Breakfast on the beach

Somehow a subscription passed into my wife’s possession to the ever-relevant Today’s Christian Woman, a magazine that answers the really pressing questions, like “Christians and Cosmetic Surgery”.  The resources-you-can-buy-to-tickle-your-soul page, titled ‘enGaGe!’ (except that the letters are all the same size, and not the same color), has advertisements for a sentimental Christmas DVD, some way-too-hip-looking guy hawking coffee-break long “thought-provoking reflections” on “relevant issues,” instructions on proper IM etiquette when communicating via that medium with your busy teenager, and ideas for spiritually scrapbooking your personal faith journey.  The real jewel of the lot is an ad for Come Closer, described as a “beautifully worded invitation to accept Christ’s call to life, love, and breakfast on the beach.”

Ah, there is a time when the great satirist must lay down his quill and roll up his parchments.  He must sigh, slowly shake his head and realize that the world itself has surpassed his even his abilities of producing the bizarre.   Following the (retired!) Dave Barry, each satirist realized that they could not go about lampooning some modern silliness without the necessary disclaimer that he was not making this up.  His services are no longer needed.  The age of the great satirists has surely passed.

Restaurants, Chick Tracts, and the Ensuing Confusion that Invariably Came About

A while back, I went to an IHOP with a bunch of friends (who shall all remaining nameless, mainly to protect the identity of one of them) and we had a really great, horrible meal. What I mean by that, is our waiter was brand spanking new, possibly even his first night on the job, and we were four guys in no particular hurry. In a lot of ways, it was like dinner and a show. I’d also like to stress that we were very polite to him, only gave him a little good-natured ribbing – just enough to let him know that we really weren’t upset at all, and we tipped him well. Anyway, one of the guys also left him a tract along with the tip, and that was that.

Except it wasn’t. We were just a few minutes out of the restaurant when I realized exactly what specific tract my friend had left and what a newbie waiter might think of it. Here’s what the waiter saw when he came to the table:

Somebody Goofed

What I wondered was this: had this guy ever heard of the practice of leaving gospel tracts at tables before? Was his first thought, “You mean people have taken the time to print a pamphlet to give to waiters who screw up? Seriously?!? And why are there devils dancing and laughing on the cover?”

I didn’t have the heart to go back inside and explain…

Cialis, Viagra spam attacking Calvin

Portait  of John CalvinWell, the spam bots are still at it, beating away on the Askimet-flavored invisible shell that protects this site from a flood of vile and unwanted comments. If you’re not familiar with spam bots, the way they work is that someone writes a program that knows how to go out on the web and visit blogs. Once the program finds a blog, it clicks on the link for a particular post and then tries to leave a comment advertising whatever evil product it was designed to promote (pornography, drugs, Jessica Simpson, etc.) What’s interesting though is that the latest round of Viagra and Cialis bots that come to this site are exclusively attacking articles about John Calvin and Calvinism. Which is ironic, because hawking vitality enhancers using Calvin is like using Chewbacca to sell Rogaine, Dick Clark to sell anti-aging cream, or Joel Osteen to sell pseudo-Christian heresy. What I’m saying is, Calvin is potent and the bots know it!! But this has set me to thinking (a rare and lofty achievement), what will be the next Reformation figure tie-in? What will the bots try to advertise on articles about Wycliffe, Huss, Luther, and so on?

If you have an idea, leave a comment. But be forewarned — somewhere in this wild and crazy world, bathed in the dim glow of a monitor, and with nothing but thoughts of personal gain, a programmer is already thinking about it. (Except, you know, not really…)

Turtles all the way down: a question for atheists

Perhaps you’ve read or heard the following anecdote:

A well-known scientist (some say it was the philosopher Bertrand Russell) once gave a public lecture on astronomy. He described how the Earth orbits around the sun and how the sun, in turn, orbits around the centre of a vast collection of stars called our galaxy.
At the end of the lecture, a little old lady at the back of the room got up and said: “What you have told us is rubbish. The world is really a flat plate supported on the back of a giant tortoise.”
The scientist gave a superior smile before replying, “What is the tortoise standing on?”
“You’re very clever, young man, very clever,” said the old lady. “But it’s turtles all the way down!”

Atheists often use this story to mock the Christian belief, but I have a question for them. If everything that we know about the universe is gained through our senses, and those senses are essentially chemical reactions in the brain, then how did we find out about chemical reactions in the brain? Is it chemicals all the way down?

Just curious.

A Poem Bridging March Madness and Easter

When The Citadel beat Notre Dame
there were accusations of bribery.
At half-time Mike Brey had asked a ref
why they had called no fouls.
He simply said, “Because there were none.”

“And how do you explain the scratch marks
on my players arms and faces
and that their hands are bleeding?”

“Stigmata?” said the referee
and quickly walked away.

Diary of an iPod

I wrote this a while back for a comment on Slashdot and am posting it here just for kicks.

Day 1:
I was bought today. My Owner carries me reverently with both hands so as not to drop me. He drives a Jetta, and does not own a dog. Also, he bought the dock, so, no laying face down on a computer desk for me. Life could be better, but it could certainly be worse. I have no complaints.

Continue reading “Diary of an iPod”