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Showing posts from August, 2009

Let's Talk Some Sense

In general, I am for health care reform. I don't think there's a person in the country who isn't. Health care is a mess. But two wrongs don't make a right. The issue is not the need to improve health care (or delivery of it equitably to all Americans who rightfully want it); the issue is whether this mess of a bill (in its various iterations no one understands) is the answer, which clearly it is not.

I am convinced that the people who are protesting "for" this bill don't have a clue what's in it; they are simply soft-hearted people who feel it's wrong for many poor people to be denied health care, or at least denied the quality that a middle or upper class person has. They are well-meaning, but reactionary. Because Obama is for it, they are for it. Because it's a government-based answer, it's right.

I am also convinced that some of the people protesting against the bill are just as clueless and reactionary if they scream and act the …

Rachel Getting Married

I watched this wonderful movie on Friday. Why is it wonderful? Rarely have I been so caught up in a movie and felt its immediacy. Usually I can't fathom the "hand-held" technique but it worked here. The film was a moving experience, although I have to admit that at the end I'd had enough of that wedding reception. There's a limit to multiculturalism when you bring in Carnival girls. But until that point the acting was great. Why did I watch it in the first place? I think Anne Hathaway is beautiful, although she is not in this movie, and because Ebert and CT liked it. I also discovered RedBox--$1.00 a night per DVD can't be beat.

Worship Wars

Relevant quote about worship wars from that hero of the faith, Hank Hill. After listening to "Christian" rock music in an episode, he said, "That doesn't make Christianity better. It just makes rocknroll worse."

If I want to listen to rock, I'll listen to the real stuff, which is inherently about young lust, nostalgia, wildness, abandon, and questioning one's meaning and existence.

Young people don't appreciate the wealth of hymnody because their parents have given in to this cultural insistence that they have to have their own music, even in worship.

That being said, there are lots of good lyricists in contemporary Christian music. There are also some abysmal ones.

Calvinism: What's the Problem?

I am, slowly, reading Calvin's Institutes. I like it. It is a good translation, and the biography I read of Calvin said he more than anyone of his time set the standard for French. So the readability (rare for theological works) helps, and the content is quite invigorating. No holds barred reverence for God. I'm not far but motivated to read on; like the food on the cruise, though, it's quite rich and best taken in a couple of pages a day.

I'm reading it because of the 500th anniversary, but also because I resist being told about books and being expected to form an opinion without having read them myself, whether it's drivel like The Shack or something that matters like this book. I would hate people to dismiss my book because it has the "n" word in it and is about abortion until they read it in context.

To be honest, however, there is another reason for reading Calvin (other than I put it on my professional goals for school in relation to Humanities…

Regrouping

The first week of classes has ended. I rise at 5:00, so I was tired by last night and made sure I got a good night's sleep. We are packed at Dalton State College--over 5800 students--and I have 145 of them in my classes (actually 140, since three of them are in two of my classes, unfortunately, and I would think with all the available classes they would have avoided that).
They seem like nice people, a lot of young people as opposed to nontrads, so I have no fears. I do have a few characters. One kid said "Mormons are whack" yesterday and I had to discourage that kind of talk. Some immaturely think that being in a speech class means they can just talk indiscriminately.

A friend and I were talking about how teaching has changed in the thirty years we've been doing it. We have to take an online class and test on sexual harassment policy in GA. Thirty years ago there was no "online" and no one knew what "sexual harassment" was, although plenty o…

What's Happening

Tomorrow my son goes back to college. I should be in there helping him pack--or maybe not. That's something he needs to get used to. Our classes start at Dalton State on Monday, and my main concern is the early start to the day for me this year, 8:00 class, which means leaving home at 7:00. A lot of our lives are affected by the fact that we live on the outer limits of the Eastern time zone, which means that our sunsets are later than say in Charlotte, NC, or Philadelphia. In high summer it's still twilight at 9:30, and only then does the sun come up at 6:00. So, school children always go to school in the dark in the winter, but it does make late golf possible in the summer.

I am working on a mentoring program at church; I hope I can add something to it. I doubt my winsomeness; all I can do is be myself and a good listener.

Homage with an Egg

Last night a friend and I went to see "Julie and Julia" (or is it the other way around)? Meryl Streep can do no wrong as an actress in my opinion, and her portrayal of Julia Child walks the line of eccentricity not becoming parody. We got a big kick out of it, and it was wonderful how post WWII Paris was recreated. I am not a fan of French cooking (prefer Italian) but I enjoyed the movie.

No movie is perfect though. I think it's wrong to diss a movie because it's not perfect; in this case, the Julie is annoying and the husbands are too nice; I really can't imagine a husband putting up with Julie's project, nor can I believe she retained her size 2 figure with all that butter and red meat and whipped cream. Maybe she cooked it but didn't eat it, like a relative of mine used to do.

It did inspire me to cook something this morning for breakfast I haven't had since childhood--a poached egg. I boiled a pan of water and gently cracked the egg (which wa…

Cash for Clunkers

Maybe it's just me (and I'm always generally careful to couch my opinions in opinion language rather than fact language) but whenever the government gets into something, we see wonderful examples of the Law of Unintended Consequences. The Cash for Clunkers program is one of these examples.

The intended consequences of the program is to stimulate the economy by upping the sales of new cars that are more fuel efficient and to get the gas guzzlers off the road. As someone who owns two Hondas and wouldn't touch an SUV with a ten-foot-pole, I should be good with that, right? People who turn in their old (there's a certain date and model requirement, I guess) cars get a $3-4,000 rebate off the price of a new car. So we are rewarding good behavior, right? And dealers are moving cars off the lots, right?

Sure, but.....
1. People who were conscious about gas mileage and did the right thing are being directly or indirectly punished. We don't get a rebate or any reward, a…

Oh, My.

It's pretty bad when you don't remember it's your wedding anniversary until 10:30 in the morning. We have been married 28 years today (1981).

Home Again

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My son and I got back two nights ago (Thursday) from our vacation. We took a cruise ship out of Mobile and visited Progresso and Cozumel, Mexico, on two separate ports-of-call. It took a day to travel both ways, so we were gone seven days. It is good to be home, even if I return to work full-time on Monday. It's time.

Cruises are very cheap right now, and the boat seemed to be pretty full, with at least a third of the passengers being children under 12. I would never take a child on a cruise, but that's me. Cruises have many advantages as vacations; I will take another some day, but probably not to the Carribean or Gulf.
To be educational, we visited some Mayan Ruins near Excambio and saw their salt flats. Here is my son sitting on a Mayan ruin.