Monday, December 31, 2012

Money, it's a gas

Which, most of you have probably noticed, has gone up over 20 cents the past two weeks.

Don't go over the cliff -Grab that cash with both hands and make a stash...

CA$H: Treasure/Heart from Keystone Church on Vimeo.

Oh no!

Don't be that guy!

Which leads me to The Donald's Consumer Corner - Underwear Edition:

On the "Buy" list:

  • (Good) Starter brand boxer briefs - good fit, seams form a 'pouch' to keep stuff organized, average leg fit.
  • (Better) Gildan boxer briefs - excellent fit & waistband, well-defined 'pouch', snug leg openings.  Rated a best buy.
"Don't Buy" list:
  • Faded Glory boxer briefs - flimsy waistband, poor form, oversize leg openings.  Use them to clean your aluminum car/SUV rims (after laundering).
You're welcome.

But you should still wear something over them if your shades are open or anyone else is in the house...


The church I attend is sort of  'cutting edge', or, to traditionalists, weird.  Loud music, laughter, and less emphasis on 'hell-fire and brimstone' - although our Pastor frequently reminds that God is "the sin killer".

This week I got a mailer from Fellowship Church in Grapevine.  The pastor who had a "bed-in" (with his wife) on the roof of his church, directing congregants to have sex for seven days (not continuously, I assume).  Anyway, suffice it to say I believe they're a little farther 'out there' than my church.

Here's their latest mailer:

What Would Jesus Say To...

What would Jesus say to Katy Perry, Lance Armstrong (looks like he's riding by the takeout window at the Last Supper), Ellen DeGeneres, LeBron James, Jerry Jones, and Kim Kardashian?

I admit I don't really know much about Katy Perry, other than the general impression she's a pop-twit.  I thought you had to be able to collect Social Security before you could be a blue-hair.

Armstrong?  That might could be an interesting conversation.  The Td'F doping committee may not know everything, but God does.

He might tell Ellen to just sit still and eat her dinner.

"LeBron, we didn't name that Bible after you.  How about you marry one of your baby-mommas?"

To Jerry Jones, it would probably be "Dude, why do you keep trying to kiss me?"

And to Kim K.: "Go and sin no more."  Or maybe, "Just go away, and take all your sisters with you."

Well, that's my take on the upcoming Fellowship series.  Pastor Ed Young may have a different angle. YMMV.

And Jesus might have a different opinion, altogether.

[In unison] "Jesus might have a different opinion."

Saturday, December 29, 2012

I found them!

People kept insinuating, and I sometimes agree, that I'd lost them:

Although, labeling is sometimes misleading...

I think those need to go in the buttstock of the M6 Scout.

It's the time of the signs

...or, er, sign of the times.


 A family has 40 electronic tech devices confiscated as a demonstration/experiment on the Steve Harvey show, forcing them to - gasp! - actually communicate with one another. Ironically, the intro to the video is an ad for a tablet device.

Full disclosure: As I write this, my TV is running in the den, and my cellphone hotspot is providing the link for my PC.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Christmas Message...

Away from the computer for the last two days, here's Keystone's Christmas message:

Christmas 2012 Greeting from Keystone Church on Vimeo.

I hope you all had a very merry Christmas!

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Deadlines and Schedules!

Who needs 'em?

After wrestling with doing things 'my way' for the majority of my turns out I do.

In the past few years, I've learned, and accepted, that I actually perform better with deadlines, than when I 'freeform' my time.  Not sure why I resisted so long, but am trying to gain better time management skills to make better use of the 86,400 seconds each day.

Maybe an old dog can learn new tricks.

Now, if I could just hire a secretary...

Un-American Greetings?

In which Brandon reminds us to set aside the Hallmark version of the birth of Christ, and remember that these were ordinary people (shepherds) going about their work when the angels appeared to them. The shepherds weren't Biblical scholars or seminary students, and were likely as astonished, even terrified, as you or I would be.

But the angel of the Lord allayed their fears and told them of the good news.

Amen Series Part 5 - Invite from Keystone Church on Vimeo.

In this broken world, now as then, we need to remember the Good News.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Sensationalism much?

Any firearm related mishap is serious, inasmuch as most are avoidable if proper handling protocol is strictly observed.  However, this news story seems a bit weak when it comes to facts and context. The 12-gauge "bullet"?

C'mon, is it too much to expect news readers to at least have some kind of desk reference to keep from sounding like total idiots?

As far as context, I'm sure many of the readers of this blog would be aware that pheasants are typically hunted with shells loaded with #4, #5 (somewhat uncommon size, but I've used them before), or #6 shot.

The smaller pellets, like 7-1/2 to 9, are typical for dove or quail, while larger pellets BB through #1, 2, and 3, are common for duck and geese hunting.  #4 could be used for ducks or pheasants.

Using the midrange (#5) and assuming 1-1/4 oz. loads, we would expect a bit over 200 pellets in the charge.  Further assuming use of an improved cylinder or modified choke and typical dispersion, one could estimate (based on the 15 pellets) a distance from the father's muzzle to his son's head at about 18-24 yards.  Absent a perforation of the jugular or carotid artery, as alluded in the news story, this is not likely to be a life-threatening wound (for expert discussion on gunshot wounds, I would have to defer to field editor Combat Kevin).

Now, before I sound like an idiot, I am in no way trivializing this accident afield.  Firearms safety - whether centerfire rifle, shotgun, blackpowder, or rimfire - or even archery or pea-shooters - is always paramount.  The son's life may not have been seriously threatened, but the reporter is correct in saying that different projectiles (larger pellets, or slugs) fired from the same gun at the same distance, could've had drastically different outcomes.  As well, eye protection is always prudent - even a small pellet at considerable distance could put an eye out.

About fifteen years ago, a wealthy scion peckerwood had been invited to join our pheasant hunt in NW Kansas.  He arrived with a Benelli pistol-grip shotgun with an 8 round magazine tube extending to the muzzle (while this is totally legal for non-migratory birds such as pheasants, it's, uh, not so sporting) that he'd just bought at Oshman's a day or two earlier.  A couple of times that hunt, the guy emptied that magazine, and two or three times he rained some shot down on his fellow hunters - no injuries, but he did chip the eyeglasses of a guy who was walking nearest to me.  Ronald Reagan would've been right to tell us to 'duck' - this fellow's sense of shooting angles was a bit like Dick Cheney's.

He wasn't invited back.

So, returning to the question posed in this post's headline - sensationalism, or no?  Looking past the style errors of the reporter, any reminder to use proper precautions with firearms is a good lesson.

Let's all be careful out there...

Mystery solved

About a year or so ago, I posted this picture, asking readers if they knew what the image represented:

Over the weekend, cutting through the Albertson's parking lot on the way to Home Depot, I saw a minivan in the loading lane, with just such a sticker on the side window.  I parked and walked over to the van, whose driver was texting while waiting for someone to come out of the store.

Keeping a safe distance from the driver's window so as not to appear threatening (cause you know how intimidating middle age white guys can be), I approached the vehicle.  The woman looked up from her phone, looked me over, determined I was harmless, and rolled down the window.

Turns out the logo is from Fellowship of the Sword, a group that it not a church, but operates revival retreats in a half dozen states, including one in the Texas Hill Country.  The organization is based in West Fort Worth/White Settlement.  I remember when I attended a singles group at Gateway a few years back, several people there were very excited about involvement/attending FTS activities.

Google results appear to indicate that some regard FTS as 'cult-like', though it's not clear to me whether there's any basis to that or not. I know a woman who attended a Methodist (very mainstream) retreat many years ago that had some elements I regarded as cultist, so it may just be a subjective matter of perspective.  And apparently ABC News thinks all defenders of traditional marriage are Westboro Baptist sympathizers.

Anyway, the mystery is no more.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

What would Bad, Bad Leroy Brown do?

Comes today news from the land of Lincoln that a Federal appellate court has ruled Illinois' absolute ban on CCW to be unconstitutional.  As you may know, that state is one of the last remaining that does not allow any provision for private citizens - you know, regular people - to carry concealed firearms.

Of course, the typical hue and cry from leftists, liberals and hoplophobes has followed.  Apparently, if jus' folks could legally carry handguns in the Windy City, it might cause that town to have a crime problem, and people might start shooting and killing each other.

What?  Oh...

Gee, this naturally leaves me all kinds of confused, Wally, on account of since I was a little kid and stuff, I always thought it was already legal - ya' know, Bad, Bad Leroy Brown havin' that "thirty-two gun in his pocket for fun" and all...

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Legendary Roy Clark

Looking for something else (as usual), I stumbled across these songs.

I don't think I've heard this first one in nearly 40 years:

And who but Mr. Clark could sing this tender praise and worship love ballad?:

Rolling along

This is a Mazda 929...

...which, coincidentally, is the number of posts
 my blog counter says I've published.


Steinsuppe ist good food!

The picture that follows is from a couple of weeks ago.  After stuffing myself at Mom & Dad's for Thanksgiving, I noticed that Mother had set the bird's carcass aside on the kitchen counter, so I asked what she was going to do with it.  She didn't seem too enthusiastic about stripping it down for the last bits.

So, she seemed relieved when I offered to take it home, and she bagged it up in a zip-loc for me.

Ein.  The next morning, I spent about 10 minutes with a paring knife, cutting away the last meat from the bone, and ending up with about a pound or so.  Then I boiled the remainder for stock.

Zwei.  I cooked some wide spinach noodles, and some short-cut linguine, and set them aside.

Drei.  Two carrots, peeled and wavy-cut, brought to a boil in the stock.

Vier.  In a crock pot, I started with one generic (probably Aldi) can of chicken-noodle soup, to which I added a can of lowfat cream of mushroom soup.

Fünf.  Combined the turkey bits, noodles, and carrots with the canned soup, adding the stock until the desired consistency was reached.

Sechs.  Whoa, let me catch my breath - it's been a while since I got to Sechs!

Sieben.  A couple of Stunden in the crock pot, und...voilà!:

A tryptophantasmagoric treat!

Acht.  Essen!  I can't bake for shucks, since it requires precise measuring and temperatures and timing and stuff.  But give me a crock pot, and a handful of ingredients, and I can always come up with some pretty good comfort food.

I thought I was in dire straits when I found that my metal box of Nabisco Premium Saltine crackers was empty.  But, rummaging through the pantry, I found some Kroger thin & crispy wheat saltines as substitutes. 

They are the saltines - they are the saltines that swing!

Edit:  I guess I'm a trend-setter.  Today, Heidi Klum published ideas for spicing up ordinary soups.

Museum of [almost] Modern Art

OK, it was actually my garage - although it is in serious need of a curator.

Rummaging through some boxes trying to consolidate stuff I could throw out, I came across the item pictured below, which I'm sure most of you would agree, is a work of art unto itself:

A fired .375 Holland & Holland Magnum W-W Super cartridge.

Originally named [in 1912] the .375 Belted Rimless Nitro-Express, the round was the second design to feature a 'belt' near the case head to establish headspace.  Lacking a strong shoulder, it would not have been suitable for a true rimless design, and a rim would've created feeding issues from the box or blind magazines of the bolt actions that were replacing break-open double rifles.

Capable of generating over 4600 ft/pounds of muzzle energy, the .375 H&H Magnum is considered one of the most popular calibers for African game due to its versatility, and is more than enough rifle for taking any large game in North America.  I wouldn't recommend it for Texas deer, unless you're lining up a half dozen side-by-side (but make sure you've got plenty of tags).

From wikipedia - the .375 H&H Mag and .338 Win. Mag

About 20 years  ago, one of my customers told me he'd just sold his Ruger #1 Tropical in this caliber, for $300.  I could've cried.

I guess in my dotage, I can enjoy reminiscing about the 20th century, and America.


Question and Amen, that is.

In this episode, Brandon takes congregants' questions, some as they are texted from the audience.

The Amen Series Q&A - Sunday, December 2nd, 2012 - 9:15 AM from Keystone Church on Vimeo.

Awhile back, the Dew posed the question: "Why does Keystone occasionally include secular music in its services?"  Brandon answers the question here, stating that this church doesn't have walls to keep the popular culture out, and certainly doesn't try to keep the sacred, the good news, in.  If a song is deemed to have relevance to a topic, even a song that's spiritually 'flawed', the worship & praise team will work to 'redeem' the song.  Supposedly, there was much staff discussion about Drop It Like It's Hot (apparently a Snoop Dogg ditty) - the title of a recent series.  The lyrics were deemed un-redeemable (I wouldn't know...), but the bass/beat was kept, in the hope that when audience members next heard it, they would associate a positive, not negative, message with it.

BTW, my 'street' name is Donn Dogg.   (Like 52 year old white dudes have 'street' names...)


Wednesday, December 5, 2012

More from Nick, Bob and John

Some guys' fantasies are to go to baseball camp, or rock-star camp, the Playboy mansion grotto, or astronaut camp (actually, that would be cool).

One of mine woulda been to go to folksinging camp.


This song is also further proof that Robert Zimmerman's songs were often best interpreted by others.

Thong Thumb Blues?

As far as I know, Sister Myotis does not attend Keystone Church.

But judging from her prodigious use of the "Amens", I think she may have been watching the recent Vimeo sermons on the interwebs.

Maybe Todd the Pastor Blogger will use this some Sunday when he's got 'pastor writing block'?

 h/t: Bryan McL