Primate Pandemonium

At times when i’d be gardening, picking luscious blueberries to add to my morning yogurt, or just lounging around in the back yard my ears would turn to the most curious of sounds emanating from the house behind me. Sometimes it sounded somewhat like a dog’s bark, other times more like the cry of an infant. Whatever the call, the two monkeys birthing these sounds were indeed rascals. i’m not sure what type of primates these were, but i estimate the little poo-flingers were about 18 inches in height and weighed between 7-10 pounds.

Their cage butted against a window that was often open during nice weather, to which the simian scoundrels clung to and shook themselves with fury. i was glad they were safely behind thick wire and glass. Especially as they would keenly fix their eyes on my every move, observing me in my natural habitat …mowing the lawn.

Still, i never experienced what the good people of Fremont, Ohio had to endure as they suffered at the hands of one of these tiny tyrants. Last week, it took several police officers more than three hours and discharging of weapons to subdue the angsty anthropoid. …Really?!

Maybe i should change this to Wiersma Wednesday. Just a thought.

Slow news day in Fremont, OH or should there be a monkey business ban? Monkeys in your neighborhood? They’re certainly in mine.

~End brachiation~

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God Went Golfing.

Last Sunday was Father’s Day. The one day in the year specifically set aside for sons and daughters to dignify their sire with a Hallmark card, a neck tie, a family BBQ, an interrupted baseball game, or perhaps a day of fishing or a round on the links. But this Father’s Day, one Dad was missing …Abba.

No, not the Swedish pop group. Abba is an Aramaic term meaning father. ‘Abba’ is what a small child would call their daddy or papa, often used as a descriptor in the New Testament of the Bible by Jesus and His followers to infer to an intimate relationship with God (Mark 14.36; Romans 8.15; Galatians 4.6).

Now, when i say He was missing, i mean He was absent from The Pledge of Allegiance. It seems that during the beginning of NBC’s telecast of the US Open Golf Tournament they had a patriotic montage inter-cut with footage of school children reciting the American Pledge of Allegiance. However, the “under god” portion of the creed was deleted by editors.

There was mass outcry from viewers. Though, i’m not sure why. Originally the “under God” term was not in the 1892 declaration. President Eisenhower signed legislation concerning The Pledge in 1954, which added the two words.

Here’s why i’m not upset:

1. Though this nation was founded on principles of faith and by men of faith, who called themselves Christians, their practice of Christianity was often far from following the God that the Old and New Testaments characterize.

2. The god that people think of when they recite The Pledge of Allegiance could be any god they imagine: Hindu, Muslim, nothing, etc.

3. People have been omitting God from all kinds of things (especially their personal lives) for millennia.

4. i’m not under the delusion that this is truly a unified nation “under God.”

5. Despite what people may say or not say…  God is not going anywhere.

Whether He is acknowledged or not, God is still on the golf course. Just don’t expect him to shag your balls.

What are your thoughts on BBC’s choice to deliberately edit The Pledge?

~End mulligan~

Walmart… a nice place to shop(lift).

North Carolina is a beautiful state. Why else would it have a city called Eden: A veritable garden of lush vegetation, thriving fauna, and the finest of personal amenities anyone could hope to cull from their local Walmart. Well, at least it was for Amber Shaquille Duncan until she was caught pilfering from the retail giant.

People steal for many reasons, for money, or drug money, out of desire, need, survival, obsession or just for the thrill. With Amber, i’m not interested in her motivation as much as her application. Here is what Ms. Duncan lifted: a box of fruit snacks, a box of granola bars, a can of cashews (my favorite), a pack of water balloons, three water guns, and a home pregnancy test.

i have a pretty good idea why Amber swiped these particular items. i’d rather hear your reasoning.

What do you think the story is for Amber snitching these things?

~End heist~

Sometimes it’s just not worth the effort.

You know how it is when you really, really, really, desire something? There’s nothing that will stand in your way from reaching your goal and obtaining your dreams.

Well, a group of New York City dwellers found themselves coveting a bike. Not a shiny new gold plated hybrid mountain sportster, nor was it a finely tuned multi-gear racer. Nope! Just your ordinary Department Store $70 two wheeler. But nothing was going to stand in the way of of these ingenious ruffians from obtaining the object of their desire. Not even the tree it was chained to.

OK, be nice now… but what really spins through your mind when you saw these rocket scientists work their cunning thievery?

~End whack~

For What It’s Worth, Today’s Special Guest is…

...DocMartin (no, not the shoes, …different spelling). Roger Martin and i go back a few years. He is a Business Professor at Warner Pacific College. i asked Roger if i could re-post his thoughts from last week as they are along a theme that i have already posted on and have more on the way.

Take Care of the Little Things!

By Roger Martin

I love my morning coffee and newspapers. I get up around 5:30am and start my pot of coffee, pour my glass of orange juice, stick my bread in the toaster, and then run out and get my Columbian and Wall Street Journal (WSJ). I then spend the next two hours reading the newspapers. Sometimes there are articles in the Columbian that catch my attention, and other times it is the WSJ. Today it was both papers.

You may think it a bit strange that I am going to connect the Buffalo Springfield with Anthony Weiner, but I am going to write about both the band and the Representative in the same blog entry. The Buffalo Springfield was one of my favorite bands in the 60’s. Richie Furay, Stephen Stills, and Neil Young represented my heroes at the time. The song “For What Its Worth,” was a call to protest that all baby boomers paid attention to. Several of the original members are now dead, while Furay, Stills, and Young have just reunited and are touring. I would love to see them. I met Richie Furay at a Calvary Chapel pastors conference in Lake Arrowhead.

The comment however that stood out to me in this article was what Furay said to Young and Stills when the idea was brought up to tour together. Neil Young said they could get together either this year or next, and Furay stated at their ages they should do it now and not wait. I thought this was interesting. We do seem to put off things thinking we have time, but all of a sudden its gone.

Let me shift gears a bit and discuss Representative Weiner. I know there are going to be an incredible amount of jokes about this guy. The fact is habits that Anthony developed as a young single man continued on as he matured and eventually married. I cannot believe he thought that these indiscretions would go unnoticed? Somewhere along the line he lost something, something I would call disciplined thinking. Our society has lost the concept of discipline. How many rock stars die at an early age because they partied so much that they destroyed their bodies? How many politicians do stupid things thinking that no one would pay attention? We don’t think about consequences. If I do something, most of the time I don’t worry about what will happen later down the road? Action A will result in effect B. Effect B could be a cause to C, etc. Our actions do produce results that may, or may not, be considered good. This is especially true in how we think.

Descarte said “I think, therefore I am.” Scripture tells us we should bring all thoughts into captivity of Christ. There is value to this disciplined process of managing where our minds go. We wake up one morning and realize my gosh I’ve gained 20 pounds. How did I get here? We wake up one morning and say, why did I send all those pictures to people I don’t even know. Or one morning we wake up and we’ve missed an opportunity to play a concert with friends. Our society is losing something that was important in the past. In our modern society we focus on video games and self-gratification, and because of this we are losing the value of disciplined living and thinking. We are becoming a modern Rome. We don’t watch what we eat, pornography is rampant on our TV, and we play endless amounts of video games rather than read. It makes me think about the guy standing on the corner with a sign that states “The End of the World is Near.” All because we failed to maintain a disciplined thought life. What do you think about this?

And that is my thought for the day!

Perrywinkle

i’ve been to some amazing concerts in my lifetime. i’ve seen some great rock ‘n’ roll musicians and even some living legends. Most of these shows involve three to five musicians playing their heart out, encouraging the audience to dance, sing and sweat along with them. However, young audiences are far more sophisticated now. There needs to be more showmanship to hold attention spans. Everything must be extravagant, even to the point of obscuring the music.

A few years back i took my kids to see Muse. i’ve been following Muse for over a decade. An amazing trio of musicians, i’m thrilled they are getting the notoriety they deserve. i love to watch musicians, taking note of their style, technical prowess and manner of execution. There, on stage, were three amazingly gifted musicians, each with their distinct personalities and musical abilities. Matt Bellamy is absolutely a guitar master that combines Hendrix fretboard theatrics, Morello’s feral tones, with Page’s passion all while crooning with a stellar tenor vibrato not unlike Freddie Mercury or Geddy Lee. Then there’s Dominic Howard who executes distinct rhythmic music with Neil Peart creativity and Phil Collins pop sensibility. The ever stalwart Chris Wolstenholme pounds out growling, yet often melodic bass lines like a silent, gentle sentinel trying not to have fun.

This trio mix metal, progressive, alternative, electronic, pop, and classical music into an array of audio sensuality.  i really couldn’t wait to see their fingers, hands, feet, and mouths deliver visually what i’d been experiencing with my ears for years. Undoubtedly the best concert i’ve ever seen, rather, i couldn’t see. Even though i was fairly close, i couldn’t see the band execute their musicianship because of all the blinding lights gleaming, flashing, and glaring off of the instruments if not directly aimed into our retinas.

But that’s the way it is these days. The kiddies gotta have their bling and more of it: enthusiasm with four extra helpings; the theatrics on a world stage; light to rival sol. The desire for theatrical music shows like Gaga’s is huge. The demand on the performers is great, too. With all that singing and dancing and jumping and costuming and set changing it’s no wonder Britney has to lip sync.

Say what you will about Katy Perry and her cheeky hubby, but this girl has much to compete with. Ever since stating, “I Kissed A Girl,” this pastor’s kid has grown up, out and sideways to become a pop icon in just a few short years. No wonder she has to do 15 costume changes on her current tour. In fact, just to keep up with Spears, Lady G, and Madonna, KP pulls off eight of those wardrobe changes while performing just one song, “Hot N Cold” (sorry guys, no wardrobe malfunction). If not intriguing. it’s exhausting to watch.

i’m all for art, theatrics, performance. But what happens to the music, the reason these artists are recognized in the first place, when all we see are exploding lights, bedazzling dancers, and more outfits in one performance than most people have in their closet?

~End headlights~

Do you think the glitter distracts from the talent, or are the theatrics part of the point?

Brainz …It’s What’s For Dinner.

For years i’ve been taking careful note as i watch historical documentaries and realistic re-enactments of bio-hazard induced crisis and catastrophes, careful to inspect each situation to learn from the mistakes of those who have gone before me, in order that i and my loved ones would be among the few fortunate enough to survive: i keep in good physical condition, improving my speed, stamina, flexibility and agility; learned how to handle firearms and improve my shooting skills; studied techniques in stealth practices; trained in first aid. Lately, i’ve recruited my son in this endeavor, teaching him the skills and tactics to survive and going over training films and material such as HBO’s multi-part docu-drama “Walking Dead,” the fact-based “28 Days Later,” “Resident Evil” (a five part documentary that would make Ken Burns proud),” the ground-breaking “Night of the Living Dead,” the relational tutoring “Shaun of the Dead,” and the indispensable video guide “Zombieland.”

You may scoff at my diligence to ensure the safety and survival of myself and loved ones in an impending zombie apocalypse. However, i have the support of the United States government. While you were busying yourself mocking Harold Camping’s doomsday prediction a few weeks back, the U.S. Center for Disease Control (CDC) was trying to prepare the world for a more imminent and probable “zombie” apocalypse. The CDC is one of the world’s most advanced and credible scientific health resource facilities. They suggest the following preparations in case of reanimation devastation:

• Water (1 gallon per person per day)
[Running from them or killing them, either way you’ll work up a powerful thirst with zombies around.]

• Food (stock up on non-perishable items that you eat regularly) [Gotta keep your strength up.]

• Medications (this includes prescription and non-prescription meds)
[Zombies really are a headache of migraine potential.]

• Tools and Supplies (utility knife, duct tape, battery powered radio, etc.)
[Because we all know zombies can’t chew through duct tape.]

• Sanitation and Hygiene (household bleach, soap, towels, etc.)
[Especially needed due to the excess of blood-born pathogens from all the brain consumption going on around you.]

• Clothing and Bedding (a change of clothes for each family member and blankets)
[A splatter free set of clothes is always a good idea.]

• Important documents (copies of your driver’s license, passport, and birth certificate to name a few)
[Because zombies want to know who’s for dinner.]

• First Aid supplies (although you’re a goner if a zombie bites you, you can use these supplies to treat basic cuts and lacerations that you might get during a tornado or hurricane) […or fighting for your life avoiding becoming zombie food.]

~End world hunger~

In case you think I’m joking. Click here for the CDC version.

If you're ready for a zombie apocalypse, then you're ready for any emergency. emergency.cdc.gov