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.]

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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.