Experience Weird Crap without LSD!

I was wondering whether I am a Paleo-Libertarian when I stumbled to this Boston Globe article of hacking the brain so you can experience mind-altering illusions without using controlled substances. (Thanks LewRockwell.com!)

Reminded me of that time in OSCON 08 when I tried on the Brain Machine goggles and saw weird things. I removed the goggles IMMEDIATELY as I hated the patterned flashing.

And for you…here is the Wonka Boat Freakout clip, complete with the infamous chicken head decapitation. How did the producers got away with showing that in a G-rated film, I do not know.

Farewell to Father Neuhaus

Wayne and I received word from Pastor McCain that Father Richard John Neuhaus died yesterday.  We were floored at the news.  Wayne remembered him as his friend and Seminary summer session roommate. He attended Neuhaus’ Catholic ordination service years ago.

I remember him as the catalyst that brought me and the Prediger together. At the 2002 Symposia, I was walking to class when I met Wayne along the way. He was there to see his roommate speak. I ditched class and hung out with Wayne. After that, we met Father Neuhaus. That was a good experience.

I will have to dig out the picture of him that I took from my files. Wayne and I agreed: Father Neuhaus was a brilliant man and right now he is experiencing the unity of the Church Triumphant.

Free Conference at my Church!

Redeemer Lutheran on Rudisill holds yearly liturgical conferences (St Michael’s, Lutheran Liturgy Brotherhood) in which we attend the Eucharist, discuss parts of the Liturgy, and ultimately learn how to explain to the laity about the meaning of the Liturgy.

On January 19th, the day before the Fort Wayne Symposia, Redeemer will host a Free Conference on the future of the LCMS.  Here is the information from Pr Petersen:

This is not really a conference. It is just a convenient time to gather, to be absolved, to hear God’s Word, to pray, to learn a few things about Gregorian chant and actually do it, and to also uphold and encourage one another in mutual consolation and with conversation. This is open to anyone interested. Our topic is the future of the LCMS.

9:30 – Private Confession available with Petersen in Redeemer’s chapel
10:30 Low Mass in the Chapel
11:00 – discussion of most significant controversy in the LCMS for the future / most significant current blindess of Confessional Lutheranism
12:30 – lunch – order in pizza, pitch in for costs
2:00 – discussion continues
3:30 – Gregorian choir practice/training with Beisel for the LLPB Vespers
4:30 – LLPB Vespers w/ Treasury Propers
5:30 – ???

There is no cost for this gathering. Dr. Burnell Eckardt and
Dr. Richard Stuckwisch will both give a 5-10 minute, informal speech on the topic to get us going in the morning. The conversation will be lightly moderated, but will remain informal.

More on the topic: What is the real issue dividing the LCMS today and how should we address it? In other words, if the last generation fought the battle for the Bible over inerrancy, what is the current battle, or more importantly, what is the next battle? Where do you see evidence of this? My assumption is that Church Growth and the Emergent movement are effects not causes. But how do we get to the heart of the matter. Do we have a strategy for catechizing the LCMS and our own parishes? Do we need one? Do we have an agenda?

Along these same lines, what is our current blindness? Consider how entire generations of the LCMS swore fidelity the Confessions but failed to actually practice private Confession and Absolution or work toward the weekly Eucharist. What blindness in us will shock future generations?

Have Yourself a Very Merry Boxing Day.

I hope you had a great Christmas yesterday. If not, let me say that I hope that the New Year is much better for you.

Since the Theologian household is composed of Mr Theologian, his wife and their doggie, our holiday is more quiet and less hectic. I would get some Chinese food, but several things prevented us from having Orange Chicken and fried rice. Preggie had a fall and his back ached. We were concerned that his implanted spinal cord stimulator has damage, so we went to his doctor and got a CT scan. Hopefully, NOTHING has happened. He could barely walk, so I did the errand work and cooked the meals and tidy up his working space. Taking care of him also meant that my proposed trip to see my older sister getting married was cancelled. Thankfully, they understood.

I made ourselves some spaghetti instead. I had the low digestable carb version by Dreamfield’s and he has the regular version. Yes, I’m back on the Atkins plan. I got along much better with that than any other eating plan. That’s also why we did not have the Chinese food like in A Christmas Story.

Today, I went to the after Christmas sales. Meh. They marked up the prices and then they discounted from there. There was no “Save an additional *foo* percent off the red tag price”, but off the original price. The only redeeming thing was that Lush was having a buy one get two offer. If you buy a piece of bulk soap, you get two bulk soaps or holiday items free. I purchased the creamy Sultana, the yummy Angel’s Delight, and the spicy citrus Gold Frankincense & Beer shower jelly for 7.50 total. There is no way that I want to buy them at retail price (about 24 bux), so I got them now. The Angel’s Delight smells like Hawaiian Punch. And the fine glitter in the jelly is fascinating to hold against a light, especially when view sideways so it looks like layers of sparkly strata.

Tomorrow I will put away the tree and the ornaments.

Ice Storm and Possible Outage

The ice storm we had knocked out the power from our neighbors across the street and our power lines are pulled down by broken icy tree branches. We still have power, but it is uncertain whether we will continue to have it. I’m typing this from my lappy as I do not want any rebooting from my desktop.

I called the electric company and hopefully they will fix this by Christmas Eve. The Fort Wayne area is affected by the storms, so it will take a while before they address our problem.

Some Good Things about this Recession

The Consumerist has an article entitled “I Love The Recession Because The Things That Suck Are Dying”.  Among the suck list: those glass tower condos that are taking over the neighborhood (I’m looking at you, Miami Beach!) and stores like Sharper Image, Circuit City and Linens n Things.  (Disclaimer: I had a sweet Samsung MP3 and OGG player that I got from CC, and Mr Theologian has been using the Panasonic shaver that he got from Sharper Image since 2004.  Best shaver ever.  Did not shop at LnT due to their selection.  Meh.)

For me…here is my list:

  • Nobody will look down at you if you prefer to eat at home.  All I need is Internet access for recipes.  Mr Theologian loves the Chicken Marsala I’ve made with veggies and pasta.
  • The McMansion building has halted in my town.
  • Gas prices went way down.
  • Threadless is having a killer inventory sale…5 buck t-shirts!
  • Ron Paul, the guys who hold to the tenets of Austrian School economics, and Libertarians are seeing their ideas in wider exposure.  I get way less “WTF” looks when I tell them that I’m libertarian politically and conservative theologically.
  • I can work better within Open Source as they offer low-cost and free (as in beer and/or freedom) solutions.  Forget paying cash for proprietary office suites when I can use Open Office for free.
  • I have time between gigs to improve my skills.  I’m planning to study for the Security+ exam when I finish my schooling this month.

How did the recession helped you?  Less credit card charging?  Better deals?  Less pressure (yes, it’s possible)?

I’ve pwn3d the Catholics! ;)

Once in a while, the guys at Catholic Answers would do this “Who Wants to Be an Apologist?” contest and listeners would answer questions about Catholic theology and two harder questions about other theology. With each correct question, winners would receive a 25 buck certificate to their bookstore, up to 100 dollars.

The Prediger would listen to 1250 AM Redeemer Radio daily as he can tolerate Catholic stuff much better than the Protestant stuff. Just don’t make him listen to the Rosary, lest you make him grouchy! When I heard that the contest will be on tonight, I prepared myself and read up for several minutes on liturgical and sacramental matters before calling in.

First question was a gimmie– what was the name of the angel who appeared to Mary? It was Gabriel. That’s 25 bux.

Second question was a liturgical question– what’s an ambo? It’s a lectern. Good thing I brushed up on logistics.

Third question was a Scholastic question about faith– does man rely on knowledge, feelings, or the community? I replied that “faith must be informed”, a common Catholic saying. 50 bux!

The fourth question was what was the largest Protestant church body. It was the Baptists. 75 bux!

And the final question…Which Protestant reformer was never a Catholic priest? John Calvin FTW! (He was a lawyer.)

Yay! I has WIN!

And now, I’ll get the 100 buck gc to their bookstore and get my husband some theological books. Because you can never get enough theological books.

Churchill, Toklas, and the Christmas Tree

Today is Winston Churchill’s birthday, and for the past several years, that marks the day that the Theologian household puts up the Christmas tree. The good thing about the 30th of November is that it’s after Thanksgiving. I do not like the Christmas creep in which the stores would decorate as early as Halloween and the holidays are jumbled up. Another good thing is that you can rest after you clean up Thanksgiving messes. Luckily, we did not have a mess to clean up as we went to a nice buffet near the Michigan border, and the location was at this river. Went to the market that Wednesday and compared to the harried crowds, I was mellow as I bought apples and muffins.

And speaking of mellow…here is this following video…and I thought of one special Left Coast Confessional when I saw this movie clip. Stoner movies are teh funney, but this one is more highbrow than most pot-based comedies.

Good thing it’s not your thing, man. Otherwise, we’ll be subjected to Half-Baked style dialogue like: “Have you read the Book of Concord? Yea? But did you ever read the Book of Concord… on weeeeed?”

Quiz yourself with the Civic Literacy Report

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At the bowels of Fark, we enjoy interesting quizzes that makes us S-M-R-T and not D-M-U-B. The conservative Intercollegiate Studies Institute published a report revealing that many Americans do not have strong civic awareness. They even have its quiz online so you can gauge your own ability. I got 93.94% on that quiz…got bit on two questions. Some non-Americans scored quite well.

Then, there is the question whether the quiz is slanted towards a conservative free market perspective. Would I do better if the questions were written in a libertarian perspective? Would the Farkers do better or worse if the questions were written by a leftist think tank? That is the drawback with this Civic Literacy Report.

Post your findings and discuss.

Dancing for Mental Health

Here is an interesting gem from the 80s…just heard it from Radio Nigel. It was an synth parody of 80s motivational self-improvement produced by Lynn Goldsmith.

In this track entitled Adventures in Success, Sting played the bass and Goldsmith provided the vocoder’d voice. Carly Simon, Robert Palmer, and Todd Rundgren also contributed to the Will Powers project.

I wonder whether this was produced without irony or snark. It’s a danceable song that’s peppy and positive.

misGuidance Theatre #2: Aware! Alert! Alive!

Here is a safety film that attempts to cash in with the 70s superhero craze with low quality effects. Some LOL moments: the chipmunk-like alien voice, Guardiana’s silver glasses, and ignorance of food safety (quite subtle). I first saw this on channel 62 in LA years ago when it was an Asian-programming station and it used these English language educational films to fulfill its educational program requirements.

The Writs of Carol Rutz, High Church Horseplayer