Wednesday, September 26

I must be starved for attention

I have several different e-mail addresses, which I use for different reasons. A couple in particular I use simply as a dump site for spam. Every so often there's this or that online offer I run across which requires that I provide an e-mail address to take advantage of it. I've got just the e-mail address for them.

As time goes on these addresses fill up with all sorts of junk. I usually don't check on them very often except to just clear the queue and keep the address active. Recently, after one of them piled up 2141 e-mails, I took a moment or two to scan through what was there and happened upon several Nigerian Scam e-mails. Don't these people ever quit? Here's one example...

From Mrs Mary Clement
Cote D'ivoire,Abidjan
Ivory Coast,

Dearest One,
I am Mrs Mary clement, from Sierra Leone Republic, residing in Cote d'Ivoire. I am married to Dr Alexander Clement Kouassi, who deals in Cocoa and Gold business, later became the director general of Cocoa and Gold business in Cote d'Ivoire for twenty five years before he died on 14 January year 2006. We were married for twenty years God gave us a son, his name is Danny Jr who is 18 years old now, and because of my husband love to me he refused to marry another wife for more children.

He died after a brief illness from food poison which lasted for only four days. Since his death I decided not to remarry or get another child outside my matrimonial home, my husband relatives was responsible for his death because they want to inherit the entire legacy, I was ill and my son is still a little boy. Before the death of my husband he deposited the sum of he deposited the sum of US$18.000.000,000.( Eighteen Million US dollars) in a suspense account with a bank here in Cote d Ivoire, Since my Doctor told me that I have a little time left (about Six months) due to my cancer problem.

Having known my condition and I can not survive this cancer illness, and I don't want to lose my only son, I decided to transfer this fund and my son out of this country to your care. I took this decision because I don't want to lose every thing my husband has worked for, and my husband relatives are not even good at all because they are responsible for the death of my husband in other to have all his properties and I don't want my husband's efforts to be used by those that conspired for his death because they may return back to still kill my son if they have the opportunity. so please if you are willing and honest to assist me, kindly respond back to me, and as soon as I receive your reply of accepting to help me I will give you all the details including your percentage for assisting us.

Thanks and God Bless you
Mrs Mary Clement and son,
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
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To which I replied, with all due cordiality...
Dingyest Mary,

You gotta lot of nerve addressing me as "dearest" when you don't even know me. What kind of a jackass are you that you could part with $18,000,000 (eighteen million dollars) to someone you don't even know?

But if you wanna send it to me, who am I to refuse. Just use my home address. I take checks and money orders. If a debit card is faster for you I suppose my church would be glad to launder the money that way for you.

Ya know Mary, they say a fool and his money are soon parted. If you're really this much of an idiot we'll see how long it takes for you to get this to me.

Sincerely,

Elmo
Not only is "she" giving the 18 mil but "she's" throwing in the "son". I'm excited. A twist designed to make it more believable? Complete with toys and pictures no doubt. I'm liking the idea of 18 mil though.

Well, that was nice...back to reality.

Tuesday, September 18

Good form

Every once in awhile I run across some post that begins like this...

Some of you who read this may be surprised at some of the information presented. Just remember that it is all about figuring out the meaning of life.
...from someone who is searching for answers. It strikes a chord in me...something like a "D" or maybe a "Dm"...and I offer an answer like this...
Figuring out the meaning of life...ah, the rub.

I leave you with a piece of scripture that has helped me...

"Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with your might; for there is no work or device or knowledge or wisdom in the grave where you are going." - Ecclesiastes 9:10

It's helped me to know that we are all going to the grave, six feet under, assuming room temperature and the horizontal position and all that. Maybe that'll scare you into action, or maybe it'll just scare you, I don't know.

Seriously though, live life. Throw some mud on the wall and see what sticks. You know the drill. If life gives you apples, make applesauce. Of course if you don't like applesauce that's OK too. You could make a nice apple pie and bring it by our place. I like apple pie. Ya know, I've lived a few years and it was just last Saturday when I was at a restaurant with Elsa and had Cedar Plank Salmon for the first time and discovered how much I like it. Seize the day.

Cedar Plank Salmon is very good, mucho goodo. It has Salmon in it so it must be good. I'm told that Salmon is among the best meats to eat. Not that that has much to do with figuring out the meaning of life, except that the Salmon doesn't realize the meaning of life until it's over. So I guess it's important to remember that you shouldn't be like a Salmon and realize the meaning of life when you're dead on somebody's plate.

If I sound like a philosopher it's because I'm faking it. You know what the difference between a doctor of philosophy and a pizza is, don't you? A pizza feeds a family of four. But then, of course, a pizza doesn't have a mind.

Well, that's the best I can do for you. Hope you pray, seek God and ignore most of my rambling, even though it was pretty fun for me.
Sometimes I consider how well I can write and amaze myself...sometimes.

Monday, September 17

Poetic justice

A cat stuck in a tree for a week has been blasted to safety with a high-pressure fire hose.

Volunteers with an outstretched sheet made the save as the cat -- soaked and hungry but unharmed -- was hosed out of the tree by Yonkers firefighters on Sunday night.

"Everyone was cheering,'' said artist and animal rescuer Greg Speirs,...
I wish I was there to cheer along with them. Good shot, boys! Let's go shoot an annoying dog or two as well.

Friday, September 14

Kathy who?

In case you haven't yet heard, on Saturday night at the Creative Arts Emmy Awards, Kathy Griffin won a trophy for her show, "My Life on the D-List." Griffin is sort of the female Rodney Dangerfield. Her gimmick is that she's an entertainer who doesn't get a lot of respect. When she accepted her long-awaited award, she said: "A lot of people come up here and thank Jesus for this award. I want you to know that no one had less to do with this award than Jesus."

Now I could have been mildly insulted at that and turned the other cheek, as the founder of Christianity taught. But then she went on to say "Suck it, Jesus. This award is my God now." Needless to say, she offended me and millions of other Christians.
I'm not exactly offended by Kathy Griffin, nor am I astonished by the remarks delivered by this lesbian at an awards ceremony. She knew what she was doing manipulating the moment for her own benefit.

Others can be offended if they want. I pity the woman. She's rejected the God of her deliverance, safety and of her freedom, as Lauren Green puts it. She, as the mass of other people who reject God, disregards the wrath of God. Part of Jonathan Edwards' sermon "Sinners in the hand of an angry God" comes to mind.
The wrath of God is like great waters that are dammed for the present; they increase more and more, and rise higher and higher, till an outlet is given; and the longer the stream is stopped, the more rapid and mighty is its course, when once it is let loose. It is true, that judgment against your evil works has not been executed hitherto; the floods of God's vengeance have been withheld; but your guilt in the mean time is constantly increasing, and you are every day treasuring up more wrath; the waters are constantly rising, and waxing more and more mighty; and there is nothing but the mere pleasure of God, that holds the waters back, that are unwilling to be stopped, and press hard to go forward. If God should only withdraw his hand from the flood-gate, it would immediately fly open, and the fiery floods of the fierceness and wrath of God, would rush forth with inconceivable fury, and would come upon you with omnipotent power; and if your strength were ten thousand times greater than it is, yea, ten thousand times greater than the strength of the stoutest, sturdiest devil in hell, it would be nothing to withstand or endure it.
Her remarks are like another crack in the dam.

Thursday, September 13

Political skill

Republican presidential candidate Fred Thompson gave no opinion Thursday when asked about efforts by President Bush and Congress to keep Terri Schiavo alive, saying he does not remember details of the right-to-die case that stirred national debate.

"I can't pass judgment on it. I know that good people were doing what they thought was best," Thompson said. "That's going back in history. I don't remember the details of it."
Forgetfulness is one of the primary skills of a politician. Too bad Thompson is so much like Hillary on the memorable points that he doesn't stand a chance against her on the ones the voters don't remember.

Wednesday, September 12

Bein' really real...really

Troy Gramling, pastor of Flamingo Road Church in Cooper City, Florida, is getting "naked" -- not in an embarrassing way, but in a way that God would say is cool. On September 9 at 9 p.m. Troy will begin a 24-hour-a-day Webcast [MyNakedPastor.Com] that will last five weeks and cover four locations: house, car, hotel, and office. Every day, all day, we'll see his life in a fishbowl -- the good, the bad, the great, and the ugly.

According to an article in the Sun-Sentinel, Troy's really a regular guy, who just happens to pastor a megachurch. On his program, he says he'll show us the parts that "aren't pretty," such as raising his voice at his three kids when they're running late, getting tired and testy, sometimes arguing with his wife, Stephanie, or fuming when a car cuts him off.

Gramling says the Webcast is meant to embody the need to be "real" and "authentic" -- two words he often uses in teaching the 6,500 people who attend his church each week.
I ran across this article Monday, before my day began with making arrangements for the company van to get towed and fixed, doing some job admin work at home on the laptop since I lacked transportation to work and then taking the second half of the day off to take a dip in the subdivision pool, topping off the bike gas tank (finding excuses to go on short rides is so hard...), picking up a couple of things for Col. Ghillie's van, and doing sundry odds and ends at home. Of course things really got real later that evening around 2200hrs when I got called to go to two sites for circuit troubles and didn't finally get some real sleep until 0430hrs the next morning. It was a real day. No cameras around to record anything. Just me, doing things which could be done, physically, not by sitting in front of a computer. It was all pretty mundane. Although I know I sinned that day at least 3 times that I can remember. That might have been exciting for someone to see on video, but maybe not. I don't think I would want anyone to witness that anyhow.

Throughout Monday I found occasions to "check in" on Troy "Naked Pastor" Gramling and his goings on in the blogosphere. The fascination I had with this cyber-phenomenon would be similar to the sort of interest others may have to reality television shows I suspect, even though I don't watch any. Kind of like wanting to look at a bad accident on the highway, but you know you shouldn't be so boorish as to want to. I'm sure he was as real as he could be, particularly as he was leaving the house with his son at home, the camera rolling, as he told him not to say anything he shouldn't (wink, wink). This "fish bowl" idea of his makes it a little too comfortable doing the "reaching out" to folks from the couch. Seems like reality would be to go to people in the flesh rather than hoping people are looking at it on some computer monitor.

Online video authentically real blogging is like all other forms of media, deceptive in its own way. The camera only shows what it shows. The people show only what they want others to see. Video documentaries get edited down to slant this way or that, and even though this is a live video feed there's still the cognizance of the participants in the "fish bowl" that the camera is on. To label this as being real, authentic or "naked" is a real misnomer. I'm sure this pastor is trying his best to be real, and that he's trying to communicate that, as best as I can understand what he means by it, to his church, but in the end people are only going to be as "real" as they are willing. The way things are with churches these days, falsity is built into it, designed to make the best presentation.

The really real "churches" may be in a halfway house or with the homeless under some bridge somewhere, no cameras, a person just has to go there to see it. Is the average christian ready for what that looks like? Sidenote: Today I just came from a business visit to an apartment with an elderly lady. Her pastor, a young man, was there and they were apparently studying the Bible together. It struck me as approaching more closely the embodiment of true christian evangelicalism than throwing up a live video feed to snag a few hits on the internet.

Although I did like the idea of inviting prayer blogging and using the video feed to respond to that, generally the whole thing seems like it's trying too hard to be something that shouldn't take an investment of effort or money...just self.

Saturday, September 8

Fred Thomson: Just another neo-con

"If you're politically committed against this war and to do something to further harm the president, the way the Democrats seem to be in Congress, then anything [in the Petraeus Report] that's a mixed message is going to be seized upon in a negative way," Thompson told Fox News on Thursday.

"If we look weak and divided in this country, we're going to pay a heavy price for it in the future," he went on. "We're living in the era of the suitcase bomb. And they're not going to go away. They're here now, they're armed and dangerous, and they're trying to get weapons of mass destruction."
Only LOOK weak and divided? We already are weak and divided, and to such an extent as he probably isn't aware of. But then it's the job of the neo-cons to rally us together behind this illegal, unwarranted war and stir patriotic ferver against "suitcase bombers". It's the same thing Bush has spouted over and over again and it's wearing thin. The only difference is Thompson looks presidential because he's an actor.

I watched a little of the Republican debate the other night and Ron Paul was the only candidate making sense, with clear constitutional views. Of course, we've drifted so far from the constitution as to make everything governmental we do an act. Maybe that's the reason why Ron Paul isn't as attractive a candidate as someone like Fred Thompson. Ron Paul shatters the pretention. Fred Thompson makes us comfortable to continue pretending.

Friday, September 7

Bike Theology

Some may say that if God meant for us to be riding bikes He'd have given us two wheels instead of feet. It's not like feet are bad or anything. One needs them to actuate the brake and shift the gears on a bike. I'm a staunch believer in feet. Who thinks about feet during the day? Not many, except the podiartrist and his patients. I think about feet a whole lot, especially my own, and even more especially now because feet help me get to, on, and operate my bike.

Which brings me to my lowly motorcycle. That veritable steed of steel. That noble nostrum of the daily grind, which carries the rider, like gossamer wings, above the noisome pestilence. Yea, verily, ye motored chariot of the working class.

God gave us not wheels, but feet, so that He, in creating motorcycles, would have us know that heaven rocks.

Tuesday, September 4

War of words?

Jerry Lewis has been doing telethons for as long as I can remember and for as long as I can remember has slipped a colorful remark or two into the proceedings. It isn't unusual to find this having happened but curious to find the reaction.

Monday's monologue prompted a critical statement Tuesday from the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation.

Neil Giuliano, GLAAD president, called Lewis' use of the term "simply unacceptable."

"It also feeds a climate of hatred and intolerance that contributes to putting our community in harm's way," Giuliano said.
There's that ol' hate speech again, and where there's hate speech there's harm's way. I suppose he's suggesting that people might act out their hatred and intolerance by beating up a member of their "community". In other words, to say something is to suggest it, ergo to do it. Words only mean something when they're regarded as hate speech. When they don't mean anything at all they're good.

Gays don't want equal rights. They want protected privilege.