January 18, 2021

Saturday Ramblings: July 16, 2016 – County Fair Edition


Well, it has arrived: it is our annual County Fair season here in Indiana. HERE is a link to our local fair, which is held just up the street from our house. You can go to the link all week long and see pictures from the event. Or, you could visit their Facebook page.

13680641_10154022745369262_5058199058469228770_nOur Rambler pic for the day represents one of the most popular events at the fair — the Demolition Derby. Here’s a mean AMC Eagle wrangling it out in the mud and trying to destroy his competitors before they destroy him. No wait, that’s the election this year. At any rate, if you come join us next Saturday (7/23), you can start out the day enjoying the Baby Contest, followed by viewing the 4-H exhibits, some fun on the Midway, and the always intriguing 4-H Llama Show. Hear a little Gospel Music in the “A” Tent, and then you’ll be ready to rock ‘n roll with the Demolition Derby drivers. That is, unless you want to do some Horseshoe Pitching.

Whatever you do, don’t forget to get over to the Dairy Association’s building for the best milkshakes you’ve ever had. Or maybe you’d prefer a Lemon Shake-Up, made by one of our town’s volunteer groups fresh each night. There will be corn on the cob and the Kiwanis will be cooking up tenderloins (our state sandwich), I’m sure, and of course there will be fried and sugary fair food galore that you can fill your stomach with before losing it on the Tilt-a-Whirl or some other godawful ride.

Tomorrow (Sunday) is when we crown the Fair Queen for 2016, as well as Little Miss and Mr. Johnson County, followed by fireworks after dark. On Thursday evening, some of our local TV news celebs will take part in the goat-milking contest. There will be free stages and tents with music, tractor pulls, farmer’s olympics, and all kinds of contests for the kids.

It all starts with the Fair Parade later today at 4:00 pm. The streets have been marked “no parking” and this afternoon we’ll see folks walking by the front porch carrying blankets and folding chairs moving to their favorite spots along the route. The kids are anticipating all the candy and goodies that will be thrown their way from the floats as they move toward the fairgrounds.

Ah, it’s a great time to live in the Midwest.

• • •

Silhouette atraktsion colorful ferris wheel. Vector illustration.The Fair is a great place to find new gadgets, tools, home improvement ideas and interesting new inventions to make our lives easier. Tents and fair buildings are full of people in booths hawking stuff everywhere, stuff we just can’t live without. Like the following…

When our friends Randy and Jill Thompson were on vacation recently, Randy saw this at the Atlantic Fisheries Museum in Lunenberg, Nova Scotia. As Randy says, “This is a tool America needs, especially in those areas where halibut are a problem (I’m thinking, ‘Halibut Gone Wild’).” Ladies and gentlemen, The Halibut Stunner.

Randy, I think the newer ones are made of an aluminum composite, except the pros still use wood.


It can be a real hassle to find a seat at the fair at the Kiwanis or Beef Growers tent when you want to grab a good meal. Never fear, you can sit anywhere you want with these fashionable, yet oh so practical Picnic Pants. When sitting cross-legged the material between one’s legs becomes taut, providing a table to eat from. The jeans are also equipped with pockets to hold drinks. Flattering, too!


I don’t know about you but one of my pet peeves is waiting for toast. A watched toaster never toasts, know what I mean? Finally, someone heard our cries! Mad genius Colin Furze has invented a knife that toasts the bread as you cut the bread! The knife uses a modified microwave transformer to run electrical current through the blade of a “knife,” which then heats bread to a crisp as it saws through. You may laugh, but I read about this in Popular Mechanics. That’s street cred. Thanks, Colin!!!


What’s a great gadget without a snake oil, infomercial salesman to pitch it! This is not only one of my favorite gadgets, but the video is lots of fun too. Ladies and gentlemen, you’ll never be able to live without it after seeing this — the Bug-A-Salt.

Silhouette atraktsion colorful ferris wheel. Vector illustration.The big news of the week revolved around Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton, the memorial for the fallen police officers in Dallasyet more terror attacks, a new UK prime minister, a coup in Turkey, the Zika virus, Deflategate, conflicts over the South China Sea, a new record setting performance in the MLB Home Run Derby?

No, this week it was all about Pokemon Go. According to USA Today:

If you have somehow managed to avoid the news for the last few days, the mobile game Pokémon Go has taken over the lives of many smartphone owners. It leverages the classic video game and TV series Pokémon by introducing augmented reality and GPS, bringing the quest to find these colorful creatures to life.

The game has grown so popular, its daily usage is above popular services such as Twitter, Netflix and Spotify, according to research firm SimilarWeb. People really like Pikachu, it seems.

CNN says it’s changing the world.


The game has caused some problems and unique situations:

Some public sites have posted notices, telling visitors that playing the game is not appropriate there. Among them: Arlington National Cemetery and the Holocaust Museum. In the same article, we read about Muslims worried about the sacred spaces in their mosques, the Israeli army banning its soldiers from using it, and Russian officials seeking to ban the app in their country.

Silhouette atraktsion colorful ferris wheel. Vector illustration.Fun article in Atlas Obscura asking, “What do you call the corner store?”

bodega-brooklynSo, let’s get your answer today. Is the corner store where you live or travel called:

  • A convenience store? A mini-mart?
  • A bodega?
  • A packie?
  • A party store?
  • A dépanneur (or “dep” for short)
  • An offy?
  • A variety store?
  • A milk bar? Dairy? Suprette?
  • pulperias?
  • An Arabe du coin?
  • konbini?

There are more designations mentioned in the article. Read it and you’ll be the most fascinating conversationalist at the next BBQ. Hey, they might even ask you to run down to the mama shop for more drinks.

Silhouette atraktsion colorful ferris wheel. Vector illustration. Southern Baptist pastor Perry Noble was asked to step down from his pastoral ministry at NewSpring Church last week because he admitted to having become an alcoholic and for other “unfortunate choices and decisions.”

perry_noble_2“I ran to (alcohol) instead of Jesus, and I’m sorry,” he said in a video he released as a public statement. “I’m going to do whatever it takes to make it right. I’m checking into a treatment facility, and I’m going to work with some excellent people who will help me take my next steps.”

He also said understands the decision to remove him as senior pastor and Noble fully endorsed interim pastor Clayton King. “I still love my church. NewSpring is my church,” he said.

Noble encouraged people to continue to support the congregation and not criticize its leaders for the dismissal. “For those of you saying you’re not going back, that’s not the right thing to do.” Hundreds had launched a petition drive to have him reinstated.

According to an article in Christianity Today, “The church’s executive pastors met with Noble ‘over the course of several months’ to discuss their concerns about his dependence on alcohol, which eventually resulted in his removal.”

The article goes on to discuss how this event compares with what other churches have experienced with regard to pastors as well as parishioners dealing with alcohol and addiction problems.

Silhouette atraktsion colorful ferris wheel. Vector illustration. On the eve of the first of the national political conventions this year, I’d like to close this week’s Ramblings with an Open Mic question.

I know our Ramblings are often silly distractions from the tough news and events of the week. But the past few weeks have been absolutely brutal, and it is entirely possible that there is more violence and trouble to come.


It truly does remind me in some ways of 1968, by far the craziest and scariest year in my lifetime. One of the reasons it became so frightening for people who lived then was the fact that it was all broadcast on TV. Scenes from the most unbelievable events came right into our living rooms.

The problem is exacerbated exponentially today, with our 24-hour news cycle and social media. This leads Katie Rogers in the New York Times to ask, “What is a constant cycle of violent news doing to us?”

Your assignment is to read her piece and then come back and tell us what you think it’s doing to you and to those around you.

And may your weekend be peaceful and safe.

As for me, I’m gonna go get a milkshake at the Dairy Association building.


  1. “the only place it can be played by S. Koreans”… would that be North Koreans?

  2. It’s not so much the events themselves as it is the constant drumbeat from the media, especially the east and west Coast media. There is no item so small that they will not enlarge it, analyze it, and then project the writers’ feelings over it. The Opinion pages? You’d be a fool to read them! The NY Times is one of the worst.

    As soon as Primary Season started I began to collect podcasts, Stand To Reason being my favorite, and shuffling my music collection on my iPod touch so that I could avoid the radio. I still do read the newspaper online but in a particular way: First, Dear Abbey, then the comics followed by the sports pages. After that I scan the front page, local page and business section. Editorials are read only if I am in a great mood.

    I don’t know about anyone else, but I am so tired of hearing how America sucks, society is racist, and politics is corrupt (except for Hillary, of course). I prefer to concentrate on my family, my church and my job. One to one personal interactions are usually satisfying and keep me grounded. Also I have learned that some websites that were once daily stops have lost their importance in my life. Even this one.

    I’ve probably got 15-20 more years left in life so I do not need the stress that floats through the ether these days.

  3. A study of how much more medication is being prescribed for high blood pressure since (say) 2006 would be instructive.

    • Oh no. No, no, no. No. Says the guy whose living depends largely on data modeling. I can’t even imagine how many variables you’d have to control for such a study to even be meaningful. You’re talking about something like a five factor ANOVA minimum. Of course, now that you mention it, this sounds like a really challenging and fun project. I mean, just doing the digging on the legislative aspect is a months long task. In fact…and now it occurs to me that you were probably being “wry”. Sorry. Sometimes I get carried away with these things.

  4. Robert F says

    CM, in answer to your question: It saddens me. I haven’t changed anything in my lifestyle because of it, nor do I expect that there is any great statistical probability that I or my wife or those near to me will be victims of the kinds of violence we’ve been seeing a lot of in the news, but it makes me less hopeful for America, and for American democracy, and it makes me sad for the victims.

    But there are places in America, and the world, where people live every day with a realistic awareness of how dangerous just it is to just walk the streets. It has nothing to do with electronic media, and everything to do with personally seeing violence played out on the streets where one lives and works.

    In the 90s, I worked with a black guy named Sam in a north New Jersey warehouse. Sam lived about ten miles away, in inner city Paterson, and since he had no car, I would sometimes give him a ride, before proceeding to my own suburban home. In the week of the LA rioting after the verdict in the Rodney King police brutality case, as I was giving Sam a ride, he had me drop him off further from his home; things were tense in the city, and he felt it would be safer for me, a white, if I didn’t go into his neighborhood. Then he laughed and said, “Whites are afraid today, but in my neighborhood we live with this kind of fear every day.”

    Nothing’s changed, except that whites now share a little more of that kind of fear.

    • Robert F says

      I have to revise my last sentence: Those who are more socially privileged, mostly whites, now share a little more of that kind of fear.

    • Remember 1968 on into the 70’s? It was even more f_ _ _ ed.

      Certainly we live in troubled times, but my generation has actually seen more disturbing times. Growing up in the 60’s and 70’s was to experience at least as much, imo MORE, tension and conflict than what is presently occurring. 1968 was a pivotal year with the assassination of 2 nationally known persons–MLKjr, Bobby Kennedy. President Johnson decided not to run for a second term, the war in Vietnam was escalating and war protest was at an all-time high, as were casualties, white youth flight to Canada to avoid the draft, and, we were living under the constant threat of nuclear annihilation — don’t want to forget MutuallyAssuredDestruction context if/when Soviet tanks rolled across the Iron Curtain. George Wallace was running in the presidential primary (Trump is small beans in comparison). Race riots erupted across the nation in most major metropolitan areas after the killing of MLK, and lest we forget, the riots in Chicago during the Democratic Convention. The Weathermen and the SDS were becoming active in bombing government buildings, and the Black Panthers (originally Black Panther Party for Self-Defense) were at the height of their organizational influence taking a violent defensive stand against racism and police brutality.

      White middle class Americans were sure everything was going to hell in a handbasket–and politicians like Tricky Dick and his minion Edgar Hoover were making the most of it.

      And I’m only talking about/around 1968.

      Shit man, I had to register for the draft in 1972. Vietnam was still using up canon fodder.

      So, yes, there’s lot’s causing anxiety in the present. But, in my lifetime I’ve seen a hell of a lot worse. (Ok, now I’m starting to sound like my parents talking about the Depression…)

      Keep Faith. The only cure for fear and hate is Love.

      • You forgot to mention duck and cover in grade school. Protection from atomic annihilation.

        • Adam Tauno Williams says


          A good one to remember. Who talks about nuclear holocaust in everyday conversation? I can remember when that used to happen. Kind of dwarfs everything else.

        • That was early 60’s. We kept a bathtub full of water for weeks. The Cuban missile crisis was a real humdinger. My uncle worked at the Pentagon–called home one day and told my aunt to load up the kids and keep driving west.

          • That Other Jean says

            I was in high school , just outside Washington, D.C., when the Cuban Missile Crisis happened. We–by which I mean every student in the school–figured that if anything happened, we were all dead. Nothing going on today is quite as stressful as that.

          • Headless Unicorn Guy says

            Woudln’t have helped.

            The stockpile sizes and “depopulation targeting” of the time meant even villages of 1,000 would receive a nuke.

          • Headless Unicorn Guy says

            P.S. Though less is known about Russian nuclear targeting strategy, it is of note that Russian Strategic Rocket Forces (their ICBMs) were branched off from Army Artillery instead of (as in the US) Air Force heavy bomber commands. And the longstanding attitude of Russian Army Artillery is “You can never put too many rounds into a target”.

      • Ronald Avra says

        I registered for the draft in 1972 as well; I’m not sure if that is the last year it was drawn or not. If I recall correctly, a number was pulled from one bin and a birthday from another. My birthday was matched with a number around 360, which meant that I was safe from being drafted. If people ask if I play the lottery, I tell them that I have already won once and so I don’t play anymore.

      • I was only ten years old in 1969, and mostly oblivious to all the social turmoil and unrest. I suppose humankind has always lived on and moved along the edge of a precipice, beyond which lay destruction both individual and societal. Yes, they were right, weren’t they, when they sang “All you need is love….”? Weren’t they?

      • I was in elementary school in 1968, so I only have a few memories of the events which shaped that year. I recall my mother being quite sad the evening Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated. I recall Sen. Robert Kennedy being assassinated right around the time the school year ended, and I vaguely remember seeing something on the TV about the violence at the Democratic National Convention. Other than that, it wasn’t until I was a bit older that I began comprehending how tumultuous 1968 was.

        And yes, the 1970’s had its share of upheaval. I recall school schedules changing during the Arab oil embargo as daylight savings time was implemented in the middle of winter. I remember the 55 mph national speed limit introduced about a year or so before I got my learner’s permit. I’ll never forget our family vacation in August 1974, when Richard Nixon resigned the presidency and the three major networks suspended regular programming to cover Mr. Nixon’s departure and Gerald Ford’s inauguration. There were energy shortages during the unusually severe winter of 1976-77 and again in the summer of 1979. And I’d better stop now if I don’t want this to turn into a comment so long that most folks will skip over it.

        • Headless Unicorn Guy says

          There used to be a blog called “EJECT! EJECT! EJECT!”.

          The blogger there referred to “1968 – the year Sauron got the Ring” because everything seemed to go south at once that year.

      • You all should watch Atomic Cafe. One of my favorite documentaries about the cold war and the height of the nuclear scare.


        • Headless Unicorn Guy says

          Back at Brony events, when I mentioned my interests included fanfics I always used to get asked by 20-year-olds “Do you read Fallout: Equestria?”

          I tell them “no’ and why — what it was like to grow up during the mid- to late Cold War in a constant Global Thermomuclear War scare (orders of magnitude greater than the Global Warming Scare they’re familiar with). And being an SF litfan during the paradigm shift from Bright Future to Dark (no, DARKER!) Futures of which “After The Bomb” was THE major subgenre.

  5. Christiane says

    well, my son and his girlfriend/fiance were to set off for Latvia with a very nice itinerary: NYC to Finnland to Latvia.
    Then, the airports were closed in Chicago and NYC due to storms. Four hours of re-scheduling later, they end up with this mess: NYC to Istanbul Turkey to Latvia.
    Not okay. I am up all night worrying about Istanbul, where a few weeks ago there was a terrorist attack at that same airport.
    No matter. They go. Many hours later, the phone rings and my son says, ‘we are at the airport in Istanbul and at the Latvian gate. We are about to board.’ I can breathe again.
    They got to Latvia safely. But THEN, within hours, we hear that there is a coup in Turkey, and all hell was breaking loose. (sigh) Do I not get points for being worried? A mother’s discernment …… I’m starting to believe in it. 🙂

    It’s a small world. We can’t get ‘away’ from its troubles. Not any more.

  6. Adam Tauno Williams says

    Does anyone else reference the corner store as “the corner store”? That’s what I’ve always called it.

    They are all on … corners [for rather obvious reasons]

  7. “What is a constant cycle of violent news doing to us?”

    Uh, programming us? Programming us for fear and anger and despair and division and hate and ultimately anarchy? If so, is it intentional? If so, why would anyone do this? And who? Answers to all that vary, but perhaps the last question to be asked is what you can do about it. For a start you could turn off your television. However I’ll be turning mine on next week with a big bowl of popcorn. With multiple grains of salt.

    The events of 1968 were just the continuation of the assassination of JFK five years earlier. Everything changed that day in a way that was bigger than anything else in my lifetime. Up until now. The turmoil building up now all over the world is the culmination of that final push for total control that began with blowing John Kennedy’s brains out. I have every hope that there are people ready to pick up where Kennedy left off and that the dark forces of tyranny are about to be defeated. I could be wrong, but that does make it exciting to watch. I figure being excited is better for your health than being angry and afraid. God help us all.

    • Headless Unicorn Guy says

      Uh, programming us? Programming us for fear and anger and despair and division and hate and ultimately anarchy?

      “And then they will call for the Strong Man to save them. And the Strong Man will come.”
      — Demon in Seventies-era Spiritual Warfare novel

  8. Michael Z says

    I’m not convinced that people have more to be afraid of today than they did, say, during the World Wars or the Great Depression or the Civil Rights era or the years right after 9/11. If people are more anxious today than they were back then (and even that may not be true) it’s because on some level this feedback loop of fear and anger is addictive and modern media gives people the ability to feed that addiction.

    I wonder if what is really happening is that people feel a vague and unnameable anxiety just because of shifts that are happening in our society too fast for them to process, and as a result they are drawn to news stories that give them something concrete to pin that anxiety on. That is, the real source of that feeling that the world is scary and chaotic might be anxiety about finding employment or about the direction our politics are going in, or it may be the sense of loss that comes from having enjoyed a privileged position your whole life without even realizing it (say, on account of being white, or being straight, or being a citizen, or being part of the majority religion) and suddenly feeling that society is judging you for your privilege. So we *want* to hear scary news – we seize on it eagerly – because it lets us say, “See? I’m justified in feeling so anxious!”

    • I think you are correct, Michael Z. And that is what terrifies me. Hitler rose to power on the fears of Communists and Jews and a bad economy. Is Trump a Hitler? It remains to be seen, but it’s the same mentality. Those others are coming for you and the only way to protect yourselves is to get rid of them. Society is in a huuuge [thank you Trump] shift and that much change is frightening because no one knows how it will end up. But going back is not an option. Hitler did not make Germany great again as he promised; he destroyed it.

      • Robert F says

        How many times have we heard Trump say, “If we don’t get tough,” (meaning, if he’s not elected POTUS) “we’re not going to have a country anymore”, or some variant thereof? He’s really talking code to white fear about losing control of the US to people of color.

    • Adam Tauno Williams says

      Exactly. By the numbers people have LESS to fear than they did in 1968. They are safer. Much in the news is there to satisfy the need to justify what people feel, not the other way around. The data does not support what most (???) People believe about ‘the world’.

      I have almost entirely unplugged from mainstream/network news. I pretty much only see it when travelling – and it is always disappointing.

      Connecting to more original and data-oriented sources makes for a happier life.

  9. My favorite part of the Bug-A-Salt is that it needs a safety.

  10. Brianthedad says

    In response to chaplain mikes question and the constant cycle of bad news, I had to say I think it makes it harder to do anything about it. This is a very pessimistic take on things, but I’ve been thinking about thi since the monk post this week about nonviolence being the only way out. I think the old-school MLK/Gandhi method would be much more difficult today.

    MLK and Gandhi were big proponents of nonviolent resistance. It worked for both of them. But I think it relied on there being a large group of ‘disinterested’ people in the middle becoming outraged at the injustice of the reactions to the protests. Police dogs, fire hoses, people being punched for sitting at a lunch counter in the case of MLK. all these images offended and affronted the large group of folks who’d never really had an opinion on ‘separate but equal’ before, because they’d not grown up around it or benefitted from or were hurt by it or didn’t know about it because of a contact cycle of news and social media. they were ignorant of it. Once they were confronted by it, their inherent sense of justice was offended by these images of people just wanting to do stuff that they took for granted. that outrage translated into legislative and executive changes that improved the lot of the protestors, granting them many of the things they were working for.

    Fast forward to today. there is no longer a massive group of disinterested people ignorant or apathetic of the injustices and wrongs. With social media, people are aware of the problems, but not in the traditional sense. they have the siloed, curated presentation of the ‘facts’ from their social media feeds, and not the (rightly or wrongly) homogenized take on things from national TV news and newspapers as in the past. We’re hyper-informed but from a feedback loop. both sides each seem to have their own facts.

    I suppose what I’m saying is that the mantra of love and nonviolence being the answer may not be as effective today as it was in the past. the quiet center mass of people just doesn’t seem large enough to have an effect. more people have moved toward the extremes on both sides and depopulated that necessary center. The constant loop of images have desensitized many people, just like the article says. If they’re not desensitized, they are anxious and have retreated to their corner of the world, hiding in the comfort of their Facebook feed surrounded by like minded people. I hope I’m wrong.

    • Adam Tauno Williams says

      > MLK and Gandhi were big proponents of nonviolent resistance. It worked for both of them.

      Did it work for them because of circumstances? There are many people – including myself – you believe that MLK’s approach “worked” because of Malcolm X and Huey Newton – and *not* because of the theoretical power of moral persuasion.

      Looking out at a huge crown of peaceful protesters means something when there is a not-so-peaceful movement for them to join when those crowds lose patience or reach the maximum limit of their frustration. The massive scale and effective organization of the civil rights movement presented the PTBs with a clear choice: make concessions or lose control.

      One of the reasons why movements like Occupy Wallstreet just end up fading away – they can be ignored without consequence. [there are many issues related to the political impotence of Occupy – it is used as a reference in Leftist writing for how **NOT** to organize a protest movement]

      > I suppose what I’m saying is that the mantra of love and nonviolence being the answer
      > may not be as effective today as it was in the past

      I do not believe it ever was effective; that is the Sunday School version of history.

      • Robert F says

        I think you’re correct, Adam. It saddens me that this is true, but I think it is true.

      • Brianthedad says

        You make a good point. Using that model, America’s good ole boys should learn from MLK and Gandhi, maybe take some days off work, have a march or two carrying their rifles and sidearms. Stick to their guns, so to speak. Create some societal change of the flavor they’re looking for.

        • Adam Tauno Williams says

          Patience. Trumps newly created constituency will get there.

          Aside: we’ve already had Open Carry rallies and marches where I’m from.

      • > I suppose what I’m saying is that the mantra of love and nonviolence being the answer
        > may not be as effective today as it was in the past

        “I do not believe it ever was effective; that is the Sunday School version of history.”

        Please be sure to point this out to Jesus if you ever have the chance.

  11. People also aren’t very aware about the way the internet builds up a cacaphony. Targeted content means that that internet gives you more of what you already saw and read about in a positive feedback loop. It makes a hard culture divide to cross between me and my friends that are in that cacaphonous echo chamber that is invisible to me.

    • This is an excellent point that needs to be part of this (and any) contemporary social discussion. The news today is largely what we make of it. Literally. I get around this quite easily – I have my cookies set up to automatically delete, and I use a VPN when I access the news (or anything at home due to how my work computer is set up). And when I access these sites (or read an old fashioned paper news paper) what I see is…mostly lurid tales. The local paper often has something useful, even if it is buried on page C12. All to say that I think the news tries to sell, and emotion sells, targeted or not.

  12. Four lanes of traffic
    come to a complete standstill —
    geese crossing the road.

    • Haha Funny you should mention that. I see that at my college campus all the time (in Canada, where we have tons of Canada geese), and it strikes me as hilarious that geese seem to have a rush hour that coincides with the human one.

      • Adam Tauno Williams says

        > geese seem to have a rush hour that coincides with the human one.

        The important question is: Do they recognize the Daylight Savings Time change?

        • Our dogs were always confused for a week or so. They’d run to the window to greet my daughter coming home from school and wonder where she was.

          When the last one got to be 14 she refused to admit that us people wanted her to sleep in an extra hour in the morning and would grumble and whine to be let out. Up till then they were willing to change after a week or so.

    • LOL

      I was driving south on i270 west side of St. Louis and traffic was slowing down and backing up. Four lanes on the southbound side. Several blue lites ahead. Got up to what I though was an accident and it turned out to be a goose who had nested her goslings against the concrete barrier of the inside lane…

  13. Although I remember living thru the 60’s and 70’s, as Tom so succinctly summed up, the thing that I remember the most is my parents fear. It bothered me that, as Christians they lived in this fear…and honestly, it never went away.

    I think that’s what influenced me to not live in that fear, but to trust in God’s sovereignty. It’s weary-Ing to live around that. Thankfully I was able to step away from it.

    Why do we think that the world is going to get better? It’s a completely broken world, and my hope and prayer is that as believers, our light will shine brighter (not referring to the shrill, unloving voices out there, of course)…that our love and kindness in our part of the world will be seen. We don’t have to yell louder, decry everything, be self-righteous, be judgmental–lets live our quiet lives, prayer for those in authority, and love God and love others as ourselves.

    Living in fear doesn’t accomplish much for the kingdom of God.

    • Headless Unicorn Guy says

      Neither does living in “It’s All Gonna Burn — Any Minute Now!” pessimism.

    • Dana Ames says

      I was 12 in 1968, in eighth grade. My dad was afraid the race (and other) riots would culminate in a “race war” – not that such a thing would have touched us at all in my very small, rural California coastal town. But the late ’60s were definitely fear-laden for all the reasons the good Dr F. cites.

      TV exposure to the bad news was restricted to the 30-60 minutes at dinnertime or bedtime, and though the “breaking news” was immediate, it did not continue in an endless loop 24/7. The only social medium was the telephone, and the occasional radio or TV talk show. I think the constant replay of bad news does contribute to an elevated stress level, making it easier to slide into fear mode.


      • That’s an important point. We were all better off with just the evening and late night news and newspapers. In WWII, they just had radio news, newspapers, and news reels in the theaters, and they still managed to win the war. We all need to disconnect more.

      • I think Neil Postman had it right about political advertisements;

        I am particularly fond of John Lindasy’s suggestion that political commercials be banned from television as we now ban cigarette and liquor commercials. I would gladly testify before the Federal Communications Commission as to the manifold merits of this excellent idea. To those who would oppose my testimony by claiming that such a ban is a clear violation of the First Amendment, I would offer a compromise; Require all political commercials to be preceded by a short statement to the effect that common sense has determined that watching political commercials is hazardous to the intellectual health of the community.

        [Neil Postman, pg. 159 of Amusing Ourselves To Death]

  14. And by the way, we are booking a trip back to Europe as I write….just sayin’

  15. Excellent list of names for the corner store, but… anyone who has lived in Massachusetts can tell you that a “packie” is specifically a liquor store!

  16. Perry Noble had a lot of other issues besides his alcohol problems. Does anyone remember his infamous sermon regarding the Ten Commandments? Or what some members of his church did to Dr. James Duncan following some critical blog posts? Or when Noble said that “you officially suck as a human being” if you don’t like his church’s music?

    I wish Perry Noble well as he pursues recovery, and I hope and pray he is sincere about wanting to change. Even if he emerges clean and sober, however, it would be in the best interest of the church if he finds another line of work.

    • Yeah, but this is the whole point. What kind of messed up priorities does this church and/or the SBC have when he can get away with all the crap he has gotten away with, but gets sidelined for alcohol abuse. Talk about messed up values.

      • admitted to having become an alcoholic

        Well, for a denomination that believes ONE SIP makes you an alcoholic…

        He must have finished the whole beer.

      • +1

      • Headless Unicorn Guy says

        What kind of messed up priorities does this church and/or the SBC have when he can get away with all the crap he has gotten away with, but gets sidelined for alcohol abuse.

        The same American Evangelicalism that instituted Altar Calls to get new converts to sign a Dry Pledge after they Said the Magic Words.

        The same Church-Lady American Evangelicalism that was the force behind Prohibition.

  17. Dana Ames says

    Ah, the corner store…. In my very young childhood, it was the Crystal Store, on the corner of – yes – Crystal and Granite Streets in Butte, Montana, just a bit more than a block from my house. They had the most amazing array of penny candies this side of the Rockies. A quarter spent there could put a kid in sugar bliss for hours. In the summer they also stocked every flavor Popsicle made. It was fun seeing what color our tongues would become after sucking on the different flavored pops. My favorite was black licorice, colored white, which I found delightfully paradoxicle 🙂


  18. Robert F says

    The new gardeners
    knocked down some gladiolas
    but left the dahlias.

  19. Headless Unicorn Guy says

    Is it just me, or does PASTOR Perry Noble’s pictures creep anyone else out?

  20. Someone must have English connections to add in ‘offy’…

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