No More Mobile Memorials

Sing with me, people: “Oh, bury me not on your rear windshield!”

For some time, I’ve noticed the disturbing trend of memorializing dead loved ones with window decals. Nothing says class like an adhesive vinyl homage:

“In loving memory of ‘Li’l Bee’ Nowahaint: 1993-2004.”

Today, I saw one of those Styxian stickers, but now with full-color photographs. Whatever happened to good, old-fashioned granite or marble? That must be too old-school for folks these days.

Friends, when it’s my time to go, don’t sticker me across your back windshield. Don’t turn me into an airbrushed license plate. Honor my memory in a classier, more permanent way.

Embroider me across the back of your booty shorts like a Hollister logo.


Published in: on 2013/07/15 at 2:52 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Single Guy’s Game Night Rules for Parents of Small Children

“Aw, isn’t widdle puddin’ head so cute when he cries / slobbers / shoves dice up his nose / etc.?”

No! Your “widdle puddin’ head” is noisy, messy, destructive, and distracting. Yes, children are wonderful miracles; but they can also be little curses sometimes.

I have a theory. I think that some parents of small children, having spent so much time around their little ones, have become desensitized to just how annoying their children can be to the general public.

As a single guy, I am, of course, an expert on relationships and parenting. So, today, I offer valuable child-rearing advice to parents who are board gamers. As an added bonus, many of these rules also apply to parenting in general.

Yes, yes. You’re welcome.

  1. Not everybody loves your baby. Your child is not a darling who can do no wrong.
  2. No matter how much you ooh and ahh, no matter how much you call it “sugar,” it is still baby spit; and it doesn’t belong on me or my stuff. The same thing goes for your dog’s saliva.
  3. Children aged 1 minute to 4 years do not belong at game night, nor do children who have not learned to consistently obey simple commands such as “sit still” and “be quiet.”
  4. If you have to ask if your child is bothering someone, always assume the answer is “yes” because most of the time it is. When people say “no,” they are usually just being polite.
  5. If your child is misbehaving, go to him and take care of the problem yourself. Do not shout at him across the room. Do not ask your spouse who is currently taking a turn to deal with the child. Get off your backside and deal with the problem yourself.
  6. Do not take your child to the potty until after you have finished your turn.
  7. Do not allow your child to have a beverage near the game table. Do not allow your child near the game table – period.
  8. Do not allow your child near the stack of games beside the game table.
  9. Do not use someone else’s game as a toy, pacifier, or snack for your child.


Published in: on 2013/05/08 at 12:40 am  Comments (2)  
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Beware of Awareness

Women, this is not meant to be sexist or demeaning. It’s simply something I have observed and something that I thought about as I was watching a mediocre empowerment/awareness event today.

The more you claim that you are strong and powerful, the more ridiculous you look.

Those kinds of events are full of statements of power and assertiveness that are little more than platitudes. How can you not see how empty they are?

At the conclusion of a dance number, a lady addressing the crowd said, “What a great way to show your commitment to ending violence against women!” Really?! A half-hearted dance routine preceded by an angry poem is supposed to stop violence against women? This is the problem with the “awareness” movements: people end up thinking that wearing a ribbon or special color or dancing in public makes an effective impact. But, it simply doesn’t.

“You can’t rape/beat/harass/demean me! I’m wearing my anti-violence awareness ribbon!”

Yeah, right.


Published in: on 2013/02/14 at 12:37 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Big Hairline News

I was standing in the hallway waiting for the elevator at the conference I was attending when I noticed the Headline News “Big Headline News” feature on the TV in the hallway. It wasn’t bad news about a new terrorist attack or political coup. It wasn’t good news about a successful organ transplant or reunited family members. It was non-news. It was about Justin Bieber’s new stinking haircut! With all that’s going on in the world, our professional news media apparently believe that the haircut of one teenager merits “Big Headline” status. Hairline? Yes. Headline? NO!


I’ve got nothing against Justin Bieber, except that his music seems to have a hip hop or R&B flavor to it. (I hate hip hop and R&B.) I’ve even forgiven him for being Canadian. He seems like a nice guy. He has a good voice, and his new haircut works. Good for him! But, is it major news?


I think it’s time to clean up the gene pool, so to speak, of the news media establishment. We’re not going to get good, reliable news as long as they keep producing more reporters who gab about haircuts and Hollywood nuts rather than real news.

Maybe we should add a new hunting season to our game and wildlife agencies’ lists. I think we should have open season on media hacks during election seasons; during Hollywood and music awards; and as needed during hurricanes, floods, earthquakes, tsunamis, celebrity crime sprees, and all those other times when they just won’t shut up!

Don’t worry. I’m not completely merciless. Why, we could begin with simple, entertaining public beatings. Pack up a picnic lunch and take the ol’ family out to the weekly “Smack-a-Hack Public Beating and Family Fair.” If that doesn’t improve media quality, then we could switch to waterboarding and other humane methods before finally putting them down. I mean, they are people after all.

Beatings for better blurbs? Yes, that sounds like good news to me!

[In the event that some reporter does get beaten to a bloody and possibly lifeless pulp, let it be known that this author is not condoning real and satisfying physical violence against those who report worthless news.

No matter how much they deserve it.]


Published in: on 2011/02/22 at 6:47 pm  Leave a Comment  
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A Sinless Renegade?

I heard Alistair Begg on the radio Sunday. I was not familiar with him; I don’t think I’ve ever heard him before. He was preaching on the story of the blind man who was interrogated by the Pharisees because Jesus had healed him on the Sabbath (John 9:13-23). I loved this portion of his sermon:

“Of course, Jesus kept the Sabbath. He kept the Law in its perfection; Jesus was sinless. In fact, Calvin suggests that Jesus performed these miracles purposefully, deliberately, on the Sabbath. I kinda like that idea! …

“‘Hey, Jesus, don’t You know it’s the Sabbath?’

“‘Of course, I know it’s the Sabbath. Watch this!'”

Jesus, a renegade? No, no, no, … OH, YES!

Go ahead. Defy tradition. It’s biblical.


Published in: on 2010/07/21 at 10:09 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Swallowing Camels and Straining at Gnats

In the Independent Fundamental Baptist movement, it seems that some — perhaps, well-intentioned — individuals have so wanted others to be godly that the well-intentioned ones have attempted to “legislate” godliness.  Paul the apostle said that the Law does not save, but that it functions as a teacher to show us our need of a savior.  The Law illumines; the Savior saves.  To paraphrase a former pastor whom I greatly respect: “We think if we make kids do right, they will love God; but if we can get them to love God, then they will do right.”  Should we encourage kids to do right?  Yes.  But, ultimately, they need to know God and love Him.  “If you love Me, you will keep My commandments.” – John 14:15 NASB.

It seems to me that the nit-picking IFBers (not all IFBers, just the nit-pickers) have become the Pharisees of today.  Just as the ancient Jewish lawyers made law upon minute law to keep from breaking God’s laws, the IFBers have done the same.  A good illustration is the old analogy of building a fence far enough away from the edge of a cliff so, if someone does climb over the fence, then at least he won’t fall over the edge without further stupidity on his part.  It’s the idea of a sin buffer: it’s better to break a rule than to break God’s Law.  But, the buffer wasn’t there to begin with.  It wasn’t established by God.  It’s tradition, not doctrine.

Think about how IFBers revile movie theaters. “You shouldn’t go to the movies because the theaters show wicked movies. Even if you’re going to see a clean movie, those watching you go into the theater don’t know that you’re not going to see that dirty R-rated movie. You’re putting your testimony at risk. And, even if you’re there to see a good wholesome movie, your money is paying for the next dirty movie they’re going to show. So don’t go to movies.”

But, don’t some of those same IFBers allow their kids to go the movie rental store where many, many more dirty movies are at their fingertips?  And, who knows that they’re not in there to pick up one of the numerous filthy films?  Hmm?  No one.  Aren’t they jeopardizing their testimony as much that way as they would be by going to a theater?  The real sin is not in the location of the media but in the content of the media.  Sinful content is sinful whether it’s on a big screen in a popcorn-scented theater or on the flat screen in your living room.  And, do you know what?  Wholesome content is still wholesome in those same locations.

So, where did the IFBers beef with theaters come from?  According to the pastor I mentioned above, apparently, some kids years ago were fooling around in a theater (yes, “that” kind of fooling around).  So, to prevent other hormonally hopped-up teens from prematurely experiencing the bliss of anatomical compatibility in a dimly lit and parentless room, it was decided that theaters should be off limits.  Thus, a knee-jerk reaction to promiscuity transformed into a tradition, which is nearly deemed doctrine in some circles.

Dear IFBers, instead of making up new rules and obsessing over them and making sure kids keep the jot and tittle of traditions (not doctrine, but traditions of men), why not show us God?  Amaze us with the Almighty.  Don’t make us march in martial lockstep to a contrived checklist.  Instead, focus us on the Father; surprise us with the Son.  Help us behold His attributes and glory.  If the story of Isaiah is any example (Is. 6), then beholding God in His glory will cause us to change.  I beg Christian colleges and schools and IFB churches not to set the traditions of men between us and God.  Please don’t be stumbling blocks to us.

There seems to be a trend now of young people leaving fundamentalism.  In fact, I hesitate now to call myself a fundamentalist although I still agree with the fundamentals of the Christian faith: the inerrancy of the Bible, the existence of the Trinity, the deity of Jesus, and salvation that is by grace and not by works.  I don’t disagree with the fundamentals; I disagree with the Christian “Talmud” of mandated minutiae embraced by IFB churches and schools.

I wonder if the reason young adults are leaving fundamentalism is because they are now adults who can think for themselves and have come to see some of the IFB traditions (not doctrines, but man-made traditions) as ridiculous, or worse, hypocritical.

Think about such things as the theater taboo, the “scandal” — GASP! — of women wearing something other than dresses to church, the “tragedy” of hair-covered ears on males, and so on.  Ridiculous, isn’t it, what we obsess over?

Why are young adults leaving fundamentalism? Maybe it’s the modern order of Pharisaism that’s driving them away.


I’m a Hater

I’m a hater.

I hate the big networks.  I hate their loud, obnoxious commercials telling me to watch the Grammys, the Emmys, the big whatever to-do featuring the latest big yahoo.  I hate their brain-rot, Hollywood-gossip shows that assume I simply adore movie or music star X who is in trouble with the law, cheating on his/her spouse, or fighting drug and/or alcohol addiction again.  I hate being told that I have to hug a tree, believe Al Gore, worship Barack Obama, and hate America.  I hate hearing the annoying yelling of Chris Matthews and car salesmen with $1,000 down and $1,500 in factory rebates.  I hate the persistent alarmist tone of news anchors and their sound of forced concern over some non-issue or some star of dubious celebrity.  I hate being lied to, swindled, and robbed by the three-ring circus of crooks in the White House, the Senate, and the House of Representatives.

I hate some things because of personal preferences, and others because of the absolute principles of right and wrong.  Hatred isn’t a completely evil attribute.  When directed at the appropriate object, hatred is a very positive thing.  Hating evil, hating lies, hating murder, hating oppression: these are all perfectly valid, positive hatreds.  So, even though I hate loud television and the sickening vanity of Hollywood and its hangers-on, I respect the right of others to enjoy them.

But, when you steal from me and call it a tax; when you give my taxes to “bail out” failures; when you and your sodomite Senate buddy swindle the economy into the ground; when you seek to strip away my rights protected under the Constitution; when you grant those rights to war criminals and call it justice, then you have aligned yourself with the things I and all other people of ethics hate.  So, when we fight for our freedoms, when we smite your false justice with real justice, when we stand and say, “NO MORE!”, when you get burned, don’t be hatin’ on us!  ‘Kay?

I’m a hater, and you know what?  I’m cool with that.


Published in: on 2010/01/31 at 3:08 am  Leave a Comment  
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Revenge of the Blue Space Indians Against the Wicked White People – 3D!

Just got back from watching “Revenge of the Blue Space Indians Against the Wicked White People – 3D.” You’ve probably heard it called “Avatar 3D.”

Entertaining action and graphics; however, I’m not into the whole “human = unenlightened, nature-raping brute” craze. If you are, then you’d probably love the story line. And, there’s this added bonus: apparently, being a Marine just isn’t honorable anymore.

Another delightful feature is that most of the human characters could have used an Ivory-soap sandwich. You know, I always appreciate gratuitous foul language. If there is one thing that ruins a good ol’ picture show, it’s the absence of a healthy dose of colorful cuss words and inappropriate invocations for a deity to smite someone or something with eternal condemnation.

If you decide to watch “Avatar,” be sure to see it in 3D so you, too, can enjoy the optical benefits of trying to watch a movie through excessive auto glass tint. At least, that’s what it was like for me. Maybe it had something to do with my contact lenses and the polarization of the glasses; I’m not sure. But, 3D hardly seems worth the extra $2 on the ticket price. It was like looking through a dark View Master; and, frankly, the 3D in a View Master is a lot better.

All that being said, I did enjoy the movie in a general sense, but not enough to try to get a group of friends together to go see it. Rather, I’m looking forward to M. Night Shyamalan’s upcoming take on Nickelodeon’s “Avatar: the Last Air Bender.” Hopefully, little Aang the Air Bender won’t be blowing hot air.


Published in: on 2009/12/27 at 6:12 am  Leave a Comment  
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Powered Amplification, Powered Annoyance

I guess some people just get caught up with their hobby-related gadgets.  Why else would musicians use powered amps and speakers in the intimate venue of a small coffee shop?  Are their voices and instruments so weak that they really need the electronic enhancement?

No, they probably feel cool getting there early, lugging in their big, plastic cases, unpacking those complicated-looking mixing boards, unwinding and hooking up those thick and heavy cables.

“Yeah, man, I’m a musician.  I gotta hook up my rig for my gig.  Gotta get those sweet sounds bouncin’ around like a hyperactive toddler on a Kool-Aid binge.”

Uh, yeah.  About those “sweet sounds,” some of them — and, in really bad cases, many of them — are downright sour.  And, playing them louder?  It doesn’t make them better.  No, my friend, it does not.  If your ears were “the boys,” then a powered sour note would be the foot to the groin.

Coffee-shop musicians, protect our delicate ears, and CAN THE AMPS!


Published in: on 2009/03/07 at 12:09 am  Leave a Comment  
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Who Do They Think They’re Kidding?

“This blog contains neuro-cleansing beads, exfoliating your brain cells as you read and leaving you with that refreshed, more intelligent feeling.”

Ever read anything like that on a liquid soap bottle? The label says the soap contains micro-cleansing beads, which are supposed to exfoliate or give you some other cosmetic benefit. But, what do they really do … besides making your soap feel gritty? Mmm!  Soap grits – the tasty, internally cleansing breakfast!  Anyway, back to the original question: what do those micro-beads really do?

… crickets chirping ….

Hmm? Anything? I didn’t think so. Well, they may do something, but I think it’s probably fairly negligible. I think the soap would have to be more like liquid sandpaper for it to really exfoliate; but you’ll never see a label like that in the cosmetics aisle, except maybe in some parallel universe where men are the cosmeti-razzi. Frankly, I’m glad I don’t live in Bizarro World.

Imagine the sequence of events that took place at the soap company that fateful day when we were blessed with micro-beads:

Foreman to Plant Manager: “Sir, we’ve had a little accident in the bottling room.”

PM: “What kind of accident? Is anybody hurt?”

F: “No, sir.  No one’s hurt, but the soap batch is contaminated.”

PM: “What?  How did that happen?”

F: “Well, sir, Jenkins was on the catwalk over the main vat when he doubled over and put his lunch on public display.”

PM: “Oh, terrific!  We’ve got to dump an entire batch of soap because he blew chunks in the vat.”

F: “Not exactly, sir.”

PM: “Explain.”

F: “Jenkins didn’t toss his cookies into the vat; it all stayed on the catwalk.  In fact, for such a violent, biological eruption, he produced the tidiest puddle you’ve ever seen.  The problem came after the janitor arrived.”

PM: “So the janitor spilled Jenkins’ ‘tidy little puddle’ in the vat?”

F: “No, sir.  He accidentally kicked over the box of that kitty-litter stuff they use to soak up accidents.  All 50 gallons of it.”

PM: “Fifty gallons!”

F: “Sir, the janitor has a Sam’s Club card.”

PM: “So instead of chunky soap, I’ve got gritty soap.”

F: “Yup.”

PM: “Terrific. Well, we’ll be stuck here for a while dumping this batch and loading a new one.  There goes my evening; the wife’s not going to be happy.”

F: “Special plans tonight, sir?”

PM: “Sort of.  The wife likes to schedule these husband-and-wife spa sessions every now and then so we can ‘bond.’  I don’t care for that spa stuff myself, but they keep her happy and off my case when I want to watch the game with the guys.  So, I humor her.

“You know, for a lot less money, she and I could get the same spa effect by digging a hole in the backyard and covering ourselves with some slimy, nasty, gritty … gritty?

“Gritty, YES!”

F: “Sir?”

PM: “Looks like the wife won’t be ticked after all; we’re going home on time!”

F: “Sir?”

PM: “I’m calling Marketing.”

F: “I don’t understand.”

PM: “I’m going to tell ’em we’ve got a brand new line of liquid soap for them with — ahem — ‘exfoliating micro-cleansing beads’!”


Published in: on 2009/02/15 at 9:48 pm  Leave a Comment  
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