Sunday, March 25, 2007

Me and my furry friends

After a few months of talking about it, Liz and I finally took the plunge and became members of the Columbus Zoo last weekend. Basically it means we can go to the zoo whenever we want, which is quite a luxury to have. For those of you outside of Columbus and those here who haven't gotten around to going, the zoo here is very nice, and it definitely gives us a good reason to get some exercise and get out of our zoo.

I've written about our trip there last summer, but it really is a much better experience when it isn't so crowded. Sadly our first two visits saw the sparsity extend to the animal population, but our visit yesterday had many critters out and about. It really is quite nice to just stand and watch a bear lay on a log, a weird, but really cool looking goat thing stand like the bad--ass he is, or even partake in the fun that is the petting zoo (the creepy inbred sheep with scary overbite excluded--someone with a sense of humor called that clan of sheep the Romanovs).

At this point I've kinda ran out of things to say (about the zoo at least), and I'm rambling on so I can put another picture in. BTW, there are many more pictures on our online photo archive (over 7000 pictures and growing).

Thursday, March 22, 2007

A Sheep in Wolf's Clothing Part II

Last week or whenever it was I commented about the hidden menace of Christian radio in disguise. Well this week I found out that there is an even more popular sheep in wolf's clothing on none other than American Idol. You see Chris Sligh, the nerdy mop headed dude is more deacon than dork. He's a former student at none other than Bob Jones University. Yes THAT Bob Jones university, the one even Billy Graham and President Bush (neither known for liberal views) distanced themselves from. Well Graham was practically disowned by Bob Jones because he actually had the nerve to talk with Catholics. You see Bob Jones Jr thinks this of Catholicism:

"not another Christian denomination. It is a satanic counterfeit, an ecclesiastic tyranny over the souls of men....It is the old harlot of the book of the Revelation—'the Mother of Harlots.'"

Well things are getting a bit more reasonable at Bob Jones, as they will allow interracial couples since 2000. Yes folks, it wasn't until 2000 that it was OK. Blacks weren't welcome at all until the 70's, and that was only due to tax implications (well money does come before bigotry).

Here are some of their enlightened rules:
  • Freshman and sophomore residence hall students must sign out before leaving campus; students with junior and senior privileges may leave without signing out between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m.. Curfew is at 10:25 p.m., and residence hall students must be in their own rooms and quiet at 11 p.m. Lights must be out by midnight.
  • Each student is provided with a filtered e-mail account. Using unfiltered Internet access via computer, mobile phone, or satellite phone is prohibited for residence hall students. The university provides content-filtered Internet access for student use that blocks pornography, "lurid violence," racial hate, and other "objectionable content."
  • DVD/VCRs are not allowed in residence halls; DVD players on computers cannot be used for watching films. Televisions may be used only as monitors to play video games.
  • Students are forbidden to attend movie theaters or, when visiting local homes, to watch any films with a rating higher than a G rating. Residence hall students are not permitted to play, use, or own video games that are rated T, M, or Ao or that include profanity, sensual or suggestive dress, rock music, graphic violence, or demonic themes.
  • Students may not listen to country, jazz, New Age, rock, rap, or contemporary Christian music.
  • Residence hall students are permitted to work off-campus only until 10:25 p.m. on weekdays and midnight on weekends, and students may not solicit door-to-door without a retail license or permission from the dean of students.
  • The University will not allow anything displaying the logos of Abercrombie & Fitch or its subsidiary Hollister to be "worn, carried, or displayed" on campus even if the logos are covered because these companies have "shown an unusual degree of antagonism to the name of Christ and an unusual display of wickedness in their promotions."

I am an Enabler

For those of you who don't know, Liz is straight edge, and I was raised as a German Catholic. Needless to say there is a pretty big difference in certain aspects of our lives, but all in all we get along pretty well. When we first met, I had my two kids who pretty much would get wasted on whatever I'd give them, including one who was pretty much a stoner. She had her two kids, who had never done any illicit substances (they had their vices, mostly a punk-like tendency for destruction).

We'd never talked about our parenting views, but I supposed all was well. Being inspired by Bradgelina we adopted an orphan of our own. He followed in his mother's straight edge life, and all was well. My two kids had their stashes, but our latest addition really seamed to have made a choice to abstain.

Well a few days ago we were at the store, and Liz saw something to help get our little druggies their fix (kinda like a bong, only it involved a modest amount of activity). We bought it, and I loaded it up with some of the finest green goodness. Little did I know that within the next few days, not only did my two life long users and abusers get their fix, but our latest addition as well. He's fallen to the dark side, with his distant glazed over look and general lethargy. I hope his mommy can forgive me and continue to love him. Poor kitty just couldn't say no.

Monday, March 19, 2007

Scary--ney, scarier than scary

What's scarier than a schizophrenic, a schizophrenic who's been brainwashed into being well through the power of Jesus.

Longtime readers recall I've written about the said state of schizophrenics before, and BTW, let me just pat myself on the back for being able to spell it correctly the first time!!!! More recent readers have read about the Jesusification of the FM dial. Well, imagine being schizophrenic, bipolar, severely depressed, or worse and pulling into Walgreens to get you happy pills or whatnot. As you pull in, you drive by the Jesus Outreach Center with a scrolling marquee, telling you that they can treat your mental ailments, which they listed in detail. Why pay good money for medicine, when you can just stop by and pray away your mental illness.

Let me tell you my deranged friends, listen to your neighbors dog, the voices in your head, even the advice Jerry Springer gives at the end of his show--anything instead of the marquee at the outreach center. There are enough crazy Christians out there--we don't need any more.

Saturday, March 17, 2007

If All Else Fails, There's Always Starbucks

If I recall correctly that was the motto of the Department of History at the University of Florida, and if it wasn't, well it should have been. Worry not, things are going well at work, so well we even got a bonus--not too much, otherwise I'd be writing about far cooler stuff--say maybe a new digital SLR.

Anyway, this is going somewhere ... yeah, with my bonus, I got Liz and I a new friend. No I didn't buy some slave on the internet, though having someone to clean the house, shovel the driveway, and amuse the dogs would be nice, but I did get a helper. His name is Frank. Unlike the somewhat creepy bunny dude in Donnie Darko, he's rather friendly looking and has a clear purpose.

Well, here's Frank, why is he called Frank, well he's the FrancisFrancis X5, and I'm not calling anything Francis, so we decided on Frank. I'm pretty much fueled on caffeine, hell I already had four different coffee making apparatuses (including another espresso machine), and I've been wanting a real espresso machine for a while. Deciding that I should get something fun with my bonus I decided I should splurge on an espresso machine. Given that Liz and I have started to amass a small collection of handsome appliances (and the great deal Illy has on these things), I decided to get an extra perdy machine.

So, in the days that have passed since Frank has stormed into our life, I've done what I do best, and learned everything there is to know about him and making espresso (lattes, cappuccinos, and other drinks too). There are quite a few interesting resources, ranging from geeks to champion baristas and everything in between. Now i just need a home still to help me unwind at the end of the day.

Monday, March 12, 2007

A Sheep in Wolf's Clothing

Feeling deceived is about the worst feeling in the world (well that and realizing that you really shouldn't have drank that water and Montezuma will be inflicting his revenge). Anyway, I and many other central Ohioans (those who say "pop" instead of "soda" and "mmmmmmmmmbye" instead of "goodbye" or simply "bye"), and it's the worst kind of deception. Far worse than a wolf in sheep's clothing (for after all the poor wolf must eat) is the sheep in wolf's clothing. The Christian guerrillas of the world, damn you to hell!

The story starts like many others, Liz and I were driving in my humble steed, Ashley, and we were surfing the radio dial for something to listen to (someone tends to tire of my iPod selections), and we stumbled upon 88.7, an odd frequency for anything other than NPR, college radio, or Christian radio. What we heard wasn't NPR, nor was it Christian radio. We didn't seem to hear any DJs or commercials, and the music was kinda good. Nothing was familiar and nothing was great, but it always seemed like there could be something good coming up, and neither one of us were playing too close of attention. Over the coming days we each listened separately for clues to the stations origins, and I heard them call themselves Radio U. Well, there we had it--a college station. Cool. We were a little skeptical still, as we were expecting an eclectic mix of formats and DJs, which is more typical of smaller college stations.

No, it was not cool. Liz listened a bit, and she seemed to here themes that were very Christian, and she was getting suspicious. I checked out their website, which revealed that they were owned by Spirit Communications, and they were all about anti-drug and anti-violence music (not all that bad in and of itself). Reading further I saw that they work with a local prayer line. Well damnit, they're Christians in hiding, pretending to be cool. Listening further, we heard one of the DJs bust out into a sermon.

Afterward I felt dirty--dirty and used.

Spring Has Sprung

The days are getting longer, the snow has melted, the clocks have sprung forward, and I see 70 degrees on the forecast! I know the warmth will be short lived (the longer days and daylight savings are here to stay though), and soon I'll be able to see living ground hogs (I've seen one, but he appears to be terminally asleep in the middle of an onramp). More than anything, the ruffling sound of paper brackets with everyone's picks for the tournament reassures me that spring is right around the corner. Tonight we'll fire up the barbecue, and it won't be long before we can start going to the zoo (not just the one at home).