What is it about nice people that attract total idiots?Nice people are martyrs. Idiots are evangelists.


Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Hump'n'dump time

Two things were unusual about today's walk.  One, Laurie got to come along (Wal-Mart didn't require her presence today).  Two, we were passed on the greenway trail by a group of about 20 young people- on Segways.  Have I officially seen it all?  No, but I'm getting closer.

Meanwhile, we hit the bark park on the way home and found... beagles!!!!

Oh, and a boxer.  His name was Duke, that beagle was named Brawley, I think...

...and the white-faced one is Jazz.


Scrappy sniffed her stuff.  She told him to knock it off on no uncertain terms.

Laurie and Jazz.

A new contestant entered... never got a name.
They had a circus together.  Duke was a big sweetheart, Jazz was usually quiet and gentle.  Brawley was the firecracker of the bunch, and howled at Scrappy anytime he got too friendly.  Once right in the ear, which I laughed at.  At one point, a nearby car's alarm went off, and the dogs gathered to figure out why.  Brawley started baying at the vehicle.... and it shut off!  A great time was had by all.   Duke doled out several 4-oz-of-slobber kisses to dog and man alike, and tried to leave with us.  His owner called out, "Hey!  I'M your mom!"

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Walk pictures! But first...

...it's time for that announcement I promised.  It is not one I want to make, but have debated it out and come to an inescapable conclusion...

(Geez, WTH is he going to do to himself???)

Okay, nothing that earth shaking to all of you... but a big deal to me.

Last Friday was the END of Time Machine, vol. 2.

This hurts to say, because, as I have always said, it is a labor of love.  Emphasis on the labor.

I have enjoyed raising it from a barely noticed post to a "radio show without the radio" over the past few years.  It is my pride and joy, irrespective of the "ratings" it got.

But I have come to a point where 6 hours spread over two nights is just not feasible.  Energy wise, time wise.  Scrappy's coming to hate typing night.  I'm coming to hate research night.  Not the neat stories, but the constant website to website work of it all.   I'd love to keep doing it if I were retired, but none of you have forked over that lottery ticket, so this is it.

Rising from the ashes will be a Time Machine vol. 3 that I hope will be more of a "two hours-one night" thing.  It will have four main every week features- the top ten, obviously; The song I didn't know of the week- there have been a lot of those, some good, some stinkers, and I will put up a video of one each week; Something to do with top 40 or hot 100 debuts, I still haven't quite worked that out;  and "you peaked", featuring songs that hit their high water mark that week, but more like the old Almost But Not Quite, with only certain of them making the grade.

In addition, I will run a revolving feature, with one of the following:  the 45 @ 45; six degrees; World hop, aka what's at the top of the worldwide charts; wheel of fortune, where a random song from a random week and year of the Martin Era gets their story told; and perhaps variations on my favorite of the week (or my favorite number ones of that week throughout the Martin Era).

I'm hoping to maybe work in the birthday songs- perhaps only those turning 50.  We'll see.

The first week- this one- will have as its feature my report on the 50 tracks international list I promised last time.

I hope TM will still be able to thrive truncated like this.  I hope something good comes of it.  Time will tell.


Okay, so here's Saturday's walk in brief, because someone would like a Tuesday walk:

One thing we'd never done was walk that grassy meadow off the back trail- where we used to get all those great deer pics.  Here we go!

Someone's long-ago dinner... this isn't looking good.

Stony Run turns into a mini-flood plain back here.  Swamp to one side, briers to the next...

"...on the trail of the lonesome pine..."

There's where we SHOULD be...

...and that's what we had to cross to get there.  "Easy for jou, deefeecult for me..."

Meanwhile back at the river...

Scrappy takes a dip...

...Daddy takes a nap.

My favorite spot... view of Reed Island, and the dam warning sign

And back to the swamp, AKA turtle beach.

And Daffodils!

Apparently I took some Sunday, too, but I forget what they were.  Let's have a look...

Oh, yeah, the squirrel...

...and a trip to The Spot!  Erosion seems to be edging it towards the creek.

That next step's a doozy!

Isn't he adorable?

Everything between the last ridge and the creek is water.  Never seen so much of it there...

The end of South Canal, near Coliseum Blvd.

In the weeds again...

Surveying the bridgework on Coliseum.  For all that noise, they should be making SOME progress...

Why this pic?  Well, I had decided to use the construction porta-pot.  Just as I came up, a ground hog sprang from amongst all that turquoise metal, running towards the u-stor unit beside it.  Scrappy was perusing the other side of the unit, and the groundhog was under it faster than I could switch hands with the camera- or Scrappy could be bothered to look up as it passed within ten feet of him.  Seconds later, Scrappy stumbled onto what happened, but by then I was... "occupied".

And more turtles.

Monday, April 21, 2014

What was Jesus?

A blogger friend of mine posted the following meme on one of his blogs, directing it at "political conservatives" who also "profess to be Christians". 

And rather than plaster my thoughts all over his blog, I thought I'd post them here.  He reads here, so he'll know I'm not doing it behind his back.

#1- "Jesus was a radical, non-violent revolutionary."  True on the radical, true on the non-violent, but the revolutionary part has become more associated with the political aspects of the term.  Of course the definition does include someone who avows "constituting or bringing about a major or fundamental change ".  I guess what bugs me here is WHY this should be conceived as a dig at Christian conservatives.  Are we against change?  Certainly not, when it makes sense and is beneficial.  Witness the Reagan Revolution.  Jesus sought to create a fundamental change that would lead to anyone willing having the ability to be with Him in heaven.  He certainly never said, "Just pass the Bible and we'll find out what's in it later."  The Bolsheviks were in favour of fundamental change as well; some thought the world should accept them non-violently.  75 years later, the fruit of their labors were people that mostly non-violently changed them out fundamentally.

#2- "who hung around with lepers, hookers, and crooks."  Of course they were REPENTENT lepers, hookers, and crooks, who were leaving their old lives and considering them as rubbish.  Again, I wonder what the point of this in the meme was- do liberals have the exclusive on compassion for the dregs of society?  Hmm, let's see.  Who would rather these people be given a chance to WORK for a better life; and who would rather sustain them in their position so that they never strive to be better?  Think about this, how many times did Jesus say, "Here, let me pick you up and carry you around, " and how many times did he say, "Pick up your mat and walk"?

#3- "Wasn't American and didn't speak English".  Overlooking the stupidity of expecting Him to be a citizen of a nation that wouldn't exist for almost 2 millennia and speak a language that wouldn't be heard for about 1,500 years, there is a point to the underlying assertion.  As a Christian, we shouldn't look at an alien (individual) as dirt because of his nationality.  However, in the world of mortal man, a world that Christ told us to be in but not of, you need look no further than what happened to Rome when they no longer could keep "illegal immigrants" out.  You can debate if Rome was worth saving; likewise, you can debate whether it was right for a nation who was able to use economic barriers to rise above the rest of the world to maintain those barriers or to drop them and sink to the "mediocrity" of the rest of the world.

#4- "was anti-wealth".  Not sure where you gather that one at.  Wealth is not a sin of itself.  It is the way it modifies a man's life that brings the problem.  He certainly had no problem being buried in a rich follower's tomb; He likely spent his first three years on earth sojourning in Egypt, living off the gifts of the Magi.  Ask Harry Reid if he's anti-wealth.  I have, but never seem to get an answer.

#5- "was anti-death penalty".  On the basis of rescuing the woman caught in adultery.  But the point of His action wasn't that stoning her was wrong.  Indeed, His Father gave the Law to Moses, and "the Father and I are One."  WHY He acted as he did was that He read the hearts of the men accusing her.  Some of them, she may have slept with, others might have been ones who tried to sleep with her  (or someone like her) and got turned down.  And, of course the main motivation was to try and trip Him up.  This, also, was the point of the writer of the meme (not the poster), as will be seen shortly.

#6- "was anti-public prayer", on the basis of saying, "Do not be like the Pharisees who wear long robes and pray long prayers in public for all to see."  I'd have to say that this section is the closest to hitting a bullseye.  We should pray in private, just us and God.  TO GOD, not for the benefit of sycophants.  But that private prayer can be done anywhere, and worship cannot be restrained to one's bedroom.  The meme writer never bothered to look at 2 Samuel 6:

20 When David returned home to bless his household, Michal daughter of Saul came out to meet him and said, “How the king of Israel has distinguished himself today, going around half-naked in full view of the slave girls of his servants as any vulgar fellow would!”
21 David said to Michal, “It was before the Lord, who chose me rather than your father or anyone from his house when he appointed me ruler over the Lord’s people Israel—I will celebrate before the Lord. 22 I will become even more undignified than this, and I will be humiliated in my own eyes. But by these slave girls you spoke of, I will be held in honor.”

So Jesus wasn't anti-PUBLIC prayer.  He was anti-PRETENSE prayer.

#7- "but was never anti-gay".  What, just because the Gospel writers never told the "story of James and Thomas when Jesus caught them in the hayloft?"  Again, Jesus said in Matthew 5:18:

For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.

And that Law included that to "lie with a man as with a woman is an abomination," and Paul confirmed that that still held true in SEVERAL places.  Peter himself, the Rock on which Christ would build His church, gave Paul's writings equal weight with the rest of Scripture.  Nice try, try again.  Oh, look, they did:

#8- "Never mentioned abortion or birth control".  Do I really need to mention how He knew us in the womb (many places including Psalm 139;13) or what happened to Onan (Genesis 38)?  Again, once the meme writer really gets into their agenda, their words just don't hold up.

#9-  "Never called the poor lazy".  No, but he did call the lazy lazy (see Matt. 25:26).  The people that conservatives have a problem with, Jesus would have likewise told to "pick up your mat and work!"

#10- "Never justified torture".  Well, there's one I can say is correct.  He endured torture, but didn't condone it.

#11- "Never fought for tax cuts for the wealthiest Nazarenes".  No, but in Luke 3:12, he told them, "Collect no more than you are authorized to."  Can we talk about the Cincy IRS office raping the horrible Tea Party?

#12- "Never asked a leper for a co-pay".  Really?  Matthew, Chapter 8:

When Jesus came down from the mountainside, large crowds followed him. A man with leprosy[a] came and knelt before him and said, “Lord, if you are willing, you can make me clean.”
Jesus reached out his hand and touched the man. “I am willing,” he said. “Be clean!” Immediately he was cleansed of his leprosy. Then Jesus said to him, “See that you don’t tell anyone. But go, show yourself to the priest and offer the gift Moses commanded, as a testimony to them.”

A co-pay is when you have to do something to gain the insurance benefit you seek.  The leper's co-pay was to present himself according to the Law.  A SWING AND A MISS!

#13- "and was a long-haired, brown skinned, homeless, community organizing, anti-slut-shaming, Middle Eastern Jew."
In order:
- Prove He had long hair.  Paintings by men who weren't alive at the time don't count.

- Race baiting much?  Conservatives want all men of all color to have the benefits derived from being a productive member of society.  Liberals seem happy to keep them in the slave chains of entitlements.

- But He was always productive, lived a worthwhile existence, wasn't a drunkard or an addict, and didn't make $200 a day begging for hand outs at the corner of Coldwater and Wal-Mart.

- Oboy, Obama and Jesus had a job description in common.  Of course Jesus showed the same face to everyone; Obama organized his "fellow African -Americans" in one hand while helping slumlords kick out residents into freezing cold without penalty in the other.  Do a little research before you call someone Messiah, people.

- And I'm sure He would have found something nice to say about Sandra Fluke, too.

- You mean, like the ones Obama wanted to give all their land and security over to the Palestinians?

In conclusion, I hope that my blog friend will realize this is not an attack on him, and he can believe as he likes.  But as for the memes he chooses to promote, I quote Captain America:

"You have your definition of a hero, and I have mine.  But mine involves being a little more aware."

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Sunday message: Celebrating the day

Obviously the elephant in the room today is IT'S EASTER!  But to get to the major incident, I am going to go through a minor one.

Friday, I had mentioned to a co-worker who was VERY frustrated over another co-worker's work ethic, "Well, everyone has Easter on the brain."  His snapped response was, "I don't have Easter on the brain!  It's not even a Christian holiday!"  To which I responded "Paul said it doesn't matter if you celebrate it or not, as long as you celebrate or don't celebrate to the Lord."  Whether through my deathless wisdom, the realization of facing a person versed in the Bible, or just realizing he was dangerously close to opening a can of worms that belonged not at the time and place he let it slip out, he thoughtfully shrugged and said no more about it.  And truthfully, whether he may be a Jehovah's witness (with which I've had this discussion before), an atheist just spouting the company sound-bite, or a religious person not willing to debate in the middle of a workplace catastrophe, it doesn't really matter.

The point is, this idea of attacking Easter and Christmas over their "pagan origins" has been all the rage in recent years.  May I introduce you who think that is important to the verses I semi-quoted, in Romans 14:

14 Receive one who is weak in the faith, but not to disputes over doubtful things. For one believes he may eat all things, but he who is weak eats only vegetables. Let not him who eats despise him who does not eat, and let not him who does not eat judge him who eats; for God has received him. Who are you to judge another’s servant? To his own master he stands or falls. Indeed, he will be made to stand, for God is able to make him stand.
One person esteems one day above another; another esteems every day alike. Let each be fully convinced in his own mind. He who observes the day, observes it to the Lord;[a] and he who does not observe the day, to the Lord he does not observe it. He who eats, eats to the Lord, for he gives God thanks; and he who does not eat, to the Lord he does not eat, and gives God thanks. For none of us lives to himself, and no one dies to himself. For if we live, we live to the Lord; and if we die, we die to the Lord.

This is basically Paul telling those who make a deal out of this, "SO WHAT?"   So at one point the Church Fathers wanted to give the people a celebration of the Lord's birth and the Lord's resurrection- and decided to kill two birds with one stone by overwriting popular pagan holidays with them.  So what if we do not know the actual days?  If you are such a perfectionist, why do you not celebrate Independence Day on July, 2nd, since the 4th was merely the day that news of what happened on the second was announced?  Let's hear from John Adams on the subject:

The second day of July, 1776, will be memorable epocha in the history of America. I am apt to believe that it will be celebrated by succeeding generations, as the great Anniversary Festival. It ought to be commemorated, as the day of deliverance by solemn acts of devotion to God Almighty. It ought to be solemnized with pomp, shews, games, sports, guns, bells, bonfires and illuminations, from one end of the continent to the other, from this time forward forever.

The point was NEVER supposed to be the day, but the celebration.  And while when we were under the Law, God had set up a string of festivals on certain days during the growing season, once we were under grace, Jesus commanded but one celebration- that of the Lord's Supper.

But there again, there is a big fight and hurt feelings between Catholics and the rest of Christendom- is it symbolic of His body and blood, or transubstantiated INTO His body and blood.  Now there, to me, I believe it was supposed to be strongly symbolic.  Here's why.  Jesus told Peter back when he was just Simon, "You are Rock, and on this Rock I shall build my Church, and the gates of hell will not stand against it. "  Did Peter turn to stone?  Before you dismiss that as ridiculous, as Jesus once said, "Remember Lot's wife".  And minutes later, Jesus also told Peter, "Get thee hence, Satan!"  Now Peter, the flawed man, was no more the Devil himself that He was a rock on which the Church was built.  One was symbolic of the Faith that drove Peter to say one thing- and that Faith is the actual Rock for which Peter was a symbol- and the other was symbolic of the concern with this world over the next which drove Peter to say another thing.  So either the Rock of the Church is Satan, or the Lord needs to be taken literally when He's obviously being literal, and figuratively when He's obviously being figurative.

But does that mean you go to hell if you don't believe the wafer is now supernaturally become the material of flesh?  What did Paul just say?  The important thing is, whether it is a wafer, the flesh of Jesus, or a soda cracker, what are YOU saying to Jesus, what are you hearing FROM Him, when you take it?

We live in a society that wants to waste it's time battling over every square inch of air they can puff through their vocal cords.  Thus we have people taking what WAS a night where kids could dress up like super heroes or princesses and get candy from neighbors and turn it into either "That's celebrating evil" or "I'm a witch and that offends me."  We have Christmas trees becoming holiday trees and Easter eggs becoming "spring eggs".  Jimmy can't even give a Valentine to Sally because then little Julie might be sad that she only got 19 valentine cards to Sally's 25.  I think I can speak, at least for Paul, in saying this:


Thank you, have a blessed Easter.  The Lord has risen indeed!

Saturday, April 19, 2014

A Saturday morning...

...waiting for the temps to warm up enough to take Scrappy for a walk.  Listening to Rewound Radio, they're playing Bobby Hebb's Sunny.  Before I get around to pictures from Thursday's walk, I have a couple announcements.

First, there will be a post coming Monday morning in which  I take on someone that thinks they can write a meme about Jesus without knowing who he is really.  Someone who thought he could use the Lord for His agenda... and likely would tell Him to His face not to interfere in his life.  The dissection of the meme will begin at 9 AM Monday right here.

Second... stay tuned for a MAJOR announcement on the future of the Friday Time Machine post.  As soon as I work out the details in my mind and accept the decision in my heart, you'll know more.

Dean Friedman's Ariel is playing.  "I said, "Hi", she said, "Yeah, I guess I am...."

First tree leaves... a young buckeye, I think.

First flowers out in our woods... the Dutchman's Britches!

And a dead mole.  Thanks, Chris!
PS:  When we left for the walk, I told Laurie, we were going to "find the first small creature and beat it to death."  Stress much?  But this was not our work.  When the half-inch of SNOW (yes, again) on Monday melted, I think the little feller got caught in a flooded den.

Yet another hill he likes to climb, and look for dens on.

At the alumni pond.

These two came steaming over as if we were there to feed them.  Sorry, guys...

Mrs. Robinson is on now.  "Where have you gone, Joe Di Maggio?  Our nation turns it's lonely eyes to you..."

Dude was rocking his head up and down the whole way.

Ass-deep in muck...

Scrappy's supermodel pose.

Remember last winter (seems like only days ago) when Scrappy found the hole in the snow?  It's a LOT bigger now...

First turtle sighting, on the south canal.  Wasn't sure at first, because of the crazy splayed-leg way he was sunning.

A while back, a friend posted on FB about IPFW's recent decision to be a smoke free campus, and how the smokers showed their displeasure by leaving butts by the sign.  Over here at the soccer fields, they just show it by simply tossing the sign away.

Blue flowers!

When I first saw them, I thought they were necking.  Nope, just bobbing for food in the muck.

Somewhere under the bubbles were little frogs he-in' and she-in' in the water.  A group just across from the Plex's side doors.