Short Shrifts / TWEETS 2

                            or, The Autocrat of the Algonquin Table

• Oh, to be like Jesus – even in His strategies of meeting us where we are, by surprise. When Satan tempted Him directly He responded with a proof text – “It is written.” When the law-quoting Pharisees et al hauled the woman sinner before Him for His judgment, He just doodled in the sand. Never even mentioned scripture. To the woman at the well His first words were, “Give me a drink, please.” To the over-educated Pharisee who came on with sweet small talk, He was consummately abrupt -- whack! To the point, skip the small talk: “Except ye be born again….”  To Mary when she came to grieve at His tomb, He, resurrected, met her with, "Who are you looking for?"  Interpreted into street speech, "Who you lookin' for?"

•  Think twice before you get married; twice times twice before you get tattooed. You can always get divorced. Maybe you can even break cocaine addiction. But of everything human, only a tattoo is permanent, irrevocable; you’re stuck with it as you got it. Every cell in your body is different now than ten years ago, your skin thinned, sagging, but that pigment is there in it still, in that absurd pattern, dragons, lilies, for eternity, like plastic in a landfill. You'll be reincarnated tattooed.

• I'm amazed, and delighted, at how day-lily hybrids have burgeoned.  If there were 4-5 varieties 50 years ago, they're 5000 now.  Likewise, thanks to legal genetic engineering and alchemy and incantations and conjurings, the population of "human rights" that have been synthesized has burgeoned like kudzu, taking over the landscape, swamping and choking out the indigenous rights. Pesticides are against the law.

• What shall I liken divine morality and Postmodernism unto?  Divine morality is like having a one woman and forever discovering new things about her, first that she is pretty of face, then of breast, then of mind, and finding ever increasing pleasure taking her out to dinner.  One woman, deeper and deeper.  Postmodernism is like having no end of one-night stands and for many never even learning their names, or last names.  Or price.  You just swiped your credit card.  Or she did.  Or was it even a she?

• And with your wife, the one you've honored for at least forty years, somehow she's delightful even when wrinkled.  Wrinkled hooker?  You're fired!  Yet another parable of divine morality vs. Postmodernism.  There's no end of them, of real truths.  You just need to grow up with them and get older.

• To Jefferson and Lincoln certain rights were self-evident. Self-evident? – they were obviously delusions, and a whole new batch of virtual rights are taking over our screens.

• …. As tasty as Gorgonzola granola.

• In Southern California there was a megachurch engineered and constructed to withstand the mightiest of earthquakes. The mightiest earthquake came, and the church stood solid, not a crack, the house built upon a rock, but all the Klieg lights shook loose from the ceiling and killed the whole congregation.

• A Hallmark card, whether for her birthday, anniversary, or Mother’s Day, always says the same self-abasing trite old thing: “I know I don’t say it often…I don’t have words to say…” So this time – it’s Mother’s Day -- I didn’t buy a card (just flowers). Fairly early this morning I entered her chamber de toilette where she was rolling her hair, sat down on the pot seat, and announced, “I deliberately did not buy you a card. I’m so tired of buying cards that say ‘I know I don’t say it often…I don’t have words to say.’ I wanted to exercise my own creativity and put it in my own words. So.. well…, I know I don’t say,” I heard myself saying, “it very often… somehow I can’t find the right ... so … I’m putting not having words into my own words.” Hallmark seems to say it better.

• “And the truth shall make you free”, John 8:23. But Postmodernism shall make you free from truth, and freedom from truth shall get you giddy high. Let’s rock, dude! Just click LIKE

• Mainline, old time, pure academic postmodernism denies there can be such things as absolutes. But higher-critical, seminary, hermeneutic religious postmodernism says, with tongue in cheek if not tongues of fire on shoulders, there ARE absolutes – any absolute you want. Just take your pick. Please LIKE us.  Applause applause.

• Oh how fulfilling it must be for him or her who, for the ministry, forfeited  and forwent worldly wealth, position, and honor, to hear the whole congregation swell with laughter and applause. LIKE? LIKE? LIKE?

• Just got a mailer for some kind of investment with the headline “…up to $2396 a year tax-free for Veterans and their widows.” Hmmm..., could you reword that please.

• “Thou shalt have no other gods before me. Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image,” Exodus 20:3-4. Even more abhorrent, gods of straw men. And they litter the landscape, and there's a $500 fine for littering.

• Nature cure: the octogenarian who, for his whole life, had been pathologically self-centered and in old age gets Alzhiemers and doesn’t even know who he is.

• Call me judgmental, call me a legalist, call me a bigot, call me intolerant, but I deem trans-gender a greater sin than trans-fat.

• Just think! Under the whole of Rome are the catacombs, with the bones of innumerable saints. Under the whole of Montreal, the shopping mall, with the extreme makeovers of innumerable shoppers.

• Postmodernists are always scratching for new truths to replace the deep old ones.  How can you dig deeper into any single truth that way? So at best Postmodernists are superficial. But they claim there’s no such a thing as truth anyway. So they’re reduced to superficial knowledge of what isn’t real to start with.

• Nobody goes to a gambling casino to leave better off. They go for the experience. Nowadays church too.

• Revelation 3:17 describes the Laodicean church as rich and in need of nothing – except entertainment.

• Today I injected a couple of pithy comments into a certain blog, straightening everybody out. Nobody noticed my post. Just disappeared into the blogmire.  I’m not complaining, I’m relieved. I simply wanted to work in the word I just invented – blogmire.

• Do I like puns? At our totally Gwathmey-modern demesne back in Ohio I built a separate heritage-authentic little barn, not to honor the Midwest but just to paint “Eschew Mail Pouch Tobacco” on it.

• Those Facebook ads are unexpected delights: I'm still aglow over the titillating one that offers, "Are you older than 62? Obama wants to stimulate you." I'm not kidding. That's what it said.  Must be where Chris Matthews gets his leg tingles.  Meanwhile his PAC ads waged their war to protect young women against the GOPs war on them, by offering Obama and a rockin' first-time experience.

• And there's the ad that announced a while back that Obama wants moms to go back to school.  So did her own mom, her dad too.  Doesn't that count?

• "Obama wants moms to go back to school." Who says this isn't a nanny state?

• "Obama wants moms to go back to school." I'm so old I remember "Uncle Sam wants you to..." Didn't the ACLU take that one to court?

• "Obama wants moms to go back to school." Aw, Obama, do I HAFTA?

• Girls are famously named for flowers, Rosie, Jasmine, Daisy, Bunny Bugbane. But The Brits name their men after herbs: Basil Rathborn, Chive Taylor. Herb.

• May I submit with trepidation but not apology…. Don’t mind me, just honing up for a certain ScholArCademiaNutBlog: There’s some grated parmesan cheese spilled on the dinner table. Looks like fingernail clippings. Like?

• Engineering and the economy and the EPA and congress and the unions are in a mad race, engineering to invent better new things to give us, the EPA to ban them, the congress to declare them unfair, the unions to make unprofitable, sending them to China. And the winner is ... not engineering. Like?

• I’m so old I remember when the economy went South. Now East, to China. South is closer.

• The economy goes south, the economy goes east, every whichway but up.

• Ah me, Postmodernism!  So sure that nothing is sure.

• How can a Postmodernist who knows nothing is true get so worked up, bang his fists on the table so hard and shout so loud, when I say there is truth?  In defense of no truth he behaves as if going to his death in defense of eternal truth!

• The latest fad in bloggy Postmodernosophy, which delights in nothing being provable, is proof by falsifiability. I’m not making this up.

• I’m so old I remember when something was true if provable. Now if falsifiable. I’m not making this up.

• Postmodernism proves something true by proving it falsifiable. Why bother? Why not something be true if proved false? Might as well hack right to it.

• Postmodernism proves something true by proving it falsifiable. Nuance in action.

• Now we have Postmodernism and nothing is true, only credible. I’m not making this up.

• I’m so old I remember when, like in court, something was proved true when proven not false. Now, if most falsifiable. I’m not making this up. Honest Abe is out. Falsifiable Clinton is in.

• So here’s Perry Mason rising in court: “Sir, I challenge your falsifiability!”

• Postmodernism cherishes whimsy and falsifiability. Hard to tell one from the other.

• The wisdom of academic literature is judged not by content but by footnotes.  I’m glad 1-liners aren’t.

• (On seeing a coifed video reporter reporting a Dayton rainstorm live, with the wind gently frowsing her do).  What do you take to cure a bad hair day?  A coif drop.

• If you are profligate with your money you might yet retrieve it; profligate of your words, never.

• Sensitivity is supposed to lead to tolerance — too often to paralysis.

• You don't get to perfection by tweaking.  A sculptor or programmer might, but not a Christian.

• The perfectionist may wind up with perfect essays and flawless dry walls but probably not a perfect marriage.

• Remember, my son, that in all your animal passions, act the pussycat.

• Why devote your life to something not worth a minute of your time?

• What is an idealist but a guy with other people’s ideas?

•  Love may be never having to say “I’m sorry.”   But you sure have to say I’m kidding!  I’m kidding” a lot.

• Democratic seems to have wound up demographics.

• Illustrating the truth of the old saying, a miss is as bad as a mile, is how my wife’s poodle unfailingly drops her poop just two feet short of the newspaper, onto the hall carpet.

• Miraculously, each new day brings a fresh start.  Things look better again.  Everything, that is, except the painting I did yesterday, which looked fine then.

• Judging by the art of every society, from the primitive to our advanced, and by Hollywood’s depiction of space aliens and punk rock stars, man is far better at creating ugly than beautiful,  even with extreme makeovers.

• “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder,” is one of those proverbs always said with a wink.

• Ours is the era of the prestigious prize awarded by an utterly insignificant source.

• Nowadays, whether it’s Superbowl Sunday, the Oscars, the funeral of Mother Theresa or Frank Sinatra, the six sixth-graders shot by a schoolmate, or The Day When Clinton Might Confess, or another confrontation with Hassam, or a soap opera wedding, we are supposed to exchange gifts and send out for pizza.

• “I’ve got to be me."  "I’ve got to find myself.”  You've got it in the wrong order.

• The only way to fix squeaks and rattles in your car, even the most luxurious car, is to go deaf.

• So sincerely does God want us to use our brains that He didn’t tell us how.   He seems to have left that to our friends.

• Too often we confuse patience and compromise.  The former is God’s way; the latter, ours.

• Hillary thinks there’s a great right wing conspiracy.  Rush Limbaugh sees a vast left wing conspiracy.  I don’t know about either of those, but I know there’s a great conspiracy for replacement windows and siding out there!

• I believe the Lord created men and women with special talents and proclivities — like a woman’s urge to make herself beautiful; a man’s to make money — both of which He intended be used primarily in behalf of the other, not themselves. It is more than a quaint piety, it is more than a psychological principle, it is a neurophysiological fundamental at the cellular level, violated at peril of, at the least, divorce.  Cut to the core: you'll be happier.

• A weird mark of a true genius of a painter — oh boy am I genius, then! — is that he knows better how to handle people’s visages on canvas than the people in real life.

• A society is healthy when officials function simply because it is standard, even noble.  A society is judged corrupt when no official will do anything unless bribed.  When our society expects effusive awards — retro-bribes on a plaque — for every little thing that in a previous era was simply expected, at least our perspective is corrupted.  Can society itself be far behind?

• Matthew 6 tells us not to advertise our fasting.  Dieting?  Tell the world!

• In my day the most popular celebrity was the guy you’d most like to entertain in your own home.  Now he’s the last person in the world you’d ever want to actually encounter on the street or anywhere.

• It’s Fall here in Ohio, and I’ve just been out blowing the leaves off the driveway, and it occurred to me that most husbands would think of this as a chore.  I prefer to think of it as exercising my Biblical privilege of dominion over the earth.

• Some people claim they have no fear of death – but their dread of pertussis vaccine or a simple spray can is terrifying.

• Our generation has recoils at the thought of man falling into the hands of an angry God.  But what about God falling into the hands of angry men?  It happened!

• If we grow too soon old, too late smart, we grow way too late impotent.

• The convenience of a credit card is a stronger cause of overspending than greed.

• In my mind “the love of money” and fear of poverty aren't the same.  Are they in God's?

• Wending my way, and mending my ways – lead to two different places.

• By acting, a profession which fundamentally is lying, can an actor portray George Washington, who fundamentally couldn't lie?  And the winner is --- for so so convincingly dishonestly portraying honesty.

• Women? In youth, sexy; in middle age, maternal; in old age saintly — allowing for schedule changes thanks to plastic surgery and hair dyes.

• The medieval mind saw God in whatever could not be explained — which was almost everything.  The modern, scientific mind refuses to see God in either what can be explained or cannot be — all together, everything.

• Some things are better said to a son than written.  But as actually said, better left unsaid.

• Been re-reading the parable of the virgins, foolish and wise.  There are some things you can stock up on in advance, like lamp oil, and it would be wise to do so.  The parable also shows that some things you can’t, whether you are wise or unwise or virgin or otherwise, like sleep.

• If one lives in the city -- and if one sees profound moral lessons in everything --- and has no garage and parks at the curb, and it snows hard, and the municipal snowplow comes by, one learns that sometimes what is intended to liberate imprisons.  Otherwise one simply XX-!->^{!!.

  • I’m so old I remember when a certain sanctimonious unctuosity of tone was sneeringly called the “ministerial tone.”  Never heard a minister half as unctuous as an activist.

• If not unctuous, militant.  OK, passionate.

• But I loved the old travelogs.   What we need is a new genre, historical travelogs.  Long gone, they would have to be computer animated.

• They say travel was rough in the old days.  Not easy now either.  If it isn’t environmentalist harangues on travelogues it’s Las Vegas entertainment on travel cruises.

• Saw a PBS travelog on Yellowstone last night.  More excitement over the return of wolves and grizzlies than Old Faithful's faithfulness.  But isn't there greater excitement in heaven over the return of one lost soul?

• Saw a PBS nature movie last night.  With a soothing voice I’m not used to hearing outside the nursery,  a guy was explaining how when a grizzly, recently reintroduced to the wild, devours Bambi, it’s OK, it’s evolutionary nature’s way, natural balance, the food chain intact with all natural ingredients.   Be interesting to hear the tone and twist when the grizzlies start consuming a critical mass of children again.  Or homeless.

• What happens when the grizzly activists come up against the family-planning activists?  Lots of growling, snarling, clawing, bloodshed, alas, even bombings.  Hey, it’s OK, it’s the food chain.  Activist devouring activist.

• Seems the very activists who brought the wolf back to chomp and chaw the life out of small creatures are, in other venues, the anti-Child-Abuse crowd.  A wolf can abuse a child as badly and as fast as even a stepfather.

• The last message-free nature thing on TV I remember was Johnny Carson with a baby lemur nibbling his ear.  Long, long ago.

• A Conservative wants the old tried and true ways back.  A New Ager the tried and feared menaces.

• Nature’s balance may not necessarily be a level playing field.

• Strange bedfellows:  Postmodernists demand something brand new and trash the old.  Activists are hellbent on saving the old (endangered species).

• Speaking of disturbing the environment, the word is the Clintons left town in 2001 with lots of loot if no legacy.  And Hillary’s writing a new book: It Takes A Pillage.

• My church looks askance at the Catholic church for damning and then sainting.  In ours, Glenn Miller and even Marilyn Monroe, once damned, are now virtually sainted.  They certainly play well in church.  Actually not.  Madonna does.

• Recently our pastor gave a sermon and said, “I will do whatever it takes to save our youth,” adding, “but I’m not giving them anything just because they want it.”  It all seems to center around pious-rock music as what it takes to save our youth.  As to not giving them merely what they want, who wants it then?

• A minimal daily dose of representative food groups and essential vitamins is necessary for life.  For spiritual life, a comparison with constant breathing of air is more apt.

• Takes more than an apple a day to keep the spin doctor away.

• Adversity is good for your character.  What are adversaries good for?

• Adversity is good for character.  What are old characters good for?

• Very sorry, Mr. Clinton, but we’ll have to amputate your legacy.  Gangrene has set in.  (leg-acy...gangrene...get it?)

• What you wouldn’t want in the Books of Heaven looks cool on a resumé nowadays.

• “To every action there is an equal and opposite reaction.”  Damned obstreperous old coot, that Newton.

• “To every action there is an equal and opposite reaction.”  Male and female.

• The quest by physicists for that one unifying “universal law,” has been futile.  Or was it?  I think Newton’s third law comes pretty darn close.

• Newton’s 3rd law is the politicians 1st law.  But The Law of Cause and Effect has been vetoed.

• This idea of virtual reality, it's new in human history.  Never before, couldn't have existed before this era.  Seems to have evolved from television and movies.  There it is right in front of your eyes and you hear it, sometimes smell it (special odor-releasing equipment in theater productions), and feel it (if it's thunder or a jet flying by, and in surround sound).  You see it, hear it, smell it, feel it -- it must be real.  but it isn't.  How does that work?

• Virtual reality.  Really disconcerting, sometimes heart-breaking, that it isn't real reality.  No, it's lovely; it's an improvement on reality.  At last.  That's what human history, human endeavor, human misery, human science, human philosophy, has been striving to achieve, and at last has.

• Virtual reality has been the goal of philosophy, and religion, alas.  Virtual religion, not real religion.  Man may have evolved himself into virtuality, but God is not virtual. God is the ultimate reality, the reality upon which all else hangs.

• There's so much that's so really really wonderful about virtual reality.  To start with, real reality gives you no choices.  Virtual reality gives you fiberoptics and a thousand channels, not counting i-tunes.  And a zapper.  And you can just sit there and lip syc and crunch and chug-alug.  Why would anyone opt for the real stuff?

 •  I'm especially glad this isn't a blog, or right about now I'd be inundated with very real rants.

 * but let's get real, er, virtually real.

• Jerusalem, Mecca, the Vatican, Washington, London, the UN are no longer really the capitals that really matter.  Hollywood rules the planet.  The only capital on the planet that will never be revolted against.

• Wall Street can be occupied, Jerusalem doomed to turmoil, Damascus rendered a shambles by revolt, Los Angeles by riots, but Hollywood rocks on!

• Movies invite us to suspend disbelief.  Yes we can!

• So who needs real reality (what a mess it is!) when we can have virtual reality!  There ought to be a new category of Nobel Prize in Virtual Reality.  The accomplishments in medicine, physics, chemistry are awesome and award-worthy indeed, but pale in comparison to the impact of virtual reality on civilization, which equals that of the atomic bomb.

• There ought to be a new category of Nobel Prize in Virtual Reality.  There isn't even one for movies.  For movies the Oscar subsumes even a Nobel Prize, certainly in glitz.  But glitz doesn't do justice to the cosmic impact that virtual reality has on human existence, or virtual existence.

• There is presently a Nobel Prize for literature, usually for fiction, which is a feeble prototype of virtual reality, but isn't the real virtual reality.

• Actually there is a Nobel prize that comes closer than the one for literature to recognizing virtual reality.  The Peace Prize.

• Psychiatrists are probably better at restoring patients to virtual than to real reality.  Why else to so many Hollywood celebrities go to them?

• Many studies have shown that watching proudly-made-in- America TV Netflix and XFINITY all day with earbuds running i-tunes 24/7 is a happier and less hassled way to real immersion in virtual reality than imported cocaine, and cheaper even with Apple e's and i's costing so much, usually not involving jail time and fines.

• Presidential libraries and pyramids, same things.  Pyramids are more impressive, certainly less cluttered with icons.

• Do you see virtual reality in real time?  Well, the peanuts and pizza are real.

• Some believe in "original sin" – your embryo has already sinned even before it even had a penis, sinful thing. Logically, the neatest absolution would be abortion, but that’s the unforgivable sin.  Now that logic train is grievous theology, rightly evoking all kinds of wrath and reaction.  But in fact it was intended as a purely whimsical rhetorical nonsequitur, not basically theological at all, mainly to show that just because one thing suggests another doesn't mean that the conclusion should be taken seriously.  Virtual logic, that.

• But if you're a postmodernist and don't believe anything anybody says, except maybe Marx or Freud, when or whether an embryo can sin can not be anything more than opinion, you didn't take it seriously anyway, did you?  You did!  Postmodernists don't like logic much.

• I must add, insist, that if Christ created the race, and set it up so that Adam could sin if he so chose, and, without choice, pass the proclivity on to all of us, it doesn't mean Christ, or God, created sin.  There are a lot of people in our church, especially our academics, who believe He did just that -- create sin and evil!  And if God did, who needs Satan in the picture?  Just a wannabe, a figment, a foil, a straw man, a Hollywood device, is all the devil is, whether in medieval horns or Discovery-channel-miniseries hoodie.

• Another theological track: Jesus died to save the race, and to save the one lost sheep -- the all and the individual.  Political theologians, being anything but divine, cannot but see only demographics.

• I'm not belaboring all that to convince anybody of anything.  I'm presenting it as my particular way of putting it, to those who share my belief. The rest of you shrug or cringe, and read on.  There's no way this can be quoted except out of context.

• Be sure to sign our zeitgeist book.

• Munching my morning doughnut at a local Vietnamese doughnut shop and scanning the local newspaper, I saw a story telling of a elderly local couple who are looking forward to “decorating our Christmas tree with grandchildren.”  Isn't that the way the Druids decorated the original Xmas trees?

• March 2013.  Dear private business, you didn't make that, the government did.  Likewise your bankruptcy.

• Whatever.  Nowadays labels can’t be only English.  Here's one I just saw: PANTIES  calcinhas  pikkuhousut  trusser kulero kalhotky... ajn.  (Ajn, that's esperanto for whatever.)

• Signs at Lowes and labels on paints or panties can’t be only English any more.  Must be every known language under the sun.  So why is it that on TV every protest sign you’ll ever see, from Ebonia to Kookoostan, Even France, even Berkeley, are in English?  Not even closed captions.

• Looking at old faded and family daguerreotypes of our great grandparents sitting so stiffly, unsmiling, smothered in frills and layers of lace and stiff collars, over-civilized, we shake our heads and chuckle.  But what will our great grandchildren think of uTubes of us jerking around like animated cartoons, botoxed, smirking like idiots or unaccountably open-jawed, clad in frayed Levis and message t-shirts, tattooed like savages, nose rings, over-photoshopped?

• I still worry about girls in spike-heeled shoes, that a heel might snap.  All heel would break loose!

• My stubborn brain needs to be pitted against something.  Does that make me pit-bull headed?

• That War Against Women that the Dems discovered the GOP was covertly waging (nobody knew it until the news was leaked), ended in total victory -- for the Dems.  Meanwhile the vastly publicized War on Poverty so famously started by Johnson so long ago and surged by Obama -- it's lasted longer than the Viet Nam war, it will be our Hundred Years War -- is a disaster.  War is hell, like Sherman said.

• To migrate or to hibernate, that is the question.

• Speak, I'll probably listen.  Speak up, maybe not.  Speak out, ... next channel.

• "Man shall not live by bread alone," much less feedback.

• If you toot your own horn into the microphone, the feedback will be painfully deafening.

• If nuance is the new governmental watchword, the EPA has gone maverick.

• Hitler used the Gestapo, Stalin the KGB.  The updated American way is the NSA and the IRS.

• Maybe we should vote out the change we can believe in.

• To stroke or strike, that is the question.

• Which is the most effective weapon of hermeneutics to annul the Bible?  Nuance or allegory?

• "Full many a flower is born to blush unseen," but never an activist or stand-up comic.

• The world says the Christian is humorless.  But he just laughs at the right things.  You can judge a man by what he doesn't laugh at.

• But nowadays the pious congregation chuckles at everything in the sermon.

• You know society has gone wrong when laughing at the right time is more important than laughing at the right thing.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

• When I was young I used to think God didn’t want me to have any fun. Turns out that what I thought was fun, wasn’t.

• If God knows everything, why wouldn’t He know what is really fun? But of course He does, and it’s more like JOY. Which turns out in the end to be really more, well, fun.

 • Today's "Dayton Daily News" web headline: “Dead body reported in Dayton."  Cutting-edge journalism, folks.

• Guilt looms too large to bear; the sin too small to bother with.

• Maybe one church tent could accommodate a vast array of contradictory doctrines, but when the same doctrine is pivotal to one and piddling to another, the seams go rrrrrip-p-p-p-p-p-p-PPPPP!

• I don’t see that the ancient question of whether reality really exists or it’s all in your mind has anything to do with whether God exists. He can work with either. He made both.

• In that parable of the man “who, when he had found one pearl of great price, went and sold all that he had, and bought it” (Matthew 13:46), did he haggle prices? What do you think, pastor Wamack?

• Those Facebook ads in the column on the right are friends too. Right now I'm looking at one that notifies me that some sleek sexy thing, arched forward at the pelvis, ready for me, has been searching for me. Really? I thought you gave up 50 years ago. You can straighten up now.

• Sigh, if that virtual she has really been searching for me these seventy years, she’s probably pretty bent over the other direction by now and can't straighten up.

• Well, here I am in Facebook and now to check the ads. The one that just popped up says, "Browse Single Women." Must be some kind of freaky foreplay.

• You can’t take it with you. No, not even that mountain of plaques and trophies. No real loss. Me, I'll have more use for my o-ring collection. What's this all about? I'm 81. we're old; moving out, moving down, moving away from where we've lived for 34 years. You can't take it with you when you downsize of house and frontal cortex.

• You can't take it with you. Tough! It's tough! When all else fails, just tell yourself, "...it's time..."  T.S. Eliot said that, in "The Wasteland," which is what this place is right now.

• You can’t take it with you. What a relief! I’d hate to pay what it would cost to move it all!

• You can't take it with you. But you'll try.  So they invented plastic bags and bubble wrap. And sports drinks.

Summer 2009.  We're downsizing and moving away. You can’t take it with you. I’ll especially miss my 10” Rockwell table saw, solid cast iron table, and 10” DeWalt radial arm saw, 12” Craftsman bandsaw, floor model drill press, huge belt sander, so many clamps, 8’ pipe clamps, and all the walnut and oak ¾” plywood, sheets of it -- my woodworking shop in the garage. Begging people to just come and haul it away, free for the taking, can’t bother with e-bay – it’s especially depressing. So I’m out there sweeping away the drifts of sawdust, cobwebs, never-used rusty veneer saws and crowbars, cans of solidified paint, spilled nails and nuts and bolts – and it’s a relief, actually exciting, to have that garage clean for the first time in 30 years. Should have done it years ago.

• You can’t take it with you. Not even your vested interests, especially in Evolution (Evo). Creationists can.  That's the kind of thing that occurs to me as I sort through stuff to pitch out.

• You can’t take it with you. So call 1-800/GOT-JUNK.

• Well, my library is ceiling to floor books, maybe a couple thousand, and almost all of these beloved volumes must be simply trashed. eBay them? Gotta be kidding! I know that the only way I can do this in the period of time allotted (a week or so), is to squint my eyes and never look at any of them as books, much beloved books, and simply shove the lot en masse off the shelves, like a bartender sailing drinks down the deck, into big plastic sacks, to the trash. It isn’t working, no surprise. I’ve just started, and got as far as the first four books on the bottom shelf, and already I’m totally distracted. At this rate it’ll take 2 months, and we’ll already have moved out and on our way to California. But here’s a sentence that caught my eye, and my compulsion to note it, any excuse to take time out. It’s from Beau Voyage, a photo book of antique ocean liners of the early 20th century: “…the 'Espagne,' launched in 1900, a prototype of the vessel in Katherine Ann Porter’s 'Ship of Fools,' she …was not scrapped until the mid thirties.” Katherine Ann Porter wasn’t scrapped until…? But it has to happen, Katherine.  "it's time..."

• In sorting through my almost embarrassingly huge library of books, I came upon my American History shelf. A whole long shelf; maybe a hundred or more books, De Voto, Parkman, McCullough, so many volumes on the colonies, on Washington, Franklin, Adams, Jefferson, how the Constitution was created, and why; the fall of monarchies and the creation of our government, the grandest ever to appear on the earth, the marvel of the earth. And now several hundred pounds worth of history, which so inspired me all my life, all trashed, gone. Nothing saved. Might as well. America, my America, is being trashed. Well, tomorrow I’ll start sorting my art history books. I’ll probably keep most of them.

• You can’t take it with you. Luke tells how the Rich Young Ruler was required to sell – SELL – all that he had, presumably at a good price, which would involve at least, er, negotiation, and than to follow Christ. We’re moving, and I have to PAY Got-Junk to take it all, at a big price, no haggling.

• You can't take it with you. So there are landfills, Waste Management, monster dumpsters, humongous compactors and crushers. You can't take it with you but it sure costs an arm and a leg to trash it.

• You can’t take it with you. Did you ever really HAVE it?

• You can’t take it with you, you can’t go home again, but you can be right back where you came in. So where does that leave you?

• Moving is taking a lot out of me, and from me, and away. Yesterday Got-Junk and a crew of four hauled away four monster truckloads of me, with a token sweep-up afterwards.

• You can’t take it with you, or get anything for it. We were burglarized a few years ago. The burglars got away with about $14Ks worth of our stuff. But State Farm repaid us $12K. Currently we are downscaling for moving away, and last week Got-Junk got away with about $40K of our stuff, and we had to pay THEM! Well, considering the total premiums I’ve paid over 60 years, State Farm has made the biggest haul of all!

• Mere intellectual assent to God leads to, sorry, self-righteousness, not righteousness, nor even happiness. Or anywhere. Might as well stick with atheism.

• Nowadays, nowadays the only time I feel I can safely express patriotism -- I'm very patriotic -- is when standing at attention in the men's room before an AMERICAN STANDARD motion-triggered sink. But is the thing even made in America any more?

• Ironic. Regrettable. Perhaps fatal. We who like to say we are converted and do love God and will be saved, and have found truth, and believe it, are so shy about saying so. Can’t say it out loud. We just can’t open our mouths. But those who have discovered God doesn’t exist, or that our truth is just baloney, instantly and eagerly shout it loud and clear, and again, and louder, no letup. Talk about witnessing.

• Here’s a practiced Postmodernist coming at you and he proves to you in 200 words and 100 seconds or less that you don’t exist, you just think you do, and you’re not even sure of that. What was THAT all about!  Doesn’t seem real.  But it was.

• Another practiced Postmodernist has just convinced you you don’t exist, you just think you do. How did he do that? By debating. Cast not your pearls before swine, lest ye lose your pearls. Debate not with swine, lest you lose your mind.

• In a world where there is no truth, how can there be proof?  We must settle for peer review.

• It seems the less we revere doctrine the more we reverence doctorates

• Supposing Heaven is gained by good works is legalism, won't work.  But gaining Heaven by degrees, certifications, awards seems to be a straight shoot.

•  You can't take it with you, whether riches or vocabulary. At the Great Judgment W. Buffett and W. Buckley shall stand equally naked.

• In all those darksome medieval paintings hanging in the Prado,  strange dull solid gold plates are welded to the tops of the heads of the somber saints, like shackles upon the ankles of prisoners.  The yoke of Christ is lighter than a halo.

• If heavy lies the head that wears the crown (Shakespeare, "Henry IV"), heavier still hangs the halo.  Looks to be solid lead. (Check Mantegna's "Death of The virgin," Prado collection).

 • Everything costs twice as much in California except a pedicure, which is actually 20% cheaper than in Ohio.  What does that say about California?  About Ohio?  About pedicures?

• As it works out the more we strive to make our religion more relevant, the more we make God irrelevant.

• Our neighbors got tee-peed at least a month ago.  Toilet paper streamers strewn across their front yard tree, old prank.  In Ohio – we used to live there – it was harmless.  TP is biodegradable and it would rain the next day leaving the tree nice and clean again.  But it doesn’t rain in California all summer.   So we have a permanent alteration to the landscape, unapproved by our HOA .

• Don’t put a barrier between yourself and others, make your skin thicker.   Alas, a barrier is easier to build.

• I’m so old I remember when movies and TV actually glorified and honored loving, caring human families.  Long ago.  Now they present humans as dysfunctional or worse, and animals as loving, caring.   Huh?

•  I’ve always found advertising useful.  In the old days a product would advertise (accurately or falsely) its quality.  I would go check it out and often buy it.  Now products advertise their greenness.  I’m not buying.  It might as well have a "poison" label.

•  All this eco stuff about leaving the earth the way we found it, if the ancients had practiced that, archaeologists would be out of business.

• TV ads for Lispocortz advise you to ask your doctor who, according to other ads, doesn't want you to know, and who, according to Drudge, doesn’t know anything, and is more fraudulent, if possible, than the ads that told you to go ask him.  Who you gonna call?

• Your doctor doesn't want you to know.  Your insurance agent doesn't want you to know.  Kroger doesn't want you to know.  M&M doesn't want you to know.  Rice Krispies doesn't want you to know.  Fox News doesn't want you to know.  You kids sure don't want you to know.  You wouldn't want to know.

• I don't want to do that, no. It's not a sin or a crime, it's the hassle.

• Headline of the day, that I just saw: “Hyperactivity goes long undiagnosed in some adults” – AP.  That's all AP bunk.  What's unlikely to be diagnosed, or even noticed, is hypoactivity.

• Anyway hyperactivity is not a disease needing diagnosis, like murder is nowadays.  It's simply mod strobe-twitch.  It's the norm, not a disease.  If it's a disease it's endemic and pandemic.  You get it from watching TV, hypoactively on your couch.   But seriously, folks, if you've got a cold or cancer you fight it.  So how do you fight hyperactivity?  If there is such a thing as pathological hyperactivity, activists have it bad, ergo, they're hyperactivists.

• Probably better to close the door than burn the bridge.

•  I’m still bewildered by all the sermons nowadays damning addiction.  Damning addiction is right but the addictions being damned aren’t the old time addictions, like heroin addiction, but what once were wholesome, like work.  Well, so be it.  But the gravest, most rampant, most enslaving, most flaunted addiction – even in church, especially in church – is addiction to bottled water.  At least tobacco addicts go outside to catch a smoke.

• The uplift exhortation that celebrities, certainly Media and Entertainment celebrities, like to give is GET REAL!  Virtual reality is what they seem to have in mind.

• All power resides within you – you can do anything.  Well, not quite, you didn’t build that, the government did. Well, not quite, the American government can’t save the planet, only the UN and Global Government can.  Hold it right there!  Who told you all that?  Evolutionary biologists, scientists, sociologists, life coaches, Harvard, motivational seminars, pastoral counselors, TV, PAC ads, oh everybody told me that, that’s who.  There’s One who begs to differ: Christ, who says, “Without Me, ye can do nothing.”  Somehow, He makes more sense.

• It’s the same principle as “a tree falling makes no sound if nobody’s there to hear it”: nothing happens, even the bloodiest, most consequential event, nothing happens, much less is news, unless the media sees it as serving its agenda.  Then it gets reported.  Maybe on the 8th page.  In a paragraph.  Maybe not even then.

• They say ads are the media’s very heart beat.  Maybe so, but its agenda is its brain.  Which more and more seems brainwashed.

• Postmodernism knows and demands that there is no such a thing as truth.  Well, OK, nothing is true, but some things are just obvious.

• “You didn’t make that” revisited.  He’s right.  99% of small business is a franchise, and the individual managers did not make it.  Bane Capital (venture capital) did.  Anyway, it was made in China.

• A study of language cues may lead to an investigation into the authenticity of credentials of the lead science spokesperson for U. S. Mars MSL mission following his/her interview with NPR, as reported on discovery.com, which quotes the spokesperson at a press conference as saying, "This data is gonna be one for the history books. It's lookin' really good, dude."  I'm not making this up, the quote part anyway.  The investigation part is, under current DOJ guidelines, fantasy.

• Please, most of us are occasional verbal wife abusers, not serial killers.

•“Peace I leave with you” (John 14:27) not the last laugh.

• Our pastors are more highly educated – doctors, yet! -- than ever.  Why are their sermons more banal than ever?

• Nature is cruel!  Maybe so, but her activists are obnoxious!

• Once upon a time delicate ladies fainted at the slightest shock.  Now sensitive Libs of either gender throw up.

• Libs are troubled by our over dependence on foreign oil, but want us dependent on foreign laws and foreign government style.

• As near as I can figure it, Libs say we’ve overspent on capitalism, goodies, and gas and must cut way back, but not enough on government and must expand it.

 • And they abhor landfills, which are the most sustainable things on the planet.

• Show me a put-on that isn’t a put-down.

• My next book:  The Man Without A Facebook – A 21st Century Tragedy.

• Our church is all fired up for Church Growth.  Praise be, it’s happening!  – for the fulltime staff if not the membership.

• So how clueless am I?  I’m so clueless I really expect my Facebook to be a forum for wit.  All I get is LOL and :-}

• You have to stand back a ways from my painting.  The right viewing distance  is about half way between Monet and myopia.

• Mine eyes hath seen the gory.   Cool original pun, but nowadays better check Google, like in the old days the Patent Office, lest you abuse creative property.  I did, and found  41,800 hits for “…have seen the gory.”  Sigh, a lot of eyes have seen ....

• The Modernist painter sees only by his inner eye   I, by my literal.  But nobody sees anything by any eye except the media’s.   The media has your eyeballs by the nose.

• It’s all in the eye of the beholder.  Not yours, stupid; the media’s.

• I’m so old I remember when our church gave glory to the saints who visited the sick and afflicted and bound up their wounds. Now those who make films and protest marches about them.

• The other night Fox ran a documentary on aliens.  They looked more humanoid than the overfiltered Fox News anchors.

• As the scripture says (1Co 13:12, paraphrased): For now we see through a Gaussian blur, darkly.

• Beholding TV’s electronic filtering of  ancient anchor visages I understand what a Time WARP machine is.  Fox’s is more bizarre than Star Trek’s.

• You can’t take it with you.  That’s bad enough.  Worse, nobody else wants it anyway.

• She’s always cheerful and light-hearted but never witty.  He’s always grim and sour, and witty-chuckley.  They should never have got married.

• What is man if not biodegradable?  He’s certainly not sustainable.  Sure confuses the activists.

• In youth energy burns strong and steady like the sun in the desert.  In old age, like a cell phone at the roaming fringe.

• Yesterday left my ears ringing.

• "The withered rose is given to the flame where it blooms the brightest."  Where's the text for that, Hallmark or the Bible?

• To generate wealth or redistribute it, that is the question (answered Nov 4, 2012).  Alas, you can't have both.

• The very idea of gay marriage sticks in my craw, but what makes me choke – help me! the Heimlich Maneuver, quick! – is how the champions, whether in the pulpit (including some of ours) or the White House, whether priest, pastor, or protester, all of them always attribute to those who oppose gay marriage the same sad reason – we’re just scared of change. Change?  It’s sin we’re scared of, damnit!  (I posted that on my facebook.  Got a bunch of LIKEs; none by any pastor-friend.)

• But the big change, the basis for all new change, is the elimination of (not salvation from) sin.

• Why condemnest thou the cathedral in whose alcoves are legions of images, while from thy ceilings dangle swarms of Klieg lights like bats?

• Of course, raising kids should be much more deliberate than their conception.

• Trees and lushness come where the stream is, not the other way around.

• What we want on the other person is not so much a handle as the goods.

• To be an open book isn’t like being an open loop on a tape player.  An open book is open upon request; an open loop can’t be shut off plead as you will.

• And remember this also as you go through life, my son: never confuse a menu with an agenda.

• Presenting extremes is the best way, maybe the only way, to get a laugh in a sitcom, or to win your point, whether in parables or arguments or debate, whether verbally or in writing — especially aphorisms.

• Alas, a 1-liner is no place for reasoned discourse.

• If I die for blacks and whites I’m a martyr.  If for grays, a fool.  See what I mean?  A 1-liner is no place for discourse.

• An activist is someone who chains herself to a tree to save it but couldn’t give the proper botanical name of the tree to save herself.

• I hate it when I need to pack a package and somebody has popped every single bubble in the bubble wrap.

• Writing of exemplary lucidity for this century might be murkiness the next.  Mine is timeless.

• To recoup or cut your losses, that is the question.

• To stoke the fire or stroke the ire, that’s the question.

• Everything is an arena nowadays.   Is that what your marriage is?

• It’s not smart for a man to moan to his intended how his mother dominated him.  He may think her smile means sympathy but maybe it's from knowing that if one woman could, so can another.  I was kidding!

• This generation laments the lack of heroes.  What it actually lacks are capes. Every hero from Geo Washington and the Duke of Wellington through Superman-Spiderman-Bugman, even FDR and Frank Lloyd Wright, wore one.   A hero in distressed jeans?  Bermuda shorts?  Or, chuckle, a uniform.  Camo maybe.

• It’s girth and taxes that wait for no man.

• Our society is in desperate search of the new girth, not the new birth.

• I wish somebody would explain why the same people who are so outraged about Calvin and Predestination make beelines to astrologers to hear what the stars have ordained for them

• The whole plan of salvation and unmerited grace can be expressed in this parable: gwood dog!

• A badly framed and badly hung painting is a bad painting.

• The most irritating thing about having an argument is when, at some point, the other person suddenly looks righteous, and inserts, “I don’t want to argue with you.”

• Crowning culminations too often seem to undo the whole process.  Like cable TV, is that the culmination and crowning glory of the Age of Enlightenment and Scientific Method?

• When your baby daughter gets cancer, you first say, “God is love,” and then conclude that this instance must somehow be for some divinely loving purpose.  That’s deduction.  With induction, you first say, “this is an absolutely awful thing,” and conclude that there is no God.

• The answer to one man’s prayer is the reason why another man prays.

• He who has the brains but not the stomach for medicine or the heart for patients — is in for a mid-career change.

• It is always understood that the bed belongs to the woman, unless a poodle is aboard.  The true owner has arrived.

• Which really broke the camel’s back?  The last straw, or a straw man?

• The one word that should never be heard in the operating room, especially if the patient is under a local anesthesia, or in the portrait painter’s studio, is “oops.”

• The bride’s cooking motto: burn appétit.

• If the Bible is confusing, it was meant to be.  Christ Himself made it plain that He had no intention of making everything or anything plain to those who don’t want it plain, except perhaps that He wasn’t going to.  Of course the Bible is made plain, not by an infallible church, but by the Holy Spirit — as Christ has so plainly promised.

• There's something in the Bible for everyone.  For those who have decided for Him, there is evidence for the hope, reason, promise.  For those who have decided against Him, allegory, hermeneutics, jollity.  If you like your disbelief you can keep it.

• If the church's can inform of what priests, prophets, parts of the Bible (if any) to believe, it can also guide the flock as to which movies and fast foods and beers to boycott.

• Mark 4:22 is a violation of the privacy act.  You could look it up.

• We are to be the salt of the earth and the pillars of our communities.  But not pillars of salt.

• That life might not be all that pleasant begins to dawn on the child when she learns that ticks don’t have blood just like hers, it is hers.

• Slogan for a travel agency.  We’ll give you a cruise, not the run-around.

• I am cursed with both indecision and inflexibility, doubly cursed when I exercise one when I should the other.

• It’s not OK for shirttails to hang out wherever and wherever, and I’m not sure kids should either.

• As I see it, that which, out of consideration for others, is not flaunted, is not necessarily hypocrisy.

•Hm-m-m… in the parable of the “foolish virgins” the wise ones were Jewish, weren’t they?   Surprised they didn’t sell their own oil and make a killing, and go have their own party. Just kidding, just kidding — oh, please, just kidding!  I’m an old man, be merciful!

• Matthew 6:21 declares that where your treasure is, your heart will be also.  My heart is with the IRS?

• If you’re going through hell, better not stop to smell the roses.

• If you’re going through hell, speed traps add insult to injury.

• The way this nation is going, pretty soon the 12-year-old kid who took an AK-10 and mowed down his science teacher and 5 other children that “dissed” him, will show up for his arraignment and talk shows in a stretch limo and the news media will focus on his “dream.”

• He insists there’s no such thing as talent much less genius, when he wants you to buy the book he wrote about how to paint like he does.  When he wants you to buy his paintings, he is the incomparable genius.

• Nowadays the popular advice is to find yourself.  I did.  Not a pretty sight.  It convinced me it would be better to find God.  A beautiful sight.

• As our daughter at age six essayed the situation (was she subconsciously aping Charles Schulz?) “Adversity is good for you because it helps you face more adversity.”  That passes for character.

• Fat may jiggle but it isn’t flexible.

• It’s hard to take a bad photograph of a penguin.

• Too many Interstate drivers nowadays seem to regard other moving cars as race-course pylons.  I tie this to excessive exposure to video games.

• Somehow a glamor photograph of a celeb we’ve never seen seems more real than one of an old parent, or even ourselves, when young.

• According to his Facebook info he’s a fiscal conservative and social liberal.  Sad case of conflict of interest, that.

• They say "location! Location! Location!   I say "Premise! Premise! Premise!"

• Premises, premises, premises!  That's all we hear nowadays.   Hollow, abandoned premises.

 • It’s worth saying again: It isn’t the skill that’s good or evil but what is done with it.  The skill of deviousness is righteous for setting up a surprise birthday party and there is happiness all around.  For setting up assignations, not so good.

• To duly married gay couple with child: you didn't make that, as Obama would say.  It doesn't matter, as Hillary would say.

• Another societal classification: (1) the intellectuals (professors, bloggers) and, (2) the smarts (smart phones and cars, funeral plans, voters).  More a virtual than real division.

• The ancient Israelites forsook God for the idols of their heathen neighbors, and were cursed.  Nowadays we expect to be blessed for going worldly by saying we're updating to our culture, exercising Godly tolerance, welcoming the sinners Christ died for, anyway it's outreach.

• There's only a 1-pixel, easily Photoshopped virtual line between narcissism and self dignity.

• 2014.  "If you like your doctor..." Like your doctor?  That there are patients who actually might like their doctor comes as the biggest shock to this old doc, to emerge from all this Obmacare brouhaha.  As an old doc I've cringed under the decades and decades of daily doses, q.i.d. and on the hour, and yet another 60 minutes, endless and talking points and award-winning journalist exposures and congressional hearings about the greed, avarice, rapacity, malpractice, incompetence, unfeelingness, corruption of doctors.  Like ... that?

• "If you like your doctor you can keep your doctor" turns out to have been a lie -- not so much the "keep" part as the "like" part.  How could anybody possibly ever like all that greed, malpractice, incompetence the media has been exposing for the last 50 years.

• In all those exposures of physician incompetence, greed and all the rest, it's always a he or him, never a she or her.  Yes, genderism prevails even in medicine.

• It's some kind of poetic justice that the Obamacare online sign-up site turns out to be at least as incompetent as lawyers have been saying doctors are.  Where is John Edwards Esq when we need him!

• It's turning out there is even diversity of justice.  Poetic justice is not the same as social justice.

• The idea that it is into the closet that sin drives you, isn't Biblical. It's another place.

• I'm still thinking about how the strongest argument, actually the only argument, made in behalf of gay marriage is simply that opposition to it is inflexibility, bad without ado.  That's it, that's all there is?   That doesn't even qualify as a spin.  Plato is disappointed.

• Gay marriage activists took all those classes and doctorates in rhetoric and logic just to say opposition is inflexibility?

• There's that story about the virgin bride sighing, "Is that all there is?"  The gay bride doesn't even have that to complain about.

• Does coming out of the closet to fanfare and an award require courage?

• But I suppose coming out of the closet does require flexibility.

• Seems to me, however, that the real courage nowadays is shown by anybody questioning gay marriage.

• And talk about inflexibility -- I've been around for many years now and never seen such inflexibility, indomitably intimidating inflexibility, as that of gay marriage activists on a roll.

• All of a sudden what gay activists see when the Bible is opened is The Face of Hate.  Hmmmm. Looks like the face of God to me.  Oh, right -- same guy.

• People who come out of the closet seem to want to stuff everybody else into it.  And set it on fire.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Wesley Kime