Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Rusty, on why you shouldn't use drugs, unless you can afford the really good stuff

Drugs are bad for you because it can kill you, and your family and friends won’t trust you.

Drugs can affect your family and friends because your family won’t trust you and your friends won’t trust you too. And they may not go to watch your back.

It is important to me to stay drug-free because it can kill me and I can get in trouble by the police and I want my family to trust me.

For the people that took drugs, I feel bad for all of those people and I know if you could get another path I bet you will take the right path.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Hm, that's totally not impressive

Joel Osteen is on television at the coffee shop this morning. Straight self-help stuff with little or no actual Christian content; well, that's no big surprise. But I was sorry to hear him cheerfully abuse Scripture in order to provide a veneer of "God says" over his pep talk, especially since my young friend Daniela is going to Lakewood on the Sundays when her work schedule keep her from being able to attend her own church's Ike-delayed 3:00 p.m. services. (They're having to borrow somebody else's building because Ike had lots of fun with their own.) So you'd like to feel that she was in good hands...but, um, what I am hearing here is not good.

In the last ten minutes he's only quoted two Scriptures, and the first one I don't remember although I thought, "I don't think that's what was intended." But when he was trying to tell people that they needed to have written goals and an explicit set of plans for achieving them (as I say, this is a self-help pep talk he's giving, not a Christian sermon), he was scrambling around for a Scripture to back himself up with, and came up with Proverbs 16:9:

"In his heart a man plans his course,
but the LORD determines his steps."

"Now this tells me," Osteen continued, "that if I don't have a plan, God can't guide my steps."

And I thought, "Ding ding ding ding ding! -- false prophet." Indeed, as I've been typing this it's gotten worse; he's making this Scripture the centerpoint of his sermon, which is all about getting out of debt and getting interest rather than paying it and is all in all great advice but is most certainly NOT a faithful and honest reading of the text.

I don't suppose Osteen is doing too much harm in encouraging Christians to plan and have goals; but in teaching them to do terrible exegesis as though it doesn't matter what God actually means, he's doing very great harm indeed. For of course the proverb is really, if anything, ridiculing the Type A personality who thinks that as long as he has planned well enough, he can feel comfortably in control of his life. I won't go so far as to say that the proverb is saying that planning is bad -- it's really just saying that you can't ever forget that your plans do nothing if God isn't on board with them -- but at the very least the proverb has to be saying that a whole bunch of people who like planning, overrate its value. Which (a) is not something Joel Osteen would really like to hear, and (b) undercuts his point rather than reinforcing it.

And when you're attending a church whose pastor can read the Bible and hear only his own voice, even in the very passages that challenge his own natural inclinations...that's NOT a good choice.

[sigh] Oh, well, it gives me more reason to pray that Miss Daniela's church gets fixed ASAP.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

The Horror! the Horror! Girls' Version and Boys' Version Dept

Men and women each have a worst nightmare. But they are not the same. Here's one of each.

Ladies first:

And now for the guys, courtesy of failblog (keep an eye on that right shoe, fellas):

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Be Sure Your Sin Will Find You Out Dept

Question: can this hapless priest be rightfully said to have given his church's computer network an STD?

This rather reminds me of the classic story about the Baptist preacher who wakes up one fine Sunday morning to discover that it is just quite possible the most perfect day for golf he's likely to have all year. His conscience makes a desultory show of reluctance, but minutes later, having telephoned his assistant pastor and emulated laryngitis to the best of his ability, he is happily on his way to the links.

The angels are appalled, and they rush to tattle to God. God smiles tolerantly, "Thanks for the heads-up, boys, but I've already got everything under control."

Nothing untoward happens for the first three holes, but Number Four is a par-three island green that has always given the preacher fits. He takes a deep breath...he swings...he tops it with a veangeance...the ball screams its way low and hard straight to the water and then skitters across the water like a skipping catches a boulder at the edge of the green and bounces straight up into the air a good thirty strikes a passing bluejay square in the noggin and ricochets off straight toward the flag as the bluejay falls stunned to the rolls ever more slowly toward the cup and finally stops an inch short. And then, just as the preacher sets foot on the green for his tap-in birdie, a gust of wind nudges the ball forward to the very lip of the cup...and then it falls in. Hole-in-one.

The angels are stunned and outraged. Gabriel takes the lead. "Lord, we would never wish to question Your righteous judgments, but, this the reward the wicked can expect?"

"Hold on a minute, there, Gabe," the Lord says with jovial satisfaction. "You're forgetting something -- who's he gonna tell?"

Post-Ike Do-It-Yourselfer of the Day Dept

The waiting list for a roofing contractor in Houston is pretty long these days...

Monday, October 20, 2008

Happy Birthday to you, Happy Birthday to you,...

...Happy Birthday, dear Kinyechka,
Happy Birthday to you.

Yes, Kinya woke up a 17-year-old today, and was very happy all morning, right up until she discovered that the house rules are not, in fact, canceled when one turns 17...

In all seriousness, she has matured a ton in the past few months, and I am very proud of her indeed.

UPDATE: INQUIRING MINDS WANT TO KNOW...which 17-year-old did Kinya wake up? And why didn't I just wake 'em up my own self?...

Hunter Fail Dept.

Of special interest to Granddaddy and Grandmother and Unkle Mike and Aunt Stephanie, is this classic "shot," as it were, borrowed from

Monday, October 13, 2008

When Summer's Eve Says "Extra Strength," They Mean It Dept

As we see here.

Since I figure Wal-Mart will shortly correct this now that it's made Dave's blog, here's a screen short of the important bit of the Wal-Mart on-line catalog:

Ghost Rider, Say Bye-Bye Dept

"Ghost riding" is a can-we-make-this-even-stupider-of-course-we-can variation on car surfing, in which one puts one's car in low gear, gets it rolling, and then jumps out and car surfs while the car does pretty much whatever it chooses to do. Amazingly, the consequences are not always desirable, as this young man discovers. (NOTE: you can safely watch it; it's funny, not gross. No injuries except to pride and wallet.)

Friday, October 10, 2008

Homecoming 2008

Whoops! It appears that the other night I hit "publish post" rather than "save as draft," and these pictures hit the blog before I meant for them too. My bad.

So, here's the homecoming scoop: Kinya and Natasha decided to go dateless (I am given to understand that there was originally a young man designated to take Kinya but that in between her original acceptance of the invitation, and her attendance at the dance, the young man received his congé, so to speak). They were going to meet their friends there. But they got there at 9:00, when the dance was nominally scheduled to start -- only the football game didn't end until 10:00 or so. So for the first hour there were only about fifteen people there besides Kinya and Natasha, and then another fifteen or so people showed up but still nobody was dancing. Then finally people began to trickle in, but by that time Kinya and Natasha were tired of standing around in high heels and they just called and asked me to come get them.

They had called earlier to complain that nobody was dancing. I volunteered to help: "The problem is just that nobody wants to be the first person to start dancing. So I'll just come in and get on the dance floor and start dancing and that will get things started."

I hate it when people whine to you, but then when you offer to do something constructive they turn you down...

They're awfully pretty girls, though, aren't they?

Natasha and Kinya in the living room


Kinya, Anya and Natasha outside the apartment

Natasha and Kinya again


Li'l K ("Papa, when I turn 18 I'm getting a tattoo...")

One more with Natasha and Kinya

Okay, I admit, the kid in the middle in that one shot isn't Anya, it's family friend James, whom we recently helped move after he came home from his Hurricane Ike evacuation to find that his ceiling had decided his bed looked really comfortable, and had accordingly decamped thereunto.

Ike aftermath

A great series of pictures here.

Thanks, again, to Randy.

Why Tailgating Is A Bad Idea Dept

That's a pretty sizable dead snake you've got there

The Devil's swimming pool

This would be seriously cool, except I wouldn't bring my kids along. The spot: Victoria Falls. The drop: oh, three hundred feet or so.

Got these, and the next few posts, from Randy.

Sweden: Land of Law and Order Dept

If you are a police officer in Sweden responding to a bank robbery, make sure you park legally.

The Devil's Dictionary: Christian (n.)

One who follows the teachings of Christ, insofar as they are not inconsistent with a life of sin.

This one is one of my favorites, and therefore gets the whole day to itself.

Criminal Mastermind of the Day Dept

Okay, my Libertarian soul is enraged to the core that it is possible for an American in what can only with immense sarcasm continue to be called "the land of the free," to be charged with the "crime" of "possession of fireworks." But Rhode Island's over-the-top nanny-statism does make it possible, technically, to qualify this dude as a "criminal mastermind." Alas, his best efforts failed to qualify him for the Darwin awards...

Key sentence: "When questioned, Stranko allegedly told police he had been smoking a cigarette inside the car when fireworks near his feet suddenly began going off."

Wait, This Window Is Transparent?? Dept

This story (key sentence: "They couldn't see us or hear us and just carried on regardless as we all cheered") reminds me of a friend's experience some twenty years ago. My friend worked on the ground floor of an office building that had floor-to-ceiling windows covered with the reflective film that keeps out the August Austin sun. One of the grounds crew, newly immigrated and unaware of the whole concept of one-way mirrors, needed to relieve himself and found a nice secluded corner of the building...right behind my friend's desk...

I Feel the Earth Move Under My...AIYEEEEE!!! Dept

If this car's rockin'...please call an ambulance.

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Correct Pronunciation of Oklahoma Dept

The correct way to pronounce "Oklahoma" is, for those of you who are not natives, with a distinct pause between the "Okla-" and the "-homa." This is easily remembered by fans of Broadway musicals, who are of course familiar with the big closing musical number, in which the cast chants:


We know we belong to the land, etc., etc.

But of course many of my fellow rednecks are not, alas, fans of Broadway; and so for their benefit my friend Terry provides a visual aid.a visual aid:

P.S. Of course there's not really a pause; that was just the setup for the picture.

The Devil's Dictionary: Cerebrus (n.)

The watch-dog of Hades, whose duty it was to guard the entrance -- against whom or what does not clearly appear; everybody, sooner or later, had to go there, and nobody wanted to carry off the entrance.

An epitaph from the Devil's Dictionary

His virtues were so conspicuous that his enemies, unable to overlook them, denied them, and his friends, to whose loose lives they were a rebuke, represented them as vices. They are here commemorated by his family, who shared them.

The Devil's Dictionary: Caviler (n.)

A critic of our own work.

The Devil's Dictionary: Capital Punishment (n.)

A penalty regarding the justice and expediency of which many worthy persons -- including all the assassins -- entertain grave misgivings.

The Devil's Dictionary: Calumnus (n.)

A graduate of the School for Scandal. A politician.

Tentative housing deal reached

The Liongs and I have come to terms on my renting their old house -- assuming they are able to close on the one they're trying to buy now.

Duane asked if I would object too strenuously if he were to save on moving expenses by leaving his big-screen television. I told him my boys would probably be honked off about having that much space taken up in the living room, but that hey, it was my house, and it was going to be my rules, and they would just have to deal with it...

Anyway, here's to success for the Liongs in their bid to buy that new house (with which, I might add, Desiree is apparently head-over-heels in love).

Redneck Literacy Dept

Thanks to Karl, who, I hasten to inform those of my readers who are game wardens, is not pictured and had nothing to do with any limit violations, express or implied.

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

New Zealand, Land of the Redneck

Hell hath no fury like a woman who wants possum custody.

HT: Dave

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Wordsmith of the Day Dept

This story (a) was posted by Mr. Barry and (b) should not, under any circumstances, be read by men. Or probably anybody else, for that matter.

I only mention it because you have to be happy whenever somebody wraps up a news story with the line, "...some aspects of sexual medicine are yet covered with the veil of misconception."

Now you don't have to read the story. Trust me on this one.

Time to Impress the Girlfriend Dept

Monday, October 06, 2008

The Devil's Dictionary: Calamity (n.)

A more than commonly plain and unmistakable reminder that the affairs of this life are not of our own ordering. Calamities are of two kinds: misfortune to ourselves, and good fortune to others.

The Devil's Dictionary: Brute (n.)


The Devil's Dictionary: Bride (n.)

A woman with a fine prospect of happiness behind her.

Criminal Master- (and Mistress-)mind of the Day Dept

Now, which is the best quote from today's winning couple?

Would it be the gentleman's protest when he saw the cop about to confiscate a bag of marijuana from his girlfriend's bedroom? (That would be, "Hey, that weed's mine.")

Or would it be the I-do-not-think-it-means-what-you-think-it-means line from the lady's explanation of how long her boyfriend had been selling cocaine? ("Forever, I mean as long as I've known him.")

Having trouble deciding, myself.

HT: Dave, again.

Why We Need Guys, Again Dept.

Because otherwise nobody would create laser-guided semi-automatic rubber-band guns.

HT: Dave

8:52 a.m., 6 October 2008

"Your divorce is granted."

Let's not bother trying to express the emotions, shall we? Done, and done.

Sunday, October 05, 2008

The Devil's Dictionary: Brain (n.)

An apparatus with which we think that we think. In our civilization, and under our republican form of government, brain is so highly regarded that it is exempted from the cares of office.

This seems as good a time as any to retell one of my favorite jokes:

The Scarecrow and the Wizard are discussing the upcoming operation, and the Wizard asks, "So, what model of brain would you like?"

"There are different models?"

"Certainly -- at rather different prices. I'll knock twenty grand an ounce off out of gratitude for your services, of course."

"Well, what kind of brain would that twenty grand an ounce buy me?"

"Oh, for twenty grand an ounce, you get a very serviceable brain, very serviceable indeed -- you get a plumber's brain. Qualifies you to perform a valuable service to society and you make good money. Not at all a bad deal, is Brain of Plumber -- especially when you're getting it for free."

The Scarecrow, not wishing to seem ungrateful, chooses his words carefully. "It sounds very nice, but you know, I think I'd really rather get something along more intellectual lines. Just a personal preference, but there it, um, what else is there?"

"Well, you could always go for Brain of Neurosurgeon. Very high-quality stuff. Expensive, though -- even after the discount you'd be looking at a good thirty thousand per ounce."

"But it's the best, right? The top-of-the-line model."

The Wizard smiles mysteriously. "Oh, no, my friend. It's not the top of the line. Why don't you follow me?"

They walk together down the hall and suddenly the Wizard stops at a large set of double doors. At his push they swing soundlessly open, revealing a large dark room empty save for its shadows and a single pedestal in the very center of the room, spotlit, with a glass case on a lazy susan rotating slowly and everlastingly. And within the case...

"This," says the Wizard, "is the pride of my collection. For this brain you will pay not a penny less than $500,000 per ounce."

"My God!" gasps the Scarecrow. "But what manner of man can possibly have possessed a brain that could justify such a price?"

"What you see before you," says the Wizard, slowly and impressively, "is Brain of Congressman."

The Scarecrow's awe instantly is replaced by choked incredulity. "Brain of -- Congr- -- no, you're not serious...a Congressman's -- five hundred thousand...for a Cong-..." He stops to collect his thoughts, then demands, "But why is it so expensive?"

"Well," replies the Wizard cheerfully, "in the first place, it's never been used. And in the second place -- do you realize how many Congressmen you have to kill to get an ounce of brains?"

The Devil's Dictionary: Bore (n.)

A person who talks when you wish him to listen.

The Devil's Dictionary: Birth (n.)

The first and direst of all disasters.

Well Put

The boys over at College Football News, giving a reason that TCU probably should be ranked higher than 24th in their rankings:

"TCU's lone blemish is a loss at Oklahoma. Boo hoo. 117 other teams would probably lose in Norman."

Hint: there are 119 teams in Division I.

Friday, October 03, 2008

Criminal Mastermind of the Day Dept, Part II

MUKWONAGO, Wis. -- Police in Mukwonago said a man was arrested and suffered burns after he used a lighter to see as he tried to siphon gasoline from a van.

HT: Dave.

Criminal Mastermind of the Day Dept

"Iowa City police say they didn't have much trouble finding a man accused of using a stolen credit card — he signed his own name to the receipts...."

Wednesday, October 01, 2008


I have Dessie's signature on a final agreement.

I can't talk about the details of the agreement, or how we got there, because one of the things I wanted was an injunction to keep either side from talking to the kids about it, and it turns out this is standard. So, no discussing the details in the presence of the children -- and the kids could conceivably read my blog.

But I should be divorced by Monday, with all of my financial obligations going forward finally nailed down solid so that I can start planning and committing accordingly.

And -- by far most importantly -- Rusty is going to live with me from now on.

That's about all I can say, except:

I can never thank you guys enough for all the prayers and support throughout this long and unspeakably ugly and painful process.

Keep praying for my kids.

And, again. Thanks. That's all I can say.

The Devil's Dictionary: Bigot (n.)

One who is obstinately and zealously attached to an opinion that you do not entertain.

The Devil's Dictionary: Bigamy (n.

A mistake in judgment for which the wisdom of the future will adjudge a punishment called trigamy.

The Devil's Dictionary: Belladonna (n.)

In Italian a beautiful lady; in English a deadly poison. A striking example of the essential identity of the two tongues.

The Devil's Dictionary: Beggar (n.)

One who has relied on the assistance of his friends.

As I did here, I note that my own friends belie this definition.

Apparently there are people who don't realize it's a joke actually goes to the trouble to debunk the following story as not being, yeah, no kidding.

I posted this a long time ago, when my friend Roy e-mailed it to me, but it's worth the repost.


Here's a "heads up" for any of you who may be regular customers of Lowe's. Over the last month I became a victim of a clever scam while out shopping. Simply going out to get supplies has turned out to be quite traumatic. Don't be naive enough to think it couldn't happen to you.

Here's how the scam works: Two seriously good-looking 18 or 19-year-old girls come over to your car as you are packing your shopping into the trunk. They both start wiping your windshield with a cloth and Windex, with their breasts falling out of their skimpy T-shirts. It is impossible not to look.

When you thank them and offer them a tip, they say "No" and instead ask you for a ride to another Lowe's. You agree and they get in the back seat. On the way, they start making out with each other. Then one of them climbs over into the front seat and starts putting her hands all over you, while the other one steals your wallet.

I had my wallet stolen December 4th, 9th, 10th, twice on the 17th, three times just yesterday, and, very likely, again this upcoming weekend as soon as I can buy some more wallets.

Again - please beware!

Criminal Mastermind of the Day Dept

The headline more or less tells the story: Dim Robber Uses Stolen Cash to Pay Fine.

Moogshot of the Day Dept

Explanation, with some details that, frankly, you probably don't want to read, here.