August 2008 - Posts
I'm not quite dry heaving, but it's close. I gave Obama a rash of stink pickles yesterday. Today? Check out McCain's possible veep selection and her "first man":
Call me old-fashioned. Call me sexist. Call me whatever you wish, but that doesn't change the fact that the man standing there during the swearing in of his wife is a dill weed.
Update: She could potentially be "one heartbeat away from the presidency" and from what experience is she going to pull? I thought it was scary how empty Obama's suit was, but this woman ... well, where's her foreign policy experience? Living closer to Russia than everyone else doesn't quite cut it.
For McCain and "soccer mom" to succeed in the Executive, they're going to have to admit their weaknesses and surround themselves with brilliant foreign policy advisers, chiefs-of-staff and cabinet members. Otherwise ... Katy, bar the door!
Update 2: She is cute as a button, though. She'll give Daniel D. Tompkins [link] a run for his money when it comes to veeps whose cheeks you'd just love to pinch.
I watch the Democratic National Convention on CNN and nearly vomit. And, honestly, I expect the same from the Replublican convention. It is a very, very troubled time for America. Here she stands, an old hag who's been around the block a little too many times and still whores herself out. If Jeremiah were alive today, he would have a very dark message for us -- repent or ... else.
Who wrote this? Screwtape? de Sade? Engels? Or a man who is credited for laying a political foundation for the current Democratic nominee?
Lest we forget at least an
over-the-shoulder acknowledgment to the very first radical: from all our legends,
mythology, and history (and who is to know where mythology leaves off and history
begins -- or which is which), the first radical known to man who rebelled against the
establishment and did it so effectively that he at least won his own kingdom -- Lucifer.
Make the enemy live up to their own book of rules. You can kill them with this. They
can no more obey their own rules than the Christian church can live up to
Answer: Saul Alinsky, author of Rules for Radicals, source material for Michelle Obama's speech [link] and mentor for Sen. Barack Obama [link].
Now, I'm not too keen on conspiracy theories, but I do admit that Sen. Obama, son of a alcoholic polygamist with connections with Islamicist-sympathetic Odinga, his college mentors being Malcolm X and Frantz Fanon, follower of black liberation theology (Jesus was a black African Palestinian) and friend to Rev. Jeremiah Wright and Bill Ayers is more than just a tad troubling.
On top of that, I'm a one-issue voter who -- based on evidences -- knows that life begins at conception and finds Obama's lack of support Illinois' Born Alive Infant Protection Act -- an act that protects babies against induced labor abortion where the baby is born prematurely and then murdered -- to be downright evil.
I said in the past that I wouldn't waste my time with the Obamas, but I just had to get it off of my chest. What can you do? Pray. Pray hard.
When I was a graduate student, we would often sit around thinking nerdy thoughts. One topic that might come up was the concept of traffic. The problem was this: what is the most optimal driving method?
Some would compare traffic to fluid dynamics. But this model is faulty (the reasons are beyond the scope of this post, but if you are interested, just ask). Others would compare traffic to kinetic-molecular theory or collision theory bringing in the idea of Brownian motion. (also another faulty model)
What was my thoughts? Glad you asked! I think traffic is best modeled by game theory. Therefore, one strategy should be for drivers to attempt to be in Nash equilibrium.
see also: traffic psychology, intelligent transportation systems, road safety
Sometimes I feel like my commute to work in the morning is a lot like this:
So, Skip Caray died and no one told me. He was like a grandfather figure to me and you said nothing. You should be ashamed. Boo. Hiss.
But it's a five o'clock world when the whistle blows
No one owns a piece of my time
And theres a five o'clock me inside my clothes
Thinkin that the world looks fine, yeah
Every other day of the week is fine, yeah
But whenever Monday comes, but whenever Monday comes
You can find me cryin' all of the time ...
1. I found this on Neatorama.com [link]:
You’ve seen the text that explains how the human mind can read
scrambled words, as long as the first and last letter of each word is
correct. Now you can scramble a webpage in the same manner! ... Link
So, I viewed BJ's blog using the scrambling website and one of the sentences in his "The Week in Weird 08.15.08" post reads: "It's Fadriy and taht mneas poohts, and lot's of tehm." Poots and lots of 'em. That's great.
2. "I've been through the desert on a horse with no name..."
3. I have been updating my "It's the end of the world as we know it" course of action. Previously, I had Israel attacking Iran while America and Europe, neutered by populist leaders, do not get involved until nuclear war is imminent. Now, I have included Russia attacking south towards Israel, Iran, with a coalition of Muslims, retaliating against Israel's preemptive strikes, China finding the opportunity to strike against Japan, South Korea and pushing West to combat American allies in the Baltics and America imploding financially because of international embargoes on raw materials by these countries and our unwillingness to act because of guilt for being so wealthy and using more than "our share" of the world's resources. With everyone in agreement that religion -- specifically Christianity -- is the root to the world's problems, they line up against us. While waiting for the other shoe to drop, Jesus returns.
Again, it's a work in progress.
4. I'm reading Ken Follett's On the Wings of Eagles. Good read so far. Thanks, Mom and Dad.
5. Next, I'll read The Steel Wave by Jeff Shaara. The Rising Tide was awesome.
6. Did anyone else see the pictures of the Hungarian weightlifter who turned his elbow inside out? Yikes. At your own risk: [link]
7. Five out of seven items with "I" as the subject and it's titled "we-Friday"?
8. OK, look. Get outside this weekend. Go buy a bike for you and the tots and find a greenway, trail or less-travelled road and ride. Or go on a hike. Just get outside. Between now and the middle of October the weather is going to be awesome. Go on. Do it. See you Monday.
I've enjoyed the Olympics, but I enjoy the behind-the-scenes a little more. Here's what I've found:
- Michael Phelps eats 12,000 calories a day: [link]
- How the diving camera works: [link]
As I find more, I'll post. If you find some, put them in the comments.
Or, if this is not your cup of tea, then how about a little geography? [link]
Dial the number listed at the website, speak into the phone and your voice is projected via megaphone across the "idyllic" fjords of Norway: [link].
1. Things are cool. Hectic, but cool. Moving my boys from a small private school to a large public school was very stressful for the entire family. But it was made less so by comments like this from my older son: "The first day of school was great. It was a 4 out of 5. It would have been a 5 but they take the Lord's name in vain -- a lot." So, we've set the ship on the right course -- by the grace of God, of course.
2. Yesterday, we saw a news segment on the local news show about latchkey kids and their security. We don't have latchkey kids but I mentioned that it might be in our interest to arm them. My older son said, "Yeah, give us handguns. That way if you hear shots then someone has invaded the house. Either that or we're just taking target practice in the kitchen."
3. As you may have read or inferred from Wesley's post last week, my blog activity has decreased significantly because of a poor manager at work. He doesn't restrict my time on the Internet. It's just that he depresses me and then my give-a-pooh-ometer drops to zero. And when I don't give a pooh, I don't blog.
4. Be known for your ability, not your disability. Michael Phelps has big ears, a lisp and ADHD. But no one knows him as the tall, goofy guy that talks funny. They know him because he's the greatest Olympian of all time.
5. I love good writing. And I love blogs. So good writing on blogs is sa-weet! Get in on the ground level of this "Where is Bob?" [link] now. It's good. It's entertaining. And my favorite part so far? This:
A person can be either socially incompetent or technically
incompetent, and still succeed in IT. Somebody who is technically
incompetent, but can still talk the talk, can certainly get by on
charm, and (that most elusive of all traits) people skills. On the
other hand, if somebody is a technical genius, nobody really cares if
they are awkward, or stinky, or unable to maintain eye contact. And so,
everybody is constantly oscillating in their little niche on this
technical-social competence spectrum.
Bob, however, is both technically incompetent and socially unbearable. It’s hard to believe, but really, it’s true. [link]
6. I'm stoked. Yesterday, I purchased Microsoft Flight Simulator 2004 for $4.53 on eBay. I owned FS2002 and CFS2 but sold them a couple of years ago to spend more time with the family. That didn't pay the big dividends that I was expecting, so I'm going to pick up the armchair piloting again. Sorry, family.
7. Ask me why I'm holding this fish.
8. The other day, a server handed me a bowl of soup. I said, "Your thumb is in my soup." He said, "That's OK, it's not hot." Badoomchish!
9. That's it. Things are cool.
In Chinese culture, it is very important not to lose mianzi. What is mianzi? Mianzi is the social perception of prestige. Mianzi, along with lian (the social perception of character), is the moral standard for the Chinese. Therefore, a blatant lie may not be considered immoral because it prevents the individual from loosing mianzi. So when would be the best way for China as a nation to give a perception of prestige to the whole world? You got it right! The 2008 Olympic Opening Ceremony.
Take this ethical standard with a communist system and you have yourself a high potential of lies and deception. So if 2008 smiling drummers from the Chinese military did not make you feel weird or if you missed the propoganda of the children passing the national flag to goose-stepping soldiers, I bet you missed the cute little girl who sang "Ode to the Motherland." Oh wait, she didn't sing it; she was lip-synching! You just got mianzi-ed!
It didn't stop there. Did you watch the firework procession to the Bird Nest Stadium? You just got mianzi-ed, again! Parts of the fireworks footage were enhanced by footage taken days before. Makes you wonder what else we missed.
On the upside, it is impossible to fake that outstanding Chinese Men's Gymnastics performance last night! I just wish the Chinese would recognize the greatness of its people and drop the facade (that is French for face if you didn't know).
"I dedicate this song to the workin' man
For ever' man that puts in a hard
Eight or ten hours a day of work and toil and sweat
Always got somebody lookin' down his neck
Tryin' to get more out of 'im
Than he really ought to have to put in.
After twenty-nine long years of workin'
In this shop with Oney standin' over me ...
Today when that old whistle blows
I'll check in all my gear and I'll retire ...
The superintendent just dropped by and said
They'd planned my little get together ...
Then he said I'd never a made it
If old Oney hadn't held me to the fire.
I've seen him in my dreams at night
And woke up in the mornin' feelin' tired ...
And old Oney don't remember, when I came here
How he tried to get me fired ...
With his folded hands behind him
Every mornin' Oney waited at the gate ...
Where he'd rant and rave like I committed murder
Clockin' in five minutes late.
But today they'll gather 'round me
Like I've seen 'em do when any man retires
Then old Oney's gonna tell me
From now on I'm free to do what I desire ...
He'll present me with that little old gold watch
They give a man at times like this ...
But there's one thing he's not countin' on
Today's the day I give old Oney his.
I've been workin', buildin' muscles
Oney's just been standin' 'round a gettin' soft
And today about four-thirty
I'll make up for every good night's sleep I've lost ...
When I'm gone I'll be remembered
As the workin' man who put his point across
With a right hand full of knuckles
'Cause today I show old Oney who's the boss.
Hmmmm! What time is it? Four thirty!
Oney! Ha ha ha ha!"
Oney written by Jerry Chesnut
sung by Johnny Cash 1972
Superheroes are as American as anything can be. And, I believe they are born out of a Christian awareness. Superman started it all. In 1938, Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster created a fictional hero sent to Earth who uses his powers for the benefit of humanity. Other cultures and civilizations have tried to adopt or mimic our superheroes with little success. I believe it is because of several reasons, some of which I'd like to summarize before continuing.
First, all people as creations in the image of God view death and suffering and injustice as offenses to our sensibilities. But unique to America is our ability to affect legislation and actively participate in our government which allows us to correct some of these wrongs. Fixing problems in other cultures and civilizations is left up to their leaders and corrupt police. But, here we are leaders. And despite our ability to fix some problems, we can't fix them all. For those, our culture depends on someone who transcends all of those problems. Remember, "In God we trust"? Out of that comes a Christ-model, or a superhero.
Second, poor superheroes are the ones that have not shared in our struggle. We relate with Superman, Spider-Man, Batman, The Hulk and possibly Wonder Woman. And, in a sense, we may even relate with Wolverine and The Punisher. They're relevant because in their plots they walk the same ground we walk and they are offended by the same things that trouble us -- social injustice, tyranny, super villians (Satan-model) and even things like dating, job hunts and irrational bosses. We want a superhero that knows all too well our struggles, has lived them, and yet who transcends them and can save us.
Today, I read a heart-wrenching story about a feral girl who was abused and neglected beyond my imagination. One psychologist called the case "the worst example of child neglect" she had ever seen. [link to article; link to multimedia] I recommend you read the article, but keep in mind that you'll probably cry.
I trust that the authorities will do their best in this case. I trust that the adopting family will do their best. But I'd like to trust that a man of enormous strength with two .45-caliber pistols and a nearly uncontrollable rage would make things right. And I'd like to trust that when he was done handing out justice by the truckloads, he would hold the little girl in his strong arms, wipe the tears away and never allow anything like this to happen to her again. That won't happen exactly as I imagine, but there is One who promises to make things right.
You see, the same hands in the St. Petersburg Times article that reached down in a dream holding a little, broken girl are the same same hands that spin planets in orbit and the same hands that conquered death to bring victory [link]. They're the same hands that will one day hand out truckloads of wrath. He is that little girl's superhero. And he is my superhero.
He knows our struggles. He walked the same ground that we walk. He felt pain, sorrow and brokenness. And while he was one of us, he equally wasn't one of us. He is much greater. He created all and he came to save. When he looked upon us in our wretched condition of sin, rebellion and filthiness, he acted in compassion. After which he sat at the right hand of God -- his enemies will be made his footstool.
Jesus will sweep you up. He will hold you in his strong arms. And one day, when the time is right, he's coming back with an army of his followers to kick butt and establish his reign -- to make things right. It won't be a dual to near-death like in "The Death of Superman." It'll be one spoken word and everything we know will be consumed in fire.
Make him your superhero.