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I love, love, love this visual commentary on comic art (plus it up):


I particularly like the "look of intense concentration as I tried not to fall over while longing for Peter." Well, the tag line to that one, mostly.

Random thoughts on obscure sportsCollapse )

Haven't crashed planes in a while. It's like vacationing is stealing my RC flying energy. Or fulfilling the same need? Something.

Too much smoke but keen flying.


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Killing Time on You Tube

So was anyone else completely blown away by the album Eurythmics did for the movie 1984? Never did see the movie, but loved the album. I'd read the book in Jr. High, and was not really a fan. Hard to have much sympathy for a pathetic middle aged guy with a big time crush on a younger girl who magically has this big crush on him when middle aged guys are creeping you out on a regular basis. That part of the book read pretty much like "loser fantasy" to me. But the Eurythmics song "Julia" actually gave me some sympathy for his perspective. Not a LOT of sympathy, but some is more than none. :p


I'm debating about having the older two read 1984 and Brave New World this year. I think Brave New World is actually a more accurate prediction of how things have gone/will go, so was thinking I'd go with that one if I only do one, but haven't read either of them in years and years. Kinda want to do Animal Farm as well -- quick, easy read and would fit with the 20th Century History unit I'm planning. Decisions, decisions...

The whole 1984 album is on YouTube, with visuals from the film, although there was a big fuss about the fact that the director didn't want the music on his film. I think the music is terrific, plus the visuals on some of the videos are kind of interesting. Anyone seen the movie and have an opinion about it?

Visual Illusions, Star Trek, Star Wars, Firefly, whatnotCollapse )
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In Which I Am Very Angry

Those who don't share my religious beliefs pretty much might want to look away now, because this is entirely a Religious Rant, with Bible quotations and the whole nine yards. You have been warned.

David Polreis, two years old, beaten to death in 1996
Christopher Forder, 8 years old, beaten to death in 2002
Louie Guerrero, 11 years old, beaten into renal failure and hospitalization in 2002
Sean Paddock, 4 years old, beaten and then wrapped in a blanket;suffocated, 2006
Lydia Schatz, 7 years old, beaten to death in 2010
Zariah Schatz, 11 years old, beaten into renal failure and hospitalization in 2010

All these children were beaten by people who believe the "rod verses" in Proverbs command parents and authorities to "spank with the rod." Every Christian Parenting Guru I have read refers parents to Proverbs 23:13 ("Do not withhold correction from a child, For if you beat him with a rod, he will not die.") in encouraging spanking, but of course the word used for "beat" in that passage is also translated "slay", "kill" and "slaughter". There's something goofy about taking a word that God uses to refer to killing everyone but those in the Ark (Genesis 8:21) and saying it means "a few gentle swats to the tush," as the average Christian Parenting Guru does.

Maybe Christian Parenting Gurus should stop taking the book of Proverbs quite so literally, or *at least* start taking the books of Law equally literally -- like, fer instance, when God limits beatings to forty stripes? (Deuteronomy 25:3) Of course, sticking with the Law books makes it tough to "win, even if it takes a repeated [spanking]" (James Dobson) or to accomplish the "unconditional surrender" Richard Fugate recommends, or to get the "total submission" Michael Pearl says is necessary. Fishing around in one of the books of Wisdom, the one which regularly and deliberately contradicts itself (Proverbs 26:4&5, for the most obvious example), and treating said Proverbs as Law, makes it a lot easier to find verses that support what you already believe.

The Bible may call on Christian leaders to be gentle (Galatians 6:1, 1 Thessalonians 2:7, 2 Timothy 2:24, Titus 3:2), and on Christians as a whole to be merciful and full of forgiveness, but for some reason all those ideas just go out the window when it comes to Christian Parenting Gurus. God may say children are holy just by the fact of having a Christian parent (1 Corinthians 7:14), but the Gurus warn that if you don't discipline them just right, they'll be lost. The guys who really kill me straight out say, on a regular basis, "punish your kids or God will punish them" -- as if a sinner like me is better equipped to rightly punish my kids than the perfect God is!

Yeah, that makes sense. Sure.

The Bible tells me to discipline and teach my kids, true, but that's a whole 'nother thing from "get in between your kids and that scary God who'll really hurt them if you don't straighten them out first!" In my experience, following Deuteronomy 6:7 by reminding the kids of God's Word at the appropriate times, and then stepping aside, allows God to work on my child's heart direct. It is, after all, God who holds my child's heart in His hand (Proverbs 21:1), not me, and God who will enable my child to truly obey (Galatians 5:22 & 23, Ephesians 5:9).

IMHO, whether parents spank or not is their own business as a rule. But when someone teaches that God *orders* parents to strike their children, and that corporal punishment is *necessary* to bring children happiness and salvation, they have crossed a line that should not be crossed. And they can claim Biblical support until the cows come home, but that doesn't make it so.

What Set Me OffCollapse )

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Cat Tales

Theresa the inept is an embarrassment to all cat kind. Just about every morning she tries to jump across onto the head of our bed. Generally, while doing so she takes out at least something from the top of the bedside table.

If she lands square, then she turns back to survey whatever fell with academic interest. If she has to scramble a bit but ends up on the bed, once secure she pretends nothing happened. But sometimes she ends up slowly sliding down the opposite side of the bedside table, resigned but frustrated that her claws can get no purchase.

Any other cat, ignobly deposited on the floor under these circumstances, would find it suddenly necessary to give their shoulder (or some other part of their anatomy) a good scrub, and possibly to stalk off after giving the bedside table a disdainful glare or dismissive stretch/kick. Not Teresa. She'll sit there a minute, with this, "Huh, I thought that was going to work" look on her face, and then either head for the foot of the bed to approach it from a different angle, or wander off to do something else entirely, her mood not the least impaired.
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Sugar Cookie Sleigh Ride is the Most Pointless Celestial Seasongs tea ever.

Which I knew, and yet I bought another box. What was I thinking?

Candy Cane Lane, OTOH, is pretty much eldest daughter's favorite tea, ever.

Nutcracker Sweet, Gingerbread Spice, Sugar Plum Spice, all good with a bit of sugar and cream (half and half, milk, whatever). But then there's Sugar Cookie Sleigh Ride, which smells heavenly and tastes like a whole lotta nothin'. I've been known to throw in some of those little red cinnamon candies you decorate cookies with so there's something to taste, but I could make "cinnamon candy tea" without the Sugar Cookie Sleigh Ride any day.

I tend to combine a fair percentage of my Celestial Seasonings teas with black tea anyhow, but you can still taste them that way and there's a point to that. Sugar Cookie Sleigh Ride? Non-medicinal, essentially tasteless, pretty pointless.

At least it isn't as bad as coffee, which smells heavenly but tastes awful... :D
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Flies and Farms

There's a big, bumbling summer-fly noisily exploring the upstairs bathroom, which got me thinking about Grandma's farm in Minnesota. For some years in my late childhood and into my teens, I'd spend a week or so with grandma every summer, just me or just me and my brother, and most nights I'd be the last one awake, curled up in my father's former bed with four pillows behind me, a book in front of me, and the bare light bulb dangling from the ceiling over me the last light lit in the house, meaning I generally ended up with a fly or five circling the light there for some hours while I read. We get flies in the house here once in a while, but I always leave the downstairs bathroom light on and hubby hangs fly paper below it, so they don't generally last long. The light draws them in and the fly paper does them in.

books I've read while listening to Farm Flies zooming overheadCollapse )

Sometime I should review Grandpa G's books that I read, but aside from Marabel Morgan's The Total Woman (which he bought for Grandma), they were nearly all about cars and thus kind of blend in my mind. He did have one of the books on the Burma Shave signs, which actually had more prose than Burma Shave doggerel, which I liked muchly. Not surprising, that, since it combined his love of travel and love of cars, but looking back I'm surprised he didn't have more travel books. I know he had some, though, or at least one of the lots-of-pics Time/Life variety, because I remember reading it thinking I wanted to live in every one of the fifty states for one year of my life. Which goal lasted about ten minutes - I'd moved often enough to consider the logistics of that, which dissuaded me from giving the idea serious consideration. Still holds a lot of emotional appeal, though.

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H. Rider Haggard's SHE is appropriate reading...

So a week ago Saturday we get back from our last trip trading kids back and forth with dad and pick up the younger girls from Grandma Pat's and all generally crash. Then the phone rings in the middle of the night and hubby and I argue about who has to go get it (the only land line is downstairs). He heads downstairs about the time the phone stops ringing, which is how that usually goes. Then a bit later his cell phone rings - his mother has died. :(

Chaos ensuesCollapse )

I had H. Rider Haggard's She in my stained glass bag as a back-up book when going to pick up eldest daughter in Iowa - hadn't unpacked the bag from that trip and just took it along to Illinois for the funeral, and found She a very appropriate choice. Lots of meditations on death in that book. Serendipity in the midst of tragedy.

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Middle son comes up with the best expletives...

We don't swear in this family to speak of (well, I have, but I'm the only one). Middle son, however, challenges Captain Haddock for most original swear phrases. (I wonder if Captain Haddock's expletive's are as "clean" in other languages as they are in English...) Son's current expletive is "Stupid Stupid Flying Manta Rays!", but it'll be something else in a few hours.

Still, between the swearing and the foot stomping, I'm thinking he's not doing well with his current video game...

Just found out the Epps house the first season of Numb3rs is an actual house, down to the furnishings and koi pond (they build a reproduction for subsequent seasons). I have a fondness for Craftsman homes and always thought that "set" showed an extraordinary attention to detail and wondered who the Arts and Crafts fan was on the staff!
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Hey, I forgot to mention - we have a new house!

Last fall hubby decided to bid on a house around the corner and we bought it. For $3000 more than it had been listed for before the auction, but whatever... Cost about a third what this one did but they're about the same size and the new one's not in such good shape.

It's a little grey and yellow Queen Anne that has few of the snazzy details left, alas. It was on the market for some time and had been broken into a time or two - a couple of the windows in the big tower on one front corner had been broken out, which is Big Money because both the glass and the frame were curved to fit. Just saw the guy working on them from our laundry room window, so I'll have to go check that out when he's done!
House stuffCollapse )
Middle daughter thinks we should celebrate Penuche Fudge Day. I'm more inclined to celebrate the fact that it's Hammock Day. Wait - just told her what Penuche Fudge is and she's decided we need to pretend it's "Normal Fudge Day." So far as she's concerned, Fudge isn't really fudge unless it's chocolate.