All in the Family featured the curmudgeonly Archie Bunker. Archie was television’s most famous grouch, blunt, blustering, straightforward and untouched by the PC crowd. He was the archetype of the conservative male. Michael desprately tried to reeducate him, but he persisted in his breviloquence.

Looking back at the last 40 years, we realize: ARCHIE WAS RIGHT!


A Trip to Wal-Mart

You are in the middle of some kind of project around the house -- mowing the lawn, putting a new fence in, painting the living room, or whatever. You are hot and sweaty and are covered in dirt or paint. You have your old work clothes on. You know the outfit: jeans with the hole in the knee, old t-shirt with a stain from who knows what, and an old pair of tennis shoes.

Right in the middle of this great home improvement project you realize you need to run to Wal-Mart to get something to help complete the job. Depending on your age, you might do the following.

In your 20s:

Stop what you are doing. Shave, take a shower, blow dry your hair, brush your teeth, floss, and put on clean clothes. Check yourself in the mirror and flex. Add a dab of your favorite cologne because you never know -- you just might meet some hot chick while standing in the checkout lane. You went to school with the pretty girl running the register.

In your 30s:

Stop what you are doing, put on clean jeans and shirt. Change shoes. You married the hot chick, so no need for much else. Wash your hands and comb your hair. Check yourself in the mirror. Still got it. Add a shot of your favorite cologne to cover the smell. The cute girl running the register is the kid sister to someone you went to school with.

In your 40s:

Stop what you are doing. Put on a sweatshirt that is long enough to cover the paint stain on the pocket of your jeans. Put on different shoes and a hat. Wash your hands. Your bottle of Brut cologne is almost empty, so you don't want to waste any of it on a trip to Wal-Mart.

Check yourself in the mirror and do more sucking in than flexing. The spicy young thing running the register is your daughter's age and you feel weird thinking she is spicy.

In your 50s:

Stop what you are doing. Put a hat on, wipe the dirt off your hands onto your shirt. Change shoes because you don't want to get dirt in your new sports car. Check yourself in the mirror and you swear not to wear that shirt anymore because it makes you look fat. The cutie running the register smiles when she sees you coming and you think you still have it. Then you remember the hat you have on is from your buddy's bait shop and it says, "I Got Worms."

In your 60s:

Stop what you are doing. No need for a hat anymore. Hose the dog poop off your shoes. The mirror was shattered when you were in your 50s. The girl running the register may be cute, but you don't have your glasses on so you are not sure.

In your 70s:

Stop what you are doing. Wait to go to Wal-Mart until they have your prescriptions ready too. Don't even notice the dog poop on your shoes. The young thing at the register smiles at you because you remind her of her grandfather.

In your 80s:

Stop what you are doing. Start again. Then stop again. Now you remember that you needed to go to Wal-Mart. Go to Wal-Mart and wander around trying to think what it is you are looking for. The old lady that greeted you at the front door went to school with you.


Follow Up

I hunt for several reasons it comes down to partly recreation and partly culinary.  I like eating wild game.  I've never killed an animal with the intention of just harvesting a trophy.  I always hunt with the intention of eating what I kill.  Varmint and predator hunting are the exception to the rule, and even in those circumstance I hunt with the intention of improving the ecosystem by helping balance habitat and animal numbers.

One criticism I frequently hear about antelope is that it isn't very good to eat.  This is a crap excuse.  If you don't like the meat you shouldn't hunt the animal.  That said antelope, in the field do have a particular odor.  This odor is strong and some find it unpleasant.  However if the antelope on your plate tastes like it smells in the field, the problem is you and your preparation techniques not the meat.

You've made your shot and it was a good one.  The antelope is down.  Take a picture or two if you like.  Now field dress the animal immediately.  If possible rinse our the body cavity.  Antelope blood has a strong sent to it.  If you get the blood out of the meat you will eliminate the scent and much of the flavor. 

If you remember yesterdays picture, my antelope was hanging in the garage.  I do this to cool the carcass, to finish getting the blood out and to age the meat.  Depending on the weather I will do this for as little as 3 days to as much as a week before I butcher.  As part of the butchering process I clean the meat and ensure no hair, fat or dried blood is packaged with the meat.  Taking a little extra time processing the meat gives you a better end product.  Then the meat goes into the freezer.

As  a personal preference, I seldom eat the meat of what I have just processed on the same day I butcher.  This is true no matter what kind of animal, domestic, wild or poultry.  Fresh caught fish is another story.

As with all rules there is an exception.  With the antelope the exception is tenderloins.  Antelope have small, tiny even tenderloins.  These are yummy.

I like to harvest my tenderloin and marinade them in a mixture of olive oil and balsamic vinegar.  I never actually measure the stuff, but I completely cover the meat in olive oil and then mix in enough balsamic vinegar to blacken the mixture.  I've cut up some garlic to add a touch of flavor.  It looks like this in the bowl.
I leave the bowl out on the counter with the meat in it for 2 to 4 hours.  Forget what your home economics teacher told you.  It's perfectly OK for meat to marinade at room temperature.  Red meat tastes better, and is more tender if it isn't cold when you cook it.  These beauties NEVER saw the inside of a refrigerator. 

After marinating the tenderloin will look slightly blackened.  This is from the balsamic vinegar and is expected.  Those little pieces of meat are "mistakes" made when cutting the loin out of the cavity.  These "mistakes" are my way of "testing" the meat when grilling it.

Method of preparation:
  • Cut the tenderloins out of the still warm body cavity.  
  • Soak them in water to remove blood
  • Clean off all blood and extra membranes
  • Put in bowl
  • Cover with olive oil
  • Add enough balsamic vinegar to blacken the mixture
  • Add cut up garlic cloves
  • Cook on grill to medium rare or medium
Then because everyone is hungry, forget to take a picture of the finished masterpiece for the blog.  Sorry guys they looked great and tasted even better.

As Waterboy can attest no meal involving red meat is complete without a pan full of these sautéed to perfection.

A Thought on Timing

I have two questions for you.  What year did you start school?  What year did you graduate?  Jot down your answers.

For most people reading here those two dates are about 13 years apart.  Most likely you were 5 years old when you started school and about 18 for graduation.  This has been normal in the US public school system for a little better than 50 years.

Depending on where you lived prior to October 17, 1979, your school district may have had significantly different attendance and graduation standards.  It was possible and common in some locations to start school around 7 years old and graduate around 16.  What happened in 1979 was the formation of the department of education.  One of the goals of the department was to standardize the education system in the United States.

Most institutions and systems in a society change slowly.  This is due in part to the traditionally slow innovation of principles and ideas that are held in common by a society.  This is also due in part to the nature of human life cycle.

In the last century public school teachers often started a career as early as 18 to 20 years old.  Sometimes as young as 16 years old and sometimes as old as 23 or 24.  Prior to about mid 1980's a man was able to start work as a teacher and support a family reasonably well in most school districts.  This does not seem to be the case since the 1980's, although some districts may be paying new teachers fairly well.

Another factor in the pay scale is the pension.  In years past districts that paid pensions normally only required 20 years of service to draw the pension.  Granted a few required 30 years of service and in some cases teachers would work the full 30 (or more) years out of a desire to keep teaching.  For my purposes I'm going to ball park a teachers career as 20 to 30 years.

Prior to 1947, the start of the baby boom in America, very little had changed in public school format or ideology from one generation to the next.  Public schools were still teaching out of McGuffey Readers.  Creationism was taught.  Basic Judeo/Christian ethics and sometimes doctrine were taught alongside of and as part of the course work.  The teacher could spank a disruptive child.  Mom was at home and Mom and Dad could be counted on to show up for parent teacher conferences. 

By the 1953/54 school year, it was apparent that school enrollments were growing at a fast rate.  Population estimates were showing a steady trend of increasing enrollment and demand was growing for new teachers.

A young women entering the teaching profession in the fall of 1953, with a four year bachelors degree would have been between 20 and 22 years old.  She would have been brought up with a school experience that would be considered strict and morally rigorous by todays standards.  Her idea of "normal" in a sociological sense would have been based on the norms of the 1940's, which were basically unchanged from her grandparents time.

As the demand for teachers grew over the next 20 years each new year saw a new batch of educators join the system.  With all the new kids entering school more and more people saw an opportunity to participate in the system.  On the local level this meant more PTA's  etc.  On a national level it took the form of court cases that radically changed the face of America's value system.  By the late 1960's various court cases had completely reengineered the value system and social norms taught in the public schools.

Let's assume something about our crop of new teachers circa 1953.  Lets assume they all were radical right wing ultra conservative religious zealots that were committed to how things were when they were growing up.  Lets assume that they won all the hearts and minds they taught, they fought  the system, and with the blessing of the school board, they got away with it.  By 1974 everyone who took their pension after 20 years was out of the school.  By 1984 everyone who took it at 30 years were out.  Even if the entire crop of teachers started at 20 years old, by 1998 they reached 65 and most likely retired.

During the time period from 1974 forward each year a new crop of teachers would come on board while the old guard retired.  If you started school from 1970 to 1980 there was a great chance that you would encounter at least one teacher who was brought up under the "old system".  If you started school after 1980 you still had a decent chance of encountering teachers who believed in the old social norms or at least were brought up with them.  After 1990 it is extremely unlikely to have a teacher with "old school ways" as the default norm they grew up under.

If you are over 35 years old, and didn't grow up in an urban school with major problems, you probably regard your education experience as "pretty good".  It probably was.  The school boards that ran the school administration assumed that the idea of "normal" was pretty much what they were brought up with.  Even with the various legal cases that changed things in format and curriculum, the teachers still believed in a standard of behavior that was basically traditional.  Those people are either dead or retired now.

Time marches on.  Since 1990 the odds of getting a teacher who was brought up in a traditional American education belief system  have dropped from slim to none.  It's not that we can't reform American education, its the fact that the generation now running the show don't see why there is any need to.  What they have is "normal" to them.



Starting out a post with a disclaimer probably isn't the best literary device.  I don't regard antelope hunting as true hunting.  There I went and said it.  I know every year people come west in hopes of tagging an antelope.  When I lived out east I had to content myself with deer and small game hunting.  Back then I looked forward to other forms of big game hunting.  I guess my first time "hunting" antelope I learned that you don't hunt them so much as you harvest them.

Bow hunters going after antelope are another story.  Antelope can see great and are very wary of letting things that aren't antelope near them.  A bow hunter that stalks and bags an antelope has accomplished something.  Even when a bow hunter uses a blind, he has accomplished a greater feat of hunting then the rifleman harvesting an antelope.

I know I've blogged about my shooting hobbies before.  Since I'm a semi accomplished long distance shooter I don't want you to be under the impression that I simply set out on the prairie and snipe whatever comes along.  It's not that I wouldn't do that, its that I've never needed to.  My absolute longest shot (and kill) on a big game animal is a laser rangefinder verified 297 yards.  This year I didn't even come close to besting that.  My shot was between 100 and 110 yards.

I don't shoot animals at longer range, not because I can't, but because I don't need to.  I suspect that most guys if they would develop a bit of hunting skill would seldom need to shoot beyond 400 yards.  Even then that's what I call bean field shooting.  There is nothing wrong with bean field shooting.  If I had crops to hunt over and the most effective method of harvesting my quarry was to set up in a fence row and shoot across the corner of the field I would do it.  I have too.  I used to have a deal with a farmer who would let me hunt pheasant in exchange for my reducing his deer herd.

That deal wasn't hunting either.  I remember being very enthusiastic about the prospect of filling 65 population control tags.  I was never able to bring myself to do it. That was just too much killing.  There was no sport in it and I tried of the job before ever filling all the tags. 

I have no idea of how many animals I've taken over the years.  I can't even remember them all or what year I shot what in.  I remember some special hunts.  My first deer.  My first hunts with Abby.  The there are some unique hunts, like the time I had a dying whitetail charge me and I emptied my revolver "defending" myself.  It was especially humbling to dress out the deer and learn that the first broadside shot hit it in the hart.  The rest missed.  The story wouldn't have been so bad, if no one had witnessed it.  The whole thing took place at my in-laws right behind the house in the rows of Christmas trees.  My mother in law was doing dishes.  When she heard the first shot she started watching from the kitchen window.  Everyone came out to watch me dress out the deer and ask to see the bullet holes.

Here is this years addition to the freezer.

I'm showing the exit hole in this photo. It was hard to see the entrance hole in the other photo I took.  The exit wound shows a clearly broken front leg about midway down the thigh bone.  This was caused by the angle of the shot.  I was slightly elevated above the doe and shooting downwards.

My point of aim on an antelope is always either a head shot, or the place where the brown of the back and front leg makes a corner with the white of the belly hair.  This point of aim nearly always scores me a clean hart shot.  A clean hart shot produces a hart that looks like this:
In case you're wondering yes 1/3 of the organ is gone.  Which after cleaning it up will only yield one have of the hart for the fry pan.  It was blasted away by the 155 grain Hornady A Max as fired from my old 30-06 Mauser.  FWIW that's the load I've used for elk/deer/antelope for 20 something years.  A standard 2850 FPS out of a claw extract action, toped with a 3x9 Leopold scope.  In other words, old school still fills the freezer.

As a side note all I could get this year was one doe tag.  Antelope numbers are way down.  Instead of getting a couple of buck tags and a couple of doe tags all game and fish would issue me was one tag.  I know guys that weren't able to get any.  Normally I don't shoot just does.  Since I didn't have a buck tag, the alpha buck in this herd was the biggest one I've seen on my friends ranch.  That's the way it goes.


Rap Done Right

I don't know how I missed this back in the day.  Thankfully we have the internet.

Home Schooling

Home schooling has much to offer in terms of educational opportunity.  Home schoolers will tell you it is the better way to go for a variety of reasons.  I agree.  A child will have a better learning environment, more individualized teaching.  All of that is true and valid.

What they don't tell you is that you will go bonkers if you home school your kids.

In a traditional school setting some poor slob gets paid to put up with children who have the same learning disabilities you did.  Oh yes.  I said it.  Children have learning disabilities.   The single biggest one is LBD.  The second biggest one is they are children.

Kids instinctively know that some things are "funner" than others.  This is because they are children and haven't succumbed to the evils of delayed gratification.  They know that playing on the swings (which is what mine are doing right now, that's how I got 15 blissful min of blog time) is more fun than multiplication.  Long division? Ha!  There are bikes that need riding.

I repent in sack cloths and ashes over the way I treated my teachers when I was a kid.  One guy named Donahue had a drinking problem.  We called him Drunkahue.  Do you know why he drank?  That's right kids.  After 10 years with a roomful of teenagers you'd need a little nip in the afternoon to help make it to happy hour too.  After 20 years you need a nip in the morning, between classes, and a good slug with your morning coffee.  It's not alcoholism, its dedication to getting to retirement.

Do you know why teachers have tenure and unions?  They need them.  No one in their right mind spends that much time with kids in an institution.  Who wants to be institutionalized?  Nobody.  Have you ever been around a women who spent 24 years teaching the 1st grade?  Five words: "Good Moorning booys and girrrrls".  You heard a certain half crazed voice in your head when you read that, didn't you?

Crazy.  That's what kids make you.  That's just the kid portion of the dementia.  You can't forget about LBD.  LBD was first discovered by Adam and Eve, at least that's the rumor.  In more enlightened times the issue of LBD was addressed in the classroom by the board of education.  By board of education, of course we mean the paddle.  By paddle we mean a 2x12  solid oak board with a two handed reinforced handle and holes drilled in it to make it more "aerodynamic" and leave lots of red hickeys on the butt of the victim student.

The teachers of yore were wise.  They knew that LBD (Lazy Butt Disorder) was best addressed by applying the board of education to the seat of learning.  They also knew that beating the living tar out of a kid could keep you from going insane.  There is no historical documentation to back this up, but logic dictates that several stiff drinks right before administering the beating does help the recovery of the teacher.

I don't know if you know this or not, but you can't randomly beat your children anymore.  You didn't know that?  My dad sure didn't.  If I came home from school and he even suspected LBD, I got a whooping.  That's because my dad knew he didn't want me getting kicked out of school.  Back then they figured if you had LBDD (Lazy Butt Disruptive Disorder) they'd kick you out and you'd have to spend your day with your parents.  My parents didn't want that, so they beat me.

Then someone, obviously not a parent or a teacher, got the bright idea that we shouldn't beat kids with LBD.  At least they didn't take away the keys to the liquor cabinet.

After spending 4 hours combating LBD and WLG (whiney little girl) you can't send them home, because you homeschool your kids.  That's right.  They are already home.  There is no escape because you are the primary care giver.  You can't go anywhere to get away from them because you've already pulled your hair out, your clothes are a mess from the art project, and you are afraid the cops will take your license for good if they catch you driving after homeschooling again.

They will know too.  Last time they caught you during a traffic stop.  They snuck up to the window and when you weren't looking and saying "DAAAAAD" in a nasally voice.  They knew right then from the twitching and involuntary convulsions that  you were operating a car after homeschooling.  The dilemma is you can't drive to the liquor store.  You can't walk there either.  The cops don't look kindly on the imaginary conversations you have with yourself.  Apparently the neighbors complain when they see you walking and yelling things into the air. "You have to learn your multiplication tables, because I say you have to learn your multiplication tables". 

Maybe a couple of shots of Nyquil to steady up.  I'm out.  I think I still have some rubbing alcohol around here someplace.

Middle East Assignment

A disappointed soft drink salesman returned from his Middle East assignment. His boss asked, "Why weren't you successful with the Arabs?"

The salesman explained, "When I got posted in the Middle East, I was very sure to make a good sales pitch as our product was virtually unknown there. I didn't know to speak Arabic, so I planned to convey the message through three posters. My first poster was a man crawling through the hot desert sand, totally exhausted and panting. Second, the man is drinking our soft drink and third, our man is now totally refreshed. Then these posters were pasted all over the place"

"That should have worked," said the boss.

The salesman replied, "Well, not only did I not speak Arabic, but I didn't realize that Arabs read from right to left."


B-Side, Another One Bites the Dust

If you were to visit my town you might see on the back of some of the cars and trucks window stickers.  This is normal.  Lots of small towns are proud of their high school sports teams and parents will put their kids jersey numbers and name on their windows to show support for their kid. 

If you hang around here long enough, and spend your time checking out window stickers you will notice two stickers show up more than others.  Each sticker is a reference to a different boy.  Each boy was popular.  Each boy was on the football team.  Each boy had everything going for him.  They had something else in common.  Each boy killed himself.  The window stickers are "remembrance stickers". 

The first boy, we'll call him "G", offed himself about 10 years ago.  The second boy, we'll call him "T", did the same about 6 years ago.  I don't know much about "G".  I do know a bit about "T".  "T" was a football star.  He had a choice of scholarships one to play at U of W.  Granted not a Big 10 school, but still pretty good going into his senior year.  Maybe he would have gotten a better school at the end of the season.  He also had an appointment to West Point.  His parents own a successful business in our town.  They have money.

If "T" left a note, I don't know about it.  I do know, on a passing basis his sister.  She is an attractive girl.  "T" was a good looking kid too.  It's fair to say that the whole family are what you might call "the beautiful people".  Money, good looks, youth, a promising educational career, and a leg up on life, it wasn't enough.

I was teaching the teens at the time and one day the kids came to class despondent over "T".  So we talked about it.  I told the kids that "T" didn't matter.  I told them he was a selfish fool.  People who hurt other people like he did are fools.  He didn't matter because he quit trying. Checking out is cowardly.

I don't think my counsel was what they were expecting.  I know its not what they were getting from the professionals at school.  I also told them that 5, 10 or 15 years from now no one would remember "T" because he decided that he didn't matter.

That proved untrue.  I still remember.  Yesterday I was behind a truck with "G's" sticker on it.  The truck was old, like mine.  I reflected on the fact that soon that truck would be traded in on a newer one.  We wouldn't be seeing his sticker around much longer.  Most of the window stickers are gone now, the beautiful people can afford new cars a little more frequently than the norm.

The kids in my class have moved on.  Most of them have graduated by now.  Several are more than have done with college.  Life has moved on.  "T's" sister is married and moved out of state, her and her husband are living their dream.  "T" would have finished his college football career.  I don't know if he was good enough to go pro.  We'll never know that.  Maybe he would have went to West Point.  He'd be a brand new butter bars now.  We don't know if that would have worked out either.

He might have married the girl he took to prom, but he didn't go.  He might have had a case full of trophies or a chest covered in medals.  He might have.  He might have tried.


Down the Rabit Hole

Outlaw's comments jogged my mind about a post I've been mulling over.  What is the greatest sin of our age?

For an individual the greatest struggle with sin may lust or greed or whatever they have a particular struggle with.  It may be fair to say that what ever temptation a person is facing at the moment is to some extent the greatest one.

Probably most people who are biblically semi-literate have seen part of this, but I'm going to include a fuller reading:

Isa 5:18-24
Woe to those who draw sin along with cords of deceit, and wickedness as with cart ropes, to those who say, "Let God hurry, let him hasten his work so we may see it. Let it approach, let the plan of the Holy One of Israel come, so we may know it."
Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter.
Woe to those who are wise in their own eyes and clever in their own sight.
Woe to those who are heroes at drinking wine and champions at mixing drinks, who acquit the guilty for a bribe, but deny justice to the innocent.
Therefore, as tongues of fire lick up straw and as dry grass sinks down in the flames, so their roots will decay and their flowers blow away like dust; for they have rejected the law of the LORD Almighty and spurned the word of the Holy One of Israel.
I realize that this was specifically written to a group of people who are now long dead and gone.  Yet I keep pondering if this isn't a good description of people in American today.  Americans, especially liberal Americans believe they are very smart, " wise in their own eyes and clever in their own sight".  Incrementalism is taught as a method of "social change".  The terms "change agent", "advocate" "change advocate" are lauded as worthy and honorable roles to play in civilization.  No one seems overly interested in defining what the "change" will look like or describing the desired outcome beyond the nebulous "better", "fairer", or "more inclusive".  Sin is drawn along with cords of deceit. 
Evil is called good and good evil.  Perversion is proclaimed as a "civil right".  Non-participants in perversion are required to praise it or face legal sanction. We are a conglomerate of people who over indulge and our system of justice frees evil doers while denying justice to the deserving. 
The last 50 years of American civilization have been the most technologically advanced in recorded history.  They have also been some of the most economically prosperous times man has ever enjoyed.  Even in our economic depressions, we are wealthier than most of the human race throughout time.  The United States represents "the best" humankind has achieved.
This has lead us to believe that we really are especially cleaver. 
For the life of me
I can not remember
What made us think that we were wise and we'd never compromise
For the life of me
I can not believe we'd ever die
For these sins
We were merely freshmen
We tried to wash our hands of all of this
We'd never talk of our lacking relationships
And how we're guilt-stricken sobbin' with our heads on the floor
We fell through the ice when we tried not to slip we'd say
Can't be held responsible
She was touchin' her face
I won't be held responsible
She fell in love in the first place

We still haven't learned our lesson.  If we don't, and soon, our flowers will turn to dust and blow away.


Qualified Immunity

Aiyana Stanley-Jones would have turned eleven years old this year.  Would have.  The Detroit police department shot her in the head during an illegal no-knock raid of her home.  I'm filled with rage, indignation, and sorrow over what happened.  It's not hard to see why blacks don't like white cops.  A couple of facts I'd like to highlight about the situation.
  • The police only obtained a warrant for Aiyana's home after they shot her in the head.
  • The police were serving a warrant on a duplex.
  • The police had a warrant for the unit next door.
  • The police brought along a camera crew who were shooting footage for a reality TV show.
  • The police officer who shot Aiyana had been involved in previous problematic excessive force situations prior to this one.
I suspect that the above facts were part of why Joseph Weekley was stripped of his qualified immunity and required to stand trial on charges related to his killing of a 7 year old girl. 

This is how it should have been.  I agree that Weekley should have to face a jury.  Which he has done, twice.  Each of the juries ended up deadlocked over his guilt.  As the case progressed through the system the more serious charges were either dropped or dismissed until this last time all he was facing was a charge of "careless or reckless firing of a weapon causing death".  He wasn't facing a murder or even a involuntary manslaughter charge.  The jury still couldn't agree that he had done that.

Everything Weekley has said about the situation has proven to be a lie.  Grandma didn't grab his gun.  The forensic tests prove her finger prints weren't on the weapon and the gunpowder residue tests show that her arm wasn't near the barrel.  The only person whose finger was on the trigger was Weekley.  The only person who shot the gun that killed a little girl as she was sleeping was, Weekley.

To some extent the system worked.  It's too bad that system didn't protect Aiyana.  I think all good people grieve over that.  The fact is that Weekley got caught.  Weekely was charged with crimes and tried twice.  Two times the jury deadlocked.  The second time all they had to decide on was two facts:
  1. did someone die
  2. did Weekley pull the trigger
They couldn't figure it out.  How stupid is the Wayne county jury pool?

The people on that jury were the arbitrators of justice. Their job was to either acquit Weekley out right or condemn him for his crime.  Either way justice would be granted either in the form of vindication or vengeance. The jury failed to do its duty.


Rocinante Bites the Dust

Another one of the Vox Popoli originals bites the dust... Again.

I say again because this is the second time he has had to take down his blog due to the possibility of his brain droppings harming his career.

This angers me.  Roci never posted anything, illegal, inflammatory or even in bad taste.  Sometimes he was critical of his government.  So what.  As bad as our government is, all patriotic Americans should be able to point out at least a half dozen issues they are critical of.  He had the audacity to post thoughts, his own thoughts.  His thoughts weren't bad or harmful but they might have offended someone.

Might have offended.  Not actually offended.  Not actual harmed someone.  He didn't even say something mean.  Offending or maybe offending someone is the now the moral equivalent of  hitting someone over the head with a lead pipe.  Only really bad people would do something that might maybe OFFEND somebody. 

Offending some dimwit can lead to losing ones lively hood.  I understand.  Real knights don't tilt at windmills.  Real knights don't fight the court jester.  Unfortunately the jester is running the kingdom.

I have thought about making this offer before.  Maybe now is a good time to do it.  It's possible for a blogger to offer access to co-writers on his blog.  You would have your own sign in account and personal handle.  You would be able to post what you like as often as you like.  Since the blog is loosely based on All in the Family, I'm suggesting that anyone interested in co-writing pick a character from the show and blog as that "person".  I would be the only person who would know your "identity".

This offer is available to any regulars who might be interested; especially the blogger formerly known as Roci.  Drop me an email.


The one who invented the door knocker got a No-bell prize.

No one knew she had a dental implant until it came out in a conversation.

I wrote a novel about a fellow who had a small garden. It didn't have much of a plot.

The patron saint of poverty is St. Nickeless.

What's the definition of a will? (It's a dead giveaway.)

Why did the capacitor kiss the diode? He just couldn't resistor.

The roundest knight at king Arthur's round table was Sir Cumference.

Yesterday I accidentally swallowed food coloring. The doctor says I'm OK, but I feel like I've dyed a little inside.

I thought she had PMS, but she was just ovary acting.

I used to be addicted to soap, but I'm clean now.

When a clock is hungry, it goes back four seconds.

Sleeping comes so naturally to me, I could do it with my eyes closed.

What did the grape say when it got stepped on? Nothing - but it let out a little whine.

Need an ark to save two of every animal? I noah guy.

I was going to buy a book on phobias, but I was afraid it wouldn't help me.



Its been over a year now that I've been studying some of the tenets of Judaism.  My study has been largely self directed so it may not be as scholarly or theologically sound compared to a formal study.  I've learned some things that have caused me to grow in ways that I hadn't expected.

  • Jews tend to view the Torah (first five books OT) as literally the word of God.  They view these writings as if God himself drew the very letters on the page.  They study everything about these passages.  They count letters, words, and search for meaning on more levels than a western mind would even conceive of.  They even believe that there is meaning to be discovered within the spaces of the letters themselves.
    • This has caused me to reexamine a basic tenet of Christian thought processes.  I was taught to view and discern scripture as: literal, or figurative, or historical or spiritual in meaning.  You could properly understand a text only by putting it in its proper context.  A text may have limited personal application, but it definitely had a specific universal purpose.  I now reject that methodology.  I haven't figured out how to quantify and express the position I'm now favoring but its much more literal and I hold a deeper reverence for scripture.
  • The Jews have a collection of commentary, debates, points of view, and clarification of scripture that goes back 4,000 years.  This is sometimes referred to as the Oral Law, Talmud, Mishnah.  The modern Christian community is largely ignorant of the contents of this material. (I am too, but I'm working towards correcting that deficiency) The role and acceptance of the Oral Teachings plays a tremendous role in Judeo/Christian thinking even if gentile Christians are unfamiliar with it.
    • The Pharisees of Jesus day were believers in the oral traditions.
    • The Sadducees rejected the oral teachings. 
    • Jesus sided with the Pharisees against the Sadducees.
    • Jesus affirmed/confirmed the oral law.
    • The teachings of Jesus in the Gospels are in similar to the teachings of the Pharisees, however Jesus teachings were more stringent than His contemporaries.
    • There are several passages in the Gospels that are best understood within the frame work of interpretation of Oral Law, among them:
      • Baptism
      • Sexuality
      • Divorce
      • The Sermon on the mount
      • Cleansing the temple
      • Judgment
    • The Sadducees were a minority party during the first century and they were not as well respected as the Pharisees.
    • The Sadducees were what we'd call more secular in their thinking.
    • Surprisingly many priests were Sadducees.
    • Jesus taught against the hypocrisy of the Pharisees, interestingly that was one of the topics the Pharisees were also teaching against.
    • Jesus was not put to death by the full Sanhedrin, rather it was an illegal gathering of priests most of whom belonged to the sect of the Sadducees.
    • Had the full Sanhedrin met to hear Jesus's case, it is unlikely that the Pharisees would have been as politically motivated to execute or even punish Him. 
      • In the book of Acts, several years latter, Saul/Paul would be acquitted by the full Sanhedrin due in large part to the Pharisees.
    •  Many Pharisees accepted Jesus as Messiah.
    • The Pharisees who rejected Jesus became the fore runners of the modern Rabbis.
    • They were happy to "borrow" Jesus's teachings and add them to their own understanding of the law.
The main thing is that has been changing is my fundamental understanding of the thought process behind Scripture.  As I change my thinking on the TANAK it is forcing me to change or challenge my thinking on the New Testament. This process is also causing me to consider a different hermeneutic for harmonizing the two bodies of writing.

I have also been rethinking eschatology.  I haven't been able to sort Jewish belief on this topic, but I have looked at some tenets of Islam.  I'm interested to learn more about the Jewish perspective on this largely because the Islamic one is very interesting academically.  It seems the Islamic POV is a near match for what some Christians accept in terms of prophetic imagery, time tables and events.  The main difference is that the Islamic perspective is like looking at a photographic negative to one of the major Christian POVs.


Just Watch It

Unfit Mother

The office next to mine hired a 19 year-old kid back in August.  It's a strictly part time job that maybe involves working up to 24 hours a week.  Most of that time is done when I'm not around. So I almost never see this kid.

I hear about the kid.  The company next door is almost exclusively women and has been since I've been working for my employer.  Which means most days I get to hear about everything.  The way I was first told about this kid the term used was "he/she".

To be fair this person does remind me a bit of Pat the sexually ambiguous character from SNL's skits. The kid has some things stacked against him.  He is over weight.  He dresses in baggy cloths.  He is a late bloomer, and his voice hasn't deepened as much as most guys.  He even wears a black "I (heart) Haters" ball cap.  The worst thing is that he has an unusual name.  It's a girls name.

Apparently his mother saw a TV show that had a male character on it with this female name, a very female name.  Think "A Boy Named Sue" without the masculine toughness.  She decided that her baby just HAAAD to have this name, it didn't matter that he was a boy.

Sure his mom didn't know he would have a heart problem that would result in a pacemaker and several hospital stays be fore he turned 16.  She didn't know that this would result in his having a hard time with his weight and getting a slow start maturing.  She knew she was giving a boy a girl's name.  Even in the best of circumstances she was making his life harder than it needed to be.  As it turns out mom's special method of picking a name has turned the boy's life into a living hell.



I saw a commercial today.  I've seen this one before, but today I confirmed what I thought I heard the first time I saw the ad.

The ad was for a new car, a Mini-Cooper.  They claim that it has "legendary go-cart handling".  I remember go-carts.  I don't think there's been a revolution in go-cart technology that has escaped my notice.  I can't see how this is a positive feature in an automobile.

At least no one will ever be able to sue them for false advertising.


Ben Franklin

One day a gentleman walked into one of Ben Franklin's book stores. As one of the clerks went to assist him, the gentleman asked the clerk the price of the book he wished to purchase. The young clerk looked at the price posted on the book and said, "That book is one dollar, sir."

The gentleman began to haggle with the clerk over the price. The clerk assured him that the correct price for the book was one dollar and no lower. As the man realized that his efforts to haggle with the clerk were going nowhere, he insisted on speaking with Ben Franklin directly.

Franklin stopped his work and walked out to the storefront. The gentleman asked him, "What is the price of this book?"

Franklin answered, "One dollar and a quarter."

The gentleman was confused and replied, "Your clerk just said it was a dollar."

Franklin looked at the book again and answered, "Yes, it was a dollar. But now you're wasting my time."


Forensic Science

At the 1994 annual awards dinner given for Forensic Science, AAFS President Dr. Don Harper Mills astounded his audience with the legal complications of a bizarre death. Here is the story:

On March 23, 1994, the medical examiner viewed the body of Ronald Opus and concluded that he died from a shotgun wound to the head. Mr. Opus had jumped from the top of a ten-story building intending to commit suicide. He left a note to the effect indicating his despondency. As he fell past the ninth floor, his life was interrupted by a shotgun blast passing through a window, which killed him instantly.

Neither the shooter nor the deceased was aware that a safety net had been installed just below the eighth-floor level to protect some building workers and that Ronald Opus would not have been able to complete his suicide the way he had planned.

"Ordinarily," Dr. Mills continued, "someone who sets out to commit suicide and ultimately succeeds, even though the mechanism might not be what he intended, is still defined as committing suicide." That Mr. Opus was shot on the way to certain death, but probably would not have been successful because of the safety net, caused the medical examiner to feel that he had a homicide on his hands.

The room on the ninth floor where the shotgun blast emanated was occupied by an elderly man and his wife. They were arguing vigorously and he was threatening her with a shotgun. The man was so upset that when he pulled the trigger he completely missed his wife, and the pellets went through the window, striking Mr. Opus.

When one intends to kill subject "A" but kills subject "B" in the attempt, one is guilty of the murder of subject "B." When confronted with the murder charge, the old man and his wife were both adamant and both said that they thought the shotgun was not loaded. The old man said it was a long-standing habit to threaten his wife with the unloaded shotgun. He had no intention to murder her. Therefore, the killing of Mr. Opus appeared to be an accident; that is, assuming the gun had been accidentally loaded.

The continuing investigation turned up a witness who saw the old couple's son loading the shotgun about six weeks prior to the fatal accident. It transpired that the old lady had cut off her son's financial support. The son, knowing the propensity of his father to use the shotgun threateningly, loaded the gun with the expectation that his father would shoot his mother.

Since the loader of the gun was aware of this, he was guilty of the murder even though he didn't actually pull the trigger. The case now becomes one of murder on the part of the son for the death of Ronald Opus.

Now comes the exquisite twist.

Further investigation revealed that the son was, in fact, Ronald Opus. He had become increasingly despondent over the failure of his attempt to engineer his mother's murder. This led him to jump off the ten-story building on March 23rd, only to be killed by a shotgun blast passing through the ninth-story window. The son had actually murdered himself, so the medical examiner closed the case as a suicide.

This hypothetical story was presented at a meeting of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences in 1987 by Don Harper Mills.


How it Works

I'm not as eloquent a man as I'd like to be.  Sometimes I don't have the right combination of words, tack and sophistication to make a point the way I should.  They say that a picture is worth a thousand words.  There are somethings that a young man needs to know about women.

This is what she looks like getting ready for your wedding:

This is what she looks like getting ready for your 20th wedding anniversary:

Please pass this on to the young males in your life.  They need to know before its too late.


Thought Experiment II

A couple of weeks ago I proposed a "thought experiment".  The purpose of which was to offer a proof that: "Adam was restricted to a 3 dimensional reality".  Although it was one of my more commented on posts, nobody took much of a shoot at doing a proof.  C'est la vie. 

I realize that by definition that the only people who know for sure what happened are those that either observed or experienced the event of the fall.  None the less its an interesting topic to speculate on.

  • God saw all that he had made, and it was very good. Gen 1:31
  • The Universe appears to operate biased on physically knowable laws
  • Man is able to search out these laws and explore them theoretically as well as experimentally
  • Scripture records events that transcend normal rules of physics
    • The law of non contradiction requires a method to enact actions that are unexplainable in three dimensional time space
    • Quantum physics provides explanations for phenomena outside of normal time space
    • These explanations are not hostile to a literal understanding of scripture    
  • Then God said, "Let us make man in our image, in our likeness Gen 1:26
  • The man and his wife were both naked, and they felt no shame. Gen 2:25
    • After they eat of the tree of knowledge of good and evil they realize they are naked
    • It seems odd that they would be "ashamed" of being how they had always been
    • Modern readers bring a cultural prejudice concerning clothing and sexuality to the interpretation of the text, that isn't required by the text itself
  • Exodus 34:29-35 Gives an account of Moses radiantly glowing from being in the presence of the LORD.  Click here for a more scholarly explanation of "shekinah".  I believe that higher beings (humans and above) can reflect shekinah glory and that this is done by emanating light wave lengths that are visible to the human eye.
    • I believe what Adam and Eve called "nakedness" was that after sinning, they lost the radiant emanation of light 
    • "clothing" was a way to cover up that which had always been less noticeable due to God's Glory 
  • The laws of physics have no explanation for:
    • shekinah glowing
    • paranormal observations/experiences, spooky stuff, etc
  • For some reason there is nothing in scripture to indicate that Eve thought it odd that she was speaking to another non-human creature.
  • Angels are identified as:
    • "higher" than us, although this was apparently not a permanent condition
    • ministering servants Heb 1:14
    • creatures we will sit in judgment of 1Cor 6:3
  • God emits light Is 60:19, Da 2:22, I Tim 6:16
I submit to you that in their original sinless state, Adam and Eve had access to some things we do not have today.
  • Perfect bodies
    • perfect design
    • perfect health
    • perfect function and use
    • no death
  • Perfect mental abilities
    • perfect use of language
    • perfect use of intellect
    • perfect reasoning skills
  • Perfect spiritual abilities
    • no sin
    • no shame
    • perfect access to God
      • they could be 100% in the presence of God
      • they had regular conversations with God
    • access to other extra-caporal beings
It seems to me based on the information we have about Moses, and other references to God as the source of literal light that Adam and Eve likely reflected or shone with God's light since they were in daily contact with Him physically.  The issue of the shekinah glory raises more questions than it answers.  No doubt Adam and Eve regarded their "glowing" as normal.  They became ashamed when they no longer had that covering.

I suspect that there was something physically different about their pre-sin bodies that being perfect allowed them unfettered access to the "spiritual" realm.  I suspect that the pre-sin human body was like the resurrection body of Christ.  Which is the same form of body that we are told we will have after this life is over.  That body will allow us to access the dwelling place of God.  I think that's what Adam and Eve had in the first place.

Angelic beings are designed to fulfill a number of purposes.  One of those purposes is to "minster" to righteous men.  In post sin circumstances angels are regarded with fear.  In a pre-sin situation Adam would not have feared anything on the earth as it was all given to him to "rule over".  Is it possible that angles (or some sub group) actually "ministered" at Adam's request or maybe even at his command?  If that was the case, then he'd have to have a way to interact with them.

This is of course all speculation; reasoned speculation, but still just speculation.  Just as you can't prove Adam and Eve were constrained to 4 time space dimensions, you can't prove they were not.  Interestingly there are reasons to speculate that mankind was never meant to only dwell on earth, or be limited by our current physical bodies.  After all God made sure we could never eat of the tree of life in a post sin body.  Maybe that's because only death will free us to take on a new form, or at least go back to the one we were intended to enjoy all along.  You can call it spiritual, or extra dimensional, in the end it may amount to the same thing.


I think I might try this for Halloween.


Man Make Fire

Man work.  Some jobs are now, always have been, and no amount of feminazi propaganda will change the fact that they always will be a man's job.  As long as spiders need to be squashed, snakes need to be killed and someone has to be blamed for an irrational feeling of unhappiness, men will have a purpose.

One of those purposes in our house is the making of fire.  We have a pellet stove that came with the house when we bought it 14 winters ago.  It was an old stove then and is even older now.  I believe the folks we bought the house from had the stove installed back in 1993, but I'm not sure.  As far as the guy who owns the pellet stove store in our town is concerned, I should just buy a new stove.  I won't because they cost over $3,500 and because mine still works, even if it has some quirks.

The wife informed me this morning that its supposed to get into the 20's tonight with freezing rain.  I took that as polite reminder that the spring cleaning of the stove that I should have done back in April still needed my attention.  Attend to it I did.  Now two hours latter the deed is done.  The stove has been disassembled, cleaned, reassembled and filled with a new bag of pellets.  The only part of the chore I didn't do is removing and reinstalling a new door gasket. 

Last winter I replaced the gasket halfway through the winter.  It seemed to work fine and then towards the end of march it seemed to start leaking at the top of the door.  I have no idea what caused this, or what I could have done better with the installation.  I have a new replacement gasket, but I'm going to hold off till we are using the stove on a daily basis before replacing it.  The gasket cement needs a constant period of the stove burning in order to cure properly.

Personal Study

I've posted before about the topic that I've named "reactionary religion".  The basic idea being that many Christian doctrines are formulated as a reaction to a previously existing doctrine or policy.  With that basic idea in mind several years ago I decided to research (and teach a series of classes on) the topic of Baptism.  Instead of rehashing Catholic/Reformed/Anabaptist/Evangelical/Charismatic arguments I decided to try and learn everything I could about the Jewish practice.  The study of the mikvah and tevilah started me down the road to discovering that much of the theological positions of Christendom are based on faulty premises.

That realization has forced me to reexamine my thinking on a number of religious topics. 

Over a year ago I started formally studying some of the aspects of Jewish thought and Christianity.  This has been an interesting study for me.  I've learned somethings and gained perspective that has been amazing.  This topic of study is going to take up a considerable amount of my time for some years to come.  There really is so much to learn about the Jewishness of Christianity.

More recently I have become acquainted with Rabbi B.  He is becoming a fantastic asset in my continuing religious education.  Not only is he a gracious teacher but he is patient with questions that I'm sure seam infantile to him.  As part of his efforts to educate me, he has written a thorough explanation of the Rabbinic understanding of circumcision.  His work has been enlightening to me both because of the effort he has put into the topic and as a insight into the Jewish thought process.

I don't know if there is any interest in reading his work, but I am offering to share it with anyone who would be interested.  Rabbi B has graciously given me permission to either email it or post it here.  If you are interested in reading it please drop a line in the comments and let me know if you prefer it online or via email.  If you want it emailed you need to send me your address.

Rabbi B hasn't agreed to this, but if there is enough interest in posting it on line, he may be kind enough to field some questions for us too.



The first time I met my wife, she was an aerobics instructor at my health club and I was an out-of-shape new member.

After one grueling workout, I gasped, “This is really helping me get toned.”

She looked me up and down.

Feeling self-conscious, I added, “Big men run in my family.”

She raised an eyebrow. “Apparently not enough.”