Monday, December 21, 2009

The Making of a Murderer - The Making of a Christian

Kate Uttinger writes in this month's Leben Magazine issue an article that will capture your imagination.  It is about Apache Indians in the 1800's.  Specifically one man born to the Bendonkohe Apaches in southwestern Arizona.  The Indians always had fascinating names for their people, to me at least.  Its like inventing your own name for playing the blues- pick an infirmity, pick your favorite  fruit, add your last name and that's your blues name.  Mine would be "Blind Watermelon Meyer".

Goyahkla translates to "One Who Yawns".  Early in his life, according to Ms. Uttinger's research, he "lived the idyllic picture of native simplicity."  Played hide-and-seek among  the rocks and brush with his siblings, learned how to track animals and from the adults learned to recognize medicinal herbs.  

Apache warriors grew up able to travel on foot 70 miles per day. Running, bathing in icy water, wrestling and marksmanship made up a large part of their training.  This is what Goyahkla did and more.  He married Alope, a delicate girl and had 3 children by her.  "He farmed, occasionally raided nearby Mexican outposts for supplies, and played with his children on the dirt floor of their wickiup."  This all changed one day.

The day that would change his life forever was the day he left with his fellow warriors to trade at a Mexican village.  They left a small guard with the women back in their own village.  Upon their return Goyahkla  found his wife and children and mother and many of the other women butchered by hostile Mexican raiders.

He vowed to avenge his family and avenge he did.  Murdering many and he raged and hated for decades.  The last words of his unfortunate Mexican victims would consist of crying out to Saint Jerome.  Phonetically it comes out "Sahntoe YAH ro-may!" in the Spanish language thus giving Goyahkla a new name Geronimo!

How many of us have yelled that name as kids as we jumped from our tree forts and tree limbs and creek banks?  But why Geronimo?  According to Leben magazine there was a young man nearly 70 years ago named Private Aubrey Eberhart that  leapt out of a C-47 transport with a parachute.  He had been influenced by wild west movies popular at the time.  He delivered on a promise that he would yell something recognizable to fellow paratroopers on the ground when he jumped out at just several hundred feet.  And that is the way it all began.

Geronimo is quoted as saying in 1902 "The Jesus Road is best and I would like my people to travel it...Now we begin to think the Christian white people love us!"  After being captured and relocated to Fort Sill, Oklahoma two Dutch Reformed missionaries invited him and his men to attend services in the evening.  The pastor preached on the atonement.  An old warrior by then Geronimo limped into a service a year later after a recent fall from his horse.  He heard the sermon titled "Jesus Made Just Like Sin For Us".  Right then Geronimo begged that the pastors would "Pray that Jesus would give me a new heart."  A week later he was examined to satisfaction to have "more knowledge than anyone anticipated".  "No consistory of our church could refuse to admit this man into membership." said Dr. Walter Roe and so Geronimo was baptized into eternal life.

That is the end of the story of Geronimo but there are more details that I will leave you to discover.  He is a man I may one day stand side by side with in eternity along with St. Jerome, whoever he was.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Definition of Money

"What matters is that a man acquires a good not in order to consume it or to use it in production, but in order to give it away in a further act of exchange. Such conduct on the part of people makes a good a medium of exchange and, if such conduct becomes common with regard to a certain good, makes it money."
Ludwig von Mises from the book "Human Action"

Monday, August 31, 2009


To avoid stress from conflict is

to avoid responsibility

to avoid responsibility is to

avoid accountability

to avoid accountability is

to avoid integrity

to avoid integrity is to avoid honesty

to avoid honesty is to avoid the truth

to avoid the truth is to avoid God's laws

to avoid God's commands is to hide

to hide is to admit guilt

to be guilty is to cover ourselves up in the Garden of Eden.

If you believe this you now have the justification to stand firm for what is true. This is different from "stand firm for what you believe." Why? If what you believed were not true would you want to know? (start over from the top)

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Story Time

One of the remarkable things about my brain is that it even works at all. It is limited in its capacity to concentrate when there are other distractions in the room. Just today was another reminder that the whole planet wants to make war as soon as I decide to curl up with a good book on the sofa. Here's a simulation of what it is like for me to try to read. In fact I told my wife this very thing and she didn't hear me. Here now is what it is like for me to read with distractions in the room:

"He raised his spear as the dragon's tail
He raised his spear as the dragon's tail
He raised his spear as the dragon's tail "What? I don't know where your other shoe is!"
He raised his spear as the dragon's tail swept across
"let's see" his spear as the dragon's tail sw "Try looking under the kitchen table. Yeah you have to get down low to the floor I know its a toughy to do that but BEND AT THE WAIST LOW and look"
the dragon's tail swept across the cave flo "No its not by me! Hey would you put that load of laundry in the dryer when it finishes!"
He raised his spear as the dragon's tail swept across the cave floor
"Okay drive carefully honey have you got plenty of dragon...I mean gas in the car?"
floor. Chenal watched in horror as the only man she ever lov "No I don't have much just $7 will that be enough? Sorry you can ask your mother if she has more." only man she ever loved was now in the cross hairs of the beast."

This was only a story line I made up to illustrate my point but if you'd like to elaborate let's collaborate by using the comment feature. Type!

Sunday, August 23, 2009

In The "Old South" [south church of Boston]

IN THE "OLD SOUTH."On the 8th of July, 1677, Margaret Brewster with four other Friends went into the South Church in time of meeting, "in sack-cloth, with ashes upon her head, barefoot, and her face blackened," and delivered "a warning from the great God of Heaven and Earth to the Rulers and Magistrates of Boston." For the offence she was sentenced to be "whipped at a cart's tail up and down the Town, with twenty lashes." Blogger's note- Sibyls were prophetess in ancient Greek and Roman times that were depended upon for advice of an other-worldly nature, like witchcraft. However in this case this Miss Brewster was quoting scripture, in this poem by John Greenleaf Whittier. Even Satan can quote scripture but he does not want churches restored, renewed or corrected. Therefore in this case I would say this 'Sibyl' was under God's authority.

SHE came and stood in the Old South Church,
A wonder and a sign,
With a look the old-time sibyls wore,
Half-crazed and half-divine.

Save the mournful sackcloth about her wound,
Unclothed as the primal mother,
With limbs that trembled and eyes that blazed
With a fire she dare not smother.

Loose on her shoulders fell her hair,
With sprinkled ashes gray;
She stood in the broad aisle strange and weird
As a soul at the judgment day.

And the minister paused in his sermon's midst,
And the people held their breath,
For these were the words the maiden spoke
Through lips as the lips of death:

"Thus saith the Lord, with equal feet
All men my courts shall tread,
And priest and ruler no more shall eat my people up like bread!

"Repent! repent! ere the Lord shall speak
In thunder and breaking seals
Let all souls worship Him in the way His light within reveals.

"She shook the dust from her naked feet,
And her sackcloth closer drew,
And into the porch of the awe-hushed church
She passed like a ghost from view.

They whipped her away at the tail o' the cart
Through half the streets of the town,
But the words she uttered that day nor fire
Could burn nor water drown.

And now the aisles of the ancient church
By equal feet are trod,
And the bell that swings in its belfry rings
Freedom to worship God!

And now whenever a wrong is done
It thrills the conscious walls;
The stone from the basement cries aloud
And the beam from the timber calls.

There are steeple-houses on every hand,
And pulpits that bless and ban,
And the Lord will not grudge the single church
That is set apart for man.

For in two commandments are all the law
And the prophets under the sun,
And the first is last and the last is first,
And the twain are verily one.

So, long as Boston shall Boston be,
And her bay-tides rise and fall,
Shall freedom stand in the Old South Church
And plead for the rights of all!

Sunday, August 09, 2009

What Does the Government do to Earn a Living?

My friend and I were talking after church today about jobs. She is an unemployed graphical artist and her laptop LCD display went bad. She can only search for jobs at places that have a wifi cloud and now she can't even do that because she has to have an external monitor. She cannot afford cable or Internet connection at home now. Her office will now be the public library for job search pursuits. "Fran" handed me a business card that was made for free by a benevolent friend. There was a huge list of chores she is able to do for hire: graphical artist, cleaning, closet organizing, babysitting, mowing, landscaping, concierge and the list went on. She said I do it all because I am doing it all already to pay bills.

Wow, I said, you are doing whatever it takes that's great! We laughed about the hundreds of silly psyche questions on job applications now- "If you met yourself somewhere would you become best friends?" Things like that. "Do you prefer to work slowly to think things through or do you kick your dog a lot?" That last one I made up but the questions often have a darned if you do darned if you don't answer to them. An HR person, with advice from a psychology major from a public university is responsible for the hour and a half it takes to fill out some job applications. My daughter filled out an application online for Wachovia Bank for Teller, she performed all the algebra problems correctly then after one of the dozens of silly psyche questions the program popped up "We're sorry but you are not qualified for the Teller position." then dumped her out. She can be thankful, I told her.

Fran, I said, you mow, you clean, you do computer graphics what do you think government employees do? What are their choices but to make government more complex and larger. By the end of the day a Pastor has started compiling for a sermon, written memos to staff, visited someone in a hospital or nursing home to give them spiritual encouragement and contacted a football coach to make plans for the upcoming year. By the end of my day I have cleaner carpets, chairs arranged in rows, wasp nests destroyed from the eves of the buildings, investigated an alarm security circuit fault and updated room diagrams and saved the campus money by patrolling thermostats. A roofer stands back with his men thinking about a shower and drinking something cold at home while looking at a brand new roof. A manufacturing engineer turns in a report to a production manager showing that rejections are down on the avionics wiring harness assembly line for Dassault-Falcon. A conveyor belt circuit board repair woman looks at a BNSF train moving off in the distance pulling a 100 cars of coal from the Powder River Basin that SHE helped load. What do the Executive and Legislative Branches in Washington D.C. have at the end of their day?

To show productivity in the government you HAVE to spend more, show larger more complex documents, and increase system complexity. You have NO other choice if you hope to keep your job. Kilobytes to megabytes, to gigabytes to terabytes of system documents over the years is what they have to show. Oh it talks about simpler government but talk is cheap. In the end whatever the government employee does will hurt someone somewhere in some small or large way that is just trying to meet personal life goals. Its getting that tight. Zero moves are available that does not compromise the constitutional rights of a once free people. Its a stalemate endgame; say hello to a goodbye.

If there truly were rewards in making government smaller then the Constitution Party would be in power in more instances than it is not.

Thank you and Good Day!

Thursday, August 06, 2009

Michael Jackson - The New Old Music

I had so much trouble logging in to Blogger using the Opera browser that by the time I logged in with Internet Explorer I just about darn near lost the flavor of my inspiration of what to write about. Kind of like writing a letter then having to re-write because it got thrown out. Do it from memory and it just loses its freshness.

So here goes. Everyone who is anyone has fairly stopped writing stories about the passing of Michael Jackson. The pastor that baptized me when I was 12 was named MJ Timbs so for the rest of this blog entry I'll refer to the musician as just MJ.

My youngest daugther is 15 years old and right after, I mean just about the day after the passing of MJ a CD appeared on the table of his music call "Number One". This was a huge departure from the music she usually listens to and I later found out the CD was borrowed from a friend. When I asked her about it she said "Dad he's really good. I like the music!" I just groaned and shook my head. Except for the years where MJ was still a musical phenomenon in his youngest years (my youngest years too for that matter because we are/were both 50) I have totally rejected his music. It was pretentious, it was disco, it was girly-man stuff and I just hated it. When he started looking as though he had reconstructive surgery from a tragic fighter jet accident and rumors started spreading I really...well just forget it. I'll take Thumper's advice and stop.

We were all driving out to the mall one day, my wife, and daughters and Emily began playing the MJ CD in the van. Emily said "No daddy he's really good I like it." as she pushed the skip button on the CD player to go from song to song. It landed on a song called "Earth Song" and she let it play. Something happened and I felt a little wall falling down in the back of my mind as I listened to it. I had to be honest it was good in my lexicon in musical tastes.

I said to Emily "Okay that's a good song.....okay he probably hired the finest backup singers money can buy.....okay the melody is probably one of the best rhythm and blues songs I've heard in a long time...and the song was put together by probably some of the best in the industry in the best studio money can buy. I admit he was good." Here I am the biggest non-fan of MJ there could ever be and I have a song of his on my MP3 player.

Which brings me to a rediscovery of music and musicians from "my day". The best place to find these are on YouTube. Fascinating footage of Jethro Tull concerts and Emerson, Lake and Palmer concerts, Pink Floyd, Jimi Hendrix, Stevie Ray Vaughn on and on. Late 60's, the 70's and some into the 80's are what I would consider my generation and I am glad young people are rediscovering music that has merit. There's a great acoustic version of "Lucky Man" on YouTube. A version I didn't now existed of a concert in California.

I have always been the kind of Christian that isn't afraid of music. I filter out the music that is just filth and select the music that is praiseworthy. If we are created in God's image and God is a creator then He made us creative also. What we do with that creativity we will be held accountable for but in any case music is a manifestation of the nature of our Creator. My children are the same way. "Train up a child in the way he should go..." They police themselves and filter out the dregs of our musical society.

This is why one of my all time favorite movies is "Amadeus". The two main characters are, Wolfgang, a disrespectful, disgraceful man who is disconnected from the concept of responsibility. He is portrayed as an ungodly man. The other main character is the narrator of the story and is dying of old age. Antonio Salieri is pious, visibly believes in God, asks God to bless him in his musical work; also is talented. Riven with jealousy and outraged that Wolfgang is better than he is he becomes bitter and angry at God. If this story is true and I have no reason to believe it is not possible then it is a great example of the verse in the bible that says "God blesses whom He chooses to bless..." Wolfgang, as a vessel, holds as much as humanly possible, the creativity that God poured out onto him. Whether he recognizes this or not is his problem.

If you are a Christian and reading this and you come from the old school just remember where music comes from but remember also the fact that music comes out of faulty vessels as much as yours is faulty. But don't ever let go of your hymnal it is a wealth of inspiration and joy. If you are not a Christian and you are reading this I'm sorry but music comes from the God of the Jews but inspiration can come from God or Satan. Start by reading a chapter in Psalms once in a while.

Sunday, June 07, 2009


There is not a whole lot to post tonight but let's see if I can make a mountain out of this.
Coquetta treed a raccoon tonight. There is a new rip in the screen of the pool cage that was made larger by her escape yesterday. That left a swinging flap open for raccoons to get into the cats food up on the patio table. Coquetta was lunging at her collar while I was getting her hooked up on her rope. If she is not on a rope she runs off and that's illegal sort of.

I let her out the screen door and she moved so fast I could hear dirt flying as she jetted down the straightaway past the yucca trees. Authoritative growls and a very good attempt at climbing the tree. It was so funny and cute at the same time. I'm not sure if she knows what she would do with a 'coon if she caught one. The coons here are huge, maybe 3/4ths the size of the dog. Well they always look big in the dark.

It has been raining every day here and the creek is up making the garbage cans more attractive than fresh crustaceans.

I continue to be embarrassed by Obama's forays overseas. He is so in over his head and so naive I just constantly cringe at the words coming out of his mouth. I prefer to call him "Chairman Obama" because he is not legally the President of the United States according to the US Constitution. Besides the supernaturally coordinated soft revolution has descended our nation into a state of Marxism. Chairman Obama is more fitting; like Chairman Mousey-Tongue over there in China.

To stand in an Arab state governed by Sharia Law and brag about your Muslim roots is so ignorant. Its a slap in the face to Muslims to then brag about conversion to Christianity. For Christ's sake it would've been better if he had then presented them with a short gospel presentation and offered an invitation to them to convert. That would've been the more noble message to bring and straight to the point.

He is so in over his head that they're going to use him like a sharpened pencil or a good screwdriver. Oh geez I can't look! God save us from fools and ignorant men!

Then D-day speech tours in Europe and a visit to a Nazi concentration camp. It would've been better for him to have just said nothing than to open his mouth. Instead he talks about being on guard for the evil in us all. As Dennis Prager noted on his show covering D-day the level of evil is on an entirely different level than the evil in us all. Nazis took delight in evil, he said, and he reminded us of the fact that most of the Jews were naked before they were killed because the Nazis took delight in humiliating them. How many of us are on that level?

Yet! And yet the man stands there talking about evil Nazis but endorses every American baby-killing proposal Congress can bring him. The man is an abomination and that goes well beyond embarrassment to evil on the level of Nazis. The hypocrite. Our nation got exactly what it voted for and what it deserved. Only Divine Providence can give us what we don't deserve but we have asked Him to leave. Not please leave but just leave.

I would dearly like to see Coquetta sniff the Chairman of the United States to see what her reaction would be. Dogs know stuff. Would she bark if he came to the door? Probably but that will never happen. For the record Coquetta doesn't bark at everyone who comes to the door only people she doesn't trust.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Musical Instrument Sampling

     This is not a researched statistic but I only say it to make a point:  99% of the fascination people have with technology involves a very narrow list of technological break-throughs.  Mainly the "gadgets" involve areas of little mental effort but produce maximum emotional satisfaction.  Some examples include personal networking websites, cell phones, violent or otherwise video games that push the limits of decency beyond decency; to name just a few.

    For that 1% of the population that actually enjoy a challenge in the mix of "gadgets" we have this genre of software that has been around for a long time- musical instrument sampling.  You cannot fully appreciate the perception and precision of the human ear until you try to imitate a traditional acoustic instrument.  Now people can be easily fooled and easily satisfied and that is fine but to carry things to the Nth degree in such a way that even an educated ear can be satisfied is an accomplishment.  Read the endorsement in the image above.

     This may be an over simplification of what Synthogy does but what we have here in Synthogy is a product that allows you to play a piano from a computer connected to a midi keyboard.  For the price of their software, your home computer, and a nice weighted 88 key midi keyboard from Sam's Club (Yamaha console about $800) you can play piano music that is imperceptable from handmade concert pianos that may cost more than your house, if you had to buy one.

     Go to their website, click on 'demo' or 'download' and begin playing mp3 files over your mp3 player using your best headphones or plug the player directly into your home theater system.  Play the demo of Bosendorfer Imperial Grand, Steinway, or the demos of the 10' Fazioli Italian piano.  There are uprights too that create a very sweet and charming sound.  But look you can possess the equivalent sound of a half million dollars worth of pianos for far less the price.  I know it takes skill, practice, and brains to play a keyboard but oh there is so much more personal satisfaction from this than text messaging a joke to a friend who always laughs.  This stuff is a dream come true for piano player wannabes like me.  

     Let me circle back to one of my first points and that is the incredible amazing  ability for the human ear to distinguish sound.  Combine that with realizing that in a typical acoustic piano there is an interplay of harmonics in the struck string and the neighboring strings that you may not even be aware of.  You may not be aware that a Fazioli uses agraffe stringing but you will know that the sweet charm of a Bosendorfer is different from the Fazioli but you won't know why but you know.  Synthogy has captured it.

Thursday, March 05, 2009

Kid's These Days

Excuse me while I go a little crazy. Several things have happened in the last couple of days that piled up to be life's pressures. To handle pressure I turn to humor. Yesterday there seemed to be a huge outbreak of kids on little shiney scooters. There were teens doing tricks off the outdoor choir stage. I caught a kid going down the hall on a scooter like Satan ordered him to. He was in a daze of some sort and I had to holler twice "Hey this is God's house you can't ride your scooter in here!" Meanwhile a contractor discovered a hopeless amount of rotten boards and loose shingles on my roof. Estimates are from 10 to 13 thousand dollars. My youngest daughter explained that her Ipod screen was broken and another student had one for $125 that "we" could buy. Oldest daughter calls hours later explaining that her Volvo air conditioner wasn't working and that she had to drive her roommate to Melbourne for the weekend and her roommate was real sensitive about temperature.

For some reason a bunch of scripts started composing in my head as I walk around on campus , with my sprained back, that I call "old man scripts". For example-

"Why when I was your age I had nothing but a stick and wad of chewing gum and I was happy for it. I went to bed at night and put my gum on the bed post. When I got up I grabbed my stick and the gum off the bedpost and started my day and had more fun than you can imagine. When I went to college I threw away my wad of gum and celebrated life with nothing but a black and white TV set and a thumb to get a ride to school. And I was glad for it! You vermin are spoiled rotten brats all of you." Then I pick up my hickory ax handle and chase them around a bit.

"Why when I was your age all my mamma could afford us for Christmas was a bag of M&M's and I thought I'd landed on easy street. I ate one M&M per week until they were gone. You kids are spoiled rotten brats expecting MacFlurries every night after school. No imagination on how to have fun. All I had was a empty pinto bean can and a wooden stick and I was glad fer it. All my friends in my neighborhood thought I was rich. When it snowed I took my shoes off when I walked to school so that when I got to school I wouldn't track in any water I was so considerate. You kids destroy everything! Git outta here with that contraption. (Chase kids around with a cane at about 1mph. ) The music your band is playing sounds like racoons during mating season. When I was young we didn't have 5,000 watts of amplifiers and expensive guitars. You know what I had? I had a chewing gum wrapper that I put over the comb from my back pocket and my buddy had rubber band he put across his mouth and plucked. That was our music and the church felt blessed to hear 'Amazing Grace' ."

Maybe I'm going crazy under the pressure but I just put a couple stacks of chairs in a closet and moved a table back to a room where the deacons had a meeting last night. Looking down on a cabinet I see a magazine for deacons entitled "Deacon". It had a wealthy model looking, perfect man on the cover with a perfect complexion so that spawned another "old man script".

"Deacon's these days got ta have their own magazine to know what to do. Spoilt brats!. Why when I was deacon we wore our feed store caps and had 2 days growth of beard. We had nothing but the word of gawd and a skillet (no need for a stick because we have to be nice) and we fed widows in their distress out of thin air and took orphans fishing with nothing but a string a hook and a worm and they were glad for it! Deacon hah! Put your Izod shirt away and get busy and scrub floors you buncha spoiled 30 somethings old brats." (proceed to race around the room at 1mph hour smacking men with a dirty, worn bible).

Goodbye Paul Harvey I'm going to miss your stable and moral reporting. Perhaps we will meet in the next life.

Friday, February 13, 2009

World Going Retro

"Those Were The Days"
from All In the Family
by Lee Adams and Charles Strouse

Boy, the way Glenn Miller played. Songs that made the Hit Parade. 
Guys like us, we had it made. Those were the days.
Didn't need no welfare state. Everybody pulled his weight. 
Gee, our old LaSalle ran great. Those were the days.

And you knew who you were then. Girls were girls and men were men.
Mister, we could use a man like Herbert Hoover again.
People seemed to be content. Fifty dollars paid the rent.
Freaks were in a circus tent. Those were the days.

Take a little Sunday spin, go to watch the Dodgers win.
Have yourself a dandy day that cost you under a fin.
Hair was short and skirts were long. Kate Smith really sold a song. 
I don't know just what went wrong. Those Were The Days.

In that TV series our family gathered around the TV and laughed and laughed at the antics of Archie Bunker.  [by the way, Mom if you are able to look down from Heaven we could never figure out that one lyric "Gee our old LaSalle ran great."  Thanks to the wonders of the Internet I now know.  Guess we were a Chevrolet and Rambler family and you never owned a LaSalle]  Archie was a laughable fuzz ball.  A harmless puffer of cigars that now would be a focus of Code Pink.  Edith Bunker, a woman who lived her position in the scheme of things yet  led Archie to new ground.  She often was wiser than Archie but protected his ego and respected his leadership often.  That family was both a picture of a traditional family yet at the same time it  was a dysfunctional family.    I feel sorry for anyone who has no idea what I'm writing about and has never seen a single episode of this TV show.

"Meathead" dragged Gloria off into the future of liberal thinking and progressive approaches to life, liberty and pursuit.  The new next generation, they were, that opened the doors to the full opposite of the lyrics above.  Meathead and Gloria, if real, would've now had "children" and their children have even had children.  Likely out of wedlock if you were to write the rest of the story realistically.  Likely both of those generations represent the attitudes of the majority vote that funneled our nation into what looks to be a potentially very dark future if you are of the mindset of Archie, Edith or Republican or Independent or other conservative categories.

Focusing on my subject of going 'retro' now have you noticed the lines of automobiles that have been designed to hark back to earlier times?  Post LaSalle times but pre-80's.  The new Ford Mustang that is more perfect than the original but has those lines.  The Chevrolet HHR and sport truck, the Chrysler PT Cruiser, Dodge Charger and many others.  Oh, and let's not forget the new VW Beetle.  Have we run out of ideas?  Look around at many other examples besides cars and you will see something new designed specifically to call back to some undefineable sweet-spot in time.  Have we run out of ideas and are now trying to turn back the hands of time?

What about political climate?  With our latest offerings in Washington we not only have thrown Herbert Hoover under the bus along with mamma and Archie Bunker and Christian ideals we've gone overseas to envy the sordid pasts of other countries.  Russian governmental control, the iron fist.  The Atheist iron fist at that.  Mimicking and envying all the mistakes of Europe of the last 3 or 4 centuries at least.

Could this be the beginning of the end?  I mean if I were God and I looked down and saw all the recycling repitition of bad ideas I would severly want to press the Game Over buzzer on the clock.  But for one detail-  there is still hope that you might be saved from judgement, Archie, Edith, Meathead and Gloria!

You know the one idea from Europe that has not been recycled in our government is the concept of an official state run religion.  Or have we?  A religion is nothing but an -ism isn't it?  Can you identify what 'ism' the Democrat run Washington, Hollywood, and TV news is implementing?  The answers are hidden in the pictures below.  See if you can spot them.

Saturday, January 31, 2009

Advancing Technology in Digital Photography

How long do you think it would take you to count to 1 million?  I remember being about 10 years old and walking down to the end of the street I lived on.  Then continuing on a dusty trail through a field towards a pasture or a creek.  This was one of my usual haunts after school.  This particular day I decided the moment I got to the bottom of our driveway I would begin counting to see how long it would take to get to 1,000 and where I would be when I got to 1,000.  I was about halfway thru the field at the end or our street.  Looking back is was probably a third of a mile.

For this thought experiment let's suppose on average it will take you 3 seconds to pronounce each number from 1 to 1 million and begin pronouncing the next.  Counting day and night without stopping it would take 34 days 17 hours.  To further underscore the point I am about to make I seem to recall my church in Hot Springs organizing an event on government park property in which the word of God, the Bible would be read, by volunteers, without stopping from Genesis to Revelation.  This took just a weekend.

Now that I've set you up have you ever thought about what 10.1 megapixels mean in terms of say an ordinary Sony Cyber-Shot camera?  To capture a color photograph recall that light is made up of 3 primary colors red, blue, yellow.  An equal combination of these 3 colors give you something close to a white light.  Contrast this to food dye or buckets of paint.  It is just the opposite.  The combination of a drop each of red, blue, and yellow dyes give you something close to black when all blended.  Therefore 1 pixel is made up of 3 sensors tuned to just sample the 3 primary colors.

These samples are graded in brightness to maybe a thousand levels.  Now you have 3 color sensors X 10.1 million pixels equalling 30.3 million individual sensors in a space of about 1 centimeter by 1/2 centimeter square.  This is a solid state sensor device manufactured to precise levels such that if you have so much as 3000 defective pixels your picture of your friend's birthday party would be defective and you might be able to tell.  Back to Walmart it goes for an exchange.

The computer inside your digital camera has to record all this information and assimilate 30.3 million individually addressed sensors within the time it takes for you to become impatient AND before you jiggle the camera.

Now this article is not meant to be factually conclusive but if I am wrong in some aspect let me know.   People handle their cameras like aborigines handle a didgeridoo without ever appreciating or understanding what makes them work.  In fact a didgeridoo might be handled more sacredly.  Thoughtful people collaborated to make these cameras possible and it is amazing that they even work as long as they do.

Oh, and the display on the back of your camera is nearly as much of a feat as the camera.  The display is a piece of laminated glass that is nearly clear except for a slight gray appearance.  About half as thick as a Saltine Cracker the glass display is layered together with two pieces of precisely polarized fresnal lenses made of plastic film not much thicker than Saran wrap.  Behind all that is yet another thin film of electroluminescent plastic that serves to backlight the display.  When a certain volatage is applied to this plastic it glows that familiar LCD screen glow.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Ogden Nash - "A Tale Of The Thirteenth Floor"

A Tale Of The Thirteenth Floor
by Ogden Nash

(explanations by William Adams)
The hands of the clock were reaching high
In an old midtown hotel;
I name no name, but its sordid fame
Is table talk in hell.
I name no name, but hell's own flame
Illumes the lobby garish,
A gilded snare just off Times Square
For the maidens of the parish.

(Around noon in an old and
 somewhat dis-reputable hotel.
 It has a bad reputation in the
 area. Probably lots of dubious
 characters live there, and/or
 hang out and do business there.)

The revolving door swept the grimy floor
Like a crinoline grotesque,
And a lowly bum from an ancient slum
Crept furtively past the desk.
His footsteps sift into the lift
As a knife in the sheath is slipped,
Stealthy and swift into the lift
As a vampire into a crypt.

(The revolving door, probably in need
 of maintenance, sweeps its bottom
 rubber seals on the floor. Probably
 leaks. A dubious character is sneaking
 past the desk into the elevator to go
 carry out some illicit mission. The knife
 suggests that it will not be peaceful.)

Old Maxie, the elevator boy,
Was reading an ode by Shelley,
But he dropped the ode as it were a toad
When the gun jammed into his belly.
There came a whisper as soft as mud
In the bed of an old canal:
"Take me up to the suite of Pinball Pete,
The rat who betrayed my gal."

(Hint of older times. There is an
 elevator operator here, and he is
 killing time reading a book between
 elevator passengers. We now know
 that the dubious character IS on a
 mission of mayhem as he sticks his
 pistol in the elevator operator's 
 ribs so that the operator knows not to
 pull anything on him. He obviously
 does not want to be overheard by anyone
 who could tell the D.A. what went on

The lift doth rise with groans and sighs
Like a duchess for the waltz,
Then in middle shaft, like a duchess daft,
It changes its mind and halts.
The bum bites lip as the landlocked ship
Doth neither fall nor rise,
But Maxie the elevator boy
Regards him with burning eyes.
"First, to explore the thirteenth floor,"
Says Maxie, "would be wise."

(The elevator starts up with lots of
 mechanical noises. Probably in need
 of some attention from the repairman
 itself. Part way up, it stops, and we do
 not know if the operator stopped it or
 if the elevator stopped of it's own accord.
 The elevator operator apparently knows
 something that the dubious character does
 not know, and suggessts that he visit the
 thirteenth floor before he carries out his
 mission of mayhem.)

Quoth the bum, "There is moss on your double cross,
I have been this way before,
I have cased the joint at every point,
And there is no thirteenth floor.
The architect he skipped direct
From twelve unto fourteen,
There is twelve below and fourteen above,
And nothing in between,
For the vermin who dwell in this hotel
Could never abide thirteen."

 (The dubious character objects, 
 because he has studied the building
 and noticed that it does not use a
 floor numbered 13. This is somewhat
 of a common practice in buildings right
 up to the present day. Further, lots of
 criminals and gangsters are horrendously
 superstitious. A real thirteenth floor
 would NOT do in this building.)

Said Max, "Thirteen, that floor obscene,
Is hidden from human sight;
But once a year it doth appear,
On this Walpurgis Night.
Ere you peril your soul in murderer's role,
Heed those who sinned of yore;
The path they trod led away from God,
And onto the thirteenth floor,
Where those they slew, a grisly crew,
Reproach them forevermore.

(The elevator operator explains that
 the "thirteenth floor" is more of a
 supernatural place than a physical place,
 and that it is NOT a good place. He wants
 the dubious character to see what has
 happened to people who carried out
 killings before him, so that he can make
 a more intelligent decision whether he
 really wants to kill Pinball Pete. Note:
 Walpurgis Night is supposed to be one
 of the Satanic "holy" nights where
 "witches dance with the Devil." It has
 come to have a generic meaning of any
 event coming up that is universally dreaded.
 For example, if I have a shift scheduled at
 the motel where I know that ALL the guests
 will check in between 11:00 pm and 3:00 AM,
 and that they will all be crabby due to some
 airline foul-up, I might refer to it as , "Time
 to go in for my Walpurgis Night Shift.")

"We are higher than twelve and below fourteen,"
Said Maxie to the bum,
"And the sickening draft that taints the shaft
Is a whiff of kingdom come.
The sickening draft that taints the shaft
Blows through the devil's door!"
And he squashed the latch like a fungus patch,
And revealed the thirteenth floor.

(The elevator operator tells the
 dubious character that they have
 arrived at the thirteenth floor,
 then opens the elevator door.)

It was cheap cigars like lurid scars
That glowed in the rancid gloom,
The murk was a-boil with fusel oil
And the reek of stale perfume.
And round and round there dragged and wound
A loathsome conga chain,
The square and the hep in slow lock step,
The slayer and the slain.

(For the souls of the victims ascend on high,
But their bodies below remain.)
 (Sort of a typical "speakeasy" environment,
 saturated with cheap cigars, cheap and
 bootlegged whiskey (fusel oil), and the
 perfume of the women who frequented
 such places. The loathsome conga chain
 is the line of murderers, all being haunted
 and cursed by their victims.)

The clean souls fly to their home in the sky,
But their bodies remain below
To pursue the Cain who each has slain
And harry him to and fro.
When life is extinct each corpse is linked
To its gibbering murderer,
As a chicken is bound with wire around
The neck of a killer cur.

(When a person is murdered, their
 soul was often believed to ascend to
 heaven automatically. We'll argue that
 out later. The point here is that the
 soul goes on to heaven but the body
 stays, lifeless, to torment the person
 who carried out the murder.)

Handcuffed to Hate come Doctor Waite
(He tastes the poison now),
And Ruth and Judd and a head of blood
With horns upon its brow.
Up sashays Nan with her feathery fan
From Floradora bright;
She never hung for Caesar Young
But she's dancing with him tonight.

(Some well known cases, at least
 back then. Doctor Waite poisoned
 his family, Ruth Snyder and Judd Grey
 murdered Ruth's husband, Nan was
 a revue dancer who killed Ceasar Young
 in a hansom cab.)

Here's the bulging hip and the foam-flecked lip
Of the mad dog, Vincent Coll,
And over there that ill-met pair,
Becker and Rosenthal,
Here's Legs and Dutch and a dozen such
Of braggart bullies and brutes,
And each one bends 'neath the weight of friends
Who are wearing concrete suits.

(Vincent Coll, Legs Diamond, and Dutch Shultz
 were known gangsters in the 20s and 30s. Becker
 and Rosenthal were involved in shady gambling
 and Becker set up Rosenthal's murder. General
 air of gangsters "taking people for a ride" and
 "cement overshoes.")

Now the damned make way for the double-damned
Who emerge with shuffling pace
From the nightmare zone of persons unknown,
With neither name nor face.
And poor Dot King to one doth cling,
Joined in a ghastly jig,
While Elwell doth jape at a goblin shape
And tickle it with his wig.

(Apparently there is a "special" hell
 for unidentified murderers. Dot King
 Joseph Elwell were both murdered
 by persons unknown.)

See Rothstein pass like breath on a glass,
The original Black Sox kid;
He riffles the pack, riding piggyback
On the killer whose name he hid.
And smeared like brine on a slavering swine,
Starr Faithful, once so fair,
Drawn from the sea to her debauchee,
With the salt sand in her hair.

(Arnold Rothstein was involved in the
 World Series scandal during the early
 part of the twentieth century. This is
 where we get the phrase, "Say it ain't
 so, Joe!" It was reputedly uttered by a
 young child watching Shoeless Joe Jackson
 being ushered into court to be tried for his
 part in the throwing of the Series. Starr
 Faithful is simply a woman who was found
 murdered on a beach with no clues.)

And still they come, and from the bum
The icy sweat doth spray;
His white lips scream as in a dream,
"For God's sake, let's away!
If ever I meet with Pinball Pete
I will not seek his gore,
Lest a treadmill grim I must trudge with him
On the hideous thirteenth floor."

(The dubious character is now in a panic,
 has decided to drop his plans to kill
 Pinball Pete, and just wants to get the
 heck out of there, fast.)

"For you I rejoice," said Maxie's voice,
"And I bid you go in peace,
But I am late for a dancing date
That nevermore will cease.
So remember, friend, as your way you wend,
That it would have happened to you,
But I turned the heat on Pinball Pete;
You see - I had a daughter, too!"

(The elevator operator has apparently
 already killed Pinball Pete over a crime
 committed against his daughter. He tells
 the dubious character that he, the elevetor
 operator, must now stay on the thirteenth
 floor where Pinball Pete's body will
 torment him for eternity.)

The bum reached out and he tried to shout,
But the door in his face was slammed,
And silent as stone he rode down alone
From the floor of the double-damned.

(The dubious character leaves the
 thirteenth floor untouched, which
 is apparently very rare. He is able
 to ride back to the lobby of the old
 hotel and re-join the physical world
 once again.) 

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Cattle Ranching in Florida

Visit the photographer's studio website by clicking on the title above, click on 'gallery' then watch 'Florida Cowboys' and 'Cowboys #2' slide shows.

The actual address is

Excellent black and white photography I hope you enjoy as much as I did.  His photographs were selected for display in the state capital and each photo has a poem that goes with it. 

These ranches are in southwest Florida within about 50 mile radius of Sarasota. Outside of Disney, condominiums and beaches people don't know Florida as a cattle state.  Because of favorable weather year round the state has been a cow capital raising more cattle than any other state until recent years.

Because of Florida's distance from the market hardly any of the cattle are slaughtered here commercially. Generally, I've been told, Florida is used to breed and raise cattle then at the right weight they are shipped off to cattle yards in the midwest grain belt and auctioned. Once in cattle yards they are fattened with a lot of grain and a whole lot less exercise.  Dairy cattle are only produced for local dairies and hobby ranches.   I think it ironic that when I buy a hamburger at Steak and Shake the cow very possibly was raised in Florida, shipped to Kansas, then shipped back down here on a refrigerated truck all ground up. Its possible anyway.

Have anything to add or corrections to make let me know!

Monday, January 26, 2009

A Book in Time Saves Mind

     If you click on the title of this posting it will zap you to the website where you can read George Orwell's "1984".  I am probably one of a few priviledged people on the planet who actually read "1984" in the year 1984.  This is a book that is huge fun to read and to then compare to our present times and possible futures.  But what great book to talk about.  I hope our students are still reading such material.  Similarly is a book called "Fahrenheit 451".  I can't recall whether I read this or not and will have to look into it.  This title too comes up in discussions of modern politics.  Comments I have heard cannot decide what the present age most similarly matches to which book.  Anyone have any comments out there?

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Nuancing the Constitution

No, nuance-ing is not a dance move but in  a    way   it  is cha cha cha!  Very often to the point of embarrassment all of the mainstream media that support Obama to Obama himself would never quite answer any question, no matter how simple, without completely getting us all lost in a mire of mashed potatoes.  "Is the sun yellow like you think it should be mister Obama?"  "Well, uh, you know it all depends on where you are standing and whether or not you are looking at the sun, which is dangerous don't get me wrong.  Small children should not be looking at the sun.  I would have to consider this and and consult with people privy to that information to make it definitive but the sun's yellowness has no bearing on the discussion of the subject at hand."...and you Senator McCain? "The sun is as yellow as Illinois corn!"

This whole discussion of Obama's birth certificate seems to have drifted off into the Island of Misfit Toys.  On we had pdf files of submissions to district court then supreme court.  Finally, well not finally let me nuance this, a video was posted of a expert in analyzing documents.  This man, whose voice and image were hidden and distorted, looks at documents and figures out whether they are truthful or forgeries.  He was quite certain that Obama's birth certificate was not an actual certificate of live birth and a forgery at that.  I leave you the reader to find that video.

In the other corner was a man, Alan Keyes, a constitutional scholar.  On various forums and his own website he discussed the amazing spectrum of problems of having a President, sworn in, who is not a citizen of this country.  If hearing and seeing is better than reading information one can find videos on YouTube from Keye's website that talk about these very things.  Our courts could be tied up for decades with challenges to every single solitary signature on every document Obama signs while he is in the presidency.  The other abyss that gets opened up is if this part of the constitution can be ignored what else is there that CAN'T be ignored?

What do I think?  I think Barack Obama is not a citizen of the USA.  The evidence is just too overwhelming and the supportive response from the Defense who should be concerned  is underwhelming.  I feel like I should just drink the Flavor_Aid like everyone else.  When you think about it long enough you will see that perhaps being an illegal alien your entire life could make you evasive at answering questions. 

The heart of the story is the reality of single parent homes and unwanted children.  Once, a long time ago, a mom had an illegitimate child and he was not aborted.  He grew up to become a man so powerful that he endorsed, applauded, and approved the very operation that could have prevented him from existing in the first place.  How ironic and sad his mother's moral values were higher than her son's.  But children cannot decide who their mom and pop are going to be nor where they are going to be born.   Of all the qualified people in the United States what are the odds we would end up with a President like this?  Answer- there are no odds because God is in control of the odds so we have who we needed to have at this moment in history.

Aye chihuahua this posting shows I've been reading too many Ted Dekker books.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Old Message for Our New Political Times

Proverbs Chapter 1

20 Wisdom calls out in the street;
  she raises her voice in the public squares.

  21 She cries out above the commotion;
  she speaks at the entrance of the city gates:

  22 "How long, foolish ones, will you love ignorance?
  [How long] will [you] mockers enjoy mocking
  and [you] fools hate knowledge? 

  23 If you turn to my discipline,  
  then I will pour out my spirit on you 
  and teach you my words.

  24 Since I called out and you refused, 
  extended my hand and no one paid attention, 

  25 since you neglected all my counsel 
  and did not accept my correction,

  26 I, in turn, will laugh at your calamity. 
  I will mock when terror strikes you,

  27 when terror strikes you like a storm
  and your calamity comes like a whirlwind,
  when trouble and stress overcome you.

  28 Then they will call me, but I won't answer;
  they will search for me, but won't find me.

  29 Because they hated knowledge,
  didn't choose to fear the LORD, 

  30 were not interested in my counsel,
  and rejected all my correction, 

  31 they will eat the fruit of their way
  and be glutted with their own schemes.

  32 For the waywardness of the inexperienced will kill them, 
  and the complacency of fools will destroy them.

  33 But whoever listens to me will live securely
  and be free from the fear of danger." 

Proverbs 2
Wisdom's Worth
 1 My son, if you accept my words
  and store up my commands within you,

  2 listening closely to wisdom
  and directing your heart to understanding;

  3 furthermore, if you call out to insight
  and lift your voice to understanding,

  4 if you seek it like silver
  and search for it like hidden treasure, 

  5 then you will understand the fear of the LORD
  and discover the knowledge of God.

  6 For the LORD gives wisdom;
  from His mouth come knowledge and understanding.

  7 He stores up success for the upright;
  He is a shield for those who live with integrity 

  8 so that He may guard the paths of justice
  and protect the way of His loyal followers. 

  9 Then you will understand righteousness, justice,
  and integrity—every good path.

  10 For wisdom will enter your mind,
  and knowledge will delight your heart.

  11 Discretion will watch over you,
  and understanding will guard you, 

  12 rescuing you from the way of evil—
  from the one who says perverse things,

  13 [from] those who abandon the right paths
  to walk in ways of darkness, 

  14 [from] those who enjoy doing evil
  and celebrate perversity,

  15 whose paths are crooked, 
  and whose ways are devious. 

  16 It will rescue you from a forbidden woman, 
  from a stranger with her flattering talk,

  17 who abandons the companion of her youth
  and forgets the covenant of her God;

  18 for her house sinks down to death
  and her ways to the land of the departed spirits. 

  19 None return who go to her;
  none reach the paths of life. 

  20 So follow the way of good people, 
  and keep to the paths of the righteous.

  21 For the upright will inhabit the land,
  and those of integrity will remain in it; 

  22 but the wicked will be cut off from the land,
  and the treacherous uprooted from it. 

Copied directly out of Holman Christian Standard Bible

Words of King Solomon to his son and others 9th century BC.