Tuesday, June 29, 2004

Skin Deep

Went to the dermatologist today.
-- The one my mom goes to. He's been taking good care of my mom for a good long time now. Saving her life even? Together they've been waging war on the spots that continually appear on her skin that could turn into Melanoma. Since she's already had a serious case, it's a good strategy. She's been over 5 years cancer free now, and that's quite a big deal to us.
Anyway, for the above reasons, I get a little nervous now and then when a new spot appears on my hide. I got lotsa spots already so you'd think I wouldn't notice, but a new one popped out on my hand a few weeks before my wedding, or at least that's when I noticed it. It had an odd shape to it and it brought along a brand new baby to sit along side itself so that just sorta seemed not quite right. I made an appointment to see the dermatologist just to be safe.
He's great about my mild paranoia - though he does call it exactly that. Just so you know though, I've only seen him twice in 2 years so it's not that I'm freaking out about absolutely everything.
Today he informed me that Blue Haired Blonde Eyed people like me SHOULD be careful and observant about our skin, but that I probably could relax a little. I smiled and he caught his mix up and corrected it. The guy isn't usually a laugh a minute or anything, in fact his "bedside manner" is a little gruff, but he takes the skin thing very seriously and I appreciate that.
Anyway -- I'm good to go, in case you were curious. It was just a freckle that had appeared in the web of my hand and therefore looked deformed and abnormal to my mildly paranoid, untrained eye.

Thursday, June 24, 2004

Moving Furniture

Once again, it seemed like a great idea to change my template.
I'll be moving things around, raising the dust and tweeking for a while I'm sure. If you notice anything funky, or have a suggestion, please let me know.


Tuesday, June 22, 2004

Have You Any Grey Poupon?

Since his bad self landed a few days ago, Captainwow has been mostly resting and learning the culture here on Earth. Specifically, he's been learning the culture of a very odd office environment in Lansing, MI, U.S.A. Which is a good start for him for now.

He particularly enjoys websurfing. He immediately took to it and discovered that this is his favorite website: VirtualStapler
We're a little concerned about his obsession with staplers until we're sure he's entirely de-pressurized, so to speak, from his amazing journey to Earth.

He wore the batteries out on the digital camera posing nude with various desk top items, playing with the zoom lens, and using the little screen to preview his own pictures obsessively, so additional photos will be delayed some as well as his biography. "Time these things do take." he said, when approached for an interview. (Star Wars was the first DVD he chose to view upon arrival.) We're not sure he entirely comprehends the concept of time, but it's clear that Yoda made an impression on him.

So far he's also read a few books. He chose to spend his first evening limiting his initial orientation to my office, so his choices were limited. He read a Webster's Dictionary, a Roget's II Thesaurus, A Second Edition HTML Complete, a New Testament, an REI camping gear catalog, the ingredients of a can of Coke, a Phone Book, and our entire PHP Health Insurance Policy. He's going to be a great resource, if he is capable of retaining all that information.

It appears he also considers himself a poet. On the filing cabinet he used my word magnets to send us this cryptic message: "after many word will they give hug". Our interpreters are working around the clock to unravel the mysteries that may be contained in this intergalactic communication. He refuses to help.

Since he's declined to comment on any of the clues we've uncovered I must inform you that for now we're left to patch together what little we can about this small but amazingly bright colored creature.

More news at 11 or whenever we get around to it......

Monday, June 21, 2004

From A Galaxy Far Far Away

He has finally landed!
Our little captainwow mascot arrived via transuniversal transmogrification and showed up in my car by way of a Happy Meal. Imagine my surprise!

It all made sense then. The sound I had heard when I first opened the box must have been him coughing up a hairball.

I will provide you more details on his bio and other information but for now I was just so excited I wanted to post his photo for all to see.

Captainwow Posted by Hello

Wednesday, June 16, 2004

Captainwow is a Geek

I have made friends with the green people.

And together we are now pummelling the red people.

We will be victorious!

Yes, this is what I'm thinking about today. I have a saved Age of Empires game on my PC that I'd rather be playing than doing my work. So I thought I'd blog about it to get it out of my system.

Thank you for listening.

And now, back to our regularly scheduled Aging Reports and Collection Calls.

Tuesday, June 15, 2004

This Sort of Thing Is My Bag Baby

It was only a matter of time.

Says Yahoo Mail today:

"As of June 15, 2004, you'll enjoy the following benefits:
Increased storage capacity from your current level to 100MB
Increase in total message size to 10MB
A streamlined interface that's even easier to use."

Thank you Google... for tightening the screws.
And for providing a situation in which I get to crow a big loud
"I told you so."
That's always so much fun (and attractive).

Still, they don't even come close... Google offers 1000MB of storage!!
It's Yahoo's grudging reaction to getting some stiff competition.

This brings to mind the words of our wise friend Austin Powers:
"Shall we shag now, or shall we shag later?"

Because now, my Occasionally Accurate Crystal Ball reads:
Yahoo and other free email accounts will perhaps put forth more effort to control SPAM.
--- it's THEIR problem now!

Monday, June 14, 2004


Going Jesus has a great post here at this link: Going Jesus about home improvement, and improvement in general. I really identify with a lot of it.
She's got a fun way of talking about her projects but if you want to skip down to the subtitle becoming someone else, you'll read the part I'm trying to pass on to you.

Happy Monday.

Saturday, June 12, 2004


Yesterday I turned on the TV during lunch time to eat leftover sushimash and thought oh I'll just veg out on some stupid talk show or soap opera crap then get back to work.

But what was on the TV was Ronald Reagan's funeral. I usually avoid such things. These are private moments, says I, and really none of my business. But there it was, and I watched.

I have no feelings about the man. Never have... I remember when he was shot, and I hear about Reaganomics or Trickle Down Economics, (usually spoken with a sneer) but other than that I really don't know much about him, let alone have had any chance to develop any feelings toward the man.

I cried.

And Cried.

Then cried some more.

It felt like I was crying for Reagan, for his family, for America somehow, but also for every funeral in my own life and everything sad and lonely in the world and for beauty and sadness and grief and death and life.

I thought of May in The Secret Life of Bees , who would begin rocking and singing "Oh, Suzanna" anytime anything sad happened. She'd write down her pain on a piece of paper and go wedge it into the wailing wall she'd built out back. She absorbed other people's sadness - had no "normal" boundary between her own self and others' sorrows. Right then, that's sort of how I felt.

It crossed my mind I might never stop crying and then what? I'd lose my job and my life would fall to pieces and everyone would think I was a case and I'd get put in a mental institution and my cats would go to whomever was willing to take care of them and Kevin would be a semi widower and my friends would quietly slip away and I'd spiral into darkness and despair, mumbling nonsense and dripping tears into my coffee...

But I did stop. Just like I always do.

It was a beautiful funeral. I'm glad he got a good "send off".
I'm glad I randomly turned on the TV and I'm thankful for seeing some of the ceremony and for the brief grieving - for only God knows what - that it allowed me.

Thursday, June 10, 2004

Time for the Booney Lin

I just got caught talking to myself.
And answering.

Which isn't entirely unusual... But ....

Let me explain:
I was looking at my checking account online and making sure all is wellywell in Finance Land when I spotted a difference in the today balance as opposed to the current balance which means there's a deduction floating out there that doesn't show up in the summary but the bank knows I spent money so it affects my balance. (it's a little weird) Anyway when I calculated the difference, it came to an amount that made sense to me.

Any performance of Math on my part requires muttering, So my co worker overheard this:
"Gas? Maybe it's Gas. Hmm..."
punching keys on the calculator
"OK Ya, it's gotta be Gas. Whew!"
laughter ensues from across the hall

Oh Boy, I can't take myself anywhere!

Tuesday, June 08, 2004

Word Association Station

In the news:
the big IPO this week is Google... Imagine owning a company that people wanted to buy shares so badly they were willing to BID for them! Golly Gee.

Speaking of Big Money, We Saw the new Harry Potter movie last night. It was good. Talk about raking in the dough... That movie has done well at the box office. And it's no wonder. In my opinion, it was better than the others.
Speaking of better than the others (which we were), Shrek 2 is actually in some ways BETTER than Shrek 1. I loved it. Eddie Murphy as Donkey was a stroke of genius.

Speaking of Donkeys, the price of soybeans in the U.S. was affected in some way recently by the wet spring in the Midwest...I can't remember if it was good or bad for business, but all that wetness is great for the population of mosquitos.

I got a catalog in the mail for camping equipment and now I'm all geeked to go camping. But with all the soybeans and mosquitoes flying around we'll have to get us some good repellent.

I've never been rapelling, have you? I *have* been repelling......... ahem.. but that's for another post.
Or not.

And that's all for now... But on a more serious note, if you have a chance, check out this post on The Main Point Blog: I Have Your Bible, Denny

Monday, June 07, 2004

Farry Hotter Pans

Sexy Snape

Hey! Is THAT in the movie!?!?

Go Doggy GO!

Check this out!

Skating Bulldog

Friday, June 04, 2004


Ya, my sideburns finally grew back in.

Wait -- no! I meant to say SIDEBAR.
It's back! Thanks to Mr. Michael the blogging angel
>sniff< I love you man!

Mocha is sitting on the nightstand staring out the window, which has a curtain over it. But she's staring intently as though she can see outside or something. Hm.

I woke up this morning with Hobbes rumbling away, sitting ON MY BACK. It would feel great if he just got those paws going a bit -- a little personal vibrating massage kitty. But no, he's not thinking of ME.....Purring like mad, he obviously wanted my attention but for the life of me I have no idea what he wants. He's been joined with me at the hip all morning long so I'm hoping he's not being needy because he's sick or something. Last night he was extra needy too. I tried confining him as long as possible, petting him enthusiastically, talking baby talk to him, rubbing his belly, tickling his ears, blowing little puffs of air in his nose -- in other words, irritating the crap out of him - but to no avail. He was back in 10 minutes wanting more. I tried being very direct with him. We had a talk. I asked him politely for a little space, stating that I had a lot to do and that he was impeding my progress.
Nope, that didn't work either.
So, I guess I could have worse problems. As I'm typing this he's curled up on my feet -- yes, that's ON my feet not AT them. As soon as I get up, he'll know it and follow me again. My little 12 yr old Toddler Kitty. >sigh<

Thursday, June 03, 2004

Boston Transnation

This just in:

Notice on our door this evening from the neighborhood association:


Ummm... what kind of neighborhood is this, anyway?

A Thing That Makes Me Go HUH?

At a Community College in 1989, I took a class called New Testament History (or something like that -- I don't remember the name of it). I took it because I thought it would be a cake walk class. Seemed to me like an easy 4.0, having grown up in the church and also having won several awards for memorizing hundreds of verses in the bible as part of a program at church. Arrogant 19 year old me thought I knew virtually all there was to know about the New Testament, and besides, this wasn't even a christian college - how hard could it be?

The very first class blew cocky young me right out of the water. I think that in the end, I passed that class (barely) with the lowest grade I received the whole time I was in that particular school. But it was one of the best classes I ever took, from a spiritual standpoint. Maybe the coolest thing was that it taught me not to think I knew so much.

In addition to that, it made me have little tiny pre-thinky thoughts that went directly against what I had previously believed.

For instance, This class showed us within the first few hours that there are in fact some errors in the Bible! This was news to me. I was rather offended (and secretly confused) because to my way of thinking, no one would say such a thing unless they were saying the bible wasn't true. In any case, the teacher made his point clear. There ARE errors in the Bible. It ain't Inerrant in that sense, at least.

By the end of that New Testament class it was clear that the teacher wasn't against the bible at all. He was very thorough and I found I didn't know very much at all about the New Testament! The final exam was comprised of only a few questions and one of them was something like this: What is The Gospel? In your own words, describe the essence, the central message of the new testament?
HIS point, of course, was that with the inconsistencies, with the errors - there is a message there that shouldn't be missed even from a literary standpoint and THAT isn't necessarily negated in any way by the humanity of the writers. The rest is up to you, do you believe it or not? The choice is yours. This I say a big fat AMEN to. Rock On, Episcopalian Priest/Professor Dude!

Several years later I dated this guy who got really offended when I refered to The Bible as The Word Of God. He said that JESUS, and God and the Holy Spirit was the word of God, not this book called The Bible!
I was horrified. Suddenly it seemed to me that he had a great gaping hole in his theology. It seemed to me he couldn't even be a real Christian and believe that.
What about the Council of Trent? Weren't they Guided by the Hand of God to choose only those writings that were "God Breathed"?

I thought only non believers didn't believe that the Bible was The Word Of God!! So, naturally, being a good fundamentalist, I questioned him about his salvation. When in doubt about someone's Theology, Find out if they're REALLY SAVED. Because - they might just be thinking wrongly because they've not Accepted Christ As Their Savior and therefore don't have the Holy Spirit to guide them in their thinking. But, he said he had. So that stumped me completely.

We broke up not long after that so really we didn't have a lot more dialogue about this subject, but it did get me thinking about a few things, and for that I'm glad.

Several MORE years later it is, and still I've still not arrived at any solid conclusion, still am not able to come up with any graceful way of saying this without sounding like a heretic maybe even to myself. I mostly keep it to myself and occasionally discuss it with friends whom I trust not to freak out on me and assume I've lost my faith.

One of the earliest foundational elements I was taught to include in my "statement of faith" says something like "We Believe The Bible is The Inerrant Word Of God."
And Ummm... errr...ya, nope. Just not so sure about that anymore. It's now a great big HUH?

And - here's another kicker: I'm Ok with some of these big HUH? and HMM's. I don't have to KNOW. Because what precious little I DO KNOW I believe is True, and not changed by anything relating to that question.
Just for fun let's say I eventually decide that the Bible is simply a History Book -- most people won't argue with the historical value of it. By faith I do believe that Jesus was Who He said He was. And that He did what he did for all of us, including me. And that I follow Jesus because I believe that He really did say "I Am", and that it was true because my faith is resting not in the Bible, but in Jesus Christ and what I believe He did. There's no set of empirical data that proves Jesus was who He said He was or did what He did - or even that it has anything to do with me. I either believe it or I don't.

If we go with the paradox theory then maybe it goes something like this:
Is the Bible The Word of God?

That whole paradox thing I talked about yesterday implies that the answer would be Yes and No. If I accept only one, then I dump the other out and miss the point.


The Blue Pill or The Red Pill?
What if Neo had taken BOTH!?

Wednesday, June 02, 2004

Things That Make Ya Go Hmm

Here's something to gnaw on if'n you're into it: this postmodern trail I'm wandering along (for lack of anything better to call it just yet) has got me thinking in different directions these days and I'm possibly very close to deciding that the term "right with God" is nearly irrelevant or at best very vague and ambiguous.

Here's what got me going on it:

A woman I know went to counseling and here's what the therapist piles on her :
"Well I think that if you and your husband got it together, got right with God that is, things would really mostly take care of themselves in your relationship."

First, I'd like to go find this therapist and give her an assertive and firm WEDGIE to establish our boundaries and then perhaps a proactive nonemotive NOOGIE or two for saying such a thing at such a time.

Second, From what I can see my friends are not WRONG with GOD (whatever that means) so isn't relational healing a LOT MORE COMPLICATED THAN THAT!!!????

And Third, just for the fun of it: What the HECK does RIGHT WITH GOD really MEAN anyway?

I remember hearing the phrase all my life. Get right with God. Oh, they can't be right with God, cause LOOK WHAT THEY'RE DOING!!
If I just get right with God everything will be so much better.....

But it's not all ON US is it?

IF it were really that simple... wouldn't we all just do whatever it took to "get right with god" and then go have groovy lives?

Where's Grace in all this? And consequence? And healing and community and allathat stuff????

And if I am "right with God" -- so to speak, does that mean there's no intentional sin in my life? (this is what I thought at one time) Could that mean I'm simply not immediately currently AWARE of sin? Or am subconsciously am semi aware, but ignore it. In my experience, if I strap something on and beat it into submission in my life - gain the victory in a manner of speaking -- whether by God's Grace or my white knuckling - usually something else rears its ugly head to take its place... I'm really never right with God if that's what it means.

Is right with God more about setting your will toward God then?

And who can be the judge of who is right or wrong with God?

How can *I* even be the judge of that in myself?

Is it about me/us at all or maybe only partly?
Or is it about HIM?
Is this a both/and paradox?

See, other religions besides Christianity have no problem with paradox. Eastern religions accept this as part of how the cosmos works. Many of our more visible Christians on the other hand appear to tend toward ONE or THE OTHER type thinking. If it is Truth then it is THIS or it is THAT - it certainly can't be BOTH - or very rarely if ever.

Are you right wing or left wing?
Are you republican or democrat?
Are you for or against abortion?
Are you a Calvinist or an Arminian?
Are you right with God or wrong with God?
Where do you stand on the issue of......

and ON and ON..... feeling around to see if we're "in" or "out"..... not necessarily looking for connection or dialogue.

I read recently that Truth ALWAYS involves paradox. It is THIS - AND it is THAT. Both/And. Binary. Beauty. Confusing. Mystery. Unknown.

Throw a third thing in there, like the Trinity, and whoa, we blow a gasket! But why? Why do we want a God we can so easily understand. Doesn't that inherently make God a Not God but another one of US?

unconclusion: It seems to me that I'm clumsily and messily yet quite solidly "right with God", (though that would be debated by many I'm sure, given the way things may appear from the outside) but my relationships still can suffer my being ME. Not that I'm BAD but that it introduces a complexity to things that throws off the whole black and white landscape created by simplistic thinking and law mongering.

Is it up to Me?
Is it up to God?

Am I right with God?
Am I wrong with God?

Like, Binary Alchemy, man!

Tuesday, June 01, 2004


Reallivepreacher wrote a book! Click here to see more details on ------->

Sidebar Envy

Bummer, dude.

Your sidebar is bigger than mine.


OK so I don't get it. I ADMIT IT, OK!?!? Maybe it's like algebra or something. And there's an x missing? Or I forgot to divide on both sides to make one of the letters disappear?


Blogger help said probably you have an entry that's too wide in your post and it's crowding out your sidebar.
uh huh...
And, that would be what I said in my letter begging for help. I had a big thing in there and then I deleted the big thing so there's no big thing now to crowd out the little thing and the whole thing should be FINE but the thing is -- the thing is actually WORSE! Well, actually I didn't say it quite like that - I said it without saying thing and thingy all over the place.

::sigh:: Thanks for listening, I feel better now.

And I planted some flowers this weekend.
In a pot.
And they're pretty.

See? My whole blogging jive is off 'cause of this whole sidebar thing. I'm really hung up on it. It's affecting my grammar and EVERYTHING! Thusly why I haven't wroten a pickin' thing all weekend.
Started to, but then got to niggling on the whole sidebar thing and obsessing and had to quit.

In other news, I got some new tires today. The tires were beginning to show white through them. Balder than Bald, one'o them thar tahrs wuz. While waiting there I spotted The Gov. The Governor is the father and grandfather of some friends of mine and I really don't know where his nickname came from, but it's fun calling him that so I do. So The Governor and I stood and talked while I waited for my new tire installation and then he asked me for a ride home. So I gave him one because his condo is very close to my work. He talked to me about the war in Iraq and about being a veteran and about turning 85 and about working at the bank for 30 years and he asked me about my wedding and how did I like living in GR and I asked about his wife's eyes and his trip back north for the summer and he asked about my mom and then we were at his house and we said goodbye.
I can't put my finger on this sense I had about this unexpected interaction. It seemed like only small talk on the surface, but there was something about it that seemed to me a gift. A tiny suprise in the middle of a mundane task.