The Crayfish Food Hullabaloo (‘Oy, Rodney’)

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In Chapter CCCLXXXII of her epic romance, Oy, Rodney (we are not told what happened to Chapter CCCLXXXI–must’ve been a non-starter), Violet Crepuscular reveals that the two rival Scotland Yard detectives have succeeded in framing each other for the theft of the locomotive. Both are carted off to Newgate Prison, and Lord Jeremy finally comes down from the tree where he’s been hiding. All we are told about that is, “He came down like rain.” Only raindrops don’t wind up swathed in bandages from head to toe.

Constable Chumley is interrupted in dictating his memoirs to the Wise Woman of the Gaol by a controversy centered in the Scurveyshire pet shop, where Lady Margo Cargo’s crusty butler, Crusty, has been trying to buy food for his mistress’ pet crayfish, Oswin. Distracted by the rantings and ravings of the prisoner who has been moved from the jail to the pet shop, Crusty has mistakenly bought the wrong kind of food but now can’t get his money back. Unable to break up the argument, Constable Chumley arrests them both and brings them to Lord Jeremy’s bedside. Ms. Crepuscular has had a devilish time trying to type the word “bedside.” It keeps coming out “bedides” or “bdesdie,” etc.

“Ivver yon greeth wi’ hammels, m’lord,” Chumley explains.

Crusty and the shop owner, one Samuel Heathen, yell and scream at each other. As justice of the peace, Lord Jeremy has the power to put both of them to death. He is reluctant to use it, however. Lady Margo would never forgive him for having Crusty thrown to the shire’s ferocious pug dogs, and Mr. Heathen owes him several guineas.

“Can’t we all just get along?” he groans.

“This caitiff asked for King-Size Slo-Gro Depilatory Crayfish Food, and that’s what I sold him!” roars Mr. Heathen.

“I never asked for Slo-Gro! I asked for Go-Gro!” growls Crusty.

With wisdom rivaling Solomon’s, Lord Jeremy faints.

The matter will be taken up again, Mr. Crepuscular assures us, in the next exciting chapter.

Special Treat: Norbert & the Sheets

This little character has become a Youtube star–Norbert, the 3-pound dog who can run like the wind, dodge like a super-ball… and can’t keep his tongue in his mouth. He also looks like he must’ve escaped from a Star Wars movie (who would blame him for that?), but he’s a certified mixed-breed dog.

Anyway, enjoy him as he stakes his claim to the humans’ bedsheets.

Were Giants Ever Real?

Furahan Biology and Allied Matters: The anatomy of giants in 'Game of  Thrones': did they get it right?

Even sitting down, he’s huge…

I’ve been thinking about giants lately. Were they real? Could they ever have been real?

The Bible has giants in it, throughout the Old Testament–lasting into historical times, in places like Gath, Hebron, and Bashan. Greek and Norse mythology is full of giants. And folklore all over the world offers tales of giants.

What is a giant? At 5’11”, Herman Melville was the tallest man aboard a certain whaling vessel. At 7 feet tall and change, Wilt Chamberlain dominated professional basketball. But if it gets much taller than that, you’re probably talking about a glandular or a genetic defect that’s going to keep you from reaching your 70th birthday: thank of Andre the Giant.

The giants in the Bible are truly colossal; and although no one has ever found a giant’s skeleton, or a giant’s weapons or armor, the Near East has several sites where normal-sized men created facsimiles of giants’ footprints, carving them in stone and placing them near public buildings.

Just because people lived a long time ago doesn’t mean they were stupid. So why did so many of them believe in giants, if there was no such thing as a giant? If no one could ever have seen a giant, why did so many different peoples, all over the world, preserve and hand down so many stories about giants?

The mark of the Anunnaki? Meet the GIANT footprints of Ain Dara - RiseEarth

These prints are obviously not real. But why did someone go to the trouble of carving them? Why display them in a busy public area?

Then again, maybe the whole thing was just some kind of advertising.

But how could there have been so many stories about giants, and no giants? Is it possible for a human body to function, beyond a certain size? Or did people in Biblical times use “giants” as a metaphor? Metaphors have probably been around even longer than giants.

We accept the Bible as being always true. But we grant that Bible writers sometimes used figures of speech that are not meant to be taken literally. Nor would Bible writers living 3,000 years ago have needed to explain certain things to their audience–things that only confuse us today. A lot of knowledge can be lost in three millenia.

I add, finally, that even as a little child, I never believed the Jolly Green Giant was real.

Memory Lane: Roller Derby

I am aware that roller derby still exists; that indeed it has staged a sort of comeback worldwide, albeit mostly at an amateur level.

Roller Derby and TV grew up together. The first roller derby broadcast was in 1948. It blossomed into a huge hit and a cultural phenomenon. This is hard to explain. The clip will give you some idea of the sublime awfulness of 1950s roller derby. I think the hook was the display of “un-ladylike behavior” at a time when women were expected to be “ladies.” Please don’t ask me to define those terms. I’m just sayin’ I think the contrast was a big selling point for roller derby.

At a friend’s house, his mother and aunt watched roller derby every chance they got, well into the Sixties (even though it had already faded severely and was going quickly out of style). No matter how many times I was exposed to it, the rules of roller derby remained a mystery to me; nor was I ever able to perceive the object of the game. It just looked like a lot of bodies flying around, plus some fisticuffs.

TV survived, but roller derby shrank almost into oblivion–I think because oafish, churlish behavior has become practically an expectation for both men and women. Roller derby can’t compete with an Antifa riot.

For ugliness to have any value, there has to be beauty present, too.

‘Wanted in Our Entertainment: Religion as Part of Everyday Life’ (2015)

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Frank McGrath as Charlie Wooster

Look at our movies, TV shows, novels and short stories, etc.–how often do you see fictional characters for whom religion is an inseparable part of who they are?

Wanted in Our Entertainment: Religion as Part of Everyday Life

There is a time for religious exercise to be in private, as Our Lord Jesus Christ taught; but there’s also a time for it to be publicly shared. This, too, the Bible teaches.

But our “entertainment” is a massive God-free zone, dryer than the Sahara–when was the last time you saw a fictional character praying? It’s like they all came out of a faculty lounge somewhere–arch-humanists, every one of them. And that’s not realistic. That is not what human life looks like. But then who knows less about humanity than a humanist?

By Request, ‘Up from the Grave He Arose’

Erlene mentioned this hymn yesterday and I just couldn’t get it out of my mind. We usually save it for Easter-time, but really the message bears repeating all year long.

Up from the Grave He Arose, sung by Voices of Eden–a glorious gift from our family in India.

Never Mind Cuteness–Get a Load of This!

So there you are on your pedal-boat, in nice calm water, happily fishing away; and you think you’ve got a nice big gar-fish on the line… but you don’t. Keep your eyes peeled for the surprise that’s in store for this fisherman. And then imagine it happening to you. Pleasant dreams!

An Honorary Quokka!

Quokka HD Wallpapers |

Wow! Look at all those bicycles! Surely nobody would miss just one…

Byron the Quokka here, with excellent news! Meanwhile Lee is outside doing cartwheels (figure of speech: last time he really did a cartwheel, he split his pants) because Patty has fixed his computer.

For this achievement, the faculty at Quokka University has awarded her the designation of Honorary Quokka and appointed her QU’s resident Computer Expert. We realize the “resident” part cannot be taken literally, her living in New Jersey instead of Rottnest Island; but we think we have the communications technology to make it work.

It all goes to show how it pays to marry somebody who”s both smart and determined–smartest thing he ever did.

Now if we can only convince him to offer a bicycle as the prize for the next comment contest, maybe we can pump up the readership to what it used to be.

Bonus Video, ‘In Christ Alone’

In Christ Alone is on a lot of readers’ lists of favorite hymns; and I’m posting it here because I’ve almost used up the first list of Your Favorite Hymns and I want to invite all readers to come up with another. Don’t be afraid to suggest more than one hymn. It’s not like we’ll ever run out of them.

I know, I know–with anything like this, the pattern always is: a few people act and a lot of people watch. I’d like to see more readers participating, but if I knew how to draw you in, I’d probably be rich and arrogant. So all I can do is hold out the invitation.

Update on the Update

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Twenty-four hours after initiating a routine maintenance chore, the computer I normally work with is still out of the saga, hors de combat, non-functional, doesn’t freakin’ work, etc. etc. It is still configuring! Can you say “configuring”? I have no idea what that means in computer lingo; plain English won’t help you out of that labyrinth.

Patty is cautiously optimistic that it’s almost done having a breakdown or whatever else you call it when you approve an update and the whole thing turns into Nadler. Well, that would be wonderful indeed if she were right. Then I could go back to trying to get my Share button back.

I’d like to put up a couple more posts today; but I’d also like to go outside and have a cigar before it starts to rain.

Meanwhile, we can all be thankful that no one is serious about basing public policy on computer models. Especially just before an update.