October 21, 2020

Saturday Ramblings, April 11, 2015

Human head transplants, Polar-bear-sized aliens, and the sex lives of grilled cheese eaters: welcome to the weekend!  Let’s ramble! And let’s break out the rag-top, baby, it’s spring!1964-Rambler-American-440-ConvertibleWell, that’s a relief: The life-sized replica of Noah’s Ark is still alive. “Despite all the naysayers, and the enormous amount of false information certain people and organizations have spread about this project — it is moving ahead nicely toward the opening in 2016. We just praise the Lord for this,” Ken Ham said in a Facebook message on Thursday, accompanied by this picture:

"And we'll have it ramming a life-sized tower of Babel"

“And we’ll have it ramming a life-sized tower of Babel”

Rand Paul, Senator from Kentucky, has announced his candidacy for the presidency this week. I don’t really know much about him, but he certainly doesn’t pander to the crowd.  The following quotes are from his speeches to Family Research Council’s Values Voter Summit — an annual gathering of social conservatives considered necessary to winning the evangelical vote.

My faith has never been easy for me, never been easy to talk about and never been without obstacles. I do not and cannot wear my religion on my sleeve. I am a Christian but not always a good one. I’m not completely free of doubts. I struggle to understand man’s inhumanity to man…

My first patient as a medical student on the surgical service was a beautiful young woman who unfortunately presented with metastatic melanoma to her ovaries. She didn’t die during my time caring for her, but I knew enough to know that her time was limited. And I struggled to understand her tragedy and how tragedy could occur in a world that has purpose and design… I struggle to understand how evil individuals sometimes reap earthly rewards and saintly heroes are martyred by their fellow man. 

It is unacceptable not to hate war. I’m not a pacifist, but I do think it unacceptable not to hate war. I’m dismissive of those who champion war as sport and show no reluctance to engage in war. Any leader who shows glee or eagerness for war should not be leading any nation…Though I hate war, I could commit a nation to war, but only reluctantly and constitutionally and after great deliberation… At the same time I’m conflicted. I don’t believe Jesus would have killed anyone or condoned killing, perhaps not even in self-defense. I’m conflicted.

Speaking of the presidential campaign, Hillary Clinton is expected to announce her candidacy this weekend.  In totally unrelated news, on Thursday night Clinton’s chief of staff John Podesta held a private dinner at his Washington home with reporters who will be covering the 2016 presidential race. Podesta, a seasoned cook, made a pasta with walnut sauce, shrimp appetizer, homemade cookies, and a selection of wine and beer for the dinner guests, which included reporters from The New York Times, The Washington Post, Politico, The Wall Street Journal, The Associated Press, Bloomberg, McClatchy, Reuters, Huff Po, and several major TV networks. I’m sure they mainly discussed sports.

A church in New Jersey [named Liquid Church because, you know, hipsters] had an ambitious goal for Easter Sunday.  Care to guess what it was? To craft a aesthetically excellent and theological profound worship service? To thoughtfully challenge Christians to sacrificially and selflessly live out their resurrection lives? To create the biggest Easter-egg hunt in the state, with 100,000 plastic eggs, some of which held vouchers for ipads? Well, trick question.  You know the answer.  Because nothing says “Jesus” better than a large rabbit hiding painted hen’s eggs.

I have no idea where this comes from but it makes me cry

I have no idea where this picture comes from but it makes me cry. A lot.

Just when you thought it was safe to go back to the theater…The producers behind 2014’s “Left Behind” movie have announced that there will be a sequel, with the story picking up after the Rapture. “We are living in the last days and if the Rapture were to happen today, there are a lot of people who just aren’t ready,” said Paul Lalonde, producer and CEO of Cloud Ten Pictures, “This is why we need to complete the story as soon as possible beginning with LEFT BEHIND 2″.

Nic Cage always has a way of making me wish I was raptured...

Nic Cage always has a way of making me wish I was raptured…

Speaking of aliens, University of Barcelona cosmologist Dr. Fergus Simpson argues in a new paper that most intelligent alien species would likely be nine feet tall and exceed 300 kilograms (661 pounds)–with the median body mass “similar to that of a polar bear.” And maybe bigger. You can read the abstract and the reasoning here.  Well, at least now we know who made Stonehenge.

And we have an explanation for this totally legit pic.

And we have an explanation for this totally legit pic.

Do grilled cheese sandwiches improve your sex life?  “The company surveyed 4,600 people and found that 73% of grilled cheese lovers have sex at least once a month, compared with 63% of those who don’t love GC. And 32% of grilled cheese lovers have sex at least six times a month, compared with 27% of non-grilled cheese lovers. The survey also discovered that 81% of its participants who love grilled cheese say they have donated time, money or food to those in need. And 84% of GC fans love to travel, compared with 78% of those who aren’t fans.” Boy, can’t argue with science like that.


If this picture doesn’t turn you on there is something seriously wrong with you. Talk to your doctor or something.

Theologian of the week: Pastor Bill Lytell extolls the virtues of Male Leadership (and holsters in the men’s room):

Godzilla is back in Tokyo.  Not as a menace, but as a “special resident and tourism ambassador” for Tokyo’s Shinjuku ward. A Godzilla-size head towering 52 meters (171 feet) above ground level was unveiled at an office of Toho, the Japanese studio behind the 1954 original. Toho is shooting a comeback film this year after a decade-long hiatus. It will be the 30th Godzilla movie.

Look, Chaplain Mike, there’s hope: Human head transplants may soon be a thing.

Daniel Weness, a farmer who lives in Leroy, Minnesota has two problems.  The first is that he lives in Leroy, Minnesota. The second is that he was robbed on Easter Sunday. And what did they thieves score?  Ummm… bull semen.  A canister of bull semen. A canister of bull semen worth $70,000.

Book your trip to Vegas, baby, for a special, special treat: The Duck Commander Musical has now opened! No, I’m not kidding. From the Caesar’s page (where you can also listen to the songs, yay):

Featuring a contemporary score that blends country, rock, gospel, and pop and a multimedia set delivering backwoods authenticity through cutting-edge technology, Duck Commander Musical will leave audiences humming the tunes, shedding a tear, and laughing at the hijinx of one family in pursuit of the American dream. Songs include:

“Camouflage” This driving country-pop song features Korie teaching Willie a lesson about staying true to himself.

“Cookin’ for the Family” Miss Kay shows the young’uns how it’s done in the kitchen in this rocking country hoe-down.

“Faith, Food, and Family” The opening song of the Duck Commander Musical lays it all out for you with a Southern rock heartbeat: these are the three pillars guiding the Robertsons’ everyday lives, and they all start with F !

“Like the River Flows” In this sweeping ballad, Willie and Korie realize they’ve been destined to be together all along and that their future rests in the hands of a higher power.

Do you have a pet name for your significant other?  No?  May I suggest one?  Why not “sparklebutt”?  After all, it was announced last week that our poop contains gold. “The gold we found was at the same level of a minimal mineral deposit,” said Kathleen Smith, of the US Geological Survey. This was reported at the 249th National Meeting & Exposition of the American Chemical Society in Denver, a convention we have, for some reason, never had occasion to mention here in the Ramblings before. The scientists showed that the readings of the valuable metals levels were comparable with those found in some commercial mines, and a sewage treatment facility in Tokyo that has already started extracting gold from sludge has reported a yield matching or even besting those found in ore at some leading gold mines.  And tell Sparklebutt not to worry; apparently this is quite normal.

This, however, is not

This, however, is not

The Iowa House of Representatives began its work session on Thursday with a prayer, which is not unusual.  What was unusual? It was led by a Wiccan “cabot witch.” Some Christian legislators choose not to attend the prayer; one did attend but turned his back.

Sad, but true: another week, another massacre of Christians overseas.  The attack in Kenya was explicitly religious: A student told The Associated Press, “If you were a Christian, you were shot on the spot.” Another who escaped through a window said, “The attackers were just in the next room, I heard them ask people whether they were Christian or Muslim, then I heard gunshots and screams.” Despite this, the Obama administration would only say, “innocent men and women were brazenly and brutally massacred,” and vowed to continue to fight “violent extremism.”  This fits with the administration’s goal to downplay the religious aspects of the conflict (the Christians beheaded in Libya, for example, were called “people of the cross” by the be-headers, but “Egyptian citizens” by Obama).  I bring this up not to complain, but to query.  Is the administration right, that downplaying the religious angle keeps the these types of things from broadening into more religious violence, since it avoids polarizing the issue? Or is it unwisely refusing to name and understand the real nature of the conflict, thus distorting our response? I am on the fence on this one.  What say you, imonks?

Finally, this week the U.S. Postal Service unveiled a new stamp honoring writer Maya Angelou, with bigwigs like Michelle Obama and Oprah in attendence. The only problem? The quote featured on the stamp isn’t hers.



Turns out the quote was in publication before Maya used it in her 1969 memoir (you know, the one where some bird is in a cage for some reason). The Post Office issued a statement, basically saying, “bullocks; we aint changing it”.  In fact, the USPS is going ahead with a few other stamps in the series. maya1 maya5maya100maya 7



  1. I’m impressed by Rand Paul’s quotes, however, I fully expect him to go full fundigelical on the campaign trail to get votes. I hope he doesn’t, but I think he and the other candidates will probably have to in order to get any support at all for the religious right machine their predecessors created.

    I’ve got a short new entry in my blog. Please check it out if you have a minute or two.

    • I listened to his speech, and was not impressed. He offered a laundry list of pie-in-the-sky libertarian panaceas (no more borrowing from China! Tax cuts for everyone! Jobs for everyone!) With no real indication of the depth of our problems (there are REASONS manufacturing jobs left this country; cut foreign aid? It’s share of the budget is microscopic). I, IMHO, found his speech… Pandering.

      • You expect depth from campaign speeches? That just never happens from EITHER side! And pandering? THAT is what this is all about, pandering for votes!

      • I’m not talking about his politics. I’m referring strictly to what he said about his religious beliefs. That is not the sort of stuff one would expect to hear from a GOP presidential candidate.

    • I quite honestly don’t care if a good guy puts on a fake show to win votes. Not saying I’ve made up my mind, but of all the evils committed by politicians, a little pandering to unify a voting base has got to be the least of their sins. The choice is probably between that and the good guys never seeing the light of day, not exactly brain surgery as far as I’m concerned.

      • At this late stage of the game, I’m not convinced there ARE any “good guys” in American politics. Unless I hear somebody make promises much less dramatic than Paul did – matched with a sober reckoning with the sacrifices necessary to achieve even a “soft landing” during our decline – they aren’t ultimately a “good guy”.

        • Careful, Eeyore. Disappointed high expectations makes for a bitter outlook. It is WAY too early to expect ANYTHING other than nostrums as the candidates shake out of the trees. And as for “good guys” showing up in the primaries, I can’t think of ONE in the past 40 years. Even Reagan was an untrusted entry till he proved himself in office. It is always the “fire” that proves quality, but until then we just have to make our best judgment on who might be fitting as a leader.

          • If we expect nothing but nostrums from them in the beginning, what’s to keep them from never going beyond nostrums once they get elected? 😉

          • Proved himself in office? Maybe. But he also invented the open borders policy with Mexico, and almost singlehandedly destroyed American farming. He was good at some things, bad at others.I won’t touch his economic policy here…

        • Elizabeth Warren.

      • Randy Thompson says

        I’ve been thinking about the great difference between political campaigns and serving in a position of responsibility, whether as President or in the House or Senate. What really bothers me is this. All the skills that go in to winning elections are not the same skills required of an effective leader. Winning elections depends on appearances. Being a leader demands depth of character and the wisdom to do what is best (given the circumstances). We vote on the basis of appearances, and then we wonder why we’re disappointed in the person we elect. It’s rather like buying laundry detergent on the basis of advertising, but then finding out it doesn’t clean your clothes.

      • Dan Crawford says

        Pandering and whoring are the lifeblood and air of politics. Mr. Paul has shown himself quite capable of drawing great sustenance from both. He wants us to believe that he has a compassionate heart but he endorses policies that only harm the lives of the least able, the least rich, the least healthy and those whose access to the polls is consistently threatened. He is, being a good libertarian, a Social Dawwinist at heart and being a Good Republican, one more than willing to use any means possible to re-distribute income from ordinary taxpayers to the extraordinarily rich. And like every politician, he is a functional sociopath who considers lying the commerce of ordinary speech.

    • I doubt Paul will “go full fundigelical”. He never really has in the past, and I have no reason that he’d do it now.

      The Ted Cruz speech at Liberty WAS “fundagelical” and I HATED it! I’d not vote for him at this point.

  2. Bravo. One of the best Ramblings ever.

    My opinion on Obama’s downplay of the religious element of the Christian killings is that it’s complete intellectual dishonesty. Can you imagine him downplaying the race of the person killed by the cop in Ferguson?

    • it’s a fine line because these extremists want so badly to spark a religious war which they believe will bring on their version of the Apacalypse. So the more the religious aspects of these massacres are focused on, the more it feeds into their plan. But, how do you not mention it, when it is so very obvious? I wish I knew.

      • But when everybody else is already reporting on the religious aspect of the massacre, and as a result the religious extremists/terrorists are getting their point across anyway, it just makes the administration sound like they are merely being politically correct, which in this case seems either clueless, or intellectually dishonest, as Rick said. I can almost hear the religious extremists/terrorists laughing at our Administration’s choice of words.

        • yes, true, but the President has to give the “official” response, keeping in mind the tenuous ties to other countries who may take any anti-Islam rhetoric the wrong way. The word is out, yes, so we know Christians are being targeted, as well as, in many cases, Muslims whose beliefs aren’t strict enough, so we know. Imagine, for example, someone like Timothy McVeigh being categorized over & over by world leaders as a Bible quoting Christian.

          I can’t say if the President’s response is appropriate or not. I do understand that he has to be very, very careful in how he phrases it.

          • Notice, I didn’t use the word “Christian”, because I’m not being that narrow. I’m talking about acknowledging the religious dimension of an issue, when that dimension is significantly involved in events.

            I do understand your point. But there is a threshold across which I believe it’s wrong to follow the policy that the Administration is following in talking about these events. I believe that threshold has been crossed, because of the sheer repetition of such events. In my mind, at this point, it’s wrong to unofficially leave unmentioned the religious dimension of the unfolding crisis, as it would be wrong in an analogous way to leave unmentioned the religious dimension of the Holocaust (I’m making a comparison of kind, not degree, to underscore what I mean; I in no way am making the Administration’s omissions equivalent to neo-Nazi propaganda).

          • Regarding the foreign policy matter, and the need to be careful around our sensitive “allies” in the region: This very sensitivity is part of the problem, the metastasizing problem, that we have with our “allies” in the region. Denial of reality serves here not only as the necessary evil of politic, but generates a fictionalized world in which the analysis and understanding of the nature and causes of the problem becomes fatally defective. It seems to me that the official use ofsuch coy nomenclature is actually feeding the problem, at this point, and making it even harder to talk about the problem in a way that will lead to a remedy. I don’t see that walking on egg-shells when talking about these events is making us “allies,” or making our current “allies” more reliable.

          • Just remember “W” referring to his response to 9/11 as a crusade.

          • Bush’s choice of the word “crusade” was wrong, and inflammatory; I think a lot of his policy in response to 9/11 was wrong, too.

            It is really the Islamic extremists who are engaging in a “crusade,” thinking to regain the Caliphate, and from there to conquer the world for their conception of Allah. At this point, I think it’s counterproductive to hide this fact behind religiously neutral language. I think the Administration is being naive to think that such language helps.

          • Suzanne, i agree – being any more direct could lead to terrible consequences. I think the pres.’s language has to be *very* carefully chosen, and not just because of what a handful of Muslim extremists might do. There are others, who are adherents of other religions, who have the potential to be just as likely to use words as a pretext for violent, terroristic actions.

            I am choosing my own words carefully, as i don’t want to add fuel to the fire, nor to get into any arguments about religion or foreign policy.

          • numo, Do you think the language of the President is staying the hand of religious extremists in the U.S. or other countries from targeting and attacking innocent people of other religions? My impression is that most religious extremists who are likely to become terrorists in this nation or elsewhere have as little regard for the President of the United States’ words as do the extremists/terrorists who are currently targeting and attacking innocent members of other religions across the globe. And while the number of extremists of any particular religion engaging is such terrorism is indeed just a small fraction of that religion’s total number of adherents, I disagree with calling that fraction “a handful” in this case; there are many, and more recruited every day.

          • Robert, i think it is wise to avoid unnecessarily inflammatory language. And I was not referring to ISIS or similar groups, but extremists of other faiths.

          • Yes, I realized you were speaking of extremists of other faiths, and my response to your comment was predicated on that understanding.

          • Robert, I think I’ve tried to make it clear that I pretty much wanted to avoid the discussion that you’ve been trying to draw me into. Could we just let it rest, please?

          • Of course we can let it rest. I was not, however, trying to draw you into a conversation you didn’t want to have. I’m trying to understand the purport of your comment, using the broadest, most general concepts and wording, and not saying anything remotely inflammatory; that’s why I started off my response to your first comment with a question. As it is, your comment has become cryptic to me. Very well; consider it at rest.

          • Robert – that’s fair. If we were talking f2f, i wouldn’t hesitate to get into a discussion, but this is a public board. And there are some subjects i just don’t feel comfortable discussing.

        • They are afraid of “offending” Muslims in this country. They think it makes them seem more sober and even handed, intellectual, even,. But at the same time they do not have any problem confronting and offending a very large part of the country because they are “principled” in their goals.

          • Sorry, nope.

          • Christiane Smith says

            Hi OSCAR,
            I am thinking that now is the time for Americans to rally around our Muslim American citizens and protect THEM from all of this nightmare as best we can . . . we have many Muslim American citizens of good will who are law-abiding and are now vulnerable to all kinds of attack . . . from other rogue Muslims and from our own crazies.

            We need to stand with our decent Muslim citizens. We need to let them know that ‘WE, THE PEOPLE’ includes those of all faiths, and those of no faith. We need to be there for them now. We need to because of WHO WE ARE AS AMERICANS. And because long ago, we weren’t there for our Japanese American citizens, and we know how they were treated, so we understand what can happen when we don’t think what we are doing.

          • Christiane, what a wonderful perspective! I agree, and your reminder of the shameful way we treated Japanese-Americans *within my (long) lifetime* is excellent.

            Just to add: G.W. Bush was my least favorite president, but I’ll give him credit here. After 9/11, he called on Americans not to turn on the Muslims in our midst, and not to hate Muslims just because of the hijackers. (OK, he was good buddies with the Saudis so that’s partly why, I’m sure. But still.)

          • Christiane: Brava!!!

            H.Lee: ditto.

          • Although I wouldn’t throw the weight of all this on poor oscar’s shoulders, as if he has to prove something, I agree, by all means: let us, as we are able and to the degree that we have opportunity, speak up for our Muslim neighbors against prejudice, and defend their right to be protected under the Constitution, along with every other religious minority. Let us also remember to do the same for our Jewish neighbors, especially since there has been such a tremendous increase in anti-Semitic acts across the globe in the last decade, and the Jewish people, so small in number, need all the help they can get.

            And by no means should we allow a situation like the internment of Japanese-Americans during WWII to ever occur again. Given our agreement on this, I wish President Obama would do more to end Guantanomo Bay detention camp; but his signature on the 2011 Defense Authorization Bill seems to have put an end to that effort. Apparently, it’s not important enough to him to fight to reach this goal. I’m pretty sure the next Administration, Democratic or Republican, won’t do much, if anything, about it either.

          • Re: George W. Bush’s being buddies with the Saudis: Apparently, it’s hard to be in big time politics and resist making buddies of the Saudis, as both George W. Bush and Hilary Clinton (among others, I’m sure) illustrate.

        • Headless Unicorn Guy says

          it just makes the administration sound like they are merely being politically correct, which in this case seems either clueless, or intellectually dishonest, as Rick said. I can almost hear the religious extremists/terrorists laughing at our Administration’s choice of words.

          Too busy trying to impress the Kzinti with our Vegan Pacifism.

  3. Lots of machinery in that ark picture. It would be a lot more authentic if they’d use stone awls and hatchets. Might keep the budget down too… particularly if they also kept the construction crew to four men and their wives.

  4. Dan from Georgia (formerly from Minnesota) says

    Don’t knock Leroy, Minnesota! The folks over in Fertile or Nowthen would be aghast! Heck, I was from Coon Rapids!!!!

    • Daniel Jepsen says

      Sorry, Dan. Since I grew up in Ankeny, Iowa I guess I really can’t talk trash.

      • Home of Faith Baptist Bible College…that bastion of fundamentalism.

        Went there once for a fundy version of promise keepers. Left thoroughly convinced most of the fundy leaders were some of the most godless, despicable men I’d ever met. I think I was a senior in high school back then, and I remember dad and I talking about it in the car ride back to Minneapolis and he agreed with me fully.

    • Coon Rapids?

      My sympathies, lol.

  5. Fantastic Ramblings! First, the Maya Angelou stamps are hilarious. Second, please tell me you made up the Duck Commander Musical. Third, I wonder if there will be any polar-bear sized aliens on Ken’s big boat?

    • Daniel Jepsen says

      Oh, Dr. Fundy, for the love of all that is holy, please, I beg you to click the link and listen to the songs for the Duck Commander Musical. I tried to embed them, but it would not work.

      I mean, how can the description not tempt you: “Faith, Food, and Family — The opening song of the Duck Commander Musical lays it all out for you with a Southern rock heartbeat: these are the three pillars guiding the Robertsons’ everyday lives, and they all start with F !”

      Yes, they all start with F! Thanks for pointing that out! That’s amazing! Why settle for only one exclamation point on that one??!!!???

      • in my perfect world, the whole Duck Dynasty phenomenon will just disappear without a trace. Ugh. I can’t take any more.

        • Same here, Suzanne.

          • OldProphet says

            What is Duck Dynasty? Are ducks ruling somewhere? Have they ruled so long that they are a dynasty like the Ming Dynasty? Aren’t geese more powerful than ducks?

        • Randy Thompson says

          No, in a perfect world someone would make giant statues of them and declare them tourism ambassadors of, well, somewhere. . .

    • The Duck Dynasty musical is real. I’ve heard ads for it on Christian radio. My friend Dudley thought it was a morning radio show prank, he kept waiting for a punchline.

  6. How could you not mention baseball starting back, Mr. Jepsen? A massive oversight on your part. I haven’t watched much thus far, but I will this weekend. By the way, I’m picking the Nats to beat the Blue Jays in the World Series.

    And another very off-topic thing. Has anyone else here ever had a situation where you could have chosen to try a relationship with someone you quite liked, but you decided not to pursue it because it would have been a horrible idea? That happened to me last summer with a girl I talked to a lot in my English class. She seemed like a very fun person and while we were vastly different people, I enjoyed her company and she was also one of the most beautiful women I’ve ever met, but I think any romantic relationship we could have had would have been short, torrid, and ended very badly. However, for some reason, she’s been on my mind recently and I don’t know why. She didn’t like it here in South Carolina and wanted to go back to California, but it looks like from her social media that she’s still here. It almost makes me want to get in contact with her again. But that would be a terrible, terrible idea. Probably. Almost certainly… Why do people like that just pop into mind when you don’t expect it?

    • Daniel Jepsen says

      Life’s too short for baseball, Vega. Actually, I just say that to annoy Chaplain Mike. If he ever takes back the ramblings, you’ll know why.

      As for your girl problem…..yeah, I got nothin

    • Life is too short to live with a whole bunch of “probably” and “almost certainly” sticking up inside you. Yes, as a young man there were a few occasions when I “held back” from pursuing a relationship because I though it “almost certainly” would have been a bad idea, even though there was nothing bad in the friendship to suggest that it would go bad (being very different is not a bad thing; just the opposite: it’s a great thing). But it was actually fear that held me back, and heeding my fear issued in regret. It sounds like you’re already regretting not having pursued this relationship. Don’t let fear fill your life with regret.

      Two cents.

    • Oh, and to answer your last question: sometimes people (girls, in this case) just pop into your mind like that because your subconscious is working up a really bad case of regret.

    • Hey, don’t waste your life on what-ifs. Act on it, and then decide it if should continue. I say invite her to a baseball game. That way even if the relationship only lasts as long as the game, it will still feel like weeks.


      • Daniel Jepsen says


        • Brianthedad says

          Oh that’s funny. The only other way to stretch the space-time continuum on a sports-related date is to take her to a golf match. (it is masters week, btw) Both partners would have to be real gluttons for punishment to assent to that, though.

    • Don’t bother with the girl, Vega. She’s probably already forgotten that you even exist.

    • That Other Jean says

      To quote the exchange between Sir Walter Raleigh and Queen Elizabeth, scratched on a window pane with a diamond ring:

      “Fain would I climb, yet fear I to fall.”

      “If thy heart fails thee, climb not at all.”

    • I had a girl ask me out a year and a half ago…which was about six months after I quit liking her. I said no. We’re not really friends anymore, and I’m sort of glad for that. I wasn’t in a very healthy place, I didn’t want to take advantage of her (or anyone) in any way, and with all the changes in my life in the past year, I’m glad I’m not dragging anyone else through them with me. While the companionship would have been nice, some things you just have to fix alone.

      Was quite an empowering, surreal experience…to be the one to say no for once, and to be self-assured of it all.

      • Looking back, I dodged a lot of bullets, so to speak, each of which would make my life unrecognizable to me now. I’m glad I didn’t go to baptist fundy college and find a mrs and be in ministry somewhere or a deacon or whatever; that’s not me. I’m glad it didn’t work out with a few different people. I’m glad I didn’t quit school and pursue seminary. I’m glad I walked out the door more times than I stayed.

        I wouldn’t be where I’m at today if any of that stuff happened. For good or for bad, but mostly good. And the bad stuff I can work on and am turning around.

  7. One of the best Ramblings yet. Fantastic work. By the time I made it to the Duck Commander musical, I was already chuckling but the Maya Angelou stamps totally pushed me over the top. Literally LOL’d.

    Keep up the excellent work.

  8. Lord, I was born a ramblin’ man….

    Daniel, that picture of unknown origin that makes you cry a lot: it makes me laugh. More proof of my perverse nature.

  9. I wonder if Dr. Fergus’ most intelligent species also would play basketball…

  10. Does no one read C.S. Lewis’ That Hideous Strength these days? For years there has been a British government organization called the N.I.C.E — the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence. Not only does it recall Lewis’ incredibly creepy tool of death and chaos, but it also indicates that the British can’t even spell any more — another thing Lewis was worried about happening. And now head transplants. Next thing you know they’ll be digging up Merlin.

    I’m enjoying a little daydream of inviting Bill Lytell over to our house and having him meet our four beautiful, intelligent, competent daughters. i don’t know why, but I keep picturing him shriveling up like a salted slug.

  11. Great Ramble Daniel.

    Must have been dairy bull semen. Another way to get robbed is by forgetting to have the nitrogen tank serviced…I did that once and lost some valuable boar semen.

    • Daniel Jepsen says

      The variety of life-experiences of our commentators never ceases to delight me.

    • The Sin of Onan 2.0…he forgot to get the nitrogen tank serviced.

      Could be worse. He could have dropped the tank and it ruptured and spilled.

      A flowing river…

      Moses would have been pissed.

  12. OH, OH (raising hand, energetically)!!! May I suggest another quote for the Maya Angelou stamp series, even better than her “Well, do ya, punk?” quote?

    “A man’s got to know his limitations.”

    • Daniel Jepsen says

      I use that line all the time. I try to get Clint’s snarl down when I do it. My wife and daughters think I’m stupid. Alas, classic literary allusions are lost on them…

    • “Turns out the quote was in publication before Maya used it in her 1969 memoir (you know, the one where some bird is in a cage for some reason).” — DJ

      Will I be a party-pooper if I just quote the poem from which MA took her first book title? It’s by the famous black poet, Paul Laurence Dunbar, who was one of Angelou’s inspirations. It’s old-fashioned but still moving, I think:

      I know what the caged bird feels, alas!
      When the sun is bright on the upland slopes;
      When the wind stirs soft through the springing grass,
      And the river flows like a stream of glass;
      When the first bird sings and the first bud opes,
      And the faint perfume from its chalice steals–
      I know what the caged bird feels!

      I know why the caged bird beats his wing
      Till its blood is red on the cruel bars;
      For he must fly back to his perch and cling
      When he fain would be on the bough a-swing;
      And a pain still throbs in the old, old scars
      And they pulse again with a keener sting–
      I know why he beats his wing!

      I know why the caged bird sings, ah me,
      When his wing is bruised and his bosom sore,–
      When he beats his bars and he would be free;
      It is not a carol of joy or glee,
      But a prayer that he sends from his heart’s deep core,
      But a plea, that upward to Heaven he flings–
      I know why the caged bird sings!

      • Daniel Jepsen says

        Wow. Very cool. I had not seen that poem before.

      • Langston Hughes wrote some great short poems about being black.

        Harlem—by Langston Hughes

        What happens to a dream deferred?

        Does it dry up
        like a raisin in the sun?
        Or fester like a sore—
        And then run?
        Does it stink like rotten meat?
        Or crust and sugar over—
        like a syrupy sweet?

        Maybe it just sags
        like a heavy load.

        Or does it explode?

      • Thanks for posting the Dunbar piece, which i tried, somewhat unsuccessfully, to find earlier today.

        Angelou wrote a response, “Caged Bird,” which is on poetry.org and likely other sites as well.

    • Headless Unicorn Guy says

      “Turns out the quote was in publication before Maya used it in her 1969 memoir (you know, the one where some bird is in a cage for some reason).” — DJ

      Wouldn’t be the first time a quote from someone got attributed to someone else.

  13. I love grilled cheese sandwiches, but rarely eat them because of nutritional concerns. I guess that I now have some good reasons to increase my consumption of them (although that photo makes them look really repulsive and unappealing [which is definitely not how I experience them when I see them coming out of the frying pan]).

    • What if you love grilled cheese and your wife does not? What then? It’s like a priest taking Viagra!

    • If you have Capon’s “Marriage Supper of the Lamb,” he’s got an excellent little recipe for a nice variation on grilled cheese in the back. My wife is generally no fan, but she keeps asking for these ones. 🙂

  14. “Best Saturday Ramblings ever.” – Angelou

    • Brianthedad says

      Borrow a phrase without attribution from another author’s paper while in college? Zero. Make up stories when you’re anchoring the NBC Nightly News? See ya. Make your song sound like a Marvin Gaye song in your tribute to him? You Got To Give It Up to the tune of +$7M. Post office implies a quote from someone else is Maya’s? Official response: meh.

  15. No, and neither is the dedicated CHURCH building, nor the preacher centered paradigm. And the practice of people sitting in rows on pews or chairs didn’t evolve until hundreds of years later. Just another troll…

  16. Ok. Let’s get this straight: Allowing a Wiccan to lead an invocation for a legislative body: bad. Electing politicians who espouse the teachings of anti-Christian, objectivist writer Ayn Rand: perfectly fine.

    In that light the following article over on Patheos is appropriate.


    “It’s a running joke that the first thing a Pagan will say when asked to explain their religion is ‘We’re not Satanists’ and perhaps we should toss in ‘We’re not Objectivists either!’ Every Pagan religion I know of is antithetical to Objectivist and Satanist philosophy.”

    Let that sink in: even those dreaded pagans and Wiccans distance themselves from the objectivism of La Vey’s Rand-inspired/plagiarized Satanism.

    • They conveniently forget Rand’s views on religion and choose the parts from her work that fit their economic/social views, and they count on their constituents not knowing anything substantial about Rand beyond that she was opposed to welfare. (Which she was on at the end of her life.) I used to identify as a libertarian, but I quickly realized they’re just as full of crap as the mainstream parties are and are in fact even more repulsive in some ways than the main groups.

    • Headless Unicorn Guy says

      Ok. Let’s get this straight: Allowing a Wiccan to lead an invocation for a legislative body: bad. Electing politicians who espouse the teachings of anti-Christian, objectivist writer Ayn Rand: perfectly fine.

      Don’t you know Ayn Rand is now the latest Fourth Person of the Trinity? At least since all the John Galt Celebrity Impersonators came out of the woodwork after the 2008 election.

      Incidentally, a blogger with the handle Daylight Atheist is doing a chapter-by-chapter snark analysis of Atlas Shrugged (i.e. SCRIPTURE for Objectivists) over at http://www.patheos.com/blogs/daylightatheism/series/atlas-shrugged/

  17. It’s not the first time I’ve heard this connection, and I should not be surprised that it hasn’t made much headway. After all, it’s never popular to point out that one’s guardian angel is in fact a devil in masquerade…

  18. Is there any evidence that the people the makers of Left Behind 2 are trying to evangelize were even interested in seeing Left Behind 1, let alone a sequel?

    • Some saw it, but only for the entertainment value of seeing a bad movie and also in the hope that it would provide a hilariously over the top Nicolas Cage performance, which I hear it did not.

  19. Randy Thompson says

    Why oh why has no one commented on Godzilla becoming a tourism ambassador for a district in Tokyo?!? I can’t tell you how happy this makes me. If I ever make it to Japan, I will make a point of visiting Tokyo’s Sinjuku Ward and paying homage to the giant head of Godzilla. (This feels oddly idolatrous, but I think God will give me a pass on this one.) If anyone here should visit this wonder, I hope to see pictures (many pictures) posted here. (I’d love a T-short.).

    While I’m discussing important matters. . .

    After looking at the Eater Bunny picture and reading about the Barcelona professor’s views on what the ideal alien would be like, I came to see that these two items may well be related. What could possibly be more intelligent than a giant rabbit? Maybe there was a deeper subtext to “Harvey” than we realized. . . with apologies to the late James Stewart.

  20. Randy Thompson says

    Regarding bull semen. . .

    One of my professors at Yale Divinity School, the late Paul Holmer, told me this story.

    Mr. Holmer was scheduled to give a lecture at a small, Quaker college somewhere in rural Ohio. He landed in an airport that evidently was little more than a large field.

    He was the only person who got off the plane, and a man came forward to greet him. He was dressed very casually, in bluejeans and a flannel shirt as I recall., Mr. Holmer was struck by the informality, but wrote it off to this being a very rural area and the college being a Quaker school with a reputation for being informal.After greeting him, the man took his bag and led him to his pickup truck, throwing his bag in the back. He then took him to a local cafe for lunch.

    As the time went on, Mr Holmer grew concerned about arriving at the college in time to give his lecture. “Say,” he said. “Shouldn’t we be getting to where I’m giving my lecture?”

    “Lecture?” The man replied. “I thought you were here to draw sperm from my bull.”

  21. While listening to Jack White’s song “Black Bat Licorice” on the radio this week, I caught this surprising simile:
    “She writes letters like a Jack Chick comic”.

  22. OldProphet says

    Having gold in my poop makes me feel like a rich man when I mount my throne every morning. You know what they say, one mans trash is another mans riches!

  23. H. Lee says

    G.W. Bush was my least favorite president, but

    You like him less than James Buchanan, who could have prevented the civil war if he hadn’t been so traitorously passive, or Andrew Johnson? Really?

    • Really. Even less than Herbert Hoover — at least *he* invented the vacuum cleaner. 🙂

  24. I adore these Saturday pictures of the “Rambled.” When did it come off the assembly line? My iPad refuses to spell it right, AARGH

    • Daniel Jepsen says

      Hi hanni. Per wikipedia: “Rambler was an automobile brand name used by the Thomas B. Jeffery Company between 1900 and 1914, then by its successor, Nash Motors from 1950 to 1954, and finally by Nash’s successor, American Motors Corporation from 1954 to 1969. It was often nicknamed the “Kenosha Cadillac” after its place of manufacture.” The one in the pic was from 1964, so it was made by AMC.

  25. Be careful: If you eat too many grilled cheese sandwiches, you could end up like this:


  26. “…Saturday Ramblings are the bomb.”

    Maya Angelou may not have said it, but when you put it in quotation marks next to her image I hear it in my head in her voice. It’s like seeing “Oh bother” next to Winnie the Pooh – you know you heard that!