Thursday, December 23, 2010


Dear Blog,
A lot has happened. After "I also am farmer", I went back to school. I had adventures, and those of you who know me know the kind of trouble I get into. My back held up well. The most important, though, is shortly a month after I left you.
Saturday, August 28, 2010. I proposed to Heidi~Mae, my girlfriend, my first and only for the past four years! She said yes. Will will be married on the coming May 28.
Thank you, friends.

Sunday, August 01, 2010

I also am farmer.

On the way home from church, we stopped by Wal-Mart for a couple of groceries. I accompanied my mother into the store, wearing my simple black suit and fedora. Mom picked a watermelon by appearance, but I hesitated before putting it in the cart, lifted it to me ear, and tapped on the rind. After I had placed in on the bottom of the shopping cart, a man in checkered shirt and full, straight, gray beard came up behind me and with knowing look in his eye and Eastern European accent, tapped a finger on a watermelon and said, “I know. I also am farmer.” I feel like the man peered into my soul.

Saturday, May 08, 2010

"Welcome to the Family", by Little Big Town

"Welcome to the Family",
by Little Big Town

Welcome to the family. Hope you have a real good life
With my little sister. Yeah, she'll make a real good wife.
Hope you have lots of babies; hope you get a real good job.
Hope you don't mind company, 'cause we'll be here a lot.
And brother here's some brotherly advice:
If you know what's good for you, you'll treat her right.

'Cause Grandpa's the local sheriff. He's the judge and the jury too.
Uncle Bill's the undertaker. Son, he'll dig a hole for you.
Cousin Jesse, he's just crazy. He'll fight you just for fun.
Mama's got a real bad temper, and daddy's got a shotgun.

Welcome to the family and this side of the tracks.
If you ever leave her, you ain't coming back.
My nephew Red's a hunter. He's gonna hunt you down,
Just like he did the last one, and he still ain't been found.
Now, I like you just fine. Don't get me wrong.
But boy take care of her, 'cause if you don't-

Grandpa's the local sheriff. He's the judge and the jury too.
Uncle Bill's the undertaker. Son, he'll dig a hole for you.
Cousin Jesse, he's just crazy. He'll fight you just for fun.
Mama's got a real bad temper, and daddy's got a shotgun.

Welcome to the family. Hope you have a real good life
With my little sister, Yeah, she'll make a real fine wife.

Man in the Arena

"It is not the critic who counts: not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles or where the doer of deeds could have done better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly, who errs and comes up short again and again, because there is no effort without error or shortcoming, but who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions, who spends himself for a worthy cause; who, at the best, knows, in the end, the triumph of high achievement, and who, at the worst, if he fails, at least he fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who knew neither victory nor defeat."

Theodore Roosevelt
"Citizenship in a Republic,"
Speech at the Sorbonne, Paris, April 23, 1910

Friday, April 30, 2010

Life Lessons

"We tried so hard to make things better for our kids that we made them worse. For my grandchildren, I'd like better.

"I'd really like for them to know about hand me down clothes and homemade ice cream and leftover meat loaf sandwiches. I really would. I hope you learn humility by being humiliated, and that you learn honesty by being cheated.

"I hope you learn to make your own bed and mow the lawn and wash the car. And I really hope nobody gives you a brand new car when you are sixteen. It will be good if at least one time you can see puppies born and your old dog put to sleep.

"I hope you get a black eye fighting for something you believe in. I hope you have to share a bedroom with your younger sibling. And it's all right if you have to draw a line down the middle of the room, but when he wants to crawl under the covers with you because he's scared, I hope you let him.

"When you want to see a movie and your little brother or sister wants to tag along, I hope you'll let him or her.

"I hope you have to walk uphill to school with your friends and that you live in a town where you can do it safely. On rainy days when you have to catch a ride, I hope you don't ask your driver to drop you two blocks away so you won't be seen riding with someone as uncool as your Mom.

"If you want a slingshot, I hope your Dad teaches you how to make one instead of buying one. I hope you learn to dig in the dirt and read books. When you learn to use computers, I hope you also learn to add and subtract in your head. I hope you get teased by your friends when you have your first crush, and when you talk back to your mother that you learn what ivory soap tastes like.

"May you skin your knee climbing a mountain, burn your hand on a stove and stick your tongue on a frozen flagpole. I don't care if you try a beer once, but I hope you don't like it. And if a friend offers you dope or a joint, I hope you realize he is not your friend.

"I sure hope you make time to sit on a porch with your Grandma and Grandpa and go fishing with your Uncle. May you feel sorrow at a funeral and joy during the holidays. I hope your mother punishes you when you throw a baseball through your neighbor's window and that she hugs you and kisses you at Christmas time when you give her a plaster mold of your hand.

"These things I wish for you - tough times and disappointment, hard work and happiness. To me, it's the only way to appreciate life."

Wednesday, April 28, 2010



The artist is the creator of beautiful things.

To reveal art and conceal the artist is art's aim.

The critic is he who can translate into another manner or a new material his impression of beautiful things.

The highest as the lowest form of criticism is a mode of autobiography. Those who find ugly meanings in beautiful things are corrupt without being charming.

This is a fault.

Those who find beautiful meanings in beautiful things are the cultivated. For these there is hope.

They are the elect to whom beautiful things mean only beauty.

There is no such thing as a moral or an immoral book. Books are well written, or badly written.

That is all.

The nineteenth century dislike of realism is the rage of Caliban seeing his own face in a glass.

The nineteenth century dislike of romanticism is the rage of Caliban not seeing his own face in a glass.

The moral life of man forms part of the subject-matter of the artist, but the morality of art consists in the perfect use of an imperfect medium. No artist desires to prove anything. Even things that are true can be proved.

No artist has ethical sympathies.

An ethical sympathy in an artist is an unpardonable mannerism of style. No artist is ever morbid. The artist can express everything.

Thought and language are to the artist instruments of an art.

Vice and virtue are to the artist materials for an art.

From the point of view of form, the type of all the arts is the art of the musician.

From the point of view of feeling, the actor's craft is the type.

All art is at once surface and symbol.

Those who go beneath the surface do so at their peril.

Those who read the symbol do so at their peril.

It is the spectator, and not life, that art really mirrors.

Diversity of opinion about a work of art shows that the work is new, complex, and vital.

When critics disagree, the artist is in accord with himself.

We can forgive a man for making a useful thing as long as he does not admire it. The only excuse for making a useless thing is that one admires it intensely.

All art is quite useless.


Sunday, April 25, 2010


-- 1. Are you afraid of heights? It depends on the height. If I climb a tall tree and look down, it doesn't bother me. The height of some of the beggest ferris wheels doesn't remotely bother me. If I am on a mountain, thousands of feet up, I'll stand by the edge of a sheer drop off and look down and enjoy the awe of the view and experience, but I most certainly know fear in my heart as I do.

-- 2. Are you lazy? I am a pendulum. I can be unbelievably lazy one day and unbelievably driven or active the next.

-- 3. Are you patient? Yes, I suppose.

-- 4. Are you stubborn? I can be.

-- 5. Can you change the oil on a car? Yes, in theory.

-- 6. Can you curl your tongue? Yes, I can.

-- 7. Can you hold your breath without holding your nose? Yes.

-- 8. Can you knit or crochet? I can knit a little bit.

-- 9. Can you swim well? I can swim mediocre.

-- 10. Do you believe in ghosts? I don't believe in ghosts if ghosts are the returned or wandering spirits of people. Souls gone to Heaven wouldn't return and people gone to Hell couldn't. I do believe in more general spirits, in divinity, and in daemons and demons.

-- 11. Do you burn incense? I would like to.

-- 12. Do you chew on your pens and pencils? Rarely.

-- 13. Do you count your steps when you are walking? Haha, yes, sometimes I do. It gets irritating too when I start walking uncomfortably because I am counting and measuring my steps and have to adjust myself to a normal stride again.

-- 14. Do you cry and throw a fit until you get your way? Rarely.

-- 15. Do you cut out coupons and then never use them? Not anymore, haha.

-- 16. Do you dance in the car? Sometimes.

-- 17. Do you dance in the shower? Yes, definitely.

-- 18. Do you dance when no music is playing? Yes.

-- 19. Do you have freckles? No.

-- 20. Do you have kids? No.

-- 21. Do you like using Post-it notes? Yes! You bet I do! Post-it notes rock!

-- 22. Do you miss anyone right now? I miss a lot of people right now, most of them, and especially Heidi.

-- 23. Do you own a record player? No, sadly. I want a record player.

-- 24. Do you own any records? Somewhere I do have a few records I own! This is one part of why I would like a record player.

-- 25. Do you picture your future spouse in a specific profession? Yes.

-- 26. Do you prefer a band or a DJ for a wedding? DJ, actually. If not the only, a wedding reception is one of only a couple places or occasions where I would prefer a DJ.

-- 27. Do you prefer Adidas or Nike? No.

-- 28. Do you prefer black or green olives? Green olives rock.

-- 29. Do you prefer Cheetos or Fritos? Cheetos. I love Fritos too, but Cheetos aree so fun!

-- 30. Do you prefer coffee or tea? I definitely prefer tea!

-- 31. Do you prefer hot tea or iced tea? Hot tea.

-- 32. Do you prefer K-mart, Target, or Wal-Mart? Wal-Mart.

-- 33. Do you prefer LEGOs or Lincoln Logs? LEGOs!

-- 34. Do you prefer peanuts or sunflower seeds? Sunflower seeds, even in the shell.

-- 35. Do you prefer punctuation or lack thereof? I obsess about punctuation.

-- 36. Do you sing in the car? Yes, yes I do! But mostly only when I'm alone.

-- 37. Do you sleep with your closet doors open or closed? Closed. Leaving closet doors hampers their use as portals from the other sides.

-- 38. Do you sleep with your sheets tucked in or untucked? Untucked! Sleeping with my sheets tucked isn't as bothersome as trying to sleep with socks on, though.

-- 39. Do you smile for all your pictures? No, but in retrospect, I usually prefer that I did.

-- 40. Do you speed when you drive? Rarely. I consider myself pretty good about keeping by the speeed limit.

-- 41. Do you still watch cartoons? Sometimes, not often, though.

-- 42. Do you subscribe to any have any magazine subscriptions? No.

-- 43. Do you take shampoo, conditioner, and soap from hotels? Yes I do.

-- 44. Do you take vitamins daily? When I remember to, I do, but that's rather rare.

-- 45. Do you think musicals are cheesy? No - well, sometimes - but I love them.

-- 46. Do you want kids? Probably.

-- 47. Do you want to get married? Yes, definitely! :D

-- 48. Do you watch soap operas? No.

-- 49. Do you wear a bathrobe? Not often, but I like it.

-- 50. Do you wear slippers? Not often, but I like to. Sometimes I wear slippers all day, outdoors and to places and pretend that I am wearing shoes.

-- 51. Have you ever been in love? Once - oh, and I still am.

-- 52. Have you ever been so happy you cried? No.

-- 53. Have you ever eaten pierogi? Yes, I love it.

-- 54. Have you ever felt déjà-vu? Not really.

-- 55. Have you ever gotten a speeding ticket? No.

-- 56. Have you ever had plastic surgery? No.

-- 57. Have you ever run out of gas? No.

-- 58. Have you ever stolen a street sign? No. I never thought of it. I wouldn't, but it does sound kind of fun.

-- 59. Have you ever taken dance lessons? Barely. Haha.

-- 60. Have you ever used a gun? Yes, .22 and an AK-47.

-- 61. Have you ever won a contest? Yes, a few, I forget what except for the $20 essay contest.

-- 62. Have you ever won a spelling bee? No, but I was only ever in one.

-- 63. How many languages can you speak? I could speak lots if I had the time to learn them. :P Currently only English, a little Latin, and a little German.

-- 64. Is Christmas stressful? Nope, but it could be.

-- 65. Is it okay for guys to wear pink? I have no moral or aesthetic objection.

-- 66. Were you ever a boy scout? Yes.

-- 67. What concert did you attend last? Gustav Mahler's 5th symphony and a few other shorter works by other composers with the Minnesota Orchestra.

-- 68. What concert was your first? I don't recall.

-- 69. What did you usually dress up as for Halloween? I dressed up as something different every year and still try to, though I always enjoyed dressing up as noted Roman politicians and orators.

-- 70. What is the best room for a fireplace? One in the parlour or equivalent and one above in the master bedroom.

-- 71. What is the best thing to eat for breakfast? Sausage, block cheese, eggs (over easy or soft boiled), and some good German bread.

-- 72. What is your biggest pet peeve? I'm not sure. I try to avoid having peeves. My biggest pet peeve might be when I notice myself developing a pet peeve.

-- 73. What is your favourite chicken nugget dip? Honey mustard.

-- 74. What is your favourite color? A soul-consuming deep midnight blue or a fiery scarlet.

-- 75. What is your favourite drink with dinner? Red wine.

-- 76. What is your favourite food? Food, usually.

-- 77. What is your favourite pie? A good and homemade strawberry-rhubarb pie. But it has to be good. The rhubarb segments and strawberries have to keep some of their shape and texture. If the filling is beaten to a paste, it ranks near the bottom of my list of pies, and then a good mincemeat pie is my favourite.

-- 78. What is your favourite sandwich? A Chicago Italian sammich.

-- 79. What is your least favourite movie? So many...

-- 80. What is your song of the week? Either the old Irish song "The Parting Glass" or Frank Sinatra's "The Best is Yet to Come".

-- 81. What is your usual bedtime? Midnight.

-- 82. What job did you want when you were a kid? A multi-faceted job as partner in an architecture firm, engineering buildings, doing computer-aided drafting, and bringing artistic sense.

-- 83. What movies could you watch over and over and still love? So many.... “Braveheart”, “The Brothers Bloom”, the “Lord of the Rings” trilogy, “Ocean’s Eleven” and its following movies, the “Pirates of the Carribean” movies….

-- 84. What size is your bed? Double, but I would honestly prefer a twin size bed.

-- 85. When was the last time you had a portrait taken by a photographer? Over a year ago.

-- 86. When was the last time you wrote a letter to someone on paper? A couple of weeks ago I wrote several long letters.

-- 87. Where would you bury your treasure? Under Ethan's bed. No one would ever find it there.

-- 88. Who was the last person you kissed? Heidi Maunula.

-- 89. Who was your high school crush? Heidi Maunula.

-- 90. Who would you like to see in concert? I would like to see myself develop some songs and skill and appear in concert.

-- 91. Would you rather be attacked by a bear or swarm of bees? Um, the bees.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Politically Correct National Security

[This is a copied section from an E-mail list I am on run by former senator Rick Santorum and the EPPC.]

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

In case you missed it, last week was an unfortunate, spectacular example of politically correct national security policy. Most impressively, it included a dramatic shift in U.S. nuclear policy. According to The New York Times (and the President of the United States) the new policy “eliminates much of the ambiguity that has deliberately existed in American nuclear policy since the opening days of the cold war. For the first time, the United States is explicitly committing not to use nuclear weapons against non-nuclear states that are in compliance with the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NNT), even if they attacked the United States with biological or chemical weapons or launched a crippling cyber attack.”

As if theoretical compliance (note previous challenge to UN inspectors in Iraq, North Korea, Iran, etc.) with a treaty is justification to take off the table the deterrent effect of a responsive nuclear strike if Americans are attacked by horrific biological or chemical weapons or the nation is ground to a halt through a cyber attack. Moreover, how long does one wait after being attacked by a nuclear weapon from terrorists supported by NNT “compliant” countries. This groundbreaking policy certainly eliminates many contemporary difficulties with when to consider preemptive action to protect Americans as with Iraq, by unilateral surrender, the simpler politically correct alternative to making hard decisions in defense of our national security.

You may not be surprised to find that according to the Associated Press the President’s advisers have ordered the removal of “religious terms” such as “Islamic extremism” from the central document outlining the U.S. national security strategy and will use the rewritten document to emphasize that the United States does not view Muslim nations through the lens of terror, counterterrorism officials said.

The change is a significant shift in the National Security Strategy, a document that previously outlined the Bush Doctrine of preventative war and currently states: “The struggle against militant Islamic radicalism is the great ideological conflict of the early years of the 21st century.”

The officials described the changes on condition of anonymity because the document still was being written, and the White House would not discuss it. But rewriting the strategy document will be the latest example of Obama putting his stamp on U.S. foreign policy, like his promises to dismantle nuclear weapons and limit the situations in which they can be used.

In the last decade, radical Islamists have killed more than 8,000 Americans, innocent civilians and those serving in the Armed Forces, and wounded thousands of others -- but it is politically insensitive in the Obama Administration to mention that their ideology and actions have been the primary source of these deaths and remain our primary threat, let alone to build our strategy around defeating them!

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Thursday, April 08, 2010

Wednesday, April 07, 2010

LCMS Nominations - Blessed Assurance

Reporter Online
Lutheran Church Missouri Synod
Nominations announced for president, vice-presidents

The names of nominees for Synod president and first through fifth vice-presidents who will be on the ballots for election at this summer's LCMS convention have been announced.

Synod Secretary Dr. Raymond Hartwig released the names April 7.

The names on the ballots -- five each for president and first vice-president, and 20 for second through fifth vice-presidents -- are of those who received the most nominations from Synod congregations, and who agreed to stand for election.

All must be ordained ministers.

Following is the official notice regarding nominations for president and vice presidents:

Official Notice
Nominations for President and Vice-Presidents

The nominations process for the offices of President, First Vice-President, and other vice-presidents of The Lutheran Church--Missouri Synod has been completed.

Of those receiving the highest number of nominating votes for the office of President, the following have given their consent to serve if elected:

* Matthew Harrison -- 1,332

* Gerald Kieschnick -- 755

* Herbert Mueller Jr. -- 503

* Carl Fickenscher II -- 5

* Daniel Gard -- 3

Of those receiving the highest number of nominating votes for the office of First Vice-President, the following have given their consent to serve if elected:

* Herbert Mueller Jr. -- 809

* Matthew Harrison -- 728

* William Diekelman -- 244

* Wallace Schulz -- 240

* Jeffery Schrank -- 112

Of those receiving the highest number of nominating votes for the offices of vice-presidents two through five, the following have given their consent to serve if elected:

* John Wohlrabe Jr. -- 800

* David Adams -- 682

* Daniel Preus -- 488

* Paul Maier -- 481

* Scott Murray -- 436

* Dean Nadasdy -- 435

* David Buegler -- 353

* Herbert Mueller Jr. -- 195

* Carl Fickenscher II -- 161

* Wallace Schulz -- 159

* Victor Belton -- 134

* Luther Brunette -- 74

* Matthew Harrison -- 45

* Lawrence Rast -- 44

* Dean Wenthe -- 42

* Harold Senkbeil -- 36

* Clint Poppe -- 35

* John Pless -- 34

* Jacob Preus -- 32

* Daniel Gard -- 30

These names will constitute the ballots for the July 10-17 convention of the Synod. The convention will have the right to alter these slates by amendment. According to Bylaw (a), "[t]he amendment procedure shall include merely a motion, a second, and a vote on the amendment." After all such amendments have been decided, the final slates of candidates will be ratified by the convention before voting takes place.

Delegates intending to make nominations from the floor for these offices must secure from the candidates whom they wish to nominate (1) prior written consent to serve if elected and (2) pertinent biographical information. Forms for this purpose may be requested from the Office of the Secretary of the Synod prior to the elections so that the required documentation will be available as needed.

Raymond L. Hartwig, Secretary
The Lutheran Church--Missouri Synod

Posted April 7, 2010

Tuesday, April 06, 2010


So, this saying, "IF wishes were hourses, the beggars would ride." I never got that.

Seriously. If wishes were horses, all them hungry beggars would eat horse meat. They would sell them and use the coin to buy food, but that many horses would make horses worthless. In fact, the world would be crowded beyond belief and quickly stink of rotting horse corpses, what with all the wishes men discontent with their condition make.

The onky thing it would accomplish is to serve as a lesson to men to be satisfied, but one too late as all mankind would promptly be wiped off the fact of the earth by horse overpopulation, the one death they didn't see coming for us.

Thursday, April 01, 2010

Chief of Sinners Though I Be

I am named for two of the greatest sinners of the people of God; I am "Aaron David".

Aaron succumbed to the people and made them an idol, a golden calf that was celebrated as their gods, and at that the people were immoral and broke their fresh graving promises and debt by mercy: and though it is a small percent of the people and the idolators, three thousand men of the people were put to the sword for it (Exodus 32).

David was an adulterous king, lusting after Bathsheba and having sex with her; and then he was a murderer in continuation of the first crime, ordering a cool death of her husband so he could sleep with her openly and try to hide the former sin (2 Samuel 11-12).

Yet, if Gad can make the first his high priest and the line of his priests and can make the second a successful ruler of His people and the one of whose line the Massiah of the people of Israel and all mankind came, God in his mercy can do good with me.

It is relief to know that good in me is of Him and that He can use my actions and even my sin to His purpose.
Thank you, Lord.


Tuesday, March 09, 2010

Surgery Today!

We got the call yesterday and the IVIG treatment was indeed successful. My immune system in jolly. My platelet count which is usually 60,000 or 65,000 is now above 95,000. Surgery is a go. I will be leaving home at 4:30AM to arrive at the Hershey Medical Center hospital by or before 5:15AM. My guess is that surgery will start about 7:00AN abd will be done by 1:00 in the afternoon.

Watch for a few updates from my parents on my Care Page website while I am in the hospital, which I will be from this morning through this weekend, sometime Friday or Saturday or Sunday. The first could of days I will be mostly immobile, the next couple they will get me out of bed a little, and they will send me home when Physical Therapy sees that I am capable of walking surely and taking a few stairs on my own.

Until later, my friends,
May God bless you and me,

Cultures and Politics and Military and Liberals: A Brief Thought

It strikes me that the Armed Forces are rather their own culture; it is a way of life. Outside of the various Armed Forces branches, we talk about the life of our countries soldiers. In politics. But whether we are conservative or liberal or neither, it seems we don't take the time to try and understand the culture we talk about from its own perspective, but I especially see the liberals make this mistake. Ironically, it is the same mistake - and a legitimate one - that I see pointed out in hindsight mostly by liberals and atheists of conservatives and of Christian missionaries of the past. That they usually failed to try to understand the pagan's own worldview and cultural point of view before they commented and implemented their change, frequently with devastive effects, even though they did make converts and bring some uneven benefits to the society.

Monday, March 08, 2010


Good morning, dear people.
It is the day before surgery, and I-- am not anxious. I am eager for surgery tomorrow. The wait has been long enough I do not see any need to be nervous.

Sometime today, we will receive a call telling us what time my surgery will be tomorrow and what time I need to be at the hospital. We already know it will be early, though, because the surgery is such a long one. I will probably go to the hospital at 5:00 or 5:30 in the morning.

Also today, first thing this morning, I am going to have one more batch of blood drawn locally for a CBC (Complete Blood Count), the results of which will be sent ASAP to Dr. Freiberg at Hershey. This way he can assure that my IVIG treatment affected my counts as desired, and he will give Dr. Armstrong the message that I am indeed all ready for tomorrow's surgery.

I will check in again one more time this evening or tomorrow morning, after which, my parents will post any further updates on my Care Page at:

See you all later.

pax Christi,
--Aaron N.

Sunday, March 07, 2010

Christians and Lightbulbs

Q: How many Lutherans does it take to change a lightbulb?
A: Thirty. One to actually change the bulb, and twenty-nine to say how much they disapprove of change and liked the old one.

Q: How many Pentecostals does it take to change a light bulb?
A: One, since his hands are in the air anyway.

Q: How many Calvinists does it take to change a lightbulb?
A: None. God has predestined where the lightbulbs will be on.

Q: How many youth pastors does it take to change a light bulb?
A: Youth pastors aren't around long enough for a light bulb to burn out.

Q: How many Anglo-Catholics does it take to change a lightbulb?
A: None. They always use candles instead.

Q: How many Evangelicals does it take to change a light bulb?
A: Evangelicals do not change light bulbs. They simply read out the instructions and pray the light bulb will decide to change itself.

Q: How many Atheists does it take to change a lightbulb?
A: One. But they are still in darkness.

Q: How many TV evangelists does it take to change a lightbulb?
A: One. But for the lightbulbs to continue to be changed, send in your donation today!

Q: How many campfire worship leaders does it take to change a lightbulb?
A: One. But soon all thoses around can warm up to its glowing.

Q: How many conservative Anglicans does it take to change a lightbulb?
A: Three. One to change it and two to storm out in protest if the person changing it is a woman!

Q: How many missionaries does it take to change a light bulb?
A: Ten. Five to determine how many can be changed by the year 2000, four to raise the necessary funds, and one to go find a native to do the job!

Q: How many Charismatics does it take to change a lightbulb?
A: Twenty-one, one to change it, and twenty to share the experience!

Q: How many Baptists does it take to change a lightbulb?
A: At least 15. One to change the light bulb, and three committees to approve the change and decide who brings the potato salad and Jell-O desserts.

Q: How many Methodists does it take to change a lightbulb?
A: Only one, but first the whole church wants to make sure no one will be offended by the change.

Q: How many Southern Baptists does it take to change a lightbulb?
A: One to change the lightbulb, and 16 million to boycott the maker of the old bulb for bringing darkness into the church.

Q: How many Seventh Day Adventists does it take to change a lightbulb?
A: 144,000 with God's seal on their foreheads, giving the
loud cry which will lighten the earth.

Thursday, March 04, 2010

Literary Potency

I am reading Ray Bradbury's "Somewhere A Band Is Playing" and "Leviathan '99". These are massive. I may need to take months off reading afterwards just to allow it to sink in. Especially as I was alternating my reading with stints of "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button and Other Stories" by F. Scott Fitzgerald. I just need to throw in a few passages of James Joyce and I will be applied definition of literary potency.

Infusion, or, Another Health Update, or, How One Thousand People Made Aaron Philosophical For A Day

Good morning, dear people,

Yesterday, in accordance with current timetable, I had my long appointment for my immunoglobulin infusion out at Hershey. I had to go for the appointment early because it took most of the day for them to pour a couple pints of what is essentially distilled imunne system antibodies into my veins.

I arrived at pediatric hematology a little before 8:30 in the morning. They took a little awhile for the standard check in, height and weight, blood pressure, temperature, etc. I was given a few pills -- I inconveniently forget -- by the nurse from last time I was there who drew a lot of blood for testing and looked eeriely exactly like one of my classmates at Bethany Lutheran (shout out here to Sarah, now Mrs. L).

I met with Dr. Freiberg, my hematologist. Last time I saw him was for my blood panel and bone marrow biopsy (the interesting story I referred to last update - you can skip this paragraph if it doesn't interest you). He had talked to me extensively and let me look through his three-way teaching microscope at my bone marrow slides afterwards last time. Well, I confused the nurse and medical aides last time by being heavily sedated for the biopsy and yet failing to black out or forget what happened, rather remembering it in detail. I confused myself and my parents and now Dr. Freiberg again, though, and even more by having only my mom's telling of it as evidence of that half hour conversation and lesson from Dr. Freiberg. Evidently the extra-large dose of sedative took about 40 minutes to affect me instead of the 5-ish it should have been. And even with that, reports all agree that I was extremely lucid and intelligent in my conversation with Dr. Freiberg. Yet again I am a medical sport, anomaly.

Back to present story, Dr. Freiberg talked with me a couple minutes and filled out the forms for my appointment. He had a couple of med students in his office, so he called them in to show them how to do a spine curvature screening and to have me explain in detail the spinal fusion surgery I was having to correct and stabilize. That was fun. I have become kind of used to being an applied example of medical schooling and different conditions.

I was walked by a nurse to an infusion room full of comfy chairs and IV machines. It was sad to see because the room had a few young children, including a nine year-old girl I had met in the waiting room, receiving early doses of chemo. I was taken to a different room, though, "the suite", because of the length of my infusion, I presume. There I was able to mostly nap on a couch and rocking armchair during six hours it took for the IVIG infusion. It took that long, longer than anticipated, because the higher infusion rate was giving me severe chills, the cool fluid flowing into my blood system faster than my body raised it to level normal body temperature.

The infusion, I found from personal research, is the distilled antibodies and some plasma from over one thousand blood donations, which ends up as a couple pints of the stuff. Naturally, having one thousand more people flowing in my veins made me very philosophical on the drive home, covering the concepts of how ones blood is their life, their strength, their essence. Though they didn't have the capability of blood transfusions back then, that nature of blood makes having someone's blood in my system very close equivalent and reasoning to having had each one of them save my life and different traditions of life-debt.

That finally done, though, my immune system has its boost. I am told I may have bad headache and fever over the next few days because of it, but it is all good. First thing Monday I will have blood tests taken and sent to Dr. Freiberg so he can give Dr. Armstrong the thumbs-up that it worked and I am ready for surgery.

My mild apologies for this becoming so much longer than I intended.

Keep me in your prayers,
--Aaron Nemoyer

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Ask me anything. -

Another Post-Due Update

Dear Friends and Family,
As the title says, I am far overdue for giving you all another group update. My apologies.

I am at home for this semester, waiting on my final and biggest back surgery. My back has been worse recently so much of my time since coming home on Christmass break has been spent down and in bed, rather than active as you know I like to be or doing the work I have. I get along with that well enough, though.

As some of you know, I was originally going to have my back surgery back at the end of January. January 26th. It was postponed the week before that date, however. Among my eccentric health problems, I have some blood work issues. Since the middle of high school, I have had low blood counts across board (red, white, platelets, and hemoglobin). My surgeon was looking over my file and took note of these numbers again, though they have been stable, and wanted to be sure I was safe and stable for surgery.

I was sent to hematology for a number of in-depth tests and a full blood panel. (And I have an interesting story or two about the bone marrow biopsy that I was supposed to not remember and the confusion I caused.)

With the blood tests all come back, my hematologist and scoliosis surgeon conferred. I am healthy enough for the surgery. So, surgery was rescheduled a week or two ago. I will now being having it a week from this Tuesday, on March 9th.

I will precede the surgery by a few days with an large infusion of immunoglobulin, antibodies – a five hour sit while the immunoglobulin gets into my veins. And I will be given a treatment immediately before surgery to limit bleeding. I will most likely go to the hospital very early the morning of the 9th. (The exact time waits on a day-before phone call received from the hospital.)

The surgery is a major one (and very interesting). The operating room is reserved for, I believe, seven hours. The surgery is expected to take about six hours. The surgeon will open a straight line incision down my back. With very careful monitoring of my vitals and my spinal cord, my spine is straightened about as much as can be done safely. (I was told they usually correct the curve at least 50%, which with my nearly 60° curve will be significant – and should make me a couple of inches taller.) Then surface bone from my spine will be grafted to fuse vertebrae T1 through L2, essentially the length of my ribcage, and rod systems will be put on either side of my spine to stabilize.

I should be able to get back on my feet just under a week after surgery. And I should be back to fairly normal in about a month.

Please keep me in your prayers.
Thank you.

--Aaron N.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

O, Mankato.

I recently have done a some genealogical research, and today I made another fascinating discovery. I already knew that my family on my father's side, through many families and generations, has had a tendency for time around Chicago, my birth-place. Well, now it turns out that before that they were Minnesotan.

Ancestors on my father's side were some of early residents of Mankato, MN, where I go to college. Christian Wilhelm Budde, from Germany, and Anna Marie Wolf, from France, were immigratants, originally to Illinois around 1840. They moved to Mankato in the 1870s, where they stayed until they died - Anna Marie in 1911 and Christian Wilhelm in 1931. Their children were all born in the USA and lived their whole lives, birth to death, in and around Mankato.


Thursday, February 11, 2010

Hey Look I Can Write About My Dreams, or, 214 Days Later, or, Nod To Stormman, or, The Black Hawk War, or, How to Demolish An Entire Civilization...

Hello. My name is Aaron Nemoyer, and this is attempt number one.

I just awoke of one of the strangest of dreams.

I fell asleep on the couch blue. There was leading time in, but that I do not remember.

A squirrel came to deliver a message and at personal risk to give me warning. (What could a squirrel symbolize?) Then I woke up. The party was over. As I stepped away, I noticed I was walking on a carpet of grass, then, in time by a moment, avoided stepping on a dead squirrel curled around the base of a slender fragile lily. It was the squirrel from the night before. I was politely sorry to see that he had died but for some reason unbothered by it. I touched the body with the toe of my black wingtip, and he awoke. He paused, unsure, but then he was a different suirrel than he had been while dead or the night before. He darted up a reasonable sugar maple, preferring it to an oak. I only watched him as far as seeing that he was going away. Then I noticed -- I think they had been there already -- a skin and three tails of a squirrel laying at the ground around my feet.

The wall of the night was a close hedge, though the ceiling, which I did not ever see, was still the same. Noticing The squirrel tails, opened the door in it to morning. I stepped through and shed the shallow exterior portion of who I had been and changed it for the same person but a different mood.

The setting around me and for the rest of the dream was one I knew. I associated it with lake Forest. A small house from a club and organization and college from another dream, years ago. The location had undefined significance for me.

It was too early to enter. A girl greeted me with a silent, cool, friendly nod by the house's outside, along a a steep sloping hill side and wire fence. What I assumed a dog was with her. Then it was more. When looked at, the dog grey and brown lion. I appear on the opposite, downhill side of the fence. I challanged the girl as to the nature of her dog, and after the verbal exchange, she was a lion too, tawny. Then the original lion showed me what it was capable of as a snake, a great ape, and other forms. I grabbed it at the last, though, and willed it into being a mouse and put him in my pocket. I tried different forms, but decided a mouse the most convenient. The girl disappeared, but then I found I was holding two shapeshifters held by my will as mice.

(They had been together - perhaps - greeters, guardians, or gatekeepers. Gog and Magog. Simultaneously the mysterious characters of Jewish and Islamic myth and tradition, the barbarian people against whom the Gates of Alexandria were built, and the giants guardians of London.)

I tried the door of the house. The first was open but with one bolted and latched behind it. Then the mice were different characters. Perhaps only natural mice. They escaped from me.

I went into the building. The difference seemed to be that the time before I had opened the door only to try it. This time I opened the door to go in, and the second locked door no longer existed.

I was interrogated, lightly. Then the interrogation had, apparently, never happened. And I was welcomed by old friends of when I dreamed the location the first times, though I remembered none of their names, welcomed back as one of their own.

I became full, without having had anything to eat.

I became drunk, or as I have had thoroughly drunk described to me, farther than I have been in waking life, despite the lack of any alcohol in real life or in my dream.

I went into the bathroom let out all I had not had to drink. As soon as I shut the door, the shower, which had not been running, was no longer running but had been. A girl was in the shower, but the curtain was closed all along. She put on a bra, and then stepped out fully clothed and dry. Had a brief conversational exchange with me. Then stepped out. I left the bathroom, a bit frightened in even my dream by how surreal it seemed to be.

The house was full of people. A party, almost a continuation of the one that had happened before the start of my dream's timeframe.

I recall thinking that I wanted to visit Lake Forest. Thinking that, I tried to remember how I had gotten there, plane or train or taxi or drove or driven or with friends. I think it was the last, but with it, I remembered that I had actually arrived at that place in general, the dream, by falling asleep. While I had been lucid at a couple points of my dream, I became completely so. Being aware that I was asleep and dreaming woke me up.

The dream slowly faded out. I tried to sit next to a friend, but couldn't or was told not to. The unspoken reason was because I was waking.

I woke up.

For a few minutes afterwards, still despite the lack of alcohol in dream or in life, I still felt drunk, completely plastered, and slightly hungover.

Monday, February 08, 2010

Super Bowl XLIV (aka. XLI's revenge)

Most of you know me as a minimal football fan. If you know me at all, though, you know how much a Chicagoan I am. Well, that latter being the case and with perhaps a bit of Al Capone taste for retribuation in my blood, Super Bowl XLIV was exciting for me. I have no reserve about admitting it.

In 2007, Indianapolis' bastard team the Colts won Super Bowl XLI in Miami. They beat my favorite team, my Chicago Bears.

This year, the Super Bowl returned to Miami. The Colts too returned. The New Orleans Saints, a team I have had very high respect for in the years since hurricane Katrina, gave them a run and finished them up on a 74-yard interception return.

Ah. Revenge is sweet.

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

I find it a satisfyingly ironic that no one can know one better than oneself: it is the self that also has the most skewed perspective from which to see itself.