Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Johann Pachelbel on guitar...

Now, that's some guitar playing!

Was Jesus a Liar?

Do They Think Jesus Was a Liar?

By Cal Thomas
Syndicated Columnist/FOX News Contributor

I am shocked and appalled over a newly published survey by the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life. It finds most Americans believe there are many ways to salvation besides their own faith. Most disturbing of all is the majority of self-identified evangelical Christians who believe this.

Apparently they must think Jesus was a liar, or mistaken, when he said: “I am the way, the truth and the life; no man comes to the Father but by me.” Look it up.
Read the whole story here.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Another entry for the REALLY BAD IDEA list...

Don't these people watch SciFi? Autonomous, self fueling, war robots, brilliant. Not.

Now this is just too funny...

21% of "atheists" believe in God... I really can't say anything more than that to make it funnier, it just boggles the mind. These are public school educated "atheists" no doubt ;-)

Reading the whole article it really shows an appalling amount of ignorance about their own religions by the vast majority of Americans. It also shows the complete meaninglessness of assertions such as "We are Christian country!" or "In God we trust" when most people have no idea what a Christian is or who God is, and I'm not talking just denominational differences but about ignorance of what their own denomination teaches.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Jesus Down Two Touchdowns...

From Father Hollywood a commentary on marketing vs. the gospel:

I just received a certain publication from a certain administrative subdivision of a certain Lutheran church body.

On page 2 of this publication, the word Ablaze!(tm) is given great prominence - attested by the editorial standard that the word always begins with a capital "A", ends with an exclamation point, is set in an italic font, and is always in bold.

This one page contains seventeen mentions of Ablaze!(tm).

So, how's Jesus faring these days? By contrast, our Blessed Lord, the King of the universe, the One who died on the cross for our sins, rose triumphantly from the dead, and lives and reigns with the Father and the Holy Spirit for all eternity was mentioned four times - sans exclamation point, and with no bolding.

Ablaze!(tm) 17, Jesus 4.

The rest of the post is here, and well worth reading too.

Friday, June 20, 2008

My Life's Soundtrack

I saw this at Uneasy Priest and thought it would be fun. I'm providing Amazon or other links where possible because I know some of the music I listen to is, well, not all that well known, many have sample clips so you can check it out, cool huh?:

IF YOUR LIFE WAS A MOVIE, WHAT WOULD THE SOUNDTRACK BE?

Here's how it works:

1. Open your library (iTunes, Media Player, iPod, etc)
2. Put it on shuffle
3. Press play
4. For every question, type the song that's playing
5. When you go to a new question, press the next button
6. Don't lie and try to pretend you're cool...
7. Include commentary

OPENING CREDITS: "Flight, for Robert Frost" by Michael Hoppe (from "The Poet, Romances for Cello") Nice, quiet, peaceful and bit sad. Good for the into I guess.

WAKING UP:
"Madness" by Ravi Shankar (from Transmigration Macabre) OK, well that is what came up, what can I say? ;-/

FIRST DAY OF SCHOOL: "Only a Lad" by Oingo Boingo (From Only a Lad) Heh, see, it's really not my fault at all, it's societies fault, I'm just a poor oppressed abused little git! Yep, it fits with a public school educumation in California all right.

FALLING IN LOVE: "Phenomenon" by Equinox (from Holon) Oh yes, that sound is most certainly the sound of Larry "falling in love" words, who need words when one is in love?

FIGHT SONG: "American Dreaming" by Dead Can Dance (on Toward The Within)

I need my conscience to keep watch over me

To protect me from myself
So I can wear honesty like a crown on my head
When I walk into the promised land

Weve been too long American dreaming
And I think weve all lost the way
Forlorn somnambulistic maniacal in the dark

Ah, that's my kind of fight.

BREAKING UP: "Sonatina: Andante II" by Lee Ritenour and Dave Grusin, composer Moreno Torroba (on Two Worlds) a sad, slow, classical and jazz sound, perfect for the aftermath of the break up.

PROM: "Gia - The Infinite Posse" by Ubiquity (on Audio Alchemy 2) Yeah, well I didn't want to go to that stupid establishment prom thing anyway, so there!

LIFE'S OK: "Nagashi Reibo" by Yoshikazu Iwamoto (on L'Esprit Du Vent - The Spirit Of Wind) life is good and I'm by a slow moving stream, under a willow tree, silence, and a single flute carries me into a meditative state, peaceful.

MENTAL BREAKDOWN: "Agnus Dei" by St. Thomas Choir of Men and Boys (on Music of Messiaen, Franck, Poulenc and Durufe) that's pretty quiet for a breakdown, but it's 20th century stuff so it's kind of appropriate.

DRIVING: "O Sacrum Convivium", by Monks Of The Abbey Of Notre Dame (on Gregorian Chant) I have taken long road trips where I listened to hour on hour of Gregorian Chant, it really works well when crossing several hundred miles of Nevada high desert.

FLASHBACK: "Flowers of the forest" by Mike Oldfield (on Voyager) the sound of bagpipes for my flashback, well I guess so, it's a nostalgic sort of sound.

GETTING BACK TOGETHER: "Windows and walls" by Michael Gettel (on Skywatching) getting back together? I don't think so!

WEDDING: "Dantes Prayer" by Loreena McKennitt (on The Book of Secrets)

Cast your eyes on the ocean
Cast your soul to the sea
When the dark night seems endless
Please remember me

BIRTH OF CHILD: Overture from La Grande-Duchesse de Gerolstein by Offenbach... a happy tune for the birth of a child, pretty cool really ;-)

FINAL BATTLE: "Sad Merlin's Sunday" by Tangerine Dream (on Goblin's Club) I can go with this as a final battle song I guess, it has a sort of doomed but determined sound to it...

DEATH SCENE: "Mars" by the London Symphony, composer Holst (on The Planets) This would have been better as the final battle but I suppose I can die to it as well as fight with it...

FUNERAL SONG: "Oh Holy Night" by Michael Allen Harrison (on Enchanted Christmas) the hazzards of iTunes shuffle... ah well it's a nice instrumental version.

END CREDITS: "Rondeau: Allegro" by Hogwood, composer Mozart (on Mozart: The Violin Concertos) I can go out with Mozart, no problem...

Tag yourself.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

"Only a Theory"

I just got Kenneth Miller's book, Only a Theory in the mail from Amazon yesterday, I'm looking forward to reading it just as soon as I finish Exploring Consciousness, which I'm finding hard to put down.


Give me MORE reasons to drink RED WINE!

Whoo Hoo! Yet another reason to do what I already do and want to do more! :-) And do take note, this does not work with girlie white whine! ;-P~~~~


Red Wine's Resveratrol May Help Battle Obesity

ScienceDaily (Jun. 17, 2008) — Resveratrol, a compound present in grapes and red wine, reduces the number of fat cells and may one day be used to treat or prevent obesity, according to a new study. Read full story.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Serenity came down with a virus of some sort on Friday, the day after our big bike trip. She had been exposed to a neighbor child who had the same thing a few days before and probably the stress of a long bike ride and all that playing really tired her out which allowed her to get sick. Or, more to my liking, the eating McDonald's food just one time weakened her immune system :-) Heh, not really but it sounds good!

She was very miserable, a fever that went up to 103 on Saturday began to decline on Sunday and we trust she will be fine by today or tomorrow.

Because Serenity was sick we skipped the Pirate Festival in Vallejo :-( We had been looking forward to that but what can you do?

Lora and I watched Canvas last night, a movie about a mentally ill mother and the impact her hospitalization had on her husband and young son. From one review I read in the NY Times I learned that the director and writer Joseph Greco's mother suffered from schizophrenia and this was a "labor of love" for him. That really came across in the film. I recommend this movie and give it an A-.

Other movies I've watched in the last few days: Omen 666 gets a C+, Teaching Mrs. Tingle gets a B-, Fantastic 4, rise of the Silver Surfer gets a C- and finally Meet the Robinson's gets a solid B+

Friday, June 13, 2008

Our lesson for the day...

So yesterday was Livermore park day and Jenny had set up a free day at the Valley Rock Climbing Gym for the Tri-Valley Explorers! "What a cool idea!" I thought, and it was too. There was a great turn out and Serenity had a blast.

Early in the day,when I mentioned to Serenity that it was park day and we were going to the rock climbing gym, she argued for the idea of riding from the house to Livermore on our bicycles. That is 8.5 miles, each way. I tried to convince her that it was too far to ride but she was adamant about the plan and I decided to let her find out how far 8.5 miles really is. :-) We took about 2 1/2 hours to get there, including a stop at McDonald's for lunch... Yeah I know, what happened to "Mr. Healthy Vegetarian Guy?" He was hungry ;-/

Serenity made it just fine to the gym, then spent over 2 hours scrambling up the rock walls, both with a belaying rope and without. She went pretty high, maybe 20 or 25 feet up :-) She had a blast and I enjoyed watching. A few of the other adults there took a crack at climbing, I decided not to embarrass myself by having 12 year olds run circles around me on a cliff.

By late afternoon it was 98 degrees and Serenity and I rode the 8.5 miles back home. It was warmer but at the same time the ride was a bit easier as there is more down hill in that direction and the wind was at our backs instead of in our faces. We stopped off for an hour at Shadow Cliffs, which is free if you don't bring a car in, and took a swim in the lake so we didn't go straight through on the way home either.

Serenity did great but she was really tired by the time we got home, so she "rested" by going out to play with Antonio next door and then McKenna from across the street :-)

So our lesson for the day was "how far is 8.5 miles?" ;-) Even though she made it both directions I don't think Serenity is going to insist on riding to Livermore any time soon.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

This really peeves me

...web sites that impose their music or video advertisements on me! (You know who you are.) Give me a break, if I wanted to hear your music I'd be playing it already. I often have background music playing on my computer via Pandora.com or SomaFM and to have some country western tune or the loud jangling jingle of an ad mingling with my jazz or ambient drone is too jarring for words. Please, if you want to offer your music on your web site have a mute button prominently displayed at the TOP of the page! Give me some way to escape your pathetic choice of tunes other than leaving the page, because that is just what I'm going to do if there is no obvious way to turn it off.

We now return you to your regular morning rants...

On the election

A friend of mine sent me this in an email, my response to him is at the very end:

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

Don't overlook the very last comment.....
In Obama's own words .

Below are a few lines from Obama's books . his words: Pay close attention to the last comment!!

From Dreams From My Father (Published 1995): 'I ceased to advertise my mother's race at the age of 12 or 13, when I began to suspect that by doing so I was ingratiating myself to whites.'

From Dreams From My Father: 'I found a solace in nursing a pervasive sense of grievance and animosity against my mothers race.'

From Dreams From My Father: 'There was something about him that made me wary, a little too sure of himself, maybe. And white.'

From Dreams From My Father: ; 'It remained necessary to prove which side you were on, to show your loyalty to the black masses, to strike out and name names.'

From Dreams From My Father: 'I never emulate white men and brown men whose fates didn't speak to my own. It was into my father's image, the black man, son of Africa , that I'd packed all the attributes I sought in myself, the attributes of Martin and Malcolm, DuBois and Mandela.'

From Audacity of Hope (Published 2006): 'I will stand with the Muslims should the political winds shift in an ugly direction.'

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

My response:

Ah yes, snippets taken out of context are so much fun. If I felt like it I am sure I could make Senator McCain sound just like a war mongering lunatic. Actually I could do that WITHOUT cherry picking single sentences from his writings, because he IS a war mongering loony!

As to the last sentence above, I too will stand by Muslims or any other group should "the political winds shift in an ugly direction" which obviously means, should they be persecuted for their religion or race and not their actions.

I'm right on the edge of voting for Obama. I will certainly never vote for Mad Mac. The Libertarians have nominated a Republican who is not a real libertarian on any issue I find important so they are out as well. Here is his stand on drugs, note the total evasion of the question of legalizing all drugs as libertarians have always maintained was the right thing to do in order for liberty to be preserved.

So, I'll either vote for Obama or just burn my ballot, I don't know which yet.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

More proof that wine is a gift from God :-)


A story from Science Daily about how red wine "...mimic[s] the effects of what is known as caloric restriction - diets with 20-30 percent fewer calories than a typical diet - that in numerous studies has been shown to extend lifespan and blunt the effects of aging."

So, chow down and drink up!

Psalm 104:14-16 (English Standard Version)

14 You cause the grass to grow for the livestock
and plants for man to cultivate,
that he may bring forth food from the earth
15 and wine to gladden the heart of man,
oil to make his face shine
and bread to strengthen man’s heart.

16 The trees of the LORD are watered abundantly,
the cedars of Lebanon that he planted.

Praise the Lord! :-)

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Where did I go?

Wow, I just noticed I've neglected my blog for a week! Where did I go? I didn't go anywhere at all. I just got lazy, or maybe nothing really earth shaking happened this week. Of course the fact that nothing much is going on hasn't stopped my from yacking on and on in the past :-)

So, what went on this week? Serenity and I went for a nice long bike ride on Wednesday morning, and then in the evening Lora and Serenity and I rode the 3 miles to downtown Pleasanton for the 1st Wednesday street fair, that was fun. On Thursday I did laundry and went to church... that's about it. On Friday Serenity, Lora and me rode back to Main Street and had a huge breakfast at Dean's Cafe. And now it's Saturday again and I'm sitting here writing and listening to TWIS (This Week in Science). My plans for today involve much sloth and relaxation, maybe some reading with Serenity (Lora does math with her, we both do science.) Oh yeah, tonight we are going to Mt. Diablo for Astronomy.