Friday, August 31, 2007

Mindy's turn, moon view, and another dream

The Princess of Everything (and then some) has requested an interview. So here we go:
  • Why has pantie-palooza become so important to you?

  • Sometimes a sensory perception will set off a nostalgic moment. When is the last time that happened to you?

  • You have many blog buddies. If you had a party where you could meet them all face-to-face, where would it be held?

  • In your experience, where has the church most succeeded?

  • Did you do arts and crafts as a little girl or did you start that later?

  • Just in case you do not remember the rules, here they are:
    1. If you are interested in being interviewed, leave me a comment saying “Interview me.”
    2. I will respond by posting five questions for you. I get to pick the questions.
    3. You will update your blog with a post containing your answers to the questions.
    4. You will include this explanation and an offer to interview someone else in the same post.
    5. When others comment asking to be interviewed, you will ask them five questions.

    This is the best shot that I could get of the lunar eclipse the other night. I tried holding one binocular eyepiece (what would you call it? a leg? an "ocular"?) up to the camera lens, but of course it was impossible to hold it steady enough for a good photo. So I hope you have seen better snaps than this, because they certainly exist.

    Last night I had a dream in which I came up with a word game. Here is how it went. The game creator writes a series of sentences with a blank space for one word in each of the sentences. The word that should fill the blank can be deduced by rearranging the letters in another word in that same sentence while either adding or subtracting a letter. Here's an example (from the dream):
    The first pig to the trough ______ to be the fattest. (ought) [R]
    The person playing the game would have to figure out the missing words and write the extra letter in a box at the end of the sentence. Then the player would try to rearrange the extra letters into a word that completes the last sentence. What do you think?

    Sunday, August 26, 2007

    And now more interview questions

    Cat and I had a great time at the concert (Three Redneck Tenors) on Friday. It turns out that one of them is married to a lady who went to school in Big Flat City. The guys gave us a show that included some impromptu clowning around and a couple more encores than one might have expected. As a bonus, the couple that sat next to us included a woman whom Cat and I had known in our college days. She had lived in Georgia until recently.

    When we exited the theater, a thunderstorm was just beginning to get worked up. We got pretty spattered on the way to the car. (Yes, I offered to go get the car and bring it around, but Cat insisted on going with me. "It's only water.") Well, it was pouring down by the time we got to the car. Fortunately, we already had a hotel room there in town to which to return. And we spent most of the next day shopping in stores more diverse than those in Fake Cow Town. Little did we know that our fair town was hit overnight by lightning and windstorms that wreaked havoc. Tree branches were scattered all over the place when we returned home. That's what it is like to live in West Texas.

    Enough delay--let's get on with the interview questions. These are for Patti and Christopher.

    Was there a "precipitating event" that sparked your desire to conserve and re-use?

    If you could exchange one aspect of living in NY state with something characteristic of another state, what would you choose and why?

    Was meeting Songbird face-to-face pretty much what you expected or were there surprises?

    Out of all the American presidents past and current, with which one would you most like to sit down for conversation?

    What do you think is the oddest item that you have saved although it no longer has a use?

    How did you get from being an associate of San Antonio Baptist pastor Buckner Fannin to pastoring a UCC church in Indiana? Just the short version, please. (BTW, Cat and I belonged to Buckner's church for about 10 months in 1977-78.)

    What prompted you to try your hand at writing poetry?

    Is there a style of hair (facial or cranial) or of clothing you have wanted to try out, but didn't quite have the nerve?

    What do you remember about a teacher during your elementary school days who most influenced your view of life at the time?

    What experiences have you had with Iranians?

    I look forward to your responses, really I do.

    Friday, August 24, 2007

    The Interviews

    What I am supposed to be doing right now is getting ready for an overnight trip to Big Flat City. Cat and I are going to a show featuring the Three Redneck Tenors (did you see them on TV trying out for that reality show?) and we decided to have a nice dinner first and spend the night in a hotel afterwards. But it doesn't take me long to pack, and besides I promised Rachel and Phyllis I would post their interview questions by today. So here goes:

    1. Let's say that you have 24 hours to absolutely do whatever you want: family and friends, co-workers and telephone solicitors have all agreed to leave you alone for the day. What are some of the activities you would do?

    2. Sometimes after leaving a movie you are still "in the movie" for a while. What is the most memorable such instance?

    3. Your blog persona of SpookyRach gleefully incorporates dark and weird elements. To what extent do you think this is a reaction to being a pastor's daughter?

    4. When do you think that you felt most failed by the church?

    5. Besides the physical exercise, what have been some of the benefits of riding your bike to and from work?

    1. You are proud of being a redhead, but if you had to change your hair color for a week, what would you choose and why?

    2. If there is one habit of your local church that you could change, what is it and how would you change it?

    3. Have you always been artistic or did this develop gradually?

    4. What spiritual discipline do you find most difficult to practice consistently? Why do you think this is so?

    5. What do you remember about the first time you realized that there was a bigger world than West Texas?

    Patti and Christopher, I am working on your questions. No lifelines and no German (OK, eine kleine deutsche).

    Sunday, August 19, 2007

    Long time no post

    Wow, has it been ten days since the last post? Thanks for not bailing on me.* I cut out the article about SWBTS and put it on my office door. There have been a few comments, most sardonic.

    Remember the neighbor across the street? The one that got me to thinking about hosting a neighborhood barbecue just to look for an opportunity to witness? Well, the other evening, he brought over a sack of veggies (his wife has a garden that is starting to overproduce) and we got to talking. Turns out that both he and his wife were raised going to church. He claimed to love the Lord and agreed that he should be going to church again. But he is working about 80-90 hours a week, so that leaves little time for anything else. He said that the barbecue was a good idea--maybe in October. Well, it would be cooler then and maybe most of the mosquitoes would have departed.

    Over on Paul's site But a Poor Reflection, he has posted interview questions for me (and several other folks). Here are the questions with responses.
    1. Why do you call yourself ‘Little’ David? Are you really a small guy or just very humble? Well, I am relatively short: 5'7" and shrinking as I age! My parents named me after Israel's second king, the one who evidently went up against a giant. Turns out he was short too. It would be disingenuous of me to claim that I am humble.
    2. What is the biggest challenge for the church today and what can individual Christians do about that? And now for an easy question, eh, Paul? Churches in this century have a huge variety of contexts, particularly when compared to the first-century church. In some ways, the (biblical) advice given to them just does not connect today. But in a meaningful way, what the gospel writers have relayed to us about Jesus' words and actions, as well as St. Paul's advice to the beleaguered church, still speak to us now. The age-old challenge that I observe in churches I have called home is that of dying to self. We (and I am really a part of this crowd) still want God to sanctify us according to our ideas rather than submitting to what God has in mind for us. We want to be served rather than to serve. We want to be fed rather than to feed. In short, we continue to be babies. The most that an individual Christian can do about that is to constantly submit oneself to the Lordship of Christ: hear the Word, obey the Word.
    3. You visited all the continents, except South America. What’s wrong with South America? ;-) And: if you had to move to South America, please tell us the preferred country and explain your choice. Nothing personal, really. I would have to polish up my Spanish or learn Portuguese in order to fully appreciate the experience. Curiously enough, since participating in an online conference several months ago, I have started a correspondence with a fellow from Guyana who is studying in England. I used Google Earth to locate his hometown in Guyana and to look at photos of the area. The photos revealed poverty and natural beauty, not unlike most parts of Africa. I think that I would like to visit this student. Who knows? Maybe I COULD live there.
    4. The North Pole is melting. Do you care about this and do you think Canada, Denmark or Russia are entitled to claim the melted ice / the part of the globe where the ice used to be? Yes, I do care about global climate change and the consequent melting of the poles. I am ashamed of the inadequate response my country has made to this issue. As far as the northern countries claiming more land, though I have not pondered this before, my initial reaction is, sure, go ahead. If you can do something useful with it before the next ice age, be my guest.
    5. You have rescued a highly talented artist out of a life-threatening situation. As a reward he offers to make something for you – for free! Please dream with me – what kind of artist would you like this to be and what would you like him / her to make for you? Hmm. Seeing as I have several artists in my family who have already produced some wonderful watercolors, oil paintings, pastels, and sculptures, I think that I would ask for music. Truly great music transcends the ages and touches the subconscious over and over. Purely instrumental would be fine and if there were lyrics, they could be in another language, I wouldn't mind (OK, well, I am not all that wild about German).

    Those are my answers and here are the rules I agreed to:
    1. If you are interested in being interviewed, leave me a comment saying “Interview me.”
    2. I will respond by posting five questions for you. I get to pick the questions.
    3. You will update your blog with a post containing your answers to the questions.
    4. You will include this explanation and an offer to interview someone else in the same post.
    5. When others comment asking to be interviewed, you will ask them five questions.

    *Note to Carolanne and Paul--"bailing" = "bailing out, leaving unceremoniously"

    Friday, August 10, 2007

    Dream joke and you must be joking

    Do you ever dream something that seems so logical and real and then when you wake up it makes no sense at all? I think that is a typical experience. Well, the other night, I dreamt that I had made up a joke, and when I woke up, the punch line actually made sense! OK, it's not the funniest joke in the world but it makes sense. Here's my dream joke:

    At the hospital they kept having trouble with new interns from the medical school, especially in the pediatric ward. Many of the interns were brusque to the point of rudeness, even cursing in front of the children. The hospital initiated a program to try to sensitize the interns to the needs of children patients. They supplied the interns with little teddy bears to keep in their pockets, instructing them to give the bears to new patients as they met them. They also provided a list of alternate exclamations to use instead of swearing. You know what they called the program? "'Golly' docs and the free bears!"

    OK, not hilarious but pretty good for a dream joke.

    Now from the news, an item that made my jaw drop. It seems that Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, largest seminary in the world (I think it still holds that title) is going to start offering a new degree: a BA in Humanities with a concentration in Homemaking. That's right, folks, they are teaching students cooking, sewing, home decorating. But not all students--only WOMEN students. No men need apply. There's seven semester hours of textile design and clothing construction as well as a three-hour course on the "biblical model for the home and family" (AP). Gosh, wouldn't it save time just to give 'em a chart with the hierarchy graphed out? How do you spend 45 contact hours describing a "biblical model" when everyone already knows what the teacher is going to say?

    The new program is offered through their College at Southwestern and is designed "to prepare women to model the characteristics of the godly woman as outlined in Scripture." If you want to see a list of the courses required for the specialization click here and scroll down to Homemaking.* Somehow the idea of creating a bachelor's degree specifically for Christian housewives--how did they ever get that by the accrediting agency? I know that the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS) is one of the toughest regional accrediting boards in the US. I'm just floored, I tell ya. I'm a John Leland, Thomas Helwys kind of Baptist. This tripe going on today just makes me woozy.
    *The core requirements (108 semester hours) for the BA in Humanities includes a whopping 45 hours of Christian history and only three hours of introduction to social science. No psychology or counseling, no modern languages, no math, no geography, no music (well, 3 hours of "Fine Arts Perspectives of Life"). More PE hours are required than natural science. This is a Bachelor of Arts in Humanities???

    Sunday, August 05, 2007

    "Everybody's doin' it, the locomotion, . . ."

    Click to view my Personality Profile page
    Well, maybe not everybody, but it seems to be the blog rage of the moment.

    Saturday, August 04, 2007

    Words are weird

    OK, except for Patti's comment, it is pretty clear that you didn't think much of the "fonetik alfubet." I must admit that I worked on it late at night.

    So how do you pronounce "dour"? We watched the movie "Prairie Home Companion" again the other night and looked at all the featurettes. Meryl Streep commented on Garrison Keeler's countenance and pronounced the word to rhyme with "pour" instead of "sour." Just looking at "dour" I would have used the other pronunciation, but hand it to Meryl, she got it right on this one. That's because the word comes from Latin "durus" meaning "hard." Duh! Why didn't I think of that? It's because English is spelled so goofy, I tell ya!

    Now in other news, Cat and I were so sick Friday morning, we didn't go to work. Well, she went to work and then came right back because there was someone to cover for her. (Thanks, JW!) We slept until 1:00 or so and finally had lunch at 2:00. Haven't gotten out of the house today except to buy groceries. It's yucky being sick. I've had pneumonia for five weeks (and now maybe pink eye), and Cat just had zero energy. Gettin' old.

    I guess this is one of those rambling posts. Let me go take a photo of my latest project and I will be right back. Don't go away!
    Seven minutes later

    Now that I have a new office (well, not NEW new, just new to me), I have been thinking I needed a little table to go between the two chairs against the wall. That's where my somewhat infrequent visitors sit to chat, and it seemed like a good idea to provide a table on which to put their keys or cell phone or coffee mug, you know, that sort of thing. Makes it more homey. So, using some oak left over from a flooring project, I made this little table: 12 inches square, 24 inches tall. It only has two coats of finish on it right now, so it is not as shiny as it will be by Monday. I am also thinking of putting a thick glossy coat on top using this stuff made for decoupage. It's left over from Mom's art supplies.

    We still have lots of that stuff left over. I have a cigar box with at least a hundred pencils in it. And there is a boxful of little cutters for making clay beads. And there is a kiln out in the workshop. Maybe when I retire I will have time to make stuff.

    OK, on to other things. The other night I was thinking about my neighborhood. We've been living here for nearly seven years. We know the names of our neighbor to the east, our neighbors across the street (well, two of them at least) and our neighbors next door on the west. And that's it. Oh yeah, there's the "cat people" who own the house on the end of the block but actually live in the one across the street. Their cats live in the garage of the house on our block. And that's it: maybe seven names total. That's pretty pathetic, if you ask me. And it turns out that the little girl who wrote the "Y'all R so nice" message on our driveway lives in the house two doors down. She sent us a note saying what good neighbors we are! All we do is wave at her when we drive by--that's it!

    So I am thinking that before school starts, it is high time that we have a neighborhood barbecue, you know, have some burgers and sit out under the carport just getting to know each other. I'm sure the single guy who lives next door to our across-the-street neighbors would like to feel more a part of the neighborhood. Well, I guess he would; I haven't talked with him since he moved in a year ago.

    Maybe, just maybe, there could be a development out of this. Perhaps we could agree to have a get-together a couple of times a month. Maybe as we got to know each other, we could talk about important things. I know that most of the folks on our block do not go to church on Sunday. I am certain that the family across the street are not Christians; we have talked some. Hmmm. I think I had better go buy a grill.