Archive for June, 2008

from The Writer’s Almanac:

It was on this day in 1936 that the novel Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell was first published. When she handed the manuscript over to editors, it was in terrible shape, with more than 1,000 pages of faded and dog-eared paper, poorly typed and with penciled changes. But they loved the story. They asked Mitchell to change the original title, “Tomorrow Is Another Day,” because at the time there were already 13 books in print with the word “tomorrow” in the title. They also asked her to change the main character’s name from Pansy to Scarlett.Mitchell later said, “I just couldn’t believe that a Northern publisher would accept a novel about the War Between the States from the Southern point of view.” But Gone with the Wind broke all publication records. It sold 50,000 copies sold in one day, a million copies in six months, and 2 million by the end of the year. The sales of the book were even more impressive because it was in the middle of the Great Depression. The hardcover of the novel cost $3 a copy, which was fairly expensive at the time. Its sales injected millions of dollars into the publishing industry. The year it came out, employees at the Macmillan publishing company received Christmas bonuses for the first time in nearly a decade.

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Yeah, this too

Oh and one more thing, the headmaster of our school (Ed Lang) sent out a link to an interview with Andrew Stanton from Pixar films about their latest hit: WALL-E. Then Jon Barlow pointed to the review of the movie by the New York Times.

Right now, Pixar is doing it.

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Well, I was going to say something about the action of the Reformed Presbyterian Church of North America in DECLARING their opposition to all things generally related to the Federal Vision and the New Perspective, but our internet service went out and has been out for the last two days. So now I can just refer everyone to Doug Wilson’s comments and to those of David Field which are much more polite and sensible than mine were going to be anyway. So we’re all better off thanks again to God’s wise and happy providence.

Now I can be done with only one line: This is undoubtedly one of the silliest things I have ever seen done by a denomination. Ever.


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v. 12 “For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is Christ”

“The connection between the last verse [v. 11] and this one is this: The formation of the Church and its inherence in Christ as the Body of which He is the Head, is the work of the Holy Spirit, Who, when He baptizes any one into Christ, assigns to him a position in the mystical body as one of its members, and afterwards endows him with the grace by which he will be enabled to fulfill his function, as a member of that body.

Thus, it is in the Body of Christ, i.e., His Church, as it is in the natural human body. The body is one, and yet this very oneness of the human body postulates a variety of members, and the multiplicity of members does not imply a multiplicity of separate organisms or bodies, but one organism only, and as it is with our human mortal bodies, so it is with Christ as the Head of His Body, the Church, with which He is one, so that instead of the Apostle saying the Body of Christ, he actually says “Christ,” Christ and His Body in the Apostle’s eyes forming, as it were, one Personality.

v. 13 “For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body”

This means that by the operation of the Spirit in Holy Baptism we are all baptized into, that is, are all made members of, the One Mystical Body. It may be well to consider for a moment the question, Does this refer to the visible Sacrament whereby we are made members of Christ, or does it refer to an invisible baptism by the Spirit, altogether distinct form the outward sacrament, and very seldom simultaneous with it? Now it may be sufficient to answer that the Holy Apostle knows nothing of such a baptism introducing us into an inner body or church apart from the outer. On the contrary, such an idea neutralizes the greater part of his teaching, which is, that all the professing members of the Church should consider themselves as having a real connection with Christ. There is but one Church from his point of view, an outward visible body endowed all of with invisible graces and powers: so that each baptized person, instead of doubting that his baptism brought him into connection with Christ, should have no manner of doubt about it, but be assured that if he does not live as a member of Christ so much the worse for him, and that if he does realize his union with Christ so much the more power has he against sin and on the side of holiness.”

(M. F. Sadler, The First and Second Epistle to the Corinthians, pp. 205-206)

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To whom it may concern:

Dear unknown Dog Owner:

Just a note to express my astonishment over your dog’s regularity. Really, it’s extraordinary — you must let us know of your presence someday so that we can come out and meet him. And speaking of meeting, do you continue to remain anonymous or will we ever meet? (What time do you come around anyway?) I think I must have seen you from a distance once when your dog was looking for a place to dump (I came along and you dragged him away — so I guess your rule is “no dumping if anybody in the neighborhood is a witness”).

It would be nice to meet you someday. Then I could introduce you to my children who have ruined their shoes and clothes thanks to your dog. I could also tell you some of the stories about how difficult and expensive it sometimes is to clean up behind you. I am always surprised that you don’t feel compelled to leave a note of sympathy behind (you know, something like, “Sorry, my dog pooped on your yard again — and he did it in a place you’ll never notice until you step in it, but hey, that’s what unsuspecting neighbors are for, right? I mean, you can’t really expect me to let him do THAT in my yard can you? Thanks for understanding, etc.”)

May I assume that since you allow your dog to do his business in our yard, you won’t mind if I leave a bag or two of our garbage in yours? (I promise it will neither smell as bad nor will it ruin your shoes, but that’s the closest I can come to reciprocating since I don’t have a dog myself). Maybe I can let it sit in the sun for a while before I drop it off just so you can experience at least something close to what we enjoy after one of your visits. Really. It’s no trouble, give us a call, we’ll try to work something out.


your friendly neighbor who provides a dumping ground for your dog

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Tired of me

Am I the only one who thinks Duane has been just a tad SLACK about posting on this blog????

I don’t think so.

Solution: email and harrass.


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Up and down

Today is the birthday of the famous graphic artist, M. C. Escher. Escher’s popular work (his “impossible structures”) has always been amazing to me but I never knew of his other works (especially those of his “Italian period”). Nice. Escher is said to have remarked, “Are you really sure that a floor can’t also be a ceiling?” Happy Birthday M. C.

p.s. check out “the puddle”

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I received a note on how much a billion is and it got me started. I wondered what the Federal budget is for this year — and, after some searching, I found it (it’s approximately $3.1 trillion for fiscal year 2009). Now, wondered I, just how much is that? I got my calculator out but it didn’t do trillions (heck, it didn’t even do billions!) so I had to use the calculator on the computer, but I believe the following figures are pretty close to accurate. In order to spend 3.1 trillion dollars in one year you’d have to spend:

$258,916,666,667 per month (almost $259 billion per month)

$64,729,166,667 per week ($64.7 billion per week) . . . or

$9,247,023,809 every day (that’s a cool 9.2 billion per day). But that’s still too big for me to comprehend. Break it down further:

$385,292,658 per hour (that’s 385.3 million dollars per hour). More? ok:

$6,421,544 per minute ($6.4 million per minute) or $107,025 per second (every second of every minute of every hour of every day of every week of every month for the next twelve months)

and right now, I can’t think of a single thing to say about this,

. . . . except, “Wow, that’s a lot of money!”

. . . but that would rank as a breathing-through-the-mouth level of dumb on the comment scale, so I’ll refrain.

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Well, whatcha know.

Yesterday, at the PCA General Assembly being held in Dallas, they had a colloquium on sacramental efficacy. Wonder what brought that on?

anyway, here are the papers that were presented.

And here you can listen to the audio of all the presentations.

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So it’s 85 degrees and sunny here in beautiful downtown Monroe and my daughter-in-law writes to tell me that it’s snowing [SNOWING!!!!] in Moscow, Idaho.

which is so . . . . so . . . . . . . so . . . . . . wrong.

And people wonder why Southerners don’t trust the North.

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I finally read John Barry’s truly horrific account of the great Mississippi flood of 1927, Rising Tide. It is one of the most frightening books I have read in a long time — not because of the power of the Mississippi in flood stage (which was really scary), and not because of the suffering and devastation that resulted from this terrible disaster (heartcrushing), but primarily because of the appalling record of wickedness, demagoguery, deceitfulness, arrogance, and cruel heartlessness left behind by the civic and political leadership, national and local, statewide and county-wide.

The account of the treatment of the black population of the Delta region is nightmarish and infuriating. The cold deceit of the rich and powerful of New Orleans is chilling. The hypocrisy of the Federal administration is astonishing. The callousness of the aristocracy of the Delta is stunning. The ineffectiveness and abject failure of the efforts made to bring about something approaching justice for the victims of this disaster is bone-jarring. But that which is the most terrifying of all is something Barry doesn’t address (though it hangs over the entire account as palpably as the odor of a dead skunk in the road) — the sad testimony this story gives to the the monumental failure of the Church, North, South, East, and West, in the early part of the 20th century.

Barry subtitles his book, “The great Mississippi flood of 1927 and how it changed America” — but this misses the big story. The flood was not the instrument that changed America, it was merely the occasion to expose the real cause for the change that occurred. Few books have displayed more clearly the ramifications for a society when the Church becomes uncaring, indifferent, distracted, and consequently irrelevant. Horrifying.

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This is very thoughtful, no?

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