Thursday, June 15, 2017

Lazy Summer Evening

Hot and muggy last night so I watched V For Vendetta with my pizza and left Jordan Zimmerman to fend for himself. Turns out he pitched a pretty good game agains the Diamondbacks for 21,264 Tiger fans at Comerica Park but, as is all too often the case with this team, he got no run support. The Motor City Mashers managed to pound out just six hits (only one after the fifth inning) and just one run total. The defense continued to play a major role in the outcome as left fielder Justin Upton couldn't handle Gregor Blanco's bloop single, which allowed him to get to third, and the next hitter David Peralta sac flied him home. Upton did later throw out Chris Owings trying to score on a Brandon Drury single that also scored Paul Goldschmidt to make it 2-1, but that lead would hold.
On the positive side, Zimmerman worked eight innings without walking a batter, striking out six and only giving up those two earned runs. Shane Greene pitched a scoreless ninth, and we would consider that a positive also.

I noticed it had rained at home when I got there after work; prior to that we hadn't any amounts more than a couple hundredths of an inch since 5/28! 60% chance of rain to-day, possibly a storm or two.
Everybody looked happy in the yard so I did not water anything after work yestreday, The pumpkins are the kings so far this year, but the cucumbers will be ready for their trellis this weekend. The annuals are all bright and popping, and the herbs (especially our mystery herb) are all doing very well for two/three weeks past transplanting.

Our Biglake beach radio, allowing Dan and Jim into our yard with their take on the Tigers in game 1 against Arizona

Mr Pigeon, stretching his feathers

Mr Robin, next to the 'ouse

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Ike, JFK, Johnson, Nixon, Ford, Carter, Reagan, HW Bush, W Bush, Clinton, Obama

Saturday, June 10, 2017

Heat Log

08:39 I have had my shower and done up the dishes from last night's fish and macaroni cheese feast. The breeze still comes from all directions, for which we are thankful. I've noticed the thicker dappled willows this year keep more of the morning sun off our living room and the slider, which may also help. Deck temperature 71, inside temperature 71. Large numbers of house finches approach the safflower seed unencumbered by fear.

09:39 The west breeze is still coming into the kitchen and for this we are thankful. The bumble-bees don't know it's a Saturday morning and keep up their pace in the lilac and catmint; the hummer has been back and forth to the feeder since dawn. I put the bedroom a/c in the window and have it set at HIGH/COLD, which may be where it's at for the next 72 hours, God help us. I have the vertical blinds in the living room half drawn - I would like to leave the slider open for as long as possible, depending on when our morning breezes cease. Deck temperature 75, inside temperature 72.

It has taken a while, but I am learning to be thankful for no television in the house. It has forced me to engage in other, less passive activities. I have been strumming the six string of late almost nightly, I have been reading my Bible daily, and I have made concerted efforts to keep the local rodent population in check.The Tigers we listen to on the radio, and news we can get online.
Also, we have our vegetables and herbs going now (more, always more growing than I had planned - how is that?!? OH! Maybe due to the fact that I didn't plan on finding six packs for 74 cents at Kroger last weekend...huh?); the maintenance is not too time consuming, and it's fun to nurture these little sprouts and then see how big and fruitful they can become.

10:30 Thank God the breeze still comes from the north and west. Inside temperature 77, deck temperature 84 but the breeze rules! I am (somewhat) forcing myself to finish my second 32 oz cup of water.

12:21 There is still a breeze coming in from the north and west that for some reason seems cooler than the air it is replacing. Deck temperature is 87, inside it's 79 and 80 in the bedroom with the a/c. That room is at the southern most end of our home, and as such, it gets pretty much direct sun all day.

14:07 The breeze still blows and it is a nice warm breeze. The deck reads 90 but inside a comfortable 81 and I have not yet gone back to the a/c bedroom/blind. I do see cardinals and black-capped chickadee enjoying the safflower. The last neighbor to do so has now cut the grass. It is inevitable. It must be done. I think I'll try a new pattern this time to break up the monotony. And I must listen to a good song a few times right before I begin, or Dancing Queen will run there the whole time.

15:39 91 on the deck and 84 inside, but only 81 in the air conditioned bedroom/blind. There is much moisture on the outside of my beverage.

I am taking the cover off the grill.

Friday, June 9, 2017

Still Batting A Thousand

After a particularly grueling day at work, I was blest to be sitting this evening on our deck reading along side a tall cool ice water. I raised my eyes over the 8th chapter of Acts and saw Mr. Chipmunk standing motionless, right in front of his little hole going under our shed, about twenty five feet away. (Now, it must be told, this particular hole had originally belonged to Mr. Black and White Rat, but he has not been seen in this vicinity for many moons.) This rodent likes to jump from the shed to my safflower feeder and empty it in one sitting. And I have not figured out a way to baffle his efforts. The traps I had been leaving at night right in front of his whole, and then moving inside to the corner of the shed during the day, have not been effective. I had been blaming the Save-a-lot peanut butter, but it didn’t matter. He was there, right now, laughing (inside, of course) at me and my methods.

An excited killdeer flew by low and scared him into his hole. My time to act was now. (I had not yet poured a drink, and was still fairly ambitious due to the warmer temps, and the fact that this type of activity would be something that did not include cutting the grass.) I went inside, grabbed my Daisy Powerline 880 Dual Ammo Air Rifle, without having the scope mounted and without even sighting this bad boy in at all, and went to my bedroom/blind.

The left window we keep the air conditioner in has no screen – I would prop that one open about eight inches, giving me enough room to catch him coming out of the hole.

The view from my bedroom/blind looking east toward the Chipmunk's lair

The right window we have a screen in, and I keep it open with a fan in front of it when we don’t run the a/c.

I kept my focus right above the large hosta, where he would come out of his hole and provide me an opportunity to rid us of him. After what seemed like four or five minutes, I shifted my gaze to the right, and found him! At the back of the shed, standing on a 4x4 apparently smelling for my scent (or perhaps he was inwardly laughing again, well fed on safflower seed).

I did not waste time contemplating. I brought the rifle up and took aim quietly and stealthily, and exhaled, and squoze.

Pfft, right through the window screen, and into his cute little furry noggin. He fell off the 4x4 slow motion like, flopped like a fish for about a second, and then was still.

I ran and got my Buckmaster knife (my favorite one for this type of endeavour J), and found his lifeless bloody self; ready to be deposited inside several Kroger bags and into our garbage can.

Mission accomplished, our Tigers are winning 2-0, and life is good.

H.R. Pufnstuf 1969 Opening and Closing Theme

20 Triangle Delight (properties of Triangles)

Schnappi Das Kleine Krokodil

Morning Feed

Justice Scalia on Fools

Saturday, June 3, 2017

Saturday Prayer Requests

Father, into Your hands we commit all the faithful, our loved ones, and Your Church all over the world.
We pray for Francis and all the priests and bishops, for every child, for every one who does not yet know you, for the naked, the hungry, those in prison, those not able to pay the rent or mortgage this month, the sick and dying, those who are missing someone, and those who need you most.
We pray for President Trump, and all the elected officials at the state, local and national level, for John Martignoni and the Bible Christian Society, and people of good will everywhere, for Fr. Karl and Fr. Vince and the good folks at St Patrick. Please change the hearts of those who would hurt or take from others, bring them to You.
We pray for Stan and Rita, for their healing, for Stan and Charlotte and Kathy and Justen and Dayna, Aaron, Joseph, Mary, and Grace, Stosh, Stacie, Carter, Ryan, and Emma;
for Mary Ann and Dean, Courtney, Rusty, Drew, Mason, Meggie, Jake, Quinn, Cameron, Deacon, Kacie, Brett,
for Moni and Bob and Jon and Jay and Jen and Joslin and Liam,
Pam, Ken, Kenny, and Kendall,
Carolyn, Doug, and his family, 
Terry, Jeannie, and healing for her dad, Tye, Sophia, Trent,
for Kevin, Justin, Tori, Kaylee, Kristine, Mike and his mom,
for Mom and Dad, Nancy, Ruben, Ray, Ricky, Beni, Belle, Alex, Carlos,Cheyenne
Gary, Susie, Josh, Taylor, and Jeremy,
for Ron, Gina, Maria, Cas, Sophie, Nina, mom, dad, stepmom, sister and her family,
for Termors and Drake, Mike and his family, Michelle, Brian and their families, Tim and his family, for Paul, his niece, and her family,
for all our reps and their families, for all our clients - past, present and future. Please LORD help us to close the loans we have in the pipeline, and give us new ones to work on.
We pray for Randy and his family, June, Kathy, Tommy, Shelly, and their families, for Vic, AJ, Ninny, Peggy and her family, John, Betsie, Sylvia, Little John, Marty, Denada and their kids, Adam, Peggy, and their kids, Tony, Doreen, Liam, Aiden, Kevin, his mom and dad, and his brother and his family.
We pray for Recker Don and Jim, Pastor Bob, Mike B, Ron G, Todd, Todd, Art and their families; for Paul and his mom and dad and brother, those two guys I sat at table with three years ago; for our neighbors here and the people of Livingston County - may we turn our hearts to You.
We praise You and thank you for this new day; and we offer it to you.
Guide us, fill us with Your good Spirit, and Your wisdom. Protect us and keep us safe, forgive our sins, lead us into righteousness eternally.

In the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit we pray.

Saturday, May 27, 2017

our new planter box on the south side








dappled willow

dappled willow

bradford pear

plum tree dying of some fucked up stuff on the branches

can you see the little soon to be dead chipmunk  

May 27 2017

Men Without Hats - Pop Goes The World

Peter Schilling - Major Tom

Guardians of the Galaxy
The Equalizer
From Here To Eternity
It's A Wonderful Life
Mr. Smith Goes To Washington
Home Alone
The Song of Bernadette
Drinking Rum Alone on a Saturday Listening to Pet Shop Boys
Key Largo
Hunchback of Notre Dame
Knight and Day
Toy Story 3
Cats and Dogs - The Revenge of Kitty Galore
Rogue 1
Suicide Squad
The Cowboys
Wife vs. Secretary
Second Deck!
Inglorious Basterds
Pulp Fiction
The Big Lebowski

Always on my mind (Pet Shop Boys) (Letra en Español)

Social Distortion - Ball and Chain

Monday, May 22, 2017

Its the end of the world by R.E.M lyrics

Of Herbs, Perennials, Annuals, and Vegetables

As I sit here and contemplate what to write, a mild breeze brings the smell of the Big Lake into my room almost three hours away by motor vehicle. How, I wonder!
The pink blooming lilac immediately outside my west north-facing window offers the typical lilac aroma; the forsythia immediately outside my eastern north-facing window has no aroma that I know of.

A blessing! A blessing from the LORD!

Yestreday, the culmination of the better part of two years of talking, planning, and deciding came to fruition in the form of a sixteen foot long planter box designed primarily to cover up the hideous skirting across the back of our home.
Materials were provided via the Grape over the last two weeks from the Home Depot, plans were delivered by the Boss herself, and the Occupants of the Box came here via Wilczewski's Greenhouse in Howell and the free topsoil dirt pile of Hamburg Hills.

Box plans, including the local flora to be contained therein
Throughout the last two weeks, the boxes (two eight-foot sections were constructed separately) got built and painted. Neither the ninety degrees of Wednesday and Thursday this past week, nor the deluges on Saturday and Sunday would stop the boxes from going where they belonged, to carry out their purpose.

Sunday afternoon came, and God Himself directed, encouraged, and oversaw this project. We leveled and attached the boxes, added some touch-up trim, and got the plants in and covered with mulch. After some feeding and watering, we settled in for a fantastic meatloaf-on-the-grill dinner, and our suckassTigers on national tv ESPN.

As the sun sets in the west, our new box houses grasses, marigolds, and other annuals.
The only regret of the day was a result of my bringing the Grape around back with the dirt, in the midst of the old Fortysecond Lattitude Monsoons of mid May. I did leave large ruts in the neighbors lawn, and even though we have no neighbors right now, I am eagerly anticipating the registered mail from the Association threatening legal action unless the lawn is healed.


We had fun, and I slept quite soundly Sunday night.

Thank You, Father, for providing everything we needed to get this project done. Forgive me for avoiding and worrying for so long. Thank You for Your love, Your mercy, Your grace, Your presence in our lives. Lead us home to You, and may You alone be glorified!

Monday, May 15, 2017

Some Apologetics from John Martignoni

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
The Holy Spirit will teach you everything
and remind you of all I told you.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Copied from his latest newsletter:

Q:     Why do Catholics believe the Pope is infallible?

A:     The answer to that, in a nutshell, is: Catholics believe it because the Church teaches it.  I know...I know...I've heard the objections to that answer many times, and you may be thinking one or more of them right now.  "The Church?!  Why do you let the Church tell you what to believe?  Why don't you read the Bible and decide for yourself?"  Or, "I don't care what your church says, the Bible says that all men are sinners (Rom 3:23), so the Pope can't be infallible."  Or, "No man, other than Jesus Christ, can claim to be infallible, regardless of what your church says."
       Okay, first, I want to define exactly what a Catholic means when they say the Pope is infallible, and then I want to look at this issue of infallibility using both the Bible and some good ol' common sense.
       In Catholic teaching, when we say that the Pope is infallible, we do not mean, as some assume, that we are saying the Pope can never make a mistake, or that he can never commit a sin, or anything else like that.  Infallibility has a very specific meaning in Catholic theology, and that meaning is this: The Pope, when he is teaching on a matter of faith and morals, to the entire Church, is prevented, by the Holy Spirit, from teaching error. 
       What exactly does that mean?  It means that the Pope can indeed teach error - on matters pertaining to history, economics, science, sports, global warming, politics, and a whole host of other topics.  Why?  Because those things are not matters of faith and morals.  It also means the Pope can indeed sin.  Every Pope has.  Being prevented from teaching error is completely different than being prevented from committing error, as when you sin.  Not committing sin is known as impeccability, not infallibility. 
       It also means that the Pope cannot, one day, decide to write a papal encyclical saying that, as a doctrinal teaching, Catholics are no longer required to believe in the Trinity.  Or send out a teaching that abortion is no longer a sin.  Or that Jesus didn't really die on the Cross.  Or that two men can indeed get "married."  Or anything else along those lines.  The Holy Spirit will prevent him from doing so. 
       Now, let's look at all of that.  Does it make sense?  Does it make biblical sense?  Does it make common sense?  A lot of people believe, as I mentioned above, that no man, except Jesus, could ever be said to be infallible.  Yet, when I ask these very same people about the infallibility of the Bible, something a bit odd happens.  They all state, without any hesitation, that the Bible is indeed infallible.  It is without error.  Well, let's think about that.  For the Bible to be infallible (or inerrant), that means the folks who wrote the various books of the Bible had to least when they were writing their particular part of Scripture.  They had to be prevented from writing error.  Think about that.  Can an infallible book be written by a fallible man?  The answer is, no.  When they were writing their particular books of the Bible, each writer, inspired by the Holy Spirit, could commit no error.  They were - while writing - infallible.
       So, we have instances of a number of men, other than Jesus Christ, who were infallible - at least for some specific period of time.  Anyone who claims the Bible is the Word of God should admit to this.  Because, again, if Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, Paul, Isaiah, Ezekiel, and so on were not infallible - were not prevented by the Holy Spirit from making errors - when they were writing their respective books and letters that ended up in Scripture, then there is the possibility that they may have made a mistake in what they wrote.  So, if you believe the Bible is free from error, and inspired by the Holy Spirit, then you have to believe that the writers were infallible in what they wrote.  This kinda shoots a pretty big hole in the argument that only Jesus Christ was infallible.
       Now, you might be asking, "So what does all this have to do with the Pope?"  Well, here's the thing: the existence of the Bible as the inspired, infallible, inerrant Word of God, is evidence that God can, and has, bestowed the gift of infallibility on various men in the past.  So, one cannot argue that the gift of infallibility has been reserved to Jesus and Jesus alone.  Mere mortals have, at one time or another, been infallible.  In other words, we have precedent for the Catholic teaching on infallibility.
       So, we've eliminated the objection that infallibility can only apply to Jesus, and we've eliminated the objection that, since the Pope sins, he can't be infallible.  The question is, though, so what?  "You've cleared up this misunderstanding about infallibility not meaning the Pope can't sin.  And, yeah, okay, the writers of the Bible were inspired by the Holy Spirit and, therefore, had to be endowed with the gift of infallibility, since the Holy Spirit doesn't make mistakes.  But, how does that apply to the Pope?  After all, Catholics don't claim that he's writing Holy Spirit-inspired Scripture, do they?"  Well, no, we don't.  I'm just trying to show, as a first step in my argument, that infallibility is not exclusive to Jesus and has nothing to do with sinning.
       Next, I want to show how the Scriptures support the Catholic belief in the infallibility of the Pope.  For example, do not the Scriptures say, in Luke 10:16, "He who hears you hears me, and he who rejects you rejects me, and he who rejects me rejects Him who sent me?"  That's pretty powerful!  The Apostles were speaking with, and by, the authority of Jesus Himself.  So much so that Jesus tells them, "He who hears you, hears Me, and he who rejects you rejects Me."  If they were speaking with Jesus' own authority, would you say that there was the possibility they were teaching error?  Of course not.  If they could teach error, then that means there was the possibility of Jesus being identified with error.  Which means these disciples that Jesus is referring to were speaking infallibly on His behalf.
       "But," someone might say, "that was when Jesus was alive and still with the Apostles.  What assurance do we have that that was still true after Jesus ascended into Heaven?"  Well, in John 14:16-17, we have our answer.  It says, "And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Paraclete, to be with you forever, even the Spirit of know Him, for He dwells with you, and will be in you."  The Apostles received the Spirit of Truth - the Holy Spirit.  And then in verse 26 of John 14, "But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you."  And in John 16:13, "When the Spirit of Truth comes, He will guide you into all the truth..."  Jesus ascends into Heaven and then the Father sends the Holy Spirit in Jesus' name to be with the Apostles and to guide them unto all truth as they go out to teach all nations.
       So, the Apostles were able to teach on faith and morals without error - because they were guided by the Holy Spirit.  In other words, they had the charism, or gift, of infallibility, because the Holy Spirit doesn’t make mistakes.  In the Acts of the Apostles, ch. 8, there is the story about an Ethiopian eunuch who was reading from the Book of Isaiah.  In Acts 8, verses 30-31 it says, "So Philip ran to him, and heard him reading Isaiah the prophet, and asked, 'Do you understand what you are reading?'  And he said, 'How can I, unless...[unless!] someone guides me?'  And he invited Philip to come up and sit with him." 
       Scripture is plainly telling us that we need a guide to understand Scripture, and which would God give us - an infallible guide who could not lead us astray, or a fallible guide who could, possibly, every now and then, teach error?  And listen to what the Bible says about those guides who preached the gospel: 1 Ptr 1:12, these men are those who "preached the good news to you through the Holy Spirit sent from Heaven".  They preached through the Holy Spirit!  There were men who preached with the authority of God the Father as given to them by Jesus Christ, Himself, and they were aided in using this authority by the third person of the Trinity, the Holy Spirit.  In other words, they taught infallibly!
       Think about this: Jesus founded a church.  He sent the Holy Spirit to guide that church.  That church, as the Bible clearly shows, was led by men who were infallible in their teaching.  That's why the Bible could say that the church is the "pillar and bulwark of the truth," (1 Tim 3:15).  So, you need to think about this question: Could a church founded by Jesus Christ and guided by the Holy Spirit ever teach error in matters of faith and morals?  If you say, "Yes, it could," then you are left with the prospect of never being able to really know the truth.  And if you can't know the truth, then you can never be set free (John 8:32).  A church that can teach error in its doctrinal and moral teaching is a church that is not guided by the Holy Spirit.  
       But, if you say, "No, a church founded by Jesus and guided by the Holy Spirit cannot teach doctrinal or moral error," then you have just admitted that there is a church out there that has to have at least one person, or a group of persons, who are infallible - who cannot teach error in matters of faith and morals.  Because you cannot have a church that teaches infallibly if all the teachers in it are fallible.  It just doesn't work that way. 
       So, given that we Catholics believe our church was founded by Jesus, and that it is guided along its path by the Holy Spirit, that is why we accept the doctrinal teaching of the Church on this matter, and on all matters.  It doesn't make sense not to.  Either Jesus left us with an infallible guide, or He left us, each one, to our own devices, with no assurance of what is or is not the truth.  The former makes a lot of sense, the latter does not.
       One last point I want to make on this - I have heard, hundreds of times over, individuals claim that when they read the Bible, they are guided by the Holy Spirit in their interpretation and understanding of the Bible.  Yet, they claim that they are not infallible, because no man is infallible.  I have always wondered about that.  If a person is guided by the Holy Spirit in their interpretation of the Bible, then that interpretation has to be infallible...because the Holy Spirit is infallible.  If a person claims to be guided by the Holy Spirit, yet also claims to be fallible in their interpretations of the Bible, then they are essentially claiming that the Holy Spirit is fallible in His interpretations of Scripture.  If you're guided by the Holy Spirit, you are infallible in your interpretations.  If you are fallible in your interpretations, then you are not guided by the Holy Spirit.  It has to be one or the other.
       Infallibility makes good biblical sense and good common sense.  Without the gift of infallibility, we are simply left to hope and pray that we've gotten things right when it comes to faith and morals, because we can never really be sure.  


I thank God far more for friends than for my daily bread - for friendship is the bread of the heart.

~Mary Mitford

Friday, April 28, 2017

Pie Jesu Domine, Dona Eis Requiem

Father, into Your hands I commit my friend Coemgein, who believes he is above friendship. Have mercy on his soul, give him peace in his heart, forgive his sins, and let him know to-day how much you love him.

Tuesday, April 25, 2017


Blue skies with white clouds on summer days.
A myriad of stars on clear moonlit nights.
Tulips and roses and violets and dandelions and daisies.
Bluebirds and laughter and sunshine and Easter.

See how He loves us!

~Alice Chapin

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Recipe #420 Napoleon Pizza

I do some sort of pizza every Wednesday when Survivor is running on CBS at 8:00; lately I've been trying different dough and sauce recipes and I think I found my winner-winner-pizza-dinner last night.

The dough starts with two packages or 4 1/2 tsp of yeast, two tsp of sugar, and 1 1/2 c warm water and let it rise.

Then, mix three cups of flour with two tablespoons salt. Wisk it, wisk it real good.

Add the water/yeast to the flour and combine until you get a ball. Remove to a floured surface and knead for about about three minutes.
Let it rise covered in a warm draft-free environment til it is doubled in volume.

Punch the dough ball down, and cut in half. It will make two 16 inch pies this way. Let each proof again in a warm area (or overnight in the refrigerator) until you are ready to bake.

My sauce this time was about one third tomato sauce, one third tomato paste, and one third from a Chef Boyardee pizza kit, embellished with dried oregano, garlic, basil, black pepper, and thyme. Not too demanding, the tomato flavor really came through.

I grated some fresh Monterrey Jack cheese to go with two cups of shredded mozzarella

Pepperoni is mandatory, as are mushrooms, but I wanted to not do the entire pie with everything:

So green pepper, white onion, Kroger sugar ham fried nicely, and ground sausage topped about 65% of the pie. At exactly 18 minutes cooked at 450 degrees she was done.

'It's probably the best drawing I've ever done.'