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July 28, 2004


No offense intended to any denizens of Columbus or the Ohio Valley, but I wouldn't have figured on vacationing, much less road-tripping, here a couple of years ago. That was before one of my closest friends took a job teaching at a private liberal arts college here -- and Amanda's one of my distance-has-no-meaning friends. I flew up last October, but when it was time to bring the whole family up this week, airline tickets became as financially unattainable as a personal Lear.

Will survived the seven-hour-plus-breaks road trip in reasonably fine form --blessedly, he slept through almost four hours of it. He and I have spent a fair amount of time in her front yard engaging in Nerf baseball real basketball. (Note to fellow parents of 2-year-olds: If you discover that the basket is too low, and thus dunkable, DO NOT hold your 2-year-old up so that he may dunk the basketball himself. You will be doing it the rest of the evening and your triceps will not forgive you.)

Shannon's going to take Will and meet in person an online friend tomorrow -- er, today (he said, looking at the clock with alarm) -- while Amanda has shanghaied me into helping her move her office from one campus building to another. And it's very late.

July 25, 2004

Jon Stewart Speaks for Me

The gay marriage issue, as encapsulated by The Daily Show. Liberal POV and RealPlayer required, as is sense of humor.

July 14, 2004

Door Number One...I Guess...Maybe

The serology results came back negative for all tick-borne diseases. Which leaves a meningitis-like disease as the most likely culprit after all. Charming, if not completely definitive.

July 12, 2004

Turning the Corner, I Hope

Well, I think my fever broke last night, as demonstrated by two sets of bedsheets soaked with sweat. Nasty way to wake up in the middle of the night, and to do it twice...

Thanks for the good thoughts, everyone.

July 10, 2004

Door Number One or Two

Well, the doc says, thanks to the symptoms and my low white blood count, that it's either a viral meningitis thing or, more likely, ehrlichiosis. Tick borne. Lovely.


OK, this fever truly sucks. Time to go to the doctor.

July 9, 2004

Real Live Preacher

It's not easy being what I'll appallingly simplify as a "liberal Christian." Mainline denominations are struggling because, when confronted by the contradictions and mysteries of the faith, many church member either tune out entirely (choosing another faith or permanently sleeping in on Sundays) or decide that there are no contradictions or mysteries, going fundamentalistic.

I was reading Bible stories from a picture book to Will last night: one of those that condensed Adam and Eve into one paragraph (stopping before they bit the apple, which was the whole point of the myth). Noah's Ark got one paragraph too, but this one included a line about God creating the rainbow to "promise he wouldn't destroy the world again." At that point I quit; time to find another set of Bible stories that are more appropriate for a two-year old!

Appropriateness is in the eye of the beholder, of course. And, honetly, I'm still trying to figure out what appropriateness is in my spiritual life. I have some decidedly unorthodox beliefs, and yet I believe each word of the Apostles' Creed. It's a struggle.

All this is a roundabout way of getting to how much I appreciate Real Live Preacher, a blog that my friend Lex referred me to months ago. Whenever I go there, I'm always impressed by this "liberal" Texas preacher who writes dramatized Bible stories where Jesus says the s-word, talks about real (and difficult) acts of ministering to people, and expounds on the joys of vacuuming a house with a shop-vac -- "The vacuum cleaner is okay for a speck of lint, a little dust, and the crumbs from your Hors D'Oeuvres. If you have ever found an entire sandwich under your couch, you might want to consider a shop-vac."

He's a quite gifted, affecting writer who doesn't let the things he's unsure of interfere with the things he's sure of -- at least most of the time.

Why we love to sail toward something that can never be found is one of life's great mysteries. It's the way we are made, I believe, and I take comfort in that.


Vile 'Parents'

Even if I weren't feverish and woozy today, news like this would make me want to throw up.

TRENTON, Tennessee (AP) -- A couple facing criminal abuse charges forced some of their 18 foster, adopted and biological children -- many of them disabled -- to dig their own graves, warning the youngsters they could be killed and nobody would care, according to investigative documents.

July 8, 2004

Trouble in the Base?

Some posters on National Review's blog are almost despairing that "base" conservatives won't be given proper attention at the Republican National Convention in New York -- the primetime speakers will all be moderates like Schwarzenegger, Pataki and Giuliani (more here).

This reminds me of some excesses I read on the liberal activist blog Daily Kos when the rumors that Gephardt would be Kerry's VP candidate were at their thickest. Some folks reacted to Kos's rather nuaunced commentary by sounding like they were ready to jump off a bridge. (Mainly these were people who hadn't really forgiven Kerry for beating Dean.)

It'll be interesting to watch this campaign to see which side gets in more trouble with their base while reaching out to a tiny pool of "undecided", nominally centrist voters. (I'd have to assume that the undecided vote is largely apathetic more than centrist.) The race is a dead heat and is likely to continue to be for some time, pivoting on cultural and economic issues barring a massive change in the War on Terrorism. I still think Bush has the edge, but neither he or Kerry have much of a margin of error if either of them hemmorhage base supporters.

That said, how big are these bases that straight-facedly compare Bush to Hitler or write books titled If It's Not Close They Can't Cheat: Crushing the Democrats in Every Election and Why Your Life Depends on It? Yeah, there are few undecideds, but there aren't that many Rush Limbaughs and Michael Moores in the general electorate, are there?

Funny Microsoft support articles

Sorry I've been away for so long.

Here. Read something funny.