December 2, 2020

The IM Saturday Brunch: August 5, 2017


”It is talk-compelling. It puts you in a good temper, it makes you satisfied with yourself and your fellow beings, it sweeps away the worries and cobwebs of the week.”


Welcome to the dog days. It’s August. These days, ’round our part of the country that means “back to school” now that most districts have gone to a full year-round or modified calendar. But August will never mean that to me. This was the month to endure before going back to school. We were done playing organized baseball. It was too dang hot to play football. We were starting to get tired of hanging around the pool. And mom kept locking us out of the house!

Well, here is a list of a few of the special days that have been designated for this August. Maybe at Brunch today we can talk about some of the fun things we’d like to do in August 2017. If we were properly celebrating today, for example, we’d all have hangovers (it is the day after National Beer Day, after all), work like dogs in our underwear, and then gather around the campfire and eat mustard. Sounds like fun!

Some August 2017 Special Days

1 National Mountain Climbing Day
1 National Raspberry Cream Pie Day
2 National Ice Cream Sandwich Day
3 Grab Some Nuts Day
3 National Watermelon Day
4 International Beer Day (First Friday)
5 Campfire Day (First Saturday)
5 International Hangover Day (First Saturday)
5 National Mustard Day — (first Saturday)
5 National Underwear Day
5 Work Like a Dog Day
6 Wiggle Your Toes Day
8 Sneak Some Zucchini onto Your Neighbor’s Porch Day
9 Book Lover’s Day
10 Lazy Day
10 National S’mores Day
12 Middle Child’s Day
13 Left Hander’s Day
14 National Creamsicle Day
16 National Tell a Joke Day
18 Bad Poetry Day
19 National Potato Day
20 National Radio Day
20 World Mosquito Day
21 National Spumoni Day
25 Kiss and Make Up Day
28 Race Your Mouse Day
30 Frankenstein Day
30 Toasted Marshmallow Day
31 National Eat Outside Day
31 National Trail Mix Day

• • •


It sounds like it might be the most important job in the universe, or at least in our solar system. Are you up for being the Defender of Our Planet™? Well, NASA has a spot open for Planetary Protection Officer. You must be able to fight off any nasty aliens that threaten us, as well as protect the planet from being contaminated by extraterrestrial materials brought back to earth on space missions.

You must, of course, be able to work in harmony with all other countries that have space programs, so that they won’t endanger us all.

Here the essential details. Hurry, you only have until Aug. 14. APPLY TODAY AT USAJOBS.GOV!

• • •


One megachurch pastor that has earned my deep respect is Joel Hunter, pastor at Northland Community Church in Orlando. Now, he’s stepping down to pursue other types of ministry outside the four walls of the church. Here is part of his announcement:

“You’ve often heard me express a desire to serve at Northland for the rest of my life. So you may be asking, ‘What changed?’

I believe God will continue using Northland in wonderful ways, but He is calling me to focus my life on a new season of ministry outside the four walls of the church.

When I knelt at the altar to give my whole life to Jesus, I was a part of the Civil Rights movement. My focus on Jesus was not only for personal salvation after this life but also for compassion towards the marginalized in this life. My call to follow Jesus and serve the vulnerable is stronger than ever.

Jesus often taught in different synagogues but the bulk of his teaching and work was outside established religious settings. Following his way, I will seek to include the unincluded in the Kingdom.

There’s a fine article in Christianity Today that notes how he has been involved in public as well as parish ministry for many years now. In days to come, this will be his main focus.

“There is great potential for the church to be part of the solution to the problems in our culture and the problems in our world,” he told CT in a 2008 interview, “if we can build coalitions that help enhance the common good that also enhances the Christian social agenda.”

That’s a commitment I can get behind wholeheartedly.

Joel Hunter has contributed to Internet Monk over the years. Here are examples:

Read: “Can I Have My Bible Back?” (A guest post on IM written by Joel Hunter)

Here is another post, featuring a BioLogos video with Pastor Hunter: Joel Hunter on Difficult Subjects in the Church

• • •


Guess what, my fellow baby boomers. Our kids don’t want our crap.

Samantha Bronker in the Christian Science Monitor tells us:

As baby boomers begin to downsize, they are discovering their grown children do not want their stuff. In fact, they recoil in something close to horror at the thought of trying to find room for collections of Hummels and Thomas Kinkade paintings.

…While every generation has its turn with an attachment for antiques or nostalgia for outdated technology, today’s tech-heavy culture shows few signs of trading in its sleek, modern designs for dark furniture or knick-knacks from bygone eras. And many younger families see trips, vacations, and photos as the repository of family memories – not shelves full of mementoes.

As we are preparing to try and sell our (big) house, we are in the process of going through our stuff now. My parents were ruthless in getting rid of their things, my wife’s parents were not. We’re somewhere in the middle, but golly do we have a load to think about, because the author’s right — for the most part, our kids don’t want it, don’t need it, and think a lot of it is outdated and worthless.

So, we’re going to have to be creative and find good uses for some of it. How many of you have gone through this or are dealing with this situation now?

• • •


In Lent 2015, I wrote a piece about the band Wilco’s groundbreaking album from 2001, Yankee Hotel Foxtrot. The story about the album’s title fascinated me.

Shortly after World War I, mysterious shortwave radio stations began cropping up on long-dormant frequency bands across the globe. These stations, dubbed “Numbers Stations,” are thought to have been created for espionage purposes. Allegedly, government agencies would broadcast encrypted messages to undercover spies, who would then decode the messages using a one-time pad, or cipher key.

“Yankee Hotel Foxtrot” was one of the encrypted messages these stations sent out, and the band included actual samples from the radio broadcasts on the record.

Now comes an equally spooky story about these mystery radio stations from the BBC.

In the middle of a Russian swampland, not far from the city of St Petersburg, is a rectangular iron gate. Beyond its rusted bars is a collection of radio towers, abandoned buildings and power lines bordered by a dry-stone wall. This sinister location is the focus of a mystery which stretches back to the height of the Cold War.

It is thought to be the headquarters of a radio station, “MDZhB”, that no-one has ever claimed to run. Twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week, for the last three-and-a-half decades, it’s been broadcasting a dull, monotonous tone. Every few seconds it’s joined by a second sound, like some ghostly ship sounding its foghorn. Then the drone continues.

Once or twice a week, a man or woman will read out some words in Russian, such as “dinghy” or “farming specialist”. And that’s it. Anyone, anywhere in the world can listen in, simply by tuning a radio to the frequency 4625 kHz.

It’s so enigmatic, it’s as if it was designed with conspiracy theorists in mind. Today the station has an online following numbering in the tens of thousands, who know it affectionately as “the Buzzer”. It joins two similar mystery stations, “the Pip” and the “Squeaky Wheel”. As their fans readily admit themselves, they have absolutely no idea what they are listening to.

There are many theories (and conspiracy theories to boot) about these stations. The article notes one of the most prevalent: “One such idea is that it’s acting as a “Dead Hand” signal; in the event Russia is hit by a nuclear attack, the drone will stop and automatically trigger a retaliation. No questions asked, just total nuclear obliteration on both sides.”

Go read this fascinating article which traces the history of these stations and how they might be being used to instruct networks of spies all around the world.

I love this kind of stuff! And, of course, one reason for that is that it gives me the opportunity to play some Springsteen…

• • •


…in France, you can now buy oysters from a vending machine?

…in Egypt, you can get grilled beef-liver sandwiches made by doctors in a restaurant run according to operating room standards?

…seven Welsh priests were recently refused service in a pub because staff thought they were a stag party in fancy dress?

…marauding monkeys have been terrorizing children and senior citizens on an island in Java?
(And, BTW: “Marauding Monkeys” would be a great name for a rock band)

…a Pennsylvania man was recently arrested for ranting and throwing his salad at a Wendy’s employee, complaining it didn’t have enough cucumbers?


…you can run into an Accident in Maryland, enjoy Intercourse in Pennsylvania, do Nothing in Arizona, stop for a Pee Pee in Ohio, find Protection in Kansas, try Toast in North Carolina, go to War in West Virginia, or go to Hell in Michigan? These are just a few of the weird place names you can find in states across the U.S..


…in Georgia, it is illegal to keep an ice cream cone in your back pocket on Sundays? In Minnesota, it is illegal to cross state lines with a duck atop one’s head? In Ohio, it is illegal to get a fish drunk? In Washington, the harassing of Bigfoot, Sasquatch, or other undiscovered subspecies is a felony punishable by fine or imprisonment? These are a few of the crazy laws that the folks at Olivet Nazarene University discovered and put together on a poster.

• • •


Who would have thought one of the big stories this week would be a fight over the Statue of Liberty?

Well, actually the fight was over the poem by Emma Lazarus that graces the statue. White House spokesperson Stephen Miller and CNN’s Jim Acosta got into a heated exchange about immigration and what set it all up was the meaning of the Statue of Liberty and whether Lazarus’s poem has anything to do with the actual symbolism of the monument.

“What the president is proposing here does not sound like it’s in keeping with American tradition when it comes to immigration,” the network reporter said to Miller. “The Statue of Liberty says, ‘Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free.’”

The implication of Acosta’s description was that the statue is an invitation to immigrants.

Not so, Miller retorted:

“I don’t want to get off into a whole thing about history here, but the Statue of Liberty is a symbol of liberty and lighting the world. It’s a symbol of American liberty lighting the world.  The poem that you’re referring to, that was added later, is not actually a part of the original Statue of Liberty.”

An article in the Washington Post uncovers the fact (new to me) that there is a debate raging in some circles about this.

Miller was correct in saying that the poem was added later, and I think Acosta was right in saying that, ever after, Americans and immigrants in particular have identified the Statue of Liberty not only as holding up a beacon of freedom to the world, but that this beacon is an invitation to come and share in that freedom.

But some on the right want to be “originalists” when it comes to what Lady Liberty is saying. And some of the more extreme object to the fact that acceptance of the poem amounts to kowtowing to a Jewish Communist named Emma Lazarus. As Rush Limbaugh said in a broadcast earlier this year, “The Statue of Liberty had absolutely nothing to do with immigration,” Limbaugh said on a January 31 broadcast. “So why do people think that it does? Well, there was a socialist poet.”

So there you have it. The conversation in this country has become so polarized we can’t even agree on the significance of one of our most basic and beloved symbols.

• • •


The Mrs. and I are heading out to Symphony on the Prairie here in Indy tonight to enjoy a picnic while listening to the Beach Boys’ quintessential summer songs. Nothing says summer like their sun-drenched surfin’ sounds. So, on this first Saturday in August, we’ll leave you with a taste too. Have a great Saturday!


  1. Brianthegrandad says


    • Brianthegrandad says

      Hmmm. Should have been a ! Well, here in alabama we have a London and a Brooklyn in the same county, not to mention the communities of Lick Skillet, Frog Eye, Veto, Eclectic, The Bottle, Smut Eye and Slapout. Been to five of them.

      • My cousin lives in Boring, Oregon. Here in Indiana, someone once suggested this for the state motto: “Indiana, where South Bend is in the north, North Vernon is in the south, and French Lick is not what you think.”

        • Adam Tauno Williams says

          Indiana is too hard on itself.

          Indianapolis is a great city.

          The NICTD/South Short district is packed with cool stuff – including the ever entertaining inebriated/weeping Cubs fans.

          • Indianapolis is good for one thing at least…

            GenCon .

            I am SO pissed I’m missing the 50th anniversary this year…

            • Eeyore…

              Just two weeks ago I pulled out all my old issues of Strategy & Tactics and “Moves.” Oh, my…some great articles and memories! Some of the letters from the editor…very funny!

              And boy…do I wish I had some of my old wargaming friends around to play some of these things again!!!

        • I love riding the South Shore into Chicago! Once saw a well-oiled Rolling Stones fan kicked off as he headed into the city for the Stones concert. He was being a bit loud and disorderly and showing EVERYBODY his Stones tattoo, whether you wanted to see it or not.
          Another time, I was heading into the city at 10 am and there was a group of Cubs fans passing out beer and vodka laced Jell-O shots to the passengers. I wondered if they’d be awake at game time!
          Fun times!!

      • And Toadsuck in central Arkansas.

      • Everyone who has contributed to the “funny town names” thing…VERY FUNNY! You guys and gals made my day!!

    • Klasie Kraalogies says

      I am currently working on a project here in SK that has me pass close to the towns of Eyebrow and Elbow…

      • Andrew Zook says

        I have lived in and around Intercourse Pa, my whole life… and it’s amazing how mundane that is too all us locals… only when we get out a little and are around outsiders who are giggling about that it dawns on that… ooohhh yeah, that’s a really weird name….

      • WPSD TV transmits from Monkey’s Eyebrow KY.

  2. Adam Tauno Williams says

    > How many of you have gone through this or are dealing with this situation now?

    Oh yeah. When my father died I had to clear out a house and four out-buildings on 21 acres… sigh. It involved one of those big commercial dumpsters they deliver with a tractor trailer, filled to overflowing, and paying a guy to help us fill it. That task obliterated an entire season.

    I did kept the valuable bits, which are tactically stashed in hidey holes around the city. A big Milwaukee drill press isn’t anything I could afford to replace.

    This trend must be in part that space is more expensive; a storage unit is $250/mo. That adds up! You have to be creative to have stuff.

    [counter point: someone is storing stuff, getting a storage unit here involves being on a wait list].

    I am about to commence discussions with the Planning Dept to get permission to put up a building to bring it all back together. That will be interesting/educational. A second floor apartment will make the numbers work out – in case anyone wants to live over a machine shop for maintaining turn of the century Fords.
    [upside: you will be able to see ~1/3rd of the employment in the city from your bedroom window, all minutes away! come on, you know you want to!].

    • “someone is storing stuff, getting a storage unit here involves being on a wait list”

      Somewhere out there, George Carlin is laughing his @$$ off.

      • Bravo! Yes, he probably has a routine up in heaven that incorporates “now you can PAY someone to KEEP your stuff.”

    • senecagriggs says

      I was going through some old stuff the other day. I came across my Dad’s “dog tags” from his 6 month stint in the Navy – [ war was over, military was winding down – he was able to get out.]. Dad’s been gone 10 years and I threw the dog tags out. It was hard but I couldn’t think of anybody who would want or value them outside of me. It made me sad to do it but ….. didn’t seem fair to leave it to somebody else.

      • Adam Tauno Williams says

        > It made me sad to do it but


      • The National Archives in MD, prob would’ve taken them.

      • I’m having trouble with that kind of thing as I try to clear out all the accumulated stuff in my house. An old baseball that my dad gave me from when he was young. The old tablecloth my grandmother gave me. My kids have no room for items like these and live too far away but they mean nothing to anyone else. So what to do? If I donate them to Goodwill, I feel like I’m tossing out Grandma!

  3. “DID YOU KNOW… you can go to Hell in Michigan?”

    Going to hell in Michigan is a tautology. 😛

    • Brianthegrandad says

      Because you enjoyed Intercourse in Pennsylvania, after you first stopped in Protection, Kansas on the way. I suppose that sort of language presumes I’ve been to Smut Eye, Alabama.

    • You folks can laugh but have you ever stood in line behind some good ole boy with an ice cream cone in his back pocket?

  4. “The Statue of Liberty had absolutely nothing to do with immigration… So why do people think that it does? Well, there was a socialist poet.”

    So we now get to apply political tests to see what poetry is acceptable?

    Cue HUG’s standard “Purity of ideology, Comrade” remark in 5… 4… 3…

    • Glenn Beck used to go around the US some years ago to the strains of Aaron Copland’s “Fanfare for the Common Man”, drawing audiences of adoring Faux News viewers…

      …who would have been surprised to know that it was written by a homosexual Jewish Communist, and even more surprised that it was premiered, with the composer’s blessing, on the day that US Income Tax came due

    • Yeah it started out with “hey we’re just prejudiced against ILLEGAL immigrants” but how quickly the illegal part got dropped.

    • We should remind ourselves that Emma Lazarus wrote a poem, not the law on immigration.

      EVEN MORE importantly, we should remind ourselves that a president’s TWEET is not a law.

    • Christiane says

      ” I think Acosta was right in saying that, ever after, Americans and immigrants in particular have identified the Statue of Liberty not only as holding up a beacon of freedom to the world, but that this beacon is an invitation to come and share in that freedom.”


      Whenever we flew into NY/NJ airports and see the harbor with the Statue of Liberty, I thought about my ancestors, about my father who spoke no English when he came here from Canada. About my mother’s ancestor coming into Virginia aboard the ‘Furtherance’ in the sixteen hundreds, under the care of his guardian, a Mr. Mason. I thought of how strange it was that I descended from one of the oldest Englishman to arrive in this land long ago, and also from a little five-year-old child, son of French speaking Canadians, who learnt English from the nuns at his school in Massachusetts long ago.

      Yeah, that statue means a lot to me. And to millions of other Americans. From all over.
      Seems Limbaugh lives in an alternate America where ‘western people’ seek to preserve themselves from all foreign influences in a parody of something resembling alt-right white supremacist racism ever so lightly painted over with ‘oh we aren’t racists’ . . . . . It is what it is. That torch? It’s raised. At night it is lit. Still. In the dark harbor, the torch is lit.
      That magnificent statue? A gift from France, but that ‘s another story, isn’t it? 🙂

      Limbaugh and his ilk despise ‘incomers’ . . . . . but scratch their family history and all kinds of incomers fall out of their closets, some they likely don’t want to be known, I can imagine. I at least know who I am. I’m not sure Limbaugh does. And I claim my heritage from both ends of the spectrum: my ancestor of good family from England in the 1600’s and my father from St. Armand, Quebec, Canada.

      That statue speaks to me, not of socialism, but of ‘family’. There’s no way I’ll let the white supremacists of the alt-right re-define the place of Statue of Liberty in our country as ‘icon’, no. Not someone like Limbaugh, no.

  5. Susan Dumbrell says

    My son-in-law is threatening to get a huge ‘skip’ on my demise and load it with my precious things which he calls junk and have it taken to the city dump. Glad I wont be around to see that!
    A skip must be similar to ATW’s commercial dumpster.

    On a lighter note, we had our first real rain in four months on Thursday.
    Enjoy your Saturday.

    how long we waited
    sticky rain runs down windows
    stale smell of wet cats

  6. Susan Dumbrell says

    In Australia, we have a mythical place which is called “The Black Stump”.
    If something is a very long way away we have a saying that it is
    “Beyond the Black Stump”.
    Needless to say it is never reached no matter how far you travel.

    • That Other Jean says

      Ah–at least in Southern states, and possibly elsewhere, that place is “the back of beyond.” Shorter, but actually reachable distances, are “down the road a piece.”

  7. Richard Hershberger says

    The poem was physically added to the pedestal some years after the original installation, but the poem was written before the statue was installed as part of the fund-raising campaign. It is not merely an afterthought. In any case, this discussion is mere deflection. The statue has been associated with immigration from the start, as was inevitable given its location.

  8. Richard Hershberger says

    I think the strangest place name in Maryland is the town of North East. At least it is in fact in northeastern Maryland. I also have a fondness for Savage.

    • Josh in FW says

      That makes more sense than West, TX which is just north of Waco in the middle of the State.

    • I live just up the street from Savage. Old weaving mill town, now surrounded by suburbia. For a time in the 90s, I was a member of Savage United Methodist Church. There was a real resentment there against all the suburban newcomers by the folks who had lived there for generations. Not all that uncommon around here.

  9. Richard Hershberger says

    On parents’ stuff: The thing is, stuff like Hummel figurines have no intrinsic value. There are entire industries based on “collectable” stuff like this. The problem is that what is “collectable” and what is simply junk can change overnight, and can’t be predicted. I haven’t looked, but I suspect that if the kids decide to put those Hummel figurines up on Ebay they would find that they are nearly worthless. OK, I just looked, and saw a bunch being offered for a few bucks each, the vast majority with no bids. They were only valuable because a significant fraction of a generation was persuaded that collecting them was a reasonable pastime. The next generation looks at them with bemusement, and the market collapses. At least with baseball cards and comic books the markets are supported by ongoing cultural interest in baseball and comics.

    So when sifting through the parents’ junk, the kid is confronted by something potentially collectable and has to make a decision whether to roll the dice that this will in fact be regarded as collectable at some point and keep it, or dump it and save on storage. What to do? It depends in part on whether or not you have to pay for storage, but even if you don’t there are opportunity costs to consider.

    My sense is that the stuff that the parents’ generation consciously collected should be dumped. Hummel figurines will likely never retain their value. The only way around this is if most of them are tossed, and a generation or two down the road there is a fad for kitsch of the 20th century. It could happen, but I wouldn’t be willing to make that bet. What might actually acquire value is stuff that we don’t think of as collectable. I am thinking of old gasoline station signs which, based on one of those basic cable antique shows, seem to have a market today. This market is dependent on most of them having been destroyed long ago. So while going through Mom’s stuff, sell whatever still has value, toss most of the rest. If you have free storage, keep the random stuff that might seem cool to a future generation.

    As for the wife and me, we don’t collect tchotchkes much, but my wife is a devoted collector of the kids’ school projects. These are lovingly preserved and stored, awaiting the day that our kids throw them away en masse.

    • Clutter, mathom, whatever you call it, normally I can deal with it.

      But my wife knits and crochets, and trying to deal with accumulated stashes of wool is … well, let’s just say that Hell is not only in Michigan

      • That Other Jean says

        Indeed. It’s a bit like fabric to a quilter–there is never enough, because the one color you desperately need is one you don’t have. Every crafter needs a dedicated room, but few have them.

    • Brianthegrandad says

      Yes, as my kids become adults and move out, their little school projects and drawings, so carefully stored in tubs, are offered to them. So far they have declined, hurting my wife’s feelings in a way. Neither of them so far are very sentimental, except for really old practical things they used as kids, or saw us or the grandparents using: guitars, great-grandad’s mandolin, the pump organ in the old farmhouse, the hunting guns we went afield with, some quilts. It bothers me a little that many of the things I value will be tossed into a dumpster or sold to strangers on eBay (my books!). It’s a symptom of something I rail about in others: slavery to stuff. I guess most of us are hoarders to one degree or another.

      • Josh in FW says

        One of my favorite items from my Grandfather is an old wooden handled screwdriver. It just seems to fit my hand so much better than all the modern ones.

        • Brianthegrandad says

          I have a draw knife of my grandad’s which is perfect for shaping wood in my projects. My kids will never know the significance working with it has for me. I even have a pair of tongue and groove planers he had. All wood, except for the blade. Today a router can do the same work with more precision in seconds. They look like junk. They’ll end up in a heap.

    • Almost 12 years ago my house was destroyed by a 25-30 foot storm surge from Hurricane Katrina, and with it most of our stuff became small artificial reefs in the Gulf of Mexico. Other than finding one bronzed baby shoe from each of our sons and several art pieces my wife had crafted, all else was gone.

      Since then we’ve relocated, started anew, and now have more stuff. As I look around I wonder how we’ve convinced ourselves we need all this stuff again. Other than a few Greek Orthodox icons my wife purchased from some monks in Greece and family photos, I cannot imagine my sons wanting any of this. I suspect as we age and move towards downsizing that there’s going to be a yard sale or two in our future…..

    • My mother-in-law has a huge collection of Hummel figurines and I have a big bin of Beanie Babies. My MIL is 86 and I wonder what will happen to those Hummels when she goes. I don’t want them. My grown up kids don’t want me to get rid of the Beanie Babies because they remember playing with them. But sooner or later, they will have to go.
      I used to love collecting things, mostly books, but now, as I age, I really want to go minimalistic. We just don’t need all this stuff!

  10. Steve Newell says

    I don’t want to be Planetary Protection Officer if I have to wear a red shirt. Red Shirts always die!

  11. Hate to be pedantic (yeah, right) but either an actual person or some voice-recognition software didn’t hear Stephen Miller correctly. He didn’t say “[t]he Statue of Liberty is a symbol of liberty and lighting the world.” He said “[t]he Statue of Liberty is a symbol of liberty enlightening the world.” I know this because that is the name given the statue by France originally — Liberty Enlightening The World, only in French of course. You can check it out if you don’t believe me.

  12. Francis Bellamy, author of the Pledge of Allegiance (in 1891; I’ve been told, with straight face, that it was written in 1776. By christians, of course), was also a socialist:

    Several original versions varied; Bellamy really wanted to include references to “equality” and “fraternity” but school superintendants opposed to the equality of blacks would have opposed the idea, so he dropped it.

    Originally, you saluted the flag like this:

    • 1891. Hmm. So I wonder if he’s a “good” socialist or a “bad socialist”.

    • I really dig the history of socialism as a distinctly Christian philosophy. Sadly that’s long been forgotten I think.

    • And the “under God” part was added in 1954 to smoke out the commies during the McCarthy period. The plan was, as atheists they wouldn’t be able to recite that phrase, and so us good guys would watch for that and snag ’em and throw ’em in the slammer.

      Problem: it assumed that all commies are honest and would have to abstain from saying “under God.” Nobody ever dreamed that some of them godless commies would lie to us real Americans and recite the pledge along with the rest of us.

      Godless friggin’ commies.

      • I simply don’t recite those words. No lying needed: I just fall silent.

      • Christiane says

        and now, the far right shows up with torches in Charlottesville VA, a town that my family loves, and protests the removal of a Civil War statue, all the time yelling ‘Russia is our friend’ . . . . . apparently Russia is now in the good graces of the same types who were afraid of the ‘commies’, go figure


  13. flatrocker says

    I had the distinct honor and pleasure of growing up in Kentucky between the towns of Sugar Tit and Rabbit Hash. Made for a real tough choice on where to go on Saturday nights, I’ll tell ya.
    Sadly, Sugar Tit succumbed to suburban sprawl. However, Rabbit Hash is still going strong. The current duly elected mayor of Rabbit Hash is actually a dog.
    Top that.

    • Nope, I can’t top that. Some years ago, when Prescott, AZ was a small western town where Hualapai Indians came to shop and firefighters spent the winter, an outlying region was called Jackass Flats. Now that the sunbirds have moved in, it has golf courses and is called Prescott Acres — even though to drive there from Phoenix you have to pass by Bloody Basin and Devil’s Gulch.

      I don’t think the sunbirds will be moving to Owen County, Indiana, where there is a planned development named Chigger Hollow.

      • I’ve always wondered about Bloody Basin in AZ. I can imagine the reaction when you give your address as Bloody Basin.

      • As a 5-6 year old I experienced my first dose of chiggers that I picked up traipsing in the Ponderosa pine forest around our cabin just south of “Preskit”. It was a brutal experience.

        • I associate chiggers with picking wild black berries. Sweet and melt in your mouth.

          The ones you get in stores seem to be 2/3s sour. 🙁

    • Christiane says

      “The current duly elected mayor of Rabbit Hash is actually a dog.
      Top that.”


      I guess they really finally wanted an honest politician. 🙂

  14. I must say that as a gardener without an appropriate fence, “Rabbit Hash” has a more appealing sound to my not particularly long ears than it might to some.

  15. One further day for your calendar, CM. 5th August is Brigg Fair day, according to the eponymous English folksong:

  16. Read Bartholdi and the Statue of Liberty, by Willadene Price, it’s written for young adults ( i read it years ago to my kids), it’s a great read. An amazing story of the sculptor, the SoL itself, how it almost didn’t get here, and when it did…well…go read it. Most don’t know the stories/history behind the story/history.

    My parents and in laws have been strategic over the years to slowly get rid of stuff. When they pass over the next few years…it’ll be easy to take care of what’s left. Thank goodness! We, on the other hand, are minimalists, and if I don’t want something anymore, and the kids don’t — either I put it out front for free and it disappears, Goodwill, or offer it to someone we know.

    Re: Joel Hunter. Will have to go read him. This has been my mantra for years, when fellow evangelicals (back before we went Lutheran) would be upset that I wasn’t involved in church ministry–and my reply has always been, ummm, nope- There’s a world beyond the 4 walls, Jesus didn’t hide out on a synagogue, he went TO the people and that’s my example.

    It kinda bugs me that BSF expects all their leadership to have a ministry in the church….really? You’re already ministering to the church in BSF, don’t you want your people ministering to the world? As much as I like BSF and their studies, etc, I could never get on board w/their philosophy.

  17. Klasie Kraalogies says

    There is a place on the edge of the Kalahari desert in SA that is named Hotazell. You have to say it out loud…

    • Hot As Hell I suspect…

    • Here in Maine a lot of towns have Indian names. There’s a three-way fork in the road somewhere up north, and some people from away were driving along and stopped, and the husband got out and asked a local, “Where does that road go?”
      And the local said, “Macwahoc.”
      “And where does that one go?”
      “And that road over there?”
      The husband got back into the car and the wife asked where they were. “No telling,” he said. “That fella don’t speak a word of English.”

  18. I am so down for that mysterious radio stuff! Reminds me of Stephen King’s Under the Dome and other works. Love it!

    The company I work for’s abbreviation is “MK” and I’ve already made it known to everyone that I’m claiming “MK Ultra” as a project name. Not a single person so far even knows what that is…

    Tho it’s also a fun Muse song.

  19. You may also play Truth or Consequences in New Mexico.

    • …which town used to be called Hot Springs until Ralph Edwards brought his Truth or Consequences radio program there many years ago to make a few broadcasts outside their regular studio, and the town changed its name. It’s absolutely true.

  20. Patriciamc says

    You know how God will take something bad and use it for good? Well, last year while unemployed, I had to spend four months in my hometown caring for my sick parents and cleaning out their apartment. It was all on me since my sister had passed away the year before, so it was good that I had the time. My parents are depression babies, so they threw nothing out because, you never know, you might have a use for it one day! Hence the large box of electronic cords (grrrrr) and several large plastic storage boxes full of clothes. My mother thought she was organized if she put everything in plastic storage boxes (grrr). I learned a valuable lesson: the difference in valuable objects and crap is the number. I joked (joked?) that one Stradivarius is precious; 20 in a plastic storage box taking up space in the closet is crap. So, I spent a lot of time donating to Good Will and took 5, count ’em, 5 large loads of medical supplies (oxygen tubes, hearing aid batteries, over-the-counter drugs) to a medical charity. I also let my cousin’s daughters clean out the kitchen for their dorm rooms and apartments. Then, there was still plenty left for the estate sale. So my advice for getting rid of objects: if it has meaning to you, you can keep it, but it’s also okay to get rid of since it served its purpose by giving pleasure to the original owner. It can now benefit someone else.

  21. I grew up singing Irving Berlin’s setting (arranged by Roy Ringwald) of “Give Me Your Tired, Your Poor” in high school choir. I can’t read the poem without hearing that music, As the great-grandson of a German immigrant, I’ve always thought it was about immigrants and greatly appreciated it as part of who we are as Americans.