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


Monday, May 30, 2016

Kind of hard to focus with blood loss

No, this is not a Memorial Day post.  There are plenty of vets and families of fallen soldiers who can do a better job than I on that.  No, my story is letting you in on the rest of our holiday weekend such as it was.

Sunday, Scrappy and I attempted another picnic, this time at Shoaff Park.  No need for food porn-just variations on the last.  Our problem was one thing in two dimensions- 1) it was QUITE hot out, and the mosquitos are arrived; 2) our AC went out yesterday, and home was currently less-than-inhabitable until maintenance showed.  Thus, we tried the park.  But first, I had loaded up the bird feeder...

 ...and a rather odd bird soon appeared...

"All right with the pictures- and the dog!  I'll come back when you LEAVE!"

Which we did, but man it was hot... hot, the FISH were hiding in the shade!

That orange chap was my boss, getting in shape for that silly Ironman business.  He was somewhat past his 12-mile mark for the morning here.

This spot was a bit cooler, not horribly buggy, but Mr. Boy wanted so bad to go around the big circle.  He'd have never made it.  So I loaded him back up and we went for a drive until the race started- and we got home just as the maintenance guy finished.  He brought in a package as well.

Those of you who went with me through the FB end of the Friday night debauch heard that I discovered the Monkees had put out a brand-new 50th anniversary lp, and somehow I managed to order it for Laurie.  At the time I said, this will be the lp of Summer 2016- and I stand by that.  Stand by for Monkees on the M10, possibly this week, and throughout the summer!

Anyway, after my guy in the Indy 500 came in 2nd, the A's dropped the Tigers again, and my boy in Nascar won the Charlotte 600-Martin Truex leading 588 out of 600 laps! -we ventured outside again to observe the three planet show going on.  And while I did manage one non-shaky picture of Mars and Saturn- Jovian efforts came up a bit short.

Flash to Monday, where I have the brilliant idea of going to Fox Island... at least, the mosquitos thought it was brilliant....

 That was the one picture I snapped in the nature preserve before I feared that the skeeters might fly it away.  I saw a bunny at one point, and turned to see if Laurie saw it- and all I saw was Laurie's arms and a swarm!  Didn't we have bug repellant?  Sure!  The first spraying cut the attack from thousands to hundreds, and the second cut it from hundreds to dozens!  Eventually we fought our way to the beach...

But for a wildlife excursion, all we have to show for it is the bunny and a couple of tiny toads...

(Approximately life-size)
Afterwards, I had the next bright idea, which was to go to Rural King.  I had to call upon Bobby G.'s better half to help me remember the name of the place, which she then amplified on FB-

Helpful reminder

-and after stopping off for noon buffet at the nearby Pizza Hut, we ventured inside, where the first highway was getting my long awaited bag of Larry the Cable Guy's Biscuit'n'gravy chips, but the best part was chick football:

You see, this tub of chicks- prolly about 100 of 'em- had this little bitty piece of plastic fragment.  And one would get the damn thing, and take off with it, closely pursued by as many as were paying attention.  They would literally gang tackle the "ball carrier", the "ball" would change hands- er, beaks- a half-dozen times, until someone on the outside of the dogpile would get loose and run away until he in turn was gang tackled, jumping over would be tacklers and bystanders with all the grace of a drunken baboon.  On second thought, this was more like chick rugby.  Whatever, it made the day and occupied us for ten minutes or so.

And that, less these last few hours, was our Memorial weekend.  How was yours?

Sunday, May 29, 2016

Sunday message: a few simple points

Listening to a sermon on Elijah facing down the prophets of Baal (1 Kings 18)  I realized a few simple lessons:

BLAME WHERE BLAME IS DUE:  The backstory is that God through Elijah has called down a three-year-long drought at this point.  Why?  Because the people had followed King Ahab in following his witch-wife Jezebel in worshipping Baal.  And for three years, Elijah had been a virtual ghost while Israel suffered.  Now he had returned, and this king that supposedly believed in the fertility god who wasn't being very fertile, his first words to Elijah were,  "Is that really you, the troublemaker of Israel?"   So, instead of recognizing the true factors of the drought- the power of God and the sinfulness of man, Ahab blamed it all on the man who pointed that truth OUT to him.  Thus is the battle with atheists and agnostics today.

A good friend (who may or may not read Sunday Message, IDK) recently liked a meme that purported to show the one-to-one correlation between "the world's least religious countries" and "the world's least violent countries".  While I could dispute the veracity of the data, I really don't need to.  It is always easier to defeat these ideas by pointing out that the "logic" they so love to apply they refuse to apply to the concept of God.  In this case, if you logically look at what the existence of God WOULD mean, one thing it would mean is Satan wouldn't have to work so hard where there is no faith.  Thus proving the point they seek to overthrow.  The same way, Ahab blamed the man who served a God he no longer believed in for causing his problems.  If Baal were god and God is not, then why the drought?

SO, WHAT CONSTITUTES A GOD?  I have often had the discussion of "If there IS a God, then why..." with unbelievers.  And whatever it takes as its form, right down to "I can't believe in a god that demands faith without proof", it rolls downhill to one concept- they cannot conceive a being so far above them that they cannot  apply their motivations to Him.  They think God should be like Elijah teased the prophets that Baal was.   "And at noon Elijah mocked them, saying, "Cry aloud, for he is a god. Either he is musing, or he is relieving himself, or he is on a journey, or perhaps he is asleep and must be awakened." "  God does not think, or react, or judge, as I do- therefore he cannot exist, so their excuses go.  But God is BIGGER than us- a LOT bigger.  A paraphrase of a John Adams quote says that it is not only foolishness but wickedness for "ants" like us to contemplate all that God is.  Now a moody, lustful, adulterous god like Zeus- or Baal- is better for them because a) he's "just like us" thus easy to understand, and b) he does all the sinful crap that WE do, and thus wouldn't DREAM of judging us.

THEN HOW SHOULD WE DEAL WITH GOD?  Well, when you strip down Elijah's actions, he:  1- depended on God's protection- he wasn't found for three years, but was provided for in Zarephath all that time;
2- was obedient, coming to the people when God deemed the time was right;
3- was sacrificial in a way that TRULY was a sacrifice-  at a time when water was worth more than gold, he had 12 barrels of it dumped upon the altar of God, knowing God would soon replace it;
4- was prayerful- praying intently SEVEN times for the ending of the drought.

BUT THEN, ELIJAH HAD TO RUN AWAY, RIGHT?  WHERE WAS GOD THEN? Ask rather, where was Elijah then?  You see, Elijah had such faith in God, he stood in a battle that was 450-to-one against him as if he were not alone- and he was right.  But after, perhaps he listened to his sound bites a bit too much and within a few days was praying, " With zeal have I been zealous for the Lord God of hosts: for the children of Israel have forsaken thy covenant: they have thrown down thy altars, they have slain thy prophets with the sword, and I alone am left, and they seek my life to take it away."   Oh, alone, were you?  God answered him,  "But I still have 7,000 people in Israel whose knees have not knelt to worship Baal and whose mouths have not kissed him."   When Elijah thought he was outnumbered 450-to-1, he actually outnumbered them about 96-to-1.  Lesson here, you are NEVER outnumbered with God, and you should act in acknowledgement of that fact.  Thus it was that the writer of Hebrews said,

Therefore since we also are surrounded with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight and the sin which so easily besets us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us,  looking to Jesus the Author and Finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and sat down at the right of the throne of God. 

In other words, don't fight the battle as if you are alone, fight it as if an army stands beside you- because it does.

Finally, there is a song I have been trying to get on the M10 that just hasn't quite fought its way in yet, that goes as a perfect ending to this.

Saturday, May 28, 2016

The Daddy and Doggie Memorial Weekend picnic

So those of you who are FB friends know that Friday night was a catastrophe of music and liquor.  Other than my ability to type at the end, the only casualties were my last 4 inches of a bottle of Admiral Nelson, though KC's smaller bottle of Captain Morgan and my "God-knows-why-I-bought-it" bottle of peach schnapps took major damage.  So somewhere in the night I amended plan A for Saturday to Plan B- the early picnic at the river trip plan.

Scrappy raring to go


While Dad is lucky to maintain foreward motion, Scrappy still insists on sniffing every little thing...

more ZOOM!

Canal is loaded with flowers- and the pics don't really do them justice.
Wouldn't be a trip to California Road without morons unclear on the concept.  Apparently, this person needs to have "NO MOTOR VEHICLES" posted in a language other than English.  Or in cartoons, maybe.

And there's our next contestant, who evidently has a similar problem with the "NO OUTLET" sign posted before you pass the Plex.

At last, the bridge to our goal is sighted.  The backpack feels about 100 lbs by now, and it sure seems more like it's been 5 miles getting this far rather than the just-under-a-mile it actually was.

Crap!  Here they come!

"Table for two?"

A nice seat to watch the river go by...

Scrappy and a curious squirrel...

...with a big mouthful of something.

"Today's courses:  For monsieur, cheese sandwiches, chips, and cottage cheese.  For Doggie, BabyBels.  And water for both."


Dude fishing on the homeward bank

Here are the next two idiots that think they were going somewhere.  Bike belongs to fisher dude, who was concerned enough about the pickup's over-wide turn that he soon moved down the way.

Scrappy was amazingly content to just chill for a change.

Me, content with the view, watching the swallows dive the water.

Our next contestant in the "WTH am I" contest was a bit unusual.  After turning around, he parked, sat there for a minute or two.  Then got out, went to the back of his car, smoked a cigarette, and watched the river.  Finishing the smoke, he circled the car the rest of the way, got in and drove off.  So me and fisher dude would think he ALWAYS just drives down here to randomly smoke one and leave, I guess.

Light dinner music by Robin and the Redbreasts, coming to you from high atop the St. Joe au fresco restaurant.

There's a Sargasso Sea-like dead spot in the current were the creek and the river join up that rather looks like the floor of an unswept sawmill.

The Umbrella Magnolia on the tree walk has apparently been naughty, and is in time out.

These are shots from upriver- I decided to trust my somewhat rolling innards for a brief walk a little farther.  Almost not a good decision, but I digress.

Tiny island near the inlet at IPFW.

Apparently this tree, a criminal associate of the Umbrella Magnolia, is in witness protection and may not be identified.

No turtles at the swamp today, but plenty of frogs.  Like this big boy.  Took this picture as we were being passed by the second of our last two contestants, who couldn't find the clearly-marked entrance to the soccer fields if IPFW put up a big freaking neon sign.

Final totals: 2 hours, 2.5 total miles, all food consumed and trash removed, 8 dipshit lost drivers, and one pair reasonably clean underwear.