Monday, December 28, 2009

And you thought I was crazy...

Hello my friends,

Well, it's happened. I've finally run across someone more nuts than moi. I've done a few stupid things in my time but I make a concerted effort not to risk my life for cheap thrills. (With the exception of that skydiving thing a while back.) I came across this video of a car stunt that caught my attention. I hope you enjoy it.

That's it. No spiritual lessons. No moral to the story. It is what it is. Tchau for today. I have to go take down a Christmas tree.

Loopy, but at least not doing loop-da-loops,

Friday, December 18, 2009

Anthropogenic Global Warming? Oh really?

Bom dia my twisted friends,

My taste in funny people is very eclectic. I like a lot of the old-time comedians like Danny Kaye, Milton Berle, Jack Benny, and George Gobel. And people like Flip Wilson, Red Skelton, Lucille Ball, and Carol Burnett never fail to make me laugh. The Bible says, "A merry heart doeth good like a medicine; but a broken spirit drieth the bones." Comedy, if well used, is both a powerful communication tool and a source of much joy and laughter.

Most of you are familiar with Dennis Miller. He had his own show on HBO for quite a while, and now he appears regularly on Bill O'Reilly's show on FOX. For me he falls into the same category as two other modern comedians that I like a lot; namely, Tim Allen and Robin Williams. All three are comedic geniuses. However, all three of them cheapen their craft by using filthy language and sexual humor in their standup shows. I refuse to watch them in those settings. However, if you put them into a show or a venue where they have to keep it clean all three have the ability to split your sides.

Anyway, I digress... what I started out to say is that I found a clip of Dennis Miller that you just have to see. He is discussing Global Warming and man's part in it. In light of the recent Copenhagen Conference I thought it appropriate to stick my oar in the water on this subject. Al Gore and his ilk believe religiously in anthropogenic global warming. Put simply that means that the world is heating up and it is all man's fault. Wikipedia, the online encyclopedia and caretaker of all truth that is truly true defines anthropogenic in this way: "Anthropogenic effects, processes or materials are those that are derived from human activities, as opposed to those occurring in biophysical environments without human influence."

In this clip from FOX's "Half-Hour News Show" Dennis Miller takes on this premise and shows it for what it really is--utter stupidity.  Enjoy!

I know that some of you more politically correct yet painfully naive people might be disillusioned now that you know where I stand on so-called Global Warming. Sorry about that, but I calls 'em like I sees 'em, and I believe that 99.9% of the politically motivated global warming hysteria is total nonsense with little to no legitimate science to back it up. Earth's climatological changes can be tied directly to the sun's activities. Man's puny input is statistically insignificant.

Give yourself a thrill and do a Google search of "global cooling predictions" and just see what pops up. Poke around for a while and you'll be surprised how much reputable science there is on the other side of the debate. Meanwhile, our elected leaders run around trying to fix something that ain't broken and are willing to bankrupt the country to do it. That's what I call insanity!

Laughing all the way, (to keep from crying)

Saturday, December 5, 2009

So Where Do You Draw the Line?

Hello my equally demented amigos.

Recently one of my friends celebrated a birthday. On that occasion he remarked, "Yep. I've now crossed over from being just an old codger to officially being an old coot."

His remark started me thinking. Just where are the lines that determine what we should call people? Specifically, how do you know if a guy is a codger, a coot, a geezer, or just an ol' fart? Where are the lines of demarcation? At what age do you move from one to the other? These kind of questions keep me up at night.

At the front end of human existence it is somewhat easier to sort out. We are born and for the first little while we are referred to as "the baby" or "the infant," as in "Shut up and quit playing those bongo drums or you're going to wake up THE BABY!" That's the first stage. Babies just lay there doing nothing, looking like ugly little pink prunes for the first few weeks. Eventually they become "cuddlers." That's when they start to have some personality of their own and like to cuddle on your lap and play with your nose or rip off your glasses. The other name for them at this stage is "rug rats," as in, "Hey lady, your RUG RAT is chewing on my pants cuff again."

The next stage is "toddler." That comes when the little booger figures out how to pull himself up by holding on to something then lets go and "toddles" across the floor, much to the joy and amazement of his parents, grandparents, family friends, etc. The "toddler" stage lasts until the little guy really gets it up and moving. At that point he becomes just a "little kid." This stage lasts for quite a while, several years. In fact, it goes up until the "kid" hits 13. At that point he crosses the line into what will define him for the next 7 years--he's a "teenager." But there's no problem there. You at least know what to call him, and you have a good explanation for the insanity that he starts to exhibit. You say to your wife, "Well, what do you expect, Mildred? He's just a gol-darn TEENAGER and he acts just like your brother, Rudy, used to."

After 19 comes 20. You're no longer a "teenager" but you're also not yet an "adult." It's a weird age. You can be drafted into a war and sent off to die in a country whose name you can't pronounce but you can't go to the tavern to drown your sorrows. It's like the Twilight Zone for a year there. But then you turn 21 and are officially a full-blown, no-holds-barred "adult," and you stay that way for many years. Now I must stop for just a minute to take up term that has never been closely defined. One will occasionally hear the title "young buck" used to refer to guys anywhere between 19 and about 28 but the lines are fuzzy on both ends of the thing. I personally think that more research needs to be done to nail this thing down so that we don't use the term incorrectly.

"Adulthood" goes on interminably--through your 20s, your 30s, your 40s, and your 50s. Everything is the same, year after endless year. Oh sure, in your late 50s you start to lose hair on your head and gain it in your ears, eyebrows, and nostrils but other than that things stay pretty much the same. But then you hit 60. POW! That's when it hits you--"I'm getting really old."

I recently came across a website that I found somewhat helpful and I pass it on to you. Check out for a good read and lots of helpful information and big laughs. One helpful contribution is their subdivision of adulthood into three categories: "Whippers" (as in "whippersnappers") - ages 13-30, "Greenies" - ages 31-49, and "Edgers" - ages 50-59. They also offer a carefully reasoned argument about where the lines should be drawn between the aforementioned divisions of advanced old age; namely, coot, geezer, and codger. However, I was somewhat disappointed by the fact that the authors of that blogsite completely overlook the other obvious categories of fogy, fossil, old fart, old goat, senile old fool, and vegetable. Obviously, more research needs to be done.

Oh, I almost forgot. The old guys that wrote that article define "geezer" as 60-75 years, "codger" as 76-99, and "coot" as 100 on up. I don't know how they arrived at these conclusions but you can decide for yourself.

Me? I'm tired and am going to go lay down and take my morning nap and dream about the good ol' days back when I was a YOUNG BUCK.

Committed to the science of elderly studies,

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Season's Greetings, Happy Holidays, or Merry Christmas

Hello faithful readers, few though you may be,

Once again it is that season of the year when people fight over how we should greet one another. There are those traditionalists who staunchly believe that the only appropriate December greeting is "Merry Christmas." Others, of a more politically correct persuasion prefer to go with "Happy Holidays," a safer option in case the person being greeted turns out to be a Jew, a liberal African American, a Buddhist, a Muslim, or some other breed of cats.

While I personally like to hear "Merry Christmas" I don't think it is worth arguing over. If someone in a store wishes me "Season's Greetings" or "Happy Holidays" I am going to accept their kind sentiments and respond, "...and to you as well. Thank you," rather than hurl back a harsh "...and a very Merry Christmas to you too!" as some Christians feel obligated to do in order to set people straight. I think that is downright rude.

I've observed that there is a tremendous amount of ignorance on the part of Christians about the celebration of Christ's birth. For one thing, most of the world celebrates the birth of Jesus on December 25th, not because that is when the actual event occurred but because it is the date that was mandated by the Roman Catholic Church centuries ago. The date that is commemorated by the Orthodox Churches is January 7th, which is equally off base. In reality, the date the western world uses for the Advent Celebration was chosen to overwrite and sanitize a pagan Roman holiday called Saturnalia, which commemorated the winter solstice and the birth of the sun god.

Many Bible scholars believe that Jesus was born toward the end of September before the weather turned cold. They base this on the time of John the Baptist's birth, six months before Jesus was born.  Others believe that Jesus' birth actually occurred in the Spring of the year, probably in late March or early April, during the lambing season when the shepherds were staying out all night with their flocks in order to help the ewes in their lambing. The climate of Israel is similar to the climates of say, Los Angeles, CA or Dallas, TX. December and January are the coldest months in Israel and in the mountainous region of Bethlehem the winter temperatures range from 30–50° degrees Fahrenheit. In other words, it gets cold there in the winter. One thing is for sure, no shepherd in his right mind would sleep on the ground out in a field in the month of December. All that to say... I don't know exactly when Jesus was born but let's be honest with ourselves and admit that our celebration of the Lord's birth in December is off schedule to say the least. But that is only half of the problem.

The word "Christmas" is a compound word derived from "Christ-Mass." Again, that harks back to Roman Catholic roots. The word Christmas comes from “Cristes Maesse”, an Old English phrase that means “Mass of Christ.” Now that is starting to creep me out! As a dyed-in-the-wool Protestant/Baptist anything with the word "mass" attached to it is suspect from the get-go. "Mass" is strictly a Catholic word and is not part of my theology. On page 537 of The Catholic Encyclopedia we read, “In the Christian law, the supreme sacrifice is that of the Mass… The supreme act of worship consists essentially in an offering of a worthy victim to God, the offering made by a proper person, as a priest, the destruction of the victim.” Notice the word, “victim” used twice in this passage. The Latin word for victim is “hostia” from which the word “host” is derived. The Mass, by definition, is a sacrifice involving a victim. That makes “Christ-Mass” a death sacrifice. That's messed up! December 25th is supposed to be a celebration of His birth, not a commemoration of His death.

Then when you stick the word "Merry" to "Christ-Mass" it gets even weirder. My Webster's New World Dictionary--Second College Edition defines "merry" as: "(1) full of fun and laughter; lively and cheerful; gay; mirthful. (2) conducive to fun and laughter; festive." It seems inappropriate to tie the word "merry" to a commemoration of Christ's death, which is what "Christ-Mass" is. Does that make sense?

So what are our other options? "Happy Holidays" might be a better bet. The modern word "holiday" is a compound word derived from the Middle English word "holidei" meaning "holy day." Now I can get on board with that! The celebration of the Advent of Messiah is a Holy Day in my opinion, not because it falls on December 25th or because it is tied to some Catholic Mass, but because it is the recognition that about 2,000 years ago God broke into our time and space world and clothed Himself with human flesh and lived among us for 30+ years to show us how much He really loves us. In theology we call that event "The Incarnation." The word "advent" simply means coming, or arrival.

God showed up dressed in a baby suit. Jesus was born in Bethlehem, a little backwater town in a backwater country, born to a peasant couple with no place to even spend the night. Yet a few years later He went to the cross and became my Savior, and that is worthy of a big celebration!  You can call it "Christmas," "Holy Day," "Advent," or "Happy Birthday, Jesus, Day" and I'll still celebrate it because it is Good News, no matter how you look at it. That's what I think.

Happy to be greeted at all, no matter what words you use :)