Monthly Archives: May 2015

Beware of Sermon!

SONY DSC

Today’s Sunrise from Virginia Beach, VA, USA.

Sorry, we interrupt the sunrise over the Atlantic to deal with some totally expected, unsurprising idiocy from the media (as in not too bright….etc.).

Fox News had two stories today;

Is your number of sex partners normal?

AND

Is Christianity really at an end? (Although after the teasing, slightly provocative headline it does state that the demise is overstated.)

First, let’s talk about sex partners. Reasonable people may make mistakes while searching for someone with whom they can share a beautiful interdependence. Others take advantage of this. In a perfect world a shining arrow would appear over them perfect sex/love/sharing kitchen, children, soccer duties, etc. partner.  That partner may not be perfect, but would be a perfect fit for you.

Second, if Christianity were at an end, (and I weren’t a Christian), I’d head for the hills. I mean I’d head for the hills that would make the Mount Everest Sherpas pass out. If God invested his only Son in us and now Christianity is at an end, I think He’d have every reason to say, “That’s it! Let’s throw in the cards and I’m going to open a sealed deck and deal a new hand.

End of sermon.  Back to the sunrise.

The Hurdles to Blogging

Thanks to all the jerks who keep making me change my password.

Thanks to all the jerks who keep making me change my password.

I actually haven’t been ignoring my blogging duties. Life’s been busy. Then of course there’s the fact that my new laptop makes me press the space key extra hard.

The biggest problem, though, has been passwords. Every time I turn around, I have to change my password to something. Now, if I used one and only one computer, that would be manageable, albeit unpleasant. I use multiple computers, and whichever computer I am using will not have the current password.

I’m working on it and will try to work around the password problem.

Personal to Mick Jagger

Mick,

You may be out there on stage bopping with the best of them. However, that song, Time Is On My Side? You may have spoken a few decades prematurely.

 

 

 

 

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - NOVEMBER 12:  Mick Jagger and Keith Richards of The Rolling Stones perform live at Allphones Arena on November 12, 2014 in Sydney, Australia.  (Photo by Mark Metcalfe/Getty Images)

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA – NOVEMBER 12: Mick Jagger and Keith Richards of The Rolling Stones perform live at Allphones Arena on November 12, 2014 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Mark Metcalfe/Getty Images)

This past weekend was what some call a “soccer weekend.” Others call it a “Crime against Humanity” prohibited by the Geneva Convention. Why do I say this?

First, no matter how much you love soccer, until they make disposable soccer (excuse “football”)  shoes (excuse me “boots”) there are flaws in the system. Soccer is unlike baseball where teams take turns and the speed of play is determined by the pitcher. Some compare it to American football in which there’s a play lasting less than a minute, followed by a period of rearranging.

Soccer is played in halves, which depending on age last anywhere from thirty minutes to forty-eight hours, depending on age. (Those age groups that involve walkers take considerably longer and are regularly interrupted by cardiac emergencies).   There are no time-outs in soccer unless there is a significant injury to a player–and I mean there better be pulsating arterial blood or fixed and dilated pupils.

Now, take roughly a dozen teenagers, who already exude vast quantities of eau de hormone, and have them play three or four games WITHOUT BENEFIT OF A WASHING MACHINE!

Just as no good deed goes unpunished, evil people seek opportunities. With soccer, it was like Khan in Star Trek,  quoting from Moby Dick . “From hell’s heart I stab at thee; for hate’s sake I spit my last breath at thee.  When you are exhausted and the calendar predicts  a three day weekend, a soccer tournament I send unto thee…”

Mick,years ago I tried to face such things with at least a modicum of grace and acknowledge, “Well, I’m not twenty anymore.”

It’s not a large a leap to, “…not thirty anymore.” But now, when I have to say, “I’m not sixty anymore,” let’s just say that time may not be on my side.

However, while you’re preparing for your next tour, I’ve made it home. My son’s team placed second, and life is good.

Even if I’m not sixty any more.

 

 

Memorial Day Etiquette

I’ve heard various opinions as to the handling of Memorial Day, with each opinion aghast at those who have differing opinions.

Memorial Day began as “Decoration Day” when the veterans of the Union Army—now known as the Grand Army of the Republic—decorated the graves of the Union Civil War Dead with flowers as a tribute to their sacrifice. The Union dead enjoyed a more civilized burial in many cases; for example, at Gettysburg, priority was naturally given to those who had given their lives in defense of the United States. Being July, and hot, by the time they had buried the Union casualties, it was not possible to move many of the Southern dead still lying on the field (military, first responders, and medical people know what I’m saying—I’ll save the rest of you from the details). The only option was to dig a proper grave next to the remains, and roll the body in. These were not marked, nor will they be, since they are a prime target for artifact hunters.

Naturally, the veterans and families of Confederate soldiers had similar memorial practices, so as the nation healed, a single day was chosen to honor all who had died in combat—Memorial Day.

To some, saying, “Happy Memorial Day,” is disrespectful, since it is a day to honor the war dead.

So, what should you say?

I gave this a lot of thought and decided on the following:

  1. Every Soldier, Sailor, Marine, Airman or Coast Guard took the oath and the responsibility in order to protect what we hold dear.
  2. To honor and remember is appropriate.
  3. However, those who died did so in order that we could enjoy life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

Therefore, acknowledging that this nation and even this holiday was built on their commitment as well as their sacrifice, I believe that celebrating acknowledges their victory. They protected our right to be the outrageous, unrefined, out of control Americans we were meant to be.

This is a holiday that was “built on the shoulders of giants.”

So enjoy. What if someone wearing “the cloth of our country” who died in the 1860s, or who is the most recent KIA were suddenly allowed to come back? I think he or she would prefer to see families gather, cook outside, smile and laugh because home and hearth, family and friends, the American way is what they wanted to protect.

Happy Memorial Day to the living, thanks to those who gave the last full measure.

Peanut Butter

Plain Old Peanut Butter

Plain Old Peanut Butter

The standard for the entire universe is peanut butter and jelly.

Not for me.

I have always preferred peanut butter and honey.

Why? Because jelly isn’t in the Bible but honey is.

Okay, I’m kidding.

Jelly, to me, in regard to peanut butter is the same as fish to meat. Some people like Surf’n’Turf (even myself at times), but although the dish and the meat may share the same plate, they are DIFFERENT! The broccoli over at the untouched edge of the plate, same thing.

Honey enhances the flavor of peanut butter without replacing it. Jelly, in my humble opinion, tries to stake out its own claim and force out its rivals, including peanut butter.

So, in the intergalactic scheme of things, what does this mean? Why honey? Why peanut butter? Why jelly—and can jam be used as a substitute when times are rough?

Not so much. So in the giant intergalactic connectivity equation this means………………

Absolutely nothing.

So, there.

Faith vs. Fact

I have no problem with the issue of faith—as a matter of fact, I have relied on faith to get me through the tough parts of life. However, faith is based on my relationship God.

On the other hand, with most other issues, I need to know HOW something works—that pi is just a ratio between the circumference of a circle and its radius. I need to know how margins of error are calculated and what they really mean in the world of statistics.

Today, though, there are many people who accept on faith that cell phones work and always will; that the electric power, cable television, and the internet will be there with the flick of a switch, but they have no idea how they work, nor do they care.

However, when it comes to God, they demand proof that He exists.

Weird.

If There’s No Breaking News—We’ll Break Something!

Courtesy, National Geographic  (Consider joining--http://www.nationalgeographic.com/about/)

Courtesy, National Geographic
(Consider joining–http://www.nationalgeographic.com/about/)

Squeezed in somewhere among the celebrity gossip and pinup pictures, occasionally the Internet carries items that journalists once referred to as News.

News includes such boring items as wars, disasters, election results, and rarely mention the reaction from starlets, transgender humans or trans-species….whatever. In the days of journalism, the reporter listed the facts:

  1. This is what happened (not my impression of what happened).
  2. Where and when it happened.
  3. Why is this significant? (Not guaranteed to be 100% factual, but true journalists tried to be as objective as possible).

“News” today is often predictive—this COULD happen, or the media focuses on something that probably will happen, but it could be tomorrow, or it could be in 30 billion years (give or take).

[Note: I like the fact that what was once the press is now the media. It’s like admitting they only rank a grade of “C” for their work.]

Today CNN ran a story on the super-volcano that someday could, maybe erupt (or it could keep releasing pressure through Old Faithful and the other geysers like that weight on the top of a pressure cooker).

But the best thing is—they’re now adding music to news stories, and a pretty zippy bongo number (doubtlessly electronically generated) at that. Try http://www.cnn.com/videos/weather/2015/04/24/supervolcano-yellowstone-magma-reservoir-orig.cnn?iid=ob_article_footer_expansion&iref=obnetwork

What’s next for the news mesia—laugh tracks?

There Are Some Nights…

I hear lots of people talking about going home at the end of the day and watching TV or even doing something significant. The older I get the less often that happens. I tend to wind down in the evening; if I’m productive I do some “therapeutic soldering” on some project or another.

However, there are some evenings when I’m just beat. I may have gotten a whole lot of things done that were on my to-do list (nothing like the folks at the Hadron accelerator, but accomplishments nevertheless).In any case, I just want to relax, wind down and call it a night.

Tonight is one of those; in fact it’s a perfect example. I could explain why, but I’m just too tired.

So, on that note, good night.