Thursday, February 28, 2013

gee


gee

The word arrives in Verdana, but seeing that Verdana was designed for Microsoft and this is a MacBook and using Pages, let’s look elsewhere. This morning perhaps American Typewriter by Joel Kaden simply because I like the old fashioned looking lower case g, and even though American Typewriter has no italics setting. Maybe a project for Lent will be to search for a respectable but free sans serif with g in that style, one that isn't bizarre and that has italics available. Maybe not.

Anyway -- BTW, why do idiots making comments online say “anyways”, which is not a word (not yet, but unfortunately soon will be)? Like “online”, which no longer requires a hyphen -- anyway, today’s word is archetype, which as said, arrived in Verdana. Archetype probably is not very useful. Maybe I can work it into my next sermon. Wednesday’s “hagiarchy” (rule by holy persons) was excellent and would have been especially so for Thursday, it being Pope Benedict’s last day and all. Later today he’ll helicopter off to some castle and seclude there until his new accommodation is ready. What if the new Pope excommunicates him for continuing to wear white? He’ll be just an ordinary person tomorrow, what entitles him to keep on wearing white after he's no longer the Vicar of Christ? If Joe Ratzinger can wear a white overcoat with wide lapels anyone can wear one, eh? Maybe white overcoats with wide lapels will become a counter-culture fad instead of just a grostesquerie of the hagiarchy. That's the ugliest, most hideous overcoat I ever saw in my life. A hippy's dreamcoat.

But on to the point. Monday’s word was logophile (one who loves words). For anyone who loves words and logos an even better word is logology. And scrolling down led to a thought by Kahlil Gibran. Never heard of Khalil/Kahlil until years ago a young couple had a reading by Gibran instead of a Bible reading in their wedding ceremony. Worked for me. Gibran comes to mind this morning and I’ve downloaded “The Madman” (should be italicized, Kaden, drawing a line under it is not acceptable), and will check to see if “The Prophet” also can be downloaded free of charge. In the U.S. it won’t be in the public domain until 2018 but it already is in Europe. Maybe I can download from a UK website without going to prison. No worries, I have good lawyers.


Above: this morning. Just now.

T

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

1948 Dodge


Walt sent me a picture of a car like the 1948 Dodge sedan our parents bought new in May 1948. 


This stirred happy memories. The Dodge was mama’s present for her 36th birthday. We waited eagerly for weeks, and one day a phone call came from W&W Motors saying two new Dodge sedans had arrived and were on the boxcar down at the train station. 

The pic Walt sent is a black 1946 Dodge sedan. Linda’s grandmother Lucile Noble Mustin had that exact car when we were dating in the middle 1950s. The 1946 was identical to our 1948 Dodge except the ’46 dashboard and steering wheel were cedar red.  


In the 1947 and ’48 Dodge the steering wheel was a soft beige color and the dashboard was woodgrain. Very pretty.


In those days cars were shipped from the factory in boxcars, not transport trucks, and in Panama City they came down the back side of the depot, where there was a short unloading ramp. When the phone call came, Mama and I went down to look. The sliding door was open on the boxcar, we walked up on the ramp and saw a bright blue one and a dark green one. Mama said, “I’m tired of blue cars, let’s take the green one.” This story has been told once or twice here before and I will never get tired of it, so it may well appear again sometime.

The green 1948 Dodge Custom sedan was mama’s car until summer 1950, when our father bought the 1949 Plymouth woody wagon that was a W&W demo. The years we had both of them we called the Dodge "the car" and the Plymouth "the station wagon." The Dodge became our father’s car until summer 1956, when it was given to me to take back to college for summer school (I took typing and another course and helped Linda with her math course). We had the Dodge my senior year at Florida, Linda and I sharing it in Gainesville and as our first married life car. In December 1957 we traded it in for a new blue and white 1958 Ford Custom 300 tudor. 

Why did we trade it? It wasn’t just my insanity about automobiles. The Dodge had developed reliability issues. For one thing, an electrical problem caused it to stop in rush hour traffic on the George Washington Bridge in New York City late summer of 1957, and Linda steered it while Walt and his friend Mike pushed it to the other end of the bridge and out of angry NY Yankee traffic. They were driving Linda from Panama City to Newport, Rhode Island, where I was in U. S. Navy Officer Candidate School, and I have absolutely no idea how they got the car running again. 

But they did, and continued to Kingston, Rhode Island, where Linda lived upstairs in Father David Damon’s childhood home down the street from the University of Rhode Island, where David’s father had been a professor years earlier.

Linda and I kept the Dodge running for several happy months touring Rhode Island on weekends when I had liberty call. Saturday mornings during those months, it had any number of stops at shadetree garages in little Rhode Island towns. After I was commissioned Ensign, USNR in December 1957, we drove it home to Panama City and traded it in for the Ford. My new ensign salary was $222.30 monthly base pay, plus $150.00 housing allowance, plus $47.88 basic allowance for subsistence, which meant we could easily afford a car payment.

The first Dodge was twenty years before I was born, a 1915 Dodge Bros. touring car, the "Model 30," offered by brothers John and Horace Dodge, being chauffeured:  


Dodge Bros. had been in business since 1900, furnishing engines to Henry Ford. Couple of old Dodge pictures. Of the Dodge pickups at the bottom, the first one is a 1941 through 1947 model. The last one is the new 1948 model. Both of my pickups were green Fords, an F100 and later an F150. But Bubba likes red pickup trucks. 








TomBubba

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

So what’s for Tuesday then?


So what’s for Tuesday then?

Nature’s Call at two-fifty, back to bed, turn off the heat on the underblanket, snuggle in. A few minutes attempting to resume sleep, get up, peep out the blind, yep, the paper’s there.

This early to rise habit hasn’t made me healthy, wealthy or wise, but it’s all good. It started October, November, December 2010, January 2011, when I was given two to five months to live and ran beyond my allotted time while waiting for my Cleveland Clinic OR appointment. Every morning, waking to go to the bathroom, I’d think this is not unlikely to be my last day, I’ll stay up and enjoy it. Got to be a habit, didn’t it, and still thoroughly enjoying.

The day’s amazing already, a damp, drizzly world, the Bay roaring in the blackness, waves rolling in, deafening surf. Reminds me of the place we owned at Alligator Point for a few years in the mid-1980s, too noisy to think. Actually, I was forty-eight then, too young to think anyway, thinking can wait till seventy-seven.

Coffee maker heating, treadmill & stretch-band time, two stuffed egg halves for protein, coffee in my Life is good mug, eggs on a folded paper towel, to the back living room, coffee mug on my butterfly coaster, lean back in mama’s lift chair. Haven’t needed the lift feature as yet, and mama never could learn how to use it. Sip coffee, open email, nibble egg.

This then is why I don’t do Facebook, don’t need to, I can blog about my trips to the bathroom. +Time for me is homologous to Facebook, eh, and thank you very much, Wordsmith.org and Bonnie Hale!

Bible Seminar this morning at Holy Nativity and tomorrow afternoon at St. Thomas, in Acts of the Apostles, chapters 9, 10, 11, and 12. We’ll join Paul on the road to Damascus, then back with Peter for a while. As from next week our remaining sessions will be with Paul on his missionary journeys, leading finally to Rome.

Everybody brings a Study Bible. They are great for chasing around the Bible looking up stuff, but they are all in small print, which is not great for our age group. So our handout in Bible Seminar is always a large print rendition of whatever we’re studying at the moment, both for our presbyopia and for ease of reading aloud around the group. In this regard, folks have their favorite translations. Mine is perhaps Young’s Literal Translation, which we used for Acts chapters 1-8. Today we’re using The Message. But for a treat I made up a three-column rendition of YLT, The Message, and The Voice so folks can (a) compare and (b) see word for word what Luke actually wrote if we need to do that sort of Bible criticism as well as enjoying his adventure stories about the characters of the earliest church. O'clock: ten to eleven-fifteen Through the Garage this morning. One to two-fifteen in Jewell Hall tomorrow. All invited, all welcome!

TW+

Monday, February 25, 2013

Rainy but not Longfellow


We’ve already had our spring, haven’t we, the azaleas bloomed beautifully, now they’re finished and wilting and falling off. First time in my memory azaleas overlapped camellias so vigorously. And the orchids and so many other flowering plants in Linda’s gardens. Dogwood buds are opening too, and the citrus. 

Got up to thunder and lightning just now, these must be April showers, eh? Global warming is very pleasant. The torrential white rain thunderstorms didn’t even ruin diocesan convention, which was all inside, church, meetings, sleeping, banquets and all. Only mystery was the absence of covered walkway between the parking garage and the convention center, an architectural goof. No matter; it was all good. I mean really, really good, excellent. No, in Navy terms excellent is a “B” and convention gets an Outstanding.

Which, for anyone who’s been involved with Holy Nativity Episcopal Church these past seven or eight years, has come to be par for the course.  

As these long violent storm systems stretch way up north, somebody somewhere must be getting snow instead of rain, but it wasn’t Winston-Salem, NC: last night Joe said Sunday was a beautiful day, t-shirt weather even. 

Of snow, my wicked winter memories include life in Rhode Island, Michigan, Ohio and Pennsylvania. And winters weren’t always mild those years in Northern Virginia and Washington, DC. Shoveling sidewalks, digging cars out of snowbanks after the snowplows scraped through during the night, scraping windshields. Those were good years too though! All but the car slipping and sliding and skidding and spinning on glare ice on streets of Columbus, Ohio the week Tass was born, early March 1972. Which means she will be 41 next week.    

Haven’t heard from the gardenias yet and it’s raining too hard to go out and see if the buds have set.

"The day is cold, and dark, and dreary. It rains and the wind is never weary. The vines still cling to the mouldering wall, and at every gust the dead leaves fall, and day is dark and dreary.

"My life is cold, and dark and dreary, ... "

Not so, Longfellow, go back to sleep.

Life is Good.

It’s a beautiful day. 

Tom+ in +Time

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Deprecare

Deprecare 

This is blog posting 762, or 894 if you count from the first post on CaringBridge. Someone asked how I think up all this stuff to write, but if you read it you realize thinking wasn't involved. Current stats for my +Time blog record twenty-eight hundred to three thousand hits a month, the Blog counter totaling 66,661 hits up to the moment. Like me, it goes up and down. A few hits are from the Middle East, Far East and eastern Europe, no doubt spammers scanning everything on line for a scam opportunity. One such hit a year or so ago alarmed more than annoyed and almost made me drop it. But why should I.

A couple of friends check it out sometimes if they think of it, which they don’t. Neither do I.

My equivalent of Linda's daily crossword puzzle, it’s worth writing anyway if anyone is annoyed. The ones about cars and earlier days of Panama City are the only ones I read, and I certainly don't read the religious ones.

Several people use my daily nonsense to monitor my slide into the mental chaos and oblivion of late septuagenarianism so they'll know when to call the man. But sixty-five thousand of the hits were me checking back to see if anybody reads it. 

Sunday School today from Luke's gospel. Sermon from Genesis. With diocesan convention going on at PCB, half of our usual attendance already came to church Thursday evening and again Saturday morning, so it may be a low Sunday especially when people realize I'm preaching.
Deprecare? Means whatever I intend it to mean.

T

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Song


Friends who took gulf-front rooms at the Majestic for the diocesan convention weekend will see for themselves this morning; but from here I gather that yesterday’s stormy weather left the Gulf of Mexico quite rough. Because, walking down into the lower part of the front yard to get the PCNH newspaper for Linda, what one hears is the roaring of surf from the Gulf, across the Bay and the other side of Shell Island some four miles away.

We’ll have a look later when we go back for the closing Eucharist. Ah, those rickety steps again! 

Truthfully, that’s not what’s on my mind though. In fact, it takes focus to dip one thing out of churning mental chaos and journal comprehensibly.

OK, I’ll try this.

In “CNN Opinion” on Wednesday, December 26, 2012, appeared a special article by Lawrence M. Krauss, entitled “Why must the nation grieve with God?” It’s  saved on my iPad desktop in case at some point I should want to respond somehow. Actually, I don’t yet, but it comes to mind this morning in my prayer. Director of the Origins Project at Arizona State University, Krauss is author of a recent book A Universe from Nothing. The special article, which I have open on my iPad as I write but am not going to read again right now, followed the horrific, senseless shootings at Newtown, Connecticut, specifically taking harshly to task the nation’s response of somewhat automatically going to prayer. It’s not my focus to respond to Krauss this morning, but he comes to mind for me personally just now.

As an aside I recall that Jim Graham, Linda’s late stepfather, who grew up basically not religious, became an Episcopalian late in life, in the late 1970s, after age 75 when he married Linda’s mother. Jim, quite observant, would walk into a church and comment whether folks had what he called “the Episcopal look.” After attending church with us in Trinity, Apalachicola, it wasn’t unusual for Jim to say of someone in the congregation, “They don’t have the Episcopal look.” There isn’t any such thing, of course, and if there is we deny it. Jim’s measure was the congregation of Advent Cathedral, Birmingham, Alabama, where he and Linda’s mother were parishioners, and where we had his funeral some fifteen or so years ago. This aside is because, looking at the photo of Lawrence Krauss I will say that "he has the atheist look.” Which is fine: in my experience, self-professed atheists have often turned out to make very faithful Episcopalians. Them and Unitarians. 

Anyway, Krauss has the look. There's no such thing of course, but he has it. Maybe one morning’s post I’ll share it for others to see.

Anyway, as Linda and I were about to leave the house last evening to return to the Majestic for the convention banquet  (the best one I have ever been to in all my years -- partly because of the company, partly because the food was superior, partly because our rector went to the stage up front and sang solo, accompanied by the band, “Ride, Sally, Ride” and partly because of the table setting and decorations, but undeniably partly because of my overwhelming relief) -- Malinda came in and said, “Kristen’s fine. She’s OK. She's fine.

The last time a conversation with me started with those exact same words was nearly a quarter century ago in Apalachicola. It was a Saturday evening. Linda was in the rectory. I was next door in my office in the parish house of Trinity Church, wearing my pajamas, finishing up sermon preparation. An ambulance siren had screamed past a few minutes earlier, then back. My office phone rang. Linda said, “Are you sitting down? Sit down. Tass is fine. She’s OK. The kids had an accident on the bridge. The ambulance took them to Weems (the hospital). Her face is cut but she’s OK.” I leapt up, ran out the door, jumped into my car, sped to the hospital a few blocks away, ran in the front door and dashed down the hall in my pajamas, and grabbed my girl. 

“Kristen’s fine. She’s OK.” OMG, I’ve been here before. My first reaction was horror, my second was to look round and make sure my chair was behind me.

Thank God for cell phones. (Did you give us those, God?). My next hour or two was spent talking with her, and texting. She was still sitting in her car at the accident scene, a three-car collision on an Atlanta freeway with traffic zipping by on both sides. Kristen and I talked and texted through it -- highway crew arriving to make the scene safe. Linda and I went on to the convention banquet. Georgia Highway Patrol arriving, taking their report, allowing the cars to be driven to a parking lot. Kristen texting me photos of her car’s smashed rear end and pics of the police report. Her roommate’s parents arriving from across town to take the two girls home, Heba’s father driving Kristen’s car. Papa relaxing, enjoying the banquet and especially “Ride, Sally, Ride.”

What’s all this? It’s about Krauss, isn’t it, and the nation going automatically to prayer. Why do we do that? We do that when there’s nothing else we can do, don't we. When neither we nor God can do anything retroactively to prevent. When we are horrified or afraid or feeling helpless or sick. When we are too far away to hug. When we are desperate to do something besides wring hands and weep. When by faith we know that -- though we cannot prevent, be there, do something -- we can put the Holy Spirit there to take charge, retain greater calm and confidence here ourselves. And our anxiety begins to ebb and we can enjoy the song.

We pray, don’t we. Because Jesus promised. And because, as Peter said, “Lord, to whom else shall we go?”

Krauss comes to mind. I'm sad that he doesn't know faith's answer to his angry questions.

Tom+ in +TIme
  

Friday, February 22, 2013

WellPost


Not being some religious nut, everything here doesn’t have to be about religion. Don't give a hoot about NFL, not even watching, except the superbowl; and CFB season isn’t even warming up yet even though Bleacher Report shows up in my In Box two or three times a day. The preseason news: all about players beating up somebody and being suspended, or arrested for DUI. Well maybe. Sort of, here's something: Massive 4-Star DT Picks Georgia. Georgia? Georgia? Oh, I see: he visited Mississippi State, Oklahoma, Georgia and Auburn. Rated #3 JUCO defensive tackle, 6’5” and 310 pounds. That's a big dawg.

Las Vegas heats up gangster style. Exchange of gunfire between Land Rover and Maserati causes crash that kills three including two innocents in a taxi. Police are looking for the Land Rover, which sped away. A Land Rover with a dealer's ad in place of a license plate, blackened windows and custom rims. Doubtless, they keep spinning when stopped at traffic lights. What happened in Vegas probably didn’t stay in Vegas but that's not an invisible car. 

Here’s a headline that’s not new. “Bush WAS The Worst President Since Herbert Hoover.” I didn’t say it, it's way too political for my pulpit, I just copied and pasted. No comment except people should stop picking on Herbert Hoover. 

Huffington Post this morning. “Take the ex out of sex.” Next.

Pistorius Claims Shooting Was Tragic Mistake 
The understatement of the ages. Self-centeredness, temper and firearms, same quality ingredients as bourbon, beer and boats.

Great opening service last evening, worthy episcopal sermon, HNEC choir stars of the show, childrens choir the superstars. Later, fun supper at Pineapple Willys. But if I had to traverse those steps every Sunday morning I’d bring a hammer and a handful of nails. Which is a Lenten theme anyway, isn't it. Lent and Good Friday.

Horrible weather coming our way.

Slept 'til 5:39 and now looking out across a white sky and silver Bay.

T

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Xn Stoic


Second Sunday in Lent
O God, whose glory it is always to have mercy: Be gracious
to all who have gone astray from thy ways, and bring us
again with penitent hearts and steadfast faith to embrace and
hold fast the unchangeable truth of thy Word, Jesus Christ
your Son; who with you and the Holy Spirit lives and reigns,
one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
OK, so there we go is the collect for next Sunday, February 24, 2013. it’s a good one, eh? I think so. Hatchett says that, though new to our prayer book collects for Sunday, it was a Good Friday collect in the 7th, 8th and 9th century Missalae Gallicanum vetus, Gelasian and Gregorian sacramentaries, where it prayed for schismatics and heretics. Today, we are praying for those of us who have fallen into sin and away from the practice of the Christian faith. Which makes it especially apt for a Sunday in Lent. 
For my own use, I correct the word them to us because practicing the Christian faith means not only loving God and loving neighbor and self, but patience. Patience. That’s me, alright. Patience. 
Last evening I drove to the church office to print some things for Sunday. Knology has done some work at the office building about faulty operation of their internet system, and in the process installed a new password. The password wouldn’t work for me. Grrr, gritting and gnashing of teeth, right? Folks are starting to gather for EfM, so must wear the beatific beam of the holy man. OK, I’ll just print from my MacBook as usual. After nearly four years of no problem, the printer would not connect. Try over and over and over again. Grrrrrrrr and stirring of sailor mouth, lips sealed lest what might profane this semi-holy place and singe the ears of the innocent and disillusion them. Let them abide in their illusions. I walk across the street to the Library building to try out the newly installed internet connection there. It won’t connect either. Password doesn’t work. Tantrum and rage? Not at all. Saved.
Saved by recent months of absorbing Meditations of Marcus Aurelius. None of this, nothing trivial is of any consequence whatsoever. Nor even things that might seem major. Lock up, look around. “For the beauty of the earth, for the glory of the skies ...” Peaceful ride home enjoying the sunset along the shore of St. Andrews Bay, which is as close to heaven as I ever need to be. 
After all, in 2010 I was diagnosed with inoperable heart problems and given two to five months to live. Yet here I am in +Time.
Right shoe first and PTL.
TW+

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Sequitur & Non


Sequitur & Non

Pistorius murders Steenkamp in a fit of anger
South Africa reportedly enjoys the world’s highest incidence of gun violence homicides, every home armed to the teeth and shooting to kill, statistically family members and loved ones. The Blade Runner case and cause celebre. Had Pistorius been a student of Marcus Aurelius he’d still be loving Reeva. But quarrel, fury, murder and frantic CYA of lies. 

Christopher Dorner stalked potential targets
Dorner chose seething rage over life, and mindless vengeance over joy. Half dozen essays of Marcus could have cleared his path to fullness. Instead, senseless murders and a bullet to his own head to evade conflagration. 

Two stories metaphorical for the world at large and wasted lives. Most useful reading for anyone jousting with everyday life, self-importance, tiffs and worries of the world: Meditations of Marcus Aurelius, emperor of Rome from 161 to 180 AD and Stoic philosopher.



Cardinal Saint: Thomas

Cardinal Sin: certainty

Cardinal Virtue: doubt

T

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Cold and Windy


It was like a windy, cold night at sea. Never had that in TRIPOLI because we were always in and out of San Diego, Subic Bay, Okinawa, Yankee Station and Saigon. Maybe the month in the shipyard at San Francisco had cold nights, and windy.

But homeported in Norfolk, Virginia, USS CORRY had cold, windy nights. Enroute to Guantanamo Bay, January 1959, in a snowstorm at sea. It wasn’t that cold here at 2308 last night, walking by St. Andrews Bay, but it was cold. And windy. Unpleasant. The light sweater and L.L.Bean “hurricane shirt” weren’t enough. Next time, a scarf and knit cap.

And reminisce about being at sea. Not on a cruise ship, that’s not at sea

In Thornton Wilder’s play Our Town, right after Emily Webb Gibbs dies she is granted the privilege of returning to see one day of life. Those around her recommend against it, but she insists. They say she should pick an ordinary day, nothing special. So Emily picks, as I recall, her twelfth birthday. It turned out to be searingly painful, emotional, and she cut it off early to return to her chair in the graveyard with Mother Gibbs and the others. 

If I were picking a day, I don’t think it could be a day with my family. The day I arrived home and Malinda rushed out the back door, jumped into my arms, clung to my neck and wouldn’t let go. Or the day Joe nearly knocked me down doing the same thing when TRIPOLI returned from WestPac. Or the day Tass graduated from high school. Certainly not the day we left her at her college in Virginia, though that is seared in memory. Not the night Kristen was born, and not the day we returned from England and I picked her up at day care. Not my wedding day. 

My day to return might be a cold morning coming alongside an AO for refueling at sea. Atlantic fairly calm except alongside the deepdraft. A chill wind. Joking with my stateroom mate Don Senese, a Russian major from Harvard who could hardly wait to finish his Navy time and get back to university; while I had just discovered my niche in life and was waiting for my augmentation to Regular Navy to be approved. It would be a day, not a great day, and not at all memorable. Just life. I might not even do it in color.


Then back to my chair between Mom and Alfred.

T still in +Time

Monday, February 18, 2013

Fire in the Darkness


... the word of the Lord came to Abram in a vision, “Do not be afraid, Abram, I am your shield; your reward shall be very great.” 2 But Abram said, “O Lord God, what will you give me, for I continue childless, and the heir of my house is Eliezer of Damascus?” 3 And Abram said, “You have given me no offspring, and so a slave born in my house is to be my heir.” 4 But the word of the Lord came to him, “This man shall not be your heir; no one but your very own issue shall be your heir.” 5 He brought him outside and said, “Look toward heaven and count the stars, if you are able to count them.” Then he said to him, “So shall your descendants be.” 6 And he believed the Lord; and the Lord reckoned it to him as righteousness.

7 Then he said to him, “I am the Lord who brought you from Ur of the Chaldeans, to give you this land to possess.” 8 But he said, “O Lord God, how am I to know that I shall possess it?” 9 He said to him, “Bring me a heifer three years old, a female goat three years old, a ram three years old, a turtledove, and a young pigeon.” 10 He brought him all these and cut them in two, laying each half over against the other; but he did not cut the birds in two. 11 And when birds of prey came down on the carcasses, Abram drove them away.
12 As the sun was going down, a deep sleep fell upon Abram, and a deep and terrifying darkness descended upon him. ...
17 When the sun had gone down and it was dark, a smoking fire pot and a flaming torch passed between these pieces. 18 On that day the Lord made a covenant with Abram, saying, “To your descendants I give this land, from the river of Egypt to the great river, the river Euphrates ...
This is the strangest covenant making in the Bible. No, it’s beyond strange, isn’t it, it’s bizarre. Creatures slaughtered and cut in two (the birds are too small to cut in two). In the darkness, the Lord causes the gruesome, bloody carnage to be consumed by fire. Sacrifice and promise. Covenant. 
Years will go by before God keeps the covenant. By then, God will have made the promise to Abram so many times that it has come to be a joke to both Abraham and Sarah. God promises grandiosly, “yeah, right!” they chuckle and pop-a-top, just another visit from Abraham’s old drinking buddy. 
In time, which is insignificant to God but not to mortals, God realizes that everybody is getting older except him, and that he is being welcomed and humored but no longer taken seriously. Annoyed, angry at becoming a laughingstock, God stomps away shouting “OK. We’ll see who has the last laugh.”
It’s one time when a mortal gets the best of God: the following Lent, when a boy is born to by then ninety-year old Sarah, she names him Isaac. Which means laughter.
None of this explains that bloody, gruesome mess of animal carcasses and the smoking fire pot and flaming torch in the terrifying darkness though, does it. By the time Isaac is born many years later, Abraham has forgotten all about it anyway. And he certainly is no longer terrified of God.
TW+

Sunday, February 17, 2013

It's Tempting


Good late morning. Got so interested and wrapped up in my Sunday School lesson for this morning that I forgot about my +Time blog posting. What reminded me?

Linda saying, “Good morning.” To which my response is always, “Good morning. I’ll get the paper for you.”

Why do I get the paper instead of letting Linda get it? It has naught to do with chivalry. It's because not having served in Navy ships, nor with Admiral Chet Heffner in Columbus, Ohio forty years ago, she is not as mindful of safety and accident avoidance as I am. Consequently, she is not as careful as I am going down and up the eight concrete steps down into the lower part of the front yard to the lower sidewalk where the paper always is thrown by our new newspaper carrier (paper boy). If Linda fell it would be disaster for both of us. If I fell (which is most unlikely because I hold on to the rail my grandfather put there a hundred years ago) Linda could book a nice singles cruise. Perhaps on the Carnival Triumph.

Anyway, here’s the Scripture for the Sunday School lesson

Luke 4:1-13 (YLT)
4 And Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, turned back from the Jordan, and was brought in the Spirit εν τω πνευματι to the wilderness,
2 forty days being tempted by the Devil πειραζομενος υπο του διαβολου, and he did not eat anything in those days, and they having been ended, he afterward hungered, 3 and the Devil said to him, `If Son thou art of God, speak to this stone that it may become bread.'
4 And Jesus answered him, saying, `It hath been written, that, not on bread only shall man live, but on every saying of God.'
5 And the Devil having brought him up to an high mountain, shewed to him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time, 6 and the Devil said to him, `To thee I will give all this authority, and their glory, because to me it hath been delivered, and to whomsoever I will, I do give it; 7 thou, then, if thou mayest bow before me -- all shall be thine.'
8 And Jesus answering him said, `Get thee behind me, σατανα *, for' (Alexandrinus 5th C., British Museum, London) it hath been written, Thou shalt bow before the Lord thy God, and Him only thou shalt serve.'
9 And he brought him to Jerusalem, and set him on the pinnacle of the temple, and said to him, `If the Son thou art of God, cast thyself down hence, 10 for it hath been written -- To His messengers He will give charge concerning thee, to guard over thee, 11 and -- On hands they shall bear thee up, lest at any time thou mayest dash against a stone thy foot.'
12 And Jesus answering said to him -- `It hath been said, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God.'
13 And having ended all temptation, the Devil departed from him till a convenient season.

So the contemplation is
Read the three temptation accounts in the synoptic gospels (does not appear in John).
Compare/contrast them. Why are Luke and Matthew different from Mark?
Read another temptation account (Mk 8:33, Mt 16:23).

... υπαγε οπισω μου σατανα γεγραπται γαρ
... get behind me satan it is written for

At Mk 8:33, Mt 16:23 he is not calling Peter “satan”. He seems to be using an idiom for “don’t tempt me.” 
What tempted Jesus, according to the gospels? (BTW, both by Scripture and by Tradition (theology and doctrine) it is incontestable that Jesus was tempted.
How did Jesus rebuke/resist temptation?
What tempts YOU?
How do YOU resist? How might you train yourself better to resist?

See you in Sunday School.
TW+

Saturday, February 16, 2013

57 58 59 Chevy



Some remember the days when Detroit (there was nobody else) had an annual style changeover, with new models introduced in showrooms every fall. Not unlike birds migrating south by instinct, I would know when to start walking out into the front yard early evenings to look for spotlights in the night sky.

Knowing where each car dealer was here in Panama City, it was often possible to tell which dealership was announcing by where the spotlight was. Rowell Nash, Nelson Chevrolet, Cook Ford, W&W Dodge Plymouth or Sala Desoto Plymouth, Lloyd Pontiac Cadillac. &c. The Hudson showroom down on West Sixth Street nearly as far out as the BayLine depot. The Kaiser Frazer dealership was way out W. Hwy 98 in Little Dothan (just a block west of where Buddy Gandy’s Seafood is now) and their spotlight would be dimmer, I’d have to walk down across the street by Massalina Bayou to see it. Butterflies would fill my stomach until I could get to the showroom to walk around and sit in and salivate and lust and get a folder to spread open and thumbtack to my bedroom wall.

Comes to mind this morning what now seems to be the mindless waste of the marketing approach of the annual model changeovers. But GM, Ford and Chrysler were in hot competition with each other, and nobody dared offer an obsolete model. That actually was what eventually put Nash, Hudson and Packard out of business, being unable to afford the cost of keeping up to date and sharply competitive. 

The most distinctive example of drastic annual change in my memory is the 1957 - 1958 - 1959 Chevrolet. It went across the board with the other GM products too, but a flip through Chevy pics shows.

The 1957 was the culmination of a three-year offering of a body style (though each year ’55, ’56, 57 was each quite distinctive in appearance for marketing purposes) that has since come to be priced as classic








The 1958 was a totally different, very large car that to me in its day was the handsomest car made. Chevy kept it in the showrooms for one single year. I wanted one desperately, but seeing that my father’s friend and sometime business associate Joe Parrott was by then selling cars at Cook Ford, we bought a 1958 Ford tudor.





For 1959 Chevrolet came out with possibly the most astonishing car on the market. Formerly vertical, the tail fins were now spread out into enormous horizontal taillights that some called “eyebrows.” 








The annual rush of restyling and retooling left us cars of shabby quality in the long run, because there was no time for the attention to quality control and improvement that we see in cars today, when a given model may stay on the market for five or six or who knows ten years.

The old ways were not best, but they were more fun.

TW

Friday, February 15, 2013

Thomas C. W. Anderson


Morning treadmill walk done, mug of Scottish tea two hours ago, then a large glass of vinegar water (try it, you may like it, Sam I Am). 

WiFi is down, restart the device says the Network Diagnostics guide. Can’t do that because Linda is still asleep upstairs where it’s located. So, on the iPad turn off WiFi and 3G comes on. Back on line with iPad 3G.

In the news. Meteorites slam into Russia as meteor seen streaking through the morning sky. Friday 150 foot asteroid will buzz earth, missing by 17150 miles. 

Christopher Dorner’s mother expresses deep sorrow for his actions. Because of the horrific acts he committed the man is no hero, but it shows what comes of racism, which should come as news to nobody.

Carnival Triumph safely in port in Mobile, Alabama. 

Cruises have gotten to be popular and inexpensive all inclusive ways to vacation. We’ve enjoyed three cruises, Disney Carnival Disney. Little interested in another cruise except possibly roundtrip Alaska. Maybe. 

Our other vacation interest is return to Maine to enjoy the craggy coast, clams, lobster, and visit Waldoboro, Maine, originally called Back Bay, where my ancestor Andreas immigrated from Germany in the 1700s. For years it was a major shipbuilding port. George, Andreas’ son, made his way down to Boston, where he became a tailor. German immigrants, they were Lutheran. George Weller’s son George became the first Episcopal priest in the Weller family. I am eighth or ninth. George was the first rector of Christ Church, Vicksburg.

Going to see if Linda is awake. If so, the modem can be rebooted and I can post.

Nope, apparently the modem or router has failed.

TomW+ 

Or maybe not. Now the cursed thing is working fine.

Looks to me like instead of Weller, my surname should be Andreason or anglicized Anderson. That way I would have been seated up front all those years at Cove School instead of at the very back. The only person always behind me was Shirley Yates. Yes, Anderson would have been much better.

TomA+