Monday, February 28, 2005

I'm almost a girl, huh? Say it to my face!

Your Brain is 40.00% Female, 60.00% Male

You have a total boy brain

Logical and detailed, you tend to look at the facts

And while your emotions do sway you sometimes...

You never like to get feelings too involved

Ok, so I guess if I'm not sitting my fat lazy rear on the couch, biting into a double-bacon cheeseburger as the grease drips down on to my belly, staining my already stained wife-beater style t-shirt, I'm almost half-a-girl?

In other news...

In my quest to get into some kind of acceptable state of fitness, my body continues to be a bit sore, but as I continue to workout, it's less of an injury "I can't move my leg" kind of sore, and more like a "I'm sore, and that feels GOOD" kind of sore. I'm quite pleased with how much of my Katas I remember after 15 or so years.

For the uninformed, a kata is kind of like Catechism, but for Karate. Katachism. The Catechism is a form of sound words that the student is to memorize word for word... even if they don't have complete or total understanding into all the nuances contained therein. Kata is the same way, but for Karate. Kata means "form." It is a serious of moves put together to teach balance, power, technique, and such things. The katas are memorized and performed exactly as they are taught. Here's a fantastic example of Wansu Kata, if you're interested and have the patience to wait for a download. Of course no actual fight looks like that, but that's not the point. There is self defense in the kata, but you have to be able to apply it. Consider it this way: Learning the moves of the kata is like KNOWLEDGE. Knowing the application of those moves is like UNDERSTANDING. Being able to pull out those techniques when they are needed, in less then perfect circumstances, when your caught by suprise or when your off balance, or when you don't have room to get into a strong stance, etc., is like WISDOM. If you want pure fighting, without learning a system, without bothering with katas, go learn Krav Maga or something.

Now, as I was saying, I'm quite pleased to have remembered Seisan, Seiunchin, Nahanchi, and Wansu kata in their entireties, and I'm quickly remembering Tokumine No Kun every time we practice it (see the late Tatsuo Shimabuku performing this kata here). Kata is fun, and good exercise.

What I'm not pleased with is my poor conditioning. I'm a bit of a weakling by nature, and I have alot of work to do in the push-up, sit-up, type things.

I'm proud of my boy Cole. He has some problems, you see -- namely social anxiety and facial tics. As I watch him in his class, there are times where he appears to be very frustrated because of having difficulty following what the class is doing. But you know what? Instead of turning around and walking out, he sticks with it. And he always says at the end of the class that he had alot of fun and learned some cool things. Yes! I'm happy to see the boy finding some success and reward in persevering in adversity.

Sorry for blagging so much about Karate and stuff. I'm sure many of you could care less about it. But hey, it's my blog and I'll kiai if I want to!

We're waiting for another decent snow storm today. I'm wondering if I'll end up getting stuck at work tonight... not because I can't make it home, but because some sissies won't be able to make it in for the night shift. Oh, well.

I leave you today with a section of the Heidelberg Catechism that we read together yesterday, at the end of the section on the Ten Commandments:


Q. 114. But can those who are converted to God perfectly keep these commandments?

A. No: but even the holiest men, while in this life, have only a small beginning of this obedience;(a) yet so, that with a sincere resolution they begin to live, not only according to some, but all the commandments of God.(b)

(a) 1 John 1:8-10; Rom.7:14,15; Eccl.7:20; 1 Cor.13:9. (b) Rom.7:22; Ps.1:2; James 2:10.

Q. 115. Why will God then have the ten commandments so strictly preached, since no man in this life can keep them?

A. First, that all our lifetime we may learn more and more to know(a) our sinful nature, and thus become the more earnest in seeking the remission of sin, and righteousness in Christ;(b) likewise, that we constantly endeavour and pray to God for the grace of the Holy Spirit, that we may become more and more conformable to the image of God, till we arrive at the perfection proposed to us, in a life to come.(c)

(a) Rom.3:20; 1 John 1:9; Ps.32:5. (b) Matt.5:6; Rom.7:24,25. (c) 1 Cor.9:24; Philip.3:11-14.

Good day, all!

Friday, February 25, 2005

Wanna be a cop?

I heard on the radio the other day that a local State Police officer shot himself to death in front of the barricks. And ugly story, really. The radio story seemed to be trying very hard to distance the suicide from the fact that he was a cop, pointing out that he was not in uniform when he shot himself, did not use a police issued weapon, and was in his own private vehicle. The story also said that some time earlier the officer was found to be involved in some kind of child pornography, which was put forth a possible motive. Still, at the end of the story, it was mentioned that more State Police officer die by suicide than by on-duty altercations with criminals! Wow, who woulda thunk that the real danger in being a cop is self-destruction? A sad, sad story. I like my job.

Thursday, February 24, 2005

I'm old

Man, my legs hurt! Just came back from my first full-length karate class in maybe 15 years... and I feel the difference 15 years make. My legs ache, I kicked some guy's elbow with the instep of my left foot... ouch! I was winded and sweating within 5 minutes of warm-ups! But, hey. I made it. And with some regular exercise, I'm hoping to whip back into some kind of decent shape shortly.

You know what else is getting old? My car. It's got some rust on it I need to get fixed up before I can drive it Flintstones style.

It snowed.

Tonight after family worship we had a good discussion about assurance. The kids expressed that sometimes they don't feel they're going to Heaven. And so we walk the find line of trying to provide hope, without squashing the conscience. It was a good talk, and I'm glad my children are wrestling with these things at such a young age. I'm not even sure I cared about stuff like God and Heaven when I was a kid.

I'm old.

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

Another Day

Well, another birthday has come and gone (2/20). Last night we had a giant chocolate chip cookie with ice cream on it (picture a pizza, but made out of a cookie and ice cream). Yummy. I feel alot younger this year than I did the last few years. I've got a jump in my step, I'm not tired all the time (even though I've not been sleeping great). I'm starting to get some exercise again -- the three oldest chilluns and I are going to Karate class again tonight (D.V., of course). I was told I may be allowed to keep my rank instead of start all over at white belt -- that would be nice. When I stopped practicing Karate before I went to college, I was training to test for brown belt. I'm hoping Karate can benefits the kids as well -- Cole has some neurological things going on, that I'm thinking might be helped by some good training of the body.

Keep us all in your prayers, please. Despite feeling so good lately, I still get a bit hopeless about some things.

Saturday, February 19, 2005


Have the power to SAVE TOBY. Personally, I'd like to taste him.

(Sponsored by the Central Pennsylvania chapter of PETA -- People for the Eating of Tasty Animals).

Wednesday, February 16, 2005

A Psalm for the Downcast

Psalm 13
To the chief Musician, A Psalm of David.

1 How long wilt thou forget me, Lord?
shall it for ever be?
O how long shall it be that thou
wilt hide thy face from me?

2 How long take counsel in my soul,
still sad in heart, shall I?
How long exalted over me
shall be mine enemy?

3 O Lord my God, consider well,
and answer to me make:
Mine eyes enlighten, lest the sleep
of death me overtake:

4 Lest that mine enemy should say,
Against him I prevailed;
And those that trouble me rejoice,
when I am moved and failed.

5 But I have all my confidence
thy mercy set upon;
My heart within me shall rejoice
in thy salvation.

6 I will unto the Lord my God
sing praises cheerfully,
Because he hath his bounty shown
to me abundantly.

(Scottish Metrical Version)

Monday, February 14, 2005

Talkin' 'bout love.

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Ain't that so sweet it makes your cheeks hurt?

Sunday, February 13, 2005


When the Confession of Faith and the Catechisms were agreed to, the Scottish commissioners took leave of the Westminster Assembly, and, after an absence of about four years, returned to Scotland, and gave an account of their proceedings to the General Assembly which met in August, 1647. This Assembly, of which Mr. Robert Douglas was moderator, is memorable in our history for having received the Westminster Confession of Faith as a part of the uniformity of religion to which the three kingdoms had become bound in the Solemn League.

The only reservation which they made in approving of this Confession, was in regard to the authority of the magistrate in calling assemblies, ascribed to him in the 31st chapter, which they understood "only of churches not settled in point of government;" asserting their freedom "to assemble together synodically, as well pro re nata as at the ordinary times, upon delegation from the churches, by the intrinsical power received from Christ, as often as it is necessary for the good of the Church so to assemble." This explanation was necessary, in consequence of the Erastian principles which had now begun to prevail in the English parliament, and to hinder them from settling the discipline of the Church. Whatever construction might be put upon those parts of the Confession by the rulers, the Assembly thus declared the sense in which they "understood" them. This act still remains in force in the Scottish Church, and is prefixed to all our copies of the Confession – a standing memorial of the jealousy with which the Church of Scotland watched over her spiritual independence as a Church of Christ.

We may here state, once for all, that the Larger and Shorter Catechisms, Propositions for Church Government, and the Directory for Public Worship, which had been drawn up by the Westminster Assembly, in conjunction with the commissioners from the Church of Scotland, were also received, approved, and ratified by the General Assembly, in several acts relating to them, as "parts of the covenanted uniformity." These acts of approbation by the Church were afterwards ratified by the estates in parliament; and thus so far as Scotland was concerned, the stipulations of the Solemn League were cordially and honourably fulfilled.
~~Rev. Thomas M‘Crie, D.D., LL.D.

Saturday, February 12, 2005

I can see for miles and miles

Just got back from Pappy's place. He has a cabin overlooking the Shenandoah Valley (you know, past Lickdale). Here's a picture taken from the upstairs patio (the photo really doesn't do justice):
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Now, I've noticed that while I reduced the stupid survey to 30 questions, other folks are going ahead and completing the complete 100. I feel betrayed, hoodwinked, bamboozled and led astray. Look, I don't have time to take a 100 question survey, ok?

Here's something funny (not funny ha ha, but funny strange): While attempting to open up Bro John's blog, my browser (Firefox) crashed, and wouldn't come back up. When I finally got it running again, all my passwords, all my bookmarks, all my everything was gone. Let this be a warning to you. The Eagles once sang "In a New York minute, everything can change..." and it's true. So watch it.

Thursday, February 10, 2005

Take me home, country road...

Well, it's not actually home, neither is it a country road, and we only briefly pass through a portion of West Virginia, but we're leaving today to visit my dad (Pappy to the kids). He's the one with the cool cabin in the mountains. Originally the plan was to go down in the winter to experience the snowy mountain top thing. But, here it is winter, and it's been in the 60's at Pappy's place all week! I like that better, honestly.

So I asked Daniel (A.K.A. Frog Pillow Face) if he's ready to see Pappy. He responded, "Yeah, I really need to go shopping." OK. Daniel can be a bit of a goof, that's for sure, but sometimes in his goofiness he can be profound. Like the other day when he said, "I like God. I can't wait to go in the Bible to see Him." Yes, Daniel. Thank you for the reminder that if we are to find God, we must find Him in the Scriptures.

Wednesday, February 09, 2005

The Frog and My Headache

"My frog is lost! MY FROG IS LOST!"

That's the cry that woke me up last night at about 1am. Daniel, our 3 year old, climbed into our bed, screaming about his frog being lost. He woke up the baby, who started crying too. The frog is actually a pillow, a frog pillow. It's Daniel's favorite pillow. He had fallen asleep on the couch earlier that evening, and I carried him to bed, apparently laying him on the wrong pillow. Well, when he woke up to find that he was not laying on his frog, he flipped. I walked him back to his room and found his frog for him... and he went right to sleep. Me? Oh, I couldn't sleep, not for an hour or two or three, anyway. I probably got about 4 hours of sleep last night. Now it's the end of my shift at work, and I'm sleepy and my head HURTS... like sick to my stomach hurts. Yuck.

Tuesday, February 08, 2005

Stupid Survey

I found a survey appearing on some blogs. It was originally 100 questions long, which is too long, especially when some of the questions were more stupid, girly, and even inappropriate than the ones I included in this reduced version. I did not make up any of the questions, I just skipped about 70 of them.

1. Your name spelled backwards: dlareg or yrrej

2. Where were your parents born? I think maybe my mom was born in Jonestown, PA. and pappa was a rollin’ stone so I’m not sure.

3. What is the last thing you downloaded? A picture of a little red rooster puppet.

4. What's your favorite restaurant? Maybe Kclinger’s, maybe the Downtown Lounge, maybe someplace else.

5. Last time you swam in a pool? A pool of what?

6. Have you ever been in a school play? Yeah, I was in The Greatest Christmas Pageant Ever, of all things.

7. How many kids do you want? Dozens, if God would so bless me.

8. Type of music you dislike most? The festive Spanish music my neighbors play loudly.

9. Are you registered to vote? I can’t remember. I registered once a long, long time ago. Does his expire?

10. Have you ever ridden on a moped? No. I’ve rarely even seen one.

11. Ever get a parking ticket? Yes, mostly for parking in front of my own home! Tyrants!

12. Would you go bungee jumping or sky diving? Perhaps if someone killed me and did these cruel things with my cold dead body.

13. Farthest place you ever traveled? Oh, Mexico... Cancun.

14. What's your favorite comic strip? Don’t read them. Calvin and Hobbes is clever, I understand.

15. Do you know all the words to your National Anthem? Only the part they sing before baseball games. I’m sure there are verses that are hardly ever sung..

16. Bath or Shower, morning or night? Showers at night, Jerry's delight. Bath in the morn, employer be warned (Jerry's gonna be late for work).

17. Favorite pizza topping? Pepperoni like there’s no tomorrow.

18. Chips or popcorn? Chips. For my British friends, this is asking if you like crisps or popcorn.

19. Have you ever smoked peanut shells? Absolutely yes I have! And the skins too. And an apple leaf.

20. Have you ever been in a beauty pageant? Only the beauty pageant in my mind, and I finished last.

21. Last time you ate a homegrown tomato? The whole tomato? Never, unless someone slipped it in my drink.

22. Have you ever won a trophy? Yes, at a karate sparring competition.

23. Are you a good cook? Boo yeah. I’d ask my family to testify, but they are in a state of euphoria after eating my food and are unable to answer right now.

24. Do you know how to pump your own gas? Where you think I live, New Jersey?

25. Have you ever had to wear a uniform to work? Never once.

26. Ever throw up in public? I do not believe so, but if someone told me that I puked at Hershey Park as a kid I wouldn’t dispute it.

27. Would you prefer being a millionaire or find true love? Can I get half of each, maybe?

28. Do you believe in love at first sight? No, love ain't the word to describe what that is.

29. Who was the last person you visited in a hospital? Grandma Dorothy, shortly before she passed away, July 2004.

30. Did you have a lot of hair when you were a baby? Yes, thick dark hair. A ton of it. Most of my children have been born with the same mop.

Monday, February 07, 2005

Little Red Rooster

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If you see my little red rooster, please drag him home
If you see my little red rooster, please drag him home
There ain't no peace in the barnyard,
Since the little red rooster been gone

~~Willie Dixon.

Saturday, February 05, 2005

The Karate Kids

The search for a karate school has begun. Last night I took my oldest four kids to one of the local martial arts schools to observe, at the invitation of the instructor. A nice gentleman, who was very kind to us. So, here are our choices:

1. "Karate" school #1. Actually, the form of martial arts taught there is Korean in origin, and so I'm baffled at their use of the term Karate (which is Okinawan/Japanese). Tae Kwon Do is what's being taught, and so the school should be called "So-and-So's Tae Kwon Do" and not "So-and-So's Karate" as it is currently mis-named. Tae Kwon Do is Korean for "the way of the foot and fist," and it was developed by Koreans to fight enemies who were attacking predominately on horse back, and because of that, the kicks tend to be aimed extremely high, with alot of jumping and flying around in the air -- not awfully practical for the Western world, IMO. Anywho, this is the studio we checked out last night. It's kind of a franchise deal -- high prices ($89 for one person! and the next family member only gets a one third discount, the third another 1/3 discount, and every other family member would be free), but not a great product. While watching the class, I paid special attention to the black-belts. I figure a black-belt is earned when the student has demonstrated proficiency in that particular form of martial arts, and therefore, if you want to know how this stuff is supposed to look like, if you want to see the end result of this school's training, watch the black-belts. Well, they were a bit sloppy, off-balance, and at times... just not really into it. This tells me that while this school is charging filet mignon prices, they are serving Mickey-D's hamburgers. We're likely passing on school #1.

2. Karate school #2. This school has the same identity problem as school #1 -- Korean martial arts peddled as being karate. But at least this Tae Kwon Do school also teaches some Hapkido, Aikido, and Judo (Hapkido is Korean, but Aikido and Judo are at least Japanese, if not exactly Karate -- all three of these styles focus on grappling, joint locks, pressure points, throws, etc.). I spoke with the gentleman who runs this school on the phone, and he seemed very nice, and he also invited the family to come out for a class -- but he wants us to participate in it and see how we like it. We may just take him up on that, but we'll see. Prices at this school are significantly lower -- $55 per month for the first student, the next family member is $50, then $45, then everyone else for free.

3. Karate school #3 is a true karate school. Okinawan Isshinryu. It's the school I went to when I was in High School (though they've moved to another location, and grew significantly in attendance). This style of karate is very unique. First, the fist is vertical, instead of the more typical horizontal. There are some good reasons for that, as a horizontal punch requires a last moment twist which makes it less effective when jammed, and because of the positioning of the arm when using a horizontal punch, the bones can be fairly easily broken with a good block. Neither problems are as severe with the vertical fist. Also, the strength and snap of a vertical punch is superior, IMO. Second, most of the kicks and punches are aimed at the knees, middle of the body, and occassionally the head. Unlike Korean "karate" which was developed to destroy higher targets, Okinawans developed karate to defend themselves against Samurai. Samurai were well armored, but very cocky. Often the only time to strike a Samurai was the moment they raised their sword arrogantly above their heads -- the time to strike is when the opportunity presents itself -- BAM!!! That blow to the chest might be the last blow they would ever strike, and if they missed, that sword was coming down hard. Most Isshinryu techniques seem to be aimed at the solar plexus. WAY more practical than kicking straight up in the air. I think I might start training again myself. When I looked at some of the old literature from my old school, I started remembering my katas, and much of the fun I had and good things I learned during that time. Look, who am I trying to kid. We're probably going to sign up at this school... even if I'm not sure what they charge anymore.

Lest we Americans forget -- many martial arts came about because an oppressive government took weapons away from the people, and so they were forced to fight with bare hands, bare feet, and with farming impliments. Don't give up your guns, guys. Don't give up your guns. It's one thing to fend off guys with swords with your bare hands and a long stick, but it's an entirely different matter to defend yourself with the same against tyrants with firearms.

The Big Nerdy Experiment

Everyone's blog is up and running. That's right, it's YOUR blog too! Now, I didn't make this up. I found it, and did not create it.

The blog is here.

To post something, go here -- the username is nerdherdtest and the password is gonhackit.

Have fun, and be good.

Thursday, February 03, 2005

Everybody calm down, the Man of Sin is OK!

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"No reason for alarm," folks. The Pope is recovering.

What a relief. Speaking of the Pope, here are the marks of Antichrist as noted by Andrew Willet.

Of the true markes whereby Antichrist may be discerned.

1. As he is called Antichrist, so he shall in all things be opposite and contrarie unto Christ. 1. Christ was most holy, and by the spirit of God which remained in him, was moved in his thoughts, words, and workes onely to that which was good: but Antichrist by the operation and instinct of Sathan shall be stirred up unto all kind of evill: this Pererius confesseth: & how this hath bin performed in that Romish chaire of pestilence, all the world seeth, and they which are not willfully blinded must needes acknowledge: what blashphemie, idolatrie, profaneness, uncleannes of life, murders, and other impieties have beene committed by that Sea, hath beene abundantly shewed elswhre so that that title, which the holy Apostle hath given unto Antichrist, calling him the man of sinne, 2. Thess. 2. 8. doth more fitly agree unto none, then to be Bishop of Rome. 2. Christ was humble and meeke: but Antichrist shall be most proud. 3. Christ was most obedient unto his father, and gave most honourable testimonie of him: Antichrist shall be most contumelious and blasphemous against God, and therefore he is said Apoc. 13. to be full of the names of blasphemie. 4. Christ came to preach the truth, Antichrist shall be the sower of all corrupt and false doctrine. 5. Christ said his kingdome was not of this world but Antichrist shall altogether seeke the pompe and glorie of this world. 6. Christ was the head of all good and holy men, and Antichrist shal be caput malorum, the head of the evill and wicked men. These notes and marks Pererius giveth of Antichrist, shewing wherein he shall be an enemie and adversarie unto Christ. All which notes and markes doe most fitly agree to the Bishop of Rome: for what place can shew more examples of all kind of wickedness then that? who is more proud and ambitious blasphemous then he? where is taught more false and corrupt doctrine than there who seeketh more the outward pompe of the world then he? and who els chalengeth to be head of the (malignant) Church but he?

2. Pererius saith that Antichrist shall be a great dissembler and hypocrite, he shall make a shew of three great virtues, chastity, abstinencie, and pietie. And who maketh a greater shew of these then the Pope? He would seeme to be so chast, that he forbiddeth his Clergie lawfull marriage, yet suffering them to practice secretly all kind of uncleanness: he would seem to be abstemious in forbidding the use of lawfull meates: and for his pietie he will be saluted and called the most holy father.

3. Antichrist shall corrupt many with his great gifts and liberall rewards: And so the Pope hath Cardinals hats, Archbishops palles, Bishops miters, and other dignities, with ample and large revenues to bestow upon his followers as Bishop Fisher in king Henries daies was rewarded with a Cardinals hat for his good service in maintaining the Popes supremacie: but the head that should have worne it, was first set up upon London bridge. Bellarmine for his great paines taken in defending of the Popes supremacie, and other points of Antichristian doctrine, was made a Cardinal.

4. Pererius addedth further, that whome Antichrist cannot winne with flatterie & gifts, he will seeke to overcome by terror and torments, lib. 14. in 11. Dan. V. 21. Such hath beene the practice of the Antichristian Prelates, as the former daies of persecution in England doe plentifully testifie: for first they would set upon the faithfull servants of God by flatterie and faire promise, and so not prevailing, they would threaten faggot and fire: this may be evidently seene in the examinations of the blessed servants of God, D. Taylor, M. Philpot, M. Bradford, with the rest.

5. Last of all, Antichrist shall deceive, saith Pererius, saciendo plurima & admiranda prodigia, by working many prodigious things: And this hath beene the continuall practice of the Papal Church, with forged miracles to deceive the simple people, as hath beene before declared: And hitherto I have followed Pererius steppes, shewing how his markes of Antichrist doe most fitly agree unto his Pope holy father the Bishop of Rome.

Pray for the death of the Pope, but more importantly, for the destruction of the Papacy.


How Your Attitude Ranks

Your Attitude is Better than 25% of the Population

If you scored...

80-100: You've got a winner attitude. You're always optimistic and cheery. Your personality will get you far in life.

60-79: You have a good attitude. While a realist, you do see the positive side of most things. People love to be around you.

40 - 59: You have a positive attitude... somtimes. You prefer to see the world through clear glasses, not rose colored ones.

20 - 39: You have an average attitude. You take the good and bad in life as they come. Though sometimes you could use a little more good.

0-19: You have a negative attitude. You tend to see the dark side of every situation. Free ice cream? No thanks, it will just make you fat!

This dumb quiz doesn't even begin to tell you about my attitude. You wanna know why I didn't shoot my cat tonight? Because I live in the city, where discharging a firearm will draw too much heat. You know, THE heat. I would have dumped him in a pond, but they're all frozen. Nevermind why I'm going to kill the pussy, it's frankly none of your business.

Wednesday, February 02, 2005

Groundhogs and other rodents

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Well, early word is that the chubby ugly rodent known as Punxsutawney Phil, saw his shadow. Supposedly this means six more weeks OF WINTER, rather than the ordinary Spring is coming in six weeks. Wait, can someone explain this to me again? Look, if that furry little beaver just cancelled spring, I'm heading over to Punxsutawney for some "plinking."

In the meantime, if you have Shockwave, here are some more rodents for you to check out.