Saturday, May 14, 2005

I Think I'll Run

I got this from a Pastor friend of Mine, Mike Johnson in Minnesota. I have had a few bumps in life, so I decided I would fit right in. On the other hand, any club that would have me for a member I would not want to join (WC Fields).

Can you imagine working for a company that has a little more than 500 employees and has the following statistics:
  • 29 have been accused of spousal abuse
  • 7 have been arrested for fraud
  • 19 have been accused of writing bad checks
  • 117 have directly or indirectly bankrupted at least 2 businesses
  • 3 have done time for assault
  • 71 cannot get a credit card due to bad credit
  • 14 have been arrested on drug-related charges
  • 8 have been arrested for shoplifting
  • 21 are currently defendants in lawsuits
  • 84 have been arrested for drunk driving in the last year

Can you guess which organization this is?

Give up yet?

It's the 535 members of the United States Congress.

Friday, May 13, 2005

Linkers and Thinkers

There are basically two kinds of Blogs, linkers and thinkers. Those who are primarily accumulations of links without much original content, and others.

I would like to believe people read my or any blog for creative content. I would like to but I am more and more convinced this is a little game of I poke you - you poke me. In this week's Forbes Magazine a column about the blogosphere mentioned this post. His complete analysis and a link to him makes the whole argument.

I wonder about LINKER type blogs 6 months old with way more links than thinks who have 20% of all the hits a much more original blog (mostly THINKER) written well that is nearly 3 years old.
There's something wrong with this picture except for the fact that there is a blogger quid pro quo about which I know little and in which I choose not to participate.

Trevor Romain (Trevor's blog Read Below) is all original, all his own thinking and writing and it's spreading like wildfire because of it's quality. No gimmicks. No traffic builders. It that too much of a standard to reach for? I will strive to do better writing. The bar he has set is very high. Thanks for the challenge Trevor.

I will be true to myself and if you are my solo reader today I will be content. I think in the long run original thought with some documentation by link is more interesting than I-saw-this- linkism.

Make it SO!

Captain Picard used this command to initiate action. The other day when a Cessna training plane strayed into DC airspace causing the keystone cop event that demonstrated our collective incompetence I kept asking myself,

Don’t they have a hailing frequency? I mean Captain Picard did. If he wanted to talk to any non-federation ship he would say, “open a channel on all hailing frequencies.” The problem it turns out is that the little plane (like my wife flies) wasn’t tuned to the right channel. 121.9 or something. If Picard could do this can’t the US Government blast an all possible little plane channels an emergency communication and hail that errant pilot without scrambling the Air Force or causing the white house staff to (Mostly) evacuate?? Am I missing something here? Could someone explain? Doesn’t anyone in government watch Star Trek Next Gen?

Another thing. In a post a couple days ago I postulated that the blog in whatever permutation it ends up will change everything. Newspapers are static non-dynamic unplugged blogs you can carry; magazines because of their narrower interest are interest specific static portable blogs. Talk radio had a big influence in the last century. Does anyone really believe this will continue exponentially? So, look at Star Trek again. Remember, “Personal Log, Star Date 4538-2”.

Will there be personal logs posted somewhere just like on Star Trek? Will it become a form of interpersonal relationship with people “Conversing face to face but not in real time”. Is that where it’s all headed? Or is it like in Logan’s Run where the “Machine” gins up someone who has entered the system looking for a relationship. Reading science fiction imaginings helps us understand where we could be heading.

I have seen every single Star Trek Next Gen. Some several times. Many are profound and a few are moving. And sadly are too many I think are just stupid. Star Trek comes out of my long-term love affair with Sci Fi. I confess much of what passes for Science Fiction today in literature and movies is banal. TV writers for the most part don’t get it. They don’t ask the questions that Star Trek or the Matrix did. Read some of the really old Science Fiction (Pre 1950) and you will see what I mean. Before it became profitable and commercial.

As I think about a book written in the early 50’s called “One Child Too Many”. A fictional story of a futuristic world where the population police will put you in jail for having too many children and contributing to the population problem. The saga had to do with the protagonist and his wife and child escaping capture. CHINA ANYONE?

Or consider the story, “The Machine Stops” written in 1909 where Lazy Boy Lardos live in a virtual machine controlled environment of space and relationships. The net goes down, they are stuck. So in desperation they emerge to the outside to discover the world is in fact a beautiful place. X-Box, Internet, TV, the World of Blog and therefore not having any actual personal relationships, how far are we from that today?

I won’t mention 1984, Animal Farm, War of the Worlds, Journey to the Center of the Earth, 20,000 leagues under the Sea, The Martian Chronicles, and hundreds of others. They contain clues to what could be. They are not only cautionary but also helpful in understanding where we are. They contain specific “Prophetic” clues. Not Biblical but societal in prophetic terms.

I am teaching the Old Testament Prophecy of Zechariah right now. I am always amazed at how precise Biblical Prophecy is. Daniel, Zechariah and Revelations are The Drudge Report written thousands of years in advance of real time events; almost to the letter. We need to have ears to hear and eyes to see what the Spirit says.

Thursday, May 12, 2005


Yesterday I was outside in the yard. I heard as THUMP. Looking around I saw a little bird of some kind (my ornithology skills are less than I hoped they would be). It had hit the front window of our living room window.

I must be getting more sensitive. In years past that would have been a simple clean up project. Dead Bird disposal brigade. I picked the little fellow up, I held him close to me for warmth (it’s cold here). I was about to give up when he gave a little shiver. For the next several minutes I held him and stroked his feathered head. He came around without mouth to beak resuscitation. I laid him in a boxwood plant in our front yard. He sat there for a few minutes, dusted himself off and flew away.

I’m a hunter. I like shooting grouse, doves, pheasants, geese, ducks and anything else legal and in season. I particularly like deer hunting. It serves a purpose and it’s part of the order of things. But a little innocent life like that little bird deserves my compassion and time. I’m glad I did. Maybe it’s a \/ testosterone thing of age. If it is, I’m OK with it.

I would like to believe that it had to do with my love for music and beauty. I have become convinced that birds sing in natural musical organization. I have heard enough pretty birdsongs to know that they have an instinctive ability to sing on key in an accessibly beautiful chromatic order.

There is a guy who has studied this. Why Birds Sing.

So maybe I saved or nursed an avian Beethoven. I will listen carefully this spring and see if I hear him in the orchestra.

I just found his little carcass in the flower bed. Very sad. His recovery was short lived.

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

A Wonderful Blog I Recommend

I want to give credit where due. Julie mentioned Trevor's Blog. I'm blown away.

If you want your heart touched and laugh at the same time read Trevor's blog. This is what the blogosphere does well. Above all the screaming, catty remarks and ironic observations (guilty as charged) are truly thoughtful emissions of humanity.

You Go Trevor. Thanks for being there.

Gutenberg LIVES

I believe that the world of the blog is changing everything. I didn't at first. I do now. Even very conservative people are now saying things you old pro's in blogging may have thought long ago.

1. The Gutenberg Press Brought the Word's truth to the Masses.
2. The blog and whatever permutations follow on behind which will be many is bring the masses truth to the masses.

Just as Gutenberg made it impossible for false religious leaders to lie about what the Bible said, the blog is making it impossible for News and Political leaders to lie about what is really happening. See Dan Rather.

This is a revolution. Pure and simple. Don't let the fact that you have been doing this for a while blind you, or that you don't see it yet. This is a big deal.

I must confess, I think Ariana Huffington (with whom I disagree on almost everything) has a good idea. Creating a virtual community of opinions accessible at a glance for review. Drudge Report of blogs of around a general mindset. Clever.

Ok, my right thinking friends, how bout it! Can we get over out independance and do better?

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

I read it in a book, no radio

On National Liberal Public Radio over the weekend I heard a report on the Flossmoor public library in South Suburban Chicago. I have had a St Charles library card for 5 years. It's just like new. Unused.

I like to read but I don't find the local library all that inviting. Mostly made up of old retired folks (of which I am not) reading the newspapers.

But, hearing the story on NPR I came away with a clear impression that things are changing. I probably go to Barnes and Noble or Borders a half dozen times per month. What Flossmoor's librarian is trying to do is attract people like me and particularly younger folks to come give it a try. Free coffee. Bring your lunch, eat it in the library, rooms for study, free wireless internet, no interaction with any human to check out or return a book. These are all good things.

So, I know the purists among you all will swear this is apostasy of the worst kind. Guilty as charged. It means that we may have made progress.

All change is considered loss (at first) by most people. There is no improvement without change (not all change is improvement).

Now if we can just get concert halls to put in big comfy theater type seats that would be real progress.

Monday, May 09, 2005

Couch Spud Comic

10 years ago Kevin gave me this cartoon, Flowers for Trinitron. I dig it out from time to time in order to be reminded of the intellectual price I pay for being Potatoeia couchiana.

For many years he lived without TV to allow his artistic ventures to bloom. It worked.

My older son's family goes without TV for other reasons. There is no evidence of permanent brain damage so far.

In fact both seemed to do pretty well.

So, if you feel like you are missing something. I have 157 channels on my sat TV dish. I just checked. There's still nothing on.

I'll check later and keep you posted.

If you don't have TV or few channels it may be one of the reasons you are as creative as you are, J!

Class-less Art Project

I know I should be more understanding and openminded. This was ART. OK. I don't get it.

Maybe we should ask this 18 year old. He seems to have a handle on it.

What a mystery. Does truth have to be void of beauty? Maybe truth IS beauty.

It's good to think about these things. Makes watching Jerry Springer so much more enriching.

Sunday, May 08, 2005

The Carved Wooden Turtle

20 plus years ago our youngest, Kevin was part of a singing group that went into an old folks home in Fargo to sing a few Christmas Carols. I don’t know if it was a church or school group.

When he came home he showed me a small carved wooden turtle some elderly gentleman had given him in appreciation or something for the singing. I thought that odd. I wondered why? Who else might he have given it to who might have appreciated it more? Didn't he have any children? We moved it with us to Chicago when we moved. I see it in among the “stuff” from time to time.

Now that I am closer to his age (whatever that was) I am beginning to grasp what that act was all about. I don’t think if Kevin had gone back a year later the gentleman would have still been there. I doubt that he had other candidates for his stuff. This shot at immortality (being remembered) was giving away something he knew the attendants at the nursing home were going to throw away anyhow. He hoped he might be remembered positively by this act. It worked.

A few years ago after having been thru the burial and distribution of things left over from aunts and uncles on both sides of the family I have arrived at these conclusions:

  • Everything I buy from this day forward will be given away, thrown away or sold at auction.
  • Little of what I now own will mean much if anything to my offspring or their wives, they have enough of their own stuff.
  • My brothers and sisters don’t want what I have accumulated in stuff.
  • The final dumpster will only stacked higher and deeper the longer I keep things.
  • If I want to do some good I must give it away now to someone, no matter who, who might value my “stuff” more than I do anymore.
Once when I was in Guatemala I was in a man’s home and admired a woven wall hanging. Big mistake. It went home with me. Mi casa su casa and all the stuff within. I did that with a suitcase a man had in China. I went home with that too.

So, be aware, if you express a positive opinion about anything which I might own, something I am now sort of over with, you will get it by parcel post if I have your address. I have a book collection numbering in the thousands. I have CDs and albums (vinyl) equal to that. I have collectables from all over the world. So, beware. I’m just like that man in Guatemala; I’ve got lots of stuff needing a new home. Watch your mailbox.