More on Fishing

This has become fun.

One of the peculiar aspects to the disciples’ fishing trip in John 21 is that after having fished all night, some stranger on the shore says, “Try the other side” and they do it. I would have been, I think, too proud and incensed and might have shouted back, “What kind of an idiot do you think I am?”

But I’m not a fisherman, and so I love Donald Carson’s comments on this. Thought others might smile at this as well:

If the disciples are not expecting Jesus to appear, and do not recognize the man on the shore, it is hard to see how Jesus’ exhortation to throw the net on the starboard side greatly differs from advice contemporary sports fishermen have to endure (and occasionally appreciate): ‘Try casting over there. You often catch them over there!’ (If there are some contemporary sports fishermen who have not yet experienced this delight, I recommend they take my children with them on their next trip.) (671)

Starbucks Miles?

Given the promise of a dollar off my next visit, I agreed to complete a short, online, Starbucks “Customer Experience Survey”. I had to chuckle when I came to this screen:


I visit my local Starbucks “occasionally”. So, I sent it to a friend who “occasionally” is there as well and asked her how she thought I should answer the question. Her suggested answers were worth repeating, and will be appreciated by others who “occasionally” frequent their local Starbucks.

A. Lost track

B. You should know because my card is registered.

C. Lets just say I could circle the globe with my ” Starbucks Miles”

D. People thought they were on “Cheers” because everyone called out my name when I entered.

E. Check your manual. My picture is on the front.

Thanks, Holly!

Sometimes God Knows We Need a Laugh

Sometimes God just knows that we need a laugh. I needed a laugh this morning….

> Forty years ago a book was published.

> A copy recently was spotted in a used book store and perused by just the right person.

> This person wrote about the book on a blog, noticed by a friend of mine.

> She retweeted a notice about that book. The tweet came with appropriate warnings.

> I saw her tweet and following the link and read the blog post. I was supposed to be reading my Bible.

> It was 5:00 AM and all through the house no sound was heard except my suppressed, my poorly suppressed, laughter. I clearly was NOT reading my Bible.

> Poorly suppressed laughter sounds strangely like crying. It could have passed for Bible reading, but fortunately, no one heard.

Sometimes God just knows that we need a laugh. In the intricacies of providence a book published 40 years ago was his vehicle for me, through a bookstore blogger, through a reader and tweeter, and through my innate propensity to follow distractions.

You must read this. But do not do so while sipping anything.

You have been warned.

We Report; You Decide

Near our house is a veterinary clinic/horse boarding business. They have had trouble with accuracy in their signage in the past, inaccuracy sufficient for me to question the competence of the personnel inside.

Currently the sign makes me wonder if they are running a side business supplying all that a potential bride needs for her dream wedding. And I mean all.

The sign reads:

“February: $5 off all grooms”

If that’s a deal, grooms must come cheap these days.

Steps to Home Audio Excellence

1. Cajole 26 year-old son into giving you an unused powered sub-woofer.

2. Set sub-woofer next to audio system for seven months.

3. Move to different city.

4. NOT connecting sub-woofer to receiver saved having to disconnect for move. Make note of brilliant foresight.

5. Set sub-woofer next to audio system for another seven months.

6. NOT connecting sub-woofer to receiver sets baseline audio quality so that women-folk are prepared to be impressed upon connection. Make note of brilliant strategy.

7. Plug sub-woofer in to power source.

8. Connect sub-woofer to receiver using suitable RCA cable.

9. Crank up Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King in DVD player.

10. Eat some potato chips while pondering still silent sub-woofer.

11. Move cables around on back of receiver. Push random buttons on front of receiver.

12. Eat more chips. Pound top of sub-woofer.

13. Ask wife where receiver manual might be found. She knows, of course. Add crow to chips. Get manual. Womenfolk have yet to be impressed.

14. Follow instructions to screen that says: “Sub-woofer: Off”

15. Change to “Sub-woofer: On”. Feel pulse rising.

16. Discover “Double-bass” setting. Turn it to “ON” of course.

17. Excitedly resume movie. Sadly note silent sub-woofer. Note cable plugged into wrong spot. Move cable.

18. Hear sub-woofer rumble. Look at ten year-old son with that “isn’t that cool” look.

19. Watch “I-Am-No-Man” Eowyn slay the Nazgul at top volume, no longer caring if womenfolk are impressed.

20. Cheer wildly. For multiple reasons.

“Delicious” Fun

In a moment of financial weakness a couple months ago, my wife and I bought a library cataloging program for the Mac called Delicious Library. It cost more than we should have spent, but it has provided more fun than we could have imagined.

The software has the capability of reading the UPC codes off books and DVDs and the like to create a record which can be stored offsite for insurance or other purposes. One can also enter the info by hand, which is necessary for older items, but what fun is that.

It has as well the capability of tracking books or DVDs loaned out to others, which is a decided advantage for us, far superior to the ‘write the name on a scrap of paper and drop it in the cookie jar’ method of the past.

The most fun, however, has come from the UPC misreads. Apparently while a book’s ISBN remains the same and is unique to that item, UPC codes on the other hand get re-assigned over time. So, since the program scans the UPC codes, some interesting mismatches arose. Enjoy:

Scanning Steven Pressfield’s novel of the Spartan stand at Thermopylae Gates of Fire led to His Way: An Unauthorized Biography Of Frank Sinatra by Kitty Kelly.

Colin Powell’s fascinating pre-Secretary of State years memoir My American Journey produced Interview with a Vampire. Is this trying to tell us something?

Intriguingly, my paperback version of Crime And Punishment became The Empty Land by Louis L’Amour.

And finally, Character by Gail Sheehy popped up as a result of scanning The Brothers Karamazov. There just seems something appropriate in that.

I confess. I’m hooked.

The Christmas Story. Sort of.

My son put this together in a burst of inspiration this morning. I present it here unedited and without comment. Enjoy. I think.

The Christmas Story

For Baseball Addicts

Here is a Halladay story for you. Some shepherds were sitting on the field one night. They were there to protect the sheep from Cubs, Diamondbacks, and wild Tigers. Stuff like that. You probably didn’t know this, but the shepherds were actually Twins. They were sitting there, minding their own business. One was leaning against some Rockies while the other tugged on his White Sox.

All of a sudden there was an Angel standing in front of them, with Rays shining all over the place. The shepherds were terrified. The Angel spoke. “Don’t be afraid, be Braves! I have great news. This isn’t just of Nationals importance, but it is for the World! I want you to o-Pena ears and Lee-sin well. Howard you like to know that you are no Longoria waiting for a savior, but he is here? He has come to pay the Price for the world’s sin and will be a Shields for you from the wrath of God. So stop laying around! God’s Victorino is sure! Get Upton go into town. You will find a baby in a dugout stable. That’s him!” Then an entire team of Angels were there, singing an anthem and re-Joyce-ing.

When they had gone the shepherds jumped up and said “F-Orioles?? Awesome!!” and ran off, feeling as big as Giants. They broke the Cardinal rule of shepherding, leaving their sheep to their own defense. The shepherds were a couple of Athletics, because they ran all the way to the stable without stopping, and there they found the baby, with his mother and his Padre, just as the Angel and told them they would.

Meanwhile, a long way to the East, a group of Royals were meeting. “I was sure I knew All Stars, but there is a new one! Let there be no more divisions between us, and let’s go see what’s happening. What are those Brewers up to?” So, like a group of Rangers, they packed their camels and headed out. They were really committed, because it was a two year contract that they signed up for! When they finally found him, they said it was well worth it, and he was the best person they had ever Mets.

This little baby grew up to be a man who changed the world. He gathered to him a group of Dodgers, Pirates, and Mariners, and taught them the truth. Eventually he made a surprise sacrifice play, and by it won the game.

Merry Christmas, everyone, and Phillies Navidad!