Monday, May 31, 2004

Memorial Day

Remembering those who died fighting what we have long since embraced.

It being "Memorial Day," I spent the day the way any red-blooded American would... teaching the kids how to shoot in the basement, and having a Samuel Adams. Yes, Samuel Adams. Brewer. Patriot. Leader of political dissent and revolution against tryanny and excessive taxation. Today I think he'd be viewed as very unAmerican... just shut up, pledge to the flag, and pay your taxes, whatsoever they ask you to pay. Yes, I had a Sam Adams, and thought about how America has pretty much become everything that those we call "Patriots" once fought against. Let me know when the next Tea Party is scheduled, cuz I'm there, dude.

The other day we got in the mail a notice from a collection agency saying that we failed to pay our local "Occupational Tax" (that's the tax that is levied on me so that I can enjoy the wonderful privelege of working in that swinging metropolis called Lebanon). Since we "failed" to pay, the notice also informs us that various charges are added to punish us and to pay for the process of having to mail us this notice. Now, this happens to be a payment that we in fact did pay, for wrath's sake. So, I got to wondering... just how many of these "failure to pay" notices are routinely sent out, in an effort to get whatever percentage of people to think, "hmm... I thought I paid it, but hey, I guess I'm wrong... here you go Caesar, whatever you say!"? Another guy that works with me in the office, who also paid his taxes, also received a failure to pay notice. Well, I have no proof of a conspiracy, but lack of proof never stopped a good conspiracy! The way I figure, it boils down to this: Either they are flat out lying in an attempt to get me to pay double my taxes (nay, TRIPLE with the fees and charges added), or, they actually lost (or otherwise are unable to account for) my money. Either way they demonstrate that they are irresponsible with my money and are thus unable to manage it. I'm not paying the tax twice, and I'm not paying the fees and charges. In fact, GIVE ME BACK MY MONEY, and let's call it even.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not one of those "let's get back to the faith of our founding fathers" guys. I think there are problems with how this Nation was founded, and problems with the Constitution (particularly it's polytheistic defense of pretended liberty of conscience), but I do believe that many of the things for which those Patriots died, things protected in the Bill of Rights, are worth fighting for, which things the current system of government sometimes seems to be fighting against. What would those old Patriots do with the government we have today?

Anyway, enjoy that Sam Adams, everybody!

Advantage, Waybright.

Not too many people know about my tennis playing days. Oh, to be young and talented again! Sigh. Posted by Hello

Killing imperfect babies.

Now this just makes me angry... and sad. Sad and angry. Very sad. Very angry. I almost wrote bad words on my blog today.

See also "There were more foetuses with Downs syndrome aborted than babies born with the condition in 2002."


Friday, May 28, 2004

Of Christian Zeal

"It is a spiritual heat wrought in the heart of man by the Holy Ghost, improving the good affections of love, joy, hope, &c., for the best service and furtherance of God's glory, with all the appurtenances thereof, his word, his house, his saints, and salvation of souls; using the contrary of hatred, anger, grief, &c., as so many mastiffs to fly upon the throat of God's enemies, the devil, his angels, sin, the world, with the lusts thereof. By the virtue whereof a zealot may run all through all his affections, and with David breathe zeal out of every pipe, after this manner for a taste.

Love. -- 'How do I love thy law, O Lord, more than the honey or the honeycomb, more than the thousands of gold?'

Hatred. -- 'Thine enemies I hate with a perfect hatred.'

Joy. -- 'Thy testimonies are my delight. I rejoice more in them than they that find great spoils, more than in my appointed food.'

Grief. -- 'Mine eyes gush out rivers of tears. O, that my head were a fountain of tears, because they destroy thy law!'

Hope. -- 'Mine eyes are dim with waiting: How do I long for thy salvation!'

Fear. -- 'Thy judgments are terrible, I tremble and quake,' &c.

"Look what pitch of affection natural man betows upon his dearest darling, what insatiable thirst the covetous worldling upon his Mammon, the ambitious upon his honour, the voluptuous upon his pleasure, the same the Christian striveth in equal, yea (if possible), far exceeding terms to convert and confer upon God and his worship."

~~ Samuel Ward, from the sermon entiltled A Coal from the Altar to Kindle the Holy Fire of Zeal, on Rev. III.19.

Thursday, May 27, 2004

The Benefits of Genetic Disorders

I stepped on a scale at work the other day, to find that I am down to 201 lbs. Before I got sick back in December, I was pushing 220 lbs (on this 6' 1'' frame, mind you). After having my entire system "reset" with my illness, the weight continues to come off, and I'm not doing anything consciously to do it (ducking as the jealous haus fraus throw pots and pans my way)! There was a woman at work who saw me weigh myself. She asked me what the results were. When I told her that I've lost almost 20 lbs doing absolutely nothing out of the ordinary, she... well... did an unkind gesture at me with her hand. Glad to see folks so willing to share in my blessings! Welp, I'm off to finish my coffee, eat an unhealthy breakfast, and smoke my pipe. When I get home I might continue my "weight loss program" by finishing off my last Guinness.

Tuesday, May 25, 2004

The Day after Tomorrow

The Day After Tomorrow is the upcoming propaganda film designed to scare us into handing more money over to the government so they can better control the weather. I have a hard time not laughing when I think about that whole concept. Anyway, tornados in Los Angeles, huh? Hmm... now where could they have gotten that idea?

Obviously, they got it from the same place everyone else gets their ideas...

from Kansas!

This is the album cover for Kansas' 1992 "Live at the Whiskey." Look at it! It's uncanny, down to the spotlight on the funnel! "The Whiskey" is a club in L.A., and tornados, of course, are from Kansas. It's not the best example of live Kansas around, so I'm surprised to see an entire unHolywood movie being based on it. I'd expect much more a movie based on the 1978 album Two for the Show.  Posted by Hello

Monday, May 24, 2004

Day by Day

Day by Day with John Calvin. Overall, I've been getting good use of it. The book is set up with a portion of Scripture, and comments by Calvin's writings, mostly from his Commentaries and the Institutes. I've been using it in my private worship by reading the entire chapter from which the Scripture passage is taken, and then reading the short comment by Calvin by way of explanation of the passage read. I have two complaints, however. First, I wish there would be citations so I know what work the quote comes from. Second, the editing is at times atrocious. Whether it be an entire paragraph removed from the text, with no indication of it being removed, or replacing "Moses" with "the author of Genesis," as if Calvin was as drunk with modern "scholarship" as teachers of today are, the editing is ALMOST NEVER for the better, but for the worse. I've heard Heart Aflame is much better, which sticks to Calvin's Commentaries on the Psalms, but I've not been through it yet. I prefer Calvin's Corner, but hey, I'm a bit biased.

Saturday, May 22, 2004

Sure, we went to the Shore.

Sure it's a little early in the season to be going to the Jersey Shore, but we're not complaining.

We had the entire beach to ourselves, and once we got numb, the water felt just fine.

Elisabeth loved playing in the sand, but was very concerned about the waves, so she kept her distance. The boys and I attacked the ocean with all of our might, and like I said, once we got numb, it was just fine. Mild hypothermia never hurt anyone, if ya ask me.
 Posted by Hello

We also went to the Cape May County Zoo, which was really nice. The grounds of the zoo are beautiful. It’s not like the zoos in Baltimore, or Philly, or even Washington D.C., where you make a special trip just to see the zoo and can plan on spending the entire day there, but there is a lot to see and it was a nice way to spend part of our day. They had giraffes, zebras, a nice reptile house, birds-o-plenty, lions, tigers, and bears. The only glaring omissions are the lack of great-apes and elephants, but the visit to the zoo was well worth it. Besides, if Simon and Garfunkel taught us anything, it’s that “elephants are kindly but they're dumb,” and of course, “Orangutans are skeptical of changes in their cages, and the zookeeper is very fond of rum.” So, we don’t mind missing these dumb skeptics and their drunk handlers. Oh, I forgot to mention... the Cape May Zoo is FREE of charge!

Overall, it was a good trip, especially when we decided to take the long way home, and ended up lost in some “town.” Here’s how lost we were: I asked a guy at a gas station where we were and he couldn’t give me a straight answer – “I don’t mean to be a smart, but you’re here.” I pulled out a map, and he's like, "That map ain't gonna help you 'round here, boy." Great. It’s “Deliverance” all over again. We jumped back in the van and ran roughshod over everything in our way until we found the turnpike. Speaking of turnpike, New Jersey is one big turnpike. Here in Pennsylvania, when someone tells us they’re from New Jersey, the proper response is simply, “which exit?” I wonder if New Jersey people have Pennsylvania jokes.

It was a fun trip, but it's good to be back home. I was born and raised in Lebanon, PA., and I like it here. Very rarely do we have earthquakes, hurricanes, tornados, floods, or things of that sort. We have four distinct seasons, which is nice. And if you want to see stuff, a few hour drive will get you to Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, New York City, the Jersey Shore, Baltimore, Washington D.C., and a host of other places I like to visit but sure wouldn't wanna live there.

Thanks for getting the mail, Jason. I found it right where you left it. Um, Mr. K... what exactly did you feed my cat? He don't look so good.

Tuesday, May 18, 2004

Big Fish!

I got him! I got him! Call the President! Man, this thing is AWESOME!

After turning in my captive, we (that is, my family and I... we are NOT bringing Osama) are going on vacation for a few days. Jason S., can you get my mail for the next few days? Mr. K, please feed my cat while I'm gone... oh! and change the litter box. Doom, join this group and fend off the hyper-calvinism while I'm away. Deejay, ponderize something and blag about it on your blog, and no waffling about it either. Mr and Mrs B, I figured you could have your crew work on the bike and have it ready to rip when I get home. Here's what I want it to look like:

So, get to work you slackers!

And everyone, work on your catechism.
 Posted by Hello

Be back soon.

Monday, May 17, 2004

Desktop Change

Feeling a bit convicted by a brother's comment about keeping my daughter in my computer, I've decided to make some changes to my desktop. Posted by Hello

Saturday, May 15, 2004

More wise counsel from days gone by...

This is the third installment of the Questions and Counsels from "The Heidelberg Catechism, with Proof-Texts and Explanations as used in the Palatinate, translated from the German by Rev. H. Harbaugh, D.D., with Forms of Devotion."

Part one

Part two

And now, continuing with the next few counsels, part three:


4. Live near to God. Pray often and meditate much. Meditate on the attributes of God, his plan of salvation; his revealed word. "Walk by faith and not by sight." "Look at the things which are not seen and eternal, rather than at the things seen and temporal."

5. Remember that you are a steward of the Lord, entrusted with talents which he requires you to employ for his honor and glory. Study to show yourself true to your vocation. Live to do good.

6. Live at peace with all men, so far as in you lies. Bear a peculiar attachment to God's people, and frequent all the ordinances of religion. Never be absent from the communion table if you can help it. Never be absent from the house of God on the Sabbath, if possible. Be liberal in the support of God's holy religion. Love the Church of Christ.

7. Live as one that expects soon to be in heaven. If you live with heaven in view, you will feel that the earth is not your home; that you ought to watch and pray, and that you ought to be holy. If you feel that you may die at any moment, you will watch and pray. Pure and holy indeed should he be, whose eyes are soon to look upon the throne of God, and whose hands are soon to strike the harp of praise in heaven.

To be continued...

Vocalist Poll

There are some people that are so gifted vocally, that if they picked up a phone book, and starting in the A's, sang the names, addresses and phone numbers, straight through to the final Z, I would enjoy hearing it. Three I can think of off the top of my head:

1. Smokey Robinson.

2. Sam Cooke.

3. Van Morrison.

Leave a comment with your top three vocalists, ones you would enjoy even if they sang the phone book.

Friday, May 14, 2004


Just playing around with this Hello BloggerBot thing... check out my desktop! Posted by Hello

Free Ride

There are a bunch of guys tearing up the property directly across the street from our place. They ripped up all the unruly hedges, tore off the ugly blue siding off the main building, replaced the windows, and tore down the monstrosity of a garage. Lo, and behold, inside the garage lay a treasure... an old dilapidated Honda motorcycle. I'm sitting on my porch smoking a pipe, reading Calvin's commentary on Isaiah, and I go, "Hey Mike," for that's the name of the foreman in charge of the crew, "Hey Mike, did you find that bike in the garage?" He says, "Yeah, it's free if you want it." So, now the bike's in ~MY~ monstrosity of a garage!

As previously noted on this blog, I'm not exactly Mr. Fixit. But maybe me and the boys have a fun project to work on. Here are some pics:

motor up close Posted by Hello

side view Posted by Hello

What do you's think? Bonehead move, or bonus acquisition?

Thursday, May 13, 2004

Ocean Jones

Jersey shore Posted by Hello

Every now and again I feel the ocean jones. You know what that is? It's what Herman Melville wrote about in the opening chapter of Moby Dick:

"But look! here come more crowds, pacing straight for the water, and seemingly bound for a dive. Strange! Nothing will content them but the extremest limit of the land; loitering under the shady lee of yonder warehouses will not suffice. No. They must get just as nigh the water as they possibly can without falling And there they stand- miles of them- leagues. Inlanders all, they come from lanes and alleys, streets avenues- north, east, south, and west. Yet here they all unite. Tell me, does the magnetic virtue of the needles of the compasses of all those ships attract them thither?"

I'm no sailor, nor do I ever feel the desire to be one. But I can hardly stand to be land-locked for too long a period of time. I get to feeling like I have to go to the ocean. Not necessarily to swim in it, but to be near it, to hear it, to smell it, to put my feet in it, to taste it, to step in dead jellyfish and pick up stinky horseshoe crabs, to be pooped on by sea-birds... ah yes, the joys of the beach! Well, as the weather is getting warmer and warmer hear in Central PA, I'm feeling that ocean jones. Next week we're taking a couple days off and heading out to the Jersey Shore... no, it's not Cancun, but it's not the trash pile it used to be either. This is going to be quite a project, cramming the whole crew into our "blue bus" and driving 5-6 hours East until our tires get stuck in the sand, but that's what we're fixin' to do, and I'm looking forward to it. My wife's worried that some Greenpeace nuts are going to spot her on the beach and try to roll her back into the water, but I'm hoping to have her fears quelled by next week. I mean, come on, she's not THAT pregnant! ;)

Wednesday, May 12, 2004

With God On Our Side

When Bob Dylan wrote this, the circumstances were different, but look around and tell me, have things really changed?

With God on Our Side
-- Bob Dylan.

Oh my name it is nothin'
My age it means less
The country I come from
Is called the Midwest
I's taught and brought up there
The laws to abide
And that land that I live in
Has God on its side.

Oh the history books tell it
They tell it so well
The cavalries charged
The Indians fell
The cavalries charged
The Indians died
Oh the country was young
With God on its side.

Oh the Spanish-American
War had its day
And the Civil War too
Was soon laid away
And the names of the heroes
I's made to memorize
With guns in their hands
And God on their side.

Oh the First World War, boys
It closed out its fate
The reason for fighting
I never got straight
But I learned to accept it
Accept it with pride
For you don't count the dead
When God's on your side.

When the Second World War
Came to an end
We forgave the Germans
And we were friends
Though they murdered six million
In the ovens they fried
The Germans now too
Have God on their side.

I've learned to hate Russians
All through my whole life
If another war starts
It's them we must fight
To hate them and fear them
To run and to hide
And accept it all bravely
With God on my side.

But now we got weapons
Of the chemical dust
If fire them we're forced to
Then fire them we must
One push of the button
And a shot the world wide
And you never ask questions
When God's on your side.

In a many dark hour
I've been thinkin' about this
That Jesus Christ
Was betrayed by a kiss
But I can't think for you
You'll have to decide
Whether Judas Iscariot
Had God on his side.

So now as I'm leavin'
I'm weary as Hell
The confusion I'm feelin'
Ain't no tongue can tell
The words fill my head
And fall to the floor
If God's on our side
He'll stop the next war.

Credit where credit is due...

Nice job, you morons. You would think that somebody would have thought of informing the U.S. troops something about the Middle Eastern mindset before sending them over to behave exactly like the savage infidels they believe Americans to be. These pictures of the inhumane treatment, which some knuckleheads thought would be funny to take, will for years and years and years and years be remembered and used to infuriate Muslim people. Why in the world didn't someone explain that the people we are dealing with NEVER FORGET, that they to this day seek vengeance for things done hundreds of years ago, that if you insult them they will cut off your head and dance around with it in the street? And now we see a man, a civilian helping to rebuild what was destroyed, cruelly executed in retaliation of American arrogance and foolishness. This war cannot be won the way it is being fought.


The strength of military might will not save us. The secular government will not save us. "Pride" will not save us. "United We Stand" stickers will not save us. There is no peace and safety outside of Jesus Christ.

Let King Jesus reign and all His enemies be scattered.

 Posted by Hello

Tuesday, May 11, 2004

Lil' Beth in Glasses

Elisabeth wearing glasses. Posted by Hello

More pics?

Two Words...


Monday, May 10, 2004


Today was a rough day at work, and I'm drained. I spent about 4 straight hours trying to convince someone not to commit self-murder. The guy made it clear that his intent was to die today. If I let him walk out of the office he was going to stab himself in the throat with a knife (he brought two knives WITH HIM to my place of employment). It didn't end as nice as I would have wanted it to, but ultimately nobody got hurt. But man am I drained.

Then I came home and got puked on again.

I'm spent. I got nothing left. I'm going to bed.

Oh, one more interesting thing.... the guy said he was a Christian, and so I pleaded with him for Christ's sake not to harm himself... but his god was the Arminian god... the one that is not powerful enough to save... the one not powerful enough to overcome Freewill Almighty. So that path lead nowhere. But, like I said, as for tonight, no harm was done. But I fear that I will be reading about him in the paper someday.

The Ups and Downs of Lord's Day at Home

Yesterday was interesting. We finished reading John Calvin's Sermons on Micah, and it's always fun to finish a big fat book like that. After our morning worship Cole, my 7 year old, came up to me and said, "When I don't understand something in the Bible, I pray for God to give me an example. And sometimes, I end up having an unexpected example. Like when we read about people being more stubborn than animals, and I prayed for an example, and then Daniel was fussing and crying and not listening. It was an unexepected example, and it helped me to understand." Hmm... I hope Cole prays for an example of global reformation or something cool like that! Hey, I tell you what -- let's all pray for an example of that.

I suppose the low point of the day was during evening worship. I was holding Daniel (who was not feeling very good) in one arm, and holding a book of Christopher Love sermons in the other hand, which I was reading aloud to the family. When I came across the phrase "Despise not Prophesying," Daniel spewed forth copious amounts of vomit upon my lap, and with coughing and gagging, did signal to me that more was forthcoming. My pregnant wife then launches into action to save her helpless husband who was holding a book in one hand, a sick boy in the other, and a pile of what appeared to the partially digested remnants of chocolate cake with... hmm... I'm guessing peanut butter icing... in his lap. My wife takes the book, and lays it on the table... in a puddle of milk... and gets a bowl into which Daniel released the remaining offending materials. Conner ran and got daddy new pants -- how many of you ever had to change pants DURING WORSHIP? My wife returned with a towel and a rag to help clean up the mess. While I'm changing my pants, I'm giving thanks for the trials that have come upon me, and repeatedly admonishing the entire family to "despise not prophesying!" Everything got cleaned up, and everybody calmed down, and then I continued to read from the milky wet book until I found a good place to stop until next time (this sermon happened to be one of the longer sermons in Love's arsenal).

To end on a good note, it was a beautiful day outside, and one of my favorite parts of the day was sitting on the porch with the kids going over the Catechism. You can't beat a good Presbyterian moment like that with a stick, I'll tell ya.

Friday, May 07, 2004


Daddy loves you both very much!

I am angry

I was watching Fox News last night to catch up on all the latest, and scrolling across the bottom of the screen it said something like "Predominately Christian tribe kills 500 Muslims in Nigeria." What? Do these knuckleheads have any idea what has been going on in Nigeria? Where are the headlines when Muslims kill thousands of Christians, burning down homes and churches? This really ticks me off. Poor Muslims. Islam is peace. Whatever you do, don't offend the people of this religion of peace. The terrorists have corrupted the religion of peace. Bull! Islam has corrupted the terrorists! Allah is no god, but the Devil! Muhammad was a deranged lunatic. Islam is NOT peace, but war.

Thank God for the small victory given to the persecuted flock in Nigeria. May Christ the King restrain and conquer all His and all our enemies.

Note: While I cannot pretend to know everything regarding the circumstances the most recent episode in Nigeria, in Christian charity I've assumed that the incident was either a defensive act, or an offensive manuever in a defensive war. For a good Christian argument for the defensive use of arms, please see Head V of A Hind Let Loose.

Thursday, May 06, 2004

Buenos Dias!

I'm still a bit stunned after witnessing the horror of horrors at the vet. Poor Harley! They... ahem... excuse me, but it's still not easy to talk about. They... whew.... THEY TOOK HARLEY'S TEMPERATURE. There. I said it.

I was so disturbed that I completely forgot it was Cinco de Mayo! Another missed opportunity to have a Dos Equis with my Puerto Rican neighbors. Wait, I lie.... I suppose on any given day I could use the secret knock on their garage door to get in and have a Dos Equis, or whatever it is they have in there. Let's just say that my neighbors are quite celebratory, and from the smell of it, they also apparently enjoy botany. Ha, ha, I'm uh... ha... I'm just kidding.

Now if you'll excuse me, I'm going to have a second cup of coffee (with plenty of cream, Mr. K), and try to get the shocking cat temperature images out of my mind.


Wednesday, May 05, 2004

House of nuts and cats

Last night ended kinda hectically. Kids wanted to lip off, which makes me angry. I accidentally broke a bowl while scrambling to get the kitchen cleaned up so we could have worship and go to bed. Worship did not go very well, either – kids screaming, babies crying, alarms going off, sirens, flashing lights, bottles flying. Sometimes being in my house is like Song of Solomon 6:11 – “I went down into the garden of nuts.”

Speaking of which, the vet says we should get a urine sample from the cat. Please tell me if there is something more difficult than collecting a urine sample from a cat, cuz I can't think of any. They say putting gloves on an octopus is hard, but I’d rather try and do that. The thing about cats is that they do whatever they want. Ever try to give a cat a pill? They recommended locking the cat in room with a clean litter box. Isn’t this like saying the solution to the problem is the problem itself? We ~don’t~ want the cat to pee all over the place, and so the answer is to lock the cat in a room with a clean litter box? Can I do that at your house, Dr. Vet? Thanks.

Tuesday, May 04, 2004

Covenanted Bedtime Stories

Consider: A lawfully wedded wife leaves her lawfully wedded husband and goes a-whoring for several years while the husband patiently awaits her return. She returns, without repenting of her whoring, and agrees to live with her husband, but not because she is bound by her past covenant to do so, but simply because she wants to (which she thinks is reason enough). She wishes to be considered a faithful and honorable wife.

Consider also: A man lives a life of debauchery, idolatry, murder, and theft. He discontinues doing those things, never confessing or expressing sorrow for those things, but simply pretending as if those things never happened. He wishes to be considered a faithful and honorable man.

And again, consider: A family is building a house for their father on their own property. A trespasser burns the house down, and kills some members of the family. The wicked trespasser then says that he’s changed his mind, and he’s decided that the family is allowed to build the house, provided they admit that he is the rightful owner of the house. Some of the family members think this is a fantastic deal, and a great opportunity to get the house of their father built. Other family members think it’s a bad idea to build the house under those conditions, as it acknowledges that the wicked man has the right to make such demands of ownership on this house, reminding the family that the house they seek to build belongs to their father, not to the trespasser. The latter family members abstain from participating in the building of the trespasser's new house, and instead seek to build themselves a house for their father which the trespasser has no claim to. The former family members are highly offended that the latter family members are refusing to participate with them, considering them to be disobedient, disruptive, and divisive, all the while wishing for themselves to be considered faithful and honorable sons of their father.

Crazy, huh?

Monday, May 03, 2004

Sounds yummy.

I was planning on posting something on the Diet of Worms this morning, when I noticed that Knoxknox already wrote something on it! Fine, she beat me to the punch. But my main question is this....

The Diet of Worms, is it Atkins friendly?