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


Tuesday, December 6, 2016

The Return of Martin World News- now rant free!

So I have sat around tonight, feeling I should post about something- but nothing much to say about life at the Martin Indigenous Hoosier Reservation... then I thought, you know, I haven't looked in my "BBC News From Elsewhere" tab lately... and I have to say, they have been pretty busy out there!  For example:

ITEM 1:  This is a selling point?

You gotta love it when the story tells its own joke.

The Russian government is to give the public the chance to sample a range of delicacies previously reserved for senior officials.
Presidential press secretary Elena Krylova says an online shop selling dairy products under the brand name "Kremlin Quality" will open in the new year. She tells Komsomolskaya Pravda newspaper that "milk, buttermilk, yoghurt and possibly cheese" made specially for the presidential administration, MPs and their staff will be "on offer to everyone, not just to officials".

Wow, quality from the people that brought you Chernobyl, the Afghan invasion, and self-sinking atomic submarines!

ITEM 2:  I love ya, gramps, but with some Yuan I'll love you long time

So much for the Confucian ideal of taking care of your ancestors in Thoroughly Modern China:

A nursing home in eastern China is giving vouchers to people who visit their elderly parents on a regular basis.
The facility in the city of Suzhou, Jiangsu Province, says consistent family visits will improve residents' quality of life, the Yangtze Evening Post reports. The biggest reward is worth 200 yuan ($29; £23) and is for those who show up 30 times over the course of two months. Lesser amounts are on offer for 10 or 20 visits during the same period.

I wager this will big big with the kids and grandkids who are tired of hitting the plasma bank for a quick sawbuck.

ITEM 3:  Nicholas, you've been unfriended

Historical education, meet Mark Zuckerberg:

A new Russian internet project is reliving the events leading up to the Bolshevik Revolution of 1917 as if the historical figures of the time were posting on social media.
The project, called 1917: Free History, aims to recreate the world of the people whose lives were transformed and, in some cases, shattered by the impending revolution. Their stories are told through a mixture of Facebook-style real-time updates, historical live pages and interactive features.

     Hey, Leon Troksky ! How about meeting up at the Palace Square for Stolichnaya and Bourgeois-bashing?  We can close the Duma early!

JOSEF STALIN is feeling: homicidal
     Can anyone tell me what kind of grain it is that has little legs and wiggles about? We certainly have a lot of bread made from it here in Siberia... #Needsomemayo

ITEM 3: Now, if it had a bear or a bull... wait, scratch the bear...

Or why you should always consider location...

A black swan sculpture in Beijing's financial district has been removed only hours after being unveiled because of concerns it might bring bad luck to the markets, it's reported.
On Monday, the huge swan was placed inside the entrance of a swanky shopping centre located across the road from China's Securities Regulatory Commission (CSRC). It sat there for half a day before being covered up and whisked away by shopping mall staff, Beijing's Fazhi Wanbao newspaper reports.
In financial circles, a "black swan" represents a highly unlikely and unpredictable event - something not much loved by investors.

No stranger to not-quite accepted artwork, this is the same shopping center that had the cartoon Boonie Bears flipping off the CSRC last June:

ITEM 4:  It's almost time for NCIS, so that's it for today...

Sunday, December 4, 2016

Sunday message- Kaku's Physicist

Michio Kaku, whom I've mentioned before on these posts, is a physicist with a refreshingly out-of-the-box point of view on things.  Recently, a video of him from the site Big Think made the rounds on FB.  In it, he described mathematicians as being a bit resentful of physicists' ability to use their equations.  Mathematicians, he explained, looked upon their equations as an art, exquisite in their beauty, and needing no practical application.  But time after time, as they explored the boundaries of string theory and the attempts to combine quantum theory with general relativity, physicists found the universe explained in equations that mathematicians "hoped" would be left alone, to become just shiny baubles of design and not a tool for some "mundane" theory.  Not being a mathematician, I don't know if that's true, but as Kaku works with them, there must be some fire to the smoke.

Concluding, Kaku posited that there HAD to be some greater intelligence that designed the multiplicity of our universe- and that intelligence was a mathematician!  Now, I come to you not to promote Kaku's "evangelism", or God's scholasticism.  But I am going to use this as a stopping off point: that here we find there are two kinds of truth seekers; ones that are willing to see design in that which they do not fully understand, and those that think they should just find one kernel of truth, have it accepted by all as the finest work of their own hands, and never again progress.

I have often said on these posts that our God is a BIG God- just as beyond the understanding of we who have faith as He is to those that think man is the be-all and end-all and refuse to see Him as any more than a fairy tale.  Kaku, in a book I referenced before, told how superstring theory had used these "beautiful" mathematical calculations to show that you COULD combine quantum theory and general relativity- IF you excepted as fact that there are, including the three spatial dimensions and time that we can experience, 11- or perhaps 23- dimensions, most so far beyond our experience that we cannot perceive them.  And that gravity, the four forces of physics, and perhaps time itself, are just the vibrations of our experiential dimensional set "rubbing against" them.  Point being, to understand how something COULD work, Kaku has to accept that there is a LOT out there that they haven't figured out- and with our limited perceptions, most likely WON'T be able to figure out.

And it struck me the other night that as far beyond the "common man" as this concept is to conceive, that even it is simple enough that we have caught a glimpse of it- and God is SO much more.  I have dealt over the years with people that have told me that Jesus MUST have been a man who had the Spirit of God poured into him, because a "section" of God becoming human just doesn't make sense.  I have dealt with those, including myself, who have said that certain things that happen in this world make no sense if a "loving God" is in charge.  I have dealt with those who cannot perceive that the intent of a god can go beyond the actions of his followers, and those who believe God is limited to touching us through "Church Fathers" who know more than we do.

In the beginning of the Book of Ruth, we look at two women with drastically different points of view.  Naomi has come to Moab, lost a husband and two sons, and feels her legacy has been taken.  By society norms of the day, since she is no longer a wife and mother, she has no value.  She cannot conceive of Ruth and Orpah, her daughters-in-law, staying with her, because the only thing that can give a woman worth is a husband and children, and she cannot give either to these girls.

Ruth, on the other hand, ignores the understandings of society.  She looks out of the box and sees things that are more important- love, honor, respect, loyalty, and duty.  She doesn't follow Naomi, as Naomi puts it, expecting Naomi to pop out another child for Ruth to marry.  She follows because it is the right thing to do.  Naomi is Kaku's Mathematician, Ruth is his Physicist.

The other night, in wrestling with sins and forgiveness, I tuned into a certain preacher at the exact moment he was describing four things that God is that we need to remember.  And while God is BIG, and well beyond our comprehension, he hit on the four things, just like Ruth did, that are more important.  A sinner needs to come to God remembering:

God is AWARE.  Ever since Eden, sin has made us hide ourselves from God for no reason.  We aren't concealing anything.  He already knows it, and knew it when He first made Himself known TO us.  Even if the sin is fresh off the presses, there is nothing to be gained from hiding and everything to be gained from coming immediately to Him.

God is AVAILABLE.  If we come to Him in sincerity seeking mercy, He is right there.  We don't need an appointment, don't have to wait until morning hoping for some statute of limitations to kick in.  If we need to confess, the confessional is OPEN, 24/7/365.

God is CAPABLE.  We go to Him and say, "I can't do this, I can't get away from that."  Guess what?  He KNOWS that.  He doesn't expect you to do whatever "it" is for you; He expects you to give it to Him and let Him do it, while you do your best to be obedient to Him.  No matter how difficult "it" is for you, God CAN do it.

And I will confess that over the course of the week, I lost the fourth one in my mind.  But I cannot help but believe it is that God is MERCIFUL, and can remove the sins we confess "as far as the east is from the West."  How is He capable of this?  What are the mechanisms by which Christ's death accomplishes this?  Like many of the other things I've mentioned today, I don't exactly know, and I don't need to.  Perhaps it will all make sense when we are part of that 11-or-23-or whatever-dimensional everything that He is, perhaps not.  But He, being that everything, understands it and that is fine with me.

Does that sound like faith begetting ignorance?  Maybe to the person that thinks man is capable of figuring out everything, because life's just this big accident that happened and man blundered into the top spot on the evolutionary pile somehow.  But to someone who can see in everything we learn that we are learning about something we are not equipped to ever FULLY grasp, that can see the intelligent designer in the ever-revealing fabric of the multiverse, it is enough.

Friday, December 2, 2016

Time Machine: Co-ordinates VII40212274

We fly into December of 1974- the 2nd day of December, in fact, as we begin the next new era for our show.  And today we are picking up the pieces of another plane crash;  this time it was a TWA jet headed from Indianapolis to DC in some really nasty weather (Nasty?  Detroit is digging out of just shy of a 20-inch snowfall).  It had been re-directed from the main airport to Dulles due to some mean wind shear, and was closing in on a landing.  But there was a hidden problem- one that had very nearly caused a mirror image crash in GOOD weather six weeks ago.  The problem?  The terms for making final approach were different for pilots and air traffic controllers.  And in the middle of fighting turbulence, they were forced to determine whether "cleared for approach" meant they were still on radar guidance or not- and they were wrong:  they hit the ironically named Mt Weather at 260 mph.  Still more ironic, Mt Weather was the site of the "Bunker", where the government was to go and hide during a nuclear attack!  The unplanned test of the facilities resulted in the severing of the Bunker's phone lines and the loss of all aboard.

I wish I knew how it is that we keep showing up so close to these disasters; Every volume of TM has been close to a few airplane crashes.  We'll probably soon need FAA clearance to blog!  Anyway, welcome to the first official post of TM volume 5, and of course I've already had two of my new features crash into each other and form one item!  Also, a 6D that will start with a song (provided I can find it, lol!), and both the shortest and the third longest song in M10 history- on this week's chart!  Plus, two new debuts will give us a wildly international flavor on the M10.    So suit up, climb in, and let's taxi to the runway!

This week, we start the new era Panel- I'm surveying not just 12, but ALL the stations in the target week, and picking out the tunes that hit the top on these stations.  And rather than give you a Panel Four, I'm going to give you the list- and let you guess who got the most votes!  This week 25 stations gave us gave us 8 possibilities, and here they are:

Cats In The Cradle by Harry Chapin, which sat at #9 on Cashbox this week;
Billy Swan's I Can Help, which was the national top dog;
I Feel A Song In My Heart by Gladys Knight and the Pips, which was #19;
Carole King's Jazzman, which was a dropper this week at #57
Kung Fu Fighting by Carl Douglas, chopping away at #5;
Reunion's one hit wonder Life Is A Rock at #26 and also falling;
Bobby Vinton's two-language classic My Melody Of Love at #3;
and the week's #3 song, appropriately by the Three Degrees, When Will I See You Again.

Who wins this week's vote? stay tuned...


Debut the First:  Dami Im, who you might remember for her big M10 and bigger Eurovision hit Sounds Of Silence from last June, has a new single out, and it lands at #9 for the Korean-born Aussie:


So 2 of the new things I am doing is "week's most intriguing" where I, either on CB, the UK chart, or in the Panel, find something I never heard before and was curious about; and the "Year on the Chart", which this week would be the #74 song.  Well, that #74 song this week was by Gene Cotton, who I best knew for his great song about the McCarthy Era, Like a Sunday In Salem.  When I tried to learn more about the song in question, called Sunshine Roses, a contemporary Billboard article said that thematically and musically it was reminiscent of American Pie.  Truth?  It is a much more truncated time trip with a bit of the Don McLean flavor, but if you aren't a big AP fan, you still might enjoy it.


"So, Chris, what were YOUR favorite songs on this week's chart?"  Well, glad you asked. (Boy, I so need a logo for this feature...)

5- climbing at #67 this week, Frankie Valli and My Eyes Adored You.
4- At #15 (and the flip side at #106), Wings with Junior's Farm/ Sally G.
3- #36 and climbing, Jethro Tull's Bungle In The Jungle (one of my favorite ever lines in a song:  "I'll write on your tombstone, 'And thank you for dinner...' ")
2- A top ten all timer- at #10, Chicago's Wishing You Were Here.

And #1- another all timer, Barry Manilow's Mandy, climbing at #42 this week.


And here to kick off our six degrees, I give you Linda Laurie:

(BTW, she did Ambrose's voice, too.)

Linda took this novelty song (of which there were never any parts 1-4) to #52 way back in 1959  Possibly better known to us seventies kids, she wrote the lyrics to the theme of the Saturday morning live-action show Land Of The Lost.

This chunk of our childhood was composed by one Jimmy Haskell, who composed and arranged the song that charted highest this week on CB without getting a Panel vote- Neil Diamond's #4 Longfellow Serenade.  Interestingly (or not), Diamond said it was born of a past use of Longfellow's writings to seduce "a much older woman", which makes me wonder if this woman was the inspiration for his later hit Desiree as well.  Unfortunately, Neil and I have never been real close, so I guess I'll never know.


And now, by request of the inimitable Bobby G, a few words from novelist Aldous Huxley:

“After silence, that which comes nearest to expressing the inexpressible is music."

True That!  So let's take our peak in at the UK chart this week.

 The highest charting US single that is also on the UK chart:  I was surprised to find that this week it belonged to BTO with You Ain't Seen Nothing Yet, which was 8 here and 6 there.

The highest charting UK single that was also on the US chart:  Barry White's You're My First, My Last, My Everything, which was #2 there and #12 here.

And tops of the pops?  That would be David Essex (him again?) with Gonna Make You A Star, which as you recall I didn't much care for but somehow charted here- albeit at #105.


Oh, 'bout forgot the other debut, but you won't forget it for long.  French singer Melody Prochet, her act called Melody's Echo Chamber, and her song comes in at #8:

Now, you know me.  I have a sense whether a song has a serious shot at #1 when I bring it in- usually.  The top is going to be VERY crowded the next few weeks.


And as we close in on the #1s, let's give you the first 6 that DIDN'T win the panel vote.

Gladys Knight, Carole King, and Reunion each got 4% (1 vote).
Harry Chapin got 2%.
The 3 Degrees got 12%.
And Billy Swan got 16%.

That leaves two candidates who split the other 52%.  Who will it be?  Is your horse still in the race?


And now, the M10.

Free-falling 6 spots to #10 is Buffalo Springfield with Do I Have To Come Right Out And Say It.

You know #9 and 8;  Baywaves holds at #7 with Time Is Passing U By.  So now, we have a mixed American/Canadian act, a Frenchwoman, a Korean-Australian, and a Spanish band.

Next, our Northern Ireland contingent, Two Door Cinema Club, with Lavender falling from #2 to 6.

The Shacks move up 4 to #5 with This Strange Effect.

The international wing of things ends with Agnes Obel, as Denmark's best moves up 2 to #4 with Mary.  Which, BTW, at 5:47 is the third longest song in M10 history, trailing only Paper Gods by Duran Duran and The Last Thing On My Mind by The Joy Formidable (which actually was a shorter song but had a little preliminary screwing around).

Radiation City says three weeks at the top is enough, and drops to #3 with Come And Go.

Billy Stewart clocks in, up one notch to #2 with the shortest song in M10 history by a full fifteen seconds, Strange Feeling.

And the number ones?  M10 says:

The Shacks, with the El Michels Affair, and Strange Boy!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

And the runner up on the vote, with 24% was Carl Douglas, so our first election winner is...

Bobby Vinton with My Melody Of Love!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

So join me and President Vinton next week when we visit lovely 1977!

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

The hydra of misinformation

You know, I had another ugly dust up with a liberal friend the other night.  Among the things that got me to react were (and not in exact quoting):

"Trump is creating a cabinet that will unleash a holocaust on Jews, LGBTs, Muslims, and ANYONE WHO OPPOSES HIM." (Capitalization not mine)

"Trump is too stupid to write a book" (never mind The Art Of The Deal has sold over 1 million copies.)

"How much more of a economic catastrophe do we need (to prove the conditions now are the same as in Nazi Germany)?"

Wow.  Now there is one ton of baseless slander.  But you know, the person telling these whoppers isn't lying on purpose- they are regurgitating what they have been taught.  And damn shame that it is, they are so confident in the kool-aid they have drink, they refuse to do any but the most cursory research, to try to learn the truth behind these statements that THEY stand behind.

But arguing each point is like fighting a hydra of misinformation- you lop of one head with facts and figures, and three more fresh off the presses of MSNBC or Occupy Democrats spring up in their place. There is no dearth of trash to be found in each side's gutter.  I prefer to deal in historical fact.

So I can go back and look up unemployment statistics in 1930's Europe that would boggle the mind; I could remind people of the Kristallnacht so that they could see what REAL persecution feels like; I could pull up pictures of the massive soup lines here in the states back then.   But they COULD do that too.  I could ask them where the Hooverville in their town is, or if they've seen Coxey's Army camped out on the National Mall; or when last you paid 2 billion German Marks for a loaf of bread, if you could find it.  But they would just point out the "huge line" at the local food bank, or question why a latte made by a $15-an-hour coffee hop is so darn expensive anymore.  Yeah, we got it rough.

Today, Carrier announced a deal with the President-Elect that will keep 1,000+ jobs earmarked for Mexico right here in Indiana.  So why couldn't the sitting President do this?  I might postulate it is because why should he care about the economy in a red state (never mind all the United Steel Workers union hands that likely voted for him), or that he saw them as an environmentally unfriendly company whose products reduce the ozone layer, but the fact is, like in many other things- he did nothing.  Now if Trump were the Hitler look-alike that these people claim, he'd have just had the government buy the factory, fire all the employees, and get slave labor from Latin America and Syria to do it for free.  Because, children, THAT'S what a Fascist does.  Or maybe he could have bought the company as the Government, paid people half what they're making now, set production schedules with little connection to reality so that the product becomes overpriced and slipshod, and put up posters all around the factory about teamwork and pulling together.  Because that's what Communism does.  Ask anyone whose tried to run a small business in Cuba for the last, say, 70 years.

But what Trump did is what he is BEST at- he made a deal.  One no doubt beneficial to all parties, especially the 1,000+ people who don't have to spend half a day at Unemployment.  And will it be appreciated?  Well, as little as three days ago:

Chuck Jones, president of United Steelworkers Local 1999, said Friday he has not been briefed on talks between the incoming Trump administration and Carrier. But he doesn't see any chance for Trump or Vice President-elect Mike Pence to reverse Carrier's plan to move its west-side furnace operations to Monterrey, Mexico.

And why is that?  Because much of the left doesn't WANT to see any hope.  They are too busy moping that all their sacred cows are seemingly lined up for the slaughterhouse.  But are they?  Frankly, I doubt it.  EVERYone talks tough on the campaign trail.  Obama had 8 fricking years to close Gitmo- but soon found out it wasn't as easy or smart as it seemed.  The Donald is likely going to shoot off his mouth about a lot of things, only to find out reality is a bitch.  But if he can do even a few good things- like saving jobs at Ford and Carrier, and not even in office yet- isn't it worth it to set aside fear born of lies and untruths and give him a chance?

Prolly not.  Easier to just respond to everything with ideology and fear, wasting large chunks of your life that could be spent productively working with the system to make things better for EVERYONE by sharing memes with no truthful basis, attending rallies that serve no real purpose, and really making oneself look like you've just fallen off the ol' turnip truck.

And me?  Well, I'm trying here to be that guy who wants to give you that wake-up call, stop wasting your time on reverse-hate and needless fearmongering, and act in such a way that you will become happy and well-balanced again.  Or I'm just that anti-semitic, woman hating, homophobic bigot whose bent on insulting you because you LIKE it inside that fear bubble. You can decide, but I know WHY I wrote what I did.

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Another wonderful TMI list...

I had forgotten that Al Penwasser got hit up for one of those "A little more about me" lists the other day, and I thought it would be amusing to play along... though I'd venture to say my answers won't be near as funny.  For one, I refuse to eat gorilla.  Anyway, let's try this out:

1. Are you named after someone? Dad used to claim my name was a result of Mom wanting me to have the same initials as our Doctor, CW Dahling.  Of course, he hated Robert Mitchum for years because he thought it was the guy on Father Knows Best.

2. When is the last time you cried? Prolly the first time Peanut got his diaper changed in front of me, and started crying because he was cold.

3. Do you like your handwriting? Sure.  It's you all that have a problem with it.

4. What is your favorite lunch meat? This is where Al started the whole "Gorilla" thing.  Sorry, mundane Ham 'n'cheese loaf for me.

5. Do you have kids? Why, you missing one?

6. If you were another person, would you be friends with you? Now, probably.  I ain't got enough to be fussy.

7. Do you use sarcasm? Have we met?

8. Do you still have your tonsils? In a jar on my bedstand.  Cause you never know.

9. Would you bungee jump? See #7.

10. What is your favorite kind of cereal? I've been eating Life of late, but grew up on Cheerios.

11. Do you untie your shoes when you take them off? No. (Don't even have to change that one!)

12. Do you think you're mentally strong? Sure, I do brain-ups at work.

13. What is your favorite ice cream? Chocolate.  Just so you know, I might be using this answer a lot.

14. What is the first thing you notice about people? With my inability at eye contact, prolly the third or fourth button down on their shirt.

15. Red or pink? If you're asking me to make a color choice, I'll say none of the above.

16. What is the least favorite physical thing you like about yourself? That my body has taught me to love the foods that it is now telling me I have to give up or drop dead.

17. What color pants and shoes are you wearing right now? Black sweats, imaginary shoes.  Or is that black shoes and imaginary sweats?

18. What was the last thing you ate? Salmon patties and Bush's Homestyle beans.  One cold from the can, the other lukewarm from the pan.

19. What are you listening to right now? Sean McDonough, the human sleeping pill, on Monday Night Football.

20. If you were a crayon, what color would you be? Copper.  No one uses copper.

21. Favorite smell? Bread in the oven.

22. Who was the last person you spoke to on the phone? The lady from Longe Optical reminding me it was time for an eye check.

23. Favorite sport to watch? Chris' guide to sports:  Football is for TV, Baseball is for radio, hockey best in person.

24. Hair color?

I'd say, "Partly clearing"...

25. Eye color? Brown, to no one's great surprise.

26. Do you wear contacts?  I used to have to help my ex with her contacts.  I swore never again.  Frames are fine.

27. Favorite food to eat? Burger.  Plain, with cheese.

28. Scary movies or comedy? The state of movies today, that's pretty much the same thing, no?

29. Last movie you watched?  I'm guessing Thor:The Dark World.  Unless you count Columbo episodes on Netflix.

30. What color shirt are you wearing? IDK, I have a sweatshirt on over it.  If you wanna know so bad, YOU lift it up.

31. Summer or Winter?  In the interests of not creating a new thesaurus for "words to denigrate winter with", I'll just say summer.

32. Hugs or kisses? Depends on the hugger/kisser.  And don't get funny...

33. What book are you currently reading? Reading?  Good grief, can't you see I'm writing this dumb post?

34. Who do you miss right now? Laurie's home tonight, so I'm good.

35. What is on your mouse pad? Raindrops on Turtle Wax.

36. What is the last TV program you watched?  Depends.  Do I have to have been paying attention?

37. What is the best sound? 

"Ha ha, Grandpa, I tooted on you!"

38. Rolling Stones or The Beatles? Tune into my Time Machine Anniversary post from Friday...

39. What is the furthest you have ever traveled? Homer Street in Baltimore.  Pretty much slept through it, too.

40. Do you have a special talent? Combining Hostess Ho-Hos with Cheez-Whiz.

41. Where were you born? Right between Mom's legs, I'd surmise...

42. People you expect to participate? Participate?  Hell, I'll be glad if they comment!

Monday, November 28, 2016

All the stuff you thought you missed over the holiday...

So as you read this, I am back at work after a blissful 5 days off for the holiday.    While I try to work off whatever weight I accrued over that time, let me catch you up on a few things.

Like did I tell you I discovered what is really going on on the trail?  They are setting things up for I&M to remove the old electrical towers in favor of new, "octagonal" towers which I am told will have less of a footprint on the area.

One of them is going right where the footbridge to cross back into mid-complex is- well, was.  But fear not, the bridge is safely on the other side of the trail, awaiting its return.

Yes, we were going through barriers to gain access, but we weren't alone...

And quite frankly, if they REALLY wanted us out, they'd put locks on the chains instead of latches.

Or at least have south end security a little tighter, lol!


The other day, I got an important missive by e-mail, you know the kind...

Good day, Hope all is well with you and your family, You may not understand why this mail came to you.

United Nation have been having a meeting for the past 3 months which ended 21th, September 2016 with the World Bank President Mr.Jim Yong Kim and the USA Secretary of State Mr. John Kerry.

This email is to all the people that have been scammed in any part of the world, and the people that have lost their properties in the earthquakes and tsunami United Nations and World Bank have agreed to compensate them with the sum of $USD3 Million (Three Million United States Dollars) each, this includes every foreign contractors that may have not received their contract sum and people that have had an unfinished transaction or international businesses that failed due to Government problems etc.

Your name and email was in the list submitted by our Monitoring Team of Economic c and Financial Crime Commission observers and this is why we are contacting you, this have been agreed upon and have been signed. You are advised to contact Mr. Banthoon Lamsam of Kasikorn Bank of Thailand, as he is our representative, contact him immediately for your check...

The amusing part was the "sender"...

Good-luck and kind regards,
Mr. Ban Ki-Moon
UN making the world a better place 

I guess they decided to go into scamming since Trump's gonna cut 'em off, lol....


The kids came over for the Michigan/OSU game...

As I said on FB:  "Horns on head, how appropriate..."

Peanut chillin' with "Uncle Scrappy"  (actually cousin Scrappy, but that's how Jessica posted it)

And earlier in the day, we spotted a deer doing the mannikin challenge...


The other day, I saved this bon mot for a possible MWN and then forgot:

North Korea has made a state request to officials in China pleading for them to stop referring to ‘glorious leader’ Kim Jong-un as fat.

Ministers have reportedly asked their neighbours to refrain from referring to the chunky Swiss cheese fan as Jin San Pang or ‘Kim Fatty III’ in media or conversations.

Apparently ‘Kim Fatty III’ is a widely used nickname for Kim in China along with Jin Pang Pang (Kim Fat Fatty) or Jin San Fei (Kim Abundant III).

Now According to the Apple Daily in Hong Kong, terrified North Korean government officials have called on their old comrades to take action before heads roll.

They are terrified the tyrant will find out about the insult and look for someone to blame.


As they posted over the holiday, I beseech you, if you missed them, go back and catch the Time Machine anniversary special and subsequent M10 countdown.  They are well worth it!

Now THIS is a century-mark worth noting!!!- Bobby G.


Put up the Christmas lights during the off-time.  Here they are, with Scrappy's expert opinion:


Finally, a headline I just HAD to share:

NASA Wants You to Help Astronauts Poop
Space diapers just won't cut it
It would seem NASA is having a hard time coming up with a suitable in-suit system for the excretory process, and is asking for inventors to figure out how to do it, because they're done with all that Apollo-13 stuff.  I would think that a perfect solution would be to affix tubes to the pertinent physiological areas, and have a sensor that opens the tube to hard vacuum as needed.  Not only would it suck the stuff right out, but it would also help with space hemorrhoids and, if used for urination as well, could well eliminate the need for space Viagra!

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Sunday message-Thanksgiving

In many ways, this post is going to be the opposite (though not a retraction) of my rant from a few days back.  Because the subject today, appropriately enough, is thanksgiving, and the power that it has.

You can imagine quite a few pastors have preached on the subject of thanksgiving this week; perhaps you have heard some of them.  And perhaps you have heard them speak of God's desire for us to be thankful to Him in ALL situations.  After all, Paul was stoned, bit by a viper, shipwrecked, etc. and yet in the bowels of a Roman prison he gave thanks.  If he could do it, we can too, they say.  And we file that away in the "I'll remember that when I get bit by a snake, etc." category and move on.  But what are we missing here?

One thing is the opposite of gratitude, and that I believe is anger.  I firmly believe that 90%+ of the times I am angry are when a situation which HAPPENS to me at some level gets taken as a personal attack on me.  Probably in the referenced rant, I did just that.  But was it, really an attack on me?  When (our biggest customer) does one of the many idiotic things they do to create extra work for us, is it really done for MY inconvenience?  No, and many of those times, I can say to myself later, "Well, if that hadn't happened, I might have not caught this", or, I might have run out of work before more orders were ready" or the like.  It would save me a lot of wasted time and thought to just be thankful.

But how do we manage thanksgiving in such a situation?  I was forwarded a devotional yesterday that can help with that one.  Heavily paraphrasing, the story went along the lines of a missionary whose family was to have received a gift, but when the shipment arrived, a letter explained that the promised thing hadn't arrived, but as a pair of crutches were just sitting around at the time, they were shipped instead in case someone might make use of them.  And the daughter, who missed out on the gift, was trying to explain how she was using the incident to teach herself to be thankful in everything to a friend.

The friend said, "But what is there that you can POSSIBLY be thankful for about these crutches?"
Her answer:  "Well, for one, that I don't NEED them."

One thing I have learned well over the years: when God has put me in a situation that sucks, it's usually preventing me from being in a far worse situation.  The trick being not letting the situation trap you in a pity-party where you can't see the benefit- or God's protection.  And that often requires you be thankful FIRST, and figure out the details later.

But it works both ways, too.  Take for example the story of the ten lepers.  Jesus healed them all, but only the "foreigner", the Samaritan, returned to thank Him.  And Jesus told him, "Your FAITH has healed you."  Meaning, while the ungrateful nine received their health, the returning Samaritan received something much better- his SALVATION.  It was his thankful heart that brought him to Christ, and thankfulness covers over a ton of problems.

Take for example the story of Gideon in the Book of Judges.  How many times was he fearful?

1- when he accused God of forsaking Israel (6:13)
2- "Me? But my family is poor, and I'm the least of my house!" (6:15)
3- "Prove you aren't a mirage, stick around while I get you an offering" (6:18)
4- Tearing down the altar of Baal by night so he wouldn't get caught (6:27)
5- Testing God not once, but twice, with the fleece (6:37-40)
6- "But if you still fear, go into the camp with your servant", and he did (7:10-14)

But once God "passed" this final test- wherein Gideon heard the enemy discussing a dream that told them Gideon would win, what was Gideon's next move?

Jdg 7:15  And it happened, when Gideon heard the telling of the dream and the meaning of it, he worshiped. And he returned to the army of Israel, and said, Arise! For Jehovah has delivered the host of Midian into your hand. 

From then on, he was a tiger for God, and the Midianites and all those who supported them fell.  Because he stopped saying, "But what if..." and Thanked God for what He was about to do.

And just to draw the difference between thankfulness and anger even sharper, look at this following passage:

Jdg 8:1  And the men of Ephraim said to him, What is this thing you have done to us, not to call us when you went to fight with the Midianites? And they rebuked him sharply. 
Jdg 8:2  And he said to them, What have I done now in comparison to you? Is not the gleaning of the grapes of Ephraim better than the vintage of Abiezer? 
Jdg 8:3  God has delivered into your hands the princes of Midian, Oreb and Zeeb. And what was I able to do in comparison to you? Then their spirits toward him went away when he had said that. 

Once they saw what Gideon did WITH God, then they became all brave and said, "Why didn't you get us in the first place?  Who do you think you are?"  To which Gideon could have just said,

But instead, he praised them- albeit he was praising them for what they accomplished chasing an enemy who was already defeated.

So, how does that all tie in to my rant and the people who continue to cry sour grapes and refuse to see that someone might have a good reason to disagree with them?  I don't know quite yet.  But I thank God for bringing me this far, and for helping me realize that I don't have to take the stupidity of others-nor the opinions of those who simply don't agree with me, without the stupidity- personally.  Because, God's still in His Heaven, and our politics is still no more than two ants fighting over a half a bread crumb.  And that's a LOT to be thankful for.