Sunday, December 24, 2006

I won't blog again until New Year's...

Or at least, I'll try not to.

So, for Christmas Day...

The twenty-fifth day of December,
In the five thousand one hundred and ninety-ninth year of the creation of the world
from the time when God in the beginning created the heavens and the earth;
the two thousand nine hundred and fifty-seventh year after the flood;
the two thousand and fifteenth year from the birth of Abraham;
the one thousand five hundred and tenth year from Moses and the going forth of the people of Israel from Egypt;
the one thousand and thirty-second year from David's being anointed king;
in the sixty-fifth week according to the prophecy of Daniel;
in the one hundred and ninety-fourth Olympiad;
the seven hundred and fifty-second year from the foundation of the city of Rome;
the forty second year of the reign of Octavian Augustus;
the whole world being at peace,
in the sixth age of the world,
Jesus Christ
the eternal God and Son of the eternal Father,
desiring to sanctify the world by his most merciful coming,
being conceived by the Holy Spirit,
and nine months having passed since his conception,
was born in Bethlehem of Judea of the Virgin Mary,
being made flesh.
The Nativity of our Lord Jesus Christ according to the flesh.
Merry Christmas!

These folks are FULL OF IT!

You Are a Cranberry and Popcorn Strung Tree
Christmas is all about showcasing your creative talents.From cookies to nicely wrapped presents, your unique creations impress everyone.

Saturday, December 23, 2006

Woohoo! or NOT

Check this Christmas-themed picture from...yep, GKC out:



Source.

Then consider this.

I'm betting 10 to 1 the draft will return before I turn 30, and 1 to 2 I will be enlisted as a result.

Then again, I *have* considered getting a commission...but I'm not sure of anything yet.

You'd never know it from looking at me, but...

I'm a Ford Mustang!

You're an American classic -- fast, strong, and bold. You're not snobby or pretentious, but you have what it takes to give anyone a run for their money.

"Take the http://www.tomorrowland.us/sportscar">Which Sports Car Are You? quiz.



From DadWithNoisyKids.

Safety Tips for Christmas

First off, don't get stuck on the Christmas Tree, like Dangler Roberts...



Or drink more than your body mass, like Rab D. Teufelhundt here did...

Or put face-paint on your face while standing on a beer bottle, like [censored by U.S. Army]...


Or try to discover the True Meaning of Christmas by shooting people, like November the Masked Rebel has done...


Or let Dom get near you with his [censored by Dad] digital camera, like the Cat in the Hat* and Balthasar here did.












Secondly, do not get too freaked (unless your son is BLOGGING when he's not supposed to).

Thirdly, try and remember that the idea is to celebrate God's birth.

Fourthly, read this from Chesterton's The Everlasting Man:

"No other birth of a god or childhood of a sage seems to us to be Christmas or anything like Christmas. It is either too cold or too frivolous, or too formal and classical, or too simple and savage, or too occult and complicated. Not one of us, whatever his opinions, would ever go to such a scene with the sense that he was going home. He might admire it because it was poetical, or because it was philosophical, or any number of other things in separation; but not because it was itself."











*The Cat in the Hat is still sober - he has high alcohol resistance.

The Worst Christmas Song I can Imagine:

"Don't You Love The Christmas Spirit You Get When You Come Home For the Holidays and Unwrap the Gifts with Grandma and the Reindeer To Remember The True Meaning of Christmas?"

A composite, as you can notice, of many different songs.

(P.S. If you read this, Grandmas D. and P., just I have nothing against you. I have something against generic grandmas scattered about the place.)

And man...

When I see my brothers looking inane, it's more than I can do to not crush their skulls with featherdusters!

So no "Don't hit your brothers" announcements, Mom and Dad. It's natural for an older brother to want to smack his juniors. Verrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrry natural. Can't stop it, buster.

(On the positive side, Mom, you don't need to post bail or hide me. I can protect myself from the cops with my featherduster.)

P.S: Pray for us not to get sick over Christmas.

The Twelve Days of...REVOLUTION!

Well, you know all about the song "The Twelve Days of Christmas" and its putative symbolism.

I, however, have discovered the REAL meaning behind the song - it's chock-full of allegories relating to the American Revolution!

In descending order...

  1. Twelve Drummers Drumming: As thirteen is considered unlucky, the writers of the song consolidated North and South Carolina to get Twelve Colonies.
  2. Eleven Pipers Piping: A reminder of eleven important cities - New York City; Philadelphia; Charleston, SC; Savannah, GA; London; Paris; Boston; Yorktown, VA; Quebec, Canada; Saratoga, NY; and Valley Forge, PA.
  3. Ten Lords a-Leaping: The Parliament (especially the House of Lords) "leaping" in frustration.
  4. Nine Ladies Dancing: A veiled reference to the party in which Francis Marion ('The Swamp Fox') broke his ankle jumping out a window.
  5. Eight Maids a-Milking: The American Revolution lasted eight years (1775 to 1783).
  6. Seven Swans a-Swimming: Since the American Navy was outmatched by the British, they had to stay in port most of the time. Their sails remained pure white instead of weathering - hence the "swans."
  7. Six Geese a-Laying: The British hired many German mercenaries, particularly Hessian light infantry, to fight the Americans. And, of course, those Germans goose-stepped.
  8. Five Golden Rings: The Americans won five important battles in the Revolution: Concord, Trenton, Saratoga, Eutaw Springs, and Yorktown.
  9. Four calling Birds: Refers to a. the messengers who summoned delegates to the Stamp Act Congress, b. the messengers who summoned them to the First Continental congress, c. Paul Revere and William Dawes, who warned of the British raid on Concord, and d. the messengers who summoned delegates to the Second Continental Congress.
  10. Three French Hens: The French Navy, who were just enough to ensure America's victory at Yorktown.
  11. Two Turtledoves: The two crucial characters in the American Revolution were Thomas Paine, whose Common Sense roused America against the British, and George Washington, whose competent generalship brought about America's victory.
  12. A Partridge in a Pear Tree: This is another tribute to Washington, idealized as perched in a Liberty Tree which bears sweet fruit.

On a serious note, remeber the soldiers who fought in the Revolution this Christmas, especially those who fought at Trenton.

And I would be remiss if I forgot (as I did this) these soldiers of this battle, particularly the 101st Airborne.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

The heck with Che shirts...

Wear this shirt!

"Viva Histor!" sounds pretty appealing, don't it?

If...

I were on a just-taken battlefield, commanding a squad of U.S. Marines...

And two of my men were writhing in pain from bullets in the guts...

And a third was fretting over how to kill a %&^^%* lobster for dinner in such a manner that it doesn't "feel lots of pain"...

I would probably bang him over the head with my pistol.

Have you ever tried...


Blue Stilton Cheese, crumbled and put into a grilled-cheese sandwich?

It tastes...worth the bother.

Though Blue Stilton Cheese is kind of hard to withstand - the "blue" aspect is off-putting.

It no doubt has a wine for it...

But I stick with water. Dad doesn't believe in letting 16 year olds get merry and jolly and all that. Hmph.

Tragic.

It is as dehumanizing as being born from an ostrich egg.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Embrace the Prayer of the Frog

What about the worship of the Wasp-God?

It goes as follows:
  1. Find somewhere with wasps - my family's compost pile, f'rinstance.
  2. Get some food scraps - eggshells, coffee grounds, orange peel, etc.
  3. Hold a bowl full of the food scraps while standing before the place with wasps.
  4. Stand on your left leg.
  5. Start spinning around on your left leg (not letting your right touch the ground) while chanting, "Oooolooolooolooo...ooolooolooolooo..."
  6. Fling the food scraps in the direction of the wasps.
  7. Run like the dickens.

My Christmas Wish List

Mostly books. If anyone wants to give me some *dons greedy grin* let me know.

The Bridge over the River Kwai (note the "over")
Fighting the War on Terror
The SAS Fighting Techniques Handbook
FN's FAL rifle

Lessons in Jigging, Waltzing, and Capering

Richard Dawkins to Stop Making Things Up (just so you know, a "multiverse" sounds like something Frank Herbert should have written about)



And...


The Republic of Texas to control every inch of this planet, so we won't have to worry about this nonsense. (Dear Mr. Gates: We are either "winning" or "losing." If not the former, then the latter.)


But we'll apply the Principle of Subsidiarity, so don't worry.
Looking back over this list, I remember that the work ethic is one of the best things about America, and...you know what that leads to. So you are under no obligation, serious or otherwise, to get me this huge mess of stuff.


By they way, check out this book recently released by Somebody:


Monday, December 18, 2006

The Adventures of Tintin Verus part 2

Tintin arrives in Chicago and almost immediately gets in a car "accident." He recovers quite easily (Tintin is good at recovering from accidents) and sets out to bust up the Inane Liturgy Syndicate.


However, Capone's best parish facilitators are on his tail...


Sunday, December 17, 2006

The Adventures of Tintin Verus

Some of you may know nothing of Tintin, so I shall explain. He is, or was, a fairly young Belgian reporter for L'osservatore Romano, with Perpetual Motion Syndrome and a knack for surviving near-death experiences. With his faithful terrier, Snowy, he reported on the sorry state of religious practice in Soviet Russia and uncovered nefarious vestment-making practices in the then-Belgian Congo.

Switch to Al Capone's Headquarters, circa 1931...



Just so you know, I think the glasses-wearing thug is named Bobby Smiles.

Scattershooting v2

"Besides things like the five golden rings obviously refer to the Olympics - duh."

THAT is why I like the Curt Jester.

One of the altar boys at our parish, Ray, is entering the Army on December 26. So we had a enchilada lunch at church on Sunday in his honor, as well as some group shots before Mass left off. For those, Father changed out of his You-know-what-color vestments and donned purple.

Next you know, he will call himself Gaius Paulus Caesar, Imperator Romanorum.

I figured out why Easter does not get the hoopla and fuss Christmas does in our culture. Christmas' theme can be transmuted to great religious principles like Generosity to People You Know Nothing About, Flying-in-the-face-of-reality Idealism about Family, Food, and Wasting Money on Baubles. (Not that there's anything wrong with such themes, but they're not too important.) Did I mention Religious Conversion a la Ebeneezer Scrooge, gargantuan turkey and all?

Easter, however, is unique. The only new thing under the sun, in fact. Nothing can be connected to the spectacle of Christ crushing death. Nothing there to give a warm fuzzy feeling, though. And warm fuzzy feelings sell stuff - which is why so many cookies and pies are sold under the name "Grandma's," in defiance of physics, common sense, and time constraints.

The unbelievable intolerance!

No figurized women on the exit sign?

Next you know, women will be banned from any job paying over $30,000 a year!

They will be relegated to breeding machines! Men's playthings!

STOP THE TYRANNY!

Saturday, December 9, 2006

The Meme who was Thursday (from Curt Jester!)

A "meme" (whatever that means) on one of my many favorite subjects - G. K. Chesterton!

1. When did you first read a Chesterton book, story, or poem, and which was it?


"The Everlasting Man" I read on a trip about two years ago. I still laugh at his ruminations and cave life, cave art, and the cave-relations of the sexes.

2. What was the most recent of GKC's writings you read?


Heretics.

3. Which is your favorite book, poem - or quote?


I will be honest. It's The Great Jelly-fish Triolet.

4. Which would you recommend to a beginner?

I would say to start with "The Defendant" or "The Innocence of Father Brown." Alternatively, read "Greybeards at Play."

5. What is the most unusual fact or quirky detail you know about G.K.
Chesterton?

Well, in his Autobiography he tells how he had to turn down an American firm's offer to photograph him with "The Twenty-Four Bathing Beauties." Chesterton compared this hypothetical scene to Levithan with the Nereids. What a Nereid is you will have to figure out.

REPORT FROM THE FIELD

Last night, the 8th of December, Year of Our Lord 2006, at about 2230 to 2330 Central Standard Time, two small squads of Green Army Regulars and White Guard (of the Tan Army of Ovilla) clashed in Island City, Kitchen County, Region of the House.

The Green squad, entered the city from the south and headed up Stuffing Street to 1st Ricekrispies Parkway. While crossing to 2nd Ricekrispies Parkway, they were fired upon by four White Guards, who had been heading south on Reynold’s Road. A Green sniper* was gunned down, but Green soldiers killed two Guards in return. Pursued by the Greens, the Guards retreated northwards.



Guards open fire on Green Army of Mtown (GAM) Regulars.

Two Green soldiers headed up 2nd Ricekrispies and killed a Guard crossing the intersection between Reynold’s and Ricekrispies. They then reached the intersection and fired at the two remaining Guards. One soldier was slain, but both remaining Guards fell to the Greens’ assault rifles.

The Green forces rapidly secured the city, claiming as booty a bottle of American beer. The capture of the beer seemed to hearten the Green soldiers, who have seen little action recently. “We don’t produce a lot of beer in Mtown.” a Green soldier said. “How can you be a soldier without beer?”

No civilians were reported killed during the firefight; however, the correspondent counted at least a dozen windows broken by gunfire.

A number of Blue Army aircraft – including a former USAF F-117 – flew over Island City during the battle. Why they were there is not certain – they supported neither ground force, although they may have been equipped with reconnaissance cameras.

Island City, noted for its Zipperbag and Icedtea Towers and its widely praised Tex-Mex cusine, is of great strategic importance in the war for Mtown, as it controls the kitchen, and aircraft based there can easily reach any area of the house and backyard.

The generals of Mtown, Otown, and Dallas could not be reached for comment.

Histor the Wise and Lt. Rab Staker, USAF, contributed to this article. Parkland Hospital of Dallas loaned the helicopter from which news photographs were taken.

Photos will have to wait - blogger beta is showing that computers are really allied with Beelzebub.






*Names will not be used in this report, in order to protect the soldiers and their relatives.

Happy Catholic...

Is exactly right!

Re Mr. Benny's jet:

Didn't someone or other say "Foxes have dens, and the birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay his head?"

and

"Blessed are you when men [at the airport security check] persecute you and revile you for My sake..."

Friday, December 8, 2006

Hey, I almost forgot:

Today is the feast of the Immaculate Conception (which is Mary's CONCEPTION WITHOUT ORIGINAL SIN, need we explain it again?)

The Zero Wing Rhapsody


One of my favorite films.

What happened on Dec. 7 and more

Apologies for not posting this earlier, but a) I got home late yesterday and b) I'm not going to miss posting about December 7th.

First, we passed a gas station returning from Vigil Mass. It was not required to have a flag, and I doubt that anyone outside of a war zone needs a flag large enough to hide a OH-6 under. But the flag was at half-mast - a good thing.



Second, we went to Vigil Mass. Holmes-like wits will have deduced that by now. During there our pastor said that the Virgin Mary "hates" Satan.

The reason given being that she is dedicated to "crushing his head." Now, that you can do without any hatred in your heart - assuming, of course, that you are the Virgin Mary and avoid the temptation to wishing your enemy to suffer evil.

Furthermore, Wanting Satan to suffer evil (the definition of hatred) is like wanting Ronald Reagan killed - bad for the soul and unspeakably inane. For Satan already suffers infinite evil - being a creature created for eternal union with God, he has rejected it, and can't get worse.

Wanting to thwart evil plans is not hatred - it is love of God.



Third, on Dec. 7, 1941, a force of Japanese fighters and bombers attacked the U.S. Navy base at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. As a result, many men died, most of them unprepared for death or anything. Orate pro eis.

Today 65 years ago, we declared war against Germany, Italy and Japan, having already engaged in violence against the first nation - we had searched for the German battleship Bismarck, for example, and took Greenland from then-occupied Denmark - and suffered violence from the last. The Italians have not exactly been a great power since 410.



Now, for a different subject. The Indians seem to have lapsed into the sinful ways of their fathers, unfettered by the wicked English Crown & East India Company. Of course, a healthy dose of Western nihilism, materialism, and plain old selfishness is in it as well.

Time for some old-fashioned evangelization!



Another note:


Here is what a pre-modern, unenlightened, religious, bigoted culture produces as art.


In contrast, the Body Worlds show here in enlightened postmodern scientifically tolerant Dallas has corpses posed in rather unusual positions.

Well, at least Sgt. LeJeaune from Beau Geste has some company, as do the Three Musketeers - all of whom made avant-garde artworks featuring armed corpses.

Wednesday, December 6, 2006

Tuesday, December 5, 2006

CHEESE!

Well, it started with recalling a favorite song of my dad's:

We shall all eat cheeeeeeeese
We shall all eat cheeeeeeeese
We shall all eat cheese
Some-
Daaaa-aa-aaaay!
Ohhh-oh
Deeeeeep in my
Hearrrrrrrrt
Iiiiiiiiii do beeelieve
We shall all eat cheese
Some
Day!

And then I Googled the phrase. And found this. I went hysterical.

Now it's time for some...no,wait for it...GKC!

Cheese

By G.K. Chesterton

(from Alarms and Discursions, from the Project Gutenberg eText)

My forthcoming work in five volumes, "The Neglect of Cheese inEuropean Literature" is a work of such unprecedented and laborious detail that it is doubtful if I shall live to finish it. Some overflowings from such a fountain of information may thereforebe permitted to springle these pages. I cannot yet wholly explain the neglect to which I refer.

Poets have been mysteriously silent on the subject of cheese. Virgil, if I remember right,refers to it several times, but with too much Roman restraint. He does not let himself go on cheese. The only other poet Ican think of just now who seems to have had some sensibility on the point was the nameless author of the nursery rhyme which says:"If all the trees were bread and cheese"--which is, indeed a rich and gigantic vision of the higher gluttony. If all the trees were bread and cheese there would be considerable deforestation in any partof England where I was living. Wild and wide woodlands would reel and fade before me as rapidly as they ran after Orpheus. Except Virgil and this anonymous rhymer, I can recall no verse about cheese.

Yet it has every quality which we require in exalted poetry.It is a short, strong word; it rhymes to "breeze" and "seas"(an essential point); that it is emphatic in sound is admitted even by the civilization of the modern cities. For their citizens,with no apparent intention except emphasis, will often say, "Cheese it!"or even "Quite the cheese." The substance itself is imaginative. It is ancient--sometimes in the individual case, always in the type and custom. It is simple, being directly derived from milk, which is oneof the ancestral drinks, not lightly to be corrupted with soda-water.

You know, I hope (though I myself have only just thought of it), that the four rivers of Eden were milk, water, wine, and ale. Aerated waters only appeared after the Fall.

But cheese has another quality, which is also the very soul of song.Once in endeavouring to lecture in several places at once, I made an eccentric journey across England, a journey of so irregular and even illogical shape that it necessitated my having lunch on four successive days in four roadside inns in four different counties.In each inn they had nothing but bread and cheese; nor can I imagine why a man should want more than bread and cheese,if he can get enough of it. In each inn the cheese was good; and in each inn it was different. There was a noble Wensleydale cheese in Yorkshire, a Cheshire cheese in Cheshire, and so on.

Now, it is just here that true poetic civilization differs from that paltry and mechanical civilization which holds us all in bondage. Bad customs are universal and rigid, like modern militarism.Good customs are universal and varied, like native chivalry and self-defence. Both the good and bad civilization cover us as with a canopy, and protect us from all that is outside.But a good civilization spreads over us freely like a tree,varying and yielding because it is alive. A bad civilization stands up and sticks out above us like an umbrella--artificial, mathematical in shape; not merely universal, but uniform.

So it is with the contrast between the substances that vary and the substances that are the same wherever they penetrate.By a wise doom of heaven men were commanded to eat cheese, but not the same cheese. Being really universal it varies from valley to valley.But if, let us say, we compare cheese with soap (that vastly inferior substance), we shall see that soap tends more and moreto be merely Smith's Soap or Brown's Soap, sent automatically all over the world. If the Red Indians have soap it is Smith's Soap. If the Grand Lama has soap it is Brown's soap. There is nothing subtlyand strangely Buddhist, nothing tenderly Tibetan, about his soap. I fancy the Grand Lama does not eat cheese (he is not worthy), but if he does it is probably a local cheese, having some real relation to his life and outlook. Safety matches, tinned foods, patent medicines are sent all over the world; but they are not produced all over the world. Therefore there is in them a mere dead identity, never that soft play of slight variation which exists in things produced everywhere out of the soil, in the milk of the kine,or the fruits of the orchard. You can get a whisky and soda at every outpost of the Empire: that is why so many Empire-builders go mad. But you are not tasting or touching any environment,as in the cider of Devonshire or the grapes of the Rhine. You are not approaching Nature in one of her myriad tints of mood, as in the holy act of eating cheese.

When I had done my pilgrimage in the four wayside public-houses I reached one of the great northern cities, and there I proceeded, with great rapidity and complete inconsistency, to a large and elaborate restaurant, where I knew I could get many other things besides bread and cheese. I could get that also, however; or at least I expected to get it; but I was sharply reminded that I had entered Babylon, and left England behind.

The waiter brought me cheese, indeed, but cheese cut up into contemptibly small pieces; and it is the awful fact that, instead of Christian bread, he brought me biscuits.

Biscuits--to one who had eaten the cheese of four great countrysides! Biscuits--to one who had proved anew for himself the sanctity of the ancient wedding between cheese and bread! I addressed the waiter in warm and moving terms. I asked him who he was that he should put asunder those whom Humanity had joined.

I asked him if he did not feel, as an artist, that a solid but yielding substance like cheese went naturally with a solid, yielding substance like bread; to eat it off biscuits is like eating it off slates.I asked him if, when he said his prayers, he was so supercilious as to pray for his daily biscuits. He gave me generally to understand that he was only obeying a custom of Modern Society.I have therefore resolved to raise my voice, not against the waiter,but against Modern Society, for this huge and unparalleled modern wrong.

********

On the point of biscuits (aka crackers) and cheese, Chesterton was a bigot. He is nuts. But I think there should be a Dallas Cheese. I am sick of the British and the Italians and the Germans tyrannizing cheese! Blast Cheddar! Curses upon Munster! To hell with Mozarella and Gouda! I raise the sacred standard of Dallas Cheese!

Once there is a Dallas cheese to raise the sacred standard for, of course...

Things I like about Advent Season #1

"Santa Baby" by...Marilyn Monroe? Oh well, still like it.

Buh-bum.. buh-bum...
Santa baby, just slip a sable under the tree, for me
Been an awful good girl
Santa baby so hurry down the chimney tonight

Santa baby, a '54 convertible too, light blue,
I'll wait up for you dear
Santa baby, so hurry down the chimney tonight

Think of all the fun I've missed,
Think of all the fellows that I haven't kissed
Next year I could be just as good
If you check off my christmas list

Santa baby, I want a yacht and really thats not a lot
Been an angel all year
Santa baby, so hurry down the chimney tonight

Santa honey, one little thing I really need, the deed
To a platinum mine,
Santa baby, so hurry down the chimney tonight

Santa cutie, and fill my stocking with a duplex and cheques,
Sign your x on the line
Santa cutie, and hurry down the chimney tonight

Come and trim my chirstmas tree,
With some decorations bought at Tiffany's
I really do believe in you,
Let's see if you believe in me

Santa baby, forgot to mention one little thing, a ring,
I don't mean on the phone,
Santa baby, so hurry down the chimney tonight

Hurry down the chimney tonight
Hurry, tonight.


First, the song is sung extremely badly, by a woman with a extremely annoying voice. (You can even smell the cigarette smoke when you hear it on the radio.) Plenty of hip-hop artistas sing worse, but Monroe at least pronounces the words properly.

Second, the song has the proper attitude towards Santa.

Let me explain.

There is a danger of getting contemptuous of "materialist" requests; of thinking that asking God for money, a new car, or cookies is a form of greed. Of course, this is nonsense. Christ says, "ask, and you will receive," with the sole caveat of "if it doesn't imperil your soul." Even more so with Santa. After all, Santa only exists as a vehicle for shifting stuff to other people.

Therefore, Marilyn Monroe is dead right when she begs Santa for a platinum mine.

{Hey, St. Nicholas, if you're reading my blog: Any chance you could nab me a Russian oil well? 11th grade is such a bore.}

Third? Well, it just sounds funny.

Sunday, December 3, 2006

DEATHS AMONG CATTLE ARE DOWN

Or so I have experienced. The Youth Group I am in had a Broadway night at our house on Saturday, in which various skits from Broadway plays were performed. I featured as the King of Siam in an altercation with Anna (played by my sister). There were several other skits, then chitchat. Some fine piano was played, too.

Then everyone left and I was depressed.

From the "Watch what you say" folder:

I have a SAT prep CD, which disappeared some time ago. When I told mom it was lost, she said, "YOU BETTER FIND IT QUICK, THEN!" Seconds later, I checked under the table in my room - and there it was.

From the "Is this wierd or what?"

Check this link out - if you want to wonder "so, how do you pierce a thigh with a stiletto, anyhow?"

***Mental Break***

Time to get coherent. Much has changed since Saturday, when I started this post. Advent. Change from "testing" mode to "standard study" mode in homeschool. Discovering that homeschoolers can dramatize their Spanish vocabulary if they want, or study Latin in the driveway. Suddenly growing a hankering for a "Fiddler on the Roof" CD. (How odd that St. Nicholas' day is almost here...) Discovering that visiting 100 websites in a day is very, very, bad for your school, and adjusting accordingly. And all that kind of guff.

Now for some pontification.

I figured out why we hate skunks. They resemble mankind too closely. "Smelly, bad company, and oddly colored" would be a good description of the human race.

It would seem that democracy means government of the people for the rich by the donors. Or maybe I'm just cynical.

For Advent this year, I am going to read a Douay-Rheims Bible and agonize over the nonstandard names. Here are some samples:

Elias
Paralipemon
Esdras
Jepthe

And worst of all...

Noe?

NOOOOOOE!{1}

Nah. Just drop sweets.

Well, time for dinner. GBYASYA!









{1} "Aedam,"Eave," "Jaisus," and "Mariey" were considered when the Jesuits at Douay, Belgium translated it in the 1500's, but space required that they delete the extra letters.

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Scattershooting

We got snow today! Yep, East Texas gets that cold!





The EoD launched 3 cruise missiles into the nation of L. L's declaration of war is likely, but no less than 10 (of 30) GAAF aircraft were destroyed. The GAAF has a piddling 19 planes now - mostly F14's and F105's.



Time for a ground offensive from the GAAF, perchance?

While the Pope is in Turkey, let us consider dialogue:

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Al Quaeda to Pope - Crusader!

Gee, who has the guns in this "crusader campaign?"

Maybe the Swiss Guard will stage a coup d'etat, or Opus Dei will send out a hitman, or Benedict will sic the ghost of Torquemada on the president of Turkey, or...

Um...

Reminds me of something. When our Lord was captured, he said he could call out a legion of angels. But he refused.

You think Muhammad would have turned a legions of angels down like that? Hey, I would have, if only to check out what weapons angels use{1}...







{1} J.R.R. Tolkien claims they fought with songs. When will they do something about that man?

All ye lovers of gore and explosions...

The War has kicked back into gear! The GAAF (Green Army Air Force) flew 2 missions early this morning, and O-Town is considering an investment in Surface-to-Air Missiles.

Quick summary: 2 GAAF F16's against 2 TAF (Tan Air Force, Tan being color of O-Town) J35's. 2 J35's shot down; 1 F16 shot down. Rumor that shot-down pilot was listening to Billy Idol and thus distracted.

4 GAAF F105's against a radar/AAA emplacement next to the piano. Both targets destroyed; no casualties.

The TAF promises to make the GAAF sorry they dared. More later.

(Can't understand this? Read this link.)

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Newfound Link!

To The Man in Black's website, no less!

Another Chesterquote!

I finished "The Flying Inn" and started on "Manalive." "The Flying Inn" contains the famous Song of Quoodle ("For they haven't any noses/ the fallen sons of Eve") among other funny poems.

This, however, is from Manalive:

"He undoubtedly had brains; and perhaps it was not his fault if they were the kind of brains that most men desire to analyze with a poker."

(Referring to a Dr. Warner, who wrote about the "probable existence of pain in the lower animals." Tsk, tsk.)

Monday, November 27, 2006

The Bible is a strange book

Case in point, folks - Nehemiah 3:14.

"Malchijah the son of Rechab, ruler of the district of Bethhaccherem, repaired the Dung Gate; he rebuilt it and set its doors, its bolts, and its bars."

Methinks the OSHA should investigate whether Malchijah took proper precautions for his workmen.

(Before you congratulate me: I read Nehemiah for Religion class.)

Sunday, November 26, 2006

The wages of sin is death,

Whereas the wages of gluttony is stomachache.

I am currently reading the book "The Flying Inn," by G.K. Chesterton. It's about two men who roam England with a barrel of rum and a sign from an inn, avoiding the enforcement of a British Prohibition (enforced, oddly enough, by champagne-sipping noblemen). Good so far.

This is the point when prudence is expected to overrule desire. 10:43, Sunday night, means "Go to Bed."

God bless.

Beauty is a reflection of God...

As anyone whose church looks more like a barracks knows. This is nice:


but I have an objection. Doesn't that look a bit like a shooting gallery - "Shoot the Apostle," I suppose?

THAT'S THE LAST THING I'M ABOUT TO DO, YA HEAR?

I actually like reading "The Prince"

Here's an article about him.

Machiavelli didn't just lower the moral standards; he abolished them. More than a pragmatist, he was an anti-moralist. The only relevance he saw morality having to success was to stand in its way.

Exactly.

Somehow it sounds familiar.

Read this thing of Roman Sacristan's

The capitalist system was made for man, not man for the capitalist system.

Check out this old gem!

From the same folks that published the great prayer, "The Peanut Butter Cracker Blessing!"

A prayer that sprang from the fertile mind of yours truly, no less!

The Pope is going to Turkey, as you know...



But instead of doing this, I recommend he ride in:




THIS!


But it is a little, er, violent. Scratch that.


This was considered, but dismissed:


The Pope's response (according to CNN): "Ah...we're going to Turkey, not to Alpha Centauri, your Eminence..."

Priestcraft

The crowd waited silently, staring upwards towards the temple. In its entranceway a woman, wearing a flowing white robe and a hair net, mounted a three-legged stand. As they looked up, they saw her silhouetted against the dark-blue sky like a female Titan. She cried,

"I WILL MAKE YOU HAPPY!"

An awestruck cry came from every lip. "Surely," they thought, "Surely there is no god like Scientia!"

A Puzzlement

When I was a boy
World was better spot
What was so was so
What was not was not

Now I am a man
World have changed a lot
Some things nearly so!
Others nearly not!

There are times I almost think
I am not sure of what I absolutely know
Very often find confusion
In conclusion I concluded long ago

In my head are many facts
That, as a student, I have studied to procure,
In my head are many facts.
Of which I wish I was more certain
I
Was
Sure!

Is a puzzlement!

Shall I join with other nations in alliance?
If allies are weak, am I not best alone?
If allies are strong with power to protect me,
Might they not protect me out of all I own?

Is a danger to be trusting one another
One will seldom want to do what other wishes
But unless someday somebody trust somebody -
There'll be nothing left on earth -
Excepting fishes!

There are times I almost think
Nobody sure of what he absolutely know!
Everybody find confusion
In conclusion he concluded long ago!
And it puzzle me to learn
That tho' a man may be in doubt of what he know,
Very quickly he will fight -
He'll fight -
to prove that what he
Does
Not
Know
Is
So!

Oh-h-h-h-h-h!
Sometimes I think that people going mad!
Ah-h-h-h-h-h!
Sometimes I think that people not so bad!

But not matter what I think
I must go on living life.
As leader of my kingdom I must go forth,

Be father to my children
and husband to each wife
Etcetera, etcetera, and so forth...

If my Lord in Heaven, Buddha, show the way
Every day I try to live another day!
If my Lord in Heaven, Buddha, show the way
Every day I do my best for one more day!
BUT!
IS!
A PUZZLEMENT!

(As rendered by Yul Brynner in the film version of "The King and I.")

Saturday, November 25, 2006

So, there I was in Costco...

pushing a pallet to get some Gatorade, and suddenly this employee asks me to drop my cellphone.



I have no cellphone.



I am, as those who know me are aware, quite slow on the uptake. So I stopped and tried to figure out what he meant.

"Drop your phone!" the gentleman said again, "Isn't that your phone?"

(In fairness, he was trying to get me to take a free cell phone. I don't know the hows and whys, but it must be said that he was working, not indulging in a weird monomania.)

Now, my pocketknife has a clip to keep it hanging onto the top of my pocket. With typical obtuseness, I gestured to it and explained that it wasn't really a phone, it was...

"No, I mean that!" as he pointed to a pouch on my hip - containing a Leatherman and an high-power flashlight.

I showed it to him, explained that "my dad wouldn't let me have a phone anyways," and, thanking him, moved off.

When you can't whoop "Is a PUZZLEMENT!" at the top of your voice, you laugh. Or so a wise man told me. So I did.

Scariness

Today, my dad, some brothers, and I were at Target looking for a gift for another brother who just had his birthday. While browsing the toy aisle, Dad and I came across a car/toy set. The car was just a Matchbox car; the toy was a small plastic monster - a dinosaur skeleton, a big-clawed Yeti, etc.

Dad said "I don't see the point of playing with that."

After a good deal of rumination and pecan pie, I found the point.

Since children are too young to be sophists, they believe in a world of Good and Evil. The Good people, moreover, should oppose and fight the Bad people. That is well and good.

But they naturally assume the Good People are perfectly good, and the Bad People are perfectly bad. If this belief lasts beyond age 5, trouble ensues.

So, they make the Bad People look evil. Very, very evil. Claws, wicked glares, maevolent smiles, big teeth - the whole works. Point of fact, they don't let them be people - they make them monsters of one sort or another.

Thus, Satan's minions don't get confused with Mr. Jackson, who lives down the street.

Very necessary thing, that.

Friday, November 24, 2006

I hit a joint called Brazos de Dios today

Courtesy of the Center for Essential Education. Lessons learned from the trip:

  1. Division of Labor is not really a bad idea. I would rather do a lot of political analyzing and sell it for pottery, barley, and rope than make the pottery, barley, and rope myself. Thanks, Adam Smith.
  2. When somebody has a Scots Calvinist in his family tree, he doesn't forget it very quickly.
  3. Bluegrass music is the best.
  4. American Protestants have better religious songs than American Catholics. Gregorian chant is not American - it came from Europe.
  5. Gospel music tends to jibe well with Catholic teaching.
  6. All the same, "Amazing Grace" is still the only worthwhile Gospel song.
  7. Some people find the difference between Chocolate and Carob important.
  8. Apple cider is better than soda.
  9. Sorghum is not really for human consumption.
  10. Women are the prime beneficiaries of the Industrial Revolution. Weaving, for instance, used to take two women (somehow, never men) operating a large intricate device, weaving 1 inch of fabric every 5 minutes or so. Nowadays, machines weave hundreds of times faster.
  11. When the Bible says Goliath had a spear like a weaver's shuttle, it means it was BIG.
  12. Protestants, unlike me, use "I feel" when they mean "I decided that the best way to serve God was..."

More later - my sister is pushing me off - PUT DOWN THAT CATTLE PROD, YOUNG LADY!

Though these people sound rather like "Crunchy Cons" in my opinion.

Historians know...

What weird situations some men are in when they make world-shaking decisions.

For instance, this bit from Diogenes. Makes you wonder what they do at the Vatican the rest of the year.

On the Third Secret:

OF COURSE the Pope and Sr. Lucia can't be telling the truth!

OF COURSE it isn't what THEY say it is!

By the way...

I like the comments. No dates, no sources, just claims.

Reminds me of the folks that claim stuff about the Kennedy assassination.

PS. My theory is that the assassination was the creation of a Communist activist named Lee Harvey Oswald. Don't tell anyone.

Democracy in Action!...

Muslim-style.

"The Catholic relief organization Caritas has been forced to close its office in Mosul, Iraq, because of an intimidation campaign accompanied by demands for support of a local Muslim group, the AsiaNews service reports."

I'm glad it isn't Saddam who did that.

GOD IS COMING TO AMERICA!

I was under the impression that HE is omnipresent. Oh well.

The Muse speaks to me...

but urges me to quote Chesterton.

I wish I was a Jelly Fish
That cannot fall down-stairs
Of all the things I wish to wish
I wish I was a Jelly Fish
That hasn't any cares
And doesn't even have to wish
"I wish I was a Jelly Fish
That cannot fall down-stairs!"
Some more Chesterton, apropos to my posting this at midnight, November 24:
"Misers get up early in the morning, and burglars the night before."
Sleep off that turkey!
(PS: Any British readers celebrate Hooray-The-Puritans-Are-Gone-Day? Chesterton recommended that it become a holiday.)

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Warfare!

When I began this blog, I alluded to the existence of a war for my house. I shall now explain briefly.

The Republic of O-Town and the Empire of Dallas have taken our house from the Dominion of M-Town. The Nation of "L" supports the Green Army of M-Town's attempt to retake it, and fails to notice when attack aircraft and fighters take off from abandoned airfields and destroy Dallas and O-Town emplacements.

One such attack aircraft is below:

The F-105, or "Thud," has shown itself to be quite effective - it shot down 3 EoD aircraft, and destroyed an AAA position and 3 radar positions.

It hasn't flown for a week or two because of the Thanksgiving ceasefire, but it will be back!

Histor, Your Friendly Frontline Correspondent

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Well, whattaya know?

The Curt Jester proves that the Papal States still exist!

Well, yes, the iota matters!

As you may no, the Arian controversy of the 4th century eventually came down to the question of whether Christ was "of like substance" or "consubstantial" (one in substance). The Greek words for each were only differentiated by a letter i, or iota, hence "not an IOTA of difference."

However, had Christ been just "of like substance," then something less than infinitely perfect would have been offered on Calvary. This would mean that Calvary wasn't really sufficient, and you can guess what would come after that! Thus, what words you use to describe permanent truths are important.

Keep this in mind as you read this.

POPE DECLARES "CARELESS DRIVING" INTRINSICALLY EVIL!

What shameless religious imperialism! Won't he make allowances for alternative wisdom traditions that permit carelessness behind the wheel?

HUH?

Here is a quote from the Pope:

"I tirelessly ask motorists to respect the traffic regulations, and always to pay attention to others."

:-)

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Dadwithnoisy kids checked his accent here

He has an Inland-North accent.

I tried it and

What American accent do you have?
Your Result: The Midland

"You have a Midland accent" is just another way of saying "you don't have an accent." You probably are from the Midland (Pennsylvania, southern Ohio, southern Indiana, southern Illinois, and Missouri) but then for all we know you could be from Florida or Charleston or one of those big southern cities like Atlanta or Dallas. You have a good voice for TV and radio.

The Inland North
The South
The Northeast
Philadelphia
The West
Boston
North Central
What American accent do you have?
Take More Quizzes



Yesss, my preciouss, they hasn't caught on to us, no precious! We are ssafe!

Saturday, November 18, 2006

In Defense of this Blog

During the 1920's, someone commented that anyone who wasn't a messiah could see that America was overrun with messiahs. Nowadays, anyone who isn't a blogger can see that America is overrun with bloggers.

So why me?

Well, I have the advantage of being eldest in a large family, a "Russian War Machine" of families, in fact. (Explanatory note: Anytime a war broke out, the Russian army would take several weeks to do anything about it. My family is like that when it's time to leave the house.) This has given me a broad, well-informed outlook on life. Secondly, I have opinions about everything. There are plenty of subjects between "the Pope" and "toy soldiers fighting for Histor's house" worth looking into. Finally, people who talk with me tell me "You should have a blog, so I could get some peace every now and then instead of listening to your ramblings about whatever strikes your fancy!"

I rest my case.

Well, a little about what I am interested in, so you can guess what I'll say next. Firstly, Catholicism - its doctrine, worship, culture, and weird anomalies. Secondly, history. Anything that happened more than one week ago is in this category. Thirdly, warfare of all sorts, times, and intents. Fourthly, reading - accent on theology, philosophy, politics, and G.K. Chesterton. Thus, I'll have a wide scope of topics, and so will you.

"But," you ask, "why do you have such a silly title? Why not a proper Latin title, like "Gravitas et Bathos," or an English title, like "Histor is the best thing in the world?"

Well, criticism of my Latin is fine - "Puzzlement" doesn't have a Latin equivalent. However, like the King of Siam in The King and I, I find that life is a puzzlement, and "Is a puzzlement" was too unoriginal. Translated into Latin, it's what it is.

I end with a quote from the aforementioned play (modified due to my religious imperialism):

If milord in heaven, Jesus, show the way
Every day I try to live another day!
If milord in heaven, Jesus, show the way
Every day I do my best for one more day -
But!
Is!
A Puzzlement!

Exit King and Orchestra.

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