joined: 2016-05-14
Next level: 
Points needed: 798
Last game


5 hours ago

Happy Easter

May the spirit of rejoicing and renewal infect every day of your life for all the years to come!

Of a Mustard Seed, and a Noodle

All my life I've pondered the biblical reference to having faith "even as much as a mustard seed." As a child, I stole a necklace from my mother that contained a mustard seed in its pendant. I took the pendant apart (I'm not saying I was a good child, necessarily!) and examined that mustard seed from all angles, but I couldn't see what was so special about it.
Just this past summer, the thought occurred to me that a mustard seed is simply itself. It doesn't try to grow into a cabbage, or a lemon tree, it just grows mustard, and doesn't waste any effort wishing it was something else, or that the plant next to it was different, or anything. It's just mustard, and it's good with that.
On January 20, my basset hound, Baxter, died of cancer. We called him Noodle as a nickname, because when we first got him he could bend over backwards like a piece of macaroni, and it was hysterical. We got Baxter as a companion to our old basset hound, Bentley (who we called Boo), who had outlived the longest lived of his litter mates by five years, and who was our best friend and companion for 13 years. Boo had slowed down quite a bit by then, and we thought a puppy might keep him interested and active.
Bentley died of old age four months after we got Bax. At the time, I almost couldn't bear to be around poor Baxter, who'd done nothing wrong, other than not being Boo.
Bax was a character. As soon as his voice changed, he immediately fell in love with it, and his favorite thing to do was bark. Ad nauseum. Sometimes he would walk out into the back yard, find everything quiet and nothing to chase or investigate, and he would just bark. At nothing. He loved it, us, not so much. "Noodle! Stop that effing barking!" was a not-uncommon phrase every summer.
I thought of that when he died, and of how completely Baxter he was. He wasn't Boo, he didn't wish he was a bird, he didn't try to grow into a rose bush. He was just Noodle. And maybe all of that barking was just a Noodle making a joyful noise unto the Lord. And God help me, through my tears, but I'm good with that.

Merry Christmas to All!

Merry Christmas! Feliz Navidad! Joyeux Noel! Happy Christmas! However you say it, and whatever it means to you, may the joy of this day infect every subsequent day of your life -- and if you're reading this, this means you!

Veterans Day

Thank you to all who serve, have served, or plan to serve. We all owe you more than we could ever hope to repay.

Shock and sadness

The events of 7 October were horrifying. Equally horrifying has been the response of some in the United States.
It's remarkable to watch young people raised so gently and carefully -- no bullying! we cried -- turn into hate-spewing thugs. The selfsame sheltered precious beings on whom was showered so much love and nurturing went to college and came out bullies. The amount of hatred in the world seems to have actually increased -- only the targets have changed.
White people are privileged, good-for-nothing, poisoned by their own entitlement, according to these fruits of our loins. Jews should be massacred en masse, because as Adolf Hitler told us, there was only one "solution." If you're a female athlete who doesn't want to compete with men, you're a bigot and a homophobe, and whatever other name they can shout at you. If you disagree on any point they choose to champion, you should be canceled -- lose your job and ability to feed your family -- even, and especially, if your disagreement is based on faith (unless you're Muslim of course) or fact.
I say those of us who disagree should fight back -- loudly. Pull your kids out of these hate factories that pass themselves off as colleges. Confront those who advocate these hatreds in whatever form they currently espouse it. Refuse to be silenced -- because as that famous saying goes, "...I said nothing. And then they came for me."
Good people -- please speak up, stand up, shout truth from the rooftops, because evil triumphs when good people do nothing.