Friday, January 29, 2010

The Homeless Crisis

Remember the homeless crisis of the late 80s? All the big pop stars were doing group albums to raise funds to pay the big salaries of executives at homeless organizations. This came to mind because as part of digging through these 100+ unlistened albums and the debut album by Allies has a song ("It's Never Easy") about how we should help the homeless. I have an inkling that Margaret Becker Cyndi Lauper also had homeless songs... I'm sure there were many, many more but I wasn't much into the popular music scene by the late 80s. I quick search finds "Living on a Prayer" by Bon Jovi and "State of the World" by Janet Jackson. For some reason I can't find the tribute album name, though who can forget FarmAid, BandAid or the almost cartoon-like character voices on "We Are The World" from USA for Africa?

I really have no point this.

It is a rough day
For the woman that I love:
I cause her nightmares.

The longest week ends
With no less questions than ‘fore
Hope next week improves.

Saturday is the
Perfect day to shop-vac out
Years of dryer lint.

One thousand years old
Sure you would think that is old
But what do you know?

Tuesday, January 26, 2010


1/26/2010 - written a day late
Six amazing years
Each day a blessing from God
Thank you, Melynda

1/27/2010 - written a day early
I do so loves me
A good Beethoven ditty
Always melodic.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Gut Trio

Stark reality
Like a bucket of lava
Splashed into my face.

I wake up at night
And start counting syllables
While watching Rome burn.

For some odd reason
Work today seems more pointless
Than the futile norm.

Friday, January 22, 2010


Staying home from work
This fool still logs in despite
Drainage, aches, Friday

Thursday, January 21, 2010

True Story

Stranded at the pump
Not even a single click
Dead battery blues.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Shout Out

An excellent post from Elephants Child on a topic I've felt "hinky" about my entire Christian life but have never been able to adequately nail down. Elephant's Child nails "tourist mission trips."

The week of sleep fail
Persists like a bad nightmare.
Sleep should be our friend.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Returning from a three day weekend

Tessa holds her rear
She is thoughtful and quiet
Then she speaks: “Poo-poo”

The famed long weekend –
So many options to choose
But first I shall nap.

No school for the kids
Sitter? Grandparent? At work?
Stinks for those with jobs

Forgot my I.D.
Perhaps I should just go home
Locked work door mocks me.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Book Report Time!

Hey kids, it's book report time!

In Sunday School we are working through the book Already Gone by Ken Ham and Britt Beemer, a book which looks at why twenty-somethings that are brought up in the church are not staying in the church. Ken Ham is a well known apologeticist who focuses on the scientific proofs for Creationism, even having a creation museum (check 'em out near Cinncinnati and an excellent web site with lots of facts about creationism and apologetics ( Britt Beemer is the founder of America's Research Group, a business that specializes in market research.

Ham and Beemer wanted to find out more than THAT these twenty somethings were leaving... they wanted to find out WHY. So they put together a very detailed survey to help them discover these reasons, eventually having the survey completed by 1000 twenty-somethings (about evenly split between being under and over twenty-five). To focus their findings these thousand were all brought up in conservative churches, their assumption being that any findings would be amplified in those who attended liberal churches.

They found that most of these young adults started questioning what they were being taught in middle school and high school, whereas previously the common notion was that evil liberal college professors lured them away from their faith. Ham & co. further found that these adults were not properly equipped while in church with solid reasons why the Bible is to be taken as fact, thus making the Bible and church about FAITH but not about science, real life, or things they could touch. He even goes on to say that those who attended Sunday School as children and young adults were more prone to have erroneous thinking about creation, premarital sex, homosexual marriage, etc. than those who didn't attend.

While overall I've found the book to be intriguing it wasn't long before I flipped to the back to look at the actual survey questions and results. They are quite impressive but what is horribly, inexcusably missing is a control group. Where is a similar survey given to 1000 twenty-somethings who grew up in conservative churches that continue to attend? Would we find a similar percentage of those who stayed in church but didn't go to Sunday School also believe that premarital sex is wrong? Or before Ham states that Sunday School teachers, while good intentioned, have fallen down on the job shouldn't he first check with a control group to see if attendance in Sunday School has any correlation to staying in church? Further, his survey had over 25% stating they came from a Baptist background. Is 25% of the conservative Protestant population Baptist? If 40% of the population identifies itself as Baptists but only 25% don't continue as adults, well, that's better than 10% being Baptists with 25% not staying in the church. A control group would also show what percentage of Baptists continue in the church (just an example as the survey lists over twelve denominations) and if one denomination is unusually high then perhaps that would be a good place to start looking for answers.

Also high on the BIG QUESTION MARK HERE list is that 859 of the survey group came from public schools. Before Ham starts stating that twenty-somethings not staying in church is a problem across the board a control group would reveal if, for instance, home schoolers or those attending a Christian middle school have a higher percentage who stay in the church.

Not having a control group does not invalidate the findings but it does tend to weaken some of his arguments. For instance, I don't think the data proves that attending Sunday School causes more harm than good - there are too many other factors that a control group would have helped weed out. But then again, I'm not the head of some gigantic survey firm, though for the life of me (or some other stale phrase) I can't figure out why Beemer would not have insisted on a second control survey. Maybe it was a matter of money or maybe such a survey would have cast doubts on a couple of the "amazing revelations" chapters in the first half of the book, which would have only left the second half of the book which deals with a subject Ham covered more fully in earlier books (notably Why Won't They Listen? and Raising Godly Children in an Ungodly World.) Beemer has a couple of paragraphs at the end of each chapter and especially in the one where Ham lays out the anti-Sunday School data I got the impression that Beemer was trying to distance himself in that he didn't directly comment on the contents of the chapter like he does in every other chapter.

While I'm only one chapter into Ham's solutions they seem common sense (or rather Biblical sense in that he quotes 1 Peter 3:15 "... Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give a reason for the hope that you have..." - teach these kids why the Bible in infallible and teach them that there is hard science behind creationism, that the evolutionary theories they are taught elsewhere have some serious logistical (and logical) problems. This will make the Bible relevant and concrete instead of just a book full of fairy-tale stories about angels and old people. Thumbing through the remaining chapters seems to show about sixty more pages of the same.

As I conclude my book report, I found the findings of the survey to be very interesting but not surprising. It has encouraged me to teach my children why we believe what we do and to help them understand that my faith is more than a "leap -o- faith" but rather something that was hammered out by researching creationism and Biblical claims, both Old and New Testament. Heck, it's even planted seed for me to teach an apologetics Sunday School class for the youth at church. Overall a decent, though incomplete, book.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Most transparent… NOT!
No press conf’rence since July
Nothing unscripted.

Time for a political post, y'all!

It's now been over six months since "the most transparent administration in history" has held a press conference. That's more than half of it's existence. Sure, there have been carefully scripted speeches but no opportunity for even the very-friendly press to ask questions that Obama's team isn't allowed to carefully analyze and market test before answering. If they aren't careful people might think they are trying to hide something.

Then I read this article about an eight year old boy being harassed every time he tries to get on an airplane.

Full Story

Notice the Clinton-esque parsing of words on the government's Transportation Security Administration web site. In answering the "myth" about this eight year old boy they post "Myth: The No-Fly list includes an 8-year old boy" and then say it's false. While technically true that this boy isn't on the most restrictive "no fly" list he IS on the second most restrictive "selectee" list. The intent of the myth is that the process is so screwed up that an eight year old boy is harassed when he tried to fly with his family, which is 100% true. Exactly which list he is on is not the issue.

His family has spent seven years trying to get him cleared from this list, even having their Congressman have a Transportation Security Administration agent go with them to the airport and still this young child is patted down and the family questioned for an hour or two by agents before being allowed to board. Common sense has no place in a politically correct government.

In tying these two concepts together, that of an opaque transparent administration and a family trying for seven years to get their child off a suspected terrorist list, I come up with healthcare. Normally when the Senate and the House vote yes on similar bills there is a committee set up that hammers out the difference. These committee meetings are often available on C-SPAN or the records are available to the public. Not this time, Shamus! For some reason when it comes to the government taking over healthcare, one seventh of our economy, these meetings are being held behind closed doors and with only a limited number of participants (and all of them are Democrats). This is in direct contrast to what Obama stated on the campaign trail, that these meetings would be televised so that the public can see who is on their side (Full Story). If they aren't careful people might think they are trying to hide something. So far what has been leaked is that those people with "Cadillac" healthcare plans (such as the ones enjoyed by Congress at your expense) will be taxed to help pay for the healthcare of the great unwashed. Unless those "Cadillac" healthcare plans are part of some union negotiation, then they are exempt from the tax. (Story here The liberals I know are always talking about making things fair. How in this even remotely any other than political payback and, I might add, UNFAIR.

But if this family has spent seven years trying to get the obvious corrected (their son was barely ONE when 9-11 happened so it's highly unlikely that he was involved) and even enlisted their Congressman, imagine what will happen when our bumbling government accidentally lists you as thirty years older than you are and therefore not as eligible for that hip replacement? Or perhaps you find yourself on a list stating that you have cancer or terminally ill or diabetic? Good luck getting THAT cleared up before you kick the bucket for real. There will be so many that your ineffective Congressman will not be able to pretend to help you.

Again I have to ask why the rush to get this healthcare bill passed? Common sense indicates that if it's this healthcare bill good thing for America then it will be a good thing for America even after (gasp) careful consideration, reading the bill, and letting the American people know the details. I would seriously like to know how anyone can defend the scurrilous way our government has gone about getting this bill through. Anyone? Anyone?

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Caught Up and Current

Written in arrears
This haiku is just filler
Just like your TV

Bleach spot on new shirt
Why are you won’t to taunt me?
So small, yet I know.


Tex-Mex kid, frantic
Pregnant girlfriend with sharp pains
Car died by our house

Wednesday, January 13, 2010


Catbox in the cans
What a glorious noise from
Two guys – drums and bass

The further back adventures of...

First week of school: Done
For poor saps in public school
Just treading water

Pancakes, waffles, eggs
Hot breakfast for everyone
Short order cook dad

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Avoiding Work

Tonight I play bass
“Hide Away” is due so soon
Deadlines are my friend.

Pushed the snooze button
Men’s Bible Study was missed
But neither was I.

I’m still catching up
From when I worked the night shift
Have you seen my pen?


A day to relax
Only sports on the TV
Where is my gravy?

A new year is here
Thirty thousand files to post
File jockey I am


Ten days late, or maybe eleven.

Headache you persist
To slow my recovery
Balance is the key

Jan 1, 2010 Haiku

Quiet Riot Rules
Or at least I thought so then
Two members are dead.

Daily Haiku

Why did you leak on the floor
Last night but not now?

Sunday, January 10, 2010

I got nuthin' but this old commercial. Enjoy.