Monday, December 29, 2008

I'll have a chipmunk caesar salad on two legs please!

Learn to spell what you hate!

Death to the Juice! Death to the Juice! Death to...what? Misspelled? Dangit!

The Atheist speaks truth

What my dad said just before he kicked me out...

"When he came down from the attic, he was wearing my daughter's pants and my sweat shirt and sneakers. From what I gather, he was helping himself to my home, eating my food and stealing my clothes."

She birthed a bowling ball

Now I don't know nothing about birthing no babies but I know that 14 pounds is way too heavy for a newborn. I don't really think it was necessary for two doctors to have to pull it out, though. I mean what kind of scrawny doc has to call for backup just because the baby is huge? We're not talking about setting a bench press record.

"Hey, nurse, can you spot me here?", says Dr. Droopengelding as he puts on his weight belt and stretches out his quads.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Santa had more fun than anybody

I couldn't get my scanner to work so I had to take a picture of this picture so forgive the quality but I just had to show this. A couple of weeks ago I got to be Santa for a group from the Department of Assistive and Rehabilitative Services. Most of the children were "special needs" kids and I just had a ball! It was quite an honor for me to be a part of this. If you know me, you know I have a bit of a Texas accent and so instead of trying to fake it all day, I just went as Texas Santa and wore my hat and boots. This precious angel looks better in my hat than I ever will.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Storytime from a shepherd

Have you ever had a crazy dream? A dream that seems so real but too crazy to have really happened? I want to tell you about a night I thought I must surely be dreaming, but it really happened.
My name is Bill. Bill the shepherd. I’m one of the shepherds mentioned in the second chapter of the book of Luke, verses eight through twenty. My name is not in the Bible and I’m not terribly important in the scheme of things and yet I had something wonderful happen to me many years ago. Allow me to tell that story in my own words.
Being a shepherd is hardly glamorous work. It is long hours and low pay and we are generally looked down upon by most people. I do not have much education nor much money and most of the time I smell like a sheep. One can see that with all of that going for me that I do not have many close friends.
There have been a few of us shepherds to go on to bigger and better things with our lives. King David is probably the most notable example. But most shepherds live and die in poverty and obscurity and to be honest that was fine with me. I never expected anything of note to ever happen in my life. I had gone to work when I was very young to support my mother when my father died and shepherding was the only thing I could do.
They were not even my own sheep. A man hired me to take care of his sheep but I took my job very seriously. During the day we would let the sheep graze on open land but at night we would round them up and put them in a makeshift corral and we would guard them there.
Nighttime was when thieves and wolves would come out so we would sit in the doorway of the corral and protect the sheep with our bodies. The secret was to have another shepherd there with you at night to talk to you. Not only did it keep you from getting bored and falling asleep but the noise kept away the thieves and wolves.
The other shepherds and I would talk about anything and everything during the night as one can imagine. Some of the other guys liked to talk about God and religion But I was not much into that. I had a hard time believing that there was more to this life than eating, sleeping and sheep.
The ironic thing about this one special night was that some of the other guys and I had just been discussing some of the prophecy in scripture about the coming of the Christ. They had been sharing with me that several prophets had predicted Christ’s birth. Moses, Micah and Isaiah had all predicted the coming of the Christ and that could be something I could get excited about if only I could really believe it.
They told me about the passage in Isaiah chapter seven that says, Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign. Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel. Also, Isaiah chapter nine says, A child will be born to us. A son will be given to us. He will rule over us. And he will be called Wonderful Adviser and Mighty God. He will also be called Father Who Lives Forever and Prince Who Brings Peace. The authority of his rule will continue to grow. The peace he brings will never end. He will rule on David's throne and over his kingdom. He will make the kingdom strong and secure. His rule will be based on what is fair and right. It will last forever. The Lord's great love will make sure that happens. He rules over all.
That passage says that Christ will reign on David’s throne! I like that. I can relate somewhat to David because he was a shepherd - a lowly shepherd. Then in the fifth chapter of Micah it says that the baby will be born in Bethlehem. That is where I am from. That is my hometown! I started to feel some hope where previously there had been just despair.
We were, in fact, camped just outside of Bethlehem that night. I will never forget it. It was a beautiful, quiet, starry night. Some of the others were talking and I heard a noise. It started out like a low hum and gradually built up to a sound like a huge herd of horses were stampeding across the hills.
My first concern was for the sheep and so I stood up and listened and waited. On a typical night the most exciting thing to happen might be a shooting star so one can imagine how shocked I was when a bright light flashed and an angel was right in front of me.
I thought it must surely mean I was about to die! My heart was pounding, my knees almost failed to hold me up. I thought I should avert my eyes but I could not quit staring at this incredible creature.
The first thing out of his mouth was, “Do not be afraid!” Easy for him to say! One minute I am counting stars and the next minute I am face to face with Gabriel himself. And yet, while he was an intimidating and exciting creature, huge, powerful and stunning, he was at the same time strangely calming. He was like a good military commander who knows what is going on and knows what to do. I felt immediately like I could trust him.
He said, “I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people”. He could have stopped right there. He could have said no more and I would have been thrilled! “For all the people” included me! Nobody had ever included me and here I am being included to an invitation by no less than an angel of the Lord!
The angel continued, “Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; He is Christ the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”
Before I could catch my breath, and to my continued amazement, more and more angels appeared. Millions and millions of angels dressed all in white and with a glow like the sun spread from one horizon to the other and they began singing, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom His favor rests.” They were the brightest, loudest most perfect celestial choir and I was the audience.
Over and over again they sang “Glory to God in the highest!” Gloria in excelsis deo! “Glory to God, Glory to God!” I cried. I laughed. I sang with them! I worshipped. I hoped it would never end.
It felt like a dream but it was real. When the angels left I could not wait to accept Gabriel’s invitation to find the baby so we all left the sheep and ran into Bethlehem. I think I expected it to be easier to find the baby. After the unplanned angelic choir program I expected there to be long lines of people crowding to see a baby king laying in purple robes with bright lights and flying angels but there was none of that.
When we finally found the baby he was just…a baby. His parents were pleasant but looked a bit overwhelmed like every parent feels the first day and when we told them everything that had happened to us I was afraid they might not believe it. Joseph thanked us and Mary smiled with a mix of pride and gratefulness.
There is another passage in Isaiah chapter 61 that says, The Spirit of the Sovereign LORD is on me, because the LORD has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners. to proclaim the year of the LORD's favor and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn.
I feel like that passage might have been written about me. I could not keep from telling other people about what I had seen and heard that day. I wanted everyone to know about the Christ. I did not know much about this baby Jesus but I knew that he was the savior and I needed a savior. I needed the Prince of peace in my life.
The time in which I lived was undergoing what they called the ”pax Romana” or Roman peace which was a good thing in that we were not involved in any war at the time but I had no peace in my own heart. In the quiet times in the field with my sheep I often felt like there must be more to this life! The starry nights and snow-covered mountains fairly screamed of a divine creator but I had no joy and no peace in my heart until I met Jesus.
One more passage from the book of Isaiah chapter forty: He tends his flock like a shepherd: He gathers the lambs in his arms and carries them close to his heart; he gently leads those that have young.
Being a shepherd has it’s rewards sometimes. Sheep often stray off and are easily in danger of wild animals or malicious people but when I find them safe and bring them back to the herd I know it is for their good. It lets me relate to other shepherds like David but I now realize I have a greater connection with the Good Shepherd since that special night in Bethlehem all those years ago.
I will never know why God chose to reveal himself to me the way He did or why He wants me to have a relationship with Him like He does but I know now that I have that peace and joy that He promises as well as life forever with Him in Heaven and I will continue to celebrate that as the true meaning of Christmas and the meaning of my life everyday.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

I can see it now...

A smokey-lens camera slowly follows me down the mansion's interior spiral staircase. With pouty lips and shiny head, I make my way past the marble statues and under the chandelier towards the kitchen and the camera catches my good side as I seductively wink at the two hungry Italian supermodels. They caress my neck and shoulders as I walk right past them with a smirk and reach out my hands. Fade to black as I lustily eat the Burger King Whopper and dab the juice of the meat patty behind my ears.

"Flame", says the breathy feminine voice. "The scent of seduction with a hint of flame-broiled meat."

So what?

It is interesting to me to hear the widespread lamentation of the commercialism of Christmas that comes around every year about this time. As a big Jesus fan, my first reaction is to join the complainer's chorus about how we have lost the reason for the season and to even let that fact make Christmas less special for me. I could easily get discouraged about the number of Santa likenesses that sit where nativities used to and how our school kids are taught to be tolerant of everything except the possibility that Jesus was born of a virgin. I forget sometimes that this is to be expected from a non-Christian world and so after considerable deliberation of this issue I have come to this conclusion about people celebrating Christmas for the wrong reasons: so what?

That's right! What does it really matter? It is a Biblical response, actually. In Philippians 1:15-19 Paul talks about that in his time there were some that were preaching about Jesus for the wrong reasons. Some of them were preaching as a contest to see who could do it best. Others just wanted to make Paul look bad or to stir up trouble for him. Read paul's response in verse 18.

But what does it matter? The important thing is that in every way, whether from false motives or true, Christ is preached. And because of this I rejoice.

Paul had an attitude we should emulate. He had every reason to be upset about things but he considered it just another way to reach the world for Christ. We should look at the commercialization of Christmas the same way. Is it the ideal situation when people celebrate Santa instead of Jesus? Of course not, but do you know what? So what? They are celebrating the birth of Jesus whether they want to admit it or not. Maybe if our attitudes are a little more like Paul's then people will see Jesus in us and that is a reason to celebrate in itself.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

300 times

My 300th blog posting. Ah, seems like just yesterday when it had that new blog smell...

I'm gonna gouge my eyeballs out.

I promise I'm not going to rant about TV commercials again. It doesn't do any good and just raises my blood pressure. So, no more long diatribes about the rancid evil and downfall of humanity that is TV commercials. Except one. I don't get it. I just really don't understand how it is that Geico advertising executives could still possibly have their lives, much less their jobs.

Let's see...first it was the cavemen. You would have to be on crack to think those guys were anything but irritating and then, to my horror, they made the commercial into a sitcom. Luckily for the universe, that was short-lived.

Then the brain-dead wasters of oxygen came up with the gecko that makes me want to stomp on anything resembling a lizard and they keep on using it! In fact they still use the cavemen, the lizard and those stupid celebrity endorcements from old what's-her-name Collins and even Little Richard. Little Richard?! Why would I buy insurance from people like that?

So, when I saw that they had a new commercial out starring a stack of money with eyeballs, I thought that was the ultimate insult to my limited intelligence but then...but then...wait for it, wait for it...but then...I found this article online about what a genius the marketing manager is that came up with all that drivel! I can't stand it anymore! I went from muting the TV when the commercials came on to turning the channel and now I have no choice but to gouge out my eyeballs so I don't ever have to see anything about Geico ever again.

Ambien antics

I woke up this morning to find this picture saved as my screensaver. I have no idea why except that after I took my Ambien I guess I thought it would be funny. Now I'm playing jokes on myself!

Monday, December 15, 2008

Ho! Ho! No! No! Bo Bo!

Bo didn't like me playing santa.

Seven years of bliss

Seven years. Ah, seems like just yesterday! I was twenty pounds lighter back then and she still had that new wife smell. So in love. I married way up. I'm still not sure what she sees in me. Evidently short, fat and bald is the new tall, dark and handsome. I'm pretty sure she didn't marry me just for my money.

But I did spend some money on her recently. In anticipation of today, I went to one of her favorite stores. It's either Bed, Bath and Beyond or Bath and Bodyworks. I never can remember which one is which but I chose the wrong one once and she's never let me forget it because evidently they sell way different stuff. So this year I did my homework and went to the right store. I know it's the right one because it reeked of candles and estrogen. You know what I mean. I felt like I had interloped into "Share your feelings" land where men are dreamily forgotten and women rule the kingdom with velvet potpourri-scented fists. I hate the place.

I was actually very intimidated by the place and maybe a little scared. I was scared because I don't know what all that stuff is in there. It's wall-to-wall lotions and potions and cremes and scented things that I didn't know were supposed to be scented. To be honest, I am afraid I'm going to unknowingly pick up something that is, you know, some sort of feminine only kind of product that women only talk about in yoga class and hospitals. It would be my luck for some woman to see me pick up the extra-large bottle of Vagisweet or Vagiseal or whatever, and ask me if I needed help. "Does this come in a candle?", I would ask like an idiot. Then I'd get embarrassed and say it was for my aunt or something and then I would have to wet my pants just so she would quit talking to me and I could leave. Let's just say I have some pretty unattractive scenarios played out in my head at the Bed and Bathworks place.

Actually, I went into the store and just stood there in the middle of the place until some nice lady who I presumed worked there came up and asked me if I needed help. I handed her my wallet and said "Yes, please." and she gave me several wicker baskets full of soft and lotiony stuff that screams "My husband is a sucker!" and then I thanked her and left. Well, what am I supposed to do? "Excuse me Ma'am, I was wondering if you had a large bottle of Burlap Berry-scented Vagiclean with matching candle and slippers?" Please! I'll have nightmares about that until I have to do it again next year.

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

'67 Mustang Fastback

I owned this car from 1986 to 1997 (give or take) and I treated it like a princess. I bought only the best parts for it. I changed the oil about every 30 minutes. It had a custom cover and was only driven on sunny days on clean roads. I bought premium gas and took my shoes off when I got in. I drove it so gently that I never had to buy tires for it the whole time and it hated my guts.

I never hot-rodded it or mistreated it even one time and it broke down on me EVERY SINGLE TIME I drove it! I don't mean it broke down a few times or that I often had some trouble with it. I mean it quit running for some reason every time I drove it, no exaggeration. It went through a spell of dying - completely stopped running - every time I turned right. I had to take jumper cables, every tool I owned and an ASC certified mechanic with me everywhere I went. It started overheating on me so I replaced the fan, waterpump, radiator, guage and eventually the whole engine and it STILL got hot.

I finally sold it to a dealer and because it looked so good I got a good price for it. He paid me the money and I gave him the title and he asked me to drive it over to a certain spot where he wanted it. As I pulled it over there the power steering pump blew out spewing fluid all over the parking lot. Finally able to smile about it, I said, "Uh oh, your car just broke down!" Best day I'd had in a decade!