Monthly Archives: December 2009

Closing Out The Year

With my last round of disc golf for 2009.  My game has improved tremendously.  I like the exercise, and that it forces me to concentrate.  I’m going to get VERY good at it next year.

Tomorrow,  I’ll try to recap 09 and what it meant to me.  Or, maybe I’ll just go play another round of golf.

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Move Your Money

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Ought Not Be Repeated

You gotta love Beale.  Her post today is a classic, and deserves to be read by everyone with a computer. ( A Y2K-proven computer, that is. )  Yes, I remember the fear merchants from my youth…people my age remember being forced to hide our heads under our desks at school, a ridiculous drill that none of us thought would protect us from a Soviet launched ICBM, but one we complied with anyway, lest we invite the wrath of a particularly patriotic teacher.  One advantage to being a half-century old is that you seldom see anything really new…

Anyway, for the most part, Beale is right…the decade that ushered in this Century was full fear and folly.  I can’t completely write it off though, since, as a result of the insanity, I made some great friends and identified some important voices.  Beale is one of them.

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Merry Christmas To All Y’all

Family, friends, even, and maybe especially, to those who are neither.  Enjoy this, we’ll see you in a day or so!

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Teen Lesbians Voted “Best Couple”

Good Lord, the spam I’m gonna get….

But this is great news, acceptance is slow, but steady.  Congrats to these girls, and their classmates for not succumbing to bigotry and hate.

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The Wiseass From Wings

While its true I do not read HuffPo anymore, largely due to their insistence on featuring Tiger Woods articles as prominently as they would, say, important stuff….I do get alerts whenever Steven Weber writes something.  Since I’m on a good bit these days defining or at least identifying what I feel is evidence of “grace”, I was particularly interested in this article. You may disagree with him, and he and I part ways, (especially toward the end of this piece) but you have to admire his writing style if nothing else.  I loved this the most:

If indeed the basic imperative of life is to survive, it’s no wonder that we ascribe fairy tale scenarios to make shape of the murk, make the journey more palatable to those who cannot countenance a life lived in biological anonymity.

Seriously, its not very long, so go read it.

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Santa Came Early

The chiles have arrived.  I have roasted chile, green and red, and will begin to pick out fresh spices next week.  I’ll see if I can talk someone else into picking up some pork tenderloin to cube for green chile stew…..I’m too young to be this excited about food.

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The Enemy Of The Good?

One of Josh Marshall’s readers sent this, and I think its worth sharing:

If I feel abandoned, it’s not by Obama and the Democratic party, it’s by those on the left advocating to kill the bill.

I am unemployed and have a pre-existing condition that requires daily medicines, quarterly doctors visits and an annual test. I am on COBRA, which runs out mid-2010, when I will have to find new health insurance. I will need to purchase some kind of health insurance, assuming I can find provider who will insure me

I don’t pretend to understand all the intricacies of the health care reform bill, but I do read a lot. From what I can glean, if the bill passed, I would be able to find health insurance because I could not to be turned down due to my pre-exisiting condition. And based on my income at the moment, my premuims would be subsidized.

Am I disappointed in the reform effort? Yes. I believe in single payer. I was terribly disappointed the Medicare buy-in for 55 and older was dropped, not because I give a rat’s ass about Lieberman or the political wrangling involved, but because I am two years shy of 55 and I would have loved to be able to tough it out on the private market for a little while longer knowing Medicare coverage was just around the corner. Believe me, it’s scary being 52 and unemployed with a medical condition. Any form of security is vital.

My case is not unique or unusual. In fact, it is common. I am one of thousands if not millions with the same issues that this bill would affect. And when I read or hear people from the left arguing against the bill that would likely provide me and people like me with some modicum of security because the bill doesn’t accomplish everything they had hoped it would or it doesn’t help every last person or the insurance industry will benefit, I do feel abandoned.

H/T Andrew Sullivan


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God’s Cuckold

I’m pretty sure I’m glad this billboard didn’t go up in Sumner County…somebody would be in deep doo doo.

Thankfully (or not) this was put up by a church in New Zealand, and the Deacon wrote a sermon to accompany it.  Its clear it did provoke conversation, which was the intent all along, according to the Deacon.  I was struck by more than a few of the comments on the Church’s website, among my favorites:

This smacks of a publicity stunt whose only purpose is self-promotion at the expense of truth. It is plain that your ‘church’ has an agenda, and it is not a Christian one. “Differences downplayed and community extolled” – the words of a radical who seeks not to set people free with the truth, but rather divide and conquer. You may have the building, and the parishioners, but I would suggest that the holy spirit has long since departed from your ‘church.’

If Jesus is the product of divine insemination (in whatever format) and not the seed of Joseph, then he is not human, his crucifixion means nothing because he has no connections to humanity, it’s just God killing himself to prove he can.

If however (as must be true) Jesus is an enlightened being birthed from the union of a man and a woman, then his life and his death can be seen as a statement of the possibilities of humanity, not some freak show that simply excites Mel Gibson fans.

I don’t think Mary’s first experience of sex was any more a disappointment to her than most other women experience. It certainly wouldn’t have occurred to her to compare Joseph’s performance with God’s, because the entire act would have been brand new. It would not have in any way resembled the moment of her conception of Jesus, which occurred while she was sleeping.
You’re ignorance embarasses you buddy.

There is much more in the comments section.  I found Matthew’s style a little over the top, but I applaud the effort to make Christians think and talk about their Faith in unorthodox ways.  I happen to believe that Jesus was a human being, conceived just like the rest of us, who reached the highest levels of enlightenment through a combination of contemplation and reflection.    Go ahead and call it prayer, if you like.  I’ve often wondered why we are usually presented with an extremely condensed version of this special man’s life…so much emphasis placed on the circumstances surrounding his death at the hands of those in power, and rather little on his life prior to…

This “experiment” by St. Matthews church allowed me to read dozens of perspectives on what Christianity means to people from all over the world, and how can that be a bad thing?  Lastly, I’ll admit to being concerned how the old model of teaching about Christ will resonate amongst our youth…particularly if the message is coupled to so many supernatural occurrences that it requires the student to suspend his/her logic so early on.  Clearly, “IT’S TRUE BECAUSE I SAY IT’S TRUE” has the effect of driving so many younger people away.

I’ll be watching what happens on the other side of the world.




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In Response To My Brother’s Xmas Newsletter

Since I have no friends with any sense of humor, allow me to compose my own, right here.  (Saves me the trouble of actually creating a separate word doc to attach, which, once I thought about it, was way too much trouble to go through for y’all)

So, here is what is happening in our neck ‘o the woods:

Its late Fall, which means the temperature here fluctuates from 60 degrees to 8 degrees, all before lunch.  This kind of weather provides an awesome opportunity to deck yourself out in every garment you own, as layering is critical if your day begins before the sun rises, as mine frequently does….then, by around noon, it becomes easy for people looking for you to find you, as all they need to do is follow the discarded items of clothing, until they see a guy, naked save for a fleece lined G-string, sitting atop a Ford 6000 series tractor, screaming at the horses to get the hell out of the way.  Its fallen tree season, see, and they must be dragged out of the hollows, cut up with chain saws, and then split into firewood that must ‘season” a year or so before providing fuel for our wood stove.  Though I’ve discovered the process is definitely improved by an absence of mind-altering substances…I’ve never been one that placed any value on efficiency.  So, yea, I’m usually baked while doing this.

The Primary Wife is getting her Christmas face on.  She has located her box of stuff, (insert your own crude joke in here if you must, Roy) and has lovingly placed her decorations through-out our home.  Both of them.  I’ve always been rather fond of the ceramic Santa mounting what appears to be an eager reindeer.  Soon, she will begin her Holiday cooking regimen, an impressive combination of rolling sausage balls and brewing strong Kahlua to foist onto friends instead of actually buying them useless shit.  Some have expressed a desire for us to purchase them the useless shit, as the still-untouched bottles from years past are taking up too much space in their pantry’s…

The Kids.  Well, I can happily proclaim they have reached the age that means I never have to set foot in a Toys R Us ever again.  This would normally make me giddy as all get out, (thats fun to say, a little) But, the flip side of this happy occasion is that the presents they expect from Santa pretty much guarantees we have to tap our HELOC.  Seems our inscrutable little trade partners in Japan have (as is their habit) perfected the art of making personal electronics so small, one can run a full scale global war from his or her pocket PC.  They also expect to be paid for doing this.  Alot.  Sometimes, I wish Dad had single-handedly wiped them all out while he was in the Philippines.  In addition to all of the gadgetry that serves little purpose other than to distract the children from their favorite activities, like, picking up their rooms or, you know, actually helping out around the house, they both play musical instruments, and the nice commissioned salespeople people at Sam Ash always make us feel more than welcome.

Alright, I’ve done Me, The Wife, the kids….oh yea, our animals.  The horses are on Winter pasture, which means a great deal of running around, wild-eyed, and snorting at imaginary predators.  They are still fat, even though we have stopped feeding them any grain. The goats hang with them, which is fine by me, as I tire quickly of dodging the little black marbles they drop everywhere.  EVERYWHERE.  The dogs, well, they’re old, and a little arthritic, and I sometimes amuse myself by placing their favorite treats at the top of the stairs and then timing them with a stop-watch as they drag their sorry asses up to eat the boiled chicken gizzards.  Even the little house rat Lisa insists on keeping, (she swears its a rare breed of Pomeranian) is getting old, and i have to stifle a laugh when he runs into shit thats been there for years cuz he don’t see too good anymore.  What can i say about the cat?  He comes in, sleeps wherever the hell he wants to, wakes up, stretches, breaks wind, and smiles as he saunters out the door to go kill something.  In other words, he is like any other farm cat in the world.

Thats about it, folks.  We are all healthy, which is all we really need, (though, don’t let that dissuade you if you were planning to send an extravagant gift my way) and we really do look forward to hanging out together during Christmas break.  I hope, one year, to be around my side of the family for once (I’m pretty sure we are all out of jail or rehab by now) but this is difficult when we occupy space on both coasts.  Perhaps i can get my tired ass to Vegas next Spring.  I’d kind of like to see how old you people look after all these years.

One love, my brothers and sisters.

Mack

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