet pizza is an abomination. The Snappy Tomato has a tomato-ey, peppery sauce made of win. It is not hot...but spicy. Om nom nom nom. Even their Hawaiian pizza is Not Sweet, though it has lots of pineapple. It is not a huge chain, but it's growing, deservedly so!

Monday, April 20, 2009

Meh...now I need to write about death. One of the reasons that I'm "not a minister" is that I do not relate to it well: read: "at all".

 Here's the thing: when someone dies, they are out of my life. That's all. I do not grieve, as a rule, whether friend or family. No, I am not a tight little bundle of neuroses; I do not suck my thumb, nor cry myself to sleep at night. The departure of a person in death affects me as little as a person leaving town on a trip. Maybe this means I am very well adjusted insofar as death is concerned. I have not shed a tear over my father's murder, nor the death of my wife's mom and dad, both to cancer. I lost it when my mom died, but I was only four or five. I found my eighty-six year old grandfather dead in his bed when I was in eighth grade, and had the presence of mind to call the hospital and get the arrangements rolling, only then going upstairs to awaken my grandmother. No tears. I have cried over The Dread Dormomoo's sister's death, years after the fact. As to Public Figures, there is one whose departure affected me deeply. Beyond that, nope. They are gone, and my attention is now elsewhere.

The obsession with Death and Heaven in many churches is beyond me. There is an amazing amount of work right here to occupy us 24/7, without cow-eyed singing about "over there", and "crossing over Jordan". Ummmmm, people, nowhere in Scripture is the Jordan River a metaphor for Death, and Going to Heaven. It is an entry into Kingdom life, either in a figure, as in Israel crossing Jordan to enter the Promised Land, or in the image of baptism in the Jordan. Jesus has defeated death in the Resurrection, period. For the believer death is a Customs counter as we move from one realm to the next. The Bible is relatively quiet about our life in eternity, sufficiently so that we really don't need to yammer on about it. Jesus came that we might have life, and that more abundantly. That's what the Kingdom is about. Let's work with that.

This week also brings us to celebrations, that of the Oklahoma City Bombings, and Columbine. These masochistic parties are also beyond my ken. Everyone burbles on about closure and healing, but every year that rolls around, we give the lie to that. We tear off the bandage of closure, and peel off the scab of healing. Pointless. Shall we get on with our lives, please? This cannot be healthy. Oh, Happy Holocaust Awareness Day!
Because I surely wouldn't remember the Holocaust without video of traffic stopping in Israel in memory of it.


A local custom which eludes me, but which does bring in some shekels, is remembering the Dearly Departed by purchasing shirts with their picture on them. Add to that the "In Loving Memory of (insert name here)" vinyl lettering on back car, truck, or SUV windows. It's just creepy to me, and does not seem conducive to getting over it. I guess tearing off psychological scabs is just so deliciously painful and rewarding.

One more thing: I DO NOT GET these execrable roadside displays where fatal road accidents have occurred. You know the ones: a white cross with the decedent's name on the patibulum, with faded plastic flowers draped thereon. They make me consider legislation. To echo a Scroogian sentiment, "Are there no cemetaries?". That's what they are for, you know, the whole gravestone and flowers thing. My belief is that they are a sufficient distraction to cause MORE road accidents. The writing is sufficiently small to cause inattention to the road as you squint to read it. They either need to be a billboard (you have to pay for the sign, which stimulates the economy, too), or they need to be gotten rid of. If you care enough to vomit your grief on the public roadways, then you can pay for the privilege.

Hmmmm...no takers.


Friday, April 17, 2009

I have tasted
the future,
and it is

Kellogg's latest foray into merchandising is sub-par. Sweetened oat swirls (Just flip 'em to face the right way for your hemisphere) with gold Starfleet insignia marshmallows, and blue-and-white swirly galaxy-thingy marshmallows (also hemispherically adaptable). The cereal I had hopes for. It is the standard sweet Alpha-Bits-type* sweetened oat cereal, apparently basted with space-y industrial waste, trilithium resin or somesuch, which leaves an icky aftertaste...or is it foretaste, since time-travel plays an important part in the new Trek movie? The marshmallows are the expected dense singularities of artificially-flavored what-they-call-FUN in the Trade. This is the Star Trek V of movie-related cereals.

Gothgeek gave me a box as a giggle, and Loen asked to open it and try it. So much for collectability (wink). I had to taste it. I wish I could go back in time.

Thanks for the fun gift, though. The package graphics are excellent!

Maybe the movie will be better than the cereal.

*I know that Alpha-Bits are a Post cereal. Take your lateral lisp elsewhere.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Oot-fray Oops-lay
Ea-tay Arties-pay

This is REAL Tea Party season. with this week being the watershed. This tax protest movement a-borning is really taking on, and it has me worried. ACORN, it is reported, plans to crash Tea Parties across the nation in an attempt to make them appear kooky, fringe-y and well, Froot Loop-y. A local talk radio guy, Dale Jackson, is taking part in the Huntsville, AL event, and has warned of loopiness crouching at the door. He played an excerpt from a tea party speaker elsewhere in the Union who began by sounding sane-if-excitable, then spectacularly moved off-message, swerving into CrazyTown with a rant about "Obama's hypnotic mind-control speech techniques". Maybe true, maybe not, but irrelevant to the event at hand, and made me squint from the glare of his aluminum-foil hat. The idea is that the ACORN types and Huffingtonians will infiltrate and do weirdnesses to turn the rallies into media circuses crying for cartoon sound FX and a laugh track on the evening news. The leaders of these Tea Parties need a firm hand to keep the events on-track. Area bloggers like this are rattling on about "Violence on Twitter" and "Hate Speech" coming from the tea party movement. My response:

Hate speech? HATE SPEECH? Come on, now. Being angry at being robbed by non-representative government is anger, not hate. Let's get a refresher on our emotions. Throwing around inflammatory terms like "hate speech" is not helping dialog at all, unless of course "hate speech" really means "doesn't agree with us".

The lunatic fringe and crazies have always been around. The Dread Dormomoo ID'd this follower of Jesus:

Luke 11:27 And it happened as He spoke these things, a certain woman of the company lifted up her voice and said to Him, Blessed is the womb that bore You, and the breasts which You have sucked.

Jesus had been teaching, and this lady was so emotionally charged that she...yelled...THAT at Jesus. (Though frankly I'm surprised it never happened at an Obama rally....)

Jesus proceeded to get the situation back on track. He did not scold, but merely said:

Luke 11:28 But He said, No; rather, blessed are they who hear the Word of God and keep it.

(Read the chapter for the whole event.)
Jesus retained control, and prevented the thing from becoming a Springer Moment. I would encourage the leadership of the several Tea Parties to

1) Know your people.

2) Have some SANE people to work your security (hint...the ones who volunteer specifically to work security...don't use 'em.)

3) Be prepared to remove a speaker from the microphone IF he strays too far from the message and starts huffing ozone. Have an "announcement" ready in case you need a "reason" to reclaim the mike (don't lie, I'm not saying that, but have an announcement ready as a contingency plan. You don't want to appear to "limit free speech" on-camera!)
*NOTE: keeping the message focused is NOT "censorship". It is staying on-topic. The left would portray it as "censorship". Don't give 'em the chance. Imagine the preacher interrupting his Easter sermon to give out his grandmother's Sally Lunn bread recipe. Yummy, but inappropriate. The tea party is not a time to debate, say, FairTax vs. Flat tax. Unite the hearers.

Enjoy the events, beat the drum, stir up the Vital Fluids of the Body Politic, but don't let the day be hijacked by well-meaning loons. Stay on-message, and make this Mean Something, and Lead Somewhere. The Tea Party is not the point...holding Washington accountable IS.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Happy Easter to all!

The Dread Dormomoo has assembled the requisite calorie-laden celebratory fare for the kinder tomorrow, the sacramental sweets. The littlest 'Vark, the grand-Vark, has the traditional pail-and-shovel thing happening.

Several of my Easter memories of a yout' are getting a Junior Detective kit in my Easter basket, complete with ink for taking fingerprints. My cousin Shawn and I did inkblots. I got a pastel-colored duckling, which my cousin's dachsund killed. Never have had much to do with the breed since.

The Sisters of St. Mary, the religious order which ran the St. Eugene hospital in Dillon, SC, would bake a lamb-shaped cake, iced and colored, and send it over to us. They were sweet ladies, those nuns.

One year I received a spun-sugar egg with a window in one end, with a pretty scene inside.

As a child, I could never understand how Jesus' declaration of "three days and three nights" in the earth could be fit into Friday evening through Sunday sunrise. It's the sort of thing that must have led Mark Twain to say "Faith is believing what you know ain't so.", except I didn't believe it. I preferred to believe what Jesus said over what a cleric said. I figured it was merely representational, that Friday evening through Sunday sunrise thing.
Years later, Lowell Blankenship, one of our elders, and a REAL rocket scientist, explicated it clearly and plainly and Scripturally, the three days and three nights thing. I will find the notes and show a diagram one day.

It is fascinating what people will believe traditionally, in the face of the clear statements of the Bible.

It's the First Day of the week. Please consider going to commemorate the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus. Plastic eggs and candy are optional.

Thursday, April 09, 2009

Courtesy of Dept of Special Collections/UCLA Library, A1713 Charles E. Young Research Library, 405 Hilgard Ave, Box 951575, Los Angeles, CA 90095-1575; http://www.library.ucla.edu/libraries/special/scweb/

Give Me Your Huddled Masses, Yearning To Work Cheap.

All the pro-illegal crowd, and lionizers of the Humble May-hee-can sans carte verte , listen up. The Aardvark is now a victim.
He has LOST work, specific shirt-printing work, to a shop that uses "undocumented workers". A convention promoter who "wanted to give the opportunity" gave a quote for us to meet-or-beat. I know shirt prices, labor, and the rest. The only way to charge that little for multi-color printing on decent quality shirts is to have the work done by workers who can be paid very little. Your Aardvark told him in essence that if he wanted shirts from Planet Pedro, that was fine. He got offended, somewhat. No moreso than your servant. This is work that an American WILL do, does do, being taken by those who do not belong here, and that frankly are being victimized themselves.

To add insult to injury, the Voxster reports thus.

Makes me ponder the truth of a Remo Williams quote about Public Service.

Monday, April 06, 2009

Love affairs are fascinating to witness. The news media are ardent in their infatuation, nay, their lust for the economic meltdown we currently enjoy in the You-Ess-of-Ay, and true to the dynamics of amorous fixation, they ignore the obvious bad dentition, warts and hunchbacks on their intended. Case in point: the report on ABC radio news today trumpeting that a GOOD thing has come out of "the recession" - fewer traffic deaths. Higher gas prices and lower disposable incomes have synergised into a life-saving force of nature. The recession has saved lives! YAAAAAY. What's not to love? After all, Hitler brained out the Volks-Wagen, too! People cannot (or will not) drive as needlessly, thus reducing their chances of a close encounters with the illegal, the unlicensed, and the inebriated motorist. The Recession is doing GOOD for us!

BUT, does it have a grrrrr-eat personality?