Thursday, January 31, 2008


Red meat!!

Busier'n a one-legged man in an ass-kickin' contest! So ...

Red meat! Tell me your favorite meat, and your favorite way to fix it, and your favorite beverage to accompany it.

Me: Ribeye steak, 1 1/4 inch thick, seasoned with garlic powder, Lawry's seasoning salt, fresh cracked black pepper, thyme. Let sit until room temp. Sear in salted skillet, both sides. Turn down heat. Cook to medium-rare or medium. Dollop of butter at end.

Serve with a baked tater: scrubbed, dried, poked, rubbed with butter, salted and peppered, 400 degrees in the oven naked (don't you DARE wrap it in foil), for 60 minutes.

And a green.

Beverage: Shiraz or some other stout red wine that can stand up to that!



Wednesday, January 30, 2008


Fort Chaffee burns down!

(More video)

OK. What's left of Fort Chaffee has burned down! Some 150 barracks!

Just found out!

Daddy used to get his Winstons from the PX there when my brothers-in-law were in town. I took advantage of some kinfolk PX privileges there, myself, for 8-tracks and such.

Fort Chaffee, when an active Army post, is the one that christened Moffatt, Okla., "little Juarez" and made the honkytonk haven off limits for military personnel.

Fort Chaffee is where just about Vietnamese in this wide swath of the country, or his or her mama or daddy, came through as refugees in '75. The city of Fort Smith, next door (pop. 80,000 or so) has a huge vietnamese community. Oklahoma City has a sizeable Asian District. Wichita Falls, Texas, where Dr. ER is from and where I toiled for 10-plus year, has a bunch of Vietnamese. They all came through Fort Chaffee.

In 1980, a 16-year-old ER applied for a job at Fort Chaffee when the Cuban boat-lift criminals were incarcerated there. "Cigarillos! Cigarillos!" they hollered, gripping the chain-link fence. Turned out I was glad not to get a job there, Mama was relieved, too.

This was even before the Cubans rioted, broke out, marched through the middle of Barling, Ark., and scared the absolute shit out of people on both sides of the Arkansas-Oklahoma border.

Dude. People where I lived, 20 miles west, got their guns out.

There was a great pic on the front page of the Fort Smith paper of a raging mob barreling town Arkansas Highway 22 -- the photog had to lie down in the street ahead of the hoard to get the shot, and he should've gotten a Pulitzer for it.

Mem'ries ...



The Damnocratic Party

Richardson out! Edwards out!

I'm runnin' out of people to vote for.

Richardson and Edwards are still on the Oklahoma ballot. Might vote for one of 'em anyway.

I hear similar bowing out is goin' on over on the other side.

Who're y'alls' picks from among the survivors?


Tuesday, January 29, 2008


An inconvenient truth for the fundies

I think I'll just set this right here and keep it handy for the next time I, a theologically and doctrinally liberal Christian "diabetic," get bored and stroll into another sugar-loaded fundamentalist candy store.

"Whoever thinks that in this mortal life a person may so disperse the mists of bodily and carnal imaginings as to possess the unclouded light of changeless truth, and to cleave to it with the unswerving constancy of a spirit wholly estranged from the common ways of life -- such a person understands neither what he seeks, nor who he is who seeks it."

-- St. Augustine

(Robert Louis Wilken, "Spirit of Early Christian Thought: Seeking the Face of God," New Haven: 2003, 286.)

Monday, January 28, 2008


'Goin' through hell, don't slow down ...'

God, this hit me just when I needed it yesterday. I hereby declare the Rodney Atkins tune added to the Country Canon.



Obligatory cute puppy post

This is what our Riker looked like in his puppyness.

(Stunt corgi shown; Riker was already almost 3 when he became my stepdog.)

More cute puppies!


Friday, January 25, 2008


The BS indictment against Jeremiah Munsen

Read it! Munsen's "co-conspirator" -- the other stupid redneck in the truck with him -- "glared" at the black peeps! Oooooh!

(This is a continuation of this ER post.)

The indictment. (pdf)

It looks like the only federal right the U.S. attorney claims Munsen violated was the protestors' right to travel freely across state lines! Because they were in Louisiana, at a bus station, but came from Tennessee! Are you kiddin' me?

It looks like Munsen drove back and forth -- at least once -- on a public street.

I don't get it.

I have read more than a few federal indictments in my time, hard and closely, to report on them, and this truly is the weakest one I've ever seen. Five pages in all, for one thing, which should tell you something.

In my admittedly limited real but intense deadline experience of reading federal indictments, I've found that the facts alleged are rarely in dispute; what usually is in dispute is the application of the law.

This indictment presents a great set of facts to get an indictment: the KKK! "Glared at!" "Knew they were going to be in serious trouble!"

But it's as thin as gruel for getting a conviction. It's a joke.

This is the U.S. attorney for the Western District of Louisiana covering his ass, and it should be seen as an insult and a setback for those who think there should be a separate class of crimes in this country called "hate ctimes."



'Golf is a waste of good grass'

That's one of the slogans of the National Western Stock Show, in Denver, this year. Another one is: "Building Stable Relationships." Man. I could work for that outfit.

Spent a couple of hours there today is all. But I always like lookin' at all the commercial exhibits: Western and work clothing, trailers, loading chutes, other equipment, food, etc.

I'd written features from the Fort Worth Stock Show and the Houston Livestock Show, but had never been to the Denver show -- and I will go again when I've got more time.

Saw some pretty good Western art here at the Coors show. Saw some great kid art. Checked out some rabbits and chickens and roosters and goats. And saw some kids showing some prospect steers. It gave me flashbacks:

I was chaplain and a director of an organization that used to put on a big multiple-county cattle show. I loved it. Oh, and I represented a newspaper as a buyer once or twice.

Some of my most prized mementos are pix of me standin' behind a steer along with the kid, parents and judge in the show ring.

And, Lordy, I hasve taken more than my share of pix of kids with their animals, parents, buyers or donors, and all. My all-time favorite memento is a now-yellowed handwritten note from a kiddo:

"Dear Mr. (Redneck), thank you for the picture of me and my heifer."


Thursday, January 24, 2008


BS, BS, BS, BS, BS, BS, BS, etc.

Headline Noose.

I do not give a damn how anybody feels -- and that's my damn point. If you FEEL intimidated, it's YOUR problem.

I can NOT make you afraid, not just by the clothes I might wear, or the sheets, or the bumperstickers on my truck, or the words I say, or the book I fricking read -- or the IDEAS I espouse.

If I don't threaten to kick your ass my self, don't you accuse me of threatening you, or intimidating you, or hurting your precious feelings.

This is not a mere slippery slope: It's a damned CLIFF.

And I will not pretend it is anything else, and I will not pretend that this kind of bullshit is constitutional. And even if some idiots at the bench say it is, it's still unAmerican, and it's WRONG.

There is a festering guerilla war underway over race in this country. The front line is where fist meets face, or bullet meets flesh, or noose meets neck.

It is NOT where words meet words, or images meet eyes -- and a noose on display, but not deployed is an IMAGE.



Minor work-related injuries

Oof! Sat for 8 hours today on basically the equivalent of make-up chair to do some work, and the work went as slow as cold molasses because the wi-fi I'm hitchin' a ride on is s-l-o-w -- and the injuries are a kink in my back and patience worn thin.


This wasn't a play trip per se, by the way. It was just so's Dr. ER and I could be in each other's presence. Turns out that's pretty important. We actually do kind of miss each other, ya know -- which might not seem clear since it has been almost 10 months since she high-tailed it up here to Boulder, with me stayin' back in OKC.

But, there are real reasons why we haven't wound up back under the same roof yet. Workin' on it.

It's colder'n a well digger's backside here -- colder than normal. Even the gal at the local Safeway, and another gal workin' at the local likker store confirmed it by joinin' me in bitchin' about it.

Since I'm wheeless, I'm walkin' -- Dr. ER's car is available, but it's really too close to both to drive. But dang. I hadn't had frost form on my mustache in a long time until this mornin'. Feels like it's singed -- and I know what that feels like because I have lit quite a few stogey stubs in my time, 'cause you smoke every bit of a high-dollar cigar when you're a man of modest means, as I am.

Ha! What's next might appear to give the lie to that last line:

We're meetin' Dr. ER's boss and his missus at the Boulder Cork here directly. It ain't cheap.

However, I have been eatin' mostly nothing during the week but Subway sandwiches for supper, for weeks, and so I have some food-buyin' dollars built up -- plus Dr. ER is not of as modest means as I am, which is one reason it behooved us both for her to come on up here to commence her employment, leavin' me to figure out how and when best to join her.

And she's buying.

Not really. We will share the bill, but proportional, more or less, as to income. (We are not that anal; it's just sort of a "by feel" thing.)

Dang it. I've meant, all day, to blog an essay under this headline:

"Meditation on Morning Sunlight Seen Through Vertical Blinds, Myopia, and an Epiphany, in 'Hell.' "



Wednesday, January 23, 2008


High-tech redneck milestone

I have figured out how to use Boingo to get access to the wi-fi at Will Rogers World Airport. I am a stud. Slow to try things. But a stud.

Of course, I got to the gate a full 2 hours and 20 minutes before my flight -- but, hey, this flyin' thing post-9/11 is still pretty new to me.

But, I am still a stud.

Carry on.



'Ennis, I swear ...'

(So, of course, "the system" is down at work when I'm in a major hurry to get done, get out and get on a plane. I hear that back in the old days, when one person's typewriter broke, all the others kept working. Sigh.)

So, a moment of silence for Heath Ledger. I thought "Brokeback Mountain" was a great story. Dr. ER went crazy for it -- bought the movie, soundtrack, short story and screen play.)

Yesterday's text message conversation ...

3:54 p.m. ER: Tmz: heath ledger dead!! ... (ER) is sorry. ...

(Dr. ER calls me immediately. I confirm the news.)

7:12 p.m. Dr. ER ... (Miz S.) and I exchanged text condolences, we both love Ennis.

7:16 p.m. ER: I know! He made history with a truly tragic character that touched my (Dr. ER), and so touchf (sic) me.

7:21 p.m. Dr. ER: I am surprised, seriously, that I am so blue. It's not like Dale, but it still socked me in the gut. Earlier, i had this thought running in my head, "Heath, I swear ..." and I thinj (sic) it's like both jack and ennis are gone. Dangit. I think I will go make a cappuccino.

9:18 p.m. ER: Ha! Ok. ... I didn't know heath's babe was with his bb wife.

9:20 p.m. Dr. ER: Yeah! That's why their relationship was so cool. If (former boss) was at (former paper), he'd have a quote from McMurtry.

9:21 p.m. ER: Yep.

9:23 p.m. Dr. ER: The tv media is pissing me off, though. I guess they think they can say or speculate anything because the dead can't sue.

9:24 p.m. ER: And a story bout the only pop culture reference ever of childress, tx.

In memory, a reprise of "Catback Mountain" ...



Whirlwind day

Pack! Work! Airport! Plane! Airport! Dr. ER-Boulder! In that order. And already, the hurrieder I go, the behinder I get. Y'all talk amongst yourselves.


Tuesday, January 22, 2008


'Deconstruction of a Good Ol' Southern Gospel Song, and an Unlikely Discussion of the Doctrine of Blood Atonement'

This is one of my favorite songs from my Gospel radio days: "Two Winning Hands," by the Hinsons. (I don't partcularly like the self-reveling way the second verse is performed, but hey, holy joy and silliness of self get all jumbled up sometimes).

It's packed with traditional imagery and plays on words, which is exactly why it's right up my alley. Oh, and the style of music. The Hinsons, from Freedom, Calif. (Santa Cruz County), reflect Dust Bowl-Okie influences all around.

Lyrics are below, if you want to follow along.

"Two Winning Hands"

Some lawyers can win
And some doctors can heal
Your ol' banker can lend
Til' all your pockets are filled
But if yours is the case
Of the sin stricken soul
For the problem you face
There's only one place to go

Just climb up that mountain
Where still springs the fountain
That sparkling crimson
Called Calvary's flood

That same Jesus you've heard of
Can take a black heart without love
Wash it in red blood
And make it whiter than snow

Don't gamble on life
With all your luck and your skills
Cause ya can't play the cards
Ole man death's gonna deal
The Bible has said
Who the loser's gonna be
There's only two winning hands
And they were nailed to a tree

(repeat chorus)

I've highlighted the core message of the song: Jesus's death paid the price for our sin. That's the basic message of orthodox Christianity, I think.

Heretodox Bishop John Shelby Spon calls that idea "barbaric," and he says Christianity has a "blood fetish."

I'd say calling it "barbaric" is overkill -- although I understand how the idea of suicide, or child murder, can be repugnant -- "foolishness," if you will -- but he might have a point about some sects of Christianity having a blood fetish.

For those of us who grew up with the tradition, it doesn't seem repugnant. And it doesn't seem any weirder to me than whichever stripe of Muslim it is that annually self-flagellates. But then, that is pretty weird.

Then there's William Cowper's great old hymn:

"There is a Fountain Filled with Blood"

There is a fountain filled with blood drawn from Emmanuel’s veins;
And sinners plunged beneath that flood lose all their guilty stains.
Lose all their guilty stains, lose all their guilty stains;
And sinners plunged beneath that flood lose all their guilty stains.

The dying thief rejoiced to see that fountain in his day;
And there have I, though vile as he, washed all my sins away.
Washed all my sins away, washed all my sins away;
And there have I, though vile as he, washed all my sins away.

Dear dying Lamb, Thy precious blood shall never lose its power
Till all the ransomed church of God be saved, to sin no more.
Be saved, to sin no more, be saved, to sin no more;
Till all the ransomed church of God be saved, to sin no more.

E’er since, by faith, I saw the stream Thy flowing wounds supply,
Redeeming love has been my theme, and shall be till I die.
And shall be till I die, and shall be till I die;
Redeeming love has been my theme, and shall be till I die.

Then in a nobler, sweeter song, I’ll sing Thy power to save,
When this poor lisping, stammering tongue lies silent in the grave.
Lies silent in the grave, lies silent in the grave;
When this poor lisping, stammering tongue lies silent in the grave.

Lord, I believe Thou hast prepared, unworthy though I be,
For me a blood bought free reward, a golden harp for me!
’Tis strung and tuned for endless years, and formed by power divine,
To sound in God the Father’s ears no other name but Thine.

I've bolded the key phrase above, "dear dying Lamb" a reference to Christ's sacrifice as the "Lamb of God."

My question: If this is "true," that is, a valid prayer, especially "Sacrifice and offering you did not desire" -- an assertion made in more than one place in the Old Testament, why is the concept of blood atonement even necessary?

I'm questioning. Not rejecting. But I have to say I lean hard toward the moral influence view of atonement, as opposed to more hard-core views.

And so I can still love that Hinsons song, because, gratuitously bloody or not, this is the *effect* of Jesus's death:

That same Jesus you've heard of
Can take a black heart without love
Wash it in red blood
And make it whiter than snow

The earliest Christians interpreted everything about Jesus through their Jewishness. I'm a Gentile. Is it necessary for me to employ their ancient interpretation?

Or is that just another form of circumcision that Peter's vision -- especially verses 34-35 (Acts 10) -- was meant to nullify?


Monday, January 21, 2008


'I'll tell what I been doing'

Big Brudder ER brought me a treasure when we met yesterday at the Pig Out Palace in Henryetta, Okla.:

A post card a little ER had sent to his mama back in 1972, when by turns he spent a week at Big Big Sister's house in Dallas and Little Big Sister's house in Fort Worth.

The postcard has Charles M. Russell's "Smoke of a 45" (attached), from the Amon Carter Muesum of Western Art, which is now a little more uppity and called just Amon Carter Museum.

I remember the two weeks well. I had just turned 8. I think it was the first time I'd ever been that far from home without Mama and Daddy ER. But I don't remember this card.

Thurs. June 22 1972

Hi Mommy. Watcha been doing? I'll tell what I been doing. I been swiming 4 times We been to two museums and two zoos. We rode all the rides We been to an ice cream parlor We been to Six flaggs and just everything. And I'll be home Sun. or Mon.

Love always, (ER)

Dang. I've been -- I mean, I been a blogger for a long time My typos and punctuation ain't improvved a lick, either. :-)

Sniff-sniff. Mama ER kept it all those years. Of course she did! I've got a box of stuff from when my Bird was little.

But, Proverbs 31 and stuff.


Saturday, January 19, 2008


Three songs I love that make me nauseous

On a happy-go-lucky day back in 1976 or '77, I went into town with Mama ER, to the mall, and came home with three 45-rpm records of songs on the radio then.

Came home to find that my free samples of Happy Days, Skoal and Copenhagen snuff had arrived in the mail. I was 12. I'd sent in a coupon cut from Boy's Life magazine. Were those the days or what? :-)

Tried the Happy Days, which had (has?) a peppermint flavor. Yuck. Tried the Skoal. Man, it burned! Wintergreen flavor. Not bad.

Tried the Copenhagen. Tasted like a sweat-foamed horse smells. Made the world spin. I laid down on an upturned water tank for a long time, waitin' for it to quit.

Went back to the Skoal and used it for probably seven years before "graduating" to Copenhagen, the crack cocaine of smokeless tobacco -- and just thinking about it makes my lip ACHE for a dip right now, even though July will make five years since I've had a dip.

Here are the 45s I bought back then. I love each song. And each one triggers, slightly, my gag reflex. :-)

The first one won't surprise anybody:

The next one might surprise everybody!

And the last one might very well make you think, WTH? :-)

Here ends a snapshot from ER's youth. :-)



Meatball pizza & Holy Cows!

Whoa. Last night I dreamed that Big Brudder ER and I were in church, sort of.

We were in a classroom at back of a sanctuary, with the door open so we could see the preacher at the pulpit. It was the fundy preacher who, though I love him to this day, did much to sour me on the whole fundamentalist world view (so I thank him, actually).

He was preachin' and wavin' the Bible around and thumpin' the pulpit and carryin' on, as he is wont to do -- and then, as if he were making a caricature out of himself, he over-actedly fell prostrate across the pulpit, bawling in grief for the lost (he did occasionally lose himself in weepery).

But then he jumps up, composes himself, turns to a curtain right behind the pulpit, whips it open -- and there is a brightly colored cartoon scene, sky-blue sky, fluffy white clouds, bright green pastures -- and an incredible number of bouncy, balloonified, black-and-white faux Holstein cows!

And they SWARMED into the sanctuary. As a bouncy, balloonified, black-and-white faux Holstein weanling zipped into the classroom door, ran between my brother and I and bounced off the back wall, I woke up cracking up -- and knew immediately that the leftover double-meatball, bacon and tomato pizza I had for supper had done a number on me.


Friday, January 18, 2008


Adjuster justice or injustice?

An insurance adjuster is on the premises. Ice damage. Y'all cross yer fingers, please.


Thursday, January 17, 2008


LBJ all the way!

Which Great US President Are You Most Like?
created with
You scored as Lyndon Johnson

36th President, in office from 1963-1969
Born: 1908 Died: 1973

Lyndon Johnson


Thomas Jefferson


Abraham Lincoln


Ronald Reagan


Theodore Roosevelt


Dwight Eisenhower


John Kennedy


Franklin Roosevelt


Harry Truman


Woodrow Wilson


George Washington



Oh, Jeez, get off Chris Mathews' ASS!

Off! Get off his ass, I say!

Stupid bitches.*


* This is an admittedly provocative way to start a conversation about misogyny, women, men, political correctness, use of language, the ideal versus the real, "hate speech" and any other damn thing any one wants to bring up.


One more thing: Get off Chris Mathews' ASS. I might be kin to him.


Hi, my name is ER and I'm ...

... a blog-o-fricking-holic.

Must. Post. Every. Day.

Even if I don't have much to say!

So ...

Howdy! How're y'all?

Today was a hell day. News kept fricking breaking and I kept having to fix it. Happens rarely in my job. But it did today, and yesterday and the day before! Auuuugh!

Amazingly, I am not behind on the week. Wow.

How's yer week been?

Read any good books lately? Seen any must-see movies? Proved incontrovertibly that God exists? Ha ha.

I'm whupped. Haven't been sleeping well. Been having to get up earlier than usual this week. Bad combination.

And the extra-large double-meatball-bacon-tomato pizza with extra sauce I have on the way probably does not bode well for my ease of sleep tonight!

But I'm starved, and Mr. Phentermine, as he does eventually, has grown lazy and ineffective. So, he's being laid off for a week or so. Tonight, I eat! Woo hoo!

"Casablanca" is on. Pizza is on the way. Ice-T loves me (as much as any cat "loves" his staff). I'm headin' to Colorado to see Dr. ER a week from yesterday.

Not a bad time, all in all.

Talk to me.


Wednesday, January 16, 2008


Oklahoma cattle drive -- in DETROIT

This makes me plumb proud.

Cattle drive in Detroit.


(Photo from Detroit Free Press.)


'For the gods so loved the world,' or, 'Angels: We have herds on high' -- Or, 'Gods Gone Wild' in 'Immortal Combat' -- This is monotheism?

Is Judaism's supposed monotheism overrated? I'd never thought of "angels" as "gods" or "sons of god," as in part of a "divine council" or regency with "God" as the head.

It's no wonder, then, that early Christians had little problem with the idea of the Trinity. Some might have seen that as a downsizing.

Psalm 29: "Ascribe to the Lord, O heavenly beings, ascribe to the Lord glory and strength."

("Heavenly beings refers to the heavenly court of gods or semidivine beings.")

Psalm 82: 1, 6: "God has taken his place in the divine council; in the midst of the gods he holds judgment. ... 'I say: You are gods, children of the Most High, all of you; neverltheless, you shall die like mortals, and fall like any prince.' "

(The psalm is a literary report of the action of the divine council or heavenly assembly ... The God of Israel strips the heavenly powers of their divine character and condemns the immortal gods to mortality.")

Exodus 15: 11: "Who is like you, O Lord, among the gods? Who is like you, majestic in holiness, awesome in splendor, doing wonders?"

Deuteronomy 32: 8: "When the Most High apportioned the nations, when he divided humankind, he fixed the boundaries of the people according to the number of the gods; the Lor'ds own portion was his people, Jacob his allotted share."

("Most High (Hebrew Elyon) is an appellation generally expressing the Lord's universal sovereignty; here and occassionally elsewhere, it denotes the executive of the divine assembly, comprising subordinate gods.)

(Scripture is the New Revised Standard Version. Notes are from The HarperCollins Study Bible [pub. info. over in the sidebar].)



Tuesday, January 15, 2008


Huckabee Hucks himself



Monday, January 14, 2008



Great. Best chance in a decade to get an actual liberal president (or at least, God help us, a non-right-wing president) and the Democratic Party is going to tear itself up -- over who gets the credit for the civil rights movement?



Sunday, January 13, 2008


'The man behind the myth'

God is good.

Acts 17:

24 The God who made the world and everything in it, being Lord of heaven and earth, does not live in temples made by man, 25 nor is he served by human hands, as though he needed anything, since he himself gives to all mankind life and breath and everything. ... 27 that they should seek God, in the hope that they might feel their way toward him and find him. Yet he is actually not far from each one of us, 28 for (probably quoting Epimenides) 'In him we live and move and have our being’ ..."

I LOVE that last line.

Then there's this, from the Scripture reading today at church:

Acts 10: (from The Message)
34-36Peter fairly exploded with his good news: "It's God's own truth, nothing could be plainer: God plays no favorites!"

Would that it ended there!

But it goes on:

"It makes no difference who you are or where you're from -— if you want God and are ready to do as he says, the door is open. The Message he sent to the children of Israel —- that through Jesus Christ everything is being put together again -— well, he's doing it everywhere, among everyone."

God's love busted out ALL OVER. But then, as the preacher, daring, truth-seeking heretic that he is, pointed out, even those closest to Jesus started closing everything up again and started manufacturing "Christians."

Even in the very next few verses, the author of Acts ties it all back to Judaism directly. Of course he did. That was his world.

It's not mine.

God is. God IS love. Worship God.

Jesus is. Jesus IS Wisdom. Follow Jesus.

Jesus points to God.

Follow Jesus. Worship God.

The Prayer of Confession today:

Lord of Life, we pray that the wisdom of Jesus might become the true gospel of the church. Too often he is a remote Christ figure, entering the world as none other, and returning to sit with God until he comes again in judgment. What we can still glimpse, with careful study, is the Galilean sage who laughed and talked at an open table, and did so without a trace of social distance. Help us learn from the man behind the myth, and open the table once more. In the name of Jesus of Nazareth we pray, Amen.

Radical, man.


Saturday, January 12, 2008


Just for Lee and God

1. Is God?

2. Is Lee really an atheist, or even an agnostic? What can we determine by his comments and questions (they are legion)?

Lee, impetuous lad, seems to me to be more of a seeker -- yet a denier. A serious, earnest, part-tme activist religious-philosophical skeptic who really wants to be seen as an empirical-scientific skeptic and who fancies himself a debunker.

What do y'all think?

And, is God?

Discuss. This'un is wide-ass open. Just for Lee. And God.


Friday, January 11, 2008


Folderol Friday!

It got damn deep around here this week. Time for a break!

Tell me something terribly shallow and fun, happy or otherwise optimistic!

Here are some categories: Animal. Vegetable. Mineral. TV. Books. Kinfolks. Kith.




Thursday, January 10, 2008


Is orthodoxy-fundamentalism the 'wide gate'?


The original:

Is orthodoxy in modern Christianity the "wide gate"? Or, in the United States, is conservative-fundamentalist Christianity the "wide gate"? They do have the numbers.


What I mean is: Is the need for certainty, and the insistence that one must have certainty, and the doctrines and bureaucracy that have grown up around them -- in any denomination or tradition -- is that the "wide gate"?

It IS what most people seem to seek.

End amendment.

Matthew 7: 7-14.

1. Jesus attacked the religious establishment of His day because they had totally gotten the cart of the law before the horse of God’s love. (Idiom: put the cart before the horse.)

2. Conservative-fundamentalists, in my opinion, have totally gotten the cart of the Bible ahead of the horse of the message of God’s love and Grace that is in it.

3. The mounds of doctrine espoused by most churches, even those who claim they are creedless, amounts to the same kind of adding on that the Pharisees did with their 600-some-odd smothering rules of behavior, which was one of the main things Jesus railed against.

4. Jesus, when He talked of the narrow and broad ways, was speaking to members of his own faith tradition, Jews.

So shouldn't the right way of seeing meaning in the metaphor today be as within the Christian tradition rather than the idea that the narrow gate is Christianity and the wide gate is something else?


Wednesday, January 09, 2008


Meet Miss Lexi

This is the latest member of Bird and Beau's family: Miss Lexi, a baby bearded dragon.

Let's see. That makes Fenway and Apollo, the Boston terriers, and Ortiz, their hamster. Bird and Beau also gave me Jambalaya and Etouffe, the hermit crabs, to go with Dr. ER's critter, my stepdog, Riker, the regal and refined Pembroke welsh corgi, and Bailey, my biological dog, the 'tarded weenie dog who should live in a short yellow doghouse, and Ice-T, the cat God gave us who is now mine, our supervisor.

I have not had so many critters in my family and extended family since I awoke to a rooster crowing and hungry cows bawling back in the day!


Tuesday, January 08, 2008


Atheists Gone Wild!

This appears to be some sort of eighth-grade philosophy class project.

Richard Dawkins' followers stage "raiding parties" on Christian blogs.

Hooty hoot hoot hoot!

I probably will not have the honor of a raid. Just in case, I expect Geoffrey and DrLobojo -- and anyone else -- to meet *this* particular brand of fundamentalism like any other.

May the games begin.


Monday, January 07, 2008


Christians' hierarchy of needs

Apologies to Abraham Maslow. Dr. ER being educated in psychology, she and I have had an on-again-off-again chat about how Maslow's hierarchy of human needs applies to the various denominations -- particularly to the need for certainty (read: security and a sense of safety) within the traditions. (OK. I'm the one who brings it up once in a while. Dr. ER just lets me ramble until some other shiny thing gets my attention.)

But, how 'bout it? The Altar Call post, which is still drawing comments, shows that there has been lots of spiritual experimentation, progress, regress and ... redress, excess and undress probably ... amongst all y'all. In fact, it was Jim r's mention in that thread of M. Scott Peck's four stages of human spiritual development that reminded me of Maslow.

So, what say y'all? Talk about Maslow's hierarchy, or Peck's stages, and the denominations -- or other faith traditions -- as you've experienced them.


Sunday, January 06, 2008


Weather lesson ... headed for The Territory

Last night, I betrayed my lack of weather-wiseness around here: At the cigar bar, during a local break, on came weather peeps and big graphics warning of High Winds, Heavy Snow and a Winter Storrrrrrm!

"Holy shit! Is that for here, now?"

Two guys, in unison, glanced back and me and said, "Mountains."

Dr. ER had told me about vertical weather, and how odd it is for a plains dweller. Ha.

Head back to The Territory by way of the way we came. Wrong time of year and day of week to do much exploring. Denver to Boise City, OK, where I'll either get a room, head south to Amarillo, TX, for a room or just head on home.


Saturday, January 05, 2008


Boulder doings ... History comes cheap

:::Update: Remuneration schmremuneration! Job schmob! We're going here in a bit to drive around Niwot and Longmont, looking at neighborhoods, particularly their old towns.

Then, a cigar is in view: Johnny's Cigar Bar, while Dr. ER readies for our evening repast at Redfish Fish House & Brewery. :-) :::End Update:::

Off to the Colorado History Museum, as a tourist, while Dr. ER sleeps in, with something of a cloud over me:

The Colorado Historical Society has an opening for a job I am dead-on qualified for in education and experience, a working research historian -- and it pays just a little more than half what I make now in Oklahoma, where the cost of living is about 15-20 percent less.

Ya know, if it's not important enough for the state of Colorado to pay for it, it's not important enough to me to give a damn either. I'll get a job at fricking CostCo first. Grrr.


Thursday, January 03, 2008


Altar call

I love the thread on this post. I'm going to let this simmer awhile. I'm on the road today (Friday) from Oklahoma City to Boulder by way of Slapout and the Oklahoma Panhandle! Y'all rock. Rock on.

An "invitation."

I would like to know where you attend church-- as much as you care to share. If not the very church, then the denomination or tradition, please. If your membership has changed over time, please explain, as much as you care to.

If you do not, never have or just don't care, I'd like to know that, too.

I would like to know as much as you care to share, whether you are a regular, an occasional stopper-by or just passing through.

Feel free to comment anonymously, or not.

Think of it less as a full-fledged "testimony," and more like ... a few lines from your spiritual vita. :-)

Just curious. Wondering where we're all coming from.

Myself, as many of y'all know:

Grew up, baptized in, a Southern Baptist church in rural eastern Oklahoma. Attended the big, downtown "old money" United Methodist church sporadically in Wichita Falls, Texas. Joined Mayflower Congregational-UCC Church in Oklahoma City in 2005.

Now, yourself?

In the meantime, here's something interesting to chew on, from a seminarian whose blog is called Mined Splatterings, on "The Importance of Not Knowing."

And here is Neil's incredibly ungracious broadside of Mr. Splatterings' very honest testimony, wherein I, myself am run through the fundamentalist wringer in the comment thread.


Wednesday, January 02, 2008


Groovin' at 33 1/3

So, Dr. ER and I and three friends -- MM, and Mr. and Mrs. DrLoboJo -- ushered in the new year last night with the eating of gooseflesh with all the fixings and listening to records on the hi-fi.

The dandy appliance pictured. Very cool. Very Santa-y of Dr. ER to get me!

And I am such a hick. The very first tune I played was "Down Yonder" by Del Wood (amateur, but damn good, version of the ragtime classic here).

Then some Marty Robbins (DrLoboJo's, now mine!), a couple of songs from The Beatles' "Let it Be" album -- "Let it Be" itself and "Across the Universe," which Dr. ER had never heard! (mine) -- a Donna Summers cut (DrLoboJo's), a scratchy recording of Mrs. DrLoboJo made when she was a chillum in 1951 -- and to great explosions of mirth and frivolity, sides 1, 2, 3 and 4 of a two-record album of one of Kermit Schaefer's radio blooper records.

A record player! My coolest gift this Christmas -- edging out to portable, 12-bottle wine fridge Bird and Beau got me, which is also very cool.

What was your coolest gift this year?


Tuesday, January 01, 2008


Here's wishin' y'all, one'n all, a ...


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