Monday, November 30, 2009

Monday Miscellany

We enjoyed a lovely holiday in Tucson at Tim and Nikki's, including a trip to San Xavier mission. It is quite lovely, and very elaborate for a very old mission church. I'll post more about my trip here.

My bookmarks are just full of items deserving attention. I don't have time to do them all justice, but here are few things that strike me...

On the global non-warming front, everyone has by now heard about the questionable practices among the global warming gurus. I think this is all going down soon, and when it does, the Nobel committee is going to look ridiculous for giving Al his peace prize over it...

On the "New Atheist" front,I found this article from Christopher Hitchens fascinating. I'm sure the debate between him and Pastor Doug Wilson was also fascinating. Has anyone seen it? And the silliness over Richard Dawkins' latest ad is humorous.

On the absurd policy front, I thought James Kuchiner's comments were excellent here.

On the bizarre front, did you read about the giant jellyfish?

And on the beauty front, how about these stunning photographs of lovely libraries?

And so, Gentle Readers, onward we fly to the end of the year and beyond...

Monday, November 23, 2009

Off and running... Tucson, again, that is. Blog break ahead as we drive to AZ to meet up with both the chillun and their wives for Thanksgiving at Tim and Nikki's house. Be back next week-end. Happy Thanksgiving, Gentle readers!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Sabbath Sentiments

Glory Be to God on High by Charles Wesley, 1739

Glory be to God on high,
God Whose glory fills the skies;
Peace on earth to man forgiv'n,
Man, the well beloved of Heav'n.

Sovereign Father, heavenly King,
Thee we now presume to sing;
Glad, Thine attributes confess,
Glorious all, and numberless.

Hail, by all Thy works adored!
Hail, the everlasting Lord!
Thee with thankful hearts we prove
God of power, and God of love.

Christ our Lord and God we own,
Christ, the Father's only Son,
Lamb of God for sinners slain,
Savior of offending man.

Bow Thine ear, in mercy bow,
Hear, the world's atonement, Thou!
Jesus, in Thy Name we pray,
Take, O take our sins away!

Powerful Advocate with God,
Justify us by Thy blood;
Bow Thine ear, in mercy bow,
Hear, the world's atonement, Thou!

Hear, for Thou, O Christ, alone
Art with God the Father One,
One the Holy Ghost with Thee,
One supreme, eternal Three.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

The heart of a 7-year-old boy

In my continuing Tim Hawkins tribute...
This does, from my experience, remind me of the heart of a 7-year-old boy. Women who have never had sons, maybe you won't be able to relate to this. But it made me roar. It's an Emo-Mick Jager-Jack Black mix of a song, and in particular, reminds me of my eldest son, Ben....

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Tim Hawkins week continues: favorite parodies

Well, I am taken with the idea of sharing these funny bits from Tim Hawkins. Here area couple of my favorite parodies by him. You can see his perfomance dates and check out his merchandise at

Monday, November 16, 2009

The Government Can

OK- so I think this guy is hilarious. Sorry if this is too cheesy for you, Gentle Readers. Maybe I'll make this Tim Hawkins week...

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Book and movie notes

We are heading out of town tomorrow, and so the blogs will be quiet again for a time. Before we leave, I thought I'd fill you in on what I've been reading and watching...

On my walk this morning (on a beautiful fall day along White Rock Canyon) I made it all the way to Canto 31 of the Inferno section of Dante's Divine Comedy. I am happy to say that four more cantos, and I can leave Hell behind. It's a bit grueling. I'll wait for Purgatory and Paradise before making a final verdict, but I am finding Dante pretty obscure. Perhaps it is my own ignorance that doesn't understand the plethora of ancient allusions. And I am not enjoying the language as I did with, Say, Milton, but that could be a translation problem. I suppose reading Dante in Latin (or was it Italian?) would be a wholly different and more desirable experience. I felt that way when I read a translation of Les Miserables. The story was compelling, but the language was irksome, and that was likely do to the clumsiness of the translation. This is the John Ciardi translation, so let me know, Gentle Readers, if you have opinions on translators...

In my bedtime reading, which always has to be lighter and more friendly, I am enjoying meeting all my old friends in the Fellowship of the Ring. I am happy to say that finally, at something like my third time reading and after several times through audio listening, I did not have to skip over the barrow-wights, which have previously freaked me out. I made it through with barely a blush. And now we are in Rivendell, getting all the history and implications of the One Ring. There is simply little more delightful than a great story, told masterfully!

I continue to pick away at Climbing Parnassus. And it continues to pick away at my educational assumptions.

And recently we have viewed a couple of movies that I thought were worth watching. One was called "A Good Woman" and starred Helen Hunt and Scarlett Johansson. It is an adaptation of the Oscar Wilde short story, "Lady Windermere's Fan." I thought it was well done, and unexpected (especially since I had not read the story previously.) Dave didn't like it as much as I did, but I thought it was quite good.

Even better than that, however, is the quirky little movie entitled "Marilyn Hotchkiss' Ballroom Dancing and Charm School" This was an unexpected little movie. It revealed human pain and pleasure in subtle ways, and went places I didn't expect it to go. Give it a view.

Both of these movies deal with some mature themes, and would not be good viewing by children younger than mature, older teen years. But they both are very human movies, asking important human questions. I enjoyed them!

TTFN, Gentle Readers. Perhaps I'll write from Tucson, but perhaps I'll not see you again until next week.

Monday, November 09, 2009

The problem of popular democracy

"The popular idea of democracy is animated by a very strong resentment of superiority. It resents the thought of an elite; the thought that there are practical ranges of intellectual and spiritual experience, acheivement and enjoyment, which by nature are open to some and not to all. It deprecates and disallows this thought, and discourages it by every available means. As the popular idea of democracy postulates that there shall be nothing worth enjoying for anybody to enjoy that everybody may not enjoy; a contrary view is at once exposed to all the evils of a dogged, unintelligent, invincibly suspicious resentment."
~Albert Jay Nock, as quoted by T. L. Simmons in Climbing Parnassus, p.153

Sunday, November 08, 2009

Sabbath Sentiments

Thanks to CR for posting this, one of my favorite songs!

Saturday, November 07, 2009

Improving mental natures...

"...The point of this method [of painstaking exercises in Latin and Greek translation] was to stretch the students' minds, to expand their capacities, to inure them to manipulating, to playing with words and ideas. A literary high culture would have no need to justify this flagrant expenditure of its students' time and effort. These students were novices. They were not learning a trade; they were improving their mental natures."
~T. L. Simmons, Climbing Parnassus, p.124

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Midweek Miscellany

On the global warming front: Watch where the money is, always with any issue. And in the new industries surrounding all things "green", there is a familiar face...

On the Obama administration front: As a nation we have officially made some murders more worthy of punishment than others. I wonder how my friends whose young daughter was murdered feel about knowing that the man who committed the crime would receive a less severe sentence because it wasn't a gender-issue related crime. This is absurd. Here and here are some excellent commentary on the Hate Crimes bill.

On the family front: Divorce continues to ravage the basic institution of the family. Marriage, as an institution, is ill. And abortion is disproportionally wiping out the black population of our country. (And there is a money trail worth following...)These are things for which we must repent as a society. I can't help but think God is already judging us for such crimes.

On the just plain weird front: But we could be in the UK, where parents can no longer supervise their children on the playground... or we could be in Carl Jung's mind. What a frightening place that had to have been! Does anybody really know what this guy actually believed? It is akin to to the big-name atheists like Dawkins choosing to believe in aliens as the source of life because they hate the God option. And if you think at least your child's geography classroom is safe from the nihilistic mindset of the culture, think again.

Sunday, November 01, 2009

Sabbath Sentiments

Not What My Hands Have Done By Horatius Bonar (1808-1889)

1. Not what my hands have done
Can save my guilty soul;
Not what my toiling flesh has borne
Can make my spirit whole.
Not what I feel or do
Can give me peace with God;
Not all my prayers,
And sighs and tears
Can bear my awful load.

2. Thy work alone, O Christ,
Can ease this weight of sin
Thy blood alone O Lamb of God,
Can give me peace within.
Thy love to me O God,
Not mine, O Lord, to Thee
Can rid me of
This dark unrest,
And set my spirit free!

3. Thy grace alone, O God,
To me can pardon speak;
Thy power alone O Son of God,
Can this sore bondage break.
No other work, save Thine,
No other blood will do,
No strength save that,
Which is divine,
Can bear me safely through.

4. I bless the Christ of God;
I rest on love divine;
And with unfaltering lip and heart,
I call this Savior mine.
His cross dispels each doubt,
I bury in His tomb
My unbelief,
And all my fear,
Each lingering shade of gloom.

5. I praise the God of grace,
I trust His truth and might
He calls me His, I call Him mine,
My God, my joy, my light
’Tis He Who saveth me,
And freely pardon gives
I love because
He loveth me,
I live because He lives!